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النشر الإلكتروني

Thou art the Queen of heaven, and Reparatrix of the earth,

The loved Mother of men, and the terror of the demons of hell.

The Scriptural figures of Window, Gate, Fleece, Palace, House, Temple, and Earthall are fulfilled in thee.

Thou art the Lily, by thy virginity; thou art the Rose, by thy martyrdom:

The Garden enclosed, the Fountain of gardens that cleansest the defilements of sin,

Purifiest them that are unclean, and bringest the dead to life.

O Queen of the Angels, and, after God, the Hope of mankind!

Thou art the couch of the King, and the Throne of God.

Thou art the Star of the East, that puttest to flight the shadows of the Western night.

Thou art the Aurora, the Sun's harbinger, and the Day that knowest not night.

Thou art Mother of the God who is our Father; thou givest life to Him who giveth life to us.

Oh! may the Holy Mother's confidence in her Son reconcile Him to us his children!

Mother of Jesus! pray for us to thy Divine Son, that he forgive us our sins,

And, after this our pardon, give us grace and glory.

Amen.

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The Civil Year ends to-day. At Mid-night, a New Year will begin, as the world counts time, and the

present one will sink into the abyss of eternity. It is one step further on in our lives, and brings us nearer to that end of all things, which St. Peter says is at hand.1 The Liturgy, which begins a new Ecclesiastical Year on the First Sunday of Advent, has no special prayers, in the Roman Church, for the beginning of the Year on the First of January; but her spirit-which takes an interest in everything affecting the well-being of individuals or of society at large-her spirit is, that we should, sometime in the course of this last day of the Year, make a fervent act of thanksgiving to God, for the blessings he has bestowed upon us during the past twelve months.

Rome sets us the example. To-day, the Sovereign Pontiff goes, in state, to the Gesù (or, as we should call it, Jesus' Church,) and there assists at a solemn Te Deum; the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament follows it, blessing, as it were, the public act of thanksgiving, and giving a pledge of blessings for the coming Year.

The only Church that has given a Liturgical expression to the sentiments, which the close of the Year inspires, is that of the Mozarabic Rite, in which there occurs the following beautiful Preface, which we gladly offer to our readers. It is part of the Mass of the Sunday, which immediately precedes the Feast of the Epiphany.

ILLATIO.

Dignum et justum est nos tibi gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater æterne, omnipotens Deus, per Jesum

It is meet and just, that we should give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Eternal Father, Almighty God, through Jesus

1 I. St. Pet. iv. 7.

Christ thy Son, our Lord; who being, before all time, born of thee, God the Father, did, together with thee and the Holy Ghost, create all seasons, and deigned himself to be born in time, from the womb of the Virgin Mary. He, though the eternal One, established the fixed revolutions of years, through which this world runs its course, and divided the Year by regular and suitable changes of Seasons, wherewith the Sun should, in orderly variety, mark the round of the Year, as he ran the measured circuit of his course. For we, this day, dedicate by the gifts we offer, the close of the past year, and the commencement of that which follows, unto Him, the living God, by whose mercy we have lived through the years gone by, and are about to commence the be

ginning of another. Since, therefore, a sacred devotion, wherein we all share, has this Year brought us together to invoke this thy Divine Son, we pour out our humble prayers unto thee, O God, the Father that, whereas thou hast consecrated the present portion of the year by the Birth of this same thy Sonthou mayest vouchsafe to make this year a happy one unto us, and to give us to spend it in thy service. Fill, too, the earth with its fruits, and deliver our souls and bodies from sickness and

Christum Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum. Qui ante tempus natus ex te, Deo Patre, tecum pariter et cum Spiritu Sancto condidit tempora, dignatus est nasci et ipse sub tempore, ex utero virginis Mariæ. Qui tamen cum sit sempiternus, statutos annorum discrevit recursus, per quos evolutus deduceretur hic mundus. Distinguens annum certis atque congruentibus vicissitudinibus temporum, quibus sol certa cursus sui dimensione anni orbem inconfusa varietate distingueret. Illi etenim Deo vivo hodie et finem expleti anni, et subsequentis initium oblatis muneribus dedicamus; per quem et decursum

annorum transegi

mus, et principium_alterius inchoamus. Hunc igitur quia in annum nos ad supplicandum sancta et communis fecit devotio convenire, tibi Deus Pater, simplices fundimus preces. Ut qui in nativitate ejusdem Filii tui præsentis temporis curricula consecrasti, præbeas nobis hunc annum habere placabilem, et dies ejus in tua transigere servitute. Terram quoque fructibus reple, animas corporaque facito morbis delictisque carere.

Scandala remove, contere hostem, cohibe famem, et omnes in commune

nocivorum casuum eventus sin. Take away scandal, dea nostris finibus procul feat our enemy, keep down exclude. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. Amen.

famine, and drive far from our country all such events as would bring evil upon her. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

JANUARY 1.

THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD,

AND OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS DAY.

OUR new-born King and Saviour is eight days old to-day; the Star, that guides the Magi, is advancing towards Bethlehem, and, five days hence, will be standing over the Stable where our Jesus is being nursed by his Mother. To-day, the Son of Man is to be circumcised; this first sacrifice of his innocent Flesh must honour the eighth day of his mortal life. To-day, also, a Name is to be given him-the Name will be Jesus, and it means Saviour. So that, Mysteries abound on this day: let us not pass one of them over, but honour them with all possible devotion and love.

But this Day is not exclusively devoted to the Circumcision of Jesus. The mystery of this Circumcision forms part of that other great mystery, the Incarnation and Infancy of our Saviour-a mystery on which the Church fixes her heart, not only during this Octave, but during the whole forty days of Christmas-Tide. Then, as regards our Lord's receiving the Name of Jesus, a special Feast, which we shall soon be keeping, is set apart in honour of it. There is another object, that shares the love and devotion of the Faithful, on this great Solemnity. This object is Mary, the Mother of God. The Church celebrates, to-day, the august prerogative of this divine Maternity, which was conferred on a mere creature, and which made her the co-operatrix with Jesus in the great work of man's salvation.

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