PRAYERS FOR OUR SHEPHERDS: The Christmas Mass at Dawn Remembers the Humble Worship in a Stable in Bethlehem

 For the celebration of Christmas, the Catholic Church provides separate Scripture lessons and liturgical prayers for four different Masses:  the Vigil, Midnight, Dawn, and Daytime.  Most of us, though, never hear the readings proclaimed for the Mass at Dawn; we are still tucked warmly in our beds at that hour.  That’s an unfortunate loss, because the readings appointed for that Mass are filled with tender grace.After the presents have been unwrapped and the dinner has been savored, when comp … [Read more...]

He Comes in Silence

Silent snowy light

Softly, like the newly fallen snow, He comes.  In the stable, He is laid in the humble manger; but He longs to live in our hearts.Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is sung in churches on this, the most holy night of Christ’s birth.  It reappears during the Easter Vigil, when the body of Christ lies silent in the tomb.The hymn was composed in the fourth century as an Offertory hymn in the Eastern rite Divine Liturgy of St. James.  The ancient chant is based on words from Habakkuk 2:20 … [Read more...]