Station Tuesday Lent I: Statio ad St Anastasiam

SanNicolaInCarcereLook favourably, Lord,
upon Thy household,
and grant that our mind
being chastened by mortification of the body,
may glow in Thy sight with desire of Thee:
through Our Lord…

At Rome, the Station is in the church of St. Anastasia, where, formerly, the Mass of the Aurora on Christmas Day was celebrated. The first church was built in the late 3rd or early 4th century, and was one of the first parish churches of ancient Rome. It was given by a woman called Anastasia and called titulus Anastasiae after her. Later, it was dedicated to a martyr of the same name.

Collecta at St. Nicholas in Carcere. Station at St. Anastasia.

In the Middle Ages the church of St. Nicholas was one of the most central and important of the Roman churches. The funeral ceremony of Urban II was held here; the name in carcere (in prison) also goes back to the Middle Ages.

St. Anastasia is commemorated in the second Mass of Christmas; her feast at Rome is perhaps older than the feast of Christmas itself. The church is said to mark the spot of the martyr’s dwelling; she was a holy widow martyred under Diocletian.

The Lucernare (Psalm 140) of the Gradual is noteworthy. In oriental liturgies it belongs to the Night Office. We must bear in mind that for many centuries Rome did not use the canonical Office of Vespers, its place being taken by the stational Mass celebrated either during Lent or on the eve of some solemn feast, at the very hour of sunset, when the Eastern Church was reciting the Office of the Lucernare. We learn from the Mass the importance of prayer and meditation, and how careful should be our preparation to approach the sacraments.

Almighty God,
we pray that the salvation
pledged us through this Sacrament
may be fulfilled:
through Our Lord…