Michaelmas Ember Friday: Missa “Lætétur cor“
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 14 September, 1 are known as “Michaelmas Embertide,” and they come near the beginning of Autumn (September, October, November). The Lessons focus on the Old Covenant’s Day of Atonement and the fast of the seventh month, but start off with this prophecy from Amos 9:13-15:
Behold the days come, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, and the mountains shall dop sweetness, and every hill shall be tilled. And I will bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the abandoned cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine of them; and shall make gardens and eat the fruits of them; and I will plant them upon their land: and I will no more pluck them out of their land which I have given them; saith the Lord thy God.
Like all Embertides but Whit Embertide, the Lessons end with the story of the three boys in the fiery furnace, as told by Daniel.
The Gospel readings recount how Jesus exorcised demons from a possessed boy and tells the disciples about fasting to cast out unclean spirits (Matthew 9:16-28), forgave Mary Magdalen (Luke 7:36-50), and healed the woman on the sabbath after telling the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-17).
INTROIT Psalm 104:3-4
Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord! Look to the Lord, and be strengthened; seek His face evermore. Ps 104:1 Give thanks to the Lord, invoke His name; make known among the nations His deeds. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord! Look to the Lord, and be strengthened; seek His face evermore.
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who devoutly keep the sacred observances year by year may be pleasing unto You both in body and soul. 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.
LESSON Osee 14:2-10
Lesson from the book of Osee the Prophet: Thus says the Lord God: Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the Lord; say to Him, ‘Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls. Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; we shall say no more: Our god, to the work of our hands; for in You the orphan finds compassion.’ I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for My wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; he shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; they shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. ‘I am like a verdant cypress tree’ – because of Me you bear fruit! Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
R. Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL Psalm 89:13, 1.
Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on Your servants.
V. O Lord, You have been our refute through all generations.
GOSPEL St. Luke 7:36-50
At that time, one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to dine with him; so He went into the house of the Pharisee and reclined at table. And behold, a woman in the town who was a sinner, upon learning that He was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment; and standing behind Him at His feet, she began to bathe His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with ointment. Now when the Pharisee, who had invited Him, saw it, he said to himself, This Man, were He a prophet, would surely know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner. And Jesus answered and said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. And he said, Master, speak. A certain money-lender had two debtors; the one owed five hundred denarii, the other fifty. As they had no means of paying, he forgave them both. Which of them, therefore, will love him more? Simon answered and said, He, I suppose, to whom he forgave more. And He said to him, You have judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I came into your house; you gave Me no water for My feet; but she has bathed My feet with tears, and has wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, from the moment she entered, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil; but she has anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say to you, her sins, many as they are, shall be forgiven her, because she has loved much. But he to whom little is forgiven, loves little. And they who were at table with Him began to say within themselves, Who is this Man, Who even forgives sins? But He said to the woman, Your faith has saved you, go in peace.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 102:2, 5.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.
May the gift of our fasting, we beseech You, O Lord, be acceptable to You, and by its purifying power make us worthy of Your grace and bring us to the eternal bliss You have promised us. 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.
PREFACE of Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 118:22, 24.
Take away from me reproach and contempt, for I observe Your decrees, O Lord. Your decrees are my delight.
We beseech You, O almighty God, that, showing gratitude for the gifts we have received, we may obtain yet greater benefits. 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.