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CHAPTER THE EIGHTH.

ON THE OFFICE OF COMPLINE,

DURING PASSIONTIDE AND HOLY WEEK.

This Office, which concludes the day, commences by a warning of the dangers of the night: then immediately follows the public Confession of our sins, as a powerful means of propitiating the divine justice, and obtaining God's help, now that we are going to spend so many hours in the unconscious and therefore dangerous state of sleep, which is also such an image of death.

The Lector, addressing the Priest, says to him : Pray, Father, give thy bless- 7. Jube, Domine, benedi

ing.

cere.

The Priest answers :

May the Almighty Lord Noctem quietam, et finem grant us a quiet night and a perfectum concedat nobis perfect end.

Dominus omnipotens. R. Amen.

B. Amen.

The Lector then reads these words, from the first Epistle of St. Peter:

Brethren, be sober and Fratres : Sobrii estote, et watch: for your adversary vigilate : quia adversarius the devil goes about like à vester diabolus, tamquam roaring lion, seeking whom he leo rugiens circuit quærens may devour : resist him, being quem devoret : cui resistite strong in faith. But thou, Ő fortes in fide. Tu autem, Lord, have mercy on us. Domine, miserere nobis.

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Then the Lord's Prayer is recited in secret; after which the Priest says the Confiteor; and, when he has finished, the Choir says:

Misereatur tui omnipo- May Almighty God be mertens Deus, et dimissis pec- ciful to thee, and, forgiving catis tuis, perducat te ad thy sins, bring thee to evervitam æternam.

lasting lífe. The Priest having answered Amen, the Choir repeats the Confiteor, thus :

Confiteor Deo Omnipo- I confess to Almighty God, tenti, beatæ Mariæ semper to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Virgini,beato Michaeli Arch- to blessed Michael the Archangelo, beato Joanni Bap- angel, to blessed Jobn Baptist, tistæ, sanctis Apostolis Pe- to the holy Apostles Peter and tro et Paulo, omnibus Paul, to all the saints, and sanctis, et tibi Pater : quia to thee, Father, that I have peccavi niinis, cogitatione, sinned exceedinglyin thought, verbo, et opere : mea culpa, word, and deed, through my mea culpa, mea maxima fault, through my fault, culpa. Idco precor beatam through my most grievous Mariam semper Virginem, fault. Therefore I beseech the beatum Michaelem Arch- Blessed Mary ever Virgin, angelum, beatum Joannem blessed Michael the Archangel, Baptistam, sanctos Aposto- blessed John Baptist, the holy los Petrum et Paulum, om- Apostles Peter and Paul, and nes sanctos, et te, Pater, all the saints, and thee, Father, orare pro me ad Dóminum to pray to our Lord God for Deum nostrum.

me.

The Priest then says:

May Almighty God be mer- Misereatur vestri omniciful to you, and, forgiving potens Deus, . et dimissis your sins, bring you to ever- peccatis vestris, perducat lasting life.

vos ad vitam æternam. R. Amen.

R. Amen. May the Almighty and mer- Indulgentiam, absolutiociful Lord grant us pardon, neni, et remissionem peccaabsolution, and remission of torum nostrorum, tribuat our sins.

nobis omnipotens et miseri

cors Dominus. B. Amen.

R. Amen. Ý Convert us, O God, our Ň. Converte nos, Deus, Saviour.

Salutaris noster. R. And turn away thy an- R. Et averte iram tuam a ger from us.

nobis. V. Incline unto my aid, O Ñ. Deus, in adjutorium God.

meum intende. R. O Lord, make haste to R. Domine, ad adjuvanhelp me.

dum me festina. Glory, dc.

Gloria Patri, &c. Praise be to thee, O Lord, Laus tibi, Domine, Rex King of eternal glory.

æternæ gloriæ. ANT. Have mercy.

ANT. Miserere.

The first Psalm expresses the confidence with which the just man sleeps in peace; but it, also, rebukes those tepid Christians, whose dull hearts are but too often enslaved to vanity and lies, and exhorts them to examine, at the close of the day, the thoughts of their hearts, and be sorry for them at that time of stillness and repose.

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PSALM 4.

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When I called upon him, Cum invocarem exaudivit the God of my justice heard me Deus justitiæ meæ : me : when I was in distress, in tribulatione dilatasti thou hast enlarged me.

mihi. Have mercy on

Miserere mei : * et exaudi hear my prayer.

orationem meam. O ye sons of men, how long

Filii hominum, usquequo

me : and

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suum :

care : *

your beds.

gravi corde : * ut quid dili- will you be dull of heart? why gitis vanitatem, et quæritis do you love vanity, and seek mendacium?

after lying? Et scitote quoniam miri- Know ye also that the Lord ficavit Dominus sanctum hath made his Holy One won

* Dominus exaudiet derful : the Lord will hear me, me, cum clamavero ad eum.

when I shall cry unto him. Irascimini, et nolite pec- Be ye angry, and sin not :

quæ dicitis in cordi- the things you say in your bus vestris, in cubilibus ves- hearts, be sorry for them upon tris compungimini.

Sacrificate sacrificium jus- Offer up the sacrifice of justitiæ, et sperate in Domino: tice, and trust in the Lord : * multi dicunt : Quis osten- many say, who showeth us dit nobis bona?

good things? Signatum est super nos The Light of thy countelumen vultus tui Domine: nance, O Lord, is signed upon * dedisti lætitiam in corde us: thou hast given gladness

in my heart. A fructu frumenti, vini et

By the fruit of their corn, olei sui : * multiplicati sunt. their wine, and oil, they are

multiplied. In pace in idipsum : *

In peace, in the self same, I dormiam et requiescam. will sleep, and I will rest. Quoniam tu, Domine, sin

For thou, O Lord,singularly gulariter in spe : constitu- hast settled me in hope. isti me.

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meo.

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The Church has introduced here the first six Verses of the thirtieth Psalm, because they contain the prayer which our Saviour made when dying: Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit ! words so beautifully appropriate in this Office of the close of day.

PSALM 30.

In te, Domine, speravi, In thee, O Lord, have I non confundar in æternum: hoped, let me never be con* in justitia tua libera me. founded : deliver me in thy

justice. Inclina ad

Bow down thy ear to me: tuam : * accelera ut eruas

me

make haste to deliver me, me.

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Be thou unto me a God, a Esto mihi in Deum proprotector and a house of re- tectorum, et in domum refuge, to save me.

fugii : * ut salvum me fa

cias.
For thou art my strength, Quoniam fortitudo mea,
and my refuge : and for thy et refugium meum es tu : *
name's sake thou wilt lead me, et propter nomen tuum de-
and nourish me.

duces me, et enutries me.
Thou wilt bring me out of Educes me de laqueo hoc,
this snare, which they have quem absconderunt mihi:
hidden for me : for thou art quoniam tu es protector
my protector.

Into thy hands I commend In manus tuas commendo my spirit: thou hast redeemed spiritum meum : * redeme, O Lord, the God of truth. misti me, Domine, Deus

veritatis.

meus,

The third Psalm gives the motives of the Just man's confidence, even during the dangers of the night. The description bere given of Peace of mind, should make the sinner long for a reconciliation with his God, that so he, too, may enjoy that divine protection, without which there can be no security or happiness in this life of peril and misery.

I trust.

PSALM 90.
He that dwelleth in the aid Qui habitat in adjutorio
of the Most High, shall abide Altissimi : * in protectione
under the protection of the Dei cæli commorabitur.
God of heaven.

He shall say to the Lord : Dicet Domino: Suscep-
Thou art my protector, and my tor meus es tu, et refugium
refuge : my God, in him will meum : * Deus meus, spe-

rabo in eum.
For he hath delivered me Quoniam ipse liberavit
from the snare of the hunters: me de laqueo venantium : *
and from the sharp word.

et a verbo aspero.
He will overshadow thee Scapulis suis obumbrabit
with his shoulders; and under tibi : * et sub pennis ejus
his wings thou shalt trust. sperabis.

His truth shall compass thee Scuto circumdabit te ve-
with a shield : thou shalt not ritas ejus : non timebis a
be afraid of the terror of the timore nocturno.
night.

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