AHC G Hebrew Catholic Celebrations - Hebrew Catholics

Association of

Hebrew Catholics

New Zealand Branch

Hebrew Catholic Celebrations

A Hebrew Catholic Perspective 

Click here for a printable copy of this paper


Ordinary Time Throughout the Year





   Thursday Evening: 1. Remembering the First Eucharist
   Friday Evening: 2. Vespers of Our Lady
  3. A prayer for Friday Evening
   Saturday Morning: 4. Office of Our Lady Miriam;
•   Saturday Evening: 5. Benediction / Procession / Eucharist
  6. A Prayer For Saturday Evening
•   Sunday Evening: 7. A Prayer For Sunday Evening
•   During the Week: 8. Meditation Through the week
   Supplement     Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
9. A Hebrew Christian Triduum

For each evening, Thursday to Sunday inclusive, we offer a sample of a format which can be slipped, in full or in part, into any other devotions, private, or in a group. In addition there are more fully scoped formats (2 and 4) for Friday evening and Saturday morning — Our Lady’s Day. These are merely samples of what can be assembled to meet local needs.

The Supplement offers material for use on the other days.


Our Intention

This booklet seeks to present traditional Catholic devotions in a manner which highlights and enhances the Jewish background from which they evolved. They do not represent any kind of substitution of traditional Jewish worship. We strongly endorse the use of Jewish liturgies offered as fulfilled in Jesus Messiah and thus bearing testimony to His role in Salvation History.



This booklet brings together Biblical texts mainly from the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal. There are also items based on Jewish models where these have a direct application. All texts are taken from sources certified by competent authorities (e.g. displaying the Imprimatur). Explanations and connecting text are not from the above sources. They are offered by us to assist readers understand particular devotions. We consider our humble attempts to provide material suiting the dignity of what they accompany, as provisional, and always open to revision and improvement.

Everything in this booklet reflects the Hebrew Catholic cause for jubilation: our life in the Church is Judaism fulfilled. Our devotions therefore are our expression of joy, peace and profound gratitude to God and the whole Church. Members of Jewish origin sometimes refer to themselves as “completed Jews,” while those of Gentile origin express their gratitude at becoming more connected to the Jewish origins of their faith. As baptised members of the Church, they are all united in their Hebrew Catholic Apostolate.

It will always be helpful to all members of the Church to remember that the whole of Judaism was fulfilled in the Sacrifice of Yeshua Messiah — our Lord Jesus Christ. Every item, every detail has been subsumed or incorporated into His offering to the Father.

When Jews who have joined the Church, use Jewish prayers, articles and customs in the Hebrew Catholic context, they do so knowing that these beautiful treasures have been transformed in, and reflect, the Light of Christ. It is a special joy and privilege to share them with all who are present. Therefore in our “Celebrations” outlined in this booklet, provision is made for the inclusion of any chosen Jewish contributions on this basis. All have been transformed in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Messiah) — all are for use as appropriate. This booklet does not make specific mention of any Jewish customs as such, but provides a framework within which these can be incorporated according to the circumstances or makeup of the group. We strongly encourage this to take place.

Non-Jewish persons present are thereby connected with the origins of Christianity and helped to understand more clearly the teaching of the Church regarding the salvation of mankind by our Messiah, the Lord Yeshua.


1.     Thursday Evening:

 Remembering the First Eucharist

The Biblical beginning of Friday (Genesis 1: 5)

This evening we give thanks to God for the fulfilment of the Mosaic Covenant by our Messiah Yeshua — the Lord Jesus — who united His self-sacrifice with the celebration of Passover which was thus transformed by Him and which we now celebrate in the Holy Eucharist.

At the lighting of any candles or votive lamps.

From Psalm 67: 2

V.     May God have mercy on us and give us his blessing.
R.     May he smile on us and have mercy.

John 1: 14

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among
us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only
Son, full of grace and truth.

Let Us Pray
Choice of two prayers

Traditional Prayer

• We give thanks to You, Divine Redeemer, Who in Your love wishes to be like one of us.

• Still further have You loved us — for having shown Your love to us You loved us to the end, on the Cross.

• Day by day You present Yourself on our altars before the Father, a victim for us.

• Indeed You give Yourself to us continually as the food for our souls.

• It is Your desire to be and remain with us forever.

• Eternal thanks be to You, Son of God made man, hidden under the appearances of bread and wine, for this Your love enduring even to the end.

• Endless praise and thanks be to You: Our Messiah, Lord and Redeemer.


Contemporary Prayer

Lord God, love of You with our whole heart is holiness. Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His resurrection, make us come to You, our final end.

We make this prayer 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.


Let Us Bless the Lord

Blessed are you O Lord, King of the Universe, who has brought the Mosaic Covenant to fulfilment by receiving the sacrifice of His Son’s life in atonement for our sin and giving us New Life in His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Blessed be God forever. Amen.


2.     Vespers of Our Lady Miriam

Mother of the Messiah — Friday Evening

As evening approaches on Friday afternoon, the new day, Saturday commences, following the Biblical model, “It was evening and morning the first day”. (Genesis 1: 5). For many Hebrew Catholics, and people from other backgrounds, the celebration of Saturday as Our Lady’s Day, in the ancient tradition of the Church, enables us to sanctify the day, and ourselves, as a spiritual preparation for the blessings of the Lord’s Day which follows.

(To be shortened or supplemented as required with chosen prayers, hymns, and other customs.
If circumstances do not permit the use of this format of Vespers,
a shorter “Prayer For Friday Evening” is also available.)

Opening Prayer

After the lighting of any candles or votive lamps.

V.     O God, come to our assistance,
R.     O Lord, make haste to help us.

V.     Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the
         Holy Spirit.
R.     As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
         world without end. Amen.


Hymn:   Hail Queen of Heaven
            Daily, daily, sing to Mary“.
             (Or other as selected)


We hail you, Miriam, full of grace. The Lord is with you.
No woman so blessed as you,
No child so blessed as the child of your womb. (Luke 1: 28 and 42)

Psalm 122

I rejoiced because they said to me, “We will go up to the
house of the Lord”.
And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity. —
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, according to
decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David. —
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May those who love
you prosper!
May peace be within your walls, prosperity in your buildings.

Because of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be 
within you!”
Because of the house of the Lord, our God, I will pray for
your good.

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.

If a second psalm is required, Psalm 147 follows — or other as selected. Otherwise, the Antiphon is repeated at this point. 

Psalm 147: 12 — 20

Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has
blessed your children within you.

He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of
wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs
his word!

He spreads snow like wool; frost he strews like ashes.
He scatters his hail like crumbs; before his cold the
waters freeze.

He sends his word and melts them; he lets his breeze
blow and the waters run.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and
his ordinances to Israel.

He has not done thus for any other nation;
His ordinances he has not made known to them. Halleluia

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.


We hail you, Miriam, full of grace. The Lord is with you.
No woman so blessed as you,
No child so blessed as the child of your womb. (Luke 1: 28 and 42)

Reading     Ecclesiasticus 24: 14 — 16

(Or other as selected)

From the beginning of time, before the worlds, he made me,
unfailing to all eternity; in his own holy dwelling-place I had
waited on his presence; and now, no less faithfully, I made
Zion my stronghold, the holy city my resting place, Jerusalem
my throne. My roots spread out among the people that enjoys
his favour, my God has granted me a share in his domain;
where his faithful servants are gathered I love to linger.

Let Us Bless the Lord

Blessed are You O Lord, King of the Universe, who has called the Mother of Jesus, by her Assumption, into His Presence and crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth for all eternity.

Blessed be God forever.


Canticle of Our Lady Miriam (Luke 1: 46 — 55)


You are blessed for having believed the things spoken to you
by the Lord; now you are reigning with Christ forever.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the
arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich
he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering
his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

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.


You are blessed for having believed the things spoken
to you by the Lord; now you are reigning with Christ forever.


Additional Items of Choice

Customary Prayers and Celebrations

From Jewish or Christian traditions, including Ember Days and Rogation Days.


Invocations To Our Lady Miriam
(Judith 15: 10)


V.   Our Lady Miriam: Glory of Jerusalem.
R.   Pray for peace.

V.   Joy of Israel.
R.   Pray for the world and its salvation.

V.   Honour of our people.
R.   Pray for all who worship God.

If circumstances do not permit the use of this format of Vespers
a shorter “Prayer For Friday Evening” is also available.

Concluding Prayers

 V.     O Lord, hear my (our) prayer.
 R.     And let my (our) cry come unto You.

Let us pray.

God our Father,
You created a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit
in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Miriam.
Grant that through her prayers we may become a temple
fit for your glory.

This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You in unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.    Amen.


Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Canticle of Simeon  (St. Luke 2: 29 — 32)

Now, Lord, you may dismiss your servant in peace,
according to your word;

For my eyes have seen your salvation,
Which you have set before all the nations,
As a light of revelation for the Gentiles and the glory of
your people Israel.
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.

V.     Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
R.     Who made heaven and earth.

     May the all powerful
         and merciful Lord,
         Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
         bless and preserve us. Amen.


Hymn: Hail Queen of Heaven

HAIL, Queen of heav’n, the ocean star,
Guide of the wand’rer here below:
Thrown on life’s surge, we claim your care —
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid,
We sinners make our prayers through you
Remind us that your Son has paid
The price of our iniquity.
Virgin most pure, star of the sea,
Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

Sojourners in this vale of tears,
To you, blest advocate, we cry;
Pity our sorrows, calm our fears,
And soothe with hope our misery.
Refuge in grief, star of the sea,
Pray for the mourner, pray for me.

And while to Him who reigns above,
In Godhead One, in Persons Three,
The source of life, of grace, of love,
Homage we pray on bended knee;
Mary our Queen, star of the sea,
Pray for your children, pray for me.

(John Lingard 1771 – 1851)
(with slight modification)


Hymn: Daily, daily, sing to Mary.

 Omni die dic Mariae,


Daily, daily, sing to Mary,
Sing, my soul, her praises due;
All her feasts, her actions worship,
With the hearts devotion true.
Lost in wond’ring contemplation
Be her majesty confessed:
Call her Mother, call her Virgin,
Happy Mother, Virgin blest.



She is mighty to deliver;
Call her, trust her lovingly:
When the tempest rages round you,
She will calm the troubled sea.
Gifts of heaven she has given,
Noble Lady! to our race:
She, the Queen, who decks her subjects
With the light of God’s own grace.


Sing my tongue, the Virgin’s trophies,
Who for us her Maker bore;
For the curse of old inflicted,
Peace and blessings to restore.
Sing in songs of praise unending,
Sing the world’s majestic Queen:
Weary not nor faint in telling
All the gifts she gives to men.


All my senses, heart, affections,
Strive to sound her glory forth:
Spread abroad the sweet memorials
Of the Virgin’s priceless worth.
Where the voice of music thrilling,
Where the tongues of eloquence,
That can utter hymns beseeming
All her matchless excellence?


All our joys do flow from Mary,
All then join her praise to sing:
Trembling sing the Virgin Mother,
Mother of our Lord and King.
While we sing her awesome glory,
Far above our fancy’s reach,
Let our hearts be quick to offer
Love the heart alone can teach.

(St. Bernard of Cluny, 12th Century)
Tr. H. Bittleston, 1818 — 86.
(With slight modification)


3.     A Prayer For Friday Evening

Commencement of Saturday as evening descends. (Genesis 1: 5)

After the lighting of any candles or votive lamps:

V.     Our Lady Miriam: Queen of Peace.
R.     Pray for us and for all the world.

Let Us Pray

  •   Mary, with You we magnify the Lord today and without ceasing. Who
      has done great things for you, Who is mighty and holy in His Name.
  •   With the angels and with all generations we call you blessed, we salute
      you full of grace and conceived without sin whom God the Father, Son
      and Holy Spirit raised above all the angels and saints and chose for
      His own true Mother.
  •   With you O Mary, we offer thanks, for your privileges, to the Father,
      to the Son, to the Holy Spirit.
  •   Help us Mary, with your continual love that we, the children of your   
      sorrow, may with you, the holy martyrs, and all the saints of God,
      follow your crucified Son even unto death.
  •   In your Motherly love, after the crosses and sorrows of this life show
      us in heaven, Yeshua, the blessed fruit of your womb.
  •   Amen

Let us bless the Lord

Blessed are You, O Lord, King of the Universe, Who has
enabled His Son to carry His Cross to the place of crucifixion
and there to suffer until He chose to bow His head and give up
His spirit.

Blessed be God forever.



4.    Saturday Office of Our Lady Miriam


Saturday morning continues the stream of our praise and thanksgiving to God for sending His Son, Yeshua, our Messiah into the world to fulfil His gracious promises of reconciliation and abundant lovingkindness. It is our privilege to honour His Mother, Miriam whom He chose to assume into Heaven and Crown her Queen of Heaven and earth #. Blessed be His Holy Name forever.

#   See our paperWhy We Honour Mary

Our blessed Lady, in all her humble service as the Mother of Jesus, always leads us to her Son and to placing our total trust in Him. It is for our edification that the final words of our Lady Miriam recorded in Sacred Scripture, are presented in a context of family celebration, and echo the Father’s affirmation (Luke 9: 35) when she says, “Do whatever He tells you!” It is in this spirit we can gather to honour our Lady Miriam, and to bless God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

(If time does not permit this Liturgy to be used as presented, any item from it is suitable as a stand-alone offering of prayer. It can be reduced to any length for family use.)

A Special Day

The Church, in the Litany of Our Lady, has historically acclaimed the mother of the Messiah as “Spouse of the Holy Spirit”, in that she conceived in the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Likewise the Church calls upon our Lady as “Gate of Heaven”, in that she was God’s instrument in bringing forth His Son into the world who would open again the Gates of Heaven for mankind.

We remember Saturday as Our Lady’s Day in that she leads us always to her Son Yeshua, especially as we prepare to celebrate His Death and Resurrection on the following day. Our Lady’s Day is thus the gateway to the Lord’s Day which prefigures the blessed life in heaven the Lord has prepared for us.

Opening Prayer

After the lighting of any candles or votive lamps.


V.   O Lord, open our lips.
R.   And our mouths shall proclaim Your praise

V.   O God, come to our assistance,
R.   O Lord, make haste to help us.

V.   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the
        Holy Spirit.
R.   As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end.


 Let us pray

Lord God, grant that Your children may always enjoy health of soul and body; may the intercession of the glorious Virgin Miriam deliver us from the sorrows of this world and make us share Your happiness throughout eternity.

This we ask of You, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Hymn As a Prayer

(or other hymn as selected)


1 Mary carried in her womb the Ruler of the world’s threefold fabric — Him that earth, sea and sky reverence, adore and praise.

2 The Maiden’s womb was filled with grace from heaven and received as its burden Him whose will the moon, the sun and all creation obey, each at its appointed time.


3 How favoured this Mother was in her office; for in her womb, as if in the Ark, was enclosed the Creator from heaven, who holds the world in the hollow of His hand.

4 The Angel declared her blessed, the Holy Spirit made her womb fruitful, and from it came forth the Desired of the peoples.

Glory be to You, Jesus, born of the Virgin;
And glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit, through endless ages. Amen

V.     Our Lady Miriam: Ark of the
R.     Pray for us, and for all mankind.

Antiphon (From Psalm 95)

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the
Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to Him.


Canticle of David

David had gathered treasures for the building of the temple;
at the end of his life he entrusted them to his son Solomon.
This canticle, in which he consecrates the gifts to the Lord,
has a meaning for us too: All for the glory of God!  
                                                             (1 Chronicles 29: 10 — 13)

Blessed are you, O LORD, God of Israel our Father,
from eternity to eternity.
Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty,
splendour and glory.

For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours,
O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as
head over all.
Riches and honour are from you; you govern all things.

In your hand are power and might; yours it is
to give everything grandeur and strength.
And now, our God, we give you thanks and we praise
the majesty of your Name.

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.

Antiphon (From Psalm 95)

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to Him.

V.     Our Lady Miriam: Mother of the Church:
R.     Pray for the coming of your Son’s Kingdom.

A Blessing On the Readings

V.     By the prayers and the merits of blessed   
Virgin and of all the Saints, may the
          Lord lead
          us to the
Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
R.     May the Virgin, Miriam with her loving Child
          bless us.

First Reading

A recommended reading is the first of the Sunday Lectionary Scriptures
for the following day. Otherwise, as selected.

Hymn as a Prayer
(Or other hymn as selected)

Most illustrious of virgins, exalted among the stars, you nursed at the breast the little One
who created you.

You gave back to us through your loving Child what Eve
through God’s curse had lost for us: you open the gates of
Heaven, that Eve’s sorrowing children may enter.

You are the Royal Door for the Heavenly King and
shining palace for the Light from above.
Rejoice, ransomed
world, that through the Virgin
life has been given to us.

Glory be to You, Jesus, born of the Virgin; and glory be
to the Father and the loving Spirit, through endless ages.

V.     Our Lady Miriam: Gate of Heaven
R.     Pray for the sanctity of the Lord’s Day.


A Blessing On the Second Reading

V.     May the Virgin first among virgins intercede
          for us with the Lord. Amen.
R.     Through the Virgin Mother may the Lord grant us

          salvation and peace. Amen.

Second Reading

A recommended reading is the Gospel
as appointed in the Lectionary for the following day.
Otherwise, as selected.

Antiphon (From Psalm 95)

Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us. For He is Our God, and we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides.

Psalm 150
The Great Halleluia

Praise the Lord in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,

praise him for his sovereign majesty.

Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with the lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,

praise him with strings and pipe.

Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Halleluia.

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.

Antiphon (From Psalm 95)

Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the
Lord who made us. For He is Our God, and we are the people
He shepherds, the flock He guides.


Canticle of Zechariah     (St. Luke 1: 68 —79)

St. Luke records (Luke 1: 67) that the father of John the Baptist, eight days after the birth of his son,
“filled with the Holy Spirit”, uttered this prophecy, which has remained a daily prayer for Christians.


       The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search for pearls. When he finds a single one of
great price, he gives all that he has in exchange
for it.

       Blessed be to the Lord, the God
of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,

       And has raised up a horn # of
salvation for us in the house of David
his servant,

      As he promised through the
mouths of his holy ones the
prophets from of old;

      Salvation from our enemies and from
the hands of all our foes

       He has fulfilled his kindness to
all our fathers and been mindful of
his holy covenant

       In the Oath to Abraham our father,
by which he swore to grant us.

 (Continues in next column …..)



#    Horn of salvation

      Horn refers originally to the power
       of an ox. It came to be applied to
       people and here, to the royal
       saving power of the Messiah.

(….. continued from previous column.)


      That, delivered from the hands
of our enemies, we should serve him
without fear.

       In holiness and justice before him all
our days. —

       And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

      To give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins,

      Because of the compassionate
kindness of our God with which the
Orient from on high will visit us,

      To shine on those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death, to guide our
feet into the way of peace.

       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.


The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search
for pearls. When he finds a single one of great price,
he gives all that he has in exchange for it.

Blessing God

Blessed are You, O Lord, King of the Universe, Who has
declared at the baptism of Yeshua: “This is My Beloved Son,”
and inspired Miriam at Cana to open the public ministry
of her Son by which He proclaimed the coming of God’s Kingdom.

Blessed be God forever.


Reflections On the Readings

(When appropriate, otherwise omit.)
If in private, personal reflection. — If in a group, a speaker’s reflections.

Customary Prayers and Celebrations

From Jewish or Christian traditions, including Ember Days and Rogation Days.


The Church’s Hymn of Praise


We praise You, O God; we acclaim You Lord and Master.
Everlasting Father, all the world bows down before You.

All the Angels sing Your praise , the hosts of heaven and
all the angelic Powers;
All the Cherubim and Seraphim call out to You in unending chorus:

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Angel hosts!
The heavens and the earth are filled, Lord, with Your majesty
and glory …..

And to the ends of the earth the holy Church proclaims
her faith in You:
Father, whose majesty is boundless;

Your only Son, who is true God, and who is to be adored;
The Holy Spirit, sent to be our Advocate …..

In Your great mercy, Lord, throughout this day keep us
free from sin by Your protection.
Have mercy on us, we humbly pray; Lord have mercy on us.

May Your mercy, Lord, Your loving kindness, always
remain with us; for we have placed our confidence in You.
In You alone, Lord, I have hoped; may I not be disappointed.

V. Let us bless the Father and the Son, with the Holy Spirit.
R. Let us praise and magnify Him forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Let us pray

We celebrate the solemnity of Our Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant, O Lord, that under her protection we may obtain peace in this world and glory in Heaven. This we ask of you through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

V.    Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
R.     Who made heaven and earth.


May the Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil, and bring us to life everlasting —

And may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace



Readings from the Church Fathers

Saturday Office of our Lady, Miriam.


From the Epistle of St. Ambrose, Bishop to Pope Siricius

It is out of perversity that some people say, “We grant that a virgin conceived, but not that a virgin gave birth.” Conception comes first, then birth — such is nature’s law. If the first part could be brought about so as to leave virginity intact, why could not the second? If people do not believe the teachings of the priests, let them at least believe the sayings of Christ; let them believe the advice of the Angels, that “nothing shall be impossible with God”; let them believe the Apostles’ Creed, which the Roman Church has, always kept and preserved in-corrupt. Mary heard the Angel’s voice, and at first she said, “How shall this happen?”, not question¬ing that it would happen; then she made her final reply, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.”


From the book of St. Jerome, Priest, against Jovinian

Christ is a virgin, and the Mother of our virgin Christ remains forever a virgin, the Virgin¬ Mother. For Jesus entered the world as He entered the upper room, “the doors being closed”; and in His sepulchre, which had been hewn out of hard rock, “no one had yet been laid,” nor was anyone else ever laid in it after¬wards. “An enclosed garden, a fountain sealed” was Mary. And from that fountain, according to Joel, flows the stream that waters the torrent either of “ropes” or of “thorns.” The ropes would be the sins by which we had been bound down; the thorns would be those which choke the householder’s seed. Mary is the eastern gate of which Ezekiel speaks, always closed and luminous, whether concealing in itself or bringing forth from itself the Holy of holies. She is the gate through which the Sun of justice and our High Priest according to the order Melchisedek goes in and out.


From the book of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr, against heretics

That the Lord should come “unto His own” and that His own creation should bear Him, by whom itself was borne; that He should make amends through His obedience on the tree of the Cross for the disobedience committed at the tree in Paradise; that He should annul the effects of the seduction by which the virgin Eve, already destined for a husband, was led into evil — all this good news, this true revelation, was fittingly brought by an Angel to the Virgin Mary, already espoused to a husband. For, just as Eve was seduced by the words of a fallen angel into turning away from God by disobeying His command, so Mary was evangelized by the words of an Angel, who persuaded her to give birth to God in obedience to His word. One was lured into fleeing from God, the other was persuaded to obey God, that the Virgin Mary might become an advocate for the virgin Eve. Through a virgin, mankind was tied to death; so also through a Virgin were the bonds loosed: the Virgin’s obedience balanced the virgin’s disobedience.


From the Commentary of St. Jerome, Priest, on the Prophet Ezekiel

“This gate is to remain closed; it is not to be opened.” In a beautiful figure, some persons un-derstand the closed gate, by which only the Lord, the God of Israel enters — the leader on whose account it has been closed — as a type of the Virgin Mary, who remained a virgin both before and after she gave birth. For she remained a virgin while the Angel was speaking to her: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you; and there¬fore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God.” And When He was born she re¬mained a virgin, her perpetual virginity confounding those who think, because of the mention in the Gospel of the Savior’s “brethren,” that after His birth she had children by Joseph.


From the Treatise of St. Augustine, Bishop, on the Creed, to the Catechumens

Through a woman came death; through a woman, life: through Eve, ruin; through Mary, salvation. The former, corrupted, followed the deceiver; the latter, uncorrupted, gave birth to the Savior. Eve willingly accepted the drink offered by the serpent and handed it on to her husband; and by their action both deserved the penalty of death. Mary, filled with heavenly grace from above, brought forth life, by which mankind, already dead, can be revived. Who has worked this miracle, if not the Son of the Virgin and the Spouse of virgins, who brought fruitfulness to His Mother without taking away her integrity?


A sermon of St. Bernard, Abbo

It was indeed a serious injury that one man and one woman inflicted on us, dearly beloved; but, thanks be to God, it was also by one Man and one woman that all things were restored, and with a great increase of grace too. For “not like the offense is the gift”; on the contrary, the benefits received are greater than the loss sustained. Yes, that was how the Maker supreme in good judgment and in kindness plied His craft: what had been bruised, He did not break. Rather, He remade it a completely in such a way as to be of more advantage to us: out of the old Adam He made a new Man; Eve He transformed into Mary.


From the Epistle of St. Ambrose, Bishop, to Pope Siricius

It is not beyond belief that a man should be born of a virgin, when other marvels have happened: a copious stream gushed from rock, iron floated on top of water, a man walked on the a water. If the waves bore a man, could not a virgin bear a man, that Man of whom we read, “and the Lord shall send them a man to save them, and the Lord shall be made known to the Egyptians”? In the Old Testament a virgin led the army of the Hebrews through the sea; in the New Testament, for our salvation, the womb of the Virgin was chosen as the abode of a heavenly race.


From the Commentary of Pope St. Gregory on the books of Kings

“There was a man of Ramathaim Sophim, of mount Ephraim.” The name of this mountain can be taken to designate the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. She was a mountain in as much as, among chosen creatures, the dignity of her calling was above that of any other’s. Surely Mary was the highest of mountains, was she not, when she heaped up merits beyond all the choirs of Angels, to the very throne of God, that she might be worthy to conceive the eternal Word? It was this mountain whose supreme dignity Isaias was prophesying when he said, “In days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain.” Mary was indeed the highest mountain, since her summit gleamed above those of all the Saints.


From the Epistle of Pope St. Leo to Pulcheria Augusta

None of the types which prefigured the mystery of our reconciliation was adequate to the mystery itself, which had been ordained before time began. For the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin, nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that Wisdom might build a house within the virginal womb. Only under these conditions would the Word become flesh; the nature of God and the nature of a slave coming together in one person, the Creator of time would be born in time; He through whom all things were made would Himself be brought forth among them. For, if the new Man, made “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” had not taken on our oldness, if He who was consubstantial with the Father had not deigned to be consubstantial with a mother also, if He who alone was free from sin had not united our nature to Himself — all mankind would have remained captive under the yoke of the devil.


A sermon of St. Bernard, Abbot

My brothers, let us cast ourselves at Mary’s blessed feet with the most devout supplication. Let us embrace them, let us hold fast to her, and not let go until she blesses us; for she has great power. Like the fleece between the dew and the threshing-floor, like the woman between the sun and the moon, so Mary stands between Christ and the Church. But perhaps you wonder, not so much at the fleece covered with dew, but at the woman clothed with the sun. Any relationship between the sun and the woman would be striking enough, but this proximity is indeed something to be marveled at. How can so fragile a nature subsist in that excessive heat? You have a right to wonder, saintly Moses; it is only natural that in your curiosity you should want to look more closely. But “remove the sandals from your feet,” put aside the covering of fleshly thoughts, if you wish to draw near.


From the Commentary of St. Basil, Bishop, on the Prophet Isaiah

“I went to the prophetess,” he says, “and she conceived and bore a son.” To see Mary in the prophetess whom Isaiah approached by a spiritual foreknowledge, one need only recall the words Mary uttered when she was inspired by the spirit of prophecy: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” In fact, if you bear in mind all that she said, you can only agree that she was indeed a prophetess, since the Spirit of the Lord came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her.


From the book of Offices of St. Ambrose, Bishop

The good comrade and guardian of chastity is modesty. And this is the first thing that strikes the reader of the Gospel as he begins to learn about the Mother of our Lord. Her modesty commends her and, like a reliable witness, attests that she is worthy of being chosen for so high an office. Alone in her room, she was silent at the Angel’s greeting. His entrance had disturbed her, and her countenance reflected the Virgin’s agitation at seeing this stranger appear in the form of a man. And so, although she was humble, still out of modesty she did not return his greeting nor did she give any answer until she learned that she must agree to becoming the Mother of God; and then she spoke, not to reject his message but to learn how this marvel was to come about.


Although now in the public domain, these readings were taken from,
The Hours of the Divine Office, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1963.
We express our gratitude for the quality translation made available
through that publication.


5.    Saturday Evening

As Evening Begins to Descend

An Overview

For those who are able to do so, gathering together at this time confers very special blessings. It is a time of transition, from the end of the week into the Lord’s Day — the Day of the Resurrection. Those who choose to honour our Lady on Saturday will feel reassured of being prepared to welcome the beginning of the Lord’s Day and to offer, in union with her Son, His death and resurrection in the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In this way we welcome and usher in the first Mass of Sunday.

A beautiful custom, in some dioceses, is to “crown” the week with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. For Hebrew Catholics, this offers a wonderful opportunity to express a very profound — almost unspeakable — sense of gratitude, love and admiration concerning the mysteries of the Holy Catholic Faith.

Commanding a special respect and admiration is the tradition of a procession of the Blessed Sacrament around to whole interior of the building. If Benediction is, in the circumstances, not an option, the group gathered for the occasion can still celebrate the finale of the week, and welcome in the new Lord’s Day using their own selection of prayers and customs, from this or other sources.

•     If circumstances do not permit what we have described above
to take place, a shorter, “Prayer For Saturday Evening” (6) is available.

Some Specific Ideas

Among a wide range of possible Hebrew Catholic practices, the following are some of what could be built into Benediction and procession — or if that is not possible — could form the substance of a devotional time led by lay members (in a Church, with approval, or in some other chosen location).

  1.    Singing selected psalms, hymns and canticles;
                                                                                                   (E.g. Phos Hilaron — Hail Gladdening Light)
  2.    Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, including the use of blessed Sacred Scrolls,
       Book of Readings (Eucharist Scriptures), and / or any other items deemed
       appropriate, showing them respect in the customary ways;
  3.    Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, recited or sung;
  4.    Any prayers or devotions, particularly those intended to enhance Saturday
       as Our Lady’s Day, e.g. the Angelus, (Queen of Heaven, in Eastertide), a
       decade of the Rosary, etc.
  5.    Recitation of appropriate Hebrew Catholic blessings.
  6.    Any appropriate prayers of intercession, including prayers for the clergy
       who will conduct the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, together with supporting
       ministers of the Liturgy.

Spirit and Atmosphere

If the gathering includes Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, this will be the main factor in choosing items of devotion, and the priest involved will determine the details to be accommodated.

If the meeting is conducted by a Hebrew Catholic havurah (group) of lay people the order will be determined in advance by the members. In this case, when Benediction will not take place, we encourage the havurah, to make full use of traditional elements of Hebrew Catholic practice.

These could include some of the above mentioned items as well as the following:

—   Brief introduction and instruction for those who are
      unfamiliar with the occasion;
—   Ceremonial lighting of candles and / or votive lamps;
—   Use of incense;
—   A short reflection on the Sunday Scriptures to complement
      the homily or sermon.


Either after this celebration of the closing of Saturday and commencement of Sunday — the Lord’s Day — or after the Mass which may follow, we recommend consideration be given to enjoying together some genuine Hebrew Catholic hospitality.


•     If circumstances do not permit what we have described above
to take place, a shorter, “Prayer For Saturday Evening” (6) is available.


6.     A Prayer For Saturday Evening

As Evening descends and the Lord’s Day commences

At the lighting of any candles or votive lamps.

V.     This is the day which the Lord has made.
R.     Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

John 1: 14

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and
we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace
and truth.


Special Offerings

Customary Prayers and Celebrations

from Jewish or Christian traditions, including Ember Days and Rogation Days.


Let Us Pray

  •    Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in
       deepest reverence we adore You and thank You
       for Your infinite majesty and love.
  •    We thank You wholeheartedly for all the proofs of love You
       have shown us from the beginning to this very hour, especially
       for the grace by which we are enabled and privileged to love You.
  •    As the sun sets, and the Lord’s Day unfolds, we thank
       You for all the mysteries of our Faith, especially for
       the mystery of the Resurrection of our Lord and
       Saviour Jesus Christ, Who is the seal of our faith and
       the most sure anchor of our hope.
  •    Praise and thanksgiving be to You forever!Amen.

    V.   Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
    R.   Who made Heaven and earth.


The Priestly Blessing of Aaron
(Numbers 6: 22 — 27)
Only if said at home by head of family or group.

The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let His face shine upon you and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!


Let Us Bless The Lord
If the above blessing is not recited.

Blessed are You O Lord, King of the Universe Who has restored to life His Son, Jesus Messiah # and raised Him to heavenly glory from where He will come at the end of time. Blessed be God forever. Halleluia.

#      or, Yeshua HaMashiach


7.    A Prayer For Sunday Evening

The Passing of the Lord’s Day

As evening falls on Sunday afternoon, the Lord’s Day slowly reaches its completion. There is an element of sorrow, since it has been a beautiful foretaste of the heavenly life our Saviour has prepared for us — and for which He is equipping us. Yet there is an even greater sense of gratitude to our Lord for the knowledge of this mystery, and for His gift of the Holy Spirit to remain with us and guide us to our Eternal Home.

At the lighting of any candles or votive lamps.

Psalm 113

V.     Halleluia, Praise, you servants of the Lord,
        praise the name of the Lord.
R.     Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and

V.     From the rising to the setting of the sun, is the
        name of the Lord to be praised,
R.     High above all nations is the Lord; above the
        heavens is His Glory.

Special Offerings

Customary Prayers and Celebrations

from Jewish or Christian traditions, including Ember Days and Rogation Days.


Let Us Pray

  •   O Holy Spirit, personal Love and Goodness in the
      Blessed Trinity, You breathe upon us in streams of
      divine goodness through Your graces and gifts.
  •   Eternal thanks be to You for the spiritual life You give to
      us and preserve through the holy Sacraments.
  •   Although we do not deserve Your love, nor always
      correspond with it, You do not cease to bless and sanctify us.
  •   Therefore we thank You with the Father and the Son, and
      today especially for Your unfathomable mercy, which is the
      greatest of all Your works.
  •   Praise and thanksgiving be to You forever. Amen.

    V.     O Lord, hear our prayer.
    R.     And let our cry come unto You.


May the all powerful and merciful Lord,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless and preserve us.


8.     Meditation Through the Week

In our  pamphlet: Scripture Meditation we offer an approach to regular study and meditation on the Sacred Scriptures. In fact it presents a model for the weekly reflection on the Scripture texts for the following Sunday Mass — and concentrates on the Sunday Gospel, drawing also on the Old Testament reading to support our Lord’s teaching. Our web site offers supplementary papers on “our approach” as we call it (rather than “method”) as well as separate sets of reflection notes for the forthcoming Sunday in the three year cycle.

We have mentioned this to encourage the regular reflection on the forthcoming Sunday Scriptures as an excellent preparation for worship and celebration on the Lord’s Day. Our approach is suitable for individuals as well as small groups or family settings.

We consider the regular reflection or meditation on Sacred Scripture to be an important part of our culture and spirituality. Our Messiah, Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ is in Himself the Word of God — the Living Word (John 1: 1 — 14). We encourage our readers to follow our on-line leaflet Scripture Meditation, and the Seven R’s of Lectio Divina. This involves a weekly “workshop” on opening up and reflecting on and “tasting” the set passage of Scripture, and then, as time permits, revisiting it each day in restful meditation on some idea or theme the Holy Spirit highlighted for you in your “workshop”. This is a form of communion in the Word. In fact it can become part of your daily act of Spiritual Communion which we also encourage you to make. This can all be done using set formal prayers, if you prefer; otherwise using your own informal prayers and conversation with God. This practice complements in a beautiful way the use of the other formats presented in this booklet.

We wish you every blessing!



9.   Supplement

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday


A Hebrew Christian Triduum


Those who use this booklet of prayers and commemorations may wish also to supplement it with other devotional material in harmony with our Hebrew Catholic life. There are many ways this can be achieved and we are here offering just one possibility. Our intention is to provide three short prayer settings which can be, as it were, slotted into one’s existing morning or evening devotions, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They can be used in whole or in part and adapted to meet particular needs. As we explain, they are presented with a particular theme in mind. In fact, our recommendation is to use the opportunity to make a triduum. This sits very well in the space, Monday to Wednesday. On the other days, as far as this book of “Celebrations” is concerned, we have offered something for use: Thursday to Sunday, all of which revolved in some way around the celebrations of the Sunday Eucharist.

What is a triduum?

The term “triduum” is used to refer to a devotion carried out over a period of three consecutive days. It is applied to especially devotions approved formally by ecclesiastical authorities, but also to informal devotions or religious practices of any person or family. The most common use of the term is for the Sacred Triduum or Paschal Triduum, which begins on Holy Thursday evening (the Biblical beginning of Friday) and includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day. However, the faithful are encouraged by the Church to make a triduum for any religious purpose for which they consider it appropriate.

A triduum of three days’ prayer usually has an overall theme though each day may focus on a particular aspect. In the spiritual domain, it can be a single moment or decisive action which provides our special focus, and everything flows from that. In the triduum we offer here, our inspiration comes from a very special moment in the salvation of the whole world.

A Moment For Our Reflection

During the whole time our Lord was hanging from His Cross, in the cruellest of executions, there was never a moment, despite appearances, in which He was not fully in control of every aspect of the situation. When He spoke, it was in a loud, clear, forthright voice, never weak or whimpish. At a particular moment He chose to declare: “It is consummated”; whereupon He bowed His head and, as the Scriptures record, “He gave up His Spirit”. Nobody killed our holy Rabbi: He gave up His life as and when he chose.

Not long after, the Roman soldiers in charge of the execution, inspected the prisoners. They found the other two crucified with our Lord still breathing. This was easily halted by smashing their shins so they couldn’t raise their bodies to inhale air. In fulfilment of Sacred Prophecy, they left the limbs of Yeshua untouched since He had already died. But, just to make sure, one of the soldiers thrust a spear up into the heart of our Lord. Instantly there appeared, in the sight of the onlookers, blood and water — or what appeared as clear water — flowing freely from His side.

A Sacred, Pierced Heart

For Hebrew Catholics, this presents a very special moment for us to pause and reflect. Even after He bowed His head and gave up His spirit, He yielded His Precious Blood for us. This He chose to do in order to fulfil all the prophecies and expectations in the Hebrew Scriptures regarding the Messiah.

The first Hebrew and Gentile Christians soon came to see in this act, how Jesus Messiah provided His on-going Life for us in the water and the blood coming from His side — in the Sacraments of the Church. This reflects for us His total dedication to His Father’s Command:

“Shema Yisrael — Hear O Israel! The LORD is
our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore you shall love the LORD, your
God, with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.”            (Deuteronomy 6: 4)

Our Lord obeyed the Torah — God’s Law of love and life, quite literally to the last drop — that is, of His Precious Blood.

Modelling Our Hearts on His

We have drawn attention to this historic truth because our Lord is always our model. The Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) repeatedly show God promising LIFE to those who obey His Teaching to the finest detail. Our Lord, on the third day, rose to New LIFE, again, in fulfilment of the Scriptures. It is that “Risen LIFE” He calls us to share with Him. This requires us to follow His example and “Listen” to His teaching as well as that of His Church — and “Follow” every word He has given us. It is then we are restored as members of God’s Household, and can respond freely to His call:

“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for
I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find
rest for your selves.”                
(St. Matthew 11: 28 — 29)

This is an invitation, literally, to receive His hospitality, to be cared for, restored, strengthened and encouraged to become fully ourselves. It is an invitation to be full members of the Household of God.

When we recall Our Lord’s sacred pierced Heart, we behold the cost to Him to bring us back to our true home — God’s home. Thus the two images of the Household and Heart together symbolise the intense love of God to draw humanity into His Household, His Family, and the consciousness of His Eternal Presence.

The Heart of Jesus Messiah Reaching Out to Every Other Heart

Through the Sacred Liturgies of the Church, her teaching and sacraments, we grow in this New LIFE. But we cannot grow in isolation from the rest of humanity around us. Our Lord Yeshua’s constant openness to accepting other people’s hospitality and inviting them to share His, is profoundly symbolic of the desire in His sacred Heart to reach the hearts of others — one by one. Again, He is our model, and He awaits our following as disciples in His footsteps that through our interactions with others He might extend His blessings to them. This is evangelisation — offering through Jesus Messiah, membership of God’s Household, “bringing people home”, helping them discover the joy of belonging! Belonging to the Body of believers in Jesus Messiah!

We can sum up these thoughts in two sentences.

  • Our Messiah — the Lord Jesus — exemplified perfectly the Teaching of the Holy Torah — the Law of God, to:
    Listen + Follow + Live.
  • We are united with Him in His perfect fulfilment of God the Father’s Will when we:

    + study and hear the real meaning of Sacred Scripture;
    + participate fully in the Eucharist;
    + take our part in Evangelisation by the Church.

With these thoughts in mind, we return now to our earlier mention of making a triduum.

A Hebrew Catholic Triduum

One of the occasions when some Hebrew Catholics “make a triduum” is, in fact, a devotion (weekly, monthly or whatever) focussed on the Hebrew Catholic vocation seen in the light of the call of the New Evangelisation. This is at the very core of our vocation and there is no more powerful image upon which to direct our minds and hearts in preparation for this than that of our Crucified Rabbi on the Cross, His heart pierced for us. But this great, great love of the Saviour can be displayed visually for us in other ways as well.

Most readers will be aware that in later centuries an immensely popular devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus arose at a time when Church Life appeared to many as something cold, severe, and inward looking. This development brought back and extended even further the opportunity to experience the warmth, hospitality, and powerful love of Jesus! This beautiful devotion emphasises the urgent desire our Lord has to reach out to anyone who wishes to respond to His love, and come and abide in Him. It, too, has a treasury of artistic imagery, and everyone is free to choose what is most appropriate for them.

The triduum we offer here seeks to be a vehicle, a channel, for the love of our Lord to reach the hearts of others and unite them to His. We recommend including a statue, image or icon of our Lord in any visual presentation which helps your devotion or that of your household and visiting friends.

A Note of Clarification

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is held traditionally on the Friday in the second week after the Octave of Pentecost. It can vary according to local liturgical custom. Often a triduum of prayer is held in preparation for this great feast, and participation in such an event is highly recommended.

Our triduum is an informal one with the reminder that we encourage you to adapt it to the needs of your personal or family spiritual life. Other models are also in progress, such as Triduum to the Blessed Trinity; to the Holy Family; and to Jesus our Messiah: Head of the Church.

A Hebrew Catholic Triduum

(Click here)

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