Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Blessed Cardinal Schuster on the Wednesday of the Advent Ember Days (Feria Quarta Quatuor Temporum Adventus)

The Introit is from Isaias xiv, 8, in which the meek and peaceful character of this first coming of the Word of God upon earth is wonderfully expressed in two brilliant figures of speech -- namely, the heavens distilling refreshing dew upon Gedeon's fleece, and the earth producing the little flower of the fields upon the mystic stem of Jesse...

Originally, on the days of the stational processions, when the great Litany was sung on the way, the Introit was omitted, and the Pope, on reaching the church, recited the Collect after the last Kyrie. The deacon first invited the faithful to prostrate themselves so that they might pray for awhile in secret -- Flectamus genua; then after a few moments spent in prayer, he gave the signal to get up again, and the Pontiff summed up the petitions of the assembly in a brief formula -- collecta -- and presented them to God...

The Mass for today still keeps the rite of the threefold scriptural lesson which in early times usually preceded the Offertory; the first lesson was as a rule from the Old Testament, the second from the New Testament, and the third from the Gospel.
Source:  The Sacramentary by Blessed Cardinal Schuster

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