Today’s Vespers – 1st reading is Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.
Today’s Vespers – 2nd reading is Wisdom of Solomon 5:15-6:3
But the righteous live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them. The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take holiness as a invincible shield, and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against the madmen. Shafts of lightening will fly with true aim, and will leap to the target as from a well-drawn bow of clouds, and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them; a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evil-doing will overturn the thrones of rulers. Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High, who will search out your works and inquire into your plans.
Today’s Vespers – 3rd reading is Wisdom of Solomon 4:7-15
But the righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest. For old age is not honored for length of time, nor measured by number of years; but understanding is gray hair for men, and a blameless life is ripe old age. There was one who pleased God and was loved by him, He was caught up lest evil change his understanding or guile deceive his soul. For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. Being perfected in a short time, he fulfilled long years; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took him quickly from the midst of wickedness. Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, nor take such a thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.
Today’s Matins Gospel reading is Matthew 11:27-30
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Today’s Epistle – Saint reading is Galatians 5:22-6:2
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Today’s Gospel – Saint reading is Luke 6:17-23
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Today’s Epistle reading is Hebrews 7:1-6
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 12:38-44
Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
Forefeast of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Troparion — Tone 4
Prepare, O Zebulon,
and adorn yourself, O Naphtali;
River Jordan, cease flowing
and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized.
Adam, rejoice with our First Mother
and do not hide yourself as you did of old in Paradise;
for having seen you naked,
He has appeared to clothe you with the first garment.
Christ has appeared to renew all creation.
Kontakion — Tone 4
Today the Lord enters the Jordan and cries out to John:
“Do not be afraid to baptize me.
For I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man.”
Repose of Venerable Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov
Troparion — Tone 4
You loved Christ from your youth, O blessed one,
and longing to work for Him alone you struggled in the wilderness in constant prayer and labor.
With penitent heart and great love for Christ you were favored by the Mother of God.
Therefore we cry to you:
“Save us by your prayers, venerable Seraphim, our father.”
Kontakion — Tone 2
Forsaking the beauty as well as the corruption of this world,
you settled in the monastery of Sarov, O Saint.
There you lived an angelic life,
becoming for many the way to salvation.
Therefore, Christ has glorified you, Father Seraphim,
enriching you with abundant healing and miracles.
So we cry to you: “Save us by your prayers, venerable Seraphim, our father.”
Saint Sylvester, Pope of Rome
Troparion — Tone 4
You appeared to your flock as a rule of faith,
An image of humility and a teacher of abstinence.
Because of your lowliness Heaven was opened to you;
Because of your poverty, riches were granted to you.
O holy Pope Sylvester, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
The Trinity delights in you, O holy bishop Sylvester!
You are divine thunder, a spiritual trumpet
A planter of the Faith,
and destroyer of heresies.
As you ever stand with the angels, entreat Christ without ceasing for us all!
Righteous Juliana of Lazarevo, Murom
Troparion — Tone 4
By your righteous deeds you revealed to the world
An image of the perfect servant of the Lord.
By your fasting, vigil and prayers,
You were inspired in your evangelical life,
Feeding the hungry and caring for the poor,
Nursing the sick and strengthening the weak.
Now you stand at the right hand of the Master, Christ,
O holy Juliana, interceding for our souls.
Additional Saints and Feasts (without hymns):
- Venerable Sylvester of the Kiev Near Caves
- Hieromartyr Theogenes, Bishop of Parium on the Hellespont
- New Martyr George of Iberia
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Fast Free. No fasting restrictions.