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Hymn which the Angels sang over the Crib of the Divine Babe. But, if she be keeping the Feast of a Saint, she recites this beautiful Canticle on that day. The beginning of the Angelic Hymn seems more suitable for heavenly than for earthly voices; but the second part is in no ways out of keeping with the sinner's wants and fears, for we there remind the Son of the Eternal Father that he is the Lamb, who came down from heaven that he might take away the sins of the world. We beseech him to have mercy on us, and receive our humble prayer. Let us foster these sentiments within us, for they are so appropriate to the present Season.

THE ANGELIC HYMN.

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Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will.

We praise thee: we bless thee we adore thee we glorify thee: we give thee thanks for thy great glory.

O Lord God, Heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

Ŏ Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son.

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

Who takest away the sins of the world have mercy on us.

Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our humble prayer.

Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

For thou alone_art holy, thou alone art Lord, thou alone, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, art most high, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Priest then turns towards the people, and again salutes them, as it were to make sure of their pious attention to the sublime act, for which all this is but the preparation.

Then follows the Collect or Prayer, in which the Church formally expresses to the divine Majesty the special intentions she has in the Mass which is being celebrated. You may unite in this prayer, by reciting with the Priest the Collects which you will find in their proper places: but on no account omit to join with the server of the Mass in answering Amen.

After this, comes the Epistle, which is, generally, a portion of one or other of the Epistles of the Apostles, or a passage from some Book of the Old Testament. Whilst it is being read, ask of God that you may profit of the instructions it conveys.

The Gradual is an intermediate formula of prayer between the Epistle and Gospel. It again brings to us the sentiments already expressed in the Introit. Read it with devotion, that so you may enter more and more into the spirit of the mystery proposed to you by the Church.

During every other portion of her Year, the Church here repeats her joyous Alleluia; but now she denies herself this demonstration of gladness, until such time as her Divine Spouse has passed through that sea of bitterness, into which our sins have plunged him. Instead of the Alleluia, then, she sings in a plaintive tone some verses from the Psalms, appropriate to the rest of that day's Office. This is the Tract, of which we have already spoken.

If it be a High Mass, the Deacon, meanwhile, prepares to fulfil his noble office,-that of announcing the Good Tidings of salvation. He prays God to cleanse his heart and lips. Then kneeling before the Priest, he asks a blessing; and, having received it, at once goes to the place where he is to sing the Gospel.

As a preparation for hearing it worthily, you may thus pray, together with both Priest and Deacon :

Munda cor meum, ac labia mea, Omnipotens Deus, qui labia Isaia Prophetæ calculo mundasti ignito: ita me tua grata miseratione dignare mundare, ut sanctum Evangelium tuum digne valeam nuntiare. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Dominus sit in corde meo, et in labiis meis: ut digne et competenter annuntiem Evangelium suum: In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Alas! these ears of mine are but too often defiled with the world's vain words: cleanse them, O Lord, that so I may hear the words of eternal life, and treasure them in my heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grant to thy ministers thy grace, that they may faithfully explain thy law; that so all, both pastors and flock, may be united to thee for ever. Amen.

You will stand during the Gospel, as though you were waiting the orders of your Lord; and at the commencement, make the sign of the Cross on your forehead, lips, and breast; and then listen to every word of the Priest or Deacon. Let your heart be ready and obedient. Whilst my beloved was speaking, says the Spouse in the Canticle, my soul melted within me.1 If you have not such love as this, have at least the humble submission of Samuel, and say: Speak, Lord! thy servant heareth.2

After the Gospel, if the Priest says the Symbol of Faith, the Credo, you will say it with him. Faith is that gift of God, without which we cannot please him. It is Faith that makes us see the Light which shineth in darkness, and which the darkness of unbelief did not comprehend. It is Faith alone that teaches us what we are, whence we come, and the end for which we are made. It alone can point out to us the path whereby we may return to our God, when once we have separated ourselves from him. 2 1 Kings, iii. 10.

1 Cant. v. 6.

Let us love this admirable Faith, which, if we but make it fruitful by good works, will save us. Let us, then, say with the Catholic Church, our Mother:

THE NICENE CREED.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. And born of the Father before all ages; God of God, light of light; true God of true God. Begotten, not made; consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary; AND WAS MADE MAN. He was crucified also for us, under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried. And the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And he is to come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I

PASSIONTIDE.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem cœli et terræ, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia sæcula, Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem, descendit de cœlis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto, ex Maria Virgine; ET HOMO FACTUS EST. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in cœlum; sedet ad dexteram Patris. Ét iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos ; cujus regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur; qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor

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unum Baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen.

confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Priest and the people should, by this time, have their hearts ready: it is time to prepare the offering itself. And here we come to the second part of the Holy Mass, which is called the Oblation, and which immediately follows that, which was called the Mass of Catechumens, on account of its being formerly the only part, at which the candidates for Baptism had a right to be present.

See, then, dear Christians! bread and wine are about to be offered to God, as being the noblest of inanimate creatures, since they are made for the nourishment of man; and even that is only a poor material image of what they are destined to become in our Christian Sacrifice. Their substance will soon give place to God himself, and of themselves nothing will remain but the appearances. Happy creatures, thus to yield up their own being, that God may take its place! We, too, are to undergo a like transformation, when, as the Apostle expresses it, that which to us is mortal, shall put on immortality.1 Until that happy change shall be realised, let us offer ourselves to God, as often as we see the bread and wine presented to him in the Holy Sacrifice; and let us glorify Him, who, by assuming our human nature, has made us partakers of the divine nature.2

The Priest again turns to the people with the usual salutation, as though he would warn them to redouble their attention. Let us read the Offertory with him, and when he offers the Host to God, let us unite with him in saying:

Suscipe, sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus, 11 Cor. xv. 53.

All that we have, O Lord, comes from thee, and belongs

2 2 St. Pet. i. 4.

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