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Posted on Dec 4, 2013 |

Rorate Mass Dec. 14

Rorate Mass Dec. 14

Last year's candlelit rorate Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary at Old St. Mary's; photo by Ron Rack. For more photos see the link at the bottom of the story.

Last year’s candlelit rorate Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary at Old St. Mary’s; photo by Ron Rack. For more photos see the link at the bottom of the story.

Solemn Candlelit Latin Mass Greets Dawn

Old St. Mary’s Church in Over-the-Rhine (Cincinnati) invites all to a solemn rorate votive Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Dec. 14th at 6:45 am.

A German tradition, rorate (“row-RAH-tay”)  Masses are celebrated before dawn in candlelight. “As daylight approaches and surpasses the shadows of the candles, we anticipate the entrance of Christ, the Light of the World, into our darkened earth at Christmas,” says Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak, CPN.

The Mass gets its name from the first words of its introit (part of a psalm traditionally sung while the priest approaches the altar), “Rorate, caeli, desuper, at nubes pluant iustum” — “Drop down dew from above, O heavens, and let the clouds rain down righteousness.”

It is not a regular Mass with the readings of the day, but a Votive Mass — one given in honor of a saint or mystery of the faith that is not on the liturgical calendar for that day, often for the Virgin Mary.

The Mass will be celebrated in Latin and in the extraordinary form (the pre-1962 Mass). A spokesman for Old St. Mary’s says it is not necessary to be familiar with the extraordinary form or with Latin to participate in it through prayer, and that it is a rare opportunity for area Catholics to experience a part of their rich heritage.

For photos from last year’s Rorate Mass, click here.

For more events to enrich your spiritual life this Advent, click here.

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