Saturday, 17 September 2016

Matins readings for the Third Sunday in September

Nocturn I: Tobit 1:1-15

Reading 1: Tobias of the tribe and city of Nephtali, (which is in the upper parts of Galilee above Naasson, beyond the way that leadeth to the west, having on the right hand the city of Sephet,)
When he was made captive in the days of Salmanasar king of the Assyrians, even in his captivity, forsook not the way of truth, But every day gave all he could get to his brethren his fellow captives, that were of his kindred. And when he was younger than any of the tribe of Nephtali, yet did he no childish thing in his work.

R. We have heard of the tribulation of those cities, which they have suffered, and we have fainted. Fear and confusion of mind are fallen upon us. Even the mountains will not give us a refuge.
* Lord, have mercy.
V. We have sinned like our forefathers, we have done unjustly, and wrought iniquity.
R. Lord, have mercy.

Reading 2: Moreover when all went to the golden calves which Jeroboam king of Israel had made, he alone fled the company of all, And went to Jerusalem to the temple of the Lord, and there adored the Lord God of Israel, offering faithfully all his firstfruits, and his tithes, So that in the third year he gave all his tithes to the proselytes, and strangers. These and such like things did he observe when but a boy according to the law of God.

R. In all seasons bless God, and ask of Him to order thy goings* And in all seasons let thy counsels be steadfastly in Him.
V. Seek faithfully and with all thy strength to do such things as please Him.
R. And in all seasons let thy counsels be steadfastly in Him.

Reading 3: But when he was a man, he took to wife Anna of his own tribe, and had a son by her, whom he called after his own name, And from his infancy he taught him to fear God, and to abstain from all sin. And when by the captivity he with his wife and his son and all his tribe was come to the city of Ninive, (When all ate of the meats of the Gentiles) he kept his soul and never was defiled with their meats.

R. My son, remember that we have but a frail life.* If thou fear God thou shalt have great goods.
V. Be mindful of Him, and beware lest ever thou transgress His commandments.
R. If thou fear God thou shalt have great goods.

Reading 4: And because he was mindful of the Lord with all his heart, God gave him favour in the sight of Salmanasar the king. And he gave him leave to go whithersoever he would, with liberty to do whatever he had a mind.  He therefore went to all that were in captivity, and gave them wholesome admonitions.

Nocturn II: Sermon 94 of St Leo

Reading 5: Well do I know, dearly beloved, that many of you are fervent in your observance of all those practices which belong to the Christian Faith, so that ye have no need to be admonished by our exhortations. For what tradition hath laid down, and custom well established, is neither unknown to the learned nor neglected by the devout. But because it appertaineth to the priestly office to exercise the same general care over all the Church's children in all such matters as be profitable alike to the learned and to the simple (both of whom are equally dear to us), we do now exhort the both of you to celebrate, with lively faith, and all due discipline of soul and body, the Quarterly Fast, which the seventh month [that is, September] doth once again bring to us in its yearly round.

R. Our poverty was enough for us, that it might have been accounted riches. O that the money had never been, for which thou hast sent away our son,
* The staff of our old age.
V. Alas my son, wherefore have we sent thee wandering, even thee, the light of our eyes
R. The staff of our old age.

Reading 6: The Ember Days of fasting are appointed to the four seasons, in order that their quarterly recurrence in the course of the year may teach us how unceasingly we need to be purified, and how, as long as we are tossed about by the changes and chances of this life, we need through fasting and alms-deeds to be cleansed from the stain of that sin which we have contracted by the frailty of our flesh and our concupiscence.

R. Bless the God of heaven, and confess Him before all living:* For He hath had mercy upon you.
V. Bless Him, and sing praises unto Him, and tell of all His marvellous works.
R. For He hath had mercy upon you.

Reading 7: Let us diminish a little, beloved, what we are accustomed to use for ourselves, in order that we have somewhat more to use for the relief of the poor and needy.The conscience of the generous can thus be made glad by the fruits of their own liberality. Whilst thou art giving happiness thou shalt receive joy. Thy love for thy neighbour is a unity with thy love for God; and he hath taught us that in the unity of this twofold charity is to be found the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets. Further, if anyone doubt that what is given to man is offered to God, we have the saying of our Lord and Saviour, when he spake of feeding and helping the poor: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

R. It is time for me to return unto Him That sent me* But bless ye God, and tell of all His marvellous works.
V. Confess Him before all living, for He hath had mercy upon you.
R. But bless ye God, and tell of all His marvellous works.

Reading 8: Wherefore, let us fast on Ember Wednesday and Friday; and on Ember Saturday let us also keep vigil at the shrine of blessed Peter the Apostle; by whose merits and prayers we believe that we shall be aided, so that we may please our merciful God in our fasting and prayer.

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