Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saint Sylvester, Pope and Confessor

So far, the only ones we have seen standing round the Crib of our Jesus have been Martyrs: Stephen, overwhelmed with the shower of stones; John, the Martyr in heart, who survived his fiery torture; the Holy Innocents, massacred by the sword; Thomas, murdered in his Cathedral—these are the champions of Christ, who keep guard […]

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Sixth Day Within the Octave of Christmas

When the 30th of December does not fall on a Sunday, it is called “the Sixth Day within the Octave,” and the 3rd Mass of Christmas Day is repeated; excepting only the Epistle and Gospel, which are taken from the 2nd Mass.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

St. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr

Red Double Another Martyr comes in today to take his place round the Crib of our Jesus. He does not belong to the first ages of the church: his name is not written in the Books of the New Testament, like those of Stephen, John, and the Innocents of Bethlehem. Yet does he stand most […]

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Within the Octave of Christmas

White Double (When the 30th of December does not fall on a Sunday, it is called “the Sixth Day within the Octave,” and the 3rd Mass of Christmas Day is repeated; excepting only the Epistle and Gospel, which are taken from the 2nd Mass.) This is the only day within the Christmas Octave which is […]

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The Holy Innocents

Purple or Red Double of the Second Class The feast of the beloved Disciple is followed by that of the Holy Innocents. The Crib of Jesus—where we have already met and venerated the Prince of Martyrs and the Eagle of Patmos—has today standing round it a lovely choir of little Children, clad in snow-white robes, […]

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

White Double of the Second Class Nearest to Jesus’ Crib, after Stephen, stands John, the Apostle and Evangelist. It was only right that the first place should be assigned to him who so loved his God that he shed his blood in his service; for, as this God himself declares, greater love than this hath […]

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Saint Stephen, the First Martyr

Red Double of the Second Class St. Peter Damian thus begins his Sermon for this Feast: “We are holding in our arms the Son of the Virgin, and are honoring, with our caresses, this our Infant God. The holy Virgin has led us to the dear Crib. The most beautiful of the Daughters of men […]

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Morning—The Third Mass

White Double of the First Class Before Mass.—The merry-pealing Bells have wakened us up, echoing to us the sweet burden of our Matin-Song, and inviting us to come once more and adore our Jesus, and assist at the Mass of the Day, which we call the Third Mass: Christ is born unto us; come! let […]

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Second Mass—or, Mass of the Aurora

White Double of the First Class The Office of Lauds is finished: the Canticles of joy are ended, wherewith the Church thanks the Eternal Father for his having made to rise upon us the divine Sun of Justice. It is time to offer up the second Sacrifice, or, as it is called, the Mass of […]

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Midnight Mass

White Double of the First Class It is now time to offer the Great Sacrifice, and to call down our Emmanuel from heaven: He alone can fully pay the debt of gratitude which mankind owes to the Eternal Father. He will intercede for us on the Altar, as he did in his Crib. We will […]

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