Liturgy of Hours

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
Hail, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord
Our God comes openly, he keeps silence no longer.
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
  he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
  Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
  around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.
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.
Our God comes openly, he keeps silence no longer.

Psalm 49 (50)
Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
  Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
  for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
  nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
  and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
  Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
  for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
  or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
  to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
  I will rescue you, and you will honour me.
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.
Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.

Psalm 49 (50)
I want love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.
To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
  Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
  and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
  you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
  and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
  you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
  so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
  I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
  lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
  whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.
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 want love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.

Listen, my people, and I shall speak.
I am God, your God.

First Reading
Ecclesiastes 2:1-3,12-26 ©
The emptiness of pleasure and of human wisdom
I thought to myself, ‘Very well, I will try pleasure and see what enjoyment has to offer.’ And there it was: vanity again! This laughter, I reflected, is a madness, this pleasure no use at all. I resolved to have my body cheered with wine, my heart still devoted to wisdom; I resolved to embrace folly to see what made mankind happy, and what men do under heaven in the few days they have to live.
  My reflections then turned to wisdom, stupidity, folly. For instance, what can the successor of a king do? What has been done already. More is to be had from wisdom than from folly, as from light than from darkness; this, of course, I see:
The wise man sees ahead,
the fool walks in the dark.
No doubt! But I know, too, that one fate awaits them both. ‘The fool’s fate’ I thought to myself ‘will be my fate too. Of what use my wisdom, then? This, too,’ I thought ‘is vanity.’ Since there is no lasting memory for wise man or for fool, and in the days to come both will be forgotten; wise man, alas, no less than fool must die. Life I have come to hate, for what is done under the sun disgusts me, since all is vanity and chasing of the wind. All I have toiled for and now bequeath to my successor I have come to hate; who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will be master of all the work into which I have put my efforts and wisdom under the sun. That, too, is vanity. And hence I have come to despair of all the efforts I have expended under the sun. For so it is that a man who has laboured wisely, skilfully and successfully must leave what is his own to someone who has not toiled for it at all. This, too, is vanity and great injustice; for what does he gain for all the toil and strain that he has undergone under the sun? What of all his laborious days, his cares of office, his restless nights? This, too, is vanity.
  There is no happiness for man but to eat and drink and to be content with his work. This, too, I see as something from God’s hand, since plenty and penury both come from God; wisdom, knowledge, joy, he gives to the man who pleases him; on the sinner lays the task of gathering and storing up for another who is pleasing to God. This, too, is vanity and chasing of the wind.
Responsory
Qo 2:26; 1 Tm 6:10
℟. Wisdom, knowledge, joy, God gives to the man who pleases him; on the sinner he lays the task of gathering and storing up for another.* This, too, is vanity and chasing of the wind.
℣. The love of money is the root of all evils, and there are some who, pursuing it, have involved themselves in a world of sorrows.* This, too, is vanity and chasing of the wind.

Second Reading
From an allocution by Blessed Paul VI, Pope, at the Second Vatican Council
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Meditating on the close relationships between Mary and the Church, for the glory of the Virgin Mary and for our own consolation, we proclaim the Most Blessed Mary Mother of the Church, that is to say of all the people of God, of the faithful as well as of the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother. And we wish that the Mother of God should be still more honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this most sweet title.
  This is a title, venerable brothers, not new to Christian piety; it is precisely by this title, in preference to all others, that the faithful and the Church address Mary. It truly is part of the genuine substance of devotion to Mary, finding its justification in the very dignity of the Mother of the word Incarnate.
  Just as, in fact, the divine maternity is the basis for her special relationship with Christ, and for her presence in the economy of salvation brought about by Jesus Christ, thus it also constitutes the principal basis for the relations between Mary and the Church, since she is the mother of Him who, right from the time of His Incarnation in her virginal bosom, joined to Himself as head His Mystical Body which is the Church. Mary, then as mother of Christ, is mother also of all the faithful and of all the pastors.
  It is therefore with a soul full of trust and filial love that we raise our glance to her, despite our unworthiness and weakness. She, who has given us in Jesus the fountainhead of grace, will not fail to succour the Church, now flourishing through the abundance of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and setting herself with new zeal to the fulfilment of its mission of salvation.
  And our trust is even more lively and fully corroborated if we consider the very close links between this heavenly Mother of ours and mankind. Although adorned by God with the riches of admirable prerogatives, to make her a worthy Mother of the Word Incarnate, she is nevertheless very close to us. Daughter of Adam, like ourselves, and therefore our sister through ties of nature, she is, however, the creature who was preserved from original sin in view of the merits of the Saviour, and who possesses besides the privileges obtained the personal virtue of a total and exemplary faith, thus deserving the evangelical praise, beata quae credidisti (blessed art thou who believed). In her earthly life, she realised the perfect image of the disciple of Christ, reflected every virtue, and incarnated the evangelical beatitudes proclaimed by Christ. Therefore in her, the entire Church, in its incomparable variety of life and of work, attains the most authentic form of the perfect imitation of Christ.
ResponsoryCf. Lk 1,35
℟. The Holy Spirit came down upon Mary:* The Power of the Most High overshadowed her.
℣. Once more He filled her who shared in the Passion of her own Son, as Mother of all the redeemed.* The Power of the Most High overshadowed her.

Let us pray.
O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross,
chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother, to be our Mother also;
grant, we pray,
that with her loving help,
your Church may be more fruitful day by day,
and exulting in the holiness of her children,
may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.
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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