Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24th

FROM THE LITURGY of the Hours for December 24th:
Awake, awake! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who drank at the LORD'S hand the cup of his wrath; Who drained to the dregs the bowl of staggering!
She has no one to guide her of all the sons she bore; She has no one to grasp her by the hand, of all the sons she reared!--
Your misfortunes are double; who is there to condole with you? Desolation and destruction, famine and sword! Who is there to comfort you?
Your sons lie helpless at every street corner like antelopes in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD, the rebuke of your God.
But now, hear this, O afflicted one, drunk, but not with wine,
Thus says the LORD, your Master, your God, who defends his people: See, I am taking from your hand the cup of staggering; The bowl of my wrath you shall no longer drink.
I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, those who ordered you to bow down, that they might walk over you, While you offered your back like the ground, like the street for them to walk on.
Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your glorious garments, O Jerusalem, holy city. No longer shall the uncircumcised or the unclean enter you.
Shake off the dust, ascend to the throne, Jerusalem; Loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter Zion! ....
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, "Your God is King!"
Hark! Your watchmen raise a cry, together they shout for joy, For they see directly, before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; All the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.
— Isaiah chapters 51, 52
Cleanse yourselves, sons of Israel, says the Lord; for tomorrow your Lord will come down, and he will take away from you all weaknesses.
Tomorrow the wickedness of the earth will be destroyed, and the Savior of the world will rule over us. And he will take away from you all weaknesses.
— Responsory

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