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The Versicle which follows the Hymn, and which we here give, is that of the Sunday: those for the Feasts are given in their proper places.
X. May my prayer, O Lord, . Dirigatur, Domine, ascend, B. Like incense in thy sight. B. Sicut incensum in con
spectu tuo. Then is said the Magnificat Antiphon, which is to be found in the Proper for the different Days. After this, the Church sings the Canticle of Mary, the Magnificat, in which are celebrated the Divine Maternity and all its consequent blessings. This exquisite Canticle is an essential part of the Vespers, throughout the year ; but how sweetly appropriate is it to the season of Christmas, during which, the Church is overflowing with joy at the Birth of Jesus ! She turns to the Mother, and proclaims her Blessed. Blessed, indeed; for, the power of the Most High overshadowed her; the Holy Ghost gave unto her, for the salvation of the world, the Blessed Fruit of her Womb.1
OUR LADY'S CANTICLE.
(St. Luke, i.) My soul doth magnify the Magnificat : * anima mea Lord;
Dominum : And my spirit hath rejoiced Et exsultavit spiritus in God my Saviour.
meus : * in Deo salutari meo. Because he hath regarded Quia respexit humilitatem the humility of his handmaid :
ancillæ suæ :
ecce enim ex for, behold, from henceforth hoc Beatam me dicent omall generations shall call me nes generationes. Blessed.
Because he that is mighty Quia fecit mihi magna qui hath done great things to me: potens est : et sanctum and holy is his name.
nomen ejus. And his mercy is from gene- Et misericordia ejus a pro
1 St. Luke, i. 35.
genie in progenies : * timen- ration unto generation, to them tibus eum.
that fear him. Fecit potentiam in brachio He hath showed might in
* dispersit superbos his arm : he hath scattered the mente cordis sui.
proud in the conceit of their
heart. Deposuit potentes de sede: He hath put down the * et exaltavit humiles. mighty from their seat : and
hath exalted the humble. Esurientes implevit bo- He hath filled the hungry nis : * et divites dimisit with good things : and the rich inanes.
he hath sent empty away. Suscepit Israel puerum He hath received Israel his
* recordatus miseri- servant, being mindful of his cordiæ suæ.
mercy: Sicut locutus est ad patres As he spake to our fathers, nostros : * Abraham et se- to Abraham and to his seed mini ejus in sæcula.
The Magnificat Antiphon is then repeated. The Prayer, or Collect, will be found in the Proper of each Sunday and Feast.
The Vespers end with the following Versicles :
B. Thanks be to God. ř. fidelium animæ
. May the souls of the misericordiam Dei requies- Faithful departed, through the
mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.
cant in pace.
ON THE OFFICE OF COMPLINE,
THIS Office, which concludes the day, commences by a warning of the dangers of the night: then immediately follows the public Confession of our sins, as a powerful means of propitiating the divine justice, and obtaining God's help, now that we are going to spend so many hours in the unconscious and therefore dangerous state of sleep, which is also such an image of death.
The Lector, addressing the Priest, says to him: Pray, Father, give thy bless- V. Jube, Domine, benediing.
May the Almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
The Lector then reads these words, from the first
Epistle of St. Peter:
Noctem quietam, et finem
Brethren, be sober and watch for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour resist him, being strong in faith. But thou, Ŏ Lord, have mercy on us.
Fratres Sobrii estote, et vigilate quia adversarius vester diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens circuit quærens quem devoret: cui resistite fortes in fide. Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis. The Choir answers:
B. Deo gratias.
R. Thanks be to God.
Then, the Priest : . Adjutorium nostrum Ť. Our help is in the name in nomine Domine.
of the Lord.
The Choir :
Rs. Qui fecit coelum et terram.
B. Who hath made heaven and earth.
Then the Lord's. Prayer is recited in secret; after which the Priest says the Confiteor ; and, when he has finished, the Choir says:
Misereatur tui omnipo- May Almighty God be mertens Deus, et dimissis pecca- ciful to thee, and, forgiving tis tuis, perducat te ad vitam thy sins, bring thee to everæternam.
The Priest having answered Amen, the Choir repeats the Confiteor, thus :
Confiteor Deo Omnipo- I confess to Almighty God, tenti, beatæ Mariæ semper to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Virgini,beato MichaeliArch- to blessed Michael the Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptis- angel, to blessed John Baptist, tæ, sanctis Apostolis Petro to the holy Apostles Peter and et Paulo, omnibus sanctis, et Paul,
to all the saints, and to tibi Pater : quia peccavi thee, Father, that I have sinned nimis, cogitatione, verbo, et exceedingly in thought, word, opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, and deed, through my fault, mea maxima culpa. Ideo through my fault, through my precor beatam Mariam sem
most grievous fault. Thereper Virginem, beatum Mi- fore I beseech the Blessed chaelem Archangelum, bea- Mary ever Virgin, blessed tum Joannem Baptistam, Michael the Archangel, blesssanctos Apostolos Petrum ed John Baptist, the holy et Paulum, omnes sanctos, Apostles Peter and Paul, and et te, Pater, orare pro me ad all the saints, and thee, Father, Dominum Deum nostrum. to pray to our Lord God for
The Priest then says: Misereatur vestri omni- May Almighty God be merpotens Deus, et dimissis ciful to you, and, forgiving
your sins, bring you to ever- peccatis vestris, perducat lasting life.
vos ad vitam æternam. R. Amen.
B. Amen. May the Almighty and mer- Indulgentiam, absolutiociful Lord grant us pardon, ab- nem, et remissionem peccasolution, and remission of our torum nostrorum, tribuat sins.
nobis omnipotens et miseri
cors Dominus. R. Amen.
R. Amen. Ñ. Convert us, O God, our . Converte nos, Deus, Saviour.
Salutaris noster. B. And turn away thy R. Et averte iram tuam a anger from us.
nobis. V. Incline unto my aid, O Ñ. Deus, in adjutorium God.
meum intende. R. O Lord, make haste to R. Domine, ad adjuvanhelp me.
dum me festina. Glory, &c.
Gloria Patri, &c. ANT. Have mercy.
The first Psalm expresses the confidence with which the just man sleeps in peace; but the wicked know not what calm rest is. It also speaks of the eternal Word, the Light of the Father, who is come to dispel our darkness.
When I called upon him,
Cum invocarem exaudivit the God of_my justice heard me Deus justitiæ meæ : me : when I was in distress, in tribulatione dilatasti thou hast enlarged me.
mihi. Have mercy on me: and hear Miserere mei : * et exaumy prayer.
di orationem meam. O ye sons of men, how long
Filii hominum, usquequo will you be dull of heart? why gravi corde ? * ut quíd dilido you love vanity, and seek gitis vanitatem, et quæritis after lying?
mendacium ? Know ye also that the Lord Et scitote quoniam mirihath made his Holy One won- ficavit Dominus sanctum derful : the Lord will hear me,
* Dominus exaudiet when I shall cry unto him. me, cum clamavero ad eum.
Be ye angry, and sin not: Irascimini, et nolite pecthe things you say in your care: quæ
dicitis in cordi