March 2, 2016 </br>Wednesday of the Fourth Week of the Great Fast

March 2, 2016
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of the Great Fast

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

  1. Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.

The Fast that brings integrity has now run half its course.
These past days have proved acceptable,
and now we see the need of the days to come.
Our perception of their value will make them yield more abundant fruit.
Therefore, let us beseech Christ our Benefactor
who fasted and endured the Cross for us:
Grant that we might share in Your divine Pascha without condemnation
and pass our lives in peace,
worthily glorifying You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In Tone 5

  1. The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.

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

  1. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

With your souls filled with unquenchable love, O holy martyrs,
you endured the most terrible sufferings without ever denying Christ;
and you laid low the impudence of the torturers.
You kept the faith unwavering and unharmed
and have gone to dwell in heaven.
Therefore, having the boldness to approach the Lord,
beg Him to grant us His great mercy.

In Tone 1

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

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

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

O precious Cross, the boldness of the apostles,
You are revered by the Archangels, Powers and Principalities.
Save from all evil those who bow before You,
and make us worthy to pass through the course of the Fast in a holy way,
that we may see Your salvation and holy Resurrection.

In Tone 7

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

Bowing before the Cross of the Lord on this day, let us sing:
Rejoice, O Tree of Life;
You are the joy of the world who destroy Hades and Death;
Your strength puts the demons to flight.
You are the invincible weapon and support of believers;
preserve and sanctify those who bow before You.

In Tone 1

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

Martyrs, three in number, you contended mightily
against those who cruelly condemned you!
You endured many cruel pains with faith
and received the kingdom on high.
Therefore, pray that God will grant our souls peace and great mercy!

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

Martyrs, three in number, you contended mightily
against those who cruelly condemned you!
You endured many cruel pains with faith
and received the kingdom on high.
Therefore, pray that God will grant our souls peace and great mercy!

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

Let us praise Eutropius with spiritual songs,
together with the steadfast Cleonicus and Basiliscus!
By the grace of piety, they utterly consumed the tinder of ungodliness with fire.
Now they illumine the ends of the earth
like brilliant beacons with divine and fiery radiance,
casting all delusion into darkness.

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

When your heads were cut off, courageous athletes,
you crushed the head of the enemy beneath your beautiful feet.
You are unwavering stars and living sacrifices,
treasures of the temple of heaven.
Glorious Eutropius, Basiliscus and Cleonicus,
entreat for peace for us all!

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

Today the inaccessible Lord draws me close to Him.
He endures His Passion to free me from my passions.
He who gives light to the blind, receives spitting from impure lips
and permits Himself to be scourged to save the captives.
When His Mother, the Virgin, saw Him on the Cross, she sighed and said:
Alas, O my beloved Child!
You surpass every mortal in beauty; yet You are now without charm or attraction,
having neither grace, nor form, nor life.
Alas! O Light of my eyes,
a sword pierces my hear, and I suffer inwardly to see You so.
I sing and praise Your Passion,
I venerate Your infinite mercy,
O long-suffering Lord, glory to You.

Prokeimenon I, Tone 4
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,* who alone does wondrous things.
verse: O God, give Your judgment to the king, and to the king’s son Your justice.

Reading I
Genesis 9:18-10:1
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was peopled. Now Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of the wine, he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside about it. Shem and Japheth, however, took a robe, and holding it on their backs, they walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness; since their faces were turned the other way, they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah woke up from his drunkenness and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said: “Cursed be Caanan! The lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers.” He also said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! Let Canaan be his slave. May God expand Japheth, so that he dwells among the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.” Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. The whole lifetime of Noah was nine hundred and fifty years; then he died. These are the descendants of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, to whom sons were born after the flood.

Prokeimenon II, Tone 4
To be near God is my happiness.* I have made the Lord God my refuge.
verse: How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.

Reading II
Proverbs 12:23-13:9
A shrewd man conceals his knowledge, but the hearts of fools gush forth folly. The diligent hand will govern, but the slothful will be enslaved. Anxiety in a man’s heart depresses it, but a kindly word makes it glad. The just man surpasses his neighbour, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. The slothful man catches not his prey, but the wealth of the diligent man is great. In the path of justice there is life, but the abominable way leads to death. A wise son loves correction, but the senseless one heeds no rebuke. From the fruit of his words a man eats good things, but the treacherous one craves violence. He who guards his mouth protects his life; to open wide one’s lips brings downfall. The soul of the sluggard craves in vain, but the diligent soul is amply satisfied. Anything deceitful the just man hates, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace. Virtue guards one who walks honestly, but the downfall of the wicked is sin. One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. A man’s riches serve as ransom for his life, but the poor man heeds no rebuke. The light of the just shines gaily, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.

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