Prayer in Time of Pandemic

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, piae petitionis effectum: et pestilentiam mortalitatemque propitiatus averte; ut mortalium corda cognoscant, et indignante talia flagella prodire, et te miserante cessare. Per Dominum nostrum…

We beseech thee, O Lord, grant us a hearing as we devoutly raise our petitions to thee, and turn away the epidemic of plague which afflicts us, so that mortal hearts may recognize that these scourges proceed from thine indignation and cease only when thou art moved to mercy. Through our Lord…



MASS THIS SUNDAY (November 29, 2020)

First Sunday of Advent

     Proper Prayers and Readings – online here, leaflet here

                 (Angelus 137, Baronius 143, Campion 1)

Order of Mass:   Angelus 838, Baronius 900, Campion 569

Ordinary:  Kyrie, (no Gloria,) Credo III, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

Preface of Advent  (p. 878 in Angelus and Baronius missals, online here)
Final Marian Antiphon:  Alma Redemptoris Mater – from Advent to the Purification

     (Angelus 114, Baronius 119, Campion 947, online here)

8 am, St. Mary Church, Athens     

11:30 am, Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, Chattanooga

12 noon, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

2 pm, St. Mary Church, Johnson City


MASS NEXT SUNDAY (December 6, 2020)

Second Sunday of Advent

8 am, Mary Church, Athens

11:30 am, Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, Chattanooga

12 noon, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

2 pm, St. Mary Church, Johnson City



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Patronal Feast of the United States

Holy Day of Obligation

12 noon, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville




            (Angelus 137, Baronius 143, Campion 1)


Excita, quǽsumus, Dómine, poténtiam tuam, et veni: ut ab imminéntibus peccatórum nostrórum perículis, te mereámur protegénte éripi, te liberánte salvári.

Stir up thy might, we beseech thee, O Lord, and come : that from the threatening dangers of our sins we may attain by thy protection to be delivered and by thy deliverance to be saved.


Epistle    Romans 13: 11-14


Gospel    Luke 21: 25-33



Hæc sacra nos, Dómine, poténti virtúte mundátos ad suum fáciant purióres veníre princípium.

May these sacred mysteries, O Lord, cleanse us by their mighty power, and make us to approach with greater purity to him who is their source.



Suscipiámus, Dómine, misericórdiam tuam in médio templi tui: ut reparatiónis nostræ ventúra sollémnia cóngruis honóribus præcedámus.

May we receive thy mercy, O Lord, in the middle of thy temple : that we may anticipate with due honor the coming solemnities of our redemption.


If you’re thinking about a new (Church) year’s resolution . . . What better preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass than review of these readings and prayers in advance?



The English word advent stems from the Latin word adventus for “arrival” or “coming”. Many may think of the season of Advent primarily as a period of preparation for the first coming of Christ in His Nativity which we celebrate at Christmas. 


However, the prayers and readings of the traditional Latin Mass during Advent look more toward His second coming when at the end of time he will come in power and glory to judge the living and the dead.


For instance, in the Gospel for this First Sunday of Advent, Our Lord says


And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves; . . . And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. . . . So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. (Luke 21:25-33)


Moreover, it is thought that the traditional Requiem Mass sequence Dies Irae—with its solemn warning of the final “day of wrath” when Christ will return as “King of fearsome majesty” and “just Judge of vengeance”—was originally written as a sequence to be chanted before the Gospel in the Mass of the First Sunday of Advent.



Side altar at Holy Ghost Church prepared for a candlelight Rorate Caeli Mass. The Rorate Caeli Mass is a traditional Advent devotion in which the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Advent offered is just before dawn, with no lighting other than candles on the altar. (Click here for more photos.)


Although it is no longer included in the ordinary form funeral Mass, the Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”) is still today found in the Liturgia Horarum (Liturgy of the Hours—the ordinary form Divine Office) as a hymn for each non-feast day of the last week of Ordinary Time. Its placement there emphasizes the upcoming Advent season and the Second Coming of Christ. The opening verses are very somber in tone, describing the Day of Judgement and the trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God. But soon a note of hope is struck.


The initial third of the Dies Irae appears during this final week as the hymn for the Office of Readings. For instance, in the Universalis app for the Liturgy of the Hours we see


 Dies iræ, dies illa 

solvet sæclum in favílla

teste David cum Sibýlla.


Quantus tremor est futúrus

quando iudex est ventúrus 

cuncta stricte discussúrus


Tuba mirum spargens sonum 

per sepúlcra regiónum

coget omnes ante thronum


Mors stupébit et natúra

cum resúrget creatúra 

iudicánti responsúra


Liber scriptus proferétur

in quo totum continétur 

unde mundus iudicétur


Iudex ergo cum sedébit

quicquid latet apparébit

nil inúltum remanébit


O tu, Deus maiestátis

alme candor Trinitátis

nos coniúnge cum beátis.


Day of wrath, that day

Will dissolve the earth to dust,

As David testifies with the Sybil.


How great will be the trembling,

When the Judge will come

To scrutinize all things strictly.


The trumpet spreading [its] wondrous sound

Through the tombs of [all] lands

Will summon all before the throne.


Death and nature will be amazed

When the creature rises

To give an account to the Judge.


The written book will be brought forth,

In which all is lodged,

Whence the world will be judged.


Therefore when the Judge takes [his] seat

Whatever is hidden will be revealed;

Nothing will remain unavenged.


O you, God of majesty,

Gracious splendour of the Trinity,

Join us to the blessed.



The middle third appears daily as the Liturgy of the Hours Lauds hymn, and the final third as the Vespers Hymn.


The great St. Martin, the “glory of Gaul”, was a late 4th century bishop of Tours who was largely responsible for the conversion of much of France to the Catholic faith. The first saint not a martyr to be officially honored in Catholic liturgy, St. Martin of Tours was one of the most popular saints of the middle ages, and Martinmas (November 11) was a feast day observed with merry celebrations and actual feasts.



The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, by Jennie A. Brownscombe, 1914


According to a recent article (here) by Prof. Michael Foley in The Latin Mass magazine,


“The story of the first Anglo-American Thanksgiving is well known. In October 1621, in gratitude to God for their first successful harvest in the New World, the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony held a three-day banquet that was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Englishmen. Not as well known is that despite their hatred of popery, the Pilgrims’ celebration was indirectly inspired by the Catholic harvest celebrations of the Middle Ages, especially the Dutch custom of serving goose on St. Martin’s Day (November 11). According to some scholars, when the Pilgrims, who had spent time in Holland before landing on Plymouth Rock, ran out of geese for their feast, they supplemented the menu with a bird unique to North America. And that is how the Martinmas goose became the Thanksgiving turkey.



At the age of fifteen Martin was, as the son of a veteran, forced into the army against his will and for some years, though not yet formally a Christian, he lived more like a monk than a soldier. It was while stationed at Amiens that is said to have occurred the incident which tradition and image have made famous. One day in a very hard winter, during a severe frost, he met at the gate of the city a poor man, almost naked, trembling and shaking with cold, and begging alms of those that passed by. Martin, seeing those that went before take no notice of this miserable creature, thought he was reserved for himself, but he had nothing with him but his arms and clothes. So, drawing his sword, he cut his cloak into two pieces, gave one to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other half. That night Martin in his sleep saw Jesus Christ, dressed in that half of the garment which he had given away, and heard Jesus say, "Martin, yet a catechumen, has covered me with this garment". [From Butler's Lives Of The Saints: Complete Edition. Kindle Edition.]



This coming Sunday (Nov. 29) is the fifteenth anniversary of the first modern-era traditional Latin Mass publicly scheduled in Knoxville. Which, with Fr. John Dowling participating, was celebrated by Fr. John Orr at (the old) St. John Neumann Church 15 years ago on the First Sunday of Advent in 2005.


Click here for photos and an account of that auspicious turning point in 21st century Knoxville Catholicism.



Fr. Dowling and Fr. Orr with our first pair of Latin Mass servers

(Kenny Jacobs and Michael Hendershott) on Nov. 27, 2005



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