Celebrating the Incarnation and Christmas


The Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most important mysteries of the Christian faith.  It is the foundation for the certainty of all that we believe.  Because Jesus is the God-Man we can trust all that He teaches and have a firm hope in all that He promised.

On the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and nine months later at Christmas (December 25) we go down onto our knees when we profess this beautiful doctrine of God the Son taking on a human nature and becoming the God-Man.

We kneel when we profess this doctrine in the creed at Christmas.   Yes.  We kneel at the words “and by the Holy Spirit was Incarnate …” at all the Christmas Eve Masses on December 24, the Midnight Mass, and all the Masses during Christmas Day on 25th.  At the Feast of the Annunciation we genuflect.

This can be difficult to remember, so the following memory technique is suggested by DTBride.

Place a bulletin on your legs during the homily, so when you stand for the creed the bulletin - or whatever paper you use – will remind you that there is something special to remember, that is,  to kneel or genuflect during the appropriate time at the Creed.


General Instruction of the Roman Missal,  GIRM AD 2011 states :

 “137. The Symbol or Creed is sung or recited by the Priest together with the people (cf. no. 68) with everyone standing. At the words et incarnatus est, etc. (and by the Holy Spirit . . . and became man) all make a profound bow; but on the Solemnities of the Annunciation and of the Nativity of the Lord, all genuflect.”



















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 At Christmas Mass the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI kneels during the Creed when the following words are prayed:

“and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

As soon as he kneels so do all the other priests, bishops, cardinals, and the laity as well.  It is quite moving to see the Supreme Pontiff honor God and go to his knees as we profess our faith in this awesome mystery of the Incarnation.




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