Gregory the Illuminator: Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332

Thursday, March 23, 2017Friday, March 23, 2018Saturday, March 23, 2019Monday, March 23, 2020
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty God, who willest to be glorified in thy saints, and didst raise up thy servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray thee, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth thy praise, who hast called us out of darkness into thy marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
Acts 17:22-31

22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor* he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.”  29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’

Psalm: 
Psalm 33:6–11 or 98:1–4

6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, *
       by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
       and stores up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; *
       let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to pass; *
       he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord brings the will of the nations to naught; *
       he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the Lord’s will stands fast for ever, *
       and the designs of his heart from age to age.

or

1 Sing to the Lord a new song, *
       for he has done marvelous things.
2 With his right hand and his holy arm *
       has he won for himself the victory.
3 The Lord has made known his victory; *
       his righteousness has he openly shown in
                               the sight of the nations.
4 He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to
                               the house of Israel, *
       and all the ends of the earth have seen the
                               victory of our God.

Gospel: 
Matthew 5:11-16

11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

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