Breviary

Office of Readings

INVITATORY

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

Go to the Hymn

Go to the Psalmody

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

The antiphon is repeated. In individual recitation, the antiphon may be said only at the beginning of the psalm; it need not be repeated after each strophe.

Go to Psalm 24

Go to Psalm 67

Go to Psalm 100

Psalm 95
A call to praise God


Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
  “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, your great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, you rule day and night;
Your justice like mountains high soaring above
Your clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

Life-giving Creator, of both great and small;
Of all life the maker, the true life of all;
We blossom, then wither, as leaves on a tree,
But you live for ever, who is and will be.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Your angels adoring, all veiling their sight;
We too, God invisible, offer our praise;
O light inaccessible, Ancient of Days!

Tune: St. Denio 11.11.11.11
Music: Roberts’ Canaidau y Cyssegr, 1839
Text: Walter C. Smith, 1824-1908, alt.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.

Psalm 37
The lot of the wicked and the good


Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

I

Do not fret because of the wicked; *
do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass *
and fade like the green of the fields.

If you trust in the Lord and do good, *
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord, *
he will grant your heart’s desire.

Commit your life to the Lord, *
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light, *
your cause like the noon-day sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait in patience; *
do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plots *
to bring down the needy and the poor.

Calm your anger and forget your rage; *
do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish; *
the patient shall inherit the land.

A little longer—and the wicked shall have gone. *
Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land *
and enjoy the fullness 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. Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.

Ant. 2 Turn away from evil and learn to do God’s will; the Lord will strengthen you if you obey him.

II

The wicked man plots against the just *
and gnashes his teeth against him;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked *
for he sees that his day is at hand.

The sword of the wicked is drawn, *
his bow is bent to slaughter the upright.
Their sword shall pierce their own hearts *
and their bows shall be broken to pieces.

The just man’s few possessions *
are better than the wicked man’s wealth;
for the power of the wicked shall be broken *
and the Lord will support the just.

He protects the lives of the upright, *
their heritage will last for ever.
They shall not be put to shame in evil days, *
in time of famine their food shall not fail.

But all the wicked shall perish *
and all the enemies of the Lord.
They are like the beauty of the meadows, *
they shall vanish, they shall vanish like smoke.

The wicked man borrows without repaying, *
but the just man is generous and gives.
Those blessed by the Lord shall own the land, *
but those he has cursed shall be destroyed.

The Lord guides the steps of a man *
and makes safe the path of one he loves.
Though he stumble he shall never fall *
for the Lord holds him by the hand.

I was young and now I am old,
but I have never seen the just man forsaken *
nor his children begging for bread.
All the day he is generous and lends *
and his children become a blessing.

Then turn away from evil and do good *
and you shall have a home for ever;
for the Lord loves justice *
and will never forsake his friends.

The unjust shall be wiped out for ever *
and the children of the wicked destroyed.
The just shall inherit the land; *
there they shall live 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.

Ant. Turn away from evil and learn to do God’s will; the Lord will strengthen you if you obey him.

Ant. 3 Wait for the Lord to lead, then follow in his way.

III

The just man’s mouth utters wisdom *
and his lips speak what is right;
the law of his God is in his heart, *
his steps shall be saved from stumbling.

The wicked man watches for the just *
and seeks occasion to kill him.
The Lord will not leave him in his power *
nor let him be condemned when he is judged.

Then wait for the Lord, keep to his way. *
It is he who will free you from the wicked,
raise you up to possess the land *
and see the wicked destroyed.

I have seen the wicked triumphant, *
towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
I passed by again; he was gone. *
I searched; he was nowhere to be found.

See the just man, mark the upright, *
for the peaceful man a future lies in store,
but sinners shall all be destroyed. *
No future lies in store for the wicked.

The salvation of the just comes from the Lord, *
their stronghold in time of distress.
The Lord helps them and delivers them *
and saves them: for their refuge is in him.

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 proclaimed the poor to be blessed, Lord Jesus, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them. Fill us generously with your gifts. Teach us to put our trust in the Father and to seek his kingdom first of all rather than imitate the powerful and envy the rich.

Ant. Wait for the Lord to lead, then follow in his way.

Teach me goodness, and holy wisdom.
For I have put my trust in your guidance.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the second book of Samuel
18:6-17, 24-19:5

The death of Absalom and David’s grief


David’s army then took the field against Israel, and a battle was fought in the forest near Mahanaim. The forces of Israel were defeated by David’s servants, and the casualties there that day were heavy–twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over that entire region, and the thickets consumed more combatants that day than did the sword.

Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants. He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven and earth while the mule he had been riding ran off. Someone saw this and reported to Joab that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth. Joab said to his informant: “If you saw him, why did you not strike him to the ground on the spot? Then it would have been my duty to give you fifty pieces of silver and a belt.” But the man replied to Joab: “Even if I already held a thousand pieces of silver in my two hands, I would not harm the king’s son, for the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai in our hearing to protect the youth Absalom for his sake. Had I been disloyal and killed him, the whole matter would have come to the attention of the king, and you would stand aloof.” Joab replied, “I will not waste time with you in this way.”

And taking three pikes in hand, he thrust for the heart of Absalom, still hanging from the tree alive. Next, ten of Joab’s young armor-bearers closed in on Absalom, and killed him with further blows. Joab then sounded the horn, and the soldiers turned back from the pursuit of the Israelites, because Joab called on them to halt. Absalom was taken up and cast into a deep pit in the forest, and a very large mound of stones was erected over him. And all the Israelites fled to their own tents.

Now David was sitting between the two gates, and a lookout mounted to the roof of the gate above the city wall, where he looked about and saw a man running all alone. The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, “If he is alone, he has good news to report.” As he kept coming nearer, the lookout spied another runner. From his place atop the gate he cried out, “There is another man running by himself.” And the king responded, “He, too, is bringing good news.” Then the lookout said, “I notice that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, son of Zadok.” The king replied, “He is a good man; he comes with good news.”

Then Ahimaaz called out and greeted the king. With face to the ground he paid homage to the king and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who rebelled against my Lord the king.” But the king asked, “Is the youth Absalom safe?” And Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great disturbance when the king’s servant Joab sent your servant on, but I do not know what it was.” The king said, “Step aside and remain in attendance here.”

So he stepped aside and remained there. When the Cushite came in, he said, “Let my Lord the king receive the good news that this day the Lord has taken your part, freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you.” But the king asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my Lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!”

The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate to weep. He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom; and that day’s victory was turned into mourning for the whole army when they heard that the king was grieving for his son. The soldiers stole into the city that day like men shamed by flight in battle. Meanwhile the king covered his face and cried out in a loud voice, “My son Absalom! Absalom! My son, my son!”

RESPONSORY
Psalm 55:13, 14, 15; see 41:10; 2 Samuel 18:33


If an enemy had taunted me,
I could have tolerated it.
But you, my closest friend,
whose pleasant companionship I enjoyed,
have turned against me.

The king was deeply moved
and went up to the room over the city gate and wept,
and as he went, he cried out:
But you, my closest friend,
whose pleasant companionship I enjoyed,
have turned against me.

SECOND READING

From a discourse on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ps. 32, 29; CCL 38, 272-273)

Whether they like it or not, those who are outside the Church are our brothers


We entreat you, brothers, as earnestly as we are able, to have charity, not only for one another, but also for those who are outside the Church. Of these some are still pagans, who have not yet made an act of faith in Christ. Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us in professing faith in Christ, our head, but are yet divided from the unity of his body. My friends, we must grieve over these as over our brothers; and they will only cease to be so when they no longer say our Father.

The prophet refers to some men saying: When they say to you: You are not our brothers, you are to tell them: You are our brothers. Consider whom he intended by these words. Were they the pagans? Hardly; for nowhere either in Scripture or in our traditional manner of speaking do we find them called our brothers. Nor could it refer to the Jews, who do not believe in Christ. Read Saint Paul and you will see that when he speaks of “brothers,” without any qualification, he refers always to Christians. For example, he says: Why do you judge your brother or why do you despise your brother? And again: You perform iniquity and common fraud, and this against your brothers.

Those then who tell us: You are not our brothers, are saying that we are pagans. That is why they want to baptize us again, claiming that we do not have what they can give. Hence their error of denying that we are their brothers. Why then did the prophet tell us: Say to them: You are our brothers? It is because we acknowledge in them that which we do not repeat. By not recognizing our baptism, they deny that we are their brothers; on the other hand, when we do not repeat their baptism but acknowledge it to be our own, we are saying to them: You are our brothers.

If they say, “Why do you seek us? What do you want of us?” we should reply: You are our brothers. They may say, “Leave us alone. We have nothing to do with you.” But we have everything to do with you, for we are one in our belief in Christ; and so we should be in one body, under one head.

And so, dear brothers, we entreat you on their behalf, in the name of the very source of our love, by whose milk we are nourished, and whose bread is our strength, in the name of Christ our Lord and his gentle love. For it is time now for us to show them great love and abundant compassion by praying to God for them. May he one day give them a clear mind to repent and to realize that they have nothing now but the sickness of their hatred, and the stronger they think they are, the weaker they become. We entreat you then to pray for them, for they are weak, given to the wisdom of the flesh, to fleshly and carnal things, but yet they are our brothers. They celebrate the same sacraments as we, not indeed with us, but still the same. They respond with the same Amen, not with us, but still the same. And so pour out your hearts for them in prayer to God.

RESPONSORY
Ephesians 4:1, 3, 4


I implore you in the Lord,
lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you have been called.
Be careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body and one Spirit,
and there is but one hope given to you by your calling.
Be careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
through the obedience of Jesus,
your servant and your Son,
you raised a fallen world.
Free us from sin
and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

O God, who in the abasement of your Son
have raised up a fallen world,
fill your faithful with holy joy,
for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin
you bestow eternal gladness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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Psalm 24
The Lord’s entry into his temple


Christ opened heaven for us in the manhood he assumed (Saint Irenaeus).

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 67
People of all nations will worship the Lord


You must know that God is offering his salvation to all the world (Acts 28:28).

O God, be gracious and bless us *
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth *
and all nations learn your saving help.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Let the nations be glad and exult *
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples, *
you guide the nations on earth.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

The earth has yielded its fruit *
for God, our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing *
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 100
The joyful song of those entering God’s temple


The Lord calls his ransomed people to sing songs of victory (Saint Athanasius).

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness. *
Come before him, singing for joy.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty God.

Go to the Hymn

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