Saturday, 11 February 2017

Matins readings for Septuagesima Sunday

The Matins readings for the Sunday of Septuagesima in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I (Genesis 1)

Reading 1: In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.  And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day. And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.  And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.

R. (In principio): In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, wherein He made man also * After His own image and likeness.
V. So God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his face the breath of life.
R. After His own image and likeness.

Reading 2: God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done.  And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.  And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the third day.

R. (In principio) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.* And God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.
V. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them.
R. And God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.

Reading 3: And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:  To shine in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon the earth. And it was so done. And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.  And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth.  And to rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And the evening and morning were the fourth day.

R. (Formavit) The Lord formed man of the dust of the ground* And breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
V. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, wherein He made man also.
R. And breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

Reading 4:  God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven. And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth.  And the evening and morning were the fifth day.  And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done.  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

R (Igitur perfecti sunt):

Nocturn II (From the Enchirion of St Augustine)

Reading 5: The Lord threatened man with the punishment of death, in case he sinned. Thus did He gift him with free will, while He yet kept His lordship over him, and helped him with the dread of destruction. And so He put him in that happy garden, under the very shadow of the tree of life, in that good place from whence, had he kept his righteousness, he might have passed to a better.

R. (Tulit Dominus) God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden * To dress it and to keep it.
V. And the Lord God had planted a garden aforetime in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
R. To dress it and to keep it.

Reading 6: But the first man sinned, and was banished from Eden, and infected all his descendants with the disease of sin, poisoning their very root, and bringing upon all that sentence of death and damnation, which he had earned for himself. So that all that descend by fleshly generation from Adam, and from the guilty woman, who was the cause of his sin and the partaker of his punishment, derive from them original sin; whereby they are drawn through a way of divers sins and sorrows, towards that final ruin which they shall share with the rebel angels who are at once their corrupters, their lords, and their comrades.

R. (Dixit Dominus) The Lord God said: It is not good that the man should be alone.
* Let Us make an help meet for him.
V. But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him; and God said:
R. Let Us make an help meet for him.

Reading 7: So by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, (and so death passed upon all men,) in whom all have sinned. By the world the Apostle signified! in this place all mankind. Thus then hath the matter stood. The damned mass of humanity lay in misery, or rather wallowed in it, and fell from bad to worse, till it joined the company of the sinning angels, and both together suffered the deserved punishment of their vile treason.

R. (Immisit): The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took one of his ribs.* And the rib which the Lord had taken from Adam made He a woman, and brought her unto Adam, to see what he would call her. And he called her name Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
V. And while he slept He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.
R. And the rib which the Lord had taken from Adam made He a woman, and brought her unto Adam, to see what he would call her.

Reading 8: So the wrath of God appertained whatever sin man, through the blind and untamed sting of his flesh, willingly committeth, and whatever punishment, declared and open, he unwillingly suffereth. There is, indeed, no pause in that goodness of the Creator whereby He giveth even to the traitor angels life and strength, (which if He gave not, they would be annihilated,) and whereby He formeth the seed of men, though they come of a corrupt and condemned stock, quickeneth them, strengtheneth and fitteth their limbs for the changing seasons of their life, extendeth their knowledge in divers places, and giveth them whereon to live. It hath been His will rather to draw good out of evil, than to suffer that there should be no evil.

R (Dixit Dominus ad Adam)

Nocturn III (Homily 19 of St Gregory on the Gospels)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew: In that time, Jesus said to his disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And so on.

We hear that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker, Who is the Head of the household of faith, bearing rule over them whom He hath made, and being Master of His chosen ones in the world, as a Master over those that are in his house? He it is That hath the Church for a vineyard, a vineyard that ceaseth not to bring forth branches of the True Vine, from righteous Abel to the last of the elect that shall be born in the world.

R. (Plantaverat) And the Lord God had planted a garden aforetime in Eden,
* And there He put the man whom He had formed.
V. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.
R. And there He put the man whom He had formed.

Reading 10: This householder, then, for the cultivation of his vineyard, goeth out early in the morning, and at the third hour, and the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, and the eleventh hour, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Thus the Lord, from the beginning to the end of the world, ceaseth not to gather together preachers for the instruction of His faithful people. The early morning of the world was from Adam until Noah; the third hour from Noah until Abraham; the sixth hour from Abraham until Moses; the ninth hour from Moses until the coming of the Lord; the eleventh hour from the coming of the Lord until the end of the world. At this eleventh hour are sent forth as preachers the Holy Apostles, who have received full wages, albeit they be come in late.

R. (Ecce Adam) Behold, Adam is become as One of Us, to know good and evil.
* See lest he take of the tree of life and live for ever.
V. Unto Adam also did the Lord God make a coat of skins, and clothed him, and said:
R. See lest he take of the tree of life and live for ever.

Reading 11: Nor the cultivation of His vineyard, (that is, the instruction of His people,) the Lord hath never ceased to send into it labourers. First, by the Fathers, then, by the Prophets and Teachers of the Law, and lastly, by the Apostles He hath dressed and tended the lives of His people, as the owner of a vineyard dresseth and tendeth it by means of workmen.

R. (Ubi est) The Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel thy brother? Lord, I know not am I my brother's keeper? And He said unto him What hast thou done?
* Behold, the voice of thy brother Abel's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.
V. Cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
R. Behold, the voice of thy brother Abel's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.

Reading 12: Whoever in whatever degree joined to a right faith the teaching of righteousness, was so far one of God's labourers in God's vineyard. By the labourers at early morning, and at the third hour, the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, may be understood God's ancient people, the Hebrews, who strove to worship Him with a right faith in company with His chosen ones from the very beginning of the world, and thus continually laboured in His vineyard. And now, at the eleventh hour, it is said unto the Gentiles also Why stand ye here all the day idle?

R. (In sudore) The Lord said unto Adam; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread; when thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her fruits.* Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.
V. Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree which I commanded thee, saying Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground whereon thou shalt labour.
R. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

THE kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle. And he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle? They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard.And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.When therefore they were come, that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house, Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats. But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil, because I am good? So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

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.