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them; and I be thus rendered menta. Qui vivis et regnas less unworthy of thy divine in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. visit.

The Priest having read the Antiphon called the Communion, which is the first part of his Thanksgiving for the favour just received from God, whereby he has renewed his divine presence among us turns to the people with the usual salutation; after which he recites the Prayers, called the Postcommunion, which are the completion of the Thanksgiving. You will join him here also, thanking God for the unspeakable gift he has just lavished on you, and asking him, with most earnest entreaty, that he will permit you to continue, for ever, in the company of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

These Prayers having been recited, the Priest again turns to the people, and full of joy for the immense favour he and they have been receiving, he says:

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The Priest makes a last Prayer, before giving you his blessing: pray with him:

Eternal thanks be to thee, O adorable Trinity, for the mercy thou hast showed to me, in permitting me to assist at this divine Sacrifice. Pardon me the negligence and coldness wherewith I have received so great a favour, and deign to confirm the Blessing, which thy Minister is about to give me in thy Name.

Placeat tibi, sancta Trinitas, obsequium servitutis meæ, quod oculis tuæ majestatis indignus obtuli, tibi sit acceptabile, mihique, et omnibus, pro quibus illud obtuli, sit, te miserante, propitiabile. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The Priest raises his hand, and thus blesses you:

Benedicat vos omnipotens
Deus, Pater, et Filius, et
Spiritus Sanctus.
R7. Amen.

May the Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you!

R. Amen.

He then concludes the Mass, by reading the first fourteen verses of the Gospel according to St. John, which tell us of the eternity of the Word, and of the mercy which led him to take upon himself our flesh, and to dwell among us. Pray that you may be of the number of those, who, now that he has come unto his own, receive him, and are made the sons of God.

. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Initium sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.

Cap. 1.

In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt; et sine ipso factum est nihil. Quod factum est, in ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum: et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt. Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen erat Joannes. Hic venit in testimonium, ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine, ut omnes crederent per illum. Non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Erat lux vera, quæ illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. In mundo erat, et mundus per ipsum factus

. The Lord be with you. Ry. And with thy spirit.

The beginning of the Holy Gospel according to John. Ch. 1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through Him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in

the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them he gave power to be made the sons of God; to them that believe in his name, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us; and we saw his glory, as it were the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, fuil of grace and truth. R7. Thanks be to God.

est, et mundus eum non cognovit. In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. Quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, his, qui credunt in nomine ejus: quinon ex sanguinibus, neque ex volun tate carnis, neque ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo nati sunt. ET VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST, et habitavit in nobis: et vidimus gloriam ejus, gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Patre, plenum gratiæ et veritatis.

Ry. Deo gratias.

CHAPTER VI.

ON HOLY COMMUNION DURING CHRISTMAS.

DURING Advent, Holy Communion prepared the soul for the visible Coming of her heavenly Spouse. He graciously granted her that sublime favour, as a foretaste of that happy Night, in which he would show himself to her as the Divine Babe, whose ineffable loveliness would ravish Angels, Shepherds, and Kings. She enjoyed something of that exquisite delight, which Mary felt, when she had within her chaste womb the God, who was her Child, though as yet concealed from her sight.

But, now that Christmas is come; now, that a little Child is born unto us, cradled in the House of Bread, which is Bethlehem; now, that the Angels have invited the Shepherds, and the Star the Magi, to come and see Him and adore Him;-the Holy Communion must take us on further in the knowledge of our Incarnate Word, illumine us with brighter Light, and produce within us a more ardent longing to possess this Jesus, whose love and loveliness gleam so magnificently through the humility of these swathing-bands and manger.

It is no longer the invisible Jesus, preparing, by silence and stillness, for the laborious mission of his conquest of souls:-it is the Deliverer of mankind who has begun to run the way;' it is the Sun of Justice darting his first rays on our earth; it is our God, asking us to give Him, a weak Babe, room in our hearts; it is our Creator, who loveth souls,2 striving to win our love.

' Ps. xviii. 6.

• Wisd. xi. 27..

Then, let us go to him, that we may know him; let us know him, that we may love him; let us love him, that we may grow like him. What he demands of us by this Christmas mystery, is, that we become, like him, little children, for, there is now no other means of our possessing him, no other way of going to the Father. Therefore, come to him, ye laithful ones, and be enlightened! We have ventured to draw up these Acts, thinking that they might assist you in your preparation for the visit you are going to make to the Babe of Bethlehem. May you derive profit from them, and pray for him who gives you them.

BEFORE COMMUNION

ACT OF FAITH.

Thou art about to descend into my breast, O eternal God! and yet, there is nothing to betoken the approach of thy Sovereign Majesty! As on the sacred night of thy birth, thy entrance into Bethlehem was in humility and in silence; so also now, there is nothing to tell men that thou art about to visit me. A Little Child, veiled under the appearance of an humble host, is coming to me, and, in a few moments, I shall hold within me Him who created all things, the Judge of the living and the dead! Oh! how I love to bow down my reason before this wonderful Mystery! How I love, too to contemplate these incomprehensible abasements of my God, to which he has humbled himself in order that he might exalt me! No-Reason could never have taught me all this! How could Reason tell me what the infinite love of God for his creatures can do, when she cannot even make me see my own nothingness and sinfulness, into which, thou, dear Jesus, art now coming? O Infant-God! I believe in thy love, and thy love is omnipotent. I come to thee with a simple Faith, as the Shepherds went to Bethlehem when the Angel spoke these words to them: There is born unto you, in the City of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord: and this shall be a sign unto you :—you shall find the infant

1 Ps. xxxiii. 6.

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