Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Commemoratio: Ss. Innocentium Martyrum
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, dirige actus nostros in beneplacito tuo: ut in nomine dilecti Filii tui mereamur bonis operibus abundare:
Qui tecum vivit et regnat...
Let us pray
O Almighty and everlasting God, do Thou order all our actions in conformity with thy good pleasure, that through the name of thy well-beloved Son, we may worthily abound in all good works.
You who live and reign...
"The flight into Egypt and the massacre of the innocents make manifest the opposition of darkness to the light: "He came to his own home, and his own people received him not." Christ's whole life was lived under the sign of persecution. His own share it with him. Jesus' departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and presents him as the definitive liberator of God's people." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 530.)
For the prayers and Scriptures of today's holy Mass in English, visit this site.
(Art: Giotto, Massacre of the Innocents.)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in præsepio.
Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia!
|OCTAVO KALENDAS JANUARII||THE EIGHTH OF THE CALENDS OF JANUARY|
|Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit cœlum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono: A diluvio vero, anno bis millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo: A nativitate Abrahæ, anno bis millesimo quintodecime: A Moyse et egressu populi Israel de Ægypto, anno millesimo quingentesimo decimo: Ab unctiono David in regem, anno mullesimo trigesimo secundo: Hebdomada sexagesima quinta juxta Danielis prophetiam: Olympiade centesima nonagesima quarta: Ab urbe Roma condita, anno septingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo: Anno imperii Octaviani Augusti quadragesimo secundo: toto orbe in pace composito, sexta mundi ætate, Jesus Christus æternus Deus, æternique Patris Filius, mundum volens adventu suo piissimo consecrare, de Spiritu sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus, in Bethlehem Judæ nascitur ax Maria Virgine factus homo: NATIVITAS DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI SECUNDUM CARNEM !||The year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created heaven and earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: from the deluge, the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven: from the birth of Abraham, the year two thousand and fifteen: from Moses and the going out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the year one thousand five hundred and ten: from David’s being anointed king, the year one thousand and thirty-two: in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel: in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad: from the building of the city of Rome, the year seven hundred and fifty-two: in the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus: the whole world being in peace: in the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by his most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since his conception having passed, in Bethlehem of Juda, is born of the Virgin Mary, being made Man: THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH !|
Thus have passed before us, in succession, all the generations of the world. 5 Each of them is asked if it have seen Him whom we are expecting, and each is silent; until the name of Mary is pronounced, and then is proclaimed the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made Man. St. Bernard, speaking of this announcement, says: ‘The voice of joy has gone forth in our land, the voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just. There has been heard a good word, a word that gives consolation, a word that is full of gladsomeness, a word worthy of all acceptance. Resound with praise, ye mountains, and all ye trees of the forests clap your hands before the face of the Lord, for He is coming. Hearken, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth! be astounded and give praise, O all ye creatures! but thou, O man, more than all they! JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDA! Who, is there that is so hard of heart, that this word does not touch him? Could anything be told us sweeter than this? Could any news delight us like this? Was such a thing ever heard, or anything like it ever told to the world? JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF God, is BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDA! O brief word of the Word abridged ! 6 and yet how full of heavenly beauty! The heart, charmed with the honeyed sweetness of the expression, would fain diffuse it and spread it out into more words; but no, it must be given just as it is, or you spoil it: JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDA ! 7
|Hodie scietis, quia veniet Dominus, et salvabit nos: mane videbitis gloriam ejus. Ps. Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus; orbis terrarum, et universi qui habitant in eo. V. Gloria.||This day ye shall know at that the Lord will come, and save us: and in the morning ye shall see his glory. Ps. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world and all that dwell therein. V. Glory.|
In the Collect, the Church makes a last allusion to the coming of Jesus as our Judge at the end of the world. But after this, she can look upon her Jesus only as the Prince of peace, and as the Spouse who comes to her. Her children must imitate her confidence.
|Deus, qui nos redemptionis nostræ annua exspectatione lætifcas: præsta, ut Unigeniturn tuum, quem Redemptorem læti suscipimus, venientem quoque Judicem securi videamus, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum. Qui tecum.||O God, who makest us rejoice in the yearly expectation of the feast of our redemption: grant that we who joyfully receive thy only - begotten Son as a Redeemer, may behold, without fear, the same Lord Jesus Christ corning as our Judge. Who liveth, &c.|
In the Epistle, the apostle St. Paul, addressing himself to the Romans, makes known to them the dignity and holiness of the Gospel, that is, of those good tidings, which the angels are to bring to us this very night. Now, the subject of this Gospel is Jesus, the Son that is born unto God, of the family of David, according to the flesh. This Jesus comes that He may be to His Church the source of grace and apostleship. It is by these two gifts that we are still associated, after so many ages, to the joys of the great mystery of His birth in Bethlehem.
|Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.||Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans.|
Paulus, servus Jesu Christi, vocatus apostolus, segregatus in Evangelium Dei, quod ante promiserat per prophetas suos in Scriptunis sanctis, de Filio suo, qui factus est ei ex semine David secundum carnem, qui prædestinatus eat Filius Dei in virtute, secundum Spiritum sanctificationis, ex resurrectione mortuorum Jesu Christi Domini nostri: per quem accepimus gratiam et apostolatum, ad obediendum fidei in omnibus gentibus pro nomine ejus, in quibus estis et vos vocati Jesu Christi Domini nostri.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle separated unto the Gospel of God, which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was made to him of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead: by whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith in all nations for his name, among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ our Lord.
|Hodie scietis quia veniet Dominus, et salvabit nos: et mane videbitis gloriam ejus.||This day ye shall know that the Lord will come, and save us: and in the morning ye shall see his glory.|
|V. Qui regis Israël intende: qui deducis velut ovem Joseph: qui sedes super Cherubim, appare coram Ephraim, Benjamin et Manàsse.||V. Thou who rulest Israel, hearken: thou who leadest Joseph like a sheep: thou who sittest on the Cherubim, show thyself to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses.|
If the vigil of Christmas fall on a Sunday, the following is added:
|Alleluia, alleluia.||Alleluia, alleluia.|
|V. Crastina die delebitur iniquitas terræ, et regnabit super nos Salvator mundi. Alleluia.||V. To-morrow the sins of the earth shall be cancelled, and the Saviour of the world shall reign over us. Allelula.|
The Gospel of to-day’s Mass is the passage which relates the trouble of St. Joseph and the visit he received from the angel. This incident, which forms one of the preludes to the birth of our Saviour, could not but enter into the liturgy for Advent; and so far, there was no suitable occasion for its insertion. The vigil of Christmas was the right day for this Gospel, for another reason: the angel, in speaking to St. Joseph, tells him that the name to be given to the Child of Mary is Jesus, which signifies that He will save His people from their sins.
|Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum||Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew|
Quum esset desponsata Mater Jesu Maria Joseph, antequam convenirent, inventa est in utero habens de Spinitu sancto. Joseph autem vir ejus, quurn esset justus, et nollet eam traducere, voluit occulte dirnittere eam. Hæc autem eo cogitante, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis ei, dicens: Joseph, fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam conjugem tuam: quod enim in ea natum est, de Spiritu sancto est. Pariet autem Filium : et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum: ipse enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum.
When Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David,’ fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.
|Tollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevarnini portæ æternales: et introibit Rex gloriæ.||Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates; and the King of glory shall enter in.|
|Da nobis, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut sicut adoranda Filii tui natalitia prævenimus; sic ejus munera capiamus sempiterna gaudentes. Qui tecum.||Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that as we celebrate the eve of the adorable birth of thy Son; we may one day receive with joy his eternal rewards. Who liveth, &c.|
During the Communion, the Church expresses her joy at receiving, in the Eucharistic Sacrament, Him whose flesh purifies and nourishes ours. She is strengthened by the consolation given to her by the divine Food, to wait yet a little longer for that happy moment, in which angels will come and invite her to the crib of the Messias.
|Revelabitur gloria Domini: at videbit omnis caro salutare Eei nostri.||The glory of the Lord shall be revealed: and all flesh shall see the salvation of our God.|
|Da nobis, quæsumus, Domine, unigeniti Filii tui recensita Nativitate respirare: cujus cœlesti mysterio pascimur, at potamur. Per eumdem.||Grant us, we beseech thee, O Lord, relief by celebrating the birth of thy only Son, whose sacred mystery is our meat and drink. Through, &c.|
The Ambrosian and Mozarabic liturgies have nothing in their Office and Mass for this vigil which we deem telling enough for insertion here. In the anthology of the Greeks there is a hymn, which will assist our devotion, and from which we take the following stanzas. It is called : The beginning of the Hours of the Nativity: Tierce, Sext, and None.
HYMN FOR THE VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS
(Taken from the Anthology of the Greeks)
|Inscribebatur die quadam cum sene Joseph, tanquam ax semine David, in Bethlehem, Maria, sine semine fœtum utero gestans; advenerat pariendi tempus, at nullus erat in diversorio locus, sed pro splendido palatio spelunca Reginæ aderat.||On a certain day, there was enrolled at Bethlehem, together with the old man Joseph, as being of the family of David, Mary, who bore in her virginal womb the divine fruit. The time of her delivery was come, and there was no place in the inn; and instead of a splendid palace for the Queen there was but a cave.|
|Adimpleri nuno urget propheticum præconium mystice nuncians: Et tu Bethlehem, terra Juda, nequaquam minima es in principibus, prima adornans speluncam. Ex te enim mihi veniet dux gentium, per carnem ex puella Virgine, Christus Deus qui reget populum suum novum Israël. Demus ei omnes magnificentiam.||The moment has come for the accomplishment of the mystic, prophecy: ‘And thou Bethlehem, land of Juda, art not the least among the princes, for thou art the first to adorn the cave. For there shall come to me from thee the leader of the nations, born of a Virgin-Maid according to the flesh; it is Christ, who is God, and he shall rule his new people of Israel.’ Let us all give him highest praise.|
|Iste Deus noster, præter eum non numerabitur alius, natus ex Virgine, et cum hominibus conversatus: in pauperculo jacens peæsepio Filius Unigenitus mortalis apparet, et fasciis implicatur gloriæ Dominus: stella Magis indicat ut ilium adorent, nosque canamus: Trinitas sancta, salva animas nostras.||This is our God, and there is none other; he was born of a Virgin, and he conversed with men; the only-begotten Son becomes mortal, and is laid in a poor crib; the Lord of glory is wrapped in swaddling clothes; the star invites the Magi to adore him, and let us sing: O holy Trinity, save our souls!|
|Venite, fideles: divinitus extollamur, Deumque videamus ex alto in Bethlehem manifeste descendentem, et sursum mentem elevantes, pro myrrha vitæ afferamus virtutes, præordinantes cum fide natalitium introitum, et dicamus: Gloria in excelsis Deo qui trinus est, cujus erga homines manifestatur benevolentia! qui Adam redimens et plasma tuum elevasti, philanthrope!||Come, all ye faithful: let us be transported with divine enthusiasm; let us look at God coming in a visible’ form from on high and descending into Bethlehem; then raising up our minds, let us bring to him our virtues as the myrrh we offer him, thus preparing, with faith, for his birth among us: let us sing, Glory in the highest be to God, one in three Persons, whose good-will to man is thus made manifest! for thou, O Jesus! the Lover of man, hast redeemed Adam and restored the work of thy hands!|
|Audi, cœlum, et auribus percipe, terra: commoveantur fundamenta orbis, tremorem apprehendant terrestria; quia Deus et auctor carnis plasmatis formam induit, et qui creaturam creatrice corroboravit manu, misericordia motus videtur forma indutus. O divitiarum sapientiæ scientiæque Dei abyssus! quam inscrutabilia illius judicia, et investigabiles viæ ejus!||Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth! let the foundations of the earth be moved, and all the earth tremble: for ‘God the maker of man has himself put on a created form, and he whose creative hand upheld his creatures, has, by mercy moved, clothed himself with a body. Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judge meats, and how unsearchable his ways!|
|Venite, Christiferi populi, videamus prodigium omnem stupefaciens et cohibens cogitationem, et pie procumbentes cum fide hymnificemus. Hodie ad Bethlehem puella advenit paritura Dominum; præcurrunt angelorum choni: illamque videns Joseph sponsus ejus clamabat: Quidnam in te predigiosum mysternium, Virgo? Et quomodo parturire debes, jugi expers juvenca?||O come, ye Christian people! let us see the prodigy that stupefies all thought and holds it in suspense; then let us devoutly adore, and sing our hymns with hearts full of faith. This day there hath come to Bethlehem a Maid that is to give birth to God! Choirs of angels are already there! Joseph, her spouse, seeing her, has already received the answer to his question: What is this mystery which I see in thee, pure Virgin? How canst thou bring forth, that never hast borne a mother’s humiliation?|
|Hodie nascitur ex Virgine qui pugillo omnem creaturam continet: panniculis sicut mortalis fasciatur qui essentia intactibilis est; Deus in præsepio reclinatur, qui olim in principio cœlos stabilivit; ex ubenibus lacte nutritur per quem in deserto manna pluebat populo; Magos advocat Sponsus Ecclesiæ; dona iilorum accipit Virginis Filius, Adoramus tuam Nativitatem, Christe; ostende nobis tuas divinas Theophanias.||This day, there is born of a Virgin, he that holds in his hand the whole creation. He whose very essence ‘tis to be intangible, has become mortal and is bound in swathing bands. He who, of old, in the beginning, poised and set the heavens, is laid in a manger. He who rained down manna on, his people in the desert, is fed with milk at his Mother’s breast. The Spouse of the Church invites the Magi; the Son of the Virgin accepts their gifts. We adore thy Nativity, O Jesus! show unto us thy divine manifestations.|
Let us contemplate our blessed Lady, and her faithful spouse Joseph, leaving the city of Jerusalem, and continuing their journey to Bethlehem, which they reach after’ a few hours, In obedience to the will of heaven, they immediately repair to the place where their names are to be enrolled, as the emperor’s edict requires. There is entered in the public register, Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth in Galilee. To his name, there is, doubtless, added that of Mary, spouse of the above-named Joseph. Perhaps they enter her as a young woman, in the ninth month of her pregnancy. And this is all! O Incarnate Word! Thou art not yet counted by men! Thou art upon this earth of Thine, and men set Thee down as nothing ! And yet, all this excitement of the enrolment of the world is to be for nothing else but this, that Mary, Thy august Mother, may come to Bethlehem, and there give Thee birth!
O ineffable mystery! how grand is this apparent littleness! how mighty this divine weakness! But God has still lower to descend than merely coming on our earth, He goes from house to house of His people : not one will receive Him, He must go and seek a crib in the stable of poor dumb beasts. There, until such time as the angels sing to Him their hymn, and the shepherds and the Magi come with their offerings, He will meet ‘the ox that knoweth its Owner, and the ass that knoweth its Master’s crib !' 8 O Saviour of men, Emmanuel, Jesus! we, too, will go to this stable of Bethlehem. Thy new birth, which is to-night, shall not be without loving and devoted hearts to bless it. At this very hour, Thou art knocking at the doors of Bethlehem, and who is there that will take Thee in? Thou sayest to my soul in the words of the Canticle: ‘Open to me, my sister, my beloved! for my head is full of dew, and my looks of the drops of the night !‘ 9 Ah I sweet Jesus ! Thou shalt not be refused here ! I beseech Thee, enter my house. I have been watching and longing for Thee. Come, then, Lord Jesus! come ! 10
(Photo: Neapolitan presepe by mcitl.)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
' AT length,’ says St. Peter Damian, in his sermon for this holy eve, ‘at length we have come from the stormy sea into the tranquil port; hitherto it was the promise, now it is the prize; hitherto labour, now rest; hitherto despair, now hope; hitherto the way, now our home. The heralds of the divine promise came to us; but they gave us nothing but rich promises. Hence our psalmist himself grew wearied and slept, and, with a seemingly reproachful tone, thus sings his lamentation to God: "But Thou hast rejected and despised us; Thou hast deferred the coming of Thy Christ." 1 At another time he assumes a tone of command and thus prays: "O Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim, show Thyself !" 2 Seated on Thy high throne, with myriads of adoring angels around Thee, look down upon the children of men, who are victims of that sin, which was committed indeed by Adam, but permitted by Thy justice. Remember what my substance is ; 3 Thou didst make it to the likeness of Thine own; for though every living man is vanity, yet inasmuch as he is made to Thy image, he is not a passing vanity. 4 Bend Thy heavens and come down, and turn the eyes of Thy mercy upon us Thy miserable suppliants, and forget us not unto the end!
‘Isaias, also, in the vehemence of his desire, thus spoke : "For Sion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, till her Just One come forth as brightness. Oh! that thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down !" So, too, all the prophets, tired of the long delay of the coming, have prayed to Thee, now with supplication, now with lamentation, and now with cries of impatience. We have listened to these their prayers; we have made use of them as our own, and now, nothing can give us joy or gladness, till our Saviour come to us, and, kissing us with the kiss of His lips, say to us: "I have heard and granted your prayers."
‘But, what is this that has been said to us: "Sanctify yourselves, O ye children of Israel, and be ready ; for on the morrow the Lord will come down "? We are, then, but one half day and night from the grand visit, the admirable, birth of the Infant God! Hurry on your course, ye fleeting hours, that we may the sooner see the Son of God in His crib, and pay our homage to this world-saving birth. You, brethren, are the children of Israel, that are sanctified, and cleansed from every defilement of soul and body, ready, by your earnest devotion, for to morrow’s mysteries. Such, indeed, you are, if I may judge from the manner in which you have spent these sacred days of preparation for the coming of your Saviour.
‘But if, notwithstanding all your care, some drops of the stream of this life’s frailties are still on your hearts, wipe them away and cover them with the snow-white robe of confession, This I can promise you from the mercy of the divine Infant: he that shall confess his sins and be sorry for them, shall have born within him the Light of the world; the darkness that deceived him shall be dispelled; and he shall enjoy the brightness of the true Light. For how can mercy be denied to the miserable this night, in which the merciful and compassionate Lord is so mercifully born ? Therefore, drive away from you all haughty looks, and idle words, and unjust works; let your loins be girt, and your feet walk in the right paths; and then come, and accuse the Lord, if this night He rend not the heavens, and come down to you, and throw all your sins into the depths of the sea.’
This holy eve is, indeed, a day of grace and hope, and we ought to spend it in spiritual joy. The Church, contrary to her general practice, prescribes that, if Christmas Eve fall on a Sunday, the fasting alone shall be anticipated on the Saturday; but that the Office and Mass of the vigil should take precedence of the Office and Mass of the fourth Sunday of Advent. How solemn, then, in the eyes of the Church, are these few hours, which separate us from the great feast! On all other feasts, no matter how great they may be, the solemnity begins with first Vespers, and until then the Church restrains her joy, and celebrates the Divine Office and Sacrifice according to the lenten rite. Christmas, on the contrary, seems to begin with the vigil; and one would suppose that this morning’s Lauds were the opening of the feast; for the solemn intonation of this portion of the Office is that of a double, and the antiphons are sung before and after each psalm or canticle. The purple vestments are used at the Mass, but all the genuflexions peculiar to the Advent ferias are omitted; and only one Collect is said, instead of the three usually said when the Mass is not that of a solemnity.
Let us enter into the spirit of the Church, and prepare ourselves, in all the joy of our hearts, to meet the Saviour who is coming to us. Let us observe with strictness the fast which is prescribed; it will enable our bodies to aid the promptness of our spirit. Let us delight in the thought that, before we again lie down to rest, we shall have seen Him born, in the solemn midnight, who comes to give light to every creature. For surely it is the duty of every faithful child of the Catholic Church to celebrate with her this happy night, when, in spite of all the coldness of devotion, the whole universe keeps up its watch for the arrival of its Saviour. It is one of the last vestiges of the piety of ancient days, and God forbid it should ever be effaced!
"Let us, in a spirit of prayer, look at the principal portions of the Office of this beautiful vigil. First, then, the Church makes a mysterious announcement to her children. It serves as’ the Invitatory of Matins, and as the Introit and Gradual of, the Mass. They are the words which Moses addressed to the people of God when he told them of the heavenly manna, which they would receive on the morrow. We, too, are expecting our Manna, our Jesus, the Bread of life, who is to be born in Bethlehem, which is the house of Bread."
Source: Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Vol. 1, Advent. Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1948, pp. 506-520. Translation by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.
|Hodie scietis quia veniet Dominus, et mane videbitis gloriam ejus.||This day ye shall know that the Lord will come, and in the morning ye shall see his glory.|
The responsories are full of sublimity and sweetness. Nothing can be more affecting than their lyric melody, sung to us by our mother the Church, on the very night which precedes the night of Jesus’ birth.
|R. Sanctificamini hodie et estote parati: quia die crastina videbitis * Majestatern Dei in vobis. V. Hodie scietis quia veniet Dominus, et mane videbitis * Majestatem Dei in vobis.||R. Sanctify yourselves this day, and be ye ready: for on the morrow ye shall see the Majesty of God amongst you. V. This day ye shall know that the Lord will come, and in the morning ye shall see * the Majesty of God amongst you.|
|R. Constantes estote; videbitis auxilium Domini super vos; Judæa et Jerusalem, nolite timere: * Cras egrediemini, et Dominus erit vobiscum: V. Sanctificamini, filii Israël et estote parati. * Cras egrediemini, et Dominus erit vobiscum.||R. Be ye constant ; ye shall see the help of the Lord upon you: fear not, Judea and Jerusalem: * To-morrow ye shall go forth, and the Lord shall be with you: V. Sanctify yourselves, ye children of Israel, and be ye ready. * Tomorrow ye shall go forth, and the Lord shall be with you.|
|R. Sanctifieamini, filii Israël, dicit Dominus: die enim crastina descendet Dominus: * Et auferet a vobis omnern languorem. V. Crastina die delebitur iniquitas terræ, et regnabit super nos Salvator mundi. * Et auferet a vobis omnem languorern.||R. Sanctify yourselves, ye children of Israel, saith the Lord: for on the morrow, the Lord shall come down: * And shall take from you all that is languid. V. To-morrow the iniquity of the earth shall be cancelled, and over us shall reign the Saviour of the world. * And be shall take from you all that is languid.|
At the Office of Prime, in cathedral chapters and monasteries, the announcement of to-morrow’s feast is made with unusual solemnity. The lector, who frequently is one of the dignitaries of the choir, sings, to a magnificent chant, the following lesson from the martyrology. All the assistants remain standing during it, until the lector comes to the word Bethlehem, at which all genuflect, and continue in that posture until all the glad tidings are told.
(Photo: Neapolitan presepe by mcitl.)
Monday, December 22, 2008
"The Mass of the Baptism of the Lord will again be celebrated in the Sistine chapel ad orientem. As Msgr. Marini explains 'this means that at some points the Pope will turn towards the Crucified, thus underlining the correct orientation of the Eucharistic celebration. This is not about turning the back to the people, but about assuming the same orientation as the assembly, which precisely looks toward the Crucified.' "
-- Msgr. Guido Marini, Pontifical Master of Liturgical Ceremonies. Read more here.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Dominica IV Adventus.
(Image: Andrea Pisano, St. John the Baptist Baptising in the River Jordan, South Doors, Baptistry of San Giovanni, 1336.)
O Clavis David et sceptrum domus Israël, qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
"O Jesus, Son of David! heir to his throne and his power! Thou art now passing over, in Thy way to Bethlehem, the land that once was the kingdom of Thy ancestor, but now is tributary to the Gentiles. Scarce an inch of this ground which has not witnessed the miracles of the justice and mercy of Jehovah, Thy Father, to the people of the old Covenant, which is so soon to end. Before long, when Thou hast come from beneath the virginal cloud which now hides Thee, Thou wilt pass along this same road doing good, 1 healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity, 2 and yet having not where to lay Thy head. 3 Now, at least, Thy Mother’s womb affords Thee the sweetest rest, and Thou receivest from her the profoundest adoration and the tenderest love. But, dear Jesus, it is Thine own blessed will that Thou leave this loved abode. Thou hast, O eternal Light, to shine in the midst of this world’s darkness, this prison where the captive, whom Thou hast come to deliver, sits in the shadow of death. Open his prison-gates by Thy all-powerful key. And who is this captive, but the human race, the slave of error and vice? Who is this captive, but the heart of man, which is thrall to the very passions it blushes to obey? Oh! come and set at liberty the world Thou hast enriched by Thy grace, and the creatures whom Thou hast made to be Thine own brethren."
-- Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Vol. 1, Advent. Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1948, pp. 484-6. Translation by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.
ANTIPHON TO THE ANGEL GABRIEL
O Gabriel! nuntius cœlorum, qui januis clausis ad me intrasti, et Verbum nunciasti: Concipies et paries: Emmanuel vocabitur.
Friday, December 19, 2008
O radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
"AT length, O Son of Jesse! Thou art approaching the city of Thy ancestors. The Ark of the Lord has risen, and journeys, with the God that is in her, to the place of her rest. ‘ How beautiful are thy steps, O thou daughter of the Prince,’ 1 now that thou art bringing to the cities of Juda their salvation.! The angels escort thee, thy faithful Joseph lavishes his love upon thee, heaven delights in thee, and our earth thrills with joy to bear thus upon itself its Creator and its Queen. Go forward, O Mother of God and Mother of men! Speed thee, thou propitiatory that holdest within thee the divine Manna which gives us life! Our hearts are with thee, and count thy steps. Like thy royal ancestor David, ‘we will not enter into the dwelling of our house, nor go up into the bed whereon we lie, nor give sleep to our eyes, nor rest to our temples, until we have found a place in our hearts for the Lord whom thou bearest, a tabernacle for this God of Jacob.’ 2 Come, then, O Root of Jesse ! thus hidden in this Ark of purity; Thou wilt soon appear before Thy people as the standard round which all that would conquer must rally. Then their enemies, the kings of the world, will be silenced, and the nations will offer Thee their prayers. Hasten Thy coming, dear Jesus! come and conquer all our enemies, and deliver us."
-- Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Vol. 1, Advent. Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1948, pp. 484-6. Translation by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.
A RESPONSORY OF ADVENT
R. Beatus uterus Mariæ Virginis qui portavit invisibilem: quem septem throni capere non possunt in eo habitare dignatus est: * Et portabat levem in sinu suo.
V. Dedit illi Dominus sedem David patris sui, et regnabit in domo Jacob in æternum, cujus regni non erit finis: * Et portabat levem in sinu suo.
-- Ambrosian breviary, sixth Sunday of Advent)
(Photo courtesy of The New Liturgical Movement.)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Just in time for Christmas our readers may download, print and frame these altar cards for your priest to either support him in celebrating the extraordinary form of holy Mass or to further encourage him to do so.
The mother of a priest labored for six months to do the calligraphy and illuminate the originals of these altar cards by hand for his celebration of holy Mass. Observe the variegated floral and gold borders in detail by clicking on the images. She wishes to make copies of these cards available for any priest.
One can download these printer-ready high resolution cards free of charge. The center card measures 16x20 while the others are 11x18. Those who wish to make the suggested donation of $30 are asked to please make out and send a check to Father Javier del Castillo, 10400 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, MD 20804. The proceeds will help to support a faithful Catholic family with five children who currently live on a modest income. Thank you.
Israël, qui Moysi in igne
flamme rubi apparuisti, et
ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in
O SOVEREIGN Lord! O Adonaï! come and redeem us, not by Thy power, but by Thy humility. Heretofore, Thou didst show Thyself to Moses Thy servant in the midst of a mysterious flame ; Thou didst give Thy law to Thy people amidst thunder and lightning; now, on the contrary, Thou comest not to terrify, but to save us. Thy chaste Mother having heard the emperor’s edict, which obliges her and Joseph her spouse to repair to Bethlehem, prepares everything needed for Thy divine Birth. She prepares for Thee, O Sun of justice! the humble swathing-bands, wherewith to cover Thy nakedness, and, protect Thee, the Creator of the world, from the cold, of that midnight hour of Thy Nativity! Thus it is that Thou wiliest to deliver us from the slavery of our pride, and show man that Thy divine arm is never stronger than when be thinks it powerless and still. Everything is prepared, then, dear Jesus! Thy swathing-bands are ready for Thy infant limbs! Come to Bethlehem, and redeem us from the hands of our enemies.
-- Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
THE Church enters to-day on the seven days which precede the Vigil of Christmas, and which are known in the liturgy under the name of the Greater Ferias. The ordinary of the Advent Office becomes more solemn; the antiphons of the psalms, both for Lauds and the Hours of the day, are proper, and allude expressly to the great coming. Every day, at Vespers, is sung a solemn antiphon, consisting of a fervent prayer to the Messias, whom it addresses by one of the titles given Him in the sacred Scriptures.
In the Roman Church, there are seven of these antiphons, one for each of the greater ferias. They are commonly called the O’s of Advent, because they all begin with that interjection. In other Churches, during the middle ages, two more were added to these seven; one to our blessed Lady, O Virgo virginum; and the other to the angel Gabriel, O Gabriel; or to St. Thomas the apostle, whose feast comes during the greater ferias; it began O Thorna Didjme.1 There were even Churches where twelve great antiphons were sung; that is, besides the nine we have just mentioned, O Rex Pacifice to our Lord, O mundi Domina to our Lady, and O Hierusalem to the city of the people of God.
The canonical Hour of Vespers has been selected as the most appropriate time for this solemn supplication to our Saviour, because, as the Church sings in one of her hymns, it was in the evening of the world (vergente mundi vespere) that the Messias came amongst us. These antiphons are sung at the Magnificat, to show us that the Saviour whom we expect is to come to us by Mary. They are sung twice, once before and once after the canticle, as on double feasts, and this to show their great solemnity. In some Churches it was formerly the practice to sing them thrice ; that is, before the canticle, before the Gloria Patri, and after the Sicut erat. Lastly, these admirable antiphons, which contain the whole pith of the Advent liturgy, are accompanied by a chant replete with melodious gravity, and by ceremonies of great expressiveness, though, in these latter, there is no uniform practice followed. Let us enter into the spirit of the Church; let us reflect on the great day which is coming; that thus we may take, our share in these the last and most earnest solicitations of the Church imploring her Spouse to come, to which He at length yields.
-- Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B
(Photo: Illuminated manuscript, British Library.)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
"Gaudete in Domino semper. Iterum dico, gaudete!" Int., Dom. III
"John the Baptist is 'more than a prophet.' In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the 'voice' of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John 'came to bear witness to the light.' In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God.' " (CCC 719)
" 'Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church.' These words open the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faith about the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. The Church has no other light than Christ's; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun." (CCC 748)
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Dominica III Adventus, "Gaudete Sunday".
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The parish of Saint Bernadette in Silver Spring, MD, will host a celebration of the extraordinary form of holy Mass this Friday, 12 December, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at 7:30 pm. The church is located at 70 UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD EAST, SILVER SPRING, MD 20901.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The Saint Lawrence Ltd. press offers for sale the Ordo for 2009 on their homepage.
"The Ordo Recitandi is the flagship publication of the Saint Lawrence Press. The Ordo contains the necessary directions for those who wish to sing the Office and Mass of any day in the Liturgical Year according to the classical Roman Rite. The Ordo details those changes which arise due to the interaction of the Temporal and Sanctoral cycles. In addition the Ordo contains detailed information concerning the celebration of the various classes of Votive Masses e.g. Masses of External Solemnities, rubrics for the Forty Hours. The Ordo follows the format of the Roman Ordo that was produced for the Universal Calendar in the late 1930s following the fifth editio post typicam of the Roman Missal that was promulgated in AAS in 1939. The Ordo is written entirely in Latin."
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Excita Domine corda nostra ad praeparandas Unigeniti tui vias
ut per ejus adventum purificatis tibi mentibus servire mereamur:
Per Dominum eiusdem...
Let us pray
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the ways of Thine Only-begotten Son, that by His coming our minds being purified, we may the more worthily give up ourselves to Thy service:
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ...
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent.
Monday, December 1, 2008
1. German publishing house Nova et Vetera presents a new website for its brand new edition of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum, in five languages.
2. Baronius Press presents three new editions in time for Christmas, including what could be an interesting traditional Latin-Catholic edition of the Holy Bible (Vulgata Clementina/Douay-Rheims).
(With thanks to Rorate Caeli.)