Saturday, 7 January 2017

Matins readings for the First Sunday after Epiphany


Nocturn I1 Corinthians I: 1-3; 4-9; 10-11; 12-13

Reading 1: Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes a brother,
 To the church of God that is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in every place of theirs and ours. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

R. (Hodie in jordane) This day, when the Lord was baptized in Jordan, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove, and abode upon Him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 2: I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus, That in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; As the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, So that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. (In columbae) The Holy Ghost appeared in a bodily shape like a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard:* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The heavens were opened unto him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 3:  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. For it hath been signified unto me, my brethren, of you, by them that are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

R. (Reges Tharsis) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents.* The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.
V. All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense.
R. The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.

Reading 4: Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul then crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

R. (Dies sanctificatus) This day which is breaking is holy; O come, ye Gentiles, and worship the Lord.* For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Come let us adore him for he himself is our Lord God
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Glory be...
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.

Nocturn IISermon 36 of St Leo

Reading 5: It is meet and right, dearly beloved brethren, yea, it is our bounden duty and godly service, to rejoice with full hearts upon those days which more especially set forth before us the workings of God's mercy; and to have in honourable memory those things that were done for our salvation. Hereto are we called by the seasons of the year which continually return, and notably by this present, which, after but a short time hath passed since that day whereon the Coeternal Son of God was born of a Virgin, bringeth now the Feast of the Epiphany, hallowed by the Manifestation of the Lord.

R. Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come; * And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
V. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.
R. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Reading 6: In this said Manifestation the good Providence of God hath appointed a strong bulwark to our faith. For now, while in solemn worship we call to mind how the childhood of the Saviour was adored in its first infancy, we receive from the original Scriptures the doctrine that Christ was born with the very nature of man.

R. (Omnes de Saba) All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.* Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents, the kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts.
R. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 7: For this is that which maketh of sinners saints, even to believe that in one and the same our Lord Jesus Christ there is very Godhead and very Manhood—very Godhead, as touching Which, He, being in the form of God, is equal to the Father from everlasting to everlasting — and very Manhood, wherein He, taking upon Him the form of a servant, hath in these latter days been born Man.

R. (Magi veniunt) There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, asking and saying: Where is He That is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east;
* And are come to worship the Lord.
V. We have seen His star in the east.
R. And are come to worship the Lord.

Reading 8: For the strengthening of this our faith, which we profess in the face of every false doctrine, the mercy of God hath made it to come to pass that one of those peoples who dwell in the uttermost parts of the East, and excel in the skill of reading the stars, should see the sign of the birth of that Child Who was to reign over all Israel. There appeared to the eyes of wise men a new star of such passing beauty, as wrought in the minds of all that saw it the persuasion that the event, which is announced, was of an importance not to be neglected.

R (Interrogabat Magos Herodes) Herod inquired of the wise men: What sign have you concerning him that is born king?We have seen a star shning, the brightness whereof enlightens the world. * And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: There came wise men from the east, seeking the face of the Lord and saying
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: Glory be...
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord

Nocturn III: Homily of St Ambrose on St Luke 2:63-65 

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Luke - When Jesus was twelve years old they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the Feast, and when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem. And so on.

We read that when He was twelve years old the Lord began to dispute. The number of His years was the same as the number of the Apostles whom He afterwards sent forth to preach the Faith. He Who, as touching His Manhood, was filled with wisdom and grace from God, was not careless of the parents of the same Manhood, and, after three days, was pleased to be found in the Temple : thereby foreshadowing that, after the three days of His victorious Passion, He That had been reckoned with the dead, would present Himself, living, to our faith, in His heavenly Kingship and Divine Majesty.

R. (Stella quam viderant) The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till they came where the young Child was.* And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
V. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.
R. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Reading 10: How is it that ye sought Me? Christ hath two Generations; one from His Father, another from His Mother. That from His Father is His Eternal Generation as God the Son; that from His Mother is that whereby He came to work for us and minister to us. Those acts, therefore, of His, which are above nature, beyond His age, and different to His custom, proceeded not from the strength of His Manhood, but from the power of His Godhead.

R. (Videntes stellam) When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him; * and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
V. The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
R. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.

Reading 11: On another occasion His Mother moveth Him to work a miracle; here He answereth her, because she treateth that which was of the Godhead, as though it had been of the Manhood. On this occasion it is said that He was twelve years old, but on the other He had already disciples. His mother had seen His wonders on the earlier occasion, and had learnt from her Son to call on the mightier nature for a work of power.

R: (Venit lumen tuum)  Thy light is come O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. *And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising
V: Thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side
R: And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising

Reading 12: He came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them. No wonder that the great Teacher should practise. And shall we marvel how He Who was subject to His Mother, was about His Father's business? His subjection to His Mother proceeded, not from weakness, but from dutiful affection. Nevertheless, the false serpent lifteth its head from its cruel lair, and spitteth poison from its venomous breast. The heretics say that, as the Son was sent by the Father, therefore the Father is greater than the Son, and, if the Father be greater than the Son, there is that, than which the Son is less; yea, that He Who is sent, hath of necessity, need of some strengthening from outside Himself. He was subject to His Mother? Was He less than she? God forbid!

R (Hic est dies praeclarus)  This is the wondrous day on which the Saviour of the world was manifested, he whom Prophets foretold and Angels announced: * Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V This is the sanctified day which has shone upon us, come ye peoples and the adore the Lord
R Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V: Glory be...
R: Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts

GospelSt Luke 2: 42-52

And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Matins readings for the feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6)

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

Nocturn I: Isaiah 55:1-4; 60:1-3; 4-6; 61:10-11, 62:1

Reading 1: All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which doth not satisfy you? Hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and your soul shall be delighted in fatness. Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David. Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the Gentiles.

R. (Hodie in Jordane) This day, when the Lord was baptized in Jordan, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove, and abode upon Him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 2: Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.

R. (In columbae) The Holy Ghost appeared in a bodily shape like a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard:
* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The heavens were opened unto him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 3:  Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.

R. (Reges Tarsis) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents. * The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.
V. All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense.
R. The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.

Reading 4: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation: and with the robe of justice he hath covered me, as a bridegroom decked with a crown, and as a bride adorned with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth her seed to shoot forth: so shall the Lord God make justice to spring forth, and praise before all the nations. For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem, I will not rest till her just one come forth as brightness, and her saviour be lighted as a lamp.

R. (Dies sanctificatus) This day which is breaking is holy; O come, ye Gentiles, and worship the Lord.* For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Come let us adore him for he himself is our Lord God
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Glory be...
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.

Nocturn II (Sermon 32 of St Leo)

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, rejoice in the Lord; again I say, rejoice. But a few days are past since the solemnity of Christ's Birth, and now the glorious light of His Manifestation is breaking upon us. On that day the Virgin brought Him forth, and on this the world knew Him. The Word made Flesh was pleased to reveal Himself by degrees to those for whom He had come. When Jesus was born He was manifested indeed to the believing, but hidden from His enemies.

R. (Illuminare) Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come;* And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
V. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.
R. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Reading 6: Already indeed the heavens declared the glory of God, and their sound went out into all lands, when the Herald Angels appeared to tell to the shepherds the glad tidings of a Saviour's Birth; and now the guiding star leadeth the wise men to worship Him, that from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, the Birth of the true King may be known abroad; that through those wise men the kingdoms of the east might learn the great truth, and the Roman empire remain no more in darkness.

R. (Omnes de Saba) All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.* Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents, the kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts.
R. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 7: The very cruelty of Herod, when he strove to crush at His birth this King Whom he alone feared, was made a blind means to carry out this dispensation of mercy. While the tyrant with horrid guilt sought to slay the little Child he did not know, amid an indiscriminate slaughter of innocents, his infamous act served to spread wider abroad the heaven-told news of the Birth of the Lord. Thus were these glad tidings loudly proclaimed, both by the novelty of their story, and the iniquity of their enemies. Then was the Saviour borne into Egypt, that nation, of a long time hardened in idolatry, might by the mysterious virtue which went out of Him, even when His presence was unknown, be prepared for the saving light so soon to dawn on them, and might receive the Truth as a wanderer even before they had banished falsehood.

R. (Magi veniunt) There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, asking and saying: Where is He That is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east;* And are come to worship the Lord.
V. We have seen His star in the east.
R. And are come to worship the Lord.

Reading 8: Dearly beloved brethren, we recognize in the wise men who came to worship Christ, the first-fruits of that dispensation to the Gentiles wherein we also are called and enlightened. Let us then keep this Feast with grateful hearts, in thanksgiving for our blessed hope, whereof it doth commemorate the dawn. From that worship paid to the new-born Christ is to be dated the entry of us Gentiles upon our heirship of God and co-heirship with Christ. Since that joyful day the Scriptures which testify of Christ have lain open for us as well as for the Jews. Yea, their blindness rejected that Truth, Which, since that day, hath shed Its bright beams upon all nations. Let all observance, then, be paid to this most sacred day, whereon the Author of our salvation was made manifest, and as the wise men fell down and worshipped Him in the manger, so let us fall down and worship Him enthroned Almighty in heaven. As they also opened their treasures and presented unto Him mystic and symbolic gifts, so let us strive to open our hearts to Him, and offer Him from thence some worthy offering.

R (Interrogabat Magos Herodes) Herod inquired of the wise men: What sign have you concerning him that is born king?We have seen a star shining, the brightness whereof enlightens the world. * And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: There came wise men from the east, seeking the face of the Lord and saying
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: Glory be...
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord

Nocturn III: Homily of St Gregory (10 on the Gospels)

Reading 9: Matt 2:1-12: When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? And so on.

Dearly beloved brethren, hear ye from the Gospel lesson how, when the King of heaven was born, the king of earth was troubled? The heights of heaven are opened and the depths of earth are stirred. Let us now consider the question, why, when the Redeemer was born, an angel brought the news to the shepherds of Judea, but a star led the wise men of the East to worship Him.

R. The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till they came where the young Child was.* And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
V. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.
R. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Reading 10: It seemeth as if the Jews as reasonable creatures received a revelation from a reasonable being, that is, an angel, but the Gentiles without, being as brutes, are roused not by a voice, but by a sign, that is, a star. Hence Paul hath it: a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. So the prophesying, that is, of the angel was given to them that believed, and the sign to them that believed not.

R. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.* And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him; * and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
V. The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
R. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.

Reading 11: Thus also we remark that afterwards the Redeemer was preached among the Gentiles not by Himself, but by His Apostles, even as, when a little Child, He is shown to them, not by the voice of angels, but merely by the vision of a star. When He Himself had begun to speak He was made known to us by speakers, but when He lay silent in the manger, by that silent testimony in heaven. But whether we consider the signs which accompanied His birth or His death, this thing is wonderful, namely, the hardness of heart of the Jews, who would not believe in Him either for prophesying or for miracles.

R: (Venit lumen tuum)  Thy light is come O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. *And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising
V: Thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side
R: And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising

Reading 12: All things which He had made, bore witness that their Maker was come. Let me reckon them after the manner of men. The heavens knew that He was God, and sent a star to shine over where He lay. The sea knew it, and bore Him up when He walked upon it. The earth knew it, and quaked when He died. The sun knew it, and was darkened. The rocks and walls knew it, and rent at the hour of His death. Hell knew it, and gave up the dead that were in it. And yet up to this very hour the hearts of the unbelieving Jews will not acknowledge that He to Whom all nature testified is their God, and, being more hardened than the rocks, refuse to be rent by repentance.

R (Hic est dies praeclarus)  This is the wondrous day on which the Saviour of the world was manifested, he whom Prophets foretold and Angels announced: * Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V This is the sanctified day which has shone upon us, come ye peoples and the adore the Lord
R Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V: Glory be...
R: Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts

Gospel: St Matthew 2: 1-12

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.  But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.  Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them;  And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him.  Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.  And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.