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

Office Readings


  • Monday 29 June 2020

    Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Solemnity 


    Office of Readings


    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.


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    Hymn

    The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
    The Apostles’ glory let us sing;
    And all with hearts of gladness raise
    Due hymns of thankful love and praise.

    For they the Church’s princes are,
    Triumphant leaders in the war,
    In heavenly courts a warrior band,
    True lights to lighten every land.

    Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
    And hope that never yields nor faints,
    The love of Christ in perfect glow
    That lays the prince of this world low.

    In them the Father’s glory shone,
    In them the will of God the Son,
    In them exults the Holy Ghost,
    Through them rejoice the heavenly host.


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    Psalm 18 (19)
    Praise of God the creator


    “The Rising Sun has come to visit us to guide our feet in the way of peace” (Lk 1:78,79).

    Simon Peter, if you love me, feed my sheep.

    The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
    and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
    Day unto day takes up the story
    and night unto night makes known the message.

    No speech, no word, no voice is heard
    yet their span extends through all the earth,
    their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

    There he has placed a tent for the sun;
    it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
    rejoices like a champion to run its course.

    At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
    to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
    There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

    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.

    Simon Peter, if you love me, feed my sheep.


    Psalm-prayer

    To enlighten the world, Father, you sent to us your Word as the sun of truth and justice shining upon mankind. Illumine our eyes that we may discern your glory in the many works of your hand.


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    Psalm 63 (64)
    A prayer against enemies


    “This psalm in particular invites us to think about the passion of the Lord” (St Augustine).

    For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain: I must glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hear my voice, O God, as I complain,
    guard my life from dread of the foe.
    Hide me from the band of the wicked,
    from the throng of those who do evil.

    They sharpen their tongues like swords;
    they aim bitter words like arrows
    to shoot at the innocent from ambush,
    shooting suddenly and recklessly.

    They scheme their evil course;
    they conspire to lay secret snares.
    They say: ‘Who will see us?
    Who can search out our crimes?’

    He will search who searches the mind
    and knows the depths of the heart.
    God has shot them with his arrow
    and dealt them sudden wounds.
    Their own tongue has brought them to ruin
    and all who see them mock.

    Then will all men fear;
    they will tell what God has done.
    They will understand God’s deeds.
    The just will rejoice in the Lord
    and fly to him for refuge.
    All the upright hearts will glory.

    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.

    For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain: I must glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.


    Psalm-prayer

    Father, you gave your Son victory over the men who plotted evil against him; when he cried to you in his agony, you delivered him from fear of his enemies. May those who suffer with him in this life find refuge and success in you.


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    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).

    Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you over the waters.

    The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
    let all the coastlands be glad.
    Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
    his throne, justice and right.

    A fire prepares his path;
    it burns up his foes on every side.
    His lightnings light up the world,
    the earth trembles at the sight.

    The mountains melt like wax
    before the Lord of all the earth.
    The skies proclaim his justice;
    all peoples see his glory.

    Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
    those who boast of their worthless gods.
    All you spirits, worship him.

    Sion hears and is glad;
    the people of Judah rejoice
    because of your judgements, O Lord.

    For you indeed are the Lord
    most high above all the earth,
    exalted far above all spirits.

    The Lord loves those who hate evil;
    he guards the souls of his saints;
    he sets them free from the wicked.

    Light shines forth for the just
    and joy for the upright of heart.
    Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
    give glory to his holy name.

    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, if it is you, bid me come to you over the waters.


    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.


    ________

    ℣. The word of the Lord endures for ever.
    ℟. That word is the gospel which has been preached to you.


    ________

    The one-year and two-year cycles of readings are identical today.

    First Reading
    Galatians 1:15-2:10

    God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth. After that I went to Syria and Cilicia, and was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judaea, who had heard nothing except that their one-time persecutor was now preaching the faith he had previously tried to destroy; and they gave glory to God for me.
    It was not till fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas and took Titus with me. I went there as the result of a revelation, and privately I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed. And what happened? Even though Titus who had come with me is a Greek, he was not obliged to be circumcised. The question came up only because some who do not really belong to the brotherhood have furtively crept in to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Christ Jesus, and want to reduce us all to slavery. I was so determined to safeguard for you the true meaning of the Good News, that I refused even out of deference to yield to such people for one moment. As a result, these people who are acknowledged leaders – not that their importance matters to me, since God has no favourites – these leaders, as I say, had nothing to add to the Good News as I preach it. On the contrary, they recognised that I had been commissioned to preach the Good News to the uncircumcised just as Peter had been commissioned to preach it to the circumcised. The same person whose action had made Peter the apostle of the circumcised had given me a similar mission to the pagans. So, James, Cephas and John, these leaders, these pillars, shook hands with Barnabas and me as a sign of partnership: we were to go to the pagans and they to the circumcised. The only thing they insisted on was that we should remember to help the poor, as indeed I was anxious to do.


    Responsory

    ℟. You are Peter, and it is upon this rock that I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,* and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
    ℣. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,* and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.


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    Second Reading
    From a sermon by Saint Augustine
    The martyrs had seen what they proclaimed

    This day has been consecrated for us by the martyrdom of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. It is not some obscure martyrs we are talking about. Their sound has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. These martyrs had seen what they proclaimed, they pursued justice by confessing the truth, by dying for the truth.
    The blessed Peter, the first of the Apostles, the ardent lover of Christ, who was found worthy to hear, And I say to you, that you are Peter. He himself, you see, had just said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Christ said to him, And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. Upon this rock I will build the faith you have just confessed. Upon your words, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, I will build my Church; because you are Peter. Peter comes from petra, meaning a rock. Peter, “Rocky,” from “rock”; not “rock” from “Rocky.” Peter comes from the word for a rock in exactly the same way as the name Christian comes from Christ.
    Before his passion the Lord Jesus, as you know, chose those disciples of his whom he called apostles. Among these it was only Peter who almost everywhere was given the privilege of representing the whole Church. It was in the person of the whole Church, which he alone represented, that he was privileged to hear, To you will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. After all, it is not just one man that received these keys, but the Church in its unity. So this is the reason for Peter’s acknowledged pre-eminence, that he stood for the Church’s universality and unity, when he was told, To you I am entrusting, what has in fact been entrusted to all. To show you that it is the Church which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, listen to what the Lord says in another place to all his apostles: Receive the Holy Spirit; and immediately afterwards, Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven them; whose sins you retain, they will be retained.
    Quite rightly, too, did the Lord after his resurrection entrust his sheep to Peter to be fed. It is not, you see, that he alone among the disciples was fit to feed the Lord’s sheep; but when Christ speaks to one man, unity is being commended to us. And he first speaks to Peter, because Peter is the first among the apostles. Do not be sad, Apostle. Answer once, answer again, answer a third time. Let confession conquer three times with love, because self-assurance was conquered three times by fear. What you had bound three times must be loosed three times. Loose through love what you had bound through fear. And for all that, the Lord once, and again, and a third time, entrusted his sheep to Peter.
    There is one day for the passion of two apostles. But these two also were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labours, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching.


    Responsory

    ℟. O Paul, teacher of truth and apostle of the Gentiles,* you are truly worthy of honour.
    ℣. Through you, all nations have known the grace of God:* you are truly worthy of honour.


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    Vigils

    If time allows, those who celebrate the Office of Readings of a Sunday (or solemnity, or feast of the Lord) on the evening before, or at the crack of dawn on the day itself, may enrich the celebration with three Old Testament canticles and a Gospel reading.


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    Hymn
    Te Deum

    We praise you, O God:
    we acclaim you as the Lord.

    Everlasting Father,
    all the world bows down before you.

    All the angels sing your praise,
    the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers,

    all the cherubim and seraphim
    call out to you in unending song:

    Holy, Holy, Holy,
    is the Lord God of angel hosts!

    The heavens and the earth are filled
    with your majesty and glory.

    The glorious band of apostles,
    the noble company of prophets,

    the white-robed army who shed their blood for Christ,
    all sing your praise.

    And to the ends of the earth
    your holy Church proclaims her faith in you:

    Father, whose majesty is boundless,
    your true and only Son, who is to be adored,
    the Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.

    You, Christ, are the king of glory,
    Son of the eternal Father.

    When you took our nature to save mankind
    you did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.

    You overcame the power of death
    opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in you.

    Enthroned at God’s right hand in the glory of the Father,
    you will come in judgement according to your promise.

    You redeemed your people by your precious blood.
    Come, we implore you, to our aid.

    Grant us with the saints
    a place in eternal glory.

    The final part of the hymn may be omitted:

    Lord, save your people
    and bless your inheritance.

    Rule them and uphold them
    for ever and ever.

    Day by day we praise you:
    we acclaim you now and to all eternity.

    In your goodness, Lord, keep us free from sin.
    Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

    May your mercy always be with us, Lord,
    for we have hoped in you.

    In you, Lord, we put our trust:
    we shall not be put to shame.


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    Let us pray.

    Lord our God,
    may the blessed apostles Peter and Paul support us by their prayers.
    Through them you first taught your Church
    the Christian faith.
    Provide us now, by their intercession,
    with help for our eternal salvation.
    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.


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    Let us praise the Lord.
    – Thanks be to God.


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    The week’s sequence of readings from Scripture has been interrupted today, because today’s feast has a First Reading of its own.
    The reading you would otherwise have seen is shown below. It is perfectly reasonable (and encouraged) to join it on to yesterday’s or tomorrow’s First Reading, if it goes well with one of them and you think this is a sensible way of avoiding a gap.

    1 Samuel 31:1-4,2 Samuel 1:1-16
    Saul’s death

    The Philistines made war on Israel and the men of Israel fled from the Philistines and were slaughtered on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines pressed Saul and his sons hard and killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The fighting grew heavy about Saul; the bowmen took him off his guard, so that he fell wounded by the bowmen. Then Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through with it; I do not want these uncircumcised men to come and gloat over me.’ But his armour-bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
    After the death of Saul, David returned from his rout of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from the camp where Saul had been, his garments torn and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did homage. ‘Where do you come from?’ David asked him. ‘I have escaped from the Israelite camp’ he said. David said to him, ‘What happened? Tell me.’ He replied, ‘The people have fled from the battlefield and many of them have fallen. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead too.’
    David then asked the young soldier who brought the news, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’ I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,’ the young soldier replied ‘and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and the cavalry pressing him hard. Then he turned round and saw me, and shouted to me. I answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Who are you?” “An Amalekite” I replied. Then he said, “Stand over me and kill me, for a giddiness has come on me, though my life is wholly in me still.” So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that once he fell he could not survive. Then I took the crown he wore on his head and the bracelet on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.’
    Then David took hold of his garments and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. They mourned and wept and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the people of the Lord and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
    David said to the young soldier who had brought the news, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘I am the son of a resident alien,’ he answered ‘an Amalekite.’ David said, ‘How is it you were not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?’ Then David called one of his soldiers. ‘Come here,’ he said ‘strike him down.’ The man struck him and he died. ‘Your blood be on your own head,’ David said ‘for your own lips gave evidence against you when you said, “I killed the Lord’s anointed.”’


    Copyright © 1996-2020 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.