Funeral Planning

Contact Information

Pastor
Chorbishop John D. Faris
315.732.6019 (Office) 646.342.1775 (Mobile)

Parochial Vicar
Fr. Aaron J. Sandbothe
315.790.0059

Deacon Paul Salamy
315.732.5241

Deacon Peter Hobaica
315.797.5464

Parish Secretary
Mrs. Maureen Ginsberg
315.732.6019

Music Director
Mr. Nicholas Abounader
315. 335.2239

 

Parish Office Hours

Monday – Friday: 9 am – 4:30 pm

Introduction

All of us at Saint Louis Gonzaga Church offer you our sympathy and condolences for your loss. The material contained in this publication will assist you in preparing for the Divine Liturgy for the Faithful Departed. All of us pray for the soul of your beloved departed. May the Lord bring comfort and strength to you and your loved ones during this time of bereavement. Christianity is a religion that focuses on a tomb, the tomb outside the walls of Jerusalem left empty by Jesus who is risen. On the cross, Jesus conquered death. He is risen! Indeed, He is risen! The empty tomb is a promise of new life for all of us.

Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)

Maronite Funeral Rites

In the face of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity.

Maronite Funerals comprise three rites, corresponding to the three places: funeral home, church and the cemetery.

  • The Prayer of Incense is celebrated at the funeral home at the end of the visitation hours.
  • Divine Liturgy for the Faithful Departed
  • Rite of Committal

 

 

General Information

Place.  The Divine Liturgy for the Faithful Departed (funeral) should be celebrated in a church and not in a funeral home or cemetery chapel.

Time.  Divine Liturgies for the faithful departed can be celebrated on any day except a Sunday, a Holy Day or Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday at a time that is convenient for the parish, celebrant and family.  The Prayer of Incense can be conducted at the funeral home at a time convenient for the celebrant and the family; it is the custom to celebrate the Prayer of Incense at the end of the visitation hours.

Readings. Usually The Maronite Divine Liturgy contains one reading from the New Testament and the Gospel (chosen by the celebrant).  It is not a custom in the Maronite Church to have an additional reading from the Old Testament, however, if the family wishes to have an Old Testament reading it is possible.   Suggested readings are on the parish Website and are available at the parish office.

Readers. Please try to choose individuals with clear speaking voices, who will be able to proclaim the Word of God during the funeral.

It is helpful to give your reader a copy of the reading before the Divine Liturgy so that they can prepare in advance. If you wish the parish to provide readers to proclaim the Scriptures, please indicate this on the planning form.

Eulogies and reminiscences. Eulogies, expressions of the deceased person life in the faith, are not to be given during the Divine Liturgy, but can be given at the funeral home or mercy meal. Reminiscences, recollections of the person’s life, can also take place at the funeral home during the visitation hours or at the mercy meal.

Music. The family is responsible for making arrangements with the music director at Saint Louis Gonzaga Church.  We encourage using our music director because of his familiarity with the Divine Liturgy, but other accompanists or singers can join him.

The music director will assist you in the music selection process which is to be drawn from our own rich Maronite tradition.  However, before or after the Divine Liturgy religious music from other traditions may be sung, provided it is suitable for a Catholic setting.

Offertory Gifts.  It is possible to have family members or friends of the faithful departed to be a part of the offertory procession.

Visiting clergy. Visiting priests or deacons are welcome to take part in the Divine Liturgy at the discretion of the presiding priest from Saint Louis Gonzaga Church.  Please inform the pastor in advance. A letter of “suitability of ministry” may be required.

Cremation. If possible, the body should be present in the church for the service. Following the Liturgy, it may be taken for cremation and the ashes properly buried with the priest and family in attendance.

It is preferred that the cremation takes place after the final rites in the church.  However, due to particular circumstances, when the body cannot be present, the cremated remains of the body should be present for the Divine Liturgy and the Rite of Committal.

The Prayer of Incense will not be offered if the body was already cremated.

The cremated remains of the body should then be reverently buried or entombed in a cemetery or mausoleum.

Offerings. An offering of $100 is expected to cover the expenses of the church.  If the family desires to use the church for viewing prior to the Divine Liturgy for up to two hours, an additional $200 donation is expected. Arrangements can be made for additional time.

An offering of $100 to the celebrant will be appreciated.

If any offerings causes hardship, please contact the pastor.

Music fees of $125 are arranged between the music director and the family.

Divine Liturgies. Remembrance at the Divine Liturgy is a beautiful way to remember our loved ones’ birthdays and anniversaries. Divine Liturgies for the intentions of the deceased can be requested through our parish. The usual stipend for these Divine Liturgies is $10 for a weekday and $20 for Saturday or Sunday. Cards and request forms are available at the funeral home or parish office.

Memorial Offerings.  An offering can be made to the parish in memory of the beloved departed.  Cards are available at the funeral home or parish office.

Funeral Readings

 

  First Reading Old Testament
OT 1 Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22 Man cannot hit on the Right Time To Act
OT 2

OT 3

OT 4

OT 5

OT 6

OT 7

Job 19: 1, 23-27

Wisdom 3: 1-9

Wisdom 4: 7-14

Isaiah 25: 6.7-9

Lamentations 3: 17-26

Daniel 12: 1-3

Job Fifth Reply

On suffering

On earthly death

Praise for God’s Deliverance

The Voice of a suffering individual

The Resurrection

 

  Second Reading New Testament
NT 1 Acts 10: 34-43 Who believe in him will be saved
NT 2 Romans 5: 1-11 Faith, Hope and Love
NT 3 Romans 6: 3-11 Freedom from Sin / Life in God
NT 4 Romans 8: 14-23 Children of God through adoption
NT 5 Romans 8: 31-39 God’s indomitable Love in Christ
NT 6 Romans 14: 7-12 To live and die for Christ
NT 7 1 Corinthians 15: 12-20 Result of denial / Christ the firstfruit
NT 8 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26 Christ the firstfruit
NT 9 1 Corinthians 15: 35-49 The Manner of the Resurrection
NT 10 1 Corinthians 15: 51-57 The Resurrection Event
NT 11 2 Corinthians 4: 14-5:1 Paradox of the Ministry / Our Future Destiny
NT 12 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10 Our Future Destiny
NT 13 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 Hope for the Christian Dead
NT 14 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-5,9-11 Vigilance
NT 15 2 Timothy 2:8-13 Timothy’s Conduct
NT 16 1 John 3:1-2 Children of God.
NT 17 1 John 3: 11-18 Love for one another
NT 18 Revelation 21: 1-7 The New Heaven and the New Earth

Reading Selections

OT 1

Man Cannot Hit on the Right Time to Act

A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes. Father, give your blessing. 

Eccl 3: 1-22

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. 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 be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God. I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.

And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and wickedness also in the seat of justice. I said in my heart, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since a time is set for every affair and for every work. I said in my heart: As for human beings, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts. For the lot of mortals and the lot of beasts is the same lot: The one dies as well as the other. Both have the same life breath. Human beings have no advantage over beasts, but all is vanity. Both go to the same place; both were made from the dust, and to the dust they both return. Who knows if the life breath of mortals goes upward and the life breath of beasts goes earthward? And I saw that there is nothing better for mortals than to rejoice in their work; for this is their lot. Who will let them see what is to come after them?

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

 

OT 2

Job Fifth Reply

A reading from the book of Job. Father, give your blessing. 

Job 19:1, 23-27

Then Job answered and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record: that with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust; whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him, and from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OT 3

On Suffering

A reading from the book of Wisdom. Father, give your blessing. 

Wisdom 3:1-9

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

OT 4

On early death

A reading from the book of Wisdom. Father, give your blessing.  

Wisdom 4:7-14

But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age. He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported--snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul; for the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind. Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the LORD, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

OT 5

Praise for God’s Deliverance and the Celebration in Zion

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. Father, give your blessing.  

Isaiah 25: 6. 7-9

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OT 6

The Voice of a suffering Individual

A reading from the book of Lamentation. Father, give your blessing.

Lamentations 3:17-26

My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the LORD. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: the favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the LORD, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; it is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the LORD.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

 

OT 7

The Resurrection

A reading from the book of the prophet Daniel. Father, give your blessing.

Daniel 12:1-3

[I, Daniel, mourned and I heard this word of the Lord:] "At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

NT 1

Who believes in him will be saved

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Father, give your blessing.

Acts of the Apostles 10:34-43

Brothers and Sister:

Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

Praise be to God always.

NT 2

Faith, Hope and Love

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Father, give your blessings.

Romans 5:1-11

Brothers and Sisters:

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

NT 3

Freedom from Sin / Life in God

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Father, give your blessings.

Romans 6:3-11

Brothers and Sisters:

Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Praise be to God always.

NT 4

Children of God through Adoption / Destiny of Glory

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Father, give your blessings.

Romans 8: 14-23

Brothers and Sisters:

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Praise be to God always.

NT 5

God’s Indomitable Love in Christ

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Father, give your blessings.

Romans 8: 31-39

Brothers and Sisters:

What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 6

God’s Indomitable Love in Christ

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Father, give your blessings.

Romans 14: 7-12

Brothers and Sisters:

None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written:

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

So [then] each of us shall give an account of himself [to God].

 

Praise be to God always.

 

 

NT 7

Results of Denial / Christ the Firstfruits

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Cor 15: 12-20

Brothers and Sisters:

But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

 

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 8

Results of Denial / Christ the Firstfruits

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Cor 15: 20-26

Brothers and Sisters:

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

NT 9

The Manner of the Resurrection / The Resurrection Body

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Cor 15: 35-49

Brothers and Sisters:

But someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?”

You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body. Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish.

There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another.

The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness. So also is the resurrection of the dead.

It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.

So, too, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being,” the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image* of the heavenly one.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NT 10

The Resurrection Event

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Cor 15: 51-57

Brothers and Sisters:

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about:

“Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.e57But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 11

Paradox of the Ministry / Our Future Destiny

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

2 Cor 4: 14-5:1

Brothers and Sisters:

Knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 12

Our Future Destiny

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. Father, give your blessings.

2 Cor 5: 1-10

Brothers and Sisters:

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. For in this tent we groan, longing to be further clothed with our heavenly habitation if indeed, when we have taken it off, we shall not be found naked. For while we are in this tent we groan and are weighed down, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a first installment.

So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.                                       Praise be to God always.

NT 13

Our Future Destiny

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Thes 4: 13-18

Brothers and Sisters:

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 14

Vigilance

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians. Father, give your blessings.

1 Thes 5: 1-5, 9-11

Brothers and Sisters:

Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.

Praise be to God always.

 

NT 15

Timothy’s Conduct

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Timothy. Father, give your blessings.

2 Tm 2: 8-13

Brothers and Sisters:

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him, we shall also live with him;if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him, he will deny us.

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

NT 16

Children of God

A reading from the letter of Saint John. Father, give your blessings.

1 Jn 3: 1-2

Brothers and Sisters:

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Praise be to God always.

 

 

 

 

NT 17

Love for One Another

A reading from the letter of Saint John. Father, give your blessings.

1 Jn 3: 11-18

Brothers and Sisters:

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother.

Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.

Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

Praise be to God always.

NT 18

The New Heaven and the New Earth

A reading from the Book of Revelation. Father, give your blessings.

Rev 21: 1-7

Brothers and Sisters:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, “They are accomplished. I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.

Praise be to God always.