Marriage Readings

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One or more passages of Holy Scripture always is read. It is appropriate that the lessons be read by lay people chosen by the couple. Normally, a different person reads each lesson. If the wedding includes Holy Eucharist, a reading from a Gospel always is read by clergy.

The couple are free to select the readings, and the officiating member of the clergy will assist if desired. Generally, St. Margaret’s recommends two Lessons, plus the Gospel if Holy Eucharist is part of the ceremony. Lessons normally would be read in the order given here.

The full text of these readings is included below the list itself on this page.

 

Old Testament Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)

Genesis 1:26-28: Male and female he created them
Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24: A man cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh
Exodus 40:34-38: A sacred journey
Ruth 1:16-17: Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi
1 Samuel 18:1b, 3, 20:16-17, 42a: Jonathan’s covenant with David
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one
Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7: Many waters cannot quench love
Micah 4:1-4: The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established
Tobit 8:5b-8: That she and I may grow old together

Psalm (one of these may be chosen, but is not expected or required)

Psalm 25:1-9: All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness
Psalm 26:1-8: I have walked faithfully with you
Psalm 45:1-4, 9-11, 14-16: Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior
Psalm 65: Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there
Psalm 67: May God give us his blessing
Psalm 85:7-13: Righteousness and peace have kissed each other
Psalm 98: Sing to the Lord a new song
Psalm 100: God’s faithfulness endures from age to age
Psalm 126: The Lord has done great things for them
Psalm 127: Children are a heritage from the Lord
Psalm 128: May you live to see your children’s children
Psalm 133: How good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity
Psalm 138: I will bow down because of your love and faithfulness
Psalm 148: He made them stand fast for ever and ever
Psalm 149:1-5: Let them be joyful on their beds

New Testament Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)

Romans 12:9-18: Let love be genuine
1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13: Love is patient and kind
2 Corinthians 5:17-20: A new creation
Galatians 3:26-28: You are one in Christ Jesus
Galatians 5:14, 22-26: The fruit of the Spirit
Ephesians 3:14-21: The Father from whom every family is named
Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33: Walk in love, as Christ loved us
Colossians 3:12-17: Love which binds everything together in harmony
1 John 3:18-24: Our hearts do not condemn us
1 John 4:7-16, 21: Let us love one another for love is of God

Gospel Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)

Note: If Holy Eucharist is part of the service, this reading is required, and is read by clergy.

Matthew 5:1-16: You are the light . . . Let your light so shine
Matthew 7:21, 24-29: Like a wise man who built his house upon the rock
Mark 3:31-35: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother
Mark 10:6-9, 13-16: They are no longer two but one
Mark 12:28-34: You are not far from the kingdom of God
Luke 6:32-38: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful
John 15:9-17: Love one another as I have loved you
John 17:1-2,18-26: Let them be one, as we are one

 

Old Testament Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)

Genesis 1:26-28: Male and female he created them

God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24: A man cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground—then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Exodus 40:34-38: A sacred journey

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Ruth 1:16-17: Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi

Ruth said to Naomi, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

1 Samuel 18:1b, 3, 20:16-17, 42a: Jonathan’s covenant with David

The soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.” Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7: Many waters cannot quench love

My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.

Micah 4:1-4: The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

Tobit 8:5b-8: That she and I may grow old together

Tobias began by saying, “Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessed is your name in all generations forever. Let the heavens and the whole creation bless you forever. You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the human race has sprung. You said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.’ I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” And they both said, “Amen, Amen.”

 

Psalm (one of these may be chosen, but is not expected or required)

Psalm 25:1-9: All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness

1    To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

2    Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.

3    Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.

4    Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

5    Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.

6    Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.

7    Gracious and upright is the Lord; *
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

8    He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.

9    All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

 

Psalm 26:1-8: I have walked faithfully with you

1    Give judgment for me, O Lord, for I have lived with integrity; *
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.

2    Test me, O Lord, and try me; *
examine my heart and my mind.

3    For your love is before my eyes; *
I have walked faithfully with you.

4    I have not sat with the worthless, *
nor do I consort with the deceitful.

5    I have hated the company of evildoers; *
I will not sit down with the wicked.

6    I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, *
that I may go in procession round your altar,

7    Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving *
and recounting all your wonderful deeds.

8    Lord, I love the house in which you dwell *
and the place where your glory abides.

 

Psalm 45:1-4, 9-11, 14-16: Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior

1    My heart is stirring with a noble song; let me recite what I have fashioned for the king; *
my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.

2    You are the fairest of men; *
grace flows from your lips, because God has blessed you for ever.

3    Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior, *
in your pride and in your majesty.

4    Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth *
and for the sake of justice.

9    All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, *
and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.

10    Kings’ daughters stand among the ladies of the court; *
on your right hand is the queen, adorned with the gold of Ophir.

11    “Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely; *
forget your people and your father’s house.

14    All glorious is the princess as she enters; *
her gown is cloth-of-gold.

15    In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king; *
after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.

16    With joy and gladness they are brought, *
and enter into the palace of the king.

 

Psalm 65: Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there

1      You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; *
to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.

2      To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, *
because of their transgressions.

3      Our sins are stronger than we are, *
but you will blot them out.

4      Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! *
they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple.

5      Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, *
O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away.

6      You make fast the mountains by your power; *
they are girded about with might.

7      You still the roaring of the seas, *
the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples.

8      Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; *
you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.

9      You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; *
the river of God is full of water.

10      You prepare the grain, *
for so you provide for the earth.

11      You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; *
with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.

12      You crown the year with your goodness, *
and your paths overflow with plenty.

13      May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, *
and the hills be clothed with joy.

14         May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; *
let them shout for joy and sing.

 

Psalm 67: May God give us his blessing

1    May God be merciful to us and bless us, *
how us the light of his countenance and come to us.

2    Let your ways be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.

3    Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

4    Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the nations upon earth.

5    Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

6    The earth has brought forth her increase; *
may God, our own God, give us his blessing.

7    May God give us his blessing, *
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.

 

Psalm 85:7-13: Righteousness and peace have kissed each other

7      Show us your mercy, O Lord, *
and grant us your salvation.

8      I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

9      Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10      Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11      Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12      The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.

13         Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

 

Psalm 98: Sing to the Lord a new song

1      Sing to the Lord a new song, *
for he has done marvelous things.

2      With his right hand and his holy arm *
has he won for himself the victory.

3      The Lord has made known his victory; *
his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.

4      He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

5      Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

6      Sing to the Lord with the harp, *
with the harp and the voice of song.

7      With trumpets and the sound of the horn *
shout with joy before the King, the Lord.

8      Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.

9      Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord, when he comes to judge the earth.

10         In righteousness shall he judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.

 

Psalm 100: God’s faithfulness endures from age to age

1      Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.

2      Know this: The Lord himself is God; *
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

3      Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; *
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

4      For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; *
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

 

Psalm 126: The Lord has done great things for them

1      When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.

2      Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.

3      Then they said among the nations, *
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

4      The Lord has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed.

5      Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *
like the watercourses of the Negev.

6      Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.

7      Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

 

Psalm 127: Children are a heritage from the Lord

1    Unless the Lord builds the house, *
their labor is in vain who build it.

2    Unless the Lord watches over the city, *
in vain the watchman keeps his vigil.

3    It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late; *
vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep.

4    Children are a heritage from the Lord, *
and the fruit of the womb is a gift.

5    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior *
are the children of one’s youth.

6    Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! *
he shall not be put to shame when he contends with his enemies in the gate.

 

Psalm 128: May you live to see your children’s children

1    Happy are they all who fear the Lord, *
and who follow in his ways!

2    You shall eat the fruit of your labor; *
happiness and prosperity shall be yours.

3    Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, *
your children like olive shoots round about your table.

4    The man who fears the Lord *
shall thus indeed be blessed.

5    The Lord bless you from Zion, *
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

6    May you live to see your children’s children; *
may peace be upon Israel.

 

Psalm 133: How good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity

1      Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
when brethren live together in unity!

2      It is like fine oil upon the head *
that runs down upon the beard,

3      Upon the beard of Aaron, *
and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

4      It is like the dew of Hermon *
that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5      For there the Lord has ordained the blessing: *
life for evermore.

 

Psalm 138: I will bow down because of your love and faithfulness

1    I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; *
before the gods I will sing your praise.

2    I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your Name, *
because of your love and faithfulness;

3    For you have glorified your Name *
and your word above all things.

4    When I called, you answered me; *
you increased my strength within me.

5    All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord, *
when they have heard the words of your mouth.

6    They will sing of the ways of the Lord, *
that great is the glory of the Lord.

7    Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly; *
he perceives the haughty from afar.

8    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; *
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.

9    The Lord will make good his purpose for me; *
O Lord, your love endures for ever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

 

Psalm 148: He made them stand fast for ever and ever

1      Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; *
praise him in the heights.

2      Praise him, all you angels of his; *
praise him, all his host.

3      Praise him, sun and moon; *
praise him, all you shining stars.

4      Praise him, heaven of heavens, *
and you waters above the heavens.

5      Let them praise the Name of the Lord; *
for he commanded, and they were created.

6      He made them stand fast for ever and ever; *
he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

7      Praise the Lord from the earth, *
you sea-monsters and all deeps;

8      Fire and hail, snow and fog, *
tempestuous wind, doing his will;

9      Mountains and all hills, *
fruit trees and all cedars;

10      Wild beasts and all cattle, *
creeping things and winged birds;

11      Kings of the earth and all peoples, *
princes and all rulers of the world;

12      Young men and maidens, *
old and young together.

13      Let them praise the Name of the Lord, *
for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven.

14      He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants, *
the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Hallelujah!

 

Psalm 149:1-5: Let them be joyful on their beds

1      Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.

2      Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3      Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.

4      For the Lord takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.

5      Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.

 

New Testament Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)

Romans 12:9-18: Let love be genuine

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13: Love is patient and kind

I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20: A new creation

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Galatians 3:26-28: You are one in Christ Jesus

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:14, 22-26: The fruit of the Spirit

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 3:14-21: The Father from whom every family is named

I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33: Walk in love, as Christ loved us

Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

Colossians 3:12-17: Love which binds everything together in harmony

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 John 3:18-24: Our hearts do not condemn us

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

1 John 4:7-16: Let us love one another for love is of God

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

 

Gospel Lessons (normally, one of these is chosen)
Note: If Holy Eucharist is part of the service, this reading is required, and is read by clergy.

Matthew 5:1-16: You are the light . . . Let your light so shine

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:21, 24-29: Like a wise man who built his house upon the rock

Jesus said to the disciples, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Mark 3:31-35: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother

Jesus’ mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 10:6-9, 13-16: They are no longer two but one

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 12:28-34: You are not far from the kingdom of God

One of the scribes came near and heard the disciples disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

Luke 6:32-38: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

John 15:9-17: Love one another as I have loved you

Jesus said to the disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

John 17:1-2,18-26: Let them be one, as we are one

Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth. I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Last updated: February 24, 2016 at 14:32 pm

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