Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Rorate Mass--Saturday in Kinkora, Ontario

The Introit or Entrance Antiphon in both the Extraordianry and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite on the Fourth Sunday of Advent is Rorate caeli de super et nubes pluant justum; Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the just, from Isaiah 45:8. But there is another time in Advent for this Introit and that is any Saturday in Advent when the priest may choose to celebrate a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary known as the Rorate Mass. As the world lays in darkness awaiting the dawn of the light of Christ so the Church is in darkness and lit only be candlelight. The Mass is celebrated before dawn and timed to end just before the sun arises in the dark winter morning sky in the northern hemisphere and symbolises the advent of Christ.

The history of the Rorate Mass is from Germany where so many of our Advent and Christmas customs come including the Advent Wreath and the Christmas Tree. Many of our liturgical practices have both a symbolic and practical history and application. We covered the symbolic and spiritual above--on the practical side, Saturday was a workday as any other. The Rorate Mass tended to be a little longer as it was usually celebrated with more solemnity and until the reforms of Pope Pius XII, Mass could not be celebrated in the evening (past noon). So, the Mass would begin before dawn so that it could end in time for the men to get to work on the farm or in the mills of Germany, thus the candlelight served a dual purpose.

This Saturday, December 15, 2010 at 5:30AM Vox Cantoris will be present to chant in Kinkora, Ontario at St. Patrick's Church where Father Paul Nicholson will celebrate this special liturgy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. God bless you on that day and would you please say hello to Father Paul Nicholson, wishing him a blessed final Sunday in Advent from me, Owen in Windsor.