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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The Office of Matins and Lauds, for the last three days of Holy Week, differs, in many things, from that of the rest of the year. All is sad and mournful, as though it were a funeral-service: nothing could more emphatically express the grief that now weighs down the heart of our holy mother the Church. Throughout all the Office of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, she forbids herself the use of those formulas of joy and hope, wherewith, on all other days, she begins her praise of God. The Domine, labia mea aperies (O Lord, thou shalt open my lips): the Deus, in adjutorium meum intende (Incline unto mine aid, O God): the Gloria Patri, at the end of the psalms, canticles, and responsories—all are taken away. So likewise are those soul-stirring additions, which have been gradually made in the different ages; and nothing is left but what is essential to the form of the Divine Office: psalms, lessons, and chants expressive of grief. Each Canonical Hour ends with the psalm Miserere, and with a commemoration of the death and cross of our Redeemer.

The name of Tenebræ has been given to the Matins and Lauds of the last three days of Holy Week, because this Offioe used formerly to be celebrated during the night; and even when the hour was anticipated, the name of Tenebrœ was kept up for another reason, namely, that it began with day-light, but ended after the sun had set. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the sanctuary, near the altar, a large triangular candlestick, holding fifteen candles. These candles, and the six that are on the altar, are of yellow wax, as in the Office for the dead. At the end of each psalm or canticle, one of these fifteen candles is extinguished; but the one which is placed at the top of the triangle is left lighted. During the singing of the Benedictus, at Lauds, the six candles on the altar are also put out. Then the master of ceremonies takes the lighted candle from the triangle, and holds it upon the altar, on the epistle side, while the choir repeats the antiphon after the canticle: after which he hides it behind the altar during the recitation of the Miserere and the prayer which follows the psalm. As soon as this prayer is finished, a noise is made with the seats of the stalls in the choir, which continues until the candle is brought from behind the altar, and shows, by its light, that the Office of Tenebrœ is over.

Let us now study the meaning of these ceremonies. The glory of the Son of God was obscured, and, so to say, eclipsed, by the ignominies He endured during His Passion. He, the Light of the world, powerful in word and work, who, but a few days ago, was proclaimed King by the citizens of Jerusalem, is now robbed of all His honours; He is, says Isaias, the Man of sorrows, a leper;[1] He is, says the royal prophet, a worm of the earth, and no man;[2] He is, as He says of Himself, an object of shame even to His own disciples, for they are all scandalized in Him,[3] and abandon Him; yea, even Peter protests that he never knew Him. This desertion on the part of His apostles and disciples is expressed by the candles being extinguished, one after the other, not only on the triangle, but on the altar itself. But Jesus, our Light, though despised and hidden, is not extinguished. This is signified by the candle which is momentarily placed on the altar; it figures our Redeemer suffering and dying on Calvary. In order to express His burial, the candle is hidden behind the altar; its light disappears. A confused noise is heard in the house of God, where all is now darkness. This noise and gloom express the convulsions of nature, when Jesus expired on the cross: the earth shook, the rocks were split, the dead came forth from their tombs. But the candle suddenly reappears; its light is as fair as ever; the noise is hushed, and homage is paid to the Conqueror of death.

After having given these general explanations we now offer the faithful the text of the liturgy, to which we subjoin a few words of commentary, where we think it needed.

 

MATINS

 

After the Pater, Ave, and Credo, have been said secretly, the first Nocturn begins as follows.

 

THE FIRST NOCTURN

 

The first psalm was written by David, when obliged to flee from the persecution of his son Absalom, who sought his death. It refers to Christ, and describes various incidents of His Passion. The gall and vinegar, here mentioned, show us that this psalm is prophetic, for David never received any such treatment from his enemies.

Ant. Zelus domus tuæ comedit me, et opprobria exprobrantium tibi ceciderunt super me.
Ant. The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me.

Psalm 68

Salvum me fac, Deus: quoniam intraverunt aquæ usque ad animam meam.
Infixus sum in limo profundi: et non est substantia.
Veni in altitudinem maris: et tempestas demersit me.
Laboravi damans, raucæ factæ sunt fauces meæ: defecerunt oculi mei, dum spero in Deum meum.
Multiplicati sunt super capillos capitis mei: qui oderunt me gratis.
Confortati sunt qui persecuti sunt me inimici mei injuste: quæ non rapui, tunc exsolvebam.
Deus, tu scis insipientiam meam: et delicta mea a te non sunt abscondita.
Non erubescant in me, qui exspectant te, Domine: Domine virtutum.
Non confundantur super me: qui quærunt te Deus Israel.
Quoniam propter te sustinui opprobrium: operuit confusio faciem meam.
Extraneus factus sum fratribus meis: et peregrinus filiis matris meæ.
Quoniam zelus domus tuæ comedit me: et opprobria exprobrantium tibi ceciderunt super me.
Et operui in jejunio ani-
mam meam: et factum est in opprobrium mihi.
Et posui vestimentum meum cilicium: et factus sum illis in parabolam.
Adversum me loquebantur qui sedebant in porta: et in me psallebant qui bibebant vinum.
Ego vero orationem meam ad te, Domine: tempus beneplaciti Deus.
In multitudine misericordiæ tuæ exaudi me: in veritate salutis tuæ.
Eripe me de luto, ut non infigar: libera me ab iis qui oderunt me, et de profundis aquarum.
Non me demergat tempestas aquæ, neque absorbeat me profundum: neque urgeat super me puteus os suum.
Exaudi me, Domine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua: secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice in me.
Et ne avertas faciem tuam a puero tuo: quoniam tribulor, velociter exaudi me.
Intende animæ meæ et libera eam: propter inimicos meos eripe me.
Tu scis improperium meum, et confusionem meam: et reverentiam meam.
In conspectu tuo sunt omnes qui tribulant me: improperium exspectavit cor meum et miseriam.
Et sustinui qui simul contristaretur, et non fuit: et qui consolaretur, et non inveni.
Et dederunt in escam meam fel: et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto.
Fiat mensa eorum coram ipsis in laqueum: et in retributiones, et in scandalum.
Obscurentur oculi eorum ne videant: et dorsum eorum semper incurva.
Effunde super eos iram tuam: et furor iræ tuæ comprehendat eos.
Fiat habitatio eorum deserta: et in tabernaculis eorum non sit qui inhabitet.
Quoniam quem tu percussisti, persecuti sunt: et super dolorem vulnerum meorum addiderunt.
Appone iniquitatem super iniquitatem eorum: et non intrent injustitiam tuam.
Deleantur de libro viventium: et cum justis non scribantur.
Ego sum pauper et dolens: salus tua Deus suscepit me.
Laudabo nomen Dei cum cantico: et magnificabo eum in laude.
Et placebit Deo super vitulum novellum: cornua producentem et ungulas.
Videant pauperes et lætentur: quærite Deum, et vivet anima vestra.
Quoniam exaudivit pauperes Dominus: et vinctos suos non despexit.
Laudent ilium cœli et terra: mare et omnia reptilia in eis.
Quoniam Deus salvam faciet Sion: et ædificabuntur civitates Juda.
Et inhabitabunt ibi: et hæreditate acquirent eam.
Et semen servorum ejus possidebit eam: et qui diligunt nomen ejus habitabunt in ea.

Ant. Zelus domus tuæ comedit me, et opprobria exprobrantium tibi cecide runt super me.
Save me, O God: for the waters are come in even unto my soul.
I stick fast in the mire of the deep: and there is no sure standing.
I am come into the depth of the sea: and a tempest hath overwhelmed me.
I have laboured with crying: my jaws are become hoarse: my eyes have failed, whilst I hope in my God.
They are multiplied above the hairs of my head, who hate me without cause.
My enemies are grown strong, who have wrongfully persecuted me: then did I pay that which I took not away.
O God thou knowest my foolishness; and my offences, the offences which I have taken upon myself, are not hid from thee.
Let them not be ashamed for me, who look for thee, O Lord, the Lord of hosts.
Let them not be confounded on my account, who seek thee, O God of Israel.
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach: shame hath covered my face.
I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to the sons of my mother.
For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up: and the reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me.
And I covered my soul in
fasting and it was made a reproach to me.
And I made hair-cloth my garment: and I became a byword to them.
They that sat in the gate spoke against me: and they that drank wine made me their song.
But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O Lord: for the time of thy good pleasure, O God.
In the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
Draw me out of the mire, that I may not stick fast: deliver me from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Let not the tempest of water drown me, nor the deep swallow me up: and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O Lord, for thy mercy is kind: look upon me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
And turn not away thy face from thy servant: for I am in trouble, hear me speedily.
Attend to my soul, and deliver it; save me because of my enemies.
Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion, and my shame.
In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath experienced reproach and misery.
And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none.
And they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Let their table become as a snare before them, and a recompense, and a stumbling block.
Let their eyes be darkened that they see not: and their back bow thou down always.
Pour out thy indignation upon them: and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
Let their habitation be made desolate: and let there be none to dwell in their tabernacles.
Because they have persecuted him whom thou hast smitten: and they have added to the grief of my wounds.
Add thou iniquity upon their iniquity: and let them not come into thy justice.
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living: and with the just let them not be written.
But I am poor and sorrowful: thy salvation, O God, hath set me up.
I will praise the name of God with a canticle: and I will magnify him with praise.
And it shall please God better than a young calf, that bringeth forth horns and hoofs.
Let the poor see and rejoice: Seek ye God, and your soul shall live.
For the Lord hath heard the poor, and hath not despised his prisoners.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him; the sea, and every thing that creepeth therein.
For God will save Sion: and the cities of Juda shall be built up.
And they shall dwell there, and acquire it by inheritance.
And the seed of his servants shall possess it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

Ant. The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me.

The second psalm was written by David, under the same circumstances as the previous one. He begs God to defend him against the enemies that are seeking to destroy him. This psalm is prophetic of the lot reserved to the Messias.

Ant. Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant, qui cogitant mihi mala.
Ant. Let them that devise evils against me be turned back, and let them blush for shame.

Psalm 69

Deus in adjutorium meum intende: Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.
Confundantur et revereantur: qui quærunt animam meam.
Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant: qui volunt mihi mala.
Avertantur statim erubescentes: qui dicunt mihi: Euge, euge.
Exsultent et lætentur in te omnes qui quærunt te: et dicant semper: Magnificetur Dominus, qui diligunt salutare tuum.
Ego vero egenus et pauper sum: Deus adjuva me.
Adjutor meus et liberator meus es tu: Domine ne moreris.

Ant. Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant, qui cogitant mihi mala.
O God, come to my assistance: O Lord, make haste to help me.
Lot them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul.
Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame, that desire evils to me.
Let them presently be turned away blushing for shame, that say to me: ‘Tis well, ‘tis well.
Let all that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified.
But I am needy and poor; O God, help me.
Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord make no delay.

Ant. Let them that devise evils against me, be turned back, and let them blush for shame.

The third psalm refers to the same period of David’s life; but whilst it describes the dangers to which this holy king was exposed, it also expresses the wonderful confidence he had that God would crown him with victory over all his enemies. In its prophetic signification, this psalm shows us how the Man-God, even in the lowest depths of His anguish, confided in His Father’s help.

Ant. Deus meus, eripe me de manu peccatons.
Ant. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner.

Psalm 70

In te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternum: in justitia tua libera me, et eripe me.
Inclina ad me aurem tuam: et salva me.
Esto mihi in Deum protectorem et in locum munitum: ut salvum me facias.
Quoniam firmamentum meum: et refugium meum es tu.
Deus meus, eripe me de manu peccatoris: et de manu contra legem agentis et iniqui.
Quoniam tu es patientia mea, Domine: Domine, spes mea a juventute mea.
In te confirmatus sum ex utero: de ventre matris meæ tu es protector meus.
In te cantatio mea semper: tamquam prodigium factus sum multis; et tu adjutor fortis.
Repleatur os meum laude, ut cantem gloriam tuam: tota die magnitudinem tuam.
Ne projicias me in tempore senectutis: cum defecerit virtus mea, ne derelinquas me.
Quia dixerunt inimici mei mihi: et qui custodiebant animam meam consilium fecerunt in unum.
Dicentes: Deus dereliquit eum, persequimini et comprehendite eum: quia non est qui eripiat.
Deus ne elongeris a me: Deus meus in auxilium meum respice.
Confundantur et deficiant detrabentes animæ meæ: operiantur confusione et pudore, qui quærunt mala mihi.
Ego autem semper sperabo: et adjiciam super omnem laudem tuam.
Os meum annuntiavit justitiam tuam: tota die salutare tuum.
Quoniam non cognovi litteraturam, introibo in potentias Domini: Domine, memorabor justitiæ tuæ solius.
Deus docuisti me a juventute mea: et usque nunc pronuntiabo mirabilia tua.
Et usque in senectam et senium: Deus ne derelinquas me.
Donec annuntiem brachium tuum: generationi omni, quæ ventura est.
Potentiam tuam, et justitiam tuam Deus usque in altissima, quæ fecisti magnalia: Deus quis similis tibi?
Quantas ostendisti mihi tribulationes multas et malas: et conversus vivificasti me: et de abyssis terræ iterum reduxisti me.
Multiplicasti magnificentiam tuam: et conversus consolatus es me.
Nam et ego confitebor tibi in vasis psalmi veritatem tuam: Deus, psallam tibi in cithara, sanctus Israel.
Exsultabunt labia mea cum cantavero tibi; et anima mea, quam redemisti.
Sed et lingua mea tota die meditabitur justitiam tuam: cum confusi et re venti fuerint qui quærunt mala mihi.

Ant. Deus meus, eripe me de manu peccatoris.
In thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be put to confusion: deliver me in thy justice, and rescue me.
Incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of strength, that thou mayst make me safe.
For thou art my firmament and my refuge.
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner, and out of the hand of the transgressor of the law, and of the unjust.
For thou art my patience, O Lord: my hope, O Lord, from my youth.
By thee have I been confirmed from the womb: from my mother’s womb thou art my protector.
Of thee shall I continually sing: I am become unto many as a wonder: but thou art a strong helper.
Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may sing thy glory: thy greatness all the day long.
Cast me not off in the time of old age; when my strength shall fail, do not thou forsake me.
For my enemies have spoken against me; and they that watched my soul have consulted together.
Saying: God hath forsaken him: pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.
O God, be not thou far from me: O my God, make haste to help me.
Let them be confounded and come to nothing that detract my soul: let them be covered with confusion and shame that seek my hurt.
But I will always hope: and will add to thy praise.
My mouth shall show forth thy justice: thy salvation all the day long.
Because I have not known learning, I will enter into the powers of the Lord: O Lord, I will be mindful of thy justice alone.
Thou hast taught me, O God, from my youth, and till now I will declare thy wonderful works.
And unto old age and grey hairs, O God, forsake me not.
Until I show forth thy arm to all the generation that is to come.
Thy power, and thy justice, O God, even to the highest; great things thou hast done; O God, who is like to thee?
How great troubles hast thou showed me, many and grievous: and turning thou hast brought me to life, and hast brought me back again from the depths of the earth.
Thou hast multiplied thy magnificence; and turning to me, thou hast comforted me.
I will also give praise to thee: I will extol thy truth with the instruments of psaltery: O God, I will sing to thee with the harp, thou holy one of Israel.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I shall sing to thee: and my soul which thou hast redeemed.
Yea and my tongue also shall meditate on thy justice ail the day: when they shall be confounded and put to shame that seek evils to me.

Ant. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner.

℣. Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant.
℟. Qui cogitant mihi mala.
℣. Let them be turned back, and let them blush for shame.
℟. That devise evil things against me.

Here is said the Pater noster, but all in secret.

The lessons of the first nocturn for each of these three days are taken from the Lamentations of Jeremias, which describe the miserable state of Jerusalem, when, in punishment for her idolatry, her people were led captive into Babylon. How visibly is the anger of God shown in these ruins of the great city, over which Jeremias pours forth his inspired words of mourning! And yet, this first disaster was but a figure of a more terrible one to come. When the Assyrians took Jerusalem, and well nigh reduced her to a wilderness, she lost not her name; and the very prophet who laments over her destruction had foretold that the desolation was not to last beyond seventy years. But in her second destruction, the faithless city forfeited even her name. Rebuilt by her conquerors, she went, for two hundred years, under the name of Ælia Adriana; and when, after peace was granted to the Church, she was again called Jerusalem, it was not a restitution of honour to Juda, but a homage that was paid to the God of the Christians, whom Juda had crucified in her capital. Neither St. Helen’s and Constantine’s devotedness, nor the heroism of the crusaders, could raise Jerusalem to the position of even a second-rate city; she is doomed to be a slave, and a slave to infidels, to all but the very end of time. She drew this frightful curse upon herself by the crimes she committed against the Son of God; and nothing could give us a better idea of the enormity of those crimes, than the plaintive words of such a prophet as Jeremias. This is the reason that his Lamentations are chosen for the lessons of Tenebræ. The mournful chant to which they are sung is probably the one used by the Jews themselves. The names of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which divide the stanzas of this inspired elegy, show us that it was written by the prophet as an acrostic. The Jewish custom of singing these Lamentations has been retained in the Christian Church.

First Lesson

Incipit Lamentatio Jeremiæ Prophetæ.
(Cap. i.)

Aleph. Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo! facta est quasi vidua domina gentium, princeps provinciarum facta est sub tributo.

Beth. Plorans ploravit in nocte et lacrymæ ejus in maxillis ejus: non est qui consoletur eam ex omnibus charis ejus. Omnes amici ejus spreverunt eam, et facti sunt ei inimici.

Ghimel. Migravit Judas propter afflictionem, et multitudinem servitutis: habitavit inter gentes, nec invenit requiem. Omnes persecutores ejus apprehenderunt eam inter angustias.

Daleth. Viæ Sion lugent, eo quod non sint qui veniant ad solemnitatem: omnes portæ ejus destructæ, sacerdotes ejus gementes, virgines ejus squalidæ, et ipsa oppressa amaritudine.

He. Facti sunt hostes ejus in capite, inimici ejus locupletati sunt: quia Dominus locutus est super eam propter multitudinem iniquitatum ejus. Parvuli ejus ducti sunt in captivitatem, ante faciem tribulantis.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Here beginneth the Lamentation of Jeremias the Prophet.
(Ch. i.)

Aleph. How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is the mistress of nations become as a widow: the princes of provinces made tributary!

Beth. Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies.

Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling-place because of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage: she hath dwelt among the nations, and she hath found no rest: all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits.

Daleth. The ways of Sion mourn, because there are none that come to the solemn feast: all her gates are broken down: her priests sigh, her virgins are in affliction, and she is oppressed with bitterness.

He. Her adversaries are become her lords, her enemies are enriched: because the Lord hath spoken against her for the multitude of her iniquities: her children are led into captivity, before the face of the oppressor.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord thy God.

℟. In Monte Oliveti oravit ad Patrem: Pater, si fieri potest, transeat a me calix iste: * Spiritus quidem promptus est, caro autem infirma.

. Vigilate, et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem. * Spiritus quidem promptus est: caro autem infirma.
℟. He prayed to his Father on Mount Olivet: Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me: * the spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak.

. Watch and pray, that ye may not enter into temptation. * The spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Second Lesson

Vau. Et egressus est a filia Sion omnis decor ejus: facti sunt principes ejus velut arietes non invenientes pascua, et abierunt absque fortitudine, ante faciem subsequentis.

Zain. Recordata est Jerusalem dierum afflictionis suæ, et prævaricationis omnium desiderabilium suorum, quæ habuerat a diebus antiquis, cum caderet populus ejus in manu hostili, et non esset auxiliator. Viderunt eam hostes, et deriserunt sabbata ejus.

Heth. Peccatum peccavit Jerusalem; propterea instabilis facta est. Omnes qui glorificabant eam, spreverunt illam: quia viderunt ignominiam ejus. Ipsa autem gemens conversa est retrorsum.

Teth. Sordes ejus in pedibus ejus, nec recordata est finis sui. Deposita est vehementer, non habens consolatorem. Vide, Domine, afflictionem meam: quoniam erectus est inimicus.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Vau. And from the daughter of Sion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like rams that find no pastures: and they are gone away without strength before the face of the pursuer.

Zain. Jerusalem hath remembered the days of her affliction, and prevarication of ail her desirable things, which she had from the days of old, when her people fell in the enemy’s hand, and there was no helper: the enemies have seen her, and have mocked at her sabbaths.

Heth. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore is she become unstable: all that honoured her have despised her, because they have seen her shame: but she sighed and turned backward.

Teth. Her filthiness is on her feet, and she hath not remembered her end: she is wonderfully cast down, not having a comforter: behold, O Lord, my affliction, because the enemy is lifted up.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord thy God.

℟. Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum: nunc videbitis turbam quæ circumdabit me: * Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolari pro vobis.

. Ecce appropinquat hora, et Filius hominis tradetur in manus peccatorum. * Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolali pro Vobis.
℟. My soul is sorrowful even to death: stay here, and watch with me: now ye shall see a multitude, that will surround me: * Ye will take to flight, and I shall go to be sacrificed for you.

. Behold the hour is at hand, when the Son of Man shall be delivered into the hands of sinners. * Ye will take to flight, and I shall go to be sacrificed for you.

Third Lesson

Jod. Manum suam misit hostis ad omnia desiderabilia ejus: quia vidit gentes ingressas sanctuarium suum, de quibus præceperas ne intrarent in ecclesiam tuam.

Caph. Omnis populus ejus gemens, et quærens panem, dederunt pretiosa quæque pro cibo ad refocillandam animam. Vide, Domine, et considera, quoniam facta sum vilis.

Lamed. O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus: quoniam vindemiavit me, ut locutus est Dominus in die iræ furoris sui.

Mem. De excelso misit ignem in ossibus meis, et erudivit me: expandit rete pedibus meis, convertit me retrorsum: posuit me desolatam tota die mœrore confectam.

Nun. Vigilavit juguminiquitatum mearum: in manu ejus convolutæ sunt, et impositæ collo meo: infirmata est virtus mea: dedit me Dominus in manu, de qua non potero surgere.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Jod. The enemy hath put out his hand to all her desirable things: for she hath seen the Gentiles enter into her sanctuary, of whom thou gavest commandment that they should not enter into thy church.

Caph. All her people sigh, they seek bread: they have given all their precious things for food to relieve the soul. See, O Lord, and consider, for I am become vile.

Lamed. O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow: for he hath made a vintage of me, as the Lord spoke in the day of his fierce anger.

Mem. From above he hath sent fire into my bones, and hath chastised me: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back; he hath made me desolate, wasted with sorrow all the day long.

Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched for me: they are folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my strength is weakened; the Lord hath delivered me into a hand, out of which I am not able to rise.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord thy God.

℟. Ecce vidimus eum non habentem speciem, neque decorem; aspectus ejus in eo non est: hic peccata nostra portavit et pro nobis dolet: ipse autem vulneratus est propter iniquitates nostras: * Cujus livore sanati sumus.

℣. Vere languores nostros ipse tulit, et dolores nostros ipse portavit. * Cujus livore sanati sumus.

Here is repeated: Ecce vidimus.
℟. Lo! we have seen him as one not having beauty nor comeliness; there is no sightliness in him: he hath borne our sins, and he grieves for us: and he was wounded for our iniquities: * By his wounds we have been healed.

. Surely he hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows. * By his wounds we have been healed.

Here is repeated: Lo! we have seen.

 

THE SECOND NOCTURN

 

The fourth psalm, which celebrates in such glowing terms the glories of the Son of David, would seem, at first sight, to be inappropriate for this Office, which commemorates only His humiliations. We sang this fine canticle on the night of our Emmanuel’s birth at Bethlehem; how comes it to be among our present chants, which are all so sorrowful? The Church has chosen it, because one of the glories here prophesied of Jesus is, that He shall deliver the poor from the mighty; and the needy that had no helper. Mankind is this poor one; satan is the mighty one; Jesus is about to deliver us from his power, by suffering what we have deserved by our sins.

Ant. Liberavit Dominus pauperem a potente, et inopem, cui non erat adjutor.
Ant. The Lord hath delivered the poor from the mighty; and the needy that had no helper.

Psalm 71

Deus judicium tuum regi da: et justitiam tuam filio regis.
Judicare populum tuum in justitia: et pauperes tuos in judicio.
Suscipiant montes pacem populo: et colles justitiam.
Judicabit pauperes populi, et salvos faciet filios pauperum: et humiliabit calumniatorem.
Et permanebit cum sole, et ante lunam: in generatione et generationem.
Descendet sicut pluvia in vellus: et sicut stillicidia stillantia super terram.
Orietur in diebus ejus justitia, et abundantia pacis: donec auferatur luna.
Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare: et a flumine usque ad terminos orbis terrarum.
Coram illo procident Æthiopes: et inimici ejus terram lingent.
Reges Tharsis et insulæ munera offerent reges Arabum et Saba dona adducent.
Et adorabunt eum omnes reges terræ: omnes gentes servient ei.
Quia liberabit pauperem a potente: et pauperem cui non erat adjutor.
Parcet pauperi et inopi: et animas pauperum salvas faciet.
Ex usuris et iniquitate redimet animas eorum: et honorabile nomen eorum coram illo.
Et vivet, et dabitur ei de auro Arabiæ, et adorabunt de ipso semper: tota die benedicent ei.
Et erit firmamentum in terra in summis montium, superextolletur super Libanum fructus ejus: et florebunt de civitate sicut fœnum terræ.
Sit nomen ejus benedictum in sæcula: ante solem permanet nomen ejus.
Et benedicentur in ipso omnes tribus terræ: omnes gentes magnificabunt eum.
Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel: qui facit mirabilia solus.
Et benedictum nomen majestatis ejus in æternum: et replebitur majestate ejus omnis terra: fiat, fiat.

Ant. Liberavit Dominus pauperem a potente, et inopem cui non erat adjutor.
Give to the king thy judgment, O God; and to the king’s son thy justice.
To judge thy people with justice, and thy poor with judgment.
Let the mountains receive peace for the people, and the hills justice.
He shall judge the poor of the people, and he shall save the children of the poor, and he shall humble the oppressor.
And his kingdom on earth shall continue with the sun; and before the moon, throughout all generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the fleece: and as showers falling gently upon the earth.
In his days justice shall spring up, and abundance of peace: till the moon be taken away.
And he shall rule from sea to sea: and from the river Jordan to the ends of the earth.
Before him the Ethiopians shall fall down: and his enemies shall lick the ground.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts.
And all kings of the earth shall adore him; all nations shall serve him.
For he shall deliver the poor from the mighty: and the needy that had no helper.
He shall spare the human race which is poor and needy: and he shall save the souls of the poor.
He shall redeem their souls from the usuries and iniquity of Satan: and their name shall be honourable in his sight.
And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Arabia: for him they shall always adore: they shall bless him all the day.
He is the Bread of life; therefore, under his reign there shall be a firmament on the earth, on the tops of mountains: above Libanus shall the fruit thereof be exalted: and they of the city shall flourish like the grass of the earth.
Let his name be blessed for evermore: his name continueth before the sun.
And in him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed: all nations shall magnify him.
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who alone doth wonderful things.
And blessed be the name of his majesty for ever: and the whole earth shall be filled with his majesty. So be it. So be it.

Ant. The Lord hath delivered the poor from the mighty; and the needy that had no helper.

The fifth psalm conveys a moral teaching, which, if listened to, would correct many a false judgment of the world. It often happens that men are shaken at seeing the wicked prosperous, and the virtuous afflicted. It was the temptation which overcame the apostles, when, seeing their divine Master in the hands of His enemies, they lost their faith in Him as the Messias. The psalmist owns that he himself was troubled by the same kind of thought; but God enlightened him to see the truth, that if divine Providenoe permit iniquity to triumph for a time, the day is sure to come when He will punish the wicked, and avenge the just that have suffered persecution.

Ant. Cogitaverunt impii, et locuti sunt nequitiam: iniquitatem in excelso locuti sunt.
Ant. The ungodly have thought and spoken wickedness: they have spoken iniquity on high.

Psalm 72

Quam bonus Israel Deus: his qui recto sunt corde.
Mei autem pene moti sunt pedes: pene effusi sunt gressus mei:
Quia zelavi super iniquos, pacem peccatorum videns.
Quia non est respectus morti eorum: et firmamentum in plaga eorum.
In labore hominum non sunt: et cum hominibus non flagellabuntur.
Ideo tenuit eos superbia: operti sunt iniquitate et impietate sua.
Prodiit quasi ex adipe iniquitas eorum: transierunt in affectum cordis.
Cogitaverunt et locuti sunt nequitiam: iniquitatem in excelso locuti sunt.
Posuerunt in cœlum os suum: et lingua eorum transivit in terra.
Ideo convertetur populus meus hic: et dies pieni invenientur in eis.
Et dixerunt: Quomodo scit Deus: et si est scientia in Excelso?
Ecce ipsi peccatores, et abundantes in sæculo: obtinuerunt divitias.
Et dixi: Ergo sine causa justificavi cor meum: et lavi inter innocentes manus meas.
Et fui flagellatus tota die: et castigatio mea in matutinis.
Si dicebam: Narrabo sic: ecce nationem filiorum tuorum reprobavi.
Existimabam ut cognoscerem hoc: labor est ante
me:
Donec intrem in sanctuarium Dei: et intelligam in novissimis eorum.
Verumtamen propter dolos posuisti eis: dejecisti eos dum allevarentur.
Quomodo facti sunt in desolationem, subito defecerunt: perierunt propter iniquitatem suam.
Velut somnium surgentium, Domine: in civitate
tua imaginem ipsorum ad nihilum rediges.
Quia inflammatum est cor meum, et renes mei commutati sunt: et ego ad nihilum redactus sum, et nescivi.
Ut jumentum factus sum apud te: et ego semper tecum.
Tenuisti manum dexteram meam: et in voluntate tua deduxisti me: et cum gloria suscepisti me.
Quid enim mihi est in cœlo: et a te quid volui super terrain?
Defecit caro mea, et cor meum: Deus cordis mei et pars mea Deus in æternum.
Quia ecce, qui elongant se a te, peribunt: perdidisti omnes qui fornicantur abs te.
Mihi autem adhærere Deo bonum est: ponere in Domino Deo spem meam.
Ut annuntiem omnes prædicationes tuas: in portis filiæ Sion.

Ant. Cogitaverunt impii, et locuti sunt nequitiam: iniquitatem in excelso locuti sunt.
How good is God to Israel, to them that are of a right heart!
But my feet were almost moved; my steps had well nigh slipt:
Because I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners.
For there is no regard to their death; nor is there strength in their stripes.
They are not in the labour of men: neither shall they be scourged like other men.
Therefore pride hath held them fast: they are covered with their iniquity and their wickedness.
Their iniquity hath come forth, as it were from fatness: they have passed into the affection of the heart.
They have thought and spoken wickedness: they have spoken iniquity on high.
They have set their mouth against heaven: and their tongue hath passed through the earth.
Therefore will my people return here: and full days shall be found in them.
And they said: How doth God know, and is there knowledge in the Most High?
Behold these are sinners; and yet abounding in the world, they have obtained riches.
And I said: Then have I in vain justified my heart, and washed my hands among the innocent.
And I have been scourged all the day, and my chastisement hath been in the mornings.
If I said: I will speak thus: behold I should condemn the generation of thy children.
I studied that I might know this thing: it is as labour in my sight:
Until I go into the sanctuary of God, and understand concerning their last ends.
But indeed for deceits thou hast put it to them: when they were lifted up thou hast cast them down.
How are they brought to desolation! they have suddenly ceased to be: they have perished by reason of their iniquity.
As the dream of them that awake, O Lord, so in thy city
thou shalt bring their image to nothing.
For my heart hath been inflamed, and my reins have been changed: and I am brought to nothing, and I knew not.
I am become as a beast before thee: and I am always with thee.
Thou hast held me by my right hand: and by thy will thou hast conducted me: and with glory thou hast received me.
For what have I in heaven? and besides thee, what do I desire upon earth?
For thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away: thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever.
For behold they that go far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that are disloyal to thee.
But it is good for me to stick close to my God, to put my hope in the Lord God.
That I may declare all thy praises in the gates of the daughter of Sion.

Ant. The ungodly have thought and spoken wickedness: they have spoken iniquity on high.

The sixth psalm is a reproach made to the enemies of the divine worship. The Jews used it for many ages against the Gentiles; the Christians now apply it to the Synagogue, which, after having crucified the Son of God, did its utmost to destroy His Church, by putting many of her children to death, and for bidding the apostles to preach the name of Christ.

Ant. Exsurge, Domine, et judica causam meam.
Ant. Arise, O Lord, and judge my cause.

Psalm 73

 

Ut quid Deus repulisti in finem: iratus est furor tuus super oves pascuæ tuæ?
Memor esto congregationis tuæ: quam possedisti ab initio.
Redemisti virgam hæreditatis tuæ: mons Sion in quo habitasti in eo.
Leva manus tuas in superbias eorum in finem: quanta malignatus est inimicus in saneto.
Et gloriati sunt qui oderunt te: in medio solemnitatis tuæ.
Posuerunt signa sua, signa: et non cognoverunt sicut in exitu super summum.
Quasi in silva lignorum securibus exciderunt januas ejus in idipsum: in securi et ascia dejecerunt eam.
Incenderunt igni sanctuarium tuum: in terra polluerunt tabernaculum nominis tui.
Dixerunt in corde suo cognatio eorum simul: Quiescere faciamus omnes dies festos Dei a terra.
Signa nostra non vidimus, jam non eat propheta: et nos non cognoscet amplius.
Usquequo Deus improperabit inimicua: irritat adversarius nomen tuum in finem.
Ut quid avertis manum tuam, et dexteram tuam: de medio sinu tuo in finem.
Deus autem rex noater ante sæcula: operatus eat salutem in medio terræ.
Tu confirmasti in virtute tua mare: contribulasti capita draconum in aquis.
Tu confregisti capita draconis: dedisti eum escam populis Æthiopum.
Tu dirupisti fontes, et torrentes: tu siccasti fluvios Ethan.
Tuus eat dies, et tua est nox: tu fabricatus es auroram et solem.
Tu fecisti omnea terminos terrae: æstatem et ver tu plasmasti ea.
Memor esto hujus, inimicua improperavit Domino: et populus insipiens incitavit nomen tuum.
Ne tradas bestiis animas confitentes tibi: et animas pauperum tuorum ne obliviscaris in finem.
Respice in testamentum tuum: quia repleti sunt qui obscurati sunt terræ, domibus iniquitatum.
Ne avertatur humilis factus confusus: pauper et inops laudabunt nomen tuum.
Exsurge Deus judica causam tuam: memor esto improperiorum tuorum, eorum quæ ab insipiente sunt tota die.
Ne obliviscaris voces inimicorum tuorum: superbia eorum qui te oderunt, ascendit semper.

Ant. Exsurge, Domine, et judica causam meam.
O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end? why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast possessed from the beginning.
The sceptre of thy inheritance which thou hast redeemed: Mount Sion, in which thou hast dwelt.
Lift up thy hands against their pride unto the end: see what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
And they that hate thee have made their boasts, in the midst of thy solemnity.
They have set up their ensigns for signs: and they knew not: both in the going out and on the highest top.
As with axes in a wood of trees, they have cut down at once the gates thereof: with axe and hatchet they have brought it down.
They have set fire to thy sanctuary: they have defiled the dwelling-place of thy name on the earth.
They said in their heart, the whole kindred of them together: Let us abolish all the festival days of God from the land.
Our signs we have not seen, there is now no prophet: and he will know us no more.
How long, O God, shall the enemy reproach? Is the adversary to provoke thy name for ever?
Why dost thou turn away thy hand; and thy right hand out of the midst of thy bosom for ever?
But God is our king before ages: he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.
Thou by thy strength didst make the sea firm: thou didst crush the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon: thou hast given him to be meat for the Ethiopian people.
Thou hast broken up the fountains, and the torrents: thou hast dried up the Ethan rivers.
Thine is the day, and thine is the night: thou hast made the dawn and the sun.
Thou hast made all the borders of the earth: the summer and the spring were formed by thee.
Remember this, the enemy hath reproached the Lord: and a foolish people bath provoked thy name.
Deliver not up to beasts the souls that confess to thee: and forget not to the end the souls of thy poor.
Have regard to thy covenant: for they that are the obscure of the earth have been filled with the dwellings of iniquity.
Let not the humble be turned away with confusion: the poor and the needy shall praise thy name.
Arise, O God, judge thy own cause: remember the reproaches with which the foolish man hath reproached thee all the day.
Forget not the voices of thy enemies: the pride of them that hate thee ascendeth continually.

Ant. Arise, O Lord, and judge my cause.

℣. Deus meus, eripe me de manu peccatoris.
℟. Et de manu contra legem agentis et iniqui.
℣. O my God, deliver me out of the hand of the sinner.
℟. And out of the hand of the transgressor of the law, and of the unjust.

Here is said, in secret, the Pater noster.

For the lessons of the second nocturn the Church reads, each of these three days, a passage from Saint Augustine’s Enarrations on the psalms which are prophetic of our Lord’s Passion.

Fourth Lesson

Ex tractatu Sancti Augustini Episcopi super Psalmos.
(Ps. liv.)

Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam, et ne despexeris deprecationem meam: intende mihi et exaudi me. Satagentis, solliciti, in tribulatione positi verba sunt ista. Orat
multa patiens, de malo liberari desiderans. Superest ut videamus in quo malo sit; et cum dicere cœperit, agnoscamus ibi nos esse: ut communicata tribulatione, conjungamus orationem. Contristatus sum, inquit, in exercitatione mea, et conturbatus sum. Ubi contristatus? ubi conturbatus? In exercitatione mea, inquit. Homines malos, quos patitur, commemorat us est: eamdemque passionem malorum hominum, exercitationem suam dixit. Ne putetis gratis esse malos in hoc mundo, et nihil boni de illis agere Deum. Omnis malus, aut ideo vivit, ut corrigatur: aut ideo vi vit, ut per ilium bonus exerceatur.
From the treatise of Saint Augustine, Bishop, upon the Psalms.
(Ps. liv.)

Hear my prayer, O God, and despise not my petition: attend to me and hear me. These are the words of a man in trouble, solicitude, and affliction. He prays in his great sufferings,
desiring to be freed from some evil. Let us now see what evil he lies under: and when he has told it to us, let us acknowledge ourselves in it: that by partaking of the affliction, we may join in his prayer. I am become sorrowful in my exercise, says he, and I am troubled. Where is he become sorrowful? Where is he troubled? He says, In my exercise. He speaks of the wicked men whom he suffers, and calls such suffering of wicked men his exercise. Think not that the wicked are in the world for nothing, and that God works no good with them. Every wicked man lives, either to amend his life, or to exercise the good man.

℟. Amicus meus osculi me tradidit signo: quem osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum: hoc malum fecit signum, qui per osculum adimplevit homicidium. * Infelix prætermisit pretium sanguinis, et in fine laqueo se suspendit.

℣. Bonum erat ei, si natus non fuisset homo ille. * Infelix prætermisit pretium sanguinis, et in fine laqueo se suspendit.
℟. My friend hath betrayed me by the sign of a kiss: Whom I shall kiss, that is he; hold him fast: this was the wicked sign given by him, who committed murder by a kiss. * The unhappy wretch returned the price of Blood, and, in the end, hanged himself.

. It had been well for that man, had he never been born. * The unhappy wretch returned the price of Blood, and, in the end, hanged himself.

Fifth Lesson

Utinam ergo qui nos modo exercent, convertantur, et nobiscum exerceantur: tamen quamdiu ita sunt, ut exerceant nos, non eos oderimus: quia in eo quod malus est quis eorum, utrum usque in finem perseveraturus sit, ignoramus. Et plerumque cum tibi videris odisse inimicum, fratrem odisti, et nescis. Diabolus, et angeli ejus in Scripturis sanctis manifestati sunt nobis, quod ad ignem æternum sint destinati: ipsorum tantum desperanda est correctio, contra quos habemus occultam luctam: ad quam luctam nos armat apostolus, dicens: non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem: id est, non adversus homines quos videtis, sed adversus principes, et potestates,et rectores mundi, tenebrarum harum. Ne forte cum dixisset, mundi, intelligeres dæmones esse rectores cœli et terræ: mundi dixit, tenebrarum harum: mundi dixit, amatorum mundi: mundi dixit, impiorum et iniquorum:mundi dixit, de quo dicit Evangelium: Et mundus eum non cognovit.
Would to God, then, they that now exercise us were converted and exercised with us: but let us not hate them, though they continue to exercise us; for we know not whether they will persevere to the end in their wickedness. And many times, when you imagine that you hate your enemy, it is your brother you hate, though you are ignorant of it. The holy Scriptures plainly show us that the devil and his angels are doomed to eternal fire. It is only their amendment we may despair of, with whom we wage an invisible war; for which the apostle arms us, saying: Our conflict is not with flesh and blood, that is not with the men you see before your eyes, but with the princes, and powers, and rulers of the world of this darkness.And lest by his saying, of the world, you might think perhaps, that the devils are rulers of heaven and earth, he added, of this darkness. By the world, then, he meant the lovers of the world: by the world, he meant the impious and the wicked: by the world, he meant that which the Gospel speaks of: And the world knew him not.

℟. Judas mercator pessimus osculo petiit Dominum: ille ut agnus innocens non negavit Judæ osculum: * Denariorum numero Christum Judæis tradidit.

℣. Melius illi erat, si natus non fuisset. * Denariorum numero Christum Judæis tradidit.
℟. Judas, the impious trader, betrayed his Lord with a kiss: He, as an innocent Lamb, refused not the kiss to Judas: * Who, for a few pence, delivered Christ up to the Jews.

℣. It would have been better for him, had he not been born. * Who, for a few pence, delivered Christ up to the Jews.

Sixth Lesson

Quoniam vidi iniquitatem et contradictionem in civitate. Attende gloriam crucis ipsius. Jam in fronte regum crux ilia fixa est, cui inimici insultaverunt. Effectus probavit virtutem: domuit orbem non ferro, sed ligno. Lignum crucis contumeliis dignum visum est inimicis, et ante ipsum lignum stantes caput agitabant, et dicebant: Si Filius Dei est, descendat de cruce. Extendebat ille manus suas ad populum non credentem, et contradicentem. Si enim justus est qui ex fide vivit, iniquus est qui non habet fidem. Quod ergo hic ait, iniquitatem, perfidiam intellige. Videbat ergo Dominus in civitate iniquitatem et contradictionem, et extendebat manus suas ad populum non credentem: et tamen ipsos exspectans dicebat: Pater, ignosce illis, quia nesciunt quid faciunt.
For I have seen injustice and strife in the city. See the glory of the cross! That cross, which was an object of derision to his enemies, is now placed on the foreheads of kings. The effect is a proof of his power: he conquered the world not by the sword, but by the wood. The wood of the cross was thought a subject of scorn by his enemies, who, as they stood before it, shook their heads and said: If he he the Son of God, let him come down from the cross. He stretched forth his hands to an unbelieving and seditious people. For if he is just that lives by faith, he is unjust that has not faith. By injustice then here you must understand infidelity. Our Lord, therefore, saw injustice and strife in the city, and stretched forth his hands to an unbelieving and seditious people: and yet he waited for them, saying: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

℟. Unus ex discipulis meis tradet me hodie: væ illi per quem tradar ego! * Melius illi erat, si natus non fuisset.

℣. Qui intingit mecum manum in paropside, hic me traditurus est in manus peccatorum. * Melius illi erat, si natus non fuisset.

Here is repeated: Unus ex discipulis meis.
℟. One of my disciples will this day betray me: woe to him, by whom I shall be betrayed! * It had been better for him, if he had not been born.

℣. He that dips his hand with me in the dish, he it is that is about to betray me into the hands of sinners. * It had been better for him, if he had not been born.

Here is repeated: One of my disciples.

 

THE THIRD NOCTURN

 

The seventh psalm declares the vengeance of God on those that excite His anger. It shows us what will happen to the Synagogue; after having obliged the Messias to drink the bitter chalice of His Passion, its own turn shall come, and it shall drink the cup of God’s wrath, even to the very dreys thereof.

Ant. Dixi iniquis: Nolite loqui adversus Deum iniquitatem.
Ant. I said to the wicked: Speak not iniquity against God.

Psalm 74

Confitebimur tibi Deus: confitebimur, et invocabimus nomen tuum.
Narrabimus mirabilia tua: cum accepero tempus, ego justitias judicabo.
Liquefacta est terra, et omnes qui habitant in ea: ego confirmavi columnas ejus.
Dixi iniquis: Nolite inique agere: et delinquentibus: Nolite exaltare cornu.
Nolite extollere in altum cornu vestrum: Nolite loqui adversus Deum iniquitatem.
Quia neque ab oriente, neque ab occidente, neque a desertis montibus: quoniam Deus judex est.
Hunc humiliat, et hunc exaltat: quia calix in manu Domini vini meri plenus mixto.
Et inclinavit ex hoc in hoc: verumtamen fæx ejus non est exinanita: bibent omnes peccatores terræ.
Ego autem annuntiabo in sæculum: cantabo Deo Jacob.
Et omnia cornua peccatorum confringam: et exalta buntur cornua justi.

Ant. Dixi iniquis: Nolite loqui adversus Deum iniquitatem.
We will praise thee O God: we will praise, and we will call upon thy name.
We will relate thy wondrous works: when, says the Lord, I shall take a time, I will judge justice.
The earth is melted and all that dwell therein: I have established the pillars thereof.
I said to the wicked: Do not act wickedly: and to the sinners: Lift not up the horn.
Lift not up your horn on high: speak not iniquity against God.
For neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert hills: for God is the judge.
One he putteth down, and another he lifteth up. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup of strong wine full of mixture.
And he hath poured it out from this to that: but the dregs thereof are not emptied: all the sinners of the earth shall drink.
But I will declare for ever: I will sing to the God of Jacob.
And I will break all the horns of sinners: but the horns of the just shall be exalted.

Ant. I said to the wicked: Speak not iniquity against God.

The eighth psalm was written after David had conquered his enemies. He speaks of the peace that was restored to Sion, and of the sudden vengeance of God that overtook the wicked. The enemies of our Saviour were sleeping their sleep; when suddenly, the earth trembled, and God arose to judge them.

Ant. Terra tremuit et quievit, dum exsurgeret in judicio Deus.
Ant. The earth trembled, and was still, when God arose in judgment.

Psalm 75

Notus in Judæa Deus: in Israel magnum nomen ejus.
Et factus est in pace locus ejus: et habitatio ejus in Sion.
Ibi confregit potentias arcuum: scutum, gladium, et bellum.
Illuminans tu mirabiliter a montibus æternis: turbati sunt omnes insipientes corde.
Dormierunt somnum suum: et nihil invenerunt omnes viri divitiarum in manibus suis.
Ab increpatione tua Deus Jacob: dormitaverunt qui ascenderunt equos.
Tu terribilis es, et quis resistet tibi: ex tunc ira tua.
De cœlo auditum fecisti judicium: terra tremuit et quievit.
Cum exsurgeret in judicium Deus: ut salvos facerei omnes mansuetos terræ.
Quoniam cogitatio hominis confìtebitur tibi: et reliquiae cogitationis diem festum agent tibi.
Vovete et reddite Domino Deo vestro: omnes qui in circuitu ejus affertis munera.
Terribili et ei qui aufert spiritum principum: terribili apud reges terrae.

Ant. Terra tremuit et quievit, dum exsurgeret in judicio Deus.
In Judea God is known, his name is great in Israel.
And his place is in peace, and his abode in Sion.
There hath he broken the power of bows, the shield, the sword, and the battle.
Thou enlightenest wonderfully from the everlasting hills: all the foolish of heart were troubled.
They have slept their sleep; and all the men of riches have found nothing in their hands.
At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, they have all slumbered that mounted on horseback.
Thou art terrible, and who shall resist thee? from that time thy wrath.
Thou hast caused judgment to be heard from heaven: the earth trembled and was still.
When God arose in judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.
For the thought of man shall give praise to thee: and the remainders of the thought shall keep holyday to thee.
Vow ye, and pay to the Lord your God: all you that round about him bring presents.
To him that is terrible, even to him who taketh away the spirit of princes; to the terrible with the kings of the earth.

Ant The earth trembled, and was still, when God arose in judgment.

The ninth psalm tells us of David’s tribulation when his son Absalom, the type of the Jewish people, raised the standard of revolt against him The royal prophet, who is the figure of Christ, loses not his confidence in the midst of his trials. The recollection of the wonderful works wrought by God in favour of His people, animates his courage, and he feels that this same merciful God will deliver him.

Ant. In die tribulationis meæ Deum exquisivi manibus meis.
Ant. In the day of my tribulation, I sought God with my hands raised up in prayer.

Psalm 76

Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi: voce mea ad Deum, et intendit mihi.
In die tribulationis meæ Deum exquisivi, manibus meis nocte contra eum: et non sum deceptus.
Renuit consolari anima mea: memor fui Dei, et delectatua sum, et exercitatus sum, et defecit spiritus meus.
Anticipaverunt vigilias oculi mei: turbatus sum, et non sum locutus.
Cogitavi dies antiquos: et annos æternos in mente habui.
Et meditatus sum nocte cum corde meo: et exercitabar, et scopebam spiritum meum.
Numquid in æternum projiciet Deus: aut non apponet ut complacitior sit adhuc?
Aut in finem misericordiam suam abscindet: a generatione in generationem?
Aut obliviscetur misereri Deus: aut continebit in ira sua misericordias suas?
Et dixi: nunc cœpi: hæc mutatio dexteræ excelsi.
Memor fui operum Domini: quia memor ero ab initio mirabilium tuorum.
Et meditabor in omnibus operibus tuis: et in adinventionibus tuis exercebor.
Deus in sancto via tua: quis Deus magnus sicut Deus noster? Tu es Deus, qui fads mirabilia.
Notum fecisti in populis virtutem tuam: redemisti in brachio tuo populum tuum, filios Jacob et Joseph.
Viderunt te aquæ Deus, viderunt te aquæ: et timuerunt, et turbatæ sunt abyssi.
Multitudo sonitus aquarum: vocem dederunt nubes.
Etenim sagittæ tuæ transeunt: vox tonitrui tui in rota.
Illuxerunt coruscationes tuæ orbi terrae: commota est et contremuit terra.
In mari via tua, et semitæ tuæ in aquis multis: et vestigia tua non cognoscentur.
Deduxisti sicut oves populum tuum: in manu Moysi et Aaron.

Ant. In die tribulationis meæ Deum exquisivi manibus meis.
I cried to the Lord with my voice; to God with my voice and he gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought God: with my hands lifted up to him in the night, and I was not deceived.
My soul refused to be comforted; I remembered God, and was delighted, and was exercised, and my spirit swooned away.
My eyes prevented the watches: I was troubled, and I spoke not.
I thought upon the days of old: and I had in my mind the eternal years.
And I meditated in the night with my own heart, and I was exercised, and I swept my spirit.
Will God then cast off for ever? or will he never be more favourable again?
Or will he cut off his mercy for ever, from generation to generation?
Or will God forget to show mercy? or will he in his anger shut up his mercies?
And I said: Now have I begun: this is the change of the right hand of the Most High.
I remembered the works of the Lord; for I will be mindful of thy wonders from the beginning.
And I will meditate on all thy works; and will be employed in thy inventions.
Thy way, O God is in the holy place: who is the great God like our God? Thou art the God that dost wonders.
Thou hast made thy power known among the nations: with thy arm thou hast redeemed thy people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; and they were afraid, and the depths were troubled.
Great was the noise of the waters: the clouds sent out a sound.
For thy arrows pass: the voice of thy thunder in a wheel.
Thy lightnings enlightened the world, the earth shook and trembled,
Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths in many waters; and thy footsteps shall not be known.
Thou hast conducted thy people like sheep, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Ant. In the day of my tribulation, I sought God with my hands raised up in prayer.

℣. Exsurge, Domine.
℟. Et judica causam meam.
℣. Arise, O Lord.
. And judge my cause.

Here is said the Pater noster in secret.

The lessons of the third nocturn are taken from St. Paul. After having reproved the faithful of Corinth for the abuses which bad crept into their assemblies, he relates the institution of the holy Euoharist, which took place to-day (Thursday); and after showing us the dispositions wherewith we should approach the holy Table, he speaks of the enormity of the crime of an unworthy Communion.

Seventh Lesson

De Epistola prima Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios.

Cap. xi.

Hoc autem præcipio: non laudans quod non in melius, sed in deterius convenitis. Primum quidem convenientibus vobis in ecclesiam, audio scissuras esse inter vos, et ex parte credo. Nam oportet et hæreses esse, ut et qui probati sunt, manifesti fiant in vobis. Convenientibus ergo vobis in unum, jam non est Dominicam Cœnam manducare. Unusquisque enim suam cœnam præsumit ad manducandum. Et alius quidem esurit, alius autem ebrius est. Numquid domos non habetis ad manducandum et bibendum? Aut Ecclesiam Dei contemnitis, et confunditis eos qui non habent? Quid dicam vobis? Laudo vos? In hoc non laudo.
From the first Epistle of Saint Paul, the Apostle, to the Corinthians.

Ch. xi.

Now this I ordain: not praising you that you come together, not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all I hear that when you come together in the church, there are schisms among you, and in part I believe it. For there must be, also, heresies; that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you. When you therefore come together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord’s Supper. For every one taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry, and another is drunk. What, have you not houses to eat and drink in? Or despise ye the Church of God, and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not.

℟. Eram quasi agnus innocens: ductus sum ad immolandum, et nesciebam: consilium fecerunt inimici mei adver sum me, dicentes: * Venite mittamus lignum in panem ejus, et eradamus eum de terra viventium.

℣. Omnes inimici mei adversum me cogitabant mala mihi: verbum iniquum mandaverunt adversum me, dicentes: * Venite, mittamuslignum in panem ejus, et eradamus eum de terra viventium.
℟. I was like an innocent lamb; I was led to be sacrificed, and I knew it not: my enemies conspired against me, saying: * Come, let us put wood into his bread, and root him out of the land of the living.

℣. All my enemies devised evil things against me: they uttered a wicked speech against me, saying: * Come, let us put wood into his bread, and root him out of the land of the living.

Eighth Lesson

Ego enim accepi a Domino, quod et tradidi vobis, quoniam Dominus Jesus, in qua nocte tradebatur, accepit panem, et gratias agens fregit et dixit: Accipite, et manducate: hoc est Corpus meum, quod pro vobis tradetur: hoc facite in meam commemorationem. Similiter et calicem postquam coenavit dicens: Hic calix novum testamentum est in meo Sanguine. Hoc facite quotiescumque bibetis, in meam commemorationem. Quotiescumque enim manducabitis panem hunc, et calicem bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis donec veniat.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye and eat: this is my Body which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my Blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink it, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come.

℟. Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum, qui exhortabamini mori pro me? * Vel Judam non videtis, quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judæis?

℣. Quid dormitis? Surgite, et orate, ne intretis in tentationem. * Vel Judam non videtis, quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judæis?
℟. Could ye not watch one hour with me, ye that exhorted each other to die for me? * Or see ye not how Judas sleepeth not, but maketh speed to deliver me up to the Jews?

℣. Why sleep ye? Arise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. * Or see ye not how Judas sleepeth not, but maketh speed to deliver me up to the Jews?

Ninth Lesson

Itaque quicumque manducaverit panem hunc, vel biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit Corporis et Sanguinis Domini. Probet autem seipsum homo; et sic de pane illo edat, et de calice bibat. Qui enim manducat et bibit indigne, judicium sibi manducat et bibit, non dijudicans Corpus Domini. Ideo inter vos multi infirmi et imbecilles,et dormiunt multi. Quod si nosmetipsos dijudicaremus, non utique judicaremur. Dum judicamur autem, a Domino corripimur, ut non cum hoc mundo damnemur. Itaque fratres mei, cum convenitis ad manducandum, invicem exspectate. Si quis esurit, domi manducet: ut non in judicium conveniatis. Cætera autem, cum venero, disponam.
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep. But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world. Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If any man be hungry let him eat at home; that you come not together unto judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

℟. Seniores populi consilium fecerunt, * Ut Jesum dolo tenerent, et occiderent: cum gladiis et fustibus exierunt tamquam ad latronem.

℣. Colligerunt pontifices et pharisæi concilium. * Ut Jesum dolo tenerent, et occiderent: cum gladiis et fustibus exierunt tamquam ad latronem.

Here is repeated: Seniores populi.
℟. The ancients of the people consulted together, * How they might, by craft, apprehend Jesus, and kill him: they went forth with swords and clubs, as to a thief.

℣. The priests and pharisees held a council. * How they might, by craft, apprehend Jesus, and kill him: they went forth with swords and clubs, as to a thief.

Here is repeated: The ancients.

 

LAUDS

 

The first psalm is the one written by David after his sin, in which he so feelingly and so humbly breathes forth his repentance. The Church invariably makes use of this psalm, when she sues to God for mercy; and of all the canticles of the royal prophet there is not one so familiar to the faithful as this.

Ant. Justificeris, Domine, in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ant. Be thou justified, O Lord, in thy words, and overcome, when thou art judged.

Psalm 50

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum: dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitati bus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepii me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiæ tuæ manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et lætitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne projicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi lætitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus Deus, Deus salutis meæ: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium dedissem utique; holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contri tum et humiliatum, Deus, non despides.
Benigne fac Domine in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut ædificentur muri Jerusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiæ, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Ant. Justificeris, Domine, in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my iniquities.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity: and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my iniquity: and my sin is always before me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: I confess it: do thou pardon me, that thou mayst be justified in thy words, and mayst overcome when thou art judged.
For behold I was conceived in iniquities: and in sins did my mother conceive me.
For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou bast made manifest to me.
Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, as a leper, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.
Turn away thy face from my sins: and blot out all my iniquities.
Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
Cast me not away from thy face: and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
Deliver me from blood, O God, the God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice.
O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.
For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt-offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humble heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good-will with Sion: that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole-burnt offerings: then shall they lay calves upon thine altar.

Ant. Be thou justified, O Lord, in thy words, and overcome when thou art judged.

The second psalm is one of those fixed for the Thursday of each week: it is a prayer suitable for the morning. The psalmist confesses the nothingness of man, and the shortness of his life: he asks God to bless the actions of the day. The faithful must not forget that the Office of Lauds is the morning service, and its being said over night, during these three days, is exceptional.

Ant. Dominus tamquam ovis ad victimam ductus est, et non aperuit os suum.
Ant. The Lord was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth.

Psalm 89

Domine, refugium factus es nobis: a generatione in generationem.
Priusquam montes fierent, aut formaretur terra et orbis: a sæculo et usque in sæcnlum tu es Deus.
Ne avertas hominem in humilitatem: et dixisti: Convertimini filii hominum.
Quoniam mille anni ante oculos tuos: tanquam dies hesterna quæ præteriit.
Et custodia in nocte: quæ pro nihilo habentur, eorum anni erunt.
Mane sicut herba transeat, mane floreat, et transeat: vespere decidat, induret, et arescat.
Quia defecimus in ira tua: et in furore tuo turbati sumus.
Posuisti iniquitates nostras in conspectu tuo: sæculum nostrum in illuminatione vultus tui.
Quoniam omnes dies nostri defecerunt: et in ira tua defecimus.
Anni nostri sicut aranea meditabuntur: dies annorum nostrorum in ipsis Septuaginta anni.
Si autem in potentatibus, octoginta anni: et amplius eorum labor et dolor.
Quoniam supervenit mansuetudo: et corripiemur.
Quis novit potestatem iræ tuæ: et præ timore tuo iram tuam dinumerare?
Dexteram tuam sic notam fac: et eruditos corde in sapientia.
Convertere, Domine, usquequo: et deprecabilis esto super servos tuos.
Repleti sumus mane misericordia tua: et exsultavimus, et delectati sumus omnibus diebus nostris.
Lætati sumus pro diebus quibus nos humiliasti: annis, quibus vidimus mala.
Respice in servos tuos, et in opera tua: et dirige filios eorum.
Et sit splendor Domini Dei nostri super nos, et opera manuum nostrarum dirige super nos: et opus manuum nostrarum dirige.

Ant. Dominus tanquam ovis ad victimam ductus est, et non aperuit os suum.
Lord, thou hast been our refuge: from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were made, or the earth and the world was formed: from eternity, and to eternity thou art God.
Turn not man away to be brought low; and thou hast said: Be converted, O ye sons of men.
For a thousand years, in thy sight, are but as yesterday which is past and gone.
And as a watch in the night: as things that are counted nothing, so shall their years be.
In the morning, man shall grow up like grass, in the morning he shall flourish and pass away: in the evening he shall fall, grow dry, and wither.
For in thy wrath we are quickly consumed: and are troubled in thy indignation.
Thou hast set our iniquities before thy eyes: our life in the light of thy countenance.
For all our days are spent: and in thy wrath we have fainted away.
Our years shall be considered as a spider: the days of our years in them are threescore and ten years.
But if in the strong they be fourscore years: and what is more of them is labour and sorrow.
For mildness is come upon us: and we shall be corrected.
Who knoweth the power of thy anger: and, for thy fear, can number thy wrath?
So make thy right hand known: and make us learned in heart in wisdom.
Return, O Lord, how long? and be entreated in favour of thy servants.
We are filled in the morning with thy mercy: and we are rejoiced and are delighted all our days.
We have rejoiced for the days in which thou hast humbled us: for the years in which we have seen evils.
Look upon thy servants, and upon their works: and direct their children.
And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us, and direct thou the works of our hands over us: yea, the work of our hands do thou direct.

Ant. The Lord was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth.

 


The following psalm, like the former, belongs to the Lauds of Thursdays. It speaks of the wicked man rising in the morning with his mind bent upon the evil deeds he has resolved on during the night; it implores God’s protection against him, and sings of the life, the true light, and the abundance of good things reserved for the just in heaven.

Ant. Contritmn est cor meum in medio mei, contremuerunt omnia ossa mea.
Ant. My heart is broken within me; all my bones have trembled.

Psalm 85

Dixit injustus ut delinquat in semetipso: non est timor Dei ante oculos ejus.
Quoniam dolose egit in conspectu ejus: ut in veniatur iniquitas ejus ad odium.
Verba oris ejus iniquitas, et dolus: noluit intelligere ut bene ageret.
Iniquitatem meditatus est in cubili suo: astitit omni vise non bonæ, malitiam autem non odivit.
Domine, in cœlo misericordia tua: et veritas tua usque ad nubes.
Justitia tua sicut montes Dei: judicia tua abyssus multa.
Homines, et jumenta salvabis, Domine: quemadmodum multiplicasti misericordiam tuam, Deus.
Filii autem hominum in tegmine alarum tuarum sperabunt.
Inebriabunturab ubertate domus tuæ: et torrente voluptatis tuæ potabis eos.
Quoniam apud te est fons vitæ: et in lumine tuo videbimus lumen.
Prætende misericordiam tuam scientibus te, et justitiam tuam his, qui recto Bunt corde.
Non veniat mihi pes superbiæ: et manus peccatoris non moveat me.
Ibi ceciderunt qui operantur iniquitatem: expulsi sunt, nec potuerunt stare.

Ant. Contritum est cor meum in medio mei, contremuerunt omnia ossa mea.
The unjust hath said within himself, that he would sin: there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For in his sight he hath done deceitfully: that his iniquity may be found unto hatred.
The words of his mouth are iniquity and guile: he would not understand that he might do well.
He hath devised iniquity on his bed: he hath set himself on every way that is not good; but evil he hath not hated.
O Lord, thy mercy is in the heavens: and thy truth reacheth even unto the clouds.
Thy justice is as the mountains of God: thy judgments are a great deep.
Men and beasts thou wilt preserve, O Lord: O how hast thou multiplied thy mercy, O God!
But the children of men shall put their trust: under the covert of thy wings.
They shall be inebriated with the plenteousness of thy house: and thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of thy pleasure.
For with thee is the well of life: and in thy light we shall see light.
Stretch forth thy mercy unto them that know thee: and thy justice unto them that are right of heart.
Let not the foot of pride come unto me: and let not the hand of the sinner move me.
There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast out, and they could not stand.

Ant. My heart is broken within me; all my bones have trembled.

The sublime Canticle of Moses, which was sung after the passage through the Red Sea, forms part of Thursday’s Lauds for penitential seasons. It is peculiarly appropriate now, when our catechumens are about to receive holy Baptism. The font will be their Red Sea, wherein all their sins will be drowned, as the Egyptians of old. The Israelites, after having offered the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, passed safely between the waves: our catechumens will come to the laver of regeneration full of hope in the Sacrifice of the true Lamb, for His Blood has imparted to the element of water the power of purifying the soul.

Ant. Exhortatus es in virtute tua, et in refectione sancta tua, Domine.
Ant. Thou hast encouraged us by thy power, and by thy holy refreshment, O Lord!

Canticle of Moses
(Exod. xv.)

Cantemus Domino: gloriose enim magnificatus est: equum et ascensorem dejecit in mare.
Fortitudo mea et laus mea Dominus: et factus est mihi in salutem.
Iste Deus meus, et glorifica bo eum: Deus patris mei, et exaltabo eum.
Dominus quasi vir pugnator, Omnipotens nomen ejus: currus Pharaonis, et exercitum ejus projecit in mare.
Electi principes ejus submersi sunt in Mari Rubro: abyssi operuerunt eos, descenderunt in profundum quasi lapis.
Dextera tua, Domine, magnificata est in fortitudine: dextera tua, Domine, percussit inimicum: et in multitudine gloriæ tuæ deposuisti adversarios tuos.
Misisti iram tuam, quæ deyoravit eos sicut stipulam: et in spiritu furoris tui congregatæ sunt aquæ.
Stetit unda fluens: congregata sunt abyssi in medio mari.
Dixit inimicus: persequar et comprehendam: dividam spolia, implebitur anima mea.
Evaginabo gladium meum: interficiet eos manus mea.
Flavit spiritus tuus, et operuit eos mare: submersi sunt quasi plumbum in aquis vehementibus.
Quis similis tui in fortibus, Domine: quis similis tui, magnificus in sanctitate, terribilis atque laudabilis, faciens mirabilia?
Extendisti manum tuam, et devoravit eos terra: dux fuisti in misericordia tua populo quem redemisti.
Et portasti eum in fortitudine tua: ad habitaculum sanctum tuum.
Ascenderunt populi et irati sunt: dolores obtinuerunt habitatores Philisthiim.
Tunc conturbati sunt principes Edom, robustos Moab obtinuit tremor: obriguerunt omnes habitatores Chanaan.
Irruat super eos formido et pavor: in magnitudine brachii tui.
Fiant immobiles quasi lapis, donec pertranseat populus tuus Domine: donec pertranseat populus tuus iste, quem possedisti.
Introduces eos, et plantabis in monte hæreditatis tuæ: firmissimo habitaculo tuo, quod operatus es, Domine:
Sanctuarium tuum, Domine, quod firmaverunt manus tuæ: Dominus regnabit in æternum, et ultra.
Ingressus est enim eques Pharao cum curribus et equitibus ejus in mare: et reduxit super eos Dominus aquas maris.
Filii autem Israel ambulaverunt per siccum: in medio ejus.

Ant. Exhortatus es in virtute tua, et in refectione sancta tua, Domine.
Let us sing to the Lord: for he is gloriously magnified: the horse and the rider he hath thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my praise: and he is become salvation to me.
He is my God, and I will glorify him: the God of my father, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is as a man of war, Almighty is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he bath cast into the sea.
His chosen captains are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them, they are sunk to the bottom like a stone.
Thy right hand, O Lord, is magnified in strength; thy right hand, O Lord, hath slain the enemy. And in the multitude of thy power thou hast put down thy adversaries.
Thou hast sent thy wrath, which hath devoured them like stubbie. And with the blast of thy anger the waters were gathered together.
The flowing waters stood, the depths were gathered together in the midst of the sea.
The enemy said: I will pursue and overtake, I will divide the spoils, my soul shall have its fill.
I will draw my sword, my hand shall slay them.
Thy wind blew, and the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Who is like to thee among the strong, O Lord? who is like to thee, glorious in holiness, terrible and praiseworthy, doing wonders?
Thou stretchedst forth thy hand, and the earth swallowed them. In thy mercy thou hast been a leader to the people whom thou hast redeemed:
And in thy strength thou hast carried them to thy holy habitation.
Nations rose up and were angry: sorrows took hold of the inhabitants of Philisthiim.
Then were the princes of Edom troubled, trembling seized on the stout men of Moab: all the inhabitants of Canaan became stiff.
Let fear and dread fall upon them in the greatness of thy arm.
Let them become immovable as a stone, until thy people, O Lord, pass by; until this thy people pass by, which thou hast possessed.
Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of thy inheritance, in thy most firm habitation, which thou hast made, O Lord:
Thy sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.
For Pharaoh went in on horseback with his chariots and horsemen into the sea: and the Lord brought back upon them the waters of the sea.
But the children of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst thereof.

Ant. Thou hast encouraged us by thy power, and by thy holy refreshment, O Lord!

Though varying according to the days of the week, the last psalm of the morning Office is always one of praise, which is expressed in its very first word; whence this Hour has received its beautiful name of Lauds.

Ant. Oblatus est quia ipse voluit; et peccata nostra ipse portavit.
Ant. He was offered because it was his own will, and he himself bore our sins.

Psalm 146

Laudate Dominum quoniam bonus est psalmus: Deo nostro sit jucunda, decoraque laudatio.
Ædificans Jerusalem Dominus: dispersiones Israelis congregabit.
Qui sanat contritos coi de: et alligat contritiones corum.
Qui numerat multitudinem stellarum: et omnibus eis nomina vocat.
Magnus Dominus noster, et magna virtus ejus: et sapientiæ ejus non est numerus.
Suscipiens mansuetos Dominus: humilians autem peccatores usque ad terram.
Præcinite Domino in confessione: psallite Deo nostro in cithara.
Qui operit cœlum nubibus: et parat terræ pluviam.
Qui producit in montibus fœnum: et herbam servituti hominum.
Qui dat jumentis escam ipsorum: et pullis corvorum invocantibus eum.
Non in fortitudine equi Voluntatem habebit: nec in tibiis viri beneplacitum erit ei.
Beneplacitum est Domino super timentes eum: et in eis qui sperant super misericordia ejus.

Ant. Oblatus est quia ipse voluit, et peccata nostra ipse portavit.
Praise ye the Lord, for it is good to sing praises: let the praise of our God be joyful and comely.
The Lord buildeth up Jerusalem: he will gather together the dispersed of Israel.
Who healeth the broken of heart: and bindeth up their bruises.
Who telleth the number of the stars: and calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and great is his power: and of his wisdom there is no measure.
The Lord lifteth up the meek: and bringeth the wicked down even to the ground.
Sing ye to the Lord with praise: sing unto our God upon the harp.
Who covereth the heaven with clouds: and prepareth rain for the earth.
Who maketh grass to grow on the mountains: and herbs for the service of men.
Who giveth to beasts their food: and to the young ravens that call upon him.
He shall not delight in the strength of the horse: nor take pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him: and in them that hope in his mercy.

Ant. He was offered because it was his own will, and he himself bore our sins.

℣. Homo pacis meæ, in quo speravi. ℟. Qui edebat panes meos, ampliavit adversum me supplantationem.
℣. The man of my peace, in whom I trusted. ℟. Who ate my bread, hath greatly supplanted me.

The Church now intones the sweet canticle of Zachary, which she repeats every morning. Its joyous accents strangely contrast with the sadness caused in us by the Passion of our Jesus, the Sun of justice. It was during these very days, that the remission of sins was wrought through the bowels of the mercy of our God; but the divine Orient rises not upon us from on high and in His splendour; He is about to set on Calvary by the most cruel of deaths. Let us weep for ourselves, while we weep for Him; but let us look forward to His Resurrection, which is to be ours also.

Ant. Traditor autem dedit eis signum dicens: Quem osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum.
Ant. But the traitor gave them a sign, saying: He whom I shall kiss, that is he; hold him fast.

Canticle of Zachary
(St. Luke, i.)

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel: quia visitavit, et fecit redemptionem plebis suæ:
Et erexit cornu salutis nobis: in domo David pueri sui.
Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum, qui a sæculo sunt prophetarum ejus:
Salutem ex inimicis nostris: et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos.
Ad faciendam misericordiam cum patri bus nostris: et memorari testamenti sui sancti.
Jusjurandum, quod juravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum: daturum se nobis.
Ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati: serviamus illi.
In sanctitate et justitia coram ipso: omnibus diebus nostris.
Et tu puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis: præibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias ejus.
Ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi ejus: in remissionem peccatorum eorum.
Per viscera misericordiæ Dei nostri: in quibus visitavit nos Oriens ex alto.
Illuminare his, qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent: ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.

Ant. Traditor autem dediteis signum, dicens: Quem osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people:
And hath raised up a horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant.
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning:
Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.
To perform mercy to our fathers; and to remember his holy covenant.
The oath which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us.
That being delivered from the hands of our enemies, we may serve him without fear.
In holiness and justice before him, all our days.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shaft go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.
To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins.
Through the bowels of the mercy of our God: in which the Orient from on high hath visited us.
To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet in the way of peace,

Ant. But the traitor gave them a sign, saying: He whom I shall kiss, that is he; hold him fast.

As soon as the antiphon is finished, the choir sings, to a most plaintive chant, the following words, which are continually on the lips of the Church, during these three days:

℣. Christus fact us est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem.
℣. Christ became, for our sake, obedient unto death.

Immediately after this the Pater noster is said in secret, which is followed by the Psalm Miserere (page 336); it is recited with a suppressed voice, by alternate choirs. Finally the first in dignity says the following prayer:

Respice, quæsumus, Domine, super hanc familiam tuam: pro qua Dominus noster Jesus Christus non dubitavit manibus tradi nocentium, et crucis subire tormentum:
Look down, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ hesitated not to be delivered into the hands of wicked men, and to undergo the punishment of the cross:

(then the rest in secret:)

Qui tecum vivit et regnat, in unitate Spiritus sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula Sæculorum. Amen.
Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world with out end. Amen.

The ceremonies of gradually putting out the candles, of taking the one that is left lighted, concealing it and then showing it again, and of making a noise at the end of the Office, have already been explained (see page 301).


[1] Is. liii. 3, 4.
[2] Ps. xxi. 7.
[3] St. Mark xiv. 27.