Office of Readings

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.)


On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry


Sing praise to our Creator,
O sons of Adam’s race;
God’s children by adoption,
Baptized into His grace.

Praise the Holy Trinity,
Undivided Unity;
Holy God, Mighty God,
God Immortal, be adored.

To Jesus Christ give glory,
God’s co-eternal Son;
As members of His Body
we live in Him as one.


Now praise the Holy Spirit,
poured forth upon the earth;
Who sanctifies and guides us,
Confirmed in our rebirth.


Melody: Mainz 76.76 with Refrain; Text: Omer Westendorf, 1961


Antiphon 1: Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;
do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.
Through your anger all my body is sick:
through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.

My guilt towers higher than my head;
it is a weight too heavy to bear. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.

Antiphon 2 Lord, you know all my longings.

My wounds are foul and festering,
the result of my own folly.
I am bowed and brought to my knees.
I go mourning all the day long.

All my frame burns with fever;
all my body is sick.
Spent and utterly crushed,
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.

O Lord, you know all my longing:
my groans are not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength is spent;
the very light has gone from my eyes.

My friends avoid me like a leper;
those closest to me stand afar off.
Those who plot against my life lay snares;
those who seek my ruin speak of harm,
planning treachery all the day long. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Lord, you know all my longings.

Antiphon 3 I will confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not abandon me, for you are my Savior.

But I am like the deaf who cannot hear,
like the dumb unable to speak.
I am like a man who hears nothing
in whose mouth is no defense.

I count on you, O Lord:
it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
I pray: Do not let them mock me,
those who triumph if my foot should slip."

For I am on the point of falling
and my pain is always before me.
I confess that I am guilty
and my sin fills me with dismay.

My wanton enemies are numberless
and my lying foes are many.
They repay me evil for good
and attack me for seeking what is right.

O Lord, do not forsake me!
My God, do not stay afar off!
Make haste and come to my help,
O Lord, my God, my savior! Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Do not abandon us, Lord our God; you did not forget the broken body of your Christ, nor the mockery his love received. We, your children, are weighed down with sin; give us the fullness of your mercy.

Antiphon 3 I will confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not abandon me, for you are my Savior.

Let your compassion come upon me, Lord.
- Your salvation, true to your promise.


From the book of the prophet Isaiah           27:1-13

The Lord cares for his vineyard once again

  On that day,
The Lord will punish with his sword
  that is cruel, great, and strong,
Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
  Leviathan the coiled serpent;
  and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

  On that day--
The pleasant vineyard, sing about it!
  I, the Lord, am its keeper,
  I water it every moment;
Lest anyone harm it,
  night and day I guard it.

I am not angry,
  but if I were to find briers and thorns,
In battle I should march against them;
  I should burn them all.
Expunging and expelling, I should strive against them,
  carrying them off with my cruel wind in time of storm.

In days to come Jacob shall take root,
  Israel shall sprout and blossom,
  covering all the world with fruit.
Is he to be smitten as his smiter was smitten?
  or slain as his slayer was slain?
Or shall he cling to me for refuge?
  He must make peace with me;
  peace shall he make with me!

This, then, shall be the expiation of Jacob's guilt,
  this the whole fruit of the removal of his sin:
He shall pulverize all the stones of the altars
  like pieces of chalk;
  no sacred poles or incense altars shall stand.
For the fortified city shall be desolate,
  an abandoned pasture, a forsaken wilderness,
  where calves shall browse and lie.
Its boughs shall be destroyed,
  its branches shall wither and be broken off,
  and women shall come to build a fire with them.
This is not an understanding people;
  therefore their maker shall not spare them,
  nor shall he who formed them have mercy on them.

  On that day,
The Lord shall beat out the grain
  between the Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt,
  and you shall be gleaned one by one, O sons of Israel.

  On that day,
A great trumpet shall blow,
  and the lost in the land of Assyria
  and the outcasts in the land of Egypt
Shall come and worship the Lord
  on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.

RESPONSORY          See Matthew 24:31; Isaiah 27:13
The Lord will send forth his angels with a mighty trumpet blast;
 - they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds,
from one end of the heavens to the other.

They shall come and worship the Lord on his holy mountain in Jerusalem.
 - they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds,
from one end of the heavens to the other.


From a treatise Against Heresies, by St Irenaeus, bishop
(Lib. 5, 19, 1; 20, 2; 21,1: SC 153, 248-250. 260-264)

Eve and Mary

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.

As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.

Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with God’s words to the serpent in Genesis: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel."

The one lying in wait for the serpent’s head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: "The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the promise was made."

He shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: "When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman." The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as man’s adversary.

That is why the Lord proclaims himself the Son of Man, the one who renews in himself that first man from whom the race born of woman was formed; as by a man’s defeat our race fell into the bondage of death, so by a man’s victory we were to rise again to life.

RESPONSORY           See Luke 1:26, 27, 30, 31, 32
The angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary who was betrothed to Joseph.
The light filled her with fear,
but the angel said to her:
Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
 -  Behold you shall conceive and bear a son,
and he will be called the Son of the Most High.

The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever.
 -  Behold you shall conceive and bear a son,
and he will be called the Son of the Most High.

Grant that your people, we pray, almighty God,
may be ever watchful
for the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
that, as the author of our salvation himself has taught us,
we may hasten, alert and with lighted lamps,
to meet him when he comes.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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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