“At the Office of Prime, in cathedral chapters and monasteries, the announcement of tomorrow’s feast [the Nativity of Our Lord] is made with unusual solemnity. The lector sings, to a magnificent chant, the following lesson from the martyrology. All remain standing during it, until the lector comes to the word Bethlehem, at which all genuflect, and continue in that posture until the glad tidings are told.”—Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B.
The Christmas Vigil Mass at Old St. Mary’s commences with the following Christmas praeconium, which is chanted from the high pulpit.
The Eighth of the Calends of January
The year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: from the deluge, the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven: from the birth of Abraham, the year two thousand and fifteen: from Moses and the going out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the year one thousand five hundred and ten: from David’s being anointed king, the year one thousand and thirty two: in the sixty fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel: in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad: from the building of the city of Rome, the year seven hundred and fifty-two: in the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus: the whole world being in peace: in the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by His most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since His conception having passed, in Bethlehem of Juda, is born of the Virgin Mary, being made man: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to the Flesh.