Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Feast of St Lawrence (10 August)

The readings and responsories for the feast, arranged as for the Benedictine Office, are set out below for study purposes.  Details of the responsories, including sources of the text, translations and where chants for them can be located can be found on the Benedictine Responsory Blog.

The translations provided on the blog are generally from the Marquise de Bute translation of the Roman Office, via the Divinum Officium website, however those for responsories 4, 8, 11 and 12 for this feast are my own, and suggested improvements are welcome.

Nocturn I

Reading 1: From the Book of Ecclesiasticus - I will give glory to thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise thee, O God my Saviour.  I will give glory to thy name: for thou hast been a helper and protector to me.  And hast preserved my body from destruction, from the snare of an unjust tongue, and from the lips of them that forge lies, and in the sight of them that stood by, thou hast been my helper.

R. Levita Laurentius bonum opus operatus est, qui per signum crucis caecos illuminavit * Et thesauros Ecclesiae dedit pauperibus.
V. Dispersit, dedit pauperibus: justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
R. Et thesauros Ecclesiae dedit pauperibus.
R. The Levite Lawrence wrought a good work, in that with the sign of the Cross he gave sight to the blind * And dispersed among the needy the riches of the Church.
V. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor his righteousness endureth for ever.
R. And dispersed among the needy the riches of the Church.

Reading 2: And thou hast delivered me, according to the multitude of the mercy of thy name, from them that did roar, prepared to devour. Out of the hands of them that sought my life, and from the gates of afflictions, which compassed me about: From the oppression of the flame which surrounded me, and in the midst of the fire I was not burnt. From the depth of the belly of hell, and from an unclean tongue, and from lying words, from an unjust king, and from a slanderous tongue

R. Puer meus noli timere, quia ego tecum sum, dicit Dominus: * Si transieris per ignem, flamma non nocebit tibi, et odor ignis non erit in te.
V. Liberabo te de manu pessimorum, et eruam te de manu fortium.
R. Si transieris per ignem, flamma non nocebit tibi, et odor ignis non erit in te.
R. O my child, be not afraid, for I am with thee, saith the Lord. * When thou passest through the fire, the flame shall not harm thee, neither shall the smell of fire pass upon thee.
V. And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.
R. When thou passest through the fire the flame shall not harm thee, neither shall the smell of fire pass upon thee.

Reading 3: My soul shall praise the Lord even to death. And my life was drawing near to hell beneath. They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none. I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy works, which are from the beginning of the world. How thou deliverest them that wait for thee, O Lord, and savest them out of the hands of the nations. Thou hast exalted my dwelling place upon the earth and I have prayed for death to pass away.

R. Strinxerunt corporis membra posita super craticulam: ministrantibus prunas insultat Levita Christi: * Beate Laurenti, Martyr Christi, intercede pro nobis.
V. Mea nox obscurum non habet, sed omnia in luce clarescunt
R. Beate Laurenti, Martyr Christi, intercede pro nobis.
R. They laid him upon the grating, and stretched out his limbs. Christ's Levite held in derision them that brought the live coals. * O Lawrence, blessed witness for Christ plead for us!
V. The darkness is no darkness to me, but the night is all as clear as the morning, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
R. O Lawrence, blessed witness for Christ plead for us

Reading 4: I called upon the Lord, the father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud without help. I will praise thy name continually, and will praise it with thanksgiving, and my prayer was heard. And thou hast saved me from destruction, and hast delivered me from the evil time. Therefore I will give thanks, and praise thee, and bless the name of the Lord.

R: Beatus Laurentius dixit ego me obtuli sacrificium * In odorem suavitatis
V: Gaudeo plane quia hostia Christi effici merui
R:  In odorem suavitatis
R: Blessed Laurence said I have offered myself as a sacrifice to God * In an odour of sweetness.
V: I rejoice because I have merited to be made a victim for Christ
R: In an odour of sweetness.

Nocturn II

Reading 5: From the Sermons of Pope St Leo the Great - Then the fury of the heathen power was raging against Christ's choicest members, in aiming in especial at such as were of the Priestly Order, the wicked persecutor turned fiercely on the Levite Lawrence, who was remarkable, not only as a minister of the Sacraments, but also as distributor of the property of the Church, promising himself a double prey by the taking of this one man, namely, to make him betray the consecrated treasure, and apostatise from the true faith.

R. Quo progréderis sine fílio, pater? quo, sacérdos sancte, sine diácono próperas? * Tu numquam sine minístro sacrifícium offérre consuéveras.
V. Quid ergo in me displícuit paternitáti tuæ? numquid degénerem me probásti? Experíre utrum idóneum minístrum elégeris, cui commisísti Dominici sánguinis dispensatiónem.
R. Tu numquam sine minístro sacrifícium offérre consuéveras.
R. Father, whither goest thou without thy son? Holy Priest, dost thou fare hence without a Deacon? * It hath never been thy use to offer sacrifice without a minister.
V. What therefore in me hath displeased thee, my Father? Hast thou tried me and found me unworthy to be called thy son Make trial if I am indeed an useless servant, even I, whom thou didst choose, to commit unto me the administration of the Cup of the Blood of the Lord.
R. It hath never been thy use to offer sacrifice without a minister.

Reading 6: The wretch was thus doubly fired by his greed for money and his hatred of the truth, his greed urging him to seize the gold, and his wickedness to rob a believer of Christ. He demanded of the upright keeper of the sacred treasury, to bring him the wealth of the Church, for which his rapacity longed. But the pureminded Levite showed him where these riches were stored, by bringing before him a great multitude of holy poor, by the feeding and clothing of whom he had laid up all. that he had, in such wise, that it could be lost no more, and was now all the safer, as the way of spending it had been the holier.

R. Noli me derelínquere, pater sancte, quia thesáuros tuos jam expéndi.* Non ego te désero, fili, neque derelínquo; sed majóra tibi debéntur pro fide Christi certámina.
V. Nos quasi senes levióris pugnæ cursum recípimus, te autem quasi júvenem manet gloriósior de tyránno triúmphus: post tríduum me sequéris sacerdótem levíta.
R. Non ego te désero, fili, neque derelínquo; sed majóra tibi debéntur pro fide Christi certámina.
R. Leave me not, holy Father, for I have spent already thy treasures. * I leave thee not, my son, neither forsake thee but there awaiteth thee for Christ's truth a wrestling sterner than mine.
V. We, as old men, have an easier race to run; for thee in thy youth, there is kept a more glorious victory over the enemy; yet three days, and thou shalt follow me, the Deacon behind the Priest.
R. I leave thee not, my son, neither forsake thee but there awaiteth thee for Christ's truth a wrestling sterner than mine.

Reading 7: The baffled thief chafed, and his hatred for the godliness which had appointed such an use of riches, flaming forth, he attempted the robbery of a dearer treasure from him in whose hands he had found no coin, even to take from him that possession wherein he had holier wealth. He commanded Lawrence to deny Christ, and made ready to assail the immovable firmness of the Levite's soul with appalling tortures, of which the failure of the first was followed by the application of others more fearful still. When his limbs had been mangled and cut by many stripes, his tormentor ordered them to be roasted over a fire. He was laid on an iron grating, the bars of which by the continual fire below, became themselves burning hot, so that by turning and rearranging his limbs upon them, his agony was kept keener, and his suffering made to last longer.

R. Beátus Lauréntius clamávit et dixit: Deum meum colo, illi soli sérvio;  * Et ideo non tímeo torménta tua.
V. Mea nox obscúrum non habet, sed ómnia in luce claréscunt.
R. Et ideo non tímeo torménta tua.
R. The blessed Lawrence cried and said: My God do I worship, and Him only do I serve * And therefore I am not afraid of thy tortures.
V. The darkness is no darkness to me, but the night is all as clear as the morning, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
R. And therefore I am not afraid of thy tortures.

Reading 8: Cruel savage! thou gainest nothing, and advancest nothing. That which can die passeth by degrees beyond the reach of thy tortures, and when Lawrence departeth to heaven, thou and thy fires are conquered. The love of Christ could not be overcome by the flames, and the glow that scorched the outward man was colder than that that burnt in the inner. Thou didst rage, O thou persecutor thou didst rage against the Martyr, but by making keener his agony, thou hast but made nobler his palm. What did thine imagination fail to discover that could minister to the glory of him who conquered thee, since even the means of his execution have turned to the honour of his triumph Wherefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us rejoice with spiritual joy, and make our boast in the Lord, Who is wonderful in His Saints, and hath given unto us, in them an help and an example let us, I say, make our boast of the extraordinary happiness of the illustrious Lawrence's end, in that same Lord Who hath so glorified the name of His servant throughout the whole world, that from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof, wheresoever the constellation of the Levitical lights shineth, even as Jerusalem is made glorious by Stephen, so Rome is made famous by Lawrence.

R: Meruit esse hostia Christi levita Laurentius, qui dum assaretur, non negavit Dominum * Et ideo inventus est sacrificium laudis.
V: In craticula positus Deum non negavit, et ad ignem applicatus Christum confessus est.
R: Et ideo inventus est sacrificium laudis.
V: Gloria Patri...
R: Et ideo inventus est sacrificium laudis.
R: The levite Lawrence merited to be a victim of Christ because when he was roasted, he did not deny the Lord: * And therefore he was found to be a sacrifice of praise
V: When placed on the gridiron he did not deny God, and on feeling the fire he confessed Christ
R:  And therefore he was found to be a sacrifice of praise
V: Glory be...
R: And therefore he showed himself to be a sacrifice of praise

Nocturn III

Reading 9 : From the Holy Gospel according to John - At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Amen, Amen, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. - The Lord Jesus was Himself a corn of wheat that was to die and bring forth much fruit to die by the unbelief of the Jews, and to bring forth much fruit in the faith of the Gentiles. He, exhorting men to follow His steps, saith: He that loveth his life shall lose it. Now, these words may be understood in two ways. First he that loveth his life shall lose it, that is, If thou love life, thou wilt lose it; if thou wilt live for ever in Christ, refuse not to die for Christ.

R. In cratícula te Deum non negávi, * Et ad ignem applicátus te Dóminum Jesum Christum conféssus sum.
V. Probásti, Dómine, cor meum, et visitásti nocte.
R. Et ad ignem applicátus te Dóminum Jesum Christum conféssus sum.
R. Upon the bars I denied thee not, O God. * And when they put me to the fire, I acknowledged thee to be the Lord, O Jesus Christ.
V. Lord, Thou hast proved mine heart and visited it by night.
R. And when they put me to the fire, I acknowledged thee to be the Lord, O Jesus Christ.

Reading 10: Or secondly, he that loveth his life shall lose it; love not then that which thou shalt lose; love not this present life, so that thou be thereby in jeopardy of losing life eternal.What this second interpretation is the meaning of the Gospel, appeareth most probable from the words which follow: And he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal. From which we may suppose the sense of the first words to be: He that loveth his life in this world shall lose it unto life eternal.

R. O Hippólyte, si credíderis in Dóminum Jesum Christum, * Et thesáuros tibi osténdo, et vitam ætérnam promítto.
V. Beátus Lauréntius Hippólyto dixit: Si credis in Dóminum Jesum Christum.
R. Et thesáuros tibi osténdo, et vitam ætérnam promítto.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Et thesáuros tibi osténdo, et vitam ætérnam promítto.
R. O Hippolytus, if thou believest in the Lord Jesus Christ, * I lay before thee treasure an hundredfold, and promise thee life everlasting.
V. The blessed Lawrence said unto Hippolytus: If thou believest in the Lord Jesus Christ.
R. I lay before thee treasure an hundred-fold, and promise thee life everlasting.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. I lay before thee treasure an hundred-fold, and promise thee life everlasting.

Reading 11: This is a great and marvellous saying, showing how a man may so love life as to lose life, and so hate life as to keep life. If thou love it too well, then dost thou hate it; if thou hate it with an holy hatred, then dost thou love it. Blessed are they that, lest they should so love it as to lose it, so hate it as to keep it. Beware, lest thou take these words: He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal as some do, for an approval of suicide.

R: Beatus Laurentius dixit disce miser quanta est virtus Domini * Nam carbones isti non dolorem sed refrigerium mihi praestant
V: Ecce miser assasti me una parte regyra aliam et manduca
R: Nam carbones isti non dolorem sed refrigerium mihi praestant
R: Blessed Lawrence said know unhappy man how great is the power of God; * for your burning coals give me not sadness but refreshment
V: See, this side is well roasted; turn me on the other and eat.
R: For your burning coals give me not sadness but refreshment

Reading 12: Some evil and perverse men, bloody and guilty murderers of themselves, do indeed throw themselves into the fire, drown themselves in water, and cast themselves down precipices, and so perish. This is not the teaching of Christ, Who, when the devil would have Him cast Himself down from an high place, answered: Get thee behind Me, Satan. It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Who also said to Peter, signifying by what death he should glorify God: When thou wast young thou girdedst thyself and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. From which it is evident that he that would follow Christ's footsteps, must be slain, not by himself, but by another.

R. Gaudeo plane quia hostia Christi effici merui: accusatus non negavi; interrogatus: Christum confessus sum * Assatus, gratias ago
V. Ego me obtuli sacrificium Deo, in odorem suavitatis
R. Assatus, gratias ago
V: Gloria
R. Assatus, gratias ago
R: I certainly because I have merited to be made a victim for Christ: when I was questioned, I confessed Christ *  when being roasted, I gave Thee thanks.
V: I offer myself as a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness.
R: When being roasted, I gave Thee thanks.
V: Glory be
R: When being roasted, I gave Thee thanks.


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