Scripture Readings (KJV)
(Matins Gospel, Martyrs)
12But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
13And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
18But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19In your patience possess ye your souls.
21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
1In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
2In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.
3I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
4Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.
5Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
6He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
7Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him?
8In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.
9By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.
Genesis 9.18-10.1 (Vespers)
18And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
28And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
29And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
1Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
Proverbs 12.23-13.9 (LXX) (Vespers)
23A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
24The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
25Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
26The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
27The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
28In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
1A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
2A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
3He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
4The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
5A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
6Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
7There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
8The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
9The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia (Sebaste) (320)
They were all soldiers under one general, taken captive in the time of Licinius for their faith in Christ. They were stripped naked and cast onto a frozen lake at Sebastia in Pontus. They endured the entire night, encouraging each other to be patient. Some accounts say that their persecutors placed warm baths in their sight on the shore to entice them to renounce Christ. Finally one of their number, broken by his sufferings, apostatized and left the company. One of the guards, named Aglaius, saw in a vision thirty-nine wreaths descending from heaven onto the heads of the faithful sufferers, and was moved to declare himself a Christian. He was immediately sent to join the martyrs on the frozen lake, keeping the number of forty complete. In the morning all of them, almost dead, were cast into fire, and their remains thrown in the lake. On the third day the martyrs appeared to Peter, the local bishop, and told him to search for them in the lake. The bishop went to the lake on a dark night with his clergy, and one account says that the bones of the martyrs rose to the surface and burned there like a candle. The relics were gathered and given honorable burial.
This is the most common account. The Prologue gives a somewhat different version, in which the martyrs were made to stand, not on the frozen lake, but in the freezing waters.
St Caesarius (369)
He was the brother of St Gregory the Theologian and, like his brother, was a theological writer. In his works he gave an answer to the question: How long did Adam and Eve spend in Paradise before the Fall? Various writers had given estimates ranging from six hours to three days. Saint Caesarius wrote that our first parents’ time in Paradise was forty days; and that for this reason Christ fasted for forty days in the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil. “For, while the old Adam was not able to withstand the devil’s temptation in the abundance of Paradise, the New Adam withstood him as a true knight in hunger and thirst in the wilderness.” (Prologue)