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sábado, 10 de dezembro de 2011

dom Guéranger, ON HEARING MASS DURING THE TIME OF ADVENT

  With what gratitude ought they to assist at that divine sacrifice, for which the world had been longing for four thousand years! God has granted them to be born after the fulfilment of that stupendous and merciful oblation, and would not put them in the generations of men who died before they could partake of its reality and its riches!


ADVENT

I. THE HISTORY OF ADVENT
II. THE MYSTERY OF ADVENT
III. PRACTICE DURING ADVENT
IV. MORNING AND NIGHT PRAYERS FOR ADVENT
V. ON HEARING MASS DURING ADVENT
VI. ON HOLY COMMUNION DURING ADVENT
VII. ON THE OFFICE OF VESPERS DURING ADVENT
VIII. ON THE OFFICE OF COMPLINE DURING ADVENT

CHAPTER THE FIFTH
ON HEARING MASS DURING THE TIME OF ADVENT


There is no exercise which is more pleasing to God, or more meritorious, or which has greater influence in infusing solid piety into the soul, than the assisting at the holy sacrifice of the Mass. If this be true at all the various seasons of the Christian year, it is so, in a very special manner, during the holy time of Advent. The faithful, therefore, should make every effort in order to enjoy this precious blessing, even on those days when they are not obliged to it by the precept of the Church.
With what gratitude ought they to assist at that divine sacrifice, for which the world had been longing for four thousand years! God has granted them to be born after the fulfilment of that stupendous and merciful oblation, and would not put them in the generations of men who died before they could partake of its reality and its riches! This notwithstanding, they must earnestly unite with the Church in praying for the coming of the Redeemer, so to pay their share of that great debt which God has put upon all, whether living before or after the fulfilment of the mystery of the Incarnation. Let them think of this in assisting at the holy sacrifice.
Let them also remember that this great sacrifice, which perpetuates on this earth even to the end of time, though in an unbloody manner, the real oblation of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, has this for its express aim: to prepare the souls of the faithful for the mysterious coming of God, who redeemed our souls only that He might take possession of them. It not only prepares, it even effects this glorious advent.
Let them, in the third place, lovingly profit by the presence of, and intimacy with, Jesus, to which this hidden yet saving mystery admits them; that so, when He comes in that other way, whereby He will judge the world in terrible majesty, He may recognize them as His friends, and even then, when mercy shall give place to justice, again save them.
We shall now endeavour to embody these sentiments in our explanation of the mysteries of the holy Mass, and initiate the faithful into these divine secrets; not, indeed, by indiscreetly presuming to translate the sacred formulae, but by suggesting such acts, as will enable those who hear Mass to enter into the ceremonies and sentiments of the Church and of the priest.
The faithful, in assisting at Mass during Advent, should first know whether it is going to be said according to the Advent rite, or in honour of the blessed Virgin, or of a saint, or, finally, for the dead. The colour of the vestments worn by the priest will tell them all this. Purple is used, if the Mass be of Advent; white or red, if of our Lady or the saints; and black, if for the dead. If the priest be vested in purple, the faithful must excite within themselves the spirit of penance which the Church would signify by this colour. They should do the same, no matter what may be the colour of the vestments; for in every Mass during Advent, with the exception of Masses for the dead, the priest is obliged, even on the greatest feasts, to make a commemoration of Advent three separate times, and thus to make use of the same expressions of repentance and sorrow as he would in a Mass proper to the time of Advent.
On the Sundays, if the Mass at which they assist be the parochial, or, as it is often called, the public Mass, two solemn rites precede it, which are full of instruction and blessing: the Asperges, or sprinkling of the holy water, and the procession.
During the Asperges, let them ask for that purity of heart, which is necessary for having a share in the twofold coming of Jesus Christ; and in receiving the holy water, the sprinkling of which prepares us
assisting worthily at the great sacrifice, wherein is poured forth, not a figurative water, but the very Blood of the Lamb, they should think of that baptism of water, by means of which St. John the Baptist prepared the Jews for that other Baptism, which the power and mercy of the Redeemer were afterwards to give to mankind.