The Introit

I know the plans I have for you, de- | clares the LORD,*
plans for wholeness and not for | evil.
Then you will call upon me and come and | pray to me,*
and I will | hear you.
LORD, you were favorable | to your land;*
you restored the fortunes of | Jacob.
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.             

I know the plans I have for you, de- | clares the LORD,*
plans for wholeness and not for | evil.
Then you will call upon me and come and | pray to me,*
and I will | hear you.

The Collect of the Day

O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon ourselves, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 
The Last Judgement  , Mid- 17th century, by Cornelis de Visscher, Dutch, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Last Judgement, Mid- 17th century, by Cornelis de Visscher, Dutch, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

In many-colored robes [the king’s daughter] is led | to the king,*
with her virgin companions following be- | hind her.
With joy and gladness they are | led along*
as they enter the palace | of the king.

The Old Testament

Isaiah 65:17–25

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.
“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord,
And their offspring with them.
“It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

 

The Epistle

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

 
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins  , 18th Century, Copy after Tintoretto (Jacopo di Giovanni Battista Robusti), Italian, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, 18th Century, Copy after Tintoretto (Jacopo di Giovanni Battista Robusti), Italian, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 25:1–13

Alleluia. I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Alleluia.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.