Thursday, 9 February 2017

Feast of St Scholastica

Unfortunately, most of the readings and responsories for this Office are not available online, and I don't have a scanner, sorry!  The Roman Office version of the feast, though, can be found on Divinum Officium.

Nocturn I: Songs of Songs 2; 8

(Ps 8, 18, 23, 44, 45, 47)

Reading 1:  I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.

Reading 2: Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man may despise me? I will take hold of thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house: there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine and new wine of my pomegranates.

Reading 3: His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor awake my love till she please. Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I raised thee up: there thy mother was corrupted, there she was defloured that bore thee.

Reading 4: Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

Nocturn II: St Gregory the Great, Dialogues ch 33

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

Reading 5: The worshipful Scholastica, the sister of our Father Benedict, was hallowed unto the Lord Almighty from a child. Her custom was to come to see her brother once every year. And when she came, the man of God went down unto her, not far from the gate, but, as it were, within the borders of his monastery. And there was a day when she came, as her custom was, and her worshipful brother went down to her, and his disciples with him. Then they passed the whole day together, praising God, and speaking one to the other of spiritual things. And when the night came, they brake bread together. And while they were yet at table, and conversed together on spiritual things, the hour was late. Then the holy woman his sister besought him, saying Leave me not, I pray thee, this night, but let us speak even until morning of the gladness of the eternal life. He answered her: What is it that thou sayest, my sister? I can by no means remain out of my cell. Now the firmament was so clear that there were no clouds in the sky.

Reading 6: Then the holy nun, when she had heard the words of her brother, that he would not abide with her, clasped her hands on the table, and laid her face on her hands, and besought the Lord Almighty. And it came to pass that when she lifted up her head from the table, there were great thunderings and lightnings, and a flood of rain, insomuch that neither the worshipful Benedict nor the brethren that were with him could move as much as a foot over the threshold of the place where they sat.Now when the holy woman laid her head in her hands upon the table, she wept bitterly, and as she wept, the clearness of the sky was turned to a tempest. As she prayed, immediately the flood followed. And the time was so, that she lifted up her head when it thundered, and when she had lifted up her head, the rain came.

Reading 7: When the man of God saw that he could not return to his monastery, because of the lightnings, and thunderings, and the great rain, he was sorrowful and grieved, saying Almighty God forgive thee, my sister; what is this that thou hast done? She answered him Behold, I besought thee, and thou wouldest not hear; I besought my God, and He hath heard me; if, therefore, thou wilt, go forth, leave me alone, and go thy way to thy monastery. But he could not, and so he tarried in the same place, not willingly, but of necessity. And so it came to pass that they slept not all that night, but fed one another with discourse on spiritual things.

Reading 8: And when the morning was come, the worshipful woman arose, and went unto her own cell, and the man of God went back to his monastery. And, behold, after three days he was sitting in his cell, and he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and saw the soul of his sister, delivered from the body, fly to heaven in a bodily shape like a dove. Wherefore he rejoiced because of the glory that was revealed in her, and gave thanks to Almighty God in hymns and praises, and made known to the brethren that she was dead. He commanded them also to go and take up her body, and bring it to his monastery, and lay it in the grave which he had made ready for himself. Whereby it came to pass that they twain who had ever been of one mind in the Lord, even in death were not divided.

Nocturn III: Sermon of St Hilary 

Not available online

Gospel: St Matthew 25:1-13

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.  And five of them were foolish, and five wise.  But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them:  But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps.  And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.  The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.  But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

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