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 5


Good Friday




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

I cry out to you, O LORD;* I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."


--Psalm 142:5

The Request for Presence

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;* you are my crag and my stronghold.

--Psalm 71:3

The Greeting

O LORD,I cry to you for help;* in the morning my prayer comes before you.

--Psalm 88:14

The Refrain for the Morning Lessons

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?* and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?


--Psalm 22:1

A Reading

Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying, 'Hail, king of the Jews!' and slapping him in the face. Pilate came outside again and said to them, 'Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case against him. The chief priests and the guards shouted, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' Pilate said, 'Take him yourselves and crucify him: I find no case against him.' The Jews replied, 'We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to be put to death, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.' ...They [the soldiers] then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull, or as it is called in Hebrew, Golgatha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side, Jesus being in the middle ...When the sol-diers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, 'Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it.' In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes. That is what the soldiers did. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdela. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said: I am thirsty. Ajar full of wine stood there; so putting a sponge in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the wine, he said, 'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up the spirit.


--John 19:1ff

The Refrain

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?* and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?



The Morning Psalm
I Am Poured Out Like Water

I am poured out like water;* all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.


My mouth is dried out like a pot-shard; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;* and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.


Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me;* they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.


They stare and gloat over me;* they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.


Be not far away, O LORD;* you are my strength; hasten to help me.


Save me from the sword,* my life from the power of the dog.


Save me from the lion's mouth,* my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls. I will declare your Name to my brethren;* in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.


--Psalm 22:14-21

The Refrain

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?* and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?



The Cry of the Church

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



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

O God, you sent Christ Jesus to be my shepherd and the lamb of sacrifice. Help me to embrace the mystery of salvation, the promise of life rising out of death. Help me to hear the call of Christ and give me the courage to follow it readily that I, too, may lead others to you. This I ask through Jesus, my shepherd and guide.


--From PEOPLE' S COMPANION TO THE BREVIARY, VOL. II





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

The Call to Prayer

The LORD will make good his purpose for me;* O LORD, your love endures for ever; do not abandon the works of your hands.


--Psalm 138:9

The Request for Presence

I spread out my hands to you;* my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.


O LORD, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;* do not hide your face from me or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.


--Psalm 143:6-7

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 Midday Lessons

For God alone my soul in silence waits;* from him comes my salvation.


--Psalm 62:1

A Reading

Forcibly, after sentence, he was taken. Which of his contemporaries was con-cerned at his having been cut off from the land of the living, at his having been struck dead for his people's rebellion? He was given a grave with the wicked, and his tomb is with the rich, although he had done no violence, had spoken no deceit. It was YAHWEH's good pleasure to crush him with pain; if he gives his life as a sin offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life, and through him YAHWEH's good pleasure will be done. After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself. Hence I shall give him a portion with the many, and he will share the body with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and for being counted as one of the rebellious, whereas he was bearing the sin of many and interceding for the rebellious.


--Isaiah 53:8–12

The Refrain

For God alone my soul in silence waits;* from him comes my salvation.



The Midday Psalm
Be Not Far from Me, for Trouble Is Near

But as for me, I am a worm and no man,* scorned by all and despised by the people.


All who see me laugh me to scorn;* they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,


"He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him;* let him rescue him, if he delights in him."


Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,* and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.


I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;* you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.


Be not far from me, for trouble is near,* and there is none to help.


--Psalm 22:6-11

The Refrain

For God alone my soul in silence waits;* from him comes my salvation.



The Cry of the Church

Remember me, Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.


Luke 22:42

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 God, I pray you graciously to behold those who are your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; 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

I will call upon God,* and the LORD will deliver me.


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


He will bring me safely back ...God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me.


--Psalm 55:17ff

The Request for Presence

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;* knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.


--Psalm 86:11

The Greeting

To you, O LORD,I lift up my soul;* my God, I put my trust in you.


--Psalm 25:1

The Hymn
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,


My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.



Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God;


All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.



See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.


Did ever such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?



Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small;


Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.


--Isaac Watts

The Refrain for the Vespers Lessons

And now, what is my hope?* O Lord, my hope is in you.


--Psalm 39:8

The Vespers Psalm
At the Time You Have Set, O LORD

Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach,* and shame has covered my face.


I have become a stranger to my own kindred,* an alien to my mother's children.


Zeal for your house has eaten me up;* the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.


I humbled myself with fasting,* but that was turned to my reproach.


I put on sack-cloth also,* and became a byword among them.


Those who sit at the gate murmur against me,* and the drunkards make songs about me.


But as for me, this is my prayer to you,* at the time you have set, O LORD:


"In your great mercy, O God,* answer me with your unfailing help.


Save me from the mire; do not let me sink;* let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.


Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up;* do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.


Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind;* in your great compassion, turn to me."


--Psalm 69:8-18

The Refrain

And now, what is my hope?* O Lord, my hope is in you.



The Cry of the Church

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



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, who willed that our Savior should take our flesh and suffer death upon the Cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility, mercifully grant that I may both follow the example of His patience and also be made a partaker of His resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ. Amen.


--Adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY

Continued on page 7: Next Page »

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