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And now, a Hymn to our Lady, the Seat of Wisdom! Let us offer her this beautiful one, taken from the Cluny Missal of 1523.
Ave, mundi spes, Maria, Ave mitis, ave pia, Ave, plena gratia.
Ave, Virgo singularis,
Suae per rubum designaris
Ave, cujus viscera Contra mundi foedera, Ediderunt fUium.
Ave, carens simili, Mundo diu flebili Reparasti gaudium.
Ave, virginum lucerna, Per quam fulsit lux superna His quos unda tenuit.
Ave, Virgo de qua nasci Et de cujus lacte pasci Rex coelorum voluit.
Ave, gemma, cceli lumi
Hail, Holy Mother! for whom God set aside all nature's laws, and made thy virginal womb bring forth his Son.
Hail, matchless Queen! 'twas thou didst make the long sad world rejoice.
Hail, Beacon of Virgins! pouring out thy celestial light on them whom tempests toss.
Hail, Virgin! of whom the King of heaven would be born, and suck the food whereon he deigned to live.
Hail, Pearl! Hail Heavenly Orb!
Hail, Temple of the Holy Ghost!
Oh! how wonderful and how venerable is this Virginity!
In it, shone forth a fruitful. ness produced by the Holy Paraclete.
And she, the Virgin, how holy! how peaceful! how kind! how lovely must we deem her!
By the gift she gave us, slavery was abolished, the gate of heaven was opened, and liberty brought back again.
O Lily of purity ! pray for us to thy Son, the Saviour of the humble,
That in the awful judgment, he may not sentence us to torments for our sins;
But, moved by thy holy prayers, may he cleanse us from the dross of sin,
And admit us into mansions of eternal light.
Amen! let every Christian say, Amen!
In qua per Spiritum Facta Paraclitum Fulsit f oecunditas!
O quam sancta! Quam serena! Quam benigna! Esse virgo creditur! Quam amcena.
Per quam servitus finitur, Porta cceli aperitur, Et libertas redditur.
0 castitatis lilium, Tuum precare filium, Qui salus est humilium.
Ne nos pro nostro vitio, In flebili judicio, Subjiciat supplicio.
Sed nos tua sancta prece, Mundane a peccati faece,
Collocet in lucis domo.
Amen dicat omnis homo.
SUNDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF
OR THE SIXTH DAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE.
(When the 30th of December does not fall on a Sunday, it is called "the Sixth Day within the "Octave," and the 3rd Mass of Christmas Day is repeated, page 225; excepting only the Epistle and Gospel, which are taken from the 2nd Mass, pages 214,215.)
This is the only day, within the Christmas Octave, which is not a Saint's Feast. During the Octaves of the Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost, the Church is so absorbed in the respective mysteries, that she puts off everything that could share her attention; whereas, during this of Christmas, there is only one day which does not celebrate the memory of some glorious Saint, and our Infant Jesus is surrounded by a choir of heroes who loved and served him. Thus, the Church, or, more correctly, God—for God is the first author of the Cycle of the Year—shows us how the Incarnate Word, who came to save mankind, desires to give mankind confidence by this his adorable familiarity.
We have already shown that the Birth of our Lord took place on a Sunday, the Day on which, in the beginning of the world, God created Light. We shall find, later on, that his Resurrection, also, was on a Sunday. This the first day of creation, and the first of the week, was consecrated, by the old Pagans, to the Sun: with us Christians, it is most sacred and holy, on account of the two risings of our divine Sun of Justice—his Birth and his Resurrection. Whilst the solemnity of Easter is always kept on a Sunday, that of Christmas falls, by turns, on each of the days of the week—we have already had this difference explained to us by the Holy Fathers:—but, the mystery of Jesus' Birth is more aptly and strongly expressed, when its anniversary falls on a Sunday. Other years, when the coincidence does not happen, the Faithful will, at least, be led by their Christian instincts, to give especial honour to the Day, within the Octave, which falls on the Sunday. The Church has honoured it with a proper Mass and Office, and we of course insert them.
It was at Midnight, that the Lord delivered his people from bondage, by the Passage of his destroying Angel over the land of the Egyptians: so, also, was it in the still hour of midnight, that Jesus, the Angel of the Great Counsel, came down from his royal throne, bringing mercy to our earth. It is just, that whilst commemorating this second Passage, the Church should sing the praises of her Emmanuel, who comes, clad in his strength and beauty, to take possession of his Kingdom.
While all things were in Dum medium silentium quiet silence, and the night tenerent omnia, et nox in was in the midst of her course, suo cursu medium iter hathy Almighty Word, O Lord, beret, omnipotens sermo tucame down from thy royal us, Domine, de ccelis, a rethrone. galibus sedibus venit.
Fs. The Lord hath reigned, Ps. Dominus regnavit, dehe is clothed with beauty : the corem indutus est: indutus est Dominus fortitudinem, Lord is clothed with strength, et praecinxit se. "t. Gloria and hath girded himself. ft. Patri . Dum medium. Glory, &c. While all.
In the Collect, the Church prays to be directed by that divine rule, which was taught us by our Saviour, the Sun of Justice, who shone upon us in order to enlighten and guide our steps in the path of good works.
Omnipotens, sempiterne Deus, dirige actus nostros in beneplacito tuo : ut in nomine dilecti Filii tui mereamur bonis operibus abundare. Qui tecum.
O Almighty and Eternal God, regulate our actions according to thy divine will: that, in the name of thy beloved Son, we may abound in good works. Who liveth, &c.
The Commemorations of the Octaves of Christmas, <Stc, are given in page 315: that of St. Thomas of Canterbury, in page 352.
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli
Fratres, quanto tempore haeres parvulus est, nihil differt a servo, cum sit dominus omnium: sed sub tutoribus et actoribus est usque ad praefinitum tempus a patre : ita et nos, cum essemus parvuli, sub dementis mundi eramus servientes. At ubi venit plenitudo temporis, misit Deus Filium suum factum ex muliere, factum sub lege, ut eos, qui sub lege erant, redimeret, ut adoptionem
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.
Ch. IV. Brethren: As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all: but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed by the father: so we, also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that he might redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive