The Little Office Of Our Lady – At None: The Ninth Hour, pt 4. By E. L. Taunton.

LITTLE CHAPTER [Eccle. xxiv.].

In the streets like the cinnamon and sweet-smelling balm did I give forth my odour; like choice myrrh I yielded a sweetness of smell.

Thanks be to God.

After bearing thou didst remain a spotless maiden.

Mother of God intercede for us.

We have heard these words in the Third Lesson of Matins. Here, coming after the Gradual Psalms, we may take them as words of encouragement. The sweet example of Mary attracts souls to follow her virtues, as the smell of rich spices attracts the passers-by in the streets. The spices mentioned are referred to our Lady in this way. St. Bonaventure says : The fragrance of Mary was like cinnamon in outward intercourse ; like balm in the interior unction of devotion ; and like myrrh in the bitterness of trouble. O rich indeed, says St. Bernard, is she who was filled with the balm of the Holy Ghost; this precious balm was given to thee in such superabundant measure that it overflows in all directions. The mention of myrrh, coming at this ninth hour when Jesus died, reminds us of the Mother of Sorrows. Taken altogether the Little Chapter is a fitting comment on the three preceding Psalms and is to be understood in reference to the thoughts they have suggested.

The Versicle and Response celebrate the Divine truth that Mary, in and after childbearing, remained ever a Virgin ; for she was the closed Door through which only the Lord could pass.


We beseech Thee, O Lord,  pardon the sins of Thy servants : that we who cannot please Thee by our actions, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, our Lord, Who, with Thee, &c.

This prayer sums up all the thoughts of this Office : the captivity of sin, our own helplessness, and the good things of Jerusalem, high among which is Mary, by whose intercession we hope to reach them.

During Advent.

The Antiphon and Prayer are from Lauds for this season. The Little Chapter is from Prime. The Versicle and Response commemorate the Annunciation.

During Christmas-tide.

The Antiphon and Prayer are from the Proper of Lauds ; the Little Chapter and Versicle as above.

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