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In the Offertory, the holy Church sings of the crown of glory, wherewith our Emmanuel encircled the brow of his Martyr. The Pastor gave his blood to purchase that crown; and his death gave him life.
Thou hast set, O Lord, on Posuisti, Domine, in cahis head a crown of precious pite ejus coronam de lapide stones: he asked life of thee, pretioso: vitam petiit a te, and thou didst give it him, et tribuisti ei, alleluia, alleluia.
The Secret shows us that the merits of the Martyr are united with those of the Divine Victim. Whilst offering the Blood of the Lamb to the Eternal Father, we remind him of that shed by his Martyr.
Sanctify, O Lord, the offer- Munera tibi, Domine, diings consecrated to thee; and cata sanctifica: et intercebeing appeased thereby, mer- dente beato Thoma, Martyre cifully look upon us, by the tuo atque Pontifice, per intercession of blessed Thomas, eadem nos placatus intende. thy Martyr and Bishop. Per Dominum. Through, occ.
In the Communion-Verse, we have our Divine Pastor Jesus speaking to us, the same that has just been giving himself to his sheep, as their food. It is by this Holy Sacrament, that the Sheep more intimately know their Shepherd, and that the Shepherd, who has just been born in the House of Bread, (Bethlehem,) receives a proof of their love to him.
I am the Good Shepherd: Ego sum Pastor bonus: and I know my sheep, and my et cognosco oves meas, et sheep know me. cognoscunt me meae.
In the Postcommunion, the Church once more pronounces the name of our great Martyr. She prays that she may obtain, through his intercession, the grace of receiving more fully, than ever, the effects of the divine Mystery, which cleanses our souls, and is the remedy of their infirmities.
Haec nos communio, Do- May this communion, O
mine, purget a crimine: et Lord, cleanse us from sin : and
intercedente beato Thoma, by the intercession of blessed
Martyre tuo atque Pontifice, Thomas, thy Martyr and
coelestis remedii faciat esse Bishop, make us effectually
participes. Per Dominum. partakers of this heavenly remedy. Through, <5sc.
The Second Vespers are the same as the First, given in page 321. After the Prayer of the Feast, the following Commemorations are made:
Commemoration of the Sunday.
Ant. Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia, et nox in suo cursu medium iter perageret, omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, a regalibus sedibus venit, alleluia.
Verbum caro factum est, alleluia.
B. Et habitavit in nobis, alleluia.
Ant. While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy Almighty Word, O Lord, came down from thy royal throne, alleluia.
f. The Word was made flesh, alleluia.
R. And dwelt among us, alleluia.
* Notum fecit Dominus, "ff. The Lord hath made alleluia. known, alleluia.
B. Salutare suum, alle- Bj. His Salvation, alleluia. luia.
Omnipotens, sempiterne O Almighty and Eternal Deus, dirige actus nostros in God, regulate our actions according to thy divine will : beneplacito tuo : ut in nothat, in the name of thy be- mine dilecti Filii tui mereloved Son, we may abound in amur bonis operibus abnngood works. dare.
Commemoration of Christmas Day.
This day, Christ is born; Ant. Hodie Christus na
this day, the Saviour hath ap- tus est, hodie Salvator appa
peared; this day, the Angels ruit, hodie in terra canunt
sing on earth; the Archangels Angeli, laetantur Archan
rejoice; this day, the just ex- geli; hodie exsultant justi,
ult, saying: Glory be to God dicentes: Gloria in excelsis
in the highest, alleluia. Deo, alleluia.
The Lord hath made Notum fecit Dominus,
known, alleluia. alleluia.
1$. His Salvation, alleluia. B. Salutare suum, alleluia.
t. All the ends of the earth Viderunt omnes fines
have seen, alleluia. terrae, alleluia.
The Salvation of our B. Salutare Dei nostri,
God, alleluia. alleluia.
LET US PRAY. OBEMUS.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Concede, quaesumus, om
Almighty God, that we who nipotens Deus, ut nos Uni
groan under the old captivity geniti tui nova per carnem
of sin, may be freed therefrom nativitas liberet, quos sub
by the new birth of thine Only peccati jugo vetusta servitus
Begotten Son. Through the tenet. Per eumdem. same, &c.
As we might expect, the Liturgy of our English Church honours her beloved Martyr with an affectionate and enthusiastic homage. We copy from the ancient Salisbury Breviary several passages, and we begin with some of the Antiphons of Matins and Lauds. The whole Office is rhymed, according to the custom observed in the 13th century, the time when this Office of St. Thomas was composed.
Summo sacerdotio Thomas sublimatus, et in virum alium subito mutatus.
Monacbus sub clerico clam ciliciatus, carnis, carne fortior, edomat conatus.
Cultor agri Domini tribulos evellit, et vulpes a vineis arcet et expellit.
Nec in agnos sustinet lupos desaevire. nec in hortum olerum tineam transire.
Exulantis praedia praeda sunt malignis, sed in igne positum non exurit ignis.
Satanae satellites irrumpentes templum, inauditum perpetrant sceleris exemplum.
Stnctis Thoma sensibus obviam procedit, non minis, non gladiis, sed nec morti cedit.
Felix locus, felix ecclesia in qua Thomae vivit memoria: Felix terra quae dedit praesulem, felix ilia quae fovit exulem.
Granum cadit, copiam germinat frumenti: alabastrum frangitur, fragrat vis unguenti.
Totus orbis Martyris certat in amorem, cujus signa singulos agunt in stuporem.
Thomas being raised to the fulness of the Priesthood, was suddenly transformed into a new man.
A monk, wearing the hairshirt secretly under his cleric's dress, he subdues the rebellion of his flesh, for he was not a slave to the flesh.
Husbandman of the Lord's vineyard, he roots up the brambles, and drives the foxes from the vines.
He neither suffers wolves to prowl among the lambs, nor slugs to crawl in the garden.
He is sent into exile, and his possessions made over to wicked men ; but the fire of tribulation burns him not.
The satellites of Satan rush into the Temple, and perpetrate the unheard-of crime.
Thomas advances to meet the unsheathed swords: nor threats, nor swords, nor very death can make him yield.
Happy Canterbury! Happy Church that cherishes the memory of her Thomas! Happy Land that gave such a Bishop, and happy, too, the country that harboured such an exile!
The grain of wheat falls, and bringeth forth much fruit: the precious vase is broken, and perfumes all the earth!
The whole earth seeks how most to love our Martyr, and men look in wonder at each other as they hear or see the miracles that are wrought.
Our next selection is of passages equally interesting, as showing the affection and confidence of the Faithful in our glorious Martyr.
Ant. The Shepherd, slain in the midst of his flock, purchaseth peace at the price of his blood. O joyful mourning, O mournful joy! The Shepherd dead, new life is in the Flock! The Mother speaks, through her tears, the praises of her Son, for still he lives, the conqueror of the sword.
B. Cease now to mourn, that the flower of the world hath been broken by the world, O sorrowing Rachel! The tomb of thy martyred Thomas gives thee back an Abel for the Abel thou didst lose.
Ant. Hail; O Thomas! sceptre of justice, light of the earth, strong champion of the Church, beloved of the people, favourite of the clergy! Hail, admirable keeper of the Flock! keep in safety all us who rejoice in thy glory.
Ant. Pastor, caesus in gregis medio, pacem emit cruoris pretio : laetus dolor in tristi gaudio! Grex respirat, pastore mortuo : plangens plaudit mater in filio, quia vivit victor sub gladio.
R. Mundi florem a mundo conteri, Rachel plorans, jam cessa conqueri; Thomas caesus dum datur funeri, novus Abel succedit veteri.
Ant. Salve, Thoma, virga justitiae, mundi jubar, robur Ecclesiae, plebis amor, cleri deliciae. Salve, gregis tutor egregie, salva tuae gaudentes gloriae.
We cannot resist adding the following Responsory from the same Salisbury Breviary. It is remarkable for its containing an entire Prose, inserted as a Verse, with the repetition of the Caelum domo at the end. We need scarcely draw the attention of our readers to the freshness and beauty of this liturgical gem.
B. The grain of wheat lies B. Jacet granum oppressmothered by the chaff, the sum paleajustus caesus prajust man slain by the sword of vorum framea. sinners.
* Changing his house of * Ccelum domo commuday for heaven. tans lutea.