Universalis
Sunday 4 December 2016    (other days)
2nd Sunday of Advent 

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 99 (100)
Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.
(repeat antiphon*)
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
(repeat antiphon*)
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
(repeat antiphon*)
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
(repeat antiphon*)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
The Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste up on the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

Psalm 103 (104)
Hymn to God the Creator
Behold, the heavenly king will come with power and great glory to save the nations. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed in majesty and splendour;
  you are wrapped in light as in a cloak.
You stretch out the sky like an awning,
  you build your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot,
  you walk upon the wings of the wind.
You make the breezes your messengers,
  you make burning fire your minister.
You set the earth upon its foundation:
  from age to age it will stand firm.
Deep oceans covered it like a garment,
  and the waters stood high above the mountains;
but you rebuked them and they fled;
  at the sound of your thunder they fled in terror.
They rise to the mountains or sink to the valleys,
  to the places you have decreed for them.
You have given them a boundary they must not cross;
  they will never come back to cover the earth.
You make springs arise to feed the streams,
  that flow in the midst of the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink from them
  and the wild asses will quench their thirst.
Above them will nest the birds of the sky,
  from among the branches their voices will sound.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Behold, the heavenly king will come with power and great glory to save the nations. Alleluia.

Psalm 103 (104)
Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king is coming to you. Sion, do not be afraid: your salvation is at hand.
From your palace you water the mountains,
  and thus you give plenty to the earth.
You bring forth grass for the cattle,
  and plants for the service of man.
You bring forth bread from the land,
  and wine to make man’s heart rejoice.
Oil, to make the face shine;
  and bread to make man’s heart strong.
The trees of the Lord have all that they need,
  and the cedars of Lebanon, that he planted.
Small birds will nest there,
  and storks at the tops of the trees.
For wild goats there are the high mountains;
  the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
He made the moon so that time could be measured;
  the sun knows the hour of its setting.
You send shadows, and night falls:
  then all the beasts of the woods come out,
lion cubs roaring for their prey,
  asking God for their food.
When the sun rises they come back together
  to lie in their lairs;
man goes out to his labour,
  and works until evening.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king is coming to you. Sion, do not be afraid: your salvation is at hand.

Psalm 103 (104)
When the great King comes, the hearts of men will be made pure and we shall be made worthy to meet him. Behold, he is coming: he will not delay.
How many are your works, O Lord!
  You have made all things in your wisdom,
  and the earth is full of your creatures.
The sea is broad and immense:
  sea-creatures swim there, both small and large,
  too many to count.
Ships sail across it;
  Leviathan lives there, the monster;
  you made him to play with.
All of them look to you
  to give them their food when they need it.
You give it to them, and they gather;
  you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
But turn away, and they are dismayed;
  take away their breath, and they die,
  once more they will turn into dust.
You will send forth your breath, they will come to life;
  you will renew the face of the earth.
Glory be to the Lord, for ever;
  let the Lord rejoice in his works.
He turns his gaze to the earth, and it trembles;
  he touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
  as long as I exist, I will sing songs to God.
May my praises be pleasing to him;
  truly I will delight in the Lord.
Let sinners perish from the earth,
  let the wicked vanish from existence.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
When the great King comes, the hearts of men will be made pure and we shall be made worthy to meet him. Behold, he is coming: he will not delay.

Bow your heads no longer, but look:
your redemption is close at hand.

First ReadingIsaiah 22:8-23 ©
You turned your gaze that day
to the armoury of the House of the Forest.
You saw how many breaches there were
in the Citadel of David.
You collected the waters
of the lower pool.
You counted
the houses of Jerusalem,
and you pulled down houses
to strengthen the wall.
In the middle you made a reservoir between the two walls
for the waters of the old pool.
But you had no thought for the Maker,
no eyes for him who shaped everything long ago.
The Lord, the Lord of Hosts, called you
that day to weep and mourn,
to shave your heads, to put on sackcloth;
instead, there is joy and amusement,
killing of oxen, slaughtering of sheep,
eating of meat, drinking of wine,
‘Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we may be dead.’
My ears have had this revelation
from the Lord of Hosts:
‘Most certainly this sin will not be atoned for,
until you die’
says the Lord, the Lord of Hosts.
Thus says the Lord, the Lord of Hosts:
Now go to this steward,
to Shebna, the master of the palace,
who is hewing a tomb for himself high up,
carving out a room for himself in the rock,
‘What right have you here, and what relatives have you here
for you to hew yourself a tomb in this place?
See, the Lord hurls you down,
down with a single throw;
then with a strong grip he grips you,
and he winds you up into a ball
and hurls you into an immense country.
There you will die,
and there will be sent the chariots you were so proud of,
you, the disgrace of your master’s palace.’
I dismiss you from your office,
I remove you from your post,
and the same day I call on my servant
Eliakim son of Hilkiah.
I invest him with your robe,
gird him with your sash,
entrust him with your authority;
and he shall be a father
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem
and to the House of Judah.
I place the key of the House of David
on his shoulder;
should he open, no one shall close,
should he close, no one shall open.
I drive him like a peg
into a firm place;
he will become a throne of glory
for his father’s house.
Responsory
℟. This is the message from the One who is holy and true, who holds the key of David:* See, I have opened a door before you, which no-one can close.
℣. You have followed my teaching and been faithful to me.* See, I have opened a door before you, which no-one can close.

Second Reading
A commentary on Isaiah by Eusebius of Caesarea
A voice of one crying in the wilderness
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. The prophecy makes clear that it is to be fulfilled, not in Jerusalem but in the wilderness: it is there that the glory of the Lord is to appear, and God’s salvation is to be made known to all mankind.
  It was in the wilderness that God’s saving presence was proclaimed by John the Baptist, and there that God’s salvation was seen. The words of this prophecy were fulfilled when Christ and his glory were made manifest to all: after his baptism the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rested on him, and the Father’s voice was heard, bearing witness to the Son: This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
  The prophecy meant that God was to come to a deserted place, inaccessible from the beginning. None of the pagans had any knowledge of God, since his holy servants and prophets were kept from approaching them. The voice commands that a way be prepared for the Word of God: the rough and trackless ground is to be made level, so that our God may find a highway when he comes. Prepare the way of the Lord: the way is the preaching of the Gospel, the new message of consolation, ready to bring to all mankind the knowledge of God’s saving power.
  Climb on a high mountain, bearer of good news to Zion. Lift up your voice in strength, bearer of good news to Jerusalem. These words harmonise very well with the meaning of what has gone before. They refer opportunely to the evangelists and proclaim the coming of God to men, after speaking of the voice crying in the wilderness. Mention of the evangelists suitably follows the prophecy on John the Baptist.
  What does Zion mean if not the city previously called Jerusalem? This is the mountain referred to in that passage from Scripture: Here is mount Zion, where you dwelt. The Apostle says: You have come to mount Zion. Does not this refer to the company of the apostles, chosen from the former people of the circumcision?
  This is the Zion, the Jerusalem, that received God’s salvation. It stands aloft on the mountain of God, that is, it is raised high on the only-begotten Word of God. It is commanded to climb the high mountain and announce the word of salvation. Who is the bearer of the good news but the company of the evangelists? What does it mean to bear the good news but to preach to all nations, but first of all to the cities of Judah, the coming of Christ on earth?
Responsory
℟. The precursor of the Lord is come. Jesus himself says of him:* Among those born of women, there has risen no-one greater than John the Baptist.
℣. He is a prophet, and much more than a prophet. The Saviour says of him:* Among those born of women, there has risen no-one greater than John the Baptist.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Almighty and merciful God,
  let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life
  prevent us from hastening to meet your Son.
Enlighten us with your wisdom
  and lead us into his company.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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