For today December 24: The Nativity of Our Lord–Christman Eve. The exact date of the birth of Jesus is not known, and during the earliest centuries of the Church it seemed to have little significance. This followed the early Church’s tradition of honoring and celebrating a Christian’s death as his or her birth date into eternity and the ongoing presence of Jesus. Likewise the life, work, death, and resurrection of Christ was of much greater importance to early Christians than the earthly details of His life. The earliest nativity feast, Epiphany (January 6), celebrated both the birth and Baptism of Christ. However, in the fourth century great Christological controversies that questioned Christ’s divinity and humanity raced throughout Christianity. By AD 336, Decembere 25 had been established in Rome as the celebration of Christ’s birth, a festival welcomed particularly by orthodox Christians in the West. From Roam, Christ’s natal festival spread throughout the Western Church. In Eastern traditions of the Church, Epiphany remains the principal celebration of the birth of Jesus.
For today December 25: The Nativity of Our Lord–Christmas Day. Advent prepared us for the coming of the Savior, the fulfillment of the promise first made in the Garden of Eden in response to the sin of Adam and Eve. Christmas is the day we celebrate that hope fulfilled. Jesus is the only hope of the world , because Jesus is the only one who could set us free from our sins. The commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord puts before us once again the story of the long-awaited King who left His heavenly throne to enter time and become human like one of us. When God wanted to save you from your sins, He did not send a prophet or even an angel: He sent His own Son into human flesh just like ours.
EXTRA: THE NATIVITY OF
OUR LORD AND
Lo, to us the Christ is born.
O come, let us worship Him.
1. The Lord said to me,
“You are My Son; today I have
begotten you.” (Psalm 2:7)
2. [The Lord] sent redemption to His people.
He has commanded His covenant forever.
3. One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne. (Psalm 132:11)
4. Christ the Lord, our Savior, everlasting
God and Mary’s Son,
we praise You evermore. (Liturgical text)
L: The Word became flesh and dwelt among
us, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word
was God. (John 1:1)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and
to the Holy Spirit.
C: We have seen His glory, glory as of the
only Son from the Father. (John 1:14)