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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.

OFFERTORY.

Lætentur coeli et exsultet Let the heavens rejoice, and terra, ante faciem Domini, the earth be glad, in the prequoniam venit.

sence of the Lord, for that he is come.

SECRET.

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

&c.

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.

COMMUNION. In the brightness of the In splendoribus SanctoSaints, from the womb, before rum,ex utero 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.

POSTCOMMUNION. Grant, we beseech thee, O Da nobis, quæsumus, DoLord 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, digthese sacred mysteries, may, nis conversationibus ad ejus by a worthy conduct of life, mereamur pervenire consorcome to be united with him. tium. Qui tecum. Who liveth, dc.

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. Lauds are the morning, Vespers the evening, incense. The mysteries of the liturgical day, begin with the first, and end with the second.

LAUDS.

V. Deus, in adjutorium Ñ. Incline unto my aid, O meum intende.

God. R. Domine ad adjuvan- R. O Lord, make haste to dum me festina.

help me. Gloria Patri, et Filio : et Glory be to the Father, and Spiritui Sancto.

to the Son, and to the Holy

Ghost. Sicut erat in principio, et As it was in the beginning, nunc, et semper, et in sæcula is now, and ever shall be, sæculorum. Amen. Alle world without end. Amen. luia.

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, who is it has appeared on nobis, in terris quis appathe earth ?—We have seen ruit ? Natum vidimus, et the Child that is born, and choros Angelorum collauchoirs of Angels praising the dantes Dominum, alleluia, Lord, alleluia, alleluia. alleluia.

1 Apoc. xxi. 23.

PSALM 92.

vocem suam.

*

a

The Lord hath reigned, he is Dominus regnavit, decoclothed with beauty: the Lord rem indutus est : * indutus is clothed with strength, and est Dominus fortitudinem hath girded himself.

et præcinxit se. For, this day, by his birth, Etenim firmavit orbem he hath established the world, terræ : * qui non commowhich shall not be moved. vebitur.

Thy throne, O Divine In- Parata sedes tua ex tunc:* fant! is prepared from old:

a sæculo tu es. thou art from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, Elevaverunt flumina, DoO Lord! the floods have lifted mine: * elevaverunt flumina up their voice.

The floods have lifted up Elevaverunt flumina fluctheir waves, with the noise of tus suos: vocibus

aquamany waters.

rum multarum. Wonderful are the surges of Mirabiles elationes maris: the sea: wonderful is the Lord * mirabilis in altis Domion high.

nus. Thy testimonies are be- Testimonia tua credibilia come exceedingly credible : facta sunt nimis: * domum holiness becometh thy House, tuam decet sanctitudo, DoO Lord, which is thy Church, mine, in longitudinem dieunto length of days. Ant. Whom have ye seen,

Ant. Quem vidistis pasO Shepherds ? Say, tell us, tores ? Dicite: annuntiate who is it has appeared on the nobis, in terris quis appaearth ?-We have seen the ruit? Natum vidimus, et Child that is born, and choirs choros Angelorum collauof Angels praising the Lord, dantes Dominum. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

alleluia.

rum.

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 æternum, 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 primam similem visa est, privilege : not one has ever

habere sequentem, been, or shall ever be, like alleluia.

her, alleluia.

nec

PSALM 99. Jubilate Deo omnis terra: Sing joyfully to God, all the * servite Domino in lætitia. earth! serve ye the Lord with

gladness. Introite in conspectu ejus: Come in before his presence, * in exsultatione.

with exceeding great joy. Scitote quoniam Dominus Know ye, that this Infant, ipse est Deus: * ipse fecit the Lord, is God: he made us, nos, et non ipsi nos.

and not we ourselves. Populus ejus, et oves pas- We are his people, and the cuæ ejus, introite portas ejus sheep of his pasture; go ye inin confessione: *'atria ejus to his gates, with praise: into in hymnis, confitemini illi. his courts, with hymns, and

give glory to him. Laudate nomen ejus, quo- Praise ye his name, for the niam suavis est Dominus; Lord is sweet; his mercy enin æternum misericordia dureth for ever: and his truth ejus : * et usque in genera- to generation and generation. tionem et generationem veritas ejus. Ant. Genuit puerpera re

Ant. The Mother has given gem, cui nomen æternum, birth to the King, whose name et gaudia matris habens is eternal; she has both a

virginitatis honore, Mother's joy and a Virgin's nec primam similem visa privilege : not one has ever est, nec habere sequentem, been, or shall ever be, like alleluia.

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

cum

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