Orthodox Calendar

March 29, 2023
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lenten Fast — Wine and Oil are Allowed

Service Notes

  • Presanctified Liturgy

Commemorations

  • Hieromartyr Mark, Bishop of Anthusa
  • Our Holy Father John the Hermit (4th c.)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Isaiah 41.4-14 (6th Hour)

4Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. 6They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. 7So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. 8But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Genesis 17.1-9 (Vespers)

1And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

4As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

7And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

9And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

Proverbs 15.20-16.9 (LXX) (Vespers)

20A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother. 21Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. 22Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. 23A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! 24The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. 25The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow. 26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. 27He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. 28The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. 29The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. 30The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. 31The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. 32He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

1The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 2All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. 3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. 4The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. 5Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. 6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. 7When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. 9A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Commemorations (abbamoses.com)

Our Righteous Father Mark the Confessor, Bishop of Arethusa; Cyril the Deacon, and others martyred during the reign of Julian

Saint Mark was Bishop of Arethusa in Syria. In the days of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Mark, moved with divine zeal, destroyed a temple of the idols and raised up a church in its stead. When Julian the Apostate reigned, in 361, as the pagans were now able to avenge the destruction of their temple, Saint Mark, giving way to wrath, hid himself; but when he saw that others were being taken on his account, he gave himself up. Having no regard to his old age, they stripped him and beat his whole body, cast him into filthy sewers, and pulling him out, had children prick him with their iron writing-pens. Then they put him into a basket, smeared him with honey and a kind of relish of pickled fish, and hung him up under the burning sun to be devoured by bees and wasps. But because he bore this so nobly, his enemies repented, and unloosed him.

Saint Cyril was a deacon from Heliopolis in Phoenecia. During the reign of the Emperor Constantius, son of Saint Constantine, he had also broken the idols in pieces. When Julian came to power, Saint Cyril was seized by the idolators and his belly was ripped open. The other holy Martyrs celebrated today, martyred in Gaza and Ascalon during the reign of Julian, were men of priestly rank and consecrated virgins; they were disemboweled, filled with barley, and set before swine to be eaten. The account of all the above Saints is given in Book III, ch. 3, of Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ Ecclesiastical History. (Great Horologion)

Our Holy Father John the Hermit (4th c.)

“He was the son of Juliana, a Christian woman of Armenia. While still a child, he left his mother and ran off to the desert. He was utterly aflame with love for Christ the Lord. In the beginning he entrusted himself to the guidance of a spiritual father, Pharmutius, who was so pleasing to God that an angel brought him bread every day. John later left him and withdrew into solitude. He let himself down into a dry well and lived there for a full ten years in fasting, prayer and vigils. St Pharmutius used to bring him some of the angel’s bread, for the angel of God did not wish to bring bread to the young John in person, lest he grow proud through this, so sent it through Pharmutius his spiritual father. After ten years of arduous asceticism in his well, St John went to the Lord and his relics revealed wonderworking power. He lived and was glorified by God and men in the 4th century.” (Prologue)