GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

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

Come, let us adore God the Word,
Who was born of the Father before all ages,
and was incarnate of the Virgin Mary;
for of His own free will He suffered the Cross
and submitted Himself to burial,
and arose from the dead to save me, a sinful one.

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

Christ our Saviour cancelled the decree that was written against us,
by nailing it to the Cross;
and He abolished the dominion of Death.
Let us glorify His Resurrection on the third day.

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

Let us, together with the archangels, sing of Christ’s resurrection;
for He is the Redeemer and Saviour of our souls.
He will come again in awesome glory and mighty power
to judge the world which He has fashioned.

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

Although You died and were buried,
the angel yet declared You as Master.
He said to the women: Come and see where the Lord was placed;
for He is risen as He foretold,
because He is almighty.
Therefore, we worship You, the only Immortal One,
and we beseech You to have mercy on us, O Giver of Life.

In Tone 5

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

Christ was made flesh from you, all-pure Virgin!
He assumed the human likeness for our sake.
When He desired to take you from this world and receive you to Himself,
the disciples assembled to bury your pure body.
They gathered around you filled with joy.
When the time for your passing had come,
they worshipped, crying out with faith:
Rejoice, Mother of Him who grants the world great mercy!

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

When the time for your exodus had come,
the holy disciples stood before you and said:
As we behold your glorious and holy passing,
we honour the tent of your body as God’s throne of fire!
The tabernacle of his glory now is carried to burial by our hands,
your body from which the world has received great mercy!

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

Standing beside your bed,
asleep in accordance with nature’s law,
the disciples of the redeemer prepared to carry your body to the grave.
They sang burial hymns to you, pure and holy Lady:
Rejoice, honoured abode of God!
Rejoice, helper of mankind!
Rejoice, pure chariot of divinity!
You are taken to the everlasting hills most wondrously!
The ark of glory passes over to God!
With Him, she takes up her rest forever,
asking for the faithful unending peace and great mercy!

In Tone 4

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

Samuel, she who gave birth to you,
received you as a worthy fruit of prayer!
As she had promised, with her maternal hands
she gave you, a rightly acceptable gift,
to God her benefactor!
Therefore the grace of the Spirit rested upon you, glorious one,
causing you to grow in innocence,
and adorning you with wisdom!

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

You were invested as a priest with sacred chrism
and revealed to be a prophet who foresaw things to come!
At the command of God, you foretold the future and anointed a king.
You judged with justice the people of Israel
who ever sinned and withdrew themselves from their God,
truly-wondrous Samuel, the blessed bearer of God!

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

Putting aside the gloom and weight of the flesh
you now behold him who you desired,
not in a mirror darkly or in shadows, as before,
but face to face!
You rejoice as you go about the heavens, most honoured prophet,
peer of the other prophets of God,
converser with the righteous and sharer in the portion of the angels!

In Tone 8, Glory…

You believed in Jesus, your Son and our God, Theotokos.
He was put to death as a Man, but as God, He arose!
Conforming to nature’s law, you also died, Mother of God.
But you were taken into the bridal chamber of heaven!
The heavens are sanctified by your ascent
just as the earth was illumined by your childbearing!
Both angels and apostles assembled to bury your pure body.
They sang you a funeral hymn in fear
as they beheld your passage to life:
This is a change in the right hand of the Most High!
He dwelt within you and you shall never be moved!
Do not turn your face from us, most praiseworthy one!
We are your people, the sheep of your pasture:
We call on your name.
Through you may we receive salvation and great mercy!

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!

The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.

By the wood of Your Cross, O Saviour,
You have abolished the curse of the tree;
by Your burial You have destroyed the power of death;
and by Your Resurrection You enlightened the human race.
We, therefore, cry out to You:
O Christ our God, Giver of Life, glory to You!

For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.

O Christ, when You were nailed to the Cross,
the distorted nature of creation was made manifest.
The soldiers showed their inhumanity by piercing Your side with a lance,
and the people showed their ignorance of Your power
by asking that Your tomb be sealed.
But, in Your mercy, You accepted burial
and then arose on the third day.
O Lord, glory to You!

Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.

O Christ, Giver of Life,
You freely endured the Passion for the sake of mortals.
In Your power You descended into Hades;
and snatching, as from a mighty monster, the souls of those who awaited Your coming,
You placed them in Paradise.
Therefore, show Your great mercy to us who glorify Your Resurrection,
and cleanse our souls.

In Tone 2, Glory… Now…

The earth, O Virgin,
is blessed by your burial,
according to the law of nature.
But the heavens are made holy
by your wonderful ascent!

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!”

In Tone 1, Glory… Now…
In giving birth you retained your virginity,* in falling asleep you did not abandon the world, O Mother of God.* You passed into life, for you are the Mother of Life,* and by your prayers* you deliver our souls from death.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

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 1: In giving birth you retained your virginity,* in falling asleep you did not abandon the world, O Mother of God.* You passed into life, for you are the Mother of Life,* and by your prayers* you deliver our souls from death.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: The tomb and death could not hold the Mother of God,* unceasing in her intercession and unfailing hope of patronage,* for, as the Mother of Life, she was transferred to life* by Him Who had dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Prokeimenon, Tone 2
The Lord is my strength and my song of praise, and He has become my salvation.
verse: The Lord has indeed chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death. (Psalm 117:14,18)

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46)

Epistle
1 Corinthians 9:2-12

Alleluia, Tone 2
verse: The Lord will hear you in the day of tribulation; the name of the God of Jacob will shield you.
verse: Lord, grant victory to the king and hear us in the day that we shall call upon You. (Psalm 19:2,10)
verse: Rise up, O Lord, to the place of Your rest, You and the ark of Your holiness.
verse: The Lord swore an oath to David, and will not go back on His word. (Psalm 131:8,11)

Gospel
Matthew 18:23-35

Hymn to the Mother of God
Seeing the pure one’s falling asleep, angels marvelled in wonder how the Virgin could ascend from earth to heaven.
And the Irmos: O pure Virgin, in you are conquered the bounds of nature,* for childbirth remains virginal and death is betrothed to life.* Virgin after childbearing and alive and death, O Mother of God,* never cease to save your inheritance.

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* I will take the cup of salvation;* and I will call upon the name of the Lord.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 115:13)