If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.
Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde.
Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
et in sǽcula sæculórum.
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.
Ex more docti mýstico
deno diérum círculo
ducto quater notíssimo.
Lex et prophétæ prímitus
hanc prætulérunt, póstmodum
Christus sacrávit, ómnium
rex atque factor témporum.
Utámur ergo párcius
verbis, cibis et pótibus,
somno, iocis et árctius
perstémus in custódia.
Vitémus autem péssima
quæ súbruunt mentes vagas,
nullúmque demus cállido
hosti locum tyránnidis.
Præsta, Beáta Trínitas,
concéde, simplex Unitas,
ut fructuósa sint tuis
hæc parcitátis múnera. Amen.
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild
forty days and forty nights
tempted still, yet undefiled.
Shall not we thy sorrow share,
and from earthly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?
And if Satan, vexing sore,
flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before,
grant we may not faint or fail.
So shall we have peace divine;
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.
℣. Si quis sermónem meum serváverit.
℟. Mortem non vidébit in ætérnum.
℣. If any man is faithful to my word,
℟. He will never see death.
Filius heres universorum et super angelos exaltatus
1,1Multifáriam et multis modis olim Deus locútus pátribus in prophétis, 2in novíssimis his diébus locútus est nobis in Fílio, quem constítuit herédem universórum, per quem fecit et sǽcula; 3qui, cum sit splendor glóriæ et figúra substántiæ eius et portet ómnia verbo virtútis suæ, purgatióne peccatórum facta, consédit ad déxteram maiestátis in excélsis, 4tanto mélior ángelis efféctus, quanto differéntius præ illis nomen hereditávit.
5Cui enim dixit aliquándo angelórum:
«Fílius meus es tu;
ego hódie génui te»
et rursum: «Ego ero illi in patrem
et ipse erit mihi in fílium»?
6Cum autem íterum introdúcit primogénitum in orbem terræ, dicit:
«Et adórent eum omnes ángeli Dei».
7Et ad ángelos quidem dicit:
«Qui facit ángelos suos spíritus
et minístros suos flammam ignis»;
8ad Fílium autem:
«Thronus tuus, Deus, in sǽculum sǽculi,
et virga æquitátis virga regni tui.
9Dilexísti iustítiam et odísti iniquitátem,
proptérea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus,
óleo exsultatiónis præ particípibus tuis»
«Tu in princípio, Dómine, terram fundásti;
et ópera mánuum tuárum sunt cæli.
11Ipsi períbunt, tu autem pérmanes;
et omnes ut vestiméntum veteráscent
12et velut amíctum invólves eos,
sicut vestiméntum et mutabúntur.
Tu autem idem es, et anni tui non defícient».
13Ad quem autem angelórum dixit aliquándo:
«Sede a dextris meis,
donec ponam inimícos tuos scabéllum pedum tuórum»?
14Nonne omnes sunt administratórii spíritus, qui in ministérium mittúntur propter eos, qui hereditátem cápient salútis?
2,1Proptérea abundántius opórtet observáre nos ea, quæ audívimus, ne forte præterfluámus. 2Si enim, qui per ángelos dictus est, sermo factus est firmus, et omnis prævaricátio et inobœdiéntia accépit iustam mercédis retributiónem, 3quómodo nos effugiémus si tantam neglexérimus salútem? Quæ, cum inítium accepísset enarrári per Dóminum, ab eis, qui audiérunt, in nos confirmáta est, 4contestánte Deo signis et porténtis et váriis virtútibus et Spíritus Sancti distributiónibus secúndum suam voluntátem.
The Son and heir of all things, exalted above the angels
At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-Born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him. About the angels, he says: He makes his angels winds and his servants flames of fire, but to his Son he says: God, your throne shall last for ever and ever; and: his royal sceptre is the sceptre of virtue; virtue you love as much as you hate wickedness. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness, above all your rivals. And again: It is you, Lord, who laid earth’s foundations in the beginning, the heavens are the work of your hands; all will vanish, though you remain, all wear out like a garment; you will roll them up like a cloak, and like a garment they will be changed. But yourself, you never change and your years are unending. God has never said to any angel: Sit at my right hand and I will make your enemies a footstool for you. The truth is they are all spirits whose work is service, sent to help those who will be the heirs of salvation.
We ought, then, to turn our minds more attentively than before to what we have been taught, so that we do not drift away. If a promise that was made through angels proved to be so true that every infringement and disobedience brought its own proper punishment, then we shall certainly not go unpunished if we neglect this salvation that is promised to us. The promise was first announced by the Lord himself, and is guaranteed to us by those who heard him; God himself confirmed their witness with signs and marvels and miracles of all kinds, and by freely giving the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
℟. Christus Iesus, cum sit splendor glóriæ Patris et figúra substántiæ eius et portet ómnia verbo virtútis suæ, purgatióne peccatórum facta,* Consédit ad déxteram maiestátis in excélsis.
℣. Auctor fídei nostræ, pro gáudio sibi propósito, sustínuit crucem.* Consédit.
℟. Christ Jesus is the radiant light of the Father’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command:* now that he has made atonement for sin, he has gone to take his place at the right hand of the divine Majesty.
℣. Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection, for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, endured the cross:* now that he has made atonement for sin, he has gone to take his place at the right hand of the divine Majesty.
Festum Domini proximum non verbis sed operibus implemus
Próximum nobis est Verbum illud, quod pro nobis ómnia factum est, Dóminus, inquam, noster Iesus Christus, qui apud nos indesinénter spondet se esse mansúrum. Quámobrem clamat, dicens: Ecce ego vobíscum sum ómnibus diébus sǽculi. Quemádmodum autem ipse pastor est, summus sacérdos, via et iánua, simúlque ómnia pro nobis factus est, ita étiam festum atque sollémnitas nobis appáruit, ceu beátus ait Apóstolus: Pascha nostrum immolátus est Christus, qui exspectabátur. Sed ad Psalmístæ quoque preces illúxit dicéntis: Exsultátio mea, érue me a circumdántibus me. Hæc est vera exsultátio, hæc est germána sollémnitas, malórum nempe depúlsio; ad quam ut unusquísque pervéniat, rectis omníno móribus sit, suáque mente meditétur in quiéte timóris Dei.
Sic étiam sancti dum víverent, omni ætáte sua lætabántur, tamquam in festo; quorum unus, nempe beátus David, noctu surgébat haud semel sed sépties, et Deum précibus propitiábat. Alter, magnus vidélicet Móyses, hymnis exsultábat, laudésque canébat ob victóriam de Pharaóne relátam, et de iis qui labóribus Hebrǽos opprésserant. Postrémo álii assídua cum hilaritáte sacro cultu perfungebántur, véluti magnus Sámuel et beátus ille Elías; qui morum suórum mérito libertátem sunt adépti, et nunc festum agunt in cælo, de sua in umbra olim peregrinatióne lætántur, et iam veritátem a figúra discérnunt.
Nos autem nunc sollemnitátem agéntes, quas vias corrípimus? Et festo huic propinquántes, quem ducem habébimus? Néminem profécto, dilécti mei, nisi quem vos ipsi mecum dicétis Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, qui ait: Ego sum via. Ipse est qui, ut beátus inquit Ioánnes, tollit peccátum mundi: ipse ánimas nostras puríficat, ceu dicit alícubi Ieremías prophéta: State super vias et vidéte et dispícite quænam sit via bona et in ea inveniétis animárum vestrárum emendatiónem.
Olim vero hircórum sanguis, et cinis vítuli super immúndos aspérsus, purificándo tantum córpori aptus erat; nunc per Verbi Dei grátiam unusquísque abúnde mundátur: quod si mox sectábimur, licébit nobis hic tamquam in vestíbulis cæléstis Ierúsalem festum illud ætérnum præmeditári; sicut étiam beáti Apóstoli, qui ducem suum Salvatórem sequebántur, et tunc erant, et adhuc in præsénti sunt huiúsmodi grátiæ magístri; namque aiébant: Ecce nos relíquimus ómnia et secúti sumus te. Vidélicet nos séquimur Dóminum; et festum Dómini, non verbis tantum sed opéribus implémus.
Keep the coming feast of the Lord through deeds, not words
The Word who became all things for us is close to us, our Lord Jesus Christ who promises to remain with us always. He cries out, saying: “See, I am with you all the days of this age.” He is himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us. In the same way, he has come among us as our feast and holy day as well. The blessed Apostle says of him who was awaited: “Christ has been sacrificed as our Passover.” It was Christ who shed his light on the psalmist as he prayed: “You are my joy, deliver me from those surrounding me.” True joy, genuine festival, means the casting out of wickedness. To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness and, in the serenity of the fear of God, practise contemplation in one’s heart.
This was the way of the saints, who in their lifetime and at every stage of life rejoiced as at a feast. Blessed David, for example, not once but seven times rose at night to win God’s favour through prayer. The great Moses was full of joy as he sang God’s praises in hymns of victory for the defeat of Pharaoh and the oppressors of the Hebrew people. Others had hearts filled always with gladness as they performed their sacred duty of worship, like the great Samuel and the blessed Elijah. Because of their holy lives they gained freedom, and now keep festival in heaven. They rejoice after their pilgrimage in shadows, and now distinguish the reality from the promise.
When we celebrate the feast in our own day, what path are we to take? As we draw near to this feast, who is to be our guide? Beloved, it must be none other than the one whom you will address with me as our Lord Jesus Christ. He says: “I am the way.” As blessed John tells us: it is Christ “who takes away the sin of the world.” It is he who purifies our souls, as the prophet Jeremiah says: “Stand upon the ways; look and see which is the good path, and you will find in it the way of amendment for your souls.”
In former times the blood of goats and the ashes of a calf were sprinkled on those who were unclean, but they were able to purify only the body. Now through the grace of God’s Word everyone is made abundantly clean. If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed, even on this earth, to stand as it were on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem, and enjoy the contemplation of that everlasting feast, like the blessed apostles, who in following the Saviour as their leader, showed, and still show, the way to obtain the same gift from God. They said: “See, we have left all things and followed you.” We too follow the Lord, and we keep his feast by deeds rather than by words.
℟. Præcúrsor pro nobis ingréditur, agnus sine mácula,* Secúndum órdinem Melchísedech póntifex factus in ætérnum et in sǽculum sǽculi.
℣. Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccátum mundi.* Secúndum.
℟. Jesus has entered heaven before us and on our behalf, a lamb without blemish.* He has become high priest of the order of Melchizedek, for ever and ever.
℣. Look, there is the Lamb of God: it is he who takes away the sin of the world.* He has become high priest of the order of Melchizedek, for ever and ever.
Quǽsumus, Dómine Deus noster, ut in illa caritáte, qua Fílius tuus díligens mundum morti se trádidit, inveniámur ipsi, te opitulánte, alácriter ambulántes.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum,
qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.
Let us pray.
Lord our God, your Son so loved the world
that he gave himself up to death for our sake.
Strengthen us by your grace,
and give us a heart willing to live by that same love.
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.
– Deo grátias.
Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.
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