or [Common of a Martyr] [For Social Service] [Of the Holy Cross]

Preface of a Saint (3)

The Collect

Almighty God, you called your deacon Laurence to serve you with deeds of love, and gave him the crown of martyrdom: Grant that we, following his example, may fulfill your commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving you with all our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Job 29:11–17

When the ear heard, it commended me,
and when the eye saw, it approved;

because I delivered the poor who cried,
and the orphan who had no helper.

The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.

I was eyes to the blind,
and feet to the lame.

I was a father to the needy,
and I championed the cause of the stranger.

I broke the fangs of the unrighteous,
and made them drop their prey from their teeth.

The Response

Psalm 126

In convertendo

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.

The Epistle

2 Corinthians 9:6–10

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures for ever.”

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

The Gospel

John 12:24–26

Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.”

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