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.
Saturday in the third week of Lent
Sabbatum in tertia hebdomada Quadragesimæ
Sapiential Lesson: Proverbs 25,2-12
Historical Lection: Judges 21,1-25
Psallendum: Psalm 33,23.20
Apostle: 1 Peter 5,5-11
Gospel: John 6,43.48-58
Laudes: Psalm 112,1-2
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Book of Proverbs. R/. Thanks be to God.
It is the glory of God to conceal the word, and the glory of kings to search out the speech. The heaven above, and the earth beneath, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the rust from silver, and there shall come forth a most pure vessel: take away wickedness from the face of the king, and his throne shall be established with justice. Appear not glorious before the king, and stand not in the place of great men. For it is better that it should be said to thee: Come up hither; than that thou shouldst be humbled before the prince. The things which thy eyes have seen, utter not hastily in a quarrel: lest afterward thou mayst not be able to make amends, when thou hast dishonoured thy friend. Treat thy cause with thy friend, and discover not the secret to a stranger: lest he insult over thee, when he hath heard it, and cease not to upbraid thee. Grace and friendship deliver a man: keep these for thyself, lest thou fall under reproach. To speak a word in due time, is like apples of gold on beds of silver. As an earring of gold and a bright pearl, so is he that reproveth the wise, and the obedient ear.
A Lesson from the Book of Judges. R/. Thanks be to God.
In those days:
Now the children of Israel had also sworn in Maspha, saying: None of us shall give of his daughters to the children of Benjamin to wife. And they all came to the house of God in Silo, and abiding before him till the evening, lifted up their voices, and began to lament and weep, saying: O Lord God of Israel, why is so great an evil come to pass in thy people, that this day one tribe should be taken away from among us? And rising early the next day, they built an altar: and offered there holocausts, and victims of peace, and they said: who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the army of the Lord? for they had bound themselves with a great oath, when they were in Maspha, that whosoever were wanting should be slain. And the children of Israel being moved with repentance for their brother Benjamin, began to say: One tribe is taken away from Israel. Whence shall they take wives? For we have all in general sworn, not to give our daughters to them. Therefore they said: Who is thereof all the tribes of Israel, that came not up to the Lord to Maspha. And behold the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad were found not to have been in that army. (At that time also when they were in Silo, no one of them was found there.) So they sent ten thousand of the most valiant men, and commanded them, saying: Go and put the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad to the sword, with their wives and their children. And this is what you shall observe: Every male, and all women that have known men, you shall kill, but the virgins you shall save. And there were found of Jabes Galaad four hundred virgins, that had not known the bed of a man, and they brought them to the camp Silo, into the land of Chanaan. And they sent messengers to the children of Benjamin, that were in the rock Remmon, and commanded them to receive them in peace. And the children of Benjamin came at that time, and wives were given them of the daughters of Jabes Galaad: but they found no others, whom they might give in like manner. And all Israel was very sorry, and repented for the destroying of one tribe out of Israel. And the ancients said: What shall we do with the rest, that have not received wives? for all the women in Benjamin are dead. And we must use all care, and provide with great diligence, that one tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. For as to our own daughters we cannot give them, being bound with an oath and a curse, whereby we said: Cursed be he that shall give Benjamin any of his daughters to wife. So they took counsel, and said: Behold there is a yearly solemnity of the Lord in Silo, which is situate on the north of the city of Bethel, and on the east side of the way, that goeth from Bethel to Sichem, and on the south of the town of Lebona. And they commanded the children of Benjamin, and said: Go, and lie hid in the vineyards, and when you shall see the daughters of Silo come out, as the custom is, to dance, come ye on a sudden out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife among them, and go into the land of Benjamin. And when their fathers and their brethren shall come, and shall begin to complain against you, and to chide, we will say to them: Have pity on them for they took them not away as by the right of war or conquest, but when they asked to have them, you gave them not, and the fault was committed on your part. And the children of Benjamin did, as they had been commanded: and according to their number, they carried off for themselves every man his wife of them that were dancing: and they went into their possession and built up their cities, and dwelt in them. The children of Israel also returned by their tribes, and families, to their dwellings. In those days there was no king in Israel: but every one did that which seemed right to himself.
R/. The Lord will redeem the souls of his servants: * And none of them that trust in him shall offend.
V/. Many are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver them. * And none of them that trust in him shall offend.
The First Epistle of the Apostle Peter. R/. Thanks be to God.
In like manner, ye young men, be subject to the ancients. And do you all insinuate humility one to another, for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace. Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Holy Gospel according to John. R/. Glory to Thee, O Lord.
At that time:
Jesus therefore answered, and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves.
I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
Praise the Lord, ye children: * Praise ye the name of the Lord.
V/. Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth now and for ever. * Praise ye the name of the Lord.