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Nativity Of Our Lord Church

Hymns Music And Performances

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Like 1st century Jews, early Christians rejected the use of musical instruments in religious ceremonies and instead relied on chants and plainsong leading to the use of the term a cappella for these chants.

One of the earliest Nativity hymns was Veni redemptor gentium composed by Saint Ambrose in Milan in the 4th century. By the beginning of the 5th century, the Spanish poet Prudentius had written “From the Heart of the Father” where the ninth stanza focused on the Nativity and portrayed Jesus as the creator of the universe. In the 5th century the Gallic poet Sedulius composed “From the lands that see the Sun arise” in which the humility of the birth of Jesus was portrayed. The Magnificat, one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest , is based on the Annunciation.

Saint Romanus the Melodist had a dream of the Virgin Mary the night before the feast of the Nativity, and when he woke up the next morning, composed his first hymn “On the Nativity” and continued composing hymns to the end of his life. Re-enactments of Nativity which are now called Nativity plays were part of the troparionhymns in the liturgy of Churches, from St. Sophronius in the 7th century. By the 13th century, the Franciscans had encouraged a strong tradition of popular Christmas songs in the native languages. Christmas carols in English first appear in a 1426 work of John Awdlay, a Shropshire chaplain, who lists twenty-five “caroles of Cristemas”.

Adoration Of The Magi

The birth took place in Bethlehem of Judea in the time of King Herod . Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking where they could find the child born king of the Jews, for they had seen his star at its rising, and wished to pay him homage. Herod and all Jerusalem were afraid when they heard this, but Herod, learning from the chief priests and scribes that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem according to prophecy, sent the Magi there with instructions to return and tell him when they had found him. The magi worshipped the child in Bethlehem and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but an angel warned them in a dream not to return to Herod, and they returned home by another way.

Comparison Of Gospel Accounts

Only the Gospels of Matthew and Luke offer narratives regarding the birth of Jesus. Both rely heavily on the Hebrew scriptures, indicating that they both regard the story as part of Israel’s salvation history, and both present the God of Israel as controlling events. Both agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the reign of King Herod, that his mother was named Mary and that her husband Joseph was descended from King David , and both deny Joseph’s biological parenthood while treating the birth, or rather the conception, as divinely effected.

Comparison between the Nativity narratives in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew This table:

9. Joseph, Mary and Jesus settle in Nazareth

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Canticles Appearing In Luke

Luke’s Nativity text has given rise to four well-known canticles: the Benedictus and theMagnificat in the first chapter, and the Gloria in Excelsis and the Nunc dimittis in the second chapter. These “Gospel canticles” are now an integral part of the liturgical tradition. The parallel structure in Luke regarding the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, extends to the three canticles Benedictus , the Nunc dimittis and the Magnificat.

The Magnificat, in Luke 1:46â55, is spoken by Mary and is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns, perhaps the earliest . The Benedictus, in Luke 1:68â79, is spoken by Zechariah, while the Nunc dimittis, in Luke 2:29â32, is spoken by Simeon. The traditional Gloria in Excelsis is longer than the opening line presented in Luke 2:14, and is often called the “Song of the Angels” given that it was uttered by the angels in the Annunciation to the Shepherds.

The three canticles Benedictus, Nunc Dimittis and the Magnificat, if not originating with Luke himself, may have their roots in the earliest Christian liturgical services in Jerusalem, but their exact origins remain unknown.


Depictions of the Nativity soon became a normal component of cycles in art illustrating both the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin. Nativity images also carry the message of redemption: God’s unification with matter forms the mystery of the Incarnation, a turning point in the Christian perspective on Salvation.

Date And Place Of Birth

Nativity Of Our Lord Church

Church of the NativityNativity of JesusBotticelli

Matthew and Luke agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the Great. In Luke the newborn baby is placed in a manger “because there was no place in the katalyma. “Katalyma” might mean a private home , or a room in a private home, or an inn, but it is impossible to be certain which is meant.

In the 2nd century, Justin Martyr stated that Jesus had been born in a cave outside the town, while the Protoevangelium of James described a legendary birth in a cave nearby. The Church of the Nativity inside the town, built by St. Helena, contains the cave-manger site traditionally venerated as the birthplace of Jesus, which may have originally been a site of the cult of the god Tammuz. In Contra Celsum 1.51, Origen, who travelled throughout Palestine beginning in around 215, wrote of the “manger of Jesus”.

The date of birth for Jesus of Nazareth is not stated in the gospels or in any secular text, but a majority of scholars assume a date between 6 BC and 4 BC. The historical evidence is too ambiguous to allow a definitive date to be determined, but the date has been estimated through known historical events mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew chapter 2 and Luke chapter 2 or by working backwards from the estimated start of the ministry of Jesus.

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Transforming The Image Of Jesus

Early Christians viewed Jesus as “the Lord” and the word Kyrios appears over 700 times in the New Testament, referring to him. The use of the word Kyrios in the Bible also assigned to Jesus the Old Testament attributes of an omnipotent God. The use of the term Kyrios, and hence the Lordship of Jesus, pre-dated the Pauline epistles, but Saint Paul expanded and elaborated on that topic.

Pauline writings established among early Christians the Kyrios image, and attributes of Jesus as not only referring to his eschatological victory, but to him as the “divine image” in whose face the glory of God shines forth. This image persisted among Christians as the predominant perception of Jesus for a number of centuries. More than any other title, Kyrios defined the relationship between Jesus and those who believed in him as Christ: Jesus was their Lord and Master who was to be served with all their hearts and who would one day judge their actions throughout their lives.

According to Archbishop Rowan Williams this transformation, accompanied by the proliferation of the tender image of Jesus in Madonna and Child paintings, made an important impact within the Christian Ministry by allowing Christians to feel the living presence of Jesus as a loving figure “who is always there to harbor and nurture those who turn to him for help.

Massacre Of The Innocents Flight Into Egypt And Return To Israel

When Herod learned that the magi had tricked him he was infuriated, and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem under the age of two . This was in fulfilment of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” But an angel had appeared to Joseph in a dream and warned him to take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and the Holy Family remained there until Herod died to fulfil the words of the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” On the death of Herod an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to return with the child and its mother to Israel, but Herod’s son was now ruler of Judea, and after being warned in a dream Joseph went instead to Galilee, where he made his home in Nazareth “so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, âHe will be called a Nazorean.â Matthew 2

In this chapter Matthew needs to establish that “Jesus of Nazareth” was in fact born in Bethlehem, the town where David was born, for the “son of David” born there will be “King of the Jews” . Herod’s fear and the visit of the magi underline the royal birth, as do the various prophetic texts quoted or referenced in this chapter.

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Nativity Of Our Lord Catholic Church Chicago

Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church is one of the oldest churches in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1868. The church was designed by noted architect Patrick Keely, an architectural designer prominent throughout the 19th century. He also designed Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago.

Nativity of Our Lord Parish is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and is located in the city’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Prominent church members include former Chicago Mayors Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley, as well as William M. Daley, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Chief of Staff for the Obama Administration, and former State Senator and Representative and current Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley.

Beacons Of Light: Pastoral Planning For Our Third Century

Sunday Mass – December 19th 11:30am

Archbishop Schnurr has announced the next phase of pastoral planning, called Beacons of Light. The process is designed to foster vital parish life throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, leading all to radiate Christ in our homes, places of work, schools, parishes and the wider world. Sign up online to receive the free Beacons of Light e-newsletter which will provide monthly prayers, reflections and planning process updates beginning mid-January 2021.

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History Of Feasts And Liturgical Elements

In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Lord’s Day was the earliest Christian celebration and included a number of theological themes. In the 2nd century, the Resurrection of Jesus became a separate feast as Easter and in the same century Epiphany began to be celebrated in the Churches of the East on January 6. The celebration of the feast of the Magi on January 6 may relate to a pre-Christian celebration for the blessing of the Nile in Egypt on January 5, but this is not historically certain. The festival of the Nativity which later turned into Christmas was a 4th-century feast in the Western Church notably in Rome and North Africa, although it is uncertain exactly where and when it was first celebrated.

The Chronography of 354 illuminated manuscript compiled in Rome includes an early reference to the celebration of a Nativity feast. In a sermon delivered in Antioch on December 25, c. 386, Saint John Chrysostom provides specific information about the feast there, stating that the feast had existed for about 10 years. By around 385 the feast for the birth of Jesus was distinct from that of the Baptism and was held on December 25 in Constantinople, Nyssa and Amaseia. In a sermon in 386, Gregory of Nyssa specifically related the feast of Nativity with that of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, celebrated a day later. By 390 the feast was also held in Iconium on that day.


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