Saturday, 19 December 2015

Ember Saturday of Advent

A few years ago, I was to assist in Schola for a Rorate Mass scheduled for the Saturday after Gaudete. Both the pastor and myself totally forgot the rest of the calendar and after it was scheduled and promoted, we realised that it could not be done as it fell on the Ember Saturday, a day of higher rank with its own dedicated liturgy. We went ahead with the candle light Mass at 5:30AM but read and chanted the Ember Saturday liturgy. The chants for this Mass are little known but are some of the most beautiful in the Liber. The Graduals are all from Mode II, similar to the Absolve of the Requiem Mass as here. One can thank the composer of this Mass that he had mercy on the singers given the number of chants and the difficulty of different modes for each one. As beautiful as these are, the Hymn, or Canticle of the Three Children comes right out of the reading, similar to how the Sanctus flows from the "dicentes" of the Preface.

The Ember Days have been lost in the new calendar but interestingly, they are in the new Ordinariate Missal. The Embers occur four time per year. Perhaps, this is a recognition by the Church that the reform of Paul VI was in fact, a disaster that we can see corrected in the near future, as far as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is concerned. When you read below the text of today's liturgy, it should bring home all the more the evil these men did in their destruction of the liturgy. When you sing it as I did a few years ago, you will realise it even more. 

Meanwhile, I shall shun the reformed as often as possible and attend the traditional Roman Rite where one does not have to live a life of liturgical regret for what these malefactors did to our liturgical life; and if you like the Japanese delicacy, tempura, thank the Church for Her ancient liturgy.


The Ember days are true Catholic tradition dating actually dating back to the Apostles, (Pope Leo The Great claims it was instituted by the Apostles).  Pope Callistus (217-222) in the “Liber Pontificalis” has laws ordering all to observe a fast three times a year to counteract the hedonistic and pagan Roman rites praying for:

-a good harvest (June),
-a good vintage (September),
-a good seeding in December.
By the time of Pope Gelasius, (492-496), he already writes about there being four times a years, including Spring.  He also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of Ember week.  This practice was mostly celebrated around Rome, from Pope Gelasius’ time, they began to spread throughout the Church.

St. Augustin brought them to England and the Carolingians into Gaul and Germany.  In the eleventh century, Spain adopted them.

It was not until Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), that these Ember days were prescribed for the whole Catholic Church as days of fast and abstinence.  He placed these “four mini Lents” consisting of three days; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday:

-after St. Lucy’s Feast Dec. 13,
-after Ash Wednesday,
-following Whitsunday, (Pentecost),
-and after Sept. 14, the Exaltation of the Cross.

The purpose of these “mini Lents” were to pray, fast and to thank God for the gifts He gives us through nature.  They follow the four seasons of the year with the beauty and uniqueness of each particular season.   They are here for us to teach us to use, with moderation, what God gives us through nature, and to also share these gifts with the poor.

Traditionally, these are the days on which priests were ordained.

The Ember Saturday Liturgy

INTROIT ¤ Ps. 79. 4, 2
Come, O Lord, and show us Thy face, Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim: and we shall be saved. -- (Ps. 79. 2). Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. V.: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Come, O Lord, and show us Thy face, Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim: and we shall be saved.
COLLECT
Priest: Let us pray. Deacon: Let us kneel. Subdeacon: Arise.
O God, who seest that we are afflicted because of our iniquity, mercifully grant that we may be conforted by Thy visitation. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
LESSON ¤ Isaias 19. 20-22
Lesson from the Book of the Prophet Isaias.
[God will send a Redeemer and a Defender to deliver our souls.]
In those days they shall cry to the Lord because of the oppressor, and He shall send them a Savior and a defender to deliver them. And the Lord shall be known by Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall worship Him with sacrifices and offerings: and they shall make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord shall stike Egypt with a scourge, and shall heal it: and they shall return to the Lord, and He shall be pacified towards them, and the Lord our God shall heal them.
GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 18. 7, 2
His going out is from the end of heaven: and His circuit even to the end thereof. V.: The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.
COLLECT
Priest: Let us pray. Deacon: Let us kneel. Subdeacon: Arise.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who are bowed down by our old bondage under the yoke of sin, may be freed by the new Birth of Thine only begotten Son, for which we look. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
LESSON ¤ Isaias 35. 1, 7
Lesson from the Book of the Prophet Isaias.
[God Himself will come and will save you.]
Thus saith the Lord: The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice and shall flourish like the lily. It shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise: the glory of Libanius is given to it: the beauty of Carmel, and Saron, they shall see the glory of the Lord and the beauty of our God. Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak knees. Say to the faint hearted: Take courage, and fear not. Behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God Himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. And that which was dry land shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: saith the Lord almighty.
GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 18. 6, 7
He hath set His tabernacle in the sun: and He is as a bridegroom coming out of His bridechamber. V.: His going out is from the end of heaven: and His circuit even to the end thereof.
COLLECT
Priest: Let us pray. Deacon: Let us kneel. Subdeacon: Arise.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, gladden by the coming of Thine only-begotten Son, us Thine unworthy servants, who are made sorrowful by the guilt of our own deeds. Who liveth and reigneth, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
LESSON ¤ Isaias 40. 9-11
Lesson from the Book of the Prophet Isaias.
[Behold your God. The Lord God shall come with strength, and His arm shall rule: behold His reward is with Him, and His work is before Him.]
Thus saith the Lord: Get thee up upon a high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings to Sion: lift up thy voice with strength, thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem: lift it up, fear not. Say to the cities of Juda: Behold your God: behold the Lord God shall come with strength, and His arm shall rule: behold His reward is with Him, and His work is before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather together the lambs with His arm, and shall take them up in His bosom, the Lord our God.
GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 79. 20, 3
O Lord God of hosts, convert us: and show Thy face, and we shall be saved. V.: Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come to save us.
COLLECT
Priest: Let us pray. Deacon: Let us kneel. Subdeacon: Arise.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the coming solemnity of Thy Son, may both bestow upon us healing in this present life and grant to us rewards in the life to come. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
LESSON ¤ Isaias 45. 1-8
Lesson from the Book of the Prophet Isaias.
["Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior."]
Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus: whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before thee: and will humble the great ones of the earth: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, adn will burst the bars of iron. And I will give thee hidden treasures and the concealed riches of secret places: that thou mayest know that I am the Lord who call thee by thy name, the God of Israel. For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My elect, I have even called Thee by thy name: I have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides Me: I girded thee, and thou hast not known Me: that they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they who are from the west, that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil: I, the Lord, that do all these things. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created Him.
GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 79. 3, 2
Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come to save us. V.: Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep: Thou that sittest upon the Cherubims, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses.
COLLECT
Priest: Let us pray. Deacon: Let us kneel. Subdeacon: Arise.
Mercifully hear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the prayers of Thy people: that we who are justly afflicted for our sins may be conforted by the visitation of Thy loving kindness. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
LESSON ¤ Daniel 3. 47-51
Lesson from the Book of the Prophet Daniel.
[Azarias and his companions in the fiery furnace: the Angel of the Lord drove forth the flame of fire. With one mouth they praised, glorified and blessed God.]
In those days the Angel of the Lord went down with Azarias and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace, and made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew. And the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forty cubits: and it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans as it found near the furnace, the king's servants that heated it. And the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them nor did them any harm. Then these three as with one mouth praised and glorified and blessed God in the furnace, saying:
HYMN ¤ Daniel 3. 52-56
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.           
And blessed is the name of Thy glory, which is holy: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.      
Blessed art Thou in the holy temple of Thy glory: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.            
Blessed art Thou on the holy throne of Thy kingdom: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.    
Blessed art Thou upon the sceptre of Thy divinity: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.          
Blessed art Thou that sittest upon the Cherubims, beholding the depths: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.               
Blessed art Thou that walkest upon the wings of the wind, and on the waves of the sea: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.            
Let all Thy Angels and Saints bless Thee: and praise Thee and glorify Thee for ever.         
Let the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the things that are in them, bless Thee: and praise Thee and glorify Thee for ever.    
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, who is worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.            
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. And worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.    
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers: and worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.
COLLECT
O God, who didst deaden the flames of fire for the three children: mercifully grant that the flame of vice may not consume us Thy servants. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
EPISTLE ¤ II Thess. 2. 1-8
Lesson from the second Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.
[Let us prepare for the near approach of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the coming of our Judge.]
Brethren, We beseech you by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto Him: that you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God showing himself as if he were God. Remember you not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.
TRACT ¤ Ps. 79. 2, 3
Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. V.: Thou that sittest upon the Cherubims, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses. V.: Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come and save us.
GOSPEL ¤ Luke 3. 1-6
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina, under the high priests Annas and Caiphas: the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins, as it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord: make straight His paths: every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain: and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
OFFERTORY ¤ Zacharias 9. 9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King will come to thee, the holy and Savior.
SECRET
O Lord, we beseech Thee, look down favorably upon these present Sacrifices: that they may profit us both unto devotion and salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
PREFACE
The Common Preface
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus…
COMMUNION ¤ Ps. 18. 6, 7
He hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way: His going out is from the end of heaven, and His circuit even to the end thereof.
POSTCOMMUNION
We beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that the most holy Mysteries, which Thou hast given us for a safeguard of our renewal, may become our remedy both now and for time to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

8 comments:

Ana Milan said...

Wonderful! What a catastrophe Rome threw away our precious liturgy in the name of ecumenism and the desire to be all things to all men, but not to Jesus Christ. All foisted on the faithful by a secularised/liberal clergy who have shown themselves to be unworthy of their ordination vows & the offices they hold in the hierarchy. Is no-one capable of showing them the door? Let's get back to the proper Tridentine Mass of ages, the restoration of the seven sacraments and proper catechising and stop all this malarkey.

Mark Thomas said...

Vox, thank you for promoting via this post (and additional posts) the tremendous spiritual riches available to us via Traditional Roman liturgy. Deo gratias that Catholics may also tap into and benefit from that tradition via the Ordinariates.

The greatest Christmas gift that anybody could give to family and friends is a TLM video, TLM Missal...a book that introduces them to the TLM...even a newspaper article, magazine article, something that introduces them to the TLM...or information about the Ordinariates...introduce them to Eastern Catholicism...anything that places family and friends upon the path to Holy Tradition.

Any open-minded person will at least realize that the liturgical reform (revolution) has robbed he or she of the Church's ancient liturgical/spiritual tradition. Even attaching oneself to the TLM via video as well as acquiring information about Holy Tradition would enhance one's spiritual life.

The bottom line is that we must attach ourselves to and promote Holy Tradition.

Thank you again, Vox.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Deacon John Giglio Jr said...

I read where there was a need for English Propers for the Traditional (1962 Missale Romanum - Tridentine) Latin Mass, so I will post the prayers and readings each day at http://tridentine-mass.blogspot.com/ Check it out if you like! Thank you and God bless+

Mark Thomas said...

I realize that they following may be a pipe-dream. Should anybody chide me about the following...hey, I understand.

The Jubilee of Mercy is upon us. In keeping with the theme of mercy and reconciliation, I hope and pray that His Holiness Pope Francis will convoke an Assisi-like gathering of Catholics attached to the TLM.

I would even like to see Pope Francis include leaders of the Ordinariates...leaders of the "reform the reform" movement...the leading lights among Catholics who realize that the Latin Church is in dire need of liturgical improvement.

FSSP, ICK, SSPX, Ordinariates, reform-the-reform...Catholics from "independent" chapels...Eastern Catholics...everybody who wishes to contribute to the promotion of the Church's ancient liturgical heritage, and who wishes to aid, in particular, the Latin Church to restore Her Traditional liturgical beauty would gather with Pope Francis.

I realize that there are some groups who consider themselves as the only "true" Catholics on earth. They denounce the FSSP, ICK, SSPX...anybody who is in communion with the "heretic" Pope Francis is a "heretic". They would reject such a gathering. But said folks are few in number.

Everybody else who loves the Church and wishes to launch a renewed liturgical movement rooted in Holy Tradition would gather with Pope Francis. Such a gathering would produce an abundance of good spiritual fruit for Holy Mother Church.

We have had the talks and discussions about the environment, Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics...Moslems this, Moslems that...homosexuals, homosexuals...okay, fine...

Now let's move on to liturgy. Let us move onto something that can repair the collapsed state of the (Latin) Church. It is time for a major discussion in regard to liturgy.

Pope Francis could initiate the much-needed discussion/liturgical movement in question. He possesses the awesome authority to do so. I hope and pray that he does.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Woody said...

Very enlightening post. Thank you.

Vox Cantoris said...

Dear Reverend Deacon, thank you for this. I have seen your site. You have done tremendous work! I will put a link to it on my page.

God bless you.

Vox

Mark Thomas said...

I wish to reiterate that I have felt very upbeat and blessed this morning by Vox and this post of his. It is always beautiful to read about, contemplate, and be blessed by the Church's liturgical Tradition. I was very hopeful after I had read the following from Vox:

"Ember Days have been lost in the new calendar but interestingly, they are in the new Ordinariate Missal. Perhaps, this is a recognition by the Church that the reform of Paul VI was in fact, a disaster that we can see corrected in the near future, as far as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is concerned."

That is something about which to be hopeful. Vox, thank you again.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Lynda said...

Thank you for educating us. The devil focussed on destruction of communal worship, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as the quickest avenue to destroying Faith and morals.