Saturday, 19 November 2016

Matins readings for the fifth Sunday of November

The readings for Nocturns I&II arranged as for the 1963 Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I: Micah 1:1-9

Reading 1: The word of the Lord that came to Micheas the Morasthite, in the days of Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda: which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Hear, all ye people: and let the earth give ear, and all that is therein: and let the Lord God be a witness to you, the Lord from his holy temple.

R. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the whole earth was full of His glory;
* And His train filled the temple.
V. Above it stood the Seraphim each one had six wings.
R. And His train filled the temple.

Reading 2: For behold the Lord will come forth out of his place: and he will come down, and will tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be melted under him: and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as waters that run down a steep place. For the wickedness of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel.

R. Look down, O Lord, from the dwelling-place of thine holiness, and take thought for us. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear.* Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou That leadest Joseph like a flock.
R. Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.

Reading 3: What is the wickedness of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Juda? are they not Jerusalem.  And I will make Samaria as a heap of stones in the field when a vineyard is planted: and I will bring down the stones thereof into the valley, and will lay her foundations bare.

R. Consider, O Lord, how that the city sitteth solitary that was full of riches; how is she become as a widow, she that was great among the nations;* She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.
V. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks.
R. She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.

Reading 4:  And all her graven things shall be cut in pieces, and all her wages shall be burnt with fire, and I will bring to destruction all her idols: for they were gathered together of the hire of a harlot, and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return. Therefore will I lament and howl: I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and a mourning like the ostriches. Because her wound is desperate, because it is come even to Juda, it hath touched the gate of my people even to Jerusalem.

R. He hath redeemed His people, and ransomed them therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil* And they shall hunger no more.
V. And their soul shall be as a watered garden.
R. And they shall hunger no more.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St Basil the Great on Psalm 33

Reading 5: Whenever the desire to sin cometh over thee, I would that thou couldest think of the awful and overwhelming judgment-seat of Christ. There the Judge shall sit upon a throne high and lifted up. Every creature shall stand before Him, quaking because of the glory of His presence. There are we to be led up, one by one, to give account for those things which we have done in life.

R. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem;* Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.
V. They shall proclaim My might unto the nations, and declare My glory unto the Gentiles.
R. Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.

Reading 6: Presently there will be found, by the sides of those who have in life wrought much evil, dreadful and hideous angels with faces of fire, and burning breath, appointed thereto, and showing their evil will, in appearance like the night, in their despair and hatred of mankind.

R. Hedge us about with thy wall that cannot be broken down, O Lord, and shield us continually with the arms of thy might.* O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.
V. Deliver us also according to thy marvellous works, and give glory to thy Name.
R. O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.

Reading 7: Think again of the bottomless pit, the impenetrable darkness, the lightless fire, burning, but not glowing the poisonous mass of worms, preying upon the flesh, ever feeding, and never filled, causing by their gnawing unbearable agony lastly, the greatest punishment of all, shame and confusion for ever. Have a dread of these things, and let that dread correct thee, and be as a curb to thy mind to hold it in from the hankering after sin.

R. We looked for peace, and it came not we asked for good, and behold trouble. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness.* Forget us not for ever.
V. O Lord (our God) we have sinned, we have done ungodly, we have dealt unrighteously in all thine ordinances.
R. Forget us not for ever.

Reading 8: This fear of the Lord the Prophet hath promised to teach. But he hath not promised to teach it to all, but only to such as will hear him not to such as have fallen far away, but to such as run to him, hungry for salvation, not to such as have no part in the promises, but to such as by baptism are born children of adoption, set at peace and oneness with the Word. Come, ye children, saith he, that is to say, Draw nigh unto me by good works, all ye who by the new birth have become the worthy children of light, hearken unto me, all ye who have the ears of your heart opened, I will teach you the fear of the Lord, even the fear of that Being of Whom we have just been speaking.

R. I am straitened on every side, and know not what to choose.
* It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
V. For if I do this thing, it is death unto me and if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands.
R. It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.

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