Scripture Readings (KJV)
3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
6Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
7Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:
8Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
9And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.
10Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
11The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
Genesis 1.24-2.3 (Vespers)
24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Proverbs 2.1-22 (Vespers)
1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
14Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
15Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
16To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
20That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
22But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
Our righteous Fathers martyred at the Monastery of St Sabbas the Sanctified (633? 796?)
The holy Monastery of St Sabbas is still in existence today, by the providence of God, though several times in its history it has been plundered and left empty. At one time it was attacked by Arab raiders. The monks considered fleeing, but their abbot, Thomas, said, ‘We have fled from the world into this wilderness for the love of Christ; it would be shameful for us now to flee from the wilderness for fear of men. If we are killed here, we shall be killed through love for Christ, for whose sake we have come here to live.’ So the monks agreed with one mind to wait their attackers unarmed. The Arabs killed some with arrows, and shut some in the cave of St Sabbas, lighting a fire at the entrance to suffocate them with smoke. The whole company of monks were thus privileged to give their lives for Christ’s sake.
Accounts of the date differ substantially: the Great Horologion says that they died during the reign of the Emperor Heraclius, when St Modestus was Patriarch of Jerusalem (632-634); the Prologue that they died in 796 during the reign of Constantine and Irene, when Elias was Patriarch of Jerusalem.
St Photine the Samaritan Woman (66)
See her commemoration on February 26.
St Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindisfarne (687)
‘Saint Cuthbert was born in Britain about the year 635, and became a monk in his youth at the monastery of Melrose by the River Tweed. After many years of struggle as a true priest of Christ, in the service both of his own brethren and of the neglected Christians of isolated country villages, he became a solitary on Farne Island in 676. After eight years as a hermit, he was constrained to leave his quiet to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, in which office he served for almost two years. He returned to his hermitage two months before he reposed in peace in 687.
‘Because of the miracles he wrought both during his life and at his tomb after death, he is called the “Wonderworker of Britain.” The whole English people honoured him, and kings were both benefactors to his shrine and suppliants of his prayers. Eleven years after his death, his holy relics were revealed to be incorrupt; when his body was translated from Lindisfarne to Durham Cathedral in August of 1104, his body was still found to be untouched by decay, giving off “an odour of the sweetest fragrancy,” and “from the flexibility of its joints representing a person asleep rather than dead.” Finally, when the most impious Henry VIII desecrated his shrine, opening it to despoil it of its valuables, his body was again found incorrupt, and was buried in 1542. It is believed that after this the holy relics of Saint Cuthbert were hidden to preserve them from further desecration.’ (Great Horologion)