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.
Proverbs 10.31-11.12 (Vespers)
31The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
1A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
2When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
3The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
5The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
7When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
8The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
9An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
10When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
11By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9 (Vespers)
1But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.
2In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery,
3And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.
5And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
6As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.
7And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble.
8They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
9They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Galatians 5.11-21 (Epistle)
11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Epistle, St Sergius)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Luke 5.12-16 (Gospel)
12And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
13And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
14And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
15But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
16And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
(Gospel, St Sergius)
17And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
18And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
19And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Our Righteous Mother Euphrosyne (ca. 445)
She was the daughter of a wealthy Christian, Paphnutius, who with his wife brought up Euphrosyne in piety. Not wishing to marry, she secretly fled her home and its wealth, dressed herself in men’s clothing and entered a monastery using the name of Smaragdus. There she lived in asceticism for thirty-eight years. She only revealed her identity on her death bed. Her father Paphnutius became a monk in the same monastery, and entered into repose ten years after his daughter.
Our Holy Father Sergius of Radonezh (1392)
‘Our righteous Father Sergius was born in Rostov, north of Moscow, about the year 1314. Named Bartholomew in baptism, he was brought up in Radonezh, and at the death of his parents he withdrew to the wilderness to become a monk. It is notable that without having been trained in a monastery, he was of such a spiritual stature as to be able to take up the perilous eremitical life from the beginning, without falling into delusion or despondency. When he had endured with courage the deprivations of the solitary life, other monks began to come to him, for whom he was made abbot against his will. On the counsel of Philotheus, Patriarch of Constantinople, he organized his monks according to the cenobitic life, appointing duties to each. While Anthony and Theodosius of Kiev, and the other righteous Fathers before Sergius, had established their monasteries near to cities, Sergius was the leader and light of those who went far into the wilderness, and after his example the untrodden forests of northern Russia were settled by monks. When Grand Duke Demetrius Donskoy was about to go to battle against the invading Tartars, he first sought the blessing of Saint Sergius, through whose prayers he was triumphant. Saint Sergius was adorned with the highest virtues of Christ-like humility and burning love for God and neighbor, and received the gift of working wonders, of casting out demons, and of discretion for leading souls to salvation. When he served the Divine Liturgy, an Angel served him visibly; he was also vouchsafed the visitation of the most holy Theotokos with the Apostles Peter and John. He was gathered to his Fathers on September 25, 1392. At the recovery of his holy relics on July 5th, 1422, his body and garments were found fragrant and incorrupt. His life was written by the monk Epiphanius, who knew him.’ (Great Horologion)
Commemoration of the Great Earthquake at Constantinople (447) and the Miracle of the Trisagion
During the reign of the Emperor Theophilus, the city of Constantinople was visited by earthquakes for almost four months. The Emperor, the Patriarch Proclus, and the people joined in a barefoot procession to make prayer to God for their safety. While they were gathered, the tremors increased dramatically, and a young boy was taken up into the sky in the sight of the people, who fearfully cried out Kyrie eleison! When the boy came down from the heavens, he said that he had been among choirs of Angels who sang Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us! and that a voice had commanded him to tell the Patriarch that the people should make supplication to God in this way. The Patriarch instructed the people to chant this hymn, whereupon the ground stopped shaking and the child died.
The Empress Pulcheria (September 10) asked the Patriarch to order that this hymn be chanted henceforth in the Divine Liturgy, as it still is today.
Venerable Dosithea, recluse of the Kiev Caves (1776)
She was born to landed gentry of Riazan province in 1721. Her name in secular life is not recorded. For much of her childhood she was cared for by her grandmother the nun Porphyria, from whom she acquired a love for the ascetical struggle. When Porphyria took the Great Schema, the child returned home, but continued to live as much like a nun as she could. Her parents were eager to marry her as soon as possible, but she foiled their plans by leaving home at the age of fifteen, dressed as a peasant boy and calling herself Dositheus. In this guise she entered the Lavra of St Sergius. Three years later she fled to avoid discovery by her parents, and went to the Lavra of Kiev. There she was turned away, since she had no passport; so she took up the hermit’s life in cave near Kitayev Skete, living only on bread, water and a few wild plants. Before long her gifts of prophecy became known, and the counsel of ‘Dositheus the Hermit’ was sought out by many of the faithful. She would speak to her many visitors through a small window that did not allow them to see her face. The Empress Elizabeth visited her in 1744, and at her request ‘Dositheus’ received monastic tonsure. When the young Prochor Moshnin — one day to be known as St Seraphim of Sarov (January 2) — visited her, she foresaw his holy future, blessed him and directed him to the Monastery of Sarov, instructing him to practice the Jesus Prayer ceaselessly.
Later, the eremitic life was banned in Russia by Imperial decree, so ‘Dositheus’ moved to the Kiev Caves Lavra, then to a remote cell at the Kitaya Skete. When she discerned that the time of her death was near, she left her cell and greeted the brethren of the Skete. The next day she was found on her knees in her cell before an icon, with a piece of paper in her hand reading ‘My body is ready for burial. I beg you not to touch it and to bury it in the usual way.’ Only in preparing her for burial was it discovered that she was a woman. ‘Dositheus the Hermit’ is counted as one of the revivers of the Orthodox hesychast tradition in Russia, where it had been almost forgotten even among monastics.