First Lesson: Amos 3:1 – End
Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts,
That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.
And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.
Canticle: Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55
Antiphon: Is it not lawful.
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.
Antiphon: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will? Is thine eye evil? For I am righteous, saith the Lord.
Second Lesson: Galatians 2:11 – End
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
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 Letter to the Corinthians by St Clement of Rome
Let anyone truly possessed by the love of Christ keep his commandments. Who can express the binding power of divine love? Who can find words for the splendour of its beauty? Beyond all description are the heights to which it lifts us. Love unites us to God; it cancels innumerable sins, has no limits to its endurance, bears everything patiently. Love is neither servile nor arrogant. It does not provoke schisms or form cliques, but always acts in harmony with others. By it all God’s chosen ones have been sanctified; without it, it is impossible to please him. Out of love the Lord took us to himself; because he loved us and it was God’s will, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his life’s blood for us – he gave his body for our body, his soul for our soul.
See then, beloved, what a great and wonderful thing love is, and how inexpressible its perfection. Who are worthy to possess it unless God makes them so? To him therefore we must turn, begging of his mercy that there may be found in us a love free from human partiality and beyond reproach. Every generation from Adam’s time to ours has passed away; but those who by God’s grace were made perfect in love have a dwelling now among the saints, and when at last the kingdom of Christ appears, they will be revealed.
Blessed are we, beloved, if love enables us to live in harmony and in the observance of God’s commandments, for then it will also gain for us the remission of our sins. Scripture pronounces blessed those whose transgressions are pardoned, whose sins are forgiven. Blessed is the man, it says, to whom the Lord imputes no fault, on whose lips there is no guile. This is the blessing given those whom God has chosen through Jesus Christ our Lord. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
St Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians 49-50; Word in Season V.
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.