March 22, 2017 </br>Wednesday of the Fourth Week of the Great Fast Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at which we commemorate the Holy Venerable-Martyr Nikon and His Disciples, Martyred with Him (270-75)

March 22, 2017
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of the Great Fast Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at which we commemorate the Holy Venerable-Martyr Nikon and His Disciples, Martyred with Him (270-75)

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 4

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

Using abstinence as a bridle, you curbed the pleasures of the body
and the disobedience of the flesh, blessed one.
Courageous, you vanquished the full armor of the enemy
by the power of the Spirit.
Therefore, you were a leader of monastics
who ever followed your most wise and divine preaching, Nikon.

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.

Using abstinence as a bridle, you curbed the pleasures of the body
and the disobedience of the flesh, blessed one.
Courageous, you vanquished the full armor of the enemy
by the power of the Spirit.
Therefore, you were a leader of monastics
who ever followed your most wise and divine preaching, Nikon.

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

You shone forth from the east like the sun,
most glorious one,
bringing light to the whole world with the radiance of miracles,
guiding the choir of your brilliant disciples like a star!
Together with them you suffered in might.
You were beheaded by the sword,
placing your souls in the hands of the King and Master of all.

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

Neither hunger nor tribulation, truly wondrous ones,
nor nakedness nor wounds
nor the necessity of a violent death
were able to separate you from the love of God!
Crown-bearing athletes,
following the Shepherd like sheep led to the slaughter,
from the sunset you reached the unending rest of the heavenly Kingdom!

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

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

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