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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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
Transformed them into sons of light,
New creatures by your saving grace.

To you who stooped to sinful man
We render homage and all praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose gift to man is endless days.

Tune: Erhalt uns, Herr L.M.
Music: Geistliche Lieder, 1543
Text: © Stanbrook Abbey, used with permission

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Psalm 89:39-53
Lament for the fall of David’s dynasty


He has raised up for us a mighty Savior born of the house of David his servant (Luke 1:69).

IV

And yet you have rejected and spurned *
and are angry with the one you have anointed.
You have broken your covenant with your servant *
and dishonored his crown in the dust.

You have broken down all his walls *
and reduced his fortresses to ruins.
He is despoiled by all who pass by: *
he has become the taunt of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes; *
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have made his sword give way, *
you have not upheld him in battle.

You have brought his glory to an end; *
you have hurled his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the years of his youth; *
you have heaped disgrace upon him.

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. Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Ant. 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.

V

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself for ever? *
How long will your anger burn like a fire?
Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life *
and how frail you have made the sons of men.
What man can live and never see death? *
Who can save himself from the grasp of the grave?

Where are your mercies of the past, O Lord, *
which you have sworn in your faithfulness to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant is taunted, *
how I have to bear all the insults of the peoples.
Thus your enemies taunt me, O Lord, *
mocking your anointed at every step.

Blessed be the Lord for ever. Amen, amen!

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, God of mercy and fidelity, you made a new and lasting pact with men and sealed it in the blood of your Son. Forgive the folly of our disloyalty and make us keep your commandments, so that in your new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of your faithfulness and love on earth, and sharers of your glory in heaven.

Ant. I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.

Ant. 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

Psalm 90
May we live in the radiance of God


There is no time with God: a thousand years, a single day: it is all one (2 Peter 3:8).

O Lord, you have been our refuge *
from one generation to the next.
Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth, *
you are God, without beginning or end.

You turn men back into dust *
and say: “Go back, sons of men.”
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone, *
no more than a watch in the night.

You sweep men away like a dream, *
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers: *
by evening it withers and fades.

So we are destroyed in your anger, *
struck with terror in your fury.
Our guilt lies open before you; *
our secrets in the light of your face.

All our days pass away in your anger. *
Our life is over like a sigh.
Our span is seventy years *
or eighty for those who are strong.

And most of these are emptiness and pain. *
They pass swiftly and we are gone.
Who understands the power of your anger *
and fears the strength of your fury?

Make us know the shortness of our life *
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? *
Show pity to your servants.

In the morning, fill us with your love; *
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction *
for the years when we knew misfortune.

Show forth your work to your servants; *
let your glory shine on their children.
Let the favor of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands, *
give success to the work of our hands.

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

Eternal Father, you give us life despite our guilt and even add days and years to our lives in order to bring us wisdom. Make us love and obey you, so that the work of our hands may always display what your hands have done, until the day we gaze upon the beauty of your face.

Ant. Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

In you is the source of life.
In your light we see light itself.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Micah
4:14-5:7

The Christ will be our peace


      Thus says the Lord:
Now fence yourself in, Bat-gader!
   “They have laid siege against us!”
With the rod they strike on the cheek
   the ruler of Israel.
But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
   too small to be among the clans of Judah,
From you shall come forth for me
   one who is to be ruler in Israel;
Whose origin is from of old,
   from ancient times.

(Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
   when she who is to give birth has borne,
And the rest of his brethren shall return
   to the children of Israel.)
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
   by the strength of the Lord,
   in the majestic name of the Lord, his God;
And they shall remain, for now his greatness
   shall reach to the ends of the earth;
   he shall be peace.

If Assyria invades our country
   and treads upon our land,
We shall raise against it seven shepherds,
   eight men of royal rank;
And they shall tend the land of Assyria with the sword,
   and the land of Nimrod with the drawn sword;
And we shall be delivered from Assyria,
   if it invades our land
   and treads upon our borders.

The remnant of Jacob shall be
   in the midst of many peoples,
Like dew coming from the Lord,
   like raindrops on the grass,

Which wait for no man,
   nor tarry for the sons of men.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
   in the midst of many peoples,
Like a lion among beasts of the forest,
   like a young lion among flocks of sheep;
When it passes through, it tramples
   and tears, and there is none to deliver.

RESPONSORY
Micah 5:2, 4, 5; Zechariah 9:10


Bethlehem, city of God Most High,
from you will come forth a ruler for Israel,
one whose origin will go back to the distant past, to ancient times.
His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth,
and he will be our peace.

He will proclaim peace to the nations;
his dominion will extend from sea to sea.
And he will be our peace.

SECOND READING

From a treatise on Christian Perfection by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
(PG 46, 259-262)

We possess Christ, our peace, our light


He is our peace, for he has made both one. Since we think of Christ as our peace, we may call ourselves true Christians only if our lives express Christ by our own peace. As the Apostle says: He has put enmity to death. We must never allow it to be rekindled in us in any way but must declare that it is absolutely dead. Gloriously has God slain enmity, in order to save us; may we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges. We must not awaken that enmity or call it back to life by our wickedness, for it is better left dead.

No, since we possess Christ who is peace, we must put an end to this enmity and live as we believe he lived. He broke down the separating wall, uniting what was divided, bringing about peace by reconciling in his single person those who disagreed. In the same way, we must be reconciled not only with those who attack us from outside, but also with those who stir up dissension within; flesh then will no longer be opposed to the spirit, nor the spirit to the flesh. Once we subject the wisdom of the flesh to God’s law, we shall be re-created as one single man at peace. Then, having become one instead of two, we shall have peace within  ourselves.

Now peace is defined as harmony among those who are divided. When, therefore, we end that civil war within our nature and cultivate peace within ourselves, we become peace. By this peace we demonstrate that the name of Christ, which we bear, is authentic and appropriate.

When we consider that Christ is the true light, having nothing in common with deceit, we learn that our own life also must shine with the rays of that true light. Now these rays of the Sun of Justice are the virtues which pour out to enlighten us so that we may put away the works of darkness and walk honorably as in broad daylight. When we reject the deeds of darkness and do everything in the light of day, we become light and, as light should, we give light to others by our actions.

If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be worthy bearers of his name. For the quality of holiness is shown not by what we say but by what we do in life.

RESPONSORY
Luke 1:78, 79


The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
To guide our feet into the way of peace

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Almighty and ever-living God,
your Spirit made us your children,
confident to call you Father.
Increase your Spirit within us
and bring us to our promised inheritance.
Grant 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:

May the precious long-suffering of the just,
O Lord, we pray,
bring us a great increase of love for you
and always prompt in our hearts
constancy in the holy faith.
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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