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Advent Tradition: Rorate Mass at Old Saint Mary’s

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6:40 a.m. Old St Mary, The Second Saturday of Advent. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

While many in the Ohio Valley on an early Saturday morning were just awakening, a faith filled Old Saint Mary Parish awaited the Rorate Mass. I found it a moment in this Advent where darkness was interrupted by light. The Sunday readings have reflected that theme, along with being in the wilderness. In the darkness, I found myself wayward trying to acclimate myself in a darkened church, trying to understand the Latin Mass.

The Rorate Mass is lit only by candlelight. Because it is a votive Mass in Mary’s honor, white vestments are worn instead of Advent violet. In the dimly lit setting, priests and faithful prepare to honor the Light of the world, Who is soon to be born, and offer praise to God for the gift of Our Lady. As the Mass proceeds and sunrise approaches, the church becomes progressively brighter, illumined by the sun as our Faith is illumined by Christ.

The readings and prayers of the Mass foretell the prophecy of the Virgin who would bear a Son called Emmanuel, and call on all to raise the gates of their hearts and their societies to let Christ the King enter; asking for the grace to receive eternal life by the merits of the Incarnation and saving Resurrection of Our Lord.

Below is a witness in pictures and video of the Rorate Mass at Old Saint Mary in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati.

The Blessed Mother in candlelight (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The Blessed Mother in candlelight (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The darkness is broken by candle light. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The darkness is broken by candlelight. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Points of light in a darkened church (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Points of light in a darkened church (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Father Bevak giving his homily (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Father Bevak giving his homily (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Where Darkness, light, and fragrance collide during the Rorate Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Where Darkness, light, and fragrance collide during the Rorate Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The faithful pray on a cold late fall morning at Old Saint Mary (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The faithful pray on a cold late fall morning at Old Saint Mary (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Rorate Mass censing (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Rorate Mass censing (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Consecration of the Blood of Christ (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Consecration of the Blood of Christ (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

A video during communion (Note quality not the best) however where darkness, light, fragrance, and beautiful music meet during the Old Saint Mary Rorate Mass

Morning has broken (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Morning has broken (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The altar bathed in candlelight (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The altar bathed in candlelight (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Daughters of Saint Paul in prayer after the Rorate Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Children or Mary sisters in prayer after the Rorate Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Old Saint Mary Church (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Old Saint Mary Church (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Morning in the OTR (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Morning in the OTR (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
8:05, December 16, 2017 (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
8:05, December 16, 2017 (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The Verdin Bell Company bathed in morning daylight, which used to be Saint Paul's Church. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The Verdin Bell Company bathed in morning daylight, which used to be Saint Paul’s Church. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
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