Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 41:4-14
Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He.’ “
The coastlands saw it and feared, the ends of the earth were afraid; they drew near and came.
Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, “Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil, saying, “It is ready for the soldering”; then he fastened it with pegs, that it might not totter.
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to You, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.
You shall seek them and not find them; those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing.
For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
“Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you,” says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 17:1-9
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
“And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
“I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
“Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 15:20-16:9
A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.
Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.
Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below.
The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant.
He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live.
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.
The ear that hears the reproof of life will abide among the wise.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.
The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits.
Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.
The LORD has made all things for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
Saints and Feasts
The Holy Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria; Demetrios the New Martyr