The Divine Office in pdf (Roman Breviary)

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Later Editions of Neale’s Breviary

As St. John Mason Neale died before he could complete his efforts at compiling a Breviary for the Order of St. Margaret, his friends continued his work using Neale’s notes. As they worked with these notes and published the results of their study and work, they become increasingly aware that they had made some mistakes in where Neale was actually going with his works on the Breviary and so his friends incorporated their latest insights in further publications. This explains the difference between the volumes that were supposed to match.

This means that the use of Neale’s work, if you are so inclined, might begin by looking at the latest publications and using the “older” ones to conform with the more recent. The following PDF’s are the Offices of Matins (including the Proper of the Season, but not the Proper of the Saints) and the Day Hours (Lauds to Compline) in the latest publication date I am aware off. To use them one would still need to consult the Volume 3 in the previous post in order to complete the Office of Matins.

Matins Volumes 1 & 2: Breviary_Offices_Vol_1_and-2

Matins Volume 3: The_night_hours_of_the_Church_Vol_3

Diurnal Volume: Breviary_Offices_from_Lauds_to_Compline_second_edition

Please do enjoy !

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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Neale’s Breviary in PDF’s

There are several editions of the Breviary compiled (mostly) by St. John Mason Neale. I will provide them below in pdf.

The Night Hours or Matins

The_night_hours_of_the_Church_Vol_1 (Psalter, Propers & Commons of Saints, Season up to Whitsun-tide)

The_night_hours_of_the_Church_Vol_2 (Psalter, Propers & Commons of Saints, Season from Trinity onwards)

The_night_hours_of_the_Church_Vol_3 (Propers of the Saints)

The Day Hours from Lauds to Compline



There are a few more pdf’s to upload. Somewhere I have a vol. 1&2 combined version which seems to be a slightly updated version of the separate volumes of 1 and 2. There is also a diurnal with some changes compared to the one given above.I will post them once I (re) locate them.

Fr. Gregory Wassen



Kalendar, General Rubrics, Psalter, Proper of Saints, Common of the Saints, Office of the Dead, Gradual Psalms, Proper of the Seasons (Advent to Whitsun-tide).

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About St. John Mason Neale’s Breviary

St. John Mason Neale

Recently I have discovered that all of the volumes of the Breviary as edited (chiefly) by St. John Mason Neale are online (in pdf format). I have been studying and working on them ever since. The end result will be, hopefully, an usable online version of it here on this blog. The first installments will be the Psalms distributed over the week. They could from that moment on be used in  unison with the propers of the Anglican Breviary by readers of this blog. I will continue to work on the other volumes and parts of this Breviary until the whole thing is online and usable here.

The Breviary was designed to be used by a women’s monastic community (St. Margaret’s) and uses the distribution of the Psalms as it was in use in England before the Reformation. Allowance is made at Prime to use the Tridentine system so as to shorten that Office significantly. The Sunday Office contains 18 Psalms, the Weekday Office only 12 (the number we also find in Benedict’s Office), Festal Offices have only 9 Psalms. In this Breviary we find the ancient Roman distribution of the Psalter over the days of the week. At a later stage I will provide some ways to “abbreviate” the Psalter for use as needed (one such way is, of course, the distribution as we find it in the printed version of the Anglican Breviary).

The Breviary of St. John Mason Neale will show some variations from the Anglican Breviary. This has several reasons. Among the most prominent is that Neale’s Breviary looks back to Sarum, but incorporates Gallican* and Monastic features when Neale thought it appropriate. The responses, and antiphon will also differ somewhat frequently. This can be explained by the fact that the Anglican Breviary’s translator afforded himself certain liberties in adapting the text as he translated it. But also to the fact that in the Pian reforms of 1911 new antiphons were created for many of the Psalms and the Anglican Breviary is – in part – based on the Pian Breviary of 1911. Still, the Psalter as it will be provided here can be used together with the Propers & Commons of the Anglican Breviary if so desired.

Gregory +

*GALLICAN – in this case, is not a reference to the Gallican Western Rite (nor its less succesful Orthodox revival attempts), but refers to the 18th century reformed Breviaries of France. These Breviaries were composed under the authority of the local, French, Bishops relatively independent from the influence of the Pope. Gallicanism can be considered the opposing movement to Ultramontanism.

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Psalter for Monday Nocturns


At Matins.

Before Matins are said silently : the Lord’s Prayer, the Angelical Salutation, and the Apostles’ Creed.

Then is said aloud :

+ O Lord, open Thou my lips. R. And my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.

V. O God, make speed to save us. R. O Lord, make haste to help us.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world with out end. Alleluia.

And Alleluia is daily said here throughout the year, except that from Septuagesima Sunday till Maundy Thursday is said instead:

Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of Eternal Glory.

Venite & Invitatory

These invitatories are said on ferial days from the Ocatve of the Epiphany till Passion Sunday, and from Trinity till Advent.

Eastertide. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Through the Year. O come: let us sing unto the Lord.

The Antiphons of the Nocturns are said through the year as follow.

Eastertide. Alleluia, alleluia: alleluia. (under which all the Psalms are said).

Through the Year. The Lord is the strength.

Psalm xxvii (27)

Dominus illuminatio.

THE Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom then shall I fear: the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh: they stumbled and fell.

Though an host of men were laid against me, yet shall not my heart be afraid: and though there rose up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require: even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his tabernacle: yea, in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me, and set me up upon a rock of stone.

And now shall he lift up mine head: above mine enemies round about me.

Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness: I will sing, and speak praises unto the Lord.

Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry unto thee: have mercy upon me, and hear me.

My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

O hide not thou thy face from me: nor cast thy servant away in displeasure.

Thou hast been my succour: leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me: the Lord taketh me up.

Teach me the way, O Lord: and lead in the right way, because of mine enemies.

Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries: for there are false witnesses risen up against me, and such as speak wrong.

I should utterly have fainted: but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure: be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart ; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.

Psalm xxviii (28)

Ad te, Domine.

UNTO thee will I cry, O Lord my strength: think no scorn of me; lest, if thou make as though thou hearest not, I become like them that go down into the pit.

Hear the voice of my humble petitions, when I cry unto thee: when I hold up my hands towards the mercy-seat of thy holy temple.

O pluck me not away, neither destroy me, with the ungodly and wicked doers: which speak friendly to their neighbours, but imagine mischief in their hearts.

Reward them according to their deeds: and according to the wickedness of their own inventions.

Recompense them after the work of their hands: pay them that they have deserved.

For they regard not in their mind the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands: therefore shall he break them down, and not build them up.

Praised be the Lord: for he hath heard the voice of my humble petitions.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart hath trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart danceth for joy, and in my song will I praise him.

The Lord is my strength: and he is the wholesome defence of his Anointed.

O save thy people, and give thy blessing unto thine inheritance: feed them , and set them up for ever.

Antiphon. The Lord is the strength of my life.

Antiphon. Worship.

Psalm xxix (29)

Afferte Domino.

BRING unto the Lord, O ye mighty, bring young rams unto the Lord: ascribe unto the Lord worship and strength.

Give the Lord the honour due unto his Name: worship the Lord with holy worship.

It is the Lord that commandeth the waters: it is the glorious God that maketh the thunder.

It is the Lord that ruleth the sea; the voice of the Lord is mighty in operation: the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedar-trees: yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Libanus.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf: Libanus also, and Sirion, like a young unicorn.

The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire; the voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness: yea, the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Cades.

The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to bring forth young, and discovereth the thick bushes: in his temple doth every man speak of his honour.

The Lord sitteth above the water -flood: and the Lord remaineth a King for ever.

The Lord shall give strength unto his people: the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Psalm XXX (30)

Exaltabo te, Domine.

I WILL magnify thee, O Lord, for thou hast set me up: and not made my foes to triumph over me.

O Lord my God, I cried unto thee: and thou hast healed me.

Thou, Lord, hast brought my soul out of hell: thou hast kept my life from them that go down to the pit.

Sing praises unto the Lord, O ye saints of his: and give thanks unto him for a remembrance of his holiness.

For his wrath endureth but the twinkling of an eye, and in his pleasure is life: heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be removed: thou, Lord, of thy goodness hast made my hill so strong.

Thou didst turn thy face from me: and I was troubled.

Then cried I unto thee, O Lord: and gat me to my Lord right humbly.

What profit is there in my blood: when I go down to the pit?

Shall the dust give thanks unto thee: or shall it declare thy truth?

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.

Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.

Therefore shall every good man sing of thy praise without ceasing: O my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Antiphon. Worship: the Lord with holy worship.

Antiphon. Deliver me.

Psalm XXXI (31).

In te, Domine, speravi.

IN THEE, O Lord, have I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion, deliver me in thy righteousness.

Bow down thine ear to me: make haste to deliver me.

And be thou my strong rock, and house of defence: that thou mayest save me.

For thou art my strong rock, and my castle: be thou also my guide, and lead me for thy Name’s sake.

Draw me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

Into thy hands I commend my spirit: for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.

I have hated them that hold of superstitious vanities: and my trust hath been in the Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble, and hast known my soul in adversities.

Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: but hast set my feet in a large room.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord , for I am in trouble: and mine eye is consumed for very heaviness; yea, my soul and my body.

For my life is waxen old with heaviness: and my years with mourning.

My strength faileth me, because of mine iniquity: and my bones are consumed.

I became a reproof among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours: and they of mine acquaintance were afraid of me; and they that did see me without conveyed themselves from me.

I am clean forgotten, as a dead man out of mind: I am become like a broken vessel.

For I have heard the blasphemy of the multitude: and fear is on every side, while they conspire together against me, and take their counsel to take away my life.

But my hope hath been in thee, O Lord: I have said, Thou art my God.

My time is in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies: and from them that persecute me.

Shew thy servant the light of thy countenance: and save me for thy mercy’s sake.

Let me not be confounded, O Lord for I have called upon thee: let the ungodly be put to confusion, and be put to silence in the grave.

Let the lying lips be put to silence: which cruelly, disdainfully, and despitefully, speak against the righteous.

O how plentiful is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee: and that thou hast prepared for them that put their trust in thee, even before the sons of men!

Thou shalt hide them privily by thine own presence from the provoking of all men: thou shalt keep them secretly in thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues.

Thanks be to the Lord: for he hath shewed me marvellous great kindness in a strong city.

And when I made haste, I said: I am cast out of the sight of thine eyes.

Nevertheless, thou heardest the voice of my prayer: when I cried unto thee.

26.O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth them that are faithful, and plenteously rewardeth the proud doer.

Be strong, and he shall establish your heart: all that ye put your trust in the Lord.


Psalm XXXII (32).

Beati, quorum.

BLESSED is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven: and whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin: and in whose spirit there is no guile.

For while I held my tongue: my bones consumed away through my daily complaining.

For thy hand is heavy upon me day and night: and my moisture is like the drought in summer.

I will acknowledge my sin unto thee: and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.

I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord: and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.

For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found: but in the great water-floods they shall not come nigh him.

Thou art a place to hide me in, thou shalt preserve me from trouble: thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.

I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go: and I will guide thee with mine eyes.

Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding: whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle. lest they fall upon thee.

Great plagues remain for the ungodly: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, mercy embraceth him on every side.

Be glad, O ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord: and be joyful, all ye that are true of heart.

Antiphon. Deliver me: in thy righteousness.

Antiphon. It becometh well.

Psalm XXXIII (33).

Exultate, justi.

REJOICE in the Lord, O ye righteous: for it becometh well the just to be thankful.

Praise the Lord with harp: sing praises unto him with the lute, and instrument of ten strings.

Sing unto the Lord a new song: sing praises lustily unto him with a good courage.

For the word of the Lord is true: and all his works are faithful.

He loveth righteousness and judgement: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth.

He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as it were upon an heap: and layeth up the deep, as in a treasure-house.

Let all the earth fear the Lord: stand in awe of him, all ye that dwell in the world.

For he spake, and it was done: he commanded and it stood fast.

The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: and maketh the devices of the people to be of none effect, and casteth out the counsels of princes.

The counsel of the Lord shall endure for ever: and the thoughts of his heart from generation to generation.

Blessed are the people, whose God is the Lord Jehovah: and blessed are the folk, that he hath chosen to him to be his inheritance.

The Lord looked down from heaven, and beheld all the children of men: from the habitation of his dwelling he considereth all them that dwell on the earth.

He fashioneth all the hearts of them: and understandeth all their works.

There is no king that can be saved by the multitude of an host: neither is any mighty man delivered by much strength.

A horse is counted but a vain thing to save a man: neither shall he deliver any man by his great strength.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him: and upon them that put their trust in his mercy.

To deliver their soul from death: and to feed them in the time of dearth.

Our soul hath patiently tarried for the Lord: for he is our help and our shield.

For our heart shall rejoice in him: because we have hoped in his holy Name.

Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us: like as we do put our trust in thee.

Psalm XXXIV (34).

Benedicam Domino.

I WILL alway give thanks unto the Lord: his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O praise the Lord with me: and let us magnify his Name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me: yea, he delivered me out of all my fear.

They had an eye unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

Lo, the poor crieth, and the Lord heareth him: yea, and saveth him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him: and delivereth them.

O taste, and see, how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

O fear the Lord, ye that are his saints: for they that fear him lack nothing.

The lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good.

Come, ye children, and hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

What man is he that lusteth to live: and would fain see good days?

Keep thy tongue from evil: and thy lips, that they speak no guile.

Eschew evil, and do good: seek peace, and ensue it.

The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous: and his ears are open unto their prayers.

The countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil: to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them: and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and will save such as be of an humble spirit.

Great are the troubles of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of all.

He keepeth all his bones: so that not one of them is broken.

But misfortune shall slay the ungodly: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

The Lord delivereth the souls of his servants: and all they that put their trust in him shall not be destitute.

Antiphon. It becometh well: the just to be thankful.

Antiphon. Fight thou.

Psalm XXXV (35).

Judica, Domine.

PLEAD thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: and fight thou against them that fight against me.

Lay hand upon the shield and buckler: and stand up to help me.

Bring forth the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul :let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me.

Let them be as the dust before the wind: and the angel of the Lord scattering them.

Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause: yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.

Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch himself: that he may fall into his own mischief.

And, my soul, be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him: yea, the poor, and him that is in misery, from him that spoileth him?

False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

They rewarded me evil for good: to the great discomfort of my soul.

Nevertheless, when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting.: and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom.

I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother: I went heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the very abjects came together against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not.

With the flatterers were busy mockers: who gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Lord, how long wilt though look upon this: O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring on me, and my darling from the lions.

So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me ungodly: neither let them wink with their eyes that they hate me without a cause.

And why? their communing is not for peace; but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land.

They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said: Fie on thee, fie on thee, we saw it with our eyes.

This thou hast seen, O Lord: hold not thy tongue then, go not far from me, O Lord.

Awake, and stand up to judge my quarrel: avenge thou my cause, my God, and my Lord.

Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness: and let them not triumph over me.

Let them not say in their hearts, There, there, so would we have it: neither let them say, We have devoured him.

Let them be put to confusion and shame together, that rejoice at my trouble: let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour, that boast themselves against me.

Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing: yea, let them say alway, Blessed be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness: and of thy praise all the day long.

Psalm XXXVI (36).

Dixit injustus.

MY HEART sheweth me the wickedness of the ungodly: that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own sight: until his abominable sin be found out.

The words of his mouth are unrighteous, and full of deceit: he hath left off to behave himself wisely, and to do good.

He imagineth mischief upon his bed, and hath set himself in no good way: neither doth he abhor any thing that is evil.

Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens: and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness standeth like the strong mountains: thy judgments are like the great deep.

Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast; How excellent is thy mercy, O God: and the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house: and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river.

For with thee is the well of life: and in thy light shall we see light.

O continue forth thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee: and thy righteousness unto them that are true of heart.

O let not the foot of pride come against me: and let not the hand of the ungodly cast me down.

There are they fallen, all that work wickedness: they are cast down, and shall not be able to stand.

Antiphon. Fight thou: against them that fight against me.

Antiphon. Commit thy way.

Psalm XXXVII (37).

Noli aemulari.

FRET not thyself because of the ungodly: neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass: and be withered even as the green herb.

Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good: dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thou in the Lord: and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.

Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him: and he shall bring it to pass.

He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light ; and thy just dealing as the noon-day.

Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him: but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.

Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure: fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.

Wicked doers shall be rooted out: and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.

Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone: thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.

But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth: and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.

The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just: and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

The Lord shall laugh him to scorn: for he hath seen that his day is coming.

The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow: to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as are of a right conversation.

Their sword shall go through their own heart: and their bow shall be broken.

A small thing that the righteous hath: is better than great riches of the ungodly.

For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken: and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

The Lord knoweth the days of the godly: and their inheritance shall endure for ever.

They shall not be confounded in the perilous time: and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.

As for the ungodly, they shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs: yea, even as the smoke shall they consume away.

The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous is merciful and liberal.

Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land: and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.

The Lord ordereth a good man’s going: and maketh his way acceptable to himself.

Though he fall, he shall not be cast away: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

I have been young, and now am old: and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.

The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth: and his seed is blessed.

Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good: and dwell for evermore.

For the Lord loveth the thing that is right: he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.

The unrighteous shall be punished: as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.

The righteous shall inherit the land: and dwell therein forever.

The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom: and his tongue will be talking of judgement.

The law of his God is in his heart: and his goings shall not slide.

The ungodly seeth the righteous: and seeketh occasion to slay him.

The Lord will not leave him in his hand: nor condemn him when he is judged.

Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land: when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.

I myself have seen the ungodly in great power: and flourishing like a green bay-tree.

I went by, and lo, he was gone: I sought him, but his place could no where be found.

Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right: for that shall bring a man peace at the last.

As for the transgressors, they shall perish together: and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.

But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord: who is also their strength in the time of trouble.

And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them: he shall deliver them from the ungodly, and shall save them, because they put their trust in him.

Psalm 37

Domine, ne in furore.

PUT me not to rebuke, O Lord, in thine anger: neither chasten me in thy heavy displeasure.

For thine arrows stick fast in me: and thy hand presseth me sore.

There is no health in my flesh, because of thy displeasure: neither is there any rest in my bones, by reason of my sin.

For my wickednesses are gone over my head: and are like a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear.

My wounds stink, and are corrupt: through my foolishness.

I am brought into so great trouble and misery: that I go mourning all the day long.

For my loins are filled with a sore disease: and there is no whole part in my body.

I am feeble, and sore smitten: I have roared for the very disquietness of my heart.

Lord, thou knowest all my desire: and my groaning is not hid from thee.

My heart panteth, my strength hath failed me: and the sight of mine eyes is gone from me.

My lovers and my neighbours did stand looking upon my trouble: and my kinsmen stood afar off.

They also that sought after my life laid snares for me: and they that went about to do me evil talked of wickedness, and imagined deceit all the day long.

As for me I was like a deaf men, and heard not: and as one that is dumb, who doth not open his mouth.

I became even as a man that heareth not: and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

For in thee, O Lord, have I put my trust: thou shalt answer for me, O Lord my God.

I have required that they, even mine enemies should not triumph over me: for when my foot slipped, they rejoiced greatly against me.

And I, truly, am set in the plague: and my heaviness is ever in my sight.

For I will confess my wickedness: and be sorry for my sin.

But mine enemies live, and are mighty: and they that hate me wrongfully are many in number.

They also that reward evil for good are against me: because I follow the thing that good is.

Forsake me not, O Lord my God: be not thou far from me.

Haste thee to help me: O Lord God of my salvation.

Antiphon. Commit thy way: unto the Lord.


V. Out of Sion hath God appeared in perfect beauty.

R. Our God shall come.

Through the Year.

V. I have thought upon thy name, O Lord, in the night season.

R. And have kept thy law.


V. He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter.

R. And from the noisome pestilence.


V. Deliver my soul from the sword.

R. My darling from the power of the dog.


V. The Lord is risen from the tomb. Alleluia.

R. Who hung for us upon the tree. Alleluia.

Absolution and Benediction as in the 1st Nocturn on Sunday.

Posted in Anglican Breviary, Psalmody | 1 Comment

Psalter for Sunday Nocturns


Before Matins are said silently : the Lord’s Prayer, the Angelical Salutation, and the Apostles’ Creed.

Then is said aloud :

+ O Lord, open Thou my lips. R. And my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.

V. O God, make speed to save us. R. O Lord, make haste to help us.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world with out end. Alleluia.

And Alleluia is daily said here throughout the year, except that from Septuagesima Sunday till Maundy Thursday is said instead:

Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of Eternal Glory.

Venite & Invitatory

The Invitatory is said as follows from the Octave of the Epiphany to Septuagesima Sunday, and after the Octave of Corpus Christi to Advent. Invitatory said by Officiant.

Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.

Repeated by Choir.

Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.

Psalm 94


Officiant. O COME, let us sing unto the Lord: let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving: and shew ourselves glad in him with psalms.

Choir. Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.

Officiant. For the Lord is a great God: and a great King above all gods. In his hand are all the corners of the earth: and the strength of the hills is his also.

Choir. Who made us.

Offiiant. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands prepared the dry land. O come, let us worship and fall down: and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Choir. Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.

Officiant. To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts: as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness. When your fathers tempted me: proved me, and saw my works.

Choir. Who made us.

Officiant. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said: It is a people that do err in their hearts, for they have not known my ways; Unto whom I sware in my wrath: that they should not enter into my rest.

Choir. Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.

Officiant. 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.

Choir. Who made us.

Officiant. Let us worship the Lord : Who made us.


In Advent, Antiphon. Behold.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. Serve the Lord in fear.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia.

Psalm 1 Beatus vir qui non abiit I

BLESSED is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, * and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; * and in his law will he exercise himself day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the water-side * that will bring forth his fruit in due season.

4 His leaf also shall not wither; * and look, whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper.

5 As for the ungodly, it is not so with them; * but they are like the chaff which the wind scattereth away from the face of the earth.

6 Therefore the ungodly shall not be able to stand in the judgment, * neither the sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

7 But the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; * and the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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.

(This verse, Glory be to the Father, is always said at the

end of all psalms, unless it is otherwise noted.)

Psalm 2 Quare fremuerunt gentes? II

Why do the heathen so furiously rage together? * and why do the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together * against the Lord, and against his Anointed:

3 Let us break their bonds asunder * and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn: * the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath * and vex them in his sore displeasure:

6 Yet have I set my King * upon my holy hill of Sion.

7 I will preach the law, whereof the Lord hath said unto me : * Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

8 Desire of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance * and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron * and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; * be instructed, ye that are judges of the earth

11 Serve the Lord in fear * and rejoice unto him with reverence.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the right way * if his wrath be kindled, yea but a little, blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Psalm 3 Domine, quid multiplicati? III

LORD how are they increased that trouble me! * many are they that rise against me.

2 Many one there be that say of my soul, * There is no help for him in his God.

3 But thou , O Lord, art my defender; * thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.

4 I did call upon the Lord with my voice * and he heard me out of his holy hill.

5 I laid me down and slept, and rose up again; * for the Lord sustained me.

6 I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the people * that have set themselves against me round about.

7 Up, Lord, and help me, O my God * for thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheek–bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; * and thy blessing is upon thy people.

(Psalm 4 Cum invocarem exaudivit me at Compline)

(Psalm 5 Verba mea, at Lauds, Monday)

Psalm 6 Domine, ne in furore tuo VI

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine indignation, * neither chasten me in thy displeasure.

2 Have mercy upon me,O Lord, for I am weak; * O Lord, heal me for my bones are vexed.

3 My soul also is sore troubled: * but Lord, how long wilt thou punish me?

4 Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul; * O save me for thy mercy’s sake.

5 For in death no man remembereth thee; * and who will give thee thanks in the pit?

6 I am weary of my groaning; every night wash I my bed: * and water my couch with my tears.

7 My beauty is gone for very trouble * and worn away because of all mine enemies.

8 Away from me, all ye that work iniquity; * for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

9 The Lord hath heard my petition; * the Lord will receive my prayer.

10 All mine enemies shall be confounded and sore vexed; * they shall be turned back and put to shame suddenly.

In Advent, Antiphon. Behold, the King most high cometh with great power to save the nations, alleluia. Antiphon. Strengthen ye.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. Serve the Lord in fear, and rejoice unto him with reverence. Antiphon. God is a just judge.

Psalm 7 Domine Deus meus in te speravi VII

O LORD my God, in thee have I put my trust: * save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me;

2 Lest he devour my soul like a lion, and tear it in pieces, * while there is none to help.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done any such thing; * or if there be any wickedness in my hands;

4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that dealt friendly with me; * yea, I have

delivered him that without any cause is mine enemy;

5 Then let mine enemy persecute my soul and take me; * yea, let him tread my life down upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust.

6 Stand up, O Lord, in thy wrath, and lift up thyself, because of the indignation of mine enemies; * arise up for me in the judgement that thou hast commanded.

7 And so shall the congregation of the peoples come about thee: * for their sakes therefore lift up thyself again.

8 The Lord shall judge the peoples: give sentence with me, O Lord, * according to my righteousness, and according to the innocency that is in me.

9 O let the wickedness of the ungodly come to an end; * but guide thou the just.

10 For the righteous God * trieth the very hearts and reins.

11 My help cometh of God * who preserveth them that are true of heart.

12 God is a righteous Judge, strong and patient; * and God is provoked every day.

13 If a man will not turn, he will whet his sword; * he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

14 He hath prepared for him the instruments of death; * he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

15 Behold the ungodly travaileth with iniquity; * he hath conceived sorrow, and brought forth ungodliness.

16 He hath graven and digged up a pit, * and is fallen himself into the

destruction that he made for other.

17 For his travail shall come upon his own head, * and his wickedness shall fall on his own pate.

18 I will give thanks unto the Lord, according to his righteousness; * and I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 8 Domine, Dominus noster VIII

O LORD our Governor, how excellent is thy Name in all the world; * thou that hast set thy glory above the heavens!

2 Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings has thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, * that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider thy heavens, even the work of thy fingers; * the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;

4 What is man that thou art mindful of him? * and the Son of Man that thou visitest him?

5 Thou madest him lower than the angels * to crown him with glory and worship.

6 Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of thy hands; * and thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet:

7 All sheep and oxen; * yea, and the beasts of the field;

8 The fowls of the air and the fishes of the sea; * and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord our Governor * how excellent is thy Name in all the world!

Psalm 9 Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo IX

I WILL give thanks unto thee O LORD with my whole heart; * I willspeak of all thy marvellous works.

2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee; * yea my songs will I make of thy Name, O thou Most Highest.

3 While mine enemies are driven back * they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; * thou art set in the throne that judgest right.

5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, and destroyed the ungodly; * thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end; * even as the cities which thou has destroyed: their memorial is perished with them.

7 But the Lord shall endure for ever; * he hath also prepared his seat for judgment.

8 For he shall judge the world in righteousness * and minister true judgement unto the people.

9 The Lord also will be a defence for the oppressed, * even a refuge in due time of trouble.

10 And they that know thy Name will put their trust in thee; * for thou, Lord, hast never failed them that seek thee.

11 O praise the Lord which dwelleth in Sion; * show the people of his doings.

12 For when he maketh inquisition for blood he remembereth them, * and forgetteth not the complaint of the poor.

13 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, consider the trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, * thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;

14 That I may show all thy praises within the gates of the daughter of Sion: * I will rejoice in thy salvation.

15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; * in the same net which they hid privily is their foot taken.

16 The Lord is known to execute judgment; * the ungodly is trapped in the work of his own hands.

17 The wicked shall be turned to destruction, * and all the people that forget God.

18 For the poor shall not alway be forgotten; * the patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever.

19 Up, Lord, and let not man have the upper hand; * let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord * that the heathen may know themselves to be but men.

Continue without Glory be to the Father

Psalm 10 Ut quid, Domine, recessisti longe? IX

WHY standest thou so far off, O Lord * and hidest thy face in,,the needful time of trouble?

2 The ungodly for his own lust doth persecute the poor: * let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined.

3 For the ungodly hath made boast of his own heart’s desire * and speaketh good of the covetous, whom God abhorreth.

4 The ungodly is so proud that he careth not for God, * neither is God in all his thoughts.

5 His ways are alway grievous; * thy judgments are far above out of his sight, and therefore defieth he all his enemies.

6 For he hath said in his heart, Tush, I shall never be cast down, * there shall no harm happen unto me.

7 His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, and fraud; * under his tongue is ungodliness and vanity.

8 He sitteth lurking in the thievish corners of the streets, * and privily in his lurking dens doth he murder the innocent; his eyes are set against the poor.

9 For he lieth waiting secretly; even as a lion lurketh he in his den * that he may ravish the poor.

10 He doth ravish the poor * when he getteth him into his net.

11 He falleth down and humbleth himself * that the congregation of the poor may fall into the hands of his captains.

12 He hath said in his heart, Tush, God hath forgotten * he hideth away his face, and he will never see it.

13 Arise, O Lord God, and lift up thine hand * forget not the poor.

14 Wherefore should the wicked blaspheme God * while he doth say in his heart, Tush, thou God carest not for it?

15 Surely thou hast seen it; * for thou beholdest ungodliness and wrong.

16 That thou mayest take the matter into thy hand * the poor committeth

himself unto thee; for thou art the helper of the friendless.

17 Break thou the power of the ungodly and malicious * take away his ungodliness, and thou shalt find none.

18 The Lord is King for ever and ever * and the heathen are perished out of the land.

19 Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the poor * thou preparest their heart, and thine ear hearkeneth thereto;

20 To help the fatherless and poor unto their right * that the man of the earth be no more exalted against them.

Psalm 11 In Domino confido X

IN the Lord put I my trust * how say ye then to my soul, that she.,should flee as a bird unto the hill?

2 For lo, the ungodly bend their bow, and make ready their arrows within the quiver * that they may privily shoot at them which are true of heart.

3 For the foundations will be cast down * and what hath the righteous done?

4 The Lord is in his holy temple; * the Lord’s seat is in heaven.

5 His eyes consider the poor, * and his eyelids try the children of men.

6 The Lord alloweth the righteous: * but the ungodly, and him that delighteth in wickedness, doth his soul abhor.

7 Upon the ungodly he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest: * this shall be their portion to drink.

8 For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; * his countenance will behold the thing that is just.

In Advent, Antiphon. Strengthen ye the weak hands: be strong, and say: Behold, your God will come and save you, alleluia. Antiphon. Be strong.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. God is a just judge, strong and patient, and God is provoked every day. Antiphon. Thou, O Lord.

Psalm 12 Salvum me fac, Domine XI

HEAR me, Lord, for there is not one godly man left * for the faithful are minished from among the children of men.

2 They talk of vanity every one with his neighbour * they do but flatter with their lips, and dissemble in their double heart.

3 The Lord shall root out all deceitful lips * and the tongue that speaketh proud things;

4 Which have said, With our tongue will we prevail * we are they that ought to speak, who is lord over us?

5 Now for the comfortless troubles’ sake of the needy * and because of the deep sighing of the poor,

6 I will up, saith the Lord; * and will help every one from him that swelleth against him, and will set him at rest.

7 The words of the Lord are pure words; * even as the silver which from the earth is tried, and purified seven times in the fire.

8 Thou shalt keep them O Lord; * thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

9 The ungodly walk on every side: * when they are exalted, the children of men are put to rebuke.

Psalm 13 Usquequo, Domine, oblivisceris me? XII

HOW long wilt thou forget me O Lord, for ever? * how long wilt,thou hide thy face from me?

2 How long shall I seek counsel in my soul, and be so vexed in my heart? * how long shall mine enemy triumph over me?

3 Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God * lighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in death;

4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him * for if I be cast down, they that trouble me will rejoice at it.

5 But my trust is in thy mercy * and my heart is joyful in thy salvation.

6 I will sing of the Lord, because he hath dealt so lovingly with me; * yea, I will praise the Name of the Lord Most Highest.

Psalm 14 Dixit insipiens in corde suo XIII

THE fool hath said in his heart, * There is no God.

2 They are corrupt, and become abominable in their doings; * there is none that doeth good, no not one.

3 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men * to see if there were any that would understand, and seek after God.

4 But they are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become abominable; * there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

5 Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues have they deceived * the poison of asps is under their lips.

6 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness * their feet are swift to shed blood.

7 Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known * there is no fear of God before their eyes.

8 Have they no knowledge, that they are all such workers of mischief * eating up my people as it were bread, and call not upon the Lord?

9 There were they brought in great fear, even where no fear was; * for God is in the generation of the righteous.

10 As for you, ye have made a mock at the counsel of the poor; * because he putteth his trust in the Lord.

11 Who shall give salvation unto Israel out of Sion? When the Lord turneth the captivity of his people * then shall Jacob rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Psalm 15 Domine, quis habitabit? XIV

LORD who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? * or who shall rest upon thy holy hill?

2 Even he that leadeth an uncorrupt life * and doeth the thing which is right, and speaketh the truth from his heart.

3 He that hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor done evil to his neighbour * and hath not slandered his neighbour.

4 He that setteth not by himself, but is lowly in his own eyes * and maketh much of them that fear the Lord.

5 He that sweareth unto his neighbour, and disappointeth him not * though it were to his own hindrance.

6 He that hath not given his money upon usury * nor taken reward against the innocent.

7 Whoso doeth these things * shall never fall.

In Advent, Antiphon. Be strong, fear not, behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.

V. Out of Sion shall God appear in perfect beauty.

R. Our God shall come and shall not keep silence.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. Thou, O God, shalt keep them: thou shalt preserve him from this generation for ever.

V. I have thought upon thy name, O Lord, in the night-season.

R. And have kept thy law.

In Lent,

V. He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter.

R. And from the noisome pestilence.

In Passiontide,

V. Deliver my soul, O God, from the sword.

R. My darling from the power of the dog.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia, the stone is rolled away, alleluia; from the door of the sepulchre, alleluia, alleluia.

V. The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia.

R. Who for our sakes hung upon the tree, alleluia.

After the Absolution of each Nocturn is said

Our Father. silently until V. And lead us not into temptation.

R. But deliver us from evil.

HEAR O Lord Jesus Christ, the prayers of thy servants, and have mercy upon us: Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. R. Amen V. Bid, Lord, a blessing.

May the blessing of the eternal Father rest upon us always. R. Amen.

Then are read the Lessons with the Responsories, as are assigned in the appropriate Proper. [But thou, O Lord as eternal Father; the rest as always]

For the Second Lesson, Blessing.

May the only-begotten Son of God bless us and help us. R. Amen.

For the Third Lesson, Blessing.

May the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten our senses and hearts. R. Amen.


In Advent, Antiphon. Rejoice greatly.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. My goods.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia.

Psalm 16 Conserva me, Domine XV

PRESERVE me, O God; * for in thee have I put my trust.

2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord * Thou art my God, my goods are nothing unto thee.

3 All my delight is upon the saints that are in the earth * and upon such as excel in virtue.

4 But they that run after another god * shall have great trouble.

5 Their drink–offerings of blood will I not offer * neither make mention of their names within my lips.

6 The Lord himself is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup * thou shalt maintain my lot.

7 The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground * yea, I have a goodly heritage.

8 I will thank the Lord for giving me warning; * my reins also chasten me in the night-season.

9 I have set the LORD alway before me; * for he is on my right hand, therefore I shall not fall.

10 Wherefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth: * my flesh also shall rest in hope.

11 For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell; * neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.

12 Thou shalt show me the path of life, in thy presence is the fulness of joy, * and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore.

In Advent, Antiphon. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometh unto thee; fear not, O Sion, for thy salvation cometh quickly. Antiphon. Christ our King

Throughout the year, Antiphon. My goods are nothing unto thee; in thee have I hoped; preserve me, O Lord. Antiphon. Because of the words.

Psalm 17 Exaudi, Domine, justitiam meam XVI

HEAR the right, O Lord, consider my complaint * and hearken unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; * and let thine eyes look upon the thing that is equal.

3 Thou hast proved and visited mine heart in the night season; thou hast tried me and shalt find no wickedness in me; * for I am utterly purposed that my mouth shall not offend.

4 Because of men’s works, that are done against the words of thy lips * I have kept me from the ways of the destroyer.

5 O hold thou up my goings in thy paths * that my footsteps slip not.

6 I have called upon thee, O God, for thou shalt hear me: * incline thine ear to me, and hearken unto my words.

7 Show thy marvellous loving–kindness, thou that art the Saviour of them which put their trust in thee * from such as resist thy right hand.

8 Keep me as the apple of an eye; * hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

9 From the ungodly that trouble me; * mine enemies compass me round about to take away my soul.

10 They are inclosed in their own fat, * and their mouth speaketh proud things.

11 They lie waiting in our way on every side * turning their eyes down to the ground;

12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey * and as it were a lion’s whelp, lurking in secret places.

13 Up, Lord, disappoint him, and cast him down; * deliver my soul from the ungodly, which is a sword of thine;

14 From the men of thy hand, O Lord; from the men, I say, and from the evil world; * which have their portion in this life, whose bellies thou fillest with thy hid treasure.

15 They have children at their desire * and leave the rest of their substance for their babes.

16 But as for me, I will behold thy presence in righteousness; * and when I awake up after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it.

In Advent, Antiphon. Christ our King cometh, whom John preached, saying: Behold the Lamb that should come. Antiphon. Behold, I come.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. Because of the words of thy lips; I have kept me from the way of the destroyer. Antiphon. I will love thee.

And it is not repeated in the Psalm, which is always done when the Antiphon begins with the first verse of the Psalm, and then the Psalm begins from the same word where the Antiphon finishes, whether it is to be said entire, or only begun, so long as the words are the same, and the Antiphon is to continue with the Psalm.

Psalm 18 Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea XVII

I WILL love thee, O Lord my strength; The Lord is my stony rock,,and my defence * my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust; my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge.

2 I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised; * so shall I be safe from mine enemies.

3 The sorrows of death compassed me, * and the overflowings of ungodliness made me afraid.

4 The pains of hell came about me; * and the snares of death overtook me.

5 In my trouble I will call upon the Lord * and complain unto my God:

6 So shall he hear my voice out of his holy temple, * and my complaint shall

come before him, it shall enter even into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked, * the very foundations also of the hills shook

and were removed, because he was wroth.

8 There went a smoke out in his presence * and a consuming fire out of his mouth, so that coals were kindled at it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down, * and it was dark under his feet.

10 He rode upon the Cherubim and did fly; * he came flying upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place, * his pavilion round about him, with dark water, and thick clouds to cover him.

12 At the brightness of his presence his clouds removed; * hail-stones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord thundered out of heaven, and the Highest gave his thunder; * hail-stones and coals of fire.

14 He sent out his arrows and scattered them; * he cast forth lightnings and destroyed them.

15 The springs of waters were seen, and the foundations of the round world were discovered, at thy chiding, O Lord * at the blasting of the breath of thy displeasure.

16 He sent down from on high to fetch me * and took me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strongest enemy, and from them which hate me * for they were too mighty for me.

18 They came upon me in the day of my trouble * but the Lord was my upholder.

19 He brought me forth also into a place of liberty * he brought me forth, even because he had a favour unto me.

20 The Lord shall reward me after my righteous dealing * according to the cleanness of my hands shall he recompense me.

21 Because I have kept the ways of the Lord * and have not forsaken my God, as the wicked doth.

22 For I have an eye unto all his laws * and will not cast out his commandments from me.

23 I was also uncorrupt before him * and eschewed mine own wickedness.

24 Therefore shall the Lord reward me after my righteous dealing * and according unto the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25 With the holy thou shalt be holy, * and with a perfect man thou shalt be perfect.

26 With the clean thou shalt be clean, * and with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness.

27 For thou shalt save the people that are in adversity * and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud.

28 Thou also shalt light my candle; * the Lord my God shall make my darkness

to be light.

29 For in thee I shall discomfit an host of men, * and with the help of my God I shall leap over the wall.

30 The way of God is an undefiled way: * the word of the Lord also is tried in the fire; he is the defender of all them that put their trust in him.

31 For who is God but the Lord * or who hath any strength except our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength of war * and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like harts’ feet * and setteth me up on high.

34 He teacheth mine hands to fight, * and mine arms shall break even a bow of steel.

35 Thou hast given me the defence of thy salvation; * thy right hand also shall hold me up, and thy loving correction shall make me great.

36 Thou shalt make room enough under me for to go * that my footsteps shall not slide.

37 I will follow upon mine enemies and overtake them; * neither will I turn again till I have destroyed them.

38 I will smite them, that they shall not be able to stand * but fall under my feet.

39 Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle * thou shalt throw down mine enemies under me.

40 Thou hast made mine enemies also to turn their backs upon me, * and I shall destroy them that hate me.

41 They shall cry, but there shall be none to help them * yea, even unto the Lord shall they cry, but he shall not hear them.

42 I will beat them as small as the dust before the wind * I will cast them out as the clay in the streets.

43 Thou shalt deliver me from the strivings of the people, * and thou shalt make me the head of the heathen.

44 A people whom I have not known * shall serve me.

45 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me; * but the strange children shall dissemble with me.

46 The strange children shall fail * and be afraid out of their prisons.

47 The Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper, * and praised be the God of my salvation;

48 Even the God that seeth that I be avenged * and subdueth the people unto me.

49 It is he that delivereth me from my cruel enemies, and setteth me up above mine adversaries: * thou shalt rid me from the wicked man.

50 For this cause will I give thanks unto thee O Lord among the Gentiles * and sing praises unto thy Name.

51 Great prosperity giveth he unto his King * and showeth loving–kindness unto David his anointed, and unto his seed for evermore.

In Advent, Antiphon. Behold, I come quickly, saith the Lord : and my reward is with me : to give to every man according as his work shall be.

V. Send, O Lord, the Lord, the ruler of the land.

R. From the Rock of the wilderness unto the mount of the daughter of Sion.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. I will love thee, O Lord my strength.

V. Thou also shalt light my candle.

R. The Lord my God shall make my darkness to be light.

In Lent,

V. He shall defend me under his wings.

R. And thou shalt be safe under his feathers.

In Passiontide,

V. Save me, O Lord, from the lion’s mouth.

R. Thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia, woman, whom seekest thou? Alleluia : seekest thou the living among the dead? Alleluia, alleluia.

V. The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.

R. And hath appeared unto Simon, alleluia.

Our Father. silently. V. And lead us not into temptation.

R. But deliver us from evil.


May his mercy and pity assist us, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. R. Amen. V. Bid, Lord, a blessing.


May God the Father Almighty be merciful and gracious unto us. R. Amen.

For Lesson v, Blessing.

May Christ grant unto us the joys of eternal life. R. Amen.

For Lesson vj, Blessing.

May God kindle the fire of his love in our hearts. R. Amen.


In Advent, Antiphon. The Angel Gabriel.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. There is no speech.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia.

Psalm 19 Coeli enarrant gloriam Dei XVIII

THE heavens declare the glory of God * and the firmament ,showeth his handy–work.

2 One day telleth another; * and one night certifieth another.

3 There is neither speech nor language; * but their voices are heard among them.

4 Their sound is gone out into all lands; * and their words into the ends of the world.

5 In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun * which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.

6 It goeth forth from the uttermost part of the heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again; * and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

7 The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul; * the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.

8 The statues of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever; * the judgements of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold * sweeter also than honey, and the honey–comb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant taught * and in keeping of them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how oft he offendeth? * O cleanse thou me from my secret faults.

13 Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me; * so shall I be undefiled, and innocent from the great offence.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart * be alway acceptable in thy sight,

15 O Lord * my strength, and my redeemer.

In Advent, Antiphon. The Angel Gabriel spake unto Mary, and said : Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee : blessed art thou among women. Antiphon. Mary said.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. There is neither speech nor language : but their

voices are heard among them.

Antiphon. The Lord hear.

Psalm 20 Exaudiat te Dominus XIX

THE Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; * the Name of the God of Jacob

defend thee:

2 Send thee help from the sanctuary * and strengthen thee out of Sion:

3 Remember all thy offerings * and accept thy burnt–sacrifice:

4 Grant thee thy heart’s desire * and fulfil all thy mind.

5 We will rejoice in thy salvation and triumph in the Name of the Lord our God: * the Lord perform all thy petitions.

6 Now know I that the Lord helpeth his Anointed, and will hear him from his holy heaven * even with the wholesome strength of his right hand.

7 Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses; * but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought down, and fallen; * but we are risen, and stand upright.

9 Save, Lord, and hear us, O King of heaven * when we call upon thee.

In Advent, Antiphon. Mary said: Cast in thy mind, what manner of salutation this shall be : for my soul is troubled, and since I shall bring forth the King, who shall not violate the doors of my virginity? Antiphon. In the Advent.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble. Antiphon. The King

Psalm 21 Domine, in virtute tua XX

THE King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord; * exceeding glad shall he be of thy salvation.

2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire * and hast not denied him the request of his lips.

3 For thou shalt meet him with the blessing of goodness * and shalt set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him a long life * even for ever and ever.

5 His honour is great in thy salvation; * glory and great worship shalt thou lay upon him.

6 For thou shalt give him everlasting felicity * and make him glad with the joy of thy countenance.

7 And why? because the King putteth his trust in the Lord;* and in the mercy of the Most Highest he shall not miscarry.

8 All thine enemies shall feel thine hand; * thy right hand shall find out them that hate thee.

9 Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven in time of thy wrath * the Lord shall destroy them in his displeasure, and the fire shall consume them.

10 Their fruit shalt thou root out of the earth * and their seed from among the children of men.

11 For they intended mischief against thee * and imagined such a device as they are not able to perform.

12 Therefore shalt thou put them to flight, * and the strings of thy bow shalt thou

make ready against the face of them.

13 Be thou exalted Lord in thine own strength; * so will we sing, and praise thy power.

In Advent, Antiphon. In the Advent of the most mighty King the hearts of men shall be cleansed, and we shall walk worthily in his way: for behold, he shall come, and shall not tarry.

V. The Lord cometh forth out of his holy place.

R. He will come and save his people.

Throughout the year, Antiphon. The King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord.

V. Be thou exalted, O Lord, in thine own strength.

R. So shall we sing and praise thy power.

In Lent,

V. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

R. Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night.

In Passiontide,

V. Shut not up my soul with the sinners, O God.

R. Nor my life with the blood-thirsty.

In Eastertide, Antiphon. Alleluia, weep not, Mary, alleluia : the Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia.

V. Then were the disciples glad, alleluia.

R. When they saw the Lord, alleluia.

Our Father. Silently. V. And lead us not into temptation.

R. But deliver us from evil.


From the chains of our sins may the almighty and merciful Lord loose us.

R. Amen. V. Bid, Lord, a blessing.


May the Gospel Lection be to us salvation and protection. R. Amen.

For Lesson viij, Blessing.

May the divine assistance remain with us always. R. Amen.

For Lesson ix, Blessing.

May the King of Angels bring us to the society of the heavenly citizens.

R. Amen.

Posted in Anglican Breviary, Psalmody | 1 Comment

Catechism XXXII ~ Thoughts for Eastertide


St. Gregory of Nyssa

What other objection is alleged by our adversaries? This; that (to take the preferable view2014) it was altogether needless that that transcendent Being should submit to the experience of death, but He might independently of this, through the superabundance of His power, have wrought with ease His purpose; still, if for some ineffable reason or other it was absolutely necessary that so it should be, at least He ought not to have been subjected to the contumely of such an ignominious kind of death. What death, they ask, could be more ignominious than that by crucifixion? What answer can we make to this?

(The objection appears to be that it is unworthy of the Divine Nature or God to die, especially an execution as shameful as crucifixion. To have such a thought objecting to Christian Faith is, according to St. Gregory, a sickness (of the mind) and the Catechism is written to be the cure to such ailments of mind. The answer to such an objection as mentioned above is therefore not merely a counter argument. It is a medicine. The entire Catechism was composed as a medicine to cure the mind. )

Why, that the death is rendered necessary by the birth, and that He Who had determined once for all to share the nature of man must pass through all the peculiar conditions of that nature. Seeing, then, that the life of man is determined between two boundaries, had He, after having passed the one, not touched the other that follows, His proposed design would have remained only half fulfilled, from His not having touched that second condition of our nature. Perhaps, however, one who exactly understands the mystery would be justified rather in saying that, instead of the death occurring in consequence of the birth, the birth on the contrary was accepted by Him for the sake of the death; for He Who lives for ever did not sink down into the conditions of a bodily birth from any need to live, but to call us back from death to life.

The natural cycle of life for human beings is such that our birth is the cause of our death. Had we not been born we would not die. Death is the consequence of our birth. For the Lord Jesus Christ things are different. The birth of Jesus Christ is the consequence of His death on the Cross. St. Gregory goes on to explain below.

Since, then, there was needed a lifting up from death for the whole of our nature, He stretches forth a hand as it were to prostrate man, and stooping down to our dead corpse He came so far within the grasp of death as to touch a state of deadness, and then in His own body to bestow on our nature the principle of the resurrection, raising as He did by His power along with Himself the whole man. For since from no other source than from the concrete lump of our nature2015 had come that flesh, which was the receptacle of the Godhead and in the resurrection was raised up together with that Godhead, therefore just in the same way as, in the instance of this body of ours, the operation of one of the organs of sense is felt at once by the whole system, as one with that member, so also the resurrection principle of this Member, as though the whole of mankind was a single living being, passes through the entire race, being imparted from the Member to the whole by virtue of the continuity and oneness of the nature. What, then, is there beyond the bounds of probability in what this Revelation teaches us; viz. that He Who stands upright stoops to one who has fallen, in order to lift him up from his prostrate condition? And as to the Cross, whether it possesses some other and deeper meaning, those who are skilled in mysticism may explain; but, however that may be, the traditional teaching which has reached us is as follows.

Did you get that? Death is a condition that has spread throughout human nature. For that reason, every human being must inevitably die. This is the so-called human condition. God descends into human nature (by becoming man in Jesus Christ) to take on death itself. At this lowest point of His descent He then plants the seed of resurrection. For He Himself rises from the dead. Death has died – so to speak – and life has been restored (at least in principle).

This resurrection to life is planted in human nature in a similar way that sin planted death there. This means that the resurrection to life is given to all that participate in human nature. St. Gregory uses the image of our body and its senses. Whatever happens at one end of it affects the whole system of our body (building on St. Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 12). The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are truly and totally the undoing of death. The resurrection to life is as inevitable as is death. The resurrection is certain for all participants in human nature. The resurrection is not subject to free will the same way death is not. Let that sink in for a while.

More St. Gregory to come. Stay tuned.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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