Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Vigil of the Ascension

The Vigil of the Ascension has one nocturn, with readings from Homily 104 of St Augustine on St John:

Reading 1:Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John: At that time Jesus lifted up His Eyes to heaven, and spake these words Father, the hour is come glorify thy Son. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop of Hippo: Our Lord, the Only-begotten and coeternal Son of the Father, was able, if need were, in and from the form of a servant, to pray in silence but He thus manifested Himself in prayer, remembering that He is our Teacher. Thus He made known unto us the prayer which He made for us since He was so great a Master that, not only His discourse to them, but His prayer to the Father for them, is an up-building to His disciples. And if it was so for them who were there to hear, truly it is so for us also for whose instruction it hath been written down.

R. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God Alleluia.
* Upon a psaltery of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee Thou art my God, and I will exalt thee.
R. Upon a psaltery of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 2: Wherefore, by these words: " Father, the hour is come glorify thy Son" He showeth that all time, and all whatsoever He doth, or alloweth to be done, and the season wherein He will do or allow it, is alike ordained of Him Who is Himself not subject to time. Yea, all things which were then to come, or are yet to come now, have the reason why they should be, in the Wisdom of God, Which is Itself independent of all time. " The hour is come." We must not believe that that hour was brought on by the march of destiny, but was by ordination of God. No stars decreed irresistibly that the time was come for Christ to suffer God forbid that the revolutions of His planets should force death on Him Who made them.

R. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord Alleluia
* And to sing praises Alleluia.
V. Upon an instrument of ten strings, upon the harp with a solemn sound.
R. And to sing praises Alleluia.

Reading 3: Come think that the glorification of the Son by the Father was that "He spared Him not, but delivered Him up for us all." But if we say that He was glorified by suffering, how much more shall we say that He was glorified by rising again While He suffered, His humbleness was more manifested than His glory, as witnesseth the Apostle, where he saith "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" then he addeth touching His glorification "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."  This is the glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ, that glorification whose first rays dawned on the Resurrection morning.

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