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First Week of Advent

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.

De Isaia Propheta.

. vii.

Et adjecit Dominus loqui ad Achaz, dicens: Pete tibi signum a Domino Deo tuo in profundum inferni, sive in excelsum supra. Et dixit Achaz: Non petam, et non tentabo Dominum. Et dixit: Audite ergo domus David: Numquid parum vobis est molestos esse hominibus, quia molesti estis et Deo meo? Propter hoc dabit Dominus ipse vobis signum: Ecce Virgo concipiet, et pariet Filium: et vocabitur nomen ejus Emmanuel.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. vii.

And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye, therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

Let your hearts be filled with hope and joy at hearing this fair and sweet prophecy: A Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son. These words contain the salvation of the world, as these others express its perdition: ‘The woman took of the fruit of the tree, and did eat, and gave unto her husband.' This Virgin promised to us has at length come: the divine Fruit is in her womb. By her, Eve’s disobedience is repaired, the world is raised from its fall, the head of the serpent is crushed, God Himself is more glorified by the fidelity of this second Virgin, than He had been outraged by the disobedience of the first. The consent of Mary exercises an immense influence in the saving of the world. It is true that the Word Himself is coming; ‘but,’ says St. Bernard, 'Mary is the way whereby He comes; it is from her virginal womb He issues, as the Bridegroom from the nuptial chamber. Let us endeavour, therefore, to go up to Jesus by Mary, for Jesus came down to us by ner. By thee, O blessed one that didst find grace, O parent of life, O mother of salvation, may we have access to thy Son! May He, who was given to us by thee, receive us by thee. May He admit thy purity, and, for its sake, forgive our impurities: may He give us the pardon of our pride, because of the pleasure He took in thy humility. May thy abundant charity cover the multitude of our sins. May thy glorious fruitfulness get us fruitfulness of merit. Our Lady! our mediatrix! our advocate I reconcile us to thy Son, commend us to thy Son, present us to thy Son. By the grace thou didst find, by the prerogative thou didst merit, by the Mercy thou didst bring forth, grant, O blessed Virgin! that Jesus, who deigned to become, through thy maternity, partaker of our weakness and misery, may, through thy intercession, make us partakers of His glory and bliss.’[1]


(Composed by Abelard; it is found in all the Roman-French missals)

Mittit ad Virginem
Non quemvis angelum:
Sed fortitudinem
Suum Archangelum,
Amator hominis.

Fortem expediat
Pro nobis nuncium,
Naturae faciat
Ut praejudicium
In partu Virginis.

Naturam superet
Natus Rex gloriæ:
Regnet et imperet,
Et zyma scoriæ
Tollat de medio.

Terat fastigia:
Colla sublimium
Calcet vi propria,
Potens in prælio.

Foras ejiciat
Mundanum principem;
Secumque faciat
Matrem participem
Patris imperii.

Exi qui mitteris,
Haec dona dissere:
Revela veteris
Velamen litterae,
Virtute nuncii.

Accede nuncia:
Dic: Ave, cominus.
Dic: Plena gratia:
Dic: Tecum Dominus:
Et dic: Ne timeas.

Virgo suscipias
Dei depositum,
In quo perficias
Casta propositum
Et votum teneas.

Audit et suscipit
Puella nuncium:
Credit et concipit
Et parit Filium,
Sed admirabilem,

Humani generis:
Deum et hominem
Et Patrem posteris,
In pace stabilem.

Cujus stabilitas
Nos reddat stabiles,
Ne nos labilitas
Humana labiles
Secum præcipitet,

Sed dator veniæ,
Concessa venia,
Per Matrem gratiæ
Obtenta gratia,
In nobis habitet.

Qui nobis tribuat
Peccati veniam:
Reatus deleat,
Donet et patriam
In arce siderum.

God, the lover of man,
sends to the Virgin
no less an angel than him
who is called God’s strength,
the Archangel Gabriel.

May this strong messenger
be speedily at his work;
may he stay the rights
and laws of nature
in the Virgin’s delivery.

May the King of glory,
when born, triumph over nature;
may he reign and command;
may he take away from the midst of men
all leaven and rust.

May he humble proud heads;
may this God,
mighty in war,
trample in his power
on the necks of the haughty.

May he cast forth
the prince of this world;
and make his Mother
share with him
the empire which his Father has given him.

Go forth, messenger of God,
announce these gifts;
lift up,
by the virtue of thy annunciation,
the veil of the ancient Scripture.

Approach, tell thy announcement:
Say, when thou art in her presence: ‘Hail!’
Say: ‘O full of grace !"
Say: ‘The Lord is with thee!’
And then: ‘Fear not!’

Receive, O Virgin,
the divine deposit;
by him fulfil
thy chaste purpose,
and keep thy vow.

The Maid hears
and accepts the announcement;
she believes and conceives,
and brings forth a Son,
but he is the admirable,

The counsellor
of mankind,
God and Man,
Father of the world to come,
the Prince of peace.

May his firmness
render us firm,
lest human frailty
should make us stumble
into the abyss.

But may the Giver of pardon,
granting us pardon
and grace, obtained
by the Mother of grace,
dwell within us.

May he that grants us
pardon of our sins,
wipe away all our guilt,
and give us the country
in the starry heaven.



Prayer from the Gallican Sacramentary
(Christmas Eve)

Emmanuel, nobiscum Deus, Christe Filius Dei, qui cum ex Virgine te nasciturum pronuntias, quia Mariam matrem creasti ut Dominus, de qua natus es Filius: da nobis ut, qui cum illa a te, vel per te creati sumus ex nihilo, simili, ut ea, credulitatis remuneremur et praemio.
O Emmanuel, God with us, Christ the Son of God, who didst announce that thou wouldst be born of a Virgin, and didst, as Lord, create Mary, the Mother whose Son thou art: grant us, that being, like her, created by thee out of nothing, we may be rewarded, like her, for our faith in thee.



[1] Second Sermon of Advent.





From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.

De Isaia Propheta.

. vi.

In anno, quo mortuus est rex Ozias, vidi Dominum sedentem super solium excelsum et elevatum: et ea quæ sub ipso erant, replebant templum. Seraphim stabant super illud: sex alæ uni, et sex alæ alteri: duabus velabant faciem ejus, et duabus velabant pedes ejus, et duabus volabant. Et clamabant alter ad alterum, et dicebant: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus exercituum: plena est omnis terra gloria ejus.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. vi.

In the year that king Ozias died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated: and his train filled the temple. Upon it stood the Seraphim: the one had six wings, and the other had six wings: with two they covered his face, and with two they covered his feet, and with two they flew. And they cried one to another and said: Holy, holy, holy the Lord God of hosts: all the earth is full of his glory.

Such is the glory of the Lord in the highest heavens: who could see it and live? But now, contemplate this same Lord upon our earth, during the days which have dawned upon us. The womb of a Virgin contains Him, whom heaven cannot contain. To angels His beauty is visible, but it dazzles them not; to men, it is not even visible. Not a single voice is heard saying unto Him those words of heaven: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts! The angels no longer say of Him: All the earth is full of His glory; for the earth is witness of His abasement, and an abasement so abject and low, that the inhabitants of the earth do not even know it. At first, there was but one who knew the divine secret: the Virgin Mother; after her, Elizabeth was admitted to know that her cousin was Mother of God; and then, after the most painful and humiliating suspicions, the great mystery was revealed by an angel to Joseph. So that only three on earth know that God has come down upon it! Thus humbly did He re-enter the world, after the sin of pride had driven Him out of it. O God of the ancient Covenant, how great Thou art! and who would not tremble before Thee? O God of the new Covenant, how little Thou hast made Thyself! who would not love Thee? Heal my pride, the source of all my sins! teach me to value what Thou didst so much value. By Thy Incarnation Thou dost a second time create the world; and in this second creation, more excellent than the first, Thou workest by silence, and Thy triumph is won by self-annihilation. I wish to humble myself after Thine example, and to profit by the lessons which a God came down so low to give me. Lay low all that is high and lifted up within me, O my Jesus, for this is one of the ends of Thy coming. I abandon myself to Thee as to my sovereign Master! do with me and in me what Thou wilt.

Hymn taken from the Anthology of the Greeks
(December 23)

Antefestalia cantica Christi nativitatis mentis alacritate præcanamus; ham qui Patri et Spiritui est æqualis, per misericordiam commiserans, massam indutus luti nasci debet in Bethlehem civitate; cujus nativitatem ineffabilem pastotes eum angelis hymnificabunt.

In cymbalis resonemus, in canticis alalagmum personemus. Christi manifestatur ostensio, prophetarum finem habuerunt præconia; quem enim inter mortales dixerunt appariturum nascitur in sancta spelunca, et in præsepio reclinatur ut infans.

Bethlehem præparare; Eden, aperire; omnis terra Juda, nunc adornare, lætentur cœli, exsultent homines: in præsepio vita, in spelunca dives, advenit per misericordiæ multitudinem paupertatem Adam restaurare, absque mutatione vel confusione.

Ad te de luce vigilo, qui per misericordiam teipsum pro homine lapso exinanisti sine mutatione, et servi formam ex Virgine tulisti, Verbum Dei, pacem da mihi, Philanthrope.

Stillent ex alto aquam nebulæ: qui nubes posuit descendit ipse adorandus in nebula Virgine, ut luceat ab eo lumen inocciduum his qui antea in tenebris periculisque erant.

O dulcissimum Puerum, quomodo nutriam te? Quomodo te apprehendam, qui omnia nutu tuo tenes? Quomodo te fasciis involvam, qui omnem terram involvis nebula? clamabat sancta Domina.

Sol, fili mi, quomodo recondam te fasciis? Quomodo retinebo te aui omnia contines? Quomodo te sine metu intueri potero, quem non audent contemplari qui multos habent oculos? aiebat Christum tenens nuptinescia.

Bethlehem, adesdum, praepara quæ ad partum pertinent. I, Joseph, inscribere cum Maria; venerandum præsepium, Deiferæ fasciæ; ubi Vita involuta mortis funes disrumpet, alligans immortalitati mortales, Christus Deus noster.
Let us sing, in gladness of heart, the canticles of the pre-vigil of the birth of Christ; for he, who is coequal with the Father and the Spirit, having, in his great compassion for our miseries, clothed himself with the leaven of our clay, is to be born in the city of Bethlehem; and shepherds with angels will hymn his ineffable birth.

Let us play loud on our cymbals, let us shout our songs of victory; Christ is to appear visibly; the predictions of the prophets are fulfilled; he, who they foretold would appear amongst mortals, is to be born in a holy cave, and to lie in a crib a little child.

Get thee ready, O Bethlehem! Eden, open thy gates! Land of Juda, put on thy best! Let the heavens be glad, let men exult! To enrich the poverty of Adam by the abundance of his mercy, Life is in that crib, the rich One is in that cave, yet the divine Nature suffers no change or confusion.

From the dawn of day I watch for thee, who, in mercy for fallen man, didst empty thyself, yet still remaining God, and didst take from a Virgin the form of a servant, O thou Word of God, O Lover of men! I beseech thee, give me peace.

Let the clouds drop down dew from on high. He who puts the clouds in the air, he the adorable God, has descended in a cloud, and that cloud is the Virgin: he has done this, that light everlasting may shine from him on those who heretofore were in darkness and peril.

O most sweet Child, how shall I feed thee? said the blessed Lady. How shall I take thee into my arms, thou that holdest all things in thy power? How shall I wrap thee in swathing bands, that coverest the whole earth with clouds?

My Babe, said the Virgin Mother of Christ, how shall I hide thee, bright Sun, in swaddling clothes? How shall I so imprison thee that holdest all things? Shall I be able to fix my gaze on thee, whom the many-eyed spirits dare not look upon?

Get ready, then, O Bethlehem, all that is needed for the birth. And thou, Joseph, go and be enrolled with Mary. O crib ever venerable! O ye bands that swathe our God, holding in your folds the Life that breaks the bands of death, and ties us mortals to immortality, Christ Jesus our God.

Prayer from the Mozarabic Missal
(In the Mass of the fifth Sunday of Advent)

In proximo quidem est, Domine, dies adventus tui: sed quæsumus ut, antequam venias, expiari mereamur ab omni contagione delicti. Prius dilue, rogamus, in nobis omne quod in illa futura examinatione puniturus es; ut cum justus adveneris judex, non in nobis invenias quod condemnes.
The day of thy coming, O Lord, is near, indeed, at hand; but before thou comest we beseech thee make us worthy to be purified from every contagion of sin. First remove from us, we entreat thee, whatsoever there is in us which thou wouldst have to punish in that future examination; that so, when thou comest as our just Judge, thou mayst find nought in us to condemn.





From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.

De Isaia Propheta.

. v.

Cantabo dilecto meo canticum patruelis mei vineæ suæ. Vinea facta est dilecto meo in cornu filio olei. Et sepivit eam, et lapides elegit ex illa, et plantavit eam electam, et aedificavit turrim in medio ejus et torcular exstruxit in ea: et exspectavit ut faceret uvas, et fecit labruscas. Nunc ergo habitatores Jerusalem, et viri Juda, judicate inter me et vineam meam. Quid est quod debui ultra facere vineæ meæ, et non feci ei? an quod exspectavi ut faceret uvas, et fecit labruscas? Et nunc ostendam vobis quid ego faciam vineæ meæ: auferam sepem ejus, et erit in direptionem; diruam maceriam ejus, et erit in conculcationem. Et ponam eam desertam: non putabitur, et non fodietur, et ascendent vepres et spinse, et nubibus mandabo ne pluant super eam imbrem. Vinea enim Domini exercituum domus Israel est, et vir Juda germen ejus delectabile: et exspectavi ut faceret judicium, et ecce iniquitas; et justitiam, et ecce clamor.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. v.

I will sing to my beloved the canticle of my cousin concerning his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a hill, in a fruitful place. And he fenced it in, and picked the stones out of it, and planted it with the choicest vines, and built a tower in the midst thereof, and set up a wine-press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and ye men of Juda, judge between me and my vineyard. What is there that I ought to do more to my vineyard, that I have not done to it? Was it that I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it hath brought forth wild grapes? And now I will show you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted; I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will make it desolate: and it shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged, but briars and thorns shall come up, and I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the man of Juda his pleasant plant; and I looked that he should do judgement, and behold iniquity; and do justice, and behold a cry.

We are awaiting the birth of a Child who is to appear seven hundred years after the time of Isaias; and this Child will be the world’s Saviour. Men will persecute Him, load Him with calumnies and injuries, and, but a few hours before they crucify Him, they shall hear this parable from His lips: ‘There was a man, a householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen: and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husbandmen laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants more than the former; and they aid to them in like manner. And last of all, he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son.’[1] See, Christians, this Son is coming to you. Will you reverence Him? Will you treat Him as the Son of God, with that honour and love which are due to Him? Take notice of the wickedness of men; it has a progress in malice. In the days of Isaias, the Jews despised the prophets; but the prophets, though sent by God, were only men. The Son of God came, and they would not acknowledge Him; a far greater crime, assuredly, than to stone the prophets. What, then, would be the crime of Christians, who not only acknowledge Him who is now coming to them, but are His members by Baptism, if they will not open their hearts to this Messias, whom the Father is sending into the vineyard? What punishment would not the ungrateful vine deserve, planted, as it has been, with so much love, should it persist in yielding nothing but bitter fruit? Ah, dear Jesus! let not this be: make us generous: make us produce abundant flower and fruit for the day of Thy coming, which is so near at hand.

(Taken from the Prophet Isaias)

Rorate, cœli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.

Ne irascaris, Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas sancti facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est, Jerusalem desolata est, domus sanctificationis nostræ et glorias tuæ, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Rorate, cœli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.

Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi; et iniquitates nostræ quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostræ.

Rorate, cœli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.

Vide, Domine, afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es. Emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae de petra deserti ad montem filiæ Sion, ut auferat ipse jugum captivitatis nostrae.

Rorate, cœli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua: quare moerore consumeris? quare comprehendit te dolor? Salvabo te; noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Rorate, cœli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity: behold the city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of our holiness and of thy glory, where our fathers praised thee.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away: thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

See, O Lord, the affliction of thy people, and send him whom thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that he himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come: why wilt thou waste away in sadness? why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.



(Fourth Sunday of Advent)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui per adventum unigeniti Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi nova luce radiare dignatus es, concede nobis, ut sicut eum per Virginis partum in forma nostri corporis meruimus habere participem, ita et in regno gratiæ ejus mereamur esse consortes, qui tecum vivit et regnat in sæcula saeculorum.

Almighty and everlasting God, who, by the coming of thine only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, didst deign to shine on us with a new light; grant unto us, that as we deserved to have him as our companion in the form of our body, by the birth the Virgin gave him; so also we may merit to be his companions in the kingdom of his grace: who liveth and reigneth with thee for ever and ever.





[1] St. Matt xxi. 33-37



From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.

De Isaia Propheta.

. iii.

Ecce enim dominator Dominus exercituum auferet a Jerusalem et a Juda validum et fortem, omne robur panis, et omne robur aquæ; fortem, et virum bellatorem, judicem, et prophetam, et ariolum, et senem: principem super quinquaginta, et honorabilem vultu, et consiliarium, et sapientem de architectis, et prudentem eloquii mystici. Et dabo pueros principes eorum; et effœminati dominabuntur eis. Ruit enim Jerusalem, et Judas concidit, quia lingua eorum et adinventiones eorum contra Dominum, ut provocarent oculos majestatis ejus. Agnitio vultus eorum respondit eis, et peccatum suum quasi Sodoma prædicaverunt, nec absconderunt. Væ animæ eorum, quoniam reddita sunt eis mala! Dicite justo quoniam bene, quoniam fructum adinventionum suarum comedet. Væ impio in malum! retributio enim manuum ejus fiet ei.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. iii.

For behold the sovereign the Lord of hosts shall take away from Jerusalem and from Juda the valiant and the strong, the whole strength of bread, and the whole strength of water; the strong man, and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the cunning man, and the ancient, the captain over fifty, and the honourable in countenance, and the counsellor, and the architect, and the skilful in eloquent speech. And I will give children to be their princes; and the effeminate shall rule over them. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Juda is fallen, because their tongue and their devices are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his majesty. The show of their countenance hath answered them, and they have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not hid it. Woe to their souls, for evils are rendered to them! Say to the just man that it is well, for he shall eat the fruit of his doings. Woe to the wicked unto evil! for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

Jerusalem is tending to her destruction; therefore she is losing all power, and, with the rest, the power of understanding. She no longer knows whither she is going, and she sees not the abyss into which she is plunging. Such are all those men, who never give a thought to the coming of the sovereign Judge; they are men of whom Moses said in his canticle: ‘They are a nation without counsel and without wisdom. O that they would be wise and would understand, and would provide for their last end!’ The Son of God comes now in the swaddling-clothes of a weak Babe, in the humility of a servant, and, to speak with the prophets, as the dew which falls softly drop by drop; but it will not always be so. This earth also, which now is the scene of our sins and our hardheartedness, will perish before the face of the angry Judge; and if we have made it the one object of our love, to what shall we then cling? ‘A sudden death which has happened in your presence,’ says St. John Chrysostom, ‘or an earthquake, or the bare threat of some dire calamity, terrifies and prostrates you: what then shall it be when the whole earth shall sink beneath your feet; when you shall see all nature in disorder; when you shall hear the sound of the last trumpet; when the sovereign Master of the universe shall appear before you in the fulness of His majesty? Perchance you have seen criminals dragged to punishment: did they not seem to die twenty times before they reached the place of execution, and before the executioner could lay his hands on them, fear had crushed out life?’ Oh! the terror of that last day! How is it that men can expose themselves to such misery, when, to avoid it, they have but to open their hearts to Him, who is now coming to them in gentlest love, asking them to give Him a place in their souls, and promising to shelter them from the wrath to come, if they will but receive Him! O Jesus, who can withstand Thy anger at the last day? Now Thou art our Brother, our Friend, a little Child who is to be born for us: we will therefore make covenant with Thee; so that, loving Thee now in Thy first coming, we may not fear Thee in the second. When Thou comest in that second one, bid Thy angels approach us, and say to us those thrilling words: ‘It is well!’

(Roman breviary, the Office of Matins)

Verbum supernum prodiens
E Patris æterni siuu,
Qui natus orbi subvenis,
Labente cursu tempers

Illumina nunc pectora,
Tuoque amore concrema,
Ut cor caduca deserens
Cœli voluptas impleat.

Ut cum tribunal Judicis
Damnabit igni noxios,
Et vox amica debitum
Vocabit ad cœlum pios,

Non esca flammarum nigros
Volvamur inter turbines;
Vultu Dei sed compotes
Cœli fruamur gaudiis.

Patri, simulque Filio,
Tibique, sancte Spiritus,
Sicut fuit sit jugiter
Sæclum per omne gloria.

O sovereign Word, begotten
of the bosom of the eternal Father,
yet born in the fleeting course of time,
thou bringest succour to the world.

Enlighten now our hearts,
and inflame them with thy love,
that, being detached from earthly things,
they may be filled with the joys of heaven.

That when from his tribunal the Judge
shall condemn the wicked to the flames,
and lovingly call the good
to the heaven they have won,

We may not be hurled
into the dark pool of fire,
but, admitted to the vision of God,
may enjoy the bliss of heaven.

To the Father, and to the Son,
and to thee, O Holy Ghost,
may there ever be, as there ever hath been,
glory for ever and ever.



(In the Mass of the fourth Sunday of Advent, Illation)

Dignum et justum est, vere et nobis per omnia expedibile, tuam nos clementiam, omnipotens Pater, quibus possumus semper laudibus praedicare; qui bonitate nos mgenuitateque condidisti ac serpentis antiqui fraude decepti, gratuita miseratione a morte velis eripere: qui Filium tuum, quem pro nobis in carne missurus eras, ad terras venturum nasciturumque de Virgine longe antea praedixisti, ejus nativitatis adventum prætonantibus sanetis prænuntiasti; ut exspectatus diu qui fuerat repromissus, magnum mundo faceret gaudium in plenitudine temporum præsentatus. Unde petimus et rogamus ut qui plasma tuum, sicut vere pius et misericors, perire non passus es; sed per humilem adventum Filii tui Domini nostri, quod perierat revocasti; quod jam inventum et reparatum ac revocatum est, sic protegas, sic custodias, sic sanes, sic defendas, sio liberes: ut in illo adventu terribili quo iterato illos venturus est judicare, a quibus et pro quibus est judicatus, tales inveniat quos redemit, ut in æternum possideat quos pretio sui sanguinis acquisivit.
It is meet and just, and available to us in all things, that we always should extol, by all possible praises, thy clemency, O almighty Father, who didst create us in holiness and nobleness, and, when the fraud of the old serpent had seduced us, didst in pure mercy deliver us from death. Thou didst foretell, in past ages, that the Son, whom thou wast to send in the flesh for us, would come on this earth and would be born of a Virgin, and by thy holy prophets didst foretell the advent of his birth; and this to the end that he who had been promised, having been long expected, might give great joy to the world when he should come in the fulness of time. Wherefore we pray and beseech thee, that thou, who didst not suffer thy creature to perish, because thou art truly compassionate and merciful, but didst restore what was lost by the humble coming of thy Son, wouldst now so protect, so keep, so heal, so defend, so free, what thou hast found and repaired and restored, that in that dread coming, whereby thy Son shall come a second time to judge those by whom and for whom he himself was judged, he may so find the creatures that he has redeemed, that he may eternally possess those whom he purchased with the price of his Blood.






From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.

De Isaia Propheta.

. ii.

Verbum, quod vidit Isaias filius Amos, super Juda et Jerusalem. Et erit in novissimis diebus praeparatus mons domus Domini in vertice montium, et elevabitur super colles: et fluent ad eum omnes Gentes. Et ibunt populi multi, et dicent: Venite, et ascendamus ad montem Domini et ad domum Dei Jacob: et docebit nos vias suas: et ambulabimus in semitis ejus, quia de Sion exibit lex, et verbum Domini de Jerusalem.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. ii.

The word that Isaias the son of Amos saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem. And in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will teach us his ways: and we will walk in his paths, for the law shall come forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

How the Church loves to hear and say these grand words of the prophet: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord! She repeats them in the Lauds of every feria in Advent; and her children bless the Lord, who, that we might have no difficulty in finding Him, has made Himself like to a high mountain; high, indeed, yet can we all ascend it. It is true that, at first, this mountain is, as we learn from another prophet, a small stone which is scarcely perceptible, and this to show the humility of the Messias at His birth; but it soon becomes great, and all people see it, and are invited to dwell on its fertile slopes, yea, to go up to its very summit, bright with the rays of the Sun of justice. It is thus, O Jesus, that Thou callest us all, and that Thou approachest towards all, and the greatness and sublimity of Thy mysteries are put within the reach of our littleness. We desire to join, without delay, that happy multitude of people which is journeying on towards Thee; we are already with them; we are resolved to fix our tent under Thy shadow, O Mountain ever blessed! There shelter us, and let us be out of reach of the noise of the world beneath us. Suffer us to go so far up, that we may lose all sight of that same world’s vanities. May we never forget those paths which lead even to the blissful summit, where the mountain, the figure, disappears, and the soul finds herself face to face with Him, whose vision eternally keeps the angels in rapture, and whose delight is to be with the children of men![1]

(Composed in the ninth century, and taken from the hymnarium of B. Joseph-Maria Tommasi)

Sol, astra, terra, æquora, Adventum Dei altissimi, Prolem excelsi germinis, Dives et inops concrepent:

Olim promissum patribus Partum puellæ inclytum, Natum ante luciferum,

Dei potentis Filium.

Venturum Regora gloriæ, Deum regnare regibus;

Hostem calcare improbum, Mundum sanare languidum.

Lætentur simul angeli, Omnes exsultent populi: Excelsus venit humilis, Salvare quod perierat.

Deus et homo oritur, Sanctaque regnat Trinitas; Coævus Patri Filius,

Terris descendit Dominus.

Clament prophetæ et prophetent:

Emmanuel jam prope est; Mutorum linguæ jam sonent, Claudi in occursum pergite.

Agnus et fera bestia Simul manducent paleas: Agnoscat bos et asinus Jacentem in præsepio.

Signum regale emicans Sacrum praecedit verticem; Regali nato nobili,

Reges parate munera.

O quam beatum nuntium Virgo Maria audiit! Credendo mater foeta fit,

Et virgo virum nesciit.

Omnes gentes et insulæ, Magnum triumphum plaudite,

Cursu cervorum currite:

Redemptor ecce jam venit.

Discant caecorum oculi, Clauso sedentes lumine, Noctis tenebras solvero, Lumen verum percipere.

Gens Galilæa et Græcia Credat, Persa et India: Dignando Deus homo fit, Et Verbum cum Patre manet.

Laus, honor, virtus, gloria, Deo Patri, et Filio,

Una cum sancto Spiritu,

In sempiterna sæcula.

May the sun, and stars, and land, and sea, sound forth the coming of the most high God: may the rich and poor unite their songs of praise to the Son of the supreme Creator!

He is the Saviour promised to our fathers; the glorious offspring of a Virgin:

the Son of the mighty God born of him before the morning star.

He is the King of glory, and is coming to rule as God over kings,

trample our wicked enemy beneath his feet, and heal this sick world of ours.

Let the angels rejoice, let all nations exult; he that is high is coming in lowliness to save what had been lost.
A God-Man is born, and the holy Trinity reigns; the Son co-eternal with the Father,

our Lord, descends upon our earth.

Let the prophets cry out, and prophesy:

Emmanuel is nigh unto us. Let the tongues of the dumb speak, and ye, poor lame ones, run to meet him.
Let the lamb and the wild beast feed with each other: let the ox and the ass know him that lies in the manger.
The royal glittering standard ushers in our divine Chief:

ye kings prepare your gifts for the nome and royal Babe.

O the blessed message sent to the Virgin Mary! By believing she conceives; she is a Mother,

and a Virgin knowing not man.

All ye nations and islands applaud this grand triumph.

Run swiftly as the stag,

lo! the Redeemer is coming.

Let the eyes of the blind, who have been sitting in darkness, now learn to throw off the murky night, and open to the true light.

Let Galilee, and Greece, and Persia, and India, receive the faith: a God deigns to become man, and remains the Word with the Father.

Praise, honour, power, glory, be to God the Father, and to the Son,

together with the Holy Ghost,

for eternal ages.



(In Adventu Domini, Contestatio)

Deus, cui proprium est ac singulare, quod bonus es, et nulla unquam a te es commutatione diversus; propitiare supplicationibus nostris; et Ecclesiæ tuæ misericordiam tuam, quam confitemur, ostende, manifestans plebi tuæ Unigeniti tui mirabile Sacramentum: ut universitate nationum perficiatur, quod per Verbi tui Evangelium promisisti; et habeat plenitudo adoptionis, quod praetulit testificatio veritatis. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
O God, whose nature and property is goodness, and with whom there is no change, be propitious to our prayers, and show to thy Church that mercy of thine which we confess; show to thy people the wonderful mystery of thy only-begotten Son; that thus, what thou hast promised by the Gospel of thy Word, may be fulfilled by all nations coming to the faith, and the testimony of truth may be verified by the completion of adoption. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


[1]Prov. viii. 31.