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Our Christmas belen (set of images that depicts the nativity scene) reminds us that even our Lord belonged to a family. Jesus did not just descend from heaven as a grown-up man, teaching and healing people. Just like any of us, Jesus was born, grew up with a father and mother, had probably done household chores with Mary and had surely accompanied Joseph in repairing their neighbourhood’s chairs. Long before the disciples experienced his first miracle at Cana, for His parents, Jesus became the miracle Himself at Bethlehem. With his birth, they became a family.
God willed His only begotten Son to be born in a family. Because of this, the family gained a special honour in the story of the Incarnation. It was sanctified and was made an instrument to raise among us the Messiah that is destined to save us from our sins. Indeed, the family is special…
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQbu1rHLH5g Not sure where this was done, there may be a comment on You Tube that reveals the location. They did a great job of organizing this delightful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas to stressed out shoppers. Watch the little boy at the end! Enjoy, and may your Christmas be divine!
By Father William Saunders at the Catholic Education Resource Centre:
The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.
The exact origin of the “O Antiphons” is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent…
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