EASTER WEDNESDAY

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If the Office of Readings 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: The Lord is risen, alleluia.






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
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
-

Christ the Lord is risen today;
Christians, haste your vows to pay;
Offer ye your praises meet
At the Paschal Victim’s feet.
For the sheep the Lamb hath bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead;
“Christ is risen,” today we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.

Christ, the Victim undefiled,
Man to God hath reconciled;
Whilst in strange and awful strife
Met together Death and Life:
Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay;
“Christ is risen,” today we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.

Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now the first born from the dead,
Throned in endless might and power,
Lives and reigns forevermore.
Hail, eternal Hope on high!
Hail, Thou King of victory!
Hail, Thou Prince of life adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord.

Words: Unknown author (Victimae Paschali), 11th or 12 Century; translated from Latin to English by Jane E. Leeson in Catholic Hymns, by Henry Formby, 1853

Or:

The Day of Resurrection
-

The day of resurrection! Earth, spread the news abroad;
The Paschal feast of gladness, the Paschal feast of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth to heaven's height,
Our Savior Christ has brought us, the glorious Lord of Light.

Our hearts be free from evil, that we may see aright
The Savior resurrected in his eternal light,
And hear his message plainly, delivered calm and clear:
"Rejoice with me in triumph; Be glad and do not fear."

His love is everlasting; His mercies never cease;
The resurrected Savior, will all our joys increase.
He'll keep us in his favor, supply the holy grace
to all his pilgrim people who seek his heavenly place.

Now let the heavens be joyful, and earth the song begin.
The whole world keep high triumph, and all that is therein.
Let all things in creation their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen, our joy that hath no end.

Words: John Mason Neale; Melody: Ellacombe.; Midi: Cyberhymnal

PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Lord, my God, how great you are, alleluia.

                I
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!

You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants.

You founded the earth on its base,
to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
the waters stood higher than the mountains.

At your threat they took to flight;
at the voice of your thunder they fled.
They rose over the mountains and flowed down
to the place which you had appointed.
You set limits they might not pass
lest they return to cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow in between the hills.
They give drink to all the beasts of the field;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
from the branches they sing their song. Glory...

Antiphon 1: Lord, my God, how great you are, alleluia.


Antiphon 2: Lord, you fill the earth with the fruit of your words, alleluia.

                   II
From your dwelling you water the hills;
earth drinks its fill of your gift.
You make the grass grow for the cattle
and the plants to serve man's our needs,

that he may bring forth bread from the earth
and wine to cheer man's heart;
oil, to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart.

The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
the cedars he planted on Lebanon;
there the birds build their nests;
on the treetop the stork has her home.
The goats find a home on the mountains
and rabbits hide in the rocks.

You made the moon to mark the months;
the sun knows the time for its setting.
When you spread the darkness it is night
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
The young lions roar for their prey
and ask their food from God.

At the rising of the sun they steal away
and go to rest in their dens.
Man goes out to his work,
to labor till evening falls. Glory...

Antiphon 2: Lord, you fill the earth with the fruit of your words, alleluia.


Antiphon 3: May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, alleluia.

                  III
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.

There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small.
The ships are moving there
and the monsters you made to play with.

All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill.

You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
He looks on the earth and it trembles;
the mountains send forth smoke at his touch.

I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live.
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Let sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked exist no more.

Bless the Lord, my soul. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Father, as you made springs in valleys to form streams between mountains, so you made living streams of grace flow from the Apostles that their teaching may bring salvation to all the nations. May we have a practical knowledge of their doctrine, be obedient to their commands, obtain remission of our sins through their prayers, and finally receive the reward of eternal happiness.

Antiphon 3: May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, alleluia.



God has raised the Lord to life, alleluia.
- Through his power he will also raise us up, alleluia.


FIRST READING

From the first letter of the apostle Peter       2:11-25

Christians are strangers in this world

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners  to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul. Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.  

Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the approval of those who do good. For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people. Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God. Give honor to all, love the community, fear God, honor the king.  

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse. For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace. But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered  for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."   When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.  




RESPONSORY          See 1 Peter 2:21,24
Christ suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
 - that we might follow in his footsteps, alleluia.

He bore our sins in his own body on the cross
that we might die to sin and live for holiness.
 - That we might follow in his footsteps, alleluia.


SECOND READING

From an Easter homily by an ancient author
(Sermo 35, 6-9; PL 17 [ed. 1879], 696-697)

Christ the source of resurrection and life

Saint Paul rejoices in the knowledge that spiritual health has been restored to the human race. Death entered the world through Adam, he explains, but life has been given back to the world through Christ. Again he says: The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven and it is heavenly. As we have borne the image of the earthly man, the image of human nature grown old in sin, so let us bear the image of the heavenly man: human nature raised up, redeemed , restored and purified in Christ. We must hold fast to the salvation we have received. Christ was the first fruits’, says the Apostle; he is the source of resurrection and life. ‘Those who belong to Christ will follow him. Modelling their lives on his purity, they will be secure in the hope of his resurrection and of enjoying with him the glory promised in heaven. Our Lord himself said so in the gospel: Whoever follows me will not perish, but will pass from death to life.

Thus the passion of our Saviour is the salvation of mankind. The reason why he desired to die for us was that he wanted us who believe in him to live for ever. In the fullness of time it was his will to become what we are, so that we might inherit the eternity he promised and live with him for ever.

Here, then, is the grace conferred by these heavenly mysteries, the gift which Easter brings, the most longed for feast of the year; here are the beginnings of creatures newly formed: children born from the life giving font of holy Church, born anew with the simplicity of little ones, and crying out with the evidence of a clean conscience. Chaste fathers and inviolate mothers accompany this new family, countless in number, born to new life through faith. As they emerge from the grace giving womb of the font, a blaze of candles burns brightly beneath the tree of faith. The Easter festival brings the grace of holiness from heaven to men. Through the repeated celebration of the sacred mysteries they receive the spiritual nourishment of the sacraments. Fostered at the very heart of holy Church, the fellowship of one community worships the one God, adoring the triple name of his essential holiness, and together with the prophet sings the psalm which belongs to this yearly festival: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. And what is this day? It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the author of light, who brings the sunrise and the beginning of life, saying of himself: I am the light of day; whoever walks in daylight does not stumble. That is to say, whoever follows Christ in all things will come by this path to the throne of eternal light.

Such was the prayer Christ made to the Father while he was still on earth: Father, I desire that where I am they also may be, those who have come to believe in me; and that as you are in me and I in you, so they may abide in us.


RESPONSORY          1 Corinthians 15:47, 49, 48
The first man was formed from the dust of the earth,
the second man is from heaven.
 - Just as we resemble the man of dust,
so we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven, alleluia.

As the earthly man was, so are we on earth;
as the man of heaven, so shall we be in heaven.
 - Just as we resemble the man of dust,
so we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven, alleluia.


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 gladden us year by year
with the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection,
graciously grant,
that, by celebrating these present festivities,
we may merit through them to reach eternal joys.
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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