Prayer for the Evening
Vigil of the Fourth Sunday of Advent
Jesus Christ is covenant and law:
come, let us adore him!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
R/Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
Canticle of Mattathias. 1 Mc 2:51-53, 57-61
There were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the Lord came down upon it in fire. (Ex 19:16, 18a)
We prepare with awe-filled joy to celebrate the incomprehensible mystery of the new covenant made in Jesus Christ, in whose Incarnation humanity and divinity are joined in a communion far beyond anything that could have been imagined at Sinai.
Remember the deeds that our fathers did
in their times,
and you shall win great glory
and an everlasting name.
Was not Abraham found faithful in trial,
and it was reputed to him as uprightness?
Joseph, when in distress, kept the commandment,
and he became master of Egypt.
David, for his piety,
received as a heritage a throne of everlasting royalty.
Elijah, for his burning zeal for the law,
was taken up to heaven.
Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, for their faith,
were saved from the fire.
Daniel, for his innocence,
was delivered from the jaws of lions.
And so, consider this from generation to generation,
that none who hope in him shall fail in strength.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God. Hebrews 12:18, 22-24
You have not approached that [mountain] which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm. No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed
on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:28)
Canticle of Mary
O Adonai and Leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flames of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come and redeem us with outstretched arm. (Traditional O Antiphon)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
[he] has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
United with God in the covenant of love, we stand and pray in hope to the One in whose blood that covenant was sealed:
R/Come, Lord Jesus!
For those whom you have bound to yourself in your covenant of love:
– grant us perseverance in fidelity to the law you have written in our hearts. R/
For those who will come after us in the covenant of your love:
– grant us the wisdom to teach them well by word and example. R/
For those who have gone before us in fidelity to the covenant of your love:
– bring them to dwell in joy with you for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem. R/
May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish us with all that is good, that we may do his will. Amen. (cf. Heb 13:20-21)
O Mary, ever Virgin, rejoice,
you who were worthy to bear Christ,
the Creator of heaven and earth;
for from your womb
you brought forth the Savior of the world, alleluia.
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quæ pervia cæli
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quæ genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
Loving mother of the Redeemer
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us, poor sinners.