Universalis
Friday 17 April 2015    (other days)
Friday of the 2nd 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 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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.
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing. Alleluia.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing. Alleluia.

Psalm 37 (38)
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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.
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.

Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 4:1-11 ©
In my vision, I, John, saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying, ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future.’ With that, the Spirit possessed me and I saw a throne standing in heaven, and the One who was sitting on the throne, and the Person sitting there looked like a diamond and a ruby. There was a rainbow encircling the throne, and this looked like an emerald. Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning were coming from the throne, and the sound of peals of thunder, and in front of the throne there were seven flaming lamps burning, the seven Spirits of God. Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals with many eyes, in front and behind. The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle. Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing:
‘Holy, Holy, Holy
is the Lord God, the Almighty;
he was, he is and he is to come.’
Every time the animals glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying, ‘You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honour and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists.’
Responsory
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come. His glory fills the whole earth, alleluia.
The seraphim cried to one another in this way: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. His glory fills the whole earth, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Theodore the Studite
The precious and life-giving cross of Christ
How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.
  This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the Lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord, like a brave warrior wounded in his hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory! Well might the holy Apostle exclaim: Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world! The supreme wisdom that flowered on the cross has shown the folly of worldly wisdom’s pride. The knowledge of all good, which is the fruit of the cross, has cut away the shoots of wickedness.
  The wonders accomplished through this tree were foreshadowed clearly even by the mere types and figures that existed in the past. Meditate on these, if you are eager to learn. Was it not the wood of a tree that enabled Noah, at God’s command, to escape the destruction of the flood together with his sons, his wife, his sons’ wives and every kind of animal? And surely the rod of Moses prefigured the cross when it changed water into blood, swallowed up the false serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians, divided the sea at one stroke and then restored the waters to their normal course, drowning the enemy and saving God’s own people? Aaron’s rod, which blossomed in one day in proof of his true priesthood, was another figure of the cross, and did not Abraham foreshadow the cross when he bound his son Isaac and placed him on the pile of wood?
  By the cross death was slain and Adam was restored to life. The cross is the glory of all the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the sanctification of the saints. By the cross we put on Christ and cast aside our former self. By the cross we, the sheep of Christ, have been gathered into one flock, destined for the sheepfolds of heaven.
Responsory
The cross is the tree beyond price, set in the centre of the Garden of God, the tree on which the author of salvation, by his own death, has overcome the death of every man, alleluia.
You alone stand out above the whole forest of cedars, the tree on which the author of salvation, by his own death, has overcome the death of every man, alleluia.

Let us pray.
By your will, Lord God,
  your Son underwent the agony of the cross
  to break the power of Satan over man.
Give your people grace to rise again with Christ,
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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