March 31st, 2018

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)


First Reading: Ex. 13:17-14:9


 17And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

 18But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

 19And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

 20And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.

 21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

 22He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.

 3For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.

 4And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

 5And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

 6And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:

 7And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.

 8And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

 9But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.



Second Reading: Heb. 7:1-22


 1For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

 2To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

 3Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

 4Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

 5And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

 6But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

 7And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

 8And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

 9And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

 10For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

 11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

 12For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

 13For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

 14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

 15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

 19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

 20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

 21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)

 22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.



Epistle: 1 Pet. 3:17-22


 17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

 18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

 19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

 20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

 22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.



Gospel: Matt. 27:57-66


 57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

 58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

 59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

 60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

 61And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

 62Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

 63Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

 64Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

 65Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

 66So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.



Old Testament (LSB): Dan. 6:1-24


 1It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

 2And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

 3Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

 4Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

 5Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

 6Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.

 7All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

 8Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

 9Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

 10Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

 11Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

 12Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

 13Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

 14Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

 15Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

 16Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

 17And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

 18Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

 19Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

 20And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

 21Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

 22My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

 23Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

 24And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.



Collect (LSB)

O God, You made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord's resurrection. Preserve in us the spirit of adoption which You have given that, made alive in body and soul, we may serve You purely; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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