Liturgy of the Hours

Dec 28, Office of Readings – Feast for Holy Innocents, Mm

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Liturgy of the Hours

Dane Falkner

Salt Lake City, UT

Description: From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord??s precept to pray without ceasing.

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Dec 28, Office of Readings – Feast for Holy Innocents, Mm

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Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 649
Proper of Saints: 1272
Psalms from the Common of Martyrs, 1376

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings.

Office of Readings for the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

God, come to my assistance.
– Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.

Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

“Coventry Carol” by St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir; “Coventry Carol” text attributed to Robert Croo, 1534; Performance: St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord, these little ones praise you and skip with joy like lambs, for you have set them free.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and conqueror
The rulers of the earth joined forces to overthrow Jesus, your anointed Son (Acts 4:27).

Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come let us break their fetters,
come, let us cast off their yoke.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me: “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them,
shatter them like a potter’s jar.”

Now, O kings, understand,
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish;
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

Blessed are they
who put their trust in God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord, these little ones praise you and skip with joy like lambs, for you have set them free.

Ant. 2 These are the first of mankind to be won for God and the Lamb; innocent, they stand before the throne of God.

Psalm 33
Song of praise for God’s continual care
Through the Word all things were made ( John 1:3).

I

Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.

Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp,
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
O sing him a song that is new,
play loudly, with all your skill.

For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love.

By his word the heavens were made,
by the breath of his mouth all the stars.
He collects the waves of the ocean;
he stores up the depths of the sea.

Let all the earth fear the Lord,
all who live in the world revere him.
He spoke; and it came to be.
He commanded; it sprang into being.

He frustrates the designs of the nations,
he defeats the plans of the peoples.
His own designs shall stand for ever,
the plans of his heart from age to age.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. These are the first of mankind to be won for God and the Lamb; innocent, they stand before the throne of God.

Ant. 3 Joy and everlasting gladness will be their lot. They will never again know sorrow and pain.

II

They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own.
From the heavens the Lord looks forth,
he sees all the children of men.

From the place where he dwells he gazes
on all the dwellers on the earth,
he who shapes the hearts of them all
and considers all their deeds.

A king is not saved by his army,
nor a warrior preserved by his strength.
A vain hope for safety is the horse;
despite its power it cannot save.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.
In him do our hearts find joy.
We trust in his holy name.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope in you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Joy and everlasting gladness will be their lot. They will never again know sorrow and pain.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

These holy ones sang a new song before the throne of God and the Lamb.
– Earth resounds with the echo of their song.

READINGS

First reading
From the book of Exodus
1:8-16, 22
Slaughter of the Hebrew children in Egypt

A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph , came to power in Egypt. He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country.”

Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses. Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread. The Egyptians, then, dreaded the Israelites and reduced them to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work — the whole cruel fate of slaves.

The king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shiphrah and the other Puah, When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women and see them giving birth, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she may live.”

Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews, but you may let all the girls live.”

RESPONSORY Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:4, 5

I will take delight in my people.
– Never again will weeping and crying be heard among them.

Death shall be no more; grief, tears and sorrow will be forgotten, for behold I make all things new.
– Never again will weeping and crying be heard among them.

Second reading
From a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus, bishop
They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace – so small, yet so great – who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the savior already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

RESPONSORY Revelation 5:14; 4:10; 7:11

They worshiped him who lives for ever and ever;
– they laid their crowns before the throne of the Lord their God.

They fell on their faces before his throne, and gave praise to him who lives for ever and ever.
– They laid their crowns before the throne of the Lord their God.

TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you
which we confess with our lips
may also speak through our manner of life.
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.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
– And give him thanks.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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