‘Ember week’s thanksgiving day! It is the night between Saturday and Sunday as in the spirit of the ancient Church we gather at St Peter’s, the station for all Christendom. For the Offertory we bring our tithe from the past quarter year (in certain communities and parishes wheat for the altar bread is presented) and joyously voice our gratitude over the spiritual harvest marking the close of Easter time.
“The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, alleluia, by His Spirit who dwells within us, alleluia, alleluia”. These inspiring words from St Paul are, one may say, the Ite, missa est to Pentecost’s octave. They summarise all that the Church teaches concerning the Holy Spirit. The charity of God is divine sonship, is sanctifying grace, is spiritual transfiguration, is participation in Christ’s glorified life. The charity of God is the quintessence of our holy religion. To become ever more deeply rooted in the love of God is our life’s main task, and to enable us to attain this end is the liturgy’s raison d’etre’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of thy faithful people is governed and sanctified:
receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all members of thy holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and godly serve thee; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the Ember Saturday in Whitsun Week from Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon