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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Awake and hearken for he brings
Glad tidings of the King of kings.

Then cleansed be ev’ry heart from sin,
Make straight the way of God within;
O let us each our hearts prepare
For Christ to come and enter there.

For you are our salvation, Lord,
Our refuge and our great reward;
Once more upon your people shine,
And fill the world with love divine.

To God the Son all glory be,
Whose advent set all nations free,
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Spirit ever more.

Tune: Winchester New L.M.
Music: Musikaliches Handbuch, Hamburg, 1690
Text: Iordanis Ora Prævia, Charles Coffin, 1736
Translation: John Chandler, 1837, alt.


Go to the Psalmody

Or:

“Comfort, comfort, now my people;
Tell of peace,” so says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness
Mourning under sorrow’s load.
To God’s people now proclaim
That God’s pardon waits for them!
Tell them that their war is over;
God will reign in peace forever.

For the herald’s voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Calling us to true repentance,
Since the Kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for Christ a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
And the hills bow down to greet him!

Straight shall be what long was crooked,
And the rougher places plain!
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits his holy reign!
For the glory of the Lord
Now on earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token
That God’s word is never broken.

Tune: Geneva 42 87.87.77.88
Music: Genevan Psalter, 1553
Text: Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben, Johann G. Olearus, 1611-1684
Translation: Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.


Go to the Psalmody

Or:

O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Refrain:
Dear Savior, haste! Come, come to earth.
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

O come, Desired of nations,
Whom priest and prophet long foretold,
Will break the captive fetters,
Redeem the long-lost fold.

Refrain:
Dear Savior, haste! Come, come to earth.
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

O come, in peace and meekness,
For lowly will your cradle be:
Though clothed in human weakness
We shall your Godhead see.

Refrain:
Dear Savior, haste! Come, come to earth.
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, Divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Tune: Venez Divin Messie 78.76 with Refrain
Music: French Noël, sixteenth century
Text: Venez divin Messie, Abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin, 1663-1745
Translation: Sister Mary of Saint Philip, 1877

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 This is our heavenly King; he comes with power and might to save the nations, alleluia.

Psalm 104
Hymn to God the Creator


To be in Christ means being a completely new creature. Everything of the old is gone, now everything is made anew (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I

Bless the Lord, my soul! *
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory, *
wrapped in light as in a robe!

You stretch out the heavens like a tent. *
Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot, *
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers *
and flashing fire your servants.

You founded the earth on its base, *
to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak: *
the waters stood higher than the mountains.

At your threat they took to flight; *
at the voice of your thunder they fled.
They rose over the mountains and flowed down *
to the place which you had appointed.
You set limits they might not pass *
lest they return to cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys: *
they flow in between the hills.
They give drink to all the beasts of the field; *
the wild asses quench their thirst.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven; *
from the branches they sing their song.

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. This is our heavenly King; he comes with power and might to save the nations, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Daughter of Jerusalem, rejoice and be glad; your King will come to you, Zion, do not fear; your Savior hastens on his way.

II

From your dwelling you water the hills; *
earth drinks its fill of your gift.
You make the grass grow for the cattle *
and the plants to serve man’s needs,

that he may bring forth bread from the earth *
and wine to cheer man’s heart;
oil, to make him glad *
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

The trees of the Lord drink their fill, *
the cedars he planted on Lebanon;
there the birds build their nests; *
on the tree-top the stork has her home.
The goats find a home on the mountains *
and rabbits hide in the rocks.

You made the moon to mark the months; *
the sun knows the time for its setting.
When you spread the darkness it is night *
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
The young lions roar for their prey *
and ask their food from God.

At the rising of the sun they steal away *
and go to rest in their dens.
Man goes forth to his work, *
to labor till evening falls.

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. Daughter of Jerusalem, rejoice and be glad; your King will come to you, Zion, do not fear; your Savior hastens on his way.

Ant. 3 Let us cleanse our hearts for the coming of our great King, that we may be ready to welcome him; he is coming and will not delay.

III

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all. *
The earth is full of your riches.

There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting, *
living things great and small.
The ships are moving there *
and the monsters you made to play with.

All of these look to you *
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up: *
you open your hand, they have their fill.

You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die, *
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created; *
and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord last for ever! *
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
He looks on the earth and it trembles; *
the mountains send forth smoke at his touch.

I will sing to the Lord all my life, *
make music to my God while I live.
May my thoughts be pleasing to him. *
I find my joy in the Lord.
Let sinners vanish from the earth *
and the wicked exist no more.

Bless the Lord, my soul.

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, as you made springs in valleys to form streams between mountains, so you made living streams of grace flow from the apostles that their teaching may bring salvation to all the nations. May we have a practical knowledge of their doctrine, be obedient to their commands, obtain remission of sins through their prayers, and finally receive the reward of eternal happiness.

Ant. Let us cleanse our hearts for the coming of our great King, that we may be ready to welcome him; he is coming and will not delay.

Lift up your heads and see.
Your redemption is now at hand.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah
22:8b-23

Against the pride of Jerusalem and Shebna


On that day you looked to the weapons in the House of the Forest; you saw that the breaches in the City of David were many; you collected the water of the lower pool. You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, tearing some down to strengthen the wall; you made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to the city’s Maker, nor did you consider him who built it long ago.

On that day the Lord,
   the God of hosts, called on you
To weep and mourn,
   to shave your head and put on sackcloth.
But look! you feast and celebrate,
   you slaughter oxen and butcher sheep,
You eat meat and drink wine:
   “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
This reaches the ears of the Lord of hosts—
   You shall not be pardoned this wickedness till you die,
   says the Lord, the God of hosts.

Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
   Up, go to that official,
   Shebna, master of the palace,
Who has hewn for himself a sepulcher on a height
   and carved his tomb in the rock:
“What are you doing here, and what people have you here,
   that here you have hewn for yourself a tomb?”
The Lord shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man!
   He shall grip you firmly
And roll you up and toss you like a ball
   into an open land
To perish there, you and the chariots you glory in,
   you disgrace to your master’s house!

I will thrust you from your office
   and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant
   Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe,
   and gird him with your sash,
   and give over to him your authority.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
   and to the house of Judah.

I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder;
   when he opens, no one shall shut,
   when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot,
   to be a place of honor for his family.

RESPONSORY
Revelation 3:7, 8


This is the message of the Holy and true one,
who holds the key of David:
Behold, I have put before you an open door
which no one is able to close.

You have kept my word
and have not denied my name.
Behold, I have put before you an open door
which no one is able to close.

SECOND READING

From commentary on Isaiah by Eusebius of Caesarea
(Cap. 40: PG 24, 366-367)

The voice in the wilderness


The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. The prophecy makes clear that it is to be fulfilled, not in Jerusalem but in the wilderness: it is there that the glory of the Lord is to appear, and God’s salvation is to be made known to all mankind.

It was in the wilderness that God’s saving presence was proclaimed by John the Baptist, and there that God’s salvation was seen. The words of this prophecy were fulfilled when Christ and his glory were made manifest to all: after his baptism the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rested on him, and the Father’s voice was heard, bearing witness to the Son: This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

The prophecy meant that God was to come to a deserted place, inaccessible from the beginning. None of the pagans had any knowledge of God, since his holy servants and prophets were kept from approaching them. The voice commands that a way be prepared for the Word of God: the rough and trackless ground is to be made level, so that our God may find a highway when he comes. Prepare the way of the Lord: the way is the preaching of the Gospel, the new message of consolation, ready to bring to all mankind the knowledge of God’s saving power.

Climb on a high mountain, bearer of good news to Zion. Lift up your voice in strength, bearer of good news to Jerusalem. These words harmonize very well with the meaning of what has gone before. They refer opportunely to the evangelists and proclaim the coming of God to men, after speaking of the voice crying in the wilderness. Mention of the evangelists suitably follows the prophecy on John the Baptist.

What does Zion mean if not the city previously called Jerusalem? This is the mountain referred to in that passage from Scripture: Here is mount Zion, where you dwelt. The Apostle says: You have come to mount Zion. Does not this refer to the company of the apostles, chosen from the former people of the circumcision?

This is the Zion, the Jerusalem, that received God’s salvation. It stands aloft on the mountain of God, that is, it is raised high on the only-begotten Word of God. It is commanded to climb the high mountain and announce the word of salvation. Who is the bearer of the good news but the company of the evangelists? What does it mean to bear the good news but to preach to all nations, but first of all to the cities of Judah, the coming of Christ on earth?

RESPONSORY
See Matthew 11:11, 9


The herald of the Lord approaches
of whom the Lord says:
No one born of woman
is greater than John the Baptist.

Truly this is a great prophet,
and more than a prophet,
of whom the Lord says:
No one born of woman
is greater than John the Baptist.

If the Optional Vigil is not celebrated the Office continues with the Te Deum

Go to the Te Deum


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES


Ant. We hope in you, Lord; be a source of strength for us today and our salvation in times of trial.

Canticle I: Isaiah 33:2-10
Prayer of trust in need


In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

O Lord, have pity on us, for you we wait.
Be our strength every morning, *
our salvation in time of trouble!

At the roaring sound, peoples flee; *
when you rise in your majesty, nations are scattered.
Men gather spoil as caterpillars are gathered up; *
they rush upon it like the onrush of locusts.

The Lord is exalted, enthroned on high; *
he fills Zion with right and justice.
That which makes her seasons lasting,
the riches that save her, are wisdom and knowledge; *
the fear of the Lord is her treasure.

See, the men of Ariel cry out in the streets, *
the messengers of Shalem weep bitterly.
The highways are desolate, *
travelers have quit the paths,
covenants are broken, their terms are spurned; *
yet no man gives it a thought.

The country languishes in mourning, *
Lebanon withers with shame;
Sharon is like the steppe, *
Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
Now will I rise up, says the Lord, *
now will I be exalted, now be lifted up.

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: Isaiah 33:13-16
God will judge with justice


It is promised to you and your children and to all who are far away (Acts 2:39).

Hear, you who are far off, *
what I have done;
you who are near, *
acknowledge my might.

On Zion sinners are in dread, *
trembling grips the impious:
"Who of us can live with the consuming fire? *
Who of us can live with the everlasting flames?"

He who practices virtue and speaks honestly, *
who spurns what is gained by oppression,
brushing his hands *
free of contact with a bribe,
stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed, *
closing his eyes lest he look on evil.

He shall dwell on the heights, *
his stronghold shall be the rocky fastness,
his food and drink *
in steady supply.

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 36:11-17
Prayer for the people of God


This is eternal life: to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).

Show mercy to the people called by your name; *
Israel, whom you named your first-born.
Take pity on your holy city, *
Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
Fill Zion with your majesty, *
your temple with your glory.

Give evidence of your deeds of old; *
fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
Reward those who have hoped in you, *
and let your prophets be proved true.
Hear the prayer of your servants, *
for you are ever gracious to your people;
Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth *
that you are the eternal 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. We hope in you, Lord; be a source of strength for us today and our salvation in times of trial.

THE HOLY GOSPEL

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
8:27-38

The Son of Man must suffer many things ... and rise again


Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them that the Son of Man  must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly.

Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

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 spurn 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.

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

The concluding part of the hymn may be omitted.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him
when he comes in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance into his company.
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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

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, the King who is to come.

Go to the Hymn

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