Search A Catholic Life:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Lenten Embertide
edit_button

Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5)

Ember Days this Lent: February 24, 26, & 27

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Read more >>
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Do You Recognize These Latin Mass Photos?
edit_button

A reader of A Catholic Life would like to know where these Latin Mass photographs were taken.  Do you recognize the priest, the location, or the website where these photographs were posted?

Read more >>
Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Christ
edit_button

Oh loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute an worship the most scared wound of Thy shoulder, on which Thou did bear Thy heavy cross, which tore Thy flesh and lay Thy bones as to inflict an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy most blessed body. I adore Thee, oh Jesus most sorrowful. I praise and glorify Thee, and give thanks fully to Thee for the most holy and sacred and painful wound. Beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy cross to be merciful to me on towards heaven along the way of Thy cross.
In Jesus' name (make request Amen to all.

Image: Christ Carrying the Cross by Jheronimus Bosch, 1510
Read more >>
Saturday, February 20, 2010
A Universal Lenten prayer (Attributed to Pope Clement XI)
edit_button

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Read more >>
Friday, February 19, 2010
List of Lenten Links
edit_button

Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?

A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term , or 'the forty days'. Lent is a time in the Church year lasting forthy days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday. It is a period of penance leading up to the joy of Easter.

Words to contemplate throughout Lent: "All things, even humiliation and death, help to save us."

For more information on this and other Lenten issues, please see my page: Everything Lent. On that page you will find links to articles, prayers, liturgical declarations, etc for Lent.
Read more >>
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tridentine Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC: April 24, 2010
edit_button

The Paulus Institute invites you to participate in an historic liturgical event in honor of Pope Benedict XVI, under the theme of “The Spirit of the Liturgy.”

We have arranged to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s inauguration with a Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC, April 24, 2010, at 1 pm. The Mass will be celebrated by a prince of the Church, the Vatican prelate Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. His Eminence is President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and served under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

The Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Firm (Traditional Latin Mass), as encouraged by Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict. It will be the first such Mass said at the High Altar of the Shrine in nearly half a century. The priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will assist at the Mass.

Read More...
Read more >>

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address:



Copyright / Disclaimer

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”