Significance of this Service
"Both watch and pray..."
(The service is Matins of Tuesday morning sung by anticipation on Monday evening.)
Tuesday of Holy Week (sung by anticipation, now on Monday evening) commemorates the parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. 25:1-13. Ethical preparation and wakefulness are the foundations of vivid faith. The parable of the Ten Virgins is developed around the theme of the Bridegroom: "Why are Thou heedless, O my soul?...Work most diligently with the talent which has been confided to thee; both watch and pray." The hymnologist reminds us, "I do not possess a torch aflame with virtue, and the foolish virgin I imitate when it is the time for action"; and "Into the splendor of thy saints, how can I, who am unholy, enter?" The exhortation is given: "Come, Ye faithful, let us work earnestly for the Master...increase our talent of grace...Wisdom through good works."
The Gospel is Matthew 22:15-23 through 23:39; 24:26 through 26:2.