MERGED: The Christmas Proclamation/Cause for Scandal?

Today, the twenty-fifth day of December
Unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth
And then formed man and woman in his own image.
Several thousand years after the flood,
When God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant.
Twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah;
Thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges;
One thousand years from the anointing of David as 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,
Jesus Christ, 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,
Was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary.
Today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Did your parish have the Proclamation of the Birth of Christ? Answer the poll question and then expound in comments! Was it at a real midnight Mass or another Mass? Chanted or recited, by deacon, priest, or cantor?

Feel free to also go slightly off-topic to include anything of interest about beautiful Christmas Masses (not bad ones, please)!

My own comments are below.

Yes, we did! We had a real Midnight Mass (as always) and the Proclamation was chanted by our best cantor. Beautiful.

We used to have a parochial vicar with a great chanting voice and he would do it, but none of our current clergy really have the voice for it.

And as an aside, the choir was beautiful, the Mass was beautiful, the Church was beautifully decorated (by high schoolers, in part, believe it or not), and the lector was simply amazing*.

*I was the lector. :smiley:

Real midnight Mass with the real proclamation chanted by a real cantor.

The gospel was also chanted and the priest used Eucharistic Prayer I. Lots of incense too. They pull out all the stops for Christmas and Easter.

Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by “Proclamation of the Birth of Christ”? Can you explain in more detail, please? :slight_smile:


It’s customarily read or chanted at Midnight Mass. It’s not required, though.

We has the proclamation at 9pm Mass. My priest has 3 churches and so he used the midnight Mass readings in our church even though he had to go to another church at midnight, his third church he had Mass this morning.

First of all in the procession (after the cross and before the gospel) was a cute little 4 year old girl carrying the Christ Child in the manger she put him in the creche. That was the first proclamation. But the whole Mass was the midnight readings.

Liturgically, at least in a community setting, it is supposed to be proclaimed after Lauds on Dec. 24; in the past tradition, it would have been chanted after Prime as it is part of the Martyrology which would be chanted after Prime pre-Vatican II, and the Martyrology is always anticipated (that is it covers the next day’ feasts).

The abbey I am affiliated with does indeed chant it, after Lauds on Dec. 24th, so that’s why I didn’t vote, there wasn’t an option for that.

Yep, chanted by one of our choir men (deep baritone voice). Mass was beautiful. Our family “humored” me by all coming to Mass with my wife and me. They said it was one of their gifts to me. It was great.

The servers had new black cassocks and surplices. They have finally thrown out the white “bathrobes”. Poinsettias were placed throughout the Sanctuary. Our priest chant most of the Mass.

After Mass, those of us that had lobbied for the improvements gathered to thank the priest.
Father was absolutely overjoyed with the beauty and glad we made this move.

The Vigil Mass I attended had the Proclamation. Very nice.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I see that the thread has now been merged, so hopefully you won’t receive this question from anyone else :wink:

Yes, the Proclamation was read at Midnight Mass last night. :thumbsup:

Yeah, sorry, I didn’t think about that. Thanks for posting.

…the beginning of the Mass was uncomfortable for me. In the beginning, a member of the choir sung a chronology on the events of the Bible beginning with Genesis and the creation of the world “5,000 years ago” up to the birth of Jesus. It was a bit awkward, and I heard some snickering. I think this was particularly scandalous to my brothers and sisters, who are just growing in the faith.

I do not mean to offend YEC, but this is a stumbling block for many, and I am crestfallen that this was said at Mass.

Can someone come up with an explanation?

an explanation of what?
was it the Christmas proclamation which is supposed to be read or chanted at Midnight Mass and the cantor can do it, with or without the choir

do you mean scripture readings on salvation history? how on earth could you be scandalized by that?

the snickering? by whom? the entire congregation? the priest? one person? what do you mean by snickering? no I have no explanation for rude or disrespectful behavior on the part of other people’s children, but I don’t let it disturb me at Mass, either, because they too are God’s children. I just try to lead by example.

This is the text what the Church reads since some 1500 years in Christmas

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning ’ God created the heavens and the earth In the year 2959th from the flood In the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham In the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses In the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King In the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel In the 194th Olympiad In the 752th from the foundation of the city of Rome In the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus In the 6th age of the world, While the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh.

The message is not the accuracy of the numbers, but the fact that the world reached its fullness with the birth of Jesus Christ

The Christmas Proclamation is beautiful. In my old parish I used to chant it, but my present pastor doesn’t like it (which bugs me to no end, but he’s the boss).

Perhaps the people who were snickering were some of those people who only come to Mass on Christmas and only want to hear Christmas carols sung.

Well, we had the prayers and the readings from the Mass at Midnight but it was at 11 p.m. No, the Christmas Proclamation was neither read nor chanted.

I don’t think anyone in our parish has ever heard of the Christmas Proclamation. I only became aware of it a few years ago when a former pastor, who could sing, mentioned that he’d like to chant this. I had to google it and was impressed that he’d want to do this but nothing ever came of his idea. Knowing his memory, he probably forgot about it as soon as he mentioned it.

Was it something like this?

There is no scandal. Why did you have a problem with it? Because it wasn’t sung well?

The word scandal is a bit extreme. The Christmas Proclamation is a beautiful thing, and the point is not to date Creation, but to proclaim the Birth of Christ and to describe its place in salvation history.

For this reason I prefer the current USCCB translation (which is unusual, because I generally prefer very precise translations) that does not try to date Creation but still clearly places the Birth of Christ in context in salvation history.

But it’s not appropriate that anyone would be snickering during this beautiful proclamation, dates or not!

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