Universalis
Saturday 20 December 2014    (other days)
20 December

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 23 (24)
The Lord is at hand: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
(repeat antiphon*)
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
(repeat antiphon*)
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
(repeat antiphon*)
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
(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.
The Lord is at hand: come, let us adore him.*

* 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 106 (107)
Thanksgiving after rescue
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
  those whom he rescued from their enemies
  whom he gathered together from all lands,
  from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
  they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
  weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
  towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
  and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
  imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
  and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
  they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
  he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
  who breaks bars of iron.
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 them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.

Psalm 106 (107)
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.
The people were sick because they transgressed,
  afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
  they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
  delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
  and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
  the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
  and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
  and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
  they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
  terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
  and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
  and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
  give him praise in the council of the elders.
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.
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.

Psalm 106 (107)
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.
The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
  he has made well-watered lands into desert,
  fruitful ground into salty waste
  because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
  deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
  and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
  they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
  he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
  through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
  and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
  and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
  and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
  and understand the mercies of 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.
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.

A voice crying in the wilderness: prepare a way for the Lord.
Make straight the paths of our God.

First ReadingIsaiah 48:1-11 ©
Listen to this, House of Jacob,
you who bear the name of Israel,
and have sprung from the seed of Judah;
you who swear by the name of the Lord
and invoke the God of Israel
though not in good faith or uprightness –
calling yourselves after the holy city
and bolstering yourselves on the God of Israel,
whose name is ‘The Lord of Hosts.’
Things now past I once revealed long ago,
they went out from my mouth and I proclaimed them;
then suddenly I acted and they happened.
For I knew you to be obstinate,
your neck an iron bar,
your forehead bronze.
And so I revealed things beforehand,
before they happened I announced them to you,
so that you could not say, ‘My idol was the one that performed them,
it was my carved image, my image of cast metal, that decreed them.’
You have heard and seen all this,
will you not admit it?
Now I am revealing new things to you,
things hidden and unknown to you,
created just now, this very moment,
of these things you have heard nothing until now,
so that you cannot say, ‘Oh yes, I knew all this.’
You had never heard,
you did not know,
I had not opened your ear beforehand;
for I knew how treacherous you were,
and that you have deserved the name of rebel from your birth.
For the sake of my name I deferred my anger,
for the sake of my honour I curbed it; I did not destroy you.
And now I have put you in the fire like silver,
I have tested you in the furnace of distress.
For my sake and my sake only have I acted–
is my name to be profaned?
Never will I yield my glory to another.
Responsory
I have tested you in the furnace of distress. For my sake only have I acted – is my name to be profaned? Never will I yield my glory to another.
In excess of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I have taken pity on you. Never will I yield my glory to another.

Second Reading
A sermon of St Bernard
The whole world awaits Mary's reply
You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.
  The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.
  Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.
  Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.
  Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.
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.

Let us pray.
Lord, at the angel’s message
  Mary, the immaculate Virgin,
  became the temple of God
and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit
  when she received your divine Word.
Grant that, after her example,
  we may humbly and steadfastly follow your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and 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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

Copyright © 1996-2014 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.

 
This web site © Copyright 1996-2013 Universalis Publishing Ltd (contact us)
(top