Christmas Eve: Dom Gueranger on the Office of Prime

"At the Office of Prime, in Cathedral Chapters and Monasteries, the announcement of tomorrow's Feast is made with unusual solemnity. The Lector, who frequently is one of the dignitaries of the Choir, sings, to a magnificent chant, the following Lesson from the Martyrology. All the assistants remain standing during it, until the Lector comes to the word 'Bethlehem', at which all genuflect, and continue in that posture until all the glad Tidings are told."

The Lesson traces the ages of the world from the Creation through to the Incarnation of our Lord and concludes thus:

" the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by his most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since his conception having passed, in Bethlehem of Juda, is born of the Virgin Mary, being made man: THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH!"


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