March 25, 2014 </br>Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

March 25, 2014
Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

When the All-Holy Virgin completed the fourteenth year after her birth and was entering her fifteenth year, after having spent eleven years of living and serving in the Temple of Jerusalem, the priests informed her that, according to the Law, she could not remain in the Temple but was required to be betrothed and enter into marriage. What a great surprise to the priests was the answer of the All-Holy Virgin that she had dedicated her life to God and that she desired to remain a Virgin until death, not wanting to enter into marriage with anyone! Then, according to Divine Providence, Zacharias, the high priest and father of the Forerunner, under the inspiration of God, and in agreement with the other priests, gathered twelve unwed men from the Tribe of David to betroth the Virgin Mary to one of them to preserve her virginity and to care for her. She was betrothed to Joseph of Nazareth who was her kinsman. In the house of Joseph, the All-Holy Virgin continued to live as she did in the Temple of Solomon, occupying her time in the reading of Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in Godly-thoughts, in fasting and in handiwork. She rarely went anywhere outside the house nor was she interested in worldly things and events. She spoke very little to anyone, if at all, and never without special need. More frequently she communicated with both of Joseph’s daughters. When the fullness of time had come, as prophesied by Daniel the Prophet, and when God was pleased to fulfill His promise to the banished Adam and to the Prophets, the great Archangel Gabriel appeared in the chamber of the All-Holy Virgin and, as some priestly writers wrote, precisely at that same moment when she held open the book of the Prophet Isaiah and was contemplating his great prophecy: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son!” (Isaiah 7:13). Gabriel appeared in all of his angelic brightness and saluted her: “Rejoice, highly favored one! The Lord is with you” (St. Luke 1:28), and the rest in order as it is written in the Gospel of the saintly Luke. With this angelic annunciation and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin, the salvation of mankind and restoration of all creation began. The history of the New Testament was opened by the words of the Archangel Gabriel: “Rejoice, highly favored one” This is to imply that the New Testament was to signify joy to mankind and to all created things. It is from this that the Annunciation is considered not only a great feast, but a joyful feast as well. (Prologue of Ohrid)

VESPERS ON MONDAY NIGHT

Bright Vestments

 

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 8

8. Today, as we pass the middle of Lent,
by the might of the Cross
let us glorify the mighty God and Savior
Who was lifted up in the midst of the earth.
As we look, show us Your sufferings, Master,
and Your precious Resurrection,
granting us purification and great mercy.

7. Let us humble our fleshly passions
by turning away from food and laying our pleasures aside.
Let us kiss the tree of the Cross in faith.
It reveals itself through veneration,
and sanctifies all with divine grace!
So let us sing to the Lord:
We give thanks to You, tender-hearted One,
for You are saving our souls through the Cross!

6. As we all venerate the Cross, let us cry:
Rejoice, Tree of life!
Rejoice, holy scepter of Christ!
Rejoice, heavenly glory of man!
Rejoice, majesty of faith!
Rejoice, invincible weapon!
Rejoice, vanquisher of enemies!
Rejoice, shining radiance which saves the world!
Rejoice, great glory of martyrs!
Rejoice, power of saints!
Rejoice, light of the angels!
Rejoice, precious Cross!

In Tone 6

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

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

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

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

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

Glory… Now…

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

 

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Hear my voice, O God, when I pray to You
verse: Deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy.

 

Reading I
Genesis 8:21-9:7

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Hear us, O God our Saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of those far off at sea.
verse: To You is due praise, O God, in Sion; and to You shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem

Reading II
Proverbs 11:19-12:6

Readings for the Feast
Genesis 28:10-17
Ezekiel 43:27-44:4
Proverbs 9:1-11

O Lord, keep us this evening…

Ekteny

 

Aposticha

In Tone 8

The Pharisee used many words in praising himself and was cast aside,
but the humble Publican prayed in silence and was justified!
From this example, learn the truth, my soul!
Accept humility as a way of life
for Christ promised grace to the humble,
for He is the Lover of mankind!

I have lifted up my eyes to You enthroned in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of 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 has mercy on us.

The Pharisee used many words in praising himself and was cast aside,
but the humble Publican prayed in silence and was justified!
From this example, learn the truth, my soul!
Accept humility as a way of life
for Christ promised grace to the humble,
for He is the Lover of mankind!

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for we have been filled with shame; our soul is all too full of the mockery of the rich, of the contempt of the proud.

Entreat our God, martyrs of the Lord,
and beseech great bounties for our souls,
and purification of our many transgressions!

In Tone 4, Glory… Now…

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

 

Song of Simeon and Trisagion Prayers

 

Troparion

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

 

3 Prostrations (in silence)

 

Great Dismissal

 

**************************************
If Great Compline is not served, then the following may be taken after Readings:

 

Triple Ekteny

O Lord, keep us this evening…

Ekteny

 

Lytia

In Tone 1

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

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

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

***** for Saturday and Sunday only, other wise Glory… Now… Today Gabriel…***

In Tone 8, Glory…

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice:
for the Son who is co-eternal with the Father,
sharing His throne, and equally without beginning,
has submitted Himself to emptying in His compassion and merciful love for mankind,
according to the good pleasure and the counsel of the Father;
and he has gone to dwell in a Virgin’s womb, sanctified by the Spirit.
Wonder! God is come among men;
He who cannot be contained is contained in a womb;
the timeless enters time, and great mystery:
His conception is without seed, his emptying past telling!
So great is this mystery!
For God empties Himself, takes flesh,
and is fashioned as a creature,
when the angel tells the pure Virgin of her conception:
Rejoice, full of grace; the Lord who has great mercy is with you!

In Tone 2, Now…

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

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In the sixth month the Archangel was sent to the pure Virgin
and with his greeting “Rejoice!” he brought good tidings,
that the Deliverer would come forth from her.
And so, accepting his salutation with faith,
she conceived You, the pre-eternal God,
who was pleased to become man ineffably,
for the salvation of our souls.

Sing to the Lord, bless His Name. Proclaim His help day by day.

The Theotokos heard a voice she knew not,
when the Archangel brought her the glad tidings of the Annunciation;
and accepting the salutation with faith, she conceived You, the pre-eternal God.
Therefore in great rejoicing we also cry to You:
O God, who without change has been made flesh from her,
grant peace to the world, and to our souls great mercy.

Sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord all the earth.

Lo, our restoration is now made manifest to us:
God is ineffably united to men.
At the words of the Archangel error is laid low;
for the Virgin receives joy, and the things of the earth have become heaven.
The world is loosened from the ancient curse.
Let the creation rejoice exceedingly and raise its voice to sing:
O Lord, our Maker and Deliverer, glory to You.

Glory… Now…

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

 

Troparion

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

**************************************

 


VESPERS WITH DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ON TUESDAY NIGHT

 

Kathisma Reading
There is no kathisma reading.

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 6

10. You endured the Cross and passion
in the midst of the earth, merciful Lord,
granting all men redemption and freedom from passions.
Therefore on the middle day of the fast,
we set Your Cross before us and venerate it with rejoicing!
Glorious with the light of divine virtues,
may we be counted worthy to see Your passion and life-giving Resurrection,
only merciful Word of God.

9. Nailed upon the Cross,
Your side pierced with a spear,
You were counted as a lifeless corpse,
and given gall to drink, long-suffering Master,
who sweetened the waters of Marah by the hand of Moses!
Therefore I entreat You and pray:
Uproot the bitter passions from my understanding,
sweeten my mind with the honey of repentance,
and grant that I may worship at Your holy passion.

In Tone 1

8. Today we see the mighty Cross placed before us
which Moses once prefigured with outstretched arms,
putting Amalek to flight!
Peoples, let us touch it trembling, with pure minds and lips,
for Christ was raised up on it when he slew death!
May we all be counted worthy of His grace,
and praising the Savior of all with hymns inspired by God,
let us pray that we may come to His saving Resurrection!

In Tone 4

7. Come, let us worship the life-giving Cross of Christ our God,
for today it is set before us.
Death is wounded through the Cross,
and the power of the Resurrection newly revealed to us who have fallen.
Let us cry to our Deliverer:
You suffered of Your own will for our sake
to save the whole creation.
Glory to You, our God!

6. Your Cross, Savior,
has been given to Christians as an invincible power;
the hosts of the enemy are put to flight through it,
and Your Church, O Christ, rightly confessing the true faith,
is seen overshadowed with peace.
We kiss it, and raise our fervent cry to You:
Make us also worthy of the inheritance of Your saints!

In Tone 4

5. In the sixth month, the archangel was sent to the pure Virgin.
Telling her to rejoice, he announced the good tidings
that the Savior would be born of her.
Having accepted his greeting, she conceived the eternal God
who ineffably deigned to become incarnate
for the salvation of our souls.

4. The Mother of God, upon hearing, did not understand
the message of the archangel
because he was speaking the words of glad tidings to her.
She accepted his greeting with faith
and conceived You, the eternal God.
Therefore, we joyfully sing to You:
O God, You became incarnate, without change, from her;
and You grant peace and great mercy to the world.

3. Behold, the promised One now manifests himself to us.
It is beyond comprehension that God unites himself to the human race.
At the word of the archangel, deceit is cast out
because the Virgin receives the Joy.
The things of the earth become like heaven;
the world is freed of the original curse.
Let creation rejoice,
and may voices cry out:
O our Creator and Deliverer,
O Lord, glory to You!

In Tone 1 

2. The archangel Gabriel, the spirit who sees God face to face,
gazes upon the brilliant, saving, and gleaming Light.
He sings heavenly and awesome hymns with the ranks on high.
He implores God to grant peace and great mercy to our souls.

1. The great mystery, previously unknown to the angels and hidden from eternity,
is made known to you alone, O Gabriel.
When you came to Nazareth, you told it to the pure One.
Together with her, implore God to grant peace
and great mercy to our souls.

You made the winds your messengers, and flaming fire your ministers.

O prince of angels, all-perfect Gabriel,
you are filled with the divine brightness.
You fulfill the wishes and commands of the Almighty.
Save those who lovingly venerate you.
Always ask God to grant peace and great mercy to our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory… Now…

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

 

Entrance with Gospel

 

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Sing to God;*  praise His name!
verse: Cast a highway for Him who goes up to the high places!

Reading I
Genesis 9: 8-17

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Let Your salvation, O God* receive me.
verse: Let the poor see and be glad!

Reading II
Proverbs 12: 8-22

 

Small Ekteny and Trisagion Hymn

 

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Proclaim from day to day* the good tidings of our God’s salvation.
verse: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Epistle
Hebrews 2:11-18

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: He will descend like rain on a fleece, and like drops dripping on the earth.
verse: Let His name be blessed through the ages; His name exists before the sun.

Gospel
Luke 1:24-38

Instead of “It is Truly Right…” we sing:
O earth, announce good news of great joy; praise God’s glory, O heavens.
And the Irmos: Let no hand of the profane touch God’s living ark,* but instead let the lips of those who are believers* sing out ceaselessly in the words of the angel,* crying out with great joy to the Mother of God:* Hail, O Full of Grace! The Lord is with you.

Communion Hymn
For the Lord has chosen Sion;* He has chosen it for His dwelling.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

 

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