Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category
Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass) will be offered this evening at 6:00 pm for Ember Wednesday, at 6:00 pm on Ember Friday and on Ember Saturday morning at 8:00 am at St. Mary Church in Salem, SD. For the Propers of this evening’s Mass, please click: Ember Wednesday in Advent
THE ANCIENT WINTER EMBER DAYS ARE TRADITIONALLY OBSERVED THIS WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Four times a year, the Church traditionally sets aside three days to focus on God through His marvelous creation. These quarterly periods take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons that “like some virgins dancing in a circle, succeed one another with the happiest harmony,” as St. John Chrysostom wrote. These four times are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and are known as “Ember Days,” or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin. The first of these four times comes in Winter, after the Feast of St. Lucy; the second comes in Spring, the week after Ash Wednesday; the third comes in Summer, after Pentecost Sunday; and the last comes in Autumn, after Holy Cross Day. These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as “Jejunia quatuor temporum,” or “the fast of the four seasons,” are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah, joy, and gladness, and great solemnities: only love ye truth and peace (Zacharias 8:19). In the ancient Church, Ordinations to the minor and major Orders were celebrated in the night on Ember Saturdays. Therefore, we can also pray for vocations to the Priesthood, and for those men who are preparing for Ordination, during the Ember Days.
On the Wednesday of Ember Week in Advent, the Mystery of the Annunciation is commemorated by many Churches. The Mass is usually sung early in the morning. That Mass is sometimes called the Golden Mass, Rorate Mass or Messiah Mass. On that occasion the Church is illuminated as a token that the world was still in darkness when the Light of the world appeared. The Mass is called the Golden Mass possibly because in the Middle Ages the whole of the Mass or at least the initial letters were written in gold, or on account of the golden magnificence of the solemnity or more probably on account of the special, great, “golden” grace which, at that time, is obtained by the numerous prayers. It is called Rorate Mass after the first words of the Introit of the Mass: Rorate Coeli, and Messiah Mass because of the Church, like Our Lady, expresses on that day her longing for the arrival of the Messiah.
Today, the Second Sunday of Advent, St. Nicholas visited the parish at the end of the 10:00am Holy Mass. After telling the children one story of his generosity – to provide a dowry for a poor young woman promised in marriage – the children in attendance at Mass came up to receive a gift bag of candy. Pictured with St. Nicholas (parishioner Paul Larson) is his young assistant, Peter (or Rupert), played by Paul’s son, Luke. The two priests are Fr. Charles Duman (on the right), and the Priest of Salem on the left. The second photo shows St. Nicholas with his other children after Mass. The photos were taken by parishioner John Streff. (More photos to come in the next couple of days).