Office of Readings

The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If the Office of Readings 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 Christ, the beloved Son in whom the father was well pleased.

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.


When Jesus comes to be baptized,
He leaves the hidden years behind,
The years of safety and of peace,
To bear the sins of all mankind

The Spirit of the Lord comes down,
Anoints the Christ to suffering,
To preach the word, to free the bound,
and to the mourner comfort bring.

He will not quench the dying flame,
And what is bruised he will not break,
But heal the wound injustice dealt,
And out of death his triumph make.

Our everlasting Father, praise,
With Christ, his well-beloved Son,
Who with the Spirit reigns serene,
Untroubled Trinity in One.
Melody: Saint Venantius of Winchester, New L.M; Text: Stanbrook Abbey, 1971


Antiphon: The voice of the Lord, the God of majesty, echoes over the waters.

Psalm 29
Afferte Domino

O give the Lord, you sons of God,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.
Adore the Lord in his holy court.

The Lord's voice resounding on the waters,
the Lord on the immensity of waters;
the voice of the Lord, full of power,
the voice of the Lord, full of splendor.

The Lord's voice shattering the cedars,
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon;
he makes Lebanon leap like a calf
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The Lord's voice flashes flames of fire.

The Lord's voice shaking the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh;
the Lord's voice rending the oak tree
and stripping the forest bare.
The God of glory thunders.

In his temple they all cry: Glory!
The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits as king for ever.

The Lord will give strength to his people,
the Lord will bless his people with peace. Glory...

Antiphon: The voice of the Lord, the God of majesty, echoes over the waters.

Antiphon: Let all the earth adore you Lord, and let it be joyful; for a new light has dawned upon the ages.

Psalm 66
Jubilate Deo

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
Say to God: How tremendous are your deeds!

Because of the greatness of your strength
your enemies cringe before you.
Before you all the earth shall bow,
shall sing to you, sing to your name!"

Come and see the works of God,
tremendous his deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in him;

he rules for ever by his might.
His eyes keep watch over the nations:
let rebels not rise against him.

O peoples, bless our God;
let the voice of his praise resound,
of the God who gave life to our souls
and kept our feet from stumbling.

For you, O God, have tested us,
you have tried us as silver is tried;
you led us, God, into the snare;
you laid a heavy burden on our backs.

You let foes ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water
but then you brought us relief. Glory...

Antiphon: Let all the earth adore you Lord, and let it be joyful; for a new light has dawned upon the ages.

Antiphon: Blessed be God, for he has willed that my soul should live; he has led me to a place of refuge.

Burnt offering I bring to your house;
to you I will pay my vows,
the vows which my lips have uttered,
which my mouth spoke in my distress.

I will offer burnt offerings of fatlings
with the smoke of burning rams.
I will offer bullocks and goats.

Come and hear, all who fear God,
I will tell what he did for my soul:
to him I cried aloud,
with high praise ready on my tongue.

If there had been evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
nor withhold his love from me.

Antiphon: Blessed be God, for he has willed that my soul should live; he has led me to a place of refuge.

This is my beloved Son.
     - Listen to him.


From the book of the prophet Isaiah           42:1-9, 49:1-9

The gentle servant of the Lord is a light to the nations

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
  my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my spirit;
  he shall bring forth justice to the nations,  
Not crying out, not shouting,
  not making his voice heard in the street.  
A bruised reed he shall not break,
  and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,  
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
  the coastlands will wait for his teaching.  

Thus says God, the Lord,
  who created the heavens and stretched them out,
  who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
  and spirit to those who walk on it:  

I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice,
  I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
  as a covenant of the people,
  a light for the nations,  
To open the eyes of the blind,
  to bring out prisoners from confinement,
  and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.  

I am the Lord, this is my name;
  my glory I give to no other,
  nor my praise to idols.  
See, the earlier things have come to pass,
  new ones I now foretell;
Before they spring into being,
  I announce them to you.

Hear me, O coastlands,
  listen, O distant peoples.
The Lord called me from birth,
  from my mother's womb he gave me my name.  
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
  and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
  in his quiver he hid me.  

You are my servant, he said to me,
  Israel, through whom I show my glory.  
Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
  and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the Lord,
  my recompense is with my God.  

For now the Lord has spoken
  who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
  and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord,
  and my God is now my strength!  

It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
  to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
  and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
  that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.  

Thus says the Lord,
  the redeemer and the Holy One of Israel,
To the one despised, whom the nations abhor,
  the slave of rulers:
When kings see you, they shall stand up,
  and princes shall prostrate themselves
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
  the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.  

     Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favor I answer you,
  on the day of salvation I help you,
To restore the land
  and allot the desolate heritages,  
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
  To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
  on every bare height shall their pastures be.

Today in the Jordan as the Lord was baptized,
the heavens opened and the Spirit in the form of a dove rested upon him;
the voice of the Father was heard:
 - This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
The Spirit descended in visible form as a dove,
and a voice from heaven was heard.
 - This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.


From a Sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop
(Oratio 39 in Sancta Lumina, 14-16, 20: PG 36, 350-351, 354, 358-359)

The baptism of Christ

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptised; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

John is baptising when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptiser; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptised by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptised by you: we should also add, “and for you,” for John is to be baptised in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Today the heavens opened and the waters of the sea became sweet and fragrant;
the earth rejoiced, the mountains and hills exulted,
 - because Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan.
What has happened that the sea has been put to flight,
and the Jordan has turned back upon itself?
 - because Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan.


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.

Almighty ever-living God,
who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan
and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him,
solemnly declared him your beloved Son,
grant that your children by adoption,
reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
may always be well pleasing to you.
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.


O God, whose Only Begotten Son
has appeared in our very flesh,
grant, we pray, that we may be inwardly transformed
through him whom we recognize as outwardly like ourselves.
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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