Epiphany: Dom Gueranger on First and Second Vespers

First and Second Vespers are almost exactly the same.

"1. ANT. The Lord our Saviour, begotten before the day-star and all ages, appeared to the world on this day.

Psalm 109: Dixit Dominus

2. ANT. Thy light is come, O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee; and the Gentiles shall walk in thy light. Alleluia

Psalm 110 Confitebor tibi

3. ANT. Opening their treasures, the Magi offered to the Lord gold, frankincens and myrrh. Alleluia

Psalm 111 Beatus Vir

4. ANT. Ye seas, and rivers, bless the Lord: ye fountains, sing a hymn to the Lord. Alleluia.

Psalm 112 Laudate pueri

5. At First Vespers
ANT. This star shineth as a flame, and pointeth out God, the King of kings: The Magi saw it, and offered gifts to the great King.
Psalm 116 Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
5. At Second Vespers
Psalm 113 In exitu Israel

Capitulum - Surge, illuminare Is. 60
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

"There follows the Hymn. It is the beautiful one composed by Sedulius, of which we sang the opening stanzas in the Lauds of Christmas Day. In the verses selected for the present Feast, the Church celebrates the three Epiphanies: Bethlehem, the Jordan, and Cana, each, in its turn, manifested the glory of Jesus, our great King.

Hymn Crudelis Herodes

V. The kings of Tharsis and the islnds, shall offer presents.
R. The Kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts.

Magnificat Antiphon at First Vespers:
The Magi, seeing the Star, said to each other: This is the sign of the great King: let us go and seek him, and offer him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Alleluia.

Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers:
We celebrate a festival adorned by three miracles: this day, a star led the Magi to the manger; this day, water was changed into wine at the marriage-feast; this day, Christ vouchsafed to be baptised by John in the Jordan, for our salvation. Alleluia.

After the Magnificat:

Let us pray
O God, who by the direction of a star, didst this day manifest thy only Son to the Gentiles: merciffully grant that we, who now know thee by faith, may cone at length to seee the glory of the Majesty. Through the same, &c.

"At First Vespers the Church had "opened her chants in honour of the divine Theophany. Tomorrow, the offering of the great Sacrifice, will unite us all in the prayers we present to our King and Saviour.

Let us finish this day in recollection and joy."

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