WDTPRS – COLLECT 2nd Mass of Christmas (1962MR)

Originally, the second Mass of Christmas went together with Lauds.  The antiphons of Lauds form a kind of call and response, or question and answer cant about the experience of the shepherds coming to find the Christ Child.  Sometimes the Second Mass of Christmas is nicknamed the "Mass of the Shepherds" and we call it by the name of the Introit as well.  Lux fulgebit (Isaiah 9 with Ps 92).

Da nobis, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus:
ut, qui nova incarnati Verbi tui luce perfundimur;
hoc in nostro resplendeat opere,
quod per fidem fulget in mente.

This is an ancient prayer, found in manuscripts of the Gregorian Sacramentary, such as the Hadrianum and  Paduense.  It survived the experts of Bugnini’s Consilium to live on in the same moment in the Novus Ordo.

Your Lewis & Short will enlighten you that perfundo is "to pour over, to wet, moisten, bedew, besprinkle".  But it comes to mean also, in a poetic sense and in post-Augustan prose, "of the sun’s beams or fire, to flood or fill".   Thus it also means "to imbue, inspire, fill with any thing", as with joy or with fear or with awe.

The theme of light plays through all the texts of this Mass, as it does, but in a different sense, in the Mass in Nocte, Dixit Dominus. Playing out through the Mass is the rising sun and the shepherd’s at the manger. 

Light in the morning shines through the Mass, as it does right at this moment of writing for me – the sun streaming into the window its low beams in the depths of winter as it rises far toward the south and late in the morning.  Remember also that in the Introit, though we have just a snippet of the Ps 92, we are supposed to remember from that single line the whole of the psalm.  Monks could do that.  Pious Jews could do that.  We should at least look up the psalms cited in the verses of the Antiphon and consider what the Church is saying to us by citing it.

Opus is certainly work or labor, but it goes a bit farther to embrace alse "action" or "business" in the wider sense of all we do outwardly.

We beseech You, Almighty God, grant to us
who are bathed in the new light of Your incarnate Word;
that this which gleams in the mind through faith,
may shine brightly in our action.

Note all the "light" words.

Briefly, there is a play between the inward and the outward.  Light can shine in our eyes and it is very visible.  But sacramental grace is "insensible", but its presence in us is known to others by our outward deeds. 

Latch into that word perfundimur, "we are bathed" in new light.  This sounds like baptism, in a sense.

Also, we ask God to illumine our faith.  In this life we walk in darkness.  We see through St. Paul’s glass, "darkly".  In heaven we will not have faith, but rather knowledge.  But there are those moments of realization, when we have encountered mystery when we we have a transforming or illuminating experience which, as a consequence, changes us in ways that are discernible in our outward lives and inward peace.

Also, remember from all eternity the Word, the Logos, was the perfect invisible image of the invisible Father God.  In the incarnation he becomes the perfect visible image of the invisible God.  We are images of God.  In our words and deeds, that image should shine in us so that others may see it.

We ask for transforming graces.  But in receiving them, we can be a shining mirror, though still dark and cracked in places it is admitted, to reflect God’s light to others.

There is so much more to say about this oration, and all the others, but that’s what I have time for before I dash off.

Merry Christmas!

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14 Responses to WDTPRS – COLLECT 2nd Mass of Christmas (1962MR)

  1. Former Altar Boy says:

    Merry CHRIST Mass, Father, and thank you for saying “yes” to your vocation.

  2. Andrew says:

    Deo Gratias…

  3. Raphaela says:

    Yay! I FINALLY managed to check my RSS feeds at just the right time to catch a Mass announcement and get to the Z-Cam on time!

    There was no live sound, just the Radio Sabina soundtrack running throughout. Is that normal? Either way, the TLM is a mesmerising thing to witness and it was a lovely surprise to catch this one just as Christmas Day is winding down in my part of the world. Merry Christmas again, Father!

  4. Raphaela: I think the sound of Mass itself was available on the Ustream feed. I actually have two feeds right now, though that will be changing soon. Ustream is superior to the other one.

  5. Beth says:

    Fr. Z: There was sound on the Ustream feed but it was unintelligible.

  6. Jimmy Brunet says:

    Aww, I missed mass. Fr. Z, just a note of thanks and well wishes this Christmas Season. I am not one of your regulars, but have been downloading the podcazts and am beginning to learn to love Latin. I just ordered the Primer and hope to begin self teaching.
    I am in my 3rd of 5 years as a candidate for the permanent diaconate here in the Diocese of Houma/Thibodaux in Louisiana. Your love for the Word and full immersion into same is just amazing,

    Thank you very much,
    Jimmy in Houma

  7. Raphaela says:

    Thank you. Where can I find the Ustream feed? If there’s a link anywhere on your blog, I’m not seeing it. :S

  8. Beth says:

    Fr. Z: P.S. My last comment wasn’t meant to be a complaint, just an FYI. You won’t know what the sound is like unless someone says something. ;)

    The Mass was lovely. Thanks for that and everything else you do.

    Have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Fr Z:

    What can you tell us about the \”Kalenda\” Christmas Proclamation. I had never heard of this before. They sang it prior to the Oratorian\’s midnight Solemn High Mass at st. Vincent De Paul Church in Toronto last night.

  10. BlackFriar says:

    Getting back to the Collect:

    The proposed new ICEL translation recovers the reference to being “bathed” in light:

    Grant, we pray, almighty God,
    that as we are bathed in the new radience
    of your incarnate Word,
    our deds may shine with the light
    that illumines our mind through faith.
    Through our Lord …

    As a priest, I am very impatient for the approval of these collects. It means that at last I will be able to use them in my preaching without saying “Unfortunately, our English translation misses the point …”

  11. BlackFriar says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Regarding the “Christmas Proclamation”: it is actually the first part of the Martyrology reading for 25 December. The “Martyrology” is a book listing many of the saints whose anniversaries (or celebrations) occur on a particular day. It is read – or sung – mainly in monastic communities, usually on the morning of the previous day – so the Christmas proclamation would be sung in monasteries on the MORNING (after Prime in EF, at end of Lauds in OF) of 24th December. What you heard sung at St Peter’s is followed by a list of the saints for the day.

    The Martyrology was most recently revised and published in 2004. (Of course, it needs constant revision as new saints are canonised…) Here is the text from that edition for 25 December in my own translation, omitting the saints who are only mentioned in their own countries (they have an asterisk against their name in the Latin text…”

  12. BlackFriar says:

    CHRISTMAS PROCLAMATION, 2008 (unofficial translation)

    [Eight days before the Kalends of January, twenty-seventh day of the lunar month.]

    Innumerable ages having passed since the creation of the world,
    when in the beginning God created heaven and earth and formed mankind after his own image;
    many centuries after the flood, when the Most High placed his rainbow in the heavens as a sign of peace and of the covenant;
    twenty-one centuries after the going forth of Abraham, our father in faith, from Ur of the Chaldees;
    thirteen centuries from the exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, led by Moses;
    about one thousand years from the anointing of David as King;
    in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
    in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
    in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;
    in the forty-second year of the rule of Caesar Octavian Augustus;
    when the whole world was at peace:
    Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming,
    having been conceived of the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since His conception,
    having become Man,
    was born at Bethlehem in Judah of the Virgin Mary.

    Here all kneel. At a sign from the prior, all rise and the reader continues:

    The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

    The cantor may continue with the Martyrology for the day:

    [At Rome, the commemoration of Saint Anastasia, a martyr of Sirmium in Hungary.
    Also at Rome, in the cemetery of Apronianus on the Latin Way, the martyr, Saint Eugenia.
    Also at Rome on the Latin Way, the martyrs, Saints Basil and Jovinian.
    At Cracow in Poland, Saint Adalbert Adam Chmielowski, a religious, an outstanding artist, who devoted himself to the poor, striving to assist them in all ways, and who founded Congregations of Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis for the service of the poor.

    V. Precious in the eyes of the Lord
    R. Is the death of his faithful.]

  13. Roland de Chanson says:

    Beatissimam Nativitatem tibi Pater et omnibus legentibus exopto. Tertiae Missae in die adfui hodie, secundum ritum extraorinarium celebratae. Cantavit Latine schola «Sanctam noctem, placidam noctem,» «Panem angelicum,» et varios hymnos alios. In summa, Nativitatem magnopere idoneam apud nos fuisse constat. Later supra laterem!

    (I wish you, Father, and all readers a very Merry Christmas. I attended the Third Mass during the day today celebrated in the extraordinary form. The choir sang (in Latin) “Silent Night”, “Panis Angelicus,” and various other hymns. All things considered, everyone here thought it was a very satisfying Christmas. Brick by brick!)

  14. Roland de Chanson says:

    BTW, at the midnight Mass from St. Peter’s, the Pope pronounced the consecration of the wine with the words “pro multis” (as is to be expected.) I missed the narrator’s voice-over (Cardinal Egan?) but I am wondering whether he said “for all”. WDTPRS! I recall a few years ago hearing “per molti” not “per tutti” in an Italian Novus Ordo. Ceterum censeo Missam veram esse restituendam!