Whit Saturday Ember: Missa “Cáritas Dei”
In the Seventh Century due to the postponement of the Ember fast the station was at St. Stephen on the Caelian Hill; in the Eleventh Century a return was made to the primitive place, St. Peter. Of the five scriptural Lessons which precede the Gloria in excelsis of the Mass, some refer to the feast of Pentecost and some to the “fast of the fourth month,” St. Leo the Great calls it; they represent a kind of compromise or fusion of the two rites. Formerly the vigil lasted throughout the night, and twelve lessons were read, both in Greek and in Latin; but in the time of St. Gregory the Great the vigil was shortened and brought within more reasonable limits, as we now find it in our present Missal. Ordinations are held on this day, the various Orders being given as on the Ember Saturday in September. Officially, the Paschal Season closes with the Mass. The Sacrifice of the Mass fittingly brings the holy season of Easter to an end. Our redemption is now accomplished, and the Holy Ghost has come as though to insure its lasting efficacy by means of the sacramental character which He impresses on our souls. This is the special prerogative of the divine Paraclete; His work is always definite, complete, and final, like a conclusion which follows inevitably and irrevocably on its premises. This is the reason why sins against the Holy Ghost can never find pardon; for they are the outcome of the final hardening of the soul in utter hatred of Supreme Love.
The Gift of Fear of the Lord enables the person “to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God.” Primarily, this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the Supreme Being. Here, a person realizes his “creatureliness” and dependency upon God, and never would want to be separated from this loving God. This gift of fear arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for the majesty of God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin.
This gift is sometimes misunderstood because of the word fear. The fear referred to here is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment, whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of Hell. A genuine relationship with God is based on love, not fear. Therefore, this “fear of the Lord” is a filial or reverential fear which moves a person to do God’s will and avoid sin because of love for God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love. In a similar way, a child should not be motivated to obey a parent’s moral guidance or commands simply because of fear of punishment, but because of love and respect. One should fear hurting a loved one and violating that person’s trust, more than one should fear punishment. (Nevertheless, one should have a healthy sense of fear for the punishment due to sin, even though this should not be the motivating factor for loving God.)
The Gift of Fear brings to perfection primarily the vitue of hope: a person respects God as God, trusting in His will and anchoring his life on Him. Moreover, he wants to be joined with God forever in Heaven. This gift is also the launchpad for the other gifts: As Sacred Scripture attests, “Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands” (Psalm 112:1) and “The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord” (Sirach 1:12).
Secondly, this gift also perfects the virtue of temperance, which seeks to use all things wisely, and in moderation, not to the excess, especially those sensible pleasures. With reason enlightened by faith, temperance controls the passions. Temperance is related to the Gift of Fear because one’s awareness and respect for the sanctity of God motivates a person as a creature to give glory to God by being temperate in actions and desires. For example, chastity is a virtue of temperance which respects the goodness of one’s own sexuality, the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of marital love; a person moved by the Gift of Fear strives to live a chaste life because God is the creator of those goods and such a life gives glory and praise to Him.
With the Gift of Fear, the person rises to the Gift of Piety: “to give filial worship to God precisely as our Father and to relate with all people as children of the same Father.” Here a person shows reverence for God as a loving Father, and respects others as children of God precisely because that is what they are. As such, the Gift of Piety perfects the virtue of justice, enabling the individual to fulfill his obligations to God and neighbor; the person is not only motivated by the requirements of strict justice but also by the loving relationship he shares with his neighbor. For example, we fulfill the commandments not simply because they are commandments but because of our love for the heavenly Father and for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
INTROIT: Psalm 70: 8, 23
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, alleluia: by His Spirit dwelling within us, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 102: 1) Bless the Lord, O my soul; and let all that is within me bless His holy name. 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. Repeat The charity of God…
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Grant to Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that, being gathered in the Holy Spirit, it may be nowise molested by any assault of the enemy. 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.
FIRST LESSON: Joel, 2, 28-32
Lesson from Joel the Prophet. Thus saith the Lord God: I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Moreover, upon My servants and handmaids in those days I will pour forth My spirit. And I will show wonders in Heaven; and in earth blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord doth come. And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Thanks be to God.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (John 6: 64) It is the spirit that quickeneth: but the flesh profiteth nothing.
Let us pray. May the Holy Spirit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which Our Lord Jesus Christ sent upon the earth and earnestly wished to be enkindled. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever. R.Amen.
SECOND LESSON: Leviticus 23: 9-11, 15-17, 21
Lesson from the Book of Leviticus.In those days: the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, When you shall have entered into the land which I will give you, and shall reap your corn, you shall bring sheaves of ears, the first-fruits of your harvest, to the priests, who shall lift up the sheaf before the Lord, the next day after the sabbath, that it may be acceptable for you, and shall sanctify it. You shall count therefore from the morrow after the sabbath, wherein you offered the sheaf of the first-fruits, seven full weeks, even unto the morrow after the seventh week to be expired, that is to say, fifty days; and so you shall offer a new sacrifice to the Lord, out of all your dwellings, two loaves of the first-fruits, of two tenths of flour leavened, which you shall bake for the first-fruits of the Lord. And you shall call this day most solemn and most holy. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be an everlasting ordinance in all your dwellings and generations; said the Lord almighty. Thanks be to God.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Job 26: 13) His spirit hath adorned the Heavens.
O God, Who for the healing of souls hast ordained the chastisement of our bodies by the devout exercise of fasting, mercifully grant that we may ever be devoted to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
THIRD LESSON: Deuteronomy 26: 1-3, 7-11
Lesson from the Book of Deuteronomy. In those days, Moses said to the children of Israel, Hear, O Israel, what I command thee this day. When thou art come into the land which the Lord Thy God will give Thee to possess, and hast conquered it, and dwellest in it, thou shalt take the first of all thy fruits, and put them in a basket, and shalt go to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, that His name may be invocated there; and thou shalt go to the priest that shall be in those days, and say to him, I profess this day before the Lord thy God, Who heard us, and looked down upon our affliction, and labor, and distress; and brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand, and a stretched-out arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders, and brought us into this place, and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. And therefore now I offer the first fruits of the land which the Lord hath given me. And thou shalt leave them in the sight of the Lord thy God, adoring the Lord thy God; and thou shalt feast in all the good things which the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thanks be to God.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Acts 2: 1) When the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were all sitting together.
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we may so abstain from carnal delicacies as to fast likewise from the sins that beset us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
FIFTH LESSON: Daniel 3: 47-51
Lesson from Daniel the Prophet. In those days, the angel of the Lord went down with Azarias and his companions into the furnace, and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace, and made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew. But the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forty cubits: and it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans the king’s servants as it found heating it. And the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them, nor did them any harm. Then these three, as with one mouth, praised, and glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying:
Allelúja. V. (Daniel 3: 52) Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and worthy to be praised for ever.
Let us pray. O God, Who didst mitigate the fumes of fire for the three children, grant propitiously that the flame of sin may not consume us Thy servants. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Let us pray. 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 our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE: Romans 5: 1-5
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Brethren: Being justified by faith, let us have peace with God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom also we have access through faith into this grace wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God. And not only so, but we glory also in tribulations; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience trial, and trial hope, and hope confoundeth not; because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us. Thanks be to God.
TRACT: Psalm 116: 1-2
O praise the Lord, all ye nations, and praise Him together, all ye people. V. For His mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever.
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.
GOSPEL: Luke 4: 38-44
At that time, Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house: and Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought Him for her. And standing over her He commanded the fever, and it left her: and, immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them to Him: but He laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out, and saying, Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, He suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place; and the multitudes sought Him, and came unto Him; and they stayed Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said, “To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God, for therefore am I sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
OFFERTORY: Psalm 89: 2-3
O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried in the day and in the night before Thee: let my prayer come in before Thee, O Lord, alleluia.
That our fasts may be accepted by Thee, O Lord, grant us, we beseech Thee, by the grace of this sacrament, to offer Thee a clean heart. 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. R.Amen.
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. R.Amen.
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: John 3: 8
The spirit breatheth where He will: and Thou hearest His voice, alleluia, alleluia: but Thou knowest not whence He cometh, nor whither He goeth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
May Thy holy things, O Lord, fill us with divine fervor, so that we may have pleasure alike in their performance and in theft effect. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever. R. Amen.
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. R. Amen.