Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum.
On Saturday, December 11, at 6:30 AM at the UNL Newman Center, Bishop Conley will offer a Pontifical Solemn High Rorate Mass at the throne.
Although this is the fifth consecutive year that this Mass has been offered at the Newman Center, this will be the first time it will be elevated to a Pontifical Mass — that is, a Mass offered by a Bishop.
A Rorate Mass is a completely candlelit Traditional Latin Mass offered in honor of Our Lady, which can only be done on a Saturday in Advent before the sun rises, symbolizing the waiting in darkness for the coming of Our Lord, the light which "shineth in the darkness" and which "the darkness did not comprehend."
This annual Mass has been very well attended in the previous four years, attracting hundreds of students each year. In fact, Bishop Conley has previously remarked about the attendance in a 2018 interview with Catholic World Report.
[J]ust a couple weeks ago during Advent, one of our priests celebrated a Rorate caeli Mass. A Saturday morning Mass at 6:30 am, in the dark, just candlelit, in the Extraordinary Form. It was a Solemn High Mass and they had the choir. Four hundred and fifty college students showed up for that.
It was amazing. I thought, fine, go ahead, you’re not going to get college students up at six o’clock in the morning. But the word went out on Facebook and Twitter, and they all showed up. They said it was amazing because they had this beautiful choir singing sacred polyphony and chant. They loved it. They had a great experience of the transcendent and the holy.
This Mass is referred to as a "Rorate" Mass as "Rorate" is the first word of the Introit (Entrance Antiphon), taken from Isaiah 45:8.
Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant justum.
Aperiatur terra et germinent Salvatorem.
Drop down dew, you heavens from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One. Let the earth be opened and germinate the Savior.
Furthermore, this Mass will be offered by Bishop Conley — pontificating from the throne — heightening the ceremony to a complex ceremonial choreography which is deeply Catholic and deeply traditional.
Due to the nature of the event, it is being requested that all attendees come appropriately dressed. Practically speaking: ladies are requested to wear a modest skirt and high-cut top, and men are requested to wear nice slacks (khaki, black, etc.) with a collared shirt.
If you are on Facebook, please consider sharing this event and RSVP-ing.