Breviary

Office of Readings

In those places where this Memorial is observed as a Solemnity or Feast, please use the texts found in the Common of Pastors: For a Priest or the Common of Holy Men: For Those Who Practiced Works of Mercy with the proper texts below.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Loving shepherd of thy sheep,
Keep thy lamb, in safety keep;
Nothing can thy power withstand,
None can pluck me from thy hand.

I would bless thee every day,
Gladly all thy will obey,
Like the blessed ones above,
Happy in thy precious love.

Loving Shepherd, ever near,
Teach thy lamb thy voice to hear;
Suffer not my steps to stray
From the straight and narrow way.

Where thou leadest I would go,
Walking in thy steps below.
Till before my Father’s throne
I shall know as I am known.

Tune: Buckland 77.77
Music: Leighton Hayne, 1836-1883
Text: Jane E. Leeson, 1807-1882

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Bow down and hear me, Lord; come to my rescue.

Psalm 31:1-17, 20-25
A troubled person’s confident appeal to God


Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46).

I

In you, O Lord, I take refuge. *
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free, *
hear me and speedily rescue me.

Be a rock of refuge for me, *
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold. *
For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Release me from the snares they have hidden *
for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit. *
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.

O God of truth, you detest *
those who worship false and empty gods.
As for me, I trust in the Lord: *
let me be glad and rejoice in your love.

You have seen my affliction *
and taken heed of my soul’s distress,
have not handed me over to the enemy, *
but set my feet at large.

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. Bow down and hear me, Lord; come to my rescue.

Ant. 2 Lord, let the light of your countenance shine on your servant.

II

Have mercy on me, O Lord, *
for I am in distress.
Tears have wasted my eyes, *
my throat and my heart.

For my life is spent with sorrow *
and my years with sighs.
Affliction has broken down my strength *
and my bones waste away.

In the face of all my foes *
I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbors *
and of fear to my friends.

Those who see me in the street *
run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten, *
like a thing thrown away.

I have heard the slander of the crowd, *
fear is all around me,
as they plot together against me, *
as they plan to take my life.

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord, *
I say: “You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me *
from the hands of those who hate me.

Let your face shine on your servant. *
Save me in 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.

Ant. Lord, let the light of your countenance shine on your servant.

Ant. 3 Blessed be the Lord, for he has poured out his mercy upon me.

III

How great is the goodness, Lord, *
that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you *
in the sight of men.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence *
from the plotting of men:
you keep them safe within your tent *
from disputing tongues.

Blessed be the Lord who has shown me
the wonders of his love *
in a fortified city.

“I am far removed from your sight,” *
I said in my alarm.

Yet you heard the voice of my plea *
when I cried for help.

Love the Lord, all you saints. *
He guards his faithful
but the Lord will repay to the full *
those who act with pride.

Be strong, let your heart take courage, *
all who hope in the Lord.

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

God of kindness and truth, you saved your Chosen One, Jesus Christ, and you gave your martyrs strength. Watch over your people who come to you here and strengthen the hearts of those who hope in you, that they may proclaim your saving acts of kindness in the eternal city.

Ant. Blessed be the Lord, for he has poured out his mercy upon me.

Guide me in the way of your truth and teach me.
For you are my saving God.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Philippians
1:12-26

I long to be with Christ


My brothers, I want you to know that my situation has worked out to the furtherance of the gospel. My imprisonment in Christ’s cause has become well known throughout the praetorium here, and to others as well; most of my brothers in Christ, taking courage from my chains, have been further emboldened to speak the word of God fearlessly. It is true, some preach Christ from motives of envy and rivalry, but others do so out of good will. Some act from unaffected love, aware that my circumstances provide an opportunity to defend the gospel’s cause; others promote Christ, not from pure motives but as an intrigue against me, thinking that it will make my imprisonment even harsher.

What of it? All that matters is that in any and every way, whether from specious motives or genuine ones, Christ is being proclaimed! That is what brings me joy. Indeed, I shall continue to rejoice, in the conviction that this will turn out to my salvation, thanks to your prayers and the support I receive from the Spirit of Jesus Christ. I firmly trust and anticipate that I shall never be put to shame for my hopes; I have full confidence that now as always Christ will be exalted through me, whether I live or die. For, to me, “life” means Christ; hence dying is so much gain.

If, on the other hand, I am to go on living in the flesh, that means productive toil for me—and I do not know which to prefer. I am strongly attracted by both: I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ, for that is the far better thing; yet it is more urgent that I remain alive for your sakes. This fills me with confidence that I will stay with you, and persevere with you all, for your joy and your progress in the faith. My being with you once again should make you even prouder of me in Christ.

RESPONSORY
Philippians 1:20, 21


I know that I shall never be put to shame,
because my hopes and expectations have never been disappointed.
I fully trust that now as always
Christ will be glorified in me,
whether I live or die.

For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
Christ will be glorified in me,
whether I live or die.

SECOND READING

From a writing by Saint Vincent de Paul, priest
(Epist. 2546: Correspondance, entretiens, documents, Paris 1922-1925, 7)

Serving the poor is to be our first preference


Even though the poor are often rough and unrefined, we must not judge them from external appearances nor from the mental gifts they seem to have received. On the contrary, if you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor. Although in his passion he almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christ’s actions, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.

Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathize with them so fully that we can echo Paul’s words: I have become all things to all men. Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbors’ worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions.

It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.

RESPONSORY
1 Corinthians 9:19, 22; Job 29:15-16


Though I am not bound to anyone,
I became a slave to all,
To the weak I became weak.
I became all things to all men,
that I might at least save some.

I was eyes for the blind and feet for the lame;
I was a father to the poor.
I became all things to all men,
that I might at least save some.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you gave Vincent de Paul
the courage and holiness of an apostle
for the well-being of the poor
and the formation of the clergy.
Help us to be zealous in continuing his work.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

O God, who for the relief of the poor
and the formation of the clergy
endowed the Priest Saint Vincent de Paul
with apostolic virtues,
grant, we pray, that, afire with that same spirit,
we may love what he loved
and put into practice what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

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 Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Go to the Hymn

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