Dom Gueranger on Saturday in Ember Week

"The Station is in the Basilica of Saint Peter....where the people were wont to assemble, towards evening, that they might be present at the Ordination of the Priests and Sacred Ministers. This day was called 'Twelve-Lesson-Saturday' because formerly, twelve passages from the Holy Scriptures used to be read, as upon Holy Saturday."

This Ordination Mass was celebrated during the night; so that Sunday had begun by the time it was over. Later it was celebrated early on Saturday, "as we now have it; but, in memory of the ancient practice, the Gospel for Saturday is repeated on Sunday."

This Gospel is Matthew's account of the Transfiguration. By 1962 the 12 lessons had been reduced to four but the Gospel remained the same and was still repeated on the Second Sunday of Lent. The OF has suppressed the extra lessons for this day altogether and a different Gospel is in place. However, the Transfiguration accounts are present in both year A (Matthew) and B (Mark). Therefore, whichever form of the Mass you attend tomorrow, today's comments by Dom Guéranger explain why the Church chose the Matthew text in the first place.

"The Church would have us think upon the sublime dignity which has been conferred upon the newly ordained Priests. They are represented by the three Apostles, who were taken by Jesus to the high mountain, and favoured with the sight of his glory."

The newly ordained "..will in like manner.....enter into the cloud with the Lord. They will offer up the Sacrifice of your salvation in the silence of the sacred Canon. God will descend into their hands, for your sakes; and though they are mortals and sinners, yet will they, each day, be in closest communication with the Divinity."

"The forgiveness of your to come to you through their hands; their superhuman power will bring it down from heaven upon your souls. It is thus that God has cured our pride......... His own Eternal Son became Man, and he left other men after him to whom he said: 'As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' Let us, then, show honour to these men, who have this very day, been raised to so high a dignity. One of the duties imposed on us by our holy Religion, is respect to the Priesthood."

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