Introduction

This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

Related website: http://www.liturgialatina.org/





Saturday, 19 December 2015

Saturday of Ember Week in Advent

Saturday of Ember Week in Advent

For the church in Rome in the early centuries, Saturday was the most solemn of the Ember Days, because that was the day on which the Church ordained her priests in the great Basilica of St Peter's. The ordination in the tenth month of the year (called for that reason December) was the only one originally known at Rome. Hence it was an important date.

Everything in the Mass, moreover, bears the character of a very ancient liturgy. It calls to mind, with its numerous lessons, intermingled with responses and prayers, the earliest form of the introductory part of the Mass.

The soul that is penetrated with it finds itself filled with a holy impatience, and with the church it aspires to the new birth of the only begotten son of God, who comes to deliver us from the yoke of sin (second collect). "While with confidence she awaits the Lord Jesus Who shall deliver us from our enemies, destroying Antichrist with the brightness of His coming" (Epistle).

The Gospel brings before us the image of St John the Baptist the precursor, who prepares our souls each year for the coming of the Saviour. The same Gospel is again found in the Mass of the following day, because formerly the ordination, taking place in the evening, lasted well into the night thus encroaching on the Sunday, provided it with its liturgy.

Veni, et ostende nobis faciem tuam, Domine, qui sedes super Cherubim: et salvi erimus. * Qui regis Israel, intende: qui deducis, velut ovem, Joseph.
Come, O Lord, and show us Thy face, Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim: and we shall be saved. * Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
(Psalm 79:4,2 from the Introit of Mass).

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui sub peccati iugo ex vetusta servitute deprimimur; expectata unigeniti Filii tui nova nativitate liberemur.
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.
(Second Collect)

Lesson from the second Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.
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.
(2 Thess. 2:1-8)

Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod 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 came to 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 words 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.
(St Luke 3:1-6)

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