March 26, 2016 </br>Great and Holy Saturday

March 26, 2016
Great and Holy Saturday

Great Vespers with Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

At Psalm 140

In Tone 1

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

Accept our evening prayers, O holy Lord,
and grant us the remission of our sins,
for You alone have revealed to the world the Resurrection.

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

Walk about Zion, you people, and encompass her;
and within her walls give glory to Him Who is risen from the dead.
For He is our God Who has delivered us
from our iniquities.

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

Come, you people, let us praise and worship Christ,
glorifying His Resurrection from the dead.
For He is our God Who has delivered the world
from the delusion of the enemy.

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

By Your Passion, O Christ,
we have been set free from our passions,
and by Your Resurrection
we have been delivered from corruption.
O Lord, glory be to You!

In Tone 8

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

Today hell groans and cries aloud:
“It had been better for me had I not accepted Mary’s Son,
for He has come to me and destroyed my power;
He has shattered the gates of brass,
and as God He raised up the souls that I once held.”
Glory to Your Cross, O Lord, and to Your Resurrection!

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

Today hell groans and cries aloud:
“It had been better for me had I not accepted Mary’s Son,
for He has come to me and destroyed my power;
He has shattered the gates of brass,
and as God He raised up the souls that I once held.”
Glory to Your Cross, O Lord, and to Your Resurrection!

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

Today hell groans and cries aloud:
“My power has been destroyed.
I accepted a mortal man as one of the dead;
yet I cannot keep Him prisoner,
and with Him I shall lose all those whom I ruled.
I held in my power the dead from all ages;
but see, He is raising them all.”
Glory to Your Cross, O Lord, and to Your Resurrection.

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

Today hell groans and cries aloud:
“My dominion has been swallowed up;
the Shepherd has been crucified and He has raised Adam.
I am deprived of those whom I once ruled;
in my strength I have devoured them, but now I have cast them forth.
He who was crucified has emptied the tombs;
the power of death has no more strength.”
Glory to Your Cross, O Lord, and to Your Resurrection.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Moses the Great mystically prefigured this present day, saying:
“And God blessed the seventh day.”
For this is the blessed Sabbath, this is the day of rest,
on which the only-begotten Son of God rested from all His works.
Suffering death in accordance with the plans of salvation,
He kept the Sabbath in the flesh;
and returning once again to what He was,
through His Resurrection He has granted us eternal life,
for He alone is good and loves mankind.

Now…

Let us praise the Virgin Mary,
glory of all the world and gate of heaven,
Daughter of men and Mother of the Lord,
song of the angelic hosts and adornment of the faithful.
For she is revealed as heaven and the temple of the Godhead.
It is she who, breaking down the middle wall of enmity,
established peace and opened the palace of the King.
With her, therefore, as anchor of our faith,
we have as our defender the Lord whom she has borne.
Be of good courage, then, people of God, be of good courage:
for in His almighty power
He will make war upon our foes.

Reading I
Genesis 1:1-13
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day. Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed-the second day. Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed – the third day.

Reading II
Isaiah 60:1-16
Thus says the Lord: Rise up in splendour! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light,            and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered for you, the rams of Nebaioth shall be your sacrifices; They will be acceptable offerings on my altar, and I will enhance the splendour of my house. What are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their cotes? All the vessels of the sea are assembled, with the ships of Tarshish in the lead, To bring your children from afar with their silver and gold, In the name of the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you. Foreigners shall rebuild your walls, and their kings shall be your attendants; Though I struck you in my wrath, yet in my good will I have shown you mercy. Your gates shall stand open constantly; day and night they shall not be closed But shall admit to you the wealth of nations, and their kings, in the vanguard. For the people or kingdom shall perish that does not serve you; those nations shall be utterly destroyed. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you: the cypress, the plane and the pine, To bring beauty to my sanctuary, and glory to the place where I set my feet. The children of your oppressors shall come, bowing low before you; All those who despised you shall fall prostrate at your feet. They shall call you “City of the Lord,” “Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Once you were forsaken, hated and unvisited, Now I will make you the pride of the ages, a joy to generation after generation. You shall suck the milk of nations, and be nursed at royal breasts; You shall know that I, the Lord, am your saviour, your redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Reading III
Exodus 12:1-11
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole, with its head and shanks and inner organs. None of it must be kept beyond the next morning; whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up. This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the Lord.”

Reading IV
Jonah 1:1-4:11
This is the word of the Lord that came to Jonah, son of Amittai: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the Lord. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the Lord. The Lord, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea, and in the furious tempest that arose the ship was on the point of breaking up. hen the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god. To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship, and lay there fast asleep. The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Rise up, call upon your God! Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.” Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.” So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah. “Tell us,” they said, “what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country, and to what people do you belong?” “I am a Hebrew,” Jonah answered them; “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him, “How could you do such a thing!”-They knew that he was fleeing from the Lord, because he had told them.- “What shall we do with you,” they asked, “that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more turbulent. Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.” Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not, for the sea grew ever more turbulent. Then they cried to the Lord: “We beseech you, O Lord, let us not perish for taking this man’s life; do not charge us with shedding innocent blood, for you, Lord, have done as you saw fit.” Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea’s raging abated. Struck with great fear of the Lord, the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.

But the Lord sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From the belly of the fish Jonah said this prayer to the Lord, his God: Out of my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me. Then I said, “I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple.” The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me; seaweed clung about my head. Down I went to the roots of the mountains; the bars of the nether world were closing behind me forever, But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; My prayer reached you in your holy temple. Those who worship vain idols forsake their source of mercy. But I, with resounding praise, will sacrifice to you; What I have vowed I will pay: deliverance is from the Lord. Then the Lord commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

But this was greatly displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. “I beseech you, Lord,” he prayed, “is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish. And now, Lord, please take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord asked, “Have you reason to be angry?” Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it, where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city. And when the Lord God provided a gourd plant, that grew up over Jonah’s head, giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort, Jonah was very happy over the plant. But the next morning at dawn God sent a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered. And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind; and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint. Then he asked for death, saying, “I would be better off dead than alive.” But God said to Jonah, “Have you reason to be angry over the plant?” “I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.” Then the Lord said, “You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labour and which you did not raise; it came up in one night and in one night it perished. And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?”

Reading V
Joshua 5:10-15
While the Israelites were encamped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth of the month. On the day after the Passover they ate of the produce of the land in the form of unleavened cakes and parched grain. On that same day after the Passover on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. No longer was there manna for the Israelites, who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan. While Joshua was near Jericho, he raised his eyes and saw one who stood facing him, drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you one of us or of our enemies?” He replied, “Neither. I am the captain of the host of the Lord and I have just arrived.” Then Joshua fell prostrate to the ground in worship, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the host of the Lord replied to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy.” And Joshua obeyed.

The following reading is never omitted.

Reading VI
Exodus 13:20-15:19
The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man and beast, for it belongs to me.” Moses said to the people, “Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, that place of slavery. It was with a strong hand that the Lord brought you away. Nothing made with leaven must be eaten. This day of your departure is in the month of Abib. Therefore, it is in this month that you must celebrate this rite, after the Lord , your God, has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers he would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and the seventh day shall also be a festival to the Lord .

Only unleavened bread may be eaten during the seven days; no leaven and nothing leavened may be found in all your territory. On this day you shall explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ It shall be as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead; thus the law of the Lord will ever be on your lips, because with a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. Therefore, you shall keep this prescribed rite at its appointed time from year to year.

“When the Lord , your God, has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, which he swore to you and your fathers he would give you, you shall dedicate to the Lord every son that opens the womb; and all the male firstlings of your animals shall belong to the Lord . Every first-born of an ass you shall redeem with a sheep. If you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck. Every first-born son you must redeem. If your son should ask you later on, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall tell him, ‘With a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, that place of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, every first-born of man and of beast. That is why I sacrifice to the Lord everything of the male sex that opens the womb, and why I redeem every first-born of my sons.’ Let this, then, be as a sign on your hand and as a pendant on your forehead: with a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

Now, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the Philistines’ land, though this was the nearest; for he thought, should the people see that they would have to fight, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. Instead, he rerouted them toward the Red Sea by way of the desert road. In battle array the Israelites marched out of Egypt.

Moses also took Joseph’s bones along, for Joseph had made the Israelites swear solemnly that, when God should come to them, they would carry his bones away with them. Setting out from Succoth, they camped at Etham near the edge of the desert. The Lord preceded them, in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light. Thus they could travel both day and night. Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night ever left its place in front of the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn about and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, just opposite, by the sea. Pharaoh will then say, ‘The Israelites are wandering about aimlessly in the land. The desert has closed in on them.’ Thus will I make Pharaoh so obstinate that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord .” This the Israelites did. When it was reported to the king of Egypt that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants changed their minds about them. “What have we done!” they exclaimed. “Why, we have released Israel from our service!”

So Pharaoh made his chariots ready and mustered his soldiers- six hundred first-class chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt, with warriors on them all. So obstinate had the Lord made Pharaoh that he pursued the Israelites even while they were marching away in triumph. The Egyptians, then, pursued them; Pharaoh’s whole army, his horses, chariots and charioteers, caught up with them as they lay encamped by the sea, at Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. Pharaoh was already near when the Israelites looked up and saw that the Egyptians were on the march in pursuit of them. In great fright they cried out to the Lord .

And they complained to Moses, “Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert? Why did you do this to us? Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this in Egypt, when we said, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”

But Moses answered the people, “Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today. These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two, that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land. But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate that they will go in after them. Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and charioteers. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers.”

The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp, now moved and went around behind them. The column of cloud also, leaving the front, took up its place behind them, so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians and that of Israel. But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed without the rival camps coming any closer together all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land. When the water was thus divided, the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit; all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them right into the midst of the sea. In the night watch just before dawn the Lord cast through the column of the fiery cloud upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic; and he so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly drive. With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel, because the Lord was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the Lord told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and their charioteers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth. The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea, when the Lord hurled them into its midst. As the water flowed back, it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh’s whole army which had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not a single one of them escaped. But the Israelites had marched on dry land through the midst of the sea, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel on that day from the power of the Egyptians. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore and beheld the great power that the LORD had shown against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:

Reader: Let us sing to the Lord.

All: For He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my fathers God, and I will exalt him.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. Pharaohs chariots and his host he cast into the sea; and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea. The floods cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: In the greatness of Your majesty You overthrow Your adversaries; Your send forth Your fury, it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up, the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

All: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: Who is like You, O Lord , among the gods? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them. You have led in Your steadfast love the people whom You have redeemed, You have guided them by Your strength to Your holy abode.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: The peoples have heard, they tremble; pangs have seized on the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; the leaders of Moab, trembling seizes them; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of Your arm, they are as still as a stone, till Your people, O Lord , pass by, till the people pass by whom You have purchased.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: You bring them in, and plant them on Your own mountain, the place, O Lord , which You have made for Your abode, the sanctuary, Lord , which Your hands have established.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: The Lord will reign for ever and ever.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All: Let us sing to the Lord , for He has been clothed with glory.

Reader: Both now and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

All: Let us sing to the Lord

Reader: For He has been clothed with glory.

Reading VII
Zephaniah 3:8-15
Therefore, wait for me, says the Lord, against the day when I arise as accuser; For it is my decision to gather together the nations, to assemble the kingdoms, In order to pour out upon them my wrath, all my blazing anger; For in the fire of my jealousy shall all the earth be consumed. For then I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, That they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord; From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia and as far as the recesses of the North, they shall bring me offerings. On that day You need not be ashamed of all your deeds, your rebellious actions against me; For then will I remove from your midst the proud braggarts, And you shall no longer exalt yourself on my holy mountain. But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, Who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord; the remnant of Israel. They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; Nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue; They shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them. Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.

Reading VIII
Kings 17:8-24
The Lord said to Elijah: “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.” He left and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.” She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a bit of bread.”

“As the Lord, your God, lives,” she answered, “I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.”

“Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it tome. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’”

She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the Lord had foretold through Elijah. Some time later the son of the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness grew more severe until he stopped breathing.

So she said to Elijah, “Why have you done this to me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call attention to my guilt and to kill my son?”

“Give me your son,” Elijah said to her. Taking him from her lap, he carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. He called out to the Lord: “O Lord, my God, will you afflict even the widow with whom I am staying by killing her son?”

Then he stretched himself out upon the child three times and called out to the Lord: “O Lord, my God, let the life breath return to the body of this child.”

The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah; the life breath returned to the child’s body and he revived. Taking the child, Elijah brought him down into the house from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “See!” Elijah said to her, “your son is alive.”

“Now indeed I know that you are a man of God,” the woman replied to Elijah. “The word of the Lord comes truly from your mouth.”

Reading IX
Isaiah 61:10-62:5
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My delight is in her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Reading X
Genesis 22:1-18
Some time after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Ready!” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.” Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, took with him his son Isaac, and two of his servants as well, and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust, set out for the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar. Then he said to his servants: “Both of you stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over yonder. We will worship and then come back to you.” Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust and laid it on his son Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. “Father!” he said. “Yes, son,” he replied. Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?”

“Son,” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust.” Then the two continued going forward. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the Lord’s messenger called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.

“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”

As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son. Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh; hence people now say, “On the mountain the Lord will see.” Again the Lord’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing-all this because you obeyed my command.”

Reading XI
Isaiah 61:1-9
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Aliens shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the Lord, men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory. Instead of your shame you shall have a double portion, instead of dishonour you shall rejoice in your lot; therefore in your land you shall possess a double portion; yours shall be everlasting joy.

For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.

Reading XII
Kings 4:8-37
One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So she said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”

Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. Then he said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” He did so, and when she stood before Elisha, he told Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘You have lavished all this care on us; what can we do for you? Can we say a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’” She replied, “I am living among my own people.” Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?”

“Yes!” Gehazi answered. “She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”

“Call her,” said Elisha. When she had been called, and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”

“Please, my lord,” she protested, “you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant.” Yet the woman conceived, and by the same time the following year she had given birth to a son, as Elisha had promised.

The day came when the child was old enough to go out to his father among the reapers.

“My head hurts!” he complained to his father. “Carry him to his mother,” the father said to a servant. The servant picked him up and carried him to his mother; he stayed with her until noon, when he died in her lap. The mother took him upstairs and laid him on the bed of the man of God. Closing the door on him, she went out and called to her husband, “Let me have a servant and a donkey. I must go quickly to the man of God, and I will be back.”

“Why are you going to him today?” he asked. “It is neither the new moon nor the sabbath.” But she bade him good-bye, and when the donkey was saddled, said to her servant: “Lead on! Do not stop my donkey unless I tell you to.” She kept going till she reached the man of God on Mount Carmel. When he spied her at a distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi: “There is the Shunammite! Hurry to meet her, and ask if all is well with her, with her husband, and with the boy.”

“Greetings,” she replied. But when she reached the man of God on the mountain, she clasped his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the man of God said: “Let her alone, she is in bitter anguish; the Lord hid it from me and did not let me know.”

“Did I ask my lord for a son?” she cried out. “Did I not beg you not to deceive me?”

“Gird your loins,” Elisha said to Gehazi, “take my staff with you and be off; if you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff upon the boy.”

But the boy’s mother cried out: “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not release you.” So he started to go back with her. Meanwhile, Gehazi had gone on ahead and had laid the staff upon the boy, but there was no sound or sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and informed him that the boy had not awakened. When Elisha reached the house, he found the boy lying dead. He went in, closed the door on them both, and prayed to the Lord. Then he lay upon the child on the bed, placing his mouth upon the child’s mouth, his eyes upon the eyes, and his hands upon the hands. As Elisha stretched himself over the child, the body became warm. He arose, paced up and down the room, and then once more lay down upon the boy, who now sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” She came at his call, and Elisha said to her, “Take your son.” She came in and fell at his feet in gratitude; then she took her son and left the room.

Reading XIII
Isaiah 63:11-64:5
Then they remembered the days of old and Moses, his servant; Where is he who brought up out of the sea the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who put his holy spirit in their midst; Whose glorious arm was the guide at Moses’ right; Who divided the waters before them, winning for himself eternal renown; Who led them without stumbling through the depths like horses in the open country, Like cattle going down into the plain, the spirit of the Lord guiding them? Thus you led your people, bringing glory to your name. Look down from heaven and regard us from your holy and glorious palace! Where is your zealous care and your might, your surge of pity and your mercy? O Lord, hold not back, for you are our father. Were Abraham not to know us, nor Israel to acknowledge us, You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. Why have the wicked invaded your holy place, why have our enemies trampled your sanctuary? Too long have we been like those you do not rule, who do not bear your name. Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, As when brushwood is set ablaze, or fire makes the water boil! Thus your name would be made known to your enemies and the nations would tremble before you, While you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him. Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; We have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind.

Reading XIV
Jeremiah 31:31-34
The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the Lord. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

The following reading is never omitted.

Reading XV
Daniel 3:1-88
King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, which he set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then ordered the satraps, prefects, and governors, the counsellors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the officials of the provinces to be summoned to the dedication of the statue which he had set up.

The satraps, prefects, and governors, the counsellors, treasurers, judges, and magistrates and all the officials of the provinces, all these came together for the dedication and stood before the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. A herald cried out: “Nations and peoples of every language, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, you are ordered to fall down and worship the golden statue which King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall be instantly cast into a white-hot furnace.”

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, the nations and peoples of every language all fell down and worshiped the golden statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

At that point, some of the Chaldeans came and accused the Jews to King Nebuchadnezzar: “O king, live forever! O king, you issued a decree that everyone who heard the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments should fall down and worship the golden statue; whoever did not was to be cast into a white-hot furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have made administrators of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego; these men, O king, have paid no attention to you; they will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and sent for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were promptly brought before the king. King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace. They were bound and cast into the white-hot furnace with their coats, hats, shoes and other garments, for the king’s order was urgent. So huge a fire was kindled in the furnace that the flames devoured the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into it. But these three fell, bound, into the midst of the white-hot furnace. They walked about in the flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord.

In the fire Azariah stood up and prayed aloud:

“Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name. For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right, and all your judgments proper. You have executed proper judgments in all that you have brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers. By a proper judgment you have done all this because of our sins; For we have sinned and transgressed by departing from you, and we have done every kind of evil. Your commandments we have not heeded or observed, nor have we done as you ordered us for our good. Therefore all you have brought upon us, all you have done to us, you have done by a proper judgment. You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels; to an unjust king, the worst in all the world. Now we cannot open our mouths; we, your servants, who revere you, have become a shame and a reproach. For your name’s sake, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant. Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one, To whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea. For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; As though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord: Let all those be routed who inflict evils on your servants; Let them be shamed and powerless, and their strength broken; Let them know that you alone are the Lord God, glorious over the whole world.”

Now the king’s men who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with brimstone, pitch, tow, and faggots. The flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace, and spread out, burning the Chaldeans nearby. But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm.

Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God:

“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;

And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.

After verse 56: “Blessed are You in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever,” all stand and sing:

Refrain: Sing praise to the Lord, and exalt Him above all forever.

This refrain is sung after each verse of the Canticle.

Canticle of the Three Youths

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. R.
Angels of the Lord, and you heavens, bless the Lord. R.
All you waters above the heavens, and all you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord. R.
Sun and moon, and stars of heaven, bless the Lord. R.
Every shower and dew, and all you winds, bless the Lord. R.
Fire and heat, frost and chill, bless the Lord. R.
Ice and snow, and nights and days, bless the Lord. R.
Light and darkness, lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord. R.
Let the earth bless the Lord. R.
Mountains and hills, and everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord. R.
You springs, and seas and rivers, bless the Lord. R.
You dolphins and all water creatures, and all you birds of the air, bless the Lord. R.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. R.
You children of the earth, bless the Lord: O Israel, bless the Lord. R.
Priests of the Lord, and servants of the Lord, bless the Lord. R.
Spirits and souls of the just, holy people of humble heart, bless the Lord. R.
Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, bless the Lord. R.
Apostles, prophets and martyrs of the Lord, bless the Lord. R.
Let us bless the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. R.
Both now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen. R.
Let us praise, bless and worship the Lord. R.

Small Litany

Instead of the Trisagion Hymn
All who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia. (3)
Glory… Both now…
Have put on Christ, Alleluia.
All who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia.

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Let all the earth worship and sing to You, * chanting praise to Your Name, O Most High.
verse: Sing joyfully to God, all you the earth; chant the glory of His Name, give to Him noble praise.

Epistle
Romans 6:3-11
Brothers and Sisters, are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as (being) dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus

We do not sing Alleluia; in its place we sing the following verses from Psalm 81 in Tone 7:
Refrain: O God, arise and judge the earth, * for all the nations are Yours.
verse: God arises in the divine assembly; He judges in the midst of the heavens.
verse: How long will you judge unjustly and favour the cause of the wicked?
verse: Defend the lowly and the fatherless, give justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
verse: Rescue the lowly and poor; deliver them from the hands of the wicked.
verse: They do not know or understand; they go about in darkness.
verse: I have said: You are divine; you are the sons of the Most High. Yet like men, you will die; you shall fall like any other prince.

Gospel
Matthew 28:1-20
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Instead of the Cherubic Hymn, we sing:
Let all mortal flesh be silent and stand with fear and trembling. Let thoughts remove earthly concerns, for the King of kings, the Lord of lords comes to be sanctified. He is given as food to the faithful. All ranks of angelic choirs of glory go before Him. Many-eyed Cherubim, six-winged Seraphim hide their faces and cry out the hymn: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Hymn to the Mother of God
Do not weep over Me, O Mother, as you see in the grave the Son Whom you have conceived in your womb without seed. I will resurrect and be glorified and I, as God, will forever gloriously raise those who with faith and love magnify you.

Communion Verse
The Lord has waked as if from sleep: * He is risen and saves us. Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

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