Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Sunday 10 January 2021

    The Baptism of the Lord - Feast 

    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.



    Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
    Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
    Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
    Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

    Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
    Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
    Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
    Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

    Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
    Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
    Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
    O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

    Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
    Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
    Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
    O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.

    High King of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun,
    O grant me its joys after victory is won!
    Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
    Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.


    Psalm 28 (29)
    Praise the word of the Lord

    “A voice was heard from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son’” (Mt 3:17).

    The voice of the God of majesty resounds on the waters.

    O give the Lord, you sons of God,
    give the Lord glory and power;
    give the Lord the glory of his name.
    Adore the Lord in his holy court.

    The Lord’s voice resounding on the waters,
    the Lord on the immensity of waters;
    the voice of the Lord, full of power,
    the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.

    The Lord’s voice shattering the cedars,
    the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon;
    he makes Lebanon leap like a calf
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

    The Lord’s voice flashes flames of fire.
    The Lord’s voice shaking the wilderness,
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh;
    the Lord’s voice rending the oak tree
    and stripping the forest bare.

    The God of glory thunders.
    In his temple they all cry: ‘Glory!’
    The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord sits as king for ever.

    The Lord will give strength to his people,
    the Lord will bless his people with peace.

    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.

    The voice of the God of majesty resounds on the waters.


    You live for ever, Lord and King. All things of the earth justly sing your glory and honour. Strengthen your people against evil that we may rejoice in your peace and trust in your eternal promise.


    Your voice sounds over the waters, Lord, as you reign above the flood. May we, who are born again in Christ by the new gift of water, praise your wonderful deeds with him in your holy temple.


    Psalm 65 (66)
    Hymn for a sacrifice of thanksgiving

    “The resurrection of the Lord and the conversion of the pagans” (Hesychius).

    All the earth will adore you, Lord, and rejoice before you: you have brought forth a new light to shine for all ages.

    Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
    O sing to the glory of his name.
    O render him glorious praise.
    Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!

    Because of the greatness of your strength
    your enemies cringe before you.
    Before you all the earth shall bow;
    shall sing to you, sing to your name!’

    Come and see the works of God,
    tremendous his deeds among men.
    He turned the sea into dry land,
    they passed through the river dry-shod.

    Let our joy then be in him;
    he rules for ever by his might.
    His eyes keep watch over the nations:
    let rebels not rise against him.

    O peoples, bless our God,
    let the voice of his praise resound,
    of the God who gave life to our souls
    and kept our feet from stumbling.

    For you, O God, have tested us,
    you have tried us as silver is tried:
    you led us, God, into the snare;
    you laid a heavy burden on our backs.

    You let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water
    but then you brought us relief.

    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.

    All the earth will adore you, Lord, and rejoice before you: you have brought forth a new light to shine for all ages.


    Psalm 65 (66)

    Blessed be God, who gave life to my soul and has brought me relief.

    Burnt offering I bring to your house;
    to you I will pay my vows,
    the vows which my lips have uttered,
    which my mouth spoke in my distress.

    I will offer burnt offerings of fatlings
    with the smoke of burning rams.
    I will offer bullocks and goats.

    Come and hear, all who fear God.
    I will tell what he did for my soul:
    to him I cried aloud,
    with high praise ready on my tongue.

    If there had been evil in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
    But truly God has listened;
    he has heeded the voice of my prayer.

    Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
    nor withhold his love from me.

    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.

    Blessed be God, who gave life to my soul and has brought me relief.


    Almighty Father, in the death and resurrection of your own Son you brought us through the waters of baptism to the shores of new life. By those waters and the fire of the Holy Spirit you have given each of us consolation. Accept our sacrifice of praise; may our lives be a total offering to you, and may we deserve to enter your house and there with Christ praise your unfailing power.


    ℣. This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    ℟. To him, then, listen.


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

    First Reading
    Isaiah 42:1-9,49:1-9

    Here is my servant whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
    I have endowed him with my spirit
    that he may bring true justice to the nations.

    He does not cry out or shout aloud,
    or make his voice heard in the streets.
    He does not break the crushed reed,
    nor quench the wavering flame.

    Faithfully he brings true justice;
    he will neither waver, nor be crushed
    until true justice is established on earth,
    for the islands are awaiting his law.

    Thus says God, the Lord,
    he who created the heavens and spread them out,
    who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
    who gave breath to its people
    and life to the creatures that move in it:

    I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
    I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
    I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,

    to open the eyes of the blind,
    to free captives from prison,
    and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.

    My name is ‘The Lord’,
    I will not yield my glory to another,
    nor my honour to idols.

    See how former predictions have come true.
    Fresh things I now foretell;
    before they appear I tell you of them.

    Islands, listen to me,
    pay attention, remotest peoples.
    The Lord called me before I was born,
    from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.

    He made my mouth a sharp sword,
    and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
    He made me into a sharpened arrow,
    and concealed me in his quiver.

    He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel)
    in whom I shall be glorified’;
    while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
    I have exhausted myself for nothing’;

    and all the while my cause was with the Lord,
    my reward with my God.
    I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,
    my God was my strength.

    And now the Lord has spoken,
    he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
    to bring Jacob back to him,
    to gather Israel to him:

    ‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,
    to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;
    I will make you the light of the nations
    so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

    Thus says the Lord,
    the redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
    to him whose life is despised, whom the nations loathe,
    to the slave of despots:
    Kings will stand up when they see you,
    and princes will bow,
    for the sake of the Lord, who has been faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.

    Thus says the Lord:
    At the favourable time I will answer you,
    on the day of salvation I will help you.
    (I have formed you and have appointed you
    as covenant of the people.)
    I will restore the land
    and assign you the estates that lie waste.
    I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out’,
    to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

    On every roadway they will graze,
    and each bare height shall be their pasture.


    ℟. Today heaven opened when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. The Spirit, like a dove, rested upon him, and the Father’s voice resounded:* This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.
    ℣. The Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form, and a voice came from heaven:* This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.


    Second Reading
    From a sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzen
    The baptism of Christ

    Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.
    John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.
    The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptized by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptized by you: we should also add, “and for you,” for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.
    Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens, like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.
    Today let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.


    ℟. Today the heavens are opened, the waters of the sea are made sweet, earth is glad, the mountains and hills rejoice,* because Christ is baptized in the Jordan by John.
    ℣. Why is it, sea, that you fled, that you turned back, Jordan, on your course?* Because Christ is baptized in the Jordan by John.



    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.


    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.


    Let us pray.

    Almighty, ever-living God,
    when Christ was baptized in the river Jordan
    the Holy Spirit came upon him
    and your voice proclaimed from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son.’
    Grant that we,
    who by water and the Holy Spirit are your adopted children,
    may continue steadfast in 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.


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

    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.