READINGS

FIRST LESSON                                                        Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Lector     A reading from the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah.

Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests. At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, “The LORD will not do good, nor will he do harm.” Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them. The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the LORD, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them  on the day of the LORD's wrath; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
 

SECOND LESSON                                             1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
 

Lector     A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
 

Let us pray to God, the only giver of power for good.

May all who confess your name be faithful stewards of what has been entrusted to them.  As we look for the coming of Christ, we pray that the Church on earth may always be ready to become one with the Church of the blessed in heaven.

When business is done in the world, drive out dishonesty and self-seeking. Bring to all people the knowledge that this world is not the end.  As we work for the present good, let our eyes be lifted to the future glory.

Draw into your service all in our community that they may be used for the coming of the Kingdom.  Shine your love on us, our families and friends, that we may live as children of the light.

Have mercy on those who have not fulfilled the best that is in them, hindered by sloth or circumstance or self-doubt.  Rouse them to be active in doing your will.

We pray for those who have come to their last day and passed into new life.  Confident that waking or sleeping we are with Christ, we pray that we shall be always ready to hear his call.

[Here other intercessions may be offered.]

That we may faithfully respond to the grace given to us, we offer our prayers. Amen.