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 6


Holy Saturday




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

Be strong and let your heart take courage,* all you who wait for the LORD.


--Psalm 31:24

The Request for Presence

In your righteousness, deliver and set me free;* incline your ear to me and save me.

--Psalm 71:2

The Greeting

O LORD,I am your servant;* I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;


My times are in your hand.*

--Psalm 116:14, 31:15a

The Refrain for the Morning Lessons

I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes."*


Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.


--Psalm 31:22

A Reading

It was the Day of Preparation, and to avoid the bodies' remaining on the cross during the Sabbath-since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity-the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so instead of breaking his legs, one of the sol-diers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it-true evidence, and he knows that what he says is true-and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfill the words of scripture: Not one bone of his will be broken; and again, in another place scripture says: They will look to the one whom they have pierced. After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus-though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews-asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well-the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time-and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near by, they laid Jesus there.


--John 19:31-42

The Refrain

I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes."*


Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.



The Morning Psalm
Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit

In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame;* deliver me in your righteousness.


Incline your ear to me;* make haste to deliver me.


Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold;* for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.


Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me,* for you are my tower of strength.


Into your hands I commend my spirit,* for you have redeemed me, O LORD,O God of truth.


--Psalm 31:1-5

The Refrain

I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes."*


Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.



The Gloria*

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, at whose passion, according to the prophesy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the sweet soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary, grant in Your mercy that we, when remembering her pierced soul, through the merits and prayers of all the Saints faithfully standing by Your Cross, may obtain the blessed result of Your Passion. Through our Lord. Amen.

--Adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY





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

The Call to Prayer

My merciful God comes to meet me;* God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.


--Psalm 59:11

The Request for Presence

O LORD, give victory to the king* and answer us when we call.


--Psalm 20:9

The Greeting

LORD, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;* answer me in your righteousness.


--Psalm 143:1

The Refrain for the Midday Lessons

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel,* from age to age. Amen. Amen.


--Psalm 41:13

A Reading

There is always hope for a tree: when felled, it can start its life again; its shoots continue to sprout. Its roots may have grown old in the earth, its stump rotting in the ground, but let it scent the water and it buds, and puts out branches like a plant newly set. But a human being? He dies, and dead he remains, breathes his last, and then where is he? The waters of the sea will vanish, the rivers stop flowing and run dry: a human being, once laid to rest, will never rise again, the heavens will wear out before he wakes up, or before he is roused from his sleep. Will no one hide me in Sheol, and shelter me there till your anger is past, fixing a certain day for calling me to mind-can the dead come back to life?- day after day of my service, I should be waiting for my relief to come. Then you would call, and I should answer, you would want to see once more what you have made. Whereas now you count every step I take, you would then stop spying on my sin; you would seal up my crime in a bag, and put a cover over my fault. Alas! Just as, eventually, the mountain falls down, the rock moves from its place, water wears away the stones, the cloudburst erodes the soil; so you destroy whatever hope a person has. You crush him once and for all, and he is gone; first you disfigure him, then you dismiss him. His children may rise to honors-he does not know it; they may come down in the world- he does not care. He feels no pangs, except for his own body, makes no lament, except for his own self.


--Job 14:7-22

The Refrain

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel,* from age to age. Amen. Amen.



The Midday Psalm
Out of the Depths Have I Called to You

Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice;* let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.


If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss,* O Lord, who could stand?


For there is forgiveness with you;* therefore you shall be feared.


I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him;* in his word is my hope.


My soul waits for the LORD, more than watchmen for the morning,* more than watchmen for the morning.


O Israel, wait for the LORD,* for with the LORD there is mercy;


With him there is plenteous redemption,* and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.


--Psalm 130

The Refrain

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel,* from age to age. Amen. Amen.



The Gloria*

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, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so I may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; 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

Let the Name of the LORD be blessed,* from this time forth for evermore.


From the rising of the sun to its going down* let the Name of the LORD be praised.


--Psalm 113:2-3

The Request for Presence

Let my cry come before you, O LORD;* give me understanding, according to your word.


Let my supplication come before you;* deliver me, according to your promise.


--Psalm 119:169-170

The Greeting

The Lord is in his holy temple; Let all the earth keep silence before him. Amen.



The Hymn
Take Up Your Cross

Take up your cross, the Savior said,


If you would my disciple be;


Deny yourself, the world forsake,


And humbly follow after me.



Take up your cross, let not its weight


Fill your weak spirit with alarm;


His strength shall bear your spirit up,


Shall brace your heart and nerve your arm.



Take up your cross then in his strength,


And every danger calmly brave,


To guide you to a better home,


And victory over death and grave.



Take up your cross and follow Christ,


Nor think till death to lay it down;


For only he who bears the cross


May hope to wear the glorious crown.



To you, great Lord, the One in three,


All praise for evermore ascend;


O grant us here below to see


The heavenly life that knows no end.


--Charles W. Everest

The Refrain for the Vespers Lessons

Those who sowed with tears* will reap with songs of joy.


Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,* will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.


--Psalm 126:6-7

The Vespers Psalm
My Help Comes from the LORD

I lift up my eyes to the hills;* from where is my help to come?


My help comes from the LORD,* the maker of heaven and earth.


He will not let your foot be moved* and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.


Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel* shall neither slumber nor sleep.


--Psalm 121:1-4

The Refrain

Those who sowed with tears* will reap with songs of joy.


Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,* will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.



The Small Verse

Christ is risen. Alleluia!



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

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout salvation for the victory of our mighty King.


Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.


Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.


Continued on page 8: Next Page »

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