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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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 24
The Lord’s entry into his temple


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

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship before the Lord, our maker.

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 before the Lord, our maker.

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

God, whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard
And took their flight:
Hear us, we humbly pray,
And where the Gospel day
Sheds not its glorious ray
Let there be light!

Savior, who came to bring,
On your redeeming wing,
Healing and sight—
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly blind—
O now to all mankind
Let there be light!

Spirit of truth and love,
Life-giving, holy dove,
Speed on your flight;
Move on the waters’ face,
Bearing the lamp of grace,
And in earth’s darkest place
Let there be light!

Holy and blessed Three,
Glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might,
Boundless as ocean-tide
Rolling in fullest pride,
Through the world, far and wide
Let there be light!

Tune: Moscow 664.6664
Music: Felice De Giardini, 1716-1796
Text: John Marriott, 1780-1825, adapted by Anthony G. Petti

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Wherever you are, Lord, there is mercy, there is truth.

Psalm 89:2-38
God’s favors to the house of David


According to his promise, the Lord has raised up Jesus, a Savior, from the family of David (Acts 13:22, 23).

I

I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord; *
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever, *
that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.

“With my chosen one, I have made a covenant; *
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever *
and set up your throne through all ages.”

The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord; *
the assembly of your holy ones proclaims your truth.
For who in the skies can compare with the Lord *
or who is like the Lord among the sons of God?

A God to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
great and dreadful to all around him.
O Lord God of hosts, who is your equal? *
You are mighty, O Lord, and truth is your garment.

It is you who rule the sea in its pride; *
it is you who still the surging of its waves.
You crushed the monster Rahab and killed it, *
scattering your foes with your mighty arm.

The heavens are yours, the world is yours. *
It is you who founded the earth and all it holds;
it is you who created the North and the South. *
Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at your name.

Yours is a mighty arm, O Lord; *
your hand is strong, your right hand ready.
Justice and right are the pillars of your throne, *
love and truth walk in your presence.

Happy the people who acclaim such a king, *
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name, *
who make your justice the source of their bliss.

For you, O Lord, are the glory of their strength; *
by your favor it is that our might is exalted:
for our ruler is in the keeping of the Lord; *
our king in the keeping of the Holy One of Israel.

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. Wherever you are, Lord, there is mercy, there is truth.

Ant. 2 When the Son of God came into this world, he was born of David’s line.

II

Of old you spoke in a vision. *
To your friends the prophets you said:
“I have set the crown on a warrior, *
I have exalted one chosen from the people.

I have found David my servant *
and with my holy oil anointed him.
My hand shall always be with him *
and my arm shall make him strong.

The enemy shall never outwit him *
nor the evil man oppress him.
I will beat down his foes before him *
and smite those who hate him.

My truth and my love shall be with him; *
by my name his might shall be exalted.
I will stretch out his hand to the Sea *
and his right hand as far as the River.

He will say to me: ‘You are my father, *
my God, the rock who saves me.’
And I will make him my first-born, *
the highest of the kings of the earth.

I will keep my love for him always; *
for him my covenant shall last.
I will establish his dynasty for ever, *
make his throne endure as the heavens.

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. When the Son of God came into this world, he was born of David’s line.

Ant. 3 Once for all I swore to my servant David: his dynasty shall never fail.

III

“If his sons forsake my law *
and refuse to walk as I decree
and if ever they violate my statutes, *
refusing to keep my commands;

then I will punish their offenses with the rod, *
then I will scourge them on account of their guilt.
But I will never take back my love: *
my truth will never fail.

I will never violate my covenant *
nor go back on the word I have spoken.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness. *
‘I will never lie to David.

His dynasty shall last for ever. *
In my sight his throne is like the sun;
like the moon, it shall endure for ever, *
a faithful witness in the skies.’”

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

Psalm Prayer

God, you anointed your servant Jesus with holy oil and raised him higher than all kings on earth. In this you fulfilled the promise made to David’s descendants, and established a lasting covenant through your first-born Son. Do not forget your holy covenant, so that we, who are signed with the blood of your Son through the new sacraments of faith, may sing of your mercies for ever.

Ant. Once for all I swore to my servant David: his dynasty shall never fail.

When we listen to your word, our minds are filled with light.
It is the lowly heart that understands.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Judges
6:33-40; 7:1-8, 16-22a

Gideon conquers with a smaller army


All Midian and Amalek and the Kedemites mustered and crossed over into the valley of Jezreel, where they encamped. The spirit of the Lord enveloped Gideon; he blew the horn that summoned Abiezer to follow him. He sent messengers, too, throughout Manasseh, which also obeyed his summons; through Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, likewise, he sent messengers and these tribes advanced to meet the others.

Gideon said to God, “If indeed you are going to save Israel through me, as you promised, I am putting this woolen fleece on the threshing floor. If dew comes on the fleece alone, while all the ground is dry, I shall know that you will save Israel through me, as you promised.” That is what took place. Early the next morning he wrung the dew from the fleece, squeezing out of it a bowlful of water. Gideon then said to God, “Do not be angry with me if I speak once more. Let me make just one more test with the fleece. Let the fleece alone be dry, but let there be dew on all the ground.” That night God did so; the fleece alone was dry, but there was dew on all the ground.

Early the next morning Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) encamped by En-harod with all his soldiers. The camp of Midian was in the valley north of Gibeath-hammoreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many soldiers with you for me to deliver Midian into their power, lest Israel vaunt itself against me and say, ‘My own power brought me the victory.’ Now proclaim to all the soldiers, ‘If anyone is afraid or fearful, let him leave.’” When Gideon put them to this test on the mountain, twenty-two thousand of the soldiers left, but ten thousand remained. The Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many soldiers. Lead them down to the water and I will test them for you there. If I tell you that a certain man is to go with you, he must go with you. But no one is to go if I tell you he must not.” When Gideon led the soldiers down to the water, the Lord said to him, “You shall set to one side everyone who laps up the water as a dog does with its tongue; to the other, everyone who kneels down to drink.” Those who lapped up the water raised to their mouths by hand numbered three hundred, but all the rest of the soldiers knelt down to drink the water.

The Lord said to Gideon, “By means of the three hundred who lapped up the water I will save you and will deliver Midian into your power. So let all the other soldiers go home.” Their horns, and such supplies as the soldiers had with them, were taken up, and Gideon ordered the rest of the Israelites to their tents, but kept the three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

He divided the three hundred men into three companies, and provided them all with horns and with empty jars and torches inside the jars. “Watch me and follow my lead,” he told them. “I shall go to the edge of the camp, and as I do, you must do also. When I and those with me blow horns, you too must blow horns all around the camp and cry out, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”

So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the posting of the guards. They blew the horns and broke the jars they were holding. All three companies blew horns and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hands, and in their right the horns they were blowing, and cried out, “A sword for the Lord and Gideon!” They all remained standing in place around the camp, while the whole camp fell to running and shouting and fleeing. But the three hundred men kept blowing the horns, and throughout the camp the Lord set the sword of one against another.

RESPONSORY
1 Corinthians 1:27-29; Luke 1:52


To shame the strong God chose the weak.
He chose those whom the world considers common and contemptible,
those who were nothing at all,
to humble those who were everything,
so that no one might boast in his presence.

The Lord has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
So that no one might boast in his presence.

SECOND READING

From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(Nn. 13-15: CSEL 3, 275-278)

Your kingdom come. Your will be done


The prayer continues: Your kingdom come. We pray that God’s kingdom will become present for us in the same way that we ask for his name to be hallowed among us. For when does God not reign, when could there be in him a beginning of what always was and what will never cease to be? What we pray for is that the kingdom promised to us by God will come, the kingdom won by Christ’s blood and passion. Then we who formerly were slaves in this world will reign from now on under the dominion of Christ, in accordance with his promise: Come, O blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom which was prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

However, my dear friends, it could also be that the kingdom of God whose coming we daily wish for is Christ himself, since it is his coming that we long for. He is our resurrection, since we rise again in him; so too he can be thought of as the kingdom of God because we are to reign in him. And it is good that we pray for God’s kingdom; for though it is a heavenly kingdom, it is also an earthly one. But those who have already renounced the world are made greater by holding positions of authority in that kingdom.

After this we add: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven; we pray not that God should do his will, but that we may carry out his will. How could anyone prevent the Lord from doing what he wills? But in our prayer we ask that God’s will be done in us, because the devil throws up obstacles to prevent our mind and our conduct from obeying God in all things. So if his will is to be done in us we have need of his will, that is, his help and protection. No one can be strong by his own strength or secure save by God’s mercy and forgiveness. Even the Lord, to show the weakness of the human nature which he bore, said: Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, and then, by way of giving example to his disciples that they should do God’s will and not their own, he added: Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.

All Christ did, all he taught, was the will of God. Humility in our daily lives, an unwavering faith, a moral sense of modesty in conversion, justice in acts, mercy in deed, discipline, refusal to harm others, a readiness to suffer harm, peaceableness with our brothers, a wholehearted love of the Lord, loving in him what is of the Father, fearing him because he is God, preferring nothing to him who preferred nothing to us, clinging tenaciously to his love, standing by his cross with loyalty and courage whenever there is any conflict involving his honor and his name, manifesting in our speech the constancy of our profession and under torture confidence for the fight, and in dying the endurance for which we will be crowned—this is what it means to wish to be a coheir with Christ, to keep God’s command; this is what it means to do the will of the Father.

RESPONSORY
Matthew 7:21; Mark 3:35


If you do the will of my heavenly Father,
you will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever does the will of God,
he is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.
You will enter the kingdom of heaven.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without you we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

O God, strength of those who hope in you,
graciously hear our pleas,
and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing,
grant us always the help of your grace
that in following your commands
we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
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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