FIRST READING: Song of Solomon 2: 8 - 14 or Zephaniah 3: 14 - 18
8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle, or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
11 for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely.
14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing
18 as on a day of festival. "I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.
PSALM: Psalms 33: 2 - 3, 11 - 12, 20 - 21
2 Praise the LORD with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song, play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.
21 Yea, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
GOSPEL: Luke 1: 39 - 45
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."