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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

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:

℣. Jube, domne, benedicere.
. Pray, Father, give thy blessing.

The Priest answers:

Noctem quietam et finem perfectum concedat nobis Dominus omnipotens.

℟. Amen.
May the Almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

℟. Amen.

The Lector then reads these words from the first Epistle of St Peter:

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.
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, O Lord, have mercy on us.

The Choir answers:

, Deo gratias.
. Thanks be to God.

Then the Priest:

. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
℣. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

The Choir:

. Qui fecit cœlum et terrain.
. 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 omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis tuis, perducat te ad vitam æternam.
May Almighty God be merciful to thee, and forgiving thy sins, bring thee to everlasting life.

The Priest having answered Amen, the Choir repeats the Confiteor, thus:

Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti, beatæ Mariæ semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistæ, sanct.s Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus sanctis, et tibi Pater: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Joannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes sanctos, et te, Pater, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.
I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to thee, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, and thee, Father, to pray to our Lord God for me.

The Priest then says:

Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis vestris, perducat vos ad vitam æternam.

. Amen.
May Almighty God be merciful to you, and, forgiving your sins, bring you to everlasting life.

. Amen.

Indulgentiam, absolutionem, ct remissionem peccatorum nostrorum, tribuat nobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.

℟. Amen.
May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins.

℟. Amen.

℣. Converte nos, Deus, Salutaris noster.
. Et averte iram tuam a nobis.

℣. Deus, in adjutorium meum intende.
℟. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.

Gloria Patri, etc.

Ant. Miserere.
℣. Convert us, O God our Saviour.
℟. And turn away thy anger from us.

℣. Incline unto my aid, O God.
℟. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory, etc.

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.

PSALM 4

Cum invocarem exaudivit me Deus justitiæ meæ: * in tribulatione dilatasti mihi.
Miserere mei: * et exaudi orationem meam.
Filii hominum, usquequo gravi corde? * ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et quæritis mendacium?
Et scitote quoniam mirificavit Dominus sanctum suum: * Dominus exaudiet me, cum clamavero ad eum.
Irascimini, et nolite peccare: * quæ dicitis in cordibus vestris, in cubilibus vestris compungimini.
Sacrificate sacrificium justitiæ, et sperate in Domino: * multi dicunt: Quis ostendit nobis bona?
Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui Domine: * dedisti lætitiam in corde meo.
A fructu frumenti, vini et olei sui: * multiplicati sunt.
In pace in idipsum: * dormiam et requiescam.
Quoniam tu, Domine, singulariter in spe: * constituisti me.
When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me.
Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.
O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?
Know ye also that the Lord hath made his Holy One wonderful: the Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him.
Be ye angry, and sin not: the things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds.
Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord: many say, who showeth us good things?
The Light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart.
By the fruit of their corn, their wine, and oil, they are multiplied.
In peace, in the self same, I will sleep, and I will rest.
For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.

The second Psalm gives the motives of the just man's confidence, even during the dangers of the night. Then we have God himself speaking, and promising to show us our Saviour.

PSALM 90

Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi: * in protectione Dei cœli commorabitur.
Dicet Domino: Susceptor meus es tu, et refugium meum, * Deus meus, sperabo in eum.
Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium: * et a verbo aspero.
Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi: * et sub pennis ejus sperabis.
Scuto circumdabit te ventas ejus: * non timebis a timore nocturno.
A sagitta volante in die, a negotio perambulante in tenebris: * ab incursu, et dæmonio meridiano.
Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem millia a dextris tuis: * ad te autem non appropinquabit.
Verumtamen oculis tuis considerabis: * et retributionem peccatorum videbis.
Quoniam tu es, Domine, spes mea: * Altissimum posuisti refugium tuum.
Non accedet ad te malum: * et flagellum non appropinquabit tabernaculo tuo.
Quoniam Angelis suis mandavit de te: * ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis.
In manibus portabunt te: * ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.
Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis: * et conculcabis leonem et draconem.
Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum: * protegam eum, quoniam cognovit nomen meum.
Clamabit ad me, et ego exaudiam eum: * cum ipso sum in tribulatione, eripiam eum et glorificabo eum.
Longitudine dierum replebo eum: * et ostendam illi Salutare meum.
He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.
He shall say to the Lord: Thou art my protector and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust.
For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word.
He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust.
His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night.
Of the arrow that flieth in the day: of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee.
But thou shalt consider with thy eyes: and shalt see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast said: Thou, O Lord, art my hope: Thou hast made the Most High thy refuge.
There shall no evil come to thee, nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling.
For he hath given his Angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt walk upon the asp and basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon.
God will say of thee: Because he hoped in me, I will deliver him: I will protect him, because he hath known my name.
He will cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him.
I will fill him with length of days: and I will show him my salvation.

The third Psalm invites the Servants of God to persevere with fervour in the prayers they offer during the Night. The Faithful should say this Psalm in a spirit of gratitude to God for his raising up in the Church adorers of his holy name, whose grand vocation is to lift up their hands day and night for the safety of Israel. On such prayers depend the happiness and destinies of the world.

PSALM 133

Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum: * omnes servi Domini.
Qui statis in domo Domini: * in atriis domus Dei nostri.
In noctibus extollite manus vestras in sancta: * et benedicite Dominum.
Benedicat te Dominus ex Sion: * qui fecit coelum et terram.

Ant. Miserere mei, Domine, et exaudi orationem meam.
Behold now bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord.
Who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
In the nights lift up your hands to the holy places, and bless ye the Lord.
Say to Israel: May the Lord out of Sion bless thee, he that made heaven and earth.

Ant. Have mercy on me, O Lord, and hear my prayer.

Hymn[1]

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus,
Ut pro tua dementia
Sis præsul et custodia.

Procul recedant somnia,
Et noctium phantasmata;
Hostemque nostrum comprime,
Ne polluantur corpora.

Præsta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Regnans per omne sæculum.

Amen.
Before the closing of the light,
we beseech thee, Creator of all things!
that, in thy clemency,
thou be our protector and our guard.

May the dreams and phantoms of night
depart far from us;
and do thou repress our enemy,
lest our bodies be profaned.

Most merciful Father!
and thou, his Only-Begotten Son, co-equal with him!
reigning for ever with the Holy Paraclete!
grant this our prayer.

Amen.

(This last Stanza is varied for Christmas Day, etc., and for the Epiphany. See p. 106.)


Capitulum
(Jeremias xiv)

Tu autem in nobis es, Domine, et nomen sanctum tuum invocatum est super nos; ne derelinquas nos, Domine Deus noster.
℟. In manus tuas, Domine: * Commendo spiritum meum. In manus tuas.

℣. Redemisti nos, Domine Deus veritatis. * Commendo.
Gloria.
In manus tuas.

℣. Custodi nos, Domine, ut pupillam oculi.
. Sub umbra alarum tuarum protege nos.
But thou art in us, O Lord, and thy holy name has been invoked upon us: forsake us not, O Lord our God.
. Into thy hands, O Lord: * I commend my spirit. Into thy hands.

℣. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord God of truth. * I commend.
Glory.
Into thy hands.

℣. Preserve us, O Lord, as the apple of thine eye.
. Protect us under the shadow of thy wings.

The Canticle of the venerable Simeon, who, whilst holding the divine Infant in his arms, proclaimed him to be the Light of the Gentiles, and then slept the sleep of the just, harmonizes admirably with this closing Office of the day at Christmastide; for during this holy Season the Church is for ever thanking God, because he has dispelled the shades of death by the rising of the Sun of Justice, in whose love she labours all day long, and takes her rest at night, saying: I sleep, and my heart watcheth.[2]

Canticle Of Simeon
(St Luke ii)

Nunc dimittis servum tuum. Domine: * secundum verbum tuum in pace.
Quia viderunt oculi mei: * Salutare tuum.
Quod parasti: * ante faciem omnium populorum.
Lumen ad revelationem Gentium: * et gloriam plebis tuæ Israel.
Gloria Patri et Filio, etc.
Ant. Salva nos, Domine, vigilantes: custodi nos dormientes, ut vigilemus cum Christo, et requiescamus in pace.
Now dost thou dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace.
Because my eyes have seen thy salvation.
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.
A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory.
Ant. Save us, O Lord, whilst awake, and watch us as we sleep; that we may watch with Christ, and rest in peace.

℣. Dominus vobiscum. ℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.

OREMUS

Visita, quæsumus Domine, habitationem istam, et omnes insidias inimici ab ea longe repelle: Angeli tui sancti habitent in ea, qui nos in pace custodiant: et benedictio tua sit super nos semper. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
℣. The Lord be with you. ℟. And with thy spirit.

LET US PRAY

Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this house and family, and drive from it all snares of the enemy: let thy holy. Angels dwell herein, who may keep us in peace, and may thy blessing be always upon us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.

℣. Benedicamus Domino.
℟. Deo gratias.

Benedicat et custodiat nos omnipotens et misericors Dominus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus.
. Amen.
℣. The Lord be with you.
. And with thy spirit.

℣. Let us bless the Lord.
℟. Thanks be to God.

May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless and preserve us.
℟. Amen.

Anthem to the Blessed Virgin

Alma Redemptoris mater, quæ pervia cœli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat populo.
Tu quæ genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

℣. Post partum, Virgo, inviolata permansisti.
℟. Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis.

Oremus

Deus qui salutis æternæ beatæ Mariæ virginitate fecunda humano generi præmia præstitisti: tribue, quæsumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus per quam meruimus auctorem vitæ suscipere Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
℟. Amen.

℣. Divinum auxilium maneat super nobiscum.
℟. Amen.[3]
Sweet Mother of our Redeemer,
Gate whereby we enter heaven, and Star of the sea, help us, we fall;
yet do we long to rise.
Nature looked upon thee with admiration,
when thou didst give birth to thy divine Creator,
thyself remaining, before and after it, a pure Virgin.
Gabriel spoke his Hail to thee;
we sinners crave thy pity.

℣. After child-birth thou didst remain most, pure, O Virgin.
℟. O Mother of God! make intercession for us.

Let us 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.
. Amen.

℣. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
℟. Amen.


Then in secret, Pater, Ave and Credo, p. 31.


The last stanza of the Hymn is thus varied:

From Christmas Day till the Epiphany

Roman Breviary

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Amen.
Monastic Breviary

Gloria tibi, Domine,
Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Amen.

For the Epiphany, and during the Octave

Roman Breviary

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui apparuisti Gentibus,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Amen.
Monastic Breviary


Gloria tibi, Domine,
Qui apparuisti hodie,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Amen.


For the Feast of the Holy Family

Roman Breviary

Jesu, tuis obediens
Qui factus es perentibus,
Cum Patre summo et Spiritu,
Semper tibi sit gloria.

Amen.


[1] According to the Monastic Rite, as follows: Te lucis ante terminum, Rerum Creator, poscimus, Ut solita dementia Sis præsul ad custodiam. Procul recedant somnia, Et noctium phantasmata; Hostemque nostrum comprime, Ne polluantur corpora. Præsta Pater omnipotens, Per Jesum Christum Dominum, Qui tecum in perpetuum Regnat cum Sancto Spiritu.
[2] Cant. v 2.
[3] In the Monastic Rite this Response is as follows: ℟. Et cum fratribus nostris absentibus. Amen. ℟. And with our absent Brethren. Amen.

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