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Preface of the Incarnation

The Collect

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, kindle in your Church the never-failing gift of love, that we, following the examples of your servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, may have grace to defend the poor and maintain the cause of those who have no helper; for the sake of him who gave his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Proverbs 25:11–15

A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise rebuke to a listening ear.

Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
are faithful messengers to those who send them;
they refresh the spirit of their masters.

Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of a gift never given.

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue can break bones.

The Response

Psalm 112:1–9

Beatus vir

1 Hallelujah!
Happy are they who fear the Lord *
and have great delight in his commandments!

2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land; *
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches will be in their house, *
and their righteousness will last for ever.

4 Light shines in the darkness for the upright; *
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

5 It is good for them to be generous in lending *
and to manage their affairs with justice.

6 For they will never be shaken; *
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.

7 They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; *
their heart is right;
they put their trust in the Lord.

8 Their heart is established and will not shrink, *
until they see their desire upon their enemies.

9 They have given freely to the poor, *
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honor.

The Epistle

Galatians 3:23–29

Before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for 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. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

The Gospel

Mark 9:33–37,42

Jesus and his disciples came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.”

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