Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Feria V of Advent II

Advent2Feria V of the Second Sunday of Advent; Commemoration of St. Melchiades, Pope & Martyr and of the Octave of the Conception of the BVM: Missa “Populus Sion”

For the Second Sunday of Advent numerous references appear to Jerusalem and her people beginning with the Introit “People of Sion” for Jesus Christ will be the deliverer and and the shepherd of the faithful Jews and of the Gentiles. It is the Church’s intent that the faithful be filled with sentiments of hope and joy, for the coming of Jesus is nigh. She asks us to prepare our hearts for the Messiah: Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Commemoration of St. Melchiades (also known as St. Miltiades)

melchiadesTwo popes had been exiled by Emperor Maxentius, and for nearly two more years the Church in Rome was steeped in turmoil, making it impossible to choose a pope. Finally Miltiades, an African, was elected. He had served as a priest under Marcellinus during the terrible Diocletian persecution. Now, however, he witnessed the effects of a kinder, more generous Roman government. Indeed, the Church would actually be favoured with splendid gifts. By 311 the Church began to enjoy a peace resulting from a decree of toleration issued in both the East and the West. Emperor Maxentius ordered the properties of the Church restored. These included the land and buildings that had been confiscated during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. In 312 for the first time since the outbreak of persecution, a pope was able to preside over the celebration of Easter in full possession of the Church’s holy assets.

Pope Miltiades worked diligently in a difficult time of transition. His edicts included forbidding the Christians to fast on Thursday and Sunday (the days during which the pagans kept their fasts) and directing that the Eucharist plate blessed by the bishop be carried to the various churches.

Constantine, having been proclaimed emperor in Gaul, now marched on Rome. The sign of the cross had been revealed to him in a vision where he was told that “by this sign shalt thou conquer.” Constantine ordered his standards changed, and for the first time in history, the sign of peace was borne by an army. Constantine’s legions defeated Maxentius, and the year 312 ushered in a new era, an era of peace; the Christians were truly set free. During the emperor’s stay in Rome, the famous Lateran palace was given to Pope Miltiades by Fausta, Constantine’s wife. The Lateran served as the papal residence for some four hundred years.

Less than a year later, a schism broke out in North Africa. Headed by a rigorist named Donatus, the faction objected to the policies of the bishop of Carthage, Caecilian. Bypassing the pope, they appealed directly to Constantine to intervene. The emperor, annoyed that he should be called on to settle disputes among the clergy, commissioned Miltiades and three other Gallic bishops to rectify the matter. The pope gathered fifteen additional bishops and held a synod in the great Lateran palace. The decision of this synod was to condemn Donatus and his party and to support the true bishop, Caecilian. The Donatists (as they later became called) appealed again to Constantine, but by the time another council could be called, Pope Miltiades had died.

St. Miltiades was an excellent pontiff who guided the Church wisely during a difficult time of changeover. Pope Miltiades was the last pope to be buried in a catacomb in the cemetery of Calixtus.

INTROIT  Isaias 30: 30

People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations: and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. (Ps. 79: 2) Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. v. Glory be to the Father…

COLLECT

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Melchiades, Pope & Martyr
Eternal Shepherd, regard graciously Thy flock, and keep it with an everlasting protection, by the intercession of blessed Melchiades, thy Martyr and Sovereign Pontiff, whom Thou hast constituted Shepherd of the whole Church.

Commemoration of the Octave of the Conception of the BVM
Grant, o Lord, we beseech Thee, to thy servants, the gifts of thy heavenly grace: that as our redemption began in the delivery of the blessed Virgin, so in the solemnity of her conception, we may have an increase of peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen

EPISTLE  Rom 15: 4-13

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Brethren, What things soever were written, were written for our learning: that, through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind and with one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: but that the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to Thy name. And again He saith: Rejoice ye Gentiles, with His people. and again, praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and magnify Him, all ye people. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse and He that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing: that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.
R. Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 49: 2,3, 5

Out of Sion the loveliness of His beáuty: God shall come manifestly. V. Gather ye together His saints to Him, who have set His covenant before sacrifices. Alleluia, alleluia.. V. (Ps. 121: 1) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go unto the house of the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Matthew 11: 2-10

At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus, making answer, said to them: “Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he who shall not be scandalized in Me.” And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea I tell you and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my Angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 89: 7

Thou wilt turn, O God, and bring us to life, and Thy people shall rejoice in Thee: show us, O Lord, Thy mercy, and grant us Thy salvation.

SECRET

Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers and sacrifices of our humility: and where we lack pleading merits of our own, do Thou, by Thine aid, assist us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Melchiades. Pope & Martyr
By the offered gifts we beg Thee, O Lord: enlighten kindly Thy Church: so that Thy flock everywhere may be increasing, and the Shepherds, under Thy direction, may be pleasing to Thy Name.

Commemoration of the Octave of the Conception of the BVM
May the humanity of thy only begotten son, o Lord, succour us, that he (who being born of a virgin, diminished not, but consecrated her virginity), may free us, who celebrate the festival of her conception, from our sins: and render our oblation acceptable to thee. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen

PREFACE of the Common

It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise: Holy, Holy, Holy…

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Baruch 5: 5; 4: 36

Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high, and behold the joy that cometh to thee from God.

POSTCOMMUNION

Filled with the food of Spíritual nourishment, we humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that by our partaking of this Mystery, Thou wouldst teach us to despise the things of earth, and to love those of Heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Melchiades, Pope & Martyr
O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously govern Thy Church, which Thou hast fed with a holy meal; so that, directed by a mighty wisdom, she may progress in liberty, and persist in the integrity of faith.

Commemoration of the Octave of the Conception of the BVM
We have received, o Lord, the votive mysteries of this annual celebration; grant, we beseech thee, that they may confer upon us remedies for time and eternity. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen

 

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