Christmas Proclamation: From the Martyrology at Prime on the Vigil of the Nativity

December 24, 2023
Source: Priory Denver

At the Office of Prime, in cathedral chapters and monasteries, the announcement of tomorrow's feast is made with unusual solemnity.  The lector, who is frequently one of the dignitaries of the choir, sings, to a magnificent chant, the following lesson from the martyrology.  All the assistants remain standing during it, until the lector comes to the word Bethlehem, at which all genuflect, and continue in that posture of all the glad tidings are told.    -

Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year

The Christmas Proclamation

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,

(Here the voice is elevated and all genuflect) was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.

(This however is said in the former voice, and in the tone of the passion:) The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.