Our Holy Redeemer: Missa “Gaudens, gaudebo”
The feast is found only in the special calendar of some dioceses and religious orders, and is celebrated with proper Mass and Office either on the third Sunday of July or on 23 October. In Venice this feast has been observed for more than three centuries with great solemnity. Moroni in his “Dizionario” gives some interesting data concerning the origin of this feast. In 1576 a plague broke out in Venice which in a few days carried off thousands of victims. To avert this scourge the Senate vowed to erect a splendid temple to the Redeemer of mankind, and to offer therein each year on the third Sunday of July public and solemn services of thanksgiving. Scarcely had the plague ceased when they began to fulfil their vow. The church was designed by the famous Andrea Palladio, and the corner-stone was laid by the Patriarch Trevisan on 3 May, 1577. The celebrated painters Paolo Veronese and Jacopo Tintoretto decorated the interior. The church was consecrated in 1592, and, at the urgent sollicitations of Pope Gregory XIII, placed in charge of the Capuchin Fathers.
By concession of Pope Benedict XIV , dated 8 March, 1749, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer solemnizes this feast as a double of the first class with an octave on the third Sunday of July. The same congregation also keeps the feast as a greater double on 23 October and 25 February, and has, besides, the privilege of reciting once a month the votive office of the Most Holy Redeemer. In Rome also Pope Pius VIII introduced the feast and by a Decree of 8 May, 1830, the Sacred Congregation of Rites assigned it to 23 October. The characteristics of the Mass and Office are joy and gratitude for the ineffable graces and benefits of the Redemption. This appears especially from the Introit “Gaudens gaudebo”, from the antiphons of Lauds “Cantate Domino”, from the Epistle of the Mass, taken from St. Paul to the Ephesians, chap. i, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. . . in Christ”. For this reason white is the colour of the vestments, and not red, as in the Mass of the Passion.
The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer is an expression of joy and gratitude for the great gift of the Redemption. Consider the Introit of the feast, which is taken from Isaias 61:10 and Psalm 88:2. Those wishing to delve further into this celebration of the Redemption as part of their daily scriptural reading or meditation may wish to consult Isaias 51:1-15, which constitutes the readings of the First Nocturn of Matins for the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer. For perhaps now more than ever it is crucial to recall that God Himself “will comfort you,” even from the wiles and wickedness of mortal men (cf. verse 12), before entering “into Sion singing praises” with everlasting joy to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind (cf. verse 11).
INTROIT Isaiah 61:10
Well may I rejoice in the Lord, well may this heart triumph in my God. The deliverance He sends is like a garment that wraps me about, His goodness like a cloak enfolding me. 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. Well may I rejoice etc…
God, Who didst appoint Thy only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the World, by His means overthrowing death and mercifully restoring us to life, grant that as we recall these benefits we may cleave to Thee with steadfast love, and be counted worthy to obtain the fruit of His redeeming work. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Ephesians 1: 3-9
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ: As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will: Unto the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he hath graced us in his beloved son. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace, Which hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence, That he might make known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in him,
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 85. 9-10
Lord, all the nations Thou hast made must needs come and worship Thee, honoring Thy Name. V. So great Thou art, so marvellous in Thy doings, Thou who alone art God. Alleluia, alleluia, V. (Ps. 73:12) Ours is a King, who reigned before time was; here on earth He has the means to bring deliverance. Alleluia.
GOSPEL John 3: 13-18
At that time, Jesus saith to Nicodemus: And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting. For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord; in whatever tribulation they call upon me, I will hear them; and I will be their God for ever, alleluia.
Accept, we pray Thee, Lord, the sacrifice of our eternal ransom, Grant that to us who offer it, and have the glorious merits of Thy only-begotten Son to plead for us, it may ever give life and protection. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Holy Cross
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should in all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who didst set the salvation of mankind upon the tree of the Cross, so that whence came death, thence also life might rise again, and that he who overcame by the tree might also be overcome on the tree; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominations adore, the powers are in awe, the virtues of highest heaven and the blessed seraphim unite in blissful exultation. With them we praise Thee; grant that our voices too may blend, saying in adoring praise: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 106:8
Praised be the Lord in His mercies, in His wondrous dealings with mortal men, alleluia.
Lord Jesus Christ, we who have been made partakers of Thy sacred body and precious blood, by which we have been redeemed, pray that Thou wilt continue to guard within us the gifts Thou hast given, that Thou wilt save us from the ills of this life, and bring to the good that endures forever: Thou who art God. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.