GREAT VESPERS

Kathisma Reading: “Blessed is the man…” is sung.

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

10. Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.

Come, let us worship the Word of God
begotten of the Father before all ages,
And incarnate of the Virgin Mary!
Having endured the Cross,
He was buried as He Himself desired!
And having risen from the dead, He saved me, the erring one.

9. The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.

Christ our Saviour
nailed to the Cross the bond against us,
He voided it and destroyed the dominion of death!
We fall down before His Resurrection on the third day!

8. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

With the archangels
let us praise the Resurrection of Christ!
He is our Savior, our Redeemer!
He is coming with awesome glory and mighty power
to judge the world which He made!

7. Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

Early in the morning,
the Myrrhbearing women brought spices to the tomb of the Lord.
They found the stone unexpectedly rolled away,
and they asked among themselves:
Where are the seals of the tomb?  Where are Pilate’s guards?
The radiant angel came to the wondering women and proclaimed to them:
Why do you seek weeping the Life Who gives life to the human race?
Christ our God has risen from the dead as almighty,
granting life to all; incorruption, enlightenment and great mercy!

6. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

Women disciples,
why do you open the myrrh with tears?
The stone is gone; the tomb is empty:
Behold corruption destroyed by life!
The seals witness that the guards of the godless have watched in vain.
Mortal nature has been saved by the flesh of God.
Hell is wailing.
Go with joy, and proclaim to the apostles:
Christ has slain death as the first-born of the dead.
He awaits you in Galilee!

5. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

The Myrrhbearers came early to Your tomb, O Christ,
seeking You to anoint Your most pure body.
Enlightened by the angel’s words
they proclaimed joyous tidings to the apostles:
The Leader of our salvation has been raised;
He has captured death,
granting the world eternal life and great mercy!

In Tone 4,

4. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

You drew men up from the depths of vanity
with a fisher’s rod of grace.
You obeyed the commands of the Teacher, worthy James,
Who enlightened all your thoughts
and revealed you as an apostle and holy preacher,
expounding His incomprehensible divinity, most blessed one.

3. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

You drew men up from the depths of vanity
with a fisher’s rod of grace.
You obeyed the commands of the Teacher, worthy James,
Who enlightened all your thoughts
and revealed you as an apostle and holy preacher,
expounding His incomprehensible divinity, most blessed one.

2. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

The illumination of the Spirit descended on you in the form of fire
and made you a divine vessel, blessed one,
dispelling with power the darkness of godlessness;
enlightening the world with the brightness of your all wise words.
Preacher of mysteries,
leader of the apostles,
James, the eye-witness of Christ.

1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

You illumined those lying in the darkness of ignorance
with the lightning flash of your preaching, glorious James!
You revealed them to be sons through faith of the Master and God
Whose passion and death you imitated with zeal.
You became an heir of the glory, wise one,
as one speaking from God and a most faithful disciple.

In Tone 6, Glory…

The Myrrhbearing Women reached Your tomb
and saw the seals of the tomb broken.
They wailed as they did not find Your most pure body:
Who has stolen our hope?
Who has taken the dead One, naked and anointed?
The sole consolation of His Mother?
How can the life of the dead have died?
How can the Capturer of hell have been buried?
But arise in three days as You said, Savior, and save our souls!

In Tone 2, Now…

O Virgin, the shadow of the law passed away with the realization of grace.
For as the bush had burned without being consumed
so you gave birth while a virgin
and you remained a virgin.
Instead of the pillar of fire there rose the Sun of Justice.
Instead of Moses Christ God came forth,
the Saviour of our souls.

Aposticha

In Tone 2

Your Resurrection, O Christ our Saviour,
has enlightened the whole universe;
and, through it, You call back to Yourself all creation.
Almighty God, glory to You!

Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered.

Today a sacred Pascha is revealed to us: a new and holy Pascha; a mystical Pascha; a Pascha which is Christ the Redeemer; a blameless Pascha; a great Pascha; a Pascha of the faithful; a Pascha which has opened for us the gates of Paradise; a Pascha which sanctifies all the faithful.

As smoke vanishes, let them vanish!

Come from that scene O women bearers of glad tidings, and say to Zion: Receive from us the glad tidings of joy of Christ’s Resurrection: Exult and be glad, and rejoice, O Jerusalem, seeing Christ the King who comes forth from the tomb like a Bridegroom in procession!

So let sinners perish before the face of God, but let the righteous scatter rejoice!

The myrrh-bearing women at the break of dawn drew near to the tomb of the Life Giver. There they found an angel sitting upon a stone, he greeted the, with these words: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Why do you mourn in the incorrupt amid corruption? Go, proclaim the glad tidings to His disciples.”

This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Pascha of beauty! The Pascha of the Lord! Pascha! A Pascha worthy of all honour has dawned on us. Pascha! Let us embrace each other joyously! Pascha, ransom from affliction! For today as from a bridal chamber Christ has shown forth from the Tomb, and filled the women with joy saying: “Proclaim the glad tidings to the Apostles!”

In Tone 1, Glory…

You followed after Christ and despised the world,
hiding His teachings in your treasury, godly James.
You were revealed to be His apostle.
Therefore, going to the nations with the commandments of the Saviour,
you enlightened the souls in the darkness of delusion and passion,
that they might believe in the consubstantial Trinity!

In Tone 5, Now…

When Joseph, together with Nicodemus,
had taken You down from the tree,
and beheld You dead, naked and unburied,
though You clothe Yourself with light as with a garment,
that compassionate man lamented with weeping:
Woe is me, my sweetest Jesus!
The sun, as it beheld You upon the Cross
hid itself in darkness.
The earth trembled with fear; the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Look: Now I behold You, Who for my sake freely endured death.
How shall I bury You, my God?
Or with what linen shall I wrap You?
With what hands shall I touch Your pure body?
What songs shall I sing at Your departure, merciful One?
I magnify Your Passion!
I glorify Your burial, singing Your Resurrection and crying,
O Lord, glory to You!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs, giving life.

Troparia

In Tone 2
When You went down to death, O Life Immortal,* You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity.* When You raised the dead from the nether world,* all the powers of heaven cried out:** O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory be to You!

Glory…
The noble Joseph took down Your most pure Body from the tree.* He wrapped it with a clean shroud and aromatic spices,* and placed it in a new tomb.* But on the third day You arose, O Lord,** granting the world Your great mercy.

In Tone 3, Now…
O James, worthy of all praise,* chosen apostle of Christ and only brother of the beloved theologian.* Ask God to bestow on those who hymn you forgiveness of sins* and to grant our souls great mercy.

 

Sunday, April 30, 2017
3rd Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women; Holy Apostle James, Brother of Saint John the Theologian (c. 44)

Rank: Polyeleos

After the priest has exclaimed, Blessed be the Kingdom… and the people have responded, Amen, the clergy sing the Paschal Troparion once and the people repeat it. Then, the clergy sing the first half, and the people conclude it.

Paschal Troparion
Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life.

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 2: When You went down to death, O Life Immortal,* You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity.* When You raised the dead from the nether world,* all the powers of heaven cried out:* “O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!”

Troparion, Tone 2: The noble Joseph took down Your most pure body from the tree.* He wrapped it with a clean shroud and aromatic spices* and placed it in a new tomb.* But on the third day You arose, O Lord,* granting the world Your great mercy.

Troparion, Tone 3: O James, worthy of all praise,* chosen apostle of Christ and only brother of the beloved theologian.* Ask God to bestow on those who hymn you forgiveness of sins* and to grant our souls great mercy.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2: When you heard God’s voice calling out to you,* you spurned the love of your father* and fled to Christ with your kinsman, O glorious James.* With him you were favoured to see the Lord’s divine transfiguration.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: You commanded the myrrh-bearers to rejoice, O Christ God,* and ended the grief of our mother Eve by Your Resurrection.* You ordered the apostles to proclaim to all:* “The Saviour is risen from the tomb.”

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Save Your people, O Lord, * and bless Your inheritance.

verse: Unto You I will cry, O Lord, my God, lest You turn from me in silence. (Psalm 27:9,1)

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their word unto the ends of the world. (Psalm 18:5)

Epistle
Acts 6:1-7
In those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 12:1-11
In those days, King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: You have shown favour to Your land, O Lord; You brought back the captives of Jacob.

verse: Mercy and truth have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. (Psalm 84:2,11)
verse: The heavens shall confess our wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the church of the saints.
verse: God is glorified in the assembly of the saints. (Psalm 88:6,8)

Gospel
Mark 15:43-16:8
At that time, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid. When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Luke 5:1-11
At that time, Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Hymn to the Mother of God
The Angel cried out to the One full of Grace: O chaste Virgin, rejoice! And again I say, Rejoice! Your Son has risen from the tomb on the third day, and raised the dead. Let all people rejoice! Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Exult now and be glad, O Sion! And you, O chaste Mother of God, take delight in the resurrection of your Son.

Communion Hymn
Receive the Body of Christ;* taste the fountain of immortality.* Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth,* and their word unto the ends of the world.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 18:5)