Introit • Wis. 11, 24, 25, 27
Thou hast mercy upon all, O Lord, and hatest none of the things which Thou hast made, winking at the sins of men for the sake of repentance, and sparing them: for Thou art the Lord our God. Ps. 56, 2. Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me; for my soul trusteth in Thee. Glory be …
Grant to thy faithful, O Lord, that they may both undertake the venerable solemnities of fasting with piety and carry them through with unwavering devotion. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Joel 2, 12-19
Lesson from Joel the Prophet.
Thus saith the Lord: Be converted to Me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bride chamber. Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord’s ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. And the Lord answered and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations; saith the Lord almighty.
Gradual • Ps. 56, 2, 4
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me: for my soul trusteth in Thee. He hath sent from heaven, and delivered me; He hath made them a reproach that trod upon me.
Tract. Ps. 102, 10
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. Ps. 78, 8, 9. O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. Help us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.
Gospel • Matt. 6, 16-21
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee. Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Offertory • Ps. 29, 2, 3
I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me; and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me: O Lord, I have cried to Thee, and Thou hast healed me.
Make us duly fit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, for the offering of these gifts, with which we celebrate the beginning of the august sacrament itself. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 1, 2, 3
He who shall meditate upon the law of the Lord, day and night, shall bring forth his fruit in due season.
May the sacraments we have received, O Lord, give us help, that our fasts may be pleasing to Thee and profitable to us as a healing remedy. Through our Lord.