Keith Hunt - "Christian Feasts and Customas #3 - Page Three   Restitution of All Things

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"Christian Feasts and Customs #3

Where they all came from - History - Traditions


FROM THE BOOK "CHRISTIAN FEASTS AND CUSTOMS" (1952)

By Francis Weiser

CHAPTER 2

WEEKDAYS

DAILY WORSHIP OF PRAYER

Christian prayer is the breathing of the Mystical Body of Christ,
the primary and most spontaneous manifestation of the
supernatural life in the Church. God is adored and honored not
only through the Holy Sacrifice (which is itself imbedded in an
exalted ritual of prayer), but also through the private prayers
of the faithful and the official performance of the Divine Office
by priests and religious. This prayer life, by its very nature,
is a daily task, a duty of honor for all the faithful. The
recital or chanting of the Divine Office, moreover, binds those
who are obliged to perform it, under serious obligation each day.

ORIGIN  

In the Old Testament it was a custom among pious Jews to pray
three times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon at three
o'clock, and at night. This practice is mentioned in the Bible,
which tells us that the prophet Daniel (sixth century B.C.)
prayed three times every day "as he had been accustomed to do"
(Daniel 6,10).

(THAT WAS DANIEL ONLY, DAVID MENTIONS IT IN THE PSALMS; BUT THERE
IS NO VERSES THAT SAYS THIS WAS THE COMMON PRACTICE AMONG ALL
ISRAELITES; THERE IS NO VERSES WHERE GOD COMMANDS IT - Keith
Hunt)

A similar testimony has come to light in one of the famous Dead
Sea scrolls. In the Hymn Book of the Qumran community (first
century B.C. ), the author mentions the daily exercise of prayer
in the morning, about noon, and in the evening. In addition, he
speaks of three additional prayer times during the night. The
Apostles seem to have kept this tradition even after Pentecost,
for Peter and John are reported going into the temple "at the
ninth hour of prayer" (Acts 3:1).

(GOING INTO THE TEMPLE AT THAT HOUR DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY TEACH
THEY WERE FOLLOWING A THREE TIMES A DAY PRAYER RITUAL. WHAT THE
QUMRAN COMMUNITY DID HAS NO MENTION IN HOLY SCRIPTURE. THERE IS
NO COMMAND OF GOD TO PRAY THREE TIMES A DAY OR EX NUMBER OF TIMES
DURING THE NIGHT - Keith Hunt)

The early Christians in the Roman Empire continued the ancient
practice in the form of saying the "Our Father" three times a
day, as the so-called Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Didache),
a book from the beginning of the second century, prescribed.
Soon, however, three more prayer times were added. Thus, at the
end of the second century, we find the following hours of daily
private prayer:
Midnight  (Vigilia: night watch)
Morning   (Matutinum: morning prayer)
Nine o'clock   (Tertia: prayer of the third hour)
Noon (Sexta: prayer of the sixth hour)
Three o'clock  (Nona: prayer of the ninth hour) 
Evening   (Lucernarium, from lucerna, lamp: the prayer at the
time the lamps were lit) 

(ALL THE TRADITIONS OF MEN - GOD GIVES NO INSTRUCTION IN HIS WORD
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY YOU ARE TO DO FORMAL PRAYER - Keith Hunt)

In the Christian empire in the fourth century two of these
exercises began to be held in church. They consisted of readings
from the Bible and chanting of psalms and other prayers: the
Matutinum (our present Lauds) and the Lucernarium (our present
Vespers). Thus the Church took over in the form of a liturgical
service what up to then had merely been a private practice of the
faithful; 

(THE SO-CALLED FAITHFUL WERE THOSE OF THE ROMAN CHRISTIAN
RELIGION, RITES AND TRADITIONS HAVING BEEN ADDED TO CHRISTIAN
FAITH - Keith Hunt)

clergy and people, united in the house of God, performed these
prayers together according to rules established by the
ecclesiastical authorities. The faithful were not strictly
obliged to attend, but from ancient reports we know that they
thronged the churches in good numbers for these daily morning and
evening services.

(FOLLOWING THE TRADITIONS OF THE BABYLON CHURCH, AS SHE BECAME
THE WHORE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION - Keith Hunt)

Saint Augustine reported that his mother (Saint Monica) most
faithfully attended the daily Matutinum and Lucernarium in her
church. A noble Roman lady from southern Gaul, a nun by the name
of Aetheria (Sylvia) who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about
395, vividly described these two services as they were held in
Jerusalem at the end of the fourth century in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre (Anastasis), and how the many children present
spontaneously cried "Kyrie eleison" in answer to the deacon's
reading of commemorations."

THE DIVINE OFFICE  

From the beginnings of monastic life, the daily hours were kept
by the monks in common, the psalms and many other prayers being
chanted or recited in alternating groups (choir). Thus the basis
was laid for the liturgical performance of the Divine Office.
About the year 500 there appeared in the monasteries two
additional prayer hours: the Prime (first hour, six o'clock in
the morning) and the Compline (completa: finished, before
retiring at midnight).
For some centuries the Opus Divinum (Divine Work), as the Office
used to be called, remained almost exclusively a task of monks,
while the secular clergy continued to perform the two traditional
public services (Matutinum and Lucernarium) together with their
congregations in church. From the eighth century, however, the
recital of the whole Divine Office in common was also introduced
among the secular clergy, who had started to live a community
life in most places and were called Canonici (canons), from the
canonical rules they followed.
In the thirteenth century, when the secular clergy for the
greater part had ceased to live in community, the private
recitation of the Divine Office was enjoined as a daily duty on
each clergyman, starting with the order of the subdeaconate. This
law is still in force. The private recital is not necessarily
bound to the official hours, but the whole Office must be
performed every day. In the monasteries the Office is still
chanted in common, as of old, and at appointed hours. Some
changes and reforms have been made in the breviary (Book of the
Divine Office) by various popes in the past centuries, with the
purpose of removing less appropriate additions of later times and
of adapting it to the conditions of priestly life in the modem
age.

THE LAY PSALTER  

During the seventh and eighth centuries the liturgical services
of the Matutinum and Lucernarium gradually disappeared. The
Matutinum was replaced by the introduction of daily Mass in the
morning, and the Lucernarium was dropped because the faithful,
especially in the northern countries, did not know Latin and were
unable to take part. There was, however, a great desire on the
part of the people to keep the official prayer hours with
appropriate private devotions of their own. This desire,
encouraged by the authorities of the Church, gave rise to a
wealth of horaria (hour books, "prymers," Stundenbucher), which
were in use all through the Middle Ages. They contained psalms,
selections from the liturgical texts, and many other prayers of
private origin.
As the original "hours" in the ancient Church had usually been
connected with particular commemorations of the mysteries of
Christ's life and especially of His Passion, these medieval hour
books also devoted each part of their daily reading to a certain
event of the Saviour's life and Passion. Great indulgences were
granted by the popes for this pious exercise of daily hours in
honor of the redemptive suffering of Christ. However, the books
could serve only people who mastered the art of reading, and they
were a minority in those days.
People who could not read, and among them especially the lay
brothers in the monasteries, substituted for the written texts a
certain number of familiar prayer formulas which they knew by
heart. Thus, for instance, one hundred and fifty Ave Marias were
substituted for the one hundred and fifty psalms, and the
mysteries of Christ's life (taken from ancient responsories) were
inserted in the Hail Marys. It was in this way that the rosary
gradually developed during the High Middle Ages. Saint Dominic
(1221) is credited with the spreading of this particular exercise
among the lay population of Italy.
At various times and in various centuries many such psalters were
in use among pious lay people. In some places the Stations of the
Cross were held within the frame of the ancient hour service.
Finally, in the nineteenth century, an ancient custom was
revived, of saying a short prayer every hour when the clock
strikes and of accompanying this prayer with the sign of the
cross in honor of the Lord's Passion. 
Protestant congregations kept the use of traditional hour books
(with ancient liturgical texts) alive for quite some time. During
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, however, both among
Catholics and Protestants, a new kind of prayer book, containing
instruction, meditation, litanies, prayers for "special
occasions" like confession, communion, morning, and evening,
gradually supplanted the psalters and hour books; thus the
ancient devotion of daily hours became lost and forgotten in the
minds of most modern Christians.
Of late the Liturgical Movement in all parts of the world has
endeavored to bring lay people back to the performance of "hours"
through daily recital (in the vernacular) of liturgical hours
from the Roman breviary. Whether this endeavor will be successful
or not, and whether the practice will spread among the majority
of the faithful, or merely remain a devotion of certain groups,
only the future can tell.

(DID YOU SEE HOW THINGS GRADUALLY DEVELOPED, EVEN INTO THE ROSARY
THAT SOME CATHOLICS STILL USE TODAY. ALL THE ADDED TRADITIONS OF
MEN DOWN THROUGH THE CENTURIES, SOME NOW NO LONGER PRACTICED, BUT
IT SHOWS HOW MEN CAN AND WILL ADD TO THE WORD OF GOD, TO FORM UN-
SCRIPTURAL TRADITIONS - Keith Hunt)

SIGNIFICANCE  

Through the daily prayer of the Divine Office and the daily
performance of the Holy Sacrifice, each weekday is sanctified and
raised to the status of a true religious festival. Thus there is
no "common" day in the whole Christian year, for the liturgical
worship of the Mystical Body turns even the humblest day into a
feast of great religious import. Although there was no Mass on
weekdays in the early Christian centuries, perhaps a similar
motivation (like the "newness of life" with the Risen Christ)
prompted the Church from the beginning to call each weekday not
simply dies (day), but feria (feast); for the word feria
signified a religious feast among the ancient Romans. Some
scholars contend that the early Christians did not simply accept
the Roman meaning but used the word feria as a translation for
the Jewish "Sabbath" (Day of Rest). Whichever the explanation,
the significance remains the same; in the kingdom of Christ on
earth every day of the year is a feria (holyday), a spiritual
Sabbath.

(OF COURSE WE HAVE A SPIRITUAL FEAST WITH THE LORD EACH DAY OF
OUR CHRISTIAN LIVES, BUT TO USE THAT SPIRITUALITY TO BORROW FROM
THE PAGANS OR MAKE UP OUR OWN TRADITIONS DOES AS THE AUTHOR SAYS
ENDS IN "LITURGICAL WORSHIP OF THE MYSTICAL BODY TURNS.....INTO A
FEAST OF GREAT RELIGIOUS IMPORT." HENCE MAN-MADE TRADITIONS CAN
ABOUND - Keith Hunt)

MEMORIAL OF THE PASSION

There is clear proof from the earliest centuries of the Christian
era that the second half of every week, from Wednesday to
Saturday, was devoted to a special commemoration of the Passion
of Christ. Just as Sunday was the weekly memorial day of the
Resurrection, so the preceding days quite naturally served to
recall the Lord's sufferings by which He accomplished our
redemption. In the first three centuries, however, it was not the
Eucharistic Sacrifice, but the practice of fasting and prayer
that expressed this commemoration.

FAST 

The Didache (Teaching), written at the beginning of the second
century, already mentioned Wednesday and Friday as weekly fast
days. The number of days was suggested by the ancient Jewish
custom of fasting two days each week (Monday and Thursday). 

(THE JEWS HAD THEIR TRADITIONS ALSO - SEE WHAT CHRIST THOUGHT OF
THEM IN MARK 7 - Keith Hunt)

The Christian fast was put on Friday, as the day of Christ's
death, and on Wednesday (from the third century on) because Judas
made his contract of betrayal on that day (Luke 14:1,2,10,11).

(THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT THE DAY JESUS DIED ON - Keith Hunt)

Thus the historical events of the redemption relived by the
faithful every week formed a spiritual drama that comprised not
only the Passion itself but also the decisions and actions of
Christ's enemies that immediately led up to it.
This Christian weekly fast was called "half fast" (Semiieiunium )
because people were expected to fast only until three o'clock in
the afternoon. Another name for it was "Station" (statio:
standing), probably because the fast was concluded with prayer
(in the church) performed standing. In later centuries, when Mass
was usually celebrated on Station days, the word statio came to
mean the place of the celebration on any day. (See the "Stations"
in the Roman Missal.) 
The Station fast was accepted by newly converted nations and
became so widespread in many countries that in Ireland, for
instance, Thursday used to be called the "Day between the Fasts."
Even to this day the custom of voluntarily fasting or abstaining
from certain foods on Wednesday is still alive; its motivation,
however, has changed, for this pious practice is now usually held
in honor of Saint Joseph.

(WELL NEED I SAY IT?  MORE TRADITIONS OF MEN! Keith Hunt)

In the fourth century, Saturday was added in Rome as one of the
weekly fast days. This is explained as an extension of the Friday
fast. Pope Innocent I (417) motivated the Saturday fasting by the
thought that on that day Christ had rested, a victim of death, in
the tomb and that the Apostles had spent the day in sadness and
fasting. While this superimposed Saturday fast spread through the
whole Latin Church, the Orientals never accepted it and have kept
Saturdays free from any law of fasting. In the Western Church the
original practice of fasting three days a week was later
prescribed by law, but only for Ember weeks (apart from the
special regulations for Lenten fast). For the rest of the year
only Friday is still kept as a weekly day of prescribed
abstinence, though not of fasting.

(PART OF THE INTRODUCTION TO FAST ON SATURDAY WAS TO BE THE
OPPOSITE OF THE JEWS, WHO CELEBRATED THE WEEKLY SABBATH FEAST.
ROME WANTED TO REMOVE THEMSELVES FROM ANYTHING "JEWISH" - Keith
Hunt)

PRAYER AND MASS  

On the weekly Station days the time of fasting (morning to early
afternoon) was also devoted to private prayer, as far as
possible. The author of "The Pastor of Herman," written at the
beginning of the second century, described his own observance:

     I sat on some hill, fasting and saying prayers of
     thanksgiving to God for all the things He had done for me,
     when I suddenly saw the Pastor sitting at my side. He said.
     "Why did you come here so early in the morning?" I answered:
     "Because I am keeping the stations, Sir." "What is a
     'station'?" he asked. "It means that I am fasting, Sir,"
     I said.

In many places the Station was originally concluded with a
liturgical service in church, consisting of readings and prayers.
Gradually, however, the Eucharistic Sacrifice began to be
celebrated. By the second half of the fourth century this was an
established custom in various parts of the Roman Empire (northern
Italy, Africa, Palestine, Syria, Cappadocia). In Rome, too, the
Mass seems to have been customary, at least on Wednesday, after
the fourth century. For a long time, though, no Mass was held on
Saturdays in the Latin Church, while the Eastern Churches
celebrated it every Saturday from the fourth century on.

(STILL MORE TRADITIONS OF MEN - Keith Hunt)

MODERN OBSERVANCE  

In medieval times the dramatic unity of this ancient observance
from Wednesday (the betrayal of Judas) to Sunday (the
Resurrection) was broken in favor of separate exercises in honor
of the Passion. Saturday, now the weekly "Day of Mary," lost its
memorial character of the Lord's rest in death. The conscious
observance of Sunday as the weekly memorial of Christ's
resurrection has also dwindled from the minds and hearts of most
Christians in the West. However, the redemption is still honored
by special weekly exercises, though in different setting and
manner, mostly on Fridays, with Holy Hour, Stations of the Cross,
ringing of bells at the "ninth hour," or various other forms of
private or public devotions in honor of the Passion.

At the end of the eighth century, Friday began to be observed
liturgically by various votive Masses, which priests were allowed
to use in honor of the Passion of Christ whenever no higher feast
occurred. Pope Pius V (1572), in his reform of the Roman Missal,
suppressed most of these votive Masses, retaining only two for
special use on Friday: the Mass of the Holy Cross and the Mass of
the Passion. Both these Mass texts are still listed among the
weekly votive Masses.

FOLKLORE  

The remembrance of the Lord's Passion by fasting, prayer, and
other pious exercises made Friday a sacred and serious day in the
minds of ancient and medieval Christians. Quite naturally it
became a practice to avoid worldly pursuits and gainful
enterprises as much as possible. Amusements and travel for
pleasure were shunned. Whoever disregarded these restrictions
imposed by popular piety was threatened with ill success and
misfortune, as a punishment for his irreverent attitude. Thus
originated our modern superstition of Friday, which still clings
to its ancient objective (business pursuits, travel, and
activities outside the home), being an "unlucky" day.

(WOW, READ THAT AGAIN! FRIDAY WAS SO HONORED WITH PRACTICALLY
BEING A HOLY DAY - TALK ABOUT ADDING TRADITIONS TO THE WORD OF
GOD - THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE - Keith Hunt)

OTHER WEEKLY COMMEMORATIONS

ORIGIN 

It was customary from the early centuries for priests to say
private Masses that did not constitute an official service for
the community. In the beginning this was done only for the
purpose of obtaining, through the Holy Sacrifice, God's mercy
upon the souls of departed faithful. From the fourth century on,
we also hear of private Masses celebrated for various reasons,
either for the intention of the priest himself or of individuals
and groups among the congregation. Because these Masses were
offered according to wish and request (votum), they were later
called votive Masses.
The Church of the Carolingian Empire not only accepted the
ancient Roman texts of votive Masses, but Alcuin (704) also wrote
a new collection of such texts, which he called Liber
Sacramentorum. In it there appeared for the first time certain
Mass texts for every day of the week. Thus the custom was started
of devoting individual weekdays to the commemoration of religious
mysteries and sacred persons by means of the liturgical Mass
texts. As time went on, the number of such votive Masses grew
enormously. Pope Pius V (1572) reduced them to nine (for the
whole week). Their number has since been increased to eleven.
These votive Masses are allowed to be said whenever the
respective weekday is "vacant," that is, when no other liturgical
celebration is prescribed by the rubrics. Their choice was
inspired mostly by great popular devotions of medieval times, and
has, in turn, preserved and deepened these devotions.

(NEED I SAY IT..... TRADITIONS, MAKE UP YOUR OWN CHRISTIAN
RELIGION AS YOU GO - Keith Hunt)

HOLY TRINITY  

At the beginning of the second millennium Sunday came to be
considered in a special way as the "Day of the Holy Trinity," not
only in liturgical observance (through the preface of the Trinity
and the Trinitarian "Symbolum of Saint Athanasius" in the Divine
Office), but also in popular piety. Following the trend of this
devotion, the custom originated of honoring each Divine Person
separately on particular weekdays. Sunday was kept mainly as the
"Day of the Father," while Monday became the "Day of the Son,"
with a votive Mass in honor of the Divine Wisdom (the second
Person of the Trinity). Tuesday, also with a special Mass text,
was celebrated as the "Day of the Holy Ghost."
This manner of honoring each Divine Person by a separate
liturgical commemoration was declared inappropriate by many
theologians. The popes, too, did not formally approve it.

(YA, EVEN SOME OF THE POPES KNEW BETTER FOR A WHILE, ADDING TO
GOD'S WORD, MAKING UP YOUR RELIGION AS YOU SAW FIT - Keith Hunt)

Finally, Pius V deleted the practice and provided only a votive
Mass in honor of the Holy Trinity, assigning it to Monday (where
it is still listed in the Missal). The Mass of the Holy Spirit he
retained (for Thursday) because it emphasizes not so much a
separate worship of the Third Divine Person but of His indwelling
in the Mystical Body. (The Mass prayers are not addressed to the
Holy Ghost, but to the Father.) 

(WELL OF COURSE BY THIS TIME THE ROMAN CHURCH HAD ADOPTED AND
ACCEPTED THE GODHEAD AS A TRINITY - THE HOLY SPIRIT BEING A
SEPARATE PERSON FROM THE FATHER AND SON, WHICH IS A FALSE
TEACHING, ALL EXPOUNDED FOR YOU ON MY WEBSITE - Keith Hunt)

HOLY SOULS  

In the early Middle Ages the common people and many theologians
held the opinion that the souls in purgatory enjoyed a relief
from their painful punishment every week from Saturday night
until Monday morning, in honor of the Lord's Days.

(AH NOW WE SEE "PURGATORY" HAD ALREADY BECOME ROME'S TEACHING -
Keith Hunt)

It was not until Saint Thomas Aquinas (1274) treated the problem
in his masterful way, and disproved such opinions, that this
claim was finally abandoned. While it lasted, however, popular
piety inclined to help the holy souls in a special manner on
Monday, since they were thought to return then from joy to
suffering and, therefore, to need consolation and assistance more
than at any other time. Without approving the popular belief, the
Church facilitated this practice of prayer for the holy souls;
hence the ancient rule that priests had to add a liturgical
oration or the departed ones in their Masses on all "vacant"
Mondays. This regulation was observed for many centuries, until
the provisional reform of the rubrics (1955) under Pius XII
discontinued it. The same reform, however, makes it possible now
for priests to say Requiem Masses oftener than before.

(PURGATORY ITSELF HAS NEVER BEEN DISCLAIMED BY THE ROMAN CHURCH -
Keith Hunt)

ANGELS 

In medieval times another votive Mass was provided for Monday:
that of the Holy Angels. Some writers claim that Monday was
chosen because the angels were the first fruit of divine
creation, and thus should be venerated at the beginning of the
week. The actual reason, though, seems to be that the angels were
considered to be the particular consolers and companions of the
holy souls, and thus they were especially invoked and venerated
on the "Day of Souls" (Monday). The reform of the Missal under
Pius V changed the assignment of this votive Mass from Monday to
Tuesday, where it has remained up to now.

(HUMMMM....THINK PAUL TALKED ABOUT SOME WHO WORSHIPPED
ANGELS....COL.2 THE CONTEXT NOT IN ANY GOOD LIGHT AT ALL - Keith
Hunt)

APOSTLES  

Of all the votive Masses used in the Middle Ages to honor various
saints, Pius V retained only two and assigned them to Wednesday:
the Mass of Peter and Paul, and the Mass of the Apostles.
In the lore of the Germanic nations many traits that in pagan
times had been ascribed to the god Woden (such as guardian of
Heaven, protector of the harvest, and weather maker) were in
Christian times transferred to Saint Peter in the form of popular
legends. Thus, Peter acquired a particular connection with
"Woden's Day," on which he was especially invoked and venerated
in past centuries. This popular veneration seems to explain the
choice of Wednesday for the votive Mass of Saints Peter and Paul
and of the other Apostles.

(ALL CONNECTED WITH PAGANISM YOU WILL SEE, RIGHT, YES RIGHT -
Keith Hunt)

SAINT JOSEPH  

When the devotion to Saint Joseph spread in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Wednesday became associated with this
great saint. The reason for the choice seems to be twofold.
First, Wednesday was the only weekday dedicated by the Church (in
the votive Masses) to saints other than the Blessed Virgin.
Therefore, Saint Joseph obviously "belonged" on Wednesday. 
Second, in the popular mind ancient Station days were considered
of higher distinction and rank than the other weekdays. This
distinction was not based on any later practice or ruling of the
Church, but on the liturgical tradition that from early times had
actually singled out those three days for special and solemn
observance. Now, since Saturday was already devoted to the
Blessed Virgin, and Friday to the Passion of Christ, the only day
left on which to honor Saint Joseph in a special way was
Wednesday.
Whatever the reason, the custom was approved and confirmed by the
Church. Pope Pius X (1914), in 1913, put the Feast of the
Solemnity of Saint Joseph (now abrogated) on the third Wednesday
after Easter, and also assigned a Mass text in honor of the saint
for Wednesday among the weekly votive Masses of the Roman Missal.
Pope Benedict XV, in 1921, granted special indulgences to all
faithful who perform some devout exercise in honor of Saint
Joseph on the first Wednesday of a month.

(STILL MAN MADE CHRISTIAN RELIGION COMING AND GOING, STANDING AND
MOVING - AS THE HUMAN MIND DECREED - Keith Hunt)

BLESSED SACRAMENT  

The weekly memory of the Last Supper, with its institution of the
Holy Eucharist, prompted the faithful to accord special honors
and veneration to the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays. This
custom, originating in the early centuries of the second
millennium, was accepted and approved in the reform of Pius V,
who inserted the Mass of the Most Blessed Sacrament among the
weekly votive Masses. In many places it was customary (and still
is today in sections of central Europe) to celebrate this votive
Mass whenever possible as a High Mass, which was attended by a
large number of people (at least one member from every family of
the parish). The practice of holding a Holy Hour in honor of the
Lord's agony on Thursday nights has spread of late in many
countries.
Since 1937 a papal indult allows the celebration of a solemn
votive Mass of "Christ, the eternal High Priest" on every first
Thursday of the month. Its text was also put among the weekly
votive Masses by Pius XI.

(WELL WE MAY AS WELL KEEP GOING WITH ADDITIONS AND ADOPTIONS AND
ADAPTIONS - SAID WITH TONGUE IN CHEEK - Keith Hunt)

SACRED HEART 

As a result of the revelations granted to Saint Margaret Mary
Alacoque (1690), the practice developed from the seventeenth
century on of devoting the first Friday of every month in a
special way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since 1889 a Roman
indult has given this custom a liturgical expression through the
"Mass of the Sacred Heart" which, under certain conditions, may
be celebrated as a solemn votive Mass. Other liturgical
devotions, too, have been provided for "First Friday"; they may
be held in churches with the approval of the bishop and according
to his regulations.
Through the pious exercises of the "Nine Fridays" and the "First
Fridays," the custom grew in many places of performing on every
Friday some devotion in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
partly in church (by attendance at Mass, Communion, evening
devotions), partly at home (by family prayer, burning of vigil
lights before the Sacred Heart statue).

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  

In the ninth century originated the popular veneration of Mary on
Saturdays. This practice appears to have grown out of the ancient
weekly memorial of Christ's Passion. The books of that time
motivate it by the thought that while the Lord's body rested in
death Mary alone did not doubt or despair, but firmly adhered to
the faith in her Divine Son. She was thus believed to deserve
more devotion and honor on Saturday than on other weekdays. The
authorities of the Church not only provided a votive Mass (which
now has five different texts according to the seasons of the
ecclesiastical year), but also a special Office in honor of Mary,
to be recited on "free" Saturdays (Officium sanctae Mariae in
Sabbato).

....................

NOW THAT IS ALL QUITE THE TRADITIONS OF MEN ADDED TO THE WORD OF
GOD. YOU SEE WHY THE ROMAN CHURCH IS CALLED IN THE BOOK OF
REVELATION "BABYLON THE GREAT" AND "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS" THE
ONE WHO HAS MADE ALL NATIONS DRUNK ON THE WINE OF HER SPIRITUAL
FORNICATION.

WE ARE NOT DONE, THERE IS MUCH MUCH MORE TO YET COME.

To be continued  


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