Saturday, December 22 is Ember Saturday of Advent but also is a time to offer a Mass in honor of Mary's waiting for the Infant Jesus. It is called - Rorate Caeli Mass and was celebrated once upon a time in the Church. Now that the Traditional Latin Mass is being offered at many places - this Mass is making a come back. Check around your area and see if this Mass will be offered. Some churches have already offered this Mass this week.
The Rorate Caeli Mass is a traditional Advent devotion wherein the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Advent is offered just before dawn. The interplay of light and darkness speaks to the meaning of Advent and the coming of the Light of the world.
The Mass takes its title, Rorate Caeli, from the first words of the Introit, which are from Isaiah 45:8:“Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum, aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.” “Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior.”
The Rorate Mass is lit only by candlelight. Because it is a votive Mass in Mary’s honor, white vestments are worn instead of Advent violet. In the dimly lit setting, priests and faithful prepare to honor the Light of the world, Who is soon to be born, and offer praise to God for the gift of Our Lady. As the Mass proceeds and sunrise approaches, the church becomes progressively brighter, illumined by the sun as our Faith is illumined by Christ. The readings and prayers of the Mass foretell the prophecy of the Virgin who would bear a Son called Emmanuel, and call on all to raise the gates of their hearts and their societies to let Christ the King enter; asking for the grace to receive eternal life by the merits of the Incarnation and saving Resurrection of Our Lord.
If you missed it or it is not available - below is a link to watch this beautiful Mass and also the Hymn and Translation are below --- GOD BLESS!!!
Latin text in English RORATE CAELI
Refrain: Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One.
1. Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity: behold the city of the Holy One is become a desert: Sion is become a desert: Jerusalem is desolate: the house of thy sanctification and of thy glory, where our fathers praised thee.
2. We have sinned and are become as one that is unclean: and we have all fallen as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have carried us away: thou hast hidden thy face from us, and hast crushed us in the hold of our iniquity.
3. Behold, O Lord, the affliction of thy people, and send forth Him Who is to come: send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth, from the Rock of the desert, to the mount of daughter Sion: that he may take away the yoke of our captivity. 4. Be comforted, be comforted, my people: thy salvation cometh quickly: why art thou consumed with grief: for sorrow hath estranged thee: I will save thee: fear not, for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!