Saturday, 28 February 2015

Ember Saturday in Lent

Ember Saturday in Lent is a greater, non-privileged, ferial day of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet. It is one of the traditional days for ordinations.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis etc and the Office hymn is Ex more docti mystico. In the nocturn the antiphons Memor fuit etc are sung with the nine psalms appointed for Saturday 104, 105 and 106 - each split into three divisi. The three lessons are from a homily of St. Leo on St. Matthew's Gospel. After the third responsory, Absocondite etc., the second scheme of Lauds for Saturday is sung. The antiphons Benigne fac etc., are sung with psalms 50, 91, 63, the Canticle of Moses & 150. The Office hymn is O sol salutis. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Assumpsit Jesus etc. After the antiphon is sung in full after the canticle the choir kneels and the ferial preces are sung. The collect is proper to the Ember Saturday, Populum tuum. After the collect of the Ember Saturday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At the Hours the antiphons and psalms are of Saturday. At Prime (Pss 93i, 93ii, 107 & 149) the fourth psalm is the one displaced by the Miserere in the second schema of Lauds. The chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem. The Dominical and ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling. At the other Hours the short set of ferial preces are sung, again with the choir kneeling.

Mass is sung after None and has the usual, ancient, form, common to Ember Saturdays. The ministers wear folded chasubles. After the Kyrie there are a series of five structural units comprising of the invitation Oremus, followed by Flectamus genua (sung by the deacon), Levate (sung by the sub-deacon), a collect, O.T. reading and gradual. Four of these readings are from Isaiah and the last from Daniel. After the pericope from Daniel instead of a gradual the hymn of the Three Men in fiery furnace is sung, Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum and its collect Deus, qui tribus pueris. After this collect the second collect is A cunctis followed by the third collect Omnipotens. Mass then continues as usual (with of course kneeling for the orations and from the Canon through to the Fraction as usual on penitential days) and with Benedicamus Domino sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. The Office of the Ember Saturday ends with its Mass.

In the afternoon Vespers of the second Sunday in Lent are sung. The antiphons and psalms are of Saturday, the Office hymn is Audi benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung (the choir standing).

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Lauds the Canticle of Moses gets sliced down from 65 to 27 verses and the Suffrage has been abolished. At Prime the fourth psalm is not added and the ferial chapter Pacem et veritatem is replaced by the festal Regi saeculorum. The ferial preces are omitted at Prime and the Hours. The Mass of the day is sung after Terce. The Mass has the option of the 'mini-Ember Day' consisting of just one additional unit of collect, pericope and gradual. There are no additional collects. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, the penitential kneeling is reduced and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers the Suffrage has been abolished as have the Dominical preces at Compline.

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