The Introit

A great multitude that no one could number stood before the throne and be- | fore the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and cried out with a loud voice, | saying:
Salvation belongs to our God who sits | on the throne
and | to the Lamb!
Shout for joy in the LORD, O you | righteous!
Praise befits the | upright.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.                
A great multitude that no one could number stood before the throne and be- | fore the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and cried out with a loud voice, | saying:
Salvation belongs to our God who sits | on the throne,
and | to the Lamb!

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb  , 1585, by Jan Sadeler I, Flemish.  Philadelphia Art Museum

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 1585, by Jan Sadeler I, Flemish. Philadelphia Art Museum

The Gradual

Oh, fear the LORD, | you his saints,
for those who fear him | have no lack!
Those who | seek the LORD
lack | no good thing.

The First Reading

Revelation 7:9–17

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robesand were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the eldersand the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
    nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

 

The Epistle

1 John 3:1–3

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 
Sermon on the Mount  , Mid 16th Century, by Cornelis Bos, Dutch from  Philadelphia Art Museum

Sermon on the Mount, Mid 16th Century, by Cornelis Bos, Dutch from Philadelphia Art Museum

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 5:1–12

Alleluia. Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us [look] to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Alleluia.

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.