Thursday, 31 March 2016

Friday in the Easter Octave

Today's Gospel is St Matthew 28:16-20:

16 Undecim autem discipuli abierunt in Galilæam in montem ubi constituerat illis Jesus. 17 Et videntes eum adoraverunt: quidam autem dubitaverunt. 18 Et accedens Jesus locutus est eis, dicens: Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo et in terra: 19 euntes ergo docete omnes gentes: baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti: 20 docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis: et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem sæculi.

And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

The Matins readings (from St Jerome)

Reading 1: After His Resurrection Jesus was seen on a mountain in Galilee, and there He was worshipped; and, albeit some doubted, their doubts have led to a further establishing of our faith. Then He showed Himself more openly unto Thomas, and made him handle the Side That was pierced with the spear, and the Hands wherein were the holes of the nails. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying : All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Yea, all power is given unto Him Who but a little while before had been crucified, and buried in the grave, and had lain among the dead, but Who also had risen again. Power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth, that He Who of everlasting had been King of heaven, might have a Monarchy on earth also, through the faith of them which believe in Him.

Reading 2: Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. First, they teach all nations; then, they wash with water them whom they have taught. For it is impossible for the body to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, unless the mind first receive the truth of the faith. And they are baptized In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost for, even as the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all One, so is the one grace of Baptism the gift of all the Three Divine Persons : and the Name of the Trinity is the Name of One God.

Reading 3: Preaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. The order of the Lord's commands to the Apostles is markedly this. First, to teach all nations; secondly, to make them partake in the Sacrament of the faith; thirdly, when they had believed and been baptized, to teach them what to observe. And lest we should think that He commanded things light and few, He hath said: All things whatsoever I have commanded you, so that all, who have believed and been baptized in the Name of the Trinity, are bound to observe all things whatsoever He hath commanded. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. He Who promiseth that He will be with His disciples even unto the end of the world, doth give them thereby to know that they will be alway conquerors, and that He will never fail any which believe in Him.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Thursday in the Easter Octave

Today's Gospel is St John 20: 11-18:

11 Maria autem stabat ad monumentum foris, plorans. Dum ergo fleret, inclinavit se, et prospexit in monumentum: 12 et vidit duos angelos in albis sedentes, unum ad caput, et unum ad pedes, ubi positum fuerat corpus Jesu. 13 Dicunt ei illi: Mulier, quid ploras? Dicit eis: Quia tulerunt Dominum meum: et nescio ubi posuerunt eum. 14 Hæc cum dixisset, conversa est retrorsum, et vidit Jesum stantem: et non sciebat quia Jesus est. 15 Dicit ei Jesus: Mulier, quid ploras? quem quæris? Illa existimans quia hortulanus esset, dicit ei: Domine, si tu sustulisti eum, dicito mihi ubi posuisti eum, et ego eum tollam. 16 Dicit ei Jesus: Maria. Conversa illa, dicit ei: Rabboni (quod dicitur Magister). 17 Dicit ei Jesus: Noli me tangere, nondum enim ascendi ad Patrem meum: vade autem ad fratres meos, et dic eis: Ascendo ad Patrem meum, et Patrem vestrum, Deum meum, et Deum vestrum.18 Venit Maria Magdalene annuntians discipulis: Quia vidi Dominum, et hæc dixit mihi.

11] But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, [12] And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. [13] They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. [14] When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. [15] Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. [16] Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). [17] Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. [18] Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.

The Matins readings (from St Gregory)

Reading 1: Mary Magdalene, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, through love of the truth washed away by her tears the befoulment of her sin, and the word of the Truth was fulfilled which He spake : Her sins, which are many, are forgiven : for she loved much. Luke vii. 47. She that had remained cold while she sinned, became burning when she loved. For after that she had been to the Sepulchre, and had not found there the Body of the Lord, and had believed that It had been taken away, and had told His disciples, they came and saw, and thought it was even as the woman had said : and it is written Then the disciples went away again unto their own home but Mary stood without at the sepulchre, weeping.

Reading 2: In connection with this matter, we ought to ponder what great store of love there was in that woman's heart, who, when even His disciples were gone away, could not tear herself from the grave of the Lord. She sought Him Whom she had not found there, and as she sought, she wept, and the fire of love in her heart yearned after Him, Who she believed had been taken away. And so it came to pass that she, who had lingered to seek Him, was the only one who then saw Him, since the back-bone of a good work is endurance, and the voice of the Truth Himself hath said : He that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matth. x. 22; xxiv. 13.

Reading 3: As Mary wept there, she stooped down and looked into the Sepulchre. It was but a little while and she had seen how the Sepulchre was empty, and had told that the Lord was taken away. Why then should she stoop down and look in again? But she loved Him so well, that one look was not enough; the energy of her affection constrained her to search again and again. She began by searching and not finding; but she endured in her search, and, behold, it came to pass that she found. And this was done that our own longings for Christ's presence might be taught to expand, and know that as they expand they will meet with Him to Whom they aspire.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Wednesday in the Easter Octave

Today's Gospel is St John 21:1-14:

1 Postea manifestavit se iterum Jesus discipulis ad mare Tiberiadis. Manifestavit autem sic: 2 erant simul Simon Petrus, et Thomas, qui dicitur Didymus, et Nathanaël, qui erat a Cana Galilææ, et filii Zebedæi, et alii ex discipulis ejus duo. 3 Dicit eis Simon Petrus: Vado piscari. Dicunt ei: Venimus et nos tecum. Et exierunt, et ascenderunt in navim: et illa nocte nihil prendiderunt. 4 Mane autem facto stetit Jesus in littore: non tamen cognoverunt discipuli quia Jesus est. 5 Dixit ergo eis Jesus: Pueri, numquid pulmentarium habetis? Responderunt ei: Non. 6 Dicit eis: Mittite in dexteram navigii rete, et invenietis. Miserunt ergo: et jam non valebant illud trahere præ multitudine piscium. 7 Dixit ergo discipulus ille, quem diligebat Jesus, Petro: Dominus est. Simon Petrus cum audisset quia Dominus est, tunica succinxit se (erat enim nudus) et misit se in mare. 8 Alii autem discipuli navigio venerunt (non enim longe erant a terra, sed quasi cubitis ducentis), trahentes rete piscium. 9 Ut ergo descenderunt in terram, viderunt prunas positas, et piscem superpositum, et panem. 10 Dicit eis Jesus: Afferte de piscibus, quos prendidistis nunc. 11 Ascendit Simon Petrus et traxit rete in terram, plenum magnis piscibus centum quinquaginta tribus. Et cum tanti essent, non est scissum rete. 12 Dicit eis Jesus: Venite, prandete. Et nemo audebat discumbentium interrogare eum: Tu quis es? scientes, quia Dominus est. 13 Et venit Jesus, et accipit panem, et dat eis, et piscem similiter. 14 Hoc jam tertio manifestatus est Jesus discipulis suis cum resurrexisset a mortuis.

1] After this, Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he shewed himself after this manner. [2] There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, who is called Didymus, and Nathanael, who was of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. [3] Simon Peter saith to them: I go a fishing. They say to him: We also come with thee. And they went forth, and entered into the ship: and that night they caught nothing. [4] But when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. [5] Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered him: No. [6] He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes. [7] That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea. [8] But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. [9] As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. [10] Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught. [11] Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken. [12] Jesus saith to them: Come, and dine. And none of them who were at meat, durst ask him: Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. [13] And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner. [14] This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead. 

The Matins readings (from St Gregory)

Reading 1: Dearly beloved brethren, the portion of the Holy Gospel which hath but now been read in your ears, knocketh loudly at the door of your heart, with a certain question, the answer whereto calleth for thought. This same question is : Wherefore did Peter, who had before his conversion been a fisher, wherefore did he, after his conversion, again go a-fishing? since the Truth hath said : No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God? Luke ix. 62. Wherefore did Peter return to that which he had left? But we thought we see the answer to his question. The trade which was harmless before his conversion, did not become harmful because he had been inverted.

Reading 2: We know that Peter had been a fisherman, and Matthew a publican, and that Peter after his conversion went back to his fishing, but Matthew did not return to the receipt of custom. It is one thing to seek a livelihood by fishing, and another to amass money by farming of taxes. There are many kinds of business in which it is difficult or impossible to be engaged without committing sin, and to such kinds of business as these, he which hath once been converted must not again betake himself.

Reading 3: It may likewise be asked why, when the disciples were toiling in the sea, the Lord, after His Resurrection, stood on the shore, whereas, before His Resurrection, He had walked on the waves before them all. The reason of this is quickly known if we will think of the end which it then served. The sea is a figure of this present world, tossed to and fro by changing fortune, and continually ebbing and flowing with the divers tides of life. The stableness of the shore is an image of the never-ending rest of the eternal home. The disciples therefore, for that they were yet tossed to and fro upon the waves of a dying life, were toiling in the sea, but He our Redeemer, Who had already laid aside that which in this body is subject to corruption, and had risen again from the dead, He stood upon the shore.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Tuesday in the Easter Octave

Today's Gospel is St Luke 24:36-47:

36 Dum autem hæc loquuntur, stetit Jesus in medio eorum, et dicit eis: Pax vobis: ego sum, nolite timere. 37 Conturbati vero et conterriti, existimabant se spiritum videre. 38 Et dixit eis: Quid turbati estis, et cogitationes ascendunt in corda vestra? 39 videte manus meas, et pedes, quia ego ipse sum; palpate et videte, quia spiritus carnem et ossa non habet, sicut me videtis habere. 40 Et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et pedes. 41 Adhuc autem illis non credentibus, et mirantibus præ gaudio, dixit: Habetis hic aliquid quod manducetur? 42 At illi obtulerunt ei partem piscis assi et favum mellis. 43 Et cum manducasset coram eis, sumens reliquias dedit eis. 44 Et dixit ad eos: Hæc sunt verba quæ locutus sum ad vos cum adhuc essem vobiscum, quoniam necesse est impleri omnia quæ scripta sunt in lege Moysi, et prophetis, et Psalmis de me. 45 Tunc aperuit illis sensum ut intelligerent Scripturas, 46 et dixit eis: Quoniam sic scriptum est, et sic oportebat Christum pati, et resurgere a mortuis tertia die: 47 et prædicari in nomine ejus pœnitentiam, et remissionem peccatorum in omnes gentes, incipientibus ab Jerosolyma.

[34] Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. [35] And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.[36] Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. [37] But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. [38] And he said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? [39] See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. [40] And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet.[41] But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? [42] And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish, and a honeycomb. [43] And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them. [44] And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. [45] Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.[46] And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: [47] And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Matins readings (from St Ambrose)

Reading 1: We see here the marvellous nature of the Lord's glorified Body. It could enter unseen, and then become seen. It could easily be touched, but Its nature is hard to understand. The disciples were affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And therefore the Lord, that He might show us the evidence of His Resurrection, said: Handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have. Therefore it was not by being in a disembodied state, but by the peculiar qualities of the risen and glorified Body that He had passed through closed doors. John xx. 19. For that which is touched or handled is a body.

Reading 2: We shall all rise again with our bodies. But it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. 1. Cor. xv. 44. The spiritual body is the finer, and the natural body is the grosser, besodden as yet by the corruption of earth. Was not That a real Body, wherein remained those marks of His Wounds, those holes of the nail -prints, which the Lord bade His disciples to handle? Hereby, also, He hath not only strengthened our faith, but also quickened our love, since we know that it has been His will to carry to heaven those Wounds which He bore for our sake, and wherewith He would not make away; but plainly showeth to His Eternal Father the price of our freedom. It is as marked with these Wounds and embracing the trophy of our salvation that the Father hath said to Him, Sit Thou at My right Hand : and it is, like Him, marked with their wounds, that He hath shown us that the Martyrs, whose Crown He is, are, and will be with Him there.

Reading 3: And now, since our Lesson from Luke here faileth, let us have recourse to John, and consider how that, according to him, xx. 20, then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord, and received the grace of faith. According to Luke, He upbraided them with their unbelief, but according to John He said also, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Luke, not John, hath, Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Indeed, to me it seemeth as though the one Evangelist had busied himself with the greater and higher matters, and the other with the narrative, and such things as are more human : the one with the course, the other with the essence, of history. For as it is impossible to doubt the word of him who testifieth of these things, John xxi. 24, and who saw these things, and concerning whom we know that his testimony is true, xxi. 24, so is it sinful to think of negligence or falsehood as attaching to the other, even Luke, who earned to himself to be an Evangelist, albeit he was not an Apostle, and therefore we hold that both are truthful, neither are they at variance one with the other, either in the difference of the words they use, or in the sacredness of their characters as Evangelists. For though Luke saith that at the first the Apostles believed not, yet he showeth that afterward they believed : and although, if we regard only the first fact, the Evangelists seem divergent one from the other, yet, when we consider what cometh afterward, we see that they are at one.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Monday in the Easter Octave

Today's Gospel is St Luke 24:13-35:

13 Et ecce duo ex illis ibant ipsa die in castellum, quod erat in spatio stadiorum sexaginta ab Jerusalem, nomine Emmaus. 14 Et ipsi loquebantur ad invicem de his omnibus quæ acciderant. 15 Et factum est, dum fabularentur, et secum quærerent: et ipse Jesus appropinquans ibat cum illis: 16 oculi autem illorum tenebantur ne eum agnoscerent. 17 Et ait ad illos: Qui sunt hi sermones, quos confertis ad invicem ambulantes, et estis tristes? 18 Et respondens unus, cui nomen Cleophas, dixit ei: Tu solus peregrinus es in Jerusalem, et non cognovisti quæ facta sunt in illa his diebus? 19 Quibus ille dixit: Quæ? Et dixerunt: De Jesu Nazareno, qui fuit vir propheta, potens in opere et sermone coram Deo et omni populo: 20 et quomodo eum tradiderunt summi sacerdotes et principes nostri in damnationem mortis, et crucifixerunt eum: 21 nos autem sperabamus quia ipse esset redempturus Israël: et nunc super hæc omnia, tertia dies est hodie quod hæc facta sunt. 22 Sed et mulieres quædam ex nostris terruerunt nos, quæ ante lucem fuerunt ad monumentum, 23 et non invento corpore ejus, venerunt, dicentes se etiam visionem angelorum vidisse, qui dicunt eum vivere. 24 Et abierunt quidam ex nostris ad monumentum: et ita invenerunt sicut mulieres dixerunt, ipsum vero non invenerunt.25 Et ipse dixit ad eos: O stulti, et tardi corde ad credendum in omnibus quæ locuti sunt prophetæ!

[13] And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. [14] And they talked together of all these things which had happened. [15] And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. [16] But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. [17] And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? [18] And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? [19] To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; [20] And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.[21] But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. [22] Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, [23] And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive. [24] And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not. [25] Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.

Matins readings (from St Gregory the Great)

Reading 1: Dearly beloved brethren, ye hear, how that while two of His disciples walked together in the way, not believing in His Resurrection, but talking, together concerning Him, the Lord manifested Himself unto them, but yet held their eyes that they should not know Him. This holding of the eyes of their body, wrought by the Lord, was a figure of the spiritual veil which was yet upon the eyes of their heart. For in their heart they loved and yet doubted: even as the Lord drew near to them outwardly, but showed not Who He was. To them that talked together of Him, He revealed His immediate presence; but hid, from them that doubted, the knowledge of His Person.

Reading 2: He spoke to them; He rebuked the hardness of their heart; He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself: and, nevertheless, seeing that He was yet a stranger to faith in their hearts, He made as though He would have gone further. These words He made as though would here seem to mean He feigned, but He Who is simple Truth doth nothing with feigning: He only showed Himself to them in bodily manners, as He was towards them spiritually; but they were put to the proof whether, though they loved Him not yet as their God, they could love Him at least as a wayfarer.

Reading 3: But since it was impossible, that they with whom Truth walked, should be loveless, they asked Him as a wayfarer to take of their hospitality. But why say we that they asked Him, when it is written: And they constrained Him? From their example we learn that we ought not only to bid, but also to urge, wayfarers to our hospitable entertainment. They laid a table therefore, and set before Him bread and meat; and that God Whom they had not known in the expounding of the Holy Scripture, they knew in the breaking of bread. In hearing the commandments of God they were not enlightened, but they were enlightened in the doing of them: as it is written: Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Rom. ii. 13. Whosoever therefore will understand that which he heareth, let him make haste to practise in his works that which he hath already been able to hear. Behold, the Lord was not known while He spake, but He was contented to be known when He brake bread.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Sunday

For those who attend the Easter Vigil, Matins is not said.  An alternative Office for those who do not attend is set out in the books however.


The Gospel for the Mass of Easter Day is St Mark 16:1-7:

 Et cum transisset sabbatum, Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi, et Salome emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum. 2 Et valde mane una sabbatorum, veniunt ad monumentum, orto jam sole. 3 Et dicebant ad invicem: Quis revolvet nobis lapidem ab ostio monumenti? 4 Et respicientes viderunt revolutum lapidem. Erat quippe magnus valde. 5 Et introëuntes in monumentum viderunt juvenem sedentem in dextris, coopertum stola candida, et obstupuerunt. 6 Qui dicit illis: Nolite expavescere: Jesum quæritis Nazarenum, crucifixum: surrexit, non est hic, ecce locus ubi posuerunt eum. 7 Sed ite, dicite discipulis ejus, et Petro, quia præcedit vos in Galilæam: ibi eum videbitis, sicut dixit vobis.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. [2] And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. [3] And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? [4] And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. [5] And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. [6] Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you.

The Matins readings (from St Gregory)

Reading 9: Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard the deed of the holy women which had followed the Lord; how that they brought sweet spices to His sepulchre, and, now that He was dead, having loved Him while He was yet alive, they followed Him with careful tenderness still. But the deed of these holy women doth point to somewhat which must needs be done in the holy Church. And it behoveth us well to give ear to what they did, that we may afterward consider with ourselves what we must do likewise after their ensample. We also, who believe in Him That was dead, do come to His sepulchre bearing sweet spices, when we seek the Lord with the savour of good living, and the fragrant report of good works. 

Reading 10: Those women, when they brought their spices, saw a vision of Angels, and, in sooth, those souls whose godly desires do move them to seek the Lord with the savour of good lives, do see the countrymen of our Fatherland which is above.  It behoveth us to mark what this meaneth, that they saw the Angel sitting on the right side. For what signifieth the left, but this life which now is? or the right, but life everlasting? Whence also it is written in the Song of Songs (ii. 6) : His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me. 

Reading 11: Since, therefore, our Redeemer had passed from the corruption of this life which now is, the Angel which told that His undying life was come, sat, as became him, on the right side. They saw him clothed in a white garment, for he was herald of the joy of this our great solemnity, and the glistering whiteness of his raiment told of the brightness of this holy Festival of ours. Of ours, said I? or of his? But if we will speak the truth, we must acknowledge that it is both his and ours. The Again-rising of our Redeemer is a Festival of gladness for us, for us it biddeth know that we shall not die for ever; and for Angels also it is a festival of gladness, for it biddeth them know that we are called to fulfil their number in heaven.

Reading 12: See this glad Festival then, which is both his and ours, the Angel appeared in white raiment. For as the Lord, rising again from the dead, leadeth us unto the mansions above, He. repaireth the breaches of the heavenly Fatherland. But what meaneth this, that the Angel said unto the women which came to the sepulchre : Fear not? Is it not as though he had said openly : Let them fear which love not the coming of the heavenly countrymen; let them be afraid who are so laden by fleshly lusts, that they have lost all hope ever to be joined to their company. But as for you, why fear ye, who, when ye see us, see but your fellow - countrymen? Hence also Matthew, writing of the guise of the Angel, saith xxviii. 3 : His countenance was like lightning, and His raiment white as snow. The lightning speaketh of fear and great dread, the snow of the soft brilliancy of rejoicing.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Holy Saturday

The readings at Matins in the first Nocturn of Holy Saturday are from Lamentations 3&4.

Reading 1: Lamentations 3:22-30

22  Heth. Misericordiæ Domini, quia non sumus consumpti; quia non defecerunt miserationes ejus. Heth. Novi diluculo, multa est fides tua. Heth. Pars mea Dominus, dixit anima mea; propterea exspectabo eum. Teth. Bonus est Dominus sperantibus in eum, animæ quærenti illum. 26  Teth. Bonum est præstolari cum silentio salutare Dei. Teth. Bonum est viro cum portaverit jugum ab adolescentia sua. Sedebit solitarius, et tacebit, quia levavit super se. Jod. Ponet in pulvere os suum, si forte sit spes. 30 Dabit percutienti se maxillam: saturabitur opprobriis.

 [22] Heth. The mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed: because his commiserations have not failed. [23] Heth. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness. [24] Heth. The Lord is my portion, said my soul: therefore will I wait for him. [25] Teth. The Lord is good to them that hope in him, to the soul that seeketh him. [26] Teth. It is good to wait with silence for the salvation of God. [27] Teth. It is good for a man, when he hath borne the yoke from his youth. [28] Jod. He shall sit solitary, and hold his peace: because he hath taken it up upon himself. [29] Jod. He shall put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. [30] Jod. He shall give his cheek to him that striketh him, he shall be filled with reproaches.

Reading 2: Lamentations 4:1-6

Aleph. Quomodo obscuratum est aurum, mutatus est color optimus! dispersi sunt lapides sanctuarii in capite omnium platearum! Beth. Filii Sion inclyti, et amicti auro primo: quomodo reputati sunt in vasa testea, opus manuum figuli! Ghimel. Sed et lamiæ nudaverunt mammam, lactaverunt catulos suos: filia populi mei crudelis quasi struthio in deserto. Daleth. Adhæsit lingua lactentis ad palatum ejus in siti; parvuli petierunt panem, et non erat qui frangeret eis. He. Qui vescebantur voluptuose, interierunt in viis; qui nutriebantur in croceis, amplexati sunt stercora. Vau. Et major effecta est iniquitas filiæ populi mei peccato Sodomorum, quæ subversa est in momento, et non ceperunt in ea manus.

Aleph. How is the gold become dim, the finest colour is changed, the stones of the sanctuary are scattered in the top of every street? [2] Beth. The noble sons of Sion, and they that were clothed with the best gold: how are they esteemed as earthen vessels, the work of the potter' s hands? [3] Ghimel. Even the sea monsters have drawn out the breast, they have given suck to their young: the daughter of my people is cruel, like the ostrich in the desert. [4] Daleth. The tongue of the sucking child hath stuck to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the little ones have asked for bread, and there was none to break it unto them. [5] He. They that were fed delicately have died in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet have embraced the dung. [6] Vau. And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and hands took nothing in her. 

Reading 3: Lamentations 5: 1-11

Recordare, Domine, quid acciderit nobis; intuere et respice opprobrium nostrum. 2  Hæreditas nostra versa est ad alienos, domus nostræ ad extraneos. 3  Pupilli facti sumus absque patre, matres nostræ quasi viduæ. 4 Aquam nostram pecunia bibimus; ligna nostra pretio comparavimus. 5  Cervicibus nostris minabamur, lassis non dabatur requies. 6  Ægypto dedimus manum et Assyriis, ut saturaremur pane. 7  Patres nostri peccaverunt, et non sunt: et nos iniquitates eorum portavimus. 8  Servi dominati sunt nostri: non fuit qui redimeret de manu eorum. 9  In animabus nostris afferebamus panem nobis, a facie gladii in deserto. 10  Pellis nostra quasi clibanus exusta est, a facie tempestatum famis. 11 Mulieres in Sion humiliaverunt, et virgines in civitatibus Juda.

Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us: consider and behold our reproach. [2] Our inheritance is turned to aliens: our houses to strangers. [3] We are become orphans without a father: our mothers are as widows. [4] We have drunk our water for money: we have bought our wood. [5] We were dragged by the necks, we were weary and no rest was given us. [6] We have given our hand to Egypt, and to the Assyrians, that we might be satisfied with bread. [7] Our fathers have sinned, and are not: and we have borne their iniquities. [8] Servants have ruled over us: there was none to redeem us out of their hand. [9] We fetched our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the desert. [10] Our skin was burnt as an oven, by reason of the violence of the famine.[11] They oppressed the women in Sion, and the virgins in the cities of Juda.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Good Friday

The First Nocturn readings of Tenebrae for Good Friday are from Lamentations Chapters 2&3.

Reading 1 (Lamentations 2: 8-11)

Heth. Cogitavit Dominus dissipare murum filiæ Sion; tetendit funiculum suum, et non avertit manum suam a perditione: luxitque antemurale, et murus pariter dissipatus est.Teth. Defixæ sunt in terra portæ ejus, perdidit et contrivit vectes ejus; regem ejus et principes ejus in gentibus: non est lex, et prophetæ ejus non invenerunt visionem a Domino.Jod. Sederunt in terra, conticuerunt senes filiæ Sion; consperserunt cinere capita sua, accincti sunt ciliciis: abjecerunt in terram capita sua virgines Jerusalem.Caph. Defecerunt præ lacrimis oculi mei, conturbata sunt viscera mea; effusum est in terra jecur meum super contritione filiæ populi mei, cum deficeret parvulus et lactens in plateis oppidi.

[8] Heth. The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Sion: he hath stretched out his line, and hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: and the bulwark hath mourned, and the wall hath been destroyed together. [9] Teth. Her gates are sunk into the ground: he hath destroyed, and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more, and her prophets have found no vision from the Lord. [10] Jod. The ancients of the daughter of Sion sit upon the ground, they have held their peace: they have sprinkled their heads with dust, they are girded with haircloth, the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. [11] Caph. My eyes have failed with weeping, my bowels are troubled: my liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the children, and the sucklings, fainted away in the streets of the city.

Reading 2 (2:12-15)

Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt: Ubi est triticum et vinum? cum deficerent quasi vulnerati
in plateis civitatis, cum exhalarent animas suas in sinu matrum suarum.Mem. Cui comparabo te, vel cui assimilabo te, filia Jerusalem? cui exæquabo te, et consolabor te, virgo, filia Sion?magna est enim velut mare contritio tua: quis medebitur tui?Nun. Prophetæ tui viderunt tibi falsa et stulta; nec aperiebant iniquitatem tuam, ut te ad pœnitentiam provocarent; viderunt autem tibi assumptiones falsas, et ejectiones.Samech. Plauserunt super te manibus omnes transeuntes per viam; sibilaverunt et moverunt caput suum super filiam Jerusalem: Hæccine est urbs, dicentes, perfecti decoris, gaudium universæ terræ?

[12] Lamed. They said to their mothers: Where is corn and wine? when they fainted away as the wounded in the streets of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the bosoms of their mothers. [13] Mem. To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for great as the sea is thy destruction: who shall heal thee? [14] Nun. Thy prophets have seen false and foolish things for thee: and they have not laid open thy iniquity, to excite thee to penance: but they have seen for thee false revelations and banishments. [15] Samech. All they that passed by the way have clapped their hands at thee: they have hissed, and wagged their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: Is this the city of perfect beauty, the joy of all the earth?

Reading 3 (3:1-9)

Aleph. Ego vir videns paupertatem meam in virga indignationis ejus.Aleph. Me minavit, et adduxit in tenebras, et non in lucem.Aleph. Tantum in me vertit et convertit manum suam tota die.Beth. Vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam; contrivit ossa mea.Beth. Ædificavit in gyro meo, et circumdedit me felle et labore.Beth. In tenebrosis collocavit me, quasi mortuos sempiternos.Ghimel. Circumædificavit adversum me, ut non egrediar; aggravavit compedem meum.Ghimel. Sed et cum clamavero, et rogavero, exclusit orationem meam.Ghimel. Conclusit vias meas lapidibus quadris; semitas meas subvertit.

1] Aleph. I am the man that see my poverty by the rod of his indignation. [2] Aleph. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, and not into light. [3] Aleph. Only against me he hath turned, and turned again his hand all the day. [4] Beth. My skin and my flesh he hath made old, he hath broken my bones. [5] Beth. He hath built round about me, and he hath compassed me with gall and labour. [6] Beth. He hath set me in dark places as those that are dead for ever. [7] Ghimel. He hath built against me round about, that I may not get out: he hath made my fetters heavy. [8] Ghimel. Yea, and when I cry, and entreat, he hath shut out my prayer. [9] Ghimel. He hath shut up my ways with square stones, he hath turned my paths upside down.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Maundy Thursday

The Roman and Benedictine Brevaries are identical for the Triduum, and os the full readings and responsories can be found at Divinum Officium.

In the Office of Tenebrae today, the readings in the first Nocturn are from the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

Reading 1 (1:1-5)

Aleph. Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo! Facta est quasi vidua domina gentium;
princeps provinciarum facta est sub tributo.2 Beth. Plorans ploravit in nocte, et lacrimæ ejus in maxillis ejus: non est qui consoletur eam, ex omnibus caris ejus; omnes amici ejus spreverunt eam, et facti sunt ei inimici.Ghimel. Migravit Judas propter afflictionem, et multitudinem servitutis; habitavit inter gentes, nec invenit requiem: omnes persecutores ejus apprehenderunt eam inter angustias. Daleth. Viæ Sion lugent, eo quod non sint qui veniant ad solemnitatem: omnes portæ ejus destructæ, sacerdotes ejus gementes; virgines ejus squalidæ, et ipsa oppressa amaritudine. He. Facti sunt hostes ejus in capite; inimici ejus locupletati sunt: quia Dominus locutus est super eam propter multitudinem iniquitatum ejus. Parvuli ejus ducti sunt in captivitatem ante faciem tribulantis.

Aleph. How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! how is the mistress of the Gentiles become as a widow: the princes of provinces made tributary! [2] Beth. Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies. [3] Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling place because of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage: she hath dwelt among the nations, and she hath found no rest: all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits. [4] Daleth. The ways of Sion mourn, because there are none that come to the solemn feast: all her gates are broken down: her priests sigh: her virgins are in affliction, and she is oppressed with bitterness. [5] He. Her adversaries are become her lords, her enemies are enriched: because the Lord hath spoken against her for the multitude of her iniquities: her children are led into captivity: before the face of the oppressor.

Reading 2 (1:6-9)

Vau. Et egressus est a filia Sion omnis decor ejus; facti sunt principes ejus velut arietes non invenientes pascua, et abierunt absque fortitudine ante faciem subsequentis.Zain. Recordata est Jerusalem dierum afflictionis suæ, et prævaricationis, omnium desiderabilium suorum, quæ habuerat a diebus antiquis, cum caderet populus ejus in manu hostili, et non esset auxiliator: viderunt eam hostes, et deriserunt sabbata ejus.Heth. Peccatum peccavit Jerusalem, propterea instabilis facta est; omnes qui glorificabant eam spreverunt illam, quia viderunt ignominiam ejus: ipsa autem gemens conversa est retrorsum.Teth. Sordes ejus in pedibus ejus, nec recordata est finis sui; deposita est vehementer, non habens consolatorem. Vide, Domine, afflictionem meam, quoniam erectus est inimicus.

[6] Vau. And from the daughter of Sion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like rams that find no pastures: and they are gone away without strength before the face of the pursuer. [7] Zain. Jerusalem hath remembered the days of her affliction, and prevarication of all her desirable things which she had from the days of old, when her people fell in the enemy' s hand, and there was no helper: the enemies have seen her, and have mocked at her sabbaths. [8] Heth. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore is she become unstable: all that honoured her have despised her, because they have seen her shame: but she sighed and turned backward. [9] Teth. Her filthiness is on her feet, and she hath not remembered her end: she is wonderfully cast down, not having a comforter: behold, O Lord, my affliction, because the enemy is lifted up. 

Reading 3 (1:10-14)

Jod. Manum suam misit hostis ad omnia desiderabilia ejus, quia vidit gentes ingressas sanctuarium suum, de quibus præceperas ne intrarent in ecclesiam tuam.Caph. Omnis populus ejus gemens, et quærens panem; dederunt pretiosa quæque pro cibo ad refocillandam animam. Vide, Domine, et considera quoniam facta sum vilis!Lamed. O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus! quoniam vindemiavit me, ut locutus est Dominus, in die iræ furoris sui.Mem. De excelso misit ignem in ossibus meis, et erudivit me: expandit rete pedibus meis, convertit me retrorsum; posuit me desolatam, tota die mœrore confectam.Nun. Vigilavit jugum iniquitatum mearum; in manu ejus convolutæ sunt, et impositæ collo meo. Infirmata est virtus mea: dedit me Dominus in manu de qua non potero surgere.

[10] Jod. The enemy hath put out his hand to all her desirable things: for she hath seen the Gentiles enter into her sanctuary, of whom thou gavest commandment that they should not enter into thy church.
[11] Caph. All her people sigh, they seek bread: they have given all their precious things for food to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and consider, for I am become vile. [12] Lamed. O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow: for he hath made a vintage of me, as the Lord spoke in the day of his fierce anger. [13] Mem. From above he hath sent fire into my bones, and hath chastised me: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate, wasted with sorrow all the day long. [14] Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched: they are folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered me into a hand out of which I am not able to rise.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Wednesday of Holy Week

Today's readings at Matins are from Jeremiah 17-18:

Reading 1: O Lord the hope of Israel: all that forsake thee shall be confounded: they that depart from thee, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord, the vein of living waters. [14] Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved, for thou art my praise. [15] Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come. [16] And I am not troubled, following thee for my pastor, and I have not desired the day of man, thou knowest. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in thy sight. [17] Be not thou a terror unto me, thou art my hope in the day of affliction.

R. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue ; they compassed me about also with words of hatred : in return for my love they were my adversaries :
* But I gave myself unto prayer; and Thou hast heard me, Lord my God!
V. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

R. But I gave myself unto prayer ; and Thou hast heard me, Lord my God !

Reading 2 (18:13-18): Therefore thus saith the Lord: Ask among the nations: Who hath heard such horrible things, as the virgin of Israel hath done to excess? [14] Shall the snow of Libanus fail from the rock of the field? or can the cold waters that gush out and run down, be taken away? [15] Because my people have forgotten me, sacrificing in vain, and stumbling in their ways, in ancient paths, to walk by them in a way not trodden: [16] That their land might be given up to desolation, and to a perpetual hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and wag his head. [17] As a burning will I scatter them before the enemy: I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their destruction. [18] And they said: Come, and let us invent devices against Jeremias: for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us give no heed to all his words.

R. The wicked people have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: Let us therefore lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings. He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God
* Let us see then if his words be true, for if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from our hands, let us examine him by outrages and tortures
V. We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just

R. Let us see then if his words be true, for if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from our hands, let us examine him by outrages and tortures

Reading 3:  Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries. [20] Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in thy sight, so speak good for them, and turn away thy indignation from them. [21] Therefore deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword: let their wives be bereaved of children and widows: and let their husbands be slain by death: let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle. [22] Let a cry be heard out of their houses: for thou shalt bring the robber upon them suddenly: because they have digged a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet. [23] But thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death: forgive not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from thy sight: let them be overthrown before thy eyes, in the time of thy wrath do thou destroy them.

R. Lying men surrounded me: without reason they beat me with whips
* But you Lord, my defender, avenge me.
V. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
R.* But you Lord, my defender, avenge me.
R. Lying men surrounded me: without reason they beat me with whips * But you Lord, my defender, avenge me.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Tuesday of Holy Week

At Mass in Holy Week for the rest of the week, the Gospels are readings of the Passion.  Today's is according to St Mark (14:32-72; 15:1-46).

The Office at Matins, however, reverts to Scriptural texts for the next two days, in the form of readings from Jeremiah, and then the special readings for the Triduum, which include the famous Lamentations.  Jeremiah has always seen Jeremiah as a figure of Christ, and his words as a prophesy of him, as well as of events of his own time.

Reading 1 (Jeremiah 11:15-20)

What is the meaning that my beloved hath wrought much wickedness in my house? shall the holy flesh take away from thee thy crimes, in which thou hast boasted? [16] The Lord called thy name, a plentiful olive tree, fair, fruitful, and beautiful: at the noise of a word, a great fire was kindled in it and the branches thereof are burnt. [17] And the Lord of hosts that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee: for the evils of the house of Israel, and the house of Juda, which they have done to themselves, to provoke me, offering sacrifice to Baalim. [18] But thou, O Lord, hast shewn me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings. [19] And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim: and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more. [20] But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins and hearts, let me see thy revenge on them: for to thee I have revealed my cause.

R. I have suffered defaming and fear from them that were my familiars they watched for my halting, saying Let us entice him, and prevail against him. But Thou, O Lord, art with me, as a Mighty Terrible One.
* Let them stumble into everlasting confusion, that I may see thy vengeance upon them, for unto thee have I opened my cause.
V. O Lord, plead Thou the cause of my soul, Thou That art the Redeemer of my life.
R. Let them stumble into everlasting confusion, that I may see thy vengeance upon them, for unto thee have I opened my cause.

Reading 2 (Jeremiah 12:1-4)

Thou indeed, O Lord, art just, if I plead with thee, but yet I will speak what is just to thee: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper: why is it well with all them that transgress, and do wickedly? [2] Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root: they prosper and bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. [3] And thou, O Lord, hast known me, thou hast seen me, and proved my heart with thee: gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. [4] How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts and the birds are consumed: because they have said: He shall not see our last end.

R. For thy sake, O God of Israel, I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face; I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
* For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver me, because of mine enemies.

R. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Reading 3 (Jeremiah 12:7-11)

 [7] I have forsaken my house, I have left my inheritance: I have given my dear soul into the land of her enemies. [8] My inheritance is become to me as a lion in the wood: is hath cried out against me, therefore have I hated it. [9] Is my inheritance to me as a speckled bird? Is it as a bird died throughout? come ye, assemble yourselves, all the beasts of the earth, make haste to devour. [10] Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness. [11] They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart.

R. The congregation of the people hath compassed me about, but I rewarded no evil unto him that rewarded evil unto me.
* O Lord, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.
V. Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
R. O Lord, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.
Gloria omittitur
R. The congregation of the people hath compassed me about, but I rewarded no evil unto him that rewarded evil unto me. * O Lord, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just. lauds.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Monday of Holy Week

John 12:1-9:

Jesus ergo ante sex dies Paschæ venit Bethaniam, ubi Lazarus fuerat mortuus, quem suscitavit Jesus. 2 Fecerunt autem ei cœnam ibi, et Martha ministrabat, Lazarus vero unus erat ex discumbentibus cum eo. 3 Maria ergo accepit libram unguenti nardi pistici pretiosi, et unxit pedes Jesu, et extersit pedes ejus capillis suis: et domus impleta est ex odore unguenti. 4 Dixit ergo unus ex discipulis ejus, Judas Iscariotes, qui erat eum traditurus: 5 Quare hoc unguentum non veniit trecentis denariis, et datum est egenis? 6 Dixit autem hoc, non quia de egenis pertinebat ad eum, sed quia fur erat, et loculos habens, ea quæ mittebantur, portabat. 7 Dixit ergo Jesus: Sinite illam ut in diem sepulturæ meæ servet illud. 8 Pauperes enim semper habetis vobiscum: me autem non semper habetis.Cognovit ergo turba multa ex Judæis quia illic est, et venerunt, non propter Jesum tantum, sed ut Lazarum viderent, quem suscitavit a mortuis.

[1] Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. [2] And they made him a supper there: and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. [3] Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. [4] Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: [5] Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?[6] Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. [7] Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. [8] For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always. [9] A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that he was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 

The Readings for Matins are from St Augustine

Reading 1: There they made Him a supper and Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table lest men should deem that it was but by an ocular delusion that they had seen him arise from the dead. He lived therefore, spake, and ate; to the manifestation of the truth, and the confusion of the unbelieving Jews. Jesus, then, sat down to meat with Lazarus and others, and Martha, being one of Lazarus' sisters, served. But Mary, Lazarus' other sister, took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the Feet of Jesus, and wiped His Feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. We have now heard that which was done; let us search out the mystic meaning thereof.

R. The ungodly said Let us oppress the righteous man without cause, and swallow him up alive, as the grave let us make his memorial to perish from the earth, and cast lots among us for his spoils and those murderers laid by store for themselves, but of evil.
* Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.
V. Such things they did imagine, and were deceived, for their own wickedness blinded them.

R. Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.

Reading 2: Whatsover thou art that wilt be a faithful soul, seek with Mary to anoint the Feet of the Lord with costly ointment. This ointment was a figure of justice, and therefore is there said to have been a pound thereof, a pound being a weight used in scales. The word pistikes used by the Evangelist as the name of this ointment, we must believe to be that of some place, from which this costly perfume was imported. Neither is this name meaningless for us, but agreeth well with our mystic interpretation, since Pistis is the Greek word which signifieth Faith, and whosoever will do justice must know that: The just shall live by faith. Rom. i. 17; Hab. ii. 4. Anoint therefore the Feet of Jesus by thy good life, following in the marks which those Feet of the Lord have traced. Wipe His Feet likewise with thy hair; that is, if thou have aught which is not needful to thee, give it to the poor; and then thou hast wiped the Feet of Jesus with thy hair, that is, with that which thou needest not, and which is therefore to thee as is hair, being a needless out-growth to the body. Here thou hast what to do with that which thou needest not. To thee it is needless, but the Lord's Feet have need of it; yea, the Feet which the Lord hath on earth are sorely needy.

R. became a reproach unto mine enemies they looked upon me and shaked their heads.
* Help me, O Lord my God!
V. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue they compassed me about also with words of hatred.
R. Help me, O Lord my God!

Reading 3: For of whom save of His members, will He say at the latter day: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. That is ye have spent nothing save that which ye needed not, but ye have ministered unto My Feet. And the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. That is, the fragrance of your good example filleth the world; for this odour is a figure of reputation. They which are called Christians, and yet live bad lives, cast a slur on Christ and it is even such as they unto whom it is said The Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.  But if, through such, the Name of God be blasphemed, through the godly is praise ascribed to the Same His Holy Name, as the Apostle doth likewise say In every place we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. .

R. False witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty they have gone about to kill me, neither spared they to spit in my face; their spears have wounded me, and all my bones are out of joint.
* But as for me, I counted myself as one that is dead upon the earth.
V. They poured forth their fury upon me, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
R. But as for me, I counted myself as one that is dead upon the earth.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Palm Sunday

The readings for Matins in the Benedictine Office for Palm Sunday are set out below.

Nocturn I (Jeremiah 2:12-22; 29-32)

Reading 1: Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and ye gates thereof, be very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have done two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.  Is Israel a bondman, or a homeborn slave? why then is he become prey? The lions have roared upon him, and have made a noise, they have made his land a wilderness: his cities are burnt down and there is none to dwell in them.

R. O Lord, in the day that I called upon thee, Thou saidst Fear not.
* Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.
V. In the day of my trouble I called upon thee, for Thou hast heard me.
R. Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.

Reading 2: The children also of Memphis, and of Taphnes have deflowered thee, even to the crown of the head.  Hath not this been done to thee, because thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God at that time, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the troubled water? And what hast thou to do with the way of the Assyrians, to drink the water of the river? Thy own wickedness shall reprove thee, and thy apostasy shall rebuke thee. Know thou, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee, to have left the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not with thee, saith the Lord the God of hosts.

R. O Lord, in the day that I called upon thee, Thou saidst Fear not.
* Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.
V. In the day of my trouble I called upon thee, for Thou hast heard me.
R. Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.

Reading 3: Of old time thou hast broken my yoke, thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself.  Yet I planted thee a chosen vineyard, all true seed: how then art thou turned unto me into that which is good for nothing, O strange vineyard? Though thou wash thyself with nitre, and multiply to thyself the herb borith, thou art stained in thy iniquity before me, saith the Lord God.

R. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the v'oice of them that contend with me.
* Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul.
V. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
R. Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul.

Reading 4: Why will you contend with me in judgement? you have all forsaken me, saith the Lord. In vain have I struck your children, they have not received correction: your sword hath devoured your prophets, your generation is like a ravaging lion.  See ye the word of the Lord: Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land? why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to thee no more.  Will a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her stomacher? but my people hath forgotten me days without number.

R. The ungodly said Let us oppress the righteous man without cause, and swallow him up alive, as the grave let us make his memorial to perish from the earth, and cast lots among us for his spoils and those murderers laid by store for themselves, but of evil.
* Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.
V. Such things they did imagine, and were deceived, for their own wickedness blinded them.
R. Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.

Nocturn II (Sermon 62 of St Leo)

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, the jubilant and triumphal day which ushereth in the commemoration of the Lord's Passion is come; even that day for which we have longed so much, and for whose yearly coming the whole world may well look. Shouts of spiritual exultation are ringing, and suffer not that we should be silent. It is indeed hard to preach often on the same Festival, and that always meetly and rightly, but a Priest is not free, when we celebrate so great and mysterious an out-pouring of God's mercy, to leave his faithful people without the service of a discourse. Nay, that his subject-matter is unspeakable should in itself make him eloquent, since where enough can never be said, there must needs ever be somewhat to say.

R. The enemy hath enclosed my ways he lay in wait for me as a lion in secret places he hath filled me and made me drunken with bitterness they have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
* O Lord, behold all their iniquity, and plead the cause of my soul, Thou That art the Redeemer of my life!
V. I was a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
R. O Lord, behold all their iniquity, and plead the cause of my soul, Thou That art the Redeemer of my life!

Reading 6: Let man's weakness, then, fall down before the glory of God, and acknowledge herself ever too feeble to unfold all the works of His mercy. We may jade our emotions, break down in our understanding, and fail in our speech it is good for us, that even what we truly feel in presence of the Divine Majesty is but little, (compared to the vastness of the subject.)  For when the Prophet saith Seek the Lord and be strong; seek His face evermore, let no man thence conclude that he will ever have found all that he seeketh, lest he which hath ceased to come near should cease to be near.

R. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul hide not thy face from me;
* For I am in trouble. Hear me speedily, O Lord my God.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it deliver me because of mine enemies.
R. For I am in trouble. Hear me speedily, O Lord my God.

Reading 7: But among all the works of God which foil and weary the steadfast gaze of man's wonder, what is there that doth at once so ravish and so exceed the power of our mind's eye as do the sufferings of the Saviour? He it was Who, to loose man from the bands wherewith he had bound himself by the first death-dealing transgression, spared to bring against the rage of the devil the power of the Divine Majesty, and met him with the weakness of our lowly nature. For if our proud and cruel enemy had been able to know the counsel of God's mercy, it had been his task rather to have softened the minds of the Jews into gentleness, than to have inflamed them with unrighteous hatred; and so lost the service of all his slaves, by pursuing for his Debtor One That owed him nothing.

R. O Lord, be not Thou far from me spare me in the day of evil let them be confounded that persecute me;
* But let not me be confounded.
V. Let all mine enemies which seek after my soul be confounded.
R. But let not me be confounded.

Reading 8: But his own hate dug a pit-fall for him he brought upon the Son of God that death which is become life to all the sons of men. He shed that innocent Blood, Which hath reconciled the world unto God, and become at once the price of our redemption and the cup of our salvation. The Lord hath received that which according to the purpose of His Own good pleasure He hath chosen. He hath let fall on Him the hands of bloody men but while they were bent only on their own sin, they were servants ministering to the Redeemer's work. And such was His tenderness even for His murderers that His prayer to His Father from the Cross, as touching them, was, not that He might be avenged upon them, but that they might be forgiven.

R. became a reproach unto mine enemies they looked upon me and shaked their heads.
* Help me, O Lord my God!
V. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue they compassed me about also with words of hatred.
R. Help me, O Lord my God!

Nocturn III (St Ambrose)

Reading 9: Beautiful is the type, when the Lord, about to leave the Jews, and to take up His abode in the hearts of the Gentiles, goeth up into the Temple; a figure of His going to the true Temple wherein He is worshipped, not in the deadness of the letter, but in spirit and in truth, even that Temple of God whereof the foundations are laid, not in buildings of stone, but in faith. He leaveth behind Him such as hate Him, and getteth Him to such as will love Him. And therefore cometh He unto the Mount of Olives that He may plant upon the heights of grace those young olive-branches, whose Mother is the Jerusalem which is above.

R. The Lord is with me as a Mighty Terrible One; therefore have they persecuted me, and have not been able to understand. O Lord, Thou triest the reins and the heart
* Unto thee have I opened my cause.
V.O Lord, Thou hast seen my wrong that they do me; judge Thou my cause.
R. Unto thee have I opened my cause.

Reading 10: Upon this mountain standeth He, the Heavenly Husbandman, that all they which be planted in the House of the Lord may be able each one to say: "But I am like a fruitful olive-tree in the House of God.And perchance that mountain doth signify Christ Himself. For what other is there that beareth such fruit of olives as He doth, not rich with store of loaded branches, but spiritually fruitful with the fulness of the Gentiles? He also it is on Whom we go up, and unto Whom we go up; He is the Door; He is the Way; He is He Which is opened and Which openeth; He is He upon Whom knocketh whosoever entereth in, and to Whom they that have entered in, do worship.

R. The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright; Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is clean contrary to our doings he professeth to have the knowledge of God, he calleth himself the Son of God, and boasteth that he hath God to his Father.
* Let us see if his words be true; and, if he be indeed the Son of God, let Him deliver him from our hand; let us condemn him with a shameful death.
V. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and commendeth the end of the just.
R. Let us see if his words be true; and, if he be indeed the Son of God, let Him deliver him from our hand; let us condemn him with a shameful death.

Reading 11: A figure also was it that the disciples went into a village, and that there they found an ass tied and a colt with her neither could they be loosed, save at the command of the Lord. It was the hand of His Apostles which loosed them. He whose work and life are like theirs will have such grace as was theirs. Be thou also such as they, if thou wouldest loose them that are bound.Now, let us consider who they were, who, being convicted of transgression, were banished from their home in the Garden of Eden into a village, and in this thou wilt see how Life called back again them whom death had cast out.

R. Liars are come round about me, they have fallen upon me with scourges without a cause.
* But do Thou, O Lord my Redeemer, avenge me!
V. For trouble is near, and there is none to help.
R. But do Thou, O Lord my Redeemer, avenge me!

Reading 12: For this reason, we read in Matthew that there were tied both an ass and her colt; thus, as man was banished from Eden in a member of either sex, so is it in animals of both sexes that his re-call is figured. The she-ass is a type of our sinful Mother Eve, and the colt of the multitude of the Gentiles; and it was upon the colt that Christ took His seat. And thus it is well written of the colt, Luke xix. 30, that thereon never yet had man sat, for no man before Christ ever called the Gentiles into the Church which statement thou hast in Mark also: Whereon never man sat.


Gospel (St Matthew 21:1-9):

Et cum appropinquassent Jerosolymis, et venissent Bethphage ad montem Oliveti: tunc Jesus misit duos discipulos, 2 dicens eis: Ite in castellum, quod contra vos est, et statim invenietis asinam alligatam, et pullum cum ea: solvite, et adducite mihi: 3 et si quis vobis aliquid dixerit, dicite quia Dominus his opus habet: et confestim dimittet eos. 4 Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimpleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicentem: 5 Dicite filiæ Sion: Ecce rex tuus venit tibi mansuetus, sedens super asinam, et pullum filium subjugalis. 6 Euntes autem discipuli fecerunt sicut præcepit illis Jesus. 7 Et adduxerunt asinam, et pullum: et imposuerunt super eos vestimenta sua, et eum desuper sedere fecerunt. 8 Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via: alii autem cædebant ramos de arboribus, et sternebant in via: 9 turbæ autem, quæ præcedebant, et quæ sequebantur, clamabant, dicentes: Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini: hosanna in altissimis.

And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples, [2] Saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to me. [3] And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. [4] Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: [5] Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy king cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke.[6] And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them. [7] And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon. [8] And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way: [9] And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.


Index of Matins readings for Eastertide

The Octave of Easter
(during the week, Patristic readings on the Gospel of the day)

Sunday (Note: The Easter Vigil substitutes for Matins and Lauds of Easter Sunday.  For those who cannot attend the Vigil, however, the Benedictine Office readings are set out below).

Nocturn I: Romans 6: 2-4; 5-7; 8-10; 11-13
Nocturn II : Sermon of Gregory Nazianis (Oratio 45 on Easter no 2, and Oratio 1, no 3)
Nocturn III & GospelHomily 21 on the Gospels of St Gregory; Mark 16: 1-7.

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Friday in the Octave of Easter
Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Octave Day of Easter (Low Sunday)

Matins readings for Low Sunday

Nocturn I: Colossians 3: 1-4; 5-8; 9-13; 14-17
Nocturn II: Sermon of Augustine
Nocturn IIIHomily 26 of St Gregory; John 20:19-31

Weekdays: Chapter Verse only, Hosea 6:1-3.

Second Sunday after Easter

Nocturn I: Acts 1: 1-8; 9-14; 15-20; 21-26
Nocturn II: Sermon 73 of St Leo
Nocturn III & GospelHomily of St Gregory & John 10: 11-16

Third Sunday after Easter

Nocturn I: Revelation 1:1-6; 7-11; 12-15; 16-19
Nocturn II: Sermon 242 of St Augustine
Nocturn III&GospelHomily of St Augustine and John 16:16-22:

Fourth Sunday after Easter

Nocturn I: St James 1:1-4; 5-7; 8-11; 12-16
Nocturn II: Tract of St Cyprian
Nocturn III & GospelHomily of St Augustine (Tract 94 on John) and Jn 16: 5-14

Fifth Sunday after Easter

Nocturn I: 1 Peter 1: 1-9
Nocturn II: St Augustine on belief in the Resurrection
Nocturn III&GospelHomily 102 on John of St Augustine; John 16: 23-30

Vigil of the Ascension

Nocturn I: Homily 104 of St Augustine on St John

Feast of the Ascension

Nocturn I: Acts 1: 1-14
Nocturn II: Sermon 73 of St Leo
Nocturn III& GospelHomily 29 of St Gregory; Mark 16: 14-20

Sunday after the Ascension

Nocturn I: 1 John 1:1-10; 2: 1-6
Nocturn II: Sermon 210 of St Caesarius
Nocturn III& GospelSt Augustine Tract 92 on John; John 15: 26-27; 16: 1-4

Saturday, the Vigil of Pentecost

Nocturn I: Tract 74 on St John

Pentecost Sunday

Nocturn I: Acts 2: 1-21
Nocturn II: Sermon 75 of St Leo
Nocturn III&Gospel

Whit Monday (Monday in the Octave of Pentecost)
Whit Tuesday
Whit Wednesday
Whit Thursday
Whit Friday
Whit Saturday



Friday, 18 March 2016

St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The readings for the feast at Matins in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I: Genesis 39: 1-3, 4-5; 41: 37-40, 41-44.

Reading 1: And Joseph was brought into Egypt, and Putiphar an eunuch of Pharao, chief captain of the army, an Egyptian, bought him of the Ismaelites, by whom he was brought. And the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man in all things: and he dwelt in his master's house.Who knew very well that the Lord was with him, and made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

R. The Lord was with Joseph, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
* And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison.
V. And whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
R. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison.

Reading 2: And Joseph found favour in the sight of his master, and ministered to him: and being set over all by him, he governed the house committed to him, and all things that were delivered to him: And the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian for Joseph's sake.

R. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to the king for bread. And the king said unto all the Egyptians
* Go unto Joseph; and what he saith to you, do.
V. The famine was more grievous every day over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians.
R. Go unto Joseph; and what he saith to you, do.

Reading 3: The counsel pleased Pharao and all his servants. And he said to them: Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God? He said therefore to Joseph: Seeing God hath shewn thee all that thou hast said, can I find one wiser and one like unto thee? Thou shalt be over my house, and at the commandment of thy mouth all the people shall obey: only in the kingly throne will I be above thee.

R. The Lord hath made me as a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house fear not
* For God sent me before you into Egypt, to save your lives.
V. Come unto me, and I will give you all the good things of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
R. For God sent me before you into Egypt, to save your lives.

Reading 4: And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt. And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck. And he made him go up into his second chariot, the crier proclaiming that all should bow their knee before him, and that they should know he was made governor over the whole land of Egypt.  And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharao; without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

Nocturn II (From the Sermons of St Bernard, Abbat of Clairvaux. 2nd on Luke i. 26)

Reading 5 : What and what manner of man the blessed Joseph was, we may gather from that title wherewith, albeit only as a deputy, God deemed him fit to be honoured he was both called, and supposed to be the Father of God. We may gather it from his very name, which, being interpreted, signifieth Increase. Remember likewise that great Patriarch who was sold into Egypt, and know that the Husband of Mary not only received his name, but inherited his purity, and was likened to him in innocence and in grace.

R. Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem
* Because he was of the house and lineage of David.
V. To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife.
R. Because he was of the house and lineage of David.

Reading 6: If then, that Joseph that was sold by his brethren through envy, and was brought down to Egypt, was a type of Christ sold by a disciple, and handed over to the Gentiles, the other Joseph flying from the envy of Herod carried Christ into Egypt. That first Joseph kept loyal to his master, and would not carnally know his master's wife; that second Joseph knew that the Lady, the Mother of his Lord, was a virgin, and he himself remained faithfully virgin toward her.

R. Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt;
* And be thou there until I bring thee word.
V. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying Out of Egypt have I called My Son.
R. And be thou there until I bring thee word.

Reading 7: To that first Joseph it was given to know dark things in interpreting of dreams; to the second Joseph it was given in sleep to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.The first Joseph laid by bread, not for himself, but for all people; the second Joseph received into his keeping that Living Bread Which came down from heaven, not for him only, but for the whole world.

R. When His parents brought the Child Jesus into the temple, to do for Him after the custom of the law,
* Simeon took Him up in his arms, and blessed God.
V. And His father and mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him.
R. Simeon took Him up in his arms, and blessed God.

Reading 8: We cannot doubt but that that Joseph was good and faithful to whom was espoused the Mother of the Saviour. Yea, I say, he was a faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord appointed to be the comfort of His own Mother, the keeper of His own Body, and the only and trusty helper in the Eternal Counsels.

Nocturn III: (Homily by St Jerome)

Reading 9 : Why was the Lord conceived of an espoused virgin rather than of a free? First, for the sake of the genealogy of Mary, which we have obtained by that of Joseph. Secondly, because she was thus saved from being stoned by the Jews as an adulteress. Thirdly, that Himself and His mother might have a guardian on their journey into Egypt. To these, Ignatius, the martyr of Antioch, has added a fourth reason namely, that the birth might take place unknown to the devil; who would naturally suppose that Mary had conceived by Joseph.

Reading 10: Before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. She was found, that is, by Joseph, but by no one else. He had already almost an husband's privilege to know all that concerned her. Before they came together. This doth not imply that they ever did come together the Scripture merely showeth the absolute fact that up to this time they had not done so.

Reading 11: Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. If any man be joined to a fornicatress they become one body; and according to the law they that are privy to a crime are thereby guilty. How then can it be that Joseph is described as a just man, at the very time he was compounding the criminality of his espoused? It must have been that he knew her to be pure, and yet understood not the mystery of her pregnancy, but, while he wondered at that which had happened, was willing to hold his peace.

R. Jesus went down with them, and came to Nazareth
* And was subject unto them.
V. He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
R. And was subject unto them.

(Note: reading 12 for the Benedictine Office is not available online)

The Gospel for today's feast is St Matthew 1:18-21:

18 Christi autem generatio sic erat: cum esset desponsata mater ejus Maria Joseph, antequam convenirent inventa est in utero habens de Spiritu Sancto. 19 Joseph autem vir ejus cum esset justus, et nollet eam traducere, voluit occulte dimittere eam. 20 Hæc autem eo cogitante, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis ei, dicens: Joseph, fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam conjugem tuam: quod enim in ea natum est, de Spiritu Sancto est. 21 Pariet autem filium: et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum: ipse enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum.

[18] Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. [19] Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. [20] But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.[21] And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins.

Saturday in Passion week

Today is the feast of St Joseph in 2016, so the readings are of the feast (see separate post).


The Gospel for the Lent feria is St John 12:10-36:

10 Cogitaverunt autem principes sacerdotum ut et Lazarum interficerent: 11 quia multi propter illum abibant ex Judæis, et credebant in Jesum. 12 In crastinum autem, turba multa quæ venerat ad diem festum, cum audissent quia venit Jesus Jerosolymam, 13 acceperunt ramos palmarum, et processerunt obviam ei, et clamabant: Hosanna, benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, rex Israël. 14 Et invenit Jesus asellum, et sedit super eum, sicut scriptum est: 15 Noli timere, filia Sion: ecce rex tuus venit sedens super pullum asinæ. 16 Hæc non cognoverunt discipuli ejus primum: sed quando glorificatus est Jesus, tunc recordati sunt quia hæc erant scripta de eo, et hæc fecerunt ei. 17 Testimonium ergo perhibebat turba, quæ erat cum eo quando Lazarum vocavit de monumento, et suscitavit eum a mortuis. 18 Propterea et obviam venit ei turba: quia audierunt fecisse hoc signum. 19 Pharisæi ergo dixerunt ad semetipsos: Videtis quia nihil proficimus? ecce mundus totus post eum abiit.20 Erant autem quidam gentiles, ex his qui ascenderant ut adorarent in die festo. 21 Hi ergo accesserunt ad Philippum, qui erat a Bethsaida Galilææ, et rogabant eum, dicentes: Domine, volumus Jesum videre. 22 Venit Philippus, et dicit Andreæ; Andreas rursum et Philippus dixerunt Jesu. 23 Jesus autem respondit eis, dicens: Venit hora, ut clarificetur Filius hominis. 24 Amen, amen dico vobis, nisi granum frumenti cadens in terram, mortuum fuerit, 25 ipsum solum manet: si autem mortuum fuerit, multum fructum affert. Qui amat animam suam, perdet eam; et qui odit animam suam in hoc mundo, in vitam æternam custodit eam. 26 Si quis mihi ministrat, me sequatur, et ubi sum ego, illic et minister meus erit. Si quis mihi ministraverit, honorificabit eum Pater meus.27 Nunc anima mea turbata est. Et quid dicam? Pater, salvifica me ex hac hora. Sed propterea veni in horam hanc: 28 Pater, clarifica nomen tuum. Venit ergo vox de cælo: Et clarificavi, et iterum clarificabo. 29 Turba ergo, quæ stabat, et audierat, dicebat tonitruum esse factum. Alii dicebant: Angelus ei locutus est. 30 Respondit Jesus, et dixit: Non propter me hæc vox venit, sed propter vos. 31 Nunc judicium est mundi: nunc princeps hujus mundi ejicietur foras. 32 Et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. 33 (Hoc autem dicebat, significans qua morte esset moriturus.)34 Respondit ei turba: Nos audivimus ex lege, quia Christus manet in æternum: et quomodo tu dicis: Oportet exaltari Filium hominis? quis est iste Filius hominis? 35 Dixit ergo eis Jesus: Adhuc modicum, lumen in vobis est. Ambulate dum lucem habetis, ut non vos tenebræ comprehendant; et qui ambulat in tenebris, nescit quo vadat. 36 Dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem, ut filii lucis sitis. Hæc locutus est Jesus, et abiit et abscondit se ab eis.

[10] But the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also:[11] Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away, and believed in Jesus. [12] And on the next day, a great multitude that was to come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, [13] Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. [14] And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written: [15] Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass' s colt.[16] These things his disciples did not know at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him. [17] The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with him, when he called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead. [18] For which reason also the people came to meet him, because they heard that he had done this miracle. [19] The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? behold, the whole world is gone after him. [20] Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day.[21] These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. [22] Philip cometh, and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. [23] But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. [24] Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, [25] Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.[26] If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour. [27] Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. [28] Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. [29] The multitude therefore that stood and heard, said that it thundered. Others said: An angel spoke to him. [30] Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.[31] Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. [32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. [33] (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) [34] The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? [35] Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth.[36] Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke; and he went away, and hid himself from them.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: When they saw Lazarus who had been raised from the dead, and knew that the miracle which the Lord had worked was so great, spread about by so many witnesses, and so plain and manifest that it could neither be concealed nor denied, they invented an expedient; and see here what it was--"But the chief Priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death." What stupidity of thought, what blindness of cruelty is here! If the Lord Christ had raised up again a man who had died a natural death, could He not also raise up one that had died by violence? Would killing Lazarus paralyse the Lord? But if ye consider that there is a difference between a man dead of disease, and a man killed, behold, the Lord hath raised up both for He first raised up Lazarus, who had died a natural death, and then Himself, after a violent one.

R. O Lord, I go mourning all the day long, for my soul is filled with a loathsome disease
* They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.
V. My friends and my neighbours draw near, and stand over against me; and they that are nearest to me stand afar off.
R. They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.

Reading 2: On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel That cometh in the Name of the Lord!" Palm branches are glorious boughs which tell of victory; yea, the Lord was now ready by His Own Death to trample down death, and to carry the victorious banner of His Cross in triumph over the devil, the prince of death. The cry with which He was greeted, namely "Hosanna," hath not, as we are assured by some who are acquainted with the Hebrew language, any meaning in particular, but is a shout after the manner of interjections, as they are called, just as in Latin when we lament we say "Heu," or when we are pleased, "Vah."

R. O Lord, hide not thy face from thy servant
* For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver me, because of mine enemies.

R. For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.

Reading 3: These were the shouts of applause with which the crowd greeted Him, "Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel That cometh in the Name of the Lord!" What inward torture must the jealousy of the Jewish leaders have caused them, when they heard that great multitude hailing Christ as their King! But, for the Lord, what was it to be King of Israel? To the Eternal King what mattered it to become a King of men? And Christ is not King of Israel in the sense of monarchs who exact tribute, or arm hosts with steel to conquer enemies that are seen. But King of Israel He is, as He Who is Lord of our intellect, a Ruler Whose power shall never wane, and Who openeth a Kingdom in heaven to all such as centre in Him their faith, their hope, and their love.

R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me,
* And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them.
R. And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
Gloria omittitur
R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, and my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.