MERGED: The Christmas Proclamation/Cause for Scandal?

“Uncomfortable”? “Awkward”? “Particularly scandalous”? “Crestfallen”? Such a flair for the dramatic…

So what’s scandalous? I would say yours and others reaction. I hope that most did not react in such a way and understand the proclamation for what it is; and ignore the scandalous snickering if even noticed at all.

I will admit it was scandalous that someone was snickering. Definitely not being good examples to any newcomers of your church. Even if may not of been sung well.

But as far as it being said or sung, yes its part of either the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Mass.

What you heard was the Christmas Proclamation from the Roman Martyrology, which is the first post on this thread.


Didn’t go to Midnight Mass this year but the Proclamation has always been read then at my parish.

I did notice in the missal that Bishop Ussher’s proclamation has been edited (“Unknown ages” from creation rather than 5199 years) to remove the YEC declarations, I am sure precisely to alleviate the kinds of discomfort many people have expressed concern about. I thought this was very sensible indeed.

I have posted this question before and never gotten an answer: do we know when/why Bishop Ussher’s proclamation became commonplace at Catholic Christmas celebrations? (Bishop Ussher was rabidly anti-catholic).

Oh, my thread was moved to this one.

People were snickering because the cantor said that the earth was created 5,000+ years ago. Now, I know there are some YEC, here, but it is scandalous because 1) the Church does not teach this and 2) this is a major controversy between Christians and non-Christians and makes the spreading of the Faith that much harder.

Again, the specific dating is not the point of the proclamation. Would you and other others have had an issue with using the other text that I linked to, that doesn’t date creation?

Scandal is far too strong a word.

Actually, the old version of the Christmas Proclamation does not employ Bishop Ussher’s calculation. For one, he pinned the Creation of the world as occuring about 4000 BC. He moved it back to 4004 BC to take account of the error perpetrated by Dionysius Exiguus. Josephus indicated that the death of Herod the Great occurred in 4 BC; therefore, Jesus could not have been born after that date. Jesus was born some time between 37 BC (when Herod came to power) and 4 BC. In the event, Ussher calculated that Christ’s birth year must have been 4 BC, exactly 4000 years since the world began.

Because of the mention of 5199 years, I’m more inclined to think that the Martyrology follows the Chronicon of Eusebius and the Chronicon of St. Jerome, which does date creation to the year of 5199 BC (cf. also the early Christian system of reckoning time by the Etos Kosmou).

As an aside, St. Bede dated creation to 18 March 3952 BC! :wink:

I think the discrepancy in the years can all ultimately be traced to the fact that the ages of many antediluvian patriarchs vary between the Hebrew and Greek (and Samaritan) versions of Genesis:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit