Liturgical Texts: April 2010 Archives

Mother Good Counsel.jpg


I called upon God and the spirit of wisdom came to me;
I learned without guile
and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her riches, alleluia (Wis 7:7b, 13).


O Lord who know
that the thoughts of mortals are full of fear and uncertainty,
through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
from whom your Son took flesh,
grant us your counsel
that we may be made to recognize
the things that are pleasing to you
and be directed in all our works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That the gaze of people of every race and culture
may come to rest upon the Face of Christ
and upon His open Heart,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us.

That civil authorities may humbly seek good counsel in prayer,
so as to govern wisely, justly, and mercifully,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us.

That those in doubt and perplexity may be enlightened;
that those in affliction and adversity may be comforted;
and that those suffering persecution and calumny may be consoled,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us.

That the faith of those weakened by sickness and infirmity may grow stronger ;
and that those who are at the hour of death
may be blessed by the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us.

That those who seek the intercession of the Mother of Good Counsel today
may receive the guidance and direction they seek,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us.


O God,
who gave us the Mother of your Son for our Mother,
[and were pleased by a wondrous apparition
to glorify a beauteous image of her;]
grant, we beseech you,
that ever hearkening to her counsels,
we may be enabled to live according to your Heart,
and happily to reach our heavenly homeland.
Through Christ our Lord.


Be mindful, O Virgin Mother,
to speak good things in the presence of God on our behalf,
that he may turn away his anger from us, alleluia (cf. Jer 18:20).


Let the Spirit of Counsel, O Lord,
who so wondrously overshadowed the Blessed Virgin, your handmaid,
make these gifts reverently offered
acceptable to you.
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.

How abundantly you filled the most blessed Virgin Mary
with the gifts of the Holy Spirit
to make her the worthy
mother and companion of the Redeemer!

Formed by these gifts
she sought your will unceasingly
and faithfully carried it out;
she joyfully magnified your mercy
and held fast to the counsel of your lovingkindness
to restore all things in Christ.

Through whom the ranks of Angels adore your majesty,
rejoicing in eternity before your face.
We pray you let our voices blend with theirs
singing with exultant praise:


The Mother of Jesus said to the servants:
"Do whatsoever he tells you," alleluia (cf. Jn 2:5).


We have been made partakers of your mysteries, O Lord,
as we celebrate the memorial
of Holy Mary, the Mother of Good Counsel;
grant that we may learn what is pleasing to you
and become worthy of being saved by the Wonderful Counselor whom you gave us through the Blessed Virgin:
your Son who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Adoration nocturne Caen.jpg

I came across this hymn for Compline in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in Les heures du Saint-Sacrement published at Lille in 1856 for L'Association de l'Adoration Perpétuelle of the Bénédictines du Saint-Sacrement. The Association was erected as an archconfraternity by Blessed Pope Pius IX on May 25, 1851. The hymn can be sung to any of the usual Gregorian melodies for Te lucis ante terminum. I give my own translation in italics. With apologies to Father Z of WDPRS fame, it is not slavishly literal. Dear Vincent, would you like to do a metrical translation?

Iesu, sub ara victima,
Verum Deum quem credimus,
Qui carne nos pascis die,
In nocte nostra sis quies.

O Jesu, our altar's sacrifice
Whom we believe to be our very God,
By day Thy flesh becomes our food,
By night be Thou our heart's repose.

Sis mentium pax et cibus,
Et dulce robur cordium;
Sint templa sancti Spiritus,
Quae consecrasti corpora.

Be Thou the peace and nourishment of our souls,
And of our hearts the gentle strength,
Our bodies, by Thy consecration,
Make temples of the Holy Ghost.

Dum nos quiete recreas,
Supplex precaris hostia;
Locus quietis intimae
Nostris sit ara cordibus.

While we slumber, Thou makest us anew,
Thy pleading for us, O Victim, ceaseth not;
Let then the altar of our hearts
For thee become a silent resting-place.

Laus nocte iugis et die
Sit Trinitati gloria,
Quam Filius non desinit
Laudare factus victima. Amen.

Praise by night and praise by day
and glory to the Trinity,
The Victim's offering riseth still
For ceaseless is the Son's own praise.

3Clyde Apse.jpg

Today's Collect

O God, who for the salvation of the world,
brought about the paschal sacrifice,
be favourable to the supplications of your people,
that with Christ our Pontiff interceding for us,
we may be reconciled by that in which he is like unto us,
and be absolved by that in which he is equal to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Christ Our Pontiff

On this Thursday of the Second Week of Pascha, the Church gives us a Collect focusing on the mediatorship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest. Very fitting, in fact, for a Thursday. "With Christ our Pontiff interceding for us," is, of course, an allusion to Hebrews 7:25. The word "pontiff" -- meaning bridge-builder -- is, I think, a more suitable translation than "high priest" in this instance, given that Christ Himself is the bridge, the Divine Mediator uniting God to man and man to God.

Saint Catherine of Siena

This recalls the words of the Eternal Father to Saint Catherine of Siena in The Dialogues:

I also wish you to look at the Bridge of My only-begotten Son, and see the greatness thereof, for it reaches from Heaven to earth, that is, that the earth of your humanity is joined to the greatness of the Deity thereby. I say then that this Bridge reaches from Heaven to earth, and constitutes the union which I have made with man.
This was necessary, in order to reform the road which was broken, as I said to you, in order that man should pass through the bitterness of the world, and arrive at life; but the Bridge could not be made of earth sufficiently large to span the flood and give you Eternal Life, because the earth of human nature was not sufficient to satisfy for guilt, to remove the stain of Adam's sin. Which stain corrupted the whole human race and gave out a stench, as I have said to you above. It was, therefore, necessary to join human nature with the height of My nature, the Eternal Deity, so that it might be sufficient to satisfy for the whole human race, so that human nature should sustain the punishment, and that the Divine nature, united with the human, should make acceptable the sacrifice of My only Son, offered to Me to take death from you and to give you life.
So the height of the Divinity, humbled to the earth, and joined with your humanity, made the Bridge and reformed the road. Why was this done? In order that man might come to his true happiness with the angels. And observe, that it is not enough, in order that you should have life, that My Son should have made you this Bridge, unless you walk thereon.

Oratory Holy Face Icon.JPG

This is the icon of the Holy Face in our monastic oratory. Photo by Becky Loper.

Ut, quod fide recolimus, perpetua dilectione capiamus

Second Wednesday of Pascha


Recalling each year, O Lord,
the mysteries through which our human substance
was restored to the dignity of its origin
and so received the hope of resurrection,
we humbly implore your clemency
that, by means of an unfailing love,
we may lay hold of what we contemplate in faith.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


Almighty and ever-living God,
who by the ministry of an Angel,
delivered your apostles out of prison
and commanded them to stand in the temple
and announce the words of life;
open our minds and hearts
to the teaching by which it is given us each day
to grow in faith,
to stand firm in hope,
and to believe in the charity
with which you have first loved us.
Through Christ our Lord.

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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