Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Monday 22 February 2021

    Saint Peter's Chair - 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.



    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.


    Psalm 18 (19):2-7
    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).

    Peter said: ‘God raised up and glorified Jesus, whom you had put to death.’

    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.

    Peter said: ‘God raised up and glorified Jesus, whom you had put to death.’


    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.


    Psalm 63 (64)
    A prayer against enemies

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

    The Lord sent his angel and delivered me from the power of Herod.

    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.

    The Lord sent his angel and delivered me from the power of Herod.


    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.


    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).

    A bright cloud overshadowed them and they heard the voice of the Father, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’

    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.

    A bright cloud overshadowed them and they heard the voice of the Father, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’


    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.


    ℣. Lord, to whom shall we go?
    ℟. You have the words of eternal life.


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

    First Reading
    Acts 11:1-18
    God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life

    The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.
    ‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”
    ‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’
    This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’


    ℟. I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail;* when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.
    ℣. The truth concerning me did not come to you from any human being, but was given to you directly by my Father in heaven;* when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.


    Second Reading
    From a sermon of Saint Leo the Great, pope
    The Church of Christ rises on the firm foundation of Peter's faith

    Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the calling of all nations, and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church. Though there are in God’s people many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler. Beloved, how great and wonderful is this sharing of his power that God in his goodness has given to this man. Whatever Christ has willed to be shared in common by Peter and the other leaders of the Church, it is only through Peter that he has given to others what he has not refused to bestow on them.
    The Lord now asks the apostles as a whole what men think of him. As long as they are recounting the uncertainty born of human ignorance, their reply is always the same.
    But when he presses the disciples to say what they think themselves, the first to confess his faith in the Lord is the one who is first in rank among the apostles.
    Peter says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replies: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” You are blessed, he means, because my Father has taught you. You have not been deceived by earthly opinion, but have been enlightened by inspiration from heaven. It was not flesh and blood that pointed me out to you, but the one whose only-begotten Son I am.
    He continues: And I say to you. In other words, as my Father has revealed to you my godhead, so I in my turn make known to you your pre-eminence. You are Peter: though I am the inviolable rock, the cornerstone that makes both one, the foundation apart from which no one can lay any other, yet you also are a rock, for you are given solidity by my strength, so that which is my very own because of my power is common between us through your participation.
    And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. On this strong foundation, he says, I will build an everlasting temple. The great height of my Church, which is to penetrate the heavens, shall rise on the firm foundation of this faith.
    The gates of hell shall not silence this confession of faith; the chains of death shall not bind it. Its words are the words of life. As they lift up to heaven those who profess them, so they send down to hell those who contradict them.
    Blessed Peter is therefore told: To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth is also bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.
    The authority vested in this power passed also to the other apostles, and the institution established by this decree has been continued in all the leaders of the Church. But it is not without good reason that what is bestowed on all is entrusted to one. For Peter received it separately in trust because he is the prototype set before all the rulers of the Church.


    ℟. Before I called you away from your boat, Simon Peter, I knew you for my own; I have appointed you leader of my people.* I have delivered to you the keys of the kingdom.
    ℣. Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.* I have delivered to you the keys of the kingdom.


    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 God,
    as you built your Church on the rock of Peter’s faith,
    grant that with such a firm foundation
    we may hold fast in every storm.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    God, for ever and ever.


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


    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.

    Exodus 6:2-13
    The call of Moses

    God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the Lord. To Abraham and Isaac and Jacob I appeared as El Shaddai; I did not make myself known to them by my name THE LORD. Also, I made my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land they lived in as strangers. And I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, enslaved by the Egyptians, and have remembered my covenant. Say this, then, to the sons of Israel, “I am the Lord. I will free you of the burdens which the Egyptians lay on you. I will release you from slavery to them, and with my arm outstretched and my strokes of power I will deliver you. I will adopt you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that it is I, the Lord your God, who have freed you from the Egyptians’ burdens. Then I will bring you to the land I swore that I would give to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and will give it to you for your own; I, the Lord, will do this!”’ Moses told this to the sons of Israel, but they would not listen to him, so crushed was their spirit and so cruel their slavery.
    The Lord then said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and tell him to let the sons of Israel leave his land.’ But Moses answered to the Lord’s face: ‘Look,’ said he ‘since the sons of Israel have not listened to me, why should Pharaoh listen to me, a man slow of speech?’ The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and ordered them both to go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

    Copyright © 1996-2021 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.