whose love is revealed in the mystery of the Trinity:
help us, like your servant N.,
to find in our human loving a mirror of your divine love
and to see in all your children our brothers and sisters in Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name,
your servant N. revealed your goodness
in a life of tranquillity and service:
grant that we who have gathered in faith around this table
may like him/her know the love of Christ
that surpasses knowledge
and be filled with all your fullness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A reading from the book Proverbs.
A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. [She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.]
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. [She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.]
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.
This is the word of the Lord. Proverbs 31. 1031 (or vv 1013, 1920, 3031)
A reading from the Book of Tobit.
When the parents had gone out and shut the door of the room, Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety. So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, Blessèd are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessèd 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.
This is the word of the Lord. Tobit 8. 47
|R||Children are a heritage from the Lord,|
[and the fruit of the womb is a gift].
Unless the Lord builds the house,
their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
in vain the guard keeps vigil. R
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 belovèd sleep. R
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of ones youth. R
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!
they shall not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate. R Psalm 127
|R||Happy are they all who fear the Lord,|
[and who follow in Gods ways!]
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;
happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house,
your children like olive shoots round about your table. R
Whoever fears the Lord shall thus indeed be blessed.
The Lord bless you from Zion,
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life. R
May you live to see your childrens children;
may peace be upon Israel. R Psalm 128
A reading from the First Letter of Peter.
Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives conduct, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in Gods sight. It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you. Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together, paying honour to the woman as the weaker sex, since they too are also heirs of the gracious gift of life so that nothing may hinder your prayers. Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called that you might inherit a blessing.
This is the word of the Lord. 1 Peter 3. 19
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Then the mother of Jesus 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.
This is the gospel of the Lord. Mark 3. 3135
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Now as Jesus and his disciples went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lords feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.
This is the gospel of the Lord. Luke 10. 3842