Today’s 6th Hour reading is Isaiah 28:14-22
Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night; it will be a terror just to understand the report.” For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it. For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon – that He may do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth.
Today’s Vespers – 1st reading is Genesis 10:32-11:9
These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood. Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Today’s Vespers – 2nd reading is Proverbs 13:19-14:6
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. Evil pursues sinners, but to the righteous, good shall be repaid. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, and for lack of justice there is waste. He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, but the stomach of the wicked shall be in want. The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox. A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands.
Today’s Epistle – Theotokos reading is 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 assembly 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.
Today’s Gospel – Theotokos reading is 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 people. 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 celebrated today
Leavetaking of the Annunciation
Troparion — Tone 4
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!
Kontakion — Tone 8
O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel
Troparion — Tone 4
Gabriel, commander of the heavenly hosts,
we who are unworthy beseech you,
by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,
and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you:
“Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commander of the powers on high!”
Kontakion — Tone 8
Supreme commander Gabriel,
you are the glorious intercessor and servant
before the all-radiant, worthy, all-powerful, infinite and awesome Trinity.
Ever pray now that we may be delivered from all tribulations and torments,
so that we may cry out to you:
“Rejoice, protection of your servants!”
Additional Saints and Feasts (without hymns):
- Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium
- 26 Martyrs in the Crimea
- Saint Malchus of Chalcis, Syria
- Venerable Basil the New, Anchorite, Near Constantinople
- Martyr Montanus the Presbyter of Singidunum, and his wife Maxima
- New Martyr George of Sofia
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Fast Day (Wine and Oil Allowed). Wine and oil are allowed. Refrain from meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.