Wednesday, 7 December 2011

For the feast day of St Ambrose:

Bach's Cantata BWV 62  for the beginning of Advent, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, set to the German of Martin Luther, in turn derived from the Latin hymn of the great St Ambrose of Milan: Veni Redemptor Gentium (which follows at the end of the post - below)

St Ambrose on the intimate connection between the Incarnation and the Eucharist
"But why make use of arguments? Let us use the examples He gives, and by the example of the Incarnation prove the truth of the mystery. Did the course of nature proceed as usual when the Lord Jesus was born of Mary? If we look to the usual course, a woman ordinarily conceives after connection with a man. And this body which we make is that which was born of the Virgin. Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body.

The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: This is My Body (Matt 26:26). Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks."

St Ambrose: On the Mysteries

And in English, translated by the Anglo-Catholic priest, John Mason Neale, 'Come thou Redeemer of the earth,' traditionally sung at the very end of Advent and the beginning of the Christmas season

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be published