The station is at St. Mary Major, as is the rule in Rome whenever the scrutinies of the candidates for Holy Orders are to take place.
The Ember Days of Pentecost differ from the others in that they fall during a joyful Season of the Liturgical Year and during the Octave of the one of the most solemn Feasts of the year. The color of the vestments is red, as during the rest of the Pentecost Octave. The Gloria and Alleluia are heard during the Mass, and there is little of a penitential nature in the liturgy on these days. Nonetheless, Holy Mother Church prescribes a fast, as She does on the other Ember Days, with the special intention of obtaining from God’s mercy, that the grace given in the Sacrament of Holy Orders may fructify in those who receive it, and bring a blessing upon the faithful. We have already noted that the Ember Saturday of Advent was the preferred day for Ordinations in the early Church. With the passage of time, the Ember Saturday of Pentecost became the preferred day. Falling as it does between spring and summer, it was a most convenient time to bestow Holy Orders on those who had completed their Seminary or University studies. Also, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is one of the principal workings of the Holy Ghost; therefore, the Pentecost Octave is a most fitting time for the bestowal of this Sacrament. Still, the significance of these Ember Days is overshadowed by that of Pentecost, which is commemorated during the entire Octave. Ember Saturday brings to a close the Pentecost Octave (which began, as it were, on the Vigil) and, with it, the Paschal Season.
The Mass bears a festival character; at one time the Ember fast was postponed for a few weeks. Pope St. Gregory VII re-established the Ember Days in their proper place, but the festal tone of the Office was retained. The contrast between today’s fast and the Gospel lesson in which Jesus offers Himself as the bread of eternal life is very opportune. Man does not live by bread alone, but has an absolute need of the Word of God, without Whom this earthly existence is as a day without light, an empty pretence of life, a gloomy image of death.
Counsel, the third of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3, is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of prudence. While prudence, like all the cardinal virtues, can be practiced by anyone, whether in a state of grace or not, it can take on a supernatural dimension through sanctifying grace. Counsel is the fruit of this supernatural prudence. Like prudence, counsel allows us to judge rightly what we should do in a particular circumstance. When we are infused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as if by instinct.
Counsel builds on both wisdom, which allows us to judge the things of the world in light of our final end, and understanding, which helps us to penetrate to the very core of the mysteries of our faith. It is the gift that allows us as Christians to be assured that we will act correctly in times of trouble and trial. Through counsel, we can speak without fear in defense of the Christian Faith. Thus, the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, counsel “enables us to see and choose correctly what will help most to the glory of God and our own salvation.”
INTROIT Psalm 67: 8-9
O God, when Thou didst go forth in the sight of Thy people, making a passage for them, dwelling in the midst of them, alleluia; the earth was moved, the heavens dropped, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 67: 2) Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. 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.
May the Paraclete Who proceedeth from Thee enlighten our minds, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and lead us into all truth, as Thy Son hath promised. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, For ever and ever.
LESSON Acts 2: 14-21
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. In those days, Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day; but this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel, And it shall come to pass in the last days (saith the Lord), I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon My servants indeed, and upon My handmaids, will I pour out, in those days, of My spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Psalm 32: 6) By the word of the Lord the Heavens were established: and all the power of them by the spirit of His mouth.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty and most merciful God, that the Holy Spirit, coming to us, may perfect us as a temple worthy the indwelling of His glory. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Acts 5: 12-16
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. In those days, By the hands of the apostles, were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. But of the rest no man durst join himself with them: but the people magnified them. And the multitude of men and women that believed in the Lord was more increased; insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow at least might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities. And there came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the neighboring cities, bringing sick persons, and such as were troubled with unclean spirits, who were all healed.
Alleluia, alleluia. Here all kneel. V. Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and kindle in them the fire of Thy love….
SEQUENCE “Veni Sancte Spiritus”
Come Thou Holy Spirit, come,
And from Thy celestial home Shed a ray of light divine.
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come, Thou source of all our store,
Come, within our bosoms shrine,
Thou of Comforters the best,
Thou the soul’s delightful guest,
Sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor rest most sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
Where Thou art not, man hath nought,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew,
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.
On Thy faithful who adore,
And confess Thee evermore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend.
Give them virtue’s sure reward,
Give them Thy salvation, Lord,
Give them joys that never end. Amen. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St. John 6: 44-52
At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of Jews, “No man can come to Me, except the Father, Who hath sent Me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, but He who is of God, He hath seen the Father.Amen, amen, I say unto to you, he that believeth in Me hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from Heaven, that, if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is My flesh for the life of the world.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 118: 47, 48
I will meditate on Thy commandments, which I have loved exceedingly: and I will lift up my hands to Thy commandments, which I have loved, alleluia.
Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts we offer: and graciously bring about that, what we here do in these mysteries, we may hereafter by their holy consequences hold in honor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
PREFACE of Pentecost
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: through Christ our Lord. Who, ascending above all the heavens and sitting at Thy right hand, poured out on (this day) the promised Holy Spirit upon the children of adoption. Wherefore the whole world doth rejoice with overflowing joy and the heavenly hosts also and the angelic Powers sing together the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
Communicating with, and keeping the most holy day of Pentecost, whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in countless tongues and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. (He joins his hands.) Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family, which we make unto Thee on behalf of these whom Thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, granting them remission of all their sins: and to dispose our days in Thy peace, preserve us from eternal damnation and rank us in the number of Thine Elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 14: 27
My peace I leave you, alleluia: My peace I give you, alleluia, alleluia.
Receiving Thy Heavenly sacrament, we beg Thy clemency, O Lord, that what we do in this life we may follow in the joys of eternity. 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.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Let us pray. O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. 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.