In the presence of the angels, come, let us adore the Lord.
Year: A(I). Liturgical Colour: White.
He is mentioned in the Apocalypse as the leader of the heavenly host. He is a patron of soldiers.
He appears in the book of Daniel to explain some of the prophet’s visions, and was also the bearer of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the Book of Tobit, he is the angel who heals Tobit of his blindness. His name means God heals.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Gregory the Great (540 - 604)
Gregory was born in Rome and followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, finally becoming Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for some years.
He founded a monastery in Rome and some others in Sicily, then became a monk himself. He was ordained deacon and sent as an envoy to Constantinople, on a mission that lasted five years.
He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy, and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down. His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of Augustine and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality, and morals, and designated himself “servant of the servants of God.”
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)
|Daniel 12:1 ©
At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people. There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book.
|Noon reading (Sext)
|Daniel 9:22-23 ©
The angel Gabriel spoke to me and said ‘Daniel, you see me; I have come down to teach you how to understand. When your pleading began, a word was uttered, and I have come to tell you what it is. You are a man specially chosen. Grasp the meaning of the word, understand the vision.’
|Afternoon reading (None)
|Tobit 12:15,18,20 ©
I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord. When I was with you, my presence was not by any decision of mine, but by the will of God; it is he whom you must bless throughout your days, he that you must praise. I am about to return to him above who sent me. Write down all that has happened.