During Advent at St Chrysostom’s we have a Rorate Mass. This is a special Advent mass held by candlelight. Traditionally the mass is celebrated in the early morning, in some places as early as 5am. We prefer the early evening to the early morning! This evening we gathered in candlelight in the beautiful side chapel, simple plainsong hymns were sung and we enjoyed the peace and beauty of this lovely Advent Mass. After Mass we gathered holding our candles in front of Mary’s statue and prayed for all who have asked for our prayers, it was a lovely moment.
The Rorate mass is traditionally a mass of Our Lady in Advent and so it was especially appropriate that today we celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception. At the mass Fr Ian talked of G K Chesterton’s essay written towards the end of his life ‘Mary and the Convert.’ Chesterton wrote; “I never doubted that Mary embodied as a complete human being … all that faith had to say to humanity.” For many christians Mary ‘in a certain way unites and mirrors within herself the central truths of the faith.”
Fr Ian encouraged us to see in the mystery celebrated today the wonderful fact that from our conception, long before we ever knew ourselves, God has enveloped us in love. Our beginning is in God’s love, and God’s grace has been generously poured upon us, often without us knowing it, and so it will be throughout our lives, and beyond our lives into eternity.
Heavenly Father, who chose the Virgin Mary, full of grace, to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour: fill us with Your grace, that in all things we may accept Your holy will and with her rejoice in Your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is a link to an RC Church in the States with further information about Rorate Masses.