Ember Days in Pittsburgh and St. Michael in Bridgeport

From Bishop Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh:

“… Special observances are called for on Ember Days: four sets of three days throughout the year that were traditionally set aside for prayer and fasting. These days were scheduled near the change of seasons. Bishop Zubik has asked that on each of these 12 days, clergy of the diocese fast and abstain from meat and make a Holy Hour. A Holy Hour is an hour spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics believe is the real presence of Christ.

Bishop Zubik will liturgically inaugurate the Year of Repentance on Sunday, September 23, 2018, immediately after the first three-day cycle of Ember Days. On Sunday, September 23 at 3 p.m., Bishop Zubik will lead Solemn Evening Prayer within a Holy Hour with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Saint Paul Cathedral, Oakland. Everyone is invited to participate, and parishes may also choose to hold a similar event at their own churches.

The Ember Days in the Year of Repentance are:
September 19, 21, 22 and December 19, 21, 22 in 2018. In 2019 they they continue with March 13, 15, 16 and June 12, 14, 15. …”

Awhile back we discussed the changes to the Liturgical Calendar which came along with the imposition of the Novus Ordo Missae (now known as the “Ordinary Form”) back in 1969. Those post are here, here, here, and here. One thing we did not discuss was “Ember Days.” So, what are Ember Days?

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Ember Days were suppressed in the 1969 Novus ordo calendar, so they are not found on current liturgical Calendars, and most people these days have never heard of them. But a Bishop can call for them in his Diocese, and that is what Bishop Zubik is doing.

Fr. Z, as usual, has a helpful guide for Ember Days.


From the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT:

The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel will be recited at the end of every Mass in the Diocese, beginning on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, as instructed by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano earlier this month…”

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is one of the Leonine Prayers said after the conclusion of the Low Mass (Extraordinary Form). However, as these were suppressed after Vatican II, they are mostly unfamiliar to Catholics today. The prayers in their entirety are here. The prayer to St. Michael (the only one of the Leonine Prayers being used in Bridgeport) goes like this:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

I thought I’d pass these along as interesting responses to the current crisis by various Bishops: among other things (one hopes), these men are turning, ever so slightly, towards Tradition.

St. Micheal, by Daniel Mitsui:

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