Readings
for the Memorial of

Saint Sylvester I
Pope
December 31



MASS


From the Common of Pastors: For a Pope


COLLECT
Auxiliare, Domine, populo tuo, beati Silvestri papae intercessione suffulto, ut, praesentem vitam sub tua gubernatione transcurrens, mereatur feliciter invenire perpetuam.
Come, O Lord, to the help of your people,
sustained by the intercession of Pope Saint Sylvester,
so that, running the course of this present life under your guidance
we may happily attain life without end.
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.


FIRST READING          Ezekiel 34:11-16
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
As a shepherd tends his flock
when he finds himself among his scattered sheep,
so will I tend my sheep.
I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark.
I will lead them out from among the peoples
and gather them from the foreign lands;
I will bring them back to their own country
and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel
in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places.
In good pastures will I pasture them,
and on the mountain heights of Israel
shall be their grazing ground.
There they shall lie down on good grazing ground,
and in rich pastures shall they be pastured
on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy,
shepherding them rightly.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
Dominus pascit me, et nihil mihi deerit.

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


ALLELUIA          Mk 1:17
Venite post me, dicit Dominus, et faciam vos fieri piscatores hominum.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.


GOSPEL          Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."



Liturgy of the Hours
Sylvester I


From the Common of Pastors, except for the following:

Office of Readings


SECOND READING

From the Ecclesiastical History by Saint Eusebius of Caesarea, bishop
(Lib. 10, 1-3: PG 20, 842-847)

The peace of Constantine

Glory to God the almighty, the King of the universe, for all his gifts, and gratitude to Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of our souls, through whom we pray that this peace may be preserved for us stable and unshaken for ever: a peace that will keep us safe from troubles outside as well as from all anxieties and disturbances of soul. When this bright and radiant day, darkened by no cloud, shone with heavenly light on the churches of Christ throughout the world, even those outside our community, though they had not the same cause for rejoicing, shared at least some of the blessings that God had bestowed on us. For us above all, who had placed our hopes in Christ, there was inexpressible joy and a heavenly happiness shone on every face. Every place that a short time before had been laid waste by the tyrants' wickedness we now saw restored to life, recovering, as it seemed, from a long and deadly disease. Churches were once again rising from the ground high into the air, far surpassing in splendor and magnificence the ones that had previously been stormed and destroyed.

Then came the spectacle that we had prayed and hoped for: dedication festivals throughout the cities, and the consecration of the newly erected houses of worship. For this there were convocations of bishops, gatherings of pilgrims from far distant lands, warm and loving contact between the different communities, as the members of Christ's body united in complete harmony. The mysterious prophecy: There came together bone to bone and joint to joint was thus fulfilled, as were all the other prophecies which had been unerringly proclaimed by type and symbol. All the members were filled with the grace of the one divine Spirit, all were of one mind, with the same enthusiasm for the faith, and on the lips of all there was one hymn of praise.

Yes, and our bishops performed religious rites with full ceremonial, priests officiated at the liturgy the solemn ritual of the Church, chanting psalms, proclaiming the other parts of our God-given Scriptures, and celebrating the divine mysteries. Baptism was also administered, the sacred symbol of our Savior's passion.

Without the slightest distraction, men and women of all ages united in prayer and thanksgiving, their minds and hearts full of joy as they gave glory to God the giver of all good gifts.


RESPONSORY          See Acts 20:28: 1 Cor 4:2
Let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts;
as members of one body you have been called to that peace;
be thankful.
- All of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
let the assembly of the faithful sing his praise.
- All of you are one in Christ Jesus.


HYMN
Te Deum


COLLECT
Come, O Lord, to the help of your people,
sustained by the intercession of Pope Saint Sylvester,
so that, running the course of this present life under your guidance
we may happily attain life without end.
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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