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Blessed be you of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.


The heaven of heaven is the Lord's but the earth he has given to the children of men. The dead shall not praise thee, O Lord: nor any of them that go down to hell.

But we that live bless the Lord: from this time now and for ever.

ANT. We that live bless the Lord.

Benedicti vos a Domino : qui fecit cœlum et terram. Cœlum cœli Domino : terram autem dedit filiis hominum.

Non mortui laudabunt te, Domine :

neque omnes qui descendunt in infernum. Sed nos qui vivimus, benedicimus Domino: * ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

ANT. Nos qui vivimus, benedicimus Domino.

After these five Psalms, a short Lesson from the holy Scriptures is then read. It is called Capitulum, because it is always very short. That for the several Feasts, is given on the respective Days. The following is said on the Sundays called After the Epiphany, as often as the Vespers are of the Sunday.

II. Cor. i.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.

Ry. Thanks be to God.

Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra. Ry. Deo gratias.

Then follows the Hymn. We give the one of the Sunday's Office. It was composed by St. Gregory the Great, and celebrates Creation. It praises the Light, which God drew out of nothing, on this the first Day, and which is the beautiful image of our Divine Infant, the Light of the world, the Orient that has visited them who sat in the shadow of death.

Lucis Creator optime, Lucem dierum proferens; Primordiis lucis novæ, Mundi parans originem.

Qui mane junctum vesperi Diem vocari præcipis, Illabitur tetrum chaos, Audi preces cum fletibus.

Ne mens gravata crimine, Vitæ sit exul munere, Dum nil perenne cogitat, Seɛeque culpis illigat.

Coeleste pulset intimum, Vitale tollat præmium: Vitemus omne noxium, Pergemus omne pessimum.


Præsta, Pater piissime, Patrique compar Unice, Cum Spiritu Paraclito Regnans per omne sæculum. Amen.

O infinitely good Creator of the Light! by thee was produced the Light of day, providing thus the world's beginning with the beginning of the new-made Light.

Thou biddest us call the time from morn till eve, Day; this day is over; dark Night comes on-oh! hear our tearful prayers.

Let not our soul, weighed. down by crime, mis-spend thy gift of life, and, forgetting what is eternal, be earth-tied by her sins.

Oh! may we strive to enter our heavenly home, and bear away the prize of life: may we shun what would injure us, and cleanse our soul from her defilements.

Most merciful Father! and thou, his Only Begotten Son, co-equal with him, reigning for ever with the Holy Paraclete! grant this our prayer. Amen.

* According to the Monastic Rite, it is as follows:


R7. breve. Quam magnificata sunt, Opera tua Domine. Quam. Omnia in sapientia fecisti. Opera. Gloria Patri, &c. Quam.

Lucis Creator optime,
Lucem dierum proferens;
Primordiis lucis novæ,
Mundi parans originem.

Qui mane junctum vesperi

Diem vocari præcipis,
Tetrum chaos illabitur,
Audi preces cum fletibus.

Ne mens gravata crimine, Vitæ sit exul munere, Dum nil perenne cogitat, Seseque culpis illigat.

Coelorum pulset intimum, Vitale tollat præmium: Vitemus omne noxium, Purgemus omne pessimum. Præsta, Pater piissime, Patrique compar Unice, Cum Spiritu Paraclito Regnans per omne sæculum Amen.

The Versicle which follows the Hymn, and which we here give, is that of the Sunday: those for the Feasts are given in their proper places.

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Then is said the Magnificat Antiphon, which is to be found in the Proper for the different Days. After this, the Church sings the Canticle of Mary, the Magnificat, in which are celebrated the Divine Maternity and all its consequent blessings. This exquisite Canticle is an essential part of the Vespers, throughout the year; but how sweetly appropriate is it to the season of Christmas, during which, the Church is overflowing with joy at the Birth of Jesus! She turns to the Mother, and proclaims her Blessed. Blessed, indeed; for, the power of the Most High overshadowed her; the Holy Ghost gave unto her, for the salvation of the world, the Blessed Fruit of her Womb.1

(St. Luke, i.)

My soul doth magnify the
And my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.

Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed.

Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.

And his mercy is from gene

Dominum :

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Et exsultavit spiritus meus:* in Deo salutari meo. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ: ecce enim ex hoc Beatam me dicent omnes generationes.

Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: * et sanctum nomen ejus.

Et misericordia ejus a pro

1 St. Luke, i. 35.

genie in progenies: * timentibus eum.

Fecit potentiam in brachio suo : dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.

Deposuit potentes desede: *et exaltavit humiles.

Esurientes implevit bo* et divites dimisit

nis : inanes.

Suscepit Israel puerum suum : recordatus misericordiæ suæ.

Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros: *Abraham et semini ejus in sæcula.

ration unto generation, to them that fear him.

He hath showed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy.

As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

The Magnificat Antiphon is then repeated. The Prayer, or Collect, will be found in the Proper of each Sunday and Feast.

The Vespers end with the following Versicles:

. Benedicamus Domino. Ry. Deo gratias.

. Fidelium animæ per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. R. Amen.

. Let us bless the Lord, Ry. Thanks be to God.

. May the souls of the Faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.




THIS Office, which concludes the day, commences by a warning of the dangers of the night: then immediately follows the public Confession of our sins, as a powerful means of propitiating the divine justice, and obtaining God's help, now that we are going to spend so many hours in the unconscious and therefore dangerous state of sleep, which is also such an image of death.

The Lector, addressing the Priest, says to him: Pray, Father, give thy bless- . Jube, Domne, benedi


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Noctem quietam, et finem
perfectum concedat nobis
Dominus omnipotens.
Ry. Amen.

The Lector then reads these words, from the first Epistle of St. Peter:

Brethren, be sober and watch for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour: resist him, being strong in faith. But thou, Ŏ Lord, have mercy on us.

Fratres: Sobrii estote, et vigilate: quia adversarius vester diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens circuit quærens quem devoret: cui resistite fortes in fide. Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis.

The Choir answers:

R. Thanks be to God.

R. Deo gratias.

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