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CHAPTER THE SEVENTH.
OF THE OFFICE OF VESPERS FOR SUNDAYS AND
The Office of Vespers, or Even-Song, consists firstly of the Five following Psalms, and Antiphons. According to our custom, we preface each Psalm with a short explanation, in order to draw the attention to what is most in harmony with the spirit of Lent.
After the Pater and Ave have been said in secret, the Church commences this Hour with her favourite supplication :
V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory. ANT. The Lord said.
. Deus in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto:
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Laus tibi, Domine, Rex æternæ gloriæ.
ANT. Dixit Dominus.
The first Psalm is a prophecy of the future glory of the Messias. It shows us his triumph; after his humiliations and his Cross, the Man-God shall sit on the right hand of his Father. Moreover, he is to come again into this world,-to judge it, and crush
the proud heads of sinners. While thus celebrating his Glory, let us not forget his Justice.
Dixit Dominus Domino meo: * Sede a dextris meis.
Donec ponam inimicos tuos: * scabellum pedum
Virgam virtutis tuæ emittet Dominus ex Sion: * dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.
Tecum principium in die virtutis tuæ in splendoribus sanctorum: * ex utero ante luciferum genui te.
Juravit Dominus, et non pœnitebit eum: * Tu es Sacerdos in æternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech.
Dominus a dextris tuis :* confregit in die iræ suæ reges.
Judicabit in nationibus, implebit ruinas: * conquassabit capita in terra multo
De torrente in via bibet: * propterea exaltabit caput.
ANT. Dixit Dominus Domino meo, sede a dextris meis.
The Lord said to my Lord, his Son: Sit thou at my right hand, and reign with me.
Until, on the day of thy last coming, I make thy enemies thy footstool.
O Christ! the Lord thy Father, will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion from thence rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.
With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength, in the brightness of the saints: For the Father hath said to thee: From the womb before the day-star I begot thee.
The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: he hath said, speaking of thee, the GodMan: Thou art a Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
Therefore, O Father, the Lord thy Son is at thy_right hand he hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall also judge among nations in that terrible coming, he shall fill the ruins of the world: he shall crush the heads in the land of many.
He cometh now in humility; he shall drink, in the way, of the torrent of sufferings: therefore, shall he lift up the head.
ANT. The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand.
The following Psalm commemorates the mercies of God to his people-the promised Covenant-the Redemption-his Fidelity to his word. But it also tells us that the Name of the Lord is terrible because it is holy; and concludes by telling us, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart in the counsel of the just, and in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord sought out according to all his wills.
His work is praise and magnificence: and his justice continueth for ever and ever.
He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: he hath given food to them that fear him.
He will be mindful for ever of his covenant with men: he will show forth to his people the power of his works.
That he may give them, his Church, the inheritance of the Gentiles: the works of his hand are truth and judgment.
All his commandments are faithful, confirmed for ever and ever made in truth and equity.
He hath sent redemption to his people; he hath thereby commanded his covenant for
Holy and terrible is his name: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
A good understanding to all
Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo:* in concilio justorum et congregatione.
Magna opera Domini : exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus.
Confessio et magnificentia opus ejus : * et justitia ejus manet in sæculum sæculi.
Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum, misericors et miserator Dominus : * escam dedit timentibus se.
Memor erit in sæculum testamenti sui : * virtutem operum suorum annuntiabit populo suo.
Ut det illis hereditatem Gentium :* opera manuum ejus veritas et judicium.
Fidelia omnia mandata ejus, confirmata in sæculum sæculi: * facta in veritate et æquitate.
Redemptionem misit populo suo : * mandavit in æternum
Sanctum et terribile nomen ejus: * initium sapientiæ timor Domini.
Intellectus bonus omnibus
facientibus eum : * laudatio ejus manet in sæculum sæculi.
ANT. Fidelia omnia mandata ejus; confirmata in sæculum sæculi.
ANT. In mandatis.
that do it: his praise continueth for ever and ever.
ANT. Faithful are all his commandments; confirmed for ever and ever.
ANT. In his commandments.
The next Psalm sings the happiness of the just man, and his hopes on the day of his Lord's coming. It tells us, likewise, of the confusion and despair which will torment the sinner, who, during life, was insensible to his own interests, and deaf to the invitations made him by the Church.
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments.
His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
To the righteous a light is risen up in darkness: he is merciful, and compassionate, and just.
Acceptable is the man that showeth mercy and lendeth; he shall order his words with judgment: because he shall not be moved for ever.
The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not fear the evil hearing.
His heart is ready to hope in the Lord; his heart is strengthened he shall not
The Psalm, Laudate pueri, is a Canticle of praise to the Lord, who, from his high heaven, has taken pity on the fallen human race, and facilitated its return to its Maker.
Praise the Lord, ye children; praise ye the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth now and for ever.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is worthy of praise.
The Lord is high above all nations and his glory above the heavens.
Who is as the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high: and looketh down on the low things in heaven and in earth? Raising up the needy from the earth and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill.