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.
Wednesday in the second week of Lent
Feria IV in secunda hebdomada Quadragesimæ
Sapiential Lesson: Proverbs 27,23-28,5
Historical Lesson: Exodus 2,11-25
Threni: Job 33,26.25; Is 13,7; Job 33,184.108.40.206.30
Apostle: James 4,11-17
Gospel: St John 5,19a.31-38
Laudes: Psalm 146,1.3.7a
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Book of Proverbs. R/. Thanks be to God.
Be diligent to know the countenance of thy cattle, and consider thy own flocks: for thou shalt not always have power: but a crown shall be given to generation and generation. The meadows are open, and the green herbs have appeared, and the hay is gathered out of the mountains. Lambs are for thy clothing: and kids for the price of the field. Let the milk of the goats be enough for thy food, and for the necessities of thy house, and for maintenance for thy handmaids. The wicked man fleeth, when no man pursueth: but the just, bold as a lion, shall be without dread. For the sins of the land many are the princes thereof: and for the wisdom of a man, and the knowledge of those things that are said, the life of the prince shall be prolonged. A poor man that oppresseth the poor, is like a violent shower, which bringeth a famine. They that forsake the law, praise the wicked man: they that keep it, are incensed against him. Evil men think not on judgment: but they that seek after the Lord, take notice of all things.
A Lesson from the Book of Exodus. R/. Thanks be to God.
In those days after Moses was grown up, he went out to his brethren: and saw their affliction, and an Egyptian striking one of the Hebrews his brethren. And when he had looked about this way and that way, and saw no one there, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And going out the next day, he saw two Hebrews quarrelling: and he said to him that did the wrong: Why strikest thou thy neighbour? But he answered: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? Moses feared, and said: How is this come to be known? And Pharao heard of this word and sought to kill Moses: but he fled from his sight, and abode in the land of Madian, and he sat down by a well. And the priest of Madian had seven daughters, who came to draw water: and when the troughs were filled, desired to water their father's flocks. And the shepherds came and drove them away: and Moses arose, and defending the maids, watered their sheep. And when they returned to Raguel their father, he said to them: Why are ye come sooner than usual? They answered: A man of Egypt delivered us from the hands of the shepherds: and he drew water also with us, and gave the sheep to drink. But he said: Where is he? why have you let the man go? call him that he may eat bread. And Moses swore that he would dwell with him. And he took Sephora his daughter to wife: and she bore him a son, whom he called Gersam, saying: I have been a stranger in a foreign country. And she bore another, whom he called Eliezer, saying: For the God of my father, my helper hath delivered me out of the hand of Pharao. Now after a long time the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel groaning, cried out because of the works: and their cry went up unto God from the works. And he heard their groaning, and remembered the covenant which he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And the Lord looked upon the children of Israel, and he knew them.
Behold, I shall pray to God and he will be gracious to me: and I shall see his face with joy.
V/. My flesh is consumed by sufferings: my bread is abominable to me: my heart hath pined away: and my bones have withered away.
V/. Withdraw me from corruption and enlighten me with the light of the living.
The Epistle of the Apostle James to the Twelve Tribes. R/. Thanks be to God.
Detract not one another, my brethren. He that detracteth his brother, or he that judgeth his brother, detracteth the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, and judge, that is able to destroy and to deliver. But who art thou that judgest thy neighbour? Behold, now you that say: Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and there we will spend a year, and will traffic, and make our gain. Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while, and afterwards shall vanish away. For that you should say: If the Lord will, and if we shall live, we will do this or that. But now you rejoice in your arrogancies. All such rejoicing is wicked. To him therefore who knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin.
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 answered, and said to them:
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. You sent to John, and he gave testimony to the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but I say these things, that you may be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater testimony than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself who hath sent me, hath given testimony of me: neither have you heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him you believe not.
Praise ye the Lord, because psalm is good: to our God be joyful and comely praise, * Who healeth the broken of heart, and bindeth up their bruises.
V/. Sing ye to the Lord with praise: * Who healeth the broken of heart, and bindeth up their bruises.