the 2nd hour of the night,the reading of the Acts of the Holy Apostles takes
place. The reader beginsand the priest says the verse:
Through the prayers of the holy Apostles, Lord JesusChrist our God, have mercy on us. And afterAmen the reader begins to read. The wholebook of Acts is read to the end.
After the 4th hour of thenight, all the lamps are lighted, and Midnight Office begins. The beginningis as usual. Then, Come, let us worship . . .thrice, Psalm 50, and immediately the Canon of Great Saturday.
After the Canon, the Trisagion,and after Our Father . . . , thetroparion, When thou didst descend . . . Thenthe litany Have mercy on us, O God . . .(page 39), and the dismissal for Sunday Midnight Office.
Where it is customary, thepriest celebrates Midnight Office before the Winding-sheet, wearing thephelonion, and the holy doors remain open. At the time of the 6th Ode ofthe canon, there is a censing of the Winding-sheet; at the 9th Ode, theWinding-sheet is taken into the sanctuary and placed on the holy table.Then the holy doors are closed.
Toward the hour of Matins,the para-ecclesiarch, having received the blessing of the celebrant, goesout and tolIs the great belI for some time. Then, having entered the temple,he lights all the lamps and candies. He arranges two vessels with burningcharcoal, placing much sweetsmelling incense in them, and sets them, onein the center f the church, and the other in the sanctuary, so that thehole church will be filled with a sweet aroma.
Then the celebrant, havingentered the sanctuary with he priests and deacons, vests himself in allhis brightest vestments. Then he distributes candles among the brethren,and he takes the precious Cross and the three-branch candlestick. The deacontakes the censer, one priest the holy Gospels, and one priest the iconof the Resurrection of Christ. They all stand facing the west, and thecelebrant censes the sanctuary and the concelebrants. The western gatesof the church are closed. The holy doors are then opened, and the celebrantcomes out with the priests singing the sticheron, tone 6:
Thy resurrection, O Christ Savior, the angels inheaven sing. Do thou enable us on earth to glorify thee with pure hearts.
They go around the templepreceded by the deacons and candle-bearers and by both choirs.
Then all the bells are rungfor some time. And having entered the porch, they stand holding the GospelBook and the icons facing west, as indicated before. Then the celebranttakes the censer in his right hand from the deacon and holds the crossin his left hand. He then censes the icons, the choirs, and the brethrenas usual, the deacon carrying before him a lighted candle. The brethrenall stand holding their candles, praying with heed within themselves andgiving thanks to Christ our God who suffered and rose again for our sakes.
At the conclusion of thecensing, the celebrant comes before the principal doors of the church andcenses the deacon, who stands before him with a candle. Then the deacontakes the censer from the celebrant's hand and censes the celebrant himself.And the celebrant, again taking the censer, standing before the doors ofthe church and facing east, signs the doors of the church, which remainclosed, with the censer in cross form thrice, holding the precious crossand the three-branch candlestick in his left hand. Candle-bearers standon both sides.
And he exclaims in a loud voice:
GLORY to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating,and undivided Trinity always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And we, having answeredAmen, the celebrant with the rest ofthe celebrants begins the troparion in tone 5 in a loud voice:
CHRIST is risen from the dead, trampling down deathby death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.
And we repeat the same with melody.
This troparion is sung threetimes by the celebrant and three times by us.
Then the celebrant says the verses:
First:Let God arise, and let Him scatter His enemies, and let them thathate Him flee from before His face.
And at each verse, we singthe whole troparion, Christ is risen . . ., once.
Second: As smokevanisheth, let them vanish; as wax melteth in the face of fire.
Christ is risen . . . once
Third: So letsinners perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad.
Christ is risen . . . once
Fourth: Thisis the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad on it.
Christ is risen . . . , once
We: Christ is risen . . . once
We: Christ is risen . . . once
the celebrant sings ina very loud voice:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down deathby death.
And the doors are opened.The celebrant enters with he precious Cross, two lamps being borne beforehim, and then the brethren sing, And on those in the tombs bestowinglife.
Then all the bells are rung.
The celebrant enters thesanctuary with the priests, and the deacon says the Great Litany:In peace let us pray to the Lord.
For to thee
belong all glory, honor and worship,to the Father, and to the Son, and to the
Holy Spirit, now and ever, andunto ages of ages.
Then the celebrant beginsthe canon, a composition of John of Damascus, in tone 1. The heirmos isThe day of Resurrection. . . with the refrain,Christ is risen from the dead. And then each choirrepeats the heirmos. And finally, as the katabasia, the same heirmos issung, The day of Resurrection. . . afterwhich the entire troparion, Christ is risen from the dead .. . is sung three times.
The celebrant always beginseach Ode of the canon, with the right or left choir beginning the repetitionin its turn. And he censes at the beginning of the canon the holy icons,both choirs, and the brethren in order, holding in his left hand the preciouscross and the three-branch candlestick. He says, Christ is risen,and we answer, Truly He is risen. Similarlythe other priests cense at each Ode. At the first Ode, the right hand choirsings, and at the third, the lefthand choir. And thus we sing the restof the Odes. After each Ode, the little litany is said outside the sanctuary,the exclamation being said by the priest inside the sanctuary.
After the 1 st Ode:
For thine is the strength, and thine are the kingdom,and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of theHoly Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 3rd Ode:
For thou art our God, and unto thee do we send upglory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever,and unto ages of ages.
After the 4th Ode:
For thou art a good God who lovest man, and untothee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the HolySpirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 5th Ode:
For sanctified and glorified is thine all-honorableand magnificent name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 6th Ode:
For thou art the King of peace and the Savior ofour souls, and to thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son,and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 7th Ode:
Blessed and glorified be the might of thy kingdom,of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, andunto ages of ages.
After the 8th Ode:
For blessed is thy name, and glorified is thy kingdom,of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, andunto ages of ages.
After the 9th Ode:
For all the Powers of heaven praise thee, and untothee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the HolySpirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the ainos, the paschalstichera: Glory .
. . Now and ... The day of Resurrection, then,Christ
is risen . . . thrice. And we sing thismany
times, while the brethren exchange the paschal kiss.
The paschal kiss is exchangedamong the celebrant and the other priests and deacons within the sanctuary.
Then the celebrant, holding the precious cross,and the other priests, holding the Gospel book and icons, and the deaconscome out and stand before the holy doors. The laymen approach and kissthe cross, the Gospel book, and icons, and the priests holding them, andthen each other. The greeting is, Christ is risen,and the answer, Truly He is risen.
After the kiss, the CatecheticalSermon of Chrysostom is read by the celebrant or the ecclesiarch, no onesitting during the reading, but all standing and listening.
The Catechetical Sermonof our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,on the Holy and Light-bearing Day of the Holy and Saving Resurrection ofChrist our God.
If any be pious and a lover of God, let him partakeof this good and radiant festival. If any be a wise servant, let him rejoicingenter into the joy of his Lord. If any have wearied himself in fasting,let him now partake of his recompense. If any have wrought from the firsthour, let him receive today his rightful due. If any have come after thethird hour, let him feast with thanksgiving. If any have arrived at thesixth hour, let him have no misgivings, for he shall in no wise sufferloss. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, notwavering. If any have arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not fearfor his tardiness. For the Master, who loveth his honor, accepteth thelast even as the first. He giveth rest to the one who came at the eleventhhour, as to the one who wrought from the first. And He hath mercy on theone that delayeth, and he careth for the first. To the one He giveth, andon the other He bestoweth gifts. He both accepteth the works, and welcomeththe intention; He honoreth the acts, and raiseth the purpose. Enter yeall, therefore, into the joy of our Lord; ye first and ye second, partakeof the reward. ye rich and ye poor, dance your joy together. Ye that abstainand ye slothful, honor the day. Ye that have fasted, and ye that have notfasted, be glad today. The table is laden; do ye all fare sumptuously.The calf is fatted; let none go away hungered. Partake ye all of the banquetof faith. Partake ye all of the riches of loving-kindness. Let none lamenthis neediness, for the common kingdom hath been revealed. Let none grievefor his offenses, for pardon hath shone forth from the grave. Let nonefear death, for the Savior's death hath set us free. He that was held byit hath quenched it. He that descended into Hell hath despoiled Hell. Heembittered it, which had tasted of His flesh, and Isaiah, anticipatingthis saith, Hell was embitter ed, when it met thee below. It was embittered,for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was deceived. It was embittered,for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was cast down. It was embittered,for it was fettered. It took a body and encountered God. It took earthand met heaven. It took what it saw and fell upon what it saw not. Whereis thy sting, O Death? O Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, andthou art overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christis risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life prevaileth,and there is none dead in the tomb. For Christ in arising from the deadis become the first-fruits of those that have fallen asleep. To Him beglory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.
Then the troparion of theSaint is said, tone 8:
From thy mouth grace, shining forth like a beaconfire,hath enlightened the universe, and hath gained for the world treasuresof non-avariciousness, and hath shown us the height of humility. And asthou dost instruct us by thy words, O Father John Chrysostom, intercedewith Christ God, the Word, to save our souls.
Then the deacon says thelitany, Have mercy on us, O God. . . and Let us complete our morningprayer. . . , and after the exclamation, the deaconsays, Wisdom, and we, Bless.
He Who is, is
blessed, even Christ our God, always,now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And we: Amen.Establish, O God . . .
Then the priest, holdingthe Cross, in place of Glory to thee, O Christ God . . . , sings:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down deathby death,
And we sing:And on those in the tombs bestowing life.
And immediately the celebrantgives the dismissal:
May Christ, who is risen from the dead, tramplingdown death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life, our trueGod, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate Mother, and of allthe Saints, have mercy on s and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
Then, raising the Cross, he says:
Christ is risen. thrice
And we answer:
Truly He is risen. thrice
And finally we sing,Christ is risen . . . the whole troparionthrice.
And after the singing ofthe troparion, we finish with:
And to us hath He given eternal life. Let us worshipHis third-day Resurrection.
Then the Many Years, andwe kiss the precious Cross, held in the hand of the celebrant.
There is no Lity on this day.
It should be noted that, beginningwith this day, the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha, up to Saturday, theHours, Compline, and Midnight Office are sung thus:
The priest begins:Blessed is our God, and Christ is risenfrom the dead . . . the whole troparion thrice.And then, Having
seen the Resurrection of Christ . . . thrice,the
hypakoe, Anticipating the morning . . . once,the
kontakion, Though thou didst
descend into the grave, once,then the troparion,
In the tomb bodily . . ., Glory . . ., Aslife-bearing. . . , Both now . . . the theotokion,O sacred and divine Tabernacle
of the Most High . . .
Then, Lord, have mercy. 40times, Glory . . . Now and . . . More honorable than the Cherubim. . . In the name of the Lord, bless, Father. Thepriest says the verse: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers. . . and we say, Amen; andagain we say, Christ is risen . . . thrice,Glory . . . Now and . . . Lord, have mercy, thrice,Bless, and the dismissal for First Hour.
The same is sung for ThirdHour and for Sixth Hour before the Liturgy, for Ninth Hour and Compline(once) before Vespers, and for Midnight Office until Saturday of holy PaschalWeek.
rest of the days ofBright Week at Matins, the priest wears the rason with
epitrachelion andphelonion as usual. And, taking the cross and the three-branch
candlestick,he stands holding the censer, before the holy table, and censes in
cross-form,saying: Glory to the holy . . . andhe begins the troparion, Christ is risen .
. . thrice,and we answer the same.
And we sing Christis risen . . . with its verses as indicated forMatins and Vespers on Sunday.
After the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Odes, there arelittle litanies with exclamations. At the Ainos, the stichera of the Resurrectionand the Paschal stichera with their refrains, as indicated for Sunday Matins.
Then the litanies and thedismissal, and First Hour.
On Thomas Sunday until thedismissal of the Paschal Feast, on all days, Matins begins with the exclamation,Glory to the holy. . . , the choir,Amen, and the priest sings slowly,Christ is risen . . . thrice.