Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday In the Advent Embertide

Last Ember Day until after Ash Wednesaday 2012!

Lots of Lessons in today's Mass readings.


O Sapientia

December 17

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

From Godzdogz:


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Ave, Solomon's Throne!
Pure Ark of the law
fair Rainbow and Bush,
which the patriarch saw!

Ave, Gideon's Fleece!
Ave, blossoming Rod!
Samson's sweet Honeycomb!
Portal of God!

Well-fitting it was
that a Son so divine
should preserve from all touch
of original sin.

Nor suffer by smallest
defect to be stained
that Mother, whom He
for Himself had ordained.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday In the Advent Embertide

After a one-day break for Thursday, we are back to the Embertide regimen of intense prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and abstinence as we mark the change from Autumn to Winter and prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

Behold, my Jesus, at Thy feet the ungrateful sinner, the persecutor who kept Thee in continual affliction during all Thy life. Rut I will say to Thee with Isaias: But Thou hast delivered my soul that it should not perish; Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. I have offended Thee, I have pierced Thee through with all my sins; but Thou hast not refused to bear on Thy shoulders all my sins; I have voluntarily cast my soul into the fire of hell every time that I have consented to offend Thee gravely; and Thou, at the cost of Thy own blood, hast continually liberated me and prevented me from being entirely lost. My beloved Redeemer, I thank Thee. I could wish to die of sorrow when I think how I have abused Thy infinite goodness; forgive me, my Love, and come and take entire possession of my heart. Thou hast said that Thou wouldst not disdain to enter into the abode of him that opens to Thee, and to remain in his company: If any man shall open to Me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him. If I have hitherto driven Thee away from me, I now love Thee, and desire nothing but Thy favor. Behold, the door is open, enter Thou into my heart, but enter never to depart from it again. I am poor; but if Thou enter Thou wilt make me rich. I shall always be rich as long as I possess Thee, the sovereign good. O Queen of Heaven, sorrowful Mother of this suffering Son, I have also been a cause of sorrow to thee, because thou hast participated, in great part, in the sufferings of Jesus: my Mother, do thou also forgive me, and obtain for me the grace to be faithful to thee, now that I hope my Jesus has returned into my soul.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Can Eat That Roast Beef Sandwich Today

It is not an Ember Day. Thursday is never included in Embertide, even though the Wednesday and Friday bracketing it are. This is because Our Lord celebrated the first Mass on Maundy Thursday. Sort of the same thing as Sunday never being a fast day because He rose on a Sunday. Eat that beef and chicken today, because the next two days are days of fasting and abstinence.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday In the Advent Embertide

Today is the beginning of the Advent Embertide, as the Church marks the passing of Autumn and coming oif Winter, and intensifies its preparation for the great feast of Christmas with days of specially intense prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and abstinence.

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Mid-Week Mix, Third Week Of Advent, O Antiphons

Advent Edition Part 3: The O Antiphons by the Dominican Friars of Blackfriars, England via their YouTube channel, Godzdogz.

O Sapientia, December 17th

O Adonai, December 18th

O Radix Jesse, December 19th

O Clavis David, December 20th

O Oriens, December 21st

O Rex Gentium, December 22nd

O Emmanuel, December 23rd

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Lucia

From The Golden Legend

Santa Lucia customs. Scroll down for lots of links.

St. Lucia's Saffron Bread

On December 13 people in Sweden celebrate St. Lucy's Day. They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome
during the time of Emperor Diocletian. In order that she could carry the food and see where she was going in the dark, Lucia wore candles on her head. On St. Lucy's Day each year by tradition one of the daughters of the family is chosen to be St. Lucy. She gets up early and takes coffee and 'Lucia' buns (Saffronsbrod) to the rest of the family who are still in bed. She dresses in a white robe with a scarlet sash and wears on her head a crown of green leaves with five candles in it. Sometimes she is escorted by boys dressed in long white shirts and pointed hats, called star boys.

· 2 tsp sugar
· 1/2 cup warm water
· 1 tsp saffron powder
· 8 cups strong plain flour (all purpose flour)
· 4 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup butter
· 3/4 cup castor (table) sugar
· 1/4 cup raisins
· 1 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
· beaten egg for brushing

· 1 tbsp chopped almonds
· 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cube sugar

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water and add yeast.

2. Mix the saffron powder with 1 tbsp hot water.

3. Leave about 20 minutes, until frothy.

4. Sift flour and salt and rub in the butter. Add castor sugar, cardamom and raisins.

5. Mix to a dough with the yeast mixture and milk and add saffron.

6. Knead thoroughly, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Shape into small buns, put on a greased baking tray until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds.

8. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Cool on a cooling tray.

10. Serve fresh with coffee.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Ember Alert!

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week constitute the Advent Embertide, special days marking the change of season from Fall to Winter, and in preparation for the major feast of Christmas. Ember Days feature fasting, abstinence, and increased prayer and almsgiving.


Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Read about this feast of Our Blessed Lady at Catholic Tradition.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gaudete Sunday, or The Third Sunday Of Advent

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

Today, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater
than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels
that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to
lessen somewhat the austerity of this penitential season by the
innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first this Sunday
has had the name of given to it, from the first word of
the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions
which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called The
organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the
deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in
cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How
touching are all these usages, and how admirable this
condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends
together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the
graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy! Let us enter into
her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent,
because our Lord is now so near unto us. Tomorrow we will resume
our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord
and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful
and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican.
This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the
apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world;
it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy
and the sadness of the Church.

The night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the
Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear
and trembling Her language
assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now,
every day, until the vigil of Christmas, she begins her nocturns
with these grand words:

The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Now let us take the book of the Prophet, and read with the Church:

From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. xxvi.

In that day shall this canticle be sung in the land of Juda. Sion
the city of our strength: a Saviour, a wall, and a bulwark shall
be set therein. Open ye the gates and let the just nation, that
keepeth the truth, enter in. The old error is passed away, thou
wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee. You have
hoped in the Lord forevermore: in the Lord God mighty for ever.
For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he
shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground,
he shall pull it; down even to the dust. The foot shall tread it
down; the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The way of the
just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in. And in
the way of thy judgements, O Lord, we have patiently waited for
thee: thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. My
soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit
within me in the morning early I will watch to thee.

O holy Roman Church, city of our strength / behold us thy
children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the
fisherman, the prince of the apostles, whose sacred relics protect
thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching
enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, O city of strength: it is by
the Saviour, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy
, for it is He that encircles, with His tender mercy, all
thy children; He is thy bulwark, for it is by Him that thou art
invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to
prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may
enter thee; for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of
truth. May the old error, which sets itself against the faith,
soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O holy Roman
Church! thou hast forever put thy trust in the Lord; and He,
faithful to His promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones
that defied thee, and the proud cities that were against thee.
Where now are the Caesars, who boasted that they had drowned thee
in shine own blood? where the emperors, who would ravish the
inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the heretics, who, during
the past centuries of shine existence, have assailed every article
of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful
princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who hadst made them
what they were? where that empire of Mahomet, which has so many
times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenceless State,
didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the reformers, who
were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou west
to have no part? where the more modern sophists, in whose
philosophy thou west set down as a system that had been tried, and
was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those kings who are acting
the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty
independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in
another hundred years? Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a
torrent; whilst thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the
immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever.
Thy path through all the ages of this world's duration, will be
right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the same
unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred
years past, whilst everything else under the sun has been but
change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very truth
and justice? Glory be to Him in thee! Each year, He visits thee;
each year, He brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayst go
happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, He will
visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look
wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with Himself, as
He did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most
tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus Himself. We
pray with thee, O Church, our mother, and here is our prayer:
'Come, Lord Jesus! Thy name and Thy remembrance are the desire of
our souls: they have desired Thee in the night, yea, and early in
the morning have they watched for Thee.'

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