Liturgy: Christmas Day

December 24, 2022

A Child is born to us, and a son is given to us; upon his shoulder is supreme sovereignty, and He shall be called Angel of great counsel. 

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given - It is the Son of God, God begotten of the Father in the one day of eternity (Ego hodie genui te—This day have I begotten thee), who is now born into the world. As it was at midnight that our Lady brought her first-born Son into the world and laid Him in a cradle, so the first of the three Christmas Masses is celebrated in the stillness of midnight.

"With great devotion," says St. Leo, "has the Incarnate Word given Himself to win for us the fight against Satan, for not in His divine Majesty but in the weakness of our flesh He waged war against this cruel enemy". "The victory which He has gained, in spite of His weakness, shows Him to be God. It is God of God, Light of Light," (Credo) who disperses the darkness of sin. "Christ is the true Light who comes to enlighten the world, plunged in darkness" (Collect). "By the mystery of the Word made Flesh," says the Preface, "the light of Thy glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind: so that while we acknowledge Him as God seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen." 

"The grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires ... that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people acceptable, and zealous in good works." (Epistle). He is made like unto us that we may become like unto Him (Secret), and by His example may be enabled to live a holy life (Postcommunion). Thus shall we "live soberly, justly, and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ " (Epistle).


Source: Dom Gaspar Lefebvre, OSB, 1945, adapted and abridged.