Universalis
Saturday 25 March 2017    (other days)
The Annunciation of the Lord 
Solemnity

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.

Hymn
Hail, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor
When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to enable us to become his adopted sons.
Why are the nations in a ferment?
  Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
  the leaders have united against the Lord,
  against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
  let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
  he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
  in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
  Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
  the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
  break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
  Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
  lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.
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 appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to enable us to become his adopted sons.

Psalm 18 (19)
Praise of God the creator
When he came into the world, he said: ‘You have prepared a body for me. Behold, O God, I am coming to do your will.’
The skies tell the story of the glory of God,
  the firmament proclaims the work of his hands;
day pours out the news to day,
  night passes to night the knowledge.
Not a speech, not a word,
  not a voice goes unheard.
Their sound is spread throughout the earth,
  their message to all the corners of the world.
At the ends of the earth he has set up
  a dwelling place for the sun.
Like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
  it rejoices like an athlete at the race to be run.
It appears at the edge of the sky,
  runs its course to the sky’s furthest edge.
Nothing can hide from its heat.
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 he came into the world, he said: ‘You have prepared a body for me. Behold, O God, I am coming to do your will.’

Psalm 44 (45)
The wedding of the King
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
My heart cries out on a joyful theme:
  I will tell my poem to the king,
  my tongue like the pen of the swiftest scribe.
You have been given more than human beauty,
  and grace is poured out upon your lips,
  so that God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword to your side, mighty one,
  in all your greatness and splendour.
In your splendour go forth, mount your chariot,
  on behalf of truth, kindness and justice.
Let your right hand show your marvels,
  let your arrows be sharp against the hearts of the king’s enemies
 – the peoples will fall before you.
Your throne is firm, O God, from age to age,
  your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.
You love uprightness, hate injustice
 – for God, your God has anointed you
  with the oil of gladness, above all your companions.
Myrrh and aloes and cassia anoint your garments.
From ivory palaces the sound of harps delights you.
In your retinue go the daughters of kings.
At your right hand, the queen is adorned with gold of Ophir.
Listen, my daughter, and understand;
  turn your ears to what I have to say.
Forget your people, forget your father’s house,
  and the king will desire you for your beauty.
  He is your lord, so worship him.
The daughters of Tyre will bring you gifts;
  the richest of your subjects will beg you to look on them.
How great is the king’s daughter, within the palace!
  She is clothed in woven gold.
She will be taken to the king in coloured garments,
  her maidens will escort her to your presence.
In gladness and rejoicing they are brought
  and led to the house of the king.
Instead of your fathers you will have sons:
  you will make them rulers over all the world.
I will remember your name
  from generation to generation.
And so your people will do you honour
  for ever and 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.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

The word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

First Reading
1 Chronicles 17:1-15 ©
Once David had settled into his house, he said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Here am I living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the Lord’s covenant is still beneath the awning of a tent.’ Nathan said to David, ‘Do all that is in your mind, for God is with you.’
  But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, ‘Go and tell my servant David, “The Lord says this: You are not the man to build me a house to dwell in. I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought Israel out until today, but went from tent to tent, from one shelter to another. In all my journeying with the whole of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar? This is what you must say to my servant David: the Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel. I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall live in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to destroy them, as they did in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will subdue all their enemies. I will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you must go to your ancestors, I will preserve your offspring after you, a son of your own, and make his sovereignty secure. It is he who shall build a house for me and I will make his throne firm for ever. I will be a father to him and he a son to me. I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. I will preserve him for ever in my house and in my kingdom; and his throne shall be established for ever.”’
  Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.
Responsory
℟. The angel Gabriel was sent to announce the word to Mary, a virgin betrothed to Joseph, and she began to fear the light. ‘Mary, do not be afraid, you have won the Lord’s favour:* You are to conceive and bear a son; he shall be called Son of the Most High.’
℣. ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.* You are to conceive and bear a son; he shall be called Son of the Most High.’

Second Reading
From a letter by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The mystery of man's reconciliation with God
Lowliness is assured by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity. To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that was incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer. Thus, in keeping with the healing that we needed, one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, was able to die in one nature, and unable to die in the other.
  He who is true God was therefore born in the complete and perfect nature of a true man, whole in his own nature, whole in ours. By our nature we mean what the Creator had fashioned in us from the beginning, and took to himself in order to restore it.
  For in the Saviour there was no trace of what the deceiver introduced and man, being misled, allowed to enter. It does not follow that because he submitted to sharing in our human weakness he therefore shared in our sins.
  He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself visible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.
  Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.
  He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.
  He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the pre-eminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.
  As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfils what is proper to the flesh.
  One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.
  One and the same person – this must be said over and over again – is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
Responsory
℟. Virgin Mary, receive the word of the Lord brought to you by the angel: You will conceive and bear a son, both God and man.* You will be called, Blessed among all women.
℣. You will indeed bear a son, yet suffer no loss of virginity; you will be with child, yet remain a mother ever undefiled.* You will be called, Blessed among all women.

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.
Shape us in the likeness of the divine nature of our Redeemer,
  whom we believe to be true God and true man,
since it was your will, Lord God,
  that he, your Word, should take to himself our human nature
  in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  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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