Fourth Sunday of Advent: Missa “Rorate, coeli,”
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. Only on the Second Sunday does she entreat God the Father to prepare our hearts for the coming of His Son; but she asks this of God without laying stress on the mediation of Christ. 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 (Collect). “Come, 0 Lord, and tarry not” (Alleluia). “The Lord is nigh” (Gradual), and it is Mary who is about to give Him to us. The Offertory and the Communion are consecrated to His praises. In the Offertory especially we find the AVE MARIA, in which the Church in a single salutation combines the words of the Angel and those of St. Elizabeth, which were given us in the Gospels of the preceding Wednesday and Friday.
INTROIT Philippians 4: 4-6
Drop down dew, ye Heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be open and bud forth a Savior. (Ps. 18: 2) The Heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands. v. Glory be to the 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. R. Amen.
Collect for the Blessed Mother
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.
Collect for God’s Holy Church
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. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5
Lesson from the Epistle of Bl. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers that man be found faithful. But to me it is a very small thing to be judged by you or by man’s day but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of anything: yet am I not hereby justified, but He that judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge not before the time, until the Lord come: Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise from God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA 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.
GOSPEL Luke 3: 1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina, under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord came to John the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low: the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Luke 1: 28, 42
Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
O Lord, we beseech Thee, look down favorably upon these present Sacrifices: that they may profit us both unto devotion and salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Secret for the Blessed Virgin Mary
Strengthen in our minds, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the mysteries of the true faith, that, confessing Him Who was conceived of the Virgin to be true God and true man, we may deserve, through the power of His saving resurrection, to attain everlasting joy.
Secret for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Most Holy Trinity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Isaias 7: 14
Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son: and His name shall be called Emmanuel.
Having received Thy gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord: that as we frequent this Mystery, so the work of our salvation may advance. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Postcommunion for the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection.
Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church
O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.