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Preface of Holy Week

The Collect

Precious in your sight, O Lord, is the death of your saints, whose faithful witness, by your providence, has its great reward: We give you thanks for your martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road into Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Job 23:10–17

He knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.

My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.

I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.

But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?
What he desires, that he does.

For he will complete what he appoints for me;
and many such things are in his mind.

Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.

God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;

If only I could vanish in darkness,
and thick darkness would cover my face!

The Response

Psalm 124

Nisi quia Dominus

1 If the Lord had not been on our side, *
let Israel now say;

2 If the Lord had not been on our side, *
when enemies rose up against us;

3 Then would they have swallowed us up alive *
in their fierce anger toward us;

4 Then would the waters have overwhelmed us *
and the torrent gone over us;

5 Then would the raging waters *
have gone right over us.

6 Blessed be the Lord! *
he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.

7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler; *
the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

8 Our help is in the Name of the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.

The Epistle

1 Peter 3:14–18,22

But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, ... who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

The Gospel

Matthew 10:16–22

Jesus said to the twelve, “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

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