Today is the feast of the Seven Brothers and Sts. Rufina and Secunda. The Roman widow Felicitas and her seven sons were martyred in about the year 162. Pope Gregory the Great said of this widow, “She was more than a martyr, for seeing her seven children martyred before her eyes, she was in some sort a martyr in each of them.” A century later, Rufina and Secunda, daughters of a wealthy Roman, refused to marry two suitors who had apostatized from the Christian religion. They were scourged and beheaded.
INTROIT Psalm 112: 1, 9
Praise the Lord, ye children, praise ye the name of the Lord; Who maketh the barren woman to dwell in a house, the joyful mother of children. (Ps. 112: 2) Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth, now and forever. v. Glory be…etc
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, we, who have known the courage of the glorious martyrs in their confessing Thee, may experience their kindness in interceding for us with Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Proverbs 31: 10-31
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off, and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good and not evil all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands: she is like the merchant’s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar: and she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens: she hath considered a field and bought it; with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good; her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hands to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry; fine linen and purple is her covering. Her husband is honorable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chanaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing: and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue: she hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed; her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Ps. 123: 7, 8
Our soul hath been delivered, as a sparrow, out of the snare of the fowlers. V. The snare is broken, and we are delivered: our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Alleluia, alleluia. V. This is the true brotherhood, which overcame the wickedness of the world: it followed Christ, attaining the glorious kingdom of Heaven. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 12: 46-50
At that time: As Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold His mother and His brethren stood without seeking to speak to Him; and one said to Him, “Behold Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, seeking Thee.” But He answering him that told Him, said, “Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?” And stretching forth His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brethren: for whosoever shall do the will of My father that is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 123: 7
Our soul hath been delivered, as a sparrow, out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are delivered.
Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and look upon the sacrifices here before Thee, and may they, by the intercession of Thy saints, benefit both our devotion and our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 12: 50
Whosoever shall do the will of My Father Who is in Heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother, saith the Lord.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, by the intercession of Thy saints, we may obtain the effect of that salvation of which we through these mysteries have received a pledge. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.