November 29 – Vigil of St Andrew & St Saturninus, Martyr

Christmas begins to glimmer on the horizon. The last Sunday after Pentecost has given us the closing instructions of the moveable Cycle. Beginning with the twenty-seventh of this month, the present days belong in some years to the new Cycle, in others to the one which is ending.

The last Lesson from the Scripture of the Time (Saturday before first Sunday in Advent) ends with the solemn declaration of the last of the Prophets, announcing the approach of a new era: From the rising of the sun even to the going down, my Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my Name a clean oblation! for my Name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11) And in today’s Gospel (John 1:35-51) we have St. John the Baptist echoing the words of Malachias, and joining the old and the new times together: Behold the Lamb of God! He points out to us the Messias close at hand.

Andrew, brother of Peter, and another of John’s disciples, asked this Messias: Rabbi, where dwellest thou? Jesus answered: Come and see. And they went, continues the Evangelist, and saw where he abode, and they stayed with him that day. Whereupon St. Augustine speaking in the name of the Church on this Vigil, says: “Let us build him a dwelling in our hearts, that he may come to us, and teach us, and live with us.” (Homily on the Vigil, Tract 7 on John) Here is our Advent planned out for us.

Let us put that blessed season under the protection of the Apostle of the Cross, and also of the holy Martyr Saturninus, whom the Church has honored on this day from time immemorial.

Prayer
Quæsumus omnipotens Deus: ut beatus Andreas Apostolus, cujus prævenimus festivitatem, tuum pro nobis imploret auxilium; ut a nostris restibus absoluti, a cunctis etiam periculis eruamur. Per Dominum. We beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the blessed Apostle Andrew, whose festival we anticipate, may implore thy help for us; that absolved from our sins, we may also be delivered from all dangers. Through our Lord.
Prayer
Deus, qui nos beati Saturnini Martyris tui concedis natalitio perfrui: ejus nos tribue meritis adjuvari. Per Dominum. O God, who grantest us to rejoice in the festival of blessed Saturninus thy Martyr, grant us to be assisted by his merits. Through our Lord.

 

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This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)