5 Palm Sunday – Office of Reading

Introduction to each hour (Same introduction used everyday unless stated) to be skipped if prayer is done immediately after invitatory

  • O God, come to my aid;
  • 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.

Opening Hymn;

This day at thy creating word
first o’er the earth the light was poured:
O Lord, this day upon us shine
and fill our souls with light divine.

This day the Lord for sinners slain
in might victorious rose again:
O Jesus, may we raised be
from death of sin to life in thee!

This day the Holy Spirit came
with fiery tongues of cloven flame:
O Spirit, fill our hearts this day
with grace to hear and grace to pray.

O day of light and life and grace,
from earthly toil sweet resting place,
thy hallowed hours, blest gift of love,
give we again to God above.

All praise to God the Father be,
all praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whom, with the Spirit, we adore
forever and forevermore. 

Psalmody

Anthipon 1 : Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe

Psalm 103(104)

Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed in majesty and splendour;
you are wrapped in light as in a cloak.

You stretch out the sky like an awning,
you build your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk upon the wings of the wind.
You make the breezes your messengers,
you make burning fire your minister.

You set the earth upon its foundation:
from age to age it will stand firm.
Deep oceans covered it like a garment,
and the waters stood high above the mountains;
but you rebuked them and they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they fled in terror.
They rise to the mountains or sink to the valleys,
to the places you have decreed for them.
You have given them a boundary they must not cross;
they will never come back to cover the earth.

You make springs arise to feed the streams,
that flow in the midst of the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink from them
and the wild asses will quench their thirst.
Above them will nest the birds of the sky,
from among the branches their voices will sound.

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.

Anthipon 1 : Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe

Anthipon 2 : The lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer mans heart

Psalm 103(104)

From your palace you water the mountains,
and thus you give plenty to the earth.
You bring forth grass for the cattle,
and plants for the service of man.
You bring forth bread from the land,
and wine to make man’s heart rejoice.
Oil, to make the face shine;
and bread to make man’s heart strong.

The trees of the Lord have all that they need,
and the cedars of Lebanon, that he planted.
Small birds will nest there,
and storks at the tops of the trees.
For wild goats there are the high mountains;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys.

He made the moon so that time could be measured;
the sun knows the hour of its setting.
You send shadows, and night falls:
then all the beasts of the woods come out,
lion cubs roaring for their prey,
asking God for their food.
When the sun rises they come back together
to lie in their lairs;
man goes out to his labour,
and works until evening.

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.

Anthipon 2 : The lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer mans heart

Anthipon 3: God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

Psalm 103(104)

How many are your works, O Lord!
You have made all things in your wisdom,
and the earth is full of your creatures.
The sea is broad and immense:
sea-creatures swim there, both small and large,
too many to count.
Ships sail across it;
Leviathan lives there, the monster;
you made him to play with.

All of them look to you
to give them their food when they need it.
You give it to them, and they gather;
you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
But turn away, and they are dismayed;
take away their breath, and they die,
once more they will turn into dust.
You will send forth your breath, they will come to life;
you will renew the face of the earth.

Glory be to the Lord, for ever;
let the Lord rejoice in his works.
He turns his gaze to the earth, and it trembles;
he touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
as long as I exist, I will sing songs to God.
May my praises be pleasing to him;
truly I will delight in the Lord.

Let sinners perish from the earth,
let the wicked vanish from existence.
Bless the Lord, my soul!

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.

Anthipon 3 : God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

Responsory

  • When I am lifted up from the earth,
  • I shall draw all things to myself.

First Reading (Hebrews 10:1-18)

Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world:

You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’

Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.
All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. The Holy Spirit assures us of this; for he says, first:

This is the covenant I will make with them
when those days arrive;

and the Lord then goes on to say:

I will put my laws into their hearts
and write them on their minds.
I will never call their sins to mind,
or their offences.

When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.

Responsory

  • You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but you have prepared a body for me. You do not ask for holocaust and victim; then I said:* ‘Here I am, O God, I come to do your will.’
  • The blood of bulls and goats can never take sins away. For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said:* ‘Here I am, O God, I come to do your will.’

Second Reading

From the discourse “On the Palm Branches” by Saint Andrew of Crete

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; blessed is the King of Israel.

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will towards his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power, and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.

Let us run to accompany him as he hastens towards his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.

In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens – the proof, surely, of his power and godhead – his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.

So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

Responsory

  • When the people heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, they went out to meet him. Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road while others spread branches in his path, and they shouted,* Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
  • The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed all shouted aloud,* Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!

Concluding Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
you gave our Saviour the command
to become man and undergo the Cross
as an example of humility for all men to follow.
We have the lessons of his sufferings
give us also the fellowship of his resurrection.

Conclusion of the hours (Repeated at every hour of the day except at night)

We make our prayer our Lord Jesus Christ your son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the holy spirit, one God forever and ever.

May the lord bless us, keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.

Amen

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