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

Office Readings

  • Sunday 4 April 2021

    Easter Sunday 

    Office of Readings

    The Office of Readings today is only recited by those who have not been to the Easter Vigil. It starts immediately with the first reading, with no introduction preceding it.


    First Reading
    Exodus 14:15-15:1
    The sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea

    The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myself, at the expense of Pharaoh and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.’
    Then the angel of God, who marched at the front of the army of Israel, changed station and moved to their rear. The pillar of cloud changed station from the front to the rear of them, and remained there. It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long.
    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
    In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and of cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway. ‘Let us flee from the Israelites,’ the Egyptians cried. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!’
    ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.’
    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them.
    That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.
    It was then that Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song in honour of the Lord:


    Exodus 15
    Hymn of victory after crossing the Red Sea

    Let us sing to the Lord: glorious is his triumph.

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
    Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!
    The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation.
    This is my God and I extol him,
    my father’s God and I give him praise.
    The Lord is a warrior!
    ‘The Lord’ is his name.

    The chariots of Pharaoh he hurled into the sea,
    the flower of his army is drowned in the sea.
    The deeps hide them; they sank like a stone.
    Your right hand, Lord, glorious in its power,
    your right hand, Lord, has shattered the enemy.

    You will lead your people and plant them on your mountain,
    the place, O Lord, where you have made your home,
    the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have made.
    The Lord will reign
    for ever and ever.

    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.

    Let us sing to the Lord: glorious is his triumph.


    O God, through the light of the New Testament you have revealed to us the meaning of the miracles you performed in the earliest times.
    The Red Sea was a symbol of the baptismal font,
    and the people freed from servitude prefigured the sacraments of the Christian people.
    Grant that all nations who have received Israel’s privileges as a reward for their faith
    may be regenerated by sharing in your Spirit.
    Through Christ our Lord,


    Second Reading
    Ezekiel 36:16-28

    The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions; to me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstruation. I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved. And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, “These are the people of the Lord; they have been exiled from his land.” But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone. And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.


    Psalm 41 (42):2-3,5,42:3-4
    Longing for the Lord and his temple

    Like a deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

    Like the deer that yearns
    for running streams,
    so my soul is yearning
    for you, my God.

    My soul is thirsting for God,
    the God of my life;
    when can I enter and see
    the face of God?

    These things will I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
    how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
    into the house of God,
    amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
    the throng wild with joy.

    O send forth your light and your truth;
    let these be my guide.
    Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.

    And I will come to the altar of God,
    the God of my joy.
    My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp,
    O God, my God.

    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.

    Like a deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.


    Father in heaven, when your strength takes possession of us we no longer say: Why are you cast down, my soul? So now that the surging waves of your indignation have passed over us, let us feel the healing calm of your forgiveness. Inspire us to yearn for you always, like the deer for running streams, until you satisfy every longing in heaven.


    Lord God, never-failing fountain of life eternal, by the saving waters of baptism you called us from the depths of sin, to the depths of mercy. Do not forget the trials of our exile, but from the wellspring of the Word, satisfy our thirst for you so we may come rejoicing to your holy mountain.


    O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
    look kindly upon your sacrament that is the Church in this world,
    and carry through the work of salvation smoothly according to your eternal plan.
    May the whole world see and experience how
    what is fallen is stood upright once more;
    what was corrupted by age is once more made new;
    and how all things are made whole through Christ, to whom they owe their creation,
    who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


    Third Reading
    Romans 6:3-11
    Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again

    When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
    If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a Christian dies, of course, he has finished with sin.
    But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.


    Psalm 117 (118):1-2,16-17,22-23
    A cry of rejoicing and triumph

    “This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the cornerstone” (Acts 4:11).

    Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

    Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
    for his love endures for ever.
    Let the sons of Israel say:
    ‘His love endures for ever.’

    The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
    his right hand raised me.
    I shall not die, I shall live
    and recount his deeds.

    The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the corner stone.
    This is the work of the Lord,
    a marvel in our eyes.

    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.

    Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.


    Lord God, you have given us the great day of rejoicing: Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders, has become the cornerstone of the Church, our spiritual home. Shed upon your Church the rays of your glory, that she may be seen as the gate of salvation open to all nations. Let cries of joy and exultation ring out from her tents, to celebrate the wonder of Christ’s resurrection.


    Fourth Reading
    Matthew 28:1-10
    He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you into Galilee

    After the sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, for the angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him, that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him.” Now I have told you.’ Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.
    And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said. And the women came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’


    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.

    On this day, Lord God,
    you opened for us the way to eternal life
    through your only Son’s victory over death.
    Grant that as we celebrate the feast of his resurrection
    we may be renewed by your Holy Spirit
    and rise again in the light of life.
    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.

    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.