Breviary

Daytime Prayers

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

Antiphons

Midmorning:
Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the way, has sent me that you may see again and receive the Holy Spirit.

Midday: It was midday when Saul journeyed toward Damascus; suddenly a brilliant light from heaven flashed all around him.

Midafternoon: The Lord said to Saul: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.

Go to the Complementary Psalmody

Psalm 119:97-104
XIII (Mem)

A meditation on God’s law


I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34).

Lord, how I love your law! *
It is ever in my mind.
Your command makes me wiser than my foes; *
for it is mine for ever.

I have more insight than all who teach me *
for I ponder your will.
I have more understanding than the old *
for I keep your precepts.

I turn my feet from evil paths *
to obey your word.
I have not turned from your decrees; *
you yourself have taught me.

Your promise is sweeter to my taste *
than honey in the mouth.
I gain understanding from your precepts; *
I hate the ways of falsehood.

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

Make us so love your law, Father, as to ponder it continually in our hearts. May it bear fruit in works acceptable to you.

Psalm 74
Lament for the destruction of the temple


Do not fear those who can only kill the body (Matthew 10:28).

I

Why, O God, have you cast us off for ever? *
Why blaze with anger at the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your people whom you chose long ago,
the tribe you redeemed to be your own possession, *
the mountains of Zion where you made your dwelling.

Turn your steps to these places that are utterly ruined! *
The enemy has laid waste the whole of the sanctuary.
Your foes have made uproar in your house of prayer:
they have set up their emblems, their foreign emblems, *
high above the entrance to the sanctuary.

Their axes have battered the wood of its doors. *
They have struck together with hatchet and pickaxe.
O God, they have set your sanctuary on fire: *
they have razed and profaned the place where you dwell.

They said in their hearts: “Let us utterly crush them: *
let us burn every shrine of God in the land.”
There is no sign from God, nor have we a prophet, *
we have no one to tell us how long it will last.

How long, O God, is the enemy to scoff? *
Is the foe to insult your name for ever?
Why, O Lord, do you hold back your hand? *
Why do you keep your right hand hidden?

Yet God is our king from time past, *
the giver of help through all the land.

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.

II

It was you who divided the sea by your might, *
who shattered the heads of the monsters in the sea.

It was you who crushed Leviathan’s heads *
and gave him as food to the untamed beasts.
It was you who opened springs and torrents; *
it was you who dried up ever-flowing rivers.

Yours is the day and yours is the night. *
It was you who appointed the light and the sun:
it was you who fixed the bounds of the earth: *
you who made both summer and winter.

Remember this, Lord, and see the enemy scoffing; *
a senseless people insults your name.
Do not give Israel, your dove, to the hawk *
nor forget the life of your poor ones for ever.

Remember your covenant; every cave in the land *
is a place where violence makes its home.
Do not let the oppressed return disappointed; *
let the poor and the needy bless your name.

Arise, O God, and defend your cause! *
Remember how the senseless revile you all the day.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes, *
the daily increasing uproar of your foes.

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, our faithful God, you permitted the temple of the old covenant to be destroyed and your people to be persecuted by unbelievers. Do not forget the new covenant sealed with the blood of your Son. Make the Church your spiritual house, and make us living stones built upon Christ so that a full and true temple may be founded at last.


MIDMORNING

Ant. Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the way, has sent me that you may see again and receive the Holy Spirit.

READING
1 Timothy 1:12-13


I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that he has made me his servant and judged me faithful. I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance; but I have been treated mercifully.

RESPONSORY

Rejoice and be glad, says the Lord.
For your names are written in heaven.

Go to the Conclusion


MIDDAY

Ant. It was midday when Saul journeyed toward Damascus; suddenly a brilliant light from heaven flashed all around him.

READING
1 Timothy 1:14-15


The grace of our Lord has been granted me in overflowing measure, along with the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I myself am the worst.

RESPONSORY

You have kindled a lamp for me, O Lord.
My God, lighten my darkness.

Go to the Conclusion


MIDAFTERNOON

Ant. The Lord said to Saul: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.

READING
1 Timothy 1:16


I was dealt with mercifully, so that in me, as an extreme case, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, and that I might become an example to those who would later have faith in him and gain everlasting life.

RESPONSORY

I will glorify your name for ever, Lord.
So great has been your compassion toward me.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith
follow him in bearing witness to your truth.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

O God, who taught the whole world
through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul,
draw us, we pray, nearer to you
through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today,
and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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COMPLEMENTARY PSALMODY

Go to Series III (Midafternoon)

Series I (Midmorning)

Psalm 120
Longing for peace


Be patient in suffering, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).

To the Lord in the hour of my distress *
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips, *
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he pay you in return, *
O treacherous tongue?
The warrior’s arrows sharpened *
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech, *
dwell among the tents of Kedar!

Long enough have I been dwelling *
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, *
they are for fighting.

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 declared peacemakers happy, Lord Jesus, since they will be called sons of God. Give us that peace which the world cannot give so that your Church may be freed from the schemes of arrogant men, and, devoted to works of peace, go forward joyfully to meet you, the King of Peace.

Psalm 121
Guardian of his people


Never again will they hunger and thirst, never again know scorching heat (Revelation 7:16).

I lift up my eyes to the mountains: *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and 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.

Psalm Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you have prepared a quiet place for us in your Father’s eternal home. Watch over our welfare on this perilous journey, shade us from the burning heat of day, and keep our lives free of evil until the end.

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.

Go to the Readings and Conclusion


Series III (Midafternoon)

Psalm 126
Joyful hope in God


Companions with him in suffering, you will share his overflowing happiness (2 Corinthians 1:7).

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, *
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said:  “What marvels *
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us! *
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage *
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears *
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears, *
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song, *
carrying their sheaves.

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, you have raised us from the earth; may you let the seeds of justice, which we have sown in tears, grow and increase in your sight. May we reap in joy the harvest we hope for patiently.

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.

Psalm 128
Happiness of family life rooted in God


“May the Lord bless you from Zion,” that is, from the Church (Arnobius).

O blessed are those who fear the Lord *
and walk in his ways!

By the labor of your hands you shall eat. *
You will be happy and prosper;
your wife like a fruitful vine *
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive, *
around your table.

Indeed thus shall be blessed *
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion *
all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children *
in a happy Jerusalem!

On Israel, 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.

Psalm Prayer

Give lasting happiness, Lord, to those who reverence your name, so that our life and work may be such as to deserve your commendation, and bring us, laden with good fruit, to our everlasting home.

Go to the Readings and Conclusion

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