Photo Essay: A great light in the darkness
Each year, Old Saint Mary’s Parish on the Saturday before the Third Sunday of Advent, the faithful set their alarms early so they can attend the Rorate 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.
Unfortunately the sun didn’t make an appearance, but nonetheless light did shatter the darkness, as it did the day of baptism. In a world of darkness, despair, discouragement, and disillusion, the reminder is that through our Blessed Lady and Christ, we have light: a light that overpowers the darkness.
In the Canticle of Zechariah, “You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1: 76-79)
As we prepare, we carry the light of Christ to shine on those around us, our children, our family, our friends, and those we encounter.