Breviary

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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.

Psalm 24

Psalm 67

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Alternate Hymn

During the night or at dawn:

While dark and gloomy night conceals
the colors of all things on earth,
we praise and humbly beg you, Lord,
who judge with justice ev’ry heart:

Remove from us our sins and faults
and wash away all filth of mind;
bestow, O Christ, your grace on us,
to ward off all reproach and blame.

Behold the dull and worldly soul,
weighed down in sin and stung by guilt;
and yet, Redeemer, she desires
to turn from gloom and seek your face.

Drive far from us the darkened cloud
that grips the inmost heart and soul,
that we may find true peace and joy,
established in your blessed light.

O Christ, to you, most loving King,
and to the Father glory be,
one with the Spirit Paraclete,
from age to age for evermore.

Tune: ALFRETON, 8 8 8 8
Music: from the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms, 1708
or Mode IV, melody 67; Liber Hymnarius, Solesmes, 1983*
Text: Nox atra rerum contegit, 6-7th c., © 2023 ICEL


During the day:

O Christ, your servants humbly pray:
Grant us your favor and your help;
let not the evil of this world
enslave and overcome our faith.

Keep far from us unholy thoughts,
all envy, jealousy, and spite:
let us return no harm for harm
but conquer evil with the good.

Lord, guard our hearts and keep them free
from anger, pride, and sly deceit;
keep far from us all selfish greed,
the root from which all evils flow.

Let charity, unfeigned and true,
preserve the pledge and bonds of peace;
may chastity be pure and strong,
upheld by firm and lasting trust.

O Christ, to you, most loving King,
and to the Father glory be,
one with the Spirit Paraclete,
from age to age for evermore. Amen.

Tune: As above
Text: Christe, precamur adnuas, 7-8th c., © 2023 ICEL

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Psalm 89:39-53
Lament for the fall of David’s dynasty


He has raised up for us a mighty Savior born of the house of David his servant (Luke 1:69).

IV

And yet you have rejected and spurned *
and are angry with the one you have anointed.
You have broken your covenant with your servant *
and dishonored his crown in the dust.

You have broken down all his walls *
and reduced his fortresses to ruins.
He is despoiled by all who pass by: *
he has become the taunt of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes; *
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have made his sword give way, *
you have not upheld him in battle.

You have brought his glory to an end; *
you have hurled his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the years of his youth; *
you have heaped disgrace upon him.

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. Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Ant. 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.

V

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself for ever? *
How long will your anger burn like a fire?
Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life *
and how frail you have made the sons of men.
What man can live and never see death? *
Who can save himself from the grasp of the grave?

Where are your mercies of the past, O Lord, *
which you have sworn in your faithfulness to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant is taunted, *
how I have to bear all the insults of the peoples.
Thus your enemies taunt me, O Lord, *
mocking your anointed at every step.

Blessed be the Lord for ever. Amen, amen!

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 of mercy and fidelity, you made a new and lasting pact with men and sealed it in the blood of your Son. Forgive the folly of our disloyalty and make us keep your commandments, so that in your new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of your faithfulness and love on earth, and sharers of your glory in heaven.

Ant. I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.

Ant. 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

Psalm 90
May we live in the radiance of God


There is no time with God: a thousand years, a single day: it is all one (2 Peter 3:8).

O Lord, you have been our refuge *
from one generation to the next.
Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth, *
you are God, without beginning or end.

You turn men back into dust *
and say: “Go back, sons of men.”
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone, *
no more than a watch in the night.

You sweep men away like a dream, *
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers: *
by evening it withers and fades.

So we are destroyed in your anger, *
struck with terror in your fury.
Our guilt lies open before you; *
our secrets in the light of your face.

All our days pass away in your anger. *
Our life is over like a sigh.
Our span is seventy years *
or eighty for those who are strong.

And most of these are emptiness and pain. *
They pass swiftly and we are gone.
Who understands the power of your anger *
and fears the strength of your fury?

Make us know the shortness of our life *
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? *
Show pity to your servants.

In the morning, fill us with your love; *
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction *
for the years when we knew misfortune.

Show forth your work to your servants; *
let your glory shine on their children.
Let the favor of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands, *
give success to the work of our hands.

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

Eternal Father, you give us life despite our guilt and even add days and years to our lives in order to bring us wisdom. Make us love and obey you, so that the work of our hands may always display what your hands have done, until the day we gaze upon the beauty of your face.

Ant. Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

In you is the source of life.
In your light we see light itself.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Judges
8:22-23, 30-32; 9:1-15, 19-20

The people of God attempt to find a king


The Israelites then said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son, and your son’s son—for you rescued us from the power of Midian.” But Gideon answered them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you. The Lord must rule over you.”

Now Gideon had seventy sons, his direct descendants, for he had many wives. His concubine who lived in Shechem also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech. At a good old age Gideon, son of Joash, died and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Abimelech, son of Jerubbaal, went to his mother’s kinsmen in Shechem, and said to them and to the whole clan to which his mother’s family belonged, “Put this question to all the citizens of Shechem: ‘Which is better for you: that seventy men, or all Jerubbaal’s sons, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ You must remember that I am your own flesh and bone.” When his mother’s kin repeated these words to them on his behalf, all the citizens of Shechem sympathized with Abimelech, thinking, “He is our kinsman.” They also gave him seventy silver shekels from the temple of Baal of Berith, with which Abimelech hired shiftless men and ruffians as his followers.

He then went to his ancestral house in Ophrah, and slew his brothers, the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, on one stone. Only the youngest son of Jerubbaal, Jotham, escaped, for he was hidden. Then all the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together and proceeded to make Abimelech king by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.

When this was reported to him, Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim, and standing there, cried out to them in a loud voice: “Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you! Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my rich oil, whereby men and gods are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’

“Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come; you reign over us!’ But the fig tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’

“Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’ But the vine answered them, ‘Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men, and go to wave over the trees?’

“Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, ‘Come; you reign over us!’ But the buckthorn replied to the trees, ‘If you wish to anoint me king over you in good faith, come and take refuge in my shadow. Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

“If, then, you have acted in good faith and with honor toward Jerubbaal and his family this day, rejoice in Abimelech and may he in turn rejoice in you. But if not, let fire come forth from Abimelech to devour the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo, and let fire come forth from the citizens and from Beth-millo to devour Abimelech.”

RESPONSORY
Judges 8:23; Revelation 5:13


I will not rule over you, nor shall my son.
The Lord will rule over you.

Praise and honor, glory and power to him who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb for ever and ever.
The Lord will rule over you.

SECOND READING

From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(Nn. 18:22: CSEL 3, 280-281-283-284)

After the gift of bread we ask pardon for our sins


As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask: Give us this day our daily bread. We can understand this petition in a spiritual and in a literal sense. For in the divine plan both senses may help toward our salvation. For Christ is the bread of life; this bread does not belong to everyone, but is ours alone. When we say, our Father, we understand that he is the father of those who know him and believe in him. In the same way we speak of our daily bread, because Christ is the bread of those who touch his body.

Now, we who live in Christ and receive his eucharist, the food of salvation, ask for this bread to be given us every day. Otherwise we may be forced to abstain from this communion because of some serious sin. In this way we shall be separated from the body of Christ, as he taught us in the words: I am the bread of life which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats my bread will live for ever and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. Christ is saying, then, that anyone who eats his bread will live for ever. Clearly they possess life who approach his body and share in the Eucharistic communion. For this reason we should be apprehensive and pray that no one has to abstain from this communion, lest he be separated from the body of Christ and be far from salvation. Christ has warned of this: If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you will have no life in you. We pray for our daily bread, Christ, to be given to us. With his help, we who live and abide in him will never be separated from his body and his grace.

After this we ask pardon for our sins, in the words: and forgive us our trespasses. The gift of bread is followed by a prayer for forgiveness. To be reminded that we are sinners and forced to ask forgiveness for our faults is prudent and sound. Even while we are asking God’s forgiveness, our hearts are aware of our state! This command to pray daily for our sins reminds us that we commit sin every day. No one should complacently think himself innocent, lest his pride lead to further sin. Such is the warning that John gives us in his letter: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins. His letter includes both points, that we should beg for forgiveness for our sins, and that we receive pardon when we do. He calls the Lord faithful, because he remains loyal to his promise, by forgiving us our sins. He both taught us to pray for our sins and our faults, and also promised to show us a father’s mercy and forgiveness.

RESPONSORY
Psalm 31:1, 4; Psalm 25:18


In you, Lord, is my hope;
and I shall never hope in vain,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
For your name’s sake, lead and guide me.

Look at my misery and suffering,
and forgive all my sins.
For your name’s sake, lead and guide me.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without you we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to your will.
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, strength of those who hope in you,
graciously hear our pleas,
and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing,
grant us always the help of your grace
that in following your commands
we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

Continue with 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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

Continue with 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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our 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.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is our God.

Continue with the Hymn


Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
Transformed them into sons of light,
New creatures by your saving grace.

To you who stooped to sinful man
We render homage and all praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose gift to man is endless days.

Tune: Erhalt uns, Herr L.M.
Music: Geistliche Lieder, 1543
Text: © Stanbrook Abbey, used with permission


Continue with the Psalmody

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