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Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli
Charissime, apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus, erudiens nos, ut abnegantes impietatem, et saecularia desideria, sobrie et juste, et pie vivamus in hoc saeculo, exspectantes beatam spem, et adventum gloriae magni Dei,et Salvatoris nostri J esu Christi: qui dedit semetipsum pro nobis, ut nos redimeret ab omni iniquitate et mundaret sibi populum acceptibilem, sectatorem bonorum operum. Haec loquere et exhortare: in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint
Dearly Beloved: The grace of God, our Saviour, hath appeared to all men, instructing us, that denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly and godly, in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ: who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak and exhort: in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These counsels of our great Apostle, who warns the Faithful of the obligation they are under of making a good use of the present life, are most appropriate to this first day of January, which is now the beginning of the New Civil Year. Let us, therefore, renounce all worldly desires; let us live soberly, justly, and piously, and permit nothing to distract us from the expectation of that blessedness, which is our hope. The great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shows himself to us, in these days of his mercy, in order to instruct us—will come to us, in a second coming, in order to give us our reward. The beginning of a New Year tells us, plainly enough, that this last day is fast approaching,—let us cleanse ourselves from all iniquity, and become a people acceptable to our Redeemer, a people doing good works.
The Gradual proclaims the grand tidings of the Birth of our Jesus, and invites all nations to give praise to him, as also to the Eternal Father, who had promised him by the Prophets, and at length sent him.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
In illo tempore: postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur Puer; vocatum est nomen ejus Jesus, quod vocatum est ab Angelo priusquam in utero conciperetur.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
At that time: After eight days were accomplished, that the Child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
The Child is circumcised: he is, now, not only a member of the human race; he is made, to-day, a member of God's chosen People. He subjects himself to this painful ceremony, to this symbol of one devoted to the Divine service, in order that he may fulfil all justice. He receives, at the same time, his Name:—the Name is Jesus, and it means a Saviour. A Saviour! Then, he is to save us? Yes; and he is to save us by his Blood. Such is the divine appointment, and he has bowed down his will to it. The Incarnate Word is upon the earth in order to offer a Sacrifice, and the Sacrifice is begun to-day. This first shedding of the Blood of the Man-God was sufficient to the fulness and perfection of a Sacrifice; but he is come to win the heart of the sinner, and that heart is so hard, that all the streams of that Precious Blood, which flow from the Cross on Calvary, will scarcely make it yield. The drops that were shed to-day would have been enough to satisfy the justice of the Eternal Father, but not to cure man's miseries, and the Babe's Heart would not be satisfied to leave us uncured. He came for man's sake, and his love for man will go to what looks like excess—he will carry out the whole meaning of his dear name—he will be our " Jesus," our Saviour.
The Offertory extols the power of our Emmanuel. Now that he is humbled by the wound of the Circumcision, it must be our delight to proclaim his power, his riches, his independence. Let us also magnify his love for us, for, it is in order to cure our wounds, that he so humbly condescends to feel their smart himself.
Tui sunt coeli, et tua est Thine are the heavens, and terra: orbem terrarum. et thine is the earth : the world, lenitudinem ejus tu fun- and the fulness thereof, thou asti : justitia et judicium hast founded: justice and praeparatio sedis tuae. j judgment are the preparation
of thy throne.
Muneribus nostris, quae- Receive, O Lord, our offersumus, Domine, precibus- ings and prayers: cleanse us que susceptis : et coelestibus by these mysteries, and mercinos munda mysteriis, et cle- fully hear us. Through, &c. menter exaudl Per Dominum.
At the Communion, the Church rejoices in the Jesus, the Saviour, who visits her, and acts up to his sweet Name with such perfection, by redeeming the inhabitants of the whole earth. In the Postcommunion, she prays that, by the intercession of Mary, the Holy Communion may cure our hearts of their sins, that thus we may offer to God the homage of that spiritual circumcision, of which the Apostle so often speaks.
All the ends of the earth Viderunt omnes fines terhave seen the salvation of our rae Salutare Dei nostri. God.
May this communion, O Base nos communio, DoLord, cleanse us from sin : and mine, purget a crimine: et by the intercession of Blessed intercedente beata Virgine Mary, the Virgin-Mother of Dei Genitrice Maria, coelesGod, make us partakers of thy tis remedii faciat esse conheavenly remedy. Through, sortes. Per Dominum. dbc.
The Antiphons and Psalms are the same as in First Vespers, page 414. The Capitulum and Hymn of yesterday are repeated; after which are said the following:
ft. The Lord hath made ft. Notum fecit Dominus, known, alleluia alleluia. B. His salvation, alleluia. B. Salutare suum, alleluia.
Antiphon Of The Magnificat.
Ant. Great is the mystery Ant. Magnum haeredita
of our inheritance! The womb tis mysterium! Templum
of a most pure Virgin became Dei factus est uterus ne
the Temple of God. He is not sciens virum : non est pollu
defiled assuming to himself tus ex ea carnem assumens;
Flesh from her. All nations omnes gentes venient, dicen
shall come, saying: Glory be tes: Gloria tibi, Domine. to thee, O Lord!
Deus, qui salutis aeternae, beatae Mariaevirginitate fcecunda, humano generi praemia praestitisti: tribue, quaesumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum. Qui tecum.
Commemoration of the
Ant. Stephanus autem plenus gratia et fortitudine, taciebat signa magna in populo.
ft. Stephanus vidit co3los apertos.
B. Vidit et introivit: beatus homo cui coeli patebant.
LET' S PRAY.
O God, who by the Fruitful Virginity of the Blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience Her intercession, by whom we received the Author of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son. Who liveth, &c.
Octave of St. Stephen.
'ant. But Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great signs among the people.
ft. Steph en saw the heavens opened.
B. He saw and entered; blessed man, to whom the heavens opened.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui primitias Martyrum in beati Levitae Stephani sanguine dedicasti: tribue; quaesumus, ut pro nobis intercessor existat, qui pro suis etiam persecutoribus exoravit Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum. Qui tecum.
O Almighty and eternal God, who didst consecrate the firstfruits of Martyrdom in the blood of blessed Stephen the Levite: grant, we beseech thee, that he may intercede for us, who begged mercy, even for his persecutors, of our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son. Who liveth, &c.
We now give a short selection, from the Offices of this Octave of Christmas Day, which will assist the Faithful in their devotion to the Holy Mother of God. We begin with the Roman Breviary, and take from it the following Responsories of the Matins of the Circumcision.
B. Congratulamini mihi B. Rejoice with me all ye omnes qui diligitis Domi- that love the Lord: * For