Office of Readings

The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If the 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: Christ has appeared to us; Come let us adore him.

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.


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.

Psalm 38
A sinner in extreme danger prays earnestly to God
All his friends were standing at a distance. (Luke 23:49)

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.

In Christ was life
     - And that life was the light of mankind.


From the book of the prophet Isaiah           65:13-25

A new heaven and a new earth

    Thus says the Lord God:
Lo, my servants shall eat,
  but you shall go hungry;
My servants shall drink,
  but you shall be thirsty;
My servants shall rejoice,
  but you shall be put to shame;
My servants shall shout
  for joy of heart,
But you shall cry out for grief of heart
  and howl for anguish of spirit.

The Lord God shall slay you,
  and the name you leave
Shall be used by my chosen ones for cursing;
  but my servants shall be called by another name
By which he will be blessed
  on whom a blessing is invoked in the land;
He who takes an oath in the land
  shall swear by the God of truth;
For the hardships of the past shall be forgotten,
  and hidden from my eyes.

Lo, I am about to create new heavens
  and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
  or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
  in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
  and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
  and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
  or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
  an infant who lives but a few days,
  or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
  and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.

They shall live in the houses they build,
  and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant;
They shall not build houses for others to live in,
  or plant for others to eat.
As the years of a tree, so the years of my people;
  and my chosen ones shall long enjoy the produce of their hands.

They shall not toil in vain,
  nor beget children for sudden destruction;
For a race blessed by the Lord
  are they and their offspring.
Before they call, I will answer;
  while they are yet speaking, I will hearken to them.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze alike,
  and the lion shall eat hay like the ox
  (but the serpent's food shall be dust).
None shall hurt or destroy
  on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

RESPONSORY          Revelation 21:1,3,4
I saw the new heaven and the new earth;
and I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying:
- This is God's dwelling place among men.
He shall live with them.

The Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
death will no longer hold sway over them,
for all that used to be has passed away.
- This is God's dwelling place among men.
He shall live with them.


From a sermon by Saint Maximus of Turin, bishop
(Sermo 100, de sancta Epiphania 1,3: CCL 23, 398-400)

The mystery of the Lordís baptism

The Gospel tells us that the Lord went to the Jordan River to be baptized and that he wished to consecrate himself in the river by signs from heaven.

Reason demands that this feast of the Lordís baptism, which I think could be called the feast of his birthday, should follow soon after the Lordís birthday, during the same season, even though many years intervened between the two events.

At Christmas he was born a man; today he is reborn sacramentally. Then he was born from the Virgin; today he is born in mystery. When he was born a man, his mother Mary held him close to her heart; when he is born in mystery, God the Father embraces him with his voice when he says: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: listen to him. The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap; the Father serves his Son by his loving testimony. The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore; the Father reveals that his Son is to be worshiped by all the nations.

That is why the Lord Jesus went to the river for baptism, that is why he wanted his holy body to be washed with Jordanís water.

Someone might ask, ďWhy would a holy man desire baptism?Ē Listen to the answer: Christ is baptized, not to be made holy by the water, but to make the water holy, and by his cleansing to purify the waters which he touched. For the consecration of Christ involves a more significant consecration of the water.

For when the Savior is washed all water for our baptism is made clean, purified at its source for the dispensing of baptismal grace to the people of future ages. Christ is the first to be baptized, then, so that Christians will follow after him with confidence.

I understand the mystery as this. The column of fire went before the sons of Israel through the Red Sea so they could follow on their brave journey; the column went first through the waters to prepare a path for those who followed. As the apostle Paul said, what was accomplished then was the mystery of baptism. Clearly it was baptism in a certain sense when the cloud was covering the people and bringing them through the water.

Bur Christ the Lord does all these things: in the column of fire he went through the sea before the sons of Israel; so now, in the column of his body, he goes through baptism before the Christian people. At the time of the Exodus the column provided light for the people who followed; now it gives light to the hearts of believers. Then it made a firm pathway through the waters; now it strengthens the footsteps of faith in the bath of baptism.

RESPONSORY          John 1:29; Isaiah 53:11
John saw Jesus coming to him and said:
Behold the Lamb of God;
- behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
He will justify many and he himself will bear our sins.
- Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.

Grant, we ask, almighty God,
that the Nativity of the Savior of the world,
made known by the guidance of a star,
may be revealed ever more fully to our minds.
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.
- 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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