Breviary

Office of Readings

The Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop, may be observed today using the ferial texts with the proper Second Reading and Concluding Prayer. If it is desired to use any texts from the Common, these may be taken from the Common of Pastors: For a Bishop or the Common of Pastors: For a Missionary, found in the ‘Prayers’ section of the iBreviary.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.”

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:
Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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.

Before the Ascension:

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

After the Ascension:

Ant.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

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

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let the holy anthem rise,
And the choirs of heaven chant it
In the temple of the skies;
Let the mountains skip with gladness,
And the joyful valleys ring
With hosannas in the highest
To our Savior and our King!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Like the sun from out the wave,
He has risen up in triumph
From the darkness of the grave.
He’s the splendor of the nations,
He’s the lamp of endless day;
He’s the very Lord of glory
Who is risen up today!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Blessed Jesus, make us rise
From the life of this corruption
To the life that never dies.
May your glory be our portion,
When the days of time are past,
And the dead shall be awakened
By the trumpet’s mighty blast!

Tune: Holy Anthem 87.87 D
Music: Saint Basil’s Hymnal, 1889
Text: Edward Caswall, 1814-1878


Or:

Christ the Lord is risen again,
Christ has broken every chain.
Hark, the angel voices cry,
Singing evermore on high:
Alleluia!

He who gave for us his life,
Who for us endured the strife,
Is our paschal lamb today;
We too sing for joy, and say:
Alleluia!

He who bore all pain and loss
Comfortless upon the cross
Lives in glory now on high,
Pleads for us, and hears our cry:
Alleluia!

He who slumbered in the grave
Is exalted now to save;
Through the universe it rings
That the lamb is King of kings:
Alleluia!

Now he bids us tell abroad
How the lost may be restored,
How the penitent forgiven,
How we too may enter heaven:
Alleluia!

Christ, our paschal lamb indeed,
All your ransomed people feed!
Take our sins and guilt away:
Let us sing by night and day:
Alleluia!

Tune: Christ is Erstanden 77.77.4
Music: German twelfth century melody
Text: From Ein Neu Gesangbuchlein, 1531, Michael Weisse +1534
Translation: Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Remember us, O Lord; come with your saving help, alleluia.

Psalm 106
The goodness of the Lord; the faithlessness of his people


These things have been written for a warning for us, for we are living at the end of the ages (1 Corinthians 10:11).

I

O give thanks to the Lord for he is good: *
for his love endures for ever.
Who can tell the Lord’s mighty deeds? *
Who can recount all his praise?

They are happy who do what is right, *
who at all times do what is just.
O Lord, remember me *
out of the love you have for your people.

Come to me, Lord, with your help *
that I may see the joy of your chosen ones
and may rejoice in the gladness of your nation *
and share the glory of your people.

Our sin is the sin of our fathers; *
we have done wrong, our deeds have been evil.
Our fathers when they were in Egypt *
paid no heed to your wonderful deeds.

They forgot the greatness of your love; *
at the Red Sea defied the Most High.
Yet he saved them for the sake of his name, *
in order to make known his power.

He threatened the Red Sea; it dried up *
and he led them through the deep as through the desert.
He saved them from the hand of the foe; *
he saved them from the grip of the enemy.

The waters covered their oppressors; *
not one of them was left alive.
Then they believed in his words; *
then they sang his praises.

But they soon forgot his deeds *
and would not wait upon his will.
They yielded to their cravings in the desert *
and put God to the test in the wilderness.

He granted them the favor they asked *
and sent disease among them.
Then they rebelled, envious of Moses *
and of Aaron, who was holy to the Lord.

The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan *
and buried the clan of Abiram.
Fire blazed up against their clan *
and flames devoured the rebels.

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. Remember us, O Lord; come with your saving help, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Keep it carefully in mind; the Lord your God has made a covenant with you, alleluia.

II

They fashioned a calf at Horeb *
and worshiped an image of metal,
exchanging the God who was their glory *
for the image of a bull that eats grass.

They forgot the God who was their savior, *
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such portents in the land of Ham, *
such marvels at the Red Sea.

For this he said he would destroy them, *
but Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood in the breach before him, *
to turn back his anger from destruction.

Then they scorned the land of promise: *
they had no faith in his word.
They complained inside their tents *
and would not listen to the voice of the Lord.

So he raised his hand to swear an oath *
that he would lay them low in the desert;
would scatter their sons among the nations *
and disperse them throughout the lands.

They bowed before the Baal of Peor; *
ate offerings made to lifeless gods.
They roused him to anger with their deeds *
and a plague broke out among them.

Then Phinehas stood up and intervened. *
Thus the plague was ended
and this was counted in his favor *
from age to age for ever.

They provoked him at the waters of Meribah. *
Through their fault it went ill with Moses;
for they made his heart grow bitter *
and he uttered words that were rash.

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. Keep it carefully in mind; the Lord your God has made a covenant with you, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Save your people, Lord; bring us together from among the nations, alleluia.

III

They failed to destroy the peoples *
as the Lord had given command,
but instead they mingled with the nations *
and learned to act as they did.

They worshiped the idols of the nations *
and these became a snare to entrap them.
They even offered their own sons *
and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.

They shed the blood of the innocent, *
the blood of their sons and daughters
whom they offered to the idols of Canaan. *
The land was polluted with blood.

So they defiled themselves by their deeds *
and broke their marriage bond with the Lord
till his anger blazed against his people: *
he was filled with horror at his chosen ones.

So he gave them into the hand of the nations *
and their foes became their rulers.
Their enemies became their oppressors; *
they were subdued beneath their hand.

Time after time he rescued them,
but in their malice they dared to defy him *
and sank low through their guilt.
In spite of this he paid heed to their distress, *
so often as he heard their cry.

For their sake he remembered his covenant. *
In the greatness of his love he relented
and he let them be treated with mercy *
by all who held them captive.

O Lord, our God, save us! *
Bring us together from among the nations
that we may thank your holy name *
and make it our glory to praise you.

Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, *
for ever, from age to age.
Let all the people cry out: *
“Amen! Amen! Alleluia!”

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, our Creator, how wonderfully you made man. You transformed dust into your own image and gave it a share in your own nature; yet you are more wonderful in pardoning the man who had rebelled against you. Grant that where sin has abounded, grace may more abound, so that we can become holier through forgiveness and be more grateful to you.

Ant. Save your people, Lord; bring us together from among the nations, alleluia.

READINGS

Go to the Readings after Ascension

Before the Ascension:

My whole body rejoices, alleluia.
With all my strength I will praise my God, alleluia.

FIRST READING

From the first letter of the apostle John
3:18-24

The commandment of faith and love


Little children,
let us love in deed and in truth
and not merely talk about it.
This is our way of knowing we are committed to the truth
and are at peace before him
no matter what our consciences may charge us with;
for God is greater than our hearts
and all is known to him.

Beloved,
if our consciences have nothing to charge us with,
we can be sure that God is with us
and that we will receive at his hands
whatever we ask.
Why? Because we are keeping his commandments
and doing what is pleasing in his sight.

His commandment is this:
we are to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and are to love one another as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him
and he in them.
And this is how we know that he remains in us:
from the Spirit that he gave us.

RESPONSORY
1 John 3:24; Sirach 1:9, 10


All who keep God’s commandments live in God
and God lives in them.
We know that he dwells in us,
by the Spirit he has given us, alleluia.

In his Holy Spirit God created wisdom,
which he has poured forth upon all creation
and has offered to those who love him.
We know that he dwells in us,
by the Spirit he has given us, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From a homily on the Song of Songs by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
(Hom. 15: Jaeger VI, 466-468)

The glory you gave to me, I have given to them


When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good. They will possess the perfection ascribed to the dove, according to our interpretation of the text: One alone is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only child of her mother, her chosen one.

Our Lord’s words in the gospel bring out the meaning of this text more clearly. After having conferred all power on his disciples by his blessing, he obtained many other gifts for them by his prayer to the Father. Among these was included the greatest gift of all, which was that they were no longer to be divided in their judgment of what was right and good, for they were all to be united to the one supreme Good. As the Apostle says, they were to be bound together with the bonds of peace in the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. They were to be made one body and one spirit by the one hope to which they were all called. We shall do better, however, to quote the sacred words of the gospel itself. I pray, the Lord says, that they all may be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so they also may be one in us.

Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, he gave this glory to his disciples when he said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although he had always possessed it, even before the world existed, he himself received this glory when he put on human nature. Then, when his human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all his kin, beginning with his disciples. This is why he said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.

Whoever has grown from infancy to manhood and attained to spiritual maturity possesses the mastery over his passions and the purity that makes it possible for him to receive the glory of the Spirit. He is that perfect dove upon whom the eyes of the bridegroom rest when he says: One alone is my dove, my perfect one.

RESPONSORY
See John 15:15; 14:26; 15:14


I no longer call you servants.
Instead, I call you friends,
for you have seen all the things I have done among you.
Receive the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
whom the Father will send you, alleluia.

You are my friends
if you do what I command you.
Receive the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
whom the Father will send you, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Lord,
teach us to know you better
by doing good to others.
Help us to grow in your love
and come to understand the eternal mystery
of Christ’s death and resurrection.
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:

Constantly shape our minds, O Lord,
by the practice of good works,
that, always trying for what is better,
we may strive to hold ever fast to the Paschal Mystery.
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.

Go to the Acclamation


After the Ascension:

God has given us a new birth into living hope, alleluia.
By raising Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.

FIRST READING

From the first letter of the apostle John
3:11-17

Love one another


This is the message
you heard from the beginning:
we should love one another.
We should not follow the example of Cain
who belonged to the evil one
and killed his brother.
Why did he kill him?
Because his own deeds were wicked
while his brother’s were just.

No need, then, brothers, to be surprised
if the world hates you.
That we have passed from death to life we know
because we love the brothers.
The man who does not love is among the living dead.
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that eternal life
abides in no murderer’s heart.

The way we came to understand love
was that he laid down his life for us;
we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.
I ask you, how can God’s love survive in a man
who has enough of this world’s goods
yet closes his heart to his brother
when he sees him in need?

RESPONSORY
1 John 3:16, 14


By this we have come to know the meaning of God’s love:
Christ laid down his life for us,
and we should lay down our lives for our brothers, alleluia.

We know that we have passed from death to life,
because we love our brothers.
And we should lay down our lives for our brothers, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From the treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 124, 5, 7: CCL 36, 685-687)

Two kinds of life


The Church recognizes two kinds of life as having been commended to her by God. One is a life of faith, the other a life of vision; one is a life passed on pilgrimage in time, the other in a dwelling place in eternity; one is a life of toil, the other of repose; one is spent on the road, the other in our homeland; one is active, involving labor, the other contemplative, the reward of labor.

The first kind of life is symbolized by the apostle Peter, the second by John. All of the first life is lived in this world, and it will come to an end with this world. The second life will be imperfect till the end of this world, but it will have no end in the next world. And so Christ says to Peter: Follow me; but of John he says: If I wish him to remain until I come, what is that to you? Your duty is to follow me.

You are to follow me by imitating my endurance of transient evils; John is to remain until my coming, when I will bring eternal blessings. A way of saying this more clearly might be: Your active life will be perfect if you follow the example of my passion, but to attain its full perfection John’s life of contemplation must wait until I come.

Perfect patience is to follow Christ faithfully, even to death, but for perfect knowledge we must await his coming. Here, in the land of the dying, the sufferings of the world must be endured; there, in the land of the living, shall be seen the good things of the Lord.

Christ’s words, I wish him to remain until I come, should not be taken to imply that John was to remain on earth until Christ’s coming, but rather that he was to wait because it is not now but only when Christ comes that the life he symbolizes will find fulfillment. On the other hand, Christ says to Peter: Your duty is to follow me, because the life Peter symbolizes can attain its goal only by action here and now.

Yet we should make no mental separation between these great apostles. Both lived the life symbolized by Peter; both were to attain the life symbolized by John. Symbolically, one followed, the other remained, but living by faith they both endured the sufferings of this present life of sorrow and they both longed for the joys of the future life of happiness.

Nor were they alone in this. They were one with the whole Church, the bride of Christ, which will in time be delivered from the trials of this life and live for ever in the joy of the next. These two kinds of life were represented respectively by Peter and John, yet both apostles lived by faith in this present, passing life and in eternal life both have the joy of vision.

And so for the sake of all the saints inseparably united to the body of Christ, to guide them through the storms of this life, Peter, the chief of the apostles, received the keys of the kingdom of heaven with the power to bind and loose sins; and for the sake of those same saints, to plumb the depths of that other, hidden life, John the evangelist reclined on the breast of Christ.

For it is not only Peter but the whole Church that binds and looses from sin; and as for the sublime teaching of John about the Word, who in the beginning was God with God, and everything else he told us about Christ’s divinity, and about the trinity and unity of the Godhead, which now, until the Lord comes, is all like a faint reflection in a mirror, but which will be seen face to face in the kingdom of heaven—it was not only John who drank in this teaching that came forth from the Lord’s breast as from a fountain. All who belong to the Lord are to drink it in, each according to his capacity, and this is why the Lord himself has spread John’s gospel throughout the world.

RESPONSORY
1 Peter 5:10; 2 Corinthians 4:14


The God of all grace has called us to glory in Christ Jesus.
He will restore, support and strengthen us
after we have suffered for a little while, alleluia.

He who raised Jesus from the dead
will also raise us up with Jesus.
He will restore, support and strengthen us
after we have suffered for a little while, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
at your Son’s ascension into heaven
you promised to send the Holy Spirit on your apostles.
You filled them with heavenly wisdom:
fill us also with the gift of your Spirit.
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:

O God, whose Son, at his Ascension to the heavens,
was pleased to promise the Holy Spirit to the Apostles,
grant, we pray,
that, just as they received manifold gifts of heavenly teaching,
so on us, too, you may bestow spiritual gifts.
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.

Go to the Acclamation


For the Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury:

SECOND READING


From a letter by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
(Lib 9, 36: MGH Epistolae, 2, 305-306)

The nation of Angles was bathed with the light of holy faith


Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth, because the grain of wheat has fallen into the earth and has died. Christ has died in order to reign in heaven. Not only that: by his death we live; by his weakness we are strengthened; by his passion we are freed from suffering; impelled by his love, we are seeking in Britain brothers whom we do not know; through his help we have found those for whom we were searching, although we were not acquainted with them.

Who, dear brother, is capable of describing the great joy of believers when they have learned what the grace of Almighty God and your own cooperation achieved among the Angles? They abandoned the errors of darkness and were bathed with the light of holy faith. With full awareness they trampled on the idols which they had previously adored with savage fear. They are now committed to Almighty God. The guidelines given them for their preaching restrain them from falling into evil ways. In their minds they are submissive to the divine precepts and consequently feel uplifted. They bow down to the ground in prayer lest their minds cling too closely to earthly things. Whose achievement is this? It is the achievement of him who said: My Father is at work until now and I am at work as well.

God chose illiterate preachers and sent them into the world in order to show the world that conversion is brought about not by men’s wisdom but rather by his own power. So in like manner God worked through weak instruments and wrought great things among the Angles. Dear brother, in this heavenly gift there is something which should inspire us with great fear and great joy.

For I know through your love for that people, specially chosen for you, that Almighty God has performed great miracles. But it is necessary that the same heavenly gift should cause you to rejoice with fear and to fear with gladness. You should be glad because by means of external miracles the souls of the Angles have been led to interior grace. But you should tremble, lest on account of these signs, the preacher’s own weak soul be puffed up with presumption; lest, while seeming externally raised aloft in honor, it fall internally as a result of vainglory.

We should remember that when the disciples on their joyous return from their preaching mission said to their heavenly master: Lord, in your name even devils were subjected to us, he immediately retorted: Do not rejoice about this but rather that your names are inscribed in heaven.

RESPONSORY
Philippians 3:17; 4:9; 1 Corinthians 1:10


Be imitators of me, my brothers,
and, as you have us as a model,
observe those who follow the example we set.
Live, according to what you have learned and accepted,
what you have heard me say or seen me do,
and the God of peace will be with you, alleluia.

I plead with you, my brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to agree among yourselves.
Live, according to what you have learned and accepted,
what you have heard me say or seen me do,
and the God of peace will be with you, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
by the preaching of Saint Augustine of Canterbury,
you led the people of England to the gospel.
May the fruits of his work continue in your Church.
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:

O God, who by the preaching
of the Bishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury
led the English peoples to the Gospel,
grant, we pray, that the fruits of his labors
may remain ever abundant in your Church.
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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