Thursday, 12 January 2017

Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord



Nocturn I: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (nb; readings of the day, divided into four, with responsories of the feast)

Reading 1: If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

R. (Hodie in Jordane) This day, when the Lord was baptized in Jordan, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove, and abode upon Him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 2: Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;  Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

R. (In columbae) The Holy Ghost appeared in a bodily shape like a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard:
* This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.
V. The heavens were opened unto him, and, lo, the voice of the Father was heard, like unto thunder, saying:
R. This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Reading 3: Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

R. (Reges Tarsis) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents. * The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.
V. All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense.
R. The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts unto the Lord God.

Reading 4: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

R. (Dies sanctificatus) This day which is breaking is holy; O come, ye Gentiles, and worship the Lord.* For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Come let us adore him for he himself is our Lord God
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V Glory be...
R For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St Gregory Nazianzen (from I, XV, XVI)

Reading 5: I am not able to restrain the outbursts of my happiness. I feel changed and elated. I forget my own meanness while I undertake and try to discharge the office of the great John. It is true that I am not the Forerunner, but at least I come from the desert. Christ is enlightened, or rather, He enlighteneth us with His own light. Christ is baptized; let us go down with Him into the water, that we may come up with Him.

R. Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come;
* And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
V. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.
R. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Reading 6: John is baptizing. Jesus cometh. He cometh that He may make holy him who baptizeth Him; He cometh to bury the old Adam in the waters; He cometh to hallow the blessed flood of Jordan. He Who is Flesh and Spirit cometh to open for all that should ever be baptized that power of generation whereby new peoples are constantly begotten of water and the Holy Ghost. The Baptist will not receive Him. Jesus striveth with him. I, saith John, have need to be baptized of thee. Thus speaketh the candle to the Sun, the voice to the Word.

R. All they from Saba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.* Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents, the kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts.
R. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 7: Jesus came up out of the water, having, in a manner, washed the whole world, and brought it up with Him. And He saw the heavens opened not divided, even those heavens which Adam had once shut upon himself and us his descendants, when the cherub's fiery sword barred the gates of Paradise.

R. There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, asking and saying: Where is He That is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east;
* And are come to worship the Lord.
V. We have seen His star in the east.
R. And are come to worship the Lord.

Reading 8: And the Holy Spirit bare witness, witness unto Him Who is of One Substance with Himself. And witness was given from Heaven, unto Him that came down from heaven.

R (Interrogabat Magos Herodes) Herod inquired of the wise men: What sign have you concerning him that is born king?We have seen a star shning, the brightness whereof enlightens the world. * And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: There came wise men from the east, seeking the face of the Lord and saying
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord
V: Glory be...
R: And we have known, and are come to worship the Lord

Nocturn III : Homily of St Augustine (Tract. 6 on John, n 7&8)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to John - At that time, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. And so on.

John knew Jesus even before He came to be baptized of him in Jordan, as we perceive by the words I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest Thou to me? Behold, how he knew that He was the Lord, how he knew that He was the Son of God! How do we prove that he knew that He it was Who should baptize with the Holy Ghost? Before the Lord came to the river, when many betook themselves to John to be baptized of him, the Baptist said I indeed baptize you with water but One Mightier than I cometh; the latchet of Whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  Behold, John knew this also.

R. The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till they came where the young Child was.
* And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
V. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.
R. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Reading 10: Yet John saith: I knew Him Now, how are we to explain this without calling John a liar? and God forbid that we should ever even think anything of the kind. Was it not that when the Dove descended on Christ, John then for the first time knew Him to have that peculiar attribute, that, whosoever should baptize with His Baptism, whether they were themselves just or unjust, the virtue of the Sacrament should proceed, not from them, but from Him on Whom abode the Dove; so that He is the real Baptizer in every Christian Baptism until the end of time, and it is in this sense that it is said of Him the Same is He Which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost Whether it be Peter, or Paul, or Judas, that performeth the ceremony, the real Baptizer and effectual Worker is Christ.

R. (Videntes stellam) When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.* And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him; * and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
V. The star which the wise men had seen in the East, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
R. And when they were come into the house, they found the young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.

Reading 11: For if the holiness of the baptism depended on the holiness of the particular officiator, no two baptisms would be exactly alike, and every one would be supposed to be more or less regenerated according as the minister who baptized him was more or less of a saint.  Now, my brethren, understand me. The saints themselves, those good men who appertain to the Dove, those good men whose portion is in Jerusalem, those good men in the Church, of whom the Apostle saith: the Lord knoweth them that are His, these good men differ one from another by diversities of graces, and are not all of the same worthiness.

R: (Venit lumen tuum)  Thy light is come O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. *And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising
V: Thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side
R: And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising

Reading 12: Some are holier than others, and some are better than others. Supposing then for the sake of argument that A is baptized by B, a righteous saint, and C is baptized by D who is less worthy in the sight of God, who hath attained only a lower degree in godliness, who is not so chaste, and whose life is not so good as B's, yet A and C receive just the same thing. And how is this, unless it be that it is Christ Himself Who is the effectual Baptizer?

R (Hic est dies praeclarus)  This is the wondrous day on which the Saviour of the world was manifested, he whom Prophets foretold and Angels announced: * Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V This is the sanctified day which has shone upon us, come ye peoples and the adore the Lord
R Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts
V: Glory be...
R: Whose star the wise men saw with exceeding  great joy and presented unto him gifts

Gospel: St John 1: 29-34

The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.  This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. And I knew him not, but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.

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