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 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.

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 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.

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 book of Esther
4:1-16

Haman seeks the destruction of the Jews


When Mordecai learned all that was happening, he tore his garments, put on sackcloth and ashes, and walked through the city crying out loudly and bitterly, till he came before the royal gate, which no one clothed in sackcloth might enter. (Likewise in each of the provinces, wherever the king’s legal enactment reached, the Jews went into deep mourning, with fasting, weeping, and lament; they all slept on sackcloth and ashes.)

Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her. Overwhelmed with anguish, she sent garments for Mordecai to put on, so that he might take off his sackcloth; but he refused.

Esther then summoned Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had placed at her service, and commanded him to find out what this action of Mordecai meant and the reason for it. So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the public square in front of the royal gate, and Mordecai told him all that had happened, as well as the exact amount of silver Haman had promised to pay to the royal treasury for the slaughter of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction which had been promulgated in Susa, to show and explain to Esther. He was to instruct her to go to the king; she was to plead and intercede with him in behalf of her people.

“Remember the days of your lowly estate,” Mordecai had him say, “when you were brought up in my charge; for Haman, who is second to the king, has asked for our death. Invoke the Lord and speak to the king for us: save us from death.”

Hathach returned to Esther and told her what Mordecai had said. Then Esther replied to Hathach and gave him this message for Mordecai: “All the servants of the king and the people of his provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king in the inner court without being summoned, suffers the automatic penalty of death, unless the king extends to him the golden scepter, thus sparing his life. Now as for me, I have not been summoned to the king for thirty days.”

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he had this reply brought to her: “Do not imagine that because you are in the king’s palace, you alone of all the Jews will escape. Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source; but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows but that it was for a time like this that you obtained the royal dignity?”

Esther sent back to Mordecai the response: “Go and assemble all the Jews who are in Susa; fast on my behalf, all of you, not eating or drinking, night or day, for three days. I and my maids will also fast in the same way. Thus prepared, I will go to the king, contrary to the law. If I perish, I perish!”

Mordecai went away and did exactly as Esther had commanded.

RESPONSORY
See Esther 14:14; Tobit 3:13; Judith 6:19


I have never trusted in anyone but you,
O God of Israel;
despite your anger, you will be compassionate
and forgive all the sins of those in distress.

Lord, God of heaven and earth,
have pity on the humiliation of our people.
Despite your anger, you will be compassionate
and forgive all the sins of those in distress.

SECOND READING

From a letter to Proba by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ep. 130, 11,21-12,22; CSEL 44, 63-64)

On the Lord’s Prayer


We need to use words so that we may remind ourselves to consider carefully what we are asking, not so that we may think we can instruct the Lord or prevail upon him.

Thus, when we say: Hallowed be your name, we are reminding ourselves to desire that his name, which in fact is always holy, should also be considered holy among men. I mean that it should not be held in contempt. But this is a help for men, not for God.

And as for our saying: Your kingdom come, it will surely come whether we will it or not. But we are stirring up our desires for the kingdom so that it can come to us and we can deserve to reign there.

When we say: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are asking him to make us obedient so that his will may be done in us as it is done in heaven by his angels.

When we say: Give us this day our daily bread, in saying this day we mean “in this world.” Here we ask for a sufficiency by specifying the most important part of it; that is, we use the word “bread” to stand for everything. Or else we are asking for the sacrament of the faithful, which is necessary in this world, not to gain temporal happiness but to gain the happiness that is everlasting.

When we say: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, we are reminding ourselves of what we must ask and what we must do in order to be worthy in turn to receive.

When we say: Lead us not into temptation, we are reminding ourselves to ask that his help may not depart from us; otherwise we could be seduced and consent to some temptation, or despair and yield to it.

When we say: Deliver us from evil, we are reminding ourselves to reflect on the fact that we do not yet enjoy the state of blessedness in which we shall suffer no evil. This is the final petition contained in the Lord’s Prayer, and it has a wide application. In this petition the Christian can utter his cries of sorrow, in it he can shed his tears, and through it he can begin, continue and conclude his prayer, whatever the distress in which he finds himself. Yes, it was very appropriate that all these truths should be entrusted to us to remember in these very words.

Whatever be the other words we may prefer to say (words which the one praying chooses so that his disposition may become clearer to himself or which he simply adopts so that his disposition may be intensified), we say nothing that is not contained in the Lord’s Prayer, provided of course we are praying in a correct and proper way. But if anyone says something which is incompatible with this prayer of the Gospel, he is praying in the flesh, even if he is not praying sinfully. And yet I do not know how this could be termed anything but sinful, since those who are born again through the Spirit ought to pray only in the Spirit.

RESPONSORY
2 Maccabees 1:5, 3


May the Lord hear your prayers
and make peace with you;
may the Lord God never abandon you in time of evil.

May he give to all of you a heart
to worship him and to do his will.
May the Lord God never abandon you in time of evil.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Almighty and ever-living God,
our source of power and inspiration,
give us strength and joy
in serving you as followers of Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Almighty ever-living God,
grant that we may always conform our will to yours
and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart
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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