Friday, 1 January 2021 : Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, World Day of Prayer for Peace (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 16-21

So the shepherds came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. On seeing Him, they related what they had been told about the Child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the Angels had told them.

On the eighth day the circumcision of the Baby had to be performed; He was named Jesus, the Name the Angel had given Him before He was conceived.

Friday, 1 January 2021 : Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, World Day of Prayer for Peace (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Galatians 4 : 4-7

But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son. He came born of woman and subject to the Law, in order to redeem the subjects of the Law, that we might receive adoption as children of God.

And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts the Spirit of His Son which cries out : Abba! That is, Father! You yourself are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance by God’s grace.

Friday, 1 January 2021 : Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, World Day of Prayer for Peace (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 66 : 2-3, 5, 6 and 8

May God be gracious and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us, that Your way be known on earth and Your salvation among the nations.

May the countries be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with justice and guide the nations of the world.

May the peoples praise You, o God, may all the peoples praise You! May God bless us and be revered, to the very ends of the earth.

Friday, 1 January 2021 : Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, World Day of Prayer for Peace (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Numbers 6 : 22-27

Then YHVH spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and say to them : This is how you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say : May YHVH bless you and keep you! May YHVH let His face shine on you, and be gracious to you! May YHVH look kindly on you, and give you His peace!”

“In that way they put My Name on the people of Israel and I will bless them.”

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, Octave Day of Christmas (Double II Classis) – Friday, 1 January 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Psalm 88 : 12, 15

Tui sunt caeli et Tua est terra : orbem terrarum et plenitudinem ejus Tu fundasti : justitia et judicium praeparatio sedis Tuae.

English translation

Yours are the heavens and Yours is the earth, the world and the fullness thereof You have found. Justice and judgment are the preparation of Your throne.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Muneribus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, precibusque susceptis : et caelestibus nos munda mysteriis, et clementer exaudi. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus. Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Accept our offerings and prayers, we beseech You, o Lord. Cleanse us by Your heavenly mysteries and graciously hear us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Preface of the Nativity

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium nova mentis nostrae oculis lux Tuae claritatis infulsit : ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilium amorem rapiamur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes :

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to You, o Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, because by the mystery of the Word made flesh, from Your brightness a new Light had risen to shine on the eyes of our souls, in order that, God becoming visible to us, we may be borne upward to the love of things invisible. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels, with the Dominions and Powers, with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing of Your glory without end saying :

Communion

Psalm 97 : 3

Viderunt omnes fines terrae salutare Dei nostri.

English translation

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Post-Communion Prayer

Haec nos communio, Domine, purget a crimine : et, intercedente Beata Virgine Dei Genetrice Maria, caelestis remedii faciat esse consortes. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English translation

May this communion, o Lord, cleanse us from sin and, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us partakers of the heavenly remedy. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, Octave Day of Christmas (Double II Classis) – Friday, 1 January 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 2 : 21


In illo tempore : Postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur Puer : vocatum est Nomen Ejus Jesus, quod vocatum est ab Angelo, priusquam in utero conciperetur.

English translation

At that time, after eight days were accomplished that the Child should be circumcised, His Name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before He was conceived in the womb.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, Octave Day of Christmas (Double II Classis) – Friday, 1 January 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 3, 2 and Hebrews 1 : 1-2

Viderunt omnes fines terrae salutare Dei nostri : jubilate Deo, omnis terra.

Response : Notum fecit Dominus salutare suum : ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suam.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Multifarie olim Deus loquens patribus in Prophetis, novissime diebus istis locutus est nobis in Filio. Alleluja.

English translation

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Sing joyfully to God all the earth.

Response : The Lord had made known His salvation. He had revealed His justice in the sight of the Gentiles.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : God, who diversely spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days had been spoken to us by His Son. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, Octave Day of Christmas (Double II Classis) – Friday, 1 January 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Titum – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Titus

Titus 2 : 11-15

Carissime : Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus, erudiens nos, ut, abnegantes impietatem et saecularia desideria, sobrie et juste et pie vivamus in hoc saeculo, exspectantes beatam spem et adventum gloriae magni Dei et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi : qui dedit semetipsum pro nobis : ut nos redimeret ab omni iniquitate, et mundaret sibi populum acceptabilem, sectatorem honorum operum. Haec loquere et exhortare : in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

English translation

Dearly beloved, the grace of God our Saviour had appeared to all men, instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly, and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak, and exhort: In Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, Octave Day of Christmas (Double II Classis) – Friday, 1 January 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White



Introit

Isaiah 9 : 6 and Psalm 97 : 1


Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis : cujus imperium super humerum ejus : et vocabitur Nomen Ejus magni consilii Angelus.

Cantate Domino canticum novum : quia mirabilia fecit.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation
A Child is born to us and a Son is given to us, whose government is upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.

Sing all of you to the Lord a new canticle, because He had done wonderful things.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect
Deus, qui salutis aeternae, Beatae Mariae virginitate fecunda, humano generi praemia praestitisti : tribue, quaesumus; ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum : Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus. Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation
O God, who by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary, has bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech You, that we may evermore experience the intercession in our behalf of her through whom we have been found worthy to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Thursday, 31 December 2020 : Seventh Day within Octave of Christmas, Memorial of Pope St. Silvester I, Pope (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded of the truth of our Lord’s salvation just as we continue to proceed through this season of Christmas, that He, the Word of God and the Word of truth has come into this world and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His mother, to be the Saviour of all. We focus our attention today in His honour, to reorientate ourselves and our lives once again that we may indeed be centred on Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

In our Gospel passage today, we again heard of the same introduction to the Gospel of St. John that we have also heard during the Christmas Mass at daytime and which the Church has once decreed to be read at the last part of the Mass as the Last Gospel. In that passage we heard the proclamation of the unchanging truth of the salvation in the Word of God, Who was with God since the beginning, and Who was God.

And this same Word of God has become the Son, the Son of God Most High, begotten not created, sharing in the divinity of the Father and part of the Holy Trinity. The Word has come down into the world and became Flesh, the Son of God and the Divine Word became Incarnate as the Son of Man through Mary. Through Him we have seen the salvation of God and the love of God has also become tangible and accessible, no longer just a distant promise or hopeful wish.

We celebrate during this Christmas season the manifestation of this love in the Flesh, in Jesus Christ, the true focus and the true reason for all of our rejoicing and celebrations. This is why we need to hold this truth and this realisation with us, with firm conviction and with genuine commitment to the Lord, that despite whatever we may encounter, whatever we may be tempted with, we may remain committed to the path that the Lord has shown us.

The Lord has revealed His salvation to us and all of us have received this assurance and the fulfilment of God’s promise. He has shown that He has not abandoned us in our time of need. In fact, He has reached out to us and reassured us, embracing us even more. But sadly, many of us have not appreciated this love and this care that the Lord has shown us. Instead, we chose to follow the false leads of the false prophets and leaders that led us down the path of disobedience and sin.

This is what St. John also spoke of in our first reading today, as he spoke of the antichrists present all around us. All these antichrists are those who seek to subvert the truth of God and use falsehoods and lies to advance the interest of the evil ones. We have to be careful lest we end up falling into these traps of lies and falsehoods. That is why we have to hold firmly to our faith in God, to His truth and all that He has revealed to us and preserved in His Church.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all remember at the end of this current year that we should always keep in mind our path in life and take care that we do not fall down the wrong paths. As we look forward to a new year ahead, let us all remind ourselves that the Lord is our sole truth and our sole focus in life, and we should move forward with this being kept in mind all the time.

Today, let us all look at the examples and the life of Pope St. Silvester I, also known as Pope St. Sylvester, so that we may know how we can move forward in life as faithful Christians from now on. Pope St. Silvester was the Pope and therefore leader of the entire Universal Church at a time of great change both for the Church and the world at the time. He succeeded Pope St. Miltiades whose reign as Pope coincided with the end of the official persecution of Christians with the famous Edict of Milan by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

Pope St. Silvester I reigned for over two decades during the time of great change and renewal of the Church, as it emerged out of the terrible persecutions of the previous decades and centuries. Pope St. Silvester I guided the Church through all those years, and helped to restore order amidst confusions and the divisions that happened due to the persecutions and the chaos that happened.

There had been many divisions in the Church, especially because of the many false leaders and heretics who misled the faithful to wrong teachings and paths. In the end, many fell and followed those false leaders, and it was Pope St. Silvester I and the many other faithful bishops, priests and leaders of the Church who worked tirelessly in order to restore the truth of God to the Church and the Christian faithful.

This culminated in the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea that happened during the reign of Pope St. Silvester. Although the Pope himself did not attend the Ecumenical Council, but through his legates and representatives, he helped to lead the Church together through the discussions and deliberations, and managed to come together with the canonical and orthodox definition of the faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through the life and examples of Pope St. Silvester I, as well as through the concerted effort of the Church leaders at that time in the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, steering the Church and the faithful through the difficult and divisive moments in its history, let us all therefore remind ourselves to keep being faithful to God and hold onto our Christian faith.

Let us all enter into the new year with a new hope, and bring hope to one another, and do our best to live our lives as faithful Christians and be exemplary to each other, that we may inspire more and more people to follow the Lord. And as we are still celebrating the season of Christmas, let us all bring the hope and joy of Christmas, the hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to all those who are still suffering and are in the darkness of despair and sorrow this year, that the Light of Christ may heal all of them and bring them to salvation. Amen.