Christmas Day - Second Mass at Dawn
In the liturgy at this mass we are made to greet with joy the "Holy King who comes" (Communion), "the Lord who is born to us " (Introit), "the Infant lying in the manger " (Gospel). We are told that "He who was born Man" on this day shines forth also," in our eyes "as God" (Secret). For He is the "Word made Flesh" (Collect), "He is called God" (Introit), and He exists "from everlasting" (Offertory).
If, truly, He is come it is to save us (Epistle and Communion) and to make us "heirs of life everlasting" (Epistle), which we shall possess in heaven when this "Prince of Peace" shall return at the end of the world "clothed with strength" (Introit, Alleluia). Thus it is, that "the King of heaven who has condescended to be born for us of a virgin in order to recall man to the heavenly Kingdom from which he had fallen" (1st resp.) "will reign without end " (Introit) over men of good-will (Gloria) whom, in His first coming they welcomed with faith and love. The purpose of the Christmas celebrations is to prepare us for the second coming, justifying us by the grace of Christ Jesus (Epistle), overcoming the old man in us (Postcommunion), making us partakers of the divine nature (Secret) and helping us to show forth in our actions that which by faith shineth in our minds" (Collect).
Let us make haste to go with the shepherds to whom almighty God showed forth the Incarnation of His Son (Gospel), to adore at the altar, our manger, the Word born from all eternity of His heavenly Father, born of Mary upon earth, and who should be born more and more by grace in our hearts, while we await the time when He will cause us to be born into His glorious life in heaven.
Lux fulgebit hodie super nos: quia natus est nobis Dominus: et vocabitur Admirabilis, Deus, Princeps pacis, Pater futuri saeculi: cujus regni non erit finis. * Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est: indutus est Dominus fortitudinem, et praecinxit se.
A light shall shine upon us this day: for the Lord is born to us: and He shall be called Wonderful, God, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come: of whose reign there shall be no end. * The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself.
(Isaias 9:2 and Ps. 92:1 from the Introit of Mass)