Thursday, December 08, 2011

Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

Blessings to everyone as we commemorate the Immaculate Conception. I'm posting this a bit early so anyone who likes it can make use of it in their Christmas Eve liturgies. I typically proclaim it dramatically at the beginning of Christmas Eve worship before the processional hymn:

Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

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.



  1. Kathy Suarez7:22 PM

    Do you know what Immaculate Conception means???

  2. Kathy7:49 PM

    So what does Mary being conceived without sin have to do with Christmas eve and your hymn about the conception of Christ?

  3. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. So I said "Blessings to everyone as we commemorate the Immaculate Conception." But then, since I don't have a ton theologically to say about this feast day, I posted in advance a wonderful liturgical resource people can use for Christmas worship services.

    They are unrelated theologically (kind of) other than I posted the poem on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (today).

  4. Kathy Suarez8:32 PM

    Then do you accept the Roman Catholic Dogma of the Immaculate Conception???

    I thought Luterans rejected this. Please correct me if I am wrong. If you do accept the Dogma, why does Living Lutheran say the "Mary was not perfect"? I nearly threw up this morning when I read that.

  5. Kathy, sorry, I don't exactly have a dog in this fight either way. Lutherans have never formally accepted that dogma, it was promulgated well after the Reformation and represents theological developments in the RC quite a distance from Lutheran tradition.

    That being said, I personally do not think it is a problematic development, and can see how it makes sense within catholic theology. So I celebrate it (mildly) even though my denomination doesn't emphasize it very strongly. Does that make sense?

    From a strictly Lutheran perspective, Mary probably isn't considered perfect. But she is to be honored highly, which I strive to do.

  6. Kathy Suarez9:40 AM

    Why would you use it in a Christmas Eve liturgy? That makes NO sense. Mary was conceived years before the birth of Christ! The Lutheran religion makes less and less sense every day! No wonder your churches are clearing out!

    I'm sorry -- it is impossible that you knew what it was. It is impossible that a Lutheran would use a controversial Catholic dogma boldly proclaimed dramatically -- as you said -- at the beginning of Christmas Eve worship!

  7. Kathy, I wish you would tone down your rhetoric, especially since you are the one not understanding. The proclamation is for the birth of Christ, not the immaculate conception of Mary. I just posted the proclamation on the feast day of the immaculate conception.

    Please go back and read the original post all the way through before making anymore assumptions about whether I'm telling the truth or not.

  8. Kathy Suarez4:11 PM

    But why? (Your original post is vague-- I just re-read it several times.) Why mention the Immaculate Conception if you do not "believe in" it? You no longer (in this thread) even capitalize it. Why bring it up? This is total confusion.

    Did you happen to see the new Mission Support stats - just released (or dumped on a Friday afternoon)? Things are not good for the ELCA -- and they're not getting any better.

    My few Lutheran friends are clueless about the Immaculate Conception. They ALL think it means "Virgin Birth."

    FYI -- I was "Karen V., John, Luisa," and "kkahler" on Living Lutheran for a couple of months until the editors figured out how to block my computer.

    Believe it or not, I am not a mean-spirited monster -- I am just trying to point the way out of your mess. And that's the truth --whatever my rhetoric may sound like to you.

    BTW -- Kathy (Katherine) Suarez is my real name.

  9. Kathy6:47 PM

    Is that "churchspeak" for "bye-bye"?

    What about La Virgen de Guadalupe Iglesia Luterana in Irving, Texas? That was featured in The Lutheran Magazine a few months ago.

    I just read your bio. You have studied a lot. So, what is going on? Has the ELCA accepted the Apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe? Or are they just trying to suck in Mexican immigrants -- or what?

    What do you see as the future of the ELCA???

    You still did not answer my question: Why the reference to the Immaculate Conception????

    P.S. My family name is "Kahler" -- German immigrants from Saxony -- actually, Lutheran missionaries to the Indians in NY State (1847). A bunch of them got killed in the Cherry Valley Uprising.

  10. I think it's just a nod to the date that the post was put up.

    kind of like saying, "Today is Groundhog Day", except, not really the same.

    We have used this proclamation on Christmas Day in my church. I like it. It emphasizes the incarnation.

  11. Diane -- Just "a nod" to The Immaculate Conception? I just skimmed the post today about interfaith discussion. It's tough. As a Catholic, you cannot not just "nod" to the Mother of God. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is NOT, I repeat, NOT the same as Groundhog Day!