Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ember Saturday, 3rd March: Days of Recollection

To mark the Ember Saturday of Lent, 3rd March, there will be a 
with Solemn Mass in the Cathedral at 2pm (all welcome) 
and spiritual conferences given by our National Chaplain, Fr Andrew Southwell,
in the morning, from 10.30am. 

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We are also having a Day of Recollection in Oxford on the same day, 3rd March. 

Solemn Mass will be celebrated at 11am 
in the church of St Anthony of Padua,
115 Headley Way, Headington, Oxford OX3 7SS
It will be accompanied by the Schola Abelis.

There will be time for lunch (bring your own, there is a very sunny and spacious parish hall to sit in) and then there will be a  
spiritual conference by
Fr Nicholas Edmonds-Smith Cong Orat.

Fr Edmonds-Smith was ordained in the Oxford Oratory last October, and is an excellent preacher, so please take up this opportunity to spend a little time in peaceful reflection on this very special day, provided by the Church's ancient liturgy, in Lent.

The Ember Days are almost forgotten today, but if they are celebrated appropriately they could be a wonderful means of sanctifying the year. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, four times a year, one in Lent and one in Advent, they are a little season of penance with a extra liturgicual markers - 'prayers over the people' - on Wednesday and Friday, and then on Saturday a remarkable service of lessons, like a mini Easter Vigil. Though in the 1962 Missal (perhaps sensibly) it is possible to celebrate a 'forma brevior', the full version has four Old Testament lessons, an Epistle, and a Gospel, with Graduals (sung, if Mass in Sung) between them. These were in fact originally like the Easter vigil, a service of lessons during the night as a prelude to a dawn Mass. During that vigil ordinations took place, to different orders after different readings. Today, a Sung Ember Saturday Mass in the full form, as will be celebrated in both of our Days of Recollection, is a liturgical feast, the chants being particularly ancient and lovely, and the readings providing a wealth of material for reflection.

Here's the location of St Anthony of Padua.

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