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Saturday 4 December 2021    (other days)
Saturday of the 1st week of Advent 
 or Saint John Damascene, Priest, Doctor 

Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

Year: C(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Saint John Damascene, priest, Doctor

He was born of a Christian family in Damascus in the second half of the seventh century, where his father was a high official under the Umayyad caliph; a post which he inherited. When the Iconoclast movement (seeking to prohibit the veneration of icons) gained acceptance in the Byzantine court, John, being under Muslim rather than Byzantine rule, was able to write effective treatises attacking Iconoclasm and attacking the emperor for supporting it. At about this time he retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, where he became a monk and was ordained. He died in the middle of the eighth century.
  He wrote many theological treatises in a dangerously clear and accessible style which made the issues understandable even by non-experts. His name was reviled and execrated by the imperial Iconoclast party even after his death. Sometimes known as “the last of the Church Fathers,” he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1883. See the article in Wikipedia.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: St Cyprian (210 - 258)

Cyprian was born in Carthage and spent most of his life in the practice of the law. He was converted to Christianity, and was made bishop of Carthage in 249. He steered the church through troubled times, including the persecution of the emperor Decius, when he went into hiding so as to be able to continue looking after the church. In 258 the persecution of the emperor Valerian began. Cyprian was first exiled and then, on the 14th of September, executed, after a trial notable for the calm and courtesy shown by both sides.
  Cyprian’s many letters and treatises shed much light on a formative period in the Church’s history, and are valuable both for their doctrine and for the picture they paint of a group of people in constant peril of their lives but still determined to keep the faith.

Liturgical colour: violet

Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Isaiah 4:2 ©
That day, the branch of the Lord shall be beauty and glory, and the fruit of the earth shall be the pride and adornment of Israel’s survivors.

Noon reading (Sext)Isaiah 4:3 ©
Those who are left of Zion and remain of Jerusalem shall be called holy and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.

Afternoon reading (None)Isaiah 61:11 ©
As the earth makes fresh things grow, as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord make both integrity and praise spring up in the sight of the nations.

Free audio for the blind

Office of Readings for 1st Saturday of Advent

Morning Prayer for 1st Saturday of Advent

Evening Prayer 1 for 2nd Sunday of Advent

Full page including sources and copyrights

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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