First Lesson: Deuteronomy 9:7 – 17, 25 – 29
Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.
Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you.
When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the Lord spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
And the Lord said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
Furthermore the Lord spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.
So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the Lord your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the Lord had commanded you.
And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the Lord had said he would destroy you.
I prayed therefore unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin:
Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.
Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.
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: Matthew 27:1 – 10
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.
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.
The Lesson is taken from The Handbook, by St. Augustine the Bishop:
The Lord had foretold that if man should sin, he would bring upon himself the penalty of death. Thus it was that, albeit God endowed man with free-will, he asserted his dominion over him by urging on him the danger of self-destruction through sin. And so God placed him in that happy Garden (as it were, in a sheltered nook of life), whence he might have attained unto an even better life, if he had remained righteous. But this first man sinned, and was therefore driven out of his paradise. And by his sin, he infected all his offspring with the disease of sin, since he himself (their source), was poisoned therewith ; whereby he brought upon all mankind the very sentence of death and damnation which he had earned for himself. So it is that all who descend by fleshly generation from Adam and his wife Eve (which latter had urged him to sin, and therefore shared in the sentence passed upon him), inherit original sin ; whereby we are drawn on, through divers errors and sorrows, toward the final ruin that fallen man doth share with the fallen angels, which same are our corrupters, masters, and partakers in this doom.
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. In this sentence, by the word World the Apostle signifieth all mankind. Thus then did the matter stand?All of doomed humanity lay in misery, (or rather was blundering on, and plunging from bad to worse), together with that part of the Angels which had sinned, until both together should suffer the condign punishment of their vile treason.
For whatever, through blind and unbridled concupiscence, is willingly done by wicked men, and whatever such men suffer unwillingly in the way of secret or manifest pains, must evidently appertain to the wrath of God. And yet the goodness of the Creator did not cease to minister even to the evil angels both life and strength, for if this ministration were withdrawn they would cease to be, and in the case of mankind, although each of us is sprung from a corrupt and doomed stock, God doth not cease to give form and life to our offspring ; and he continueth to fashion each one’s parts and members throughout the various periods of life, and that in all the various races of the earth ; yea, he doth ever quicken our senses, and provide us with sustenance. For he judged it better to bring good out of evil things than to allow no evil things to exist.
And the Apostles Creed and the rest of the office.
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.