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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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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 Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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 Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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 Lord is risen, alleluia.

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. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Ant. The Lord is risen, alleluia.

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 Lord is risen, alleluia.

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

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let the holy anthem rise,
And the choirs of heaven chant it
In the temple of the skies;
Let the mountains skip with gladness,
And the joyful valleys ring
With hosannas in the highest
To our Savior and our King!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Like the sun from out the wave,
He has risen up in triumph
From the darkness of the grave.
He’s the splendor of the nations,
He’s the lamp of endless day;
He’s the very Lord of glory
Who is risen up today!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Blessed Jesus, make us rise
From the life of this corruption
To the life that never dies.
May your glory be our portion,
When the days of time are past,
And the dead shall be awakened
By the trumpet’s mighty blast!

Tune: Holy Anthem 87.87 D
Music: Saint Basil’s Hymnal, 1889
Text: Edward Caswall, 1814-1878


Go to the Psalmody

Or:

Christ the Lord is risen again,
Christ has broken every chain.
Hark, the angel voices cry,
Singing evermore on high:
Alleluia!

He who gave for us his life,
Who for us endured the strife,
Is our paschal lamb today;
We too sing for joy, and say:
Alleluia!

He who bore all pain and loss
Comfortless upon the cross
Lives in glory now on high,
Pleads for us, and hears our cry:
Alleluia!

He who slumbered in the grave
Is exalted now to save;
Through the universe it rings
That the lamb is King of kings:
Alleluia!

Now he bids us tell abroad
How the lost may be restored,
How the penitent forgiven,
How we too may enter heaven:
Alleluia!

Christ, our paschal lamb indeed,
All your ransomed people feed!
Take our sins and guilt away:
Let us sing by night and day:
Alleluia!

Tune: Christ is Erstanden 77.77.4
Music: German twelfth century melody
Text: From Ein Neu Gesangbuchlein, 1531, Michael Weisse +1534
Translation: Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Let us praise the Lord for his mercy and for the wonderful things he has done for men, alleluia.

Psalm 107
Thanksgiving for deliverance


This is God’s message to the sons of Israel; the good news of peace proclaimed through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36).

I

“O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; *
for his love endures for ever.”

Let them say this, the Lord’s redeemed, *
whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe
and gathered from far-off lands, *
from east and west, north and south.

Some wandered in the desert, in the wilderness, *
finding no way to a city they could dwell in.
Hungry they were and thirsty; *
their soul was fainting within them.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need *
and he rescued them from their distress
and he led them along the right way *
to reach a city they could dwell in.

Let them thank the Lord for his love, *
for the wonders he does for men.
For he satisfies the thirsty soul; *
he fills the hungry with good things.

Some lay in darkness and in gloom, *
prisoners in misery and chains,
Having defied the words of God *
and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He crushed their spirit with toil; *
they stumbled; there was no one to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need *
and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them forth from darkness and gloom *
and broke their chains to pieces.

Let them thank the Lord for his goodness, *
for the wonders he does for men:
for he bursts the gates of bronze *
and shatters the iron bars.

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. Let us praise the Lord for his mercy and for the wonderful things he has done for men, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Men have seen the works of God, the marvels he has done, alleluia.

II

Some were sick on account of their sins *
and afflicted on account of their guilt.
They had a loathing for every food; *
they came close to the gates of death.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need *
and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word to heal them *
and saved their life from the grave.

Let them thank the Lord for his love, *
for the wonders he does for men.
Let them offer a sacrifice of thanks *
and tell of his deeds with rejoicing.

Some sailed to the sea in ships *
to trade on the mighty waters.
These men have seen the Lord’s deeds, *
the wonders he does in the deep.

For he spoke; he summoned the gale, *
raising up the waves of the sea.
Tossed up to heaven, then into the deep; *
their soul melted away in their distress.

They staggered, reeled like drunken men, *
for all their skill was gone.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need *
and he rescued them from their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper: *
all the waves of the sea were hushed.
They rejoiced because of the calm *
and he led them to the haven they desired.

Let them thank the Lord for his love, *
the wonders he does for men.
Let them exalt him in the gathering of the people *
and praise him in the meeting of all the elders.

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. Men have seen the works of God, the marvels he has done, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Those who love the Lord will see and rejoice; they will understand his loving kindness, alleluia.

III

He changes streams into a desert, *
springs of water into thirsty ground,
fruitful land into a salty waste, *
for the wickedness of those who live there.

But he changes desert into streams, *
thirsty ground into springs of water.
There he settles the hungry *
and they build a city to dwell in.

They sow fields and plant their vines; *
these yield crops for the harvest.
He blesses them; they grow in numbers. *
He does not let their herds decrease.

He pours contempt upon princes, *
makes them wander in trackless wastes.
They diminish, are reduced to nothing *
by oppression, evil and sorrow.

But he raises the needy from distress; *
makes families numerous as a flock.
The upright see it and rejoice *
but all who do wrong are silenced.

Whoever is wise, let him heed these things *
and consider the love of the Lord.

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 fill the hungry with good things, Lord God, and break the sinner’s chains. Hear your people who call to you in their need, and lead your Church from the shadows of death. Gather us from sunrise to sunset, that we may grow together in faith and love and give lasting thanks for your kindness.

Ant. Those who love the Lord will see and rejoice; they will understand his loving kindness, alleluia.

God has given us a new birth into a living hope, alleluia.
By raising Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Revelation
11:1-19

The two invincible witnesses


I, John, watched and someone gave me a measuring rod and said: “Come and take the measurements of God’s temple and altar, and count those who worship there. Exclude the outer court of the temple, however; do not measure it, for it has been handed over to the Gentiles, who will crush the holy city for forty-two months. I will commission my two witnesses to prophesy for those twelve hundred and sixty days, dressed in sackcloth.”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand in the presence of the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire will come out of the mouths of these witnesses to devour their enemies. Anyone attempting to harm them will surely be slain in this way. These witnesses have power to close up the sky so that no rain will fall during the time of their mission. They also have power to turn water into blood and to afflict the earth at will with any kind of plague.

When they have finished giving their testimony, the wild beast that comes up from the abyss will wage war against them and conquer and kill them. Their corpses will lie in the streets of the great city, which has the symbolic name “Sodom” or “Egypt,” where also their Lord was crucified. Men from every people and race, language and nation, stare at their corpses for three and a half days but refuse to bury them. The earth’s inhabitants gloat over them and in their merriment exchange gifts, because these two prophets harassed everyone on earth.

But after the three and a half days, the breath of life which comes from God returned to them. When they stood on their feet sheer terror gripped those who saw them. The two prophets heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here!” So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on. At that moment there was a violent earthquake and a tenth of the city fell in ruins. Seven thousand persons were killed during the earthquake; the rest were so terrified that they worshiped the God of heaven.

The second woe is past, but beware! The third is coming very soon.

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet. Loud voices in heaven cried out, “The kingdom of the world now belongs to our Lord and to his Anointed One, and he shall reign forever and ever.” The twenty-four elders who were enthroned in God’s presence fell down to worship God and said:

   “We praise you, the Lord God Almighty,
      who is and who was.
   You have assumed your great power,
      you have begun your reign.
   The nations have raged in anger,
      but then came your day of wrath
      and the moment to judge the dead:
   The time to reward your servants the prophets
      and the holy ones who revere you,
      the great and the small alike;
   The time to destroy those who lay the earth waste.”

Then God’s temple in heaven opened and in the temple could be seen the ark of his covenant. There were flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.

RESPONSORY
Revelation 11:15; Daniel 7:27


The kingdom of this world belongs to our Lord and his Christ,
and he shall reign for ever and ever, alleluia.

His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom,
and all the kings of the earth will serve and obey him.
And he shall reign for ever and ever, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From a commentary on the gospel of John by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop
(Lib. 4, 2: PG 73, 563-566)

Christ gave his own body for the life of all men


“I am dying for all men,” says the Lord. “I am dying to give them life through myself and to redeem the whole human race through my humanity. In my death, death itself will die and man’s fallen nature will rise again with me. I wanted to be like my brothers in every respect, so I became a man like you, a descendant of Abraham.” Understanding this well Saint Paul says: As the children of a family share the same flesh and blood, he too shared our human nature so that by his death he could destroy the power of the devil, the prince of death. Death itself and the prince of death could be destroyed only by Christ, who is above all, giving himself up as a ransom for all.

And so, speaking as a spotless victim offering himself for us to God the Father, Christ says in one of the psalms: You desired no sacrifices or offerings, but you have prepared a body for me. You took no pleasure in holocausts or sin offerings. Then I said, “Behold, I am coming.” He was crucified for all, desiring his one death for all to give all of us life in him. It was impossible for him to be conquered by death; nor could he who by his very nature is life be subject to corruption. Yet we know that Christ offered his flesh for the life of the world from his own prayer, Holy Father, protect them, and from his words, For their sake I consecrate myself. By saying that he consecrates himself he means that he offers himself to God as a spotless and sweet-smelling sacrifice. According to the law, anything offered upon the altar was consecrated and considered holy. So Christ gave his own body for the life of all, and makes it the channel through which life flows once more into us. How he does this I will explain to the best of my ability.

When the life-giving Word of God dwelt in human flesh, he changed it into that good thing which is distinctively his, namely, life; and by being wholly united to the flesh in a way beyond our comprehension, he gave it the life-giving power which he has by his very nature. Therefore, the body of Christ gives life to those who receive it. Its presence in mortal men expels death and drives away corruption because it contains within itself in his entirety the Word who totally abolishes corruption.

RESPONSORY
John 10:14, 15, 10


I am the good shepherd;
I know my sheep,
and I lay down my life for them, alleluia.

I have come that they may have life,
and have it more abundantly.
And I lay down my life for them, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
by the waters of baptism
you give new life to the faithful.
May we not succumb to the influence of evil
but remain true to your gift of life.
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 in the font of Baptism
have made new those who believe in you,
keep safe those reborn in Christ,
that, defeating every onslaught of error,
they may faithfully preserve the grace of your blessing.
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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