Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Matins readings for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception



Nocturn I: Genesis 3:1-15

(Psalms of the Common of the BVM, viz: 8,18, 23, 44, 45, 47)

Reading 1: Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.  For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

R. By one man sin entered into the world, in whom all have sinned.* Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
V. The Lord hath delivered thy soul from death, yea, the Lord was thy stay.
R. Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Reading 2: And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.  And when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise.

R. Come unto me all ye that be desirous of me * And I will declare what God hath done for my soul.
V. As the Lord liveth, by me He hath fulfilled His mercy.
R. And I will declare what God hath done for my soul.

Reading 3: And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou? And he said: I heard thy voice in paradise; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.  And he said to him: And who hath told thee that thou wast naked, but that thou hast eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?  And Adam said: The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said to the woman: Why hast thou done this? And she answered: The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.

R. My beloved is white like snow in Lebanon, her lips drop as the honeycomb.* Honey and milk are under her tongue.
V. Come from Lebanon, My Spouse, thou shalt be crowned with a crown of grace.
R. Honey and milk are under her tongue.

Reading 4: And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and the beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

R: God chose Mary and forechose her, and created her in the Holy Ghost.  Therefore no defilement touched her.
V: The Lord gave mary the defence of his salvation, and upheld her with his right hand.
R Therefore no defilement touched her.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R Therefore no defilement touched her.

Nocturn II: (Letter of St Jerome to Paul and Eustochium on the Assumption of the BVM, n5-9; from the Acts of Pope Pius X)

(Ps 84, 86, 95, 96, 97, 98)

Reading 5: Who and what was the blessed and glorious Mary, always a Virgin, hath been revealed by God by the message of an Angel, in these words, Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee blessed art thou among women. It was fitting that a fulness of grace should be poured into that Virgin who hath given to God glory and to man a Saviour, who hath brought peace to earth, who hath given faith to the Gentiles, who hath killed sin, who hath given law to life, who hath made the crooked ways straight. Verily, she is full of grace. To others grace cometh measure by measure; in Mary grace dwelleth at once in all fulness. Verily, she is full of grace. We believe that the holy Fathers and Prophets had grace; but they were not full of grace. But into Mary came a fulness of all the grace which is in Christ, albeit otherwise (than as it is in Him.) Therefore is it said Blessed art thou among women, that is, Blessed art thou above all women. The fulness of blessing in Mary utterly neutralized in her any effects of the curse of Eve. In her praise Solomon writeth in the Song of Songs, Rise up, my dove, my fair one, for the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. And again, Come from Lebanon, my Spouse, come, thou shalt be crowned.

R. I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-begotten before every creature. I made the unfading light to arise in the heavens.* When there were no depths I was conceived.
V. For the Lord hath created me in righteousness, and hath held mine hand, and hath kept me.
R. When there were no depths I was conceived.

Reading 6:  Not unjustly then is she bidden to come from' Lebanon, for Lebanon is so named on account of its stainless and glistening whiteness. The earthly Lebanon is white with snow, but the lonely heights of Mary's holiness are white with purity and grace, brilliantly fair, whiter far than snow, sparkling with the gifts of the Holy Ghost she is undefiled like a dove, all clean, all upright, full of grace and truth. She is full of mercy, and of the righteousness that hath looked down from heaven, and therefore is she without stain because in her hath never been any corruption. She hath compassed a man in her womb, saith holy Jeremiah, but she conceived not by the will of fallen man. The Lord, saith the Prophet, hath created a new thing in the earth; a woman shall compass a man.

R. No defiled thing can fall into her;* She is the brightness of the everlasting light, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God.
V. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and being compared with the light, she is found before it.
R. She is the brightness of the everlasting light, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God.

Reading 7: Verily, it is a new thing. Verily, it was a new work of power, greater than all other works, when God, Whom the world cannot bear, and Whom no man shall see and live, entered the lodging of her womb, breaking not the blissful cloister of her virgin flesh. And in her body He was borne, the Infinite inclosed within her womb. And from her womb He came forth, so that it was fulfilled which was spoken of the Prophet Ezekiel, saying, This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. xliv. 2. Hence also in the Song of Songs it is said of her, iv. 12, A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed, thy perfumes are a garden of delights. Verily a garden of delights, filled with the perfumes of all flowers, rich with the sweet savour of grace. And the most holy Virgin herself is a garden enclosed, whereinto sin and Satan have never entered to sully the blossoms, a fountain sealed, sealed with the seal of the Trinity.

R. There appeared a great wonder in heaven; a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet * And upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
V. The Lord hath clothed her with the garments of salvation, and hath covered her with the robe of righteousness, yea, as a bride He hath adorned her with jewels.
R. And upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

Reading 8: The fact that the Virgin Mother of God had at the moment of her conception triumphed over the foul enemy of man, hath ever been borne out by the Holy Scriptures, by the venerable tradition of the Church, and by her unceasing belief, as well as by the common conviction of all Bishops and faithful Catholics, and by marked acts and constitutions of the Holy See. At length the Supreme Pontiff Pius IX., in compliance with the wishes of the Universal Church, determined to publish it as a truth of faith, on his own absolute and unerring authority, and accordingly, on the 8th day of December, 1854, in the Vatican Basilica, in presence of a great multitude composed of the Fathers Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and Bishops from all parts of the earth, he, with the consent and jubilation of the whole world, declared and defined as follows That doctrine which declareth that the most blessed Virgin Mary was in the first instant of her Conception preserved, by a special privilege granted unto her by God, from any stain of original sin, is a doctrine taught and revealed by God, and therefore is to be held by all faithful Christians firmly and constantly.

R O Magnify the Lord with me  * For the mercy of the Lord is great upon me
V: The prince of this world have nothing in me
R For the mercy of the Lord is great upon me
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R: For the mercy of the Lord is great upon me

Nocturn III (Homily of St Germanus)

(Canticles: Ecclesiasticus 39:17-21; Is 61:10-11&62:1-3; Is 62: 4-7)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Luke: Luke 1:26-28: In that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And so on.

Hail, Mary, full of grace, holier than the Saints, higher than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim, more honourable than the Seraphim, and the most worshipful thing that the hands of God have made. Hail, O dove, bearing in thy beak the olive-branch of peace that telleth us of salvation from the spiritual flood, dove, blessed omen of a safe harbour, whose wings are of silver, and thy feathers of gold, shining in the bright beams of the Most Holy and Light-giving Spirit. Hail, thou living garden of Eden, planted towards the East by the right hand of the Most Merciful and Mighty God, wherein do grow to His glory rich lilies and unfading roses, for the healing of them that have drunk in death from the blighting and pestilential breezes of the bitter West, Eden, wherein hath sprung that Tree of life, Whereof if any man eat he shall live for ever.

R. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed.* O Mary, thy perfumes are a garden of delights.
V. Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled.
R. O Mary, thy perfumes are a garden of delights.

Reading 10: Hail, stately Palace of the King, most holy, stainless, purest, House of the Most High God, adorned with His Royal splendour, open to all, filled with Kingly dainties; Palace wherein is that spiritual bridal chamber, not made with hands, nor hung with divers colours, in the which the Eternal Word, when He would raise up fallen man, wedded flesh unto Himself, that He might reconcile unto the Father them who had cast themselves away. Hail, O rich and shady Mountain of God, whereon pastured the True Lamb, Who hath taken away our sins and infirmities, mountain, whereout hath been cut without hands that Stone which hath smitten the altars of the idols, and become the head-stone of the corner, marvellous in our eyes. Hail, thou holy Throne of God, thou divinest store-house, thou temple of glory, thou bright crown, thou chosen treasure, thou mercy-seat for the whole world, thou heaven declaring the glory of God. Hail, thou vessel of pure gold, made to hold the manna that came down from heaven, the sweet food of our souls, even Christ.

R. My soul doth magnify the Lord; * For He That is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.
V. For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
R. For He That is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.

Reading 11: Hail, O purest Virgin, most praiseworthy and most worshipful, hallowed treasury for the wants of all creatures; thou art the untitled earth, the unploughed field; thou art the vine full of flowers, the well overflowing with waters, Maiden and Mother; thou art the Mother that knew not a man, the hidden treasure of guilelessness, and the clear, bright star of holiness; by thy most acceptable prayers, strong from thy motherly mouth, obtain for all estates of men in the Church that they may continually tend unto Him Who is the Lord, and God, and Maker of thee, and of them, and of all, but of thee the Son also, conceived without man's intervention; obtain this, O Mother, pilot them to the harbour of peace.

R: Who is so great a God as our God? * God forechose me, and made my way stainless.
V: My spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour
R: God forechose me, and made my way stainless.

Reading 12: Be it thine to clothe God's priests with righteousness, and to make them shout aloud for joy in approved and stainless, and upright and glorious faith. thine be it to guide in peace the sceptres of orthodox princes, even of princes who put their trust in thee to be the crown of their Majesty, and the Royal Robe of their greatness, and the firm foundation of their dominion, more than in purple, or fine gold, or pearls, or precious stones; thine be it to put under their feet the unfaithful nations, nations that blaspheme thee, and the God That was born of thee; thine be it to keep in meek obedience the people that are under them, according to the commandment of God. Behold, this is thine own city, which hath thee for her towers and her foundations, crown her with victory, gird the house of God with strength, keep undefiled the loveliness of His tabernacles, as for them that praise thy name, be thou their deliverer from strife and bitterness of spirit. Free thou the prisoner, protect the wanderer, and if there be any that hath no refuge, be thou to him a consolation. Stretch forth thine hand and help the whole earth so shall we year by year keep this and all thy feasts, and at last be found with thee in Christ Jesus, Who is Lord of all, and verily our God. To Him, with the Holy Father, Who is the Fountain of Life, and the coeternal Spirit, Three Persons and One Substance, even as there is one Kingdom, be glory and strength, now and for ever. Amen.

R: The Lord shows us the holy city Jerusalem, having the brightness of God * and her light is like a stone most precious, as clear as crystal.
V: The Lord hath desired the daughter of Jerusalem, adorned with her jewels.
R: And her light is like a stone most precious, as clear as crystal.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R: And her light is like a stone most precious, as clear as crystal.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-28

The angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin' s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for all this and listing the psalms and canticles is great.

    ReplyDelete