GREAT VESPERS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 8

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

Most strange wonder!
The Creator of all became a Beggar,
clothing Himself in our fleshly nature.
He wished to live with mankind in his compassion.
He showed the Hebrews a multitude of wonders:
He healed the paralytic in Bethsaida, saying to him:
Rise, take up your bed and walk!

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

My Lord, my Saviour and God,
wishing to raise up fallen mortals,
wandered over the earth.
In His compassion He healed the diseases of all;
He passed by the Sheep’s Pool
and by a word revealed Himself
to a man paralyzed thirty-eight years.

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

Lord, the Jews were poisoned with envy.
Your good works became fuel for their madness.
They had always been transgressors of the law.
Now they seek to kill You, the true Life,
because You made a man whole on the Sabbath,
who before had been paralyzed.

In Tone 1

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

The beholder of ineffable revelations
and recounter of the most sublime mysteries of God,
the son of Zebedee, who set down in writing the Gospel of Christ,
has taught us to theologize
concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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

The beholder of ineffable revelations
and recounter of the most sublime mysteries of God,
the son of Zebedee, who set down in writing the Gospel of Christ,
has taught us to theologize
concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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

The harp of heavenly songs played by God,
the recorder of mysteries, the divinely eloquent mouth,
beautifully chants the hymn of hymns;
for, moving his lips as though they were strings,
and using his tongue as a plectrum,
he prays that we be saved.

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

Proclaiming with your thunderous tongue
the hidden Word of divine wisdom, O beloved of God,
you ever cry out, continually moving your lips:
In the beginning was the Word!
And you instruct every man in the knowledge of God.

In Tone 8

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

O divinely wise father Arsenius,
having illumined your mind with fountains of tears,
you conversed with God,
and by unceasing purification and effulgence
was shown to be a most radiant pillar of piety,
shining as with fire, O blessed one, boast of monks.
And now, by your supplications, preserve us all.

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

O divinely wise father Arsenius,
having girt your mind round about with abstinence,
you caused it to ascend to the primal Cause,
and, forsaking the turbulence of the world and shunning its tumults,
you truly mingled purity of mind with the utmost desire, O blessed and all-wise one.

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

O venerable father Arsenius, seeking after God,
and piously desiring to be illumined by His radiant effulgence,
you abandoned all the splendour of high position and the imperial palace,
and received an immortal inheritance,
abiding now with Christ, O divinely blessed one.

In Tone 1, Glory…

O you of the race of man,
let us offer goodly praise as is meet to the beloved and virginal John,
the son of thunder, the foundation of the words of God, the author of theology,
the first preacher of the truth of the dogmas of the wisdom of God;
for having the Divine continually within him, he said:
In the beginning was the Word,
Who is inseparable from the Father and of the same essence with the Father,
revealing to us through himself the orthodoxy of the Holy Trinity.
And he has likewise shown us that He creates with the Father
and bears life and the light of Truth.
O awesome wonder! O uttermost wisdom!
For, full of love, he was also filled with theology through glory, honour and faith,
as a founder of our pure Faith.
Wherefore, we shall receive everlasting blessings on the day of judgment.

In Tone 5, Now…

A man lay sick by the Sheep’s Pool.
Seeing You, Lord, he cried to You:
There is no man to lower me into the pool when the water is stirred.
Another always goes before me and receives healing,
while I lie here in misery.
Immediately the Saviour was moved to pity, and said to him:
It was for you that I became man;
because of you I was clothed in mortal flesh!
Yet you say: I have no man!
I tell you, take up your bed and walk!
All things obey and submit to Your power, Lord!
Remember us all, and have mercy, holy Lover of mankind !

Readings
1 John 3:21-4:6; 1 John 4:11-16; 1 John 4:20-5:5

Lytia

In Tone 1

Rivers of theology poured forth from your honoured mouth, O apostle,
and the Church of God, watered thereby, worships the consubstantial Trinity in Orthodoxy.
Pray now to the Trinity, O theologian John,
that our souls be made steadfast and saved.

The garden of purity has emitted for us the myrrh of sweet fragrance on this present feast,
that we may cry out to him: O Apostle John,
who reclined against the Master’s breast,
who has rained down discourse upon the world
and preserved the Virgin as the apple of your eye,
beseech Christ, that He grant us great mercy.

O disciple of the Saviour, virgin and theologian, when Christ God was crucified
He committed the Virgin Theotokos to your care, in that you are virginal;
and you preserved her as the apple of your eye.
Wherefore, pray that our souls be saved.

As an eyewitness to ineffable mysteries, you cried out, exclaiming:
“In the beginning the pre-eternal Word was with God, and He was God!”
O Apostle John, intimate and faithful friend of Christ,
delight of the Trinity, unshakable confirmation of Ephesus and Patmos, our help.
Pray, O most blessed theologian, that the people who ever celebrate your memory with faith
be delivered from wicked enemies, material and noetic.

In Tone 5

O venerable father, having heard the voice of the Gospel of the Lord,
you forsook the world, holding riches and glory to be as naught.
Wherefore, you cried out to all:
“Love God and you shall find eternal grace.
Prefer nothing to His love, that when He shall come in His glory,
you shall find rest with all the saints.”
By his supplications, O Christ, preserve and save our souls.

In Tone 4, Glory… Now…

Reclining against the breast of Christ the Teacher at the Lord’s supper,
O beloved disciple, you thereby came to know ineffable things,
and has thundered forth your heavenly voice for all to hear,
saying: “In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:
Christ God, the Saviour of our souls,
the Light of truth Who enlightens every man
who comes into the world.”

Aposticha

In Tone 4

Theologizing concerning the Son of the Most High,
Who with the Father is equally everlasting and of the same essence,
immutable Light from Light, the impress of the hypostasis of the Father,
Who shone forth timelessly and dispassionately from Him,
the Creator and Lord of all the ages, Christ our God,
you preached to the world, O beloved,
as the One Who brought light forth out of darkness.
Entreat Him that He save and enlighten our souls.

Their sound has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.

Receiving the light of the Comforter,
illumined therewith you theologized and proclaimed to all, O beloved,
that He proceeds from the Father
and through the Son is revealed to mankind,
equal in honour, equally enthroned
and of the same essence with the unoriginate Father and God the Word.
Wherefore, we honour you in hymns as the foundation of the divine Faith,
which you preserve unshaken through your supplications to the Lord.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands.

Having ascended to the summit of theology,
you learned the ineffable mysteries of God:
the single essence of the Godhead,
His single glory, kingdom and dominion, ever distinct in three Hypostases,
yet essentially indivisible and united in unconfused divine unity.
And, rendering glory, O theologian,
you preached the indivisible Trinity.
Entreat Him that He save and enlighten our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

O apostle of Christ, evangelist and theologian,
as an initiate of ineffable mysteries you have thundered forth upon us
the ineffable doctrines of wisdom,
explaining to the faithful that He was in the beginning,
and discounting that there was a time when He did not exist,
thus rejecting the words of the heretics.
And as you were shown to be the beloved intimate and friend of Christ,
like the eloquent Isaiah and Moses the God-seer,
pray earnestly for our souls, in that you have boldness before God.

Now…

With Your pure hand, You created mankind;
You came to heal the sick, compassionate Christ!
You raised the paralytic at the Sheep’s Pool by Your word,
You cured the woman of her painful hemorrhage.
You had mercy on the Canaanite woman’s daughter.
You did not reject the centurion’s request.
Therefore we cry to You:
Glory to You, almighty Lord!

 

Troparia

In Tone 2
O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us,* asking peace and great mercy for us. Twice

and then, “Rejoice, Mother of God, Virgin Mary, full of grace…”

 


DIVINE LITURGY

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 3: Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice,* for the Lord has done a mighty deed with His arm.* He trampled death by death. He became the first-born of the dead;* He saved us from the abyss of Hades* and granted great mercy to the world.

Troparion, Tone 2: O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us,* asking peace and great mercy.

Kontakion, Tone 2: O virgin apostle, who can recount your mighty works?* For you pour out wonders and healings* and you pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3: Lord, as of old You raised the Paralytic,* lift my soul by Your divine presence,* for by many sins and foolish actions,* I, too, am now afflicted and crippled.* Raise me, that being saved I may cry to You:* Glory to Your power, O merciful Christ.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 8: Though You descended into a tomb, O Immortal One,* yet You destroyed the power of Hades;* and You rose as victor, O Christ God,* calling to the myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice!* and giving peace to Your Apostles:* You, who grant Resurrection to the fallen.

Prokeimenon, Tone 1
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in You.
verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:22,1)

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

Epistle
Acts 10:1-16; 1 John 1:1-7

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: Of Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation.
verse: For You have said, “Mercy will be established forever.” (Psalm 32:22,1)
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
John 6:56-69; John 19:25-27; 21:24-25

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)