Electronic Prayer Book

Lent 4 Saturday Evening

 

Part 1. From the Divine Office

Celebrating the beginning of the Lord’s Day — and the new week. Genesis 1: 5.
We recommend reading, “The Joy of Lent” as near as practicable to the start of Lent.

 

Opening

    
     O God, come to my assistance, O Lord, make haste to help 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

     Praise be to you, Lord, King of eternal glory.

 
 

Lenten Acclamations For Reflection:—

Acknowledging our sinfulness, our need of repentance, and expressing our strong desire to be restored fully to God’s household.

Each “Acclamation” is, in fact, an antiphon, traditionally said before and after each psalm. Those wishing to follow the custom can choose one of the following for this purpose, or simply pause and meditate on one or more.

     
 
  • Be bountiful, O Lord, to Zion in Your kindness.
 
  • Just is the Lord, our God, and there is no wrong in Him. 

 

  • On His servants the Lord shall have pity; and He shall be merciful to the land of His people.
 
  • From the dread enemy, O Lord, preserve my life.

 

 

  • Praise the Lord for His sovereign majesty.
     

 

From Psalm 144 [145]

God will protect His Loyal Worshippers.

     The Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his works

     The Lord supports all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.

     All eyes turn to you, and you give them food in due season.

     You open your hand and with benevolence fill every living thing.

     Just is the Lord in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

     The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who sincerely call upon him.

     He will fulfill the desire of those who fear him, he will hear their cry and save them.

 

     The Lord guards all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

      Let my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and let all mortals 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.

 

Psalm 133 [134]

Exhortation to the Night Watch
To Bless the Lord.

 

     Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord; who stand in the house of the Lord during the night hours.

     Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

     May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth.

 

     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.

 

   

 

ReadingDaniel 13: 1 — 62

In this magnificent chronicle, God shows that He does not forsake those who in their distress,
have recourse to Him in confidence. In the case of the innocent Susanna, the accusation of adultery is turned against the accusers.

In those days there was a man who dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: and he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah [Helcias], a very beautiful woman, and one who feared God: for her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses. Now Joakim was very rich; and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honourable of them all. And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year: of whom the Lord said, “Iniquity came out from Babylon: from the ancient judges that seemed to govern the people.” These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all who had any matters of judgment came to them. And when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went in and walked in her husband’s orchard. And the old men saw her going in every day, and walking: and they were inflamed with lust toward her: and they perverted their own mind, and turned away their eyes that they might not look to heaven, nor remember just judgments. And it fell out as they watched a fit day, she went in on time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash to wash herself in the orchard; for it was hot weather, and there was nobody there, but the two old men who had hid themselves and were beholding her. So she said to her maids, “Bring me oil and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me.” Now when the maids had gone forth, the two elders arose and ran to her, and said, “Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody sees us; and we are in love with you: wherefore consent to us and lie with us. But if you will not, we will bear witness against you, that a young man was with you, and therefore you sent away your maids from you.” Susanna sighed, and said, “I am straightened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands. But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord.” With that Susanna cried out in a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. And one of them ran to open door of the orchard and opened it. So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was the matter. But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed:  for never had there been any such word spoken against Susanna. And on the next day, when the people were come to Joakim her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death. And they said before the people, “Send to Susanna, daughter of Helcias, the wife of Joakim”. And presently they sent. And she came with her parents and children and all her kindred. Therefore her friends and all her acquaintances wept. But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people laid their hands upon her head. And she, weeping looked up to heaven: for her heqart had confidence in the Lord. And the elders said, “As we walked in the orchard alone, this woman came in with two maids: and shut the doors of the orchard, and sent away the maids from her.

Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. But we were there in a corner oif the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together. And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than we, and opening the doors he lept out: but having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses.” The multitude believed them as being elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, “O eternal God, Who know all things before they come to pass, You know that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things which these men have maliciously forged against me.” And the Lord heard her voice.  And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy whose name was Daniel. And he cried out with a loud voice, “I am clear from the blood of this woman”. Then all the people turning themselves toward him, said, “What means this word that you have spoken”? But he, standing in the midst of them said, “Are you so foolish, O children of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her.” So all the people turned again in haste. And Daniel said to them, “Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them”. So when they were put asunder, one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him, “O you that are grown old in evil days, now are your sins come out, which you have committed before: in judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and letting the guilty go free, whereas the Lord says: ‘the innocent and the just you shall not kill.’ Now then if you saw her, tell me under what tree you saw them conversing together.” He said, “Under a mastic tree.” And Daniel said, “Well have you lied against your own head. For behold the Angel of God, having received the sentence of him, shall cut you in two.” And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him, “O. seed of Canaan [Chanaan] and not of Judah [Juda] , beauty has deceived you, and lust has perverted your heart: thus did you do the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Judah would not abide your wickedness. Now therefore tell me, under what tree did you take them conversing together.” And he answered, “Under a holm tree”. And Daniel said to him, “Well have you also lied against your own head: for the angel of the Lord waits, with a sword to cut you in two, and to destroy you”. With that, all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, “Who saves those who trust in him. And they rose up against the two elders, (For Daniel had convicted them of false witness by there own mouth) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbour: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved on that day.

 

A Lenten Prayer from the Bible

From a Canticle of Moses

Deuteronomy 32: 1 — 18

Fidelity to God

Fidelity to God This is the song of Moses taking leave of his people just before his death. It is a highly poetic song, portraying God’s justice and fidelity towards His chosen people in stirring words and portraits. We can interpret the song for our own lives as God’s constant paternal care over all His children; nor will we fail to recognise our own infidelity to God.

 

    Give ear O heavens, while I speak; the earth hearken to the words of my mouth!

    May my instruction soak in like the rain, and my discourse permeate like the dew,

    Like a downpour upon the grass, like a shower upon the crops:

    For I will sing the Lord’s renown. Oh, proclaim the greatness of our God!

    The Rock—how faultless are his deeds, how right are his ways!

    A faithful God, without deceit, how just and upright he is!

    Yet basely has he been treated by his degenerate children, a perverse and crooked race!

    Is the Lord, to be thus repaid by you, O stupid and foolish people?

Is he not your father who created you? Has he not made you and established you?

 

    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.

 

 

 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 46 — 55

Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1: 41—45), acclaimed Mary, warmly with the words:
“Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” — to which Mary replied in her prophetic hymn.

Antiphon

“Has no one condemned you,
woman?”
“No one Lord!”
“Neither will I condemn you; but
do not sin again!”

       
      My soul magnifies the Lord.

      And my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

      Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid, for behold; henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,

      Because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

      And His mercy is from generation to generation toward those who fear him. —

      He has shown might with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

 

 
      He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has
exalted the lowly.
     
      The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent empty away. —
     
      He has given help to Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy.

      (As he promised our fathers) towards Abraham and his descendants forever.

 

      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.

 

 

Antiphon

“Has no one condemned you, woman?”
“No one Lord!”
“Neither will I condemn you; but do not sin again!”

 
   

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Traditional                                                       

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Contemporary

Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
Amen.

 

Prayer

O Lord, stretch forth to Your faithful people the right hand of Your heavenly aid, that they may seek You with their whole hearts, and deserve to obtain what they justly ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.      Amen.

Closing

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

May the all powerful and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless and preserve us.

Amen.

     
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