The Introit

Your decrees are very | trustworthy;*
holiness befits your house, O LORD, for- | evermore.
Your throne is established | from of old;*
you are from ever- | lasting.

The LORD reigns; he is robed in | majesty;*
the LORD is robed; he has put on strength | as his belt.
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.

Your decrees are very | trustworthy;*
holiness befits your house, O LORD, for- | evermore.
Your throne is established | from of old;*
you are from ever- | lasting.

The Collect of the Day

O God, our Maker and Redeemer, You wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature.  Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 
The Prophet Isaiah,    Mid 16th century , Enea Vico, Italian, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Prophet Isaiah, Mid 16th century, Enea Vico, Italian, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

You are the most handsome of the | sons of men;*
grace is poured up- | on your lips.
I address my verses | to the king;*
my tongue is like the pen of a | ready scribe.

The Old Testament

Isaiah 11:1–5

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

“And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

The Epistle

Galatians 4:1–7

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 
Presentation in the Temple,   c. 1770s, Carl Wilhelm Weisbrod, German, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Presentation in the Temple, c. 1770s, Carl Wilhelm Weisbrod, German, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

Luke 2:33–40

Alleluia . The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt Alleluia.

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.