Saturday, 22 October 2016

Matins readings for the fourth Sunday of October

Nocturn I: 2 Maccabees I

Reading 1: To the brethren the Jews that are I throughout Egypt, the brethren, the Jews that are in Jerusalem, and in the land of Judea, send health, and good peace. May God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant that he made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants: And give you all a heart to worship him, and to do his will with a great heart, and a willing mind. May he open your heart in his law, and in his commandments, and send you peace.  May he hear your prayers, and be reconciled unto you, and never forsake you in the evil time.  And now here we are praying for you.

R. The Lord open your hearts in His law and commandments, and send peace in your days.
* May He grant you salvation and redeem you out of all evil.
V. The Lord hear your prayers, and be at one with you, and never forsake you in the time of trouble.
R. May He grant you salvation and redeem you out of all evil.

Reading 2: Therefore whereas we purpose to keep the purification of the temple on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, we thought it necessary to signify it to you: that you also may keep the day of Scenopegia, and the day of the fire, that was given when Nehemias offered sacrifice, after the temple and the altar was built.

R. The Lord hear your prayers, and be at one with you, and never forsake you in the time of trouble
* Even He, the Lord our God.
V. Give you all an heart to serve Him, and to do His will.
R. Even He, the Lord our God.

Reading 3: For when our fathers were led in Persia, the priests that then were worshippers of God took privately the fire from the altar, and hid it in a valley where there was a deep pit without water, and there they kept it safe,

R. Our enemies are gathered together, and make their boast of their own strength. O Lord, break their power, and scatter them
* That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only Thou, O our God!
V. Scatter them in thy strength, and destroy them, O Lord our Shield
R. That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only Thou, O our God

Reading 4: But when many years had passed, and it pleased God that Nehemias should be sent by the king of Persia, he sent some of the posterity of those priests that had hid it, to seek for the fire: and as they told us, they found no fire, but thick water. Then he bade them draw it up, and bring it to him: and the priest Nehemias commanded the sacrifices that were laid on, to be sprinkled with the same water, both the wood, and the things that were laid upon it. And when this was done, and the time came that the sun shone out, which before was in a cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that all wondered.

R. Judas said unto Simon his brother: Choose thee out men, and go, and deliver thy brethren that are in Galilee and I, and Jonathan thy brother, will go into the country of Galaad.* As the Will is in heaven, so let it be.
V. Arm yourselves, ye valiant men, and be in readiness for it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the calamities of our people, and our sanctuary.
R. As the Will is in heaven, so let it be.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As the Will is in heaven, so let it be.

Nocturn II: St John Chrysostom on Psalm 43

Reading 5: We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what thou hast done in their time of old.”  The Prophet speaks thus in the Psalm, yet not in his own person, but in the person of the Maccabees, relating and foretelling what events were to happen at the time.  For such are the Prophets: they outrun all times, past, present, and future.  

R. Be ye not afraid of the assault of the enemy remember how our fathers were delivered.
* Now, therefore, let us cry unto heaven, and our God will have mercy upon us.
V.Remember His marvellous works that He hath done unto Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea.
R. Now, therefore, let us cry unto heaven, and our God will have mercy upon us.

Reading 6: But in order that our discussion of the subject may be more intelligible, we must first state who were these Maccabees, and what they suffered, and what they did.  For when Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes, had invaded Judaea, and laid everything waste, and had forced many who then dwelt there to fall away from the laws of their fathers, the Maccabees remained unsullied by these temptations.  And when a serious war broke out, and they could do nothing to help themselves, they hid themselves, as also in aftertimes the Apostles did.  For they did not always rush openly into the midst of dangers, but sometimes fled, withdrawing thus to hide.  

R. The heathen are assembled together to fight against us, and we know not what we should do.
* Our eyes look unto thee, O Lord our God, that we should not perish.
V. What things they imagine against us, Thou knowest. How shall we be able to stand against them, except Thou be our help
R. Our eyes look unto thee, O Lord our God, that we should not perish.

Reading 7: However, after one such short respite, they were like eager animals leaping out of their caves and coming forth from their lairs, and they thereupon resolved for the future, not to win safety for themselves only, but for others, whomsoever they could.  And going through all that city and country, they gathered together as many as they found who were still healthy and stedfast; and even many who were weak, and had been corrupted, they persuaded to return to the Law of their fathers.

R. thine, O Lord, is the power, thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted above all the heathen.
* Give peace in our time, O Lord.
V. O Lord God, Creator of all things, Who art fearful and strong, righteous and merciful.
R. Give peace in our time, O Lord.

Reading 8: For they told them that God is merciful and gracious, and that he has never deprived men of that salvation which is obtained by penitence.  And, so saying, they raised a levy of the most valiant men.  For they fought not for their wives, their children and servants, or because of the ruin and captivity of their fatherland, but for the Law, and the religion of their fathers.  Now their leader was God.  Therefore, when they arrayed their battle line, and put their lives in jeopardy, they overthrew their adversaries because they trusted not in arms, but considered that the just cause of their war was in itself a good armour.  Moreover, when they went forth to the conflict, they uttered no bombast, nor sang battle songs, as some do; nor did they call together musicians, as is done in other armies; but they invoked the help of the Most High God, that he might be with them, and aid them, and strengthen their hand, because that war which they waged was for his glory.

R. They decked the fore-front of the Temple with crowns of gold, and dedicated the Altar unto the Lord.
* And there was very great gladness among the people.
V. They praised the Lord with Psalms and thanksgiving.
R. And there was very great gladness among the people.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. And there was very great gladness among the people.

Matins readings for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Nocturn III: Homily by St. Jerome

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.  At that time: While Jesus spake these things unto the multitudes, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying Lord, my daughter is even now dead. And so on.

The eighth miracle took place upon the occasion when a certain ruler, desiring not to be kept out of the mystery of the true circumcision, besought Christ to recall his daughter to life. But a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood, thrust herself in, and her cure occupieth the eighth place, so that the resurrection of the ruler's daughter is postponed and made the ninth in enumeration even as it is written in the Psalms: "Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God."  And again: "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in and so all Israel shall be saved."

R. The sun shone upon the shields of gold, and the mountains glistered therewith;
* And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.
V. For the army was very great and mighty then Judas and his host drew near and entered into battle.
R. And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.

Reading 10: And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood, twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment." In the Gospel according to Luke it is written that the ruler's daughter was about twelve years of age. Note therefore that this woman, who typifies the Gentiles, had been diseased for the same time that the Jewish nation, typified by the ruler's daughter, had been living in faith. We see not clearly the hideousness of evil, until we compare it with good.

R. They praised the Lord with psalms and thanksgiving
* Who had done so great things in Israel, and given them the victory the Lord Almighty.
V. They decked the fore-front of the Temple with crowns of gold, and dedicated the Altar unto the Lord.
R. Who had done so great things for Israel, and given them the victory the Lord Almighty.

Reading 11: This woman with the issue of blood came not to the Lord in an house or in a city, for such as she were by the Law banished out of cities, but in the way, as He walked so that the Lord healed one, even while He was on the road to heal another. Whence also the Apostles said: "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you but, seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."

R. This is a lover of the brethren, and of the people of Israel
* This is one who prayeth much for the people, and for all the Holy City, Jerusalem.
V. There appeared a man most gentle toward all his people.
R. This is one who prayeth much for the people, and for all the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Reading 12: na

R. One Seraph cried unto another
* Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts the whole earth is full of His glory.
V. There are Three That bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these Three are One.
R. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The whole earth is full of His glory.

Gospel: St Matthew 9: 18-26

As he was speaking these things unto them, behold a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.  And Jesus rising up followed him, with his disciples. And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed.  But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.  And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making a rout,  He said: Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Matins readings for the feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Class II

Nocturn I: Ezekiel 1:1-12 (Common of Evangelists)

Reading 1:  Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, when I was in the midst of the captives by the river Chobar, the heavens were opened, and I saw the visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, the same was the fifth year of the captivity of king Joachin, The word of the Lord came to Ezechiel the priest the son of Buzi in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chobar: and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.

R. Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves, said the Lord:
* Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.
V. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light
R. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.

Reading 2: And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north: and a great cloud, and a fire infolding it, and brightness was about it: and out of the midst thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the resemblance of amber. And in the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures: and this was their appearance: there was the likeness of a man in them. Every one had four faces, and every one four wings. Their feet were straight feet, and the sole of their foot was like the sole of a calf's foot, and they sparkled like the appearance of glowing brass.

R. Take up my yoke upon you, said the Lord, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart
* For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
V. And you shall find rest to your souls.
R. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Reading 3: And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides: and they had faces, and wings on the four sides, And the wings of one were joined to the wings of another. They turned not when they went: but every one went straight forward. And as for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four.

R. But when they shall deliver you up to the judges, take no thought how or what to speak:
* for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak:
V. For it is not you that speak, but the spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.
R. For it shall be given you in that hour what to speak.

Reading 4: And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies: And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went.


Nocturn II  - From the Book on Ecclesiastical Writers of St Jerome

Reading 5: Luke was a physician of Antioch, who, as appeareth from his writings, knew the Greek language. He was a follower of the Apostle Paul, and his fellow traveller in all his wanderings. He wrote a Gospel, whereof the same Paul saith We have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches. Of him, he writeth unto the Colossians, the beloved physician, greeteth you. And again, unto Timothy: Only Luke is with me.

R. I saw men standing together, clad in shining raiment, and the Angel of the Lord spoke unto me, saying:
* These men are holy, for they are the friends of God.
V. I saw a strong Angel of God fly into the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice:
R. These men are holy, for they are the friends of God.

Reading 6: He also published another excellent book entitled The Acts of the Apostles, wherein the history is brought down to Paul's two years sojourn at Rome, that is to say, until the fourth year of Nero, from which we gather that it was at Rome that the said book was composed. The silence of Luke is one of the reasons why we reckon among Apocryphal books The Acts of Paul and Thecla, and the whole story about the baptism of Leo. For why should the fellow traveller of the Apostle, who knew other things, be ignorant only of this?

R. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake;
* Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
V. When men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.
R. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Reading 7: At the same time there is against these documents the statement of Tertullian, almost a contemporary writer, that the Apostle John convicted a certain Priest in Asia, who was a great admirer of the Apostle Paul, of having written them, and that the said Priest owned that he had been induced to compose them through his admiration for Paul, and that he was deposed in consequence. There are some persons who suspect that when Paul in his Epistles useth the phrase: "According to my Gospel" he meaneth the Gospel written by Luke.

R. These are they which have conquered, and are become the friends of God, who recked not of the commandments of princes, and earned the everlasting reward.
* And now have they crowns on their heads, and palms in their hands.
V. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
R. And now have they crowns on their heads, and palms in their hands.

Reading 8: However, Luke learned his Gospel not from the Apostle Paul only, who had not companied with the Lord in the flesh, but also from other Apostles, as himself declareth at the beginning of his work, where he saith: “They delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.”  According to what he had heard, therefore, did he write his Gospel. As to the Acts of the Apostles, he composed them from his own personal knowledge. He was never married. He lived eighty-four years. He is buried at Constantinople, whither his bones were brought from Achaia in the twentieth year of Constantine, together with the relics of the Apostle Andrew.

Nocturn III: Homily of St Greogry (Common of Evangelists)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Luke: At that time, the Lord appointed other seventy-two also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. And so on.

Dearly beloved brethren, our Lord and Saviour doth sometimes admonish us by words, and sometimes by works. Yea, His very works do themselves teach us for that which He doth silently His example still moveth us to copy. Behold how He sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two since there are two commandments to love, that is, a commandment to love God, and a commandment to love our neighbour and where there are not two, the one, being alone, hath not whereon to do the Lord's commandment.

R. These are they who while yet they lived in the flesh, planted the Church in their own blood;
* They drank of the Lord's cup, and became the friends of God.
V. Their sound is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
R. They drank of the Lord's cup, and became the friends of God.

Reading 10: And no man can properly be said to love himself: for love tendeth outward toward our neighbour, if it be the love whereto the Gospel doth oblige us. Behold, the Lord sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two and thus doing, He doth silently teach us that whosoever loveth not his neighbour, such a one it behoveth not to take upon him the office of a preacher.

R. These men are saints, whom the Lord hath chosen in love unfeigned, and hath given them glory everlasting. These are they
* By the light of whose teaching the Church is glorified, even as the moon is glorified by the light of the sun.
V. The saints through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness.
R. By the light of whose teaching the Church is glorified, even as the moon is glorified by the light of the sun.

Reading 11: Well also is it said that He sent them before His face into every city and place whither He Himself would come. The Lord followeth His preachers first cometh preaching, and then the Lord Himself cometh to the house of our mind, whither the word of exhortation hath come before and so cometh the truth into our mind.

Reading 12: Therefore, to preachers saith Isaiah: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight an highway for our God.". And again the Psalmist saith: "Spread a path before him that rideth upon the West."The Lord rideth upon the West above that from which in death He veiled His glory, hath He royally exalted that glory that excelleth, even the glory of His rising again. He rideth upon the West, Who, being risen again from the dead, is throned high above the death to which He bowed. Before Him, therefore, That rideth upon the West, we spread a path, when we set forth His glory before the eyes of your mind, to the end that He Himself may come after, and Himself enlighten the same your minds by His presence and His love.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9