Prayers

Common of Virgins

The following selections are provided from the Common of Saints:

1. To aid those who may wish to use different texts than those provided in the Office of the day
2. To assist those who may wish to celebrate a saint who is an optional memorial, or on a local calendar
3. To assist those praying in a community or group celebrating an Office different from that provided in the ibreviary.

For most saints, nearly the entire Office is taken from the Common with the exception of the Concluding Prayer, and (occasionally) the Antiphon to the Gospel Canticles. Thus it is possible to join in a different Office recited in community using the texts below.


INVITATORY

OFFICE OF READINGS

MORNING PRAYER (Lauds)

DAYTIME PRAYER

EVENING PRAYER (Vespers) II


EVENING PRAYER I (for Solemnities)


INTRODUCTION

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 Crown of Virgins, Jesus Lord,
Whom once a Virgin pure conceived,
Whom Virgin Mary bore with joy,
In mercy now receive our prayer.

As Spouse, of beauty past compare,
You feed among the lilies fair,
Surrounded by those virgin souls
Who dedicated all to you.

They follow in a happy band
Wherever you may choose to go,
And sing a canticle of joy,
A melody no others know.

In tender pity hear our cry,
Give us the graces that we need,
Our hearts and minds to purify,
To serve you in both word and deed.

All honor, glory, virtue, praise
Resound to God in Persons Three,
To Father, Son, and Spirit too,
In time and in eternity. Amen.

Tune: Bromley L.M.
Music: Jeremiah Clarke, 1700
Text: Jesu, corona virginum, attributed to Saint Ambrose, 337?-397
Translation: © the Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK, used with permission


PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Come, daughters, draw close to the Lord, and share the splendor of his light (alleluia).

Psalm 113
Praise the name of the Lord


He has cast down the mighty and has lifted up the lowly (Luke 1:52).

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

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, Word of God, surrendering the brightness of your glory you became man so that we may be raised from the dust to share your very being. May there be innumerable children of the Church to offer homage to your name from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Ant. Come, daughters, draw close to the Lord, and share the splendor of his light (alleluia).

Ant. 2 With all our heart we follow you in awe; we long to see you face to face. Lord, do not disappoint our hope (alleluia).

Psalm 147:12-20
The restoration of Jerusalem


Come, I will show you the bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9).

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! *
Zion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates, *
he has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders, *
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth *
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool, *
he scatters hoar-frost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs. *
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them: *
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob, *
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations; *
he has not taught them his decrees.

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

All-powerful God, it is through your Church, generously endowed with gifts of grace and fortified by the Holy Spirit, that you send out your word to all nations. Strengthen your Church with the best of all food and make it dauntless in faith. Multiply its children to celebrate with one accord the mysteries of your love at the altar on high.

Ant. With all our heart we follow you in awe; we long to see you face to face. Lord, do not disappoint our hope (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Sing for joy, virgins of Christ; he is your spouse for all eternity (alleluia).

Canticle: Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior


Praised be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ *
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him *
before the world began
to be holy *
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us *
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor *
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed, *
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous *
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom *
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased *
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out *
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him, *
in the heavens and on earth.

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. Sing for joy, virgins of Christ; he is your spouse for all eternity (alleluia).

READING
1 Corinthians 7:32b, 34

The unmarried man is busy with the Lord’s affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord. The virgin—indeed, any unmarried woman—is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit.

RESPONSORY

Outside Easter:

The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart.
The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart.

The Lord is good to those who seek him;
this I know in my heart.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart.

During Easter:

The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart, alleluia, alleluia.

The Lord is good to those who seek him,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is my inheritance; this I know in my heart, alleluia, alleluia.

Go to the Conclusion


INVITATORY


INVITATORY

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

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant.The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.”

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).

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

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (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.

Ant. The holy virgins praise their Lord and King; come, let us join in their worship, (alleluia).
Or: Come, let us worship the Lamb with the virgins who followed him (alleluia).


OFFICE of READINGS


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, will be for ever. Amen. (Alleluia).

HYMN

You holy angels bright
Who wait at God’s right hand,
Or through the realms of light
Fly at your Lord’s command,
Assist our song,
For else the theme
Too high will seem
For mortal tongue.

You blessed souls at rest,
Who ran this earthly race,
And now, from sin released,
Behold the Savior’s face;
His praises sound,
As in his sight
With sweet delight
You all abound.

Let all who toil below
Adore our heav’nly King,
And onward as we go
Our joyful anthem sing:
With one accord,
Through good or ill,
We praise him still,
Eternal Lord.

My soul, now take your part,
Acclaiming God above;
And with a well-tuned heart
Sing out the songs of love,
Let all our days
Till life shall end,
Whate’er he send,
Be filled with praise.

Tune: Darwall’s 148th
Music: John Darwall, 1731-1789
Text: Richard Baxter, 1615-1691, et al., adapted by Anthony G. Petti

PSALMODY(For Solemnities and Feasts)

For Memorials, the Psalmody is taken from the current Weekday.

Ant. 1
Radiant virgin, prudent and wise, you are the spouse of the holy Word of God (alleluia).

Psalm 19A
Praise of the Lord, Creator of all


The dawn from on high shall break on us . . . to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78, 79).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God *
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story *
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth, *
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent, *
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course. *
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

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

To enlighten the world, Father, you sent to us your Word as the sun of truth and justice shining upon mankind. Illumine our eyes that we may discern your glory in the many works of your hand.

Ant. Radiant virgin, prudent and wise, you are the spouse of the holy Word of God (alleluia).

Ant. 2 I count as nothing the kingdoms of the earth, even the whole world, because of my love for the Lord Jesus Christ (alleluia).

Psalm 45
The marriage of the king


The Bridegroom is here; go out and welcome him (Matthew 25:6).

I

My heart overflows with noble words.
To the king I must speak the song I have made; *
my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.

You are the fairest of the children of men
and graciousness is poured upon your lips: *
because God has blessed you for evermore.

O mighty one, gird your sword upon your thigh;
in splendor and state, ride on in triumph *
for the cause of truth and goodness and right.

Take aim with your bow in your dread right hand.
Your arrows are sharp: peoples fall beneath you. *
The foes of the king fall down and lose heart.

Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever.
A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom. *
Your love is for justice; your hatred for evil.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above other kings: *
your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.

From the ivory palace you are greeted with music.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. *
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

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. I count as nothing the kingdoms of the earth, even the whole world, because of my love for the Lord Jesus Christ (alleluia).

Ant. 3 The King has desired your beauty; he is your Lord and God (alleluia).

II

Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words: *
forget your own people and your father’s house.
So will the king desire your beauty: *
he is your lord, pay homage to him.

And the people of Tyre shall come with gifts, *
the richest of the people shall seek your favor.
The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor, *
her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold.

She is led to the king with her maiden companions.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy; *
they pass within the palace of the king.

Sons shall be yours in place of your fathers: *
you will make them princes over all the earth.
May this song make your name for ever remembered. *
May the peoples praise you from age to age.

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

When you took on flesh, Lord Jesus, you made a marriage of mankind with God. Help us to be faithful to your word and endure our exile bravely, until we are called to the heavenly marriage feast, to which the Virgin Mary, exemplar of your Church, has preceded us.

Ant. The King has desired your beauty; he is your Lord and God (alleluia).

You have shown me how to live (alleluia).
You will fill me with joy in your presence (alleluia).

READINGS

For Memorials, the First Reading is taken from the current weekday. For Solemnities and Feasts, one of the following is used:

FIRST READING


From the first letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians
7:25-40

Christian chastity


Now in regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away

I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married. The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, and has made up his mind to keep his virgin, will be doing well. So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better.

A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wishes, provided that it be in the Lord. She is more blessed, though, in my opinion, if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

RESPONSORY

The King has desired your beauty,
which he himself has given you;
your God and King has become your spouse (alleluia).

He has provided for you and adorned you;
he has redeemed you and made you holy.
Now you are wedded to your King and your God.
Your God and King has become your spouse, (alleluia).SECOND READING

If no proper Second Reading is provided, the following Second Reading may be used:


From a sermon On the Dress of Virgins by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(Nn. 3-4, 22, 23: CSEL 3 189-190, 202-204)

The more numerous her virgins, the greater the joy of mother Church


Now I wish to address the order of virgins. Because their way of life is more exalted, our concern for them must be greater. If we compare the Church to a tree, then they are its blossom. virgins show forth the beauty of God’s grace; they are the image of God that reflects the holiness of the Lord; they are the more illustrious members of Christ’s flock. They are the glory of mother Church and manifest her fruitfulness. The more numerous her virgins are, the greater is her joy.

To these virgins then I speak and address my exhortation, out of love rather than any sense of authority; and I do this without claiming the right to censure them, for I am among the last and the least and fully aware of my lowliness; I do it rather because the more anxious and concerned I am about them, the more I fear the devil’s attack. For it is no idle concern nor vain fear that takes thought of the path to salvation and keeps the Lord’s life-giving commandments.

They have dedicated themselves to Christ, and, renouncing the pleasures of the flesh, have consecrated themselves body and soul to God, in order to finish a task that is destined to win a great prize; they should not strive to adorn themselves or give pleasure to anyone but the Lord, from whom they hope to receive the reward for their chastity.

Virgins, persevere in the way of life you have begun, persevere in what you are to be. For you will receive a glorious prize for your virtue, a most excellent reward for your chastity. You have already begun to be now what we shall all be in the future. You already possess, here in this world, the glory of the resurrection. You pass through this world without the world’s infection. If you persevere in chastity and virginity, you are equal to God’s angels. Only keep your profession of virginity strong and inviolate. You began your way of life courageously, now persevere without faltering Seek right conduct as your adornment, not jewelry or attractive clothing.

Listen to the voice of the Apostle Paul, God’s chosen vessel, sent to announce the commands of heaven. Paul said: The first man was made of the dust of the earth; the second is from heaven. Those who are made from earth are like him who was on the earth. Those who are of heaven are like him who is from heaven. As we have borne the image of the man who is of the earth, so let us bear the image of the man who is from heaven. This image is shown forth in virginity, purity, holiness and truth.

RESPONSORY
1 Corinthians 7:34; Psalm 73:26


The thoughts of the virgin are always upon God.
Her desire is to be holy both in body and soul, (alleluia).

The God of my heart is my portion for ever.
Her desire is to be holy both in body and soul, (alleluia).

Alternative:

From the decree on the renewal of religious life of the Second Vatican Council
(Perfectae Caritatis, nn. 1, 5, 6, 12, 25)

The Church follows Christ, its only spouse


From the beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have sought to follow Christ with greater freedom, and to imitate him with closer fidelity through the practice of the evangelical counsels. They have led lives dedicated to God, each in his or her own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have lived in solitude or have founded religious communities, which the Church willingly recognized and approved by its authority.

As a result, in accordance with God’s plan, there has grown up a wonderful variety of religious families. These have been of great service to the Church in equipping it for every good work and preparing it for the work of the ministry for the building up of the Body of Christ, and also in adorning it with the different gifts of its children, so that the Church may appear in beauty as a bride adorned for her husband, and show forth the many-faceted wisdom of God.

Surrounded by this rich profusion of gifts, all who are called by God to the practice of the evangelical counsels, and profess them with fidelity, dedicate themselves to the Lord in a special way. They follow Christ, who in virginity arid poverty redeemed and sanctified mankind through obedience, even to death upon a cross.

Driven thus by the love that the Holy Spirit pours into their hearts, they live more and more for Christ and for his Body which is the Church. The more fervent their union with Christ through this gift of self throughout their lives, the richer is the life of the Church, and the more vigorous and fruitful its apostolate.

The members of each institute should remember above all that in professing the evangelical counsels they have given their response to the call of God in such a way that they are to live for God alone, not only by dying to sin but also by renouncing the world. They have surrendered to his service the whole of their lives: this constitutes a special consecration, deeply rooted in the consecration of baptism, to which it gives fuller expression.

Those who profess the evangelical counsels should seek and love above all things the God who has first loved us. In every circumstance of life they should strive to foster a life hidden with Christ in God; such a life is a source of, and a stimulus to, the love of one’s neighbor for the salvation of the world and the building up of the Church. This love is the animating and guiding principle for the practice of the evangelical counsels.

Chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, professed by religious, is to be valued as an outstanding gift of grace. In a unique way it sets free man’s heart, so that it may be the more inflamed with love for God and for all mankind. It is therefore a special sign of the blessings of heaven, and a most fitting means by which religious dedicate themselves eagerly to the service of God and the works of the apostolate. In this way they bring to the minds of all the faithful that wonderful marriage between the Church and Christ, its only spouse: a marriage that has been established by God, and will be fully revealed in the world to come.

RESPONSORY

How beautiful you are, virgin of Christ;
the Lord has given you the gift of perpetual virginity (alleluia).

Nothing can rob you of your reward
or separate you from the love of the Son of God.
The Lord has given you the gift of perpetual virginity (alleluia).

On Solemnities and Feasts the Te Deum is said. If the Optional Vigil is not celebrated, the Office continues with the Te Deum.

Go to the Te Deum


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES


Ant. At midnight a cry was made: Behold, the Bridegroom comes; go out to meet him (alleluia).

Canticle I
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blessed are those who hope in the Lord


Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28).

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, *
whose hope is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted beside the waters *
that stretches out its roots to the stream:

It fears not the heat when it comes, *
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress, *
but still bears fruit.

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.

Canticle II
Sirach 14:20; 15:3-5a, 6b

The happiness of the wise man


Wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35).

Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reflects on knowledge.

She will nourish him with the bread of understanding, *
and give him the water of learning to drink.

He will lean upon her and not fall, *
he will trust in her and not be put to shame.

She will exalt him above his fellows; *
and he will inherit an everlasting name.

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.

Canticle III
Sirach 31:8-11

Blessed are those who do not seek after gold


Make for yourselves a never-failing treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).

Happy the rich man found without fault *
who turns not aside after gain!

Who is he, that we may praise him? *
he, of all his kindred, has done wonders,
for he has been tested by gold and come off safe, *
and this remains his glory.

He could have sinned but did not, *
could have done evil, but would not,
so that his possessions are secure, *
and the assembly recounts his praises.

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. At midnight a cry was made: Behold, the Bridegroom comes; go out to meet him (alleluia).

THE HOLY GOSPEL

Any of the following Gospels from the Common of Virgins found in the Lectionary for Mass may be used:

+
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
19:3-12

For the sake of the Kingdom of heaven


Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying,
   “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply,
   “Have you not read that from the beginning
   the Creator made them male and female and said,
   For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
   and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
They said to him,
   “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman
   a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them,
   “Because of the hardness of your hearts
   Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
   but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
   (unless the marriage is unlawful)
   and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
   “If that is the case of a man with his wife,
   it is better not to marry.”
He answered,
   “Not all can accept this word,
   but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
   some, because they were made so by others;
   some, because they have renounced marriage
   for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Go to the Te Deum

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
25:1-13

Behold, the bridegroom! Come our to meet him!


Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
   who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
   brought no oil with them,
   but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
   they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
   ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
   ‘Give us some of your oil,
   for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
   ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
   the bridegroom came
   and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
   ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
   ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
   for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Go to the Te Deum

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
10:38-42

Martha welcomed him. Mary has chosen the better part


Jesus entered a village
   where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
   who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
   that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
   “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
   and it will not be taken from her.”

A homily on the Gospel may be given.


TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
   heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
   Father, of majesty unbounded,
   your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
   and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
R. Govern and uphold them now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you.
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. for we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
R. and we shall never hope in vain.

The concluding part of the hymn may be omitted

Go to the Conclusion


MORNING PRAYER


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, will be for ever. Amen. (Alleluia).

HYMN

Your lamp of virtue, work and prayer,
O virgin, pleasing to the King,
Has won you favor in his sight,
Whose glory all the angels sing.

As chosen bride of Spouse divine,
The saints rejoice your face to see,
His love has kept you for his own,
By treasured grace of chastity.

Teach us to live true Christian lives
And help us with your fervent prayers
That we may val’antly resist
The wicked tempter’s evil snares.

True model of a virgin’s life,
May holy Mary beg her Son
To help us exiles here below
Until our course on earth is run.

All glory be to God on high,
Beyond the realms of time and space,
Who added to the bliss above
This virgin’s triumph won by grace. Amen.

Tune: Quebec L.M
Music: Henry Baker, 1866
Text: Aptata, virgo
Translation: © the Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK, used with permission

PSALMODY (for Solemnities and Feasts)

For Memorials, the Psalmody is taken from the current weekday.


Ant. 1 With my whole being I worship Christ; I long for him and desire to be with for ever (alleluia).

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God


Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

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

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. With my whole being I worship Christ; I long for him and desire to be with for ever (alleluia).

Ant. 2 O virgins, praise the Lord with all your heart. He sowed the seeds of your virtue; he crowned the fruits of your life with his gifts (alleluia).

Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord


All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. O virgins, praise the Lord with all your heart. He sowed the seeds of your virtue; he crowned the fruits of your life with his gifts (alleluia).

Ant. 3 The saints sing for joy in heaven’s glory; radiant is their victory over human frailties (alleluia).

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.


Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

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

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. The saints sing for joy in heaven’s glory; radiant is their victory over human frailties (alleluia).

READING
Song of Songs 8:7

Deep waters cannot quench love,
   nor floods sweep it away.
Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love,
   he would be roundly mocked.

RESPONSORY

Outside of Easter:

My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
Show me your face.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

During Easter:

My heart is ever pleading, show me your face (alleluia, alleluia).
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face (alleluia, alleluia).

I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face (alleluia, alleluia).

GOSPEL CANTICLE

Ant. [For a virgin and martyr:] Happy the virgin who denied herself and took up her cross. She imitated the Lord, the spouse of virgins and prince of martyrs (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] Now this wise virgin has gone to Christ. Among the choirs of virgins, she is radiant as the sun in the heavens (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] Virgins of the Lord, bless the Lord for ever (alleluia).

Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner


Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
  that he would save us from our enemies, *
  from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
   all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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. [For a virgin and martyr:] Happy the virgin who denied herself and took up her cross. She imitated the Lord, the spouse of virgins and prince of martyrs (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] Now this wise virgin has gone to Christ. Among the choirs of virgins, she is radiant as the sun in the heavens (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] Virgins of the Lord, bless the Lord for ever (alleluia).

INTERCESSIONS

Christ is the spouse and crowning glory of virgins. Let us praise him with joy in our voices and pray to him with sincerity in our hearts:
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

Christ, the holy virgins loved you as their one true spouse,
grant that nothing may separate us from your love.
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

You crowned Mary, your mother, queen of virgins,
through her intercession, let us continually serve you with pure hearts.
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

Your handmaids were always careful to love you with whole and undivided attention, that they might be holy in body and spirit,
through their intercession grant that the lure of this passing world may not distract our attention from you.
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

Lord Jesus, you are the spouse whose coming was anticipated by the wise virgins,
grant that we may wait for you in hope and expectation.
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

Through the intercession of Saint N., who was one of the wise and prudent virgins,
grant us wisdom and innocence of life.
Jesus, crown of virgins, hear us.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(Gathering our prayer and praises into one, let us offer the prayer Christ himself taught us:)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Go to the Conclusion


DAYTIME PRAYER


For Memorials, the entire Daytime Office is taken from the current weekday.

INTRODUCTION

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

At Midmorning

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love the things you love,
And do what you would do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with you I have one will,
To live and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
My soul with grace refine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with your fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So I shall never die,
But live with you the perfect life
In your eternity.

Tune: Yattendon 64 S.M.
Music: H. E. Woodbridge, 1845-1917
Text: Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889 adapted by Anthony G. Petti


At Midday

Almighty Ruler, God of truth,
Who guide and master all,
The rays with which you gild the dawn
With noonday heat now fall.

O quench the fires of hatred, Lord,
Of anger and of strife;
Bring health to every mind and heart
That peace may enter life.

Most holy Father, grant our prayer
Through Christ your only Son,
That in your Spirit we may live
And praise you ever one.

Tune: Ballerma C.M.
Music: F. Barthelemon, 1774-1808
Text: Ralph Wright, O.S.B.


At Midafternoon

Lord God and Maker of all things,
Creation is upheld by you.
While all must change and know decay,
You are unchanging, always new.

You are man’s solace and his shield
His rock secure on which to build;
You are the spirit’s tranquil home;
In you alone is hope fulfilled.

To God the Father, and the Son
And Holy Spirit render praise,
Blest Trinity, from age to age
The strength of all our living days.

Tune: Auctoritate Saeculi L.M.
Music: Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746
Text: © Stanbrook Abbey, used with permission


PSALMODY

For Solemnities, the Gradual Psalms are used. In place of psalm 122, psalm 129 may be said, and in place of plsam 127, psalm 131 may be said. For Feasts, the Psalms of the day with their antiphons are used. For Solemnities and Feasts the Readings and Concluding Prayers are proper.

MIDMORNING

Ant. What joy to be near to my God, to place all my trust in the Lord (alleluia).

READING
Wisdom 8:21


I knew that I could not otherwise possess her except God gave it—and this, too, was prudence, to know whose is the gift.

This is the wise virgin (alleluia).
The Lord found ready for the marriage feast (alleluia).

Go to the Conclusion

MIDDAY

Ant. Uphold me, Lord, according to your promise, and I shall live; let my hope in you not be in vain (alleluia).

READING
1 Corinthians 7:25


With respect to virgins, I have not received any commandment from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who is trustworthy.

This is a wise virgin (alleluia).
She was among those prepared for the Lord’s coming (alleluia).

Go to the Conclusion

MIDAFTERNOON

Ant. How beautiful are they whose purity of life is acclaimed (alleluia).

READING
Revelation 19:6, 7


The Lord is king,
   our God, the Almighty!
Let us rejoice and be glad,
   and give him glory!
For this is the wedding day of the Lamb;
   his bride has prepared herself for the wedding.

I found him whom I love (alleluia).
I held him fast; I would not leave him (alleluia).

Go to the Conclusion


EVENING PRAYER


INTRODUCTION

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 Crown of Virgins, Jesus Lord,
Whom once a Virgin pure conceived,
Whom Virgin Mary bore with joy,
In mercy now receive our prayer.

As Spouse, of beauty past compare,
You feed among the lilies fair,
Surrounded by those virgin souls
Who dedicated all to you.

They follow in a happy band
Wherever you may choose to go,
And sing a canticle of joy,
A melody no others know.

In tender pity hear our cry,
Give us the graces that we need,
Our hearts and minds to purify,
To serve you in both word and deed.

All honor, glory, virtue, praise
Resound to God in Persons Three,
To Father, Son, and Spirit too,
In time and in eternity. Amen.

Tune: Bromley L.M.
Music: Jeremiah Clarke, 1700
Text: Jesu, corona virginum, attributed to Saint Ambrose, 337?-397
Translation: © the Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK, used with permission


PSALMODY

For Memorials, the Psalmody is taken from the current weekday. For Solemnities and feasts, the following is used:

Ant. 1 I have kept myself for you alone, and now with lamp alight I run to meet my Spouse (alleluia).

Psalm 122
The holy city, Jerusalem


You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgement *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

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

When you rose from the dead, Lord Jesus, you formed the Church into your new body, and made of it the new Jerusalem, united in your Spirit. Give us peace in our day. Make all nations come to your Church to share in your gifts in fellowship, that they may render you thanks without end and come to your eternal city.

Ant. I have kept myself for you alone, and now with lamp alight I run to meet my Spouse (alleluia).

Ant. 2 Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God (alleluia).

Psalm 127
Apart from God our labors are worthless


You are God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:9).

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

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

You command the seed to rise, Lord God, though the farmer is unaware. Grant that those who labor for you may trust not in their own work but in your help. Remembering that the land is brought to flower not with human tears but with those of your Son, may the Church rely only upon your gifts.

Ant. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God (alleluia).

Ant. 3 My faith is firmly established, for I have built my life on Christ (alleluia).

Canticle: Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior


Praised be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ *
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him *
before the world began
to be holy *
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us *
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor *
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed, *
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous *
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom *
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased *
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out *
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him, *
in the heavens and on earth.

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. My faith is firmly established, for I have built my life on Christ (alleluia).

READING
1 Corinthians 7:32b, 34

The unmarried man is busy with the Lord’s affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord. The virgin—indeed, any unmarried woman—is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit.

RESPONSORY

Outside Easter:

The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy.
The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy.

They are brought into the King’s dwelling place,
amid gladness and joy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy.

During Easter:

The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy, alleluia, alleluia.
The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy, alleluia, alleluia.

They are brought into the King’s dwelling place,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The virgins are led into the presence of the King, amid gladness and joy, alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL CANTICLE

EP I Ant. [For a virgin and martyr:] With courageous heart she followed the Lamb, who was crucified for love of us; she offered herself as a chaste and spotless victim (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] When the Bridegroom came, he found the wise virgin ready to enter the wedding feast with him (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] Keep watch with love, wise virgins, with your lamps alight. See, the Bridegroom comes; go out to welcome him (alleluia).

EP II Ant. [For a virgin and martyr:] In this one victim we hail the double crown of purity and devotion; hers the glory of virginity, hers the palm of martyrdom (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] Come, spouse of Christ, receive the crown the Lord has prepared for you from all eternity (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] These holy ones seek the Lord; they long to see him face to face (alleluia).

Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord


My + soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, *
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

EP I Ant. [For a virgin and martyr:] With courageous heart she followed the Lamb, who was crucified for love of us; she offered herself as a chaste and spotless victim (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] When the Bridegroom came, he found the wise virgin ready to enter the wedding feast with him (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] Keep watch with love, wise virgins, with your lamps alight. See, the Bridegroom comes; go out to welcome him (alleluia).

EP II Ant. [For a virgin and martyr:] In this one victim we hail the double crown of purity and devotion; hers the glory of virginity, hers the palm of martyrdom (alleluia).
[For a virgin:] Come, spouse of Christ, receive the crown the Lord has prepared for you from all eternity (alleluia).
[For several virgins:] These holy ones seek the Lord; they long to see him face to face (alleluia).

INTERCESSIONS

Christ extolled those who practiced virginity for the sake of the kingdom. Let us praise him joyfully and pray to him:
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

Christ, you presented the Church to yourself as a chaste virgin to her spouse,
keep her holy and inviolate.
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

Christ, the holy virgins went out to meet you with their lamps alight,
keep the fidelity of your consecrated handmaids burning brightly.
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

Lord, your virgin Church has always kept its faith whole and untarnished,
grant all Christians a whole and untarnished faith.
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

You have given your people joy in celebrating the feast of your holy virgin N.,
give us constant joy through her intercesion.
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

You have admitted the holy virgins to your marriage banquet,
in your mercy lead the dead to your heavenly feast.
Jesus, example of virgins, hear us.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(Gathering our prayer and praises into one, let us offer the prayer Christ himself taught us:)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

The Concluding Prayer is proper. When there is no proper prayer, one of the following is used.

Lord,
you have told us that you live for ever
in the hearts of the chaste.
By the prayers of the virgin N.,
help us to live by your grace and remain a temple 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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or:

Lord,
hear the prayers of those who recall the devoted life of the virgin N.
Guide us on our way and help us to grow
in love and devotion as long as we live.
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.

Go to the Conclusion

For several virgins:

Lord,
increase in us your gifts of mercy and forgiveness.
May we who rejoice at this celebration
in honor of the virgins N. and N.
receive the joy of sharing eternal life with them.
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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or: [RM 2011]

For Several Virgins:


Bestow your mercy upon us, Lord, we pray,
that, as we rejoice with loving devotion
on the feast day of the Virgins blessed N. and N.,
so by your gift we may know the eternal delight of their company.
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 Conclusion

For One Virgin:

Hear us, God our Savior,
that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed N.,
we may be instructed by her loving devotion.
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 Conclusion

Or:

Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin N. gift upon gift from heaven,
grant, we pray,
that, imitating her virtues on earth,
we may delight with her in the joys of eternity.
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 Conclusion

Or, for a Virgin Foundress:

Grant, O Lord our God,
that the Virgin blessed N., your faithful spouse,
may stir up in our hearts the flame of divine love,
which she inspired in other virgins
to the enduring glory of 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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or:

O God, who declare that you abide in hearts that are pure,
grant that through the intercession of the Virgin blessed N.
we may be so fashioned by your grace,
that we become a dwelling pleasing to you.
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 Conclusion

Or:

Hear our prayers, we ask, O Lord,
that we, who devoutly honor the virtue of the Virgin blessed N.,
may be worthy to abide in love of you
and to grow in it always until the end.
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.

DISMISSAL

If a priest or deacon presides, he dismisses the people:

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Another form of the blessing may be used, as at Mass.

Then he adds:


Go in peace.
Thanks be to God.

In the absence of a priest or deacon and in individual recitation, Morning or Evening Prayer concludes:

May the Lord + bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

******

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CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

The Concluding Prayer is proper. When there is no proper prayer, one of the following is used. For Daytime Prayer, the short conclusions are used.

Lord,
you have told us that you live for ever
in the hearts of the chaste.
By the prayers of the virgin N.,
help us to live by your grace and remain a temple 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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or:

Lord,
hear the prayers of those who recall the devoted life of the virgin N.
Guide us on our way and help us to grow
in love and devotion as long as we live.
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.

For several virgins:

Lord,
increase in us your gifts of mercy and forgiveness.
May we who rejoice at this celebration
in honor of the virgins N. and N.
receive the joy of sharing eternal life with them.
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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or: [RM 2011]

For Several Virgins:


Bestow your mercy upon us, Lord, we pray,
that, as we rejoice with loving devotion
on the feast day of the Virgins blessed N. and N.,
so by your gift we may know the eternal delight of their company.
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 Conclusion

For One Virgin:

Hear us, God our Savior,
that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed N.,
we may be instructed by her loving devotion.
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 Conclusion

Or:

Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin N. gift upon gift from heaven,
grant, we pray,
that, imitating her virtues on earth,
we may delight with her in the joys of eternity.
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 Conclusion

Or, for a Virgin Foundress:

Grant, O Lord our God,
that the Virgin blessed N., your faithful spouse,
may stir up in our hearts the flame of divine love,
which she inspired in other virgins
to the enduring glory of 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.

Go to the Conclusion

Or:

O God, who declare that you abide in hearts that are pure,
grant that through the intercession of the Virgin blessed N.
we may be so fashioned by your grace,
that we become a dwelling pleasing to you.
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 Conclusion

Or:

Hear our prayers, we ask, O Lord,
that we, who devoutly honor the virtue of the Virgin blessed N.,
may be worthy to abide in love of you
and to grow in it always until the end.
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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