This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent

Station at St. Peter's

"The Lord is now at hand, come let us adore him."

The First Coming: It is Mary who gives us Jesus: "Blessed art thou, Mary ... those things shall be accomplished in thee, which were spoken to thee by the Lord" (Antiphon at the Magnificat).

It is from Bethlehem that the King, the Ruler, shall go forth who is to bring peace to all the nations (2nd resp.) and who will deliver his people from the power of their enemies (4th resp.) In a special way our souls will share in this deliverance during the Christmas celebrations which mark the anniversary of the entrance into the world of Christ, the vanquisher of Satan. "Grant, we beseech Thee," the Church prays, "that the new birth of Thine only-begotten Son may set us free, whom the old bondage doth hold under the yoke of sin" (Third Mass, Christmas Day). In the same way that St. John the Baptist prepared the Jews for the coming of the Messias, so he prepares us for the union, closer every year, which our Lord forms with our souls at Christmas. "Make straight the way of the Lord," cried the forerunner of Christ. So let us make straight the way into our hearts, that our Saviour may enter and give us his graces of life and freedom.

The Second Coming. It is to our Lord's coming at the end of the world that St. Gregory alludes in his explanation of the Gospel: "John," he says, "the forerunner of the Redeemer, goes before our Lord in the spirit and power of Elias who will be the forerunner of Christ as Judge (9th lesson). So also in the Introit and Epistle, taken literally, the allusion is our Lord's coming for the Judgment. If we feel great joy at the approach of the Christmas feast, reminding us once more of the lowly Infant in the Manger, how much more should the thought of His Coming in all the splendour of His power and majesty fill us with a holy sense of triumph, since only then will our redemption be fully accomplished.

St. Paul writes to his Christians: "Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice ... The Lord is nigh." As on Mid-Lent Sunday, the priest may celebrate in rose-coloured vestments. [Permission for this practice, in use at Rome for the blessing of the Golden Rose on Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday, is granted to all priests who desire it for the celebration of Mass and office on that day; whence the custom has extended to Gaudete Sunday, or Mid-Advent, since on both days the Church sings of our deliverance by Christ from the bondage of sin.] Rose is a paler kind of violet; it expresses some relaxation in penance, owing to the joy of the heavenly Jerusalem into which our Lord will lead us when time shall be no more, "Rejoice, O Jerusalem, with great joy, for there shall come unto thee a Saviour" (2nd Antiphon of Vespers). Let us greatly desire this coming which the Apostle tells us is near. We should long with a holy impatience that it may quickly come to pass. "Stir up, O Lord, Thy might, and come to save us." (Alleluia). "Come, Lord, and tarry not." "Per adventum tuum, libera nos, Domine."

Ante me * non est formatus Deus, et post me non erit: quia mihi curvabitur omne genu, et confitebitur omnis lingua.
Before Me there was no God formed, and after Me there shall be none; for every knee shall be bowed to Me, and every tongue shall confess Me.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat on the Saturday: Isaias 43:10 and 45:24)

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. * Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every prayer let your petitions be made known to God. * O Lord thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. (Phil. 4:4–6 and Psalm 84:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Aurem tuam, quaesumus, Domino, precibus nostris accommoda: et mentis nostrae tenebras gratia tuae visitationis illustra.
Bend thine ear, O Lord, we beseech thee, to our prayers; and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation. (Collect) Where second and third collects are used, they are of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and either against the Persecutors of the Church or for the Pope.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Philippians 4:4-6)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny; and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him : What then? Art thou Elias? And he said : I am not. Art thou the Prophet ? And he answered : No. They said therefore unto him : Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said : I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him : Why then dost thou baptise, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet? John answered them, saying : I baptise with water : but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is He that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
(St John 1:19-23)

Antiphons from Second Vespers

1. The Lord will come, and will not tarry, and will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will manifest Himself to all the nations, alleluia.

2. Rejoice, O Jerusalem, with great joy, for there shall come unto thee a Saviour, alleluia.

3. I will give salvation in Sion, and my glory in Jerusalem, alleluia.

4. The mountains and all the hills shall be made low: and the crooked shall become straight and the rough ways plain : Come, O Lord, and do not tarry, alleluia.

5. Let us live justly and piously, looking for the blessed hope and the coming of the Lord.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on Gaudete Sunday:

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