Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Timothy 6.11-16
(Epistle, Saturday after Nativity)
11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
1 Timothy 3.14-4.5
(Epistle, Saturday before Theophany)
14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Ephesians 5.1-8 (Epistle)
1Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(Gospel, Saturday after Nativity)
15But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16And charged them that they should not make him known:
17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
(Gospel, Saturday before Theophany)
1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Luke 17.3-10 (Gospel)
3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
7But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Holy Virgin and Martyr Anysia (298)
She was born to a pious, noble and very wealthy family in Thessalonica. When both her parents died while she was an adolescent, Anysia consecrated herself to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom. She cast off all her jewels and fine clothing, dressing herself as a commoner. She freed all her many slaves, giving each of them a generous sum of money to establish themselves. She gave away all of her inheritance, which included large estates. Thenceforth she spent her days visiting the sick, helping widows and orphans, and, especially, aiding Christians suffering under persecution. She would visit those in prison, bringing them food and water and tending their wounds. All the time not devoted to aiding the poor or oppressed she spent in prayer in a small cell. One of her prayers was that she, like those that she helped, would be granted the crown of martyrdom.
One day, while she was walking to church, an imperial soldier accosted her and roughly questioned her. When she plainly declared herself a Christian, the soldier seized her and dragged her to a temple of the idols, where he commanded her to make sacrifice. In response, she only spat in his face. The enraged soldier drew his sword and thrust it into her side, slaying her. Some pious Christians took her body and buried it outside the city. When the persecutions had ended, a church was built in her honor at the place of her burial.
Our Holy Father Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563)
He was born in Moscow in 1492. When his father died, his mother became a nun and he a monk, receiving the monastic name Macarius. He became an iconographer of rare talent. In 1523 he was ordained to the priesthood and made Abbot of the Monastery of Luchski; three years later he was consecrated Archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov, a see which had been vacant for many years. As Archbishop, he sent missionaries to the native peoples of the far north of Russia and, within his own diocese strove against the paganism still common among the people. He regularized life in the monasteries of his diocese, which had fallen into self-indulgence.
In 1542 he was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and head of the Russian Church. Five years later he crowned the first Tsar of Russia, Ivan Vassilievich. In 1551 he summoned the Council of the Hundred Chapters, which condemned various heresies prevalent at that time, laid down principles of Christian conduct and education, and established rules for iconography and Church art. Throughout his time as a hierarch, he continued to paint icons, and in 1553 he brought about the production of the first books to be printed in Russian. When the Khanate of Kazan fell, he immediately sent missionaries to convert the Tatars.
When the Tsar, who revered Saint Macarius, asked him for a spiritual book, he was surprised and displeased to be given a copy of the funeral service; but the Saint told him that anyone who read this book carefully and applied its words would never sin.
Saint Macarius reposed in peace in Moscow in 1563, and his popular veneration began immediately. In 1988 he was officially glorified by the Church of Russia.