Lent

ASH WEDNESDAY

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

or:

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





Office of Readings
Psalter, Wednesday, 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.
Amen.


HYMN

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


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Bless the Lord, O my soul; never forget all he has done for you.

                       I
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion,
who fills your life with good things,
renewing your youth like an eagle's.

The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgment for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel's sons.  Glory...

Antiphon 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; never forget all he has done for you.


Antiphon 2 As a father is gentle with his children, so is the Lord with those who revere him.

                       II
The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
His wrath will come to an end;
he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.

For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again.  Glory...

Antiphon 2 As a father is gentle with his children, so is the Lord with those who revere him.


Antiphon 3 Bless the Lord, all you his works.

                           III
But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children's children
when they keep his covenant in truth,
when they keep his will in their mind.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven
and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels,
mighty in power, fulfilling his word,
who heed the voice of his word.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts,
his servants who do his will.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works,
in every place where he rules.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord!  Glory...

Psalm Prayer: You have compassion for the sinner, Lord, as a Father has compassion for his children. Heal the weakness of your people and save us from lasting death that we may praise and glorify you forever.

Antiphon 3 Bless the Lord, all you his works.


Turn back to the Lord and do penance.
- Be renewed in heart and spirit


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah          58:1-12

Concerning fasting that pleases God

          Thus says the Lord God:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
  lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my people their wickedness,
  and the house of Jacob their sins.

They seek me day after day,
  and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
  and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
  pleased to gain access to God.
"Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
  afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
  and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
  striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
  so as to make your voice heard on high!

Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
  of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed,
  and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
  a day acceptable to the Lord?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
  releasing those bound unjustly,
  untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
  breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
  sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
  and not turning your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
  and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
  and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
  you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

If you remove from your midst oppression,
  false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
  and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
  and the gloom shall become for you like midday;

Then the Lord will guide you always
  and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
  and you shall be like a watered garden,
  like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
  and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
"Repairer of the breach," they shall call you,
  "Restorer of ruined homesteads."


RESPONSORY          Isaiah 58:6,7,9; Matthew 25:31,34-35
The Lord says: The kind of fast that pleases me
is sharing your food with the hungry
and sheltering the poor and homeless.
- Do this and I will listen to your prayers;
when you call on me I will say: I am here.

When the Son of Man comes in glory,
he will say to those on his right:
Come, inherit the kingdom,
for I was hungry and you gave me food.
- Do this and I will listen to your prayers;
when you call on me I will say: I am here.


SECOND READING

From a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement, pope
(Cap. 7,7-8,3; 8,5-9,1;13,1-4;19,2: Funk 1, 71-73,77-78)

Repent

Let us fix our attention on the blood of Christ and recognize how precious it is to God his Father, since it was shed for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to all the world.

If we review the various ages of history, we will see that in every generation the Lord has offered the opportunity of repentance to any who were willing to turn to him. When Noah preached Godís message of repentance, all who listened to him were saved. Jonah told the Ninevites they were going to be destroyed, but when they repented, their prayers gained Godís forgiveness for their sins, and they were saved, even though they were not of Godís people.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the ministers of Godís grace have spoken of repentance; indeed, the Master of the whole universe himself spoke of repentance with an oath: As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the death of the sinner but his repentance. He added this evidence of his goodness: House of Israel, repent of your wickedness. Tell the sons of my people: If their sins should reach from earth to heaven, if they are brighter than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, you need only turn to me with your whole heart and say, ďFatherĒ, and I will listen to you as a holy people.

In other words, God wanted all his beloved ones to have the opportunity to repent and he confirmed this desire by his own almighty will. That is why we should obey his sovereign and glorious will and prayerfully entreat his mercy and kindness. We should be suppliant before him and turn to his compassion, rejecting empty works and quarrelling and jealousy which only lead to death.

Brothers, we should be humble in mind, putting aside all arrogance, pride and foolish anger. Rather, we should act in accordance with the Scriptures, as the Holy Spirit says: The wise man must not glory in his wisdom nor the strong man in his strength nor the rich man in his riches. Rather, let him who glories glory in the Lord by seeking him and doing what is right and just. Recall especially what the Lord Jesus said when he taught gentleness and forbearance. Be merciful, he said, so that you may have mercy shown to you. Forgive, so that you may be forgiven. As you treat others, so you will be treated. As you give, so you will receive. As you judge, so you will be judged. As you are kind to others, so you will be treated kindly. The measure of your giving will be the measure of your receiving.

Let these commandments and precepts strengthen us to live in humble obedience to his sacred words. As Scripture asks: Whom shall I look upon with favour except the humble, peaceful man who trembles at my words?

Sharing then in the heritage of so many vast and glorious achievements, let us hasten toward the goal of peace, set before us from the beginning. Let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Father and Creator of the whole universe, and hold fast to his splendid and transcendent gifts of peace and all his blessings.


RESPONSORY          Isaiah 55:7; Jl. 2:13; See Ez. 33:11
Let the evil man give up his way of life,
and the sinful man his thoughts.
Let him turn back to the Lord,
and the Lord will have mercy on him.
- Our God is kind and compassionate,
always ready to forgive.

The Lord does not wish the sinner to die,
but to turn back to him and live.
- Our God is kind and compassionate,
always ready to forgive.


COLLECT
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
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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