Passages from Holy Scripture – Holy and Great Saturday

HOLY AND GREAT SATURDAY

VESPERS

Reading 1. Genesis 1:1-13

In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. But the earth was unsightly and unfurnished and darkness was over the deep, and the Spirit of God moved over the water. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it be a division between water and water, and it was so. And God made the firmament, and God divided between the water which was under the firmament and the water which was above the firmament. And God called the firmament Heaven, and God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, Let the water which is under the heaven be collected into one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And the water which was under the heaven was collected into its places, and the dry land appeared. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gatherings of the waters he called Seas, and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit whose seed in it, according to its kind on the earth, and it was so. And the earth brought forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit tree bearing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind on the earth, and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Reading 2. Isaiah 60:1-16

Shine, Shine, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and there shall be gross darkness on the nations: but the Lords shall appear upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And kings shall walk in thy light, and nations in thy brightness. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold thy children gathered: all thy sons have come from far, and thy daughters shall be borne on men’s shoulders. Then shalt thou see, and fear, and be amazed in thine heart; for the wealth of the sea shall come round to thee, and of nations and peoples; and herds of camels shall come to thee, and the camels of Midian and Ephah shall cover thee: all from Saba shall come bearing gold, and shall bring frankincense, and they shall publish the salvation of the Lord. And all the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered, and the rams of Nabaioth shall come; and acceptable sacrifices shall be offered on my altar, and my house of prayer shall be glorified. Who are these that fly as clouds, and as doves with young ones to me? The isles have waited for me, and the ships of Tarshish among the first, to bring thy children from Safar, and their silver and their gold with them, and that for the sake of the holy name of the Lord, and because the Holy One of Israel is glorified. And strangers shall build thy walls, and their kings shall wait upon thee: for by reason of my wrath I smote thee, and by reason of mercy I loved thee. And thy gates shall be opened continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; to bring in to thee the power of the Gentiles, and their kings as captives. For the nations and the kings which will not serve thee shall perish; and those nations shall be made utterly desolate. And the glory of Lebanon shall come to thee, with the cypress, and pine, and cedar together, to glorify my holy place. And the sons of them that afflicted thee, and of them that provoked thee, shall come to thee in fear; and thou shalt be called Zion, the city of the Holy One of Israel. Because thou hast become desolate and hated, and there was no helper, therefore I will make thee a perpetual gladness, a joy of many generations. And thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt eat the wealth of kings: and shalt know that I am the Lord that saves thee and delivers thee, the Holy One of Israel.

Reading 3. Exodus 12:1-11

The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be to you the beginning of months: it is the first to you among the months of the year. Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month let them take each man a lamb according to the houses of their families, every man a lamb for his household. And if they be few in a household, so that there are not enough for the lamb, he shall take with himself his neighbor that lives near to him, as to the number of souls, every one according to that which suffices him shall make a reckoning for the lamb. It shall be to you a lamb unblemished, a male of a year old: ye shall take it of the lambs and the kids. And it shall be kept by you till the fourteenth of this month, and all the multitude of the congregation of the children of Israel shall kill it toward evening. And they shall take of the blood, and shall put it on the two door-posts, and on the lintel, in the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in this night roast with fire, and they shall eat unleavened bread with bitter herbs. Ye shall not eat of it raw nor sodden in water, but only roast with fire, the head with the feet and the appurtenances. Nothing shall be left of it till the morning, and a bone of it ye shall not break; but that which is left of it till the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it: your loins girded, and your sandals on your feet, and your staves in your hands, and ye shall eat it in haste. It is a Passover to the Lord.

Reading 4. Jonah 1:1 – 4:11

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amattai, saying Rise, and go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach in it; for the cry of its wickedness is come up to me. But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. And he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: and he paid his fare, and went up into it, to sail with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. And the Lord raised up a wind on the sea; and there was a great storm on the sea, and the ship was in danger of being broken. And the sailors were alarmed, and cried every one to his god, and cast out the wares that were in the ship into the sea, that it might be lightened of them. But Jonah was gone down into the hold of the ship, and was asleep, and snored. And the shipmaster came to him, and said to him, Why snorest thou? Arise, and call upon thy God, that God may save us, and we perish not. And each man said to his neighbor, Come, let us cast lots, and find out for whose sake this mischief is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. And they said to him, Tell us what is thine occupation, and whence comest thou, and of what country and what people art thou? And he said to them, I am a servant of the Lord: and I worship the Lord God of heaven, who made the sea, and the dry land. Then the men feared exceedingly, and said to him, What is this that thou hast done? for the men knew that he was fleeing from the face of the Lord, because he had told them. And they said to him, What shall we do to thee, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea rose and lifted its wave exceedingly. And Jonah said to them, Take me up, and cast me into the sea, and the sea shall be calm to you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. And the men tried hard to return to the land, and were not able: for the sea rose and grew more and more tempestuous against them. And they cried to the Lord, and said, Forbid it, Lord: let us not perish for the sake of this man’s life, and bring not righteous blood upon us: for thou, Lord, hast done as thou wouldest. So they took Jonah, and cast him out into the sea: and the sea ceased from its raging. And the men feared the Lord very greatly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord, and vowed vows. Now the Lord had commanded a great whale to swallow up Jonah: and Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights. And Jonah prayed to the Lord his God out of the belly of the whale, and said, I cried in my affliction to the Lord my God, and he hearkened to me, even to my cry out of the belly of hell: thou heardest my voice. Thou didst cast me into the depths of the heart of the sea, and the floods compassed me: all thy billows and thy waves have passed upon me. And I said, I am cast out of thy presence: shall I indeed look again toward thy holy temple? Water was poured around me to the soul: the lowest deep compassed me, my head went down to the clefts of the mountains; I went down into the earth, whose bars are the everlasting barriers: yet, O Lord my God, let my ruined life be restored. When my soul was failing me, I remembered the Lord; and may my prayer come to thee into thy holy temple. They that observe vanities and lies have forsaken their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to thee with the voice of praise and thanksgiving: all that I have vowed I will pay to thee, the Lord of my salvation. And the whale was commanded by the Lord, and it cast up Jonah on the dry land. And the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, Rise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach in it according to the former preaching which I spoke to thee of. And Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, as the Lord had spoken. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of about three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city about a day’s journey, and he proclaimed, and said, Yet three days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. And the men of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, form the greatest of them to the least of them. And the word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from off his throne, and took off his raiment from him, and put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. And proclamation was made, and it was commanded in Nineveh by the king an by his great men, saying, Let not men, or cattle, or oxen, or sheep, taste any thing, nor feed, nor drink water. So men and cattle were clothed with sackcloth, and cried earnestly to God: and they turned every one from their evil way, and from the iniquity that was in their hands, saying, Who knows if God will repent, and turn from his fierce anger, and so we shall not perish? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways; and God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did it not. But Jonah was very deeply grieved, and he was confounded. And he prayed to the Lord, and said, O Lord, were not these my words when I was yet in my land? therefore I made haste to flee to Tarshish; because I knew that thou are merciful and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in kindness, and repentest of evil. And now, Lord God , take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. And the Lord said to Jonah, Art thou very much grieved? And Jonah went out from the city, and sat over against the city; and he made for himself there a booth, and he sat under it, until he should perceive what would become of the city. And the Lord God commanded a gourd, and it came up over the head of Jonah, to be a shadow over his head, to shade him from his calamities: and Jonah rejoiced with great joy for the gourd. And God commanded a worm the next morning, and it smote the gourd, and it withered away. And it came to pass at the rising of the sun, that God commanded a burning east wind; and the sun smote on the head of Jonah, and he fainted, and despaired of his life, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. And God said to Jonah, art thou very much grieved for the gourd? And he said, I am very much grieved, even to death. And the Lord said, Thou hadst pity on the gourd, for which thou has not suffered, neither didst thou rear it; which came up before night, and perished before another night: and shall not I spare Nineveh, the great city, in which dwell more than twelve myriads of human beings, who do not know their right hand or their left hand; and also much cattle?

Reading 5. Joshua 5:10-15

The children of Israel encamped at Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, to the westward of Jericho on the opposite side of the Jordan in the plain. Land they ate of the grain of the earth unleavened and new corn. In this day the manna failed, after they had eaten of the corn of the land, and the children of Israel no longer had manna: and they took the fruits of the land of Phoenicians in that year. And it came to pass when Joshua was in Jericho, that he looked up with his eyes and saw a man standing before him, and there was a drawn sword in his hand; and Joshua drew near and said to him, Art thou for us or on the side of our enemies? And he said to him, I am now come, the chief captain of the host of the Lord. And Joshua fell on his face upon the earth, and said to him, Lord, what commandest thou thy servant? And the chief captain of the host of the Lord said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Reading 6. Exodus 13:20 – 15:19

The children of Israel departed from Succoth, and encamped in Etham by the wilderness. And God led them, in the day by a pillar of cloud, to show them the way, and in the night by a pillar of fire. And the pillar of cloud failed not by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, before all the people. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and let them turn and encamp before the village, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal-Zemphon: before them shalt thou encamp by the sea. And Pharaoh will say to his people, As for these children of Israel, they are wandering in the land, for the wilderness has shut them in. And I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and he shall pursue after them; and I will be glorified in Pharaoh, and in all his host, and all the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord. And they did so. And it was reported to the king of the Egyptians that the people had fled: and the heart of Pharaoh was turned, and that of his servants against the people; and they said, What is this that we have done, to let the children of Israel go, so that they should not serve us? So Pharaoh yoked his chariots, and led off all his people with himself: having also taken six hundred chosen chariots, and all the cavalry of the Egyptians, and rulers over all. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and of his servants, and he pursued after the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went forth with a high hand. And the Egyptians pursued after them, and found them encamped by the sea; and all the cavalry and the chariots of Pharaoh, and the horsemen, and his host were before the village, over against Baal-Zemphon. And Pharaoh approached, and the children of Israel having looked up, beheld, and the Egyptians encamped behind them: and they were very greatly terrified, and the children of Israel cried to the Lord; and said to Moses, Because there were no graves in the land of Egypt, has thou brought us forth to slay us in the wilderness? What is this that thou hast done to us, having brought us out of Egypt? Is not this the word which we spoke to thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in this wilderness. And Moses said to the people, Be of good courage: stand and see the salvation which is from the Lord, which he will work for us this day; for as ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said to Moses, Why criest thou to me? speak to the children of Israel, and let them proceed. And do thou lift up thy rod, and stretch forth thy hand over the sea and divide it, and let the children of Israel enter into the midst of the sea on the dry land. And lo! I will harden the heart of Pharaoh and of all the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them; and I will be glorified upon Pharaoh, and on all his host, and on his chariots and his horses. And all the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I am glorified upon Pharaoh and upon his chariots and his horses. And the angel of God that went before the camp of the children of Israel removed and went behind, and the pillar of the cloud also removed from before them and stood behind them. And it went between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and stood; and there was darkness and blackness; and the night passed, and they came not near to one another during the whole night. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord carried back the sea with a strong south wind all the night, and made the sea dry, and the water was divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the water of it was a wall on the right hand and a wall on the left. And the Egyptians pursued them and went in after them, and every horse of Pharaoh, and his chariots, and his horsemen, into the midst of the sea. And it came to pass in the morning watch that the Lord looked forth on the camp of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and troubled the camp of the Egyptians, and bound the axle-trees of their chariots, and caused them to go with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians. And the Lord said to Moses, Stretch forth tine hand over the sea, and let the water be turned back to its place, and let it cover the Egyptians coming both upon the chariots and the riders. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the water returned to its place toward day; and the Egyptians fled from the water, and the Lord shook off the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. and the water returned and covered the chariots and the riders, and all the forces of Pharaoh, who entered after them into the sea: and there was not left of them even one. But the children of Israel went along dry land in the midst of the sea, and the water was to them a wall on the right hand, and a wall on the left. So the Lord delivered Israel in that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead by the shore of the sea. And Israel saw the mighty hand, the things which the Lord did to the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and they believed God and Moses his servant.

At the 6th Reading, when the reader comes to the beginning of the Song of Moses, he continues in a louder voice:

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying: Let us sing to the Lord:

And the choir responds:

For gloriously is He glorified!

And the reader continues with the Song of Moses, with the refrains sung after each verse:

Reader: Horse and rider hath He hurled into the sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: A helper and protector was He unto me for salvation. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: This is my God, and I will glorify Him; the God of my father, and I will exalt Him. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: The Lord quenching wars, Lord is His name. The chariots of Pharaoh and his hosts He hurled into the sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: The chosen mounted captains He plunged into the Red Sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: With the open sea He covered them: they sank into the deep like a stone. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thy right hand, O Lord, hath shattered enemies, and in the multitude of Thy glory hast Thou ground down the adversaries. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thou sentest forth Thy wrath; it consumed them like stubble. And at the breath of Thy wrath, the water parted asunder. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: The waters were hardened like a wall, hardened also were the waves in the midst of the sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; I will satisfy my soul, I will destroy with my sword, my right hand shall have dominion. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thou sentest forth Thy breath; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the turbulent water. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Who is like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord? who is like unto Thee? glorified in holies, wonderful in glories, doing marvels. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thou hast stretched forth Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them up. Thou hast guided by Thy righteousness this Thy people whom Thou hast redeemed. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Thou hast called them by Thy strength into Thy holy habitation. The nations heard and waxed wroth, pangs took hold of them that dwell in Philistia. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Then did the rulers of Edom hasten, and the princes of the Moabites; trembling took hold of them, all the dwellers in Canaan melted away. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Let fear and trembling fall upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm, let them be made like unto stone. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Until Thy people pass over, O Lord, until they pass over, even this Thy people which Thou didst take for Thine own. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in Thy prepared habitation, which Thou hast fashioned, O Lord, even the sanctuary which Thy hands have prepared. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: The Lord is king of the ages, yea, for ever and evermore. For the horse of Pharaoh with chariots and riders went into the sea, and the Lord brought upon them the water of the sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: But the sons of Israel walked through dry land in the midst of the sea. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
Reader: Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Let us sing to the Lord.
Choir: For gloriously is He glorified!
And lastly the reader also sings: For gloriously is He glorified.

And the readings continue.

Reading 7. Zephaniah 3:8-15

Thus saith the Lord: wait upon me until the day when I rise up for a witness: because my judgment shall be on the gatherings of the nations, to draw to me kings, to pour out upon them all my fierce anger: for the whole earth shall be consumed with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the peoples a tongue for her generation, that all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve him under one yoke. From the boundaries of the rivers of Ethiopia will I receive my dispersed ones; they shall offer sacrifices to me. In that day thou shalt not be ashamed of all thy practices, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then will I take away from thee thy disdainful pride, and thou shalt no more magnify thyself upon my holy mountain. And I will leave in thee a meek and lowly people; and the remnant of Israel shall fear the name of the Lord, and shall do no iniquity, neither shall they speak vanity; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed, and lie down, and there shall be none to terrify them. Rejoice, O daughter of Zion; cry aloud , O daughter of Jerusalem; rejoice and delight thyself with all thine heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord has taken away thine iniquities, he has ransomed thee from the hand of thine enemies: the Lord, the King of Israel, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

Reading 8. Third [First, according to the KJV] Kings 17:8-24

The word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, Arise, and go to Zarephath of the Sidonian land: behold, I have there commanded a widow-woman to maintain thee. And he arose and went to Zarephath, and came to the gate of the city; and, behold, a widow-woman was there gathering sticks; and Elijah cried after her, and said to her, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And she went to fetch it; and Elijah cried after her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of the bread that is in thy hand. And the woman said, As the Lord thy God lives, I have not a cake, but only a handful of meal in the pitcher, and a little oil in a cruse, and, behold, I am going to gather two sticks, and I shall go in and dress it for myself and my children, and we shall eat it and die. And Elijah said to her, Be of good courage, go in and do according to thy word; but make me thereof a little cake, and thou shalt bring it out to me first, and thou shalt make some for thyself and thy children last. For thus saith the Lord, The pitcher of meal shall not fail, and the cruse of oil shall not diminish, until the day that the Lord gives rain upon the earth. And the woman went and did so, and did eat, she, and he, and her children. And the pitcher of meal failed not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by the hand of Elijah. And it came to pass afterward, that the son of the woman the mistress of the house was sick; and his sickness was very severe, until there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O man of God? hast thou come in to me to bring my sins to remembrance, and to slay my son? And Elijah said to the woman, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and took him up to the chamber in which he himself lodged, and laid him on the bed. And Elijah cried aloud, and said, Alas, O Lord, the witness of the widow with whom I sojourn, thou hast wrought evil for her in slaying her son. And he breathed on the child thrice, and called on the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, let, I pray thee, the soul of this child return to him. And it was so, and the child cried out, and he brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, See, thy son lives. And the woman said to Elijah, Behold, I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true.

Reading 9. Isaiah 61:10 – 62:5

Let my soul rejoice in the Lord; for He has clothed me in the garment of salvation, and with the vesture of gladness hath He covered me: he hath placed a crown upon me as on a bridegroom, and He hath adorned me as a bride with comeliness. And as the earth putting forth her flowers, and as a garden its seed; so shall the Lord, even the Lord, cause righteousness to spring forth, and exultation before all nations. For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as light, and my salvation burn as a torch. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and kings thy glory: and one shall call thee by a new name, which the Lords shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. And thou shalt no more be called Forsaken; and thy land shall no more be called Desert: for thou shalt be called My Pleasure, and thy land Inhabited: for the Lord has taken pleasure in thee, and thy land shall be inhabited. And as a young man lives with a virgin, so shall thy sons dwell in thee: and it shall come to pass that as a bridegroom will rejoice over a bride, so will the Lord rejoice over thee.

Reading 10. Genesis 22:1-18

It came to pass after these things that God tempted Abraham, and said to him, Abraham, Abraham; and he said, Lo! here am I. And he said, Take thy son, the beloved one, whom thou hast loved — Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there for a whole-burnt-offering on one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up in the morning and saddled his ass, and he took with him two servants, and Isaac his son, and having split wood for a whole-burnt-offering, he arose and departed, and came to the place of which God spoke to him, on the third day; and Abraham having lifted up his eyes, saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his servants, Sit ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will proceed thus far, and having worshipped we will return to you. And Abraham took the wood of the whole-burnt-offering, and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took into his hands both the fire and the knife, and the two went together. And Isaac said to Abraham his father, “Father”. And he said, “What is it, son?” And he said, “Behold the fire and the wood, where is the sheep for a whole-burnt-offering?” And Abraham said, “God will provide himself a sheep for a whole-burnt-offering, my son.” And both having gone together, came to the place which God spoke of to him and there Abraham built the altar and laid the wood on it, and having bound the feet of Isaac his son together, he laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand to take the knife to slay his son. And an angel of the Lord called him out of heaven, and said “Abraham, Abraham.” And he said, “Behold, here am I. And he said, “Lay not thine hand upon the child, neither do anything to him, for now I know that thou fearest God, and for my sake thou hast not spared thy beloved son.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and beheld, and lo! a ram caught by his horns in a thicket; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a whole-burnt-offering in the place of Isaac his son. And Abraham called the name of that place, The Lord hath seen; that they might say to-day, In the mount the Lord was seen. And an angel of the Lord called Abraham the second time out of heaven, saying, I have sworn by myself, says the Lord, because thou hast done this thing, and on my account hast not spared thy beloved son, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is by the shore of the sea, and thy seed shall inherit the cities of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast hearkened to my voice.

Reading 11. Isaiah 61:1-9

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to declare the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompense; to comfort all that mourn; that there should be given to them that mourn in Zion glory instead of ashes, the oil of joy to the mourners, the garment of glory for the spirit of heaviness: and they shall be called generations of righteousness, the planting of the Lord for glory. And they shall build the old waste places, they shall raise up those that were before made desolate, and shall renew the desert cities, even those that had been desolate for many generations. And strangers shall come and feed thy flocks, and aliens shall be thy ploughmen and vine-dressers. But ye shall be called priests of the Lord, the ministers of God: ye shall eat the strength of nations, and shall be admired because of their wealth. Thus shall they inherit the land a second time, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. For I am the Lord who love righteousness, and hate robberies of injustice; and I will give their labor to the just, and will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring in the midst of peoples: every one that sees them shall take notice of them, that they are a seed blessed of God;

Reading 12. Fourth [Second, according to the KJV] Kings 4:8-37

A day came, when Elisha passed over to Shunem, and there was a great lady there, and she constrained him to eat bread: and it came to pass as often as he went into the city, that he turned aside to eat there. And the woman said to her husband, See now, I know that this is a holy man of God who comes over continually to us. Let us now make for him an upper chamber, a small place; and let us put there for him a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall come to pass that when he comes in to us, he shall turn in thither. And a day came, and he went in thither, and turned aside into the upper chamber, and lay there. And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call me this Shunammite. and he called her, and she stood before him. And he said to him, Say now to her, Behold, thou hast taken all this trouble for us; what should I do for thee? Hast thou any request to make to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she said, I dwell in the midst of my people. And he said to Gehazi, What must we do for her? and Gehazi his servant said, Indeed she has no son, and her husband is old. And he called her, and she stood by the door. And Elisha said to her, At this time next year, as the season is, thou shalt be alive, and embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, do not lie to thy servant. And the woman conceived, and bore a son at the very time, as the season was, being alive, as Elisha said to her. And the child grew: and it came to pass when he went out to his father to the reapers, that he said to his father, My head, my head. and his father said to a servant, carry him to his mother. And he carried him to his mother, and he lay upon her knees till noon, and died. And she carried him up and laid him on the bed of the man of god; and she shut the door upon him, and went out. And she called her husband, and said, Send now for me one of the young men, and one of the asses, and I will ride quickly to the man of God, and return. And he said, Why art thou going to him to-day? It is neither new moon, nor the Sabbath. And she said, It is well. And she saddled the ass, and said to her servant, Be quick, proceed: spare not on my account to ride, unless I shall tell thee. Go, and thou shalt proceed, and come to the man of God to mount Carmel. And she rode and came to the man of God to the mountain: and it came to pass when Elisha saw her coming, that he said to Gehazi his servant, See now, that Shunammite comes. Now run to meet her, and thou shalt say, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? and she said, It is well. And she came to Elisha to the mountain, and laid hold of his feet; and Gehazi drew near to thrust her away. And Elisha said, Let her alone, for her soul is much grieved in her, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told it me. And she said, Did I ask a son of my lord? For did I not say, Do not deal deceitfully with me? And Elisha said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go: if thou meet any man, thou shalt not salute him, and if a man salute thee thou shalt not answer him: and thou shalt lay my staff on the child’s face. And the mother of the child said, As the Lord lives and as thy soul lives, I will not leave thee. And Elisha arose, and went after her. And Gehazi went on before her, and laid his staff on the child’s face: but there was neither voice nor any hearing. So he returned to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. And Elisha went into the house, and, behold, the dead child was laid upon his bed. And Elisha went into the house, and shut the door upon themselves, the two, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and bowed himself upon him, and the flesh of the child grew warm. And he returned and walked up and down in the house: and he went up, and bowed himself on the child seven times; and the child opened his eyes. And Elisha cried out to Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her, and she came in to him: and Elisha said, Take thy son. And the woman went in, and fell at his feet, and did obeisance bowing to the ground; and she took her son, and went out.

Reading 13. Isaiah 63:11 – 64:5

Thus saith the Lord: Where is he that brought up from the sea the shepherd of the sheep? where is he that put his Holy Spirit in them? who led Moses with his right hand, the arm of his glory? he forced the water to separate from before him to make himself an everlasting name. He led them through the deep, as a horse through the wilderness, and they fainted not, and as cattle through a plain: the Spirit came down from the Lord and guided them: thus thou leddest thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. Turn from heaven, and look from thy holy habitation and from thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength? where is the abundance of thy mercy and of thy compassions, that thou hast withholden thyself from us? For thou art our Father; for through Abraham knew us not, and Israel did not acknowledge us, yet do thou, O Lord, our Father, deliver us: thy name has been upon us from the beginning. Why hast thou caused us to err, O Lord, from thy way? and has hardened our hearts, that we should not fear thee? Return for thy servants’ sake, for the sake of the tribes of thine inheritance, that we may inherit a small part of thy holy mountain. We are become as at the beginning, when thou didst not rule over us, and thy name was not called upon us. If thou wouldest open the heaven, trembling will take hold upon the mountains from thee, and they shall melt, as wax melts before the fire; and fire shall burn up the enemies, and thy name shall be manifest among the adversaries: at thy presence the nations shall be troubled, whenever thou shalt work gloriously; trembling from thee shall take hold upon the mountains. From of old we have not heard, neither have our eyes seen a God beside thee, and thy works which thou wilt perform to them that wait for mercy. For these blessings shall happen to them that work righteousness, and they shall remember thy ways.

Reading 14. Jeremiah 31:31-34

Thus saith the Lord: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Reading 15. Daniel 3:1-88

In his eighteenth year Nebuchadnezzar the king made a golden image, its height was sixty cubits, its breadth six cubits: and he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And he sent forth to gather the governors, and the captains, and the heads of provinces, chiefs, and princes, and those who were in authority, and all the rulers of districts, to come to the dedication of the image. So the heads of provinces, the governors, the captains, the chiefs, the great princes, those who were in authority, and all the rulers of districts, were gathered to the dedication of the image which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image. Then a herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, ye peoples, tribes, and languages, at what hour ye shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and pipe, and harp, and sackbut, and psaltery , and every king of music, ye shall fall down and worship the golden image which king Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whosoever shall not fall down and worship, in the same hour he shall be cast into the burning fiery furnace. And it came to pass when the nations heard the sound of the trumpet, and pipe, and harp, and sackbut, and psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the nations, tribes, and languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then came near certain Chaldeans, and accused the Jews to the king, saying, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man who shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and pipe, and harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and all kinds of music, and shall not fall down and worship the golden image, shall be cast into the burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who have not obeyed thy decree, O king: they serve not thy gods, and worship not the golden image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in wrath and anger commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: and they were brought before the king. And Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that ye serve not my gods, and worship not the golden image which I have set up? Now then if ye be ready, whensoever ye shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and pipe, and harp, and sackbut, and psaltery, and harmony, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the golden image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, in the same hour ye shall be cast into the burning fiery furnace; and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand? Then answered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and said to king Nebuchadnezzar, We have no need to answer thee concerning this matter. For our God whom we serve is in the heavens, able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will rescue us from thy hands, O king. But if not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and the form of his countenance was changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: and he gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than usual, until it should burn to the uttermost. And he commanded mighty men to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then those men were bound with their coats, and caps, and hose, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace, forasmuch as the king’s word prevailed; and the furnace was made exceeding hot. Then these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the midst of the burning furnace, and walked in the midst of the flame, singing praise to God, and blessing the Lord. Then Azariah stood and offered this prayer; in the midst of the fire he opened his mouth and said: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and worthy of praise; and Thy name is glorified for ever. For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done to us, and all Thy works are true and Thy ways right, and all Thy judgments are truth. Thou hast executed true judgments in all that Thou hast brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers, for in truth and justice Thou hast brought all this upon us because of our sins. For we have sinfully and lawlessly departed from Thee, and have sinned in all things and have not obeyed Thy commandments; we have not observed them or done them, as Thou hast commanded us that it might go well with us. So all that Thou hast brought upon us, and all that Thou hast done to us, Thou hast done in true judgment. Thou hast given us into the hands of lawless enemies, most hateful rebels, and to an unjust king, the most wicked in all the world. And now we cannot open our mouths; shame and disgrace have befallen Thy servants and worshippers. For Thy name’s sake do not give us up utterly, and do not break Thy covenant, and do not withdraw Thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham Thy beloved and for the sake of Isaac Thy servant and Israel Thy holy one, to whom Thou didst promise to make their descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the shore of the sea. For we, O Lord, have become fewer than any nation, and are brought low this day in all the world because of our sins. And at this time there is no prince, or prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, no place to make an offering before Thee or to find mercy. Yet with a contrite heart and a humble spirit may we be accepted, as though it were with burnt offerings of rams and bulls, and with tens of thousands of fat lambs; such may our sacrifice be in Thy sight this day, and may we wholly follow Thee, for there will be no shame for those who trust in Thee. And now with all our heart we follow Thee, we fear Thee and seek Thy face. Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in Thy forbearance and in Thy abundant mercy. Deliver us in accordance with Thy marvelous works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord! Let all who do harm to Thy servants be put to shame; let them be disgraced and deprived of all power and dominion, and let their strengths be broken. Let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, glorious over the whole world.” Now the king’s servants who threw them in did not cease feeding the furnace fires with naphtha, pitch, tow, and brush. And the flame streamed out above the furnace forty nine cubits, and it broke through and burned those of the Chaldeans whom it caught about in the furnace. But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with Azariah and his companions, and drove the fiery flame out of the furnace, and made the midst of the furnace like a moist whistling wind, so that the fire did not touch them at all or hurt or trouble them. Then the three, as with one mouth, praised and glorified and blessed God in the furnace, saying: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages; And blessed is Thy glorious, holy name, which is supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages; Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy holy glory, Thou who art supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages. Blessed art Thou, who sittest upon cherubim and lookest upon the abysses, Thou who art supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages. Blessed art Thou upon the throne of Thy kingdom, Thou Who art supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages. Blessed art Thou in the firmament of the heaven, Thou Who art supremely praised and supremely exalted unto the ages:

At the last reading (15), when the reader has finished the Prayer of the Three Children, we sing the Song of the Three Children, with the refrain after each verse:

Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, ye angels of the Lord and, ye heavens of the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, all ye waters above the heavens, and all ye powers of the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O sun and moon, and ye stars of heaven.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, every rain and dew, and all ye winds.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, fire and heat of burning, winter cold and summer heat.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O falls of dew and snow, O ice and cold.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O hoar frosts and snows, O lightnings and clouds
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O light and darkness, O nights and days.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O earth, O mountains and hills, and all things that spring up on therein.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O fountains, seas and rivers, O monsters of the sea, and all things that move in the waters.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, all ye winged creatures of the sky, O beasts and all cattle.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, ye sons of men; Let Israel bless the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, ye priests of the Lord, ye servants of the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, ye spirits and ye souls of the righteous, ye saints, and ye that be humble of heart.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Bless the Lord, ye Apostles, Prophets and Martyrs of the Lord.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: We bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Lord.
Choir: We praise the Lord and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Choir: O praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto the ages.
Reader: We praise, we bless, and we worship the Lord.
Choir: Praising the Lord and supremely exalting Him unto the ages.