Almighty and everlasting God, which hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that be penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and knowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ.
The Epistle [Joel 2
Turn you unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rent [rend, tear] your hearts and not your clothes. Turn you unto the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, long suffering, and of great compassion, and ready to pardon wickedness. Then, no doubt, he also shall turn and forgive: and after his chastening, he shall let your increase remain for meat and drink offerings unto the Lord your God. Blow out with the trumpet in Sion, proclaim a fasting, call the congregation, and gather the people together; warn the congregation, gather the elders, bring the children and sucklings together. Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests serve the Lord between the porch and the altar, weeping and saying, Be favorable, O Lord, be favorable unto thy people: let not thine heritage be brought to such confusion, less the heathen be lords thereof. Wherefore should they say among the heather, where is now their God?
The Gospel [Matt. 6
When ye fast, be not sad as they hypocrites are, for they disfigure their faces that it may appear unto men how that they fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that it appear not unto men how thou fastest, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for you treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also.