Father Jeremy Secrist elevates the Most Blessed Sacrament while celebrating a Rorate Mass by candlelight before dawn on Saturday, Dec. 21.
The Rorate Mass is an ancient Catholic tradition for the longest night of the year.
About 90 people attended the Mass, which began at 6 a.m.
Father Bradley Berhorst led the chanting of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and other hymns without accompaniment in the acoustically resonant church.
The muted light of candles in darkness represents the longing of the people who have received the light of Christ in His Incarnation and who now await His glorious Second Coming.
“This Rorate Mass is a microcosm of our Advent preparation, what this Season of Advent is really meant to be,” Fr. Secrist stated in his homily. “We come to realize in this shade, in this shadow that obscures us from seeing the Lord fully, our tremendous need for a Savior, so we can be all the more attentive to when He DOES come, when He DOES make His presence known to us, when He DOES reveal to us the fullness of His life and light.
“May the Blessed Mother lead us closer to the Jesus, Our Lord,” said Fr. Secrist, “so that when He comes in all of His glory and power, we may be a people who have longed for His coming, who have prepared well for His coming and who desire to see Him face to face.”