Christmas Eve

On the morning of Christmas Eve, before the Conventual Mass, according to monastic tradition, the Precentor solemnly sings the Announcement of Christ's birth: counting down the years from (among other notable events) the Creation of the world, the call of Abraham, the escape of Israel from Egypt, the Kingship of David, the foundation of the City of Rome etc; all of course in Latin, to an ancient Gregorian tone. The very fine text of this announcement may be found in the Roman Martyrology. At Pluscarden, an adaptation of the Roman Martyrology is read out each night of the year, announcing the many Martyrs and other Saints who are commemorated on the following day. It is a moving moment when all kneel to hear the final words of the Christmas Eve Martyrology: "Nativitas Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum carnem" - "The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh."