Collecta at St. Agatha in Monasterio. Station at St. Vitalis. The meeting place today is in the deaconry of St. Agatha “of the Goths” in the Suburra, which was restored to Catholic worship by St. Gregory the Great.
From there the procession went to the neighboring Church of Vestian, dedicated under Innocent I (402-17) to the martyr Vitalis. The martyrology of Ado confused this Vitalis with the saint of the same name at Ravenna. In the Mass, the choice of the lesson of Joseph let down by his brothers into an empty well, and the Gospel of the wicked husbandmen who stoned their master’s son, was suggested by the Acta of St. Vitalis, which tell us how the martyr was first buried up to the waist in a pit and then stoned to death.
The Church, as though she feared that the very splendour of her liturgy might lead simple folk into thinking that Christianity consisted merely in holding functions and receiving the sacraments, insists continually in her Lenten formulas that we should by our good works, give reality to what is so sublimely expressed in the liturgy. In the liturgy the theme is God’s repeated appeal through His prophets to an unrepentant people.
INTROIT Psalm 16:15
But I in justice shall behold Your face; I shall be content when Your glory shall appear. Ps 16:1 Hear, O Lord, a just suit; attend to my outcry. 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. But I in justice shall behold Your face; I shall be content when Your glory shall appear.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, with the sacred fast to purify us, Thou mayest cause us to come with sincere minds to the holy things that are before 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.
Second Collect for the Intercession of the 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.
LESSON Genesis 37: 6-22
Lesson from the Book of Genesis. In those days Joseph said to his brethren: Hear my dream which I dreamed. I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf rose as it were, and stood, and your sheaves standing about, bowed down before my sheaf. His brethren answered: Shalt thou be our king? or shall we be subject to thy dominion? Therefore this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred. He dreamed also another dream, which he told to his brethren saying: I saw in a dream, as it were the sun, and the moon and eleven stars worshipping me. And when he had told this to his father, and brethren, his father rebuked him, and said: What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth? His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself. And when his brethren abode in Sichem, feeding their father’s flocks, Israel said to him: Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them. And when he had answered: I am ready; he said to him: Go, and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle: and bring me word again what is doing. So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem: and a man found him there wandering in the field, and asked what he sought. But he answered: I seek my brethren, tell me where they feed the flocks. And the man said to him: They are departed from this place: for I heard them say: Let us go down to Dothain. And Joseph went forward after his brethren, and found them in Dothain. And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him. And said one to another: Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit; and we will say: Some evil beast hath devoured him: and then it shall appear what his dreams shall avail him: and Ruben hearing this, endeavored to deliver him out of their hands, and said: Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless: now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands and to restore him to his father.
GRADUAL Psalm 119: 1,2
In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and He heard me. V. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue.
Tractus Ps 102:10O
Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. (Ps. 78: 8-9) O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. (Here all kneel down) Help Us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.
GOSPEL St. Matthew 21: 33-46
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and the chief priests: “There was a certain householder who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits thereof: and the husbandmen laying hands on the servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants more. than the former, and they did to them in like manner; and last of all he sent to them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance; and taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? They say to Him, He will bring those evil men to an evil end, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season.” Jesus saith to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this hath been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.” And when the chief priests and pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He spoke of them; and seeking to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him as a prophet.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 39: 14,15
Look down, O Lord, to help me: let them be confounded and ashamed together, that seek after my soul to take it away: look down, O Lord, to help me.
May this sacrifice, O Lord, both remain in us by its action and be made strong in operation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. 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 it 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 ANTIPHON Psalm 11: 8
Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us: and keep us from this generation for ever.
Make us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, direct our course so that we who have received the pledge of eternal salvation may be able to attain it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. 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 your heads to God.
Grant unto Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, health of mind and body, that, by persevering in good works, we may be worthy to be protected by Your mighty power. 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.