Rorate Caeli

A question for our readers: Rorate Masses

Rorate Mass according to the 1962 Missal at the Oxford Oratory on December 17, 2011. SOURCE.

Dear readers: did your community have at least one Rorate Mass this Advent? 

"Simbang Gabi" (Rorate Mass) according to the 1962 Missal at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy, Quezon City, Philippines on December 23, 2011. SOURCE.

Information regarding Rorate Mass and Christmas novena customs from all over the world are also welcome. (I'm aware of  many of these traditions, but I don't claim to know all of them. Hopefully the combox discussion will yield some surprises.)

I also invite you to write about the various ways that you, your families and your parishes prepared for Christmas. 


  1. German priests who help out at Assumption Grotto in Detroit sometimes have done the Rorate Masses. We did them moreso in the past, but it can be difficult given that they are often out doing retreats. There may have been one this year, but I did not make it to many evening Masses, which is the only time they could do them (ordinarily, they are done very early in the AM).

    The Elevation photo was taken in 2010. We had desired to have the Mass in Extraordinary Form, as did the priest, but because of the calendar, and the date of the Mass, we could not. What you are seeing is a Latin Novus Ordo, celebrated ad Orientem.

    In this post, one of the priests explains the custom.

  2. The first of the two photopgraphs you have is of the Rorate Mass at the Oxford Oratory with Fr Dominic singing a Missa Cantata at 7am on Saturday 17th december. It was well attended, with about one hundred people present.

  3. We had one the first Saturday in Advent- it was awesome!

  4. Anonymous10:41 PM

    We had a Rorate Mass on December 10at 5:30 am while the lunar eclipse was occurring. The entire High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was by candlelight only, complete with choir, three priests and several altar boys. It was amazing! Our parish is St. Anne's in San Diego, where Tradition is alive and well, thanks to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and all the parishioners who come from far and wide to celebrate Catholicism in all its glory.

  5. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Anon, please use a name next time you post. We will allow this post to go this time only because we love your pastor, Fr. Gismondi. Please tell him Rorate says Merry Christmas!

  6. Rorate Masses:

    Lima (Perú) - Novus Ordo

    Málaga (Spain) - Vetus Ordo

  7. Hieronymus10:01 PM

    Every Friday 6AM here in the hinterlands of Ontario. Ordinary form, for the most part in the vernacular, but ad Orientem. Probably an average attendance of about 80--which isn't bad in a town of 1200 with two parishes and multiple other Mass options.

  8. We had a Rorate Mass on December 10th in Sacramento at St. Stephen, the First Martyr Parish (FSSP). It was at 5:30 am and well attended! Very beautiful! This is a tradition which we have continued for the past 10 years.

  9. Jesson2:46 PM

    In our parish (and I hear in many parishes in the Visayas), we still sing the Novena to the Virgin of Bethlehem, the text of which (the original is Cebuano) was authorised on 10 August 1894 by His Imperial Lordship Martin Garcia y Alcocer, Bishop of Cebu, for the entire Diocese of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of Cebu.

    The novena is said before every misa de gallo (OF); that is why, the bells of the church begin tolling at 3.00am. The novena starts at 3.30 and ends by 4.30 (yes, the gozos is very long). Mass begins by then and ends between 5.30 or 6.00, depending on the length of the homily.

    Here is my translation of the copla of the gozos:

    For Thou art born to rule earth,
    O Goodness Great, by humble birth;
    We sinners now implore thy aid,
    O Virgin, Moth'r of Bethlehem.

  10. J. C. Tzos4:21 PM

    Rorate Mass
    Saturday, December 10, 2011
    6:00 AM
    Seek not the face of the Priest in the Mass, but the face of Almighty God!
    Next Saturday, December 10th at 6:00 AM, we will come together as a Parish Family to celebrate the unique European tradition of the Rorate Mass. Our Church will be illuminated with only candlelight as we celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin) and anticipate the beauty of another dawn.

    This is the 4th year in a row that my parish, St. Peter, Merchantville, NJ, has celebrated the Rorate Mass.

    We have the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) every Sunday at Noon, (High Mass Spetember-May, Low Mass June-August); Solemn High TLM on all Major Holy Days, plus an evening Solemn High Mass for All Souls Day.

    J. C. Tzos

  11. St. Ann's4:39 PM

    We had a Rorate Mass at 10 AM, on the feast of the Translation of the Holy House of Loreto at historic Saint Ann's German Church & Shrine in Buffalo, NY. Video and pictures at: It was beautifully offered and well-attended!

  12. St. Clement Parish of Ottawa, Canada has a Rorate Mass every year. The entire church is lit by candles (not just the sanctuary).


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