Universalis
Monday 24 April 2017    (other days)
Saint Wojciech (Adalbert of Prague), Bishop, Martyr, chief patron of Poland 
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. Alleluia.

Hymn
The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross he died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor
You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake; but he who endures to the end will be saved. Alleluia.
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.
You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake; but he who endures to the end will be saved. Alleluia.

Psalm 10 (11)
The Lord, support of the just
The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. Alleluia.
I trust in the Lord, so why do you say to me:
  “Fly up to the mountain like a sparrow”?
“For the wicked have drawn their bows,
  fitted the arrow to the string,
  to shoot in darkness at the upright of heart.
When the foundations are being overthrown,
  what are the just to do?”
The Lord is in his holy temple;
  the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the poor,
  he examines the children of men.
The Lord scrutinises the just and the unjust,
  and his heart hates those who do evil.
He rains down coals upon the wicked,
  fire and brimstone and a scorching wind:
  this is what he gives them to drink.
For the Lord is just and loves just deeds,
  and the upright shall see his face.
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 sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. Alleluia.

Psalm 16 (17)
Save me from wrongdoers
The Lord tried his chosen ones like gold in a furnace; he accepted them as a holy offering, thoroughly consumed by fire. Alleluia.
Hear the case I bring before you, Lord,
  listen to my plea.
Lend your ears to the voice of my pleading:
  on my lips there is no deceit.
Give judgement yourself in my favour,
  let your eyes see that justice is done.
Search my heart, inspect it by night,
  test me with fire –
  in me you will find no wrong.
My speech is not turned aside towards the works of men:
  and because of your words I keep far from the ways of the violent.
Keep my steps from leaving your paths,
  so that I may never stumble.
I have cried to you, God, because you will listen;
  turn your ear to me and listen to my words.
Pour out your kindness till men are astonished,
  you, who keep safe from attack
  all who trust in your strength.
Guard me as the apple of your eye,
  hide me in the shade of your wings,
  away from the wicked who have done me wrong.
In their rage, my enemies surround me,
  they have sealed up their hearts and their mouths utter threats.
They advance, they surround me,
  they watch for their chance to send me sprawling to the ground.
Their faces are like lions eager for their prey,
  like lion cubs lying and waiting in their den.
Rise up, O Lord, face my enemy and defeat him,
  with your sword rescue my life from the wicked.
By your hand, Lord, rescue me from death;
  from joining the dead, who have life no more.
From your storehouse you fill men’s bellies,
  their children are sated, they leave the rest to their heirs.
And I, being upright, shall see your face,
  the sight of you, when I wake, will be all that I need.
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 tried his chosen ones like gold in a furnace; he accepted them as a holy offering, thoroughly consumed by fire. Alleluia.

Tribulation and anguish are upon me, alleluia;
I meditate on your commandments. Alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 7:9-17 ©
I, John, saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, ‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, ‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’
  One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and because they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb, they now stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them, because the Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.’
Responsory
℟. The saints, who kept your commands, O Lord, travelled along a marvellous way:* dry land appeared, and an unhindered path across the Red Sea, so that they emerged unharmed from the deep waters, alleluia.
℣. They proclaimed with one voice your sovereign power, O Lord, and they extolled your holy name.* Dry land appeared, and an unhindered path across the Red Sea, so that they emerged unharmed from the deep waters, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Augustine
The martyrs' deaths are made precious by the death of Christ
Through such glorious deeds of the holy martyrs, with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we prove with our own eyes how true it is, as we have just been singing, that precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints; seeing that it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of him for the sake of whose name it was undertaken. But the price of these deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths were bought with one dying man, who was the grain of wheat that would not have been multiplied if he had not died! You have heard his words when he was drawing near to our passion, that is, when he was drawing near to our redemption: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  On the cross, you see, Christ transacted a grand exchange; it was there that the purse containing our price was untied; when his side was laid open by the lance of the executioner, there poured out from it the price of the whole wide world. The faithful were bought, and the martyrs; but the faith of the martyrs has been proved, and their blood is the witness to it. The martyrs have paid back what was spent for them, and they have fulfilled what Saint John says: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for the brethren. And in another place it says, You have sat down at a great table; consider carefully what is set before you, since you ought to prepare the same kind of thing yourself. It is certainly a great table, where the Lord of the table is himself the banquet. No-one feeds his guests on himself; that is what the Lord Christ did, being himself the host, himself the food and drink. Therefore the martyrs recognised what they ate and drank, so that they could give back the same kind of thing.
  But from where could they give back the same kind of thing, if the one who made the first payment had not given them the means of giving something back? What shall I pay back to the Lord for all the things he has paid back to me? I will receive the cup of salvation. What is this cup? The bitter but salutary cup of suffering, the cup which the invalid would fear to touch if the doctor did not drink it first. That is what this cup is; we can recognise this cup on the lips of Christ, when he says, Father, if it can be so, let this cup pass from me. It is about this cup that the martyrs said, I will receive the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.
  So are you not afraid of failing at this point? No? Why not? Because I will call upon the name of the Lord. How could the martyrs ever conquer, unless that one conquered in them who said Rejoice, since I have conquered the world? The emperor of the heavens was governing their minds and tongues, and through them overcoming the devil on earth and crowning the martyrs in heaven. O, how blessed are those who drank this cup thus! They have finished with suffering and have received honour instead.
Responsory
℟. I have run the great race, I have finished the course, I have kept faith,* and now the prize, the garland of righteousness awaits me, alleluia.
℣. I have been glad to lose everything, that I may learn to know Christ and what it means to share his sufferings, to be moulded into the pattern of his death,* and now the prize, the garland of righteousness awaits me, alleluia.

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.
God of power and mercy, you gave Saint N. the grace to overcome the sufferings of martyrdom:
  grant to us who celebrate his victory
  that the power of your protecting hand
  may keep us unshaken in the face of our ancient enemy and all his hidden snares.
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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