St Gregory the Great (March 12)

Note:   The breviary provides two options for this feast, one using responsories specific to the feast, one those for a confessor doctor.  As I have only been able to locate the chant for one of the responsories specific to the feast, the responsories below are those from the common of a confessor bishop doctor.

Nocturn I: Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 39:1-14

Reading 1: The wise men will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients, and will be occupied in the prophets.  He will keep the sayings of renowned men, and will enter withal into the subtleties of parables. He will search out the hidden meanings of proverbs, and will be conversant in the secrets of parables.  He shall serve among great men, and: appear before the governor.

 R: Euge serve bone, et fidelis: quia super pauca fuisti fidelis, super multa te constituam;* Intra in gaudium Domini tui.
V: Domine quinque talenta mihi tradidisti ecce alia quinque superlucratus sum.
R: Intra in gaudium Domini tui.
R: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: * Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
V: Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
R: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Reading 2: He shall pass into strange countries: for he shall try good and evil among men.He will give his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him, and he will pray in the sight of the most High. He will open his mouth in prayer, and will make supplication for his sins.

R. Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis placuit Deo: * Ideo jurejurando fecit illum Dominus crescere in plebem suam.
V. Benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi, et testamentum suum confirmavit super caput ejus.
R. Ideo jurejurando fecit illum Dominus crescere in plebem suam.
R. Behold an high priest, who in his days pleased God * Therefore the Lord assured him by an oath that He would multiply his seed among His people.
V. He hath made him a blessing unto all nations, and hath established His covenant upon his head.
R. Therefore the Lord assured him by an oath that He would multiply his seed among His people

Reading 3: For if it shall please the great Lord, he will fill him with the spirit of understanding: And he will pour forth the words of his wisdom as showers, and in his prayer he will confess to the Lord.  And he shall direct his counsel, and his knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate.

R. Jurávit Dóminus, et non pœnitébit eum: * Tu es sacerdos in ætérnum secúndum órdinem Melchísedech.
V. Dixit Dóminus Dómino meo, Sede a dextris meis.
R. Tu es sacerdos in ætérnum secúndum órdinem Melchísedech.
R. The Lord hath sworn and will not repent * Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.
V. The Lord said unto my Lord Sit Thou at My right hand.
R.* Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.

Reading 4: He shall shew forth the discipline he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall praise his wisdom, and it shall never be forgotten. The memory of him shall not depart away, and his name shall be in request from generation to generation. Nations shall declare his wisdom, and the church shall shew forth his praise.

R. Ecce vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est inventus: qui probatus pepertus est sacerdos magnus* Iuxta ordinem Melchisedech
V. Statuit illi testamentum sempiternum,
et dedit illi sacerdotium magnum.
R. Iuxta ordinem Melchisedech
V. Gloria Patri...
R. Iuxta ordinem Melchisedech
R. Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is found no guile:* According to the Order of Melchisedech
V. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the great priesthood
R. According to the Order of Melchisedech
V. Glory be...
R. According to the Order of Melchisedech

Nocturn II: Readings on the life of the saint

Reading 5: Gregory the Great was a Roman, the son of Gordian the Senator, (and was born about the year of our Lord 540.) As a young man he studied philosophy, and afterwards discharged the office of Praetor. After his father's death he built six monasteries in Sicily, and a seventh in honour of St Andrew, in his own house at Rome, hard by the Church of Saints John and Paul at the ascent of the hill Scaurus. In this monastery of St Andrew, he and his masters, Hilarion and Maximian, professed themselves monks, and Gregory was afterwards Abbot. Later on, he was created a Cardinal Deacon, and sent to Constantinople as legate from Pope Pelagius to the Emperor Tiberius Constantine. Before the Emperor he so successfully disputed against the Patriarch Eutychius, who had denied that our bodies shall verily and indeed rise again, that the Prince threw the book of the said Patriarch into the fire. Eutychius himself also, soon after fell sick, and when he felt death coming on him, he took hold of the skin of his own hand and said in the hearing of many that stood by: I acknowledge that we shall all rise again in this flesh.

R. Invéni David servum meum, oleo sancto meo unxi eum: * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
V. Nihil profíciet inimícus in eo, et fílius iniquitátis non nocébit ei.
R. Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
R. I have found David My servant, with My holy oil have I anointed him * For My hand shall help him.
V. The enemy shall prevail nothing against him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
R. For My hand shall help him.

Reading 6:Gregory returned to Rome, and, Pelagius being dead of a plague, he was unanimously chosen Pope. This honour he refused as long as he could. He disguised himself and took refuge in a cave, but was betrayed by a fiery pillar. Being discovered and overruled, he was consecrated at the grave of St Peter, upon the 3rd day of September, in the year 590. He left behind him many ensamples of doctrine and holiness to them that have followed him in the Popedom. Every day he brought pilgrims to his table, and among them he entertained not an Angel only, but the very Lord of Angels in the guise of a pilgrim. He tenderly cared for the poor, of whom he kept a list, as well without as within the city. He restored the Catholic faith in many places where it had been overthrown. He fought successfully against the Donatists in Africa and the Arians in Spain. He cleansed Alexandria of the Agnoites. He refused to give the Pall to Syagrius, Bishop of Autun, unless he would expel the Neophyte heretics from Gaul. He caused the Goths to abandon the Arian heresy.

R. Pósui adjutórium super poténtem, et exaltávi eléctum de plebe mea: * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
V. Invéni David servum meum, oleo sancto meo unxi eum.
R. Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
R. I have laid help upon one that is mighty, and have exalted one chosen out of My people * For My hand shall help him.
V. I have found David My servant, with My holy oil have I anointed him.
R. For My hand shall help him.

Reading 7: He sent into Britain Augustine and divers other learned and holy monks, who brought the inhabitants of that island to believe in Jesus Christ. Hence Gregory is justly called by Bede, the Priest of Jarrow, the Apostle of England. He rebuked the presumption of John, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had taken to himself the title of Bishop of the Universal Church, and he dissuaded the Emperor Maurice from forbidding: soldiers to become monks.  Gregory adorned the Church with holy customs and laws. He called together a Synod in the Church of St Peter, and therein ordained many things; among others, the ninefold repetition of the words Kyrie eleison in the Mass, the saying of the word in the Church service except between Septuagesima inclusive and Easter exclusive, and the addition to the Canon of the Mass of the words Do Thou order all our days in thy peace. He increased the Litanies, the number of the Churches where is held the observance called a Station; and the length of the Church Service.

R. Iste est, qui ante Deum magnas virtútes operátus est, et omnis terra doctrina ejus repléta est:  * Ipse intercedat pro peccátis ómnium populórum.
V. Iste est, qui contempsit vitam mundi, et pervenit ad cæléstia regna.
R. Ipse intercedat pro peccátis ómnium populórum.
R. This is he which wrought great wonders before God, and the whole earth is full of his teaching * May he pray for all people, that their sins may be forgiven unto them
V. This is he which loved not his life in this world, and hath attained unto the kingdom of heaven.
R. May he pray for all people, that their sins may be forgiven unto them

Reading 8: He would that the four Councils of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon should be honoured like four Gospels. He released the Sicilian Bishops from visiting Rome every three years, willing them to come instead once every five years. He was the author of many books, and Peter the Deacon declareth that he often saw the Holy Ghost on his head in the form of a dove when he was dictating them. It is a marvel how much he spoke, did, wrote, and legislated, suffering all the while from a weak and sickly body. He worked many miracles. At last God called him away to be blessed for ever in heaven, in the thirteenth year, sixth month, and tenth day of his Pontificate, being the 12th day of March, in the year of salvation 604. This day is observed by the Greeks, as well as by us, as a festival, on account of the eminent wisdom and holiness of this Pope. His body was buried in the Church of St Peter, hard by the Private Chapel.

R. Iustum deduxit Dominus per vias rectas,
et ostendit illi regnum Dei, et dedit illi scientiam sanctorum;* Honestavit illum in laboribus suis.
V. Custodivit eum ab inimicis et a seductoribus tutavit illum
R. Honestavit illum in laboribus suis.
V. Gloria Patri..
R. Honestavit illum in laboribus suis.
R. The Lord guided the just in right paths, and showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, * He made him honourable in his labours
V. She kept him safe from his enemies, and she defended him from seducers
R. He made him honourable in his labours.
V. Glory be...
R. He made him honourable in his labours.

Nocturn III: Sermon of St Leo

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew - At that time Jesus came into the coasts of Cassarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Leo (the Great) - When the Lord, as we read in the Evangelist, asked His disciples Who did men, amid their divers speculations, believe that He, the Son of Man, was; blessed Peter answered and said Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father, Which is in heaven and I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

R. Amávit eum Dóminus, et ornávit eum: stolam glóriæ induit eum, * Et ad portas paradisi coronávit eum.
V. Induit eum Dóminus lorícam fidei, et ornávit eum.
R. Et ad portas paradisi coronávit eum.
R. The Lord loved him and beautified him He clothed him with a robe of glory
* And crowned him at the gates of Paradise.
V. The Lord hath put on him the breast-plate of faith, and hath adorned him.
R. And crowned him at the gates of Paradise.

Reading 10: Thus therefore standeth the ordinance of the Truth, and blessed Peter, abiding still that firm rock which God hath made him, hath never lost that right to rule in the Church which God hath given unto him.In the universal Church it is Peter that doth still say every day, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and every tongue which confesseth that Jesus is Lord is taught that confession by the teaching of Peter. This is the faith that overcometh the devil and looseth the bands of his prisoners. This is the faith which maketh men free of the world and bringeth them to heaven, and the gates of hell are impotent to prevail against it. With such ramparts of salvation hath God fortified this rock, that the contagion of heresy will never be able to infect it, nor idolatry and unbelief to overcome it.

R. In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus * Et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus.
V. Jucunditatem et exsultationem thesaurizavit super eum.
R. Et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus.
R. In the midst of the congregation did the Lord open his mouth. * And filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.
V. He made him rich with joy and gladness.
R. And filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.

Reading 11: And so, dearly beloved, with reasonable obedience we celebrate today's festival by such methods, that in my humble person he may be recognized and honoured, in whom abides the care of all the shepherds, together with the charge of the sheep commended to him, and whose dignity is not abated even in so unworthy an heir. And hence the presence of my venerable brothers and fellow priests, so much desired and valued by me, will be the more sacred and precious, if they will transfer the chief honour of this service in which they have deigned to take part to him whom they know to be not only the patron of this see, but also the primate of all bishops. When therefore we utter our exhortations in your ears, holy brethren, believe that he is speaking whose representative we are: because it is his warning that we give, nothing else but his teaching that we preach, beseeching you to gird up the loins of your mind 1 Peter 1:13, and lead a chaste and sober life in the fear of God.

R. Iste sanctus digne in memoriam vertitur hominum, qui ad gaudium transiit angelorum;
quia in hac peregrinatione solo corpore constitutus, cogitatione et aviditate * In illa aeterna patria conversatus est.
V.  Vinculis carnis absolutus talentum
sibi creditum Domino suo duplicatum reportavit.
R. In illa aeterna patria conversatus est.
R.  This a saint whose memory is deservedly preserved among men, who has passed into the joys of the angels; whose body alone was in this pilgrimage of life, in his thoughts and desires, * His conversation was with that eternal country.
V. Set free from the chains of the body, he rendered to the Lord double the talents which had been loaned to him.
R. His conversation was with that eternal country. 

Reading 12: For you are my crown and joy, as the Apostle says; if your faith, which from the beginning of the Gospel has been preached in all the world has continued in love and holiness. For though the whole Church, which is in all the world, ought to abound in all virtues, yet you especially, above all people, it becomes to excel in deeds of piety, because founded as you are on the very citadel of the Apostolic Rock, not only has our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed you in common with all men, but the blessed Apostle Peter has instructed you far beyond all men.

R. Elegit te Dominus sacerdotem sibi * Ad sacrificandum ei hostiam laudis.
V. Immola Deo sacrificium laudis, et redde Altissimo vota tua.
R. Ad sacrificandum ei hostiam laudis.
V. Gloria Patri
R. Ad sacrificandum ei hostiam laudis.
R. The Lord has chosen you to be his priest * To offer to him the sacrifice of praise
V. Offer to God the sacrifice of praise: and pay thy vows to the most High.
R. To offer to him the sacrifice of praise
V Glory be
R.To offer to him the sacrifice of praise


Gospel: St Matthew 16:13-19

And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? [14] But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? [16] Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [20] Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment