Breviary

Office of Readings

INVITATORY

The Invitatory is said when this is the first ‘hour’ of the day.

Go to the Psalmody

Go to the Hymn

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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, who for our sake suffered death and was buried.

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.

HYMN

In prayer together let us fall,
And cry for mercy, one and all,
And weep before the Judge’s feet,
And his avenging wrath entreat.

Thy grace have we offended sore,
By sins, O God, which we deplore;
But pour upon us from on high,
O pardoning One, thy clemency.

Remember thou, though frail we be,
That yet thine handiwork are we;
Nor let the honor of thy name
Be by another put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought;
Increase the good that we have sought:
That we at length, our wanderings o’er,
May please thee here and evermore.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to thee,
That this our fast of forty days
May work our profit and thy praise. Amen.

Tune: Schütz’ Psalm 66 L.M.
Music: Heinrich Schütz, 1585-1672
Text: Ex more docti mystico, attributed to Saint Gregory the Great, 540-604
Translation: John Mason Neale, 1818-1866


Or:

O Sacred Head, surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O Bleeding Head, so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
Of thy most holy face,
Yet angel hosts adore thee
And tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
All fading in the strife,
And death with cruel rigor,
Bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

In this thy bitter passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me
With thy most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be:
Beneath thy cross abiding
Forever would I rest,
In thy dear love confiding,
And with thy presence blest.

Tune: Passion Chorale 76.76 D
Music: Hans Leo Hassler, 1601
Text: Salve caput cruentatum, ascribed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153
Translation: Henry Williams Baker, 1821-1877

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 In peace, I will lie down and sleep.

Psalm 4
Thanksgiving


The resurrection of Christ was God’s supreme and wholly marvelous work (Saint Augustine).

When I call, answer me, O God of justice; *
from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me!

O men, how long will your hearts be closed, *
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

It is the Lord who grants favors to those whom he loves; *
the Lord hears me whenever I call him.

Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still. *
Make justice your sacrifice and trust in the Lord.

“What can bring us happiness?” many say. *
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord.

You have put into my heart a greater joy *
than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.

I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once *
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

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. In peace, I will lie down and sleep.

Ant. 2 My body shall rest in hope.

Psalm 16
God is my portion, my heritage


The Father raised up Jesus from the dead and broke the bonds of death (Acts 2:24).

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: “You are my God. *
My happiness lies in you alone.”

He has put into my heart a marvelous love *
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood. *
Never will I take their name upon my lips.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; *
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight: *
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!

I will bless the Lord, who gives me counsel, *
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord, ever in my sight; *
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; *
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead, *
nor let your beloved know decay.

You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence, *
at your right hand happiness for ever.

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 Jesus, uphold those who hope in you and give us your counsel, so that we may know the joy of your resurrection and deserve to be among the saints at your right hand.

Ant. My body shall rest in hope.

Ant. 3 Lift high the ancient portals. The King of glory enters.

Psalm 24

When Psalm 24 is used as the Invitatory Psalm, Psalm 95, above, is used as the third psalm of the Office of Readings.

The Lord’s entry into his temple


Christ opened heaven for us in the humanity 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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

When your Son was unjustly condemned, Lord God, and surrounded by the impious, he cried to you, and you set him free. Watch over your people as the treasure of your heart and guide their steps along safe paths that they may see your face.

Ant. Lift high the ancient portals. The King of glory enters.

Take up my cause and rescue me.
Be true to your word, give me life.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the letter to the Hebrews
4:1-13

Let us strive to enter the Lord’s rest


While the promise of entrance into his rest still holds, we ought to be fearful of disobeying lest any one of you be judged to have lost his chance of entering. We have indeed heard the good news, as they did. But the word which they heard did not profit them, for they did not receive it in faith.

It is we who have believed who enter into that rest, just as God said:

 “Then I swore in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter into my rest.’”

Yet God’s work was finished when he created the world, for in reference to the seventh day Scripture somewhere says, “And God rested from all his work on the seventh day”; and again, in the place we have referred to, God says, “They shall never enter into my rest.”

Therefore, since it remains for some to enter, and those to whom it was first announced did not enter because of unbelief, God once more set a day, “today,” when long afterward he spoke through David the words we have quoted:

   “Today if you should hear his voice,
      harden not your hearts.”

Now if Joshua had led them into the place of rest, God would not have spoken afterward of another day. Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. And he who enters into God’s rest, rests from his own work as God did from his. Let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall, in imitation of the example of Israel’s unbelief.

Indeed, God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart. Nothing is concealed from him; all lies bare and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

RESPONSORY
See Matthew 27:66, 60, 62


They buried the Lord and sealed the tomb
by rolling a large stone in front of it.
They stationed soldiers there to guard it.

The chief priests asked Pilate for a guard.
They stationed soldiers there to guard it.

SECOND READING

From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday
(PG 43, 439, 451, 462-463)

The Lord descends into hell


Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

RESPONSORY

Our shepherd, the source of the water of life, has died.
The sun was darkened when he passed away.
But now man’s captor is made captive.
This is the day when our Savior broke through the gates of death.

He has destroyed the barricades of hell,
overthrown the sovereignty of the devil.
This is the day when our Savior broke through the gates of death.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

All-powerful and ever-living God,
your only Son went down among the dead
and rose again in glory.
In your goodness
raise up your faithful people,
buried with him in baptism,
to be one with him
in the everlasting life of heaven,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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