Hear my prayer, O Lord, and in your faithfulness give ear to my supplications; answer me in your righteousness. Enter not into judgement with your servant, for in your sight shall no one living be justified. For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead. My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds; I consider the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul gasps for you like a thirsty land. O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; hide not your face from me lest I be like those who go down to the Pit. Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for in you I put my trust; show me the way I should walk in, for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies, for I flee to you for refuge. Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God; let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path. Revive me, O Lord, for your name’s sake; for your righteousness’ sake, bring me out of trouble. In your faithfulness, slay my enemies, and destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for truly I am your servant.
Praise the Lord, O my soul: while I live will I praise the Lord; as long as I have any being, I will sing praises to my God.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in any human power, for there is no help in them. When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth; on that day all their thoughts perish.
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in the Lord their God; Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps his promise for ever; Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong and bread to those who hunger.
The Lord looses those that are bound; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous; The Lord watches over the stranger in the land; he upholds the orphan and widow; but the way of the wicked he turns upside down. The Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
2 Chronicles 35.1-19
Josiah kept a passover to the Lord in Jerusalem; they slaughtered the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. He said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, ‘Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon son of David, king of Israel, built; you need no longer carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. Make preparations by your ancestral houses by your divisions, following the written directions of King David of Israel and the written directions of his son Solomon. Take position in the holy place according to the groupings of the ancestral houses of your kindred the people, and let there be Levites for each division of an ancestral house. Slaughter the passover lamb, sanctify yourselves, and on behalf of your kindred make preparations, acting according to the word of the Lord by Moses.’
Then Josiah contributed to the people, as passover offerings for all that were present, lambs and kids from the flock to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls; these were from the king’s possessions. His officials contributed willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief officers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the passover offerings two thousand six hundred lambs and kids and three hundred bulls. Conaniah also, and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the passover offerings five thousand lambs and kids and five hundred bulls.
When the service had been prepared for, the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. They slaughtered the passover lamb, and the priests dashed the blood that they received from them, while the Levites did the skinning. They set aside the burnt-offerings so that they might distribute them according to the groupings of the ancestral houses of the people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses. And they did the same with the bulls. They roasted the passover lamb with fire according to the ordinance; and they boiled the holy offerings in pots, in cauldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the people. Afterwards they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests the descendants of Aaron were occupied in offering the burnt-offerings and the fat parts until night; so the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. The singers, the descendants of Asaph, were in their place according to the command of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and the king’s seer Jeduthun. The gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not need to interrupt their service, for their kindred the Levites made preparations for them.
So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the passover and to offer burnt-offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. The people of Israel who were present kept the passover at that time, and the festival of unleavened bread for seven days. No passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; none of the kings of Israel had kept such a passover as was kept by Josiah, by the priests and the Levites, by all Judah and Israel who were present, and by the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this passover was kept.
‘I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.
‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Eternal God, our maker and redeemer, grant us, with all the faithful departed, the sure benefits of your Son’s saving passion and glorious resurrection that, in the last day, when you gather up all things in Christ, we may with them enjoy the fullness of your promises; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.