Wednesday, 19 December, 2007
Ember Wednesday in Advent (II)
Day of Fast (traditional).
“On the Wednesday of Ember week in Advent, the Mystery of the Annunciation is commemorated by many Churches. The Mass is sung early in the morning. That Mass is sometimes called the Golden Mass, Rorate Mass, or Messias Mass. On that occasion the Church is lit up, as a token that the world was still in darkness when the Light of the world appeared. The Mass is called the Golden Mass possibly because in the Middle Ages the whole of the Mass or at least the initial letters were written in gold, or on account of the golden magnificence of the solemnity, or more probably on account of the special, great, ‘golden’ grace which, at that time, is obtained by the numerous prayers. It is called Rorate Mass after the first words of the Introit of the Mass: Rorate Caeli (‘Drop down dew, ye heavens’); and Messias Mass because the Church, like Our lady, expresses on that day her longing for the arrival of the Messias.”
Collect: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the coming solemnity of our redemption may both confer upon us assistance in this present life and bestow the rewards of everlasting blessedness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Lesson: From the Prophet Isaias, 2:2-5.
Second Collect: Hasten, we beseech Thee, O Lord, tarry not: and grant us the help of Thy heavenly power, that they who trust in Thy loving kindness may also be relieved by the consolations of Thy coming: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Lesson: From the Prophet Isaias, 7:10-15
Gospel: Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 1:26-38.