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that so I may deserve to be united with thee, for ever, in heaven.
Mary, Mother of my Jesus! pray for me, that this gracious visit of thy divine Son may produce in me abundant fruits of virtue.-Ye Holy Angels of God! who adore him now dwelling within me, be solicitous for the holiness and purity of my soul and body. All ye saints of God! pray for me, that I may ever be faithful to Him, whom ye loved on earth, and now love eternally in heaven. Amen.
OF THE OFFICE OF VESPERS FOR SUNDAYS AND
The Office of Vespers, or Even-Song, during the whole year, consists, firstly, of five Psalms and Antiphons, which vary, more or less, every day. As the main object of our Book is the convenience of the Faithful, we only give the Vespers of the Sundays and the principal Feasts. With regard to the Sundays, therefore, during Christmas, which are neither Feasts, nor within the Octave of a Feast, we give them here in full, reserving only that, which is peculiar to each, for the Proper. If it be a Feast, the Office must be sought for on its own day.
After the Pater and Ave have been said in secret, the Church commences this Hour with her favourite supplication :
V. Deus in adjutorium V. Incline unto my aid, O meum intende.
God. R. Domine, ad adjuvan- R. O Lord, make haste to dum me festina.
help me. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Glory be to the Father, and Spiritui Sanctó:
to the Son, and to the Holy
Ghost. Sicut erat in principio et As it was in the beginning, nunc et semper, et in sæcula is now, and ever shall be, sæculorum. Amen. Alleluia. world without end. Amen.
Alleluia. ANT. Dixit Dominus.
ANT. The Lord said. The first Psalm is a prophecy of the glory of the Messias. This Child, who is now born to us in humility and poverty, is to be seated on the right hand of
the eternal Father. Now, that we are celebrating his temporal Birth, it is most just that we should often sing the Psalm which speaks of his eternal Generation, as God, and of the future glory which awaits him, as Man.
PSALM 109, The Lord said to my Lord, Dixit Dominus Domino his Son: Sit thou at my right meo : Sede a dextris meis. hand, and reign with me. Until, on the day of thy last Donec
inimicos coming, I make thy enemies tuos : * scabellum pedum thy footstool.
tuorum. O Christ! the Lord thy Virgam virtutis tuæ emitFather will send forth the tet Dominus ex Sion : * dosceptre of thy power out of minare in medio inimicorum Sion : from thence rule thou' tuorum. in the midst of thy enemies.
With thee is the principality Tecum principium in die in the day of thy strength, in virtutis tuæ in splendoribus the brightness of the saints : sanctorum : * ex utero ante For the Father hath said to luciferum genui te. thee : From the womb before the day-star I begot thee.
The Lord hath sworn, and Juravit Dominus, et non he will not repent: he hath poenitebit eum : * Tu es Sasaid, speaking of thee, the God- cerdos in æternum secunMan: Thou art a Priest for dum ordinem Melchisedech. ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
Therefore, O Father, the Dominus a dextris tuis :* Lord thy Son is at thy right confregit in die iræ suæ rehand: he hath broken kings ges. in the day of his wrath.
He shall also judge among Judicabit in nationibus, nations : in that terrible com- implebit ruinas : * conquasing, he shall fill the ruins of sabit capita in terra multothe world: he shall crush the rum. heads in the land of many:
He cometh now in humility; De torrente in via bibet : he shall drink, in the way, of propterea exaltabit caput. the torrent of sufferings: therefore, shall he lift up the head.
Ant. The Lord said to my ANT. Dixit Dominus Do
mino meo, sede a dextris Lord, sit thou at my right meis.
hand. ANT. Fidelia.
The following Psalm commemorates the mercies of God to his people—the promised Covenant—the Redemption-his fidelity to his promises.
Confitebor tibi, Domine, I will praise thee, O Lord, in toto corde méo : * in con- with my whole heart : in the cilio justorum et congrega- counsel of the just, and in the tione.
congregation. Magna opera Domini : Great are the works of the exquisita in omnes volunta- Lord : sought out according tes ejus.
to all his wills. Confessio et magnificentia His work is praise and magopus ejus : * et justitia ejus nificence: and his justice conmanet in sæculum sæculi. tinueth for ever and ever.
Memoriam fecit mirabi- He hath made a rememlium suorum, misericors et brance of his wonderful works, miserator Dominus :* escam being a merciful and gracious dedit timentibus se.
Lord : and being the bread of life, he hath given food to
them that fear him. Memor erit in sæculum He will be mindful for ever testamenti sui : * virtutem of his covenant with men : he operum suorum annuntiabit is come and will shew forth to populo suo.
his people the power of his
works. Ut det illis hæreditatem That he may give them, his Gentium : *
opera manuum Church, the inheritance of the ejus veritas et judicium. Gentiles : the works of his
hand are truth and judgment. Fidelia omnia mandata All his commandments are ejus, confirmata in sæculum faithful, confirmed for ever sæculi : * facta in veritate et and ever: made in truth and æquitate.
equity. Redemptionem misit po- He hath sent Redemption pulo * mandavit to his people; he hath, thereby,
æternum testamentum commanded his covenant for suum.
Sanctum et terribile no- Holy and terrible is his
name: the fear of the Lord is men ejus“: * initium sapienthe beginning of wisdom. tiæ timor Domini.
A good understanding to all Intellectus bonus omnibus that do it: his praise con- facientibus eum : * laudatio tinueth for ever and ever. ejus manet in sæculum sæ
culi. Ant. Faithful are all his Ant. Fidelia omnia mancommandments; confirmed for data ejus ; confirmata in ever and ever.
sæculum sæculi. ANT. In his command- Ant. In mandatis. ments.
The next Psalm sings the happiness of the just, man, and his hopes on the day of Jesus' Birth. It is applicable also to the sinner, who shall be confounded because he profited nothing by that great Mystery of humility and love.
Blessed is the man that Beatus vir, qui timet Dofeareth the Lord : he shall minum : * in mandatis ejus delight exceedingly in his volet nimis. commandments.
His seed shall be mighty Potens in terra erit semen upon earth : the generation ejus : * generatio rectorum of the righteous shall be benedicetur. blessed.
Glory and wealth shall be Gloria, et divitiæ in domo in his house : and his justice ejus : * et justitia ejus manet remaineth for ever and ever. in sæculum sæculi.
To the righteous a light is Exortum est in tenebris risen up in darkness : he is lumen rectis : * misericors, merciful, and compassionate, et miserator, et justus. and just: he is born and dwells amongst us.
Acceptable is the man that Jucundus homo, qui miseshoweth mercy and lendeth; retur et commodat, disponet he shall order his words with sermones suos in judicio : judgment : because he shall quia in æternum non comnot be moved for ever.
movebitur. The just shall be in ever- In memoria æterna erit lasting remembrance: he shall justus : * ab auditione mala not fear the evil hearing.
non timebit. His heart is ready to hope Paratum cor ejus sperare in the Lord ; his heart is in Domino, confirmatum est