The Little Office Of Our Lady – At Matins, Or Night Song, pt 13. By E. L. Taunton.



Said in silence.

And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.

The pious author of the Myroure thus comments on the Pater Noster: —

" Our Father. Think now that as a child giveth trust fully to his father in what distress soever he be in, so ye, in whatever distress or trouble or temptation or sin that you be in, meekly and trustingly lift up your heart to God your Father, and tell Him what aileth you, and say to Him, our Father. You say not my Father, but our Father; whereby we are taught to have great charity and love each to another, and to all our fellow-Christians, inasmuch as we are all children of one Father, to Whom we all say our Father.

" Who art in heaven. Therefore lift up your hearts from earthly and vain things and offer them to Him that is not only in heaven above in bliss, but also in the souls of His servants by grace, which are called heavens. And in each place He is, by His being, and by His presence, and by His power. Think, then, wherever you be, that God, your Father, is present before you, with you, and all about you, and by grace in every one's heart that is out of deadly sin ; and in this beholding say to Him with great love and joy and reverence, Our Father, Who art in heaven.

" Thy Name be hallowed, that is, (may) the worship and love of Thy holy Name be so confirmed and stabled in our minds, that whatever we think, or say, or do, we must ever-more intend the holiness and praising of Thy Holy Name and not the vanity of our own name. And that our life may be so holy that thy Name be hallowed, and worshipped thereby in us. And further, that it may be thus :—

" Thy kingdom come, that is, may the Lordship of all sin be so cast out of us, and mayest Thou so reign in us by the grace and plenty of all virtues, that we (may) be ready to desire Thy Coming in the fulness of Thy Kingdom at the Day of Doom, or at the end of our life. And also that Thy Kingdom may so come to them that are in Purgatory that they may be delivered from all pain and come to rest in the joy of Thy Kingdom. And so, in this petition, you ask that God should reign in you and in your fellow-Christians by grace. And that both you and all living and dead should come to the Kingdom of bliss.

" Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven, that is, as Thy saints that are in heaven are conformed in all things to Thy Will, so give us will and strength to desire and to fulfil Thy Will in all things, be it never so contrary to our vain wills. So that if Thou wilt have us in sickness, or in tribulation, in weal or woe, in heaven, in earth, or in hell, Thy Fatherly Will be done in us. Think not that our Father will have any of His children in hell. But our obedience to our Father ought to be fervent and simple, that we take no heed of heaven, nor of hell, but only of the fulfilment of our Father's will.

" Give us this day our daily bread, that is, the sustenance of our bodily life which Thou sendest us, grant us to take it soberly, without surfeit, and patiently, without grudging, and give us sufficiently thereof to our need. And the bread of Thy Word give us this day, by feeling devotion in Thy holy service and in prayer, and in all reading and hearing of Thy Word. Give us, Father, the bread of Thy grace, with which we be comforted and strengthened to withstand evil and to do good. And give us such faith and charity and devotion in our souls that thereby we may receive every day the Bread of Thy Holy Sacrament of the Altar, that is, Lord Jesus, Thyself, in the unity of Thy Church, though we receive it not every day with our bodily mouths.

"And forgive our trespasses, as we forgive our trespassers. This petition seems heavy to them that behold other men's sins and forget their own. But, and we see clearly, how great and many our sins are against God, and how little in regard thereof any offence is that is done against us, we should think it a petition of unspeakable comfort that by forgiveness of so little and few we may get forgiveness of so many and so great. I have sinned against God and deserved pain ; another hath sinned against me and deserved punishing. If I forgive the offence and not the pain, my Father, God, will do the same to me ; if I forgive pain and all, so shall God, my Father, forgive me. Glad, therefore, ought we to be when any trespass is done against us in word or deed, and more glad to forgive it, and with heart and word and look and deed ; and to love them and to do (good) for them. For by them we have occasion to get from God, our Father, the large and greatly desired pardon and forgiveness of all our sins and of all the pains that we have deserved therefore. The great comfort that this petition giveth to a sinful soul cannot lightly be told, for He is Truth that biddeth us pray thus, and it may not be in vain ; but as we forgive we shall be forgiven . . . And if we be in will to forgive, and feel contrary stirrings in ourselves, yet let us nevertheless say this same petition trustingly to our Father, thinking thus : Grant us, good Father, verily to forgive our trespassers as we desired to be forgiven of Thee.

"And lead us not into temptation, that is, suffer us not for our unkindness and demerits to fall into sin by any temptation. This is a petition heartily to be asked. For none make progress in virtue without temptation ; nor can anyone withstand temptation, be he never so perfect, without the special help and grace of God. And therefore let us pray our Father with fear and by this petition, not to keep us from temptation, but to keep us so that fall we not by any temptation.

" But deliver us from evil. We can neither, nor may not of ourselves, do anything but sin, nor can we, or may we, deserve anything but pain. And therefore meekly and with dread, knowing our own feebleness, we pray our Father to deliver us from evil of all sin and of all peril and of all pain, temporal and everlasting.

"Amen. This word Amen, is a word of Hebrew; and sometimes it is a word of affirming, and is as much as to say, ' Truly,' or ' Faithfully.' And sometimes it is a word of desiring, and is as much as to say, ' So be it’ or ' Be it done.' And so it is set here for to show a great desire that we ought to have all that is asked before in this Prayer be fulfilled. For in these seven petitions is asked all that is needed to us for body and soul in this life and after.

" Thus may you have your mind on this prayer, when you say it, if you will study and labour to understand it, and keep it in your mind. Not that you must have mind in all the words that I have written, but on the meaning. For the understanding of man, namely, when it is lightened by grace, may conceive more in a little while than the tongue may speak in a longer time, and therefore, while you say the words of your Pater Noster I hope your understanding will the better be fed unto the inward meaning, as I have now written. At least, with some thereof, if you will do your duty, and for as much as our Saviour made this prayer for our health, it is good that you intend always to say it according to the intention that He made it for, and to ask thereby all things that He intended should be asked thereby when He made it" [Myroure, p. 73-77.].


By the prayers and the merits of Blessed Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, may the Lord bring us to the heavenly realms. Amen.

"The Absolution is not only a loosening from the faults we have committed while reciting the Office, but it is also a special prayer to dispose our soul to profit by the words of the Sacred Scripture which are about to be read to us. For the psalmody being over, we now rest and let the Holy Ghost speak to our hearts ; for as the Preacher saith : There is a time to keep silence and a time to speak." [Myroure, p. 101 ; Eccles. iii. 7.]

Lord, command her to bless.


May the Virgin Mary, together with her kind Son, bless us.

"Then cometh the reader and asketh leave of God Almighty and the help of your prayers that she may read to our Lord's worship and sayeth, Jube domine bencdicere — Lord, bid me say well; as if she said : Lord give me leave and bid me say or read, for else I dare not presume to open my mouth to these holy words ; and give me strength and grace to read and say them, and so well that Thou mayest be pleased and the hearers edified and my soul unhurt. And though these words be thus said principally to God, yet they are also said to her that giveth the blessing and who therein occupieth God's stead, so that she should bless His name, and give her leave to read. For by blessing is understood giving of leave ; therefore she saith, Jube domine benedicere, that is, ' Lord bid her bless.' . . . Then she that is asked to bless, knowing well that the blessing or leave-giving belongeth principally to God, prayeth our Lady for help and for succour, both to the reader and to the hearers. ... In all this you may see how diligently you ought to be in reading and hearing of our lessons, while there is ordained so great instance before to make you ready thereto. Then followeth the lesson, that is, as much as to say a ' reading ' " [Myroure, p. 102.].

From - The Little Office of Our Lady; a treatise theoretical, practical, and exegetical - Taunton, Ethelred L. (Ethelred Luke), 1857-1907