CHRIST THE SAVIOUR MONASTERY - Christminster
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)
New York, USA
January-March 2015

JANUARY 2015

DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
THU119F(O Key of David)
FRI220F/AEmber Day (O Day-spring)
SAT321St. Thomas, AP, II; Ember Day (O King of Nations)
SUN422ADVENT IV (O Emmanuel)
MON523F/A(O Virgin of Virgins)
TUE624F/A*Vigil of Christmas
WED725CHRISTMAS
THU826St. Stephen, M, II
FRI927St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, II
SAT1028Holy Innocents, II
SUN1129SUNDAY IN OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS; St. David, King and Prophet, IV
MON1230Octave
TUE1331St. Sylvester, BC, IV
WED141CIRCUMCISION, I
THU152St. Seraphim of Sarov, MK, III
FRI163St. Genevieve, V, IV
SAT174St. Titus, BC, IV
SUN185SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
MON196EPIPHANY, I
TUE207Octave
WED218Octave
THU229Octave
FRI2310Octave; St. Paul the Hermit, MK, IV
SAT2411Octave
SUN2512SUNDAY IN OCTAVE OF EPIPHANY; St. Benedict Biscop, AB, IV
MON2613St. Kentigern, BC, IV
TUE2714St. Hilary, BCD, III
WED2815F/ASts. Maurus and Placid, MK, III
THU2916St. Marcellus, BM, IV; St. Gildas, B, IV
FRI3017F/ASt. Antony, AB, III
SAT3118St. Prisca, VM, IV


RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


Daily Posting: December 19/January 1

From the Fathers ...

The mystery of Christ runs the risk of being disbelieved precisely because it is so incredibly wonderful. For God was in humanity. He who was above all creation was in our human condition; the invisible one was made visible in the flesh; he who was from the heavens and from on high was in the likeness of earthly things; the immaterial one could be touched; he who is free in his own nature came in the form of a slave; he who blesses all creation became a curse; he who is all righteousness was numbered among transgressors; life itself came in the appearance death. [St. Clement of Alexandria]

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Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that the coming festival of our redemption may bring us aid in this present life, and bounteously bestow the rewards of eternal blessedness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Wednesday, third week of Advent]

Be ye watchful in your hearts, for the Lord our God is nigh at hand. [Benedictus antiphon, Thursday Lauds, third week of Advent]

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: Come, and bring the prisoners out of the prison-house, them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. [Magnificat antiphon, {O Clavis David}]

Daily Posting: December 20/January 2

For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Ember Friday Lauds, third week of Advent]

Stir up thy might, we beseech thee, O Lord, and come: that we who put our trust in thy goodness may speedily be delivered from all adversity. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Friday, third week of Advent]

O Day-spring, Brightness of the Light everlasting, and Sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. [Magnificat antiphon, {O Oriens}]

Daily Posting: December 21/January 3

Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, first and second Vespers and Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, St. Thomas, Apostle. December 21/January 3]

Almighty and everlasting God, who, for the greater confirmation of the faith, didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son's resurrection; grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen. [Collect, St. Thomas, Apostle. December 21/January 3]

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How shall this be, O Angel of God, seeing I know not a man? Hearken, O Virgin Mary: the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. [Benedictus antiphon, Ember Saturday Lauds, third week of Advent]

O God, who seest that we are afflicted through our own perverseness: mercifully grant that we may be comforted by thy visitation. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Saturday, third week of Advent]

O King of Nations, and their Desire; the Cornerstone, who makest both one: Come and save mankind, whom thou formedst of clay. [Magnificat antiphon, {O Rex gentium}]

Daily Posting: December 22/January 4

Hail Mary, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, fourth Sunday of Advent]

Stir up thy power, we beseech thee, O Lord, and come: and with great might succour us, that with the help of thy grace that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by thy merciful forgiveness. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, fourth Sunday of Advent]

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God. [Magnificat antiphon, {O Emmanuel}]

Daily Posting: December 23/January 5

Thus saith the Lord you God: Repent ye, and turn again; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Monday, fourth week of Advent]

O Virgin of Virgins, how shall this be? for neither before thee was any seen like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery. [Magnificat antiphon, {O Virgo virginum}]

Daily Posting: December 24/January 6

The Saviour of the world shall arise as the sun: and shall come down into the Virgin's womb, as the showers upon the grass, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord]

O God, who makest us glad with the yearly expectation of the birth of thine only Son Jesus Christ: grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord]

Daily Posting: December 25/January 7

Warmest thanks to all who attended our Christmas Mass last night, and special thanks to Dr. William Renwick and the Schola of the Gregorian Institute of Canada for providing the music and traditional chants. Thanks too to Archbishop Peter for his help and hospitality, to Father Daniel for coordinating everything and serving as acolyte, to Subdeacon Burt Weigen for assisting at the altar, and to Father Richard Best for serving as thurifer. This is now the sixth year that the Schola has provided the music for our Christmas liturgy, and we look forward to their future visits. A blessed Nativity feast to all our friends and benefactors!

Dom James
Abbot of Christminster
7 January 2015

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The Nativity Proclamation from the Martyrology

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,
being made flesh.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Daily Posting: December 26/January 8

Thou followest, Martyr of thy God,
The path the only Son hath trod,
Thy conquered foes thou treadest down,
And gloriest in a victor's crown.

O may thy prayer for us obtain
The cleansing of each guilty stain,
Shield us from sin's contagious blight,
Put life's long weariness to flight.

The cruel chains are now unwound
That once thy sacred body bound,
So may God's Son earth's fetters break
from us, for his own Love's dear sake.

All honour, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To father and to Paraclete. Amen.

Lauds hymn (Martyr Dei qui unicum), St. Stephen, Protomartyr, December 26/January 8]

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. [Benedictus antiphon, St. Stephen, Protomartyr, December 26/January 8]

Grant us, we beseech thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we honour: that we may learn to love our enemies; since we celebrate the birthday of him who knew how to pray even for his persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Stephen, Protomartyr, December 26/January 8]

Daily Posting: December 27/January 9

This is the same John, who leaned on the Lord's bosom at the last supper: the blessed Apostle, unto whom were revealed the secret things of heaven. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, December 27/January 9]

Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it, being illumined by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, December 27/January 9]

Daily Posting: December 28/January 10

O Almighty God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Holy Innocents, Martyrs, December 28/January 10]

Their Angels do always behold the face of my Father. [Third antiphon at Lauds, Holy Innocents, Martyrs, December 28/January 10]

Then were innocent children slain instead of Christ by a wicked ruler; the very sucklings were put to death: spotless, they follow the Lamb himself, and say for ever: Glory be to thee, O Lord. [Magnificat antiphon, Holy Innocents, Martyrs, December 28/January 10]

Daily Posting: December 29/January 11

While all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course, thine Almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down out of thy royal throne, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers and Benedictus antiphon, Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity]

Almighty, everlasting God, direct our actions according to thy good pleasure: that in the name of thy beloved Son we may be worthy to abound in good works. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity]

The Child Jesus increased in wisdom and stature in the sight of God and man. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity]

Daily Posting: December 30/January 12

From the Fathers ...

He made our poverty his own, and we see in Christ the strange and rare paradox of Lordship in servant's form and divine glory in human abasement. That which was under the yoke in terms of the limitations of manhood was crowned with royal dignities, and that which was humble was raised to the most supreme excellence. The Only Begotten did not become man only to remain in the limits of the emptying. The point was that he who was God by nature should, in the act of self-emptying, assume everything that went along with it. This was how he would be revealed as ennobling the nature of man in himself by making it participate in his own sacred and divine honors. [St. Cyril of Jerusalem]

Daily Posting: December 31/January 13

Lesson iv

SYLVESTER, priest of the Church in the City of Rome, discharged his office with such praiseworthiness that in January, 314, he was chosen to succeed Saint Melchiades as Pope. Less than a year before this the Emperor Constantine had granted toleration to Christianity by the Edict of Milan. And hence it is probable that it was to Sylvester (rather than to Melchiades, as popular tradition hath it) that Constantine gave the Lateran Palace, and that therein Sylvester established the Lateran Church of Saint Saviour as the Cathedral Church of Rome. Several other great churches were founded during his pontificate, notably Saint Peter's on Vatican Hill. It was also during his time that the Council of Arles was gathered out of divers provinces of Gaul, Italy, Africa, Spain, and Britain, to deal with the Donatist heresy. And, among other things, this Council ordered that Easter should be celebrated everywhere on one and the same day. In his time also was held the first Ecumenical Council, to wit, of Nicaea in 325, to which he himself went not, but sent legates. Some three hundred and eighteen bishops were present, over whom Hosius of Cordova presided. And by these bishops, in the presence of Constantine, the Holy and Catholic Faith, was declared, and Arius and his followers were condemned.

Lesson v

THIS Pope is reputed to have issued many useful ordinances for the Church of God : such as the reservation to bishops of the right of consecrating the holy Chrism and the custom of anointing the newly baptized therewith; the wearing of a dalmatic and maniple by deacons ; the consecration of the Sacrament of the Altar on a linen corporal ; that all persons taking Holy Orders should remain a while in each grade before being promoted to a higher; that laymen should not go to law against the clergy ; and that the clergy themselves were not to plead before civil tribunals.

Lesson vi

TO Sylvester is also ascribed the decrees that the first and seventh days of the week should be called respectively the Lord's Day and the Sabbath ; and the others, Second Feria, Third Feria, and so on, in accordance with the use of the word Feria for the week days which had already begun in the Church. This word signifieth an holy-day, and pointeth to the duty of the clergy ever to lay aside all worldly labour and leave themselves free to do continually the work of the Lord. In 335 Sylvester went to God, and the date of his feast in probably the anniversary of his burial, in the church which he built over the Catacomb of Saint Priscilla, on the Salerian Way. In 761 his relicks were translated to the Church of Saint Sylvester. His feast hath been general in the Latin Church since the thirteenth century, and is kept also in the East, because his pastoral concern for all Christians everywhere, made him generally beloved. For he was Pope immediately after the Church came up out of the Catacombs into freedom. According to the Pontifical Book, he reigned twenty-one years, ten months. and one day ; and is reputed to have held seven Advent ordinations, and therein to have made forty-two priests, twenty-five deacons, and sixty-five bishops of various Sees.

[From Nocturn II, Legend, St. Sylvester, December 31/January 13]

Be merciful to the people of thy flock, O Lord, eternal Shepherd and Bishop of the souls of men : and keep us in thy continual protection ; at the intercession of the holy Father Sylvester whom thou didst raise up in thy Church to be thine under-shepherd. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Sylvester, December 31/January 13]

Daily Posting: January 1/14

O blessed day, when first was poured
The precious blood of Christ our Lord!
O blessed day, when so began
His travail in redeeming man!

Scarce entered on our life of woe,
His infant blood for us doth flow!
Whilst yet he suckles at the breast,
Atoning love he thus confessed!

From heaven come, and willingly,
Man's sacrificial Lamb is he!
The Son of God, quick to fulfil
Each mandate of his Father's will!

Beneath the knife see Mary's Child,
God's Innocent! man's Undefiled!
For sinners he would ransom pay,
For lawless man the law obey!

Grant circumcision, Lord, within;
Cut from our hearts the love of sin!
That we thy likeness true may bear,
[Alternate Matins hymn (Felix dies quam proprio), Circumcision of Our Lord, January 1/14]

God, for the great love wherewith he loved us, hath sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Circumcision of Our Lord, January 1/14]

A great and wondrous mystery is made known to us this day; a new thing is wrought in both natures: God is made man; that which was, remained, and that which was not, he assumed; suffering no confusion, nor yet division. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Circumcision of Our Lord, January 1/14]

O God, who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech thee, that we may know the help of her intercession, though whom we have been accounted worthy to receive the Author of our life, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Circumcision of Our Lord, January 1/14]

Great is the mystery of the inheritance: the womb of her that knew not man is become the temple of the Godhead: by taking flesh of her, he was no way defiled: all the nations shall gather, saying: Glory be to thee, O Lord. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Circumcision of Our Lord, January 1/14]

Daily Posting: January 2/15

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 24:

You have created us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in You. [St. Augustine]

Our evil comes from our lack of resemblance to God and our ignorance of Him. On the other hand, our great good consists in our resemblance to Him. [St Methodius of Olympus]

There is a God-shaped hole in every man that only Christ can fill. [St. Augustine]

Daily Posting: January 3/16

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 25:

O soul, only He who created you can satisfy you. If you ask for anything else, it is your misfortune. [St. Augustine]

When we consider these facts about man, how can we exaggerate the dignity of his place in creation? In his own person, man joins mortal creatures with the immortal? [Nemesius of Emesa]

Whoever knows the feebleness of human nature has acquired an experience of the strength of God. [St. Maximus the Confessor]

Sick, we truly stand in need of our Savior; having wandered, of one to guide us; blind, of one to lead us to light; thirsty, of the fountain of life of which whosoever partakes shall no longer thirst; dead, we need life. [St. Clement of Alexandria]

Daily Posting: January 4/17

O God, who on thy blessed confessor Saint Titus didst bestow the virtues of thine Apostles; grant, we beseech thee, that by his intercessions we may so live righteously and soberly in this world, that we may be found worthy to attain unto our country in heaven. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Titus, January 4/17]

Titus was a gentile who became the disciple of the Apostle Paul, and was twice sent on missions to the Church in Corinth. Concerning this holy man, the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians : When I came to Troas to preach Christ's Gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus' my brother ; but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. Again, he wrote : When we were come into Macedonia, we were troubled on every side ; nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus. * Paul, because of his regard for Titus, sent him to Corinth on a mission -- mainly concerned with the collection of alms from the charity of the faithful for the relief of the poor Hebrew Christians at Jerusalem. This mission Titus discharged with such wisdom and gentleness, that he not only strengthened the Corinthians in the Faith, but also stirred up in them an earnest desire, a mourning, a fervent mind toward Paul their earliest teacher. Many were the other journeys by land and sea which Titus undertook. Filled with boldnesss and zeal, he went with Paul to the island of Crete. Of this Church of Crete the Apostle himself made him the first Bishop ; and we may not doubt that, as such, he was what Paul bade him be : In all things a pattern of good works, in doctrine, in uncorruptness, in gravity. * He is said to have sweated mightily to unfurl the banner of the Cross among the Dalmatians. And it is believed that, full of days and good works, upon a 4th of January, in the ninety-fourth year of his age, he died one of those deaths which are precious in the sight of the Lord ; and that he was buried by Church of which the Apostle had made him the minister. His praises have been mostly written by Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Jerome, . . .

[From the Legend, St. Titus, January 4/17]
Daily Posting: January 5/18

Behold, the Angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the young Child and his Mother and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for it shall come to pass, that Herod will seek the young Child, to destroy him. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, second Sunday after Christmas]

But when Herod was dead, behold an Angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying: Arise, and take the young Child and his Mother and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young Child's life. [Benedictus antiphon, second Sunday after Christmas]

Almighty God, who hast poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives. [Collect, second Sunday after Christmas]

The Child Jesus increased in wisdom and stature in the sight of God and man. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Vigil of the Epiphany]

While all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course, thine Almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down out of thy royal throne, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Vigil of the Epiphany]

Almighty, everlasting God, direct our actions according to thy good pleasure: that in the name of thy beloved Son we may be worthy to abound in good works. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of the Epiphany]

Daily Posting: January 6/19

Why, impious Herod, vainly fear
That Christ the Saviour cometh here?
He takes not earthly realms away
Who give the crown that lasts for aye.

To greet his birth the wise men went,
Led by the star before the sent;
Called on by light, towards Light they pressed,
And by their gifts their God confessed.

In holy Jordan's purest wave
The heavenly Lamb vouchsafed to lave;
That he, to whom sin was unknown,
Might cleanse his people from their own.

New miracle of power divine,
The water reddens into wine;
He spake the word, and poured the wave
In other streams than nature gave.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay
For thine Epiphany today;
All glory, as is ever meet
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

[Hymn at Vespers and Matins (Hostis Herodes impie), Epiphany of our Lord, January 6/19]

O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life be granted the fullness of thy glorious Godhead. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Epiphany of our Lord, January 6/19]

Daily Posting: January 7/20

Now that the day light fills the sky,
We lift our hearts to God on high,
That he, in all we do or say,
Will keep us free from harm to-day:

Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife;
From anger's din would hide our life;
From all ill sights would turn our eyes;
Would close our ears from vanities:

Would keep our inmost conscience pure;
Our souls from folly would secure;
Would bid us check the pride of sense
With due and holy abstinence.

So we, when this new day is gone,
And night is drawing on,
With conscience by the world unstained
Shall praise his name for victory gained.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay
For thine Epiphany today;
All glory, as is ever meet
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

[Hymn at Prime {Jam lucis orto sidere} (with Epiphany Doxology)]

From the east there came wise men to Bethlehem, to worship the Lord: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him precious gifts: gold as to a mighty King, incense as to the true God, and myrrh to foreshew his burial, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, second day of Octave of Epiphany]

When the wise men saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy: and when they were come into the house, they presented unto the Lord gold, frankincense, and myrrh, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second day of Octave of Epiphany]

Daily Posting: January 8/21

Three are the gifts which the wise men presented unto the Lord: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, to the Son of God, to the mighty King, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, third day of Octave of Epiphany]

Light of light, thou, O Christ, hast appeared, unto whom the wise men present their gifts, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, third day of Octave of Epiphany]

O more than mighty cities known,
Dear Bethlehem, in thee alone
Salvation's Lord from heaven took birth
In human form upon the earth.

And from a star that far outshone
The radiant circle of the sun
In beauty, swift the tidings ran
Of God on earth in flesh of man.

The wise men, seeing him, so fair,
Bow low before him, and with prayer
their treasured orient gifts unfold
Of incense, myrrh, and royal gold.

The fragrant incense which they bring,
The gold, proclaim him God and King:
The bitter spicy dust of myrrh
Foreshadows his new sepulchre.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay
For thine Epiphany today;
All glory, as is ever meet
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

[Hymn at Lauds throughout Epiphany-tide (O sola magnarum urbium)]

Daily Posting: January 9/22

We have seen his star in the East, and are come with gifts to worship the Lord, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, fourth day of Octave of Epiphany]

Herod inquired of the wise men, What sign have ye seen, concerning him that is born King? We have a star shining, the brightness whereof enlightens the world. [Magnificat antiphon, fourth day of Octave of Epiphany]

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Before the morning star begotten, and Lord from everlasting, our Saviour is made manifest unto the world today.

Thy light is come, O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee: and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, alleluia.

When they had opened their treasures, the wise men presented unto the Lord gold, frankincense, and myrrh, alleluia.

O ye sea and floods, bless ye the Lord: O ye wells, sing a hymn unto the Lord, alleluia.

Like a flame of fire, that star glittereth yonder, revealing God, the King of kings: the wise men, when they beheld it, offered presents unto the mighty Ruler.

[Antiphons for Vespers and Lauds in Epiphany-tide]

Daily Posting: January 10/23

Many nations shall come from afar, bearing their gifts, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, fifth day of Octave of Epiphany]

All they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense, alleluia, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, fifth day of Octave of Epiphany]

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O GOD, who makest us glad with the yearly feast of thy Confessor Saint Paul : mercifully grant that as we now observe his heavenly birthday ; so we may follow him in all virtuous and godly living, Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Paul, First Hermit, January 10/23]

ACCORDING to an ancient book, edited by Saint Jerome, the life of this Paul, the first Hermit, and the model of all others, was on this wise. He was a native of the Lower Thebaid in Egypt. At the age of fifteen he lost both his parents, and to serve God in quietness, betook himself to a cave in the desert, where was a palm tree, on the fruit of which he lived, and of whose leaves he made his raiment until he attained the age of 113 years. At that time Anthony, being himself aged ninety years, received a command from God to go and see him. And thus they met without knowing one another's names; but after mutual salutations, they fell straightway into a long discourse concerning the kingdom of God. Now it so happened that a raven had for sixty years brought Paul every day half a loaf, but on this day while: they spake together he brought a whole one. * When the raven had flown away, they asked a blessing, and ate together, sitting by a spring. When they were refreshed, they returned thanks, and afterwards spent the whole night praising God. At break of day Paul felt the approach of death, and desired Anthony to go and fetch, for his winding-sheet, a cloak which Athanasius had given to this same Anthony. On his way back from this journey, Anthony saw in a vision the soul of Paul ascending to heaven, surrounded by choirs of Angels, and accompanied by the Prophets and Apostles. * When Anthony reached the cell of Paul, he found there the dead body of the Saint, which he wrapped in the cloak of Athanasius ; and then he immediately began to chant the psalms and hymns ordained by Christian tradition. Whereafter, having no spade to dig a grave, two lions came racing from the desert as though to attend the burying, and scratched hole big enough to hold a man's body, shewing meanwhile such sings of grief as their nature alloweth. When they were gone away, Anthony put the holy body in this hole, covered it with earth, and arranged it like a Christian's grave. But he took away for himself Paul's tunic, which he had woven out of the palm-leaves somewhat after the manner of basketwork, and this tunic Anthony was in the habit of wearing on the great days of the Passion and Pentecost as long as he lived. The date of holy Paul's death is set at the year 342.

[From the Legend, St. Paul, First Hermit, January 10/23]

Daily Posting: January 11/24

They that despised thee shall come unto thee, and shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet. [Benedictus antiphon, sixth day of Octave of Epiphany]

The wise men, being warned in dreams by an Angel, departed into their own country another way. [Magnificat antiphon, sixth day of Octave of Epiphany]

Daily Posting: January 12/25

The Child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it, supposing him to have been in the company; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers and Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany]

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany]

Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy Father and I have sought thee sorrowing. How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany]

St. Benedict Biscop

THE surname of this Benedict was Biscop. He was born in the year 628, of the highest Saxon nobility, and was ever very dear to the devout King Oswy of the Northumbrians, whose thane he was. At the age of twenty-five he restored his estates to the King, and put away all thought of marriage and of advancement in this world, and rather gave himself over to the things of God ; who made use of him in the establishment of learning and ecclesiastical decencies throughout England during the times when Saints Theodore and Hadrian were labouring to these ends. His first thought was to visit the shrines of the blessed Apostles at Rome, and gain there in the Christian capitol of the world a wider learning than could be got in any other place. After his return home he did much to spread this learning in England. He returned to Rome again in the time of Saint Pope Vitalian ; but shortly after he went to the monastic Island of Lerins, where Saint Vincent had lived and taught, and there he took the monastic habit and vows. * After two years he returned to Rome, at the time when Saint Theodore, the Greek monk, was about to be sent as Archbishop to Canterbury. And Saint Vitalian, knowing his worth, ordained him, and sent him along with holy Theodore. When they came to Canterbury, Benedict was made Abbot of the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul in that city, until Saint Hadrian was able to come from Rome to England and assume the government thereof. Whereupon Benedict undertook still another journey to Rome, and brought back a great library of books to England, some of which he had begged and others which he had bought. Then he betook himself to King Egfrid of the Northumbrians, the son of his former master and friend. The same made him an ample gift of ground at Wearmouth, for a monastery. After the founding of which, Benedict obtained masons from Gaul, to build him a stone church, and glaziers to glaze the windows ; for hitherto in England stone buildings were rare and glass-making unknown. After this he took for the fifth time the long and perilous journey to Rome ; and necessaries which he could not obtain in Gaul he brought back with him. * In particular he brought back John, the Precentor of Saint Peter's Church in Rome, to teach in England the true ecclesiastical chant and the principles of liturgical prayer. After his return from this journey Benedict, by another benefaction of the same King Egfrid, founded another monastery, namely, at Jarrow upon the Tyne. When this foundation was secure, he went for the sixth time on a mission to Rome. But on his return therefrom he found that a pestilence had carried away many of his friends, and in the monastery of Jarrow no one was left but the Abbot, and a lad named Bede who lived to become known as The Venerable. Benedict soon afterwards lost his health and suffered for three years. During which he oftentimes impressed upon the brethren the necessity of keeping the rule, and of preserving the excellent and abundant library which he had brought together as a needful equipment for sacred learning. He fell asleep in the Lord upon January 12th, 690, and was buried in the monastery at Wearmouth. . . .

[From the Legend, St. Benedict Biscop, January 12/25]
Daily Posting: January 13/26

O God, whose only-begotten Son has appeared in the substance of our flesh: grant, we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to be inwardly renewed by him whom we recognize as outwardly like unto us. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Octave of Epiphany]

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O God, who through thy blessed Confessor Saint Kentigern hast caused the light of the true Faith to shine forth among the barbarous nations : grant, we beseech thee, we, faithfully following the doctrine which he taught, may attain to the brightness of everlasting glory. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Kentigern, January 13/26]

St. Kentigern

Lesson iv

KENTIGERN (whom the Scots on account of the sweetness of his ways called Mungo, that is, Dearly-Beloved) is said to have been the grandson of King Loth, (from whom is named that part of Scotland known as the Lothians,) in which case he was of the royal stock of the Picts in North Britain. In boyhood he was given over to the Monastery of Culross, under the tutelage of its Bishop and Abbot Saint Serf; from whose teaching he made headway in the study of letters, and also in the things of God. Hence he later withdrew into a solitary place at Glasgow in Scotland, where he led a hard life, in constant meditation upon the things of heaven, until the faithful of those parts, moved by the fame of his holiness, duly chose him for their bishop.

Lesson v

WHEN he had been raised to the dignity of the episcopate, he forthwith shed around the bright rays of apostolic grace, like a candle set upon a candlestick. By his words and his example he so tended his flock that many were in such wise enkindled with the love of Jesus Christ as to keep nothing of their own, but to serve God with one heart and one mind like the first disciples of the Apostles. Kentigern himself relaxed nothing of the first way of his life. It was his use every day, besides other works of godliness and penance, to repeat the entire Psalter; and every year, after the example of Christ, he passed in the desert the whole time of the fast of forty days, cut off altogether from the conversation of men.

Lesson vi

GOD confirmed his preaching with many and great miracles ; and thus this holy bishop, mighty in word and in work, preserved his flock unhurt from the Pelagian heresy which crept all round about. And in his vast diocese, whereabouts he travelled many times on foot, he almost abolished the worship of false gods, and brought a countless multitude of heathen into the Church of Christ. With this, nevertheless, he was not content, but sent churchmen meet to preach the Gospel into northern Norway and Iceland. And he lacked not the merit of suffering hardship for Christ's sake ; for he was driven into exile by a wicked tyrant, and betook himself to Wales, where he dwelt for a while with Saint David the Bishop ; and there he is said by some historians to have founded, at the confluence of the Elwy and Clwyd, a famous monastery, where he trained up Saint Asaph as his disciple. About the year 603 he went to heaven, full of days and beloved of God and men. His body was buried in the Cathedral Church of Glasgow, where it was held in great honour until the times when the fury of the Calvinistic heresy well nigh exterminated Catholic belief from Scotland.

[Legend, second Nocturn, Lessons iv -- vi, St. Kentigern, January 13/26]
Daily Posting: January 14/27

O GOD, by whose Providence blessed Hilary was sent to guide thy people in the way of everlasting salvation, : grant we beseech thee, that as we have learned of him the doctrine of life on earth, so we may be found worthy to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Hilary, January 14/27]

St. Hilary

HILARY was born of a most illustrious family in Aquitaine, and of him blessed Jerome saith : He was a man of mighty eloquence, the Latin trumpet against the Arians. He was born of pagan parents, and brought up in idolatry, but in due time was found of Christ and became God's servant. In early life he had married, but at his ordination he and his wife chose to live in continence. And because of the fame he made for himself by his wisdom and eloquence as a priest, he was chosen to be Bishop of Poitiers, in which office he gained the universal praise of the faithful. At that time the Emperor Constantius was persecuting the Catholics by every species of cruelty, in order to make them yield to the Arian heresy. Against the Arians Hilary set himself up as a brazen wall, and thereby turned upon himself the fierceness of their anger. When they procured his banishment to Phrygia, he used his exile to write a work in twelve books, on the Trinity, against these hereticks. * In the year 359, the fourth of his exile, he was obliged to attend the Council of Seleucia in Isauria, which was largely composed of Arians, whom he there publically withstood. And afterwards he withdrew to Constantinople, where he demanded leave from the Emperor to hold a public disputation in his presence. However, the Arian Bishops Ursacius and Valens, whom Hilary had already confuted in writing, were afraid to meet him in debate, and therefore induced Constantius, under pretence of pardon, to send him back to his bishoprick. And he was followed to Poitiers by Martin, afterwards Bishop of Tours, whose growth in holiness was a fruit of his teaching. * Henceforth he ruled the Church of Poitiers in great peace. His wonderful learning is seen in his numerous written works. And his tenderness of heart is well manifested in a letter, still extant, which during his exile he wrote to his daughter, urging upon her to become a nun, which same by this letter she was moved to do. He passed from earth to heaven upon January 13th, about the year 368, during the reign of the Emperors Valentian and Valens. . . .

[From the Legend, St. Hilary, January 14/27]

Daily Posting: January 15/28

St. Maurus

Lesson ix

CONCERNING this Maurus, ancient writers say that he was born of a noble Roman family, and as a child was offered to God by his father Equitius, to be under the personal teaching of Saint Benedict. And that in a short while the youth made such progress that he became a wonder to his master, who often held him up to his other disciples as a pattern of regular observance and all virtues. Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who hath preserved for us in his writings many ancient popular beliefs, hath recorded, as a wonderful instance of his obedience, this following tale. Placidus the monk (he saith) fell into a lake, and as he was being swept away by the current, the holy Patriarch called Maurus and bade him run to the rescue ; which same he did, walking on the water till he reached Placidus, whom he took by the hair of the head, and dragged to the shore. It is popularly believed that holy Maurus was sent by Saint Benedict into France ; and that he there founded the celebrated monastery which bore his name ; and that he governed the same for many years; and that he from thence passed to heaven, famous for holiness and miracles, when he was more than seventy years of age, which would be about the year 584.

[Legend, St. Maurus, January 15/28]
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O most blessed of men! Who, rejecting this world, bore the yoke of Holy Rule from tender years so lovingly; and being made obedient even unto death, he denied himself, that he might wholly cling to Christ is Master, alleluia. [Magnificat and Benedictus antiphon for first Vespers and Lauds, St. Maurus, January 15/28]

O God, who for a pattern of obedience didst cause blessed Maurus to walk dry-shod upon the waters: grant that we may both follow perfectly the example of his virtues, and also be worthy to share in his reward. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Maurus, January 15/28]

Daily Posting: January 16/29

AN ORTHODOX MONASTIC RESPONSE TO ISLAM
by Fr. James (Deschene)

Several generations ago, in what seemed then to be an unlikely possibility, the writer Hilaire Belloc predicted that the greatest challenge to Christianity in the coming decades would be the rise of Islam in the west. What then was oddly insightful is today the stuff of our daily news.

The responses to the rise (and, for those with a memory of history, the return) of Islam in the west are varied: psychological, legal, military, economic, sociological, theological.

What is missing is an over-arching spiritual approach, one appropriate to Orthodox Christians and monastics -- an approach both simple and powerful. That approach is prayer. And the only reasonable prayer to be made is for the submission of Islam to Christ, not by means of the sword but by the weapons of Christian truth and love. To be converted to the love of Christ and his truth, the followers of Islam must come to see clearly in the followers of Christ his truth and love. And these become infused in us by the mystery and grace of prayer.

No doubt, in a general way we Orthodox Christians do pray over this issue, but our prayer may lack focus. To remedy this, perhaps Orthodox Christians (and indeed all Christians) might direct their prayers to a particular heavenly patron whose earthly life was spent in the fiery crucible of confrontation between Christianity and Islam: St. John of Damascus.

The following prayer is offered as a means of focusing our minds and hearts daily on the need for heavenly help in the deepening crisis of our times as Islam once again challenges Christendom. It does not suggest any solution apart from absolute fidelity to witnessing the Christian faith, so ably defended by St. John in his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith -- a witness of speaking the truth in love, and a willingness, should it be God's will, to suffer the loss of all things for ourselves "if only Christ be gained."

PRAYER

Most merciful God, who didst raise up thy servant Blessed John of Damascus to proclaim and defend the faith of thy holy Church, even in the midst of her enemies: we ask, by his prayers, for the wisdom and courage to show forth that faith in our words and in our works, in our living and in our loving, and -- if it be thy will -- in our dying; that thy holy Church may be defended against all adversities; and that we and all faithful Christians, armed with the spiritual weapons of truth and love, may join valiantly in the struggle to bring the faith and love of Christ thy Son to the minds and hearts of all who follow the way of Islam; that they may come to know and adore our Saviour Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord; to whom with thee, Father, and the Holy Ghost, the one true God, all-compassionate and all-merciful, be all honor, glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.

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St. Gildas the Wise

St. Gildas was probably born around 517 in the North of England or Wales. His father's name was Cau (or Nau) and, came from noble lineage, and he most likely had several brothers and sisters. There is evidence that one of his brothers, Cuil (or Hueil), was killed by King Arthur (who died in 537 AD), and it also appears that Gildas may have forgiven Arthur for this.

He lived in a time when the glory of Rome had faded from Britain. The permanent legions had been withdrawn by Maximus, who used them to sack Rome and make himself Emperor.

Gildas was noted in particular for his piety and good educated, and was not afraid to publicly rebuke contemporary monarchs at a time when libel was answered by a sword, rather than a Court order.

Gildas lived for many years as a very ascetic hermit on Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel. There he established his reputation for that peculiar Celtic sort of holiness that consists of extreme self-denial and isolation. At around this time, according to the Welsh, he also preached to Nemata, the mother of St David, while she was pregnant with the Saint.

In about 547 he wrote a book De Excidio Britanniae (The Destruction of Britain). In this he writes a brief tale of the island from pre-Roman times and criticizes the rulers of the island for their lax morals and blames their sins (and those that follow them) for the destruction of civilization in Britain. The book was avowedly written as a moral tale.

He also wrote a longer work, the Epistle, which is a series of sermons on the moral laxity of rulers and of the clergy. In these Gildas shows that he was well read in the Bible and some other classic works.

He was also a very influential preacher. Because of his visits to Ireland and the great missionary work he did there, he was responsible for the conversion of many on the island, and may be the one who introduced anchorite customs to the monks of that land.

From there he retired from Llancarfan to Rhuys, in Brittany, where he founded a monastery. Of his works on the running of a monastery (one of the earliest known in the Christian Church), only the so-called Penitential, a guide for Abbots in setting punishment, survives.

He died around 571, at Rhuys. The monastery that he had founded became the center of his cult.

He is regarded as being one of the most influential figures of the early English Church. The influence of his writing was felt until well into the middle ages, particularly in the Celtic Church. He is also important to us today as the first British writer whose works have survived fairly intact.

[St Gildas commemorated January 16/29]

Copied from: CNA (Catholic News Agency)

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O LORD, we beseech thee favourabiy to hear the prayers of thy people : that, as we do rejoice in the passion of thy blessed Bishop and Martyr Saint Marcellus, so his intercessions may be our succour and defence. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Marcellus, January 16/29]
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THIS Marcellus was a Roman, and is believed to have held his brief pontificate in the reign of Constantius and Galerius, and in that of Maxentius. According to the Pontifical Book, it was through his persuasion that the Roman Lady Lucina left the whole of her property to the Church of God, which same was made into a church bearing his name. An epitaph by Pope Saint Damasus saith that because of his enforcement of the penitential canons, he excited the wrath of Maxentius, who threatened him with punishment. * The servant of God treated with contempt the mad cries of this man, who (so it is said) sent him to a menagerie, to take care of the beasts which were fed at the public cost, where Marcellus remained in continual fasting and prayer. And, as he could not visit the parishes of Rome in person, he wrote letters to them, until some of his clergy rescued him. * Maxentius, it is said, thereupon had the wild beasts brought from the menagerie and located in a church, where Marcellus was made to feed them. And the noisomeness of the place and the filthiness of his occupation soon broke down a constitution already enfeebled by many ailments, and he fell asleep in the Lord in 309, on January 16th, and for his sufferings is accounted a Martyr. According to the Pontifical Book, he was pope for five years, one month, and twenty-five days, and ordained at Rome in the month of December twenty-five priests, two deacons and twenty-one bishops for divers Sees.

[From the Legend, St. Marcellus, January 16/29]
Daily Posting: January 17/30

A friend of Christminster has created a website for Orthodox Christians to use daily, with the purpose of placing one's use of the internet under the guidance of God's grace . It consists very simply of a brief prayer before using the internet, a daily reading, and a brief prayer when one is finished with the internet. That is all -- no arguments, critiques or controversy; just a short way of sanctifying one's use of the internet by placing it under God's protection and using it for his glory and according to his will. This should become a part of one's daily computer use. The site can be bookmarked and can be found here.

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GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Anthony commend us into thee : that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Anthony, January 17/30]

THE life of Saint Anthony (the authorship of which same is ascribed to Saint Athanasius) hath the following items regarding him who is venerated as the first Abbot of monks. Anthony was an Egyptian, the child of noble and Christian parents, whom he lost while yet very young. On one occasion he heard read in church this passage of the Gospel : If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor : and he straightway took these words as addressed to himself personally, and therefore distributed all his possessions to the poor. Since he was about to enter the field of battle against Satan, he first gave heed to the examples set by all those who were eminent for any grace, and strove to copy them. * He was excelled by none in watchfulness and self-restraint, and continual study of the Holy Scriptures. He had such a loathing of hereticks and schismatics, specially Arians, that he would never go near them. He slept lying on the ground. He took nothing with his bread but salt, and drank only water. He never ate or drank before sunset, and often abstained from food altogether for two days at a time. Very often he passed whole nights in prayer. And being so valiant a soldier of God, he was attacked by the devil with divers temptations. * He betook himself to the deserts round about Egypt, where many disciples became monks under his direction. Day by day the attacks of the fiends became more violent, but day by day his strength grew greater to strive against them. At length he came to mock at their powerlessness, saying : Satan is afraid of good men's prayers and fasts, but above all, of their warm love for our Lord, the mere Sign of whose holy Cross is enough to put him to flight. He became such an object of dread to the devils, that many persons tormented by them were delivered by calling on his name. Moreover, the fame of his business was so spread abroad that Constantine the Great and his sons wrote to him to commend themselves to his prayers. In the hundred and fiftieth year of his age, having roused up great numbers to follow his example, he passed to heaven, on January 17th, in the year 356.

[From the Legend, St. Anthony, January 17/30]
Daily Posting: January 18/31

We should especially pray for the person who treats us badly and for the one who shows no regard to our feelings. When we pray for these people we are drawing nearer to the will of God. In Love we begin to see the victim in the one who is cruel or bullies and in the one who is demanding or thoughtless. And as we recognize the truth of this our anger or resentment begins to heal. [From: The Ancient Path / by Spyridon Bailey]

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St. Prisca

OF this Prisca (also called Priscilla), nothing is known with certainty save that from earliest times she hath been venerated at Rome as a Virgin and Martyr. The story which hath come down concerning her is that she was a noble Roman maiden who, at the age of thirteen, was accused before the Emperor Claudius, but remained faithful to Christ in spite of the most barbarous tortures inflicted upon her pure body. And that finally she was beheaded, namely, about the year 250, and buried by the Christians on January 18th at the Tenth Milestone from the city. The basilica erected in her honour came later to bear the title Saints Aquila and Priscilla : which saints are commemorated in the Martyrology on July 8th, and are mentioned several times in the New Testament, and were friends of the Apostle Paul. But it was the practice of early days to draw together, for commemoration on the same date, the memories of those blessed11 ones who had the same name ; for which reason in some places the holy Priscilla, who was the friend of Saint Paul, is honoured on this day, and holy Aquila as well.

[From the Legend, St. Prisca, January 18/31]
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Daily Posting: January 19/February 1

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, second Sunday after Epiphany]

There was a marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, and Jesus was here with Mary his Mother. [Benedictus antiphon, second Sunday after Epiphany]

And when they wanted wine, Jesus bade them to fill the water-pots with water, and it was turned into wine, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Sunday after Epiphany]

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Now that the day light fills the sky,
We lift our hearts to God on high,
That he, in all we do or say,
Will keep us free from harm to-day:

Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife;
From anger's din would hide our life;
From all ill sights would turn our eyes;
Would close our ears from vanities:

Would keep our inmost conscience pure;
Our souls from folly would secure;
Would bid us check the pride of sense
With due and holy abstinence.

So we, when this new day is gone,
And night is drawing on,
With conscience by the world unstained
Shall praise his name for victory gained.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

[Hymn at Prime {Jam lucis orto sidere}]

FEBRUARY 2015

DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
SUN119EPIPHANY II; St Mark of Ephesus, BC, III
MON220Sts. Fabian & Sebastian, MM, IV
TUE321St. Agnes, VM, III; St. Maximus, MK, IV
WED422F/ASt. Timothy, BM, III
THU523
FRI624St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, II
SAT725Conversion of St. Paul, II
SUN826SEPTUAGESIMA; St. Polycarp, BM, III
MON927St John Chrysostom, BCD, III
TUE1028St. Cyril of Alexandria, BCD, III
WED1129F/A
THU1230
FRI1331All New Russian Martyrs, II
SAT141St. Bridget, AB, IV
SUN152PRESENTATION, I (Candlemas); SEXAGESIMA; St. Ignatius of Antioch, BM, III
MON163St. Blaise, BM, IV; (Blessing of throats); St. Nicholas of Japan, BC, IV
TUE174
WED185F/ASt. Agatha, VM, IV
THU196St. Photius, BC, IV
FRI207F/ASt. Romuald, AB, III
SAT218
SUN229QUINQUAGESIMA
MON2310St. Scholastica, AB, II; St. Caedmon, MK, IV
TUE2411St. Benedict of Aniane, AB, IV
WED2512F/AASH WEDNESDAY
THU2613F
FRI2714F/ASt. Valentine, BM, IV
SAT2815A*


RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


Daily Posting: January 20/February 2

Almighty God, mercifully look upon our infirmity: and be because we are oppressed by the burden of our own deeds, may the glorious intercession of thy blessed Martyrs Fabian and Sebastian defend us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, January 20/February 2]

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The church is a means of healing. Our sins are a form of spiritual sickness that we need to be cured of. When we repent we are in the process of being healed, something that is impossible without God's Sprit. Salvation is not a reversal of God's judgment; it is the process of restored into his likeness. [From: The Ancient Path / by Spyridon Bailey]

Daily Posting: January 21/February 3

OBLATURE MORATORIUM LIFTED.

For the past couple of years there has been a moratorium on accepting any more Oblates. However, with the blessing of the Abbot, we have now resumed accepting those, Clergy and Lay, who wish to become Benedictine Oblates of the only Canonical Orthodox Western Rite Benedictine Monastery in America. Remember that, like apostolic succession, one needs to receive one's oblature from a Benedictine monk who is professed and connected to a monastery.

One cannot simply assume the Rule and declare oneself a Benedictine Oblate...

Part of the oblature is to support the monastery to which one is attached. First, by prayer: the Oblate is to pray regularly (from the Latin "regula"), according to the rule. This means that, in consultation with the Oblate Master, a rule of prayer, generally the Daily Office consisting of the Sevenfold Monastic or Fourfold Workman's Office ( Matins, Noonday, Vespers, Compline) be assumed as part of the Oblation. Second, by the regular participation in Confession, at every scheduled Liturgy in your parish, the Fasts, and Intercessory Prayer. Third, an Oblate is asked to live a life worthy of his calling by doing whatever work he does as not only a way of earning money, but as a spiritual act by doing it as perfectly as possible as an offering to God. Fourth, Oblates that married and parents are enjoined to make their spouse and children visible priorities in their lives. Fifth, Benedictines respect the land and creation, don't forget the great contributions to agriculture and animal husbandry that were made by monks . . . and the making of beer and brandy? Finally, Oblates love their monastery as it is a center of spiritual power and refreshment for them. Part of their "labora" as they cannot "tend the fields" as it were is to assist directly in the labor of the monastery. Christminster Oblates will support the monastery on a regular basis by sending a small donation ($10) on the first of every month.

Fraternally in Christ,
The Oblate Master
Christminster

The Oblate Master can be contacted through our web site contact page.

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Blessed Agnes, in the midst of the flames, stretched out her hands and prayed: I call on thee, O Father transcendent, august and dread; for by thy holy Son's protection I have escaped the threats of an impious tyrant, and passed unscathed through the foulness of fleshly pollution: and behold, I come to thee, whom I have loved, whom I have sought, whom I have alway desired. [Magnificat antiphon, St. Agnes, January 21/February 3]

Lo, that which I desired, now I see; that for which I hoped, I now possess; I am united in heaven unto him, whom on earth I loved with a perfect devotion. [Benedictus antiphon, St. Agnes, January 21/February 3]

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong: mercifully grant that we who keep the solemn feast of blessed Agnes, thy virgin and martyr, may know the protection of her prayer before thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Agnes, January 21/February 3]

Daily Posting: January 22/February 4

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, pages 25 - 26:

God willed this to be the nature of man: that he should eagerly desire two things: religion and wisdom. [Lactantius]

The chief good of man is in religion only; for the other things, even those that are supposed to be peculiar to man, are found in the other animals, too. [Lactantius]

The term happy cannot belong to him who lacks what he loves, whatever it may be; or to him who has what he loves, if it is hurtful; or to him who does not love what he has, although it is good in perfection. For one who seeks what he cannot have suffers torture; and one who has what is not desirable is cheated; and one who does not seek what is worth seeking is diseased. [St. Augustine]

What then am I, O my God? What is my nature? A varied and multiform life of powerful immensity. [St. Augustine]

Daily Posting: January 23/February 5

Let us not, who would be Christians, expect anything else than to be crucified. For to be Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time; Christ's life is the example, and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. Suffering is the reality of the human condition and the beginning of true spiritual life. [Fr. Seraphim Rose]

Daily Posting: January 24/February 6

All saints are our elder brothers in the house of the heavenly Father, who have departed from earth to heaven, and they are always with us in God, and they constantly teach us and guide us to eternal life. Call upon them as living with you under a single roof. [St. John of Kronstadt]

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Come, Holy Ghost, with God the Son
And God the Father ever one:
Shed forth thy grace within our breast,
And dwell with us, a ready guest.

By every power, by heart and tongue,
By act and deed, thy praise be sung:
Inflame with perfect love each sense,
That others' souls may kindle thence.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

Hymn at Terce [Nunc Sante nobis Spiritus]
Daily Posting: January 25/February 7

O by thy doctrine, Paul, thou sage illustrious,
Guide us in virtue, raise our spirits heavenwards;
Till perfect knowledge stream on us abundantly,
And that which only is in part be done away.

Glory eternal to the blessed Trinity,
With laud and honour, virtue and supremacy;
Trinal yet Onely, reigning in his majesty
Both now and ever, through the ages infinite. Amen.

(Hymn at first and second Vespers [Doctor egregie Paule], Conversion of St. Paul, January 25/February 7)
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Go forth, Ananias, and enquire for Saul, for behold, he prayeth: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my Name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Conversion of St. Paul, January 25/February 7]

Ye which have followed me shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, saith the Lord. [Benedictus antiphon, Conversion of St. Paul, January 25/February 7]

O God, who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant unto us, we beseech thee, that we who on this day celebrate his conversion may, by following his example, advance in the way that leadeth unto thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Conversion of St. Paul, January 25/February 7]

O holy Apostle Paul, thou preacher of the truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us unto God, who hath chosen thee. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Conversion of St. Paul, January 25/February 7]

Daily Posting: January 26/February 8

The Lord said unto Adam, of the tree which is in the midst of the garden thou shalt not eat: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. [Magnificat antiphon, Saturday before Septuagesima]

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, saith the Lord. [Benedictus antiphon, Septuagesima Sunday]

O Lord, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Septuagesima Sunday]

The householder saith unto the labourers, why stand here all the day idle? They say unto him, because no man hath hired us. Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, I will give you. [Magnificat antiphon, Septuagesima Sunday Vespers]

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FULFIL, O Lord, the petitions of thy servants who on this day devoutly reverence the passion of blessed Polycarp thy Bishop and Martyr; and accept us, together with him, as a whole burnt-offering dedicated unto thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Polycarp, January 26/February 8

Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, by whom he was consecrsted Bishop of Smyrna. And he was reckoned the chief of all the Christians of Asia, because he had been taught by several of the Apostles, and other persons who had seen the Lord. During the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, and while Anicetus presided over the Church of Rome, Polycarp came thither to discuss questions regarding the time for observing Easter. * At Rome he found some hereticks, who had been led astray by the doctrine of Marcion and Valentine, many of whom he brought back to the Faith. One day Marcion met him by accident, and said to him : Do you recognize me? Whereto he replied : I most certainly do recognize the devil's eldest son. * About the year 156, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, the whole population of Smyrna assembled in the theatre, before the throne of the Proconsul, and clamoured against Polycarp, and to please them the Proconsul condemned Polycarp to the flames, to be burnt to death. This blessed man composed an extremely useful Epistle to the Philippians, which is publically read in the Churches of Asia even to the day of this writing.

Daily Posting: January 27/February 9

From the Fathers ...

In God's loving-kindness, He never turns His face away from a sincere repentance. Even if someone has pushed on to extremes of wickedness but then chooses to return to the path of virtue, God accepts and welcomes and does everything to restore him to his former position. Beyond that, He does what is even more merciful, for even if that person does not manifest complete, but just a small and insignificant repentance, He does not dismiss it, but assigns a great reward even to that. [St. John Chrysostom]

We beseech thee, O Lord, let thy heavenly grace continually increase thy Church: which thou hast vouchsafed to enlighten by the gracious doctrine and example of blessed John Chrysostom, thy Confessor and Bishop. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. John Chrysostom, January 27/February 9]

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These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. [Magnificat antiphon, Monday, week of Septuagesima]

Daily Posting: January 28/February 10

The holy body of Christ endows those who receive it with life and keeps us incorrupt when it is mingled with our bodies. For it is not the body of anyone else, but is the body of him who is life by nature, since it has within itself the entire power of the Word that is united with it, and is endowed with his qualities, or rather is filled with his energy, through which all things are given life and maintained in being. Let us approach the divine and heavenly grace, and go up to the holy partaking of Christ. For that is precisely the way in which we shall overcome the deceits of the devil, and "having become partakers of the divine nature" [2 Pet. 1:4], shall ascend to life and incorruption. Those who do not receive Jesus through the sacrament will continue to remain utterly bereft of any share in the life of holiness and blessedness and without any taste of it whatsoever. If the flesh of the Savior became life-giving, seeing that it was united with that which is life by nature -- i.e., the Word that is from God -- when we taste of it we have that life within ourselves, since we too are united with the flesh of the Savior. [St. Cyril of Alexandria]

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O God, who didst make blessed Cyril, thy Confessor and Bishop, an invincible defender of the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant at his intercession, that we who believe her to be the Mother of God may be saved by her maternal protection. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Cyril of Alexandria, January 28/February 10]

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The householder answered and said, friend I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way. [Magnificat antiphon, Tuesday, week of Septuagesima]

Daily Posting: January 29/February 11

From the Fathers ...

Now if we really yearn for eternal life, if we long to have the provider of immortality within ourselves, let us not abstain from the Eucharist like some of the more negligent, nor let us provide the devil in the depths of his cunning with a trap and a snare for us in the form of a pernicious kind of reverence. 'Yes, indeed,' someone might say, 'But it is written, "Anyone who eats of the bread and drinks of the cup unworthily, eats and drinks judgment upon himself"' [1 Cor. 11:29]. I have examined myself and I see that I am not worthy.' But then when will you be worthy? . . . Make up your mind, then, to lead a more devout life in conformity with the law, and so partake of the Eucharist in the conviction that it dispels not only death but even the diseases that are in us. [St. Cyril of Alexandria]

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Take that thine is, and go thy way, saith the Lord. [Magnificat antiphon, Wednesday, week of Septuagesima]

Daily Posting: January 30/February 12

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will? Is thine eye evil, because I am good, saith the Lord? [Magnificat antiphon, Thursday, week of Septuagesima]

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 26:

I do not succeed in comprehending all that I am. [St. Augustine]

When you hear that the divine majesty is exalted above the heavens, that its glory is inexpressible, its beauty ineffable, and its nature inaccessible, do not despair of ever beholding what you desire. It is within your reach; you have within yourselves the standard by which to apprehend the divine. For He who made you did at the same time endow your nature with this wonderful quality. [St. Gregory of Nyssa]

Let us consider, brethren, of what material we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared His benefits for us before we were born. Therefore, since we have everything from Him, we ought in everything to give Him thanks. [Pope St. Clement I of Rome]

Daily Posting: January 31/February 13

O God of unspeakable mercy, who didst enable thy holy Martyrs to lay aside an earthly for an heavenly crown, and to overcome death by dying for thy Name: deliver us, we beseech thee, by their intercession, from all bondage to sin and death, that with them we may come to thy perfect freedom in the heavenly fatherland. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [All New Russian Martyrs]

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So the last shall be first, and the first shall be last: for many are called, but few are chosen. [Magnificat antiphon, Friday, week of Septuagesima]

Daily Posting: February 1/14

The Lord said unto Noah: the end of all flesh is come before me: make thee an ark of gopher wood, that therein the seed of all flesh may be saved. [Magnificat antiphon, Saturday before Sexagesima]

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Hear us, O God, our Saviour: and grant that as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Bridget, thy Virgin, so we may be brought to perfect holiness by the love of piety and devotion. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Bridget, February 1/14]

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The ancient carried the Infant, but the Infant governed the ancient: he whom a Virgin bare, and after bearing, remained virgin, the same was worshipped by her who bare him. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, February 2/15]

Daily Posting: February 2/15

And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, then Simeon took him up in his arms, and blessed God, saying: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. [Benedictus antiphon, Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, February 2/15]

Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty; that, as thine only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, February 2/15]

To-day the Blessed Virgin Mary presented the Child Jesus in the temple; and Simeon, filled with the Holy Spirit, received him into his arms, and blessed God for ever. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, February 2/15]

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O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do: mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sexagesima Sunday]

When much people were gathered together to Jesus, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: a sower went out to sow his seed. [Benedictus antiphon, Sexagesima Sunday]

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Almighty God, mercifully look upon our infirmities; that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins, the glorious intercession of thy Martyr and Bishop Saint Ignatius may be our succour and defence. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Ignatius, February 2/15]

Daily Posting: February 3/16

O God, who makest us glad with the yearly festival of blessed Blase thy Martyr and Bishop, mercifully grant that, as we now observe his heavenly birthday, so we may likewise rejoice in his protection. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Blase, February 3/16]

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 27:

To know oneself has always been the greatest of all lessons. For, if anyone knows himself, he will know God. And, in knowing God, he will become like Him. [St. Clement of Alexandria]

Let it be your first care not to deceive yourself. [St. Melito of Sardis]

Within me was a hunger of that inward food, Yourself, my God. [St. Augustine]

I bore about a shattered and bleeding soul, weary of being borne by me, yet finding nowhere to rest. [St. Augustine]

Daily Posting: February 4/17

O God of truth, O Lord of might,
Who orderest time and change aright,
And sendest the early morning ray,
And lightest the glow of perfect day;

Extinguish thou each sinful fire,
And banish every ill desire:
And while thou keepest the body whole,
Shed forth the peace upon the soul.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

Hymn at Sext [Rector potens, verax Deus]

The seed is the word of God, but Christ is the Sower: every one that heareth him shall abide for ever. [Magnificat antiphon, Tuesday, week of Sexagesima]

Daily Posting: February 5/18

But that which fell on the good ground are they which in an honest and good heart receive the word; an d bring forth fruit with patience. [Magnificat antiphon, Wednesday, week of Sexagesima]

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The blessed Agatha, standing in the midst of the prison, with outstretched hands entreated the Lord: O Lord Jesus Christ, my gracious Master, I give thanks unto thee, who hast enabled me to overcome the torments of the executioner: bid me now, O Lord, joyfully to enter into thine unfading glory. [Magnificat antiphon, St, Agatha, February 5/18]

The multitude of the heathen, fleeing to the tomb of the virgin, took thence her veil to defend them from the fire: that the Lord might shew himself a deliverer from the burning, for the merits of Agatha his blessed Martyr. [Benedictus antiphon, St, Agatha, February 5/18]

O God, who among other miracles of thy power hast bestowed the victory of martyrdom even upon women: mercifully grant that we who honour the birthday of blessed Agatha, the virgin and martyr, may through her example walk in the way that leadeth unto thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St, Agatha, February 5/18]

Daily Posting: February 6/19

Some seed fell on good ground, and brought forth fruit; some an hundredfold, and some sixtyfold. [Magnificat antiphon, Thursday, week of Sexagesima]

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From the Fathers ...

The mystery of Christ runs the risk of being disbelieved precisely because it is so incredibly wonderful. For God was in humanity. He who was above all creation was in our human condition; the invisible was made visible in the flesh; he who is from the heavens and from on high was in the likeness of earthly things; the immaterial one could be touched; he who is free in his own nature came in the form of a slave; he who blesses all creation became accused; he who is all righteousness was numbered among transgressors; life itself came in the appearance of death. [St. Cyril of Alexandria]

Daily Posting: February 7/20

GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Romuald, commend us into thee : that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St Romuald, February 7/20]

ROMUALD was born of born of the family of Onesti, Dukes of Ravenna, and though he grew up a worldly youth and the slave of his passions, he occasionally experienced aspirations toward a holy life. Now it happened that his father killed a kinsman in a duel fought because of a dispute about property rights. And Romuald, who had been ordered by his father to be present at the duel under pain of disinheritance, was thereupon so horrified that he felt obliged to do penance for his father and himself, to which end he withdrew for forty days of retreat to a neighboring Benedictine Monastery. During this time he became more and more penetrated with the love of God, partly because of the lay-brother who waited on him, which same proved to be such a humble man of God as to give Romuald to think. He therefore asked permission to be clothed in the habit of blessed Benedict, which was granted, and in due time he was professed. * He was ever inclined to harshness in dealing with the sins of himself and others, but it is said that the joy which beamed from his face drew all men to him. With the Abbot's consent, he betook himself to a holy hermit, Marinus by name ; and thither also came Peter Orseoli, a famous admiral and former Doge of Venice, who also became a monk ; and they with some others founded a new religious family of hermit-monks. Romuald's dedication of himself made a lasting impression on many nobles ; and even on his own father, who likewise became a monk. And it was an edifying sight to see noblemen and princes, who had been remarkable for their luxurious way of life, now living a life of penance, and earning their bread in the sweat of their brow at the monasteries which Romuald reformed or founded. * The best known of his foundations was that of the Camaldolese, which began the revival of the eremitical life at Camaldoli, near Arezzo, in 1009. A near kinsman of the Emperor Otto (which prince had himself been turned from a course of sin by Romuald) became a monk here under the direction of holy Romuald, and afterwards was sent as a missionary to Prussia, and was martyred there after he became bishop, namely, the holy Boniface of whom mention is made in the Martyrology on June 19th. After having served God in a life of great penance, whereby he turned many other men to God, not so much by what he preached as what he himself did, he passed to heaven on June 19th, in 1027. . . . .

[From the Legend, St. Romuald, February 7/20]

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They who keep the word of God with an honest and perfect heart bring forth fruit with patience. [Magnificat antiphon, Friday, week of Sexagesima]

Daily Posting: February 8/21

Mighty Abraham, the father of our faith, offered a burnt offering upon the altar, instead of his son. [Magnificat antiphon, Saturday before Quinquagesima]

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From the Fathers ...

There was no other way to shake off the gloomy dominion of death, only by the incarnation of the Only Begotten. This was why he appeared as we are and made his own a body subject to corruption according to the inherent system of its nature. Insofar as he himself is life, for he was born from the life of the Father, he intended to implant his own benefit within human nature, that is life itself. . . . There way no other way for the flesh to become life-giving, even though by its own nature it was subject to the necessity of corruption, except that it became the flesh of the Word who gives life to all things. [St. Cyril of Alexandria]

Daily Posting: February 9/22

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished: for he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitted on; and they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. [Benedictus antiphon, Quinquagesima Sunday]

Graciously hear our prayers, we beseech thee, O Lord: that we, being loosed from the chain of our sins, may be kept from all things that may hurt us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Quinquagesima Sunday]

And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him, and asked him, saying: what wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, receive thy sight, thy faith hath saved thee. And straightaway he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God. [Quinquagesima Sunday Vespers]

Daily Posting: February 10/23

THE shades of night are fled away,
The long desired day is born;
The changing wheel of time has brought
Scholastica her wedding morn.

The winter's weariness is past,
Tempests no longer doth she see;
The fields of heaven bloom with stars,
The blossoms of eternity.

He calls her forth, the Source of love,
He gives her wings that she may rise,
And to the kisses of his mouth
A shining dove she swiftly flies.

O royal child, how fair thy course!
O maid, how beautiful thy way!
Thy brother marks thy upward flight,
Then turns to God his thanks to pay.

Locked in the Bride-groom's close embrace,
She takes the crown to virtue owed,
Sunk in a glorious stream of bliss,
Inebriated with her God.

Thou lily of the valley, Christ,
To thee our homage meet we pay:
To Father and to Paraclete,
While endless ages roll away. Amen.

[Hymn at Lauds {Jam noctis umbra concidunt}, St. Scholastica, February 10/23]
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O how illustrious are the merits of blessed Scholastica! O how great the power of her tears! through which the renowned virgin, out of sunny clearness, drew down from the air a mighty flood of rain. [Benedictus, St. Scholastica, February 10/23]

O GOD, who didst reveal in a vision the soul of blessed Scholastica thy Virgin entering heaven in the likeness of a dove, that thou mightest shew the way of the undefiled: grant us by the aid of her intercession and prayers so innocently to live, that we may worthily attain unto joys eternal. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Scholastica, February 10/23]


In this abbess's monastery was a certain brother particularly glorified and honoured with a divine gift, in that he fittingly was accustomed to make songs, which pertained to religion and virtue, so that whatever thus he he learned of divine letters from scholars, those things he after a moderate space of time he brought forth, in poetic language adorned with the greatest sweetness and inspiration and well-made in the English language. And by his poem-songs the spirits of many men were kindled to distain of the world and to service of a heavenly life. And likewise, many others after him among the English people endeavoured to compose pious songs, but none however in like manner to him could do so because he had learned not at all from men nor through man that he songcraft learned, but he was divinely aided and through God's gift received the art of poetry. And he therefore he never could make any sort of lying or idle songs, but just those alone which pertained to piety, and those which were fitting for his pious tongue to sing. The man was established in worldly life until the time when he was of advanced age, and he had never learned any songs. And consequently, often at drinking gathering, when there was deemed to be occasion of joy, that they all must in turn sing with a harp, when he saw the harp nearing him, he then arose for shame from that feast and went home to his house. Then he did this on a certain occasion, that he left the banquet-hall and he was going out to the animal stables, which herd had been assigned to him that night. When he there at a suitable time set his limbs at rest and fell asleep, then some man stood by him in his dream and hailed and greeted him and addressed him by his name: 'Caedmon, sing me something.' Then he answered and said: 'I do not know how to sing and for that reason I went out from this feast and went hither, because I did not know how to sing at all.' Again he said, he who was speaking with him: 'Nevertheless, you must sing.' Then he said: 'What must I sing?' Said he: 'Sing to me of the first Creation.' When he received this answer, then he began immediately to sing in praise of God the Creator verses and words which he had never heard, whose order is this:

Humbly let us honour    heaven-kingdom's Guardian,
the might of the Architect    and his mind-plans,
the goals of the Glory-Father.    First he, the eternal Lord,
eminently established    earth's fearful foundations.
Then he, the first Scop,    hoisted heaven as a roof
for the sons of men,    holy Creator,
Maker of mankind.    Then he, the ever-living Lord,
afterwards made men middle-earth:    Master almighty!

[Caedmon's Hymn: the First English Poem
a modern English translation of the original Old English/Anglo-Saxon poem circa 658-680 AD
translated by Michael R. Burch]

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And they which went before rebuked him that he should hold his peace: but he cried out so much the more, have mercy on me, thou Son of David. [Magnificat antiphon, Monday, week of Quinquagesima]

Daily Posting: February 11/24

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 27:

In groaning and tears alone I found a little refreshment. [St. Augustine]

I will take my stand where my parents placed me as a child until the clear truth be found out. [St. Augustine]

Let everything perish! Dismiss these empty vanities! And let us take up the one search for truth. [St. Augustine]

I desire to know God and the soul. Nothing else? Nothing. [St. Augustine]

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Have mercy on me, thou Son of David. What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? Lord, that I may receive my sight. [Magnificat antiphon, Tuesday, week of Quinquagesima]

Daily Posting: February 12/25

Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Prayer for the Blessing of Ashes

O God, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his sin and be saved; mercifully look upon the frailty of our mortal nature, and of thy goodness vouchsafe to bless these ashes now to be set upon our heads in token of humility and to obtain thy pardon; that we, knowing we are but dust, and for our unworthiness unto dust shall we return, may through thy mercy receive forgiveness of all our sins, and those good things which thou hast promised to the penitent. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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When ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. [Benedictus antiphon, Ash Wednesday]

GRANT, O Lord, unto thy faithful people: that they may enter upon the venerable solemnity of the fast with fitting piety, and may pass through the same with undisturbed devotion. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Lauds, Ash Wednesday]

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [P B Collect at Lauds, Ash Wednesday]

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. [Magnificat antiphon, Ash Wednesday Vespers]

LOOK favourably, O Lord, on those who bow themselves before thy Majesty: that they who have been refreshed with the divine Gift may ever be sustained by thy heavenly aid. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Vespers, Ash Wednesday]

Daily Posting: February 13/26

Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. Verily I say unto thee, I will come and heal him. [Benedictus, Thursday after Ash Wednesday at Lauds]

O GOD, who art offended by sin, and reconciled by penitence: mercifully regard the prayers of thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourge of thy wrath, which for our sins we have justly deserved. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Lauds, Thursday after Ash Wednesday]

Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Thursday after Ash Wednesday]

SPARE us, O Lord, spare thy people: that they who are justly chastised by thy scourges, may be relieved by thy tender mercy. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Vespers, Thursday after Ash Wednesday]

Daily Posting: February 14/27

When thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. [Benedictus, Friday after Ash Wednesday at Lauds]

WE beseech thee, O Lord, to accompany with thy bounteous favour the fast upon which we have entered: that the observance which we shew forth in our bodies, we may be able also to practise with sincerity of heart. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Lauds, Friday after Ash Wednesday]

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Friday after Ash Wednesday]

DEFEND thy people, O Lord, and mercifully cleanse them from all their sins: for no adversity will harm them over whom iniquity hath no dominion. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect at Vespers, Friday after Ash Wednesday]

Daily Posting: February 15/28

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways. [Benedictus, First Saturday in Lent at Lauds]

ASSIST us, Lord, in these our supplications: and grant that we may keep with devout service this solemn fast, ordained for the healing of both soul and body. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, First Saturday in Lent at Lauds]

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here am I. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, First Saturday in Lent]

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O God, creation's secret force,
Thyself unmoved, all motion's source,
Who from the morn till evening's ray
Through all its changes guidest the day:

Grant us, when this short life is past,
The glorious evening that shall last;
That, by a holy death attained,
Eternal glory may be gained.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

Hymn at None [Rerum Deus tenax vigor]
======================================================================

MARCH 2015
DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
SUN116LENT I
MON217F/A
TUE318FSt. Simeon of Jerusalem, B, IV / St. Colman of Lindisfarne, MK, III
WED419F/AEmber Day
THU520FSt. Mildred of Thanet, AB, IV
FRI621F/AEmber Day
SAT722F/A*Ember Day
SUN823LENT II
MON924St. Matthias, AP, II
TUE1025FSt. Walburga, Ab, IV
WED1126F/A
THU1227FSt Raphael of Brooklyn, BC, III
FRI1328F/ASt Oswald, BC, IV
SAT141A*St. David of Wales, BC, III
SUN152LENT III, St. Chad, BC, IV
MON163F/A
TUE174F
WED185F/ASt. Nikolaj Velimirovich, BC, IV
THU196F
FRI207F/ASts. Perpetua and Felicity, MM, IV
SAT218A*
SUN229LENT IV (Laetare Sunday), St. Gregory of Nyssa, BCD, III
MON2310F/AForty Martyrs of Sebaste, IV / / Repose of Abbot David Pierce, 2014
TUE2411F*St. Constantine, Protomartyr of Scotland, M, IV
WED2512St Gregory the Great, BCD, II
THU2613F
FRI2714F/A
SAT2815A*St. Aristobulus, BM, III / St. Longinus, M, IV
SUN2916PASSION SUNDAY
MON3017F/ASt Patrick, BC, III
TUE3118FSt. Cyril of Jerusalem,. BCD, IV


RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


Daily Posting: February 16/March 1

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil: and when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, First Sunday in Lent]

O GOD, who dost purify thy Church by the yearly observance of the Lenten fast: grant unto this thy family, that what they endeavour to obtain of thee by abstinence, they may shew forth in good works. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, First Sunday in Lent]

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. [P B Collect, First Sunday in Lent]

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation: let us therefore in all things approve ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in watchings, in fastings, and by love unfeigned. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, First Sunday of Lent]

Daily Posting: February 17/March 2

Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. [Benedictus antiphon, Monday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

Turn thou us, O God our Saviour: and that the Lenten fast may profit us, do thou instruct our minds with heavenly teaching. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Monday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

That which ye have done unto one of the least of mine, ye have done unto me, saith the Lord. [Magnificat antiphon, Monday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Loose, O Lord, we beseech thee, the chain of our sins: and of thy great mercy, turn away from us the due reward of our deeds. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Monday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 18/March 3

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought: and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves. [Benedictus antiphon, Tuesday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

LOOK down, O Lord, upon thy family: and grant that our souls, chastened by the mortifying of the flesh, may shine in thy sight with longing desire for thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Tuesday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

Truly it is written, mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all nations: but ye have made it a den of robbers. And he was daily with them, teaching in the temple. [Magnificat antiphon, Tuesday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Let our prayers ascend unto thee, O Lord: and do thou drive away from thy Church all taint of corruption. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Tuesday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 19/March 4

This crooked and perverse generati6n seeketh after a sign: and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of the prophet ]onas. [Benedictus antiphon, Ember Wednesday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

MERCIFULLY hear our prayers, O Lord, we beseech thee: and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty against all things that withstand us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Wednesday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth. [Magnificat antiphon, Ember Wednesday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

ENLIGHTEN our minds, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the brightness of thy glory: that we may be able to see what we ought to do, and also may have power to do those things which are right. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Wednesday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 20/March 5

Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon: and behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried, saying have mercy on me, thou Son of David. [Benedictus antiphon, Thursday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

LOOK favourably, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the devotion of thy people: that they who are mortified in the body through abstinence may be refreshed in mind through the fruit of good works. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Thursday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. [Magnificat antiphon, Thursday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, unto all Christian people: that they may both experience the truth of that which they profess, and also love the heavenly gift which they are wont to receive. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Thursday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 21/March 6

During this first full week of Lent the Ember Days are observed. These, which occur four times a year, are days of special prayer and fasting, asking God for a blessing on the harvest and for vocations to the priesthood. The Ember Saturdays are traditionally ordination days. These seasonal fasts are ancient, going back to the early years of the church. The following gives a brief overview of their history, taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

EMBER DAYS: A Brief History

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (St. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter. Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

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An Angel of the Lord went down from heaven, and troubled the water, and one was healed. [Benedictus antiphon, Ember Friday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

Be favourable to thy people, O Lord: and mercifully revive with thine abundant help those whom thou makest devoted unto thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Friday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

He that made me whole, the same commanded me: take up thy bed, and walk in peace. [Magnificat antiphon, Ember Friday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Graciously hear us, O merciful God: and shed forth upon our minds the light of thy grace. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Ember Friday Vespers, first week in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 22/March 7

Ember Saturdays are unusual in having multiple scriptural lessons at Mass. This is because ordinations to the minor and major orders were given on ember Saturdays (though not restricted to them). The ordinations were spaced out among the readings. Obviously this meant that multiple ordinations to any particular order (e.g., priests) were a normal part of the western tradition. It would be a good thing to use these ember Saturdays by praying for God to provide his church with a rich harvest of good clergy.

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And Jesus taketh his disciples, and goeth up into a mountain, and was transfigured before them. [Benedictus antiphon, Ember Saturday Lauds, first week in Lent and Benedictus antiphon, second Sunday in Lent.]

Look graciously upon thy people, we beseech thee, O Lord: and mercifully turn away from them the scourges of thy wrath. [Collect, Ember Saturday Lauds, first week in Lent.]

Tell the vision which ye have seen to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead. [Magnificat antiphon, Ember Saturday Vespers, first week in Lent and Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Sunday in Lent.]

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O Maker of the world, give ear;
Accept the prayer and own the tear
Towards thy seat of mercy sent
In this most holy fast of Lent.

Each heart is manifest to thee;
Thou knowest our infirmity;
Forgive thou then each soul that fain
Would seek to thee, and turn again.

Our sins are manifold and sore,
But pardon them that sin deplore:
And, for thy Name's sake, make each soul
That feels and owns its languor, whole.

So mortify we every sense
By grace of outward abstinence,
That from each stain and spot of sin
The soul may keep her fast within.

Grant, O thou blessed Trinity,
Grant, O essential Unity,
That this our fast of forty days
May work our profit and thy praise. Amen.

Hymn at Vespers throughout Lent [Audi benigne Conditor]
Daily Posting: February 23/March 8

Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, second Sunday in Lent.]

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 28:

Much time had I spent in vanity, and had wasted nearly all my youth acquiring the sort of wisdom made foolish by God. Then once, like a man roused from deep sleep, I turned my eyes to the marvelous light of the truth of the Gospel, and I perceived the uselessness of "the wisdom . . . of the rulers of this world, who are doomed to pass away" (1 Cor 2:6). I wept many tears over my miserable life and I prayed that I might receive guidance to admit me to the doctrines of true religion. [St. Basil the Great]

I will not hesitate to search if I find myself in doubt; I will not be ashamed to learn if I find myself in error. . . . Let him continue along with me, whoever with me is certain; let him search with me, whoever shares my doubts; let him turn to me, whoever acknowledges his own error; let him rebuke me, whoever perceives my own. [St. Augustine]

Daily Posting: February 24/March 9

O God, who didst join blessed Matthias to the company of thine Apostles: grant we beseech thee, that through his intercession we may ever be conscious of thy loving-kindness toward us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Matthias, February 24/March 9]

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I am the Beginning, even I that speak unto you. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Monday in Lent.]

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that thy servants who abstain from food in mortification of the flesh, may fast from sin by following after righteousness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Monday in Lent.]

He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Monday in Lent.]

Assist us mercifully, Almighty God, in these our supplications: and grant that we, to whom thou hast given a full assurance of hope in thy goodness, may receive the fruit of thy wonted loving-kindness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, second Monday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 25/March 10

One is your Master, which is in heaven, even Christ the Lord. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Tuesday Lent.]

PERFECT in us, O merciful Lord, we beseech thee, the supporting strength bestowed in this holy observance: that as by thine appointment, we know what we ought to do, so by thine effectual working we may fulfil the same. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Tuesday in Lent.]

But all ye are brethren; and call no man your father upon earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven: neither be ye called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Tuesday in Lent.]

BE favourable to our supplications, O Lord, and relieve the weakness of our souls: that receiving thy forgiveness, we may alway rejoice in thy blessing. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, second Tuesday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 26/March 11

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be betrayed to be crucified. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Wednesday in Lent.]

WE beseech thee, O Lord, favourably to behold thy people: and grant that those whom thou hast bidden to abstain from carnal food, may also cease from-all hurtful vices. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Wednesday in Lent.]

For he shall be be delivered unto the Gentiles, to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Wednesday in Lent.]

O GOD, the restorer and lover of innocence, direct unto thyself the hearts of thy servants: that being enkindled with the ardour of thy spirit, they may be found both steadfast in faith, and fruitful in good works. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, second Wednesday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 27/March 12

Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Thursday in Lent.]

GRANT us, O Lord, we beseech thee, the help of thy grace: that we, being duly given to fasting and prayers, may be delivered from the enemies of both soul and body. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Thursday in Lent.]

That rich man who refused to Lazarus a crumb of bread, desired a drop of water. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Thursday in Lent.]

ASSIST thy servants, O Lord; and at their petition bestow upon them thy continual loving-kindness: whereby thou mayest gather and restore those who glory in thee their Creator and Ruler, and mayest preserve those whom thou dost restore. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, second Thursday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: February 28/March 13

He will miserably destroy those wicked men: and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Friday in Lent.]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that being cleansed by the hallowed fast, thou mayest bring us with pure minds to the holy feast which is drawing nigh. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Friday in Lent.]

When they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Friday in Lent.]

GRANT unto thy people, we beseech thee, O Lord, health of mind and body: that cleaving to good works, they may ever deserve to be defended by thy mighty protection. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, second Friday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: March 1/14

Monks (it has been observed) are like the great and silent forests of the earth. In silence and stillness the trees grow, unremarkable and unobserved in their forest wilderness, silently but effectively purifying the air of the whole world, removing, in their unmoving, unimpressive activity, the poisons and carbons that would otherwise destroy the world of cities and nations. It is for others to be the primary movers and dramatic doers. Monks, like trees, will do the world far less good by removing themselves from the purifying task of prayer and monastic observance. The world in its folly sees no usefulness in its rain forests - or in its monastics. But destroy either of these - and the world is ever ready to destroy both - and the world will strangle itself and die, poisoned by its own toxins.

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Grant unto us, Almighty God, that the devout intercession of blessed David, thy Confessor and Bishop, may protect us, and that while we keep his feast day, we may follow his firmness in defending the Catholic Faith. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. David of Wales, March 1/14]

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I will go to my father, and will say unto him: Father, make me as one of thy hired servants. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, second Saturday in Lent.]

GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, a healthful effect to our fasts: that the chastisement of the flesh which we have taken upon us may avail to the strengthening of our souls. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, second Saturday in Lent.]

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, second Saturday in Lent.]

Daily Posting: March 2/15

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, all his goods are in peace. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Sunday in Lent]

WE beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants: and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, third Sunday in Lent]

A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and cried, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But Jesus answered, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Sunday in Lent]

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Almighty and everlasting God, who makest us to rejoice this day in the festival of blessed Chad, thy Bishop and Confessor: we humbly beseech thy mercy, that through the holy prayers of him whose feast we devoutly venerate, we may obtain the recompense of everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Chad, March 2/15]


Now Christ, thou Sun of righteousness,
Let dawn our darkened spirits bless:
The light of grace to us restore
While day to earth returns once more.

Thou who dost give the accepted time,
Give, too, a heart that mourns for crime,
Let those by mercy now be cured
Whom loving - kindness long endured.

Spare not, we pray, to send us here
Some penance kindly but severe,
So let thy gift of pardoning grace
Our-grievous sinfulness efface.

Soon will that day, thy day, appear
And all things with its brightness cheer:
We will rejoice in it, as we
Return thereby to grace, and thee.

Let all the world from shore to shore
Thee, gracious Trinity, adore;
Right soon thy loving pardon grant,
That we our new-made song may chant. Amen.

(Hymn at Lauds throughout Lent [Jam Christe, sol justitiae])
Daily Posting: March 3/16

Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Monday in Lent]

We beseech thee. O merciful Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts: that like as we do abstain from bodily food so we may restrain our senses from every harmful indulgence. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, third Monday in Lent]

But Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went his way. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Monday in Lent]

Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be present to help us: that we may ever deserve to be rescued from the imminent perils of our sins by thy protection, and also to be saved by thy deliverance. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Monday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 4/17

If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, saith the Lord. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Tuesday in Lent]

HEAR us, O Almighty and merciful God: and of thy favour bestow upon us the gift of wholesome self-restraint. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Tuesday in Lent]

Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them, saith the Lord. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Tuesday in Lent]

Defend us, O Lord, by thy protection: and keep us evermore from all iniquity. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Tuesday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 5/18

Hearken, and understand ye the traditions which the Lord hath given you. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Wednesday in Lent]

GRANT, unto us, we beseech thee, O Lord: that by the wholesome discipline of fasting, and by abstaining from all hurtful offenses, we may the more easily obtain thy merciful forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, third Wednesday in Lent]

To eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Wednesday in Lent]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who seek the grace of thy protection, may be delivered from all evils and serve thee with a quiet mind. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Wednesday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 6/19

And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying: Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Thursday in Lent]

May the blessed solemnity of the Saints Cosmas and Damian magnify thee, O Lord: in which, by thy ineffable providence, thou hast both granted them eternal glory, and us the benefits of their help. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, third Thursday in Lent]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that the holy devotion of our fast may both cleanse us, and make us acceptable unto thy divine Majesty. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Sarum Collect, Lauds, third Thursday in Lent]

Whosoever had any sick, they brought them unto Jesus; and they were healed. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Thursday in Lent]

LET thy heavenly favour, we beseech thee, O Lord, increase the people that serveth thee: and make them ever to keep thy commandments. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Thursday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 7/20

Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Friday in Lent]

LORD, we pray thee, let thy gracious favour attend upon our fast: that as in the body we abstain from food, so likewise in the spirit we may fast from sin. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, third Friday in Lent]

Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Friday in Lent]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who put our trust in thy protection may by thy help overcome all things that withstand us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, third Friday in Lent]

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For theirs is the kingdom of heaven, who despised worldly living: who have won the rewards of the kingdom, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. [Magnificat and Benedictus antiphon, Vespers and Lauds, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, March 7/20]

Grant us, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, to venerate with unceasing devotion the triumphs of Perpetua and Felicity, thy holy Martyrs: that we who are not able to celebrate their victories worthily in thought, at least may often recall them in humble obedience. [Collect, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, March 7/20]

Daily Posting: March 8/21

But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground: if any is without sin, let him cast a stone at her. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, third Saturday in Lent]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that they who abstain from food in mortification of the flesh, may fast from sin by following after righteousness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, third Saturday in Lent]

Woman, hath no man condemned thee? No man, Lord. Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Saturday in Lent]

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To thee, before the close of day,
Creator of the world we pray
That with thy wonted favour, thou
Wouldst be our Guard and Keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
From nightly fears and fantasies:
Tread under foot our ghostly foe,
That no pollution we may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

Hymn at Compline [Te lucis ante terminum]
Daily Posting: March 9/22

When Jesus lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip: Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to prove him; for he himself knew what he would do. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, fourth Sunday in Lent]

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, fourth Sunday in Lent]

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, fourth Sunday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 10/23

March 28, 2014

On behalf of the monks of Christminster I wish to offer my warmest sympathies to all who knew and loved Father David. He was truly a gentle, loving, and lovable soul. I personally shall miss our conversations, shared hopes for the monastic life, and shared memories of the memorable Dom Augustine Whitfield. I think that what I will most miss is Father David's sheer goodness. His was a great and loving heart. May the angels receive him with joy into Paradise. And while we remember him in our prayers, we can be comforted in knowing that he now prays for us in the presence of that unspeakable Love whom he showed forth in his time among us. God bless his family, Brother George, and those many whose lives were touched and blessed by his goodness.

Dom James M. Deschene
Abbot of Christminster

Take these things hence, saith the Lord, make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, fourth Monday in Lent]

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who year by year devoutly renew this holy observance, may please thee both in mind and body. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, fourth Monday in Lent]

Destroy this temple, saith the Lord, and in three days I will raise it up: but he spake of the temple of his body. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, fourth Monday in Lent]

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us: and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, fourth Monday in Lent]

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Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who acknowledge the fortitude of thy glorious Martyrs in their confession, may experienced their loving intercession for us before thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, March 10/23]

Daily Posting: March 11/24

Why go ye about to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth? [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, fourth Tuesday in Lent]

We beseech thee, O Lord, that the sacred fast which we observe: may bring upon us both an increase in all godly conversation, and the continual help of thy loving -- kindness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, fourth Tuesday in Lent]

But no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, third Tuesday in Lent]

Have compassion, O Lord, upon thy people: and grant that those who labour under continual tribulations may be graciously relieved. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, fourth Tuesday in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 11/24

Apostle of the English, thou
Art comrade of the Angels now:
O help the faithful, Gregory,
Who heardest then the peoples' cry.

Abundant wealth was naught to thee
Who, seeking princely penury,
Didst spurn the glory of the earth
To follow Jesus in his dearth.

Like some poor needy shipwrecked soul,
His messenger besought a dole;
Twin gifts thou gavest; nothing loth
To offer self and silver both.

First in his Church from that time forth
Christ set thee, in thy proven worth;
So didst thou rise to Peter's throne,
Whose life was pattern for thine own.

O Priest and Leader of the flock,
The Church's glory, light, and rock,
Instructed by thy wise command,
Let not the sheep in peril stand.

Praise to the unbegotten One,
And glory to his only Son;
And thine, O Spirit, Breath of God,
Be equal majesty and laud. Amen.

(Hymn at Vespers [Anglorum jam Apostolus], St Gregory the Great, March 12/25)

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O GOD, who hast bestowed upon the soul of thy servant Gregory the reward of eternal blessedness: mercifully grant that we, who are weighed down with the burden of our sins, may be upheld by his prayers before thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St Gregory the Great, March 12/25]

Daily Posting: March 13/26

Jesus went into a city called Nain: and behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Thursday, IV week in Lent]

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Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who are chastised by voluntary fasting, may be gladdened by holy devotion; that our earthly affections being weakened, we may the more easily lay hold on heavenly things. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, Thursday, fourth week in Lent]

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A great prophet is risen up among us, and God hath visited his people. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Thursday, fourth week in Lent]

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O God, the Disposer and Ruler of thy people: drive out the sins which assail them; that they may ever be well-pleasing to thee, and safe under thy protection. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, Thursday, fourth week in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 14/27

Our friend Lazarus sleepeth: let us go, that we may awake him out of sleep. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Friday, IV week in Lent]

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O GOD, who renewest the world by ineffable sacraments: grant, we beseech thee, that thy Church may never fail to profit by thine eternal institutions, nor yet be left destitute of thy temporal help. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, Friday, IV week in Lent]

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Lord, if thou hadst been here, Lazarus would not have died: lo, by this time he stinketh; for he hath lain in the grave four days already. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Friday, IV week in Lent]

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GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who, knowing our own weakness, do put our whole trust and confidence in thy strength, may ever rejoice in thy loving-kindness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vespers, Friday, IV week in Lent]

Daily Posting: March 15/28

He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, saith the Lord. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Saturday before Passion Sunday]

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LET our devout affections, O Lord, we beseech thee, be made fruitful through thy grace: for then will the fast which we have undertaken be profitable unto us, if it be well-pleasing unto thy goodness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, Saturday before Passion Sunday]

THE royal banners forward go:
The Cross-shines forth in mystic glow;
Where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed.
Life's torrent rushing from his side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled Water flowed and Blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old:
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy limbs should find their rest:

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world's ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail!
This holy Passiontide avail
To give fresh merit to the saint
And pardon to the penitent.

To thee, eternal Three in One.
Let homage meet by all be done:
Whom by the Cross thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Hymn at Vespers throughout Passiontide [Vexilla Regis prodeunt]

I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Saturday before Passion Sunday]

Daily Posting: March 16/29

Jesus said unto the multitude of the Jews, and to the chief priests: He that is of God heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Passion Sunday]

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We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people: that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Lauds, Passion Sunday]

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Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers on Passion Sunday]

Daily Posting: March 17/30

O God, who didst send blessed Patrick, thy Bishop and Confessor, to peach thy glory among the nations: grant, through his intercession, that by thy mercy we may have power to perform whatsoever thou dost command. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Patrick, March 17/30]

HYMN OF [and attributed to] ST. PATRICK
I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on cross for my sa1vation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heav'nly way;
His coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
The service of the seraphim;
Confessors' faith, apostles' word,
The patriarchs' prayers, the prophets scrolls;
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heav'n
The glorious sun's life giving ray
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning fire,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need;
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heav'nly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Daily Posting: March 18/31

SING, my tongue, the glorious battle.
Sing the last, the dread affray;
O'er the Cross, the Victor's trophy,
Sound the high triumphal lay,
How, the pains of death enduring,
Earth's Redeemer won the day.

HE, our Maker, deeply grieving
That the first made Adam fell
When he ate the fruit forbidden
Whose reward was death and hell,
Marked e'en then this Tree the ruin
Of the first tree to dispel.

THUS the work for our salvation
He ordained to be done;
To the traitor's art opposing
Art yet deeper than his own:
Thence the remedy procuring
Whence the fatal wound begun.

THEREFORE, when at length the fulness
Of the appointed time was come,
He was sent, the world's Creator,
From the Father's heavenly home,
And was found in human fashion,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb.

LO! he lies, an Infant weeping,
Where, the narrow manger stands,
While the Mother-Maid his members
Wraps in mean and lowly bands,
And the swaddling clothes is winding
Round his helpless feet and hands.

Praise and honour to the Father,
Praise and honour to the Son,
Praise and honour to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One.
One in might, and One in glory
While eternal ages run. Amen.

Matins hymn - Passiontide [Pange, lingua, gloriosi]

My time is not yet come, but your time is alway ready. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Tuesday, Passion Week]

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May our fasts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, we beseech thee: and by their atoning power, both make us worthy of thy grace, and lead us on to everlasting remedies. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Tuesday, Lauds, Passion Week]

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Go ye up unto this feast : I go not up yet, for my time is not yet full come. [Magnificat antiphon, Vespers, Tuesday, Passion Week]

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WE beseech thee, O Lord, give us perseverance in humble service according to thy will: that in our day the people that serveth thee may increase both in number and in merit. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Tuesday, Vespers, Passion Week]

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Grant us, we beseech thee, Almighty God, at the intercession of the blessed Bishop Cyril: so to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, that we may ever deserve to be numbered among the sheep that hear his voice. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, St Cyril of Jerusalem, March 18/31]