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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 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.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Show me your mercy, Lord, and keep me safe.

Psalm 6
A suffering man cries to God for mercy


I am filled with dismay . . . Father, save me from this hour (John 12:27).

Lord, do not reprove me in your anger: *
punish me not in your rage.
Have mercy on me, Lord, I have no strength;
Lord, heal me, my body is racked; *
my soul is racked with pain.

But you, O Lord . . . how long? *
Return, Lord, rescue my soul.
Save me in your merciful love;
for in death no one remembers you; *
from the grave, who can give you praise?

I am exhausted with my groaning; *
every night I drench my pillow with tears;
I bedew my bed with weeping.
My eye wastes away with grief; *
I have grown old surrounded by my foes.

Leave me, all you who do evil; *
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea; *
the Lord will accept my prayer.
All my foes will retire in confusion, *
foiled and suddenly confounded.

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 God, you love mercy and tenderness; you give life and overcome death. Look upon the many wounds of your Church; restore it to health by your risen Son, so that it may sing a new song in your praise.

Ant. Show me your mercy, Lord, and keep me safe.

Ant. 2 The poor are not alone in their distress; God is here to help them.

Psalm 9A
Thanksgiving for victory


You will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; *
I will recount all your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and be glad, *
and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.

See how my enemies turn back, *
how they stumble and perish before you.
You upheld the justice of my cause; *
you sat enthroned, judging with justice.

You have checked the nations, destroyed the wicked; *
you have wiped out their name for ever and ever.
The foe is destroyed, eternally ruined. *
You uprooted their cities; their memory has perished.

But the Lord sits enthroned for ever. *
He has set up his throne for judgment;
he will judge the world with justice, *
he will judge the peoples with his truth.

For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold, *
a stronghold in times of distress.
Those who know your name will trust you; *
you will never forsake those who seek you.

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 poor are not alone in their distress. God is here to help them.

Ant. 3 I will be the herald of your praises, Lord, where the people of Zion gather.

II

Sing psalms to the Lord who dwells in Zion. *
Proclaim his mighty works among the peoples,
for the Avenger of blood has remembered them, *
has not forgotten the cry of the poor.

Have pity on me, Lord, see my sufferings, *
you who save me from the gates of death;
that I may recount all your praise
at the gates of the city of Zion *
and rejoice in your saving help.

The nations have fallen in the pit which they made, *
their feet caught in the snare they laid.
The Lord has revealed himself, and given judgment. *
The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

Let the wicked go down among the dead, *
all the nations forgetful of God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten *
nor the hopes of the poor be in vain.

Arise, Lord, let men not prevail! *
Let the nations be judged before you.
Lord, strike them with terror, *
let the nations know they are but men.

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 God, when you judge, do not be deaf to the shouts of the poor, bring havoc to the madness of oppressors. Look at our wounds and save us from the gates of death, so that we may always rejoice in your help and speak your praise in the gates of Zion.

Ant. I will be the herald of your praises, Lord, where the people of Zion gather.

Lord, show us your mercy and love.
And grant us your salvation.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah
1:21-27; 2:1-5

The judgment and deliverance of Zion. The gathering of the nations


How has she turned adulteress,
   the faithful city, so upright!
Justice used to lodge within her,
   but now, murderers.
Your silver is turned to dross,
   your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
   and comrades of thieves;
Each one of them loves a bribe
   and looks for gifts.
The fatherless they defend not,
   and the widow’s plea does not reach them.

Now, therefore, says the Lord,
   the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah! I will take vengeance on my foes
   and fully repay my enemies!
I will turn my hand against you,
   and refine your dross in the furnace,
   removing all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at first,
   and your counselors as in the beginning;
After that you shall be called
   city of justice, faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed by judgment,
   and her repentant ones by justice.

   This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

   In days to come,
The mountain of the Lord’s house
   shall be established as the highest mountain
   and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
   many peoples shall come and say:

“Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain,
   to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
   and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
   and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations,
   and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
   and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
   nor shall they train for war again.

O house of Jacob, come,
   let us walk in the light of the Lord!

RESPONSORY
Micah 4:2; John 4:25


Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.

The Messiah, who is called Christ, is coming.
When he comes, he will teach us everything.
He will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.

SECOND READING

From a pastoral letter by Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
(Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis, t. 2, Lugduni, 1683, 916-917)

The season of Advent


Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery. In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.

Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries; his power has still to be communicated to us all. We shall share his power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us, and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.

The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.

In her concern for our salvation, our loving mother the Church uses this holy season to teach us through hymns, canticles and other forms of expression, of voice or ritual, used by the Holy Spirit. She shows us how grateful we should be for so great a blessing, and how to gain its benefit: our hearts should be as much prepared for the coming of Christ as if he were still to come into this world. The same lesson is given us for our imitation by the words and example of the holy men of the Old Testament.

RESPONSORY
See Joel 2:15; Isaiah 62:11; Jeremiah 4:5


Sound the trumpets in Zion, summon the nations;
call the people together and tell them the good news.
Our God and our Savior is coming.

Proclaim the good news, let it be heard;
tell it to everyone, shout it aloud.
Our God and our Savior is coming.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Lord our God,
help us to prepare
for the coming of Christ your Son.
May he find us waiting
eager in joyful prayer.
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:

Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God,
as we await the advent of Christ your Son,
so that, when he comes and knocks,
he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
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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