Sunday, November 29, 2015

Matins canticles for Advent/3: Isaiah 49:7-13

I've previously provided notes on the first two Third Nocturn canticles used at Matins in the Benedictine Office during Advent:

Isaiah 40:10-17
Isaiah 42:10-16

The third canticle set for Sunday Matins during Advent is from Isaiah 49:

Canticle of Isaiah (49:7-13)
Hæc dicit Dóminus, redémptor Israël, Sanctus eius, † ad contemptíbilem ánimam, ad abominátam gentem, * ad servum dominórum:
Thus saith the Lord the redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to the soul that is despised, to the nation that is abhorred, to the servant of rulers:
Reges vidébunt,et consúrgent príncipes, † et adorábunt propter Dóminum, quia fidélis est, * et Sanctum Israël qui elégit te.
Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord' s sake, because he is faithful, and for the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.
Hæc dicit Dóminus: † In témpore plácito exaudívi te, * et in die salútis auxiliátus sum tui:
Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee.
Et servávi te, et dedi te in fœdus pópuli, * ut suscitáres terram, et possidéres hæreditátes dissipátas;
And I have preserved thee, and given thee to be a covenant of the people, that thou mightest raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed:
Ut díceres his qui vincti sunt: Exíte, * et his qui in ténebris: Revelámini.
That thou mightest say to them that are bound: Come forth: and to them that are in darkness: shew yourselves.
Super vias pascéntur, * et in ómnibus planis páscua eórum.
They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain.
Non esúrient neque sítient, † et non percútiet eos æstus et sol, * quia miserátor eórum reget eos, et ad fontes aquárum potábit eos.
They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them: for he that is merciful to them, shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters he shall give them drink.
Et ponam omnes montes meos in viam, * et sémitæ meæ exaltabúntur.
And I will make all my mountains a way, and my paths shall be exalted.
Ecce isti de longe vénient, † et ecce illi ab aquilóne et mari, * et isti de terra austráli.
Behold these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the sea, and these from the south country.
Laudáte, cæli, et exsúlta, terra; † iubiláte, montes, laudem: * quia consolátus est Dóminus pópulum suum, et páuperum suórum miserébitur.
Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth, ye mountains, give praise with jubilation: because the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy on his poor ones.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

These verses form part of the 'second servant song' of Isaiah.

St Paul makes it clear that it applies to Jesus in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2:

"And now, to further that work, we entreat you not to offer God’s grace an ineffectual welcome. 2 I have answered thy prayer, he says, in a time of pardon, I have brought thee help in a day of salvation. And here is the time of pardon; the day of salvation has come already."

The verses set out prophesies of the coming of Jesus, his rejection by the Jews, and his mission of freeing mankind, imprisoned by sin.  Above all it talks of his mercy on the people who have fallen away.

While the verses given here talk about the redemption of Israel, the verse immediately preceding it makes it clear that his mission is a universal one:

"...I have appointed thee to be the light of the Gentiles, in thee I will send out my salvation to the furthest corners of the earth."