Place yourself at Toledo: in the cathedral’s Mozarabic Rite chapel the faithful, silent, stand; silently, at this penitential season, the priest and his ministers advance to God’s altar; still without speaking, the priest bows awhile in prayer, then ascends the altar steps, kisses it, and goes to stand at his seat, where at length he first opens his mouth and salutes the congregation. All attend to the readings that now begin. A lector reads out the first lessson at the lectern; after he finishes, another takes his place. The Old Testament lessons ended, the choir chants; a third lector reads the Epistle. Next the deacon, with cerifers and thurifer, proceeds to the lectern to read the Gospel, first saluting the people (who stand in reverence), then censing the sacred volume. The deacon having ended, then the priest having preached, again the choir sings God’s praises. Next would come the offering of the Sacrifice…
But let us at the least unite ourselves to the Mass at Toledo by some participation in the Service of the Word, before in prayer making a spiritual communion as our devotion suggests.
Wednesday in Great Week
Feria IV in hebdomada maiore
Sapiential Lesson: Sirach 46,6-21
Historical Lection: 2 Kings 5,1-14
Threni: Lam 1,12;4,11-13;1,16; Jer 9,18; Lam 1,22
Apostle: 1John 5,5-15
Gospel: Matthew 26,2-16
Laudes: Psalm 17,2b-3a
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. R/. Thanks be to God.
Jesus [i.e. Josue] called upon the most high Sovereign when the enemies assaulted him on every side, and the great and holy God heard him by hailstones of exceeding great force. He made a violent assault against the nation of his enemies, and in the descent he destroyed the adversaries. That the nations might know his power, that it is not easy to fight against God. And he followed the mighty one: and in the days of Moses he did a work of mercy, he and Caleb the son of Jephone, in standing against the enemy, and withholding the people from sins, and appeasing the wicked murmuring. And they two being appointed, were delivered out of the danger from among the number of six hundred thousand men on foot, to bring them into their inheritance, into the land that floweth with milk and honey. And the Lord gave strength also to Caleb, and his strength continued even to his old age, so that he went up to the high places of the land, and his seed obtained it for an inheritance: that all the children of Israel might see, that it is good to obey the holy God. Then all the judges, every one by name, whose heart was not corrupted: who turned not away from the Lord, that their memory might be blessed, and their bones spring up out of their place, and their name continue for ever, the glory of the holy men remaining unto their children. Samuel the prophet of the Lord, the beloved of the Lord his God, established a new government, and anointed princes over his people. By the law of the Lord he judged the congregation, and the God of Jacob beheld, and by his fidelity he was proved a prophet. And he was known to be faithful in his words, because he saw the God of light: and called upon the name of the Lord Almighty, in fighting against the enemies who beset him on every side, when he offered a lamb without blemish. And the Lord thundered from heaven, and with a great noise made his voice to be heard. And he crushed the princes of the Tyrians, and all the lords of the Philistines:
A Lesson from the Second Book of Kings. R/. Thanks be to God.
In those days:
Naaman, general of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man and rich, but a leper. Now there had gone out robbers from Syria, and had led away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman's wife. And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet, that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath. Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus and thus said tile girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria sad to him: Go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and tell changes of raiment, and brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman my servant, that thou mayest heal him of his leprosy. And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me, to heal a man of his leprosy? mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me. And when Eliseus the man of God had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: and Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thee shalt be clean. Naaman was angry and went away, saying: I thought he would hare come out to me, and standing would hare invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt he clean? Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times: according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean.
O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.
V/. The Lord hath accomplished his wrath in me, he hath poured out his fierce anger on account of all my iniquities.
V/. Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water: because
the voice of lamentation is heard over me.
V/. For my sighs are many, and my heart is sorrowful.
The First Epistle of the Apostle John. R/. Thanks be to God.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son. And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life. He that hath not the Son, hath not life. These things I write to you, that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence which we have towards him: That, whatsoever we shall ask according to his will, he heareth us. And we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask: we know that we have the petitions which we request of him.
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew. R/. Glory to Thee, O Lord.
At that time:
You know that after two days shall be the pasch, and the son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified: then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas: and they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus, and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people. And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. For she in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her. Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.
I will love thee, * O Lord, my strength.
V/. The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. * O Lord, my strength.