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Wally and Janet Karase, parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle, held candles for the Rorate Caeli Mass on Dec. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary. The parish pastor, Father Andrew Burkemper, celebrated the Rorate Caeli Mass that honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as we approach Christmas.
Wally and Janet Karase, parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle, held candles for the Rorate Caeli Mass on Dec. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary. The parish pastor, Father Andrew Burkemper, celebrated the Rorate Caeli Mass that honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as we approach Christmas.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand

Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in anticipation of the birth of Christ

Moments from the Rorate Caeli Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle

Father Andrew Burkemper celebrated a Rorate Caeli Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in New Melle on Dec. 15. A Rorate Caeli Mass is a candlelight Mass that honors the Blessed Virgin, in anticipation of the birth of Christ.

Rorate Caeli comes from the Introit, or entrance chant, used during Advent from Isaiah 45:8 — “Roráte caeli désuper, et nubes pluant iustum.” (“Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just.”) The Mass is an opportunity to reflect, through the liturgy, on Mary’s role in salvation history.

Historically, the Mass would be celebrated by candlelight before dawn. The sun rising at the end of Mass symbolized the journey from darkness to light and the coming of the infant Jesus, the light of the world. For practicality sake, the Mass is now often celebrated in the evening.

Father Burkemper, pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary, said the Rorate Caeli Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary would begin in darkness with candlelight and concluded as the sun is rising signifying the “dawn of salvation” that comes with the Incarnation and the birth of Christ at Christmas.

For more information on Rorate Caeli Masses, read a previous Review story at stlreview.com/3Tswq8P

The sun rose at the end of a Rorate Caeli Mass on Dec. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle. Pastor Father Andrew Burkemper said the sun rising signifies the “dawn of salvation” that comes with the Incarnation and the birth of Christ at Christmas.
Photo Credits: Jacob Wiegand
An image of Mary on display during the Rorate Caeli Mass on Dec. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle.
Photo Credits: Jacob Wiegand
Naomi Brandt, 7, let out a yawn next to her mother, Julie Brandt, while holding candles at a 6:30 a.m. Rorate Caeli Mass on Dec. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle. The Brandts are parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Photo Credits: Jacob Wiegand

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