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groan under the old captivity of sin, may be freed therefrom by the new Birth of thine Only Begotten Son. Through the same, &c.
Unigeniti tui nova per carnem nativitas liberet; quos sub peccati jugo vetusta servitus tenet. Per eumdem.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the Fathers, by the Prophets; last of all, in these days, hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and holding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the Majesty on high: being made so much better than the Angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they. For, to which of the Angels hath he said, at any time: Thou art my Son. to-day have I begotten thee t And again: I will be to him a Father, and he shall be tome a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the First-Begotten into the world, he saith: And let all the Angels of God adore him. And to the Angels, indeed, he saith: He that maketh his Angels Spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But to the Son: Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom. TItou hast
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Hebraeos.
Multifariam multisque modis olim Deus loquens patribus in Prophetis; novissime diebus istis locutus est nobis in Filio, quem constituit haeredem universorum, per quem fecit et sascula. Qui cum sit splendor gloriae, et figura substantiae ejus; portansque omnia verbo virtutis suae, purgationem peccatorum faciens, sedet ad dexteram Majestatis in excelsis: tanto mefior Angelis effectus, quanto differentius prae illis nomen haereditavit. Cui enim dixit aliquando Angeforum : Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te? Et rursum: Ego ero illi in Patrem, et ipse erit mihi in Filium. Et cum iterum introducit Primogenitum in orbem terrae, dicit: Et adorent eum omnes Angeli Del Et ad Angelos quidem dicit: Qui facit Angelos suos Spinous, et ministros suos flammam ignis. Ad Filium autem: Thronus tuus, Deus, in saeculum saeculi: virga aequitatis,virgaregnitui. Dilexisti justitiam, et odisti iniquitatem: propterea unxit
te Deus, Deus tuus, oleo loved justice, and hated iniexsultationis prae particfpi- guilty : therefore God, thy God bus tuis. Et: Tuinprincipio, hath anointed thee with the oil Domine, terram fundasti; of gladness above thy fellows. et opera manuum tuarum And: Thou in the beginning, sunt coelL Ipsi peribunt, tu 0 Lord, didst found the earth, autem permanebis; et om- and the works of thy hands are nes ut vestimentum vete- the heavens. They shall perish, rascent, et velut amictum but thou shalt continue; and mutabis eos, et mutabun- they shall all grow old as a tur: tu autem idem ipse es, garment, and as a vesture shalt et anni tui non deficient. thou change them, and they
shall be changed: but thou art the self-same, and thy years shall not fail.
The great Apostle, in this magnificent opening of his Epistle to his former brethren of the Synagogue, lays great stress on the Eternal Generation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whilst our eyes are fixed on the sweet Infant in his Crib, St. Paul bids us raise our thoughts up to that infinite Light, from the midst of which the Eternal Father thus speaks to this. Child of Mary: Thou art my Son; to-day have I begotten thee: this to-day is the Day of eternity, a Day which has neither morning nor evening, neither rising nor setting. If the Human Nature, which he has vouchsafed to assume, places him below the Angels; he is infinitely above them by his own essence, whereby he is the Son of God. He is God, he is Lord, and no change can come upon him. He may be wrapped in swathing-bands, or nailed to a Cross, or put to a most ignominious death—all this is only in his human nature; in his Divinity, he remains impassible and immortal, for he was born of the Father, from all eternity.
Viderunt omnes fines ter- All the ends of the earth rae Salutare Dei nostri : ju- have seen the salvation of our bilate Deo omnis terra. God: sing joyfully to the
Lord, all thou earth.
ft. The Lord hath made known his salvation: he hath revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles.
ft. A sanctified day hath shone upon us: Come, ye Gentiles, and adore the Lord; for, this day, a great Light is come down upon the earth. Alleluia.
ft. Notum fecit Dominus Salutare suum: ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suam.
ft. Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis : Venite, gentes, et adorate Dominum; quia hodie descendit lux magna super terrain. Alleluia.
The beginning of the holy Gospel according to John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life ; and the life was the Light of men • and the Light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the Light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the Light, but was to give testimony of the Light. That was the true Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him; and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as
Initium sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod factum est. In ipso vita erat; et vita erat lux hominum; et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebras eam non comprehenderunt. Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen erat Joannes. Hic venit in testimonium, ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine, ut omnes crederent per ilium. Non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Erat lux vera quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. In mundo erat, et mundus per ipsum factus est; et mundus eum non cognovit. In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt . Quotquot autem
receperunt eum, dedit eis received him, to them he gave
potestatemfilios Dei fieri: his power to be made the sons of
qui credunt in nomine ejus; God : to them that believe in
qui non ex sanguinibus, his name, who are born not of
neque ex voluntate carnis. blood, nor of the will of the
neque ex voluntate viri, sea flesh, nor of the will of man,
ex Deo nati sunt. Et Veb- but of God. And The
BUM CARO FACTUM EST; et WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and
habitavit in nobis: et vidi- dwelt among us: and we mus gloriam ejus, gloriam saw his glory, as it were the quasi Unigeniti a Patre, glory of the Only-Begotten of plenum gratiae et veritatis. the Father, full of grace and
0 Eternal Son of God! in presence of the Crib, where, for the love of us, thou vouchsafest this day to show thyself to thy creatures—we confess thy eternity, thy omnipotence, thy divinity, and most profoundly do we adore thee. Thou wast in the beginning; thou wast in God; and thyself wast God. Everything was made by thee, and we are the work of thy hands. 0 Light, infinite and eternal! O Sun of Justice! enlighten us, for we are but darkness. Too long have we loved our darkness, and thee we have not comprehended: forgive us our blindness and our errors. Thou hast been long knocking at the door of our hearts, and we have refused to let thee in. To-day, thanks to the wonderful ways of thy love! we have received thee: for who could refuse to receive thee, sweet gentle Infant Jesus! but, leave us not—abide with us, and perfect the New Birth which thou hast begun in us. We wish, henceforth, to be neither of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, by thee and in thee. Thou hast been made Flesh, O Word Eternal ! in order that we may become sons of God. We beseech thee, support our weak human nature, and fit us for this our sublime destiny. Thou art born of God thy Father; thou art born of Mary; thou art born in our hearts; thrice glorified be thou for this thy triple Birth, 0 Jesus! so merciful in thy Divinity, and so divine in thy self-sought humiliations!
At the Offertory, the Church sings praise to her Emmanuel for the work of his hands, the universe; for it was He made all things. The sacred gifts are offered up, in the midst of a cloud of incense. The Church cannot lose sight of the Infant Jesus and the Crib; but she is unceasingly praising the power and majesty of the Incarnate God.
Thine are the heavens, and Tui sunt coeli, et tua est thine is the earth ; the world terra; orbem terrarum et and the fulness thereof, thou plenitudinem ejus tu funhast founded: justice and dasti: justitia et judicium judgment are the preparation praeparatio sedis tuae. of thy throne.
Sanctify, O Lord, our offer- Oblata, Domine, munera
ings, by the new Birth of thine nova Unigeniti tui native
Only Begotten Son: and tate sanctifica: nosque a
cleanse us from the stains of peccatorum nostrorum ma
our sins. Through the same, &c. culis emunda. Per eumdem.
During the Communion, the choir sings the happiness of this earth of ours, which has to-day seen its Saviour by the mercy of the Divine Word, made visible in the flesh, yet so as that he loses nothing of his own infinite glory. Then, in the Postcommunion, she prays by the mouth of the Priest, that her children, who have eaten of the spotless Lamb, may partake of the immortality of this same Jesus: for, by vouchsafing to be born by a human Birth in Bethlehem, he has, this Day, given them the pledge of their receiving a divine life.
The whole earth hath seen Viderunt omnes fines terthe salvation of our God. rae Salutare Dei nostri.