Holy Week

The Sacred Paschal Triduum
| Morning and Night Prayer |
–for use of the Faithful in their Homes–


The Liturgy of the Hours , also called the Divine Office, consecrates to God the
whole cycle of the day and the night. In the Liturgy of the Hours the Church
offers to God “from the rising of the sun to its setting” a sacrifice of praise,
uniting herself with that hymn sung throughout the ages in the halls of heaven,
and expressing the prayers and desires of all the faithful for the salvation of the
whole world.

These excerpts from the Divine Office may be prayed along with other members
of one’s household, or even alone. If celebrated alone both LEADER and
OTHERS parts are recited.

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Taken from The Divine Office, a translation of Liturgia Horarum, approved by the Episcopal Conferences ofAustralia, England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland.
The Divine Office, © 1974, the hierarchies of Australia, England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland.

Original English version of intercessions, concluding prayers, antiphons, short responsories, responsories © 1974, the hierarchies of Australia, England and Wales, Ireland. Used with permission.

Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.

Text of the Psalms © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.

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LEADER O Lord open our lips.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT And we shall praise your name.


Antiphon (LEADER) Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried: come,
let us adore him.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried: come,
let us adore him

LEADER Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the God who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER A mighty God is the Lord,
a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his.
To him belongs the sea, for he made it
and the dry land shaped by his hands.

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER For forty years I was wearied of these people
and I said: “Their hearts are astray,
these people do not know my ways.”
Then I took an oath in my anger:
“Never shall they enter my rest.”’

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER 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.

(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

Hymn (ALL)
Suggested Tune: PRAISE MY SOUL (“Praise, my soul, the King of heaven”)

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
sing the last, the dread affray;
o’er the cross, the victor’s trophy,
sound the high triumphal lay,
how, the pains of death enduring,
earth’s Redeemer won the day.

2 When at length th’appointed fullness
of the sacred time was come,
he was sent, the world’s Creator,
from the Father’s heavenly home,
and was found in human fashion,
offspring of the Virgin’s womb.

3 Now the thirty years are ended
which on earth he willed to see.
Willingly he meets his Passion,
born to set his people free:
on the cross the Lamb is lifted,
there the Sacrifice to be.

4 There the nails and spear he suffers,
vinegar and gall and reed.
From his sacred body piercèd
blood and water both proceed:
precious flood, which all creation
from the stain of sin hath freed.


Antiphon (LEADER): Now I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once.

LEADER When I call, answer me, O God of justice;
from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me!

OTHERS O men, how long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

LEADER It is the Lord who grants favours to those whom he loves;
the Lord hears me whenever I call him.

OTHERS Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still
Make justice your sacrifice, and trust in the Lord.

LEADER ‘What can bring us happiness?’ many say.
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.

OTHERS You have put into my heart a greater joy
than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.

LEADER I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

OTHERS Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.

LEADER As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

ALL Now I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once.

PSALM 15 (16)

Antiphon (LEADER) My body shall rest in hope.

LEADER Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.
My happiness lies in you alone.’

OTHERS He has put into my heart a marvellous love
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood.
Never will I take their name upon my lips.

LEADER O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight:
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!

OTHERS I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

LEADER And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay.

OTHERS You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.

LEADER Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

OTHERS As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

ALL My body shall rest in hope.


LEADER: Judge my case and redeem me.
OTHERS : Give me life according to your promises.

First Reading (LEADER) Hebrews 4:1-13

A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews

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.



LEADER 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, *

OTHERS and they placed soldiers there to guard the body.

Second Reading (LEADER) The Lord’s descent into the Underworld

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.



LEADER 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. *

OTHERS Today the Saviour has shattered the bars and burst the gates of death.


Antiphon (LEADER) Save us, Saviour of the world. By your cross and the
shedding of your blood you have redeemed us. Come to our help, Lord, our

(All STAND and make the Sign of the Cross)

LEADER Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel!
He has visited his people and redeemed them.

OTHERS He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
in the house of David his servant,
as he promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were his prophets from of old.

LEADER A saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who hate us.
So his love for our fathers is fulfilled
and his holy covenant remembered.

OTHERS He swore to Abraham our father to grant us,
that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes,
we might serve him in holiness and justice
all the days of our life in his presence.

LEADER As for you little child,
you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare his ways before him.

OTHERS To make known to his people their salvation
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving-kindness of the heart of our God
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

LEADER He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and guide us into the way of peace.

OTHERS Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.

LEADER As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

ALL Save us, Saviour of the world. By your cross and the shedding of your
blood you have redeemed us. Come to our help, Lord, our God.

LEADER Let us pray to our Redeemer, who suffered for us, was buried, and rose
from the dead. R Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, our Lord, you saw your Mother standing by the cross;
may we share your saving Passion in our time of suffering. R

Christ, our Saviour, you died like a grain of wheat falling into the ground;
gather us to yourself in the harvest of redemption. R

Christ, our shepherd, lying in the tomb you were hidden from men;
teach us to love our real life, which is hidden with you in God. R

Christ, the new Adam, you went down into the world of the dead to free the just;
may those who are dead in sin hear your voice and live. R

Son of the living God, we were buried with you in baptism;
let us rise with you, alive to God for ever. R

LEADER Our Father…
OTHERS …who art in heaven…

Concluding Prayer and Blessing

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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.


LEADER The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to
everlasting life.