Epistle Reading: Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with
our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
For every priest taken from among men is appointed for men in
things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for
He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going
astray, since he himself is also beset by weakness.
Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for
himself, to offer for sins.
And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called
by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest,
but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You."
As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek";
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:34-9:1
And when He had called the people to Him, with His disciples
also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world,
and loses his own soul?
"Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous
and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He
comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are
some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of
God present with power."
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 2:11-18
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being
sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them
saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the
midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You."
And again: "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am
I and the children whom God has given Me."
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and
blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might
destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
and release those who through fear of death were all their
lifetime subject to bondage.
For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give
aid to the seed of Abraham.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren,
that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining
to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is
able to aid those who are tempted.
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:24-38
Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid
herself five months, saying,
"Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked
on me, to take away my reproach among men."
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a
city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the
house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly
favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and
considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you
have found favor with God.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a
Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest;
and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
"And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His
kingdom there will be no end."
Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not
know a man?"
And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will
come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore,
also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
"Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son
in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called
"For with God nothing will be impossible."
Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be
to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Saints and Feasts
Annunciation of the Theotokos