Please pick one

1.A Reading from the book of Wisdom (3:1-6,9)

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like utter destruction, but they are at peace. If they experienced punishment as we see it, their hope was rich with the promise of eternal life; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with Him; He has tested them like gold in the furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust. They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those whom He has chosen. This is the Word of the Lord

2.A Reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus (44:1-6,10)

Next, let us praise illustrious people, our ancestors in their successive generations. The Lord has created an abundance of glory and displayed his greatness from the earliest times. Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength; others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic oracles. Others directed the people by their advice, by their understanding of the popular mind and by the wise words of their teaching; others composed musical melodies, and set down ballads; others were rich and powerful, living peacefully in their homes. But here is a list of generous people whose good works have not been forgotten This is the Word of the Lord

3. A Reading from the book of Wisdom (4:7-15)

The virtuous person, though he/she die before his/her time, will find rest. Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life; understanding, this is grey hairs; untarnished life, this is ripe old age. He/she has sought to please God, so God has loved him/her; as he/she was living among sinners, he/she has been taken up. He/she has been carried off so that evil may not warp his/her understanding, or treachery seduce his/her soul; for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade, and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart. Coming to perfection in so short a while, he/she achieved long life; his/her soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has taken him/her quickly from the wickedness around him/her. Yet people look on uncomprehending; it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord, and protection, his holy ones. This is the Word of the Lord.

4. A Reading from the book of Ecclesiastes (3:2-8)

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth; a time for dying. A time for planting; a time for uprooting. A time for building; a time for tearing down. A time for sorrow; a time for joy. A time for mourning; a time for dancing; A time for making love; a time to refrain from making love. A time for finding; a time for losing. A time for saving; a time for throwing away. A time for mending; a time for tearing. A time for keeping silent; a time for speaking. A time for conflict; a time for peace. This is the Word of the Lord.

5.A Reading from the prophet Isaiah (41:10; 44:22: 49:15-16)

Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice. For I am the Lord, your God, who grasps your right hand; It is I who say to you “Fear not, I will help you.” I have brushed away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child within her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palm of my hand I have written your name. Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back. This is the Word of the Lord.

6.A Reading from the book of Lamentations (3: 17-26)

My soul is shut out from peace: I have forgotten happiness. And now I say “My strength is gone, that hope which came from the Lord.” Brooding on my anguish and affliction, my spirit ponders it continually and sinks within me. This is what I shall tell my heart, and so recover hope: the favours of the Lord are not all passed, his kindnesses are not all exhausted; every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness. “My portion is the lord”, says my soul, “and so I will hope in him.” The Lord is food to those who trust in Him, to the soul that searches for him. It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save. This is the Word of the Lord.

7.A Reading from the prophet Isaiah (43: 1-5)

Thus says Yahweh, God, who created you: Do not be afraid, I have called you by your name, you are mine. Should you pass through the sea, I will be with you; or through rivers, they will not swallow you up. Should you walk through fire, you will not be scorched and the flames will not burn you. For I am Yahweh, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your saviour. You are precious in my eyes, you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. This is the Word of the Lord.

8.A Reading from the prophet Isaiah (25: 6-9)

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food. On this mountain He will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, He will destroy death for ever. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so. That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and rejoice that he has saved us. This is the Word of the Lord. 9.A Reading from the prophet Micah (6: 6-8) With what shall I enter God’s presence and bow down before God all-high? Shall I enter with burnt offerings, with calves one year old? Will he be pleased with rams by the thousand, with ten thousand barrels of oil? Shall I offer my eldest son for my wrong-doing, the child of my own body for my sin? You have already been told what is right and what God wants of you. Only this: to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God. This is the Word of the Lord.