Chair of St Peter, I Vespers

Prayers before the Office
Open, O Lord, my mouth to bless thy holy Name; cleanse also my heart from all vain, evil, and wandering thoughts; enlighten my understanding and kindle my affections; that I may worthily, attentively, and devoutly say this Office, and so be meet to be heard before the presence of thy divine Majesty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, in union with that divine intention wherewith thou, whilst here on earth, didst render praises unto God, I desire to offer this my Office of prayer unto thee.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


V. O God, make speed to save me.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
All: Alleluia Praise be to thee, O Lord, king of eternal glory.

The Psalter
Antiphon 1. Behold a great priest who in his days pleased the Lord, and was found righteous.

Psalm 1 Beatus vir, qui non abii, &c.

  1. BLESSED is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners: and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful.
  2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord: and in his law will he exercise himself day and night.
  3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the water-side: that will bring forth his fruit in due season.
  4. His leaf also shall not wither: and look, whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper.
  5. As for the ungodly, it is not so with them: but they are like the chaff, which the wind scattereth away from the face of the earth.
  6. Therefore the ungodly shall not be able to stand in the judgment: neither the sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
  7. But the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: and the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Glory be

Psalm 3 Domine, quid multiplicati?

  1. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me: many are they that rise against me.
  2. Many one there be that say of my soul: There is no help for him in his God.
  3. But thou, O Lord, art my defender: thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.
  4. I did call upon the Lord with my voice: and he heard me out of his holy hill.
  5. I laid me down and slept, and rose up again: for the Lord sustained me.
  6. I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the people: that have set themselves against me round about.
  7. Up, Lord, and help me, O my God: for thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheekbone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
  8. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: and thy blessing is upon thy people.

Glory be.

Antiphon 2. There was none like unto him to keep the law of the Most High.

Psalm 14 Domine, quis habitabit?

  1. LORD, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle: or who shall rest upon thy holy hill?
  2. Even he that leadeth an uncorrupt life: and doeth the thing which is right, and speaketh the truth from his heart.
  3. He that hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor done evil to his neighbour: and hath not slandered his neighbour.
  4. He that setteth not by himself, but is lowly in his own eyes: and maketh much of them that fear the Lord.
  5. He that sweareth unto his neighbour, and disappointeth him not: thou it were to his own hindrance.
  6. He that hath not given his money upon usury: nor taken reward against the innocent.
  7. Whoso doeth these things: shall never fall.

Glory be.

Antiphon 3. Therefore by an oath the Lord assured him that he would increase him among his people.

Psalm 18 Caeli enarant.

  1. THE heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
  2. One day telleth another: and one night certifieth another.
  3. There is neither speech nor language: but their voices are heard among them.
  4. Their sound is gone out into all lands: and their words into the ends of the world.
  5. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun: which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.
  6. It goeth forth from the uttermost part of the heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
  7. The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.
  8. The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.
  9. The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
  10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.
  11. Moreover, by them is thy servant taught: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
  12. Who can tell how oft he offendeth: O cleanse thou me from my secret faults.
  13. Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me: so shall I be undefiled, and innocent from the great offence.
  14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart: be alway acceptable in thy sight,
  15. O Lord: my strength, and my redeemer.

Glory be.

Antiphon 4. Good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

First Lesson: Ezekiel 3:4 – 11
And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Hymn

Whate’er thou bindest here is bound by God’s decree;
Whate’er thou loosest here, O Peter, God doth free;
Through thee to all his priests such is the promise bold,
And thou and thine the world shalt judge as Christ foretold.

Now to the Trinity eternal glory sing,
All honour, virtue, might, and hymns of gladness bring.
He rules the universe in wondrous Unity,
And shall, through all the days of vast eternity. Amen.

V. Thou art Peter.
R. And upon this rock I will build my Church.

Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55

Antiphon: Thou art Shepherd of the sheep, and Prince of the Apostles; God hath given unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

  1. My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
  2. For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
  3. For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
  4. For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
  5. And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
  6. He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
  7. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek;.
  8. He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
  9. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be.

Antiphon: Thou art Shepherd of the sheep, and Prince of the Apostles; God hath given unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Second Lesson: Acts 4:8 – 20
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Nunc dimittis. St. Luke 2:29-32

Antiphon: Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

  1. LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, * according to thy word.
  2. For mine eyes have seen * thy salvation,
  3. Which thou hast prepared * before the face of all people;
  4. To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be.

Antiphon: Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

A reading from the works of St Augustine:
Today’s solemn feast received from our forefathers the name of Saint Peter’s Chair at Antioch, because of a tradition that on this day Peter, first of the Apostles, took possession of his episcopal Chair. Fitly, therefore, do the churches observe the day of his enthronement, the right to which the Apostles received for the sake of salvation, (which cometh to us in the churches,) when the Lord said : Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.

It was the Lord himself who called Peter the foundation of the Church, and therefore it is right that the Church should reverence this foundation whereon her mighty structure riseth. Justly is it written in the Psalm which we so often chant : Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the seat of the elders. Blessed be God, who hath commanded that the holy Apostle Peter be exalted in the congregation! Worthy to be honoured by the Church is that foundation from which her goodly towers rise, pointing to heaven!

In the honour which is this day paid to the inauguration of the first Bishop’s throne, an honour is paid to the office of all Bishops. The Churches testify one to another, that, the greater the Church’s dignity, the greater the reverence due to her priests. While I confess how rightly godly custom hath exalted this Feast in the estimation of all the Churches, the more do I wonder at the growth of that unhealthy error which at this day causeth some unbelievers to lay food and wine upon the graves of the dead, as if souls once rid of the body had any longer any need of bodily refreshment.

From the Roman Breviary for the Day.

¶ Then follows,

The Apostles’ Creed.
I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints: The Forgiveness of sins: The Resurrection of the body: And the Life everlasting. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you (or O Lord, Hear my prayer.)
R. And with thy spirit. (or And let my cry come unto Thee.)

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

V. O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R. And grant us thy salvation.
V. O Lord, save our governours.
R. And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V. Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R. And make thy chosen people joyful.
V. O Lord, save thy people.
R. And bless thine inheritance.
V. Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R. Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V. O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R. And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Collect:
O God, who didst bestow upon thy blessed Apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and didst appoint unto him the priesthood for the binding and loosing of sin : grant, we beseech thee ; that by the help of his intercession we may be delivered from the bonds of all our iniquities. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Commemoration of St Paul
Antiphon O holy Apostle Paul, preacher of truth and teacher of the Gentiles, pray for us to God who chose thee.

V. Thou art the chosen Vessel unto God, O holy Paul the Apostle.
R. Preacher of truth to the whole world.

O God, who through the preaching of thy blessed Apostle Paul hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine forth upon the Gentiles : grant, we beseech thee ; that we, who this day call him to remembrance, may feel the effectual benefit of his intercession. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who livest and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

A Collect for Peace.
O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

A Collect for Aid against Perils.
LIGHTEN our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you (or O Lord, Hear my prayer.)
R. And with thy spirit. (or And let my cry come unto Thee.)
V. Let us bless the Lord (alleluia, alleluia).
R. Thanks be to God (alleluia, alleluia).
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.

¶ When the Litany or Mass is to be said, the following prayers are omitted, save only the Grace and the Final Antiphon.

A General Thanksgiving.
ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; [particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end.

A Prayer for The President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority.
Almighty God, whose kingdom is everlasting and power infinite; Have mercy upon this whole land; and so rule the hearts of thy servants THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, The Governor of this State, and all others in authority, that they, knowing whose ministers they are, may above all things seek thy honour and glory; and that we and all the People, duly considering whose authority they bear, may faithfully and obediently honour them, according to thy blessed Word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer for the Clergy and People.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels: Send down upon our Bishops and other clergy, and all Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Grace
The grace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with us all, evermore.  Amen.

¶ Here shall be added the Final Antiphon of the Virgin Mary according to season.

After the Purification, that is, from Compline of February 2nd, whether the Feast of the Purification be transferred or not, through Compline of Wednesday in Holy Week: Ave, Regina cælorum