Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’
May the Lord stretch forth the sceptre of your power; rule from Zion in the midst of your enemies.
‘Noble are you on this day of your birth; on the holy mountain, from the womb of the dawn the dew of your new birth is upon you.’
The Lord has sworn and will not retract:
‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’
The king at your right hand, O Lord, shall smite down kings in the day of his wrath. In all his majesty, he shall judge among the nations, smiting heads over all the wide earth. He shall drink from the brook beside the way; therefore shall he lift high his head.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the faithful and in the congregation.
The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all who delight in them. His work is full of majesty and honour and his righteousness endures for ever.
He appointed a memorial for his marvellous deeds; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He gave food to those who feared him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He showed his people the power of his works in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are truth and justice; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever; they are done in truth and equity. He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have those who live by it; his praise endures for ever.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord and have great delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land, a generation of the faithful that will be blest. Wealth and riches will be in their house, and their righteousness endures for ever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright; gracious and full of compassion are the righteous. It goes well with those who are generous in lending and order their affairs with justice, For they will never be shaken; the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil tidings; their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their heart is sustained and will not fear, until they see the downfall of their foes. They have given freely to the poor; their righteousness stands fast for ever; their head will be exalted with honour.
The wicked shall see it and be angry; they shall gnash their teeth in despair; the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgement.
Who has roused a victor from the east, summoned him to his service?
He delivers up nations to him, and tramples kings under foot;
he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them and passes on safely, scarcely touching the path with his feet.
Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am first, and will be with the last. The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Each one helps the other, saying to one another, ‘Take courage!’
The artisan encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, ‘It is good’; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.’
So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and a foul and painful sore came on those who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped its image.
The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died.
The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say,
‘You are just, O Holy One, who are and were, for you have judged these things;
because they shed the blood of saints and prophets, you have given them blood to drink.
It is what they deserve!’
And I heard the altar respond
‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgements are true and just!’
The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire; they were scorched by the fierce heat, but they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory.
The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness; people gnawed their tongues in agony, and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores, and they did not repent of their deeds.
Creator and Father of eternity, whose martyr Clement bore witness with his blood to the love he proclaimed and the gospel that he preached: give us thankful hearts as we celebrate your faithfulness, revealed to us in the lives of your saints, and strengthen us in our pilgrimage as we follow your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.