Monday, December 04, 2006

Advent IV and Christmas Eve

This year The Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve) falls on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Since these two days concur, the historic rubrics direct that the Mass of Christmas Eve is celebrated and Sunday is commemorated by adding the Collect for Advent IV after the Collect for Christmas Eve.

Roman and Anglican sources provide the following:

This Mass is celebrated in Violet vestments and the Gloria in Excelsis is not sung.

Introit: Exodus 16. Psalm 24.
Today you shall know that the Lord will come and deliver you: and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord. Ps. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Glory be to the Father....

Collect: (From TLH, Other Collects for the Season of Advent)
O God, who dost gladden us with the early (yearly) anticipation of our redemption, grant that we who now joyfully receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer may also behold Him without fear when He cometh as our Judge; who liveth, etc.

The Collect for Advent IV is then said to commemorate the Sunday.

Epistle: Romans 1:1-6

Gradual: (Exodus 16)
Today ye shall know that the Lord will come and deliver you: and in the morning ye shall see the glory of the Lord. Ps. 80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock: thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.

Alleluia, alleluia. Tomorrow the iniquity of the earth shall be done away: and the Savior of the world shall reign over us. Alleluia.

Gospel: St. Matthew 1:18-21

Lamentably, Lutheran service books do not include propers for a Mass on Christmas Eve. Even the listings of Epistles and Gospels for Sundays and various Feasts found in early twentieth century German Bibles do not include Christmas Eve. I do not know if the LSB has corrected this omission.

The Great O Antiphons

The greater antiphons at the Magnificat are begun on December 17,
and are said , each on its day, until the day before the vigil of Christmas. If
a feast is celebrated, they are said after the collect of the feast, for a
commemoration of Advent.

These antiphons are best known in the form of the hymn Veni Immanuel. Lutheran Worship, hymn 31, includes all seven of theseversified antiphons.They can be found in English
and in verse form at the Lexrandi web site.

December 17
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

December 18
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae furi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extendo.

December 19
O radix Iesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

December 20
O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

December 21
O Oriens, speldor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et in umbra mortis.

December 22
O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

December 23
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.