Wednesday, 11 May 2016

SS Philip and James

The feast of SS James and Philip used to be celebrated on May 1, but displaced by the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, and moved to May 11.  Here are the readings in the Benedictine Office:

Nocturn I (James 1:1-16)

Reading 1: James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, sends greeting to the members of the twelve tribes scattered throughout the world. Consider yourselves happy indeed, my brethren, when you encounter trials of every sort,  as men who know well enough that the testing of their faith breeds endurance.  Endurance must do its work thoroughly, if you are to be men full-grown in every part, nothing lacking in you.

R. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, alleluia.* He shall delight exceedingly in his commandments, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
R. He shall delight exceedingly in his commandments, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 2: Is there one of you who still lacks wisdom? God gives to all, freely and ungrudgingly; so let him ask God for it, and the gift will come. (Only it must be in faith that he asks, he must not hesitate; one who hesitates is like a wave out at sea, driven to and fro by the wind; such a man must not hope to win any gift from the Lord.

R. Your sorrow, alleluia.* Shall be turned into joy, alleluia.
V. The world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow.
R. Shall be turned into joy, alleluia.

Reading 3: No, a man who is in two minds will find no rest wherever he goes.  Is one of the brethren in humble circumstances? Let him be proud of it; it exalts him, whereas the rich man takes pride in what in truth abases him. The rich man will pass by like the bloom on the grass; 11 the sun gets up, and the scorching wind with it, which dries up the grass, till the bloom on it falls, and all its fair show dies away; so the rich man, with his enterprises, will disappear.

R. Precious in the sight of the Lord, alleluia.* Is the death of his saints, alleluia.
V. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and he will save the humble of spirit.
R. Is the death of his saints, alleluia.

Reading 4: Blessed is he who endures under trials. When he has proved his worth, he will win that crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  Nobody, when he finds himself tempted, should say, I am being tempted by God. God may threaten us with evil, but he does not himself tempt anyone. No, when a man is tempted, it is always because he is being drawn away by the lure of his own passions. When that has come about, passion conceives and gives birth to sin; and when sin has reached its full growth, it breeds death. Beloved brethren, do not deceive yourselves over this.

Nocturn II

Reading 5: Philip was born in the town of Bethsaida, and was one of the first of the twelve Apostles who were called by the Lord Christ. Then Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him: “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write.” And so he brought him to the Lord. How familiarly he was in the company of Christ, is manifest from that which is written: "There were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the Feast the same came therefore to Philip, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus." When the Lord was in the wilderness, and was about to feed a great multitude, He said unto Philip: “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip, after that he had received the Holy Ghost, took Scythia, by lot, as the land wherein he was to preach the Gospel, and brought nearly all that people to believe in Christ. At the last he came to Hierapolis in Phrygia, and there, for Christ's Name's sake, he was fastened to a cross and stoned to death. The day was the first of May. The Christians of Hierapolis buried his body at that place, but it was afterwards brought to Rome and laid in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, beside that of the blessed Apostle James.

R. Eternal light will shine over your saints, O Lord,* And the eternity of the times, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness
R. And the eternity of the times, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 6: JAMES, surnamed the Just, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, was a Nazarite from the womb. During his whole life he never drank wine or strong drink, never ate meat, never shaved, and never took a bath. He was the only man who was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies. His raiment was always linen. So continually did he kneel in prayer, that the skin of his knees became horny, like a camel's knees. After Christ was ascended, the Apostles made James Bishop of Jerusalem and even the Prince of the Apostles gave special intelligence to him after that he was delivered from prison by an angel.

R. With great power did the Apostles* Give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they spoke the word of God with confidence.
R. Give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 7: When in the Council of Jerusalem certain questions were mooted touching the law and circumcision, James, following the opinion of Peter, addressed a discourse to the brethren, wherein he proved the call of the Gentiles, and commanded letters to be sent to such brethren as were absent, that they might take heed not to lay upon the Gentiles the yoke of the Law of Moses. It is of him that the Apostle Paul saith, writing to the Galatians: “Other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.”

R. These are the young lambs, who were promised, they are just coming to the fountains.
* They are filled with glory, alleluia, alleluia.
V. In sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
R. They are filled with glory, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 8: So great was James' holiness of life that men strove one with another to touch the hem of his garment. When he was ninety-six years old, and had most holily governed the Church of Jerusalem for thirty years, ever most constantly preaching Christ the Son of God, he laid down his life for the faith. He was first stoned, and afterward taken up on to a pinnacle of the Temple and cast down from thence. His legs were broken by the fall, and he was well-nigh dead, but he lifted up his hands towards heaven, and prayed to God for the salvation of his murderers, saying: “Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” As he said this, one that stood by smote him grievously upon the head with a fuller's club, and he resigned his spirit to God. He testified in the seventh year of Nero, and was buried hard by the Temple, in the place where he had fallen. He wrote one of the Seven Epistles which are called Catholic.

Nocturn III (St Augustine, Tractates on John, 67)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to John, John 14:1-13: At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house there are many mansions.” And so on.

Our special attention, brethren, must be earnestly turned to God, in order that we may be able to obtain some intelligent apprehension of the words of the holy Gospel, which have just been ringing in our ears. For the Lord Jesus says: Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God, and believe [or, believe also] in me. That they might not as men be afraid of death, and so be troubled, He comforts them by affirming Himself also to be God.

R. I am the vine: you the branches.* He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, alleluia, alleluia.
V. As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you.
R. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 10: Believe, He says, in God, believe also in me. For it follows as a consequence, that if you believe in God, you ought to believe also in me: which were no consequence if Christ were not God. Believe in God, and believe in Him, who, by nature and not by robbery, is equal with God; for He emptied Himself; not, however, by losing the form of God, but by taking the form of a servant. Philippians 2:6-7 You are afraid of death as regards this servant form, let not your heart be troubled, the form of God will raise it again.

R. Her Nazarites are become pure, Alleluia: they reflect the glory of God, Alleluia.* They are whiter than milk. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. They are purer than snow, they are whiter than milk, they are more ruddy in body than coral, their polishing is of sapphire.
R. They are whiter than milk. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 11: But why have we this that follows, In my Father's house are many mansions, but that they were also in fear about themselves? And therein they might have heard the words, Let not your heart be troubled. For, was there any of them that could be free from fear, when Peter, the most confident and forward of them all, was told, The cock shall not crow till you have denied me thrice?

Reading 12: Considering themselves, therefore, beginning with Peter, as destined to perish, they had cause to be troubled: but when they now hear, In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you, they are revived from their trouble, made certain and confident that after all the perils of temptations they shall dwell with Christ in the presence of God. For, albeit one is stronger than another, one wiser than another, one more righteous than another, in the Father's house there are many mansions; none of them shall remain outside that house, where every one, according to his deserts, is to receive a mansion.

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