GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

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

We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
and we glorify Your Resurrection on the third day.
For You, almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.

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

O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of Death.
We, therefore, venerate Your Resurrection from the dead
and joyfully cry out to You:
almighty Lord, glory to You!

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

O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of Death.
You have free mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.

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

Come, all you people,
let us sing the praises of our Saviour’s Resurrection on the third day.
For we have thereby been delivered from the invincible bonds of Hades,
and we have received incorruption together with eternal life.
Therefore, we cry out to You
after Your crucifixion, burial, and resurrection:
Save us by Your Resurrection, for you love mankind.

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

The midpoint of the Feast has arrived;
the days which begin with the Resurrection of the Saviour
and are fulfilled in the divine Feast of Pentecost.
Truly it unites both Feasts
and draws light from their double brightness,
giving honour to the Ascension of the Lord,
which prefigures our glory.

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

Truly Zion heard and was glad
when it received the glad tidings of the Resurrection of Christ.
Faithful children also rejoiced at beholding it.
Seeing the blood of Christ washed away by the Holy Spirit,
the Church prepares to worthily celebrate
the joyous midpoint of these two holy Feasts.

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

The over-abundant outpouring of the divine Spirit over all is drawing near,
as it is written by the prophet Joel.
The promise of Christ, given to His disciples
after His death, burial, and resurrection,
proclaims the coming of the Comforter.

In Tone 1

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

At the sixth hour, You came to the well, O Fountain of Wonders,
to ensnare the fruit of Eve;
for at that very hour,
she had been driven from Paradise by the guile of the serpent.
When the Samaritan woman came to draw water,
You said to her, O Saviour:
Give Me water to drink, and I will give you waters of eternal life.
And the woman hastened to the city and proclaimed to the people:
Come and see Christ the Lord, the Saviour of our souls.

In Tone 2

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

When the Lord came to the well of Jacob,
the Samaritan woman entreated Him, saying:
Give me the water of faith, O Giver of life,
that I may obtain the waters of baptism, joy and salvation.
O Lord, glory to You!

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

Truly, the Son, Word and God, co-eternal with the Father,
the Fountain of Wonders Himself, came to the fountain,
where a woman of Samaria came to draw water.
And when the Saviour saw her, He said to her:
Give me water to drink and go and call your husband.
But she addressed Him as man and not as God;
wishing to conceal the truth from Him,
she said: I have no husband.
And the Master replied: You have said the truth, that you have no husband;
for you have had five husbands,
and the one whom you now have is not your husband.
Amazed by these words, she went to the town
and proclaimed to the crowds, saying:
Come and behold Christ who grants the world great mercy.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
The One who covers the earth with clouds asks water of her.
O, what a wonder!
The One who rides on the Cherubim converses with an adulterous woman.
The One who suspended the earth on the waters asks for water.
The One who caused the springs of water and their lakes to overflow seeks water.
He truly desires to save this woman from the snares of the Enemy
and to fill her with living water
to extinguish the flames of her passions;
for He alone is compassionate and the Lover of Mankind.

In Tone 4, Now…

O Mother of God, because of You David the Prophet
became an ancestor of God;
he foretold and sang a joyous hymn of praise
and cried out to Him who worked wonders in you:
“The Queen stood at your right hand.”
God revealed you as a life-giving mother,
when He chose to be incarnate of you without a father.
He renewed in man His image which the passions had corrupted.
He found the lost sheep in the mountains, carried it on His shoulders,
offered it to the Father, generously numbered it among the powers of heaven,
and saved the whole world, since He is Christ of great and rich mercy.

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our fathers.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there
and granted incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore praise Your life-giving and redeeming Resurrection.

The Paschal Stichera are now sung in the customary manner:

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 Sion: 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 8, Glory…

When You appeared in the flesh, O Christ God,
to accomplish You plan of salvation,
the Samaritan woman heard the word of God’s love for us.
She left the well and ran to the town and said:
Come and see the One who knows the secrets of our hearts;
can this be the Christ, the Messiah whom we await,
the One who bestows great mercy?

Now…

This is the day of Resurrection, let us be illumined by the Feast! Let us embrace each other! Let us call “brothers and sisters” even those that hate us and forgive all by the Resurrection, and so let us cry:

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

Troparia

In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles;* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,** granting to the world great mercy.”

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…
At the mid-point of the Feast, O Saviour,* water my thirsty soul with streams of true godliness;* for You cried out to all: Let any who thirst come to Me and drink.** O Source of life, Christ our God, glory to You!

 


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 4: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,* granting to the world great mercy.”

Troparion, Tone 8: At the mid-point of the Feast, O Saviour,* water my thirsty soul with streams of true godliness;* for You cried out to all: Let any who thirst, come to Me and drink.* O Source of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!

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

Kontakion, Tone 8: Drawn to the well by faith,* the Samaritan woman beheld You, the Water of Wisdom,* and drinking abundantly of You,* she inherited the heavenly Kingdom for ever,* becoming everlastingly glorious.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 4: At the mid-point of the Feast according to the Law,* Maker of all things and Master,* You said to those present, O Christ God:* Come, and draw the water of immortality.* And so we fall before You crying out with faith: Grant us Your mercies , for You are the source of our life.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Sing to our God, sing; sing to our King, sing.
verse: Clap your hands, all you nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy. (Psalm 46:7,2)

Epistle
Acts 11:19-26, 29-30

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Poise yourself and advance in triumph and reign in the cause of truth, and meekness, and justice.
verse: You have loved justice and hated iniquity.(Psalm 44:5,8)

Gospel
John 4:5-42

Hymn to the Mother of God
Virginity is alien to mothers and child-bearing is foreign to virgins; yet in you, O Mother of God, both of them came together. Therefore, we and all the nations of the earth without ceasing magnify you.

Communion Hymn
Receive the Body of Christ;* taste the fountain of immortality.* Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)