The word "Rorate" has its place in the Advent liturgy of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in both Forms of the Roman Rite. It is the Advent Prose - as highlighted in this video; it is also the first word of the Introit or Entrance Antiphon for the Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (in the Ordinary Form - Novus Ordo as well) and it is the first word from the same Introit used in the Votive Mass for Our Lady in Advent and it appears frequently in the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours.
When there is no feast on the day, the Votive Mass can be celebrated. In the new rite, the Ordinary Form, the lectionary specifies the Readings consistent with the Temporal Cycle, but in the old rite or Extraordinary Form, the Sanctoral Cycle specifies the readings for that feast or Votive Mass. As the Mass can reasonably take its name from the first word or words of the Introit -- Missa Quasimodo, Missa Suscepimus, Missa Puer Natus Est -- this Mass is known as the "Rorate Mass."
While it is not a rubrical requirement, there is a tradition from Bohemia, Poland and Bavaria that the Mass be celebrated in the pre-dawn hours by candlelight ending just as the light from the East shines softy from below the horizon and the windows are softly revealed. From darkness into light - the darkness without Christ to being in His light.
The Blessed Mother is the bearer of that light. It grew in her womb for nine months. It was God, the very God come to earth as a baby, taking the flesh and blood of this pure and immaculate young girl of probably 15 in the little town of Nazareth. This woman was the one who would crush the serpent. She is the new "ark of the covenant" that carries within it the law of God as in the Ten Commandments, the power of God as in the Rod of Aaron and the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven, just as the manna in the desert. When this baby was born he was laid in a manger. Why a manger? Aside from the obvious it is because from that manger the creatures were fed. We are fed the Bread of Life and that He was laid by this new mother in a manger is of no coincidence. This mother is Our Mother, this woman is the Woman. She is the truly the Mother of God, the God who came to earth as a baby to save us.
As Father Paul Nicholson of St. Patrick's Kinkora said in his homily, "the virginal work of the bee, manufacturing wax and producing honey is a prophet of nature, pointing to the Work of the Immaculata. She gave us more than honey, She gave us the BREAD of Life and "it is sweet to taste". She gave us more then wax, she gave us LIGHT"
This is the truth of the faith and this is why we offer Sacrifice to God in the Holy Mass and why we honour His most perfect creature, the one who bore Himself.
In the little hamlet of Kinkora in the Diocese of London in Ontario and 160 kilometres from Toronto, a Rorate Mass was celebrated. In the cold and dark of a December morning they came. From Toronto, Kitchener, Cambridge, London, Walkerton, Waterloo and from places in between. At 5:30 A.M, they gathered to pray and to honour the truth of God and His Mother. Some rose three hours earlier, children in tow to a drive to a beautiful church in the middle of farming country including half of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-UNA VOCE TORONTO who are honoured to have assisted the priest of this parish with the organisation and promotion of this Mass. Three years ago, seven people attended and we gathered for breakfast around the generous table of the Kinkorites Sharon and Patrick. This year there were more than ten times that number and all gathered in the local school gymnasium for a community breakfast. The TTMS-UNA VOCE TORONTO has in its mandate, the assistance to the suffragan dioceses of the Toronto Metropolitan See with the development and support of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Let us pray that the words of that prose; "Drop down ye heavens from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One."