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have seen an Infant, and the choirs | mirable Sacrament : that the animals of the Angels praising the LORD. y. should see the LORD born, lying in the Say whom ye have seen, and proclaim manger. * Blessed Virgin, whose the nativity of CHRIST. We. Glory. womb merited to bear CHRIst the We.

LORD. y. Hail, Mary, full of grace, SECOND NOCTURN.

the LORD is with thee. Blessed. Ant. We wait for Thy loving kind

Lesson V. ness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. Ps. xlviii. Magnus Dominus. IN which conflict, entered upon for p. 29.

our sakes, the Omnipotent LORD Ant. There shall arise, in the days opposed Himself to our most cruel of the LORD, abundance of peace, and enemy, not in His own Majesty, but He shall reign. Ps. lxxii. Deus, ju

in our humility: attacking him in the dicium. p. 40.

same form and in the same nature, Ant. Truth hath arisen out of the the sharer indeed of our mortality, earth, and Righteousness hath looked but free from all sin. For that could down from heaven. Ps. lxxxv. Bene- not be said of this Nativity which is dixisti. p. 49.

said of all others : No one is free from Ý. Thou art fairer than the children sin, not even the infant whose life is of men.

of one day upon the earth. In this Ry. Full of grace are Thy lips.

Nativity, therefore, alone, the law of

sin had no power. A royal virgin of A Sermon of S. Leo the Pope.

the house of David is chosen, who

being overshadowed by the HOLY Lesson IV.

Ghost, conceived that Divine and Serm. I. on the Nativity. Human offspring. And lest, as yet OUR Saviour, beloved, to-day is ignorant of the counsel of God, she

born : let us rejoice. For there should tremble at the marvel that was shall be no place of sorrow on the to be wrought in her, she learnt by Birthday of Life : which having con- the voice of an angel that she should sumed the fear of mortality, gives us become the Mother of God. gladness in the promise of eternity. Ry. The Blessed Mother of God and None is excluded from the participation ever Virgin Mary to-day brought of this blessing. There is one common forth the Saviour of the world. y. cause of joy to all : because our LORD, Blessed is she that believed, for there the Destroyer of sin and of death; as He shall be a performance of all things found none free from guilt, so He came that were told her by the LORD. To to give liberty to all. Let the saint day she. rejoice, because he approaches to the

Lesson VI. palm : let the sinner exult, because he is invited to pardon : let the Gen; L ET us therefore, beloved, render tile take courage, because he is called thanks to God the FATHER, to life. For the Son of God, accord through His Son in the Holy Ghost: ing to the fulness of that time which Who, for the great love wherewith He the inscrutable altitude of Divine loved us, had mercy upon us : and Wisdom had before ordained, took when we were dead in sins, quickened upon Himself the nature of the human us together with CHRIST, that we race, to the end that He might recon- might be a new creature. cile it to its Creator, and that Satan, therefore, put off the old man with his the inventor of death, through that by acts, and since we are made fellow. which he had conquered might be con- sharers of the birth of CHRIST, let us quered.

renounce the works of the flesh. R. O wonderful mystery and ad- Recognise, O Christian, thy dignity,

*

Let us,

and having been made a partaker of | fore, on the other hand, it is said of the Divine Nature, refuse to return the reprobate by the prophet, Let by degenerate conversation into for them be wiped out of the book of the mer sin. Remember of what Head living, and not be written among the and of what Body thou art a member; righteous. Moreover, it was meet that call to mind that thou art delivered He should be born at Bethlehem. from the power of darkness, and For Bethlehem, being interpreted, is translated into the light and Kingdom the House of Bread. And it is He of GOD.

Who says, I am the Living Bread, Ry. Holy and immaculate virginity, which came down from heaven. The with what praises I shall extol thee, I place, therefore, in which the LORD know not: For whom the heavens was born, was named beforehand the cannot contain, thou didst contain House of Bread, for there of a truth in thy womb. y. Blessed art thou it was ordained that He should be among women, and blessed is the manifested in the flesh, by Whom Fruit of thy womb. For. Glory. For the minds of the elect are refreshed

with an interior satiety. And He was THIRD NOCTURN.

not born in the home of His parents, Ant. He shall call me. Alleluia. but on the way; to shew us truly that Thou art my Father. Alleluia. Ps. the humanity which He assumed was lxxxix. Misericordias Domini. p. 51. not His by nature but by adoption.

Ant. Let the heavens rejoice, and Ry. Blessed is the womb of the the earth be glad before the LORD. Virgin Mary, which bare the Son of For He shall come. Ps. xcvi. Can the Eternal FATHER: and blessed are tate Domino. p. 53.

the paps which gave suck to CHRIST Ant. The Lord hath made known. the LORD, * Who to-day for the salAlleluia. His salvation. Alleluia. vation of the world vouchsafed to be Ps. xcviii. Cantate Domino . . quia. born of the Virgin. y. A day of so

lemnity hath dawned upon us : come, y. He shall call me. Alleluia. ye nations, and worship the LORD. Ry. Thou art my Father. Alleluia. Who. V. Sir, pray, Ben. May our

sins. Rz. Amen. Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to S. Luke.

Lesson of the Holy Gospel according Lesson VII. Chap. ii.

to S. Luke,

Lesson VIII. Chap. ii. AT that time : there went out a

decree from Cæsar, Augustus, AT that time : the shepherds said that all the world should be taxed. one to another, Let us now go even And that which follows.

unto Bethlehem, and see this thing A Homily of S. Gregory the Pope.

which is come to pass, which the LORD

hath made known unto us. And that 8th Homily on the Gospels. which follows. SINCE, to-day, hy God's grace, we A Homily of S. Ambrose the Bishop.

Holy Eucharist three times, there is no long time to give to Book II. ch. 2, on S. Luke. our discourse on the Gospel. Yet the Behold the beginning of the rising Nativity of our Redeemer demands of Church. When CHRIST is born, the us something, even if it be but a short shepherds begin to watch, collecting discourse. What then does this the flocks of the Gentiles, who before taxing of the world signify, but clearly were living as brute beasts, into the this : that He was manifested in the fold of the LORD, lest spiritual beasts flesh, Who, from eternity, has enrolled of prey should devour them under the His elect in the book of life? Where-cover of the darkness. And well those

p. 55.

shepherds watch, who are instructed Then the Hymn, Te Deum (p. 15). by the Good Shepherd. The flock After which is said, then is the people ; the night, this age V. The LORD be with you. Ry. And of the world; the shepherds are the with thy spirit. priests. Or perhaps he too is a shepherd to whom it is said, Be watchful

COLLECT. and strengthen. For the Lord has not GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty appointed Bishops only to defend the God, that the new Nativity of flock, but also Angels.

Thine only-begotten Son in the flesh Rz. The Word was made flesh, and may deliver us whom ancient bondage dwelt among us :

* and we saw His holdeth under the yoke of sin. Through glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten the Same. of the FATHER, full of grace and truth.

And having said, Bless we the LORD, y. Without Him was not anything the First Mass after midnight is celemade that was made. And. Glory. brated, as in the Ordinary ; which And. ¥. Sir, pray. Ben. Christ the being ended, Lauds are said. Son of God instruct us by the words of the Holy Gospel. V. Amen.

Feast OF S. STEPHEN, PROTOMARTYR.

Double of the Second Class. Lesson of the Holy Gospel according

Inv. CHRIST born for us, Who toto S. John.

day crowned Blessed Stephen * O come Lesson IX. Chap. i.

let us worship. IN

the beginning was the Word, and Hymn, Ants., Pss., and Ýy. of Noc

the WORD was with God, and the turns, as in the Common of a Martyr WORD was God. And that which (p. 78.) follows.

FIRST NOCTURN. A Homily of S. Augustine the Bishop. From the Acts of the Apostles. Tract I. on S. John.

Lesson I. Chap. vi. Lest thy mind form any low con- AND in those days, when the ception, such as may have been pro

number of the disciples was duced in it by receiving of human multiplied, there arose a murmuring words, hear what thou oughtest to of the Grecians against the Hebrews, think. The Word was God. Is there because their widows were neglected now any unbelieving Arian, who will in the daily ministration. Then the come forth and say the Word of God twelve called the multitude of the diswas made? How can it be that the ciples unto them, and said, It is not Word of God was made, when God reason that we should leave the word made all things by the Word ? If the of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, Word of God itself was made, by what brethren, look ye out among you seven other Word was It made ? If you say men of honest report, full of the Holy that it is the Word of the Word by Ghost and wisdom, whom we may ap. which other things were made ; that point over this business. But we will same Word is, I reply, the only give ourselves continually to prayer, begotten Son of God. But if thou and to the ministry of the word. dost not mean the Word of the Rz. But Stephen, full of grace and Word, acknowledge that That by which courage * did great wonders and signs all things were made was not Itself among the people. y. Then there made. For That by Which all things arose some of the Synagogue, disputing

made, could not be made with Stephen, and they were not able by Itself. Believe then the Evange- to resist the wisdom and the spirit by list.

which he spake. He did.

were

*

Lesson II.

SECOND NOCTURN. AND the saying pleased the whole A Sermon of S. Fulgentius the Bishop. multitude; and they chose Ste

Lesson IV. phen, a man full of faith and of the HOLY GHOST, and Philip, and Pro

Sermon on S. Stephen. chorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and YESTERDAY, we celebrated the Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of temporal Nativity of our Eternal Antioch: whom they set before the King. To-day we celebrate the triapostles: and when they had prayed umphal passion of His soldier. Yesthey laid their hands on them. And terday, our King having put on the the word of God increased ; and the robe of our flesh, came from the palace number of the disciples inultiplied in of the Virgin's womb, and vouchsafed Jerusalem greatly ; and a great com- to visit the world : to-day, His soldier, pany of the priests were obedient to departing from the tabernacle of the the faith. And Stephen, full of faith the body, entered triumphantly into and power, did great wonders and Heaven.

The

one, keeping the miracles among the people.

Majesty of His everlasting Divinity, Ry. And all that were in the council | but assuming the girdle of the fiesh beheld Stephen; and they saw his like a servant, entered as a combatant face as it had been the face of an the arena of the world ; the other, angel standing among them. y. Full having laid aside the corruptible vestof grace and courage, he did great ment of the body ascended as a conwonders and miracles among the queror into the palace of Heaven. people. And they saw.

The one came down, veiled in the

flesh: the other went up, laurelled in Lesson III.

His own blood. THEN there arose certain of the

Ry. They stoned Stephen, invoking, synagogue, which is called the

and saying * LORD JESUS, receive synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of my spirit, and lay not this sin to them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing down, and cried with a loud voice,

their charge. y. And he kneeled with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the

saying, LORD. spirit by which he spake. Then they

Lesson V. suborned men, which said, We have

STEPHEN

ascended to Heaven heard him speak blasphemous words

while the Jews were stoning him, against Moses, and against God. And because Christ descended to earth they stirred up the people, and the while the Angels were praising Him. elders, and the scribes, and came Yesterday, the heavenly host sang, upon him, and caught him, and Glory to God in the Highest. To-day, brought him to the council. And set they with joy received Stephen in their up false witnesses, which said, This companionship. Yesterday, the LORD man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous came forth from the womb of the Virwords against this holy place, and the gin; to-day His soldier was set free from law.

the prison of the flesh. Yesterday, Ry. Stephen, looking up to heaven, Christ for us was wrapt in swaddling beheld the glory of God and said, * clothes : to-day, Stephen was by Him Lo, I see heaven opened, and the Son vested with the robe of immortality. of Man standing at the right hand of Yesterday, a narrow cradle held the God. y. Stephen, being full of the Infant Christ; to-day, the immensity Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly to of Heaven receives His triumphant heaven, and saw the glory of God, and servant. The LORD descended alone, said. Behold. Glory. Behold. that He might exalt many with Him; our King humbled Himself, that He LORD, may also be taken as alluding might exalt His soldiers.

to His disciples, of whom He now R%. They rushed upon him with says, Behold I send unto you prophets, one accord, and cast him out of the and wise men, and scribes. And city, while he called upon God, and observe at the same time, that the said * LORD JESUS, receive my spirit. apostle, writing to the Corinthians, Ý. And the witnesses laid down their says that the disciples of Christ are clothes at a young man's feet whose endowed with various gifts; some are name was Saul; and they stoned prophets who predict things future; Stephen, invoking and saying. LORD. some are wise men who have know

ledge for the preaching of the word ; Lesson VI.

some are scribes, learned in the law.

And of these, Stephen was stoned, IT

was necessary that we should Paul beheaded, Peter crucified, and understand by what arms Stephen the twelve scourged, as is related in was defended, so that he was able to the Acts of the Apostles. conquer the cruelty of the Jews, and happily to triumph. Through the love

RY. Stephen, the servant of God, of God he yielded not to the furious when the Jews were stoning him, saw Jews : through the love of his neigh- the heavens opened, saw, and

entered. bour he interceded for them that were heavens shall be opened. y. Crushed

Blessed is the man to whom the stoning him. Through love, he convicted sinners, so that they were

by the stones which his persecutors converted: through love, he prayed

cast upon him, Divine glory shone for his persecutors, so that they were

on him from the highest heavens. not punished. By love he conquered Blessed. Saul who was enraged against him :

Lesson VIII. and him who on earth was his per: IT is asked, Who is this Zacharias,

? companion.

read of many of that name. And to R;. The wicked have held the obviate the danger of mistake, it is righteous man in small reputation: added : whom ye slew between the but he received the crown of glory. temple and the altar. Different comy. They stopped their ears, and ran mentators have given different answers, upon him with one accord. But. and therefore I must state their Glory. But.

various opinions. Some say that THIRD NOCTURN.

Zechariah the son of Barachiah, last Lesson of the Holy Gospel according meant; and the name of his father

but one of the twelve prophets, is to S. Matthew.

favours this opinion. But Scripture Lesson VII. Chap. xxiii. nowhere mentions that he was slain AT that time : Jesus said unto the between the temple and the altar, and

Scribes and Pharisees : Behold, indeed in his time the ruined temple I send unto you prophets, and wise was barely standing. Others undermen, and scribes : and some of them stand Zacharias the father of John, ye shall kill and crucify. And that accepting an apocryphal story of his which follows.

being slain for his prediction of the

Saviour. A Homily of S. Jerome the Priest.

RX. The doors of Heaven were Book 4. Comment. on St. Matthew xxiii. opened to Blessed Stephen, the martyr

The words, Fill ye up then the of CHRIST, the first of the army of measure of your fathers, which, as we martyrs; * and therefore he is crowned have said, refer to the death of the in Heaven and triumphs. y. For he

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