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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Station at. St. Nicholas in Carcere


Saturday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Station at. St. Nicholas in Carcere.
(S. Nicola in Carcere.)


Since the time of Gelasius I (A.D. 492-496)
this day has been devoted in Rome to the conferring of Holy Orders
and this station marked in the Sacramentaries
was held only in those years
in which the Pope did not ordain any titular priests or deacons,
for in the fifth century,
the consecration of the ministers of the Church
could only take place at the tomb of the Apostles at the Vatican.

Today is called Sitientes,
from the first word of the Introit of the Mass,
in which the Church addresses her catechumens
in the words of Isiaiah:
O you that thirst come to the waters.

The Lesson is from the Prophet Isaiah.
How these words must have consoled the hearts of the catechumens.
Through the prophet God declares that
He gives the whole earth to His Son, The Shepherd,
that He may save it.
The Fountain, the Baptismal font,
shall be the center where all the human race is to meet.
The Gentile world is henceforth to be called Sion
and the Lord loves the gates of this city
above all the tabernacles of Jacob (Ps. 86:2).
God has not forgotten her during the long ages of her idol worship;
His love is tender as that of the fondest mother;
yea, and though a mother's heart may forget her child,
God will never forget His Sion,
the Holy Catholic Church.

Liturgical Note:
In the Roman Lectionaries of the ninth century,
there was a second lesson again from the prophet Isaiah:
Omnes sitientes venite ad aquas.... O you that thirst come to the waters,
which like the Introit,
exhorted the Catechumens to hasten to the baptismal font.

+
Oremus.
Let us pray.


Deus qui sperantibus...
O God, who choosest rather to show mercy,

than to be angry with those who hope in Thee,
grant we may worthily lament the evil we have committed,

that so we may find the favour of Thy consolation.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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