Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Feast of SS Peter and Paul

Matins readings for the feast.


Nocturn I (Acts 3:1-16)

Reading 1:  Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, which is an hour of prayer,  when a man was carried by who had been lame from birth. Every day he was put down at what is called the Beautiful Gate of the temple, so that he could beg alms from the temple visitors. And he asked Peter and John, as he saw them on their way into the temple, if he might have alms from them. Peter fastened his eyes on him, as John did too, and said, Turn towards us; 5 and he looked at them attentively, hoping that something would be given him.

R. Simon Peter, before I called thee out of the ship, I knew thee, and appointed thee for a captain over My people.*And I have given unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
V. Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.
R. And I have given unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Reading 2: Then Peter said to him, Silver and gold are not mine to give, I give thee what I can. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. So, taking him by his right hand, he lifted him up; and with that, strength came to his feet and ankles; he sprang up, and began walking, and went into the temple with them, walking, and leaping, and giving praise to God.

R. Simon Peter, if thou lovest Me, feed My sheep. Lord, Thou knowest that I love thee. * I will lay down my life for thy sake.
V. If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee.
R. I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Reading 3: All the people, as they saw him walking and praising God, recognized him for the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and were full of wonder and bewilderment at what had befallen him. And he would not let go of Peter and John, so that all the crowd gathered about them in what is called Solomon’s Porch, beside themselves with wonder.

R. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.* And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
V. Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.
R. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Reading 4: Peter, when he saw it, addressed himself to the people; Men of Israel, he said, why does this astonish you? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as if we had enabled him to walk through some power or virtue of our own? It is the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, who has thus brought honour to his Son Jesus. You gave him up, and disowned him in the presence of Pilate, when Pilate’s voice was for setting him free. You disowned the holy, the just, and asked for the pardon of a murderer, while you killed the author of life. But God has raised him up again from the dead, and we are here to bear witness of it.  Here is a man you all know by sight, who has put his faith in that name, and that name has brought him strength; it is the faith which comes through Jesus that has restored him to full health in the sight of you all.

Nocturn II (From the Sermons of Pope St Leo the Great. First for the Birthday of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul).

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, in the joy of all the holy Feast-days the whole world is partaker. There is but one love of God, and whatsoever is solemnly called to memory, if it hath been done for the salvation of all, must needs be worth the honour of a joyful memorial at the hands of all. Nevertheless, this feast which we are keeping to-day, besides that world-wide worship which it doth of right get throughout all the earth, doth deserve from this city of ours an outburst of gladness altogether special and our own. In this place it was that the two chiefest of the Apostles did so right gloriously finish their race. And upon this day whereon they lifted up that their last testimony, let it be in this place that the memory thereof receiveth the chiefest of jubilant celebrations. O Rome these twain are the men who brought the light of the Gospel of Christ to shine upon thee These are they by whom thou, from being the teacher of lies, wast turned into a learner of the truth.

R. Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto thee on the water
* And Jesus stretched forth His Hand, and caught him, and said unto him O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt
V. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, he cried, saying Lord, save me
R. And Jesus stretched forth His Hand, and caught him, and said unto him O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt

Reading 6: These twain be thy fathers, these be in good sooth thy shepherds, these twain be they who laid for thee, as touching the kingdom of heaven, better and happier foundations, than did they that first planned thine earthly ramparts, wherefrom he that gave thee thy name took occasion to pollute thee with a brother's blood.These are they who have set on thine head this thy glorious crown, that thou art become an holy nation, a chosen people, a city both Priestly and Kingly, whom the Sacred Throne of blessed Peter hath exalted till thou art become the Lady of the world, unto whom the world-wide love for God hath conceded a broader lordship than is the possession of any mere earthly empire.

R. Arise, O Peter! Cast thy garment about thee, gird thee with strength for the saving of the nations.
* The chains are fallen off from thine hands.
V. The Angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison and he smote Peter on the side and raised him up, saying Arise up quickly.
R. The chains are fallen off from thine hands.

Reading 7: Thou wast once waxen great by victories, until thy power was spread haughtily over land and sea, but thy power was narrower then which the toils of war had won for thee, than that thou now hast which hath been laid at thy feet by the peace of Christ. It well suited for the doing of the work which God had decreed that the multitude of kingdoms should be bound together under one rule, and that so the universal preaching of the Gospel should find easier entry into all peoples, since all were governed by the empire of one city.

R. Thou art the Shepherd of the sheep, and the Prince of the Apostles, and unto thee hath God given all the kingdoms of the world.* Therefore unto thee hath He given the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
V. Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
R. Therefore unto thee hath He given the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Reading 8: But this city, knowing not Him, Who had been pleased to make her great, used her lordship over almost all nations to make herself the minister of all their falsehoods and seemed to herself exceeding godly because there was no false god whom she rejected. But the tighter that Satan had bound her, the more wondrous was the work of Christ in setting her free.


Nocturn III (from St Jerome)

Reading 9: Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am. This question is well put, for they who speak of Him as the Son of man are men, while they that know of Him that He is God are called not men but gods. And they said Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some, Elias I marvel that some commentators have thought it worth their while to search into the origin of each of these blunders, and to engage in a discussion of weary length as to why some thought that our Lord Jesus Christ was John the Baptist, some, Elias and others, Jeremias, or one of the Prophets. Their blunders concerning Elias and Jeremias were but of a piece with Herod's concerning John the Baptist It is John, whom I beheaded he is risen from the dead and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.

R. Peter, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not;* And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
V. Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father Which is in heaven.
R. And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren

Reading 10: But who say ye that I am? Mark, discreet reader, from the context, that a distinction is here drawn between the Apostles and mere men. The Apostles are called gods. Who, asketh the Lord, do men say that I am but, on the other hand, who say ye that I am. They being but men deal in human speculations, but ye that are gods, who be ye persuaded that I am.

R. Jesus asked His disciples, saying: Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? Peter answered, and said: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
* And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.
V. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father Which is in heaven.
R. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.

Reading 11: And then Peter, as the representative of all the Apostles, uttered the testimony: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. He calleth God living, to mark the difference between Him and all other that be called gods, and who are indeed dead.And Jesus answered and said unto him Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona. The Apostle having testified of the Lord, the Lord in turn testifieth of the Apostle. Peter had said Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God and he received, in return for that his testimony to the truth, the words Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona. Why, blessed? For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father.

Reading 12:What flesh and blood could not reveal, the grace of the Holy Ghost had revealed. Meet for him therefore, because of his confession, is his name, as the name of one who hath revelation from the Holy Ghost, and therefore is called His son. Bar-jona is, being interpreted, The son-of-the-Dove.

The Gospel for the feast is from St Matthew:

13 Venit autem Jesus in partes Cæsareæ Philippi: et interrogabat discipulos suos, dicens: Quem dicunt homines esse Filium hominis? 14 At illi dixerunt: Alii Joannem Baptistam, alii autem Eliam, alii vero Jeremiam, aut unum ex prophetis. 15 Dicit illis Jesus: Vos autem, quem me esse dicitis? 16 Respondens Simon Petrus dixit: Tu es Christus, Filius Dei vivi. 17 Respondens autem Jesus, dixit ei: Beatus es Simon Bar Jona: quia caro et sanguis non revelavit tibi, sed Pater meus, qui in cælis est. 18 Et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam. 19 Et tibi dabo claves regni cælorum. Et quodcumque ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum et in cælis: et quodcumque solveris super terram, erit solutum et in cælis.

[13] And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? [14] But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
[16] Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

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