The blessed light of Saints above,
Sweet hope of mortals here below,
Art thou, O Jesu, who the love
Of human home and hearth didst know.
O Mary, thou art full of grace,
Who careth for Jesus with tender love,
And kissed his blessed, smiling face
Whilst in thine arms he took his rest.
O Joseph, thou of all our race
Elected wast to guard the fame
Of Mary, Virgin full of grace,
And give her Son a father's name.
O Mary! Joseph! holy twain
From Jesse's root and David's seed,
Who ushered in salvation's reign,
Help all who at Christ's altars plead.
The sun declineth towards the west,
And dusk of night is drawing near,
O take to God the heart's behest
Of each and all who linger here.
Sweet home of Nazareth, in thee
All grace and virtue can we see;
Lord, grant each Christian home to be,
Like thine, a holy family.
Praise God, who served, whilst here on earth,
Joseph, and her who gave him birth;
Whom with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Spirit, for evermore. Amen.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
The fast prior to the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Nativity in the ancient Church was six weeks in the East and six weeks in St. Ambrose’s liturgical tradition in the West as well. The importance of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be overstated. As is apparent below absolutely linked to that is the Church’s confession of literal creation. God literally did just what He said and in that is alone the true revelation of God and His Christ and the only salvation which is in the true Christ Jesus and not some evolutionary cosmic Gnostic pseudo-Christ which is actually the Antichrist and damnation.In the East the time is reckoned thusly.
And from the traditional liturgy going back centuries in the West, on the feast of the Nativity.
"In the 5,199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when God in the beginning made out of nothing the heavens and the earth; the 2,957th year after the flood; the 2,015th year from the birth of Abraham; the 1,510th year from Moses and the going-out of the people of Israel from Egypt; the 1,032nd year from the anointing of David king; in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the 194th olympiad; the 752nd year from the foundation of the city of Rome; the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, all the earth being at peace, in the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, willing to consecrate 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 Juda of the Virgin Mary, being made man.
1 ¶ When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
2 Saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him.
3 And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.
5 But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
6 And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them;
8 And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him.
9 ¶ Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.
10 And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, andfalling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.
13 ¶ And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
14 Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:
15 That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 ¶ Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying:
18 A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 ¶ But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.
21 Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee.
23 And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.
St. Ignatius (Apostolic Father) to the Ephesians
Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown,(5) which were wrought in silence by(6) God. How, then, was He manifested to the world?(7) A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of Which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else [in the heavens]. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because He mediated the abolition of death.
1 ¶ And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
2 This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.
5 To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
6 And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people:
11 For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.
15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.
16 And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.
18 And all that heard wondered: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 ¶ And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:
23 As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord:
24 And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the lawof the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons:
25 ¶ And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.And the Holy Ghost was in him.
26 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
28 He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said
29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace:
30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:
32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him.
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted.
35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity.
37 And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day.
38 Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel.
39 And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in him.
41 ¶ And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast,
43 And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And his parents knew it not.
44 And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance.
45 And not finding him,they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and askingthem questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.
48 And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?
50 And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.
51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.
52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men.