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: Joel 2:12-16
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him; a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly;
gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room.
Old Testament Reading: Joel 3:12-21
“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.”
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.
The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
“So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Acacias.
“Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of violence against the people of Judah, for they have shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
“For I will acquit them of bloodguilt, whom I had not acquitted; for the LORD dwells in Zion.”
Saints and Feasts
Theodore the Tyro, Great Martyr; Mariamne, Sister of Apostle Philip, and Equal to the Apostles; Righteous Auxentius; The Pious Rulers Marcian and Pulcheria; Theodore the New Martyr of Byzantium; Hermogenes (Germogen), Patriarch of Moscow
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