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, our mighty 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.

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 the Lord, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty God.

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 the Lord, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty God.

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 the Lord, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty 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, our mighty God.

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

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty God.

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 the Lord, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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, our mighty 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

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, your great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, you rule day and night;
Your justice like mountains high soaring above
Your clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

Life-giving Creator, of both great and small;
Of all life the maker, the true life of all;
We blossom, then wither, as leaves on a tree,
But you live for ever, who is and will be.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Your angels adoring, all veiling their sight;
We too, God invisible, offer our praise;
O light inaccessible, Ancient of Days!

Tune: St. Denio 11.11.11.11
Music: Roberts’ Canaidau y Cyssegr, 1839
Text: Walter C. Smith, 1824-1908, alt.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord, let my cry come to you; do not hide your face from me.

Psalm 102
The longings and prayers of an exile.


God comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:4).

I

O Lord, listen to my prayer *
and let my cry for help reach you.
Do not hide your face from me *
in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear towards me *
and answer me quickly when I call.

For my days are vanishing like smoke, *
my bones burn away like a fire.
My heart is withered like the grass. *
I forget to eat my bread.
I cry with all my strength *
and my skin clings to my bones.

I have become like a pelican in the wilderness, *
like an owl in desolate places.
I lie awake and I moan *
like some lonely bird on a roof.
All day long my foes revile me; *
those who hate me use my name as a curse.

The bread I eat is ashes; *
my drink is mingled with tears.
In your anger, Lord, and your fury *
you have lifted me up and thrown me down.
My days are like a passing shadow *
and I wither away like the grass.

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. Lord, let my cry come to you; do not hide your face from me.

Ant. 2 Be attentive, Lord, to the prayer of the helpless.

II

But you, O Lord, will endure for ever *
and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion: *
for this is the time to have mercy;
yes, the time appointed has come
for your servants love her very stones, *
are moved with pity even for her dust.

The nations shall fear the name of the Lord *
and all the earth’s kings your glory,
when the Lord shall build up Zion again *
and appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless; *
he will not despise their prayers.

Let this be written for ages to come *
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high. *
He looked down from heaven to the earth
that he might hear the groans of the prisoners *
and free those condemned to die.

The sons of your servants shall dwell untroubled *
and their race shall endure before you
that the name of the Lord may be proclaimed in Zion *
and his praise in the heart of Jerusalem,
when peoples and kingdoms are gathered together *
to pay their homage to the 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. Be attentive, Lord, to the prayer of the helpless.

Ant. 3 You, O Lord, established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

III

He has broken my strength in mid-course; *
he has shortened the days of my life.
I say to God: “Do not take me away
before my days are complete, *
you, whose days last from age to age.

Long ago you founded the earth *
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish but you will remain. *
They will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like clothes that are changed. *
But you neither change, nor have an end.”

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, you live in the hearts of your saints, and so have built up Zion. May you always show your greatness through their good works.

Ant. You, O Lord, established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Listen, my people, to my teaching.
Give ear to the words I speak.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the first book of Samuel

[In view of the omission of yesterday’s continuous reading on account of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the following reading may precede today’s, in accordance with the GILH ¶249:

17:1-10, 32, 38-51

David commits himself to battle with Goliath


The Philistines rallied their forces for battle at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites also gathered and camped in the Vale of the Terebinth, drawing up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines were stationed on one hill and the Israelites on an opposite hill, with a valley between them.

A champion named Goliath of Gath came out from the Philistine camp; he was six and a half feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a bronze corselet of scale armor weighing five thousand shekels, and bronze greaves, and had a bronze scimitar slung from a baldric. The shaft of his javelin was like a weaver’s heddle-bar, and its iron head weighed six hundred shekels. His shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel: “Why come out in battle formation? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants. Choose one of your men, and have him come down to me. If he beats me in combat and kills me, we will be your vassals; but if I beat him and kill him, you shall be our vassals and serve us.” The Philistine continued: “I defy the ranks of Israel today. Give me a man and let us fight together.”

Then David spoke to Saul: “Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”

Then Saul clothed David in his own tunic, putting a bronze helmet on his head and arming him with a coat of mail. David also girded himself with Saul’s sword over the tunic. He walked with difficulty, however, since he had never tried armor before. He said to Saul, “I cannot go in these, because I have never tried them before.” So he took them off. Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield-bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he held him in contempt. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, “Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.”

David answered him: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle is the Lord’S, and he shall deliver you into our hands.”

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line in the direction of the Philistine. David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. (Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.) Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword (which he drew from its sheath) he dispatched him and cut off his head. When they saw that their hero was dead, the Philistines took to flight.]

17:57-18:9, 20-30

Saul’s jealousy of David


When David returned from slaying the Philistine, Abner took him and presented him to Saul. David was still holding the Philistine’s head. Saul then asked him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David replied, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

[By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan had become as fond of David as if his life depended on him; he loved him as he loved himself. Saul laid claim to David that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. And Jonathan entered into a bond with David, because he loved him as himself. Jonathan divested himself of the mantle he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military dress, and his sword, his bow and his belt. David then carried out successfully every mission on which Saul sent him. So Saul put him in charge of his soldiers, and this was agreeable to the whole army, even to Saul’s own officers.]

At the approach of Saul and David (on David’s return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang:

   “Saul has slain his thousands,
      and David his ten thousands.”

Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” [And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.]

Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, and it was reported to Saul, who was pleased at this, for he thought, “I will offer her to him to become a snare for him, so that the Philistines may strike him.” [Thus for the second time Saul said to David, “You shall become my son-in-law today.”] Saul then ordered his servants to speak to David privately and to say: “The king is fond of you, and all his officers love you. You should become the king’s son-in-law.” But when Saul’s servants mentioned this to David, he said: “Do you think it easy to become the king’s son-in-law? I am poor and insignificant.”

When his servants reported to him the nature of David’s answer, Saul commanded them to say this to David: “The king desires no other price for the bride than the foreskins of one hundred Philistines, that he may thus take vengeance on his enemies.” Saul intended in this way to bring about David’s death through the Philistines. When the servants reported this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the king’s son-in-law. [Before the year was up,] David made preparations and sallied forth with his men and slew two hundred Philistines. He brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king, that he might thus become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

Saul thus came to recognize that the Lord was with David; besides, his own daughter Michal loved David. Therefore Saul feared David all the more [and was his enemy ever after].

[The Philistine chiefs continued to make forays, but each time they took the field, David was more successful against them than any other of Saul’s officers, and as a result acquired great fame.]

RESPONSORY
Psalm 56:2, 4, 14


Have pity on me, O God,
for men trample upon me;
all day long they persecute me with their constant attacks.
I place my trust in you.

For you have rescued my soul from death
and you have kept my feet from stumbling.
I place my trust in you.

SECOND READING

From a treatise on Christian Perfection by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
(PG 46, 283-286)

Christ should be manifest in our whole life


The life of the Christian has three distinguishing aspects: deeds, words and thought. Thought comes first, then words, since our words express openly the interior conclusions of the mind. Finally, after thoughts and words, comes action, for our deeds carry out what the mind has conceived. So when one of these results in our acting or speaking or thinking, we must make sure that all our thoughts, words and deeds are controlled by the divine ideal, the revelation of Christ. For then our thoughts, words and deeds will not fall short of the nobility of their implications.

What then must we do, we who have been found worthy of the name of Christ? Each of us must examine his thoughts, words and deeds, to see whether they are directed toward Christ or are turned away from him. This examination is carried out in various ways. Our deeds or our thoughts or our words are not in harmony with Christ if they issue from passion. They then bear the mark of the enemy who smears the pearl of the heart with the slime of passion, dimming and even destroying the luster of the precious stone.

On the other hand, if they are free from and untainted by every passionate inclination, they are directed toward Christ, the author and source of peace. He is like a pure, untainted stream. If you draw from him the thoughts in your mind and the inclinations of your heart, you will show a likeness to Christ, your source and origin, as the gleaming water in a jar resembles the flowing water from which it was obtained.

For the purity of Christ and the purity that is manifest in our hearts are identical. Christ’s purity, however, is the fountainhead; ours has its source in him and flows out of him. Our life is stamped with the beauty of his thought. The inner and the outer man are harmonized in a kind of music. The mind of Christ is the controlling influence that inspires us to moderation and goodness in our behavior. As I see it, Christian perfection consists in this: sharing the titles which express the meaning of Christ’s name, we bring out this meaning in our minds, our prayers and our way of life.

RESPONSORY
Colossians 3:17; Romans 14:7


Whatever you do in word and deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

None of us lives just for himself,
and none of us dies for himself alone.
Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
guide and protector of your people,
grant us an unfailing respect for your name,
and keep us always in your love.
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:

Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love your holy name,
for you never deprive of your guidance
those you set firm on the foundation of your love.
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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