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The service order for the Liturgical rite of Crowning is taken from the Great Book of Needs (Veliki Trebnik), translated by +Fr. Justin Popovic of Celije Monastery, and published by the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, of the Serbian Orthodox Church, 1993.

 

 

Introduction

            The usual practice in the Orthodox Church is to separate the wedding ceremony from the Liturgy, however, in recent years a tradition of Liturgical marriage has emerged that more clearly expresses the Eucharistic foundation of the union of a husband and wife.

 

            The wedding ceremony has two parts. The first is the Betrothal, which takes place before the Liturgy and consists of the exchange of rings. The Sacrament of Marriage (The Rite of Crowning) is celebrated during the Liturgy with the appointed prayers embedded within the structure of the Liturgy itself.

 

            Traditionally the bride enters the Church at the side of the groom, signifying their equality before God. There are no vows in the Orthodox Church, as it is taken that the very presence of the couple shows their willingness to come together. Rather, the ceremony centres around the union of the husband and wife as a covenental relationship (like that made between God with Israel and Christ with the Church) in addition to the forming of a spiritual bond between God and the newly constituted family.

 

            The carrying of candles symbolizes the acceptance of Christ into the lives of the bride and groom. “A light to lighten the gentiles and the glory of thy people, Israel” (Luke 2: 32).

 

            The rings are exchanged 3 times between bride and groom by the kum (best man / witness). This exchange symbolizes that the weakness of one partner is compensated by the strength of the other, and similarly the imperfections of one by the perfections of the other.

 

            The rings are placed on the right hand, reflecting scriptural references to: the right hand of God which blesses; Christ’s ascension to the right hand of God; and the final judgement where the righteous stand to the right of God.

 

            The Epistle reading of the day is augmented by the Epistle of St. Paul comparing the married state to the relationship of Christ with the Church (Ephesians 5:20-33). Similarly the Gospel reading for the day is augmented by the Gospel story of the marriage feast at Cana (John 2:1-11).

 

            The joining of the right hands of the couple expresses the unity of the married state.

            Crowning of the bride and groom. In the Greek practice flower wreaths are used, whereas in the Slavic tradition a crown, signifying the glory and honour with which God crowns His people (Psalm 20:3-4; Isaiah 62:3; 1Peter 5:4). The crowns also have the second meaning of martyrdom (In the Orthodox tradition, martyrs are said to ‘have received their crowns of glory’). This is to remind the couple that true marriage requires self-sacrifice of one to the other. Toward the end of the service the crowns are removed with the prayer that their spiritual crowns be received into God’s Kingdom, preserving them ... in all ages.

 

            In the marriage ceremony the couple drink wine from a common cup recalling the marriage feast of Cana, but in the Liturgical setting this is supplanted by Holy Communion.

 

            The ceremonial walk of the married couple represents their first steps as husband and wife. The procession is made around a table with the Gospel (the Word of God), and the Cross (the source of our redemption). The priests lead this circular walk, showing the couple that the way of Christian life is a perfect orbit around the center of Life, “Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life”.

 

           

            The procession is accompanied by three hymns which are also used at the ordination of clergy. The first refers to ‘the dance of Isaiah’, who rejoiced at his revelation of the birth of the Messiah from a Virgin; the second to the holy martyrs; and the third, a doxology. These again serve to remind the newlyweds to rejoice in their marriage, to ‘fight the good fight’ of martyrdom within marriage, and to praise God at all times.

 

            The Liturgy of the Orthodox Church, attributed to St. John Chrysostom (fourth century), traces its roots to the very earliest practices of the Christian community and is patterned after Old Testament worship. Its content is almost entirely scriptural, drawn from both Old and New Testaments, and in particular from the Book of Psalms. The rituals and actions of the Liturgy are rich in symbolism, expressing the history and path of our salvation.

 

            The Liturgy is divided into three sections. The first is called the Proskomedia, and occurs before the audible portions of the Liturgy. Its purpose is the initial preparation of the Lamb (the bread to be consecrated) and occurs in a side chapel, called the Prosthesis, behind the altar screen. The second and third portions of the Liturgy are provided in this booklet and consist of the Liturgy of the Catechumens (those preparing to be baptized) and the Liturgy of the Faithful. Most of the service follows a set pattern from week to week, with variable portions that change according to the Church’s commemorations for the day’s saints or for the feasts of our Lord or the Theotokos. Today’s Liturgy has several hymns which serve to reflect the Paschal season and are sung until Ascension Day.

 

            The portions referring to the Betrothal and the Rite of Crowning are in red.

 

The Betrothal

 

Priest: Blessed is our God, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God, and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For this holy temple, and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter herein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For our Most Reverend Bishop, (name), for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and peo­ple, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For our honourable and Christ-loving people and for all Orthodox Christians, may the Lord God help them to overcome every enemy and adversary, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the servant of God (name), and for the handmaid of God (name) who now pledge their troth, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That there may be granted unto them children for the continuation of the race, and all their petitions which are unto salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will send down upon them perfect and peaceful love and succour, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will preserve them in oneness of mind, and steadfastness of faith, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will bless them with  a blameless life, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That the Lord our God will grant unto them an honourable marriage, and a bed undefiled, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and neces­sity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For unto Thee is due all glory, honour, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: O eternal God, Who hast brought into unity those who were sundered, and hast ordained for them an indissoluble bond of love; Who didst bless Issac and Rebecca, and didst make them heirs of thy promise; Bless also Thy servants, (name), and (name), guiding them unto every good work. For Thou art a merciful God, Who lovest mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People:  Amen,

 

Priest: Peace be unto all.

 

People: And to thy spirit.

 

Priest: Bow your heads unto the Lord.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: O Lord our God, who hast espoused the Church as a pure Virgin from among the Gentiles; Bless this Betrothal, and unite and maintain these Thy servants in peace and oneness of mind. For unto Thee are due all glory, honour and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: The servant of God (name), is betrothed to the handmaid of God (name). In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

People: Amen. (this petition is repeated 3 times)

 

Priest: The handmaid of God (name), is betrothed to the servant of God (name). In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

People: Amen. (this petition is repeated 3 times)

 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: O Lord our God, who didst accompany the servant of the patriarch Abraham into Mesopotamia, when he was sent to espouse a wife for his lord Issac: and who, by means of the drawing of water, didst reveal unto him that he should betroth Rebecca: Do Thou, the same Lord, bless also the betrothal of these thy servants, (names), and confirm the word which they have spoken. Establish them in the holy union which is from Thee. For Thou, in the beginning, didst make them male and female, and by Thee is woman joined unto the man as a helpmeet, and for the procreation of the human race. Wherefore, O Lord our God, who hast sent forth Thy truth upon Thine inheritance, and Thy covenant unto Thy servants our fathers, even Thine elect, from generation to generation: Look Thou upon Thy servant (name), and upon Thy handmaid (name),  and establish and make stable their betrothal in faith, and in oneness of mind, in truth and in love. For Thou, O Lord, hast declared that a pledge should be given and confirmed in all things. By a ring was power given unto Joseph in Egypt; by a ring was Daniel glorified in the land of Babylon; by a ring was the uprightness of Tamarah revealed; by a ring did our heavenly Father show forth his bounty upon His Son for he saith: Put a ring on his hand, and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and eat, and make merry. By Thine own right hand, O Lord, didst Thou arm Moses at the Red Sea by the word of Thy truth were the heavens established, and the foundations of the earth were made firm and the right hands of thy servants shall be blessed also by Thy mighty word, and by Thine upraised arm. Wherefore, O Lord, do Thou now bless this putting on of rings with Thy heavenly benediction: and let Thine angel go before them all the days of their life. For Thou art He who blesseth and sanctifieth all things, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Have mercy upon us, O God according to Thy great mercy, we beseech Thee, harken, and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (three times).

 

Priest: Furthermore we pray for our Bishop (name), and for all of out brethren in Christ.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (three times).

 

Priest: Furthermore we pray for the servants of God, (name), and (name), who are betrothed to each other.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (three times).

 

Priest: Furthermore we pray for all our brethern, and for all Christians.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (three times).

 

Priest: For thou art a merciful God, Who lovest mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

 

People: Glory to Thee, our God; Glory to Thee (sung to verses of psalm 128).

           

                Verses:  

 

            Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord,

            That walketh in His ways,

            Thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands,

            Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

            Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house,

            Thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

            Behold that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.

            The Lord shall bless thee out of Sion, and thou shalt see the good of                              Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

            Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.

 

 

 

 

(the following questions are not used in the Greek practice)

 

                Priest:                 Have you, (name), a good, free and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto                                        yourself to wife this woman, (name), whom you see here before you?

 

                                 You have not promised yourself to any other bride?

 

                Priest:                 Have you, (name) a good, free and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto                                        yourself to husband this man, (name), whom you see here before you?

 

                                 You have not promised yourself to any other man?

 

 

 

THE DIVINE LITURGY

OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

 

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

 

People: Amen.

 

The Great Litany of Peace

 

Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God, and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For this holy temple, and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter herein, let us pray to the Lord.

(name)

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For our Most Reverend Bishop (name), for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and peo­ple, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For our our honourable and Christ-loving people and for all Orthodox Christians, may the Lord God help them to overcome every enemy and adversary, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the servants of God, (name), and (name), who are being united to each other in the community of marriage, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will bless this marriage, as He blessed that in Cana of Galilee, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will grant unto them chastity, and of the fruit of the womb as is expedient for them, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will make them glad with the sight of sons and daughters, let us pray to the Lord

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will grant them the procreation of virtuous offspring and an upright life, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will grant to them and to all our petitions which are unto salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will deliver them and us from all tribulation, wrath and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For this city, for every city and country, and the faithful that dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For travelers by sea, land, and air; for the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and neces­sity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: O God most pure, the Creator of every living thing, who didst transform the rib of our forefather Adam into a wife, because of thy love towards mankind, and didst bless them, and say unto them: Increase and multiply, and have dominion over the earth; and didst make of the twain one flesh: for which cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh: and what God hath joined together, then let no man put asunder. Thou who didst bless thy servant Abraham, and opening the womb of Sarah didst make him to be the Father of many nations; who didst give Isaac to Rebecca, and didst bless her in child-bearing; who didst join Jacob unto Rachel, and from that union didst generate the twelve Patriarchs; who didst unite Joseph and Asenath, giving unto them as the fruit of their procreation Ephram and Manasses; who didst accept Zacharias and Elizabeth, and didst make their offspring to be the forerunner; who from the root of Jesse according to the flesh, didst bud forth the ever-Virgin One, and wast incarnate of her and wast born of her for the redemption of the human race; who through thine unutterable gift and manifold goodness didst come to Cana of Galilee, and didst bless the marriage there, that thou mightest make manifest that it is thy will that there should be lawful marriage and the begetting of children: Do thou, the same all-holy Master, accept the prayer of us thy servants. As thou wert present there, so likewise be thou present here, with thine invisible protection. Bless this marriage, and vouchsafe unto these thy servants, (names), a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, mutual love in the bond of peace, long lived seed, gratitude from their posterity, a crown of glory which fadeth not away. Graciously grant that they may behold their children’s children. Preserve their bed unassailed, and give them the dew of heaven from on high, and the fatness of the earth. Fill their houses with wheat, and wine and oil, and with every beneficence, that they in turn may bestow upon the needy; granting also unto those who here present with them all those petitions which are for their salvation.

 

For unto Thee is due all glory, honour, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The First Antiphon

 

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name; blessed art Thou, O Lord.

 

The Little Litany

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest:    Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the Priest of mystical and pure marriage, and the Ordainer of the law of the marriage of the body, the Preserver of immortality, and the Provider of good things; do Thou, the same Master, who in the beginning didst make man and set him to be, as it were, a king over thy creation, and didst say: It is not good for man to be alone on the earth; let us make a helpmeet for him; and taking one of his ribs didst fashion woman, which when Adam beheld, he said: This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man; for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and the twain shall be one flesh; and those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder: Do thou now also, O Master, our Lord and our God, send down thy heavenly grace upon these thy servants, (names), and grant that this Thy handmaid may in all things, be diligent unto her husband; and that this thy servant may be the head of his wife, that they may live according to thy will. Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Abraham and Sarah: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Isaac and Rebecca: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Jacob and all the Patriarchs: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Joseph and Asenath: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Moses and Sepphora: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Joachim and Anna: Bless them, O Lord our God, as thou didst bless Zacharias and Elizabeth: Preserve them, O Lord our God, as thou didst preserve Noah in the Ark: Preserve them, O Lord our God, as thou didst preserve Jonah in the belly of the whale: Preserve them, O Lord our God, as thou didst preserve the three holy children from the fire, sending down upon them dew from heaven; and let the gladness come upon them which the blessed Helena had when she found the precious Cross. Remember them, O Lord our God, as thou didst remember Enoch, Shem, and Elijah: Remember them, O Lord our God, as thou didst remember thy Forty Holy Martyrs, sending down upon them crowns from heaven: Remember them, O Lord our God, and the parents who have nurtured them; for the prayers of parents make firm the foundations of houses. Remember, O Lord our God, thy servants the groomsman and the bridesmaid of the bridal pair, who are come together in this joy. Remember, O Lord our God, thy servant, Barnabas and thy handmaid Elizabeth and bless them. Grant them the fruit of their bodies, fair children, concord of soul and of body: Exalt them like the cedars of Lebanon, like a luxuriant vine. Give them seed in number like unto the full ears of grain; that, having sufficiency in all things, they may abound in every work that is good and acceptable to Thee. And let them behold their children’s children, like a newly planted olive orchard, round about their table; that, obtaining favour in Thy sight, they may shine like the stars of heaven, in Thee our God.

 

For Thine is the dominion, and Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Second Antiphon

 

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. O Only‑begotten Son and Word of God, Who art immortal, yet didst deign for our salvation to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary, and without change didst become man, and wast crucified, O Christ God, trampling down death by death, Thou Who art one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

 

The Little Litany

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: O Holy God, Who didst create man out of the dust, and didst fashion his wife out of his rib, and didst join her unto him as a helpmeet; for do Thou, the same Lord, stretch out now also Thy hand from Thy holy dwelling place, and conjoin this Thy servant, (name), and this Thy handmaid, (name), for by Thee is the husband united unto the wife. Unite them in mind: wed them into one flesh, granting unto them of the fruit of the body and the procreation of fair children.

 

For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Third Antiphon

The Beatitudes

 

People: The first four Beatitudes are read or chanted:

In Thy kingdom remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

 

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in the heavens.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.

 

The Little Entry

 

Priest:              Wisdom! Aright!

 

People: O come let us worship and fall down before Christ: O Son of God Who did rise from the dead save us who chant unto Thee: Alleluia.

 

After the entrance, the troparia and kontakia for the day are chanted.

 

 

The Crowning

 

Priest: The servant of God, (name), is crowned unto the handmaid of God, (name), in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

People:  Amen

 

Priest: The handmaid of God, (name) is crowned unto the servant of God, (name), in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

People:  Amen.

 

Priest:    O Lord our God, crown them with glory and honour. (3 times)

 

People:  Amen.

 

Priest: For holy art Thou, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

People: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages, amen. Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

The Reading of the Epistle

 

Priest:   Let us attend. Peace be unto all.

Reader:  And to thy spirit.

Priest:             Wisdom!

Reader: The Prokeimenon of the Epistle is chanted with its verse, followed by the prokeimenon of the crowning,

 

Prokeimenon of the crowning, in the 8th tone: Thou hast set upon their heads crowns of precious stone; they asked life of Thee, and thou gavest them length of days (Ps 21:3-4).

 

Priest:             Wisdom!

 

Reader: The reading is from …

 

Priest:   Let us attend!

 

Reader: The Epistle of the day is read, followed by the Epistle of the crowning:

 

            Brethren: Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives, as their bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church; we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverance her husband.

 

 

Priest:   Peace be unto thee.

 

Reader:  And to thy spirit.

 

Priest:             Wisdom!

 

People:             Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

The Reading of the Gospel

 

Priest:  Wisdom! Aright! Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Peace be unto all.

 

People: And to thy spirit.

 

Priest: The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. John.

 

People: Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.

 

            The Gospel of the day is read, followed by the Gospel of the Crowning:

 

            And on the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and his Apostles were called to the marriage. And when they lacked wine, the mother of Jesus said unto Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said unto her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” His mother said unto the servants, “Whatsoever He says unto you, do it.” And there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, holding twenty to thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said unto them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said unto them, “Draw some out now, and bear it unto the governor of the feast.” And they took it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, not knowing whence it had come (but the servants who drew the water knew), the governor of the feast called the bridegroom and said unto him, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have drunk well, then that which is worse; but thou has kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

 

People: Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.

 

The Augmented Litany

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: O Lord Almighty, the God of our fathers, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for our devout and Christ-loving people and for all Orthodox Christians.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for our Most Reverend Bishop (name) and all our brethren in Christ.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Furthermore we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation for the servants of God, (names).

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for our brethren, the priests, priestmonks, and all our brethren in Christ.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation for the servants of God, the brethren of this holy church and for the pardon and remission of their sins.

          

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for the blessed and ever‑memorable, holy Orthodox patriarchs; for pious kings and right‑believing queens; and for the founders of this holy temple, and for our fathers and brethren gone to their rest before us, and the Orthodox here and every­where laid to rest.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: Again we pray for them that bring offerings and do good works in this holy and all‑venerable temple; for them that minister and them that chant, and for all the peo­ple here present that await of Thee great and abundant mercy.

 

People: Lord, have mercy (thrice).

 

Priest: O Lord our God, who in thy saving providence didst vouchsafe by Thy presence in Cana of Galilee to declare marriage honourable: Do Thou, the same Lord, now also maintain in peace and concord thy servants, (name), and (name), whom it hath pleased Thee to join together. Cause their marriage to be honourable. Preserve their bed blameless. Mercifully grant that they may live together in purity and enable them to attain to a ripe old age, walking in thy commandments with a pure heart.

 

For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Litany for the Catechumens

 

Priest: Pray, ye catechumens, to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Ye faithful, for the catechu­mens let us pray.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That the Lord will have mercy on them.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will catechize them with the word of Truth.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will reveal unto them the Gospel of righteousness.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That He will unite them to His Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Save them, have mercy on them, help them, and keep them, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Ye catechumens, bow your heads to the Lord.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: That they also with us may glorify Thy most honourable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Litany of the Faithful

 

Priest: As many as are catechu­mens, depart; catechumens, depart; as many as are catechumens, depart; let none of the catechumens remain; as many as are of the faithful, again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest:              Wisdom! For unto Thee is due all glory, honour, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

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

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That they also with us may glorify Thy most honourable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest:              Wisdom! That always being guarded under Thy dominion, we may send up glory unto Thee: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

The Cherubic Hymn

 

People: Let us who mystically repre­sent the Cherubim, and chant the thrice‑holy hymn unto the life‑creat­ing Trinity, now lay aside all earthly care.

 

The Great Entry

 

Priest:              Honourable and Christ-loving Christians, the members, donors and benefactors of this holy temple, may the Lord God remember in His Kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Our Most Reverend Bishop (name), the clergy and monastics, may the Lord God remember in His Kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Our true-believing and Christ-loving Orthodox people, may the Lord God remember in His Kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Other petitions may be added for the reposed, sick, travellers, etc.

 

All of you Orthodox Christians, may the Lord God remember in His Kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen. That we may receive the King of all, Who cometh invisibly upborne in triumph by the ranks of angels. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

The Litany of Fervent Supplication

 

Priest: Let us complete our prayer unto the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the precious gifts set forth, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For this holy temple, and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter herein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and neces­sity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us  ask of the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: An angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Pardon and remission of our sins and offences, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Things good and profitable for our souls, and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: A Christian ending to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful, and a good defence before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us ask.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: Through the compassions of Thine Only‑begotten Son, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy Most‑holy, and good, and life‑creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Peace be unto all.

 

People: And to thy spirit.

 

Priest: Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess:

 

People: The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, one in essence and indivisible.

 

Priest: The doors! The doors! In wisdom let us attend.

 

 

The Confession of Faith

 

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only­begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made;

Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incar­nate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;

And was cru­cified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried;

And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures;

And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead;

Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets.

In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead,

And the life of the age to come.

 

 

The Canon of the Eucharist

 

Priest: Let us stand well, let us stand with fear, let us attend, that we may offer the holy oblation in peace.

 

People: A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise.

 

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

People: And with thy spirit.

 

Priest: Let us lift up our hearts.

 

People: We lift them up unto the Lord.

 

Priest: Let us give thanks unto the Lord.

 

People: It is meet and right to wor­ship the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, one in essence and indivisible.

 

Priest: Singing the triumphal hymn, shouting, crying aloud, and saying:

 

People: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth: heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

 

Priest: Take, eat: this is My Body, which is broken for you for the remis­sion of sins.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Drink of it, all of you: this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Thine Own of Thine Own we offer unto Thee, in behalf of all and for all.

 

People: We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks unto Thee, O Lord; and we pray unto Thee, O our God.

 

Priest:              Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary.

 

People: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most-blameless, and Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

 

Priest: Among the first, remember, O Lord our Most Reverend Bishop (name), whom do Thou grant unto Thy holy churches, in peace, safety, honour, health, and length of days, rightly dividing the word of Thy truth.

 

People: And each and every one.

 

Priest: And grant unto us that with one mouth and one heart we may glo­rify and hymn Thy most honourable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: And may the mercies of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all.

 

People: And with thy spirit.

 

Priest: Having called to remem­brance all the saints, again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: For the precious Gifts offered and sanctified, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That our God, the Lover of mankind, having accepted them upon His holy and most heavenly and noetic altar as an odour of spiritual fra­grance, will send down upon us divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us pray.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and neces­sity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: An angel of peace, a faith­ful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Pardon and remission of our sins and offences, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Things good and profitable for our souls, and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: A Christian ending to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful, and a good defense before the dread judg­ment seat of Christ, let us ask.

 

People: Grant this, O Lord.

 

Priest: Having asked for the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commit our­selves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: And vouchsafe us, O Master, that with boldness and without con­demnation we may dare to call upon Thee the heavenly God as Father, and to say:

 

People: Our Father, Who art in the heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into tempta­tion, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Peace be unto all.

 

People: And to thy spirit.

 

Priest: Bow your heads unto the Lord.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: Through the grace and com­passions and love for mankind of Thine Only‑begotten Son, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy Most‑holy and good and life‑creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Let us attend! Holy Things are for the holy.

 

People: One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

           The prescribed Communion Hymn (Psalm) is sung.

 

Priest: With fear of God and with faith draw nigh.

 

People: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. God is the Lord, and hath appeared unto us.

 

 

Prayer before Communion

 

Communion is reserved for Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves with fasting, prayer and confession beforehand.

 

           I believe, O Lord, and I con­fess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who didst come into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. Moreover, I believe that this is truly Thy most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine Own pre­cious Blood. Wherefore, I pray Thee: Have mercy on me and forgive me my transgressions, voluntary and involun­tary, in word and deed, in knowledge and in ignorance. And vouchsafe me to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries unto the remission of sins and life everlasting. Amen.

           Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, receive me today as a communi­cant; for I will not speak of the Mys­tery to Thine enemies, nor will I give Thee a kiss as did Judas, but like the Thief do I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.

           Let not the communion of Thy holy Mysteries be unto me for judg­ment or condemnation O Lord, but for healing of soul and body.

 

People: Receive ye the Body of Christ; taste ye of the Fountain of Immortality.

 

Prayer after Communion

 

We thank Thee, O Master who lovest mankind, benefactor of our souls, that thou hast made us worthy this day of Thy heavenly and immortal Mysteries. Make straight our path, strengthen us all in Thy fear, guard our life, make firm our steps; through the prayers and intercessions of the glorious Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary and of all Thy saints.

 

Priest: Save, O God, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.

 

People: We have seen the True Light, we have received the Holy Spirit, we have found the True Faith, we worship the indivisible Trinity: for He hath saved us.

 

Priest: Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen. Let our mouths be filled with Thy praise, O Lord, that we may hymn Thy glory, for Thou hast vouchsafed us to partake of Thy holy, divine, immortal, and life‑creating Mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that we may meditate on Thy righ­teousness all the day long. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

Priest: Aright! Having partaken of the divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly, and life-creating, fearful Mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks unto the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: Having asked that the whole day may be perfect, holy, peace­ful, and sinless, let us commit our­selves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 

People: To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: For Thou art our sanctifica­tion, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: In peace let us depart.

 

People: In the name of the Lord.

 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

 

The Prayer behind the Ambo

 

Priest: Lord Who dost bless them that bless Thee and sanctify them that put their trust in Thee: Save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance; preserve the fullness of Thy Church, sanctify them that love the beauty of Thy house; do Thou glorify them by Thy divine power, and forsake us not that hope in Thee. Give peace to Thy world, to Thy churches, to the priests, and to all Thy people. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from Thee, the Father of lights, and unto Thee do we send up glory and thanksgiving and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

             Rejoice, O Isaiah. A Virgin is with child, and shall bear a Son, Emanuel, both God and man: and Orient is his name; Magnifying whom, we call the Virgin blessed.

            O Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns; Entreat ye the Lord that he will have mercy on our souls.

            Glory to Thee, O Christ-God, the Apostles’ boast, the Martyrs’ joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

 

Priest: Be thou exalted O Bridegroom, like unto Abraham; and be thou blessed like unto Isaac; and do thou multiply like unto Jacob, walking in peace and keeping the commandments of God in righteousness.

 

Priest: And thou O Bride: Be thou exalted like unto Sarah; and exult thou like unto Rebecca, and do thou multiply like unto Rachel, and rejoice thou in thy husband, fulfilling the conditions of the law; for so is it well-pleasing unto God.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

 

People: Lord, have mercy.

 

Priest: O God, our God, who didst come to Cana of Galilee, and didst bless there the marriage feast: Bless also, these Thy servants, who through Thy good providence are now united together in wedlock. Bless their goings out and their comings in; replenish their life with good things; receive their crowns into Thy kingdom, preserving them spotless, blameless, and without reproach, unto ages of ages.

 

People:  Amen.

 

Priest: Peace be unto all.

 

People:  And to thy spirit.

 

Priest: Bow your heads unto the Lord.

 

People:  To Thee, O Lord.

 

Priest: May the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the all-holy, consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, one Godhead, and one Kingdom, bless you; and grant unto you length of days, fair children, prosperity of life, and faith; and fill you with abundance of all earthly good things, and make you worthy to obtain the blessings of the promise, through the prayers of the holy Birth-giver of God, and of all the Saints.

 

People: Amen. Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth and for evermore (3).

 

Priest: The blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

People: Amen.

 

Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee.

 

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Father, bless.

 

Priest: May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, of the holy, glorious, and all‑praised apostles, of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, and Saint (whose temple it is), and Saint(s) (whose day it is), of the holy and Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.

 

People: Amen. God grant you many years.