Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Friday, 16 December 2016

Friday In Ember Week Of Advent.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Friday in Ember Week Of Advent.

Station at The Church of The Twelve Apostles.

Indulgence of 10 Years and 10 Quarantines.

Violet Vestments.

The Mass of today sums up perfectly the whole spirit of Advent, which is, so to speak, the first act of the great drama of The Incarnation. It might be called "The Expectation of Christ" and pictured in a Triptych (see vignette, below):

On The Left, The Prophets, and, in particular, Isaias, who search the horizon and announce to us
The Coming of Christ (Epistle), The Sun of Justice; on The Right, Saint John the Baptist
(The Forerunner), who, from the womb of his mother, salutes Jesus (Gospel), and, as The Friend
of The Bridegroom, presents Him as The Messias to His Bride, The Church; in The Centre Panel,
The Virgin, in her First and Second Joyful Mysteries, The Annunciation and The Visitation,
of which we read in the Gospels for The Wednesday in Ember Week, and for today.

Mass: Prope es tu.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Gabriel, Prophet Isaias, Saint John the Baptist.
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
"Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium".
Used with Permission.

The Four Seasons of the Year begin with the Liturgical periods known as Ember Weeks. They are known since the 5th-Century A.D., but they were fixed to their present dates by Pope Saint Gregory VII in the 12th-Century.

The Ember Days are Three Fast Days, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, intended to Consecrate to God the various Seasons in Nature, and to prepare those who are about to be Ordained.

The Gospel recalls Gabriel's mission to Mary to inform her that she was about to become The Mother of God.

No human voice, but an Angel's, must make known the Mystery of such message. Today, for the first time, are heard the words: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee." They are heard and believed. "Behold," says Mary, "the handmaid of The Lord, be it done to me according to thy word" (Third Lesson). During seven Centuries, now, Isaias had foretold this Virgin Motherhood (Epistle, Communion).

Circa 1950: The Vicar and Sunday School Children go out into the fields
to Bless the crops. 
The little boy is carrying a symbolic Tree of Plenty.
Picture Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
Illustration: ABOUT RELIGION

Rogation Days.

Rogation Days, like their distant cousins, The Ember Days, are days set aside to observe a change in the Seasons. Rogation Days are tied to the Spring planting. There are Four Rogation Days: The Major Rogation, which falls on 25 April, and Three Minor Rogations, which are Celebrated on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday immediately before Ascension Thursday.

For an Abundant Harvest.

As The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, Rogation Days are "Days of Prayer, and formerly,
also of Fasting, instituted by The Church to appease God's anger at man's transgressions,
to ask protection in calamities, and to obtain a good and bountiful harvest."

Illustration: ABOUT RELIGION

Origin of the Word.

Rogation is simply an English form of the Latin "Rogatio", which comes from the verb "Rogare", which means "to ask." The primary purpose of The Rogation Days is to ask God to Bless the fields and the Parish (the geographic area) that they fall in.
The Major Rogation likely replaced the Roman feast of "Robigalia", on which
(The Catholic Encyclopedia notes) "the heathens held processions and supplications to
their gods." While the Romans directed their prayers for good weather and an abundant harvest
to a variety of gods, the Christians made the Tradition their own, by replacing Roman
polytheism with monotheism, and directing their Prayers to God.
By the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540 A.D. - 604 A.D.),
the Christianised Rogation Days were already considered an ancient custom.

The Litany, Procession, and Mass.

The Rogation Days were marked by the recitation of The Litany of The Saints, which would
normally begin in, or at, a Church. After Saint Mary was invoked, the Congregation would
proceed to walk the boundaries of the Parish, while reciting the rest of The Litany (and repeating
it as necessary or supplementing it with some of The Penitential or Gradual Psalms). Thus,
the entire Parish would be Blessed, and the boundaries of the Parish would be marked. The procession would end with a Rogation Mass, in which all in the Parish were expected to take part.

Sunday School Children Celebrate Rogation Day in 1953.
A photo at Market Lavington Museum, Wiltshire, England.

Optional Today.

Like The Ember Days, Rogation Days were removed from The Liturgical Calendar when it was revised in 1969, coinciding with the introduction of The Mass of Paul VI (The Novus Ordo).
Parishes can still Celebrate them, though very few in The United States do; but, in portions of Europe, The Major Rogation is still Celebrated with a Procession. As The Western World has become more industrialised, Rogation Days and Ember Days, focused as they are on agriculture and the changes of the Seasons, have seemed less "relevant." Still, they are good ways to keep us in touch with nature and to remind us that The Church's Liturgical Calendar is tied to the changing Seasons.

Celebrating The Rogation Days.

If your Parish does not celebrate The Rogation Days, there's nothing to stop you from Celebrating them yourself. You can mark the Days by reciting The Litany of The Saints. And, while many
modern Parishes, especially in The United States, have boundaries that are too extensive to walk,
you could learn where those boundaries are and walk a portion of them, getting to know your surroundings, and maybe your neighbours, in the process. Finish it all off by attending
daily Mass and Praying for good weather and a fruitful harvest.

Saint Michael's Church, Bunwell, Norfolk, England, has always been the centre of Village Life.
In this picture, taken on Rogation Sunday, April 1967, the Rector, Rev. Samuel Collins,
followed by the Choir, Parishioners, and The New Buckenham Silver Band, walk
The Parish Boundaries and pause to Bless the stream.

References in The Liturgy, connecting The Annunciation with Advent, date back to very early times. Many Churches observed this Feast on 18 December, in preference to 25 March, the latter date often falling in Lent.

Furthermore, this First Joyful Mystery of The Blessed Virgin is in keeping with the spirit of joy, which is so characteristic of the second half of The Season of Advent, when The Lord, Who is nigh, is so eagerly awaited (Second Gradual). Who, having appeared in the humility of His First Coming to save us (Collect), will come again like a King, full of glory (First Gradual), to take vengeance on His enemies and to deliver us forever (Offertory).

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

In The Liturgical Calendar of The Western Christian Churches, Ember Days are four separate Sets of Three Days within the same Week  —  specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday  —  roughly equidistant in the circuit of the Year, that are set aside for Fasting and Prayer.

These Days set apart for Special Prayer and Fasting were considered especially suitable for The Ordination of Clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as the "quattuor anni tempora" (the "Four Seasons of The Year"), or, formerly, as the "jejunia quattuor temporum" ("Fasts of The Four Seasons").

The Four Quarterly Periods, during which The Ember Days fall, are called The Embertides.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...