“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 6
- If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.
Truly the Seven Councils of the Fathers
although held at various times
were brought together under the canons and in good order
by the Patriarch Germanus the New.
By inscribing and establishing their doctrines
and offering themselves as intercessors with the Lord,
the Fathers are protectors of our salvation
and shepherds of the fold.
- I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.
The Book of the Law has truly honoured the seventh day for the Hebrews
who were dispersed in the shadow of the Law and devoted to it.
But you Fathers, by your participation in the Seven Councils,
by the inspiration of God who in six days finished this universe
and blessed the seventh day,
have made it even more honourable by decreeing the bounds of faith.
- From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.
You have given all, O thrice-blessed Fathers,
to know the Father, the Son, and the Spirit clearly by their works:
the Trinity who is the cause of the creation of the world.
By your mystical speech
you called the first three Councils and then the next four.
You have appeared as champions of the true faith,
proving that the Trinity is truly the Creator
of the four elements and of the world.
- For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
It would have sufficed Elisha the Prophet
to bend but once to instil life into the dead son of the servant,
but he kneeled and bent seven times.
Thus, in his foreknowledge he prophesied your gathering
through which you revived the Incarnation of the Word of God,
and humiliated Arius and his co-workers.
- Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.
In wisdom, O venerable Fathers,
you patched the garment of Christ
which had been torn by barking dogs;
for you could not possibly bear to see his nakedness,
like Shem and Japheth of old,
who could not bear to see the nakedness of their father.
Thus you confounded the foolish Arius
and all those who followed his doctrines.
- Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.
O Fathers, you are the true shepherds
who expelled from the Saviour’s fold
the Macedonians and the Nestorians,
the followers of Ephtechnis and Dioscorus,
Appolonarius, Sabellius, and Severus
because they became devouring wolves hidden in the skins of lambs.
Since you exposed these wretched ones, we truly honour you.
Let us honour today those mystical trumpets of the Spirit,
namely the God-mantled Fathers
who, speaking of divine things,
sang in the midst of the Church a hymn in unison,
teaching that the Trinity is One,
not differing in Substance or Godhead,
refuting Arius and struggling for the true faith.
They always intercede with the Lord
to have mercy on our souls.
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!
(1) Genesis 14: 14-20; (2) Deuteronomy 1: 8-11, 15-17; (3) Deuteronomy 10: 14-21
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…
Come all you people of the true faith,
let us celebrate today in faith and true worship
the anniversary of the God-mantled Fathers
who came together in the splendid city of Nicaea
from the whole inhabited world.
These Fathers, in the wisdom of their pious minds,
refuted the impious belief which the wretched Arius had invented.
They banished him from the universal Church by a decree of the Council.
They instructed all to confess openly
that the Son of God is consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father before all eternity,
decreeing the same with precision and true worship in the Canon of Faith.
Therefore, following their divine doctrines,
in true faith let us worship the Father and the Son and the most Holy Spirit,
the consubstantial Trinity in one Godhead.
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 8, Glory…
O Christ our God, You are above all praise* for You established our Fathers as lights to all the earth.* You led us to the true faith through them.* O Most Bountiful Lord, glory be to You!
O gracious Lord, for the sake of mankind You were born of a virgin;* through Your death on the cross You conquered death;* and through Your resurrection You revealed yourself as God.* O merciful Lord, do not disdain those whom You have created with Your own hands,* but show forth Your love for mankind.* Accept the intercession which the Mother, who bore You, makes in our behalf.** O Saviour, save Your despairing people!
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 8: Christ our God, You are glorified above all,* You established our fathers as beacons on the earth* and through them guided all of us to the true faith.* Glory to You, most compassionate Lord.
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.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 6: The Son who ineffably shone from the Father* was born two-fold of nature from a woman.* Beholding Him, we do not reject the image of His form;* but depicting it, we revere it faithfully.* Therefore the Church, holding the true faith,* kisses the icon of Christ’s becoming man.
Now and forever and ever. Amen.
Theotokion, Tone 6: Undaunted patroness of Christians,* O steadfast intermediary with the Creator,* turn not away from the suppliant voices of sinners,* but in your kindness come to help us who cry out to you in faith.* Be quick to intercede, make haste to plead,* for you are ever the patroness of those who honour you, O Mother of God.
Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers,* and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26-27)
Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: The God of gods, the Lord, spoke and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
verse: Gather to Him His devout ones, who with sacrifice make covenant with Him. (Psalm 49:1,5)
Praise the Lord from the heavens,* praise Him in the highest.* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalms 184:1; 32:1)