Saturday, 1 January 2022 : Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Prayer for Peace (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White or Blue

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.

Saturday, 1 January 2022 : Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Prayer for Peace (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Blue

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) – Saturday, 1 January 2022 : 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) – Saturday, 1 January 2022 : 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) – Saturday, 1 January 2022 : 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) – Saturday, 1 January 2022 : 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) – Saturday, 1 January 2022 : 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.

Friday, 31 December 2021 : 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, today on the very last day of the solar year calendar, and being still in the middle of the Christmas season, all of us through the readings of the Sacred Scriptures are reminded to keep our focus on Christ, on God’s truth and love, and not allow ourselves to be distracted and deceived by the many temptations present all around us. As we end our current year and look forward to the beginning of the new year, we have to keep our focus steadily forward, with Christ as our focus and direction, the Star that guides our path ever forward in life.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. John, the Apostle spoke of the dangers of the antichrists, all those who spoke of falsehoods and heretical teachings not in accordance to the truth and the teachings of the Lord. At that time, even that early in the history of the Church, there were already those who sought to divide the Church and mislead its members and adherents, by spreading teachings and thoughts that were contrary to the truth that the Lord has passed down through His Apostles.

Many of those heresies came about because of the power and influence that those heretical teachers and even wayward priests and clergy could attain by spreading their own version of the truth and teachings of God. They were more concerned with their own fame and glory, and the advancement of their selfish, worldly causes and ambitions rather than to proclaim the truth of God. As such, St. John the Apostle, who have worked for a long time and laboured hard among the people of God, showed his concerns on how all these led the people away from God.

What he was mentioning to us is for us to be vigilant as we look forward to the future and guard ourselves against the many possible corruptions from the world. We must not allow ourselves to be easily swayed and instead we have to keep ourselves firmly focused on the Lord, on His truth and love. We have to live our lives with genuine love for the Lord, obeying His will, His Law and commandments. The Lord has given us the opportunities for us to follow Him, and He has revealed to us His message of love, by the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour into this world.

That is why today in our Gospel passage we are yet again reminded of the reason of our many celebrations that we have during this season of Christmas. We all celebrate because of the Word of God, the Son, Who chose to become Incarnate in the flesh, so that by the action of the Word made flesh, He might become for all of us, past, present and future, the One to redeem us and save us from our fated destruction because of our many sins. In Christmas all of us have been reminded of this great love of God manifested in the flesh, in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today on the last day of this year, let us all take stock and evaluate carefully how our year had been like. Have we spent the time and effort to be faithful to God and also to dedicate ourselves to His works? Have we truly placed Him at the centre of our lives as we should? As we prepare to welcome the new year, we should look back and see in what way we can do better especially as Christians in living our lives ever more sincerely and genuinely in faith. We should be ready to lead a more wholesome Christian life in the year ahead, and we can do so by following the examples of our holy predecessors, the saints, the holy men and women of God.

Today in particular, on this last day of the year, we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Silvester I, also known as Pope St. Sylvester. Pope St. Silvester I was the leader of the Universal Church, as the Pope and Bishop of Rome during the time of new beginnings for the Church. His twenty-one years long pontificate was one of the longest of any Popes, and it ushered in the era of new beginnings for the Christian community and the Church. This is especially considering that his pontificate came right after Pope St. Miltiades, during whose pontificate the Edict of Milan officially tolerating Christianity was declared by the Roman Emperors Constantine and Licinius. This Edict was proclaimed just less than two years before the pontificate of Pope St. Silvester I began.

Pope St. Silvester I and his long pontificate marked the beginning of a new era for the Church and the Christian population throughout the Empire. Of course persecution did not end outright and there remained sporadic persecutions and tensions with the pagans and the authorities, but the end of persecutions opened a lot of opportunities for Christians who have long suffered from various persecutions and opposition from both the Roman government and from the pagan followers. There were a large number of churches and other Christian buildings being built during his pontificate, marking the beginning of a new and brighter future.

However, at the same time, the tensions and divisions that once were not previously apparent or visible began to make themselves apparent as various heretical teachings and thoughts like Arianism and Gnosticism amongst many others began to arise at that time, and in particular Arianism gained so much following and support that with the collaboration of the Roman Emperor, Pope St. Silvester I and many other bishops decided to organise the very first Ecumenical Council of the Church, the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea which formulated the official teachings of the Church and the rejection of heresies, just as St. John had warned against earlier.

The life and works of Pope St. Silvester I should remind all of us, brothers and sisters in Christ, that the future is not necessarily bleak or dark. We all know just how difficult these past two years had been on so many of us, but we must have faith in the Lord that everything will one day be fine again. We have to look forward to a brighter future while at the same time being vigilant against all the evils and wicked influences, all the false paths that can mislead us down the wrong path. The best way for us is to commit ourselves fully to the Lord and entrust ourselves to Him.

Let us all seek the Lord with a new heart and be more committed to Him from now on. May He continue to bless us and guide us, and may He strengthen each and every one of us, so that we will always have hope in Him and as we enter into the new year, may He continue to bless us in each and every good endeavours, and bless our loved ones, families and friends. May God bless us all, and bless our year ahead. Amen.

Friday, 31 December 2021 : Seventh Day within Octave of Christmas, Memorial of Pope St. Silvester I, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 1-18

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in Him; life, which for human beings, was also light, light that shines in darkness, light that darkness could not overcome.

A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light; for the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, the very world that did not know Him.

He came to His own, yet His own people did not receive Him; but to all who received Him, He empowers to become children of God, for they believe in His Name. These are born, but not by seed, or carnal desire, nor by the will of man : they are born of God.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father : fullness of truth and loving-kindness. John bore witness to Him openly, saying, “This is the One Who comes after me, but He is already ahead of me, for He was before me.”

From His fullness we have all received, favour upon favour. For God had given us the Law through Moses, but Truth and Loving-kindness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God-the-only-Son made Him known : the One, Who is in and with the Father.