Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)
Introit (Isaiah 66:10 and 11) Rejoice Jerusalem, (Laetare, Jerusalem) and all you that love her gather together; rejoice with her in gladness, you who were in mourning; that you may exult and be filled at the breast of consolation. (Ps. 121:1) I rejoiced at what was said to me, we shall go into the house of the Lord. ℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Collect Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who are cast down by the malice of our deeds, may be revived by the comfort of Your grace; through Our Lord Jesus Christ …
Epistle (Galatians 4:22-31) Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sinai, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar: For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, which has affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free: which is our mother.
For it is written: Rejoice, you who were barren, not bearing! Break forth and cry, you that does not travail: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that has a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit; so also it is now. But what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.
Gradual (Psalm 121:1, 7) I rejoiced at what was said to me, we shall go into the house of the Lord. Let there be peace in your strength, and abundance in your towers.
Tract (Psalm 124:1-2) They that trust in the Lord are as Mount Sion. He that dwells in Jerusalem shall never be moved. Round about it are mountains, and the Lord is round about His people, henceforth and for ever.
Gospel (John 6:1-15) After these things, Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the miracles which He did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up His eyes, and seen that a very great multitude was coming to Him, He said to Philip: “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” And this He said to try Him; for He himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him: “There is a boy here that has five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?”
Then Jesus said: “Make the men sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus took the loaves: and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. When they were filled, He said to his disciples: “Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.” They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: “This is truly the prophet, that is to come into the world.” Jesus, who knew that they would come to take Him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.
Offertory Praise the Lord, for He is good. Sing to His name, for He is gracious. All things whatsoever He would, He has done in heaven and on earth.
Secret Look with favour, Lord, we beg You, on these offerings now present before You, that they may further our devotion and salvation, through Jesus Christ Your Son …
Communion (Psalm 121:3-4) Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together, for the people went up to it, the people of the Lord, to confess, Lord, to Your name.
Postcommunion Grant, we beseech You, merciful God, that as we constantly enjoy the fullness of Your holy gifts, we may handle them with due reverence, and receive them with true belief: through Our Lord Jesus Christ …