Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Corinthians 2.6-9
(Epistle, Saturday before Elevation)
6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 4.1-5 (Epistle)
1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
(Gospel, Saturday before Elevation)
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
1And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Matthew 23.1-12 (Gospel)
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Holy Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna
St Joachim was of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of King David. St Anna was of the tribe of Levi, the daughter of a priest named Matthan. Matthan’s three daughters were Mary, Zoia and Anna. Mary became the mother of Salome the Myrrhbearer; Zoia bore Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist; and Anna married Joachim in Nazareth. Joachim and Anna, to their great sorrow, were barren for fifty years. They lived prayerfully and kept only a third of their income for themselves, giving a third to the poor and a third to the Temple. Once when they had come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice at the Temple, Joachim was publicly scorned by the High Priest Issachar for his childlessness. Joachim and Anna, greatly grieved, prayed fervently that God would grant them the miracle that he had wrought for Abraham and Sarah, and give them a child in their old age. Once, as each was praying separately in a secluded place, angels appeared to each of them and revealed to them that they would be given a blessed daughter, `by whom all nations will be blessed, and through whom will come the salvation of the world.’ They both rushed home to tell one another the joyous news, and embraced when they met. (This is the moment depicted in their icon.) Anna conceived and gave birth to the Most Holy Theotokos. Both reposed in peace, not long after they had sent her to live in the Temple.
Commemoration of the Third Ecumenical Council (431)
The Council, called by the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, met in Ephesus. The two hundred fathers gathered there condemned the teaching of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who would not call the holy Virgin Mary Theotokos (God-bearer) but only Christotokos (Christ-bearer). The holy fathers of the Council clearly affirmed that the Virgin Mary is, and is to be called, Mother of God. They also confirmed the teaching of the first two Councils and decreed that the Nicene Creed may not be altered (as it later was by the Western church).
Holy Martyr Severian of Sebaste (320)
He was a prominent citizen of Sebaste during the reign of Licinius. When the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (March 9) were in prison, he encouraged and comforted them. For this, and for his Christian example which had converted many pagans in the region, the Provincial Governor Lysias ordered his arrest. But before the soldiers could find him, he presented himself before the Governor and openly proclaimed his faith. For this he was subjected to many days of horrible tortures, during which he constantly exhorted the believers who followed him to stand firm in their confession of Christ. After astonishing endurance of his torments, he gave up his spirit to God.
At the Saint’s burial, the husband of one of his servants was miraculously raised from the dead, living for another fifteen years. The Christians could not decide where to bury Severian, so they wove a crown of flowers and laid it on his body to await a sign from heaven. An eagle took up the crown and dropped it in a nearby forest. The Christians buried the Martyr where the crown fell; his tomb became a fount of miracles, and the man who had been raised from the dead tended it for the rest of his life.
Our Holy Father Ciaran of Clonmacnoise (549)
Born to the family of a cartwright in Ireland, he entered monastic life when he was very young at the Monastery of Clonard, where he became a disciple of St Finnian (December 12). He became one of the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’, all of them disciples of St Finnian. Ciaran founded the great monastery of Clonmacnoise (pronounced clon-mac-neesh) on the Shannon River, which became one of Ireland’s great monasteries. Once, during a great famine, He distributed all of the monastery’s food to the people, entrusting his monks’ survival, and his own, to providence. Saint Ciaran reposed in peace, aged only thirty-three, in 549.