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.

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Saturday 28 February 2015

Ember Saturday in Lent

Ember Saturday in Lent

Station at St Peter's

The Station for the Saturday of Ember Week is always at the great basilica erected by Constantine and rebuilt by the Popes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on the hill of the Vatican on the spot where St. Peter died on the cross and where his body rests. Besides the Gospel is about the Transfiguration of which St. Peter was the chief witness.

It was in this basilica that ordinations took place, preceded, during the night, by twelve lessons of which we have a trace in those occurring in the Mass for to-day. The Introit verse alludes to this nocturnal vigil: "I have cried in the day and in the night before Thee."

Like the Apostles selected to be present on Mount Thabor, at the manifestation of the divine life of Jesus (Gospel), the new Priests will ascend the steps of the altar to enter into communication with God. It is they who in His name will exhort us to prayer, to patience and to charity. If we abstain during Lent from even the appearance of evil, our souls and our bodies will be preserved unstained for the day of the eternal Pasch, when Christ (Epistle) will allow us to participate in the glory of His Transfiguration for all eternity.

Let us pray to God to fortify us with His blessing so that, during this Lent, we may never depart from His holy will (Prayer over the People).

Intret oratio mea in conspectu tuo: inclina aurem tuam ad precem meam, Domine. * Domine Deus salutis meae: in die clamavi, et nocte coram te.
Let my prayer come in before Thee: incline Thy ear to my petition, O Lord. * O Lord, the God of my salvation: I have cried in the day and in the night before Thee.
(Psalm 87:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Fideles tuos, Deus, benedictio desiderata confirmet: quae eos, et a tua voluntate numquam faciat discrepare, et tuis semper indulgeat beneficiis gratulari.
May the blessing so desired confirm Thy faithful, O God, causing them never to depart from thy will, and ever to rejoice in Thy benefits.
(Prayer over the People)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on Ember Days:

Friday 27 February 2015

Ember Friday in Lent

Ember Friday in Lent

Station at the Twelve Apostles.

 On the Friday in Ember Week the Station was always made in the Church of the Twelve Apostles, situated at the foot of the Quirinal, for the examination of candidates for ordination. Thus were the future priests and deacons put under the protection of the whole Apostolic College. This basilica, one of the oldest in Rome, was built shortly after the time of Constantine by Julius I., on the occasion of the translation of the bodies of the Apostles Philip and James the Less, which rested there. John III made of it a votive monument for the freeing of Rome from the Goths of Totila.
Addressing henelf to the public penitents in the first centuries of Christianity, the Church told them by the mouth of Ezechiel that God was ready to forgive them because they repented (Epistle). Like the sick who assembled in the porches of the pond situated on the north of the Temple in Jerusalem they waited at the doors of the church, and on the great day of the Sabbath, which is the Feast of Easter, Jesus cured them, as He healed the paralytic spoken of in the Gospel.

Our souls, washed in the waters of baptism, but since fallen back into sin, must atone for their faults, and Jesus, through the instrumentality of His priests, will pardon them in the holy tribunal of Penance.

The excuse, "I have no man," will not avail us, for if we remain stricken with the palsy of sin, it is because we do not have recourse to the ministry of priesthood, which is always at our disposal.

Let us pray to Almighty God to "receive us with his kind assistance" (Collect), that our vices being "cleansed away" by penance (Postcommunion), our souls may once more be shown "the light of His grace" (Prayer over the people).

De necessitatibus meis eripe me, Domine: vide humilitatem meam et laborem meum,  et dimitte omnia peccata mea. * Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my necessities: see my abjection and my labour, and forgive me all my sins. * To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed.
(Psalm 24:17-18 1-2 from the Introit of Mass)

Esto, Domine, propitius plebi tuae: et quam tibi facis esse devotam, benigno refove miseratus auxilio.
Be gracious, O Lord, unto Thy people, and even as Thou makest them devoted to Thee, so mercifully revive them with Thy kind assistance.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Thursday of the First Week in Lent

Thursday of the First Week in Lent

Station at St Laurence's in Panisperna

The Station at Rome was established by Gregory II. in the old church of St. Laurence in Panispema, erected to the glory of the heroic deacon on the very spot where he suffered martyrdom.

The Church reminds the catechumens that since the coming of Jesus it is no longer the race of Israel alone that has the promise, but. that all can enter the Church by baptism and partake of the Euchanstic bread of the children of God. If the heathen will solemnly deny the evil deeds of his fathers and practise the Christian law of penance and charity (Epistle), his prayer will be granted as was that of the woman who belonged to the accursed race of Canaan, but whose faith was great (Gospel).

Let us seek in the Eucharist the strength required to observe Lent for it is our fasting, in conjunction with the sacrifice of Jesus, that will obtain for us salvation (Secret, Communion, Postcommunion).

Confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu ejus: sanctitas et magnificentia in sanctificatione ejus. * Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino, omnis terra.
Praise and beauty are before  Him: holiness and majesty in His sanctuary. * Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth.
(Psalm 95:6 from the Introit of Mass)

Devotionem populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, benignus intende: ut, qui per abstinentiam macerantur in corpore, per fructum boni operis reficiantur in mente.
Mercifully look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the devotion of Thy people, that they who are mortified in  the flesh by abstinence, may be refreshed in mind by the fruit of good works.

The Church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna:

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Ember Wednesday in Lent

Ember Wednesday in Lent

Station at St Mary Major

The spring Ember Week coincides with the first week of Lent. It was instituted for the purpose of consecrating to God the new season, and by fasting and prayer to draw down heavenly graces on those who on Saturday are to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

The Station on the Wednesday in Ember Week was always held at St. Mary Major, the greatest and most illustrious of the Roman churches consecrated to the Blessed Virgin.

Is it not fitting that on this very day when the scrutinies for Ordination used to be made, the liturgical gathering should be made in the basilica consecrated to her, whom Proclus of Constantinople hails as "the temple in which God became priest"?

The Gospel also alludes to our Lady. The two lessons, the second of which is read as Epistle, tell of Moses and Elias, who before seeing the glory of the Lord fasted forty days and forty nights. Called to take the place of the rebellious Jews, let us make ourselves worthy of the fruits of penance as did the men of Ninive, who listened to the voice of Jonas, and the Queen of Saba, who came from her distant country to learn the wisdom of Solomon (Gospel). We shall participate then in the resurrection of the Saviour, symbolised by the Prophet who, after remaining three days in the whale's belly, was vomited out alive.

Let us pray to God that we may be strengthened in mind by the fruit of good works, while we mortify our bodies by abstinence (Collect).

Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine, et misericordiae tuae, quae a saeculo sunt: ne unquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri: libera ex omnibus nos, Deus Israel, angustiis nostris. * Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam.
Remember, O Lord, Thy bowels of compassion, and Thy  mercies, that are from the beginning of the world: lest at any time our enemies rule over us: deliver us, O God of Israel, from all our necessities. * To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed.
(Psalm. 24:6,3,22,1-2 from the Introit of Mass)

Preces nostras, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi: et contra cuncta nobis adversantia, dexteram tuae majestatis extende.
Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord: and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty against all our adversaries.

Devotionem populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, benignus intende: ut, qui per abstinentiam macerantur in corpore, per fructum boni operis reficiantur in mente.
Graciously look down, O Lord, we beseech Thee, upon the devotion of Thy people, that they who are mortified in body by abstinence, may be refreshed in mind through the fruit of good works.

Catholic encyclopaedia on the Ember Days:

Wikipedia on the Basilica of St Mary Major:

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Tuesday of the First Week in Lent

Tuesday of the First Week in Lent

Station at St Anastasia's

The Station is at the old church which, in the fourth century, was the only parish in the centre of Rome and in its wealthy quarter. Built at the foot of the Palatine, this church which owes its name to the Chapel of the Resurrection (Anastasis) at Jerusalem, was also consecrated to Saint Anastasia, put to death under Diocletian at Sirmium in Illyria (now Mitrowitz in Serbia). Tradition seems to say that this "title" mentioned in a synod in 499 recalls the house of this holy Martyr in Rome. It is more than likely, however, that it concerns but a simply identity of name between the Roman foundress of this basilica and the titular saint.

Lent is the time when "God is near to us and eager to forgive us if we put aside our evil thoughts and forsake the way of sin" (Epistle). To do so we must cast sin out from our hearts, as Jesus cast out the sellers from the Temple (Gospel), and receive the teaching of Christ with the simplicity of children of God. Then He will be able to cure our souls as He healed the lame and the blind who came nigh unto Him.

File:Sant'Anastasia - Roma - interno - Panairjdde.jpgCasting out the vainglorious wisdom of the world, let us profit by the holy Season of Lent, so that, "chastening our bodies by mortification, our souls may be filled with holy desires" (Collect).

Domine, refugium factus es nobis a generatione et progenie: a saeculo, et in saeculum tu es. * Priusquam montes fierent, aut formaretur terra, et orbis: a saeculo et usque in saeculum, tu es Deus.
Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation: from eternity and to eternity Thou art. * Before the mountains were made, or the earth and the world was formed; from eternity Thou art God.
(Psalm 89:1-2 from the Introit)

Respice, Domine, familiam tuam, et praesta: ut apud te mens nostra tuo desiderio fulgeat, quae se carnis maceratione castigat.
Look down upon Thy household, O Lord, and grant that our souls, chastened by the mortification of the flesh, may glow in Thy sight with the desire for Thee.

The Church of St Anastasia:'Anastasia

Monday 23 February 2015

Tract for Lent: Domine, non secundum

This tract is often on the Church's lips during Lent. As the music to which it is sung shows, it is a suppliant appeal of man in his distress addressed to almighty God. It is said or sung before the Gospel at Mass, from this day on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week till the Monday in Holy Week, with the exception of the Wednesday in Ember Week.

Domine, non secundum peccata nostra, quae fecimus nos: neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis, V. Domine, ne memineris iniquitatum nostrarum antiquarum, cito anticipent nos misericordiae tuae: quia pauperes facti sumus nimis. (Here kneel.) V. Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster: et propter gloriam nominis tui, Domine, libera nos: et propitius esto peccatis nostris, propter nomen tuum.
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. O Lord, remember not our former iniquities, let Thy mercies speedily prevent us: for we are become exceeding poor. (Here kneel.) V. Help us, O God, our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name's sake.
(Psalm 102:10 and Psalm 78:8-9.)

Monday of the First Week in Lent

Monday of the First Week in Lent

Station at St Peter's Chains

The Station is in one of the most ancient Roman basilicas built by the Empress Eudocia, where the chains worn by the prince of the Apostles, to whom Jesus confided His flock, are kept. In the fifth century it was one of the twenty-five parishes of Rome.

The Epistle, alluding to the penitents about to be reconciled at Easter and to the catechumens preparing for baptism, says that the Lord is the Shepherd who comes to seek His lost sheep. And the Gospel tells of the separation that this Shepherd will make for ever between the sheep and the goats, or between the good who repent and give themselves up to works of charity and the sinners.

Let us ask God to prepare us by "this Lenten fast" (Collect) to be loosened from the bonds of our sins" (Prayer over the people) by virtue of the power of Peter, who was delivered from his chains.

Sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum:  ita oculi nostri ad Dominum Deum nostrum, donec misereatur nobis: miserere nobis, Domine; miserere nobis. * Ad te levavi oculos meos: qui habitas in coelis.
As the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us: have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. * To thee have I lifted up my eyes: who dwellest in  heaven.
(Psalm 122:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Converte nos, Deus salutaris noster: et, ut nobis jejunium quadragesimale proficiat, mentes nostras caelestibus instrue disciplinis.
Convert us, O God our salvation, and that the Lenten fast may be of profit to us, instruct our minds with heavenly discipline.