Saturday, 12 December 2015

Matins readings for the Third Sunday of Advent

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

Nocturn I

Reading 1: Isaiah 26:1-3
Reading 2: Isaiah 26: 4-6
Reading 3: Isaiah 26: 7 -10
Reading 4: Isaiah 26: 11-14

Nocturn II: Sermon 13 of St Leo the Great

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, with the care which becometh us as the shepherd of your souls, we urge upon you the rigid observance of this December Fast. The month of December hath come round again, and with it this devout custom of the Church. The fruits of the year, which is drawing to a close, are now all gathered in, and we most meetly offer our abstinence to God as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 

Reading 6: And what can be more useful than fasting, that exercise by which we draw nigh to God, make a stand against the devil, and overcome the softer enticements of sin?  Fasting hath ever been the bread of strength. From abstinence proceed pure thoughts, reasonable desires, and healthy counsels. By voluntary mortifications the flesh dieth to lust, and the soul is renewed in might. 

Reading 7: But since fasting is not the only mean whereby we get health for our souls, let us add to our fasting works of mercy. Let us spend in good deeds what we take from indulgence. Let our fast become the banquet of the poor.  Let us defend the widow and serve the orphan; let us comfort the afflicted and reconcile the estranged; let us take in the wanderer and succour the oppressed; let us clothe the naked and cherish the sick. And may every one of us that shall offer to the God of all goodness this Advent sacrifice of fasting and alms be by Him fitted to receive an eternal reward in His heavenly kingdom! 

Reading 8: We fast on Wednesday and Friday; and there is likewise a Vigil on Saturday at the Church of St Peter, that by his good prayers we may the more effectually obtain what we ask for, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

Nocturn III: Homily of St Gregory the Great

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to John (John 1:19-28): In that time were sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And so on.

Dearly beloved brethren, the first thing which striketh us in to - day's Gospel is the lowly - mindedness of John. He was so great that it was thought he might be the Christ; yet he soberly chose rather to seem only what he really was, than to let the belief of men invest him with a dignity which did not belong to him; for he confessed, and denied not, but confessed, I am not the Christ, at the same time he would not deny what he was in reality; and thus his very truth - speaking made him a member of Him Whose title he would not by falsehood take. 

Reading 10: In that he arrogated not to himself the name of Christ, he became a member of Christ. While he humbly strove to confess his own weakness, he earned by his simplicity a part in the grandeur of his Master.  In considering this subject we find an apparent contradiction between one of John's statements, and the saying of our Redeemer recorded in another part of the Gospel.  When His disciples asked our Lord regarding the coming of Elias, He answered Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. And if ye will receive it, this that is, John is Elias.  

Reading 11: But when John was asked if he was Elias, he answered, I am not. How comes it then, dearly beloved brethren, that we find the Truth Itself asserting what the prophet of the Truth denied? It must evidently be that our Lord meant one thing and John another, when the Lord said, This is, and John, I am not. For how can he be the prophet of truth, if he speak not according to the word of Him Who is the Eternal Truth? Let us then more minutely examine these words, and we shall find that there is no real contradiction. 

Reading 12: When the Angel announced to Zacharias the coming birth of John he said He shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias.  As the old Elias will come again before the Second Advent of the Lord, so did John, as the new Elias, go before the First Advent, in the spirit and power of Elias. As the old Elias will be the Fore-runner of the Judge, so the new Elias was the Fore-runner of the Saviour. John then was Elias in spirit, but not in person; and our Lord asserteth of the spirit what John denieth of the person.

Gospel: St John 1:19-28

19 Et hoc est testimonium Joannis, quando miserunt Judæi ab Jerosolymis sacerdotes et Levitas ad eum ut interrogarent eum: Tu quis es? 20 Et confessus est, et non negavit, et confessus est: Quia non sum ego Christus. 21 Et interrogaverunt eum: Quid ergo? Elias es tu? Et dixit: Non sum. Propheta es tu? Et respondit: Non. 22 Dixerunt ergo ei: Quis es ut responsum demus his qui miserunt nos? quid dicis de teipso? 23 Ait: Ego vox clamantis in deserto: Dirigite viam Domini, sicut dixit Isaias propheta. 24 Et qui missi fuerant, erant ex pharisæis. 25 Et interrogaverunt eum, et dixerunt ei: Quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque propheta? 26 Respondit eis Joannes, dicens: Ego baptizo in aqua: medius autem vestrum stetit, quem vos nescitis. 27 Ipse est qui post me venturus est, qui ante me factus est: cujus ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti. 28 Hæc in Bethania facta sunt trans Jordanem, ubi erat Joannes baptizans.


 [19] And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who art thou? [20] And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ.[21] And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. [22] They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? [23] He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. [24] And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees. [25] And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet?[26] John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. [27] The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. [28] These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting all of this for Matins. It's a pleasure to read and pray.