Office of Readings

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.


Antiphon 1: Whoever humbles himself, like a little child, will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 131
Childlike trust in God
Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. (Matthew 26:3-4)

O Lord, my heart is not proud
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great
nor marvels beyond me.

Truly I have set my soul
in silence and peace.
A weaned child on its mother's breast,
even so is my soul.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
both now and forever. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, you declared that whoever receives a little child in your name receives you, and you promised your kingdom to those who are like children. Never let pride reign in our hearts, but may the Father's compassion reward and embrace all who willingly bear your gentle yoke.

Antiphon 1 Whoever humbles himself, like a little child, will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Antiphon 2 With simplicity of heart, I have joyfully offered everything to you, my God.

Psalm 132
Divine promise to the house of David
The Lord God will give to him the throne of David his father. (Luke 1:32)

O Lord, remember David
and all the many hardships he endured,
the oath he swore to the Lord,
his vow to the Strong One of Jacob.

I will not enter the house where I live
nor go the bed where I rest.
I will give no sleep to my eyes,
to my eyelids I will give no slumber
till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Strong One of Jacob."

At Ephrata we heard of the ark;
we found it in the plains of Yearim.
Let us go to the place of his dwelling;
let us go to kneel at his footstool."

Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest,
you and the ark of your strength.
Your priests shall be clothed with holiness;
your faithful shall ring out their joy.
For the sake of David your servant
do not reject your anointed.

Antiphon 2 With simplicity of heart, I have joyfully offered everything to you, my God.

Antiphon 3 The Lord has sworn an oath to David; his kingdom will stand for ever.

The Lord swore an oath to David;
he will not go back on this word:
A son, the fruit of your body,

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling:
This is my resting-place for ever;
here have I chosen to live.

I will greatly bless her produce,
I will fill her poor with bread.
I will clothe her priests with salvation
and her faithful shall ring out their joy.

There David's stock will flower;
I will prepare a lamp for my anointed.
I will cover his enemies with shame
but on him my crown shall shine." Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you chose to suffer and be overwhelmed by death in order to open the gates of death in triumph. Stay with us to help us on our pilgrimage; free us from all evil by the power of your resurrection. In the company of your saints and constantly remembering your love for us may we sing of your wonders in our Fatherís house.

Antiphon 3 The Lord has sworn an oath to David; his kingdom will stand for ever.

In these last days God has spoken to us through his Son.
- The Word through whom he made all things.


From the book of the prophet Isaiah 61:1-11

The Spirit of the Lord is upon his servant

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
  because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
  to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
  and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the Lord
  and a day of vindication by our God,
  to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
  a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness
  in place of mourning,
  a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.
They will be called oaks of justice,
  planted by the Lord to show his glory.

They shall rebuild the ancient ruins,
  the former wastes they shall raise up
And restore the ruined cities,
  desolate now for generations.

Strangers shall stand ready to pasture your flocks,
  foreigners shall be your farmers and vinedressers.
You yourselves shall be named priests of the Lord,
  ministers of our God you shall be called.
You shall eat the wealth of the nations
  and boast of riches from them.

Since their shame was double
  and disgrace and spittle were their portion,
They shall have a double inheritance in their land,
  everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I, the Lord, love what is right,
  I hate robbery and injustice;
I will give them their recompense faithfully,
  a lasting covenant I will make with them.

Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations,
  and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them
  as a race the Lord has blessed.

I rejoice heartily in the Lord,
  in my God is the joy of my soul;
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
  and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
  like a bride bedecked with her jewels.

As the earth brings forth its plants,
  and a garden makes its growth spring up,
So will the Lord God make justice and praise
  spring up before all the nations.


The Spirit of God rests upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me;
and he has sent me to bring good news to the poor,
 - to heal the broken-hearted,
to proclaim that captivity is now ended and prisoners set free.

I have come forth from God and have come into the world.
I did not come of myself; the Father has sent me.
 - to heal the broken-hearted,
to proclaim that captivity is now ended and prisoners set free.


From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 13 de Tempore; Pl 39, 1097-1098)

God became man so that man might become God

Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to his Father's eternity. God became man so that man might become God. The Lord of the angels became man today so that man could eat the bread of angels.

Today, the prophecy is fulfilled that said: Pour down, heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just one: let the earth be opened and bring forth a savior. The Lord who had created all things is himself now created, so that he who was lost would be found. Thus man, in the words of the psalmist confesses: Before I was humbled, I sinned. Man sinned and became guilty; God is born a man to free man from his guild. Man fell, but God descended; man fell miserably, but God descended mercifully; man fell through pride, God descended with his grace.

My brethren, what miracles! What prodigies! The laws of nature are changed in the case of man. God is born. A virgin becomes pregnant with man. The Word of God marries the woman who knows no man. She is now at the same time both mother and virgin. She becomes a mother, yet she remains a virgin. The virgin bears a son, yet she does not know man; she remains untouched, yet she is not barren. He alone was born without sin for she bore him without the embrace of a man, not by the concupiscence of the flesh but by the obedience of the mind.


We have seen with our own eyes and we bear witness:
 - the Father sent his own Son to be the Savior of the world.

He has come to take away the burden of our sins
and to cleanse us of every stain of evil.
 - the Father sent his own Son to be the Savior of the world.

Almighty ever-living God,
who were pleased to shine forth with new light
through the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
grant, we pray,
that, just as he was pleased to share our bodily form
through the childbearing of the Virgin Mary,
so we, too, may one day merit
to become companions in his kingdom of grace.
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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