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Office of Readings

INVITATORY

The Invitatory is said when this is the first ‘hour’ of the day.

Go to the Hymn

Go to the Psalmody

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

The antiphon is repeated. In individual recitation, the antiphon may be said only at the beginning of the psalm; it need not be repeated after each strophe.

Go to Psalm 24

Go to Psalm 67

Go to Psalm 100

Psalm 95
A call to praise God


Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
  “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 24
The Lord’s entry into his temple


Christ opened heaven for us in the manhood he assumed (Saint Irenaeus).

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 67
People of all nations will worship the Lord


You must know that God is offering his salvation to all the world (Acts 28:28).

O God, be gracious and bless us *
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth *
and all nations learn your saving help.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Let the nations be glad and exult *
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples, *
you guide the nations on earth.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

The earth has yielded its fruit *
for God, our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing *
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 100
The joyful song of those entering God’s temple


The Lord calls his ransomed people to sing songs of victory (Saint Athanasius).

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness. *
Come before him, singing for joy.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him, *
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise. *
Give thanks to him and bless his name.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love. *
He is faithful from age to age.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.

Beneath the shadow of your throne
Your saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is your arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting you are God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in your sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be now our guide while life shall last,
And our eternal home.

Tune: Saint Anne C.M.
Music: William Croft, 1708
Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, alt. by Rev. William Bauman

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord, you are our savior; we will praise you for ever.

Psalm 44
The misfortune of God’s people


We triumph over all these things through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

I

We heard with our own ears, O God, *
our fathers have told us the story
of the things you did in their days, *
you yourself, in days long ago.

To plant them you uprooted the nations: *
to let them spread you laid peoples low.
No sword of their own won the land; *
no arm of their own brought them victory.
It was your right hand, your arm *
and the light of your face: for you loved them.

It is you, my king, my God, *
who granted victories to Jacob.
Through you we beat down our foes; *
in your name we trampled down our aggressors.

For it was not in my bow that I trusted *
nor yet was I saved by my sword:
it was you who saved us from our foes, *
it was you who put our foes to shame.
All day long our boast was in God *
and we praised your name without ceasing.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord, you are our savior; we will praise you for ever.

Ant. 2 Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.

II

Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us: *
you no longer go forth with our armies.
You make us retreat from the foe *
and our enemies plunder us at will.

You make us like sheep for the slaughter *
and scatter us among the nations.
You sell your own people for nothing *
and make no profit by the sale.

You make us the taunt of our neighbors, *
the laughing stock of all who are near.
Among the nations, you make us a byword, *
among the peoples a thing of derision.

All day long my disgrace is before me: *
my face is covered with shame
at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer, *
at the sight of the foe and avenger.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.

Ant. 3 Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.

III

This befell us though we had not forgotten you; *
though we had not been false to your covenant,
though we had not withdrawn our hearts; *
though our feet had not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows *
and covered us with the shadow of death.

Had we forgotten the name of our God *
or stretched out our hands to another god
would not God have found this out, *
he who knows the secrets of the heart?
It is for you that we face death all day long *
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep? *
Arise, do not reject us for ever!
Why do you hide your face from us *
and forget our oppression and misery?

For we are brought down low to the dust; *
our body lies prostrate on the earth.
Stand up and come to our help! *
Redeem us because of your love!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord, rise up and come to our aid; with your strong arm lead us to freedom, as you mightily delivered our forefathers. Since you are the king who knows the secrets of our hearts, fill them with the light of truth.

Ant. Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.

Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Proverbs
10:6-32

Various maxims


Blessings are for the head of the just,
   but a rod for the back of the fool.
The memory of the just will be blessed,
   but the name of the wicked will rot.
A wise man heeds commands,
   but a prating fool will be overthrown.

He who walks honestly walks securely,
   but he whose ways are crooked will fare badly.
He who winks at a fault causes trouble,
   but he who frankly reproves promotes peace.
A fountain of life is the mouth of the just,
   but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up disputes,
   but love covers all offenses.
On the lips of the intelligent is found wisdom,
   [but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence].

Wise men store up knowledge,
   but the mouth of a fool is imminent ruin.
The rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
   the ruination of the lowly is their poverty.
The just man’s recompense leads to life,
   the gains of the wicked, to sin.
A path to life is his who heeds admonition,
   but he who disregards reproof goes astray.

It is the lips of the liar that conceal hostility;
   but he who spreads accusations is a fool.
Where words are many, sin is not wanting;
   but he who restrains his lips does well.
Like choice silver is the just man’s tongue;
   the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
The just man’s lips nourish many,
   but fools die for want of sense.

It is the Lord’s blessing that brings wealth,
   and no effort can substitute for it.
Crime is the entertainment of the fool;
   so is wisdom for the man of sense.
What the wicked man fears will befall him,
   but the desire of the just will be granted.
When the tempest passes, the wicked man is no more;
   but the just man is established forever.
As vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes,
   is the sluggard to those who use him as a messenger.

The fear of the Lord prolongs life,
   but the years of the wicked are brief.
The hope of the just brings them joy,
   but the expectation of the wicked comes to nought.
The Lord is a stronghold to him who walks honestly,
   but to evildoers, their downfall.
The just man will never be disturbed,
   but the wicked will not abide in the land.
The mouth of the just yields wisdom,
   but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the just know how to please,
   but the mouth of the wicked, how to pervert.

RESPONSORY
Psalm 37:30, 31; 112:6, 7


The mouth of the just man utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is right.
The law of God is in his heart.

The just man will be remembered for ever;
he shall have no fear of evil news.
The law of God is in his heart.

SECOND READING

From the Explanations of the Psalms by Saint Ambrose, bishop
(Ps 36, 65-66: CSEL 64, 123-125)

Open your lips, and let God’s word be heard


We must always meditate on God’s wisdom, keeping it in our hearts and on our lips. Your tongue must speak justice, the law of God must be in your heart. Hence Scripture tells you: You shall speak of these commandments when you sit in your house, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down, and when you get up. Let us then speak of the Lord Jesus, for he is wisdom, he is the word, the Word indeed of God.

It is also written: Open your lips, and let God’s word be heard. God’s word is uttered by those who repeat Christ’s teaching and meditate on his sayings. Let us always speak this word. When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about peace, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking of Christ.

Open your lips, says Scripture, and let God’s word be heard. It is for you to open, it is for him to be heard. So David said: I shall hear what the Lord says in me. The very Son of God says: Open your lips, and I will fill them. Not all can attain to the perfection of wisdom as Solomon or Daniel did, but the spirit of wisdom is poured out on all according to their capacity, that is, on all the faithful. If you believe, you have the spirit of wisdom.

Meditate, then, at all times on the things of God, and speak the things of God, when you sit in your house. By house we can understand the Church, or the secret place within us, so that we are to speak within ourselves. Speak with prudence, so as to avoid falling into sin, as by excess of talking. When you sit in your house, speak to yourself as if you were a judge. When you walk along the way, speak so as to never be idle. You speak along the way if you speak in Christ, for Christ is the way. When you walk along the way, speak to yourself, speak to Christ. Hear him say to you: I desire that in every place men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. When you lie down, speak so that the sleep of death may not steal upon you. Listen and learn how you are to speak as you lie down; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

When you get up or rise again, speak of Christ, so as to fulfill what you are commanded. Listen and learn how Christ is to awaken you from sleep. Your soul says: I hear my brother knocking at the door. Then Christ says to you: Open the door to me, my sister, my spouse. Listen and learn how you are to awaken Christ. Your soul says: I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, awaken or reawaken the love of my heart. Christ is that love.

RESPONSORY
1 Corinthians 1:30-31; John 1:16


God has given us Christ Jesus to be our wisdom,
our strength, our holiness and our redemption;
this is why Scripture tells us:
Let him who would boast, boast in the Lord.

Of his fullness we have all received,
grace upon grace.
This is why Scripture tells us:
Let him who would boast, boast in the Lord.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you have promised to remain for ever
with those who do what is just and right.
Help us to live in your presence.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

O God, who teach us that you abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace
as to become a dwelling plaeasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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