We might not find ourselves gathered around a Christmas table with extended family this year, but even if we’re only connected via Zoom, there is one tradition worth adding to the Christmas Eve festivities.
The announcement of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord from The Roman Martyrology draws from Sacred Scripture to declare in a formal way the birth of Christ.
A short reading of a couple paragraphs, it begins with creation and then goes on listing the major events of salvation history, placed in their historical timeline.
So, for example, “… in the 21st century since Abraham, our father in faith …. in the 13th century since the People of Israel were led by Moses … in the year 752 since the foundation of the City of Rome …” etc, etc.
After hearing of all these momentous events, placed in their historical context, the proclamation climaxes with “the whole world being at peace” and the birth of Jesus is proclaimed.
The proclamation gives a unique solemnity to Christmas. It is a simple reminder that, as Benedict XVI once emphasized, “The coming of Jesus isn’t a ‘fairytale for children.’ It’s “God’s answer to the suffering of humanity in search of peace.”
This proclamation is found in the extra resources tab of Magnificat’s Advent App.
But beyond the special features, you can use the app to follow daily Mass, as well as to participate in a version of the Liturgy of the Hours with morning and evening prayer. A daily reflection is also included.
And the proclamation of the Nativity is not the only special feature. There are Advent chants, as well as prayers for the Advent wreath, the Christmas crib, and a host of other things.
It’s a handy little collection to have at hand this season. Purchase here or directly at your App Store: