Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
Great Convert Teacher of the Faith Doctor Egregie Paule Attri. to Elpis (Died c 493) Trans. The Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK
Great Convert Teacher of the Faith Who never ceased from preaching Christ, Saint Paul impart to us your zeal, That we may reach the joys unseen.
All glory to the Trinity, For ever honour, sov’reignty; To God Almighty be all praise, Beginning and the End of all. Amen.
Elpis, first wife of the celebrated Philosopher Boethius, was the daughter of Festus, Consul at Rome, 472 and aunt of St Placidus, a disciple of St.Benedict. The above hymn, as well as, “Aurea luce et decore roseo” are attributed to her. Others also bear her name. She died at an early age, at Padua.
Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Christmas Weekday “Month of the Most Holy Name”
Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Excerpt) By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413) Trans. J M Neale (1818-1866)
Of the Father’s love begotten Ere the world began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending he, Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see Evermore and evermore.
Blessed was the day forever, When the Virgin, full of grace, By the Holy Ghost conceiving, Bore the Saviour of our race And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer, First revealed His Sacred Face Evermore and evermore.
Glory be to God the Father, Glory be to God the Son Glory be the Holy Ghost, Persons Three, yet Godhead One, Glory be from all creation While eternal ages run, Evermore and evermore.
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian Poet, born in the Roman Province of Tarraconensis (now Northern Spain) in c 348. He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413. Prudentius practised law with some success and was twice Provincial Governor, perhaps in his native country. Towards the end of his life (possibly around 392) Prudentius retired from public life to become an ascetic, fasting until evening and abstaining entirely from animal food and writing poems, hymns and controversial works in defence of Christianity. Prudentius later collected the Christian poems written during this period and added a preface, which he himself dated 405. The poetry of Prudentius is influenced by early Christian authors, such as Tertullian and St Ambrose, as well as the Sacred Scriptures and the Acts of the Martyrs. His hymn Da, puer, plectrum – “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”) and the hymn for Epiphany O sola magnarum urbium (“Earth Has Many A Noble City”), both from the Cathemerinon, are still frequently in use today, although many others are too but perhaps less frequently..
Dear Saviour, haste! Come, come to earth. Dispel the night and show Your Face And bid us hail the Dawn of grace. O come, Divine Messiah, The world in silence waits the day When hope shall sing its triumph, And sadness flee away. Amen
This is the Refrain from a beautiful Advent Hymn by Abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin, a French Cluniac Monk, Poet, Composer and Playwright.
Our Morning Offering – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude Apostles
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith
O Fathers of our ancient faith, With all the heav’n, we sing your fame Whose sound went forth in all the earth To tell of Christ and bless His name.
You took the gospel to the poor, The Word of God alight in you, Which in our day is told again, That timeless Word, forever new.
You told of God, who died for us And out of death triumphant rose, Who gave the Truth which made us free and changeless through the ages goes.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Whos gift is faith that never dies, A light in darkness now, until The Day-Star in our hearts arise.
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. In the Divine Office (1974) it is sung at Morning Prayer in the Common of Apostles. It is set to the anonymous tune associated with the 7th century Latin hymn, Creator Alme Siderum.
Our Morning Offering – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent
Alone With None but Thee, My God Attri. St Columban (543-615)
Alone with none but Thee, my God I journey on my way, what need I fear when Thou art near, O King of night and day? More safe am I within Thy hand than if a host should round me stand.
My destined time is known to Thee, and death will keep his hour; did warriors strong around me throng, they could not stay his power. No walls of stone can man defend when Thou Thy messenger dost send.
My life I yield to Thy decree and bow to Thy control in peaceful calm, for from Thine arm no power can wrest my soul, could earthly omens e’er appal a man that heeds the heavenly call?
The child of God can fear no ill, His chosen, dread no foe; we leave our fate with Thee and wait Thy bidding when to go, ’tis not from chance our comfort springs, Thou art our Trust, O King of kings.
Our Morning Offering -23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent
Lord Jesus, Think on Me By St Synesius of Cyrene (375-430) Bishop of Ptolemais
Lord Jesus, think on me, and purge away my sin, from earth-born passions set me free, and make me pure within. Lord Jesus, think on me, With care and woe oppressed, let me Thy loving servant be, and taste Thy promised rest. Lord Jesus, think on me, nor let me go astray, through darkness and perplexity point Thou the heav’nly way. Lord Jesus, think on me, that, when the flood is past, I may eternal brightness see, and share Thy joy at last.
St Synesius, a native of Cyrene, born circa 375. His descent was illustrious. His pedigree extended through seventeen centuries and in the words of Gibbon, “could not be equaled in the history of mankind.” He became distinguished for his eloquence and philosophy and as a statesman and patriot he took a noble stand. When the Goths were threatening his country he went to the court of Arcadius and for three years, tried to rouse it to the dangers that were coming on the empire. But Gibbon says, ”The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence and neglected the advice of Synesius.” In 410 he was made Bishop of Ptolemaïs (modern Libya) but much against his will. He died in 430.We have extant one hundred and fifty-five epistles and ten hymns written at different periods of his life.
Our Morning Offering – 11 February – The Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Queen on Whose Starry Brow Doth Rest St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530-c 609) Translation by Monsignor Ronald A Knox (1888 – 1957)
Queen, on whose starry brow doth rest The crown of perfect maidenhood, The God who made thee, from thy brest Drew, for our sakes, His earthly food.
The grace that sinful Eve denied, With thy Child-bearing, reppears; Heaven’s lingering door, set open wide, Welcomes the children of her tears.
Fate, for such royal progress meet, Beacon, whose rays such light can give, Look, how the ransomed nations greet The virgin-womb that bade them live!
O Jesus, whom the Vrgin bore, Be praise and glory unto Thee. Praise to the Father evermore And His life-givine Spirit be. Amen!
Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes. St Venantius was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop. But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “troubadour” of Christ. He is the author of the Ave Maris Stella, amongst many others.
Our Morning Offering – 31 January – Septuagesima Sunday or The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Bless’d Be the Lord Our God! By Fr James Quinn SJ (1919-2010)
Bless’d be the Lord our God! With joy let heaven ring; Before His presence let all earth Its songs of homage bring! His mighty deeds be told; His majesty be praised; To God, enthrouned in heav’nly light, Let every voice be raised!
All that has life and breath, Give thanks with heartfelt songs! To Him let all creation sing To Whom all praise belongs! Acclaim the Father’s love, Who gave us God, His Son; Praise too the Spirit, giv’n by both, With both for ever one!
In the Divine Office (1974) it is sung with Sunday Evening Prayer I (Week 2)
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation.” – Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day, he aimed ever higher; each day, he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”… The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor
PRAYER – Great convert Teacher of the Faith Who never ceased from preaching Christ, Saint Paul impart to us your zeal, That we may reach the joys unseen.
All glory to the Trinity, Forever honour, sov’reignty, To God Almighty be all praise, Beginning and the End of all.
Our Morning Offering – 18 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
I Am Not Worthy, Holy Lord
I am not worthy, holy Lord, That Thou shouldst come to me; Speak but the word – one gracious word Can set the sinner free. I am not worthy; cold and bare The lodging of my soul; How canst Thou deign to enter there? Lord, speak and make me whole. Amen
Author – Rev H W Baker (1821–1877), was an English hymn writer.
Our Morning offering – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Praise the Lord, ye Heavens, Adore Him Morning Hymn from the Breviary
Praise the Lord, ye heavens, adore Him; Praise Him, angels in the height; Sun and moon, rejoice before Him; Praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise the Lord for He has spoken, Worlds His mighty voice obeyed; Laws which never shall be broken, For their guidance He has made.
Praise the Lord, for He is glorious, Never shall His promise fail; God hath made His saints victorious, Sin and death shall not prevail. Praise the God of our salvation, Hosts on high His power proclaim; Heaven and earth and all creation, Praise and magnify His name.
Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Lord, we offer unto Thee; Young and old, Thy praise expressing, In glad homage bend the knee. All the saints in heaven adore thee, We would bow before Thy throne; As Thine angels serve before thee, So on earth Thy will be done.
Our Morning Offering – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
Who is She Ascends So High? By Sir John Beaumont (1582-1628)
Who is she ascends so high,
Next the heav’nly King,
Round about whom angels fly,
And her praises sing?
Who is she adorned with light,
Makes the sun her robe?
At whose feet the queen of night
Lays her changing globe?
This is she in whose pure womb
Heaven’s Prince remained,
Wherefore in no earthly tomb
Could she be contained.
Heav’n she was, which held that fire,
Whence the world took light,
And to heav’n doth now aspire,
Flames with flames unite.
She that did so clearly shine,
Our Day once begun,
See how bright her beams decline,
Sitting with the Sun.
Who is She Ascends So High? was written by the English poet, Sir John Beaumont (1582-1628). In 1607 and again in 1625, both he and and his wife were charged and fined as Roman Catholic Recusants for refusing to attend Anglican services. In 1626 he was created a Baronet by King Charles I (1600-1649), who himself had married a Catholic and allowed her to practice her faith openly and freely. In the Divine Office, Who is She Ascends So High? is used on Feast Days of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The suggested musical setting in the Divine Office is the hymn tune – Assumpta Est. The tune used in the following video is unknown.