February 14, 2016 </br>First Sunday of the Great Fast: The Sunday of Orthodoxy, Octoechos Tone 5; The Repose of Our Venerable Father Constantine the Philosopher, in the Monastic Life, Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs (869); and our Venerable Father Auxentius (457-74); and the Venerable Maron the Wonderworker and Hermit [The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated today; Great Fast]

February 14, 2016
First Sunday of the Great Fast: The Sunday of Orthodoxy, Octoechos Tone 5; The Repose of Our Venerable Father Constantine the Philosopher, in the Monastic Life, Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs (869); and our Venerable Father Auxentius (457-74); and the Venerable Maron the Wonderworker and Hermit [The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated today; Great Fast]

GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

In Tone 6

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

The prophets, inspired by Your Spirit, O Lord,
foretold that You, whom nothing can contain or grasp,
and who has shone forth in eternity before the morning star
from the immaterial and bodiless womb of the Father,
was to become a child,
taking flesh from the Virgin,
being joined to men and seen by those on earth.
At the prayers of these Your prophets,
in Your compassion count us worthy of Your light,
for we sing the praises
of Your ineffable and holy Resurrection.

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

The divinely-inspired prophets preached You in word and honoured You in works,
and they received as their reward a life without end.
For they steadfastly refused, O Master,
to worship the creation instead of You, the Creator;
They renounced the whole world for the Gospel’s sake,
and in their suffering they were conformed to Your Passion which they had foretold.
At their intercessions, count us worthy to pass through the period of the Fast without offence,
for You alone are rich in mercy.

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

You who are uncircumscribed, O Master, in Your divine nature,
were pleased in the last times to take flesh and be circumscribed;
and in assuming flesh, You have also taken on Yourself all its distinctive properties.
Therefore we depict the likeness of Your outward form,
venerating it with an honour that is relative.
So we are exalted to the love of You,
and following the holy traditions handed down by the apostles,
from Your icon we receive the grace of healing.

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

As a precious adornment
the Church of Christ has received the venerable and holy icons of the Saviour Christ,
of God’s Mother and of all the saints.
Celebrating now their triumphant restoration,
she is made bright with grace and splendour,
and drives away all heretics.
With great rejoicing
she gives glory to God who loves mankind,
and who for her sake
has endured His voluntary Passion.

In Tone 4

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

О Father, you shone with the beauty of virtue,
and you went about the whole world,
like a bee putting the purest honey of divine wisdom
in the good hearts of those believing in the one Christ,
who came on earth and visited our lowliness
with his endless mercy and humility.

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

With the wisdom of meekness
and filled with love of God and knowledge of the true faith,
you netted the cities and countryside for God, О blessed Cyril.
By grace you came to those who had not received saving wisdom,
and therefore, we praise you with holy hymns.

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

You lived а life without fault and worthy of praise,
and your death was precious to God in the eyes of all.
Glorious with righteousness, О Father,
you gave your soul into God’s hands.
Therefore, we ask you to pray to him for mercy
for those who faithfully praise you.

In Tone 2, Glory…

The grace of truth has shone upon us;
the mysteries darkly prefigured in the times of old have now been openly fulfilled.
For behold, the Church is clothed in a beauty that surpasses all things earthly,
through the icon of the incarnate Christ
that was foreshadowed by the ark of testimony.
This is the safeguard of the orthodox faith;
for as we hold fast to the icon of the Saviour whom we worship,
we shall not go astray.
Let all who do not share this faith be covered with shame;
but we shall glory in the icon of the Word made flesh,
which we venerate but worship not as an idol.
So let us kiss it, and with all the faithful cry aloud:
O God, save Your people
and bless Your inheritance.

In Tone 5, 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!

Readings
(1) Deuteronomy 1:8-17; (2) Deuteronomy 10:14-21; (3) Wisdom 3:1-9

Aposticha

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 8, Glory…

The pure spiritual memory of the saints dwelt in your pure heart,
О venerable father, most blessed Cyril.
It showed you to be an exorcist terrifying to the evil spirits
and а doctor of hidden illnesses.
Therefore, since you have confidence before God, the Lover of mankind,
pray to him without ceasing to free us from stain of soul and body.

In Tone 2, Now…

Advancing from ungodliness to the true faith,
and illumined with the light of knowledge,
let us clap our hands and sing aloud,
offering praise and thanksgiving to God;
and with due honour
let us venerate the holy icons of Christ;
of the all-pure Virgin and the saints,
whether depicted on walls, on wooden panels or on holy vessels,
rejecting the impious teachings of the heretics.
For, as Basil says,
the honour shown the icon passes to the prototype it represents.
At the prayers of Your undefiled Mother and of all the Saints,
we beseech You, Christ our God,
to bestow upon us Your great mercy.

Troparia

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
We bow before Your most pure image, O kind Lord,* and we beg pardon for our sins, O Christ our God.* Of Your own will You consented to ascend the Cross in the flesh* to free Your handiwork from enslavement to the enemy.* In thanksgiving we cry aloud to You:** by coming to save the world, our Saviour, You filled all thing with joy.


DIVINE LITURGY

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.

Troparion, Tone 2: We bow before Your most pure image, O kind Lord,* and beg pardon for our sins, O Christ our God.* Of Your own will You consented to ascend the Cross in the flesh to free Your handiwork from enslavement to the enemy.* In thanksgiving we cry aloud to You:* by coming to save the world, our Saviour, You filled all things with joy.

Troparion, Tone 4: From your childhood you befriended wisdom,* O God-inspired Cyril.* Behold her as a pure virgin all radiant* you took her as a brie for yourself,* and as with beads of gold* she adorned your mind and soul.* O blessed Cyril,* like your namesake of Alexandria* we have found you wise in name and truth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Kontakion, Tone 2: With teaching that was sound and divinely inspired* you enlightened the world as with luminous rays.* Flashing like lightning and surrounding the world* you scattered the radiant word of God* in the west, the north, and the southern lands,* bringing light to the world with your wonders, O blessed Cyril.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 8: The uncircumscribed Word of the Father* became circumscribed when He took flesh of you, O Mother of God,* and when He restored the divine image to its ancient glory,* He suffused it with the beauty of God.* Therefore, confessing our salvation in deed and word,* we portray it in images.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers,* and praised and glorified is Your Name for ever.
verse: For You are righteous in everything You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26,27)

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His venerable ones. (Psalm 115:15)

Epistle
Hebrews 11:24-26,32-40; 12:1-2; Hebrews 7:26-8:2

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Moses and Aaron are among His priests and Samuel among those who call upon His name.
verse: They called on the Lord, and He heard them. (Psalm 98:6)
verse: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he shall delight exceedingly in His commandments.
verse: His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth. (Psalm 111:1,2)

Gospel
John 1:43-51; John 10:9-16

Hymn to the Mother of God
In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices: the angelic ranks and all the human race. Sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, virgins’ pride and boast, from whom God is made flesh and became a little Child; and He who is our God before all ages, He made your womb a throne, and He made it wider that all the heavens. In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices. Glory be to you.

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:1)* The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 111:6)

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