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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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the King of martyrs.

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 Christ, the King of martyrs.

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

Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word!

Refrain:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
And blest would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them should die for thee:

Refrain:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers! faith and prayer
Shall win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
Mankind shall then indeed be free.

Refrain:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife:
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly deeds and virtuous life.

Refrain:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Tune: Saint Catherine L.M. with Refrain
Music: Henri F. Henry, 1818-1888 and James G. Walton, 1821-1905
Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1814-1864

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Men will hate you because you are mine, but he who perseveres will be saved.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and conqueror


The rulers of the earth joined forces to overthrow Jesus, your anointed Son (Acts 4:27).

Why this tumult among nations, *
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth, *
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come let us break their fetters, *
come, let us cast off their yoke.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs; *
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger, *
his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king *
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will announce the decree of the Lord:

The Lord said to me: “You are my Son. *
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, *
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them, *
shatter them like a potter’s jar.”

Now, O kings, understand, *
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe *
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish; *
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

Blessed are they who put their trust in 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.

Psalm Prayer

Lord God, you gave the peoples of the world to be the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as King of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church to be his Bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power forever.

Ant. Men will hate you because you are mine, but he who perseveres will be saved.

Ant. 2 The sufferings of this life cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us in the life to come.

Psalm 11
God is the unfailing support of the just


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice; they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

In the Lord I have taken my refuge.
How can you say to my soul: *
“Fly like a bird to its mountain.

See the wicked one bracing his bow; *
they are fixing their arrows on the string
to shoot upright men in the dark. *
Foundations once destroyed, what can the just do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple, *
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world; *
his gaze tests mortal men.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked: *
the lover of violence he hates.
He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked; *
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

The Lord is just and loves justice: *
the upright shall see his face.

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 search the hearts of all, both the good and the wicked. May those who are in danger for love of you, find security in you now, and, in the day of judgment, may they rejoice in seeing you face to face.

Ant. The sufferings of this life cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us in the life to come.

Ant. 3 The Lord tested his chosen ones as gold tested by fire; he has received them for ever as a sacrificial offering.

Psalm 17
Save me, Lord, from those who hate you.


During his life on earth . . . Jesus prayed to the Father and was heard (Hebrews 5:7).

Lord, hear a cause that is just, *
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer: *
no deceit is on my lips.

From you may my judgment come forth. *
Your eyes discern the truth.

You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong. *
My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
I kept my feet firmly in your paths; *
there was no faltering in my steps.

I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God. *
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Display your great love, you whose right hand saves *
your friends from those who rebel against them.

Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings *
from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly. *
They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
as though they were lions ready to claw *
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down! *
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men, *
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring *
and leave their wealth to their children.

As for me, in my justice I shall see your face *
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your 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

Turn our eyes to see the truth of your judgments, Lord, that, when our spirits are tried by fire, the anticipation of seeing you may make us rejoice in your justice.

Ant. The Lord tested his chosen ones as gold tested by fire; he has received them for ever as a sacrificial offering.

I have known tribulations and distress.
But in your commands I have found consolation.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the Acts of the Apostles
6:1-6; 8:1b, 4-8

The seven deacons are chosen by the apostles


In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the ones who spoke Greek complained that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food, as compared with the widows of those who spoke Hebrew. The Twelve assembled the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Look around among your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent and we shall appoint them to this task. This will permit us to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word.”

The proposal was unanimously accepted by the community. Following this they selected Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit; Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, who had been a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then imposed hands on them.  

That day saw the beginning of a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem. All except the apostles scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

The members of the church who had been dispersed went about preaching the word. Philip, for example, went down to the town of Samaria and there proclaimed the Messiah. Without exception, the crowds that heard Philip and saw the miracles he performed attended closely to what he had to say. There were many who had unclean spirits, which came out shrieking loudly. Many others were paralytics and cripples, and these were cured. The rejoicing in that town rose to fever pitch.

RESPONSORY
Matthew 10:32; John 12:26


If anyone declares himself for me before men
I will declare myself for him before my Father in heaven.

If anyone wishes to serve me,
he must follow me,
and where I am,
there my servant will be with me.
I will declare myself for him before my Father in heaven.

SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 304, 1-4: PL 38, 1395-1397)

He ministered the sacred blood of Christ


The Roman Church commends to us today the anniversary of the triumph of Saint Lawrence. For on this day he trod the furious pagan world underfoot and flung aside its allurements, and so gained victory over Satan’s attack on his faith.

As you have often heard, Lawrence was a deacon of the Church at Rome. There he ministered the sacred blood of Christ; there for the sake of Christ’s name he poured out his own blood. Saint John the apostle was evidently teaching us about the mystery of the Lord’s supper when he wrote: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. My brethren, Lawrence understood this and, understanding, he acted on it. Just as he had partaken of a gift of self at the table of the Lord, so he prepared to offer such a gift. In his life he loved Christ; in his death he followed in his footsteps.

Brethren, we too must imitate Christ if we truly love him. We shall not be able to render better return on that love than by modeling our lives on his. Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps. In saying this, the apostle Peter seems to have understood that Christ suffered only for those who follow in his steps, in the sense that Christ’s passion is of no avail to those who do not. The holy martyrs followed Christ even to shedding their life’s blood, even to reproducing the very likeness of his passion. They followed him, but not they alone. It is not true that the bridge was broken after the martyrs crossed; nor is it true that after they had drunk from it, the fountain of eternal life dried up.

I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of his martyrs. In it there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows. On no account may any class of people despair, thinking that God has not called them. Christ suffered for all. What the Scriptures say of him is true: He desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Let us understand, then, how a Christian must follow Christ even though he does not shed his blood for him, and his faith is not called upon to undergo the great test of the martyr’s sufferings. The apostle Paul says of Christ our Lord: Though he was in the form of God he did not consider equality with God a prize to be clung to. How unrivaled his majesty! But he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, made in the likeness of men, and presenting himself in human form. How deep his humility!

Christ humbled himself. Christian, that is what you must make your own. Christ became obedient. How is it that you are proud? When this humbling experience was completed and death itself lay conquered, Christ ascended into heaven. Let us follow him there, for we hear Paul saying: If you have been raised with Christ, you must lift your thoughts on high, where Christ now sits at the right hand of God.

RESPONSORY

Blessed Lawrence cried out:
I worship my God
and serve only him.
So I do not fear your torture.

God is my rock; I take refuge in him.
So I do not fear your torture.

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

Go to the Te Deum


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES


Ant. I shall fill up in my body what is lacking from the sufferings of Christ for his body, the Church.

Canticle I: Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed are those who hope in the Lord


Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28).

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, *
whose hope is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted beside the waters *
that stretches out its roots to the stream:

It fears not the heat when it comes, *
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress, *
but still bears fruit.

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: Sirach 14:20; 15:3-5a, 6b
The happiness of the wise man


Wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35).

Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reflects on knowledge.

She will nourish him with the bread of understanding, *
and give him the water of learning to drink.

He will lean upon her and not fall, *
he will trust in her and not be put to shame.

She will exalt him above his fellows; *
and he will inherit an everlasting 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.

Canticle III: Sirach 31:8-11
Blessed are those who do not seek after gold


Make for yourselves a never-failing treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).

Happy the rich man found without fault, *
who turns not aside after gain!

Who is he, that we may praise him? *
he, of all his kindred, has done wonders,
for he has been tested by gold and come off safe, *
and this remains his glory;

He could have sinned but did not, *
could have done evil but would not,
so that his possessions are secure, *
and the assembly recounts his praises.

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. I shall fill up in my body what is lacking from the sufferings of Christ for his body, the Church.

THE HOLY GOSPEL

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
10:17-22

You will be led before governors and kings for my sake, as a witness before them and the pagans


Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
   and scourge you in their synagogues,
   and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
   as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
   do not worry about how you are to speak
   or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
   but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
   and the father his child;
   children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
9:23-26

Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it


Jesus said to all,
   “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
   but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
   the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory
   and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
12:24-26

If a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit


Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
   unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
   it remains just a grain of wheat;
   but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
   and whoever hates his life in this world
   will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
   and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

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

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.

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.

Father,
you called Saint Lawrence to serve you by love
and crowned his life with glorious martyrdom.
Help us to be like him
in loving you and doing your work.
Grant 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, giver of that ardor of love for you
by which Saint Lawrence was outstandingly faithful in service
and glorious in martyrdom,
grant that we may love what he loved
and put into practice what he taught.
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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