Novena Day 2 – Saturday 7th May

with Dom Gregory Dix OSB

A SHORT OFFICE

V/. O God, make speed to save us.
R/. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Chalice, English c.1500. Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Chalice, English c.1500.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetich because the yams had failed; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc – one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God.

Dom Gregory Dix (1901 – 1952) The Shape of the Liturgy
Anglican Benedictine monk and liturgical scholar

Silent Reflection

PSALM 43 (42)

Give sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people; * O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
For thou art the God of my strength; why hast thou put me from thee? * and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me, * and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling;
And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness; * and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
Why art thou so heavy, O my soul? * and why art thou so disquieted within me?
O put thy trust in God; * for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:* and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:* world without end. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect
Lord, this is thy feast,
prepared by thy longing,
spread at thy command,
attended at thine invitation,
blessed by thine own word,
distributed by thine own hand,
the undying memorial of thy sacrifice upon the cross,
the full gift of thine everlasting love,
and its perpetuation till the end of time.
Lord, this is the Bread of heaven, Bread of life,
that, whoso eateth, shall never hunger more.
And this, the Cup of pardon, healing, gladness, strength,
that, whoso drinketh, thirsteth not again.
So may we come, O Lord, to thy table.
Lord Jesu, come to us.

Eric Milner-White (1884 – 1963)
Liturgiologist and writer of prayers.
During his time as Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, he introduced the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.
He was Dean of York from 1941 until his death.

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
or
May the Lord bless us, may he keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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