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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The ceremonies used by the Church for the Office of Tenebræ having been already explained, we deem it unnecessary to repeat our instructions. The reader may refer to them, should he require to refresh his memory. They are given on pages 301—303.

Pater noster, Ave, and Credo, in secret.




The first psalm, after having spoken of the eternal generation of the Son of God, prophesies His kingship over the nations, and the vengeance He will take on His enemies, at the last day. As this magnificent canticle also foretells the revolt of earthly princes against Christ, the Church uses it on this day, when the Synagogue has plotted His death.

Ant. Adstiterunt reges terræ, et principes convenerunt in unum, adversus Dominum, et adversus Christum ejus.
Ant. The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Psalm 2

Quare fremuerunt gentes: et populi meditati sunt inania?
Adstiterunt reges terræ, et principes convenerunt in unum: adversus Dominum et adversus Christum ejus.
Dirumpamus vincula eorum: et projiciamus a nobis jugum ipsorum.
Qui habitat in cœlis irridebit eos: et Dominus subsannabit eos.
Tunc loquetur ad eos in ira sua: et in furore suo conturbabit eos.
Ego autem constitutus sum rex ab eo super Sion montem sanctum ejus: prædicans præceptum ejus.
Dominus dixit ad me: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
Postula a me, et dabo tibi Gentes hæreditatem tuam: et possessionem tuam terminos terræ.
Reges eos in virga ferrea: et tamquam vas figuli confringes eos.
Et nunc reges intelligite: erudimini qui judicatis terrain.
Servite Domino in timore: et exsultate ei cum tremore.
Apprehendite disciplinam: nequando irascatur Dominus: et pereatis de via justa.
Cum exarserit in brevi ira ejus: beati omnes qui confidunt in eo.

Ant. Adstiterunt reges terræ, et principes convenerunt in unum, adversus Dominum, et adversus Christum ejus.
Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ.
They said: Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us.
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them.
Then shall he speak to them in his anger: and trouble them in his rage.
But I am appointed king by him over Sion his holy mountain, preaching his commandment.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance: and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron: and shalt break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.
Serve ye the Lord with fear: and rejoice unto him with trembling.
Embrace discipline, lest at any time the Lord be angry: and you perish from the just way.
When his wrath shall be kindled in a short time, blessed are all they that trust in him.

Ant. The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ.

The second psalm is pre-eminently the psalm of the Passion. The first verse contains one of the seven words spoken by our Saviour on the cross. The rest of the psalm mentions so many circumstances of the Passion, and with such clearness, that we almost seem to be reading the account of an eyewitness. Thus it tells us, among other particulars of our Lord’s sufferings, of His hands and feet being pierced, of His Body being violently stretched upon the cross, of His garments being divided, of lots being cast for His vesture, of His agony, and of His being insulted by them that crucified Him.

Ant. Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.
Ant. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they cast lots.

Psalm 21

Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti: longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum.
Deus meus, clamabo per diem, et non exaudies: et nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi.
Tu autem in sancto habitas: laus Israël.
In te speraverunt patres nostri: speraverunt, et liberasti eos.
Ad te clamaverunt, et salvi facti sunt: in te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi.
Ego autem sum vermis, et non homo: opprobrium hominum, et abjectio plebis.
Omues videntes me deriserunt me: locuti sunt labiis, et moverunt caput.
Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: salvum faciat eum, quoniam vult eum.Quoniam tu es, qui extraxisti me de ventre: spes mea ab uberibus matris meæ.
In te projectus sum ex utero: de ventre matris meæ Deus meus es tu: ne discesseris a me.
Quoniam tribulatio proxima est: quoniam non est qui adjuvet.
Circumdederunt me vituli multi: tauri pingues obsederunt me.
Aperuerunt super me os suum: sicut leo rapiens et rugiens.
Sicut aqua effusus sum: et dispersa sunt omnia ossa mea.
Factum est cor meum tamquam cera liquescens: in medio ventris mei.
Aruit tamquam testa virtus mea, et lingua mea adhæsit faucibus meis: et in pulverem mortis deduxisti me.
Quoniam circumdederunt me canes multi: concilium malignantium obsedit me.
Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea.
Ipsi vero consideraverunt et inspexerunt me: diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.
Tu autem, Domine, ne elongaveris auxilium tuum a me: ad defensionem meam conspice.Erue a framea, Deus, animam meam: et de manu canis unicam meam.
Salva me ex ore leonis: et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam.
Narrabo nomen tuum fratribus meis: in medio ecclesiæ laudabo te.
Qui timetis Dominum, laudate eum: universum semen Jacob, glorificate eum.
Timeat eum omne semen Israel: quoniam non sprevit, neque despexit deprecationem pauperis.
Nec avertit faciem suam a me: et cum clamarem ad eum, exaudivit me.
Apud te laus mea in ecclesia magna: vota mea reddam in conspectu timentium eum.
Edent pauperes, et saturabuntur, et laudabunt Dominum qui requirunt eum: vivent corda eorum in sæculum sæculi.
Reminiscentur et convertentur ad Dominum: universi fines terræ.
Et adorabunt in conspectu ejus: universæ familiæ gentium.
Quoniam Domini est regnum: et ipse dominabitur gentium.
Manducaverunt, et adoraverunt omnes pingues terræ: in conspectu ejus cadent omnes, qui descendunt in terram.Et anima mea illi vivet: et semen meum serviet ipsi.
Annuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura: et annuntiabunt cœli justitiam ejus, populo qui nascetur, quem fecit Dominus.

Ant. Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.
O God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me: Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
O my God. I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped and thou hast delivered them.
They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighted in him.For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.
I was cast upon thee from the womb: from my mother’s womb thou art my God, depart not from me.
For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.
They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.
I am poured out like water: and all my bones are scattered.
My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaven to my jaws: and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.
For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me.
They have dug my hands and feet: they have numbered all my bones.
And they have looked and stared upon me: they parted my garments amongst them, and upon my vesture they cast lots.
But thou, O Lord, remove not thy help to a distance from me: look towards my defence.Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth: and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him.
Let all the seed of Israel fear him: because he hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man.
Neither hath he turned away his face from me: and when I cried to him he heard me.
With thee is my praise in the great church: I will pay vows in the sight of them that fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall be filled, and they shall praise the Lord that seek him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord.
And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight.
For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he shall have dominion over the nations.
All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored: all they that go down to the earth shall fall before him.And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him.
There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall show forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

Ant. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they cast lots.

The third psalm was composed by David, when fleeing from Saul’s persecution. It shows us how this holy prophet kept up his confidence in the Lord, in spite of all the dangers that threatened him. David is here a figure of Christ in His Passion.

Ant. Insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui, et mentita est iniquitas sibi.
Ant. Unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity hath belied itself.

Psalm 26

Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea: quem timebo?
Dominus protector vitæ meæ: a quo trepidabo?
Dum appropiant super me nocentes: ut edant carnes meas.
Qui tribulant me inimici mei: ipsi infirmati sunt et ceciderunt.
Si consistant adversum me castra: non timebit cor meum.
Si exsurgat adversum me prœlium: in hoc ego sperabo.
Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram: ut inhabitem in domo Domini omnibus diebus vitæ meæ.
Ut videam voluptatem Domini: et visitem templum ejus.
Quoniam abscondit me in tabernaculo suo: in die malorum protexit me in abscondito tabernaculi sui.
In petra exaltavit me: et nunc exaltavit caput meum super inimicos meos.
Circuivi, et immolavi in tabernaculo ejus hostiam vociferationis: cantabo, et psalmum dicam Domino.
Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te: miserere mei, et exaudi me.
Tibi dixit cor meum, exquisivit te facies mea: faciem tuam, Domine, requiram.
Ne avertas faciem tuam a me: ne declines in ira a servo tuo.
Adjutor meus esto: ne derelinquas me, neque despicias me, Deus salutaris meus.
Quoniam pater meus et mater mea dereliquerunt me: Dominus autem assumpsit me.
Legem pone mihi, Domine, in via tua: et dirige me in semitam rectam propter inimicos meos.
Ne tradideris me in animas tribulantium me: quoniam insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui, et mentita est iniquitas sibi.
Credo videre bona Domini: in terra viventium.
Exspecta Dominum, viriliter age: et confortetur cor tuum, et sustine Dominum.

Ant. Insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui, et mentita est iniquitas sibi.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
Whilst the wicked draw near against me, to eat my flesh.
My enemies that troubled me have been weakened, and have fallen.
If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear.
If a battle should rise up against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, this will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple.For he hath hid me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils he hath protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle.
He hath exalted me upon a rock: and now he hath lifted up my head above my enemies.
I have gone round, and have offered up in his tabernacle a sacrifice of jubilation: I will sing, and recite a psalm to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to thee: have mercy on me, and hear me.
My heart hath said to thee, my face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek.
Turn not away thy face from me: decline not in thy wrath from thy servant.
Be thou my helper: forsake me not, do not thou despise
me, O God my Saviour.
For my father and my mother have left me: but the Lord hath taken me up.
Set me, O Lord, a law in thy way: and guide me in the right path, because of my enemies.
Deliver me not over to the will of them that trouble me: for unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity hath belied itself.
I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Expect the Lord, do manfully: and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.

Ant. Unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity hath belied itself.


℣. Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea.
℟. Et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.
℣. They parted my garments among them.
℟.. And upon my vesture they cast lots.

Here is said, in secret, the Pater noster.

The lessons of the first nocturn are to-day, also, taken from the Lamentations of Jeremias. We have already (page 311) explained why the Church reads them on these three days. The first two of the following lessons refer to the destruction of Jerusalem; the third we will explain in its proper place.

First Lesson

De Lamentatione Jeremiæ Prophetæ.

Cap. ii.

Heth. Cogitavit Dominus dissipare murum filiæ Sion: tetendit funiculum suum, et non avertit manum suam a perditione: luxitque antemurale, et murus pariterdissipatus est.

Teth. Defixæ sunt in terra portæ ejus, perdidit et contrivit vectes ejus, regem ejus, et principes ejus, in gentibus. Non est lex: et prophetæ ejus non invenerunt visionem a Domino.

Jod. Sederunt in terra, conticuerunt senes filiæ Sion; consperserunt cinere capita sua, accincti sunt ciliciis; abjecerunt in terram capita sua virgines Jerusalem.

Caph. Defecerunt præ lacrymis oculi mei, conturbata sunt viscera mea. Effusum est in terra jecur meum super contritione filiæ populi mei, cum deficeret parvulus et lactens in plateis oppidi.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
From the Lamentation of Jeremias the Prophet.

Ch. ii.

Heth. The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Sion: he hath stretched out his line, and hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: and he bulwark hath mourned, and the wall hath been destroyed together.

Teth. Her gates are sunk into the ground: he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles. The law is no more, and her prophets have found no vision from the Lord.

Jod. The ancients of the daughter of Sion sit upon the ground, they have held their peace; they have sprinkled their heads with dust, they are girded with hair-cloth, the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

Caph. My eyes have failed with weeping, my bowels are troubled. My liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the children and the sucklings fainted away in the streets of the city.

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

Recording of the Lamentation (Palestrina) Heth-Teth:



℟. Omnes amici mei dereliquerunt me, et prævaluerunt insidiantes mihi: tradidit me quem diligebam. * Et terribilibus oculis plaga crudelipercutientes, aceto potabant me.
℣. Inter iniquos projecerunt me: et non pepercerunt animæ meæ.
* Et terribilibus oculis plaga crudeli percutientes, aceto potabant me.
℟. All my friends have forsaken me, and they that lay in ambush for me prevailed: he whom I loved has betrayed me. ° And they, with terrible looks, striking me with a cruel wound, gave me vinegar to drink.
℣. They cast me out among the wicked, and spared not my life.
* And they, with terrible looks striking me with a cruel wound, gave me vinegar to drink.

Second Lesson

Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt: Ubi est triticum et vinum? cum deficerent quasi vulnerati in plateis civitatis, cum exhalarent animas suas in sinu matrum suarum.

Mem. Cui comparabo te, vel cui assimilabo te filia Jerusalem? cui exæquabo te, et consolabor te, virgo filia Sion? Magna est enim velut mare contritio tua: quis medebitur tui?

Nun. Prophetæ tui viderunt tibi falsa et stulta: nec aperiebant iniquitatem tuam, ut te ad pænitentiam provocarent. Viderunt autem tibi assumptiones falsas, et ejectiones.

Samech. Plauserunt super te manibus omnes transeuntes per viam: sibilaverunt, et moverunt caput suum super filiam Jerusalem: Hæccine est urbs, dicentes, perfecti decoris, gaudium universæ terræ?

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Lamed. They said to their mothers: Where is corn and wine? when they fainted away as the wounded in the streets of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the bosoms of their mothers.

Mem. To what shall I compare thee, or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? For great as the sea is thy destruction: who shall heal thee?

Nun. Thy prophets have seen false and foolish things for thee; and they have not laid open thy iniquity, to excite thee to penance, but they have seen for thee false revelations and banishments.

Samech. All they that passed by the way have clapped their hands at thee: they have hissed and wagged their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: Is this the city of perfect beauty, the joy of all the earth?

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

Recording of the Lamentation (Palestrina) Lamed-Nun:


℟. Velum templi scissum est, * Et omnis terra tremuit: latro de cruce clamabat, dicens: Memento mei, Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
℣. Petræ scissæ sunt, et monumenta aperta sunt, et multa corpora sanctorum, qui dormierant, surrexerunt.
* Et omnis terra tremuit: latro de cruce clamabat, dicene: Memento mei, Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
℟. The veil of the temple was rent, * And all the earth shook: the thief cried out from the cross, saying: Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.
℣. The rocks were split, and the monuments opened, and many bodies of the saints that were dead rose out of them.
* And all the earth shook: the thief cried out from the cross, saying: Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.

In the third lesson, which now follows, Jeremias passes to another subject. According to the usage of the prophets, he leaves Jerusalem, to speak of Him who is the expectation of Israel—the Messias. But it is not of the glory of the Messias that he now speaks: it is of the sufferings He endures: He has made Himself the object of God’s severest justice, by taking upon Himself the sins of the whole world.

Third Lesson

Aleph. Ego vir videns paupertatem meam, in virga indignationis ejus.

Aleph. Me minavit et adduxit in tenebras, et non in lucem.

Aleph. Tantum in me vertit, et convertit manum suam tota die.

Beth. Vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam: contrivit ossa mea.

Beth. Ædificavit in gyro meo, et circumdedit me felle et labore.

Beth. In tenebrosis collocavit me, quasi mortuos sempiternos.

Ghimel. Circumædificavit adversum me, ut non egrediar: aggravavit compedem meum.

Ghimel. Sed et cum cla mavero et rogavero, exclusit orationem meam.

Ghimel. Conclusit vias meas lapidibus quadris, semitas meas subvertit.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum.
Aleph. I am the man that see my poverty by the rod of his indignation.

Aleph. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, and not into light.

Aleph. Only against me he hath turned, and turned again his hand all the day.

Beth. My skin and my flesh he hath made old, he hath broken my bones.

Beth. He hath built round about me, and he hath compassed me with gall and labour.

Beth. He hath set me in dark places as those that are dead for ever.

Ghimel. He hath built against me round about, that I may not get out: he hath made my fetters heavy.

Ghimel. Yea, and when I cry and entreat, he hath shut out my prayer.

Ghimel. He hath shut up my ways with square stones, he hath turned my paths upside down.

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

Recording of the Lamentation (Palestrina) Aleph-Beth (1):


℟. Vinea mea electa, ego te plantavi: * Quomodo conversa es in amaritudinem ut me crucifigeres, et Barabbam dimitteres?
℣. Sepivi te, et lapides elegi ex te, et ædificavi turrim.
* Quomodo conversa es in amaritudinem, ut me crucifigeres, et Barabbam dimitteres?
Here is repeated: Vinea mea.
℟. O my chosen vineyard, it is I that have planted thee: * How art thou become so bitter, that thou shouldst crucify me, and release Barabbas?
℣. I have hedged thee in, and picked the stones out of thee, and have built a tower.
* How art thou become so bitter, that thou shouldst crucify me, and release Barabbas?
Here is repeated: O my chosen.




In the fourth psalm, David humbly acknowledges that the rebellion of his son Absolom was a just punishment of the sins he himself had committed. He is a figure of the Messias, who, in His agony, confesses that the iniquities, which He has taken upon Himself, are a heavy burthen upon Him, that His heart is troubled, and that His strength hath left Him.

Ant. Vim faciebant, qui quærebant animam meam.
Ant. They used violence that sought my soul.

Psalm 37

Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me: neque in ira tua corripias me.
Quoniam sagittæ tuæ infixæ sunt mihi: et confirmasti super me manum tuam.Non est sanitas in carne mea a facie iræ tuæ: non est pax ossibus meis a facie peccatorum meorum.
Quoniam iniquitates meæ supergressæ sunt caput meum: et sicut onus grave gravatæ sunt super me.
Putruerunt, et corruptæ sunt cicatrices meæ: a facie insipientiæ meæ.
Miser factus sum, et curvatus sum usque in finem: tota die contristatus ingrediebar.
Quoniam lumbi mei impleti sunt illusionibus: et non est sanitas in carne mea.
Afflictus sum et humiliatus sum nimis: rugiebam a gemitu cordis mei.
Domine, ante te omne degiderium meum: et gemitus meus a te non est absconditus.
Cor meum conturbatum est, dereliquit me virtus mea: et lumen oculorum meorum, et ipsum non est mecum.
Amici mei et proximi mei: adversum me appropinquaverunt et steterunt.
Et qui juxta me erant, de longe steterunt: et vim faciebant qui quærebant animam meam.
Et qui inquirebant mala mihi, locuti sunt vanitates: et dolos tota die meditabantur.
Ego autem tamquam surdus non audiebam: et sicut mutus non aperiens os suum.Et factus sum sicut homo non audiens: et non habens in ore suo redargutiones.
Quoniam in te Domine, speravi: tu exaudies me, Domine Deus meus.
Quia dixi: Nequando supergaudeant mihi inimici mei: et dum commoventur pedes mei super me magna locuti sunt.
Quoniam ego in flagella paratus sum: et dolor meus in conspectu meo semper.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam annuntiabo: et cogitabo pro peccato meo.
Inimici autem mei vivunt, et confirmati sunt super me: et multiplicati sunt qui oderunt me inique.
Qui retribuunt mala pro bonis detrabebant mihi: quoniam sequebar bonitatem.
Ne derelinquas me, Domine Deus meus: ne discesseris a me.
Intende in adjutorium meum: Domine, Deus salutis meæ.

Ant. Vim faciebant qui quærebant animam meam.
Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation: nor chastise me in thy wrath.
For thy arrows are fastened in me: and thy hand hath been strong upon me.There is no health in my flesh, because of thy wrath: there is no peace for my bones, because of my sins.
For my iniquities are gone over my head: and as a heavy burthen are become heavy upon me.
My sores are putrefied and corrupted, because of my foolishness.
I am become miserable, and am bowed down even to the end: I walked sorrowful all the day long.
For my loins are filled with illusions: and there is no health in my flesh.
I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly: I roared with the groaning of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before thee: and my groaning is not hid from thee.
My heart is troubled, my strength hath left me: and the light of my eyes itself is not with me.
My friends and my neighbours have drawn near, and stood against me.
And they that were near me stood afar off: and they that sought my soul used violence.
And they that sought evils to me spoke vain things: and studied deceits all the day long.
But I, as a deaf man, heard not: and was as a dumb man not opening his mouth.And I became as a man that heareth not: and that; hath no reproofs in his mouth.
For in thee, O Lord, have I hoped: thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God.
For I said: Lest at any time my enemies rejoice over me: and whilst my feet are moved, they speak great things against me.
For I am ready for scourges: and my sorrow is continually before me.
For I will declare my iniquity: and I will think for my sin.
But my enemies live, and are stronger than I: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
They that render evil for good have detracted me, because I followed goodness.
Forsake me not, O Lord my God: do not thou depart from me.
Attend unto my help, O Lord, the God of my salvation.

Ant. They used violence that sought my soul.

The fifth psalm also represents David, under persecution, as the figure of the Messias. But there is one verse in it, which refers to Christ only, and not to David: it is the tenth, wherein it is said: burnt-offerings and sin-offerings thou didst not require; then said I;Behold I come!

Ant. Confundantur et revereantur, qui quærunt animam meam, ut auferant eam.
Ant. Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek after my soul, to take it away.

Psalm 39

Exspectans exspectavi Dominum: et intendit mihi.
Et exaudivit preces meas: et eduxit me de lacu miseriæ et de luto fæcis.
Et statuit super petram pedes meos: et direxit gressus meos.
Et immisit in os meum canticum novum: carmen Deo nostro.
Videbunt multi, et timebunt: et sperabunt in Domino.
Beatus vir, cujus est nomen Domini spes ejus: et non respexit in vanitates et insanias falsas.
Multa fecisti tu Domine Deus meus, mirabilia tua: et cogitationibus tuis non est qui similis sit tibi.
Annuntiavi et locutus sum: multiplicati sunt super numerum.
Sacrificium et oblationem noluisti: aures autem perfecisti mihi.
Holocaustum et pro peccato non postulasti: tunc dixi: Ecce venio.
In capite libri scriptum est de me, ut facerem voluntatem tuam: Deus meus, volui, et legem tuam in medio cordis mei.Annuntiavi justitiam tuam in ecclesia magna: ecce labia mea non prohibebo: Domine, tu scisti.
Justitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo: veritatem tuam et salutare tuum dixi.
Non abscondi misericordiam tuam, et veritatem tuam: a concilio multo.
Tu autem, Domine, ne longe facias miserationes tuas a me: misericordia tua et veritas tua semper susceperunt me.
Quoniam circumdederunt me mala, quorum non est numerus: comprehenderunt me iniquitates meæ, et non potui ut viderem.
Multiplicati sunt super capillos capitis mei: et cor meum dereliquit me.
Complaceat tibi Domine, et eruas me: Domine, ad adjuvandum me respice.
Confundantur et revereantur simul, qui quærunt animam meam: ut auferant eam.
Convertantur retrorsum et revereantur: qui volunt mihi mala.
Ferant confestim confusionem suam: qui dicunt mihi: Euge, euge.
Exsultent et lætentur super te omnes quærentes te: et dicant semper:
Magnificetur Dominus, qui diligunt salutare tuum.Ego autem mendicus sum, et pauper: Dominus sollicitus est mei.
Adjutor meus et protector meus tu es: Deus meus, ne tardaveris.

Ant. Confundanturet revereantur, qui quærunt animam, ut auferant eam.
With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me.
And he heard my prayers and he brought me out of the pit of misery, and the mire of dregs.
And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps.
And he put a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God.
Many shall see this, and shall fear: and they shall hope in the Lord.
Blessed is the man whose trust is in the name of the Lord: and who hath not had regard to vanities and lying follies.
Thou hast multiplied thy wonderful works, O Lord my God: and in thy thoughts there is no one like to thee.
I have declared, and I have spoken: they are multiplied above number.
Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire: but thou hast pierced ears for me.
Burnt-offerings and sinofferings thou didst not require: then said I: Behold I come.
In the head of the book it was written of me, that I should do thy will: O my God, I have desired it, and thy law in the midst of my heart.I have declared thy justice in the great Church: lo! I will not restrain my lips: O Lord, thou knowest it.
I have not hid thy justice within my heart. I have declared thy truth and thy salvation.
I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from the great council.
Withhold not thou, O Lord, thy tender mercies from me: thy mercy and thy truth have always upheld me.
For evils without number have surrounded me: my iniquities have overtaken me, and I was not able to see.
They are multiplied above the hairs of my head: and my heart hath forsaken me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: look down, O Lord, to help me.
Let them be confounded and ashamed together, that seek after my soul, to take it away.
Let them be turned backward, and be ashamed, that desire evils to me.
Let them immediately bear their confusion 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 a beggar and poor: the Lord is careful for me.
Thou art my helper and my protector: O my God, be not slack.

Ant. Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek after my soul, to take it away.

In the sixth psalm, David, persecuted by Saul, is a figure of our Saviour, against whom the Synagogue prepares its wicked plots.

Ant. Alieni insurrexerunt in me, et fortes quæsierunt animam meam.
Ant. Strangers have risen up against me, and the mighty have sought after my soul.

Psalm 53

Deus, in nomine tuo salvum me fac: et in virtute tua judica me.
Deus, exaudi orationem meam: auribus percipe verba oris mei.
Quoniam alieni insurrexerunt adversum me, et fortes quæsierunt animam meam: et non proposuerunt Deum ante conspectum suum.
Ecce enim Deus adjuvat me: et Dominus susceptor est animæ meæ.
Averte mala inimicis meis: et in veritate tua disperde illos.
Voluntarie sacrificabo tibi: et confitebor nomini tuo, Domine, quoniam bonum est.
Quoniam ex omni tribulatione eripuisti me: et super inimicos meos despexit oculus meus.

Ant. Alieni insurrexerunt in me, et fortes quæsierunt animam meam.
Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me in thy strength.
O God, hear my prayer: give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me: and the mighty have sought after my soul: and they have not set God before their eyes.
For behold God is my helper: and the Lord is the protector of my soul.
Turn back the evils upon my enemies: and cut them off in thy truth.
I will freely sacrifice to thee, and will give praise, O God, to thy name: because it is good.
For thou hast delivered me out of all trouble: and my eye hath looked down upon my enemies.

Ant. Strangers have risen up against me, and the mighty have sought after my soul.

℣. Insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui.
℟. Et mentita est iniquitas sibi.
℣. Unjust witnesses have risen up against me.
℟. And iniquity hath belied itself.

Here is said, in secret, the Pater noster.

For the second nocturn lessons the Church continues the Enarrations of St. Augustine on the psalms prophetic of our Lord’s Passion.

Fourth Lesson

Ex tractatu Sancti Augustini Episeopi, super Psalmos.

Ps. lxiii.

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, a multitudine operantium iniquitatem. Jam ipsum caput nostrum intueamur. Multi martyres talia passi sunt, sed nihil sic elucet, quomodo caput martyrum: ibi melius intuemur, quod illi experti sunt. Protectus est a multitudine malignantium: protegente se Deo, protegente carnem suam ipso Filio, et homine quem gerebat, quia Filius hominis est, et Filius Dei est: Filius Dei, propter formam Dei: Filius hominis, propter formam servi, habens in potestate ponere animam suam, et recipere earn. Quid ei potuerunt facere inimici? Occiderunt corpus, animam non occiderunt. Intendite. Parum ergo erat Dominum hortari martyres verbo nisi firmaret exemplo.
From the treatise of Saint Augustine, Bishop, upon the Psalms.

Ps. lxiii.

Thou hast protected me, 0 God, from, the assembly of the malignant,from the multitude of the workers of iniquity. Now let us behold our head himself. Many martyrs have suffered such torments, but nothing is so conspicuous as the head of the martyrs; there we see better what they endured. He was protected from the multitude of the malignant: that is, God protected himself; the Son, and the Man assumed by the Son, protected his own flesh. For he is the Son of Man, and the Son of God: the Son of God because of the form of God: the Son of Man because of the form of a servant, having it in his power to lay down his life, and take it up again. What could his enemies do against him? They killed his body, but they did not kill his soul. Take notice, then. It signified little for our Lord to exhort the martyrs by word, if he had not fortified them by his example.

℟. Tanquam ad latronem existis cum gladiis et fustibus comprehendere me. * Quotidie apud vos eram in templo docens, et non me tenuistis: et ecce flagellatum ducitis ad crucifigendum.
℣. Cumque injecissent manus in Jesum, et tenuissent cum, dixit ad eos:
* Quotidie apud vos eram in templo docens et non me tenuistis: et ecce flagellatum ducitis ad crucifigendum.
℟. Ye are come out to take me, as a thief, with swords and clubs. * I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye did not apprehend me: and lo! ye scourge me, and lead me to be crucified.
℣. And when they had laid hands on Jesus, and taken him, he said to them:
* I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye did not apprehend me: and lo! ye scourge me, and lead me to be crucified.

Fifth Lesson

Nostis qui conventus erat malignantium Judæorum, et quæ multitudo erat operantium iniquitatem. Quam iniquitatem? Quia voluerunt occidere Dominum desuni Christum. Tanta opera bona, inquit, ostendi vobis; propter quod horum me vultis occidere? Pertulit omnes infirmos eorum. curavit omnes languidos eorum, prædicavitregnum cœlorum, non tacuit vitia eorum, ut ipsa potius eis displicerent, non medicus a quo sanabantur. His omnibus curationibus ejus ingrati, tamquam multa febre phrenetici, insanientes in medicum qui venerat curare eos, excogitaverunt consilium perdendi eum; tanquam ibi volentes probare, utrum vere homo sit qui mori possit, an aliquid super homines sit, et mori se non permittat. Verbum ipsorum agnoscimus in Sapientia Salomonis. Morte turpissima, inquiunt, condemnemus eum: interrogemus eum: erit enim respectus in sermonibus illius. Si enim vere Filius Dei est, liberet eum.
You know what was the assembly of the wicked Jews, and what the multitude of those that work iniquity. But what was that iniquity? It was that they intended to kill our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘I have done.’ saith he, ‘so many good works among you: for which of them will you kill me?’ He bore with ail their weaknesses, he cured all their sick, he preached the kingdom of heaven, he concealed not their crimes, that they might rather hate them, than the physician that healed them. Yet such was their ingratitude for all these cures, that like men raving in a high fever, they raged against the physician that came to cure them, and formed a design of destroying him: as if they had a mind to try whether he was a real man that could die, or something above men, and would not die. We find their words in the Wisdom of Solomon: ‘Let us condemn him,’ say they, ‘to a most shameful death. Let us examine him: for regard will be had to his words. If he is truly the Son of God, let him deliver him.’

℟. Tenebræ factæ sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judæi: et circa horam nonam exclamavit Jesus voce magna: Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti? * Et inclinato capite, emisit spiritum.
℣. Exclamans Jesus voce magna ait: Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.
* Et inclinato capite, emisit spiritum.
℟. Darkness covered the earth, whilst the Jews crucified Jesus: and about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice: My God! why hast thou forsaken me? * And bowing down his head, he gave up the ghost.
℣. Jesus crying out with a loud voice said: Father! into thy hands I commend my spirit!
* And bowing down his head, he gave up the ghost.

Sixth Lesson

Exacuerunt tamquam gladium linguas suas. Non dicant Judæi: Non occidimus Christum. Etenim propterea eum dederunt judici Pilato, ut quasi ipsi a morte ejus viderentur immunes. Nam cum dixisset eis Pilatus: Vos eum occidite; responderunt: Nobis non licet occidere quemquam. Iniquitatem facinoris sui in judicem hominem refundere volebant: sed numquid Deum judicem fallebant? Quod fecit Pilatus, in eo ipso quod fecit, aliquantum particeps fuit: sed in comparatione illorum, multo ipse innocentior. Institit enim quantum potuit, ut illum ex eorum manibus liberaret: nam propterea flagellatum produxit ad eos. Non persequendo Dominum flagellavit, sed eorum furori satisfacere volens: ut vel sic jam mitescerent, et desinerent velle occidere, cum flagellatum viderent. Fecit et hoc. At ubi perseveraverunt, nostis illum lavisse manus, et dixisse quod ipse non fecisset, mundum se esse a morte illius. Fecit tamen. Sed si reus, quia fecit vel invitus: illi innocentes, qui coegerunt ut faceret? Nullo modo. Sed ille dixit in eum sententiam, et jussit eum crucifigi, et quasi ipse occidit: et vos, O Judæi, occidistis. Unde occidistis? Gladio linguæ; acuistis enim linguas vestras. Et quando percussistis, nisi quando clamastis: Crucifige, crucifige?
They sharpened their tongues like a sword. Let not the Jews say: ‘We did not kill Christ:’ for they delivered him up to Pilate, the judge, that they might seem innocent of his death. Thus when Pilate had said to them: ‘Put him to death yourselves:’ they answered: 'It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.’ Hereby, they pretended to throw the injustice of their crime upon a judge that was a man: but could they deceive a judge that is God? What Pilate did, made him partaker of their crime: but in comparison with them, he was much more innocent. For he laboured what he could to get him out of their hands; and for that reason ordered him to be scourged and shown to them. This he did to our Lord, not by way of persecution, but to satisfy their rage; that the sight of him in that condition might move them to pity, and make them desist from desiring his death. All this he did. But when they still persisted, you know that he washed his hands, and said that he had no hand in it, that he was innocent of his death. And yet he really put him to death. But if he was guilty for doing so against his will: are they innocent that forced him to do it? By no means. He pronounced sentence upon him, and commanded him to be crucified, and so might be said to kill him: but you, O Jews, you also killed him. How? With the sword of your tongues: for ye sharpened your tongues. And when gave you the stroke, but when you cried out: 'Crucify him, crucify him’?

℟. Animam meam dilectain tradidi in manus iniquorum, et facta est mihi hæreditas mea sicut leo in silva: dedit contra me voces adversarius, dicens: Congregamini, et properate ad devorandum illum. Posuerunt me in deserto solitudinis, et luxit super me omnis terra:
* Quia non est inventus qui me agnosceret, et faceret bene.
℣. Insurrexerunt in me viri absque misericordia, et non peperceruntanimæ meæ.
* Quia non est inventus qui me agnosceret, et faceret bene.
Here is repeated: Animara meam dilectam.
℟. I have delivered my beloved soul into the hands of the wicked, and my inheritance is become to me like a lion in the forest: my adversary gave out his words against me, saying: Come together, and make haste to devour him. They placed me in a solitary desert, and all the earth mourned for me:
* Because there was none found that would know me, and do good unto me.
℣. Men without mercy rose up against me, and they spared not my life.
* Because there was none found that would know me, and do good unto me.
Here is repeated: I have delivered.

The Third Nocturn

The seventh psalm was composed by David at the time when he was being persecuted by Saul. The prophet, by describing the fury of his own persecutor, shows us what kind of men were the enemies of the Messias.

Ant. Ab insurgentibus in me, libera me, Domine, quia occupaverunt animam meam.
Ant. From them that rise up against me, deliver me, O Lord: for they are in possession of my soul.

Psalm 58

Eripe me de inimicis meis, Deus meus: et ab insurgentibus in me, libera me.Eripe me de operantibus iniquitatem: et de viris sanguinum salva me.
Quia ecce ceperunt animam meam: irruerunt in me fortes.
Neque iniquitas mea, neque peecatum meum, Domine: sine iniquitate cucurri, et direxi.
Exsurge in occursum meum, et vide: et tu, Domine, Deus virtutum, Deus Israel.
Intende ad visitandas omnes Gentes: non miserearis omnibus qui operantur iniquitatem.
Convertentur ad vesperam, et famem patientur ut canes: et circuibunt civitatem.
Ecce loquentur in ore suo, et gladius in labiis eorum: quoniam quis audivit?
Et tu, Domine, deridebis eos: ad nihilum deduces omnes Gentes.
Fortitudinem meam ad te custodiam, quia Deus susceptor meus es: Deus meus, misericordia ejus præveniet me.
Deus ostendit mihi super inimicos meos, ne occidas eos: nequando obliviscantur populi mei.
Disperge illos in virtute tua: et depone eos, protector meus, Domine.Delictum oris eorum, sermonem labiorum ipsorum: et comprehendantur in superbia sua.
Et de execratione et mendacio annuntiabuntur in consummatione: in ira consummationis, et non erunt.
Et scient quia Deus dominabitur Jacob: et finium terræ.
Convertentur ad vesperam, et famem patientur ut canes: et circuibunt civitatem.
Ipsi dispergentur ad manducandum: si vero non fuerint saturati, et murmurabunt.
Ego autem cantabo fortitudinem tuam: et exaltabo mane misericordiam tuam.
Quia factus es susceptor meus: et refugium meum, in die tribulationis meæ.
Adjutor meus tibi psallam, quia Deus susceptor meus es: Deus meus, misericordia mea.

Ant. Ab insurgentibus in me, libera me, Domine, quia occupaverunt animam meam.
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God: and defend me from them that rise up against me.
Deliver me from them that work iniquity: and save me from bloody men.
For behold they have caught my soul: the mighty have rushed in upon me.
Neither is it for my iniquity, nor for my sin, O Lord: without iniquity have I run and directed my steps.
Rise up thou to meet me, and behold: even thou, O Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel.
Attend to visit all the nations: have no mercy on all them that work iniquity.
They shall return at evening, and shall suffer hunger like dogs: and shall go round about the city.
Behold they shall speak with their mouth, and a sword is in their lips: for who, say they, hath heard us?
But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them: thou shalt bring all the nations to nothing.
I will keep my strength to thee, for thou art my protector: my God, his mercy shall prevent me.
God shall let me see over my enemies: slay them not, lest at any time my people forget.
Scatter them by thy power: and bring them down, O Lord, my protector.For the sin of their mouth, and the word of their lips: and let them be taken in their pride.
And for their cursing and lying they shall be talked of, when they are consumed: when they are consumed by thy wrath, and they shall be no more.
And they shall know that God will rule Jacob: and all the ends of the earth.
They shall return at evening, and shall suffer hunger like dogs: and shall go round about the city.
They shall be scattered abroad to eat: and shall murmur if they be not filled.
But I will sing thy strength: and will extol thy mercy in the morning.
For thou art become my support and my refuge, in the day of my trouble.
Unto thee, O my helper, will I sing, for thou art God, my defence: my God, my mercy.

Ant. From them that rise up against me, deliver me, O Lord, for they are in possession of my soul.

In the eighth psalm, the royal prophet shows us the Messias threatened with death, and complaining of His disciples having abandoned Him.

Ant. Longe fecisti notos meos a me: traditus sum, et non egrediebar.
Ant. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me: I was delivered up, and I escaped not.

Psalm 87

Domine, Deus salutis meæ: in die clamavi, et nocte coram te.
Intret in conspectu tuo oratio mea: inclina aurem tuam ad precem meam.
Quia repleta est malis anima mea: et vita mea inferno appropinquavit.
Æstimatus sum cum descendentibus in lacum: factus sum sicut homo sine adjutorio, inter mortuos liber.
Sicut vulnerati dormientes in sepulchris, quorum non es memor amplius: et ipsi de manu tua repulsi sunt.
Posuerunt me in lacu inferiori: in tenebrosis, et in umbra mortis.
Super me confirmatus est furor tuus: et omnes fluctus tuos induxisti super me.
Longe fecisti notos meos a me: posuerunt me abominationem sibi.
Traditus sum, et non egrediebar: oculi mei languerunt præ inopia.
Clamavi ad te, Domine, tota die: expandi ad te manus meas.
Numquid mortuis facies mirabilia: aut medici suscitabunt, et confitebuntur tibi?
Numquid narrabit aliquis in sepulchro misericordiam tuam: et veritatem tuam in perditione?Numquid cognoscentur in tenebris mirabilia tua: et justitia tua in terra oblivionis?
Et ego ad te, Domine, clamavi: et mane oratio mea præveniet te.
Ut quid, Domine, repellis orationem meam: avertis faciem tuam a me?
Pauper sum ego, et in laboribus a juventute mea: exaltatus autem, humiliatus sum et conturbatus.
In me transierunt iræ tuæ: et terrores tui conturbaverunt me.
Circumdederunt me sicut aqua tota die: circumdederunt me simul.
Elongasti a me amicum et proximum: et notos meos a miseria.

Ant. Longe fecisti notos meos a me: traditus sum, et non egrediebar.
O God, the God of my salvation, I have cried in the day, and in the night before thee.
Let my prayer come in before thee: incline thy ear to my petition.
For my soul is filled with evils: and my life hath drawn nigh to hell.
I am counted among them that go down to the pit: I am become as a man without help, free among the dead.
Like the slain sleeping in the sepulchres, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cast off from thy hand.
They have laid me in the lower pit: in the dark places and in the shadow of death.
Thy wrath is strong over me: and all thy waves thou hast brought in upon me.
Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me: they have set me an abomination to themselves.
I was delivered up, and came not forth: my eyes languished through poverty.
All the day I cried to thee, O Lord: I stretched out my hands to thee.
Wilt thou show wonders to the dead: or shall physicians raise to life, and give praise to thee?
Shall any one in the sepulchre declare thy mercy, and thy truth in destruction?Shall thy wonders be known in the dark: and thy justice in the land of forgetfulness?
But I, O Lord, have cried to thee, and in the morning my prayer shall prevent thee.
Lord, why castest thou off my prayer: why turnest thou away thy face from me?
I am poor and in labours from my youth: and being exalted, have been humbled and troubled.
Thy wrath hath come upon me: and thy terrors have troubled me.
They have come round about me like water all the day: they have compassed me about together.
Friend and neighbour thou hast put far from me: and my acquaintance because of misery.

Ant. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me: I was delivered up, and I escaped not.

The ninth psalm invokes the vengeance of God upon the unjust judges, who shed the Blood of the innocent Jesus, and forget that there is One in heaven who is witness of their injustice and of His immolation. The high priests, the doctors of the Law, the dastardly Pontius Pilate, are here described as unjust judges, upon whose heads will fall the wrath of heaven.

Ant. Captabunt in animam justi, et sanguinem innocentem condemnabunt.
Ant. They will hunt after the soul of the Just; and will condemn innocent Blood.

Psalm 93

Deus ultionum Dominus: Deus ultionum libere egit.
Exaltare qui judicas terram: redde retributionem superbis.
Usquequo peccatores Domine: usquequo peccatores gloriabuntur?
Effabuntur et loquentur iniquitatem: loquentur omnes qui operantur injustitiam?
Populum tuum, Domine, humiliaverunt: et hæreditatem tuam vexaverunt.
Viduam et advenam interfecerunt: et pupillos occiderunt.
Et dixerunt: Non videbit Dominus: nec intelliget Deus Jacob.
Intelligite insipientes in populo: et stulti aliquando sapite.
Qui plantavit aurem, non audiet: aut qui finxit oculum, non considerat?
Qui corripit gentes, non arguet: qui docet hominem scientiam?
Dominus scit cogitationes hominum: quoniam vanæ sunt.
Beatus homo, quem tu erudieris, Domine: et de lege tua docueris eum.
Ut mitiges ei a diebus malis: donec fodiatur peccatori fovea.
Quia non repellet Dominus plebem suam: et hæreditatem suam non derelinquet.
Quoadusque justitia convertatur in judicium: et qui juxta illam omnes qui recto sunt corde.
Quis consurget mihi adversus malignantes: aut quis stabit mecum adversas operantes iniquitatem?
Nisi quia Dominus adjuvit me: paulo minus habitasset in inferno anima mea.
Si dicebam: Motus est pes meus: misericordia tua, Domine, adjuvabat me.
Secundum multitudinem dolorum meorum in corde meo: consolationes tuæ lætificaverunt animam meam.
Numquid adhæret tibi sedes iniquitatis: qui fingis laborem in præcepto?
Captabunt in animam justi: et sanguinem innocentem condemnabunt.
Et factus est mihi Dominus in refugium: et Deus meus in adjutorium spei meæ.
Et reddet illis iniquitatem ipsorum: et in malitia eorum disperdet eos: disperdet illos Dominus Deus noster.

Ant. Captabunt in animam justi, et sanguinem innocentem condemnabunt.
The Lord is the God to whom revenge belongeth: the God of revenge acted freely.
Lift up thyself, thou that judgest the earth: render a reward to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord, how long shall the wicked make their boast?
How long shall they utter and speak wrong things: how long shall the workers of iniquity talk?
Thy people, O Lord, they have brought low: and they have afflicted thy inheritance.
They have slain the widow and the stranger: and they have murdered the fatherless.
And they have said: The Lord shall not see: neither shall the God of Jacob understand.
Understand, ye senseless among the people: and you fools be wise at last.
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear: or he that formed the eye, doth he not consider?
He that chastiseth nations, shall he not rebuke: he that teacheth man knowledge?
The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men, that they are vain.
Blessed is the man whom thou shalt instruct, O Lord: and shalt teach him out of thy law.
That thou mayst give him rest from the evil days: till a pit be dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not cast off his people: neither will he forsake his own inheritance.
Until justice be turned into judgment: and they that are near it are all the upright of heart.
Who shall rise up for me against the evil doers? or who shall stand with me against the workers of iniquity?
Unless the Lord had been my helper: my soul had almost dwelt in hell.
If I said: my foot is moved: thy mercy, O Lord, assisted me.
According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart: thy comforts have given joy to my soul.
Doth the seat of iniquity stick to thee, who framest labour in commandment?
They will hunt after the soul of the just: and will condemn innocent blood.
But the Lord is my refuge: and my God the help of my hope.
And he will render to them their iniquity: and in their malice he will destroy them: yea, the Lord our God will destroy them.

Ant. They will hunt after the soul of the Just: and will condemn innocent Blood.

℣. Locuti sunt adversum me lingua dolosa.
℟. Et sermonibus odii circumdederunt me, et expugnaverunt me gratis.
℣. They have spoken against me with a deceitful tongue.
℟. And they have compassed me about with words of hatred, and have fought against me without cause.

Here is said the Pater noster in secret.

For the lessons of this nocturn, the Church has selected a passage from the Epistle to the Hebrews, where St. Paul speaks of the Son of God having become our High Priest and Mediator with the Father, by the shedding of His Blood. This precious Blood blots out our sins, and opens heaven to us, which Adam’s sin had closed against us.

Seventh Lesson

De Epistola Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Hebræos.

Cap. iv. et v.

Festinemus ingredi in illam requiem: ut ne in idipsum quis incidat incredulitatis exemplum. Vivus est enim sermo Dei, et efficax, et penetrabilior omni gladio ancipiti: et pertingens usque ad divisionem animæ ac spiritus, compagum quoque ac medullarum, et discretor cogitationum et intentionum cordis. Et non est ulla creatura invisibilis in conspectu ejus: omnia autem nuda et aperta sunt oculis ejus, ad quem nobis sermo. Habentes ergo Pontificem magnum, qui penetravit cœlos, Jesum Filium Dei, teneamus confessionem. Non enim habemus Pontificem qui non possit compati infirmitatibus nostris: tentatum autem per omnia pro similitudine absque peccata.
From the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, to the Hebrews.

Ch. iv. and v.

Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest: lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any twoedged sword, and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also, and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature invisible in his sight: but all things are naked and open to his eyes, to whom our speech is. Having therefore a great High Priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a High Priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.

℟. Tradiderunt me in manus impiorum, et inter iniquos projecerunt me, et non pepercerunt animæ meæ: congregati sunt adversum me fortes: * Et sicut gigantes steterunt contra me.
℣. Alieni insurrexerunt adversum me, et fortes quæsierunt animam meam.
* Et sicut gigantes steterunt contra me.
℟. They delivered me into the hands of the impious and cast me out among the wicked, and spared not my life: the powerful gathered together against me: * And like giants they stood against me.
℣. Strangers have risen up against me, and the mighty have sought my soul.
* And like giants they stood against me.

Eighth Lesson

Adeamus ergo cum fiducia ad thronum gratiæ: ut misericordiam consequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportuno. Omnis namque pontifex ex hominibus assumptus, pro hominibus constituiturin iis quæ sunt ad Deum, ut offerat dona et sacrificia pro peccatis: qui condolere possit iis qui ignorant et errant: quoniam et ipse circumdatus est infirmitate. Et propterea debet, quemadmodum pro populo, ita etiam et pro semetipso offerre pro peccatis.
Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. For every high priest taken from among men, is appointed for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on them that are ignorant, and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

℟. Jesum tradidit impius summis principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus populi: * Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, ut videret finem.
℣. Adduxerunt autem eum ad Caipham principem sacerdotum, ubi scribæ et pharisæi convenerant.
* Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, ut videret finem.
℟. The wicked man betrayed Jesus to the chief priests and elders of the people: ° But Peter followed him afar off, that he might see the end.
℣. And they led him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and pharisees were met together.
* Put Peter followed him afar off, that he might see the end.

Ninth Lesson

Nec quisquam sumit sibi honorem sed qui vocatur a Deo, tanquam Aaron. Sic et Christus non semetipsum clarificavit ut pontifex fieret: sed qui locutus est ad eum: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te. Quemadmodum et in alio loco dicit: Tu es sacerdos in æternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech. Qui in diebus carnis suae, preces, supplicationesque ad eum, qui possit illum salvum facere a morte, cum clamore valido et lacrymis offerens, exauditus est pro sua reverentia. Et quidem cum esset Filius Dei, didicit ex iis, quæ passusest, obedientiam: et consummatus, factus est omnibus obtemperantibus sibi, causa salutis æternæ, appellatus a Deo pontifex juxta ordinem Melchisedech.
Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: Thou art my Son. this day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Whο in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to him that was able to save him from death, was heard for his reverence: and whereas indeed he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered: and being consummated he became, to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation, called by God a high-priest according to the order of Melchisedech.

℟. Caligaverunt oculi mei a fletu meo: quia elongatus est a me, qui consolabatur me. Videte omnes populi, * Si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.
℣. O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte.
* Si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.
Here is repeated: Caligaverunt oculi mei.
℟. My eyes are darkened by my tears: for he is far from me that comforted me. See all ye people, * If there be sorrow like unto my sorrow.
℣. O all ye that pass by the way, behold and see,
* If there be sorrow like unto my sorrow.
Here is repeated: My eyes are darkened.




The first psalm of Lauds is the Miserere, as yesterday, page 336. It is sung to the following antiphon:

Ant. Proprio Filio suo non pepercit Deus, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit illum.
Ant. God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.

The second psalm is one of those that were composed by David during the time of Absalom’s rebellion. It is one of the psalms of Friday’s ferial Lauds throughout the year; and is appropriate to the mystery of to-day, inasmuch as it expresses how the Messias was abandoned by His disciples, and how confidently He hoped in God.

Ant. Anxiatus est super me spiritus meus, in me turbatum est cor meum.
Ant. My spirit is in anguish within me, my heart within me is troubled.

Psalm 142

Domine, exaudi orationem meam: auribus percipe obsecrationem meam in veritate tua: exaudi me in tua justitia.
Et non intres in judicium cum servo tuo: quia non justificabitur in conspectu tuo omnis vivens.
Quia persecutus est inimicus animam meam: humiliavit in terra vitam meam.
Collocavit me in obscuris sicut mortuos sæculi: et anxiatus est super me spiritus meus, in me turbatum est cor meum.
Memor fui dierum antiquorum, meditatus sum in omnibus operibus tuis: in factis manuum tuarum meditabar.
Expandi manus meas ad te: anima mea sicut terra sine aqua tibi.
Velociter exaudi me Domine: defecit spiritus meus.
Non avertas faciem tuam a me: et similis ero descendentibus in lacum.
Auditam fac mihi mane misericordiam tuam: quia in te speravi.
Notam fac mihi viam in qua ambulem: quia ad te levavi animam meam.
Eripe me de inimicis meis, Domine, ad te confugi: doce me facere voluntatem tuam, quia Deus meus es tu.
Spiritus tuus bonus deducet me in terram rectam: propter nomen tuum, Domine, vivificabis me in æquitate tua.
Educes de tribulatione animam meam: et in misericordia tua disperdes inimicos meos.
Et perdes omnes qui tribulant animam meam: quoniam ego servus tuus sum.

Ant. Anxiatus est super me spiritus meus, et in me turbatum est cor meum.
Hear, O Lord, my prayer, give ear to my supplication in thy truth: hear me in thy justice.
And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight no man living shall be justified.
For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath brought down my life to the earth.
He hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been dead of old; and my spirit is in anguish within me, my heart within me is troubled.
I remembered the days of old, I meditated on ail thy works, I mused upon the works of thy hands.
I stretched forth my hands to thee: my soul is as earth without water unto thee.
Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit hath fainted away.
Turn not away thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear thy mercy in the morning: for in thee have I hoped.
Make the way known to me wherein I should walk: for I have lifted up my soul to thee.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, to thee have I fled: teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God.
Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land: for thy name’s sake, O Lord, thou wilt quicken me in thy justice.
Thou wilt bring my soul out of troubles: and in thy mercy thou wilt destroy my enemies.
And thou wilt cut off all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Ant. My spirit is in anguish within me, my heart within me is troubled.


The third psalm celebrates the great mystery of the Redemption accomplished on this day, the destruction of sin, and the propitiation of God’s offended majesty. It is sung to the following antiphon:

Ant. Ait latro ad latronem: Nos quidem digna factis recipimus: hic autem quid fecit? Memento mei, Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
Ant. The thief said to the thief: We, indeed, receive the due reward of our deeds; but what has this Man done? Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.

Psalm 84

Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.
Remisisti iniquitatem piebis tuæ: operuisti omnia peccata eorum.
Mitigasti omnem iram tuam: avertisti ab ira indignationis tuæ.
Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster: et averte iram tuam a nobis.
Numquid in æternum irasceris nobis? aut extendes iram tuam a generatione in generationem?
Deus, tu conversus vividcabis nos: et plebs tua lætabitur in te.
Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam: et salutare tuum da nobis.
Audiam quid loquatur in me Dominus Deus: quoniam loquetur pacem in plebem suam.
Et super sanctos suos: et in eos qui convertuntur ad cor.
Verumtamen prope timentes eum salutare ipsius: ut inhabitet gloria in terra nostra.
Misericordia et veritas obviaverunt sibi: justitia et pax osculatæ sunt.
Veritas de terra orta est: et justitia de cœlo prospexit.
Etenim Dominus dabit benignitatem: et terra nostra dabit fructum suum.
Justitia ante eum ambulabit: et ponet in via gressus suos.

Ant. Ait latro ad latronem: Nos quidem digna factis recipimus: hic autem quid fecit? Memento mei, Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
Thou hast blessed thy land, O Lord: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people: thou hast covered all their sins.
Thou hast softened all thine anger: thou hast turned away from the wrath of thine indignation.
Convert us, 0 God our Saviour: and turn away thine anger from us.
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever: or wilt thou stretch out thy wrath from generation to generation?
Thou shalt turn again, O God, and quicken us: and thy people shall rejoice in thee.
Show us thy mercy, O Lord; and grant us thy salvation.
I will hearken to what the Lord shall say within me: for he will speak peace unto his people:
And unto his saints: and unto them that are converted in heart.
Surely his salvation is nigh unto them that fear him: that glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together: justice and peace have kissed each other.
Truth is sprung out of the earth: and justice hath looked down from heaven.
For the Lord shall give goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit.
Justice shall walk before him; and shall set his steps in the way.

Ant. The thief said to the thief: We, indeed, receive the due reward of our deeds: but what has this Man done? Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.

The following canticle is that of the prophet Habacuc; it comes in the ferial Lauds of Friday, for penitential seasons. It celebrates the victory of Christ over His enemies, when He shall come to judge the world; and forms a sublime contrast with the humiliations which the Man-God suffers on this the day of His death.

Ant. Cum conturbata fuerit anima mea, Domine, misericordiæ memor eris.
Ant. When my soul shall be in trouble, O Lord! thou wilt be mindful of thy mercy.

Canticle of Habacuc

Domine, audivi auditionem tuam: et timui.
Domine, opus tuum: in medio annorum vivifica illud.
In medio annorum notum facies: cum iratus fueris, misericordiæ recordaberis.
Deus ab austro veniet: et Sanctus de monte Pharan.
Operuit cœlos gloria ejus: et laudis ejus plena est terra.
Splendor ejus ut lux erit: cornua in manibus ejus.
Ibi abscondita est fortitudo ejus: ante faciem ejus ibit mors.
Et egredietur diabolus ante pedes ejus: stetit et mensus est terram.
Aspexit et dissolvit Gentes: et contriti sunt montes sæculi.
Incurvati sunt colles mundi: ab itineribus æternitatis ejus.
Pro iniquitate vidi tentoria Æthiopiæ: turbabuntur pelles terræ Madian.
Numquid in fluminibus iratus es, Domine: aut in fluminibus furor tuus, vel in mari indignatio tua?
Qui ascendes super equos tuos: et quadrigæ tuæ salvatio.
Suscitans suscitabis arcum tuum: juramenta tribubus, quæ locutus es.
Fluvios scindes terræ; viderunt te et doluerunt montes: gurges aquarum transiit.
Dedit abyssus vocem suara: altitudo manus suas levavit.
Sol et luna steterunt in habitaculo suo: in luce sagittarum tuarum, ibunt in splendore fulgurantis hastæ tuæ.
In fremitu conculcabis terram: et in furore obstupefacies Gentes.
Egressus es in salutem populi tui: in salutem cum Christo tuo.
Percussisti caput de domo impii: denudasti fundamentum ejus usque ad collum.
Maledixisti sceptris ejus, capiti bellatorum ejus: venientibus ut turbo ad dispergendum me.
Exsultatio eorum: sicut ejus qui devorat pauperem in abscondito.
Viam fecisti in mari equis tuis: in luto aquarum multarum.
Audivi et conturbatus est venter meus: a voce contremuerunt labia mea.
Ingrediatur putredo in ossibus meis: et subter me scateat.
Ut requiescam in die tribulationis: ut ascendam ad populum accinctum nostrum.
Ficus enim non florebit: et non erit germen in vineis.
Mentietur opus olivæ: et arva non afferent cibum.
Abscindetur de ovili pecus: et non erit armentum in præsepibus.
Ego autem in Domino gaudebo: et exsultabo in Deo Jesu meo.
Deus Dominus fortitudo mea: et ponet pedes meos quasi cervorum.
Et super excelsa mea deducet me victor: in psalmis canentem.

Ant. Cum conturbata fuerit anima mea, Domine, misericordiæ memor eris.
O Lord, I heard what thou madest me hear, and was afraid.
O Lord, thy work, in the midst of the years bring it to life.
In the midst of the years thou shalt make it known: when thou art angry, thou wilt remember mercy.
God will come from the south, and the Holy One from mount Pharan.
His glory covered the heavens: and the earth is full of his praise.
His brightness shall be as the light: horns are in his hands.
There is his strength hid: death shall go before his face.
And the devil shall go forth before his feet: he stood and measured the earth.
He beheld, and melted the nations: and the ancient mountains were crushed to pieces.
The hills of the world were bowed down, by the journeys of his eternity.
I saw the tents of Æthiopia for their iniquity: the curtains of the land of Madian shall be troubled.
Wast thou angry, O Lord, with the rivers? or was thy wrath upon the rivers? or thy indignation in the sea?
Who wilt ride upon thy horses: and thy chariots are salvation.
Thou wilt surely take up thy bow according to the oaths which thou hast spoken to the tribes.
Thou wilt divide the rivers of the earth: the mountains saw thee and were grieved: the great body of waters passed away.
The deep put forth its voice: the deep lifted up its hands.
The sun and the moon stood still in their habitation, in the light of thy arrows, they shall go in the brightness of thy glittering spear.
In thy anger thou wilt tread the earth under foot: in thy wrath thou wilt astonish the nations.
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, for salvation with thy Christ.
Thou struckest the head of the house of the wicked: thou hast laid bare his foundation even to the neck.
Thou hast cursed his sceptres, the head of his warriors, them that came out as a whirlwind to scatter me.
Their joy was like that of him that devoureth the poor man in secret.
Thou madest a way in the sea for thy horses, in the mud of many waters.
I have heard, and my bowels were troubled: my lips trembled at the voice.
Let rottenness enter into my bones, and swarm under me.
That I may rest in the day of tribulation: that I may go up to our people that are girded,
For the fig-tree shall not blossom: and there shall be no spring in the vines.
The labour of the olive-tree shall fail: and the fields shall yield no food.
The flock shall be cut off from the fold: and there shall be no herd in the stalls.
But I will rejoice in the Lord: and I will rejoice in God my Jesus.
The Lord God is my strength: and he will make my feet like the feet of harts.
And he the conqueror will lead me upon my high places, singing psalms.

Ant. When my soul shall be in trouble, O Lord! thou wilt be mindful of thy mercy.

The last psalm, which belongs to the Lauds of Fridays, is sung to-day to the following antiphon:

Ant. Memento mei, Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
Ant. Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.

Psalm 147

Lauda Jerusalem Dominum: Lauda Deum tuum Sion.
Quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum: benedixit filiis tuis in te.
Qui posuit fines tuos pacem: et adipe frumenti satiat te.
Qui emittit eloquium suum terræ: velociter currit sermo ejus.
Qui dat nivem sicut lanam: nebulam sicut cinerem spargit.
Mittit crystallum suam sicut buccellas: ante faciem frigoris ejus quis eustinebit?
Emittet verbum suum, et liquefaciet ea: flabit spiritus ejus et fluent aquæ.
Qui annuntiat verbum suum Jacob: justitias et judicia sua Israel.
Non fecit taliter omni nationi: et judicia sua non manifestavit eis.

Ant. Memento mei Domine, dum veneris in regnum tuum.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion.
For He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates: he hath blessed thy children within thee.
Who hath made peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.
Who sendeth forth his speech upon the earth; his word runneth very swiftly.
Who giveth snow like wool; he scattereth mists like ashes.
He sendeth his crystal like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?
He shall send out his word and shall melt them: his wind shall blow, and the waters shall run.
Who declareth his word unto Jacob: his justice and judgments unto Israel.
He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and his judgments he hath not made manifest to them.
Ant. Remember me, O Lord, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. 

℣. Collocavit me in obscuris.
℟. Sicut mortuos sæculi.
℣. He hath made me to dwell in darkness.
℟. As those that have been dead of old.

After this versicle, is sung the canticle Benedictus (see page 347) with the following antiphon:

Ant. Posuerunt super caput ejus causam ipsius scriptam: Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judæorum.
Ant. They put over his head his cause written: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

This antiphon having been repeated after the canticle, the choir sings, to a touching melody, the following words. She repeats them at the end of all the Canonical Hours of these three days, adding to them each day. The addition for to-day is, that the death which our Saviour deigned to suffer for us was the most disgraceful and painful of all deaths— the death of the cross.

℣. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.
℣. Christ became, for our sake, obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.

Then is said, in secret, the Pater noster, which is followed by the Miserere (page 336). This psalm is not sung, but only recited as explained in yesterday’s Tenebræ. As soon as the Miserere is finished, the following prayer is said by the first in dignity:

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 sæeula sæculorum. Amen.
Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost. God, world without end. Amen.