Saturday, 13 August 2016

Matins readings for second Sunday of August

This Sunday is the Second Sunday of August in the 1962 Benedictine calendar.

Nocturn I: Ecclesiastes 1:1-17

Reading 1: The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, king of Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity. What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth standeth for ever. The sun riseth, and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and there rising again, Maketh his round by the south, and turneth again to the north: the spirit goeth forward surveying all places round about, and returneth to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea doth not overflow: unto the place from whence the rivers come, they return, to flow again.

R. God possessed me in the beginning, before He made the earth, before He created the depths, before He caused the fountains of water to spring.* Before the mountains were settled, before there were any hills, did the Lord beget me.
V. When He prepared the heavens, I was there with Him, ordering all things.
R. Before the mountains were settled, before there were any hills, did the Lord beget me.

Reading 2: All things are hard: man cannot explain them by word. The eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done. Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us.There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with them that shall be in the latter end.

R. I alone compassed the circuit of heaven, and walked on the waves of the sea. In every nation and in every people, I held the first place.* In the greatness of my strength have I trodden under my feet the necks of such as be haughty and proud.
V. I dwell in the highest places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar.
R. In the greatness of my strength have I trodden under my feet the necks of such as be haughty and proud.

Reading 3: I Ecclesiastes was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I proposed in my mind to seek and search out wisely concerning all things that are done under the sun. This painful occupation hath God given to the children of men, to be exercised therein I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit.

R. O send out wisdom from the throne of thy glory, O Lord, to be with me, and to labour with me,* That I may know at all times what is pleasing unto thee.
V. Give me wisdom, O Lord, that sitteth by thy throne.
R. That I may know at all times what is pleasing unto thee.

Reading 4:The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite. I have spoken in my heart, saying: Behold I am become great, and have gone beyond all in wisdom, that were before me in Jerusalem: and my mind hath contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned. And I have given my heart to know prudence, and learning, and errors, and folly: and I have perceived that in these also there was labour, and vexation of spirit,

R. O Lord, Father and Governor of my life, leave me not, lest I fall before mine adversaries,* and mine enemy rejoice over me.
V. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
R. Lest mine enemy rejoice over me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Lest mine enemy rejoice over me.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St John Chyrsostom

Reading 5: While Solomon was given up to the lust of the world, he deemed the same a great and noble pursuit, and expended thereon great labour and care. He built magnificent palaces, he heaped up gold in plenty, he gathered together choirs of singers, and all sorts of servants to minister to the luxury of his table and of his fare. He sought enjoyment for his heart from the charm of gardens and of fair bodies. In short, he gave himself up to the study of all kinds of pleasure and recreation.

R. Give me wisdom, O Lord, that sitteth by thy throne, and reject me not from among thy children.
* For I am thy servant and son of thine handmaid.
V. O send her out from the throne of thy glory, to be with me and to labour with me.
R. For I am thy servant and son of thine handmaid.

Reading 6: But when he came to himself again, and was once more able, as it were, out of that dark pit, to look upon the light of true wisdom, he uttered that saying, so high, so worthy of heaven "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity." And ye also, if ever ye will shake yourselves clear of your debasing habit, will utter this cry, and an higher cry than this, as ye turn from your untimely indulgences.

R. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.* A good understanding have all they that do His commandments. His praise endureth for ever.
V. Love is the keeping of her laws, for all wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
R. A good understanding have all they that do His commandments. His praise endureth for ever.

Reading 7: The ages that had rolled before the time of Solomon had not left to his own so precious an inheritance of wisdom as those which have preceded us have left to us; the old law did not forbid these indulgences, nor pronounce it folly to enjoy other idle luxuries and yet, even with matters so, we can see how low, how worthless, such things be.

R. Lord, remove far from me vanity and lies.*Give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food convenient for me.
V. Two things have I required of thee deny me them not before I die.
R. Give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food convenient for me.

Reading 8: As for us, we are called to a higher life, we ascend to a nobler stand-point, and brace ourselves in a manlier school and why, but because we are bidden to strive for a life like the life of the spiritual and bodiless powers

R. Great are thy judgments, O Lord, and thy words cannot be expressed.* Thou didst make thy people mighty and honourable.
V. Thou broughtest them through the Red Sea, and leddest them through much water.
R. Thou didst make thy people mighty and honourable.

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