VATICAN CITY — With Advent just a couple of weeks away and Christmas on the horizon, the Vatican is set to release two great works that will help people get in the right spirit.
The first is Pope Benedict XVI’s much-awaited final volume of his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, “The Infancy Narratives,” which will use the Gospels to explore the infancy and childhood of Jesus.
The Vatican is presenting the book and handing out copies to the press Nov. 20, but it won’t go on sale to the public until the next day, Nov. 21, which is the feast of the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The book can be pre-ordered from the English-language publisher, Image (a division of Random House) or from other online book outlets.
The first volume, published in 2007, covered the period from Jesus’ baptism to his Transfiguration; while the second, regarding his passion and death, came out in 2011.
The other new release from the Vatican is a special CD of Christmas music performed by the Pontifical Swiss Guard band.
The music features the Swiss harpist, Daniela Lorenz. While she is not a guard, she is accompanied by guards playing clarinet, horn, trombone and saxophone.
On the CD, Ms. Lorenz plays an instrument called the Paraguayan harp. The harp, which is the national instrument of Paraguay, was introduced to Latin America by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Guard got the idea for a Christmas CD after members performed a benefit concert with Ms. Lorenz last year. Apparently the last time the guard produced a recording was in 1979. This year sound engineers from Vatican Radio helped with the production.
The CD, titled “Weihnachten mit der Schweizergarde,” will be released Nov. 22, the feast of St. Cecilia — the patron saint of musicians, and it can be ordered on the Swiss Guard’s website here.
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