Readings for
The Feast of Saint Philip and James

From the 1979 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

May 1

The Collect

Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Old Testament
Isaiah 30:18-21

Moses recited the words of this song:

The LORD waits to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
    blessed are all those who wait for him.

Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

The Psalm
Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, *
     and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
     I shall keep it with all my heart.
Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
     for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees *
     and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; *
     give me life in your ways.
Fulfill your promise to your servant, *
     which you make to those who fear you.
Turn away the reproach which I dread, *
     because your judgments are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments; *
     in your righteousness preserve my life.

The Epistle
2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel
John 14:6-14

Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."

Morning Prayer

You are righteous, O LORD, *
     and upright are your judgments.
You have issued your decrees *
     with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
My indignation has consumed me, *
     because my enemies forget your words.
Your word has been tested to the uttermost, *
     and your servant holds it dear.
I am small and of little account, *
     yet I do not forget your commandments.
Your justice is an everlasting justice *
     and your law is the truth.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, *
     yet your commandments are my delight.
The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; *
     grant me understanding, that I may live.
I call with my whole heart; *
     answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you;
oh, that you would save me! *
     I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you, *
     for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches, *
     that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; *
     according to your judgments, give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me; *
     they are very far from your law.
You, O LORD, are near at hand, *
     and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees *
     that you have established them for ever.
Behold my affliction and deliver me, *
     for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me; *
     according to your promise, give me life.
Deliverance is far from the wicked, *
     for they do not study your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O LORD; *
     preserve my life, according to your judgments.
There are many who persecute and oppress me, *
     yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
I look with loathing at the faithless, *
     for they have not kept your word.
See how I love your commandments! *
     O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.
The heart of your word is truth; *
     all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.

First Reading
Job 23:1-12

Then Job answered:
‘Today also my complaint is bitter;
   his hand is heavy despite my groaning.
O that I knew where I might find him,
   that I might come even to his dwelling!
I would lay my case before him,
   and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn what he would answer me,
   and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
   No; but he would give heed to me.
There an upright person could reason with him,
   and I should be acquitted for ever by my judge.

‘If I go forward, he is not there;
   or backward, I cannot perceive him;
on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
   I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.
But he knows the way that I take;
   when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
   I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
   I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.

Second Reading
John 1:43-51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

Evening Prayer

LORD, you have searched me out and known me; *
     you know my sitting down and my rising up;
     you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
     and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
     but you, O LORD, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before *
     and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
     it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
     where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
     if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning *
     and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me *
     and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, *
     and the light around me turn to night,"
Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
     darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
     you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvelously made; *
     your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you, *
     while I was being made in secret
     and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book; *
     they were fashioned day by day,
     when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God! *
     how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; *
     to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.
Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God! *
     You that thirst for blood, depart from me.
They speak despitefully against you; *
     your enemies take your Name in vain.
Do I not hate those, O LORD, who hate you? *
     and do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred; *
     they have become my own enemies.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart; *
     try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me *
     and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

First Reading
Proverbs 4:7-18

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
   and whatever else you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
   she will honour you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a fair garland;
   she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.’

Hear, my child, and accept my words,
   that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
   I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
   and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
   guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
   and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
   turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
   they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
   and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
   which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Second Reading
John 12:20-26

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.


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