Electronic Prayer Book

Sunday Morning Septuagesima

 
 
 
 

Part 1. From the Divine Office

 

Opening

 

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

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.

Halleluia.

 

Introduction

 

Introduction

Driven out from earthly paradise where God had placed him, man is profoundly aware of his wretched state and implores divine mercy.

Suffering and death, the consequences of sin, weigh upon us. It is under the weight of our wretchedness that, taken in charge by the Church, we send up our cries for help to God. Great is man’s distress. And it would be without remedy had not God, directly after the fall of our first parents, promised us a Saviour; it is to Him that the Church turns our eyes. With her we set out for Easter. At the same time she makes us fully aware of our wretchedness she infuses into our souls all the strength of Christian hope founded on faith in Christy our Redeemer.

But we must accept the conditions of our redemption. Salvation is a gratuitous gift, won for us by Christ, but only on the condition that, responding to the divine invitation, we are willing to set to work in our Father’s vineyard.

With Septuagesima begins the Pre-Lenten season which comprises Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima Sundays, These three weeks form a transition from the joy of Christmastide to the austerity of the Penitential Season of Lent. This is the season when the Church most earnestly invites her children to prepare properly for the Feast of Christ’s glorious Resurrection. She urges them to rise from and expiate their sins; to practice prayer and charity with greater zeal; to become indeed renewed through God’s grace.

 

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.

 
 
 
 
  • Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You. I said: O Lord, have mercy on me. Be my helper, forsake me not. Despise me not, O God, my Saviour.
 
  • I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall be ever in my mouth. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures He gives me repose.
 
  • I have called out with all my heart; Answer me, O Lord. I will observe Your statutes. Lord cleanse me from my unknown faults. And from those of others spare your servant.
 
 

From Psalm 94 [95]

A Call to Praise God.
 

Come let us rejoice in the Lord, let us shout with joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come into his presence with praises, with songs let us rejoice in him.

For the Lord is a mighty God, and a great King above all the gods:

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the tops of the mountains are his.

The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands formed:

 

Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord who made us.

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand…

 

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is was and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 
 

From Psalm 118 [119]

The Blessings of the Law
 

    Happy are the blameless in life’s way, who will walk in the law of the Lord.

    Happy are those who observe his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart.

    Who do no wrong, but walk in his ways.

    You have given us your precepts to be zealousy observed.

    O that my conduct may be steadfast in observing your statutes.

    Then I shall not be put to shame when I have regard for all your commandments.

    How can a youth lead a pure life? By heeding your words.

 

    I seek you with all my heart; let me not wander from your commandments.

    I treasure your word in my heart, that I may not sin against you.

    Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes. 

    I will meditate on your precepts, I will regard your ways.

    I will take pleasure in your statutes: I will not forget your words.

 

    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.

 
 

Reading — St. Matthew 20: 1 — 16

 

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. And having agreed with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And about the third hour, he went out and saw others standing in the market place idle; and he said to them, ‘Go into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is just’. So they went. And again he went out about the sixth, and about the ninth hour, and did as before. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing about and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ They aid to him, ‘Because no man has hired us’. He said to them, ‘Go you also into the vineyard’. But when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the labourers, and pay them their wages, beginning from the last even to the first.’  Now when they of the eleventh hour came, they received each a denarius. And when the first in their turn came, they thought that they would receive more; but they also each his denarius. And on receiving it, they began to murmur against the house holder, saying, ‘These last have worked a single hour, and you have put them on a level with us, who have borne the burden of the day’s heat.’ But answering one of them, he said, ‘Friend, I do you no injustice; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go; I choose to give to this last even as to you. Have I not the right to do what I choose? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Even so, the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.”

 
 

Alternative Readings

 
Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles
 

Hymn as a Prayer

 

Jesus, salvation’s sun, shine bright in our inmost souls until night is driven away and day with its more welcome joys rises again.

Having given us this “acceptable-time,” grant that we may purify by abundant sorrow the sacrifice we make of our heart and that our love may willingly consume the sacrifice in its flames.

Tears of repentance will never stop welling up from our heart, the source of our past sin, if the rod of penance break its stubborn rock.

 

The day — Your day — is coming, when everything again begins to blossom. And when Your right hand has led us back to the way, may we too rejoice on that day.

May the world that You constructed humbly adore You, merciful Trinity, and may we, renewed by grace, sing a new hymn of praise. Amen.

 

V. To His Angels God has given command about you.

R. They that guard you in all your ways.

 

Zackary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 68 — 79

 

St. Luke records (Luke 1: 67) that the father of John the Baptist, eight days after the birth of his son, “filled with the Holy Spirit’, uttered this prophecy, which has remained a daily prayer for Christians.

 
 
 
Antiphon
   
       
 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard,” says the Lord.

   
       

Blessed be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,

And has raised up a horn # of salvation for us in the house of David his servant,

As he promised through the mouths of his holy ones the prophets from of old;

Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes

He has fulfilled his kindness to all our fathers and been mindful of his holy covenant.

In the Oath to Abraham our father, by which he swore to grant us that, delivered from the hands of our enemies, we should serve him without fear.

In holiness and justice before him all our days. – the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people.

 

And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

To give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins,

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God with which the Orient from on high will visit us,

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

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.

       
 

# “Horn of salvation.”

Horn refers originally to the power of an ox. It came to be applied to people and here, to the royal saving power of the messiah.

 
Antiphon

“The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard,” says the Lord.

 
 

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

 
 
 

In Your goodness, Lord, hear the prayers of Your people, that we, who are justly punished for our sins, may be mercifully delivered for the glory of Your name. 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.

 

Part 2. Devotions Throughout Lent | Part 3. The Angelus | Part 4. Prayers For Protection