Vespers: Thursday, wk 2

During Lent, this O.T. Canticle, based on Micah 7:14,15,18-20,
replaces the one for ordinary time

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock that belongs to you,
living alone in the forest,
in the midst of a garden land.

Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old.
As when you came out from Egypt,
show us marvelous things.

What god can compare with you,
taking faults away, pardoning crime?
You do not hold your anger forever,
but delight in showing compassion.

You will again have mercy on us,
and tread our faults underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.

You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
unswerving loyalty to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our ancestors
in days long ago.

Psalm 87  (God’s city, mother of all nations)
 
The city founded by God,
stands on the holy mountain.
 

God loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are told about you,
O city of God!
 
I mention Babylon and Egypt
among those who know me,
Ethiopia, Philistia, and Tyre:
each was born there.
 
It shall be said of Zion:
Every one was born there.
It is God, the Most High
who will make it secure.
 
God writes in the register of peoples,
that all were born there.
The singers and dancers will say:
In you all find their home.
 

Psalm 48  (The invincible city of God)
 
God is great, most worthy of praise,
in the city of the Most High.
The holy mountain, fair and lofty,
is the joy of all the earth!
 
Mount Zion, far up in the North,
is the city of the great King.
God, within its citadels,
will be its sure defense.
 
When earth’s rulers had joined forces
they marched forward together.
When they saw it, they were stunned;
in their panic they took to flight.
 
Trembling took hold of them there,
anguish like a woman in childbirth,
like ships tossed on the sea,    
shattered by stormy winds.
 
What we had heard, now we have seen,
in the city of the Most High.
The God of power and might
will keep it firm forever.
 

O God, within your temple
we reflect on your steadfast love.
Like your Name, O God, so your glory
embraces the ends of the earth.
 

Saving justice is in your right hand.
Let Mount Zion be glad;
let the people of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments.
 
Walk all around Zion,
and count all its towers;
consider its walls and its ramparts, 
then tell future generations:
 

This is God, our God forever,
who will guide us always.
 

Psalm 45  (Royal wedding song)
 
My heart overflows with noble words;
to the king I address my song;
my tongue is ready like the pen of a scribe.
 
You surpass other men in beauty;
your words are endowed with grace;
you are blessed by God forever.
 

Great warrior, in majesty and glory,
ride forth with your sword and conquer,
for the cause of justice and truth.
 
The deeds of your right hand bring you renown.
At your sharp arrows, nations fall before you.
The enemies of the king are losing heart.
 
Your mighty throne will endure forever,
with justice the rule of your kingdom.
You love goodness, but evil you hate.
 
God chose you from among your companions,
and anointed you with the oil of gladness;
your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.
 
In ivory palaces, stringed music brings you joy;
royal daughters are attendants in your court.
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
 

Hear, O daughter, listen closely to my words;
forget your own people and your family home,
for your beauty is sought by the king;
the one who is sovereign desires your homage.
  
From Tyre they will come bearing gifts;
the rich will entreat your favor.
How lovely the royal princess as she enters,
wearing robes embroidered with gold.
 

Clothed in splendor, she is led to the king,
with maiden companions in her train.
They follow with joy and exultation,
as she enters the royal palace.
 
Your children will succeed your ancestors;
you will make them rulers in the land.
Your name will be remembered forever;
they will praise you from age to age.
 

N.T. Canticle, based on John 3:3,5,6,8,11,19,21
 

No one can see the reign of God
without being born anew.
If you would enter God’s kingdom
you must be born of water and Spirit.
 

What is born of the flesh is flesh;
what is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
Do not marvel at the saying:
You must be born anew.
 

The wind blows where it pleases;
you hear the sound it makes,
but do not know where it comes from,
or where it is going.
 

So it is with everyone
who is born of the Spirit.
 

Truly, I say to you,
we speak of what we know,
and tell you what we have seen;
but you don not accept our message.
 

This shall be the judgment,
that the light has come to the world,
and people loved darkness more than light
because their deeds were evil.
 

But those who do what is true,
will come to the light,
so it may be clearly seen
that their deeds are done in God.
 

Psalms Trans. ©Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 2008