Advent

WEEK I - THURSDAY

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If Morning Prayer is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

Antiphon: Come let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.





Office of Readings

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 -  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Amen. (Alleluia.)


HYMN

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry

Or:

-
Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam's race,
Transformed them into sons of light,
New creatures by your saving grace.

To you who stooped to sinful man
We render homage and all praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose gift to man is endless days.
Text: Stanbrook Abbey; Melody Erhalt uns, Herr L.M.; Midi: Cyberhymnal.


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

Psalm 18:31-51
Hymn of Thanksgiving
If God is on our side, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

               I
As for God, his ways are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.

For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?
the God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.

My feet you make swift as the deer's;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.
You have trained my hands for battle
and my hands to bend the heavy bow. Glory...

Antiphon 1 The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.


Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.

             II
You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.


Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

              III
Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
the God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.

You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,
so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.

He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord God, our strength and salvation, put in us the flame of your love and make our love for you grow to a perfect love which reaches to our neighbor.

Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.


Hear the Word of the Lord, all you nations.
- Proclaim it to the ends of the earth.


FIRST READING
From the book of the prophet Isaiah           Isaiah 16:1-5; 17:4-8

Zion, refuge of the Moabites. The conversion of Ephraim.

Send lambs
to the king of the country
from Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.

Flying backwards and forwards
like bewildered nestlings,
at the ford of the Arnon.

'Advise us what to do,
decide for us.
'Spread your shadow as if it were night
at the height of noon.
Hide those who have been driven out,
do not let the refugee be seen.

'Let those who have been driven out of Moab
stay with you;
be their refuge
against the destroyer.'

Once the oppression is over,
and the destroyer is no more,
and those now trampling the country underfoot have gone away,
the throne will be made secure in gentleness,
and on it there will sit in all fidelity,
within the tent of David,
a judge careful for justice
and eager for integrity.

That day, the glory of Jacob will be diminished,
from being fat he will grow lean;
as when a reaper hugs an armful of standing corn
and slices off the ears,
or when they glean the ears in the Valley of Rephaim:
nothing remains but gleanings;
or when an olive tree is beaten:
two or three berries left on the topmost bough,
four or five on the branches of the tree.
It is the Lord, the God of Israel, who speaks.

That day, man will look to his creator
and his eyes will turn to the Holy One of Israel.
He will no longer look after the altars, his own handiwork,
nor gaze at what his hands have made:
the sacred poles and the solar pillars.


RESPONSORY          Jeremiah 33:15, 16; Isaiah 16:5
I shall raise up an heir for David,
one who is just;
he will make fair judgment prevail on earth,
- and this is the name they will give him:
the Lord is our righteousness.

A throne of mercy will be set up;
there a true judge will set,
one who seeks justice and is swift to do right.
- and this is the name they will give him:
the Lord is our righteousness.


SECOND READING

From a commentary on the Diatessaron by St Ephrem
(Sermo 5, In Adventu Domini,1-3: Opera Omnia, Edit. cisterc. 4 [1966], 188-190)

Keep watch: he is to come again

To prevent his disciples from asking the time of his coming, Christ said: "About that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son. It is not for you to know times or moments." He has kept those things hidden so that we may keep watch, each of us thinking that he will come in our own day. If he had revealed the time of his coming, his coming would have lost its savour: it would no longer be an object of yearning for the nations and the age in which it will be revealed. He promised that he would come but did not say when he would come, and so all generations and ages await him eagerly.

Though the Lord has established the signs of his coming, the time of their fulfilment has not been plainly revealed. These signs have come and gone with a multiplicity of change; more than that, they are still present. His final coming is like his first. As holy men and prophets waited for him, thinking that he would reveal himself in their own day, so today each of the faithful longs to welcome him in his own day, because Christ has not made plain the day of his coming.

He has not made it plain for this reason especially, that no one may think that he whose power and dominion rule all numbers and times is ruled by fate and time. He described the signs of his coming; how could what he has himself decided be hidden from him? Therefore, he used these words to increase respect for the signs of his coming, so that from that day forward all generations and ages might think that he would come again in their own day.

Keep watch; when the body is asleep nature takes control of us, and what is done is not done by our will but by force, by the impulse of nature. When deep listlessness takes possession of the soul, for example, faint-heartedness or melancholy, the enemy overpowers it and makes it do what it does not will. The force of nature, the enemy of the soul, is in control.

When the Lord commanded us to be vigilant, he meant vigilance in both parts of man: in the body, against the tendency to sleep; in the soul, against lethargy and timidity. As Scripture says: "Wake up, you just," and "I have risen, and am still with you;" and again, "Do not lose heart. Therefore, having this ministry, we do not lose heart."


RESPONSORY          Isaiah 55:3-4; Acts 28:28
I shall make with you an everlasting covenant,
I shall send the promise given in mercy to David.
 - I have set him as a witness to the peoples,
as leader and teacher of all nations.

This saving act of God is for all nations,
and they will heed it.
 - I have set him as a witness to the peoples,
as leader and teacher of all nations.


COLLECT
Stir up your power, O Lord,
and come to our help with mighty strength,
that what our sins impede
the grace of your mercy may hasten.
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.
- And give him thanks.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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