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Fourth Sunday of Advent (O Rising Dawn)

December 21, 2014


Blessed Sunday!

O Rising Dawn,
Splendor of eternal light
And Sun of justice
Come to give light to those sitting in darkness
And in the shadow of death

Revelation 22:16:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things concerning the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
(see also Isaiah 9:1, John 8:12 & 12:46, Psalm 19:6-7)

Today we get to celebrate the Golden Mass!
Once celebrated on Advent’s Ember Wednesday,
it now only comes around every third year,
on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle B.

This Mass celebrates the golden mystery of our faith:
the Incarnation,
when Heaven was first wedded to earth
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In medieval times, the first letters of this Mass were written in gold
–sometimes the entire Mass–
and golden vestments were worn.

This ancient liturgy was also the origin of the Angelus,
the prayer of the Annunciation prayed morning, noon and night:

The Angelus

V: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
R: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit
Hail Mary…

V: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
R: Be it done unto me according to Thy word
Hail Mary…

V: And the Word became flesh
R: And dwelt among us
Hail Mary…

V: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray: 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,
come to share in the glory of His resurrection.
Through this same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Note the similarity with the Collect from Mass)

Come, let us worship!

Entrance Antiphon:
Drop down dew from above, you heavens,
and let the clouds rain down the Just One;
let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior

Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord,
Your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may, by His Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

II Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 (God will establish David’s kingdom forever)
Psalm 89 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Romans 16:25-27 (Jesus is the mystery hidden for many ages, but now revealed to us)
+ Luke 1:26-38 (the Annunciation)

King David
had a heart
for the magnificent.
He yearned
to do great things
for God.

He overlooked
the greatest thing,
the privilege
God wanted:
to make something great
of him.

The virgin
had a clearer eye.
She laid her life
wide open
to the workmanship
of God.
Her soul
doth magnify
the Lord.

The glory of God
is man fully alive
-St. Irenaeus

Am I so focused on doing things for God that I neglect what He’s trying to do in me?
When all is said and done, what in my life will last?

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