Feast day of St. Elijah

St. Elijah, Prophet

OC: Solemnity

OCD: Feast

 

The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one God.  He defended God's law in a solemn contact on Mt. Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mt. Horeb an intimate experience of the living God.  The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their Father and model.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn 

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Psalm 110

I will thank the Lord with all my heart

in the meeting of the just and their assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord,

to be pondered by all who love them.

 

Majestic and glorious his work,

his justice stands firm for ever.

He makes us remember his wonders.

The Lord is compassion and love.

 

He gives food to those who fear him;

keeps his covenant ever in mind.

He has shown his might to his people

by giving them the lands of the nations.

 

His works are justice and truth:

his precepts are all of them sure,

standing firm for ever and ever:

they are made in uprightness and truth.

 

He has sent deliverance to his people

and established his covenant for ever.

Holy his name, to be feared.

 

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom; all who do so prove themselves wise.

His praise shall last for ever!

 

Ant.     Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

 

Ant. 2 How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Psalm 113

Not to us, Lord, not to us,

but to your name give the glory

for the sake of your love and your truth, lest the heathen say: 'Where is their God?'

 

But our God is in the heavens;

he does whatever he wills.

Their idols are silver and gold,

the work of human hands.

 

They have mouths but they cannot speak;

they have eyes but they cannot see;

they have ears but they cannot hear;

they have nostrils but they cannot smell.

 

With their hands they cannot feel;

with their feet they cannot walk.

No sound comes from their throats.

Their makers will come to be like them

and so will all who trust in them.

 

Sons of Israel, trust in the Lord;

he is their help and their shield.

Sons of Aaron, trust in the Lord;

he is their help and their shield.

 

You who fear him, trust in the Lord;

he is their help and their shield.

He remembers us, and he will bless us;

he will bless the sons of Israel.

He will bless the sons of Aaron.

 

The Lord will bless those who fear him,

the little no less than the great:

to you may the Lord grant increase,

to you and all your children.

 

May you be blessed by the Lord,

the maker of heaven and earth.

The heavens belong to the Lord

but the earth he has given to men.

 

The dead shall not praise the Lord,

nor those who go down into the silence.

But we who live bless the Lord

now and for ever. Amen.

 

Ant.    How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

 

Ant. 3 The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Canticle: Rev 11:17-18; 12:10-12

 

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

who are and who were, that you have taken your great power and begun to reign.

 

The nations raged,

but your wrath came,

and the time for the dead to be judged,

for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great.

 

Now the salvation and the power

and the kingdom of our God

and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

 

And they have conquered him

by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony,

for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Rejoice, then, O heaven,

and you that dwell therein.

 

Ant The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Reading

James 5:16-18

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

 

Responsory

R/. Blessed are they * who see you. Repeat R/.

V/. And are honored with your friendship * who see you. Glory ... R/.

 

Canticle of Mary

In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

 

Intercessions

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; - accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; - fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; - make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; - increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; - graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

 

Our Father .

 

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,

Your prophet Elijah, our Father,

lived always in Your presence

and was zealous for the honor due to Your name.

May we, Your servants,

always seek Your face

and bear witness to Your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

 

Office of Readings

 

Invitatory

Come let us adore the living God, who speaks to us through the prophets.

Hymn

 

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Psalm 10

 

In the Lord I have taken my refuge.

How can you say to my soul:

'Fly like a bird to its mountain.

 

'See the wicked bracing their bow;

they are fixing their arrows on the string to shoot upright men in the dark.

Foundations once destroyed,

what can the just do?'

 

The Lord is in his holy temple,

the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.

His eyes look down on the world;

his gaze tests mortal men.

 

The Lord tests the just and the wicked:

the lover of violence he hates.

He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked; he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

 

The Lord is just and loves justice:

the upright shall see his face.

 

Ant.     Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

 

Ant. 2 An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Psalm 27

 

To you, O Lord, I call,

my rock, hear me.

If you do not heed I shall become

like those in the grave.

 

Hear the voice of my pleading

as I call for help,

as I lift up my hands in prayer

to your holy place.

 

Do not drag me away with the wicked,

with the evil-doers,

who speak words of peace to their neighbors but with evil in their hearts.

 

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard

my cry, my appeal.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

in him my heart trusts.

I was helped, my heart rejoices

and I praise him with my song.

 

The Lord is the strength of his people,

a fortress where his anointed find help.

Save your people; bless Israel your heritage.

Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

 

Ant.    An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

 

Ant. 3 Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

 

Psalm 29

 I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

 

O Lord, I cried to you for help

and you, my God, have healed me.

O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

 

Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, give thanks to his holy name.

His anger lasts a moment; his favor all through life.

At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

 

I said to myself in my good fortune:

'Nothing will ever disturb me.'

Your favor had set me on a mountain fastness, then you hid your face and I was put to confusion.

 

To you, Lord, I cried,

to my God I made appeal:

'What profit would my death be, my going to the grave?

Can dust give you praise or proclaim your truth?'

 

The Lord listened and had pity.

The Lord came to my help.

For me you have changed my mourning into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

So my soul sings psalms to you unceasingly.

O Lord my God, I will thank you forever.

 

Ant.     Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

 

V/.  You are a man of God.

R/. And the word of God in your mouth is true.

 

First Reading

OCD

1 Kings 19: 4-9, 11-14

 

Second Reading

From a Homily of Pope St. Gregory on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

 

In divine contemplation the spirit is often abstracted to such a degree that it is already granted the joy of partaking a little, in image as it were, of that eternal freedom which 'eye has not seen nor ear heard;' but then, hampered by the weight of its own mortality, it falls back into the depths and is held captive in penalty for its sins.  It has glimpsed the delights of true freedom and longs to escape from its captivity but, since it cannot, it keeps its gaze fixed upon the imprisoning doors.  This is why, when the Jews had been freed from slavery to Egypt, each of them stood adoring in the doorway of his tent when God spoke and the pillar of cloud was visible.

Wherever we direct our mental gaze, there we may be said to stand.  That is why Elijah said:  'The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand.'  He did indeed stand before God, for his heart was intent on God.  That the Jews gazed at the pillar of cloud and stood at the doors of their tents in adoration, has this meaning:  when the human mind perceives these high and heavenly things, albeit in image, the elevation of its thought has already lifted it free from the limits of its bodily habitation; and although it is denied sight of the divine substance, it humble adores Him whose power it can already see by spiritual illumination.

This is why Elijah is described as standing at the mouth of his cave and veiling his face when he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him; for as soon as the voice of heavenly understanding enters the mind through the grace of contemplation, the whole man is no longer within the cave, for his soul is no longer taken up with matters of the flesh:  intent on leaving the bounds of martality, he stands at the cave's mouth.

But if a man stands at the mouth of the cave and hears the word of God with the heart's ear, he must veil his face.

For when heavenly grace leads us to the understanding of higher things, the rarer the heights to which we are raised, the more we should abase ourselves in our own estimation by humility:  we must not try to know 'more than is fitting; we must know as it befits us to know.'  Otherwise, through over-familiarity with the invisible, we risk going astray; and we might perhaps look for material light in what is immaterial. For to cover the face while listening with the ear means hearing with our mind the voice of Him who is within us, yet averting the eyes of the heart from every bodily appearance.  If we do this, there will be no risk of our spirit interpreting as something corporeal that which is everywhere in its entirety and everywhere uncircumscribed.

Beloved brothers, we have already learned through our Redeemer's death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, what the joys of eternity mean, and we know that our fellow-citizens we have known.  While our feet stand within the walls of His holy Church, let us keep our hearts facing towards the freedom of our heavenly fatherland.  We are still encumbered, it is true, by the many cares of this corruptible life.  If then we cannot leave the cave completely, let us at least stand at its mouth, and go out whenever we are granted the favor of doing so by the grace of our Redeemer Who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.  Amen.

 

Responsory

R/.  The word of the Lord came to Elijah.*  Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.

V/.  He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and the Lord passed by in the whisper of a gentle breeze.* Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.

 

TE DEUM

 

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,

Your prophet Elijah, our Father,

lived always in Your presence

and was zealous for the honor due to Your name.

May we, Your servants,

always seek Your face

and bear witness to Your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

Morning Prayer

 

Hymn

Psalmody

Ant. 1 God lives; I am standing in his presence.

 

Psalms of Sunday Week I

 

Ant. 2 Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

 

Ant. 3 With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

 

Reading

2 Pt 1:19-21

We have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds. At the same time, we must be careful to remember that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual. Why? Because no prophecy ever came from man's initiative. When men spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them.

 

Responsory

R/. I will be satisfied, Lord, * when your glory appears. Repeat R/.

V/. And in righteousness I will see your face, * when your glory appears.

Glory ... R/.

 

Canticle of Zechariah

Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

 

Intercessions

God our Father spoke in former days through the prophets, but today he speaks to us in his Son, through whom he wishes the whole world to be joined to him. Let us humbly pray:

R/. Lord, draw us to yourself.

Lord, you revealed yourself to the prophet Elijah in silence and solitude; - help us to put aside all that prevents us from hearing your voice, so that we may seek and find you.  R/.

When he was thirsty, you gave Elijah refreshing water at the torrent of Karith; - may we drink at the living springs of love and contemplation. R/.

As he walked to Mount Horeb, you filled Elijah with strength; - may we who are strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ press on unwearied in our journey to you. R/.

Lord, you revealed yourself to Elijah in the whisper of a gentle breeze; - in attentive silence and with an obedient spirit may we receive every inspiration of the Holy Spirit. R/.

Lord, you raised up Elijah like a fire and made him zealous for your glory;

- may we too burn with the fire of your love, to serve the Church and our brethren in all our work. R/.

 

Our Father .

 

Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God,

your prophet Elijah, our Father,

lived always in your presence

and was zealous for the honor due to your name.

May we, your servants, always seek your face and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord.

 

Evening Prayer II

Hymn

 Psalmody

Ant.    I Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

 

Psalm 14

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent and dwell on your holy mountain?

 

He who walks without fault;

he who acts with justice

and speaks the truth from his heart;

he who does not slander with his tongue;

 

he who does no wrong to his brother,

who casts no slur on his neighbor,

who holds the godless in disdain,

but honors those who fear the Lord;

 

he who keeps his pledge, come what may;

who takes no interest on a loan

and accepts no bribes against the innocent.

Such a man will stand firm for ever.

 

Ant.    Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

 

Ant. 2 The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Psalm 111

Happy the man who fears the Lord,

who takes delight in all his commands.

His sons will be powerful on earth;

the children of the upright are blessed.

 

Riches and wealth are in his house;

his justice stands firm for ever.

He is a light in the darkness for the upright:

he is generous, merciful and just.

 

The good man takes pity and lends,

he conducts his affairs with honor.

The just man will never waver:

he will be remembered for ever.

 

He has no fear of evil news;

with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.

With a steadfast heart he will not fear; he will see the downfall of his foes.

 

Open-handed, he gives to the poor;

his justice stands firm for ever.

His head will be raised in glory.

 

The wicked man sees and is angry,

grinds his teeth and fades away;

the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

 

Ant.    The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

 

Ant. 3 Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

 

Canticle: Rev 15:3-4

Great and wonderful are your deeds,

O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the ages!

 

Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord?

For you alone are holy.

All nations shall come and worship you,

for your judgments have been revealed.

 

Ant.  Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

 

Reading

2 Kgs 2:11-12

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, 'My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and its horseman!' And he saw him no more.

 

Responsory

R/. Elisha lifted the cloak of Elijah: * he struck the waters and they divided. Repeat R/.

V/. Because the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha: * he struck the waters and they divided. Glory ...R/.

  

Canticle of Mary

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

 

Intercessions as in Evening Prayer I

 

Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God,

your prophet Elijah, our Father,

lived always in your presence

and was zealous for the honor due to your name.

May we, your servants, always seek your face and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord.