First Sunday of Advent
#1
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
Taken from Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays throughout the Ecclesiastical Year, 1880

THE first Sunday in Advent is the first day of the Ecclesiastical Year, and the beginning of the holy season of Advent. The Church commences, on this day, to contemplate the coming of the Redeemer, and with the prophets to long for Him; during the entire season of Advent she unites her prayers with their sighs, in order to awaken in her children also the desire for the grace of the Redeemer; above all to move them to true penance for their sins, because these are the greatest obstacles in the path of that gracious Advent; therefore she prays at the

Introit of the day's Mass: To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show me, O Lord, Thy ways, and teach me Thy paths." (Ps.XXIV)
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH.
Raise up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come; that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance.

EPISTLE. (Rom. XIII. 11 — 14.) Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and strife; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Quote:What does St. Paul teach us in this epistle?
After fully explaining the duties of a Christian life to the Romans who were converted mainly by St. Peter, he exhorts them to hesitate no longer to fulfill these duties, and he seeks to move their hearts by this time of grace, presented them by the Christian dispensation, and by the shortness of the time of grace.

What is meant here by sleep?

The stupidity and blindness of the soul that, forgetting her God, is sunk in a lukewarm, effeminate, slothful and lustful life, which, when it is gone, leaves nothing more than a dream.

Why does St. Paul say, “salvation is nearer”?

He wishes to impress upon the Romans that they now have far greater hope of salvation than when they first became Christians, and that they should secure it by a pious life, because death, and the moment on which depended their salvation, or eternal reward, was drawing near. "What is our life," says St. Chrysostom, "other than a course, a dangerous course to death, through death to immortality?"

What is the signification of day and night?

The night signifies the time before Christ, full of darkness, of infidelity, and of injustice; the day represents the present time, in which by the gospel Christ enlightens the whole world with the teachings of the true faith.

What are the "works of darkness"?

All sins, and especially those which are committed in the dark, to shun the eye of God and man.

What is the "armor of light"?

That faith, virtue and grace, the spiritual armor, with which we battle against our three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and in which armor we should walk honestly before all men. A Christian who in baptism has renounced the devil and all his pomps, must not live in vice, but must put on Christ Jesus, that is, must by the imitation of Christ's virtues adorn his soul, as it were, with a beautiful garment. This text (verse 13J moved St. Augustine to fly from all works of uncleanliness in which he had been involved, and to lead a pure life which he had before thought difficult.

ASPIRATION. Grant, O Lord, that we may rise by penance from the sleep of our sins, may walk in the light of Thy grace by the performance of good works, may put on Thee and adorn our souls with the imitation of Thy virtues. Amen.


GOSPEL. (Luke, XXI. 25—33.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves, men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon them. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And he spoke to them a similitude: See the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Quote:Why does the Church cause the gospel of the Last Judgment to be read on this day?
To move us to penance, and to induce us to prepare our souls for the coming of Christ, by placing the Last Judgment before our minds. Should not the thought of this terrible Judgment, when all good and all evil will be revealed, and accordingly be rewarded or punished in the presence of the whole world— should not this thought strengthen us in virtue!

What signs will precede the Last Judgment?

The sun will be obscured, the stars will lose their light and disappear in the firmament, (Isai. XIII. 10) lightning and flames will surround the earth, and wither up every thing; the powers of heaven will be moved, the elements brought to confusion ; the roaring of the sea with the howling of the winds, and the beating of the storms, will fill man with terror and dread. Such evil and distress will come upon the world, that man will wither away from fear, not knowing whither to turn. Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, the holy cross, the terror of the sinners who have scorned it, the consolation of the just who have loved it. (Matt. XXIV. 30.)

Why will all this come to pass?
Because as the people love the creatures of God so inordinately, more than the Creator, and use them only to His dishonor, He will destroy them in this terrible manner, arming all creatures for vengeance against His enemies, (Wisdom V. 8 — 24.) and showing by the manner of their destruction the evils which will fall upon all sinners, darkness of the sun will indicate the darkness of hell; the blood-red moon, the anger and wrath of God; the disappearance and falling of the stars, will represent the fall of sinners into the abyss of hell and their disappearance from earth; and the madness of the elements, will exhibit the rage of the beasts of hell. Sinners will then vainly, and too late repent that they have attached their hearts to things which will end so horribly, and that only increase their torments.

Why does Christ nevertheless command: “Lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand”?
These words are spoken to the just who as long as they live on earth are like prisoners and exiles, but who at the Last Judgment will be taken body and soul into their long desired fatherland, the kingdom of heaven: into the freedom of the children of God. These will have reason to raise their heads, now bowed in mourning, and to rejoice.

How will the Last Judgment commence?
By the command of God the angels will sound the trumpets, summoning men from all four parts of the earth to come to judgment. (I. Thess. IV. 15.) Then the bodies of the dead will unite with their souls, and be brought to the valley of Josaphat, and there placed, the just on the right, the wicked on the left. (Matt. XXV. 33.) Then will appear the devils as well as the angels; Christ Himself will be seen coming in a cloud, in such power and majesty that the sinners will be filled with terror. They will not dare to look at Him, and will cry to the mountains to fall upon them, and to the hills to cover them. (Luke XXIII. 30.)

How will the judgment be held?

The books of conscience, upon which all men are to be judged, and which closed with this Life, will be opened. All good and evil thoughts, words, deeds and motives, even the most secret, known only to God, will then be as plainly revealed to the whole world as if they were written on each one's forehead; by these each one will be judged, and be eternally rewarded, or eternally punished.

O God! If we must then give an account of every idle word, (Matt. XII.36.) how can we stand in the face of so many sinful words and actions!

Why will God hold a universal public judgment?
Although immediately after death, a special private judgment of each soul takes place, God has ordained a public and universal judgment for the following reasons: First, that it may be clearly shown to all how just has been His private judgment , and also that the body which has been the instrument of sin or of virtue may share in the soul's punishment or reward; secondly, that the justice which they could by no means obtain in this life, may be rendered before the whole world to the oppressed poor, and to persecuted innocence, and that the wicked who have abused the righteous, and yet have been considered honest and good, may be put to shame before all; thirdly, that the graces and means of salvation bestowed upon each, may be made known; fourthly, that the blessed providence of God which often permitted the righteous to suffer evil while the wicked prospered, may be vindicated, and it be shown on that day, that His acts are acts of the greatest wisdom; fifthly, that the wicked may learn the goodness of God, not for their comfort or benefit, but for their greater sorrow, that they may see how He rewards even the slightest work performed for His love and honor; finally, that Christ may be exalted before the wicked on earth as before the good in heaven, and that the truth of His words may solemnly be made manifest.

ASPIRATION. Just art Thou O God, and just are Thy judgments. Ah, penetrate my soul with holy fear of them, that I may be kept always in awe, and avoid sin. Would that I could say with the penitent St. Jerome: "Whether I, eat or drink, or whatever I do, I seem to hear the awful sound of the trumpet in my ears: 'Arise ye dead, and come to judgment'."
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#2
See HERE for Hymns of the First Sunday of Advent.

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Below is Fr. Hewko's 2019 Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent "They Have The Churches, We Have The Faith!"

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#3
First Sunday of Advent: Solicitude for Eternal Salvation
by Bishop Ehrler, 1891

"But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption is at hand" (Luke 21 : 28).

Our Lord, in the Gospel of this day, directs our attention to the end of the world and the Last Judgment. He speaks of the terrible signs which shall then appear in the heavens, when the light of the sun shall grow dim, the moon shall no longer give her light, the stars shall fall from the firmament, and the world shall be covered with more than Egyptian darkness; and of those other signs which shall then appear upon the earth--of the violent disturbance of the sea, of the distress of nations, and the withering away of men through fear. All these things warn us to enter upon the new Ecclesiastical Year with serious thoughts, and to profit by this season of grace for the advancement of our eternal interests. "When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand." "Brethren, now is the hour for us to rise from sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light (Rom. 13: 11-12)".

In the natural year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter follow each other in visible and endless succession; so, also, the ecclesiastical year revolves in a mysterious orbit, elevating and consecrating the various seasons by its graces and blessings. We are thus doubly warned and invited to sanctify ourselves and to travel onward to our heavenly goal. Yet, for vast numbers, these merciful dispensations of Providence are profitless. Time passes, the years, months, and days rush swiftly by, and there is no growth in virtue, no progress in holiness, to be discerned in their souls. How many years have you, my brethren, already spent without gaining any thing for eternal life! Far from increasing in merit, your sins and vices, perhaps, have rendered you utterly bankrupt in divine grace. Most justly, then, does the Apostle exhort us, today, "to cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light;" and, to the end that you profit by his warnings, and those of the present Gospel, I will explain to you that the care for your salvation is:

I. The most necessary;
II. The most sublime; and
III. The sweetest duty of our life.


I. The care of our soul is the most necessary duty of our life.

1. All the other cares which engross our attention, have reference to the perishable things of this earthly life. But can you name to me a care or a duty as pressing and important as that of our eternal salvation? All other cares are but transient, superficial, trivial; the care of our souls involves our deepest and holiest interests, the decision of our lot for all eternity. Before many years, this body of ours, the object of so much solicitude, which we feed and clothe so carefully, will return to dust. The goods and joys of life are as glittering dust, which will be swept away by the storm preceding the General Judgment, and which is of no value in the eyes of God and his Saints. The friends and relatives whose well-being is very near our heart, are little more than transient acquaintances whom we meet and part from at a wayside inn, bidding them farewell after a short greeting. "I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit." (Eccles. i: 14.) Our souls will not die nor decay. Their eternal happiness or misery depends on the care or carelessness we manifest in their regard. Is there then a greater necessity than to care for our immortal soul?

2. This affair cannot be neglected without incurring the greatest damage. Many evils may attend the neglect or careless conduct of our earthly affairs, but temporal calamities are rarely irremediable or utterly barren of good. There is scarcely any earthly calamity which can not either be repaired or soon forgotten. You may win back lost possessions, or gain still larger ones. Other and better friends may take the place of those whose loss you mourn; and the most delicate health may be restored. All temporal things may be given back to man, or he can console himself for their loss with the hope of higher possessions in the future. But if, through indifference, your soul is once lost, all is lost--And Lost Forever! Nothing can compensate you for this loss or misery. Not a single moment of the time wasted in any other occupation than in the care of our souls, will be given back to us a second time. He who has not saved his soul for everlasting life in the short span allotted to him, is cast out into exterior darkness. He is a branch cut off from the vine to be thrust into the fire. Like the foolish virgins, he stands without a nuptial chamber whose door shall never open to him. As in the case of the unprofitable servant, the talent buried by him, is delivered into the hand of another. Is there any other care on which such momentous interests depend?

3. This care admits of no delay and of no substitute. Time flies with lightning speed, and we should not waste a single hour of it. That which is put off, is already lost. What is neglected today, cannot be recovered tomorrow. There is no tomorrow, or the next day; there is only today and now. Neither can you employ a substitute in this matter. I, myself--you, yourselves--must care for the immortal soul God has given each one of us. Though you possessed along retinue of servants, though you claimed command over thousands, not one or all of that great army of subordinates could relieve you of this important duty. No friend, on earth or in heaven, can take your place in this momentous concern.

4. What does the Sacred Scripture say of this necessary care? "Martha, Martha! thou art careful, and art troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary (Luke 10: 41-42)." Martha is fulfilling the holy duties of hospitality to Christ himself, yet he says to her: "But one thing is necessary." "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Matt. 8 : 33)?" Alas! where are those who daily put the question to themselves: "What shall I do, that I may have life everlasting (Matt. 19 : 16)?"


II. The care of our soul is not only the most necessary, but also the most sublime business and duty of our life.

1. What is the value of the soul in the eyes of the world? In the judgment of the world, a soul is of little or no worth. Countless myriads of men go through life in poverty and want, covered with miserable rags. The world passes them contemptuously by. In great armies, they are led to battle, and a cannon-ball mows down whole ranks of them, as a scythe mows down the grass of the field. Millions, again, are bound in the chains of slavery, and are only prized, like animals, for their physical beauty or strength. Hundreds and thousands are employed in the unwholesome air of mills and factories, which slowly, but surely, poisons their lives, that others may live in ease and luxury, or that the capital of employers may be increased. My God! of what worth is a man in the eyes of the world? A valueless creature--he is made still more wretched by the ruin which sin brings on his soul. For a transitory pleasure, for the gratification of a sensual lust, some men are as ready to sell their souls to the devil, as Judas was to sell his Lord and Master for thirty pieces of silver.

2. But what is a human soul in the eyes of God? A jewel of such value that human reason cannot comprehend it.

(a.) From all eternity, the soul of man was the object of God's thoughts. He made her according to His own image and likeness; for which reason, she surpasses in beauty and dignity all visible things. He built the universe for her, to lead her, as a queen, into her own palace. All visible things are assigned to her service.

(b.) The Son of God left the glory of his Father, became man, and embraced a life of poverty and suffering for the sake of our soul. He shed his precious blood to cleanse her from sin. For her, he established His Church, and dwells day and night in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar, as an unceasing renewal of his love for her.

(c.) The Holy Ghost has consecrated the human soul as His temple, in order to make his abode in her with the Father and the Son. He has adorned her with the richest gifts of His grace; He descends into her in a sevenfold stream, enlightening her with the beams of His wisdom. He is her counsellor and her strength. He supports and protects the Church from error, so that she may continue her efficacy for the salvation of mankind to the end of time.

(d.) As if this were not enough, God, so to say, moves the heavens, that He may save our soul, His beloved bride, for whose protection he sends down the blessed spirits. He gives her the name of a saint, whom He appoints to watch over her as her patron; and, finally, He commits her to the care of a guardian angel. Could God do more in order to show us the value of our soul?

3. And what value does the devil set upon a human soul? He is willing to pay a big price for it; he is willing to give for her all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them.

4. And what do men think of the soul so highly prized by God and the evil one? Alas! how foolishly the great mass of men act! They live as if they had no souls. They exchange that priceless treasure for the perishable things of this world, for a handful of barley and a piece of bread, for a sinful enjoyment. They barter away the bride of heaven, entrusted to their care, for the gratification of a base passion.


III. The care of our soul, through the mercy of God, is, at the same time, both light and sweet.

Convinced as we are of the value of our soul, no sacrifice should be too great, no labor too hard, if it is for her salvation. But the Lord has made the care, for our soul, easy and sweet. "Come to me, all you that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you." "My yoke is sweet, and my burden is light (Matt. 11 : 28, 30)." He calls His service and the care for the salvation of our soul, a burden and a yoke, but He declares, as well, that joy and delight will be the portion of him who loves this burden, and carries this yoke cheerfully, unto the end.

1. What does the Lord require from us that we may save our soul?
(a.) A firm and living faith in His holy word, announced by His own divine lips, or by the mouth of His infallible Church. Is this a sacrifice too great and oppressive? Is not faith the light of life, and our strength in every difficulty and trial? Is it not our hope and consolation in the dark and bitter hour of death? Faith beautifies our life, and pours heavenly peace into our hearts. How miserable and wretched we should be if deprived of this light and balm! Must we not exclaim with St. Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6 : 69)."

(b.) God commands us to love Him with our whole heart, with our whole soul, and with all our strength. Is this difficult or impossible? Is He not the supreme Being, and the best of Fathers? Is He not the most amiable Being, worthy of all our affections? And are we not happy in His love ?

(c.) He commands us to keep the commandments. "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Matt. 19 : 17)." They are the foundation of our happiness, here and hereafter. And if some commandments involve a sacrifice, is not every sacrifice made for the love of God, the source of new joys?

2. Christ Himself has done the greater part of the work of our salvation. "I will come and heal him," said He to the Centurion who implored Him to speak only a word from a distance for the cure of his servant. "I myself will come and heal her," said the Son of God, when He was about to deliver our soul from sin and perdition. And He has healed her by fulfilling for us the entire law so that nothing more is left for us than to partake of His merits. "He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us all things (Rom. 8: 32)"? What there is yet left to be done, the Lord will help us to accomplish by giving us His grace; and fortified by that grace, we may exclaim with St. Paul: "I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me (Phil. 4: 13)."

3. Furthermore, our Lord has solemnly promised that He will give an eternal reward for every effort made through love of Him. "He that shall persevere to the end, He shall be saved (Matt 10: 22.)." "To him that overcometh, I will, give the hidden manna (Apoc. 2 : 17)." No labor done, no sacrifice made for God and the salvation of our soul, is vain or fruitless. "Our present tribulation which is momentary and light, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4: 17,18.)." What will men not do in hope of a reward? And how seldom is the promised reward worthy of the toil that purchases it! The sea hides in its bosom a mighty ruin of shipwrecked treasures; but the ocean of human life conceals in its depths still vaster wrecks of disappointed hopes and fruitless labors. Men never weary of launching their frail bark on the same treacherous sea; but no matter what loss or ruin may come to temporal things, God never deceives the hopes of man in the matter of his soul's salvation.

When Jacob had served Laban, his father-in-law, for a long time, he approached him and said: "Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how great thy possession hath been in my hands. It is reasonable, therefore, that I should now provide also for my own house (Gen. 30 : 29, 30)." Let this be the sentiment wherewith you enter into the New Year: "Many, many years have I served the world and sin. It is reasonable, that I should now provide also for my own house." Yes, it is time for us all to love God and care for our immortal soul. Amen.

Source
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#4
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
 from THE LITURGICAL YEAR
By the Rev. Dom Prosper Gueranger

This Sunday, the first of the ecclesiastical year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of the middle ages, Ad te levavi Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, Aspiciens a longe, from the first words of one of the responsories of Matins.

The Station * is at St. Mary Major’s. It is under the auspices of Mary – in the splendid basilica which possesses the crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, St. Mary’s ad Praesepe – that the Roman Church recommences, each year, the sacred cycle. It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of the divine birth, which is to gladden heaven and earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother. Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the prayers which are there being offered up: they are the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.

[* The Stations marked in the Roman missal for certain days in the year, were formerly processions, in which the whole clergy and people went to some given church, and there celebrated the Office and Mass. This usage, which dates from the earliest period of the Roman Church, and of which St. Gregory the Great was but the restorer, still exists, at least in a measure; for the Stations are still observed, though with less solemnity and concourse of people, on all the days specified in the missal.]

In the night Office, the Church commences the reading of the Book of Isaias, who, of all the Prophets, has the most distinctly and explicitly foretold the Messias; and she continues this same Book until Christmas day inclusively. Let us strive to enter into the teaching of the holy prophet, and let the eye of our faith affectionately recognize the promised Saviour in the descriptions, sometimes consoling and sometimes terrifying, under which Isaias depicts Him.

The first words of the Church, in the still midnight, are these:
Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus. Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

This first duty of adoration complied with, let us listen to the oracle of the prophet Isaias, delivered to us by the holy Church.

Incipit liber Isaiae Prophetae.
Cap. i
Visio Isaiae filii Amos, quam vidit super Judam et Jerusalem, in diebus Oziae, Joathan, Achaz, et Ezechiae regum Juda. Audite, coeli, et auribus percipe, terra; quoniam Dominus locutus est: Filios enutrivi et exaltavi: ipsi autem spreverunt me. Cognovit bos possessorem suum, et asinus praesepe Domini sui: Israel autem me non cognovit, et populus meus non intellexit. Vae genti peccatrici, populo gravi iniquitate, semini nequam, filiis sceleratis. Dereliquerunt Dominum, blasphemaverunt Sanctum Israel, abalienati sunt rotrorsum. Super quo percutiam vos ultra, addentes praevaricationem? Omne caput languidum, et omne cor moerens. A planta pedis usque ad verticem non est in eo sanitas: vulnus, et livor et plaga tumens, non est circumligata, nec curata medicamine, neque fota oleo. Beginning of the Book of the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. i.
The vision of Isaias, the son of Amos, which ho saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem, in the days of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda. Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood. Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children. They have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards. For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein; wounds, and bruises, and swelling sores; they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil.

These words of the holy prophet, or rather of God who speaks to us by the prophet, should make a deep impression on the children of the Church, at this opening of the holy period of Advent. Who could hear without trembling this voice of our Lord, who is despised and unknown even at the very time when He is coming to visit His people? Lest men should be terrified at the splendour of His majesty, He divested Himself of it; and far from acknowledging the divine power of Him who thus humbled Himself out of love to them, these men have refused even to know Him; and the crib where He lay after His birth, had, at first, but two dumb animals to honour or notice it. Do you feel, Christians, how just are the complaints which your God here makes? And how your indifference for all His love is an insult? He calls heaven and earth to witness; He utters anathema against the sinful nation, His ungrateful children. Let us honestly confess that we, too, have not known the value of our Jesus’ visit to us, and that we have but too faithfully imitated the obduracy of the Jews, who heeded not the bright light when it burst upon their darkness. In vain did the angels sing on that December night; in vain did shepherds receive and welcome the invitation to adore the Babe and know Him; in vain did the Magi come from the east, asking where they were to find the crib of the King that was born. At this last example, the city of Jerusalem was somewhat moved; but the astonishment was only for a moment, and the old indifference soon stifled the good tidings.

Thus it is, O Jesus, that Thou comest unto darkness, and darkness does not comprehend Thee. We beseech Thee, let our darkness comprehend the light, and desire it. The day will come when Thou wilt disperse the spiritual and voluntary darkness of men by the awful light of Thy justice. Thy glory, O sovereign Judge, will be magnificent on that day, and we love to think upon Thy having it: but during these days of our life on earth, deliver us from Thy wrath. We are one great wound from the sole of the foot unto the top of the head; Thou knowest not where to strike: be, then, a Saviour, O Jesus, in this coming, for which we are now preparing. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad: come, and raise up this head which shame and vile passions bow down to the earth. Come, and comfort this heart oppressed with sin and fear. We confess it, our wounds are deep and sore; come, thou good Samaritan, pour in Thy soothing oil and heal them.

The whole world is in expectation of its Redeemer; come, dear Jesus, show Thyself to it by granting it salvation. The Church, Thy bride, is now commencing another year, and her first word is to Thee, a word which she speaks in the anxious solicitude of a mother for the safety of her children; she cries out to Thee, saying: ‘Come!’ No, we will go no farther in our journey through the desert of this life without Thee, O Jesus! Time is passing quickly away from us; our day is perhaps far spent, and the shades of our life’s night are fast coming on; arise, O divine Sun of justice. Come! guide our steps and save us from eternal death.


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MASS

While the priest is approaching the altar, there to offer up the Holy Sacrifice, the Church opens her chants by this beautiful one, which so well expresses her confidence as the beloved bride of Jesus. Let us repeat it together with her, and let the heart be in harmony with our voice, for the Saviour comes to each of us in proportion to the earnestness of our longing for Him.

INTROIT

Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam; neque irrideant me inimici mei, etenim universi qui te exspectant non confundentur.
Ps. Vias tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Repeat: Ad te levavi. To thee have I lifted up my soul: in thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded.
Ps. Show, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Repeat: To thee.

After the Kyrie eleison, the priest embodies in the following prayers, called on that account the Collects, all the desires and petitions of the Church for this first Sunday:

COLLECT

Excita, quaesumus, Do mine, potentiam tuam et veni; ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, te mereamur protegente eripi, te liberante salvari. Qui vivis et regnas, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

Exert, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power and come; that by thy protection we may be freed from the imminent dangers of our sins, and be saved by thy mercy; who livest and reignest God, world without end.
R. Amen.

It is right that we should also beg, during this holy season, the all-powerful mediation of her who, at first, was the sole depositary of the great secret which was to give life to the world. Let us then say with the priest:

IN HONOUR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

Deus, qui de beatae Mariae Virginis utero, Verbum tuum, angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti; praesta supplicibus tuis, ut qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur.

O God, who wast pleased that thy Word, when the angel delivered his message, should take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary; give ear to our humble petitions, and grant that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her prayers.

To this is immediately added one of the following prayers:


AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH
Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Dominum.

Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of the Church: that, all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure liberty. Through, &c.

FOR THE POPE
Deus, omnium fidelium Pastor et Rector, famulum tuum N. quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.

O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in thy mercy, on thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that both by word and example, he may edify all those that are under his charge; and with the flock entrusted to him, arrive at length at eternal happiness. Through, &c.

EPISTLE
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos. Cap. xiii.
Fratres, scientes quia hora eat jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus. Nox praecessit, dies autem appropinquavit. Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis. Sicut in die honeste ambulemus: non in comessationibus et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus et impudicitiis, non in contentione et aemulatione: sed induimini Dominum Jesum Christum.


Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans.Ch. xiii.
Brethren, know that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Quote:The Saviour, then, who is coming to us is the clothing which we are to put on over our spiritual nakedness. Here let us admire the goodness of our God, who, remembering that man hid himself after his sin, because he was naked, vouchsafes Himself to become man’s clothing, and to cover with the robe of His Divinity the misery of human nature. Let us, therefore, be on the watch for the day and the hour when He will come to us, and take precautions against the drowsiness which comes of custom and self-indulgence. The light will soon appear; may its first rays be witness of our innocence, or at least of our repentance. If our Saviour is coming to put over our sins a covering which is to hide them for ever, the least that we, on our part, can do, is to retain no further affection for those sins, else it will be said of us that we refused our salvation. The last words of this Epistle are those which caught the eye of St. Augustine, when, after a long resistance to the grace which pressed him to give himself to God, he resolved to obey the voice which said to him: ‘Tolle lege; take and read.’ They decided his conversion; he immediately resolved to abandon the worldly life he had hitherto led, and to put on Christ Jesus. Let us begin this very day, and imitate this saint. Let us long for that dear and glorious clothing with which the mercy of our heavenly Father is so soon to cover us; and let us say with the Church these touching words, which we cannot repeat too often during this time of the year:

GRADUAL

Universi qui te exspectant, non confundentur, Domine.
V. Vias tuas, Domine, notas fac mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam: et salutare tuum da nobis. Alleluia.


None of them that wait on thee shall be confounded, O Lord.
V. Show, O Lord, thy ways to me: and teach me thy paths.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy: and grant us thy salvation. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. Cap. xxi.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Erunt signa in sole, et luna, et stellis; et in terris pressura gentium prae confusione sonitus maris et fluctuum: arescentibus hominibus prae timore et exspectatione, quae supervenient universo orbi: nam virtutes coelorum movebuntur; et tunc videbunt Filium hominis venientem in nube cum potestate magna et majestate. His autem fieri incipientibus, respicite et levate capita vestra; quoniam appropinquat redemptio vestra. Et dixit illis similitudinem: Videte ficulneam, et omnes arbores: cum producunt jam ex se fructum, scitis quoniam prope est aestas. Ita et vos cum videritis haec fieri, scitote quoniam prope est regnum Dei. Amen dico vobis: quia non praeteribit generatio haec, donec omnia fiant. Coelum et terra transibunt: verba autem mea non transibunt.


Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.Ch. xxi.
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea, and of the waves; men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world: for the powers of the heavens shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption is at hand. And he spoke to them a similitude: See the fig-tree and all the trees: when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away.

Quote:Thou art to come, then, O Jesus, in all the terror of the last judgement, and when men least expect Thee. In a few days Thou art coming to us to clothe our misery with the garment of Thy mercy; a garment of glory and immortality to us; but Thou art to come again on a future day, and in such dread majesty that men will wither away with fear. O my Saviour! condemn me not on that day of the world’s destruction. Visit me now in Thy love and mercy; I am resolved to prepare my soul. I desire that Thou shouldst come and be born within me, so that when the convulsions of nature warn me of Thy coming to judge me, I may lift up my head, as Thou biddest Thy faithful disciples do, who, when the rest of men shall tremble at the thunder of Thy judgement, will have confidence in Thee, because they have Thee in their hearts.

During the offering of the bread and wine, the Church, with her look steadfastly fixed on Him who is to come, keeps to her sweet canticle:
OFFERTORY

Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam; neque irrideant me inimici mei: etenim universi, qui te exspectant, non confundentur.


To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed; neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded.

After the oblation, she silently presents to God the petitions of all her children by the following prayers:

THE SECRETS
Haec sacra nos, Domine, potenti virtute mundatos, ad suum faciant puriores venire principium. Per Dominum.

Grant, O Lord, that these sacred mysteries may cleanse us by their powerful virtue, and bring us with greater purity to him, who was the author and institutor of them. Through, &c.

OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
In mentibus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, verae fidei sacramenta confirma; ut qui conceptum de Virgine Deum verum et hominem confitemur, per ejus salutiferae Resurrectionis potentiam, ad aeternam mereamur pervenire laetitiam.

Strengthen, we beseech thee, O Lord, in our souls the mysteries of the true faith: that we who confess him that was conceived of a Virgin, to be true God and true man, may, by the power of his saving Resurrection, deserve to come to eternal joys.

AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH
Protege nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes; ut divinis rebus inhaerentes, et corpore tibi famulemur et mente. Per Dominum.

Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries: that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind. Through, &c.

FOR THE POPE
Oblatis, quaesumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.

Be appeased, O Lord, with the offering we have made: and cease not to protect thy servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, &c.


After the Communion of the priest and people, the choir sings these beautiful words of David in praise of the sweetness of the divine Fruit, whom our earth is going to bring forth, and who has just given Himself, by anticipation, to His faithful servants. This earth, which is ours, and which, as the prophet Isaias says, opens and buds forth the Saviour, is the blessed Virgin Mary made fruitful by the dew of heaven.

COMMUNION
Dominus dabit benignitatem: et terra nostra dabit fructum suum.

The Lord will give his goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit.


Then follow the concluding prayers of thanksgiving.

POSTCOMMUNION
Suscipiamus, Domine, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: ut reparationis nostrae ventura solemnia congruis honoribus praecedamus. Per Dominum.

May we receive, O Lord, thy mercy in the midst of thy temple: that with due honour we may prepare for the approaching solemnity of our reparation. Through, &c.

OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde, ut qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per Passionem ejus et crucem ad Resurrectionis gloriam perducamur.

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, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.

AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH
Quaesumus, Domine Deus noster: ut quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis.

We beseech thee, O Lord our God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries.

FOR THE POPE
Haec nos, quaesumus Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege salvet semper et muniat. Per Dominum.

May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and defence to thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock committed to his charge. Through, &c.


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VESPERS

The psalms of the Sunday are given elsewhere.

The choir chants, with each psalm, one of the five following antiphons:

1. ANT. In illa die stillabunt montes dulcedinem, et colles fluent lac et mel, alleluia.
2. ANT. Jucundare filia Sion, et exsulta satis, filia Jerusalem, alleluia.
3. ANT. Ecce Dominus veniet, et omnes sancti ejus cum eo: et erit in die illa lux magna, alleluia.
4. ANT. Omnes sitientes, venite ad aquas: quaerite Dominum, dum inveniri potest, alleluia.
5. ANT. Ecce veniet Propheta magnus, et ipse renovabit Jerusalem, alleluia.


1. ANT. On that day the mountains shall drop sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk and honey, alleluia.
2. ANT. Be glad, O daughter of Sion: and rejoice exceedingly, O daughter of Jerusalem, alleluia.
3. ANT. Behold the Lord will come, and all his saints with him: and there shall be a great light on that day, alleluia.
4. ANT. O all you that thirst, come to the waters: seek the Lord, while he may be found, alleluia.
5. ANT. Behold the great Prophet will come, and he himself will renew Jerusalem, alleluia.

CAPITULUM

Fratres, hora est jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus.

Brethren, it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.

The hymn, Creator alme siderum, the verse Rorate and the canticle Magnificat, are given elsewhere.

ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT
Ne timeas, Maria; invenisti enim gratiam apud Dominum: ecce concipies, et paries Filium, alleluia.OREMUS
Excita, quaesumus, Domine, potentiam tuam et veni: ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, te mereamur protegente eripi, te liberante salvari. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.


Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with the Lord: behold thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a Son, alleluia.LET US PRAY
Exert, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power and come; that by thy protection we may be freed from the imminent dangers of our sins, and be saved by thy mercy. Who with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. R. Amen.

Source
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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