Responsabilities of the clergy. About Censing. The Deacon. The Duties of those in Minor Orders. Doors and the curtain. The Holy Doors and the Curtain with some Remarks on Orientation. Priest's Headcoverings During Divine Worship. Using the title "Father." About reverences. The Great Fast. On bells. Order of the Blessing of new Ecclesiastical Vestments.
The Vigil Service.
Vespers. Vesper Prikeimenons: Lity. The Office of Matins. Kathisma. Polyeleon. The Sunday Matins Prokeimena: The Canon. Dismissal. First Hour. Festal Dismissals. Megalynaria. The Office of Vespers on Great Friday. Matins on the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha.
Proskomede and the beginning of the Liturgy. Liturgy of the Catechumens. Reading of the Epistle and the Gospel. Litany of fervent supplication. Liturgy of the faithful. The Great Entrance. Creed and the Eucharistic Canon. Lord’s prayer. Communion of the faithful. End of the Liturgy.
Conciliar Celebration of Divine Liturgy.
A. Conciliar Serving of Liturgy with Participation of a Deacon.
The Liturgy of the Presanctified.
Preceeding services. The Liturgy. Readings from the Old Testament. Litanies. Entrance with the Holy Gifts. Communion. Evening Divine Liturgies.
Sacrament of Penance. Hearing the Confessions of Priests and Hierarchs. Reception of Heretic Laity and Clergy into the Orthodox Church. Receiving a Priest of the Roman Church Into the Orthodox Church . Marriage. Second Marriage. Burial of a Priests. How to Find the Resurrectional Matins Gospel Lesson. Some differences between Greek and Russian divine services (Basil Krivoshein, Archbishop of Brussels and Belgium). Glossary of Liturgical Terminology. The Late, Great Typikon. Date of Pascha, Orthodox Names (by Priest Andrew Philips). Notes on the "Western Rite" (Father Alexander Schmemann).
Responsabilities of the clergy.
The clergy are responsible for the conduct of the Church's worship. In the liturgies of the Church, a clear distinction is made between "clergy" and "people;" for example, every Great Litany, or Irenicon contains these words in the petition for the hierarchy: "for all the clergy and the people." Further, in the traditional service books, some utterances are designated for "Hierarch," "Priest," "Deacon," or "Reader," on the one hand, while other parts are designated for "The Choir," "The People," or just "We." Neither the Typikon nor any of the liturgical books provides any rubric which gives responsibility for conduct of any service to the people. The very prayers at the Laying-on-of-hands and at the setting apart or tonsuring of minor orders, as well as the promises executed in writing at the time of Laying-on-of-hands, clearly direct the clergy to be responsible for the conduct of worship.
Ideally, the Church's temples are constructed and the services taking place in them conducted so that the worshipper in Church would be occupied with prayer, with worship, and with nothing else. All the church's sacred utensils, all the furnishings and vestments, indeed the building itself is set aside by prayers and blessings for sacred purposes. It is always improper and inconsistent with the "good order" of the Church, then, that the building or any of its furnishings would be used for anything else. Likewise, the vestments of the clergy are also blessed according to the rubrics and set aside for use during the sacred services and for no other purpose and at no other time. Therefore, the rule that one does not make conversation with anyone while wearing the blessed vestments set aside for worship should be observed strictly in the parishes of the Diocese of the West. The temptation to engage in such informal conversations arises very often, especially when the clergy are required by rubrics to be walking among the people, as during processions and while censing. Clergy are also frequently tempted to hold conversations with each other, especially when they cannot be observed by the people. This should not be tolerated, especially by anyone who may be occupying "the first place" at any service.)
The temple must be clean and in order. So, too, the vestments and appearance of the clergy must be clean and in order and must be of the highest quality. The actions of the clergy and of all who serve in the Altar must be such as to assist the people in their prayer and worship. Anything done so as to distract the people is a sin. Making eye contact with people in church is one of the most common ways of distracting them, of directing their attention to the clergyman rather than to the progression of the service and to the content of the prayers and to worship of our Lord. Eye contact should be reserved for sermons and lectures. The clergyman would do well to always keep his main attention directed to God, while the rest is directed to the proper execution of his actions and readings. So this is how the censing will be conducted:
The Liturgy of the Catechumens begins with the opening of the Curtain and a complete censing by the Deacon. This censing, like the censing at the beginning of the All-Night Vigil, is done in silence (save for the prayer "In the grave with the body...."); however, in our time, the Hours are being read at this point, and usually have begun some time before the Curtain is opened and the censing starts. Censing occupies a prominent place in the Church's Ordo. Properly executed, it is an integral part of the services where it takes place, of positive value to the purposes of all our Church's services, bringing man to God in and through communal worship.
I. How to swing the censer. The directions for censing found in the Typikon were written when the censers were made differently from our present-day censers. They did not have chains. The censer consisted of a receptacle with a handle on it. The Typikon prescribes that censing be done this way: "(the celebrant) makes the (sign of the) cross with the censer." And "thereupon he censes the entire right choir brethren, doubly, raising the censer before each one vertically and then across, making the cross."
The most common style of swinging the censer, make three swings with the censer toward the person or object being censed. It is customary and proper to bow towards the object or person being censed at the second swing of the censer in both methods. Faithful churchgoers customarily return these bows. No sign of the cross is made. (There is, of course, nothing "Eastern" about bowing, as members of, for example, the Church of England are quick to point out.) While a deacon or priest must not exaggerate his bows lest he risk not edifying, but distracting the faithful, neither would he make a bow so slight as not to be recognized as a bow at all, rather a curt nod of recognition inappropriate off the military drill field.
Learning the order or sequence followed in censing frequently intimidates the novice server.
In present practice, the crosswise moving the censer is done at the Little Entrance at Vespers, as the Deacon intones, "Wisdom! Attend!" at Divine Liturgy at the words "Especially our All-holy...," and at the beginning blessing of All-Night Vigil: "Glory to the holy, Consubstantial ..." and at the beginning blessing, "Blessed is our God ..." at other services of the daily round when they are begun with the censer in hand.
A. Censing "crosswise around."
All censings begin before an object, usually a table, either the Holy Table itself, or a table (or analogion) in the center of the Temple or before an icon, or a table for the commemoration of the departed. At a funeral the table is represented by the coffin. Censing "crosswise around" means to cense first in front (while standing to the west) of the table, towards the east. Then one goes to stand on the right (south) side and censes it towards the north. Then one goes to stand on the far (east) side and censes towards the west. Finally, one goes to the left (north) side and censes towards the south. That is "censing crosswise around."
B. Censing the High Place and the Icons. (Holy Gates closed.)
Frequently, after having done an "A" censing of the Holy Altar Table, the rubrics prescribe that the high place and the Icons be censed, or "all the altar," etc. This censing begins by standing opposite the High Place or a little to one side of it (or, lacking a physical High Seat or Throne, the center of the Eastern wall of the apse), and censing towards it, then proceeding to cense each icon which hangs in the south side of the Altar (area) by going to it and censing before it, then walking over to the north side of the Altar (area) and censing each icon which hangs on that side. If there is an Icon hanging within the Altar (area) over the Holy Gates, this icon is censed last. NOTE: If the Prosthesis, or Table of Oblation is "active" during the service, i.e., if it is a censing at Divine Liturgy, then the Table of Oblation is censed just prior to the High Place.
C. Censing the superior and all in the Altar.
Sometimes, after a "B" censing, the rubrics prescribe that everyone in the altar, or "the superior and the rest of the sacred servers," etc., would be censed. Unless one is a hierarch, one does no actions which involve standing or sitting at the High Place itself. The place for a deacon or priest to stand while censing those serving in the Altar (area) is exactly southeast of the Altar Table, i.e., to the south of the High Place itself. If the superior, usually, but not necessarily, the first-ranking celebrant, is standing before the Altar Table then the deacon or priest censes first in that direction; if he is standing at the High Place, then the deacon or priest censes in that direction. Next, the person censing censes all those, preferably in order of seniority (Archimandrite, Hegumen, Archpriest, Priest, Arch/Protodeacon, Deacon, Subdeacons, Readers, Church Servitors), standing in the south side of the Altar (area). Next, standing in the same place, he censes all those, preferably in order of seniority, standing in the north side of the Altar (area). He need neither move around nor cense back and forth from north side to south side strictly according to rank.
D. Censing the High Place and the Icons (if Holy Gates are open).
One does a "B" censing, but after censing the icon over the Holy Gates, one censes the icons on the open Holy Gates, first the gate opened into the south side of the Altar (area), next the gate opened into the north side of the Altar (area).
E. Censing the Icons on the Iconostasis.
One goes to stand on the Soleas, on the very center of the Ambo, facing toward the east. Whether or not the Holy Gates are open, the first censing is toward the east, i.e., one may consider oneself as censing toward the front of the Holy Altar Table or censing toward the Icon of the Mystic Supper customarily placed over the Holy Gates. Next one censes towards the Icon of the Savior (or other Icon found directly to the south of the Holy Gates) and then (in our usage), in order, one goes to cense before every icon on the first tier of the south portion of the iconostasis, and any group in the vicinity of the south end of the iconostasis. Then one goes and censes towards the Icon of the Theotokos (or other icon found directly to the north of the Holy Gates) and then (in our usage), in order, one goes to cense before every icon on the first tier of the north portion of the iconostasis.
F. Censing the choirs and the people.
While standing on the Soleas, on the very center of the Ambo, one censes first toward the choir or reader standing in the south kleros. Next, if there is a choir or reader standing in the northern kleros one censes towards him or them. Then one censes towards the southwest, i.e., toward those standing on the south side of the Temple. Next one censes towards those standing in the west or in the Narthex. Finally, one censes towards those standing in the northwest.
G. Censing the whole Temple.
One goes down from the Soleas and censes first before any icon on an analogion in the center of the nave. Next one goes and censes before all the icons on the south side of the church, starting with the icon of the Savior on the analogion placed in line with His icon on the Iconostasis and then proceeding around the Temple clockwise. When one reaches the Western doors one censes the icon over the Western doors (usually that of the Dormition of the All-Holy), proceeds into the narthex and censes clockwise around the Narthex, turning to cense toward the Holy Altar before crossing from the South to the North, then returns to the Nave and continues around on the north side of the Church until one finally censes the icon of the Theotokos on the analogion placed in line with her Icon on the Iconostasis.
H. Concluding the censing.
One stands on the Soleas, facing east and censes first towards the icon over the Holy Doors (whether or not the Holy Gates are open), next, while standing in the same spot, the icon of our Savior, then of His All Pure Mother, and then, depending on whence one has started the censing, one censes before the front of the Holy Altar Table or before the Table/icon/Gospel Book/Panikhida Table/Coffin in the center of the Nave, and then censes the Superior, or the ranking one censing, then gives the censer up.
I. Censing at Funerals and Memorials
The censer is swung throughout the prayers of panikhidas and funerals, save at the time of the reading of the Holy Scriptures and the Absolution. Near the conclusion of these services, the Priest must go the Holy Altar, pick up the Hand Cross, and then bless at the Dismissal. So, after "Most Holy Theotokos, save us," he transfers the censer to his left hand, takes up the Hand Cross that is on the Memorial Table, an Analogion, or the Coffin, then transfers the Cross to his left hand, and, censing 3x3, he exclaims, "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, Glory to Thee," and walks up to the Soleas, censes toward the Holy Table, turns and, placing the Cross again into his left hand together with the censer, crosses himself as usual upon beginning the Dismissal, then holds Cross and Censer with both hands, and blesses the Faithful while holding both, before turning, transferring the Cross to his left hand to proceed with the censing of the Iconostasis and the People ("E" & "F," above), during "Memory Eternal," then returning to conclude before the Coffin, where he finally gives up the Censer.
The name deacon in own sense designates a third rank of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. On initial assignment the deacons were servers at the meal of the Lord, i.e. at the fulfillment of the liturgy. They were also ministers of the word of God. The present circle of their liturgical actions is determined in an exact sense by the primary head of the establishment. They serve at the administration of Holy Communion for the bishops and presbyters, but do not perform sacraments, except for baptism as a last resort, according to the image fulfilled by his laity. They uplift prayers as assistants and read the Gospel.
"According to the certificate of ordination" the deacon is obliged "at the Divine liturgy and at other sacraments performed by the priest (1), and at other divine services and rites, to serve," "in obedience to the priest (see page 680 note 1), contributing and working for all the good" (2); "the service of the Deacon: to prepare the sacred vessels for the service, to properly raise up prayer for the people (i.e. within oneself) and for the people (i.e. loudly for all to hear) in church, for this to be ordained and blessed, on the ambo in honor of the Gospel and the Apostolic epistles (3): and those things not specifically belonging to the priest (if, for example, last during the Divine Service he is called to administer the Unction or to baptize an ill person), to teach the people from the Divine Scriptures, the Divine Commandments and the way of life according to Christian law, from the dogmas and the commentaries of the church luminaries, the God-bearing fathers (4). More than this nothing that belongs to the priest is appropriate."
The Deacon in the case of the absence of the priest or because of his illness can not lead the vigil or obednitsa services (5), lead or sing the burial service for the departed, serve the molieben or the panichida (6); in general, the deacon, as only a server, is the person assisting the priest in the performing the sacraments and other liturgical actions and can not perform any kind of Divine Service without the participation and blessing of the priest. It is true that the church rubrics on some days of the year permit the serving of some of the services, for example, the compline, the midnight service and others, "privately," but from here it may not be concluded in any way that the deacon may lead the services of compline, vespers, matins and so forth in the temple and as if these services were led by the priest.
In the order of the church services (in their beginning, in the middle, and also at their end), usually, are clear instructions on the participation in performance of the Divine Services of the priest and on the necessity of his blessing during the performance of church services (for example: "the priest at the beginning does," "the priest begins," "having been blessed by the priest," "an exclamation from the priest," "the priest prays," "the priest says to the deacon," "the priest says the dismissal," "the priest does the dismissal"; in other respects there are remarks: "if there is no deacon the priest says," but there are no remarks: "if there is no priest, the deacon says." As is evident the church services are adapted by the Church for their performance by the priest, quite often together with the deacon, but certainly with the participation of the priest and from his blessing.
The priestly blessing to teach, the exclamations, the many prayers and closing priestly dismissals say that the deacon has no right to say, between the former as well as those, and others what begins, is accompanied and fulfilled in each general church service in the Orthodox Church. From here it is clear, that the deacon may not and must not begin, nor independently perform, any general church service without the participation of the priest. The Deacon is the servant, and not the performer of the Divine Services; he has no right without the blessing and the participation of the priest to vest himself with the sticharion (7), to cense, to recite the litanies. The Deacon's Certificate of Ordination clearly expresses the command to the deacon "to serve at (but not to perform) the Divine Liturgy and other sacraments performed by the priest, and at other divine services and orders."
Independently deacons may perform (without a vestment, in the rasson) only those Divine Services, that are also permitted to the laity, namely those in which begins with the rubric: "if the priest says: Blessed is our God, and we say: amen; if there is no priest, we say: Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus the Christ our God, have mercy on us"; thus the so-called home canons and prayers begin; the church services all without exception begin with the blessing of the priest and without him in any case they may not be performed.
If the priest illegally blesses the deacon to perform in place of himself he must stand before the church meeting. The priest receives by ordination in his rank the authority only personally to perform the known priestly functions and the known function of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but he has no right of assignment to whomever of the full powers of his priesthood. In this case is one of the essential ways of distinguishing the holy rank of the bishop from the rank of the presbyter. Differing from the deacon by many privileges in the divine service, the presbyter is similar to him in that personally, by himself, he can not change anything in the precisely specified norms of activity, which properly belongs to him, and the clergy with whom he concelebrates. Therefore, the priest blessing deacon to perform instead of himself the church order of services (as, for example, the funeral procession of the departed), and he himself is carried away with the right of the bishop, exceeds his position, and blessing the deacon to fulfill this is the same crime, i.e. the excess of authority given him by ordination.
But also inarguably the right of assignment belonging to the bishop is not unconditional: even the bishop cannot give to each of the clergymen any kind of an assignment, but only that consistently with the degree he carries, and with his clerical position. The bishop cannot order, for example, the deacon to sanctify an altar, perform the liturgy, or other priestly activities; because to fulfill these priestly activities there simply is not enough authority in the assignment, but an ordination to the degree of presbyter is necessary. If even the bishop is inarguably constrained in the application of the authority belonging to him; then the priest may use it: he is personally obliged to send a petition for his need, and must not charge the deacon to direct a service, for which he is not authorized even by the bishop's ordination. In general the spirit and letter of the priest's canon do not give any right 1) for the deacon to replace the priest in performing any priestly activities, and 2) for the priest to agree and assign the deacon to do any of these priestly duties.
Thus, unfairly, those priests behave reprehensibly and with harm for the Church who assign the deacons to perform any kind of church services, in church vestments and in their absence; equally it is unlawful and criminal for the deacons to act also, if he soon is independent, without the participation of the priest, even with his consent, performs in the place of the priest this or that Divine Service — general or particular — in the temple or outside of it.
The Deacon should perform (see the Certificate of Ordination) only "the services belonging to the deacon" and moreover "according to the rubrics and the order of the Holy Eastern Church" (1); "in place of the priest, as the Blessed Augustine says, only priest may serve, and not a deacon."
The Duties of those in Minor Orders.
Tonsured Readers and Ordained Subdeacons, when serving or reading, should wear the vestments appropriate to their function. The garment of a Reader is the Sticharion; that of the Subdeacon is the Sticharion and Orarion worn crossed about the torso . The cassock (podriassnik, anderi, or undercassock) is not the garment or sign of a Reader or Subdeacon, but is a garment which is appropriately worn under the sticharion.
Tonsured Readers may make ready the vestments in the Altar for the Sacred Servers and Church Servers before a service. They may prepare the censer, and carry lights, or fans, during processions and entrances, hold the holy water vessel and brush, hold the vessel with blessed oil or the dish with the blessed bread at Vigil, and they may cut up and otherwise prepare that blessed bread. They may themselves light the lights and lamps when prescribed by the ritual. They may prepare the vessels which contain w ine and water and fill them before the Divine Liturgy, and they may operate the altar curtain according to the prescribe ritual. They may prepare the warm water and bear it to the Deacon or Priest during the Divine Liturgy. They may bear the episcopal st aff, ascend the ambo to sing the trio at the Trisagion of the Divine Liturgy, bear and page the Bishop's Service Book, may secure the train of the Bishop's mantle, and may distribute the hierarchical Eagle-rugs. These privileges are all in addition to the ir assigned responsibility of reading in Church (not only in Church but from the Ambo, or on the raised "Vesting Place").
Ordained Subdeacons may do all those things permitted to Readers. In addition, they may touch the Holy Altar Table, when there is a necessity or direction to do so. For example, a Subdeacon may remove the large cloth which covers the Holy Table and everything on it between services. He may prepare the Table of Oblation for Divine Liturgy. A Subdeacon may remove the Dikirion and/or Trikirion from the Holy Table, if these have been placed there (i.e., when there is no special stand for them behind the Holy Table). Subdeacons may open the Holy Doors, as at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, when a hierarch is serving. Subdeacons vest a hierarch in his holy vestments when there are not enough deacons to do so.
Untonsured Readers are a regular part of our Church life, and will continue to be so. Where there are many Readers, then they should read according to a (fair) schedule made up by the Senior Priest of the Cathedral or the person he appoints to do so. There is certainly no reason to exclude women from reading.
(1) The Deacon, with two priests, is obliged to serve with one and the other, according to the idea of his rank and duties, he is present during the Divine Services, as the helper of the priest (C. M. 1891, 27). The Deacon must not be relieved from the duty to serve with the employedPriest: the employed priest is in place of the present priest of the church, but for this or that reason does not serve personally (C. M. 1892, 42).
(2) The Deacon who is a teacher at a parochial school, is not relieved from his duties to participate in the performance of the Divine Services even on week-days, if the these duties are compatible with his teaching; at the Presanctified Liturgies during the days of the Holy Forty Day Fast and at all the Divine Services of its first week and during Holy Week it is not only necessary for the deacon-teacher to be present, but also his students (see the detailed explanation in Taurus Diocese Authority in Ye. V. 1889, 5). — The District supervisor of church-parish schools (and equally the diocesan supervisor and the Diocesan School Council) have no right to autocratically relieve the deacon-teachers from participation in the performance of the Divine Services; this right belongs to local Bishop (C. M. 1897, 42). In those dioceses, where it is published, with the agreement of the local Bishop, is a special rule of the precise duties of the deacon-teachers concerning the church and the school, it follows, of course, to enforce these rules. So, in the Novgorod diocese the local diocesan authority has established the following rules concerning the deacon-teachers: the deacon-teachers are relieved from participation in performing the Divine Services on all week-days, from participation at the special request services — at baptisms and the burial service of a child, at the performance of marriages, with the exception, that when on one day there will be many marriages and the help of the deacon will be necessary; it is necessary for the deacons to participate in the services: on all Sundays and Holy Days, on all Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays of Great Lent, on all patronal feast days, on all rural feasts in the church and during the time of prayers in houses, and besides this, according to the local requested circumstance, in the special exclusive cases, when the presence of deacon at the Divine Services or the performance of the request will be recognized as necessary; but in order to prevent damage to the school work, the rector of the church, leading the deacons to participate in the Divine Services and requested services in unexpected inclusive cases, should act with strict discernment and oversight and not give any place for the multiplication of such cases; from this it is suggested that the deacon-teachers in case of the necessity to participate in the Divine Services on school days, make an effort to visit the school some time before the performance of the Divine Services for the hearing of the given lessons and for the presentation of new lessons (C. M. 1897,42). Also other dioceses issued special rules, by which one or another privilege is granted the deacon-teachers (see. Simb. Y. V. 1896, 3). Any general law concerning this does not exist (see C. M. 1893, 19; 1894, 45; C. M. 1896, 16). But anyway neither from the rules about parochial schools, nor from the decrees of the Holy Synod is it evident that the deacons, even though they are teachers of designated schools, take part in the performance of the Divine Services only on great feasts and Sundays were named to positions with the exclusive purpose of teaching at the schools. In view of this, there, where there are no deacon-teachers of the special rules issued by the local diocesan authority, the demand by the priests, that the deacon-teachers be relieved from school duties during the time of the Divine Services, should be recognized as quite lawful.
(3) The Kostroma Spiritual Consistory (because in many churches of the diocese there are vacancies of psalm-readers the deacons, who quite often are responsible to the Diocesan Authority, substitute upon requests for permission for them to alternate in the functions of the specific diaconal duties in the church and the parish with the regular deacons) by circular decrees has proclaimed to the clergy of the diocese the following information and direction, that in the situation consisting of vacancies of psalm-readers the deacon should without neglect execute all the duties of the psalm-reader in the church and parish; to begin the divine services in the rank of deacon they must do so with the knowledge and blessing of the rector of the church, instead of at his own discretion and desire, and not to arbitrarily leave the choir reading and singing (Manual up until 1889, — Concerning whether the deacon in the absence of the psalm-reader in helping the regular deacon serve liturgies (for example the early one), — "The Church Messenger" explained, that the deacon on the vacancy of the psalm-reader, as deacon, is obliged to serve the liturgy at every opportunity, not thinking that he helps someone by this (C. M. 1892,43). The assignment of turns of the deacons in their service of the liturgy should be determined by the rector, and not by any means depend on the will of this or that deacon (see C. M. 1892, 28). — It is self understood that the deacon-psalm-reader at a divine service, if vested, necessarily should carry his orarion also (see C. M. 1894, 39).
(4) The Deacon is forbidden and has no the right to vest and deliver sermons: the prohibition of these things also is that it is a forbidden action in the service and teaching (C. M. 1890, 11).
(5) In 1892, March 9, No. 140, from Metropolitan Leonty of Moscow the following proposition arrived in the local Consistory: "information reached me, that in some parishes within the city of Moscow during Great Lent one of the deacons served the Hours without the priest. Finding such custom completely opposed to church rules, I propose that the Consistories confirm to the clergy, that the deacon does not have the right to perform any divine service without the priest, and those guilty of the infringement of this rule will be subjected to strict accountability." (Moscow Y. V. 1892, 9).
(6) The Moscow Council of 1667 even considers the performance as deacons, without the utmost need, the sprinkling with holy water out of his competence: "the priest blesses the water, he is worthy also to sprinkle, and not the deacon; the deacon only holds the vessel of holy water, for he is the servant" (Materials for a Lecture, 288). According to the explanation in the "The Church Messenger," the deacon by himself taking the cross from the altar and taking it for kissing in preparing for holy communion represents a change in the standard practice as excessive and undesirable, and in the specified case it is necessary to bring the cross out from the sanctuary to the priest (C. M. 1888, 28).
(7) The Deacon, when he soon participates in whatever Divine Service as a deacon, by all means should be in church vestments — in a sticharion with the orarion (and not in any case without the sticharion, and only an orarion, as it is sometimes practiced, — see Penz. Y. V. 890, 18); the deacon receives the right to vest every time from the blessing of the priest, which is why he asks the blessing from him with the words: "Bless, Master, the holy sticharion and orarion"; the deacon has no the right by himself to vest in sacred vestments, without the blessing of the priest, even and with the consent of the priest, (The Manual up to the present time 1894, 14).
(8) At the sole celebration by the deacon of this or that service, and even with the participation of the psalm-reader, the omission specified in the order of services of either actions or the prayers or their completion without a priest, the deacon distorts the very service, for which are specified in the known liturgical books a certain rank and order of performance, with the necessary concurrence with this by the actions of the church servers according to their rank; the distortion of the church services in any case cannot be allowed. Therefore the deacon can neither begin without the blessing of the priest, nor intone the exclamations of the priest, nor open the royal doors during a service, nor make an entrance, nor do a censing, nor do the dismissal (because all these actions are done only by the priest himself, or sometimes with others and the deacon, but not otherwise, as after the preliminary blessing of the priest, in which the deacon in any case has no right to preach neither by himself, nor with other people, neither by liturgical actions, nor by church matters), whereas all this accompanies or enters into the liturgical structure of the order of this or that church service. Therefore the deacon, as a hierarchical person with only known rights and duties, has no right in church vestments, without the participation of the priest to perform any private divine services or prayer services, although it is faster for the completion of it the blessing of the priest is required and the known rank or order of service is specified. On the other hand, a private service of need done by the deacon (a brief Litya for the departed, the panichida) will be imagined from the person of the deacon, or according to the tradition and temple custom, but, anyway, by the higher ecclesiastical authority (Hierarchical or Holy Synodal) as not by the rank itself and not in agreement with the established divine service rank, because this service will inevitably be needed, in view of the above mentioned reduction and change in the structure of the liturgical actions accompanying it. In another situation, if a priest is in the church, and by himself beginning this or that divine service and up to the end participating in it through its completion out of the order of its divine service, that belongs to the person of the priest, even though he, according to the need or circumstances, did not immediately accept the participation in the direction of all the order of this or that service, moreover the part of the divine service or private service of need. We understand in this case the Moliebens, the Panichidas, the Lityas for the Departed, usually served on the ambo or in the middle of the temple sometimes by one present deacon, if only the priest was in the temple (for example, according to the need in the sanctuary, instead of in the middle of the temple) and has sent what belongs to the rank of the priesthood — began the divine service by the usual blessing, intoned the exclamations and finished the service with the blessing of the dismissal. It is supposed in ecclesiastical practice. (See the details in the Manual up to the present 1894, 14).
S. V. Bulgakov, Handbook for Church Servers, 2nd ed., 1274 pp., (Kharkov, 1900) pp.682-5.
Translated by Archpriest Eugene D. Tarris © 3/27/2001. Posted with permission.
Doors and the curtain.
Chapter 23 of the Typikon reads as follows:
About the Holy Altar, When it is Opened and When it is Closed
The curtain is opened at the beginning of Vespers, and stays open even until the Dismissal. At Matins likewise, from the beginning until the end. At the Hours, when they are read outside of Liturgy, it is opened for the reading of the Apostle, and stay s open until the dismissal. But at the dismissal it is closed indeed. At the beginning of Liturgy the curtain is opened and stays opened until (through) the Great Entrance. After the Entrance it is closed again, until the priest, or deacon, cries, "The doors, the doors, in Wisdom let us attend!" It is opened then and remains open until the exclamation, "Holy Things are for the Holy!" And again it is closed. After Communion it is opened again, and it stays open until the end of the Holy Liturgy. After the Dismissal of the Liturgy, it is again completely closed. But if a Molieben is sung, then it remains open from beginning to end of that. NOTE: Be aware that the Holy Doors are never opened, except at the beginning of Great Vespers when there is a Vigil, when the priest censes, and for all entrances, i.e., of Vespers and Liturgy, and with the Holy Gospel: likewise, they are opened for the appearance of the Holy Gifts, even until the completion of the Divine Liturgy.
The Holy Doors (and the north and south doors, as well) are of course still to remain opened through the entire Bright Week, until the Ninth Hour on Bright Saturday evening, i.e., during the entire period when, according to ancient practice, those newly illuminated through Holy Baptism remained in the Temple wearing their Baptismal garments.
The Holy Doors and the Curtain with some Remarks on Orientation.
About the curtain of the holy altar, when it is opened and when it is closed
The curtain is opened at the beginning of Vespers, and stays open even up to the Dismissal. At Matins likewise, from the beginning to the end. At the Hours, when read apart from Liturgy, it is opened for the Apostolic reading and stays open until the dismissal.(1) At the Dismissal it is indeed closed. At the beginning of Liturgy, though, the curtain is opened, and it stays opened all the way to the Great Entrance. After the entrance, though, it is again closed, until the Priest, or Deacon, exclaims: "The Doors! The Doors! In wisdom let us attend!" Then it is opened, and it stays opened until the cry: "Holy Things are for the Holy!" Then it is iclosed again. After the Communion(2) it is again opened, and it stays opened until the end of the Holy Liturgy. After the Dismissal of the l liturgy, though it is closed for good. When a Molieben is sung, the curtain remains open from beginning to end.(3) Be aware that the Holy Doors are never ever(4) openedonly at the beginning of Great Vespers, when there is a Vigil and the Priest therefore censes, and at all entrances, i.e., vespers and liturgy entrances, and for the reading of the Gospel. They are likewise opened also from the Appearance of the Holy Mysteries, even up to the completion of the Divine Liturgy.
As for the curtain, it is well known that in the developments and refinements that have taken place in our Church, always under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and always with the Faithful people GUARDING What has been passed on to them, the curtain was in use long before the development of the Iconostasis as we know it. The reason (not rationale) for the curtain is made particularly plain in the Typikon's direction that it be opened at the words "The Doors! The Doors!" This is that moment when the Subdeacons of old, or those having the office then known as Door-Keeper, made their final "security check" as we would say. Then not only could the curtain be opened, but the Aer could be lifted up from the Gifts placed on the Altar at the Great Entrance and since then protected by that curtain and Aer. (The curtain could even be considered, in a sense, another larger Aer.) It is of course, incorrect to interpret the words "The Doors! The Doors!" as being any kind of direction to OPEN any doors! Here that the Peace that is given to the people before that moment, with the signing of them with the sign of the precious cross, is given with the curtain closed. The action in no way diminishes the Blessing or the Peace.
Some Presbyters, perhaps feeling relieved of their burden of following the Typikon vis-a-vis doors and curtain, also allow themselves to face the people, in the style of an hierarch, for the opening phrases of the Anaphora: "The Grace of our Lord..." "Let us lift up our hearts.." and "Let us give thanks unto the Lord..." This practice is not followed by nor has it been authorized for Presbyters. The Presbyter, in accordance with received practice, DOES turn to the West only when he blesses the People with his hand at the conclusion of the phrase "The Grace of our Lord Jesus Chris, the Love of God the Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit BE WITH YOU ALL." This is the same style he follows when he blesses at the end of the phrase: "And the mercies of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, BE WITH YOU ALL."
With regard to such QUASI-hierarchical emulations, for some time our Local Church has left off following the practice (introduced from above very late in the history of the Russian Church) of permitting AS AN AWARD OF DISTINCTION some distinguished Presbyters to serve with open Holy Doors "Up to the Great Entrance," and "Not only up to the Great Entrance, but through the Lord's Prayer." There is, of course, nothing ESSENTIALLY hierarchical about open Holy Doors. In fact, relative to, especially, the curtain, the practice of keeping the Holy Doors open all the way to the time of the Holy Communion of the clergy would appear obviously to conflict with the ancient practice of the curtain as prescribed in our Typikon. No such practice is followed, for example, at an hierarchical celebration of the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
The Hours. The Typikon and received practice make no general distinctions amongst the different Hours nor any distinction relative to the curtain particularly, even when some are celebrated just before the Divine Liturgy. The Hours are, in fact, services of the Narthex, and they are to be served, save for those exceptions quoted above in chapter 23 of the Typikon, with CLOSED Doors and Curtain. The Curtain is opened for Divine Liturgy at the point when the Deacon's censing of Altar and Church begins, after the conclusion of the Dismissal of the Service of the Proskomedia. This censing, like the censing done before the Blessing that begins the All-Night Vigil, is done (at least theoretically) in silence, although in our times we permit it to be done before the Hours are concluded. Therefore, at the time the Deacon goes before the Holy Table and begins to cense, repeating quietly the troparion, "In the grave with the body but in Hades with the soul as God; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou, O Christ, filling all things, Thyself uncircumscribed," THEN the Curtain is opened for Divine Liturgy, NOT at the beginning blessing of the Hours.
Orientation. For most of the Divine Services, whether the Divine Liturgy or the Services of the Office, the essential unity of the entire People of God, including Deacons, Priests, and Bishops, is realized in many ways, and one of them is in orientation. That is, by and large all prayers in our services from beginning to end are said with all facing the East, including Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. Some Deacons who turn to the faithful in order to repeat the phrase, "Let us love one another that with one mind...." This is inexplicable. EVERY petition of the Great Litany contains the phrase "LET US..." "LET US pray to the Lord..." Other Litanies contain the phrase "LET US ask of the Lord" And so forth. If the Deacon turns to the People, it would seem that he is separating himself from the people in his posture, or that he is addressing them AND NOT HIMSELF. It is as if he were a specialist following this kind of rubric: "When the specialist or professional is addressing God (on behalf of the layman), then he faces East: when the specialist or professional is addressing the layman as their director, then he faces them." Let Deacons avoid this novelty and, by so doing show forth the CONCILIARITY of the Church, not only in their posture, but in following the consensus of not only our short time on earth, but the consensus of those who went before us.(7)
(1) These "epistle" readings (more correctly, "apostolic readings," since the Acts are included) are at the Hours of Great, Good, and Holy Friday, at the Royal Hours of Theophany and Nativity, and at the daily Sixth Lenten Hour during the Great Fast. In practice where the curtain is opened at the daily Lenten sixth hour for the Prokeimenon, Apostolic reading and second Prokeimenon, it is closed after the second Prokeimenon, and not left open until the Dismissal.
(2) I.e., after the Communion of the clergy.
(3) This is applied to those Moliebens sung in the center of the Church, where the clergy bring out the Holy Gospel and Cross and place them on an Analoy at the beginning of the Molieben, and to the Solemn Molieben at the New Year (the one that begins with "Blessed is the Kingdom..." because of the habit of the [Byzantine] Emperor of being present at it).
(5) This title continues: "This same sequence is followed also in the rest of the honorable Jerusalem communities, as likewise in the rest of God's Holy churches."
6) However, the following rationale has been put forward by some. It goes like this. The Iconostasis, the Doors and the Curtain do not protect the Holies from observation by the profane: they protect the profane from the Holies, which are a light to the Faithful, but a burning flame to the profane.
(7) No one should feel that the ancient practice of our Church where the President of the Eucharist and his assistant Elders go and stand at the High Place, in pious imitation and recollection of the Savior and His Apostles, and face the people in order to give the Peace and to impart the teaching of the Scriptures conflicts in any way with the aforedescribed orientation for prayer. There are also some special prayers that are composed to include didactic elements, such as the Kneeling Prayers at Pentecost and the concluding long collect at the end of the New Year's Molieben. These are, exceptionally, said by the celebrant while he faces the Faithful. Such exceptional prayers are read kneeling.
Priest's Headcoverings During Divine Worship.
The 29th Chapter of the Typikon is titled, "About the Covering of Heads:"
Be it known that at Liturgy we uncover our heads at the Entrance, and for the hearing of the holy Gospel, and at the Cherubim Hymn of the Great Entrance, and at the Savior's Words, and at "It is truly meet, and at "Our Father," and at the appearance of the Holy Mysteries, and at the entrance at Vespers.
The above rubric pertains, of course, to the wearing of headgear by Monastics standing in Church; moreover, not to those who are actually serving, but to those that are simply present at the services. As for those Priests that have the right of wearing Mitres, Kamilavkas, and Skufiyas, the following is the received practice of our Church, and is to be followed in the Diocese of the West.
For Divine Liturgy, the Priest enters the Church wearing his Skufiya or Kamilavka and, usually, begins reading the prayers of preparation in front of the Holy Doors without uncovering his head until the end of the penitential troparia, "Have mercy on us, O Lord..." and "Open unto us the door of thy tender-heartedness, O Theotokos." When he has to kiss the Icons, the Priest bares his head. He also reads the Prayer: "O Lord, stretch forth Thy hand," with uncovered head and, without re-covering it, he enters the Altar, makes his reverences before the Holy Table, kisses the Book of Gospels, the Cross and the Holy Table and proceeds to vest, as usual.
He also serves the Proskomedia with uncovered head. He puts on his Mitre, Kamilavka, or Skufiya at the beginning of the Liturgy proper, before uttering "O Heavenly King" and "Glory to God in the highest." He continues with covered head all the way to the Gospel. At the Gospel he takes off his head-covering. He puts it back on again after the reading and stands with covered head up to the Cherubim Hymn or, more exactly, till the Great Entrance. From that point on the Priest leaves his head bare until the exclamation "Always, now and ever and unto ages of ages," and the placing of the Holy Gifts on the Table of Oblation, whereupon, returning to stand before the Holy Table, while the Choir is singing "Let our mouths be filled," the Priest puts on his head-covering, refolds the Antimension and Iliton, reads the Prayer before the Ambo, and proceeds straight through to the conclusion of the Liturgy with covered head.
When serving the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, Priests take off their Kamilavkas and Skufiyas to kiss the holy Icons during the reading of their (abbreviated) Entrance Prayers while the Choir is chanting the Beatitudes of the Typica. They put them back on again before beginning the Liturgy and take them off again to make a Great Reverence before the Holy Table and take the Presanctified Gifts from the Tabernacle and place Them on the Paten. They put them on again and leave them on until it comes time to make three Great Reverences and transport the Presanctified Gifts from the Holy Table to the Table of Oblation. After placing Them on the Table of Oblation and making a prostration, they put their headgear on again. Headgear are taken off before the blessing with candle and censer and the words: "Wisdom. Attend. The Light of Christ illuminateth all." Then they are put on again. They are again taken off for the chanting of "Let my prayer arise," with its verses, and put on again after three Great Reverences and the Prayer of St. Ephraim. They are put on again for the Fervent Litany and remain on until the time of "Now the Powers of Heaven." Priests then stand bare-headed through the rest of the Service until "Let our mouths be filled," as at Eucharistic Liturgies.
As for other services, in general our practice is not to keep our heads covered during prayers in general — Prayers of Light, Prayers at the bowing of heads, during the Hexapsalmos, Molieben Prayers, and during the time of other such sacred utterances as the reading of Akathists and Gospels. And this usage applies not only to Priests that are serving, but also to those only present at a given Service.
Some Priests have asked if Kamilavkas and Skufiyas can be placed on the Holy Table. This has not been received practice from very early times, and is is best to avoid it. As for Miters, since they have holy icons on them, they may be, and usually are, placed on the Holy Table.
Finally a word about black Skufiyas. These may be worn by any clergy from the rank of Reader if they receive a blessing to do so from their Bishop. If the blessing to wear a black Skufiya is asked for and given for health reasons, then that Skufiya should only be worn for such reasons as protection from the cold and for performing services of need outside the Temple, for such occasions as burials and Cross processions, or in winter in an unheated Church, and even during Services and the Divine Liturgy, in which case the same rules are followed as are given above for the Violet Skufiya.
 While headgear is not worn during the Proskomedia, all other Vestments are worn during the Proskomedia. There is no provision at all in the Service Books of our Church for deferring any of the vesting until after the Proskomedia. Any Priests that are serving the Proskomedia without their phelonion are making a mistake and disturbing the established order of the services.
Using the title “Father.”
Here is another item of priestly courtesy: while priests call each other (and deacons) "Father," they do not speak of themselves as "Father" to another priest (or to the bishop), nor do they sign their correspondence to one another as "Father so-and-so." Priests speak of themselves to each other (and to the bishop) as "Priest so-and-so," (or Archpriest or Protopresbyter so-and-so. Deacons speak of themselves to other deacons or to priests or the bishop, as "Deacon so-and-so," while always addressing other deacons as "Father Deacon" or "Father so-and-so."
Our Orthodox Typikon knows or recognizes two kinds of reverences, reverence being defined as the customary posture of an Orthodox Church member when adoring God in Church. One of them is a "reverence down to the ground" (Slavonic: zemnoy poklon). The other is a "waist reverence" (Slavonic: poiasnyi poklon). In English, it's become quite usual to refer to the first as a "prostration," though it is not a prostration. A prostration is when one lies stretched out on the ground, face down, while our zemnoy poklon or "Reverence down to the ground" is a posture whereby the forehead touches the ground while the body is in a kneeling, not a lying position. A better term for "reverence down to the ground," or "prostration," is "full reverence. " The other reverence, the "waist reverence," is a substitute for the full reverence. A "waist reverence" is described this way in the Typikon: (this is taken from the section giving directions on how to venerate the Gospel at a Resutrection Vigil): "And the Superior comes alone and makes two reverences, then kisses the Gospel, and again makes one reverence (not to the earth does he make reverences, but little (ones), bowing down his head, until he reaches the ground with his hand)." A better name for the waist reverence is "little reverence."
Reverences are prescribed at various points and during certain times in our services. Whether or not the words "full" or "earthly" precede the word "reverence," a full reverence is meant. The waist reverence is the substitute, prescribed for use when full reverences are not permitted by the Canons of the Church.
One may see from the above that neither those that bend their knees, in a kind of curtsy, looking straight ahead, then reach down to touch the ground, nor those that make a perfunctory bow while stretching out their right hand momentarily towards the ground, would seem to know how to indicate reverence as the Church finds to be appropriate.
The Great Fast.
THE GREAT FAST begins after Vespers in the evening on Forgiveness Sunday. Until then, we all should take some time for an especially intensive self-examination.
We should ask ourselves:
What is the condition of my relationship with God and His Body, the Church, and how has it improved from previous years?
What is the condition of my relationship with my family and neighbors, and how has it improved from previous years?
What is the condition of my own spiritual life, and how has it improved over the previous years?
After serious attention to those questions, we should be able to focus on some clear goals for the period of the Fast in order to experience with greater joy and spiritual benefits the celebration of Holy Pascha and the next period of our life that begins then. We all should conclude that visits to Holy Confession during the pre-Fast period and one or more times during the Fast itself are indicated. Probably we all need to take a more serious attitude towards what we know very well is what is expected of Orthodox Christians. Probably the most common error we make is procrastination — procrastination that is indefinite and almost final. We like to tell ourselves that we will take this or that step forward "just as soon as I am ready," "just as soon as these other things are in order," and so forth. The advice of the Saints is always "Do it now." The advice of Satan is, "There's no rush: anyhow, you're not ready yet."
The ringing of the bells serves two functions in the Orthodox Church. The first is for calling the faithful to divine services, and the second is to announce the beginning of various parts of the services to those faithful who are absent from the church.
The different manners or ways of ringing
1) Blagovest — literally "Good News." This is the measured striking of one bell for the beginning of a service.
2) Zvon — literally "Peal." This is the ringing of all bells.
3) Dvuzvon — literally "Double Peal." This is the ringing of all bells then an interval of silence, followed by a second ringing of all bells. Simply put, this is the ringing of all bells twice.
4) Trezvon — literally "Treble Peal." This is the ringing of all bells three times.
5) Perezvon — "Chain-peal." This is the striking of each bell several times beginning with the largest bell and proceeding to the smallest bell. This chain is repeated as long as necessary. This is used before any Blessing of Water.
6) Perebor — "Chain-toll." The slow striking of each bell once beginning from the largest bell and proceeding to the smallest bell. After the chain, all bells are rung together. This is repeated several times. This is also called burial or funeral ringing.
Bell Ringing at All-Night Vigil
The blagovest is rung before the service and is immediately followed by the trezvon. At the beginning of the reading of the Hexapsalmion or before it the dvuzvon takes place. Immediately before the reading of the Gospel, the zvon takes place. During the Magnificat the bell is struck nine times. At the conculsion of the Vigil, the trezvon is rung.
Bell Ringing at the Divine Liturgy
The blagovest is rung at the appointed time and ceases at the beginning of the Hours. At the endof the 6th hour the trezvon is rung. At the end of the Creed, which consists of 12 parts, the bell is struck 12 times in a unhurried fashion to inform those Christians who are absent that the time of the Consecration of the Holy Gifts approaches. After the Liturgy the trezvon is rung.
At Lenten and Royal Hours
Before the Hours during Great Lent and at Royal Hours, the number of times the bell is struck corresponds to which Hour is being read. At the Third Hour, the bell is struck three times, at the 6th, six times, and at the 9th, nine times.
Vespers of Holy Friday
At the bringing out of the Plaschanitsa and before the procession around the church the perebor is rung and immediately thereafter the trezvon.
Bell Ringing at Funerals
The perebor is used at the carrying out of the deceased from the temple for burial. There is no trezvon after this bell.
Bell Ringing at Moliebens with the Blessing of Water
When the cross is immersed into the water, a short trezvon takes place.
Bell Ringing at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
The blagovest is sounded at appointed time. As the Hierarch approaches the temple, all the bells are rung. When the Hierarch enters the temple, the ringing stops and the blagovest is resumed until the beginning of the vesting of the Hierarch. At the beginning of the Sixth hour the trezvon is sounded unless there is an ordination to the rank of reader or to the subdiaconate, in which case the trezvon is sounded after the Bishop's prayers before the Divine Liturgy.
Order of the Blessing of new Ecclesiastical Vestments.
That is, the sticharion, epitrochelion, belt, cuffs, and phelonion
Before the Royal Doors on a table prepared for the blessing of the offerings are placed the new vestments. The priest in epitrochelion and phelonion with the censer, goes out through the Royal Doors, and censes crosswise around the vestments, and begins as usual:
Blessed is our God always, now and ever and to the ages of ages.
O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth …
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name….
Priest: For Yours is the Kingdom, and the power….
Lord, have mercy. (12)
Come! Let us worship God, our King!
Come! Let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God!
Come! Let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and our God!
And Psalm 132 (133): Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity …
Glory to the Father, and to the Son … Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Glory to You, O God. (3)
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
The priest reads this prayer:O Lord, God Almighty, Who from the beginning performs all things useful for the human race, to create temples made by human hands in Your holy Name, to sanctify them in Your own glory, and to name the delightful place of the tent of Your glory: Who had ordered by Your servant Moses the vestments of the high priest, priestly and Levitical, and those various decorations in comeliness and beauty of the temple and Your sanctuary; mercifully hear now our entreaty, and bless, cleanse, and sanctify these vestments (name them), in honor and glory of Your all holy Name, prepared for the adornment of Your holy mysteries, through me Your humble and unworthy servant, so that they be worthily revealed for the service for Your holy Mysteries, and for every Doxology of Your all holy Name, and for Your consecrated servers to be vested with them, that they be for the deliverance and protection from all wiles and temptations of enemies, in Your pleasantness, and for the proper service for Your holy Mysteries, and in provision of Your grace and mercy;
Through the grace and compassion and love toward mankind of Your only begotten Son, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all holy, good, and life creating Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
Priest: Peace be to all.
People: And to your Spirit.
Deacon: Bow your heads to the Lord.
People: To You, O Lord.
The Priest, bowing his head, reads this prayer:O Master, God Almighty, Source of every good gift and sanctification, look down now on our prayer, and these vestments (he names them), made for the adornment and comeliness of Your priestly servers, by the grace of Your all holy Spirit, through the sprinkling of this holy water, are blessed, holy, and sanctified, that all those who are worthily vested for Your holy Mysteries, serve, and accept You always as Creator.
And he exclaims: For You are our Sanctification, and to You we ascribe glory, together with Your only begotten Son, and Your all holy, good, and life creating Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
The priest then takes the holy water, sprinkles it on the vestments lying there, saying:
These vestments (he names them) are sanctified by the grace of the all Holy Spirit, through the sprinkling of this sanctified water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen (3)
And if it be the Divine Liturgy, not performing the dismissal, the priest himself carries them into the Sanctuary, vests himself in them, and continues the service: if there is no service, he performs the usual daily dismissal, carries them into the sanctuary, and lays them on the Holy Altar.
The Vigil Service.
The Office of Matins.
The Sunday Matins Prokeimena:
The priest puts on the epitrachelion and the phelonion, and censes the holy table, the prothesis, and the whole sanctuary. Then, preceded by the deacon, who carries a candle, he comes out of the sanctuary and. together with him, censes the holy doors, the iconostasis, the icon of the feast, and the whole temple. Then, standing before the holy doors, the
deacon exclaims:Arise. Master, bless.
The priest, before the holy table, traces the sign of the cross with the censer, and says:Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating ….
Priest:Come, let us worship God our King… Then in a very loud voice: Come, let us worship and fall down before Him.
Choir:Bless the Lord, O my soul . . . selected verses
The priest, having censed the, whole church accompanied by the deacon as usual, and, after censing the holy table, takes off the phelonion and comes out before the holy doors to read the Prayers of Ligh…
When the Introductory Psalm is finished, the deacon, or the priest if there is no deacon, having come out by the north door, and standing in his usual place on the ambo, says this litany:
Deacon:In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Choir:To Thee O Lord.
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory, honor, and worship…
Choir:Amen. Blessed is the man ….
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord…
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Choir:To thee, O Lord.
Exclamation:For thine is the strength…
ThenLord, I have called is sung in the appointed tone of the stichera. When the choir begins to sing, Lord, I have called, the deacon, after the priest has blessed the incense, censes the altar on its four sides, the icons, the choirs, and the people, and returns to the sanctuary to the priest. At the Glory, the deacon opens the holy doors. Then the priest, preceded by the deacon with the censer, (or, if the Gospel is to be read, with the Gospel Book), goes around the right side of the altar, and comes out by the north door and stands before the holy doors.
The deacon, bowing slightly and holding the orarion with the first three fingers of his right hand, says to the priest secretly:Let us pray to the Lord.
The priest, bowing also, says secretly the Prayer of the Entrance:In the evening, and in the morning, and at noonday…
Then the deacon, holding the orarion with three fingers of his right hand, facing east, says to thePriest: Bless, Master, the holy entrance.
The priest then blesses toward the east, saying:
Blessed is the entrance of thy Saints, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And standing in the holy doors, tracing the sign of the cross with the censer, or, if he holds the Gospel Book, elevating it, he exclaims:Wisdom. Attend.
Choir:O Joyful Light of the holy glory of the Immortal Father …
The deacon censes about the altar, and then the priest and the deacon go to the high place.
Deacon: Let us attend. Priest: Peace be to all. Again the Deacon: Wisdom. Let us attend.
And then the prokeimenon of the day is said:
On Saturday evening, Tone 6:Psalm 92
The Lord hath become King; with beauty hath He clothed Himself.
Verse:The Lord hath clothed Himself with power and hath girded Himself.
Verse:For he hath established the world, which shall not be moved.
Verse:Holiness belongeth to thy house, O Lord, unto length of days.
On Sunday evening, Tone 8:Psalm 133
Behold now, bless the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord.
Verse:That stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
On Monday evening, Tone 4:Psalm 4
The Lord will hearken unto me, when I shall call unto Him.
Verse:When I called, the God of my righteousness heartened unto me.
On Tuesday evening, Tone 1:Psalm 22
Thy mercy, O Lord, shall follow me all the days of my life.
Verse:The Lord tendeth me as a shepherd, and He shall make me to want nothing; in a green place there hath He set me down.
On Wednesday evening, Tone 5:Psalm 53
O God, save me in thy name, and in thy power thou shalt judge me.
Verse:O God, hearken unto my prayer; give heed to the sayings of my mouth.
On Thursday evening, Tone 6:Psalm 120
My help is from the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth.
Verse:I lifted up mine eyes unto the mountains, from whence cometh my help.
On Friday evening, Tone 7:Psalm 58
O God, thou art my Helper, and thy mercy goeth before me.
Verse:Redeem me from mine enemies, O God, and from them that rise up against me, deliver me.
If lessons from the Old Testament are appointed, they are read here. Before each, the deacon exclaims,Wisdom, and the reader announces the title of the reading, and again the deacon exclaims, Let us attend.
During the reading, the priest sits in the high place, not in its center, but on the south side of the altar.
Note: If the Divine Liturgy is to follow, for example, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ, when there are eightreadings, and on the eve of Theophany, when there are thirteen, with accompanying troparia and verses, after the last reading, the little litany is said with the following exclamation:For holy art thou, our God, and unto thee do we send up glory…
Then the Trisagion is sung, after which the deacon says:Let us attend. Priest: Peace be to all. Deacon: Wisdom. Let us attend. The choir then sings the prokeimenon of the feast, and then the Epistle is read with the Alleluia and the customary censing, and then the Gospel, beginning with, Wisdom. Attend. Let us hear the holy Gospel. Peace be to all. The reading from the holy Gospel according to Name, and the rest of the Liturgy.
After the prokeimenon, the deacon, having come out by the north door, says: (The priest stands within the sanctuary before the holy table.)
Let us all say with all our soul…
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
O Lord Almighty, God of our fathers, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, O God, according to thy great mercy, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.
Choir:Lord, have mercy. thrice
Exclamation:For Thou art a merciful God …
Reader:Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening . . .
Deacon:Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
That the whole evening may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.
Choir:Grant this, O Lord.
Exclamation:For thou art a good God who lovest mankind …
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:Let us bow our heads unto the Lord.
Choir:To thee, O Lord.
Prayer at the Bowing of Heads:O Lord our God, who didst bow down the heavens …
Exclamation:Blessed and glorified be the might of thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
If there is no Lity, thechoir begins to sing the Aposticha, then Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart. . ., the Trisagion, and after Our Father . . ., the exclamation, For Thine is the kingdom . . ., and after this, the troparia according to the rule
If there is to be Lity, we come out to the narthex singing the stichera of the temple or of the festival. The priest and the deacon with the censer come out together through the north door to the narthex, the choir and candle bearers preceding them. The holy doors remain closed.
After the priest blesses the censer, the deacon censes the holy icons, the celebrant, and the choirs in order.
When we have finished the stichera of the Lity, theGlory of the Saint, and Both now and the theotokion, the deacon says this prayer in the hearing of all: O God, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance….
Choir:Lord, have mercy. forty times
Again we pray for (the most holy Orthodox Patriarchs,) … let us say:
Choir:Lord, have mercy. fifty times
Again we pray for the President (or the title of the highest authority), for all civil authorities, and for the armed forces, let us all say:
Choir:Lord, have mercy. thirty times
Again we pray that He will keep this city ….
Choir:Lord, have mercy. thrice
Again we pray that the Lord God will hearken unto the voice of supplication of us sinners and have mercy on us.
Choir:Lord, have mercy. Thrice.
Exclamation:Hear us, O God our Savior…
Priest:Peace be to all. Choir: And to thy spirit. Deacon: Let us bow our heads unto the Lord. Choir: To thee, O Lord.
Then, as all bow their heads, the priest prays in a loud voice:O Master, great in mercy, Lord Jesus Christ our God, through the intercessions …
And having returned to the temple, we begin to sing the aposticha. After the aposticha,Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart . . .
Reader:the Trisagion, and after Our Father . . . . . the priest says, For thine is the kingdom...
Then the apolytikion (dismissal troparion)
A table is prepared for the purpose of the blessing of the five breads thus: five breads are placed on the upper side of a dish, on the lower side, wheat, on the left, a small vessel with wine, on the right, a small vessel with oil. The deacon censes round about the table and the celebrant and the priests only. The priest then takes one bread, and makes the sign of the cross with it over the other breads, and says this prayer in a loud voice. When he saysthyself bless . . ., he points with his right hand to the remaining 'breads, wheat, wine, and oil.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord. Choir: Lord, have mercy.
Priest:O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who didst bless the five breads …
Choir:Amen. Blessed be the name of the Lord, henceforth and forever. thrice
[And we sayPsalm 33: I will bless the Lord at all times . . . up to, shall not be deprived of all good things.
The priest then goes to stand before the holy doors. After the conclusion of the Psalm, the priest says to the people:The blessing of the Lord be upon you…
The priest, finishing Vespers with the words,The blessing of the Lord be upon you . . ., and having closed the holy doors, takes off the phelonion.
The Office of Matins.
The reader then:Glory to God in the highest . . . thrice, and O Lord, open thou my lips... twice, and then the Six Psalms.
The priest, after the third Psalm, comes out by the north door before the holy doors and reads, the Matins prayers secretly, head uncovered.
After the third Psalm, the priest says the Matins Prayers, standing with head uncovered before the holy doors.
Deacon says the Great Litany:In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory…
Deacon:God is the Lord and hath revealed Himself unto us….
The choir repeats these words according to the tone of the troparion of the day. And we say these verses, Psalm 117:
Verse:O confess unto the Lord…
Verse:They encompassed me round about ….
Verse:I shall not die but live …
Verse:The stone which the builders rejected …
God is the Lord is sung four times.
After exclaiming againGod is the Lord… the deacon goes into the sanctuary.
Then the proper troparion is said twice and the theotokion in the same tone. And if there are two proper troparia, the first is always said twice, then the second and then the theotokion.
Then the usual kathisma. After its completion, the deacon or the priest says the little litany:
Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Exclamation:For thine is the strength, and thine are the kingdom ….
When the All-night Vigil is celebrated, on the great feasts and on major saints' days, during the singing of the Polyeleon, the icon is placed on the analogion in the center of the church, and the celebrant and concelebrants, coming forth from the sanctuary through the holy doors, and standing before the holy icon, at the end of the Polyeleon, sing the Megalynarion of the feast once, then both choirs sing it several times. And the celebrant, accompanied by the deacon, censes the icon of the feast on the analogion. Then, entering the sanctuary, he censes the holy table, the whole sanctuary, and the iconostasis, the concelebrants in the order of their rank, both choirs, the whole temple, the people, and again the holy doors and the two principal icons, and the icon of the feast on the analogion. Then the concelebrants once again sing the Megalynarion. Then the little Iitany is said by the deacon and the kathisma (sedalen)of the feast is sung.
The choir singsPraise ye the name of the Lord, and O confess unto the Lord…
And the Resurrectional Troparia:The Angelic Council ...
The priest then, wearing the phelonion, censes the sanctuary and the whole temple, accompanied by the deacon with a candle. After the troparia,The Angelic Council …
The Deacon says the little litany
Exclamation:For blessed is thy name, and glorified is thy kingdom…
Hypacoe and Anabathmoi of the Tone
After the anabathmoi, the deacon then:Let us attend. Wisdom. Let us attend.
And then the prokeimenon of the tone.
The Sunday Matins Prokeimena:
Now will I arise, saith the Lord. I will set myself for salvation; I will speak boldly thereof.
Verse:The words of the Lord are pure words.
Rise up, O Lord my God, in the precept which thou hast commanded, and the congregation of the people shall compass thee.
Verse:O Lord my God, in thee have I hoped, save me.
Say it among the nations: that the Lord hath become King; for He hath set aright the world, which shall not be moved.
Verse:O sing unto the Lord a new song; O sing unto the Lord, all the earth.
Arise, O Lord, help us, and redeem us for thy name's sake.
Verse:O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared it unto us.
Arise, O Lord my God, let thine hand be lifted up, for thou art King unto the ages.
Verse:I will confess thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will declare all thy wonders.
O Lord, arouse thy power, and come to save us.
Verse:O Shepherd of Israel, attend, thou that guidest Joseph like a sheep.
Arise, O Lord my God, let thine hand be lifted up; forget not thy needy ones till the end.
Verse:I will confess thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will declare all thy wonders.
The Lord shall be King forever, thy God, O Zion, from generation to generation.
Verse:Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord in my life.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
Priest:For holy art thou, O our God, who restest in the Saints…
Deacon:Let every breath praise the Lord.
Choir:Let every breath praise the Lord.
Deacon:Praise ye God in His Saints; praise ye Him in the establishment of His power.
Choir:Let every breath praise the Lord.
Deacon:Let every breath
Choir:praise the Lord.
Deacon:And that He may vouchsafe unto…
Choir:Lord, have mercy. thrice
Deacon:Wisdom. Attend. Let us hear the holy Gospel.
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Priest:The reading from the holy Gospel according to Name.
Choir:Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.
Deacon:Let us attend. And the priest reads the Matins Gospel.
After the reading of the Gospel, the priest brings the Gospel Book to the center of the church, preceded by the deacon with a lighted candle, and places it on the analogion, having kissed it together with the deacon. And the choir sings:The Resurrection of Christ . . . The reader reads Psalm 50, and the rest.
Deacon, in the usual place, says the prayer:O God, save thy people …
Choir:Lord, have mercy. twelve times
The priest exclaims:Through the mercy and compassion …
When the All-night Vigil is celebrated, on the great feasts and on major saints' days, the proper prokeimenon is said, and the celebrant reads the Gospel in the center of the church. After the reading, he kisses the icon of the feast on the analogion, as do all the concelebrants, and they then go into the sanctuary and take off their priestly vestments; only the celebrant remains vested. The choir sings the stichera of the feast. Then the deacon says:O God, save thy people ...
After the kissing of the Holy Gospel by the brethren and the people, the priest takes it back to the sanctuary, blessing the people with it from the holy doors.
And we begin the canons: of the Resurrection, of the Cross and Resurrection, of the Theotokos, and from the Menaion.
After the 3rd Ode, the deacon or the priest says the little litany:
Again and again . . . Help us... Remembering ...
Exclamation:For thou art our God ….
Then the kathisma from the Menaion.
After the 6th Ode, the litany:Again and again . . . Help us.. . Remembering...
Exclamation:For thou art the King of peace and the Savior of our souls…
The kontakion and the oikos.
At the beginning of the 8th Ode, the deacon, taking the censer, and receiving the blessing of the priest, censes the sanctuary. After the completion of the katabasia of the 8th Ode, standing before the icon of the Mother of God, he exclaims:The Theotokos and Mother of the Light… And he censes the choirs and the whole temple, and, having finished the censing, enters the sanctuary.
After the 9th Ode the litany:Again and again . . . Help us. . . Remembering. . .
Exclamation:For all the powers of heaven praise thee…
Deacon:Holy is the Lord our God.
Choir:Holy is the Lord our God.
Verse:For holy is the Lord our God.
Choir:Holy is the Lord our God.
Verse:Over all peoples is our God.
Choir:Holy is the Lord our God.
The Exaposteilarion of the Resurrection
Glory… and the proper Gospel Sticheron; Both now . . . and Most blessed art thou . . .
AtBoth now. . . the deacon opens the holy doors. The priest, wearing the phelonion, stands before the altar, and the deacon stands to the right side of the priest. At the conclusion of the last sticheron, the priest exclaims with a loud voice:
Priest:GLORY to thee who hast shown us the light.
The choir singsthe Great Doxology.
Then we say the troparion as usual.
Deacon:Have mercy on us, O God, according to thy great mercy….
Choir:Lord, have mercy. thrice
Exclamation:For thou art a merciful God who lovest mankind …
Deacon:Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord…
Exclamation:For thou art the God of mercies and compassion and of love…
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:Let us bow our heads unto the Lord.
Choir:To thee, O Lord.
And the priest says this prayer secretly:O holy Lord, who dwellest on high and lookest upon …
Exclamation:For thine it is to have mercy on us and to save us…
Priest:He Who is, is blessed… .
Choir:Amen. Establish, O God, the holy Orthodox Faith …
Priest:Most holy Theotokos, save us.
Choir:More honorable than the Cherubim ...
Priest:Glory to thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to thee.
Choir:Glory... Now and ... Lord, have mercy. thrice Bless.
The priest gives the dismissal of the day or of the feast, if one is appointed.
Reader:Come, let us worship . . . and the Psalms.
AfterOur Father, the priest, For thine is the kingdom . . .
AtIn the name of the Lord, bless, Father, the priest wearing the epitrachelion, and standing before the holy doors, exclaims:
O God, be compassionate unto us, and bless us, and make the light of thy face to shine upon us, and have mercy on us.
Then the priest prays:O Christ the true Light, who illuminest and sanctifiest every man …
After the prayer, the choir sings:O Chosen Leader . . .
Priest:Glory to thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to thee.
Choir:Glory . . . Now and . . . Lord, have mercy. thrice Bless.
The priest gives the lesser dismissal:
May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His immaculate Mother, of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers, and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
On the Nativity of Christ:
At the All-night Vigil:
May He who was born in a cavern, and lay in a manger for our salvation, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate Mother, of our Venerable and God-bearing Fathers, and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
At the Liturgy:
May He who was born in a cavern, and lay in a manger for our salvation, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles, of our Father among the Saints, (name of the Saint whose Liturgy is celebrated), of our Venerable and God-bearing Fathers and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
On the Circumcision:
May He who on the eighth day did deign to be circumcised in the flesh for our salvation, Christ our true God . . .
May He who in Jordan did deign to be baptized of John for our salvation, Christ our true God . . .
On the Meeting of the Lord
May He who did deign to be held in the arms of the righteous Simeon for our salvation, Christ our true God
May He who on Mount Tabor was transfigured in glory before His holy Disciples and Apostles, Christ our true God . . .
On Palm Sunday:
May He who did deign to sit upon an ass's colt, for our salvation, Christ our true God . . .
The Same Sunday, at Vespers:
May the Lord who came to His voluntary passion for our salvation, Christ our true God.. .
On Great Thursday:
May He who through His surpassing goodness did show the most excellent way of humility, when He washed the Disciples' feet and did condescend even to the Cross and burial for us, Christ our true God . . .
At the Dismissal of the Holy Passion Service:
May He who endured spitting, scourging, slapping, the Cross and death for the salvation of the world, Christ our true God . . .
On Holy and Great Friday:
May He who for us men and for our salvation did condescend to the dread passion and the life-creating Cross, and voluntary burial in the flesh, Christ our true God . . .
On the Sunday of Pascha and throughout Bright Week:
May Christ, who is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life, our true God . . .
May He who in glory did ascend from us into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, Christ our true God . . .
On the Sunday of Pentecost:
May He who in the shape of fiery tongues from heaven did send down the All-holy Spirit upon His holy Disciples and Apostles, Christ our true God . . .
On the Same Sunday, at Vespers:
May He who did empty Himself from the Paternal Divine Bosom, and came down from heaven upon the earth, and took upon Himself all our nature, and made it divine, and after these things, again ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, and did send down the divine and holy Spirit, one in essence, equal in power, and equal in glory, and ever-existing with Him, upon His holy Disciples and Apostles, and through Him did enlighten them, and through them the whole world, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His allimmaculate and all-blameless holy Mother, of the holy, glorious, all-laudable Preachers of God, the Spirit-bearing Apostles, and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
The Nativity of the Theotokos
We magnify thee, O all-holy Virgin, and we honor thy holy Parents, and we glorify thy most glorious Nativity.
The Exaltation of the Precious Cross
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we honor thy holy Cross, whereby thou hast saved us from bondage to the enemy.
The Protection of the All-holy Theotokos
We magnify thee, O all-holy Virgin, and we honor thine honorable protection, thee whom Saint Andrew beheld in the air praying to Christ for us.
The Entrance of the Theotokos
We magnify thee, O all-holy Virgin, Maiden chosen of God, and we honor thine entrance into the Temple of the Lord.
The Nativity of our Lord and God Jesus Christ
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, who for our sake now art born in the flesh of the unwedded and most pure Virgin Mary.
The Divine Theophany of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, who for our sake now art baptized in the flesh by John in the waters of the Jordan.
The Three Hierarchs
We magnify you, O Hierarchs of Christ, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, and we honor your holy memory, for ye do pray for us unto Christ our God.
The Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we honor thy most pure Mother, who now bringeth thee, according to the Law, into the Temple of the Lord.
The Annunciation of the All-holy Theotokos
The Archangel's cry we sing to thee, O Pure One, Hail, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we sing to thee, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
New Sunday, or Thomas Sunday
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, who for our sake didst descend into Hell, and with thyself dost raise all things.
Methodius and Cyril, Equal to the Apostles
We magnify you, O Methodius and Cyril, Equal to the Apostles, who enlightened all the Slavic lands with your teachings, and brought them to Christ.
The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we venerate thy divine Ascension with thy most pure flesh into heaven.
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we honor thine all-holy Spirit, whom thou didst send from the Father unto thy divine Disciples.
All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Land of Russia
We magnify you, all ye Holy Ones who have shone forth in the Land of Russia, and we honor your holy memory, for ye do pray for us unto Christ our God.
The Nativity of the Forerunner
We magnify thee, O John, Forerunner of the Savior, and we honor thy most glorious nativity from the barren one.
The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
We magnify you, O Apostles of Christ, Peter and Paul, who have enlightened all the world with your teachings and have brought all the ends of the earth unto Christ.
The Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles
We magnify thee, O Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles, and we honor thy holy memory, who trampled the idols and enlightened the whole land of Russia by Holy Baptism.
The Holy Prophet Elijah
We magnify thee, O glorious Prophet Elijah, and we venerate thy fiery ascent in the flesh into heaven.
The Transfiguration of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
We magnify thee, O Christ, Giver of Life, and we venerate the most glorious Transfiguration of thy most pure flesh.
The Falling-asleep of the All-holy Theotokos
We magnify thee, 0 all-immaculate Mother of Christ our God, and we glorify thy most glorious failing-asleep.
The Beheading of John the Forerunner
We magnify thee, O John, Baptist of the Savior, and we venerate thine honorable beheading.
Common Service of the Theotokos
It is meet to magnify thee, O Theotokos, more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious without compare than the Seraphim.
Common Service of the Bodiless Powers
We magnify you, O ye Archangels and Angels, and all ye Hosts, ye Cherubim and ye Seraphim, who glorify the Lord.
The Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers
We magnify thee, Chief Captain of God, Michael, and all ye Archangels, Angels, Principalities, Authorities, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Cherubim, and ye fearful Seraphim, who glorify the Lord.
Common Service of the Apostles
We magnify thee, O Apostle of Christ, Name, and we honor thine afflictions and toils, whereby thou didst labor for the Gospel of Christ.
Common Service of the Holy Martyrs
We magnify thee, O Holy Name, who endured passion, and we honor thine honorable sufferings, which thou hast endured for Christ.
Common Service of Hierarchs
We magnify thee, O Father and Hierarch Name, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us unto Christ.
Common Service of Venerable Saints
We bless thee, O Venerable Father Name, and we honor thy holy memory, Instructor of monks, who dost converse with angels.
Common Service of Venerable Martyrs
We magnify thee, O Holy Name, who didst endure passion, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us unto Christ our God.
Common Service of the Unmercenary
We magnify thee, O wonderworking glorious Name, and we honor thine honorable sufferings, which thou hast endured for Christ.
Common Service for Fools for the Sake of Christ
We bless thee, O Holy Righteous Name, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us unto Christ our God.
The Office of Vespers on Great Friday.
From the customary beginning up to the entrance, the order is according to the rule for daily vespers without reverences and without kathisma. The entrance is made with the Gospel Book, and immediately thereafter, the priest, with the deacon, if there is one:Let us attend. Peace be to all. Wisdom. Attend.
Prokeimenon, Tone 4, Psalm 21:19:They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Verse:O God, my God, attend to me; why hast thou forsaken me?
And the first reading from Exodus is read.
And again,Let us attend.
Prokeimenon, Tone 4, Psalm 34:1- 2:Judge thou, O Lord, them that wrong me. War against them that war against me.
Verse:Take up armor and shield, and rise up to help me.
Two readings, one from Job and the other from Isaiah.
And again,Let us attend.
Prokeimenon, Tone 6, Psalm 86:7:They have laid me in the lowest pit, in dark places, and in the shadow of death.
Verse:O Lord God of my salvation, I have called in the day and in the night before thee.
Epistle: to the Corinthians, Sel. 125
Alleluia, with censing, Tone 1, Psalm 68:1, 21, 24
Save me, O God, for the waters have come in, even unto my soul.
Verse:My soul hath waited for reproach and misery.
Verse:Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not.
ThenWisdom. Attend. and the Gospel, from Matthew, Selection 101. The litany, Let us all say... and the rest. The Aposticha, and at Glory . . . Now and . . . Thee that coverest thyself . . ., the priest censes round about the altar, upon which lies the Winding-sheet, thrice.
Lord, now lettest thou . . ., the Trisagion, and Our Father; then the priest, For thine is the kingdom . . ., the troparia, The noble Joseph . . . Glory ... Now and . . . Before the Myrrh-bearing women . . .
During the singing of the troparia, the Winding-sheet is brought from the altar and placed on a bier in the center of the church. Then, the dismissal and the kissing of the Windingsheet.
Matins on the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha.
Before the Midnight service. The reader begins and the priest says the verse:Through the prayers of the holy Apostles, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. And after Amen the reader begins to read. The whole book of Acts is read to the end.
The lamps are lighted, and Midnight Office begins. The beginning is as usual. Then,Come, let us worship . . . thrice, Psalm 50, and immediately the Canon of Great Saturday.
After the Canon, the Trisagion, and afterOur Father . . ., the troparion, When thou didst descend . . . Then the litany Have mercy on us, O God . . ., and the dismissal for Sunday Midnight Office.
At the time of the 6th Ode of the canon, there is a censing of the Winding-sheet; at the 9th Ode, the Winding-sheet is taken into the sanctuary and placed on the holy table. Then the holy doors are closed.
Toward the hour of Matins, the para-ecclesiarch, having received the blessing of the celebrant, goes out and tolIs the great belI for some time. Then, having entered the temple, he lights all the lamps and candies. He arranges two vessels with burning charcoal, placing much sweetsmelling incense in them, and sets them, one in the center f the church, and the other in the sanctuary, so that the hole church will be filled with a sweet aroma.
Then the celebrant, having entered the sanctuary with he priests and deacons, vests himself in all his brightest vestments. Then he distributes candles among the brethren, and he takes the precious Cross and the three-branch candlestick. The deacon takes the censer, one priest the holy Gospels, and one priest the icon of the Resurrection of Christ. They all stand facing the west, and the celebrant censes the sanctuary and the concelebrants. The western gates of the church are closed. The holy doors are then opened, and the celebrant comes out with the priests singing the sticheron, tone 6:Thy resurrection, O Christ Savior, the angels in heaven sing. Do thou enable us on earth to glorify thee with pure hearts.
They go around the temple preceded by the deacons and candle-bearers and by both choirs.
The bells are rung for some time. And having entered the porch, they stand holding the Gospel Book and the icons facing west, as indicated before. Then the celebrant takes the censer in his right hand from the deacon and holds the cross in his left hand. He then censes the icons, the choirs, and the brethren as usual, the deacon carrying before him a lighted candle. The brethren all stand holding their candles, praying with heed within themselves and giving thanks to Christ our God who suffered and rose again for our sakes.
At the conclusion of the censing, the celebrant comes before the principal doors of the church and censes the deacon, who stands before him with a candle. Then the deacon takes the censer from the celebrant's hand and censes the celebrant himself. And the celebrant, again taking the censer, standing before the doors of the church and facing east, signs the doors of the church, which remain closed, with the censer in cross form thrice, holding the precious cross and the three-branch candlestick in his left hand. Candle-bearers stand on both sides.
And he exclaims in a loud voice:
Priest:GLORY to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating, and undivided Trinity always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And we, having answeredAmen, the celebrant with the rest of the celebrants begins the troparion in tone 5 in a loud voice: CHRIST is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.
And we repeat the same with melody. This troparion is sung three times by the celebrant and three times by us.
Then the celebrant says the verses:
First:Let God arise, and let Him scatter His enemies, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
And at each verse, we sing the whole troparion,Christ is risen . . ., once.
Second:As smoke vanisheth, let them vanish; as wax melteth in the face of fire.
Christ is risen . . . once
Third: So let sinners perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad.
Christ is risen . . . once
Fourth: This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad on it.
Christ is risen . . ., once
We:Christ is risen . . . once
We:Christ is risen . . . once
Then the celebrant sings in a very loud voice:Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death.
The doors are opened. The celebrant enters with he precious Cross, two lamps being borne before him, and then the brethren sing, And on those in the tombs bestowing life.
All the bells are rung.
The celebrant enters the sanctuary with the priests, and the deacon says the Great Litany:In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory, honor and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
The choir begins the canon, a composition of John of Damascus, in tone 1. The heirmos isThe day of Resurrection. . . with the refrain, Christ is risen from the dead. And then each choir repeats the heirmos. And finally, as the katabasia, the same heirmos is sung, The day of Resurrection. . . after which the entire troparion, Christ is risen from the dead . . . is sung three times.
The priest with the deacon censes at the beginning of the canon the holy icons, both choirs, and the brethren in order, holding in his left hand the precious cross and the three-branch candlestick. He says,Christ is risen, and we answer, Truly He is risen. Similarly the other priests cense at each Ode.
[At the first Ode, the right hand choir sings, and at the third, the lefthand choir. And thus we sing the rest of the Odes].
After each Ode, the little litany is said outside the sanctuary, the exclamation being said by the priest inside the sanctuary.
After the 1 st Ode:For thine is the strength, and thine are the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 3rd Ode:For thou art our God, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 4th Ode:For thou art a good God who lovest man, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 5th Ode:For sanctified and glorified is thine all-honorable and magnificent name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 6th Ode:For thou art the King of peace and the Savior of our souls, and to thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 7th Ode:Blessed and glorified be the might of thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 8th Ode:For blessed is thy name, and glorified is thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the 9th Ode:For all the Powers of heaven praise thee, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the ainos, the paschal stichera:Glory . . . Now and ... The day of Resurrection, then, Christ is risen . . . thrice.
The Catechetical Sermon of our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Holy Resurrection of Christ our God:If any be pious and a lover of God, let him partake of this good and radiant festival….
The brethren exchange the paschal kiss. The paschal kiss is exchanged among the celebrant and the other priests and deacons within the sanctuary.
Then the celebrant, holding the precious cross, and the other priests, holding the Gospel book and icons, and the deacons come out and stand before the holy doors. The laymen approach and kiss the cross, the Gospel book, and icons, and the priests holding them, and then each other. The greeting is, Christ is risen, and the answer, Truly He is risen.
Then the troparion of the Saint is said, tone 8:From thy mouth grace, shining forth like a beaconfire ….
During the kisses the deacon says the litany:Have mercy on us, O God . . . and: Let us complete our morning prayer. . .,
and after the exclamation, the deacon says,Wisdom, and we, Bless.
The celebrant:He Who is, is blessed, even Christ our God, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And we:Amen. Establish, O God . . .
Then the priest, holding the Cross, in place ofGlory to thee, O Christ God . . ., sings: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death,
And we sing:And on those in the tombs bestowing life.
And immediately the celebrant gives the dismissal:May Christ, who is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life, our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate Mother, and of all the Saints, have mercy on s and save us, for He is good and loveth man.
Then, raising the Cross, he says:Christ is risen. thrice
And we answer:Truly He is risen.
And finally we sing,Christ is risen . . . the whole troparion thrice.
And after the singing of the troparion, we finish with:And to us hath He given eternal life. Let us worship His third-day Resurrection.
It should be noted that, beginning with this day, the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha, up to Saturday, the Hours:
The priest begins:Blessed is our God, and Christ is risen from the dead . . . the whole troparion thrice. And then, Having seen the Resurrection of Christ . . . thrice, the hypakoe, Anticipating the morning . . . once, the kontakion, Though thou didst descend into the grave, once, then the troparion, In the tomb bodily . . ., Glory . . ., As life-bearing. . ., Both now . . . the theotokion, O sacred and divine Tabernacle of the Most High . . .
Then,Lord, have mercy. 40 times, Glory . . . Now and . . . More honorable than the Cherubim . . . In the name of the Lord, bless, Father. The priest says the verse: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers . . . and we say, Amen; and again we say, Christ is risen . . . thrice, Glory . . . Now and . . . Lord, have mercy, thrice, Bless, and the dismissal for First Hour.
The same is sung for Third Hour and for Sixth Hour before the Liturgy, for Ninth Hour and Compline (once) before Vespers, and for Midnight Office until Saturday of holy Paschal Week.
On the rest of the days of Bright Week at Matins, the priest wears the rason with epitrachelion and phelonion as usual. And, taking the cross and the three-branch candlestick, he stands holding the censer, before the holy table, and censes in cross-form, saying:Glory to the holy . . . and he begins the troparion, Christ is risen . . . thrice, and we answer the same.
And we singChrist is risen . . . with its verses as indicated for Matins and Vespers on Sunday.
After the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Odes, there are little litanies with exclamations. At the Ainos, the stichera of the Resurrection and the Paschal stichera with their refrains, as indicated for Sunday Matins.
Then the litanies and the dismissal, and First Hour.
On Thomas Sunday until the dismissal of the Paschal Feast, on all days, Matins begins with the exclamation,Glory to the holy. . ., the choir, Amen, and the priest sings slowly, Christ is risen... thrice.
Proskomede and the beginning of the Liturgy.
The priest who desires to celebrate the Divine Mysteries must first be at peace with all, have nothing against anyone, and insofar as is within his power, keep his heart from evil thoughts, be continent from the evening before, and be vigilant until the time of divine service. When the time is come, he goes into the temple, in company with the deacon, and together they make three reverences toward the east before the holy doors.
Prayers in front of the Royal doors.
Priest:Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
O Heavenly King, O Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. Thrice.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.
Lord, have mercy. Thrice.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Priest:For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Then they say:
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for, at a loss for any defense, this prayer do we sinners offer unto Thee as Master, have mercy on us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Lord, have mercy on us; for we have hoped in Thee, be not angry with us greatly, neither remember our iniquities; but look upon us now as thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies; for Thou art our God, and we, Thy people; all are the works of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.
Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The door of compassion open unto us, O blessed Theotokos, for hoping in thee, let us not perish; through thee may we be delivered from adversities; for thou art the salvation of the Christian race.
Then they approach the icon of Christ and kiss it, saying:
We worship Thine immaculate Icon, O Good One, asking the forgiveness of our failings, O Christ God; for of Thine Own will Thou wast well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, that thou mightest deliver from slavery to the enemy those whom Thou hadst fashioned. Wherefore, we cry to Thee thankfully: Thou didst fill all things with joy, O our Savior, when Thou camest to save the world.
Then they kiss the icon of the Theotokos, saying the Troparion:
As thou art a well-spring of compassion, vouchsafe mercy unto us, O Theotokos. Look upon a sinful people; show forth, as always thy power. For hoping in thee we cry "Rejoice!" to thee, as once did Gabriel, the Supreme Commander of the Bodiless Hosts.
Then with bowed head the priest says:
Priest:O Lord, stretch forth Thy hand from Thy holy place on high, and strengthen me for this, Thine appointed service; that standing uncondemned before Thy dread altar, I may celebrate the bloodless ministry. For Thine is the power and the glory unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Then they make a bow to each choir, and go into the prothesis, saying:
I shall go into Thy house; I shall worship toward Thy holy temple in fear of Thee. O Lord, guide me in the way of Thy righteousness; because of mine enemies, make straight my way before Thee. For in their mouth there is no truth; their heart is vain. Their throat is an open sepulcher, with their tongues have they spoken deceitfully; judge them, O God. Let them fall down on account of their own devising; according to the multitude of their ungodliness, cast them out, for they have embittered Thee, O Lord. And let all them be glad that hope in Thee; they shall ever rejoice, and Thou shalt dwell among them. And all shall glory in Thee that love Thy name, for Thou shalt bless the righteous. O Lord, as with a shield of Thy good pleasure hast Thou crowned us.
Putting on the vestments.
Having come into the sanctuary, they make three bows before the Holy Table and kiss the Holy Gospel and the Holy Table. Then each one takes his sticharion in his hands, and they make three reverences toward the east, while saying to themselves with each:
O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me.
Then the deacon comes to the priest, holding in his right hand the sticharion with the orarion, and bowing his head before the priest, says:
Deacon:Bless, Master, the sticharion with the orarion.
Priest:Blessed is our God always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Then the deacon goes to one side of the sanctuary, puts on the sticharion, praying thus:
Deacon:My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He hath clothed me in the garment of salvation, and with the vesture of gladness hath He covered me; He hath placed a crown upon me as on a bridegroom, and He hath adorned me as a bride with comeliness.
And then kissing the orarion, he places it on the left shoulder. Then putting the epimanikia on the hands, with the right cuff he says:
Deacon:Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength; Thy right hand, O Lord, hath shattered enemies, and in the multitude of Thy glory hast Thou ground down the adversaries.
And with the left, he says:
Deacon:Thy hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding and I will learn Thy commandments.
Going to the prothesis, he prepares the holy things. The holy diskos he places on the left side; the chalice, that is, the holy cup, on the right ; and the rest (the spoon and the spear, etc.) with them.
Then the priest vests himself thus: taking the sticharion in the left hand, and bowing thrice toward the east, as mentioned before, he signs it with the sign of the Cross, saying:
Priest:Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Priest:My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He hath clothed me in the garment of salvation, and with the vesture of gladness hath He covered me; He hath placed a crown upon me as on a bridegroom, and He hath adorned me as a bride with comeliness.
Then taking the epitrachelion and signing it, he puts it on, saying:
Priest:Blessed is God Who poureth out His grace upon His priests, like unto the oil of myrrh upon the head, which runneth down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron, which runneth down to the fringe of his raiment.
Then taking the zone and girding himself he says:
Priest:Blessed is God, Who girded me with power, and hath made my path blameless, Who maketh my feet like the feet of a hart, and setteth me upon high places.
Then the cuffs, in the manner described. Then taking the epigonation, if he have it, and having blessed and kissed it, he says:
Priest:Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Mighty one, in Thy comeliness and Thy beauty, and bend Thy bow, and proceed prosperously, and be king, because of truth and meekness and righteousness, and Thy right hand shall guide Thee wondrously, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Then taking the phelonion, and having blessed and kissed it, he says thus:
Priest:Thy priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy saints with rejoicing shall rejoice, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Then having gone to the prothesis, they wash their hands, saying:
I will wash my hands in innocency and I will compass Thine altar…
Then making three reverences before the table of oblation, each says:
O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me. Thrice.
Priest:Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law by Thy precious Blood. Having been nailed to the Cross and pierced with a spear, Thou hast gushed forth immortality upon mankind. O our Savior, glory to Thee.
Priest:Blessed is our god, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Then the priest takes a prosphoron in his left hand, and in his right hand the holy spear, and making therewith the sign of the Cross thrice over the seal of the prosphoron, he says:
Priest:In remembrance of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thrice.
And immediately he thrusts the spear into the right side of the seal, and cutting he says:
Priest:He was led as a sheep to the slaughter.
And into the left side:
Priest:And as a blameless lamb before his shearer is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.
And into the upper side of the seal:
Priest:In His lowliness His judgment was taken away.
And into the lower side:
Priest:And who shall declare His generation?
And the deacon, gazing reverently at this Mystery, holding his orarion in his hand, says at each of these incisions:
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
After the prosphoron has been cut on all four sides he says:
Deacon:Take away, Master.
The priest having thrust the holy spear obliquely into the right side of the prosphoron, takes away the holy bread, saying:
Priest:For His life is taken away from the earth.
And the priest having laid it inverted on the holy diskos, the deacon says:
And the priest sacrifices it cruciformly, while saying:
Priest:Sacrificed is the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world, for the life and salvation of the world.
And the priest turns upward the other side which has the sign of the Cross. and the deacon says:
And the priest, piercing also in the right side with the spear, says:
Priest:One of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true.
The deacon, taking wine and water, says to the Priest:
Deacon: Bless, Master, the holy union.
And receiving the blessing upon them, he pours wine together with water into the holy chalice. The priest takes a second prosphoron in his hand and says:
Priest:In honor and remembrance of our most blessed Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, through whose intercession do Thou, O Lord, receive this sacrifice upon Thy most heavenly altar.
The priest takes out a particle and places it on the right side of the holy bread, near its center, saying:
Priest:At Thy right hand stood the queen, arrayed in a vesture of inwoven gold, adorned in varied colors.
Then taking the third prosphoron, he says:
Priest:Of the honorable glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.
And taking out the first particle, he places it on the left side of the holy bread, making the beginning of the first row, and then he says:
Priest:Of the holy glorious prophets: Moses and Aaron, Elias and Elisseus, David and Jesse; of the holy Three Children, of Daniel the Prophet, and of all the holy prophets.
And taking a particle, he places it below the first, in the proper order, then he says:
Priest:Of the holy glorious and all-praised Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the other holy apostles.
Priest:Of our fathers among the saints, the holy hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom; Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria; Nicholas of Myra in Lycia; Michael of Kiev; Peter, Alexius, Jonah, Philip and Hermogenes of Moscow; Nicetas of Novgorod; Leontius of Rostov; and of all the holy hierarchs.
And taking a fourth particle, he places it near the first particle, making the beginning of the second row. He then says:
Priest:Of the holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen; the holy Great-Martyrs Demetrius, George, Theodore the Tyro, Theodore Stratelates, and of all holy martyrs; and the martyred women: Thecla, Barbara, Cyriaca, Euphemia and Parasceve, Catherine, and of all the holy martyred women.
Taking a fifth particle, he places it below the first which is at the beginning of the second row. Then he says:
Priest:Of our holy and God-bearing fathers: Anthony, Euthymius, Sabbas, Onuphrius, Athanasius of Athos, Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves, Sergius of Radonezh, Barlaam of Hutyn, and of all the holy fathers; and of the holy mothers: Pelagia, Theodosia, Anastasia, Eupraxia, Febronia, Theodula, Euphrosyne, Mary of Egypt, and of all the holy mothers.
Taking out a sixth particle, he places it below the second particle, in completion of the second row. Then he says:
Priest:Of the saints and wonderworkers, the Unmercenaries: Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Panteleimon and Hermolaus, and of all the holy unmercenaries.
Taking out a seventh Particle he places it at the top, making the beginning of the third row, then says:
Priest:Of the holy and righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; of Saint(s) N. (N.) whose temple it is and whose day it is ; of the holy Equals-of-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, and of all the saints, through whose intercession do Thou visit us, O God.
And he places the eight particle below the first, in the proper order. Then he says:
Priest:Of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople.
If his liturgy is chanted; but if that of St. Basil the Great be chanted, he is commemorated.
Then taking out a ninth particle, he places it at the end of the third row, completing it. Then taking a fourth prosphoron, he says:
Priest:Remember, O Master, Lover of mankind, the Orthodox episcopate of the Russian Church; our lord the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan N., First hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; Archbishop or Bishop N., (whose diocese it is); the honorable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ and all the priestly order (if in a monastery: Archimandrite or Abbot N.) and all our brethren whom, in Thy compassion, Thou hast called into Thy communion, O All-good Master.
And taking out a particle, he places it below the holy bread. Then he commemorates those that are in authority saying:
Priest:Remember, O Lord, those who are in authority, and in the armed forces.
Then he commemorates those that are living, by name, and at each name he takes out a particle saying:
Priest:Remember, O Lord, N.
Then taking out a particle, he places it below the holy bread. Then taking a fifth prosphoron, he says:
Priest:In commemoration and for the remission of sins of the most holy patriarchs; of Orthodox and pious kings and pious queens; and of the blessed founders of this holy temple (if it be a monastery: this holy monastery). Then he commemorates the departed, by name: the bishop that ordained him (if he be among the departed), and others, whomsoever he will. At each name he takes out a particle, saying:
Priest:Remember, O Lord, N.
Finally he says:
Priest:And of all our Orthodox fathers and brethren who have departed in the hope of resurrection, life eternal, and communion with Thee, O Lord, Lover of mankind.
And he takes out a particle. Thereafter he says:
Priest:Remember, O Lord, also mine unworthiness, and pardon me every transgression, both voluntary and involuntary.
And he takes out a particle, And taking the sponge, he gathers the particles together on the diskos below the holy bread, so that they be secure, and none of them fall off. Then the deacon, taking the censer and having placed incense therein, says to the Priest:
Deacon: Bless the censer, Master. Let us pray to the Lord.
And the priest says the Prayer of the Censer:
Priest:Incense do we offer unto Thee, O Christ our God, as an odor of spiritual fragrance; accepting it upon Thy most heavenly altar, do Thou send down upon us the grace of Thy Most Holy Spirit.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
The priest, having censed the asteriskos, places it over the holy bread, saying:
Priest:And the star came and stood over where the young Child was.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
The priest, having censed the first veil, covers the holy bread and the diskos, saying:
Priest:The Lord is King, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength and He hath girt Himself. For He established the world which shall not be shaken. Thy throne is prepared of old; Thou art from everlasting. The rivers have lifted up, O Lord, the rivers have lifted up their voices. The rivers will lift up their waves, at the voices of many waters. Wonderful are the surgings of the sea, wonderful on high is the Lord. Thy testimonies are made very sure. Holiness becometh Thy house, O Lord, unto length of days.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord. Cover, Master.
And the priest, having censed the second veil, covers the holy chalice, saying:
Priest:Thy virtue hath covered the heavens, O Christ, and the earth is full of Thy praise.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord. Cover, Master.
Then the priest, having censed the veil, i.e., the aer, covers both the holy diskos and the holy chalice saying:
Priest:Shelter us with the shelter of Thy wings, and drive away from us every enemy and adversary. Make our life peaceful, O Lord, have mercy on us, and on Thy world, and save our souls, for thou art good and the Lover of mankind.
Then, taking the censer, the priest censes the prothesis, saying thrice:
Priest:Blessed is Our God Who is thus well pleased, glory to Thee.
And the deacon says each time:
Deacon:Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Both bow reverently thrice. Then taking the censer, the deacon says:
Deacon:For the precious gifts offered, let us pray to the Lord.
Priest:O God, our God, Who didst send forth the …
And after this he pronounces the dismissal there, saying:
Priest:Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, Glory to Thee.
Deacon:Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Thrice Bless.
Priest:(if it be Sunday) May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead,... (if not) May Christ our true God, ... through the intercession of His most pure Mother; of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople; (if the Liturgy of Basil the Great be celebrated, he says: Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia;) and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.
After the dismissal, the deacon censes the holy offerings. Then he goes and censes the holy Table round about cruciformly, saying secretly:
Deacon:In the grave bodily, but in Hades with Thy soul, as God; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Inexpressible.
Then the 50th Psalm: Have mercy on me, O God... during which, having censed the sanctuary and the whole temple, he enters again into the holy altar, and having again censed the Holy Table, and the priest, he puts aside the censer in its place, and approaches the priest. And standing together before the Holy Table, they bow down thrice, while praying secretly and saying:
Beginning of the Liturgy
Priest:O Heavenly King, O Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men. (Twice)
O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.
Then the priest kisses the Holy Gospel and the deacon the corner of the Holy Table. After this, the deacon, bowing his head to the priest, and holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand, says:
Deacon:It is time to act for the Lord. Master, bless.
The priest signing him with the sign of the Cross, says:
Priest:Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Deacon:Pray for me, master.
Priest:May the Lord direct thy steps.
Deacon:Remember me, holy Master.
Priest:May the Lord God remember thee in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Having bowed, he goes out by the north door, because the royal doors are not opened until the Entry. And standing in the usual place, directly before the holy doors, he bows reverently, thrice, saying secretly:
Deacon:O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.
Immediately the deacon begins the Divine Liturgy with "Bless, Master."
Be it known: If a priest serve without a deacon, the words of the deacon in the Proskomede, and during the Liturgy before the Gospel, and his response: Bless, Master, and Pierce Master, and: It is time to act, ... are not said, but only the Ecteniae and the Order of the Prothesis. If many priests concelebrate, in the performance of the Proskomede only one priest may serve and say what is set forth; but of the rest of the celebrants, none shall say the proskomede separately.
Liturgy of the Catechumens.
Priest:BLESSED is the kingdom of the Father…
The Litany of Peace.
Deacon:In peace let us pray to the Lord…
The priest says secretly the Prayer of the First Antiphon:O Lord our God, whose might is incomparable…
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory…
Choir:sings the First Antiphon
The deacon, having made a reverence, goes from his place to stand before the icon of Christ, holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand. At the conclusion of the Antiphon, the deacon comes to stand in his accustomed place, and, having made a reverence, says:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Prayer of the Second Antiphon:O Lord our God, save thy people …
Exclamation:For thine is the strength …
Choir sing theSecond Antiphon.
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Prayer of the Third Antiphon:O thou who hast bestowed on us …
Exclamation:For thou art a good God who lovest …
The doors are opened for the Little Entrance.
Choir sings theThird Antiphon, or the Beatitudes, if it be Sunday.
When they come to theGlory, the priest and the deacon, standing before the holy table, make three reverences. The priest then takes up the Book of the Holy Gospels, gives it to the deacon, and they go to the right side and behind the holy table, and coming out by the north door, preceded by candle bearers, they make the Little Entrance.
Standing in the accustomed place, they both bow their heads, the deacon says:Let us pray to the Lord.
The priest says the Prayer of the Entrance secretly:O Master, Lord our God, who hast appointed in heaven ranks … For to thee belong all glory, honor and …
The deacon, holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand and pointing therewith to the east, says to thePriest: Bless, Master, the holy entrance.
Priest, blassing with his hend says:Blessed is the entrance of thy saints…
The deacon gives the Book of the Holy Gospels to the priest to kiss. When the last troparion is concluded, the deacon comes to stand in the center in front of the priest, he elevates his hands a little, and, showing the Book of the Holy Gospels, he says in a loud voice:Wisdom. Attend.
Then, having made a reverence, the deacon enters the sanctuary, followed by the priest, and he lays the Book of the Holy Gospels on the holy table, while the singers sing:O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ... Alleluia. once
If it is Sunday:who art risen from the dead, who sing unto thee, Alleluia.
The choir sings the proper troparia.
The priest says the Prayer of the Trisagion Hymn:O holy God, who restest in thy Saints …
When the singers come to the last troparion, the deacon says to the priest, bowing his head and holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand:Bless, Master, the time of the Thrice-holy.
The priest, signing him, exclaims:For holy art thou, O our God…
The deacon comes in front of the holy doors, and pointing with his orarion, first to the icon of Christ, says:O Lord, save the pious, and hear us.
Then pointing, he says to those who stand without in a loud voice:and unto ages of ages.
The choir sings the Trisagion, the priest and the deacon say the Same, making three reverences before the holy table.
The deacon says to thePriest: Command, Master.
They go, forth to the cathedra, and the priest says as he goes:Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Deacon:Bless, Master, the cathedra on high.
Priest:Blessed art thou on the glorious throne of thy kingdom…
It is to be noted that the priest is not to ascend to the cathedra nor to sit on it, but to sit to the side of the cathedra, to the south side.
Reading of the Epistle and the Gospel.
At the conclusion of the Trisagion, the deacon, having come before the holy doors, says:Let us attend.
Priest exclaims:Peace be to all.
Reader:And to thy spirit. Deacon: Wisdom.
The reader reads the prokeimenon, from the Psalms of David. The choir sings the prokeimenon. The reader reads the verse. The choir repeats the prokeimenon. The reader read the first half of the prokeimenon. The choir sings the last part of the prokeimenon.
The reader reads the title of the lesson:Reading from the Acts of the Holy Apostles or from the General Epistle of James or from the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans or to the Corinthians or to the Galatians.
Deacon:Let us attend.
When the Epistle is finished, the priest says:Peace be to thee [that readest].
Reader:And to thy spirit. Deacon: Wisdom. Reader: Alleluia, with verses. The choir sings Alleluia 3 times.
During the reading of the Epistle, the deacon takes the censer and incense and approaches the priest, and, receiving the blessing from him, censes the holy table round about, the table of Prothesis table, the whole sanctuary, the priest, then the ikonastasis, both kliros, the people, the icons of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and the holy table from the front.
The priest, standing before the holy table, says the Prayer before the Gospel:Make shine in our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind …
The deacon, having put the censer away in its customary place, approaches the priest and bows his head before him. The priest gives him the Book of the Holy Gospels.
The deacon having reverenced the Book of the Holy Gospels, receives it, and, coming out of the holy doors, preceded by candles, comes forth and stands on the ambo or the place prepared facing the priest, and says:Bless, Master, him that proclaimeth the Gospel of the holy Apostle and Evangelist Name.
The Priest then signing him, says:May God, through the intercessions of the holy…
The priest turning toward the west, says:
Wisdom. Attend. Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:The reading from the Holy Gospel according to Name.
Choir:Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.
Priest:Let us attend.
If two deacons serve, one says:Wisdom. Attend . . . and then: Let us attend.
When the Gospel reading is concluded, the priest says:Peace be to thee that proclaimest the Gospel.
Choir:Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.
The deacon, coming then up to the holy doors, gives the Book of the Holy Gospels to the priest, and the holy doors are again closed.
Litany of fervent supplication.
The deacon standing in the accustomed place, says:Let us all say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
The priest unfolds the lower part, and the sides of the antimension.
Prayer of Fervent Supplication:O Lord our God, accept this fervent supplication…
Exclamation:For thou art a merciful God who lovest man…
Deacon:Pray ye unto the Lord, ye catechumens.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer for the Catechumens:O Lord our God, who dwellest on high…
Exclamation:That with us they also may glorify thine all-honorable…
The priest unfolds the upper part of the antimension.
Deacon:As many as are catechumens, depart. If there is a second deacon, he says: Catechumens, depart. And again the first: As many as are catechumens, depart.
Let no catechumen remain. As many as are of the faithful, again and again…
Liturgy of the faithful.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
First Prayer of the Faithful:We give thanks unto thee, O Lord God of Powers…
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory, honor and worship…
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
When the priest serves alone, the following are not said:
For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
For the peace of the whole world, for the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
For this holy house, and for those who with faith, reverence, and fear of God enter therein, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Second Prayer of the Faithful:Again and oftimes we fall down before thee and pray thee
Deacon:Wisdom. The deacon goes in through the north door.
Exclamation:That being kept always under thy might…
the holy doors are opened. While the Cherubim Hymn is being sung, the deacon, taking the censer and putting incense therein, goes to the priest, and, having received his blessing, censes the holy table round about, the Prothesis table, the whole sanctuary, the clergy in the sanctuary, the iconostasis, the choirs and the people, saving Psalm 50.
The priest then says this prayer secretly:None is worthy among those that are bound with carnal desires …
When the prayer and the censing are completed, the priest and the deacon, standing before the holy table, say the Cherubim Hymn thrice. At the end of each they make a reverence.
Priest:We, the Cherubim mystically representing…
Deacon:That the King of all we may receive, by angelic hosts …
Then they go forth to the Prothesis Table, the deacon going first, and the priest censes the holy Things, praying thus:O God, cleanse thou me a sinner.
The deacon says to thePriest: Lift, Master.
the priest, lifting the aer, lays it on the deacon's left shoulder, saying:In peace lift up your hands in the sanctuaries and bless the Lord.
The Great Entrance.
Taking the holy diskos, he sets it on the deacon's head with all heed and reverence, the deacon meanwhile holding the censer with one finger of his right hand. The priest himself takes the chalice in his hands, and they both go forth on the north side, praying, and preceded by candle-bearers with candles.
Deacon:The Lord God remember us all in His kingdom…
The deacon, having entered through the holy doors, stands to the right, and as the priest enters, says to him:The Lord God remember thy priesthood in His kingdom.
the priest to him:The Lord God remember thy diaconate in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
The priest then sets the holy chalice down on the holy table, and taking the holy diskos from the deacon's head, sets it down on the holy table also, saying:
Taking the veils from the holy diskos and from the holy chalice, he lays them on one side of the holy table; then taking the aer from the deacon's shoulder, and having censed it, he covers the holy Things with it, saying:The noble Joseph, taking down thine immaculate Body…
taking the censer from the deacon's hands, he censes the holy Things thrice, saying:Do good, O Lord, in thy goodwill unto Zion …
Giving up the censer, and bowing his head, he says to theDeacon: Remember me, brother and concelebrant.
the deacon, to him:The Lord God remember thy priesthood in His kingdom.
ThePriest: Pray for me, my concelebrant.
The deacon, bowing his head, and holding his orarion the while with three fingers of his right hand, says to thePriest: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee…
ThePriest: The same Spirit shall serve with us all the days of our life.
The deacon to him:Remember me, holy Master.
ThePriest: The Lord God remember thee in His kingdom…
Having kissed the priest's right hand, the deacon goes out the north door, and standing in the customary place, says:Let us complete our prayer unto the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
For the precious Gifts now offered, let us pray to the Lord.
Prayer of the Prothesis:O Lord God Almighty, who alone art holy…
Exclamation:Through the compassions of thine only-begotten Son…
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:Let us love one another that with one accord we may confess.
Choir:Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, One in essence and Undivided.
The priest makes three reverences, saying secretly:I will love thee, O Lord, my might; the Lord is my foundation, my refuge, and my deliverer. thrice
The priest kisses the holy Things, which remain covered, thus: first the top of the holy diskos, then thetop of the holy cup, and the edge of the holy table in front of him. If there are two or more priests, they all kiss the holy Things and each other on the shoulder.The celebrant says: Christ is in our midst. And the one he kisses answers: He is and shall be.
The deacons, if there are two or three, kiss their oraria where the cross is depicted, and each other, saying just what the priests have said. The deacon, if there is but one, similarly, makes reverences, standing in his place, kisses his orarion where the cross is depicted, and then exclaims:
Creed and the Eucharistic Canon.
Deacon:The doors, the doors! In wisdom let us attend.
The priest lifts the aer and holds it over the holy Gifts. If several priests are serving, then they lift the holy aer and hold it over the holy Gifts and wave it saying to themselves the Confession of the Faith, as do the people:I believe in one God the Father almighty…
Deacon:Let us stand aright. Let us stand with fear….
Choir:A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise.
The priest, having taken the aer from off the holy Things, kisseы it, and puts it on the left side of the Table.
The priest, facing east:The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Choir:And with thy spirit.
Priest:Let us lift up our hearts.
Choir:We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest:Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
Choir:It is meet and right to worship Father, Son, and …
The priest prays:It is meet and right to hymn thee, to bless thee …
Exclamation:Singing the hymn of victory, shouting, crying, and saying.
The deacon, standing at the left sidce of the Table, and taking the holy star from the holy diskos, makes the sign of the cross above it, and having kissed it, he lays it aside.
Choir:Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth…
[The deacon comes and stands on the right side, and taking a fan in his hand, waves it quietly with all heed and fear over the holy Gifts, so that flies or other insects may not settle on them].
The priest prays: With these blessed Powers, we also, O Master…
The deacon shows the priest the holy diskos, holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand
Exclamation:Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you, for the forgiveness of sins.
The deacon shows the priest the holy chalice. The priest, secretly:And likewise the cup after supper, saying:
Exclamation:Drink ye all of this; this is my blood of the New Testament ….
The priest prays secretly:Remembering this saving commandment …
Exclamation:Thine own of thine own we offer unto thee on behalf of all and for all.
Τhe deacon elevates the holy diskos and the holy chalice, and makes a devout reverence.
Choir:We hymn thee, we bless thee…
The priest prays secretly:Again we offer unto thee this rational and bloodless worship, and we call upon thee and pray thee, and supplicate thee: send down thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these Gifts set forth. (This is a very important prayer which the priest has to say with all faith and fear of God.)
Note the following troparia did not exist in the ancient Liturgy. However later they became part of the Slavonic Liturgy.
The deacon sets aside the fan and draws near to the priest, and they both make three reverences before holy table, praying within themselves and saying:
Priest:O Lord, who at the third hour didst send down thine all-holy Spirit …
Deacon, the verse:A clean heart create in me …
Again thePriest: O Lord, who at the third hour . . .
Deacon, the verse:Cast me not away from thy face …
Again thePriest: O Lord, who at the third hour . . .
Then bowing his head and pointing to the holy Bread with his orarion, the deacon says: Bless, Master, the holy bread.
The priest, rising, signs the holy Bread saying:And make this bread the precious Body of thy Christ.
Deacon:Amen. And again the Deacon: Bless, Master, the holy cup. And the priest blessing, says: And that which is in this cup the precious Blood of thy Christ.
Again the deacon, showing both the holy Things, says:Bless, Master, both.
The priest, blessing both the holy Things, says:Changing them by thy Holy Spirit.
Deacon:Amen. Amen. Amen.
Bowing his head to the priest, the deacon says:Remember me a sinner, holy Master. And the Priest: May the Lord God remember thee in His kingdom …
Priest in private:That to those who shall partake thereof …
Taking the censer, the priest exclaims:Especially our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed, glorious Lady, Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary.
The priest censes before the holy table thrice. The deacon censes the holy table round about, and he remembers whom he will of the living and the dead.
Choir:Meet it is in truth to bless thee, O Theotokos … Or instead of Meet it is, the Hermos of the feast that is being celebrated.
Priest in private:For the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John… and remembers by name whom he will of those who have fallen asleep.
Priest in private:And give them rest where the light of thy face watcheth over them...
After the singing of the megalinarion, the priest exclaims:Among the first, remember, O Lord, our [lord, the Most Reverend (or Most Blessed) Name,] ….
Choir:And all mankind.
Exclamation:Remember, O Lord, the city in which we dwell, and every city …
The priest remembers privately by name whom he will of the living.
Exclamation:And grant us with one mouth and one heart to glorify…
The priest, turning toward the doors and blessing, says:And the mercies of our great God…
Choir:And with thy spirit.
The deacon, receiving the priest's leave, comes out and, standing in the usual place, says:Having remembered all the saints, again and again in peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
For the precious Gifts set forth and sanctified, let us pray to the Lord.
The priest prays:Unto thee we commend all our life and hope, O Master…
Excalmation:And vouchsafe, O Master, that with boldness…
People:Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name….
Excalmation:For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory…
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:Bow your heads unto the Lord.
Choir:To thee, O Lord.
The priest prays:We give thanks unto thee, O King invisible…
Exciamation:Through the grace and compassion and love…
The priest prays:Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from thy holy dwelling place …
While this prayer is being said, the deacon, standing before the holy doors, binds the orarion about him crosswise.
The priest, and likewise the deacon in the place where he stands, bows and says silently thrice:O God, cleanse thou me a sinner and have mercy on me.
When the deacon sees the priest stretch out his hands and touch the holy Bread in order to make the elevation, he exclaims:Let us attend.
The priest, elevating the holy Bread, exclaims:Holy Things are for the holy.
Choir:One is holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
The choirs sing the koinonikon of the day or of the saint.
The deacon then enters the sanctuary and, standing at the right of the priest, says:Break, Master, the holy Bread.
The priest, breaking it into four parts with heed and reverence, saysBroken and divided is…
The priest should know that, on breaking the holy Lamb, he is to place the side with the sign of the Cross downward to the holy diskos, the cut side upward as before, when it was sacrificed. The portionIC, then, he places toward the upper part of the holy diskos, that is to the East; XC, then, toward the lower part, which is to the West, and the NI to the north side, and KA to the south side, as shown here: IC NI KA XC.
Taking the portionIC, he fills the holy cup, XC is divided among the priests and deacons, and those two remaining portions, NI and KA, are divided into small portions, so many as he shalI consider to be suff icient for the communicants.
The deacon, then, showing the holy chalice with the orarion, says:Fill, Master, the holy chalice.
The priest, then, taking the portion that is on the upper side of the diskos, that is, IC, makes the sign of the Cross with ii above the holy chalice, saying:The fulness of the cup, of the faith, of the Holy Spirit.
The priest puts it into the holy cup.
Taking the warm water, the deacon says to thePriest: Bless, Master, the warm water.
The priest blesses, saying:Blessed is the warmth of thy saints always…
The deacon pours a little into the chalice crosswise, saying:The warmth of the faith, full of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Setting aside the warm water, the deacon stands a little way off.
The priest says:Deacon, draw near:
The deacon, having approached, makes a reverence, asking forgiveness. The priest then, taking the holy Bread, gives it to the deacon. And the deacon, having kissed the hand with which he gives him the holy Bread, receives it, saying:Impart unto me, Master ….
The priest says:To thee, the deacon Name, is imparted the precious ….
The deacon withdraws behind the holy table, and bowing his head, he prays, as does also the priest, saying:I believe, O Lord . . . and the rest (see below)
Similarly the priest also, taking one portion of the holy Bread, says:The precious and all-holy Body …
Bowing his head, the priest prays, saying:I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that thou … Of thy mystical supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant …
Thus they partake of that which they hold in their hands with fear and all wariness.
The priest, rising, takes the holy chalice in both hands with the veil and partakes of it thrice, saying:The precious and holy Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ is imparted unto me, the servant of God, the priest Name, unto forgiveness of my sins and unto life eternal. Amen.
Then, wiping his lips and the edge of the chalice with the cloth that he holds in his hand, he says:
This hath touched my lips and shall take away my transgressions and cleanse my sins.
The calls the deacon, saying:Deacon, draw near again.
The deacon approaches and makes a reverence, saying:Again I draw near to our immortal King and God. Impart unto me, Master, the precious and holy Blood…
The priest says:Unto thee, the servant of God, the deacon Name, is imparted …
When the deacon has partaken, the priest says:This hath touched thy lips …
The Prayers of Thanksgiving:We give thanks to thee, O man-loving Master …
Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us bow down … Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem … O great and holiest Pascha, Christ. O Wisdom and Word of God and Power …
It should be noted that, if there are those who wish to communicate of the holy Mysteries, the priest divides the two remaining portions, that isNI and KA, into small pieces, so that there will be enough for all the communicants. And then he places them in the holy chalice, and he covers the holy chalice with the veil. Similarly, he lays the star-cover and the veils on the holy diskos.
Communion of the faithful.
They open the doors of the sanctuary, and the deacon, making a reverence, takes the chalice from the priest with devotion, approaches the doors, and elevating the holy chalice, shows it to the people, saying:With fear of God, with faith and love, draw near.
Choir:Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord…
Those who wish to communicate shall then approach. They come one by one and they make a reverence with all contrition and fear, holding their hands folded on their breast. Thus each receives the Divine Mysteries.
The priest says on communicating each one:The servant of God, Name, partakes of the precious and holy …
The deacon wipes the lips of each with the cloth. The communicant, having partaken, shall kiss the holy chalice, make a reverence, and withdraw.And thus all communicate.
After communion, the priest enters the sanctuary, and sets the holy Things down on the holy table. The deacon, holding the holy diskos over the holy chalice, purs the particles into the chalice.
He wipes the diskos thoroughly with the holy sponge, with heed and reverence, saying:Wash away, O Lord, the sins of all those here commemorated …
The priest blesses the people, exclaiming:O God, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance.
Turning to the holy table, the priest censes it thrice, saying:Be thou exalted above the heavens …
The choir sings:We have seen the true Light…
The priest, taking the holy diskos, sets it on the deacon's head. The deacon, taking it reverently, looks toward the holy door, saying nothing, and goes forth to the prothesis table and sets it down. And ttie priest, having made a reverence, takes the holy chalice, turns toward the doors, and, looking toward the people, says secretly:Blessed is our God, And he exclaims: Always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
The priest goes forth to the holy prothesis table, and there sets down the holy Things.
Choir:Amen. Let our mouths be filled with thy praise, O Lord …
The deacon, unbinding his orarion, comes forth by the north door, and standing in his usual place, says:Attend. Having partaken of the divine, holy, immaculate…
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Choir:To thee, O Lord.
The priest, having folded the antimension, and holding upright the holy Gospel Book, makes the signof the Cross with it over the antimension.
Exclamation:For thou art our sanctification and unto thee do we send up glory…
Priest:Let us depart in peace.
Choir:In the name of the Lord.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
End of the Liturgy.
Prayer behind the Ambo:Blessing those that bless thee, O Lord, and sanctifying…
Choir:Amen. Blessed be the name . . . thrice
The deacon, having entered through the north door, kneels at the right side of the Table. The priest, blessing the deacon’s head, says the prayer fort the Consuming of the Holy Things:Thou who art the fulfillment of the Law …
The deacon consumes the holy Things with fear and all wariness.
Priest:The blessing of the Lord and His mercy be upon you …
Priest:Glory to thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to thee.
Choir:Glory... Now and . . ., Lord, have mercy thrice, Bless.
Priest:May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate Mother …
The deacon consumes the holy Things with all fear, so that no slightest particle fall or remain, pours water and wine into the holy chalice, consumes it, and absorbs all moisture with the sponge, and sets the holy vessels together, wraps them and puts them in their usual place, saying:Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart . . . The dismissal is given, and giving thanks to God, they go their way.
The priest washes his hands in the usual place, and makes a reverence together with the priest.
Conciliar Celebration of Divine Liturgy.
1. All the Priests and Deacons who are to celebrate the Divine Liturgy together must pray the Entrance Prayers together before the Liturgy. The Rector, or the Senior Priest who is presiding, and all the other Priests, garbed in Podriassnik (Under-cassock, or "Anteri"), as well as Riassa (Outer-cassock, Rason), and Skufiyas and Kamilavkas, if they have been awarded; and Deacons garbed in Podriassnik and Riassa, all arrange themselves according to the order of Seniority round about the Holy Altar Table. The Rector or other Priest presiding stands in front of the Holy Altar Table, with the Deacon(s) standing beside him and a little behind him, and all other Priests stand in rows on either side (North or South) of the Holy Altar Table, facing it. All make together one reverence from the waist, kiss the edge of the Holy Altar Table and go out the North and South Doors: the Rector and the Priests (and Deacon) on the North Side go through the North Door, the Deacon and Priests on the South Side go out the South Door.
2. They all line up on the Soleas: the Rector in the Center, the Deacon(s) at his side(s) and a little behind him, and the rest of the Priests arranged in descending order on right and left. As usual, the Rector says three times, "O God, cleanse me a sinner." He and all the rest at the same time cross themselves and make three reverences from the waist (according to the Typikon, the bow from the waist should be deep enough so that if extended the first two fingers of the right hand would touch the floor.)
3. The Deacon then quietly pronounces, "Bless, Master." The Rector: "Blessed is our God..." Deacon: "Amen." "Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee." "O Heavenly King.." and the Trisagion Prayers through "Our Father," as usual. At the reading of "We adore Thy most pure image..." the Priests take off their headgear and make a waist reverence or a full reverence (depending on the day of the week), kiss the Icon of the Savior and then, at the reading of "Thou art a fountain of tender-heartedness..." reverence and kiss the Icon of the Theotokos. After them, the Deacons do the same. Then all Priests, bowing their heads, read quietly, "O Lord, stretch forth Thine hand..." The Rector reads the prayer, "O Lord, forgive, pardon and remit..." and all bow to each other, those on the right bow to those on the left and vice-versa, the Rector bows to both sides, and then all bow to the people and go into the Altar, each on his own side. The Rector goes in first on the South Side. Going through the Deacons' Doors, they kiss the icon of the Archangel or Archdeacon that is on the Door. The Rector reads the Psalm, and all make together a waist reverence or prostration before kissing the Altar Table and going to vest. In some places all the Priests exchange the Kiss of Peace with the Rector at this point.
4. The Proskomedia is served by the youngest Priest (by ordination) or by the one whose turn it is (as in a Church where many Priests serve together regularly). At the end of the Proskomedia, i.e., towards the end of (or during the Trisagion of) the Sixth Hour, a Deacon does a complete censing of the entire Church. (As at any Liturgy, the Curtain is opened when the Deacon begins his censing and not before.)
5. Before the beginning of the Liturgy, all Priests and Deacons take their places as they did before beginning the Entrance Prayers. The Rector, standing alone with the Deacons before the Holy Altar Table begins, "O God, cleanse me a sinner," three times with three signs of the Cross and three waist reverences. The rest of the clergy cross themselves and bow in unison with him. After that, the Rector (alone) lifts up his hands and prays: "O Heavenly King," "Glory to God."(2) and "O Lord, open Thou..." After each prayer all make the sign of the Cross and a waist reverence, but only the Rector lifts up his hands or reads the prayers aloud. Then the Deacons obtain the blessing for the beginning of the Liturgy as outlined in the Priest's Service Book.
6. During the Divine Liturgy, Priests may not converse with each other, move around from their places, nor read the prayers audibly. While each Priest must read every secret prayer in the service, it is only the Priest taking the first place before the Holy Table that says these prayers in an audible tone. The Exclamations up to the Little Entrance are read by the Priests each at his turn in order. (See below.)
7. During the singing of the Beatitudes or other Third Antiphon, when the time comes for the Entrance the Rector makes two and the Deacon three reverences. The Rector kisses the Gospel Book, then picks it up and gives it to the Deacon. Then the Rector makes a third reverence. The other Priests make reverences together with the Rector, and when he kisses the Gospel Book, they kiss the Altar Table. The Entrance takes place in this order: All Processional items are carried in front of the Gospel and none after it. If there is more than one Deacon serving, the Deacon not carrying the Gospel goes in front of the Gospel bearing the censer, but does not turn towards the Gospel Book, nor does he cense it, but he leads the Deacon carrying the Gospel before the Holy Doors, then continues without stopping directly into the Altar and stands at the Southwest corner of the Holy Altar Table, facing the Holy Doors, but not censing yet. Behind the Deacon with the Holy Gospel Book come: the Rector, the First Priest, the Second Priest, the Third Priest, etc., in order of seniority. Those who had been standing on the right (South) side of the Holy Altar Table go across the High Place, the Deacon and Rector leading, and those on the left (North) side join them according to rank as they pass by on the way out. There is no point at all for the Priests to come in pairs before the Holy Table and make reverences, kiss it, and bow to the people at the Little Entrance.
8. The Deacon goes to stop before the Holy Doors, a little to the right and slightly ahead of the Rector. The Rector stops in the center of the Soleas before the Holy Doors. The remaining clergy line up in two rows behind the Rector (two rows extending east-west) in the same order as they stood at the Holy Altar Table: the Seniors farthest towards the West, During the Procession the Deacon says quietly (and not as was formerly done in many places loudly) "Let us pray to the Lord," and the Rector prays softly the Prayer of the Entrance. The Deacon, indicating the Altar with his Orarion, bids "Bless, Master the Holy Entrance." The Rector blesses with his hand towards the East. The Deacon waits until the singers have finished the Beatitudes (last troparion of the Beatitudes), then steps directly in front of the Rector, faces due East and lifts up the Gospel Book, making the sign of the Cross with it, and exclaims: "Wisdom, Attend!" As he lifts up the Book the Deacon in the Altar censes towards it three times three and gives up the censer, goes to the High Place, prays to God and bows to the Rector before crossing over to resume his place. The Deacon places the Gospel Book on the Holy Altar Table. If there are no Deacons, then the Rector is the one to take custody of the Holy Gospel Book and to have the honor of carrying it in the Procession. If that is the case, then the Rector should lay the Gospel Book upon the Holy Altar Table, then go back to kiss the small Icon of the Savior on the Royal Door-post, bless the Candle-bearer(s), kiss the small Icon of the Theotokos on the Royal Door-post, and then go to stand before the Holy Altar Table. The Priests come into the Altar, each kissing the small icon on the Royal Door-post on his own respective side as he enters. When all have come to their places, they pray to God (i.e., cross themselves and bow to the East), kiss the Holy Altar Table and then bow to the Rector together, and he returns their bow. Only the Rector turns west before entering the Altar to bless the Candle-bearer(s) (this is not a general blessing of the Faithful, and if there is no Candle-bearer, the Priest blesses no one at this point).
9. At the conclusion of the singing of the Troparia and Kontakia, the Rector is the one who pronounces the exclamation: "For holy art Thou…" There is no Diaconal bidding, "Let us pray to the Lord," as there is at a Hierarchical celebration: if the Deacon utters that at a non-hierarchical celebration, it's a mistake. During the singing of the Trisagion by the Choir, and separately from them, the Rector quietly pronounces three times, "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us," and he and all the Priests and Deacons make the sign of the Cross and a waist reverence each time (this prayer is said or sung exactly the same total number of times as at an Hierarchical celebration) kisses the Holy Altar Table and goes to stand at the Southeast corner of it, facing West. Standing or sitting at the High Place itself (i.e., in the very center of the East of the Altar) is reserved to Hierarchs only. The rest of the Priests kiss the Altar Table with the Rector and array themselves to either side of him in descending rank, also facing West.
10. Before saying "Peace be to all," (and not "all of you," as if in contrast to according peace to only, say someone's arms, or "some parts of you") the Rector bows to the Priests serving with him to the right and to the left. If there are no Deacons, the censing before the Gospel is done by the Third Priest (if three are serving) The Second Priest, after the Apostolic Reading is over, bows to the Rector, goes to the Holy Altar Table, and give the Gospel Book to the Deacon. If there is no Deacon, then the Rector himself reads the Gospel from in front of the Holy Altar Table, facing west. After the Gospel reading, the Rector receives the Gospel Book from the Deacon and hands it to the Second Priest, who places it on the Holy Altar Table between the Tabernacle and the Antimension.
11. During the "Fervent" Litany, after the petition for the Hierarchy, the Rector opens the lower portion of the Antimension and kisses the signature on it. During the Catechumen Litany, at the petition: "That He may reveal to them the Gospel..." two Priests open the upper portion of the Antimension, cross themselves, bow to the East and bow to the Rector. The exclamations of the Litanies after the Gospel continue in order of the Priests' seniority; however, the exclamation after the second "Prayer for the Faithful" — "That being kept always under Thy might..." is always to be pronounced by the Rector.
12. At the Cherubim Hymn, only the Rector raises his arms and reads aloud, "Let us the Cherubim..."
13. Here are the exclamations at the Great Entrance:
(Please take note: the insertion of the word "for" at the beginning of these remembrances is very bad grammar and meaningless.)
Deacon: Remembers the Metropolitan and the Ruling Bishop: "His Beatitude (or "Our Lord"), the Most Blessed Theodosius, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, may the Lord God remember in His kingdom...
Rector: The president, etc. 
2nd Priest: The founders, benefactors, and brethren (or parishioners) of this holy Temple (or house)
3rd Priest: All who are suffering and being persecuted for the Orthodox Faith..."
Rector: And all you Orthodox Christians may the Lord God.. 
14. After the Great Entrance, all exclamations should be pronounced by the Rector.
15. At the lifting up of Chalice and Diskos at "Thine own of Thine own," it is not acceptable to make the sign of the Cross in the air over the Antimension with these sacred items.
16. Before taking Communion, the Rector prays, "O God, cleanse me, a sinner," three times with three waist reverences. Then he says the prayer, "O Lord, forgive, pardon remit my sins, voluntary and involuntary, etc.," makes one full reverence before the Altar Table (and all the rest make the same reverence with him) then bows to the others and says, "Bless me, holy Fathers, and forgive me a sinner." The concelebrants also bow to the Rector. The Rector turns towards the West and directs the same words to the people standing without. Then, with the words, "Behold, I draw near to Christ..." he makes a second full reverence, kisses the edge of the Holy Altar Table and places into the palm of his right hand the Precious Body of Christ and goes to stand on the right side of the Holy Altar Table, where the Second Priest had been standing. Then all the Priests on the right side go over to the left side and stand in line according to seniority preparatory to receiving the Most Pure Body the same way the Rector did. The Second Priest, after crossing himself, making a full reverence, kissing the edge of the Altar table and placing the Most Holy Body in his hand, exchanges the kiss of peace with the Rector (and they kiss each others' shoulders), but he does not go around behind the back of the Rector, but turns back and goes all the way around the left side of the Holy Altar Table to stand at the right side of the Rector. Going around behind the backs of Priests holding the Most Pure Body of the Lord in their hands while oneself holding the Same is not allowed, neither should anyone carrying the Most Pure Body in his hands allow anything or anyone to come between him and the Holy Altar Table at any time. When all the Priests have received into their hands the Most Pure Body, the Rector returns to his place in front of the Holy Altar Table and quietly, in the hearing of all the celebrants, prays the prayers beginning, "I believe, O Lord, and I confess..." At the conclusion of this prayer, all commune together with the Rector. Then the Rector partakes of the Holy Blood and summons the Deacons to impart to them the Most Pure Body of Christ, according to the format in the Service Book. Only at a conciliar celebration are Deacons imparted the Most Pure Body after the Priests. (When one Priest is serving alone, he, having his hands free, places the Deacon's portion into the Deacon's hand before placing a portion in his own hand, as prescribed in the Service Book.) To partake of Christ's Blood, all Priests come to the Chalice on the right side of the Holy Altar Table, according to seniority, make a waist reverence (not a full one) and say, "Lo, once again..."
17. After all the Priests have communed, the Rector communes the Deacons with the Holy Blood. Warm water mixed with wine, also bread, are taken by all the celebrants save the one who will be consuming the Holy Gifts at the end of the Liturgy. All the clergy without exception must say "Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee" three times and then pray the prayer: "We give thanks to thee..."If there is time to do so while the particles for the People's Communion are being cut, then the Prayers after Communion may be read by the remaining Priests.
18. At the exclamation, "Always, now and ever..." the Rector makes the sign of the Cross with the Holy Chalice while standing in the Holy Doors in recollection of the Lord Jesus Christ's last blessing on the Mount of Olives before His Ascension into heaven. He holds the Chalice with both hands. If there is no Deacon serving, then there are two received practices: one is to juggle both the Chalice and the Diskos with the items on it for this blessing: the other is to bless only with the Chalice, then turn to the Holy Table, pick up the Diskos and proceed directly to the Table of Oblation with it, place the Chalice and Diskos on the Table of Oblation, cover them, place the candle before them, and cense them. If there is a Deacon, then he censes him too at this point.
19. During the Litany, "Attend! Having received the..." the Rector closes up the Antimension after kissing it and the sponge. Other Priests help him. Other Priests hand him the Gospel from its place before the Tabernacle.
20. The Prayer before the Ambo is usually read by the very most junior Priest. Before he goes out, he makes the sign of the Cross, kisses the Holy Altar Table, and bows to the Rector. He does the very same thing when he returns to the Altar.
21. If the Rector gives a Sermon after "Blessed be the Name of the Lord (and the Psalm), or at any other time, all Priests, as well as all the other persons in the Altar save the Deacon that is consuming the Gifts, should come forth from the Altar to listen to the Rector's Sermon.
22. All come out of the Altar for the Dismissal, pronounced by the Rector holding the Cross. The Rector may himself hold the Cross for the veneration of the people or ask another Priest to do so. All clergy venerate the Cross and then return to the Altar to read (or finish reading) the Thanksgiving Prayers and unvest. No one should leave the Altar without first taking leave of the Rector.
23. In the Service Book (at the end of the office of Proskomedia) it is remarked that if a Priest serves without a Deacon then he doesn't make the Diaconal utterances: "Bless, Master," "Pierce, Master," and "the rest," i.e., those words which are utterances of the Deacon as Deacon to the Priest as Priest. Such words are not spoken by a Priest serving alone without a Deacon. Other utterances, such as, "Let us pray to the Lord," "Let us attend," "Wisdom," "As many as are catechumens, depart," and the rest (and, according to Bulgakov, who cites the practice of the Patriarch of Constantinople of pronouncing these words himself, according to Muraviev's eyewitness report in 1850: "O Lord, save the pious, and hear us"), are not such words spoken by Deacons to Priests, therefore, even though the Service Book apportions these utterances to Deacons, when there is no Deacon the Priest must pronounce them himself.
A. Conciliar Serving of Liturgy with Participation of a Deacon.
a) Two Priests:
Second Priest: 1) For Thine is the strength, 2) For Thou are a good God, 3) (before the Gospel) "Wisdom, Attend..." 4) Let us attend, 5) That with us they also..6) For to Thee belongeth..(after the 1st Prayer for the Faithful), 7) after "Always, now and ever," closes the Antimension, 8)Exclaims, "Let us depart in Peace" and the Prayer before the Ambo.
b) Three Priests:
Second Priest: 1) For Thine is the strength, 2) Wisdom, attend, 3) That with us.., 4) after :"Always, now and ever," closes up the Antimension.
Third Priest: 1) For Thou art a good God, 2) "Let us attend," (before the Gospel) 3) For to Thee belong all...4) Exclaims, "Let us depart in Peace," and the Prayer before the Ambo.
c) Five Priests:
Fourth Priest: 1) That with us..,
Fifth Priest: 1) For to Thee belong, 2) Exclaims, "Let us depart in Peace," and the Prayer before the Ambo.
Second and Third Priests, excepting what is prescribed for the 4th and 5th Priests, pronounce the same things they would when three are serving.
B. Service without a Deacon:
The Second Priest pronounces every thing assigned to the second and third Priest in a Service for Three Priests without a Deacon (see below)
The Second Priest: 1) First Litany and its exclamation: "For Thine is the strength," 2) (before the Prokeimenon) "Let us attend, 3) (before the Apostolic Reading) "Let us attend," "Wisdom," and he also does the censing then, 4) (before the Gospel) "Wisdom, Attend, let us hear the Holy Gospel," 5) (Litany) Pray to the Lord, ye Catechumens," 6) Remembers the Authorities, 7) (Litany) "Let us complete," 8) (Litany) "Attend, having partaken.." and its exclamation: "For Thou art our."
The Third Priest: 1) Censes before Blessed is the Kingdom, 2) Second Little Litany and its Exclamation, "For Thou art a good God," 3) (Before the Prokeimenon) "Wisdom," 4) (Litany) "As many as are Catechumens, depart, 5) Closes the curtain, 6) (Litany) "Having remembered all the saints" 7) Let us depart in Peace, let us pray to the Lord.
The Fourth Priest: (before the Prokeimenon) "Let us attend," (before the Apostolic Reading) "Wisdom" and "Let us attend," does the censing at that time, the Litany, "Pray to the Lord, ye Catechumens,"
The Fifth Priest: (before the Prokeimenon "Wisdom," Litany, "As many as are Catechumens, depart," remembers the Ruling Bishop.
In addition one must also observe the following:
1) Every junior Priest, after pronouncing an exclamation, crosses himself, makes a metanoia (bow from the waist far enough over so that, if extended, two fingers of the right hand would reach to the floor) to the Holy Table and then turns to the presiding Priest and bows to him.
2) The Proskomedia and the Prayer before the Ambo are always done by the most junior Priest.
3) We stated above what was to be pronounced by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Priests: everything which was not mentioned is to be done by the Presiding Priest.
4) At a conciliar celebration without a Deacon the fundamental rules which must be observed are that the petitions and concluding Exclamation of each Litany are to be pronounced in order by one and the same Priest (and not so that petitions of a given Litany would be pronounced by a junior Priest and its exclamation by a Priest senior to him, the equivalent of reducing the junior Priest to the Diaconate), and that junior Priests would maintain the usual posture of respect toward those of senior rank, such as Archpriests and Archimandrites.
5) No one has the right to elevate himself above the rest of the Priestly Hierarchy in accomplishing the Holy Oblation, as if only he possesses authority and importance and the rest do not have such: It is true that a Hierarch accomplishes the Sacrament, but the others also participate with him; and it is true that Archimandrites, Hegumens, Archpriests and the Cathedral Deans have the honor of standing before the others, yet the Priesthood and the power given It and the power of Priesthood is the same for all.
The system laid out above for conciliar celebrations is done differently in different places. For example, in some places the presiding Priest takes part in opening the Antimension, in some places not; in some places when no Deacon is serving, the presiding Priest carries both Chalice and Discos at the Great Entrance, while the Second Priest carries the Hand Cross, while in other places the Presiding Priest will carry the Discos and the Second Priest the Chalice. Since there are, in fact, no universal rules for such conciliar serving, one must, of course, follow that order which is laid down by the local ruling bishop. It is preferable that, at a celebration without a Deacon, one Priest, the senior one, would carry both Chalice and Diskos. There is also no consistent guidance vis-а-vis who pronounces which commemorations at the Great Entrance, nor who carries what at the same. However, it is good practice to insure the maximum amount of items are carried out at the Entrance: all the hand-crosses first, then the spoon and spear, then the cutting plate, then the sponge.
 Altar Servitors are to be blessed to wear their Sticharia only by the Rector. This applies, as usual, even if the Rector is not serving but only standing and praying in the Altar. If the Rector is not present, then the Senior Priest blesses the donning of Sticharia.
 Naturally, before beginning, all initially enter the Altar and venerate the Holy Table according to received practice. The Deacon(s), having arrived before the Priests, will have insured that the Table of Oblation is completely prepared for Proskomedia, that the Priests' vestments are ready, and that his (their) own Diaconal vestments are folded and ready to be blessed immediately at the conclusion of the Entrance Prayers.
 As at any Divine Liturgy, the hands are lifted up three times only. Since there are four prayers, one may either combine the double reading of "Glory to God" into one lifting up of hands, or not lift up the hands for "O Lord, open Thou."
 If the Troparion verses are sung with the Beatitudes, the time of the Entrance is as stated in the Typikon: "When the singers come to the Glory of the Beatitudes or Third Antiphon." If the Beatitudes are sung by themselves, without Troparia and Glory, then the usual place to begin the Entrance sequence of actions is at the Beatitude: "Blessed are the merciful."
Why would that be a mistake? This "Let us pray to the Lord," at a hierarchical celebration is the introduction to the polychronia that would come after "O Lord save the pious," during which the Hierarch takes a seat at an ordination while the deacon proceeds to intone many years to all ecclesiastical and political estates, one by one, and it is not an introduction to "For Holy art Thou..."
 Or as the Rector himself decides and indicates.
 At the Los Angeles Cathedral, the following petition has been authorized: "This God-beloved and God-protected land, its President, Civil Authorities (NOTE: not "those in civil authority), Armed Forces, and People; the Russian People in their homeland and scattered abroad; the suffering Serbian, Palestinian, and Lebanese Peoples and every Christian People and land, may the Lord God..."
 Making up other exclamations here for distribution amongst the Priests is to be discouraged. The number and contents of the commemorations at the Great Entrance, very popular as they indeed may have become, have grown out of all proportion, so as to develop into almost an impromptu general Anglican Collect. The only commemoration foreseen here by the Service Books (and not by the Typikon at all) is "May the Lord God remember us all in His Kingdom..."
 While at a hierarchical celebration, each Priest kisses the Hierarch's right hand as the Holy Body is placed in his own hand, and then kisses the Hierarch's left shoulder only, at non-hierarchical celebrations Priests kiss both each others' shoulders.
 After communing of the Holy Pure Body, the Rector makes sure that there is absolutely no particle of It whatsoever remaining in his hands. He may lick his hand; however, he and all the communicants in the Altar must pick up the sponge and carefully brush palms and between the fingers, over the Antimension, before partaking from the Chalice or handling anything at all. It's inappropriate to brush or slap both hands against each other over the Antimension, as if one had completed a task of some kind.
The Liturgy of the Presanctified.
During the Holy Great 40-day Fast, when the priest is to celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified on Wednesday and Friday, or other prescribed week days, at the Proskomede on the preceding Sunday, he does everything as usual, but after he cuts the first bread, sacrifices it, and pierces it, he cuts a sufficient number of additional breads, saying as he cuts each one: In remembrance ... As a sheep He was led ... In His humility. .. And who shall declare ... For His life is taken away ... Sacrificed . . . and One of the soldiers ... He then places them on the diskos beside the first bread.
Then he pours wine and water into the holy chalice, saying the customary words, and he covers the diskos and the chalice, and he censes them, saying the Prayer of Oblation. Then he begins the Divine Liturgy and celebrates as usual.
When he signs the breads at the invocation of the Holy Spirit, he says: And make this bread . . ., in the singular, as Christ is one; he does not say these breads in the plural. When he elevates, he elevates them all together, and he breaks the first one offered, and lays the part IC in the holy chalice and pours in warm water as usual.
Then taking the holy spoon in his right hand, he dips it into the holy Blood; with his left hand he takes one of the other Breads, touches it with the holy spoon, which has been moistened with the holy Blood, in the form of a cross on the side on which the cross is traced, under the soft part, and places it in the artophorion (or other suitable container). Then he takes the others and does the same with each, and puts them all away in the artophorion. Then the priest prays as usual, communicates as usual, and completes the Divine Liturgy as usual.
On the day of the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts:
At the reading of the Hours, the priest, wearing the epitrachelion, stands before the holy doors and begins: Blessed is our God . . ., the Reader: Amen. After Our Father . . ., the priest says the exclamation and goes into the sanctuary.
And then Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours, and finally the Typical Psalms are read.
At Third Hour, after the psalms, Alleluia and Lord, have mercy, the priest standing before the holy doors, says:
O Lord, who at the third hour didst send down thine all-holy Spirit upon thine Apostles, take not the same from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto thee.
The choir repeats the same.
Priest, verse A: A clean heart create in me, O God, and a right spirit renew in my inmost parts.
Choir: O Lord, who at the third hour . . .
Priest, verse B: Cast me not away from thy face, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Choir: O Lord, who at the third hour . . .
Priest: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
Choir: Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
At Sixth Hour, the priest says alternately with the choir, as in Third Hour:
O thou who, on the sixth day and hour, didst nail to the cross the sin which Adam, through presumption, committed in Paradise, tear asunder also the handwriting of our iniquities, 0 Christ God, and save us.
Verse A: Give heed to my prayer, O God, and disregard not my supplication.
Verse B: I have called unto God, and the Lord hath heartened unto me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
At Ninth Hour, the priest says alternately with the choir, as in Third Hour:
O thou who, at the ninth hour, for our sake, didst taste of death in the flesh, mortify the presumption of our flesh, O Christ God, and save us.
Verse A: Let my prayer come nigh before thee, 0 Lord, give me understanding, according to thy word.
Verse B: Let my petition come before thee, 0 Lord; according to thy word, deliver me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
At each hour, afterMore honorable than the Cherubim . . ., the priest, before the holy doors, exclaims:
O God, be compassionate unto us, and bless us, and make thy face to shine upon us, and have mercy on us.
Then the priest says the Prayer of St. Ephraim of Syria:
O Lord and Master of my life, the spirit of idleness, of meddling (faintheartedness or despondency in Slavonic), of love of power, and of idle words, grant me not. great reverence
But the spirit of continence, of humility, of patience and of love, do thou grant unto me thy servant. great reverence
Yea, 0 Lord and King, grant me to perceive mine own offenses, and not to judge my brother; for blessed art thou unto ages of ages. Amen. great reverence
Then twelve little references, saying at each:
O God, cleanse thou me a sinner.
And again the whole prayer without division to the end and then one great reverence.
At Third and Sixth Hours, and then at the Typica, the prayer, O Lord and Master of my life, is read with sixteen references, as described above, but at Ninth Hour the prayer is read through only once with the corresponding three great references.
When there are Prophecies at the Hours, the priest says: Let us attend. Then Wisdom, and Let us attend.
Toward the end of the Typica, the priest enters the sanctuary, and vests in his priestly vestments, signing them and kissing them only, saying nothing except, Let us pray to the Lord, over each vestment.
The reader reads the Trisagion, Our Father. . ., then Lord, have mercy, twelve times, All-holy Trinity. . ., after which the holy doors are opened. The priest says: Wisdom, the Choir: Meet is it in truth . . ., the Priest: Most holy Theotokos, save us; the Choir: More honorable than the Cherubim ... ; the Priest: Glory to thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to thee; Choir: Glory ... Now and .. . Lord, have mercy. thrice, and Bless, and the priest gives the dismissal.
In the dismissal, the priest remembers the saint of the temple, and of the day. Then the holy doors are closed.
The priest and the deacon make three reverences before the holy table, saying only: O God, cleanse thou me a sinner and have mercy on me. And they kiss the holy Gospels, the holy table, and the cross on the holy table. And the deacon, taking the priest's leave, goes out and stands in his customary place, and exclaims:
The priest, standing before the holy table inside the sanctuary, exclaims: LESSED is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Reder:Come, let us worship. . . thrice, and he reads the Introductory Psalm.
The priest, standing before the holy doors, with head uncovered, says the Prayers of Light, that is, of Vespers, beginning with the fourth prayer, the first three being said after the litanies.
Fourth Prayer:O thou to whom the holy Powers sing …
For to thee belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Fifth Prayer:O Lord, Lord, who upholdest all things…
Through the mercy and love of man of thine onlybegotten Son, with whom thou art blessed, together with thine all-holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Sixth Prayer:O God, great and wonderful, who with goodness indescribable…
For thou art our God, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Seventh Prayer:O great and most high God, who alone hast immortality …
For thou art a good God who lovest man, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
At the conclusion of the Introductory Psalm, the deacon says the litany:In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Choir:To thee, 0 Lord.
The Prayer of the First Antiphon:O Lord, compassionate and merciful, long-suffering…
Exclamation:For to thee belong all glory, honor and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the exclamation, the 18th kathisma is read:Unto the Lord did I cry when I was afflicted... and reverences are made at Alleluia. At each antiphon, there is a little litany by the deacon with an exclamation by the priest.
At the beginning of the kathisma, the priest comes to the prothesis and takes the presanctified Bread from the artophorion, and places it with great reverence on the holy diskos. He then pours wine and water into the holy cup as usual, but he says nothing. Taking the censer, he censes the star-cover and veils, and covers them, saying nothing at all except, Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. The Gif ts are presanctified, and the sacrificed is accomplished.
If the Presanctified Lamb is kept on the holy table, its transferal to the prothesis table is usually done as follows:
The priest takes the Presanctified Lamb from the artophorion, and lays it with great reverence on the holy diskos. And, having censed the star-cover and the first veil, he covers the holy Bread, saying nothing. (This is done during the singing of the first antiphon,)
After this, preceded by the deacon with a lighted candle, the priest censes the holy table. (This is done during the singing of the second antiphon.) And, having made a profound reverence before the holy Gifts, the priest places the holy diskos on his head, and preceded by the deacon with a candle and the censer, bears them to the prothesis table. (This is done during the singing of the third antiphon.)
Then he pours wine together with water into the holy cup as usual. saying nothing. And taking the censer, he censes the veils, and he covers the diskos and the cup saying nothing, not even the prayer of oblation, but only: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer of the Second Antiphon:O Lord, in thy displeasure rebuke us not, neither chasten us…
Exclamation:For thine is the strength, and thine are the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer of the Third Antiphon:O Lord our God, remember us thy sinful and unprofitable servants…
Exclamation:For thou art a good God who lovest man, and to thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
The priest exclaims:For thou art our God, the God who hath mercy and saveth, and to thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
After the kathisma,the Lord, I have called is sung, and the deacon censes in the usual order. When the singers begin Glory... Now and . . ., the holy doors are opened. The entrance is made with the censer. When the Gospel is to be read, on the feast of the temple, or of a saint, or in Passion Week, then the entrance is made with the Gospel Book. The deacon says quietly to the Priest: Let us pray to the Lord. And the priest reads the prayer of the entrance.
Prayer of the Entrance:In the evening, and in the morning, and at noonday, we praise thee…
After the conclusion of the stichera, the deacon or the priest exclaims, saying:Wisdom. Attend. Choir: O Joyful Light . . .
Readings from the Old Testament.
Deacon:Let us attend. Priest: Peace be to all. Deacon: Wisdom. And the reader reads the prokeimenon.
Deacon:Wisdom. Reader: The reading from the book of Genesis. And the Deacon: Let us attend. Then the reader reads the selection from Genesis (or Exodus).
The Deacon: Wisdom. And then the reader reads the second prokeimenon.
Then the deacon exclaims: Command.
The priest, taking the candlestick with its candle and the censer in both hands, facing the east, says in a loud voice: Wisdom. Attend. Then, turning toward the west, to the people, he says: The light of Christ enlighteneth all men.
Reader:The reading from the book of Proverbs (or Job)
Deacon:Let us attend.
And the reader reads the prophecies. If it is on a day on which there is to be a vigil or polyeleon, the prophecies of the feast or of the saint are read.
After their completion, the priest says:Peace be to thee.
Trio sings:Let my prayer be directed as incense before thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.
And after the reader sings, the choir sings the same.
Then the reader, verse A: Lord, I have called unto thee, hear me; attend to the voice of my prayer, when I call unto thee.
Trio sings:Let my prayer be directed . . .
Reader:verse B: Set a watch, O Lord, upon my mouth, and a door of enclosure about my lips.
Trio sings:Let my prayer be directed
The reader, verse C:Incline not my heart to words of evil, to contrive excuses for sins.
Trio sings:Let my prayer be directed ...
And again the reader sings:Let my prayer be directed as incense before thee.
And the choir sings:The lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.
It should be noted that when the reader singsLet my prayer be directed as incense before thee, all the people in the temple and in the sanctuary remain on their knees in prayer. When he begins The lifting up of my hands. . . they stand. At the singing of Let my prayer be directed . . . after the other verses, all those on the same side as the choir singing, stand, while the other choir and the people on the corresponding side kneel. The priest, standing before the holy table in the sanctuary, takes the censer and censes. When they sing Incline not my heart. . ., he goes to the prothesis and censes the Presanctif ied Gifts. At the last Let my prayer be directed, he gives up the censer and he himself kneels praying.
At the completion of the above, we make three reverences, saying customarily:
If it be the feast of a saint, or if the feast of the temple occurs on a fasting day, then the deacon or the priest says:Let us attend, and the reader reads the prokeimenon of the epistle. And he reads the epistle, and Alleluia is sung. Then the Gospel is read.
The holy doors are closed, and the deacon says the litany:Let us all say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say:
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer of Fervent Supplication:O Lord our God, accept this fervent supplication..
Exclamation:For thou art a merciful God who lovest man, and unto thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
The deacon says this litany:Pray ye unto the Lord, ye catechumens.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer for the Catechumens:O God our God, the Creator and Maker of all things…
Exclamation:That with us they also may glorify thine all-honorable and magnificent name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
The priest spreads out the antimension.
Deacon:As many as are catechumens, depart…
The above dismissal is said only until Wednesday of the fourth week of the Fast. Beginning with Wednesday of Mid-fast, after the priest saysThat with us they also may glorify . . ., the following petitions are said by the Deacon: As many as are catechumens, depart. Catechumens, depart. As many as are preparing for illumination, draw near. Pray, ye who are preparing for illumination.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer for Those who are Making Ready for Holy Illumination:Reveal, O Master, thy countenance to those who are preparing for holy illumination…
Exclamation:For thou art our Illumination, and to thee do we send up glory…
Deacon:As many as are preparing for illumination, depart; ye who are preparing for illumination, depart …
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
First Prayer of the Faithful:O God, great and praiseworthy, who by the lifecreating death…
The priest exclaims:For to thee belong all glory, honor and worship…
Deacon:Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Second Prayer of the Faithful:O Master, holy and exceeding good, we implore thee…
The priest exclaims:Through the gift of thy Christ, with whom thou art blessed…
Entrance with the Holy Gifts.
Choir:Amen. And they sing: Now the Powers of heaven with us invisibly do worship….
The deacon enters the sanctuary on the north side, opens the holy doors, and censes the holy table, the holy prothesis, and the priest. And standing together, they sayNow the Powers of heaven . . . thrice
And having made three prostrations, they go to the prothesis, and the priest takes the aer, and lays it on the shoulder of the deacon; then he takes the holy diskos with the Divine Mysteries in his right hand, and holds it on his own head; he takes the chalice containing the wine in his left hand.
The deacon, with the censer only, goes ahead, censing frequently. As they go, they say nothing. And, having entered, the priest places the Mysteries as usual on the holy table, and he takes the veils from the holy Gifts and covers them with the aer, saying nothing over them. He only censes them.
The holy doors are closed, and the curtain is drawn usually halfway.
Then the deacon, taking the priest's leave, goes out to the usual place and says these petitions: Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
The priest prays:O God of unutterable and unseen Mysteries, with whom are the hidden…
Priest:And vouchsafe, 0 Master, that with boldness and without condemnation…
People:Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…
The priest exclaims:For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory…
Priest:Peace be to all.
Choir:And to thy spirit.
Deacon:Let us bow our heads unto the Lord.
The priest, bowing his head, prays:O God, who alone art good and tenderhearted…
Exclamation:Through the grace and compassion and love …
The priest prays:Attend, 0 Lord Jesus Christ our God, from thy holy dwelling place…
The priest and the deacon make three references saying:O God, cleanse thou me a sinner.
The priest, the Divine Gifts being covered, puts his hand under the aer and touches the life-creating Bread with great reverence and fear.
And the deacon says:Let us attend.
The priest exclaims:The Presanctified Holy Things are for the holy.
Choir:One is holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
The curtain is drawn. Then the priest lays aside the holy aer. The deacon enters the sanctuary, and, standing close to the priest, says:Break, Master, the holy Bread.
The priest breaks it, with great heed, into four parts, saying:Broken and divided is the Lamb of God … And he puts a portion into the chalice, saying nothing. Then the deacon pours warm water into the chalice, saying nothing, and stands a little apart.
The choir sings the koinonikon:O taste and see how good the Lord is. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
If readings from the Apostle and Gospel for a saint or for the temple are prescribed, then also the other koinonikon is sung.
The priest says:Deacon, draw near. The deacon approaches, making a devout reverence and asking forgiveness, and he says: Lo, I draw near to our immortal King and God. Impart unto me, Master, the precious and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.
The priest, taking a portion of the holy Mysteries, gives it to the deacon, saying:To thee, the deacon, Name, is imparted the precious and holy … .
The deacon, having kissed his hand, withdraws and stands behind the holy table, and bowing his head, he prays, like the priest, saying,I believe, O Lord... and the rest. Similarly, the priest, taking a portion of the holy Mysteries, says: The precious and all-holy Body and Blood …
And bowing his head, he prays, saying:I believe, 0 Lord, and I confess, that thou art …
And thus they partake of the holy Mysteries with fear and all wariness.
The priest, taking the sponge, wipes his hand, saying: Glory to thee, O God. thrice. And having kissed the sponge, he lays it in its place. Taking the holy chalice with the veil in both hands, he drinks from it, saying nothing. He wipes his mouth and the holy chalice with the veil, which is in his hands, and sets the holy chalice on the holy table. And having taken the antidoron, he washes his hands and lips. The deacon does not drink from the cup at this time, but after the Prayer behind the Ambo, and after consuming the remaining particles of the holy Mysteries.
If a priest serves alone without a deacon, then, after having partaken of the holy Mysteries, he does not drink from the cup, nor does he take the antidoron, but only after the completion of the Liturgy and after consuming the holy Mysteries.
The deacon, , taking the holy diskos, brings it up over the holy chalice and puts the Holy Things into it, and, having made three reverences, he opens the holy doors, and taking the holy chalice, says: With fear of God and faith and love, draw near.
The choir sings:I will bless the Lord at all times…
Then there is the communion of the faithful as at the Liturgy of John Chrysostom.
Then the priest says:Save, O God, thy people, and bless thine inheritance.
The priest, having censed the Holy Things, gives the censer to the deacon, and, having taken the holy diskos, he sets it on the deacon's head, and the deacon, taking it with reverence, shall look out the doors saying nothing, and go forth to the prothesis and shall set it down.
The priest, having made a reverence, takes the holy chalice, and, turning toward the doors, looks toward the people, saying secretly: Blessed is our God,
And exclaiming:Always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And he takes the Holy Things to the prothesis.
Choir:Amen. Let our mouths be filled with thy praise, O Lord, that we may hymn…
The deacon says:Attend! Having received the divine, holy, immaculate, immortal…
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
The priest prays secretly:We give thanks unto thee, O Savior, God of all …
Exclamation:For thou art our sanctification, and unto thee do we send up glory…
Priest:Let us depart in peace.
Choir:In the name of the Lord.
Deacon:Let us pray to the Lord.
Choir:Lord, have mercy.
Prayer behind the Ambo, said aloud:O Almighty Master, who in wisdom hast fashioned all…
Choir:Amen. Blessed be the name of the Lord, henceforth and forever more. thrice Glory... Now and. .. and Psalm 33: 1 will bless the Lord at all times ...
Prayer said when the Holy Things are Consumed:O Lord our God, who hast led us to these most solemn days…
The priest comes out, and standing in the usual place, distributes the antidoron.
And then he says: The blessing of the Lord and His mercy be upon you …
Priest:Glory to thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to thee.
Choir:Glory... Now and... Lord, have mercy. thrice Bless.
Priest:May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of his all-immaculate Mother…
This dismissal is given up to Passion Week, during which the proper dismissal is said. After the dismissal, the prayers of thanksgiving are said.
Evening Divine Liturgies.
A. Instruction: A liturgical innovation has taken hold serving of "Vesperal" Liturgies, i.e., Divine Liturgies celebrated in the evening according to the pattern of the Vesperal Liturgies of Nativity Eve, Theophany Eve, and Great Saturday (that are not celebrated in the evening.).
The Holy Synod tolerates the serving of "Vesperal" Liturgies; however, no ruling has authorized the serving of the Evening Vesperal Liturgy.
The serving of the "Vesperal Liturgy" (as defined in the discussion below) is not authorized in any parish.
The May 1996 (Volume 4, Number 5) issue of Diocesan News For Clergy and Laity, published by the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver. On page 2, under "Bulletin Board," Liturgical Hints, one may read the following edifying instruction of His Grace, Bishop Isaiah:
"There is no such thing as a "vesperal Liturgy" (a combination of Vespers and the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom) celebrated in parishes on the evenings of feast days. Vespers and the Liturgy of Saint Basil is celebrated only on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday mornings, as well as at Christmas and Theophany when these fall on certain days. The other, corrupted "vesperal Liturgy" must never be celebrated."
The Typikon of our Church is a book that prescribes the framework and many of the details of our church services. While current practices and customs may diverge from exact compliance with every prescription of this authority, the Orthodox Church has been characterized over the centuries by a consensual observance of all the Typikon's basic principles and guidelines, of its underlying theology of time and order, the "order" that the great Apostle enjoined: "Let all be done decently and in order."
The Typikon directs that three times in the year, on the occasions of Pascha, the Feast of Feasts; of the Nativity of Christ; and of the Appearance, or Baptism, of Christ, the day before would be marked by especially solemn preparation and "strict" fasting. This is in keeping with the Typikon's general system of ordering the feasts at various levels according to number of hymns, types of antiphons, type of Divine Liturgy, and time of day. In addition to, and to enhance this solemn fasting and preparation, Divine Liturgy is prescribed on these three Eves: the Eve of the Nativity; the Eve of Theophany, and the Eve (Great and Holy Sabbath) of Pascha. Moreover, that Divine Liturgy, prescribed by the Typikon to be served on the Eves, is prescribed to be served at an unusually late hour (but not in the evening), distinguishing these commemorations even more from the other Feasts. Here are the relevant instructions:
a. For Nativity: "At the 7th hour of the day, the great campanile is struck, and heavily on all (bells): and, having gathered in the temple, we begin Vespers as usual." (Here the seventh hour of the day means the 7th hour after sunrise, i.e., 1:00 p.m.) At the end of the directions for Divine Liturgy, after the singing of the troparion and kontakion before a lighted candle in the center of the Church, we are instructed: "And we go to the Trapeza, and we eat boiled (wheat) with oil, but we do not eat fish. But we do drink wine, thanking God."
b. For Theophany: "At the 5th hour of the day, we signal on the great one, and then on all, heavily.. And, having gathered together in the temple, we begin Vespers and sing the customary psalm." (Here the fifth hour of the day means the 5th hour after sunrise, i.e., 11:00 a.m..) A the end of the directions for Liturgy, we are instructed: .".we light a candlestick in the middle of the temple, and after taking up our stand before it with the choristers, they sing the Troparion of the Feast, Glory, both now, and the Kontakion. And we enter the Trapeza, and we eat, with tree-oil (olive oil), and we also drink wine. But cheese and the like, as well as fish, we do not dare to eat, since this is forbidden by the Divine canons."
c. For Great and Holy Sabbath: "At the 11th hour of the day, we clap on the great one (great simandron or great bell). And after having come together into the Temple, the priest and deacon vest, and after the priest has given the blessing, we begin Vespers, uttering, "O heavenly King" (Here the eleventh hour of the day means the 11th hour after sunrise, or 4:00 p.m.) After the dismissal of Liturgy, there are the following instructions: "The Ecclesiarch should be careful that the Liturgy must end by the 2nd hour of the night." (That is 8:00 p.m.) "After the dismissal we go out of the church to the Trapeza, and we sit, each at his place, in silence and reverence. And immediately the Cellerer comes and gives to the brethren one by one a loaf of bread, and these are made like prosphora, a half-liter of bread, in equal portions, and up to six figs, and one measured cup of wine. And where there is no wine, he pours beer made from honey. But figs are found in most countries. When we've eaten we begin the great reading, of the Acts of the Holy Apostles from the beginning. The Reader says the Title and the Priest says the verse: "Through the prayers of the Holy Apostles, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us." And after the Amen, the Reader begins to read.
Most of the clergy, to be sure, and the educated laity as well, especially those coming from parishes of predominantly Slavic make-up, are quite familiar, at least superficially with this general basis in 2.a., b., and c., above. Most Russian Orthodox senior citizens, for example, remember that Christmas Eve is called "Sochelnik" (originally "sochevnik") or "Rozhdestvenskyi sochelnik," and that Theophany Eve is also called "Sochelnik" or "Kreshchenskyi sochelnik." Few, however, may realize that this word, "Sochelnik" comes from the (Church Slavonic) word for boiled wheat, or kutiya: "sochivo," the plainest of foods, eaten on these two Eves. And they know that all three Eves are Strict Fasts, and that the Liturgies of those days begin with Vespers and that the Vespers has long and many readings. In most parishes of our times, the Divine Liturgies of the Eves of Pascha, Nativity, and Theophany, are not served at the exact time prescribed by the Typikon, but they are still served somewhat later in the day than the Sunday and Feastday Liturgies. Moreover, with the serving of the Eve Liturgy earlier, the fast is not ended with "kutiya" on Theophany and Nativity Eve until after the All-Night Vigil, consisting of Compline & Matins, in order to "not eat before the first star is sighted." Only on the Great and Holy Sabbath is the bread and wine still served as the Typikon prescribes: right after the Dismissal. No thinking Rector would serve, of course, the prescribed Divine Liturgies of the Eves of the Nativity or Theophany, that begins with Vespers, later in the day than usual, and then go on to serve, for the Feasts of Nativity and Theophany another "Vesperal" Liturgy that evening.
One may say, "Well, that's all right for Theophany and Nativity and Great and Holy Sabbath, but what about authorizing the Evening Vesperal Liturgy for the other Feasts?" But to serve the Divine Liturgy of one of the Twelve Great Feasts at an even later hour of the day than the Divine Liturgy of a strict fast day (actually, at the time of the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies of the Great Fast) would be to completely discard any kind of sense or rationality, such as breathes from every page of the Typikon, from our Church's sanctification of TIME.
The justifications that are proffered for the institution of the innovation of "Vesperal" Liturgies revolve mainly around two points: the practice in the early Church of serving all Liturgies at night, and the difficulty of the modern American Orthodox Christian to attend Divine Liturgy on "workdays." Included under the heading of the second justification may also be the holding of an "outside" job by the parish priest so that he is not available to serve Divine Liturgy after, say, 5 a.m.
a. One prominent and revered modern Orthodox thinker, the ever-memorable Archimandrite Justin Popovich (D.D. honoris causa, St. Vladimirнs Seminary) has written that the Church has known its infancy and its maturity and that to adopt the practices of the Church's infancy would be the equivalent of adults subsisting on the diet of infants. We all together, clergy and Faithful, are responsible to guard and pass on what we have received, not what we have not received, not what has not survived the test of time and the never-failing inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the life and consensus of our liturgical Tradition. The resurrection of discarded and outgrown customs (very clearly it is the customs that have survived that we call Tradition, since nothing NOT handed over can be considered to have been "traditted") has been till now the province of those who have no concept of Holy Tradition, the Protestant sects, who have to turn to customs lost in antiquity in order not to be at peace with Tradition. Further, one wonders what the limits would be on reviving dead practices: will someone propose to read in Church from some writing, e.g., the Shepherd of Hermas, that is not contained in the Canon of Scripture as laid down at the Council of Laodicea, since there was a time when the Canon was not clearly defined? Surely not.
b. The second consideration, that of practicality, is not so much a sin against Tradition as it is a betrayal of all that the Orthodox Church, especially the Church under Communist domination, endured. In discussing the countries where Orthodoxy was a significant element in Christian life, the commentators would invariably point out how difficult it was to maintain a bare-bonesо existence for the Church, since the Orthodox Church required so much: a building, incense and iconostasis, candles, icon-stands and candlesticks, "full vestments," chalices, patens, spears, star-covers, hand-crosses, separately bound Gospels, trained singers and readers and time, and so on. A Roman Catholic "Low" mass could be celebrated in a closet. A Protestant worship service could be held in a restaurant's banquet room or in a field, with no outward indication that any church activity was going on. All one needed was someone (anyone) to preach and someone to listen. The Orthodox Churches were fully aware of this handicap. Was it heard anywhere that any of the Orthodox, hierarchy, priests, deacons, monastics, laity, ever put forward a proposition like, "Well, Father, why not serve in a business suit?" In fact, the Orthodox went in the opposite direction. If anything, the Faithful insisted that the services would be longer and fuller than they had been, and that when they concluded the clergy would be importuned to add more services. We here in America are familiar with the kind of Liturgies that missionaries of an earlier time brought to these shores: The Divine Liturgy began with an extremely abbreviated typical psalm; the second typical psalm was completely omitted and only the Troparion: Only begotten Son was sung; the Beatitudes were not only not sung with their stanzas, they were sometimes abbreviated to only four. The verses for the Alleluias were forgotten and the solemn Alleluia itself sometimes was only said quickly three times by the reader. And so forth. It was under the extreme conditions of persecution and repression, exile and emigration as well, that this awful "living Church" trend vanished from the scene. Under conditions of persecution and a repression that exceeded in horror and strength that of the days when Divine Liturgies were celebrated at night for fear of the Romans, the Orthodox once again returned to a fuller liturgical expression. Are we now doomed to repeat history? Are we, living in luxury and comfort unimaginable to the Orthodox of any other time in history, finding that the "requirements" of a "monastic and arch-Orthodox" Typikon are too difficult for the conditions of modern life?
c. There are a few other liturgical factors that may mean something. The Twelve Great Feasts of our Lord have Festal Antiphons (unlike the Eves of Theophany, Nativity, and Pascha) that proclaim in Psalm and Troparia the triumphant and festal nature of the day. In a "Vesperal" Liturgy, these are suppressed, and the Divine Liturgy begins with Vespers, as on a Strict Fast day. Further, the Twelve Great Feasts are distinguished from other Feasts by having an All-Night Vigil, that includes Matins with all its rich, beautiful hymnody, full of doctrine and sacred history. Even in parishes that serve the Matins in the morning, the Faithful are not deprived of this beauty and "on-going education" provided by the provisions of our Holy Typikon. To serve a "Vesperal" Liturgy is to suppress that all, or to kill the possibility of the parish ever growing up into its full stature. Nothing worthwhile was ever attained or will be attained by lowering our sights, our expectations. After all, we have not ever adjusted our life in Church to conform to our own sinfulness. Our fallen sister Church has never ceased to condescend to the weakest of her members, especially regarding Fasting, while the Orthodox Church has never done so. The Romans lost their Wednesday fasting in the Middle Ages, retaining only their Ash Wednesday. In our times, they did away with their Friday fasting as well, retaining, in fact, only Good Friday. The Orthodox Church has never stopped hearing these words "Be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect." We have always considered that perfection IS possible with God's help, we have never considered that we have lost both image and likeness. We have never accepted the idea that "perfectionism" is a pathology in our life in Christ, as others may have.
C. What's to be done?
Our Liturgy, like our Theology, is our life. The stunning Gift of our worship Tradition is one of which we are all aware, but we are often walking in an obscurantist night relative to the Order that is at the basis of and provides the essential framework for this brilliant Tradition, namely that brilliant and mostly anonymous creation of the pious: the Typikon. Hardly any pages of this main Liturgical book of the Orthodox Church exist in English. In the meantime, we must deal with some crises arising from the crudest ignorance of its provisions, and the awful misapprehension that it is some kind of rigid ritual nightmare applicable only to fanatical monks. That it most certainly is not. Our mostly educated and earnest flocks must be made more aware of the riches of our Tradition.
The proper celebration of our Feastdays must be placed high among the priorities that parishes are now placing in their "strategic plans." Such things as the Liturgy of time, and its relation to the Feasts and to the services of the Resurrection — to the way that a modern life can be adjusted to the "ordo" so that all the gifts of that Ordo may be bestowed on the Faithful and not quietly and gradually removed from their lives — must be incorporated into parochial, deanery, and diocesan education programs.
The parish Rectors must address the problem of weekday Feasts seriously, in council with the parish leadership and the Faithful in general. Parish Rectors (like bishops!) must treat those entrusted to their care as adults, that will follow conscientiously the precepts of the Church if they know them. One must be ready with intelligent, informed responses to those who imagine that our times are more stressful and difficult than were the times of our forefathers or that there is "less" time for Church services. Priests must be willing to begin a Proskomedia at 4:00am, if necessary, if it is determined that the maximum attendance at Divine Liturgy would be attained only at 4:45 or 5:00 am. In general, the problem of priorities must be attacked with vigor. We all know that the struggle for maximum attendance and participation at even the Sunday Divine Liturgy is exhausting and on-going, yet our zeal and determination here does not flag. Commitments must be sought. The ever-memorable Metropolitan Theophilus in his day strove to establish committed groups called "Orthodox Zealots" in all the parishes. Perhaps some parish Rectors may wish to see organized such groups that would make specific stewardship-of-time commitments, vis-a-vis the Feasts of our Church, in their parishes.
Any student of religions in America must recognize that, with the exception of Sunday evenings, Americans have not taken to evening church services. This is especially plain and painful to the Orthodox clergy and faithful that compare American attendance at Vespers and All-Night Vigil with the Tradition of the Church and what is the practice in other, Orthodox, countries. It is paradoxical that some pastors that do not even hold a Vespers on Saturday night anymore, "because no one will come," are pleased to introduce evening celebrations of festal Liturgies so that "more people will come!"
All the Parish Rectors and Councils are encouraged to be steadfast in serving the Faithful all the services of which the parish is capable without noticing the popularity of those services or that lack of same. Every service of the Church is the realization of a possibility for mankind, and for the Faithful. One may, by having a service at any given day or evening provide an unexpected opportunity for a truly salvific encounter of one individual with his or her life and with God, that would not be provided if the given service were not held. Which of us would like to answer a question about that when it is time to give an account of ourselves before Christ's judgment seat?
Different Services and Comments.
Sacrament of Penance.
During the Fast, there are many opportunities to experience the wonderful, grace-filled and grace-bestowing Mystery, or Sacrament, of Holy Penance. As we all learned, either while growing up or in our being catechized before entering the Church from other religious bodies (or from unbelief), the great Sacrament of Confession is the event whereby a Christian presents himself or herself before God, represented by a member of the Church ordained by God for just such purposes, namely, a Priest of the Church, and acknowledges publicly his or her weak belief, or even unbelief, and all the events, thoughts, and actions he or she has committed which opposed Christ's teachings, especially those of the Beatitude "Commandments," sins against God, against one's neighbor, against one's own self, i.e., our self as God would have it be, and then, after this confession and with a firm intention to no longer commit such sins, with God's help, receives from the Priest, who has the power to bind and loose received via the Apostles and their successors in the Church, Absolution. "Absolution" is actually expressed by the Priest praying that the Lord God "may forgive, through His Grace and love of mankind, all thy sins." This prayer is guaranteed its effectiveness by the aforementioned bestowal: "whatsoever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." The Priest also, as a simple human being and member of the Church, adds his own personal forgiveness (as every Christian is bound to do: "forgive one another your trespasses"), in the current recension of the prayer used in Churches in the Russian and Slavic tradition, with these words "And I, an unworthy priest, through the power given unto me by Him, do forgive and absolve..."
We are thereby empowered to go forth forgiven, refreshed, cleansed, as in a second Baptism, into renewed life. Preferably, but not necessarily, we are able to partake of the Holy Mysteries (Sacrament) of the Body and Blood of Christ as a first event in this new life. These Mysteries were termed by the early Christians the Medicine of Immortality, and they are, on a grand and very vast spiritual scale, "just what the Heavenly Doctor ordered" for us.
There was a time, not long past, when both these Great and Saving Mysteries had fallen into desuetude. Due to a legal minimum having been established in some places, such as the notorious injunction of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great's "Spiritual Regulation," that an imperial subject must confess and commune at least once a year, at Pascha, combined with the sinful tendency of all sinners, such as we are, to do the minimum only (if we can only find out what it is!), many Christians failed to avail themselves of such great gifts to the Church as Confession and Communion as often as was spiritually healthy, or even, we can say, appropriate to the Orthodox person.
Nevertheless, there was never a time when representatives of the hierarchy and other leading clergy, such as St. John of Kronstadt, did not exhort the Faithful to more frequent Confession and Communion, but the ancient enemy of mankind, Satan, was successful in keeping many, many Christians away from something actually essential to a Christian life: FREQUENT Confession and Communion.
In our time, part of the problem was addressed: frequency of Holy Communion. However, the other part was not only neglected, it even got worse in some places. The eminent Archpriest, theologian, and teacher, Father Sergius Bulgakov, once described this disappearance of the Sacrament of Confession from the Serbian and Greek religious scene as "the loss of religious culture." Yet, many of his own students may have, unwittingly, contributed to the present sad state where in some places there is no real Sacrament of Confession at all, but only the exercise called "General Confession," which is, of course, no Confession at all, no matter the mental and verbal gymnastics which its well-meaning defenders as such may now display. "General Confession," a beneficial exercise whose time is probably long past, was described by the late great teacher, Archpriest Alexander Schmemann, and implemented by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, as a practice which IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR INDIVIDUAL CONFESSION, yet it became just that in the lives of individual Christians and even whole parishes.
Some of the pious were even led to believe that there was some relation between this innovative exercise called "General Confession," and the mass Confessions conducted by St. John of Kronstadt. NOTHING OF THE SORT! In the practice of mass Confessions conducted by St. John of Kronstadt, all, according to witnesses and participants, said or, in many cases, shouted aloud all their individual sins. That is, the Christians who participated in this mass Confession did not speak their sins ONLY in the presence of an ordained Priest in the relative seclusion of the Office of Confession, but in the presence and hearing of their friends and neighbors and strangers standing beside them in Church!
The exercise of General Confession was instituted and is practiced in our own Parish until now. As has been stated on more than one occasion from the Amvon and in this monthly bulletin, it is to be used by those who are going to Confession frequently, as means of making more meaningful and complete the practice of the Sacrament of Confession which all should be accomplishing during the Great Fast. It should be merely the prelude to the opening of the individual heart before the Priest when the individual comes to receive Absolution at the end of the General Confession. (There are, of course, those who will have gone to Confession and Communion on the morning of the day on which General Confession is conducted, and for these, to be sure, it would be considered appropriate to merely receive the Prayer of Absolution and the ensuing blessing of the Priest to receive Holy Communion. All others are exhorted to take advantage of the great gift of peace and healing being offered to them and to confess at this time their individual sins.)
We live in the last years of the twentieth century since the coming of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ in the flesh. Our Lord preached of sin, repentance, perfection, holiness, forgiveness, love, humility, self-denial, obedience, and more. Our Church maintains all these teachings as they were received from Our Lord through the holy process called Holy Tradition, that is, from Him, through the Apostles and their successors until now. While many who are outside the Church through false teaching have gone from distortion of what our Lord preached to ignoring it, the Church still has the same teaching and the same Sacramental Life as was established by Him. We not only live in the richest society yet seen on our planet, and in the more prosperous part of that richest society, but we have been given the great possibility of real Life within that Holy Tradition that comes from the God-Man Himself, Jesus Christ. Let's own up to our failure and failures in being grateful children of our Heavenly Father. Let's not keep the Holy Mystery of Penance locked away, or rather locked outside the house in which we live. Let's not treat one of God's greatest Gifts to us, the Gift of the Father to the Prodigal Son as He runs to meet us halfway when we confess our sins, as a spoiled child with too many toys treats a toy hoarded in a closet to be dragged out to be shown to visitors as one of our possessions, but one we no longer have a use for.
Hearing the Confessions of Priests and Hierarchs.
Enclosed are two lists of questions, one preceded by an "Exhortation." These are for your use and reference in any case where you may be asked to hear the confession of another Priest (41 questions) or of an Hierarch (23 questions). Further, the questions for Priests may be of use in examining your own conscience before going to confession. They were translated from Bulgakov's Nastol'naya Kniga (Desk Manual).
The confessions of Hierarchs, Priests, and Deacons are heard before the Holy Altar Table.
No sacred vestments are worn by the Hierarch, Priest, or Deacon that comes to confession. Further, Priests customarily remove even their pectoral crosses and place them on the Altar Table during their confession.
The Priest hearing the confession of another Priest or of an Hierarch does not bless the head of the Priest or Hierarch who is confessing with his hand only at the prayer of absolution, but must hold instead the precious Cross and bless on the head with it. A Deacon is blessed as usual.
Questions to Ask a Priest at Confession
1. Are you always mindful of the oath that you gave before God at the time of your entrance into the Priesthood?
2. Do you take care, as you swore before God, to conduct your priestly service in agreement with the Word of God, the laws of the Church and the directions of the administration, and do you consider your first and chief task to be the salvation of the souls entrusted to you?
3. Did you ever refuse to baptize, hear the confession of or commune someone at death's door out of fear of endangering your own health or out of negligence?
4. During the time of an infectious epidemic or plague were you always ready, like a good shepherd, to lay down your life for your sheep?
5. Did you ever absolve at confession or did you admit to Holy Communion someone who appeared to be an unbelieving, obstinate, and unrepenting sinner?
6. Did you describe someone's sins in a sermon, in such a way that was possible to deduce of whom you were speaking?
7. From your negligence is ignorance of the Faith or persistence in sin existing in your parish?
8. Have you through carelessness left your parishioners without instructions on Sundays or Feast days?
9. Do you yourself keep and follow the teachings of the Church and teach them to others as the Orthodox Church teaches?
10. Do you ever allow yourself in your teaching of the Faith to interject your own explanations not in consonance with the explanations of the Fathers of the Church?
11. Is it your main purpose in your preaching to give a creditable sermon, rather than to benefit your fellow man?
12. Do you occupy yourself with reading the Scriptures, the Holy Fathers, and other spiritual literature?
13. Do you ever enjoy reading books which satisfy idle curiosity or those which stir up passion in your heart, mind, and imagination?
14. Do you always serve with care and reverence both the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, keeping in mind that he who is negligent in God's work is cursed, and did you ever serve with haste, so as to disturb good order and the beauty of the service?
15. Did you ever introduce your own changes in the services?
16. Did you ever serve a service while under the influence? And what service was it?
17. Have you ever arrived to begin the Divine Liturgy without the prescribed preparations?
18. Are you infrequent in cleansing your conscience through Confession?
19. Have you confessed without a contrite heart, in state of anger, or having aroused someone else to anger?
20. Have you always tried to read the prayers during all services, especially the Divine Liturgy, with all sincerity, attention, and all presence of mind?
21. Do you always follow the rule prescribed by the Church to prepare for Divine Liturgy?
22. Do you always read with full attention the prayers of exorcism at Baptism, and never omit any of them for any reason?
23. Through your negligence has a sick person or newborn infant died without Holy Communion or Baptism?
24. Did you ever get weary of someone's confession and show it through your words or manner?
25. Have you broken the secrecy of a confession?
26. Did you ever refuse anyone a Sacrament or service of the Church because they did not pay you or meet some other financial obligation?
27. Did you ever invent a miracle, wonder, or vision?
28. Have you ever grumbled or complained against those placed in authority over you or spoke ill of them, and especially the bishop: have you spread around injurious rumors, condemned his actions and management, or tried to see harm done to him?
29. Have you for the sake of your own honor or self-respect, or out of fear, or greed, or some other disgraceful characteristic evaded or ignored your responsibilities?
30. Do you try in your own life, in your own family, in the management of your own domestic affairs to act so as to set a good example to your parishioners? Or do you like to live according to the times and fashions, and follow the empty trends of society?
31. Do you have a passion for games, sports, secular entertainments, and parties?
32. Did you enter a bar for no good reason?
33. Did you advise your parishioners to make false statements for your own benefit or for others'?
34. If you were entrusted with a task by the church administration, did you carry it out with discretion, faithfully, and honorably, and with great care?
35. Did you ever waste church money or resources for your own sake?
36. Did you ever take wax, oil, or anything else from the Church like a thief?
37. Did you permit yourself some bad or abusive language in Church or otherwise behave yourself in a manner impious or disrespectful of the Church and Altar?
38. Did you ever serve a Mystery, especially the Divine Liturgy, after committing a grave sin or without having repented of it?
39. Did you ever miss Divine Liturgy on a Sunday or Feast day without a compelling necessity?
40. Have you been a cause of temptation to your parishioners because of your drinking, dancing, or gambling?
41. Are you aware yourself of some other sin against your priestly responsibilities?
Questions at the Confession of the Hierarchy.
I, a sinful pastor, am not a judge, am not here to judge you. I am the one you chose as a witness before God. Our Judge is the Lord, JESUS CHRIST: before HIM reveal the secrets of your heart. Repent!
1. During days of fasting and prayer, did God permit you to see your own sinfulness?
2. Do you believe in the Triune God as taught the Prophets, Apostles, and Saints of our Church?
3. Do you walk in God's presence as did David, always beholding the Lord, and as did the Apostles, feeling the Living God in their hearts?
4. Do you live according the holy will of Christ and according to the example of His holy life?
5. How does your conscience stand, before God: are your mind, will, thoughts and desires pure?
6. Are your memories and imaginations pure?
7. Did you sin with your senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing, or smell, or by means of your tongue, or hand or something else?
8. Do you industriously persist in the reading of the Holy Scriptures?
9. What kind of subjects occupy your intelligence more, earthly or heavenly; do you in fact appreciate worldly things more than their Creator?
10. Have you noticed in your soul your own idols: self-respect, self-love, pride, vanity, vainglory, greed, sensuality, or capriciousness — have you tried to conquer these enemies, did you zealously pray the King of Heaven to cleanse you of your defilement?
11. Did you take the Holy Name of God in vain?
12. Did you faithfully live up to the oath you gave before God in Church?
13. In your responsibility in the service of the Church did you always act for the sake of God's glory and the welfare of your neighbor?
14. Did you not mingle into the fulfillment of your responsibilities your own will, your own glorification, your own advantage, or anger, or laziness, or hatred?
15. Did you ever act unjustly or modify the truth out of fear or respect of men, or leaders of society?
16. Were you persuaded through flattery or some other world inducement to act contrary to God's law and a clear conscience, or did you maintain silence when those for whom you are responsible acted thus, when it was your responsibility to speak out?
17. Were you always paternally solicitous of those in your care, did you always care for them as your children, defend them in danger, condescend to their weaknesses and insufficiencies? Did you omit to learn of their needs, to soothe the deficient and weak?
18. Were you quick to anger and slow in mercy?
19. Were you more interested in punishing than correcting?
20. Were you always just in promotions and awards?
21. Did you ever subordinate a good person to one with a bad character?
22. Were you always ready to defend with vigor the weak and not hand them over to the powerful?
23. Do you have some special sins against love of God, your neighbor, or against yourself?
Reception of Heretic Laity and Clergy into the Orthodox Church.
Recently, I've become aware of a lot of discussion and controversy in Orthodox circles here in America on the topic of the proper way to receive, for example, Roman Catholics and Lutherans, into the Orthodox Church, and how Roman Catholic and Lutheran clergy become Orthodox clergy. While it is on the one hand inspiring to observe our clergy and people engaged in thought, discussion, even debate on holy topics, it is also disturbing to me when some of those engaged in these discussions and debates seem to minimize or give only a passing, slight nod in the direction of the practices that have been passed on to us, and seem to feel that any theological conclusions they may reach on these topics must be reflected in practice. It is most perplexing, too, that the labels of conservative and liberal, so inappropriate to Christian, as opposed to political, thought, are applied to one or other position on the topic, frequently in a way completely contradictory to the meaning of those political labels.
The practice of our Church, the Orthodox Church in America, and that of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America ("The Metropolia"), as likewise that of the Russian Mission and Missionary Diocese and Archdiocese that preceded them, in the matter of the reception of heretics is very clear: it is the practice that obtains and has obtained in the Russian Church for centuries, at least since the time of Peter the Great. It may be found and studied in the Service Books of the Church of Russia [in both its "native" conformation (The Church of Russia) and "foreign" (Abroad) conformation]. According, for example, to the Book of Needs published at Vladimirova between the wars by the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia, that differs in no respects from previous and subsequent Books of Needs published by The Church of Russia, Roman Catholics are received, after undergoing the Office for the Reception Converts printed in the same book, immediately into Communion and are imparted the Holy Mysteries at the ensuing Liturgy without further ado, unless they have not been Chrismated (i.e., are coming from the Latin Rite of the Roman communion and not from the Uniates), in which case they would be chrismated. No provision at all is provided in the Service Books to receive Roman Catholics in the manner of receiving Jews and Mohammedans, i.e., to baptize them.
The prescribed practice printed in our Service Books has been in force and active use for centuries, and it cannot be considered only a temporary episode of Economy in the life of the Church. When candidates for the Laying-on-of-Hands to the honorable Priesthood promise to observe the liturgical order of the Church, they are promising (failing a contrary directive from their Bishop) to follow the prescribed rites printed in the Service Books. And the overturning of the prescribed practice without a preceding directive from a Synod or council would be an example of innovation. Oddly enough, some that would advocate this consider themselves to be "conservative."
The Bishops of San Francisco followed these Service Books. They are the Service Books of the Church of Saint Innocent and of Saint Tikhon. They are the Service Books of the Church of such luminaries as the ever-memorable Metropolitans Antony (Khrapovitsky) and Anastassy (Gribanovski).
Saint Elisabeth (Elizaveta Fyodorovna), recently added to the calendar of Saints of the Russian Church, was received into the Orthodox Church (as was likewise her sister, the sainted Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna) from the state German Lutheran Church where she had been baptized as a child, through the Rite of the Reception of Heretics with ensuing Chrismation — without a new Baptism.
Recently a book touching heavily on the topic of the baptism of converts by a Professor of the state Church of Greece, Professor Metallinos, has enjoyed a wide readership in American Orthodox circles. Whatever may be one's opinions and convictions vis-э-vis the conclusions of Professor Metallinos on the question, one must realize that these conclusions have significance only insofar as they might appear inter alia on the agenda of a Synod of Bishops or a Church Council that would decide to re-examine the received practice of our Church. One need not read Professor Metallinos's book to find support for the peculiar position of the Greek Church(es) on the topic: in fact, one would expect to find the practices of the state Church of Greece being well-defended by all Her Faithful children. We have appended, as "Attachment One" to this letter, an excerpt from the collection of the Canons of the Orthodox Church with commentaries by a noted, authoritative canonist outside the boundaries of the state Church of Greece, Bishop Nikodim of the Serbian Church. This is an authoritative statement on what is, in fact, our received practice by a Hierarch at least as widely respected on the topic of Church canons as Professor Metallinos.
Any Priest or Bishop of the Orthodox Church in America that receives Roman Catholic heretics by Chrismation or Lutheran or Anglican heretics by Chrismation is not some kind of "loose-shotgun Liberal" motivated by ecumenism or the heretical "branch theory" of ecclesiology, but is someone that is following a practice totally obedient to the received practice of our Church.
We have attached the translation of the prescribed "Office of Receiving a Priest of the Roman Church into Communion with the Orthodox Catholic Church," that is the venerable and centuries old practice of the Church of Russia, of the Russian Mission and Missionary Diocese in America and its successors, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in North America ("The Metropolia") and the Orthodox Church in America.
As it was commented on the reception of two sainted German princesses into the Orthodox Church when discussing the reception of Laity, we would like to point to the reception of St. Alexis Toth (Tovt) of Minneapolis and Wilkes-Barre. St. Alexis was received according to the rite outlined in the attached document, i.e., by Confession of Faith, Penance, and vesting in the Altar after the Cherubicon. How could it be otherwise? Can one imagine Bishop Vladimir or Bishop Nicholas, the two Russian hierarchs of the day, contravening the established practice of the Russian Church and insisting the St. Alexis be ordained according to the formula for ordaining Laity? (Remember that St Alexis came to the Russian Orthodox bishop in San Francisco in the first place because a Roman Catholic hierarch did not recognize his Priesthood! One may only imagine how history might now differ if the Russian Orthodox Bishop in San Francisco had also refused to recognize his Priesthood and that of many subsequent Clergy of the Church!)
Recently a Hierarch of our Orthodox Church In America received a Priest from the Roman church exactly as our Tradition requires, yet this action was, scandalously, publicly decried by a few clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America, and at least one temporarily lost soul went so far as to adopt the custom of the heretical Amish and shunned the Priest that had been received into the community of Orthodox clergy in the prescribed fashion!
Let's always be governed in our conduct by the Tradition of our Church and not by the temporary passions of the day that may splash like waves of the sea of life against the hull of the holy Ship of our salvation, Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Let's preserve what has been handed on to us! None of the Hierarchs of the Orthodox Church are reckless opponents of Church Order or Discipline. We do not "take our cues" from anything but what we have received. The Orthodox practice of receiving Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans as described by the Serbian Bishop Nikodim and the Orthodox reception of Roman Catholic priests as outlined in Nikol'sky are not any sort of indications that our Hierarchy is hostage to ecumenism, branch theory, relativism, positivism, scholasticism, liberalism, indifferentism or any other "ism" conflicting in any way with the Holy Tradition, but a sign of their obedience.
During the time when Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South was serving the Church as Bishop of Berkeley, a letter was sent out to all the parishes in the then Diocese of San Francisco that directed that "across the board" Roman Catholics as well as Anglicans and Lutheran and Calvinists previously baptized with water and in the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would be received by Chrismation. That policy remains in effect.
We ask all the Rectors to receive heretics according to the format in the Service Book translated by Hapgood. That means a life's confession, a definite, specific and public and renunciation of specific wrong teachings formerly held, Absolution according to the formula printed in that Office, and ensuing Chrismation of the Convert on all the places prescribed and then Communion of the Holy Mysteries.
1. Excerpt from Bp. Nikodim's "Pravila."
2. Excerpt from Nikol'sky's "Ustav."
Excerpt from (in Russian Language) Rules (Canons) of the Orthodox Church with Explanations.
Nikodim, Bishop of Dalmatia and Istria. Volume I.
Translated from the Serbian. Saint Petersburg. The Saint Petersburg Theological Academy. 1911. Page 282-3
[Webmaster's Note: Quotations from the Russian, included by His Grace for clarity, have been transliterated for online distribution by the editor.]
(Preceding the following is a discussion of the differences of opinion of East and West)
Therefore, being governed, on the question of Baptism done by a non-Orthodox community (obschestvo), by the general injunctions (predpisaniyami) of the councils and Fathers, one may thus delineate the principle of the Orthodox Church: Baptism as something instituted by Jesus Christ may be accomplished only in His Church and consequently only in the Church may it be correct and salvific; however, if other Christian communities located outside the Orthodox Church hold the conscious intention of bringing the newly-baptized into Christ's Church, i.e., have the intention to communicate to him Divine Grace through Baptism in order that he would become through the power of the Holy Spirit a true member of the Body of Christ and a reborn child of God, then this Baptism also may be considered effective insofar as it is done on the foundation of faith in the Holy Trinity, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, for where such a Baptism is given and received, there it must operate with Grace (deistvovatј blagodatno) and Christ's support cannot fail to be there. Every community that perverts the teaching about God and does not recognize the Trinity of holy Persons in the Godhead cannot perform a correct baptism, and a baptism done in it is not Baptism because such a community lies outside Christianity. By virtue of this, the Orthodox Church recognizes as effective and saving the Baptism of every Christian community located outside Her boundaries, whether it be heretical or schismatic, truly (istinno) done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Bishop Nikodim adds a footnote: "According to the practice of the Greek Church, Roman Catholics converting to the Orthodox Church must be baptized again. We are not in a position to express our judgment relative to this practice, since we don't know how it is that the Greek Church applies the first rule of Saint Basil to Roman Catholics. We will only remark that this is exclusively the practice (isklyuchitel'no praktika) of the Greek Church and also that both in Russia and Serbia Roman Catholics are received into the Church without a new Baptism...ѕ
Receiving a Priest of the Roman Church Into the Orthodox Church .
Of the Orthodox Church By Konstantin Nikol'sky (Archpriest of the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos on Sennaya, Sixth Edition, Saint Petersburg. 1900, pp. 685-686). Such cases of uniting to the Orthodox Church are done according to the general office as outlined here.
The sponsor that is customary in this is chosen from among the Clergy. (There is no female sponsor).
Recognition of the person thus conjoined in the office of Priest requires a decision of the Holy Synod.
Before his admittance to service as a Priest, his conscience must be examined before a spiritual father, as in the case of one preparing for Ordination.
If examination reveals there is no canonical impediment for a blessing to serve, then, when the Hierarch arrives at the Church to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, the candidate comes with the rest of the clergy dressed according to the custom of Orthodox clergy and receives with them the Hierarch's blessing, after which he goes to the Diaconicon and stays there, not vested, until the Cherubicon.
After the Cherubicon and the placing of the holy gifts on the Holy Table, he is led by Subdeacons, but not through the Holy Doors, rather within the Altar to the Holy Throne (Altar Table) and to the Hierarch, and he reverences him in the manner of one being brought to Ordination. And the Priestly vestments are brought and put on the one being received into the community of the Priesthood. The Hierarch blesses each piece of the vestments, and the one being vested kisses the Hierarch's hand. And the Deacon says the verses for Priestly vestments, not as exclamations, but so that the one being vested can hear him. After this the one received into the community of the Priesthood receives the kiss of peace from the Hierarch and the rest, in the manner of one just ordained, and he stands with the rest of the Priests and takes part in the Liturgy and in the Communion of the Holy Mysteries. And from thence he has the same power to liturgize as an Orthodox Priest.  (Collection of the Opinions and Judgments of Metropolitan Philaret, volume V, pp. 952-953.)
1. This office was formulated by Metropolitan Philaret because of the case of the reputed incorrect bringing into Orthodox Communion of the Abbot Maundreli. See "Letters of Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow to A.P.M. 1832-1867.
2. In the periodical "Readings of the Imperial Society of History and Antiquities" (1892, book 4) the basis for this is set out that clergy coming from among the heretics being united to the Orthodox Church, about whom there is no doubt of their having been baptized and ordained, must be received by only presenting a written confession of faith and condemnation of their heresy as was practiced by the Seventh Ecumenical Council with regard to the conversion of the Iconoclastic bishops and other clergy, etc., and they must be received, each in his priestly rank, according to the 8th canon of the First Ecumenical Council, i.e., vested.
III. Every priest and deacon surely knows the days on which the Mystery of Crowning (Matrimony) may not be performed, and why not. We all must know, for example, that one reason that marriages are not performed on Saturdays is because ON SATURDAY EVENINGS THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN IS GIVING HIMSELF OR HERSELF OVER ENTIRELY OR PRIMARILY, TO PREPARATION FOR THE EUCHARIST WITH HOLY COMMUNION, and that married Orthodox Christians are devoting this evening to the spiritual aspects of their Union. In addition,the joyous merrymaking always associated with the aftermath of the Crowning in Church, that is, with the "reception," frequently leaves all the participants in a state inappropriate to preparations for Holy Communion, or making the same downright impossible. Therefore, only the DIREST necessity would make the blessing of a Saturday wedding appropriate. It would be requiring truly heroic spiritual strength on the part of newlyweds to imagine that they would not, having been married on Saturday, begin their honeymooning until Sunday evening, in order to appear fully prepared for Holy Communion on Sunday morning. There is no "practicality" whatever which outweighs the NECESSITY for the Orthodox Christian to participate fully in the Eucharist on the Lord's Day.
A. SATURDAY EVENING IS DEVOTED TO PREPARATION FOR SUNDAY MORNING, i. e., FOR THE DIVINE LITURGY. This "preparation" means, in terms of parish liturgical life, the All-Night Vigil, consisting of Great Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. In those parishes WHICH DO NOT HAVE THE CAPABILITY to serve the All-Night Vigil, then Great Vespers alone may be served on Saturday night, and Matins and the First, Third, Sixth Hour before Divine Liturgy. In the sad event that a parish doesn't have the resources to serve the Holy Resurrection Matins, the clergy (and devout faithful) have to read it by themselves with the evening prayers on Saturday night or in the morning, with the morning prayers. Some parishes customarily have a quiet meal (snack) after the evening service, with conversation or formal discussions. These should continue. NO RECTOR CAN GIVE HIS BLESSING TO REVELRY OF ANY KIND AFTER THE EVENING SERVICES, NO PARTY, NO DANCE, NO RAFFLE, NOR MAY HE ATTEND SUCH. This question does not arise in parishes which have a living tradition of praying together on the eve of the resurrection. It would seem to come up only where the parish is liturgically "dead" on Saturday night, where it is said that services are not (should not?!) be served on Saturday night because "no one would come."
If it is true that an Orthodox parish in our time still would give a higher priority to a dance than to praying together and preparing for the Eucharist, this is a matter for self-examination by the spiritual leader of the parish. Venerable Fathers, you know this is true, as do devout members of your flock.
B. While it is well known that our rite with which we accomplish the Mystery of Crowning finds its origins in a man and woman going to the Holy Chalice together, i.e., in the Eucharist, there never was a time when the Service of Crowning found in Orthodox Service Books was combined or mingled with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom or Saint Basil the Great. This is an innovation in the Orthodox Church.
(...) Here we sum up the normal steps we take in petitioning and granting blessings for second marriages.
The procedures are based on these premises:
In an Orthodox marriage, God Himself is the Agent of the marriage: "What GOD hath joined together, let no man put asunder."
The Orthodox person who effects a divorce sins thereby, except in the cases outlined in the Scriptures and Canons, for example, in a case of adultery, or the taking of monastic vows by husband and wife when the husband is elected to the episcopate.
In an Orthodox marriage, it is only the husband or wife who are agents of a divorce, and the Church does not divorce anyone. (The "Church divorces" of the past, those accomplished in societies where the (state)Church performed such functions of the state as marriage registry because the civil law provided for that, make no sense at all where the Church is free of such civil obligations, and the priest does not therefore have to act as a county clerk or other bureaucratic functionary of the state.)
THE FIRST, MAIN, AND THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE IS THE SALVATION OF THE PERSONS BEING MARRIED. And the basis of a second marriage, whether of a divorced person or a widowed one, is the same, but it is based on the Apostolic injunction, "Better to marry than to burn."
Based on the above premises:
The person coming to the parish priest petitioning for the blessing of a second marriage must attest to the following:
He or she has exhausted, by his or her own persistent and untiring efforts, all means of reconciliation with the spouse God gave him or her, and that spouse has, in spite of his or her protestations and representations and efforts at reconciliation, sued for divorce and obtained it.
He or she has repented of the sin of divorce, and this was an involuntary sin, except in cases having a scriptural or canonical basis, where it may be, but not necessarily, a voluntary sin, based on a refusal to forgive.
He or she has lived some time in this divorced state and now fears for his or her own salvation if he or she does not marry the person whom he or she now intends to marry.
The Priest gives counsel to the person coming for a divorce, and insures that the above is, in fact, the case, as far as he can determine. He then advises the petitioner to put a petition in writing, petitioning for a second marriage and attesting to the above. He obtains a copy of the divorce decree.
If the Priest is in agreement with the petitioner, he then sends me his own petition, petitioning to be blessed to marry the petitioner to his or her intended. He includes in the petition his own estimation of the facts of the case, a clear statement that the petitioner has, indeed, repented, and has undergone the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He includes in his petition a copy of the petitioner's petition and divorce decree.
Burial of a Priests.
The body of a dead priest is washed by three priests, who wipe with the sponge in crosswise form, according to the pattern used at baptisms: forehead, eyes, ears, breast, hands and legs, and then he is wiped with pure oil.
After clothing him in all his usual clothing except the outer cassock (rason), they vest him in complete sacerdotal vestments.
When the body is laid on the prepared table, the face is covered with an aer; in the right hand is placed a cross, and the Gospel is read over him in the interval between panikhidas, until the time of the funeral.
The sacerdotal vestments in which the departed priest's body is clothed must be new ones, and not ones which have been used; his footwear (slippers) must also be new.
The aer which is placed over his face is not removed at burial. The Gospel which was read over him is placed in his hands at the time he is carried out and remains with him in the coffin.
Proceeding with the body
At the bringing of the body of a priest to the church and to the grave, banners, cross and Gospel are borne before the body and the funeral toll is rung, because this procession is a regular cross-procession. The coffin is halted in front of the temple and the funeral litiya is sung there.
After the litiya, when carrying the body of a departed priest, the Irmosi of the canon "Thou art my helper and protector" are sung (but from Pascha to Ascension, "Christ is risen").
In the Church the coffin is placed nearer the Ambo than that of a lay person, and around the coffin without exception there are placed four candle-stands on the four sides.
The body of a dead priest must be born by priests, if there're enough of them.
The order of the ritual
The burial of a priest starts out at home just as does that of a lay person, with a litiya, but the dismissal is not prescribed — it is joined to the service of burial.
After "Blessed is our God," the Trisagion is sung and the introductory prayers are read.
After the exclamation at "Our Father," the troparia of the litiya, "With the spirits of the righteous," are sung, and there is a litany for the departed, upon which the priests pick up the body and proceed to the temple.
In the church the "Undefileds" are sung in three stases, and after them the troparion, "Give rest, O our Savior, unto Thy servant," as at the burial of lay-person, but immediately after this troparion the "stepenny," hymns of degrees, are read, then epistle and Gospel.
The presiding priest reads the first Gospel, then he also reads the first prayer, which follows it; the succeeding Gospels and prayers are read by the rest of the priests in order.
The Psalms which come between the Gospels are read separated into verses, and "alleluia" is sung in between the verses. (All the readings at a priest's funeral are done by priests — stepenny, Unclefileds, beatitudes — and not by the lower clergy.)
After the 4th Gospel the Beatitudes are read, with their troparia.
After the 5th Gospel Psalm 50 is read and the canon in tone six: "The cruel tyrant" is sung, and after the 6th and 9th odes the little litany for the departed is intoned.
After the 6th ode, after the Kontakion, "With the saints..." the 24 _lkosi_ are read, usually by the presiding priest; after each one of them the singers sing "alleluia." After they've all been read the Kontakion is sung again, and the canon is continued.
After the 9th ode and after the litany, the Exapostilarion is read with verses, and the verses on the Praises, the Great Doxology, and Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin are sung, followed by the reading or singing of the Aposticha: 24 stanzas divided into groups of three stanzas, each in one of the eight tones.
Then, after the Trisagion, the troparia of the litiya are sung, then the litany, at which the prayer "O God of spirits" is read out loud, and, after the exclamation, the verses of the last kiss, as at the funeral of a lay person, are read. After the kissing, the prayer of absolution is read, then laid in the right hand of the departed, and his body is then born to the grave, nowadays after the dismissal and the intoning of "memory eternal."
While the body is being carried to the grave, the canon, "A helper and protector" is sung again (but from Pascha to Ascension, "Christ is risen.") When the body arrives at the grave-site, the Trisagion is read, then troparia of the litiya, litany for the departed and the dismissal. Oil is also poured, if the departed was anointed, and then the body is given to the earth as is a lay person's.
 The Hours are "services of the narthex." When served in the Nave, the curtain and doors remain closed, except here, when the censing for Divine Liturgy begins. While the custom is widespread of opening them at the beginning of the Hours before Liturgy, that is, if not a mistake, not the best usage, nor is it consistent with the Ordo.
How to Find the Resurrectional Matins Gospel Lesson.
Divide the number of the Sunday after Pentecost by eleven and the remainder will be equal to the number of the Matins Gospel reading for the day.
For example, if it is the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, you divide 21 by 11. The remainder is ten, so the Matins gospel is number ten.
How to Find the Tone of the Week
Take the number of the Sunday after Pentecost, subtract one, and divide by eight. The remainder is equal to the tone of the week.
Expression (P = Week after Pentecost, T = tone of the week): (P-1)/8 = _ RT
For example, if it is the 21st week after Pentecost, you use this expression:
(21-1)/8 = 2 R4
Therefore, tone of the week is Tone Four. If there is no remainder, then the tone of the week is eight.
Some differences between Greek and Russian divine services (Basil Krivoshein, Archbishop of Brussels and Belgium).
A report given at the Liturgical Conference at the St. Sergius Theological Institute, Paris, on July 2, 1975
The aim of this report is not to examine in detail the historical evolution of the forms of Divine services, the origin of specific differences between Greeks and Russians, the significance of the different Typikons in this process, nor their mutual influences, etc. I am not a liturgist and will not be doing this systematically. I will limit myself to several remarks and observations, more of a personal nature, about how the Liturgy and other services are celebrated in Greek churches on the one hand, and in Russian churches on the other. In speaking of churches that use Greek I am not forgetting that Athos did not adopt the 1838 reforms of Constantinople and remained faithful to the more ancient Typikons. In this report, I am interested not only in one or another textual variant or a difference in the rubrics, but first of all in the significance and meaning, which the same words or the same liturgical actions might have in the consciousness of the faithful, how it can be reflected in their religious conduct, even if such differences are frequently based on misunderstandings. These "liturgical variations" can be found interesting for understanding and evaluation of these peculiarities of popular piety.
We will begin with some more or less ordinary observations in the differences in celebrating the Divine Liturgy. It must be noted that the biggest differences between the Greeks and the Russians in their celebrations are somewhat indirectly related to our topic since they occur in the so-called "secret" prayers, which are not discernable to the majority of the laity and thus have no direct influence upon their conduct. Nonetheless we will speak about them since these prayers constitute the more important part of the Liturgy and the clergy who pronounce them likewise make up a part of the People of God. Setting aside for the moment what precedes the Liturgy itself (Great Doxology for the Greeks, the Hours for the Russians, as well as the Proskomide), we will make note of a more substantial and characteristic difference in the Liturgy of the Catechumens.
Following the 1838 reform, the Greeks (except the Athonite monks who kept the old order) replaced Psalms 102/103 ("Bless the Lord, O my soul") and 145/146 ("Praise the Lord, O my soul") as well as the Beatitudes, which follow, by antiphons, i.e. brief appeals to the Theotokos or to Christ, Who is risen and is praised in His saints. The Russians continue to sing, each Sunday, the two noted psalms and the Beatitudes. They are replaced by antiphons only at great feasts or on weekdays. The dropping of the psalms and the Beatitudes has the advantage (if it can actually be considered the advantage) of shortening the Divine Liturgy. However, it pays to regretfully note that the Liturgy of the Catechumens thus loses its didactic and Biblical character, both Old and New Testamentary, which must be a part of it. The same can be said about the 1838 reform's deletion of the prayers for the catechumens. It becomes unclear why the first part of the Liturgy continues to be called "Liturgy of the Catechumens." We will note that the Athonite Greek monks continue to pray for the catechumens during Liturgy throughout the whole year.
Another feature, which we will note, occurs during the Liturgy of the Faithful, during the Cherubic Hymn. Here the differences in behavior become noticeable immediately. When the hymn begins, the Greeks have the habit of sitting down while the Russians love to kneel. Then, when the Great Entrance with the Holy Gifts begins, the Greeks stand and remain standing, bowing their heads, while the Russians rise from their knees and stand straight (but not all, some make a full prostration. These are those who think that the Holy Gifts have already been sanctified — a heresy condemned in Moscow in the 17th century). It can be said that for the Greeks, the entrance itself and the commemorations are more important while for the Russians it is the Cherubic Hymn. Nothing in this practice, of course, is prescribed by the Russian Church. On the contrary, a lot has been done, especially in recent times, to explain to the faithful that it is not proper to kneel during the Cherubic Hymn, especially on Sundays, inasmuch as the Gifts have not been sanctified. Nonetheless all these efforts had little effect, so entrenched is the dangerous spiritual tradition, expressed by this practice, of making something "mystical" out of the Cherubic Hymn, the "profound center" of the Divine Liturgy, to the detriment of the Eucharistic Canon and the changing of the Holy Gifts. As for the Greeks, their practice may have an historical explanation since the Cherubic Hymn was introduced into the Liturgy very late, only in the 6th century, in Constantinople. Its primary intended purpose was to fill the silence resulting from the commemoration of the living and the dead at the table of oblation just prior to the Great Entrance. (Incidentally, the introduction of the Cherubic Hymn was subject to contemporary criticism as a strange innovation.) Thus, since the Cherubic Hymn is simply a "filler," it is understandable that the Greeks listen to it while sitting, as is customary during similar moments.
The same can be said about one of the first phrases of the Eucharistic Canon. It is read differently, at least in our time, by the Greeks and the Russians: ', which means "Oil of peace, sacrifice of praise" (in Greek) and "Mercy of peace, sacrifice of praise" (in Russian). It is obvious that this is the result of orthographic confusion that occurred in Greek manuscripts between the two words, which in Byzantine Greek, although written differently, were pronounced identically (although with different endings: — oil and - mercy). Similar confusions, called "iotacisms," occur very frequently. It is almost a certainty that the form (oil) is the original and primary one, while (mercy) is erroneous or more likely, a willful new introduction by a copyist who wanted to "enhance" the text. Here we see a classical example of the evolution of a literal Biblical text into a symbolic and a spiritualized one. This is the most unlikely case of a "reversed" evolution — from a simple to a complex. Russian copyists and liturgists preferred the spiritualized form (mercy and not oil) and adapted it to the Slavonic Liturgy. However, it would be a mistake to think that it is precisely the Slavonic copyists to whom the "honor" of such "enhancement" belongs. This first occurred among the Greeks, and the witness to this is that Nicholas Cabasilas is well aware of this in his "A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy" (14th century). Although he does not literally cite this passage but paraphrases it, his paraphrase shows that he reads it as "mercy" and not "oil." This becomes more evident in the following passage: "We offer mercy," Cabasilas says, "to Him Who said: I will have mercy and not sacrifice... We also offer the sacrifice of praise" (P.G. 150, 396 AB).
It is important to note that among the Greeks, this "spiritualized" variant did not last; they remained faithful to the Biblical text while for Russians, the "mercy of peace" variant became one of the high points of the Liturgy for many people, and many great composers wrote settings for it, which increased its appeal for people who come to church to hear beautiful singing.
Another example of an expansion of a brief text, but in this case a purely theological one, was likewise motivated by the need to give the priest more time to read the first secret prayer of the Anaphora. The brief exclamation (by the cantor among the Greeks) "It is meet and right" (in response to the priest's "Let us give thanks to the Lord") is replaced in the Russian Liturgy by a longer phrase sung by the Choir: "It is meet and right to worship the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, one in essence, and undivided." (As in the case of "mercy of peace," the Russians adopted a variant already found in Greek manuscripts but not preserved in the liturgical tradition). The shortcoming of this theological dissemination can be seen in its lack of continuity since the choir's response does not accurately follow the words of the celebrant ("Let us give thanks to the Lord" — "It is meet and right") but is replaced by an instruction for venerating the Holy Trinity. But on the other hand, since there is no time for the celebrant to read the first Eucharistic Prayer during the brief response by the cantor, an outrageous practice arose among today's Greeks. During a concelebration, the second priest interrupts the first celebrant (even if he is the bishop) who is unable to complete the secret prayer during the response of the cantor, with a loud exclamation: "Singing the triumphant hymn, shouting, proclaiming, and sayingю" (All this to prevent pauses, which the Orthodox dislike.) Fortunately, the faithful who remain outside of the altar are unaware of any of this since the Eucharistic Prayers are read quietly.
The same can be said about all of the Eucharistic Prayers, but we will only speak of it briefly here. These are things, which are well known.
A uniqueness in the Eucharistic Canon of St. John Chrysostom among the Russians is in the insertion into the Epiklesis of the troparion to the Holy Spirit, taken from the Third Hour, which is relatively ancient, and which is supplemented by verses from the Psalm 50/51. It needs to be noted again that the authors of this interpolation were not Russians, since it can be found in some of the Greek liturgical manuscripts of the 11th century. However, it spread widely among the Russians and, in the minds of many celebrants, is perceived to be the Epiklesis. (Many priests when speaking of the Epiklesis, have in mind precisely this interpolation. Its significance is enhanced by the dramatic rendition of these words, often accompanied by raised hands and arms, while the deacon, reciting the verses from the Psalm 50/51, lowers himself on one knee.) There is nothing that corresponds to this in the Greek Liturgy. Without a doubt, this interpolation (which could be called "the Epiklesis within the Epiklesis") adds a certain degree of individualism and piety to the priest's spirituality, while it interrupts the sequence of the Eucharistic Canon. However, during the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, this is not done crudely, since the interpolation is placed between two phrases and not in the middle of one. It is entirely a different and a more serious problem in the Russian Church when we come to the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Here there is not just one but two different interpolations. The first one, just as in the Chrysostom Liturgy (troparion to the Holy Spirit), but with a greater difference, since it interrupts the first phrase of the Canon in the middle, following the verb in infinitive form, the aorist of — "to show." Thus, after this lengthy interpolation, the celebrant is almost forced to turn back, if he wants to continue the train of thought. The artificiality of this interpolation is much more evident here than in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, from which, incidentally, it was taken. (It has no substantiation in any of the Greek manuscripts of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.)
But of greater importance is the second interpolation, ' — "making the change by Thy Holy Spirit," which was inserted into the Slavonic text of the St. Basil's Liturgy under the influence of the St. John Chrysostom text.
The least that can be said here, is the following:
1) This interpolation is an inadmissible grammatical error since the participle , in Greek, cannot follow the indefinite mood of . In the Chrysostom Liturgy, it follows the imperative mood of ("make"). It would be proper to use another indefinite mood of ("and change"), but the interpolator preferred to slavishly follow the text that he copied.
2) This interpolation is redundant since St. Basil's Anaphora already expressed the changing action of the Holy Spirit (calling upon Him) while in the Chrysostom Liturgy the petition is for His descent upon the Gifts, thus "changing" is added.
3) It creates a liturgical monstrosity of four blessings of the Eucharistic Gifts. In order to avoid this, contrary to all tradition, the third blessing is diminished (accompanied by the words "shed for the life of the world").
All these distortions in the Russian celebration of St. Basil's Liturgy rightfully generated criticism by Russian theologians.
Thus the noted church historian, Vasilii Bolotov [1854-1900], even wrote that one of the first tasks of a future council of the Russian Church would be to remove all these interpolations from St. Basil's Liturgy, and first of all, the words "changing them by Thy Holy Spirit." There have been several councils since that time, but unfortunately, nothing has been done. The reason appears to be clear: the fear of the Old Ritualists who would not hesitate to accuse the "Nikonian" Church of "innovations." Another reason that can be added is the fear of the Russian Church of any liturgical changes, even those, which are perfectly justified. This is the conservative reflex on the part of the believers. Bearing in mind the unsuccessful liturgical reforms, which the Renovationists attempted to introduce into Russian Orthodoxy after the revolution, the least significant change in the services brings on the suspicion of a return to Renovationism. It can be said that the Renovationists with their revolutionary liturgical reforms have seriously impeded any attempted improvements in Russian Divine services for many decades. The pre-revolutionary order of Divine services became the sacrosanct ideal for the people.
Nonetheless, by the action of the Holy Spirit (which I firmly believe), two important new practices came into being in the liturgical life of the believers: a considerably more frequent reception of the Holy Gifts (when before the revolution people would normally receive Communion once a year) and congregational singing (and not by the choir alone as in the past) of the major parts of the Liturgy and other Divine services, particularly the Creed and the Our Father.
As for the Greeks, the Creed and the Our Father are read in various ways (but never sung) following an unquestionably more ancient tradition, when these were read by the non-celebrating bishops or priests or by respected older laymen. This commendable practice is often replaced in our time by another one, especially among Greeks living in the West. These prayers are read not by the oldest individuals present but by a boy or a girl, or are read together by the congregation (but are never sung). This practice has come from the West and is characteristic for ecumenical gatherings, but it is foreign in Orthodox Divine services.
Two differences could be noted in the Communion of the faithful among Greeks and Russians.
1) When the deacon comes through the Royal Doors with the chalice and calls the faithful to "draw near" — "in the fear of God and with faith," today's Greeks add "and love." This is a beautiful addition, but it does not represent the ancient liturgical tradition, which, correctly reflecting the sacramental spiritual life of the Chrysostom liturgy, stresses the feeling of awe before the "great Mystery." It can be noted with some certainty that the words "and love" were introduced in the 18th century on Athos by the advocates of frequent Communion, the representatives of the "Kollyvady" movement with the Venerable Nicodemus the Hagiorite at its head, and later accepted by the Constantinople Typikon of 1838. However, these words did not penetrate into Russia.
2) On the other hand, the Russian Church's practice of having the laity kiss the Holy Cup after receiving Communion was not taken up by Greek popular piety. It views this as allowing the laity to do something that belongs exclusively to the clergy, namely, touching the sacred vessels.
We will note another innovation recently found among the Greeks under the influence of the "Zoe" movement: the clergy read the Anaphora prayers and consecrate the Holy Gifts while kneeling. This liturgical practice was subjected to sharp criticism by a number of theologians (among whom was Archpriest Georges Florovsky) for its anti-traditional character. On our part, we will limit ourselves to two comments: 1) The reading of the Anaphora while kneeling is contrary to the canons of the First Ecumenical Council, which categorically prohibits kneeling on Sundays, as well as between Easter and Pentecost and on other major feasts. 2) Celebrating the Anaphora while kneeling is physically difficult and inconvenient. If the altar table is high, it is difficult to make the sign of the cross over the Holy Gifts, and there is a danger in spilling the chalice. If it is low, then it is difficult to perform other parts of the Liturgy while standing. However, the fact that this is inconvenient and difficult contradicts the real spirit of the Divine service wherein everything is harmonious. Likewise, the attempt to outdo the piety of the Fathers is pretentious. They did not feel that it was necessary or pleasing to God to celebrate the Eucharist while kneeling.
From a theological and catechetical point of view, however, the most serious departure in the liturgical practices of Greeks and Russians is not to be found in the Eucharist but in its preparatory part, the Proskomide. I will set aside the question of the number of prosphori to use, be it one, five or even seven as with the Old Ritualists. This is not a substantial question. What is more important is that the Greeks, among the nine ranks of saints commemorated while removing particles from the prosphora, place the commemoration of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and all the bodiless heavenly powers that is, the angels, before that of St. John the Forerunner. The Russians, however, do not commemorate the angels at the Proskomide at all and begin immediately with St. John the Forerunner. There is a serious theological problem behind these two differences in the liturgical practice: is the Redemption, the salvation through the Blood of Christ, His sacrifice on the Cross, related only to humanity, or does it include the angels, and does it have a cosmic significance? Is the Mystery of Christ's Body and Blood, the Holy Eucharist, likewise intended for the angels who are bodiless? Finally, has the Fall of the human race been carried over to the angels, making them in need of redemption? These are the questions that arise from the commemoration of the angelic hosts. Some Russian theologians categorized this practice as heretical, but officially this question has not been touched upon by any of the Orthodox Churches. Historically, the list and the order of saints commemorated at the Liturgy have been established little by little. In some Greek manuscripts of the Byzantine era, the names of angels are included; in others they are not. However, in contrast to what is noted above, it is the Greeks who adopted the expanded form that includes the angels while the Russians excluded them from their liturgical practice, perhaps on the basis of the teachings of faith. Having no aim to decide this problem here, from the theological point of view, I would nonetheless say that the Russian practice expresses a more anthropocentric understanding of salvation while the Greeks place an emphasis on its cosmic dimension. Here one can show a parallel in the difference which occurs in the Slavonic and Greek texts of the celebrant's exclamation at Matins before the "Praises": "For all the powers of heaven praise Thee and to Thee they send up gloryю" as in the Greek text, while the Russians read "...and to Thee we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." As can be seen, the Slavonic text is more anthropocentric: it is not "the powers of heaven" but "we" who send up glory to the Holy Trinity.
+ + +
More could be said about the liturgical differences in other services (Vespers, Matins, Hours, etc.) between the Greeks and Russians but, in order not to expand our presentation too much, we will note that at least in parish practice the main difference is that the Greeks celebrate Vespers in the evening, on the eve of Sundays and feasts, and begin the next day with Matins and go into the Liturgy immediately following the Great Doxology, thus omitting the Hours. The Russians, however, celebrate what they call "The All-night Vigil," i.e. Vespers and Matins combined, which is not a service that lasts all night. On the following day, the Liturgy is preceded by the Hours.
It must be said that either of these liturgical practices have their advantages and disadvantages. The Greek one is more natural and is closer to the Typikon, since evening services are performed in the evening and the morning ones in the morning and not the other way around as with the Russians. But because Vespers is relatively brief, very few people come to church in Greek-speaking parishes, on the basis of the Orthodox mindset: there is no sense to come to church for a brief service. The longer the service the more reason there is to attend it. The Russian Vigil became a well-attended service even at the expense of the Liturgy, which is a matter of regret. The reason is a sentimental one: people like to pray in semidarkness, with the flickering of vigil lamps and candles. The Liturgy somehow tires people out with its spiritual intensiveness. It should be noted, however, that in recent times a reverse had taken place among the Russians living in the West. Under the influence of the heterodox environment, in which they live, and that false spirituality, which centers all piety to the Eucharist alone, they very rarely attend the Vigil and in this way deprive themselves of the spiritual and theological treasures that can be found in its hymnography.
We can also note with regret that today, except in the Mount Athos monasteries, the Psalter is read so infrequently. Thus, the reading and singing of Psalm 1 ("Blessed is the man..."), which makes up one of the solemn moments in the Russian Vigil, has been completely eliminated from the Greek Vespers in spite of it being called for in the ancient Typikons. The same can be said for the dropping of the Hours in Greek parishes except for Great Lent.
Great Lent occupies the same central place in the liturgical year both among Greeks and Russians. However, those moments, which express popular piety, or, as can be said, a spiritual emphasis, at times are expressed very differently in the two traditions. If we take the first six weeks of Lent (we will speak of Passion Week later), we can say that among the Russians, one of the more characteristic and vibrant expressions of spiritual life is the prayer "O Lord and Master of my life..." Every Russian, even the infrequent churchgoer, is familiar with this prayer. For him, it marks off the beginning and end of the Lenten period. It specifically singles out the services of Great Lent from the others throughout the liturgical year. Its great popularity and profound influence upon spiritual life can be seen from Pushkin's poem "Fathers of the desert and undefiled mothers..." This was the poet's favorite prayer. He was deeply moved hearing the prayer being read by the priest in church. And yet Pushkin was not a particularly religious person. Thus, the Russian believer will be seriously surprised and perhaps even incredulous when he learns that the prayer is factually unknown to the majority of the Greek Church people and that it is not heard in Greek churches during Lent.
I must explain something to avert some misunderstanding. In fact this prayer exists in Greek service books just as in Russian ones. It is not omitted. It is well known to the clergy, but since, according to the ancient Typikons, it is to be read quietly, "secretly," the laity have completely forgotten it except for the prostrations that accompany it, which are characteristic for Great Lent. The Greek practice of reading the prayer "secretly" is undoubtedly more ancient. All Typikons, including the Russian ones, prescribe this (see for example the existing Russian Typikon's direction for the beginning of Great Lent: "We do this interiorly" or in other places, "mentally," or "secretly," the prayer of Ephraim the Syrian "O Lord and Master"). The Russian practice of reading this prayer aloud is an innovation, introduced in the 15th or 16th centuries. Nonetheless, it remains in the people's religious consciousness as one of the more beautiful Orthodox prayers, which, without this practice, could have become forgotten inasmuch as the "secret" or "mental" recitation of certain prayers could be spiritually profitable in monasteries, where the monks are well familiar with the Divine services, but in parishes, especially large ones, such a practice could lead to ignorance and to spiritual impoverishment.
Nothing like that could be said about the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. It is very popular among the Russians, being one of those moments, which bring about an attitude of repentance during Great Lent. It passes by almost without notice with the Greeks. For them, a more popular and cherished and well-attended Lenten service (excluding Passion Week) is the Akathist to the Theotokos. The Greeks are not satisfied to have it only at Matins of the Fifth week, as all the ancient Typikons prescribe, but they have it more often, dividing it into four parts, during Compline of the first four weeks of Lent. Here one could find a more intense veneration of the Theotokos during the Lenten cycle had there not been other contradictory factors of which we will speak later. Paradoxically, prayers for Catechumens become a characteristic mark of Great Lent since, except for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the Greeks do not hear them during other times of the year.
It would seem that the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts would have one and the same meaning both for the Greeks and Russians. The people like that service and many do attend it, especially if it is celebrated in the evening, as it should be, although this "daring novelty" still meets up with strong objections and is not widely practiced, except among the Orthodox in the West. But even if there are no observable differences in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which could impact upon the spiritual experience of the people, still there are some serious theological differences, although not officially formulated, which underline the actions and words of the celebrants behind the iconostas.
Here (to the great surprise of many lay people and even the clergy that do not even suspect it) arises the question: does the wine in the chalice, during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, change into the Lord's Precious Blood, as it does during the Liturgies of John Chrysostom and Basil the Great, or does it remain what it was, except that it was blessed and sanctified? The Russian Liturgy, since the time of Peter Mogila in any case, answers in the negative: the wine is not changed. This understanding is demonstrated by the fact that the celebrant partaking of the presanctified Body of Christ, which was intinctured with the Precious Blood sanctified at the Liturgy of Chrysostom or Basil the Great, drinks from the chalice without pronouncing those words, which he would when partaking during a "full" Liturgy. Furthermore, if he is celebrating without a deacon and would later consume the remaining Gifts by himself, he does not drink from the chalice. The deacon that would consume the remaining Gifts at the end of the Liturgy never drinks from the chalice even when he receives Communion. To drink from the chalice is viewed as an impediment towards consuming the remaining Gifts, as is explained in the "Notes concerning certain procedures for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts," which go back to the time of Peter Mogila: "If the priest is celebrating alone . . . he does not drink from the chalice until the end of the Liturgyю Even though the wine is sanctified by the placing of the particles (of the sacred Body), it is not transubstantiated into the Divine Blood, since the words of institution were not pronounced over it as occurs during the Liturgies of Ss. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great." This same opinion is expressed in the Russian Church's practice of not admitting infants to communion during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts since, because of their age, they are unable to swallow a particle of the Body of Christ and the wine is not considered to have been changed into the Precious Blood. The Greek practice, as indicated in the service books, although not too clearly, presumes what appears to be completely different theological beliefs. Concerning the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts it briefly states: "The priest partakes . . . of the Sacred Gifts just as during the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom." Meaning that, as he drinks from the chalice he says: "The precious and sacred Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ is given to me..." Thus, what is in the chalice is considered to be Christ's Blood. This is supported by the practice of drinking from the chalice three times, just as at the Liturgies of Chrysostom and Basil the Great, which would not have been of much significance if this was said just about wine and not the Sacred Blood. After all this the celebrant consumes the Sacred Gifts as during the usual Liturgies. As for the theological explanations, we can find these in the Byzantine liturgists beginning with the 11th century: during the placement of the particle of the Body of Christ into the chalice the wine changes into the Precious Blood of the Lord through contact with His Body.
I will not express myself concerning this serious theological question. To form a decision about this difference (if indeed it exists, since one cannot make firm conclusions on the basis of different practices what concerns differences in belief) is beyond my competence since the Church, neither in Byzantium nor in Russia, adopted any conciliar decision on this account. I will only note that the explanation for the change of the wine into the Blood of Christ through contact with a particle of the Body appears strange to me and is unknown to the ancient Fathers. As for Peter Mogila's "Note," it is obviously inapplicable because of its Scholastic terminology ("transubstantiation") and its non-Orthodox theology according to which, the Epiklesis is replaced by the words of institution during the sanctification of the Eucharistic Gifts.
The publishers of liturgical books in Russia understood this well: although they include Peter Mogila's "Note" in the text, its more shocking segment, which we cited above in part, is shown in brackets. On the other hand, the theory of the change through contact carries with it a similar defect: it leaves no place for the Epiklesis. As for the Russian practice, it appears to be more correct but is contradictory in that it prescribes that the celebrant drink from the chalice three times (does it have any particular meaning if this is not the Blood of Christ?) And yet it is excessive in that it forbids him to drink if he is the sole celebrant.
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Holy Week, along with Pascha, is undoubtedly the summit of the whole liturgical year but both among the Russians and the Greeks, it has its own more impressionable moments in popular piety although these are not always the same ones.
Among the Greeks, the people especially like two services that attract large crowds of people: this is the Hymn of Cassia ("Lord, the woman having fallen into a multitude of sins...") on the one hand and the solemn procession with the Burial Shroud in the evening of Holy Friday on the other. It can be said that for the ordinary Greek, these two services constitute the more important moments of the whole Passion Week. The hymn of the sinful woman is especially loved, and many lay people know it by memory and like to sing it. Newspapers write about it when describing the services of Passion Week. More or less the same can be said about the procession with the Shroud. It is not merely carried around the temple but the procession goes on for miles, escorted by thousands of the faithful holding lighted candles and singing the burial hymns.
Among the Russians this is done somewhat differently, not so much in the meaning of the services and hymns, which are almost identical, but in relation to their place in popular piety. Thus Cassia's hymn, which among the Greeks occupies a central place, is likewise sung by the Russians but does not attract the same degree of attention on the part of the faithful, many of whom are even not familiar with it. It is simply one of the hymns of Passion Week, all of which are splendid. However, among the Russians, the Vigil of Great Friday (actually in the evening of Great Thursday) attains especially great significance. The so-called "Twelve Gospels" is one of the most beloved and best attended Passion Week services. The service of the "Twelve Gospels" is also very important for the Greeks but less so than for the Russians. But strange as it may seem, the pious attention of the faithful Greeks during it has as its focal point the bringing out of the cross with the singing of "Today He hangs on the wood of the crossю" The Russians do not bring out the cross (this is considered a late innovation) and the text "Today He hangs on the wood of the cross" is sung but without placing any special emphasis on it in the course of the service. For the great majority of the Russian faithful the most cherished moment is the singing of the Hymn of Light, "The wise thief..." during which operatic soloists do not hesitate to take the opportunity to show off their voices. This is one of the examples of how a musical rendition can have an effect on the significance of a moment in the Divine service upon popular piety.
As for Great Friday, for the Russians, the most important service for that day is not the Burial of Christ (in the afternoon) as among the Greeks, although it is very moving and attracts many people (there are no lengthy processions), but the procession with the Burial Shroud in the evening. This attracts a great number of faithful and it has a greater meaning for the spiritual content of Passion Week.
The Liturgy of St Basil the Great on Great Saturday with the reading of fifteen Paremii — lessons from the Old Testament (reduced to three by the Greeks, except in Athos, in accordance with the 1838 Typikon) is not too well attended notwithstanding its theological riches and depth. The Russians introduced a liturgical novelty, which could be considered brilliant, truly one of the best that they introduced into the liturgical sphere and which gives an unforgettable dramatic moment during the Liturgy of Passion Saturday. In the course of the Liturgy, between the readings of the Epistle and the Gospel (both of which are already dedicated to the Resurrection), the dark vestments are changed into white while the choir is singing "Arise, O God, Judge the earth: for to Thee belong all the nations!" [Psalm 82] There is no doubt that this is not an ancient practice. Changing the vestments during the Great Saturday Liturgy is unknown among the Greeks who kept the old order according to which the clergy wear white vestments from the very beginning of the Liturgy. The reason for this is simple: in ancient times Great Saturday was the day of mass baptisms. These were done during the reading of the Paremii, and custom demanded that the celebrant be in white vestments while celebrating this Sacrament. Slavonic manuscripts of the 14th century show that in those times the Russians confirmed to the older practice and wore white vestments from the very beginning of the Great Saturday Liturgy. Apparently in the 15th or 16th century someone had a fortuitous idea: make the change of the vestments during the readings about the Resurrection. Everyone is aware of this dramatic moment during Great Saturday. It is very impressive even though it is often accompanied by great fuss and disorder. The Russian theologians embellished this act and saw in it the symbol of Christ's descent into Hades, a prelude to the Resurrection, or a hint of the cosmic Resurrection. This change of vestments has become so ingrained into Russian liturgical life that the Russian believer would be very surprised and even shocked to learn that this practice is not at all ancient and does not exist in Greek churches.
It is also necessary and important to speak about the liturgical particulars among the Greeks and the Russians during the feast of Pascha. What is most striking is the reading of the Gospel in several languages during the Paschal night Liturgy by Russians (Prologue of St. John) while the Greeks do this at Vespers on the day of Pascha (Christ's appearance to the apostles in the absence of Thomas).
However, in order not to lengthen my comments on this, I will move to the exposition of my theme from another point of view: the place of the veneration of the Theotokos in the noted variations. Here one needs to take note of a novelty recently introduced by the Zoe Brotherhood under obvious Protestant influences, which is quite common in the parishes of major Greek cities but not found in Athos. This is the traditional Orthodox expression "Most Holy Theotokos, save us" being replaced by "Most Holy Theotokos, pray for us," which diminishes the veneration of the Theotokos. This latter form "pray for us" is in no way heretical. It is found in many prayers to the Mother of God. But when it is used to replace "save us," it gains the appearance of an anti-Theotokian coloration. An earlier parallel trend can be found in the 1838 Typikon's direction. The feast of the Annunciation, in the light of its significance in the work of our salvation — "the beginning of our salvation" and its context, can never be moved to another date even if it coincided with Great Friday, Great Saturday or Pascha itself. Changing the ancient practice, The 1838 Typikon, reasoning that such a coincidence would result in liturgical difficulties taxing the abilities of the rural clergy to cope with them, directs that in such cases the feast of the Annunciation be moved to the second day of Bright Week. This innovation, accepted in Greece, was rejected by the Athonite monks who found that this diminishes the feast of the Annunciation and thus diminishes the role of the Theotokos in our salvation.
The Russian Church preserved the old order of not changing the date of the Annunciation. It must be noted that the adoption of the new calendar for fixed feasts while maintaining the old reckoning for Pascha (which constitutes a liturgical monstrosity) solved the problem for the Greeks since, for them, the Annunciation cannot any longer coincide with Holy Week or Pascha. However, following these tendencies of the 1838 Typikon (if they indeed exist) it can be shown that the feast of the Annunciation itself is observed with greater solemnity among the Greeks than among the Russians. When it occurs during Great Lent (except for the last three days of Holy Week) all Lenten services with prostrations are set aside during the feast whereas the Russians continue to make the prostrations and read the penitential prayer "O Lord and Master of my life..." even on the day of the great feast itself (which likewise is a liturgical monstrosity). In addition, as we already noted, the service of the Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos during Lent has a greater meaning among the Greeks than the Russians.
I will mention a few more differences between the Russian and Greek liturgical particulars both in liturgical and para-liturgical services and in the people's attitude toward them. Thus, prior to the Great Entrance, a Greek bishop bows to the people from the Royal Doors, asking for their forgiveness, and then blesses them. This practice is very meaningful spiritually but it was lost with the Russians. Their bishops do not ask the people to forgive them prior to the Great Entrance nor do they bless them. It is felt that to ask forgiveness at that moment is the business of the priests. But on the other hand the Greek bishops do not bless the people outside liturgical services and limit themselves to proffer their hand to be kissed. A blessing is considered to be a liturgical act, inappropriate outside the temple. For the Russian Orthodox pious people receiving the bishop's blessing at the end of the Liturgy is almost as important as the service itself. This can be seen in today's Russia where masses of people gather at the entrance to the church and ask for the bishop's blessing. This could be explained by the Greek practice of the bishop personally distributing the Antithoron [antidor] at which time people kiss his hand, which replaces the blessing, while the Russians pick up the Antithoron themselves.
Finally a serious difference in the liturgical consciousness between the Greeks and the Russians is expressed in that the Greeks (I have in mind pious Greeks) always come to the Divine Liturgy having fasted, whether they will receive Communion or not, whereas the Russians feel that this needs to be done only before receiving Communion. Otherwise one needs to have breakfast before going to the Liturgy to maintain strength. This does not keep them from taking the Antithoron, which is considered to be impious by the Athonite monks.
I would like to make some observations on what was discussed. I must say that this is not easy. The liturgical particulars, which we examined, are complicated and at times contradictory. At times this simply involves practices without any particular meaning and are expressions of nothing more than a trait of national character (such as "honoring the bishop" among the Russians). Other facts express tendencies of a spiritual character (such as, for example, the important place of the Great Canon of Andrew of Crete among the Russians), or even of a theological character (the well-known anthropocentrism among the Russians in contrast to the more cosmological world-view of the Greeks, their "hieratism"). But these things usually involve undefined tendencies rather than differences in theological teaching or contradictions. The only important theological disagreement could be found in the liturgical practice of the commemoration of the angelic powers at the Proskomide and thus including them in the work of redemption. Likewise, there is the question about the change of wine into the Precious Blood of our Lord at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. These problems demand clarification. But it is not necessary to jump to conclusions on the basis of certain differences. On the one hand, we must also take into account the differences between the relatively recent fruits of liturgical development characteristic of the Russians and the Greeks, which are distinguished by great beauty and theological profundity (long processions with the Burial Shroud among the Greeks; audible recitations of the prayer "O Lord and Master of my lifeю"; the change of vestments during the Liturgy of Great Saturday; and the congregational singing of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer among the Russians). On the other — the senseless interpolations into the Anaphora of Basil the Great made by the Russians. Here the matter is not about creativity but about distortion, which should as quickly as possible be corrected. (We should point out however that although this interpolation is redundant in the Liturgy of Basil the Great, of itself it is neither false nor heretical.) It can be said that these liturgical particulars, — whether ancient or recent, successful or unsuccessful, and furthermore, of little significance when contrasted with the great unity of Orthodox liturgical practice as a whole, — are seen as valuable theological and spiritual treasures in their particular places and notwithstanding a few differences, they witness to the unity of the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. However, the Church, while having no desire to enforce a liturgical uniformity, which would be both impossible and undesirable, must still determine whether these local particulars do not encroach upon her conciliar consciousness.
Messager de l'exarchate du patriarche russe en Europe Occidentale revue trimestrielle, No. 89-90, Janvier-Juin 1975
Translated from Russian by Fr. Alvian Smirensky
This difference does not appear in the several Greek and Antiochian translations into English which were consulted. Translator
1836. See "Pure Men, and Women Too" in Modern Library "The Poems, Prose and Plays of Alexander Pushkin," Avraham Yarmolinsky, Random House, 1936 [Translator]
Which coincides with the Greek Independence Day [Translator]
Glossary of Liturgical Terminology.
1. Antiphon – a general title for a hymn or a section of the Psalter; the title describes the manner in which the hymn or Psalter are to be chanted, i.e., by two choirs in turn.
2. Kathisma – one of the twenty sections into which the Psalter is divided in the liturgical use of the Orthodox Church. Each Kathisma is composed of a number of Psalms, e.g., Kathisma #1 = Psalms 1-8, Kathisma #2 = Psalms 9-17, etc. A Kathisma is further subdivided into three parts called Antiphons, i.e., Kathisma #1, Antiphon #1 = Psalms 1-3.
3. Kathisma Hymn (Sedalen) – a hymn sung as an introduction to "sitting," i.e., a period of rest following such things as the lengthy chanting of the Psalter, the singing of the Polyeleos, or the singing of several Odes from the Canon at Matins.
4. Polyeleos – The Psalms of "much oil" or "many mercies" (Psalms 135-136) sung during Resurrectional and Festal Matins.
5. Canon – a principal element in Matins (although it may also appear elsewhere); a lengthy hymn composed of nine odes, with each ode being made up of many hymns (usually 12-14), the number and source of which are regulated by the Typikon. At least theoretically each ode takes its theme from the Biblical canticle (e.g., Ode 1 is patterned after Exodus 15:1-19, the Canticle of Moses) which serves as its prototype.
6. Irmos – a word meaning "link" in Greek. The Irmos is the theme-song and the first hymn of each ode of a Canon. It has a double function: it "links" the ode thematically with the Biblical canticle which serves as its prototype, and, by establishing the meter and melody for all the other hymns (troparia) of the ode, it is the first "link" in their chain.
7. Troparion – one of the oldest titles used in the Orthodox Church for a particular piece of composed hymnography. In Greek the word means "a sign of victory" or a "way of life," and in general implies that the composed hymn is a succinct summary of the event or saintly person being celebrated in the Church. As a title, Troparion can be applied to virtually any composed hymn used in Orthodox worship. Present use, however, usually limits it to the hymn sung after the Lord’s Prayer at Vespers, after "God is the Lord" at Matins, and after the Little Entrance at the Divine Liturgy. It also denotes the hymns that follow the Irmos in the ode of a canon.
8. Katavasia – in Greek this word implies the act of "descending" or "coming down." It is the name given to the hymn that concludes the ode of a Canon. During the singing of the Katavasia the two choirs are to "descend" from their places (the kliros) and assemble in the center of the church. The Katavasia may be the Irmos from another canon, or, as on Pascha, it may be the Irmos of the given ode repeated. These matters are regulated by the Typikon.
9. Hypakoe – perhaps the most ancient title used by the Church to denote a piece of composed hymnography. In Greek this word means "to be obedient," "to hear," "to respond." Presently, the Hypakoe is the particular title of a hymn sung during Resurrectional Matins. It varies according to the tone of the week from the Octoechos and comes after the Resurrectional hymns which are sung together with the refrain from Ps. 119: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes." The Hypakoe of Pascha is the one most commonly known. It is sung after the third ode of the Paschal Canon, during the Paschal Hours, and again after the Little Entrance at Divine Liturgy.
10. Stikheron – another general title referring to a composed hymn written in verses. Such hymns occur throughout Orthodox worship, e.g.: they are inserted at the places appointed by the Typikon during the chanting of "Lord, I call" (Psalms 141, 142, 130 and 117) at Vespers. They are usually associated with Psalmody.
11. Automelon (samopodoben) – a stikheron having its own meter and melody and serving in turn as a model for other stihhera.
12. Idiomelon (samoglasen) – a stikheron having its own meter and melody which never serve as a model for other stikhera.
13. Prosomoia (podoben) – a stikheron whose meter and melody are taken from those of an automelon.
14. Apostikha – stikhera that appear together with selected Psalm verses before St. Simeon’s Prayer at Vespers as well as near the end of Daily and Lenten Matins.
15. Lity (litia) – a word implying a fervent, prolonged prayer. It generally designates the procession to the narthex of the church for petitions, hymns and the blessing of loaves, which is a typical feature of the latter part of Great Vespers on feast days.
16. Theotokian – a hymn to the Theotokos that usually concludes a larger body of hymnography, e.g.: troparia at the end of Vespers, stikhera on "Lord, I call," apostikha, etc.
17. Stavrotheotokian – hymns to the Theotokos that refer to her standing at the Cross of Christ. They are typically found in the Octoechos in the hymnography for Wednesdays and Fridays.
18. Dogmatikon – those Theotokia that conclude the stikhera on "Lord, I call" at Great Vespers on the eves of the Lord’s Day. Their title comes from the fact that they are usually succinct presentations of the dogma of the Incarnation, with particular stress on the ever-virginity and motherhood of Mary.
19. Verses on the Praises – stikhera inserted at those places appointed by the Typikon during the chanting of the Psalms of Praise (148-150) at Matins.
20. Gospel Stikhera – hymns sung during Resurrectional Matins at "Glory" of the Verses on the Praises. There are eleven Gospel Stikhera, and they vary from week to week depending upon which of the eleven Gospel lessons for Sunday Matins is read.
21. Exapostilarion – a Greek word implying "to dismiss," which is used for the title of a short hymn that comes at the end of the Canon at Matins. In Slavonic service books this hymn is called the Svetilen or "song of light." For Sunday Matins, after the brief "Holy is the Lord our God," there are eleven other Exapostilaria – one for each week depending upon which of the eleven Gospel lessons of Sunday Matins is read.
22. Kontakion – derived from a Greek word that made reference to a wooden stick around which a parchment was wrapped. Originally, the Kontakion was a hymn of many stanzas (18-24) whose lengthy text indeed required the use of a scroll. St. Roman the Melodist (+556) is the most famous composer of such lengthy, free-style hymns. The hymns in their original, lengthy form have all but fallen into disuse in Orthodox worship. What now remains in the liturgical books as Kontakia are merely the short, preliminary stanzas of the earlier and longer hymns. The Kontakion is sung after ode 6 (together with the Ikos, or first strophe of the more ancient, lengthy kontakion) of the Canon at Matins, during the Hours, and after the Troparia at the Divine Liturgy.
23. Akathistos – a long hymn of 24 stanzas, similar to the ancient Kontakion. Greek word itself means that the hymn is to be sung while everyone stands. Many Akathistos hymns have been composed for saints and even particular icons. They are generally used for devotional purposes and may be inserted after the ode 6 of the Matins Canon during the celebration of a feast (for which an Akathistos has been composed). The Akathistos to the Theotokos is in regular liturgical use and is prescribed in the Triodion for the 5th Saturday of Great Lent. In Greek and Antiochian use this Akathistos is divided into sections and spread throughout the Friday evenings of Great Lent.
24. Prokeimenon – the Greek word implies something that is "set before" or "introduces." The Prokeimenon was originally an entire Psalm that served to "introduce" the reading of Scripture that followed it. One verse from the Psalm was selected as the refrain to the chanting of all the others. In current liturgical use, the Prokeimenon is reduced to the refrain and one to four verses of the Psalm being employed.
The Late, Great Typikon.
Among the thirty or so liturgical books that are required in order to perform the services of the Orthodox Church correctly, the Typikon holds a special place. This is the book that holds the "key" to how the services are to be put together — how you combine readings from the Oktoechos, Menaon, Triodion, Psalter, Horologion, Ieratikon, Apostle and Gospel, etc.
The Slavic Typikon is a massive book, containing hundreds of chapters. In it we find how to serve each of the services — how to serve daily Vespers and Matins, how to do them if there is a Feast Day, or how to do them during Great Lent. There are chapters that instruct on how the choir is to sing together (and against "disorderly shrieks" that have no place in church singing). There are chapters that give clear instructions on how and when to cense, tables with Apostol, Gospel and Psalter readings. Then there is a very extensive calendar section, with an explanation of the services for every day of the fixed calendar year, and a separate section for how to do the services for all of the days that the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion are used.
There sections that explain how to correlate and combine the services of the fixed and moveable calendars. Every possible combination is considered. The rubrics for how to do the services of the Feast of the Annunciation, for example, are more than thirty pages long — they explain in detail how to put together the service for the Annunciation when it coincides with any possible day of Great Lent and Bright Week.
Looking at these detailed rubrics, one learns how to put together the service if Annunciation should coincide with the Saturday of the Akathist, Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday, or even Pascha itself. One learns how to serve a service to a saint having a "Polieleos" (such as St. George) if it should fall on Bright Week, etc.
The final sections of the Typikon are the Paschalion Calendar sections. Here, there are tables reflecting the 532 year cycle of the Church services (which consists of 19-year solar cycles multiplied by 28-day lunar cycles. There is a table that consists of 19 columns by 28 rows, giving the Paschal Key number (really a letter) for each of the years of the 532-year cycle. Once you know the Paschal Key, you look up the details in the following section, which consists of 35 brief calendar synopses (one for each possible day that Pascha can fall). Each of these synopses actually consists of two — one for regular years, and one for leap years.
For example, lets look at 1996.
The 532-year cycle is calculated from the creation of Adam, which, as we know, took place on Friday, March 1, 5508 B.C. (Yes, that is the base date on which the entire calendar system of the Orthodox Church is based-pretty neat, huh?)
So, you add 5508 to 1996 to get 7504, the year from the creation of Adam. Dividing this by 532, you get 14, with a remainder of 56. (This tells us that since the creation of Adam, we are only in the 15th cycle — not such a long time). Dividing 56 by 19, we get 2, with a remainder of 18. Looking at our Paschal Key table, in the third row in column 18, we find the Paschal Key of the Slavonic letter "I" — (which is the 11th Paschal Key). It is in red, which means the year is a leap year. Looking up the synopsis for the letter "I" we find the following:
"If it is a leap year: The Nativity of Christ is on a Sunday. The Post-Nativity meat-eating period is six weeks and a day. The Triodion begins on January 22. Meatfare Sunday is February 5. Cheesefare Sunday is February 12. The "Year Key" is 7. St. Eudokia is on Thursday of the third week of Lent. The 40 Martyrs are on Friday of the fourth week of Lent. St Alexis is on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent. Annunciation is on Palm Sunday. The Pascha of Christ is on April 1. St. George is on Monday of the fourth week after Pascha. Mid-Pentecost is on April 25. St. John the Theologian is on Tuesday of the sixth week after Pascha. Ascension is on May 10. Pentecost is on May 20. The Fast of the Apostles begins on the day after May 27. The Apostle's Fast is four weeks and four days long. St. Peter and Paul's is on a Friday."
And you can use these tables and synopses for any date you want — ever. If you should ask me, when Pascha should come in the year 2007, all one needs to do is add 5508 (getting 7515), divide by 532, getting a remainder of 67. Dividing this by 19, we get 3, with a remainder of 10. Looking at the chart, we find in the fourth row and the 10th column the Paschal Key Letter of Slavonic "D" — which is the 5th Paschal Key. Turning to the Synopsis, we find that Pascha will fall on March 26, and all the other information about the congruence of feasts mentioned above.
When are Ascension and Annunciation in the year 35762? (I know that's pretty far into the future, but I want to show that it works for any year). 35762 + 5508 = 41270. Dividing by 532, we get a remainder of 306. Dividing that by 19, we get 16, with a remainder of 2. Looking at the table in the 17th row, second column, we find the Paschal Key letter "Zh" — which is the 7th Paschal Key. In the Synopsis, we find that Ascension that year will fall on May 6 — Annunciation will fall on Holy Thursday.
The key point here is that the cycle is PERPETUAL. At the bottom of the table it says: "The Alphabetic Key for 532 years. And then it returns to its beginning, for this key will be applicable until the end of the ages."
Date of Pascha,
Nicholas Ossorguine, Instructor in Liturgics, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris.
From the earliest days, man’s perception of time was naturally linked with some repeatedly occurring natural phenomena. Thus, for example, the regular change of light and darkness became expressed as a unit of time: a day (a phenomenon determined by the earth’s rotation about its own axis). The regular changes in lunar phases (the rotation of the moon around the earth lasting approximately thirty days) gave rise to the concept of a month. And finally, the regular changes of the year’s four seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter — was understood as a yearly cycle consisting of 365 (or 366) days, coupled to the earth’s complete revolution around the sun, which is called the Tropical or Solar year.
Only the seven-day cycle, the constantly repeating seven days of the week, is not based on any natural or other occurrence but has its origin in the creation of the world according to the Biblical narrative. The seven-day cycle was strictly observed by Old Testament Jews as something established by God Himself, and this was continued by New Testament Christians. It can be stated that this cycle was never interrupted and that calendar reforms had no effect on the seven-day week either in the Old or New Testaments.
The Church cycle of fixed feasts (Christ’s Nativity and others) depends exclusively on the solar year. The feast of Pascha, with the season of movable feasts related to it, is determined in accordance with all three cycles: namely, the solar, lunar and the weekly.
Pascha is the greatest Christian feast. The Orthodox Church, in the words of St John Damascene (VIII c), calls it "the feast of feasts, holy day of holy days" (Paschal Canon, Irmos of the Eighth Ode). This was the first Christian feast that was celebrated in Apostolic times. This feast is of such significance that the day of the week during which the Resurrection of Christ took place is forever identified with it. In the Russian language this day is even called Voskresenie [Resurrection]. Throughout the whole Church year, it serves as a constant, weekly reminder of the Paschal feast itself. One particular Sunday of the year is dedicated to this feast of Resurrection. And this is the day, when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth. At this point, the latter enjoys a time of maximum illumination from the light sources that surround it.
In Orthodox liturgy, light has an exceptionally important meaning. The very word "light" and its derivatives are frequently found in liturgical texts. Christ Himself is the source of true Light "I am the Light of the world" (John 8:12). In this context, solar light is understood as an image of the true Light.
The Christian Church, apparently from Apostolic times, began to fix the date of Pascha (Sunday) precisely in relation to light. For example, the feast of the Nativity of Christ (IV c.) was fixed as December 25, the day of the Winter solstice when sunlight begins to increase. (It was also a pagan feast for the same reason.) As for the sacred day of Pascha, here the moon also plays a part.
The Sunday of the year that falls immediately after a full moon when it occurs not earlier than the vernal equinox is set aside as the feast of Pascha.
Astronomically, the vernal equinox corresponds to that moment in the year when throughout the world (in both hemispheres) the length of the day and the night is equal and the Polar nights end. The significance of this phenomenon is that at this time of the year there is no place on Earth that is not touched by the light of the sun during the day. With the coming of the full moon during this time, the moon, being in the dark half of the Earth’s sphere, reflects the sun’s light, and thus the whole world is surrounded at that moment by the light of the sun.
Thus, in the cosmic aspect, the day of Holy Pascha is determined by the special position of the celestial bodies that illumine the Earth. This special position becomes a "cosmic icon" of that, which the Church describes by the words of the Paschal Canon: "Now all is filled with light: heaven and earth and the lower regions" [Troparion, Ode 3], or "This is the bright and saving night, sacred and supremely festal. It heralds the radiant day of the Resurrection on which the timeless light shone forth bodily from the tomb for all" [Troparion, Ode 7].
In the Church’s consciousness, the foundation of this "cosmic icon" was established by God Himself, the Creator of the world, when, at the coming of the fourth day, He ordered the "two great lights" to illumine the Earth on either side (days and nights) "And God said, Let there be lights ... to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and seasons, and for days, and years; and let them be for lights … to give light upon the earth … made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night" (Genesis 1:14-16).
Since the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD), this principle for determining the Paschal date (nearest Sunday after the first full moon occurring no earlier than the vernal equinox) was the mandatory rule for the whole Christian Church and remains so even to this day, both for the Eastern and Western Christians.
As for the theological significance of this "cosmic icon" that determines the date of Pascha, there is a little-known Fourth century Greek document ("Anatolian Sermon on the Paschal Date," 387 AD), which gives a detailed explanation of this significance. The author points to the existing intimate connection between the "seven-day" creation of the world and the "seven-day" redemptive act of Christ.
The creation of the first man, Adam, was followed by his fall and with this the corruption of all creation. Christ, the New Adam, redeems the sin of the first man and brings to life a new creation. In this theological context, the cosmic phenomena (vernal equinox and the full moon that follows it) constitute natural signs that correspond to the beginning of time, when God created the world. The "cosmic icon" of light becomes the icon of the beginning of time at the creation of the world.
The moment of the vernal equinox is the image of the first day of creation. This is the first day, or "day one," when God gave light to the world and divided the light from the darkness into equal parts, calling them respectively, Day and Night [Genesis 1:3-5]. Let us note that, according to the seven-day sequence, this day corresponds to Sunday, the day of Resurrection. The full moon, which follows it, is an image of the fourth day of creation (as noted above), when God, employing the created heavenly lights, distributed the light (which appeared on the first day) throughout the whole world. Darkness is gradually overcome. The moon’s role is that through it, the light penetrates the realm of darkness as a forerunner of the final victory.
On the sixth day of creation, which corresponds to Friday, God creates the first man, Adam, who fell away from God. Thus the New Adam, Christ, redeems Adam’s sin on the Cross on Holy and Great Friday. On the seventh day, Great and Holy Saturday, while bodily resting in the tomb, He destroys the kingdom of darkness. And on the following day, the first day of the week, which corresponds in this sequence to "day one" when God gave light to the world, the resurrected Christ gives the world the never-setting Light of His Resurrection.
The Gospel reading for the Paschal Liturgy proclaims this mystery: "In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word was God. … All things were made by Him. … In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. … The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not" (John 1:1,3-5).
As for the significance of the Hebrew Pesach in determining the time for the celebration of the Christian Pascha, the Fourth century document noted above mentions the day of Pesach only to say that in no event is it to be considered in determining the time of the Christian Pascha. Furthermore, the document’s author includes among the known groups of heretics those Christians who, in calculating the Paschal date, take their cue from Pesach. Some of these heretics, the Quatrodecimanians, observe Pascha on the same day as the Jews, others, the Novatians, observe Pascha on the first Sunday after Pesach.
The idea that the Christian Pascha must always be observed following the Hebrew Pesach was advanced by Byzantine canonists during the time preceding the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in the West (1583 AD). Apparently it was done in an attempt to discredit this forthcoming "Catholic" calendar reform. In essence, prior to the calendar reform in the West, the Hebrew Pesach de facto always preceded the Christian Pascha for entirely technical reasons of the calendar. The Christian and Hebrew calculations were based on the same astronomical data to which the Julian calendar was linked. However, this did not constitute a sufficient reason to make this a mandatory condition.
For the Fathers of the Fourth century, the vernal equinox was the primary determinant for calculating the date of the Paschal feast. The Seventh Apostolic Canon reads: "If any bishop, presbyter or deacon shall celebrate the holy day of Pascha before the vernal equinox, with the Jews, let him be deposed from the holy ranks." Thus the time of the vernal equinox determines the full moon after which, on the first Sunday following, the Pascha should be celebrated. This moon is the full moon of the Old Testament Pesach.
The Old Testament Pesach, according to Mosaic Law, is linked to the Spring full moon. As confirmed by the Fourth century document, mentioned above, the Hebrew Pesach during the pre-Christian era always occurred after the vernal equinox. With the coming of Christianity, this rule was not always followed, i.e. the Hebrew Pesach could occur prior to the vernal equinox, which served as the reason for the promulgation in the early epoch of the Seventh Apostolic Canon cited above. In this connection, a distinction should be made between the Old Testament Pesach and the Hebrew Pesach of New Testament times. The first one guided Israel to Christ, Who transformed it into the Christian Pascha. The second one, which does not comprehend Christ, lost all significance and, therefore, can have nothing in common, in any relationship, with the Pascha of Christ.
Thus the Christian Pascha, which follows the Old Testament Pesach’s full moon, can never coincide with it or precede it. Today, in the era of the New Testament, whether the full moon corresponds with the present Hebrew Pesach or not, can have no bearing on the Christian Pascha. As an example, let us note that if the first (Paschal) full moon following the vernal equinox does not correspond with the moon of the Hebrew Pesach, it means that the latter is based upon another full moon, either one which precedes or one that follows the first full moon. Neither of these would be of significance for the Christian Pascha since one of them is the second moon that follows the vernal equinox and the other one precedes it.
As for the variation in Paschal dates between Eastern and Western Christians, this occurs solely upon the difference between the calendars that they use: the Julian for the Eastern Church’s Pascha (the so-called "old style") and the Gregorian for the Western Church’s Pascha ("new style").
It can be assumed that one century after the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD) an agreement was reached throughout the Christian world on the time for celebrating Pascha. Tables for calculating the Paschal date were prepared based on the calendar in use at that time, and Paschal dates were expressed according to the Julian calendar in conjunction with its March 21st date as the date of the vernal equinox (the Paschal boundary). The Eastern Church used the so-called Paschalia compiled in approximately the Sixth century. This Paschalia remains in use in the Eastern Church even to this day.
Thus Pascha was celebrated throughout the Christian Church more or less simultaneously until 1583 AD when the calendar reform of Pope Gregory XIII took place in the West. By then, it had been observed for some time that the Julian calendar had fallen behind the solar time by approximately one day every 128 years and by the end of the Sixteenth century this lagging behind amounted to ten days since the time of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD. According to the calendar, the actual vernal equinox no longer took place on the 21st of March but on the 11th. As a result of this calendar reform (more precisely, its correction or adjustment) all calendar dates were moved forward by ten days (Friday October 4 was followed by Saturday the 15th), and in order that the calendar would no longer deviate from solar time, it was decided that during every 400-year period three of the leap years would be replaced by normal years, meaning that the date of 29th February would be dropped. The following rule would be applied: only those century leap-years will retain February 29th that can be divided by 400 without a remainder. Thus, 1600 was a leap-year, but the three following century-years, 1700, 1800, and 1900, were not leap-years, even though according to the Julian calendar they were. These different approaches resulted in today’s 13-day difference. Appropriate corrections were made for the calculation of Pascha inasmuch as the Paschal boundary of March 21st was moved by ten days, and from that time the Western Church frequently celebrated Pascha earlier than the Eastern Church, which continued to calculate its date in accordance with the old Paschalia.
When the Western Pascha does not coincide with the Eastern, the difference can be either one week or as great as four or five weeks. This happens because the vernal equinox, according to the Julian calendar that serves as the basis for Paschalia calculations, occurs thirteen days behind the actual one, followed by the Gregorian calendar. Thus March 21 according to the New Style (March 8 Old Style) is the vernal equinox. Western Christians consider this the beginning of the Paschal moon. Thirteen days later, on April 3 New Style (March 21 Old Style) begins the time for calculating the Paschal moon for the Eastern Christians, for their Paschalia. Therefore, when the full moon occurs between March 21 and April 2 (New Style, of course) this is the Paschal moon only for the Western Church, since according to the Eastern Paschalia the vernal equinox has not yet occurred. In this case, the Orthodox Pascha is based on the following moon, a month later. This then would be the first full moon after March 21 according to the Old Style, but in fact it is really the second full moon following the astronomically actual vernal equinox (March 21 New Style).
In this case, the difference between the two Paschal dates can be four or five weeks. Should there be no full moon between March 21 and April 2 New Style, then for all Christians the common Paschal moon would be the first one occurring after April 2. In that case, both Paschal dates would coincide or be one week apart. The latter could occur because in the Paschalia lunar cycles lag behind "real time" by three to four days. Thus if the actual full moon occurs in the first half of the week, for the Paschalia this would be in week’s second half and the following Sunday would be Pascha for all Christians. Should the full moon occur in the week’s second half, according to the Paschalia this would be the first half of the following week and thus the Eastern Pascha would fall behind the Western by a week.
There is only one solution for this abnormal situation. The feasts of the Paschal cycle must be observed in accordance with the same calendar as the fixed feasts (Christ’s Nativity, etc.), the calendar that corresponds to solar time.
"Russkaya Mysl’" #4401 21.03.2002, http://www.rusmysl.ru , Translated by Alvian N. Smirensky
Orthodox Names (by Priest Andrew Philips).
This article is going to be published in an upcoming issue of The Orthodox Family. Posted on the InterNet by Matushka Deborah Johnson.
With the progressive dechristianisation of society, the use of the expression 'Christian name' is becoming less and less common and is being replaced by 'first name' or 'forename.' Not so long ago Roman Catholics always gave their children saints' names. Even Protestants used to give their children names only if they appeared in the Bible, Old Testament or New. Thus Jonathan, David, Jeremy, Ruth, Judith, Esther, Rebecca, Rachel, Deborah, Abigail and Sarah all became popular names in Protestant-based societies. In Orthodox and Catholic societies, they sound rather Jewish and although they are saints' names, they are rare, even in monasteries.
However, it does seem as if, once more, Orthodox are now the only ones to keep a tradition, that of giving their children saints' names. But many questions are posed as to what exactly a Christian name is and what names those entering the Orthodox Church should take.
First of all it is necessary to point out that someone entering Orthodoxy should not take a new name if he has one which is already borne by a saint in the calendar. We have come across two cases where men with perfectly good Christian names changed them to exotic-sounding Vladimir and Auxentius. Both were cases where in fact the persons concerned were going through identity crises. Psychologically unstable, neither in fact wanted to take a saint's name, but in fact wanted to assume another identity. Both, unsurprisingly, have since lapsed from the Orthodox Church. It would seem that the pastor should discourage uncalled-for changes of name.
Another question which sometimes arises is whether a person with a female form of a male saint's name, for example, Nicole, should be able to keep it.
In Russian practice this is only allowed in monasticism, whereas in modern Greek practice it is quite common among lay-people. Other differences between Russian and Greek practice also occur. For instance Greek women and girls called Maria or Panaghia celebrate their namesdays on Feasts of the Mother of God. In Russian practice it is held that the name Maria is too holy to be given in honour of the Virgin, for we are unworthy to bear her name. Russian Marias therefore celebrate namesdays in honour of other Marias, for example, St. Mary of Egypt or St. Mary, Sister of St. Lazarus.
In Greece and the Balkans, names like Christos (accented on the first syllable,) Sotiris (Saviour) and Kyriakos are also common. Russians tend to find such names unacceptable, for the same reason that Russian Marias are not named in honour of the Virgin. Another custom, unknown to both Greeks and Russians, is that of the Serb Slava, whereby individuals may not have individual saints' names at all, but do have a common family feastday in honour of a particular saint. As regards saints' days there are some which fall on different days in the Greek and Russian calendars. The best-known example of this is St. Catherine whose feast falls on 25 November in the Greek Church, but on 24 November in the Russian.
Some converts to Orthodoxy change names when it is not necessary, not through some identity crisis, but simply through ignorance. The following are names which seem to be perfectly valid Orthodox names, many of them being those of pre-Schism Western saints:
Alan, Albert, Alphonse (St. Ildefonse), Angus, Audrey, Aylwin, Barry, Bernard, Bertrand, Brigid, Claire (St. Photini or Svetlana), Dominic (equivalent to Kyriakos, Kyriaki in Greek), Duncan, Edgar, Edith, Edmund, Edward, Erasmus, Faith (Vera), Frederic (translation of Irenei), Geoffrey (St. Ceolfrid), Gerald, Gilbert, Giles, Guy, Harvey, Helga (St. Olga), Herbert, Hugh, Humphrey, Kevin, Leonard, Mildred, Ottilia, Owen, Richard, Robert, Ursula.
Other names, not sounding Orthodox, are often diminutives of perfectly good Orthodox saints' names. For instance:
Alexandra gives Alice and Alison.
Catherine gives Karen, Kathleen, Kay and Kittie.
Columba gives Malcolm.
Dorothy gives Dora, Doreen and Doris.
Emiliana gives Amelia, Emily and Milly.
Elizabeth gives Bella, Bess, Beth, Betty, Elsa, Elsie, Isabelle.
Helen gives Eileen, Elaine, Eleanor and Norah.
John gives Evan and Sean.
Joanna gives Jacqueline, Jane, Janet, Janice, Jenny, Jessie.
Juliana gives Gillian and Jill.
Mary gives Marian, Marilyn, Maureen, May, Miriam, Moira, Molly, Morag, Polly and Rosemary.
Margaret (Marina) gives Greta, Maisie, Marjorie, Meg, Pearl, Peggy and Rita.
Nicholas gives Colin.
The lists above in no way claim to be complete, but they may be useful.
Ultimately, however, there are names which do have to be changed since they are simply not saints' names at all. What approaches are there to this question? Some change to a name which is similar to their own. An obvious example is that of those who change from Neil to Nil. Similarly Lee can easily be changed to Leo or Leon. There are many other examples.
Some people have second Christian names. Thus someone called Pamela Mary could simply use her second Christian name as her Orthodox name. Some people simply have a favourite saint and have always wanted to be called by that name. This is the simplest case of all.
Others may wish to take on the name of someone in their family. Thus we know of one little Russian boy who was not baptised and did not have a Christian name.
On baptism he took the name of his grandfather, who did have a Christian name. The result was that not only was the little boy baptised, but also that his grandfather started going to church, so bringing happiness to three generations.
There is also the question of how parents should name their children. The tradition was to look in the calendar either on the day of birth, or on the eighth day at the naming ceremony, or else on the fortieth day on the day of the baptism. These are pious customs which future parents should bear in mind.
If parents choose a name simply because they like it, rather than for the saint, there is another aspect of names which is also often overlooked. This is where there are several saints of the same name. For example there are several St. Nicholases in the calendar, but in general only one is honoured this seems most unfortunate. The Church calls us to honour all the saints, not only our favourite few.
Of Anglo-Saxon saints in the English tradition of Orthodoxy, there are a number whose names could be used, although unfortunately some of them are now out of fashion. For boys these are:
Adamnan, Adrian, Aidan, Ailred, Alban, Albert, Aylwin, Bede, Benedict, Bernard, Cedd, Chad, Clement, Cuthbert, Dunstan, Edmund, Edward, Edwin, Felix, Geoffrey, Gilbert, Herbert, James, John, Kenelm, Laurence, Ninian, Oswald, Owen, Peter, Philip, Richard, Sigfrid, Theodore, Wilfrid.
Agatha, Alfreda, Audrey, Eanswytha, Edith, Elfreda, Elgiva, Ethel, Hilda, Mildred, Thecla. (Also from male saints: Adriana, Alberta, Augustina (Tina), Benedicta, Clementine, Edwina and Theodora.)
We hope that these considerations will be useful for all parents and those wishing to enter the Orthodox Church. May they receive the blessings of the saints through their holy names.
Fr. Andrew Philips, June 1994.
Notes on the “Western Rite” (Father Alexander Schmemann).
The question of rites is precisely not, has never been and cannot be a mere question of rites per se, but is and has always been a question of faith, of its wholeness and integrity. The liturgy embodies and expresses the faith, or better to say, the experience of the Church, and is that experience's manifestation and communication. And when rites, deta ched from their nature and function, begin to be discussed in terms of "acceptance" and "rejection" or "likes and dislikes," the debate concerning them becomes meaningless.
For many people, the eastern and western rites are two entirely different and self-contained "blocks" ruling out, as an impure "hybridization," all contacts and mutual influences. This, however, is wrong — first of all, historically. In a sense, the enti re history of Christian worship can be termed a history of constant "hybridizations" — if only this word is deprived of its negative connotations. Before their separations, the east and the west influenced one another for centuries. And there is no exagg eration in saying that the anaphora of St. John Chrysostom's Liturgy is infinitely 'closer' to the Roman anaphora of the same period than the service of Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer is to, for example, the Tridentine Mass.
What makes a western rite Orthodox? For many proponents of the western rite, all it takes is a few additions and a few deletions, e.g. "striking the filioque " and "strengthening of the epiclesis." This answer implies, on the one hand, that there exists a unified and homogenous reality identifiable as the western rite and, on the other hand, that except for two or three "heretical" ingredients or omissions, th is rite is ipso facto Orthodox. Both presuppositions are wrong.
Indeed, one does not have to be an "authority on the West" in order to know that liturgical development in the West was shaped to a degree unknown in the East by various theologies, the succession of which — and the clashes of one with another — constitute western religious history. Scholasticism, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, etc., have all resulted in sometimes radical liturgical metamorphoses and all have had a decisive impact on worship. Therefore, one should speak today not of the western rite, but of western rites, deeply — if not radically — differing from one another, yet all reflecting in one way or another, the western theological tragedy and fragmentation. This does not mean that all these rites are "heretical" and simply to be condemned. It only means that, from an Orthodox point of view, their evaluation in terms merely of "deletions" and "additions" is — to say the least — inadequate. For the irony of our present situation is that while some western Christians come to Orthodoxy in order to salvage the rite they cherish (Book of Common Prayer, Tridentine Mass, etc.) from liturgical reforms they abhor, some of these reforms, at least in abstacto, are closer to the structures and spirit of the early western rite — and thus to the Orthodox liturgical tradition — than the later rite, those precisely that the Orthodox Church is supposed to "sanction" and to "adopt."
It is my deep conviction that the eastern liturgical tradition is alone today in having preserved, in spite of all historical "deficiencies," the fullness of the Church's lex orandi and constitutes, therefore, the criterion for all liturgical evaluations.
Father Alexander Schmemann (1920-1983)