OLD TESTAMENT READINGS

A Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy

Moses died, his eyes undimmed, his vigour unimpaired.
Then, leaving the plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, and Yahweh
showed him the whole land, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea.
Yahweh said to him, ‘This is the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, saying: I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your
own eyes, but you shall not cross into it.’ There in the land of Moab, Moses the
servant of Yahweh died as Yahweh decreed, he buried him in the valley, in the
land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but to this day no one has ever found his
grave. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye
undimmed, his vigour unimpaired. The sons of Israel wept for Moses in the
plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of
Moses came to an end. Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom,
for Moses had laid his hands on him. It was he that the sons of Israel obeyed,
carrying out the order that Yahweh had given to Moses
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the book of Wisdom (4:7-15)
Grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord

The virtuous ones, though they die before their time, will find rest.
length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is mans grey hairs
untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
They have sought to please God, so God has loved them;
as they were living among sinners, they have been taken up.
They have been carried off so that evil may not warp their understanding
or treachery seduce their souls;
for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade,
and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection is so short a while, they achieved long life;
their soul being pleasing to the Lord,
he has taken them quickly from the wickedness around them
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads
that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,
and protection, his holy ones.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the Book of Sirach (38:16-17,23)
Bury the dead with fitting ceremonial

My people, weep for the dead, lament to express your sorrow and bury the dead with fitting ceremonial and do not fail to honour the grave. Weep bitterly, cry out with full voice, and observe the mourning period in accordance with the merits of the deceased. When the dead are laid to rest, let their memory be one of peace, be comforted on their account once their spirit has departed.
This is the word of the Lord.

A reading from the book of Wisdom (3:1-6.9)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little,
they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,
and he watches over his elect.
This is the word of the Lord.

A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes

Next let us praise illustrious people,
or ancestors in their successive generations.
The lord has created abundance of glory and displayed his greatness from earliest times.
Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength;
others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic oracles.
Others directed people by their advice,
by their understanding of the popular mind,
and by the wise words of their teaching;
others composed musical melodies, and set down ballads;
others were rich and powerful,
living peacefully in their homes.
But here a list of generous people whose good works have not been forgotten.
This is the word of the Lord.

A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does a worker gain from his or her toil ?
I have seen the burden God has laid on his people.
God has made everything beautiful in its time,
also he has put eternity into the human mind,
yet even still we cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for a person than to be happy and to do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their work – that is the gift of God.
This is the word of the Lord.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death forever.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek, he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said. See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation, the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.
This is the word of the Lord.

A reading for the prophet Isaiah (41:10, 44:22, 49:15-16)
Fear not I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice. For I am the Lord your God who grasps your right hand; it is I who say to you ‘fear not, I will help you’.
I have brushed away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a mist, return to me, for I have redeemed you. Can a mother forget her infant be without tenderness for the child within her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palm of my hand I have written your name. Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back.
This is the word of the Lord.

Date : November 12, 2013