Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Great and Holy Wednesday


At Psalm 140

In Tone 1

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

In You, born of the Virgin, the harlot recognized her God;* ashamed of her sinful deeds, she sighed and wept, and said:* O Lord, loosen my debt to You, as I unloosen my hair.* Grant Your love to the one who loves You, despite all my unworthiness;* and I shall exalt Your love for all,* harlots and publicans alike,* O Lover of humankind and their Benefactor.

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

The harlot mixed her tears with the precious myrrh,* as she poured them over Your most pure feet,* which she covered with kisses;* thus You showed her to be justified.* O Lord, who suffered for us,* grant us Your forgiveness and save us.

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

While the sinful woman was offering You her ointment,* Your disciple conspired against You.* She rejoiced to pour out the precious myrrh,* while he hastened to sell the One who is beyond price.* As she came to recognize her Lord,* the disciple separated himself;* she was set free,* while Judas became enslaved to the Enemy.* She was ennobled through repentance,* while he was disgraced by his vile actions.* O Saviour, who suffered for us,* grant us Your forgiveness and save us.

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

O the misery of Judas!* He saw the sinful woman kiss the feet of the Lord,* and he shamefully thought of his kiss of betrayal.* She loosened her hair,* while he let himself be bound up by passion;* instead of the fragrance of myrrh, he bore the odour of his perverse and evil ways;* for jealousy does not know how to seek what is good.* O the misery of Judas!* O Lord, keep our souls from falling like him.

In Tone 2

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

The sinful woman hastened to buy the precious myrrh,* in order to anoint her Saviour.* She said to the merchant:* Give me the myrrh that I might anoint the One* who washed me of all my sins.

In Tone 6

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

Drowning in the abyss of sin,* the harlot found in You a harbour of salvation.* She poured out myrrh with her tears, and said:* O Lord, You can forgive sins,* but You await the repentance of sinners.* Behold me, O Master, for I am sinking in the storm of sin;* in Your great goodness, save me.

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

Today Christ comes to the house of the Pharisee,* and the sinful woman falls at His feet.* She bows before Him and says:* Behold, I am drowning in the abyss of sin;* I have lost all hope because of my deeds.* In Your goodness, do not turn away from me;* but grant me forgiveness, O Lord, and save me.

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

The harlot loosened her hair for You, O Lord,* while Judas reached out his hand to the godless ones.* One acted to receive Your forgiveness, the other to gain money.* Therefore, we cry out to You:* O Lord, sold for our deliverance, glory to You.

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

Filled with the odour of sin, the woman drew near to You, O Saviour;* she poured out her tears over Your feet and thus proclaimed Your Passion.* “O Master, how shall I dare to raise my eyes to You,” she cried.* Yet You came to save the fallen;* You raised Lazarus from the tomb;* so lift me also from the abyss of death.* O Lord, accept me in my misery and save me.

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

She who was rejected because of her life,* and who was accepted because of her conversion,* came to You, bearing myrrh, and saying:* Do not cast me out, O Son of the Virgin, for I am a wretched one;* O Joy of the angels do not despise my tears;* but receive me in repentance,* and in Your goodness, accept me a sinful one.

In Tone 8

Glory… Now…

O Lord, the woman who had fallen into a multitude of sins,* recognized Your divinity and thus joined the ranks of the myrrh-bearing women;* before Your burial, she offered You myrrh with her tears:* “Alas,” she said, “Woe is me!* The stinging night of pleasure seizes me;* the dark and moonless love of sin grasps me.* Accept the stream of my tears and my copious weeping, O Lord,* for You make the waters fall from the clouds into the sea.* Incline Your ear to the cry of my heart,* for You incline the heavens in Your ineffable condescension.* Allow me to kiss Your most pure feet,* and to dry them with the locks of my hair;* for these are the feet that Eve heard in Paradise,* and, trembling at their approach, she hid herself.* O Lord, who can search out the number of my sins?* Who shall search the depth of Your judgments, O Redeemer and Saviour of our souls?!* In Your infinite love, do not despise Your servant.”

Prokeimenon I, Tone 4

To the God of heaven give thanks* for His love endures forever.

verse: Give thanks to the God of gods, for His love endures forever.

Reading I

Exodus 2:11-22

Prokeimenon II, Tone 4

Your love, O Lord, is eternal,* do not discard the work of Your hands.

verse: I thank You, Lord, with all my heart.

Reading II

Job 2:1-10


Matthew 26:6-16