Anne and Joachim

26 July -- Lesser Festival -- White

In the proto-gospel of James, written in the middle of the second century, the parents of Mary the mother of Jesus are named as Anne and Joachim. The story appears to be based heavily on that of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. The Church maintains their feast day both to emphasise God's plan from the beginning to send his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem fallen humanity; and also to show God's faithfulness in keeping his covenant with all generations.

Collect

Lord God of Israel,
who bestowed such grace on Anne and Joachim
that their daughter Mary grew up obedient to your word
and made ready to be the mother of your Son:
help us to commit ourselves in all things to your keeping
and grant us the salvation you promised to your people;
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 Zephaniah.

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.

This is the word of the Lord.         Zephaniah 3. 14-18a

Responsorial Psalm

RSing aloud, O daughter Zion,
[rejoice and exult, O daughter Jerusalem!]
Happy are they all who fear the Lord,
and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;
happiness and prosperity shall be yours. R

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house,
your children like olive shoots round about your table.
Whoever fears the Lord
shall thus indeed be blessed. R

The Lord bless you from Zion,
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children;
may peace be upon Israel. R          Psalm 128

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans.

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

This is the word of the Lord.         Romans 8. 28-30

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

Jesus said to his disciples, "Blessèd are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 13. 16-17

Post Communion

God, the source of all holiness
   and giver of all good things:
may we who have shared at this table
   as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints
   to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.