I’m pleased to announce that our newest book, Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition, is now complete. The final text has been sent to my proofreader. I’m hopeful that I can get it into print late this Summer, leaving plenty of time to promote it in time for Christmas A.D. 2022. The book will make a great holiday gift and should grace anyone’s bookshelves and coffee table. It is presented in our 8.5″ x 8.5″ paperback format with coated interior paper for enchancement of the many icons, frescos, engravings and color illumination from Gospel books produced in the 9th through 15th Centuries that both illustrate and bring to life the Nativity story. The cover illustration is a Christ Pantokrator mosaic from the Capella Palatina, Palermo, Sicily. The figure at lower left is St Peter, at lower right is St. Paul, at upper left is the Archangel Michael; and at upper right is the Archangel Gabriel. The photograph is by John Schermann, who graciously provided the high-resolution image.
The final version has 172 pages with color cover front and back, with 112 illustrations from the 6th to the 21st C. The book is organize into five parts. Part One is focused on St. Luke’s pre-Nativity narrative. with text and commentary on Luke 1.. in which Zacharias,his wife Elizabeth, their son John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary are introduced. The focus of Part Two is St Luke’s Nativity story from Luke 2. Part Three is focused on St. Matthew’s Nativity account (Matthew 2).
Part Four is focused first on the Pre-Nativity period in the final seven days of Advent. with text and images from The Great “O” Antiphons, with one antiphon each for Dec. 18th to Dec. 24th. The antiphons are followed by The Twelve Days of Christmas, with a key word or phrase, with pictures, for Dec. 25th through Jan. 6th.
Part Five is focused on traditions of Christmas. with special emphasis on Prayer Book changes for the season; Gift-giving: “The Real St. Nicholas”, that is, the 4th C. saint Nicholas of Myra; followed by discussion on the influence of Charles Dickens after the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843; the impact of commercial Christmas cards; the introduction of Christmas Trees and ornaments; endng with discussion of seasonal music, foods and beverages with examples from England, Europe, Canada and the United States. As a special treat for readers I have included an image of and the recipe for my maternal grandmother’s recipe for sugar cookies.