Saturday, 19 November 2016

Matins readings for the last Sunday after Pentecost (Nocturn III and Gospel)

Nocturn III: Homily of St Jerome

Reading 9: At that time Jesus said unto his disciples: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the Holy Place, (whoso readeth, let him understand,) And so on.

This injunction to whoso readeth, to understand, showeth that there is here something mysterious. In Daniel we read as followeth And in the midst of the week the sacrifice and the oblations shall be taken away and in the temple there shall be the abomination of desolation, even until the consummation of the time and a consummation shall be given to the desolation.

R. Blessed is the people* Whom the Lord of hosts hath blessed, saying O Israel thou art the work of Mine own hands, thou art Mine own inheritance.
V. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance.
R. Whom the Lord of hosts hath blessed, saying O Israel thou art the work of Mine own hands, thou art Mine own inheritance.

Reading 10: It is of this same thing that the Apostle speaketh, when he saith that a man of iniquity, even an adversary, shall be exalted against whatsoever is called God, or is worshipped so that he shall even dare to stand in the temple of God, and to show himself as God whose coming shall, according to the working of Satan, destroy and banish away from God all who shall receive him.

R. The Lord hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that
* They have not hurt me forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me.
V. God hath sent forth His mercy and His truth, (and delivered) my soul from among the lions' whelps.
R. They have not hurt me forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me.

Reading 11: This prophecy may be understood either (first) simply of Antichrist, (secondly) of the statue of Caesar, which Pilate set up in the Temple, or (thirdly) of the statue of Hadrian on horse-back, which hath stood, even until our own day, upon the site of the Holy of Holies. In the Scriptures of the Old Testament "abomination" is a word very often used for an idol, and the farther title "of desolation" is added to identify an idol erected upon the site of the desolate and ruined temple.

R. I will show thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to * Do justice and judgment, and to walk humbly with thy God.
V. Trust in the Lord, and do good, and dwell in the land.
R. Do justice and judgment, and walk humbly with thy God.

Reading 12: But we may also understand by the abomination of desolation, any bad doctrine and when we see such a thing get a standing in the Holy Place, that is, in the Church, and showing itself that it is God, that is, pretending that it is His revealed truth, then will be the time when it will be our duty to flee from Judea into the mountains, that is to say, to leave the letter, which passeth away, and all guise of Jewish superstition, and to hie us unto the everlasting hills, from whence God doth right wondrously cause His light to shine forth. Then will it be our duty to find ourselves under a roof and in an house, wherethrough the fiery darts of the wicked one can never pierce to smite us, and not to come down to take anything out of the house of our old conversation, or to have regard unto those things which are behind but rather to sow in the field of the spiritual Scriptures, that we may reap thereof a bountiful harvest neither to have two coats, that thing forbidden to Apostles.

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 24:15-35

When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.

Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house: And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat.

And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.

 And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened.

Then if any man shall say to you: Lo here is Christ, or there, do not believe him. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.

Behold I have told it to you, beforehand.  If therefore they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert, go ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west: so shall the coming of the Son of man be. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And he shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.

And from the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

Matins readings for the fifth Sunday of November

The readings for Nocturns I&II arranged as for the 1963 Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I: Micah 1:1-9

Reading 1: The word of the Lord that came to Micheas the Morasthite, in the days of Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda: which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Hear, all ye people: and let the earth give ear, and all that is therein: and let the Lord God be a witness to you, the Lord from his holy temple.

R. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the whole earth was full of His glory;
* And His train filled the temple.
V. Above it stood the Seraphim each one had six wings.
R. And His train filled the temple.

Reading 2: For behold the Lord will come forth out of his place: and he will come down, and will tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be melted under him: and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as waters that run down a steep place. For the wickedness of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel.

R. Look down, O Lord, from the dwelling-place of thine holiness, and take thought for us. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear.* Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou That leadest Joseph like a flock.
R. Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.

Reading 3: What is the wickedness of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Juda? are they not Jerusalem.  And I will make Samaria as a heap of stones in the field when a vineyard is planted: and I will bring down the stones thereof into the valley, and will lay her foundations bare.

R. Consider, O Lord, how that the city sitteth solitary that was full of riches; how is she become as a widow, she that was great among the nations;* She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.
V. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks.
R. She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.

Reading 4:  And all her graven things shall be cut in pieces, and all her wages shall be burnt with fire, and I will bring to destruction all her idols: for they were gathered together of the hire of a harlot, and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return. Therefore will I lament and howl: I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and a mourning like the ostriches. Because her wound is desperate, because it is come even to Juda, it hath touched the gate of my people even to Jerusalem.

R. He hath redeemed His people, and ransomed them therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil* And they shall hunger no more.
V. And their soul shall be as a watered garden.
R. And they shall hunger no more.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St Basil the Great on Psalm 33

Reading 5: Whenever the desire to sin cometh over thee, I would that thou couldest think of the awful and overwhelming judgment-seat of Christ. There the Judge shall sit upon a throne high and lifted up. Every creature shall stand before Him, quaking because of the glory of His presence. There are we to be led up, one by one, to give account for those things which we have done in life.

R. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem;* Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.
V. They shall proclaim My might unto the nations, and declare My glory unto the Gentiles.
R. Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.

Reading 6: Presently there will be found, by the sides of those who have in life wrought much evil, dreadful and hideous angels with faces of fire, and burning breath, appointed thereto, and showing their evil will, in appearance like the night, in their despair and hatred of mankind.

R. Hedge us about with thy wall that cannot be broken down, O Lord, and shield us continually with the arms of thy might.* O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.
V. Deliver us also according to thy marvellous works, and give glory to thy Name.
R. O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.

Reading 7: Think again of the bottomless pit, the impenetrable darkness, the lightless fire, burning, but not glowing the poisonous mass of worms, preying upon the flesh, ever feeding, and never filled, causing by their gnawing unbearable agony lastly, the greatest punishment of all, shame and confusion for ever. Have a dread of these things, and let that dread correct thee, and be as a curb to thy mind to hold it in from the hankering after sin.

R. We looked for peace, and it came not we asked for good, and behold trouble. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness.* Forget us not for ever.
V. O Lord (our God) we have sinned, we have done ungodly, we have dealt unrighteously in all thine ordinances.
R. Forget us not for ever.

Reading 8: This fear of the Lord the Prophet hath promised to teach. But he hath not promised to teach it to all, but only to such as will hear him not to such as have fallen far away, but to such as run to him, hungry for salvation, not to such as have no part in the promises, but to such as by baptism are born children of adoption, set at peace and oneness with the Word. Come, ye children, saith he, that is to say, Draw nigh unto me by good works, all ye who by the new birth have become the worthy children of light, hearken unto me, all ye who have the ears of your heart opened, I will teach you the fear of the Lord, even the fear of that Being of Whom we have just been speaking.

R. I am straitened on every side, and know not what to choose.
* It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
V. For if I do this thing, it is death unto me and if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands.
R. It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Feast of St Gertrude the Great (November 17)

The readings (and psalms of) Matins for the feast of St Gertrude depend on whether the feast is Class III or II - for Oblates attached to women's monasteries it will be Class II in the 1963 rubrics, and therefore have three Nocturns.

If it is Class III, are as follows:

(Nocturn I)

Reading 1 (Song of songs 2:1-5): I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.  As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.  He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.

Reading 2 (Songs 8:6-7): Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.  Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

Reading 3: Born at Eisleben in Saxony, Gertrude offered her virginity and herself to Jesus Christ in the Benedictine monastery of Rossdorf, when she was five. She had St. Mechtilde for her teacher, and under this guidance attained the highest gifts of contemplation. She burned with such love for the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Passion of the Lord that when she thought of them she shed tears in profusion. She wrote many things to foster devotion, and was known for the gift of divine revelation and of prophecy. Finally, consumed more by her burning love of God than by sickness, she departed this life, famous for miracles both before and after her death.

(Nocturn II)

Chapter: Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.

If the feast is Class II


Nocturn I: Songs 2:1-5; 8:1-7

(Psalms from the common of virgins: 8, 18, 23, 44, 45, 47)

Reading 1:  I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.  As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.  He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.

Reading 2 (Songs 8:1-2): Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man may despise me? I will take hold of thee, and bring thee Into my mother' s house: there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine and new wine of my pomegranates.

Reading 3: His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor awake my love till she please.  Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?

Reading 4: Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.  Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

Nocturn II

(Psalms: 84, 86, 95, 96, 97, 98)

Reading 5-8: On the life of the saint, not online (though the one's for Roman Office with older rubrics on Divinum Officium for November 16 cover similar ground)

Nocturn III: St Augustine Sermon 93 on the words of the Lord: Not available online

(Canticles from the Common, viz Ecclesiaticus 39:17-21; Isaiah 61:10-11, 62:1-3; Isaiah 62:4-7)

Gospel: St Matthew 25:1-13