Monday, August 31, 2009

Eve of St Joshua

The first of September is not only the opening of the Byzantine Ecclesiastical Year, but the day whereon my Patron, St Joshua, is celebrated in the Martyrology. As I have a liking for things liturgical, I composed a proper Office for his feast according to the modern Liturgy of the Hours (which I read as a private devotion), but I haven't gotten around to revising this to fit the style of the '62 Breviary.
(My plan would be: to restructure the Hours and the Psalms assigned thereto in a more traditional manner; to have three Matins lessons by dropping the passage from von Speyr and dividing Newman's into two; to reassign the antiphons at Terce, Sext, None and for the Vigil canticles to Lauds and Vespers, so that these have five each; to move the short responsories from Lauds and both Vespers to Terce, Sext, and None; to reuse the versicles at Terce, Sext and None at Lauds and both Vespers; and to delete the intercessions at Lauds and Vespers, as also the Vigil canticles and Gospel. This would produce a "Little Office of St Joshua", since I would only provide three Matins psalms.)
Just to-day, the latest issue of Communio arrived, containing an exegetical article about Moses having Joshua fight Amalec - famously, Moses held his arms out crosswise, a type of the Lord's saving Cross, and so long as he did so, Joshua slew Israel's enemies, a type of how Christians fight the spiritual combat by the power of the Cross and it alone. Appropriately enough, the antiphons at first Vespers of St Joshua are from this very passage! I do like to be proven au courant with the latest in orthodox opinion.

I recommend to all the reading of Newman's sermon "Joshua a Type of Christ and His Followers" (preached on the first Sunday after Trinity, 13th June 1841*) for an excellent elucidation of how we are to take the Scripture history of St Joshua as a type of Christ, yes, and also of ourselves, who are Christ's men, Christians, that we apply the lessons of his prototypical, saintly life to our humble lives.
[* Note that, since this was thirty years before the C. of E. revised its Office lectionary in 1871, the psalms and lessons read that day were as follows: at Matins, Psalm 68 (Vulg., 67), Joshua x and St Mark xiii; at the Holy Communion, I John iv, 7-21 and St Luke xvi, 19-31 (Dives and Lazarus); and at Evensong, Psalms 69 & 70 (Vulg. 68 & 69), Joshua xxiii and II Cor. x. This explains some of Newman's allusions.]


Anonymous said...

Why couldn't you have nine Psalms - not enough Antiphons?

Joshua said...

Yes, that's why - I've combed through the Book of Joshua for suitable texts quite long enough!