GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 6

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

Gabriel stood in your presence, O holy Virgin,
and revealed the eternal plan to you.
He greeted you and announced:
Rejoice, O earth that has not been sown!
Rejoice, O burning bush that was not consumed!
Rejoice, O unsearchable depth!
Rejoice, O bridge which leads to heaven;
O high ladder which Jacob saw!
Rejoice, O vessel of divine manna!
Rejoice, O invocation of Adam!
The Lord is with you.

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

Gabriel stood in your presence, O holy Virgin,
and revealed the eternal plan to you.
He greeted you and announced:
Rejoice, O earth that has not been sown!
Rejoice, O burning bush that was not consumed!
Rejoice, O unsearchable depth!
Rejoice, O bridge which leads to heaven;
O high ladder which Jacob saw!
Rejoice, O vessel of divine manna!
Rejoice, O invocation of Adam!
The Lord is with you.

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

The blameless Maiden said to the captain of the heavenly hosts:
You appear to me as a mortal,
and your words go beyond human thought.
You have said that God is with me,
and that He shall take up abode in my womb.
Tell me then, how am I to become a holy temple for the Infinite One,
the Lord Who rides on the Cherubim?
Do not mislead me with deceit,
for I have known no pleasure and have not approached wedlock.
Therefore, how shall I give birth to a child?

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

The blameless Maiden said to the captain of the heavenly hosts:
You appear to me as a mortal,
and your words go beyond human thought.
You have said that God is with me,
and that He shall take up abode in my womb.
Tell me then, how am I to become a holy temple for the Infinite One,
the Lord Who rides on the Cherubim?
Do not mislead me with deceit,
for I have known no pleasure and have not approached wedlock.
Therefore, how shall I give birth to a child?

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

The archangel then said to her:
Whenever God wills, the order of nature is overcome,
and that which is beyond human power is accomplished.
Therefore, O most pure and everlasting One, believe my true words.
She then cried out, saying:
Let it now be done to according to your word,
and I will give birth to the One Who is without flesh.
He will take flesh from me,
so that by the union He may raise the human race to the original dignity,
for He alone is all-powerful.

  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 archangel then said to her:
Whenever God wills, the order of nature is overcome,
and that which is beyond human power is accomplished.
Therefore, O most pure and everlasting One, believe my true words.
She then cried out, saying:
Let it now be done to according to your word,
and I will give birth to the One Who is without flesh.
He will take flesh from me,
so that by the union He may raise the human race to the original dignity,
for He alone is all-powerful.

In Tone 6

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

Today the grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together,
and we all take up Your Cross and say:
“Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.”

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

Today the Word and co-eternal Son of God the Father,
whose throne is in heaven and whose footstool is the earth,
humbles Himself and comes to Bethany,
seated on a dumb beast, on a foal.
Then the children of the Hebrews, holding branches in their hands,
praise Him saying: “Hosanna in the highest:
blessed is He that comes, the King of Israel.”

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

Let us also come today, all the new Israel, the Church of the Gentiles,
and let us cry with the Prophet Zechariah:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem;
for behold, your King comes to you:
He is meek and brings salvation,
and He rides upon the colt of an ass, the foal of the beast of burden.
Keep the feast with the children,
and holding branches in your hands sing His praises:
Hosanna in the highest:
blessed is He that comes, the King of Israel.”

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

Prefiguring for us Your holy Resurrection, loving Lord,
by Your command You raised up from death Lazarus Your friend,
who was without the breath of life;
and after four days in the tomb he had begun to stink.
Then, O Saviour, mounted on a foal, and as though riding in a chariot,
You gave a sign to the Gentiles.
Therefore also Israel Your beloved offers You praise
out of the mouth of innocent babes and sucklings,
as they behold You, O Christ, enter the Holy City
six days before the Passover.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Today the grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together,
and we all take up Your Cross and say:
“Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.”

In Tone 6, Now…

The archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven
to bring to the Virgin glad tidings of her conception.
When he came to Nazareth,
he marvelled at the miracle and thought to himself:
How is it that He Whom the heavens cannot comprehend
is now being born of a virgin?
The One Who has heaven for a throne and earth for a footstool
is being enclosed within a virgin’s womb.
He, upon whom the six-winged Seraphim and the many-eyed Cherubim cannot gaze,
wills to become incarnate of her by a single word.
The Word of God is at hand.
Then why do I stand by and not say to the Virgin:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace; the Lord is with you!
Rejoice, O pure Virgin and Maiden Bride!
Rejoice, O Mother of the Life!
Blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Readings
(1) Exodus 3:1-8

(2) Proverbs 8:22-30
(3) Genesis 28:10-17
(4) Ezekiel 43:27-44:4
(5) Proverbs 9:1-11
(6) Genesis 49:1-2, 8-12
(7) Zephaniah 3:14-19
(8) Zechariah 9:9-15

Lytia

In Tone 1

In the sixth month, the leader of the heavenly armies
was sent to you, O holy Virgin,
to announce the word of salvation to you and say:
Rejoice, O Woman Full of Grace; the Lord is with you!
You shall give birth to the Son Who was begotten of the Father before all ages.
He is the One Who will save His people from their sins.

In the sixth month, the archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven
to Nazareth, a village of Galilee,
to bring the good news of joy to the Virgin.
Drawing near to her, he cried out, saying:
Rejoice, O Woman Full of Grace; the Lord is with you!
Rejoice, O vessel of the infinite nature,
for your womb contains the One Whom even the heavens could not contain.
Rejoice, O holy Virgin, through whom Adam is called back to Paradise,
Eve is freed from bondage, and the world filled with joy;
for in you the human race now rejoices.

The archangel Gabriel was sent by God from heaven
to the spotless Virgin in Nazareth of Galilee
to joyfully announce her marvelous conception.
The bodiless servant was sent to the living City and the spiritual Door
to reveal the coming of the Master and His descent among us.
The heavenly soldier was sent to the living Palace of Glory
to prepare a dwelling place for her eternal Creator.
Drawing near to her, he cried out, saying:
Rejoice, O throne of fire which surpasses the chariot of the Lord in glory.
Rejoice, O heavenly seat of our King.
Rejoice, O precious chalice and uncut mountain,
for the fullness of the divinity comes to dwell in you
through the good will of the Father and the operation of the most Holy Spirit.
Rejoice, O Woman Full of grace; the Lord is with you!

In Tone 1

The All-Holy Spirit, who taught the apostles to speak in strange
and different tongues,
now inspires the innocent children of the Hebrews to cry aloud:
Hosanna in the highest;
blessed is He that comes, the King of Israel.

The Son and Word of the Father, like Him without
beginning and eternal,
has come today to the city of Jerusalem,
seated on a dumb beast, on a foal.
From fear the cherubim dare not gaze upon Him;
yet the children honour Him with palms and branches,
and mystically they sing a hymn of praise:
“Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna to the Son of David,
who has come to save from error all mankind.”

Six days before the Passover, O Lord, Your voice was heard in
the depths of hell,
and from it You raised up Lazarus who was four days dead.
Then the children of the Hebrews cried aloud:
“Hosanna to our God: glory to You!”

In Tone 3, Glory…

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
to call back Lazarus who was four days dead,
and to proclaim the coming Resurrection.
The women Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus, came to
meet Him, crying:
“Lord, if You had been here, our brother would not have died.”
Then He answered them: “Did I not say to you before:
He who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet he shall live?
Show Me where you have laid him.”
And the Maker of all cried to him, “Lazarus, come forth.”

In Tone 2, Now…

Today Gabriel announces the good news to the Woman Full of Grace:
Rejoice, O Virgin who has not known wedlock;
do not fear the strangeness of my appearance,
for I am an archangel.
Formerly, the serpent was the cause of grief to Eve,
but now it is great joy that I announce:
You shall remain a virgin, and yet you shall give birth to the Lord.

Aposticha

In Tone 8

Rejoice and be glad, O city of Zion;
exult and be exceedingly joyful, O Church of God.
For behold, your King has come in righteousness,
seated on a foal, and the children sing His praises:
“Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are You who shows great compassion:
have mercy on us.”

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings* have You appointed praise.

The Saviour has come today to the city of Jerusalem, to fulfil
the Scriptures;
and all have taken palms into their hands
and spread their garments before Him,
knowing that He is our God, to whom the cherubim sing
without ceasing:
“Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are You who shows great compassion:
have mercy on us.”

O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful* is Your Name in all the earth.

O You who ride upon the cherubim and are praised by the seraphim,
You have sat, O gracious Lord, like David on a foal,
and the children honoured You with praise fitting for God;
but the priests and scribes blasphemed unlawfully against You.
Your riding on a foal prefigured how the Gentiles, as yet untamed and uninstructed,
were to pass from unbelief to faith.
Glory to You, O Christ, who alone are merciful and loves mankind.

In Tone 6, Glory …

Today the grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together,
and we all take up Your Cross and say:
“Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.”

In Tone 4, Now…

Today there come glad tidings of joy: it is the feast of the Virgin.
Things below are joined to things above.
Adam is renewed, Eve set free from her ancient sorrow;
and the Tabernacle of the human nature which the Lord took upon Himself,
making divine the substance He assumed, is consecrated as a Temple of God!
O mystery! The manner of emptying is unknown,
the fashion of His conceiving is ineffable.
An angel ministers at the wonder; a virgin womb receives the Son.
The Holy Spirit is sent down; the Father on high gives His consent;
and so the covenant is brought to pass by common counsel.
In Him and through Him are we saved,
and together with Gabriel let us cry aloud to the Virgin:
“Rejoice, you who are full of grace: the Lord is with you.
From you has Christ our God and our Salvation taken human nature,
rising it up to Himself.
Pray to Him that our souls may be saved.”

Troparia

In Tone 4
Today is the crown of our salvation,* and the unfolding of the eternal mystery;* the Son of God becomes the Virgin’s Son,* and Gabriel brings the tidings of grace.* With him let us also cry to the Mother of God:* Rejoice, Full of grace! The Lord is with you! (twice)

In Tone 1
Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry sign of victory* and cry out to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord. (once)

 


DIVINE LITURGY

First Antiphon
I am filled with love* for the Lord will hear the voice of my plea.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
For He has inclined His ear to me,* and I will call to Him all the days of my life.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
The pangs of death encircled me,* the trials of Hades befell me.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
I met with anguish and pain,* and called upon the name of the Lord.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Only-begotten…

Third Antiphon

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,* for His mercy endures forever.

Troparion, Tone 1: Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.

Therefore, let the house of Israel say that He is good,* for His mercy endures forever.

Troparion, Tone 1: Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.

Therefore, let the house of Aaron say that He is good,* for His mercy endures forever.

Troparion, Tone 1: Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.

Let all who feat the Lord say that He is good,* for His mercy endures forever.

Troparion, Tone 1: Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.

Entrance
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, we bless you from the house of the Lord,* the Lord is God and has appeared to us.

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: Today is the crown of our salvation,* and the unfolding of the eternal mystery;* the Son of God becomes the Virgin’s Son,* and Gabriel brings the good tidings of grace.* With him let us also cry to the Mother of God:* Rejoice, Full of grace! The Lord is with you.

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

Troparion, Tone 1: Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.

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

Kontakion, Tone 6: Mounted on the throne in heaven, O Christ God,* and on a colt here on earth,* You accepted the praise of the angels,* and the hymn of the children who cried to You:* Blessed are You who have come to call Adam back.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 8: To You, O Mother of God,* the invincible leader,* we, your servants, ascribe these victory hymns* in thanksgiving for our deliverance from evil.* With your invincible power free us from all dangers* that we may cry out to you:* Hail, O Bride and pure Virgin!

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;* God the Lord has appeared to us.

verse: Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 117:26-27)

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Proclaim from day to day* the good tidings of our God’s salvation. (Psalm 95:2)

Epistle
Hebrews 2:11-18; Philippians 4:4-9

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: He will descend like rain on a fleece, and like drops dripping on the earth. (Psalm 71:6)

verse: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Psalm 97:1)

Gospel
Luke 1:24-38; John 12:1-18

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify Christ who seated on a foal.

And the irmos: The Lord is God and has appeared to us:* together let us celebrate.* Come with great rejoicing; let us magnify Christ* with palms and olive branches, and with sings let us cry aloud to Him:* Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Communion Hymn
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;* God the Lord has appeared to us.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 117:26-27)