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Friday, July 01, 2005

Proverbs 6:4-11

For people who, like me, are often too useless to get up for early Mass or even to say Lauds, and indeed are so feeble that they find themselves dashing frantically to do anything with the morning before the current of time sweeps them unremittingly into the afternoon. Berenike's fraternal admonitions reminded me of this good prayer: two minutes to get one's priorities straight before crawling out of the house.

These prayers folowynge ought to be sayd or ye departe out of your chambre at your vprysynge

Auxiliatrix sis michi Trinitas sancta. Deus, in nomine tuo levabo manus meas. Crux triumphalis passionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Jesus Nazarenus rex Iudeorum, fili Dei, miserere mei. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. Amen.
Per signum sancte + crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos, Deus noster.
Piissime Deus et clementissime pater: laudes et gratias ago tibi, Domine Jesu Christe, omnipotens eterne Deus, qui me indignum/am famulum/am tuum/am N. in hac nocte custodisti, protexisti, visitasti, sanum/am et incolumem ad principium huius diei me pervenire fecisti, deprecor clementiam tuam, misericors Deus, ut concedas michi diem venturum sic peragere in tuo sancto servitio cum humilitate, discretione, devotione et dilectione benigna, ut tibi servitutem meam debitam et placabilem in omnibus operibus meis valeam persolvere, et fac me cum tua gratia vivere semper in omnibus diebus vite mee: tibi commendo corpus meum et animam meam. Per Christum...

Which being (rather lumpily) interpreted:

The Holy Trinity be my help. O God, in thy name I lift up my hands. Triumphant Cross of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews, Son of God, have mercy on me. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By the sign of the holy cross free us from our enemies, O our God.
Most kind God and most merciful Father: I give thee praise and thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, almighty eternal God, who hast guarded, protected and visited me thine unworthy servant N. in this night, and hast caused me to come safe and unharmed to the beginning of this day: and for all thine other benefits which thou has given my by thy goodness alone. I beseech thy mercy, O merciful God, that thou mightest grant to me that I might so complete the coming day in thy holy service, with humility, discretion, devotion and loving kindness, that I may be able to accomplish my due and pleasing service to thee in all my works [:] and cause me to live with thy grace in all the days of my life: to thee I commend my body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is from several early C16 primers (vernacular books of hours) printed for York diocese, and handily published: Horae Eboracenses : the Prymer or Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the use of the illustrious Church of York : with other devotions as they were used by the lay-folk in the Northern province in the XVth and XVIth centuries (Surtees Society, 1920)