Orthodox Calendar

Feb. 15, 2023
Wednesday of Meatfare

Fast — Fish, Wine and Oil are Allowed


  • Meeting of Christ in the Temple

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Composite 6 - Exodus 12, 13; Numbers 8; Leviticus 12 (Vespers)

1The Lord spoke to Moses on the day on which he brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, saying, ‘Sanctify to me every first-born, first produced that opens every womb among the children of Israel’. And Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day, on which you came out of Egypt, from the house of slavery, for the Lord has brought you out from there with a mighty hand. And keep his law. And it shall be that when the Lord God brings you into the land of the Chananites, in the way that he swore to your fathers, you shall set apart everything that opens the womb; the males to the Lord. But if after this your son asks you, saying, “What is this?”, you will say to him, “God brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery, with a mighty hand. And when Pharao hardened his heart against sending us out, the Lord slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of humans to the first-born of animals. This is why I sacrifice everything that opens the womb; the males to the Lord, and every first-born of my sons I will redeem”. And it will be for a sign upon your hand, and immovable before your eyes, because thus said the Lord the Almighty, “All the first-born of your sons you will give me. And it shall be that everyone who gives birth to a male child shall circumcise the flesh of its foreskin on the eighth day. And for thirty three days he will not come into the sanctuary of God to the Priest, until the days of purification are completed. And after this he will offer an unblemished yearling lamb to the Lord for a holocaust, and a young pigeon or turtle dove to the Priest at the door of the Tabernacle of Witness. Or instead of these he will offer two young pigeons or two turtle doves. And the Priest will make atonement for him. Because these have been offered to me as an offering out of all the children of Israel. And I have taken them and sanctified them for myself in place of the first-born of the Egyptians, on the day when I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt from human to beast of burden,” said God the Most High, the Holy One of Israel.’

Isaiah 6.1-12 (Vespers)

1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 11Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

Composite 7 - Isaiah 19.1, 3, 4-5, 12, 16, 19-21 (Vespers)

1See, the Lord will be seated on a light cloud and will come to Egypt and the idols of Egypt will be shaken at his presence and their heart will be worsted within them. ‘And their spirit will be troubled within them, and I will frustrate their counsel and hand Egypt over into the hands of harsh lords,’ says the Lord Sabaoth. And the Egyptians will drink water that is beside the sea, while the river will fail and be dried up. Thus says the Lord, ‘Where now are your wise men? And let them declare to you and let them say, “What has the Lord Sabaoth planned against Egypt?” On that day the Egyptians will be like women, in fear and trembling in the presence of the hand of the Lord Sabaoth, which he will bring against them. And there will be an Altar to the Lord in the country of the Egyptians and a pillar to Lord at its border. And it will be for a sign for ever to the Lord in the country of Egypt, because they will cry to the Lord and he will send them a man who will save them. And the Lord will be known to the Egyptians. And the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and they will offer sacrifice and gift, and they will vow vows to the Lord and pay them.

Luke 2.25-32 (Matins Gospel)

25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Hebrews 7.7-17 (Epistle, Meeting)

7And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 8And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. 11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

1 John 3.21-4.6 (Epistle)

21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Luke 2.22-40 (Gospel, Meeting)

22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Mark 14.43-15.1 (Gospel)

43And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. 45And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

46And they laid their hands on him, and took him. 47And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 48And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. 50And they all forsook him, and fled. 51And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

53And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. 54And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. 55And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59But neither so did their witness agree together. 60And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. 65And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

66And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

1And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

Commemorations (abbamoses.com)

The Meeting of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

When the ever-virgin Mary’s forty days of purification were passed, according to the Law of Moses she took her son Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, to dedicate him to God as her first-born son. At the temple the Lord’s parents offered the sacrifice of a pair of doves (Luke 2:22-23), from which we learn that they were poor, since those who were able were required to offer a lamb. At the Temple, the Lord was met by Zacharias, father of St John the Baptist, and by the aged, righteous Symeon, who had awaited the salvation of God for many years. (Sts Symeon and Anna are commemorated tomorrow.) We are told that some Pharisees, seeing the child Jesus recognized as the Messiah of Israel, were enraged, and went to tell King Herod. Realizing that this must be the child of whom he had been warned, Herod immediately sent soldiers to kill Him. But the righteous Joseph, warned in dream, fled with the child and his wife, the most holy Theotokos, into Egypt, and they were preserved.

The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem at least from the fourth century. Its observance was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian in 542. In the West it is called the Feast of the Purification of the Mother of God, or Candlemas Day.