Advent Evening of Recollection


 On Friday, December 15, 2000, the Holy Name Society at Holy Trinity (German) Church sponsored an Advent evening of recollection for the men of the parish’s German and Latin congregations. Through prayer, meditation, and song, the evening’s participants were given an opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to prepare themselves spiritually for the Lord’s Nativity. 

 In keeping with the liturgical season’s emphasis on a sober yet joyful time of preparation, the evening’s program began with the recitation of the Rorate Cœli. This penitential prayer was followed by prophetic readings from the Books of Isaiah and Micah, interspersed with the singing of stanzas from the hymn, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.  The evening’s celebrant, Rev. Fr. Harold Johnson, then read St. Luke’s account of the angel Gabriel’s appearance to Zechariah. In response, the participants recited the Benedictus in Latin. Similarly, after Fr. Johnson had finished reading the story of the Visitation, the men present responded by reciting the Magnificat.

 After a brief period of reflection, Fr. Johnson delivered a sermon on the meaning of Advent in which he focused on the Old Testament figure, Elijah. Recalling his  mission, Father described the Jewish understanding that developed around the prophet’s return and his connection to the person of St. John the Baptist.  

 After talking briefly on how we should prepare for Our Lord Jesus to come into our hearts, Fr. Johnson concluded by providing a short list of practices that Catholics should follow during the season of Advent. They include:

 1.      Use Christmas stamps. This practice puts the image of the Madonna and Child before the
       general public and reminds them of the real reason behind the Christmas season.

2.      Avoid shopping on Sunday. This prohibition counters the commercial aspects of Christmas
      while helping us to keep the Third Commandment.

3.      Wish others a Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, saying, “Happy Holidays,” has become a
      common expression among Catholics. By wishing others a Happy or Merry Christmas, we
      avoid the secular habit of watering down those customs that have a religious meaning.

After Father's sermon, the men recited the joyful mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament brought the evening to a fitting close.

Advent Evening of Recollection

(All Kneel)


Rorate, cœli desuper, et nubes
pluant  justum.


Drop dew, ye heavens from above and let the clouds rain the Just One.


Ne irascaris, Domine, et ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce, civitas Sancti facta est deserta; Sion deserta facia est; Jerusalem desolata est; domus sanctificationis tuę et glorię tuę, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Be not very angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity: behold, Thy holy city is become deserted; Sion is become a desert; Jerusalem is desolate; the house of Thy sanctification and Thy glory, where our fathers praised Thee. 


Rorate, c
œli …

Drop dew, ye heavens…


Peccavimus, et facti sumus tanquam immundi nos: et cecidimus quasi folium universi et iniquitates nostrę quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrę.

We have sinned and are become as unclean: we have all fallen as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind have carried us away. Thou hast hidden Thy face from us, and hast crushed us in the hand of our iniquity.


Rorate, c
œli …

Drop dew, ye heavens…


Vide, Domine, afflictionem populi tui et mitte quem missurus es: emitte Agnum dominatorem terrę, de Petra deserti, ad montem filię Sion: ut auferat ipse jugum captivitatis nostrę.

Behold, O Lord, the affliction of Thy people and send forth Him who is to come: send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth from Petra of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion: that He may take away the yoke of our captivity.


Rorate, c
œli …

Drop dew, ye heavens…


Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua: quare mœrore consumeris? Quia inhovavit te dolor: salvabo te: noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus tuus Sanctus Israel Redemptor tuus.

Be comforted, be comforted, My people: thy salvation cometh quickly: why with grief art thou consumed? For sorrow hath stricken thee: I will save thee, fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.


Rorate, cœli …

Drop dew, ye heavens…


(All Sit)

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!” But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!” Then he said, “Listen O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God!? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name Him Emmanuel.”                          
                                                                                                                        - Isaiah 7:10-14


Veni, veni, Emmanuel. Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio, Privatus Dei Filio.
Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel. Nascetur pro te, Israel. 


In days to come the mount of the Lord’s house shall be established higher than the mountains; it shall rise high above the hills, and peoples shall stream to it. Many nations shall come, and say, “Come, let us climb the mount of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may instruct us in his ways, that we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples and impose terms on strong and distant nations; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the Name of the Lord, our God, forever and ever. 

                                                                                                               - Micah 4:1-3,5


 O come, O Wisdom from on high, who order all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel, to you shall come Emmanuel.


But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be the ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. (Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.) He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic Name of the Lord, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; He shall be peace. peace.                                                                                                                                                               - Micah 5:1-4


 O come, O Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by your drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel, to you shall come Emmanuel.


The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, when men make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that trampled in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be turned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name Him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.                                                                                                                           - Isaiah 9:1-5 


 O come, Desire of nations, bind / in one the hearts of all mankind;
Make all our sad divisions cease, and be for us the King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel, to you shall come Emmanuel. 


(All Stand) 

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly class of Abijah; his wife was a descendant of Aaron named Elizabeth. Both were just in the eyes of God, blamelessly following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. They were childless, for Elizabeth was sterile; moreover, both were advanced in years. Once, when it was the turn of Zechariah’s class and he was fulfilling his function as a priest before God, it fell to him by lot according to priestly usage to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. While the full assembly of people was praying outside at the incense hour, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was deeply disturbed upon seeing him, and overcome with fear. 

The angel said to him, “Do not be frightened, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son whom you shall name John. Joy and gladness will be yours, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He will never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. Many of the sons of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. God himself will go before him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just, and to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed.” 

Then, when his time of priestly service was over, he went home. Afterward, his wife Elizabeth conceived. She went into seclusion for five months saying: “In these days the Lord is acting on my behalf; He has seen fit to remove my reproach among men.”

                                                                                                                - Luke 1:5-12-17, 23-25


X Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel,
Quia visitavit, et fecit
Redemptionem plebis suę:
Et erexit cornu salutis nobis
In domo David pueri sui.
Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum,
Qui a sęculo sunt, prophetarum eius:
Salutem ex inimicis nostris,
Et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos:
Ad faciendam misericordiam cum
patribus nostris:
Et memorari testamenti sui sancti:Iusiurandum, quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum, / daturum se nobis; /

Ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati, / serviamus illi.
In sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso,
Omnibus diebus nostris.
Et tu puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis:Pręibis enim ante faceiem Domini parare vias eius:
Ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius:
In remissionem peccatorum eorum:
Per viscera misericordię Dei nostri:
In quibus visitavit nos, oriens ex alto:Illuminare his qui in tenebris

Et in umbra mortis sedent
Ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper,

Et in sęcula sęculorum. Amen.

X Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
He has visited us and wrought
redemption for His people.
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of His servant David.
As He hath promised through the mouths of
His holy ones, the prophets of old:
Salvation from our enemies,
and from the hands of all who hate us;
to show mercy to our forefathers

and to be mindful of His holy covenant.
This was the oath, which He swore to our father Abraham, that He would deliver us
from the hands of our enemies, so we may serve Him without fear in holiness and justice before Him all our days.

 And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to His people through forgiveness of their sins.
Through the compassionate kindness of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us
to shine on those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death
And to guide our feet in the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Upon arriving, the angel said to her, “Rejoice of highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her, “Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give Him the name of Jesus. Great will be his dignity and He will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David His father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end.” 

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man?” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God. Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God.” Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done unto me as you say.” With that the angel left her.                                                                                 

                                                                                                                        - Luke 1:26-38


X Magnificat anima mea dominum,
Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo
salutare meo
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillę suę.
Ecce, enim ex hoc beatam me dicent
omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius.
Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo
Dispersit superbos mente cordes sui.Deposuit potentes de sede, et exultavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit, bonis, et divites
dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum, recordatus misericordię suę
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham et semini eius in sęcula.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper,
Et in sęcula sęculorum. Amen.

X MY soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

For He hath regarded the humility of His handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done great things to me, and holy is His Name.
And His Mercy is from generation unto generations upon them that fear Him.
He hath shewed might is His arm, He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel, His servant, being mindful of His mercy.
As He spoke to our Fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.



Sermon on the Advent/Christmas Seasons
(Will be followed by a few minutes of silent prayer and meditation)

 Recitation of the Holy Rosary

 Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament
(See Red Missals, p. 51-53 for hymns)



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