St Narcissus, Bishop of Jerusalem: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus”
Saint Narcissus from his youth applied himself with great care to the study of both religious and human disciplines. He entered into the ecclesiastical state, and in him all the sacerdotal virtues were seen in their perfection; he was called the holy priest. He was surrounded by universal esteem, but was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem only in about the year 180, when he was already an octogenarian. He governed his church with a vigor which was like that of a young man, and his austere and penitent life was totally dedicated to the welfare of the church.
In the year 195, with Theophilus of Cesarea he presided at a council concerning the celebration date of Easter; it was decided then that this great feast would always be celebrated on a Sunday, and not on the day of the ancient Passover.
God attested his merits by many miracles, which were long held in memory by the Christians of Jerusalem. One Holy Saturday the faithful were distressed, because no oil could be found for the church lamps to be used in the Paschal vigil. Saint Narcissus bade them draw water from a neighbouring well and after he blessed it, told them to put it in the lamps. It was changed into oil, and long afterwards some of this oil was still preserved at Jerusalem in memory of the miracle.
The virtue of the Saint did not fail to make enemies for him, and three wretched men charged him with an atrocious crime. They confirmed their testimony by horrible imprecations. The first one prayed that he might perish by fire, the second that he might be wasted by leprosy, the third that he might be struck blind, if the accusations they made against their bishop were false. The holy bishop had long desired a life of solitude, and at this time he decided it was best to withdraw to the desert and leave the Church in peace. But God intervened on behalf of His servant, when all three of the bishop’s accusers suffered the penalties they had invoked. Narcissus could then no longer resist the petitions of his people; he returned to Jerusalem and resumed his office. He died in extreme old age, bishop to the last.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. (Ps. 131: 1) O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. v. 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. Repeat, The Lord made to him a covenant of peace…
O God, Thou wert pleased to have blessed Narcissus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, renowned as one who cherished his flock and loved the poor: in Thy mercy see that we extol his merits and imitate his charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Collect for God’s Holy Church
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Ecclesiasticus 44: 16-27; 45: 3-20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood: and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Ecclus 44: 66, 20
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Psalm 109:4 Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 25: 14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained another five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me, behold I have gained
other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him.
May Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in all places bring us joy; that while we recall their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Secret for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12: 42
This is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that, we who give thanks for the gifts we have received, may through the intercession of blessed Narcissus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church
O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through the 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.