Wednesday in Ember Week of Advent
Rorate coeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum!
The four seasons of the year begin with liturgical periods known as Ember weeks. The Ember Days are three fast days - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - intended to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare those who are to be ordained on the Saturday.
Roráte, coelí, désuper et nubes pluant justum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem. * Coeli enárrant glóriam Dei: et ópera mánuum ejus annúntiat firmaméntum.
Drop down dew, ye Heavens, from above and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour. * The Heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.
(Isaias 45:8 and Psalm 18:2 from the Introit of Mass)
Praesta, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut redemptiónis nostrae ventúra solémnitas, et praeséntis nobis vitae subsídia cónferat, et aetérnae beatitúdinis praemia largiátur.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the coming solemnity of our redemption may both bring us help for our present life and bestow on us the rewards of everlasting blessedness.
Festina, quaesumus, Dómine, ne tardáveris, et auxílium nobis supérnae virtútis impénde: ut advéntus tui consolatiónibus sublevéntur, qui in tua pietáte confídunt:
Hasten, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and delay not; and bestow upon us the help of Thy heavenly power, that they who trust in Thy goodness may be helped by the consolations of Thy coming.
Deus, qui de beátae Maríae Vírginis útero Verbum tuum, Angelo nuntiánte, carnem suscípere voluísti: praesta supplícibus tuis; ut, qui vere eam Genitrícem Dei crédimus, ejus apud te intercessiónibus adjuvémur.
O God, Who didst will that at the message of an angel Thy word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.
The Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke.
At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel, being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. Who, having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel, answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.
Catholic Encyclopedia on Ember Days: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05399b.htm