Praying the Divine Hours

Holy Week prayers and Easter prayers to aid your daily spiritual practice for Holy Week.

BY: Phyllis Tickle

 

Continued from page 4


Maundy Thursday




THE MORNING OFFICE
(To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 6 and 9 a.m.)

Note: For those singing the words of the Psalter and the hymns of the vesper office, there is in the midst of each line of the Psalms, a small asterisk. On the last syllable before this asterisk, the singer will want to raise his or her monotonal pitch by a single note, just as the last syllable before the end of a line is lowered a note.

The Call to Prayer

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,* which cannot be moved, but stands fast forever.


The hills stand about Jerusalem;* so does the LORD stand round about his people, from this time forth for evermore.


--Psalm 125:1-2

The Request for Presence

Make me understand the way of your commandments,* that I may meditate on your marvelous works.


--Psalm 119:27

The Greeting

Remember your word to your servant,* because you have given me hope.


This is my comfort in my trouble,* that your promise gives me life.


--Psalm 119:49-50

The Refrain for the Morning Lessons

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me.


--John 14:1

A Reading

Before the festival of Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end. They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from the table, removed his outer garments, and, taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist; he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said, ‘Well then, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are.’ When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand,’ he said, ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly, so I am. If I then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’


--John 13:1-15

The Refrain

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me.



The Morning Psalm
That the Generation to Come Might Put Their Trust in God

Hear my teaching, O my people;* incline your ears to the words of my mouth.


I will open my mouth in a parable;* I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.


That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us,* we will not hide from their children.


We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD,* and the wonderful works he has done.


He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel,* which he commanded them to teach their children;


That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn;* that they in their turn might tell it to their children;


So that they might put their trust in God,* and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;


And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation,* a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.


--Psalm 78:1-8

The Refrain

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me.



The Cry of the Church

In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament,* and he will hear my voice.



The Lord's Prayer

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that I, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. †



The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Look down, O Lord, I pray, on all of us, Your Family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed and to be delivered into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer the torment of the Cross. Amen.†






THE MIDDAY OFFICE
(To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.)

The Call to Prayer

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.


--Isaiah 1:18, KJV

The Request for Presence

Awake, O my God, decree justice;* let the assembly of peoples gather around you.


Let the malice of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;* for you test the mind and heart, O righteous God.


--Psalm 7:7,10

The Greeting

Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand* from those whose portion in life is this world.


--Psalm 17:14

The Refrain for the Midday Lessons

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit;* a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


--Psalm 51:18

A Reading

For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is slain for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ And in the same way, with the cup after supper, say-ing, ‘This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this in memorial of me.’ Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.


--1 Corinthians 11:33-29

The Refrain

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit;* a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.



The Midday Psalm
Why, O God, Have You Utterly Cast Us Off

O God, why have you utterly cast us off?* why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?


Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago,* the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.


Turn your steps toward the endless ruins;* the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.


Your adversaries roared in your holy place;* they set up their banners as tokens of victory.


They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees;* they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.


They set fire to your holy place;* they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.


They said to themselves, “Let us destroy them altogether.”* They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.


There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left;* there is not one among us who knows how long.


How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?* will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?


Why do you draw back your hand?* why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?


--Psalm 74:1-10

The Refrain

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit;* a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.



The Cry of the Church

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.



The Lord’s Prayer

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that I, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. †



The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that I may receive it thank-fully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. †





THE VESPERS OFFICE
(To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 5 and 8 p.m.)

The Call to Prayer

Come and listen, all you who fear God,* and I will tell you what he has done for me.


--Psalm 66:14


The Request for Presence

O God, be not far from me;* come quickly to help me, O my God.


--Psalm 71:12


The Greeting

You have showed me great troubles and adversities,* but you will restore my life and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.


--Psalm 71:20

The Hymn
Go to Dark Gethsemane

Go to dark Gethsemane, you that feel the tempter’s power;


Your Redeemer’s conflict see, Watch with him one bitter hour.


Turn not from his griefs away; learn of Jesus Christ to pray.



See him at the judgment hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned;


O the worm-wood and the Gall! O the pangs his soul sustained!


Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of Christ to bear the cross.



Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at his feet,


Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.


“It is finished!” hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.



Early hasten to the tomb where they laid his breathless clay;


All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away?


Christ is risen! He meets our eyes; Savior, teach us so to rise.


--James Montgomery


The Refrain for the Vespers Lessons

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,* from the clutches of the evil-doer and the oppressor.



The Vespers Psalm
As for Me, I Am Poor and Needy

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me;* O LORD, make haste to help me.


Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed;* let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced.


Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat over me turn back,* because they are ashamed.


Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;* let those who love your salvation say for ever, “Great is the LORD!”


But as for me, I am poor and needy;* come to me speedily, O God.


You are my helper and my deliverer;* O LORD, do not tarry.


--Psalm 70


The Refrain

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,* from the clutches of the evil-doer and the oppressor.



The Lord’s Prayer

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that I, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. †



The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Almighty and everlasting God, grant that we may celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s Passion in such a manner as to deserve Your pardon. Through the same Jesus Christ. Amen.


--adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY

Continued on page 6: Next Page »

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