Exsurge. Psalm 44:23, 25, 26, 1
Arise, O Lord, wherefore sleepest thou? Awake, and cast us not away for ever: wherefore hidest thou thy countenance, and forgettest our adversity and misery? Our belly cleaveth unto the ground: arise, and help us, and deliver us. O God, we have heard with our ears: our fathers have declared unto us. 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. Up, Lord, why sleepest thou . . .
O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power, we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2 Corinthians 11:19–31
Ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
[Psalm 83:18, 13] Let the nations know that thou, whose Name is Jehovah: art only the Most Highest over all the earth. V. O my God, make them like unto a wheel: and as the stubble before the wind.
[Psalm 60:2, 4, 5] Thou hast moved the land, O Lord, and divided it. Heal the sores thereof, for it shaketh. That they may triumph because of the truth: that thy beloved may be delivered.
St. Luke 8:4–15
When much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way-side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
[Psalm 17:5, 6, 7] O hold thou up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not: incline thine ear to me, and hearken unto my words: shew thy marvellous loving-kindness, O Lord; thou that art the Saviour of them that put their trust in thee.
[Psalm 43:4] I will go unto the altar of God: even unto the God of my joy and gladness.
Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.
Bach’s cantatas — composed for use within the Lutheran liturgy — were almost always commentaries on the Gospel or Epistle reading for the day on which they were sung. He composed at least three cantatas for use on Sexagesima. You can read about and listen to a performance of one of these on this page.
In the Epistle for this Sunday (2 Corinthians 11:19–31), St. Paul presents a catalogue of all of the suffering he has endured — and survived — for the sake of the Gospel.
One of the hymns frequently sung on this day affirms that those who are committed to “follow the Master” are defended by the Spirit and promised eternal life at the end of their pilgrimage:
No foes shall stay his might,
though he with giants fight
Thus promises the text of “He who would valiant be,” a hymn adapted from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and especially fitting as the pilgrimmage of Lent approaches.
Our Hymnal presents this hymn (#563) to the tune ST. DUNSTANS, but identifies — at the bottom of the page in fine print — another tune as an alternative. That tune is MONK’S GATE, based on an English folk song and used at #362 for the hymn “Master of eager youth.”
A page with this more robust tune and the text to “He who would valiant be” is available here. As part of our Choir in Quarantine series, our choir recorded this hymn to this alternate tune, and presents it here to accompany the parish’s singing at home.