Universalis
Saturday 20 January 2018    (other days)
Saint Fabian, Pope, Martyr 
 or Saturday of week 2 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Sebastian, Martyr 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

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
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 135 (136)
A paschal hymn
The Lord alone has wrought marvellous works, for his love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his love is for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
  for his love is for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
  for his love is for ever.
He alone works wonders,
  for his love is for ever.
In his wisdom he made the heavens,
  for his love is for ever.
He set the Earth upon the waters,
  for his love is for ever.
He created the great lights,
  for his love is for ever.
The sun, to rule over the day,
  for his love is for ever.
The moon and stars, to rule over the night,
  for his love is for ever.
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 alone has wrought marvellous works, for his love endures for ever.

Psalm 135 (136)
He brought Israel out from Egypt, with arm outstretched, with power in his hand.
He struck down the first-born of Egypt,
  for his love is for ever.
He led Israel out from their midst,
  for his love is for ever.
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
  for his love is for ever.
He divided the Red Sea in two,
  for his love is for ever.
He led Israel out through the sea,
  for his love is for ever.
He overthrew Pharaoh and his army,
  for his love is for ever.
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.
He brought Israel out from Egypt, with arm outstretched, with power in his hand.

Psalm 135 (136)
To the Lord of heaven give thanks: he set us free from our foes.
He led his people through the wilderness,
  for his love is for ever.
He struck down great kings,
  for his love is for ever.
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
  for his love is for ever.
And Og, the king of Bashan,
  for his love is for ever.
He gave their land to his people,
  for his love is for ever.
A heritage for Israel his servant,
  for his love is for ever.
He remembered us in our affliction,
  for his love is for ever.
He rescued us from our enemies,
  for his love is for ever.
He gives food to all creatures that live,
  for his love is for ever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
  for his love is for ever.
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.
To the Lord of heaven give thanks: he set us free from our foes.

Lord, show me your ways,
and teach me your paths.

First Reading
Deuteronomy 16:1-17 ©
The feasts of Israel
Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover for the Lord your God, because it was in the month of Abib that the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. You must sacrifice a passover from your flock or herd for the Lord your God in the place where the Lord chooses to give his name a home. You must not eat leavened bread with this; for seven days you must eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of emergency, for it was in great haste that you came out of the land of Egypt; so you will remember, all the days of your life, the day you came out of the land of Egypt. For seven days no leaven must be found in any house throughout your territory, nor must any of the meat that you sacrifice in the evening of the first day be kept overnight until morning. You may not sacrifice the passover in any of the towns that the Lord your God gives you; but only in the place where the Lord your God chooses to give his name a home, there you must sacrifice the passover, in the evening at sunset, at the hour at which you came out of Egypt. You must cook it and eat it in the place the Lord your God chooses, and in the morning you are to return and go to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the seventh day there shall be an assembly for the Lord your God; and you must do no work.
  You are to count seven weeks, counting these seven weeks from the time you begin to put your sickle into the standing corn. You must then celebrate the feast of weeks for the Lord your God with the gift of a voluntary offering from your hand in proportion to the way that the Lord your God has blessed you. You must rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God in the place where the Lord your God chooses to give his name a home, you and your son and daughter, your serving men and women, the Levite who lives in your towns, the stranger, the orphan and the widow who live among you. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and carefully observe these laws.
  You must celebrate the feast of Tabernacles for seven days, at the time when you gather in the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress. You must rejoice at your feast, you and your son and daughter, your serving men and women, the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow who live in your towns. For seven days you are to celebrate the feast for the Lord your God in the place the Lord chooses, for the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and all your handiwork, and you will be filled with joy.
  Three times a year all your menfolk are to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses: at the feast of Unleavened Bread, at the feast of Weeks, at the feast of Tabernacles. No one must appear before the Lord empty-handed, but every man must give what he can, in proportion to the blessing that the Lord your God gives you.
Responsory
Dt 16:14-15; Na 1:15
℟. You must rejoice at your feast, you and your son and daughter, the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow,* and the Lord will bless you, and you will be filled with joy.
℣. See on the mountains the feet of the herald who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah,* and the Lord will bless you, and you will be filled with joy.

Second Reading
Letters of St Cyprian
Fabian shows us an example of faith and strength
When St Cyprian had learnt of Pope Fabian’s death, he sent this letter to the presbyters and deacons of Rome (250AD):
  When the report of the departure of the excellent man, my colleague, was still uncertain among us, my beloved brethren, and I was wavering doubtfully in my opinion on the matter, I received a letter sent to me from you by Crementius the sub-deacon, in which I was fully informed of his glorious end; and I rejoiced greatly that the integrity of his administration had been matched by the nobility of his end.
  I greatly congratulate you that you honour his memory with so public and illustrious a testimony, through which you have made known to me not only the memory of your bishop, which confers glory upon you, but also an example of faith and strength that I should follow.
  For just as the fall of a bishop tends to bring about the ruinous fall of his followers, so it is a useful and helpful thing when, by the firmness of his faith, a bishop becomes manifest to his brethren as an object of imitation.
Before receiving the above letter, the Church of Rome wrote to Cyprian, bearing witness to its steadfastness in persecution:
  The church stands in faith, even though some have been driven to fall by sheer terror, whether because they were people of some eminence or because, when they were seized, they were overwhelmed by the fear of man. We did not abandon these people, although they were separated from us; but we exhort them, and exhort them still, to repent, so that they may somehow receive pardon from Him who is able to pardon them, and so that they should not, by being deserted by us, become worse.
  So you see, brethren, that you ought to do the same, so that even those who have fallen may be brought to their senses by your exhortation, and confess, if they are seized once more, and so make amends for their former sin. You have other duties too, which we have added here. For example, if anyone who has fallen into this temptation begins to be taken with sickness, and repents of what he has done, and desires communion, it must be granted to them in any case. And if you have widows or bedridden people who cannot maintain themselves, or people who are in prison or otherwise excluded from their own dwellings, they must always have someone to minister to them. Moreover, catechumens who are taken ill should not be disappointed in their hopes, but should also be given help.
  The brethren who are in chains greet you, as do the elders and the whole Church, which also, with the deepest anxiety, keeps watch over all who call on the Lord. And we too ask that you in your turn should remember us.
Responsory
℟. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ and so I have accepted the loss of everything and look on everything as so much refuse if only I can have Christ;* life to me is Christ, but then death would bring me something more.
℣. If my blood has to be shed as part of your own sacrifice and offering – which is your faith – I shall still be happy and rejoice with all of you;* life to me is Christ, but then death would bring me something more.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you crown your priests in glory.
Grant that by the intercession of Pope Saint Fabian
  we may share his faith
  and, like him, give you loyal service.
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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