Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope it will serve to inspire you and perhaps inform you in some small way regarding the Holy Orthodox Faith or our Lord Jesus Christ. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Christ be with you!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saint Martina, Virgin and Martyr

Saint Martina, Virgin and Martyr, January 30th
Crucifix of San Damiano
Saint Martina was the virgin daughter of an illustrious Roman family, and after the death of her parents, she distributed all her wealth to the poor. Whereupon the Emperor Alexander commanded her to sacrifice to imaginary gods, and on her refusal, subjected her to unspeakable brutalities, such as scourging, putting her at the mercy of savage beasts, torturing her with fire, and other such like terrible sufferings ; and at last caused her to be beheaded. Her martyrdom occurred sometime between 226 and 228 in the Patriarchate of Pope Urban I. Her relicks were discovered on 25 Oct., 1634, in the crypt of an ancient church situated near Mamertine prison and dedicated to the saint.
O God, who among the manifold works of thine almighty power hast bestowed even upon the weakness of women strength to win the victory of martyrdom : grant, we beseech thee, that we, who on this day recall the heavenly birth of blessed Martina thy Virgin and Martyr ; may so follow in her footsteps, that we may likewise attain unto thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

To your good health...

This is a very enlightening and informatiive article on the health benefits of Gregorian Chants. I beleive it is revealing of God's design for humanity and our need for continual divine conversation.

On Good Health and
Gregorian Chant

An interview with a famous French Audiologist, named
Dr. Alfred Tomatis, took place in May of 1978, and was the
core of a CBC Radio Documentary called “Chant.” Due
to the great interest in the interview, it was re-broadcast
several times, and then played on NPR in the States with
similar results.

I will give a number of quotes that he made, in the order he
made them, in the hope that his thoughts would be as fascinating
and as enlightening to you as they were to me. I’ll paraphrase
some of the talk, so that it will fit better into this format.
“We can only ask why, for thousands of years, people
have chanted. They have come to an intuitive realization
that there is probably something in the ear that
it is possible to awaken,...             click here to read the rest

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Reconciliation of Penitents

From a very interesting youtube channel. This seems to be the first of a series of videos that together form a complete rite for restoring of penitents in ancient western Christianity. In all my years in Anglo-catholic circles and now as a convert to Orthodoxy in a Western Rite context, I have never seen such a rite. From just a cursory viewing, it seems full of meaning and perhaps a necessary tonic for souls in our day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor
St. John Chrysostom
This John was born at Antioch, and in manhood developed such a gift of eloquence that he came to be called Chrysostom, that is, Golden-mouth. He became a monk, and set about to subdue his quick temper, and other passions, none of which he found so difficult to conquer as vainglory. He was made Archbishop of Constantinople against his will in 398, and undertook the reform of that vast diocese, recalling Christians to their first fervour, founding hospitals for the sick and poor, and sending missionaries to the Goths, and even settling the troubles of the Church of Ephesus. The principal liturgy of the Eastern Church is named for him because of the contributions which he made to it.
His great Christian learning and zeal earned him many enemies, one of whom was the Empress Eudoxia, who sent him into exile. But the people so much rebelled at his that he was recalled. Whereat he ceased not to rebuke the laxity of manners amongst high and low, which so annoyed a faction of bishops that these same procured of the Emperor Arcadius to have him exiled to Armenia, and then driven thither and yon. During which time it passeth belief how much he suffered, and how many he won to Christ. Thus in his old age, from the hardships of his forced journeys, he died in Pontus, on September 14th in 407.
But in 434, the then Emperor Theodosius and his sister Pulcheria, children of Arcadius and Eudoxia, caused the body of the Saint to be brought from Pontus to Constantinople, and on January 27th laid it with magnificent honours in a tomb, beside the which they prayed for the forgiveness of their father and mother. His relicks were later translated to the Vatican Basilica at Rome. Saint Chrysostom is esteemed as one of the first four Eastern Doctors of the Church, of whom he was by far the most prolific preacher, and his writings are one of the treasures of Christendom.
O Lord, who didst vouchsafe to illumine thy Church with the wondrous righteousness and doctrine of thy blessed Confessor and Bishop Saint Chrysostom: grant, we beseech thee, that the bounty of thy heavenly grace may evermore increase and multiply the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mass propers for the Conversion of St. Paul.

The Collect.

O GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle. Acts ix. 1.

AND Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

The Gospel. St. Matthew xix. 27.

PETER answered and said unto Jesus, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr,

Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr, January 26
Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, by whom he was consecrated 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 clamored against Polycarp, and to please them the Proconsul condemned Polycarp to the flames to be burned to death. This blessed man composed an extremely useful Epistle to the Philippians, which is publicly read in the Churches of Asia even to the day of this writing.
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 liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Feast of Saint Timothy

Saint Timothy, Bishop & Martyr

INTROIT. Statuit ei. Ecclus. 45.
THE Lord made with him a covenant of peace, and made him the chief of his people: that he should have the dignity of the priesthood for ever. Ps. 133. Lord remember David: and all his trouble. V. Glory be.
Almighty God, mercifully lock upon our infirmities: that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins; the glorious intercession of thy Martyr and Bishop blessed Timothy, may be our succour and defense. [Through]

The Epistle. 1 Timothy 6:11-1611 DEARLY BELOVED: follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

GRADUAL. Ps. 89. I have found David my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him: may hand shall hold him fast, and my arm shall strengthen him. V. The enemy shall not be able to do him violence: the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 110. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.

After Septuagesima, instead of the Alleluia, and verse following, is said:
TRACT. Ps. 21. Thou hast given him his heart's desire: and hast not denied him the request of his lips. V. For thou hast prevented him with the blessings of goodness. V. Thou hast set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr, January 24

Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr, January 24

Timothy was the beloved son in the Faith of the apostle Paul, and a native of Lystra in Lyacaonia, born of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. He embraced the Christian religion when the Apostle Paul came into those parts. And the holy Apostle chose him to be the companion of his journeys. * To remove a stumbling-block from the way of those Jews who felt drawn to Christianity Paul caused Timothy to be circumcised. And when they came together to Ephesus, the Apostle consecrated him Bishop of that Church. * Two of the Epistles of blessed Paul are addressed to Timothy. And these are believed to have stirred him up to such zealous discharge of his duties that he publicly preached against sacrificing to Diana on her feast day, averring that sacrifice is due to God alone. Whereupon the heathen stoned him till he was well-nigh dead ; and although he was rescued by the Christians, he then fell asleep in the Lord, on January 24th, in the year 97, when he was over eighty years of age.

Almighty God, mercifully lock upon our infirmities: that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins; the glorious intercession of thy Martyr and Bishop blessed Timothy, may be our succour and defense, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saint Agnes Virgin & Martyr: Mass Propers

Saint Agnes, Virgin amd Martyr

INTROIT. Me expectaverunt. Ps. 119THE ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies, O Lord: I see that all things come o an end: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. Ps. ibid. Blessed are those hat are undefiled in the way: and walk in the law of the Lord. V. Glory be.
Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose the weak things of the world to confound those things that are strong: mercifully grant that we who keep the feast of blessed Agnes thy Virgin and Martyr, may feel the succour of her intercession in thy sight. [Through]

The Epistle. Ecclesiasticus 51.1[Mass 21, Me expectaverunt.]
I will thank thee, O Lord and King, and praise thee, O God my saviour: I do give praise unto thy Name: for thou art my defender and helper, and hast preserved my body from destruction, and from the snare of the slanderous tongue, and from the lips that forge lies, and hast been mine helper against mine adversaries: and hast delivered me according to the multitude of thy mercies and greatness of thy Name, from the teeth of them that were ready to devour me, and out of the hands of such as sought after my life, and from the manifold afflictions which I had; from the choking of fire on every side, and from the midst of the fire which I kindled not; from the depth of the belly of hell, from an unclean tongue, and from lying words. By an accusation to the king from an unrighteous tongue my soul drew near even unto death, my life was near to the hell beneath. They compassed me on every side, and there was no man to help me; I looked for the succour of men, but there was none. Then thought I upon thy mercy, O Lord, and upon thy acts of old, how thou deliverest such as wait for thee, and savest them out of the hands of the enemies, O Lord our God.

GRADUAL. Ps. 45. Full of grace are thy lips: because God hath blessed thee for ever. V. Because of the word of truth, of meekness, and righteousness: and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. St. Matt. 25. The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with their lamps: and at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him, Christ the Lord. Alleluia.

After Septuagesima, instead of Alleluia, and verse following, is said:
TRACT. Come, thou bride of Christ, receive the crown which the Lord hath prepared for thee for ever: for whose love thou didst shed thy blood. V. Ps. 45. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. V. In thy comeliness and in thy beauty go forth, ride prosperously and reign.

GOSPEL. St Matthew 25:1-13a
[From Mass 19, Delexisti.]1 The kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, January 21

Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, January 21
From the Treatise on Virgins by St. Ambrose the Bishop
+This is the virgin’s birthday. Let us therefore resolve to follow the example of her chastity. It is a martyr’s birthday. Let us therefore resolve to offer sacrifice. It is the feast of holy Agnes. Let men therefore be filled with wonder, and children with hope, and married women with awe, and the unmarried with a desire to emulate her. What can we say worthy of her whose very name hath become a praise? To me it seemeth as if this little maiden, holy beyond her years, and courageous beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes, not as an earthly designation, but as a revelation from God as to what she was to be. For the word Agnes is from the Greek, and signifieth pure. Thus this holy maiden is named Chastity, and when I have added thereto the word Martyr, I have said enough. She needeth not the praise which we could utter, but do not. None is more praiseworthy than she, whose praise all mouths do speak. For everyone that uttered he name doth praise her, and she is exalted whenever she is given the noble title of Martyr.
Tradition saith that she suffered martyrdom at the age of thirteen. Let us pass by the profane cruelty which did not spare her tender years, to contemplate the great power of her faith, whereby she overcame the weakness of childhood, and witnessed a good confession. She was hardly big enough for their sword-thrusts. But if her little body could scarce sheathe their swords, it was mighty enough to endure each blade that smote her. For she feared not the bloody hands of the executioners. When they dragged her with clanking chains, she was unmoved. Hardly entered on life, she stood ready to die, and quailed not when the weapons of enraged swordsmen were pointed at her breast. If they forced her against her will to approach the altars of devilish gods, she could even then stretch forth her hands to Christ amid the very flames which consumed the idolatrous offerings, and make the victorious Sign of the Cross of the Lord over the heathen shrine. She was ready to submit her neck and hands to the iron shackles, but they were too big to clasp her slender limbs. Behold a strange Martyr! She was not grown of stature sufficient to fight the battle, and yet was she ripe for the triumph! Too weak was she to run in the race, and yet she was clearly entitled to the prize! Unable from her age to be aught but a learner, she nonetheless is found to be a teacher.

 She went to the place of execution a virgin, more willing and joyful than others go to the nuptial chamber as a bride. Bystanders wept, but she was tearless. Many wondered that she held so cheap that life whose sweets she had scarcely tasted, and was so ready to cast away, as a cup drained to the dregs. All men were amazed when they saw her, not yet old enough to be a legal witness in her own affairs, yet made by God a witness unto himself. Consider how many threats her executioner used to excite her fears, how many arguments to shake her resolution, how many promises to bribe her to accept his offers of marriage. But she answered him : It is an insult to my Betrothed to expect that I could favour another ; he that first chose me, his alone will I be ; headsman, why waitest thou? Kill the body which draweth the admiration of eyes form which I shrink! She stood, prayed, and then bent her neck for the stroke. Then mightest thou have seen the executioner trembling as though he himself were the criminal. Thou mightest have seen his hands shaking, and the bystanders become pale with fear, whilst she alone stood fearless. Here, then, we recognize one victim, but a double offering to God, that of her purity, and that of her faith. She preserved virginity by achieving martyrdom.

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose the weak things of this world to confound those things that are strong, mercifully grant that we who keep the feast of blessed Agnes thy Virgin and Martyr, may feel the succour of her intercession in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saint Anthony the Great, First Abbot of Monks, January 17th

INTROIT. Os justi. Ps. 37.THE mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom, and his tongue will be talking of judgement: the law of his God is in his heart (alleluia, alleluia). Ps. ibid. Fret not thyself because of the ungodly: neither be thou envious against the evildoers. V. Glory be.

The Collect.
GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Anthony, may commend us unto thee: that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight. [Through]

The Epistle. Ecclesiasticus 45:1b-5a
1. He was loved of God and men, whose memorial is blessed.
2 The Lord made him like to the glorious Saints, and magnified him, so that his enemies stood in fear of him.
3 By his words he caused the wonders to cease: he made him glorious in the sight of kings, and gave him a commandment for his people, and shewed him his glory.
4 He sanctified him in his faithfulness and meekness, and chose him out of all men.
5 He made him to hear his voice, and brought him into the dark cloud, and gave him commandments before his face, even the law of life and knowledge.

GRADUAL. Ps. 21. Thou hast prevented him with the blessings of goodness: and hast set a crown of pure gold upon his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him a long life: even for ever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 92. The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree: and shall spread abroad like a cedar in Libanus. Alleluia.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hymn & Introit - II Sunday after Epiphany


INTROIT. Adorate Deum. Psalm 97.
All ye angels of God, fall down, and worship before him: Sion heard of it, and rejoiced, and the daughters of Judah were glad. Psalm ibid The Lord is King, the earth may be glad thereof: yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof. V. Glory be.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saint Paul the First Hermit, Confessor

January 15, Saint Paul the First Hermit, Confessor

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 
St.Paul the Hermit
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 ages 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 the 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 his journey, Anthony saw in a vision the soul of Paul ascending to heaven, surrounded by choirs o9f Angels, and accompanied 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 a hole big enough to hold a man’s body, shewing meanwhile such signs 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 basket-work, and this tunic Anthony was in the habit of wearing 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.

O God, who makest us glad with the yearly feast of thy Confessor Saint Paul the Hermit, mercifully grant that as we now observe his heavenly birthday, so we may follow him in all virtuous and godly living, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Maurus, Abbot, Disciple of St. Benedict

January 15, Saint Maurus, Abbot, Disciple of St. Benedict.
St.Maurus rescues St.Placidus
This Maurus 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 much sacred history, hath recorded, as a wonderful instance of his obedience, this following tale. Placidus the monk 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. 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.

Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Maurus may commend us unto thee, that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saint Kentigern, Bishop and Confessor

Saint Kentigern of Glasgow, Bishop and confessor
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.
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.
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 feet, 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 hi 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. Hid body was buried in the Cathedral Church of Glasgow, where it was held in great honour.
O God, who through thy blessed Confessor Saint Kentigern hast caused the light of the true Faith to shine forth among barbarous nations, grant, we beseech thee, that we, faithfully following the doctrine which he taught, may attain to the brightness of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Octave Day of the Epiphany, January 13

The Octave Day of the Epiphany , January 13th

 From a Sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzus
I cannot restrain the outburst of my happiness on this occasion. Yes, I am uplifted in mind, and my heart is deeply moved. And thereby I am in danger of forgetting mine own meanness, in my longing for the office of the great John Baptist. Or rather, I should say, I am filled with desire to undertake the service which he performed. It is true that I am not, as was he, Christ’s Forerunner ; but at least I come, as did he, from the desert. And like him, my joy is in Christ who was, as on this day, illuminated ; or I might better say, My joy is in Christ who now doth immediate us, and that with his own splendour. For Christ is baptized!
Therefore, let us go down together with him into the deep, that likewise together with him we may go up, enlightened with his splendour.
John is baptizing ; Jesus draweth nigh. And he is come thither that perchance he may sanctify the one that now acteth as the ministrant of Baptism; and that he may beyond all doubt bury the Old Adam beneath the flood ; and that he may hallow the baptismal streams, such as of Jordan, above all other water. For he who is both Spirit and Flesh would open, to all that should ever be baptized, the power of grace, whereby we may be born again, of the water and the Spirit. But lo! The Baptist putteth him off ; nevertheless Jesus insisteth. I, saith John, have need to be baptized of thee! So speaketh the Candle to the Sun ; so saith the Voice to the Word.
Jesus cometh up from the waters! In the Second Adam all mankind hath been washed. The whole world, which had been submerged, is uplifted. And thereupon the heavens were opened unto him. Not cleft merely, but set open wide! For those same heavens were, by the sin of the First Adam, closed to himself, and to us his posterity, what time the flaming swords of the Cherubim barred the gates of paradise. But the heavens were opened wide to the Second Adam. And then did the Holy Ghost himself bear witness. The Spirit beareth witness to one who is of the same substance as himself. For witness fitly cometh down from heaven unto one who is from thence.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Introit-Omnis terra adóret te

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

Benedict Biscop, Abbot, January 12.

Saint Benedict Biscop, Abbot, January 12

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 capital 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. * 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 principals 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 forth 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.
O God, who to the blessed Abbot Benedict Biscop, gavest grace to imitate Christ in his poverty, and with humble heart to follow him to the end : grant that all who enter the path of Gospel may neither look back nor go astray from the way, but hastening to thee without stumbling, may attain the crown of eternal life whereunto thou dost call them, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saint Lucian, Priest and Martyr, January 8

Saint Lucian, Priest and Martyr, January 8
This Lucian was born at Samosata in the third century, but is surnamed of Antioch, from the city where he spent most of his life. His Christian parents taught him to love God to such good effect that at their death, in his youth, he distributed his considerable inheritance to the poor, and gave himself to the study of the holy Scriptures under an ascetic of Edessa by the name of Macarius. He also became very learned in the literature of the Gentile world. When a man of mature years, he was ordained priest at Antioch, and was there recognized as one of the foremost Biblical scholars of his age, and made head of the theological school.
His greatest achievement in letters was a revision of the Greek Scriptures. Whether he revised the Septuagint by comparing its different versions, or by a return to the Hebrew original, it is not certain ; but his careful and laborious work was widely esteemed throughout the Church, ad after his death was strongly commended by scholars of the eminence of the holy Doctor Jerome. It is supposed that he was for a space deceived by that great dissembler, Paul of Samosata ; for Bishop Saint Alexander of Alexandria afterwards made the charge that Lucian for some years remained outside the Communion of the Church. If so, he recanted, and was reconciled, because it was as a Catholic (Orthodox) Christian that he was apprehended and for a long time kept in prison. At his trial he made an excellent apology for the Faith, which the historian Eusebius hath preserved. Whereupon he was remanded to prison and given no food for a fortnight. When almost dead from hunger, he was provided with food which had been offered in sacrifice to idols ; which same he refused lest he be a stumbling block to his weaker brethren. He was then tried by other tortures, such as the rack, and a bed of sharp points.

When he was cross-examined, he gave but one reply. If they said : Of what country art thou? Or: What is thy calling? Or to whatsoever they asked, he answered : I am a Christian. And during his long imprisonment, whilst chained to the floor, so that he was obliged to lie prone on his back, he celebrated the divine Mysteries, using his own breast for an altar, and so communicated the faithful present. He consummated his martyrdom at Nicomedia in 312. It is the tradition in Arles that Charlemagne named a church in honour of this Martyr, and brought thither his relicks and there enshrined them.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who this day keep the heavenly birthday of blessed Lucian, thy holy priest and Martyr, may by his prayers be established in the love of thy holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Propers of The Feast of Epiphany


INTROIT. Ecce Advenit. Mal. 3.Behold, he appeareth, the Lord and Ruler: and in his hand the kingdom, and power, and dominion. Ps. 72. Give the King thy judgements, O God: and thy righteousness unto the King's Son. V. Glory be.

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 have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead. Through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

GRADUAL. Is. 60. All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and incense, and shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. V. Arise and shine, O Jerusalem: for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. St. Matt. 2. We have seen his star in the East, and are come with offerings to worship the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL. St. Matthew 2:1-12
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Propers of 2nd Sunday of Christmas, which also serve for the Vigil of Ep...

And Second Sunday after Christmas
INTROIT. Dum medium. Wisdom 18
WHILE all things were in quiet silence, and night was in the midst of her swift course, thine almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne. Ps 93. The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel: the Lord hath put on his apparel and girded himself with strength. V. Glory be.

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; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

FOR EPISTLE. Isaiah 61:1-3
1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

GRADUAL. Ps 45. Thou art fairer than the children of men: full of grace are thy lips. V. My heart is inditing of a good matter, I speak of the things which I have made unto the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps 93. Lord is King and hath put on glorious apparel: the Lord hath put on his apparel and girded himself with strength. Alleluia

GOSPEL. Saint Matthew 2:19-23
19 WHEN Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 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.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

OFFERTORY. Ps 93. God hath made the round world so sure, that it cannot be moved: ever since the world began hath thy seat, O God, been prepared: thou art from everlasting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Epiphany, or Manifestation of Christ.

The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, January 6

Adoration of the Magi
From a Sermon by St. Leo the Pope
Dearly beloved, rejoice in the Lord ; and again I say, rejoice. Only a few days are past since the Solemnity of Christ’s Nativity, and now the glorious light of Epiphany is breaking upon us. On that day the Virgin brought him forth, and on this he was made known to the world. For the Word-made-Flesh was pleased to reveal himself by degrees to those unto whom he had come. When Jesus was born he was first manifested to the believing, but hidden from his enemies. However, the heavens declared the glory of God and their sound went out into all lands, namely, when the herald-Angels appeared to tell the shepherds the glad tidings of a Saviour’s birth. And now the guiding star leadeth the Wise Men to worship him, that from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down thereof, the birth of the true King may be known abroad ; that through those Wise Men the kingdoms of the East might learn the great truth, and the Roman empire remain no more in darkness.

The very cruelty of Herod, when he strove to put an end to the new-born King whom he feared, was made an unwitting means to further this new dispensation of mercy. For the tyrant was so intent on his horrid crime of slaying the little Child, that he did not perceive how his indiscriminate slaughter of the Innocents would serve to spread wider abroad the story of a new-born Babe whose birth as a great ruler had been announced from heaven. Thus were these glad tidings loudly proclaimed, both by the novelty of their story, and the iniquity of their enemies. Moreover, the Saviour was carried into Egypt. And thereby that nation, so long hardened in idolatry, was (by the mysterious virtue which went forth from Christ, even when his presence was unknown,) prepared for the saving light so soon to dawn on them ; if so be, they might receive the Truth as a wanderer even before they had banished falsehood.

Dearly beloved, we recognize in these Wise Men, who came to worship Christ, the first-fruits of that dispensation to the Gentiles wherein we also are called and enlightened. Let us then keep this Feast with grateful hearts, in thanksgiving for our blessed hope, the dawn of which we do commemorate on this day. From the worship paid to the new-born Christ is to be dated the entry of us Gentiles upon our heirship of God and joint-heirship with Christ. Since that joyful day the Scriptures which testify of Christ have lain open for us as well as for the Jews. Whose blindness rejected that Truth which, since that day, hath shed his bright beams upon all nations. Let us then honour this most sacred day, whereon the Author of our salvation was made manifest. As the Wise Men fell down and worshipped him in the manger, so let us fall down and worship him, enthroned omnipotent in heaven. As they opened their treasures and presented unto him mystic and symbolic gifts, so let us strive to open our hearts to him, and offer him from thence some worthy offering.

Antiphon on the Magnificat:
The Wise Men, beholding the star, said one to another : This is the sign of a mighty King ; forth fare we to seek him: * and let us offer him gifts, gold and incense and myrrh, alleluia.
O God, whose only-begotten Son hath been manifest in the substance of our flesh : grant, we beseech thee, that, like as we have known him after the fashion of our outward likeness, so we may inwardly be made regenerate in him, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, now and forever. Amen.
Antiphon on the Benedictus:
As on this day is the Church espoused to her heavenly Bridegroom, forasmuch as in Jordan Christ hath cleansed her iniquities: * therefore do the Wise Men hasten with their offerings to the royal nuptials where the guests are regaled with water made wine, alleluia.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saint Titus of Crete, Bishop and Confessor, Jan. 4

St. Titus, Bishop and Confessor, January 4
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 comforted 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 the earliest teacher. Many were the other journeys by land and sea which Titus undertook. Filled with boldness 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 the Church of which the Apostle had made him the minister. His praises have been mostly written by Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Jerome.

Antiphon on the Magnificat:
O holy Priest and Bishop, thou worker of so many mighty works, and good shepherd to Christ’s flock, * pray for us unto the Lord our God (alleluia).
O God, who on thy blessed Confessor Saint Titus didst bestow the virtues of thine Apostles: grant, we beseech thee, that by his merits and intercession ; 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 our Lord. Amen.
Antiphon on the Benedictus:
Well done, good and faithful servant : thou hast been faithful over a few things, * I will make thee ruler over many things, saith the Lord (alleluia).

Octave Day of the Holy Innocents

Octave Day of the Holy Innocents

Matins Lesson 1 & 2.

 Romans 7

1Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Matins Lesson 3.
From a Sermon by St. Augustine the Bishop
Once the Lord was born, mourning beginneth ; not indeed in heaven, but on earth : lamentation amongst mothers; joy amongst angels; migration amongst infants. It is God who is born. For him, Innocents be a fit sacrifice, in that he cometh to condemn the wickedness of the world. Fitly are little lambs offered, in that there shall one day be crucified the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world. But the ewes do complain at the loss of their lambs, dumbly bleating, unable to speak. O mighty martyrdom! O cruel sight! The sword is drawn, yet there is no cause for the same. It is envy alone that demanded this blood, seeing that he who is born doth violence to no one. Nonetheless we do see mothers, like ewes, mourning over their lambs. In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning. But these lambs be pledges, not entrusted to man, rather created only for God; not come to remain in the sight of mankind, but only to be shewn forth for a brief space in their sight.
O God, whose praise the martyred Innocents did this day proclaim, not by speaking but by dying, do to death in us all the malice of sinfulness, that our lives may also proclaim thy faith, which our tongues profess, Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ

A Homily by St. Ambrose the Bishop
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, hi Name was called JESUS : This is the Child of whom it is said ; Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given : or again : Made under the Law to redeem them that were under the Law : or again : To present him to the Lord. (In my Commentary on Isaiah I have already explained what is meant by being presented to the Lord in Jerusalem, and therefore I will not enter into the subject again.) He that is circumcised in heart gaineth the protection of God, as it is written : The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous. Ye will see that as all the ceremonies of the Old Law were types of realities in the New Law, so the circumcision of the body signified the cleansing of the heart from the guilt of sin.

But since the body and mind of man remain yet infected with a proneness to sin, the circumcision of the eighth day is meant to put us in mind of that complete cleansing from sin which we shall have at the resurrection. This is doubtless to be inferred from the words: Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord. That is, these words are literally true only of the delivery of the Blessed Virgin. Verily, he that opened her womb was holy, for he was altogether without spot. And we may gather that the Law hath this meaning because the Angel said almost the same words : That Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Among all them that are born of women the Lord Jesus Christ steed alone in holiness. He alone, because of his immaculate birth, felt no contagion from human corruption ; it came not near him because of his heavenly majesty. Otherwise ( that is, if we are to apply this passage of the Law literally ) we are obliged to say that without exception every male that openeth the womb is holy ; and how then shall we explain that so many were unrighteous? Was Ahab holy? Were thay holy on whom Elijah justly called down fire from heaven? But he to whom the sacred commandment of the Law of Ho9d is mystically directed is the Holy One of Israel. And he alone hath opened the secret womb of his holy virgin - bride the Church, filling her with a sinless fruitfulness whereby to bring forth the People of God.
Antiphon on the Magnificat:
God, for his great love wherewith he loved us, * hath sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, alleluia.
Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Antiphon on the Benedictus:
A great and wondrous mystery is made known to us this day : in a new manner are natures united, for God is become incarnate * what he was, he still abode ; and what he was not, he took unto himself, suffering in his Person neither confusion nor division.