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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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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 God, on the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul.

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

Your hand, O Lord, has guided
Your Church from age to age;
The wondrous tale is written
So clearly on each page;
Our fathers praised your goodness,
And we their deeds record;
And both to this bear witness:
One Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Your heralds brought glad tidings
To greatest and to least;
They told all men to hasten
To share the great King’s feast;
And this was all their teaching
In every deed and word,
To all alike proclaiming:
One Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Through many days of darkness,
Through many scenes of strife,
The faithful few fought bravely
To guard the Christian life;
Their gospel of redemption,
Sin pardoned, man restored,
Was all in this enfolded:
One Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Your mercy will not fail us,
Nor leave your work undone;
With all your strength to help us,
The vict’ry shall be won;
And then by men and angels
Your name shall be adored,
And this shall be their anthem:
One Church, one Faith, one Lord,

Tune: Thronbury 76.76 D
Music: Basil Harwood, 1859-1949
Text: Edward W. Plumptre, 1821-1891, alt. by Anthony G. Petti

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting; you harm only yourself by kicking against the goad.

Psalm 19A
Praise the Lord, Creator of all


The dawn from on high shall break upon us ... to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78, 79).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God *
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story *
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth, *
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent, *
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course. *
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

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

Psalm Prayer

To enlighten the world, Father, you sent to us your Word as the sun of truth and justice shining upon mankind. Illumine our eyes that we may discern your glory in the many works of your hand.

Ant. Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting; you harm only yourself by kicking against the goad.

Ant. 2 Go, Ananias, and seek out Saul, who is praying to me; he is the one I have chosen to make my name known to the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

Psalm 64
Prayer for help against enemies


This psalm commemorates most particularly our Lord’s passion (Saint Augustine).

Hear my voice, O God, as I complain, *
guard my life from dread of the foe.
Hide me from the band of the wicked, *
from the throng of those who do evil.

They sharpen their tongues like swords; *
they aim bitter words like arrows
to shoot at the innocent from ambush, *
shooting suddenly and recklessly.

They scheme their evil course; *
they conspire to lay secret snares.
They say: “Who will see us? *
Who can search out our crimes?”

He will search who searches the mind *
and knows the depths of the heart.
God has shot them with his arrow *
and dealt them sudden wounds.
Their own tongue has brought them to ruin *
and all who see them mock.

Then will all men fear;
they will tell what God has done. *
They will understand God’s deeds.
The just will rejoice in the Lord
and fly to him for refuge. *
All the upright hearts will glory.

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, you gave your Son victory over the men who plotted evil against him; when he cried to you in his agony you delivered him from fear of his enemies. May those who suffer with him in this life find refuge and success in you.

Ant. Go, Ananias, and seek out Saul, who is praying to me; he is the one I have chosen to make my name known to the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

Ant. 3 Paul went into the synagogues and proclaimed to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

Psalm 97
The glory of the Lord in his decrees for the world


This psalm foretells a world-wide salvation and that peoples of all nations will believe in Christ (Saint Anthanasius).

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice, *
let all the coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment; *
his throne, justice and right.

A fire prepares his path; *
it burns up his foes on every side.
His lightnings light up the world, *
the earth trembles at the sight.

The mountains melt like wax *
before the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice; *
all peoples see his glory.

Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods. *
All you spirits, worship him.

Zion hears and is glad;
the people of Judah rejoice *
because of your judgments, O Lord.

For you indeed are the Lord,
most high above all the earth, *
exalted far above all spirits.

The Lord loves those who hate evil:
he guards the souls of his saints; *
he sets them free from the wicked.

Light shines forth for the just *
and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord; *
give glory to his holy name.

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, you clothe the sky with light and the depths of the ocean with darkness. Among the children of the earth you work wonders, and rain terror upon the enemy. Look upon your servants. Do not try us by fire but bring us rejoicing to the shelter of your home.

Ant. Paul went into the synagogues and proclaimed to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

The Lord is gracious and merciful.
He is slow to anger and full of compassion.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Galatians
1:11-24

The Father has revealed his Son to me that I might proclaim the Gospel.


I assure you, brothers, the gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, not was I schooled in it. It came by revelation from Jesus Christ.

You have heard, I know, the story of my former way of life in Judaism. You know that I went to extremes in persecuting the church of God and tried to destroy it; I made progress in Jewish observance far beyond most of my contemporaries, in my excess of zeal to live out all the traditions of my ancestors.

But the time came when he who had set me apart before I was born and called me by his favor chose to reveal his Son to me, that I might spread among the Gentiles the good tidings concerning him. Immediately, without seeking human advisers or even going to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, I went off to Arabia; later I returned to Damascus. Three years after that I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, with whom I stayed fifteen days. I did not meet any other apostle except James, the brother of the Lord. I declare before God that what I have just written is true.

Thereafter I entered the regions of Syria and Cilicia. The communities of Christ in Judea had no idea what I looked like; they had only heard that “he who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy,” and they gave glory to God on my account.

RESPONSORY
Galatians 1:11-12; 2 Corinthians 11:10, 7


The Gospel which I preached to you is not a human message.
I did not receive it through any man,
but from our Lord Jesus Christ who revealed it to me.

As surely as Christ’s truth is in me,
I have preached the Gospel to you.
I did not receive it through any man,
but from our Lord Jesus Christ who revealed it to me.

SECOND READING

From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
(Hom. 2 de laudibus sancti Pauli: PG 50 477-480)

For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden.


Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardor and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: Rejoice and be glad with me! And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.

Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself; constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all: Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us! This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honors, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth; he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil. The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God; nothing else could sway him. Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.

The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored.

To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments; the pain of that loss would alone have been hell, and endless, unbearable torture.

So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him; for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.

Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field. As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats. Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ.

RESPONSORY
1 Timothy 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:9


God was merciful to me,
because in my unbelief I acted in ignorance.
The abundant grace of our Lord was poured out on me,
and gave me the faith and love which are ours
through union with Christ Jesus.

I am not worthy to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
The abundant grace of our Lord was poured out on me,
and gave me the faith and love which are ours
through union with Christ Jesus.

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

Go to the Te Deum


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES


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

Canticle I: Isaiah 61:6-9
The covenant of the Lord with his ministers


God has made us suitable ministers of a new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6).

You shall be named priests of the Lord, *
ministers of our God you shall be called.
You shall eat the wealth of the nations *
and boast of riches from them.

Since their shame was double *
and disgrace and spittle were their portion,
They shall have a double inheritance in their land, *
everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I, the Lord, love what is right, *
I hate robbery and injustice;
I will give them their recompense faithfully, *
a lasting covenant I will make with them.

Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations, *
and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them *
as a race the Lord has blessed.

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: Wisdom 3:7-9
The future glory of the just


The just shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43).

In the time of their visitation the just shall shine, *
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, *
and the Lord shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, *
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, *
and his care is with the elect.

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: Wisdom 10:17-21
God led his people in deliverance


Those who had overcome the beast sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2, 3).

God gave the holy ones the recompense of their labors, *
conducted them by a wondrous road,
and became a shelter for them by day *
and a starry flame by night.

He took them across the Red Sea *
and brought them through the deep waters—
but their enemies he overwhelmed, *
and cast them up from the bottom of the depths.

Therefore the just despoiled the wicked; *
and they sang, O Lord, your holy name
because Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, *
and gave ready speech to infants.

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

THE HOLY GOSPEL

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
3:13-15

Jesus summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him


Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles,
   that they might be with him
   and he might send them forth to preach
   and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
   Simon, whom he named Peter;
   James, son of Zebedee,
   and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
   that is, sons of thunder;
   Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
   Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
   Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
   and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
9:35-38

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few


Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
   teaching in their synagogues,
   proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
   and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
   because they were troubled and abandoned,
   like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
   “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
   so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
23:8-12

The greatest among you must be your servant


Jesus spoke to his disciples:
“Do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
   you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
   you have but one master, the Messiah.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

A homily on the Gospel may be given.

Other readings may be chosen from the Common of Pastors found in the Lectionary for Mass.


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.

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

The concluding part of the hymn may be omitted.

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 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, 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 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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