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 third week of Lent
Feria IV in tertia hebdomada Quadragesimæ
Sapiential Lesson: Proverbs 21,22-31
Historical Lection: Judges 1,1-26
Threni: Job 7,20-21.7.19-21.16
Apostle: 1 Peter 2,25-3,9
Gospel: John 6,35-40
Laudes: Psalm 70,23a.22a
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Book of Proverbs. R/. Thanks be to God.
The wise man hath scaled the city of the strong, and hath cast down the strength of the confidence thereof. He that keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from distress. The proud and the arrogant is called ignorant, who in anger worketh pride. Desires kill the slothful: for his hands have refused to work at all. He longeth and desireth all the day: but he that is just, will give, and will not cease. The sacrifices of the wicked are abominable, because they are offered of wickedness. A lying witness shall perish: an obedient man shall speak of victory. The wicked man impudently hardeneth his face: but he that is righteous, correcteth his way. There is no wisdom, there is no prudence, there is no counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle: but the Lord giveth safety.
A Lesson from the Book of Judges. R/. Thanks be to God.
In those days:
After the death of Josue the children of Israel consulted the Lord, saying: Who shall go up before us against the Chanaanite, and shall be the leader of the war? And the Lord said: Juda shall go up: behold I have delivered the land into his hands. And Juda said to Simeon his brother: Come up with me into my lot, and fight against the Chanaanite, that I also may go along with thee into thy lot. And Simeon went with him. And Juda went up, and the Lord delivered the Chanaanite, and the Pherezite into their hands: and they slew of them in Bezec ten thousand men. And they found Adonibezec in Bezec, and fought against him, and they defeated the Chanaanite, and the Pherezite. And Adonibezec fled: and they pursued after him and took him, and cut off his fingers and toes. And Adonibezec said: Seventy kings having their fingers and toes cut off, gathered up the leavings of the meat under my table: as I have done, so hath God requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. And the children of Juda besieging Jerusalem, took it, and put it to the sword, and set the whole city on fire. And afterwards they went down and fought against the Chanaanite, who dwelt in the mountains, and in the south, and in the plains. And Juda going forward against the Chanaanite, that dwelt in Hebron (the name whereof was in former times Cariath-Arbe) slew Sesai, and Ahiman, and Tholmai: and departing from thence he went to the inhabitants of Dabir, the ancient name of which was Cariath-Sepher, that is, the city of letters. And Caleb said: He that shall take Cariath-Sepher, and lay it waste, to him will I give my daughter Axa to wife. And Othoniel the son of Cenez, the younger brother of Caleb, having taken it, he gave him Axa his daughter to wife. And as she was going on her way her husband admonished her to ask a field of her father. And as she sighed sitting on her ass, Caleb said to her: What aileth thee? But she answered: Give me a blessing, for thou hast given me a dry land: give me also a watery land. So Caleb gave her the upper and the nether watery ground. And the children of the Cinite, the kinsman of Moses, went up from the city of palms, with the children of Juda into the wilderness of his lot, which is at the south side of Arad, and they dwelt with him. And Juda went with Simeon his brother, and they together defeated the Chanaanites that dwelt in Sephaath, and slew them. And the name of the city was called Horma, that is, Anathema. And Juda took Gaza with its confines, and Ascalon and Accaron with their confines. And the Lord was with Juda, and he possessed the hill country: but was not able to destroy the inhabitants of the valley, because they had many chariots armed with scythes. And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said, who destroyed out of it the three sons of Enac. But the sons of Benjamin did not destroy the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem: and the Jebusite hath dwelt with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem until this present day. The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. For when they were besieging the city, which before was called Luza, they saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him: shew us the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy. And when he had shewn them, they smote the city with the edge of the sword: but that man and all his kindred they let go: who being sent away, went into the land of Hethim, and built there a city, and called it Luza: which is so called until this day.
I have sinned: what shall I do, O Keeper of men? why hast Thou set me opposite to Thee? and I am become burdensome to myself?
V/. Why dost Thou not remove my sin? and why dost Thou not take away my iniquity? behold now I shall sleep in the dust: and if Thou seek me in the morning, I shall not be.
V/. Spare me therefore: for my days are nothing.
The First Epistle of the Apostle Peter. R/. Thanks be to God.
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you. Wherefore laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions, as newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation: if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet. Unto whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honourable by God: be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore it is said in the scripture: Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious. And he that shall believe in him, shall not be confounded. To you therefore that believe, he is honour: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set. But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
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 said to the Jews: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not. All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.
My lips shall greatly rejoice, * When I shall sing to thee.
V/. For I will also confess to thee thy truth with the instruments of psaltery: * When I shall sing to thee.