Holy Saturday, 11th April 2020 – Office of Readings

Saturday, 11th April 2020 – Holy Saturday Office of Readings

L: O God, come to our aid.

A: O Lord, make haste to help us.

L: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

A: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

Hymn or another suitable hymn

His cross stands empty in a world grown silent
Through hours of anguish and of dread.
In stillness, earth awaits the resurrection,
While Christ goes down to wake the dead.

He summons Adam and his generations,
Brings light where darkness endless seemed;
He frees and claims his own so long held captive,
Who, with the living, are redeemed.

With God the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Give praise to Christ the crucified,
Who through the ages seeks to save his lost ones
The sinful ones for whom he died.

Psalm 4

Thanksgiving

Ant 1: Now I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once.

When I cáll, ánswer me, O Gód of jústice; *
from ánguish you reléased me, have mércy and héar me!

O mén, how lóng will your héarts be clósed, *
will you lóve what is fútile and séek what is fálse?

It is the Lórd who grants fávours to thóse whom he lóves; *
the Lórd héars me whenéver I cáll him.

Fear him; do not sín: pónder on your béd and be stíll *
Make jústice your sácrifice, and trúst in the Lórd.

‘What can bríng us háppiness?’ mány sáy. *
Líft up the líght of your fáce on us, O Lórd.

You have pút into my héart a gréater jóy *
than théy have from abúndance of córn and new wíne.

I will líe down in péace and sléep comes at ónce *
for yóu alone, Lórd, make me dwéll in sáfety.

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.

Ant 1: Now I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once.

Psalm 15 (16)

The Lord, my inheritance

Ant 2: My body shall rest in hope.

Presérve me, Gód, I take réfuge in yóu. †
I sáy to the Lórd: ‘Yóu are my Gód. *
My háppiness líes in yóu alóne.’

He has pút into my héart a márvellous lóve *
for the fáithful ónes who dwéll in his lánd.
Those who chóose other góds incréase their sórrows. †
Néver will I óffer their ófferings of blóod. *
Néver will I táke their náme upon my líps.

O Lórd, it is yóu who are my pórtion and cúp; *
it is yóu yoursélf who áre my príze.
The lót marked óut for me is mý delíght: *
welcome indéed the héritage that fálls to mé!

I will bléss the Lórd who gíves me cóunsel, *
who éven at níght dirécts my héart.
I kéep the Lórd ever ín my síght: *
since hé is at my ríght hand, Í shall stand fírm.

And so my héart rejóices, my sóul is glád; *
éven my bódy shall rést in sáfety.
For yóu will not léave my sóul among the déad, *
nor lét your belóved knów decáy.

You will shów me the páth of lífe, †
the fúllness of jóy in your présence, *
at your ríght hand háppiness for éver.

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.

Ant 2: My body shall rest in hope.

Psalm 23 (24)

The Lord comes to his temple

Ant 3: Grow higher, eternal doors: let the King of glory enter.

The Lórd’s is the éarth and its fúllness, *
the wórld and áll its péoples.
It is hé who sét it on the séas; *
on the wáters he máde it fírm.

Who shall clímb the móuntain of the Lórd? *
Who shall stánd in his hóly pláce?
The mán with clean hánds and pure héart, †
who desíres not wórthless thíngs, *
who has not swórn so as to déceive his néighbour.

He shall recéive bléssings from the Lórd *
and rewárd from the Gód who sáves him.
Súch are the mén who séek him, *
seek the fáce of the Gód of Jácob.

O gátes, lift hígh your héads; †
grow hígher, áncient dóors. *
Let him énter, the kíng of glóry!

Whó is the kíng of glóry? †
The Lórd, the míghty, the váliant, *
the Lórd, the váliant in wár.

O gátes, lift hígh your héads; †
grow hígher, áncient dóors. *
Let him énter, the kíng of glóry!

Who is hé, the kíng of glóry? †
Hé, the Lórd of ármies, *
hé is the kíng of glóry.

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.

Ant 3: Grow higher, eternal doors: let the King of glory enter.

℣. Uphold my cause and defend me.

℟. By your promise, give me life.

First Reading

Hebrews 4:1-13

God’s promise of rest

Be careful: the promise of reaching the place of rest he had for them still holds good, and none of you must think that he has come too late for it. We received the Good News exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who listened.

We, however, who have faith, shall reach a place of rest, as in the text: And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. God’s work was undoubtedly all finished at the beginning of the world; as one text says, referring to the seventh day: After all his work God rested on the seventh day. The text we are considering says: They shall not reach the place of rest I had for them. It is established, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the Good News failed to reach it through their disobedience, God fixed another day when, much later, he said ‘today’ through David in the text already quoted: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts. If Joshua had led them into this place of rest, God would not later on have spoken so much of another day. There must still be, therefore, a place of rest reserved for God’s people, the seventh-day rest, since to reach the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his. We must therefore do everything we can to reach this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of disobedience and be lost.

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of
ourselves.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsory

cf. Mt 27:66,60,62

℟. They buried the Lord, made the tomb secure and rolled a stone across the entrance,* and they placed soldiers there to guard the body.

℣. The chief priests went to Pilate and asked for a guard,* and they placed soldiers there to guard the body.

Second Reading

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.
The end of the reading.

Responsory

℟. Our shepherd, the source of living water, has departed. At his passing the sun was darkened, for he who held the first man captive is now taken captive himself.* Today the Saviour has shattered the bars and burst the gates of death.

℣. He has torn down the barricades of hell and overthrown the power of Satan.* Today the Saviour
has shattered the bars and burst the gates of death.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
whose Only-Begotten Son descended to the realm of the dead,
and rose from there to glory,
grant that your faithful people,
who were buried with him in baptism,
may, by his resurrection, obtain eternal life.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.

– Thanks be to God.

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