St Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury & Confessor; Commemoration of St Alexius of Rome: Missa “Sacerdotes tui“
Bishop of Salisbury who helped compile the Domesday Book. A member of the Norman nobility, he was the son of Count Henry of Seez and Isabella, half-sister of King William the Conqueror of England. He took part in the Norman Conquest and served William as his chancellor. In 1078, he was appointed bishop of Salisbury, completing the cathedral there and founding a cathedral chapter of canons regular and school for clerics. Osmund also assisted the king in assembling the massive census which became the Domesday Book. In the dispute over investiture between King William II and St. Anselm of Canterbury, Osmund initially sided with the king, but later he admitted he had made a mistake, and he begged Anselm’s forgiveness. Osmund also collected manuscripts for the cathedral library, was a copier and binder of books, authored a life of St. Aldhelm, and was thought to be responsible for drawing up the books governing the liturgical matters for the diocese such as the Mass and Divine Office, the so called Sarum Use. Canonized in 1457 by Pope Callistus III, he was the last English person to be declared a saint until the canonization of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher in 1935.
St. Alexius was the only son of a wealthy senator of Rome, Euphemian, and his wife, Aglaë. He was born and educated in that capitol in the fifth century. From the charitable example of his parents he developed a compassionate attitude at an early age. Fearing that earthly honours might draw his heart from noble objects, he decided to renounce the advantages of his birth and retire from the world. Having, in compliance with the will of his parents, married a wealthy girl, Marina, he on the very day of the wedding parted from her with her consent. In disguise he travelled to Syria, embraced extreme poverty, and resided in a hut adjoining a church dedicated to the Mother of God at Edessa. Here he lived for seventeen years until an image of our Lady spoke and revealed his holiness to the people, calling him “the Man of God”. Thereupon he fled back to his home; his father did not recognize him, but received him as a beggar and gave him employment, allotting a corner under the staircase as his quarters. For another seventeen years he thus lived unknown in his father’s house, bearing the ill treatment of other servants in patience and silence. After his death a writing was found upon him, giving his name and family and an account of his life.
INTROIT Psalm 131: 9-10
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. V. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
God, who dost gladden us by the merits and intercession of thy blessed confessor bishop Osmund, grant us this boon, that we who ask for his good offices may obtain them through the gift of thy grace. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration S. Alexius
O God, Who gladden us with the annual feast of blessed Alexius, Your Confessor, mercifully grant that, while honouring the anniversary of his death, we may also imitate his deeds. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Hebrews 7: 23-27
Lesson from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Hebrews: Brethren, there were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: but Jesus, for that He continueth forever, hath an everlasting priesthood. Whereby He is able also to save forever them that come to God by Him; always living to make intercession for us. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, and undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as the other priests, to offer sacrifice first for His own sins, and then for the people’s; for this Jesus Christ our Lord did once, in offering Himself.
GRADUAL Psalm 131: 16-17
I will clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall rejoice with exceeding great joy. There will I bring forth a horn to David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. Alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 109:4 The Lord has sworn an oath there is no retracting: Thou art a priest for ever in the line of Melchisedech. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matthew 24: 42-47
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Watch, because you know not what hour your Lord will come. But this know ye, that, if the goodman of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Wherefore be you also ready: because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come. Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family, to give them meat in season? Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.
Hallow the gifts we offer Lord, and at the intercession of thy blessed confessor bishop Osmund, do thou cleanse us by their means from the defilement of our sins. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration S. Alexius
We offer You sacrifices of praise, O Lord, in memory of Your Saints; trusting that by them we may be delivered from both present and future evils. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord cometh he shall find watching: Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.
We humbly beg thee, almighty God, to grant that we whom thou renewest with thy sacrament, at the intercession of thy blessed confessor bishop Osmund, may lead lives acceptable to thee and worthy of thy servants. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration S. Alexius
Refreshed with heavenly food and drink, we humbly pray You, our God, that we also may be helped by his prayers in memory of whom we have partaken. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.