The "Rorate Mass," so called because it begins with the words of Isaiah 45:8, "Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum..." (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One...), is a votive Mass offered within the season of Advent in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Celebrated by candlelight, and traditionally held before dawn.
As the Mass ends the sky is just starting to glow with the new day and we journey from darkness to light and the coming of the Word Made Flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mother is upon us.
Will we be the darkness who receive Him not or will we be children of the light?
The Rorate Mass is lit only by candlelight. Because it is a votive Mass in Mary’s honor, white vestments are worn instead of Advent violet. In the dimly lit setting, priests and faithful prepare to honor the Light of the world, Who is soon to be born, and offer praise to God for the gift of Our Lady. As the Mass proceeds and sunrise approaches, the church becomes progressively brighter, illumined by the sun as our Faith is illumined by Christ.
The readings and prayers of the Mass foretell the prophecy of the Virgin who would bear a Son called Emmanuel, and call on all to raise the gates of their hearts and their societies to let Christ the King enter; asking for the grace to receive eternal life by the merits of the Incarnation and saving Resurrection of Our Lord.
Solemn Rorate Mass from December 15th, 2012, at St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish. The Rorate Mass is a special votive mass for Our Lady during Advent, traditionally celebrated by candlelight in the early morning. St. Stephen's is a parish run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
The piece is "Gabriel's Message," a traditional Basque Advent carol, sung by the Choir and Choristers of St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish on the album "The Little Road to Bethlehem.”
This video was created by a talented parishioner, Jennifer Rego.
- Images of a Rorate Mass – New Liturgical Movement
- A Reflection on Our Lady in Advent –Sermon was given during Rorate Mass by Rev. Mr. John Rickert, FSSP
- Rorate Mass Text - Booklet – EWTN
- Video of a Solemn High Rorate Mass (Homily is 1/4 – 1/2 way into the Mass)
- Three-part Advent Recollection on Silence, Prayer, and Spiritual Life
“Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum, aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.” ~ Isaiah 45:8:
“Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.”