Universalis
Wednesday 22 November 2017    (other days)
Saint Cecilia, Virgin, Martyr 
 (Wednesday of week 33 in Ordinary Time)

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
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. Alleluia.

Hymn
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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.
I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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.
The Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.

First Reading
Zechariah 10:3-11:3 ©
Israel’s liberation and return
Thus says the Lord:
‘My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I mean to punish the he-goats.
Yes, the Lord of Hosts will take care of his flock, the House of Judah,
he will make it his proud steed in battle.
From him will issue Cornerstone and Tent-peg,
from him the Bow of battle,
from him all the Leaders.
Together they will be like heroes
trampling the dirt of the streets in battle;
they will fight, since the Lord is with them,
and the riders of horses will be thrown into confusion.
‘And I will make the House of Judah mighty,
and the House of Joseph victorious.
I am going to restore them, because I have taken pity on them,
and they shall be as though I had never cast them off
for I am the Lord their God and I mean to answer their prayer.
‘Ephraim will be like a hero.
Their hearts will be cheered as though by wine.
Their sons will look on this in gladness,
their hearts will exult in the Lord.
‘I am going to whistle to them and gather them in,
for I have redeemed them;
they will be as numerous as they used to be.
I have scattered them among the peoples
but from far away they will remember me:
they will teach their sons, and these will return.
I mean to bring them back from the land of Egypt,
and gather them from Assyria;
I shall lead them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
and even that will not be large enough for them.
They will pass through the sea of Egypt
and he will strike the waves on the sea;
all the depths of the Nile will be dried up.
The arrogance of Assyria will be cast down
and the sceptre of Egypt be taken away.
‘Their strength will be in the Lord;
in his name they will glory.’
It is the Lord who speaks.
Open your gateways, Lebanon,
and let the fire burn down your cedars.
Wail, cypress,
for felled is the cedar,
the mighty ones have been brought low!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
for the impenetrable forest has been felled!
The wailing of the shepherds is heard;
their glorious pastures have been ruined.
The roaring of the young lions is heard;
the thickets of the Jordan have been laid waste.
Responsory
Zc 10:6-7; Is 28:5
℟. I am going to restore them, because I have taken pity on them, for I am the Lord their God,* and their hearts will exult in the Lord.
℣. On that day the Lord of hosts shall be a lovely garland, a beautiful diadem for the faithful remnant of his people,* and their hearts will exult in the Lord.

Second Reading
A commentary of St Augustine on Psalm 32
Sing to God in jubilation
Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song. Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song. A new man, a new covenant; a new song. This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it: the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God, and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven. To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song. Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.
  Sing to him a new song, sing to him with joyful melody. Every one of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to him, but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to his ears, so sing well, brothers!
  If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?
  See how he himself provides you with a way of singing. Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure. Sing to him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.
  But how is this done? You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart. Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress. Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change. As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.
  Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to him with jubilation.
Responsory
℟. My lips speak your praise, your glory all the day long.* When I sing to you, my lips shall rejoice.
℣. I will rejoice in you and be glad, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.* When I sing to you, my lips shall rejoice.

Let us pray.
Lord God, in your mercy listen to our prayers,
  which we offer you under the patronage of Saint Cecilia.
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.
Amen.

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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