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.
THE ELDER, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth,
because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.
Gospel Reading: Mark 15:22-25,33-41
And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.
Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.
And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!”
Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Now when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome,
who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee; and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch; Antonius, Archbishop of Constantinople; Meletios of Ypseni; Christos the New Martyr