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

Office Readings


  • Wednesday 8 January 2020

    Wednesday after Epiphany Sunday

    Office of Readings
    (combined with Lauds)

    This is the Office of Readings joined to another Hour, as described in §99 of the General Instruction. To see the Office of Readings on its own, use the menu button on the right.


    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 more than mighty cities known,
    Dear Bethlehem, in thee alone
    Salvation’s Lord from heaven took birth
    In human form upon the earth.

    And from a star that far outshone
    The radiant circle of the sun
    In beauty, swift the tidings ran
    Of God on earth in flesh of man.

    The wise men, seeing him, so fair,
    Bow low before him, and with prayer
    Their treasured eastern gifts unfold
    Of incense, myrrh, and royal gold.

    The fragrant incense which they bring,
    The gold, proclaim him God and King;
    The bitter spicy dust of myrrh
    Foreshadows his new sepulchre.

    All glory, Lord, to thee we pay
    For thine Epiphany today;
    All glory, as is ever meet,
    To Father and to Paraclete.


    ________

    Psalm 38 (39)
    A prayer in sickness


    “Creation was unable to attain its purpose because of him who kept it so in a state of hope” (Rom 8:20).

    We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

    I sáid: ‘I will be wátchful of my wáys *
        for féar I should sín with my tóngue.
    I will pút a cúrb on my líps *
        when the wícked man stánds befóre me.’
    I was dúmb, sílent and stíll. *
        His prospérity stírred my gríef.

    My héart was búrning withín me. *
        At the thóught of it, the fíre blazed úp
    and my tóngue búrst into spéech: *
        ‘O Lórd, you have shówn me my énd,
    how shórt is the léngth of my dáys. *
        Now I knów how fléeting is my lífe.

    ‘You have gíven me a shórt span of dáys; *
        my lífe is as nóthing in your síght.
    A mere bréath, the mán who stood so fírm, *
        a mere shádow, the mán passing bý;
    a mere bréath the ríches he hóards, *
        not knówing whó will háve them.’

    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.

    We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.


    ________

    Psalm 38 (39)

    Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

    And nów, Lord, whát is there to wáit for? *
        In yóu rests áll my hópe.
    Set me frée from áll my síns, *
        do not máke me the táunt of the fóol.
    I was sílent, not ópening my líps, *
        because thís was áll your dóing.

    Take awáy your scóurge from mé. *
        I am crúshed by the blóws of your hánd.
    You púnish man’s síns and corréct him; *
        like the móth you devóur all he tréasures.
    Mortal mán is no móre than a bréath; *
        O Lórd, héar my práyer.

    O Lórd, turn your éar to my crý. *
        Dó not be déaf to my téars.
    In your hóuse I am a pássing gúest, *
        a pílgrim, like áll my fáthers.
    Look awáy that I may bréathe agáin *
        befóre I depárt to be no móre.

    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.

    Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.


    Psalm-prayer

    Through your Son you taught us, Father, not to be fearful of tomorrow but to commit our lives to your care. Do not withhold your Spirit from us but help us find a life of peace after these days of trouble.


    ________

    Psalm 51 (52)
    Against calumny


    “Let the one who glories glory in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31).

    I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

    Whý do you bóast of your wíckedness, *
        you chámpion of évil,
    planning rúin áll day lóng, †
        your tóngue like a shárpened rázor, *
        you máster of decéit?

    You love évil móre than góod, *
        líes more than trúth.
    You lóve the destrúctive wórd, *
        you tóngue of decéit.

    For thís Gód will destróy you *
        and remóve you for éver.
    He will snátch you from your tént and upróot you *
        from the lánd of the líving.

    The júst shall sée and féar. *
        They shall láugh and sáy:
    ‘So thís is the mán who refúsed *
        to take Gód as a strónghold,
    but trústed in the gréatness of his wéalth *
        and grew pówerful by his crímes.’

    But Í am like a grówing olive trée *
        in the hóuse of Gód.
    I trúst in the góodness of Gód *
        for éver and éver.

    I will thánk you for évermóre; *
        for thís is your dóing.
    I will procláim that your náme is góod, *
        in the présence of your fríends.

    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.

    I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.


    Psalm-prayer

    Father, hear the prayer of your family. Make us flourish in your domain like fruitful olive trees, confiding in your loving kindness here and longing to see your face when we take our place among the blessed in heaven.


    Or:

    Father, you cut down the unfruitful branch for burning and prune the fertile to make it bear more fruit. Make us grow like laden olive trees in your domain, firmly rooted in the power and mercy of your Son, so that you may gather from us fruit worthy of eternal life.


    ________

    ℣. The Lord will teach us his ways.
    ℟. We will walk in his paths.


    ________

    First Reading
    Isaiah 63:7-19
    The remembrance of God’s mercy by a forsaken people


    Let me sing the praises of the Lord’s goodness,
    and of his marvellous deeds,
    in return for all that he has done for us
    and for the great kindness
    he has shown us in his mercy
    and in his boundless goodness.

    He said, ‘Truly they are my people,
    sons and no rogues.’
    He proved himself their saviour
    in all their troubles.
    It was neither messenger nor angel
    but his Presence that saved them.
    In his love and pity
    he redeemed them himself,
    he lifted them up, carried them,
    throughout the days of old.
    But they rebelled, they grieved
    his holy spirit.
    Then he turned enemy,
    and himself waged war on them.
    They remembered the days of old,
    of Moses his servant.
    Where is he who brought out of the sea
    the shepherd of his flock?
    Where is he who endowed him
    with his holy spirit,
    who at the right hand of Moses
    set to work with his glorious arm,
    who divided the waters before them
    to win himself everlasting renown,
    who made them walk through the ocean
    as easily as a horse through the desert?
    They stumbled as little as an ox
    going down to the plain.
    The spirit of the Lord led them to rest.
    This is how you guided your people
    to win yourself glorious renown.

    Look down from heaven, look down
    from your holy and glorious dwelling.
    Where is your ardour, your might,
    the yearning of your inmost heart?
    Do not let your compassion go unmoved,
    for you are our Father.
    For Abraham does not own us
    and Israel does not acknowledge us;
    you, Lord, yourself are our Father,
    Our Redeemer is your ancient name.
    Why, Lord, leave us to stray from your ways
    and harden our hearts against fearing you?
    Return, for the sake of your servants,
    the tribes of your inheritance.
    Why have the wicked set foot in your sanctuary,
    why are our enemies trampling your sanctuary?
    We have long been like people you do not rule,
    people who do not bear your name.

    Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down
    – at your Presence the mountains would melt.


    Responsory
    Is 63:19 – 64:1; 59:11

    ℟. Lord, we have long been like people you do not rule, people who do not bear your name.* Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down!
    ℣. We wait for the justice that never comes, for salvation that is removed far away from us.* Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down!


    ________

    Second Reading
    From a sermon by St Proclus of Constantinople
    The waters are made holy

    Christ appeared in the world, and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it lustre and joy. He bore the world’s sin and crushed the world’s enemy. He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men. Into the fabric of miracles he interwove ever greater miracles.
        For on this day land and sea share between them the grace of the Saviour, and the whole world is filled with joy. Today’s feast of the Epiphany manifests even more wonders than the feast of Christmas.
        On the feast of the Saviour’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger; but on today’s feast of the Epiphany it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan.
        At Christmas we saw a weak baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today’s feast, we see a perfect man, hinting at the perfect Son who proceeds from the all-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the royal robe of his body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.
        Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.
        Today every creature shouts in resounding song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is he who comes in every age, for this is not his first coming.
        And who is he? Tell us more clearly, I beg you, blessed David: The Lord is God and has shone upon us. David is not alone in prophesying this; the apostle Paul adds his own witness, saying: The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all men, and instructing us. Not for some men, but for all. To Jews and Greeks alike God bestows salvation through baptism, offering baptism as a common grace for all.
        Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but now the water of baptism has recalled the dead to life by the power of the one who was baptized. In the days of the flood the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odour of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a dove, reveals the Lord of mercy.


    Responsory

    ℟. Jesus, Light from Light, was revealed to us today when John baptized him in the river Jordan.* We believe that he was born of the Virgin Mary.
    ℣. The heavens above him opened, and the Father’s voice was heard.* We believe that he was born of the Virgin Mary.


    ________

    Psalm 76 (77)
    Remembering the works of the Lord


    “We are in difficulties on every side, but never consumed” (2 Cor 4:8).

    Your ways, O God, are holy: what god is as great as our God?

    I crý alóud to Gód, *
        cry alóud to Gód that he may héar me.

    In the dáy of my distréss I sought the Lórd. †
        My hánds were raised at níght without céasing; *
        my sóul refúsed to be consóled.
    I remémbered my Gód and I gróaned. *
        I póndered and my spírit fáinted.

    You withhéld sléep from my éyes. *
        I was tróubled, I cóuld not spéak.
    I thóught of the dáys of long agó *
        and remémbered the yéars long pást.
    At níght I músed within my héart. *
        I póndered and my spírit quéstioned.

    ‘Will the Lórd rejéct us for éver? *
        Will he shów us his fávour no móre?
    Has his lóve vánished for éver? *
        Has his prómise cóme to an énd?
    Does Gód forgét his mércy *
        or in ánger withhóld his compássion?’

    I said: ‘Thís is what cáuses my gríef; *
        that the wáy of the Most Hígh has chánged.’
    I remémber the déeds of the Lórd, *
        I remémber your wónders of óld,
    I múse on áll your wórks *
        and pónder your míghty déeds.

    Your wáys, O Gód, are hóly. *
        What gód is gréat as our Gód?
    Yóu are the Gód who works wónders. *
        Yóu showed your pówer among the péoples.
    Your stróng arm redéemed your péople, *
        the sóns of Jácob and Jóseph.

    The wáters sáw you, O Gód, *
        the wáters sáw you and trémbled;
    the dépths were móved with térror. *
        The clóuds póured down ráin,
    the skíes sent fórth their vóice; *
        your árrows fláshed to and fró.

    Your thúnder rólled round the ský, *
        your fláshes líghted up the wórld.
    The éarth was móved and trémbled *
        when your wáy léd through the séa,
    your páth through the míghty wáters *
        and nó one sáw your fóotprints.

    You gúided your péople like a flóck *
        by the hánd of Móses and Áaron.

    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.

    Your ways, O God, are holy: what god is as great as our God?


    Psalm-prayer

    Father, you established your ancient covenant by signs and wonders, but more wondrously you confirmed the new one through the sacrifice of your Son. Guide your Church through the pathways of life, that we may be led to the land of promise and celebrate your name with lasting praise.


    ________

    Canticle
    1 Samuel 2
    The song of Hannah, mother of Samuel


    “He put down the mighty from their seats and exalted the lowly; he filled the hungry with good things” (Lk 1:52-53).

    My heart exults in the Lord: he humbles and he exalts.

    My heart exults in the Lord, *
        I find my strength in my God;
    my mouth laughs at my enemies *
        as I rejoice in your saving help.
    There is none like the Lord, †
        there is none besides you. *
        There is no Rock like our God.

    Bring your haughty words to an end, *
        let no boasts fall from your lips,
    for the Lord is a God who knows all. *
        It is he who weighs men’s deeds.

    The bows of the mighty are broken, *
        but the weak are clothed with strength.
    Those with plenty must labour for bread, *
        but the hungry need work no more.
    The childless wife has children now *
        but the fruitful wife bears no more.

    It is the Lord who gives life and death, *
        he brings men to the grave and back;
    it is the Lord who gives poverty and riches. *
        He brings men low and raises them on high.

    He lifts up the lowly from the dust, *
        from the ash heap he raises the poor
    to set him in the company of princes, *
        to give him a glorious throne.

    For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, *
        on them he has set the world.
    He guards the steps of his faithful, *
        but the wicked perish in darkness,
    for no man’s power gives him victory. *
        The enemies of the Lord shall be broken.

    The Most High will thunder in the heavens, *
        the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
    He will give power to his king *
        and exalt the might of his anointed.

    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.

    My heart exults in the Lord: he humbles and he exalts.


    ________

    Psalm 96 (97)
    The glory of God in his judgements


    “This psalm tells of the salvation of the world and of the faith all peoples would have in Christ” (St Athanasius).

    The Lord is king, let earth rejoice. †

    The Lord is kíng, let éarth rejóice, *
        let áll the cóastlands be glád.
    Clóud and dárkness are his ráiment; *
        his thróne, jústice and ríght.

    A fíre prepáres his páth; *
        it búrns up his fóes on every síde.
    His líghtnings líght up the wórld, *
        the éarth trémbles at the síght.

    The móuntains mélt like wáx *
        before the Lórd of áll the éarth.
    The skíes procláim his jústice; *
        all péoples sée his glóry.

    Let thóse who serve ídols be ashámed, †
        those who bóast of their wórthless góds. *
        All you spírits, wórship hím.

    Síon héars and is glád; †
        the péople of Júdah rejóice *
        becáuse of your júdgements, O Lórd.

    For yóu indéed are the Lórd †
        most hígh above áll the éarth, *
        exálted far abóve all spírits.

    The Lórd loves thóse who hate évil; †
        he gúards the sóuls of his sáints; *
        he séts them frée from the wícked.

    Líght shines fórth for the júst *
        and jóy for the úpright of héart.
    Rejóice, you júst, in the Lórd; *
        give glóry to his hóly náme.

    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 Lord is king, let earth rejoice.


    Psalm-prayer

    Father, you clothe the sky with light and the depths of the ocean with darkness. Among the sons of men you work wonders, and rain terror upon the enemy. Look upon your servants. Do not try us by fire but bring us rejoicing to the shelter of your home.


    ________

    Short Reading
    Isaiah 49:8-9

    I have formed you and have appointed you as a covenant of the people, to restore the land and distribute the estates that lie waste, to say to prisoners, ‘Come out’, to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’


    ________

    Short Responsory

    All the kings of the earth will adore him.
    – All the kings of the earth will adore him.
    All the peoples will serve him.
    – All the kings of the earth will adore him.
    Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
    – All the kings of the earth will adore him.


    ________

    Canticle
    Benedictus
    The Messiah and the one who was sent before him

    We saw his star rising in the East and we have come with gifts to adore the Lord.

    Bléssed be the Lórd, the Gód of Ísrael! *
        He has vísited his péople and redéemed them.

    He has raised úp for ús a mighty sáviour *
        in the hóuse of Dávid his sérvant,
    as he prómised by the líps of holy mén, *
        thóse who were his próphets from of óld.

    A sáviour who would frée us from our fóes, *
        from the hánds of áll who háte us.
    So his lóve for our fáthers is fulfílled *
        and his hóly covenant remémbered.

    He swóre to Ábraham our fáther to gránt us, *
        that frée from féar, and sáved from the hánds of our fóes,
    we might sérve him in hóliness and jústice *
        all the dáys of our lífe in his présence.

    As for yóu, little chíld, *
        you shall be cálled a próphet of Gód, the Most Hígh.
    You shall go ahéad of the Lórd *
        to prépare his wáys befóre him,

    To make knówn to his péople their salvátion *
        through forgíveness of áll their síns,
    the loving-kíndness of the héart of our Gód *
        who vísits us like the dáwn from on hígh.

    He will give líght to those in dárkness, †
        those who dwéll in the shádow of déath, *
        and gúide us into the wáy of péace.

    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.

    We saw his star rising in the East and we have come with gifts to adore the Lord.


    ________

    Prayers and intercessions

    The Word of God, eternally begotten of the Father, became in the fullness of time a child born for us and a son given to us. Let us praise him:
    – Blessed be the Lord.

    Lord Jesus, be with us today;
        help us to live as men who have heard the good news of salvation.
    – Blessed be the Lord.

    Sun of Justice, radiance of God’s glory and light of the world;
        help those who live in darkness and find no answer to their problems.
    – Blessed be the Lord.

    For us you became a child at Bethlehem;
        renew the childlike simplicity of our faith.
    – Blessed be the Lord.

    You are the living bread, the source of eternal life;
        fill our hearts with joy through the sacrament of your body and blood.
    – Blessed be the Lord.


    ________

    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.


    ________


    God and Father, light of all mankind,
        make our hearts radiant with the splendour of that light
        which long ago you shed on our fathers in the faith,
        and give your people the joy of lasting peace.
    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.


    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.