Breviary

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 Deuteronomy
9:7-21, 25-29

The sins of the people and the mediation of Moses


Moses spoke to the people, saying:

“Bear in mind and do not forget how you angered the Lord, your God, in the desert. From the day you left the land of Egypt until you arrived in this place, you have been rebellious toward the Lord. At Horeb you so provoked the Lord that he was angry enough to destroy you, when I had gone up the mountain to receive the stone tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with you. Meanwhile I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking, till the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone inscribed, by God’s own finger, with a copy of all the words that the Lord spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.

“Then, at the end of the forty days and forty nights, when the Lord had given me the two stone tablets of the covenant, he said to me, ‘Go down from here now, quickly, for your people whom you have brought out of Egypt have become depraved; they have already turned aside from the way I pointed out to them and have made for themselves a molten idol. I have seen now how stiff-necked this people is,’ the Lord said to me. ‘Let me be, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens. I will then make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’

“When I had come down again from the blazing, fiery mountain, with the two tablets of the covenant in both my hands, I saw how you had sinned against the Lord, your God: you had already turned aside from the way which the Lord had pointed out to you by making for yourselves a molten calf! Raising the two tablets with both hands I threw them from me and broke them before your eyes. Then, as before, I lay prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking, because of all the sin you had committed in the sight of the Lord and the evil you had done to provoke him. For I dreaded the fierce anger of the Lord against you: his wrath would destroy you. Yet once again the Lord listened to me.

“With Aaron, too, the Lord was deeply angry, and would have killed him had I not prayed for him also at that time. Then, taking the calf, the sinful object you had made, and fusing it with fire, I ground it down to powder as fine as dust, which I threw into the wadi that went down the mountainside.

“Those forty days, then, and forty nights, I lay prostrate before the Lord, because he had threatened to destroy you.

“This was my prayer to him: O Lord God, destroy not your people, the heritage which your majesty has ransomed and brought out of Egypt with your strong hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Look not upon the stubbornness of this people nor upon their wickedness and sin, lest the people from whose land you have brought us say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring them into the land he promised them’; or ‘Out of hatred for them, he brought them out to slay them in the desert.’ They are, after all, your people and your heritage, whom you have brought out by your great power and with your outstretched arm.”

RESPONSORY
Exodus 32:11, 13, 14; 33:17


Moses pleaded with the Lord God, and said:
Why, O Lord, should your anger blaze against your people?
Turn from your burning wrath;
remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
to whom you promised a land where milk and honey flow.
So the Lord relented
and held back the punishment
with which he had threatened his people.

God said to Moses:
You have found favor with me;
you are my intimate friend.
So the Lord relented
and held back the punishment
with which he had threatened his people.

SECOND READING

From a letter by Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
(Epist. 14, 36-37: CCL 91, 429-431)

Christ lives for ever to make intercession for us


Notice at the conclusion of our prayer we never say, “through the Holy Spirit” but rather “through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.” Through the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ became man, the mediator of God and man. He is a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek. By shedding his own blood he entered once and for all into the Holy Places. He did not enter a place made by human hands, a mere type of the true one; but, he entered heaven itself, where he is at God’s right hand interceding for us. Quite correctly, the Church continues to reflect this mystery in her prayer.

This mystery of Jesus Christ the high priest is reflected in the apostle Paul’s statement: Through him, then, let us always offer the sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that profess belief in his name. We were once enemies of the Father, but have been reconciled through the death of Christ. Through him then we offer our sacrifice of praise, our prayer to God. He became our offering to the Father, and through him our offering is now acceptable. It is for this reason that Peter the apostle urges us to be built up as living stones into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. This then is the reason why we offer prayer to God our Father, but through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When we speak of Christ’s priesthood, what else do we mean than the incarnation? Through this mystery, the Son of God, though his state was divine...emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave. As a slave, he humbled himself and in obedience he even accepted death. Even though he possessed equality with the Father, he became a little less than the angels. Always equal to the Father, the Son became a little less because he became a man. Christ lowered himself when he emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave.

By this condition, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, though himself ever remaining God, became a priest. To him along with the Father, we offer our sacrifice. Yet, through him the sacrifice we now offer is holy, living and pleasing to God. Indeed, if Christ had not sacrificed himself for us, we could not offer any sacrifice. For it is in him that our human nature becomes a redemptive offering. When we offer our prayers through him, our priest, we confess that Christ truly possesses the flesh of our race. Clearly the Apostle refers to this when he says: Every high priest is taken from among men. He is appointed to act on behalf of these same men in their relationship to God; he is to offer gifts and sacrifices to God.

We do not, however, only say “your Son” when we conclude our prayer. We also say, “who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.” In this way we commemorate the natural unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is clear, then, that the Christ who exercises a priestly role on our behalf is the same Christ who enjoys a natural unity and equality with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

RESPONSORY
Hebrews 4:15, 14


Let us approach the throne of grace with perfect confidence;
we shall find compassion and grace to help us in time of need.

We do not have a high priest who is incapable of understanding our weaknesses.
We shall find compassion and grace to help us in time of need.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers,
and show us the way to peace in the world.
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:

Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
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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