THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
September 8

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 celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary; let us worship her Son, Christ the Lord.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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

The God whom earth and sea and sky
adore and laud and magnify,
whose might they own, whose praise they swell,
in Mary's womb vouchsafed to dwell.

The Lord whom sun and moon obey,
whom all things serve from day to day,
was by the Holy Ghost conceived
of her who through his grace believed.

How blessed that Mother, in whose shrine
the world's Creator, Lord divine,
whose hand contains the earth and sky,
once deigned, as in his ark, to lie.

Blessed in the message Gabriel brought,
blessed by the work the Spirit wrought;
from whom the great Desire of earth
took human flesh and human birth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.
Text: Venantius Fortunatus; translation: John F. Neale; Melody: St. Ambrose; Midi: Cyberhymnal

or


Ye who own the faith of Jesus,
sing the wonders that were done
when the love of God the Father
over sin the victory won,
when he made the Virgin Mary
mother of his only Son.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Blessed were the chosen people
out of whom the Lord did come;
blessed was the land of promise
fashioned for his earthly home;
but more blessed far the mother,
she who bare him in her womb.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Wherefore let all faithful people
tell the honor of her name;
let the Church, in her foreshadowed,
part in her thanksgiving claim;
what Christ's mother sang in gladness
let Christ's people sing the same.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Praise, O Mary, praise the Father,
praise thy Savior and thy Son,
praise the everlasting Spirit,
who hath made thee ark and throne
o'er all creatures high exalted,
lowly praise the Three in One.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.
Melody: Den das Vaters Sinn geboren 87.87.876; Music: J.A. Freilinghausen, 1670-1739; Text: V.S.S. Coles, 1845-1929


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.

The Lord's is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him .
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory. Glory...

Antiphon 1: Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.


Antiphon 2: The most high has made his dwelling place a holy temple.

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God's city,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken;
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken:
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
"Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!"

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Glory...

Antiphon 2: The most high has made his dwelling place a holy temple.


Antiphon 3: Glorious things are said of you, O Virgin Mary.

Psalm 87


On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob's dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called Mother
for all shall be her children."

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
These are her children,
and while they dance they will sing:
In you all find their home. Glory..
Antiphon 3: Glorious things are said of you, O Virgin Mary.


Blessed are those who hear the word of God.
- And cherish it in their hearts.


FIRST READING

From the book of Genesis          3:9-20

A judgment against the sinner and the promise of salvation

The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ The Lord God said to the serpent,

‘Because you have done this,
     cursed are you among all animals
     and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
     and dust you shall eat
     all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
     and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
     and you will strike his heel.’
To the woman he said,
‘I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
     in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
     and he shall rule over you.’
And to the man* he said,
‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
     and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you,
     “You shall not eat of it”,
cursed is the ground because of you;
     in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
     and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
     you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
     for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
     and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all who live.


RESPONSORY
Today the Virgin Mary was born of a virgin's seed.
Through her the salvation of the world has been revealed to all believers;
- her glorious life has shone upon the world.

Let us keep with devotion the birth of the blessed Virgin Mary.
- Her glorious life has shone upon the world.


SECOND READING

From a discourse by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop
(Oratio 1: PG 97, 806-810)

The old has passed away: all things are made new

‘The fulfilment of the law is Christ himself, who does not so much lead us away from the letter as lift us up to its spirit. For the law’s consummation was this, that the very lawgiver accomplished his work and changed letter into spirit, summing everything up in himself and, though subject to the law, living by grace. He subordinated the law, yet harmoniously united grace with it, not confusing the distinctive characteristics of the one with the other, but effecting the transition in a way most fitting for God. He changed whatever was burdensome, servile and oppressive to what is light and liberating, so that we should be enslaved no longer under the elemental spirits of the world, as the Apostle says, nor held fast as bondservants under the letter of the law.

This is the highest, all-embracing benefit that Christ has bestowed on us. This is the revelation of the mystery, this is the emptying out of the divine nature, the union of God and man, and the deification of the manhood that was assumed. This radiant and manifest coming of God to men most certainly needed a joyful prelude to introduce the great gift of salvation to us. The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the fore-ordained union of the Word with flesh. Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages.

Justly, then, do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a double grace. We are led toward the truth, and we are led away from our condition of slavery to the letter of the law. How can this be? Darkness yields before the coming of the light, and grace exchanges legalism for freedom. But midway between the two stands today’s mystery, at the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality, and the old is replaced by the new. Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day. Let there be one common festival for saints in heaven and men on earth. Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.


RESPONSORY
Today let us celebrate with devotion the birth of Mary, the ever-virgin Mother of God
- whose splendid life has illumined the Church.

With heart and mind let us sing praise and glory to Christ
on this holy feastday of the glorious Virgin Mother of God.
- Whose splendid life has illumined the Church.


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
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord,
the gift of heavenly grace,
that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
may bring deeper peace
to those for whom the birth of her Son
was the dawning of salvation.
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.


May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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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