The Night of Great and Holy Friday

(The Matins Service of Great Saturday)

The Lamentations

 

The priest, standing before the Royal Doors, makes three metanias and says in an audible voice:

Deacon:   Bless, Master.

 

Priest: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places, and fillest all things, treasury of good things, and Giver of life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every stain and save our souls, O Good One.

 

People: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God, visit and heal our infirmities for thy Name’s sake.

 

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily1 bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.2

 

Priest: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.”

 

People: Amen.

Troparia

Reader:    O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance, granting them victory over all adversaries, and by thy Cross protect thy community.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

O Christ our God, uplifted on the Cross by thine own will, bestow thy mercy upon the new people of thy name; and in thy might make glad the Orthodox, granting to them victory over all adversaries. May they have as an ally thine invincible weapon of peace.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

O eminent and victorious champion, O good and all-praised Theotokos, do not overlook our supplications. Strengthen the community of the Orthodox; save those called to govern; and grant them victory from heaven; for thou, O only blessed one, gavest birth to God.

 

The Litany of Peace

The priest, standing before the Holy table, censes one side on every petition while intoning the following petitions:

Priest: Have mercy on us, O God, according to thy great goodness; we pray thee, hearken, and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Priest: Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Priest: Again we pray for our Father and Metropolitan PHILIP and for all our brethren in Christ.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Priest: For thou art a merciful God and lovest mankind, and unto thee we give glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.  Father, bless in the name of the Lord.

 

Priest: Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-giving, and undivided Trinity, always: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men3 (Three times)

 

O Lord open thou my lips, and my mouth will declare thy praise. (Two times)

 

Psalm 3

O Lord, how they have increased who afflict me!

many are rising against me;

many are saying concerning my soul,

there is no salvation for him from his God.

 

But thou, O Lord, art my helper, my glory,

and the lifter up of my head.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice,

and he heard me from his holy mountain.

I laid down and slept,

I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.

I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people

who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

For thou hast struck all who are my enemies without cause,

thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord;

thy blessing is upon thy people.

 

I laid down and slept,

I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.

 

Psalm 38 (37)

O Lord, do not rebuke me in thine anger,

or discipline me in thy wrath.

For thine arrows have pierced me,

and thine hand hast pressed down upon me.

 

There is no health in my flesh,

because of thine anger.

There is no peace in my bones

because of my sins.

For my iniquities are piled over my head;

a burden too heavy for me.

 

My wounds grow foul and fester

because of my foolishness;

I have been wretched and bowed down continually;

all day I went around mourning,

for my soul was filled with delusion.

There is no health in my flesh,

I have been utterly afflicted and brought down.

I have roared because of the tumult of my heart.

 

O Lord, all my longing is before thee;

my sighing is not hidden from thee.

My heart throbs, my strength fails me;

and the light of my eyes has gone from me.

My friends and neighbors drew near and stand against me,

but my relatives stand far off.

Those who seek my spirit pressed hard on me,

those who seek to hurt me spoke of ruin,

and meditated treachery all day long.

 

But I was like the deaf, who do not hear;

I was like the mute, who cannot speak.

Truly, I was like one who does not hear,

and in whose mouth is no retort.

 

For in thee, O Lord, I trusted;

it is thou, O Lord my God, who wilt hear me.

For I said, “Do not let my enemies rejoice over me.”

For when my feet slipped, they boasted against me.

 

For I am ready to fall,

and my pain is ever before me.

I confess my iniquity;

I am sorry for my sin.

But my enemies are mighty

and are stronger than I,

and those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.

Those who render evil for good slandered me,

because I followed after righteousness.

 

Forsake me not, O Lord;

O my God, do not be far from me;

make haste to help me,

O Lord, my salvation.

 

Forsake me not, O Lord;

O my God, do not be far from me;

make haste to help me,

O Lord, my salvation.

 

Psalm 63(62)

O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee,

my soul thirsts for thee;

my flesh also longs for thee,

as in a dry and trackless land,

where there is no water.

Thus I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary,

beholding thy power and glory.

Because thy mercy is better than life,

my lips will praise thee.

Thus I will bless thee as long as I live;

in thy name I will lift up my hands.

 

Let my soul be filled with fat and abundance,

and my joyful lips will praise thy name.

When I was thinking of thee in my bed,

I meditated on thee in the watches of the night:

for thou hast been my help,

and in the shelter of thy wings I rejoice.

My soul clung to thee;

thy right hand upheld me.

 

And those who sought my soul in vain

shall go down into the depths of the earth;

they shall be given over to the power of the sword,

they shall be prey for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;

all who swear by him shall exult,

for the mouths of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

I meditated on thee in the watches of the night:

for thou hast been my help,

and in the shelter of thy wings I rejoice.

My soul clung to thee;

thy right hand upheld me.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God. (low bow)

 

Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy,

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

Psalm 88 <87>

O Lord, God of my salvation,

I have cried out day and night before thee;

let my prayer come before thee;

incline thine ear to my supplication.

For my soul is full of trouble,

and my life draws near to Hades.

I have been counted among those who

go down to the pit;

I became like those who have no help,

adrift among the dead,

like the wounded ones, cast out,

who sleep in the tombs,

like those whom thou rememberest no more,

for they were cut off from thy hand.

Thou hast put me in the depths of the pit,

in the dark regions, and in the shadow of death.

Thy wrath has lain heavily upon me,

and thou hast overwhelmed me with

all thine anger.

 

Thou hast removed my companions far from me;

they have made me an abomination to themselves,

I am shut in so that I cannot escape;

my eyes grew dim through misery.

Every day I call on thee, O Lord;

I spread out my hands to thee.

Dost thou work wonders for the dead?

Or do the physicians raise them to praise thee?

Is thy mercy declared in the grave,

or thy truth in Hades?

Are thy wonders known in the darkness,

or thy righteousness in the land of

forgetfulness?

 

But I cry out to thee, O Lord;

in the morning my prayer comes before thee.

O Lord, why dost thou cast me off?

Why dost thou hide thy face from me?

I am in misery and trouble from my youth up,

I have been exalted and brought low,

I am driven to despair.

Thy wrath has overwhelmed me;

thy terrors have frightened me,

they surrounded me like a flood all day long;

they have closed in upon me, and cut off all assistance.

Thou hast removed friends and acquaintances far from me

because of my wretchedness.

 

O Lord, God of my salvation,

I have cried out day and night before thee;

let my prayer come before thee;

incline thine ear to my supplication.

 

Psalm 103 <102>

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me

bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and do not forget all his benefits--

who forgives all your iniquities,

who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from corruption,

who crowns you with mercy and compassion,

who satisfies your desire with good,

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

The Lord works mercy and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,

his acts to the people of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

forbearing and very merciful.

He will not keep his anger forever,

nor will he forever be wrathful.

He does not deal with us

according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his mercy toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion for his children,

so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

For he knows how we were made;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

As for people, their days are like grass;

they flourish like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting

to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

 

The Lord has prepared his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, all his angels,

you mighty ones who do his bidding,

obedient to his voice.

Bless the Lord, all his hosts,

his ministers who do his will.

Bless the Lord all his works,

in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

Psalm 143 (142)

Hear my prayer, O Lord;

give ear to my supplications

in thy faithfulness;

answer me in thy righteousness.

Enter not into judgment with thy servant,

for no one living is righteous before thee.

 

For the enemy has persecuted my soul,

crushing my life to the ground,

making me sit in darkness like those

who have been long dead.

Therefore, my spirit was grieved within me;

my heart within me was troubled.

I remembered the days of old,

I meditated on all thy deeds,

I meditated on the works of thy hands.

I stretched out my hands to thee;

my soul thirsts for thee like a dry land.

 

Answer me quickly, O Lord;

my spirit has failed.

Hide not thy face from me,

or I shall be like those who go down to the pit.

 

Let me hear of thy mercy in the morning,

for in thee I have put my hope.

Teach me the way I should go,

for to thee have I lifted up my soul.

 

Save me, O Lord, from my enemies;

I have fled to thee for refuge.

Teach me to do thy will,

for thou art my God.

Let your good Spirit lead me in a straight path.

 

For thy name’s sake, O Lord,

give life to me.

In thy righteousness,

bring my soul out of affliction.

In thy mercy, destroy my enemies;

and bring to naught all my adversaries;

for I am thy servant.

 

Answer me in thy righteousness.

Enter not into judgment with thy servant (Twice).

 

Let thy good Spirit lead me in a straight path.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

Our God and our Hope, Glory to thee.

 

While the preceding six psalms are being read, the priest says the following twelve morning prayers. The first three are said before the Altar, and the remaining nine are said standing before the icon of Christ.

1.

We give thanks to thee, O Lord our God, who raised us from our beds, and put a word of praise in our mouths,4 so that we may worship and call on thy holy name.5 We implore thy mercies, which thou hast given always for our life. Send thy help6 upon us and all who stand before the face of thy holy glory, eagerly waiting the rich mercy, which is from thee. Grant that we, in awe and love, may always worship thee, praise thee, sing hymns to thee, and fall down before thine indescribable goodness. For unto thee are due all-glory, honor and worship: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

 

 

2.

Our soul yearns for thee, O our God, in the night;7 for thy commandments are a light upon the earth. Teach us to fulfill righteousness and holiness in thy fear; for we glorify thee, our God, He Who Is. Incline thine ear, and hear us, and remember, O Lord, by name those who are present with us and those who pray with us, and save them by thy might. Bless thy people and sanctify thine inheritance, give peace to thy world, to thy churches, to the priests, to all civil authorities, and to all thy people. For blessed and glorified is thy most honorable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

3.

Our soul yearns for thee, O our God, in the night;8 for thy commandments are a light upon the earth. Teach me, O God, thy righteousness, thy commandments, and thy statutes;9 or I will sleep the sleep of death10 in sins. Drive away all darkness from our hearts; and grant us the sun of righteousness; and by the seal of thy Holy Spirit, preserve our life unaffected. Guide our steps in the way of peace. Grant us to behold the dawn and the day with rejoicing, that we may send up our morning prayers to thee; for thine is the majesty, the kingdom, the power, and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

 

 

4.

O Master, our God, holy and incomprehensible, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”;11 who gave us rest through the sleep of the night and raised us up to glorify and implore thy goodness: as we now ask thy tender loving-kindness, receive us who fall down before thee and give thanks to thee to the utmost of our power. Grant us all our petitions which lead us to salvation. Appoint us to be children of light and of the day,12 and heirs of thine everlasting good things. Remember, O Lord, according to thine abundant mercy,13 all thy people who are present with us and who pray with us, and all our brethren who are on land, on sea, and in the air, and in every place of thy mastery, who implore thy love for mankind and thy help; and grant thy great mercy to all, that being preserved in safety in body and soul, we may with boldness glorify thy marvelous and blessed name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

5.

O treasury of good things, ever-flowing fountain, O wonder-working, omnipotent and almighty holy Father: we all fall before thee; and we pray to thee, calling upon thy mercies and thy compassion to aid and help our affliction. Remember, O Lord, thy suppliants; receive our morning prayers as incense before thee; consider not anyone of us to be without worth; but preserve us all with thy compassion. Remember, O Lord, those who watch over thy flock and sing to thy glory and to the glory of thine only-begotten Son and thy Holy Spirit. Be their helper and protector. Receive their supplications upon thy celestial and spiritual altar; for thou art our God, and unto thee we give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

6.

 We give thanks unto thee, O Lord God of our salvation; for thou dost all things for the benefit of our souls, so that we may ever look up to thee, the Savior and Benefactor of our souls; for thou gavest us rest in the night just passed, and raised us from our beds, and enabled us to stand and to fall down before thy most holy name. Wherefore, we entreat thee, O Lord, give us grace and power, so that we may in full awareness be made worthy to sing praises to thee and to pray without ceasing, working out our salvation in fear and trembling, by the help of thy Christ. Remember, O Lord, those who cry out to thee in the night. Hear them, and have mercy, and crush under their feet the invisible and hostile enemies. For thou art the King of Peace, and Savior of our souls, and unto thee we give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

7.

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou hast raised us up from our beds and hast gathered us together at this hour of prayer. Grant us grace in the opening of our mouths; and receive our thanksgiving, offered to the utmost of our ability; and teach us thy statutes, for we do not know how to pray as we ought14 unless thou guidest us, O Lord, by thy Holy Spirit. Wherefore, we entreat thee: Remit, forgive, pardon all the sins we may have committed to this present hour by word or deed or thought, voluntary or involuntary: for if thou, O Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, who could stand?15 For from thee is redemption, and thou only art holy and mighty and the helper and protector of our life. Our praise is continually of thee.16 Blessed and glorified be the supreme might of thy kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

8.

O Lord our God, thou hast driven away from us the indolence of sleep and hast assembled us together by a holy calling, so that in the night also we may lift up our hands and give thanks for thy righteous ordinances.17 Receive our prayers, petitions, praises, and night-time worship. And grant us, O Lord, a confident faith that cannot be put to shame, firm hope and sincere love. Bless our going out and our coming in,18 our deeds, words and thoughts. Grant us that we may come to the beginning of the day, praising, singing hymns, and blessing the goodness of thine inexpressible kindness; for blessed be thy most holy name, and glorified be your Kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

9.

O Master, lover of mankind, shine within our hearts the pure light of thy divine knowledge; and open the eyes of our minds that we may comprehend19 the message of thy Gospel. Instill in us, also, reverence for thy blessed commandments, so that having conquered20 sinful desires, we may pursue a spiritual way of life, both thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to thee.21 For thou art our sanctification, and unto thee we give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

10.

O Lord our God, thou hast given us forgiveness through repentance and hast shown the repentance of the prophet David as a pattern of the acknowledgment of sin and of confession that leads to forgiveness. Have mercy, O Master, according to thy great mercy, on us who are falling into many and great sins.22 According to thine abundant mercy, blot out our transgressions.23 Against thee have we sinned, O Lord, who knows the hidden and secret things in the human heart and has authority to forgive sins.24 Thou hast created a clean heart in me and established a yearning spirit within me and made known the joy of thy salvation. Cast me not away from thy presence.25 But as thou art good and the lover of mankind, take delight that, until our uttermost breath, we may offer unto thee the sacrifice of righteousness, and an oblation upon thine altar. Through the mercy and compassion and love for mankind of thine only-begotten Son, with whom thou art blessed, together with thine all-holy and good and life giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

11.

God, our God, thou hast brought into existence by thine own will the powers endowed with reason and intelligence. We pray thee and we supplicate thee: Receive our glorification, offered together with all thy creatures, according to the utmost of our power. Reward us with the rich gifts of thy goodness; for unto thee every knee bows, whether in heaven, or on earth, or in the underworld, and every human spirit and creature sings hymns to thine inexpressible glory; for thou alone art the true and most merciful God. For all the powers of heaven praise thee, and unto thee they give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

12.

We praise thee, we sing unto thee, we bless thee, we give thanks unto thee, O God of our fathers; for thou hast made the shades of night to pass away and hast shown us once more the light of the day. And we entreat thy goodness: be gracious to our sins, and receive our prayer in thy great tenderness. For we flee unto thee, the merciful and almighty God. Shine within our hearts the true sun of thy righteousness. Enlighten our minds. And guard all our senses that, walking decently as in the day in the way of thy commandments, we may reach the eternal life--for thou art the fountain of life--and that we may be accounted worthy to enjoy thine unapproachable light.26 For thou art our God, and unto thee we give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

The Litany of Peace

Deacon:   In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For the peace of the whole world; for the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For this holy House, and for those who with faith, reverence, and fear of God enter therein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For our Father and Metropolitan PHILIP, for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For the President of the United States and all civil authorities, and for our armed forces everywhere, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For this city, and for every city and land, and for the faithful who dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:   For healthful seasons, for abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For travelers by sea, by land, and by air; for the sick and the suffering; for captives and their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

Choir:  To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For unto thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:  Amen.

 

People chant the following in the second tone:

Tone Two

People: God is the Lord, and he is revealed to us27, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord28.

 

verse 1: O give thanks to the Lord, call on his holy name29.

 

God is the Lord, and he is revealed to us30, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord31.

 

verse 2: All the nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord will I destroy them32.

 

God is the Lord, and he is revealed to us33, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord34.

 

verse 3: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes35.

 

God is the Lord, and he is revealed to us36, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord37.

 

The People then sing the following Troparia:

Tone Two

The Noble Joseph, when he had taken down thine immaculate body from the tree, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth with spices, and sorrowing placed it in a new tomb.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 

Troparion of the Resurrection

When thou, O immortal life, went down to death, thou didst destroy death by the dazzling of thy Divinity. And when thou raised the dead from the underworld, all the powers of heaven cried aloud: O Christ our God, Giver of life, Glory to thee.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

The angel stood by the tomb and cried aloud to the ointment-bearing women: Myrrh is proper for the dead, but Christ has shown himself a stranger to corruption.

 

The Little Litany

Deacon:   Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:   Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For thine is the might, and thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Kathismata (Sessional Hymns)

First Tone

Choir:  Joseph asked Pilate for thy Holy Body; he anointed it with majestic aromatic ointment, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a new tomb. There the ointment-bearing women, rising early in the morning, cried aloud: O Christ, show to us thy Resurrection, as thou hast foretold us.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

The Choirs of Angels were dazzled when they saw the immortal One, who is in the Father’s bosom, lying in the tomb like a dead man. The orders of the angels surround him and glorify him while he is the dead in Hades: For he is Creator and Lord.

Psalm 51<50>

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to thy great mercy,

according to the multitude of thy compassions,

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

 

For I acknowledge my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee only have I sinned,

and done what is evil in thy sight,

so that thou art justified in thy sentences,

and prevailest when thou passest judgment.

 

For indeed, I was conceived in iniquities,

and in sins did my mother conceive me.

 

For behold: thou lovest truth,

thou hast made known to me the secret

and hidden things of thy wisdom.

 

Sprinkle me with hyssop,

and I shall be clean,

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

 

Let me hear joy and gladness,

then the afflicted bones shall rejoice.

 

Turn away thy face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

 

Create in me a clean heart,

O God, and put a right Spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence,

and take not thine Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,

and uphold me with a directing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,

and sinners will return to thee.

 

Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,

the God of my salvation,

and my tongue will joyfully

sing aloud of thy righteousness.

 

O Lord, open my lips;

and my mouth will declare thy praise;

for if thou hadst delight in sacrifice,

I would have given it;

but thou wouldst not be pleased by burnt offering.

The sacrifice to God is a broken spirit:

a broken and contrite heart,

O God, thou wilt not despise.

 

Do good in thy good pleasure to Zion,

and let the walls of Jerusalem be built;

then thou wilt delight in a sacrifice of righteousness,

in offerings and whole burnt offerings;

then they will offer bulls upon thine altar.

 

THE CANON

Sixth Tone

Canticle One

Choir:  IRMOS: The children of those who were once saved concealed under ground the One who all that time had been concealing the persecuting tyrant under the waves of the sea: So, let us sing to the Lord like the young men, for he is greatly glorified.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O Lord my God, I will sing to thee a funeral and  burial hymn, for by thy burial, thou hast opened the gates of life, and by thy death thou hast destroyed death and Hades.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

O my Savior, all the heavenly and earthly38 things shook at thy death, as they saw thee on thy throne on high and in the grave below. For beyond understanding, thou wast seen to be the One who gives life though dead.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

To fill all things with thy glory, thou hast descended into the lowest part of the earth, for my original nature, as it existed in Adam, has not been hidden from thee. Even though thou wast buried in the tomb, thou made me, the perishable human, a new creation, O Lover of mankind.

 

Katavasia

The children of those who were once saved concealed under ground the One who all that time had been concealing the persecuting tyrant under the waves of the sea: So, let us sing to the Lord like the young men, for he is greatly glorified.

 

Canticle Three

IRMOS:  When the creation saw thee, who by thy own will hung the whole creation upon the waters, hanging in Golgotha, it was seized with great wonder, and cried aloud: None is holy but thee, O Lord.39

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O Master, thou hast revealed the marks of thy burial in a multitude of appearances; now thou hast shown thy hidden secrets in as God-man to those who are in Hades, who cry aloud: None is holy but thee, O Lord.40

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

Thou hast stretched out thy hands and untied all that had been divided. Wrapped in linen cloth, O Savior, and buried in a tomb, thou hast set free the prisoners who cry aloud: None is holy but thee, O Lord.41

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

By thine own will, a grave and seals have enclosed thee, O infinite One; but thou didst reveal thy power divinely, power in thy actions to those who sing: None is holy but thee, O Lord.42

Katavasia

When the creation saw thee, who by thine own will hung the whole creation upon the waters, hanging in Golgotha, it was seized with great wonder, crying aloud: None is holy but thee, O Lord.”43

 

Kathisma (Sessional Hymn)

First Tone

O Savior, the soldiers guarding thy tomb became as dead men from the lightning appearance of the angel, proclaiming the Resurrection to the women. We glorify thee the despoiler of corruption, and unto thee we fall down, risen from the tomb, and our only God.

 

Canticle Four

Sixth Tone

IRMOS:  When he foresaw thee emptying thyself upon the Cross, Habakkuk was dazzled as he cried: “Thou hast cut short the might of the powerful,”44 O gracious and almighty Lord, who preached salvation to those in Hades.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

Today, thou hast made holy the seventh day, which thou blessed before resting from thy works. For thou createst all things and makest them new, taking rest on the Sabbath, my Savior, and restoring them once more.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

O Word, thou hast gained victory by thy almighty strength; thy soul was separated from thy body, yet by thy dominion, thou burstest the bonds of death and Hades.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Hades was embittered when it encountered thee,45 O Word, for it saw a mortal deified, marked by wounds, yet all-powerful; it shrank back in terror at this sight.

 

Katavasia

When he foresaw thee emptying thyself upon the Cross, Habakkuk was dazzled as he cried: Thou hast cut short the might of the powerful,46 O gracious and almighty Lord, who preached salvation to those in Hades.

 

Canticle Five

IRMOS:  O Christ, when Isaiah came early in the morning, he saw the never-setting light, the light of divine manifestation, that appeared to us through thy tender mercy. He cried aloud: The dead shall live, and the dwellers in the tomb shall rise, and all those who live on earth will sing for joy.47

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

O Creator, when thou wast enrolled among the mortals, thou madest them new. O Word, the linen cloth and the tomb point to the mystery that is within thee. For the respected council member of the sanhadrin48 fulfills the will of thy Father, who has gloriously made me new in thee.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

O Master, by thy death thou transformest mortality, and by thy burial, corruption. As as befits God, thou renderest immortal and incorruptible the nature thou assumed. But thy flesh did not see decay, nor was thy soul, as that of a stranger, left in Hades.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Coming from a birth without travail, and pierced in thy side with a spear, O my Creator, thou accomplished the recreation of Eve. Becoming Adam, thou fell asleep in a manner transcending nature, producing life and raising it from sleep and corruption, for thou art the Almighty One.

 

Katavasia

O Christ, when Isaiah came early in the morning, he saw the never-setting light, the light of divine manifestation, that appeared to us through thy tender mercy. He cried aloud: The dead shall live, and the dwellers in the tomb shall rise, and all those who live on earth will sing for joy.49

 

 

Canticle Six

IRMOS:  Jonah was enclosed, but not held fast in the belly of the whale; for as prefiguring thee, who hast suffered and wast buried in the tomb, he sprung up from the beast as from a bridal chamber, and he called out to the guard: O guards, you guard in vain, for you have forsaken your own mercy.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O Word, thou wast slain but not separated from the flesh thou didst share with us. For though thy temple was destroyed at the time of thy Passion, the Person of thy Godhead and of thy flesh remains but One: in both thou art one Son, the Word of God, both God and Man.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

The sin of Adam caused the death of man, but not the death of God, for though the earthly essence of thy flesh suffered, thy Godhead remained without suffering. Thou hast transformed that which was corruptible to incorruption, and revealed the fountain of life by thy Resurrection.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Hades rules over our mortal race, but not forever. Laid in the tomb, O Mighty One, with thy life-giving hand thou hast destroyed the bars of death. As the first born who rose from the dead, thou hast proclaimed true redemption, O Savior, to those who throughout the ages slept in the tombs.

 

 

Katavasia

Jonah was enclosed, but not held fast in the belly of the whale; for as prefiguring thee, who hast suffered and wast buried in the tomb, he sprung up from the beast as from a bridal chamber, and he called out to the guard: O guards, you guard in vain, for you have forsaken your own mercy.

 

The Kontakion

The immortal One, who closed the abyss,50 is seen dead and wrapped in linen cloth with spices and laid in the tomb as mortal. The women come to anoint him with ointment, weeping bitterly and crying aloud: This is the Sabbath which is blessed above all, for Christ, having fallen asleep, will rise on the third day.

 

The Oikos

He who rules over all things was lifted up on the Cross. The whole creation weeps to see him hanging naked on the Cross. The sun hid its rays and the stars lost their brightness; the earth shook in great fear, the sea fled and the rocks were torn, and many graves were opened and the bodies of the saints rose. Hades groaned below, and the Jews spread false tidings against Christ’s Resurrection. But the women cried aloud: This is the Sabbath which is blessed above all, for Christ, having fallen asleep, will rise on the third day.

 

 

The Synaxarion

Reader:    On Great and Holy Saturday, we commemorate the burial of the Divine Body and the descent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to Hades, through which he called up the human race from corruption, granting it the privilege of entering eternal life.

 

Therefore, by thine inexpressible condescension, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

 

Canticle Seven

IRMOS:  O Inexpressible wonder! For he is laid as dead without breath in the grave for our salvation, who delivered from the fiery furnace the godly Children, who sang: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

When Hades was consumed by divine fire, it was pierced in the heart and groaned, receiving the One who was pierced in his side by the spear for the salvation of us who sing: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O Blessed tomb! It received within itself the Creator, as if sleeping, and it became a divine treasury of life, for the salvation of us who sing: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

The Life of all submits to being laid in the tomb, according to the law of the dead, and he makes it a source of resurrection for the salvation of us who sing: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

In Hades and in the tomb and in Eden, the divinity of Christ was indivisibly united with the Father and the Spirit, for the salvation of us who sing: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

 

Katavasia

O Inexpressible wonder! For he is laid as dead without breath in the grave for our salvation, who delivered from the fiery furnace the godly Children who sang: Blessed art thou, O God our Deliverer.

 

Canticle Eight

IRMOS:  O heavens, be appalled! Be astonished! Let the foundations of the earth be shaken. For he who dwells on high is reckoned among the dead, lodging as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Children bless him, priests praise him, and people exalt him unto all the ages!

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

The most pure Temple is destroyed, but raises up with him the fallen tabernacle. The second Adam, dwelling in the highest heaven, has come down to the first Adam as far as the depths of Hades. Children bless him, priests praise him, and people exalt him unto all the ages!

 

We bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

 

The disciples were fainthearted, but Joseph of Arimathaea was the bravest, for seeing the God of all dead and naked, he asked for the body and buried him, crying: Children bless him, priests praise him, and people exalt him unto all the ages!

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

O strange wonders! O divine goodness! O inexpressible long-suffering! God who dwells in the highest heaven is willingly sealed beneath the earth, and is falsely accused as a deceiver. Children bless him, priests praise him, and people exalt him unto all the ages!

 

Katavasia

We praise, we bless and worship the Lord.

 

O heavens, be appalled! Be astonished! Let the foundations of the earth be shaken. For he who dwells on high is reckoned among the dead, lodging as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Children bless him, priests praise him, and people exalt him unto all the ages!

 

The Deacon stands in the Holy door facing the icon of the Theotokos and says:

Deacon:   The Theotokos and Mother of Light let us honor and magnify in song.

 

The Deacon censes the sanctuary and the people in the usual manner, while People do not sing the Magnificat and Greater in honor than the cherubim. . . . but chant the following:

Canticle Nine

IRMOS:  O Mother, weep not for me, beholding me in the tomb, the Son whom thou conceived without seed in thy womb. For I will rise and will be glorified, and as God I will continually exalt in everlasting glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

 

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

 

O Son without beginning, at thy strange birth I was blessed in a manner transcending all nature, for I was spared all the travail of childbirth. But now, seeing thee, my God, a lifeless corpse, I am attacked by the sword of bitter sorrow. But arise, that I may be magnified.

   

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

O Mother, the earth covers me willingly, but the gate-keepers of Hades tremble with fear as they see me, clothed in the blood-stained garment of punishment, for on the Cross as God I have struck down my enemies, and I will rise and magnify thee.

   

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Let creation rejoice exceedingly, let all Children of Adam be glad, for Hades, the enemy, has been stripped of its power. O women, come to meet me with ointment, for I am delivering Adam and Eve with the whole human race, and on the third day I will rise.

Katavasia

O Mother, weep not for me, beholding me in the tomb, the Son whom thou conceived without seed in thy womb. For I will rise and will be glorified, and as God I will continually exalt in everlasting glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

 

At the completion of the Ninth Ode, the Priest, preceded by the Altar Boys, exit the Sanctuary and go to where the Bier is, decorated with flowers, on which is the Epitaphion.  The Priests and the Choir stand on both sides of it, and the Priests stands before it, and starts chanting the first of the Lamentations to follow, which are divided into three parts, and he censes the Bier on its four sides. Then at each interval (between the three parts) he censes the Bier as he stands in front of it.)

 


Lamentations

First Stasis

Fifth Tone

 

1-In a grave they laid thee, O my Life and my Christ: and the armies of the angels were so amazed as they sang the praise of thy submissive love.

 

2-O my sweet Lord Jesus, my salvation and my light, how art thou now by a grave and its darkness hid? How unspeakable the mystry of thy love?

 

3-Gone the light the world knew, gone the light that was mine; O my Jesus who art all of the heart’s desire. So the virgin spoke lamenting at thy grave.

 

4-Who will give me water, for the tears I must weep. So the maiden wed to God cried with loud lament, that for my sweet Jesus I may rightly mourn.

 

5-All we call thee blessed, Theotokos most pure and with faithful hearts we honor the burial, suffered three days by thy Son who is our God.

 

6- How O Life canst thou die? In a grave, how canst thou dwell? For the proud domain of death thou destroyest now; and the dead of Hades thou makest to rise.

 

7-Now we magnify thee, O Lord Jesus our King, and we venerate thy passion and burial: for there with hast thou delivered us from Death.

 

8-Earth, her bounds thou gavest: yet how small is the tomb where, O Jesus, King of all, thou dost dwell today, who dost call the dead to leave their graves and rise.

9-O my dear Christ Jesus, King and Ruler of all, why to them that dwelt in Hades didst thou descend? Was it not to set the race of mortals free?

 

10-Lo, the Son, the ruler of creation, is dead, buried in a tomb never used before, he who has emptied all the graves of their dead.

 

11-In a grave they laid thee O my Life and my Christ: yet the lord of death hast thou by death destroyed, and the world of thee does drink rich streams of life.

 

12-Lo, how fair his beauty! Never man was so fair; but how strangely now has death changed that face we knew, though all nature all her beauty to him owes.

 

13-O my sweet Lord Jesus, my Salvation, my Light: how art thou now by a grave and its darkness hid? How unspeakable the mystery of thy love.

 

14-Lo, how strange these wonders, deeds amazing and new: for the Giver of my life is borne lifeless forth by the hands of weeping Joseph to his rest.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

15-O Word of God, we praise thee, the Lord of all the world, with thy Father and thy Holy Spirit, and we glorify thy burial.

 

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

16- We bless thee, O most pure Theotokos, and in faith we honor the three-day burial of thy Son, our God.

 

In a grave they laid thee, O my Life and my Christ: and the armies of the angels were so amazed as they sang the praise of thy submissive love.

 

The Little Litany

Priest: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

 

Priest: Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

Choir:  To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: 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, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:  Amen.

 

Second Stasis

Fifth Tone

1- Right is it in deed, Life-Bestowing Lord to magnify thee: For upon the cross were thy hands out stretched, and the strength of our dread foe hast thou destroyed.

 

2-Right is it indeed, Maker of all things to magnify thee: for by thy dear passion have we attained victory o’er the flesh and been rescued from decay.

 

3-Earth with trembling shook, and the sun concealed his face with darkness; for the light unwaning that shines from thee, with thy body sank to darkness and the grave.

 

4-That I may renew man’s lost nature now from beauty fallen, gladly in my flesh I take death on me: wherefore, mother, slay me not with bitter tears.

 

5-I am rent with grief, and my heart with woe is crushed and broken as I see them slay thee with doom unjust: so bewailing him his grieving mother cried.

 

6-Ah, those eyes so sweet and thy lips, O Word, how shall I close them? How shall I the dues of death to thee pay? So cried Joseph as he shook with holy fear.

 

7-Dirges at the tomb, goodly Joseph with Nicodemus sing bringing praise to Christ who by men was slain; and in song with them are joined the Seraphim.

 

8-Stone that man has wrought now conceals the Corner Stone of promise; mortal man would hide his God in a grave as if God were mortal: shake with fear, O earth.

 

9-O my Son, behold thy beloved disciple and thy brother, and thy voice so sweet, let us hear again: so with plenteous tears his maiden mother cried.

 

10-Work of God, Beauty nor charm was thine when thou didst suffer; but thy risen glory poured down its light, shedding beauty on all men with rays divine.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

11-O Eternal God, and Word co-eternal with him and the Spirit, confirm our leader’s scetper against his enemies, for thou art rigtheous.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

12- O pure and undefiled, who dist give birth to Life, end the dissensions of the Church and crown her with peace, for thou art righteous.

 

Right is it in deed, Life-Bestowing Lord, to magnify thee: For upon the cross were thy hands out stretched, and the strength of our dread foe hast thou destroyed.

 

The Little Litany

Priest: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

 

Priest: Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

Choir:  To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For holy art thou, O our God, seated upon the glorious throne of the cherubim, and unto thee we give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:  Amen.

 

Third Stasis

Third Tone

1-Every generation to thy grave comes bringing, dear Christ, its dirge of praises.

 

2-From thy cross he brought thee, that Arimathaean, and in thy grave he laid thee.

 

3-Women bringing spices, came with loving forethought, thy due of myrrh to give thee.

 

4-Come, all things created, let us sing a dirge Hymn to honour our Creator.

 

5-Him as dead though living, let us like the women, in love anoint with spices.

 

6-Greatly blessed Joseph buries now the body of Christ the Life-Bestower.

 

7-Those he fed with manna lifted heels of spurning against their Benefactor.

 

8-Ah, those minds so foolish, hearts so Christ destroying, of them that slew the prophets.

 

9-Taught the inner mystries, he like a mindless servant betrayed the Well of Wisdom.

10-He that sold his Saviour, sold himself as captive, that crafty traitor Judas.

 

11-Myrrh the women sprinkled bringing stored spices to grave your tomb ere dawning.

 

12- The ointment-bearing women to thy tomb did come, pouring out their ointment at early dawn.  (Three times)

 

(During the third part of the Lamentations, the Priest sings the verse, “The ointment-bearing women…” and sprinkles rosewater on the Epitaphion, around the Bier and on the Faithful, walking up and down the aisle of the Church.  Meanwhile, the Choir repeats the verse “The ointment-bearing women…” until the Priest finishes, )

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

13-O my God, the Trinity, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon the world.

 

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Prepare thy servants, O chaste Virgin, to behold the Ressurection of thy Son.

 

Every generation to thy grave comes bringing, dear Christ, its dirge of praises.

 

The Little Litany

Deacon:   Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

Choir:  To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For thou art the king of peace, and the Savior of our souls, and unto thee we give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:  Amen.

 

Evlogetaria

People: Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes.

 

The company of the angels was amazed, when they beheld thee, numbered among the dead, yet thyself O Savior, destroying the power of death, and with thee raising up Adam, and setting all free from Hades.

 

Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes.

 

The radiant angel in the tomb cried to the ointment-bearing women: Why do you lament and mingle your tears with the ointment, O women disciples? Look upon the tomb and be glad: for the Savior is risen from the tomb.

 

Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes.

 

Very early in the morning the ointment-bearing women hastened to the tomb lamenting, but the angel came to them and said: the time for lamentation has passed, weep not, but announce the Resurrection to the disciples.

 

Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes.

 

Weeping, the Ointment-bearing women approached thy tomb, but an angel came toward them, saying: Why do you count the living among the dead?51 Being God, he has risen from the tomb.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

Troparion for the Trinity

We worship the Father, together with his Son, and his Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity one in essence; crying with the Seraphim: Holy, Holy, Holy, art thou, O Lord!

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

 

Theotokion

By giving birth to the Giver-of-Life, O Virgin, thou redeemed Adam from sin, and brought joy to Eve in place of sadness; as for the God-man who took flesh from thee, he hast restored to life those who had fallen.

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to thee, O God.  (low bow)

 

O our God and our hope, glory to thee.

 

The Little Litany

Deacon:   Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

Choir:  Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

Choir:  To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For all the powers of heaven praise thee, and to thee they give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:  Amen.

 

People: Holy is the Lord our God.  (Three times)

 

Choir:  Verse: Exalt you the Lord our God; Fall down at his footstool. Holy is he!52

 

The Praises (Ainoi)

Tone Two

Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights! To thee, O God, is due our song.

 

Praise him all his angels; praise him all his hosts! To thee, O God, is due our song.

 

Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!         

Today a tomb holds him who holds the creation in the palm of his hand; a stone covers him who covered the heavens with his power. Life sleeps, and Hades trembles, and Adam is set free from his prison. Glory to thy dispensation through which thou hast fulfilled all things granting us the eternal Sabbath day’s rest, thy most holy Resurrection from the dead.

 

Praise him with trumpet sound; Praise him with lute and harp!

   

What is this sight we see? What is this present rest? When the King of the ages, through his Passion, fulfilled the plan of salvation, he observes the Sabbath in the tomb, granting us a new Sabbath. To him let us cry aloud: “Rise up, O Lord, judge the earth,”53 for immeasurable is thy great mercy and thou reignest forever.

            Praise him with tambourine and dance; Praise him with strings and pipe!

 

Come, let us see our Life laid in the tomb, that he might give life to those who lie dead in their tombs. Come, let us look today on the Son of Judah as he sleeps, and let us cry aloud to him, with the voice of the prophet: Thou hast laid down; thou hast slept as a lion; who dares awaken thee, O King?.54 But of thine own free will thou risest up, O Lord, who by an act of free will gavest thyself for us. Glory to thee.

 

Tone Six

Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with crashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

                

Joseph sought the body of Jesus, and he laid it in his own new tomb: for it was essential that the Lord should come forth from the grave as from a bridal chamber. Glory to thee, for thou hast destroyed the dominion of death and opened to mankind the gates of Paradise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

 

Tone Six

Great Moses mystically prefigured this present day saying: So God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.55 For this is the blessed Sabbath, the day of rest, on which the only-begotten Son of God rested from all his works. Through the dispensation of death, he observed the Sabbath in the flesh. Through his resurrection, he returned to what he was, and in his goodness and love for mankind bestowed upon us eternal life.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

Theotokion

Thou art most blessed, O virgin Theotokos, for through him who became incarnate of thee, Hades has been subdued; Adam restored to life, and the curse was abolished. Eve was set free; death was put to death, and we were made alive: Wherefore, we sing praises crying aloud: Blessed thou art, O Christ our God, who is thus pleased, glory to thee.

 

The Great Doxology

Glory to thee, who hast shown us the light. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men.

 

We hymn thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks unto thee for thy great glory.

 

O Lord King, heavenly God, Father Almighty; O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Spirit.

 

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, thou that takest away the sins of the world.

 

Receive our prayer, thou that sittest at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us.

 

For thou only art holy, thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

Every day will I bless thee, and I will praise thy name forever; yea, forever and ever.

 

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.

 

Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is thy name forever. Amen.

 

Let thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, even as we have set our hope on thee.

 

Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. (Three times)

 

Lord, thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation. I said: Lord, be merciful unto me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

 

Lord, I have fled unto thee; teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God.

 

For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.

 

O continue thy mercy unto them that know thee.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us. (Three times)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Holy Immortal: have mercy on us.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us.

 

At this time, the Priest carries the Gospel Book while others carry the Epitaphion over their heads and they process around the Church, followed by the Faithful.  They all pass under the Epitaphion and the Bier as they reenter the Church, the Choir singing in the Sixth Tone...

People: “Holy God, Holy Mighty . . .”

 

Fifth Tone

People: When he saw that the sun had hidden its rays and that the curtain of the temple was torn at the death of the Savior, Joseph went to Pilate, pleaded with him, and cried aloud:

 

Give me that stranger, who since his youth had wondered as a stranger.

 

Give me that stranger, murdered in hatred by his own people as a stranger.

 

Give me that stranger, at whom I wonder, seeing him as a guest of death.

 

Give me that stranger, who knows how to take in the poor and the strangers.

 

Give me that stranger, estranged from the world in envy by the Jews.

 

Give me that stranger, that I may bury him in a tomb, who being a stranger has no place to lay his head.

 

Give me that stranger whom his mother saw hanging on the Cross and cried: My Child, my bowels are wounded, and my own heart is pierced,56 as I see thee dead, yet trusting in thy Resurrection, I magnify thee.

 

In such words, the honorable Joseph pleaded with Pilate. He took the Savior’s body, and in awe, wrapped it in linen and ointment. In a tomb he placed thee, O Giver of eternal life and the great mercy.

 

When all the Congregation have returned into the Church, the Priest takes the Epitaphion into the Sanctuary and places it upon the Holy Altar, saying...

Priest: Let us attend, Peace be to all, Wisdom.

 

Troparion of the Resurrection

Second Tone

People: When thou, O immortal life, went down to death, thou didst destroy death by the dazzling of thy Divinity. And when thou didst raise the dead from the underworld, all the powers of heaven cried aloud: O Christ our God, Giver of life, Glory to thee.

 

The noble Joseph, when he had taken down thine immaculate body from the tree, wrapped it in pure linen and spices and sorrowing placed it in a new tomb.57

 

 

The angel stood by the tomb and cried aloud to the ointment-bearing women: Myrrh is proper for the dead, but Christ has shown himself a stranger to corruption.

 

 

The Prophecy

Prokeimenon:

Psalms 44:26

Reader:    Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.

 

Verse: O God, we have heard with our hearts.

 

The reading is from the prophecy of Ezekiel.

 

Deacon:   Wisdom, Let us attend.

 

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of human bones. Then he led me all around them; behold, there were very many in the open valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you will live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you will live.’ Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

 

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet, a vast multitude.

 

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open thy graves, O my people, and bring you up from your graves. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’”

 

The Epistle

Deacon:   Let us attend.

 

Reader:    Arise, O Lord my God; Lift up thy hand. I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, with my whole heart.

 

Deacon:   Wisdom:

 

Reader:    The reading from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

 

Deacon:   Let us attend.

 

 

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Reader:    Brethren, do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Therefore, clean out the old yeast that you may be a new batch because you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Paschal lamb, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

Galatians 3:13-14

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”--in order that in Christ Jesus, the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 

Priest: Peace be to you who has read.

 

People: Alleluia.  (Three times)

 

The Gospel

Deacon:   Wisdom. Attend, let us hear the Holy Gospel.

 

Priest: Peace be to all.

 

People: And with thy spirit.

 

Deacon:   The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew.

 

People: Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.

 

Matthew 27:62-66

Deacon:   Let us attend.

 

On the next day, that is after the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that imposter said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the sepulcher to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go by night and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the sepulcher secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

 

People: Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.

 

The Litany of Fervent Supplication

Deacon:   Let us say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say:

 

People: Lord, have mercy. (One time)

 

Deacon:   O Lord Almighty, God of our fathers: we pray thee, hearken, and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy. (One time)

 

Deacon:   Have mercy on us, O God, according to thy great goodness: we pray thee, hearken, and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Deacon:   Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

 

Deacon:   Again we pray for our Father and Metropolitan PHILIP for presbyters, deacons, and all monastics; and for all our brethren in Christ.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Deacon:   Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, and visitation, and forgiveness and remission of the sins of the servants of God: (Names) (Here prayer may be offered for the people with special needs); and for all devout Orthodox Christians who live and dwell in this community.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Deacon:   Again we pray for the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this holy house, and for all our fathers and brethren, the Orthodox fallen asleep before us, (Names) (Here prayer may be offered for the departed people) who here and throughout the world lie asleep in the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Deacon:   Again we pray for those who bring offerings and do good works in this holy and venerable church; for those who serve and those who sing; and for all the people here present who await thy great and rich mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.  (Three times)

 

Priest: For thou art a merciful God and lovest mankind, and unto thee we give glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers!

Praised and glorified is thy name forever, Amen.

Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, even as we have set our hope in thee.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statutes.58

Blessed art thou, O Master, make me to understand thy statutes.

Blessed art thou, O holy One; enlighten me with thy statutes.

Thy mercy, O Lord, endures forever:59 O despise not the works of thy hands.60

To thee belongs praise, to thee belongs honor,61

to thee belongth glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

The Litany of Supplication

Deacon:   Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Deacon:   That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   An angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   Pardon and forgiveness of our sins and transgressions, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   All things good and profitable for our souls and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   A Christian ending to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful and a good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, let us ask.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Deacon:   Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For thou art a good God and lovest mankind, and unto thee we give glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Peace be to all.

 

People: And to thy spirit.

 

Deacon:   Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

 

People: To thee, O Lord.

 

The Prayer at the Bowing of Heads

Priest: O Lord our God, who bowed the heavens and came down for the salvation of mankind: Look favorably upon thy servants and thine inheritance, for to thee, the awesome Judge and lover of mankind, have thy servants bowed their heads, and bent their necks, not expecting help from men, but hoping in thy mercy, and looking for thy salvation. Protect them at all times, especially in the present morning, and in the coming day, from every enemy, from every adverse work of the devil, from vain thoughts and from evil imaginations.

 

Priest: Blessed and glorified is the might of thy kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

 

 

 

The Dismissal

Then the priest concludes the office of vespers with the dismissal:

Deacon:   Wisdom!

 

People: Father, bless.

 

Priest: Blessed is He Who is, Christ our God, always now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

People: Amen. Preserve, O God, the holy Orthodox Faith, and all Orthodox Christians, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

 

Priest: O most holy Theotokos, save us!

 

People: More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, thou who without corruption62, gavest birth to God the Word and art truly Theotokos, we magnify thee.

 

Priest: Glory to thee, O Christ, our God and our hope, glory to thee.

 

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Father, bless.

 

Priest: May Christ our true God, who for us all and for our salvation endured willingly the frightening passion, the Cross and the entombment, through the intercessions of his all-immaculate and all-blameless holy Mother; by the might of the precious and life-giving cross; by the protection of the honorable bodiless powers of heaven; at the supplication of the honorable, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable apostles; of the holy, glorious and right-victorious martyrs; of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers; of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; of Saint(s) N.N., whose memory we celebrate; and of all the saints: have mercy upon us, and save us, forasmuch as he is good and loves mankind.

 

Then facing the icon of Christ, the priest says:

Priest: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.

 

People: Amen.

 

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                1Or, “living”.

                2Or the evil one.

                3Or “Those whom he favors”.

                4(Ps.40<39>:3).

                5(Ps.80<78>:18).

                6(Ps.20<19>:2).

                7(Is.26:9).

                8(Is.26:9).

                9(Ps.119<118>:135).

                10(Ps.13<12>:3).

                11(2 Cor. 4:6).

                12(I Thess. 5:5)

                13(Ps.69<68>:16).

                14(Ro.8:26).

                15(Ps 130<129>:3).

                16(Ps 71<70>6).

                17(Ps. 119<118>:160).

                18(Ps.121<120>:8).

                19(Eph.1:18).

                20(Ps. 91<90>:13).

                21(1 John 3:22).

                22(Ps.51<50>:1).

                23(Ps. 51<50:1).

                24(Mt. 9:6).

                25(Ps 51<50>10-12).

                26(1 Tim 6:16).

                27(Ps. 118 <117>:27).

                28(Mt.21:9).

                29(Ps.105 <104>:1).

                30(Ps. 118 “117”:27).

                31(Mt.21:9).

                32(Ps.118 <117>10).

                33(Ps. 118 “117”:27).

                34(Mt.21:9).

                35(Ps.118 <117>:23).

                36(Ps. 118 “117”:27).

                37(Mt.21:9).

                38sub-terranean.

                39(Sir. 36:<33>:5).

                40(Sir. 36:<33>:5).

                41(Sir. 36:<33>:5).

                42(Sir. 36:<33>:5).

                43(Sir. 36:<33>:5).

                44(Hab. 3:14).

                45(Is. 14:9).

                46(Hab. 3:14).

                47(Is. 26:19).

                48Joseph of Arimathea.

                49(Is. 26:19).

                50the home of demons and evil spirits.

                51(Luke 24:5).

                52(Ps.82<81>:8).

                53(Ps.82<81>:8).

                54(Gen.49:9).

                55(Gen. 2:3).

                56(Lk. 2:35).

                57(John 19:40-41).

                58(Ps. 118<119>:12,64,135).

                59(Ps.107<106>:1).

                60(Ps.138<137>8).

                61(Ps.65<64>:1).

                62Or remaining virgin...etc.,