Cyril & Methodius

14 February -- Lesser Festival -- Missionaries -- White

Cyril and his older brother Methodius were born in Thessalonica, both developing in their youth the ability to speak several languages, including Slavonic, a language not yet written down, at least in an alphabet understood by others. Cyril created the Slavonic alphabet and set about translating the Scriptures and other liturgical texts into the language. They established the church in Moravia, but in so doing entered into the controversy between indigenous and centralised religious practices and worship. Cyril died on this day in the year 869, whilst the brothers were in Rome, there to obtain papal approval for their evangelistic work. Methodius returned to Moravia as archbishop, where he completed the translation of the Bible and continued the missionary work. He died in the year 885. Today they are revered in both Christian East and West and, as such, are seen as patron saints of ecumenism between these two great branches of Christendom.


Lord of all,
who gave to your servants Cyril and Methodius
the gift of tongues to proclaim the gospel to the Slavs:
make your whole Church one as you are one
that all Christians may honour one another,
and east and west acknowledge
   one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
and you, the God and Father of all;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." But I said, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God." And now the Lord says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength -- he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

This is the word of the Lord.         Isaiah 49. 1-6

Responsorial Psalm

RLift up your heads, O gates,
and the King of glory shall come in.
The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,
the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep. R

"Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?
and who can stand in his holy place?"
"Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud. R

"They shall receive a blessing from the Lord
and a just reward from the God of their salvation."
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob. R         Psalm 24

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans.

The scripture says, "No one who believes in the Lord will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

This is the word of the Lord.         Romans 10. 11-15

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money -- not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

This is the gospel of Christ.         Luke 9. 1-6

Post Communion

Holy Father,
who gathered us here around the table of your Son
to share this meal with the whole household of God:
in that new world where you reveal
   the fullness of your peace,
gather people of every race and language
to share with Cyril and Methodius and all your saints
in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord.