The Holy Guardian Angels

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: Come let us worship the Lord, whom the angels worship.





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          Tune
They come, God's messengers of love,
they come from realms of peace above,
from homes of never-fading light,
from blissful mansions ever bright.

They come to watch around us here,
to soothe our sorrow, calm our fear:
ye heavenly guides, speed not away,
God willeth you with us to stay.

But chiefly at its journey's end
'tis yours the spirit to befriend,
and whisper to the faithful heart,
"O Christian soul, in peace depart."

To us the zeal of angels give,
with love to serve thee while we live;
to us an angel-guard supply,
when on the bed of death we lie.

To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
from all above and all below
let joyful praise unceasing flow.
Words: Robert Campbell, 1850; Music: Church Triumphant, Woolmer's, Daniel; Meter: LM


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The Lord God of heaven and earth shall send his Angel before you.

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
let all the coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
his throne, justice and right.

A fire prepares his path;
it burns up his foes on every side.
His lightnings light up the world,
the earth trembles at the sight.

The mountains melt like wax
before the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.

Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods.
All you spirits, worship him.

Zion hears and is glad;
the people of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments, O Lord.

For you indeed are the Lord
most high above all the earth,
exalted far above all spirits.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
he guards the souls of his saints;
he sets them free from the wicked.

Light shines forth for the just
and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
give glory to his holy name.

Antiphon 1: The Lord God of heaven and earth shall send his Angel before you.


Antiphon 2: My God has sent his Angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.

Psalm 103

                       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.

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.

Antiphon 2: My God has sent his Angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.


Antiphon 3: Go prosperously, and the Lord be with you in your journey, and his Angel keep you company.

                           III
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.

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!

Antiphon 3: Go prosperously, and the Lord be with you in your journey, and his Angel keep you company.


Bless the Lord, all his angels.
     - Mighty in power and obedient to his word.


FIRST READING          Zechariah 1:7-11
On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo; and Zechariah said, In the night I saw a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ The angel who talked with me said to me, ‘I will show you what they are.’ So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, ‘They are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.’ Then they spoke to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, ‘We have patrolled the earth, and lo, the whole earth remains at peace.’


RESPONSORY     See Revelation 12:7, 10, 19:1
There was silence in heaven when the dragon fought with Michael the archangel.
   - Then I heard a loud voice crying out:
Salvation, glory and power belong to the almighty God.

Now salvation and power have come;
the reign of our God and the authority of Christ are at hand.
   - Then I heard a loud voice crying out:
Salvation, glory and power belong to the almighty God.


SECOND READING

From a sermon by St. Bernard, abbot
(Sermo 12 in psalmum Qui habitat,3, 6-8; Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc 4:[1966], 458-462)

That they might guard you in all your ways

"He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways." Let them thank the Lord for his mercy; his wonderful works are for the children of men. Let them give thanks and say among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. O Lord, what is man that you have made yourself known to him, or why do you incline your heart to him? And you do incline your heart to him; you show him your care and your concern. Finally, you send your only Son and the grace of your Spirit, and promise him a vision of your countenance. And so, that nothing in heaven should be wanting in your concern for us, you send those blessed spirits to serve us, assigning them as our guardians and our teachers.

"He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways." These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.

So let us be devoted and grateful to such great protectors; let us return their love and honour them as much as we can and should. Yet all our love and honour must go to him, for it is from him that they receive all that makes them worthy of our love and respect.

We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father. We are God’s children although it does not seem so, because we are still but small children under guardians and trustees, and for the present little better than slaves.

Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear? They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven.


RESPONSORY     See Revelation 8:3,4; Daniel 7:10
God gave his angels charge over you
to protect you in all your ways.
- They shall lift you up with their hands,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.

No evil shall harm you,
no plague shall come near your tent.
- They shall lift you up with their hands,
lest you strike your foot against a stone


COLLECT
O God, who in your unfathomable providence
are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us,
hear our supplication as we cry to you,
that we may always be defended by their protection
and rejoice eternally in their company.
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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