Scripture Readings (KJV)
Composite 8 - Isaiah 40, 41, 45, 48, 54 (Vespers)
1Thus says the Lord: Comfort, comfort my people, says God. Priests, speak to the heart of Jerusalem. Comfort her, because her humiliation has been completed; for her has sin has been abolished, because she has received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins. A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. Every valley will be filled and every mountain and hill made low; what is crooked will become straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Go up onto a high mountain, you who bring good tidings to Sion; lift up your voice with strength, you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem. Lift it up, do not be afraid. I the Lord God, I, the God of Israel, will hearken and will not forsake them; but I will open rivers from the mountains and springs in the middle of plains. I will turn the wilderness into water meadows and the thirsty earth with water courses. Let the heavens rejoice from on high and let the clouds rain justice. Let the earth sprout and blossom with mercy and justice. Announce a voice of gladness to the end of the earth and let this be heard: Say that the Lord has delivered his servant Jacob. And if they thirst through deserts, he will bring water for them from a rock. Rejoice you barren who have never given birth, break out and shout, you who have never known birth pangs, for the children of the deserted are more than those of her who has a husband.
Composite 9 - Malachi 3, 4 (Vespers)
1Thus says the Lord Almighty: See, I am sending my Angel, my messenger, before your face, who will prepare your way before you. And the Lord whom you seek will come to his temple. And who will endure the day of his entrance? And who will withstand at his appearing? Because he will enter like fire in a smelting furnace and like the lye of launderers. And he will come to you in judgement; and he will be a swift witness against the wicked and against adulteresses and against those swear falsely in his name and those who do not fear him, says the Lord Almighty. Because I am the Lord your God, and I have not changed and you, children of Jacob, have perverted the laws and not kept them. Therefore turn back to me and I will turn back to you, says the Lord Almighty. And all the nations will call you blessed and you will know that I am the Lord who discern between just and lawless on the day on which I make a peculiar possession of those who love me. Know then and remember the law of Moses my servant, as I gave him commandment on Horeb, to all Israel ordinances and judgements. And see, I will send you Elias the Thesbite, before the great and manifest day of the Lord comes; he will turn again the heart of father to son and of a man to his neighbour, lest when I come I smite the earth grievously, says the Lord Almighty, God the Holy One of Israel.
Composite 3 - Wisdom of Solomon 4, 5 (Vespers)
1A just man if he comes to his end will be at rest. A just man who dies will condemn the ungodly who are alive; for they will see the end of a just man and will not understand what they counselled concerning him. For the Lord will break the ungodly, render them voiceless and cast them headlong, and he will shake them from the foundations and they will be utterly worsted in sorrow, and their memory shall perish. They shall come with fear at the accounting of their sins, and their iniquities will convict them to their face. Then the just will stand with much boldness in the face of those who afflicted him and made his toils of no account. When they see this they will be troubled with great fear and will be amazed at the wonder of his salvation. For they will say as they repent and with anguish they will groan and say: Is this he whom we fools once made a laughing stock and a byword of reproach? We reckoned his life folly and his end dishonour. How has he been numbered among the children of God and his lot with the Saints? Therefore we have erred from the way of truth and the light of righteousness has not shone on us and the sun has not dawned on us. We have been filled with paths of lawlessness and destruction and journeyed through trackless paths, but have not known the way of the Lord.
1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
3For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
4For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
5And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
7Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
8And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
9And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
10And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
11And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
12And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
13When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
2 Corinthians 1.1-7 (Epistle)
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
2Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
25And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
26Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
28And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
29And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30But God raised him from the dead:
31And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Matthew 21.43-46 (Gospel)
43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
46But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
14And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
15Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
16But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
17For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
18For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
19Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
20For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
22And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
24And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
25And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
26And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
27And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
28And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
30And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.