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Season of Christmas

We apply the name of Christmas to the forty days which begin with the Nativity of our Lord, December 25, and end with the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, February 2. It is a period which forms a distinct portion of the Liturgical Year, as distinct, by its own special spirit, from every other, as are Advent, Lent, Easter, or Pentecost. One same Mystery is celebrated and kept in view during the whole forty days. Neither the Feasts of the Saints, which so abound during this Season; nor the time of Septuagesima, with its mournful Purple, which often begins before Christmastide is over, seem able to distract our Holy Mother the Church from the immense joy of which she received the good tidings from the Angels[1] on that glorious Night for which the world had been longing four thousand years. The Faithful will remember that the Liturgy commemorates this long expectation by the four penitential weeks of Advent.
[1] St Luke ii 10.

(From Chapter 1: The History of Christmas)

For more information on the season of Christmas, visit here.

THE variation of Easter Sunday necessitates almost every year a different arrangement of the Sundays after the Epiphany from that in which they stand in the Missal. Septuagesima often comes in January and the Feast of the Purification is occasionally later than Quinquagesima Sunday; hence the office of these four last Sundays may have to be transferred to another season of the liturgical cycle. We were obliged then to provide for these changes and simplify them for the Faithful by adopting our present plan. We have inserted here the third and fourth Sundays as usually falling in Christmastide, while the office of the fifth and sixth Sundays will be found in the volumes of Septuagesima and the second after Pentecost, this latter season being the one in which they are most frequently kept.

MASS

The Introit represents the Angels of God adoring him on his entrance into this world, as St Paul[1] explains this passage of the Psalms. The Church celebrates with David the gladness of Sion, and the joy of the daughters of Juda.

Introit

Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion, et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ. Ps. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. ℣. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. ℣. Glory, etc. Adore.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos, dexteram tuæ majestatis extende. Per Dominum.
O Almighty and Eternal God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Deus qui salutis æternæ, beatæ Mariæ virginitate fœcunda, humano generi præmia præstitisti; tribue, quæsumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercederesentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitæ suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
O God, who by the fruitful Virginity of Blessed Mary hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience her intercession, by whom we received the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.

The third Prayer is one of the following:


Against the persecutors of the Church

Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte; ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate.
Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church, that all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure and undisturbed devotion.

For the Pope

Deus omnium fidelium Pastor et Rector, famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius respice; da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere; ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.
O God, the Pastor and Governor of all the Faithful, look down in thy mercy on thy servant N. whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that both by word and example he may edify all those that are under his charge, and, with the flock intrusted to him, arrive at length at eternal happiness. Through, etc.

Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. XII.

Fratres, nolite esse prudentes apud vosmetipsos: nulli malum pro malo reddentes: providentes bona non tantum coram Deo, sed etiam coram omnibus hominibus; si fieri potest, quod ex vobis est, cum omnibus hominibus pacem habentes: non vosmetipsos defendentes, carissimi, sed date locum iræ; scriptum est enim; Mihi vindicta, ego retribuam, dicit Dominus. Sed si esurierit inimicus tuus, ciba ilium; si sitit, potum da illi: hoc enim faciens, carbones ignis congeres super caput ejus. Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum.
Lesson of the Epistle of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans.

Ch. XII.

Brethren, be not wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you, having peace with all men. Not revenging yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath. For it is written: 'Revenge to me, I will repay,' saith the Lord. But 'if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat: if he thirst, give him to drink: for doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.’ Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

This love of our neighbour, recommended to us by the Apostle, is a consequence of that universal brotherhood which our Saviour, by his Birth, brought us from heaven. He came to establish peace between heaven and earth; men, therefore, ought to be at peace one with another. Our Lord bids us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil by good:—and did not he first practise this by coming among us, who were children of wrath, that he might make us children of adoption by his humiliations and his sufferings?

In the Gradual, the holy Church again celebrates the coming of Emmanuel, and invites all nations, and all the kings of the earth, to come and praise his holy name.

Gradual

Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.
℣. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
℣. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice; let many islands be glad. Alleluia.

Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. VIII.

In illo tempore, Cum descendisset Jesus de monte, secutæ sunt eum turbæ multæ; et ecce leprosus veniens, adorabat eum dicens: Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. Et extendens Jesus manum, tetigit eum dicens: Volo, mundare. Et confestim mundata est lepra ejus. Et ait illi Jesus: Vide, nemini dixeris; sed vade, ostende te sacerdoti et offer munus, quod præcepit Moyses, in testimonium illis. Cum autem introisset Capharnaum, accessit ad eum centurio, rogans eum et dicens; Domine, puer meus jacet in domo paralyticus, et male torquetur. Et ait illi Jesus: Ego veniam et curabo eum. Et respondens centurio, ait: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum; sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur puer meus. Nam et ego homo sum sub potestate constitutus, habens sub me milites, et dico huic: vade, et vadit; et alii: veni, et venit; et servo meo: fac hoc, et facit. Audiens autem Jesus, miratus est, et sequentibus se dixit: Amen dico vobis, non inveni tantam fidem in Isræl. Dico autem vobis, quod multi ab oriente et occidente venient, et recumbent cum Abraham et Isaac et Jacob in regno cœlorum; filii autem regni ejicientur in tenebras exteriores: ibi erit fletus et stridor dentium. Et dixit Jesus centurioni: Vade, et sicut credidisti, fiat tibi. Et sanatus est puer in illa hora.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. VIII.

At that time, when Jesus was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him; and behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man, but go, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. And when he had entered unto Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And when Jesus heard this, he marvelled, and said to them that followed him: Amen, I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.

The human race was infected with the leprosy of sin: the Son of God touches it by the mystery of the Incarnation, and restores it to health. But he requires that the sick man, now that he is healed, shall go and show himself to the priest, and comply with the ceremonies prescribed by the law; and this, to show that he allows a human priesthood to co-operate in the work of our salvation. The vocation of the Gentiles, of which the Magi were the first-fruits, is again brought before us in the faith of the centurion. A Roman soldier, and millions like him, shall be reputed as true children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; while they who are the sons of this Patriarch according to the flesh, shall be cast out from the feast-chamber into the gloom of blindness; and their punishment shall be given as a spectacle to the whole earth.

Let man, then, saved as he has been by the coming of Emmanuel, sing a hymn of praise to the power of God, who has wrought our salvation by the strength of his almighty arm. Man had been sentenced to death; but now that he has God for a Brother, he shall not die: he will live: and could he spend his life better than in praising the works of this God that has saved him?

Offertory

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

Secret

Hæc hostia, Domine, quæsumus, emundet nostra delicta: et sacrificium celebrandum subditorum tibi corpora, mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum.
May this offering, O Lord, we beseech thee, cleanse away our sins: and sanctify the bodies and souls of thy servants, to prepare them for worthily celebrating this sacrifice. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tua, Domine, propitiatione, et beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis intercessione, ad perpetuam atque præsentem hæc oblatio nobis proficiat prosperitatem et pacem.
By thy mercy, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Mary ever a Virgin, may this oblation further our present and future prosperity and peace.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Protege, nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhærentes, et corpore tibi famulemur et mente.
Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries, that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind.

For the Pope

Oblatis, quæsumus, Domine, placare muneribus, et famulum tuum N., quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.
Be appeased, O Lord, with the offering we have made, and cease not to protect thy servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, etc.

Preface

℣. Per omnia sæcula sæculorum. ℟. Amen.
℣. Dominus vobiscum. ℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℣. Sursum corda. ℟. Habemus ad Dominum.
℣. Gratias agamus Dominum Deo nostro. ℟. Dignum et justum est.

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus. Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto unus es Deus, unus es Dominus: non in unius singularitate Personæ, sed in unius Trinitate substantiæ. Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto, sine differentia discretionis sentimus. Ut in confessione veræ, sempiternæque Deitatis, et in Personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in Majestate adoretur æqualitas. Quam laudant Angeli atque Archangeli, Cherubim quoque ac Seraphim; qui non cessant clamare quotidie una voce dicentes, Sanctus, etc.
℣. For ever and ever. ℟. Amen.
℣. The Lord be with you. ℟. And with thy spirit.
℣. Lift up your hearts. ℟. We have them fixed on God.
℣. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. ℟. It is meet and just.

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God. Who together with thy Only Begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God and one Lord: not in a singularity of one Person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what we believe of thy glory, as thou hast revealed, the same we believe of thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction. So that in the confession of the true and eternal Deity, we adore a distinction in the Persons, a unity in the essence, and an equality in the Majesty. Whom the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim praise, and cease not daily to cry out with one voice, saying, Holy, etc.

After having distributed the Bread of Life, the Church reminds us how the people were in admiration at the words of Jesus. The children of the Church, initiated into all his Mysteries, are at this moment enjoying the effects of that ineffable Word, by means of which the Redeemer has changed the bread into his Body, and the wine into his Blood.

Communion

Mirabantur omnes de his quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.

Postcommunion

Quos tantis, Domine, largiris uti mysteriis, quæsumus ut effectibus nos eorum veraciter aptare digneris. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee, O Lord, that we, to whom thou vouchsafest the use of these great mysteries, may be made truly worthy to receive the benefits thereof. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hæc nos communio, Domine, purget a crimine; et intercedente beata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cœlestis remedii faciat esse consortes.
May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, make us partakers of thy heavenly remedy.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster, ut quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis.
We beseech thee, O Almighty God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries.

For the Pope

Hæc nos, quæsumus, Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N., quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege, salvet semper et muniat. Per Dominum.
May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and defence to thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock committed to his charge. Through, etc.

VESPERS

The Psalms, Antiphons, Capitulum, Hymn, and Versicle are given on pages 89-96.

Antiphon Of The Magnificat

Ant. Domine, si vis, potes me mundare: et ait Jesus: Volo, mundare.
Ant. O Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus saith: I will: be thou cleansed.

Oremus

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos dexteram tuæ majestatis extende. Per Dominum.
Let Us Pray

O Almighty and Eternal God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, etc.

[1] Heb. i 6.

MASS

Introit

Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ. Ps. Dominus regnavit; exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. ℣. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. The Lord hath reigned; let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. ℣. Glory, etc. Adore.

Collect

Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea quæ pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante, vincamus. Per Dominum.
O God, who knowest that through human frailty we are not able to subsist amidst such great dangers, grant us health of soul and body, that whatsoever things we suffer because of our sins, we may overcome by thine assistance. Through, etc.

Then are added the Collects special to the season of Christmas, in honour of our Lady, against the persecutors of the Church, or for the Pope; which are given above, page 251.

Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. XIII.

Fratres, nemini quidquam debeatis, nisi ut invicem diligatis: qui enim diligit proximum, legem implevit. Nam: Non adulterabis; Non occides; Non furaberis; Non falsum testimonium dices; Non concupisces, et si quod est aliud mandatum, in hoc verbo instauratur: Diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum. Dilectio proximi malum non operatur. Plenitudo ergo legis est dilectio.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans.

Ch. XIII.

Brethren, owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled the law. For, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet': and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The love of our neighbour worketh no evil. Love, therefore, is the fulfilling of the law.

During this holy season, when the very Son of God is giving so great a proof of his love for man, whose nature he has assumed, the Church is continually exhorting the Faithful, in the words of the Apostle, to practise charity towards each other. Emmanuel comes to us as our Lawgiver: now he has resumed his whole Law in the precept of Love; he is come in order to unite what sin had divided. Let us comply with his divine intentions, and accomplish with earnestness the Law he has imposed upon us.

Gradual

Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.
. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
℣. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. The Lord hath reigned; let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.

Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. VIII.

In illo tempore, Ascendente Jesu in naviculam, secuti sunt eum discipuli ejus. Et ecce motus magnus factus est in mari, ita ut navicula operiretur fluctibus; ipse vero dormiebat. Et accesserunt ad eum discipuli ejus, et suscitaverunt eum dicentes: Domine, salva nos. perimus. Et dicit eis Jesus: Quid timidi estis, modicæ fidei? Tunc surgens, imperavit ventis et mari, et facta est tranquillitas magna. Porro homines mirati sunt, dicentes: Qualis est hic, quia venti et mare obediunt ei?
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew. Ch. VIII.

At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat, his disciples followed him; and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awakened him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him!

Let us adore the power of our Emmanuel, who is come to calm the tempest which threatened the human race with death. In the midst of their danger, the successive generations of men had cried out: Lord! save us; we perish. When the fulness of time had come, he awoke from his rest; he had but to command, and the power of our enemies was destroyed. The malice of the devils, the darkness of idolatry, the corruption of paganism—all yielded. Nation after nation was converted to Jesus. They had said, when in their misery and blindness: 'Who is this Jesus, whom no power can resist?' and then they embraced his Law. This power of Jesus to break down every obstacle, and that, too, at the very time when men were disquieted at his apparent slumbering, has often shown itself in the past ages of the Church. How many times has he not chosen for saving the world that period which seemed the least likely for rescue! The same happens in the life of each one among us. Oftentimes we are tossed to and fro by violent temptations; it would seem as though the billows must sink us; and yet our will is firmly anchored to God! And what is all this, if not Jesus sleeping in the storm-tossed boat, protecting us by this his sleeping? And if our cry for help at length awaken him, it is only to proclaim his own and our victory; for he has already conquered, and we have conquered in him.

Offertory

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

Secret

Concede, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus; ut hujus sacrincii munus oblatum, fragilitatem nostram ab omni malo purget semper et muniat. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the offering of this sacrifice may always cleanse our frailty from all evil, and be a protection to us. Through, etc.

To this are added the other Secrets, as given on page 255. The Preface is that of the Blessed Trinity, page 256.

Communion

Mirabantur omnes de his quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.

Postcommunion

Munera tua nos, Deus, a delectationibus terrenis expediant, et cœlestibus semper instaurent alimentis. Per Dominum.
May thy gifts, of which we have partaken, O God, detach us from all earthly pleasures, and ever refresh and strengthen us with heavenly food. Through, etc.

Then are added the other Postcommunions, as given on page 257.



VESPERS


The Psalms, Antiphons, Capitulum, Hymn and Versicle are given on pages 89-96.


Antiphon of the Magnificat

Ant. Domine, salva nos, perimus: impera, et fac, Deus, tranquillitatem.
Ant. Save us, O Lord, we perish: command, O God, and make the sea calm.

Oremus

Deus qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea quæ pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante vincamus. Per Dominum.
Let Us Pray

O God, who knowest that through human frailty we are not able to subsist amidst so many dangers, grant us health of soul and body; that whatsoever we suffer for our sins, we may overcome by thy assistance. Through, etc.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Mass

Introit

Adorate Deum omnes angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ.

Ps. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. V. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced.

Ps. The Lord hath reigned: let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. V. Glory, etc. Adore.

Collect

Familiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut quæ in sola spe gratiæ cœlestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur. Per Dominum.
Preserve, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy family by thy constant mercy; that, as it leans solely on the hope of heavenly grace, it may always be defended by thy protection. Through, etc.

Second Collect

A cunctis nos, quæsumus Domine, mentis et corporis defende periculis: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo atque beato N. et omnibus sanctis, salutem nobis tribue benignus et pacem; ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, Ecclesia tua secura tibi serviat libertate.
Preserve us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers of soul and body: and by the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary, the ever Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, of blessed N. (here is mentioned the titular saint of the church), and of all the saints, grant us in thy mercy, health and peace; that all adversities and errors being removed, thy Church may serve thee with undisturbed liberty.

A third Collect is added, at the choice of the priest.


Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses.

Cap. iii.

Fratres, induite vos, sicut electi Dei, sancti, et dilecti, viscera misericordiæ, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, patientiam, supportantes invicem, et donantes vobismetipsis, si quis adversus aliquem habet querelam: sicut et Dominus donavit vobis, ita et vos. Super omnia autem liæc, charitatem habete, quod est vinculum perfections: et pax Christi exsultet in cordibus vestris, in qua et vocati estis in uno corpore: et grati estote. Verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia, docentes, et commonentes vosmetipsos, psalmis, hymnis, et canticis spiritualibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo. Omne quodcumque facitis, in verbo aut in opere, omnia in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, gratias agentes Deo et Patri per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.

Ch. iii.

Brethren, put ye on therefore as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another; even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection; and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word, or in work, all things do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Christian, trained as he has been in the school of the Man-God who deigned to dwell upon this earth, should ever show mercy towards his fellow-men. This world which has been purified by the presence of the Incarnate Word, would become an abode of peace, if we were but to live in such manner as to merit the titles, given us by the apostle, of elect of God, holy, and beloved. The peace here spoken of should, first of all, fill the heart of every Christian, and give it an uninterrupted joy, which would be ever pouring itself forth in singing the praises of God. But it is mainly on the Sundays, that the faithful, by taking part with the Church in her psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, fulfil this duty so dear to their hearts. Let us, moreover, in our every-day life, practise the advice given us by the apostle, of doing all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in order that we may, in all things, find favour with our heavenly Father.

Gradual

Timebunt gentes nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.


V. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra: lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.

The Gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.


V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.


Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.


Cap. xiii.

In illo tempore; Dixit Jesus turbis parabolani hanc: Simile factum est regnum cœlorum homini, qui seminavit bonum semen in agro suo. Cum autem dormirent homines, venit inimicus ejus, et superseminavit zizania in medio tritici, et abiit. Cum autem crevisset herba, et fructum fecisset, tunc apparuerunt et zizania. Accedentes autem servi patrisfamilias, dixerunt ei: Domine, nonne bonum semen seminasti in agro tuo? Unde ergo habet zizania? Et ait illis: Inimicus homo hoc fecit. Servi autem dixerunt ei: Vis, imus, et colligimus ea? Et ait: Non; ne forte colligentes zizania, eradicetis simul cum eis et triticum. Sinite utraque crescere usque ad messem, et in tempore messis dicam messoribus: Colligite primum zizania, et alligate ea in fasciculos ad comburendum, triticum autem congregate in horreum meum.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xiii.

At that time: Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. Then the servants of the goodman of the house, coming said unto him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.


The kingdom of heaven, here spoken of by our Lord, is the Church militant, the society of them that believe in Him. And yet, the field He has tilled with so much care is oversown with cockle; heresies have crept in, scandals have abounded; are we, on that account, to have misgivings about the foresight of the Master, who knows all things, and without whose permission nothing happens? Far from us be such a thought! He Himself tells us that these things must needs be. Man has been gifted with free-will; it is for him to choose between good and evil; but God will turn all to His own greater glory, Heresies, then, like weeds in a field, may spring up in the Church; but the day must come when they will be uprooted; some of them will wither on the parent stems, but the whole cockle shall be gathered into bundles to burn. Where are now the heresies that sprang up in the first ages of the Church? And in another hundred years, what will have become of the heresy, which, under the pretentious name of ‘the reformation,’ has caused incalculable evil? It is the same with the scandals which rise up within the pale of the Church: they are a hard trial; but trials must come. The divine Husbandman wills not that this cockle be torn up, lest the wheat should suffer injury. First of all, the mixture of good and bad is an advantage; it teaches the good not to put their hopes in man, but in God. Then, too, the mercy of our Lord is so great, that at times the very cockle is converted, by divine grace, into wheat. We must therefore have patience. But, whereas it is while the men are asleep that the enemy oversows the field with cockle, it behoves us to pray for pastors, and ask their divine Master to bless them with that vigilance, which is the primary condition of the flock being safe, and is so essential a quality in every bishop, that his very name is ‘one who watches.’

Offertory

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

Secret

Hostias tibi, Domine, placationis offerimus, ut et delicta nostra miseratus absolvas, et nutantia corda tu dirigas. Per Dominum.
We offer thee, O Lord, this sacrifice of propitiation, that thou wouldst mercifully forgive us our sins, and guide our faltering hearts. Through, etc.

Second Secret

Exaudi nos, Deus salutaris noster, ut per hujus Sacramenti virtutem, a cunetis nos mentis et corporis hostibus tuearis, gratiam tribuens in præsenti, et gloriam in futuro.
Graciously grant us, O God our Saviour, that by virtue of this Sacrament, thou mayst defend us from all enemies, both of soul and body; giving us grace in this life, and glory in the next.

A third Secret, at the choice of the priest, is added.


Communion

Mirabantur omnes de his, quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.

Postcommunion

Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut illius salutaris capiamus effectum, cujus per hæc mysteria pignus accepimus. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee, O almighty God, that we may one day receive the effects of that salvation, of which we have received the pledge in these mysteries. Through, etc.

Second Postcommunion

Mundet et muniat nos, quæsumus, Domine, divini Sacramenti munus oblatum: et intercedente beata Virgine Dei genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis apostolis tuis Petro. et Paulo, atque beato N. et omnibus sanctis, a cunctis nos reddat et perversitatibus expiatos, et adversitatibus expeditos.
May the oblation of this divine Sacrament, we beseech thee, O Lord, both cleanse and defend us; and, by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, of blessed N. and of all the saints, free us from all sin, and deliver us from all adversity.

The third Postcommunion is at the choice of the priest.


Vespers

The psalms and antiphons as on page 72.


Capitulum
(2 Cor. i.)

Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.

The hymn and versicle, page 79.


Antiphon of the Magnificat

Colligite primum zizania, et alligate ea in fasciculos ad comburendum triticum autem congregate in horreum meum, dicit Dominus.

Oremus.

Familiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut quæ in sola spe gratiæ cœlestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur. Per Dominum.
Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn: but gather the wheat into my barn, saith the Lord.

Let us Pray.

Preserve, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy family by thy constant mercy; that, as it leans solely on the hope of heavenly grace, it may always be defended by thy protection. Through, etc.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

MASS

Introit

Adorate Deum omnes angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion: et exsu.ltaverunt filiæ Judæ.

Ps. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. V. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced.

Ps. The Lord hath reigned: let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. V. Glory, etc. Adore.

Collect

Præsta quæsumus omnipotens Deus: ut semper rationabilia meditantes, quæ tibi sunt placita et dictis exsequamur et factis. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that, ever meditating on such things as are reasonable, we may, both in word and deed, carry out the things which are pleasing unto thee. Through, etc.

For the other Collects, see page 94.


Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Thessalonicenses.

1 Cap. i.

Fratres, gratias agimus Deo semper pro omnibus vobis, memoriam vestri facientes in orationibus nostris sine intermissione, memores operis fidei vestræ, et laboris, et charitatis, et sustinentiæ spei Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ante Deum et Patrem nostrum: scientes, fratres dilecti a Deo, electionem vestram: quia Evangelium nostrum non fuit ad vos in sermone tantum, sed et in virtute, et in Spiritu sancto, et in plenitudine multa, sicut scitis quales fuerimus in vobis propter vos. Et vos imitatores nostri facti estis et Domini, excipientes verbum in tribulatione multa, cum gaudio Spiritus sancti: ita ut facti sitis forma omnibus credentibus in Macedonia, et in Achaia. A vobis enim diffamatus est sermo Domini, non solum in Macedonia, et in Achaïa, sed et in omni loco fides vestra, quæ est ad Deum, profecta est, ita ut non sit nobis necesse quidquam loqui. Ipsi enim de nobis annuntiant qualem introitum habuerimus ad vos: et quomodo conversi estis ad Deum a simnlacris, servire Deo vivo, et vero, et exspectare Filium ejus de cœlis (quem suscitavit ex mortuis) Jesum, qui eripuit nos ab ira ventura.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.

1 Ch. i.

Brethren, we give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing: being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election. For our Gospel hath not been to you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost; so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth, bo that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead) Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

The praise which the apostle here gives to the Thessalonians for their fervour in the faith they had embraced, conveys a reproach to the Christians of our own times. These neophytes of Thessalonica, who, a short time before, were worshippers of idols, had become so earnest in the practice of the Christian religion, that even the apostle is filled with admiration. We are the descendants of countless Christian ancestors; we received our regeneration by Baptism at our first coming into the world; we were taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ from our earliest childhood: and yet, our faith is not so strong, or our lives so holy, as were those of the early Christians. Their main occupation was serving the living and true God, and waiting for the coming of their Saviour. Our hope is precisely the same as that which made their hearts so fervent; how comes it that our faith is not like theirs in its generosity? We love this present life, as though we had not the firm conviction that it is to pass away.

As far as depends upon us, we are handing down to future generations a Christianity very different from that which our Saviour established, which the apostles preached, and which the pagans of the first ages thought they were bound to purchase at any price or sacrifice.

Gradual

Timebunt gentes nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam. V. Quoniam sedificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra: lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.

 


Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. xiii.

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus turbis parabolam hanc: Simile est regnum cœlorum grano sinapis, quod accipiens homo seminavit in agro suo, quod minimum quidem est omnibus seminibus: cum autem creverit, majus est omnibus oleribus, et fit arbor, ita ut volucres cœli veniant, et habitent in ramisejus. Aliam parabolani locutus est eis. Simile est regnum cœlorumfermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinæ satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum. Hæc omnia locutus est Jesus in parabolis ad turbas: et sine parabolis non loquebatur eis: ut impleretur quod dictum erat per prophetam dicentem: Aperiam in parabolis os meum, eructabo abscondita a constitutione mundi.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xiii.

At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitude this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, and without parables he did not speak to them; that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

Our Lord here teaches us, under the symbolism of two parables, what we are to believe concerning His Church, which is His kingdom, a kingdom that rises indeed here on the earth, but is to be perfected in heaven. What is this grain of mustard-seed, which is hidden under ground, is unseen by man’s eye, then appears as the least of herbs, but, finally, becomes a tree? It is the Word of God, at first hidden in Judea, trampled on by man’s malice even so as to be buried in a tomb, but, at length, rising triumphantly and reaching rapidly to every part of the world. Scarcely had a hundred years elapsed since Jesus was put to death, when His Church was vigorous even far beyond the limits of the Roman empire. During the past nineteen centuries, every possible effort has been made to uproot the tree of God; persecution, diplomacy, human wisdom, all have tried, and all have but wasted their time. True, they succeeded, from time to time, in severing a branch; but another grew in its place, for the sap of the tree is vigorous beyond measure. The birds that come and dwell upon it, are, as the holy fathers interpret it, the souls of men aspiring to the eternal goods of the better world. If we are worthy of our name of Christians, we shall love this tree, and find our rest and safety nowhere but beneath its shade. The woman, of whom the second parable speaks, is the Church, our mother. It was she that, from the commencement of Christianity, took the teaching of her divine Master, and hid it in the very hearts of men, making it the leaven of their salvation. The three measures of meal which she leavened into bread, are the three great families of mankind, the three that came from the children of Noah, who are the three fathers of the whole human race. Let us love this mother; and let us bless that heavenly leaven, which made us become children of God, by making us children of the Church.

Offertory

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

Secret

Hæc nos oblatio, Deus, mundet, quæsumus, et renovet, gubernet, et protegat. Per Dominum.
May this oblation, O God, we beseech thee, cleanse, renew, govern, and protect us. Through, etc.

The other Secrets are given on page 98.


Communion

Mirabantur omnes de his, quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.

Postcommunion

Cœlestibus, Domine, pasti deliciis, quæsumus, ut semper eadem, per quæ veraciter vivimus, appetamus. Per Dominum.
Being fed, O Lord, with heavenly dainties, we beseech thee, that we may always hunger after them, for by them we have true life. Through, etc.

The other Postcommunions are given on page 99.


VESPERS

The psalms and antiphons as on page 72.


Capitulum
(2 Cor. i.)

Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesus Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.

The hymn and versicle, page 79.


Antiphon of the Magnificat

Simile est regnum cœlorum fermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinæ satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum.

Oremus

Præsta, quæsumus omnipotens Deus: ut semper rationabilia meditantes, quæ tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur, et factis. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that ever meditating on such things as are reasonable, we may, both in word and deed, carry out the things which are pleasing unto thee. Through, etc.

Let us Pray

The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.

 


 

 

 

 

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