Lenten Embertide

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Lenten Embertide

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Quadragesima Sunday (the first Sunday of Lent) are known as “Lenten Embertide,” which, depending on the date of Easter, can come as early as February 11, but which is seen as associated with the season of Spring (March, April, May). Liturgically, the lessons for the Wednesday and Saturday Masses focus on the Commandments given to Moses by God, and on the promises to those who keep them well, all ending with the story of the three lads saved by an angel from Nabuchodonosor’s furnace, as is so for all but Whit Embertide.

The Gospel readings speak of Our Lord discoursing on the sign of Jonas, and how exorcised spirits can return (Matthew 12:38-50), healing the paralytic (John 5:1-15), and the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9). Continue reading


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GREGORY was a Roman of noble birth, and while still young was governor of Rome. On his father’s death he gave his great wealth to the poor, turned his house on the Cœlian Hill into a monastery, which now bears his name, and for some years lived as a perfect monk. The Pope drew him from his seclusion to make him one of the seven deacons of Rome; and he did great service to the Church for many years as what we now call Nuncio to the Imperial court at Constantinople. While still a monk the saint was struck with some boys who were exposed for sale in Rome, and heard with sorrow that they were pagans. “And of what race are they?” he asked. “They are Angles.” “Worthy indeed to be Angels of God,” said he. “And of what province?” “Of Deira,” was the reply. “Truly must we rescue them from the wrath of God. And what is the name of their king?” “He is called Ella.” “It is well,” said Gregory; “Alleluia must be sung in their land to God.” He at once got leave from the Pope, and had set out to convert the English when the murmurs of the people led the Pope to recall him. Still the Angles were not forgotten, and one of the Saint’s first cares as Pope was to send from his own monastery St. Augustine and other monks to England. On the death of Pope Pelagius II., Gregory was compelled to take the government of the Church, and for fourteen years his pontificate was a perfect model of ecclesiastical rule. He healed schisms; revived discipline; saved Italy by converting the wild Arian Lombards who were laying it waste; aided in the conversion of the Spanish and French Goths, who were also Arians; and kindled anew in Britain the light of the Faith, which the English had put out in blood. He set in order the Church’s prayers and chant, guided and consoled her pastors with innumerable letters, and preached incessantly, most effectually by his own example. He died A. D. 604, worn out by austerities and toils; and the Church reckons him one of her four great doctors, and reveres him as St. Gregory the Great.

p. 106

Reflection.—The champions of faith prove the truth of their teaching no less by the holiness of their lives than by the force of their arguments. Never forget that to con Pert others you must first see to your own soul.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894], p. 105
March 12.


Hymn for The Holy Season of Lent

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Hymn for The Holy Season of Lent

The Cross is my sure salvation. The Cross I ever adore. The Cross of my Lord is with me. The Cross is my refuge.

Come, let us adore. 

Between the porch and the altar, the priests, the Lord’s ministers, shall “weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare Thy people; and shut not the mouths of them that sing to thee, O Lord.”

Come, let us adore.

Let us change our garments for ashes and sack-cloth: let us fast and lament before the Lord: for God is plenteous in mercy to forgive our sins.

Come, let us adore.

Attend, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against Thee. Help us, O God, our Savior and for the honor of Thy Name, O Lord, deliver us.

Come, let us adore.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me: for my soul trusteth in Thee. He hath sent from heaven, and delivered me; He hath made them a reproach that trod upon me.

Come, let us adore.

Help us, O God our Saviour; and for the glory of Thy Name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy Name’s sake.

Come, let us adore.

O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine! (3 times)

Then say ten times

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

V. Let us every moment praise the Most Holy Sacrament.
R. May our God, present in the Sacrament, be now and ever praised.


Eternal Father, I unite myself with the intentions and affections of our Lady of Sorrows on Calvary, and I offer Thee the sacrifice which Thy beloved Son Jesus made of Himself on the Cross, and now renews on the altar: First, to adore Thee and give Thee the honor which is due to Thee, confessing Thy supreme dominion over all things, and the absolute dependence of everything upon Thee, Thou Who art our one and last end. Second, to thank Thee for innumerable benefits received. Third, to appease Thy justice, irritated against us by so many sins, and to make satisfaction for them. Fourth, to implore grace and mercy for myself, for . . . , for all afflicted and sorrowing, for poor sinners, for all the world, and for the holy souls in Purgatory.

As I kneel before Thee on the Cross, most loving Saviour of my soul, my conscience tells me it was I who nailed Thee to the Cross with these hands of mine, as often as I have fallen into mortal sin, wearying Thee with my monstrous ingratitude. My God, my chief and most perfect Good, worthy of all my love, seeing Thou hast ever loaded me with blessings, I cannot now undo my misdeeds, as I would most willingly, but I can and will loathe them, grieving greatly for having offended Thee Who art infinite Goodness. Amen.