Vigil of Christmas – Roman Martyrology

In the 2005 Roman Martyrology for Vigil of Christmas has a fascinating entry.  Here is the first entry of Christmas Eve day:

1. Commemoratio omnium sanctorum avorum Iesu Christi, filii David, filii Abraham, filii Adam, patrum scilicet, qui Deo placuerunt et iusti inventi sunt et iuxta fidem defuncti, nullis acceptis promissionibus, sed longe eas aspicientes et salutantes, ex quibus natus est Christus secundum carnem, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula.

The commemoration of all the holy forefathers of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, the son of Adam, namely of the fathers, who pleased God and were found to be just also according to the faith of the dead, having received none of the promises fulfilled, but regarding them and greeting them from afar, from which the Christ was born according to the flesh, who is blessed God above all things forever.

Keep in mind that the Gospel reading for the Vigil Mass is the geneology of the Lord from the Gospel of Matthew.

In that Gospel geneology, Christ is shown to by the Lord of the history of our salvation. 

And Matthew takes pains to teach us subtle things. 

Take note of the four women he mentions.  He does not mention the great women we usually think of in the Old Testament, such as Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel.  Instead we get Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the women who had been "the wife of Uriah." 

So, we see pagans in the geneology who are women of less than perfect background in the eyes of the ancient Jews.  

God choses those whom it pleases Him to choose.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geoffrey says:

    Does anyone happen to know when the Martyrology is going to be translated into English? I assume it is way on the back-burner after the re-translation of the Missal, Breviary, and Ritual.

  2. Jim says:

    The Eastern rite celebrates the Holy Ancestors of Christ on the same Sunday as the Roman rite’s third sunday of Advent. The theme of the Holy Ancestors continues into the Fourth Sunday of Advent, too. the Eastern rite places much more emphasis on the Holy Ancestors.

  3. M Kr says:

    Interestingly, the Vigil of Christmas is also the name day of Adam and Eve. I had wondered what the possible connection was, but the entry in the Martyrology explains it – it is the day for the commemoration of the ancestors of Our Lord.

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