Nocturn I: Colossians 3: 1-4; 5-8; 9-13; 14-17
Reading 1: Risen, then, with Christ, you must lift your thoughts above, where Christ now sits at the right hand of God. You must be heavenly-minded, not earthly-minded; you have undergone death, and your life is hidden away now with Christ in God. 4 Christ is your life, and when he is made manifest, you too will be made manifest in glory with him.
R. The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it, and said unto the women
* Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Him That was crucified : He is risen already. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid. Alleluia.
V. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment, and they were affrighted; and he saith unto them :
R. Fear not ye : for I know that ye seek Him That was crucified : He is risen already; come, see the place where the Lord was laid. Alleluia.
Reading 2: You must deaden, then, those passions in you which belong to earth, fornication and impurity, lust and evil desire, and that love of money which is an idolatry. These are what bring down God’s vengeance on the unbelievers, and such was your own behaviour, too, while you lived among them. Now it is your turn to have done with it all, resentment, anger, spite, insults, foul-mouthed utterance
R. The Angel of the Lord spake unto the woman, saying : Whom seek ye? Seek ye Jesus? He is risen now :
* Come and see. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. Seek ye Jesus of Nazareth, Which was crucified? He is risen, He is not here.
R. Come and see. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Reading 3: and do not tell lies at one another’s expense. You must be quit of the old self, and the habits that went with it; you must be clothed in the new self, that is being refitted all the time for closer knowledge, so that the image of the God who created it is its pattern. Here is no more Gentile and Jew, no more circumcised and uncircumcised; no one is barbarian, or Scythian, no one is slave or free man; there is nothing but Christ in any of us. You are God’s chosen people, holy and well beloved; the livery you wear must be tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; you must bear with one another’s faults, be generous to each other, where somebody has given grounds for complaint; the Lord’s generosity to you must be the model of yours.
When the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices
* That they might come and anoint Jesus. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun.
R. That they might come and anoint Jesus. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. That they might come iand anoint Jesus. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Reading 4: And, to crown all this, charity; that is the bond which makes us perfect. So may the peace of Christ, the very condition of your calling as members of a single body, reign in your hearts. Learn, too, to be grateful. May all the wealth of Christ’s inspiration have its shrine among you: now you will have instruction and advice for one another, full of wisdom, now there will be psalms, and hymns, and spiritual music, as you sing with gratitude in your hearts to God. Whatever you are about, in word and action alike, invoke always the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, offering your thanks to God the Father through him.
R. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went very early to the sepulchre.
* That Jesus whom ye seek, is not here : for He is risen, as He said : He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun; and, entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting upon the right side, who saith unto them :
R Gloria Patri et Filio et Spirituui Sancto
V. That Jesus Whom ye seek is not here : for He is risen, as He said : He goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see Him. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Nocturn II: Sermon on the Octave of Easter of St Augustine
Reading 5: The Feast of this day is the end of the Paschal solemnity, and therefore it is to-day that the Newly-Baptized put off their white garments : but, though they lay aside the outward mark of washing in their raiment, the mark of that washing in their souls remaineth to eternity. Now are the days of the Pass-over, that is, of God's Passing-over our iniquity by His pardon and remission; and therefore our first duty is so to sanctify the mirth of these holy days, that our bodily recreation may be taken without defilement to our spiritual cleanness. Let us strive that our relaxation may be sober and our freedom holy, holding ourselves carefully aloof from anything like excess, drunkenness or lechery. Let us try so to keep in our souls their Lenten cleansing, that if our Fasting hath left us aught yet unwon, we may still be able to seek it.
R. With great power gave the Apostles* Witness of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia, alleluia.
V. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.
R. Witness of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia, alleluia.
Reading 6: At discourse concerneth all them which are committed unto my spiritual charge; but, nevertheless, since the first happy week of your Sacramental life draweth this day to a close, I address myself in especial to you who are the new olive-plants of holiness round about the Table of the Lord, to you, who have but a little while been born again of water and the Holy Ghost, to you, O holy generation to you, O new creation, to you, the excellency of my dignity, and the fruit of my labour, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and my crown, all ye who now stand so fast in the Lord.
R. From the mouth of the wise doth proceed honey, Alleluia : the sweetness of honey is under his tongue. Alleluia.
* His lips drop as the honey-comb. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. Wisdom doth abide in his heart, and out of his mouth cometh understanding.
R. His lips drop as the honey-comb. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Reading 7: To you I address the words of the Apostle. Behold! the night is past! the day is come! Cast off therefore the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying : but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.We have, saith Peter, a more sure word of Prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.
R. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the Book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.* Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Worthy is the Lamb That was slain to receive power, and riches, in wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Reading 8: Let your loins therefore be girded about, and your lights burning in your hands, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding. Behold, the days come, whereof the Lord saith, A little while, and ye shall not see Me, and again a little while and ye shall see Me. Now is the hour whereof He said, Ye shall weep and lament, but the work shall rejoice that is to say, this present life, wherein we walk as strangers and pilgrims, far away from Him Who is our Home, this present life is very full of trials. But, saith Jesus, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
R. I am the True Vine, and ye are the branches;
* He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, alleluia, alleluia.
V. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you.
R. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
V. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, alleluia, alleluia.
Nocturn III (from St Gregory the Great)
Reading 9: When we hear this passage of the Gospel read, a question straightway knocketh at the door of our mind. How was it that the Body of the Risen Lord was a real Body, if It was able to pass through closed doors into the assembly of His disciples? But we ought to know that the works of God are no more wonderful when they can be understood by man's reason, and faith has lost her worth when her subject-matter is the subject-matter of human demonstration. Nevertheless, those very works of our Redeemer which are in themselves impossible to be understood, must be thought over in connection with other of His works, that we may be led to believe in things wonderful, by mean of things more wonderful still.
R. They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him. The Angels say unto her: Woman, why weepest thou? He is risen, as He said.
* He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the Sepulchre, and saw two Angels in white, sitting; and they say unto her:
R. He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him, alleluia, alleluia.
Reading 10: That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb without breaking the seal thereof. What wonder is it if that Body Which had come out of the Virgin's womb, without opening the matrix, albeit It was then on Its way to die, now that It was risen again from the dead and instinct for ever with undying life, what wonder is it, I say, if that Body passed through closed doors? But since the beholders doubted of the reality of that Body Which they saw, He showed unto them His Hands and His Side, and allowed them to handle that Same Flesh Which had just passed through the closed doors.
R. Rejoice with me, all ye that love the Lord: for I sought Him and He hath appeared unto me;
* And while as I was weeping at the Sepulchre, I saw the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.
V. When His disciples were gone away, I tarried still; and the fire of love in mine heart glowed for Him.
R. And while as I was weeping at the Sepulchre, I saw the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.
Reading 11: In this there were two strange things manifested, yea, things which according to our understanding are contrary the one to the other. His Risen Body was incorruptible and yet palpable. For whatever can be touched, must needs be subject to corruption; and whatever is not subject to corruption, cannot be touched. But, in a way altogether wonderful and incomprehensible, our Redeemer after His Resurrection revealed Himself in a Body at once palpable and incorruptible : revealed Himself in an incorruptible Body, that we might learn to seek a like glorification; and in a palpable Body, for the strengthening of our faith. He revealed Himself in a Body at once incorruptible and palpable, that He might thereby make manifest the fact that His Risen Body was unaltered in nature, albeit transfigured in glory.
R. After that our Lord Jesus was risen again, He came and stood in the midst of His disciples, and said unto them:
* Peace be unto you, alleluia. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord, alleluia.
V. The first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and said unto them:
R. Peace be unto you, alleluia. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord, alleluia.
Reading 12: Then said Jesus to them again : Peace be unto you. As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you that is, as My Father, Who is God, hath sent Me, Who am God, even so do I, Who am Man, send you, who are men. The Father sent the Son, Whom He appointed to be made Man for the redemption of man. Him He willed to send into the world to suffer, albeit He Whom He sent to suffer was the Son of His love. The Lord sendeth His chosen Apostles into the world, not to be happy in the world, but, as He had been Himself sent, to suffer. As the Father loveth the Son and yet sendeth Him to suffer, even so doth the Lord love His disciples, albeit He sendeth them into the world, to suffer therein; and therefore it is well said: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you that is, while I send you into the wild storm of persecution, I love you all the same, I love you, yea, I love you with a love like that wherewith the Father loveth Me, Who sent Me into the world to bear agony therein.
R. Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be new dough : for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us :
* Therefore let us keep the Feast, in the Lord. Alleluia.
V. He died for our offences, and rose again for our justification.
R. Therefore let us keep the Feast, in the Lord. Alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Therefore let us keep the Feast, in the Lord. Alleluia.
Today's Gospel is St John 20:19-31:
19 Cum ergo sero esset die illo, una sabbatorum, et fores essent clausæ, ubi erant discipuli congregati propter metum Judæorum: venit Jesus, et stetit in medio, et dixit eis: Pax vobis. 20 Et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et latus. Gavisi sunt ergo discipuli, viso Domino. 21 Dixit ergo eis iterum: Pax vobis. Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos. 22 Hæc cum dixisset, insufflavit, et dixit eis: Accipite Spiritum Sanctum: 23 quorum remiseritis peccata, remittuntur eis: et quorum retinueritis, retenta sunt.24 Thomas autem unus ex duodecim, qui dicitur Didymus, non erat cum eis quando venit Jesus. 25 Dixerunt ergo ei alii discipuli: Vidimus Dominum. Ille autem dixit eis: Nisi videro in manibus ejus fixuram clavorum, et mittam digitum meum in locum clavorum, et mittam manum meam in latus ejus, non credam. 26 Et post dies octo, iterum erant discipuli ejus intus, et Thomas cum eis. Venit Jesus januis clausis, et stetit in medio, et dixit: Pax vobis. 27 Deinde dicit Thomæ: Infer digitum tuum huc, et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam, et mitte in latus meum: et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis. 28 Respondit Thomas, et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus. 29 Dixit ei Jesus: Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt.30 Multa quidem et alia signa fecit Jesus in conspectu discipulorum suorum, quæ non sunt scripta in libro hoc. 31 Hæc autem scripta sunt ut credatis, quia Jesus est Christus Filius Dei: et ut credentes, vitam habeatis in nomine ejus.
 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you.  And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.  When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.  Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. Whose sins: See here the commission, stamped by the broad seal of heaven, by virtue of which the pastors of Christ's church absolve repenting sinners upon their confession. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you.  Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.  Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.  Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.  Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.