Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many.
“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.
1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *
and the wonderful works he has done.
5 He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;
6 That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Jesus said, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
COME THOU ALMIGHTY KING
Come, thou almighty King, help us thy Name to sing,
Help us to praise. Father whose love unknown
All things created own, build in our hearts thy throne,
Ancient of Days.
Come, thou incarnate Word, by heaven and earth adored;
Our prayers attend; come and thy people bless;
Come give thy word success; stablish thy righteousness,
Savior and friend.
Come, holy Comforter, thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour; thou, who almighty art,
Now rule in every heart, and ne’er from us depart,
Spirit of power.
To Thee, great One in Three, the highest praises be,
Hence evermore; thy sovereign majesty
May we in glory see, and to eternity
Love and adore.
COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING
Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace!
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! Oh, fix me on it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.
Here I find my greatest treasure;
Hither by thy help I’ve come!
And I hope by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee;
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
O ZION HASTE, THY MISSION HIGH FULFILLING
O Zion haste, thy mission high fulfilling,
To tell to all the world that God is Light;
That he who made all nations is not willing
One soul should fail to know his love and might.
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace,
Tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.
Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation
That God, in whom they live and move, is Love;
Tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,
And died on earth that all might live above.
Send heralds forth to bear the message glorious;
Give of thy wealth to speed them on their way;
Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious
Till God shall bring his kingdom’s joyful day.
He comes again! O Zion, ere thou meet him,
Make known to every heart his saving grace;
Let none whom he hath ransomed fail to greet him,
Through thy neglect, unfit to see his face.
Prayer for Spiritual Communion
In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.