Saturday, December 25, 2004

Et Verbum caro factum est... Puer natus est nobis.

Happy Christmas from this blog

- John, John, Samer, Dave and Lee

LRC pick
Christmas truce 1914

Christmas in Bethlehem this year

From David Virtue
Iraq: Christians face a season of ill will
Reminder: in Iraq under Mr Hussein (a ‘bad Muslim’, that is, not practising) Christians could practise their religion and one could buy alcohol without being harassed

In the nearby Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, a beautiful liturgy in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, rose to the freshly plastered ceiling last Sunday.
David Virtue quotes from a Syriac liturgy:

Jesus Christ, radiant centre of glory, image of our God, the invisible Father, revealer of His eternal designs, prince of peace; Father of the world to come.

For our sake he took the likeness of a slave, becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, for our sake, wrapped in swaddling bands and laid in a manger adored by the shepherds and hymned by the angelic powers, who sang:

Glory to God in the heavens
and on earth peace and good to men.

Make us worthy, Lord, to celebrate and to conclude in peace the feast which magnifies the rising of your light, by avoiding empty words, working with justice, fleeing from the passions, and raising up the spirit above earthly goods.

Bless your Church, formed long ago to be united with yourself through your life-giving blood. Come to the aid of your faithful shepherds, of the priests and the teachers of the Gospel.

Bless your faithful whose only hope is in your mercy; Christian souls, the sick, those who are tormented in spirit, and those who have asked us to pray for them.

Have pity, in your infinite clemency, and preserve us in fitness to receive the future, endless, good things. We celebrate your glorious Nativity with the Father who sent you for our redemption, with the life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and through all ages.
From Fr James Tucker
A defence of public Christmas displays
...I'm struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas creche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public. They are enlarged by it.

It is the more deracinated members of religious minorities, brought up largely ignorant of their own traditions, whose religious identity is so tenuous that they feel the need to be constantly on guard against displays of other religions -- and who think the solution to their predicament is to prevent the other guy from displaying his religion, rather than learning a bit about their own. ...
- Charles Krauthammer

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