Ember Saturday in Lent: Missa “Reminíscere”
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 Pash, 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). Today is also the Double Feast of the Martyrs Saints Felicitas and Perpetua. These two saints are the Patron Saints of widows and invoked over the death of children.
These two women were martyred at Carthage on the northern coast of what is today Libya by the Romans. Though persecution and the slaughter of Christians was terrible in Rome itself, the senseless slaying of Christians was even worse in Africa and Egypt. Though Perpetua’s father tried to intercede so that she would not embarass the family, her faith was more important to her than family and she would not renounce her belief in Jesus Christ as her Savior. Her refusal to adhere to the pagan wishes of her father moved servants under her father to join her in her faith, one of which was Felicitas or Felicity as she has come to be known. A covey of wild animals from leopards to bears to wild bulls were unleashed on the helpless Christians in the great arena of Carthage and to the sadistic delight of thousands both Perpetua and Felicitas were gored to death by the bulls. They are commemorated daily in the Canon of the Mass among the mentioned martyrs in the Nobis quoque peccatoribus.
INTROIT Psalm 87: 3
Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my call for help, O Lord. Ps 87:2 O Lord, the God of my salvation, by day I cry out, at night I clamor in Your presence. V. Glory be… Let my prayer come before You…
Let us pray.
V. Let us kneel.
Look graciously upon Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, and in Your mercy turn away from them the scourges of Your wrath.Through Our Lord… R. Amen.
LESSON Deut 26:12-19
In those days, Moses spoke to the people, saying, When you have finished setting aside all the tithes of your produce, you shall declare before the Lord, your God, ‘I have purged my house of the sacred portion and I have given it to the Levite, the alien, the orphan and the widow, just as You have commanded me. In this I have not broken or forgotten any of Your commandments. I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord, my God, doing just as You have commanded me. Look down, then, from heaven, Your holy abode, and bless Your people Israel and the soil You have given us in the land flowing with milk and honey which You promised on oath to our fathers.’ This day the Lord, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you are making this agreement with the Lord: He is to be your God and you are to walk in His ways and observe His statues, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to His voice. And today the Lord is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly His own, as He promised you; and provided you keep all His commandments, He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations He has made, and you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God, as He promised.
GRADUAL Ps 78:9; 78:10
Pardon our sins, O Lord; why should the nations say, Where is their God? V. Help us, O God, our Savior; because of the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Let us pray.
V. Let us kneel.
Look upon us, O God our protector, so that we who are heavy laden with the burden of our sins, having received Your mercy, may serve You with untroubled minds. Through Our Lord…
LESSON Deut 11:22-25
In those days, Moses said to the children of Israel, If you are careful to observe all these commandments I enjoin on you, loving the Lord, your God, and following His ways exactly, and holding fast to Him, the Lord will drive all these nations out of your way, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. Every place where you set foot shall be yours: from the desert and from Lebanon, from the Euphrates River to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. None shall stand up against you; the Lord, your God, will spread the fear and dread of you through any land where you set foot, as He promised you, the Lord your God.
GRADUALE Ps 83:10; 83:9
Behold, O God, our Protector, and look upon Your servants. V. O Lord of Hosts, hear the prayer of Your servants.
Let us pray.
V. Let us kneel.
Heed our humble prayers, we beseech You, O Lord, that by Your bounty we may have grace to be humble in prosperity and untroubled in the midst of adversity. Through Our Lord…
LESSON 2 Mach l:23-26; 1:27
In those days, all the priests made prayer, while the sacrifice was consuming, Jonathan beginning and the rest answering. And the prayer of Nehemias was after this manner: O Lord God, Creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, Who alone are the good King, Who alone are gracious, Who alone are just and almighty and eternal, Who deliver Israel from all evil, Who chose the fathers and sanctified it; that the Gentiles may know that You are our God.
GRADUAL Ps 89:13; 89:1
Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on Your servants! V. O Lord, You have been our refuge through all generations.
Let us pray.
V. Let us kneel.
Have mercy upon us, O God of the universe, and behold us, and show us the light of Your mercies; and put all the nations in dread of You that have not sought after You. Let them know that there is no God beside You, and show forth Your wonders. Through Our Lord… R. Amen
LESSON Eccli 36:1-10
Have mercy upon us, O God of all, and behold us, and show us the light of Thy mercies : and send Thy fear upon the nations that have not sought after Thee, that they may know that there is no God beside Thee, and that they may show forth Thy wonders. Lift up Thy hand over the strange nations, that they may see Thy power. For as Thou hast been sanctified in us in their sight, so Thou shalt be magnified among them in our presence, that they may know Thee, as we also have known Thee, that there is no God beside Thee, O Lord. Renew Thy signs and work new miracles. Glorify Thy hand and Thy right arm. Raise up indignation and pour out wrath. Take away the adversary and crush the enemy. Hasten the time and remember the end, that they may declare Thy wonderful works, o Lord, our God.
GRADUALE Ps 140:2
Let my prayer come like incense before You, O Lord. V. The lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice.
Let us pray.
V. Let us kneel.
O Lord, we beseech You, precede our actions with Your favor and accompany them by Your help, so that each prayer and work of ours may always begin with You and, once begun, may be accomplished through You. Through Our Lord…
LESSON Dan. 3:47-51.
Lesson from the book of Daniel. In those days, the Angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azaria and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. And the flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace, and spread out, burning the Chaldeans nearby, the king’s men who were stoking the furnace. And the fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm. Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God:
Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our father, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. And blessed is Your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages. Blessed are You in the temple of Your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever. Blessed are You on the holy throne of Your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are You upon the sceptre of Your divinity, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are You Who look into the depths from Your throne upon the Cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are You Who walk upon the wings of the wind, and on the waves of the sea, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Let all Your Angels and Saints bless You, and praise You and exalt You above all forever. Let the heavens, the earth, the sea and all the things that are in them bless You, and praise you and exalt You above all forever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our father, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O God, Who tempered the flames of fire for the three young men, mercifully grant that the flames of sin may burn us, Your servants. Hearken, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to the prayers of Thy suppliants and with Thy never-failing protection guard them that do Thee service with a devout heart, that unhindered by any disturbance, we may ever freely minister at Thy worship. Through Our Lord…
Second Collect for the Intercession of Thy Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body; that through the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and blessed N. (Here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace; that all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.
Third Collect for the Living and the Dead
O almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all whom Thou forekowest shall be Thine by faith and good works : we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 1 Thess 5:14-23
Brethren: We exhort you, reprove the irregular, comfort the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that no one renders evil for evil to any man; but always strive after good toward one another and toward all men. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus regarding you all. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. But test all things; hold fast that which is good. Keep yourselves from every kind of evil. And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound, blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
TRACT Ps 116:1-2
Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify Him, all you peoples! For steadfast is His kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever.
GOSPEL Matthew 17:1-9
At that time, Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves, and was transfigured before them. And His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking together with Him. Then Peter addressed Jesus, saying, Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You will, let us set up three tents here, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elias. As he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him. And on hearing it the disciples fell on their faces and were exceedingly afraid. And Jesus came near and touched them, and said to them, Arise, and do not be afraid. But lifting up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus cautioned them, saying, Tell the vision to no one, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
OFFERTORY Psalm 87:2-3.
O Lord, the God of my salvation, by day I cry out, at night I clamor in Your presence. Let my prayer come before You, O Lord.
Sanctify our fasts by the sacrificial gifts here present, we beseech You, O Lord, that what our observance outwardly professes may be inwardly accomplished. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Second Secret to implore the Intercession of the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, and by the virtue of this sacrament protect us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing on us both grace in this life and glory hereafter.
Third Secret for the Living and the Dead
O God, Who alone knowest the number of the elect to be admitted to the happiness of Heaven, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of all Thy saints, the names of all who have been recommended to our prayers and of all the faithful, may be inscribed in the book of blessed predestination. Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of Lent
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: Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; 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 these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION Psalm 7: 2
O Lord my God, in You I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and rescue me.
By the workings of Your sanctifying power, almighty God, may our vices be cured and eternal remedies provided for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Second Postcommunion to implore the Intercession of the Saints
May the oblation of this divine sacrament cleanse and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, blessed N. (here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, purify us from all our sins and deliver us from all adversity.
Third Postcommunion for the Living and the Dead
Let us pray. May the sacraments which we have received purify us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful Lord; and through the intercession of all Thy saints, grant that this Thy sacrament may not be unto us a condemnation, but a salutary intercession for pardon; may it be the washing away of sin, the strength of the weak, a protection against all dangers of the world, and a remission of all the sins of the faithful, whether living or dead. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Let us pray. Bow down your heads before God.
May the blessing desired by Your faithful give them strength, O God; may it keep them from disobeying Your will and grant them ever to rejoice in Your favor. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.