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Wednesday 4 December 2019    (other days)
Wednesday of the 1st week of Advent 
 or Saint John Damascene, Priest, Doctor 

Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Saint John Damascene, priest, Doctor

He was born of a Christian family in Damascus in the second half of the seventh century, where his father was a high official under the Umayyad caliph; a post which he inherited. When the Iconoclast movement (seeking to prohibit the veneration of icons) gained acceptance in the Byzantine court, John, being under Muslim rather than Byzantine rule, was able to write effective treatises attacking Iconoclasm and attacking the emperor for supporting it. At about this time he retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, where he became a monk and was ordained. He died in the middle of the eighth century.
  He wrote many theological treatises in a dangerously clear and accessible style which made the issues understandable even by non-experts. His name was reviled and execrated by the imperial Iconoclast party even after his death. Sometimes known as “the last of the Church Fathers,” he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1883. See the article in Wikipedia.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153)

Bernard was born near Dijon, in France, in 1090, of a noble family. In 1112 he joined the new monastery at Cîteaux. This had been founded fourteen years before, in a bid to reject the laxity and riches of much of the Benedictine Order of the time (as exemplified by the great monasteries such as Cluny) and to return to a primitive poverty and austerity of life.
  Bernard arrived at Cîteaux with four of his five brothers and two dozen friends. Within three years he had been sent out to found a new monastery at Clairvaux, in Champagne, where he remained abbot for the rest of his life. By the time of his death, the Cistercian Order (“the Order of Cîteaux”) had grown from one house to 343, of which 68 were daughter houses of Clairvaux itself.
  Bernard was a man of great holiness and wisdom, and although he was often in very poor health, he was active in many of the great public debates of the time. He strongly opposed the luxurious lives of some of the clergy, and fought against the persecution of the Jews. He was also a prolific writer, and the Liturgy of the Hours uses extracts from many of his sermons.

Liturgical colour: violet

Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Isaiah 2:11 ©
Human pride will lower its eyes, the arrogance of men will be humbled. The Lord alone will be exalted, on that day.

Noon reading (Sext)Isaiah 12:2 ©
See now, he is the God of my salvation. I have trust now and no fear, for the Lord is my strength, my song, he is my salvation.

Afternoon reading (None)Daniel 9:19 ©
Listen, Lord! Lord, forgive! Hear, Lord, and act! For your own sake, my God, do not delay, because they bear your name, this is your city, this is your people.

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Office of Readings for 1st Wednesday of Advent

Morning Prayer for 1st Wednesday of Advent

Evening Prayer for 1st Wednesday of Advent

Full page including sources and copyrights

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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