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there will be on our Altar, where we now see mere bread and wine, the Body and Blood of this same Jesus, our Emmanuel.


Laetentur coeli et exsultet terra, ante faciem Domini, quoniam venit.

Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad, in the presence of the Lord, for that he is come.


Accepta tibi sit, Domine, Receive, O Lord, the offerquaesumus, hodiernae f esti- ings we make to thee, on this vitatis oblatio: ut, tua gra- present solemnity: that by tia largiente, per haec sacro- thy grace, through the intersancta commercia in illius course of these sacred mysinveniamur forma, in quo teriesj we may be conformable tecum est nostra substan- to Him, in whom our nature tia. Qui tecum vivit. is united to thine. Who liveth,


The Preface then gives expression to the thanksgiving of the people, and finishes with the triple Sanctus to the God of Sabaoth. At the Elevation, when, in the midst of the mysterious silence, your Saviour, the Incarnate Word, descends upon the Altar, you must see, with the eye of your faith, the Crib, and Jesus stretching out his hands to his Eternal Father, and looking upon you with extreme tenderness, and Mary adoring him with a Mother's love, and Joseph looking on and weeping with joy, and the holy Angels lost in amazement at the mystery. You must give your heart to the New-Born Babe, that he may fill it with what he wishes to see there; nay, beg of him to fill it with himself, and make himself its Master and its All.

After the Communion, the Church,—which has just been united to the Infant God by partaking of the sacred mysteries,—once more celebrates the Eternal Generation of that Divine Word, who was born from the Bosom of the Father before any creature existed, and who has appeared to the world, this Night, before the Day-Star has risen.


In the brightness of the In splendoribus SarictoSaints, from the womb, before rum,exutero ante luciferum the day-star, I begot thee. genui te.

The Church terminates this her first Sacrifice, by praying for the grace of indissoluble union with the Saviour, who is born to her.


Grant, we beseech thee, O Da nobis, quaesumus, Do

Lord our God, that we, who mine Deus noster, ut qui

celebrate with joy the Birth Nativitatem Domini nostri

of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Jesu Christi mysteriis nos

partaking several times of frequentare gaudeamus, dig

these sacred mysteries, may, nis conversationibus ad ejus

by a worthy conduct of life, mereamur pervenire consor

come to be united with him. tium. Qui tecum. Who liveth, &c.

The sacred Night is passing quickly on; and will soon bring us to the Second Mass, which is to sanctify the hour of day-break, or the Aurora. Every day in the year, the Church passes the hour before Sun-rise in prayer, for the rising of the Sun is a beautiful figure of the mystery of Jesus' coming to this earth, to give it light. This portion of the Divine Office is called Lauds, on account of its being wholly made up of praise and joy. On Christmas Day, however, she somewhat anticipates the usual hour, in order that she may begin, at the precise time of the Aurora, a more perfect and more divine Sacrifice of Praise—the Eucharistic Oblation, which satisfies all the obligations we owe to the Divine bounty.

The Office of Lauds is celebrated with the same


solemnity as that of Vespers; and altogether, the two Offices are much alike. Both of them tell us of the Divine Sun of Justice; Lauds celebrate his glorious rising, whilst Vespers—which are said at sun-set, when the shades of evening are beginning to fall upon the earth—remind us, how we must long for that eternal Day which shall have no night, and whose Lamp is the Lamb.1 Lauds are the morning, Vespers the evening, incense. The mysteries of the liturgical day, begin with the first, and end with the second.


t. Deus, in adjutorium meum intende.

1$. Domine ad adjuvandum me festina.

Gloria Patri, et Filio: et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Alleluia.

ft. Incline unto my aid, O God.

B. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

The first Psalm of Lauds shows us our Lord in his infinite power and majesty. His admirable Birth has renewed our earth. He is born in time; but he was before all time. The voice of the deep sea betokens marvellous power; the power of our Emmanuel is more wonderful far. Let us lead lives worthy of the holiness of his House, which he has come to throw open to us.

Ant. Quem vidistis pas- Ant. Whom have ye seen, tores? Dicite: annuntiate O Shepherds? Say, tell us,

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The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself.

For, this day, by his birth, he hath established the world, which shall not be moved.

Thy throne, 0 Divine Infant! is prepared from old: thou art from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord! the floods have lifted up their voice.

The floods have lifted up their waves, with the noise of many waters.

Wonderful are the surges of the sea: wonderful is the Lord on high.

Thy testimonies are become exceedingly credible: holiness becometh thy House, O Lord, which is thy Church, unto length of days.

Ant. Whom have ye seen, O Shepherds 1 Say, tell us, who is it has appeared on the earth?—We have seen the Child that is born, and choirs of Angels praising the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.

Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est: * indutus est Dominus fortitudinem et praecinxit se.

Etenim firmavit orbem terrae: * qui non commovebitur.

Parata sedes tua ex tunc: * a soeculo tu es.

Elevaverunt flumina, Domine: * elevaverunt flumina vocem suam.

Elevaverunt flumina fluctus suos: * a vocibus aquarum multarum.

Mirabiles elationes maris: * mirabilis in altis Dominus.

Testimonia tua credibilia facta sunt nimis: * domum tuam decet sanctitudo, Domine, in longitudinem dierum.

Ant. Quem vidistis pastores? Dicite: annuntiate nobis, in terris quis apparuit? Natum vidimus, et choros Angelorum collaudantes Dominum. Alleluia, alleluia.

The second Psalm is an invitation to all nations, that they enter into Bethlehem, that House of our Lord which is now filled with his sweet presence. He is the sovereign Pastor, and we are the Sheep of his pasture. Though he be the Mighty God, yet is

he most sweet and merciful; let us celebrate his coming with joy and gratitude.

Ant. Genuit puerpera Ant. The Mother has given

regem, cui nomen aeternum, birth to the King, whose name

et gaudia matris habens is eternal: she has both a

cum virginitatis honore, nec Mother's joy and a Virgin's

primary similem visa est, privilege: not one has ever

nec habere sequentem, been, or shall ever be, like

alleluia. her, alleluia.

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Jubilate Deo omnis terra:

* servite Domino in laetitia.

Introite in conspectu ejus:

* in exsultatione.

Scitote quoniam Dominus ipse est Deus: * ipse fecit nos, et non ipsi nos.

Populus ejus, et oves pair cuae ejus, introite portas ejus in confessione: * atria ejus in hymnis, confitemini illi.

Laudate nomen ejus, quoniam suavis est Dominus; in aeternum misericordia ejus: * et usque in generationem et generationem veritas ejus.

Ant. Genuit puerpera regem, cui nomen aeternum, et gaudia matris habens cum virginitatis honore, nec primam similem visa est, nec habere sequentem, alleluia.

Sing joyfully to God, all the earth! serve ye the Lord with gladness.

Come in before his presence, with exceeding great joy.

Know ye, that this Infant, the Lord, is God: he made us, and not we ourselves.

We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture; go ye into his gates, with praise: into his courts, with hymns, and give glory to him.

Praise ye his name, for the Lord is sweet; his mercy endureth for ever: and his truth to generation and generation.

Ant. The Mother has given birth to the King, whose name is eternal; she has both a Mother's joy and a Virgin's privilege: not one has ever been, or shall ever be, like her, alleluia.

The two following Psalms, which the Church unites into one, are the prayer of the faithful soul to her God, at dawn of day. From her first waking, she thirsts after the great God, her Creator and Redeemer. To-day we have this same God lying before

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