On this last Sunday of Advent, as the solemn celebration of Christ's Holy Birth approaches, the Church reminds us of that Holy day nine months earlier when Jesus was conceived in His Holy Mother Mary's womb.
In less than a week we will be celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas.
Soon it will be Christmas, a time for us to celebrate what God is doing in our world right now, not only what he accomplished in Bethlehem so long ago. This experience of hunger for Christ's coming and his being with us, is a part of every Eucharist. With the priest we pray the words which conclude the doxology of the Our Father, Deliver us, Lord... as we wait the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Today Missa Rorate Coeli
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5 (Roman Missal)
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete: modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.
Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Iacob.(Graduale Romanum )
Whereas the Church during the whole year offers her prayers to God the Father in union with Jesus Christ, during Advent she addresses herself directly to the Word, and not to the Word Incarnate, as is shown by today's Collect.
Collect to God Eternal Father
Lord, we beseech Thee, stir up Thy power, and come, and with great might succor us: that by the help of Thy grace that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by Thy merciful forgiveness. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God , forever and ever.Amen.
Collect for Our Blessed Lady
O God, Who didst will that at the message of an angel Thy word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.Amen.
Collect for God's Holy Church
Let us pray. Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.Amen.
In the Collect, the Church implores God to hasten the time of His coming to her assistance; she fears lest her sins might keep her Spouse from visiting her; she, therefore, prays that this obstacle may be removed by His mercy.
The Liturgy reminds us, indeed, during these four weeks or the time during which the world was without Jesus.
This Mediator we now await, and since we can go to God only through Him, we implore Him, to hasten His coming ( through the Collect's prayers ). "Come, 0 Lord, and tarry not" .
"The Lord is nigh" (Gradual Psalm) , and it is Mary who is about to give Him to us.
Psalm 144: 18, 21
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him: to all that call upon Him in truth. V. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His Holy Name. Alleluia, alleluia. V. Come, O Lord, and tarry not: forgive the sins of Thy people Israel. Alleluia.
Prope est Dóminus ómnibus invocántibus eum: ómnibus qui ínvocant eum in veritáte. V. Laudem, Dómini loquétur os meum: et benedícat omnis caro nomen sanctum ejus. Allelúja, allelúja. V. Veni, Dómine, et noli tardáre: reláxa facínora plebi tuæ Israël. Alleluja.
The Offertory and the Communion are consecrated to His praises.
~ May you all have a truly blessed Fourth Sunday of Advent~
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