St. Gregory of Nazianzen, one of the Fathers of the Greek Church, was born in Asia Minor; he was made a bishop and afterward Patriarch of Constantinople. He labored with wonderful success against the Arians. His success drew on him the hatred of the enemies of the Faith. Finally, he resigned his See and retired to his native town, where he died in 390. As a champion of the Faith he was so well equipped, so strenuous, and so exact that he is called St. Gregory the Theologian. His firmness restored the Faith of the Council of Nicea to Constantinople; he was, however, a man of gentle spirit and eminently poetic mind. Renouncing his bishopric he set his heart on the contemplative life and monastic discipline.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be…etc
O God, Who didst give blessed Gregory to be a minister of everlasting salvation unto Thy people, grant, we beseech Thee, that, as we have had him for our teacher on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the Octave of the Ascension
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have ascended on this day into heaven, may also ourselves dwell in mind amid heavenly things. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE Ecclesiasticus 39: 6-14
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. The just man will give his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him, and he will pray in the sight of the Most High. He will open his mouth in prayer, and will make supplication for his sins. For if it shall please the great Lord, He will fill him with the spirit of understanding: and he will pour forth the words of His wisdom as showers, and in his prayer he will confess to the Lord. And He shall direct his counsel, and his knowledge, and in His secrets shall he meditate. He shall show forth the discipline he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall praise his wisdom, and it shall never be forgotten. The memory of him shall not pass away, and his name shall be in request from generation to generation. Nations shall declare his wisdom, and the Church shall show forth his praise.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ecclus. 45: 9) The Lord loved him and adorned him: he clothed with a robe of glory. Alleluia. (Osee 14: 6) The just shall spring as a lily: and shall flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 5: 13-19
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house; so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For, amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 91:13
The innocent man will flourish like the palm tree flourishes, he will grow to greatness as the cedars grow on Lebanon, alleluia.
May the loving prayers of Gregory, Thy Doctor, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the Octave of the Ascension
Receive, O Lord: the gifts we offer up to Thee, for the glorious Ascension of Thy Son: and mercifully grant that we may be freed from present perils and attain unto everlasting life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE For the ASCENSION
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Who, after His Resurrection, appeared openly to all His disciples, and, while they looked on, was taken up into Heaven, that He might grant unto us to be sharers in His own divinity. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNICANTES – INVOCATION OF THE SAINTS IN THE CANON For ASCENSION and the Sunday After
Communicating with, with, and keeping the most holy day on which Thine only-begotten Son our Lord set at the right hand of Thy glory the substance of our, frail human natum, which He had taken to Himself and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious, ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. (He joins his hands.) Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12:42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season, alleluia.
That Thy sacrifices may give us health O Lord, may blessed Gregory, Thy illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Of the Octave of the Ascension
Grant to us, we beseech Thee: almighty and merciful God, that we may obtain the invisible effects of that which we have shared by communion in visible Mysteries. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.