Saturday, 3 December 2016

Matins readings for the second Sunday of Advent

The Matins readings for the Second Sunday of Advent in the traditional form of the Benedictine Office are set out below.


Nocturn I: Isaiah 11:1-13

Reading 1:  And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.  And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth

R. thy salvation cometh quickly, O Jerusalem; why art thou wasted with sorrow? Is there no counselor in thee, that pangs have taken thee?
* Fear not, for I will save thee and deliver thee.
V. For I am the Lord, thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.
R. Fear not, for I will save thee, and deliver thee.

Reading 2: Land he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

R. Behold, the Lord shall come, and all His saints with Him, and it shall come to pass in that day that the light shall be great; and they shall go out from Jerusalem like clean water; and the Lord shall be King for ever,* Over all the earth.
V. Behold, the Lord cometh with an host, and in His hand are the kingdom, and power, and dominion.
R. Over all the earth.

Reading 3: And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp: and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk. They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain, for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.

R. O, thou city of Jerusalem, weep not, for the Lord hath repented Him concerning thee.* And He will take away from thee all distress.
V. Behold, the Lord shall come with might, and His arm shall rule.
R. And He will take away from thee all distress.

Reading 4: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to possess the remnant of his people, which shall be left from the Assyrians, and from Egypt, and from Phetros, and from Ethiopia, and from Elam, and from Sennaar, and from Emath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up a standard unto the nations, and shall assemble the fugitives of Israel, and shall gather together the dispersed of Juda from the four quarters of the earth. And the envy of Ephraim shall be taken away, and the enemies of Juda shall perish: Ephraim shall not envy Juda, and Juda shall not fight against Ephraim

R. Christ our King cometh* And John hath testified of Him, that He is the Lamb that should come!
V. The kings shall shut their mouths at Him, all nations shall serve Him.
R. And John hath testified of Him, that He is the Lamb that should come!
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. And John hath testified of Him, that He is the Lamb that should come!

Nocturn II: Exposition of St Jerome on Isaiah

Reading 5: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse. From the beginning of the Book of this Prophet till the xiiith chapter, where commenceth the vision, or burden of Babylon, the whole of the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, is one continual prophecy of Christ. We must explain it part by part, for if we were to take it all at once, the memory of the reader would be confused. According to the Jewish commentators, the rod and the flower would both relate to the Lord Himself. They take the rod to mean the sceptre of His Royal dominion, and the flower the loveliness of His beauty.

R. Behold, there cometh the Lord, our defender, the Holy One of Israel,* Wearing a royal crown upon His head.
V. And His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
R. Wearing a royal crown upon His head.

Reading 6: We, however, understand that the rod out of the root of Jesse signifieth the holy Virgin Mary. She was a clean stem that had as yet put forth no shoot; as we have read above Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son.  And the flower we believe to mean the Lord our Redeemer, Who hath elsewhere compared Himself to a flower; I am a flower of the plain, and a lily of the valleys.

R. As a mother comforteth her children, so will I comfort you, saith the Lord; My help also cometh unto you out of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen.* And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice.
V. I will place salvation in Zion and in Jerusalem My glory.
R. And when ye shall see this, your heart shall rejoice.

Reading 7: The Spirit of the Lord then shall rest upon this flower; this flower which shall come forth from the stem and roots of Jesse by means of the Virgin Mary. And truly the Spirit of the Lord did rest upon our Redeemer. It is written that In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. The Spirit was not shed on Him by measure, as it is upon the Saints. To Him we may apply the words of the Hebrew Gospel used by the Nazarenes; The whole fountain of the Holy Ghost shall be poured forth upon Him The Lord is a spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

R. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon thy mountains, O Jerusalem thou shalt sing for joy, for the day of the Lord cometh; arise, O Zion, and turn unto the Lord thy God; rejoice and be glad, O Jacob.
* For thy Saviour cometh from the midst of the nations.
V. Sing aloud for joy, O daughter of Zion; shout with gladness, O daughter of Jerusalem.
R. For thy Saviour cometh from the midst of the nations.

Reading 8: In that same Gospel of St Matthew we read: Behold my Son whom I have chosen;my elect in whom my soul is well pleased; I shall place my Spirit over him and he will mete out judgment to the Gentiles.  This is to be understood of the Saviour, on whom the Spirit of the Lord rested, that is, remained eternally.

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:  Homily of St Gregory the Great

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew - In that time when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to him: Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another? And so on.

The sight of so many signs and so many mighty works should have been a source of wonder, and not a stumbling-block. And yet the unfaithful found these very works a rock of offence, when they afterwards saw Him Who had worked so many miracles dying on the Cross. Hence Paul saith We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block and unto the Gentiles foolishness.

R. The Lord shall go forth out of Samaria unto the gate that looketh toward the East; and He shall come into Bethlehem, walking upon the waters of the redemption of Judah.
* Then shall every one be saved for, behold, He cometh.
V. And in mercy shall His throne be established, and He shall sit upon it in truth.
R. Then shall every one be saved for, behold, He cometh.

Reading 10: It is indeed folly in the eyes of men to say that the Author of life died for men and thus men put as a stumbling-block to hinder them from coming to Jesus, the very thing that doth oblige them the most unto Him. For the more humbling God hath undergone for man's sake, the more worthy is He that man should worship Him.

R. Make haste, O Lord, make no tarrying.* And deliver thy people.
V. O Lord, come and make no tarrying loose the bonds of thy people.
R. And deliver thy people.

Reading 11: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. Now what is this, but a plain mention of that time, when He afterwards humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross? It is as if He said I indeed do wonderful works, but the day will come when I shall not refuse to suffer shame and evil treatment. Take heed then, ye who now worship Me for the works' sake, that when I come to die ye despise Me not for My death's sake.

R. Behold, the Lord cometh down with glory, and His host is with Him.
* To visit His people in peace, and to establish them in life everlasting.
V. Behold, our Lord cometh with an host.
R. To visit His people in peace, and to establish them in life everlasting.

Reading 12: And, as the disciples of John departed, what did Jesus say unto the multitudes concerning this same John? Let us hear. What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? Here our Lord teacheth not by assertion, but by negation. Now a reed is a thing so made that as soon as the wind bloweth upon it, it bendeth it over toward the opposite quarter. And the fleshly-minded man is like a human reed. As he is praised or blamed so he bendeth himself in the one direction or the other.

R: The root of Jesse, which shall rise to judge the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust * and his name shall be blessed throughout all ages
V: Out of the stem of Jesse shall come forth a leader, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
R: And his name shall be blessed throughout all ages
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R: And his name shall be blessed throughout all ages

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