Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sunday after the Ascension

The Matins readings for the Sunday after Ascension are as follows:


Nocturn I (I John 1: 1-3;4-7;8-10: 2: 1-6)

Reading 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life: For the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us: That which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

R. Being seen of them forty days after that He had suffered, and speaking of the kingdom of God Alleluia.
* And while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Alleluia.
V. And, eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father.
R. And while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Alleluia.

Reading 2:  And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full. And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

R. The Lord hath set His beauty above the stars;
* His loveliness is in the clouds of heaven, and His Name endureth for ever. Alleluia.
V. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His circuit unto the ends of it.
R. His loveliness is in the clouds of heaven, and His Name endureth for ever. Alleluia.

Reading 3: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

R. Be Thou exalted, O Lord Alleluia
* In thine Own strength Alleluia.
V. O God, Thou hast set thy glory

Reading 4:  My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.  And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments.  He who saith that he knoweth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected; and by this we know that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.

Nocturn II (St Augustine)

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, our Saviour is gone up from us into heaven, but let us not be troubled on earth. Let only our heart be there with Him, and we shall have peace here. Let us in heart thither ascend with Christ in the mean while, and when that glad day which He hath promised cometh, our body will follow. But we must know, my brethren, that there are some things that cannot ascend with Christ pride cannot, nor covetousness, nor brutishness no one of our diseases can ascend thither where our Healer is. And, therefore, if we would follow our Healer, we must needs leave our diseases and sins behind us.

R. My time is come that I should return unto Him That sent Me, saith the Lord. Be not sorrowful, neither let your heart be troubled.
* I pray the Father for you, that He may keep you. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you where I am ascended, I will send Him unto you.
R. I pray the Father for you, that He may keep you. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 6: All such things tie us down, as it were, with bands, and hamper us in the meshes of a net of sins but, with God's help, we will say with the Psalmist "Let us break their bands asunder,", that we may be able honestly to say to the Lord " Thou hast loosed my bonds I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving," The Resurrection of the Lord is our hope the Ascension of the Lord is our glorification.

R. Let not your heart be troubled I go unto the Father, and when I am taken from you, I will send unto you Alleluia
* The Spirit of truth and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia.
V. I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter.
R. The Spirit of truth and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia.

Reading 7: To-day we keep the solemn holiday of the Ascension. If, therefore, our keeping of this holiday is to be a right, faithful, earnest, holy, godly keeping, we must in mind likewise ascend, and lift up our hearts unto the Lord. When we ascend we must not be high-minded, nor flatter ourselves with our good works, as though they were our own. We must lift up our hearts unto the Lord. When man's heart is lifted up, but not unto the Lord, such lifting-up is pride to lift up the heart unto the Lord, is to make the Most High our Refuge. Behold, my brethren, a great wonder. God is high, but if thou art lifted up He fleeth from thee, whereas, if thou humblest thyself, He cometh down to thee. Wherefore? "The Lord is high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly but the proud He knoweth from afar."  To the lowly He hath respect, that He may raise them up the proud He knoweth from afar, that He may thrust them down.

R. When Christ ascended up on high, He led captivity captive
* He gave gifts unto men. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. God is gone up with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
R. He gave gifts unto men Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 8: Christ arose again, to give us hope that this mortal will yet put on immortality He hath assured against an hopeless death, and against the thought that death endeth life. We were troubled, eyen as touching the soul but Christ, arising from the grave, hath assured to us the resurrection of the body also. Believe therefore, that thou mayest be made pure. First it behoveth thee to believe, if by faith thou wouldest in the end worthily see God. And wouldest thou see God Give ear to His own words " Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Think first, then, how to purify thine heart take from it whatsoever thou seest in it which displeaseth God.

Nocturn III (from St Augustine):

Reading 9: The Lord Jesus, in that discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the Last Supper, when He was on the very eve of the Passion, when He was, as it were, about to go away and leave them as touching His bodily Presence, albeit as touching His spiritual Presence He is with us alway even unto the end of the world, Matth. xxviii. 20, in that discourse He exhorted them to bear patiently the persecution of wicked men, of whom He speaketh as " the world " out of the which world, nevertheless, He saith that He hath chosen even His disciples themselves, xv. 19, that they might know that it was by the grace of God that they were what they were, 1 Cor. xv. 10, whereas it was by their own sins that they had been what they had been.

R. And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you another Paraclete,
* That he may abide with you for ever: the Spirit of the Truth
V. For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you.

R. That he may abide with you for ever: the Spirit of the Truth

Reading 10: If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." Here He clearly pointeth to the Jews, the persecutors both of Himself and of His disciples, so that we see that they which persecute His holy ones are as much citizens of the world of damnation as they which persecuted Himself. He saith " They know not Him That sent Me," 21, and yet again, 24, " They have hated both Me and My Father," xv. 24, that is to say, both the Sender and the Sent, the meaning of which words we have already treated in other discourses and with that He cometh to the words " That the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law They hated Me without a cause."


R. Thou makest the clouds the chariot, O Lord
* Thou walkest upon the wings of the wind. Alleluia.
V. Thou art clothed with honour and majesty, covering thyself with light as with a garment

R. Thou walkest upon the wings of the wind. Alleluia.

Reading 11: Then saith the Lord, as though in continuation "But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning." 

R. Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? Alleluia.
* As you have seen him going into heaven, shall so come, alleuia, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said:

R. As you have seen him going into heaven, shall so come, alleuia, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 12: What connection hath this with the words: "Now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father but that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law They hated Me without a cause.” Is it that when the Comforter is come, even the Spirit of truth, He will confound by irrefragable testimony them who have both seen and hated both God the Son and God the Father? Yea, indeed, some there were who had seen and still hated, whom the testimony of the Comforter converted to the faith which worketh by love.


R. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you but if I depart, I will send Him unto you
* And when He is come, He will guide you into all truth Alleluia.
V. For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak and He will show you things to come.
R. And when He is come, He will guide you into all truth. Alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. And when He is come, He will guide you into all truth. Alleluia.

Gospel (St John 15:26-16:4)

26 Cum autem venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me; 27 et vos testimonium perhibebitis, quia ab initio mecum estis.1 Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut non scandalizemini. 2 Absque synagogis facient vos: sed venit hora, ut omnis qui interficit vos arbitretur obsequium se præstare Deo. 3 Et hæc facient vobis, quia non noverunt Patrem, neque me. 4 Sed hæc locutus sum vobis, ut cum venerit hora eorum, reminiscamini quia ego dixi vobis.

26] But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. [27] And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.1] These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. [2] They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. [3] And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. [4] But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.

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