Scripture Readings (KJV)
Composite 2 - Proverbs 10, 3, 8 (Vespers)
1 The memory of a just man is praised, and the Lord’s blessing is upon his head. Blessed is one who has found wisdom; a mortal who knows understanding. To import her is better than treasures of gold and silver. She is more valuable than precious stones; nothing of value equals her worth. Justice proceeds from her mouth; she bears law and mercy on her tongue. Therefore, my children, listen to me, for I speak weighty things. And blessed is the one who keeps my ways. For my goings out are the goings out of life, and favour is prepared from the Lord. Therefore I exhort you, and utter my voice to the children of humankind. Because I, Wisdom, have prepared counsel, knowledge and understanding. I have called on them. Counsel and sureness are mine; prudence is mine, strength is mine. I love those who are my friends, while those who seek me will find grace. You innocent, then, understand cunning; you untaught, take it to heart. Listen to me, for I will speak weighty things, and I will open right things from my lips. Because my throat will meditate truth; lying lips are abominable before me. All the words of my mouth are with justice, there is nothing crooked in them nor twisted. They are all straight for those who understand, and right for those who find knowledge. For I teach you what is true, that your hope may be in the Lord and that you may be filled with spirit.
Proverbs 10.31-11.12 (Vespers)
31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
Wisdom of Solomon 4.7-15 (Vespers)
7 But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest.
8 For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years.
9 But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
10 He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated.
11 Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
12 For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind.
13 He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time:
14 For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked.
15 This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Acts 8.18-25 (Epistle)
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
John 6.35-39 (Gospel)
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Methodius (885) and Cyril (869), first teachers of the Slavs
The two saints were brothers, born in Thessalonica. St Methodius, the elder brother, served as a soldier for ten years before becoming a monk. Cyril was librarian at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; then he too became a monk.
Their first missionary work was not among the Slavs: When the king of the Khazars (a Mongol people who then inhabited much of what is now Russia) petitioned the Emperor Michael to sent teachers to instruct his people, the Emperor chose Cyril and Methodius as his emissaries. They converted the Khazar king to the Christian faith, along with many of his nobles and commoners.
When King Rostislav of Moravia likewise sought teachers of the Christian faith, Cyril and Methodius were again sent forth. This time they devised an alphabet for the Slavic language and used it to translate many of the Greek service books into the language of the people. (In theory, the Orthodox people have always been privileged to hear the Church’s services in their own tongue, though often attachment to dead languages has prevented this ideal from becoming reality.) Both brothers were repeatedly attacked by Germanic priests of the region, who opposed the use of the common tongue in the liturgy. At different times, both brothers were forced to appeal for exoneration and protection to the Pope of Rome, who supported them warmly each time.
After the two Saints reposed, attacks on their work continued, and their disciples were eventually driven from Moravia. The disciples, fleeing southward, found a warmer welcome among the southern Slavic peoples, and their work bore much fruit in Bulgaria (including modern-day Serbia) and other countries. And, of course, the alphabet that they devised, called Cyrillic after St Cyril, remains the standard alphabet of both the Slavonic service books of the Church and the Slavic languages of today.
Holy Hieromartyr Mocius (288? 295?)
“The holy Hieromartyr Mocius, who was of Roman parents, lived during the reign of Diocletian, and was a priest in Amphilopolis of Thrace. One day as the idolaters were assembled, and the Proconsul Laodicius was offering sacrifice to Dionysius, Mocius entered the temple and overturned the altar. After many torments, through which he was preserved whole by grace divine, he was sent to Byzantium, where he was beheaded about the year 288. Saint Constantine the Great built a magnificent church in honour of Saint Mocius in Constantinople, where his holy relics were enshrined. He is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.” (Great Horologion)
The Prologue and St Herman Calendar give the date of his repose as 295.