This first Sunday of Advent or The Fourth before Christmas is the first day of the Liturgical Year. The Mass prepares us this day for the double coming (adventus) of mercy and justice. That is why St. Paul tells us, in the Epistle, to cast off sin in order that being ready for the coming of Christ as our Savior, we may also be ready for His coming as our Judge, of which we learn in the Gospel. Let us prepare ourselves, by pious aspirations and by the reformation of our life for this twofold coming. Jesus Our Lord will reward those who yearn for Him and await Him: “Those who trust in Him shall not be confounded.”
The Advent liturgy opens with that great yearning cry of the prophets of Israel to the Messiah and Redeemer whose advent they awaited. “Come!” God is not deaf to His people’s cry. Fulfilling the promise of salvation made to our first parents at their fall He sent His Son into the world.
And the application to all generations of mankind of the redemption that the Son of God made Man obtained for us by His passion continues until the end of time: it will conclude with the end of the world when the Messiah comes to complete His work and lead us into His kingdom. The history of the Church occupies the period between these two great events.
Vigil of St Andrew the Apostle The day preceding a festival is styled a vigil (from the Latin word signifying a night-watch) because in primitive ages the faithful passed in prayer in the church the greater part of the evening and night preceding a festival. Nor did they break their fast until after the holy sacrifice of the Mass had been offered, and Communion given in the course of the vigil. Hence the greater vigils are still observed as fast-days; and the Mass of a vigil has a specially penitential character. Violet or purple vestments are worn by the priest; the Gloria in excelsis is not said.
Saint Andrew, the elder brother of St. Peter, and, like him, a fisherman of the Lake of Galilee, on hearing St. John the Baptist proclaim that Jesus was the Lamb of God, was moved to follow Our Lord, who chose him to be one of the twelve apostles. It is believed that after the Resurrection St. Andrew labored in spreading the Gospel in Eastern Europe, and. made many converts. At the last he was crucified in Patras in the Greek manner. In 357 his remains, together with those of St. Luke, were solemnly translated to the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. His head is venerated at St. Peter’s in Rome. In 1210 his body had been moved to the Cathedral at Amalfi in the Kingdom of Naples. His feast is important not only on account of the position it holds in the Missal (at the beginning of the Proper of the Saints) but more especially on account of the antiphons of the Divine Office and the passages from Holy Scripture read in the Mass.
INTROIT Psalm 24:1-3
To Thee have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me; for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. (Ps. 24: 4) Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me: and teach me Thy paths. v. Glory be to the Father…
Put forth Your power, O Lord, we beseech You, and come, that with You as our protector we may be rescued from the impending danger of our sins; and with You as our deliverer, may we obtain our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Collect for the Vigil of St Andrew the Apostle
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that as we do prevent the festival of thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, so he may implore thy mercy for us; that we, being delivered from all our iniquities, may likewise be defended against all adversities 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 13:11-14
Lesson from the letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans: Brethren: Understand, for it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we came to believe. The night is far advanced; the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 24:3-4
No one who waits for You shall be put to shame. V. Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me Your paths. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps 84:8 V. Show us, O Lord, Your kindness, and grant us Your salvation. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 21:25-33
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations bewildered by the roaring of sea and waves; men fainting for fear and for expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the son of Man coming upon a cloud with great power and majesty. but when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And He spoke to them a parable. Behold the fig tree, and all the trees. When they now put forth their buds, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near. Amen I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things have been accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 24:1-3
To You I lift up my soul: in You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. No one who waits for You shall be put to shame.
May these offerings, O Lord, cleanse us by their mighty power and thus make us come purer before You Who are their author. 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.
Secret for the Vigil of St Andrew the Apostle
Grant, O Lord, that this oblation, which we, remembering the festival of thy blessed Apostle Saint Andrew, do offer to be hallowed unto thee, may likewise avail to the cleansing of our souls from all evil. 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.
PREFACE of the Most Holy Trinity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 84:13
The Lord will give His benefits: and our land shall yield its increase.
May we receive Your mercy, O Lord, in the midst of Your temple, and thus prepare with due observance for the coming festal season of our redemption. Through the same 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.
Postcommunion for the Vigil of St Andrew the Apostle
O LORD, who hast vouchsafed to feed us with these holy sacraments, we humbly pray thee: that, at the intercession of thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, the mysteries which we have offered in remembrance of his glorious passion may be profitable unto us for the healing of our souls. Through the 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.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL: John 1: 35-51
At that time, John stood, and two of his disciples: and beholding Jesus walking, he saith, “Behold the Lamb of God.” And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turning, and seeing them following Him, He saith to them, “What seek you?” Who said to Him, “Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest Thou?” He saith to them, “Come, and see.” They came, and saw where He abode, and they stayed with Him that day: now it was about the tenth hour. And Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who had heard of John, and followed him. He findeth first his brother Simon, and saith to him, “We have found the Messias” (which is, being interpreted, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus; and Jesus, looking upon him, said, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas,” which is interpreted, Peter. On the following day, He would go forth into Galilee: and He findeth Philip. And Jesus saith to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathamel, and saith to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus, the son of Joseph of Nazareth.” And Nathanæl saith of him, “Can anything of good come from Nazareth?” Philip saith to him, “Come, and see.” Jesus saw Nathanæl coming to Him: and He said to him, “Behold an Isrælite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” Nathanæl saith to Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered, and said to him, “Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the flg-tree, I saw thee.” Nathanæl answered Him, and said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Isræl.” Jesus answered, and said to him, “Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, thou believest: greater things than these shalt thou See.” And He saith to him, “Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”