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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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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

Lord, your word abiding
And our footsteps guiding,
Gives us joy forever,
Shall desert us never.

Who can tell the pleasure,
Who recount the treasure,
By your word imparted
To the simple hearted?

Word of mercy giving
Succor to the living;
Word of Life supplying
Comfort to the dying.

O that we, discerning
Its most holy learning,
Lord may love and fear you,
Evermore be near you.

Tune: Ravenshaw 66.66
Music: Ave Hierarchia, M. Wiesse, 1480-1534, adapted by W. H. Monk, 1823-1889
Text: Henry Williams Baker, 1821-1877, adapted by Anthony G. Petti

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The Lord is just; he will defend the poor.

Psalm 10
Prayer of thanksgiving


Blessed are the poor; the kingdom of heaven is theirs (Luke 6:20).

I

Lord, why do you stand afar off *
and hide yourself in times of distress?
The poor man is devoured by the pride of the wicked: *
he is caught in the schemes that others have made.

For the wicked man boasts of his heart’s desires; *
the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
In his pride the wicked says: “He will not punish, *
There is no God.” Such are his thoughts.

His path is ever untroubled;
your judgment is far from his mind. *
His enemies he regards with contempt.
He thinks: “Never shall I falter: *
misfortune shall never be my lot.”

His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression, *
mischief and deceit under his tongue.
He lies in wait among the reeds; *
the innocent he murders in secret.

His eyes are on the watch for the helpless man. *
He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair;
he lurks in hiding to seize the poor; *
he seizes the poor man and drags him away.

He crouches, preparing to spring, *
and the helpless fall beneath his strength.
He thinks in his heart: “God forgets, *
he hides his face, he does not see.”

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 just; he will defend the poor.

Ant. 2 Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.

II

Arise then, Lord, lift up your hand! *
O God, do not forget the poor!
Why should the wicked spurn the Lord *
and think in his heart: “God will not punish?”

But you have seen the trouble and sorrow, *
you note it, you take it in hand.
The helpless trusts himself to you; *
for you are the helper of the orphan.

Break the power of the wicked and the sinner! *
Punish his wickedness till nothing remains!
The Lord is king for ever and ever. *
The heathen shall perish from the land he rules.

Lord, you hear the prayer of the poor; *
you strengthen their hearts; you turn your ear
to protect the rights of the orphan and oppressed *
so that mortal man may strike terror no more.

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

Rise up, Lord, in defense of your people; do not hide your face from our troubles. Father of orphans, wealth of the poor, we rejoice in making you known; may we find comfort and security in times of pain and anxiety.

Ant. Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.

Ant. 3 The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.

Psalm 12
A cry for God’s help against powerful opponents


The Father sent his Son into the world to defend the poor (Saint Augustine).

Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished; *
truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak one to another, *
with lying lips, with a false heart.

May the Lord destroy all lying lips, *
the tongue that speaks high-sounding words,
those who say: “Our tongue is our strength; *
our lips are our own, who is our master?”

“For the poor who are oppressed and the needy who groan
I myself will arise,” says the Lord. *
“I will grant them the salvation for which they thirst.”

The words of the Lord are words without alloy, *
silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

It is you, O Lord, who will take us in your care *
and protect us for ever from this generation.
See how the wicked prowl on every side, *
while the worthless are prized highly by the sons of 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

Your light is true light, Lord, and your truth shines like the day. Direct us to salvation through your life-giving words. May we be saved by always embracing your word.

Ant. The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.

The Lord teaches the humble his way.
He guides the gentle-hearted along the right path.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the second letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians
9:1-15

The spiritual fruits of this collection


There is really no need for me to write you about this collection for the members of the church. I already know your willingness, and boast about you to the Macedonians with respect to it, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. Your zeal has stirred up most of them. I nonetheless send the brothers so that our claims for you in this regard may not be shown empty. I do so that you may be ready, as I have been saying you are, lest any Macedonians come with me and find you unready; then I should be put to shame—to say nothing of you—for having had this trust. I have thought it necessary to exhort the brothers to go to you and arrange in advance for the bountiful gift you have already promised. It should be ready as a gracious gift, not as an exaction.

Let me say this much: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided; not sadly, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver. God can multiply his favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything and even a surplus for good works, as it is written: “He scattered abroad and gave to the poor, his justice endures forever.”

He who supplies seed for the sower and bread for the eater will provide in abundance; he will multiply the seed you sow and increase your generous yield. In every way your liberality is enriched; through us it results in thanks offered to God. The administering of this public benefit not only supplies the needs of the members of the church but also overflows in much gratitude to God. Because of your praiseworthy service they are glorifying God for your obedient faith in the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with all. They pray for you longingly because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

RESPONSORY
Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:7


Give to others and you will receive;
good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For whatever measure you give to others
will be the measure you receive.

Each person should give according to what he has inwardly decided,
not grudgingly or under compulsion.
For whatever measure you give to others
will be the measure you receive.

SECOND READING

From a sermon on charity by Saint Basil the Great, bishop
(Hom. De caritate, 3, 6: PG 31, 266-267, 275)

Sow integrity for yourselves


Man should be like the earth and bear fruit; he should not let inanimate matter appear to surpass him. The earth bears crops for your benefit, not for its own, but when you give to the poor, you are bearing fruit which you will gather in for yourself, since the reward for good deeds goes to those who perform them. Give to a hungry man, and what you give becomes yours, and indeed it returns to you with interest. As the sower profits from wheat that falls onto the ground, so will you profit greatly in the world to come from the bread that you place before a hungry man. Your husbandry must be the sowing of heavenly seed: Sow integrity for yourselves, says Scripture.

You are going to leave your money behind you here whether you wish to or not. On the other hand, you will take with you to the Lord the honor that you have won through good works. In the presence of the universal judge, all the people will surround you, acclaim you as a public benefactor, and tell of your generosity and kindness.

Do you not see how people throw away their wealth on theatrical performances, boxing contests, mimes and fights between men and wild beasts, which are sickening to see, and all for the sake of fleeting honor and popular applause? If you are miserly with your money, how can you expect any similar honor? Your reward for the right use of the things in this world will be everlasting glory, a crown of righteousness, and the kingdom of heaven; God will welcome you, the angels will praise you, all men who have existed since the world began will call you blessed. Do you care nothing for these things, and spurn the hopes that lie in the future for the sake of your present enjoyment? Come, distribute your wealth freely, give generously to those who are in need. Earn for yourself the psalmist’s praise: He gave freely to the poor; his righteousness will endure for ever.

How grateful you should be to your own benefactor; how you should beam with joy at the honor of having other people come to your door, instead of being obliged to go to theirs! But you are now ill-humored and unapproachable; you avoid meeting people, in case you might be forced to loosen your purse-strings even a little. You can say only one thing: “I have nothing to give you. I am only a poor man.” A poor man you certainly are, and destitute of all real riches; you are poor in love, generosity, faith in God and hope for eternal happiness.

RESPONSORY
Isaiah 58:7-8


Share your bread with the hungry,
and take the poor and homeless into your own house.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your holiness will go before you.

When you see a man who is naked, clothe him,
and do not scorn your brother.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your holiness will go before you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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 our mighty King and Lord.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship our mighty King and Lord.

Go to the Hymn

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