Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord |
Missa "Hodie sciétis"
Station for Christmas Eve is at St. Mary Major in Rome with a Privileged Vigil of the First Class.
It was only when Our Lord's nativity was celebrated with increasing
solemnity that a special Mass was said on this vigil. The actual solemnity
of December 25, instead of consisting of two Masses, one of the vigil and
the other of the feast, with a third inserted in commemoration of St.
Anastasia, ended by allowing four Masses, all of them in honor of the
Christian mystery. Thus, one in the evening of December 24 at the beginning
of the night Office, one at midnight at the first cock crowing, one in the
early morning, and one, finally, at the hour of Terce. Unlike the other
vigils, in which the penitential character and a sense of sadness
predominate, that of Christmas, is full of vivacity and holy joy. This is
fully in accordance with the nature of the heart of man. After so long a
period of anxious and painful expectation the sudden news of our approaching
deliverance lightens the heart, while a common joy unites us and makes us
forget for a moment the hard conditions of our life here below.
We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945