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Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas 2008 Urbi et Orbi
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This year, The Holy Father will not wear cope and mitre for the Urbi et Orbi blessing

To forestall any rash comments, this is not without precedent, as may be seen from the accompanying picture of Pius XII imparing the Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter 1952. The choice would seem to be connected to the fact that the Pope does not publicly celebrate the Missa in die, and is therefore not vested prior to the blessing. Msgr. Marini explains that it is "a solemn benediction which is not connected to a particular liturgical rite."

Source: NLM
Text:

"The grace of God our Saviour has appeared to all" (Tit 2:11, Vulg.)

Dear brothers and sisters, in the words of the Apostle Paul, I once more joyfully proclaim Christ’s Birth. Today "the grace of God our Saviour" has truly "appeared to all"!

It appeared! This is what the Church celebrates today. The grace of God, rich in goodness and love, is no longer hidden. It "appeared", it was manifested in the flesh, it showed its face. Where? In Bethlehem. When? Under Caesar Augustus, during the first census, which the Evangelist Luke also mentions. And who is the One who reveals it? A newborn Child, the Son of the Virgin Mary. In him the grace of God our Saviour has appeared. And so that Child is called Jehoshua, Jesus, which means: "God saves".

The grace of God has appeared. That is why Christmas is a feast of light. Not like the full daylight which illumines everything, but a glimmer beginning in the night and spreading out from a precise point in the universe: from the stable of Bethlehem, where the divine Child was born. Indeed, he is the light itself, which begins to radiate, as portrayed in so many paintings of the Nativity. He is the light whose appearance breaks through the gloom, dispels the darkness and enables us to understand the meaning and the value of our own lives and of all history. Every Christmas crib is a simple yet eloquent invitation to open our hearts and minds to the mystery of life. It is an encounter with the immortal Life which became mortal in the mystic scene of the Nativity: a scene which we can admire here too, in this Square, as in countless churches and chapels throughout the world, and in every house where the name of Jesus is adored.

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Image Source 1: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
Image Source 2: Wikipedia

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