Event Information:

  • Tue
    21
    Nov
    2017

    Entrance of the Mother of God Into the Temple


    GREAT VESPERS

    Beginning of Vespers with Litiya: Glory be to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating and undivided Trinity, now and ever and for ages of ages. Amen.

    Kathisma Reading
    “Blessed is the man” is sung.

    At Psalm 140

    In Tone 1

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

    O faithful, let us leap for joy today,
    singing psalms and hymns of praise
    in honour of Mary, his mother,
    the holy Tabernacle and Ark that contained the Word
    whom nothing can contain.
    She is offered to God as a child in a marvellous way,
    and Zechariah the high priest receives her with great joy,
    for she is the dwelling place of the Most High.

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

    O faithful, let us leap for joy today,
    singing psalms and hymns of praise
    in honour of Mary, his mother,
    the holy Tabernacle and Ark that contained the Word
    whom nothing can contain.
    She is offered to God as a child in a marvellous way,
    and Zechariah the high priest receives her with great joy,
    for she is the dwelling place of the Most High.

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

    Today the living Temple of the holy glory of Christ our God,
    Mary, the pure and blessed One,
    is being brought into the temple according to the Law
    to live in its holy precincts.
    Joachim and Anne and all the virgins
    rejoice with her in spirit.
    They sing hymns of praise to the Lord
    and honour his Mother.

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

    Today the living Temple of the holy glory of Christ our God,
    Mary, the pure and blessed One,
    is being brought into the temple according to the Law
    to live in its holy precincts.
    Joachim and Anne and all the virgins
    rejoice with her in spirit.
    They sing hymns of praise to the Lord
    and honour his Mother.

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

    O Virgin Mother of God,
    you are the One foretold by the prophets.
    You are the glory of the apostles
    and the pride of martyrs
    and the cause of renewal for the entire human race.
    Through you we have been reconciled with God.
    Therefore, we honour your entrance into the temple of the Lord.
    Together with the angels, all of us who are saved by your prayers sing to you:
    Rejoice, O most holy One.

    In Tone 4

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

    The holy and immaculate One
    is being led into the Holy of Holies by the Holy Spirit.
    She is being nourished by angels,
    since she is the holy Temple of our holy God.
    He has sanctified all creation because of her entrance,
    and He has deified our fallen human nature.

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

    Today the maidens rejoice.
    Carrying lamps, they piously escort Mary,
    the spiritual lamp, into the Holy of Holies.
    This is a foreshadowing of the splendid Light
    that will shine forth from her,
    the Light that will enlighten all
    who sit in the darkness of ignorance.

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

    The most praiseworthy Anne cries out in great joy:
    O Zechariah, receive the One whom the prophets of God
    foretold through the Spirit.
    Escort her into the holy temple,
    since she is to be the sublime Temple,
    the palace, throne, and wondrous abode of our God.

    Glory… Now…

    O Lady and Bride of God,
    you entered the temple of God in your infancy
    to be brought up in the Holy of Holies,
    for you are holy.
    The archangel Gabriel was sent to serve you and bring you food.
    All the heavenly powers were amazed
    at the sight of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.
    Therefore, O most pure and immaculate Mother of God,
    since you are glorified in heaven and on earth,
    through your prayers save our human race.

    Readings
    (1) Exodus 40:1-5,9-10,16,34-35; (2) I Kings 7:51-8:1, 3-7, 9-11; (3) Ezekiel 43:27-44:4

    Litiya

    In Tone 1

    Today let the heavens above greatly rejoice
    and let the clouds pour down gladness
    at the mighty and marvellous acts of our God.
    For behold, the gate that looks towards the East,
    born from a fruitless and barren womb according to the promise,
    and consecrated to God as his dwelling,
    is now being brought into the temple
    as a spotless offering.
    Let David greatly rejoice and play on his harp, saying:
    Virgins shall be brought to the king after her;
    her companions shall be brought into the ark of the Lord
    to be nourished with the life of the Incorruptible One
    who was begotten from eternity
    for the salvation of our souls.

    In Tone 4

    Today the Theotokos, the Temple that is to contain God,
    is being escorted into the temple of the Lord,
    and Zechariah receives her.
    Today the Holy of Holies greatly rejoices,
    and the choir of angels mystically celebrates this feast.
    Let us also celebrate with them today
    and cry out with Gabriel:
    Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you,
    and He grants us great mercy.

    Come all you people,
    and let us praise the only Immaculate One
    who was foretold by the prophets
    and is being led into the temple.
    She was chosen from eternity to be the Mother;
    and in time she was revealed as the Theotokos.
    O Lord, by her prayers grant us your peace and great mercy.

    In Tone 5, Glory… Now…

    A day of joy has truly dawned.
    It is a most precious feast for us,
    because she who was virgin before and after childbirth,
    today is offered in the temple.
    The aged Zechariah, father of the Forerunner, cries aloud, rejoicing:
    The intercessor of those in affliction
    comes into the holy temple, since she herself is holy.
    She will be sanctified in the abode of the King of all.
    Let her father, Joachim, be glad
    and let Anne rejoice exceedingly,
    because they have offered to God
    the immaculate Queen as a three year old child.
    Rejoice with them, all you women;
    all you virgins and barren ones, dance for joy
    and celebrate with them,
    for the Queen of all has opened the kingdom of heaven for us.
    Let all people be glad and rejoice.

    Aposticha

    In Tone 5

    Heaven and earth today rejoice together
    at the sight of the mystical heaven;
    the immaculate and pure Virgin is coming into the holy temple
    to be brought up in honour. Zechariah, rejoicing in her and leaping for joy,
    cried out in awe: O Door of the Lord,
    I open the doors of the temple to you,
    because I know and believe that the salvation of Israel is already coming,
    that the Word of God will be born from you,
    and that He will grant great mercy to the world.

    She is led to the King with her maiden companions.

    When Anne, which means grace,
    was graced with the pure and ever-Virgin Mary,
    she presented her into the temple of God.
    She called maidens to carry candles and walk before her as she said:
    O child, go to be an offering
    and a fragrant incense for the One who sent you to me.
    Enter into the veiled places and learn the mysteries of God.
    Prepare yourself to be a delightful dwelling place for Jesus
    who will give great mercy to the world.

    They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the King.

    The all-holy Virgin is handed over into the temple.
    Maidens carrying candles go before her.
    Her parents, the devoted couple, Joachim and Anne, joyfully celebrate,
    for they have given birth in the flesh to the One who will bear the Creator.
    She will dance for joy in the temple of God
    and will be fed by the hand of an angel.
    The all-immaculate Mother of Christ has appeared,
    and He will grant great mercy to the world.

    In Tone 6, Glory… Now…

    O assembly of the faithful,
    let us celebrate this day as a spiritual feast.
    With great love, let us honour the maiden of God,
    the Virgin and Theotokos,
    as she is presented into the temple of the Lord;
    for she has been chosen from among all generations
    to be the dwelling place of Christ our God
    who is the King of all.
    O virgins, carry candles and lead the way
    for the entrance of the ever-Virgin.
    Follow after her who is the Mother of God
    and mediatrix for the joy of the world.
    Therefore, let us all cry out together with the angels:
    Rejoice, for you are full of grace,
    and you continually pray for our souls.

    Troparion

    In Tone 4
    Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God the Virgin is clearly revealed,* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:** Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator’s plan. (3 times)


    FESTAL MATINS

    Hexapsalm

    Great Ekteny

    The Lord Is God, Tone 4

    Troparion, Tone 4
    Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:* Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator’s plan. (twice)

    Glory… Now…

    Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:* Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator’s plan.

    Kathisma & Little Ekteny

    Sessional Hymn I
    In Tone 1: The fruit of righteous Joachim and Ann* is brought as an offering to God in the holy sanctuary,* she who sustains our life, a young child in the flesh;* and she receives the blessing of Zacharias the priest.* Let all of us in faith call her blessed, for she is the Mother of the Lord.

    Glory… Now…

    The fruit of righteous Joachim and Ann* is brought as an offering to God in the holy sanctuary,* she who sustains our life, a young child in the flesh;* and she receives the blessing of Zacharias the priest.* Let all of us in faith call her blessed, for she is the Mother of the Lord.

    Kathisma & Little Ekteny

    Sessional Hymn II
    In Tone 4: Before your conception, O pure Virgin,* you were consecrated to God;* and now after your birth you are offered as a gift to Him* in fulfillment of your parents’ promise.* To the divine temple you are brought,* yourself a Temple truly divine, innocent from the time you were a babe;* you have appeared in the sanctuary accompanied by brightly burning lamps,* who are the Receiver of the Divine Light that no man can approach.* Magnificent in truth is your entry,* O only Bride of God and ever-Virgin.

    Glory… Now…

    Before your conception, O pure Virgin,* you were consecrated to God;* and now after your birth you are offered as a gift to Him* in fulfillment of your parents’ promise.* To the divine temple you are brought,* yourself a Temple truly divine, innocent from the time you were a babe;* you have appeared in the sanctuary accompanied by brightly burning lamps,* who are the Receiver of the Divine Light that no man can approach.* Magnificent in truth is your entry,* O only Bride of God and ever-Virgin.

    Polyeleos

    Exaltation
    We extol you,* O most holy Virgin!* Maiden chosen of God!* And we honour your entry into the temple!
    verse:
    Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised:
    in the city of our God and in His holy mountain!...
    Holy is Your temple, and wonderful in righteousness!...
    Glory…Now…
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory be to You, O God! (3 times)
    Sidalen
    In Tone 8: Let David the Psalmist greatly rejoice,* let Joachim and Ann be glad,* for a holy child has come forth from them,* Mary the Lamp that bears the Divine Light;* and she rejoices as she enters the temple.* The son of Zarachias, beholding her, gave her his blessing and cried out in joy:* “Hail, you wonder of the all the world!”

    Glory… Now…

    Let David the Psalmist greatly rejoice,* let Joachim and Ann be glad,* for a holy child has come forth from them,* Mary the Lamp that bears the Divine Light;* and she rejoices as she enters the temple.* The son of Zarachias, beholding her, gave her his blessing and cried out in joy:* “Hail, you wonder of the all the world!”

    Gradual Hymns

    Prokeimenon, Tone 4
    Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear.
    verse: My heart is overflowing with noble words.

    Let Everything That Has Breath, Tone 4

    Gospel
    Luke 1:39-49, 56

    After Psalm 50
    In Tone 2, Glory…
    Today the living Temple of the great King* enters the temple to be prepared as a divine dwelling-place for Him.* O people, rejoice exceedingly.

    Now…
    Today the living Temple of the great King* enters the temple to be prepared as a divine dwelling-place for Him.* O people, rejoice exceedingly.

    In Tone 4,Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion, blot out my offense.
    Today the Theotokos, the Temple that is to hold God,* is led into the temple of the Lord,* and Zacharias receives her.* Today the Holy of Holies rejoices greatly,* and the choir of angels mystically keeps feast.* With them let us also celebrate the festival today,* and let us cry aloud with Gabriel:* Hail, O you who are full of grace: the Lord is with you,* He who has great mercy.

    Canon

    ODE 1
    First Canon – Tone 4
    Irmos
    I shall open my mouth and the Spirit will inspire it, and I shall utter the words of my song to the Queen and
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Mother: I shall be seen radiantly keeping feast and joyfully praising her entry.
    We know that you, O All-Undefiled, are a treasury of wisdom and a never-failing fountain of grace. We therefore pray: O Lady, let fall some drops of knowledge upon us, that we may sing your praises for ever.
    You who are honoured, O Most Holy, far above the heavens, you who are both Temple and Palace, you are dedicated in the temple of God, to be prepared as a divine dwelling-place for His coming.
    She who made the light of grace shine forth, the Theotokos, has illuminated all men and brought them together to adorn with songs her most radiant triumph. O come, let us join them and hasten to her.
    Having opened the gates of the temple of God, the Glorious Gate’ through which human thoughts cannot pass now urges us to enter with her and to delight in her divine marvels.

    Second Canon – Tone 1
    Irmos
    Let us all sing a triumphant song unto God who has done wondrous things with His mighty arm, and has saved Israel: for He has been glorified.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Let us this day hasten together to the Theotokos, honouring her in songs, and let us keep spiritual feast. For she is offered in the temple as a gift to God.
    Let us praise in songs the glorious advance of the Theotokos. For today as a precious gift she is prophetically offered in the temple, who is herself a Temple of God.
    Ann without reproach greatly rejoiced, offering her child in the temple as a precious gift to God, while Joachim, bright with joy, kept feast with her.
    David the forefather praised you of old in hymns, O Virgin Bride of God, calling you Daughter of Christ the King: Him you have borne as Mother and you have fed Him as your child.
    The Theotokos, when she was three years old after the flesh, was led to the Lord; and Zacharias, the priest of God, received her in the temple with rejoicing and established her there.
    You virgins carrying lamps, be of good cheer today and begin the song; you mothers, join them in praises to the Queen and Mother, as she enters the temple of Christ the King.
    Glory…
    O Trinity, one in essence, Father, Word, and Holy Spirit, with faith we glorify You as Maker of all, and in reverence we cry: Save us, O God.
    Now…
    The King and God goes forth wearing the purple dyed from your blood, O All-Undefiled. He has renewed all mankind in His compassion.
    Katavasia (Tone 1) Christ is born, give glory. Christ comes from heaven, meet Him. Christ is on earth, be exalted. O all the earth, sing unto the Lord, and sing praises in gladness, O people, for He has been glorified.

    ODE 3
    First Canon
    Irmos
    O Mother of God, living and plentiful fount, give strength to those united in spiritual fellowship, who sing hymns of praise to you: and on this day of your venerable entry, vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Today has the temple become a wedding adornment and a fair chamber for the Virgin, as it receives the living Bridal Chamber of God, pure and without spot, she who shines more brightly than all the creation.
    David, leading the dance, leaps in gladness and rejoices with us, and you, O undefiled and all-pure Virgin, he calls the Queen, clad in raiment of many-coloured needlework, standing in the temple before the King and God.’
    From Eve of old the transgression came upon mankind, and now from Eve’s stock has flowered forth our restoration and incorruption, even the Theotokos, who is brought today into the house of God.
    The hosts of angels and the multitude of all mankind dance today before your face, O all-pure Lady, and carrying lamps they go before you, proclaiming your greatness in the house of God.

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    Let my heart be established in Your will, O Christ my God, who has established the second heaven above the waters, and has founded the earth upon the floods, in Your almighty power.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    O You who love the feasts, celebrate and be glad in spirit, exulting today in the holy feast of the Daughter of the King and the Mother of our God.
    Be glad today, O Joachim, and rejoice exceedingly in spirit, O Ann, who now present unto the Lord your daughter, as a three-year old victim of sacrifice, holy and utterly without spot.
    Dwelling-place of God, the Theotokos Mary, three years old after the flesh, is offered in the holy temple, and the virgins her companions, carrying lamps, go before her.
    The ewe-lamb of God without spot, the dove without blemish, the tabernacle that is to hold God, the sanctuary of the glory, has chosen to dwell in the holy temple.
    Three years old in the flesh and many years old in spirit, more spacious than the heavens and higher than the powers above, let the Bride of God be praised in song.
    Celebrating the coming of the Theotokos into the sanctuary, let us too, carrying lamps today in spirit, go in joy with the virgins to the temple.
    Priests of God, clothe yourselves by grace in righteousness, going in joy to meet the Daughter of the King and God as she enters the Holy Place.
    Glory…
    The Father is Light, His Son is Light, and the Spirit, the Comforter, is Light: for, shining forth as from one sun, the Trinity divinely illuminates and preserves our souls.
    Now…
    The prophets proclaimed you in ages past, speaking of you as ark of holiness, golden censer, candlestick, and table; and we sing your praises as the Tabernacle that held God.
    Katavasia To the Son who was begotten of the Father without change before all ages, and in the last times was without seed made flesh of the Virgin, to Christ our God let us cry aloud: You have raised up our horn, holy are You, O Lord.

    LITTLE EKTENY

    SESSIONAL HYMN
    (Tone 4) Cry out, O David, what is this present feast?* Is it for her of whom you have sung in the Book of Psalms,* calling her Daughter, Child of God and Virgin, saying:* ‘Her companions the virgins that follow her shall be mystically led unto the King?’* Make this feast to be held in honour throughout all the world by those who cry:* The Theotokos is come among us, mediator of salvation.
    Glory… Now… [Repeat]

    ODE 4
    First Canon
    Irmos
    Perceiving the unsearchable purpose of God concerning Your Incarnation from a Virgin, O Most High, the prophet Habakkuk cried: Glory to Your power, O Lord.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Today the house of God receives the Gate through which none may pass; so it has brought an end to the worship commanded by the shadow of the Law, and it cries aloud: ‘Verily the truth has appeared to those on earth.’
    The overshadowed mountain that Habakkuk foresaw and announced prophetically in days of old, has come to dwell within the sanctuary of the temple; there she has put forth flowers of virtue and with her shadow she covers the ends of the earth.
    Let us, with all the earth, look upon these marvellous, strange, and wonderful events: how the Virgin, receiving food from an angel, offers us an image of the divine dispensation.
    Appearing as a Temple and a Palace and living Heaven, you are dedicated today in the temple of the Law, to be kept therein, O undefiled Bride of God.

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    O prophet Habakkuk, you have foreseen in spirit the Incarnation of the Word, and have proclaimed crying: ‘You shall be acknowledged when the years draw nigh; You shall be made manifest when the times come. Glory to Your power, O Lord.’
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    O prophet Isaiah, prophesy to us: who is the Virgin that shall conceive? ‘It is she who has come forth from the root of Judah and who was born of David the King, glorious fruit of a holy seed.’
    O virgins, begin your songs, and with lamps in hand praise the advance of the pure Theotokos, who now enters the temple of the Lord, and keep feast with us.
    Be glad, O Joachim and Ann, who now present unto the Lord in the temple, as a three-year old victim of sacrifice, your daughter that shall be the pure Mother of Christ our God, the King of all.
    O venerable Holy of Holies, you love to dwell in the holy temple; and you abide, O Virgin, in converse with angels, receiving bread most marvellously from heaven, O you who sustains our life.
    When all hope was gone, Joachim and Ann gave birth to the undefiled Virgin, and in piety they promised to offer her to God. Today they fulfil their promise, giving their child as a sacrifice in the house of God.
    The rod of Aaron once put forth shoot, prefiguring, O undefiled Virgin, your divine childbirth. For without seed shall you conceive and not suffer corruption; and after bearing child shall you remain Virgin, giving suck to a babe who is God of all.
    Virgins, with piety hasten to the Virgin, and mothers to the Mother: together let us honour the Child born to Joachim and Ann, as a blameless Sanctuary, and the Mother that bore Christ, as a holy Tree bringing forth fruit to God. Let us all joyously keep feast.
    Glory…
    Three in Persons, One in nature, in reverence we glorify the true God whose praises the hosts of angels and archangels sing as Master of the Creation; and in faith we all worship Him for ever.
    Now…
    O pure and undefiled Virgin, pray without ceasing to thy Son and God, whom you have conceived in the flesh, that He may deliver all thy servants from the manifold snares of the devil and from every temptation that assails us.
    Katavasia Rod of the root of Jesse, and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ, You have sprung from the Virgin. From the Mountain overshadowed by the forest You have come, made flesh from her that knew not wedlock, O God who are not formed from matter. Glory to Your power, O Lord.’

    ODE 5
    First Canon
    Irmos
    The whole world was amazed at your venerable entry. For you, O Virgin who have not known wedlock, yourself a Temple most pure, have gone within the temple of God, bestowing peace upon all who sing your praises.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Glorious sanctuary and holy offering, today the most pure Virgin is dedicated in the temple of God; and in ways which He alone understands, she is kept as a dwelling-place for our God, the King of all.
    Seeing the beauty of thy soul, O undefiled Virgin, Zacharias cried out with faith: ‘You are our deliverance, you are the joy of all. You are our restoration, through whom the Incomprehensible appears comprehensible to me.’
    O Virgin all-undefiled, past understanding are your wonders! Strange is the manner of your birth: strange is the manner of your growing. Strange and most marvellous are all things concerning you, O Bride of God, and they are beyond the telling of mortal man.
    O candlestick with many lights, O Bride of God, you have shone forth today in the house of the Lord, and you give us light through the holy gifts of grace from your wonders, O pure and far-famed Theotokos.

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    O Christ our Master and God who loves man, cause the radiant and everlasting light to shine upon us, who ponder early in the morning upon the judgements of Your commandments.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Let us, the Orthodox, all hasten together with our lamps and glorify the Mother of God, for today she is offered to the Lord as an acceptable sacrifice.
    Let the forefathers rejoice exceedingly today, O Lady, and let her that bore you make glad with your father: for their fruit is led unto the Lord.
    Let us all, keeping feast in faith, sing the praises of the undefiled Maiden, most glorious and of many names, for she conceived in the flesh the divine Victim and sacrificial Offering.
    The contract of your betrothal, the divine tokens of your Motherhood past understanding, O pure Virgin, are written today by the Holy Spirit in the house of God.
    Let the forecourt of the glory of our God be opened and let it receive, as a victim of sacrifice three years old and without blemish, the Mother of God who was never to know wedlock.
    Let us sing the praises of that greatly venerated and overshadowed mountain, the ever-Virgin who became the Mother of God. For she has made light shine to the ends of the earth.
    Glory…
    Let us glorify and worship the one Godhead in three Persons, undivided by nature and equal in glory, that was before the beginning and ever shall be.
    Now…
    We have your intercession, O Mother of God, as a fair haven and an unassailable rampart in times of trouble, and we are ever delivered from danger and affliction.
    Katavasia As You are God of peace and Father of mercies, You have sent unto us Your Angel of great counsel, granting us peace. So are we guided towards the light of the knowledge of God, and watching by night we glorify You, O Lover of mankind.

    ODE 6
    First Canon
    Irmos
    As we celebrate this sacred and solemn feast of the Mother of God, let us come, clapping our hands, O people of the Lord, and give glory to God who was born of her.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    He who supports all things with His word, in His mercy has hearkened unto the prayer of righteous Joachim and Ann: He has loosed them from the disease of barrenness and given them her that is the cause of our joy.
    The Lord, wishing to make known to the Gentiles His salvation, has now chosen from among men her that knew not wedlock, to be a sign of reconciliation and renewal.
    Being yourself, O Undefiled, a house of grace, in which are laid the treasures of the ineffable dispensation of God, you partake of boundless joy in the temple.
    Having received you as a royal diadem, O Bride of God, the temple shone with beauty and gave place to better things, seeing in you the fulfilment of the prophecies.

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    With the prophet Jonah I shout: O You who are good, deliver my life from corruption and save me, O Saviour of the world, as I cry: Glory to You.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    O faithful, let us feast in spirit the Mother of God, singing her praises with piety. For she is indeed more holy than the heavenly powers.
    O faithful, let us praise in spiritual songs the Mother of the Light, for today has she been manifested to us as she enters the temple of God.
    The ewe-lamb without blemish, the pure dove, is brought as an offering to dwell in the house of God: the undefiled Virgin who was foreordained to become the Mother of God.
    The Temple of God, the heavenly Tabernacle, accomplished her entry into the temple of the Law, and from her the Light has shone on us in darkness.
    A child in the flesh but perfect in soul, the holy Ark enters into the house of God, there to feed upon divine grace.
    By your intercessions set us free from every temptation and danger of soul, for we run to you, O far-famed Mother of Christ our God.
    Glory…
    Father, Son, and Spirit of righteousness, Unity in three persons and undivided Trinity, have mercy upon those who worship Your divine power.
    Now…
    He whom nothing can contain was contained in your womb, O undefiled Mother of God, and from you He has come forth double in nature, God and Man.
    Katavasia The sea monster spat forth Jonah as it had received him, like a babe from the womb: while the Word, having dwelled in the Virgin and taken flesh, came forth from her yet kept her uncorrupt. For being Himself not subject to decay, He preserved His Mother free from harm.

    KONTAKION
    (Tone 4) The Saviour’s pure temple,* the precious bridal chamber and Virgin,* the sacred treasury of the glory of God,* is brought today into the house of the Lord; * and with her she brings the grace* of the divine Spirit.* God’s angels sing in praise of her:* She is indeed the heavenly dwelling place.

    IKOS
    Seeing the grace of the secret mysteries of God made manifest and clearly fulfilled in the Virgin, I rejoice; and I know not how to understand the strange and secret manner whereby the Undefiled has been revealed as alone chosen above all creation, visible and spiritual. Therefore, wishing to praise her, I am struck dumb with amazement in both mind and speech. Yet still I dare to proclaim and magnify her: She is indeed the heavenly Tabernacle.

    ODE 7
    First Canon
    Irmos
    The Holy Children bravely trampled upon the threatening fire, preferring not to worship created things rather than the Creator, and they sang in joy: ‘Blessed are You and praised above all, O Lord God of our fathers.’
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Lo, a glad springtime has shone now to the ends of the earth, making our soul and understanding and mind bright through grace: for today is the feast of the Theotokos. Let us rejoice mystically.
    Today let all things, heaven and earth, the ranks of angels and the multitude of mortal men, attend the Queen and Mother, and let them cry aloud: ‘Joy and deliverance is led into the temple.’
    The written Law has passed away and vanished as a shadow, and the rays of grace have shone forth at your entry into the temple of God, O undefiled Virgin Mother, who are for ever blessed.
    O undefiled Lady, heaven and earth and the things beneath the earth have been brought into subjection to your Son as Maker and God, and all mortal tongues confess that the Lord has appeared, the Saviour of our souls.’

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    The furnace was sprinkled with dew, O Saviour, and the Children danced for joy as they sang: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed are You.’
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Let us exult today in the joy of the feast; let us honour, as is meet, Joachim and Ann, and let us sing the praises of the undefiled Virgin.
    Let David prophesy, who said in the spirit: ‘Virgins shall be brought after you; they shall be brought into the temple to the Queen and Mother.’
    The ranks of angels rejoiced exceedingly and spirits of the righteous were glad, when the Mother of God was led into the sanctuary.
    Mary without spot rejoiced in body and spirit, dwelling as a sacred vessel in the temple of the Lord.
    Receiving heavenly food, she who was to become the Mother of Christ the Saviour according to the flesh, increased in wisdom and grace.
    Your wise parents led you to the innermost part of the temple, O undefiled Virgin, there to be brought up in strange fashion and prepared as dwelling-place for Christ our God.
    Glory…
    Let us glorify the undivided Trinity, let us sing the praises of the one Godhead, the Father, the Word, and the Most Holy Spirit.
    Now…
    Pray the Lord whom you have borne, for He is compassionate by nature, to save the souls of those that sing your praises, O Mother of God.
    Katavasia Scorning the impious decree, the Children brought up together in godliness feared not the threat of fire, but, standing in the midst of the flames, they sang: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed are You.’

    ODE 8
    First Canon
    Irmos
    Hearken, O pure Virgin Maid: let Gabriel tell you the counsel of the Most High that is ancient and true. Make ready to receive God: for through you the Incomprehensible comes to dwell with mortal men. Therefore I cry rejoicing: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    As Ann led the undefiled Temple into the house of God, she cried aloud and said with faith to the priest: ‘Take the child given to me by God and lead her into the temple of thy Creator, and sing unto Him with joy: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’
    When he saw Ann, Zacharias said to her in spirit: ‘You lead here the true Mother of life, whom the prophets of God heralded from afar as the Theotokos: and how shall the temple contain her? Therefore in wonder I cry: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’
    ‘I stand here as the suppliant of God,’ answered Ann to him, ‘calling upon Him with faith and prayer to receive the fruit of my travail. For I promised that after childbirth I would present my child to Him who gave her to me. Therefore, leaping for joy, I cry: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’
    ‘Truly this act is in accordance with the Law’, said the priest to her. ‘I perceive that this is a thing wholly strange: for I see led into the house of God her who wondrously surpasses the sanctuary in grace. Therefore I cry in joy: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’
    ‘Hearing your words,’ said Ann to him, ‘I am filled with new strength. For you understand these things by the Spirit of God, and hast clearly announced what shall come to pass in the Virgin. Take, then, the Undefiled into the temple of your Creator, and sing unto Him in joy: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’
    ‘A Lamp that gives light has been kindled for us,’ cried the priest, ‘and has made mighty joy shine in the temple. Let the souls of the prophets make glad with me, as they see strange wonders accomplished in the house of God, and let them now cry out: O all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’

    Second Canon
    Irmos
    Him before whom the angels and all the hosts of heaven are afraid, their Creator and Lord, O priests praise, O children glorify, O people bless and exalt above all for ever.
    Refrain: Most holy Theotokos, save us.
    Bright with joy today, Joachim makes glad; and Ann, without reproach, offers unto the Lord God the sacrifice given to her according to the promise, her holy daughter.
    The saints David and Jesse exult today and Judah is filled with pride. For from their root a branch has sprung, the pure Virgin from whom pre-eternal God is to be born.
    Today Mary, the undefiled and living Tabernacle, is offered up in the house of God, and Zacharias receives her in his hands as a holy treasure of the Lord.
    As a Gate of salvation and a spiritual Mountain, as a living Ladder, let us, the faithful, honour the true Virgin and Mother of God, who is blessed by the hands of the priests.
    Prophets, apostles and martyrs of Christ, ranks of angels and all the dwellers upon earth, let us honour with hymns the pure Virgin, for she is the blessed Mother of the Most High.
    They that divinely bore you, O Undefiled and Pure, offered you in the temple as a spotless sacrifice; and in strange fashion you lodge in the sanctuary of God, there to be prepared as a dwelling-place for the Word.
    We bless the Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    Let ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ be sung to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, indivisible Unity, one Godhead, that holds all creation in the hollow of the hand unto all ages.
    Now…
    He who is without beginning, begins: from a Virgin Maid the Word is born in the flesh according to His good pleasure, God and mortal man, and in His extreme compassion He refashions us who had fallen.
    We praise, bless, and worship the Lord; we extol and exalt Him above all for ever.
    Katavasia
    The furnace moist with dew was the image and figure of a wonder past nature. For it burned not the Children whom it had received, even as the fire of the Godhead consumed not the Virgin’s womb into which it had descended. Therefore in praise let us sing: Let the whole creation bless the Lord and exalt Him above all for ever.

    ODE 9
    First Canon
    Beholding the entry of the All-Pure,
    the angels were struck with amazement,
    seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.
    Irmos Let no profane hand touch the living Ark of God, but let the lips of the faithful, singing without ceasing the words of the Angel to the Theotokos, cry aloud in great joy: O pure Virgin, thou art truly high above all.
    Beholding the entry of the All-Pure,
    the angels were struck with amazement,
    seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.
    O pure Theotokos, you have a clean and shining beauty of soul, and are filled from heaven with the grace of God. You ever enlighten with eternal light those who cry aloud in gladness: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.
    Beholding the entry of the All-Pure,
    the angels were struck with amazement,
    seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.
    Your wonders, O pure Theotokos, surpass the power of words. For in you I see something beyond speech: a body that was never subject to the taint of sin. Therefore in thanksgiving I cry to you: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.
    Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin,
    for in glory she has gone into the Holy of Holies.
    The Law prefigured thee most wonderfully as tabernacle, jar of manna, strange ark, veil of the temple, rod of Aaron, temple never to be destroyed, and gate of God;’ and so it teaches us to cry to you: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.
    Beholding the entry of the All-Pure,
    the angels were struck with amazement,
    seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.
    David sang in honour of you, calling you the daughter of the King, for he saw you in the beauty of the virtues, in raiment of many-coloured needlework, at the right hand of God; therefore in prophecy he cried aloud: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.
    O angels, dance with the saints: O virgins, make glad with them.
    For the Child of God has entered into the Holy of Holies.
    Solomon, foreseeing how you were to receive God, spoke of you in dark sayings as the gate of the King and the living fountain sealed, from which came forth untroubled waters unto us who cry aloud with faith: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.
    Angels and men, let us magnify the Virgin in hymns,
    for she has entered into the Holy of Holies, as was divinely fit.
    Grant to my soul, O Theotokos, the calm peace that comes from your gifts of grace. You are a fountain of life unto those that honour you as is due; you surround, protect, and preserve us that we may cry aloud to you: O pure Virgin, you are truly high above all.

    Second Canon
    Megalynarion (sung before the irmos and the troparia):
    O my soul,
    magnify her who was led into the temple of the Lord
    and blessed by the hands of the priests.
    Irmos Let us all magnify the radiant cloud, in which the Master of all descended, as dew from heaven upon the fleece,’ and for our sake took flesh and was made man, He who is without beginning: for she is the pure Mother of our God.
    From the righteous Joachim and Ann a fruit came forth according to the promise, Mary the Child of God. A young girl after the flesh, as acceptable incense she is offered in the holy temple, that she who is herself holy may dwell in the Holy Place.
    Let us praise in hymns the child by nature who was shown forth as Mother beyond nature. For today she is offered to the Lord in the temple of the Law as a sweet-smelling savour, the spiritual fruit of her righteous parents.
    O faithful, offering to the Theotokos the salutation of the angel, let us raise our cry: Hail! O Bride most beautiful. Hail! bright cloud; from thee the Lord has shone forth upon us as we sat in the darkness of ignorance. Hail! you Hope of all.
    All the creation joins the angel Gabriel, crying out to the Theotokos in fitting song: Hail! undefiled Mother of God. Through you we have been delivered from the ancient curse and have become partakers of incorruption.
    O Holy of Holies and pure Mother of God, Mary, from the snares of the enemy and from every heresy and affliction, at your intercessions set us free who venerate with faith the ikon of your holy form.
    Far greater than the cherubim, high above the seraphim, and more spacious than the heavens, are you shown forth, O Virgin, for you have contained in your womb our God whom nothing can contain, and have ineffably borne Him: entreat Him earnestly on our behalf.
    O my soul, magnify the power of the indivisible Godhead in three Persons.
    Let us glorify the one Nature in three Persons, the one indivisible glory, the undivided Trinity in one Godhead that is praised without ceasing in heaven and on earth; in piety let us worship the Father, with the Son and the Spirit.
    O my soul, magnify her who is greater in honour and more glorious than the hosts above.
    O Virgin Mother of God, intercede for those who with faith seek refuge beneath thy compassion, and who piously worship thy Son as God and Lord of the world, that they be delivered from corruption and danger and manifold temptations.
    Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.
    Katavasia
    A strange and most wonderful mystery do I see: the cave is heaven; the Virgin the throne of the cherubim; the manger a room, in which Christ, the God whom nothing can contain, is laid. Him do we praise and magnify.

    Hymn Of Light, Tone 3
    Let us praise in faith Mary the Child of God,* whom long ago the assembly of prophets foretold,* speaking of her as jar of manna and Aaron’s rod,* tablet of the Law and uncut mountain.* For she is led today into the Holy of Holies, there to be brought up to the Lord.

    Glory...

    Let us praise in faith Mary the Child of God,* whom long ago the assembly of prophets foretold,* speaking of her as jar of manna and Aaron’s rod,* tablet of the Law and uncut mountain.* For she is led today into the Holy of Holies, there to be brought up to the Lord.

    Now…

    Let us praise in faith Mary the Child of God,* whom long ago the assembly of prophets foretold,* speaking of her as jar of manna and Aaron’s rod,* tablet of the Law and uncut mountain.* For she is led today into the Holy of Holies, there to be brought up to the Lord.

    At The Praises, Tone 1
    The virgins bearing lamps, who with their light accompany the ever-Virgin,* verily prophesy the future in Spirit.* For the Temple of God, the Theotokos, with virginal glory enters* as a little child into the temple.

    The Theotokos, glorious fruit of a sacred promise,* is truly revealed unto the world as higher than all creation.* Piously led into the house of God,* she fulfils the vow of her parents* and she is preserved by the Holy Spirit.

    O Virgin, fed in faith by heavenly bread in the temple of the Lord,* you have brought forth unto the world the Bread of life that is the Word;* and as His chosen Temple without spot, you were betrothed mystically through the Spirit,* to be the Bride of God the Father.

    Let the gate of the temple wherein God dwells be opened:* for Joachim brings within today in glory the Temple and Throne of the King of all,* and he consecrates as an offering to God* her whom the Lord has chosen to be His Mother.

    In Tone 2, Glory... Now…

    Today the Virgin without blemish is led to the temple,* to become the habitation of God the King of all, who sustains our life.* Today as a three-year-old victim of sacrifice the most pure Sanctuary is led into the Holy of Holies.* To her let us cry out with the angel:* Hail! you who alone are blessed among women.

    Troparion, Tone 4
    Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:* Rejoice, fulfilment of the Creator’s plan.


    DIVINE LITURGY

    Troparia and Kontakia
    Troparion, Tone 4: Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed,* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:* Rejoice, fulfilment of the Creator’s plan.

    Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

    Kontakion, Tone 4: The Saviour’s pure temple,* the precious bridal chamber and Virgin,* the sacred treasury of the glory of God,* is brought today into the house of the Lord;* and with her she brings the grace of the divine Spirit.* God’s angels sing in praise of her:* She is indeed the heavenly dwelling-place.

    Prokeimenon, Tone 3
    My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
    verse: Because he has regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46-48)

    Epistle
    Hebrew 9:1-7

    Alleluia, Tone 8
    verse: Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear.
    verse: The rich among the people shall entreat your countenance. (Psalm 44:11,13)

    Gospel
    Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28

    Hymn to the Mother of God
    Seeing the entrance of the pure one, angels marvel in wonder how the Virgin could enter the holy of holies.
    And the Irmos, Tone 4: Let no hand of the profane touch God’s living ark,* but instead let the lips of those who are believers* sing out ceaselessly in the words of the angel,* crying out with great joy to the Mother of God:* O pure Virgin,* you are truly higher than all.

    Communion Hymn
    I will take the cup of salvation;* and I will call upon the name of the Lord.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 115:13)

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