St John before the Latin Gate; Comm. Rogationtide: Missa “Protexisti”
IN the year 95, St. John, who was the only surviving apostle, and governed all the churches of Asia, was apprehended at Ephesus, and sent prisoner to Rome. The Emperor Domitian did not relent at the sight of the venerable old man, but condemned him to be cast into a caldron of boiling oil. The martyr doubtless heard, with great joy, this barbarous sentence; the most cruel torments seemed to him light and most agreeable, because they would, he hoped, unite him forever to his divine Master and Saviour. But God accepted his will and crowned his desire; He conferred on him the honor and merit of martyrdom, but suspended the operation of the fire, as He had formerly preserved the three children from hurt in the Babylonian furnace. The seething oil was changed in his regard into an invigorating bath, and the Saint came out more refreshed than when he had entered the caldron. Domitian saw this miracle without drawing from it the least advantage, but remained hardened in his iniquity. However, he contented himself after this with banishing the holy apostle into the little island of Patmos. St. John returned to Ephesus, in the reign of Nerva, who by mildness, during his short reign of one year and four months, labored to restore the faded lustre of the Roman Empire. This glorious triumph of St. John happened without the gate of Rome called Latina. A church which since has always borne this title was consecrated in the same place in memory of this miracle, under the first Christian emperors.
The second set of Rogation days, the Lesser Litanies or Rogations, introduced about AD 470 by Bishop Mamertus of Vienne and eventually adopted elsewhere, are the three days (Rogation Monday, Rogation Tuesday and Rogation Wednesday) immediately before Ascension Thursday in the Christian liturgical calendar. The term, most frequently encountered in Roman Catholic and Anglican circles, is rarely used today.
The word “Rogation” comes from the Latin verb rogare, meaning “to ask”, and was applied to this time of the liturgical year because the Gospel reading for the previous Sunday included the passage “Ask and ye shall receive” (Gospel of John 16:24). The Sunday itself was often called Rogation Sunday as a result, and marked the start of a three-week period (ending on Trinity Sunday), when Roman Catholic and Anglican clergy did not solemnize marriages (two other such periods of marital prohibition also formerly existed, one beginning on the first Sunday in Advent and continuing through the Octave of Epiphany, or 13 January, and the other running from Septuagesima until the Octave of Easter, the Sunday after Easter).
INTROIT Psalm 63:2
Thine to defend me, O God, from this malice, alleluia: the thronging enemies that are bent on my hurt, alleluia, alleluia. V. O God, listen to my prayer when I call for aid, save me from the threats of my mortal foe. v. Glory be 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. Repeat Thine to defend me, O God…
O God, Who beholdest that our own ill deeds disquiet us on every side, grant, we beseech Thee, that the glorious intercession of blessed John,Thine apostle and evangelist, may be our protection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Of the Rogation
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who in our affliction put our trust in Thy mercy, may ever be defended by Thy protection against all adversity. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE Ezechiel 1: 10-14
Lesson from Ezechiel the Prophet. As for the likeness of the faces of the four living creatures; there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four; and the face of an ox on the left side of all the four; and the face of an eagle over all the four. And their faces and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies; and every one of them went straight forward; whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went, and they turned not when they went. And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire. And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 91: 13) The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia. V. (Osee 14: 6) The just shall spring as the lily: and flourish for ever before the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 20: 20-23
At that time, the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, worshipping, and asking something of Him. Who said to her: “What wilt thou?” She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom. And Jesus answering, said:”You know not what you ask, can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?” They saith to Him: We can. He saith to them: “My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand is not Mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
OFFERTORY Psalm 88:6
The heavens, Lord, are witnesses of thy wonderful power, of thy faithfulfulness before the court of the holy ones alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Receiving our gifts and prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, do Thou cleanse us with Thy heavenly mysteries and mercifully hear us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the Rogation
May these oblations, O Lord, we beseech Thee, loosen the bonds of our wickedness, and obtain for us the gifts of Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION Psalm 63:11
The good man will rejoice and put his trust in the Lord; the upright heart will not boast in vain alleluia, alleluia.
Refreshed with the bread of Heaven, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be nourished unto everlasting life. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the Rogation
Favourably receive our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee: may we in our distress be consoled by Thy gifts and grow in love accordingly. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.