LITURGY PROPERS – EPIPHANY to QUADRAGESIMA

EPIPHANY

Mattins Psalms for the 19th morning, Collect for preceding Sunday

THE DIVINE LITURGY
The Epiphany

THE OFFICE FOR THE EPIPHANY
Behold the Lord, the Ruler is come : And in His hand the Kingdom and power and dominion.  Give the King Thy judgements O God : And Thy righteousness unto the King’s Son

THE COLLECTS FOR THE EPIPHANY
Almighty God Who at the Baptism of Thy Blessed Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan didst manifest His glorious Godhead: Grant we beseech Thee that the brightness of His presence may shine in our hearts and His glory be set forth in our lives, Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end.
R:      Amen.
O God, Who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the gentiles; mercifully grant that we, which know Thee now by faith, may after this life, have the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead, through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end
R:       Amen.
O God, Who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary has bestowed on the race of man the reward of eternal salvation: Grant we pray Thee, that as we have received through her the Author of life, so we may feel within ourselves the fruit of her intercession. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE SECOND CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE TITUS, BEGINNING AT THE ELEVENTH VERSE.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

THE GRADUAL FOR THE EPIPHANY
Yet have I set My King: Upon the holy hill of Sion. The Lord hath said unto Me : Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee
Alleluia. I will preach the law : Thou art My Son.
Why do the heathen so furiously rage together : And why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth stand up and the rulers take counsel together : Against the Lord and against His Anointed.
Let us break their bonds asunder : And cast away their cords from us.
He that dwelleth in Heaven shall laugh them to scorn : The Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath : And vex them in His sore displeasure.
Yet I have set My King : Upon My holy hill of Sion.
I will preach the law whereof the Lord hath said unto Me : Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.
Desire of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance : And the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron : And break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Be wise now therefore O ye kings : Be learned ye that are judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord in fear : And rejoice unto Him with reverence.
Kiss the Son lest He be angry and so ye perish from the right way : If His wrath be kindled yea but a little blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.  Alleliua.

V:      THE LORD BE WITH YOU
R:      AND WITH THY SPIRIT
V:      THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE THIRD CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, BEGINNING AT THE THIRTEENTH VERSE.
R:      GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

Then cometh + Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him.  But John forbade Him, saying, I have need to be Baptised of Thee, and comest Thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: For thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.  And Jesus, when He was Baptised, went up straightway out of the water: And, lo, the Heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:  And lo a voice from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

R:      PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR THE EPIPHANY
I have set My King upon the holy hill of Sion.  Desire of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance.  All kings shall fall down before Him, all nations shall do Him service.

During the censing after the Offertory: Ps viii. Domine, Dominus noster

O Lord our Governor how excellent is Thy Name in all the world : Thou hast set Thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies : That Thou might still the enemy and the avenger
For I will consider Thy heavens even the works of Thy fingers : The moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained.
What is man that Thou art mindful of him : And the son of man that Thou visitest him?
Thou madest him lower than the Angels : To crown him with glory and worship.
Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands : And Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet;
All sheep and oxen : Yea and the beasts of the field;
The fowls of the air and the fishes of the sea : And whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.
O Lord our Governor : How excellent is Thy Name in all the world.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

SECRET FOR THE  EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee graciously to behold Thy Church: For as Thy Son our Lord was Baptised and offered to Thee, so too, these gifts signify and are offered and received, even Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord   Amen.

COMMUNION FOR THE EPIPHANY
We have seen His star in theeast and are come with gifts to worship the Lord

During the Ablutions:   Ps.  ix  Confitebor tibi

I will give thanks unto Thee O Lord with my whole heart : I will speak of all Thy marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in Thee : Yea my songs will I make of Thy Name O Thou most Highest.
While mine enemies are driven back : They shall fall and perish at Thy presence.
For thou hast maintained my right and my cause : Thou art set in the throne that judgest right.
Thou hast rebuked the heathen and destroyed the ungodly : Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
O Thou enemy destructions are come to a perpetual end : Even as the cities which Thou hast destroyed their memorial is perished with them.
But the Lord shall endure for ever : He hath also prepared His seat for judgement.
For He shall judge the world in righteousness : And minister true judgement unto the people.
The Lord also will be a defence for the oppressed : Even a refuge in due time of trouble.
And they that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee : For Thou Lord hast never failed them that seek Thee.
O praise the Lord which dwelleth in Sion : Shew the people of His doings.
For when He maketh inquisition for blood He remembereth them : And forgetteth not the complaint of the poor.
Have mercy upon me O Lord consider the trouble which I suffer of them that hate me : Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death.
That I may shew all Thy praises within the ports of the daughter of Sion : I will rejoice in Thy salvation.
The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made : In the same net which they hid privily is their foot taken.
The Lord is known to execute judgement : The ungodly is trapped in the work of his own hands.
The wicked shall be turned into hell : And all the people that forget God.
For the poor shall not always be forgotten : The patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever.
Up Lord and let not man have the upper hand : Let the heathen be judged in Thy sight.
Put them in fear O Lord : That the heathen may know themselves to be but men.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR THE EPIPHANY
Almighty God, Whose voice bear witness to the Baptism of Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ: Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to be inwardly created anew; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee Almighty God, that the Mystery which we celebrate in this solemn service, we may with pure hearts purely apprehend,  through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, ever world without end.
R:      Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, most merciful God that we may be aided by the continual intercession of her through whose pure virginity, we have received the Author of our salvation, Through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.

THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD

Anciently there were three names for this festival of the Church: The Theophany, the Epiphany and the Bethphany.  The suffix refers to a manifestation, so it is the the beginning of each word that we go in order to see the event referred to.  In fact they refer to three manifestations of our Lord’s Divinity during the course of his life on earth:  His Baptism by Saint John the Baptist in the River Jordan at the outset of His ministry, on which occasion those able to receive the revelation, saw the Heavens opened and the Spirit of God descending on Jesus in the visible form of a dove and heard God acknowledge His Son: His adoration by the three Magi, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar in the cave-house outside Bethlehem: And His manifestation in the house at the marriage of Cana.
In the Eastern Church the primary celebration of the Baptism of our Lord remained unchanged.  In the Western Church the adoration of the Magi came to the forefront and in both, the Bethphany seems to have dropped out of site at this festival at a very early stage.  The Epiphany seems to have been a development of the Theophany rather than an entirely separate stream.  It appears to have begun to be seen as separate from the extended Christmas festival emphasising the significance of the coming of the Zoroastrian Magi, sometime in the fourth century.  As late as the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory, the festival is still called the Theophany in the Western Church.
We therefore, as they did in those early days of Christianity, celebrate first of all the Baptism of our Lord and the public acknowledgement of Him by God the Father and secondarily, the recognition of His Divinity by the Magi as representatives of the Gentile world.
Saint John immersed our Saviour in water, but it was God Who sent down the Holy Spirit upon the Baptised Lord, just as is the case when a Priest Baptises a child today.  Jesus’ Baptism was necessary as the little recorded conversation prior to it between Christ and Saint John points out, for upon the Baptism by John, God revealed His Son to those with the spiritual sight and hearing to take in what He did.
Christ had no sin to be washed away, but we needed to see and hear His Father speak to us and point Him out to us.  For us, we are Baptised and for us He was Baptised.

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EPIPHANY I

MATINS Ps cvii.    Confitemini Domino

O give thanks unto the Lord for He is gracious : And His mercy endureth for ever.
Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed : And delivered from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered them out of the lands from the east and from the west : From the north and from the south.
They went astray in the wilderness out of the way : And found no city to dwell in,
Hungry and thirsty : Their soul fainted in them.
So they cried unto the Lord in their trouble : And He delivered them from their distress.
He led them forth by the right way : That they might go to the city where they dwelt.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness : And declare the wonders that He doeth for the children of men,
For He satisfieth the empty soul : And filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death : Being fast bound in misery and iron ;
Because they rebelled against the words of the Lord : And lightly regarded the counsel of the most Highest;
He also brought down their heart through heaviness : They fell down and there was none to help them.
So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble : He delivered them out of their distress.
For He brought them out of darkness and out of the shadow of death : And brake their bonds in sunder.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness : And declare the wonders that He doeth for the children of men.
For He hath broken the gates of brass : And smitten the bars of iron in sunder.
Foolish men are plagued for their offence : And because of their wickedness.
Their soul abhorred all manner of meat : And they were even hard at death’s door.
So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble : He delivered them out of their distress.
He sent His Word and healed them : And they were saved from their destruction.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness : And declare the wonders that He doeth for the children of men!
That they would offer unto Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving : And tell out His works with gladness!
They that go down to the sea in ships : And occupy their business in great waters,
These men see the works of the Lord : And His wonders in the deep.
For at His word the stormy wind ariseth : Which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They are carried up to the heaven and down again to the deep : Their soul melteth away because of the trouble.
They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man : And are at their wits end.
So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble : He delivereth them out of their distress.
For He maketh the storm to cease : So that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they are at rest : And so He bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness : And declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!
That they would exalt Him also in the congregation of the people : And praise Him in the seat of the elders!
Who turneth the floods into a wilderness : And drieth up the water-springs.
A fruitful land maketh He barren : For the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
Again He maketh the wilderness a standing water : And water-springs of a dry ground.
And there He setteth the hungry : That they may build them a city to dwell in.
That they may sow their land and plant vineyards : To yield them fruits of increase.
He blesseth them so that they multiply exceedingly : And suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
And again when they are minished and brought low : Through oppression through any plague or trouble;
Though He suffer them to be evil intreated through tyrants : And let them wander out of the way in the wilderness.
Yet helpeth He the poor out of misery : And maketh him households like a flock of sheep.
The righteous will consider this and rejoice : And the mouth of all wickedness shall be stopped.
Whoso is wise will ponder these things : And they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

The First Lesson is written in the forty-fourth chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah beginning at the sixth verse (23)

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is  no God.  And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.  Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared  it? ye are even my witnesses.  Is there a god beside me? yea, there is no god; I know not any.  They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.  Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?  Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear,  and  they shall be ashamed together.  The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish  it .  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.  They have not known nor under-stood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?  Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.  Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done  it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.  Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am  the Lord that maketh all  things ; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise  men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus,  He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.  HERE ENDETH THE FIRST LESSON

The Second Lesson is written in the second chapter of the Epistle of Saint Paul theApostle to theEphesians beginning at the first verse (22)

You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also
we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  HERE ENDETH THE SECOND LESSON

THE DIVINE LITURGY

THE OFFICE FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
On a throne exceeding high, I beheld sitting a Man, Whom a multitude of Angels worship, singing in concert: And behold the name of His empire is for everlasting. O be joyful in God all ye lands: Serve the Lord with gladness.

THE COLLECTS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people which call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end
R:      Amen.
O Lord, Who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant that we, which know Thee by faith, may after this life have the fruition of the glorious Godhead  Through our Lord Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end
R:      Amen.
O God, Who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary has bestowed on the race of man the reward of eternal salvation: Grant we pray Thee, that as we have received through her the Author of life, so we may feel within ourselves the fruit of her intercession. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE TWELFTH CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

THE GRADUAL FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: Which only doeth wondrous things from the beginning.    The mountains also shall bring peace: And the little hills righteousness unto Thy people.  Alleluia.  O be joyful in the Lord all ye lands : Serve the Lord with gladness, and come before His presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord He is God : It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
O go your way into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise : Be thankful unto Him and speak good of His Name.
For the Lord is gracious His mercy is everlasting : And His truth endureth from generation to generation.
My song shall be of mercy and judgement : Unto Thee O Lord will I sing.
O let me have understanding : In the way of godliness.
When wilt Thou come unto me : I will walk in my house with a perfect heart.
I will take no wicked thing in hand I hate the sins of unfaithfulness : There shall no such cleave unto me.
A froward heart shall depart from me : I will not know a wicked person.
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour : Him will I destroy.
Whoso hath also a proud look and high stomach : I will not suffer him.
Mine eyes look upon such as are faithful in the land : that they may dwell with me.
Whoso leadeth a godly life : He shall be my servant.
There shall no deceitful person dwell in my house : He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
I shall soon destroy all the ungodly that are in the land : That I may root out all wicked doers from the city of the Lord. Alleluia.

V:      THE LORD BE WITH YOU
R:      AND WITH THY SPIRIT
V:      THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE SECOND CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE, BEGINNING AT THE FORTY-FIRST VERSE.
R:      GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+  Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the Child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.  And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His Mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?  Behold, Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  And He said unto them,  How is it that ye sought me?  Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man..

R:      PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O be joyful in the Lord all ye lands : Serve the Lord with gladness : Come before His presence with thanksgiving : For He is the Lord our God.

During the Censing after the Offertory  Ps. lxxii  Deus, judicium

Give the King Thy judgements O God : And Thy righteousness unto the King’s son.
Then shall he judge Thy people according unto right : And defend the poor.
The mountains also shall bring peace : And the little hills righteousness unto the people.
He shall keep the simple folk by their right : Defend the children of the poor and punish the wrong-doer.
They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endureth : From one generation to another.
He shall come down like the rain into a fleece of wool : even as the drops that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish : Yea and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
His dominion shall be also from the one sea to the other : And from the flood unto the world’s end.
They that dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before him : His enemies shall lick the dust.
The kings of Tharsis and of the isles shall give presents : The kings of Arabia and Saba shall bring gifts.
All kings shall fall down before Him : All nations shall do Him service.
For He shall deliver the poor when he crieth : The needy also and him that hath no helper.
He shall be favourable to the simple and needy : And shall preserve the souls of the poor.
He shall deliver their souls from falsehood and wrong : And dear shall their blood be in his sight.
He shall live and unto Him shall be given of the gold of Arabia : Prayer shall be made ever unto Him and daily shall He be praised.
There shall be an heap of corn in the earth high upon the hills : His fruit shall shake like Lebanon and shall be green in the city like grass upon the earth.
His Name shall endure for ever His Name shall remain under the sun among the posterities : Which shall be blessed through Him and all the heathen shall praise Him.
Blessed be the Lord God even the God of Israel : Which only doeth wondrous things;
And blessed be the Name of His majesty for ever : And all the earth shall be filled with His majesty.  Amen, Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

SECRET FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee, may the Sacrifice we offer evermore both quicken and defend us.  Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord Amen.

THE COMMUNION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us?  Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.  And how is it that ye sought Me?  Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?

During the Ablutions: Ps. cxii Beatus vir

Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord : He hath great delight in His command-ments.
His seed shall be mighty upon earth : The generation of the faithful shall be blessed.
Riches and plenteousness shall be in his house : And his righteousness endureth for ever.
Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness : He is merciful loving and righteous.
A good man is merciful and lendeth : And will guide his words with discretion.
For he shall never be moved : And the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.
He will not be afraid of any evil tidings : For his heart standeth fast and believeth in the Lord.
His heart is established and will not shrink : Until he see his desire upon his enemies.
He hath dispersed abroad and given to the poor : And his righteousness remaineth for ever his horn shall be exalted with honour.
The ungodly shall see it and it shall grieve him : He shall gnash with his teeth and consume away the desire of the ungodly shall perish.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Lord, may we who have tasted of Thy Holy Things, receive there from both the benefit of perfect cleansing, and continual aid of Thy Divine protection.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee Almighty God, that the Mystery which we celebrate in this solemn service, we may with pure hearts clearly apprehend.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, most merciful God that we may be aided by the continual intercession of her through whose pure virginity, we have received the Author of our salavation, Through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
“In Epiphany, we trace all the glory of His grace.”  Do you remember that line of the old rhyme which enabled us to first get the seasons of the Church’s year into their correct order?   It skates over what it is that we celebrate today – for while this is the formal celebration of the arrival of the Magi, originally, and correctly, this is the celebration of a much later event, far removed in terms of the years of our Lord’s life here on earth: His Baptism.  The celebration of His Baptism dates back to the 200s as a formalisation  – it may however, go back right to the Church in Jerusalem and in Antioch.
We have the trace of it in that this is the day on which new Baptismal water is solemnly blessed.  So we are today celebrating two events.  But in fact, are these two events not closely related in terms of the pervasive symbolism of all that happened to our Lord during His time on earth?  Simply put: At the adoration of the Magi, He was revealed first to the world for what He was – this was a public event in that the Magi were neither family nor Jews, they represented the rest of the world coming to worship the descended God, and there was likely a fair number of onlookers.  The Shepherds had come, representing Israel, now came the Gentiles in their order. They were the righteous of the Gentile world recognising Jesus the Christ of God.
Then at His Baptism, here is another recognition, another acknowledgement of our Lord – again for those who had the eyes to see, and being so, representing all those who would come after – the rest of the world.  They were told then, very clearly Who it was that stood amongst them.
These were the rites of passage of the King.  Of course, as a Jewish boy, He went through the Jewish rite of Circumcision, which we celebrated, but from a Christian point of view, His recognition by the Magi and His Baptism by Saint John are far more important.
Saint John the Theologian significantly makes mention in his Gospel only of the Baptism as  important.  A short while after His Circumcision, at the Purification of St. Mary, He was recognised again as is recorded in the beautiful Nunc Dimittis that we sing at Evensong.
So here, at this celebration of the recognitions of our Lord at the beginnings of His time on earth, perhaps we too should be looking at our own recognition of Him.  We Christians take so much of our Faith for granted.  We use the Name of Jesus constantly, yet we need to sit down regularly and often and to reflect on Jesus the Man and the God.  We need to read His words as they are recorded in the Holy Scriptures and to think hard about Him.  That way we can begin over time to move towards a constant communion with Him which is the real mark of the Christian.  Just having the name of Christ-ian isn’t enough you know.  We must be those people who are called out (the Ecclesia, the Church) from the pagan society in which we live, and we must then be those who are in genuine communion with Christ.  By that I don’t mean a one-sided conversation of immature requests for material help.  We must start, as we must always start with God, with determining consistently over a period of time, that our will is to want what God wants for us: To totally align our will with God’s will.  Then He will prompt us to pray for what He is doing and will do for us.  That is how this business of prayer works.  As our will becomes more aligned with God’s will, so we will find that we attuned to God, that we are in fact in fairly constant communication with Him.  It takes time: There are no blinding flashes for us.  We will get there if we persist in what can at a subtle level be a remarkably obstacle-strewn task.

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MATTINS
EPIPHANY II

Ps.   cxxxix.  Domine, probasti

O Lord, Thou hast searched me out and known me : Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising Thou understandest my thoughts long before.
Thou art about my path and about my bed : And spiest out all my ways.
For lo there is not a word in my tongue :Bbut Thou O Lord knowest it altogether.
Thou hast fashioned me behind and before : And laid Thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me : I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go then from Thy Spirit : Or whither shall I go then from Thy presence?
If I climb up into heaven Thou art there : If I go down to hell Thou art there also.
If I take the wings of the morning : And remain in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there also shall Thy hand lead me : And Thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say peradventure the darkness shall cover me : Then shall my night be turned to day.
Yea the darkness is no darkness with Thee but the night is as clear as the day : The darkness and light to Thee are both alike.
For my reins are Thine : Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks unto Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made : Marvellous are Thy works and that my soul knoweth right well.
My bones are not hid from Thee : Though I be made secretly and fashioned beneath in the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect : And in Thy book were all my members written;
Which day by day were fashioned : When as yet there was none of them.
How dear are Thy counsels unto me O God : O how great is the sum of them
If I tell them they are more in number than the sand : When I wake up I am present with Thee.
Wilt Thou not slay the wicked O God : Depart from me ye blood-thirsty men.
For they speak unrighteously against Thee : And Thine enemies take Thy Name in vain.
Do not I hate them O Lord that hate Thee : And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee?
Yea I hate them right sore : Even as though they were mine enemies.
Try me O God and seek the ground of my heart : Prove me and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : And lead me in the way everlasting.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps. cxl.   Eripe me, Domine

Deliver me O Lord from the evil man : And preserve me from the wicked man.
Who imagine mischief in their hearts : And stir up strife all the day long.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent : Adders’ poison is under their lips.
Keep me O Lord, from the hands of the ungodly : Preserve me from the wicked men who are purposed to overthrow my goings.
The proud have laid a snare for me and spread a net abroad with cords : Yea and set traps in my way.
I said unto the Lord Thou art my God : Hear the voice of my prayers O Lord.
O Lord God Thou strength of my health : Thou hast covered my head in the day of the battle.
Let not the ungodly have his desire O Lord : Let not his mischievous imagination prosper lest they be too proud.
Let the mischief of their own lips fall upon the head of them : That compass me about.
Let hot burning coals fall upon them : Let them be cast into the fire and into the pit that they never rise up again.
A man full of words shall not prosper upon the earth : Evil shall hunt the wicked person to overthrow him.
Sure I am that the Lord will avenge the poor : And maintain the cause of the helpless.
The righteous also shall give thanks unto Thy Name : And the just shall continue in thy sight.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

Ps. cxli. Domine, clamavi

Lord I call upon Thee haste Thee unto me : And consider my voice when I cry unto Thee.
Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as the incense : And let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice.
Set a watch O Lord, before my mouth : And keep the door of my lips.
O let not mine heart be inclined to any evil thing : Let me not be occupied in ungodly works with the men that work wickedness lest I eat of such things as please them.
Let the righteous rather smite me friendly : And reprove me.
But mine eyes look unto Thee O Lord God : In Thee is my trust O cast not out my soul.
Keep me from the snare that they have laid for me : And from the traps of the wicked doers.
Let the ungodly fall into their own nets together : And let me ever escape them.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

The First Lesson is written in the forty-ninth chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah beginning at the first verse
Listen O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the depths of my mother hath he made mention of my name.  And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.  Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain:  yet  surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.  And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.  Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.  Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salv-ation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; To them that are in darkness: Shew yourselves.  They shall feed in the ways and their pastures shall be in all high places.  They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.  And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.  Behold, these shall come from far: and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.     Sing, O heavens and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.  But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.  Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of  my  hands; thy walls are continually before me.  Thy children shall make haste; thy dest-royers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.  Lift up thine eyes round about and behold: all these gather them-selves together, and come to thee.  As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.  For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.  The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.  Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these?  Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?  Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.  And kings shall be thy nurs-ing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?  But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.  And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.  Here endeth the First Lesson.

The Second Lesson is written in the first chapter of the Epistle of Saint James beginning at the first verse
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Almighty and everlasting God, Who dost govern all things in Heaven and earth:  Mercifully hear the supplications of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

THE DIVINE LITURGY
THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

THE OFFICE FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
All the world shall worship Thee O God, and shall sing to Thee: And shall praise Thy Name O Most Highest.   O be joyful in God all ye lands: Sing praises unto the honour of His Name, make His praise to be glorious.

THE COLLECTS FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Almighty and everlasting God, Who dost govern all things in Heaven and earth:  Mercifully hear the supplications of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
O Lord, we eseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people which call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
O God, Who didst will that Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, at the message of an Angel; grant to us Thy humble servants, that we, who do believe her to be the Mother of God, may be holpen by her prayers before Thee, through the same Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE TWELFTH CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.

HAVING then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.  Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer: Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: Bless, and curse not.  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but con-descend to men of low estate.

THE GRADUAL FOR  THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The Lord sent His Word and healed them:  And they were saved from their destruction.   O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness:  And declare the wonders that He doeth for the children of men!    Alleluia. O praise the Lord of heaven : Praise Him in the height.
Praise Him all ye angels of His : Praise Him all His host.
Praise Him sun and moon: Praise Him all ye stars and light.
Praise Him all ye heavens : And ye waters that are above the heavens.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord : For He spake the word and they were made He commanded and they were created.
He hath made them fast for ever and ever : He hath given them a law which shall not be broken.
Praise the Lord upon earth : Ye dragons and all deeps;
Fire and hail snow and vapours : Wind and storm fulfilling His word.
Mountains and all hills : Fruitful trees and all cedars,
Beasts and all cattle : Worms and feathered fowls.
Kings of the earth and all people : Princes and all judges of the world
Young men and maidens old men and children praise the Name of the Lord : For His Name only is excellent and His praise above heaven and earth.
He shalt exalt the horn of his people; all his saints shall praise him : even the children of Israel even the people the serveth him.  Alleluia.

V:     THE LORD BE WITH YOU
R:     AND WITH THY SPIRIT
V:     THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE SECOND CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE, BEGINNING AT THE FORTY-FIRST VERSE.
R:     GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and His Disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the Mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?  Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water.  And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.  And they bare it.  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His Disciples believed on him.

R:    PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O be joyful in God all ye lands O be joyful in God all ye lands : Sing praises unto the honour of His Name : O come hither and hearken all ye that fear God and I will tell you what the Lord hath done for my soul.  Alleluia.

During the Censing after the Offertory: Ps.  lxvi Jubilate Deo

O be joyful in God all ye lands : Sing praises unto the honour of His Name make His praise to be glorious.
Say unto God O how wonderful art Thou in Thy works : Through the greatness of Thy power shall thine enemies be found liars unto Thee.
For all the world shall worship Thee : Sing of Thee and praise Thy Name.
O come hither and behold the works of God : How wonderful He is in His doing toward the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land : So that they went through the water on foot there did we rejoice thereof.
He ruleth with His power for ever His eyes behold the people : And such as will not believe shall not be able to exalt themselves.
O praise our God ye people : And make the voice of His praise to be heard.
Who holdeth our soul in life : And suffereth not our feet to slip.
For Thou O God hast proved us : Thou also hast tried us like as silver is tried
Thou broughtest us into the snare : And laidest trouble upon our loins.
Thou sufferedst men to ride over our heads : We went through fire and water and Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
I will go into Thine house with burnt-offerings : And will pay Thee my vows which I promised with my lips and spake with my mouth when I was in trouble.
I will offer unto Thee fat burnt-sacrifices with the incense of rams : I will offer bullocks and goats.
O come hither and hearken all ye that fear God : And I will tell you what He hath done for my soul.
I called unto Him with my mouth : And gave Him praises with my tongue.
If I incline unto wickedness with mine heart : The Lord will not hear me.
But God hath heard me : And considered the voice of my prayer.
Praised be God who hath not cast out my prayer : Nor turned His mercy from me
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

SECRET FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully to hear the people which cry unto Thee:  And that their offering may be well-pleasing unto Thee, cleanse them from their defilement.  Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord   Amen.

THE COMMUNION FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The Lord saith: Fill the water-pots with water and bear unto the governor of the feast: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, he said to the bridegroom, Thou hast kept the good wine until now.  This beginning of miracles did Jesus before the Disciples.

During the Ablutions:    Ps. xxvii    Dominus illuminatio

The Lord is my light and my salvation whom then shall I fear : The Lord is the strength of my life of whom then shall I be afraid?
When the wicked even mine enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh : They stumbled and fell.
Though an host of men were laid against me yet shall not my heart be afraid : And though there rose up war against me yet will I put my trust in Him.
One thing have I desired of the Lord which I will require : Even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to visit His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His tabernacle : Yea in the secret place of His dwelling shall he hide me and set me up upon a rock of stone.
And now shall He lift up mine head : Above mine enemies round about me.
Therefore will I offer in His dwelling an oblation with great gladness : I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord.
Hearken unto my voice O Lord when I cry unto Thee : Have mercy upon
me and hear me.
My heart hath talked of thee Seek ye my face : Thy face Lord will I seek.
O hide not Thy face from me : Nor cast Thy servant away in displeasure.
Thou hast been my succour : Leave me not neither forsake me O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me : The Lord taketh me up.
Teach me the way O Lord : And lead in the right way because of mine enemies.
Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries : For there are false witnesses risen up against me and such as speak wrong.I should utterly have fainted : But that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure : Be strong and He shall comfort thine heart and put thou thy trust in the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Increase, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the working of Thy Heavenly power in us: That we, being strengthened by Thy Holy Sacrament, may of this gift be fitted ever more to receive the blessings promised therefrom.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

Lord, may we who have tasted of Thy Holy Things, receive therefrom both the benefit of perfect cleansing, and continual aid of Thy Divine protection.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

Grant, we beseech Thee merciful God, that we may be aided by the continual intercession of her through whose pure virginity we have received the Author of our salvation.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

The Epistle this morning comes from what is regarded as Saint Paul’s masterpiece in Epistle writing: That written to the Romans.  Just incidentally, the Church which had formed at Rome – and which Paul later led in its formative period, was, almost alone in his jurisdiction, not composed of converts from the local Jewish population.  Claudius having rid Rome of the Jews, such as were then there had not succumbed to Christianity.  By whatever means Christianity had planted itself in Rome, those that were there were mostly non-Jewish Roman residents.  Hence Paul has a somewhat different approach to that which he uses elsewhere.
The section of the Epistle that we read today, can be relatively simply divided into two parts.  The first is a series of statements about the different talents that may be found in a congregation and the way that these talents may be used by the bearers of them.  Paul has talked elsewhere in other Epistles about the fact that we each have different talents, we each have different roles to play in the operation of the Church.  He has always been at pains not to rank one talent above another.
One sees so often, in almost any human organisation, those who consider their particular talent or profession as somehow inherently more valuable, more distinguished, more highly prized than those of others.  We all try to distinguish ourselves from what we perceive to be our less talented neighbours.  What we fail to perceive is the fact that we didn’t invent ourselves.  We didn’t give ourselves the particular talent that we have.  God gave them to us.  And God expects us to be contented with what He gave us.  Given real attention, almost any talent can be capitalised upon – to the maximum of the enterprise that God has given us.  Paul states that sort of view elsewhere.  Today however, he is talking about just one aspect:  Having been given our talent and having been satisfied with the fact that we have been given this gift, then use it properly.
Saint Paul only deals with a few talents – particularly, he is concerned with those that were,  and still are basic to the functioning of the local congregation.  He is saying that we should not trespass on the area of another  – not covet the gift that has been given to another, but to concentrate on using our own gift fully.
Having said that, Paul then is led to exhorting the Roman Parishioners to treat each other with respect and to treat others in the congregation as though they were of more importance than themselves.  Without going further, just think for a moment what a great difference it would make in our daily lives, if we all of us, did that.  Good manners and politeness would break out everywhere.  Then he goes further and tells them to give to other Christians who are not so well off as they are.
In amongst it, he tucks in that one liner:  “Continuing instant in prayer”.  At least that’s the way that the Authorised Version renders the three Greek words (the Universal Dictionary of the English Language quotes this passage as an example of the word ‘instant’ meaning ‘unwearied’, ‘continuous’).  More commonly though, they would read ‘continuously praying’.  Can I be blamed if Paul leads us back to what I keep on saying?  That the Christian who is really focussing his attention on being what Christ wants him to be, will be just what Saint Paul recommends: Constant in prayer – constantly praying – continuously praying – always directing his thoughts and ordering his thoughts and conversation towards and in the presence of God.
For the Orthodox Believer there is really no room for indulgence, for lapses in morality, for tolerating the indecent or immoral.  We can and should have enjoyment, laughter and enjoy our lives with our families and friends – but we should be consciously doing it with God.  We can be constantly at the business of prayer – of not being out of communication with God, while yet enjoying the life that He has given us.

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MATTINS
EPIPHANY III

Ps xxiv.  Domini est terra

The earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is : The compass of  the world and they that dwell therein.
For He hath founded it upon the seas : And prepared it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord : Or who shall rise up in His holy place
Even he that hath clean hands and a pure heart : And that hath not lift up his mind unto vanity nor sworn to deceive his neighbour.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord : And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him : Even of them that seek thy face O Jacob.
Lift up your heads O ye gates and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors : And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory : It is the Lord strong and mighty even the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads O ye gates and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors : And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory : Even the Lord of hosts he is the King of glory.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps xxv.   Ad te, Domine, levavi

Unto Thee O Lord will I lift up my soul my God I have put my trust in Thee : O let me not be confounded neither let mine enemies triumph over me.
For all they that hope in Thee shall not be ashamed : But such as transgress without a cause shall be put to confusion.
Shew me Thy ways O Lord : And teach me Thy paths.
Lead me forth in Thy truth and learn me : For Thou art the God of my salvation in Thee hath been my hope all the day long.
Call to remembrance O Lord Thy tender mercies : And Thy loving-kind-nesses which have been ever of old.
O remember not the sins and offences of my youth : But according to Thy mercy think Thou upon me O Lord for Thy goodness.
Gracious and righteous is the Lord : Therefore will He teach sinners in the way.
Them that are meek shall He guide in judgement : And such as are gentle them shall He learn His way.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth : Unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Thy Name’s sake O Lord : Be merciful unto my sin for it is great.
What man is he that feareth the Lord : Him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.
His soul shall dwell at ease : And his seed shall inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is among them that fear him : And He will shew them His covenant.
Mine eyes are ever looking unto the Lord : For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me : For I am desolate and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart are enlarged : O bring Thou me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery : And forgive me all my sin.
Consider mine enemies how many they are : And they bear a tyrannous hate against me.
O keep my soul and deliver me : Let me not be confounded for I have put my trust in Thee.
Let perfectness and righteous dealing wait upon me : For my hope hath been in Thee.
Deliver Israel O God : Out of all his troubles.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps xxvi  Judica me, Domine

Be Thou my judge O Lord for I have walked innocently : My trust hath been also in the Lord therefore shall I not fall.
Examine me O Lord, and prove me : Try out my reins and my heart.
For Thy loving-kindness is ever before mine eyes : And I will walk in Thy truth
I have not dwelt with vain persons : Neither will I have fellowship with the deceitful.
I have hated the congregation of the wicked : And will not sit among the ungodly.
I will wash my hands in innocency O Lord : And so will I go to Thine altar.
That I may shew the voice of thanksgiving : And tell all Thy wondrous works.
Lord I have loved the habitation of Thy house :  And the place where Thine honour dwelleth.
O shut not up my soul with the sinners : Nor my life with the blood-thirsty.
In whose hands is wickedness : And their right hand is full of gifts.
But as for me I will walk innocently : O deliver me and be merciful unto me.
My foot standeth right : I will praise the Lord in the congregations.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps.   xxvi Dominus illuminatio

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear : The Lord is the strength of my life of whom then shall I be afraid?
When the wicked even mine enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh : They stumbled and fell.
Though an host of men were laid against me yet shall not my heart be afraid : And though there rose up war against me yet will I put my trust in Him.
One thing have I desired of the Lord which I will require : Even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to visit His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His tabernacle : Yea in the secret place of His dwelling shall He hide me and set me up upon a rock of stone.
And now shall He lift up mine head : Above mine enemies round about me.
Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness : I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord.
Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry unto thee : Have mercy upon me, and hear me.
My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face : Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
O hide not thou Thy face from me : Nor cast Thy servant away in displeasure.
Thou hast been my succour : Leave me not neither forsake me O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me :  The Lord taketh me up.
Teach me the way O Lord : And lead in the right way because of mine enemies.
Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries : For there are false witnesses risen up against me and such as speak wrong.
I should utterly have fainted : But that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure : Be strong, and He shall comfort thine heart and put thou thy trust in the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

The First Lesson is written in the eleventh chapter of the Book of the Prophet Hosea, beginning at the first verse (12:6)
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.  As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.  I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms but they knew not that I healed them.  I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.  He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.  And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.  And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.  How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.  I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.  They shall walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.  They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord.  Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.  Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.  The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.  He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel,
and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.  Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.  Here Endeth the First Lesson.

The Second Lesson is written second chapter of the Gospel of Saint John, beginning at the first verse (end)
And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.  After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.  Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth Thy right hand to help and defend us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
THE DIVINE LITURGY
THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

THE OFFICE FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Worship the Lord all ye His Angels: Sion heard of it and rejoiced, and the daughters of Judah were glad.    The Lord is King, and the earth may be glad thereof: Yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof. Glory be to the Father and to the Son: And to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning: Is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

THE COLLECTS FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth Thy right hand to help and defend us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people which call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
O God, Who didst will that Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, at the message of an Angel; grant to us Thy humble servants, that we, who do believe her to be the Mother of God, may be holpen by her prayers before Thee, through the same Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE TWELFTH CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS, BEGINNING AT THE SIXTEENTH VERSE.

Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

THE GRADUAL FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The heathen shall fear Thy Name O Lord: And all the kings of the earth Thy Majesty. When the Lord shall build up Sion: And when His glory shall appear     Alleluia. The Lord is King the earth may be glad thereof : Yea the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.
Clouds and darkness are round about Him : Righteousness and judgement are the habitation of His seat.
There shall go a fire before Him : And burn up His enemies on every side.
His lightnings gave shine unto the world : The earth saw it and was afraid.
The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord : At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens have declared His righteousness : And all the people have seen His glory.
Confounded be all they that worship carved images and that delight in vain gods : Worship Him all ye gods.
Sion heard of it and rejoiced : And the daughters of Judah were glad because of Thy judgements O Lord.
For Thou Lord art higher than all that are in the earth : Thou art exalted far above all gods.
O ye that love the Lord see that ye hate the thing which is evil : The Lord preserv-eth the souls of His saints He shall deliver them from the hand of the ungodly
There is sprung up a light for the righteous : And the joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord ye righteous : And give thanks for a remembrance of his holiness.   Alleluia.

V:     THE LORD BE WITH YOU.
R:     AND WITH THY SPIRIT
V:     THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE EIGHTH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.
R:     GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+  When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed,  Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. and I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven. but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.

R:     Praise be to Thee O Christ

SECRET FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate these Venerable Mysteries of eternal life, may henceforth present unto Thee a pure offering in all holy conversation. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord   Amen.

THE OFFERTORY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence: The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass : I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.

During the Censing after the Offertory: Ps. cxviii Confitemini Domino

O give thanks unto the Lord for He is gracious : Because His mercy endureth for ever.
Let Israel now confess that He is gracious : That His mercy endureth for ever
Let the house of Aaron now confess : That His mercy endureth for ever.
Yea let them now that fear the Lord confess : That His mercy endureth for ever.
I called upon the Lord in trouble : And the Lord heard me at large.
The Lord is on my side : I will not fear what man doeth unto me.
The Lord taketh my part with them that help me : Therefore shall I see my desire upon mine enemies.
It is better to trust in the Lord : Than to put any confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord : Than to put any confidence in princes.
All nations compassed me round about : But in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
They kept me in on every side they kept me in I say on every side : But in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
They came about me like bees and are extinct even as the fire among the thorns : For in the Name of the Lord I will destroy them.
Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall : But the Lord was my help.
The Lord is my strength, and my song  : and is become my salvation.
The voice of joy and health is in the dwellings of the righteous : The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence : The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
I shall not die but live : And declare the works of the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

SECRET FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate these Venerable Mysteries of eternal life, may henceforth present unto Thee a pure offering in all holy conversation. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord   Amen.

During the Ablutions:  Ps. cii   Domine, exaudi

Hear my prayer O Lord : and let my crying come unto Thee.
Hide not Thy face from me in the time of my trouble : Incline Thine ear unto me when I call O hear me and that right soon.
For my days are consumed away like smoke : And my bones are burnt up as it were a firebrand.
My heart is smitten down and withered liked grass : So that I forget to eat my bread.
For the voice of my groaning : My bones will scarce cleave to my flesh.
I am become like a pelican in the wilderness : And like an owl that is in the desert.
I have watched and am even as it were a sparrow : That sitteth alone upon the house-top.
Mine enemies revile me all the day long : And they that are mad upon me are sworn together against me.
For I have eaten ashes as it were bread : And mingled my drink with weeping
And that because of Thine indignation and wrath : For Thou hast taken me up and cast me down.
My days are gone like a shadow : And I am withered like grass.
But Thou O Lord shalt endure for ever : And Thy remembrance throughout all generations.
Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Sion : For it is time that Thou have mercy upon her yea the time is come.
And why? Thy servants think upon her stones : And it pitieth them to see her in the dust.
The heathen shall fear thy Name O Lord : And all the kings of the earth Thy majesty.
When the Lord shall build up Sion : And when His glory shall appear.
When he turneth Him unto the prayer of the poor destitute : And despiseth not their desire.
This shall be written for those that come after : And the people which shall be born shall praise the Lord.
For He hath looked down from His sanctuary : Out of the heaven did the Lord behold the earth.
That he might hear the mournings of such as are in captivity : And deliver the children appointed unto death.
That they may declare the Name of the Lord in Sion : And His worship at Jerusalem.
When the people are gathered together : And the kingdoms also to serve the Lord.
He brought down my strength in my journey : And shortened my days.
But I said O my God take me not away in the midst of mine age : As for Thy years they endure throughout all generations.
Thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth : And the heavens are the work of Thy hands.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who of Thy gift do partake of so great a Mystery, may by Thy grace be enabled to bring the same to good effect. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
Lord, may we who have tasted of Thy Holy Things, receive therefrom both the benefit of perfect cleansing, and continual aid of Thy Divine protection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee merciful God, that we may be aided by the continual intercession of her through whose pure virginity we have received the Author of our salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

The season of the Epiphany includes many epiphanies or revealings, manifestations of Christ. This is the season where we mark how “Jesus manifested forth His Glory” so that “His Disciples believed on Him”.  Last Sunday we read of the transmutation of water into wine at the Marriage feast which revealed our Lord as possessing the power of a Creator and showed that it was He who had once taken the dust of the earth and elevated it to the order of existence so that by His breath it became a living soul.
Now we have the theophany of Jesus as the Lord of a New Creation by which His former work is to be restored and exalted within His Providence.  The act recorded at the marriage feast of Cana prefigures the work of re-creation for it was an act of re-creation of existing matter.  His forthcoming re-creation was to be wrought in His Kingdom for the salvation of the souls and bodies of mankind, and so it is.
Simple elements pass under the power of His blessing:  His servants carry out the result, water made glorious as wine.  So Baptism exalts the souls and bodies of men to the kingdom of grace and the Divine Liturgy is the means by which we are exalted towards our union with Him, “changed from glory into glory”.
The Third Sunday of Epiphanyis traditionally the place of celebrating the revealing of Christ as the Divine Healer of human infirmities.  His all-embracing sympathy for the condition for fallen man took in those particularly who were victims of the grievously debilitating diseases.  Christ would reach out and touch the faithful Jewish leper whom no-one else would dare touch.   He would reach out to the faithful non-Jew and heal his servant, the Gentile slave of the Gentile Centurion whom no Jew would ordinarily help.
Thus was the glory of the Good Physician sent of God to heal mankind revealed for us immediately after He had made His mission to earth known to the people.
Leprosy was a disease for which there was no human cure or even alleviation.  The sufferers were banished from all human contact for the good of the community.  Yet Christ put out His hand and touched the leper and immediately the regeneration of the man’s physical body began.  The palsy was a matter of muscular atrophy resulting in immobility and total dependance.  Yet Christ could effect immediate cure, even at a distance.  This was a deliberate revelation of the role of Christ as the Healer of mankind.  Christ is the healer of our souls, of our minds and of our bodies, all dis -eased by the effects of mankind’s falling from the Way of God.  These diseases are aberrations from the original way that we were intended to live.  We allowed the entry of these disabilities and spiritual death by our own original and continuing wilfulness.  As Jesus manifested His power over the inanimate Creation when He transformed the water into wine at the marriage of Cana in the theophany which we have celebrated, so too He showed it over the animate universe in the theophany we also celebrate.
The ancient Offertory for the Liturgy today brings out doctrine very beautifully and the likewise ancient the Collect for the day (the first Collect) reinforces it.

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MATTINS
EPIPHANY IV

Ps. lxii  Nonne Deo?

My soul truly waiteth still upon God : For of Him cometh my salvation.
He verily is my strength and my salvation : He is my defence so that I shall not greatly fall.
How long will ye imagine mischief against every man : Ye shall be slain all the sort of you yea as a tottering wall shall ye be and like a broken hedge.
Their device is only how to put him out whom God will exalt : Their delight is in lies they give good words with their mouth but curse with their heart.
Nevertheless my soul wait thou still upon God : For my hope is in Him.
He truly is my strength and my salvation : He is my defence so that I shall not fall.
In God is my health and my glory : The rock of my might and in God is my trust.
O put your trust in Him alway ye people : Pour out your hearts before Him for God is our hope.
As for the children of men they are but vanity : The children of men are deceitful upon the weights they are altogether lighter than vanity itself.
O trust not in wrong and robbery give not yourselves unto vanity : If riches increase set not your heart upon them.
God spake once and twice I have also heard the same : That power belongeth unto God;
And that Thou Lord art merciful : For Thou rewardest every man according to his work.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps. lxiii  Deus, Deus meus

O God Thou art my God : Early will I seek Thee.
My soul thirsteth for Thee my flesh also longeth after Thee : In a barren and dry land where no water is.
Thus have I looked for Thee in holiness : That I might behold Thy power and glory.
For Thy loving-kindness is better than the life itself : My lips shall praise Thee.
As long as I live will I magnify Thee on this manner : And lift up my hands in Thy Name.
My soul shall be satisfied even as it were with marrow and fatness : When my mouth praiseth Thee with joyful lips.
Have I not remembered Thee in my bed : And thought upon Thee when I was waking?
Because Thou hast been my helper : Therefore under the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul hangeth upon Thee : Thy right hand hath upholden me.
These also that seek the hurt of my soul : They shall go under the earth.
Let them fall upon the edge of the sword : That they may be a portion for foxes.
But the King shall rejoice in God all they also that swear by Him shall be commended : For the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps. lxiv.  Exaudi, Deus

Hear my voice O God in my prayer : Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the gathering together of the froward : And from the insurrection of wicked doers;
Who have whet their tongue like a sword : And shoot out their arrows even bitter words.
That they may privily shoot at him that is perfect : Suddenly do they hit him and fear not.
They encourage themselves in mischief : And commune among themselves how they may lay snares and say that no man shall see them.
They imagine wickedness and practise it : That they keep secret among themselves every man in the deep of his heart.
But God shall suddenly shoot at them with a swift arrow : That they shall be wounded.
Yea their own tongues shall make them fall : Insomuch that whoso seeth them shall laugh them to scorn.
And all men that see it shall say This hath God done : For they shall perceive that it is His work.
The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord and put his trust in Him : And all they that are true of heart shall be glad.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

The First Lesson is written in the third chapter of the Book of Amos, beginning at the first verse (end)
Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?  Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?  Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?  Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.  For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.  Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts, That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.  And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.
Here endeth the First Lesson

The Second Lesson is written in the third chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John, beginning at the third verse (end)
After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judaea; and there He tarried with them, and Baptised.  And John also was baptising in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: And they came, and were baptised.  For John was not yet cast into prison.  Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptiseth, and all men come to him.  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: But the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.  He must increase, but I must decrease.  He that cometh from above is above all: He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.  And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony.  He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.  For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O God, Who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright:  Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:    Amen
THE DIVINE LITURGY
THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

THE OFFICE FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Worship God all ye His Angels: Sion heard of it and rejoiced, and the daughters of Judah were glad.    The Lord is King, and the earth may be glad thereof : Yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.

THE COLLECTS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
O God, Who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright:  Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen
O Lord, we eseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people which call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen
O God, Who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary hast bestowed on the race of man the reward of eternal salvation: Grant, we pray Thee, that as we have received through her the Author of life, so we may feel within ourselves the fruit of her intercession.  Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end..
R:     Amen

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God:  The powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:  And they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.  Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?  Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good.  But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

THE GRADUAL FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The heathen shall fear Thy Name O Lord:  And all the kings of the earth Thy Majesty.   When the Lord shall build up Sion:  And when His glory shall appear  Alleluia.The Lord is King the earth may be glad thereof : Yea the
multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.
Clouds and darkness are round about Him : Righteousness and judgement are the habitation of His seat.
There shall go a fire before Him : And burn up His enemies on every side.
His lightnings gave shine unto the world : The earth saw it and was afraid.
The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord : At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens have declared His righteousness : And all the people have seen His glory.
Confounded be all they that worship carved images and that delight in vain gods : Worship Him all ye gods.
Sion heard of it and rejoiced : And the daughters of Judah were glad because of Thy judgements O Lord.
For Thou Lord art higher than all that are in the earth : Thou art exalted far above all gods.
O ye that love the Lord see that ye hate the thing which is evil : The Lord preserv-eth the souls of His saints He shall deliver them from the hand of the ungodly
There is sprung up a light for the righteous : And the joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord ye righteous : And give thanks for a remembrance of his holiness.     Alleluia.

V:     THE LORD BE WITH YOU.
R:     AND WITH THY SPIRIT
R:     THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE EIGHTH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, BEGINNING AT THE TWENTY-THIRD VERSE.
V:     GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+  And when He was entered into a ship, His Disciples followed Him.  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. And His Disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, o ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!  And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?  Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought Him, saying,  If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.  And He said unto them, GO.  And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought Him that He would depart out of their coasts.

R:     PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence:  The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass:  I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

During the Censing after the Offertory: Ps. cxviii   Confitemini Domino

O give thanks unto the Lord for He is gracious : Because His mercy endureth for ever.
Let Israel now confess that He is gracious : And that His mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now confess : That His mercy endureth for ever.
Yea let them now that fear the Lord confess : That His mercy endureth for ever.
I called upon the Lord in trouble : And the Lord heard me at large.
The Lord is on my side : I will not fear what man doeth unto me.
The Lord taketh my part with them that help me : Therefore shall I see my desire upon mine enemies.
It is better to trust in the Lord : Than to put any confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord : Than to put any confidence in princes.
All nations compassed me round about : But in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
They kept me in on every side they kept me in I say on every side : But in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
They came about me like bees and are extinct even as the fire among the thorns : For in the Name of the Lord I will destroy them.
Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall : But the Lord was my help.
The Lord is my strength, and my song  : and is become my salvation.
The voice of joy and health is in the dwellings of the righteous : The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence : The right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
I shall not die but live : And declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord hath chastened and corrected me : But He hath not given me over unto death.
Open me the gates of righteousness : That I may go into them and give thanks unto the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord : The righteous shall enter into it.
I will thank Thee for Thou hast heard me : And art become my salvation.
The same stone which the builders refused : Is become the head-stone in the corner.
This is the Lord’s doing : And it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day which the Lord hath made : We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Help me now O Lord : O Lord send us now prosperity.
Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord : We have wished you good luck ye that are of the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord who hath shewed us light : Bind the sacrifice with cords yea even unto the horns of the altar.
Thou art my God and I will thank Thee : Thou art my God and I will praise Thee.
O give thanks unto the Lord for He is gracious : And His mercy endureth for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

THE SECRET FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that by the gifts offered in this sacrifice, the weakness of our mortal nature may be cleansed and defended from every evil.  Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord   Amen.

THE COMMUNION FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
All wondered at the words which proceeded out of the mouth of God.

During the Ablutions:  Ps.  ciii   Benedic, anima mea

Praise the Lord O my soul : And all that is within me praise His holy Name.
Praise the Lord O my soul : And forget not all His benefits;
Who forgiveth all thy sin : And healeth all thine infirmities;
Who saveth thy life from destruction : And crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindness;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things : Making thee young and lusty as an eagle.
The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement : For all them that are oppressed with wrong.
He shewed His ways unto Moses : His works unto the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of  compassion and mercy : Long-suffering and of great goodness.
He will not alway be chiding : Neither keepeth He His anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins : Nor rewarded us according to our wickednesses.
For look how high the heaven is in comparison of the earth : So great is his mercy also toward them that fear him.
Look how wide also the east is from the west : So far hath He set our sins from us.
Yea like as a father pitieth his own children : Even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear Him.
For He knoweth whereof we are made : He remembereth that we are but dust.
The days of man are but as grass : For he flourisheth as a flower of the field.
For as soon as the wind goeth over it it is gone : And the place thereof shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord endureth for ever and ever upon them that fear Him : And His righteousness upon children’s children;
Even upon such as keep His covenant : And think upon His commandments to do them.
The Lord hath prepared His seat in heaven : And His kingdom ruleth over all.
O praise the Lord ye angels of His ye that excel in strength : Ye that fulfil His commandment and hearken unto the voice of His words.
O praise the Lord all ye His hosts : Ye servants of His that do His pleasure.
O speak good of the Lord all ye works of His in all places of His dominion : Praise thou the Lord O my soul.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY
Let these, Thy gifts O God, both set us free from earthly pleasures and ever refresh and strengthen us with Heavenly food.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
Lord, may we who have tasted of Thy Holy Things, receive therefrom both the benefit of perfect cleansing, and continual aid of Thy Divine protection.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee merciful God, that we may be aided by the continual intercession of her through whose pure virginity we have received the Author of our salvation.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN EPIPHANY

We have kept the season of the Epiphany which was originally the celebration of our Lord’s Baptism and which has added the celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles through the adoration of the Magi.  It is a season which originally outshone Christmas in the mind of the Church.  Next Sunday we have the first of the ancient Sundays called Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima which are the lead up to the great penitential season of Lent, itself a preparation for Easter, the greatest festival of the Church’s year.
So, this Sunday perhaps we ought to look back over the past festive seasons of Christmas and Epiphany before we move on.   Lent always seems to me to be the  Winter in the Church year,   followed immediately by the Spring of Easter.   If that is so then perhaps these forthcoming Sundays are the Autumn.  So we want to look back to the Summer of Christmas and Epiphany.
We have celebrated Christ’s Birth, His recognition by the Angels on behalf of Heaven, by the Shepherds on behalf of the originally Chosen People: the Jews, and by the Magi on behalf of the Gentiles who were on the threshold of acceptance into the fold.  Then there is the recognition, the public acknowledgement  by His Father, to those who had the spiritual awareness to allow them to know that He had spoken, at Christ’s Baptism by Saint John in the River Jordan.  We have celebrated that not only did God do this great act of coming into the world, this preparation for the ultimate act of Good Friday and Easter Day, but His act was recognised – albeit not by the majority of those for whom it was intended.
But is it correct to say that it was not recognised by the majority of those for whom it was intended?  Did not in fact, all those who allowed the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God in their lives, in fact end up recognising that it was the Christ of God, the Son of God Himself, Who had come among them?
We are among them.  We are among those who at this time allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to this acknowledgement that Jesus of Nazareth is in fact our God incarnate.  We may not be a majority in this world.  We may not be a majority even among those who call themselves Christians.  But those who not only believe the truth about Christ but allow the Holy Spirit to lead them first to acknowledge the truth , then to pray to God for the things that He intends for us and then to do the things which He requires of us, are in fact those who are the elect of God to whom Saint Paul refers so often.  In a sense perhaps, they elect themselves, in a sense, they have been known to God from all eternity.  However one chooses to see the truth, the fact remains that those who allow the Holy Spirit full reign, are those who please God most.  Christ died for us that we might be made fit and able to be taken in to unity with God.  To do that, He came here among us by being born and Baptised and recognised by God and those able to see and hear or willing to be led to see and hear.  The effort that Christ required of people was and is not all that great: Just a willingness to listen and learn, an ambition to be what He wants us to be, and a will to hold on to that which we are then given.  That is what He needs to work with, the rest will be done to us as we desire.

____________________________________________

MATTINS
SEPTUAGESIMA

Ps xcv    Venite, exultemus

O come let us sing unto the Lord : Let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving : And shew ourselves glad in him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God : And a great King above all gods.
In His hand are all the corners of the earth : And the strength of the hills is His also.
The sea is His and He made it : And His hands prepared the dry land.
O come let us worship and fall down : And kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is the Lord our God : And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts : As in the provocation and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
When your fathers tempted Me : Proved me and saw My works.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation and said : It is a people that do err in their hearts for they have not known My ways,
Unto whom I sware in My wrath : That they should not enter into My rest.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps.  xcvi Cantate Domino

O sing unto the Lord a new song : Sing unto the Lord all the whole earth.
Sing unto the Lord and praise His Name : Be telling of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His honour unto the heathen : And His wonders unto all people.
For the Lord is great and cannot worthily be praised : He is more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the heathen they are but idols : But it is the Lord that made the heavens.
Glory and worship are before Him : Power and honour are in His sanctuary
Ascribe unto the Lord O ye kindreds of the people : Ascribe unto the Lord worship and power.
Ascribe unto the Lord the honour due unto His Name : Bring presents and come into His courts.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness : Let the whole earth stand in awe of Him.
Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King : And that it is He who hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved and how that He shall judge the people righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad : Let the sea make a noise and all that therein is.
Let the field be joyful and all that is in it : Then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.
For He cometh for He cometh to judge the earth : And with righteousness to judge the world and the people with His truth.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps.  xcvii   Dominus regnavit

The Lord is King the earth may be glad thereof : Yea the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.
Clouds and darkness are round about Him : Righteousness and judgement are the habitation of His seat.
There shall go a fire before Him : And burn up His enemies on every side.
His lightnings gave shine unto the world : The earth saw it and was afraid.
The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord : At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens have declared His righteousness : And all the people have seen His glory.
Confounded be all they that worship carved images and that delight in vain gods : Worship Him all ye gods.
Sion heard of it and rejoiced : And the daughters of Judah were glad because of Thy judgements O Lord.
For Thou Lord art higher than all that are in the earth : Thou art exalted far above all gods.
O ye that love the Lord see that ye hate the thing which is evil : the Lord preserveth the souls of His saints He shall deliver them from the hand of the ungodly.
There is sprung up a light for the righteous : And the joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous : and give thanks for a remembrance of his holiness
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

The First Lesson is written in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, beginning at the first verse.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness  was  upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that  it was  good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And the evening and the morning were the first day.  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which  were  under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.  And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry  land appear: and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,  and  the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the third day.  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:  he made the stars also.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.   And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl  that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.  And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.  And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that  it was  good.  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his  own  image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which  is  the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.  And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Here endeth the First Lesson.

The Second Lesson is written in the  twenty-first chapter of the Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, beginning at the first verse

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: For the former things are passed away.  And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And He said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
O Lord, we beseech Thee favourably to hear the prayers of Thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness, for the glory of Thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.

THE DIVINE LITURGY
SEPTUAGESIMA

THE OFFICE FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
The sorrows of death compassed me, the pains of hell came about me: In my tribulation I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice out of His Holy Temple.      I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: The Lord is my stony rock, my fortress, and my Saviour.

THE COLLECTS FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
O Lord, we beseech Thee favourably to hear the prayers of Thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness, for the glory of Thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
Keep, we beseech Thee O Lord, Thy people who trust in Thy love and at the prayers of blessed Ives, Thy Martyr, mercifully grant that her example may provoke us to prayer and good works, that we may be made partakers of Thy Heavenly Kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Lord God, grant to us Thy people ever to rejoice in health of mind and body; and at the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, to be set free from all present sadness and attain to eternal joy.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE NINTH CHAPTER OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, BEGINNING AT THE TWENTY-FOURTH VERSE

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

THE GRADUAL FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
The Lord will be a refuge in due time of trouble: And they that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee: For Thou, Lord hast never failed them that seek Thee.  The poor shall not alway be forgotten: The patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever: Up, Lord, and let not man have the upper hand.

THE TRACT
Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. O let Thine ears consider well: The voice of my complaint.
If Thou Lord wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss : O Lord who may abide it.
For there is mercy with Thee : Therefore shalt Thou be feared.
I look for the Lord my soul doth wait for Him : In His word is my trust.
My soul fleeth unto the Lord : Before the morning watch I say before the morning watch.
O Israel trust in the Lord for with the Lord there is mercy : And with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel : From all his sins.
Lord I am not high-minded : I have no proud looks.
I do not exercise myself in great matters : which are too high for me.
But I refrain my soul, and keep it low, like as a child that is weaned from his mother : yea, my soul is even as a weaned child.
O Israel, trust in the Lord : from this time forth for evermore.

V:      THE LORD BE WITH YOU,
R:      AND WITH THY SPIRIT.
V:      THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.
R:      GLORY BE  +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+ The kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.  And they went their way.  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, why stand ye here all the day idle?  They say unto him, because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first  came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  But he answered one of them, and said, friend, I do thee no wrong: Didst not thou agree with me for a penny?  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?  Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So the last shall be first, and the first last: For many be called, but few chosen.

R:      PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord : And to sing praises unto Thy Name, O Most Highest.  O Lord, how glorious are Thy works : Thy thoughts are very deep.

During the Censing after the Offertory       Ps. xcii   Bonum est confiteri

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord : And to sing praises unto Thy Name O most Highest.
To tell of Thy loving-kindness early in the morning : And of Thy truth in the night-season.
Upon an instrument of ten strings and upon the lute : Upon a loud instrument and upon the harp.
For Thou Lord hast made me glad through Thy works : And I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of Thy hands.
O Lord how glorious are Thy works : Thy thoughts are very deep.
An unwise man doth not well consider this : And a fool doth not understand it.
When the ungodly are green as the grass and when all the workers of wickedness do flourish : Then shall they be destroyed for ever but Thou Lord art the most Highest for evermore.
For lo Thine enemies O Lord lo Thine enemies shall perish : And all the workers of wickedness shall be destroyed.
But mine horn shall be exalted like the horn of an unicorn : For I am anointed with fresh oil.
Mine eye also shall see his lust of mine enemies : And mine ear shall hear his desire of the wicked that arise up against me.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree : And shall spread abroad like a cedar in Lebanon.
Such as are planted in the house of the Lord : Shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.
They also shall bring forth more fruit in their age : And shall be fat and well-liking.
That they may shew how true the Lord my strength is : And that there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

THE SECRET FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
O Lord, Who dost receive our prayers and oblations: Cleanse us, we beseech Thee, by these Heavenly Mysteries, and mercifully hear us when we call upon Thee.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE COMMUNION FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
All wondered at the words which proceeded out of the mouth of God.

During the Ablutions: Ps.  ix  Confitebor tibi

I will give thanks unto Thee O Lord with my whole heart : I will speak of all Thy marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in Thee : Yea my songs will I make of Thy Name O Thou most Highest.
While mine enemies are driven back : They shall fall and perish at Thy presence.
For thou hast maintained my right and my cause : Thou art set in the throne that judgest right.
Thou hast rebuked the heathen and destroyed the ungodly : Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
O Thou enemy destructions are come to a perpetual end : Even as the cities which Thou hast destroyed their memorial is perished with them.
But the Lord shall endure for ever : He hath also prepared His seat for judgement.
For He shall judge the world in righteousness : And minister true judgement unto the people.
The Lord also will be a defence for the oppressed : Even a refuge in due time of trouble.
And they that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee : For Thou Lord hast never failed them that seek Thee.
O praise the Lord which dwelleth in Sion : Shew the people of His doings.
For when He maketh inquisition for blood He remembereth them : And forgetteth not the complaint of the poor.
Have mercy upon me O Lord consider the trouble which I suffer of them that hate me : Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death.
That I may shew all Thy praises within the ports of the daughter of Sion : I will rejoice in Thy salvation.
The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made : In the same net which they hid privily is their foot taken.
The Lord is known to execute judgement : The ungodly is trapped in the work of his own hands.
The wicked shall be turned into hell : And all the people that forget God.
For the poor shall not always be forgotten : The patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever.
Up Lord and let not man have the upper hand : Let the heathen be judged in Thy sight.
Put them in fear O Lord : That the heathen may know themselves to be but men.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end.  Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR SEPTUAGESIMA
May Thy faithful people, O God, be strengthened by Thy Gifts: That they, by receiving, may seek them anew, and in seeking, may always receive them. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
We, who have tasted of the Divine Mysteries, do beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst ever protect us at the intercession of Saint Ives, Thy Martyr, through Jesus Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:      Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as we have now received Thy help from above; so we may always be defended by the intercessions of Blessed Mary, Thy handmaid. Through Jesus Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R: Amen.
THOSE THREE SUNDAYS BEFORE LENT

Today is Septuagesima Sunday: The beginning of the seventy days which culminate in Holy Saturday.  It is followed by Sexagesima Sunday, and Quinquagesima Sunday. Then follows Quadragesima Sunday which is the First Sunday of Lent, beginning the forty days of the great Lenten fast.  These next three Sundays are intended to prepare us to repent in earnest, they are the preparation for the coming great fast of Lent.
The ‘poor’ and the ‘meek’ are mentioned in the Gradual for today.  We remember these two words very clearly from passages in the New Testament – perhaps most remember them from their use in the course of the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” and “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.  Those two words have puzzled many people in the past couple of centuries, since the meaning of the English words used has changed.
In Hebrew, the word which we have translated as “poor” has several meanings.  It can mean being poor in worldly possessions as we tend to use it exclusively today.  It can also mean those among us who are faithful to God, that is, those who place their total dependence upon God.  This meaning is often that intended in the Bible and is the meaning in the Sermon on the Mount.  The word singles out those even among the believers, who actually do practice their belief by trusting to God in all things  – not just in words, but in fact.

Preparing for Lent  “Earnestly to mourn for sin”

Saint Basil the Great said that   “Repentance without fasting is futile”.  The Orthodox Believer knows or  should know the value of fasting.  If he has practised fasting over the years, he will have learned for himself the spiritual value of fasting, a value which has been the constant theme of the Fathers of the Church and those who practise the Faith.
It is always difficult for the Orthodox Believer to convince others of the value of fasting.  To the world it is an oddity, a weird practice, something in which they can see no value whatsoever.  This is the view of the vast majority of those who call themselves Christian.  Unfortunately it is also the view of many who call themselves Orthodox.  Many see us as mournful, boring, masochistic and equate these “characteristics” with the whole of the Christian Faith.
Yet Lent, properly followed is not boring and certainly not masochistic.  If we follow the teaching of Matthew 6:16-17, we will not be seen by outsiders as mournful either.  Our serious reflection on our lives, our re-thinking (repentance) of our transgressive lives is our business, not the business of others, it is not for display.
It behoves the Orthodox Believer to think about the matter of repentance and fasting for these preparatory Sundays.  Merely mechanically going through the motions of fasting during Lent, doing it because it is an old custom, part of our culture or because the Priest says we ought to, is no way to live Lent and will achieve absolutely nothing.
We must think carefully through what we intend to do during Lent in order that we may take full advantage of it.  This life is short enough without our wasting any opportunity.  As prudent people, we would give any other important period (our annual holidays for instance) some careful preparatory thought.  Lent really is far more important than our annual vacation.

_________________________________________
MATTINS
SEXAGESIMA

Ps. cxix: XIV    Lucerna pedibus meis

Thy word is a lantern unto my feet : And a light unto my paths.
I have sworn and am steadfastly purposed : To keep Thy righteous judgements.
I am troubled above measure : Quicken me O Lord according to Thy word.
Let the free-will offerings of my mouth please Thee O Lord : And teach me Thy judgements.
My soul is always in my hand : Yet do I not forget Thy law.
The ungodly have laid a snare for me : But yet I swerved not from Thy commandments.
Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine heritage for ever : And why they are the very joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfil Thy statutes alway : Even unto the end.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

XV  Iniquos odio habui

I hate them that imagine evil things : But Thy law do I love.
Thou art my defence and shield And my trust is in Thy word.
Away from me ye wicked : I will keep the commandments of my God.
O stablish me according to Thy word that I may live : And let me not be disappointed of my hope.
Hold thou me up and I shall be safe : Yea my delight shall be ever in Thy statutes.
Thou hast trodden down all them that depart from thy statutes : For they imagine but deceit.
Thou puttest away all the ungodly of the earth like dross : Therefore I love Thy testimonies.
My flesh trembleth for fear of thee : And I am afraid of thy judgements
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

XVI  Feci judicium

I deal with the thing that is lawful and right : O give me not over unto mine oppressors.
Make Thou Thy servant to delight in that which is good : That the proud do me no wrong.
Mine eyes are wasted away with looking for Thy health : And for the word of Thy righteousness.
O deal with Thy servant according unto Thy loving mercy : And teach me Thy statutes.
I am thy servant O grant me understanding : That I may know Thy testimonies.
It is time for Thee Lord to lay to Thine hand : For they have destroyed Thy law.
For I love Thy commandments : Above gold and precious stone.
Therefore hold I straight all Thy commandments : And all false ways I utterly abhor
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

XVII  Mirabilia

Thy testimonies are wonderful : Therefore doth my soul keep them.
When Thy word goeth forth : It giveth light and understanding unto the simple.
I opened my mouth and drew in my breath : For my delight was in Thy commandments.
O look Thou upon me and be merciful unto me : As Thou usest to do unto those that love Thy Name.
Order my steps in Thy word : And so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men : And so shall I keep Thy commandments.
Shew the light of Thy countenance upon Thy servant : And teach me Thy statutes.
Mine eyes gush out with water : because men keep not thy law.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

XVIII Justus es, Domine

Righteous art Thou O Lord : And true is Thy judgement.
The testimonies that Thou hast commanded : Are exceeding righteous and true.
My zeal hath even consumed me : Because mine enemies have forgotten Thy words.
Thy word is tried to the uttermost : And Thy servant loveth it.
I am small and of no reputation : Yet do I not forget Thy commandments.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness : And Thy law is the truth.
Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me : Yet is my delight in Thy commandments.
The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting : O grant me understanding, and I shall live.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

The First Lesson is written in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis, beginning at the first verse (end)

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where  art  thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I  was  naked; and I hid myself.  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?  Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?  And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast
of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.  And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.  Here endeth the First Lesson

The Second Lesson is written in the sixth chapter of the First Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, beginning at first verse

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot?  God forbid.  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR SEXAGESIMA
O Lord, Who seest that put not our trust in any thing that we do:  Mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity: Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end
R:     Amen.

THE DIVINE LITURGY
SEXAGESIMA

THE OFFICE FOR SEXAGESIMA
Up Lord, why sleepest Thou? Awake and be not absent from us forever: Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face and forgettest our misery and trouble? Our O God, we have heard with our ears:  Our fathers have told us.

THE COLLECTS FOR SEXAGESIMA
O Lord, Who seest that put not our trust in any thing that we do:  Mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity: Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent:  Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end.
R:     Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Lord God, grant to us Thy people ever to rejoice in health of mind and body;  and at the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, to be set free from all present sadness and attain to eternal joy.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
R:     Amen.

The Epistle is written in the eleventh chapter of the second Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, beginning at the nineteenth verse

For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.  For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

THE GRADUAL FOR SEXAGESIMA
Let the nations know that Thou Whose Name is Jehovah art alone the most Highest over all the earth.  O my God make them like unto a wheel: And as the stubble before the wind.

THE TRACT
Thou hast moved the land O Lord, and divided it.  Heal the sores thereof for it shaketh.  That they may flee from the face of Thy bow : That Thy beloved may be delivered.
O God thou hast cast us out and scattered us abroad : Thou hast also been displeased O turn Thee unto us again.
Thou hast moved the land and divided it : Heal the sores thereof for it shaketh.
Thou hast shewed Thy people heavy things : Thou hast given us a drink of deadly wine.
Thou hast given a token for such as fear Thee : That they may triumph because of the truth.
Therefore were Thy beloved delivered : Help me with Thy right hand and hear me.
God hath spoken in His holiness I will rejoice and divide Sichem : And mete out the valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine and Manasses is mine : Ephraim also is the strength of my head Judah is my law-giver.
Moab is my wash-pot over Edom will I cast out my shoe : Philistia be Thou glad of me.
Who will lead me into the strong city : Who will bring me into Edom?
Hast not Thou cast us out O God : Wilt not Thou O God go out with our hosts?
O be Thou our help in trouble : For vain is the help of man.
Through God will we do great acts : For it is He that shall tread down our enemies.

V:     THE LORD BE WITH YOU,
R:     AND WITH THY SPIRIT.
V:     THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE.
R:     GLORY BE  +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+ A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

R:     Praise be to Thee O Christ

THE OFFERTORY FOR SEXAGESIMA
O hold Thou up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not: Incline Thine ear unto me and hearken unto my words; shew Thy marvellous loving-kindness, Thou that art the Saviour of them which put their trust in Thee O Lord.  Hear the right, O Lord, consider my complaint : Hearken Thou unto my prayers.  Keep me O Lord, as the apple of an eye : Hide me O Lord, under the shadow of Thy wings, from the ungodly that trouble me.

During the Censing after the Offertory:   Ps. xvii Exaudi, Domine

Hear the right O Lord consider my complaint : And hearken unto my prayer that goeth not out of feigned lips.
Let my sentence come forth from thy presence : and let thine eyes look upon the thing that is equal.
Thou hast proved and visited mine heart in the night-season : Thou hast tried me and shalt find no wickedness in me for I am utterly purposed that my mouth shall not offend.
Because of men’s works that are done against the words of Thy lips : I have kept me from the ways of the destroyer.
I will follow upon mine enemies and overtake them : Neither will I turn again till I have destroyed them.
I will smite them that they shall not be able to stand : But fall under my feet.
Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle : Thou shalt throw done mine enemies under me.
Thou hast made mine enemies also to turn their backs upon me : And I shall destroy them that hate me.
They shall cry but there shall be none to help them : Yea even unto the Lord shall they cry but He shall not hear them.
I will beat them as small as the dust before the wind  : I will cast them out as the clay in the streets.
Thou shalt deliver me from the strivings of the people : And Thou shalt make me the head of the heathen.
A people whom I have not known : Shall serve me.
As soon as they hear of me they shall obey me : But the estranged children shall dissemble with me.
The strange children shall fail : and be afraid out of their prisons.
The Lord liveth and blessed be my strong helper : And praised be the Lord of my salvation.
Even the God that seeth that I be avenged : And subdueth the people unto me.
It is He that delivereth me from my cruel enemies and setteth me up above mine adversaries : Thou shalt rid me from the wicked man.
For this cause will I give thanks unto Thee O Lord among the Gentiles : And sing praises unto Thy Name.
Great prosperity giveth He unto His King : And sheweth loving-kindness unto David His Anointed and unto His seed for evermore.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen.

THE SECRET FOR SEXAGESIMA
Look, O Lord, we beseech Thee on on the offering of this, Thy family: And as Thou now dost make us partakers of Thy Holy gift, so grant us to attain hereafter to the fulness of the same.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God. Amen.

THE COMMUNION FOR SEXAGESIMA
I will go unto the Altar of God : Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.

During the Ablutions:  Ps. xliii  Judica me, Deus

Give sentence with me, O God and defend my cause against the ungodly people : O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
For Thou art the God of my strength why hast Thou put me from Thee : And why go I so heavily while the enemy oppresseth me?
O send out Thy light and Thy truth that they may lead me : And bring me unto Thy holy hill and to Thy dwelling.
And that I may go unto the Altar of God even unto the God of my joy and gladness : And upon the harp I will give thanks unto Thee O God my God.
Why art thou so heavy O my soul : And why art thou so disquieted within me.
O put thy trust in God : For I will yet give Him thanks which is the help of my countenance and my God.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps. liv   Deus, in nomine

Save me O God for Thy Name’s sake : And avenge me in Thy strength.
Hear my prayer O God : And hearken unto the words of my mouth.
For strangers are risen up against me : And tyrants which have not God before their eyes seek after my soul.
Behold God is my helper : The Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
He shall reward evil unto mine enemies : Destroy Thou them in Thy truth.
An offering of a free heart will I give Thee and praise Thy Name O Lord : Because it is so comfortable.
For He hath delivered me out of all my trouble : And mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR SEXAGESIMA
We humbly beseech Thee, Almighty God, that those whom Thou dost refresh with this Thy Sacrament, may also worthily serve Thee in holiness of life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

We, who have tasted of the Divine Mysteries, do beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst ever protect us at the intercession of Thy blessed saints and martyrs, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:     Amen.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as we have now received Thy help from above; so we may always be defended by the intercessions of Blessed Mary, Thy handmaid. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY

The Epistle for today is one of those more puzzling parts of the Scriptures.  It is puzzling because it appears wrong – why is Paul speaking this way to the Corinthians?  It doesn’t appear to be the way that a Christian would speak.
We have to be extremely careful in our judgements as to what is “Christian” and what is not. We live at the end of nearly two thousand years of the Christian message being around in this world and there has been a great degree of absorption and distortion.  There are two distortions that we must watch for fairly carefully:  One is the distortion of the secular world. This means that a percentage of Christian doctrine leaked out into the world over the past millennia and the worldly people who surround us think they know what Christianity is.
We know that in the very early days of Christianity, bits and pieces of Christian practice leaked out into the surrounding pagan societies and as a result they too, thought that they knew what Christians did.  The Roman upper classes were horrified by tales that the Christians killed and ate children in their secret services.  Of course this was a distortion which had its genesis in someone talking out of church about the Holy Communion.  It was probably transmitted originally imperfectly and it only got worse from then on.
What we face from those around us in our work places and schools is a more refined version of that crude original.  We are constantly told by others what is ‘Christian’ and what is not. Unless they are deeply religious practising members of the original Church, what would they know about it?  The remainders of some distantly remembered religious classes?  The problem is that without the authority of the Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit once delivered to the Undivided Church, their understanding of what is and is not Christian can be very distorted.
Remember what the name of the game is: We are aiming ourselves at an extremely narrow target: The narrow gate that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:13.  If we are set off on the wrong direction, even by a slight amount, we may well not arrive where we are hoping to arrive, and that would be a tragedy.  There is no room for leaving things up to luck. It is not a professional career or the material well-being of one’s family that is at stake here  – it is something far more important even than these.  All the being a nice neighbour and a decent fellow and being successful at one’s job and seeing one’s children safely through college will not achieve what we are aiming at; they are merely doing what the majority of unbelievers do.  We are aiming at right belief and the following of Christ.  Right belief is only available from a very particular source.  We cannot hope to gain it by just reading our Bibles. We have to be guided.
Paul aimed the words we read in today’s Epistle at Corinthians who were being led astray by false teachers calling themselves Apostles and who claimed to the possessors of credentials in the form of visions, which were (so they said) superior to Paul’s credentials.  So here, Paul is launching himself at the Corinthians and paralleling the arguments used by the erring teachers.  He “boasts” as they do, but in a satirical manner, he works to make the Corinthian Church see that it is being led astray by nearly parallel doctrines that in fact will end up placing them very far from the narrow gate of the true Way that Christ spoke of.  Today, we are very much in the same danger from surrounding “Christian” groups and popular conceptions of “Christianity” and we must understand that those in the surrounding society (even our well-meaning friends and family) who think they know what is Christian, are potentially very dangerous to the unwary Orthodox Christian Believer.

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MATTINS
QUINQUAGESIMA

Ps xxiv.  Domini est terra

The earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is : The compass of  the world and they that dwell therein.
For He hath founded it upon the seas : And prepared it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord : Or who shall rise up in His holy place?
Even he that hath clean hands and a pure heart : And that hath not lift up his mind unto vanity nor sworn to deceive his neighbour.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord : And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him : Even of them that seek thy face O Jacob.
Lift up your heads O ye gates and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors : And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory : It is the Lord strong and mighty even the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads O ye gates and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors : And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory : Even the Lord of hosts he is the King of glory.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps xxv.   Ad te, Domine, levavi

Unto Thee O Lord will I lift up my soul my God I have put my trust in Thee : O let me not be confounded neither let mine enemies triumph over me.
For all they that hope in Thee shall not be ashamed : But such as transgress without a cause shall be put to confusion.
Shew me Thy ways O Lord : And teach me Thy paths.
Lead me forth in Thy truth and learn me : For Thou art the God of my salvation in Thee hath been my hope all the day long.
Call to remembrance O Lord Thy tender mercies : And Thy loving-kindnesses which have been ever of old.
O remember not the sins and offences of my youth : But according to Thy mercy think Thou upon me O Lord for Thy goodness.
Gracious and righteous is the Lord : Therefore will He teach sinners in the way.
Them that are meek shall He guide in judgement : And such as are gentle them shall He learn His way.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth : Unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Thy Name’s sake O Lord : Be merciful unto my sin for it is great.
What man is he that feareth the Lord : Him shall He teach in the way that
He shall choose.
His soul shall dwell at ease : And his seed shall inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is among them that fear Him : And He will shew them His covenant.
Mine eyes are ever looking unto the Lord : For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me : For I am desolate and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart are enlarged : O bring Thou me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery : And forgive me all my sin.
Consider mine enemies how many they are : And they bear a tyrannous hate against me.
O keep my soul and deliver me : Let me not be confounded for I have put my trust in Thee.
Let perfectness and righteous dealing wait upon me : For my hope hath been in Thee.
Deliver Israel O God : Out of all his troubles.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

Ps xxvi  Judica me, Domine

Be Thou my judge O Lord for I have walked innocently : My trust hath been also in the Lord therefore shall I not fall.
Examine me O Lord, and prove me : Try out my reins and my heart.
For Thy loving-kindness is ever before mine eyes : And I will walk in Thy truth.
I have not dwelt with vain persons : Neither will I have fellowship with the deceitful.
I have hated the congregation of the wicked : And will not sit among the ungodly.
I will wash my hands in innocency O Lord : And so will I go to Thine altar.
That I may shew the voice of thanksgiving : And tell of all Thy wondrous works.
Lord I have loved the habitation of Thy house :  And the place where Thine honour dwelleth.
O shut not up my soul with the sinners : Nor my life with the blood-thirsty.
In whose hands is wickedness : And their right hand is full of gifts.
But as for me I will walk innocently : O deliver me and be merciful unto me.
My foot standeth right : I will praise the Lord in the congregations.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

The First Lesson is written in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Genesis, beginning at the first verse

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.  And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.  And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Haion the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.  Here endeth the First Lesson.

The Second Lesson is written in the twelfth chapter of the First Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, beginning at the first verse

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.  And if they were all one member, where were the Body?  But now are they many members, yet but one Body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the Body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.  That there should be no schism in the Body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all Apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers?  Are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: And yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  Here endeth the Second Lesson.

THE COLLECT FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
O Lord, Who seest that put not our trust in any thing that we do:  Mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity: Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen

THE DIVINE LITURGY
QUINQUAGESIMA

THE OFFICE FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
Be Thou my God and my defender, and a place of refuge, that Thou mayest save me: For Thou art my strong rock and my castle: And for Thy Name’s sake, be Thou my guide and mine instructor.  In Thee, O Lord have I put my trust, let me not be put to confusion: But rid me and deliver me in Thy righteousness.
THE COLLECTS FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
O Lord, Who seest that put not our trust in any thing that we do:  Mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity: Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent:  Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Lord God, grant to us Thy people ever to rejoice in health of mind and body;  and at the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, to be set free from all present sadness and attain to eternal joy.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
R:    Amen.

THE EPISTLE IS WRITTEN IN THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, BEGINNING AT THE FIRST VERSE

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.  Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not;  love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man,  I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;  but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

THE GRADUAL FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
Thou art the God that alone doeth wonders : Thou hast declared Thy power amongst Thy people.  Thou hast mightily delivered Thy people Israel : Even the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

THE TRACT
O be joyful in the Lord all ye lands : Serve the Lord with gladness, and come before His presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord He is God : It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
O go your way into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise : Be thankful unto Him and speak good of His Name.
For the Lord is gracious His mercy is everlasting : And His truth endureth from generation to generation.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

V:    THE LORD BE WITH YOU,
R:    AND WITH THY SPIRIT.
V:    THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE, BEGINNING AT THE THIRTY-FIRST VERSE.

R:    GLORY BE +++ TO THEE, O LORD.

+ Then He took unto Him the Twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.  For He shall be delivered unto the gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death:  And the third day He shall rise again.
And they understood none of these things: And this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.  And it came to pass, that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.  And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.  And he cried, saying, Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.  And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: But he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?  And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: Thy faith hath saved thee.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: And all the people when they saw it, gave praise to God.

R:    PRAISE BE TO THEE O CHRIST.

THE OFFERTORY FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
Blessed art Thou O Lord:  O teach me Thy statutes. Blessed art Thou O Lord: O teach me Thy statutes: With my lips have I been telling of all the judgements of Thy mouth.

During the censing after the Offertory:  Ps cxix: II  In quo corriget?

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way : Even by ruling himself after Thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought Thee : O let me not go wrong out of Thy commandments.
Thy words have I hid within my heart : That I should not sin against Thee.
Blessed art Thou O Lord : O teach me Thy statutes.
With my lips have I been telling : Of all the judgements of Thy mouth.
I have had as great delight in the way of Thy testimonies : As in all manner of riches.
I will talk of thy commandments : And have respect unto Thy ways.
My delight shall be in Thy statutes : And I will not forget Thy word.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

III  Retribue servo tuo

O do well unto Thy servant : That I may live and keep Thy word.
Open thou mine eyes : That I may see the wondrous things of Thy law.
I am a stranger upon earth : O hide not Thy commandments from me.
My soul breaketh out for the very fervent desire : That it hath alway unto Thy judgements.
Thou hast rebuked the proud : And cursed are they that do err from Thy commandments.
O turn from me shame and rebuke : For I have kept Thy testimonies.
Princes also did sit and speak against me : But Thy servant is occupied in Thy statutes.
For thy testimonies are my delight : and my counsellors.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

IV  Adhaesit pavimento

My soul cleaveth to the dust : O quicken Thou me according to Thy word.
I have acknowledged my ways and Thou heardest me : O teach me Thy statutes.
Make me to understand the way of Thy commandments : And so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.
My soul melteth away for very heaviness : Comfort Thou me according unto Thy word.
Take from me the way of lying : And cause Thou me to make much of Thy law.
I have chosen the way of truth : And Thy judgements have I laid before me.
I have stuck unto Thy testimonies : O Lord confound me not.
I will run the way of Thy commandments : When Thou hast set my heart at liberty.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE SECRET FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
We beseech Thee O Lord, let this offering cleanse us Thy ser-vants from our offences, and sanctify our minds and bodies for the celebration of this Sacrifice. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

THE COMMUNION FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
They did eat and were well filled; for the Lord gave them their own desire: They were not disappointed in their lust.  I will go unto the Altar of God: Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.

During the Ablutions:  Ps  lxxvii  Voce mea ad Dominum

I will cry unto God with my voice : Even unto God will I cry with my voice and He shall hearken unto me.
In the time of my trouble I sought the Lord : My sore ran and ceased not in the night-season my soul refused comfort.
When I am in heaviness I will think upon God : When my heart is vexed I will complain.
Thou holdest mine eyes waking : I am so feeble that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old : And the years that are past.
I call to remembrance my song : And in the night I commune with mine own heart and search out my spirits.
Will the Lord absent Himself for ever : And will He be no more intreated?
Is His mercy clean gone for ever : And is His promise come utterly to an end for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious : And will He shut up His loving-kindness in displeasure?
And I said It is mine own infirmity : But I will remember the years of the right hand of the most Highest.
I will remember the works of the Lord : And call to mind Thy wonders of old time.
I will think also of all Thy works : And my talking shall be of Thy doings.
Thy way O God is holy : Who is so great a God as our God?
Thou art the God that doeth wonders : And hast declared Thy power among the people.
Thou hast mightily delivered Thy people : Even the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw Thee O God the waters saw Thee and were afraid : The depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water the air thundered : And Thine arrows went abroad.
The voice of Thy thunder was heard round about : The lightnings shone upon the ground the earth was moved and shook withal.
Thy way is in the sea and Thy paths in the great waters : And Thy footsteps are not known.
Thou leddest Thy people like sheep : By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Glory be to theFather and to the Son : And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : World without end. Amen

THE LAST COLLECTS FOR QUINQUAGESIMA
We beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have received this Heavenly food, may by it be defended against all adversity. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.
We, who have tasted of the Divine Mysteries, do beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst ever protect us at the intercession of Thy blessed saint Teilo, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as we have now received Thy help from above; so we may always be defended by the intercessions of Blessed Mary, Thy handmaid. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
R:    Amen.

QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY

The Gospel for today (Luke 18:31 – ) deals with one of the many miracles done by Jesus during the course of His earthly ministry.  It follows a simpler formula than some of the others – probably because Jesus seems to have varied the ceremony according to the audience and the person asking to be healed.  In this case, He follows the simplest – of merely asking what is required and stating that the person’s faith has made the healing possible.
Beyond that, however, we see the immediate result:
“And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: Thy faith hath saved thee.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: And all the people when they saw it, gave praise to God”.
Now let us put ourselves in something like that situation:  We have been cured – or had some other request fulfilled.  Would we, today, in public – out on the street – start out loudly praising God for what had been done?  Or would we be too embarrassed?  Would we rationalise to ourselves our somewhat muted response?  Would we content ourselves with scurrying off to the nearest church, lighting a candle and thanking God personally?
But thanks-giving and praise-giving are not the same thing at all.  Public praise of God for His goodness to us, is our witness of Him.  We would be embarrassed because any modern day crowd would be largely composed of unbelievers.  We tell ourselves that Israel of those days was largely composed of people who believed in God and so public thanksgiving was culturally acceptable and would not attract the incredulity, scepticism even ridicule that it would certainly attract today.  The onlookers might be embarrassed by any public show, we certainly would.
We can console ourselves that maybe we’ll never be in such a position.  Nevertheless we should think about it.  Whenever we are thanked for some small kindness that we have done or any service that we have performed, we ought not to say “thank you”  but rather “praise God!”   Non nobis Domine …..we should not take the credit, but we should give the praise – we should quietly perhaps, with those few words, indicate to others where we think the praise and thanks should be given.  God gives us the skills and opportunities to help other people – it is not our doing. When we have done all that we are commanded to do, we should say that we are unprofitable servants, we have done only that which was our duty to do.

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