Matins readings for Septuagesima Sunday

The Matins readings for the Sunday of Septuagesima in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I 

Reading 1: From the book of Genesis - In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.  And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day. And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.  And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.

R. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram, et fecit in ea hominem, * Ad imaginem et similitudinem suam.
V. Formavit igitur Deus hominem de limo terrae et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitae.
R. Ad imaginem et similitudinem suam.
R.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, wherein He made man also * After His own image and likeness.
V. So God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his face the breath of life.
R. After His own image and likeness.

Reading 2: God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done.  And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.  And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the third day.

R. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram et Spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas:* Et vidit Deus cuncta quae fecerat, et erant valde bona.
V. Igitur perfecti sunt caeli et terra, et omnis ornatus eorum.
R. Et vidit Deus cuncta quae fecerat, et erant valde bona.
R. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. * And God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.
V. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them.
R. And God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.

Reading 3: And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:  To shine in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon the earth. And it was so done. And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.  And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth.  And to rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And the evening and morning were the fourth day.

R. Formavit Dominus hominem de limo terrae * Et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitae, et factus est homo in animam viventem.
V. In principio fecit Deus caelum et terram et plasmavit in ea hominem.
R. Et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitae, et factus est homo in animam viventem.
R. The Lord formed man of the dust of the ground * And breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
V. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, wherein He made man also.
R. And breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

Reading 4:  God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven. And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth.  And the evening and morning were the fifth day.  And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done.  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

R. Igitur perfecti sunt caeli et terra, et omnis ornatus eorum;* Complevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat, et requievit ab omni opere quod patrarat.
V. Et benedixit Deus diei septimo, et sanctificavit illum, quia in ipso cessaverat ab omni opere suo.
V. Complevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat, et requievit ab omni opere quod patrarat.
R. Gloria Patri...
R. Complevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat, et requievit ab omni opere quod patrarat.
R. So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them. * And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
V. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which he had made.
R. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
V. Glory be...
R. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

Nocturn II 

Reading 5: From the Enchirion of St Augustine - The Lord threatened man with the punishment of death, in case he sinned. Thus did He gift him with free will, while He yet kept His lordship over him, and helped him with the dread of destruction. And so He put him in that happy garden, under the very shadow of the tree of life, in that good place from whence, had he kept his righteousness, he might have passed to a better.

R. Tulit Dominus hominem, et posuit eum in paradiso voluptatis: * Ut operaretur et custodiret illum.
V. Plantaverat autem Dominus Deus paradisum voluptatis a principio in quo posuit hominem quem formaverat
R. Ut operaretur et custodiret illum.
R. God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden * To dress it and to keep it.
V. And the Lord God had planted a garden aforetime in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
R. To dress it and to keep it.

Reading 6: But the first man sinned, and was banished from Eden, and infected all his descendants with the disease of sin, poisoning their very root, and bringing upon all that sentence of death and damnation, which he had earned for himself. So that all that descend by fleshly generation from Adam, and from the guilty woman, who was the cause of his sin and the partaker of his punishment, derive from them original sin; whereby they are drawn through a way of divers sins and sorrows, towards that final ruin which they shall share with the rebel angels who are at once their corrupters, their lords, and their comrades.

R. Dixit Dominus Deus: Non est bonum hominem esse solum: * Faciamus ei adjutorium simile sibi.
V. Adae vero non inveniebatur adjutor similis sibi: dixit vero Deus.
R. Faciamus ei adjutorium simile sibi.
R. The Lord God said It is not good that the man should be alone. * Let Us make an help meet for him.
V. But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him; and God said
R. Let Us make an help meet for him.

Reading 7: So by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, (and so death passed upon all men,) in whom all have sinned. By the world the Apostle signified! in this place all mankind. Thus then hath the matter stood. The damned mass of humanity lay in misery, or rather wallowed in it, and fell from bad to worse, till it joined the company of the sinning angels, and both together suffered the deserved punishment of their vile treason.

R. Immisit Dóminus sopórem in Adam, et tulit unam de costis ejus: * Et ædificávit costam, quam túlerat Dóminus de Adam, in mulíerem, et adduxit eam ad Adam, ut vidéret quid vocaret eam: * Et vocávit nomen ejus Virágo, quia de viro sumpta est.
V. Cumque obdórmísset, tulit unam de costis ejus, et replevit carnem pro ea.
R.  Et vocávit nomen ejus Virágo, quia de viro sumpta est.

R. The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took one of his ribs. * And the rib which the Lord had taken from Adam made He a woman, and brought her unto Adam, to see what he would call her. * And he called her name Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
V. And while he slept He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.
R. And he called her name Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Reading 8: So the wrath of God appertained whatever sin man, through the blind and untamed sting of his flesh, willingly committeth, and whatever punishment, declared and open, he unwillingly suffereth. There is, indeed, no pause in that goodness of the Creator whereby He giveth even to the traitor angels life and strength, (which if He gave not, they would be annihilated,) and whereby He formeth the seed of men, though they come of a corrupt and condemned stock, quickeneth them, strengtheneth and fitteth their limbs for the changing seasons of their life, extendeth their knowledge in divers places, and giveth them whereon to live. It hath been His will rather to draw good out of evil, than to suffer that there should be no evil.

R. Dixit Dominus ad Adam: de ligno quod est in medio paradisi ne comedas:* In quacumque die comederis, morte moreieris.
V. Præcepit ei Dominus dicens: Ex omni ligno paradisi comede; de ligno autem scientiæ boni et mali ne comedas
R. In quacumque die comederis, morte moreieris.
V. Gloria Patri...
R. In quacumque die comederis, morte moreieris.
R.  The Lord said to Adam: Of the tree in the middle of paradise thou shalt not eat. * For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.
V. And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat.
R. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.
V. Glory be...
R. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

Nocturn III (Homily 19 of St Gregory on the Gospels)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew: In that time, Jesus said to his disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And so on.

Homily of St Gregory - We hear that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker, Who is the Head of the household of faith, bearing rule over them whom He hath made, and being Master of His chosen ones in the world, as a Master over those that are in his house? He it is That hath the Church for a vineyard, a vineyard that ceaseth not to bring forth branches of the True Vine, from righteous Abel to the last of the elect that shall be born in the world.

R. Plantáverat autem Dóminus Deus paradisum voluptátis a principio: * In quo pósuit hóminem, quem formáverat.
V. Produxitque Dóminus Deus de humo omne lignum pulchrum visu, et ad vescéndum suave; lignum etiam vitæ in médio paradísi.
R. In quo pósuit hóminem, quem formáverat.
R. And the Lord God had planted a garden aforetime in Eden, * And there He put the man whom He had formed.
V. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.
R. And there He put the man whom He had formed.

Reading 10: This householder, then, for the cultivation of his vineyard, goeth out early in the morning, and at the third hour, and the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, and the eleventh hour, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Thus the Lord, from the beginning to the end of the world, ceaseth not to gather together preachers for the instruction of His faithful people. The early morning of the world was from Adam until Noah; the third hour from Noah until Abraham; the sixth hour from Abraham until Moses; the ninth hour from Moses until the coming of the Lord; the eleventh hour from the coming of the Lord until the end of the world. At this eleventh hour are sent forth as preachers the Holy Apostles, who have received full wages, albeit they be come in late.

R. Ecce Adam quasi unus ex nobis factus est sciens bonum et malum: * Vidéte, ne forte sumat de ligno vitæ, et vivat in ætérnum.
V. Fecit quoque Dóminus Deus Adæ túnicam pellíceam, et induit eum, et dixit.
R. Vidéte, ne forte sumat de ligno vitæ, et vivat in ætérnum.
R. Behold, Adam is become as One of Us, to know good and evil. * See lest he take of the tree of life and live for ever.
V. Unto Adam also did the Lord God make a coat of skins, and clothed him, and said:
R. See lest he take of the tree of life and live for ever.

Reading 11: Nor the cultivation of His vineyard, (that is, the instruction of His people,) the Lord hath never ceased to send into it labourers. First, by the Fathers, then, by the Prophets and Teachers of the Law, and lastly, by the Apostles He hath dressed and tended the lives of His people, as the owner of a vineyard dresseth and tendeth it by means of workmen.

R. Ubi est Abel frater tuus? dixit Dóminus ad Cain. Nescio, Dómine, numquid custos fratris mei sum ego? Et dixit ad eum: Quid fecísti?
* Ecce vox sánguinis fratris tui Abel clamat ad me de terra.
V. Maledictus eris super terram, quæ apéruit os suum, et suscépit sánguinem fratris tui de manu tua.
R. Ecce vox sánguinis fratris tui Abel clamat ad me de terra.

R. The Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel thy brother? Lord, I know not am I my brother's keeper? And He said unto him What hast thou done?
* Behold, the voice of thy brother Abel's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.
V. Cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
R. Behold, the voice of thy brother Abel's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.

Reading 12: Whoever in whatever degree joined to a right faith the teaching of righteousness, was so far one of God's labourers in God's vineyard. By the labourers at early morning, and at the third hour, the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, may be understood God's ancient people, the Hebrews, who strove to worship Him with a right faith in company with His chosen ones from the very beginning of the world, and thus continually laboured in His vineyard. And now, at the eleventh hour, it is said unto the Gentiles also Why stand ye here all the day idle?

R. In sudore vultus tui vesceris pane tuo, dixit Dominus ad Adam: cum operatus fueris terram, non dabit fructus suos: * Sed spinas et tribulos germinabit tibi.
V. Quia audisti vocem uxoris tuae, et comedisti de ligno, ex quo praeceperam tibi ne comederes, maledicta terra in opere tuo.
R. Sed spinas et tribulos germinabit tibi.
V. Gloria Patri...
R. Sed spinas et tribulos germinabit tibi.
R. The Lord said unto Adam; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread; when thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her fruits. * Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.
V. Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree which I commanded thee, saying Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground whereon thou shalt labour.
R. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.
V. Glory be...
R. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

THE kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle. And he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle? They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard.And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.When therefore they were come, that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house, Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats. But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil, because I am good? So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

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