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Friday, December 25, 2009

The House of Bread

Dominus dixit ad me...
The Lord hath said to me:
Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten Thee...
The First Mass of Christmas in honour of God the Son,
eternally begotton of the Father,
was celebrated in Our Lady's chapel, Stronsay.
The weather was calm.
We made the trip in our boat the Stella Maris through easy waters.
Carols at 11.00 p.m.

From the womb before the day star I begot Thee.
-Gradual, Psalm 109
The Night Mass was celebrated by Father Anthony Mary who is seen, immediately before Mass, ready to place the Infant Jesus in the manger.

Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri...
The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared...
[Epistle: Titus 2] infantem positum in praesepio...
...and the infant lying in the manger...
[Luke 2]

For twenty years now, we have decorated the refectory by laying straw on the floor and placing the image of the Infant Jesus in our midst. This year, as last year, the straw was given to us by our neighbour Mr. Don Peace. The refectory becomes a memorial of the stable of Bethlehem. During the meals over Christmas, we sing carols.
Return to the cell
The Christmas Dawn
The second Mass of Christmas,
the Dawn Mass,
is in honour of the temporal birth of Our Saviour
on Christmas morning.

Dawn Mass
Lux fulgebit hodie super nos...
A light shall shine upon us this day:
for the Lord is born to us.
[Isaias 2]
Dawn Mass
Exalta, filia Sion...
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion:
Behold thy king comes, holy, the Saviour of the world.
[Communion: Zacharias 9]
After the Dawn Masses we left Papa Stronsay for the Mass of the Day in Stronsay.
The sea was quiet.
Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis...
A child is born to us, and a son is given to us...
[Introit: Isaias 9]
The Mass of the Day celebrates the Third Nativity of the Son of God,
which is His nativity for us on the altar in every Mass.
Here, Jesus is born for us under the appearances,
but only the appearances,
of bread.

Thus our little chapel becomes Bethlehem,
(which means the House of Bread,)
for here, in this house, in the tabernacle,
under the sacramental sign of Bread,
Jesus awaits us,
is physically close to us
comes to us in Holy Communion.
It is His Third Nativity,
the Sacramental Nativity
that we honour in the Mass of the Day
where a child is really born for us
and a son is truly given to us in every Mass.
Blessing with the image of the Infant Jesus.
Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis:
A sanctified day hath shone upon us
Come ye Gentiles and adore the Lord:
for this day a great light hath descended upon the earth.
[Alleluia of the Mass of the Day]
After the Mass of the Day the sun appeared.

All is calm. All is bright.
We wish you a blessed continuation
of the Nativity of Our Lord
for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R. and all on Papa Stronsay.


St. Jude Pray For Me said...

I am very moved, Dear Rev. Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R. , to see with how many simplicity and devotion you have celebrated Tempus Nativitatis.

May God's light shine upon you
With All Respect

John W said...

Merry Christmas from Texas and thank you all for all you do for the Church.

Web said...

Happy Christmas, Fathers and Brothers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting these beautiful images and prayers. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, dear Fathers and Brothers.

Peter Simpson said...

I have' featured' your Community on my blog for Sunday 27 December - Hills of the North, Rejoice!

Anonymous said...

Every day is Christmas or Easter for the priest.

God Love You guys.


Yes it was a good death.

Fear not.

Theresa said...

I can picture all of you awestruck by the Christ Child in your stable/refectory. Was it a struggle to take your minds off Him to force yourselves to eat? I have never seen anything like this that makes you feel as if you are present with Jesus in His birth place instead of a spectator. It reminds me of being present with Jesus at the last supper in the Mass.

Anonymous said...

Does one have to go to Mass three times on Christmas (the Midnight Mass, Dawn Mass and Mas of the Day? As I remember when I was a child, my grandmother use to go to Mass three times: the Midnight Mass, the Mass of the Shepherds, and the Mass of the Hoi Polloi.


Anonymous said...

In one of the pictures it looks like a religious sister/nun is present at the Mass. If there is a community of nuns near to you of like mind to the charism of your community please could you mention a little about I am discerning a call to (female) religious life. Thank you.

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