MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

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: Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Virgin Mary; let us worship her Son, Christ the Lord.





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

O Mary of all women,
you are the chosen one,
Who, ancient prophets promised,
would bear God’s only Son;
All Hebrew generations
prepared the way to thee,
That in your womb the God-man
might come to set us free.

O Mary, you embody
all God taught to our race,
For you are first and foremost
on fullness of grace;
We praise this wondrous honor
that you gave birth to Him
Who from you took humanity
and saved us from our sin.
Melody: Au fort de ma detresse 76.76 D; Music: 17th Century Flemish Melody; Text: Michael Gannon.


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Lift high the ancient portals. The King of glory enters.


Psalm 24    
Domini est terra


The Lord's is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him .
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory. Glory...

Antiphon 1: Lift high the ancient portals. The King of glory enters.


Antiphon 2: The Lord Most High has founded a city, and all people will be called its children.

Psalm 87    
Gundamenta ejus


On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob's dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called Mother
for all shall be her children."

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
These are her children,
and while they dance they will sing:
In you all find their home. Glory...

Antiphon 2: The Lord Most High has founded a city, and all people will be called its children.


Antiphon 3: Begotten of the Father, before the daystar shone or time began, the Lord and Savior has humbled himself to be born for us today.

Psalm 99    
Dominus regnavit


The Lord is king; the peoples tremble.
He is throned on the cherubim; the earth quakes.
The Lord is great in Zion.

He is supreme over all the peoples.
Let them praise his name, so terrible and great,
he is holy, full of power.

You are a king who loves what is right;
you have established equity, justice and right;
you have established them in Jacob.

Exalt the Lord our God;
bow down before Zion, his footstool.
He the Lord is holy.

Among his priests were Aaron and Moses,
among those who invoked his name was Samuel.
They invoked the Lord and he answered.

To them he spoke in the pillar of cloud.
They did his will; they kept the law,
which he, the Lord, had given.

O Lord our God, you answered them.
For them you were a God who forgives;
yet you punished their offenses.

Exalt the Lord our God;
bow down before his holy mountain
for the Lord our God is holy. Glory...

Antiphon 3: Begotten of the Father, before the daystar shone or time began, the Lord and Savior has humbled himself to be born for us today.


The Word was made flesh, alleluia.
  -  And lived among us, alleluia.


FIRST READING

From the letter to the Hebrews           2:9-17

We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, he who for a little while was made lower than the angels, that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.  

For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.  He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them brothers,  saying:

"I will proclaim your name to my brothers,
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you";  

and again:

"I will put my trust in him";

and again:

"Behold, I and the children God has given me."  

Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.  Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham;  therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.


RESPONSORY          
How blessed are you, Virgin Mary,
for you carried within you the Lord, the Creator of the world.
    -    Mother of your Maker, you remain a virgin for ever.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
    -    Mother of your Maker, you remain a virgin for ever.


SECOND READING

From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
(Epist. ad Epictetum,5-9: PG 26, 1058, 1062-1066)

The Word took our nature from Mary

The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, says the Apostle, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you,” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.

By taking our nature and offering it in sacrifice, the Word was to destroy it completely and then invest it with his own nature, and so prompt the Apostle to say: This corruptible body must put on incorruption; this mortal body must put on immortality.

This was not done in outward show only, as some have imagined. This is not so. Our Saviour truly became man, and from this has followed the salvation of man as a whole. Our salvation is in no way fictitious, nor does it apply only to the body. The salvation of the whole man, that is, of soul and body, has really been achieved in the Word himself.

What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

The words of St John, the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in St Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.


RESPONSORY          
O pure and holy Virgin,
how can I find words to praise your beauty?
  -  The highest heavens cannot contain God whom you carried in your womb.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
  -  The highest heavens cannot contain God whom you carried in your womb.


CANTICLE          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 through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
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.


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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