Universalis
Thursday 25 December 2014    (other days)
Christmas Day
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
Jesu, the Ransomer of man,
who, ere created light began,
didst from the sovereign Father spring,
his power and glory equalling!
Salvation’s author, call to mind
how, taking form of humankind,
born of a Virgin undefiled,
thou in man’s flesh becam’st a Child.
The heavens above, the rolling main
and all that earth’s wide realms contain,
with joyous voice now loudly sing
the glory of their newborn King.
And we who, by thy precious Blood
from sin redeemed, are marked for God,
on this the day that saw thy birth,
sing the new song of ransomed earth.
O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor
‘The Lord said to me: ‘You are my son. It is I who have begotten you this day.’
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.
‘The Lord said to me: ‘You are my son. It is I who have begotten you this day.’

Psalm 18 (19)
Praise of God the creator
The Lord comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent.
The skies tell the story of the glory of God,
  the firmament proclaims the work of his hands;
day pours out the news to day,
  night passes to night the knowledge.
Not a speech, not a word,
  not a voice goes unheard.
Their sound is spread throughout the earth,
  their message to all the corners of the world.
At the ends of the earth he has set up
  a dwelling place for the sun.
Like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
  it rejoices like an athlete at the race to be run.
It appears at the edge of the sky,
  runs its course to the sky’s furthest edge.
Nothing can hide from its heat.
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 comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent.

Psalm 44 (45)
The wedding of the King
Graciousness is poured upon your lips, because God has blessed you for evermore.
My heart cries out on a joyful theme:
  I will tell my poem to the king,
  my tongue like the pen of the swiftest scribe.
You have been given more than human beauty,
  and grace is poured out upon your lips,
  so that God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword to your side, mighty one,
  in all your greatness and splendour.
In your splendour go forth, mount your chariot,
  on behalf of truth, kindness and justice.
Let your right hand show your marvels,
  let your arrows be sharp against the hearts of the king’s enemies
 – the peoples will fall before you.
Your throne is firm, O God, from age to age,
  your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.
You love uprightness, hate injustice
 – for God, your God has anointed you
  with the oil of gladness, above all your companions.
Myrrh and aloes and cassia anoint your garments.
From ivory palaces the sound of harps delights you.
In your retinue go the daughters of kings.
At your right hand, the queen is adorned with gold of Ophir.
Listen, my daughter, and understand;
  turn your ears to what I have to say.
Forget your people, forget your father’s house,
  and the king will desire you for your beauty.
  He is your lord, so worship him.
The daughters of Tyre will bring you gifts;
  the richest of your subjects will beg you to look on them.
How great is the king’s daughter, within the palace!
  She is clothed in woven gold.
She will be taken to the king in coloured garments,
  her maidens will escort her to your presence.
In gladness and rejoicing they are brought
  and led to the house of the king.
Instead of your fathers you will have sons:
  you will make them rulers over all the world.
I will remember your name
  from generation to generation.
And so your people will do you honour
  for ever and for 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.
Graciousness is poured upon your lips, because God has blessed you for evermore.

The word was made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

First ReadingIsaiah 11:1-10 ©
A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,
a scion thrusts from his roots:
on him the spirit of the Lord rests,
a spirit of wisdom and insight,
a spirit of counsel and power,
a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances,
he gives no verdict on hearsay,
but judges the wretched with integrity,
and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,
his sentences bring death to the wicked.
Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,
faithfulness the belt about his hips.
The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion feed together,
with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends,
their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox.
The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;
into the viper’s lair
the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm,
on all my holy mountain,
for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters swell the sea.
That day, the root of Jesse
shall stand as a signal to the peoples.
It will be sought out by the nations
and its home will be glorious.
Responsory
Today the king of heaven has deigned to be born of a virgin for us, to recall fallen man to his heavenly kingdom. Hosts of angels rejoice, for eternal salvation has come to the human race.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased. Hosts of angels rejoice, for eternal salvation has come to the human race.

Second Reading
A sermon of Pope St Leo the Great
Christian, remember your dignity
Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
  No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
  In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.
  And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?
  Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.
  Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
  Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.
Responsory
Today true peace has come down to us from heaven; the skies rain down sweetness all over the world.
A day of new redemption has dawned, a day of eternal bliss, prepared from of old: the skies rain down sweetness all over the world.

CanticleTe 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 our Father,
  our human nature is the wonderful work of your hands,
  made still more wonderful by your work of redemption.
Your Son took to himself our manhood:
  grant us a share in the godhead of Jesus 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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