Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Advent Calendar: Roman Gate 22

Gates, lift high your heads,
raise high the ancient gateways,
and the king of glory shall enter.
Psalm 24: 7 (New Jerusalem Bible)

Baptistry Gate

This gate is in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, built in the 6th century as a church for the Greek people of Rome. Today the church is used by the Melkite community, mainly Lebanese Catholics under the Byzantine Rite. (The Mass is celebrated in both Arabic and Greek.) The church is one of the main tourist attractions in Rome because of la Bocca della Verità, an ancient sculpture thought to be a drain covering, located in its portico. But for those who venture inside the basilica, there are beautiful mosaics and sculptures. (Among the former titular cardinals of the church is Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.)

Collect for the 4th Sunday in Advent
Pour forth thy power, O Lord, and come:
Assist us by that mighty power,
so that by thy grace and merciful kindness
we may swiftly receive the salvation that our sins impede:
Who livest and reignest with thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.

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