Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran

5,The first two Nocturns of today's readings at Matins are for the feast; the third is from the Common for the Dedication of a Church.

Nocturn I: Rev 21: 9-18

Psalms of the feast: 5, 10, 23, 28, 45, 47

Reading 1: And there came one of the seven angels, who had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spoke with me, saying: Come, and I will shew thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he took me up in spirit to a great and high mountain: and he shewed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,  Having the glory of God, and the light thereof was like to a precious stone, as to the jasper stone, even as crystal.

R. When the Temple was dedicated the people sang praise;* And sweet in their mouths was the sound.
V. The Lord's house is established in the top of the mountains; and all nations shall flow unto it.
R. And sweet in their mouths was the sound.

Reading 2: And it had a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and in the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. On the east, three gates: and on the north, three gates: and on the south, three gates: and on the west, three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them, the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

R. The Lord's house is established in the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills;* And all nations shall flow unto it, and shall say: Glory be to thee, O Lord!
V. They shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.
R. And all nations shall flow unto it, and shall say: Glory be to thee, O Lord!

Reading 3: And he that spoke with me, had a measure of a reed of gold, to measure the city and the gates thereof, and the wall. And the city lieth in a foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the golden reed for twelve thousand furlongs, and the length and the height and the breadth thereof are equal.

R. O Lord, bless this house which I have built unto thy name. whosoever shall come unto this place and pray, then* Hear thou from the excellent throne of thy glory.
V. O Lord, if thy people turn and pray toward thy sanctuary.
R. Hear thou from the excellent throne of thy glory.

Reading 4: And he measured the wall thereof an hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is of an angel.  And the building of the wall thereof was of jasper stone: but the city itself pure gold, like to clear glass.

[Terribilis est locus iste non est hic aliud nisi domus dei et porta caeli *vere etenim dominus est in loco isto et ego nesciebam...]

Nocturn II

Psalms of the feast: 83, 86, 87, 90,95, 98

Reading 5: The Rites whereof the Church of Rome maketh use for the hallowing of Churches and Altars were first instituted by the blessed Pope Sylvester. From the very time of the Apostles there had been places set apart for God, where assemblies took place upon the first day of every week, and where the Christians were used to pray, to hear the word of God, and to receive the Eucharist, which places were by some called Oratories and by others Churches. But these places were not dedicated with so solemn a form, nor did they set up therein an Altar for a pillar, and pour chrism thereon, for a figure of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Himself our Altar, our Victim, and our Priest.

R. If they pray toward this place,* Forgive the sin of thy people, O God, and teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and manifest forth thy glory in this place.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock, thou that sittest upon the cherubim.
R. Forgive the sin of thy people, O God, and teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and manifest forth thy glory in this place.

Reading 6: But when the Emperor Constantine had by the Sacrament of Baptism received health both of body and soul, then first in a law by him published was it allowed to the Christians throughout the whole world to build Churches, to the which holy building he exhorted them by his example as well as by his decree. He dedicated in his own Lateran Palace a Church to the Saviour, and built hard by it a Cathedral in the name of St John the Baptist, upon the place where he had been baptized by holy Sylvester and cleansed from his leprosy. This Cathedral was hallowed by the said Pope upon the 9th day of November. It is this consecration, the memory whereof is still celebrated upon this day, the first whereon the public consecration of a Church ever took place in Rome, and the image of the Saviour was seen by the Roman people painted upon the wall.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. How dreadful is this place! * Surely this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
V. This is the house of God, stoutly builded, well founded upon a sure rock.
R. Surely this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Reading 7: The Blessed Sylvester afterwards decreed, when he was consecrating the Altar of the Prince of the Apostles, that Altars were thenceforward to be made of stone only, but notwithstanding this the Lateran Cathedral hath the altar made of wood. This is not surprising. From St. Peter to Sylvester the Popes had not been able, by reason of persecutions, to abide fixedly in one place, and they celebrated the Holy Liturgy in cellars, in burying-places, in the houses of godly persons, or wherever need drove them, upon a wooden altar made like an empty box.

R. Jacob rose up early in the morning, and set up the stone for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it, and vowed a vow unto the Lord.
* Surely this place is holy, and I knew it not.
V. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said
R. Surely this place is holy, and I knew it not.

Reading 8: When peace was given to the Church, holy Sylvester took this box, and to do honour to the Prince of the Apostles, who is said to have offered sacrifice thereon, and to the other Popes who thereon had been used to execute the mystery even unto that time, set it in the first Church, even the Lateran, and ordained that no one but the Bishop of Rome should celebrate the Liturgy thereon for all time coming. The original Lateran Cathedral, cast down and destroyed by fires, pillage, and earthquakes, and renewed by the constant care of the Popes, was at last rebuilt afresh, and solemnly consecrated by Pope Benedict XIII, a Friar Preacher, upon the 28th day of April, in the year 1726, the memory of which Festival he ordained to be kept upon this day. In the year 1884 Leo XIII took in hand a work which had received the sanction of his predecessor Pius IX. The great sanctuary, the walls of which were giving way with age, was lengthened and widened, a task of immense labour. The ancient mosaic had been renewed previously in several places; it was now restored according to the original design, and transferred to the new apse, the embellishment of which was carried out with great magnificence. The transept was redecorated, and its ceiling and woodwork repaired. A sacristy, a residence for the canons, and a portico connecting with the baptistery of Constantine, were added to the existing buildings.

[Quam dilecta...]

Nocturn III: Homily of St Ambrose

Canticles: Tobit 13:1-17; Isaiah 2:2-3; Jeremiah 7:2-7

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Luke - At that time: Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And so on.

Zacchaeus was little of stature, that is, he was not raised aloft among men by nobility of birth, and, like the most of the world, he possessed few merits. When he heard that the Lord and Saviour, Who had come unto His Own, and Whom His Own had not received, was coming, he desired to see Him. But the sight of Jesus is not easy; to any on the earth it is impossible. And since Zacchaeus had neither the Prophets, nor yet the Law, as a gracious help to his nature, he climbed up into a sycamore tree, raising his feet above the vanity of the Jews, and straightening the crooked branches of his former life, and therefore he received Jesus to lodge within his house.

R. My house shall be called the house of prayer, saith the Lord. Therein, he that asketh, receiveth; he that seeketh, findeth;* And to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
V. Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find.
R. And to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Reading 10: He did well to climb up into a tree, that a good tree might bring forth good fruits, and that the slip of the wild olive, grafted, contrary to nature, into the good olive, might bring forth the fruits of the law. For the root is holy, however unprofitable the branches. Their barren beauty hath now been overshadowed by the belief of the Gentiles in the Resurrection, as by a material upgrowth.

R. All thy walls are of stones most precious.* The towers of Jerusalem shall be built up with jewels.
V. The gates of Jerusalem shall be built up with the sapphire stone, and the emerald, and all her walls round about with stones most precious.
R. The towers of Jerusalem shall be built up with jewels.

Reading 11: Zacchaeus, then, was in the sycamore tree, and the blind man by the way-side. For the one, Jesus stood waiting to show mercy, and asked him before He healed him, what he would that He should do for him; being unbidden of the other, He bade Himself to be his Guest, knowing how rich was the reward of receiving Him. Nevertheless, albeit He had heard no words of invitation, yet had He seen how his heart went.

[Benedictus es...]

Reading 12: But lest we should seem haughtily to pass by the poor blind man, and to hurry on to the rich one, let us stand waiting for him, as the Lord stood and waited; let us ask of him, as Christ asked of him. Let us ask, because we are ignorant; Christ asked, because He knew. Let us ask, that we may know whence he received his cure; Christ asked, that all of us may know from one ensample where through we are to earn a sight of the Lord. Christ asked, that we might believe that none, save they that confess Him, can be saved.

[Vidi civitatem...]

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

And entering in, he walked through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zacheus, who was the chief of the publicans, and he was rich.  And he sought to see Jesus who he was, and he could not for the crowd, because he was low of stature. And running before, he climbed up into a sycamore tree, that he might see him; for he was to pass that way.  And when Jesus was come to the place, looking up, he saw him, and said to him: Zacheus, make haste and come down; for this day I must abide in thy house.  And he made haste and came down; and received him with joy. And when all saw it, they murmured, saying, that he was gone to be a guest with a man that was a sinner. But Zacheus standing, said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold.  Jesus said to him: This day is salvation come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

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