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Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Liturgy of the Hours


  • Thursday 26 December 2019

    Saint Stephen, the first Martyr - Feast


    Vespers (Evening Prayer)

    Introduction (without Invitatory)

    If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, use the version with the Invitatory Psalm instead.


    O God, come to our aid.
        O Lord, make haste to help us.
    Glory be to the Father and to the Son
        and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
        is now, and ever shall be,
        world without end.
    Amen. Alleluia.


    ________

    Hymn

    O Christ, the Father’s only Son,
    Whose death for all redemption won,
    Before the worlds, of God Most High,
    Begotten all ineffably.

    The Father’s Light and Splendour thou,
    Their endless Hope to thee that bow;
    Accept the prayers and praise today
    That through the world thy servants pay.

    Salvation’s Author, call to mind
    Thou took’st the form of humankind,
    When of the Virgin undefiled
    Thou in man’s flesh becam’st a Child.

    Thus testifies the present day
    Through every year in long array,
    That thou, salvation’s source alone,
    Proceedest from the Father’s throne.

    All honour, laud, and glory be,
    O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee;
    All glory, as is ever meet,
    To Father and to Paraclete.


    ________

    Psalm 109 (110)
    The Messiah, king and priest


    “He must be king so that he may put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor 15:25).

    All authority and dominion are yours on the day of your strength; you are resplendent in holiness. From the womb before the dawn I begot you.

    The Lórd’s revelátion to my Máster: †
        ‘Sít on my ríght: *
        your fóes I will pút beneath your féet.’

    The Lórd will wíeld from Síon †
        your scéptre of pówer: *
        rúle in the mídst of all your fóes.

    A prínce from the dáy of your bírth †
        on the hóly móuntains; *
        from the wómb before the dáwn I begót you.

    The Lórd has sworn an óath he will not chánge. †
        ‘You are a príest for éver, *
        a príest like Melchízedek of óld.’

    The Máster stánding at your ríght hand *
        will shatter kíngs in the dáy of his wráth.

    He shall drínk from the stréam by the wáyside *
        and thérefore he shall líft up his héad.

    Glory be to the Father and to the Son
        and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
        is now, and ever shall be,
        world without end.
    Amen.

    All authority and dominion are yours on the day of your strength; you are resplendent in holiness. From the womb before the dawn I begot you.


    Psalm-prayer

    Father, we ask you to give us victory and peace. In Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, we are already seated at your right hand. We look forward to praise you in the fellowship of all your saints in our heavenly homeland.


    Or:

    Almighty God, bring the kingdom of Christ, your anointed one, to its fullness. May the perfect offering of your Son, eternal priest of the new Jerusalem, be offered in every place to your name and make all nations a holy people for you.


    ________

    Psalm 129 (130)
    Out of the depths


    “He will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).

    With the Lord there is unfailing love. Great is his power to set men free.

    Out of the dépths I crý to you, O Lórd, *
        Lórd, hear my vóice!
    O lét your éars be atténtive *
        to the vóice of my pléading.

    If you, O Lórd, should márk our gúilt, *
        Lórd, who would survíve?
    But with yóu is fóund forgíveness: *
        for thís we revére you.

    My sóul is wáiting for the Lórd. *
        I cóunt on his wórd.
    My sóul is lónging for the Lórd *
        more than wátchman for dáybreak.
    Let the wátchman cóunt on dáybreak *
        and Ísrael on the Lórd.

    Becáuse with the Lórd there is mércy *
        and fúllness of redémption,
    Ísrael indéed he will redéem *
        from áll its iníquity.

    Glory be to the Father and to the Son
        and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
        is now, and ever shall be,
        world without end.
    Amen.

    With the Lord there is unfailing love. Great is his power to set men free.


    Psalm-prayer

    Listen with compassion to our prayers, Lord. The forgiveness of sins is yours. Do not look on the wrong we have done, but grant us your merciful kindness.


    Or:

    God of might and compassion, you sent your Word into the world, a watchman to announce to men the dawn of salvation. Do not leave us in the depths of our sins but listen to your Church pleading with you. Respond to her trust, and pour out in her the fullness of your redeeming grace.


    ________

    Canticle
    (Colossians 1)
    Christ, firstborn of all creatures and firstborn from the dead

    The Word was God in the beginning and before all time. Today he is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

    Let us give thanks to the Father, †
        who has qualified us to share *
        in the inheritance of the saints in light.

    He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness *
        and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
    in whom we have redemption, *
        the forgiveness of sins.

    He is the image of the invisible God, *
        the firstborn of all creation,
    for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, *
        visible and invisible.

    All things were created *
        through him and for him.
    He is before all things, *
        and in him all things hold together.

    He is the head of the body, the Church; *
        he is the beginning,
    the firstborn from the dead, *
        that in everything he might be pre-eminent.

    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, *
        and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
    whether on earth or in heaven, *
        making peace by the blood of his cross.

    Glory be to the Father and to the Son
        and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
        is now, and ever shall be,
        world without end.
    Amen.

    The Word was God in the beginning and before all time. Today he is born to us, the Saviour of the world.


    ________

    Short Reading
    1 John 1:5,7

    God is light; there is no darkness in him at all. If we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.


    ________

    Short Responsory

    The Word became flesh. Alleluia, alleluia.
    – The Word became flesh. Alleluia, alleluia.
    And he lived among us. Alleluia, alleluia.
    – The Word became flesh. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
    – The Word became flesh. Alleluia, alleluia.


    ________

    Canticle
    Magnificat
    My soul rejoices in the Lord

    While the midnight silence reigned over all, and the night was now half spent, your almighty Word, O God, came down from his royal throne in heaven.

    My soul glórifies the Lórd, *
        my spirit rejóices in Gód, my Sáviour.
    He looks on his sérvant in her lówliness; *
        henceforth all áges will cáll me bléssed.

    The Almíghty works márvels for me. *
        Hóly his náme!
    His mércy is from age to áge, *
        on thóse who féar him.

    He púts forth his árm in stréngth *
        and scátters the proud-héarted.
    He casts the míghty from their thrónes *
        and ráises the lówly.

    He fills the stárving with good thíngs, *
        sends the rích away émpty.

    He protects Ísrael, his sérvant, *
        remémbering his mércy,
    the mercy prómised to our fáthers, *
        to Ábraham and his sóns for éver.

    Glory be to the Father and to the Son
        and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
        is now, and ever shall be,
        world without end.
    Amen.

    While the midnight silence reigned over all, and the night was now half spent, your almighty Word, O God, came down from his royal throne in heaven.


    ________

    Prayers and intercessions

    We place all our trust in the Word of God who dwells within us and goes before us as our Saviour.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

    By your coming in our flesh to live always for your Father:
        Lord, deliver us.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

    By your days filled with work, preaching, and making friends with sinners:
        Lord, deliver us.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

    By your suffering and crucifixion, by your death and burial:
        Lord, deliver us.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

    By your resurrection and ascension, by the giving of your Spirit:
        Lord, deliver us.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

    By your joy in being glorified:
        Lord, deliver the faithful departed.
    – From all evil, Lord, deliver us.


    ________

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
        hallowed be thy name.
    Thy kingdom come.
        Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
        and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those who trespass against us,
    and lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.


    ________


    Almighty God and Father,
        the human birth of your Only-Begotten Son
        was the beginning of new life.
    May he set us free from the tyranny of sin.
    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.


    ________

    The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
        Amen.


    Copyright © 1996-2019 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd.  All rights reserved.