Wednesday of the Fourth week of Advent

O Oriens


Christ is called the “radiant dawn” or “the dayspring.” One special Advent tradition in Northern Europe centers around attending a series of votive Masses prayed in honor of the Virgin Mary. These Masses — called “Rorate Masses,” since the verse prayed at the beginning of these Masses begins, in Latin, “Rorate caeli desuper” — are held early in the morning, before dawn. Even today, Catholics in Poland, but also in Hungary, Bavaria, and elsewhere in Europe, awake before sunrise to attend these special candlelit Masses. The practice captures a beautiful part of the season of Advent: rising to await the dawn of Christ’s coming.


Lord Jesus, shine in my heart today, like the rising sun. Illumine the darkness of my mind, that I might have the grace to see you clearly today. Amen.


Awake before dawn one day this Advent to meditate on Christ, who comes bringing light.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you tomorrow.