Scripture Readings (KJV)
Composite 19 - Micah 4.2-3, 5; 6.2-5, 8; 5.4, 5 (Vespers)
1Thus says the Lord: From Sion will come forth the Law and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he will judge among many peoples and rebuke mighty nations in a distant land. For all the peoples will walk, each its own way, while we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever. Thus says the Lord Almighty: Listen hills and valleys, foundations of the earth, because the Lord has a controversy with his people; for he will dispute with Israel, saying, ‘My people, what have I done to you? Or how have I grieved you? Or how have I troubled you? Answer me. For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and rescued you from the house of slavery, and sent Moses and Aaron before your face. My people, what have your enemies planned against you? Was it not told you, O man, what is good? And what does the Lord seek from you, except to execute judgement, and to love mercy and to be ready to walk with the Lord your God?’ Therefore the Lord will be magnified in strength, and will shepherd his flock in peace, to the extremities of the earth.
Composite 20 - Isaiah 55.1; 12.3-4; 55.2-13 (Vespers)
1Thus says the Lord: You who thirst, go to the water; and all who have no money, go, buy and eat and drink wine and fat without money or price. For thus says the Lord Almighty to you: My people, draw water with joy from the springs of salvation. And you will say in that day: Praise the Lord, cry his name aloud, declare his glory among the nations, call to mind that his name has been exalted. My people, hear me, and eat good things, and your soul will delight in good things. Attend with your ears and follow my ways. Listen to me and your soul will live among good things. And I will make an eternal covenant with you, and you will call upon me. And when you draw near me, let the impious abandon his ways, and the lawless man his plans; and turn back to me and I will have mercy on you and forgive your sins. For your plans are not as my plans, says the Lord; but as heaven is distant from the earth, so is my way distant from your ways, and your thoughts from my mind. For as rain or snow would come down from heaven and not return there, until it had soaked the earth, and it bring forth and bud and give seed to the sower, and bread for food, so shall my word be, which once it has come from my mouth will not return there until it has accomplished all that I willed; and I will make my ways and my commands succeed. For you will go out with joy, and be taught with gladness; for the mountains and hills will exult as they receive you with joy; and all the trees of the field will clap with their branches; and instead of the briar shall come up the cypress; instead of the nettle shall come up the myrtle; and the Lord shall be for a name and for an eternal sign, says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel.
Proverbs 9.1-11 (Vespers)
1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
7He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
Acts 14.6-18 (Epistle)
6They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7And there they preached the gospel.
8And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
9The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
10Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
11And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
12And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
13Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
15And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
17Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
18And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
John 7.14-30 (Gospel)
14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
19Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
20The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
21Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
22Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
24Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
28Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.
29But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
(Epistle, Blessing of Waters)
11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
(Gospel, Blessing of Waters)
1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Our Holy Father Theodore the Sanctified (368), disciple of St Pachomius the Great
He was born and raised an unbeliever, but came to faith in Christ as a young man. Not long after being baptised, he heard of Pachomius (May 15) and fled to join him in the desert. Saint Pachomius accepted Theodore as a monk and, because of his humility and obedience, came to esteem him most highly of all the brethren. Theodore’s sister joined him in the desert, taking up life in a women’s monastery and becoming its abbess. When their mother came to bring them back from the desert, she in turn was persuaded to stay in the women’s monastery as a monastic. Finally, Theodore’s brother Paphnutius also came to the monastery and was tonsured.
Once the Bishop of Panopolis asked Saint Pachomius to build a monastery for him; Pachomius entrusted Theodore to carry out the work. Some of the brethren grumbled at the authority given to Theodore, for he was younger than many of them; but St Pachomius said: ‘Theodore and I fulfill the same service for God; and he also has the authority to give orders as father.’ When St Pachomius reposed, he left St Theodore to be spiritual father to the monasteries that he had founded, a task which he faithfully fulfilled until his death at a great age.
St Nicholas Mystikos, Patriarch of Constantinople (930)
He was known for the purity and austerity of his life. When the Emperor Leo VI married a fourth time (his three previous wives having died), the Patriarch barred him from the church. The Emperor sent the Patriarch into exile and had his marriage approved by delegates of the Roman Pope. When the Emperor died, Nicholas was restored to the Patriarchal throne, and called a Council in 925, at which fourth marriages were forbidded in the Church under any circumstance. He died peacefully.
The title Mystikos was given to some high-ranking members of the Imperial council (perhaps because they met in secret). The Patriarch was a courtier with this title before he forsook the world and was tonsured a monk.
Note: From early times, the Eastern and Latin churches have differed in their views on marriage. The Latin church held, and still holds, that marriage is dissolved by death, so in theory any number of re-marriages is permissible (a view that the Emperor Leo sought to exploit). The Eastern Church has traditionally been uncomfortable with any second marriage — some of the Fathers even call the re-marriage of widows or widowers “bigamy”. Still the Eastern church tolerates re-marriage (even after divorce) as a concession for the salvation of those who cannot sustain the single state.
Blessed Musa the Maiden (5th c.)
“St Gregory the Dialogist relates of her that she was a mere nine years old when the most holy Mother of God appeared to her on two occasions, surrounded by virgins bathed in light. When Musa expressed her desire to be included in the resplendent company of the Queen of heaven, the Mother of God told her that she would come for her and take her within a month, outlining for her how she should spend those thirty days. On the twenty-fifth day, Musa took to her bed and on the thirtieth day the most pure and holy Mother again appeared to her, calling to her in a quiet voice, to which Musa replied: ‘Here I am waiting, my Lady! I’m ready!’, and she breathed forth her spirit. She passed from this life to life eternal in the fifth century.” (Prologue)
St Brendan the Voyager, abbot of Clonfert (ca. 577)
He was born around 484 at Tralee in Kerry, Ireland. He founded several monasteries in Ireland, of which the chief was Cluain Ferta Brenaind (anglicized as Clonfert) in County Galway. His missionary and pastoral travels took him on voyages to the Scottish islands, and possibly to Wales; thus in his own time he was known as ‘Brendan the Voyager.’ He reposed in peace.
Early in the ninth century, a Latin saga, Navigatio Brendani (The Voyage of Brendan) made him the hero of a Christian adventure that included voyages to unknown lands far to the west of Ireland. The account provides strong evidence that Irish voyagers visited America as early as the 8th century, before the Vikings; but whether St Brendan himself made these voyages is disputed.