Now more importantly, I just wanted to wish you a joyful and blessed Merry Nativity of our Lord and a Happy Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
But before I depart, I shall give you all a wonderful Nativity gift: Catechesis. Here's catechesis for the Feast of the Nativity.
CHRISTMAS VIGIL & CHRISTMAS DAY!!! Also known as the Solemnity of the Nativity (Birth) of Our Lord/The Feast of the Nativity
When? – December 25 in both NO and EF, but one can go to Mass starting December 24th in the Evening to satisfy the obligation.
What? – Like it says, this is the day in our liturgical year when we celebrate the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. A good summary of this Holy feast is provided in Pope Benedict XVI’s recent speech prepared for a British BBC radio broadcast, “Thought of the Day”:
“ … God’s chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation. They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send … The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place – he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history … Christ destroyed death forever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross ... he was none other than the Son of God. Out of love for us, he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life to a share in the life of God himself … let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life ....”
Benedict XVI, Pope. Full text of Benedict XVI’s Thought for the Day. Online. Available: [http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2010/12/24/full-text-of-benedict-xvis-thought-for-the-day/]. 25 Dec 2010.
Also from the Baronius Press 1962 Missal on Christmastide:“ During the season of Advent, we longed for the coming of Christ. In Christmastide, we experience the joy of His coming into the world. The Church is full of the Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ. Jesus as God, begotten of the substance of the Father before all the ages and born of the substance of His Mother in the world, is given to us. “And His Name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.” By the union of our souls with Jesus born to human life, we are born to the divine life. “As many as received Him He gave them power to be made Sons of God.” In the birth of Jesus we learn to know God as His Father: “All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father but the Son and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him.
During Christmastide, the liturgy shows us the Messiah as the Son of God, clothed with humanity, glorified by the humble surprised shepherds, and adored by the Magi from the East. Let us fall down before the Child and bless God, for the birth of Jesus is the beginning of our Redemption through grace to the supernatural life.
Christmas is the only day of the year, other than Easter, which keeps the old custom of celebrating its Feast at midnight. At this hour we called to mind that Mary in her spotless virginity gave to the world its Saviour. In the midst of darkness, the Light was born. Therefore the Church celebrates Christmas on December 25, the time of the year when the days begin to lengthen. The custom of having three Masses originated in Jerusalem. A Mass was said in Bethlehem at a very early hour in the morning. Later a second Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. About midday a third Mass was celebrated. Each of the three Masses has its identifying characteristic. The Midnight Mass celebrates particularly the birth of Jesus, the Mass at Dawn commemorates the adoration of the shepherds, the daytime Mass celebrates the eternal generation of the Word and the dignity of the Son of God.
Whereas Advent is the season of “absence of Jesus,” Christmastide is a season of great joy in our possession of the Savour. Eight days after Christmas the Church celebrates the Circumcision of Jesus. On January 6, she commemorates the adoration of Jesus by the Magi (Epiphany), which brings Christmastide to a close.”
Christmastide. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Missal with Vespers For Sundays and Feasts From the Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962 With Supplements Containing The Additional Masses for Englang and Wales, Scotland, United States and Australasia. Summorum Pontificum Edition. Baronius Press: London. 2009. pp.180-181.
Notes:1. This is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION in the entire world. You must go to Mass on this day regardless of what day of the week it falls under. If it does not fall on a Sunday, you are also obligated to go Christmas and that following Sunday. You can fulfill the Xmas obligation if you attend a Christmas Eve Vigil or Night mass. Also many people will go to an 11pm or Midnight Mass as a tradition.
Extraordinary FormThe readings depend on which mass is said. There are a total of three masses.
(Night) First Mass – Titus 2: 11-15 and Luke 2:1-14
(Dawn) Second Mass – Titus 3:4-7 and Luke 2:15-20
(Day) Third Mass – Hebrews 1:1-12 and John 1:1-14
Novus OrdoNight Mass – Isaiah 9:2-4, 6-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-16
Dawn Mass – Isaiah 62:11-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20
Day Mass – Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18
Other Readings from Scripture in the Holy Bible: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:5-80 to Luke 2:1-7 (which also contains the Joyful mysteries of the Annunciation and the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.)
Benedict XVI, Pope. Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI Saint Peter’s Basilica, Friday, 24 December 2010. Online. Available: [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20101224_christmas_en.html]. 25 Dec 2010.
Benedict XVI, Pope. Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI Saint Peter’s Basilica, Friday, 24 December 2010. Online. Available: [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20111224_christmas_en.html] 25 Dec 2011.
A Blessed and Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. YCRCM.