Liturgical Colour : Green
Nehemiah 8 : 1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12
In the seventh month, all the people gathered as one man in the square before the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which YHVH had given to Israel.
Ezra brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all the children who could understand what was being read. It was the first day of the seventh month. Ezra read the book before all of them from early morning until midday in the square facing the Water Gate; and all who heard were attentive to the Book of the Law.
Ezra, the teacher of the Law, stood on a wooden platform built for that occasion. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was in a higher place; and when he opened it, all the people stood. Ezra blessed YHVH, the great God; and all the people lifted up their hands and answered, “Amen! Amen!” And they bowed their heads to the ground.
The Law was explained to the people who were standing. They read from the Book of the Law of God, clarifying and interpreting the meaning, so that everyone might understand what they were hearing.
Then Ezra, the teacher of the Law, said to the people, “This day is dedicated to YHVH, your God, so do not be sad or weep.” He said this because all wept when they heard the reading of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go and eat rich foods, drink sweet wine and share with him who has nothing prepared. This day is dedicated to the Lord, so do not be sad. The joy of YHVH is our strength.”
The Levites also calmed the people down, saying, “Do not weep. This day is a festival day. Do not be sad.” And the people went their way to eat, drink and share, and they had a great feast, because they had understood the words that had been proclaimed to them.