Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas not over yet

The wonderful thing about being Catholic at Christmas is that the Feast isn't over in just a day - we have the Octave of Christmas, followed by the Epiphany and its Octave, ending with the Feast of Our Lord's Baptism. We therefore have time to reflect on the awesome mystery of the Incarnation and its implications for us.

One of my favourite Christmas hymns is 'Corde Natus Ex Parentis', which dates from the 5th. Century (attributed to the Roman poet Aurelius Prudentius), and set to a plainsong melody 'Divinum mysterium' at some stage during the Middle Ages (the melody itself is believed to have originally been a Sanctus trope). The hymn expresses the beautiful theology of God the Son, begotten of the Father and beyond all time and space, foretold by the prophets, taking to Himself our human nature, as an expression of His love for us (like Fr. Tim I am attracted by the Scotist view that even had man not fallen and needed redemption from sin, Our Lord would still have become incarnate out of pure love for us and a wish to share in our experiences).
Here is a rather nice video of the first verse in Latin, accompanied by some beautiful astronomical images (just to stress the point that we scientists aren't all atheists, and that the wonders of the universe can, in fact, lead us to a greater appreciation of God).

I am also including a link to this version in English, which contains more of the verses with text of they lyrics, to help you appreciate the beauty of this hymn.

 May God bless you and continue to grant you a Happy Christmas.

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