Christ has been born for us: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(I). Liturgical Colour: White.
Pope St Silvester I (- 335)
He was made Pope in 314 and ruled the Church during the reign of the newly-converted Emperor Constantine. In his time the Donatist schism and the Arian heresy caused great trouble for the Church. He died in 335 and is buried in the cemetery of Priscilla in the via Salaria in Rome. His life has been so accreted with pious legends that very little else is known about him for certain, but his reign as Pope is the eighth longest on record. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
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)||Isaiah 45:13 ©|
I roused him to victory, I levelled the way for him. He will rebuild my city, will bring my exiles back without ransom or indemnity, so says the Lord of Hosts.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 48:20 ©|
Declare this with cries of joy and proclaim it, send it out to the ends of the earth. Say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.’
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 65:1 ©|
I was ready to be approached by those who did not consult me, ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘I am here, I am here’, to a nation that did not invoke my name.