WEDNESDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Office of Readings


Invitatory
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.


HYMN

Lord Jesus Christ, be present now,
And let your Holy Spirit bow
All hearts in love and truth today
To hear your word and keep your way.

Give us the grace to grasp your word,
That we may do what we have heard.
Instruct us through the Scriptures, Lord,
As we draw near, O God adored.

May your glad tidings always bring
Good news to men that they may sing
Of how you came to save all men.
Instruct us till you come again.

To God the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, three in one;
To you, O blessed Trinity
Be praise throughout eternity.
Text: Catherine Winkworth; Melody: Herr Jesu Christ; Midi: Cyberhymnal


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: We groan in pain as we await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 39
Urgent prayer of a sick person
Creation is made subject to futility...by him who subjected it, but it is not without hope. (Romans 8:20)

             I
I said: I will be watchful of my ways
for fear I should sin with my tongue.
I will put a curb on my lips
when the wicked man stands before me."
I was dumb, silent and still.
His prosperity stirred my grief.

My heart was burning within me.
At the thought of it, the fire blazed up
and my tongue burst into speech:
O Lord, you have shown me my end,
how short is the length of my days.
Now I know how fleeting is my life.

You have given me a short span of days;
my life is as nothing in your sight.
A mere breath, the man who stood so firm,
a mere shadow, the man passing by;
a mere breath the riches he hoards,
not knowing who will have them." Glory...

Antiphon 1 We groan in pain as we await the redemption of our bodies.


Antiphon 2 Hear and answer my prayer, O Lord, let me not weep in vain.

                    II
And now, Lord, what is there to wait for?
In you rests all my hope.
Set me free from all my sins,
do not make me the taunt of the fool.
I was silent, not opening my lips,
because this was all your doing.

Take away your scourge from me.
I am crushed by the blows of your hand.
You punish man's sins and correct him;
like the moth you devour all he treasures.
Mortal man is no more than a breath;
O Lord, hear my prayer.

O Lord, turn your ear to my cry.
Do not be deaf to my tears.
In your house I am a passing guest,
a pilgrim, like all my fathers.
Look away that I may breathe again
before I depart to be no more. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Through your Son you taught us, Father, not to be fearful of tomorrow but to commit our lives to your care. Do not withhold your Spirit from us but help us find a life of peace after these days of trouble.

Antiphon 2 Hear and answer my prayer, O Lord, let me not weep in vain.


Antiphon 3 I have put all my trust in God's never-failing mercy.

Psalm 52
Against a calumniator
If anyone would boast, let him boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:31)

Why do you boast of your wickedness,
you champion of evil,
planning ruin all day long,
(your tongue like a sharpened razor),
you master of deceit?

You love evil more than good,
lies more than truth.
You love the destructive word,
you tongue of deceit.

For this God will destroy you
and remove you for ever.
He will snatch you from your tent and uproot you
from the land of the living.

The just shall see and fear.
They shall laugh and say:
So this is the man who refused
to take God as a stronghold,
but trusted in the greatness of his wealth
and grew powerful by his crimes."

But I am like a growing olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the goodness of God
for ever and ever.

I will thank you for evermore;
for this is your doing.
I will proclaim that your name is good,
in the presence of your friends. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Father, you cut down the unfruitful branch for burning and prune the fertile to make it bear more fruit. Make us grow like laden olive trees in your domain, firmly rooted in the power and mercy of your Son, so that you may gather from us fruit worthy of eternal life.

Antiphon 3 I have put all my trust in God's never-failing mercy.


The Lord will teach us his ways.
     - And we will follow in his footsteps.


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah           63:7-19

The mercy of the Lord is remembered by a people forsaken

The favors of the Lord I will recall,
  the glorious deeds of the Lord,
Because of all he has done for us;
  for he is good to the house of Israel,
He has favored us according to his mercy
  and his great kindness.

He said: They are indeed my people,
  children who are not disloyal;
So he became their savior
  in their every affliction.
It was not a messenger or an angel,
  but he himself who saved them.
Because of his love and pity
  he redeemed them himself,
Lifting them and carrying them
  all the days of old.

But they rebelled, and grieved
  his holy spirit;
So he turned on them like an enemy,
  and fought against them.

Then they remembered the days of old
  and Moses, his servant;
Where is he who brought up out of the sea
  the shepherd of his flock?
Where is he who put his holy spirit
  in their midst;
Whose glorious arm
  was the guide at Moses' right;
Who divided the waters before them,
  winning for himself eternal renown;
Who led them without stumbling through the depths
  like horses in the open country,
Like cattle going down into the plain,
  the spirit of the Lord guiding them?
Thus you led your people,
  bringing glory to your name.

Look down from heaven and regard us
  from your holy and glorious palace!
Where is your zealous care and your might,
  your surge of pity and your mercy?

O Lord, hold not back,
  for you are our father.
Were Abraham not to know us,
  nor Israel to acknowledge us,
You, Lord, are our father,
  our redeemer you are named forever.

Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways,
  and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
  the tribes of your heritage.
Why have the wicked invaded your holy place,
  why have our enemies trampled your sanctuary?
Too long have we been like those you do not rule,
  who do not bear your name.

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
  with the mountains quaking before you!


RESPONSORY          Isaiah 63:19; 59:11
Lord, we are like those over whom you do not rule,
like those who do not bear your name.
- O, that you would rend the heavens and come down!
We have yearned for justice and there is none;
for salvation and it is kept far off from us.
- O, that you would rend the heavens and come down!


SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Proclus of Constantinople, bishop
(Sermo 7 in Sancta Theophania, 1-3: PG 65, 758-759)

The waters are made holy

Christ appeared in the world, and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it luster and joy. He bore the world’s sins and crushed the world’s enemy. He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men. Into the fabric of miracles he interwove ever greater miracles.

For on this day land and sea share between them the grace of the Savior, and the whole world is filled with joy. Today’s feast of the Epiphany manifests even more wonders than the feast of Christmas.

On the feast of the Savior’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger; but on today’s feast of the Epiphany it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan.

At Christmas we saw a weak baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today’s feast, we see a perfect man, hinting at the perfect Son who proceeds from the all-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the royal robe of his body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.

Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.

Today every creature shouts in resounding song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is he who comes in every age, for this is not his first coming.

And who is he? Tell us more clearly, I beg you, blessed David: The Lord is God and has shone upon us. David is not alone in prophesying this; the apostle Paul adds his own witness, saying: The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all men, and instructing us. Not for some men, but for all. To Jews and Greeks alike God bestows salvation through baptism, offering baptism as a common grace for all.

Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but now the water of Baptism has recalled the dead to life by the power of the one who baptized. In the days of the flood the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odor of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a dove reveals the Lord of mercy.


RESPONSORY          
Today, Jesus, Light from Light, whom John baptized in the Jordan, has appeared to us:
- we believe that he was born of the Virgin Mary.

The heavens opened above him,
and the voice was heard.
- We believe that he was born of the Virgin Mary.


COLLECT
O God, who bestow light on all the nations,
grant your peoples the gladness of lasting peace
and pour into our hearts that brilliant light
by which you purified the minds of our fathers in faith.
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.


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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