Rogation Days – Monday

It seems strange that there should be anything like mourning during Paschal Time: and yet these three days are days of penance. A moment’s reflection, however, will show us that the institution of the Rogation Days is a most appropriate one. True, our Savior told us, before his Passion, that the children of the Bridegroom should not fast whilst the Bridegroom is with them: but is not sadness in keeping with these the last hours of Jesus’ presence on earth? Were not his Mother and Disciples oppressed with grief at the thought of their having so soon to lose Him, whose company had been to them a foretaste of heaven?

Let us see how the Liturgical Year came to have inserted in its Calendar these three days, during which Holy Church, though radiant with the joy of Easter, seems to go back to her Lenten observances. The Holy Ghost, who guides her in all things, willed that this completion of her Paschal Liturgy should owe its origin to a devotion peculiar to one of the most illustrious and venerable Churches of southern Gaul: it was the Church of Vienne.

The second half of the 5th century had but just commenced, when the country round Vienne, which had been recently conquered by the Burgundians, was visited with calamities of every kind. The people were struck with fear at these indications of God’s anger. St. Mamertus, who, at the time, was Bishop of Vienne, prescribed three days’ public expiation, during which the Faithful were to devote themselves to penance, and walk in procession chanting appropriate Psalms. The three days preceeding the Ascension were the ones chosen. Unknown to himself, the holy Bishop was thus instituting a practice, which was afterwards to form part of the Liturgy of the universal Church.

The Churches of Gaul, as might naturally be expected, were the first to adopt the devotion. St. Alcimus Avitus, who was one of the earliest successors of St. Mamertus in the See of Vienne, informs us that the custom of keeping the Rogation Days was, at that time, firmly established in his Diocese. St. Cæsarius of Arles, who lived in the early part of the 6th century, speaks of their being observed in countries afar off; by which he meant, at the very least, to designate all that portion of Gaul which was under the Visigoths. That the whole of Gaul soon adopted the custom, is evident from the Canons drawn up at the first Council of Orleans, held in 511, and which represented all the Provinces that were in allegiance to Clovis. The regulations, made by the Council regarding the Rogations, give us a great idea of the importance attached to their observance. Not only abstinence from flesh-meat, but even fasting, is made of obligation. Masters are also required to dispense their servants from work, in order that they may assist at the long functions which fill up almost the whole of these three days. In 567, the Council of Tours, likewise, imposed the precept of fasting during the Rogation Days, and as to the obligation of resting from servile work, we find it recognised in the Capitularia of Charlemagne and Charles the Bald.

The main part of the Rogation rite originally consisted (at least in Gaul), in singing canticles of supplication whilst passing from place to place,—and hence the word Procession. We learn from St. Cæsarius of Arles, that each day’s Procession lasted six hours; and that when the Clergy became tired, the women took up the chanting. The Faithful of those days had not made the discovery, which was reserved for modern times, that one requisite for religious Processions is that they be as short as possible.

The Procession for the Rogation Days was preceded by the Faithful receiving the Ashes upon their heads, as now at the beginning of Lent; they were then sprinkled with Holy Water, and the Procession began. It was made up of the Clergy and people of several of the smaller parishes, who were headed by the Cross of the principal Church, which conducted the whole ceremony. All walked bare-foot, singing the Litany, Psalms and Antiphons. They entered the Churches that lay on their route, and sang an Antiphon or Responsory appropriate to each.

Such was the original ceremony of the Rogation Days, and it was thus observed for a very long period. The Monk of St. Gaul’s, who has left us so many interesting details regarding the life of Charlemagne, tells us that this holy Emperor used to join the Processions of these three Days, and walk bare-footed from his palace to the Stational Church. We find St. Elizabeth of Hungary, in the 14th century, setting the like example: during the Rogation Days, she used to mingle with the poorest women of the place, and walked bare-footed, wearing a dress of coarse stuff. St. Charles Borromeo, who restored in his Diocese of Milan so many ancient practices of piety, was sure not to be indifferent about the Rogation Days. He spared neither word nor example to reanimate this salutary devotion among his people. He ordered fasting to be observed during these three Days; he fasted himself on bread and water. The Procession, in which all the Clergy of the City were obliged to join, and which began after the sprinkling of Ashes, started from the Cathedral at an early hour in the morning, and was not over till three or four o’clock in the afternoon. Thirteen Churches were visited on the Monday; nine, on the Tuesday; and eleven, on the Wednesday. The saintly Archbishop celebrated Mass and preached in one of these Churches.

If we compare the indifference shown by the Catholics of the present age, for the Rogation Days, with the devotion wherewith our ancestors kept them, we cannot but acknowledge that there is a great falling off in faith and piety. Knowing, as we do, the importance attached to these Processions by the Church, we cannot help wondering how it is that there are so few among the Faithful who assist at them. Our surprise increased when we find persons preferring their own private devotions to these public Prayers of the Church, which to say nothing of the result of good example, merit far greater graces than any exercises of our own fancying.

The whole Western Church soon adopted the Rogation Days. They were introduced into England at an early period; so, likewise, into Spain, and Germany. Rome herself sanctioned them by her own observing them; this she did in the 8th century, during the Pontificate of St. Leo the Third. She gave them the name of the Lesser Litanies, in contradistinction to the Procession of the 25th of April, which she calls the Greater Litanies. With regard to the Fast which the Churches of Gaul observed during the Rogation Days, Rome did not adopt that part of the institution. Fasting seemed to her to throw a gloom over the joyous forty days, which our Risen Jesus grants to his Disciples; she therefore enjoined only abstinence from flesh-meat during the Rogation Days. The Church of Milan, which, as we have just seen, so strictly observes the Rogations, keeps them on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, that is to say, after the forty days devoted to the celebration of the Resurrection.

If, then, we would have a correct idea of the Rogation Days, we must consider them as Rome does,—that is, as a holy institution which, without interrupting our Paschal joy, tempers it. The purple vestments used during the Procession and Mass do not signify that our Jesus has fled from us, but that the time for his departure is approaching. By prescribing Abstinence for these three days, the Church would express how much she will feel the loss of her Spouse, who is so soon to be taken from her.

In England, as in many other countries, abstinence is no longer of obligation for the Rogation Days. This should be an additional motive to induce the Faithful to assist at the Processions and Litanies, and, by their fervently uniting in the prayers of the Church, to make some compensation for the abolition of the law of Abstinence. We need so much penance, and we take so little! If we are truly in earnest, we shall be most fervent in doing the little that is left us to do.

The object of the Rogation Days is to appease the anger of God, and avert the chastisements which the sins of the world so justly deserve; moreover, to draw down the divine blessing on the fruits of the earth. The Litany of the Saints is sung during the Procession, which is followed by a special Mass said in the Stational Church, or, if there be no Station appointed, in the Church whence the Procession first started.

The Litany of the Saints is one of the most efficacious of prayers. The Church makes use of it on all solemn occasions, as a means for rendering God propitious through the intercession of the whole court of heaven. They who are prevented from assisting at the Procession, should recite the Litany in union with holy Church: they will thus share in the graces attached to the Rogation Days; they will be joining in the supplications now being made throughout the entire world; they will be proving themselves to be Catholics.

The Mass of the Rogations, which is the same for all three days, speaks to us, throughout, of the power and necessity of prayer. The Church uses the Lenten colour, to express the expiatory character of the function she is celebrating: but she is evidently full of confidence; she trusts to the love of her Risen Jesus, and that gives her hope of her prayers being granted.

For the convenience of the Faithful we also insert the Litany.

Ant. Exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos: et libera nos, propter gloriam nominis tui, alleluia. Ant. Arise, O Lord, help us, and deliver us, for the glory of thy Name, alleluia.
Ps. Deus, auribus nostris audivimus: Patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. ℣. Gloria Patri. Exsurge. Ps. We have heard, O God, with our ears: our Fathers have told it unto us. ℣. Glory, &c. Arise, &c.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christe, eleison. Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christe, audi nos. Christ, hear us.
Christe, exaudi nos. Christ, graciously hear us.
Pater de cælis Deus, miserere nobis. God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
Fili Redemptor mundi Deus, God, the Son, the Redeemer of the world,
Spiritus Sancte Deus, God, the Holy Spirit,
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, Holy Trinity, one God,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis. Holy Mary, pray for us.
Sancta Dei Genetrix, Holy Mother of God,
Sancta Virgo virginum, Holy Virgin of virgins,
Sancte Michæl, Saint Michael,
Sancte Gabriel, Saint Gabriel,
Sancte Raphæl, Saint Raphael,
Omnes sancti Angeli et Archangeli, All ye holy Angels and Archangels,
Omnes sancti beatorum Spirituum ordines, All ye holy orders of blessed Spirits,
Sancte Ioannes Baptista, Saint John the Baptist,
Sancte Ioseph, Saint Joseph,
Omnes sancti Patriarchæ et Prophetæ, All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets,
Sancte Petre, Saint Peter,
Sancte Paule, Saint Paul,
Sancte Andrea, Saint Andrew,
Sancte Iacobe, Saint James,
Sancte Ioannes, Saint John,
Sancte Thoma, Saint Thomas,
Sancte Iacobe, Saint James,
Sancte Philippe, Saint Phillip,
Sancte Bartolomæe, Saint Bartholomew,
Sancte Matthæe, Saint Matthew,
Sancte Simon, Saint Simon,
Sancte Thaddæe, Saint Thaddeus,
Sancte Matthia, Saint Matthias,
Sancte Barnaba, Saint Barnabas,
Sancte Luca, Saint Luke,
Sancte Marce, Saint Mark,
Omnes sancti Apostoli et Evangelistæ, All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists,
Omnes sancti discipuli Domini, All ye holy Disciples of the Lord,
Omnes sancti Innocentes, All ye holy Innocents,
Sancte Stephane, Saint Stephen,
Sancte Laurenti, Saint Lawrence,
Sancte Vincenti, Saint Vincent,
Sancti Fabiane et Sebastiane, Saints Fabian and Sebastian,
Sancti Ioannes et Paule, Saints John and Paul,
Sancti Cosma et Damiane, Saints Cosmas and Damian,
Sancti Gervasi et Protasi, Saints Gervase and Protase,
Omnes sancti martyres, All ye holy Martyrs,
Sancte Sylvester, Saint Sylvester,
Sancte Gregori, Saint Gregory,
Sancte Ambrosi, Saint Ambrose,
Sancte Augustine, Saint Augustine,
Sancte Hieronyme, Saint Jerome,
Sancte Martine, Saint Martin,
Sancte Nicolæ, Saint Nicholas,
Omnes sancti Pontifices et Confessores, All ye holy Popes and Cofessors,
Omnes sancti Doctores, All ye Holy Doctors,
Sancte Antoni, Saint Anthony,
Sancte Benedicte, Saint Benedict,
Sancte Bernarde, Saint Bernard,
Sancte Dominice, Saint Dominic,
Sancte Francisce, Saint Francis,
Omnes sancti Sacerdotes et Levitæ, All ye holy Priests and Levites,
Omnes sancti Monachi et Eremitæ, All ye holy Monks and Hermits,
Sancta Anna, Saint Ann,
Sancta Maria Magdalena, Saint Mary Magdalen,
Sancta Agatha, Saint Agatha,
Sancta Lucia, Saint Lucy,
Sancta Agnes, Saint Agnes,
Sancta Cæcilia, Saint Cecilia,
Sancta Catharina, Saint Catherine,
Sancta Anastasia, Saint Anastasia,
Omnes sanctæ Virgines et Viduæ, All ye holy Virgins and Widows,
Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Dei, intercedite pro
nobis
.
All ye holy men and women, Saints of God, intercede
for us
.
Propitius esto, parce nobis, Domine. Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Propitius esto, exaudi nos, Domine. Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Ab omni malo, libera nos, Domine. From all evil, deliver us, O Lord.
Ab omni peccato, From all sin,
Ab ira tua, From Thy wrath,
A subitanea et improvisa morte, From sudden and unprovided death,
Ab insidiis diaboli, From the snares of the devil,
Ab ira et odio et omni mala voluntate, From anger, hatred, and all ill-will,
A spiritu fornicationis, From the spirit of fornication,
A fulgure et tempestate, From lightning and tempest,
A flagello terræmotus, From the scourge of earthquake,
A peste, fame et bello, From plague, famine and war,
A morte perpetua, From everlasting death,
Per mysterium sanctæ Incarnationis tuæ, Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
Per adventum tuum, Through Thy coming,
Per nativitatem tuam, Through Thy nativity,
Per baptismum et sanctum ieiunium tuum, Through Thy Baptism and holy fasting,
Per crucem et passionem tuam, Through Thy Cross and Passion,
Per mortem et sepulturam tuam, Through Thy Death and Burial,
Per sanctam resurrectionem tuam, Through Thy Holy Resurrection,
Per admirabilem ascensionem tuam, Through Thy wondrous Ascension,
Per adventum Spiritus Sancti Paracliti, Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
In die iudicii, In the day of judgment,
Peccatores, te rogamus, audi nos. We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Ut nobis parcas, That Thou wouldst spare us,
Ut nobis indulgeas, That Thou wouldst pardon us,
Ut ad veram pænitentiam nos perducere
digneris,
That Thou wouldst bring us to true repentance,
Ut Ecclesiam tuam sanctam regere et conservare
digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy
Holy Church,
Ut domum Apostolicum et omnes ecclesiasticos ordines in
sancta religione conservare digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve the Bishop of
the Apostolic See, and all orders of the Church in holy
religion,
Ut inimicos sanctæ Ecclesiæ humiliare
digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of
Holy Church,
Ut regibus et principibus christianis pacem et veram
concordiam donare digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and true
concord to Christian kings and princes,
Ut cuncto populo christiano pacem et unitatem largiri
digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to
all Christian people,
Ut omnes errantes ad unitatem Ecclesiæ
revocare, et infideles universos ad Evangelii lumen
perducere digneris,
That Thou wouldst restore to the unity of the
Church all who have strayed from the truth, and lead
all unbelievers into the light of the
Gospel,
Ut nosmetipsos in tuo sancto servitio confortare et
conservare digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us
in Thy holy service,
Ut mentes nostras ad cælestia desideria
erigas,
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly
desires,
Ut omnibus benefactoribus nostris sempiterna bona
retribuas,
That Thou wouldst render eternal blessing to all our
benefactors,
Ut animas nostras, fratrum, propinquorum et
benefactorum nostrorum ab æterna damnatione
eripias,
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the
souls of our brethren, relations, and benefactors from
eternal damnation,
Ut fructus terræ dare et conservare digneris, That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the
fruits of the earth,
Ut omnibus fidelibus defunctis requiem æternam
donare digneris,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to
all the faithful departed,
Ut nos exaudire digneris, That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us,
Fili Dei, te rogamus, audi nos. Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear
us
.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce nobis,
Domine
.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, exaudi nos,
Domine
.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere
nobis
.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Christe, audi nos. Christ, hear us.
Christe, exaudi nos. Christ, graciously hear us.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christe, eleison. Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Pater noster … (In secret.) Our Father … (In secret.)
℣. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
℟. Sed libera nos a malo.
℣. And lead us not into temptation.
℟. but deliver us from evil.
Psalm 69
Deus, in adiutorium meum intende: * Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina. O God, come to my assistance: * O Lord, make haste to help me.
Confundantur, et revereantur * qui quærunt animam meam. Let them be ashamed and confounded, that seek after my soul.
Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant, * qui volunt mihi mala. Let them be turned backward and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
Avertantur statim erubescentes, * qui dicunt mihi: Euge, euge. Let them be turned back with shame, that say unto me, ’Tis well, ’Tis well.
Exultent et lætentur in te, omnes qui quærunt te, * et dicant semper: Magnificetur Dominus: qui diligunt salutare tuum. But let all those who seek Thee be joyful and glad in Thee, and let such as love Thy salvation say continually: Let the Lord be magnified.
Ego vero egenus et pauper sum: * Deus adiuva me. But I am poor and needy: help me, O God.
Adiutor meus et liberator meus es tu: * Domine, ne moreris. Thou art my helper and deliverer, O Lord, do not delay.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, * et Spiritui Sancto. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper: * et in sæcula sæculorum, Amen. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
℣. Salvos fac servos tuos.
℟. Deus meus, sperantes in te.
℣. Save Thy servants.
℟. Trusting in thee, O my God.
℣. Esto nobis, Domine, turris fortitudinis.
℟. A facie inimici.
℣. Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of strength.
℟. In the face of the enemy.
℣. Nihil proficiat inimicus in nobis.
℟. Et filius iniquitatis non apponat nocere
nobis.
℣. Let not the enemy prevail against us.
℟. Nor the son of iniquity have power to harm us.
℣. Domine, non secundum peccata nostra facias
nobis.
℟. Neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas
nobis.
℣. O Lord, deal not with us according to our
sins.
℟. Neither requite us according to our
iniquities.
℣. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro N.
℟. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et
beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam
inimicorum eius.
℣. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff
N.
℟. The Lord preserve him and give him life, and
make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up
to the will of his enemies.
℣. Oremus pro benefactoribus nostris.
℟. Retribuere dignare, Domine, omnibus nobis bona
facientibus propter nomen tuum, vitam æternam.
Amen.
℣. Let us pray for our benefactors.
℟. Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy Name’s sake,
to reward with eternal life all those who do us good.
Amen.
℣. Oremus pro fidelibus defunctis.
℟. Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux
perpetua luceat eis.
℣. Let us pray for the faithful departed.
℟. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let
perpetual light shine upon them.
℣. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.
℣. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.
℣. Pro fratribus nostris absentibus.
℟. Salvos fac servos tuos, Deus meus, sperantes
in te.
℣. For our absent brethren.
℟. Save Thy servants who hope in Thee, O my God.
℣. Mitte eis, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
℟. Et de Sion tuere eos.
℣. Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy
place.
℟. And from Sion protect them.
℣. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
℟. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto Thee.
℣. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.
Oremus. Let us pray.
Deus, cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere: suscipe deprecationem nostram; ut nos, et omnes famulos tuos, quos delictorum catena constringit, miseratio tuæ pietatis clementer absolvat. O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition; that we and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin may, by the compassion of Thy goodness mercifully be absolved.
Exaudi, quæsumus, Domine, supplicum preces, et confitentium tibi parce peccatis: ut pariter nobis indulgentiam tribuas benignus et pacem. Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy supplicants and pardon the sins of those who confess to Thee: that in Thy bounty Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.
Ineffabilem nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam clementer ostende: ut simul nos et a peccatis omnibus exuas, et a pœnis quas pro his meremur, eripias. In Thy clemency, O Lord, show unto us Thine ineffabile mercy; that Thou mayest both free us from sins and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.
Deus, qui culpa offenderis, pænitentia placaris: preces populi tui supplicantis propitius respice; et flagella tuæ iracundiæ, quæ pro peccatis nostris meremur, averte. O God, who by sin art offended, and by penance appeased, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee; and turn away the scourges of Thy wrath which we deserve for our sins.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, miserere famulo tuo Pontifici nostro N., et dirige eum secundum tuam clementiam in viam salutis æternæ: ut, te donante, tibi placita cupiat, et tota virtute perficiat. Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, N, our Sovereign Pontiff: and direct him according to Thy clemency into the way of everlasting salvation: that, by Thy grace, he may desire those things which are pleasing to Thee, and accomplish them with all his strength.
Deus, a quo sancta desideria, recta consilia, et iusta sunt opera: da servis tuis illam, quam mundus dare non potest, pacem; ut et corda nostra mandatis tuis dedita, et, hostium sublata formidine, tempora sint tua protectione tranquilla. O God, from Whom are holy desires, right counsels, and just works: grant to Thy servants the peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be devoted to the keeping of Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies being removed, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.
Ure igne Sancti Spiritus renes nostros et cor nostrum, Domine: ut tibi casto corpore serviamus, et mundo corde placeamus. Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Ghost: that we may serve Thee with a chaste body and please Thee with a clean heart.
Fidelium, Deus omnium Conditor et Redemptor, animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum remissionem cunctorum tribue peccatorum: ut indulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur O God, the Creator and redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins: that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired.
Actiones nostras, quæsumus, Domine, aspirando præveni et adiuvando prosequere: ut cuncta oratio et operatio a te semper incipiat et per te cœpta finiatur. Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance: that every prayer and work of ours may begin always from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum, omniumque misereris, quos tuos fide et opere futuros esse prænoscis: te supplices exoramus; ut pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus, quosque vel præsens sæculum adhuc in carne retinet vel futurum iam exutos corpore suscepit, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis tuis, pietatis tuæ clementia, omnium delictorum suorum veniam consequantur. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum. Almighty and everlasting God, who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all, of whom Thou foreknowest that they will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee; that they for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come hath already received them out of their bodies, may, through the intercession of all Thy Saints, by the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through Christ our Lord.
℣. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with Thy spirit.
℣. Exaudiat nos omnipotens et misericors
Dominus.
℟. Amen.
℣. May the almighty and most merciful Lord
graciously hear us.
℟. Amen.
℣. Et fidelium animæ per misericordiam Dei
requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.
℣. And may the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

Mass of the Rogation Days

The Introit, which is taken from the Psalms, tells us of the mercy of God, and how he graciously hears our prayer the moment we make it.

Introit
Exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam, alleluia: et clamor meus in conspectu ejus introivit in aures ejus. Alleluia, alleluia. He hath graciously heard my voice from his holy temple, alleluia: and my cry before him came into his ears. Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea: Dominus firmamentum meum et refugium meum, et liberator meus. ℣. Gloria Patri. Exaudivit. Ps. I will love thee, O Lord, my strength! The Lord is my rock, my refuge, and my deliverer. ℣. Glory, &c. He hath, &c.

In the Collect, the Church represents the necessities of her children to Almighty God. As a motive for his granting them his protection, she speaks of the confidence wherewith they ask it.

Collect
Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, qui in afflictione nostra de tua pietate confidimus, contra adversa omnia, tua semper protectione muniamur. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who in our afflictions rely on thy goodness, may, under thy protection, be defended against all adversities. Through, &c.

Then are added the other Collects, as in the Mass of the fifth Sunday after Easter.

Epistle
Lectio Epistolæ beati Jacobi Apostoli. Lesson of the Epistle of Saint James the Apostle.
Cap. V. Ch. V.
Confitemini ergo alterutrum peccata vestra, et orate pro invicem ut salvemini: multum enim valet deprecatio justi assidua. Elias homo erat similis nobis passibilis: et oratione oravit ut non pluret super terram, et non pluit annos tres, et menses sex. Et rursum oravit: et cælum dedit pluviam, et terra dedit fructum suum. Fratres mei, si quis ex vobis erraverit a veritate, et converterit quis eum: scire debet quoniam qui converti fecerit peccatorem ab errore viae suæ, salvabit animam ejus a morte, et operiet multitudinem peccatorum. Dearly beloved: Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much. Elias was a man passible like unto us: and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months. And he prayed again: and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. My brethren, if any of you err from the truth, and one convert him: He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Again it is the Apostle St. James the Less, who speaks to us in today’s Epistle; and could any words be more appropriate? One of the motives for the institution of the Rogation Days is the obtaining from God the blessing of weather favourable to the fruits of the earth; and St. James here adduces the example of Elias, to show us that prayer can stay or bring down the rain of heaven. Let us imitate the faith of this Prophet, and beg of our heavenly Father to give and preserve what we require for our nourishment. Another object of the Rogations is the obtaining the forgiveness of sin. If we pray with fervour for our brethren who are gone astray, we shall obtain for them the graces they stand in need of. We shall perhaps never know, during this life, them whom our prayer, united with the prayer of the Church, shall have converted from the horror of their way; but the Apostle assures us, that our charity will receive a rich reward,—the mercy of God upon ourselves.

In order the better to express mourning and compunction in the Mass of the Rogation Days, the Church not only uses purple Vestments, she also retrenches somewhat of the joy of her Canticles. She allows herself but one Alleluia-Versicle; but it is full of hope in the goodness of her Lord.

Alleluia. Alleluia.
℣. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus: quoniam in sæculum misericordia ejus. ℣. Praise the Lord, for he is good: and his mercy endureth forever.
Gospel
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
Cap. XI. Ch. XI.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Quis vestrum habebit amicum, et ibit ad illum media nocte, et dicet illi: Amice, commoda mihi tres panes, quoniam amicus meus venit de via ad me, et non habeo quod ponam ante illum, et ille de intus respondens dicat: Noli mihi molestus esse, jam ostrium clausum est, et pueri mei mecum sunt in cubili: non possum surgere, et dare tibi. Et si ille perseveraverit pulsans: dico vobis, etsi non dabit illi surgens eo quod amicus ejus sit, propter improbitatem tamen ejus surget, et dabit illi quotquot habet necessarios. Et ego dico vobis: Petite, et dabitur vobis; quærite, et invenietis; pulsate, et aperietur vobis. Omnis enim qui petit, accipit: et qui quærit, invenit: et pulsanti aperietur. Quis autem ex vobis patrem petit panem, numquid lapidem dabit illi? aut piscem, numquid pro pisce serpentem dabit illi? aut si petierit ovum, numquid porriget illi scorpionem? Si ergo vos, cum sitis mali, nostis bona data dare filiis vestris: quanto magis Pater vester de caelo dabit spiritum bonum petentibus se? At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?

Could anything show us the all-powerfulness of Prayer more clearly than do these words of our Gospel? By thus putting them before us, holy Church shows us the importance of the Rogation Days, since it is during them that she shows us the efficacy of supplication, which triumps over the refusal of God himself. The reader, who has followed us thus far in our Work, must have observed how the passages of Holy Writ, selected by the Liturgy, form a continued series of instruction appropriate to each day. During these three days, we are labouring to appease the anger of heaven; could there be a more fitting occasion for our being told that God cannot resist persevering prayer? The Litanies we have been chanting in Process are a model of this holy obstinancy, or, as our Gospel terms it, this importunity, of Prayer. How often did we not repeat the same words! Lord, have mercy on us!—Deliver us, O Lord!—We beseech thee, hear us! The divine Paschal Lamb, who is about to be offered on our Altar, will mediate for us; a few moments hence, and he will unite and join his ever efficacious intercession with our poor prayers. With such a pledge as this, we shall leave the holy place, feeling sure that these prayers have not been made in vain. Let us, therefore, make a resolution to keep aloof no longer from the holy practices of the Church; let us always prefer to pray with her, than to pray by ourselves; she is the Spouse of Jesus, she is our common Mother,—and she always wishes us to take part with her in the prayers she offers up. Besides, is it not for us that she makes these prayers?

The Offertory is taken from the Psalms. It gives praises to God, who, notwithstanding our being poor sinners, permits himself to be overcome by our prayers, rises in our defense, and gives us all we stand in need of.

Offertory
Confitebor Domino nimis in ore meo: et in medio multorum laudabo eum, qui adstitit a dextris pauperis: ut salvam faceret a persequentibus animam meam, alleluia. I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth; and in the midst of many I will praise him, because he hath stood at the right hand of the poor, to save my soul from persecutors, alleluia.

The bonds of sin enchained us, and, of ourselves, we could not have returned to our Creator; but the Paschal Lamb has restored us our liberty; and as often as his Sacrifice is renewed upon the Altar, our deliverance is achieved afresh. The Church expresses this in the Secret: her confidence rests on the divine Victim, which the Father has given us, and which she is now about to offer to him.

Secret
Hæc munera, quæsumus, Domine, et vincula nostræ pravitatis absolvant, et tuæ nobis misericordiæ dona concilient. Per Dominum. May these offerings, O Lord, loosen the bonds of our wickedness, and obtain for us the gift of thy mercy. Through, &c.

Then are added the other Secrets, as given in the Mass of the fifth Sunday after Easter.

The Communion-Anthem is the repetition of the consoling words of our Savior, as given us in the Gospel. It is he himself who authorizes us to ask for all whatsoever we please; we cannot ask too much. None of us would have dared to say: “Whosoever makes a petition to God, will have his petition granted:”—but now that the Son of God has come from heaven to teach us this astounding truth, we should never tire of repeating it.

Communion
Petite, et accipietis: quærite, et invenietis; pulsate, et aperietur vobis: omnis enim qui petit accipit: et qui quærit invenit: et pulsanti aperietur, alleluia. Ask, and it shall be given to you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened, alleluia.

The Sacrifice of peace is consummated, and the Church gives free scope to her confidence by the words of thanksgiving expressed in the Postcommunion. The sacred gifts have brought us consolation; and our holy Mother prays that consolation may prompt us to warmer love.

Postcommunion
Vota nostra, quæsumus Domine, pio favore prosequere: ut, dum dona tua in tribulatione percipimus, de consolatione nostra in tuo amore crescamus. Per Dominum. We beseech thee, O Lord, mercifully receive our prayers; that while we partake of thy gifts in our affliction, the consolation we find may increase our love. Through, &c.

To this are added the other Postcommunions, as given in the Mass of the fifth Sunday after Easter.

We subjoin a liturgical fragment, taken from the Rogation Mass in the ancient Gallican rite. This Prayer was one of the supplications made on the first of these three days, and it bears with it the marks of its venerable antiquity.

Prayer
(Post Nomina.)
Tua sunt, Domine, alimonia, quibus in quotidiano victu ad sustentationem reficimur: tuaque jejunia, quibus carnem a lubrica voluptate, te præcipiente, restringimus. Tu ad consolationem nostram vicissitudines temporum disposuisti: ut tempus edendi corpora nostra refectio sobria aleret; et jejunandi tempus ea in justitiam tibi placitam faceret macerata. Hanc hostiam ob jejunia triduanæ macerationis a nobis oblatam sanctificans dignanter adsume, et præsta placatus: ut sopita delectatione corpores, mens ab iniquitatibus pariter conquiescat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. It is from thee, O Lord, we receive the food, wherewith we are daily supported; to thee also do we offer these fasts, whereby, according to thy command, we put upon our flesh the restraint from dangerous indulgence. Thou hast so ordered the changes of seasons, as to afford us consolation: thus the time for eating gives nourishment to the body, by sober repasts; and the time for fasting inflicts on them a chastisement pleasing to thy justice. Vouchsafe to bless and receive this our offering of a three days’ penitential fast; and mercifully grant, that while our bodies abstain from gratification, our souls also may rest from sin. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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