December 14, 2012
Feast of St. Peter Canisius (OF) / Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle (EF)
Though we’ll be getting together this Sunday to serve and will likely meet for parties throughout the Christmas season, our Holy Hour gatherings are on recess till January 6th.
GenChrist alums Marc & Jenn McCarthy are living near the DC area and are willing to make a couple of beds and couches available for GC March for Life pilgrims at the end of January. If you’re driving down and are interested, please so indicate in our brief survey (2 minutes?).
Generation Christ Communications Coordinator
News in Brief
Today: Adoration at St. Thomas
Today, Tomorrow: Advent Embertide
Frassati Holy Hour on the occasion of the end of the world – fb
Christmas Carols at the Empty Manger – fb
December 23: Work of Mercy: Delonis Center
December 23: It’s a Wonderful Life / Bells of St. Mary’s – email for details
December 22: Caroling – email for details
December 24: Christmas eve – Masses: 4:30 & 7:00 p.m.
December 25: Christmas – Masses: Midnight, 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.
December 28: Juventutem Mass & Dinner & Caroling
Ignite Christmas Progressive Dinner – fb
New Year’s Eve at St. John the Baptist – fb
January 1: Holy Day of Obligation, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Masses: 9:00 & 11:00 a.m
January 3: i.d.916
January 5: Epiphany Vespers, Exorcisms, & Blessings – fb
God, Sex, and the Meaning of Life – fb
40th March for Life; Juventutem Michigan Mass & Dinner in DC – website
Miles Christi Conference for Study and Prayer – fb
St. Thomas Giving; Pope Benedict XVI’s “State of the Church” address; O Antiphons
This week, we have had an opportunity to observe the Advent Ember Days – Ember Wednesday (12/19), Ember Friday (12/21) and Ember Saturday (12/22), which fall in the week after the feast of St. Lucy (December 13th in the calendar of each form the Roman Rite).
Ember Days fall four times within each year and are days when the faithful can particularly focus on God through His marvelous creation. Ember Days are days of fasting and partial abstinence, which are voluntary under the 1983 code of canon law. Marking the change of the natural seasons by prayer and fasting, we can thank God for all that He has done for us, for the plenty of the earth, and the beauty of the world He created. (See also, New Advent: Ember Days; and the FishEaters explanation of how the Ember Days are fashioned after a prior Jewish fasting tradition.))
In our Protestant and/or secular American culture, it is often said that the Church co-opted pagan festivals, giving them a little leavening of Catholicism but otherwise importing them whole cloth. In most important cases, this claim is wholly untrue; but is made by our opponents so as to suggest that Catholicism is a pagan or non-Christian religion. Ember Days are, in a sense, an exception to the rule – not because the Church adopted anything that was pagan but rather because the Church ‘Christianized’ something that the pagans had gotten almost right – thanking and praising God for a bountiful harvest, a rich vintage, a productive seeding or the blessing of nature in general.
Ember Days began in the Diocese of Rome before Christians were free to practice the Faith in public and gradually spread to all of western Christendom. They were celebrated in the third century and their origins are shrouded perhaps even further in the past. In 1969, in preparation for the introduction of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970, the Congregation for Divine Worship invited all of the national bishops conferences to determine how the Ember Days should be incorporated into the calendar of that Missal within their nations. While the Bishops of the United States may finally be on the cusp on acting, they haven’t done so yet – and the Ember Days do not yet appear in our Ordinary Form calendar.
Nonetheless, under Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, it remains our option to take advantage of the Extraordinary Form’s calendar and the prayers and readings attached to Advent Embertide. Consider reading Fish Eaters article about Advent Embertide.
Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle (EF)
Today is the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, according to calendar of the missal used for the extraordinary form Mass. That evening, at 7:00 p.m., a Traditional Latin (Low) Mass for the saint’s day will be celebrated at Assumption Grotto, Detroit.
(In the ordinary form calendar, July 3rd is the feast of St. Thomas.)
“Whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.”
As of 6:48 p.m. on December 18, both shifts are full.
Juventutem Michigan: Mass for Last Friday of December
On Friday, December 28, 2012, two days after the Feast of Stephen, Juventutem Michigan will return to Assumption Grotto for the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Facebook.
Fr. Robert Slaton, the newest priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, will celebrate the Missa Cantata on the Friday of ‘Christmas Week.’
7:00 p.m. Mass will be preceded by a 6:30 Rosary, at which members will pray for an increased acceptance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. After Mass, young adults (18-35 years old) will gather for dinner, fine conversation, and Christmas cheer at Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck. Carols will be sung in three or more languages.
On Christmas Eve (“Wigilia” – literally, the “vigil supper”), Polish Catholics celebrate a “Black Fast,” in which they don’t eat flesh meat, but do celebrate Our Lord’s coming Nativity. This menu is highly appropriate for Juventutem’s Friday night gathering where a feast of stuffed cabbage, pierogi, mushroom cutlet, and cod will be shared. Cost: $17 (exact change).
It is not possible to attend the social without eating/paying. If $17 is a problem, please be in touch in advance, as a few sponsors are willing to help out. Please email – contact@JuventutemMichigan.com – by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 12/26/12. Those with special dietary considerations can also be accommodated, provided that they get in touch by that same deadline.
The Mass is, of course, open to all ages and it is hoped that many of all ages will come.
St. Thomas is collecting warm clothes this Christmas for St. Vincent De Paul. The items needed are hats, gloves, winter underwear, hoodie sweatshirts, etc. Please purchase adult sizes, hoody sweatshirts in men XXL size are especially desired. You can give the items at St. Thomas and Gen Christ Holy Hours (Facebook). If you cannot make it to Gen Christ or St. Thomas please contact Thomas Dougan.
“State of the Church”
As Rocco says, each year, Pope Benedict XVI’s delivers his Christmas message to the Roman Curia (cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, lay people working in the Vatican) as a sort of “annual summary of the year’s major events and, on the broad level, his assessment of the ‘joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties’ of today’s church”
To those who pray the Divine Office (now called “the Liturgy of the Hours” in English-speaking lands), the week before Christmas Eve (17-23 December) features the O Antiphons
. These “Great Antiphons” praise Our Lord and address Him with titles which come from the Old Testament prophets.
In each evening prayer (f/k/a “vespers”) of the week, the O Antiphon is the antiphon used before and after the Magnificat, the joyous prayer of Mary upon her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, which is now the joyous prayer of the Church at the beginning of each evening.
If you do not regularly pray evening prayer, perhaps consider praying the O Antiphons and the Magnificat each evening during the final octave before Christmas Eve.
Sheet music and audio files (of the Latin chants) can be found at this page.
In future years, we hope to again organize a Holy Hour incorporating these chants to assist prayers. If you’d want to help – either by singing, or by convincing your parish pastor and music director to make a sacred space available, please let me know.