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

Office of Readings

  • Tuesday 3 May 2022

    Saints Philip and James, Apostles - 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.



    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).

    Their voice has gone out through all the earth, their message to the ends of the world. Alleluia.

    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.

    Their voice has gone out through all the earth, their message to the ends of the world. Alleluia.


    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).

    They told what God has done; they understood God’s deeds. Alleluia.

    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.

    They told what God has done; they understood God’s deeds. Alleluia.


    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).

    They proclaimed the justice of God; all peoples saw his glory. Alleluia.

    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.

    They proclaimed the justice of God; all peoples saw his glory. Alleluia.


    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.


    ℣. They told of the glories of the Lord and of his might, alleluia.
    ℟. And the marvellous deeds he had done, alleluia.


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

    First Reading
    Acts 5:12-32
    The apostles in the primitive Church

    They all used to meet by common consent in the Portico of Solomon. No one else ever dared to join them, but the people were loud in their praise and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily. So many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles that the sick were even taken out into the streets and laid on beds and sleeping-mats in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past. People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.
    Then the high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
    But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
    When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
    When they had brought them in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation. ‘We gave you a formal warning’ he said ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt of this man’s death on us.’ In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’


    ℟. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power,* and they were all given great respect, alleluia.
    ℣. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly,* and they were all given great respect, alleluia.


    Second Reading
    From the treatise On the Prescription against Heretics by Tertullian, priest
    The preaching of the Apostles

    Our Lord Jesus Christ himself declared what he was, what he had been, how he was carrying out his Father’s will, what obligations he demanded of men. This he did during his earthly life, either publicly to the crowds or privately to his disciples. Twelve of these he picked out to be his special companions, appointed to teach the nations.
    One of them fell from his place. The remaining eleven were commanded by Christ, as he was leaving the earth to return to the Father after his resurrection, to go and teach the nations and to baptize them into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    The apostles cast lots and added Matthias to their number, in place of Judas, as the twelfth apostle. The authority for this action is to be found in a prophetic psalm of David. After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit which had been promised to them, so that they could work miracles and proclaim the truth, they first bore witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and established churches throughout Judaea. They then went out into the whole world and proclaimed to the nations the same doctrinal faith.
    They set up churches in every city. Other churches received from them a living transplant of faith and the seed of doctrine, and through this daily process of transplanting they became churches. They therefore qualify as apostolic churches by being the offspring of churches that are apostolic.
    Every family has to be traced back to its origins. That is why we can say that all these great churches constitute that one original Church of the apostles; for it is from them that they all come. They are all primitive, all apostolic, because they are all one. They bear witness to this unity by the peace in which they all live, the brotherhood which is their name, the fellowship to which they are pledged. The principle on which these associations are based is common tradition by which they share the same sacramental bond.
    The only way in which we can prove what the apostles taught – that is to say, what Christ revealed to them – is through those same churches. They were founded by the apostles themselves, who first preached to them by what is called the living voice and later by means of letters.
    The Lord had said clearly in former times: I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot endure them now. But he went on to say: When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into the whole truth. Thus Christ shows us that the apostles had full knowledge of the truth, for he had promised that they would receive the whole truth through the Spirit of truth. His promise was certainly fulfilled, since the Acts of the Apostles prove that the Holy Spirit came down on them.


    ℟. Some Greeks approached Philip and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we would like to see Jesus.’* Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus, alleluia.
    ℣. Instead of being told, ‘You are no people of mine,’ they will now be called sons of the living God.* Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus, alleluia.


    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.

    Lord God, you give us the joy every year
    of celebrating the feast day of the apostles Philip and James.
    Make us partners, by their prayers,
    in the passion and resurrection of your only-begotten Son,
    so that we may come to the eternal vision of your glory.
    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.

    Apocalypse 8:1-13
    The seven angels punish the earth

    The Lamb then broke the seventh seal, and there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
    Next I saw seven trumpets being given to the seven angels who stand in the presence of God. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. A large quantity of incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that stood in front of the throne; and so from the angel’s hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar, which he then threw down on to the earth; immediately there came peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, and the earth shook.
    The seven angels that had the seven trumpets now made ready to sound them. The first blew his trumpet and, with that, hail and fire, mixed with blood, were dropped on the earth; a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of all trees, and every blade of grass was burnt. The second angel blew his trumpet, and it was as though a great mountain, all on fire, had been dropped into the sea: a third of the sea turned into blood, a third of all the living things in the sea were killed, and a third of all ships were destroyed. The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a ball of fire, and it fell on a third of all rivers and springs; this was the star called Wormwood, and a third of all water turned to bitter wormwood, so that many people died from drinking it. The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were blasted, so that the light went out of a third of them and for a third of the day there was no illumination, and the same with the night.
    In my vision, I heard an eagle, calling aloud as it flew high overhead, ‘Trouble, trouble, trouble, for all the people on earth at the sound of the other three trumpets which the three angels are going to blow.’

    Copyright © 1996-2022 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.