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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016 Ember Day

1 Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the beginning of Paul’s letter to Corinthian’s and this is the start of the greeting from Paul in which he tells us that by the sacrifice of Christ we now are the recipients of God’s grace and peace. We are all called to be saints and as such we are christened to have the character of Christ. There should be no divisions, immorality and pride with us which leads us to mortal sin and separation from God. Part of the churches mission besides evangelizing is to correct errors in faith and behavior. The goal of the church leaders is that none should die in the state of mortal sin. This is Christ’s wish for us. To remind ourselves of His love and to prepare our hearts and souls for the reception of His body we should get to Mass early enough to say the Prayer of St. Thomas prior to Mass.

A Prayer before Mass[1]

Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul's salvation. Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord's Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below.
Amen.

St. Michael Helper of the Sick and Dying[2]

Saint Michael the Archangel was the protector of Israel and is also traditionally known as “The Medicine of God.” Saint Michael as the military captain of the church of God has a great interest in the happenings of his people, their calamities and he does not overlook their calls for his aid. Let us therefore have recourse to him in times of sickness. He will most certainly come to our assistance bringing the healing graces of the Redeeming Blood. Yet, if it is the will of the father that we depart from this world Saint Michael does not abandon us for he is especially our advocate at our hour of death and assists at every deathbed for it is part of his office to receive the souls of the elect on their quitting the flesh. When the last hour of our earthly career draws near we are confronted by that awful moment when our soul must leave the body which it has loved so much, to pass through the narrow portal of death, satanic hosts like raving lions will make a last attack upon our souls. But we need not fear (but be at peace) if during life we have had devotion to the Precious Blood and have been faithful in venerating St. Michael and imploring his aid. He will cover us with his strong shield and lead us safely through the midst of our enemies.

Ember Day Focus: fast and pray for priests. Study the commemoration of Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles (both of which occur in the Jewish calendar around this time), two important foreshadowing's of the Christ event. 


Selichot

Selichot means 'sorry/forgiveness prayers'.  Selichot are recited from the Sunday before the Jewish New Year until the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  Selichot are aimed for both the individual and communities to atone their sins between man and God.  They are intended for Jews to reflect on their actions of the past year and to refrain from committing the same sins in the next New Year.

Selichot Facts

  • For many Orthodox Jews, Selichot prayers are added to the daily cycle of religious services.  Selichot are recited before normal daily shacharit (morning prayers) service.  They add about 45 minutes to the regular daily service in a typical service.
  • A fundamental part of selichot service is the repeated recitation of the Thirteen Attributes, a list of God's thirteen attributes of mercy that were revealed to Moses after the sin of the golden calf (Ex 34:6-7): Ha-shem [1], Ha-shem [2], God [3], merciful [4], and gracious [5], long-suffering [6], abundant in goodness [7] and truth [8], keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation [9], forgiving iniquity [10] and transgression [11] and sin [12], who cleanses [13].
  • This is the season to begin the process of asking forgiveness for wrongs done to other people.  According to Jewish tradition, God cannot forgive us for sins committed against another person until we have first obtained forgiveness from the person we have wronged.
  • Many of the Selichot prayers are in the form of a main Selichah (forgiveness) prayer and a Pizmon (chorus), which is repeated after each changing Selichah prayer. Some of these Selichot have cantorial music for the Selichah and a repeating tune for the chorus.

Selichot Top Events and Things to Do

  • Consider your position in life and ask God for forgiveness. Use this time to reset your daily habits and think how to change them to the better.
  • Use this period of time to forgive others and as well as ask others for forgiveness. This is often most difficult to do between life partners, parents and children.
  • Many people visit cemeteries at this time, because the awe-inspiring nature of this time makes us reflect on our own life, death, and mortality. Consider visiting the graves of your ancestors, soldiers, or anyone who may have made a positive impact on society.
  • Attend to a Selichot prayer ceremony or watch one on YouTube.  A popular Selichot rendition is by Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.






[2] St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.

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