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The Liturgy of the Presanctified

PREFACE

The Divine Liturgy being the banquet of Christ is a festive, joyous, and triumphant celebration. The ancient discipline of the Byzantine Rite did not permit such celebration during the season of Great Fast, this being the time of penance and mourning for sin.

The Church, knowing that Christ is our greatest strength and support during our earthly pilgrimage, allows us to celebrate a communion service on certain days of the Great Fast. This service, called the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is not a true Divine Liturgy because it contains no consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. The holy communion that we receive at a Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts is the specie of consecrated bread only. Unconsecrated wine is added for reasons of taste and facility in swallowing the holy communion.

This special service, a combination of Vespers and a communion ritual, is traditionally celebrated on Wednesdays and Fridays of the first six weeks of Great Fast, and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week. Its authorship is sometimes attributed to St. Gregory Dialogus who prior to becoming Pope of Rome served in Constantinople as a papal envoy. It is more probable that St. Gregory merely recorded this ancient Liturgy from the oral tradition and on his return to Rome introduced it to the western Church.




STAND

LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED GIFTS

Priest: Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People: Amen.

Come, let us adore our King and God.
Come, let us adore Christ, our King and our God.
Come, let us adore and bow down to Christ, our King and our God.

Psalm 103
Praise of God's Creation

-Bless the Lord, 0 my soul!
You are very great, 0 Lord, my God!
-Clothed in pomp and brilliance,
arrayed with light as with a cloak.

-Stretching out the sky as a tent-cloth,
covering your lofty halls with water.
-You make the clouds your conveyance,
You surge on the wings of the wind.

-You make spirits your messengers
and flaming fires your attendants.
-You settle the earth on its firm foundation:
it shall stand unmoved from age to age.

-The abyss covers it like a garment;
waters stand over the mountains.
-At your rebuke, they will take to flight,
at the peal of your thunder they will fear.

-They hurdle the hills and run down the dales
to the place you have chosen for them.
-You have set up a boundary not to be passed:
they shall never return to cover the earth.

-Down in the gullies, You make springs to rise:
waters shall go down between the mountains.
-They shall give drink to the beasts of the field;
wild asses will seek them to quench their thirst.

-The birds of the sky will abide by them:
from among the rocks they will raise their song.
-From your lofty halls You refresh the mountains;
the earth shall be fed with the fruit of your works.

-You make green pastures for the cattle
and food-plants for the service of man,
-So that bread may be brought forth from the earth
and wine that gladdens the heart of man.

-So that oil may put a gleam upon his face
and that bread may strengthen the heart of man.
-The trees of the plain will be satisfied,
the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.

-The sparrows will build their nests in them
and the herons will call them their home.
-To the deer belong high mountains,
to rodents, the shelter of the rocks.

-You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows the time of its setting.
-You establish darkness and it is night
wherein the forest creatures prowl around.

-Young lions roar for their prey
and call out to God for their meat.
-As the sun rises, they will come together
and lay themselves down in their dens.

-Man will go out to his labor
and work until eventide.
-How great are your works, 0 Lord!
In wisdom You have wrought them all:
the earth is filled with your creatures.

-Even the wide and open sea itself:
within it there are countless creeping things,
living beings small and large.
-Upon it there are ships a-sailing
and that great beast You made to have fun.

-All of them look up to You
to give them their food in due time.
-You provide and they gather up;
You open your hand and they are full.

-You hide your face and they cringe,
You suspend their breath and they die and return to their dust.
-You send forth Your breath and they live:
You renew the face of the earth!

-May the Lord's glory endure forever,
may the Lord rejoice in his works.
-He looks upon the earth and makes it quake,
He touches the mountains and they smoke.

-I will sing to the Lord as long as I live,
I will praise my God as long as I last.
-Would that my thoughts be pleasing to Him
and I will rejoice in the Lord.

-May the sinners vanish from the earth
and may the wicked be no more.
-Bless the Lord, 0 my soul!

-Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever, and forever. Amen.
-Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia.
Glory be to You, 0 God. (3 times with a bow)




SIT

LITANY OF PEACE

Priest:  In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For peace from on high, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For peace in the whole world, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For this holy church and for all who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For our holy ecumenical pontiff N., the Pope of Rome, for our most reverend Archbishop and Metropolitan N., for our God loving Bishop N., for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, and all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For our civil authorities and all in the service of our country, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For this city, for every city and country, and for those living within them in faith, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For seasonable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For those who travel by sea, air, and land, and for the salvation of the sick, the suffering and the captive, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  For deliverance from all affliction, wrath, and need, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  Protect us, save us, have mercy on us and preserve us, O God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  Having remembered our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints - let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ, our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: (Silently) O Lord, our God, whose might is beyond description, whose glory surpasses all understanding, whose mercy is without limits, whose love for man is beyond expression, now, 0 Master, in your kindness, look down upon us and this holy church, and bestow on us and upon those praying with us your abundant mercies and your benefits.

(Aloud) For to You is due all glory, honor, and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.




FIRST ANTIPHON

Psalm 120
The Lord, our Guardian

-I lifted up my eyes to the hills
whence help shall come to me;
-My help shall come from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

-He will not suffer your foot to stumble
He who is your Guardian will not fall asleep.
-Behold, He will neither sleep nor slumber,
the Watcher over Israel.

-The Lord shall keep watch over you,
the Lord is your shelter at your right hand.
-The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor shall the moon by night.

-The Lord shall preserve you from every evil,
the Lord shall preserve your soul;
-The Lord shall preserve Your coming and your going
henceforth and for evermore.

Priest: Again and again, let us pray to the Lord in peace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Protect us, save us, have mercy on us, and preserve us, 0 God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Remembering our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: (Silently) 0 Lord, compassionate and loving, long-suffering and most merciful, hear our prayer and listen to the voice of our supplication. Make a favorable covenant with us, guide us along your ways that we may live in your truth, gladden our hearts that we may fear your holy Name; for You are great and You perform wondrous deeds. You are the only God and none other is like You, 0 Lord. You are great in mercy and able, in your power, to assist, support, and save all those who place their hope in your holy Name.

(Aloud) And to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor, and worship, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.




SECOND ANTIPHON

Psalm 122
Israel's prayer in persecution

-I have lifted up my eyes to You
who dwell in heaven.
-Behold, as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters,
as the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress,

-So are our eyes on the Lord our God,
until He have mercy on us.
-Have mercy on us, 0 Lord, have mercy on us,
for we are more than filled with contempt.

-Yes, our soul has been more than filled.
May reproach fall on the prosperous and contempt on the proud.

Priest: Again and again, let us pray to the Lord in peace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Protect us, save us, have mercy on us, and preserve us, 0 God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Remembering our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: (Silently) 0 Lord, in your indignation do not rebuke us; in your wrath do not chastise us; but deal with us according to your loving-kindness, 0 Physician and Healer of our Souls. Guide us to the harbor of your will; enlighten the eyes of our mind that we may know your truth. Grant that the remainder of this day and all the days of our life may be peaceful and without sin through the prayers of the holy Mother of God and through the prayers of all the Saints.

(Aloud) For yours is the might, and yours is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.




THIRD ANTIPHON

Psalm 127
The Happy Home of the Just

-Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in his ways.
-You shall eat of your hand's labor:
blessed are you, and it shall be well with you.

-Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your house.
-Your sons, like olive shoots
around your table.

-Behold, in this way shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
-May the Lord bless you out of Sion;
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

-May you see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel.

Priest: Again and again, let us pray to the Lord in peace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Protect us, save us, have mercy on us, and preserve us, 0 God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Remembering our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: (Silently) 0 Lord our God, be mindful of us sinners and your unworthy servants as we call upon your holy Name, and put us not to shame for having placed our hope in your mercy. Graciously grant us, 0 Lord, all the means of salvation; make us worthy to love and fear You with all our heart and to accomplish your will in all things.

(Aloud) For You are a gracious God and You love mankind, and to You we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.


STAND

Psalm 140
Prayer Against the Enticements of Wickedness

-0 Lord, I have cried out to You: hear me,
give heed to the voice of my supplication when I cry out to You.
-Let my prayer rise like incense before You
and the lifting of my hands, like an evening sacrifice.

-Set a guard, 0 Lord, before my mouth
and a portal around my lips.
-Incline my heart away from evil dealings,
from finding excuses for sinful deeds.

-In company with men who work iniquity
let me not partake of what they choose.
-May a just man chasten me with justice and reprove me;
may the oil of the wicked never touch my head.

-Yet even then shall I pray for their welfare.
Their rulers were swallowed near the rock.
-My words will be heard for they were sweet.
As a lump of clay broken on the ground, so their bones were strewn near the grave.

-To You, Lord, 0 Lord, my eyes are lifted up;
in You have I hoped: let not my soul be lost.
-Keep me from the snare that was set up for me
and from the stumbling-blocks of wicked men.

-The wicked shall fall into their own nets
while I remain alone until I can escape.




KNEEL
The priest will now carry the Holy Gifts to the Altar of Preparation while the Hymns of Vespers are sung.

HYMNS OF VESPERS

First Week of Great Fast
Second Week of Great Fast
Third Week of Great Fast
Fourth Week of Great Fast
Fifth Week of Great Fast
Week Before Palm Sunday
Great and Holy Week

 



FIRST WEEK OF GREAT FAST

Tone 8

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption. * And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Brethren, while fasting bodily, * let us also fast in spirit:* let us loosen every bond of injustice, * let us tear apart the strong chains of violence; * let us rip up all unjust assertions; * let us give bread to the hungry * and welcome the poor and homeless to our houses * that we may receive from Christ our God His great mercy.

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; * glorify Him, all you peoples!

Elias ascended in the divine chariot of his virtues, * and by fasting he was carried to the heights of heaven in glory. * Strive, 0 my humble soul, as he did, * fast and shed all evil, malice, envy, and corrupting luxury * so that you may be delivered from all eternal pain of Death * and cry out to Christ: 0 Lord, glory be to You!

    For mighty is His love for us * and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

0 divine Apostles, * fervent intercessors for the world and defenders of the faithful, * you received from Christ our God* the boldness to intercede for us. * We beseech you that we may pass this solemn time of Fast untroubled * and receive the grace of the consubstantial Trinity. * 0 great and glorious preachers, pray for our souls.

STAND

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; * now and ever, and forever. Amen.

In the multitude of my sins, * a pauper with a darkened mind, * I cry out to you, 0 all-pure One, * with a repentant and contrite heart. * Illumine the eyes of my heart, * you who once gave birth to the unfading Light * Who illumines the ends of the earth * through the fiery sign of His judgment. * Illumine my mind, 0 Spotless One, by the light of your prayers. * Make me become a son of light by praying to Christ your Son * who grants to the world his great mercy.


SECOND WEEK OF GREAT FAST

Tone 1

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption. * And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

0 Brethren, to undertake a spiritual fast * we must speak no deceit with our tongues, * or place obstacles in the path of our fellowman. * But by repentance let us brighten the lamp of our souls, * that with tears we may call out to Christ: * Forgive us our transgressions, for You love mankind.

    Praise the Lord, all you nations: * glorify Him all you peoples!

Through the prayers of the divine Apostles, 0 righteous Lord, * grant that this time of the Fast may be well spent. * In your kindness grant repentance to our minds * that we all may be saved and give glory to You.

Tone 6

    For mighty is His love for us, * and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

0 Apostles of Christ, who shine your light on the earth,* you are treasures of worldly wealth, * and of the all-wise knowledge of our God. * By your holy prayers deliver us from temptation, * deliver us who sing your praises; * and as you - now in peace - actively direct our lives, * also lead us through this season of the Fast * that we may properly prepare ourselves for the Passion of Christ * and may with courage give praise to our God.

STAND

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; * now and ever, and forever. Amen.

The cunning enemy, envious of your flock, struggles unceasingly, I wishing to prepare a meal for himself. 0 most Pure, Mother of our God, * save us from being harmed by those evil hands.


THIRD WEEK OF GREAT FAST

Tone 4

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with him abundant redemption. * And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Like the prodigal son, * I squandered my paternal inheritance and I am now in desolation, * I dwell in a land of evil men. In my folly I became like the unreasoning beasts, * stripped of all divine grace. * So I returned and cry out to You, * 0 merciful and compassionate Father, * I have sinned, 0 God! * Receive me as a penitent and have mercy on me.

Tone 2

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; peoples!

0 Apostles who have seen God, light of the spiritual Sun for us, * intercede for illumination for our souls' and deliver us from the gloomy darkness of suffering. * Intercede that we may behold the day of salvation. * Through your prayers and intercession * cleanse our heart which the evil One has wounded * so that - saved by faith - we may ever honor you * who brought the world salvation through your all-wise preaching.

    For mighty is His love for us * and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Into an evil land I have wandered, * and prodigal son that I am, * the wealth You gave to me, compassionate Father, * I have squandered in a life filled with vice. * And now in hunger I long for the good I lost; * I am clothed with shame of my transgression. ' I have been stripped of righteous deeds and of divine grace. * Now I cry out that I have sinned! * But I know your righteousness, 0 Christ; * in your kindness receive me now as your hireling, * through the prayers of your apostles who love You.

STAND

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; * now and ever, and forever. Amen.

The cunning enemy, envious of your flock,, struggles unceasingly, * wishing to prepare a meal for himself. 0 most Pure, Mother of our God, * save us from being harmed by those evil hands.


FOURTH WEEK OF GREAT FAST

Tone 4

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption. * And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

The Fast which incites us to deeds of righteousness has now run half its course. * These past days have proved acceptable * and now we see the need of days which are to come. Now our perception of their value will male them yield more abundant fruit. * Therefore, let us beseech Christ our Benefactor * who fasted and endured the cross for us: ' Grant that we might share in your divine Pasch without condemnation I and pass our lives in peace, * worthily glorifying You, Father, Son, and Spirit.

Tone 5

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify Him, all you peoples.

Those who do good deeds in secret * and receive a spiritual reward * do not boast in public about their deeds, * but they carry them in their hearts; ' and He who sees the secret deeds of all * grants us the reward of self control. * Let us then complete this Great Fast ' without putting on a gloomy face; ' but while praying in the secrecy of our souls let us cry out unceasingly: * Our Father, who art in heaven, lead us not into temptation we pray, * but deliver us from evil.

Tone 1

    For mighty is His love for us ' and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Let us all wash our souls in the water of the Fast and approach the precious and all-praiseworthy cross of the Lord.* let us faithfully bow to it, I drawing divine illumination from it I and reaping the fruit of eternal salvation, I which is peace and great mercy.

STAND
Tone 8

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; ' now and ever, and forever. Amen.

He, though unapproachable in His being, ' today be- comes approachable to me. * He endures suffering to free me from suffering. He who grants light to the blind is spat upon by lawless lips and gives His back to be scourged like a lowly slave. * When His pure virgin Mother saw Him on the cross, * she cried out: My child, what have You done? * You whose beauty exceeds that of all the children of men * appear disfigured and lifeless! * Alas my Light, I cannot look at You asleep in death. I am so deeply wounded: ' the fearful sword pierces my heart; but I praise your suffering and bow to your compassion. * 0 long-suffering Lord, glory be to You.


FIFTH WEEK OF GREAT FAST

Tone 8

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption. I And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Beaten in spirit and robbed of my mind, * I fell among contemptible thieves * who steal away my power to think. * My soul has been scourged * and I lie on the path of life stripped of all virtue. * A priest sees that I suffer from incurable sores but passes by without a second glance. A Levite, not wanting to share my deadly pain, * looks down on me and also passes me by. * But You, 0 Christ, our God, though born of Mary and not as a Samaritan, ' grant me healing because of your love for man * and pour the riches of your mercy upon me.

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; * glorify Him, all you peoples!

0 Apostles, renowned throughout the world, * intercessors for the world, ' guardians of health and healers of the sick, * watch over us from every side * as we pass through this time of the Fast. * Let us inspire each other. ' Let us soothe our minds with peace, * and stay undisturbed by suffering * so that we all may sing to Christ as the risen Conqueror.

    For mighty is His love for us * and the truth of the Lord endures forever

.

The harlot, with her tears, bathed your holy precious feet * and called on all to come to You * and to be released from the charges made against them. * 0 Savior, grant me her faith that I may say: * Save me, 0 Lord, before I become completely lost.

STAND

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; ' now and ever, and forever. Amen.

0 what unspeakable condescension! ' 0 the marvel of this wondrous birth! ' How may a virgin carry in her arms * her Maker and her God as a new-born babe? * 0 Lord, who took flesh from her, * save me before I become completely lost.


WEEK BEFORE PALM SUNDAY

Tone 5

    For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption. * And it is He who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

As You walked in the flesh, 0 Jesus, * in the land beyond the Jordan, * You said to those who were with You: * Our friend Lazarus has died * and has been placed in the tomb. * But I rejoice for you, my friends; * for you will learn that I know all things * and that with God I am one, * even though by nature I appear as man. * Therefore, let us go and give life to Lazarus * so that Death may recognize this victory * and the perfect consummation I shall bring about * by granting great mercy to the world.

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; * glorify Him, all you peoples.

0 Faithful, let us imitate Martha and Mary * and offer virtuous deeds * as ambassadors before the Lord * that when He comes He may uplift our minds * which now lie dead and full of misery in the tomb. * Without life they have no sense of what they are neglecting * and are unaware of the awesomeness of God.* Behold, 0 Lord, now give life to all ' and grant us your great mercy, * as once You had pity on your friend Lazarus * and by your awesome power raised him from the dead.

Tone 6

    For mighty is His love for us * and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

For two days Lazarus has been in the tomb * and sees all generations of the dead. * He beholds such strange and awesome things * and a countless number held within the power of Death. * His relatives weep bitterly before his tomb; * but Christ is on His way to give life to His friend ' and to consummate His plan for all mankind. * Blessed are You, 0 Savior; have mercy on us.

STAND

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; * now and ever, and forever. Amen.

The cunning enemy, envious of your flock, struggles unceasingly, * wishing to prepare a meal for himself. 0 most Pure, Mother of our God, * save us from being harmed by those evil hands.


GREAT AND HOLY WEEK

Tone 2

    Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify Him, all you peoples.

0 Christ, the Bridegroom, * I have allowed my soul to slumber in laziness, * and so I have no lamp aflame with virtue. * Like the foolish virgins I talk when it is time to act. * Do not close the door of your compassion to me, 0 Lord; * but wake me to shake off my heavy sleep. ' Bring me with the wise virgins to your bridal hall * where those who celebrate sing out unceasingly:* 0 Lord, glory be to You!

Tone 4

    For mighty is His love for us and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

0 my soul, you have heard that he who hid his talent was condemned. * So do not hide the Word of God as he did, but tell His wonders so that you may double your gift of grace and enter into the joy of your Lord.

STAND
Tone 5

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; I now and ever, and forever. Amen.

As You were going to your passion * You took your disciples aside to give them strength; * and You said to them: Why do you not remember I what I told you before, * that the Scripture says no prophet is killed * except in the city of Jerusalem. * Now the time has come of which I told you; * I shall be delivered up to ridicule * at the hands of sinners who shall nail me to a cross, * deliver me to the tomb, * and consider me abandoned in death. * Do not grieve; for I will rise upon the third day, * bringing eternal life and joy to the faithful.




ENTRANCE PRAYER

Priest: In the evening, at dawn, and at noon, we praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and beseech You, 0 Master of All, Lord who loves mankind. Direct our prayers as incense before You; let not our hearts fall into evil words or thoughts, but save us from those who seek after our souls. For to You Lord, 0 Lord, we lift up our eyes and in You we have trusted. Put us not to shame, 0 our God, For to You are due all honor and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

After the procession with the censer:

Priest: Wisdom! Be attentive!

The people respond by singing the HYMN OF THE EVENING:

0 Joyful Light! Light and Holy Glory of the Father immortal, the heavenly, holy, the Blessed One; 0 Jesus Christ. Now that we have reached the setting of the sun and see the evening light, we sing to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to You, 0 Son of God, the giver of life. Behold the universe sings your glory.




PROKEIMENON

Priest: Let us be attentive! Peace t be with all! Wisdom! Be attentive!

Response for Wednesday:
Save me, 0 God, for the sake of your name, be with me in Your might.

Response for Friday:
0 Lord, You are my help: 0 my God, your love shall hasten towards me.




SIT

FIRST OLD TESTAMENT READING

A reading from the Old Testament may be given at this time.

STAND
Priest: Wisdom! Be attentive! The Light of Christ t enlightens every man who comes Into the world.

NO RESPONSE Is given. the people bow three times while signing themselves with the sign of the cross each time.




SIT

SECOND OLD TESTAMENT READING

A second reading from the Old Testament may be given at this time.




KNEEL
The people remain kneeling during all the following verses.

Priest: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

Priest: 0 Lord, I have cried to You, now hear me; listen to my voice when I call upon You.

People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

Priest: 0 Lord, set a guard before my mouth, and set a seal on the door of my lips.

People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

Priest: Let not my heart be inclined to evil, nor make excuse for the sins I commit.

People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

Priest: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense:

People: And the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.


STAND
The priest and servers remain before the altar, and with the people recite the following:


PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM

0 Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement, lust of power and idle chatter.
Prostration

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love.
Prostration

0 Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You are blessed now and ever and forever. Amen.
Prostration

An EPISTLE and GOSPEL are read on certain specified days during Great Fast. During Great and Holy Week only a gospel is read. The customary intonations and responses are made for these readings.




SIT

LITANY OF SUPPLICATION

Priest: Let us all say with our whole soul and with our whole mind; let us say:

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: 0 Lord Almighty, God of our fathers, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Have mercy on us, 0 God, according to your great mercy; we pray You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3)

The priest prays quietly:

Accept, 0 Lord our God, this fervent prayer from your servants and have mercy on us according to your great mercy, and send down your benefits upon us and upon all your people who expect from You abundant mercies.

Priest: We also pray for our holy ecumenical Pontiff N., the Pope of Rome, and for our most reverend Archbishop and Metropolitan N., for our God-loving Bishop N., for those who served in this holy church, for our spiritual fathers, and for all our brethren in Christ.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: We also pray for our civil authorities and for all in the service of our country.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: We also pray for the people here present who await your great and abundant mercy, for those who showed us mercy, and for all Christians of the true faith.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: For You are a merciful God who loves mankind, and we glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People: Amen.




FIRST PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL

Priest: 0 God, great and worthy to be praised, who through the life-giving death of your Christ has changed us from corruptibility to incorruptibility, deliver all of our senses from deadly passion, placing over them our intellect as a sure guide. Let our eyes avoid all evil, our ears close to idle talk, and let our tongue be cleansed of unbecoming speech. Purify our lips which praise You, 0 Lord. Let our hands abstain from evil deeds, but do only those things pleasing to You, and by your grace strengthen our body and mind.

For to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor, and worship, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.




SECOND PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL

Priest: Holy Master, infinitely good, we beseech You who are rich in mercy to show compassion on us sinners and make us worthy to receive your only-begotten Son and our God, the King of Glory. For behold, his most pure body and life-giving blood are about to be brought and placed on this mystical altar at this time, escorted by invisible angelic hosts. Allow us to partake of them in blamelessness so that the eyes of our understanding enlightened thereby, we may become children of the light and of the day.

Through the gift of your Christ, with whom You are blessed, together with your most holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People: Amen.




KNEEL

GREAT ENTRANCE

While the priest incenses, the people KNEEL and sing:

Now the powers of heaven are serving with us invisibly, for behold the King of glory enters. The mystical sacrifice, all accomplished is brought forth. Let us, full of faith and love, draw near. Let us all partakers of life everlasting. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

During the Great Entrance all are silent and remain KNEELING.




SIT

LITANY OF OFFERING

Priest: Let us complete our evening prayer to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For the precious and Presanctified gifts here offered, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: That our God, in his love for mankind, may receive them on his holy and heavenly and mystical altar as an aroma of spiritual fragrance, and that He may send down upon us in return the divine grace and gift of the Holy Spirit; let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  That we be delivered from all affliction, wrath, and need, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  Protect us, save us, have mercy on us and preserve us, O God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:  That this whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and without sin, let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  For an angel of peace, a faithful guide and guardian of our souls and bodies, let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  For the pardon and remission of our sins and offenses, let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  For what it good and beneficial to our souls and for the peace of the world, let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  That we may spend the rest of our life in peace and repentance. let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  For a Christian, painless, unashamed, peaceful end of our life, and for a good account before the fearsome judgment-seat of Christ, let us beseech the Lord.

People: Grant it, 0 Lord.

Priest:  Asking for unity in the faith, and for communion in the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: O God of unspeakable and invisible mysteries, with whom are the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who has revealed to us the service of this liturgy and who, through your great love for mankind, has appointed us sinners to offer gifts and sacrifices to You for our sins and the faults of the people - now, 0 Invisible King, who performs great works, inscrutable and glorious marvels without number, look upon us your unworthy servants who stand, as before your cherubic throne, at this altar where your only begotten Son, our God, reposes in these awesome mysteries offered here. And having delivered us and all your faithful people from every impurity, sanctify our souls and bodies with the sanctification which cannot be taken away, so that partaking of these divine mysteries with a pure conscience, with faces unashamed, and with enlightened hearts, and being revived by these mysteries, we may be united with your Christ Himself, our true God. For He said: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him." By your Word, 0 Lord, dwelling in us and walking in our midst, we become the temple of your all-holy and adorable Spirit, redeemed from every snare of the devil trying to influence our words, deeds, and thoughts; and we shall obtain the blessings You promised us, together with all the Saints who have pleased You since time began.

And make us worthy, 0 Lord, that we may with confidence and without condemnation dare call You, the God of heaven, Father; and say:

STAND
The people sing:

Our Father Who are in heaven hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Priest: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.

Priest: Peace t be with all!

People: And with your spirit!

Priest: Bow your heads to the Lord.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: 0 God, the only One good and compassionate, who dwells on high and looks upon the humble, look with compassionate eyes upon all your people and preserve them. Grant us all to partake without condemnation of these your life-giving mysteries; for we have bowed our heads to You in the hope of your rich mercy.

Through the grace and mercy and love for mankind of your only-begotten Son, with whom You are blessed, together with your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People: Amen.

Priest: Look down, 0 Lord Jesus Christ, our God, from your holy dwelling-place and from the throne of the glory of your kingdom, and come to sanctify us, You who are seated on high with the Father, and dwell here invisibly among us. Deem it proper to impart to us, with your mighty hand, your most pure body and precious blood, and through us, to all the people.

O God, be merciful to me, a sinner. (3)

Let us be attentive! Holy Presanctified Things for the holy!

KNEEL
The people sing:

One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.




COMMUNION HYMN

O taste and see how good the Lord is. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Priest: Come to receive!

The people respond:

I will bless the Lord forever. Alleluia.

Immediately, the people recite:

0 Lord, I believe and profess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first.

Accept me as a partaker of your mystical supper, 0 Son of God; for I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I confess to You:

Remember me, 0 Lord, when You shall come into your kingdom. Remember me, 0 Master, when You shall come into your kingdom. Remember me, 0 Holy One, when You shall come into your kingdom.

May the partaking of your holy mysteries, 0 Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of soul and body.

0 Lord, I also believe and profess that this which I am about to receive, is truly your most precious body and your life-giving blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life ever-lasting. Amen.

· God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
· God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
· Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number.

After the faithful have received holy communion, the priest intones:

Priest: Blessed is our God who has enlightened and sanctified us always, now and ever, and forever.

People: Amen.

SIT
While the priest takes the chalice to the table of preparation, the people sing:

We give You thanks, O Christ our God, for You deigned to make us sharers of Your Body and most Holy Blood, poured forth for the world unto the forgiveness of sins. WE have seen Your Mystery. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.




LITANY OF THANKSGIVING

Priest: Having received the divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly, and life-creating awesome mysteries of Christ, arise, let us give worthy thanks to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Protect us, save us, have mercy on us, and preserve us 0 God, by your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Asking that this whole day (evening) be perfect, holy, peaceful, and without sin, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, 0 Lord.

Priest: We thank You, Savior and God of all, for all the blessings You bestowed upon us and for our partaking of the holy body and blood of your Christ. And we pray You, Master who loves mankind, keep us under the shadow of your wings, and grant us, even until our last breath, to partake worthily of your holy mystery for the enlightenment of our soul and body and the inheritance of your heavenly kingdom.

For You are our sanctification, and we glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.

STAND

Priest: Let us go forth in peace.

People: In the name of the Lord.

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: 0 Almighty Lord, in wisdom You created all things, and by your inexpressible providence and great goodness You have brought us to these most salutary days for the purification of body and soul, for the control of our evil inclinations, and for the hope of resurrection. During the forty days You gave Moses, your servant, the tablets of the law, inscribed by your divine hands; now also grant to us, 0 Gracious One, to fight the good fight, to run the course of the fast, to preserve our faith unstained, to crush under foot the heads of invisible serpents, to be victorious over sin, and without condemnation to attain and worship the holy resurrection.

For blessed and glorified is your most honorable and majestic Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

The people sing:

Amen. Blessed is the name of the Lord, now and forever. (3 times)




DISMISSAL

Priest: The blessing of the Lord be upon You, through his grace and loving kindness, always, now and ever, and forever.

People:  Amen.

Priest: Glory be to You, 0 Christ, our God, our hope; glory be to You!

People: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Give the blessing!

Priest: Christ our true God will have mercy on us and save us through the prayers of his most pure Mother, of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles, of Saint N., the patron (patroness) of this church, and of all the Saints, for He is gracious and loves mankind.

People: Amen.

END OF THE LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED GIFTS

It is our venerable tradition to sing the following hymn at the close of all Lenten Services. The priest faces the altar and together with the people sings the hymn three times, each time making a penitential prostration while the people bow profoundly.

Having suffered the passion for us, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy on us.


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