GREAT VESPERS

Kathisma Reading
“Blessed is the man” is taken.

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

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

With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of sin
and have saved us from the gates of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.

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

O Christ, who granted resurrection to all people,
You were fed like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!

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

What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.

In Tone 2

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

The man who was born blind from birth asked himself:
Was I born blind because of the sin of my parents,
or am I a living sign of the unbelief of the nations?
I am not content to ask whether it is night or day;
my feet can no longer endure tripping upon the stones.
I have not seen the brightness of the sun,
nor have I seen the image and likeness of my Creator.
Yet I beseech You, O Christ, our God,
to look upon me and have mercy on me.

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

The man who was born blind from birth asked himself:
Was I born blind because of the sin of my parents,
or am I a living sign of the unbelief of the nations?
I am not content to ask whether it is night or day;
my feet can no longer endure tripping upon the stones.
I have not seen the brightness of the sun,
nor have I seen the image and likeness of my Creator.
Yet I beseech You, O Christ, our God,
to look upon me and have mercy on me.

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

Passing by the Temple, Jesus saw a man who was blind from birth.
He had compassion on him and put mud on his eyes.
He said to him: Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.
He washed and recovered his sight;
then he rendered glory to God.
But his neighbours said to him:
Who opened your eyes which no one before could heal?
And he answered them, saying: A man called Jesus.
He told me to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, and now I see.
He is in truth Christ the Messiah, of whom Moses wrote in the Law.
He is the Saviour of our souls.

In Tone 4

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

You gave Your precious cross as a most powerful weapon to the emperor.
Through it he reigned righteously on earth, shining with godliness.
And by Your compassion he was counted worthy of Your heavenly kingdom.
Therefore with him we glorify Your dispensation, almighty Jesus,
Saviour of our souls, and Lover of mankind!

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

You gave Your precious cross as a most powerful weapon to the emperor.
Through it he reigned righteously on earth, shining with godliness.
And by Your compassion he was counted worthy of Your heavenly kingdom.
Therefore with him we glorify Your dispensation, almighty Jesus,
Saviour of our souls, and Lover of mankind!

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

As the King of kings, the Lord who reigns over all,
You, Lover of mankind, granted Your servant the wisdom of Solomon
the meekness of David, and the orthodox faith of the Apostles!
Therefore we glorify Your dispensation, almighty Jesus,
Saviour of our souls, and Lover of mankind!

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

Emperor of eternal memory,
first you willingly submitted the purple to Christ,
recognizing Him as true God and King of all,
the great Benefactor and Source of victory.
You saw Him set above every principality and power.
Therefore Jesus made the kingdom prosper for you, lover of virtue,
for He is the Saviour of our souls, and Lover of mankind!

In Tone 5, Glory…

As You walked along, O Lord,
You found a man who had been blind from birth.
In surprise, the disciples asked You:
Was it because of the sin of this man or his parents
that he was born blind, O Master?
But You, O Saviour, answered them, saying:
Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents,
but that the works of God would be revealed in him.
I must accomplish the works of Him who sent Me,
which no one else can work.
As You said that, You spat on the ground
and made mud from the dust to anoint his eyes.
And You said to him: Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
When he washed, he was healed and cried out to You:
O Lord, I believe!
And he bowed down and worshiped You.
Therefore, we also cry out to You: Have mercy on us!

Now…

A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!

Readings
(1) 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30; (2) Isaiah 61:10-62:5; (3) Isaiah 60:1-16

Aposticha

In Tone 5

O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices in song to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.

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 worthy of veneration; 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 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 them, 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…

Brightly shining moon and star of evening,
you were turned from unbelief to faith in the true God.
You were led to sanctify the people and city.
Beholding the figure of the Cross in the sky, you heard from above:
Conquer with this Cross in which lies victory over your enemies!
Receiving wisdom from the Holy Spirit, you were anointed as holy emperor,
anointing and supporting the Church of God,
father of orthodox emperors, Constantine,
equal to the apostles whose relics pour forth healing:
ever intercede for our souls!

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 5
Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross inn the flesh,* to suffer death and to raise the dead* by His glorious Resurrection.

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…
After seeing the image of Your cross in the heavens, O Lord,* and receiving like Paul the summons that was not from men,* Your apostle among kings entrusted into Your hands the imperial city.* Always save it in peace by the prayers of the Mother of God,* only Lover of mankind.
 


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 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Troparion, Tone 8: After seeing the image of Your cross in the heavens, O Lord,* and receiving like Paul the summons that was not from men,* Your apostle among kings entrusted into Your hands the imperial city.* Always save it in peace by the prayers of the Mother of God,* only Lover of mankind.

Kontakion, Tone 3: Today Constantine and Helen his mother reveal the cross,* the all-precious wood which shames those who refuse to believe.* Rulers with faith possess it as a weapon against foes;* a glorious standard frightful in battle revealed for the sake of all.

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

Kontakion, Tone 4: Blinded in the eyes of my soul,* I come to You, O Christ, like the man who was blind from birth,* and I cry in repentance:* You are the brilliant light of those in darkness.

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 8
Pray and give thanks to the Lord our God.
verse: In Judea God is known; His name is great in Israel. (Psalm 76:12,2)

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 16:16-34; Acts 26:1-5, 12-20

Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: Look upon me and have mercy.
verse: Direct my steps according to Your word. (Psalm 118,131-132)
verse: I have exalted one chosen from among My people.
verse: O Lord, by Your power the king shall rejoice, and shall greatly exult in Your salvation. (Psalm 88:20; 20:2)

Gospel
John 9:1-38; John 10:1-8

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)