Scripture Readings (KJV)
Composite 2 - Proverbs 10, 3, 8 (Vespers)
1The 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.
Composite 4 - Proverbs 10; Wisdom of Solomon 6, 7, 8, 9 (Vespers)
1The mouth of a just man distils wisdom; the lips of men know graces. The mouth of the wise meditates wisdom; justice delivers them from death. When a just man dies hope is not lost; for a just son is born for life, and among his good things he will pluck the fruit of justice. There is light at all times for the just, and they will find grace and glory from the Lord. The tongue of the wise knows what is good, and wisdom will take its rest in their hearts. The Lord loves holy hearts; while all who are blameless in the way are acceptable to him. The wisdom of the Lord will enlighten the face of the understanding; for she anticipates those who desire her before they know it, and is easily contemplated by those who love her. One who rises for her at dawn will not toil, and one who keeps vigil because of her will be without care. For she goes about seeking those who are worthy of her, and shows herself favourably to those on her paths. Wickedness will never prevail against wisdom. Because of this I too became a lover of her beauty and became her friend, and I sought her out from my youth, and I sought to take her as my bride, because the Master of all things loved her, for she is an initiate of the knowledge of God and one who chooses his works. Her toils are virtues; she herself teaches sobriety and prudence; justice and courage, than which things nothing is more useful in human life. If anyone longs for much experience, she knows how to compare things of old and those that are to come. She knows the twists of words and the explanations of riddles. She foresees signs and wonders and the outcomes of seasons and times. And to all she is a good counsellor. Because immortality is in her, and fame in the fellowship of her words. Therefore I appealed to the Lord and besought him and said from my whole heart, ‘God of my Fathers and Lord of mercy, who made all things by your Word, and established humanity by your Wisdom to be sovereign over the creatures that had come into being by you, and to order the world in holiness and justice, give me Wisdom who sits by your throne, and do not reject me from among your children, for I am your servant and the son of your maid servant. Send her out from your holy dwelling and from the throne of your glory, that she may be present with me and teach me what is well pleasing before you. And she will guide me with knowledge and guard me with her glory. For all the thoughts of mortals are wretched and their ideas are unstable.’
Composite 5 - Wisdom of Solomon 4, 6, 7, 2 (Vespers)
1When a just man is praised, peoples will be glad; for immortality is his memory, because it is known both to God and humankind, and his soul is pleasing to the Lord. Therefore, O men, desire wisdom, and long for it and be instructed. For her beginning is love and keeping of laws. Honour Wisdom, that you may reign for ever. I will declare the mysteries of God to you and not hide them from you. Because he is both the guide of Wisdom and the One who sets right the wise. In his hand are all prudence, and knowledge of works. Wisdom, the artificer of all things, taught me, for in her is an understanding spirit, holy, brightness of the eternal light and image of the goodness of God. She makes friends of God and prophets. She is more lovely than the sun, and beyond every order of the stars. If compared to light, she is found before it. She delivered her devotees from toils, and guided them in straight paths. She gave them holy knowledge and protected them from those who lay in ambush for them. She awarded them a mighty contest, that all might know that true religion is more powerful than all, and that wickedness can never prevail against Wisdom, nor will justice in passing sentence overlook evil people. For they said in themselves, not reasoning correctly, ‘Let us overpower the just one, let us not spare his saintliness, nor feel reverence for the aged grey hairs of an elder. Let our strength be law. Let us lie in ambush for the just, for he is a hindrance to us and he is opposed to our works and alleges the sins of our upbringing. He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He has become a reproof to our thoughts. He is grievous for us even to look at, for his life is not like others and his paths are quite different. We are reckoned by him to be counterfeit, and he keeps away from our ways as from filth. He calls the end of just people blessed. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen to him at the end. Let us examine him by insult and torture, that we may know his forbearance and make trial of his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for he will have protection from his own words.’ This was how they argued, and they were deceived, for their wickedness had blinded them. And they did not know the mysteries of God, nor did they judge that you alone are God, who have authority over life and death, who save in time of tribulation and deliver from every ill; pitying and merciful, giving grace to your holy ones, and by your right arm resisting the proud.
1Verily, 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.
2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Ephesians 2.11-13 (Epistle)
11Wherefore 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;
12That 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:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
(Epistle, St John)
26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27Who 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.
28For 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.
1Now 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;
2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Luke 13.18-29 (Gospel)
18Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
19It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
20And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
22And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
(Gospel, St John)
9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.