Catherine of Alexandria, Barbara of Nicomedia, and Margaret of Antioch, Martyrs, c. 300

Tuesday, November 24, 2020Wednesday, November 24, 2021Thursday, November 24, 2022
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Embolden thy church, O God, with the stories of thy saints Catherine, Barbara, and Margaret, that we might face all trials and adversities with a fearless mind and an unbroken spirit, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rite II:
Embolden your church, O God, with the stories of your saints Catherine, Barbara, and Margaret, that we might face all trials and adversities with a fearless mind and an unbroken spirit, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

First Lesson: 
Judith 12:16–13:10

16Then Judith came in and lay down. Holofernes’ heart was ravished with her and his passion was aroused, for he had been waiting for an opportunity to seduce her from the day he first saw her. 17So Holofernes said to her, ‘Have a drink and be merry with us!’ 18Judith said, ‘I will gladly drink, my lord, because today is the greatest day in my whole life.’ 19Then she took what her maid had prepared and ate and drank before him. 20Holofernes was greatly pleased with her, and drank a great quantity of wine, much more than he had ever drunk in any one day since he was born.

1When evening came, his slaves quickly withdrew. Bagoas closed the tent from outside and shut out the attendants from his master’s presence. They went to bed, for they all were weary because the banquet had lasted so long. 2But Judith was left alone in the tent, with Holofernes stretched out on his bed, for he was dead drunk.

3Now Judith had told her maid to stand outside the bedchamber and to wait for her to come out, as she did on the other days; for she said she would be going out for her prayers. She had said the same thing to Bagoas. 4So everyone went out, and no one, either small or great, was left in the bedchamber. Then Judith, standing beside his bed, said in her heart, ‘O Lord God of all might, look in this hour on the work of my hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem. 5Now indeed is the time to help your heritage and to carry out my design to destroy the enemies who have risen up against us.’

6She went up to the bedpost near Holofernes’ head, and took down his sword that hung there. 7She came close to his bed, took hold of the hair of his head, and said, ‘Give me strength today, O Lord God of Israel!’ 8Then she struck his neck twice with all her might, and cut off his head. 9Next she rolled his body off the bed and pulled down the canopy from the posts. Soon afterwards she went out and gave Holofernes’ head to her maid, 10who placed it in her food bag.

Then the two of them went out together, as they were accustomed to do for prayer. They passed through the camp, circled around the valley, and went up the mountain to Bethulia, and came to its gates.

Psalm: 
Psalm 119:97–104

97 Oh, how I love your law! *
           all the day long it is in my mind.
98 Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, *
           and it is always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, *
           for your decrees are my study.
100 I am wiser than the elders, *
           because I observe your commandments.
101 I restrain my feet from every evil way, *
           that I may keep your word.
102 I do not shrink from your judgments, *
           because you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! *
           they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104 Through your commandments I gain understanding; *
           therefore I hate every lying way.

Gospel: 
Mark 9:42–50

42‘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. 43If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

49‘For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.