Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rorate Mass

We have a very large Polish community where I live. Indeed, our own pastor is Polish. The Polish Church maintains a very old tradition of celebrating Rorate Masses during Advent.

A Rorate Mass is so called because the Introit begins with the words "Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum..." (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One...) (Isaiah 45:8)

The Mass itself is a votive Mass in honour of our Lady and is held before dawn. The church is in darkness with only the sanctuary lit by candlelight. There is also a statue of our Lady placed in the sanctuary, symbolising thatChrist, our Light, is coming into the world and that He, the Light, comes from Mary.

The liturgy is wonderfully beautiful. It was a truly spiritually moving experience and reminded me, sadly, just how poor and bereft of beauty are our ordinary English Masses.