Readings
for the Memorial of

St. Cecilia
November 22
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From the Common of Martyrs: For a Virgin Martyr, or from the Common of Virgins: For One Virgin


COLLECT
Deus, qui nos annua beatae Caeciliae celebritate laetificas, praesta, quaesumus, ut ea, quae de ancilla tua devote tradita sunt, exempla nobis praebeant imitanda et Christi Filii tui in servis eius praedicent mirabilia.
O God, who gladden us each year
with the feast day of your handmaid Saint Cecilia,
grant, we pray,
that what has been devoutly handed down concerning her
may offer us examples to imitate
and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants
by Christ your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          Hosea 2:16b,17b,21-22
Thus says the LORD: I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.
I will espouse you to me forever;
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R. Listen to me daughter; see and bend your ear.
Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed.
Forget your people and your father's house,
that the king might desire your beauty.
He is your lord.
R. Listen to me daughter; see and bend your ear.
All glorious is the king's daughter as she enters,
her raiment threaded with gold;
In embroidered apparel she is led to the king.
The maids of her train are presented to the king.
R. Listen to me daughter; see and bend your ear.
They are led in with glad and joyous acclaim;
they enter the palace of the king.
The throne of your fathers your sons will have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.
R. Listen to me daughter; see and bend your ear.


ALLELUIA
This is the wise bridesmaid, whom the Lord found waiting;
at his coming, she went in with him to the wedding feast.


GOSPEL          Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."




The Liturgy of the Hours
St. Cecilia


From the Common of One Martyr or of Virgins; except the following

Office of Readings


SECOND READING

From a discourse on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ps. 32, sermo 1, 7-8: CCL 38, 253-254)

Sing to God with songs of joy

Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song. Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song. A new man, a new covenant; a new song. This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it: the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God, and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven. To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song. Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.

Sing to him a new song, sing to him with joyful melody. Every one of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to him, but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to his ears, so sing well, brothers!

If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?

See how he himself provides you with a way of singing. Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure. Sing to him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.

But how is this done? You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart. Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress. Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in

sung words, yet shortly there is a change. As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.

Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to him with jubilation.


RESPONSORY        Psalm 71:8, 23; 9:3
My mouth will be filled with your praise.
I will sing of your greatness all the day long.
- My lips will shout for joy when I sing to you.

In you I will rejoice and be glad; I will sing to your name, Most High.
- My lips will shout for joy when I sing to you.


COLLECT
O God, who gladden us each year
with the feast day of your handmaid Saint Cecilia,
grant, we pray,
that what has been devoutly handed down concerning her
may offer us examples to imitate
and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants
by Christ your Son.
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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