Christmas 2018

Today the Virgin gives birth to him
who is above all being
and the earth offers a cave to him
whom no one can approach.
Angels with shepherds give glory,
and magi journey with a star,
for to us there has been born
a little Child, God before the ages.

Prelude to the Kontakion on the Nativity of Christ
St. Romanos the Melodist (6th Century CE)

On this day in 1878: Noël, Countess of Rothes, philanthropist, social leader and heroine of Titanic disaster was born.

Christmas 2016

nativity-2016a

This beautiful Nativity is a 7th century encaustic icon from The Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai (St Catherine’s) .  An explanation of the iconography, which contains events described in the Protoevangelium of James,  can be found here: The Nativity Icon.

On this day in 1950: The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.