Scripture Readings (KJV)
16But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
17Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.
18Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:
19That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!
20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
22Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Genesis 4.16-26 (Vespers)
16And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
18And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
25And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Proverbs 5.15-6.3 (Vespers)
15Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
16Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
17Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.
18Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
20And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
23He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
1My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
2Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
3Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
St Benedict of Nursia, abbot (547)
His name, Benedictus, means “Blessed” in Latin. He was born in 480 in Nursia, a small town northeast of Rome. He had only rudimentary schooling: he wrote later of his fear that through book-learning he might ‘lose the great understanding of my soul.’ At an early age he fled to a monastery where he was tonsured; he then withdrew to a remote mountain, where he lived or several years in a cave, perfecting himself in prayer. His only food was some bread brought to him by Romanus, the monk who had tonsured him. When he became known in the area, he fled his cave to escape the attentions of the pious; but flight proved useless, and in time a community of monks formed around him. He was granted many spiritual gifts: he healed the sick and drove out evil spirits, raised the dead, and appeared in visions to others many miles away.
Benedict founded twelve monasteries, most famously that at Monte Cassino. Initially, each monastic house had twelve monks, to imitate the number of the Twelve Apostles. The Rule that he established for his monks was based on the works of St John Cassian and St Basil the Great, and became a standard for western monasteries. Thus he is sometimes called the first teacher of monks in the West.
Six days before his death, the Saint ordered that his grave be opened, gathered all his monks together, gave them counsel, then gave his soul back to God on the day that he had predicted. At the moment of his death, two monks in different places had the same vision: they saw a path from earth to heaven, richly adorned and lined on either side with ranks of people. At the top of the path stood a man, clothed in light and unspeakably beautiful, who told them that the path was prepared for Benedict, the beloved of God. In this way, the monks learned that their abbot had gone to his rest.
St Theognostus, Metropolitan of Kiev (1353)
He was born in Greece and succeeded St Peter of Kiev as Metropolitan of that city. Some of his enemies among his own flock denounced him to the Mongol ruler, saying that he had collected no tribute from his churches to pay to the Mongols. Summoned before the Mongol prince and asked about this, he answered ‘Christ our God bought His Church from the unbelievers with His precious Blood. For what do we pay tribute to unbelievers?’ Returning home, he governed the Church for twenty-five more years and reposed in peace in 1353.