Universalis
Sunday 17 December 2017    (other days)
3rd Sunday of Advent 

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 99 (100)
The Lord is at hand: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
(repeat antiphon*)
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
(repeat antiphon*)
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
(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 co-eternal Son
A maiden’s offspring see;
A servant’s form Christ putteth on,
To set his people free.
Daughter of Sion, rise
To greet thine infant King;
Nor let thy stubborn heart despise
The pardon he doth bring.
Let deeds of darkness fly
Before the approaching morn;
For unto sin ’tis ours to die
And serve the Virgin-born.
Our joyful praises sing,
To Christ, that set us free;
Like tribute to the Father bring,
And, Holy Ghost, to thee.

Psalm 144 (145)
The greatness and goodness of God
Behold, the heavenly king will come with power and great glory to save the nations. Alleluia.
I will praise you to the heights, O God, my king –
  I will bless your name for ever and for all time.
I will bless you, O God, day after day –
  I will praise your name for ever and all time.
The Lord is great, to him all praise is due –
  he is great beyond measuring.
Generation will pass to generation the praise of your deeds,
  and tell the wonders you have done.
They will tell of your overwhelming power,
  and pass on the tale of your greatness.
They will cry out the story of your great kindness,
  they will celebrate your judgements.
The Lord takes pity, his heart is merciful,
  he is patient and endlessly kind.
The Lord is gentle to all –
  he shows his kindness to all his creation.
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.
Behold, the heavenly king will come with power and great glory to save the nations. Alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)
Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king is coming to you. Sion, do not be afraid: your salvation is at hand.
Let all your creatures proclaim you, O Lord,
  let your chosen ones bless you.
Let them tell of the glory of your reign,
  let them speak of your power –
so that the children of men may know what you can do,
  see the glory of your kingdom and its greatness.
Your kingdom stands firm for all ages,
  your rule lasts for ever and 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.
Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king is coming to you. Sion, do not be afraid: your salvation is at hand.

Psalm 144 (145)
When the great King comes, the hearts of men will be made pure and we shall be made worthy to meet him. Behold, he is coming: he will not delay.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
  the Lord is holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who are falling,
  the Lord lifts up all who are oppressed.
All look to you for help,
  and you give them their food in due season.
In your goodness you open your hand,
  and give every creature its fill.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
  the Lord is kind in all that he does.
The Lord is near to those who call on him,
  to all those who call on him in truth.
For those that honour him,
  he does what they ask,
  he hears all their prayers,
  and he keeps them safe.
The Lord keeps safe all who love him,
  but he dooms all the wicked to destruction.
My mouth shall tell the praises of the Lord.
Let all flesh bless his holy name,
  for ever and 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.
When the great King comes, the hearts of men will be made pure and we shall be made worthy to meet him. Behold, he is coming: he will not delay.

Bow your heads no longer, but look:
your redemption is close at hand.

First ReadingIsaiah 45:1-13 ©
The salvation of Israel through Cyrus
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whom he has taken by his right hand
to subdue nations before him
and strip the loins of kings,
to force gateways before him
that their gates be closed no more:
I will go before you
levelling the heights.
I will shatter the bronze gateways,
smash the iron bars.
I will give you the hidden treasures,
the secret hoards,
that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
It is for the sake of my servant Jacob,
of Israel my chosen one,
that I have called you by your name,
conferring a title though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, unrivalled;
there is no other God besides me.
Though you do not know me, I arm you
that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
that, apart from me, all is nothing.
I am the Lord, unrivalled,
I form the light and create the dark.
I make good fortune and create calamity,
it is I, the Lord, who do all this.
Send victory like a dew, you heavens,
and let the clouds rain it down.
Let the earth open
for salvation to spring up.
Let deliverance, too, bud forth
which I, the Lord, shall create.
Can it argue with the man who fashioned it,
one vessel among earthen vessels?
Does the clay say to its fashioner, ‘What are you making?’,
does the thing he shaped say, ‘You have no skill’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a woman, ‘To what have you given birth?’
Thus says the Lord,
the Holy One, he who fashions Israel:
Is it for you to question me about my children
and to dictate to me what my hands should do?
I it was who made the earth,
and created man who is on it.
I it was who spread out the heavens with my hands
and now give orders to their whole array.
I it was who roused him to victory,
I levelled the way for him.
He will rebuild my city,
will bring my exiles back
without ransom or indemnity,
so says the Lord of Hosts.
Responsory
Is 45:8, cf. 16:1
℟. Send the Holy One, like the dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down.* Let the earth open for the Saviour to spring forth.
℣. Lord, send the Lamb, the ruler of the earth, from the Rock of the desert to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.* Let the earth open for the Saviour to spring forth.

Second Reading
A letter of Pope St Leo the Great
The mystery of our reconciliation with God
To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man is of no value to us if we do not believe that he is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.
  Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces his human descent by bringing his ancestral line down to his mother’s husband, Joseph. On the other hand, Luke traces his parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.
  No doubt the Son of God in his omnipotence could have taught and sanctified men by appearing to them in a semblance of human form as he did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance he engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when he accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before him. But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold the coming of one who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs who had gone before him. No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh. The divine nature and the nature of a servant were to be united in one person so that the Creator of time might be born in time, and he through whom all things were made might be brought forth in their midst.
  For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, had taken on himself the nature of our first parents, unless he had stooped to be one in substance with his mother while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to his, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan. The Conqueror’s victory would have profited us nothing if the battle had been fought outside our human condition. But through this wonderful blending the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth we too might be born again in a spiritual birth; and in consequence the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Responsory
℟. See, the root of Jesse shall come down to save the peoples, the nations shall rally to him,* and his name shall be glorious.
℣. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will be king over Israel for ever,* and his name shall be glorious.

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.
Grant, almighty God,
  that looking forward in faith to the feast of our Lord’s birth,
  we may feel all the happiness our Saviour brings
  and celebrate his coming with unfailing joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of 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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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