“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 5
Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.
With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.
The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.
O Christ, Who granted resurrection to mankind,
You were led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!
What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind,
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.
Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.
We offer to You our evening worship,
O Light Whom the darkness of night can never extinguish.
For in these latter days Your radiance has appeared to the world,
shining in Your flesh as light reflected in a mirror.
Your brilliance has descended even to the depths of Hades and dissolved its gloom.
O Lord, Giver of Light, glory to You;
for You have shown the radiance of Your Resurrection to all the nations.
In Tone 4
If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.
You are the divine mediator between the old and new testaments,
the prophet and forerunner,
an angel in the flesh, the denouncer of lawlessness,
offspring of the womb of a barren woman,
a mouth breathing fire:
You upbraided Herod who committed iniquity.
Unable to endure your denunciation,
he commanded that your head be cut off!
It was brought in on a platter;
but like food of abstinence and divine delight,
it continued to denounce the adulterer!
I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.
Incited by her evil mother,
the depraved daughter asked for your all-glorious head,
the head that is cherished by the angels!
For she was unable to endure your denunciation.
Therefore, bearing it on a platter and dancing as she carried it,
she turned the joy of those at the banquet into lamentation.
Yet you continued to denounce the evil of adultery, blessed one.
Entreat Christ that our souls may be saved!
From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.
Made foolish by drunkenness,
Herod was carried away by adultery and voices carolling in song!
In fulfilment of his unrighteous oath,
he caused your murder, righteous and glorious prophet.
But your death openly announced immortality to those who had died before,
for you became a preacher and herald for those in hell,
proclaiming the saving coming of Christ our God!
Entreat Him that He may save and enlighten our souls!
In Tone 1
For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Most blessed Alexander,
you were a shepherd of the Church;
a champion of orthodoxy wisely casting down the Arian heresy!
You prayed with supplications, all-wise and glorious one,
that his wickedness be cast out of the Church!
Therefore, together we honour you!
Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.
you disdained the corruption of the flesh,
and in your abstinence and faith, vigilance and confession,
you were found to be an earthly angel and heavenly man!
Entreat Christ that He may grant our souls great mercy!
Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.
You truly submitted to the divine teachings of your namesake!
You hastened to the heights of the virtues,
as to the third heaven, glorious one!
You heard the ineffable and divine words of the Spirit!
As an unshakable foundation of the Orthodox,
by your prayers may the Saviour be merciful to us!
In Tone 6, Glory…
Again Herodius raves with raging lust.
Dance of deceit; feast of murder!
The Baptist is beheaded, and Herod forfeits all peace,
but through the prayers of the forerunner grant us your peace, O Lord!
In Tone 5, Glory… Now…
A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!
In Tone 5
O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
O Giver of Life,
streams of forgiveness, life, and salvation
poured forth from Your pierced side upon us all.
By accepting physical death, You granted us immortality;
by lying in the tomb, You freed us from Hades,
and as God, by rising from the dead,
You raised us with Yourself in glory.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O Lover of mankind,
Your crucifixion and descent into Hades are most wondrous.
For, as God, You thereby conquered the power of Hades,
and raised up in glory, with Yourself, those who were long imprisoned there.
You reopened Paradise and enabled them to enter.
Grant forgiveness of sins to us
who glorify Your Resurrection on the third day,
for You alone are all-merciful.
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
O Lover of mankind,
You accepted suffering in the flesh
and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, heal the passions of our flesh,
raise us from our dreadful iniquities, and save us.
In Tone 4, Glory…
Herod celebrated an unfitting birthday
and an utterly shameless feast,
for captivated by lust for a woman
and excited by a woman’s wantonness,
he had the head of the forerunner cut off!
But he did not cut out the tongue of the prophet
who denounced his foolishness!
Shedding innocent blood, he wished to conceal his iniquitous sin,
but he could not stop the voice which calls all to repentance!
And though he made merry in the midst of murder,
we lovingly celebrate the blessed slaying of John the Baptist,
for he preceded the Life into hell,
proclaiming Christ our God, the Orient from on high,
the only greatly merciful One,
to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death!
O most pure Virgin, hear the petitions of your servants.
Remove the burdens which oppress us,
and deliver us from our sorrows;
for you are the only firm and constant support on whom we rely.
O Mother of God, never permit us who call upon you
to be overwhelmed by our cares.
Hasten to fulfill the supplications of all who, in faith, cry out to you:
Rejoice, O Lady, helper of all mankind,
the joy, the refuge, and the salvation of our souls.
In Tone 5
Let us, the faithful, acclaim and worship the Word* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh,* to suffer death and to raise the dead,* by His glorious Resurrection.
In Tone 2, Glory… Now…
The remembrance of the just is worthy of praise,* but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner;* for it has shown that you are indeed more worthy of honour than the prophets.* You were found worthy to baptize the Lord whom you foretold.* Thereafter, you suffered for the truth* and, rejoicing, also announced the good news to those in the Abyss* that God had appeared as man,* taking away the sins of the world,* and granting to all of us the abundance of mercy.
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 5: You, my Saviour, descended to Hades,* and as the Almighty, You shattered its gates.* With Yourself You, as the Creator, raised the dead and shattered the sting of death,* and delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Mankind.* And so we cry out: “Save us, O Lord.”
Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Theotokion, Tone 5: Rejoice, O rampart and protection of those who have recourse to you!* Rejoice, O tranquil haven and Virgin,* who gave birth in the flesh to your Maker and God!* Fail not to intercede for those* who sing and worship the Child you bore.
Prokeimenon, Tone 5
You, O Lord, will guard us and will keep us* from this generation and for ever.
verse: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer left a just man. (Psalm 11:8, 2)
2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing for ever; from generation to generation I will announce Your truth with my mouth.
verse: For You have said: Mercy shall be built up for ever; in the heavens Your truth shall be prepared. (Psalm 88:2, 3)
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)