The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
First Mass: At Midnight
Epistle • Titus 2:11-15
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle.
[Our Lord will manifest Himself to all the elect, when, at the end of the world, shall take place the glorious apparition of the great God.]
Dearly beloved, the grace of God Our Savior hath appeared to all men, instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and 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: Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak and exhort: in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Gospel • Luke 2:1-14
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[St. Luke tells us of the birth of Our Lord: And Mary brought forth Her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.]
At that time there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, Her days were accomplished that She should be delivered. And She brought forth Her firstborn Son and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger: because there was no room for Them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.Second Mass: At Dawn
Epistle • Titus 3:4-7
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Titus.
[The goodness and loving kindness of God Our Savior appeared, that being justified by the grace of Our Lord we may be heirs of life everlasting.]
Dearly beloved, The goodness and kindness of God Our Savior appeared: not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost, Whom He hath poured forth upon us abundantly through Jesus Christ Our Savior: that, being justified by His grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting: in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Gospel • Luke 2:15-20
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[Let us go with the shepherds to the Infant Jesus; the Lord manifested to these shepherds the Incarnation of His Son. Let us go with haste and adore Him in the crib.]
At that time the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us. And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger. And seeing they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this Child. And all that heard wondered: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in Her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.Third Mass: During the Daytime
Epistle • Hebrews 1-12
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.
[It was by the Word that God made the world. Let the nations and kings come and adore Him. The Angels fall down and worship Him.]
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the world: Who being the brightness of His glory and the figure of His substance, and upholding all things by the word of His power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the Majesty on high: being made so much better than the angels as He hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels hath He said at any time: Thou art My Son, today have I begotten Thee? And again: I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son? And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith: And let all the angels of God adore Him. And to the angels indeed He saith: He that maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.
But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of justice is the scepter of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. And: Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of Thy hands are the heavens. They shall perish, but Thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment: and as a vesture shalt Thou change them and they shall be changed: but Thou art the selfsame, and Thy years shall not fail.
Gospel • John 1:1-14
The beginning * of the holy Gospel according to John
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made: in Him was life, and the life was the Light of men; and the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to testify concerning the Light, that all might believe through Him. He was not the Light, but he was to testify concerning the Light. That was the true Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.
He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him to them He gave power to become sons of God, to them that believe in His Name, who are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Here all kneel.) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.