Deus in loco sancto suo. Psalm 68
God in his holy habitation, it is he that maketh brethren to be of one mind in an house: he will give the dominion and preeminence unto his people. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. 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 in his holy habitation . . .
O God, who declarest thy almighty power chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I Corinthians 15:1-11
Brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
[Psalm 28] My heart hath trusted in God and I am helped: therefore my heart danceth for joy: and in my song will I praise him. Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my Strength: think no scorn of me: my God, go not far from me.
Alleluia, alleluia. [Psalm 81] Sing we merrily unto God our strength, make a cheerful noise unto the God of Jacob: take the psalm, bring hither the tabret. Alleluia.
St. Luke 18: 9-14
At that time: Jesus spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
[Psalm 30] I will magnify thee, O Lord, for thou hast set me up, and not made my foes to triumph over me: O Lord, my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
[Proverbs 3] Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Today’s Offertory is also sung on Ash Wednesday:
Exaltabo te Domine, quoniam suscepisti me
I will magnify thee, O Lord, for thou hast set me up:
nec delectasti inimicos meos super me.
and not made my foes to triumph over me.
Domine clamavi ad te et sanasti me.
O Lord my God, I cried unto thee: and thou hast healed me.
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) is best known for his operas, but he also composed choral music for liturgical use, including a setting of this Offertory text.
Pro Arte Singers (New Canaan, CT), directed by Arthur Sjogren
The following poem is from John Keble’s The Christian Year (1827).
Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments,
and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep,
and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
2 Kings v. 26.
Is this a time to plant and build,
Add house to house, and field to field,
When round our walls the battle lowers,
When mines are hid beneath our towers,
And watchful foes are stealing round
To search and spoil the holy ground?
Is this a time for moonlight dreams
Of love and home by mazy streams,
For Fancy with her shadowy toys,
Aërial hopes and pensive joys,
While souls are wandering far and wide,
And curses swarm on every side?
No — rather steel thy melting heart
To act the martyr’s sternest part,
To watch, with firm unshrinking eye,
Thy darling visions as thy die,
Till all bright hopes, and hues of day,
Have faded into twilight gray.
Yes — let them pass without a sigh,
And if the world seem dull and dry,
If long and sad thy lonely hours,
And winds have rent thy sheltering bowers,
Bethink thee what thou art and where,
A sinner in a life of care.
The fire of God is soon to fall
(Thou know’st it) on this earthly ball;
Full many a soul, the price of blood,
Marked by th’ Almighty’s hand for good,
To utter death that hour shall sweep —
And will the saints in Heaven dare weep?
Then in His wrath shall God uproot
The trees He set, for lack of fruit,
And drown in rude tempestuous blaze
The towers His hand had deigned to raise;
In silence, ere that storm begin,
Count o’er His mercies and thy sin.
Pray only that thine aching heart,
From visions vain content to part,
Strong for Love’s sake its woe to hide
May cheerful wait the Cross beside,
Too happy if, that dreadful day,
Thy life be given thee for a prey.
Snatched sudden from th’ avenging rod,
Safe in the bosom of thy God,
How wilt thou then look back, and smile
On thoughts that bitterest seemed erewhile,
And bless the pangs that made thee see
This was no world of rest for thee!
The following hymn is from Bp. Christopher Wordsworth’s The Holy Year; or Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days throughout the Year (1862).
ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER SUNDAY
Divine Grace given, not to supersede human labour, but in order to quicken it, and that we plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may receive from God a plenteous reward: a doctrine inculcated in the Collect for the Day, and in St. Paul’s words in the Epistle for the Week.
Lord, for Thy Grace’s showers
We pray to Thee;
Not that our path with flowers
Bestrewn may be;
Not, that our brows with roses
We may entwine
Before their blossom closes,
And drink sweet wine.
But, that like Trees fruit-laden
We may rejoice;
And old men, young, and maiden
May hear Thy voice,
“Come, and your Harvest gather,
Your ripe fields reap,
And with your heavenly Father
For not, that ye like flowers
May be, or leaves,
Sends He His heavenly showers,
But for ripe sheaves.
To you His grace is given
Plenteous and free,
That ye, like com, in heaven
Garner’d may be.