First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8; 11-14

A reading from the book of Exodus.

God said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month will be the first of all months for you.  You will count it as the first month of the year.  Tell the whole community of Israel:

On the tenth day of this month every family in Israel will take a lamb from the flock, one for each household.  If the household is too small for the whole lamb, it will join its neighbor as the number of persons requires.  You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal.  The lamb must be a yearling without blemish.  You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.  You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, then the whole community of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it in the evening.  Some of the blood must then be taken and applied to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house where the lamb is eaten.  That night they will eat the roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girded, sandals on your feet, and a staff in your hand; you are to eat it in haste.  It is the Passover of Our God.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals.  I will execute this judgment on all the gods of Egypt:  I am Your God!  The blood will mark the houses where you live.  When I see the blood, I will pass over you and you will escape destruction when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day will be for you a memorial day, and you must celebrate it as a feast in God’s honor.  All generations are to observe it forever as a feast day.”

The Word of God recorded in Exodus.