22 November, Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

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I spoke of your testimonies before kings,
and I was not ashamed:
I meditated also on your commandments,
which I loved (Ps 118:46-47).


O God, who gladden us
with the yearly festival of blessed Cecilia,
grant, we beseech you,
that the things devoutly passed on concerning your handmaid,
may give us an example to imitate,
and that the wonders of Christ your Son in his servants
may be recounted.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That the Church in every place
may sing psalms of thanksgiving at all times,
—like Saint Cecilia, the virgin and martyr—
to Christ, her Bridegroom and her Head,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That our civil authorities
and all in the service of our country
may acknowledge the mercies of God
and seek the wisdom that comes from above,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That like Saint Cecilia, those who are persecuted for the sake of Christ
may always carry the Gospel of Christ in their hearts
and persevere in constant prayer;
and that all who suffer may find hope in the prayer of the Church,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That, helped by the prayers of Saint Cecilia,
those who are dedicated to singing and making music to the Lord,
may serve and foster the full and conscious participation in the liturgy
in assemblies where beauty is at home,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That Benedictine nuns the world over
may find in Saint Cecilia the image of their own vocation:
to prefer nothing to the love of Christ,
singing his praises
and meditating his Word day and night,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That we, having been led by Christ into the desert
may so listen to him who speaks to our hearts,
as to be found awake and watchful when he comes,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


O God, by whose grace,
Cecilia sang to you in her heart
even in the hour of her suffering,
mercifully grant that we, like her,
may cling always to the Gospel of your Christ,
praying ceaselessly by day and by night,
ready to greet the Bridegroom with lighted lamps
when he comes in the midst of the night,
and go into the wedding feast with him
who is Lord forever and ever.


After her shall virgins be brought to the King:
her companions shall be brought to you
with gladness and rejoicing:
they shall be brought into the temple
of the King, the Lord (Ps 44:15-16).


Lord, receive the worship that, in our lowliness,
we set forth before you
on this memorial of the virgin martyr, Cecilia;
by this spotless offering,
grant that we may be set ablaze
with a love that is both tender and holy in your sight.
Through Christ our Lord.


Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
as we celebrate the day
when Saint Cecilia received the martyr’s blessed crown.

She consecrated herself as a bride to Christ
in fidelity of heart and the shedding of her blood
and as a virgin achieved the martyr’s death.

Christ, the pure offspring of a holy Virgin,
drew her with such surpassing love
that, remaining chaste in body and spirit,
she bore without fear both torment and death
for the sake of his name.

Rejoicing for her, now glorified in heaven,
with angels and saints we acknowledge you as Lord
and sing the ageless hymn of your praise:


The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps:
and at midnight the cry went up:
Behold, the Bridegroom comes:
go forth to meet Christ the Lord (cf. Mt 25:4, 6).


Refreshed with bread from heaven,
we humbly entreat your mercy, Lord:
may we who rejoice on this memorial of Saint Cecilia
receive pardon for our offenses,
health for our bodies,
and grace with endless glory for our souls.
Through Christ our Lord.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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