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.

O Christ, You won the victory over Hades,
You ascended the Cross so that You might raise up with Yourself
all those who dwelt in the darkness of death.
Almighty Saviour, You are free from death
and bestow life by Your divine light.
We, therefore, beseech You to have mercy on us.

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

Today Christ has conquered Death.
He has risen from the grave as He foretold,
bestowing great joy upon the world.
Therefore, let us all lift up our voices and sing:
O Fount of Life, O Light Whom no one can approach,
Almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.

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

O Lord, where can we sinners flee from You,
for You are present in all creation?
You are present in heaven, for it is Your dwelling place.
Your power prevails in Hades where You conquered Death.
O Master, Your sustaining hand touches even the depths of the sea.
Where, then, can we take refuge except in You?
We, therefore, prostrate ourselves before You and pray:
O Lord, risen from the dead, have mercy on us.

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

We exult in Your Cross, O Christ,
and we sing the glory of Your Resurrection.
For You are our God, and we have no other Lord but You.

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

Glory to Your might, O Lord,
for You have conquered the power of death.
You have renewed us through Your Cross,
granting us life and incorruption.

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

We forever bless the Lord and praise His resurrection,
for by suffering crucifixion,
He has destroyed death by His death.

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

By Your death and burial, O Lord,
You broke asunder the bonds of Hades;
and by Your resurrection from the dead,
You enlightened the whole world.
We, therefore, exclaim: Glory to You, O Lord!

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.

First you put to flight the wild beasts of the passions, renowned champion;
then by divine entreaty you stopped the gaping mouths of lions
and the assaults of wild beasts in the arena!
You were unharmed by them!
You did not cower in fear before the fire nor the wrath of the judge,
for, blessed one, you preferred nothing to the love of Christ!

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

In a young body, glorious one,
you put the ancient deceiver to flight!
You received the marks of Christ in your flesh, blessed one!
Now you wear a victor’s crown, all-blessed Mammas.
and are ever illumined by the splendour of the triune Sun!
You behold the highest things you desire with a most pure mind,
as you are joined to the choir of the martyrs!

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

Following, victorious one, the life-bearing feet of our incarnate God,
Who cast down the tyrant by the Passion of the Cross,
you went rejoicing to the stadium of martyrdom!
You were tortured by torments;
you cast the boastful one to earth,
destroyed by the passion which killed your flesh, Martyr!

In Tone 2, Glory…

As the son of those who travelled the way of the Lord,
you became a new shoot of the olive tree at the Lord’s table!
For the Lord blessed you through martyrdom
and you behold the good things of Zion on high!
You ever delight in divine joy with your parents, marvellous Mammas!
By your prayers make us partakers of this joy with them!

In Tone 6, Now…

Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.

Aposticha

In Tone 6

O Christ our Saviour,
the angels in heaven sing the praises of Your Resurrection;
make us on earth also worthy
to extol You with a pure heart.

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

Almighty God, You destroyed the brazen gates and bars of Hades,
and raised up fallen mankind.
Therefore, with one accord, we cry out:
O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!

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

Christ willed to renew us from our corruption of old
by being nailed to a cross and placed in a tomb.
When the women came to anoint His body they tearfully cried out:
O, what sorrow afflicts us!
O Saviour of All, how could You consent to occupy a grave?
If you truly willed this, then why did You allow Your body to be stolen?
How were You removed?
What place now conceals Your life-bearing body?
O Lord, appear to us as You promised
and put an end to out tears.
As they were lamenting, an angel appeared and cried out to them:
Do not weep, but tell the Apostles that the Lord is risen,
granting sanctification and great mercy to the world.

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

O Christ, You were crucified of Your free will,
and by Your burial You imprisoned Death.
As God, You rose in glory on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.

In Tone 4, Glory…

Come, faithful!
Let us celebrate with harmony the memory of Mammas the martyr!
He has been revealed to us as a new Abel,
for as Abel became a shepherd of sheep,
bringing his first lamb to sacrifice and so acquiring the victor’s crown,
so the honoured martyr was eminent among shepherds of livestock;
through martyrdom, he offered himself to Christ
as an acceptable sacrifice!
Since he has boldness before Christ,
he asks peace for the world and great mercy for our souls!

Now…

O most pure Virgin, hear the petitions of your servants.
Remove the burdens which oppress us,
and deliver us from our sorrows;
for you are the only firm and constant support on whom we rely.
O Mother of God, never permit us who call upon you
to be overwhelmed by our cares.
Hasten to fulfil the supplications of all who, in faith, cry out to you:
Rejoice, O Lady, helper of all mankind,
the joy, the refuge, and the salvation of our souls.

Troparia

In Tone 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory to You!

In Tone 4, Glory…
Your martyr, Mammas, O Lord,* by his passion acquired the crown of incorruptibility from You, our God.* For possessing Your power he overcame the torturers* and shattered the feeble insolence of demons.** By his supplications, save our souls.

Now…
O Mother of God, the mystery hidden from all eternity* and unknown even to the angels,* was revealed through you to those on earth:* God took on our human nature* and united it to His divine nature in a perfect but unconfused union.* Then, He willingly accepted the cross for our sake* and thereby raised again the first created man,*and saved our souls from death.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 6: Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory be to You!

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

Kontakion, Tone 6: With His life-giving hand* Christ our God, the Giver of life,* raised all the dead from the murky abyss* and bestowed resurrection upon humanity.* He is for all the Saviour,* the resurrection and the life, and the God of all.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 6: Undaunted patroness of Christians,* O steadfast intermediary with the Creator,* turn not away from the suppliant voices of sinners,* but in your kindness come to help us who cry out to you in faith.* Be quick to intercede, make haste to plead,* for you are ever the patroness of those who honour you, O Mother of God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Save Your people, O Lord, * and bless Your inheritance.

verse: Unto You I will cry, O Lord, my God, lest You turn from me in silence. (Psalm27:9,1)

Epistle
2 Corinthians 4:6-15

Alleluia, Tone 6
verse: He who lives in the aid of the Most High, shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven.

verse: He says to the Lord: You are my protector and my refuge, my God, in Whom I hope. (Psalm 90:1,2)

Gospel
Matthew 22:35-46

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)