Breviary

Office of Readings

INVITATORY

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

Go to the Psalmody

Go to the Hymn

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

When this antiphon is used, this strophe begins with the words: as your fathers.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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 the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Or: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

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.

HYMN

In prayer together let us fall,
And cry for mercy, one and all,
And weep before the Judge’s feet,
And his avenging wrath entreat.

Thy grace have we offended sore,
By sins, O God, which we deplore;
But pour upon us from on high,
O pardoning One, thy clemency.

Remember thou, though frail we be,
That yet thine handiwork are we;
Nor let the honor of thy name
Be by another put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought;
Increase the good that we have sought:
That we at length, our wanderings o’er,
May please thee here and evermore.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to thee,
That this our fast of forty days
May work our profit and thy praise. Amen.

Tune: Schütz’ Psalm 66 L.M.
Music: Heinrich Schütz, 1585-1672
Text: Ex more docti mystico, attributed to Saint Gregory the Great, 540-604
Translation: John Mason Neale, 1818-1866


Go to the Psalmody

Or:

O God, creator of us all,
From whom we come, to whom we go,
You look with pity on our hearts,
The weakness of our wills you know.

Forgive us all the wrong we do,
And purify each sinful soul.
What we have darkened, heal with light,
And what we have destroyed, make whole.

The fast by law and prophets taught,
By you, O Christ, was sanctified.
Bless all our penance, give us strength
To share the cross on which you died.

O God of mercy, hear our prayer,
With Christ your Son, and Spirit blest,
Transcendent Trinity in whom
Created things all come to rest.

Tune: Breslau, L.M.
Music: As Hymnodus Sacer, Leipzig, 1625
Text: © Stanbrook Abbey, used with permission

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Let God arise, let his enemies flee before him.

Psalm 68
The Lord’s triumphant entrance into his sanctuary


Ascending on high he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:10).

I

Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. *
Let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is blown away so will they be blown away;
like wax that melts before the fire, *
so the wicked shall perish at the presence of God.

But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, *
they shall exult and dance for joy.
O sing to the Lord, make music to his name;
make a highway for him who rides on the clouds. *
Rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence.

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, *
such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in;
he leads the prisoners forth into freedom: *
but rebels must dwell in a parched land.

When you went forth, O God, at the head of your people, *
when you marched across the desert, the earth trembled:
the heavens melted at the presence of God, *
at the presence of God, Israel’s God.

You poured down, O God, a generous rain: *
when your people were starved you gave them new life.
It was there that your people found a home, *
prepared in your goodness, O God, for the poor.

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. Let God arise, let his enemies flee before him.

Ant. 2 Our God is a saving God; he, the Lord, holds the keys of death.

II

The Lord gives the word to the bearers of good tidings: *
“The Almighty has defeated a numberless army
and kings and armies are in flight, in flight *
while you were at rest among the sheepfolds.”

At home the women already share the spoil. *
They are covered with silver as the wings of a dove,
its feathers brilliant with shining gold *
and jewels flashing like snow on Mount Zalmon.

The mountains of Bashan are mighty mountains; *
high-ridged mountains are the mountains of Bashan.
Why look with envy, you high-ridged mountains,
at the mountain where God has chosen to dwell? *
It is there that the Lord shall dwell for ever.

The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands. *
The Lord has come from Sinai to the holy place.
You have gone up on high; you have taken captives,
receiving men in tribute, O God, *
even those who rebel, into your dwelling, O Lord.

May the Lord be blessed day after day. *
He bears our burdens, God our savior.
This God of ours is a God who saves. *
The Lord our God holds the keys of death.
And God will smite the head of his foes, *
the crown of those who persist in their sins.

The Lord said: “I will bring them back from Bashan; *
I will bring them back from the depth of the sea.
Then your feet will tread in their blood *
and the tongues of your dogs take their share of the foe.”

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. Our God is a saving God; he, the Lord, holds the keys of death.

Ant. 3 Kingdoms of earth, sing praise to God, make music in honor of the Lord.

III

They see your solemn procession, O God, *
the procession of my God, of my king, to the sanctuary:
the singers in the forefront, the musicians coming last, *
between them, maidens sounding their timbrels.

“In festive gatherings, bless the Lord; *
bless God, O you who are Israel’s sons.”
There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head,
Judah’s princes, a mighty throng, *
Zebulun’s princes, Naphtali’s princes.

Show forth, O God, show forth your might, *
your might, O God, which you have shown for us.
For the sake of your temple high in Jerusalem *
may kings come to you bringing their tribute.

Threaten the wild beast that dwells in the reeds, *
the bands of the mighty and lords of the peoples.
Let them bow down offering silver. *
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.
Princes will make their way from Egypt: *
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord *
who rides on the heavens, the ancient heavens.
He thunders his voice, his mighty voice. *
Come, acknowledge the power of God.

His glory is on Israel; his might is in the skies. *
God is to be feared in his holy place.
He is the Lord, Israel’s God. *
He gives strength and power to his people.

Blessed be 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.

Psalm Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe, you have given us joy in your holy meal. Help us to understand the significance of your death and to acknowledge you as the conqueror of death seated at the right hand of the Father.

Ant. Kingdoms of earth, sing praise to God, make music in honor of the Lord.

This is the favorable time.
This is the day of salvation.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Exodus

[In view of the omission of yesterday’s continuous reading on account of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the following reading may precede today’s, in accordance with the GILH ¶249:

24:1-18

The ratification of the covenant on Mount Sinai


The Lord said to Moses: “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, with Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You shall all worship at some distance, but Moses alone is to come close to the Lord; the others shall not come too near, and the people shall not come up at all with Moses.”

When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the Lord, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has told us.” Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.

Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord, Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do.” Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.”

Moses then went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel, and they beheld the God of Israel. Under his feet there appeared to be sapphire tilework, as clear as the sky itself. Yet he did not smite these chosen Israelites. After gazing on God, they could still eat and drink.

The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and, while you are there, I will give you the stone tablets on which I have written the commandments intended for their instruction.” So Moses set out with Joshua, his aide, and went up to the mountain of God. The elders, however, had been told by him, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are staying with you. If anyone has a complaint, let him refer the matter to them.”

After Moses had gone up, a cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled upon Mount Sinai. The cloud covered it for six days, and on the seventh day he called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord was seen as a consuming fire on the mountaintop. But Moses passed into the midst of the cloud as he went up on the mountain; and there he stayed for forty days and forty nights.]

32:1-20

The golden calf


When the people became aware of Moses’ delay in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.” Aaron replied, “Have your wives and sons and daughters take off the golden earrings they are wearing, and bring them to me.”

So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron, who accepted their offering, and fashioning this gold with a graving tool, made a molten calf. Then they cried out, “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” On seeing this, Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed, “Tomorrow is a feast of the Lord.” Early the next day the people offered holocausts and brought peace offerings. Then they sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

With that, the Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ I see how stiff-necked this people is,” continued the Lord to Moses. “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord, his God, saying, “Why, O Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’” So the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Moses then turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, front and back; tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself.

Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.” But Moses answered, “It does not sound like cries of victory, nor does it sound like cries of defeat; the sounds that I hear are cries of revelry.” As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. With that, Moses’ wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain. Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire and then ground it down to powder, which he scattered on the water and made the Israelites drink.

RESPONSORY
Psalm 106:20, 21, 22; Romans 1:21, 23


They exchanged the God who was their glory
for the image of a grass-eating ox.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done such wonders in Egypt,
such marvels at the Red Sea.

Their senseless hearts were darkened;
they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for corruptible idols.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done such wonders in Egypt,
such marvels at the Red Sea.

SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop
(Sermo 43: PL 52, 320, 322)

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others you open God’s ear to yourself.

When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy: show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others. Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting. There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy: A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God. Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give him yourself you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added. Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy. Fasting dries up when mercy dries up. Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth. However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin; when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn. Therefore, do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

RESPONSORY
Tobit 12:8, 9


Prayer accompanied by fasting and giving to the poor is good,
since giving to the poor expiates every sin.

It wins forgiveness and life everlasting.
Since giving to the poor expiates every sin.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Lord,
you call us to your service
and continue your saving work among us.
May your love never abandon us.
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:

May your grace not forsake us, O Lord, we pray,
but make us dedicated to your holy service
and at all times obtain for us your help.
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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