Advent

WEEK III - SUNDAY

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:

-
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen
sound from His people again,
Now as we worship before him.
Words: J. Neander; trans. Catherine Winkworth; Melody: Lobe Den Herren 14.14.4.7.8


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: This is our heavenly king; he comes with power and might to save the nations, alleluia.


        I
I will give you glory, O God my king,
I will bless your name for ever.

I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised,
his greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works,
shall declare your mighty deeds,
shall speak of your splendor and glory,
tell the tale of your wonderful works.
They will speak of your terrible deeds,
recount your greatness and might.
They will recall your abundant goodness;
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures. Glory...

Antiphon 1 This is our heavenly king; he comes with power and might to save the nations, alleluia.


Antiphon 2 Daughter of Jerusalem, rejoice and be glad; your King will come to you, Zion, do not fear; your Savior hastens on his way.

                          II
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to all your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendor of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Daughter of Jerusalem, rejoice and be glad; your King will come to you, Zion, do not fear; your Savior hastens on his way.


Antiphon 3 Let us cleanse our hearts for the coming of our great King, that we may be ready to welcome him; he is coming and will not delay.

                          III
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand,
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.
The Lord protects all who love him ;
the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all peoples bless his holy name
for ever, for ages unending. Glory....

Psalm Prayer: Lord, be near to all who call upon you in truth and increase the dedication of those who revere you. Hear their prayers and save them that we may always love and praise your holy name.

Antiphon 3 Let us cleanse our hearts for the coming of our great King, that we may be ready to welcome him; he is coming and will not delay.


Lift up your heads and see
- your redemption is now at hand.


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah           29:13- 24

The judgment of the Lord is announced

    The Lord God said:
Since this people draws near with words only
  and honors me with their lips alone,  
  though their hearts are far from me,
And their reverence for me has become
  routine observance of the precepts of men
Therefore I will again deal with this people
  in surprising and wondrous fashion:
The wisdom of its wise men shall perish
  and the understanding of its prudent men be hid.

Woe to those who would hide their plans
  too deep for the Lord!
Who work in the dark, saying,
  "Who sees us, or who knows us?"

Your perversity is as though the potter
  were taken to be the clay:
As though what is made should say of its maker,
  "He made me not!"
Or the vessel should say of the potter,
  "He does not understand."
 
But a very little while,
  and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
  and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
  the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
  the eyes of the blind shall see.

The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord,
  and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
  and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off
  those whose mere word condemns a man,
Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
  and leave the just man with an empty claim.
 
Therefore thus says the Lord,
  the God of the house of Jacob,
  who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
  nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
  the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall keep my name holy;
  they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
  and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
  and those who find fault shall receive instruction.


RESPONSORY           Is. 29:18, 19; see Mt. 11:4,5
On the day the deaf shall hear the words of a book,
and out of darkness and fog the eyes of the blind shall see.
- And the poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Go back and tell John what you have heard and seen:
the blind see, cripples walk, the deaf hear,
and the poor have the good news preached to them.
- And the poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.


SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 293,3: PI, 1328-1329)

The Voice is John, the Word is Christ

John is the voice, but the Lord is the Word who was in the beginning. John is the voice that lasts for a time; from the beginning Christ is the Word who lives for ever.

Take away the word, the meaning, and what is the voice? Where there is no understanding, there is only a meaningless sound. The voice without the word strikes the ear but does not build up the heart.

However, let us observe what happens when we first seek to build up our hearts. When I think about what I am going to say, the word or message is already in my heart. When I want to speak to you, I look for a way to share with your heart what is already in mine.

In my search for a way to let this message reach you, so that the word already in my heart may find a place also in  yours, I use my voice to speak to you. The sound of my voice brings the meaning of the word to you and then passes away. The word which the sound has brought to you is now in your heart, and yet it is still also in mine.

When the word has been conveyed to you, does not the sound seem to say: The word ought to grow, and I should diminish? The sound of the voice has made itself heard in the service of the word, and has gone away, as though it were saying: My joy is complete. Let us hold on to the word; we must not lose the word conceived inwardly in our hearts.

Do you need proof that the voice passes away but the divine Word remains? Where is John's baptism today? It served its purpose, and it went away. Now it is Christ's baptism that we celebrate. It is in Christ that we all believe; we hope for salvation in him. This is the message the voice cried out.

Because it is hard to distinguish word from voice, even John himself was thought to be the Christ. The voice was thought to be the word. But the voice acknowledged what is was, anxious not to give offense to the word. I am not the Christ, he said, nor Elijah, nor the prophet. And the question came: Who are you, then? He replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness is the voice of one breaking the silence. Prepare the way for the Lord, he says, as though he were saying: "I speak out in order to lead him into your hearts, but he does not choose to come where I lead him unless you prepare the way for him."

To prepare the way means to pray well; it means thinking humbly of oneself. We should take our lesson from John the Baptist. He is thought to be the Christ; he declares he is not what they think. He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.

If he had said, "I am the Christ," you can imagine how readily he would have been believed, since they believed he was the Christ even before he spoke. But he did not say it; he acknowledged what he was. He pointed out clearly who he was; he humbled himself.

He saw where his salvation lay. He understood that he was a lamp, and his fear was that it might be blown out by the wind of pride.


RESPONSORY           John 3:30; 1:27; Mark 1:8
I must decrease, but he must increase;
the one who comes after me existed before me;
- and I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.

I have baptized you with water,
but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
- - and I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.


TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord; we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
  Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
  heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;
  Father, of majesty unbounded,
  your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
  and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin's womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God's right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V.  Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R.  govern and uphold them, now and always.
V.  Day by day we bless you;
R.  we praise your name for ever.
V.  Keep us today, Lord, from all sin;
R.  have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V.  Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R.  for we put our trust in you.
V.  In you, Lord, is our hope;
R.  and we shall never hope in vain.

The concluding part of the hymn may be omitted.


COLLECT
O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lordís Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
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.



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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