First Lesson: Wisdom 6:12 – 21
Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.
She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them.
Whoso seeketh her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors.
To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom: and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without care.
For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought.
For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love;
And love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption;
And incorruption maketh us near unto God:
Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom.
If your delight be then in thrones and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, honour wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore.
Canticle: Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55
My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek;.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
Second Lesson: II Thessalonians 2:1 – 12
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed
Canticle: Nunc dimittis. St. Luke 2:29-32
LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, * according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen * thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared * before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
A reading from the Glaphyra on Genesis by St Cyril of Alexandria
After he was called by God, Jacob ascends to Bethel, that is, to the house of God which is what Bethel means, there he offers sacrifices to God and is declared chief and master of the sacred rites. He teaches his successors and descendants how they must enter the house of God. He orders the foreign gods to be rejected like dung and filth and he commands a change of garments. It is fitting for us to do likewise when we are called before God, or to enter the divine Temple, especially in the time of the holy baptism. We, as if we drive away the foreign gods and part from such error, must assert, ‘I refuse you, Satan, and all your pomp and all your worship.’ We also must change completely our garment by stripping off the old man that is corrupt through deceitful lusts and by clothing ourselves with the new man, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its Creator. The women who were with Jacob took off their earrings. And in fact women by entering the house of God without wearing any carnal ornament and with loose hair remove from their head any accusation of pride. That is why, I believe, those women took off the precious stones they wore in their ears.
When we ascend to Bethel, that is, to the house of God, we will know the stone, I mean, the chosen stone, which was made into a cornerstone. By this I mean Christ. We will see the one who is anointed by the Father in joy and exultation for all the creatures that live under the sky. As I said, the Son is anointed by God the Father: he is the Joy of us all, the universal exultation, according to the words of the psalmist. And you see how this is prefigured in the words that were just said to us: And Jacob set up a stone and poured oil upon it. That action as a symbol of the mystery of Christ, through whom and with whom the glory to God the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
St Cyril of Alexandria, Glaphyrorum in Genesim, 5.4-5 (PG 69.284); ACC 2 (2002) tr. Sheridan.
And the Apostles Creed and the rest of the office.
O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.