Traditional Mass

Thursday, December 18, 2014




Today is one of the most inspiring days preceding Christmas! It is the feast of "Our Lady of Expectation," mostly unknown to many in these modern times, but still kept alive in many countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland as well as in a few religious orders. In older editions of missals, this feast is still listed as a votive Mass.

The feast is celebrated on the 18th of December, a week before Christmas Day. Our Blessed Lady, well advanced in pregnancy, is portrayed in the highest dignity of her Divine Motherhood. Dressed in royal apparel as daughter of David the King, she awaits with joy the arrival of her divine Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Her whole posture suggests how she remains wholly consumed in contemplation of her Son under her heart. Her immaculate womb has become a living portable sanctuary of divinity. There are special prayers and novenas to "Our Lady of Expectation" available for women who cannot conceive or bear a child.

The votive Mass of "Our Lady of Expectation" is theologically enlightening and spiritually enriching for the time of Advent and Christmas. With the entrance antiphon, the Church prays with the prophet for the coming of the Just One from heaven that the earth may be ready to welcome the Savior: "Send victory like a dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the just. Let the earth open for salvation to spring up" (Is 45:8). In the opening prayer, the Church offers the prayer to God through Mary's intercession: "O God who wished that your Word would take the flesh from the womb of the Virgin as announced by the Angel and whom we confess to be the true Mother of God, may we be helped by her intercession."

This wonderful feast also reminds us that it has been almost nine months since the Annunciation/Incarnation (March 25) and that Jesus developed in Mary's womb just like we did in our mother's womb. Think of all the millions of babies who never make it through the nine months because their mothers have aborted them. May God, through the intercession of the Expectant Mother Mary, take their souls into His Kingdom.

INTROIT Isa. 45:8
Drop down dew, you heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just one. Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.
Ps. 18:2. The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Who didst will that at the message of an angel Thy word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, 
world without end.

Let us pray.
Lend Your ear to our prayers, O Lord, we beseech You; and brighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Your coming.
Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
R. Amen

Lesson from the letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Philippians
Phil 4:4-7
Brethren: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in every prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

Ps 79:2-3, 2.
From Your throne, O Lord, upon the Cherubim, rouse Your power, and come.
V. O Shepherd of Israel, hearken, O Guide of the flock of Joseph!

Continuation  of the Holy Gospel according to John
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
John 1:19-28
At that time, the Jews sent to John from Jerusalem priests and Levites to ask him, Who are you? And he acknowledged and did not deny; and he acknowledged, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No. They therefore said to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say of yourself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as said Isaias the prophet. And they who had been sent were from among the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, Why, then, do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet? John said to them in answer, I baptize with water; but in the midst of you there has stood One Whom you do not know. He it is Who is to come after me, Who has been set above me, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to loose. These things took place at Bethany, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Strengthen in our minds, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the mysteries of the true faith, that, confessing Him Who was conceived of the Virgin to be true God and true man, we may deserve, through the power of His saving resurrection, to attain everlasting joy. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.

We beseech You, O Lord, that the gift we dedicate to You, may be sacrificed continually, so that the sacramental rite You have ordained may be fully observed, and the work of Your salvation may be wonderfully effective within us.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

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. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God 
Forever and ever. 
R. Amen.

We entreat You, merciful Lord, that these divine helps may cleanse us from our sins and prepare us for the coming festal season.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Our Lady of Expectation: Pray for us!