St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church; commemoration of Sunday IV Post Pascha: Missa “In medio”
St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church and Patriarch of Alexandria, one of the most renowned of the Fathers of the Church, was the heroic and successful defender of Catholic doctrine against Arius. After many sufferings in the cause of God’s Church, he died May 2, 373. While living in Rome during his exile he described to the Romans the wonderful life of Antony and Pachomius in Egypt, sowing the seed of monasticism in Rome. He taught with great power the independence of the Church from civil authority.
Sunday IV Post Pascha Of all the gifts that come from God, the most excellent is the gospel and regeneration in baptism, by which He has made us His children and heirs of heaven. How great is this honour, and how earnestly we should endeavour to preserve it! To hear the word of God, when preached to us in sermons, will aid our endeavours. The admonition of the apostle to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, contains true wisdom, for: In the multitude of words there shall not want sin; but he that refraineth his lips is most wise. (Prov. X. 19.) As the disciples, in their grief at Christ’s going to His passion and death, after the accomplishment of which He was to return to His Father, never once asked Him: “Whither goest Thou?” many Christians, because of their attachment to this world and its pleasures, never ask themselves: Whither am I going, whither leads my way? By my sinful life I am perhaps going towards hell, or will my little fervour for the right, my lukewarm prayers take me to heaven? Ark yourself in all earnestness, dear Christian, whither leads the way you are going? Is it the right path? if not, retrace your steps, and follow Jesus who by suffering and death entered heaven. (St Andrew’s Daily Missal: Propers p.664)
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be…etc
Graciously hear our Prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, which we bring before Thee on the solemnity of blessed Athanasius, Thy confessor and pontiff, and, by the merits and intercession of him who had the grace to serve Thee worthily, absolve us of all our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 2 Corinthians 4: 5-14
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, We preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord; and ourselves your servants through Jesus. For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God and not of us. In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; we suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not; always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake; that the life also of Jesus, may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written, I believed, for which cause I have spoken, we also believe, for which cause we speak also: knowing that He who raised up Jesus will raise up us also with Jesus, and place us with you.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 109: 4) Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia. V. (James 1: 12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 10: 23-28
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “When they shall persecute you in this city, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel till the Son of man come. The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household? Therefore fear them not; for nothing is covered that shall not be revealed; nor hid that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light; and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him that can destroy both soul and body into hell.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 24, 22
I have found David my servant: with my holy oil I have anointed him; for my arm shall help him, and my hand shall strengthen him, alleluia.
May the annual solemnity of St. Athanasius, Thy confessor, commend us to Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by this office of pious atonement, a blessed reward may follow him, and he may obtain for us the gifts of Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of Easter
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 21: 23
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light, saith the Lord; and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops, alleluia.
O God, the rewarder of faithful souls grant that, by the prayers of blessed Athanasius, Thy confessor and bishop, whose august festival we celebrate, we may obtain pardon. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.