FRIDAY BEFORE EPIPHANY
or January 5

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: Christ is born for us. Come let us adore him.





Office of Readings
God, come to my assistance.
- Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen. Alleluia.


From Heaven high I come to you
Go tell it on the mountain
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
Songs of praise the angels sang
Virgin-born, we bow before you
What Child is this
A Child is born in Bethlehem



PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Rise up Lord, and come to my aid.

Psalm 35:1-2,3c,9-19,22-23,27-28
The Lord as Savior in time of persecution
They came together...and laid their plans to capture Jesus by treachury adn put him to death (Matthew 26:3-4)

                  I
O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
fight those who fight me.
Take up your buckler and shield;
arise to help me.
O Lord, say to my soul:
I am your salvation.

But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
and rejoice in his salvation.
My whole being will say:
Lord, who is like you?

Lying witnesses arise
and accuse me unjustly.
They repay me evil for good;
my soul is forlorn. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Rise up Lord, and come to my aid.


Antiphon 2 All powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.

                  II
When they were sick I went into mourning,
afflicted with fasting.
My prayer was ever on my lips,
as for a brother, a friend.
I went as though mourning a mother,
bowed down with grief.

Now that I am in trouble they gather,
they gather and mock me.
They take me by surprise and strike me
and tear me to pieces.
They provoke me with mockery on mockery
and gnash their teeth. Glory..

Antiphon 2 All powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.


Antiphon 3 My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.

                   III
O Lord, how long will you look on?
Come to my rescue!
Save my life from these raging beasts,
my soul from these lions.
I will thank you in the great assembly,
amid the throng I will praise you.

Do not let my lying foes
rejoice over me.
Do not let those who hate me unjustly
wink eyes at each other.

O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
do not stand afar off!
Awake, stir to my defense,
to my cause, O God!

Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
Let them say without end:
Great is the Lord who delights
Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
and all day long of your praise. Glory..

Psalm Prayer:Lord, you rescue the poor from their oppressors, and you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, that the poor and weak may recognize the help you provide and proclaim your saving acts.

Antiphon 3 My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.


Sing to the Lord and bless his name.
- Proclaim his saving love day after day.


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah          42:1-8

The gentle servant of God

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.


RESPONSORY          Matthew 12:18, 21; (Isaiah 42:1)
This is my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in who I take delight.
- All nations will hope in his name.

My Spirit will rest upon him,
and he will teach the nations the meaning of justice. - All nations will hope in his name.


SECOND READING

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.


RESPONSORY          
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.


COLLECT
Cast your kindly light upon your faithful, Lord, we pray,
and with the splendor of your glory
set their hearts ever aflame,
that they may never cease to acknowledge their Savior
and may truly hold fast to him.
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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