Sermons

Sermons

For Sundays and Holydays

What is the Breviary Online?

 

The Official Prayer of the Church

 

Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office (or Breviary) is the most important prayer offered to God.  It is offered by the Church and in the name of the Church, conferring multifold graces and blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly.  Normally the domain of priests and religious, the Church has continued to recommend her official prayer to the faithful.  However, until now, the complexity of the rubrics and a lack of suitable translations has deterred many.

 

Now Accessible to the Layman

 

With the help of modern technology, it has become easier to overcome these problems.  The result is the Roman Breviary published by the Confraternity of Ss. Peter & Paul in both Latin and English.  No knowledge of the liturgy is required.  All you have to do is click on the feastday, and then on the Canonical Hour you want to say.  The rest is just like reading a book—everything is laid out for you in order according to the rubrics of the day.  No more flicking through the ribboned sections of a weighty volume.  No more apprehension that you are forgetting some obscure rubric.  It's all there spelled out, in order, every day.

 

Learn More about the Breviary

 

And if you do want to deepen your knowledge of the Breviary or the Confraternity, this website can help you with that too.  We already provide a short history of the Breviary, instructions on when to recite which Hours, a brief commentary on the psalms, and much more.  And for those who would really like to understand the rubrics in greater depth, we provide in our bookstore a detailed but simply written electronic manual entitled How to Say the Breviary.  We shall be expanding this website regularly with more information, so check back with us frequently.  And may God reward your prayers by bestowing on you all those spiritual favours that come from a devout reading of the Church's Divine Office.

 

Is this Breviary for You?

 

Check out the Features

 

Link to our Features Page to see what a difference our online edition of the traditional Roman Breviary can make in your life.

 

Check out a Sample Day

 

Link to the Office for the Feast of St. Pius X, our secondary patron.  You can browse through the various Hours of the Office and get a feel for what to expect.

 

Check out the artwork, the original photos, play some of the music.  We hope you enjoy the experience.   More importantly do you think this approach to prayer is something that could be spiritually beneficial for you?

How Do I Get Started?

 

Register and Subscribe

 

Register

 

Link to our online Breviary homepage.  Underneath the login form is a box, with the words First-Time User? and Register Here in red letters underlined.  Click on this link and complete the short form.  Click the Sign up link.

 

Subscribe

 

Log in to our webiste using the user name and password you have chosen.  When you first attempt to Recite the Breviary you will be linked to the subscription page.  Here you may choose from our monthly subscription of $2.50 (USD) per month, or $24.00 for an annual subscription.  Or simply send a check to the address provided on our Contacts page.

  Christmas - Midnight Mass

December 25, 2015

Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will

Christmas night is a night unlike all other nights. There is something special in the air, a spiritual mist that covers the earth with almost tangible freshness. It is as though God has once again sent forth his Spirit to renew the face of the earth. And if the herald angels made an appearance once more in the heavens this night, they would not seem out of place as they sing their song of adoration, and beckon us to Bethlehem, to join them in worshipping our newborn King.

They sing their Gloria in Excelsis to their Most High God. And then they sing of peace. Peace to the earth. Peace to men of good will. And peace descends upon us, like dewdrops from on high, filling us with a mystical serenity. Tonight our Advent prayers of Rorate Cæli are granted: “Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just. Let the earth be opened and send forth a Saviour.” Tonight that Saviour is born, and all thoughts of worldly clamor fade. The continuous hubbub that normally surrounds us is gone for a moment, and the alarm bells of doom vanish from our minds like dreams when we awaken. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

You’ll remember that our Advent began with this prophecy of Isaiah. That prophecy that we heard sung in the Hebrew of the Old Testament was our promise of the coming of that Prince of Peace on this night. Our preparations for this night have been made ever since we heard those words, and we have focused each Sunday one by one on Hope, Courage, Joy, and Humility. Now it is time to experience the fruit of all our preparations. That Prince of Peace is now here. He dwells amongst us, and we behold his glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. A Child is born, the Word is made flesh, that Prince has finally arrived, bringing with him the peace we feel this night.

You’ll remember too that our Advent anticipated not only the peace of Christmas, but also that eternal rest that shall come eventually to all men of good will. And if we allow the Angel of Death to intrude for a moment on our festivities, it should be not with dread that we behold him. Rather, our Advent hope should have transformed that dread into the anticipation of our everlasting union with God. At Holy Mass tonight, during those silent moments that follow the consecration, when truly the Christ Child is born on our altar and dwells amongst us, we shall pray for the “souls of the servants and handmaidens, which are gone before us with the mark of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace.” And we look forward to that day when we may see them again, and be with them once more in the fellowship of the Church Triumphant. Our Advent hope helps us never to forget, that if we are of good will, that day will come. And on that day, with our sins and imperfections forever purged from our souls, we will have truly been made worthy to receive the Christ Child in the eternal Communion that is heaven. We will rest in peace.

The key to this eternal rest is that we be men of good will. This is the message of the herald angels. As Catholics we have the benefit of Holy Scripture free from error. When the angels appeared to the shepherds abiding in the fields, they did sing in the words of the protestant bible “Peace, good will towards men.” Yes, we should have good will towards men, especially at this time of Christmas, when charity is so deeply instilled in the mood of the season. But it is not what the angels sang. Their words were "Peace to men of good will."  They sang of the greatest gift that God gave to our human nature, the gift that makes us different from all other creatures, the gift of our free will. By exercising that free will according to God’s will we become “men of good will.” It’s that simple. Simple to understand, but not so simple perhaps to observe in every hour and moment of our life. And yet it is something that as Catholics we must always strive for, with hope, courage, joy and humility. If we do so, the spirit of this Christmas night will be ours forever, as the earth fades from our vision, and the joys and sorrows of this life are transformed into glory. Once a year, on Christmas night, we are allowed to ascend to Bethlehem and experience, with our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, the peace that comes from the presence of the Christ Child. Our life, with its mix of joys and sorrows, is not yet over. But on this night, we are allowed to accept both joys and sorrows, and to be at peace with them both. “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

On behalf of both Bishop Petko and myself, I would like to wish you all a Christmas filled with happiness and holiness, but above all with that peace, which is tonight God’s gift to men of good will.

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And the Christmas blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost descend upon us, and abide with us, this night, and for evermore. Amen.

 Sermons from the Chaplain