Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-32
For I received from the Lord that which I also
delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was
betrayed took bread;
and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "
Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper,
saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you
drink it, in remembrance of Me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup
of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of
that bread and drink of that cup.
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats
and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord,
that we may not be condemned with the world.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 26:1-27:2
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these
sayings, that He said to His disciples,
"You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son
of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."
Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the
people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.
But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an
uproar among the people."
And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the
a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly
fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "
To what purpose is this waste?
"For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and
given to the poor."
But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do
you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.
"For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not
"For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it
for My burial.
"Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached
in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a
memorial to her."
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the
and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him
to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread
the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to
prepare for You to eat the Passover?"
And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to
him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at
your house with My disciples." ' "
So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they
prepared the Passover.
Now when evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.
Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you,
one of you will betray Me."
And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began
to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?"
Then He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me
in the dish will betray Me.
"The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to
that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for
that man if he had not been born."
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "
Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and
broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them,
saying, "Drink from it, all of you.
"For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed
for many for the remission of sins.
"But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the
vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount
Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to
stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the
Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
"But after I have been raised, I will go before you to
Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to
stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."
Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night,
before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will
not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and
said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."
And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and
He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful,
even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed,
saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and
said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with Me one hour?
"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "O My
Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will
And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time,
saying the same words.
Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you
still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man
is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
"Rise, let us be going. See, he who betrays Me is at hand."
And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the
twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief
priests and elders of the people.
Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I
kiss, He is the One; seize Him."
Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings,
Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
And Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then
they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched
out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and
cut off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for
all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
"Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and
He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
"How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must
In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come
out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily
with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.
"But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets
might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to
Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest's
courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council
sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,
but found none. Even though many false witnesses came
forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came FORWARD
and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the
temple of God and to build it in three days.' "
And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer
nothing? What is it that these men testify against You?"
But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and
said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are
the Christ, the Son of God."
Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say
to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of
the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has
spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you
have heard His blasphemy!
"What do you think?" They answered and said, "He is
deserving of death."
Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck
Him with the palms of their hands,
saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck
Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl
came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."
But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know
what you are saying."
And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw
him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of
But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"
And after a while those who stood by came to him and said
to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, because your speech betrays you."
Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know
the Man!" And immediately a rooster crowed.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "
Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Then he went out
and wept bitterly.
When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the
people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death.
And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered
Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Saints and Feasts
Holy Thursday; The Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutius; George the Confessor