As I was praying the Office of Readings for the 4th Sunday of Advent (Novus Ordo), it just dawned on me that this particular Sunday does not have its own Office of Readings. Rather, the rubrics will direct you: Verse, readings and responsories from the office of the day. Also, the antiphon for the Magnificat is also taken from the office of the day. The Ordo for the Philippines directs that at the Simbang Gabi on the 4th Sunday of Advent, the priest wears white and the Gloria is sung. But the Readings and Texts for prayers will be of the 4th Sunday of Advent. Apparently, this is due to the fact that in nothing takes precedence over a Sunday of Advent. But my contention is that this is not so as indicated in the indult for the Rorate Caeli Mass during the Simbang Gabi. See sense of the sacred: Questions on the Simbang Gabi
If the Divine Office on the 4th Sunday of Advent gives way to the readings of the Office of the day, why can't the same principle be applied to the readings of Simbang Gabi?
We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Chile, 1988)
Do we still need sacred space, sacred time, mediating symbols? Yes, we do need them, precisely so that, through the "image," through the sign, we learn to see the openness of heaven. We need them to give us the capacity to know the mystery of God in the pierced heart of the Crucified. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Spirit of the Liturgy )