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: Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.


Antiphon: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

Office of Readings
Psalter, Saturday, Week IV

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.


Lenten Hymns:
Now Let Us All With One Accord
Creator of the Earth and Skies


Antiphon 1: The Lord delivered his people from the oppressor.

How often they defied him in the wilderness
and caused him pain in the desert!

Yet again they put God to the test
and grieved the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his deeds
nor the day he saved them from the foe;

when he worked his miracles in Egypt,
his wonders in the plains of Zoan;
when he turned their rivers into blood,
made their streams impossible to drink.

He sent dog-flies against them to devour them
and swarms of frogs to molest them.
He gave their crops to the grub,
the fruit of their labor to the locust.

He destroyed their vines with hail,
their sycamore trees with frost.
He gave up their cattle to plague,
their flocks and herds to pestilence.

He turned on them the heat of his anger,
fury, rage and havoc,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave free course to his anger.

He did not spare them from death
but gave their lives to the plague.
He struck all the first-born in Egypt,
the finest flower in the dwellings of Ham. Glory...

Antiphon 1 The Lord delivered his people from the oppressor.

Antiphon 2 The Lord led his people to his holy mountain.

Then he brought forth his people like sheep;
he guided them safely in the desert.
He led them safely with nothing to fear,
while the sea engulfed their foes.

So he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain which his right hand had won.
He drove out the nations before them,
and divided the land for their heritage.

Their tents he gave as a dwelling
to each one of Israel's tribes.

Still they put God to the proof and defied him;
they refused to obey the Most High.

They strayed, faithless like their fathers,
like a bow on which the archer cannot count.
With their mountain shrines they angered him;
made him jealous with the idols they served.

God saw this and was filled with fury:
he utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook his dwelling place in Shiloh,
the tent where he lived among men.

He gave his ark into captivity,
his glorious ark into the hands of the foe.
He gave up his people to the sword,
in his anger against his chosen ones.

So war devoured their young men,
their maidens had no wedding songs;
their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lament.    Glory...

Antiphon 2 The Lord led his people to his holy mountain.

Antiphon 3 The Lord chose the tribe of Judah, and David, his servant, to shepherd Israel, his chosen people.

Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
like a warrior overcome with wine.
He struck his foes from behind
and put them to everlasting shame.

He rejected the tent of Joseph;
He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim
but he chose the tribe of Judah,
the hill of Zion which he loves.

He built his shrine like the heavens,
or like the earth which he made firm for ever.
And he chose David his servant
and took him away from the sheepfolds.

From the care of the ewes he called him
to be shepherd of Jacob his people,
Of Israel is own possession.
He tended them with blameless heart,
with discerning mind he led them. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: For your people, Lord Jesus, you bring water from the rock and rain bread from heaven; you forgive sins with limitless generosity. Do not let us be marked by unfaithfulness, as in days of old, but grant that the covenant you sealed with your blood may merit us a place with you in your kingdom.

Antiphon 3 The Lord chose the tribe of Judah, and David, his servant, to shepherd Israel, his chosen people.

The man of God welcomes the light.
- So that all may see that his deeds are true.


From the book of Exodus       3:1-20

The call of Moses and the revelation of the Lord's name

Meanwhile Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There an angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed. So Moses decided, "I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned."

When the Lord saw him coming over to look at it more closely, God called out to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" He answered, "Here I am." God said, "Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father," he continued, "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

But the Lord said, "I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the country of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. So indeed the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them. Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."

But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?" He answered, "I will be with you; and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain."

"But," said Moses to God, "when I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?" God replied, "I am who am." Then he added, "This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you."

God spoke further to Moses, "Thus shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.
  "This is my name forever;
    this is my title for all generations.

"Go and assemble the elders of the Israelites, and tell them: The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt; so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.

"Thus they will heed your message. Then you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word. Permit us, then, to go a three days' journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God.

"Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless he is forced. I will stretch out my hand, therefore, and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there. After that he will send you away."

God said to Moses: I am who I am.
 - Tell the people of Israel: I AM sent me to you.

I, and I alone, am the Lord;
there is no other who can save you.
 - Tell the people of Israel: I AM sent me to you.


From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
(Lb. 4,13-14,1: SC 100, 534-540)

The friendship of God

Our Lord, the Word of God, first drew men to God as servants, but later he freed those made subject to him. He himself testified to this: I do not call you servants any longer, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. Instead I call you friends, since I have made known to you everything that I have learned from my Father. Friendship with God brings the gift of immortality to those who accept it.

In the beginning God created Adam, not because he needed man, but because he wanted to have someone on whom to bestow his blessings. Not only before Adam but also before all creation, the Word was glorifying the Father in whom he dwelt, and was himself being glorified by the Father. The Word himself said: Father, glorify me with that glory I had with you before the world was.

Nor did the Lord need our service. He commanded us to follow him, but his was the gift of salvation. To follow the Saviour is to share in salvation; to follow the light is to enjoy the light. Those who are in the light do not illuminate the light but are themselves illuminated and enlightened by the light. They add nothing to the light; rather, they are beneficiaries, for they are enlightened by the light.

The same is true of service to God: it adds nothing to God, nor does God need the service of man. Rather, he gives life and immortality and eternal glory to those who follow and serve him. He confers a benefit on his servants in return for their service and on his followers in return for their loyalty, but he receives no benefit from them. He is rich, perfect and in need of nothing.

The reason why God requires service from man is this: because he is good and merciful he desires to confer benefits on those who persevere in his service. In proportion to God’s need of nothing is man’s need for communion with God.

This is the glory of man: to persevere and remain in the service of God. For this reason the Lord told his disciples: You did not choose me but I chose you. He meant that his disciples did not glorify him by following him, but in following the Son of God they were glorified by him. As he said: I wish that where I am they also may be, that they may see my glory.

This is what the Lord God asks of you:
 - to fear him, and to love and serve him
with all your heart and soul.

This is the first and greatest commandment:
 - to fear him, and to love and serve him
with all your heart and soul.

Almighty ever-living God,
look with compassion on our weakness
and ensure us your protection
by stretching forth the right hand of your majesty.
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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