The Christmas Proclamation
(a traditional version)
* The twenty-fifth day of December.
* In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
* the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
* the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
* the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
* the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
* in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
* in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
* the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
* the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
* the whole world being at peace,
* in the sixth age of the world,
* Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
* was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,
being made flesh.
* The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Readings (Mass during the night):
Isaiah 9:1-6 (the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light)
Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13 “Today is born our Savior, Christ, the Lord”
Titus 2:11-14 (God’s grace trains us to reject sin while we anticipate Jesus’ Second Coming)
+ Luke 2:1-14 (the nativity and announcement to the shepherds)
As in the Day of Midian…
vast and mighty,
given over to the night of sin,
by the light
from broken vessels,
by warrior trumpets…
God and Gideon
take the field
and the oppressor
is no more
(cf. Judges 6-7).
Now glory’s blaze
breaks on the shepherds
in the perils of the night,
as the great angelic army
fills the sky with Heaven’s might.
is once again
an earthen vessel
in the lowly “House of Bread,”*
and when it’s broken
will take to flight.
O Darling Infant,
tonight I banish fear
in the celebration of the surpassing power of weakness!
*”Bethlehem” translates “House of Bread”–note the connection with Judges 7:13