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 49:6-10
Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ “
Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You.”
Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;
that You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ “They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun shall strike them; for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 28:10-17
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.
So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
“Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”
And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 3:1-8
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, ” Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
“So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 9:1-11
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;
she has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table.
She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine which I have mixed.
Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.
“He who reproves a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man gets himself a blemish.
Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 2:11-18
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You.”
And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:24-38
Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,
“Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
“Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Saints and Feasts
Annunciation of the Theotokos