1. Because at this hour Christ instructed the Samaritan woman, the type of the Gentiles; and He promised to give the living water, springing up unto life everlasting, which was His blood, poured out on Calvary at the sixth hour.
2. Because at this sixth hour Christ was raised on the cross for our salvation and it is right and just, daily, to remember Him and His great love for us. Besides, it is to realise His words “And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself” (St. John xii. 32). And the Church, in the opening words of Sext for Sunday, impresses this idea on us “Deficit in salutare meum anima mea,” “My soul hath fainted after thy salvation” (Ps. 118).
3. To ask God to grant us health and peace of heart, as the hymn for Sext sings:—
“O God, Who canst
not change nor fail,
Guiding the hours as they go by,
Brightening with beam the morning pale,
And burning in the midnight sky,
Quench Thou the fires of hate and strife,
The wasting fever of the heart;
From perils guard our feeble life,
And to our souls Thy grace impart.
Grant this, O Father, only Son,
And Holy Ghost, God of Grace,
To whom all glory, Three in One,
Be given in every time and place—Amen.”
Cardinal Newman of St. Ambrose’s
hymn, Rector potens).
TEXTS AND INTENTIONS FOR THE PIOUS RECITATION OF SEXT.
1. “And they took Jesus, and after they had mocked Him, they took off the purple from Him and put His own garments on Him and led Him out to crucify Him” (St. Mark, c. 15).
2. “Bearing His own cross, Jesus went forth to that place called Calvary.”
3. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but for yourselves.”
General Intentions. The wants of the Church; for peace and goodwill amongst all States and peoples; for the Pope; for Church students.
Personal Intentions. For patience; for fraternal charity; for the love of the practice of mortification.
Special Intentions. For Catholic schools; for increase in number of daily communicants; for the success of catechists and their work.
Etymology. The word None comes from the Latin word nona, ninth (hora nona), because this part of the Office was said at the ninth hour of the Roman day, that is, about three o’clock in our modern day.
Antiquity. This hour was set apart in Apostolic times for joint prayer, “Now Peter and John went up into the Temple at the ninth hour of prayer” (Acts iii. 1).
Structure. See note under this head at Terce.
Why does the Church desire prayer at the ninth hour?
1. In this she follows the example of her Founder, Christ, Who prayed at the ninth hour. “At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ‘Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ’My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’” (St. Mark xv. 34).