March 9, 2016 </br>Wednesday of the Fifth Week of the Great Fast

March 9, 2016
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of the Great Fast

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

At Psalm 140

In Tone 3

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

Even more than all others, I have sinned of my own will,
and for that, I am condemned;
the arrogance of my flesh is the enemy of my soul.
O guide for those who have lost their way
and light for those without hope,
save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

For the Prophet says,
my soul shall live and shall praise You, O Lord.
I am the lost sheep;
call me back and number me among Your flock.
Give me time to repent that I may sigh and cry out to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Greatly despising You commandments,
I have sinned, O Christ our God.
Spare me, O Benefactor,
that my inner eye may be freed from darkness;
and in fear I shall cry out to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Having been encircled by wild beasts,
I beseech You to deliver me from their clutches, O Lord.
You wish that all be saved
and come to the knowledge of the truth;
save all Your people, O Creator,
that I may be saved with them;
save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

I am lying here in sin;
heal me, O Redeemer and Benefactor;
be not far from me, O Saviour.
Raise me up, O almighty One,
that I may confess all my sins and cry to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Just as the foolish servant,
I have hidden the talent You gave me;
I have buried it in the ground.
I have been condemned as useless,
and I dare not ask for anything more.
In Your goodness, spare me,
that I may also cry to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Kindly, You dried up the marsh of her passions,
when the woman with the flow of blood touched Your garment.
I have received the forgiveness of my sins
by drawing near to You in complete faith;
receive me, as You accepted her, and heal me of my grief;
save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Lord, Your word has made heaven and earth,
and You shall come to sit upon a throne;
and we shall all stand in Your presence and confess our sins.
Before that day comes, receive my repentance;
save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Mercifully look upon me and spare me, O Saviour;
pour out the streams of healing upon my poor and afflicted soul.
Purify it from all stain
so that I may sing to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

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

Now my soul has been quickly assailed by the sword that the devil prepared;
he has made me a stranger to the light of Your face, O Lord.
But, by the power of Your arm,
draw me up from his jaws;
save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

Glory…

Your love is beyond expression, O merciful and good Lord!
You alone are without sin!
Do not reject me far from Your face,
that, with thanksgiving and with joy,
I may sing and cry out to You:
Save me, O Lord, before I completely perish.

Now…

Zealously, we sing of the ineffable condescension of God!
It is a miraculous and wondrous birth!
How has the Virgin carried You in her arms as a child,
for You are her Creator and her God?
O Benefactor, who willed to become incarnate from her,
save me before I completely perish, O Lord.

 

Prokeimenon I, Tone 4
O Lord, God of vengeance,* show Yourself.
verse: Rise up, O Judge of the earth; give the proud what they deserve!

Reading I
Genesis 17:1-9
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said: “I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless. Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.” God also said to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

Prokeimenon II, Tone 6
O sing to the Lord a new song,* sing to the Lord all the earth!
verse: O sing to the Lord; bless His name.

Reading II
Proverbs 15:20-16:9
A wise son makes his father glad, but a fool of a man despises his mother. Folly is joy to the senseless man, but the man of understanding goes the straight way. Plans fail when there is no counsel, but they succeed when counsellors are many. There is joy for a man in his utterance; a word in season, how good it is! The path of life leads the prudent man upward, that he may avoid the nether world below. The Lord overturns the house of the proud, but he preserves intact the widow’s landmark. The wicked man’s schemes are an abomination to the Lord, but the pure speak what is pleasing to him. He who is greedy of gain brings ruin on his own house, but he who hates bribes will live. The just man weighs well his utterance, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil. The Lord is far from the wicked, but the prayer of the just he hears. A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart; good news invigorates the bones. He who listens to salutary reproof will abide among the wise. He who rejects admonition despises his own soul, but he who heeds reproof gains understanding. The fear of the Lord is training for wisdom, and humility goes before honours. Man may make plans in his heart, but what the tongue utters is from the Lord. All the ways of a man may be pure in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who proves the spirit. Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. The Lord has made everything for his own ends, even the wicked for the evil day. Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord; I assure you that he will not go unpunished. By kindness and piety guilt is expiated, and by the fear of the Lord man avoids evil. When the Lord is pleased with a man’s ways, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. Better a little with virtue, than a large income with injustice. In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.

Epistle
Hebrews 12:1-10
Brothers and Sisters, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children— “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness.

Gospel
Matthew 20:1-6
The Lord said this parable, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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