Saturday, 26 November 2016

Matins readings for the First Sunday of Advent

The readings and responsories for the first Sunday of Advent according to the 1963 breviary are set out below - note that that the first responsory is more elaborate than usual, and includes the Gloria Patri.  Here is a version of it to meditate to.



Nocturn I: Isaiah 1: 1-11

Reading 1: The vision of Isaias the son of Amos I which he saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem in the days of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda.  Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood.

R. look from afar, and, behold, I see the Power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land.
* Go ye out to meet Him, and say Tell us if Thou art He, That shalt reign over God's people Israel.
V. Both low and high, rich and poor together.
R. Go ye out to meet Him, and say.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou That leadest Joseph like a flock.
R. Tell us if Thou art He.
V. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.
R. That shalt reign over God's people Israel.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. I look from afar, and, behold, I see the Power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land.
* Go ye out to meet Him, and say Tell us if Thou art He, That shalt reign over God's people Israel.

Reading 2: Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children: they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards. For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein: wounds and bruises and swelling sores: they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil.

R. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and there was given Him a Kingdom, and glory* And all people, nations, and languages shall serve Him.
V. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
R. And all people, nations, and languages shall serve Him.

Reading 3: Your land is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire: your country strangers devour before your face, and it shall be desolate as when wasted by enemies. And the daughter of Sion shall be left as a covert in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a city that is laid waste.
Except the Lord of hosts had left us seed, we had been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrha.

R. The Angel Gabriel was sent to Mary, a Virgin espoused to Joseph, to bring unto her the word of the Lord and when the Virgin saw the light she was afraid. Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace from the Lord.* Behold, thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest.
V. The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever.
R. Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest.

Reading 4: Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrha. To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims, saith the Lord? I am full, I desire not holocausts of rams, and fat of fatlings, and blood of calves, and lambs, and buck goats.

R. Receive, O Virgin Mary, receive the word of the Lord, which is sent thee by His Angel thou shalt conceive, and shalt bring forth God and Man together.* And thou shalt be called blessed among all women.
V. Thou shalt bring forth a son, and remain a maiden undefiled thou shalt conceive and be a Mother, still Virgin unspotted.
R. And thou shalt be called blessed among all women.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. And thou shalt be called blessed among all women.

Nocturn II: Sermon 19 of St Leo the Great

Reading 5: Our Saviour Himself instructed His disciples concerning the times and seasons of the coming of the Kingdom of God and the end of the world, and He hath given the same teaching to the Church by the mouth of His Apostles. In connection with this subject then, Our Lord biddeth us beware lest we let our hearts grow heavy through excess of meat and drink, and worldly thoughts. Dearly beloved brethren, we know how that this warning applieth particularly to us. We know that that day is coming, and though for a season we know not the very hour> yet this we know, that it is near.

R. Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee* The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee therefore also that Holy Thing Which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
V. How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the Angel answered and said unto her,
R. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing Which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Reading 6:  Let every man then make himself ready against the coming of the Lord, so that He may not find him making his belly his god, or the world his chief care. Dearly beloved brethren, it is a matter of every day experience that fulness of drink dulleth the keenness of the mind, and that excess of eating unnerveth the strength of the will. The very stomach protesteth that gluttony doth harm to the bodily health, unless temperance get the better of desire, and the thought of the indigestion afterward check the indulgence of the moment.

R. We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ* Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body.
V. We should live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God.
R. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body.

Reading 7: The body without the soul hath no desires; its sensibility cometh from the same source as its movements. And it is the duty of a man with a reasonable soul to deny something to his lower nature and to keep back the outer man from things unseemly. Then will his soul, free from fleshly cravings, sit often at leisure in the palace of the mind, dwelling on the wisdom of God. There, when the roar and rattle of earthly cares are stilled, will she feed on holy thoughts and entertain herself with the expectation of the everlasting joy.

R. O my Lord, send I pray thee, Him Whom Thou wilt send; see the affliction of thy people. As Thou hast promised, come* And deliver us.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou That leadest Joseph like a flock, Thou That sittest upon the Cherubim!
R. As Thou hast promised, come.

Reading 8: And, although this is difficult to maintain in this life, yet the attempt can frequently be renewed, in order that we may the oftener and longer be occupied with spiritual rather than fleshly cares; and by our spending ever greater portions of our time on higher cares, even our temporal actions may end in gaining the incorruptible riches.

R. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains, for our Lord will come * And will have mercy on His afflicted.
V. In His days shall righteousness flourish and abundance of peace.
R. And will have mercy upon His afflicted.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. And will have mercy upon His afflicted.

Nocturn III: St Gregory the Great, Homily 1 on the Gospels

Reading 9: Our Lord and Saviour wisheth to find us ready at His second coming. Therefore He telleth us what will be the evils of the world as it groweth old, that He may wean our hearts from worldly affections. Here we read what great convulsions will go before the end, that, if we will not fear God in our prosperity, we may at least be scourged into fearing His judgment when it is at hand.

R. Behold, the Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, saith the Lord* And His name shall be called Wonderful, the Mighty God.
V. He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom for ever.
R. And His name shall be called Wonderful, the Mighty God.

Reading 10: Immediately before the passage which hath just been read from the Gospel, are found the following words of our Lord, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and pestilences and famines. Then, after a few more verses, cometh to-day's Gospel. There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring. Now some of these things are come to pass already, and we fear the others are not far off.

R. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the ends of the earth
* And in the isles afar off, and say Our Saviour shall come.
V. Declare it and make it known, lift up your voice and cry aloud.
R. And in the isles afar off, and say Our Saviour shall come.

Reading 11: In these our days we see nation rise against nation, and their distress over all the earth, more than we read in books hath ever come to pass of old time. Ye know also how often we hear of earthquakes overwhelming countless cities in other parts of the world. As for pestilences, we suffer from them ourselves, with hardly any intermission. As yet we do not see signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; but the changes of seasons and climates warn us that we may look for these also before long.

R. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a King shall reign in wisdom and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth * and this is His name whereby He shall be called The Lord our Righteous one.
V. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.
R. and this is His name whereby He shall be called The Lord our Righteous one.

Reading 12: There has not yet arisen any new disturbance of the sea and of the waves.  But since many prophecies have already been fulfulled, there is no doubt that the few which remain will also follow, for the accomplishment of that which has gone before is our certitude of that which is to follow.  For this reason, dearest brethren, that your minds may be alrt and zealous for your safety, lest, feeling secure, they remain inactive, and on account of ignorance they become weak.  But in all things let fear, on the one hand, rouse them up, and on the other hand, let solicitude for doing good strengthen them.

R. There shall no strangers pass through Jerusalem any more* For in that day the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk and honey, saith the Lord.
V. God shall come from Lebanon, and the Holy One from the thick and shady mountain.
R. For in that day the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk and honey, saith the Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

Gospel: St Luke 21:25-33 - 

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves;  Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.  And he spoke to them in a similitude. See the fig tree, and all the trees:  When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled.  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

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