Hours Texts

English Translation of Approved O.S.J. Liturgical Rite for the
Liturgy of the Hours of the Holy Spouses

Parts not supplied are taken from the common of the Blessed Virgin Mary or from the Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19.

Invitatory

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord as we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and her spouse, Saint Joseph.

Office of Readings

Ant. 1: How can this be, since I do not know man?
Psalm 19: Christ, Spouse of the Church
Christ loved the Church and gave himself to make her holy.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
rejoices like a champion to run its course.
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

Ant. 1: How can this be, since I do not know man?

Ant. 2: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Psalm 24 – Christ the King of Glory
The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling
among us and we have seen his glory.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

Ant. 2: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

Ant. 3: I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.
Psalm 45 – The Wedding of the King
Here is the bridegroom; go forth to meet him

To the king I must speak the song I have made;
my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.

You are the fairest of the children of men
and graciousness is poured upon your lips:
because God has blessed you for evermore.

O mighty one, gird your sword upon your thigh;
in splendor and state, ride on in triumph
for the cause of truth and goodness and right.

Take aim with your bow in your dread right hand.
Your arrows are sharp: peoples fall beneath you.
The foes of the king fall down and lose heart.

Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever.
A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom.
Your love is for justice; your hatred for evil.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above other kings:
your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.

From the ivory palace you are greeted with music.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Ant. 3: I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.

First Reading (Is. 7:10-14, 11:1-5, 62:1-3,5).

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: “Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!” But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!” Then he said, “Listen O House of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men; must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. Not by appearance shall he judge, not by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be a band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent; for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch. Nations shall behold her vindication, and all kings your glory; you shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God.

As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you.

Responsory

Blessed is the Virgin Mary and worthy of all praise;
— From her was born the Sun of Justice, Christ our Lord.

Let us celebrate with joy the feast of Mary, Spouse of Joseph;
— From her was born the Sun of Justice, Christ our Lord.

Second Reading (Expositio super Lucam, liber II) From the commentary of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, on Lk. 1:26-27

The evangelists made a fitting division of work between themselves. St. Matthew shows us that Joseph was told by the angel not to divorce Mary. The evangelist Luke testifies that they had not had relations. Mary herself testifies to this when she says to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man?” Luke himself proclaims her virginity when he says, “And the virgin’s name was Mary,” while the prophet had already told us so with the words, “The virgin shall conceive.” Joseph in turn confirms this because, on noticing the pregnancy of the woman he had not possessed, he had in mind to divorce her.

Joseph preserves the merit and image of the just man, and this fact adds strength to his testimony. In fact, the mouth of the just man does not know falsehood; his tongue utters wisdom; his judgment is truth.

Do not be surprised if the Scripture frequently calls Mary by the name of “spouse.” This word does not express the loss of virginity; rather it affirms that the betrothal took place and that the nuptials were celebrated. Indeed, no one would think of divorcing a woman he had not married; therefore, the fact that Joseph wanted to divorce her shows that he admitted having married her.

At the same time, we must not be surprised when the evangelist says, “He had no relations with her until she gave birth to her son.” We are dealing here with a scriptural mode of expression, which is also found elsewhere. For example, “I am with you until you grow old.” Does this mean that after you grow old God ceases to exist? Also, we read in the psalm, “The Lord said to my lord: sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” Does this mean that, after his enemies have been defeated the Lord will no longer be seated at the right hand of the Father? Or, it may be a question of one who is defending a case: he deems it sufficient to state what pertains to his case, without adding anything else. In fact, it is enough for him to settle the case he has taken up and then move on.

Having, then, proposed to demonstrate the virginal aspect of the mystery of the Incarnation, the writer did not think it necessary to insist further on witnessing to the virginity of Mary, so as not to appear more intent on defending the virgin than on affirming the mystery.
Surely, by declaring that Joseph was a just man, he made it abundantly clear that he could not profane the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of the Lord, the womb consecrated by the mystery.

We know a succession of true facts; we have understood their design. Let us now attempt to grasp their hidden meaning.

It is significant that she was married, while remaining a virgin, for she represents the Church who is without blemish, yet is a spouse. While remaining a virgin, she has conceived us by the Spirit, and while remaining a virgin, she brings us to birth without pain. It may be, then, that Mary became a mother by him who was not her spouse, because even the individual Churches, made fruitful by the Spirit and by grace, are nevertheless united to the person of a mortal pontiff.

Responsory
You are rightly blessed among women, for you have changed Eve’s curse to a blessing.
— Through you the blessing of the Father has come upon mankind.

Through you our first parents obtain salvation.
— Through you the blessing of the Father has come upon mankind.

Te Deum. Prayer as in Morning Prayer.

Morning Prayer

Hymn (Blessed Robert of Southwell, S.J. 1560-1595)

Wife did she live, yet Virgin did she die;
Untouched of man, yet Mother of a Son;
To save herself and Child from fatal lie,
To end the web whereof the thread was spun,
In marriage bonds to Joseph she was tied—
Unwonted works and wonted veils to hide.

God lent His Paradise to Joseph’s care,
Wherein He was to plant the Tree of Life;
His Son, of Joseph’s Child the title bare,
Just cause to make the Mother Joseph’s Wife.
O blessed man, betrothed to such a Spouse,
More blessed to live with such a Child in house!

No carnal love this blessed league procured,
All vain delights were far from their assent;
Though both in wedlock-bands themselves assured,
Yet straight by vow they sealed their chaste intent:
Thus had the virgins’, wives’, and widows’ crown,
And by chaste childbirth doubled her renown.

Psalms from Sunday Week I

Ant. 1: Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. It was of her that Jesus who is called the Messiah was born.

Ant. 2: The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

Ant. 3: The child’s father and mother were wondering at what was being said about him.

Reading (Is. 61:10-11):

I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.

Responsory

Let us celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of St. Joseph.
— Let us celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of St. Joseph.

Let us live faithfully this mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
— Spouse of St. Joseph.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
— Let us celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of St. Joseph.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant.: Let us celebrate with joy Blessed Mary ever virgin, Mother of God, that together with St. Joseph, her husband, she may intercede for us with the Lord.

Intercessions

Today we celebrate our Savior, who was born of the Virgin Mary and chose to be called the son of Joseph. Let us pray with joy in our heart, saying:
— Lord, may the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph intercede for us.

Savior of the world, by virtue of your redemption you preserved your Mother from every stain of sin;
— Keep us also free from sin.

Our Redeemer, you were subject to Mary and Joseph;
— Teach us the virtue of obedience.

Eternal Word, you spent your life in poverty with Mary and Joseph.
— Teach us to love poverty.

Jesus, during your life on earth you chose to be called son of Joseph.
— Teach us to cultivate humility and simplicity.

Christ our Savior, you prayed to the Father for the unity of those who believe in you.
— Grant to all the members of our congregation the gift of your wonderful love.

Our Father…

Prayer:

Holy Father, who joined together by a virginal bond the glorious Mother of your Son and the just man, Saint Joseph, that they might be faithful cooperators in the mystery of the Word Incarnate, grant, we pray, that we who are united with you by the bond of baptism may live more intimately our union with Christ and may walk more joyfully in the way of love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Daytime Prayer

Psalms from current weekday.

Midmorning:

Ant. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife.

Reading (Mt 1:20)

As he considered this, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, since that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Blessed Mother and inviolate Virgin, glorious Queen of the world,
— Intercede for us with the Lord.

Midday:

Ant. The father and mother of Jesus were wondering about what was being said about him.

Reading (Lk. 2:22-23)

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.”)

How glorious is the Mother
— Who gave birth to the King of Heaven.

Midafternoon:

Ant. Son, why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.

Reading (Lk 2:41-44)

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances.

Mary treasured all these things
— and reflected on them in her heart.

Prayer, as in Morning Prayer

Evening Prayer

Ant. 1: The angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, Spouse of St. Joseph.

Psalm 122 – Jerusalem, Holy City
You have drawn near to Mount Zion and the
City of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem

I rejoiced when I heard them say:
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is,
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray:
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls,
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord
I will ask for your good.

Ant. 1: The angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, Spouse of St. Joseph.

Ant. 2: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together she was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 147:12-20 – Jerusalem Restored. Come, I will show you your betrothed, the spouse of the Lamb (Rev 21:9)

Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Zion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
he has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders,
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool,
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs.
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them:
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob,
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
he has not taught them his decrees.

Ant. 2: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together she was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ant. 3: An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife.”

Canticle (cf. Rev 19:1-7) – The Wedding of the Lamb

Alleluia. Salvation, glory, and power to our God:
his judgments are honest and true. Alleluia.

Alleluia. Sing praise to our God, all you his servants,
all who worship him reverently, great and small. Alleluia.

Alleluia. The Lord our all-powerful God is King,
let us rejoice, sing praise, and give him glory. Alleluia.

Alleluia. The wedding feast of the Lamb has begun,
and his bride is prepared to welcome him. Alleluia.

Ant. 3: An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife.”

Reading (Gal 4:4-5)

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons.

Responsory

Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you.
— Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
— The Lord is with you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
— Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Let us celebrate with joy the ever Virgin Mother of God, that, together with Joseph, her Spouse, she may intercede for us with the Lord.

Intercessions

Let us give thanks to Christ, our Redeemer, who on earth lived subject to Mary and Joseph, and let us ask him:
— Look upon Mary and Joseph, O Lord, and hear us.

Divine Master, grant that we may hear your word and keep it with a pure and generous heart;
— Just as Mary, your Mother, welcomed it and pondered it in her heart.

Christ, builder of the universe, you were called son of the carpenter;
— May we undertake in a generous spirit our daily tasks.

Jesus, in the family of Nazareth you grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and men;
— Grant that by your example we may progress in all the virtues.

Jesus Redeemer, you chose Mary and Joseph as your guardians;
— Protect our congregation.

Jesus, you united Mary and Joseph to yourself in the glory of heaven;
— Welcome our deceased brothers and sisters into the family of the blessed.

Our Father…

Prayer, as in Morning Prayer