Universalis
Wednesday 22 April 2015    (other days)
Wednesday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

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
Love’s redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victorious King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following our exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord. Alleluia.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord. Alleluia.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world. Alleluia.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
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 Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world. Alleluia.

Psalm 88 (89)
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever. Alleluia.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
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.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever. Alleluia.

God raised Christ from the dead, alleluia,
so that our faith and hope would be in God, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 9:1-12 ©
Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven on to the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss. When he unlocked the shaft of the Abyss, smoke poured up out of the Abyss like the smoke from a huge furnace so that the sun and the sky were darkened by it, and out of the smoke dropped locusts which were given the powers that scorpions have on the earth: they were forbidden to harm any fields or crops or trees and told only to attack any men who were without God’s seal on their foreheads. They were not to kill them, but to give them pain for five months, and the pain was to be the pain of a scorpion’s sting. When this happens, men will long for death and not find it anywhere; they will want to die and death will evade them.
  To look at, these locusts were like horses armoured for battle; they had things that looked like gold crowns on their heads, and faces that seemed human, and hair like women’s hair, and teeth like lions’ teeth. They had body-armour like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings sounded like a great charge of horses and chariots into battle. Their tails were like scorpions’, with stings, and it was with them that they were able to injure people for five months. As their leader they had their emperor, the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, or Apollyon in Greek.
  That was the first of the troubles; there are still two more to come.
Responsory
I will show wonders in heaven; and on earth, blood and fire and whirling smoke. Then everyone who invokes the Lord by name shall be saved, alleluia.
Be alert, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time will come. Then everyone who invokes the Lord by name shall be saved, alleluia.

Second Reading
From the first apology in defence of the Christians by Saint Justin, martyr
Baptismal regeneration
Through Christ we received new life and we consecrated ourselves to God. I will explain the way in which we did this. Those who believe what we teach is true and who give assurance of their ability to live according to that teaching are taught to ask God’s forgiveness for their sins by prayer and fasting and we pray and fast with them. We then lead them to a place where there is water and they are reborn in the same way as we were reborn; that is to say, they are washed in the water in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the whole universe, of our Saviour Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. This is done because Christ said: Unless you are born again you will not enter the kingdom of heaven, and it is impossible for anyone, having once been born, to re-enter his mother’s womb.
  An explanation of how repentant sinners are to be freed from their sins is given through the prophet Isaiah in the words: Wash yourselves and be clean. Remove the evil from your souls; learn to do what is right. Be just to the orphan, vindicate the widow. Come, let us reason together, says the Lord. If your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as wool; if they are like crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if you do not heed me, you shall be devoured by the sword. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.
  The apostles taught us the reason for this ceremony of ours. Our first birth took place without our knowledge or consent because our parents came together, and we grew up in the midst of wickedness. So if we were not to remain children of necessity and ignorance, we needed a new birth of which we ourselves would be conscious, and which would be the result of our own free choice. We needed, too, to have our sins forgiven. This is why the name of God, the Father and Lord of the whole universe, is pronounced in the water over anyone who chooses to be born again and who has repented of his sins. The person who leads the candidate for baptism to the font calls upon God by this name alone, for God so far surpasses our powers of description that no one can really give a name to him. Anyone who dares to say that he can must be hopelessly insane.
  This baptism is called “illumination” because of the mental enlightenment that is experienced by those who learn these things. The person receiving this enlightenment is also baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, who through the prophets foretold everything concerning Jesus.
Responsory
Jesus said to Nicodemus: I tell you most solemnly, Unless a man is born through water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God, alleluia.
Flesh can give birth only to flesh: it is spirit that gives birth to spirit. Unless a man is born through water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  stand by your people
  on whom you have bestowed the gift of faith.
Grant them their eternal heritage
  in the resurrection of your only Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  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.

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