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Old Testament Readings


Part 1. Old Testament reading

  • If you wish to have two readings before the Gospel, the first reading is taken from the Old Testament.
  • If you wish to have one reading before the Gospel, the reading may be taken from the Old Testament (or the New Testament).

The order for each would be:

  1. (One reading plus Gospel) 
    Old Testament (part 1) or New Testament Reading (part 2)
    Psalm – either sung or spoken (part 3)
    Gospel Acclamation (part 4)
    Gospel (part 5)
  2. (Two readings plus Gospel) 
    Old Testament Reading (part 1)
    Psalm – either sung or spoken (part 3)
    New Testament Reading (part 2)
    Gospel Acclamation (part 4)
    Gospel (part 5)

Please choose one from the following readings.

1A. Male and female he created them.

Gen 1:26–28. 31

A reading from the book of Genesis

God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’

God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1B. And they will be two in one flesh.

Gen 2:18–24

A reading from the book of Genesis

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:

‘This at last is bone from my bones,
and flesh from my flesh!
This is to be called woman,
for this was taken from man.’

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1C. Isaac loved Rebekah, and so he was consoled for the loss of his mother.

Gen 24:48–51. 58–67

A reading from the book of Genesis

Abraham’s servant said to Laban, ‘I blessed the Lord, God of my master Abraham, who had so graciously led me to choose the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. Now tell me whether you are prepared to show kindness and goodness to my master; if not, say so, and I shall know what to do.’

Laban and Bethuel replied, ‘This is from the Lord; it is not in our power to say yes or no to you. Rebekah is there before you. Take her and go; and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has decreed.’ They called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Do you want to leave with this man?’  ‘I do,’ she replied. Accordingly they let their sister Rebekah go, with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. They blessed Rebekah in these words:

‘Sister of ours, increase to thousands and tens of thousands!

May your descendants gain possession of the gates of their enemies!’ Rebekah and her servants stood up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah and departed.

Isaac, who lived in the Negeb, had meanwhile come into the wilderness of the well of Lahai Roi. Now Isaac went walking in the fields as evening fell, and looking up saw camels approaching. And Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She jumped down from her camel, and asked the servant, ‘Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?’  The servant replied, ‘That is my master’; then she took her veil and hid her face. The servant told Isaac the whole story, and Isaac led Rebekah into his tent and made her his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was consoled for the loss of his mother.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1D. May God join you together and fill you with his blessings.

Tob 7:9–10. 11–17

A reading from the book of Tobit

Raquel and his guests sat down to table. Then Tobias said to Raphael, ‘Brother Azarias, will you ask Raguel to give me my sister Sarah.  Raguel overheard the words, and said to the young man, ‘Eat and drink, and make the most of your evening; no one else has the right to take my daughter Sarah – no one but you, my brother. In any case I, for my own part, am not at liberty to give her to anyone else, since you are her next of kin. However, my boy, I must be frank with you: I have tried to find a husband for her seven times among our kinsmen, and all of them have died the first evening, on going to her room. But for the present, my boy, eat and drink; the Lord will grant you his grace and peace.’ Tobias spoke out, ‘I will not hear of eating and drinking till you have come to a decision about me’. Raguel answered, ‘Very well. Since, as prescribed by the Book of Moses, she is given to you, heaven itself decrees she shall be yours. I shall therefore entrust your sister to you. From now you are her brother and she is your sister. She is given to you from today for ever. The Lord of heaven favour you tonight, my child, and grant you his grace and peace.’ Raguel called for his daughter Sarah, took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with these words, ‘I entrust her to you; the law and the ruling recorded in the Book of Moses assign her to you as your wife. Take her; take her home to your father’s house with a good conscience. The God of heaven grant you a good journey in peace.’ Then he turned to her mother and asked her to fetch him writing paper. He drew up the marriage contract, how he gave his daughter as bride to Tobias according to the ordinance in the Law of Moses.

After this they began to eat and drink.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1E. May God bring us to old age together.

Tob 8:5–10

A reading from the book of Tobit

Tobias said to Sarah, ‘You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and protection.’ They began praying for protection, and this was how he began:
‘You are blessed, O God of our fathers;
blessed, too, is your name for ever and ever.
Let the heavens bless you
and all things you have made for evermore.
It was you who created Adam,
you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race was born.
It was you who said,
“It is not good that the man should be alone;
let us make him a helpmate like himself.”
And so I do not take my sister for any lustful motive;
I do it in singleness of heart.
Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me
and bring us to old age together.’

And together they said, ‘Amen, Amen’.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1F. For love is as strong as death.

Sg 2:8–10. 14. 16; 8:6–7

A reading from the Song of Songs

I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle, like a young stag.
See where he stands behind our wall.
He looks in at the window, he peers through the lattice.

My Beloved lifts up his voice, he says to me,
‘Come then, my love, my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock.
In the coverts of the cliff, show me your face,
let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet
and your face is beautiful.’
My beloved is mine and I am his.
Set me like a seal on your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death, jealousy relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of the Lord himself.
Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1G. Like the sun rising is the beauty of a good wife in a well-kept house.

Sir 26:1–4. 16–21

A reading from the book of Sirach

Happy the husband of a really good wife;
the number of his days will be doubled.
A perfect wife, is the joy of her husband,
he will live out the years of his life in peace.
A good wife is the best of portions,
reserved for those who fear the Lord;
rich or poor, they will be glad of heart;
cheerful of face, whatever the season.
The grace of a wife will charm her husband,
her accomplishments will make him stronger.
A silent wife is a gift from the Lord,
no price can be put on a well?trained character.
A modest wife is a boon twice over,
a chaste character cannot be weighed on scales.
Like the sun rising over the mountains of the Lord is the beauty of a good wife in a well-kept house.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

1H. I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah.

Jer 31:31–34

A reading from the prophet Jeremiah

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

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This is the ministry of Fr Richard Healey, pastor of St Paul’s Catholic Parish, based in Albion Park, a southern suburb of the city of Wollongong.
Fr Rick is also Director of Vocations and Chaplain to Catholic Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
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