ST. JOSEPH
Husband of Mary

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: Let us praise Christ the Lord as we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph.






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.


HYMN
-
Joseph of Nazareth, you are the man
Last in the line that rose from David, King,
Down through the royal generations ran,
And ends with Jesus Christ.

Gabriel from heaven came to Mary's side,
Came with the joyful promise of a King,
Came to you also, Joseph, to confide
That God conceived this Child.

Guardian and foster-father of the Christ,
Honor to you, so chosen by our God!
Husband of Virgin Mary, you are first
To show us Christian love.
Melody: Compassion; Text: Stephen Sommerville, 1972;Midi: Cyberhymnal


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; she will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Psalm 21:2-8,14

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the King;
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart's desire;
you have not refused the prayer of his lips.

You came to meet him with the blessings of success,
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given,
days that will last from age to age.

Your saving help has given him glory.
You have laid upon him majesty and splendor,
you have granted your blessings to him forever.
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.

The king has put his trust in the Lord:
through the mercy of the Most High he shall stand firm.
O Lord, arise in your strength;
we shall sing and praise your power. Glory...

Antiphon 1 The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; she will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.


Antiphon 2 When he awoke, Joseph did as the angel of the Lord directed him, and took Mary as his wife.

Psalm 92

                  I
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute,
with the murmuring sound of the harp.

Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad;
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works!
How deep are your designs!
The foolish man cannot know this
and the fool cannot understand.

Though the wicked spring up like grass
and all who do evil thrive,
they are doomed to be eternally destroyed.
But you, Lord, are eternally on high. Glory...

Antiphon 2 When he awoke, Joseph did as the angel of the Lord directed him, and took Mary as his wife.


Antiphon 3 Joseph left Nazareth and set out for the town of David called Bethlehem to register with Mary.

              II
See how your enemies perish;
all doers of evil are scattered.

To me you give the wild ox's strength;
you anoint me with the purest oil.
My eyes looked in triumph on my foes;
my ears heard gladly of their fall.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong. Glory....

Antiphon 3 Joseph left Nazareth and set out for the town of David called Bethlehem to register with Mary.


The just man shall blossom like the lily.
- He shall flourish forever in the courts of our God,


FIRST READING

From the letter to the Hebrews          11:1-16

The faith of the ancients

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.  Because of it the ancients were well attested.  By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible.  

By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain's. Through this he was attested to be righteous, God bearing witness to his gifts, and through this, though dead, he still speaks.  

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and "he was found no more because God had taken him." Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God.   But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  

By faith Noah, warned about what was not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household. Through this he condemned the world and inherited the righteousness that comes through faith.  

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.  By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God.  

By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age--and Sarah herself was sterile--for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.  So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.  

All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,  for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.


RESPONSORY           Romans 4:20,22; James 2:22
He never doubted God's promise
but was strengthened in his faith
and gave glory to God.
 - Therefore through faith he was counted as justified.

Faith was at work in his deeds,
and by his deeds his faith became perfect.
 - Therefore through faith he was counted as justified.


SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Bernadine of Siena
(Sermo 2, de S. Joseph: Opera 7, 16, 27-30)

The faithful foster-father and guardian

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord”.

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honor which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: “Enter into the joy of your Lord”. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: “Enter into joy”. His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.

Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.


RESPONSORY          See Genesis 45:8; 50:20; Sirach 51:2
God has made me a father to the king
and master of all his household.
 - He has raised me up,
that he might save many people.

The Lord is my helper and protector;
he is my savior,
 - He has raised me up,
that he might save many people.


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
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph's intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
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.


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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