From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the beginning of the sermon for the third day in the Octave of All Saints:
As I noted last year, on the feast of All Saints and on each day of the Octave, the pre-Tridentine Roman Breviary has a sermon at Matins which tells the legend of the feast's institution, and then gives 7 lessons on the Saints in the order of the hierarchy of Heaven: God, the Virgin Mary, the Angels, the Patriarchs and Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs and the Confessors. The last lesson is taken from a homily of St. Augustine on the Gospel of the day, also read in the Breviary of St. Pius V. The anonymous sermon assigned to the third day of the Octave, which we will follow this year, differs in one detail from those of the feast itself and the second day, which we read last year and the year before: the Virgins and other holy women are not mentioned along with the Virgin Mary.
Today we venerate the memory of all the Saints in a single commemoration; in order that we may at least pay this service of our devout celebration to them all together, since on their individual birthdays (into Heaven), we cannot show them all their due honor in veneration, whether for the very multitude of the Saints, or our business about the needs of the body. For the Pope of the Apostolic See, Boniface, fourth from Saint Gregory and sixty-ninth from Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, taking occasion from the superstition of the gentiles, who kept this day as a solemnity in honor of all the gods, prudently discerning that the Roman people could scarcely be turned away by reason from evil customs that please the sensual appetite, piously converted to religion that which was instituted in deception; and having ask for the temple from the Emperor, turned the profane cult into a most salutary act of worship. Therefore, first let us reverently rise today to praise Him, whom all the world obeys, who also Himself praises His servants, and makes them worthy of praise. For He is God Almighty, whose understanding is superior to all, whose being is most mighty, whose power and will are great above all; the sole beginning and creator of all things spiritual and corporeal; substance that surpasses all understanding, maker of such works that in their goodness and perfection, commend Him as their creator and declare him in very deed. … And by their service, we are helped to serve Him, and spurred on to praise Him here (in this world) and forever.
|God, the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, from the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, 1432|