Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MEMORIAL OF SAINT CECILIA


Antiphon
Cf. Ps 85 (84): 9

How worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
to receive power and divinity,
and wisdom and strength and honor.
To him belong glory and power forever and ever.

Collect

O God, who gladden us each year
with the feast day of your handmaid Saint Cecilia,
grant, we pray,
that what has been devoutly handed down concerning her
may offer us examples to imitate
and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants
by Christ your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Amen.



Memorial of Saint Cecilia
Virgin and Martyr

Reading
RV 14:14-19

I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury.


Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:10, 11-12, 13

R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.

R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.

R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.


Alleluia
RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
LK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said,

“All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”

He answered,

“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”



November 22

Saint Cecilia (d. 3rd Century)

The story of St. Cecilia is not without beauty or merit. She is said to have been quite close to God and prayed often:

In the city of Rome there was a virgin named Cecilia, who came from an extremely rich family and was given in marriage to a youth named Valerian. She wore sackcloth next to her skin, fasted, and invoked the saints, angels, and virgins, beseeching them to guard her virginity

During her wedding ceremony she was said to have sung in her heart to God and before the consummation of her nuptials, she told her husband she had taken a vow of virginity and had an angel protecting her. Valerian asked to see the angel as proof, and Cecilia told him he would have eyes to see once he traveled to the third milestone on the Via Appia (Appian Way) and was baptized by Pope Urbanus.

Following his baptism, Valerian returned to his wife and found an angel at her side. The angel then crowned Cecilia with a chaplet of rose and lily and when Valerian's brother, Tibertius, heard of the angel and his brother's baptism, he also was baptized and together the brothers dedicated their lives to burying the saints who were murdered each day by the prefect of the city, Turcius Almachius.

Both brothers were eventually arrested and brought before the prefect where they were executed after they refused to offer a sacrifice to the gods.

As her husband and brother-in-law buried the dead, St. Cecilia spent her time preaching and in her lifetime was able to convert over four hundred people, most of whom were baptized by Pope Urban.

Cecilia was later arrested and condemned to be suffocated in the baths. She was shut in for one night and one day, as fires were heaped up and stoked to a terrifying heat - but Cecilia did not even sweat.

When Almachius heard this, he sent an executioner to cut off her head in the baths.

The executioner struck her three times but was unable to decapitate her so he left her bleeding and she lived for three days. Crowds came to her and collected her blood while she preached to them or prayed. On the third day she died and was buried by Pope Urban and his deacons.

St. Cecilia is regarded as the patroness of music, because she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married, and is represented in art with an organ or organ-pipes in her hand.

Officials exhumed her body in 1599 and found her to be incorrupt, the first of all incurrupt saints. She was draped in a silk veil and wore a gold embroidered dress. Officials only looked through the veil in an act of holy reverence and made no further examinations. They also reported a "mysterious and delightful flower-like odor which proceeded from the coffin."

St. Cecilia's remains were transferred to Cecilia's titular church in Trastevere and placed under the high altar.



O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his savior.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.

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.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings:
come, let us adore him.


Hymn

This day at thy creating Word
First o’er the earth the light was poured:
O Lord, this day upon us shine
And fill our souls with light divine.
This day the Lord for sinners slain
In might victorious rose again:
O Jesus, may we rais├Ęd be
From death of sin to life in thee!
This day the Holy Spirit came
With fiery tongues of cloven flame:
O Spirit, fill our hearts this day
With grace to hear and grace to pray.
O day of light and life and grace,
From earthly toil a resting-place,
The hallowed hours, blest gift of love,
Give we again to God above.
All praise to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
Whom, with the Spirit, we adore
Forever and forevermore.


Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor

Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe.
Alleluia.

Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.

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 God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe.
Alleluia.


Psalm 71 (72)
The Messiah's royal power

The Lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine,
to cheer man’s heart.
Alleluia.

Give the king your judgement, O God,
give the king’s son your righteousness.
Let him judge your people with justice
and your poor ones with wisdom.
Let the mountains bring peace to your people,
let the hills bring righteousness.
He will give his judgement to the poor among the people,
he will rescue the children of the destitute,
he will lay low the false accuser.
He will endure with the sun, beneath the moon,
from generation to generation.
He will come down like rain on the pasture,
like a shower that waters the earth.
In his time, righteousness will flourish
and abundance of peace,
until the moon itself is no more.
He will rule from coast to coast,
from the world’s center to its farthest edge.
The desert-dwellers will cast themselves down before him;
his enemies will eat dust at his feet.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands will bring tribute,
the kings of Arabia and Sheba will bring gifts.
All the kings will worship him,
all nations will serve him.

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.

The Lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine,
to cheer man’s heart.
Alleluia.


Psalm 71 (72)

God saw all he had made,
and indeed it was very good.
Alleluia.

Because he has given freedom to the destitute who called to him,
to the poor, whom no-one will hear.
He will spare the poor and the needy,
he will keep their lives safe.
He will rescue their lives from oppression and violence,
their blood will be precious in his sight.
He will live long, and receive gifts of gold from Arabia;
they will pray for him always,
bless him all through the day.
There will be abundance of grain in the land,
it will wave even from the tops of the mountains;
its fruit will be richer than Lebanon.
The people will flourish as easily as grass.
Let his name be blessed for ever,
let his name endure beneath the sun.
All the nations of the earth will be blessed in him,
all nations will acclaim his greatness.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone works wonders.
Let his majesty be blessed forever;
let it fill all the earth. Amen, amen.

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.

God saw all he had made,
and indeed it was very good.
Alleluia.


I have made you a light for the nations,
– to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.


First Reading
Apocalypse 1:4-6,10,12-18,2:26,28,3:5,12,20-21

Grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth.

He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, 
and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father;
to him, then, be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

It was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, 
shouting like a trumpet.

I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle. His head and his hair were white as white wool or as snow, his eyes like a burning flame, his feet like burnished bronze when it has been refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of the ocean. In his right hand he was holding seven stars, out of his mouth came a sharp sword,
double-edged, and his face was like the sun shining with all its force.

When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said,
‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last;
I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live forever and ever,
and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld.

‘To those who prove victorious, and keep working for me until the end,
I will give the authority over the pagans which I myself have been given by my Father,
and I will give him the Morning Star.

‘I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, 
but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels.

‘I will make them into pillars in the sanctuary of my God, and they will stay there forever; I will inscribe on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, 
the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God in heaven,
and my own new name as well.

‘Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, 
I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. 
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne,
just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne.’


Responsory

They will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds with great power and glory;
he will send out his angels and gather his chosen from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth to the farthest bounds of heaven.

He will judge the world with justice, and the peoples with equity;
he will send out his angels and gather his chosen from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth to the farthest bounds of heaven.


Second Reading
From a discourse of Origen on prayer

Thy kingdom come

The coming of the kingdom of God, says our Lord and Saviour, does not admit of observation, and there will be no-one to say “Look here! Look there!” For the kingdom of God is within us and in our hearts. And so it is beyond doubt that whoever prays for the coming of the kingdom of God within himself is praying rightly, praying for the kingdom to dawn in him, bear fruit and reach perfection. For God reigns in every saint, and every saint obeys God’s spiritual laws — God, who dwells in him just as he dwells in any well-ordered city. The Father is present in him and in his soul Christ reigns alongside the Father, 
as it is said:
We will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Therefore, as we continue to move forward without ceasing, the kingdom of God within us will reach its perfection in us at that moment when the saying in the Apostle is fulfilled, that Christ, 
His enemies all made subject to Him,
shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father that God may be All in All.

For this reason let us pray without ceasing, 
our souls filled by a desire made divine by the Word Himself.
Let us pray to our Father in heaven: hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come.

There is something important that we need to understand about the kingdom of God: just as righteousness has no partnership with lawlessness, just as light has nothing in common with darkness and Christ has no agreement with Belial,
so the kingdom of God and a kingdom of sin cannot co-exist.

So if we want God to reign within us, on no account may sin rule in our mortal body but let us mortify our earthly bodies and let us be made fruitful by the Spirit. Then we will be a spiritual garden of Eden for God to walk in. God will rule in us with Christ who will be seated in us on the right hand of God — God, the spiritual power that we pray to receive — until he makes his enemies
(who are within us) into his footstool and pours out on us all authority, all power, all strength.

This can happen to any one of us and death, the last enemy may be destroyed, so that in us Christ says Death, where is your sting? Death, where is your victory? 
So let our corruptibility be clothed today with holiness and incorruption.
With Death dead, let our mortality be cloaked in the Father’s immortality.
With God ruling in us, let us be immersed in the blessings of regeneration and resurrection.


Responsory

The dominion of the world has passed to the Lord of us all,
and to Christ, his anointed:
he shall reign forever and ever.

All races will worship the Lord to whom all sovereignty belongs;
he shall reign forever and ever.


Hymn
Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
it is your will to unite the entire universe under your beloved Son,
Jesus Christ, the King of heaven and earth.
Grant freedom to the whole of creation,
and let it praise and serve your majesty for ever.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.