On December 9th, the first Saturday of Advent, the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will host a Rorate Mass at 6:30AM. This is a first for the Newman Center, and a rare occurrence on any college campus. The event is being hosted by the university’s Venerable Sheen Club which works to promote the traditional Mass among students.
The Rorate Caeli is an ancient Advent tradition dating back centuries. In recent years it has seen a resurgence due to an increased availability of Masses offered in the Extraordinary Form. The Mass itself begins before sunrise, with all illumination provided by candles.
As described by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) at their website:
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.
Further enhancing the beauty and grandeur of the occasion, the Rorate will be a Solemn High Mass featuring a schola from Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Fraternity’s seminary located within the Diocese of Lincoln.
The Mass will be offered by Father Justin Wylie, a priest from South Africa who most recently served the traditional community at Holy Innocents Church in the Archdiocese of New York. Currently Fr Wylie is in residence at the cathedral in Lincoln, as well as serving as Assistant Diocesan Master of Ceremonies. Two deacons from the Fraternity seminary are scheduled to serve as Deacon and Subdeacon for the Mass.
For more information, please see the Facebook page created by event organizers.
Photo credit: Tracy Fallaschek Dunne