Texts for Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy for October 15, 2017.
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 2
Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.
Come, let us adore God the Word,
Who was born of the Father before all ages,
and was incarnate of the Virgin Mary;
for of His own free will He suffered the Cross
and submitted Himself to burial,
and arose from the dead to save me, a sinful one.
The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.
Christ our Saviour cancelled the decree that was written against us,
by nailing it to the Cross;
and He abolished the dominion of Death.
Let us glorify His Resurrection on the third day.
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!
Let us, together with the archangels, sing of Christ’s resurrection;
for He is the Redeemer and Saviour of our souls.
He will come again in awesome glory and mighty power
to judge the world which He has fashioned.
Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.
Although You died and were buried,
the angel yet declared You as Master.
He said to the women: Come and see where the Lord was placed;
for He is risen as He foretold,
because He is almighty.
Therefore, we worship You, the only Immortal One,
and we beseech You to have mercy on us, O Giver of Life.
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 2, Now…
O Virgin, the shadow of the Law passed away
with the realization of grace.
For as the bush had burned without being consumed,
so you gave birth while a virgin
and you remained a virgin.
Instead of the pillar of fire there rose the Sun of Justice.
Instead of Moses, Christ God came forth,
the Saviour of our souls.
(1) Genesis 14: 14-20; (2) Deuteronomy 1: 8-11, 15-17; (3) Deuteronomy 10: 14-21
In Tone 2
Your Resurrection, O Christ our Saviour,
has enlightened the whole universe;
and, through it, You call back to Yourself all Creation.
Almighty God, glory to You!
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
By the wood of Your Cross, O Saviour,
You have abolished the curse of the tree;
by Your burial You have destroyed the power of death;
and by Your Resurrection You enlightened the human race.
We, therefore, cry out to You:
O Christ our God, Giver of Life, glory to You!
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O Christ, when You were nailed to the Cross,
the distorted nature of creation was made manifest.
The soldiers showed their inhumanity by piercing Your side with a lance,
and the people showed their ignorance of Your power
by asking that Your tomb be sealed.
But, in Your mercy, You accepted burial
and then arose on the third day.
O Lord, glory to You!
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
O Christ, Giver of Life,
You freely endured the Passion for the sake of mortals.
In Your power You descended into Hades;
and snatching, as from a mighty monster, the souls of those who awaited Your coming,
You placed them in Paradise.
Therefore, show Your great mercy to us who glorify Your Resurrection,
and cleanse our souls.
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 fulfil 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 2
When You went down to death, O Life Immortal,* You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity.* When You raised the dead from the nether world,* all the powers of heaven cried out:* “O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!”
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 2: When You went down to death, O Life Immortal,* You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity.* When You raised the dead from the nether world,* all the powers of heaven cried out:* “O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!”
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 2: You rose from the tomb, O almighty Saviour;* and Hades, seeing this wonder, was stricken with fear; and the dead arose.* Creation saw and rejoices with You, and Adam exults.* And the world, my Saviour, sings Your praises for ever.
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)