A blessed and peaceful feast of Our Lord's Nativity...

To all who may read here. The fourth responsorium at Matins earlier:

R. O magnum mystérium, et admirábile sacraméntum, ut animália vidérent Dóminum natum, jacéntem in præsépio:

* Beáta Virgo, cujus víscera meruérunt portáre Dóminum Christum.

V. Ave, María, grátia plena: Dóminus tecum.

R. Beáta Virgo, cujus víscera meruérunt portáre Dóminum Christum.

I knew something was going on, since Thursday evening, but the cold symptoms and cough became unmistakable by early last night and so I drank some patent medicine and slept until almost 0400, missing the streaming of Holy Mass in die from Saint-Eugène; and have since decided, alas, to stay home from Saint Mary's Mass at 0730. There's no way I can disguise this cough and sniffling as the occasional debilities of age. I wonder if this is the first time I've ever missed Holy Mass on Christmas Day; reckon not but it's been any number of years. Will listen to the recorded Mass from Saint-Eugène as soon as I've finished Terce-- or as much as I can before their streaming of Vespers at 0845.

The Schola sang the sequence Votis Pater annuit from the proprium of Paris.

Votis Pater annuit:
Justum pluunt sidera:
Salvatorem genuit
Intacta puerpera:
Homo Deus nascitur.

Superum concentibus
Panditur mysterium:
Nos mixti pastoribus
Cingamus præsepium
In quo Christus ponitur.

Tu lumen de lumine
Ante solem funderis:
Tu numen de Numine
Ab æterno gigneris,
Patri par progenies.

Tantus es ! et superis,
Quæ te premit caritas,
Sedibus delaberis:
Ut surgat infirmitas
Infirmus humi jaces.

Quæ nocens debueram
Innocens exequeris:
Tu legi quam spreveram,
Legifer subjiceris:
Sic doces justitiam !

Cœlum cui regia,
Stabulum non respuis;
Qui donas imperia,
Servi formam induis:
Sic teris superbiam.

Nobis ultro similem
Te præbes in omnibus:
Debilibus debilem,
Mortalem mortalibus:
His trahis nos vinculis !

Cum ægris confunderis,
Morbi labem nesciens;
Pro peccato pateris
Peccatum non faciens:
Hoc uno dissimilis.

Summe Pater, Filium
Qui mittis ad hominem,
Gratiæ principium,
Salutis originem,
Da Jesum cognoscere.

Cujus igne cœlitus
Caritas accenditur,
Ades, alme Spiritus:
Qui pro nobis nascitur,
Da Jesum diligere. 

Amen. Alleluia.

From the good people at Neumz (who, while they work and pray in the Pauline Rite, do none of them countenance the current Roman chains that fetter the Traditional Rite) a meditation of Dom Jacques-Marie Guilmard on the Office hymn in use from Vespers last night, Christe Redemptor omnium. 

The Christmas hymn Christe Redemptor omnium is a masterpiece that illuminates the liturgy of the Christmas Season: it is sung at Vespers every day.

Each stanza is made up of four verses of eight syllables. The music is the same for verses 1 and 4. The melody rises gradually from the low register of the 1st mode up to the dominant and even beyond in a luminous flourish. Then it descends to return little by little to its starting point. This melody, very finely crafted, emphasises the accents of the dactyls in ascent as well as in descent. The lyricism of this piece makes it a jewel of the Latin liturgical chant repertoire.

But there is more. The text (from the 6th century) is of wonderful poetry, firmness, and depth.

It is above all a prayer addressed to the Saviour of mankind: 'Thou, who come from the Father, Thou are mankind's splendour. Thou alone were born before creation. Thou are our hope; listen to the prayers of Thy servants…'. Then comes the mention of the Immaculate: 'Thou have made Thyself flesh, Thou the author of salvation, of the Virgin. This Day testifies that Thou are the only saviour of the world, Thou who came from the Father. Let heaven and earth and the sea and what they contain exult and praise the One who brought Thee into our midst! We too, redeemed by Thy Blood, sing a new hymn. Glory to Thee, Jesus!' This is the doxology that places the Virgin at the heart of the Trinity forever and ever.

The Lord was born before Creation, so what fear would we have in the face of the threats that hang over us from all sides? Certainly, in the midst of our world so disrupted and devoid of all stability, we must keep open the eyes of our faith, our charity, and our hope that you, Christ, are the 'Redeemer of all things'.