Saturday, 5 November 2016

Matins readings for the third Sunday of November

**The rubrics dictate that if the first Sunday of November falls on the 6th or 7th day of the month, the Scripture readings for the first and second Sundays are omitted.

Nocturn I: Daniel 1:1-15

Reading 1: In the third year of the reign of Joakim king of Juda, Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord delivered into his hands Joakim the king of Juda, and part of the vessels of the house of God: and he carried them away into the land of Sennaar, to the house of his god, and the vessels he brought into the treasure house of his god. And the king spoke to Asphenez the master of the eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed and of the princes, Children in whom there was no blemish, well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, acute in knowledge, and instructed in science, and such as might stand in the king's palace, that he might teach them the learning, and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

R. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the whole earth was full of His glory;
* And His train filled the temple.
V. Above it stood the Seraphim each one had six wings.
R. And His train filled the temple.

Reading 2: And the king appointed them a daily provision, of his own meat, and of the wine of which he drank himself, that being nourished three years, afterwards they might stand before the king. Now there were among them of the children of Juda, Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias. And the master of the eunuchs gave them names: to Daniel, Baltassar: to Ananias, Sidrach: to Misael, Misach: and to Azarias, Abdenago.

R. Look down, O Lord, from the dwelling-place of thine holiness, and take thought for us. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear.
* Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.
V. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou That leadest Joseph like a flock.
R. Open thine eyes, and behold our desolation.

Reading 3: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not be defiled with the king's table, nor with the wine which he drank: and he requested the master of the eunuchs that he might not be defiled. And God gave to Daniel grace and mercy in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel: I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed you meat and drink: who if he should see your faces leaner than those of the other youths your equals, you shall endanger my head to the king.

R. Consider, O Lord, how that the city sitteth solitary that was full of riches; how is she become as a widow, she that was great among the nations;
* She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.
V. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks.
R. She hath none to comfort her, save thee, O our God.

Reading 4: And Daniel said to Malasar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias: Try, I beseech thee, thy servants for ten days, and let pulse be given us to eat, and water to drink: And look upon our faces, and the faces of the children that eat of the king's meat: and as thou shalt see, deal with thy servants. And when he had heard these words, he tried them for ten days. And after ten days their faces appeared fairer and fatter than all the children that ate of the king's meat.

R. He hath redeemed His people, and ransomed them therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil* And they shall hunger no more.
V. And their soul shall be as a watered garden.
R. And they shall hunger no more.

Nocturn II: Pseudo-Athanasius, To Virgins

Reading 5: If any should come and say unto thee, Fast not so often, lest thou injure thine health, believe them not,neither listen to them. They are but the tools of the great enemy to suggest such a thing unto thee. Remember how it is written that when the three children, and Daniel, and the other lads, were led captives by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, and it was commanded them to eat of his Royal table, and to drink of his wine, Daniel and those three children would not defile themselves with the King's table, but said unto the eunuch into whose keeping they had been given, Give us of the fruits of the earth, and we will eat. And the eunuch answered them, I fear my lord the King, who hath appointed your meat and your drink, lest perchance your faces should appear unto the King worse - liking than the other children, who are fed from his Royal table, and he should punish me.

R. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem;* Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.
V. They shall proclaim My might unto the nations, and declare My glory unto the Gentiles.
R. Which shall never hold their peace day nor night, to praise the name of the Lord.

Reading 6: Then they said unto him Prove thy servants ten days, and give us herbs. And he gave them pulse to eat and water to drink and, when he brought them in before the King, their countenances appeared fairer than all the children which did eat the portion of the King's meat. Seest thou what fasting doth It healeth diseases, it drieth up the humours of the body, it scareth away devils, it purgeth forth unclean thoughts, it maketh the intellect clearer, it purifieth the heart, it sanctifieth the body, and in the end it leadeth a man unto the throne of God.

R. Hedge us about with thy wall that cannot be broken down, O Lord, and shield us continually with the arms of thy might.* O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.
V. Deliver us also according to thy marvellous works, and give glory to thy Name.
R. O Lord God of Israel, deliver them that cry unto thee.

Reading 7: Think not that this is rash talking. Thou hast the testimony of this in the Gospels under the sanction of the Saviour Himself. His disciples asked Him why they could not cast out an evil spirit, and He said unto them This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.If any man therefore be troubled with an unclean spirit, if he bethink him of this, and have recourse to this remedy, namely, fasting, the evil spirit will be forthwith compelled to leave him from dread of the power of fasting. Devils take great delight in fulness, and drunkenness, and bodily comfort.

R. We looked for peace, and it came not we asked for good, and behold trouble. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness.* Forget us not for ever.
V. O Lord (our God) we have sinned, we have done ungodly, we have dealt unrighteously in all thine ordinances.
R. Forget us not for ever.

Reading 8: There is great power in fasting, and great and glorious things are wrought thereby. How cometh it that men work such wonders, and that signs are done by them, and that God through them giveth health to the sick, unless it be from their ghostly exercises, and the meekness of their souls, and their godly conversation To fast is to banquet with Angels, and he that fasteth is to be reckoned, so far, among the Angelic host.

R. I am straitened on every side, and know not what to choose.
* It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
V. For if I do this thing, it is death unto me and if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands.
R. It is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin against the law of my God.
 V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. For if I do this thing, it is death unto me and if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands.

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