Sunday, April 12, 2015

MATINS EXPLAINED


Courtesy of Life Magazine
Matins and Lauds seem originally to have formed one Office, and to have been a continuation of the Vigils of the primitive Christians. From the earliest times it was the custom for the faithful to assemble at midnight before great feasts for prayer and meditation, and to prolong these Vigils or Night Watches till dawn or the cock crow. In the beginning therefore, this office of Matins was called Vigils and began at midnight, and its purpose seems to be to prepare us for Christs coming. According to a tradition Our Lord was born about midnight, and it was the belief of the early Christians that His second coming to judge the world might also take place at midnight. This latter thought seems suggested by several parables and sayings of Christ like the following: "Watch ye, therefore, for you know not when the Lord of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning; lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch." (Mark 13, 35-37.)

   Later the name Matutinæ  or Matins, which means Morning Offices, came to be used instead of the more ancient title Vigils, for the reason that this Office was said at midnight when morning or the new day begins. It is true that Lauds and Prime are also morning offices, but apart from the fact that Matins are older and more solemn, the difference seems to be what whereas Prime is made up of supplications and Lauds of praises, Matins are rather a meditation. This meditative character is seen in the fact that Matins contains a much greater amount of reading and instruction than the other Hours.

   In early times it was customary to divide Matins for Sundays and feast days into three parts, which parts were called Nocturnes or night prayers, because the monks rose three times during the darkness to recite them. On days of lesser importance they rose but once and there was but one Nocturne. This explains why the Office of the Blessed Virgin, which is not a festal Office, has but one Nocturne at Matins.


MATINS

HAIL Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Ave Maria, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum. 
   R. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
   R. Benedíctus tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
   V. O Lord, open my lips.
   V. Dómine, lábia mea apéries.
   R. And my tongue shall announce Thy praise.
   R. Et os meum annuntiábit laudem tuam.
   V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
   V. Deus, in adjutórium meum inténde.
   R. O Lord, make hast to help me.
   R. Dómine, ad adjuvándum me festina.
   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
   Glória Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui sancto.
   As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
   Alleluia.
   Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæculórum. Amen
   Alleluia.

From Septuagesima until Easter exclusively, instead of Alleluia, is said:

   Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory.
   Laus tibi, Dómine, Rex ætérnæ glóriæ.


THE INVITATORY 

   The King and Virgin's Son: * come, let us adore.
   Regem Virginis Filium, * Veníte, adorémus.

PSALM 94

COME, let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our Savior. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful sound to Him with psalms.
VENITE, exsultémus Dómino: jubilémus Deo salutári nostro: 2. præoccupémus fáciem ejus in confessióne, et in psalmis jubilémus ei.
   R. The King and Virgin's Son: * come, let us adore.
   V. For God is a great Lord and a great King above all gods; for the Lord will not reject His people; for in His hands are all the ends of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are His.
   R. Come, let us adore.
   V. For the sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us adore and fall down, and weep before the Lord that made us. For He is the Lord our God, and we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
   R. The King and Virgin's Son: * come, let us adore
   V. To-day, if you shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation on the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works. 
   R. Come, let us adore.
   V. For forty years was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart, and these men have not known My ways: so I swore in My wrath that they shall not enter My rest.
   R. The King, and Virgin's Son: * come, let us adore.
   V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
   R. Come, let us adore.
   The King and Virgin's Son: * come let us adore.

HYMN

WHOM earth, and sea, and sky proclaim
   The ruler of their triple frame, 
   He unto whom their praises rise 
   Within the womb of Mary lies.

HER womb, the seat of every grace,
   Is now the Lord's abiding place;
   That Lord's to whom the sun by day,
   The moon by night, their service pay

O HAPPY Mother that thou art,
   Close underneath thy beating heart
   Lies thy Creator-God who plann'd
   The world He holds within His hand. 

BLEST by the herald angel's tongue,
   O'er thee God's shadowing spirit hung,
   And fill'd thy womb whence issued forth
   The long desir'd of all the earth.

O MARY, mother of all grace,
   Mother of mercy to our race,
   Protect us now from Satan's power,
   And own us at life's closing hour.

ALL glory be to Thee, O Lord,
   The Virgin's Son, by all adored, 
   And equal praise forever greet
   The Father and the Paraclete.
Amen.    

PSALM 8

LORD, our Lord, * how admirable is Thy name in all the earth!
   For Thy magnificence is elevated * above the heavens.
   Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings Thou hast perfected praise, because of Thine enemies, * that Thou mayest destroy the enemy and the avenger.
   For I will behold Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, * the moon and the stars which Thou hast founded.
   What is man that Thou art mindful of him? * or the son of man that Thou visitest him?
   Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor; * and hast set him over the works of Thy hands.
   Thou hast subjected all things under his feet, * all sheep and oxen, the beasts also of the fields;
   The birds of the air and the fishes of the sea, * that pass through the paths of the sea.
   O Lord, our Lord, * how admirable is Thy name in all the earth!
   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.


PSALM 18


The heavens show forth the glory of God, * and the firmament declares the work of His hands.
   Day uttereth speech to day, * and night showeth knowledge to night.
   There are no speeches, nor languages, * whose voices are not heard.
   Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, * and their words unto the ends of the world.
   He hath set his tabernacle in the sun, * and He is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.
   He hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way; * His going out is from the highest heaven:
   And His circuit even to the end thereof; * and there is no one that can hide himself from His heat.
   The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls: * the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones.
   The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts: * the commandment of the Lord is lightsome, enlightening the eyes.
     The fear of the Lord is holy, enduring forever and ever; * the judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves:
   More to be desired than gold and many precious stones, * and sweeter than honey and the honey-comb.
   For Thy servant kept them, * and in keeping them there is a great reward.
   Who can understand sins? from my secret ones cleanse me, * and from those others spare thy servant.
   If they shall have no dominion over me, then shall I be without spot, * and I shall be cleansed from the greatest sin.
   And the words of my mouth shall be such as may please; * and the meditation of my heart always in Thy sight.
   O Lord, my helper, * and my redeemer.
   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
   As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen. 

PSALM 23

THE earth is the Lord's, and the fulness there of, * the world and all they that dwell therein.
   For He hath founded it upon the seas, * and hath prepared it upon the rivers.
   Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord? * or who shall stand in His holy place?
   The innocent in hands, and clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, * nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor.
   He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, * and mercy from God his savior.
   This is the generation of them that seek him, * of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.
   Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, * and the King of glory shall enter in.
   Who is this King of glory? * the Lord who is strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.
   Lift us your gates, O ye princes, and be lifted up, O eternal gates, * and the King of glory shall enter in.
   Who is this King of glory? * the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost
   As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen. 
   Ant. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
   V. Grace is poured forth on thy lips.
   R. Therefore hath God blessed thee forever.
   Our Father.
   V. And lead us not into temptation.
   R. But deliver us from evil.
   V. We pray thee, vouchsafe us a blessing.

BLESSING

   May the tender Virgin of virgins intercede for us with the Lord.
   R. Amen.

FIRST LESSON

O HOLY Mary, Virgin of virgins, Mother and daughter of the King of kings! bestow upon us thy consolation, that through thee we may deserve the reward of the heavenly kingdom, and reign with the elect of God unto all eternity. But thou, O Lord, have mercy on us.
   R. Thanks be to God.
   R. O holy and immaculate virginity, with what praises to extol thee I know not, for thou gavest from thy bosom Him whom the heavens could not contain.
   V. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
   R. For thou gavest from thy bosom Him whom the heavens could not contain.
   V. We pray thee, vouchsafe us a blessing.
   May the holy Mother of God be our helper.
   R. Amen.

SECOND LESSON

O HOLY Mary, most compassionate of all the compassionate, and holiest of all the holy, make intercession for us. Through thee, O Virgin, may He receive our prayers, who, born for us of thee, reigneth above the skies; that so, of His loving-kindness, our sins may be cleansed away. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy on us.
   R. Thanks be to God.
   R. Blessed art thou, O virgin Mary, who didst bear the Lord, the Creator of the world.
   Thou gavest birth unto Him who made thee, and remainest a virgin evermore.
   V. Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
   R. Thou gavest birth unto Him who made thee, and remainest a virgin evermore.
   V. We pray thee, vouchsafe us a blessing.

BLESSING

   May the Virgin with her loving child, bless us.
   R. Amen.

THIRD LESSON

O HOLY Mother of God, who didst worthily deserve to conceive Him whom the whole world cannot contain, cleanse away our sins by thy loving intercession, that we who have been redeemed, may through thee be able to ascend to the seat of perpetual glory, where, with Him, thy Son, thou reignest forever. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy on us.
   R. Thanks be to God.
   R. Happy thou, O sacred Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise for out of thee arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
   V. Pray for the people, plead for the clergy, make intercession for the devout female sex: let all feel thy helping power who celebrate thy blessed memory.
   R. For out of thee arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
   V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
   R. Christ our God. 

     On the Sundays of Advent, the feast of Holy Innocents (Dec. 28), and the Sundays of Septuagesima; not, however, on the feasts of St. Joseph and the Annunciation, repeat:

     R. Happy thou, O sacred Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise; for out of thee arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.

TE DEUM
CALLED THE CANTICLE OF STS. AMBROSE AND AUGUSTINE.

   The Te Deum is omitted on all Sundays during Advent; on the vigil of Christmas (Dec. 24); on Holy Innocents (Dec. 28), except when Holy Innocents falls on Sunday; on the Sundays from Septuagesima until Easter, except on the feasts of St. Joseph and the Annunciation; on Ash Wednesday;
throughout Holy Week; on the vigil of Pentecost; and on All Souls' Day (Nov.2).

CANTICLE TE DEUM

WE praise Thee, O God: * we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
   All the earth doth worship Thee, * the Father everlasting.
   To Thee all angels cry aloud, * the heavens and all the powers therein;
   To Thee cherubim and seraphim * continually cry:
   Holy, holy, holy * Lord God of Sabbath.
   Heaven and earth are full * of the majesty of Thy glory.
   The glorious choir * of the apostles,
   The admirable company * of the prophets,
   The white-robed army of martyrs * praise Thee.
   Throughout the world, * holy Church confesses Thee:
   The Father * of infinite majesty;
   Thine adorable, true, * and only Son:
   The Holy Ghost, also, * the comforter.
   Thou art the King of glory, * O Christ.
   Thou art the everlasting Son * of the Father.
   When Thou didst take it upon Thee to deliver man, * Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
     When Thou hadst overcome the sting of death, * Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to believers.
     Thou sittest at the right hand of God, * in the glory of the Father.
     We believe that Thou shalt come * to be our judge.

Here kneel in honor of the precious blood.

   We pray Thee, therefore, help Thy servants * whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.

Here rise.

   Make them to be numbered with Thy saints * in glory everlasting.
   O Lord, save Thy people, * and bless Thine inheritance;
   And govern them, * and lift them up forever.
   Day by day * we bless Thee;
   And we praise Thy name forever, * forever and ever.
   Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day * to keep us without sin.
   Have mercy on us, O Lord, * have mercy on us.
   Let Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, * as we have hoped in Thee.
   In Thee, O Lord have I hoped: * let me not be confounded forever.

The following V. and R. are always said before Lauds, even when the Te Deum is omitted.

     V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
     R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Continue to Lauds

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