Archbishop Averky

Liturgics

(+ 1976)

Priliminary version. Translation to be edited.

 

Content:

Archbishop Averky

Liturgics

(+ 1976)

Edited by

Archbishop Laurus

2000

Foreword.

Introduction.

Part One

I. Understanding the Science known as

"Liturgics"

Preliminary remarks.

The Subject and Objective of Liturgics.

Division of the Science of Liturgics.

Primary Sources of Liturgics.

Russian Research of Liturgics.

II. On Worship

The Origins of Worship.

The Development of Orthodox Worship.

Church Hymnographers.

The Significance of Orthodox Worship.

III. The Origin of

the Christian Temples

The Inner Layout and Arrangement of the Temple.

The Altar.

Iconostasis

The Central Part of the Temple

The Nave

On the Church Bells and Tolls

IV. On Those

Who Perform the Divine Services

The Clergy.

The Church Servers

V. On the Sacred Vestments

The Meaning of the Sacred Vestments;

their Colors and Adornment.

VI. Sacred Symbolic Acts

and Rites during the Divine Services

VII. Liturgical Books

Simple books.

Books for Common Services.

The Service Book (Sluzhebnik)

The Chinovnik (Book of Rites) for Hierarchical Services

The Horologion

The Ochtoechos, or Book of the Eight Tones

The Monthly, Festal, and General Menaions

The Lenten Triodion and the Festal Triodion (or Festal Menaion)

The Irmologion.

The Typicon, or Ustav.

Books for Individual Services

The Book of Needs (the Trebnik)

Ceremonies for Uniting the Heterodox

to the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church.

The Book of Supplicatory Services

The Order for the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

Books for Home Usage.

Books for Common

and Individual Services

The Gospel

The Apostle

The Psalter

On Music Books.

VIII. Understanding the

Various Cycles of Services

1. The Daily Cycle of Services.

2. The Weekly Cycle of Services.

3. The Yearly Cycle of Services.

The Compilation of a Church Service

On a Given Day.

The Titles of the Unchanging Prayers

The Titles of the Changing Prayers.

IX. Church Singing,

Reading, and Iconography

Part II

The First Part of the All-night Vigil

The All-night Vigil and its origins.

The time for its performance and its structure.

Small Vespers.

I. The Beginning of the All-night Vigil

Vespers.

The Singing of the Opening Psalm.

The Great Litany

The First Kathisma

The Concept of Kathismata in General

The Small Litany.

The Singing of the Verses of "Lord, I have Cried"

and their Stichera.

The Vespral Entry

The Prokeimenon and the "Readings" (Lessons), or Paremii.

The Augmented Litany,

The Prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord,"

and the Litany of Fervent Supplication.

The Litia.

The Stichera at the Aposticha

"Now Lettest Thou Thy Servent,"

the Trisagion through "Our Father,"

the Troparion, the Blessing of the Loaves,

and the End of Vespers.

II. The Second Part of the All-night Vigil

Matins.

The Six Psalms.

The Great Litany.

"God is the Lord" and the Troparia.

The Kathismata, the Small Litanies following them, and the Sedalia

The Polyeleos, Troparia of the Resurrection, and Megalynaria

The Small Litany, the Hypakoe or Sedalion,

and the Antiphons of Ascent (or Hymns of Ascents).

The Prokeimenon and the Reading of the Gospel

The Canon.

The Exapostilarion, or Photagogicon (Svetilen).

The Psalms of Praise and the Stichera at the Praises

The Great Doxology

The Augmented and Supplicatory Litanies

and the Dismissal of Matins.

III. The First Hour and The End of the All-night Vigil

IV. The Polyeleos Service

V. The Doxology Service

VI. The Six-Stichera Service

VII. The Five Ranks of Feast.

VIII. The Daily Vespers.

IX. Small Compline.

X. The Midnight Office

XI. Daily Matins

XII. The Hours and the Typica

XIII. The Cycle of Daily Worship

XIV. The Saturday Service

Part III

I. The Divine Liturgy.

Preliminary remarks

The Origin of the Liturgy

The Time of the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Place of the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Persons who Perform the Liturgy.

Types of Liturgy

Ii. The Liturgy of

St. John Chrysostom.

The Preparation of the Clergy

for the Performance of the Liturgy

The Vesting of the Clergy

before the Liturgy.

The Proskomede.

The Liturgy of the Catechumens.

The Small Entry.

The Singing of the Troparia and Kontakia.

The Trisagion

The Ascent to the High Place

The Reading of the Holy Scriptures

The Prokeimenon, Apostle, Alleluia, and Gospel.

The Litany after the Gospel.

The Liturgy of the Faithful.

The Cherubic Hymn.

The Great Entrance

The Litany of Fervent Supplication.

The Kiss of Peace.

The Symbol of Faith

The Eucharistic Canon, or Anaphora (Elevation)

The Epiclesis —

the Prayer of the Calling Down of the Holy Spirit

The Preparation of the Faithful for Communion:

The Supplicatory Litany and "Our Father."

The Breaking of the Lamb

and the Communion of the Clergy.

The Communion of the Laity.

The Transferal of the Holy Gifts to the Table of Oblation

Giving Thanks for Communion

The Prayer Below the Ambon

and the Blessing to Leave the Temple

The Completion of the Divine Liturgy

III. The Liturgy

of St. Basil the Great

IV. The Liturgy

of the Holy Apostle James.

Part IV

I. Feasts

II. On the Services

for the Immovable Days of the Year

Small Feasts

Median Feasts

Median Feasts

with the Sign of a Cross in a Semicircle

Great Feasts

with the Sign of a Cross in a Circle

II. The Calender

September.

October.

November

December

January.

February.

March.

June.

August.

IV. Temple Feasts

V. Worship on the

Movable Days of the Year

VI. The Divine Services of the Lenten Triodion

I. The Weeks Preparatory

to Great Lent.

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son.

Meatfare Saturday

Meatfare Sunday

Cheesefare Week

Cheesefare Sunday.

II. The Great Forty-day Fast

III. The Peculiarities of Daily Lenten Services.

The Midnight Office.

Lenten Matins.

The Lenten Hours.

The Lenten Typica.

IV. The Liturgy

of the Presanctified Gifts

On the Presanctified Liturgy

of the Holy Apostle James.

V. The Order of the Liturgy

of the Presanctified Gifts.

VI. Special commemorations

and Rituals during the Days

of the Holy Forty-day Fast.

The Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The Second Sunday of Great Lent.

The Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.

The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.

The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.

Palm Sunday.

Holy Week.

Great Thursday

Great Friday.

Great Saturday.

The Divine Services

of the Pentecostarion.

I. The Pascha of the Lord,

or the Resurrection of Christ

II. Special Commemorations and Services

During the Days of the Holy Pentecost.

The Sunday of Antipascha.

The Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women.

The Sunday of the Paralytic.

The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.

The Sunday of the Blind Man.

The Leave-taking of Pascha.

The Ascension of the Lord

The Seventh Sunday after Pascha

IV. The Sunday of Holy Pentecost

The Sunday of All Saints.

Part V

I. Concerning Private Worship

II. The Book of Needs, Part One

III. Baptism.

IV. Chrysmation.

Concerning Rites of Unification to Orthodoxy.

V. The Order of Confession.

VI. The Sacrament of the Priesthood.

The Consecration of a Subdeacon.

The Ordination of a Deacon.

The Ordination of a Presbyter (or Priest)

The Ordination of a Bishop.

Elevation to Various Church Ranks.

VII. Marriage.

VIII. The order for Holy Oil.

The Rite for giving communion

immediately to one who is gravely ill.

IX. The Monastic Tonsure.

X. The Supplicatory Canon at the Departure of the Soul.

XI. The Funeral and Burial of the Departed.

The Funeral for Laity.

Directions for a Funeral During Bright Week.

XII. The Small and Great Blessings of Water

XIII. Prayers for Various Needs

XIV. The Book of Needs, Part II.

VI. The Book of Molebens

Appendix I

On the Typicon — the Church Ustav.

Appendix II

Bibliography.

 

 

 

 

Foreword.

The course of lectures on liturgics here put forward was compiled by Archimandrite Averky over the time when he taught this subject in Holy Trinity Seminary, during the academic years of 1951/52 and 1952/53.

The Most Reverend Archbishop AVERKY (in the world Alexander Pavlovich Taushev) was born October 19/November 1, 1906, in the city of Kazan. His parents were Pavel Sergeivich and Maria Vladimirovna Taushev. His father completed his course of study in the Military-Juridical Academy and worked in the military-judicial department until the Revolution. Due to the nature of Pavel Sergeivich’s occupation, the family was obliged to travel constantly to various places in Russia. It was especially difficult during the First World War and the Revolution. At last, after enduring numerous ordeals for Russia, the Taushev family left Russia in the beginning of 1920. Alexander and his parents traveled by steamer to the city of Varna in Bulgaria. Here before long a Russian high school was opened, into which 250 students, including Alexander Taushev, were enrolled. Alexander learned exceptionally well, and in 1926 finished high school "with the gold medal."

Prior to this, the student Alexander had made the acquaintance of Archbishop Theofan (Bistrov) of Poltava and Pereaslavl, and under his influence had become more inclined to the spiritual, monastic life. Upon finishing high school Alexander, having received the blessing of his spiritual father, Archbishop Theofan, entered the theological department of the Derzhava University in Sophia, which he finished in 1930.

Following this, Alexander learned from the magazine "Orthodox Carpatho-Russia" that in Carpatho-Russia there was an opportunity to labor in the field of missionary work. Thus, with the blessing of Archbishop Theofan, he went to Czechoslovakia in Carpatho-Russia, where he was given employment in the diocesan administration of the Mukachev-Prjashev diocese. On May 4/17 he was tonsured a monk at St. Nicholas monastery, near the village of Iza in the region of Khustsk. He was given the name Averky in honor of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Averky of Ierapolsk. On the very next day Father Averky was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon. On March 25/April 7 he was ordained to the rank of the priesthood by the Most Reverend Damascene, bishop of Mukachev and Prjashev. Father Hieromonk Averky then passed the time of his pastoral service in St. Nicholas monastery as the assistant of Father Archimandrite Matthew, after which he soon became the rector of a parish in Uzhgorod. In 1937 on the feast of Pascha he was elevated to the rank of abbot. In December of 1938, Abbot Averky was appointed rector of a parish in Mukachev and administrator of a part of the Mukachev-Prjashev diocese in the territory of the kingdom of Hungary.

Later on Father Abbot Averky was forced to abandon Carpatho-Russia after its occupation by the Magyars, and in 1940 he arrived in Belgrade. Here he was received by Metropolitan Anastasy and appointed to serve at the Russian church of the Holy Trinity. During the Second World War he was first in Belgrade, then in Vienna and other places in Germany, where he endured all the horrors of war. One consolation for Father Averky was the fact that throughout these years he was near the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, served molebens before Her and performed services for those who came to pray to Her. In Munich, on October 1, 1944, Father Averky was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Archimandrite Averky came to Holy Trinity Monastery from Munich, Germany, at the invitation of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), in the beginning of 1951. Immediately following his arrival he was appointed to be an instructor in Holy Trinity Seminary, where he taught the following subjects: New Testament, liturgics, and homiletics. Inasmuch as there were no particular study aids for these subjects, he prepared his lectures and typed them on a typewriter, then copied them with a duplicating machine. The students then received the printed lectures. In this way study aids originated for the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, liturgics, and homiletics, all compiled by Archimandrite Averky.

At the recommendation of Archbishop Vitaly, on February 17, 1952, Archimandrite Averky was appointed by the Hierarchal Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the post of rector of Holy Trinity Seminary. Within a little over a year he was consecrated bishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity.

Inasmuch as Bishop Averky was a member of the brotherhood of Holy Trinity Monastery, he participated fully in the life of the monastery. Besides this he took an active part in the publishing work of the brotherhood of the print shop of Venerable Job of Pochaev, wrote articles for "Orthodox Russia" and other publications of the monastery, and participated in the missionary work of the monastery. Being the vicar of the Eastern American diocese, he likewise took part in the life of the diocese. Besides this, Vladika Averky was the spiritual instructor of the St. Vladimir youth. Because of this he often gave lectures in various parishes which had St. Vladimir youth groups.

Thus, being burdened with all of these obediences, Archbishop Averky took upon himself the teaching of the New Testament in the seminary: the Four Gospels in the fourth year and the Apostle in the fifth, four hours a week for each year, plus two hours of homiletics. In the course of the week Vladika Averky had a total of 10 hours of classes. He transferred liturgics to Hieromonk Laurus, who began teaching church ustav in seminary in 1954, and liturgics in 1956.

The lectures on the New Testament, compiled on the duplicating machine, Vladika Averky gradually corrected and prepared. Starting in 1955 they were set in linotype and typographically produced as an appendix to the Holy Trinity calendar under the title, "Handbook for the study of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, Part I." The Four Gospels were printed in appendixes for the years 1955 and 1956. Part II, the Apostle, was printed in appendixes for the years 1957, 1958, and 1959. Both parts were likewise published as separate books. The handbook for homiletics was printed as a separate book in 1961.

However, the lectures on liturgics, compiled by Archimandrite Averky and printed in the academic year of 1951/52 on a duplicating machine in limited quantities, were not produced typographically. In the seminary we made use of that synopsis, but when copies ran out we began to use other textbooks for our purposes. Now it has become possible to produce this course typographically.

The course of liturgics which we now offer to the reader has been significantly reworked, particularly the first part (the preliminary remarks). Many additions and several changes have likewise been made in the course itself.

We hope, above all, that the publication of this liturgics textbook will be a useful aid for students of the seminary, and likewise for all who study or are interested in our divine services. These lectures present a systematic presentation of material on the subject of liturgics, in which a short historical description of the origins of worship is given, the symbolic meaning of several aspects of the services is discussed, and other necessary explanations and instructions involving the order of the divine services are likewise given. In addition to this, owing to its typographic publication, this academic textbook will now be available to a wider range of readers and lovers of ecclesiastical-liturgical literature.

+ Archbishop Laurus

Holy Trinity Monastery

Afterfeast of Pentecost

Commemoration of Holy Equal-to-

the-Apostles Emperor Constantine

and Empress Elena

May 21/June 3, 1999

 

Introduction.

The subject of liturgics is the history of Orthodox Christian worship. Orthodox worship is the entirety of the prayers, hymns, and sacred rites which are performed in the Church of God on earth by hierarchical persons, as lawful representatives of Christ (see the epistle to the Hebrews).

Worship is performed for the faithful, and in unity with them, according to an established order. Through worship the faithful are called upon to express their feelings of faith in God, as well as hope and love for Him; they enter into mystical communion with Him; and they receive the power of grace for the living of a Christian life, which leads to salvation.

Worship has great significance for man. It is the expression of the prayer life of the Church of Christ. The Orthodox divine services of ancient Byzantium astounded our forefathers by their majestic beauty, and led them to Christ, to the Orthodox faith.

One may show one’s faith by starting with fervent and comely prayer. But the modern western man, who knows neither God nor religion, in particular those in our homeland who have been corrupted by the propaganda of godlessness — if they were to hear the words of one preaching on faith, on God, on prayer, or on worship, they would be unable to immediately change their position and reach out towards faith in God, accepting all that should be said to them. Prejudice remains in them, and they waver. However, it often happens that such people, upon seeing the earnest performance of the divine services, devout prayer, and the beauty of the Orthodox rite, are penetrated by the sublime majesty of the worship of the Church, and their hearts are touched by "the word of God." As it happened before, so it happens now. An indifferent, possibly even unbelieving person stops by or enters a church by chance, or goes in out of curiousity, and in the surrounding temple atmosphere of peace and faith, fervent reading and singing, such people are caught up by the sincere prayer of the faithful and, unexpectedly for themselves, they become participants in the common prayer and begin to feel a thirst for faith in God: they apprehend the instruction of the one preaching, and often join themselves to the Holy Church.

According to the words of the Holy Apostle Paul, Christians must do everything "decently and in order" (I Cor. 14:40). The decent order of the Orthodox divine services was developed over centuries. Their authors are the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers and hymnographers of the Church. The rite of worship was formed by ascetics and heroes of the spirit, in deserts and in monasteries.

Therefore the wealth of prayers, ideas, images, and thoughts which has accumulated over the ages, which is kept and preserved in thick church books and leather bindings, must resound in the souls of contemporary believers through fervent worship. And whoever loves the prayers of the Church, once he has understood their contents, will love also their harmonious order.

We shall remember that the most important element in the divine services is the living, personal participation of both those who come to pray and of those who perform the divine services — those who serve, the readers, and the chanters. Only that which is felt and experienced by the performers of the divine services themselves will reach the hearts of those who pray.

 

Part One

I. Understanding the Science known as

“Liturgics”

 

Preliminary remarks.

"Liturgics" is the name given to the theological science which concerns itself with the teachings on Christian worship. Of these, the Divine Liturgy occupies the place of primary importance. The word "liturgics," a derivative of the word "liturgy," comes from the Greek words "leitos," which means public, social, "common," and "ergon" — "work." Thus, for the ancient Hellenes the word leitourgia meant "common work," a common service performed for the people or with the participation of the people. This term is made use of in both the Old and the New Testament, though not in the same sense. In the Old Testament the word "liturgy" signified common service in the tabernacle, in honor of God and for the benefit of the people (see II Chron. 35:3). In the New Testament this term is applied to the service of Zacharius in the temple of Jerusalem (Lk. 1:23); further, to the service in the Tabernacle in which the vessels have been sprinkled with the blood of Christ (see the epistle to the Hebrews); and to the service of Christ the Savior, Who performs the priestly rite by means of His every service to His neighbor (I Cor. 9:1, Heb. 12:24). The word "liturgy" is applied especially clearly to the Eucharist by Clement of Rome (second century) in his first epistle to the Corinthians, in which the service of apostles, bishops, and presbyters is described by the term prosferin ta dora = leitourgein (to perform the offering and the liturgy). From this, the term came to define our Eucharistic divine service — the Divine Liturgy. The name indicates the "common" character of Christian worship, as a "common work" in which all must participate. In a broader sense, the word "leitorgia" describes any service established by the Holy Church to the glory of the Trihypostatic God.

Thus, liturgics is the science of Christian worship as a whole. The term "liturgical" indicates that something is concerned with the divine services in general — not simply with the Divine Liturgy alone.

And so, "liturgics," as Archimandrite Gabriel explains, "considers the Christian religion particularly with regard to how it should outwardly manifest itself, correctly and based on lawful foundations, in a community of many people who are united together into one grace-filled kingdom of Christ, or the Church of the Living God (II Cor. 6:16). The Church, or the community of believers in Jesus Christ, in maintaining the Christian faith, must first discover in itself the inner spirit of that faith, and, second, must exhort and nourish the pious souls of the faithful. To this end it has the religious ceremonies and sacred rites… Thus, liturgics must concern itself with the examination of how the religion of Christians is to be expressed in the sacred rites and ceremonies of the Church, as of the community of believers.

"But we know that so-named Christian churches differ in accordance with their differing confessions of faith. Thus, liturgics must be and is the science of the worship of the Orthodox Church. Consequently, when speaking of the divine services, we speak exclusively of the divine services of the Orthodox Church. The latter designation will prove fitting for our science only when that science examines (studies) and explains the order of the divine services of the Orthodox Church, when it presents a definite conceptualization of every sacred thing and every sacred rite that is a part of the structure of the divine services and, in a similar way, of each rank of service, simultaneously indicating where possible the times at which they should be performed, the reason or holy design with which they were included in the cycle of the divine services, their inner worth, and their spiritual-mystical significance." (Handbook of Liturgics [Руководство по Литургике], Archm. Gabriel, Tver, 1886, p. 3-4)

The science of liturgics may be approached in various ways. Inasmuch as this science covers a variety of fields in the everyday life of the Church and in her divine services, it is divided into several sections. In textbooks and manuals on liturgics one many observe 1) a historical-archaeological approach, 2) a ritualistic or orderly approach, and 3) a theological approach.

1. The historical-archaeological method in the study of liturgics concerns itself with the firmly established forms and structure of the divine services, which liturgics are obliged to explain. The historical approach attempts to indicate from where a given form has its beginnings, how it transformed, and when it was ultimately established. By using the historical-archaeological method it becomes easier for us to understand the inner meaning of the liturgical form, which is confirmed by the authority of antiquity. Furthermore, this approach elucidates the gradual development and transformation of the liturgical orders and hymns, the church implements, vesture, various styles of temple construction, iconography, and so forth.

In some textbooks on liturgics we encounter the view that the ceremonies of the church are the equivalent of dogmas, since this or that form of divine service or this or that ceremony entered into general use as the result of a conciliar decree. However, we must bear in mind that church ceremonies generally were formed throughout history, and they are subject to the laws of historical development. The inner life of the Holy Church would give rise to a certain custom or ceremony, which eventually would receive the recognition of the Church.

As an example, let us take the explanation of the "small entrance" at the liturgy, as we now interpret it. The small entrance represents our Lord Jesus Christ going out to preach, while the candlestick symbolizes St. John the Baptist. In actual fact the ceremony appeared first, and then its explanation. How did the small entrance come to be? The small entrance is a historical phenomenon, and arose in answer to the needs of Church life at the time. In ancient times during the small entrance the sacred vessels were transferred from the diakonika, the room where the vessels were kept, to the Church, for from this moment began the most important part of the liturgy. Over time this practice of necessity became a ceremony, and later received a symbolic meaning.

2. The second approach, the orderly or ritualistic approach, has as its purpose the study of our Orthodox worship exclusively within the context of contemporary church service order, or the Typicon, with the application of those rules and rites which we use and by which we are guided for the majestic, orderly, prayerful performance of the services. The approach is often limited to this; however, it is essential when possible to likewise give attention here to the history of the development of the Ustav itself, the Typicon; how it gradually gained form, was enriched and, finally, how it was defined and established in its current form.

3. The Theological approach to the study of liturgics is not only an examination of liturgics as a subject historical or archaeological in origin and content, nor yet as simply a code of rules regulating the performance of the divine services according to the direction of the Typicon. Rather, it assimilates the teaching concerning our divine services and treats it as a theological discipline. Why exactly must we regard liturgics in this way? Because liturgical texts, in particular the three-canticled canons, vividly and graphically proclaim to us the great truth of the Trinity in Unity, the Triune Divine Essence; while the Theotokia, foremost of which are the Dogmatica, tell us of the great mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God from the Unwedded and Most Pure Virgin Mary. These tell us also of the dogma, confessed by the Church, of the ever-virginity of the Most Holy Theotokos; and many other theological truths are likewise contained in them.

It should be noted that liturgical texts contain within themselves a wealth of theological thought, especially with regard to dogmatics and moral theology, on the foundation of which material it would be possible to compile an entire discipline which might be titled "liturgical theology." Unfortunately, liturgical material has been studied and developed but little in this area. There are, however, several works on the subject; for instance, Readings on Liturgical Theology by Bishop Benjamin (Milov), Brussels, 1977; In the World of Prayer by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, Jordanville, N.Y., 1957; and others.

The Subject and Objective of Liturgics.

The objective of liturgics is the scientific explanation of the external forms of worship which have been established in Christianity. These liturgical forms may be examined 1) from a dogmatic, symbolic, moralistic viewpoint, 2) from a practical point of view — how a given form of service applies to life —, and 3) from a historical point of view.

In western Christianity, in Roman Catholic liturgics, the accepted approach to the study of the services is the practical. This is explained by the character of Catholicism as a "form of religion." A thorough representation of worship and its history has not, until fairly recently, been given by Catholic liturgicists. To be sure, some scholars at the beginning of this century began to systematize liturgical material on the basis of historical fact. However, the Catholic church has now started down a path of reforms, following the Second Vatican Council and beginning in the 1960’s. Hence, their services have been reformed, and new practices introduced. The alter has been transferred to the center of the temple, the worshippers sit surrounding it, and the clergy stand or sit with their backs to the alter, facing the people. For such worship not only organs are used, but the use of guitars and other instruments is also permitted; vocal performances likewise occur. In this manner Roman Catholicism went the way of Protestantism. Roman Catholics can now alter the divine services at any time depending on the circumstances. We know of meetings the Roman Pope has had with various heterodox representatives, and of his participation in prayer even with non-Christians — pagans, Jews, and Muslims, for example.

The theoretical approach is more widely accepted in Protestant liturgics. Protestantism appropriated the right to create various systems of worship, which are allegedly in agreement with the establishments of Christ and His Apostles; but they reject holy tradition and discard its forms, considering them dead weight. Consequently their services consist of assemblies, the reading of Holy Scripture, sermonizing, and the singing of cantatas, or spiritual poetry. In recent times, inasmuch as Protestantism is inclined towards unification with various denominations, their services have acquired a character of ecumenical prayer, in which not only Christian but also non-Christian faiths participate. The so-called "ecumenical meetings" organized by the "World Council of Churches" lead to the organization of ecumenical prayer meetings, in which unfortunately currently take part not only Protestants, sectarians, and members of all kinds of non-Christian religions, but also several Orthodox participants in these meetings.

The main objective of Orthodox liturgics lies in the expounding of the worship of the Orthodox Church, that is, the expounding of the structure and content of every kind of service. As Archimandrite Gabriel correctly noted, "In the explanation of the divine services there must be clearly indicated the idea that visible actions, things connected with the order of the performance of a certain sacrament, are but symbols, or tools, and the conductors of the invisible grace of the Holy Spirit into our souls. If liturgics are to explain the structure and content of the different forms of prayer, and of the various hours of public services, they must show that all of these church services, in spite of their adaptation to the various necessities and circumstances of the earthly life of a Christian, have one principle meaning, one essential purpose: to remove us as often as possible from earthly vanities and calm our mind and heart in God; as often as possible to tear our spirits away from all that is earthly and to strive towards that which is lofty and Divine." (See Handbook of Liturgics, Archim. Gabriel, p. 14, Tver, 1886.)

Through the Orthodox divine services, as Archim. Gabriel goes on to show, we are lifted up to living communion with God, and this in its turn is the preparation of the faithful for eternal communion with Him in the eternal life of the age to come, for the blessedness for which man is destined. Thus, in liturgics it is essential to approach the explanation of the church services from various angles: contemplative, prototypical, spiritual and mystical, i.e., in the sensual to perceive the pretersensual, "to ascend from the material to the contemplation of the spiritual; to see in the mysteries of the earthly Church the elements of the heavenly mysteries; in the prayerful service to our Lord — the prototype of our eternal service in heaven; in the standing before the alter — the beginnings of the glorious standing before the Lord in the life of the age to come; and in the hymnody of those born of earth — the likeness of the ceaseless hymnody of the hosts on high" (Archim. Gabriel, p. 15, Tver, 1886).

Additionally, liturgics must present an interpretation of the services from a dogmatic, moralistic, and historical viewpoint, for without such an approach to the study and exposition of the divine services much of their contents seem to us unclear, unintelligible, and unauthoritative.

Liturgics, in explaining the ceremonies of the Orthodox Church, are obliged to indicate the origins of these liturgical rites. For the Orthodox person it is important to know the origins of all the church rites, who composed them, in what form they were performed in the ancient Church, and how they came to us. If there were changes in these rites, of what sort were they, and why? For by knowing the history of the gradual development and refinement of the church services it will be easier for us to interpret and expound them to those who do not know them but are interested in the subject. At present even among the Orthodox, but especially among the heterodox, a hostile attitude towards our Orthodox divine services may be noted; sectarians often subject our rites to attacks, saying that our services are not currently being performed as they were in the ancient Church. They point to an alleged introduction in the Byzantine period of many superfluous, pompous rituals; this they say with particular reference to the costly beautification of the church implements, vestments, and various ceremonies. Therefore, in order to enlighten those astray and to preserve our Orthodox children from such temptations, liturgics must show that all the rites have their origins in their essential parts in the very depths of ancient Christian times. They have remained the same as they were in the ancient Church.

But inasmuch as the Church lives a life of grace, so her services were in some ways supplemented and developed. New services were compiled for newly glorified saints, new rites and prayers appeared in answer to various needs, and so forth. The construction of the temple was also improved; on the outside churches were made more majestic, while on the inside they were beautified with iconography and casings with images of the saints and particularly venerated or renowned icons. In their turn, zealous Christians made offerings to their temples and adorned them with precious icons, church implements, and vestments. These adornments were not an end in themselves; rather, the most important element was the desire that the performance of the divine services, and especially of the Divine Liturgy, take place in a fitting setting, one suited to the sanctity of these services. Thus, for the temple, for the services, for offerings to God, earnest Christians strove to offer what was best, most valued, and most beautiful.

Therefore, it is essential for every Orthodox Christian to know at least in brief the history and origins of the divine services, so that by participating in the common services they might clearly comprehend their mystical significance. For without this one cannot know how or for what purpose they are performed, nor will one remember their meaning.

But it is even more necessary for pastors of the Church to study liturgics, and especially for those who are preparing to become pastors. For pastors must not only themselves perform the church services with complete understanding and reverence, but must at the same time teach their flock; they must be able to explain everything, to show those who are interested where a more detailed explanation of everything may be found, and so on.

Liturgics as a theological, not to mention practical, science are closely linked to all the other related theological sciences. Thus, they are linked with dogmatic theology, from which they draw their substance. Like dogmatics, liturgics expounds on how, in the divine services, in the mysteries and ceremonies, dogmatic truths are graphically revealed; or, regarding forms of expression of veneration for God, liturgics indicates ways of pleasing God by prayer, fasting, and by other means. They likewise show how it is vital to take abstract moralistic rules and apply them to life, linking itself thereby to moral theology. Liturgics provides homiletics with material for church sermons. Liturgics are forever linked with Church history, for they turn to it when explaining the divine services. Therefore, one may clearly see that between the divine services, with which liturgics is occupied, and the other elements of spiritual-religious, Christian life, that is to say, between faith, with which dogmatics are occupied, and Christian activity, with which moral theology concerns itself with, there is a close association.

Our Orthodox services are the expression of our religious experiences, our spiritual feelings, our faith in the Triune God, and our devotion to God. Such a perception, such a purposefulness is called in liturgics ‘latreutical,’ from the Greek word latreuein, or service, worship of the Trihypostatic God.

In addition to this, in the divine services one may note the sacramental purpose, seeing as they join us to the redeeming labor of our Savior, and are the channel of grace into the world and to individual believers.

Further, the services have a didactic, i.e. instructive, character. Our cycle of services contains a great wealth of hymnography, which is interwoven with readings from the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and with lessons from patristic writings, ascetic anthologies and the lives of the saints, from which a great spiritual wealth of knowledge may be drawn. Thus, the divine services are a source of knowledge of God, and enable one to likewise deepen one’s knowledge of theology. In this instance liturgics are completely interrelated with patristics. Patristics concern themselves with the study of the development of Christian theological thought by various religious writers and teachers of the Church at different times, and should not be separated from liturgical theology. The revealing of the contents of patristic works enriches our theological awareness, and provides us with material for the system and history of Orthodox theology.

In particular, much may be obtained from the hymns of the Ochtoechos, from its stichira and dogmatica which are sung on "Both now" and "Lord, I have Cried," in which are expounded thoughts on the incarnation of the Son of God, on the redemption of man, on the ever-virginity of the Most Holy Theotokos, and more. The ascending antiphons of the resurrectional services likewise give us valuable material for learning about the Holy Spirit. In the Lenten Triodion we find material that expounds to us the origin of sin in man, the struggle against it, fasting, and prayer. The Pentecostarian recounts the Resurrection of Christ, while other liturgical books likewise contain a wealth of theological material.

The authors of liturgical hymns are spiritual teachers and inspired poets who expound their teachings on various dogmatic issues in a way similar to that in which theological writers of the Church expound their teachings in theological tracts.

Archimandrite Kyprian (Kern) states, "that worship in the widest sense of the word, that is, hymns, readings from Scripture and edifying patristic books, the inexhaustible wealth of our iconography and of the symbolic actions in the mysteries, at the daily services, and at divine services in general, as well as the common folk wisdom in customs connected with individual feasts and sacred rites — all of this is the source of our theological edification and knowledge of God." (Liturgics [Литургика], p. 5, Paris, 1964.)

Division of the Science of Liturgics.

Liturgics are usually classified as either general or particular.

General liturgics consider the institution or establishment of the divine services as a whole, give an account of their theoretic foundation, recount the history of their origin and development, discuss the components of the services — the sacraments, prayers, hymns, readings from Holy Scripture, lessons, the various symbolic rites and the actions that accompany them —, talk about those who perform the services — the clergy and those who serve in the church —, the times and places at which the services are performed, the church architecture, the construction of the temple, the sacred imagery and raiment, and the liturgical vessels and books.

Particular liturgics attend to the study of individual liturgical rites — daily, festal, and Lenten; the sacraments, the blessing of water, the consecration of temples, the burial of the reposed and their commemoration.

Liturgics in general and Orthodox liturgics in particular are a science that is predominantly archaeological, which is why before, in ecclesiastical institutions of higher education, they were often combined, as they still occasionally are, with the rostrum of ecclesiastical archaeology.

As a science, liturgics, especially particular liturgics, have been developed but little, due in part to the lack of ancient testimony concerning individual liturgical rites, and partly because the subject of liturgics for a long time was considered merely practical in application.

The principle source on the foundation of which one may show that our Orthodox worship has its beginning and origin from our Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Scripture of the New Testament. By His coming to earth Our Lord Jesus Christ brought the Old Testament to an end. However, not all of the particulars were abolished by Him and His disciples; worship in the Old Testament temple in particular continued to be performed, and the first Christians, who were of the Jews, continued to go to the temple and pray to God at the appointed hours. However, gradually Christians began to gather together for prayer and especially for the performance of what were already the divine services of the New Testament. Thus, in the Holy Gospel we have the command of the Lord, which he gave at the Mystical Supper, to perform the Eucharist in remembrance of Him. Likewise in the Gospel we have the command concerning baptism. In the Acts of the Apostles it is related that the Apostles Peter and John were sent to Samaria, and through the laying on of their hands the Samarians received the Holy Spirit: this was the sacrament of chrysmation. The sacrament of the consecration of oil was likewise established by the Apostles (see the epistle of Ap. James).

Thus we see from the Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition that the origins of the principle elements in our divine services have their source in our Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples.

True, references to them are very brief, but these may be supplemented by the other surviving monuments that comprise Holy Tradition. Among these are the rules of the Holy Apostles, the decrees of the Ecumenical and local counsels, and the canonical epistles of the Holy Fathers.

Primary Sources of Liturgics.

The interpretive primary sources of Orthodox liturgics are the following patristic works:

1. Catechetical and Sacramental Homilies, by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (+ 386). St. Cyril explains the sacred rites and the symbolism of the mysteries of baptism, unction, and the Eucharist.

2. On the Church Hierarchy. This composition, attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite, was written in the beginning of the fifth century. Among other things it discusses the liturgy, several sacraments, and the monastic tonsure.

3. On the Sacraments, by St. Ambrose of Mediolan (+ 397). The hierarch Ambrose has a rather important significance in the history of the divine services of the Holy Church, especially in the west.

4. On the Tradition of the Divine Liturgy, by St. Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople (+ 447).

5. Mystogogia (On the Sacraments), by St. Maximus the Confessor (+ 662). The latter explains the symbolism of the temple and the liturgy; his commentary is the first specifically Byzantine commentary. In his explanations he often cites from the treatise On the Church Hierarchy, attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopogite.

6. On the Divine Sacred Rites, by St. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (+ 644). This hierarch presents a detailed explanation of all that is performed in the divine services. Additionally, he is one of the first hymnographers whose three-canticled canons were included in the composition of the Lenten Triodion, as well as the Festal Menaion.

7. Reflections on Ecclesiastical Matters, by St. Herman, patriarch of Constantinople (+ 740).

8. Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, by Nicholas Kavasila, archbishop of Thessalonica (+ 1371).

9. On the Temple of God and the Divine Liturgy and On the Sacred Ceremonies, by Symeon, archbishop of Thessalonica (+ 1429).

It should be noted that the aforementioned works bear witness to the fact that, throughout its history, the services of the Orthodox Church have had their own rich literary tradition. Besides the monuments of interpretation and explanation of the services here mentioned, there also exist other collections and treatises on the liturgical ceremonies. There likewise exists a considerable quantity of information in foreign languages which deal with western, Catholic worship, which we will not deal with here.

Russian Research of Liturgics.

The development of liturgics in Russian theological schools began comparatively late. In Russia the science was at first considered a pastoral matter, and attention was therefore mainly focused on the ritual ustav aspects of the services. On this subject not a few works were written in Russia in the XVIII and XIX centuries. Inasmuch as liturgics have an archaeological side (which concerns the temple, the icons, etc.), in spiritual institutions of higher education in Russia liturgics was often combined with the field of ecclesiastical archaeology.

In Russia the best systems of investigation of liturgics that we have are the following:

1. New Tablet, by Archbishop Benjamin (1870).

2. A Historical, Dogmatic, and Mystical Explanation of the Divine Liturgy, by Ivan Dimitriev (1897).

3. Commentary on the Liturgy and On the Lessons, by Bishop Vissarion of Kostroma.

4. Handbook of Liturgics, or the study of Orthodox worship, by Archimandrite Gabriel. Tver, 1886.

For ecclesiastical seminaries we had the textbooks of the following authors on liturgics: Alhimovich (1891), Smolodovich (1869), and the most widely distributed of late, Peter Lebedev (1893).

There exists a series of monographs: Divine Services in Apostolic Times and Divine Services from the Time of the Apostles to the IV Century, by F. Smirnov; The Order of Common and Particular Services in Old Russia up to the XVI Century, by N. Odintsov; and The Divine Services of the Russian Church for the First Five Centuries and Divine Services in the Russian Church in the XV Century, by A. Dimitriev.

The principle reformer of liturgics and founder of the same as a science was the doctor of Church history and professor of the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy Ivan Danilovich Mansvetov, who died in 1885. He explained and argued for the necessity of the application of the historical method.

Of other liturgicists who left a wealth of material in the sphere of extensive research of liturgics, the following are the most notable: N. F. Krasnoseltsev, A. A. Dimitrievsky, A. P. Golubtsov, Prof. Lisitsin, Protopriest Kekelidze, Prof. Karabinov, and one who has of late done especially much, the professor of the Kiev Eccl. Acaedemy M. N. Skaballanovich. The Russian school of liturgics is indebted to the latter for such works as "The Annotated Typicon," in three editions, and "Feasts." The first of these works is the history of our Typicon, in which he gives a detailed analysis and explanation of each service regarding both its origin and its gradual historical development. In addition he gives a complete critical-historical interpretation of the entire contents of the Typicon. Especially valuable is his "Feasts," of which a total of six installments were published, each feast in a separate installment. The scheme of these essays is as follows: first, the biblical fact lying at the foundation of the given feast, geographic and archaeological detail, and the theological significance of events. Then patristic works devoted to the feast are introduced and the gradual historical development of the feast is shown. Then follows the whole of the liturgical material in Slavonic, as well as a translation of it into Russian with appropriate notes and explanations. Skaballanovich even compares Orthodox services with the services of other confessions, describing the manner in which the latter celebrate the same feasts. Unfortunately, due to the war of 1914 and the catastrophe that followed in Russia — the Revolution —, his brilliant work was never completed, and only six installments were published. These installments were republished by our own Holy Trinity Monastery, and were printed as appendixes to the Holy Trinity calendar from 1976 to 1982.

 

II. On Worship

Owing to the close link between the spirit and the body, man is unable to keep from outwardly expressing the movements of his spirit. Just as the body acts upon the soul, relating certain impressions to it through the organs of the external senses, in precisely the same way the spirit causes certain movements in the body. Like all his other thoughts, feelings, and experiences, the religious feelings of a man cannot remain without outward revelation. The whole of all the external forms and actions which express the inner religious disposition of the soul comprise what is known as divine service, or worship. Divine service, or worship, in one form or another, is therefore an inescapable attribute of every religion: in it the latter manifests and expresses itself, just as the soul reveals its life through the body. Thus, worship is the external expression of religious faith through prayers, sacrifices and rituals.

The Origins of Worship.

Worship as an external expression of internal inclination of man towards God has its origin from the time when man first learned of God. He learned of God when, after the creation of man, God appeared to him in paradise and gave him the first commandments not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17) and to keep the Sabbath (Gen. 2:3), and blessed his marital union (Gen. 1:28).

The primitive worship of the first people in paradise consisted, not of any defined church ceremonies, as in contemporary times, but of the free pouring forth by the former of reverent feelings before God as their Creator and Provider. In addition to this, the commands concerning the seventh day and abstinence from the forbidden tree had already laid the foundation for defined liturgical establishments. In these lie the beginnings of our feasts and fasts. In God’s blessing of the marital union of Adam and Eve we cannot but see the establishment of the sacrament of marriage.

After the fall into sin of the first people and their expulsion from paradise, primitive worship found its further development in the establishment of the ritual offering of sacrifice. These sacrifices were of two kinds: those that were performed on all solemn and joyous occasions as an expression of thankfulness to God for the benefits received from Him, and those performed when it became necessary to petition God for aid or to pray for forgiveness for sins committed.

Sacrifices were intended as a continual reminder to men of their guilt before God, the original sin overshadowing them, and the fact that God could hear and accept their prayer only in the name of that sacrifice which should subsequently be offered for the redemption of their sins by the Seed of the woman promised by God in paradise — that is, He who was to come into the world and carry out the redemption of mankind, the Savior of the world, Christ, the Messiah. In this way for the chosen people worship had a propitiatory quality, not in and of itself, but because it was a prefiguration of the great sacrifice which should one day be offered by the God-man, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross for the sins of the whole world. In the time of the patriarchs, from Adam to Moses, worship was performed among the families of these patriarchs by their heads, the patriarchs themselves, at times and places decreed by them. From the time of Moses, when the chosen people of God, the Old Testament Israel who preserved the true faith in the One God, increased in number, worship began to be performed on behalf of the whole nation by individuals especially appointed for this, who were known as high priests, priests, and Levites, as it is recounted in the book of Exodus and, later, in the book of Leviticus. The order of the Old Testament worship of the people of God was specified with all its details in the ritual law given through Moses. By the command of God Himself, the prophet Moses established for the performance of worship a place (the tabernacle of the covenant), times (feasts and fasts), sacred personages, and the very forms thereof. During the reign of King Solomon, in place of the portable tabernacle-temple, the beautiful, majestic, permanent Old Testament temple was built in Jerusalem, which in the Old Testament was the only place where worship of the True God was performed.

The worship of the Old Testament, which was defined by the law, before the coming of the Savior was divided into two forms: worship in the temple, and worship in the synagogue. The first took place in the temple. It consisted of the reading of the Ten Commandments and several other selected places from the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, the offering of sacrifices and, finally, the singing of hymns. However, besides the temple, from the time of Ezra synagogues began to be built, the need for which was felt especially by the Jews who were deprived of participation in temple worship, yet did not wish to remain without communal religious edification. In the synagogues the Jews gathered on Saturdays for prayer, singing, and the reading of Holy Scripture, as well as for the translation and explanation of the services for those born in captivity, who did not know well the holy language.

With the coming into the world of the Messiah, Christ the Savior, who offered Himself in sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, the ritual Old Testament worship lost all significance, and was replaced by that of the New Testament, at the foundation of which lies the supreme Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ, established at the Mystical Supper by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, which bears the name of the Holy Eucharist, or the Sacrament of Thanksgiving ("Eucaristia" in Greek meaning "thanksgiving"). This is the Bloodless Sacrifice, which replaced the sanguinary Old Testament sacrifices of calves and lambs that had but prefigured the One Great Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, who took upon Himself the sins of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself commanded His followers to perform the sacraments prescribed by Him (Lk. 22:19; Matt. 28:19), to pray both privately and communally (Matt. 6:5-13; Matt. 18:19-20), and to preach throughout all the world His Divine Evangelical teaching (Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15).

From this performance of sacraments and prayers and the preaching of the Gospel, New Testament worship was compiled. Its structure and character were still more fully defined by the Holy Apostles. As it is seen from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, in their time specific places were already appearing for the gatherings of the faithful for prayer, which in Greek were called "ekklhsia," or "churches," because the members of the Church gathered in them. Thus the Church, the assembly of the faithful who are united in the one organism of the Body of Christ, gave its name to the place where these assemblies took place. Just as in the Old Testament, beginning from the time of Moses, worship was performed by specific individuals appointed for this — the high priests, priests, and Levites —, so also in the New Testament divine service came to be performed by clergy especially appointed through the laying on of the hands of the Apostles: bishops, presbyters, and deacons. In the book of Acts and the apostolic epistles we find clear indications that all of these three basic levels of priesthood in the New Testament Church have their origins from the Holy Apostles themselves.

After the Holy Apostles the divine services continued to develop, with additions of newer and newer prayers and sacred hymns, deeply edifying in their content. The final establishment of a specific order and uniformity in Christian worship was achieved by the successors of the Apostles, according to the commandment given them: "Let all things be done decently and in order" (I Cor. 14:40).

Thus, in contemporary times, the worship of the Orthodox Church is comprised of those prayers and sacred rites by which Orthodox Christians express to God their feelings of faith, hope and love, and by means of which they enter into mystical communion with Him and receive from Him powers of grace for a holy and God-pleasing life, worthy of a true Christian.

The Development of Orthodox Worship.

The New Testament Christian religion, in accordance with its close historical connection to that of the Old Testament, retained several forms and much of the content of Old Testament worship. The Old Testament temple in Jerusalem, which Christ the Savior Himself and the Holy Apostles attended on all the major feasts of the Old Testament, was at first a holy place for Christians as well. The sacred books of the Old Testament were accepted into the structure of common Christian worship, and the first sacred hymns of the Christian Church were those same psalms which were so widely used in Old Testament worship. Despite the purely Christian hymnography which was growing ever stronger, these psalms retained their significance in Christian worship in the times that followed and even unto the present day. The hours for prayer and the feast days of the Old Testament likewise remained sacred for Christians in the New Testament. However, all that Christians accepted from the Old Testament Church was given a new meaning and a particular significance that were in keeping with the spirit of the new, Christian teaching, yet in complete accordance with the words of Christ the Savior, that He came, "not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," i.e., to "fill it up," to fill everything with a new, deeper and more exalted understanding (Matt. 5:17-19). At the same time that they were attending the temple in Jerusalem, already the Apostles themselves, and with them the first Christians, were beginning to gather separately in homes for the "breaking of bread," i.e., for what was already purely Christian worship, the center of which was the Eucharist. Comparatively early on, however, historical circumstances forced the first Christians completely and in all ways to separate themselves from the Old Testament temple and the synagogues. In A.D. 70 the temple was destroyed by the Romans, after which the worship of the Old Testament with its sacrificial offerings ceased entirely. The synagogues, however, which for the Jews were places not of worship, in the strictest sense of the word (worship could take place in only one place — the temple in Jerusalem), but merely places of assembly for prayer and instruction, soon became hostile towards Christians to such a degree that even those Christians who were of the Jews ceased to visit them. The reason for this is clear: Christianity as a new religion, perfect, purely spiritual, and also universal in terms of time and nationality, was naturally obliged to develop new forms of worship in keeping with its spirit: it could not be limited to the sacred books and psalms of the Old Testament alone.

"The basis and foundation for common Christian worship," as Archimandrite Gabriel shows clearly and in detail, "was laid by Jesus Christ Himself partly by His example, partly in His commandments. In performing His Divine service on earth He builds the New Testament Church (Matt. 16:18-19; 18:17-20; 28:20), and selects for her the Apostles and, through them, successors to their service — pastors and teachers (Jn. 15:16; 20:21; Eph. 4:11-14; I Cor. 4:1). In teaching the faithful to worship God in spirit and in truth, He accordingly sets Himself above all else as an example of the worship being established. He promises to be with the faithful where "two ore three are gathered together in His name" (Matt. 18:20), and "to be with them alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20). He Himself prayed, at times throughout the night (Lk. 6:12; Matt. 14:23), praying with visible outward signs, such as lifting up His eyes to heaven (Jn. 17:1), kneeling (Lk. 22:41-45), and bowing His head (Matt. 26:39). He also arouses others to prayer, showing it to be a grace-filled medium (Matt. 21:22; Lk. 22:40; Jn. 14:13; 15:7), divides it into common (Matt. 18:19-20) and domestic prayer (Matt. 6:6), teaches His disciples prayer itself (Matt. 6:9-10), and forewarns His followers against abuses in prayer and honoring God (Jn. 4:23-24; II Cor. 3:17; Matt. 4:10). Further, He proclaimed His new teaching of the Gospel by the living word and through preaching, commanded His disciples to preach the same "to all nations" (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15), gave them His blessing (Lk. 24:51; Mk. 8:7), laid His hands on them (Matt. 19:13-15), and, finally, upheld the sanctity and dignity of the house of God (Matt. 21:13; Mk. 11:15). In order to impart divine grace to those that believe in Him He established the sacraments, commanding that those who enter into His Church be baptized (Matt. 28:19); in the name of the power given unto them He entrusts them with the power to bind and to loose the sins of men (Jn. 20:22-23); of the sacraments He especially commands that the sacrament of the Eucharist be performed in remembrance of Him, as an image of the sacrifice on the Cross at Golgotha (Lk. 22:19). The Apostles, having learned the New Testament service from their Divine Teacher, in spite of their primary work of proclaiming the word of God (I Cor. 1:27) specified rather clearly and in detail the rite of external worship. Thus, we find mention of several aspects of external worship in their writings (I Cor. 11:23; 14:40), but the greater part of it remained in the practice of the Church. The successors of the Apostles, the pastors and teachers of the Church, preserved the apostolic decrees concerning worship; and, in the time of peace which followed the terrible persecutions, on the foundation of these decrees defined in writing, down to the smallest details, the whole of the permanent, unchanging rite of worship, which the Church has preserved even until now" (Handbook of Liturgics, Archim. Gabriel, pp. 41-42, Tver, 1886).

In accordance with the decree of the apostolic council in Jerusalem (Acts, chapter 15), the ritual law of Moses has been repealed in the New Testament. Sacrifices of blood can no longer be made, since the Great Sacrifice has already been offered for the expiation of the sins of the whole world. There is no longer a tribe of Levi for the priesthood, because in the New Testament all men, having been redeemed by the Blood of Christ, have become equal with one another: the priesthood is equally accessible to all. Neither is there any longer a single chosen people of God, for all nations are equally called to the Kingdom of the Messiah, revealed through the sufferings of Christ. The place for service to God is no longer in Jerusalem alone, but everywhere. The time for service to God is always, and ceases not. At the center of Christian worship stands Christ the Redeemer, and His whole earthly life, which is unto the salvation of mankind. Therefore, all that has been adopted from Old Testament worship is suffused with a new spirit — a spirit purely Christian. Such are all the prayers, hymns, readings and rituals of Christian worship. Their primary purpose is salvation in Christ. Therefore, the central point of Christian worship became the Eucharist — a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

Too little information has been preserved on precisely how Christian worship took place in the first three centuries, in the epoch of savage persecution by the pagans. Permanent temples were impossible. For the performance of the divine services Christians assembled in private homes and in sepulchral caves under the ground — the catacombs. We know that the first Christians performed vigils of prayer in the catacombs throughout the night — from evening until morning —, especially on the eves of Sundays and great feasts, and likewise on days of commemoration of the martyrs who had suffered for Christ; these in fact usually took place on the graves of the martyrs, and finished with the Eucharist. Already in this ancient period there existed definite liturgical rites. Eusebius and Jeronimus give accounts of the Justinian book "Psalter"-"Chanter," which contained church hymns. Hippolitus, bishop of Ostee, who reposed around 250, left behind a book in which he expounds on apostolic tradition concerning the rites of ordination of a reader, subdeacon, deacon, presbyter, and bishop, and also concerning prayers, or short liturgical rites, and the commemoration of the departed. Regarding prayers he states that these should take place in the morning, at the third, sixth, and ninth hours, in the evening, and at cock-crow; if there can be no assembly, let each sing, read, and pray in his own home. This naturally suggests the existence of corresponding liturgical books.

 

Church Hymnographers.

The shining golden age of Christian worship began in the IV century, following the end of the persecutions. Here there appear a whole series of remarkable church hymnographers, compilers of profound, heartfelt prayers and entire liturgical rites, which have now taken on a strictly defined form and content which is uniform for all places.

Of these personages who have enriched and beautified our divine services, it is essential that we mention the following church hymnographers:

1. St. Basil the Great (+ 379) and St. John Chrysostom (+ 407) in the East, and St. Ambrose of Milan (339 — 397) in the West. Each of these compiled for his Churh a rite of Divine Liturgy. St. Basil the Great additionally defined and supplemented with prayers, which he himself composed, the daily services and the Vespers of Pentecost, and St. John Chrysostom introduced the Litia into the All-night Vigil. St. Ambrose introduced antiphonal singing in the West, modeling on the way it was employed in the East.

2. St. Gregory the Theologian (+ 391) wrote much against the Arians, and left not only epistles but discourses as well. In particular he composed many poetic works. In his poems there are many expressions which later, in one way or another, were used by church hymnographers. Ven. John of Damascus in particular used many of the former’s words in his own Paschal canon and stichera.

3. Venerable Ephraim the Syrian (323 — 378) labored in Syria, in the province of Edessa. Quite a number hymns are ascribed to him — hymns for the feast of the Nativity of Christ, in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos, in honor of the Church of Christ, and for other occasions. These hymns are still sung by the Syrians.

4. St. Cyril of Alexandria (+ 444). Some ascribe to him the authorship of the hymn "O Theotokos and Virgin, Rejoice!" He also compiled and introduced the rite of the Royal Hours of Great Friday.

5. The Emperor Justinian (527 — 565) is, according to holy tradition, the author of the hymn "O Only-begotten Son and Word of God," which is sung at the Divine Liturgy.

6. St. Anatolius, patriarch of Constantinople (+ 458), compiled the resurrectional stichera. Note: several scholars believe that these stichera, marked as being "of Anatolius," are not his at all, but are rather "eastern," since they were accepted into the eastern typica. At the time of Pat. Anatolius, they state, this type of hymnography did not yet exist (Liturgics, Archim. Kyprian, p. 72).

7. Ven. Roman the Melodist (end of the V century), some believe, compiled more than 1000 kontakia and ikosi. In the profundity and sublimity of his language he surpasses all of the Greek poets. Byzantine church poetry found perfection in him. His kontakia for the feasts and the saints gave ground before new hymns, the canons, which gradually replaced the kontakia of Ven. Roman.

8. Ven. Savva the Sanctified (532), the founder of the glorious Palestinian Lavra, compiled the first liturgical Ustav (the Typicon), which is known by the title of "Jerusalem" and has been widely distributed in the East.

9. Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople, to whom is ascribed the compilation, around 626, of the akathist to the Mother of God. However, some dispute his authorship, but this, apparently, as notes Archim. Kyprian (Kern), stems in this case more from a reluctance to accept as the author of so Orthodox a composition such a patriarch, one who compromised himself by defending the monothelite heresy, than from any more serious scientifically critical basis (p. 76). Others believe the author of the akathist to be the deacon George Pisida, who was a contemporary of Pat. Sergius and noted for his poetic gifts.

10. St. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (+ 638), composed a significant part of the Triodion and the rite of the Royal Hours of the Nativity of Christ, conclusively formulated the rite of the Great Blessing of Water which is performed on the eve of Theophany, and, as a result of the introduction of a multitude of hymns into the services, revised and reedited the rule of St. Savva the Sanctified.

11. St. Andrew, archbishop of Crete (+ 713), compiled the Great Canon of repentance which is sung and read on the first and fifth weeks of Great Lent. He likewise wrote many other canons, three-canticled canons, and other hymns. He originally came from the monastery of Ven. Savva the Sanctified.

12. Ven. John of Damascus (675 — 749-50) was a very prolific and renowned hymnographer. He compiled the canons of Pascha, the Nativity, and many others; the hymns of the Ochtoechos, funereal hymns, morning antiphons, and the Calendar; and revised and reedited the rule of St. Sophronius.

13. St. Cosmas, bishop of Maiuma (700 — 760), a friend of Ven. John of Damascus and his adopted brother and schoolfellow. They labored in the monastery of Ven. Savva. St. Cosmas composed many canons for feast days, the three-canticled canons for four of the days of Passion Week, and the hymn "More Honorable than the Cherubim," and took part with the Damascene in the compilation of the hymns of the Ochtoechos. He likewise composed canons for the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Nativity of Christ, Theophany, the Meeting of our Lord, Pentecost, Transfiguration, the Exaltation of the Cross, and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem.

14. Venerable Theodore (759 — 826) and his brother Joseph (+ 825-30), archbishop of Thessalonica, the Studites; both confessors for the sake of the Holy Icons. They gathered all the hymns of Great Lent at that time in existence and, adding three- and four-canticled canons, stichera and troparia which they had composed, thus compiled an entire book, which was given the name of The Lenten Triodion. Besides this, Ven. Theodore wrote a particular liturgical Rule for his monastery, which was passed on to the Russian churches and monasteries, attaining renown and usage just as widespread as had the Jerusalem Rule of Ven. Savva the Sanctified.

15. Ven. Theophan the Inscribed (+ 843), a confessor, metropolitan of Nicea. He was called "the Inscribed" because the iconoclasts branded sacrilegious words on his face for his steadfastness in defending the veneration of icons. He is the author of over 100 canons, of which the best known are the canons for the funeral, for the Midfeast of Pentecost, for the second day of Pentecost in honor of the Holy Spirit, and for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, part of the canon for Lazarus Saturday, and many other canons and stichera in honor of various saints.

16. Ven. Joseph the Hymnographer (810 — 886) may be considered one of the most prolific of all hymnographers. He compiled canons for the weekdays in the Ochtoechos and for other days of commemoration of the saints. Altogether are attributed to him 175 canons, 30 three-canticled canons, and 6 four-canticled canons — 211 church hymns in all. Through the labors of the Venerable Joseph and Theophan the Inscribed a multitude of canons were compiled, which supplemented the Ochtoechos of the Damascene, bringing it to its current status.

17. St. John, bishop of Eukhaitia (+ 1100), composed many canons, including the famous canons to the Sweetest Jesus and to the Guardian Angel, and supplemented the Menaion.

All of these church hymns and prayers were originally written in Greek, which at the time was in universal and common usage in the Christian East of the Byzantine Empire.

The foundation for the translation of all of these hymns and prayers from Greek into Slavonic, which translation has been in use even until now in our Russian Churches, was laid by the enlighteners of the Slavs, the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equals-of-the-Apostles. After Russia’s acceptance of Christianity in 988, and the appearance in Russia of her own God-pleasing saints, the latter began to compose in Church Slavonic their own prayers and hymns of praise, which still more greatly enriched the divine services which we received from the Greeks. In Russia entire liturgical rituals were likewise composed, in memory of exclusively Russian national feasts, wonderworking icons that appeared at different times in the Russian land, and so forth.

The Significance of Orthodox Worship.

This significance is extraordinarily great. Our Orthodox services teach, exhort, and spiritually educate the faithful, providing them with rich spiritual food for both mind and heart. The yearly cycle of our services presents to us in vivid images and lessons nearly the whole of biblical history, both of the Old Testament and especially of the New; it likewise presents the history of the Church, both universal and, in particular, Russian. Here the dogmatic teachings of the Church are revealed, which overwhelm the soul with awe before the greatness of the Creator; and moral lessons in authentically Christian life, which cleanse and uplift the heart, are given in the living images and examples of the God-pleasing saints, the memory of whom is glorified by the Holy Church nearly every day. Like the purely external appearance and construction of our Orthodox temples, so also the services performed in them vividly remind those praying of that "higher world" for which all Christians are destined. Our worship presents itself as an authentic "SCHOOL OF GODLINESS," which completely removes the soul from this sinful world and transports it to the kingdom of the Spirit. "Truly, the temple is an earthly heaven," says the great pastor of our times, St. John of Kronstadt, "for where the throne of God is, where the terrible sacraments are performed, where angels serve with men, where there is unceasing doxology of the Almighty, there truly is heaven and the heaven of heavens." Whosoever listens attentively to the service, whosoever consciously participates in it with his mind and heart, such a one cannot help but feel the full strength of the powerful call of the Church to sanctity, which is, according to the words of the Lord Himself, the ideal of Christian life. Through her services the Holy Church endeavors to tear each of us from all earthly attachments and passions, and to make of us those "earthly angels" and "heavenly men" of whom she sings the praises in her troparia, kontakia, stichera and canons.

Worship has great powers of regeneration, and in this lies its wholly irreplaceable significance. Some forms of worship, called "sacraments," also have an particular, specific meaning for the man who receives them, for they bestow on him special powers of grace.

III. The Origin of

the Christian Temples

The liturgical rule of today prescribes for services to be performed for the most part in the temple. Concerning the very name temple, templum, naoς, it came into use around the IV century. Before, the name was applied by the pagans to the places where they assembled for prayer. Among us, the Christians, the name temple refers to a building specially consecrated to God, in which the faithful gather for the receiving of the grace of God through the sacrament of Communion and other sacraments, and for the lifting up of prayers of a communal nature to God. Since the faithful, who themselves comprise the Church of Christ, gather in the temple, the temple is likewise called a "church," a word which came from the Greek kuriakon, which means "house of the Lord," domus Dei. This title was adopted from the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament (Gen. 28:17, 19, 22). From the Greek word kuriakon, by changing the letters k and u to the Russian letters ц and е, the Russian word церковь was formed, which also means a house or temple of the Lord. (So maintains Archb. Benjamin, compiler of the New Tablet; see p. 10).

Christian temples as specifically houses of worship only began to appear among Christians in significant numbers after the end of the persecutions by the pagans, i.e., in the IV century. However, temples were already being built before this since at least the III century. Christians of the first community in Jerusalem still attended the Old Testament temple, but for the performance of the Eucharist they were already gathering apart from the Jews, "from house to house" (Acts 2:46). In the epoch of the persecutions of Christianity by the pagans the principle places for assemblies of worship for the Christians were the catacombs. These were special underground vaults, excavated for the burial of the dead. The custom of burying the dead in catacombs was rather widespread in pre-Christian antiquity, both in the East and the West. Places of burial, in accordance with the Roman laws, were recognized as inviolable. Roman legislation likewise permitted the free existence of sepulchral communities, regardless of what creed they professed; these enjoyed the right to assemble in the burial places of their fellow members, and were even allowed to have their own altars there for the practicing of their worship. Hence, it is clear that the first Christians made wide use of these rights, the result of which was that the main places for their assemblies of worship, or the first ancient temples, were the catacombs. These catacombs have been preserved even until the present time in various places. Of the greatest interest to us are the exceptionally well-preserved catacombs on the outskirts of Rome, the so-called "catacombs of Kallistus." These are an entire web of underground corridors interwoven among themselves, with more or less spacious room-like apartments, called cubicles, scattered here and there throughout. In this labyrinth without the help of an experienced guide it is easy to become confused, the more so because these corridors are sometimes situated on several levels; from one level it is possible to pass unconsciously to another. Along the corridors recesses are gouged, in which the dead were immured. The cubicles constituted family vaults, while still larger apartments, the "crypts," were precisely those temples in which Christians performed their worship in times of persecution. In these the tomb of a martyr was usually erected: this served as the altar on which the Eucharist was performed. It is from this that the custom originates of putting holy relics into a newly consecrated temple, within the altar and the antimins, without which the Divine Liturgy cannot be performed. Along the sides of the altar or tomb, places were set up for the bishop and the presbyters. The biggest apartments in the catacombs were generally called "capellas" or "churches." In them one may already easily discern many of the structural parts of our contemporary temple.

The catacombs were adorned with fresco paintings. These frescoes were of a mostly symbolic character, such as, for instance, the "Anchor," the symbol of Christian hope; the "Dove," the symbol of the Holy Spirit; the "Phoenix," the symbol of the Resurrection; the "Peacock," the symbol of immortality; the "Rooster," the symbol of spiritual wakefulness and a reminder of the denial of Peter; the "Lamb," the symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and the "Cross," in the form of various kinds of monograms. The cross was, in the eyes of the pagans, an instrument of shameful punishment, and for this reason the Christians, so as to escape the mockery of the pagans, concealed this symbol of Christianity, combining the image of the Cross with the initials of the name of Christ. Other frescoes were allegorical in nature, symbolically depicting the parables of Christ the Savior. A third category comprises depictions of biblical events, such as, for example, Noah in the ark; Jonah and the whale which swallowed him; Daniel in the lions’ den; Moses by the burning bush, and drawing forth water from the rock; the adoration of the Magi; the Annunciation; the resurrection of Lazarus. The fourth category of fresco comprises images of a liturgical nature. The chief of these is the fish, which represents the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Apostles were fishermen, and we find the symbol of the fish often in the Gospel. Moreover, the Greek word for fish, icquV, contains the initial letters of the Greek phrase, "IhsouV CristoV Qeou UioV Swthr," which means "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."

Already in the I-II centuries we find in the catacombs iconographic representations of Christ the Savior and the Mother of God, albeit few in number. Symbolic images were preferred, due to the threat of mockery and desecration by the pagans.

Even before Christianity obtained its status as the predominant religion in the reign of Emperor Constantine, Christians had begun to build unconcealed above-ground temples. These were often destroyed, but in the intervals of peace between persecutions the Christians built them anew.

The most ancient type of Christian temple is the basilica. In its layout the Christian basilica consists of an elongated tetragon, the length of which is equal to twice its breadth. Its interior is divided, by rows of pillars running along its length, into three or five "naves," or longitudinal areas. Corresponding to the number of naves, on the east side several "asps," or semicircular altars, were set. Smaller churches were not divided into naves, and only one semicircular altar was built. Temples were built with the altar facing east, while on the west side "narthexes," or "vestibules," were built, and, still before these, the "portico," or porch. The central nave was usually made higher and wider than those along the sides. In the walls between the columns of the central nave, above the roofing of the lateral naves, windows were set, which illuminated the whole inside of the basilica.

What are the origins of the Christian basilica?

The name itself indicates that it is a "royal building," as it comes from the Greek word "basileuV," which means "king," or "judge." In those times the basilica was considered the most perfect form of architectural art; all government buildings, as well as the homes of the wealthy, were built in the form of basilicas. It was natural for Christianity to choose for their temples that architectural style which was in those times considered to be the most beautiful, the most perfect. Furthermore, it is known that the first Christians, who as yet had no temples, gathered for their Eucharistic assemblies in the homes of wealthy people who had turned to Christ, who reserved for these assemblies the best rooms, called oikoV, or "ikosi." These rooms happened to have the shape of an elongated tetragon, with columns that divided the apartment along its length into three sections. In their form basilicas resembled a ship. This conveyed to the faithful the edifying thought that the Church is a ship on which one may safely sail across the sea of life and reach safe harbor.

From the time of the transfer of the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople, and the cessation of the persecution of Christians, a new architectural style arose in Christian temple construction — the Byzantine style. Temples of this type were constructed in the form of a cross (staurweidh), or in the form of a rectangle, close to a square. Typical features of the Byzantine style are the vault and the dome. In the beginning of the IV century the dome was still low, and covered the whole top of the building, being mounted directly on the walls; but later it rose higher and was set upon special pillars, and windows were set in the dome. The entire dome was intended to remind one of the broad vault of heaven, as a place of the invisible sojourn of the Lord.

The forming of the temple in the shape of a circle, which is likewise characteristic of the Byzantine style, probably originated from the "baptisteries," or baptismal temples — temples specially designated for baptism, in the center of which, in the style of the Roman public baths, round basins for water were set. Another opinion holds that round temples came from the Greek monuments, or rotundas, which were built above the burial places of particularly revered and distinguished government and social figures.

The cruciform temple was intended to call to mind the fact that at the foundation of the Church lies the Cross of Christ. The round form indicates the eternalness of the Church, for the circle has neither beginning nor end.

During the time of persecution of Christians under Decius, in Rome alone around 40 basilical temples were destroyed. A typical basilica temple is the temple of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome, which was built anew in the style of the Renaissance. In Rome were also built two other notable basilicas — the church of Mary the Great in the V century, and the basilica of St. Paul, destroyed by fire in 1823 and rebuilt in what was an already distorted form. Many basilicas were built in the IV and V centuries outside the precincts of Rome, particularly in Bethlehem above the cave of the Nativity of Christ, in Jerusalem over the tomb of the Lord, in Thessalonica, Syria, and our own Chersonese.

We see the most brilliant period of the Byzantine style in the temple of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Many temples of this style exist on Athos, in Athens, Thessalonica, Armenia, Serbia, and even in the West, especially in Rowena and Venice.

In the West, however, a specifically Roman style appeared. A temple built in the Roman style consisted of a wide, elongated nave, set between two lateral naves that were half its own length and width. From the eastern, frontal side, to these was joined a transverse nave, called a "transept," which gave the whole building the form of a cross, though not an equilateral cross as in the Byzantine style. Peculiar to the Roman style were that 1) the floor was set higher in the asps and transepts than in the central part of the temple, and that 2) the columns of various parts of the temple began to be united together into a semicircular vault and to be adorned at their upper and lower extremities with carved, molded, and superimposed images and figures. The Roman style was widespread in the West from the X to XIII centuries, when it was replaced by the Gothic style.

The Gothic style, also known as the "lancet style," is similar in plan to the Roman, and is distinguished by sharp, pyramidal extremities that stretched up towards the sky: sharp-pointedness is visible in its every aspect. This style is characterized by an abundance of high, closely set windows covered with pictures.

From the XV century still another style began to spread in the West — that of the Renaissance. This style shows the influence of ancient pagan architecture. Western temples began to resemble in style the pagan temples of antiquity. From the Roman style, this style retained the transept; from the Byzantine — the vaults and dome-shaped arches. Characteristic features of the Renaissance style were ancient Greek columns inside and out, ornamental decorations in the forms of leaves, flowers, figures, people, and animals (in contrast to the Byzantine patterns, adopted from the sphere of Christianity), and sculptural representations of the saints.

Old Russian temples were built in the Byzantine style. Such are — in Kiev — the Church of the Tithe, the Wisdom Cathedral, the Kiev Caves Lavra, the Monastery of St. Michael; in Pskov — the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity; in Vladimir — the Cathedral of the Dormition; in Rostov — the Church of the Dormition; and others. But the Russian temples differed in many ways from those of the Byzantines. For instance, due to the absence of marble and stone, there were no columns. Stone temples were very few in number. In the construction of wooden churches, of which there was an especially large number in the north, due to the abundance of wood materials, Russian craftsmen displayed much of their own taste and independence. A characteristic peculiarity, which distinguishes Russian domes from the domes of the Greeks, is that above the dome, below the cross, a special cupola resembling an onion was placed. The first form that was purely Russian in style is called the "marquee" or column style. This has the appearance of several separate churches, united into one, each of which appeared to be a pillar, or marquee, crowned by a dome and a cupola. Aside from the large quantity of onion-shaped cupolas, the marquee style is characterized by a variety of colors and diversity in paints. Examples of such temples are the Church of the Village of Clerks and the Church of St. Basil the Blessed in Moscow. Besides the marquee style there existed still other forms of the Russian national style: 1) a cube raised in height, due to which upper and lower churches often resulted; 2) the two-part form — a tetragon below with an octagon above; and 3) a form created by the layering of several square frameworks, each of which was superincumbent to the one below it. During the reign of Emperor Nicholas I the architect T. Tono developed a universal style for the construction of military churches, which came to be known as the "Tonovski style." One example of the latter is the Church of the Annunciation in the Mounted Guards Square in Petersburg.

Of the Western European styles, in Russia the Renaissance style alone saw some application. Features of this style are found in the two principle cathedrals in Petersburg — the Kazan and Isaacian cathedrals.

All the edifices of the temple usually culminated in a dome, which was intended to remind the faithful of heaven, to which all their thoughts and desires should be directed. Above the dome were placed "cupolas," or "crowns." One cupola symbolizes the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ; three cupolas remind us of the three Hypostasis of the Most Holy Trinity; five — the Lord Jesus Christ and the four Evangelists; seven — the Seven Ecumenical Counsels, the seven sacraments, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; nine — the nine ranks of angels; thirteen — the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve Apostles. Each dome is crowned by a cross, the victorious sign of the Church.

The Inner Layout and Arrangement of the Temple.

The inner layout of temples has been defined from extreme antiquity by the purposes of Christian worship and a symbolic view of their meaning. Like every worthwhile building, the Christian temple had to fulfill those purposes for which it was intended. It had to contain, firstly, a space suitable for the clergy who performed the services; secondly, an area where the faithful were to stand in prayer, and, thirdly, a special place for the catechumens — i.e., those not yet baptized, who were preparing to receive baptism — and the penitents. Accordingly, as in the Old Testament temple there were three sections — the Holy of Holies, the sanctuary, and the court —, so also the Christian temple has from the earliest times been divided into three parts: the altar, the central part of the temple essentially, the church —, and the vestibule.

The Altar.

The most important part of the Christian temple is the altar. The name ‘altar’ comes from the Latin alta ara — the high altar. According to the customs of the ancient Church, the altar was always placed in the semicircle on the east side of the temple. Christians ascribed a great symbolic meaning to the east. In the east paradise had been; in the east our salvation was accomplished. In the east rises the material sun, giving life to all living things on the earth — so also in the east arose the Sun of Righteousness, giving eternal life to mankind. The east has always been recognized as a symbol of good, in opposition to the west, which was considered a symbol of evil, the realm of impure spirits. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is personified by the image of the east — "Orient is his name" (Zach. 6:12; Ps. 67:34); "the Dayspring from on high" (Lk. 1:78) —, while the Holy Prophet Malachi calls Him "the Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2). This is why, in their prayers, Christians have always faced and still face towards the east (see canon 90 of St. Basil the Great). The Roman Catholic and Protestant practice of making the altar to face the west was established no earlier than the XIII century. The word ‘altar’ (in Greek, bhma - "vima" — or itration - "itration") signifies an elevated place; in addition, it represents the earthly paradise where our first parents lived, those places where the Lord journeyed in preaching, and Mount Sinai, where the Lord established the Sacrament of Communion. The altar is a place for the clergy alone who, like the bodiless powers of heavens, serve before the altar of the King of Glory. The laity is forbidden to enter the altar (canon 69 of the VI Ecumenical Counsel; canon 44 of the Counsel of Laodicea); entrance into the altar is permitted only to the lower clergymen who assist in the performance of the services. Members of the female sex are not permitted to enter the altar for any reason. Only in women’s monasteries may a tonsured nun be permitted to enter the altar for its upkeep and to assist the clergy. The altar, as is indicated by its very name (which comes from the Latin words alta ara, meaning "high altar"), is raised higher than the other parts of the temple by a step, or two, or sometimes more. In this way it is made more visible to those who are praying, and visibly merits its symbolic meaning of a "higher world." Anyone who enters the altar must make three full prostrations on weekdays and feasts of the Theotokos, or three bows from the waste on Sundays and feasts of the Lord.

The principle fixture of the altar is the holy table; in Greek, the trapeza, as it is sometimes also called in Church Slavonic in our liturgical books. In the first centuries of Christianity, in the underground churches of the catacombs, the grave of a martyr served as the holy table, as it by necessity had an elongated tetragonal form and was joined to the altar wall. In ancient above-ground churches holy tables began to be built in a nearly square form, on one or four supports. These were made of wood, in the shape of an ordinary table; but later they began to be made of precious metals, and were sometimes built of stone, and even marble. The holy table represents the heavenly throne of God, on which the Almighty Lord Himself is mystically present. It is likewise called the "table of oblation," (in Greek, the qusiasthrion - "thesiastirion") since on it the Bloodless Sacrifice is offered for the world. The holy table likewise represents the tomb of Christ, for on it is laid the Body of Christ. The four-sided shape of the holy table symbolically expresses that sacrifice is offered on it for all four corners of the earth, and that all the ends of the earth are called to the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ.

In accordance with the dual significance of the holy table, it is vested in two coverings: an inner, white vestment, called the "sryachitsa" (in Greek, katasarkion, "katasarkion," meaning "close fit"), which represents the shroud in which the Body of the Savior was wrapped, and an outer vestment, the "inditia" (from the Greek endiw ("endio"), meaning "I clothe"), made of brilliant, precious material, which represents the glory of the throne of the Lord. During the consecration of the temple the inner vestment, the katasarkion, is wound about with the rope, which symbolizes the bonds of the Lord with which He was bound when He was led for judgment to the high priests Annas and Caiaphas (Jn. 18:24). The rope is tied around the table in such a way that on each of the four side of the latter a cross is formed, symbolizing that cross by which the malice of the Jews brought the Lord down into the tomb, and which served for the victory over sin and Hades.

The most important article on the altar table is the antimins (from the Greek "anti" — "in place of" — and the Latin "mensa" — "table, altar"), or "antialtar." Today the antimins consists of a silken cloth, on which is portrayed the laying of the Lord Jesus Christ into the tomb, the four Evangelists, and the instruments of the sufferings of Christ the Savior. Inside the antimins, in a special pouch on the reverse side, pieces of holy relics are placed. The history of the antimins goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. The first Christians had a custom of performing the Eucharist on the graves of martyrs. When in the IV century Christians were allowed to freely build churches above ground, they began, on account of this custom that had already taken root, to transfer the relics of martyrs from various places into the temples. However, as the number of temples continued to increase, it became difficult to obtain whole relics for each temple. Then they began to place beneath the altar table at least a particle of holy relics. From this the antimins has its origins. It is, in essence, a portable altar. Heralds departing for distant lands to preach the Gospel, and Emperors setting off on campaigns with clergy and mobile churches, had to bring with them mobile altars, which were the antimins. A series of sources of information regarding the antimins, by precisely that name, we have already from the VIII century, while actual antimins, which have descended to us in the form of material memorials, date from the XII century. The Old Russian antimins, which have been preserved until now, were made of linen, had an inscription, and bore an image of the Cross. The inscriptions indicate that the antimins takes the place of a consecrated altar table; here indicated are the name of the bishop who consecrated "this altar," the place of its allocation (for which church), and a caption concerning the relics ("here are the relics of…"). From the XVII century, more complex images appear on the antimins, such as the laying of the Savior into the tomb, and the linen is replaced by silk. Originally relics were placed in every altar table consecrated by a bishop (in a small metal shrine under the altar or in a hollow in the upper boards of the altar table). Such altar tables required no antimins. The temples which were not sanctified by bishops, however, were sanctified through antimins with holy relics, sent by the bishop. As a result of this, some temples had altars with holy relics, but did not have antimins; others had altars without holy relics, but had antimins. So it was also in the Russian Church in the early times following the acceptance of Christianity. But with the passage of time, first in the Greek, then in the Russian Church, antimins began to be placed even on those altars which had been sanctified by a bishop, but were as yet without holy relics. In the Russian Church from 1675 it became the custom to place antimins with holy relics in all churches, even in those consecrated by bishops. The antimins, given to the priest by the bishop, became as it were a visible sign of the authority of the priest to perform the Divine Liturgy, being subordinate to the bishop who had issued the antimins.

The antimins lies on the altar table, folded four times. Inside it are laid the "sponge" or, in Greek, musa (spoggoV); the "mesa." This represents that sponge which, filled with gall and vinegar, was raised to the lips of the Lord hanging on the Cross, and is used for wiping away the particles of the Body of Christ and the particles removed in honor of the saints, the living, and the departed, during their immersion into the holy chalice at the end of the liturgy.

The antimins, folded four times, is also wrapped in a special silken cloth, which is slightly larger than itself in size, and is called the eileton - "eileton" — from the Greek eilew ("eileo"), meaning "I wrap up." The eileton represents the swaddling clothes with which our Lord was wrapped upon His birth and, simultaneously, the shroud in which His Body was wrapped at His Burial in the tomb.

In present times, on top of the antimins on the altar the Gospel is laid. It is usually decorated, and lavishly bound, with images on its front cover — the Resurrection of Christ in the center, with the four Evangelists at the corners. In ancient times the Gospel was kept, not on the altar table, but in a special partition near the altar — the vessel repository — and was solemnly carried into the altar before it was to be read (the "Small Entrance").

Beside the Gospel on the altar table the cross is laid (in Greek, stauroV - "stavros"), for on the altar table the Bloodless Sacrifice is offered in memory of the sacrifice which the Lord offered on the cross. This cross, like the Gospel, is entitled "altar." Occasionally a cross is also placed behind the altar table.

Above the altar table in ancient temples was placed what is called the ciborium by latin writers, the kuborion (kivorion) in Greek, or the sjen’ in Slavonic: a kind of canopy, supported by four columns. The canopy also appears in old Russian churches. It symbolizes heaven, spread out above the earth on which sacrifice is offered for the sins of the world. In addition to this, the canopy signifies the "immaterial tabernacle of God," that is, the glory of God and the grace with which He Himself is covered, Who clothes Himself in light as with a garment, and sits on the exalted throne of His glory.

Beneath the canopy, above the center of the altar table, there hung the peristerion (peristerion) — a vessel in the form of a dove, in which were preserved the reserved Holy Gifts for the communing of the sick and for the Presanctified Liturgy. In present times this image of a dove is preserved in places, but has lost its original practical significance: the dove now serves not as a vessel in which the Holy Mysteries are kept, but only as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

For the keeping of the Holy Myteries, on the very altar table there is now placed an ark, also known as the tabernacle. This is made in the likeness of the tomb of the Lord, or in the form of a church. Here also the holy myrrh is usually kept.

On the altar table candle stands are also set, for the representation of the Light of Christ enlightening the world. The newly ordained priest is thus instructed: "On the holy table lay nothing aside from the Gospel and the Mysteries and other holy things."

Behind the altar table a seven-branched candle stand is sometimes set, recalling the Old Testament candle stand in the sanctuary.

Behind the altar table, by the very wall in the conch of the altar, the high place is set, which represents the seat of the bishop; on each side of it there are places for the presbyters. It is placed at an elevation, for which reason it is also called the high throne. Here, at the time of the reading of the epistle, the serving bishop ascends, who himself represents the Lord of glory. On each side of him sit the presbyters, representing the Apostles. Their places are called, in Greek, sunqronoV - the "cothrones."

In the northern part of the altar — though in ancient times it was in a special section just adjoining the altar — the table of oblation (in Greek, proqesiV - prothesis) is set. This is a table covered, like the altar table, with costly coverings, on which the Holy Gifts are prepared at the beginning of the liturgy. It is called the table of oblation because in ancient times it was to this table that the faithful brought or "offered" bread, wine, and all that was necessary for the performance of the Divine liturgy. From what was brought the priest selected the very best for the performance of the Mystery, and the rest was used at what were known as the agaph - "agapes" — or "suppers of love," which in days of old were combined with the performance of the Eucharist. The table of oblation was also called the "table of sacrifice," since on it the bread and the wine were prepared for the performance of the Bloodless Sacrifice. During the preparation of the Holy Gifts both the birth and the suffering of the Savior are recalled. Thus, the table of sacrifice symbolizes Bethlehem or, more particularly, the manger in which the Lord was laid upon His birth, and Golgotha, on which He partook of the cup of suffering.

On the table of sacrifice are kept the vessels necessary for the performance of the Eucharist, and the rest of the essential sacred items. Such are the diskos, potir (or chalice), star, spear, spoon, sponge, the coverings, two small dishes, and the cup.

The diskos (in Greek, diskoV, "deep plate") is a round metal dish, usually gold or silver, on a stand in the form of a stem, upon which is set the "Lamb," — that is, that section of prosphora which at the liturgy is transformed into the Body of Christ — as well as the other particles which have been removed from the prosphora at the beginning of the liturgy. The diskos symbolizes the manger in which the newly-born God-child was laid and, at the same time, the tomb of Christ.

The potir or chalice (from the Greek pothrion - "potirion," a vessel for drink) is the vessel from which the faithful are communed with the Body and Blood of Christ, and which recalls the cup from which the Lord communed His disciples for the first time at the Mystical Supper. At the beginning of the liturgy, into this cup is poured wine with the addition of a small quantity of water (in such a way that the wine does not lose its own flavor), which is transformed at the liturgy into the true Blood of Christ. This cup likewise recalls the "cup of suffering" of the Savior.

The star (in Greek, asthr, asteriskoV - "astir, asteriscos") consists of two arches joined together cruciformly. Recalling the star that led the magi to Bethlehem, the star is placed on the diskos so that the coverings should not touch or disarrange the particles arranged on the diskos.

The spear (in Greek, logch - "lonhi") is a knife, having the form of a spear, which serves for the removal of the Lamb and the rest of the particles from the prosphora. It recalls the spear which pierced the most pure ribs of the Savior on the cross (Jn. 19:34).

The spoon or, in Greek, the labhda ("lavida") from the time of St. John Chrysostom has been used for the communing of the laity with the Body and Blood of Christ. It represents the tongs with which the Seraphim took the coal from the heavenly altar, touched it to the lips of Isaiah the prophet, and purified them.

In precisely the same way the coal of the Body and Blood of Christ purifies the bodies and souls of the faithful.

The sponge or, in Greek, musa ("mesa"), not the one which is placed inside the antimins, is used for the wiping off of the holy chalice after the consumption of the Holy Gifts by the priest. It is thus entitled "for cleansing," and is always left inside the holy chalice.

The coverings are used for the covering of the Holy Gifts. There are three of them: one covers the diskos, the second, the chalice, and the third, which bears the name of the "air" (in Greek, ahr - "air"), covers the diskos and the chalice together. With the air, the largest of them in size, the priest fans above the Holy Gifts during the singing of the Symbol of Faith: in making the air to shake and to tremble, the priest depicts the earthquake which occurred at the Resurrection of Christ. At the beginning of the liturgy the coverings symbolize the infant swaddling clothes of the Lord Jesus, while at the Great Entrance, which signifies the procession of the Lord to Golgotha, and at the placing of the Holy Gifts on the altar table, which indicates the taking down of the Lord from the cross and His burial, the covering above the diskos symbolizes the napkin which covered the head of the Savior in the tomb; the covering above the chalice — the shroud, or winding sheet, with which the Body of the Lord was wrapped, and the air — the stone, rolled to the door of the tomb.

Besides the diskos, at the performance of the proskomidia two dishes and a cup are used. On one of these dishes a cross is inscribed; this one is used at the removal of the Lamb from the first prosphora. On the second dish, which has an image of the Mother of God, the particle taken from the second prosphora in honor of the Mother of God is placed. By means of the cup, wine mixed with water is poured into the holy chalice, and before the communion of the clergy in the altar the hot water is poured into the holy chalice from this same cup.

Like the "table of oblation" on the north, or left, side of the altar, in ancient times a special section was set at the south, or right, side of the altar. In this section were kept the vessels, various church implements, books, and vestments. This section was looked after by the deacon, for which reason it was called the "diakonik" or, in Greek, sometimes also the skeuofhlakion ("skevophelakion").

Other than clergy, no one has the right to touch the sacred vessels we have listed above, with the exception of the cup. In addition to these vessels, the following church vessels are also used during worship:

The censer — a vessel consisting of two semicircular cups, one covering the other, on three small chains, used for the censing of incense, or frankincense (a kind of sweet-scented resin), at specific moments of the services.

The krapilo (or aspergillum) — prepared of thin branches from the plant called "hyssop," and used for the sprinkling of holy water.

The font — a large vessel, usually having the form of a chalice and used for the immersion of infants at their reception of the sacrament of holy baptism. In ancient times, when the baptism of adults occurred quite often, a special basin with steps was built in the vestibule for the their immersion; it was cruciate in form, and was called the "baptistery."

The myrrh box (or myrnitsa) — a small, four-cornered box in which are kept a phial of holy myrrh and everything necessary for the mystery of baptism: a phial of sanctified oil, a sponge for the cleansing of the anointed parts of the body, and scissors for the tonsuring of the hair.

The ripidi (from the Greek ripidion, from ripiV idoV - "ripis idos" — "large fan"), which were used in ancient times for the driving away of insects from the Holy Gifts, and at first were made from thin skins or from peacock feathers and linen. Today the ripida is a metal circle with the image of a six-winged seraphim, fixed to a long shaft. Sometimes, incidentally, they had the form of a square or star. In present times they have a purely symbolic meaning: the ripidi represent the penetration of the heavenly hosts into the mystery of the salvation of men, accomplished by the Lord and Redeemer. They are usually carried above the Holy Gifts and above the Gospel at hierarchical services; likewise, above the cross at its carrying out at the all-night vigil for the Exaltation, for the Sunday of the Cross, and on August 1, and above the Holy Shroud. In some monasteries it is permitted to use them also when archimandrite is serving, while in the East they are used even at the usual serving of a priest, at the Small and Great Entrances. At the ordination of a deacon, in accordance with the ancient practice, the ripidi is given into his hands to fan insects away from the Holy Gifts, which was part of the sphere of his duties at the performance of the Divine liturgy.

The dikiri and trikiri are two- and three-branched candleholders, which are used for the blessing of the worshippers by the bishop at the Divine Liturgy and at several other services. The dikiri represents the two natures of the Lord Jesus Christ — Divine and human — while the trikiri represents the three Hypostasis of the Most Holy Trinity. The right to bless with the dikiri and trikiri is likewise given to some archimandrites.

The crowns are laid on the groom and the bride at the performance of the sacrament of matrimony. These are made in the likeness of crowns, from metal, with small crosses on the top, with the image of the Savior on one and of the Mother of God on the other. In ancient times, and in some places even now, these are prepared from live plants and flowers.

There are many kinds of lamps: candlesticks for one candle, which stand on the floor (called "moveable lamps"), or for many candles, which stand before icons, holy relics, and other sacred objects; lampadas; chandeliers, called panikadilas; torches, used for processions — all of these are numbered among the church implements essential for the consecration of a temple, and have not only a purely practical significance, but also a symbolic one: they symbolize the spiritual light which drives away spiritual darkness, the light of Christ, illuminating all. A particularly large quantity of lamps are appointed by ustav to be lit at certain especially festive moments of the services, as a sign of spiritual joy and exultation. Electricity, which has now appeared in churches, being a dead, lifeless light, cannot and may not entirely replace the light of these "living" lamps under any circumstances. Our candles were to be always made of pure wax, while for illumination with lampadas olive oil, which is widespread in the East, was used.

The "kanun," or pannykhida table, is used for the serving of prayers for the departed, or pannykhidas, before itself. On it a "Golgotha" is usually formed with an image of the Crucifixion, and the Mother of God and St. John the Theologian standing by. Before them are set places for candles, usually forty, indicating the forty-day remembrance of the departed.

The service for the blessing of the loaves, wheat, wine, and oil at the all-night vigil is set on a special table.

Iconostasis.

The altar, as in the ancient Christian temples, so also in those of today, has always been divided from the rest of the temple by a special barrier. In ancient times this was but a railing or colonnade with a cornice and a single row of icons above itself. From this originally low barrier there gradually developed a high wall, covered entirely by several levels of icons, which received the name iconostasis. St. Symeon of Thessalonica, who in the XIV century wrote a special composition on the temple, as of yet mentions nothing concerning the contemporary high iconostasis. From this it has been concluded that the current high iconostasis appeared no earlier than the XV — XVI centuries. There is, however, a tradition that rather high iconostasi were already introduced by St. Basil the Great, so that the prayerful attention of the clergy might not be distracted. In the iconostasis, as in the ancient altar barrier, three doors are set: the wider middle doors, which are called "holy" or "royal" (for through them, in the Holy Gifts, enters Christ, the King of Glory), and the more narrow north and south doors, which are called diaconal, since through them during the divine services the deacons continually come in and go out. Through the royal doors, or "gates," only solemn exits take place. The iconostasis itself today consists of five tiers.

In the first, lower row, to the right of the royal doors, the icon of Christ the Savior is set, and to the left, that of the Mother of God. At the right of the icon of the Savior the icon of the feast or saint to whom the temple is consecrated — the temple icon — is set. These are called the "local icons." On the two panels of the royal doors are set images of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, and of the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — two on each panel. On the north and south doors are set images of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, or of the Archdeacons Stephan and Phillip. The upper part of the iconostasis is called the "tableau."

In the second tier, immediately above the royal doors, an icon of the Mystical Supper is placed, as though teaching that those who desire to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is symbolized by the altar, must be made worthy to eat at the table of the Lord, which is prepared further inside the altar on the holy table and is offered to the faithful from within the royal doors. On either side of the Mystical Supper, along both sides of the second tier, icons are placed of all of the twelve feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos.

In the third tier, above the Mystical Supper, an icon called the "Deisis," which means "prayer" (or "Deisus," as the name has been corrupted in colloquial speech) is placed. The "Deisis" depicts the Lord Jesus Christ and, at His sides, the Mother of God and St. John the Forerunner, turning to Him with prayerful attitude of body. On each side of the "deisis" are placed the icons of the twelve Apostles.

In the fourth tier the Mother of God is depicted at the center with the Pre-eternal Infant, while along the sides are the Old Testament Prophets who foretold the incarnation of the Son of God. They are depicted with the same signs by which they prototypically portrayed the mystery of the incarnation: Aaron with the rod that blossomed, David with the golden ark, Ezekiel with the sealed doors, and so on.

And, finally, in the very highest fifth tier, the God of Sabbath is depicted with His Divine Son in His bosom at the center and the Old Testament Forefathers along either side. The apex of the iconostasis is crowned with the Holy Cross — the image of the sign by which eternal salvation was given to men and the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven were opened.

On the inside of the altar, before the royal doors, a curtain is hung — in Greek, the katapetasma - which, in liturgical books, in relation to the royal, as it were, outer doors, are sometimes called the "inner curtain," "high doors," "inner door," or, sometimes, the "zaponi" (curtains). The opening of the curtain signifies the revealing of the mystery of salvation to the world, just as the opening of the royal doors themselves symbolizes the opening to the world of the entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The iconostasis, which separates the altar from the central part of the temple, is set at the same elevation as the altar. This elevation does not end with the iconostasis, but extends forward into the central part of the temple, and is called the "soleass" (in Greek, the swlea - "soleas" — "elevation). In this way the soleas is as it were a continuation of the altar outside. The area of the soleas that lies opposite the royal doors is usually made in the form of a semicircular ledge, and is called the ambwn — the "ambon" —, which in Greek means "ascent." On the ambon the Gospel is read, the deacons’ prayers, or litanies, are pronounced, and sermons are read. Therefore the ambon symbolizes the mount, the ship, and in general all those elevated places to which the Lord ascended to preach, that the people should hear Him the better. The ambon likewise signifies the stone from which the Angel greeted the myrrh-bearers with the glad tidings of the Resurrection of Christ. In ancient times the ambon was set in the center of the temple and was reminiscent of our contemporary lecterns; they were made of stone or metal. At the sides of the soleas places called "clirosi" are set for the readers and singers. Readers and singers, having been chosen in ancient times by lot, comprise the "lot of God" and, being set apart from the rest of the faithful for special service to God, are called "clerics" (from klhroV - "cliros" — "lot"). In liturgical books, the right and left clirosi are also called "choirs," for the singers standing on them represent the choirs of Angels singing praise to God.

Near each of the clirosi there usually stands a gonfalon. This is an icon hanging on a shaft in the form of a military banner. It is, as it were, the banner around which the warriors of Christ rally, waging war with the enemies of our salvation. These are usually carried at the heads of processions during church feasts.

Around the clirosi a railing is usually placed, separating those performing the service from those standing in the temple. Here also the torch is usually placed, which is carried with a lighted candle at the head of processions.

The Central Part of the Temple.

The central part of the temple, usually called the vessel of the church, served as a place for the laity. Here in ancient times specific areas were set aside for men and for women. This separation of the genders had its own historic foundation: in the East, women, as in general public life, so also especially at liturgical gatherings, were separated from men. In the Jewish synagogues women stood above, in the choirs, and men stood below.

This custom carried over into Christianity. Already by the time of St. John Chrysostom, women were separated from men in the basilicas by a special railing. In temples of the Byzantine type, the whole lower level of the temple was reserved for men, while women stood in the choirs or in special high galleries, called "gynekoniti." In Russian churches, men were placed in the south or right half of the temple, and women in the north or left half.

During hierarchical services, at the center of the temple a special elevated place, or ambon, is set for the bishop, which, in contrast to the ambon on the soleas, is called the "hierarchical ambon," or the "place of vesting," or the "robing place," since the bishop is vested here before the performance of the liturgy. Usually it has two steps. For the consecration of a new bishop this ambon is made higher and wider, and is called the "theater." On the hierarchical ambon a seat, called a cathedra, is placed for the bishop. In ancient times it was called a "table" or "throne." At certain points in the service, such as, for instance, the reading of the Hours, the bishop sits upon the cathedra.

The Nave.

On the western side of the temple, doors, or gates, are placed leading into the nave. These gates are called "beautiful" in the Ustav, as they are sometimes decorated with especial grandeur. They serve for majestic exits from the temple and entrances into it, such as, for example, those at the time of processions. These gates are also called the "church" gates, since they lead into the church itself, and the "great church gates," since besides these there were also other gates, the "north" and "south" gates, that led into the church. The Greeks called the gates "royal." The Ustav directs, on the day of Pascha, for the procession to exit the temple through the north doors, then to stop and begin the Paschal Matins before "the great gates of the church."

If in ancient times the separation of women from men was considered essential, so much the more was it important to separate the catechumens and the penitents from the faithful. In actual fact, in accordance with their own moral condition, these people stood in a special, third part of the temple, which received the name narqhx - the "narthex" or, in Russian, the "vestibule" or "pretemple." In ancient times the narthex had several sections: the inner narthex, included in the makeup of the temple building; the outer narthex, consisting of the columns before the entrance into the inner narthex; and a special atrium, or courtyard. Here the catechumens and penitents were positioned by degrees. When this institution of the catechumens and the penitents ceased to exist, the atrium was not destroyed, but rather took on a slightly different appearance and a special purpose. In the inner narthex during the Byzantine period lityas began to be served and the dead were laid out to await burial. With this purpose the narthex came to us in Russia. The inner narthex began to be called the atrium, while the outer narthex was transformed into the vestibule — a large, wide square with steps, by which the church is entered.

According to Ustav, several services are served in the atrium, such as, for instance, the catechesis of those preparing for baptism, the rite of renunciation of errors by those joining themselves to Holy Orthodoxy, the Litya at Great Vespers, the Hours, Small Compline, and the Midnight Office. In the vestibule the Litya and the funeral service are likewise appointed to be served.

On the Church Bells and Tolls.

One important aspect of present day Orthodox temples are the bells, which are placed either in the roof of the temple, in the tower of the cupolas, near the entrance of the church in special belfries, or near the temple in a special building built for them, called a bell tower.

During the period of persecutions ancient Christians gathered for prayer, not as now at the toll of a bell, naturally, but by prior agreement, or through specific notification, which was carried out by special messengers. From the 4th century, when Christians obtained the right to worship openly, open methods of calling the faithful to prayer likewise began to appear among them. In Egyptian and in several Palestinian monasteries trumpets were used for this; in other Palestinian monasteries — a hammer, which was used to strike the cell door of each monk.

Bells first became widespread in the west. Thus, in the VII — IX centuries they were already widely used in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. This cannot be said of the east, where we see only isolated instances of the use of bells. Thus, for example, in the treaty of Omar with the patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, following the siege of Jerusalem in 628, it was stipulated that bells not be rung. In the IX century the Venetian duke Ursus Patricius, at the request of the Greek emperor Basil the Macedonian, sent 12 large brass bells for the newly rebuilt church. The Greek writers, in speaking of means of calling the faithful to prayer, indicate only the "bila." There were three types of bilas: the great bila and the small bila, which were made of wood, and the "hagiosidiron" (sidiron) —the iron bila, made with a curved shape, similar to an arch, from a brass or iron bar. Bells probably became widespread in the east only with the arrival of the crusaders, and began to be called campana, since it is thought that they were first made in the VII century in the Italian province of Campania. After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, who hated the toll of the bell, in the east bells again fell into disuse, but nonetheless became widespread among us in Russia. It may be said that nowhere did the toll of the bell experience such broad development and application to liturgical practice as it did with us in Russia. The Russian people, being by nature exceptionally musical, imparted to the toll of the bell the whole strength of their religious felling and established an extraordinary wealth of various types and shades of bell tolls, which deeply touch the soul, arousing in it various prayerful sensations and feelings.

Today the bells in our Church serve not only to "denote," that is, to announce the service taking place in the temple, but also to express the exultation of the church and to proclaim certain moments in the services to those not present in the temple, in this way arousing those outside the temple to join their prayers with those praying in the temple.

In the Church Ustav and in liturgical books the bells are referred to by the following words and expressions: "bilo," "klepalo," "kampan," "stake," and "chimes." It is not difficult to see that the first of these names come from the time when there were no bells as yet, and the faithful were called to worship with a wooden board or metal plate, which was struck with a mallet or stick. Klepalos could also be of stone. Even after the introduction of bells, the bila and the klepala were preserved in some places, and are used in several instances, especially during the fast and on Holy Week.

In churches there are usually found several bells which vary in size and intensity of sound. In large temples the following bells may be found: the 1) festal, 2) resurrectional, 3) polyeleos, and 4) daily, or weekday bells, and 5) the small bell. Besides these there are several smaller, initiatory bells of various sizes.

The toll of the bell itself occurs differently at different times of the liturgical year. One kind of toll occurs at a festal service, another kind on a weekday, another during Great Lent, another at a service for the departed.

There are two primary tolls: the blagovjest and the proper toll. Blagovjest is a toll at which one bell is struck, or sometimes several bells, not all simultaneously, but each bell in turn. In the latter case the blagovjest is also called the "perezvon" ("chimes") or "perebor" ("running over"). The proper toll is a toll at which two or more bells are struck together. When a toll of several bells occurs in three movements, it is called a "tri-zvon" ("tri-toll") or "trezvon." Before less majestic services only the blagovjest occurs, while at more majestic services the blagovjest is followed by the trezvon. For the expression of the especial celebration of the Church, the trezvon also occurs after the service: so it is on all the days of Pascha and on all Sundays after the Divine Liturgy. The toll also occurs during processions. At festal Matins, at the singing of the polyeleos, the trezvon occurs. During the liturgy a toll of a single bell occurs during the most important part of the liturgy, which is known as the Eucharistic canon; that is, from "It is truly meet and right to worship the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit" until the singing of "It is truly meet," for which reason this toll is usually called the toll for "It is Meet."

The perezvon occurs 1) at the reading of the Paschal Gospel at the liturgy on the first day of Pascha, finishing with the trezvon at the end of the reading; 2) at Matins of the Exaltation, the Sunday of the Cross, and August 1, at the end of the Great Doxology, when the bringing out of the cross takes place; 3) on Great Friday at the bringing out of the Shroud, and on Great Saturday at the carrying of the Shroud around the temple; and 4) at the carrying out, funerals, and burials of the departed.

A somewhat different type of perezvon occurs before the blessing of water on the days of temple feasts, and likewise at the consecration of a bishop.

The toll for various services also differs in tone: at some times it sounds more cheerful, at others, more mournful. The toll during Great Lent is "dull," that is, slow and drawn out. The directly contrasting joyous toll is called in the Ustav the "toll in beauty."

The duration of the toll is defined for the bell ringer in that, according to the direction of the Ustav, he must read to himself either "the Blameless" (the seventeenth kathisma) or the fiftieth psalm. During Great Lent, the bell is appointed to be rung before the Hours: before the Third Hour, three times; before the Sixth, six times; before the Ninth, nine times; and before Compline, twelve times.

Aside from the above-mentioned church functions, we made use of bells to warn of fire, which was called "sounding the tocsin," and during blizzards and snowstorms, to help travelers orientate themselves on the road.

IV. On Those

Who Perform the Divine Services

Orthodox worship is performed by specific persons, appointed to this through lawful ordination by the Lord Himself, who comprise the church hierarchy, or clergy. In the Old Testament, at the command of God, the holy prophet Moses chose and consecrated specific people for the performance of worship: the high priest, the priests, and the Levites. The first high priest was Aaron, the brother of Moses, and the first priests were the sons of Aaron. Those who dared to perform this worship without being lawful appointed were punished (those who rebelled with Korah, Dathan, and Abiron). The high priest and the priests were assisted by the Levites. Thus, the Old Testament hierarchy consisted of three ranks.

In the New Testament the Lord Jesus Christ, having accomplished His Divine service on earth, established the sacraments and taught men to worship God in spirit and in truth, later leaving both the further organization of the Church and the visible performance of worship to His Apostles, giving them the grace-filled strength and power to perform the sacraments, instruct believers in faith and piety, and direct the Church. "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (Jn. 20:21-23; 17:18; Mt. 16:19; 18:18).

Out of the whole multitude of His disciples and followers the Lord Jesus Christ chose only twelve Apostles, to whom He gave the power to teach, perform worship, and spiritually direct the faithful toward salvation (Mt. 23:19). The power which the Apostles received from the Lord was gradually transferred to their successors through ordination. First of all, as we see from the sixth chapter of the book of Acts, they instituted a lower rank of the church hierarchy to assist them: the diaconate. The service of the first deacons consisted in caring for the poor and helping the Apostles in the performance of the sacraments. When the number of believers began to increase the Apostles chose for themselves new helpers, investing them with the authority to preach, perform worship, and direct the church communities. Those consecrated to this service through prayer and the laying on of hands by the Apostles came to be called "presbyters," or "elders." Finally, as a result of the continual increase of the number of Christians, the Apostles, it being impossible for them to personally appoint deacons and presbyters everywhere, established a new highest rank in the Church — that of the "bishops," to whom they gave the whole of their power — power not only to teach, perform sacraments, and direct, but to themselves consecrate presbyters and deacons and oversee their conduct. The word "bishop" means, in Greek, "guardian," or "observer" (from the verb episkopew - "episkopeo" — "I watch").

From the very beginning both the Holy Apostles and, later, their heirs, the Apostolic Fathers, as Archimandrite Gabriel indicates, "successively transferred their power and authority to other men learned in the Divine Scriptures, and required that the faithful submit to them as to the overseers of their region… St. Ignatius the God-bearer (AD 107), an Apostolic Father, severely reprimanded those who did not obey their bishops, presbyters, and deacons… St. Irineus (AD 202), bishop of Lyons, clearly distinguishes the superiority of the rights of the bishop and the abundance of grace in him, stating that presbyters receive the gift of grace from bishops. He derives the succession of the bishops and their origins directly from the Apostles themselves. According to the words of St. Cyprian of Carthage, the appointment of bishops is founded upon Divine law and is given to us through the Holy Apostles, who first received the episcopacy from our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostles, appointing bishops that had been tried spiritually, at the same time gave them successors that, when these should repose, other tried men should take this service upon themselves in order that, through such an establishment, succession in the ranks of the Church should be maintained, and Apostolic tradition and the preaching of the truth should be preserved, so that, through successive ordination, all bishops should be made successors of the Apostles." ("Handbook of Liturgics," Archim. Gabriel, p. 259.)

The Clergy.

Thus there appeared in the New Testament Christian Church three levels of priesthood: the highest, the bishop; the middle, the presbyter (from the Greek word presbuthV - "elder," "eldest"); and the lowest, the deacon. All of these persons bear the common title of clergy.

Each of these levels of priesthood likewise has its own variations, depending on the duties of the given clergyman and the official position which he holds. Hence, bishops of more significant regions and cities bear the title of archbishop (from the Greek arcaioV - an elderly, distinguished bishop), while bishops of a metropolia or of capital cities are called metropolitans (from mhthr - "mother" + poliV - "city"), or exarches (exarcw meaning "master"). Bishops of the ancient capitals Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, as well as, subsequently, the heads of several local churches, received the title of patriarch (from pathr - "father" + arcw - "I direct, I command"). The assistants to the bishops, who directed highly populated dioceses, bore the title of vicar bishops ("vice" meaning "instead of"), or simply vicars, that is, "deputies." Priests who are the heads of large parish communities and cathedral temples bear the title of "protoierei," or "protopriest" (from the Greek protwV — "first," and iereuV — "priest;" hence, "first priest"), and have precedence over other priests at the divine services. The priests of patriarchal, synodal, and court churches bear the honorary title of "presbyter," the first among them being the "protopresbyter." Monks of priestly rank are called "hieromonks;" those that head monasteries, "abbots," or "igumens" (from hgoumenoV - "commanding"); and those that head larger and most prestigious monasteries, "archimandrites." In present times these titles are given, not only according to the position occupied, but also according to years of service and particular merit, as an award or distinction for zealous clergy. In the same way elder deacons in cathedral temples are called "protodeacons." Monastic deacons are called "hierodeacons," and the eldest of them, "archdeacons."

One must be firmly aware that in terms of grace there is no difference between a patriarch and a metropolitan, exarch, archbishop, or bishop; in their rights of grace they are perfectly equal with one another. The difference between them lies only in a primacy of honor and in administrative authority. Every bishop, regardless of what title he bears, we call "archpriest," "hierarch," "consecrated one," "archpastor," and "master." In the same way all priests, regardless of their honorary title or rank, are perfectly equal with one another in grace. So also it is with deacons. The levels of the priesthood are only three.

The Church Servers.

From the clergy must be distinguished the church servers, who are present at the divine services and assist the bishops, priests, and deacons. These are the subdeacons, readers, also called chanters, and ponomars. The difference between the clergy and the church servers is that the clergy are consecrated, or ordained, by a bishop in the altar at the Divine Liturgy, receiving through this ordination the special grace of the priesthood; while the church servers are appointed to their service, not through consecration — ordination —, but through hirotesia — the laying on of hands by the bishop, which signifies only a simple blessing — outside the altar, in the center of the temple, before the Divine Liturgy, during the reading of the Hours.

The subdeacon is the assistant of the deacon when a bishop is serving. He assists the bishop to vest himself, gives him the washbasin at the washing of the hands, hands him the dikiri and trikiri, and in general serves the bishop at the divine services.

The ponomar — the corrupted form of the title paramoni (paramonh), meaning "sojourner;" that is, a church server assigned to the altar — in ancient times was also called the candle bearer: he gives the censer, lights the lampadas, lights and carries the candles, and rings the bells. In the church Ustav he is likewise called the "paraecclesiarch" and the "kandilo lighter" — one who lights the lampadas.

The reader, or chanter, reads and sings on the cliros. In the rite of the hirotesia of the reader the rank of reader is called the "first level of the priesthood." When many singers sing on the cliros the eldest, who leads them in singing, is called the "golovshcik" (the "head"). In ancient times, when the number of liturgical books was extremely limited due to their being copied by hand, one of the singers would announce the words of the hymn out loud, and the rest of the singers would repeat after him. This was called canonarchizing, and this type of singer or reader was called the "canonarch." In monasteries and in some lay temples canonarchs exist to this day, as this greatly beautifies the services and makes hearing and understanding the text of the hymns easier for those praying.

 

V. On the Sacred Vestments

The sacred vestments: If for worldly matters, at important, solemn occasions, men dress, not in their usual, everyday clothes, but in other, better ones (Mt. 22:11-12), it is all the more natural that, for the service of the Lord God, the clergy and church servers should robe themselves in special vestments, the purpose of which is to turn their minds and hearts from all things earthly and lift them up unto God. Special liturgical vestments for the clergy were introduced already in the Old Testament. It was strictly forbidden to enter the tabernacle or the temple at Jerusalem to serve without special robes which, after serving, were to be taken off upon leaving the temple, and the usual clothes put on (Ezeik. 44:19). In present times also clergy and church servers, when performing the services of the Church, vest themselves in special sacred vestments which, according to the three levels of the church hierarchy, are divided into diaconal, priestly, and episcopal vestments. Church servers wear some of the diaconal vestments.

According to the teachings of the Church, each higher level of the Church hierarchy has within itself the grace, as well as the rights and privileges, of the lower levels. This idea is visibly expressed by the fact that the sacred robes particular to the lower levels belong also to the higher levels. Therefore, the order of vesting is as follows: first, the robes belonging to the lower rank are put on, then those of the higher. Thus, the bishop vests himself first in the robes of the deacon, then in the robes of the priest, then finally in those belonging to him, as a bishop; the priest likewise vests himself first in the diaconal, then in the priestly robes.

Let us begin an examination of the sacred robes with the robe of the reader, or chanter. This is a short phelonian, which in present times is worn by the reader only at his tonsure. It has the appearance of a priestly phelonian, but differs from it in that it is quite short, so that it barely covers the shoulders. It is put on the neck of the one being tonsured as a sign that he is taking up the yoke of the priesthood and is consecrated to the service of God. The reader now performs his services in another robe, called a "sticharion."

The sticharion is a long, straight robe with wide sleeves. As priests and bishops wear the sticharion beneath other robes their sticharion changes somewhat in form, and is called a "podriznik" ("under-robe"). The sticharion is usually made of white or other bright material, so as to remind the clergyman wearing it of that purity of life which is required of him by his service. The sticharion likewise represents the "garment of salvation and the robe of gladness," that is, a peaceful conscience and the spiritual joy in the Lord which proceeds from it. This is why, when putting on the sticharion at liturgy, the words are read: "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."

The robes of the subdeacon and the deacon, in addition to those already mentioned, likewise include the orarion, or orar. This is a sort of long, wide band with which the subdeacon girds himself cruciformly, while the deacon for the most part wears it on the left shoulder. The girding about with the orarion serves as a sign that by humility, chastity of his loins, and purity of heart the subdeacon must win the garment of purity. For this reason subdeacons, upon being invested with the orarion, already cannot enter into matrimony (Apostolic Canon XXVI, and Canon VI of the Sixth Ecumenical Counsel).

At the ordination of a subdeacon to the diaconate the orarion is unloosed, and the bishop lays it upon the left shoulder of the newly ordained deacon. Only at the liturgy, following "Our Father," does the deacon likewise gird himself cruciformly with the orarion, thus preparing himself for the communion of the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of the Lord. He usually wears the orarion on the left shoulder and, at the pronunciation of litanies and other diaconal exclamations, raises the end of the orarion, holding it with three fingers of his right hand, indicating the time for this or that sacred rite to the singers and to the priest himself. In ancient times the deacon wiped the lips of the communicants with the orarion. The word "orarion" comes either from the Latin word "oro" — "I ask," or, "I pray" —, or from the Greek word "wra" — "time" —, or from the Latin "os" — "lips." The orarion symbolizes angelic wings, for the service of the deacon symbolizes the service of the angels before the throne of God. Hence, on the orarion are sometimes embroidered the words of the angelic hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy." At the putting on of the orarion, however, no prayer is read by the deacon.

The cuffs, or "armlets," likewise pertain to the robes of the deacon. These are used in order to draw together the edges of the sleeves of the inner robe, as though to strengthen the hands, making them more capable for sacred service. The cuffs remind the clergyman that he must set his hope, not in his own strength, but in the right hand of God, His might and His help. For this reason at the putting of the cuff onto the right hand the prayer is read: "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." When putting the cuff on the left hand, the prayer is read: "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding and I will learn Thy commandments." The cuffs recall the bonds with which the most pure hands of the Lord were bound.

The following pertain to the robes of the priest.

The epitrachelion (from epi - "on" - and trachloV - "neck") — the "navinik" — is a vestment which encircles the neck from behind and extends downward across the breast. The epitrachilion is nothing other than the diaconal orarion, encircling the neck so that both ends descend down the front. In ancient times, at the ordination of a deacon to the priesthood, instead of vesting him in the epitrachelion the bishop would simply transfer the back end of the orarion to the right shoulder, so that both ends hung in front. This is evidenced by the very form of the epitrachilion, which is in appearance like an orarion folded in half. The epitrachelion indicates the augmented grace of the priesthood, bestowed upon the priest. When vesting in the epitrachelion the prayer is read: "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" (Ps. 132:2). Without his epitrachelion the priest, like a deacon without his orarion, does not perform a single service; he performs less festive services in the epitrachelion alone.

The zone (or belt) is a type of band with which the priest girds himself above the podriznik and the epitrachelion in order to more conveniently perform the services. The zone recalls the girding of the Lord Jesus Christ before the Mystical Supper, and signifies the might of God which strengthens the priest and the bishop for their high service to God and, simultaneously, their preparedness for this service. When putting on the zone the words are said: "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."

The nabedrenik and the palitsa are vestments which the priest receives as awards, the nabedrenik being the first priestly award and the palitsa already pertaining to the episcopal vestments, though it is also given to archimandrites and igumens and, as an award, to some protopriests. The nabedrenik is a four-cornered, elongated cloth which is hung at the thigh of the clergyman from two of its corners on a long ribbon, slung over the shoulder. The palitsa is a four-cornered, equilateral cloth, made either in the form of a square or of a diamond, which is hung at the right thigh from one corner. In liturgical books the palitsa is usually called the "epigonation" epigonation - which literally means "upon the knee." Both the nabedrenik and the palitsa symbolize the sword of the spirit, the spiritual weapon, which is the word of God, with which the pastor is armed against the enemies of the salvation of mankind. The nabedrenik is an award introduced by the Russian Church; in the East only the palitsa is known. When putting on the palitsa the prayer is read: "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" (Ps. 44: 4-5). "Palitsa" is the corrupted form of "politsa," from the word "pola" — a small skirt or tail, part of an article of clothing. The nabedrenik is worn on the right thigh; however, when the palitsa is awarded, the nabedrenik is hung at the left thigh and the palitsa is hung at the right. In present times the palitsa comprises an indispensable part of the vestments, not only of bishops, but also of archimandrites and, sometimes, abbots. It is given to protopriests as a high award.

"Phelonion" is a Cretan word meaning an all-covering robe. It is a long, wide vestment which covers the entire body, has no sleeves, and in which there is an opening made for the head. The phelonion is worn over the other vestments and covers them. Being decorated with many crosses, the phelonion is also called the "polystavrion" (from the Greek poluV "many" — and stauroV - "cross"), or "cross-covered robe." The ancient type of phelonion, which is preserved to this day in Greece, we altered somewhat: on the front side a section of the material is cut out, which is why it is impossible to fulfill the requirements of the Ustav which state that at certain times the priest must let the phelonion hang down.

Likewise, the priest must hold the holy Gospel not only in his hands, but with the phelonion. The phelonion symbolizes the chlamys in which the Lord was robed by the soldiers who mocked Him, and reminds the priest that in his service he represents the Lord, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for the justification of men, and that he must therefore clothe himself in righteousness in all his deeds and rejoice in the Lord. The words of the psalm which the priest reads when putting on the phelonion likewise speak concerning this: "Thy priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy saints with rejoicing shall rejoice" (Ps. 131:9). The priest vests in the phelonion for the more solemn divine services. Additionally, according to the Ustav, during the services the priest vests and divests several times, which in parish churches is far from being always observed due to various abbreviations that have been introduced into the services. By Ustav the phelonion is worn only at the more solemn moments of the services, such as the small entrance at Vespers, at the polyeleos, at the reading of the Gospel, and at the great doxology. At several services the priest must vest himself, not only in the phelonion, but in full vesture. All of the priests, no matter how many may be serving, will always be in full vesture for the performance of the Divine Liturgy and for the serving of Matins on the day of Holy Pascha. The rector alone vests in full vesture 1) when serving Vespers on the first day of Pascha, 2) at the bringing out of the cross on the day of the Exaltation, the Sunday of the Cross, and on the first of August, 3) on Great Friday at the bringing out of the Shroud and on Great Saturday at the procession with the Shroud, and 4) at the great blessing of water on Theophany.

Bishops, in addition the priestly vestments — the epitrachelion, sticharion (or podriznik), zone, and cuffs — in present times have, in place of the phelonion, the sakkos — a distinctive vestment which is the symbol of hierarchical dignity —, the omophorion, and then the mitre, cross, and nanedrennik, or panagia.

"Sakkos" is a Hebrew word meaning sackcloth, or rags, as a garment of sadness, humility, and repentance (Jerem. 48:37). It is the outer hierarchical vestment, similar in form to the sticharion, but shorter, somewhat wider in size, and adorned with bells. The sakkos has the same significance as the phelonion, for which reason when it is put on the same prayerful words of Psalm 131:9 are read. In ancient times only a few bishops vested in the sakkos, while the others wore phelonions. The bells on the sakkos symbolize the ringing out of the good news of the Word of God, which proceeds from the lips of the bishop.

The omophorion (from wmoV — "shoulder" — and ferw — "I carry") is a vestment that the bishop wears on his shoulders, or frame (in Russian, "rama") — hence its (Slavonic) name, "naramnik." This is a long, wide cloth, reminiscent of the diaconal orarion and the priestly epitrachelion, only wider and longer, which is worn at the top of the sakkos, with one end hanging down in front on the breast and the other behind on the back of the bishop. Without the omophorion the bishop does not perform a single service. The omophorion was originally made of wool and signified the lost sheep, that is, the sinful generation of mankind. The bishop with the omophorion symbolizes the Good Pastor, Christ the Savior, carrying the sheep that was lost on His shoulders. For this reason, when putting on the omophorion, the words are read: "Having taken our nature which had gone astray upon Thy shoulders, O Christ, Thou hast ascended, leading it to the God and Father." Because of this significance of the omophorion, during the serving of the liturgy it is taken off and put on again several times. At the moments when the bishop himself symbolizes Christ, he wears the omophorion; when the Gospel is read, the great entrance takes place, or the transformation of the Holy Gifts is performed, the omophorion is removed from the bishop, for in the Gospel and in the Holy Gifts Christ Himself appears to those praying. Usually, following the first removal of the omophorion from the bishop, another omophorion of a smaller size is put on him, which is accordingly called — in contrast to the first, "great" omophorion — the "small" omophorion. Both ends of the small omophorion hang down in front on the breast of the bishop; in length it is significantly shorter. According to the research of Prof. Dmitrievski it is precisely this small omophorion that should be acknowledged to be the ancient form of the hierarchical omophorion.

"Mitre" comes from the Greek mitrow - "I bind," meaning, specifically, "band," "diadem," or "crown." In liturgical books the mitre is called the "cap" ("shapka"). This is a royal adornment, and is given to the bishop because in his service he represents Christ the King. Additionally, the mitre serves as a sign of hierarchical power. It is meant to remind the bishop himself of the crown of thorns which the soldiers set upon the head of Christ, as well as of the napkin with which the head of the buried Savior was wrapped. When putting it on the words are said: "The Lord hath set upon Thy head a crown of precious stones; thou hast asked life and He shall give thee length of days."

In the Russian Church the mitre is also given to archimandrites and to some protopriests. At certain moments in the divine services the mitre is removed. The bishop removes the mitre during the Great Entrance, before the Symbol of Faith, for the whole time during which the air is waved above the Holy Gifts, from the words "take, eat" up until the transformation of the Holy Gifts, during the communion of the Holy Mysteries, and when he himself reads the Gospel (but not when he is listening to the reading). Archimandrites and protopriests remove the mitre for the whole time during which the Typicon calls for standing with bared heads — that is, at the same times as the bishop —, and also "at the hearing of the Holy Gospel," at the singing of "It is Truly Meet" and "Our Father," and at the appearance of the Holy Gifts at the end of the liturgy.

The cross. At baptism a cross is placed on every Christian, but is worn under the clothing. The bishop, however, wears the cross outside both his clothing and his vestments. The hierarchical cross is usually made of gold and adorned with precious stones. When putting on the cross the words of the Gospel are said: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

The same cross is given to archimandrites. It usually has a crown on top and a pendant below. A similar cross, though without the crown and pendent, is given as a very high award to some abbots and protopriests. In the Russian Church there is also a gold cross, without adornments, which has been given from the time of Emperor Paul I to all protopriests and to some priests as an award. In the Russian Church, from the time of Emperor Nicholas II, all newly ordained priests have been given a silver, eight-pointed cross. In the East these crosses are unknown. There is only the cross with adornments, as a distinction for bishops, archimandrites, and some protopriests, who are therefore called "stavrophorni," or "cross-bearing."

The nanedrennik, or Panagia (from pan — "all" — and agia — "holy"), or "All-holy." The panagia is otherwise known as the egkolpion ("encolpion"). This is a small, round icon depicting the Savior or the Mother of God, which is worn on the bosom (in Slavonic, "nedra"), i.e., on the breast, by bishops and by some archimandrites. The panagia was formerly made in the form of a folding shrine, having on one side an icon of the Mother of God and, on the other, one of the Savior or of the Holy Trinity — just as the refectory panagia, otherwise known as the "panagyriom," is arranged, into which a part of the prosphora in honor of the Mother of God is placed, which is itself called the "panagia." In monasteries to this day the rite of the elevation of the panagia is performed in remembrance of the appearance of the Mother of God to the Apostles after Her Assumption into heaven. Sometimes the relics of saints were placed in the panagia. Some bishops, such as patriarchs, and all heads of autocephalous, i.e., independent, churches, wear two panagias. With us, besides the patriarch, the Kievan metropolitans wore two panagias, in commemoration of the fact that they had once headed the Russian Church.

Besides the above-mentioned vestments, during hierarchical services the mantia, staff, and orletsi are also used.

The mantia (manduon - "mandion"), or pallium (an outer garment), is a monastic vestment which covers the entire body except for the head. In its freely billowing out it represents the wingedness of the angels, and is therefore called the angelic vestment. Enveloping the whole body, the mantia symbolizes the all-encompassing might of God, as well as the severity, piety, and humility of the monastic life, and the fact that neither the hands nor the other members of a monk’s body are alive for or capable of worldly, sinful deeds; all are dead. At the performance of the divine services monastics must be in the mantia (The Rudder, section 2, rule 18 of St. Nicephorus). Usually the monastic mantia is black in color and has no ornamentation whatsoever. The hierarchical mantia is peculiar in that it is of a violet hue; on it are sewn what are called tablets, or pomati, and springs; and it is fastened below, in the front, with two buttons. The tablets and lower fasteners also appear on the black mantia of an archimandrite. The tablets are four-cornered cloths, usually of a dark red color (for archimandrites, green as well), which are sewn onto the upper and lower edges of the mantia in pairs. They represent the Old and New Testaments, from which the clergyman must draw his teaching. On the tablets are sometimes sewn crosses or icons, embroidered with gold or other brightly colored threads. Besides the tablets, on the mantia of the bishop there are also springs. These are bands of various colors, white and red for the most part, which are sewn on alongside the mantia, representing the streams of teachings which flow from the lips of the bishop. On the mantia of the bishop there are also bells, as there were on the outer vesture of the Jewish high priest. According to custom, in some local Churches some bishops, such as patriarchs and metropolitans, wear a green or blue mantia. All monastics, including bishops, serve in the mantia at all times when the Ustav does not call for vesting in full vesture.

The crosier, or staff, is a sign of pastoral power over the flock and of fatherly care for them. It is therefore also called the paterhssa ("paterissa"), from pathr ("patir") — "father." The staff is given to the bishop as a sign that he is to shepherd the Church of Christ. In monasteries a staff is likewise given to the archimandrite and to the abbot as a sign of their spiritual power over the cloister of which they have been made the heads. The staff is made with a transverse, somewhat curved crossbar its top. Sometimes the heads of serpents are depicted in place of a crossbar, signifying the wisdom of pastoral power ("Be ye wise as serpents" — Mt. 10:16). The top of the staff is crowned with a cross. On the staff of a bishop, and sometimes of an archimandrite, there hangs at the grip the sulok, a small, gold-embroidered cloth, with which the top of the staff is wrapped for its adornment. The bishop makes entrances and exits with the staff in hand, while at all other times the staff is held by a reader called the "staff bearer," or "crosier carrier." He has not the right, when holding the staff, to lean upon it, but must hold it "slightly raised with both hands." During the small and great entrances at the liturgy the staff is carried at their head. At all other times the reader holds the crosier, usually standing by the icon of the Savior on the soleas.

The orletsi (from the Russian "oryel" — "eagle") are small, round rugs with the image of an eagle flying above a city. One who has been chosen for the episcopate is led up upon an orlets during his consecration, and thereafter has and uses orletsi at every divine service. On the orletsi a city is depicted, as a sign of the episcopacy in the city, as well as an eagle, signifying the purity of right teaching, in imitation of the eagle which is depicted with the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian. In order to convey this idea the eagle has a halo, as though revealing the light of theological knowledge and the gift of grace. At every service the orletsi are laid beneath the feet of the bishop, and remind him that he must in all his thoughts and actions be above all that is earthly and strive towards heaven, like the eagle.

The Meaning of the Sacred Vestments;

their Colors and Adornment.

The sacred vestments symbolize, for the most part, the abased condition of Christ the Savior, yet nonetheless the Holy Church adorns them with silver, gold, and precious stones. By this she shows that to her there is nothing more precious or more glorious than the sufferings of the Lord. Likewise the cross, on which the Lord endured the greatest of sufferings and torments, the Holy Church places on all of the church vestments, as a sign of the victory of the Lord over sin, death, and Hades, and by this indicates that she wishes to boast of nothing other than the cross of the Lord Jesus (Gal. 6:14).

Vestments exist in various colors. It has become the custom on feast days to use bright colors, and on days of fasting — dark colors. Today it is customary on Sundays to wear gold vestments; on days of commemoration of the Holy Apostles and the martyrs — red vestments; on feast days in honor of the Most Pure Theotokos — blue vestments; on days when prophets are commemorated — green vestments; and on weekdays during Great Lent and on Holy Week, except for Great Thursday and Great Saturday — black vestments. From Pascha until Pentecost, from the Nativity of Christ until Theophany, and on the Transfiguration of the Lord, white vestments are worn. On Great Saturday, immediately following the reading of the Epistle, during the singing of "Arise, O God," the Ustav dictates that the black vestments be changed for light ones. At the Paschal Matins it is customary for the vestments to be changed at every exit for the censing of the whole temple, thereby symbolizing the especial exultation of the Church. The sacrament of baptism is appointed to be performed in white robes, and the funeral, except for the Pentecostal period, in dark robes.

Just as monastics wear special headdresses, such as the black klobuk, kamilavka, and skufia, priests of the white clergy are given, as a form of distinction or award, the violet skufia, followed by the violet kamilavka. The name "skufia" comes from skufoV ("skifos") — "cup" —, as it resembles a cup in form. "Kamilavka" comes from the name of the material of which it was originally made in the East, which was prepared from the neck hair of the camel (kamhloV, "kamilos" - "camel" — and auchn, "avkhin" — "neck").

 

VI. Sacred Symbolic Acts

and Rites during the Divine Services

During worship various sorts of sacred acts and rites are employed, which are called symbolic because behind the visible, external manner of their performance a sacred thought lies hidden. Because of their prayerful sanctification by the performance of certain symbolic actions, ordinary corporeal, earthly objects attain a new, special religious value and meaning.

Included in the number of these symbolic actions are 1) the sign of the Cross, 2) bows and prostrations, 3) the blessing, 4) the lighting of candles, 5) censing, and 6) the sprinkling of holy water.

The custom of signing oneself during prayer with the sign of the Cross has its origins from apostolic times. To describe the cross upon themselves Orthodox Christians bring the first three fingers of the right hand together in honor of the Holy, Uniessential and Indivisible Trinity, and bend the other two down to the palm as a sign of the union of two natures in Jesus Christ — the Divine and the human. Thus composed, the fingers are first laid on the forehead as a sign of the sanctification of our mind, then upon the breast, signifying the sanctification of the heart, then on the right shoulder, followed by the left, as a sign of the sanctification of all of our strength and activities. When we combine the sign of the Cross with prayer we thereby entreat God to accept our prayer for the sake of the labors of His Divine Son upon the Cross. The sign of the Cross should be performed properly, unhurriedly, and devoutly.

Bows and Prostrations. Reverences, which we make upon entering the temple of God and during prayer in the same, serve for the expression of our pious feelings towards God — our love, humility before Him, and repentance. The Ustav strictly differentiates between bows and prostrations.

Bows are otherwise known as light bows, or "casts." They are accompanied by the prayer: "O God, cleanse me, a sinner, and have mercy on me." Bows are made when in the Ustav is written simply, "bow." These are made thrice upon entering the temple, at the reading or chanting of the Trisagion, "O come let us worship," and "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God," at other times as indicated in the Ustav, and likewise in place of prostrations when prostrations are suspended. The Typicon characterizes bows thus: "A bow is as far as a man can bow while standing upright, not falling to his knees, neither bowing his head down to the earth; this is the manner of the light bow, until he touches the ground with his hand." The prostration, or bow to the earth," is a falling down to the ground with bended knees, with the maker of the prostration touching his forehead to the earth. On Sundays and during the period of Pentecost, according to the rules of the Church (first Ecc. Coun., Can. 20; sixth Ecc. Coun., Can. 90; and Can. 15 of St. Peter of Alexandria), prostrations are completely suspended and replaced by bows, or, as they are also called, "bows from the waist." Kneeling is not an Orthodox custom, having spread among us only recently, being adopted from the west. The bow is an expression of our reverent feelings towards God and of our love for and humility before Him. The prostration is an expression of the deepest feeling of repentance, which is why there are such frequent prostrations during Great Lent, when they are combined with the reading of the prayer of Venerable Ephraim the Syrian, which likewise occurs on some days of other fasts.

The blessing by the serving clergyman is a sign of the giving of the blessing of God to men. It is the blessing of God because 1) during the service the clergyman is an image of the Savior Himself, 2) he signs those praying with the sign of the Cross, which is the instrument of our salvation, and 3) in the very arrangement of the fingers of the hand that blesses, the first letters of the name of the Savior are depicted: IC XC. The the serving clergyman’s blessing of the people has its foundation, primarily, in the right which elders have always had to bless the younger. Thus the Old Testament patriarchs blessed their children, and Melchizedek, a priest of the Most High God, blessed Abraham. Secondarily, in the command of God given to Moses concerning the Old Testament priests, it is stated: "They shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them" (Num. 6:27).

The lighting of candles. The use of candles and lamps during worship had a place already in the Old Testament, and appeared in the New Testament from the very beginnings of the Church of Christ. Necessity, which obliged the first Christians to gather for worship in the evening or at night, was the first occasion for the use of lamps. It is doubtless, however, that very early on lamps began to be used, not merely due to necessity, but also for greater solemnity of worship and for their symbolic significance. The canons of the Church call for the use of lamps at the performance of the sacrament of the Eucharist, at baptisms, and at burials, even if these should be performed by daylight. Lamps are used to signify that the Lord, who lives in light unapproachable (Acts 20:7-8), enlightens us with the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 4:6). Likewise, the saints who please God are lamps, burning and irradiating, as the Lord said of John the Baptist (Jn. 5:35). The presence of lamps at worship serves also to signify that the hearts of the faithful are aflame with fiery love for God and His saints (1 Thess. 5:19) and, finally, for the depiction of spiritual joy and the exultation of the Church (Is. 60:1).

For lamps, oil and wax should be used, which are offered as an offering to the temple by the faithful. Oil and wax, as being the most pure of materials, when used for burning signify the purity and sincerity of the offering, which is made for the glorification of the Name of God (Apostolic Canon 3). Oil indicates the fervor of men, like the fervor of the wise virgins who took oil with their lamps for the meeting of the bridegroom (Matt. 25:3-4); i.e., it indicates the desire of Christians to please God by their good works. For this, oil from trees is used. Wax, being gathered from fragrant flowers, represents the spiritual fragrance of the offering, the faith and love of those who offer it. Electricity, being a dead fire, should under no circumstances replace the living fire of the lamps, which were accepted by the New Testament Church already from the Old Testament Church. The Lord Himself in the Old Testament commanded Moses that in the tabernacle, in a gold lamp, pure oil should be burned (Ex. 27:20), for which the sons of Israel were to bring oil beaten from olives, pure and without sediment. The materials for burning, like every gift to God, must be of the very best.

Some of the lamps in the temple are stationary, while others are carried from place to place during sacred ceremonies. On the altar and the table of oblation candles are always placed, which are set in candlesticks. Before the icons oil and candles are lit. The vessels for this are called kandilas and lampadas. A kandila having from seven to twelve candles is called a polykandila. Seven candles signify the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and twelve — the choir of the Apostles. A kandila having more than twelve candles is called a panykadila.

The burning of lamps in the temple harmonizes with the hymns and sacred rites of the services. The more solemn the service, the more lamps are lit. In the Ustav it is stated when and how many lamps should be lit at which services. Thus, for example, during the Six Psalms nearly all the lamps are extinguished, while during the singing of the polyeleos all the candles in the temple are lit. At the liturgy, as being the most solemn of services, the most candles of all should be lit. The candles in the temple and in the altar, excepting those on the altar table and the table of oblation, are lit by the kandila lighter, or ponomar. The candles on the altar table and the table of oblation are prescribed to be lit and extinguished only be the priest or the deacon. At the consecration of a temple a candle is lit in the altar for the first time by the bishop himself. The faithful, upon coming into the church, light candles themselves before whichever icons they desire. This is an expression of love for and burning faith in the saint before whose image we place the candle.

Censing before the holy icons expresses our reverence for the saints depicted on these icons, while censing directed towards the faithful expresses the wish that they should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be fragrant like incense before the Lord by their good deeds. The smoke from the censer which envelops those praying symbolizes the grace of God which surrounds us. In general, censing expresses the wish of those praying that their prayers should rise to the throne of God, just as incense rises to heaven, and that they should be just as pleasing unto God as the fragrance of incense is pleasing. Censing is always coupled with prayer, which is pronounced by the bishop or priest who blesses the censer before the censing. This prayer contains a petition to God, that He might accept this incense as an odor of spiritual fragrance, i.e., that the people here standing and praying might be a spiritually pleasing fragrance unto Christ (II Cor. 2:15), so that the Lord, accepting this incense upon His most heavenly altar, should send down the grace of His Most Holy Spirit. For the censing a censer on small chains, a hand censer called a katsia, a vessel for incense called a ladonitsa (from the Russian "ladan" — incense), and other vessels are used, which are placed in specific places in the temple for the filling thereof with fragrance, as the Ustav indicates to do at Paschal Matins. Incense, or frankincense, is an aromatic arboreal resin from some trees; it is also sometimes prepared artificially from fragrant substances. The censing is performed at various moments in the services, sometimes by the priest alone, sometimes by the priest with the deacon, and sometimes by the deacon alone. When a bishop is serving the censing is sometimes performed by the bishop himself. The one censing, by rule, at every swing of the censer must form a cross with it, bowing towards the person or icon which he is censing. The deacon, at a censing by a priest or a bishop, precedes the latter with a candle in his hands. A bishop when censing is preceded, besides the deacon, by subdeacons with the dikiri and trikiri. There are various types of censings: sometimes only a certain part of the temple or a certain object, such as, for example, an analoy with an icon, or the cross, or the Gospel is censed. The order of the censing is described in detail in Chapter 22 of the Typicon.

A full censing of the temple from the altar proceeds as follows: First, all four sides of the altar table are censed, then the high place, the table of oblation (if the Holy Gifts are prepared and on the table of oblation, then the table of oblation first), and the whole altar. Then the one censing exits through the north doors onto the ambon and censes the royal doors, then the icons on the south side of the iconostasis, beginning with the icon of the Savior; then the icons on the north side of the iconostasis, beginning with the icon of the Mother of God; then, following, the right and left choirs, or clirosi, and all those standing in the temple. Then, circling the temple from the south side, he censes the icons of the whole temple, then enters the vestibule and censes the "beautiful doors;" coming out of the vestibule he proceeds towards the altar along the north side, censing all the icons in the temple on this side. Returning again to the royal doors, he censes the doors, the icon of the Savior, and the icon of the Mother of God, then enters the altar by the south door, after which, standing before the altar table, he censes it from in front. If the royal doors are open, then he exits onto the ambon and returns into the altar through the royal doors.

At a partial censing, the one censing, having censed the iconostasis, the choirs, and the people from the ambon, turns back around and censes anew the royal doors and the icons of the Savior and of the Mother of God, then enters the altar. Sometimes the censing begins from the middle of the temple, from the analoy on which lies the icon of the feast. Then the one censing first censes the icon lying on the analoy from all four sides, then enters the altar through the royal doors, censes the altar, exits from it again through the royal doors, and goes on to cense the whole temple in the usual order, after which he returns from the royal doors, not to the altar, but back again to the analoy with the icon in the center of the temple. Sometimes the censing is performed by two deacons at once. In this case they separate in opposite directions: one censes the southern side of the temple, the other — the northern side. Then they meet once again and cense together simultaneously.

The censing of the entire temple beginning from the altar occurs at Vespers at the beginning of the All-night Vigil and at the singing of "Lord, I have cried"; at Matins at its beginning, the singing of "The Blameless," the singing of the polyeleos, and also at the 8th and 9th odes of the canon; and at the liturgy at the end of the proskomede and the reading of the Hours. The censing of the whole temple beginning from the center of the temple occurs at festal Matins after the singing of the megalynarion, at Matins of Great Friday when the Twelve Gospels are read in the center of the temple, at the Royal Hours, on Great Friday, on the eves of the Nativity and Theophany, at which there are Gospel readings, and at Matins for Great Saturday at the singing of the lamentations. The censing of the altar and the iconostasis alone occurs at the liturgy during the reading of the epistle (though by Ustav it takes place during the singing of the "Alleluia" following the epistle) and during the singing of the Cherubic Hymn; at a hierarchical liturgy the bishop himself also censes immediately after the small entrance. It is essential to know that at the liturgy, following the censing of the whole altar, the one who is censing does not cense the clergy and church servers therein immediately, but first exits through the royal doors and censes the iconostasis, after which he returns into the altar, censes those therein, and again exits through the royal doors onto the ambon; he then censes the people standing in the temple, beginning with the choirs. Upon returning into the altar and censing the altar table he always censes the bishop or serving priest for the final time. The first time the bishop is censed, he is censed thrice; i.e, not one, as is usual, but three crosses are made with the censer. The censing of the altar table or of the table of oblation alone occurs at the Liturgy following the end of the proskomede, before the great entrance, following the great entrance, at the words: "Especially for the Most Holy…" and after the exclamation, "Save, O God, Thy people…"

 

VII. Liturgical Books

The books according to which worship is performed in the temple are called liturgical books. These are divided into simple and music (choral) books.

Simple books.

There are four types of simple liturgical books: 1) those for common services, 2) those for individual services for the needs of one or several persons, 3) those used for both types of service, and 4) those for worship at home without the participation of the clergy.

Books for Common Services.

First and foremost it is essential to know that for the compilation of any one service on any day of the year several books must be used. This is due to the fact that in the composition of every service some things are constant, being the unchanging parts of the given service, while other things change with the days of the week and the different days of the year. It would be impossible to set forth all of these changing and unchanging portions in one book, since the services change daily according to the sacred memorials and the commemorations of the holy pleasers of God celebrated by the Church. Therefore, in some books the unchanging parts of the services are set forth, and in others — those that change according to the various movable and immovable feasts.

Following are the books concerning the common services:

The Service Book (Sluzhebnik).

This is the book in which are set forth the unchanging parts of the daily services, as well as what specifically the priests and deacons must say and do. The Service Book contains within itself the orders of Vespers, Matins, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and additional sections, such as a compilation of dismissals, prokeimenons, the Calendar and, at the end, the Instructional Information, which explains how the clergy should react to various unexpected occurrences in the services.

The Chinovnik (Book of Rites) for Hierarchical Services.

This is the same as the Service Book, but is intended for use by bishops performing the services, and contains directions for all the peculiarities of hierarchical serving. Besides the orders of the three liturgies, it contains the orders for appointments to various church ranks and the order of the consecration of the antimins.

The Horologion.

This book, which contains the unchanging portions of the daily cycle of services, with the exception of the liturgy, is for use by readers and singers on the cliros. In it are set forth the orders of the Midnight Office, Matins, the First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours, Vespers, and Great and Small Compline.

It received its name, "Horologion," from the orders of the Hours contained within it. In the Horologion there is also an additional section, the contents of which varies in different editions. This usually includes the morning prayers, which are read before the Midnight Office, the order of the elevation of the panagia, the blessing for meals, the parakleses or supplicatory canon to the Theotokos, compiled by Theostiriktus the Monk, the prayers before sleep, troparia and kontakia, and theotokia, which conclude the singing of troparia and stichera. In the Great Horologion the Calender is also added. The Small Horologion is an abbreviation of the Great one. Only the supplements are affected by these abbreviations.

The Ochtoechos, or Book of the Eight Tones.

"Ochtoechos" comes from the Greek oktw — "eight" — and hcoV — "tone." This book usually consists of two parts, and contains the changing prayers for all eight tones (or melodies), which prayers are sung at the various church services of the weekly cycle, i.e., those services which change depending on the day of the week, as each day of the week has its own particular commemoration. The order of the changing services set forth in the Ochtoechos is as follows: the Sunday service of the first tone, the service for Monday of the first tone, then for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; then the Sunday service of the second tone, the service for Monday of the second tone, then for Tuesday, and so on until Saturday; then the Sunday service of the third tone, the service for Monday of the third tone; and so on, in the same succession, all the weekly services in all eight tones. The singing of these eight tones throughout the eight weeks is called, in the church Ustav, a "pillar." Six such pillars are sung in the church liturgical year. The singing of the Ochtoechos on weekdays begins from the Sunday of All Saints after Pentecost, and finishes before Saturday of Meatfare Week. During the period of Great Lent, the periods of Cheesefare Week and Holy Week which are joined, respectively, to the beginning and end of Great Lent, as well as the period from Pascha until Pentecost, the Ochtoechos is not sung on weekdays. The Ochtoechos is not sung on Sundays beginning from Palm Sunday and ending with the Sunday of All Saints. In addition, if on any Sunday or weekday there should fall one of the twelve feasts that is dedicated to the Lord, the singing of the Ochtoechos is likewise suspended. The singing of the Ochtoechos is also suspended on week days on which a feast of the Theotokos or of a saint occurs.

The Monthly, Festal, and General Menaions.

The monthly menaion (from mhnaion - "mhn" meaning "month") contains the changing prayers for all the days of the year, according to the days of each month, for all of the immovable feasts (that is, for those that are always on a specific day of a specific month). Therefore, in accordance with the number of months in a year, the Monthly Menaion consists of twelve books. At the end of each book special hymns are printed — the resurrectional Theotokia or, as they are known, the "dogmatica," the resurrectional Theotokia that are sung following the stichera of the aposticha, and the Theotokia sung "when there is a ‘Glory’ to the saint of the Menaion;" then, the dismissal Theotokia which are sung following the troparia on Sundays and feast days, and the dismissal Theotokia which are sung on weekdays following the troparia.

Besides the Monthly Menaion there is also what is called the Festal Menaion, or "Anthologion," or "Trephologion," the "Book of Light," in which are contained, selected from the menaion, services for the Lord, the Theotokos, and especially venerated feasts in honor of several saints.

The General Menaion contains the changing prayers, not for each saint individually, as in the Monthly Menaion, but general prayers for every particular group of saints; for example, general services for Apostles, Martyrs, Hierarchs, and so forth. Besides services to the saints, it likewise holds the general orders for feasts of the Lord, the Theotokos, the Cross, the Angels, the Forerunner, and the Councils. The General Menaion has a dual use: firstly, it is essential for use with the Monthly Menaion when services must be performed for saints for whom no separate service is written in the Monthly Menaion; and secondly, in impoverished churches where there is no complete set of all the liturgical books, the General Menaion serves in place of the twelve Monthly Menaions.

There is also the Supplementary Menaion which contains the services for saints recently glorified, who have therefore not yet entered into the Monthly Menaion.

The Lenten Triodion and the Festal Triodion (or Festal Menaion).

These two books contain the prayers for the movable days of the liturgical year, which depend on what day of the year Pascha arrives on. These books are thus called because the distinctive characteristics of their contents are incomplete canons, which for the most part consist of three (the first, eighth, and ninth) odes (in Greek, triwdion - "triodion" — "triode"), or of four (quatrode), or of two (diode).

The Lenten Triodion contains the prayers of the Sundays preparatory to Great Lent, the prayers of Great Lent itself, and the prayers of Holy Week. The first service contained in the Lenten Triodion is the service for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, and the last is the service for Great Saturday. On weekdays the prayers of the Lenten Triodion replace the prayers of the Ochtoechos. From the Ochtoechos only a few sedalia and exapostilaria are taken; these, however, are printed in the Triodion itself, so that it is possible to dispense with using the actual book of the Ochtoechos. During the period of Great Lent only on Sundays are resurrectional hymns for each given tone taken from the Ochtoechos. During the singing of the Lenten Triodion the singing of the Menaion is not suspended, but there are several days when the Menaion is likewise set aside and the entire service is performed from the Triodion alone.

The Festal Menaion contains the prayers beginning from the first day of Pascha and ending with the Sunday of All Saints following Pentecost. The Festal Menaion, like the Lenten Triodion, at some times replaces the Menaion and at others is sung together with it. The Sunday hymns of the Ochtoechos are printed in their places in the Festal Menaion, the result being that one may do without the Ochtoechos.

Several orders from the Lenten Triodion and the Festal Menaion are printed in separate books. Such are the Order of the First Week of Great Lent, the Order of Holy Week, the Order of the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha and for all of Holy Week, and others.

The Irmologion.

This book chiefly contains a compilation of the irmosi of all the canons of all eight tones, from which it receives its title. Besides this it contains several unchanging hymns that are essential for singers on the cliros, such as all that is sung at the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, and the Presanctified Gifts, the Theotokia for Sundays and for weekday services, the Triadica of the tone, the troparia sung at "the Blameless" for Sunday and funeral services, the hymns sung before and after the reading of the Gospel at Matins, the hymns from Holy Scripture which are sung at the beginning of each ode of the canon, the refrains at the ninth ode of the canon for feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos, "Let Every Breath…," the sticheron, "Most blessed art Thou…," and the Great Doxology.

 

The Typicon, or Ustav.

This book contains detailed directions as to on what days and at what hours, at what divine services and in what order the prayers contained in the Service Book, the Horologion, and especially the Octoechos, Menaions, and Triodion should be offered up. This is a most essential guide for the performance of the divine services decently and in order.

The Typicon is divided by content into three parts. The first part, from chapters 1 to 47, contains general instructions concerning various services, instructions as to what the prayerful disposition of those praying should be during various services, and the rules for the life of monastics. The second part, from chapters 47 to 52, contains the Calendar for the whole year, with indications of the peculiarities of the services for all the days of the church year and the peculiarities of the services of the Holy Forty-day Fast up until the Sunday of All Saints. The third part, from chapter 52 until the end, is like an appendix and a supplement to the first two parts. Also joined to the Typicon is a table for the determination of the day of the celebration of Pascha, known as the "sighted paschalion" ("zrachaja paschalia").

Books for Individual Services.

These are of two sorts. Some of them have contents which differ completely from those of the books for common worship; others contain excerpts from the books for common worship which have been adapted for home use.

The first type of books for individual services includes the following:

The Book of Needs (the Trebnik).

This book contains an account of the sacred rites and prayers, called needs, which are performed according to the needs and requirements of one or more people at times dictated by the circumstances of their lives. Such sacred rites include, first and foremost, the orders of all the sacraments, as they comprise the first and most essential requirement for all Christians; then the orders of the burial of the reposed, the blessing of water, the tonsure of monks, the consecration of temples, and many others concerning various occurrences in the lives of Christians.

There is a Great, a Small, and a Supplemental Book of Needs.

The Great Book of Needs consists of two parts. The first part contains, mainly, the orders of the sacraments and other sacred rites, which accompany a man from birth and counsels him at his departure into eternity. The second part contains, for the most part, short prayers for various needs. Also to the Book of Needs added in an addition are the Calendar and the "Alphabetic Classification of Names," the latter being a list of Christian names.

The Small Book of Needs is excerpted from the Great Book of Needs for the purpose of convenience, in order to have a small book for the performance of needs, especially those needs which must be served outside the temple.

The Supplemental Book of Needs contains within itself the orders for the consecration of a temple and the consecration of things pertaining to the temple, such as the church utensils, vestments, icons, and so forth. This Supplemental Book of Needs is often combined into one book with the Small Book of Needs.

Ceremonies for Uniting the Heterodox

to the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church.

This book is otherwise known as "The Book of Rites of Unification to Orthodoxy." As the Orthodox Church does not unite all heterodox unto itself in the same way, but does so in one way for those who have never been baptized (such as Jews and Muslims), in another for those who have been baptized but not anointed with holy chrism (such as Lutherans and other Protestants), and in another for those both baptized and chrismated, but not belonging to the Orthodox Church — there exist several different rites which are all combined in one small book. A few rites are also published in separate books.

The Book of Supplicatory Services.

This book contains rites for supplicatory services — molebens — for the new year, for the beginning of children’s studies, for the ailing, for those traveling, in time of drought, and many others for various occurrences in life.

The Order for the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

This is a rite of supplicatory service for the conversion of those in error, which is appointed to be served on the first Sunday of Lent, called the Sunday of Orthodoxy, with the anathematization of heretics and the "memory eternal" and "many years" for the champions of the holy Orthodox faith. The first part of this rite is performed in all churches, the second only in cathedrals.

Books for Home Usage.

These books mainly contain more or less extensive excerpts from books used for common services. These include the following:

The Rule, known in full as the "Rule for Those Preparing for the Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ." It contains all the prayers essential for preparing oneself for Holy Communion, in consecutive order.

The Book of Canons contains the Morning Prayers, the Canon with Akathist to Sweetest Jesus, the Canon with Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, the Canon to the Guardian Angel, the Prayers Before Sleep, the Canons for Each Day of the Week, the Canon and Prayers for Holy Communion, the General Service "for all days," and the Order of the Singing of the Twelve Psalms.

The Book of Akathists contains various akathists.

The Prayer Book contains excerpts from various liturgical books. There exist more complete prayer books as well as abbreviated versions.

Books for Common and Individual Services.

These consist of readings from the Holy Scriptures. Such are the Gospel, the Apostle, and the Psalter.

The Gospel.

The Liturgical Gospel, which usually lies upon the altar table over the antimins, is accordingly likewise called the "Altar Gospel." It contains the glad tidings of all four Evangelists — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — divided by chapters and by church beginnings. "Beginnings," or "readings," are the sections appointed by Ustav to be read at certain services on certain days of the liturgical year. Each of the four Gospels has its own tally of both chapters and readings. Before each reading a star is printed, while below is written when it is to be read, as well as the words with which the reading must begin. In the back of the Altar Gospel tables are placed which indicate on what days of the year and when each reading is to be read. The first table indicates the order of the readings by week, beginning from the first day of Pascha; the second table indicates the readings according to the day of the month (the Calendar). At the end, readings for various ranks of saints are indicated, as well as for various occurrences, at the performance of various needs.

The Apostle.

The Apostle contains the Acts of the Holy Apostles, the seven catholic epistles, the fourteen epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, and sometimes the book of Revelation, which we do not read during the services. The book of Acts and the Epistles are divided into chapters. In addition to this the entire Apostle is separated into readings (except for the book of Revelation, as it is not read). The tally of these readings throughout the whole book is one common tally. In the Apostle, just as in the Gospel, a star stands before every reading, while below is indicated when the reading is read and with what words that reading must begin. At the end of the Apostle the same kinds of tables are placed as those at the end of the Gospel, indicating the order of the readings: first by week, beginning from the first day of Pascha; then the Calendar, indicating the reading according to the day of the month; then the readings for different ranks of saints and for various occurrences, at the performance of needs. Indicated simultaneously are the prokeimena, which are sung before the reading of the Apostle, and the "alleluiaria," which follow the reading of the Apostle, as well as the "communion hymns," which are sung at the liturgy during the communion of the clergy in the altar.

The Psalter.

There are two kind of Psalter: the usual Small Psalter and the Psalter with Order, or Sequence, also colloquially called the "Ordered Psalter."

The Small Psalter contains all 150 psalms which are found in the Bible, in the same order, but dividing them into twenty kathismata, each kathisma being divided into three "glories." Before and after each kathisma are found the Trisagion, penitential troparia, and prayers. In the beginning of the Small Psalter tables are placed which indicate which kathismata are chanted, when, during what periods of the liturgical year, and at what services. At its end are placed the Hymns of the Holy Scriptures, which are read or sung at Matins with the canon; the Megalynaria for Feasts of the Lord, the Theotokos, and the saints, with their selected psalms; and the Order following the Departure of the Soul from the Body. At the very end are the Book for Commemoration and the Rite of the Singing of the Twelve Psalms.

The Psalter with Order contains, as an appendix, the entire Horologion, in which are placed not only the Hours but also the Inner Hours, and also the Calendar with all the troparia and kontakia for every day of the liturgical year — as well as for the period of Great Lent, with the preparatory weeks and Holy Week, and for the period from Pascha until the Sunday of All Saints —, the troparia and kontakia from the Ochtoechos, and the troparia and kontakia from the General Menaion. At the end is included, in its entirety, the Rule for Holy Communion with all the canons and akathists pertaining to it, just as in the "Rule" and the "Book of Canons;" and also the Paschalion.

The Ordered Psalter is intended mainly for liturgical use, just as the Small Psalter is for home use and for reading for the departed.

On Music Books.

Liturgical music books are intended for use by singers on the cliros. In their contents and composition they correspond to the simple liturgical books. The Church Obihod of Notational Singing contains those hymns which constantly, or at least more often than others, are sung at Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgies, and the unchanging as well as the changing hymns from the Ochtoechos, the Menaion, and the Triodion. There is also a special Ochtoechos of Notational Singing which contains notes for the resurrectional services of all eight tones. Then there are the Irmologion of Notational Singing, the Feasts of Notational Singing, and the Lenten Triodion and Festal Menaion of Notational Singing. For those studying notational singing there is the Study Obihod of notational church singing. The word "obihod" signifies domestic or constant usage.

 

VIII. Understanding the

Various Cycles of Services

The church prayers which are used in worship are connected either with the time of day at which the service is performed, with the day of the week (or ‘sedmitsa,’ in Church Slavonic), or with the day of the year (that is, with a definite date and month). In this way three cycles of services may be distinguished: 1) the daily cycle, 2) the weekly cycle, and 3) the yearly cycle. From a combination of these three elements the services for every given day are compiled.

1. The Daily Cycle of Services.

Already in the Old Testament the sanctification by prayer of specific hours of the day had been established. This custom carried over into Christianity. The services appointed by the Holy Church for common prayer, which are performed every day at prescribed hours, are nine in number: 1) Vespers, 2) Compline, 3) the Midnight Office, 4) Matins, 5) the First Hour, 6) the Third Hour, 7) the Sixth Hour, 8) the Ninth Hour, and 9) the Divine Liturgy. These services comprise the daily cycle of services, and thus are called "daily." In each of these services a specific idea is developed, in connection with specific sacred remembrances.

According to ancient custom, Church liturgical days begin from the evening. For this reason the daily cycle of services begins with Vespers.

Vespers is the name given to the service which is performed towards the end of the day, in the evening, in thanksgiving for the past day and for the sanctification of the approaching night. It begins with the reading of the introductory psalm 103, in which the wisdom of the creator of the universe is glorified, and consists of prayers for all the members of the Church and their needs, the reading of psalms and the singing of verses with prayers to God that we be heard, of the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, and the saints, and of petitions for various spiritual blessings. It finishes with the prayer of Symeon the God-receiver, "Now Lettest Thou Thy Servent," and sometimes with the prayer containing the Archangelic salutation of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, "O Theotokos Virgin, Rejoice." In this way Vespers calls to mind Old Testament times, beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the birth into the same of the Savior of the world.

Compline is performed before retiring for sleep, and consists of the reading of psalms and prayers in which we ask of God forgiveness of sins, help, and defense from enemies visible and invisible, who seek to ensnare our souls and are especially dangerous during sleep, the Symbol of Faith, and prayers to the Theotokos ("O Undefiled, Untainted…") and to Christ the Savior that we be blessed "on approaching sleep." Compline is performed at later hours, after Vespers. There exist both Great and Small Compline. Great Compline is performed only during Great Lent and on the eves of the feasts of the Nativity of Christ, Theophany, and the Annunciation (when the latter falls on a weekday during Great Lent). Small Compline is performed throughout the whole year.

The Midnight Office is a service which must be performed at midnight, or in any case long before the morning dawns, before Matins. Because in the parable of the ten virgins the Lord Jesus Christ portrayed Himself in the person of the bridegroom who came at midnight, Christians have had the custom to sanctify this hour with prayer, so as to meet the Lord, like the wise virgins, in wakefulness. In addition to this, midnight is hallowed for Christians by the remembrance that at that time the Lord sorrowed and travailed in the garden of Gethsemane even to the sweating of His blood, was betrayed by the traitorous Judas, and was subjected to bitter reviling while on trial before the high priest. The Midnight Office consists of the reading of the penitential psalms 50 and 118, which portray the blessedness of blameless men; of the Symbol of Faith, the hymn "Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh," and prayers for the departed. In this way the Midnight Office inclines us to repentance, the continual preservation of the law of the Lord, and spiritual vigilance in expectation of the unexpected Second Coming of Christ.

Matins is a service which is performed in the early morning, before the rising of the sun. It inclines those praying to give thanks to the Lord for the relaxation of the past night and for the gift of the approaching day, and also recalls the appearance of the Savior in the world and the resurrection of Christ. Matins begins with prayers for the Tsar, and thereafter consists of the reading of six psalms, which portray the dialogue of a human soul with God; prayers for the good estate of the Church of God and all of her members, the reading of kathismata, the glorification of God and His saints in troparia, sedalia, and canons, the laudatory psalms and the Great Doxology, and, in conclusion, petitions for various spiritual benefactions.

The First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours consist of prayers compiled along one and the same lines: the opening prayers, three psalms which relate to the event being recalled, a troparion, a Theotokian, a closing prayer common to all the Hours, Compline, and the Midnight Office, "Thou Who at all times and at every hour…," and a particular closing prayer at the end of each hour. The First Hour, according to the reckoning still accepted in the East, corresponds to the seventh hour of the morning by our reckoning; the Third Hour, to the ninth hour of the morning; the Sixth Hour, to the twelvth hour of the day; and the Ninth Hour, to the third hour of the afternoon. At the First Hour we glorify God for His gift to us of material light, for at this hour the sun rises; at the Third Hour the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles is recalled; at the Sixth — the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, and at the Ninth Hour — His death on the cross.

The Divine Liturgy is the focus, the most important service of the entire daily cycle, in relation to which all the other services are but in preparation for its fitting performance and the communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. For this reason the clergyman who desires to perform the Divine Liturgy is obliged by the rules of the Church to serve or, at the very least, listen to or read at home all the other services of the daily cycle.

Originally all of these services, especially in monasteries, were performed separately, each at its own appointed time of day.

Subsequently, however, for the convenience of the faithful who were kept occupied by everyday worldly labors, they began to come together into three groups: in the evening the Ninth Hour, Vespers, and Compline; in the early morning the Midnight Office, Matins, and the First Hour; and during the daytime, in the before-dinner hours, the Third and Sixth Hours and the Divine Liturgy. This order is somewhat modified during Great Lent, when by Ustav the Ninth Hour and Vespers precede the performance of the Divine Liturgy. On the eves of great feasts the All-night Vigil is performed, which comprises Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. In the event that an All-night Vigil is served it is preceded by the serving of the Ninth Hour and Small Vespers, the latter of which is an abbreviated form of Great Vespers. Compline and the Midnight Office are completely dropped, since for them, if the vigil were to in fact continue throughout the night, no time would remain. In present times, due to human weakness and negligence, the All-night Vigil remains such only in name; in its length it takes up far less than even half the night, for in lay temples it often lasts only for all of one and a half or two hours.

2. The Weekly Cycle of Services.

Besides the prayers of the daily cycle that remain unchanging from day to day, into the composition of the services still other changing prayers are introduced, which are related to the commemorations which the Church connects with every day of the week.

On the first day of the week the holy Church remembers and solemnly glorifies the Resurrection of Christ, for which reason this day is called resurrectional, or (in Russian) Resurrection. In the Church Ustav, in Slavonic, Sunday is called "nedelja" (or "no doings"), that is, the day on which nothing is done: no one works.

On Monday the bodiless angelic hosts are glorified, who, after the Mother of God, who is honored in the divine services daily, occupy the primary place in the choirs of the saints.

On Tuesday the greatest of those born of women is glorified: the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John.

On Wednesday the treachery of Judas, who gave his Lord and Teacher over to death to the rulers of the Jews, is remembered. For this reason this day, except during a few periods in the year, is kept by fasting.

On Thursday the Holy Apostles of Christ and Hierarch Nicholas, archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the wonderworker, are glorified.

On Friday the crucifixion and death on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ are commemorated, for which reason this day, like Wednesday, is kept by fasting.

Saturday, being a day of rest, is consecrated to the especial commemoration of the Mother of God, the holy martyrs, and all the saints who have attained repose in the Lord, and, likewise, to the commemoration of all the reposed who have departed in the faith and hope of eternal life.

3. The Yearly Cycle of Services.

Each day of the year — every day of each of the twelve months of the year — is dedicated to the remembrance of either a particular sacred event, one close to the heart of the Christian, or to the memory of a certain saint. The special prayers, hymns, readings, and rites established in honor of these events and persons constitute the yearly cycle of services. Some of the divine services of the yearly cycle are performed in a more festive manner and are called feasts. These are divided into feasts of the Lord, of the Theotokos, and of the saints. Several of the feasts are always performed on fixed days of the year, and are therefore called immovable. The greatest of all Christians feasts — Pascha, the day on which we glorify the Resurrection of Christ — is not restricted to a fixed day of the year, but occurs on different days in the period of time from March 22 to April 25, since according to the establishment of the Church it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the vernal equinox. Thus, Pascha is a movable feast. Several other feasts are celebrated depending on the date of Pascha, and hence are likewise movable. Feasts are divided into great, mid-ranking, and small feasts, depending on the level of solemnity. The most important feasts are numbered at twelve, and are accordingly called the twelve great feasts. Pascha is not included in their number, as it is "the Feast of feasts and triumph of triumphs."

The Compilation of a Church Service

On a Given Day.

Each church service consists of a combination of the "unchanging" parts of the service, which are inherent in it daily, with the "unchanging" parts of the service, the contents of which depend on what day of the week it is and what date of what month of the year. The unchanging parts of the service, which, as it were, constitute its framework, are taken from the Service Book by the clergy, and from the Horologion by the readers and singers. If it is a Sunday or a normal weekday, then to these unchanging prayers are added changing ones from the Ochtoechos, Menaion, and Psalter, or from the Lenten Triodion or the Festal Menaion, with additions from the Menaion or without the Menaion. On days of great and mid-ranking immovable feasts the changing parts of the service are taken only from the Menaion, while on the days of movable feasts, only from the Lenten Triodion or the Festal Menaion. The rule for combining the unchanging portions with the changing, and precisely what to select, are indicated for the most part "in place" in the liturgical books themselves. Everything is indicated and explained in detail in the Typicon. Several explanatory chapters of the Typicon which contain such directions, called Markovy Chapters, are likewise printed in the Menaions and the Triodion "in place," or collected together at the end. Before every service it is essential to prepare all the necessary books ahead of time and, having opened them, to look over the whole order beforehand, following the directions given in the books.

The text of liturgical books is usually printed in black type, while all directions and explanations are printed in red type (known as "kinovar").

The Titles of the Unchanging Prayers.

The unchanging prayers, which are read and sung daily at every service, are the following:

1) The Opening Prayers. Thus termed are the prayers with which all of our church services usually begin, and which therefore likewise bear the title of "the usual beginning." Every service begins with the summons by the priest or bishop to give praise to God. Such summonses, or exclamations, are three in number: 1) "Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages" (before the beginning of most services), 2) "Glory to the Holy, and consubstantial, and life-creating, and indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages" (before the beginning of the All-night Vigil), and 3) "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages" (before the beginning of the Liturgy). After the exclamation the reader or the choir, on behalf of all present, by the word "Amen," meaning "truly," expresses concurrence with this praise, and immediately commences to praise God: "Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee." Then, preparing himself and those praying for worthy prayer, the reader, or sometimes the choir, addresses the prayer "O Heavenly King" to the Holy Spirit, Who alone can bestow upon us the gift of true prayer (Rom. 8:26), in order that He might dwell in us, cleanse us of all impurity, and save us. Then the reader addresses the three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity with a prayer for cleansing, reading: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us" thrice; "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…," "O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us…," "Lord, have mercy" thrice; "Glory… both now…" again, and then finally reading the Lord’s prayer, "Our Father…," as a sign that this is the greatest model for all prayers. After this prayer the priest makes the exclamation: "For Thine is the kingom, 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." The reader affirms, "Amen," and reads "Lord have mercy" twelve times, "Glory: both now…," and "O come, let us worship…" thrice, after which the psalm with which the given service begins is usually read. From time to time, and especially often during Great Lent, these prayers of the usual beginning are again repeated in the middle of the service, so as to again turn the attention of those praying to these most ancient prayers for the cleansing of our souls. In several instances the reading of these prayers begins directly with "Holy God," while if the given service is combined into one with the one preceding it, only "O come, let us worship" is read.

2) The Litanies, or Ektenias. These are lengthy intercessions which the deacon pronounces on the ambon ("ektenia" comes either from the Greek ekteiw - "I sustain," or from ektenwV - "fervent"). This intercession is divided into several sections, each of which is concluded with the words, "Lord, have mercy," or, "Grant this, O Lord." In these litanies all possible good things essential for spiritual and bodily life are requested for those praying. There exist five forms of litany: 1) the great litany, 2) the augmented litany, 3) the litany of intercession, 4) the small litany, and 5) the litany for the departed.

3) Exclamations. During the time that the deacon on the ambon pronounces the litany aloud, the priest in the altar inwardly reads a private prayer, the end of which he prounounces aloud, timed so that he pronounces these words immediately after the deacon finishes the litany. The ends of these prayers, pronounced aloud by the priest, are called exclamations. In them are usually expressed the basis of why we, praying to the Lord, may hope for the fulfillment of our prayers, and why we have the boldness to turn to God with petitions. Several exclamations simply serve to complete the litany, not being preceded by any private prayer. For the most part they begin with the word "for," i.e., "because," or "since."

4) Every church service finishes with special hymns, after which the priest or bishop pronounces the words of benediction for the departure from the temple, which bear the title of "dismissal." The order of the complete dismissal is thus: the deacon or, in his absence, the priest himself, says: "Wisdom," that is to say, let us be attentive to the most wise meaning of the words to be pronounced. Then the priest, addressing himself to the Mother of God, exclaims: "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us." The choir sings, glorifying the Mother of God, "More honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim…" Giving thanks to the Lord for the service that has been accomplished, the priest further exclaims: "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to Thee," at which the choir sings: "Glory…," "both now…," "Lord, have mercy" thrice, and then "Father, bless." Following this, the priest or the bishop, turning to face the people from the ambon, says: "May Christ our true God…," and goes on to enumerate the saints whom we have addressed during the past service, that is, the Mother of God, the saint of the day, the saint of the temple, and the Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and completes the dismissal by saying that, by the prayers of these saints, the Lord will "have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind." The giving of the dismissal is the sign that the service has finished, and that the faithful may leave the temple.

The Titles of the Changing Prayers.

Depending on this or that feast or day of commemoration of a saint, at the service certain excerpts from the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are read. These readings bear the names of the books from which they were taken. Additionally, for any given feast or saint being glorified certain hymns are sung, which bear the following titles:

1) Troparion (troparion, from the Greek "tropoV" — a moral or model — or from tropaia" — a trophy or sign of victory — or from "trepw" — "I address"). This is a hymn which, in short but expressive terms, depicts the occasion of a feast or the life of a saint. For example: "Thy Nativity, O Christ our God…" or "The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith…"

2) Kontakion (from the Greek word "kontakion;" or the diminutive form of kontax — "spear" —; but most likely derived from "kontoV," the rod upon which a scroll of parchment is wound, or from "kontakia," furls of parchment inscribed on both sides). This is a short hymn which, like the troparion, portrays the essence of the event being celebrated or the character traits of the saint being glorified. The difference between the troparion and the kontakion lies mainly in the place which they occupy in the service. Troparia are sung at the end of Vespers and at the beginning and the end of Matins, while the kontakion is always in the middle of Matins, immediately after the sixth ode of the canon. In addition, the troparion principally portrays the external side of the occasion of the feast, while the kontakion marks its inner essence and significance. Some of the better-known kontakia: "Today the Virgin gives birth to Him Who is transcendent in essence…" and "To Thee the Champion Leader…"

3) Megalynarion. This is a hymn containing the glorification of a feast or saint, which is sung at the All-night Vigil or festal Matins, first by the clergy in the center of the temple before the icon of the feast or saint, then several times by the singers on both clirosi.

4) Sticheron (from the Greek "stichra" — "many verses"). This is a hymn consisting of many verses written in the same meter of versification (in the Greek, since in the Slavonic translation the meter was, of course, lost), most of which are preceded by verses from the Holy Scriptures, mainly from the psalms. Each sticheron contains one and the same main thought, which is unfolded in diverse ways, very artistically and poetically, in living images and comparisons. Many stichera are sung at every divine service, but they have various titles. If stichera are sung following the verses of the psalm, "Lord, I have Cried," they are called the "stichera of Lord I have cried;" if stichera are sung after the verses of the psalm, "Let Every Breath Praise the Lord," they are called the "stichera of the praises." At the end of Vespers and of weekday matins there are also stichera which are called the "stichera of the aposticha." In addition there are also the stichera of the Litia, which are sung at the exit of the clergy into the vestibule for the Litia.

5) Theotokion (qeotokion). This is a hymn consecrated to the honor of the Mother of God. Thus called is the final sticheron of each of the aforementioned groups of stichera, which is always sung following "Glory, both now," and contains a glorification of the Mother of God. However, on days of great feasts the sticheron of the feast is sung at "Glory, both now" instead of the Theotokion. A Theotokion that contains within itself — simultaneously with the glorification of the Mother of God — an exposition of the dogma of the incarnation of the Son of God from Her, or that speaks concerning the union in Jesus Christ of two natures — the Divine and the human, uncommingling and indivisible —, or that tells of something else concerning the God-manhood of Christ, is called a Dogmaticon — in Greek, dogmatikon - and means "enactment," "teaching," "dogma." Such a title is usually applied to the Theotokion which concludes the stichera at "Lord, I have Cried" at Small and Great Resurrectional Vespers, served on Saturday evening. Ven. John of Damascus is considered the author of the "Dogmatica." There are eight of these in all, according to the number of the eight tones.

The number of stichera may be, depending on the level of solemnity of the feast, ten, eight, six, or four. This is shown in liturgical books by the specific expression, "ten stichera," "eight stichera," and so on. The indication of these numbers has an important practical purpose for the correct formation of the service, in that it determines the number of psalm verses which must be sung with the stichera, preceding each sticheron. First the verse of the psalm which corresponds in number is sung, then, after it, the sticheron itself. If there should not be enough stichera they may each be repeated twice or even three times, as is often directly indicated in liturgical books after the stichera by the word "twice" or "thrice."

6) Akathist (in Greek, akaqistoV - "nesedalion" — a service during which sitting is not permitted). This is especial laudatory singing in honor of the Lord, the Mother of God, or a saint, consisting of twelve kontakia and twelve ikosi. In the liturgical ustav the reading of the Akathist of the Mother of God is called for on the fifth Sunday of Great Lent at Matins of "the Laudation of the Most Holy Theotokos." (The author of this akathist is considered to be Sergei, Patriarch of Constantinople (610 — 638), but some point to George of Pisidia as the author, while others suggest that it was compiled by Patriarch Photius.) In present times akathists are used for home and cell rules, and are also read by clergy preparing for the performance of the services.

7) Ikos. This comes from the Greek oikoV, which means house, building, compartment, or repository. It is historically believed that kontakia are of Syrian origin, and in Syrian "deth," or "house," can also mean "verse," just as in Italian "stanza" means both "verse" and "room." The ikos usually comes after the sixth ode of the canon at Matins directly following the kontakion, and presents a more thorough development of the idea expressed in the kontakion, always culminating in the same words as the latter.

8) Sedalion (kaqisma). As its very name indicates, the hymn thus termed is that during which those praying are permitted to sit. This is because immediately following the singing of the sedalion the Ustav calls for the reading of the instructive works of the Holy Fathers, which are listened to while sitting. Sedalia occur at Matins, one after every kathisma; i.e., two or three sedalia in all, since at Matins two or three kathismata are usually read. They likewise appear after the third ode of the canon.

9) Hypakoi (from the Greek upakouein, which means to answer, to echo). This is a hymn that in antiquity was sung by the people, echoing the reader or chanter. It may also come from another Greek word, upakoh, which means obedience or attentiveness, since before the reading of the Gospel, which recounts the Resurrection of Christ, particular attentiveness to themselves was required of the faithful. In present times this is a purely conventional title, which merely indicates the place of this hymn in the divine service. It is usually located at Sunday Matins after the resurrectional troparia — "The Assembly of the Angels" — and the small litany following these troparia. This same hypakoi is also appointed at the Sunday Midnight Office.

10) Antiphons (from the Greek words anti and fwnh - "voice" — "counter-singing," or singing by turns on two clirosi). Such are the "Antiphons of Matins," which are sung at Sunday Matins before the reading of the Gospel. Antiphons of different content are sung at the beginning of the Liturgy on weekdays and on feasts of the Lord.

11) Prokeimenon (from prokeimenoV kanna - "lying in advance"). This is a verse which is pronounced by the reader and repeated by the choirs before the reading of lessons, the Apostle, and the Gospel. The prokeimenon serves as a kind of preface to the reading of Holy Scripture, and expresses the essence of the commemorated event or a characteristic of the saint being glorified.

12) Canon (in Greek, kanwn, possibly related to kanna - a staff, specifically a straight stick, used for measuring). For church writers this means the "rule" according to the model or plan of which the canons are compiled. The canon consists of a series of sacred hymns in honor of a feast or saint, which comprise the central part of every Matins. Thus, the canon is a type of church hymn having a most strictly consistent defined literary form. The canon consists of nine parts, called "odes." Each ode consists of what are called irmosi and troparia. The irmosi are sung, while the troparia are currently usually read. The irmos (in Greek, eirmoV - "connection") serves to connect the troparia. Every canon has its own definite subject, a single definite theme, which is developed in all of the odes. For example, in one canon the Resurrection of Christ is glorified: this canon is called resurrectional. In another the Resurrection of Christ together with the cross of Christ is glorified; hence this canon is called cruciresurrectional. In a third the Most Holy Theotokos is glorified, and it is hence called Theotokian. Before every troparion of the canon a particular refrain, corresponding to the main subject, is said: "Glory to Thy holy Resurrection, O Lord," or, "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us." If the canon is, for example, to Hierarch Nicholas, then "O Hierarch Father Nicholas, pray to God for us," and so forth. The number of troparia varies, for which reason we speak of a canon of ten, of eight, of six, or of four.

As a pattern for the canon we have the nine songs of the Holy Scriptures, which are printed in the Ordered Psalter and the Irmologion, as well as in the usual small Psalter. These songs, or "odes" — in Greek, wdai -, have from great antiquity been used in worship. The model for the first ode is the song of Moses at the crossing of the Israelites through the Red Sea (Ex. 15:1-19), as a result of which in all canons this event, in one variation or another, is always called to mind. The second ode or song of Moses (Deut. 32:1-43) is used during Great Lent. The third ode is the song of the holy prophetess Anna (1 Kings 2:1-10). The fourth is that of the prophet Avvakum (3:1-19). The fifth ode is that of the prophet Isaiah (26:9-19). The sixth ode is that of the prophet Jonah (2:3-10). For both the seventh ode (Dan. 3:26-56) and the eighth (Dan. 3:67-88) the song of the three youths in the Babylonian furnace serves as a model, and in the irmosi of the seventh and eighth odes, in one way or another, these youths are always remembered, or words from their song incorporated. Between the eighth and ninth odes for nearly the entire year (with the exception of the twelve great feasts) the Song of the Most Holy Theotokos — "More Honorable" (Luke 1:46-55) — is sung: this contains a glorification of the Mother of God. The ninth ode is the song of the holy prophet Zechariah, the father of the holy prophet John the Forerunner; it is cited by the Holy Evangelist Luke (1:68-79). By Ustav the troparia of the canon must be combined with the reading of the verses of these odes; an order for this combination is given for weekdays, feasts, and Great Lent. However, in present times this kind of combination has nearly been abandoned and is used only in churches that observe the Ustav in the strictest fashion, and then only during Great Lent. The above-mentioned refrains for the troparia (which are now used) replaced the Old Testament verses of theses odes.

Following the reading of all the troparia of each ode, the irmos of each ode (though, during the year, for the most part the irmos of the other, i.e., the second or last, canon) is sung by both choirs, descended from the clirosi and united together in the center of the temple: this mutual singing of the final irmosi is called the "katavasia" (from the Greek katabainw - "to descend, to come together"), katabasia, i.e., "the uniting," at which the two choirs unite in the center of the temple where they sing the "closing," or conclusive, irmos. Which katavasia are sung during what periods of the year is stated in detail in the Typicon. For the greater part of the year the irmosi of the Theotokian canon, "I shall open my mouth," serve as the katavasia. The Slavonic and other translations of the canons, unfortunately, do not convey an understanding of the exquisite artistic beauty of the canons, which in their breadth of material and artistry of composition could be called spiritual poems. Sometimes there occur incomplete canons: these consist of two, three, or four odes, and hence are called diodes, triodes, and quatrodes. These are found in especially great numbers in the Lenten Triodion and the Festal Menaion.

Liturgicists believe that the canon, this new form of church poetry, was founded by the hierarch Andrew of Crete (650 — 726), the compiler of the "Great Canon" which is read on Thursday of the fifth week of Great Lent. There is no information concerning the liturgical canons predating the seventh century. The description of the Sinai Matins of that century may be considered the earliest testimony. In it "troparia" are mentioned, sung with the eighth biblical ode. Prof. M. N. Skaballanovich conjectures that the original form of the canon was a uniode, and that later this gradually grew into a diode through the joining of the ninth ode to the eighth. From here troparia began also to be united to the usual ode of the day, and thus appeared the triode. Thus, all of this developed into an entire canon. This new type of church poetry was often quick to find imitators. After Ven. Andrew of Crete in this field began to labor the venerable John of Damascus, Cosmas of Maium, Stephan the Sabbaite, Theodore the Studite, Joseph the Hymnographer, and many others (see Prof. Archim. Kyprian’s "Liturgics").

13) Exapostilarion, or Photagogicon. Thus termed is the hymn which follows immediately after the canon and the small litany which follows the ninth ode thereof. Photagogica are so called because in them mention is usually made of the illumination of the soul from on high through heavenly grace. Photagogica occur, not in resurrectional, but in simple services. The term "exapostilarion" — in Greek, exaposteilarion, from exapostellw, "I send out" — may be derived from the fact that in resurrectional exapostilaria mention is made of the sending down of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Apostles and of their embassy of the preaching of the Gospel; or because for the singing of the exapostilaria a chanter (the canonarch, or "psalt") was "sent out" to the center of the temple, as is done even now in monasteries. For instance, during Holy Week the canonarch sings "I see Thy bridal chamber…" or "The good thief…" Exapostilaria are sung at Sunday Matins on feasts of the Lord.

14) Communion hymn, or koinonikon (koinonikon). This is a verse which is sung at the Liturgy during the communion of the clergy in the altar.

 

IX. Church Singing,

Reading, and Iconography

All three of these subjects are closely linked with our worship, having a deep inner connection. If singing and reading are called upon to illustrate and more strongly impress liturgical material upon our hearts by means of so important a component of our external senses as hearing, then iconography does the same by means of another important sense: sight. Regarding the question of the character of church singing and reading and any kind of personal taste, the criteria of "I like" or "I dislike" are inadmissible. The role of church singing and reading, as well as of iconography, is to turn the thoughts and feelings of those praying away from all that is earthly and passionate, and to elevate them to what is heavenly and free from all passions. Everything that is in the temple must remind the Orthodox Christian that his purpose is to be estranged to "this world which lies in evil" with all of its sinful passions and lusts, and that while still living in the body here on earth he must in mind and heart be transported thence where he is destined to live eternally, to our heavenly fatherland. In other words, church singing, reading, and iconography must be in keeping with the spirit of Orthodox asceticism; they must be passionless.

The general character and harmony of ancient Christian singing was distinguished by a complete lack of artificiality and the absence of complex harmonies. All those present sang at worship with "one heart and one mouth," which must, naturally, be recognized as the ideal for church singing, for church singing, first and foremost, is prayer, and an art only after this. Since originally, for the most part, only the Old Testament psalms were sung, it must be supposed that the refrains were likewise Hebrew and Old Testament. Gradually, with the development of purely Christian singing and the joining of pagans to the Church, Syrian and Greek refrains began to be added — such, naturally, as corresponded to Christian worship in their strictness and grandeur. However, in contrast to Greek singing which had a metered, recitative character, Christian singing acquired a melodic character, designed for the strict subjection of the melody to the text and the meaning thereof. In contrast to Hebrew and Greek singing, which were coupled with an accompaniment by musical instruments, ancient Christian singing was always purely vocal. Thus it has remained until the present in the Orthodox Church. In contrast to dramatized Hebrew and Greek singing, which is suffused with expression, whether of melancholy and despair from a consciousness of sinfulness before God (in Hebrew singing), or of fear and horror before the mercilessness of fate (in Greek singing), ancient Christian singing acquired a character of calm compunction and filial dedication to Christ the Savior, the Conqueror of death and our Redeemer.

The means of performing different hymns varied: at some times one of the clergy would sing, and everyone else echoed him; at others, individual members of the Christian community would sing, sometimes incorporating their own inspired improvisations; at still others would be heard common choral singing in unison. It is essential to note that church singing throughout the ages, up until very recent times when the Italian influence appeared in Russia, was always unison, this being most conducive to concentration in prayer and to making it possible for all to take part in the singing. The singing of a psalm or a prayer by one person with the repetition of the last words by the whole assembly was called hypophonal; singing with the addition of a special refrain sung the whole assembly was called epiphonal; singing alternating between the two sides of those praying, or the two choirs, was called antiphonal. None of these fourth- and fifth-century methods of performing hymns disappeared; rather, they continued to develop and, most importantly, began to spread throughout various areas of the Universal Church. There exists a tradition that "antiphonal" singing was first introduced in Antioch by St. Ignatius the Godbearer (107), and in the Western Church by St. Ambrose of Milan (397).

From the fourth century Greek singing enters its second period (from the fourth to the eighth centuries). There appear many new hymns: stichera, troparia, kontakia, and so fourth, and together with them appear the particular offices of the reader and the chanter, who are appointed to their service by particular consecration. In the fourth century there also appear special choirs (which in Slavonic are called liks, or assemblies). Among the organizers of choirs, especially well known are Ven. Ephraim the Syrian and St. John Chrysostom. Choral singing saw its most brilliant development in the temple of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople during the reign of Emperor Justinian the Great. National Greek musical harmonies, or modes — the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes — were adapted to the needs of Christian hymnography. Ven John of Damascus started a new, third period in the history of Church singing. He introduced what is known as the osmoglasie — a system of singing in eight tones, or melodies —, and compiled a liturgical singing book bearing the title "Ochtoechos," which literally signifies "the book of the eight tones." The fourth period, which began with the fall of Byzantium under the yoke of the Turks, was marked by the decline of Greek church singing: peculiar sounds were introduced into the melody, and extra words into the hymns themselves, such as, for example, "te-ri-rem," "a-na-ne," "ne-ne-ni," and so on. As Turkish influence made itself felt, singing acquired some peculiarities of East Asian nature. A gratifying and original aspect of Greek singing during this period is the "ison," a remnant and a reproduction of ancient hypophonal singing: while one is singing, others accompany him, quietly and evenly sounding one note together with the singer.

Russian church singing developed, naturally, under the influence of Greek church singing. With the acceptance of Christianity from Byzantium the Byzantine chant of that time was also carried over into Russia. Gradually this melody was reworked in the spirit of Russian national peculiarities, as the result of which there appeared Russian church singing — what is called Znamenny chant. This is recognized by experts and connoisseurs of church singing to be one of the most original contributions of the Russian people to the worldly arts. It is distinguished by dispassionateness and a truly heavenly beauty and poignancy, which incline one to prayer and are detached from all things earthly. Due to the fact that the notational markings of Znamenny chant resemble hooks (in Slavonic, "kryuki"), this kind of singing is also known as "kryukovoi." Unfortunately, in succeeding the Greeks, extra syllables and even whole words began to be included in our strict church singing also, such as "khubovo," "nenena," "khavua;" the hard sign began to be pronounced as an open "O," and the soft sign as "yeh." This resulted in "vonyemi" instead of "von’mi" ("attend") and "sogreshikhomo" instead of "sogreshikhom" ("we have sinned"). The ending "khomo" became so noticeable that the singing itself acquired the name of "khomovoye" singing, or "khomonia." In order to eliminate khomonia Tsar Alexei Michailovich called together in Moscow fourteen "didaskali," or teachers and experts on singing. The question of the improvement of church singing was also taken up by the Russian Church Counsel of 1666 — 1667, as well as by a special assembly of notational scholars in 1668. These were to reestablish "true speech" ("istinorechie") and simplify notational signs. Unfortunately, these reforms opened Russian church singing to foreign influence, and, from the time of the attempt to draw Russia closer together with the West in the eighteenth century, authentic, truly Orthodox Russian church singing gradually recedes into the background, is forgotten, and is replaced by Italian "part" singing, which is in essence foreign to the spirit of Orthodox asceticism. The Italians Galuppi, Sarti, and Vedel, and their Russian students and progeny Berezovski, Degtarev, and others began writing their own compositions, in which the Orthodox feeling of prayer is arbitrarily distorted. This is singing that is affected and sentimental, having absolutely nothing in common with the style of real native Russian and ancient Greek Orthodox church singing. It spread widely among us owing only to a general departure of the faithful strata of Russian society from churchliness in general, to a fascination with all things foreign, and to a disdain for the things native to one’s homeland. The Italians, having taken on the management of Russian church singing, began to introduce into choral church singing, not only the Italian style, but also actual Italian melodies. Such a congestion of our church singing led to the complete defacement of the true prayerful feeling and taste of those praying, which in its turn led to a still greater departure from Orthodox churchliness.

The first attempt to engage in the revitalization of our Orthodox singing through cleansing it of "Italianism" is credited to D. S. Bortniansky, who held the office of Director of the Court Capella (+ 1825). However, he himself was under the influence of his Italian teachers; hence it was difficult for him to renounce Italianism entirely. Particularly unchurchly are Bortniansky’s "concerts." Such a completely unreligious name was acquired by hymns which we began to perform during the communion of the clergy at the Liturgy, in place of the appointed "communion hymn." The most striking representative of an authentic return to the ancient, authentic church melodies was the protopriest Turchaninov. His zadostoiniki (hymns sung in place of "It is Truly Meet") are authentic Znamenny chant. However, another trend was simultaneously in motion: the inculcation of the Protestant choral style. The work of Director of the Court Capella A. T. Lvov was not especially successful: the latter, at the command of Emperor Nicholas I, took upon himself the work of the collection, harmonization for choir, and introduction for obligatory and solitary usage of the "authentic melodies of Russian church singing." Lvov, however, was unacquainted with the actual ancient singing, and arbitrarily legalized this or that melody according to his own personal taste, compiling the so-called "Obikhod." This "Obikhod" was later republished by Bachmetev. The corruption of our church melodies by this "Obikhod" was vehemently opposed by Filaret, metropolitan of Moscow, thanks to whom the Moscow diocese and the provinces adjacent to it maintained their ancient musical tradition. The "Obikhod" deprived Russian church singing of its inherent brilliance, rudely distorting many ancient melodies besides. In recent times much work on the resurrection of our ancient church melodies has been done by the religious composer A. D. Kastalsky, while of the church hierarchs the most reverend Arsenii, archbishop of Novgorod, did the most of all in this respect, who at the Counsel of Moscow in 1917 was one of the three candidates for the All-Russian patriarchal throne. To the end of returning our church clirosi to genuine church singing, such as it was for seven hundred years from the time of the acceptance of Christianity, the most reverend Arsenii twice convened conferences of church singing teachers in his diocese, in 1911 and 1913. At the first of these conferences he gave an excellent talk, the ideas of which must be assumed as the basis for the vital work of returning the Russian Church to authentic church singing. The Most Reverend expresses his sadness on account of the fact that "our church singing continues to decline;" that "when in the seventeenth century we turned our gaze to the West, we changed in everything;" "we forgot that singing is a holy work;" "we forgot the wonderful Znamenny, Bulgarian, and Greek chants;" and "church singers imagined themselves to be artists;" that contemporary church choir directors under Italian influence select "vulgar melodies" as church hymns; that "they are prepared to insert the music of some kind of romance fit for vaudeville in among liturgical hymns; they are ready to make a stage of the cliros." "And we do not realize," Vladyka exclaims with grief, "what a responsibility we bear for this profanation of worship by our singing." The most reverend Arsenii goes on to say that "the work of the preservation and restoration of ancient church singing is one of the most important concerns for those who hold dear the interests of the Church and the people." "Church singing must be strictly prayerful," "the cliros is not a stage for actors," and "in the church, everything must be holy."

The most important feature by which true church singing must be distinguished is complete dispassionateness. The guiding principle for us in the question of church singing must be Canon 75 of the Sixth Ecumenical Counsel, which proclaims:

"We desire that those who attend church for the purpose of chanting should neither employ disorderly cries and force nature to cry out aloud, nor foist in anything that is not becoming and proper to a church; but, on the contrary, that they should offer such psalmodies with much attentiveness and contriteness to God, Who sees directly into everything that is hidden from our sight. "For the sons of Israel shall be reverent" (Lev. 15:30), the Sacred Word has taught us."

Meanwhile, the Italian singing which has spread among us in the Russian Church for the last two centuries is now sugary-sweet and sentimental, now full of bravura, and is precisely that which is "incompatible" and "unnatural" to our Orthodox Church, for it goes deeply against the spirit of Orthodoxy. It replaces a healthy, prayerful feeling with aesthetic pleasure, mistaking this for a prayerful experience. In this way a soul-destroying forgery is produced: the spiritual is replaced by the emotional, which itself contains the terrible poison of "prelest" (spiritual delusion), against which our Holy Fathers — our instructors in the spiritual life — so earnestly warn. This poison of subtle prelest is so seductive that already many Russian people of today cannot imagine our worship without theatrical singing, and grow weary in church when strict, authentic church melodies are used on the cliros. Hence, the pastors of the Russian Church are faced with a great and vital task: to sober the spiritually ailing part of Russian society of this ruinous prelest that prevents the manifestation of genuine, healthy religious feeling, and to return authentic Orthodox church singing to the church cliros.

It should be noted, however, that in 1959 the "Sputnik Psalomshcika" ("The Chanter’s Companion") was republished, and many of our parishes in the diaspora now use it in the temple, on the cliros and at various divine services. This same book — the "Sputnik Psalomshcika" — is the guiding and directive basis for our church choir conferences, which in recent years have been conducted annually. For this reason we most often encounter this type of school of church musical tradition in those of our parishes whose priests are alumni of Holy Trinity Theological Seminary. In 1999 the monastery again reprinted the "Sputnik Psalomshcik."

Let us consider the matter of church painting, or iconography.

Iconography, like singing, must be conducive to the education of the faithful in a strictly Orthodox spirit. Likewise, iconography must lead, not to prelest, but to healthy religious feeling.

Orthodox iconography is, as it has been since the time of apostolic antiquity (in the catacombs), not realistic, but rather symbolical. It cannot and must not portray anything that today represents "this world which lieth in evil," which is mutilated by sin, bears on itself the stamp of sin, and pulls one towards sin. Iconography must not remind one who is praying of anything earthly; on the contrary, it must turn his thoughts and feelings away from all that is earthly and transport him to the higher world, the spiritual world. In the western world church art has taken a completely different path. In it Christ the Savior is often portrayed as a stout, muscular man, and the Mother of God as a woman of purely earthly beauty.

There can be no place in Orthodox temples, not only for the Madonnas of Raphael, but also for all of those depictions which are incapable of separating us from all things earthly which, although they indeed seem to us at a superficial glance to be something exalted and beautiful, nevertheless present to us images that are purely earthly, are encountered on the earth, and are connected with thoughts of the terrestrial. Like singing, iconography must completely separate us from the earth, for without this it will not be Orthodox, and will be unable to rear us in Orthodoxy.

Such was ancient Byzantine iconography, which later came to us in Russia along with our acceptance of Christianity. "The highest ideal of art," Prof. Pokrovsky says of this Byzantine iconography, "lies not in charms and gracefulness of form, but in the dignity of inward expression" ("Church Archeology," p. 48). "Art must express Christian ideas," he goes on to say, "and, in accordance with their exalted significance, must be distinguished by an exalted character." Russian iconographers assimilated the Byzantine tradition. The earliest Russian iconographer was, according to tradition, the inok of the Kiev Caves Alypii, who lived in the eleventh century. By no later than the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Russia entire iconographical schools had already appeared, first in the Kiev Caves Lavra, then at the house of the archbishop of Novgorod and in the monasteries of that city. With the passage of time such schools gradually spread throughout all of Russia, especially in Moscow and in the province of Vladimir-Suzdal. Three main schools of iconography are recognized in the history of Russia: the Novgorod, Moscow, and Stroganovsk schools. The Russian originality of these schools is already evident in them, especially in the depiction of Russian saints, but the general laws of iconography, inherited from Byzantium, remain immutable. In the second half of the fourteenth century came the period of the highest peak of Russian iconography, during which the Novgorod school prevailed. At the head of this school of iconography stood a monk of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, Ven. Andrei Rublev (+1430), whose work is recognized as classical in the history of Russian iconography. The most noteworthy of his works is the Old Testament Trinity (the appearance of the Lord to Abraham in the form of three strangers). The school of Ven. Andrei Rublev exercised tremendous influence on Russian iconography. His icons were singled out by the Counsel of a Hundred Chapters (Stoglavy Sobor) as perfect, the counsel recommending their imitation. In the seventeenth century, western influence began to make itself felt in our iconography as well. The first innovator in this respect was the favored royal iconographer Simon Ushakov. Under the influence of his familiarity with western standards of religious art of a worldly nature, he made himself an enemy of conservatism in iconography, demanding outward elegance and beauty of form. Gradually Russian iconography began to be subjected to still greater and greater modernization, until it had entirely lost the character of iconography as an art specific to the Church, and had been transformed into religious painting, into ordinary art of a worldly nature with merely a religious theme. Such have been the recent works of our highly talented artists — who are certainly not, however, iconographers in the strict sense of the word — Vasnetsov and Nesterov.

In recent times, fortunately, great interest has been observed both in ancient church singing and in ancient iconography, and attempts are being made to return to them. This interest likewise continues to grow among foreigners, who are becoming more and more familiar with Orthodoxy as a result of the Russian dispersion. It must be born firmly in mind that the criteria for Orthodoxy is dispassion, for by the words of Christ the Savior Himself Orthodoxy preaches that "My kingdom is not of this world" (Jn. 18:36).

In some measure we may also now note that, in the greater part of our temples abroad, present-day church iconography is likewise consistent with the ancient Russian tradition, thanks to the fact that at our own Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary resides the iconographer Fr. Archimandrite Kyprian, under whom has developed, one might say, the latter’s own iconographical school and tradition. Many of our temples were painted by Fr. Archim. Kyprian and his students. They have also painted icons which we print and distribute, not only among our own faithful abroad, but also in Russia.

 

Part II

The First Part of the All-night Vigil

The All-night Vigil and its origins.

The time for its performance and its structure.

The "All-night Vigil" is a festive service performed at night on the eves of Sundays, as well as of great feasts which are marked in the Typicon with the sign of a cross inside a circle printed in kinovar (red ink), and of median feasts, which are marked with the sign of a cross inside a half-circle printed in kinovar (red ink). Included among the great feasts on the eve of which the All-night Vigil is performed are all of what are known as "Twelve Great Feasts," "of the Lord" and "of the Theotokos," as well as the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on June 24, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on August 29, the Holy Leaders of the Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29, the Circumcision of the Lord and the commemoration of St. Basil the Great on January 1, and the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos on October 1.

The median feasts marked with the sign of a cross inside a half-circle printed in kinovar (red ink), on the eves of which the All-night Vigil is also celebrated, are the following: the commemoration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian on September 26, of St. John Chrysostom on November 13, of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker on December 6, of the Three Hierarchs — Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom — on January 30, and of St. George the Trophy-bearer on April 23, as well as the second commemoration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian on May 8. In addition, the All-night Vigil is performed in two other instances: 1) on the eve of a parish feast or in honor of a saint whose relics rest in the given temple, and 2) on the eve of median feasts marked with a cross printed in kinovar (red ink) and with the words, "If the rector permits (or, "If the rector desires"), a vigil is performed." Excepted are cases when the patron saint of the temple is commemorated on the Day of the Holy Spirit. In this case Great Vespers, which usually takes place immediately following the Liturgy on the day of Pentecost, is performed at its usual time.

The word "vigil" means "wakefulness," i.e., the passing of time without sleep. The All-night Vigil has its origins from the very earliest times of Christianity, when the first Christians would often remain awake throughout the entire night, passing the time in prayer by the graves of the martyrs, in the catacombs, especially on the eve of the first day of the week, Sunday, in hymns of praise glorifying the Resurrection of Christ. The exclamation of the priest at the end of the All-night Vigil, "Glory to Thee Who hast shown us the light!" refers to the appearance of the first rays of the sun in the east at the break of day. In several places, such as Mount Athos, to this day the All-night Vigil continues throughout the entire night. However, in the majority of contemporary monasteries, and especially in parish churches, due to human weakness and, undoubtedly, to extreme neglect of the observance of the ustav and of the prayers of the church, the vigil, being abbreviated more and more, has been reduced to a minimal length, which naturally cannot be considered permissible.

In accordance with the directions of the second chapter of the Typicon, the All-night Vigil must begin "when the sun has somewhat set;" that is, soon after sunset. Although the order and contents of the hymns and readings of the All-night Vigil are similar in many ways to the order and contents of what are called "Great Vespers" and "Polyeleos Matins," the Typicon strictly distinguishes between "vigil" and "polyeleos." Their principle difference is that Great Vespers and Polyeleos Matins are two independent services which are performed separately from one another, the one in the evening and the other in the morning, while the All-night Vigil is one complete, continuous service, which in addition is performed with great ceremony. The All-night Vigil is a composite service, consisting of three inseparably interconnected rites combined into one: Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour.

In liturgical books the word "vigil" is sometimes replaced with the word "council" an indication of the fact that this service, due to its great ceremoniousness, is performed by an entire council of clergy. For example, the following expression is often encountered in the Typicon and the Menaions: "Where his relics lie or where his temple is, there a council is to be performed;" that is, wherever the relics of the given saint repose, or where there is a temple dedicated to him, there by ustav an All-night Vigil should be served. The word "vigil" is likewise sometimes replaced in liturgical books with the Greek title "agripnia" (agrupnia).

Small Vespers.

Since the All-night Vigil begins with Great Vespers, already after the sun has set, and hence before sunset, in order that this time of day should not be left without the prayers of the Church, by ustav (see Chapter 1) that which is known as Small Vespers is always appointed to be performed. The principle distinguishing characteristics of Small Vespers are the absence of the litanies common to all other vespers services, with the exception of a short closing litany, and that it is served entirely with the royal doors closed and the curtain drawn.

Small Vespers is preceded by the reading of the Ninth Hour, with which it is uninterruptedly combined. The ustav of the Ninth Hour is contained in the Horologian. Since the Ninth Hour relates to the day which is drawing to a close, the troparion and kontakion of the past day are read. At the end of the Ninth Hour, without a dismissal, the priest pronounces the opening exclamation, "Blessed is our God…," and Small Vespers proceeds according to the following order:

"O come let us worship…" thrice.

Opening psalm 103; Glory, both now;

"Lord, I Have Cried" in the tone of the given week, or of the stichera.

Stichera at "Lord, I Have Cried:" four in all (of the Sunday or of the feast; see Small Vespers in the Ochtoechos or the Menaion).

Glory, both now.

Theotokion, or sticheron of the feast.

"O Gentle Light" (read, not sung).

Prokeimenon of the day; the great prokeimenon, "The Lord is King…" is sung two and one half times, instead of four and one half.

"Vouchsafe, O Lord…"

Stichera at the Aposticha.

Glory, both now.

Theotokion, or sticheron of the feast.

"Now lettest Thou Thy servant…"

Trisagion through "Our Father."

Troparion; Glory, both now; theotokion, if it be not one of the twelve great feasts; if it be one of the twelve great feasts, then only the troparion of the feast.

A short augmented litany, such as is appointed for the beginning of Matins.

Exclamation: "For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…"

"Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope:" and the small dismissal.

Many years.

 

I. The Beginning of the All-night Vigil

Vespers.

The Singing of the Opening Psalm.

The All-night Vigil, according to the Typicon, begins soon after sunset. First there is a slow toll, a ringing of one bell, and then a toll with all the bells (the trezvon). The All-night Vigil is begun with particular ceremony, such as does not occur at the beginning of any other evening service. The priest vests himself in the epitrachelion and phelonion (in a parish; in a monastery the hieromonk vests himself in the epitrachelion alone), then, taking the censer and standing before the holy altar, puts incense into the censer and reads the prayer of the censer ("Incense do we offer unto Thee…;" this prayer is always read at the blessing of the censer) privately. The royal doors are opened and the priest and the deacon silently perform the censing of the whole altar, during which all the lamps in the temple are lit (the lampadas and candles, but not the chandeliers), after which the deacon, exiting through the open royal doors, holding a candle, exclaims: "Arise!" then, "O Lord, bless!" (When a bishop is present — "Master, bless!") The priest, standing before the altar and tracing a cross with the censer, begins the service with the glorification of the Holy Trinity: "Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating and indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages!" The choir responds, "Amen," which means, "It is truly so! Let it be!" After this, the priest with the deacon calls the faithful four times (instead of the usual three) to come and worship Christ, our King and our God, and exits from the altar, performing the censing of the whole temple. As if in answer to the priest’s glorification of the Holy Trinity, and his summons to worship Christ, the choir sings a special, ceremoniously prolonged piece called the "opening" psalm 103, in which the Divine wisdom and greatness of God, the Creator of the world, are depicted. It is sung (though only selected verses are sung in current practice; by ustav the entire psalm should be sung) with specific refrains, such as, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord!" and, "Wondrous are Thy works, O Lord!" and, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who hast made them all!"

Thus, "Bless the Lord, O my soul! Blessed art Thou, O Lord! O Lord, my God, Thou hast been magnified exceedingly. Blessed art Thou, O Lord! Confession and majesty hast Thou put on. Blessed art Thou, O Lord! Upon the mountains shall the waters stand. Wondrous are Thy works, O Lord!" and so forth.

In its hymns, readings, and rites the All-night Vigil symbolically portrays the whole picture of Divine economy, that is, of God’s providence for the salvation of man, beginning from the creation of the world. The singing of the opening psalm and the sacred rites combined therewith transport those praying to the time of the creation of the world and the blessed state of our first parents. The censing recalls the words of the book of Genesis, concerning how the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters; the multitude of lamps, the words of God the Creator: "Let there be light!" and the opening of the royal doors, the communion of the first people with God, which they enjoyed in paradise. But this blessedness did not last. As a symbol of the casting out of the first people from paradise after their fall, and the closing of the gates of paradise to them, the royal doors are closed (see the Typicon, Ch. 23), and the priest, exiting the altar through the north doors with head uncovered and standing before the closed royal doors, like fallen Adam repenting before the closed gates of paradise, reads the seven so-called "lamp-lighting prayers," thus called because the priest gives glory to the Lord, who dwells in unapproachable light, for the bestowal of material light, and asks for enlightenment of soul. In liturgical books, due to these prayers, the remaining Vespers service sometimes also bears the name "lamp-lighting."

The character of the service now alters sharply: the light (the candles) is extinguished, and what began as a joyous, festive service becomes sorrowful and full of prayers for the forgiveness of sins and the bestowal of all that fallen humanity has come to require since the Fall. At the end of the opening psalm the deacon exits onto the ambon and begins the Great Litany (if there be no deacon serving, this litany is pronounced by the priest himself).

The Great Litany.

The Great Litany (or ektenia; ektenh) is a whole series of petitions made by the deacon, in which the many needs of man are set forth, and which contains prayers for the spiritual and secular authorities. At each petition the choir sings, on behalf of all the people, "Lord, have mercy!" As the petitions of the litany are an invitation to prayer, the prayer at the litany itself essentially amounts to the repetition of the brief, "Lord, have mercy." Yet there is hardly to be found a more direct and vivid expression for our fundamental and continual relation to God, from Whom first of all man seeks mercy and aid in need, and redemption from sins. Thus, this prayerful formula, together with the very shortest, most simple and comprehensible form of prayer, being the most appropriate for the faithful, by its widespread adoption and diffusion has become rooted in Christian worship. Simultaneously, it meets the basic necessities of the spirit of man. Although the Great Litany is mentioned already in the "Apostolic Constitutions," and later in the liturgical works the followed — the Liturgy of the Apostle James, for example —, its current petitions have been modified and abbreviated, as is borne witness to by the tradition that St. Basil the Great abbreviated the ancient liturgy, and that St. John Chrysostom also slightly altered the structure of the Liturgy in his turn. The Great Litany is otherwise called the litany "of peace," due to its beginning with the words, "In peace let us pray to the Lord!" and to its first petition, "For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls…," and to the second as well, "For the peace of the whole world…" The very word "ektenia" means "distribution," or, according to another explanation, "prolonged prayer." Besides the great litany there are three others: the small, augmented, and supplicatory litanies. The Great Litany is so called because it contains the most petitions of all — usually twelve. "In peace let us pray to the Lord" means: let us pray to the Lord in peace with our own selves, without confusion of spirit, without any kind of enmity or anger, but with mutual love in accordance with the precepts of the Word of God (Mk. 11:25 and I Tim. 2:8). The deacon, calling upon God, repeats a petition which is also contained in the lamp-lighting prayers of the priest, in himself portraying all of mankind, begging God for all good things essential for man — of which he was deprived through the fall into sin —, and principally, of course, for the principle blessing which he lost: peace. Peace with God, peace with one’s neighbor, and peace with oneself. The Great Litany concludes with the committing of ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God, Who Himself knows all of our needs. To this the choir responds, "To Thee, O Lord!" at which the priest concludes the litany with the exclamation: "For to Thee is do all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages;" that is: we hope to receive from God all the blessings requested, by virtue of His eternal perfections which arouse us to His glorification. The choir affirms this with the word "Amen," which means: "Truly! Let it be so!"

The First Kathisma.

The Concept of Kathismata in General

Following the Great Litany at the All-night Vigil on Sunday eves, the singing (in contemporary practice only selected verses are sung) or reading always takes place of the entire first kathisma, which begins with the words, "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly." At the All-night Vigil on the eves of feasts in honor of the Theotokos and of great saints, if they do not fall on a Sunday, only the first antiphon (or the first ‘glory’) of this kathisma is sung. Finally, at the All-night Vigil on the eves of great feasts of the Lord the singing of this kathisma does not take place at all, excepting cases when a feast of the Lord falls on a Sunday or a Monday. If a feast of the lord falls on Sunday, on Saturday evening the entire first kathisma is sung; if it falls on Monday, then on Sunday evening only the first antiphon of it is sung.

The entire Psalter is divided into 20 kathismata, and each kathisma — into three "glories," also known as "antiphons" (if the psalms are sung), and sometimes as "articles." The word "kathisma" (kaqisma) translated from the Greek means "sitting," and in present times it has become the established custom to sit during the reading of the kathisma. In antiquity, however, when the psalms were not read, as is currently done for the most part, but were sung, or chanted, as it is expressed in the Ustav (currently only selected verses are sung), all would stand during this singing. After each kathisma a reading was appointed, during which all would sit. From this reading, apparently, the kathismata took their name, and when the readings fell out of use and the psalms began to be read, the custom of sitting was transferred from the reading of the lessons to the reading of the psalms. The "glories" into which the kathismata are divided are also called "antiphons" in the Ustav, which clearly indicates for them to be sung, and sometimes "articles," which points to standing during their chanting. In present times during the services we have begun to read the psalms for the most part, but even so a series of selected verses from the first antiphon of the first kathisma are sung, at each of which a thrice-repeated "alleluia" is sung in refrain.

The Small Litany.

When the first kathisma occurs at the All-night Vigil, the small litany is pronounced after it. If only one antiphon is sung, then there is only small litany. If, however, all three antiphons are sung, then there are also three small litanies, one after each antiphon. The small litany constitutes an abbreviation of the great litany, and begins with the words, "Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord," after which it contains essentially only one petition: "Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace." It then finishes with the usual committing of ourselves and all our life unto Christ our God, after which there follows the exclamation of the priest: after the first litany, "For Thine is the dominion, and Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory…;" after the second litany, "For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…;" and after the third, "For Thou art our God…"

The Singing of the Verses of “Lord, I have Cried”

and their Stichera.

After the small litany the verses of Psalm 140 are sung: "Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hearken unto me; attend unto the voice of my supplication, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Hearken unto me, O Lord." Verses are then sung or read from psalms 141, 129, and 116, with which are sung the so-called "stichera;" that is, special hymns which are now of New Testament content, in which the saint or feast is glorified in whose honor the vigil is performed. During this singing the deacon (or the priest himself, if there be no deacon) performs the censing of the altar and of the whole temple as an image of the multitudinous sacrifices which were offered throughout the ages in the Old Testament in propitiation for the sins of the people, and which prefigured the One Great Redeeming Sacrifice offered on the cross by the incarnate Son of God. The smoke from the censer additionally symbolizes the lifting up of our prayers to God. In this manner, after the remembrance of the creation of the world and of the Fall of the first parents, the divine service of the All-night Vigil brings the worshippers to an awareness of their sins as being the common illness of all mankind proceeding from the fallen progenitor, and arouses them to prayer for their salvation, for the healing of their sinful infirmities, and for forgiveness. Since for us, as Christians, the idea of the fall into sin is inseparably united with the idea of the redemption which was accomplished through the sufferings on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Old Testament verses — which contain supplication for forgiveness and deliverance from the yoke of sin — are coupled with New Testament stichera, which are dedicated to the glorification of events that are saving for us, or of the righteous who have already acquired salvation for themselves through the redeeming sacrifice of the Lord.

These stichera are usually called precisely what they are: the stichera at Lord, I have cried. At a Sunday vigil there will always be ten stichera at "Lord, I have cried" (expressed as "ten stichera"); at other feasts, eight ("eight stichera"). In the Horologian we find corresponding indications at the places where these stichera are inserted. Namely, before the tenth verse from the end, "Bring my soul out of prison," the note "for ten" is made; before the eighth verse from the end, "Out of the depths have I cried…" the note "for eight" is made. This means that, upon arriving at this verse, beginning therewith one stichera must be added to each of the following verses. Resurrectional stichera are printed in the Ochtoechos, and festal stichera — in the Menaion, the Pentecostarion, or the Lenten Triodion.

On Sundays when no feast or festal service to a saint occurs, seven stichera are taken from the Ochtoechos and three of the saint of the day are taken from the Menaion.

If there be a six-stichera saint (that is, one for whom six stichera are appointed in the menaion), then there are six resurrectional stichera from the Ochtoechos and four stichera of the saint.

If a forefeast, an afterfeast, or the leave-taking of a feast falls on a Sunday, only four resurrectional stichera are sung, and the remaining six are from the menaion — three of the forefeast or afterfeast and three of the saint of the day; or, in the case of the leave-taking of a feast, six of the feast.

If a forefeast or afterfeast and a saint with a polyeleos fall on a Sunday, only three resurrectional stichera are sung, then three stichera of the forefeast or afterfeast and four of the polyeleos saint.

More than ten stichera at an All-night Vigil never occur.

During the period of the Lenten Triodion and the Pentecostarion, instead of the stichera of the saint of the day stichera from the Triodion or Pentecostarion are added — usually three or four, depending on their number. If a saint with a polyeleos falls during this period, three (or four) of his stichera are added at the expense of the resurrectional stichera of the Ochtoechos.

Here it is essential to know that, during the period of the Pentecostarion, the resurrectional stichera of the Ochtoechos are not those of the ordinary tone, but those which are indicated for the given Sunday, and are printed there in place in the Menaion itself.

In all cases where there is any doubt, it is necessary to consult the so-called "Markovy chapters" which are printed in the forty-eighth chapter of the Typicon, known as the "Calender," as well as in place in the Menaions and at the end of the Lenten Triodion and the Pentecostarion. The name "Markovy chapters" refers to the articles written by the hieromonk Mark, who lived in the second half of the ninth century in the monastery of Ven. Savva the Sanctified, near Jerusalem. These articles indicate how the service is to be compiled if a feast of the Theotokos, an afterfeast, or the leave-taking of a feast falls on a Sunday, as well as when other types of coincidences occur. The "Markovy chapters" are marked by a large letter "M" printed in the margin.

The Vespral Entry.

The stichera at "Lord, I have cried" are concluded by the singing of "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen." After this, on Sundays and on days when saints are commemorated, a sticheron is sung called the "theotokion" or "dogmaticon," due to its dedication to the glorification of the Mother of God, and the dogma of the incarnation of the Son of God from Her expounded therein. There are eight of these dogmatica in all, according to the number of the eight tones, and they are printed in the Ochtoechos in place, as well as in the back of the Menaion and in the Horologion. These theotokia are ascribed to the venerable John of Damascus. Prof. M. Skaballanovich notes a correlation of the eight dogmatica to one another in content. "In the dogmaticon of the first tone, the expounding of the dogma of the incarnation begins with an indication of the universal glory of the Most Holy Virgin: by this the promise of the seed of the women is recalled, as it were, which promise was given to the first parents in paradise and fulfilled in the Most Holy Virgin. In the dogmaticon of the second tone the relationship of the Old Testament prefigurations to the New Testament events is shown. In the dogmaticon of the third tone the very birth in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and the manner of this birth-giving are revealed. Inasmuch as it is essential to know the purpose of the incarnation of the Son of God, this is revealed in the dogmaticon of the fourth tone. Beyond this it is inscrutable for us, how the Mother of God, while being a Virgin, gave birth to Christ, and how, after giving birth, She remained a Virgin; this is made somewhat more accessible to our understanding through the contents of the dogmaticon of the fifth tone (through several Old Testament prefigurations). Insomuch as we still know not the manner in which, in the person of Jesus Christ, two natures — the Divine and the human — were united, this is spoken of in the dogmaticon of the sixth tone, i.e., that two natures were united, uncomingling and indivisble, in the single person of the God-man. Additionally, despite all explanations, the incarnation of God the Word is a mystery, to be comprehended more by faith than by the probing intellect; regarding this it is said in the dogmaticon of the seventh tone that the incarnation was accomplished in a supernatural manner. In the dogmaticon of the eighth tone the dogma of the incarnation of God the Word is presented in a brief and positive manner." (See "The Typicon with Commentary," p. 121, 2nd edition, 1913, by M. Skaballanovich.)

On the twelve great feasts, at "Glory, both now" a sticheron is sung in which the given feast is glorified. Sometimes one other sticheron is inserted before this final sticheron, at "Glory." On days when a saint is commemorated, the theotokion is sung in the tone of the sticheron at ‘Glory,’ or, as it is otherwise known, the "doxasticon."

During the singing of the dogmaticon or of the final festal sticheron at "Both now," what is called the "Vespral Entry" is performed. The royal doors are opened; the priest and the deacon, circling the altar from the right-hand side, exit the altar through the north door and, walking along the solea, stop before the royal doors. The deacon carries the censer, and he and the priest are preceded by two candles (see Typ. Ch. 2). Upon arriving at the royal doors the priest stands directly opposite them. The deacon, standing to the right of the priest, "somewhat bowed" and "with head inclined," says privately — so quietly that only the priest might hear him —, "Let us pray to the Lord." The priest then privately says the prayer of the entry (in practice, if the priest does not know this prayer by heart, he reads it from the Service Book before the entry). Then the deacon, having censed the temple icons and the priest, points with his orarion to the east and says to the priest, "Bless, master, the holy entry." The priest blesses towards the east cruciformly with his hand, saying, "Blessed is the entry of Thy holy ones, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The deacon says privately, "Amen," steps back and censes the priest, then stands again in his former place and censes the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos or, if it be a feast of the lord, the icon of the Savior, and awaits the conclusion of the singing of the sticheron. When the singing ceases, tracing a cross with the censer between the royal doors, he exclaims in a loud voice, "Wisdom, Aright!" and enters the altar. The priest, having kissed the icons on either side of the royal doors and blessed the candle-bearers with his hand (but not the worshippers, as some mistakenly suppose), enters the altar after the deacon.

The Vespral Entry symbolizes the coming into the world of the Divine Redeemer, Whom the Old Testament prophets foresaw, and Who by His cross opens the gates of paradise anew to the fallen race of men. The Vespral Entry was developed on the basis of the entries of the liturgy, but it differs from them in that it is performed without the Gospel and the Gifts (an entry with the Gospel occurs at Vespers only when the former is to be read at Vespers — for example, at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts during Holy Week, or at the Vespers of Pascha). Here the priest symbolizes Christ the Savior, while the deacon symbolizes the Forerunner, and the candles, the spiritual light which the Lord brought to the earth. The censer expresses that, through the mediation of the Lord and Redeemer, our prayers, like frankincense, rise up to the throne of God.

The historical development of the Vespral Entry may be traced in part to the ancient Byzantine traditions, as fragrant smoke was an aspect of royal entries in Byzantium; the carrying of fans was practiced in processions before the Roman Caesars. This was then passed on to the Church. In Byzantium lighted candles were carried before the patriarch.

The exclamation, "Wisdom, Aright" (in Greek, "Sofia Orqoi"), means: "What is being performed reveals the Wisdom of God; stand upright, with attention and with reverence." In answer to this the choir sings a compunctionate hymn in honor of the Son of God: "O Gentle Light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: Having come to the setting of the sun, having beheld the evening light, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be hymned with reverent voices, O Son of God, Giver of life. Wherefore, the world doth glorify Thee." This is a hymn which has its origins from the earliest times of Christianity. Two authors of "O Gentle Light" are indicated in some ancient books — the hieromartyr Athinagorus (bishop of Sebastius in Armenia in 311) and, in the Slavonic Horologion, St. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (634 — 644). However, as liturgicists point out, this hymn is typical Christology of the second or third century, and the name of its author is unknown.

Upon entering the altar, the deacon censes the altar table and the high place. At the royal doors the priest kisses the icons on both sides, blesses the candle-bearers with his hand, and enters the altar, as indicated above. Having venerated the table they both approach the high place. There, turning to face the people, they exclaim in turn: the deacon — "Let us attend;" the priest — "Peace be unto all" (the priest simultaneously blesses the people with his right hand); and again the deacon — "Wisdom."

The Prokeimenon and the “Readings” (Lessons), or Paremii.

The prokeimenon is said by an appointed monk or reader, or by the canonarch, or, as in present times for the most part, by the deacon himself, immediately after he says "Wisdom" (or by the priest himself, if there be no serving deacon).

In Greek the word prokeimenoV, or prokeimenon, means, "coming beforehand." It is a verse taken from Holy Scripture, most often from the psalms, which usually precedes the reading of Holy Scripture and serves in a way as a foreword thereto. Sometimes no reading from Holy Scripture occurs following the prokeimenon; it then serves simply to express the significance of the current day, and is therefore called the prokeimenon of the day. Every prokeimenon has a verse which follows it, which comprises, as it were, its continuation, and is closely connected to it logically. The choir repeats the words of the prokeimenon after the reader or deacon; at the end the reader pronounces the first half of the prokeimenon, and the choir completes it by singing the second half. Other than the usual prokeimena, which are sung two and one half times, there are also the so-called great prokeimena, which have three verses and are therefore sung four and one half times.

At the All-night Vigil on the eve of a Sunday (on Saturday evening), a prokeimenon taken from Psalm 92, "The Lord is King, He is clothed with majesty," is invariably sung, four and one half times. At vigils on the eves of great feasts and other feasts the prokeimenon of the day is sung (each day of the week has its own specific prokeimena for liturgy and vespers). If a feast of the Lord falls on a Saturday, at vigil the prokeimenon of the day is not sung; rather, that great prokeimenon is sung which should have been sung at vespers on the very day of the feast, since the prokeimenon "The Lord is King" is never set aside or replaced by another, but is invariably sung at every Sunday vespers (on Saturday evening).

After the prokeimenon at the All-night Vigil on the eves of great feasts and other feasts in honor of saints, there occur the so-called "readings," taken, for the most part, from the Old Testament. They are likewise called "paramii," from the Greek paroimia, which means "proverb," or "parable." These readings, or paramii, contain prophecies concerning the event being commemorated, or praises of the saint being celebrated. On feasts in honor of the holy Apostles, excerpts from their epistles are read. At All-night Vigils on the eves of Sundays paramii usually do not occur, with the exception of the Sundays on which the memory is celebrated of the holy fathers, before the Nativity of Christ; of the holy fathers of the First Ecumenical Counsel, on the seventh Sunday after Pascha; of the holy fathers of the first six ecumenical counsels, on the Sunday closest to July 16; and of the holy fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Counsel, on the Sunday closest to October 11, as well as Sundays on which the memory is celebrated of a saint for whom paramii are appointed by ustav. At the All-night Vigil, only three lessons are usually read; only in extremely rare instances, when two feasts coincide, are six lessons read. Before the reading of each lesson the deacon directs the attention of the worshippers to the reading with the exclamations "Wisdom" and "Let us attend." During the reading of the lessons the royal doors are closed, and the priest sits at the high place, to the right of the altar.

The Augmented Litany, and the Litany of Fervent Supplication.

Immediately following the prokeimenon, if there be no reading (as at an ordinary Sunday vigil when no other feast is celebrated), or after the readings when there are such, the deacon exits onto the ambon and pronounces the so-called "Augmented Litany," which in liturgical books is called "diligent prayer." This litany does not have the same beginning each time it occurs in the divine services. At Great Vespers at a vigil it has a full beginning, consisting of two preliminary appeals:

1) "Let us all say with our whole soul and with our whole mind, let us say," and, 2) "O Lord Almighty, God of our fathers, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy." In response to these two appeals the choir sings, "Lord, have mercy," once. Beginning with the very first petition of the litany, "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy" — with which the litany sometimes begins, without the two above-mentioned appeals —, at every petition, of which there are usually six, the choir sings, "Lord, have mercy," thrice, from which the litany takes its title of "augmented," that is, "fervent" or "diligent" prayer. The Augmented Litany always ends with the same exclamation of the priest: "For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…"

At the All-night Vigil, the prayer "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without sin…" is read after the Augmented Litany. In a way it constitutes a continuation of the glorification of the Triune God offered up in the vespral hymn, "O Gentle Light," and itself concludes with a glorification of the Most Holy Trinity: "To Thee is due praise, to Thee is due a song, to Thee glory is due, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen."

After the prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord," there follows the so-called "Supplicatory Litany," which begins with the words, "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord." After this appeal follows the petition, "Help us, save us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace." To the first appeal and to this petition the choir responds by singing, "Lord, have mercy," once; there then follow six petitions, to each of which the choir responds with, "Grant this, O Lord!" corresponding to the words which conclude each petition, "… let us ask of the Lord!" which are why the litany itself is called "supplicatory." The petitions of this litany are committed exclusively to spiritual blessings, in addition to which each petition contains a prayer for the bestowal of peace, the greatest of spiritual gifts. This litany, like the great and small litanies, ends with our commission of ourselves to the will of God, at which the choir sings, "To Thee, O Lord." The priest concludes the litany with the exclamation, "For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…"

Immediately after this exclamation, the priest, remaining before the altar, turns to face the people and bestows "peace unto all," blessing the people with his hand. By so doing the priest greets the people with the same blessing for which they have just been so fervently asking. He bestows this gift according to the command of the Lord Himself, Who left with us His peace. At the time when the Savior lived, "Peace" was the usual greeting; it was beloved by Him (see Jn. 14:27); and He commanded that all seeking peace should be greeted with peace (Mt. 10:12-13). Of this the holy Chrysostom says: "Is it I that bestow peace? Christ in His authority speaks through us" (Third Conversation with the Colossians).

The deacon then exclaims, "Let us bow our heads unto the Lord," and, while the choir sings a prolonged "To Thee, O Lord," the priest reads a private prayer called "The Prayer at the Bowing of Heads." The closing exclamation of this prayer, "Blessed and most glorified be the dominion of Thy kingdom…," is pronounced aloud by the priest.

The Litia.

Following the All-night Vigil the litia is appointed, which at the All-night Vigil on the eves of Sundays has now, for the most part, passed out of use among us, and is performed only at vigils for great feasts. The litia begins with the clergy, preceded by two lamps, coming out of the altar and into the vestibule through the north doors, the royal doors being shut (see the Typicon, Ch. 2). Standing in the vestibule, the deacon censes there the holy icons, the rector, and the choirs in order by rank. During this time the "stichera at the litia" are sung.

At the litia the first hymn to be sung is the sticheron of the temple, that is, the sticheron appointed for the litia on the feast day of the temple. Exceptions to this are the days listed below, on which the sticheron of the temple is not sung:

1. All of the twelve great feasts

2. Days of the afterfeasts and leave-takings of the latter, when they fall on a Sunday

3. The forefeast of the Nativity of Christ (Dec. 20 — 23), when it occurs on a Sunday

4. Palm Sunday, Thomas Sunday, and the Sundays of the Myrrh-bearers, the Holy Fathers, and Pentecost

5. The feast of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, on June 29, and of the Beheading of St.

John the Baptist on August 29.

On each of these days, only the stichera of the given feast or saints are sung.

In all other cases, the sticheron of the temple is sung first, then the sticheron of the saint, and at "Glory, Both now" the sticheron of either the forefeast or the feast, or the theotokion. The stichera at the litia are always indicated in place in the Menaion or the Triodion. If it be Sunday, after the stichera of the litia, at "Both now," the theotokion is sung, and not the sticheron of the feast; the "theotokion of the aposticha, which is sung on Sunday" (Typ., Ch. 3) is sung, or else the first theotokion, in the tone of the sticheron of the saint (Typ., Ch. 4).

When the singing of these stichera is completed, the deacon pronounces the special litany of the litia which contains five petitions of extremely broad scope in content, at each of which the choir repeatedly sings, "Lord, have mercy": first, 40 times, then 30, then 50; then, for the last two petitions, three times. The litany begins with the words, "Save, O God, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance…" The litany of the litia concludes with the exclamation of the priest: "Hearken unto us, O our Savior…" Then the priest, blessing the worshippers with his hand, bestows "peace unto all;" the deacon bids all to bow their heads, and the priest reads aloud the prayer, "O Master, plenteous in mercy…," which comprises the dismissal of the litia.

The litia takes its name from the Greek lith, or "fervent prayer," and signifies prayer outside the temple or in the vestibule of the temple. In the vestibule originally catechumens and penitents stood, to whom entry into the church itself was forbidden. So that they also might not be deprived of church prayer, the Church herself goes out to them and prays together with them. For those standing in the vestibule this has the same symbolism as has the vespral entry for those standing in the church itself; that is, that our Lord Jesus Christ — the "Gentle Light" — came down to us; that even those who are unworthy to pray together with the rest of the faithful may look forward to mercy for themselves from God and remission of their sins. On the other hand, the exit of the faithful into the vestibule, the place for catechumens and penitents, signifies the deep humility of the faithful, who are prepared to put themselves in the place of catechumens and sinners and to pray together with them. During the litia, says St. Symeon of Thessalonica, "… we pray, standing before the gates of the holy temple, as though before the gates of heaven… like Adam, the publican, the prodigal son." Hence the somewhat penitent and sorrowful character of the prayers of the litia.

The Stichera at the Aposticha.

At the end of the litia, the clergy who have been serving it reenter the temple and stop in the center thereof. During this time the "stichera at the aposticha" are sung. These are so called because they are preceded by verses, selected from various psalms and other books of the Holy Scriptures, which are appropriate to the given feast or commemoration of a saint. The first sticheron has no verse whatsoever preceding it. At a coincidence of two celebrations on one day, the stichera at the aposticha are usually sung for only one of the celebrations. The final sticheron alone, at "Glory, both now," may be dedicated to another event being celebrated. Thus, on ordinary days at "Glory, both now" a theotokion is always sung, but during the period of a forefeast or a feast at "Glory, both now" the sticheron of the forefeast or the feast is sung.

“Now Lettest Thou Thy Servent,”

The Troparion, the Blessing of the Loaves,

and the End of Vespers.

After the stichera at the aposticha, in which events salvific for man or the virtues of a holy one pleasing to God, who is commemorated on that day, are glorified, a desire naturally manifests itself in the worshippers to seek that blessed state of rest which the Lord has prepared for the righteous. Therefore, having understood from the whole of the foregoing service the salvation which the Lord has prepared for all people, the worshippers call unto the Lord with the words of Symeon the God-bearer: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master, according to Thy word…" This prayer is appointed by ustav to be read, and by no means sung, as has been introduced in recent times in parish churches.

As a sign that we have understood the light which appeared as a revelation for the Gentiles and the glory of the people of Israel, and have come to know the true God, glorified in Trinity, we read further, "Holy God;" "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…" "Lord, have mercy," thrice, and again: "Glory, both now;" and the Lord’s prayer, "Our Father."

Following "Our Father" and the exclamation of the priest, "For Thine is the kingdom…," the so-called dismissal troparion is sung, which states in brief the essence of the commemorated event or the laudation of the celebrated saint. To this troparion three chapters of the Typicon are dedicated — chapters 52, 53, and 55. At the All-night Vigil the singing of these troparia is appointed as follows:

1. At a vigil on the eve of a Sunday when there is no other feast, the troparion: "O Theotokos Virgin, rejoice…" is sung thrice.

2. At a vigil on the eve of a great feast of the Lord or the Theotokos, the troparion of the feast is sung thrice.

3. At a vigil on the eve of a feast in honor of a saint, the troparion of that saint is sung twice, and "O Theotokos Virgin" is sung once.

4. At a vigil on the eve of a Sunday when the latter coincides with the afterfeast or leave-taking of a feast, "O Theotokos Virgin" is sung twice, and the troparion of the feast is sung once.

5. At a vigil on the eve of a Sunday which coincides with the commemoration of saint for whom a vigil or a polyeleos is appointed, "O Theotokos Virgin" is sung twice, and the troparion of the saint is sung once.

6. At a vigil on the eve of a Sunday on which another special celebration occurs — for instance, the first and third Sundays of Great Lent, the Sunday of All Saints, and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers —, "O Theotokos Virgin" is sung twice, and the troparion of that celebration is sung once.

"According to the custom of the Orthodox Church, which concludes each series of hymns with a hymn in honor of the Mother of God, the troparion of Sunday Vespers, ‘O Theotokos Virgin,’ is dedicated to Her… For this troparion were chosen the most joyful of all the words which the Mother of God heard, and which have been passed on to us: the salutations to her of the Angel and of the righteous Elizabeth. Consequently, the troparion is compiled of biblical (Lk. 1:28, 42), divinely inspired words, which at the same time are encompassed by and interwoven with our own ("O Theotokos Virgin," "Mary," "For Thou hast born the Savior of our souls"). The main idea of the hymn, the "rejoice" which calls the Mother of God to joy, in the Hebrew and Greek languages actually signified a general greeting which corresponds to the Latin and Russian "good health" (see Skaballanovich’s "Typicon with Commentary," second edition, p. 181).

Before the singing of the troparia, in the middle of the temple is placed the tetropod (tetrapodion) or chetveronozhets, a small table on four legs, on which there stands a tray with five loaves and with vessels of wine, oil, and wheat. Having completed the litia, the clergy enter into the temple from the vestibule and stop in the center thereof before this tetrapod, which has been prepared beforehand. While the troparia are being sung, the deacon, taking a blessing from the priest, censes around the table (thrice) and the clergy only. Then he exclaims, "Let us pray to the Lord," and the priest reads the prayer, "O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who didst bless the five loaves and didst satisfy the five thousand…," in which he asks the Lord to bless these loaves, wheat, wine, and oil, to multiply them throughout all the world, and to sanctify the faithful that partake of them. Before the reading of this prayer the priest lifts up one of the loaves, and with it traces a cross above the remaining loaves; then, during the reading of the prayer, at the words, "Do Thou Thyself bless also these loaves, wheat, wine, and oil," he indicates each of these substances with his right hand, and with it thereby forms a cross. However, Prof. M. Skaballanovich gives the following instructions, which differ somewhat from the practice indicated above and have become established. He states that, in the prayer, the clergyman "asks the Savior, Who manifested the whole of the might of His blessing in the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, for this same blessing, and for the multiplication (as in that miracle) of the substances offered, as well as for the sanctification of those who partake thereof… Before the words of the prayer, "Do Thou Thyself bless…," the priest blesses these substances cruciformly, not with his hand alone, but with one of the loaves, signifying the heavenly Bread, and ‘in so doing he (also) shows that Christ did likewise, taking the five loaves into His hands in a similar fashion’" (see the "Typicon with Commentary," 2nd edition, pp. 314-315).

After the blessing of the loaves the choir sings thrice, "Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth and forevermore," and the reader reads Psalm 33: "I will bless the Lord at all times," not in its entirety, but only up to the words: "… He shall not be deprived of any good thing." The priest, leaving the place where he had performed the blessing of the loaves, stands before the royal doors, "looking toward the west" (see Typ., Ch. 2), and blesses the worshippers with his hand, saying: "The blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings, "Amen," and thus the first part of the All-night Vigil, consisting of Great Vespers, is completed.

The blessing of the loaves was established for the renewal of the strength of the faithful. In the second chapter of the Typicon it is stated that at the end of Vespers there is a reading from the book of Acts or from the epistles of the holy Apostles, during which all seat themselves, "each in his own place." Then the cellarer, having broken the blessed loaves on the tray, distributes them to the brethren and draws one cup of wine for each of those in the temple. After this partaking of the bread and the wine, no one should dare to partake of anything else on that evening, "for the sake of the communion of the Most Pure Mysteries of Christ."

At the end of the Service Book is placed the so-called "Instructional information: How it is proper for the priest and deacon to perform their ministry in the Holy Church," with accompanying directions concerning various unfortunate and unexpected occurrences. There it is stated that one who wishes to commune of the Holy Mysteries of Christ must abstain from food and drink from the evening before, or eat very little: "From midnight one must naturally not partake of anything… for from midnight the natural day begins."

In the Service Book, together with the order of Vespers, an admonition to the priest is printed concerning the use of the blessed loaves, wheat, wine, and oil. Here it is impressed on the priest that he should not bless this blessed oil, wine, wheat, and bread a second time at a second vigil. The oil should be used for the anointing of the people when they venerate the icon, and may also "be added to food;" the wine should be drunk with reverence; the bread, once broken, may be distributed with the "dora" (that is to say, the remnants of the bread, if there be any, may be distributed with the antidoron — "dora" is the same as "antidoron"), or it may be eaten with honor at a meal at home, before the common foods; and the wheat may either be planted or ground together with other wheat and eaten with thanksgiving. The blessed loaves and wine should under no circumstances be liturgicized, according to the rule of the Nomokanon concerning sacred rites.

The anointing with the blessed oil in present times is usually performed at Matins, after the reading of the Gospel and the prayer, "Save, O God, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritence," and replaces the anointing with oil that by ustav is appointed to be performed in the vestibule after the Matins dismissal (see the Typicon, Ch. 3), using oil from the kandilo (lampada) of the icon of the feast or saint. Simultaneously the blessed bread is distributed, the broken peaces of which are moistened with the blessed wine.

In present times, in view of the fact that vigil is usually performed with considerable abbreviations and there is no necessity for fortifying oneself with the blessed bread and wine, the litia and the blessing of loaves at the All-night Vigil is generally not performed on the eves of Sundays; rather, immediately after the supplicatory litany and the concluding exclamations, the stichera at the aposticha are sung. At vigils in honor of the twelve great feasts and of great saints, the litia and the blessing of loaves is performed as though as a sign of the particular festiveness of the worship on these days.

After the end of Vespers at the vigil, readings from the Apostle and from the commentaries of St. John Chrysostom and other commentators on the New Testament are appointed by ustav. The commentary is always read after the reading of the Apostle. For this reading the entire Aposlte is divided into special sections, in addition to the usual divisions into chapters, verses, and readings.

The custom of reading parts of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament at worship has its origins from the most ancient times of the Church. At an All-night Vigil for a Sunday, the Typicon calls for lessons to be read seven times, and at a festal vigil, six: at the end of Vespers, at Matins after the first and second kathismata, follwing the polyeleos, following the third and sixth odes of the canon, and at the end of Matins (the latter only on Sunday). The purpose of these readings is exhortation and instruction, while at the same time they serve for the refreshment of the memory and the relaxation of the body, since they are listened to while sitting. The first reading is an excerpt from the Holy Scriptures (from the book of the Acts of the Apostles or from the Apostolic epistles); the next four readings are taken from patristic commentaries concerning the excerpt which was read; the sixth is taken from the lives of the saints; and the seventh, a moral-ascetical "catecheses," is taken from the writings of Ven. Theodore the Studite.

Unfortunately, almost nowhere is this currently fulfilled, except, perhaps, in some monasteries; even when this does occur, only one reading is read. Sometimes in parishes, at Matins after the sixth ode, a short life of the saint or story of the feast is read from the Synaxarion.

 

II. The Second Part of the All-night Vigil

Matins.

The order of the Matins of the All-night Vigil is given in the second chapter of the Typicon. Matins is the second and most important part of the All-night Vigil. After the reading from the Acts or from the Apostolic Epistles and the Commentary on the New Testament, in accordance with the ustav the beginning of Matins is marked by the ringing of bells. The Typicon states that "the paraecclesiarch goes out and rings the great bell and the other bells." In current practice, however, immediately following "The blessing of the Lord…" and the "Amen" sung by the choir, Matins begins directly with the Six Psalms, without a trezvon.

The Six Psalms.

The Six Psalms, which in liturgical books are sometimes called by the Greek name exayalmoV (exapsalmos), consist of six psalms — psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, and 142 — and begin with the reading of the thrice-repeated angelic doxology, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men" (Lk. 2:14), and the twice-repeated prayerful appeal of the reader, "O Lord, Thou shalt open my mouth, and my lips shall declare Thy praise." At the beginning of the reading of the Six Psalms the majority of the lamps in the temple are extinguished, doubtlessly so as to listen attentively to the psalms without distraction by anything external. In addition, the church, plunged into darkness, should remind the worshippers of the night in Bethlehem on which Christ was born. With the birth and appearance in the world of Christ the Savior our salvation began. The Six Psalms are, in a way, the inward reflections of a man who has heard of the birth of the Savior. In the psalms his awareness of his iniquitous state is expressed. We see depicted the multitude of enemies (demons), who seek to destroy both soul and body, hope in the boundless compassion of God, and the hope that the Lord will hearken unto all those who hope in Him, and have compassion upon those who fear Him. From a whole series of observations regarding the reading of and listening to the Six Psalms, which we find in the Typicon and in liturgical books in place, we see that the Church ascribes especial significance to the Six Psalms; hence, those contemporary worshippers sin greatly who allow themselves to sit during the reading of the Six Psalms, or even to leave the church completely, considering the reading to be of secondary import and of little significance. Thus, in the ninth chapter of the Typicon it is stated: "He readeth the Six Psalms in a quiet, light voice, unhurriedly and audibly to all. While the Six Psalms are being read it is fitting to attentively apply oneself to the hearing thereof: for the psalms are filled with repentance and compunction. We therefore read these psalms with reverence and the fear of God, as unto God Himself invisibly present, and none hath the right to whisper, nor to spit or expectorate; rather, we must attend all the more to what the psalm-reader is saying, having our hands crossed across our breasts, with head bowed and eyes downcast, gazing with the eyes of the heart to the east, praying regarding our sins, remembering death, the future torment, and life eternal."

The Six Psalms are divided into two parts by a doxology in honor of the Holy Trinity. Following the first three psalms, we read, "Glory, both now," and, "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God," thrice, then again, "Glory, both now," and the remaining psalms. In conclusion only "Glory, both now" and the thrice repeated, "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God" are read.

After the reading of the first three psalms, the priest exits from the altar vested in the epitrachelion alone, stands before the royal doors with bared head, and there from the Service Book reads to himself the "Morning Prayers," which are twelve in number, in which he offers thanksgiving to the Lord for His gift to us of the light of day, and requests various spiritual blessings for himself and for his flock, asking that in our hearts the "true sun of God’s righteousness" might shine forth, so that "walking honestly as in the day in the way of the commandments of God we may attain unto life eternal," and be vouchsafed the enjoyment of the unapproachable light of God. In reading this prayer before the closed royal doors the priest represents Christ the Mediator, promised to Adam and the whole human race (see "New Tablet" ("novy skrizhal"), Part III, Ch. 4, paragraph 6). Prof. M. Skaballanovich indicates that the morning prayers, or, more exactly, the matins prayers, like the vespral prayers, were at one time scattered throughout the whole of Matins. Due to this, their contents are adapted to various parts of Matins, inasmuch as they were read at various points therein (see the "Typicon with Commentary," second edition, p. 205 and beyond).

The Great Litany.

After the faithful have heard the angelic singing, proclaiming to them the birth of the Savior, and have recognized the whole depth of their spiritual fall; after their hearts have become suffused with hope in the One who has been born, and through this hope have inclined their souls to prayer — they once again call out unto God with the same words as those at the beginning of Vespers. The Great Litany, "In peace let us pray to the Lord," is pronounced, in which are requested all those diverse spiritual and bodily blessings of which men were deprived with the casting out of Adam from Paradise, but which it became possible to receive again after the coming to earth of the Divine Redeemer. The litany is pronounced by the priest or the deacon before the royal doors.

“God is the Lord” and the Troparia.

Immediately after the Great Litany, the deacon exclaims and the choir loudly and joyously sings a glorification in honor of the Lord, who has come down to earth for the salvation of the world: "God is the lord and has appeared unto us, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Ps. 117:26-27). These last words were applied to the Savior at His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and according to His own words He will be met again with these same words at His second coming (Mt. 23:39). This hymn is sung four times, and before each repetition a different verse is sung, each taken from the same psalm, telling of the goodness and mercy of God and disclosing the prophecies concerning the Savior of the world. By ustav both "God is the Lord" and these verses are proclaimed by the canonarch in the center of the temple (see the Typicon, Ch. 2). Judging by the directions of the Ustav it may be supposed that, apparently, the canonarch first himself sang "God is the Lord" in the given tone, then the verses also, after which (alternately, hence the four verses) the choir responded by singing four times, "God is the Lord…" However, it has now become a deeply rooted custom for the deacon to proclaim all of this, or, if their be no deacon, the priest.

At Sunday vigils, "God is the Lord" is always sung "in the present (that is, the regularly scheduled) tone;" at vigils for the twelve great feasts, in the tone of the festal troparion; and at vigils in honor of saints, in the tone of the troparion of the saint.

The singing of "God is the Lord" is immediately followed by the singing of the troparia, titled "dismissal" since they are also sung at the end of Vespers. The morning worship now crosses over from a mournful, penitential disposition to a festive, joyful disposition, to a foretaste of salvation. The matins hymns are now Christian in content and are performed very festively.

These troparia are sung in the following manner:

1. At a Sunday vigil the Sunday (or resurrectional) troparion is sung twice; glory, the troparion of the saint from the Menaion; both now, the resurrectional theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the saint. If on that day there be no troparion to a saint in the Menaion, then, following the Sunday troparion, which is sung twice, Glory, both now is sung, then the theotokion of the present tone — that is, in the same tone as the resurrectional troparion.

2. At vigils for great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos, the troparion of the feast is sung thrice, the third time after Glory, both now.

3. At vigils for saints the troparion of the saint is sung twice, then Glory, both now, and the resurrectional theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the saint. Here it is important to note a peculiarity of the Saturday service. If the memory of a saint for whom a vigil is appointed falls on a Saturday, then the theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the saint is not sung, as is usual; rather, the theotokion in the regular tone from the Ochtoechos for the given week, from which tone we are "taking leave" (Saturday being the "leave-taking" of the tone of the past week"), is sung; it is called the "first theotokion of the present tone."

If a great feast of the Theotokos falls on a Sunday, then the resurrectional troparion is sung twice, then Glory, both now, and the troparion of the feast.

5. If a day of commemoration of a saint for whom a vigil is appointed falls on a Sunday, then the resurrectional troparion is sung twice; Glory, the troparion of the saint; both now, and the first theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the saint.

6. If a forefeast, an afterfeast, or the leave-taking of a feast falls on a Sunday, then the resurrectional troparion is sung twice; Glory, both now, and the troparion of the forefeast or of the feast. If on that day there is also a troparion to the saint of the day in the Menaion, it is sung at Glory; at both now, the troparion of the forefeast or of the feast is sung.

7. If the celebration of the memory of two saints falls on a Sunday, the resurrectional troparion is sung once; then the troparion of the first saint; Glory, the troparion of the second saint; both now, and the theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the second saint. If in addition to this a forefeast or afterfeast coincides with the Sunday, then at both now, in place of the theotokion, the troparion of the forefeast or of the feast is sung.

After the singing of the troparia, "Lord, have mercy" is sung thrice; then, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit." The reader continues with, "Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen," and begins the reading of the kathismata.

The Kathismata, the Small Litanies, and the Sedalia.

The kathismata are the readings of defined sections of the Psalter, which is divided entirely into twenty such sections, called "kathismata," from the Greek word kaqizo — "I sit" —, because by ustav after each such section a reading is appointed during which all sit. It has now become the custom to sit during the reading of the kathismata themselves (concerning this see the detailed explanation of Vespers, "The First Kathisma"). At matins which are part of the structure of an All-night Vigil, only two kathismata are ever chanted, each being divided into three glories. After every "glory" the reader pronounces: "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit," and the choir sings: "Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen," then, "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God," thrice, "Lord, have mercy," thrice, and, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:" The reader continues: "Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen," and goes on to read the next "glory."

After each kathisma at the All-night Vigil the Small Litany is invariably pronounced, which litany, according to Chapter 2 of the ustav, "the priest says, having gone out before the holy doors." Every small litany concludes with a particular exclamation by the priest. After the first kathisma the small litany has the exclamation, "For Thine is the power, and Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory…," and after the second kathisma, "For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…"

Here it should be mentioned that on those Sundays when by Ustav no polyeleos is appointed (concerning this, see below), instead of the polyeleos the Seventeenth Kathisma is chanted: "Blessed are the blameless…" after which the small litany does not occur, and the troparia of the resurrection are immediately sung: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes. The assembly of the angels was amazed…" These troparia are, in fact, thus called: "The troparia of the resurrection, sung after The Blameless." In this case the small litany is pronounced after these troparia.

In general it should be known that the ustav for the small litanies following the kathismata is connected with the greater or lesser solemnity of the service. After each kathisma a so-called sedalion is appointed. If this sedalion is of festal content, a small litany is pronounced before it; if, however, it is penitential or compunctionate in content, as occurs on week days and on days of the holy Forty-day Fast, then the small litany is not pronounced before it. This is why at vigil on the eve of the Annunciation, which in most cases falls during the holy Forty-day Fast — and hence at which, if it falls on a week day, not two kathismata, as is usual at a vigil, but three are read —, the small litany is not pronounced after every kathisma. According to ustav, if the vigil for the eve of the Annunciation occurs during the holy Forty-day Fast, before Holy Week, no litany occurs after the first kathisma, but litanies are appointed following the second and third kathismata. If, however, Annunciation occurs during Holy Week, no litanies are called for following the first two kathismata, but there is a litany after the third kathisma.

At Sunday vigils, after every kathisma and the small litany which follows it, the sedalia are sung or read from the Ochtoechos, and on great feasts and feasts of saints — from the Menaion; or, correspondingly, from the Lenten Triodion or the Pentecostarion, on feasts from the Triodion or Pentecostarion cycle. The feast of the Annunciation constitutes a special circumstance when it falls on a week day of the holy Forty-day Fast: the first sedalion is then not of the feast, but from the Triodion.

The Polyeleos, Troparia of the Resurrection, and Megalynaria.

At vigils for great feasts, at Sunday vigils during certain periods of the year, and, as always, at any festal Matins in general, when the Gospel is read — following the kathismata and the Sedalia, the polyeleos is sung, at the beginning of which all the lamps in the temple are lit and the royal doors are opened, as a sign of especial festivity.

The word poluV eleoV, "Polyeleos," poluV meaning "many," and eleoV, "mercy," in the Russian translation from the Greek means "mnogomilostivoye," or "greatly merciful." Thus called is the triumphant singing of two psalms: 134 — "Praise ye the name of the Lord," and 135 — "O give thanks unto the Lord…" From the frequent repetition in the second of these psalms of the words, "for His mercy endureth forever," the whole of this singing acquired the name "polyeleos." Another reason for this title may also be that for this part of Matins the ustav directs that the illumination of the temple be increased in honor of the feast by the burning of candles and oil — poluV elaion meaning "much oil." It is currently customary to call the polyeleos after the opening verse, "Praise ye the name of the Lord…," i.e., "Praise Ye the Name." In present times these psalms are rarely sung in their entirety; for the most part four verses in all are sung, in the following manner:

"Praise ye the name of the Lord; O ye servants, praise the Lord. Alleluia" (thrice).

"Blessed is the Lord out of Sion, Who dwelleth in Jerusalem. Alleluia" (thrice).

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. Alleluia" (thrice).

"O give thanks unto the God of heaven; for His mercy endureth for ever. Alleluia" (thrice).

The ustav calls for the singing of the polyeleos on Sunday vigils only from September 22 until December 20, and from January 14 until Cheesefare Sunday: that is to say, during the winter months, excepting the periods of the feasts of Nativity and Theophany. During the summer months, from Cheesefare Sunday until the leave-taking of the Exaltation on September 21, the singing of the polyeleos is appointed only for those Sundays on which a great feast falls. In general, the polyeleos is so closely connected with great feasts, and the commemorations of saints for whom it is appointed by Ustav, that it is often called the "polyeleos of the feast," or the "polyeleos of the saint." On Sundays, when no polyeleos is called for, the chanting of the seventeenth kathisma is appointed in its stead: "Blessed are the blameless…" (Typ., Ch. 2 and 17). However, it has now become customary in parishes almost everywhere to sing the polyeleos on Sunday vigils the year round.

On the Sundays preparatory to Great Lent — the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Meatfare Sunday, and Cheesefare Sunday —, after the polyeleos, Psalm 136 is sung, "By the rivers of Babylon…," with a "beautiful alleluia" — that is to say, to an especially compunctionate melody.

At Sunday vigils, immediately following the polyeleos, or after the chanting of the seventeenth kathisma if the polyeleos was not sung, special troparia of the resurrection are sung, which are usually called the "troparia of the resurrection, sung after the blameless." Before each of these troparia a refrain taken from Psalm 118 is sung: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes." The first of these troparia begins with the words, "The assembly of the angels was amazed…"

Four troparia in all are sung; then Glory, and a troparion in honor of the Holy Trinity; then Both now, and a troparion in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos. The singing finishes with the thrice-repeated, "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God."

The troparia, "The Assembly of the Angels," as Prof. M. Skaballanovich shows, is of Jerusalemic origin. In the well-known Jerusalem Order of Holy Week and Bright Week from the ninth century, from an A.D. 1122 edition, in the service for Palm Sunday, the second through the sixth of these troparia are found, along with others similar to the contemporary troparia of "The Assembly of the Angels" (see the "Typicon with Commentary," second edition, p. 235).

At vigils on the eves of great feasts and in honor of saints, at the beginning of the singing of the polyeleos, an icon of the feast or saint is carried into the center of the temple and placed on an analoy (currently this icon is often already in the center of the temple on an analoy), and before it, following the completion of the polyeleos, the megalynarion to the feast or saint is sung together with a selected psalm. These megalynaria and selected psalms are printed at the end of the Psalter, in the Irmologion, and in the Service Book. The clergy usually sing the megalynarion the first time; then each choir by turns sings a verse from the selected psalm, repeating the megalynarion after every verse. At the conclusion, Glory, both now: is sung; then the thrice-repeated Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God; and the megalynarion is again sung, for the final time, by the clergy.

At the beginning of the singing of the polyeleos, the rector distributes lighted candles to those serving with him — as well as, according to the Ustav (see Ch. 2), to the people standing in the temple —, with which all stand until the completion of the reading of the Gospel. However, in current practice the custom of the people holding candles at the vigil is observed only on two days: the feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem and the Paschal Matins.

The singing of the polyeleos psalms and the troparia of the resurrection "… at Matins," states M. Skaballanovich, "marks the most solemn and sacred moments, which symbolize, as always, the might and divine inspiration of prayer, which through the singing of these psalms truly attains the highest level of intensity; it likewise symbolizes the grace of the Holy Spirit which is drawn by such a prayer. The rise of the soul’s disposition is likewise promoted by pleasant fragrances (incense). In this instance the censing further relates to the commemoration connected with this part of Matins: it recalls the sweet-scented myrrh which, at this hour on the night of the Resurrection, the myrrh-bearers ‘mingled with tears of pity’"("Typ. with Com.," second ed., p. 233).

At the singing of the troparia of the resurrection, following the blameless, and at the singing of the megalynarion, a censing of the whole temple takes place. It begins in the center of the temple from the icon placed there on an analoy: the icon is censed, from all four sides, then the altar and the entire temple, in order.

The selected verses from the psalms which are sung at the megalynaria contain either prophetic foretellings of the event being celebrated, or a recounting of the virtues of the saint for which he was numbered with a particular rank of saints. Each rank of saints has its own general megalynarion.

Both the troparia of the resurrection and the megalynaria prepare the worshippers for the impending hearing of the Gospel, in which a narrative is set forth of the event being celebrated, or in which are glorified the virtues of the saint whose memory is being celebrated.

If on a Sunday there falls a great feast (except for a feast of the Lord, when the Sunday service is entirely set aside and replaced completely with the service of the feast) or the commemoration of a saint for whom a megalynarion is appointed, then following the polyeleos the clergy immediately sing the megalynarion (the choir do not repeat it), and the troparia of the resurrection following the blameless are sung immediately afterward.

The Small Litany, the Hypakoe or Sedalion,

and the Antiphons of Ascent (or Hymns of Ascents).

Following the troparia of the resurrection at a Sunday vigil, or after the megalynarion at a vigil in honor of a feast or a saint, the small litany is pronounced, which culminates in the exclamation of the priest: "For blessed is Thy name, and glorified is Thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…"

Since following this, by Ustav, a reading is appointed during which all sit, after the small litany there follows the Sedalion, which at a Sunday service is called the "hypakoe." At a Sunday vigil the "hypakoe of the tone" is sung. The majority of the resurrectional hypakoe tell of the going of the myrrh-bearing women to the life-giving tomb, or of the fruits of the Resurrection of Christ. If a feast of the Theotokos or of a saint with a polyeleos falls on a Sunday, the sedalia of the feast or saint are sung after the "hypakoe." First the sedalia are sung which were appointed to be read after the kathismata, but were not sung in their own place, since the resurrectional sedalia were sung in their place. Then, at "Glory," the "sedalion following the polyeleos" is sung; on feasts, at "Both now" this same sedalion is repeated a second time, but on days of the commemoration of saints the theotokion is sung, which for such days is printed immediately after the polyeleos sedalion. On feasts of the Lord, when the entire Sunday service is replaced by the service of the feast, the sedalion of the feast is sung. In present times the sedalia and hypakoi, for the most part, are not sung, but read.

After the sedalia or hypakoi there follows the singing of the matins antiphons, which are called "Ascents." The word "antiphon" is derived from the Greek words anti (anti), "against," and fwnh (phoni), "tone," and literally means "antitone-antisinging." This name is given to hymns which are appointed to be sung alternately on two clirosi. They are called "ascents" because they are composed in accordance with the fifteen psalms (psalms 119 through 133) which bear the name of the "Hymns of Ascent," since they were sung on the steps of the temple in Jerusalem by two choirs of Jews.

The contents of the ascents cleanse and "uplift" the soul, and thus prepare the worshippers for the hearing of the Gospel. The approaching reading of the Gospel is proclaimed during the singing of the ascents by the ringing "of the cymbals;" that is, by a trezvon. This toll indicates that "the sound (of the Gospel) hath gone forth into all the earth." Only at Sunday and festal Matins is the Gospel preceded by a trezvon; the liturgy Gospel is not. However, contemporary practice transfers the toll for the Matins Gospel to the beginning of the polyeleos (the "Typicon with Commentary," M. Skaballanovich, second edition, Kiev, 1913).

Antiphons of ascent exist in all eight tones, and are found in place in the Ochtoechos. At a Sunday vigil the antiphons of ascent of the corresponding regular tone are sung, which is why they are called the "antiphons of the tone." At great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos and on days of commemoration of saints for whom there are a polyeleos and a megalynarion, only the first antiphon of the fourth tone is sung: "From my youth many passions have warred against me…" When any great feast of the Lord falls on a Sunday, as well as on Palm Sunday, the second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday, and the Sunday of Pentecost, only the first antiphon of the fourth tone is sung. However, if a great feast in honor of the Theotokos or of a saint with a poyeleos falls on a Sunday, then the "antiphons of the tone" are sung — that is, of the tone of the regular order which falls on the given Sunday. In the antiphons of the ascents, as though in answer to the summons of the verses of the polyeleos to praise the Lord, we confess our iniquities and infirmities to the Lord, and we glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Prokeimenon and the Reading of the Gospel.

The ascents are followed by prayers and exclamations, which usually occur before the reading of the Gospel, and which serve to prepare the faithful for the worthy hearing of the Gospel. The deacon exclaims, "Let us attend. Wisdom." He then pronounces the Prokeimenon. By its content this prokeimenon is always connected with the Gospel which is about to be read.

At a Sunday vigil, if no great feast of the Lord or of the Theotokos coincides therewith, the Sunday prokeimenon of the regular tone is pronounced and sung. There are eight such prokeimena in all, according to the number of tones, and they alternate each week. If a Sunday coincides with a great feast of the Lord or of the Theotokos, the prokeimenon of this feast is pronounced and sung. At vigils on the eves of great feasts and in honor of saints a special Prokeimenon of the Feast is always sung in the fourth tone, the contents of which correspond to the given feast or to the memory of the saint being celebrated. The matins prokeimena always have only one verse, and are sung by the choir two and one half times.

Upon the completion of the prokeimenon, the deacon exclaims, "Let us pray to the Lord," and the choir responds, "Lord, have mercy." The priest then makes the exclamation, "For holy art Thou, O God, and Thou restest in the saints, 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 the ages of ages." Then the deacon exclaims, "Let every breath praise the Lord." The choir repeats these words. The deacon proclaims the verse: "Praise ye God in His saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power." The choir again sings, "Let every breath praise the Lord." The deacon pronounces the first half: "Let every breath," and (as with the prokeimenon) the choir sings the second half to the end: "Praise the Lord." After this the deacon calls the attention of the worshippers to the impending reading of the Gospel with the words: "And that He will vouchsafe unto us the hearing of the Holy Gospel, let us pray unto the Lord God." The choir sings thrice, "Lord, have mercy." The deacon then proclaims what we are about to hear: "Wisdom;" hence we must stand "Aright;" that is, upright, in order, with deep reverence; for — "Let us hear the Holy Gospel." The priest, continuing this exclamation of the deacon, bestows "peace unto all," and the choir, on behalf of the worshippers, expresses a desire for the same peace for the priest: "And to thy spirit." The priest exclaims, "The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to (name)." The choir then gives glory to God: "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." The deacon calls all to attention with the exclamation: "Let us attend," and the reading of the Gospel begins.

"The Gospel at Matins is read, not by the deacon, as at Liturgy, but by the priest, in order that he might "first nourish with the Divine word those whom he will nourish at the Liturgy with the mystical bread," as did Christ Himself, and as He commanded His apostles to do ("Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…" — Mt. 28:19). At the Liturgy the priest has a much higher function even than reading the Gospel. Besides this, the Gospel at Sunday Matins is more significant than that of the Liturgy, since it is directly concerned with the event of the Resurrection (the Gospels of Matins and Liturgy are similarly related on several other feasts, such as the Nativity of Christ and Pascha). In view of this the Matins Gospel is read in the altar on the holy table, while the Gospel at the Liturgy is read in the center of the temple on an analoy (by the deacon). This especially applies to Sunday Matins, since the altar signifies the tomb of the Savior." (See the "Typicon with Commentary," second edition, pp. 246-247.)

On Sundays the Gospel is appointed to be read in the holy altar (Typ. Ch. 2), from which, as though from out of the Tomb of the Lord, there resound the joyous tidings of the Resurrection of Christ. Therefore, the priest reads the Gospel on the holy table. On feast days the Gospel is read amongst the people, in the middle of the temple, before the icon of the feast which lies on the analogion. The deacon carries the Gospel out onto the ambon and there exclaims the prokeimenon, then presents the Gospel to the priest, who reads it. However, if the priest serves without a deacon, after the megalynarion and the litany he exclaims the prokeimenon, goes into the altar, and reads the Gospel on the ambon, facing the people. At Sunday vigils following the reading of the Gospel the latter is carried out from the altar through the royal doors for veneration. During this time, "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ" is sung, and Psalm 50 is read. According to the Ustav the priest stands in the center of the temple, "holding the Holy Gospel before his breast," while two candle-bearers stand at his sides with candlesticks, and thus holds the Gospel until all have venerated it; after which, "the veneration and the fiftieth psalm having been completed," he carries the Holy Gospel back into the altar, having blessed the people present with it from the royal doors. In practice it has become customary, upon carrying it out of the altar, to lay the Holy Gospel upon an analogion in the center of the temple, where all venerate it somewhat later, namely after the reading of the prayer, "Save, O God, Thy people," and the exclamation. The Gospel remains here until all have venerated it; some leave it even until the end of the Great Doxology. In the first case the priest stands the whole time beside the Gospel on the left-hand side of the analogion and, as is customary in many places, blesses those venerating with his hand after they have kissed the Gospel. In the second case the priest exits the altar and comes to take the Gospel after the Great Doxology.

At Sunday All-night Vigils, the Gospel of the Sunday is always read, with the exception of instances where a great feast of the Lord or even of the Theotokos falls on a Sunday. In these cases the Gospel of the feast is read. In exactly the same way, on parish feasts which fall on a Sunday the Gospel of the temple is read (see the chapters 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, and others, concerning the temple, of the Typicon). When the day of a vigil-rank saint coincides with a Sunday, the Sunday Gospel is read, and the usual kissing of the Gospel takes place.

The Matins Resurrection Gospels are eleven in all, and they comprise the so-called "Gospel pillar." This series of Matins Resurrection Gospels begins on the first Sunday after Pentecost, that is, on the Sunday of All Saints. After all eleven Gospels have been read in order, the next Sunday the first Resurrection Gospel is again read, and in this manner these pillars are continually repeated throughout the duration of the year. Exceptions to this are Sundays during the period of the Pentecostarion: here exactly the same Resurrection Gospels are appointed, but not in the usual order. At the end of the liturgical altar Gospel there is a note, "concerning how the Gospel should be read each day for the weeks of the entire year," which indicates which Matins Resurrection Gospels are read on the Sundays from Holy Pascha until the Sunday of All Saints, and then on the thirty-two Sundays thereafter. After the thirty-second Sunday and through the fifth week of Great Lent inclusive, precisely which Matins Gospels are to be read is not indicated. This is because, depending on the movement of the day on which Pascha is celebrated — the earliest Pascha occuring on March 22, and the latest, on April 25 — between the thirty-second Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee the number of weeks does not remain constant from year to year, the result of which is that the same Gospels are not always read on these Sundays from year to year. In order to find out precisely which Gospels are to be read on these Sundays in a given year, one must use the so-called Visual Paschalion, which is found at the end of the Typicon and of the Supplemented Psalter. In the Indiction one must find the key letter of the given year, and near the key letter, together with the indication of the day of the celebration of Pascha, of other feasts, and on which days they fall, is likewise indicated on which day of the month each pillar of the tones of the Ochtoechos begins, and which Matins Resurrection Gospels should therefore be read. At the same time one must remember that the tallies of both the pillars of the tones of the Ochtoechos and of the Matins Resurrection Gospels begin from the Sunday of All Saints. Tone eight always occurs on the Sunday of All Saints, and the first Matins Gospel is read; on the second Sunday after Pentecost, tone one occurs, and the second Matins Gospel is read, and so on in order. Therefore, until the Sunday of All Saints the pillars of the tones and of the Gospels should be looked for under the key letter which relates to the previous year.

There are six pillars in all: the first begins on the first Sunday of the Saints Peter and Paul fast; the second, after the day of Prophet Elijah; the third, after the Exaltation; the fourth, during the fast before the Nativity of Christ; the fifth, after the Theophany of the Lord; and the sixth, during Holy and Great Lent. These pillars likewise are always printed at the end of the Ochtoechos.

A Resurrection Gospel which is not read at the All-night Vigil, due to the coincidence of a Sunday with a great feast, is entirely omitted, and at the following Sunday vigil the next Resurrection Gospel in order is read.

At a Sunday vigil, following the reading of the Gospel, a triumphant hymn is sung in which the risen Christ is glorified: "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we hymn and glorify. For Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, we call upon Thy name. O come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn His Resurrection; for, having endured crucifixion, He hath destroyed death by death." During this singing the deacon, or, if there be no deacon, the priest himself, stands with the Gospel on the ambon. After the completion of the singing the Gospel is laid upon the analogion in the center of the temple. Besides at the Sunday vigil, this hymn is also sung at the vigils for the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord and for the Ascension of the Lord. At all Sunday vigils from Pascha until Ascension this hymn is sung thrice. However, on feasts of the Lord — Palm Sunday, Pentecost, the Nativity of Christ, Theophany, and Transfiguration —, even if they should fall on a Sunday, "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ" is not sung.

After this hymn the fiftieth psalm is read: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy…," since, as we read in the tenth matins prayer, we have seen from the reading of the Gospel that the Lord our God has granted unto man forgiveness through repentance, and has shown us, as an example of the knowledge and confession of sin that leadeth to forgiveness, the repentance of the Prophet David.

After the fiftieth psalm, on a normal Sunday we sing: "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: Through the prayers of the Apostles, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of our transgressions." Then, going on: "Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of our transgressions." Then the opening words of Psalm 50 are sung in tone six: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression." Then, a sticheron revealing the fruits of the Resurrection of Christ: "Jesus, having risen from the grave, as He foretold, hath given us life eternal and great mercy."

On the Sundays preparatory to Great Lent — the Sundays of the Publican and the Pharisee, of the Prodigal Son, Meatfare and Cheesefare Sundays, and the five Sundays of Great Lent until Palm Sunday —, after Psalm 50, at Glory the following compunctionate sticheron is sung in tone eight: "The doors of repentance do Thou open to me, O Giver of life, for my spirit waketh at dawn toward Thy holy temple, bearing the temple of the body all defiled. But in Thy compassion cleanse it by the loving-kindness of Thy mercy." Then, at Both now: "Guide me in the paths of salvation, O Theotokos, for I have defiled my soul with shameful sins, and have wasted all my life in slothfulness, but by Thine intercessions deliver me from all uncleanness." Then the first words of Psalm 50 are sung in the sixth tone: "Have mercy on me, O God…" and finally, in the same tone: "When I think of the multitude of evil things I have done, I, a wretched one, I tremble at the fearful day of judgment; but trusting in the mercy of Thy loving-kindness, like David do I cry unto Thee: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy."

In the hymns cited above, which are deeply compunctionate in content, a feeling of sincere repentance is emphasized, to which feeling we must strive, especially during the time of the fast. Additionally, these prayers express a filial fear of deprivation of the Father’s love, due to the "multitude of evil things done;" yet, at the same time, in them one senses a firm hope in the embraces of the Heavenly Father which continually await the repentant sinner.

At the All-night Vigil on the eves of the twelve great feasts, after the reading of Psalm 50, special verses are sung at "Glory" and at "Both now," which are indicated in place in the service for the given feast; then, immediately, the first words of Psalm 50, followed by the sticheron of the feast. This sticheron of the feast is sung even if the great feast, regardless of whether it be a feast of the Lord or of the Theotokos, should fall on a Sunday; it is sung in place of the resurrectional sticheron, "Jesus, having risen from the grave…" At vigils for saints the sticheron of the saint is sung. When a parish feast falls on a Sunday the sticheron of the temple is always sung instead of the resurrectional sticheron, with the exception of the first Sunday of Great Lent, when the resurrectional sticheron is sung.

After the stichera the deacon reads the first prayer of the litany of the litia, "Save, O God, Thy people," in answer to which the choir sings twelve times, "Lord, have mercy," and which the priest concludes with the exclamation: "Through the mercies and compassions and love for mankind of Thine Only begotten Son..."

After this, custom dictates for all the worshippers to come and venerate the Gospel, on Sundays; or, on days of great feasts, the icon of the feast which lies in the center of the temple on an analoy. In addition, if there was a blessing of loaves, wheat, wine, and oil at the vigil, the faithful, upon kissing the Gospel or the icon of the feast, are anointed by the priest with the blessed oil, unto the sanctification of soul and body, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. To the faithful the priest likewise distributes pieces of the bread which had been blessed at the end of Vespers. This anointing is performed instead of the anointing from the kandila (lampada) of the feast or saint, which is appointed in the Typicon for after Matins.

The Canon.

After these prayers, the most important, fundamental, specifically festal part of Matins, the canon, begins.

Prof. M. Skaballanovich states the triode may be considered to be the original form of the canon. In addition to the psalms, in early worship Old Testament songs, or odes, were also used, and by way of refrains for them troparia with Christian content began to be composed. "Refrains in the form of troparia for the Old Testament songs are indicated already in certain descriptions of the Sinai liturgy of the sixth or seventh century (introduction to chapter 328); it is worthy of note that, in this description, the refrains of the eighth ode are set apart from the rest, although they bear the same name of "troparia." Possibly the refrains of the remaining odes took the form of short verses that were the same for every ode (for the first: "Let us sing to the Lord, for gloriously has He been glorified;" for the second: "Glory to Thee, O God;" for the third: "Holy art Thou, O Lord, and of Thee doth my spirit sing;" and so forth), and only at the eighth ode were there "troparia;" if, then, this is so, the original form of the canon was the uniode. The uniode gradually grew into a diode through the addition of a ninth ode to the eight" (see the "Typicon with Commentary," M. Skaballanovich, second edition, p. 267). Later on triodes appeared, then entire canons.

The canon consists of nine odes. The second ode does not occur at the All-night Vigil (being penitential, it occurs only in services on weekdays of Great Lent); the third ode follows immediately after the first. Each ode at the All-night Vigil begins with the singing of the so-called "Irmos," after which follows the reading of troparia, with refrains for each; the ode is completed with the singing of what is called the "Katavasia." The so-called "Odes from Holy Scripture" are the foundation of the canon. These are hymns to the Lord God which are found, for the most part, in the Old Testament (only the ninth ode, which consists of two parts, is taken from the New Testament).

Ode I was sung by Miriam, the sister of Moses, at the event of the miraculous crossing over of the Hebrews through the Red Sea. It begins with the words, "Let us sing to the Lord, for gloriously has He been glorified" (Ex. 15:1-19).

Ode II is the song of Moses during the wandering of the Hebrews in the wilderness: "Attend, O heaven, and I shall speak" (Deut. 32:1-44).

Ode III is the song of Anna, the mother of the prophet Samuel, in thanksgiving for the birth of a son: "My heart hath been established in the Lord" (I Kings 2:1-10).

Ode IV is the song of the prophet Avvakum, who saw God coming through the overshadowed mountain: "O Lord, I heard Thy voice and was afraid" (Avvakum 3:2-20).

Ode V is the song of the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming the birth of Emanuel from the Virgin: "From the night I seek Thee early with my spirit, O God" (Is. 26:9-20).

Ode VI is the song of the prophet Jonah, who was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, and was then cast forth onto dry land: "In my sorrow I cried unto the Lord God" (Jon. 2:1-7).

Ode VII is from the song of the three youths in the fiery furnace: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our Fathers" (Dan. 3:26-56).

Ode VIII is from the song of the same youths: "O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; praise and exalt Him for all ages" (Dan. 3:57-72).

Ode IX consists of two parts: the song of the Most Holy Theotokos at Her visit to Elizabeth — "My soul doth magnify the Lord" (Lk. 1:46-55) —, and the song of the holy prophet Zacharias, the father of St. John the Baptist — "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and wrought deliverance for His people" (Lk. 1:68-79).

These odes, in their entirety as they appear in the Bible, are appointed by ustav to be read or sung only on weekdays during Great Lent. At first the ode itself is sung; then it is sung from the verse which is preceded by the note, "for 14 verses," or "for 8 verses," or "for 6 verses," or "for 4 verses." For example, let us take the first ode, "Let us sing to the Lord." All of the verses are sung up until (and including), "The enemy said," for 14 verses. After the verse, "The enemy said," the irmos of the canon immediately follows; then, alternately, all the troparia of the canon, so that the verses of the ode serve as refrains for the troparia of the canon.

On feast days the odes themselves are not appointed to be sung, and the refrains of the ode for the troparia of the canon are usually replaced with other refrains, which are related to the content of the canon. Thus, for example, the troparia of the resurrectional canon have the refrain: "Glory, O Lord, to Thy holy Resurrection;" for the troparia of canons on feasts of the Lord, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee;" for the cruciresurrectional canon, "Glory, O Lord, to Thy holy Cross and Resurrection;" and for troparia for the canons at feasts of the Theotokos, "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us." During the period of the Lenten Triodion, at the Great Canon, we sing, "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me." At the Sunday Midnight Office: "O Most Holy Trinity, our God, glory to Thee." Feasts of saints likewise have their own refrains, which constitute a prayerful appeal to these saints. For example: "O holy archangels and angels, pray to God for us;" "O holy great John, Forerunner of the Lord, pray to God for us;" "O hierarch father Nicholas, pray to God for us;" and, "O holy greatmartyr…," "O holy martyr…," "O hieromartyr…," or, "O venerable martyr (name), pray to God for us." For venerable saints: "O venerable father Andrew…," or, "O venerable father Seraphim, pray to God for us;" "O venerable mother Mary, pray to God for us."

The very word "canon" — kanwn in translation from the Greek means "rule," an injunction or measure, and in this case signifies the combination of a series of hymns according to a certain rule. The Typicon distinguishes two types of this sort of combination or system of canon: the weekday system is denoted conditionally by the words: "To the Lord let us sing;" the festal, by the words: "Let us sing to the Lord." For the festal system the above-enumerated odes from the Holy Scriptures are not chanted; rather, the canon consists exclusively of the irmosi, the troparia of the ode with their refrains, and the katavasii.

The irmosi are those hymns with which each ode of the canon begins. The irmos takes its content and even several individual words and characteristic expressions from the corresponding ode from the Holy Scriptures. The very word "irmos" — eirmoV — means "connection," and indicates that the irmos serves as a link between the Old Testament hymns and the troparia of the canon.

Following the irmos, the troparia of the canon with their refrains are read; then finally, on feast days, each ode is finished with, once again, an irmos, called the katavasia, which means "convergence," since at the singing of the irmos the ustav calls for the singers of both choirs (clirosi) to come together in the center of the temple.

The author of the resurrectional canons is undoubtedly the venerable John of Damascus (675 — 749-50).

The canon at a Sunday vigil is usually a combination of four canons into one, consisting of the resurrectional canon, the cruciresurrectional canon, the theotokian canon (all three of which are printed in the Ochtoechos in place), and the canon of the saint of the given day from the Menaion. At vigils for the twelve great feasts and for great saints, two canons usually occur; sometimes, however, there is only one canon to the given feast or saint. On feast days the canon is sung as usual, according to the technical expression for 16 (on Pascha and on the Nativity of Christ) or for 14, as is indicated in the ustav. This expression, "for 16," or, "for 14," does not mean that this number of troparia and irmosi will unfailingly be found in the canon, but rather that the troparia must be sung or read as many times as is necessary to total sixteen, or fourteen, in each ode. By ustav the irmosi and troparia should be sung by two choirs, that is, by two clirosi alternately; the irmosi are sometimes indicated to be sung twice (four times at Pascha). In Russia from the middle of the seventeenth century the singing of the troparia of the canon was gradually replaced by the reading thereof, so as not to greatly prolong the service. In present times it is customary to sing the troparia of the Paschal canon.

Each ode of the canon at vigil, as at every festal Matins in general, concludes with the katavasia. Different katavasii occur at different times of year. More often than most is sung the katavasia "of the whole year," "I shall open my mouth." (These are the irmosi used at feasts of the Theotokos, although on the days of great feasts of the Theotokos several of them are adapted to the festal event and are altered.) These katavasii are sung during all periods of the year when there is neither forefeast nor afterfeast of any great feast. Besides them there are also katavasii which are sung over a considerable period of time. Such are "This is the day of Resurrection…" which is sung from Pascha until the leave-taking thereof; "Tracing a cross with his staff…" from August 1 until the leave-taking of the Exaltation on September 21, with the exception of several days connected with the feast of Transfiguration and the feast of the Dormition; and "Christ is born, give ye glory…" from November 21 — the feast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos — until the leave-taking of the Nativity of Christ on December 31. There are likewise other katavasii which are sung for a less prolonged period of time, which is indicated in place liturgical books. Exact and complete facts concerning which katavasii are sung are found in Chapter 19 of the Typicon.

During the singing of the canon, after odes III, VI, and IX, small litanies are pronounced, which serve for the arousal of the attention of the worshippers, at the laudation of the Lord and His saints, to pray also for themselves. In these litanies we entreat the Lord that He might help, save, have mercy on, and keep us by His grace, and having called to remembrance all the saints and the Mother of God we commit ourselves and all our life unto Christ our God. The priest, after each of these litanies, makes an exclamation concerning why we are committing ourselves to God. After ode III: "For Thou art our God…" after ode VI: "For Thou art the King of Peace and the Savior of our souls…" after ode IX: "For all the hosts of the heavens praise Thee…" At each of these exclamations he sends up glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Each of the three parts of the canon, which conclude in this way with a small litany, are accompanied with a single short hymn, which sometimes consists of several parts, which follows immediately after the small litany.

After the third ode of the canon a sedalion or hypakoe is sung or read. After the sixth ode there always follow a kontakion and an ikos. After the ninth ode follows the exapostilarion or photagogicon (svetilen). Sometimes a kontakion and ikos occur after the third ode as well, particularly in the event of a combination of two feasts in one day. Then the kontakion of the more significant feast is sung after the sixth ode, while the kontakion of the less significant feast is transferred to the place following the third ode, before the sedalion. Always after the sixth ode only one kontakion with ikos occurs, while after the third ode the union of several sedalia is possible; likewise, after the ninth ode several photagogica may be combined.

After the third ode and the sedalion, the ustav calls for a "reading" concerning the given feast. After the sixth ode, following the kontakion and ikos, the so called "Synaxarion" (from the Greek sunagw, "I converge," "I gather") is appointed, which contains a wealth of material regarding the given event or the person of the saint being celebrated. Material concerning feasts, as well as that which concerns the lives of saints, may be found, as is indicated in the "Synaxarion," in the "Lives of the Saints" or in the "Prologue," or in special collections. In the works of the Holy Teachers and Preachers, "Addresses" of the latter may also be found dedicated to the memory of the saints or of the events being celebrated.

As regards how several canons are to be combined, in the event of the coincidence of several feasts, at the performance of the All-night Vigil, it is essential to always inquire into the "Markovy chapters," which are printed in the Menaions and the Triodion, as well as, naturally, in the Typicon. It is important to know that on Sundays the canon is always appointed to be sung for 14. The irmosi of the resurrectional canon are sung once, and the troparia — for 14, followed by the katavasia.

At a normal Sunday Matins the resurrectional canon is sung for four, with the insertion here of the irmos, which is sung once; the cruciresurrectional canon is sung for three, the Theotokian for three, and the canon to the saint from the Menaion for four; the three latter canons are read without their irmosi.

The resurrectional canon is not sung only on great feasts of the Lord; on those of the Theotokos it is unfailingly sung. It is likewise not sung on December 24, if it should fall on a Sunday, since then a special resurrectional canon from the Menaion is appointed.

The cruciresurrectional canon is not sung on those Sundays on which the feast of a vigil-rank saint falls, on parish feasts, on forefeasts, and on afterfeasts. In general it is sung only when the canons from the Menaion or Triodion of the saint or of the feast are sung for six; if they are sung for eight, then the cruciresurrectional canon is omitted.

The Theotokian canon (always found in the third place in the Sunday service from the Ochtoechos) is not sung on those Sundays on which a forefeast or an afterfeast occurs, or a saint with a vigil or of the temple, or two saints, two whom two canons are appointed, or in general when two canons besides the resurrectional canon are sung, one for four, the other for six (that is, for ten in all).

On Sundays when the Pentecostarion is sung, from Pascha until the Sunday of All Saints, the resurrectional, cruciresurrectional, and Theotokian canons of the Ochtoechos are altogether not sung, and in their stead are sung the canons of the Pentecostarion only. If the parish feast or a saint with a polyeleos falls on one of these Sundays, the canons from the Pentecostarion and the Menaion are sung.

At the end of the eighth ode, before the katavasia, is sung: "We praise, we bless, we worship the Lord, praising and supremely exalting Him before all ages." Then the ninth ode of Holy Scripture is sung: "My soul doth magnify the Lord:" with the refrain: "More honorable than the Cherubim..." The hymn "More Honorable" is the irmos of the ninth ode of the triode of Great Friday, "From the night," and the author of this triode is Ven. Cosmos of Maium (700 — 760). For this hymn he used the words of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian concerning the Theotokos: "More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond comparison with any of the heavenly hosts" (see the "Typicon with Commentary," II, p. 290). During the singing of this hymn a censing is appointed. The deacon, or the priest, if there be no deacon, already during the singing of the eighth ode performs a censing of the whole altar; then, at the singing of the katavasia of the eighth ode, exits the altar through the north doors, censes the iconostas, and, stopping before the icon of the Mother of God, exclaims, as soon as the singing of the katavasia is completed: "The Theotokos and the Mother of the Light let us magnify in song." After this the choir begins to sing: "My soul doth magnify the Lord…" with the refrain: "More honorable than the Cherubim…;" the deacon during this time performs the censing of the whole temple.

The whole of this singing, conditionally called in the ustav "More Honorable," does not always occur throughout the year. In the Typicon there is a special chapter, Chapter 20, which is thus entitled: "Concerning when More Honorable is sung and when it is not sung." Thus, "More Honorable" is not sung 1) from Lazarus Saturday until the Sunday of Apostle Thomas, 2) on all the Sundays of the Pentecostarion until the leave-taking of Pascha, 3) on all great feasts of the Lord and the leave-takings thereof, if the leave-taking does not occur on a Sunday, and on all great feasts of the Theotokos, if they do not fall on a Sunday, as well as their leave-takings, 4) and on the Midfeast of Pentecost and its leave-taking, Monday of the Holy Spirit, the second day of the Nativity of Christ on December 26 and on the second day of Theophany on January 7, and on January 1 and 30.

When "More Honorable" is not sung, in its place special refrains for the irmos of the ninth ode and for all the troparia of that ode are sung, or simply the irmos of the ninth ode without any refrains. All of this is usually indicated in the liturgical books, the Menaions and the Triodion, in place.

After the small litany and the exclamation of the priest at a Sunday vigil, the deacon exclaims in the tone of the Ochtoechos: "Holy is the Lord our God," which is then sung by the choir thrice alternating with the deacon’s pronunciation of the verses: "For holy is the Lord our God," and, "Above all peoples is our God."

The Exapostilarion, or Photagogicon (Svetilen).

At the Sunday All-night Vigil, after the canon and the singing of "Holy is the Lord our God," there follows the "Exapostilarion," which is thus called due to the fact that in antiquity a singer was sent to the center of the temple for the singing thereof. The name comes from the Greek "exapostello" — exapostellw —, which means "to send out," "to send." It is also possible that they are likewise thus called because the Sunday exapostilaria recount the Lord’s sending the Apostles forth to preach after the Resurrection. There are eleven resurrectional exapostilaria in all, according to thenumber of the resurrectional Matins Gospels. Their content in a way constitutes a brief account of each of these resurrectional Gospels; hence, at Sunday vigils the exapostilarion which corresponds to the Gospel which was read is always either read or sung. All of these are located at the end of the Ochtoechos together with their Theotokia, immediately after the table of the "Gospel pillars." The Sunday exapostilaria (probably with their theotokia) were composed, as their inscription in the Ochtoechos shows, by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (912 — 959), the son of the emperor Leo VI the Wise, the author of the Gospel stichera.

In Greek liturgical books only the title "exapostilarion" is found, but in the Slavonic either the name "exapostilarion" or "svetilen" (photogogicon) is used. This title, apparently, originates from the fact that both the Lenten Triodion and the weekday photagogica speak of God and glorify Him as light and the Giver of light. For instance, in the photagogicon of the Lenten Matins in the eighth tone is written: "As though art light, O Christ, enlighten me with Thyself."

The Psalms of Praise and the Stichera at the Praises.

After the singing of the exapostilarion, or the photagogicon, the so-called psalms of praise are sung, at the Sunday vigil in the regular tone, and at a festal vigil in the tone of the stichera that follow them: Ps. 148 — "Praise the Lord from the heavens;" Ps. 149 — "Sing unto the Lord;" and Ps. 150 — "Praise ye God in His saints." These psalms are appointed to be sung by both choirs, verse by verse. In practice these psalms are usually not sung in their entirety, but rather only selected verses with their refrains, in this manner: "Let every breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest. To Thee is due praise, O God. Praise Him, all ye His angels; praise Him, all ye His hosts. To Thee is due praise, O God. This contrasts to the weekday service, at which the singing or reading of these psalms begins with the words: "Praise the Lord from the heavens;" at a vigil this order is called as such: "Let Every Breath." "Let Every Breath" is sung when there is a "Great Doxology."

Then follow the so-called "stichera of the praises," which are sung to the last six or four verses of these psalms. At a Sunday vigil the singing of these stichera begins after the final verse of Psalm 149: "To do among them the judgment that is written:" and there are eight stichera in all, which is why for the final two stichera special refrains are taken: "Arise, O Lord my God:" and, "I will confess Thee, O Lord." Then follow the stichera at "Glory" at which the Gospel sticheron is sung — and at "Both now," at which at a Sunday vigil the same sticheron is always sung: "Most blessed art Thou, O Virgin Theotokos…" If the commemoration of a saint with a vigil or a polyeleos falls on a Sunday, then only four of the eight stichera are resurrectional, taken from the Ochtoechos; the other four stichera are for the saint, the last two of which have refrains for the saint, which are usually printed in the service to the saint amongst the stichera at the aposticha. The same occurs if a forefeast, an afterfeast, or the leave-taking of a feast falls on a Sunday: then four resurrectional stichera are taken, and four of the forefeast or the feast, the last two with festal refrains. The same occurs in coincidence of a Sunday with a great feast of the Theotokos: four resurrectional stichera and four stichera of the feast. If, in addition to a forefeast or afterfeast, a saint to whom stichera at the praises are appointed falls on a Sunday, then the stichera of the forefeast or the feast are not sung, and only four resurrectional stichera and four of the saint with their refrains are sung. During the singing of the Lenten Triodion and the Pentecostarion, on different Sundays different combinations of stichera at the praises occur, which are always indicated in place.

After the stichera at the praises at a Sunday vigil, at "Glory," for the most part, the so-called "Gospel Sticheron" is sung, which is otherwise called the "Matins Sticheron." These stichera are, like the exapostilaria, eleven in all, and they always correspond to the Matins Gospels and are found in the Ochtoechos immediately after the exapostilaria. Above these stichera is inscribed the tone in which they should be sung. On several Sundays the Gospel stichera are appointed to be sung, not after the stichera at the praises, but after Matins altogether, before the reading of the First Hour. In this case, at "Glory," following the stichera at the praises, the stichera of the feast from the Menaion or from the Triodion is sung. The Gospel sticheron is appointed to be sung after the Matins dismissal on those Sundays which coincide with one of the great feasts of the Theotokos or the forefeast or the leave-taking of the Nativity of Christ or Theophany, as well as on the Sundays from the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee until the Sunday of All Saints, since these days have their own stichera at "Glory" (or doxasticon) which is sung instead of the Gospel sticheron.

At vigils for the twelve great feasts of the Lord and the Theotokos and for great saints, at the praises only four stichera usually occur, which are sung with the verses of Psalm 150, beginning from the verse: "Praise Him for His mighty acts;" at Glory and Both now likewise, stichera of the given feast are sung, and on days of commemoration of great saints the theotokion is sung at Both now.

The Great Doxology.

Following the singing of the stichera at the praises and the final stichera at Both now, the senior priest exclaims: Glory to Thee, Who hast shown us the light; and the choir sings what is called the "Great Doxology," which begins with the words: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men." Before this, usually during the singing of the final stichera at Both now, the royal doors are opened, and remain open until the dismissal of Matins. In this hymn, which is adapted to the morning, the beginning of the day, glorification is offered up to God for His various blessings. The priest, on behalf of all the worshippers, sends up glory and thanksgiving to God, both for the light which shines upon us by day and for the light of faith which has illumined us like the sun and has made us children of light and of the day (I Thess. 5:5). In this hymn we give thanks to the Holy Trinity and especially to the Lamb of God, who takest away the sings of the world, and we ask that He might vouchsafe us to pass the whole time of the day without sin. This hymn is one of the most ancient, for it is mentioned by fathers of the fourth century such as, for example, St. Anthony the Great, in his book on virginity and elsewhere ("The Meaning and Significance of Orthodox Christian Worship, E. I., p. 24). This Great Doxology, which is sung at Sunday and festal vigils, differs somewhat in order from the Doxology which is read at every weekday Matins, and culminates in the singing of the Angelic hymn: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us; thrice, then: Glory, both now; and: "Holy Immortal, have mercy on us; and the final closing "Holy God;" once.

After the conclusion of the Great Doxology and the Trisagion, at Sunday vigils the resurrectional troparion is sung. These resurrectional troparia, which were written by Ven. John of Damascus, and are sung following the Great Doxology, are two in number: one for the odd tones of the Ochtoechos, i.e., tones one, three, five, and seven — "Today salvation has come to the world" — and the other for the even tones two, four, six, and eight — "Having risen from the tomb." At vigils for the twelve great feasts the troparion of the feast is sung once, and at vigils for great saints — the troparion of the saint, glory, both now, and the resurrectional theotokion in the tone of the troparion of the saint. On the third Sunday of Great Lent and on the feast of the Exaltation, following the Great Doxology and the Trisagion the troparion of the cross is sung — "Save, O Lord, Thy people" — and the veneration of the cross takes place.

In ancient times, and even today on Mount Athos, the senior priest pronounced the opening exclamation of the Great Doxology — "Glory to Thee, Who hast shown us the light!" — following the All-night Vigil, when he saw that it had already dawned in the east. Then the Christians, before dispersing, would once again confess, in this triumphant hymn, the Divine glory of the Redeemer, beginning it with the praise of the angels who glorified the wondrous birth of the God-child of Bethlehem. This doxology dates from times of the greatest antiquity: it is already mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions and in the latter of Plinius the Younger to the emperor Trajan. For the sake of greater solemnity it is appointed to be sung in the middle of the temple (see "The Order of Supplicatory Singing").

The Augmented and Supplicatory Litanies

and the Dismissal of Matins.

After the Great Doxology and the troparion which follows it, the Augmented Litany is pronounced, which begins with the petition: "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy!" This litany is immediately followed by the Supplicatory Litany, which begins with the words, "Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord!" It concludes, however, not with the same exclamation as at Vespers, but with another: "For Thou art a God of mercy, compassion, and love for mankind, and to Thee do we send up glory…" The priest then bestows "peace unto all." The choir replies, "And to Thy spirit." The deacon calls all to bow their heads, and the priest privately reads the prayer at the bowing of heads, which differs from the prayer which was read at Vespers, and in which we ask God that He, as One Who is good and the Lover of mankind, might forgive us all the ways in which we have sinned voluntarily and involuntarily, and bestow upon us His earthly and spiritual good things. He finishes it aloud with the exclamation: "For thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory…" Then follow the exclamations and prayers which always precede the dismissal. The deacon exclaims, "Wisdom." The choir sings, "Father, bless." The priest exclaims, "He that is is blessed, Christ our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings, "Amen," then, "Establish, O God, the holy Orthodox faith of Orthodox Christians unto the ages of ages." The priest exclaims, "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" to which the choir responds with the doxology of the Most Holy Theotokos: "More honorable than the Cherumbim…" The priest then glorifies the Lord: "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee." The choir, continuing this doxology, sings: "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen;" it asks mercy of the Lord, thrice singing, "Lord, have mercy;" then, finally, it asks the blessing of the priest to exit the church, singing, "Father, bless." At this the priest gives the blessing, pronouncing the so-called dismissal.

Dismissals may be great or small, usual or festal. At the end of a festal Matins, as at the ends of Vespers and Liturgy, the great dismissal is always pronounced. At the ends of the Hours, Compline, and the Midnight Office the small dismissal is always pronounced. The great feasts of the Lord and the days of Holy Week have their own special festal dismissals. All of these dismissals are located in the Service Book.

The great dismissal always begins with the words, "May Christ our true God, through the prayers of His Most Pure Mother, of the holy and glorious and all-praised apostles…" Further on the saint to whom the temple is dedicated is commemorated, then the saint whose memory is celebrated on the given day. The dismissal then continues: "… of the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind." The choir sings, "Amen," and the Many Years. On Sundays the dismissal begins with the words, "May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead…" Feasts of the Lord likewise have their own beginning, as indicated in the Service Book. The Small dismissal is pronounced thus: "May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind." On Sundays, however, the words "…Who rose from the dead…" are added to the beginning.

 

III. The First Hour and The End of the All-night Vigil

After the dismissal of Matins at the All-night Vigil on Sundays and feast days, according to chapters two, three, four, five, and seven of the Typicon, an exit into the vestibule to the singing of the idiomelon sticheron (that is, the litia sticheron of the temple) is appointed. If the Gospel sticheron has not been sung in its usual place — at Glory following the stichera at the praises —, Glory, both now, and the Gospel sticheron are sung. After this the reading of a catechiticalhomily of Ven. Theodore the Studite is appointed; then, at the completion of the reading, his troparion, "O instructor of Orthodoxy," is sung, after which follows the First Hour.

In present times, particularly in parish temples, this exit into the vestibule does not take place; rather, after the dismissal of Matins the reading of the First Hour is immediately begun inside the temple.

The First Hour begins with the reading of "O come, let us worship God our king," thrice, and consists of three psalms: psalms 5: "Unto my words give ear, O Lord;" 89: "Lord, Thou hast been our refuge;" and 100: "Of mercy and judgment will I sing unto Thee, O Lord." Then Glory, both now is read, followed by the thrice-repeated "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God," "Lord have mercy," thrice, and "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit," after which the resurrectional troparion of the given tone, the troparion of the feast, or the troparion of the saint being celebrated is read. Then, "Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen," after which follow the so-called "Theotokion of the Hours" — "What shall we call Thee…" —, "My steps do Thou direct according to Thy saying…," and the Trisagion through Our Father. After the exclamation of the priest, "For Thine is the kingdom," the reader says Amen and reads the kontakion of the Resurrection, of the feast, or of the celebrated saint. Then, "Lord, have mercy," forty times, and the prayer in which every hour usually finishes: "Thou Who at all times and at every hour…" Then, "Lord, have mercy" thrice, "Glory, both now," "More honorable than the Cherubim…," and the reader asks the blessing of the priest, saying: "In the name of the Lord, father, bless." At this the priest pronounces the exclamation: "O God, be gracious unto us and bless us, and cause Thy face to shine upon us, and have mercy on us!" Then, after the "Amen" pronounced by the reader, the priest exits the altar onto the ambon and, turning to face the icon of Christ the Savior, pronounces the prayer: "O Christ the True Light, Who enlightenest and sanctifiest every man that cometh into the world…," which is the closing prayer of the First Hour. During the final words of this prayer, "…through the intercessions of Thy Most Pure Mother…," the priest turns to face the icon of the Theotokos. The choir then sings, according to custom: "To Thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory…" The priest now glorifies the Lord anew: "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee!" The choir sings, "Glory, both now," "Lord, have mercy," thrice, and "Father, bless!" The priest then pronounces the small dismissal. The choir sings, "Amen," then, "Lord, have mercy," thrice. This ends the All-night Vigil.

We are informed "concerning the All-night Vigils which occur throughout the year" in the sixth chapter of the Typicon, which reckons fifty-two Sunday vigils in the year — including all the feasts, sixty-eight vigils in all —, while stipulating that, should the rector so desire, vigils may be served on other days also; it likewise states that on the day of the feast of the temple a vigil invariably "must take place."

The ustav of the All-night Vigil is expounded in a detailed manner in several chapters of the Typicon — in the chapters two and three, for the most part; also in chapters four, five, and fifteen.

The Calendar for the whole year, in which all of the so-called "Markovy chapters" are placed, is set forth in Chapter 48 of the Typicon; the ustav of the Holy Forty-day Fast is found in Chapter 49, and the ustav of the period of Holy Pentecost in Chapter 50. In all uncertain cases, answers should be carefully sought in these chapters.

 

IV. The Polyeleos Service

On days of so-called "Median" feasts, denoted in liturgical books by the sign of a (cross) cross printed in red type, a service termed "Polyeleos" is performed, rather than the All-night Vigil. In many ways this service is similar to the All-night Vigil, but there are also several essential differences between them, primarily the following:

1. At a polyeleos service Vespers and Matins are not combined together, but are performed separately — Vespers in the evening, on the eve of the feast, and Matins later.

2. Immediately before Vespers the Ninth Hour is read (Small Vespers is not served). Upon the completion of the prayer of the Ninth Hour the curtain is drawn open; the priest goes out and stands before the royal doors and begins Vespers with the exclamation: "Blessed is our God…" and the reader reads: "O come, let us worship…" The opening psalm 103 is then read, and not sung; the opening of the royal doors and the censing do not take place.

3. At "Blessed is the Man," only the first antiphon is sung.

4. At "Lord, I have Cried," six stichera are sung, or eight if desired; all are taken from the Menaion service for the given feast.

5. Stichera are not sung at the litia; the litia and the blessing of bread are not performed.

6. After "Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant" and the Trisagion through "Our Father," the troparion of the saint is sung once, then Glory, both now and the resurrectional theotokion in the tone of the troparion; or, if it be a forefeast or afterfeast, the troparion of the feast is sung instead of the theotokion. Then the deacon exclaims: "Wisdom!" The choir sings: "Father, bless!" The priest: "He that is is blessed, Christ our God…" The choir: "Establish, O God…" The priest: "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" followed by the great dismissal of the day (see the Service Book). The choir then sings the Many Years. This type of Vespers is called Great Vespers.

After Vespers, in the evening, Small Compline is performed; then, at night, the Midnight Office.

In the morning Matins, known as Polyeleos Matins, is performed at the appointed time.

The Polyeleos Matins begins, not with the Six Psalms, as at vigil, but with the reading of two so-called "royal psalms" (psalms 19 and 20), troparia, and a special litany (these psalms and troparia are omitted only during the period from Pascha to Ascension), in the following manner:

The priest, tracing a cross with the censer before the altar table, exclaims: "Blessed is our God…" The reader reads the usual opening prayers in their entirety; however, if Matins follows immediately after the Midnight Office, he reads only "O come, let us worship," thrice, and psalms 19"The Lord hear thee in the day of affliction…" and 20"O Lord, in Thy strength the king shall be glad…" During the reading of these psalms the priest, exiting through the north doors, performs a full censing of the altar and the whole temple. Then follows the reading of the Trisagion through Our Father; the troparion, "Save, O Lord, Thy people…;" Glory; the kontakion, "O Thou Who wast lifted up willingly…;" Both now; and the theotokion, "O awesome intercession…" The priest enters the altar and, with the censer in his hands, pronounces a special brief augmented litany before the altar. After the exclamation thereof, "For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…," the choir sings: "In the name of the Lord, father, bless!" The priest, tracing a cross with the censer, exclaims: "Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating, and indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings, "Amen," and the reading of the Six Psalms begins.

Then follows the same order as when Matins which is part of the all-night Vigil; the canon, however, is read with only eight troparia. On days when saints are commemorated this canon is preceded by the canon to the Theotokos, with six troparia including its irmos; on days of a forefeast or afterfeast it is preceded by the canon of the feast, likewise with six troparia including its irmos. The ustav of the polyeleos service is detailed in Chapter 7 of the Typicon.

In the Typicon a polyeleos service is appointed for each of the twelve Apostles, with the exception of St. John the Theologian, for whom a vigil is appointed; a vigil is likewise appointed for the holy first leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. Additionally, according to the Ustav, polyeleos services are appointed for the hierarchs of Moscow Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Phillip, Hermogenes, and Tikhon, on October 5; the Holy Great-martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica, on October 26; the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael, on November 8; the Holy Prophet Elias, on July 20; and also on feasts of the appearance and translation of several wonderworking icons of the Most Holy Theotokos, such as, for example, the appearance of the Tikhon icon, on June 26; the Kazan icon, on July 8 and October 22; the Smolensk Hodigitria, on July 28; the Novgorod Icon of the Sign and the Kursk Root Icon of the Sign, on November 27; and the Vladimir icon, on August 26, June 23, and May 21. Polyeleos services are also appointed for the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Constantine and Helen, on May 21, and for two feasts which always fall during Great Lent (the first sometimes on Meatfare Saturday, Meatfare Sunday, or during Cheesefare Week), for which the services are accordingly performed in a somewhat different manner, being combined with the Lenten service according to the directions of the Markovy chapters: these are the feasts of the first and second findings of the head of John the Forerunner, on February 24, and of the Forty Martyrs who suffered in the lake of Sebaste, on March 9.

 

V. The Doxology Service

On the days of so-called "small" feasts, denoted in liturgical books by the special sign [insert sign] in red, which consists of three dots "not completely encompassed," a service which bears the title of "Doxology" is performed. This title is due to the fact that at Matins on these feasts the great doxology is sung, though there is no polyeleos. The ustav of this service is not always the same: since it comprises something between a festal and a daily weekday service, at some times it bears a greater resemblance to a festal service, and at others it has more of an everyday character. Therefore, on days when a doxology service is appointed, one must consult the directions of the Typicon especially diligently. Thus, for example, at a doxology service daily Vespers usually takes place, at which the usual regular kathisma is read, six stichera are sung at "Lord, I have Cried," and no entry takes place (the canon at Matins is read with six troparia). Sometimes, however, Great Vespers takes place, with an entry and even with Old Testament readings. At doxology Matins, before the great doxology, "Let every breath" is sung with stichera at the praises, which does not occur at daily Matins.

The number of small feasts for which doxology services are appointed is considerable. The majority of these feasts are those of Russian saints. Doxology feasts for non-Russian saints number, in all, about fourteen. Such, for example, are the feast of the Founding of the Holy Temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem, on September 13; the Conception of St. John the Baptist, on September 23; the Placing of the Venerable Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos at Blachernae, on July 2; the feast of the Bringing-out of the Venerable Wood of the Life-creating Cross of the Lord ("bringing-out" here means "carrying out," or the procession with the cross which took place in Constantinople), on August 1; the feast of the Translation of the Image Not-made-by-hands, or the Holy Urbus, on August 16; the Placing of the Sash of the Most Holy Theotokos, on August 31; and the Church New Year, on Septeber 1, on which, according to the directions of the Typicon, although it is marked in the Typicon with a polyeleos sign, merely doxology Matins are performed, though Great Vespers are served with an entry and with Old Testament readings.

Doxology Matins is likewise performed on the leave-takings of all twelve great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos, as well as on the second day of the Nativity of Christ, December 26; the second day of Theophany, January 7; the second day of Pentecost, Holy Spirit Day; the leave-taking of Pascha; Cheesefare Saturday, when the memory of all the saints who have shown forth by fasting is celebrated; the Saturday of the Akathist in the fifth week of Great Lent; Lazarus Saturday; and Great Saturday, during Holy Week.

At doxology Matins the order of daily Matins is followed from the beginning of Matins until the end of the canon, with the exception of the katavasii at the canon, which are festal. Beginning from the singing of "Let Every Breath," however, the end of Matins follows the same festal order as has been indicated above.

 

VI. The Six-Stichera Service

On days of so-called "small feasts," denoted in liturgical books by the special sign [insert sign] in black (in contrast to the same sign in red, by which a doxology service is denoted, as we saw above), which consists of three dots "not entirely encompassed," a service is performed which bears the title of "six-stichera," or, in abbreviated form, simply "six-stich." This title stems from the fact that, on the days of these small feasts, six stichera are sung at "Lord, I have Cried" from their service in the Menaion, while at the usual daily Vespers only three stichera are sung to the saint of the day. The second peculiarity of these small feasts is that at the canon at Matins only four troparia are read from the Menaion. Only in these two peculiarities does the six-stichera service differ from the usual weekday service. These small feasts for which six-stichera services are served include, for example, the commemoration of the Holy Righteous Zacharias and Elizabeth, on September 5; the commemoration of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossae, on September 6; the memory of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Thecla, on September 24; the Holy Prophet Daniel and the three youths, on December 17; the Venerable Paul of Thebes and John Calabytes, the Hut-dweller, on January 15; the Veneration of the Chains of the Holy Apostle Peter, on January 16; and many others.

VII. The Five Ranks of Feast.

Thus, as we have seen, the Typicon distinguishes five ranks of feast in all:

1. Great feasts, denoted by a cross inside a sphere [insert symbol] in red, for which an All-night Vigil is performed.

2. Two ranks of median feasts:

a) those denoted by a cross inside a semicircle [insert symbol] in red, for which an All-night Vigil is performed, and b) those denoted by a cross alone [insert symbol] in red, for which a polyeleos, and not a vigil, is performed.

3. Small feasts, of which there are also two ranks:

a) those denoted by three dots "not entirely encompassed" [insert symbol] in red, for which a doxology service is performed, and

b) those denoted by three dots "not entirely encompassed" [insert symbol] in black, for which a six-stichera service is performed.

VIII. The Daily Vespers.

Daily Vespers are performed on the eves of days on which no great or median feast occurs; it is performed on weekdays as well as on the eves of small feasts of the first, "six-stichera" rank, and in part on the eves of small feasts of the first, "doxology" rank.

The order of the daily Vespers is as follows: it is always preceded by the reading of the Ninth Hour, after which no dismissal occurs; rather, the priest, having drawn open the curtain of the royal doors, exits through the north doors onto the ambon and, following the end of the closing prayer of the Ninth Hour, exclaims:

"Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."

The reader responds with "Amen," followed by "O come, let us worship…" thrice. He then reads the Opening Psalm 103, during which the priest, standing before the royal doors with bared head, reads the lamp-lighting prayers. Upon the completion of the psalm the deacon, or, if there be no deacon, the priest himself, pronounces the Great Litany there before the royal doors.

After the great litany the regular kathisma is read (the order of the reading is indicated in the beginning of the Psalter). Here it is important to remember that at Vespers no more than one kathisma is ever chanted; at Vespers "on Sunday (that is, on the eve of Monday) no kathisma is never chanted." So also at Vespers on the twelve great feasts: if an All-night Vigil was served on the eve, the regular kathisma at Vespers is omitted. After the kathisma there follows the Small Litany with the exclamation: "For Thine is the dominion…" Then, "Lord, I have Cried" is sung in the tone of the given week with six stichera, three of which are from the Ochtoechos of the given tone and day of the week, and three of which are from the Menaion, for the saint of the day. During the singing of "Lord, I have Cried," the priest customarily performs a censing of the altar and the temple. At the end of the singing of the stichera, Glory, both now is sung, followed by the theotokion, or the stavrotheotokion, if Vespers is performed on the eve of a Wednesday or a Friday. These theotokia are compiled in a special section at the end of the Menaion, under the heading: "The Theotokia of the eight tones, sung when there is a doxasticon for the saint in the Menaion." When there is a sticheron at "Glory" in the Menaion for the saint, the theotokion at "Both now" is sung in the same tone, i.e., in the tone of the Glory.

"O Gentle Light" is read, and at the reading thereof neither are the royal doors opened, nor does an entry with the censer occur. Then, before the royal doors, the priest pronounces the prokeimenon of the day, which is indicated for each day of the week in the Service Book and in the Horologion. After the prokeimenon, "Vouchsafe, O Lord" is read. Up until the prayer "Vouchsafe, O Lord," the prayers of Vespers were somewhat concerned with the end of the past day. From the prayer "Vouchsafe, O Lord," however, they already pertain to the coming day. Therefore, during fasts, following "Vouchsafe, O Lord," prostrations cease, if the next day is a festal one, and conversely prostrations are begun, if the next day begins a fast. Then follows the Supplicatory Litany, "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord…," with its closing exclamation: "For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind…" Then the priest bestows "Peace unto all;" the choir responds: "And to Thy spirit;" the deacon says: "Let us bow our heads unto the Lord;" and the priest silently reads the Prayer at the Bowing of Heads, concluding it aloud with the exclamation: "Blessed and most glorified be the dominion of Thy kingdom…"

The Stichera at the Aposticha are then sung from the Ochtoechos with the refrains indicated in the Horologion. If it be a forefeast or an afterfeast, the stichera of the forefeast or afterfeast are sung from the Menaion. Then Glory, and the sticheron from the Menaion, if there be any; Both now, and the theotokion, or the stavrotheotokion, on the eves of Wednesdays and Fridays, or the sticheron of the forefeast or afterfeast from the Menaion.

"Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant" is then read, followed by the Trisagion through "Our Father," after which the priest exclaims: "For Thine is the kingdom…" The Troparion is then sung, followed by Glory, Both now, and the theotokion, or, on a day of an afterfeast, the troparion of the feast.

Then follows the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God…," which concludes with the exclamation of the priest: "For a merciful God art Thou…"

The deacon exclaims, "Wisdom!" at which the choir sings, "Father, bless!" and the priest exclaims, "He that is is blessed, Christ our God…" The choir sings, "Amen," then, "Establish, O God, the holy Orthodox faith…" The priest exclaims, "O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" which is followed by the great dismissal. After the dismissal of daily Vespers, just as after the dismissal of Small and Great Vespers, the many years is sung.

IX. Small Compline.

After daily Vespers, just as after Great Vespers when no All-night Vigil is appointed, Small Compline is performed (in monasteries it usually takes place after the evening meal, before going to sleep, and is combined with the reading of the prayers before sleep). Small Compline is served almost throughout the year; however, on weekdays during Great Lent, excepting Wednesday and Friday of the fifth week, and on Tuesday and Thursday of Cheesefare Week, Great Compline is performed instead of Small Compline. The order of Small Compline is as follows:

"Blessed is our God…"

"Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee."

O Heavenly King.

The Trisagion through "Our Father."

"Lord, have mercy" twelve times.

Glory, both now.

O come, let us worship, thrice.

Psalm 50: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy…"

Psalm 69: "O God, be attentive unto helping me…"

Psalm 142: "O Lord, hear my prayer, attend unto my supplication…"

"Glory to God in the highest…" — the doxology which occurs at weekday Matins.

The Symbol of Faith: "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty…"

The canon to the Most Holy Theotokos from the Ochtoechos (see the Typicon, Ch. 9).

"It is truly meet..."

The Trisagion through "Our Father…"

The troparion of the saint of the day, of the temple, or of the forefeast.

The troparia, "O God of our fathers…," and, "Adorned in the blood of Thy martyrs…"

Glory: "With the saints give rest…"

Both now: "Through the intercessions, O Lord, of all the saints…"

"Lord, have mercy," forty times.

The prayer, "Thou Who at all times and at every hour…"

"Lord, have mercy," thrice; Glory, both now; "More honorable than the Cherubim…"

"In the name of the Lord, father, bless!"

The exclamation of the priest: "Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us!"

The prayer, "O undefiled, untainted…"

The prayer, "And grant unto us, O Master, in the coming of sleep…"

"Most glorious Ever-Virgin…"

"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son…"

"Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee!"

Glory, both now; "Lord, have mercy," thrice; "Father, bless!"

The small dismissal.

The usual asking of forgiveness and the special litany of Compline.

The significance of Compline is described in the so-called "Instructional Information" found at the end of the Service Book. There the following is written: "At Compline, and while reading the prayers on approaching sleep, let the priest piously meditate on how the most holy soul of the Savior, united with divinity, having descended into hades, all-powerfully bound the prince of darkness, took captive his kingdom and delivered from suffering the spirits of all the righteous who from the ages dwelt there, led them out with Him, and caused them to dwell in paradise until His glorious Ascension. Therefore, thanking Him for all these kindnesses which He gave to the human race by His saving suffering and life-giving death, let him sincerely pray that by them He may cleanse his sins as well, deliver him from eternal punishment, and make him worthy of His kingdom. Let him sincerely pray to the most holy Theotokos, Who was a participant in the suffering and death of Her Son and, having seen all this, cosuffered that in this life She might be a mediatress and a helper in all virtues, and in the day of separation from the body deliver his soul from all diabolical phantoms by Her powerful mediation, and cause him to dwell in the kingdom of Her Son." Compline, as we see, is compiled in accordance with these thoughts.

On days of the fourefeast of the Nativity of Christ, from December 20 to 24, as well as those of the forefeast of Theophany, from January 2 to 5, the canon to the Theotokos at Compline is replaced by special triodes and canons from the Menaion. Likewise on August 5, if it falls on a Sunday. On days of the afterfeasts of the Nativity of Christ and of Theophany, Compline has no canon whatsoever. At Compline during Holy Week special triodes are likewise appointed, from the Lenten Triodion. On the day of Pentecost, instead of the canon to the Theotokos, a special canon to the Holy Spirit is sung from the Pentecostarion. From the Sunday of St. Thomas until the Saturday before Pentecost, one of the triodes from the Pentecostarion (all of which are printed at the end of the Menaion in order) is also joined to the canon of the Most Holy Theotokos at Compline, and "where we read a triode, that ode to the Theotokos in the canon is omitted." In some instances not only is a canon appointed to be read at Compline, but stichera as well.

After the dismissal at the end of Compline the so-called "usual asking of forgiveness" takes place, which consists of the serving priest making a prostration to the ground, asking forgiveness of all those standing in the temple with the words: "Bless, holy fathers and brethren, and forgive me, a sinner, all wherein I have sinned this day in deed, word, and thought, and in all my senses." Then, having arisen, he blesses, saying: "Through His grace may God forgive and have mercy on us all." After this a special litany with brief petitions is said.

X. The Midnight Office.

At midnight, or at night in general, before the beginning of Matins, a service called the "Midnight Office" is appointed to be performed. There are three types of Midnight Office: daily — which is performed on weekdays Monday through Friday —, Saturday, and Sunday. The daily and Saturday Midnight Offices are more prolonged and consist of two parts each; the Sunday Midnight Office consists of but one part. The order of the Midnight Office is as follows:

Daily

Saturday

Sunday

 

Blessed is our God…

 
 

The usual opening prayers

 
 

Psalm 50: "Have mercy on me, O God…"

 

The Seventeenth Kathisma:

"Blessed are the blameless…"

The Ninth Kathisma:

"To Thee is due…"

The Canon of the tone to the Most Holy Trinity, from the Ochtoechos

The Symbol of Faith

The Symbol of Faith

The Trinitarian Troparia; "It is truly meet…"

 

The Trisagion through "Our Father"

 

The troparion: "Behold, the Bridegroom…"

The troparion: "O Thou Who art by nature…""

The resurrectional hypakoe of the tone

Glory: "Meditating on that terrible day…"

Glory: "Imitating on earth…"

 

Both now: "Thee, the unassailable wall…"

Both now: "From bed and sleep…"

"Lord, have mercy," 40 times

 

"Thou Who at all times…"

"Thou Who at all times…"

 

"Lord, have mercy," thrice

"Glory, both now"

"More honorable than the Cherubim…"

"In the name of the Lord, father, bless."

"O God, be gracious unto us and bless us…"

The prayer: "O Master, God, the Father Almighty…"

 

At the Sunday Midnight Office the prayer, "O omnipotent and life-creating Holy Trinity…," the small dismissal, and the usual asking of forgiveness take place.

The second part of the Midnight Office then follows (on weekdays and Saturdays), which consists of psalms 12, "I have lifted up mine eyes to the mountains…," and 133, "Behold now, bless ye…;" the Trisagion through "Our Father;" troparia for the departed; and the prayer for the departed: "Remember, O Lord…"

All three forms of the Midnight Office finish with the small dismissal, the usual asking of forgiveness, and a special litany, the same as that which occurs at the end of Compline. According to the Athonite rule, at the end of the daily and Saturday Midnight Office the following troparia are sung: "Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!" Glory: "Lord, have mercy on us…;" Both now: "The doors of compassion open unto us…," and a litia is said that consists of two petitions: "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy…," at which "Lord, have mercy" is sung thrice, and "Again we pray that this sacred monastery and this city may be preserved…," at which "Lord, have merc," is sung forty times, after which follows the exclamation, "Hearken unto us, O God our Savior…" then, "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope…" and the dismissal with the usual asking of forgiveness.

The purpose of the Midnight Office, according to the explanation of the "Instructional Information," is 1) to remind the faithful of how our Lord, going to His voluntary sufferings at Midnight in the Garden, was praying so fervently during this struggle that His sweat became like drops of blood which dripped upon the ground; 2) to arouse the faithful to be always ready for the day of the Last and Terrible Judgment, which may arrive, like the bridegroom, at midnight; and 3) to teach the faithful to imitate the vigil of the Angels, who unsleepingly sing, "Holy, holy, holy!"

From the middle of Holy Week until Thomas Sunday the ustav directs that in monasteries the Midnight Office be served, not in the temple, but in individual cells.

On feast days such as September 9, December 26, January 7, Monday of the Holy Spirit, and the leave-taking of Pascha, it is indicated that, following the first Trisagion, instead of "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at midnight," the troparion of the feast should be sung, and following the second Trisagion, in place of the troparia for the departed, the kontakion of the feast. At this time the prayer for the departed, "Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brethren…," is not said (see the order for these days in the Typicon).

XI. Daily Matins.

By ustav the daily Matins usually follow immediately after the Midnight Office. The priest draws open the curtain of the royal doors, takes the censer in his hands, and standing before the altar traces a cross with the censer, exclaiming: "Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages!" The reader responds, "Amen," and reads "O come, let us worship…" thrice. He then reads the two so-called "royal psalms," which contain prayers for the Tsar: Psalm 19, "The Lord hear thee in the day of affliction…;" and Psalm 20, "O Lord, in Thy strength the king shall be glad…" These are followed by "Glory, both now," the Trisagion through "Our Father," the exclamation of the priest: "For Thine is the kingdom…," the troparion: "Save, O Lord, Thy people…," Glory, the kontakion: "O Thou Who was lifted up willingly on the Cross…," Both now, and the theotokion: "O awesome intercession…" During this time the priest performs a complete censing of the whole temple, beginning with the altar, concerning which the ustav notes: "The reader and the priest should be attentive, so that when the priest must say, "For Thine is the kingdom…," he should be in the center of the temple" (Typicon, Ch. 9). Towards the end of the reading the priest enters the altar by the south doors and, standing before the altar, pronounces a special brief augmented litany, consisting of only three petitions, with the exclamation, "For a merciful God art Thou…" The choir sings, "Amen. In the name of the Lord, father, bless!" The priest, tracing a cross with the censer before the holy table, exclaims: "Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-creating, and indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings, "Amen," and the reader begins the reading of the Six Psalms in the center of the church, during which time the priest silently reads the Morning Prayers. The great litany then follows. Then, "God is the Lord, and hath appeared unto us" (in the tone of the troparion) is sung four times, and the troparion is sung to the saint of the day. The troparion is sung twice, then Glory, both now, and the theotokion from the so-called "lesser theotokia" (not from the resurrectional Theotokia sung at vigils and polyeleos feasts), which are found in a special section, with divisions by tone and day of the week, at the end of the Menaion and the Psalter with Appendix, under the heading: "The dismissal theotokia following troparia of saints, sung throughout the whole year, at Vespers, at Matins at "God is the Lord," and again at the end of Matins" (Typ. Ch. 57). If there are troparia to two saints in the Menaion, the troparion to the first saint is sung twice, then at "Glory" the troparion to the other saint, once, and at "Both now" the theotokion in the tone of the second troparion. After the theotokion follows the reading of the kathismata: from Thomas Sunday until the leave-taking of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord (the summer period), two kathismata are chanted at Matins; from the leave-taking of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord until the Sunday of the Prodigal Son (the winter period), three kathismata are read at Matins, excepting the periods of the feasts of Nativity and Theophany, from December 20 until January 14, when, due to the feasts, only two kathismata are read, as in the summer. During the two preparatory weeks before Great Lent — Meetfare and Cheesefare — two kathismata are likewise read, "to give some little respite to the brethren" before the beginning of Great Lent, when a completely separate ustav for the Psalter is appointed, and three kathismata are again read at Matins. There is likewise an entirely separate ustav for the reading of the Psater during the fifth week of Great Lent and during Holy Week.

At daily Matins, when it is neither a Saturday nor during a forefeast or afterfeast, the small litany is not pronounced after every kathisma; rather, after each completed kathisma there immediately follows the sedalion from the Ochtoechos. If it be Saturday, the small litanies are pronounced; if during a forefeast or afterfeast, then the sedalia from the Menaion are read; the small litany is pronounced before them. After the end of the last kathisma and sedalion, Psalm 50 — "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy" — is read, and following the reading thereof, if it be a normal time of year, and not Great Lent, the canon immediately begins, which consists of the following individual canons united together:

1. On Monday, the canon of compunction to the Lord Jesus Christ from the Ochtoechos, the canon to the bodiless hosts, and the canon from the Menaion to the saint of the day.

2. On Tuesday, the penitential canon to the Lord Jesus Christ, the canon to the holy great prophet John the Forerunner, and the canon from the Menaion to the saint of the day.

3. On Wednesday, the canon to the Precious and Life-giving Cross, the canon to the Most Holy Theotokos, and the canon from the Menaion to the saint of the day.

4. On Thursday, the canon to the holy Apostles, the canon to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, and the canon from the Menaion to the saint of the day.

5. On Friday, the canon to the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord, the canon to the Most Holy Theotokos, and the canon from the Menaion to the saint of the day.

The service on Saturday has its own particular ustav: one when "God is the Lord" is sung at Matins on Saturday, and another when "Alleluia" is sung. The canons on a Saturday when "God is the Lord" is sung are usually sung in the following manner:

If the temple is dedicated to Christ or to the Theotokos:

1. The canon of the temple of Christ or of the Theotokos, with six troparia including its irmos;

2. the canon to the saint from the Menaion, with four; and

3. the canon to the martyrs from the Ochtoechos, with four.

If the temple be dedicated to a saint:

1. The canon to the saint from the Menaion, which always leads on Saturday, with six troparia including its irmos;

2. the canon to the saint of the temple, with four; and

3. the first canon from the Ochtoechos, to the martyrs, with four (the second canon, for the departed, is sung at Compline).

In the Typicon there is a special eleventh chapter, "Concerning the canons at Matins for the whole week," in which is indicated how to combine canons from the Ochtoechos with the Menaion. For each ode no more than fourteen, and sometimes twelve, troparia from all the canons together are appointed.

When a six-stichera saint does not occur on weekdays (but not on Saturdays), both canons from the Ochtoechos are sung, without any omissions of their troparia: the first canon from the Ochtoechos is sung with six, the second with four, and the canon to the saint from the Menaion with four. If a six-stichera saint or a saint with a doxology occurs, two troparia are omitted in the canons of the Ochtoechos, usually the martyrica, when there are any. If two saints occur on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, the second canon of the Ochtoechos is not sung at all; on Wednesday and Friday both canons from the Ochtoechos are sung without the martyrica. On the days of the forefeast, afterfeast, or leave-taking of a feast, the canons of the Ochtoechos are entirely omitted, and in their stead the canons of the forefeast or the feast are sung, or, during the period from Thomas Sunday until the Sunday of All Saints, the canons of the Pentecostarion.

On Saturday the canon of the temple of a saint is not sung, if there be a commemoration of two saints. We then sing canons to the first saint, with six including its irmos; to the second saint, with four; and to the martyrs, from the Ochtoechos, with four. The canon of the temple saint is likewise not sung when there is a commemoration of a saint with a doxology, polyeleos, or vigil: then, in place of the canon to the temple saint, the canon to the Theotokos is sung. However, in these instances, the canon of a temple dedicated to the Lord or to the Most Holy Theotokos is not omitted.

At daily Matins, unlike on feasts, not every ode of the canon is concluded by a katavasia; rather, instead of katavasii, the third, sixth, eighth, and ninth odes are closed by the singing of the irmos of the last of the canons which are appointed to be sung on the given day.

The third ode of the canon and the small litany are followed by the sedalion from the Menaion, Glory, both now, and its theotokion. The sixth ode and the litany are followed by the kontakion and ikos, if there be such; if not, the kontakion is taken from the general Menaion. After the eigtht ode, "The Theotokos and the Mother of the Light let us magnify in song" is exclaimed, and "More Honorable" is sung, except for those days when the singing thereof is suspended by ustav.

After the ninth ode at daily Matins, "It is Truly Meet" is usually sung, and a prostration is made to the ground (except on Saturday), after which follows the small litany. Then follows the photagogicon, the ustav for which is found in Chapter 16 of the Typicon. At daily Matins the photagogicon of the Ochtoechos is read according to the day of the week; then Glory, both now, and its theotokion. If there is a photagogicon to the saint in the Menaion, it is read at "Glory" following the daily photagogicon of the Ochotechos; then "Both now" is read, and the theotokion of the former, or, if it be Wednesday or Friday, then the stavrotheotokion from the Ochtoechos. On Saturday, however, first the photagogicon of the Menaion is read, then "Glory," the photagogicon of the Ochtoechos, "Both now," and its theotokion. On days of a forefeast or an afterfeast, the photagogicon of the saint is read, then "Glory, both now," and the photagogicon of the forefeast or afterfeast. "The Daily Photagogica for the Whole Week" are located at the end of the Ochtoechos.

After the photagogica follows the reading of the Psalms of Praise: "Praise the Lord from the heavens" — Psalm 148 —, "Sing unto the Lord" — Psalm 149 —, and "Praise ye God" — Psalm 150. At daily Matins, for the most part, there are no stichera at the praises. At the end of the reading of the psalms the priest exclaims: "To Thee glory is due, O Lord our God, 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 the ages of ages." The reader says, "Amen." The priest then pronounces, "Glory to Thee Who hast shown us the light," and the doxology beginning with the words "Glory to God in the highest…" is read, which differs somewhat from the "Great Doxology" which is sung at festal Matins. Then, following the doxology, the Supplicatory Litany, "Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord," is pronounced with the usual exclamation following it, as at festal Matins, after which the stichera at the aposticha are sung with the refrains indicated in the Horologion (which are the same for every day). These stichera, in which the martyrs or the sufferings of the Lord upon the Cross are usually glorified, are found for each day in the Ochtoechos in place. They finish with "Glory, both now," and the theotokion or stavrotheotokion. Then, "It is good to give praise unto the Lord" and the Trisagion through "Our Father" are read. Following the exclamation the troparion is sung; then Glory, both now, and the theotokion (or the troparion of the forefeast or feast) or stavrotheotokion. Then the augmented litany is said — "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy" , with its usual exclamation: "For a merciful God art Thou…" Then the exclamation: "Wisdom!" The choir: "Father, bless!" The priest: "He that is is blessed, Christ our God…" The choir: "Amen. Establish, O God, the holy Orthodox faith…" Then, without the Matins dismissal, the First Hour is immediately read, at the end of which the great dismissal is pronounced.

XII. The Hours and the Typica.

Numbered among the daily services are also the First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours, performed by ustav, of which the First Hour, which is always combined with Matins, and the Ninth Hour, which nearly always precedes Vespers, we have already discussed. Each of these "Hours" is performed in memory of certain events which are salvific for us.

This is discussed in detail in the "Instructional Information" located at the end of the Service Book. The First Hour, which corresponds by our reckoning to the seventh hour of the morning, recalls how the Lord Jesus Christ was led into the praetor from Caiaphas to Pilate, "like an evil-doer, the Benefactor bound, and how there the Judge of all the world was slandered by the lawless high priests and elders of the Jews, and by an unjust judge was condemned." The First Hour, Prof. M. Skaballanovich believes, was established in Palestinian monasteries in the fourth century.

During the performance of the Third Hour, which corresponds to the ninth hour of the morning by our reckoning, we recall how the Savior was judged by Pilate, there enduring countless mockeries, blows, beatings, and being crowned with a crown of thorns. Together with this, that which took place at this hour, as witnessed to in the Book of Acts, is also recalled: the great descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. In accordance with this, corresponding psalms were selected: Psalm 16: "Hearken, O Lord, unto my righteousness…;" Psalm 24: "Unto Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul…;" and Psalm 50: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy…" In them, together with the prayer that the Lord might teach us to walk in His footsteps, the path of suffering of the earthly life of the Savior amidst enemies, His crying out in prayer, and the guilt of men before God and repentance of sins are depicted, along with a prayer for the sending down to us of the Holy Spirit. In ancient Horologia, beginning with the well-known Horologion of the Sinai library from the eighth century, troparia are indicated together with the psalms we have today (see the "Typicon with Commentary," p. 9, M. Skaballanovich, third edition, Kiev, 1915).

At the performance of the Sixth Hour, which corresponds to the twelfth hour of the day by our reckoning, we recall the things which took place at that hour: the crucifixion of the Lord on the Cross between two thieves, the mockery of the soldiers and of those who passed by the suffering Lord, and the darkness which then covered the earth. The psalms are appointed accordingly: psalms 53: "O God, in Thy name save me…;" 54: "Give era, O God, unto my prayer…;" and 90: "He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High…" In them prayer is offered up unto the Lord with hope in His aid, and the betrayal of Judas, the hatred of the Jews who sought the death of the Lord, and the sufferings of the Savior, both spiritual and bodily, are prophetically depicted; the darkness which covered the earth from the sixth until the ninth hour is depicted; then the gladness of men who turn to God for help is portrayed. In ancient handwritten Horologia the psalms of the Sixth Hour are the same as they are today, as indicated above regarding the Third Hour.

At the performance of the Ninth Hour we recall the death of the Savior on the Cross, the earthquake, the arising of the dead from the graves, and the piercing of the side of the Lord with a spear. Correspondingly, the following psalms are read: 83, "How beloved are Thy dwellings…;" 84, "Thou hast been gracious, O Lord, unto Thy land…;" and 85, "Bow down Thine ear, O Lord, and hearken unto me…" In them the dwellings of the Lord of hosts and a burning desire to enter into them are depicted; the prophecy of the Lord’s redemption of men is expounded; and the Lord’s descent into Hades is portrayed. The history of the origins of the Ninth hour is the same as that of the First, Third, and Sixth Hours; it is ascribed by a series of church writers to the third century and the years that followed, which may also be observed in surviving literary monuments.

All four of these hours are compiled according to one and the same scheme: first there are three psalms, which conclude with a thrice-repeated "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory to Thee, O God;" then the troparion of the Hour, which is used only during Great Lent: in its stead the troparion of the feast or of the saint of the day is usually read. Then, at "both now," the theotokion of the hours, the Trisagion through "Our Father," and special troparia, which are likewise read only during Great Lent, usually being replaced by the kontakion of the feast or of the saint of the day. Then, "Lord, have mercy" forty times, and the closing prayer common to all the Hours, Compline, and the Midnight Office: "Thou Who at all times and at every hour…" Then again the thrice-repeated "Lord, have mercy," "More honorable than the Cherubim…," "In the name of the Lord, father, bless," and the exclamation of the priest: "O God, be gracious unto us…," or, "Through the prayers of our holy fathers…" At the conclusion of every hour a special closing prayer, peculiar to the given hour, is read. The First Hour is almost always combined with Matins; the Third and Sixth Hours, combined together, are read before Liturgy; and the Ninth Hour, with which the day ends, is read before Vespers.

There is another order for the reading of the Hours which also occurs at times. Three times a year the reading of the so-called Royal Hours takes place: on Great Friday, on the Eve of the Nativity of Christ, and on the Eve of Theophany (or on the Friday before these feasts, if the eve falls on a Saturday or a Sunday). The Royal Hours are peculiar in that two of the three psalms of each are special and of prophetic content; special forefestal stichera are sung following the theotokion at every hour; a prokeimenon is pronounced; Old Testament readings, the Apostle, and the Gospel are read; and all the Hours, the First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth, are read one after the other, creating a single service together with the Typica that follows.

During Great Lent, and in all cases when Vespers is combined with Liturgy, the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours follow one after the other, after which the Typica is read (see below).

Every Hour is followed by a special order which, in a way, comprises its continuation, and is called the "Inter-hour" or "After-hour." Each inter-hour, like each Hour, consists of the reading of the opening prayers, three psalms, the Trisagion through "Our Father," troparia, "Lord, have mercy," forty times, "More honorable than the Cherubim…," the exclamation of the priest, and the closing prayer: only the prayer "Thou Who at all times" is absent. The prayers of the inter-hour are found in the Supplemented Psalter and the Priestly Prayer Book. By ustav the inter-hour is performed only on weekdays. The inter-hour is suspended during the period of the celebration of the Nativity of Christ and Theophany from December 20 through January 14, during Meetfare and Cheesefare weeks, throughout all of Holy and Bright weeks, and during the week following the feast of Pentecost. In present times, nearly everywhere the inter-hour has fallen out of usage.

On days when, by ustav, the Liturgy is combined with Vespers, as well as on days when the Liturgy, for one reason or another, is not performed at all, a special order occurs which bears the name of "Typica," or "Obyednitsi." If the order of the Typica occurs instead of Liturgy outside of a fast, it is performed immediately after the service of the Sixth Hour; during a fast, however, the order of the Typica is performed after the Ninth Hour.

The Typica begins with two psalms, usually included in the structure of the first part of the Liturgy: Psalm 102, "Bless the Lord, O my soul…," and Psalm 145, "Praise the Lord, O my soul…" Then, as at the liturgy, a hymn is sung which glorifies the incarnate Lord: "O Only-begotten Son and Word of God…," then the Commandments of Beatitude, after which, if the Typica be performed in place of the Liturgy, the Apostle and the Gospel are read. Then, after the thrice-repeated "Remember us, O Lord…," the Angelic doxology is offered up to the Triune God: "Holy, holy, holy;" the Symbol of Faith is read (though it is omitted if the full Liturgy is to follow), and the prayer, "Remit, pardon…" Then, "Our Father," the kontakion by ustav, "Lord, have mercy" forty times, "Glory, both now," "More honorable than the Cherubim…," the exclamation of the priest, the prayer, "O All-holy Trinity…," and the dismissal, if the Liturgy is to follow. If there is to be no Liturgy, then follow "Blessed be the name of the Lord…," the reading of Psalm 33, "I will bless the Lord at all times…," "It is truly meet…," and the dismissal.

During Great Lent the two psalms 102 and 145 and "O Only-begotten Son" are omitted, and the Typica begins immediately with the singing of the Commandments of Beatitude; after each commandment of Beatitude is sung the refrain: "Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy kingdom."

XIII. The Cycle of Daily Worship.

In the cycle of daily worship, the following nine services are included: 1) the Ninth Hour, 2) Vespers, 3) Small Compline (or, during Great Lent, Great Compline), 4) the Midnight Office, 5) Matins, 6) the First Hour, 7) the Third Hour, 8) the Sixth Hour, and 9) the Divine Liturgy, which is sometimes replaced with the Typica. On the eves of great feasts the All-night Vigil takes place, which consists of Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour, or, as we shall see, of Great Compline and Matins.

XIV. The Saturday Service.

The Saturday service has its own peculiarities which distinguish it from the services of the other days of the week. The ustav of the Saturday service is described in the Typicon: in Chapter 12, "Concerning the Saturday service when God is the Lord is sung;" Chapter 13, "Concerning the Saturday service when Alleluia is sung;" and in Chapter 50, "Concerning the Saturdays of Pentecost." The Saturday service differs from the services of the other days of the week in that on Saturday we perform, as it were, the leave-taking of the Sunday service and of that tone of the Ochtoechos which was sung throughout the now ending week. Additionally, on Saturdays the hymns to the saint from the menaion always lead; that is, they are sung before the hymns of the Ochtoechos, while on other days of the week the hymns of the Ochtoechos are usually sung first.

Thus, at Vespers on Friday (the eve of Saturday) and at Matins on Saturday the resurrectional theotokia of the current tone are sung; that is, those of the tone which was sung throughout the week now ending: 1) after the stichera at "Lord, I have Cried" (Typ. Ch. 12) the dogmaticon is sung; 2) following "Now lettest Thou Thy servant…" and the troparion, the resurrectional theotokion is sung — not in the tone of the troparion, but in the current tone (Typ. Ch. 12 and 52); and 3) following the Great Doxology, if on the given Saturday there occurs a saint with a polyeleos or a vigil (Typ. Ch. 52). At Saturday Matins following the kathismata a small litany is appointed, as during the forefeast, afterfeast, or leave-taking of a feast. In general Saturday clearly stands out in our worship from among the other days, which is especially marked during Great Lent, when on Saturday all the usual prostrations are suspended and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is even performed, which during Great Lent is not performed on weekdays. On Saturday the fast itself is relaxed. All of this is explained by the fact that Saturday, even with us Christians, continues to be celebrated in commemoration of its especial significance in the Old Testament, although for us Sunday has become greater than Saturday, and is therefore celebrated by us more festively than the Old Testament Sabbath.

Saturday is "a day of rest, of repose," and we therefore keep the remembrance of the departed mainly on Saturdays. Several Saturdays in the year, the so-called "paternal" Saturdays, are especially dedicated to the remembrance of the departed. Such are 1) Meetfare Saturday, 2) the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of Great Lent, 3) the Saturday before Pentecost, and 4) Demetrius Saturday, before the day of the Holy Greatmartyr Demetrius of Thessalonica, on October 26. Therefore the Typicon distinguishes two types of Saturday service: 1) "When ‘God is the Lord’ is sung," which is a normal service in honor of the saint of the day with six stichera and a troparion to him; and the other type of service, 2) "When ‘Alleluia’ is sung," which is specifically a service for the departed, at which are sung the troparion, not to the saint of the day, but of Saturday — "O Apostles, martyrs and prophets…" , followed by that for the departed — "Remember, O Lord, as Thou art good, the souls of Thy servants…" "Alleluia" is sung in place of the usual "God is the Lord," with refrains for the departed; the "Blameless" that is, the seventeenth kathisma — are sung, beginning with the words: "Blessed are the blameless…," after which come the troparia for the departed: "The choirs of the saints have found the fountain of life…," with the litanies for the departed, at which the departed are remembered by name. After the sixth ode, likewise, the litany for the departed and the kontakion, "With the saints give rest…," are sung; at the aposticha also stichera for the departed, written in place, are sung, which at a normal Saturday Matins are omitted and replaced with the stichera of the martyrs from the praises. At the Liturgy on a Saturday when "God is the Lord" is sung, the prokeimenon, Apostle, and Gospel of the saint are read first, and then of the day; but when "Alleluia" is sung, then first the regular prokeimenon, Apostle, and Gospel are read, and then those for the departed.

On the days of Pentecost, when the services daily have the character of a Sunday service, on every Saturday the leave-taking, as it were, of the Sunday service of the past week is performed in the fullest sense.

An important peculiarity of the Saturday service is that at Matins for the latter the canon of the temple feast or of the temple saint is read.

 

 

Part III

I. The Divine Liturgy.

Preliminary remarks.

The Divine Liturgy is the most important of the Christian divine services, the focal point of all the other church services of the daily cycle, in relation to which the latter all serve as preparation. But the Liturgy is not simply a divine service, like the other services of the daily cycle, but a mystery, that is, a sacred rite by which the faithful are vouchsafed the grace of the Holy Spirit, which sanctifies them. In it, not only are prayers and hymns lifted up to God, but the mystical bloodless sacrifice is offered for the salvation of men, and in the form of bread and wine the faithful are given the true Body and the true Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore it, above all other services, is called the "Divine Service," or the "Divine Liturgy" (from the Greek Leitourgia, which comes from leitoV - "common" — and ergon - "work"), as being a service which has an important social meaning.

As a thankful commemoration of the divine love of the Lord for the fallen human race, which was particularly expressed in His offering of Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of men, the Liturgy is likewise known as the "Eucharist" eucaristia -, which translated from the Greek means "thanksgiving." The most important part of the Liturgy, the so-called "Eucharistic Canon," in fact begins from the moment of the summons of the clergyman, "Let us give thanks unto the Lord."

In normal conversational language the Liturgy is often called the "Dinner," as it is usually performed in the time before dinner. In ancient times, after the Liturgy, so-called "suppers of love" were convened, the so-called "Agapes," at which the faithful partook of the remnants of the bread and the wine, which were brought, according to the ancient custom, by the Christians themselves for the performance of the Liturgy.

The Origin of the Liturgy.

The Divine Liturgy, at which the Mystery of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ is performed, has its beginning from the last Mystical Supper of the Lord Jesus Christ with His disciples, on the eve of His sufferings on the Cross for the salvation of the world. The Mystery of Communion was established by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as is harmoniously attested to by all four Evangelists — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John —, as well as by the holy Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. 11:23-32). Having taken bread, blessed it, and broken it, the Lord gave it to His disciples and said: "Take, eat: this is My body…" Then, proffering them a cup of wine after having given praise to God, He said: "Drink of it, all of you: this is My blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:26-28; Mk. 14:22-24; Lk. 22:19-20). The holy Evangelist John, as usual omitting what has been recounted by the first three Evangelists, expounds to us in detail the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on the necessity for eternal life of communing of His Body and Blood (Jn. 6:39-48). The holy Apostle Paul, in his first epistle to the Corinthians (11:23-32), adds to this the commandment of the Lord: "Do this in remembrance of me;" and explains the significance of the mystery as a constant reminder of the saving death of the Lord, indicating together with this the necessity of reverent preparation for the worthy reception of this great mystery.

Prof. N. V. Pokrovski emphasizes that "the Liturgy comprises the focal point of the whole of Christian worship: all church services are connected with it, not only the regular, but also the irregular: the first, such as Vespers, Compline, the Midnight Office, Matins, and the Hours, comprise, as it were, the preparation for it; the second, such as the sacraments and other services, are performed, or at least in ancient times were performed, in conjunction with the Liturgy. In antiquity baptism was accompanied by the communion of the newly-baptized at the Liturgy, which followed immediately after the completion of the baptism; chrismation was combined with baptism and, consequently, with the Liturgy. Repentance was performed at the Liturgy, when special prayers were read over the penitent; ordination to the priesthood is even now performed at the Liturgy; matrimony in ancient times was accompanied by communion, and for some time was even performed during the Liturgy, hence the retention in its structure over time of several elements of the Liturgy (from "Our Father" until the end); unction was accompanied by communion. Such great significance of the Liturgy in the common structure of Christian worship is explained by its great essential importance and by its direct establishment by the Savior Himself, of which we know from the Gospels and from the Apostolic Epistles" ("Lectures on Liturgics," SPTA, p. 134; given during the 1895-96 academic year).

The first Christians already experienced the reenactment of this parting supper of the Lord as something of the greatest sanctity. Thus, an ancient literary monument from the end of the first century, "The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles," commands: "Let no-one eat or drink of your Eucharist other than those baptized in the name of the Lord. For regarding this the Lord said: Give not that which is holy unto dogs." The hieromartyr Ignatius the Godbearer writes in his epistle to the Ephesians, Ch. 13: "Try to gather more frequently for the Eucharist and for the glorification of God" (Ep. to the Eph., Ch. 13). And in his epistle to the Philadelphians, Ch. 4, he writes: "Try to have one Eucharist; for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and there is one cup in the unity of His blood: there is one altar, and also one bishop with the presbyters and the deacons, my coservers; so that all that you do, you might do for God." The holy martyr Justin the Philosopher in the middle of the second century wrote: "We call this food the Eucharist, and none may partake thereof except he who believes in the truth of what we teach, and who has been washed in the laver of water for the remission of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ has commanded. For we accept this not simply as bread or simply as wine. Rather, as according to the Word of God our Jesus Christ became flesh and assumed our flesh and blood for the sake of our salvation, in the same way this food, which becomes the Eucharist through the word of prayer which rises up to Him, is the flesh and blood of Jesus incarnate: this we have been taught."

From the book of the Acts of the Apostles we see that the Apostles, after the descent upon them of the Holy Spirit, gathered daily with the faithful in Jerusalem for the performance of the mystery of Holy Communion, which in the book of Acts is called the "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42-46). Naturally, in the very beginning there was no strictly established rite, such as our contemporary Liturgy, but there is no doubt that already in Apostolic times a defined order and form for this sacred rite had been established. The most ancient rite of the Liturgy surviving today has its origins from the first bishop of Jerusalem, the holy Apostle James, the brother of the Lord. The Apostles and first pastors of the Church passed on the rite of the Liturgy to their successors orally, out of caution, so as not to discover the mystery of their worship to the pagans who were persecuting the Christians, or to subject the holy mystery to their mockery.

In ancient times various local Churches had their own rites of the Liturgy. In order to have an idea of the ancient liturgies we will take as an example the short description offered by Prof. N. B. Pokrovski in his "Lectures on Liturgics," titled: "The Liturgy of the Apostolic Constitutions."

"In the Apostolic Constitutions the rite of the ancient Liturgy is expounded twice, in the second and seventh books: in the first of these only the sequence or schematic is set forth; in the second — the ritual itself, with a detailed text of the prayers. Since the Apostolic Constitutions constitute a collection which, though having a very ancient foundation, nonetheless was not at once compiled into its finished form, it is entirely possible that the two rites of Liturgy named were assimilated into its composition from two different sources: in one copy, which has been in the hands of the author, there was a short exposition of the Liturgy in connection with the rights and duties of bishops, presbyters, and deacons; in the other the exposition was extensive, and in an entirely different context. The general structure of the Liturgy both there and here is the same, and recalls the Liturgy of the ancient type, though not the western, but the eastern… however, (they) reflect the character of the Antiochian Liturgies… In Chapter 67 of the second book, after the general description… an unknown author speaks of the reading of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The readings from the Old Testament are accompanied by the singing of the psalms of David together with the people. After the readings from the New Testament begin the sermons of the presbyters and the bishop, while the deacons, presbyters, and deaconesses see that order is strictly kept in the church. After the sermons, which are listened to while sitting, all rise and, following the exit of the catechumens and the penitents, turn to face the east and pray to God. Then one of the deacons prepares the eucharistic gifts, while another of the deacons, standing near the bishop, says to the people: that none may have anything against anyone, and that none may be in hypocrisy. After this follows the brotherly kiss of men with men and women with women; the prayer of the deacon for the Church, the whole world, and the rulers; the blessing of the bishop, the elevation of the Eucharist, and finally communion. Here the general structural elements of the Liturgy are the same as those in other Liturgies, and in many ways particularly recall the ancient order of the Liturgy set forth in the first apology of Justin the Martyr. These elements are: the reading of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the antiphonal singing of psalms, sermons, the brotherly kiss, prayers, the elevation of the gifts, and communion…" ("Lectures on Liturgics," given in the 1895-96 academic year, SPTA, pp. 212-214).

Thus, only in the fourth century, when Christianity in the Roman Empire triumphed over paganism, was the rite of the apostolic Liturgy, preserved until then through oral tradition, put into writing. As Archimandrite Gabriel observes, "St. Proclus in his tract on the Liturgy writes that the Apostles and their successors performed the divine service quite extensively, wishing to express in the Eucharist the whole matter of our redemption and salvation. They desired to recall everything during the Eucharist, and to omit none of the Divine blessings or of the needs of the Christians. From this a multitude of prayers appeared in the Liturgy, and these quite long: but in latter times the Christians, grown cold in their piety, ceased to come to hear the Liturgy due to its considerable duration. St. Basil the Great, condescending to this human weakness, abbreviated the Liturgy; St. John Chrysostom, in his turn, abbreviated it still more for the same reason. Besides this motive for St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom to abbreviate the liturgical forms of worship and commit the method of their performance to writing, there was also the fact that the disloyalty and false principles of the teachers of heresy could corrupt the very content of the prayers and confuse the composition and order of the practice of the Liturgy, as a result of freedom in the formulation of the service. Further, from the passing on by word of mouth of the method of performing the Liturgy, from century to century many differences could unintentionally result in the forms of prayers and rites; though immaterial, additions to and exclusions from the order of the performance of the Liturgy could appear in each church at the discretion of those presiding" (this thought was expressed by St. Cyprian of Carthage at the Counsel in 258; see "Handbook on Liturgics," p. 498, Tver, 1886).

Hence, this was done for the ordering of worship and for uniformity in the performance of the Liturgy. It was first done by St. Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia, who somewhat simplified and abbreviated the Palestino-Syrian Liturgy which bore the name of the holy Apostle James. Then, somewhat later, the rite of the Liturgy was again reworked by St. John Chrysostom while the latter was archbishop of Constantinople. The authority of the great ecumenical teachers and hierarchs Basil the Great and John Chrysostom contributed to the spreading of these two Liturgies throughout all the world among the Christians who had accepted the faith in Christ from the Greeks. In the titles of the Liturgies which were, contemporarily speaking, edited by these hierarchs, the names of the latter have been preserved. The Church of Jerusalem itself accepted both of these Liturgies into its standard usage already in the seventh century. They have survived until our time and are even now performed throughout the Orthodox East, with but very few changes and additions.

The Time of the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Liturgy may be performed on every day of the year except for Wednesday and Friday of Cheesefare Week, the weekdays of the Holy Forty-day Fast, and Great Friday. In the course of a single day, on a single altar, and by a single clergyman, the Liturgy may be performed only once. Following the example of the Mystical Supper, in apostolic times the Liturgy usually began in the evening and sometimes continued until midnight (Acts 20:7), but from the time of the edict of the emperor Trajan, who forbade nocturnal gatherings of any kind, Christians began to gather for the Liturgy before daybreak. From the fourth century it was established to perform the Liturgy by day, during the time before dinner and, with the exception of several days in the year, no later than noon.

The Place of the Performance of the Liturgy.

It is not permissible to serve the Liturgy in chapels, cells, or apartment houses; rather, it must unfailingly be performed in a consecrated temple (Counsel of Laodicea, canon 58), where a permanent altar has been constructed and where an antimension which has been consecrated by a bishop is present. Only in the most extreme circumstances, when there is no consecrated temple, and then only by special permission from the bishop, may the Liturgy be performed in some other location, albeit without fail on an antimension consecrated by a bishop. Without an antimension the performance of the Liturgy is inadmissible.

The Persons who Perform the Liturgy.

The Liturgy may be performed only by a properly ordained clergyman (that is, one who possesses canonical ordination and proper apostolic succession), i.e., a bishop or a presbyter. A deacon or other cleric, and a layman all the more so, has no right to perform the Liturgy. For the performance of the Liturgy a bishop or presbyter must be vested in full vesture, as befits his rank.

Types of Liturgy.

In present times in the Orthodox Church four types of Liturgy are performed: 1) the Liturgy of the Holy Apostle James, the brother of the Lord, which is performed in the East, and in several of our parishes as well, on the day of his commemoration, October 23; 2) the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, which is performed ten times a year: on the day of his commemoration, January 1, on the eves or actual feasts of the Nativity of Christ and Theophany, on the five Sundays of Great Lent, on Great Thursday, and on Great Saturday; 3) the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is performed throughout the whole year except for those days on which the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is appointed, Wednesday and Friday of Cheesefare Week, weekdays of Great Lent, and Great Friday; and 4) the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which is performed on Wednesdays and Fridays of Great Lent, on Thursday of the Great Canon in the fifth week of Great Lent, on the days of the feasts of the Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner, February 24, and of the Forty Martyrs, March 9, when these occur on weekdays during Great Lent, and on the first three days of Holy Week — Great Monday, Great Tuesday, and Great Wednesday. The continual, unchanging prayers and hymns of the Liturgy for the clergy are located in the Service Book, and for the singers, in the Irmologion; the text of the Liturgy is now sometimes found in the Horologion, while the changing portions are located in the Ochtoechos, the Menaions, and the Triodion. At the Liturgy readings from the Apostle and the Gospel occur.

 

Ii. The Liturgy of

St. John Chrysostom.

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, as we have seen, is the most widely used Liturgy in our church; hence with it we begin our study of the greatest Christian sacrament.

"The Liturgy," Archimandrite Gabriel states, "according to the ustav of the Eastern church, consists of a single great, harmonious, whole divine service, which is entirely, from beginning to end, suffused, according to the commandment of Jesus Christ, with remembrances of Him. But this single whole in its turn may be divided in its external form, as it was also in ancient times, into three principle parts: 1) the proskomede, 2) the Liturgy of the catechumens, and 3) the Liturgy of the faithful" ("Handbook on Liturgics," p. 495, Tver, 1886).

Thus, the Liturgies of St. Basil the Great and of St. John Chrysostom are divided into three parts:

1. The Proskomede (which, according to its word-formation from the Greek proskomidh, from proskomizw - "proskomezo" —, "I offer," means "offering"), at which the materials for the mystery are prepared from the gifts of bread and wine offered by the faithful.

2. The Liturgy of the Catechumens, consisting of prayers, readings, and singing preparatory to the performance of the mystery, which is so called because the "catechumens," that is, those who are not yet baptized and are but preparing to receive baptism, are permitted to be present thereat.

3. The Liturgy of the Faithful, at which the mystery itself is performed, and at which only the faithful, that is, those already baptized and possessed of the right to approach the mystery of communion, are permitted to be present.

The Preparation of the Clergy

for the Performance of the Liturgy.

The clergy who intend to perform the Liturgy must from the eve thereof participate and pray at all the services of the daily cycle. If for some reason it is impossible to be at these services, it is essential to read all of them. The daily cycle begins with the Ninth Hour, followed by Vespers, Compline, the Midnight Office, Matins, and the First, Third, and Sixth Hours. At each of these services the clergy are obliged to be present. In addition, the clergy who perform the Liturgy must without fail commune of the Holy Mysteries of Christ at the same; hence they are required to fulfill the "Rule for Holy Communion." Both the structure of this rule and the other conditions, the fulfillment of which is required for the worthy performance of the Liturgy, are indicated in the so-called "Instructional Information," which is usually located at the end of the Service Book. In view of this, each clergyman must be well acquainted with the contents of these directions, which are important for him. Besides the completion of the "Rule," the clergyman must approach the mysteries with purity of soul and body, having put away from himself all moral obstacles to the performance of such a great and terrible mystery, such as reproaches of conscience, enmity, and despondency, and be at peace with all. From evening it is essential for him to refrain from excessive consumption of food and drink, and from midnight to eat and drink absolutely nothing, for according to the canon laws of our Church the Liturgy must be performed by "men who have not eaten" (VI Ec. Coun., can. 29; Coun. of Carth., can. 58).

When coming into the temple for the performance of the Liturgy, the clergy first of all prepare themselves with prayer. Standing before the royal doors, they read the so-called "Entrance Prayers," as yet not putting on any sacred robes. These prayers consist of the usual beginning — "Blessed is our God…," "O Heavenly King…," and the Trisagion through "Our Father" — and penitential troparia: "Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us…;" Glory: "Lord, have mercy on us…;" Both now: "The doors of compassion open unto us…" Then the clergy bow before the local icons of the Savior and the Mother of God and kiss them, saying the troparia: "We worship Thine immaculate Icon, O Good One…," and, "As Thou art a wellspring of compassion, vouchsafe mercy unto us, O Theotokos…" On days of feasts or afterfeasts they usually also venerate the icon of the feast, saying the troparion thereof. Then, with bared head, the priest reads silently before the royal doors a prayer in which he asks the Lord that He might stretch forth His hand from His holy dwelling place on high and strengthen him for this service which awaits him. After this the clergy bow to one another, asking mutual forgiveness, then to the choirs and to the people; they then enter the altar, reading silently verses 8 — 13 of Psalm 5: "I shall go into Thy house; I shall worship toward Thy holy temple…" In the altar they bow thrice before the Holy Table and venerate it. Then, having removed their cassocks and kamelavki or klobuki, they begin to vest themselves in the sacred robes appropriate to their ranks.

The Vesting of the Clergy

before the Liturgy.

This vesting takes place more festively than those preceding all other services, for it is conducted with the reading of special prayers over each garment. While the priest usually merely blesses his robes and then puts on only the epitrachelion and cuffs — with the addition of the phelonion for the more festive parts of the service —, before the Liturgy he robes himself in full vesture, which consists of the podriznik (under-robe), epitrachelion, zone, cuffs, and phelonion; if he has been awarded the epigonation or the nabedrenik, he puts these on also. The priest likewise vests in full vesture at 1) Paschal Matins ("in all the brightness of his rank"), as stated in the Pentecostarion, 2) Vespers on the first day of Pascha, 3) Vespers of Great Friday, and 4) the three Matins in the year before the bringing out of the Cross: on the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord, September 14; the Bringing-Out of the Precious Wood, August 1; and the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.

In all of these instances, however, the priest merely blesses the garments and puts them on himself silently. Before the Liturgy, however, for each garment he reads special words of prayer which are indicated in the Service Book. If a deacon serves with the priest, they both take their sticharia in their hands (that of the priest is normally called the "podriznik") and make three bows to the east, saying: "O God, cleanse me a sinner, and have mercy on me;" after which the deacon receives a blessing to vest from the priest, kisses his hand and the cross on his sticharion, and vests, saying the prayer appointed in the Service Book. The priest, when vesting, takes each garment in his left hand, and with the right he blesses it, saying the corresponding prayer. Then, having kissed the garment, he puts it on.

Once vested, the priest and the deacon wash their hands, reading verses 6 — 12 of Psalm 25: "I will wash my hands in innocence…" This symbolizes the cleansing of oneself of every impurity of flesh and spirit. Then the deacon prepares all that is necessary for the service on the table of oblation, first setting out the sacred vessels — the diskos on the left and the chalice on the right —, then setting out the star, spear, sponge, coverings, and air. He lights the candle or lampada and sets out the prosphora and the wine, the latter being diluted with a small amount of water. These prosphora and this wine must under no circumstances be those which were blessed at the All-night Vigil at the litia, as this is strictly forbidden by a special "exhortation" in the Service Book.

The Proskomede.

At a cathedral service the proskomede is performed entirely, from beginning to end, by only one priest, he being, according to custom, the most junior of those serving. The proskomede is performed privately, the royal doors being closed and the curtain drawn.

At this time the Third and Sixth Hours are read on the cliros. Approaching the table of oblation, on which the proskomede is performed, the priest and deacon first examine the materials for the mystery — the prosphora and the wine. There must be five prosphora. These must be properly baked of pure wheat flour, mixed with pure, natural water (not milk); they must not be brushed with oil or eggs, must not be made of moldy or spoiled flour, and must not be "old and stale." The dough must be leavened with yeast, for the bread for the mystery must be leavened, like that which the Lord Himself blessed at the Mystical Supper and which the holy Apostles used (in Greek, artoV - "artos" — bread that has risen, from airein or arein, meaning to rise upwords, i.e., leavened, or sour, bread). On the prosphora a seal is made in the form of a cross with the letters IC XC NI KA along its sides. The wine must be pure grape wine, unmixed with any other drink, and red, in semblance of blood. The juice of berries or vegetables must not be used for the proskomede. The wine must not be sour, transformed into vinegar, or musty.

Having prepared and examined all the essentials, the priest and the deacon make three bows before the table of oblation, saying: "O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me." They then read the troparion of Great Friday: "Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law…" The deacon asks for a blessing, saying: "Bless, master;" the priest then begins the proskomede with the exclamation: "Blessed is our God…" Then, holding a prosphoron in his left hand (which must consist of two parts, as a sign of the two natures in the person of Jesus Christ) and the spear in his right, with the latter he "signs" the prosphoron thrice; that is, over the seal he makes the sign of the Cross, saying thrice: "In remembrance of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Then, inserting the spear vertically, he cuts the prosphoron on all four sides of the seal, saying the prophetic words of the holy prophet Isaiah concerning the suffering and death of the Lord (Is. 53:7-8). Here it must be borne in mind that the right and left sides indicated in the Service Book are called such in relation to the prosphoron, and not to the priest. The deacon, reverently looking on and holding his orarion, says at every cut: "Let us pray to the Lord." He then says: "Take away, master," and the priest, inserting the spear into the right side of the lower part of the prosphoron, removes the part of the prosphoron which has been cut out in the form of a cube, saying the words: "For His life is taken away from the earth," which indicates the violent death of the Lord. This regular cubicle piece which has been taken out of the prosphoron is called the "Lamb," as it is the image of the suffering Jesus Christ, just as in the Old Testament He was represented by the paschal lamb. The remaining part of this first prosphoron is called "Antidoron" (from the Greek antidwron: "anti" — in place of — and "doron" — gift). The antidoron is broken into pieces and distributed by the priest at the end of the Liturgy to the faithful who did not approach the mystery of communion, as though in place of communion, which is why only those "who have not eaten" may partake of the antidoron. The priest sets the Lamb which was removed from the prosphoron upon the discos with the seal downwards. The deacon says: "Sacrifice, master," and the priest cruciformly incises it, depicting in this cutting the death of the Savior on the Cross. The Lamb is incised from the soft side through to the crust in such a manner that it does not fall apart in four pieces, yet so that it may be easily broken into four sections at the end of the Liturgy. Here the priest says: "Sacrificed (that is, "offered in sacrifice") is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, for the life and salvation of the world." Then the priest sets the Lamb on the diskos with the seal facing upwards, and at the words of the deacon, "Pierce, master," with the spear he pierces the upper right-hand part of the Lamb, on which is the inscription IC, saying the words of the Gospel (Jn. 19:34-35): "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, for his part, by his actions depicts the commemorated event. Having taken the priest’s blessing, into the chalice he pours wine mixed with a very small quantity of water. Both at this time as well as following the consecration of the gifts, before communion, the amount of water added should be such, that "the wine’s own flavor should not be made watery" (see the Inst. Inf.). The priest then continues the proskomede without the participation of the deacon, who may at this time prepare the Gospel reading and the names for commemoration, returning to the proskomede towards its completion. Having prepared the Lamb in this manner, the priest removes particles from the other four prosphora. Some particles are removed "in honor and memory" of those people who, through the labors of the Lord upon the Cross, were made worthy to stand at the throne of the Lamb. Other particles are removed in order that the Lord might remember the living and the departed. First of all, from the second prosphoron a triangular particle is removed, "In honor and remembrance of our most blessed Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary…" This particle is laid [insert picture] "at the right-hand side of the Lamb." The priest then takes the third prosphoron, and from it removes nine triangular particles in honor of the nine ranks of the saints, who like the nine angelic ranks have been found worthy of a dwelling-place in the heavens. No particle is removed in honor of the angels, for they, being sinless, have no need of redemption by the Blood of Christ. These nine particles are laid at the left-hand side of the Lamb in three rows: in the first row the first particle is in honor of John the Forerunner, the second, below it, in honor of the Prophets, and the third, still lower, below the second, in honor of the Apostles; in the second row, the first is in honor of the Hierarchs, the second, below it, in honor of the Martyrs, and the third, in honor of the Venerable Ones; and in the third row the first is in honor of the Unmercenaries, the second, beneath it, in honor of the Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, the temple Saint, the Saint of the day, and all the saints, and, finally, the third and last, in honor of the composer of the Liturgy, depending on whose Liturgy is being performed — that of St. John Chrysostom or that of St. Basil the Great. Thus, the second and third prosphora are dedicated to the saints. The fourth and fifth are dedicated to all other sinful men who are in need of the washing away of their sins by the Most Pure Blood of Christ: from the fourth prosphoron particles are removed for the living, and from the fifth, for the departed. First of all particles are removed for the spiritual and worldly rulers, then for the regular faithful. At every name, when removing a particle, the priest says: "Remember, O Lord, the servant of God…" and his name. Here it is customary for the priest to commemorate first and foremost the bishop from whom he received his ordination. At this time the priest likewise commemorates — i.e., removes particles from the prosphora offered by the laity for — the living and the departed. At the conclusion of the whole proskomede, the priest removes a particle for himself from the prosphoron selected for the commemoration of the living, with the words: "Remember, O Lord, also mine unworthiness, and pardom me every transgression, both voluntary and involuntary." With the end of the proskomede any removal of particles ought also to end, which is strictly adhered to in the East. But with us, unfortunately, it has become a practice that those who arrive late for the beginning of the Divine Liturgy offer commemorations with prosphora even after the end of the proskomede, often right up until the very Cherubic Hymn, and the priest continues the commemoration and the removal of particles, leaving the altar and going to the table of oblation, during the very Liturgy, when strictly speaking this ought not to be done. For the proskomede is over: to return to it again after the dismissal has been said is already improper, and for the serving priest to walk from the altar to the table of oblation and back, while the Liturgy itself is taking place, introduces an undesirable disorder and commotion, especially if many prosphora are offered, which causes the priest to be anxious and to hurry in removing the particles from them. For a priest who is not serving, but is merely present in the altar for the service, to participate in the removal of the particles is completely improper, and must absolutely not be permitted. In any event, any removal of particles must unconditionally cease after the Cherubic Hymn and the transferal of the Holy Gifts onto the holy table. At a hierarchial Liturgy the serving bishop also performs the proskomede for himself, commemorating those whom he wishes during the Cherubic Hymn, before the Great Entry itself.

Having removed all the prescribed particles from the prosphoron, the priest covers the diskos and the chalice with the coverings, having first fragranced them with frankincense over the censer, which the deacon or, if their be no deacon, the server brings to him. First, having blessed the proffered incense, the priest says the prayer of the censer: "Incense do we offer Thee…" He then fragrances the star in the smoke over the censer and sets it over the gifts on the diskos, both as a support for the covering which is placed over them, as well in depiction of the star which appeared at the Birth of the Savior. As a sign of this the priest likewise says: "And the star came and stood over where the young Child was." The priest then fragrances the covering with frankincense and covers the diskos with it, saying the words of the psalm: "The Lord is king, He is clothed with majesty…" He then fragrances the second covering and covers the chalice with it, saying: "Thy virtue hath covered the heavens, O Christ…" Finally, having fragranced the large covering, called the "air," he lays it on top of the diskos and the chalice together, saying: "Shelter us with the shelter of Thy wings…" At each of these actions the deacon, holding the censer, says: "Let us pray to the Lord," and, "Cover, master." Having covered the holy diskos and chalice, the priest takes the censer from the deacon and censes them thrice, thrice giving praise to the Lord for the establishment of this great mystery: "Blessed is our God Who is thus well pleased, glory to Thee." The deacon, at each of these three exclamations, continues: "Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen." During this they both bow thrice before the holy table of oblation. At the end of the proskomede it is written: "Be it known: If a priest serve without a deacon, the words of the deacon at the Proskomede, and during the Liturgy before the Gospel, and his responses, Bless, master, and, It is time to act… are not said, but only the litanies and the order of the prothesis" (that is, only that which is prescribed in the order for the priest). Then, taking the censer from the priest, the deacon asks him to pray for the precious gifts which are set forth, at which the priest reads the so-called prayer of Oblation, which begins with the words: "O God, our God, Who didst send forth…" The proskomede finishes with the usual dismissal, at which the saint whose Liturgy is served is commemorated. Following the dismissal the deacon censes the holy oblation, then draws the curtain aside from the royal doors and censes around the holy table, the whole altar, and the whole temple, saying the resurrectional troparia, "In the grave bodily…," and Psalm 50. Upon returning into the holy altar he again censes the holy table and the priest, after which he sets the censer aside.

As we can see, the proskomede symbolizes the Nativity of Christ. The prosphoron from which the Lamb is taken signifies the Most Holy Virgin, "from Whom Christ was born;" the table of oblation represents the cave; the diskos signifies the manger in which the infant Jesus was laid; the star — the star which led the magi to Bethlehem; the coverings — the swaddling clothes with which the Newborn Infant was wrapped. The chalice, the censer, and the incense recall the gifts which were offered by the magi — gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The prayers and glorifications represent the worship and glorification of the shepherds and the magi. Together with this prophetic words recall that for which Christ was born: His sufferings and death upon the Cross.

In present times the reason for which the first part of the Liturgy bears the name "proskomede" has almost disappeared: that is, the offering by the faithful of all that is essential for the performance of the Divine Liturgy. All of this is now purchased with church funds. Parishioners purchase prosphora at the candle desk for the commemoration of the living and departed closest to them. In the East, however, this ancient custom is partially preserved even now: the faithful themselves bake the prosphora and bring them to the Liturgy, as they likewise bring the wine, the oil for the lampadas, and the incense, giving all of this to the priest before the Liturgy for the health and salvation of the souls of their relatives and friends. In ancient times all of these dealings took place, not in the altar, but in a special section of the temple called the "prothesis" (proqesiV), meaning "Oblation," where this was looked after by the deacon, who set apart the best of what was offered for the performance of the Divine liturgy, while the rest was used for the so-called "Agapes," or "suppers of love" — the brotherly meals of the ancient Christians. The agapes (from the Greek agaph - love) were organized by the ancient Christians in memory of the Mystical Supper: at these the mystery of the Eucharist was performed. Later agapes transformed into feasts, at which disorder sometimes arose; for this reason in 391 the Counsel of Carthage (the III Ecumenical Counsel) passed a resolution separating the Eucharist from the agapes, and a series of other counsels forbade the holding of agapes in temples (see Canon 74 of the Counsel of Trullo). Hence, the agapes gradually disappeared.

The Liturgy of the Catechumens.

The second part of the Liturgy, which is performed in the hearing of all the people present in the temple, is called the "Liturgy of the Catechumens," since at it the "catechumens," that is, those preparing for the acceptance of the faith in Christ but not yet baptized, were permitted to be present. Upon finishing the censing the deacon stands together with the priest before the altar. Having made three bows, they pray for the descent of the grace of the Holy Spirit for the worthy performance of this fearful service. The priest, lifting both hands high, reads, "O Heavenly King…," while the deacon stands to his right, holding his orarion upraised. Then, having signed himself with the sign of the cross and bowed, the priest, in the same stance, twice reads the hymn sung by the angels at the birth of Christ, "Glory to God in the highest…," then finally a third time, "O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips…" After this the priest kisses the Gospel, and the deacon kisses the holy altar. Then the deacon, addressing the priest thrice and reminding him of the approaching moment of the beginning of the sacred rite, asks a blessing for himself. Having received the blessing, the deacon exits through the north doors of the altar onto the ambon, stands before the royal doors, and, having bowed thrice, says thrice privately: "O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips…" He then exclaims: "Bless, master." The priest begins the Liturgy with the triumphant glorification of the grace-filled kingdom of the Holy Trinity, showing thereby that the Eucharist opens the entry into this kingdom: "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings: "Amen." Only the sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony are begun with this same triumphant exclamation, which indicates their connection with the Liturgy in antiquity. In the East at this exclamation it is customary to remove klobuki and kamelavki. While pronouncing this exclamation, the priest, raising the Gospel from the altar, makes the sign of the cross with it above the antimension and, having kissed it, sets it again on its former place.

The rest of the Liturgy of the catechumens consists alternately of litanies, singing (of psalms, for the most part), and readings from the Apostle and the Gospel. Its general character is didactic and edifying, while that of the Liturgy of the faithful has a more mystical, mysterious character. In ancient times, in addition to the Apostle and the Gospel, readings from the Old Testament scriptures were also read at the Liturgy of the catechumens, but these gradually fell out of use. The Old Testament lessons are now read at the Liturgy only on the few occasions in the year when it is combined with the Vespers preceding it. The second distinguishing characteristic of the Liturgy of the catechumens is that, in comparison with the Liturgy of the faithful, it is distinguished by a greater variableness of its contents: in its structure antiphons, troparia, kontakia, and readings from the Apostle and the Gospel are included, as well as several other hymns and prayers which do not always remain the same, changing instead depending on the feast and the day on which the Liturgy is performed.

After the beginning exclamation follows the great litany, or litany of peace, to which, depending on current needs, special petitions are sometimes added (usually after the petition, "For those that travel…"). This litany concludes with the private prayer of the priest, which is called the "prayer of the first antiphon," and the exclamation of the priest: "For to Thee is due all glory…" Three antiphons then follow — the typical psalms and the "beatitudes," which are divided from one another by two small litanies, at the end of which private prayers are read, respectively called the "prayer of the second antiphon" and the "prayer of the third antiphon." The first small litany is concluded with the priestly exclamation: "For Thine is the dominion, and Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory…," and the second, with: "For a good God art Thou and the Lover of mankind…" Concerning the antiphons of the Liturgy, when which ones are to be sung, there is a special chapter, Chapter 21, in the Typicon.

On any weekday when there is no feast, the so-called "Daily Antiphons" are sung. The first antiphon begins with the words: "It is good to give praise unto the Lord…," with the refrain, "Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us;" the second antiphon, with: "The Lord is King, He is clothed with majesty…," with the refrain, "Through the prayers of Thy saints, O Savior, save us;" and the third antiphon, with: "Come, let us rejoice in the Lord…," with the refrain, "O Son of God Who art wondrous in the saints, save us who chant unto Thee: Alleluia."

On days of six-stichera, doxology, and polyeleos services, and of vigil services up through great feasts of the Theotokos inclusive, the so-called "Typica" and "Beatitudes" are sung; i.e.: 1) Psalm 102, "Bless the Lord, O my soul;" 2) Psalm 145, "Praise the Lord, O my soul;" and 3) the commandments of Beatitude, which begin with the prayer of the wise thief, "In Thy kindom remember us, O Lord," to which troparia are added. These troparia, which are printed in the Ochtoechos, bear the conventional name of "Beatitudes;" which commandment of beatitude their singing begins after is likewise indicated: "The beatitudes with six," or, "with eight troparia." In the Ochtoechos these troparia are specific, but in the Menaion there are no specific troparia; they are taken from the troparia of the ode of the appropriate canon. Precisely where these troparia are taken from is always indicated in place.

On days of great feasts of the Lord — the Nativity of Christ, Theophany, Transfiguration, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Pascha, Ascension, Pentecost, and the Exaltation — entirely different festal antiphons, consisting of verses from psalms, are sung, which contain prophecies or foreshadowings of the given feast. The first antiphon has the refrain: "Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us;" the second antiphon: "O Son of God Who, wast born of the Virgin…," or: "… Who wast transfigured on the mountain…," or: "… Who wast crucified in the flesh…," and so on, "… save us who chant unto Thee: Alleluia." The third antiphon consists of verses from the psalms alternated with the singing of the troparion of the feast.

In each of the instances mentioned above, after the second antiphon at "Glory, both now," a triumphant hymn to the Incarnate Son of God — composed, according to tradition, by the emperor Justinian — is always sung: "O Only-begotten Son and Word of God, Who art immortal, yet didst deign for our salvation to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and without change didst become man, and wast crucified, O Christ God, trampling down death by death, Thou Who art one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us."

Antiphonal singing in our worship is very ancient in origin. According to tradition, even St. Ignatius the Godbearer, having been borne up to heaven, saw the angelic choirs alternately singing by turns, and in imitation of the angels introduced antiphonal singing into his own Church of Antioch.

The deacon says all the litanies before the royal doors. Following the completion of the great litany and the first small litany he does not go into the altar; rather, during the singing of the antiphons he moves somewhat to the side and stands before the local icon of Christ the Savior (there also exists a practice according to which, after the great litany, the deacon stands near the icon of the Savior, and after the first small litany — near the icon of the Mother of God). After the second small litany he goes into the altar and, having made the sign of the cross and a bow in the direction of the high place, bows to the serving priest.

In order to properly understand the expression "private (or "secret") prayer," one must know that they are not called "private" because their contents must be concealed from laymen — by no means, for in our Church, according to the idea of our worship, the people who are praying take a most active part in the worship, and in ancient times these prayers were often said aloud —, but because it has now become the custom to read these prayers, not "proclaiming" them in the hearing of the people, but quietly, privately. In our church there are mysteries, but there are no mysteries which must be concealed from anyone.

The Small Entry.

At the end of the second antiphon and the second small litany following it, the royal doors are opened for the performance of the entry with the Gospel — the so-called "small entry." The small entry itself takes place during the singing of the third antiphon, hence the necessity of calculating the exit so as to successfully complete the entry by the end of the singing of the third antiphon. At the time for the performance of the entry the clergy make three bows before the Holy Altar. At this time, according to established tradition, the priest venerates the Gospel, and the deacon — the Holy Table. The priest gives the Gospel to the deacon, who, taking it with both hands, kisses the priest’s right hand. Together they walk around the holy table to the right, pass the high place, exit through the north doors, and stand before the royal doors; a candle-bearer precedes them. During this, the deacon, carrying the Gospel with both hands "before his breast," goes beforehand, the priest following behind him. The deacon, usually while still standing before the altar or while walking, says: "Let us pray to the Lord," at which the priest reads the "prayer of the entry": "O Master Lord our God…" The contents of this prayer bear witness to the fact that the angels serve with the priest at the performance of the Divine Liturgy, for "this coservice is great and terrible even to the very heavenly hosts." Then, resting the Gospel against his breast and pointing with his orarion to the east, in a quiet voice the deacon says to the priest: "Bless, master, the holy entry." In answer the priest blesses towards the east with his hand, saying: "Blessed is the entry of Thy holy ones, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The deacon says, "Amen." The deacon then approaches the priest, holding the Gospel for him to venerate, at the same time himself kissing the right hand of the priest.

Turning to the east, and having waited until the end of the singing, the deacon raises the Gospel and, tracing a cross with it, exclaims: "Wisdom, Aright!" He then enters the altar first and sets the Gospel on the holy table. The priest, before entering, first venerates the icon of the Savior, blesses the candle-bearer with his hand, and venerates the icon of the Mother of God; only then does he go in after the deacon. Both of them, upon entering the altar, kiss the holy table. On great feasts, when festal antiphons are sung (and on the Meeting of the Lord, as well as on Monday of the holy Spirit), after the exclamation, "Wisdom, aright," the deacon also pronounces the "Entry," or "Entry Verse," which is taken from the psalms and concerns the event being celebrated.

The origins of the small entry are as follows. In great antiquity the Gospel was kept, not on the holy table, but in a special vessel repository. Ancient temples had special rooms not connected to the altar: the proqesiV - "prothesis" —, or oblation, where the table of oblation was located, and the "diakonikon," or robing room. When the moment for the reading of the Gospel arrived, the clergy solemnly carried it out of the vessel repository, where it was always kept, and carried it into the altar. In present times the small entry with the gospel no longer has its former practical purpose, but it nevertheless has a symbolic meaning: it portrays the going out of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to preach the Gospel; His going out unto voluntary service to the human race. The candlestick which precedes the Gospel symbolizes St. John the Forerunner. The significance of the exclamation, "Wisdom, aright," is as follows: "Wisdom" — the going out of the Lord Jesus Christ to preach — is the appearance to the world of Divine Wisdom, before which, as a sign of especial reverence, we must stand "aright;" that is, "straight," "reverently," being in no way distracted, diligently pondering the great work of Divine Wisdom.

On Sundays and weekdays, as well as on feasts of the Theotokos, when festal antiphons are not sung, the hymn which is sung immediately after the exclamation of the deacon, "Wisdom, aright," serves as the "entry verse": "O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ…" To this is joined the refrain of the antiphon which corresponds to the day: on weekdays: "… O Son of God, Who art wondrous in the saints, save us who chant unto thee: Alleluia;" on theotokian feasts: "… Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Son of God, save us who chant unto thee: Alleluia;" and on Sundays: "… O Son of God, Who didst rise from the dead, save us who chant unto Thee: Alleluia." If there be an entry verse, the choir immediately sings the troparion of the feast. (When a bishop serves, the latter stands on the cathedra; starting from the small entry he enters the altar and goes on to participate in the performance of the Liturgy.)

The Singing of the Troparia and Kontakia.

Immediately after the entry and the entry verse, the singing of the Troparia and Kontakia begins, in the special order indicated in the Typicon, particularly in Chapter 52. This is nearly the only place at the Liturgy dedicated to the commemoration of the day. The set of troparia and kontakia attempts to encompass all the commemorations combined on the day on which the Liturgy is performed, as a sign that the liturgy is performed for each and every one. Therefore, on weekdays at the liturgy the troparion and kontakion of the day of the week are sung, which are not sung at Vespers, nor at Matins, nor at the Hours. Here also are sung the troparion and kontakion of the temple, which likewise are not sung at the other daily services.

The troparia and kontakia are sung in the following order. First, all the troparia are sung; then, afterwards, all the kontakia. Before the second to last kontakion, "Glory" is always sung, and "Both now" is sung before the last kontakion. Last of all the theotokian kontakion or the kontakion of the forefeast or feast is sung.

The order of this singing is as follows. The troparion in honor of the Lord is sung first; therefore, where the temple is dedicated to the Lord, the troparion of the temple is sung first. On Sundays, however, it is displaced by the resurrectional troparion; on Wednesday and Friday, by the troparion to the Cross, "Save, O Lord, Thy people…;" and on days of the forefeast or afterfeast of feasts of the Lord, by the troparion of the forefeast or feast. After the troparion in honor of the Lord there follows the troparion in honor of the Most Pure Mother of God. If it be a temple of the Theotokos, the troparion of the temple is sung; if it be a forefeast or afterfeast of a theotokian feast, the troparion of the forefeast or of the feast is sung. After the troparion in honor of the Mother of God, the troparion of the day of the week is sung — of Monday, Tuesday, and so on. After the daily troparion, the troparion is sung to the regular saint, whose memory is glorified on the given day of the given month. On Saturday, the daily troparion to All Saints is sung first, then that of the regular saint. The kontakia are sung in the same order as the troparia, with the distinction that they are finished, or, in the words of the Typicon, "covered," by the theotokion, "O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame…" In a temple dedicated to the Lord the kontakion of the temple is sung instead of this theotokion, just as in a temple dedicated to the Theotokos the kontakion of the latter is sung; on days of a forefeast or afterfeast the kontakion of the forefeast or feast is always sung. On weekdays when there is a simple service, at Glory, the kontakion, "With the saints give rest…," is always sung. On Saturday the kontakion, "To Thee, O Lord, the Planter of creation…," is always sung in conclusion.

It should be known, however, that by no means are every one of the above-mentioned troparia and kontakia sung on every day of the year.

1. The troparia and kontakia of the temple are not sung on days when other troparia and kontakia for the same day contain the same commemoration as those of the temple. Thus, on Tuesday, "we do not say the kontakion of a temple of the Forerunner, since the kontakion of the day is said, which is also of the Forerunner. In a temple for the Apostles the troparion and kontakion of the latter are not said on Thursday. On Saturday the temple troparion and kontakion are not said in a temple of a saint, since all the saints are named in the daily troparion. On Wednesday and Friday the troparion to a temple of the Lord is not said, since a troparion which is likewise to the Savior is said: ‘Save, O Lord, Thy people…’" On Sunday the troparion of a temple of the Lord is not sung, "inasmuch as the resurrectional troparion precedes it;" that is, the resurrectional troparion is sung, in which Christ is also glorified. In the same way the troparion of a temple of Christ is not sung on days of forefeasts or afterfeasts of feasts of the Lord; the same is also true for the kontakion. On forefeasts and afterfeasts of Theotokian feasts the troparion and kontakion for a temple of the Theotokos are not sung. The troparia and kontakia of temples dedicated to saints are not said when there is a vigil saint (but not a polyeleos) on Sundays or weekdays.

2. One each of the daily troparia and kontakia are sung every day, except on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday two daily troparia are sung, to the Apostles and to Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker, and on Saturday likewise, two troparia, to All Saints and for the departed. However: the daily troparia and kontakia are omitted altogether if the Ochtoechos is not sung. On days of a forefeast or afterfeast, the troparia and kontakia of the forefeast, the feast, or the polyeleos or doxology saint are sung instead of the daily troparia.

3. The troparia and kontakia for the departed are not said on Sundays and weekdays (except Saturday) if there is a saint for whom a doxology, polyeleos, or vigil is appointed. The troparion for the departed, "Remember, O Lord…," is only sung on Saturday when there is no troparion to the regular saint.

The Trisagion.

During the singing of the troparia and kontakia the priest reads the private "Prayer of the Trisagion Hymn," which he finishes aloud, after the end of the singing of the final kontakion, with the exclamation: "For holy art Thou, O our God, and to Thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever." This prayer is directly and logically connected with the idea of the entry and the prayer of the entry, in which the coservice of the heavenly hosts themselves with the priest is spoken of. Immediately before this closing exclamation the deacon receives a blessing from the priest and exits through the royal doors onto the ambon. Here he awaits the ending of the exclamation, "Now and ever," at which, indicating the icon of Christ with his orarion, he exclaims: "O Lord, save the pious and hearken unto us." These words are then repeated by the singers. Then, turning around with upraised orarion, facing west and indicating the people, the deacon finishes the exclamation of the priest, loudly exclaiming, "And unto the ages of ages," after which he enters the altar by the royal doors. The exclamation, "O Lord, save the pious," up to our time has been preserved from the ceremony of the royal Byzantine service, when the Byzantine tsars, to whom this exclamation in fact pertained, were present at the Liturgy. (If the priest serves without a deacon, he does not exclaim, "O Lord, save the pious," but immediately finishes the exclamation.) In answer to the exclamation, "And unto the ages of ages," the Trisagion is sung: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us." At the usual Liturgy the Trisagion is sung is sung thrice; then, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Holy Immortal, have mercy on us." In conclusion the Trisagion is then again sung through entirely, in a stronger voice.

When a bishop serves the liturgy the Trisagion is sung a total of seven and one half times, alternately by the choirs and the clergy in the altar. After the third time the bishop goes out onto the ambon, with the dikiri in his right hand and the cross in his left, and says a special prayer for those present in the temple: "Look down from heaven, O God, and see, and visit this vineyard, and establish that which Thy right hand has planted." With the cross and the dikiri he blesses the faithful in three directions, after which he returns into the altar.

The Trisagion Hymn came into practice in the fifth century. During the time of the emperor Theodosius II and Archbishop Proclus, as Ven. John of Damascus relates in his book, "On the Orthodox Faith," a great earthquake occurred in Constantinople. The Christians went out of the city together with their bishop and made supplication there. During this time a certain youth was caught up on high (lifted up into the air), and later related to the people, how he had heard the wondrous angelic hymn: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal." The people, upon learning of the revelation which the youth had received, immediately began to sing this hymn with the addition of the words, "have mercy on us;" the earthquake then ceased. From that time this hymn became a part of the rite of the Divine Liturgy. During the Trisagion hymn the clergy in the altar, bowing thrice before the holy table, likewise say this prayer privately.

On several days of the Church year the Trisagion hymn is replaced by the singing of other hymns. Thus, on days when the Bringing-Out of the Cross takes place — on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord, September 14, and on the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross — instead of the Trisagion we sing: "Before Thy Cross we bow down, O Master, and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify." On the feasts of the Nativity of the Lord and Theophany, Lazarus Saturday, Great Saturday, all seven days of the celebration of Pascha, and the first day of the feast of Pentecost, instead of the Trisagion we sing the verse, "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia," in memory of the fact that in ancient times the baptism of catechumens was appointed on these days.

The Prayer of the Trisagion Hymn, however, remains the same.

At a hierarchial Liturgy, "For holy art Thou, O our God…" is the first exclamation pronounced by the bishop, who up until this time has remained silent, standing in the center of the temple.

The Ascent to the High Place.

During the final singing of the Trisagion by the choir, the clergy, reading the Trisagion, go behind the altar, ascending to the High Place there established.

The deacon addresses the priest with the words, "Command, O master." The priest, having kissed the Holy Table, walks to the right of the Holy Table towards the high place, saying the words: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." The deacon likewise kisses the Holy Table and goes a little ahead of the priest. On coming to the high place the deacon addresses himself to the priest with the words: "Bless, master, the High Throne," at which the priest blesses the high place with the words: "Blessed art Thou on the throne of the glory of Thy kingdom, Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The priest has no right to sit upon the high throne itself — for it is primarily the place where the bishop sits — but only upon the "cothrone," which is "beside the high throne, on the south side"; that is, if one is looking forward, on the right hand side of the Holy Table.

The deacon stands on the left-hand side.

The Reading of the Holy Scriptures.

The Prokeimenon, Apostle, Alleluia, and Gospel.

The ascent to the high place takes place in preparation for the hearing of the Holy Scriptures, which is why this is the most important moment in the Liturgy of the catechumens. Of the Holy Scriptures the Apostle, preceded by the singing of the Prokeimenon, and the Gospel, preceded by the singing of the Alleuia, are read in our contemporary Liturgy.

Towards the end of the Trisagion hymn the reader goes out into the center of the temple and stands before the royal doors, where he makes a bow, holding the Apostle closed. The deacon, approaching the royal doors, exclaims: "Wisdom" — that is, "Let us be attentive to the forthcoming reading of the prokeimenon preceding the Apostle, and to the Apostle itself thereafter." From the high place the priest bestows "peace unto all," in response to which the reader says to him, on behalf of all, "And to thy spirit." The deacon exclaims, "Wisdom," and the reader says, "The prokeimenon in…" the given tone, and reads it: the singers then repeat the words of the prokeimenon. He then reads the verse, and the singers again repeat the words of the prokeimenon. The reader then pronounces the first half of the prokeimenon, and singers complete it by singing the second half. When two feasts coincide, two prokeimena are pronounced. First the reader reads the first prokeimenon, and the singers sing it; he then reads the verse, and the singers again repeat the prokeimenon. The reader then reads the second prokeimenon in its entirety, without the verse, and the singers sing it once through entirely. More than two prokeimena are never sung, even if three or more feasts should fall on one and the same day. In ancient times an entire psalm was sung, but later, liturgicists believe, in the fifth century only two verses began to be sung from each psalm. Of these, one became the prokeimenon, prokeimenoV - that is, the "forthcoming," which precedes the reading of the Holy Scriptures —, and the second became the verse thereof.

Prokeimena are sung according to the following rule:

1. On weekdays, if there is only one regular reading from the Apostle, only the prokeimenon of the day is sung; that is, that of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on.

If, on a weekday, a second reading from the Apostle is read to a saint, then — except on Saturdays —the prokeimenon of the day is sung first, then the prokeimenon of the saint. On Saturday this takes place in reverse order: first the prokeimenon of the saint, then the prokeimenon of the day (see the Typicon, Ch. 12 and 15).

2. On the days of an afterfeast (but not of a forefeast, when the prokeimenon of the day is not omitted), instead of the daily prokeimenon the prokeimenon of the feast is sung thrice: this is done daily until the very leave-taking of the feast, the prokeimenon of the day being omitted entirely.

3. If on a day of an afterfeast a special reading is appointed for a saint, first the prokeimenon of the feast is sung, then the prokeimenon of the saint.

4. On the actual day of a great feast, only the prokeimenon of that feast is sung, as also on the day of the leave-taking.

5. Every Sunday a special resurrectional prokeimenon of the tone (there are eight in all, according to the number of the tones) and, secondly, if there is a second prokeimenon, the prokeimenon of the feast of the Theotokos or of the saint that falls on that Sunday is sung. If the leave-taking of one of the twelve great feasts occurs on Sunday, regardless of whether it be a feast of the Lord or of the Theotokos, first the resurrectional prokeimenon is sung, then that of the feast.

After the prokeimenon the deacon again exclaims, "Wisdom;" that is to say: great is the wisdom which we shall now hear. The reader announces from which apostolic epistle the reading is to be, or that it will be from the book of Acts: "The reading is from the catholic epistle of St. James," or, "The reading is from the epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans," or, "The reading is from the Acts of the Apostles." The deacon exclaims, "Let us attend" — that is, "let us be attentive" — and the reader begins to read. During the reading the priest sits at the right-hand side of the high throne, thereby showing the equal honor of his rank with that of the holy Apostles, who preached the teachings of Christ throughout all the world. The deacon censes the whole altar, the iconostasis, and the people from the ambon, symbolizing by this censing with incense the spreading of the apostolic preaching. Nothing can justify the sitting of the laity during the reading of the Apostle. In ancient times the censing was performed immediately after the reading of the Apostle, during the singing of "Alleluia." The change came about because the "Alleluia" became abbreviated and began to be sung quickly; hence, not enough time remained for the censing. Incidentally, our Service Book instructs to cense "the holy table, the whole altar, and the priest" just before the reading of the Gospel; it has now become the practice, however, to do all of this during the singing of the prokeimenon. The bishop, as a sign of humility before the proclamation of Christ Himself in the Gospel, puts off his omophorion from himself, which is then carried before the Gospel when the latter is carried out onto the ambon during the singing of "Alleluia." The reading of the Apostle symbolizes the apostolic preaching. An index regarding which readings of the Apostle are read on what days may be found at the end of the liturgical "Apostle." One index goes by Sundays and days of the week, beginning from the Sunday of Holy Pascha; the other is the Calendar, which indicates the readings of the Apostle for feast days and commemorations of saints by the day of the month and of the year. When several feasts coincide, several Apostle readings are read one after the other, but never more than three; in the latter case two of the readings are read together, the second "as one with the preceding reading." (In the Ustav, "as one with the preceding reading" ("pod zachalo") indicates that two readings — from either the Apostle or the Gospel — are read as though they were one, without raising one’s voice and with no pause between them.) Following the reading of the Apostle the priest says to the reader, "Peace be unto thee." The reader answers, "And to thy spirit." The deacon exclaims, "Wisdom," and the reader says, "Alleluia in the…" corresponding tone. The choir sings, "Alleluia," thrice. The reader then reads the verse, called the "Alleluiari," and the choir sings, "Alleluia," a second time; he then reads the second verse, and the choir sings the thrice-repeated "Alleluia" a third time. The "alleluiaria," like the prokeimena, are taken from the psalms, and are related in their content to the celebrated event or saint. This singing of the "alleluiaria" takes place in preparation for the Gospel; thus, when there is one Apostle and one Gospel, usually one allelluiari is said, and when there are two Apostles and two Gospels, there are likewise two alleluiaria. On Great Saturday, instead of the "Alleluia," a special hymn, "Arise, O God…," is sung, with the verses of Psalm 83.

During the singing of the "Alleluia" the priest reads the private "Prayer before the Gospel," praying for the Lord to open the eyes of our heart for the understanding of the Gospel and to help us to live so that we might fulfill the commandments of the Gospel. Then the priest, bowing with the deacon to the Holy Table, kisses the Gospel and gives it to the deacon; the deacon goes around the Holy Table with the Gospel, passes the high place, exits through the royal doors onto the ambon, and, laying the Gospel on an analoy, says aloud: "Bless, master, the bringer of the Good Tidings of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist (Name)." The name of the Evangelist should be announced in the genitive case, and by no means in the accusative, as some do through misunderstanding. The priest, or bishop, signs (blesses) the deacon, with the words: "May God, through the intercessions of the holy glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist (Name), give speech with great power unto thee that bringest good tidings, unto the fulfillment of the Gospel of His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ." The deacon responds, "Amen." (According to the directions in the Service Book, the deacon himself carries the Gospel to the priest at the high place, where the priest blesses it, saying privately the above-cited prayer. If no deacon serves, this is omitted.) Lighted candles are carried before the Gospel, which then burn throughout the reading of the Gospel, signifying the divine light spread thereby. The priest, addressing the people, exclaims: "Wisdom! Aright! Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Peace be unto all." The choir responds: "And to thy spirit." The deacon then announces whose Gospel the reading will be from: "The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint (Name)." The choir triumphantly sings: "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." The priest says, "Let us attend," and the deacon begins the reading of the Gospel, to which all attend with bowed heads. If two deacons participate in the service, the exclamations, "Wisdom! Aright! Let us hear the Holy Gospel," and, "Let us attend," are said by the second, junior deacon. The latter also usually reads the Apostle, while the senior deacon reads the Gospel.

The ustav for the reading of the Gospel, as for the Apostle, is set forth in the liturgical Gospel itself, in special tables, by Sundays and days of the week, beginning from the feast of Holy Pascha, and in the Calendar, by the days and months of the year. For liturgical use both the Apostle and the Gospel are divided into special sections, called "readings." The Gospel of each Evangelist has its own special tally of readings, but in the Apostle there is but one common tally of the readings for Acts and for all of the Apostolic epistles. The readings of these sections are arranged in such a way that, in the course of the year, all Four Gospels and the entire Apostle are read. There is a twofold order for the readings of these readings: 1) the order of the readings for nearly every day of the year, in the same order in which they fall in the sacred books, which are the "regular" or "daily" readings — the "Gospel of the day," or, "Apostle of the day," or "of the series" —, and 2) the readings for fixed feast days and commemorations of saints — the "Gospel" or "Apostle of the feast," or, "of the saint." The reading of the Gospels begins on the Sunday of Pascha itself. By Pentecost the entire Gospel of St. John has been read; the Gospel of St. Matthew is then read until the Friday after the Exaltation of the Cross (which merely indicates the limit before which the Gospel of St. Matthew does not cease to be read). It can, however, occur that the readings of the Gospel of St. Matthew are read even after the Exaltation, when Pascha is late. This is discussed in detail in the "Sayings," located at the beginning of the liturgical Gospel. On weekdays from the eleventh until the seventeenth weeks the Gospel of St. Mark is read, and after the Exaltation follows the reading of the Gospel of St. Luke. The remaining part of the Gospel of St. Mark is then read on Saturdays and Sundays of the Holy Forty-day Fast.

The Church year, which is used in the allocation of the regular readings, begins with the day of Holy Pascha and continues until the following Pascha. However, since Pascha falls on different dates in different years — the earliest Pascha falling on March 22, the latest on April 25 — the Church year is not always of the same duration: sometimes it has more Sundays and weeks, sometimes fewer. The civil year always has 365 days (the leap year, 366), while the Church year, when one Pascha is early and the next very late, has significantly more days, or vice versa — when one Pascha is very late and the next very early, that year has significantly fewer days. In the ustav the first instance is called "Outer Pascha," and the second, "Inner Pascha." When "Inner Pascha" occurs, the number of regular readings from the Apostle and the Gospel may prove insufficient, and a so-called "Retreat" occurs; i.e., it becomes necessary to return to the readings which have already been read and repeat them anew. This deficit is felt only on weekdays. As regards Sundays, this deficit is compensated for by the fact that there are Sundays which have their own readings appointed to them, since in the year there are 1) Sundays on which specific readings are read, while the regular readings are omitted entirely, and 2) Sundays for which special readings are appointed in addition to the regular readings. When a retreat occurs, only these special readings are read, while the regular readings are omitted. The regular readings are never read on 1) the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, 2) the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, before the Nativity of Christ, and 3) a Sunday on which either the Nativity of Christ or Theophany falls. Special readings occur on 1) the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ, 2) the Sunday before Theophany, and 3) the Sunday after Theophany. On these Sundays two Gospels are read, both festal and regular, but only in the event that no retreat will occur. When a retreat occurs, the regular Gospels for these Sundays are read on those days during which the retreat occurs. When the largest retreat occurs, for which one Gospel readings is lacking, reading 62 from the Gospel of St. Matthew, concerning the Cannanite woman, is read; additionally, this Gospel is unfailingly read on the Sunday preceding the Sunday when the reading of the Gospel concerning Zachaius is appointed (before the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee). It should be remembered that the Gospel concerning Zachaius is always read before the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (from Luke §94). In the directory of readings this Gospel is labeled as being for the 32nd Sunday after Pentecost, but it may occur either earlier or later, depending on whether Pascha is "inner" or "outer." The entire cycle of the regular readings from the Apostle and the Gospel is called, in the Typicon, a "Pillar." (For a more detailed description of "Inner Pascha" and "Outer Pascha," see the end of this book, page 507, appendix II).

The Sunday of the Holy Forefathers is a special case. On this Sunday only one Gospel is appointed to be read: specifically, that which is appointed to be read on the 28th Sunday, from Luke §76, concerning those who were called to the feast. If this Sunday does in fact fall on the 28th Sunday after Pentecost, then the order of the reading of the Gospels is not disturbed; however, if the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, instead of falling on the 28th Sunday, falls on the 27th, 29th, 30th, or 31st Sunday, the Gospel of St. Luke, §76, is read all the same, it being related to the celebration of the memory of the Holy Forefathers. Then, on the 28th Sunday, the regularly scheduled reading for the 27th, 29th, 30th, or 31st Sunday is read. A similar substitution occurs with the Apostolic reading, for on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers the reading from the Apostle for the 29th Sunday is appointed to be read.

In the Typicon there are special directions for the reading of special readings on the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ and on the Sunday before Theophany, as well as on the Saturday after the Nativity of Christ and on the Saturday before Theophany, in view of the fact that between the Nativity of Christ and Theophany there is an eleven-day period of time during which two Sundays and two Saturdays may occur or, sometimes, one Sunday and one Saturday. Accordingly, in the Typicon there are special directions on how to read the Epistles and Gospels in the former and latter cases. It is essential that this always be taken into consideration beforehand, so as not to err in the readings.

On great feasts of the Lord, of the Theotokos, and of Saints for whom vigils are appointed, the regular Epistle and Gospel are not read, but rather only those to the feast or saint. However, if a great feast of the Theotokos or a saint with a vigil occurs on a Sunday, the regular Sunday Epistle and Gospel are read first, then those of the feast or saint. Nevertheless, the regular Epistle and Gospel for days of great feasts and vigil saints are not omitted entirely; they are read on the day before "as one with the preceding reading." The Church desires that the entire Apostle and Gospel should be read in the course of the year, without any omissions.

On days of the leave-taking of feasts of the Lord no special readings are appointed, but on days of the leave-taking of feasts of the Theotokos the same Epistle and Gospel are appointed to be read that were read on the day of the feast itself.

On weekdays, except for Saturday, the regular Epistle and Gospel are read first, then the special readings appointed for the saint whose memory is celebrated on that day. Likewise for days of the leave-taking of feasts of the Theotokos: for these the regular daily Epistle and Gospel are read first, then those for the Theotokos. The readings of the Epistle and Gospel likewise occur in this order on Saturdays from the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee until the Sunday of All Saints. On Saturdays from the Sunday of All Saints until the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, first the Epistle and Gospel to the Saint are read, then the regular daily readings.

On Sundays the Resurrectional readings always precede. However, on Sundays and Saturdays when special readings are appointed, such as the Saturday and Sunday before the Exaltation, the Saturday and Sunday after the Exaltation, and the Saturday and Sunday before the Nativity of Christ and after the Nativity of Christ, first the special reading appointed for the day is read, then the regular reading and the reading for the saint or feast of the Theotokos. On the Sundays of the Holy Fathers, which occur in July and October (in memory of the ecumenical counsels), first the regular reading is read, then that of the Holy Fathers.

With the exception of Sunday, a special requiem Gospel, as well as an Epistle, is appointed for each day of the week. At a requiem service the readings of the Epistle and Gospel for the saints being celebrated is not read, but only the regular and requiem readings (this occurs on Saturdays when alleluia is sung).

After the reading of the Gospel, the priest says to the deacon who had been reading it: "Peace be unto thee that bringest the good tidings." The choir sings: "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." The deacon gives the Gospel to the priest through the royal doors. The priest, having blessed the people with the Gospel, sets the latter on the high part of the holy table; for the time for the opening of the Antimension, on which the Gospel usually lies, is close at hand. According to the directions in the Service Book, the royal doors are closed after this, but in practice they are usually closed later, after the augmented litany and its prayer. The deacon, remaining on the ambon, begins to say the augmented litany.

In antiquity, and even now in the East, the sermon is given immediately after the reading of the Gospel. With us it is usually given at the end of the Liturgy — during the communion of the clergy, after the singing of the communion hymn, or after "Blessed be the name of the Lord."

The Litany after the Gospel.

After the reading of the Gospel the Augmented Litany is said, which begins with the words: "Let us all say with our whole soul and with our whole mind, let us say." This litany has its own distinctions from the augmented litany which is said at Vespers and Matins. Firstly, it contains an entire separate petition: "Again we pray for our brethren the priests, priestmonks, and all our brethren in Christ." This indicates that our Ustav originated in Jerusalem, and it should be remembered that this "brotherhood" refers to the Jerusalem Holy tomb brotherhood (though we apply this prayer to our own brethren, the priests). Secondly, at the Liturgy the petition, "Again we pray for the blessed and ever-memorable…," has the insertion: "…holy Orthodox Patriarchs; for pious kings and right-believing queens…" Sometimes at the augmented litany there are special petitions, "for various needs," "for the ailing," "for those traveling," for drought or inclement weather, and the like, which are taken from the book of molebens or from a special section especially for this purpose located at the end of the "Priestly Prayer Book." At the liturgical augmented litany the petition, "For mercy, life, peace…," which always occurs at Vespers and Matins, is usually omitted.

During the augmented litany the priest reads a special private "Prayer of Fervent Supplication." After the reading of this prayer and the pronunciation of the petition for the ruling bishop, first the iliton is opened, then the Antimension itself, according to custom. Only the upper part of the Antimension remains unopened; it is opened later, during the litany of the catechumens. One must know how to properly fold the Antimension. First the upper part thereof is closed, then the lower part, then the left, and finally the right. During a conciliar service the officiating clergyman and the two most senior clergy take part in the opening of the Antimension: first the presiding clergyman, together with the senior clergyman on his right, opens the right-hand part of the Antimension; then, together with the second co-celebrant on his left, he opens the left-hand section, followed by the lower section. The upper section remains closed until the litany of the catechumens. This manner of opening the Antimension has become statutory to our Russian practice. According to the direction of the Service Book, however, the entire Antimension is to be "outspread" immediately during the final exclamation of the litany of the catechumens, which practice is observed in the East.

Upon the completion of the augmented litany a special prayer is sometimes read. We currently read the Prayer for the Salvation of our homeland — Russia.

Then, if there is a petition for the departed, the augmented litany for the departed is said, usually with the royal doors open, beginning with the words: "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy…," at which the prayer for the repose of the departed is privately read, which begins, "O God of spirits and of all flesh…," and ends with the exclamation: "For Thou art the resurrection, and the life, and the repose…" On Sundays and great feasts it is unbefitting to pronounce the requiem litany at the Liturgy.

The royal doors are then closed, and the Litany of the Catechumens is said, beginning with the words, "Pray ye, catechumens, to the Lord." This litany is a prayer for the "catechumens;" that is, for those who are preparing to receive the holy faith in Christ, but who have not yet been baptized. According to an established tradition, at the word of the litany, "That He may open unto them the Gospel of righteousness," the priest opens the upper part of the Antimension. At a conciliar service the second pair of concelebrants does this conjointly, one priest from the right side and the other from the left. At the closing words of the litany, "That these may also glorify…," the priest takes the flat sponge (the musa) which lies inside the Antimension, signs the Antimension with it cruciformly, and, having venerated it, places it on the upper right-hand corner of the Antimension. By this complete unfolding of the Antimension a place is prepared for the holy Gifts — a place for the burial of the Body of the Lord, inasmuch as the setting of the holy Gifts on the altar symbolizes the burial of the Body of the Lord after it had been taken down from the cross. During the pronunciation of the litany of the catechumens the priest reads a special private "Prayer for the Catechumens before the Holy Anaphora." Here we notice that, beginning from this prayer, the text of the private prayers at the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom begins to differ from the text of the private prayers at the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

Following the closing exclamation of this litany the deacon invites the catechumens to depart from the prayerful assembly in the thrice-repeated exclamation, "As many as are catechumens, depart; catechumens, depart; as many as are catechumens, depart…" When several deacons participate in the service they all pronounce this exclamation together, by turns. In ancient times each catechumen, before leaving the Church, was given a special blessing by the bishop. Following the departure of the catechumens the third, most important part of the Liturgy begins, at which only the faithful may be present, i.e., those already baptized and not under any ban or excommunication; hence, this part of the Liturgy is called the Liturgy of the faithful.

The Liturgy of the Faithful.

In present times the Liturgy of the faithful begins immediately, without any pause, following the Liturgy of the catechumens, with the exclamation of the deacon: "As many as are of the faithful, again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord." Two small litanies are then pronounced one after the other, at each of which a special private prayer is read: "The First Prayer of the Faithful, during which the antimension is spread out, and The Second Prayer of the Faithful. Each of these small litanies concludes with the exclamation of the deacon, "Wisdom," which should call to mind the special significance of the approaching service; that is, the Wisdom of God which is to appear in the great Christian mystery of the Eucharist. The exclamation "Wisdom" is pronounced instead of the usual call to commit oneself and all one’s life unto God, which in other instances usually concludes the small litany. After the exclamation, "Wisdom," the exclamation of the priest immediately follows, which concludes the litany. After the first litany the priest exclaims: "For to Thee is do all glory, honor, and worship…," and after the second a special exclamation follows: "That always being guarded under Thy dominion we may send up glory unto Thee: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The pronunciation of the second of these litanies differs depending on whether the priest is serving with a deacon or whether he is serving alone. In the first case the deacon, in addition to the usual petitions of the small litany, pronounces the first three petitions of the great litany and the petition, "That we may be delivered…" When the priest serves alone he does not say these petitions. In the first prayer of the faithful the priest gives thanks unto God for having vouchsafed him to stand even now before His holy altar. This recalls the fact that in ancient times the Liturgy of the catechumens was performed outside the altar, and only at the beginning of the Liturgy did the priest enter into the altar and approach the holy table, giving thanks unto God for having vouchsafed him to stand before His holy altar, as the holy table was called in those days, for that which we now call the "altar" in ancient times was called the "table of oblation."* In the second prayer of the faithful the priest asks God for the cleansing of all those present from all defilement of flesh and spirit, for the spiritual advancement of the worshippers, and that they might be vouchsafed always to partake uncondemned of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.

The Cherubic Hymn.

After the exclamation of the second small litany the royal doors are immediately opened, and the singers, in a slow and prolonged melody, begin to sing the so-called Cherubic Hymn. The words thereof are as follows:

Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, and chant the thrice-holy hymn unto the life-creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly care.

That we may receive the King of all, who cometh invisibly upborne in triumph by the ranks of angels. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Translated literally from the Slavonic, the words are as follows:

"Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, and who chant the thrice-holy hymn unto the Life-creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly care.

That we may lift up the King of all, who is invisibly borne upon the spears of the angelic hosts. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

This hymn was composed and introduced into use, as George Kedrin testifies, in the sixth century, during the reign of the pious emperor Justin II, so that during the transferal of the Gifts from the table of oblation to the holy table the souls of the worshippers might be filled with the most reverent of feelings. In this hymn it is as though the Church calls us to become like the Cherubim — who standing before the throne of the Lord of glory unceasingly sing praises unto Him and give glory with the thrice-holy hymn, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth" and to set aside all thoughts and concerns regarding anything earthly whatsoever, for at this time the Son of God, majestically accompanied by the angels ("borne upon spears" ("dorinosimi") is an image taken from the Roman custom, when proclaiming an emperor, of ceremoniously lifting him up on a shield supported from beneath by the spears of the soldiers), is coming invisibly into the holy altar in order to offer Himself at the supper as a Sacrifice to God the Father for the sins of mankind, and to offer His body and blood to the faithful to be consumed. This Cherubic Hymn is, in essence, an abbreviation of an ancient hymn which originally was always sung at the ancient Liturgy of the holy apostle James, the Brother of the Lord, and which we now sing only on Great Saturday at the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, which is served on this day: Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and let it stand with fear and trembling, and let it take no thought for any earthly thing. For the King of kings and the Lord of lords draws near to be sacrificed and given as food to the faithful. Before Him go the choirs of angels with all the principalities and powers: the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, which cover their faces as they sing this hymn: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

On Great Thursday at the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, instead of the Cherubic Hymn, a hymn is sung which expresses the significance of the day, and which replaces many hymns on this great day of the establishment by our Lord of the Mystery of Communion itself:

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, receive me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of the Mystery to Thine enemies, nor will I give Thee a kiss, as did Judas, but like the thief do I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

During the singing of the Cherubic Hymn the priest, standing before the holy table, reads a special private prayer beginning with the words, "None is worthy, among them that are bound with carnal lusts and pleasures, to approach, or to draw nigh, or to minister unto Thee, O King of glory…" In this prayer he asks that the Lord, who is upborne on the holy table by the Cherubim, might purge his soul and heart of a wicked conscience and enable him to perform the sacred Mystery of His holy and immaculate Body and precious Blood, and vouchsafe that these gifts may be offered through him, a sinful and unworthy servant. At this time the deacon, having received a blessing to cense from the priest at the very beginning of the Cherubic Hymn, censes the whole altar and the priest; then, from the ambon, the iconostasis, the choirs, and the people. During this it is customary for him, having censed the altar, to exit through the royal doors for the censing of the iconostasis; then, returning into the altar, to cense the priest, after which, again exiting through the royal doors, he censes the choirs and the people. Finally, having censed the royal doors and the local icons of the Savior and the Mother of God, the deacon enter the altar, censes the holy table (only from the front) and the priest, and bows three times with the latter before the holy table. The priest, with upraised hands, thrice reads the first half of the Cherubic Hymn, and the deacon finishes it each time, reading the second half; after which they both bow once. Having read the Cherubic Hymn thrice, venerated the holy table, and bowed to one another, they go off to the left (without going around the holy table) towards the table of oblation, in order to begin the Great Entrance. When there is no deacon, the priest himself censes after the reading of the private prayer. During the censing, he, like the deacon, reads Psalm 50 to himself.

The Great Entrance.

Following the singing of the first half of the Cherubic Hymn, which finishes with the words, "now lay aside all earthly care," the Great Entrance takes place. This is a ceremonious transferal of the prepared Holy gifts from the table of oblation to the Holy Table, where they are set upon the outspread antimension. Historically the Great Entrance may be explained by the fact that in ancient times the "prothesis," in which the Holy Gifts were prepared at the proskomedia, was located outside the altar, and therefore, when the time for the transformation of the Holy Gifts drew near, they were solemnly transferred into the altar and onto the holy table. Symbolically the Great Entrance signifies the going of the Lord Jesus Christ to his voluntary sufferings and death on the cross.

The Great Entrance begins with the priest and the deacon approaching the table of oblation. The priest censes the Holy Gifts, thrice praying within himself: "O God, cleanse me, a sinner." The deacon says to him: "Lift up, master." The priest, taking the air from off the Holy Gifts, lays it upon the left shoulder of the deacon, saying: "Lift up your hands unto the holies, and bless the Lord." Then, taking the holy diskos, he lays it upon the head of the deacon with all attention and reverence. During this the priest says to the deacon: "Thy holy diaconate may the Lord God remember in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages," and the deacon, taking the diskos and kissing the priest’s hand, says to him: "Thy holy priesthood may the Lord God remember…" Taking the diskos, the deacon stands on one knee to the right of the table of oblation, in his right hand holding the censer, which he has taken from the priest prior to this, and which he holds by its ring with the little finger of his right hand in such a way that it hangs down behind his shoulder after the priest has given him the diskos. Rising from kneeling, the deacon begins the entrance, going out through the north doors onto the solea; the priest, taking the holy chalice in his hands, follows after him. If two deacons serve, the air is laid on the shoulder of the one who walks ahead with the censer, while the senior deacon by rank carries the diskos, on his head. If several priest serve conciliarly, the second priest by rank holds the cross, the third — the spear, the fourth — the spoon, and so forth. The clergy are preceded by the candle-bearers. Following the end of the singing of the Cherubic Hymn, while walking the deacon begins aloud the commemoration of the great entrance, which the priest who follows after him continues, together, if the service be conciliar, with the other priests, each in turn; it is customary for the senior priest to conclude the commemoration. The deacon, upon finishing his commemoration, enters the altar through the royal doors and stands on one knee at the front right-hand corner of the holy table, continuing to hold the diskos on his head, and awaits the entrance into the altar of the priest, who then takes the diskos from his head and sets it on the Holy Table. The priest, together, if the service is conciliar, with the other priests, pronounces the commemoration; all stand side by side on the solea, facing the people, and each blesses them cruciformly with the object held in his hands at the conclusion of his commemoration. The practice of the commemoration has, at various times, not always been entirely uniform. The civil and spiritual authorities both were and are now commemorated. In conclusion the senior priest commemorates: "All of you Orthodox Christians, may the Lord God remember in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."

Some contemporary priests improperly make a practice of arbitrarily extending this commemoration at the Great Entrance, inserting a whole series of various commemorations which are not indicated in the Service Book and are not prescribed by the Higher Church Authorities. Any "ad-libbing," particularly when grammatically incorrect, as frequently occurs today, is out of place and inappropriate.

Entering the altar, the priest sets the holy potir on the outspread antimension, on the right-hand side, then takes the diskos from the head of the deacon and sets it on the left-hand side. He then removes the coverings from them, takes the air from the shoulder of the deacon, and, having censed and fragranced it, covers with it the diskos and the potir together. The setting of the Holy Gifts on the holy table and the covering of them with the air symbolizes the taking down of the Lord from the cross and His being laid in the tomb. Therefore, at this time the priest reads to himself (in a half-whisper) the troparion of Great Saturday: "The noble Joseph, having taken Thy most-pure Body down from the Tree and wrapped It in pure linen and covered It with spices, laid It in a new tomb." Then follow other troparia which are sung at the Paschal hours, which also speak concerning the burial of the Lord: "In the grave bodily, but in hades with Thy soul as God…," and, "How life-giving, how much more beautiful than paradise…" He then thrice censes the Holy Gifts which have been thus prepared, saying the concluding words of Psalm 50: "Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Sion…" By "Sion" here is meant the Church of Christ; by "the walls of Jerusalem" are meant the teachers of the true faith, the bishops and presbyters, who guard the "city," the Church, from the attacks of heretics; and by the "sacrifice of righteousness, of oblation and whole-burnt offerings" is meant the Bloodless Sacrifice which is to be performed at the impending sacrament, of which the Old Testament sacrifices were a prefiguration. After all of this the royal doors are closed and the curtain is drawn, which symbolizes the closing of the Tomb of the Lord with a stone, the sealing thereof, and the setting of a watch before the Tomb. Additionally, this shows that the glorified state of the God-man remained unseen by men during His sufferings and death.

After the censing of the Holy Gifts the clergy mutually ask prayers of one another for themselves, that they might be made worthy to perform the great mystery. The priest, handing back the censer and letting down his phelonian (in ancient times the phelonian was longer in front, and during the Great Entrance was raised and attached to buttons; at this point it was released), bows his head and says to the deacon, "Remember me, brother and concelebrant." At this humble petition the deacon replies to the priest, "May the Lord God remember thy priesthood in His Kingdom." Then the deacon, likewise bowing his head, and holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand, says to the priest, "Pray for me, holy master." The priest responds, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most Hight shall overshadow thee" (Lk. 1:35). The deacon replies, "The same spirit shall minister with us all the days of our life (Rom. 8:26). Remember me, holy master." With his hand the priest blesses the deacon, saying, "May the Lord God remember thee in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages ages. The deacon responds, "Amen," and, having kissed the hand of the priest, exits the altar through the north doors for the pronunciation of the next supplicatory litany, which follows the end of the Cherubic Hymn. (In the Episcopal Book of Rites, when a bishop serves a different order is given for the address of the bishop to those serving and the deacon and the responses of the deacon.)

If the priest serves alone, without a deacon, then he carries the potir in his right hand and the diskos in his left, and pronounces the usual commemoration in its entirety himself.

When a bishop serves, the bishop, following the reading of the private prayer and before the beginning of the Cherubic Hymn, washes his hands within the royal doors. Following the reading of the Cherubic Hymn he goes aside to the table of oblation, and there he performs for himself the Proskomedia, commemorating all the bishops and concelebrants, who by turns approach and kiss his right shoulder, saying, "Remember me, most holy master, Name." The bishop himself does not go out at the Great Entrance; rather, through the royal doors he first takes the diskos from the deacon, then the potir from the senior priest, at which he himself pronounces the entire commemoration, dividing it into two halves: the first is pronounced while holding the diskos, and the second while holding the potir. In this case the clergy usually commemorate no-one individually; only sometimes at the beginning the deacon commemorates the serving bishop. At a hierarchial service the royal doors and the curtain are not closed (from the beginning of the Liturgy), but remain open until the very communion of the clergy.

It should be remembered that after the Cherubic Hymn the removal of any particles from the offered prosphora is no longer permissible.

On the covering taken from the diskos, which was laid on the left-hand side of the holy table, the altar cross is usually laid, together with, at its sides, the spear and spoon, which will be needed by the priest for the breaking up of the Holy gifts and the communion of the faithful.

The Litany of Fervent Supplication.

At the conclusion of the entire Cherubic Hymn the deacon exits through the north doors and pronounces the Litany of Fervent Supplication, which begins with the words, "Let us complete our prayer unto the Lord." This supplicatory litany is peculiar in that at the very beginning thereof three additional petitions are inserted: "For the precious gifts set forth…," "For this holy temple…," and, "That we may be delivered…" If the Liturgy is served after Vespers, as, for instance, on the days of the eves of the Nativity of Christ and of Theophany, or on the feast of the Annunciation when it falls on weekdays of Great Lent, Great Thursday, or Great Saturday, the litany must begin with the words, "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord," after which should follow, "That the whole evening may be perfect…" During the litany of fervent supplication the priest in the altar reads the private "Prayer of the Oblation, after placing the Diving Gifts on the Holy Table." This prayer is, as it were, a continuation of the prayer which the priest read at the end of the proskomedia before the table of oblation. In it the priest asks the Lord that He enable him to offer gifts and spiritual sacrifices for the sins of all the people, and, for the second time after the proskomedia, calls down the Holy Spirit upon "these gifts which are set forth." The end of this prayer, "Through the compassions of Thine Only-begotten Son, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy Most-holy, and good, and life-creating spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages," the priest pronounces aloud at the end of the litany. Then, turning to face the people, he bestows "peace unto all," at which the singers on behalf of all who are present answer him, as usual, "And to thy spirit." By this general reconciliation is proclaimed before the beginning of the time of the performance of the great mystery, as a sign of which a kiss then takes place.

The Kiss of Peace.

The deacon, standing in his usual place on the ambon, exclaims: "Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess." The choir, continuing the words of the deacon, as though responding by saying whom we confess, sings: "The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, one in essence and indivisible." At this time the priest bows thrice before the holy table, and at each bow thrice states his love for the Lord in the words of Psalm 17, verse 2: "I shall love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my refuge and my support." Then he venerates the covered vessels — first the diskos, then the chalice —, then, finally, the edge of the holy table in front of him. If two or more priests serve at the Liturgy, all of them do the same, first approaching the altar, then going to the right-hand side and, arranging themselves there in a row, exchanging a mutual kiss, thereby expressing their brotherly love for one another. In so doing the senior of the two says, "Christ is in our midst!" The junior replies, "He is, and He shall be!" and each kisses the other’s shoulders and hand. The deacons must do likewise, if there are several of them: they kiss the crosses on their oraria, then one another, on the shoulder, saying the same words.

The custom of the mutual kiss is of very ancient origin. It is mentioned by the earliest of Christian writers, such as the holy martyr Justin the Philosopher, St. Clement of Alexandria, and others. In ancient times the laity likewise exchanged the kiss at this time — men with men and women with women. This kiss was intended to signify the complete inner reconciliation of all present in the temple before the beginning of the dread time for the offering of the great Bloodless Sacrifice, according to the command of Christ: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Mt. 5:23-24). This kiss signifies, not only reconciliation, but also complete inner unity and oneness of mind, which is why immediately after this the Symbol of Faith is said. Herein also lies the reason why celebration of the Eucharist together with heretics, with whom there is no such unity and oneness of mind, is impossible. The kissing of one another upon the shoulder shows that all are equally subject to the yoke of Christ, and all equally bear His burden upon their shoulders. It is unknown exactly when this compunctionate rite of the reciprocal kiss between the faithful fell out of usage, but even now, upon hearing the exclamation, "Let us love one another…," all those present in the temple should mentally reconcile themselves with everyone, forgiving one another all offenses. After this kiss of peace and the confession of complete oneness of mind and soul there logically follows the confession of one’s faith.

The Symbol of Faith.

The deacon, standing in his usual place and slightly bowing his head, kisses his orarion where the cross is depicted; then, raising his right hand a little and holding the orarion with three fingers, he exclaims: "The doors, the doors, in wisdom let us attend." At this the curtain in front of the royal doors is opened, and in a rhythmical voice the people outside the altar recite the confession of faith: "I believe in one God, the Father…" In antiquity, by making the exclamation, "The doors, the doors," the deacon notified the subdeacons and gatekeepers to guard the doors of the temple, so that no unworthy person might be present at the greatest of Christian mysteries, which was then beginning. In present times this exclamation has only a symbolic significance, but a very important one at that. The holy patriarch Herman explains it thus: that at this moment we should close the doors of our mind, so that through them nothing evil or sinful should pass, and attend only to the wisdom which we hear in the words of the Symbol of Faith which is to follow. The curtain, which is opened at this time, symbolizes the rolling away of the stone from the tomb and the flight of the watch which had been set at the tomb, as well as the fact that the mystery of our salvation, hidden from the ages, is revealed after the resurrection of Christ and made known to the whole world. By the words, "In wisdom let us attend," the deacon calls the worshippers to be especially attentive to the whole of the coming sacred rite, in which Divine wisdom is to manifest itself. The reading of the Symbol of Faith was not included at first. In ancient times it was read at the Liturgy only once a year, on Great Friday, and also at the baptism of catechumens. At the end of the fifth century, in the Antiochian Church, the Symbol began to be read at every Liturgy, and in the year 511 Patriarch Timothy introduced the reading of thereof in the region of Constantinople as well. With us in the Russian Church the Symbol of Faith is usually sung, in some places by all the people, but in the West it is read, usually by one of the senior clerics or especially worthy laymen.

At the beginning of the singing or reading of the Symbol of Faith the priest removes the air from the Holy Gifts, so that they might not remain covered during the performance of the Eucharist. Taking the air, he raises it above the Holy Gifts and holds it, slowly waving it on his outstretched hands. If several priests serve, they all hold the air by the edges and wave it together with the presiding priest. If a bishop serves, he, removing his mitre, bows his head to the Holy Gifts, while the priests fan with the air above the Holy Gifts and his bowed head together. This fanning with the air symbolizes the overshadowing by the Spirit of God, and likewise recalls the earthquake which took place at the Resurrection of Christ. In the East this has the practical purpose of protecting the Holy Gifts from insects, which are especially numerous there; hence, at all times, as long as the Holy Gifts remained uncovered, the deacon fanned them with the covering or with a fan. The priest ceases to wave the air, according to the direction of the Service Book, when the deacon, following the end of the Symbol and the exclamation, Let us stand well…, enters the altar and relieves the priest by "taking the fan and fanning the holy things reverently." The priest, having silently read the Symbol of Faith, reverently kisses the air, folds it, and lays it on the left-hand side of the holy table, saying, "The grace of our Lord…"

The Eucharistic Canon, or Anaphora (Elevation).

After the Symbol of Faith and several preparatory exclamations, the most important part of the Divine Liturgy begins, called the "Eucharistic Canon," or the "Anaphora" (in Greek, anaferw), which means "elevation," since at this part of the Liturgy the mystery of the Eucharist itself takes place; that is, the transformation of the Holy Gifts into the body and blood of Christ through their Elevation and their sanctification through the reading of a special eucharistic prayer. This eucharistic prayer is, in essence, a single prayer, but it is read privately and is broken several times by exclamations which are pronounced aloud. At the central point of this prayer the "elevation of the Holy Gifts" takes place, which is why this most important part of the Liturgy is also called the "anaphora."

After the Symbol of Faith, the deacon, still standing on the ambon, exclaims: "Let us stand well, let us stand with fear, let us attend, that we may offer the holy oblation in peace," He then goes immediately into the altar, though not through the south doors, as is usual, but through the north doors — those through which he usually exits. This words, according to the exclamation of St. James, the brother of the Lord, and St. John Chrysostom, signify that we must stand, as is fitting in the presence of God, with fear, humility, and love, so that in a peaceful state of spirit we might offer to God the "holy oblation;" that is, the Holy Gifts. At these words of the deacon the choir, on behalf of all the faithful, responds, "A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise," i.e., we declare our readiness to perform the sacrificial offering to the Lord, not only in peace and oneness of mind with our fellows, but with feelings of mercy or compassion towards them. According to the explanation of Nicholas Kavasili, we offer "…mercy to Him, Who said: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." Mercy is the fruit of the purest and firmest peace, when no passions arouse the soul and nothing prevents it from being filled with mercy and a sacrifice of praise." In other words, the call, "Let us stand well," shows us that we must incline ourselves to peace with all, with God and with our fellow men, and that in peace we will offer the Holy Sacrifice, for the "mercy of peace" and "sacrifice of praise" is the very sacrifice which bestowed upon us the Divine mercy of eternal peace with God, with our own selves, and with all our fellow men. Together with this, in the Eucharist we also offer to God a sacrifice of praise — an expression of thanksgiving and sacred ecstasy at His great work of the redemption of the human race.

The priest then addresses himself to the people, in order to prepare them for the impending great and terrible Mystery, with the words of the apostolic greeting: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (II Cor. 13:13). A bishop, when saying these words, exits the altar onto the ambon and blesses all present with the dikiri and trikiri; a priest, turning to the west, blesses with his hand. In these words to the worshippers a specific gift is asked of each Person of the Most Holy Trinity: from the Son, grace; from the Father, love; and from the Holy Spirit, His intercourse or communion. At this expression of good will on the part of the priest or bishop, the choir responds on behalf of the people, "And with thy spirit," thereby expressing the brotherly unity of the clergy and the people. The priest then exclaims, "Let us lift up our hearts," thereby calling the worshippers to leave all things earthly and be lifted "upward" in heart and thought; that is, upward to God, entirely giving themselves over only the thought of the great forthcoming mystery. The choir, on behalf of all the faithful, responds by assenting to this call: "We lift them up unto the Lord;" that is, we have already turned our hearts towards God. This is not, of course, said in a spirit of pride, but in terms of our desire to accomplish this and to renounce all things earthly. (Some priests raise their hands at the pronounciation of this exclamation. Archimandrite Kyprian (Kern) writes thus: "These words, according to the injunction of the Jerusalem Service Book, must be pronounced with upraised arms. Our Service Book does not indicate this, but nearly universal practice has legitimized it ("The Eucharist," p. 212, Paris, 1947).") "Let us lift up our hearts" is one of the most ancient of liturgical exclamations. It is also mentioned by St. Kyprian of Carthage, who explains its significance thus: "They (the worshippers) should think of nothing other than the Lord. Let the breast be closed to anything adverse, and let it be open to God alone. Let us not allow the enemy to enter into ourselves during prayer."

After this the priest exclaims: "Let us give thanks unto the Lord." These words begin the Eucharistic Prayer itself, or the Eucharistic Canon — the fundamental nucleus of the Divine Liturgy, which has its origins from apostolic times. The word "Eucharist" eucaristia - translated from the Greek means "Thanksgiving." All of the first three Evangelists testify that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, when establishing this great mystery at the Mystical Supper, began by giving thanks unto God, the Father (Lk. 22:17-19; Mt. 26:27; and Mk. 14:23). All the ancient Liturgies, without exception, beginning from the "Teachings of the 12 Apostles" and the Liturgy described by the holy martyr Justin the Philosopher, begin the anaphora with precisely these words: "Let us give thanks unto the Lord." Likewise, all the eucharistic prayers which have come down to us comprise, by their contents, thanksgiving unto the Lord for all of the good works He has done for the human race. In answer to this exclamation of the priest, the choir sings: "It is truly meet and right to worship the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity one in essence and indivisible." At this time the priest begins the reading of the eucharistic prayer, saying the words privately, to himself. This prayer is then broken up by exclamations pronounced aloud, and finishes with the calling down of the Holy Spirit, the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and a prayer for the living and the departed — "for each and every one" of those for whom this Great Bloodless Sacrifice is offered.

In the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom this private prayer begins with the words, "It is truly meet and right to hymn Thee, to bless Thee, to give thanks unto Thee…" In this prayer (the Praefatio) the priest gives thanks unto God for all of His good works, both those known to us and those unknown, and particularly for the creation of the world, for His providence for us, for His compassion for the human race, and, as the crown of all the good works of God, for the redeeming labor of the Only-begotten Son of God. At the end of the first part of this prayer the priest gives thanks to the lord for His acceptance of this service from our hands, despite the fact that He is glorified by the angelic hosts who unceasingly stand before God and send up praise unto Him. Further on the priest exclaims aloud: "Singing the triumphal hymn, shouting, crying aloud, and saying;" the choir then continues this exclamation of the priest, triumphantly singing: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest." This exclamation, which in its excerpted form is seemingly incomprehensible for those who do not know the text of the eucharistic prayer, is actually a supplementary clause which completes the first part of the eucharistic prayer, and which begins the singing of "Holy, holy…" At this exclamation the deacon, who prior to this has entered the altar from the ambon through the north doors (the only time when the deacon enters the north doors), stands at the left-hand side of the holy table, takes the asteriskos from the diskos, and makes "the sign of the cross above it (the diskos) with it; then, having kissed it (that is, the asteriskos), he lays it with the coverings." This exclamation reminds us of how, as the Seer, the holy apostle John, described in the Apocalypse, and the holy prophet Ezekiel described in the Old Testament, the six-winged Seraphim, sending up unceasing praise unto the Lord, appeared in the form of mystical beings ("beasts"), of which one was like a lion, another like a bull, the third like a man, and the fourth like an eagle. In accordance with the various means by which these mystical beings doxologized, the following expressions are used: "singing," which pertains to the eagle, "shouting," which pertains to the bull, "crying aloud" to the lion, and "saying" — to the man (see Apocalypse 4:6-8, Ezekiel 1:5-10, Is. 6:2-3).

This first part of the eucharistic prayer, with concludes with the angelic doxology, speaks primarily of the creative action of God the Father, and is called the "Prefatio;" the second part of the eucharistic prayer, called the "Sanctus," glorifies the redeeming labor of the incarnate Son of God; and the third part, which contains the calling down of the Holy Spirit, is called the "Epiclesis."

To the angelic doxology of "Holy, holy…" is joined the triumphant salutation of those who met the Lord with branches of palms, when he entered into Jerusalem for His voluntary passion: "Hosanna in the highest…" (from Psalm 117). These words are joined to the angelic doxology at this moment in a most timely fashion, for the Lord, as it were, at every Liturgy comes again to offer Himself in sacrifice and "to give Himself as food for the faithful." He comes from heaven into the temple, as into a mystical Jerusalem, to offer himself in sacrifice on the holy table, as though on a new Golgotha, and we glorify His coming to us with the same words. This hymn has been used at this moment in the holy Eucharist since apostolic times. During this the deacon fans with the fan.

During this the priest reads the second part of the private eucharistic prayer, the Sanctus’a, which begins with the words, "With these blessed hosts…" In this part of the prayer the redeeming labor of Christ is recalled, and it concludes with the exclamation aloud of the establishing words of the mystery themselves, from the Gospel: "Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you, for the remission of sins." And: "Drink of it, all of you: this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins" (Mt. 26:26-28; Mk. 14:22-24; and Lk. 22:19-20). At each of these exclamations the choir responds, "Amen." At the pronunciation of these words the deacon indicates, first, the diskos, then the potir to the priest with his right hand, holding the orarion with three fingers. Simultaneously the priest "co-indicates" with his hand. If several priests serve conciliarly, they pronounce these words simultaneously with the presiding cleric "in unison, in a quiet voice." The singers sing, "Amen," expressing thereby the deep common faith of all the worshippers in the Divine mystery of the Eucharist and the spiritual unity of all in this unshakable faith.

Following the pronunciation of the words of Christ, the priest recalls all that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished for the salvation of men, on the foundation of which the clergy offer the supplicatory, testimonial Bloodless Sacrifice. Recalling this in the short private prayer, "Mindful, therefore…," the priest concludes it with the exclamation aloud: "Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee in behalf of all and for all." Thy gifts, Thy Bloodless Sacrifice, of Thine own, that is, of Thine own works, of that which Thou hast wrought, "we offer unto Thee in behalf of all" — that is, "for all things," "in every sense," concerning all the works of our sinful life, that Thou mightest grant us, not according to our sins, but according to Thy love for mankind — "and for all," that is, for all which Thou hast done for men; in short, "we offer sacrifice both propitiatory, for our sins, and testimonial, for the salvation wrought for us." In many ancient handwritten Greek service books, and in modern printings as well, instead of our "we offer," "let us offer" is printed; thus, our subordinate clause becomes primary in them.

At this exclamation the so-called elevation of the Holy Gifts takes place. If a deacon serves with the priest, he performs this elevation, and not the priest himself, who merely pronounces the exclamation. The deacon, with arms crossed, takes the diskos and potir — his right hand takes the diskos, which stands to the left, and his left hand, the chalice which stands to the right — and exalts them; that is, he lifts them up to a certain height above the holy table. During this, the right hand, which holds the diskos, must be above the left, which holds the chalice. It is not indicated in the Service Book to sign the cross in the air, but many customarily do so (if there is no deacon, the priest himself lifts the holy diskos and chalice).

The Epiclesis — the Prayer of the Calling Down of the Holy Spirit.

The rite of the elevation of the Holy Gifts dates back to the most ancient of times, and is based on how at the Mystical Supper, as we are told in the Gospel, the Lord "took bread into His holy and all-pure hands, showing it to Thee, the God and Father…" and so forth. St. Basil the Great took these words for his Liturgy from the Liturgy of the holy apostle James; they are also of Old Testament origin. The Lord commanded Moses, as it is written in the book of Exodus, 29:23-24: "…one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer... thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD."

The singers, continuing the exclamation of the priest, sing: "We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God." During this singing the reading is continued of the part of the private eucharistic prayer during which the calling down of the Holy Spirit and the sanctification of the Holy Gifts — their transformation into the true body and true blood of Christ — is performed. Here are the words of this sanctifying prayer, the EpiklhsiV, at the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom:

"Again we offer unto Thee this rational and bloodless service, and we ask of Thee, and we pray Thee, and we entreat Thee: Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts set forth." Here, "rational," that is, spiritual service, which is also called bloodless, is as it were contrasted to the material and bloody sacrifices from before the coming of Christ, which were themselves incapable of cleansing mankind of sin, serving only as a reminder of the great Sacrifice to come, which should be offered for mankind by the Divine Redeemer and Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ (see Heb. 10:4-5 and 11-14). Following this the priest and the deacon bow thrice before the holy table, "praying within themselves." The priest, with arms upraised to heaven, thrice reads the troparion of the Third Hour: "O Lord Who didst send down Thy Most Holy Spirit at the third hour upon Thine apostles: Take Him not from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee." Following the first time the deacon says the twelfth verse of Psalm 50: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me," and after the second time, the thirteenth verse: "Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." After pronouncing the troparion the third time, with his hand the priest first blesses the holy bread, then the holy chalice, then, the third time, "both of them," that is, the holy bread and the chalice together. Above the holy bread, after the words of the deacon, "Bless master, the holy bread," the priest says the following words, which are considered mystery-accomplishing: "And make this bread the precious body of Thy Christ," and the deacon responds, "Amen." Then, again, the deacon: "Bless, master, the holy cup." The priest then says above the cup, "And that which is in this cup the precious blood of Thy Christ," and the deacon responds, "Amen." The deacon then says, "Bless them both, master," and the priest pronounces over them both, "Changing them by Thy Holy Spirit." In conclusion the deacon or, if there be none, the priest says, "Amen, amen, amen." The mystery is accomplished: after these words there is no longer bread and wine upon the alter, but the true Body and true Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to which honor is given with a prostration, except, naturally, on Sundays and great feasts of the Lord, when all prostrations are replaced with bows, in accordance with Canon 20 of the First Ecumenical Counsel, Canon 90 of the Sixth Ecumenical Counsel, Canon 91 of St. Basil the Great, and Canon 15 of St. Peter of Alexandria.

The deacon then asks the blessing of the priest for himself, and the priest reads a prayer before the transformed Holy Gifts: "That to them that shall partake thereof, they may be unto sobriety of soul…," in which he prays that the Body and Blood of Christ which are now upon the holy table might be unto those who commune for sobriety of soul, remission of sins, communion of the Holy Spirit, the fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven, and boldness before God; and not unto judgment or condemnation.

The prayer of the eklesis, which contains the calling down of the Holy Spirit for the sanctification of the Holy Gifts, as is indubitably clear from a number of patristic testimonies, has existed since times of the greatest antiquity, but was lost in the West in the rite of the Latin mass used by the Roman Catholics, who consequently invented the teaching that the transformation of the Holy Gifts is accomplished without this calling down of the Holy Spirit, simply by the repetition of the words of Christ, "Take, eat…" and, "Drink of it, all of you…" In the East a prayer of eklesis has always existed, but there is a difference between that of the Slavs, on the one hand, and the Greeks and Arabs, on the other. With the Greeks and Arabs the prayer of eklesis is read in its entirety, without pause, while with the Slavs, in the eleventh or twelfth century, as is supposed, an insertion was made in the form of a thrice-repeated reading of the troparion of the Third Hour, "O Lord, Who didst send down Thy Most Holy Spirit…" Incidentally, there is evidence indicating that the custom of inserting this troparion into the eklesis existed in the Alexandrian Church.

The question of the prayer of the eklesis and the calling down of the Holy Spirit is dealt with in detail by Archimandrite Kyprian (Kern) in his treatise, "The Eucharist," in which he writes the following: "The prayer of the eklesis of the Holy Spirit, which is repeated in all of the mysteries, at the Liturgy indicates that the Church liturgically confesses her faith in the Holy Spirit as the power of sanctification and accomplishment; that at every sacrament Pentecost is repeated. The prayer of eklesis, like all of our liturgical theology, is a prayerful confession of a known dogma concerning the Holy Spirit…" Later, in the section titled, "The Teaching of the Church on the Sanctification of the Holy Gifts," he says: "The Catholic church, as is known, teaches that the prayer of the calling down of the Holy Spirit is unnecessary for the sanctification of the eucharistic elements. The priest, according to their teaching, is the performer of the mystery, the "minister sacramenti:" he, as "vice-Christus," as "Stellvertreter Christi," possesses the fullness of grace just as Christ Himself does; and as Christ the Savior has no need to call upon the Holy Spirit, Who is inseperable from Himself, so also His deputy, the empowered performer of the mystery, has no need of such a calling-down. At a certain point the Roman practice discarded this prayer from the mass… The sanctification of the Gifts, according to the Catholic teaching, is accomplished exclusively by the words of the Lord, "Accipite, manducate, Hoc est enim corpus Meum, etc.;" i.e., "Take, eat…" ("The Eucharist," Paris, 1947, pp. 238-239).

Continuing the prayer before the newly transformed Holy gifts, the priest commemorates all for whom the Lord offered his propitiatory Sacrifice on Golgotha: first the saints, then all of the departed and the living. He enumerates the various choirs of the saints and concludes this enumeration with the exclamation aloud:

"Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary;" i.e., "Especially," that is, "predominantly," "particularly," let us remember the Most Holy Virgin Mary. At this exclamation the choir sings a hymn in honor of the Mother of God: "It is truly meet and right to bless Thee, the Theotokos…" On the twelve great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos and until the apodoses thereof, instead of "It is Truly Meet," the "zadostoínik" is sung; that is, the irmos of the ninth ode of the festal canon, usually with its refrain. Likewise, on Sundays during Great Lent, at Liturgies of St. Basil the Great, as well as on January 1 and usually on the eves of the Nativity of Christ and of Theophany, "In Thee rejoiceth all creation, O Thou Who art full of grace…" is sung. During this singing the priest reads a private, so-called "mediatory" prayer which clearly shows that the Divine Liturgy is a sacrifice, being both a repetition and a remembrance of the Sacrifice on Golgotha, the Sacrifice "in behalf of all and for all." After this prayerful commemoration of the Mother of God aloud, the priest privately commemorates St. John the Forerunner, the holy apostles, the saint of the day, whose memory is celebrated, and all the saints. Then all the departed and, finally, the living are commemorated, beginning with the spiritual and civil authorities. The priest pronounces the exclamation, "Especially for our most holy…," while holding the censer, after which he gives the censer to the deacon, who, during the singing of "It is Truly Meet" or of the zadostoinik, censes both the holy table, from all sides, and the priest (simultaneously, according to the directions of the Service Book, the deacon should silently commemorate the departed and the living, whomsoever he desires).

Following the end of the singing, the priest continues the mediatory prayer, "Among the first remember, O Lord…," going on to commemorate aloud the higher ecclesiastical authorities and the diocesan bishop, "to whom do Thou grant unto Thy holy churches, in peace, safety, honor, health, and length of days, rightly dividing the word of Thy truth," At this the choir sings, "And each and every one;" that is, "Remember also, O Lord, all people, both men and women." During this the priest reads the mediatory prayer further, "Remember, O Lord, this city in wherein we dwell…"

The mediatory prayer testifies to the fact that, by her prayers, the Church sanctifies all aspects of human life, and like a true mother mediates carefully and vigilantly before the compassion of God for all the needs and concerns of men. This is particularly vividly expressed in the mediatory prayer of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, notable for the especial completeness and moving nature of its contents. It ends with the exclamation of the priest: "And grant unto us that with one mouth and one heart we may glorify and hymn Thy most honorable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." Then, in conclusion, the priest, turning to face the West and blessing the worshippers with his hand, exclaims: "And may the mercy of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all," to which the singers reply, "And with Thy spirit."

When a bishop serves, following the exclamation of the latter, "Among the first remember, O Lord…," the archimandrite or senior priest commemorates the serving bishop in an undertone, asks his blessing, then kisses his hand, his mitre, and his hand again. Meanwhile the protodeacon, turning in the royal doors to face the people, pronounces the so-called "Great Laudation" in which he commemorates the serving priest, "who has offered these holy gifts to our Lord God," our fatherland, the civil authorities, and, in conclusion, "all the people that stand here and pray, each of them calling to remembrance their transgressions; and in behalf of all and for all." To this the choir responds: "And in behalf of all and for all."

The Preparation of the Faithful for Communion:

The Supplicatory Litany and “Our Father.”

Following the completion of the eucharistic canon, a supplicatory litany is again pronounced. This litany is peculiar in that it begins with the words, "Having called to remembrance all the saints, again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord," and in that it then has two petitions which are unusual for a supplicatory litany: "For the precious gifts offered and sanctified, let us pray to the Lord," and, "That our God, the Lover of mankind, having accepted them upon His holy and most heavenly and noetic altar as an odor of spiritual fragrance, will send down upon us divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us pray." In these petitions we clearly pray, not for the Holy Gifts themselves, which are already sanctified, but for our own selves and our worthy communion with them. At the following petition, which is taken from the Great Litany, "That we may be delivered from every tribulation…," the priest reads a private prayer in which he asks that God vouchsafe us to commune worthily with the Holy Mysteries, with a pure conscience and unto remission of sins, not unto judgment or condemnation. The final petition of this litany is likewise unique, being somewhat modified from its usual form: "Having asked for the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God." Here we recall the unity of faith which we confessed when, at the beginning, before the eucharistic canon, we pronounced the Symbol of Faith. The litany concludes with a similarly unusual priestly exclamation in which the priest, on behalf of all the faithful, who have been made worthy of sonship to God through the Sacrifice of His Son upon the Cross, asks that we be vouchsafed to call upon God as our Father: "And vouchsafe us, O Master, with boldness and without condemnation, to dare to call upon Thee, the heavenly God, as Father, and to say." The choir, continuing this exclamation as though specifying what "to say," sings the Lord’s Prayer — "Our Father." The clergy simultaneously say this prayer inwardly. In the East, the Lord’s Prayer, like the Symbol of Faith, is read, not sung. The singing of the Lord’s Prayer finishes, as usual, with the priestly exclamation which follows it: "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." Following this, the priest, turning to the West, bestows "peace unto all" the worshippers, to which the choir, as usual, replies, "And to Thy spirit." The deacon calls all to bow their heads, and, while the choir slowly sings, "To Thee, O Lord," the priest reads a private prayer in which he asks that the Lord God and Master "distribute these things here set forth unto us all for good" (Rom. 8:28), according to the needs of each. The private prayer finishes with the exclamation aloud: "Through the grace and compassions and love for mankind of Thine Only-begotten Son, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy Most-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." It is customary at this point to draw the curtain over the royal doors. While the choir slowly sings, "Amen," the priest reads the private prayer before the elevation and breaking-up of the holy Lamb, "Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our Lord…," in which he asks God that He impart His Most-pure Body and Precious Blood to the clergy themselves, then through them to all the people. During the reading of this prayer the deacon, standing on the ambon, girds himself cruciformly with the orarion, then bows thrice with the words, "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner," while the priest, elevating the holy Lamb, exclaims: "Holy Things are for the holy." In this exclamation the concept is expressed that the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ may be imparted only to those who are holy. Here it should be noted that in ancient times, as we see also from the Apostolic Epistles, all of the faithful were called "holy" (or "saints"); that is, people made holy by the grace of God. Today this exclamation should remind us that we must come to Holy Communion with a feeling of deep consciousness of our own unworthiness, which feeling alone makes us worthy to partake of the great and holy Body and Blood of Christ. At a hierarchal Liturgy, the royal doors, which, when a bishop serves, remain open throughout the entire Liturgy until this moment, are closed prior to this exclamation. The altar now becomes, as it were, the upper room in which the Lord accomplished the Mystical Supper. Here the bishop represents the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the priests — the apostles. At the exclamation, "Holy Things are for the holy," the choir responds: "One is holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen," thereby expressing that no one present is capable of achieving such holiness as would permit him to boldly and fearlessly approach for communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. The deacon then enters the altar by the south doors.

The Breaking of the Lamb

and the Communion of the Clergy.

Upon entering the altar, the deacon stands to the right of the priest and says to him, "Break, master, the Holy Bread." The priest, with great reverence, breaks the holy Lamb, with both hands dividing It into four parts and setting them cruciformly on the diskos, so that the part stamped IC lies at the top, the part XC at the bottom, the part NI on the left, and the part KA on the right. In the Service Book there is a pictorial sketch indicating this arrangement. During this, the priest says, "Broken and distributed is the Lamb of God: broken, yet not divided; ever eaten, though never consumed, but sanctifying them that partake thereof." In these words the Here insert sketch of layout of broken lamb on diskos; word wrap to right of picture great truth is confessed that Christ, whom we receive in the mystery of Communion, remains undivided and unconsumed, though already the Liturgy has been celebrated daily for many centuries on many holy tables across the face of the earth. Christ is given to us in the Eucharist, as a fount of eternal life which never fails or becomes depleted.

The deacon then again addresses the priest with the words, "Fill the holy chalice, master." The priest, taking the IC portion, makes the sign of the Cross with it over the potir and puts it into the chalice with the words: "The fullness of the Holy Spirit." In this manner he unites the mysteries of the Body and of the Blood of Christ, signifying the Resurrection of Christ, inasmuch as flesh mingled with blood signifies life. The deacon says, "Amen;" then presents the "warmth," called also the "basin," i.e., hot water, in a cup, and says to the priest, "Bless the warm water, master." The priest, blessing it, says, "Blessed is the fervor of Thy saints, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen;" that is: blessed is that fervor which the saints possess in their hearts — their living faith, firm hope, and fervent love for God — with which fervor they approach for holy communion. The deacon pours the warm water cruciformly into the potir, saying, "The fervor of faith, full of the Holy Spirit. Amen;" that is, the fervor of faith is awakened in men through the action of the Holy Spirit. If there be no deacon, the priest himself pours the warm water and pronounces the words indicated. The warm water must be poured carefully, so that the amount thereof should not exceed the amount of wine which has been transformed into the Blood of Christ, and that the wine should not lose the taste of wine due to the abundance of water. The fifteenth century liturgical commentator Symeon of Thessalonica thus explains the meaning of the adding of warm water: "The warm water testifies that the Body of the Lord, though it died after parting from the soul, nevertheless remained life-giving and was neither parted from the Divinity, nor from the Holy Spirit’s every action." This holds the teaching of the incorruptibility of the Body of the Lord.

After the pouring of the warm water, the clergy commune. For the priests and deacons who are serving the Liturgy, communion is unconditionally obligatory. (An exception, when a deacon serves "without preparation," is sometimes permitted, but this is nevertheless not a commendable phenomenon, and should be avoided by all possible means.) The communion of the clergy takes place in the following manner. The doors — not only the royal doors, but also the doors to the sides of the altar — must be closed. A lighted candle is then set on the ambon before the royal doors. During this time the singers sing the "Kinonikon," or "Communion Verse," according to the day or feast. Since the kinonikon today is usually sung quickly (in ancient times it was sung to a prolonged melody), following the kinonkicon, so that the clergy might have enough time to commune, the singers usually sing some other hymn appropriate to the occasion, or the prayers before communion are read (particularly if there are communicants), or sermons are given. (The singing of so-called "concerts" are not appropriate at this time, as this distracts those preparing for Holy Communion from spiritual collectedness.) At a conciliar service the clergy commune in order: first the senior clergy, then the junior. When a deacon serves with a priest, the priest first gives the holy Body to the deacon, then himself communes therewith. He then communes with the holy blood, then gives the holy Blood to the deacon. The clergy commune from the broken XC section, but, if there is not enough of it, the NI and KA sections may of course be broken up as well. Having poured in the warm water and broken the XC section, the priest carefully wipes his fingers with the sponge, and together with the deacon reads, as is customary, the prayer, "Remit, pardon…," after which they make a prostration. Then they each bow to one another and in the direction of the people standing in the temple, saying, "Forgive me, holy fathers and brethren, all wherein I have sinned in deed, word, and thought, and in all my senses." The priest summons the deacon: "Deacon, draw nigh." The deacon, approaching the holy table from the left, makes a prostration, saying (customarily in a low voice to himself), "Behold, I approach unto my immortal King and God" (this prayer is not found in the Service Book). He then says, "Impart unto me, master, the precious and holy Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ." Then he kisses the edge of the antimins and the hand of the priest, from which he receives the Body of Christ. The priest, when giving him the Holy Body, says, "To the sacred deacon (Name) is imparted the precious and holy and most pure Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, unto the remission of his sins, and unto life everlasting." The Body of Christ should be taken into the palm of the right hand, beneath which the palm of the left hand should be placed crosswise. The priest then takes a particle of the holy Body for himself, with the words, "The precious and most holy Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ is imparted unto me, the priest (Name), unto the remission of my sins and unto life everlasting." Then, each bowing his head over the Body of Christ held in his hand, the clergy pray, silently reading the usual prayer before communion: "I believe, O Lord, and I confess…" At a conciliar service care should be taken that the clergy, upon approaching from the left side and receiving the Body of Christ, should go back again and go around the holy table to the right-hand side in such a way that no-one with the Body of Christ in his hands should pass behind the backs of the other clergy. Following the communion with the Body of Christ, the clergy examine the palms of their hands, so that not even the smallest crumb should remain anywhere unconsumed. They then commune from the chalice of the Holy Blood, saying, "Behold, I approach unto my immortal King and God." The priest takes the chalice in both hands, together with the covering — a silk cloth for wiping lips — and drinks from it thrice, saying, "Of the precious and holy Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, do I, the servant of God, the Priest (Name), partake unto the remission of my sins and life everlasting. Amen." During the actual communion, the words, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen," are usually said thrice. After communing, the priest, having wiped his lips and the edge of the potir with the cloth, says, "Behold, this hath touched my lips, and taketh away mine iniquities, and purgeth away my sins." Then, kissing the potir, he says thrice, "Glory to Thee, O God." The "Instructional Information" calls the priest’s attention to "shaggy mustaches," and requires that they not dip into the Blood of Christ, which is why it is essential to trim overly long mustaches, and in general to wipe them carefully with the cloth after communion, so that not a drop of the Blood of Christ remains on them. Having himself communed of the Blood of Christ, the priest summons the deacon with the same words: "Deacon, draw nigh." The deacon, having bowed (but this time not making a prostration), approaches the holy table from the right-hand side, saying, "Behold, I approach unto my immortal King and God," and, "Impart unto me, O master, the precious and holy Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ." The priest himself communes him from the chalice, saying, "The servant of God, the deacon…," and so forth. The deacon wipes his lips and kisses the chalice, and the priest says, "Behold, this hath touched thy lips, and taketh away thine iniquities, and purgeth away thy sins." Having communed, the clergy read the thanksgiving prayer, which at the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom begins with the words, "We give thanks unto Thee, O Master, Lover of mankind, Benefactor of our souls…" The priest then breaks up the sections NI and KA for the communion of the laity — if, of course, there are communicants on that day (ancient Christians communed at every Liturgy) —, in accordance with the number of communicants, and puts them into the holy Chalice. If there are no communicants, the entire contents of the diskos, that is, all the particles in honor of the saints, the living, and the departed, are put into the holy Chalice during the reading of the prayer indicated in the Service Book, "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ…" and so on.

At a conciliar service, after communion, while one of the clergy breaks up the section of the Lamb for the communion of the laity, the rest of the serving clergy go off to the side to partake of the antidoron, drink wine with warm water, and wash their hands and mustaches. Whosoever will be consuming the holy Gifts, either the serving priest or, when there is a deacon serving, the deacon (who when serving usually consumes the holy Gifts), does not eat or drink immediately after communion, but rather only after consuming the holy Gifts. After partaking of the bread and wine with warm water (the zapivka), the clergy usually read the remaining prayers of thanksgiving, which are five in number and are found in the Service Book after the rite of the Liturgy. The priest or deacon who consumes the holy Gifts usually reads these prayers following the end of the entire Liturgy and the consuming of the holy Gifts, or reads them aloud from the cliros for all the people who communed that day.

The Communion of the Laity.

After the communion of the clergy and the conclusion of the singing on the cliros, the communion of the laity takes place. The curtain and the royal doors are opened and the deacon, taking the holy Chalice from the hands of the priest, carries it out through the royal doors and onto the ambon, exclaiming, "With the fear of God and with faith, draw nigh." In the more ancient manuscripts, as also in Greek service books today, we find a more essentially correct edition of this exclamation, which the Slavonic edition somehow lost: "With the fear of God and with faith and love, draw nigh." To this the choir responds, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; God is the Lord and hath appeared unto us." The opening of the curtain, the opening of the royal doors, and the appearance of the Holy Gifts symbolize the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples after the Resurrection. After this there follows the communion of the people.

In present times the communion of the people is accomplished using a special spoon, with which the Body and Blood of Christ are given together directly into the mouth. In ancient times the laity communed of the Body and of the Blood separately, just as the clergy do now; Tertullian makes mention of this. Men received the Body of Christ directly into their palms, while women covered their hands with a special linen covering. The Sixth Ecumenical Counsel (of Trullo), which took place in the seventh century, makes mention of this separate communion in its Canon 101 forbidding the Holy Gifts to be taken into special vessels of precious metals, since "the hands of a man, who is the image and likeness of God, are more honorable than any metal." The faithful often took the Holy Gifts with them to their homes, and there existed a custom of communing with these reserved Holy Gifts at home. Soon after the Counsel of Trullo the spoon was introduced for communion, which symbolizes the mystical coal tongs in the vision of the prophet Isaiah (6:6). Communing with a spoon was introduced as a result of the misuses of the Holy Gifts which we have mentioned.

The laity must approach for communion with hands crosses across the breast, and must never cross themselves, so as not to accidentally bump the chalice with the hand. The priest reads aloud for them the prayer, "I believe, O Lord, and I confess," which they repeat after him quietly to themselves.

In communing each of them, the priest pronounces, "The servant (or handmaid) of God, (Name) (the communicant must say their name), partaketh of the precious and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins and life everlasting." The deacon wipes the lips of the communicant with the cloth; the communicant must immediately swallow the particle, then kiss the base or the rim of the chalice, never kissing the hand of the priest with lips moist from communion. They then go off to the left-hand side, where they drink wine with warm water and partake of the antidoron.

Today, unfortunately, lay communion has become extremely infrequent. Many commune but once a year, during Great Lent. This explains the sad separation of our life from the Church. Communion is the height of the mystery of the Eucharist. The transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is performed, not for the sake of the transformation itself, but specifically for the sake of the communion of the faithful, in order to give them the possibility of being continually in the most intimate unity with our Divine Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of finding in Him the fount of eternal life. Therefore it is imperative for pastors in every way to encourage more frequent communion, though not, of course, without due preparation, that careless and irreverent communion might not be "unto judgment and condemnation." In the East and with us the ancient and most laudable custom of the frequent communion of children has been preserved. Infants who are unable to eat solid foods commune only of the Blood of Christ (usually until seven years of age, when they make their first confession).

The Transferal of the Holy Gifts to the Table of Oblation.

After communing the people, the priest carries the holy Chalice into the altar and sets it back upon the holy table. The deacon (or, if there be none, the priest himself) puts all the particles remaining on the diskos into the chalice (the particles of the Holy Lamb are usually put in before the communion of the laity), trying not to drop anything outside the chalice, for which purpose he encloses the diskos on both sides with the palms of his hands. Then, holding the diskos with one hand, the clergyman wipes the diskos with the sponge. During this the following prayerful hymns are read: "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ…," "Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem…," and, "O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ…" Then, in connection with the putting of the particles for the living and the departed into the chalice, an important prayer is read for all who were commemorated at the proskomedia: "By Thy precious Blood, O Lord, wash away the sins of those here commemorated, through the intercessions of Thy saints." The chalice is covered with a covering; then the air, the folded asteriskos, the spear, and the spoon are laid on the diskos, and all of this is likewise covered with a covering.

Having completed this, or while the deacon is so doing, the priest goes out through the royal doors onto the ambon and, blessing the people with his hand, exclaims, "Save, O God, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance." (When a bishop serves he blesses at this time with the dikiri and trikiri, and the choir sings, "Is polla eti despota.") At this exclamation the choir, as though explaining, on behalf of those present, why they are called "God’s inheritance," sing the sticheron: "We have seen the True Light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have found the True Faith, we worship the indivisible Trinity: for He hath saved us." Since in this sticheron the receiving of the Holy Spirit is spoken of, it is not sung during the period from Pascha until Pentecost, but is replaced: from Pascha until the leave-taking thereof with the troparion, "Christ is risen;" from Ascension until its leave-taking with the troparion, "Thou hast ascended in glory…;" and on the requiem Saturday of Pentecost with the troparion, "O Thou Who by the depths of Thy wisdom…" The priest censes the Holy Gifts thrice and says privately (once), "Be Thou exalted above the heavens, O God, and Thy glory above all the earth." He then gives the diskos to the deacon, who sets it upon his own head and, holding the censer in his hand, "looking out towards the doors, saying nothing, goeth to the table of oblation and placeth the diskos thereupon." Following this, the priest, making a bow, takes the potir and traces the sign of the cross with it above the antimins, saying privately, "Blessed is our God." Then, turning to the people, he raises high the holy Chalice (some make the sign of the cross with it at this time) and exclaims, "Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." He then turns and slowly carries the Holy Chalice to the table of oblation, where the deacon meets him, censing the chalice which he bears. (If there be no deacon, the priest takes the diskos and the Potir together). Then the priest takes the censer from the deacon and thrice censes the Chalice which he had set upon the table of oblation, after which he censes the deacon and gives him the censer. The deacon, in his turn, censes the priest, sets the censer aside, and exits onto the ambon to say the final litany of thanksgiving.

The choir, in answer to the exclamation of the priest, sings, "Amen. Let our mouth be filled with Thy praise, O Lord, that we may hymn Thy glory, for Thou hast vouchsafed us to partake of Thy holy, divine, immortal, and life-creating Mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that we may meditate on Thy righteousness all the day long. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." The appearance of the Holy Gifts to the people followed by the carrying of them to the table of oblation symbolizes the Ascension of the Lord, while the exclamation itself which the priest pronounces at that time reminds us of the promise of the Lord which He gave to His disciples at His ascension: "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Mt. 28:20).

Giving Thanks for Communion.

Following the hymn, "Let our mouth be filled…," the deacon, going out onto the ambon, pronounces the thanksgiving litany, which begins with the words: "Aright! Having partaken of the divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly, and life-giving, fearful Mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks unto the Lord."

"Aright;" that is, "straight," "with forward gaze," "with a pure soul." Only one petition follows: "Help us, save us, have mercy on us…," followed by the committing of ourselves to God: "Having asked that the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God." At a liturgy which begins with Vespers, "the whole evening" should be said in place of "the whole day." During this, the priest, having signed the cross with the sponge over the antimins and laid the sponge in the center thereof, folds the antimins in the prescribed order: he first closes the upper part of the antimins, then the lower, left, and right parts. Then the priest takes the altar Gospel and, signing the cross with it over the folded antimins, pronounces the closing exclamation of the litany: "For Thou art our sanctification, 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 the ages of ages." It should be known that at a hierarchal service the bishop allows the senior archimandrite or priest to carry the potir to the table of oblation; the same also pronounces the exclamation, "Always, now and ever…" The bishop himself folds the Antimins together with the concelebrants; he likewise pronounces the closing exclamation of the thanksgiving litany.

The Prayer Below the Ambon and the Blessing to Leave the Temple.

After the exclamation of the thanksgiving litany, the priest or bishop exclaims, "In peace let us depart." The choir responds, "In the name of the Lord," thereby asking a blessing to depart from the temple in the name of the Lord. The deacon gives the summons, "Let us pray to the Lord," and the priest, exiting the altar and standing below the ambon in the midst of the people, reads the so-called "Prayer Below the Ambon," which begins with the words, "O Lord, Who dost bless them that bless Thee…" This is, in a way, a brief reiteration of all the principle petitions of the Divine Liturgy, particularly the private prayers, which were inaudible to the people. At a conciliar service the most junior priest by rank goes out to read this prayer. During the reading thereof the deacon stands to the right, before the image of the Savior, holding his orarion and bowing his head until the end of the prayer, after which he enters the altar by the north doors and approaches the holy table from the left with bowed head. The priest then reads for him "The Prayer said when the Holy Things are being consumed" for the consuming of the Holy Gifts, which begins with the words: "Thou Who Thyself art the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, O Christ our God…" This he does privately, but audibly to the deacon. At the conclusion of the prayer the deacon kisses the holy table, then goes to the table of oblation, where he consumes the remaining Holy Gifts. If there is no deacon, the priest reads this prayer for himself before the consuming of the Holy Gifts, following the dismissal of the Liturgy. For greater convenience in consuming the Holy Gifts the deacon tucks the corner of the cloth used for wiping lips into his collar, and holding the other end of it in his left hand he takes hold of the chalice, also with his left hand. Using the spoon with his right hand he consumes the particles of the Body of Christ and the other remaining particles, then drinks the entire contents of the chalice. Then he rinses the chalice and diskos with warm water and drinks the water, making sure that not the slightest particle remains on the walls of the choice or on the diskos. After this he wipes the inside of the chalice dry with the sponge or the cloth, dries the diskos and the spoon, and places the vessels back where they are usually kept. Throughout this process one must be attentive so as not to drop anything or spill any of the contents of the chalice.

The Completion of the Divine Liturgy.

Following the end of the prayer below the ambon, the singers sing thrice, "Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth and forevermore," after which Psalm 33 is read (in some places it is customarily sung): "I will bless the Lord at all times…" During the reading or singing of the psalm the priest exits from the altar and distributes the Antidoron to the faithful. This is the remains of the prosphora from out of which the Lamb was taken at the proskomedia. The word "Antidoron," from the Greek antidwron, means "in place of the Gifts." According to the explanation of Symeon of the Thessalonica, the Antidoron is accordingly given in place of communion to those who were not vouchsafed the holy communion of the Body and Blood of Christ at the Liturgy. The Antidoron is given for the sanctification of the souls and bodies of the faithful, and hence is also called "Agiasma;" that is, a thing which is "Holy." The distribution of the Antidoron became customary when the zeal of the faithful began to wane, and they ceased communing at every liturgy, as had been done in the first centuries of Christianity. Hence, in place of communion Antidoron began to be distributed to them. The Antidoron is eaten only by those who have fasted; that is, on an empty stomach.

After the distribution of the Antidoron and the completion of the reading of Psalm 33, the priest blesses the people with his hand, saying, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir responds, "Amen." The priest, turning to face the holy table, exclaims, "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee." The choir continues this glorification: "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, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy. Father, bless." In answer to this request for blessing, the serving bishop or priest, turning in the royal doors to face the people, pronounces the dismissal (which is printed in place in the Service Book), in which, after the holy apostles, the name of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great — depending on whose liturgy was served — is always commemorated foremost, followed by the saint of the temple and the saint of the day. At the Liturgy the great dismissal is always given, while on days of great feasts of the Lord special dismissals are appointed, which are indicated at the end of the Service Book. The bishop, when pronouncing the dismissal, blesses the people with the dikiri and trikiri. With us it became customary comparatively recently to give the dismissal while holding the cross, to bless the people therewith, and then to offer it to the people to kiss. In the ustav this is appointed only on Bright Week and at the Liturgy on the Leave-taking of Pascha, when the dismissal is appointed to be given holding the cross. Usually, by ustav, the Antidoron is given out at the end of the Liturgy only during the reading or singing of Psalm 33, as indicated above. In present times, however, there are very few parish churches in which Psalm 33 is read; hence, the priest distributes the cut pieces of blessed prosphora and offers the cross to be kissed after the dismissal.

 

III. The Liturgy

of St. Basil the Great

During the first three centuries of Christianity the rite for the performance of the Eucharist was not written down, but was passed on orally. St. Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia (A.D. 329 — 379), speaks clearly regarding this: "The words for the calling down at the transformation of the bread of communion and the cup of benediction (the prayers of the sacred rite of the Eucharist) — who of the saints has left them for us in writing?" "Not one." He goes on to explain why this is so: "For how could it be fitting to proclaim in writing the teachings concerning that upon which the unbaptized may not even look?" Thus, the Liturgy, in being passed on from century to century, from nation to nation, from Church to Church, obtained various forms and, while remaining immutable in its principle characteristics, varied in words, expressions, and rites. According to St. Amphilocius, bishop of Iconium and Laodicea, St. Basil the Great asked God "that He would give him strength of spirit and mind to perform the Liturgy in his own words." Following his ardent six-day prayer, the Savior appeared to him in a wondrous manner and fulfilled his prayer. Soon thereafter, Basil, being filled with ecstasy and divine trepidation, began to exclaim, "Let my mouth be filled with praise," and, "Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from Thy holy dwelling place," and other prayers of the Liturgy. The Liturgy which St. Basil the Great compiled consists of an abbreviation of the Liturgy of apostolic times. Concerning this, St. Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, speaks thus: "The Apostles and, after them, the Teachers of the Church performed the Divine service extremely extensively. Christians, however, in latter times grown cold in piety, ceased to come to hear the Liturgy due to its length. St. Basil, condescending to this human weakness, abbreviated it, and, after him, the holy Chrysostom, still more so." In the earliest times the liturgical prayers were left to the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the Divinely enlightened intellect of the bishops and other representatives of the Churches. Gradually a more or less fixed rite became established. This rite, which was preserved in the Caesarean Church, St. Basil the Great reviewed and put into writing, simultaneously compiling a series of his own prayers, which were nonetheless in accordance with apostolic tradition and ancient Christian liturgical practice. In this way the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great pertains to this great universal teacher and hierarch mainly in its verbal formulation; all the most important words and expressions were taken from the ancient apostolic liturgies of the holy apostle James, the brother of God, and the holy Evangelist Mark.

The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great was accepted by the whole Orthodox East. Soon, however, St. John Chrysostom, condescending to the same human weakness, introduced new abbreviations into it; these, however, principally concern only the private prayers.

The peculiarities of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, in comparison to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, are the following:

1. The Eucharistic and intercessory prayers are much longer, due to which more greatly drawn-out melodies are used during their reading. The Eucharistic prayer of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is distinguished by especial dogmatic profundity, inspiration, and loftiness of contemplation; and the intercessory prayer, by its striking universality. Several other private prayers likewise differ in their texts, beginning with the prayer for the catechumens.

2. The words at the establishment of the mystery of the Eucharist are pronounced in exclamatory fashion together with the words preceding them: "He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles, saying: Take, eat…," and then, "He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles, saying: Drink of it, all of you…"

3. Following the calling down of the Holy Spirit, the words over the Holy Gifts are as follows: over the Holy Bread: "And this bread, the most pure Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ;" over the holy chalice: "And this cup, the most precious Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ;" then: "Poured out for the life of the world." The rest follows as usual.

4. The hymn, "In Thee rejoiceth all creation, O Thou Who art full of grace…," is sung instead of the hymn, "It is Truly Meet." On feast days, Great Thursday, and Great Saturday it is replaced by the zadostoinik.

In present times the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is performed only ten times a year: 1 and 2) on the eves of the Nativity of Christ and Theophany or, if the eve falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then on the feasts of the Nativity of Christ and Theophany themselves; 3) on the day of the commemoration of St. Basil the Great, January 1; 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) on the first five Sundays of Great Lent, beginning with the Sunday of Orthodoxy; and 9, 10) on Great Thursday and Great Saturday of Holy Week. In present times, on all the remaining days of the year, with the exception of a few days on which no Liturgy or the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is appointed to be served, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is performed.

 

 

IV. The Liturgy

of the Holy Apostle James.

Since the time of the ancient Church there has been a tradition that St. James, the brother of the Lord, composed the Liturgy which was originally served in Jerusalem. St. Epiphanius (+ 403) recalls that the apostles were preachers of the Gospel throughout the world, and that they were the founders of the mysteries (archgeta muVhrion), and he mentions James, the brother of the Lord, in particular. St. Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople and disciple of St. John Chrysostom, in his composition, "On the Tradition of the Divine Liturgy," names James, "who received the Church of Jerusalem by lot and was her first bishop," among those who established rites for the performance of the sacraments and passed them on to the Church in written form. Later, recounting how the liturgies of St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom were compiled, he points to the Liturgy of St. James as the foundation from which both liturgies originated. Other later church writers likewise confirm the above-mentioned testimonies. Other testimonies indicate that this liturgy was prevalent in a large part of the East and part of the West until approximately the ninth century. It is preserved in Palestine, on Cyprus, in Zakinth, on Mount Sinai, and in South Italy. However, gradually it began to fall out of use, since due to the rise of Constantinople the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom gradually entered into universal usage. Greek copies of the Liturgy of St. James have been preserved until today, and it is performed in Jerusalem and Alexandria once a year, on the day of the commemoration of the holy apostle James, October 23.

The eastern Slavic translation of this Liturgy appeared in Russia at the end of the seventeenth century. It is supposed that it is the translation of Euthemius of Tirnov, which he composed in Bulgaria in the fourteenth century.

The contemporary rite of this liturgy, the rite which we use, was translated by Igumen Phillip (Gardner) from the Greek Jerusalem order. Fr. Phillip translated the text, typeset it in Slavonic type himself, and himself printed it on the printing press in the print shop of Ven. Job of Pochaev in Ladomirova, in the Carpathian Mountains. For the performance of this labor he received the blessing of the Counsel of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad.

The first Slavonic Liturgy of the holy apostle James to be performed outside of Russia was performed, with the blessing of Metropolitan Anastasy, by Igumen Phillip himself in the city of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on January 18 old style, the day of the commemoration of the Hierarchs Athanasius the Great and Cyril of Alexandria, 1938. The liturgy was performed in the Russian Cathedral of the Holy and Life-Originating Trinity in the presence of Metropolitan Anastasy, Archbishop Nestor of Kamchatka, Bishop Aleksii of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, and Bishop John of Shanghai (who has since been glorified), and was attended by both clerical and lay worshippers.

Today in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, as well as in several of our parish temples with the blessing of the local bishop, this liturgy is performed once a year, on the day of the commemoration of the holy apostle James, October 23, old style.

 

 

Part IV

I. Feasts

The field of liturgics that concerns itself with the church feasts is called "eortology," from the Greek word eorth, which means "feast." This section of this book is dedicated to eortology, and presented here are sections on worship throughout the seasons of our church year.

Christian worship originates from the Founder of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His apostles. Originally the apostles and the faithful observed the Jewish feasts and attended the Old Testament temple. Even the holy apostle Paul, a preacher of complete freedom from the Jewish law, while engaged in his missionary journeys made haste to Palestine for the feasts. However, the Christians gradually began to celebrate the day of the Resurrection, then established other feasts themselves, gathering for communal prayer and worship. The first Christians retained the custom from the Old Testament Church of sanctifying the three most significant times of day — morning, noon, and evening — with prayer. In this way they developed their own rituals and order for worship. This is affirmed by the many testimonials of church writers of the time. These questions are enlarged on above, in Part I of Liturgics, beginning with 28 — 42, in Section II, "On Worship."

In connection with what has been indicated above, eortology likewise concerns itself with the question of the origin of the Christian feasts, the influence therein of Old Testament worship, and the gradual development of each feast. In this regard, not without interest for eortology is the question of the church liturgical Ustav — the Typicon. At the end of this book, in "Appendix I," we have included an essay by Prof. I. A. Karabinov, in which he briefly expounds the historyof the origins of our liturgical Ustav, or Typicon (see p. 491).

In the sections that follow, the services on the immovable days of the church liturgical year, as well as those from the periods of the Lenten Triodion and the Pentecostarion, are expounded and explained. Additionally, historical data concerning the twelve great feasts are cited, along with directions from the ustav and other information connected with the services.

Those wishing to acquaint themselves in depth with the history of the origin and development of Christian worship and with the structure of its rites and ustav we advise to turn to the detailed treatises on the subject, such as the "Typicon with Commentary" in three volumes, by Prof. Michael Skaballanovich of the Theological Academy of Kiev, in which questions concerning worship, the calendar, and the feasts are expounded comprehensively and in detail. Other valuable monographs in this field also exist.

 

 

II. On the Services

for the Immovable Days of the Year

The cycle of the immovable days of worship begins on September 1, the Church New Year (which in the service for this day is called the "Indiction"). In the Church Ustav the immovable days of the year are divided into non-feast days, two types of small feasts, two types of median feasts, and great feasts. The latter are divided into three types: feasts of the Lord, of the Theotokos, and of great saints. All of these feasts are marked in the Typicon with their own special conditional signs, which indicate which service is to be performed. Great feasts are marked with a red cross in a circle. Median feasts of the first sort are marked with a red cross in a half circle. Median feasts of the second sort are marked a red cross alone. Small feasts of the first sort are marked with three red dots inside an arch (a shaft-bow). Small feasts of the second sort are marked with three black dots, similarly partially encompassed. The sixth sort of day, which is not included with the feasts, has no indicative sign.

Services which have no sign are distinguished by the fact that on these days only three stichera at "Lord, I Have Cried" are taken from the Menaion (the remaining three are taken from the Ochtoechos) and at Matins the canon is read from the Menaion with four troparia, to which ten troparia are then joined from the Ochtoechos.

Small Feasts.

Small feasts, marked with three black dots in a shaft-bow, have six stichera from the Menaion at "Lord, I Have Cried," and the canon from the Menaion at Matins is read with six troparia. The saints commemorated on these days are hence called "six-stichera saints." Six stichera are called a "six-stich." On these days the Liturgy is sung "according to the order of the ustav." This means that instead of the daily antiphons the Beatitudes are sung with troparia from the third or, at times, the third and sixth odes of the canon. A special prokeimenon, Apostle, Alleluiaria, Gospel, and Communion Verse are appointed for the saint.

Feasts of this type include:

September 5 — the commemoration of the holy prophet Zacharias and the holy righteous Elisabeth

December 17 — the commemoration of the holy prophet Daniel and the holy youths Ananias, Azarias, and Mishael.

Small feasts marked with three red dots inside an arch have six stichera at "Lord, I Have Cried" and six stichera at the canon at Matins, the katavasia is sung by ustav, and the Great Doxology is sung at the end of Matins, not read as at daily Matins. Additionally, before the Great Doxology, "Let Every Breath" and stichera at the praises are sung, the singing of which has a close connection with the singing of the Great Doxology. This feasts are called "doxological." The number of these feasts is quite significant, but the majority of them are in honor of Russian saints — there are fourteen other feasts of this sort in the year.

Feasts of this type include:

September 13 — the commemoration of the restoration of the holy temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem, on Golgotha

September 23 — the feast of the conception of the holy and glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist of the Lord, John

July 2 — the feast of the Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos at Blachernae

August 1 — the Procession of the honorable wood of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord. This service is combined with the service to the holy Maccabees. When a parish feast falls on this day, a special service to "The All-merciful Savior and the Most Holy Theotokos Mary" with a megalynarion is appointed to be served. The "Procession" is otherwise known as the bringing out of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord, which was performed in Constantinople from the emperor’s chambers to the Church of Agia Sophia. The blessing of water was also performed at this time. The feast of the All-merciful Savior is performed in commemoration of two victories: that of the Manuel, emperor of Constantinople, over the Saracenes, and that of the Great Prince Andrew Bogolubskii over the Volga Bolgars, which fell on one and the same day of August 1, 1164. Both rulers, together with their armies, saw bright rays proceeding from the icons of the Savior and the Theotokos, which had been brought into war. The day of August 1 in a way begins the celebration of the Life-giving Cross: from this day until the leave-taking of the Exaltation, the katavasii "Inscribing the invincible weapon" is sung at every festal Matins. After the Great Doxology the Cross is carried out to the center of the temple, and is bowed down to with the singing of "Before Thy Cross we fall down in worship, O Master," just as on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross and the feast of the Exaltation. Usually the small blessing of water is performed after the Liturgy. The cross remains in the center of the Temple until Vespers of the following day, August 2: after the dismissal of Vespers it is solemnly carried back into the altar to the singing of the troparion and kontakion. On August 1 the Dormition Fast begins; hence, July 31 is meatfare day, or a pre-fast day. If July 31 falls on a fast day — a Wednesday or Friday — this meatfare day occurs on July 30.

August 16 — the feast of the Translation of the Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ Not Made By Hands, called the Holy Ubrus, from Odessa to the city of Constantinople. This translation took place in 944. Avgar, the king of Odessa, being sick, sent Ananias to the Lord Jesus Christ with a letter in which he asked the Lord to come to him and heal him. Avgar likewise instructed Ananias, a painter, to paint a likeness of the face of Christ. This, however, Ananias found himself unable to do. Then the Lord wiped His face with a napkin, or ubrus, and on it His Divine Face was miraculously depicted. Having prayed before this wondrous image, Avgar was healed. During the reign of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, this Image Not Made By Hands was moved to Constantinople, in commemoration of which a feast was established on August 16.

August 31 — The Placing of the Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos. After the dormition of the Mother of God, Her belt passed from hand to hand. In the fifth century, during the reign of Emperor Arcadius, it was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople. In the tenth century the Empress Zoe was miraculously healed by it, after which the belt was solemnly placed in a gold shrine and a feast was established.

Median Feasts.

These are the feasts which are marked in the Typicon with the sign of a cross. No vigil is served for these; however, in addition to the Great Doxology, a polyeleos also takes place. The following of their peculiarities are indicated in Chapter 47 of the Typicon: at Vespers "Blessed is the Man" is sung (instead of the regular kathisma), at "Lord, I Have Cried" six or, if desired, eight stichera are sung from the Menaion, three readings, or lessons, are read at Vespers, and the stichera at the aposticha are sung from the Menaion (not from the Ochtoechos, as for a daily or doxology service). At Matins there is a polyeleos, a megalynarion, and a Gospel reading; the canon has eight troparia, and the Great Doxology is sung. These feasts are also called "Polyeleos" feasts.

Feasts of this type include:

The services for each of the twelve apostles

November 14 — the holy apostle Phillip. This feast is notable in that on this day falls the meatfare or pre-fast day of the Nativity Fast; hence, the latter is sometimes called St. Phillip’s Fast, or, in our vernacular, "Phillipovka." If, however, this day falls on Wednesday or Friday, the pre-fast day occurs on November 13.

February 24 — the First and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner. After his beheading, the head of the Forerunner was hidden by Herodias in a dishonorable place. Upon learning of this, Joanna, the wife of Huza, Herod’s house manager, secretly took the precious head, sealed it in a vessel, and buried it in Herod’s estate on the Mount of Olives. The first time the holy head was found there by two inoks, who during the reign of the emperor Constantine the Great had come to Jerusalem to venerate the holy places. From them it passed to a certain citizen of Emesa, then to the Arian inok Eustasius, who hid it in the earth. Several years passed; then in 452 it was found a second time by Marcellus, the abbot of the monastery where Eustasius lived, and transferred from Emesa to Constantinople. During period of iconoclasm it was secretly carried off to Comari and hidden in the earth. There, during the reign of the emperor Michael and the empress Theodora, following the reinstatement of the veneration of icons, it was found for the third time and again brought to Constantinople. The third finding is celebrated on May 25; like February 24, this day is also a polyeleos feast. The feast on February 24 may fall anywhere from Wednesday of Meatfare Week to Tuesday of the fourth week of Great Lent. The ustav appointed for the service varies depending on whether this day falls during Meatfare Week, Cheesefare Week, or on a Sunday, Saturday, or weekday of Great Lent. If this feast falls on a weekday of Great Lent, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is performed, but if it falls on the first week of the fast its service is transferred to Cheesefare Sunday or to Saturday of the first week of the fast.

March 9 — the Forty Martyrs who suffered in the lake of Sabaste. These martyrs were soldiers of the Meletian legion, and were frozen on the ice of the lake under Lekinius in 320. The ustav for the service nearly parallels the ustav of the service for the finding of the head of St. John the Baptist.

July 10 — the Placing of the Robe of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is His vesture, in the royal city of Moscow. The robe of Christ was sent as a gift to Patriarch Philaret Nikitich in 1625 by the Persian shah. The solemn placing of it in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow took place on July 10.

July 20 — the Holy Glorious Prophet Elias. St. Elias was called to prophecy during the reign of Ahab in the year 905 B.C., and was taken up into heaven around 896 B.C. He rebuked the impiety of the Jews ruling with the king of the kingdom of Israel, while in the kingdom of Judea the pious king Jehoshaphat reigned. In the Typicon two services are appointed for the holy prophet Elias, both six-stichera and polyeleos. Here, however, a note is found: "If it be a temple of St. Elias, or if the rector so desire, a vigil is performed."

October 5 — Saints Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Phillip, Hermogenes, and Tikhon, Hierarchs of Moscow and Wonderworkers of All Russia. This feast was originally only celebrated locally, in Moscow, and only to the first three hierarchs. In 1875, a decision of the Holy Synod prescribed for this feast to be celebrated everywhere with the addition of a fourth hierarch, St. Phillip. Later the holy patriarchs Hermogenes and Tikhon were likewise included.

October 26 — Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-streamer. This saint occupied the high public office of proconsul in the city of Thessalonica. For the spreading of Christianity he was run through with spears by order of the emperor Maximian, in 306. His memory is especially revered in the Balkans.

On the Saturday before October 26, the memory is observed of all warriors who have been killed on the field of battle, together with all departed Orthodox Christians. This is called Demetriev Ancestral Saturday, which was established after the battle on the field of Kulikov.

November 8 — the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Hosts. On this day the Church glorifies all the bodiless or angelic hosts — all nine ranks of angels, with the Archangel Michael, their leader, at their head. Here the word "synaxis" signifies an assembly of all the angels. (However, in the names of the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos on December 26, the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist on January 7, and the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel on March 26, the word "synaxis" implies an "assembly of the faithful," who gather together to glorify the Most Holy Theotokos, the holy Forerunner, and the Holy Archangel Gabriel.)

The median polyeleos services likewise include feasts in commemoration of the appearance and translation of several wonder-working icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. These are the following:

June 26 — the Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. The latter appeared in a radiant light above the Ladoga lake and traveled through the air do the city of Tikhvin in 1383, during the reign of Prince Demetry Donskoi. According to tradition it had been originally in Constantinople, from whence it invisibly departed by itself.

July 8 — the Appearance of the Icon of the Mother of God in the city of Kazan in 1579, soon after the capture of Kazan by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The Mother of God, appearing to a certain girl, gave instructions to dig into the earth at the site of one fire, where this icon was then found.

October 22 — the Feast of the Most Holy Theotokos on behalf of Her Icon of Smolensk, the Odigitria. This icon was obtained from Greece by Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich of Chernigov from the emperor Constantine, who, when giving the former his daughter Anna in marriage in 1046, blessed them with this icon. After his death it passed on to Prince Vladimir Monomakh of Smolensk. "Odigitria" means "Guide."

November 27 — the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Sign which occurred in Great Novgorod in 1170, during the siege of Novgorod by the Suzdalites. One arrow, loosed by a Suzdalets, struck the icon which had been carried out by St. John, archbishop of Novogorod, and tears streamed from the eyes of the Theotokos onto the phelonion of the archbishop. The wrath of God then routed the besiegers.

On the same day we also celebrate the "Sign" of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which miraculously appeared in a forest by a root in 1295.

August 26, June 23, and May 21 — the three feasts of the Meeting of the Wonder-working Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. All three feasts were established in commemoration of the miraculous deliverance of Russia from her enemies following prayers before this great sacred article of the Russian people, the wonder-working Vladimir icon of the Mother of God. According to tradition, this icon was painted by the Evangelist Luke himself. It was brought from Constantinople to Kiev in 1144, and from Kiev was transferred to Vladimir by Prince Andrew Bogolubski.

On August 26 the commemoration of the deliverance of Russia in 1395 from the invasion of the terrible Asian conqueror Tamerlan is celebrated; on June 23, the commemoration of the deliverance of Moscow from the Tatar khan Akhmat, and the conclusive fall of the Tatar yoke, in 1480; and on May 21, the commemoration of the renewal of this holy icon in 1514 in the home of Metropolitan Varlaam, and the commemoration of the deliverance of Moscow from the Crimean khan Makhmet-Gire in 1521. Metropolitans and, later, Patriarchs of all Russia were chosen before this great sacred article.

Median Feasts with the Sign of a Cross in a Semicircle.

These are feasts on which, by ustav, an All-night Vigil is served. They are marked with the sign of a red cross in a semicircle in the Typicon, where concerning them it is also written: "For these a vigil is performed, and a canon of the Theotokos is added at Matins." That is, before the canon to the celebrated saint a canon to the Theotokos is read — either that which is located right in place in the Menaion, or that which is printed in the Ochtoechos at the end of the book, after tones eight and four, with the irmos: "Thou didst overthrow the pursuing tyrant Pharaoh…," or the canon to the Theotokos located at the end of the Psalter with Appendix, with the irmos: "Having crossed over the sea as though it were dry land…"

In the Typicon there are comparatively few feasts marked with this sign (if a vigil is appointed, by ustav Small Vespers is also served). These feasts are the following:

September 26 — the Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.

November 13 — St. John Chrysostom, archbishop of the city of Constantinople.

December 6 — St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker, archbishop of Myra and Licea.

January 30 — Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom.

April 23 — the Holy and Glorious Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer George.

May 8 — the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

May 11 — the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Methodius and Cyril, teachers of the Slavs.

June 15 — the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir.

In addition to these feasts, a number of vigil services are found in the Menaion for various saints. These are indicated as such for instances when a vigil is served to the saint, i.e., if the temple is dedicated to them or their holy relics rest in the given temple. A vigil service is likewise sometimes indicated for feasts which are only marked with the polyeleos sign — the cross — in case "… the rector should desire to serve a vigil."

Median feasts with the sign of a cross alone and feasts with the sign of a cross in a semicircle are so similar one to another that, if one or the other should fall on a feast of the Lord or some other feast, the service to the former is performed according to the same Markovy chapter. Thus, for example, in the order in the Typicon for May 21, on the day of the commemoration of Saints Constantine and Helen, which service is marked only with the sign of a cross printed in red, it is stated: "Let it be known that if the commemoration of the Holy Emperor Constantine should fall on Thursday of the Ascension, or on the seventh Sunday, of the Holy Fathers, this service is to be sung like the service to John the Theologian, according to the same chapters." For its part, the feast of John the Theologian has the sign of a cross in a semicircle printed in red; hence, it is not merely a polyeleos, but a vigil feast. A service to a saint with the sign of a cross in a semicircle is transferred to another day only if the feast of the saint should fall on one of the days of Holy Week or on Pascha itself, as the service to the temple would be transferred in such a case. Thus, if the service to St. George falls on Great Friday, Great Saturday, or on Pascha itself, it is transferred to Monday of Bright Week. The day of the commemoration of the Holy Great Martyr George falls between Great Friday and Thursday of the fifth week of after Pascha. Markovy chapters covering every possible coincidence of his feast with various other feast days are found in the Typicon and the Pentecostarion (as well as in the Menaion for April 23). Special Markovy chapters also exist for the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologion, on May 8, which date occurs between Saturday of the second week and Friday of the seventh week after Pascha.

Great Feasts with the Sign of a Cross in a Circle.

Concerning these feasts, the Typicon states: "To them a vigil and the entire service of the feast are performed by ustav." These feasts are divided into three categories: 1) feasts of the Lord, 2) feasts of the Theotokos, and 3) feasts of great saints. Great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos are sometimes combined under the common title of the "Twelve Great Feasts," since they number twelve in all. The twelve great feasts are the following:

1. The Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos — September 8

2. The Exaltation of the Cross — September 14

3. The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple — November 21

4. The Nativity of Christ — December 25

5. The Baptism of the Lord, or Theophany — January 6

6. The Meeting of the Lord — February 2

7. The Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos — March 25

8. The Transfiguration of the Lord — August 6

9. The Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos — August 15

All of the above feasts are immovable. In addition to these there are three more of the twelve great feasts, which are immovable:

10. The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, celebrated a week before Pascha

11. The Ascension of the Lord, on the fortieth day after Pascha (Thursday of the sixth week)

12. Pentecost, or The Descent of the Holy Spirit (the Day of the Holy Trinity), on the fiftieth day after Pascha.

The services for the immovable of the twelve great feasts are found in the Monthly Menaion; the service for the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem — in the Lenten Triodion; the services for the Exaltation and for Pentecost — in the Pentecostarion. The feast of Pascha, being the "feast of feasts and triumph of triumphs" and the greatest feast of all, is not included with the twelve. Of these twelve feasts, seven are feasts of the Lord, four are feasts of the Theotokos, and one — the Meeting of the Lord — is an exceptional case: it is both a feast of the Lord and of the Theotokos at the same time, but due to fundamental peculiarities of ustav it is numbered among the feasts of the Theotokos.

Included in the number of great vigil feasts are feasts in honor of saints, such as the following:

1. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist — June 24

2. The Beheading of St. John the Baptist — August 29

3. The Holy First-leaders of the Apostles Peter and Paul — June 29

Additionally, in the Russian Church, this feast is also numbered with the great vigil feasts:

4. The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos — October 1, which is not included with the twelve great feasts.

Also included in the number of great vigils feasts is:

5. The Circumcision of the Lord and the Commemoration of St. Basil the Great — January 1.

The fundumental distinction and difference in ustav of great feasts from median vigil feasts is that on median feasts, as Chapter 47 of the Typicon indicates, "the theotokian canon is added at Matins," while on great feasts at Matins only the festal canons are sung, and there is no separate canon to the Theotokos. Another material peculiarity of the twelve great feasts alone (not of all great feasts) is that at Matins, instead of "More Honorable," special refrains are sung at the ninth ode; likewise, at Liturgy, instead of "It is Truly Meet," the zadostoinik is sung, which is the irmos of the ninth ode of the canon. A characteristic peculiarity of great feasts of the Lord is the presence of special festal antiphons and an entrance verse at the Liturgy, as well as the fact that on feasts of the Lord which fall on a Sunday the Sunday service is suspended and the service for the feast alone is sung. The services for great feasts of the Theotokos and of saints, as well as the feast of the Meeting of the Lord, if they should fall on a Sunday, are combined with the resurrectional service. On great feasts of the Lord, special dismissals are appointed after the service, which are found in the Service Book. On the first day of a feast of the Lord, Great Vespers is likewise appointed, with a great prokeimenon." However, if the feast falls on a Saturday, the great prokeimenon is sung the evening before, on Friday, as the prokeimenon "The Lord is king" is always sung on Saturday.

Great feasts of the Lord, of the Theotokos, and of saints are also peculiar in that the prayers which glorify the given feast are found, not only in the order for the day of the feast itself, but also in the orders for several days preceding and following. The days anticipating the feast, in which the feast already begins to be hymned, are called the forefeast; the days following after the feast, in which the feast continues to be hymned, are called the afterfeast. The majority of great feasts have a forefeast of one day and an afterfeast of several days, during which the chief participants, the initiators of the event which was celebrated on the day of the feast itself, are glorified. Thus, for example, on the second day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos — September 9 —, Her parents, the holy righteous Joachim and Anna, are glorified; the day after the Nativity of Christ — December 26 — the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated; the day after the Baptism of the Lord — January 7 — the Synaxis of St. John the Forerunner is celebrated; the day after the Meeting of the Lord — February 3 — the holy righteous Symeon the God-receiver and Anna the Prophetess are glorified; and the day after the Annunciation — March 26 — the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel is celebrated. The services to these saints are combined with the services which glorify the event being celebrated. The number of the days of the forefeast varies for different feasts: it depends on the feasts which follow thereafter or the approaching of a fast, and may last one day, or four, or six, or seven, or nine. The feast of Pascha continues to be celebrated for the full forty days until the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, at which the leave-taking of Pascha is combined with the forefeast of the Ascension of the Lord.

A characteristic peculiarity of the leave-taking of a feast, compared to the other days of the afterfeast, is that only the service of the feast is sung. Only a service for a saint for whom a vigil, a polyeleos, or a doxology is appointed may be combined with the service for the leave-taking. The service for a regular daily saint is transferred to the day before, the eve of the leave-taking. A vigil is not served on the day of the leave-taking of the feast; no entry or reading of lessons occurs at Vespers, and at Matins there is no polyeleos, megalynarion, or Gospel, but at the ninth ode, instead of "More Honorable," the refrains of the feast are sung "as for the feast itself," and Matins concludes with the "Great Doxology." At the Liturgy there are no festal antiphons, but the prokeimenon, alleluiaria, and communion hymn of the feast are sung. Only on the leave-takings of theotokian feasts are the festal Apostle and Gospel read.

We shall examine the peculiarities of the celebration of great feasts in the order in which they appear in the Typicon, beginning with the month of September, the first month in the church liturgical year.

 

II. The Calender

September.

September 8 — The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. On this day we celebrate the birth of the Most Holy Virgin Mary to the holy righteous Joachim and Anna in the Galilean city of Nazareth. St. Joachim was a descendent of the royal line of David, and St. Anna — of the priestly line of Aaron. The Virgin Mary was granted to them in their old age, after their intensified prayers that the barrenness of Anna be loosed. The name Maria in translation from the Hebrew means "high," "excellent," or "lady." The feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos has a forefeast of one day and an afterfeast of four days. Its leave-taking falls on September 12.

September 14 — The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord. This feast is performed in commemoration of two events: 1) the finding of the life-creating cross of the Lord by the holy righteous empress Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, in Jerusalem in 326, and 2) its return from the Persians in 628 during the reign of the Greek emperor Heraclius, after the Persian king Hozar, in 614, had overcome Jerusalem, looted the temple of the Resurrection, and stolen, in addition to other treasures, the cross of the Lord.

On this day special sacred rites are performed. By ustav, after the dismissal of Small Vespers, the cross of the Lord is carried out from the vessel repository, then, with the reading of the opening prayers and the singing of the troparion and kontakion, laid on the altar in the place of the Gospel, which is set at the high place. Today the cross is usually laid on a tray on the Table of Oblation before Small Vespers, and after Small Vespers the priest carries it on his head to the holy table. The cross at this time is adorned with blue-bonnets or other flowers. At Matins no exit for the polyeleos or megalynarion in the center of the temple takes place: the megalynarion is sung in the altar, before the cross lying on the altar; the Gospel is likewise read in the altar. The service then continues by ustav; then, after the Great Doxology, during the singing of the final "Holy God" to a drawn-out, funereal melody, the cross is carried out of the altar by the priest or bishop, upon his head, through the north doors, then carried up to the royal doors with the exclamation, "Wisdom, aright!" It is then set upon an analoy in the center of the temple. A censing is performed around the cross to the thrice-repeated singing of the troparion, "Save, O Lord, Thy people," after which in cathedrals and monasteries the exaltation of the cross and the blessing of the people on all four sides therewith takes place, to multiple repetitions of "Lord, have mercy." At this time the deacon pronounces a special litany, at each petition of which "Lord, have mercy" is sung one hundred times. The exaltation itself consists of the following: with the cross the priest or bishop thrice blesses the side for which the exaltation is about to take place (first the east, then the west, then the south, then the north, then again the east); he then bows down to the earth, holding the cross in both hands, until his head is an inch above the ground. He then "raises himself up;" that is, he stands up. During this the servers support the priest — or the senior priests, the bishop — beneath his arms on both sides. Both the bowing down and the standing up must be done slowly, while "Lord, have mercy" is being sung one hundred times; the bow shold be performed during the singing of the first half of the hundred, i.e., the first fifty repetitions of "Lord, have mercy," and the raising up, during the singing of the second half of the hundred. At the end of the hundred repetitions the priest again blesses thrice with the cross, and the choir sings "Lord, have mercy" the final three times especially loudly. This should recall how, at the finding of the cross, Patriarch Macarius of Jerusalem ascended to an elevated place and from there raised the cross in all directions so that all might see it, and the people, throwing themselves down before the cross, cried out, "Lord, have mercy." After the fifth exaltation, "Glory, both now" is sung, followed by the kontakion to the cross: "O Thou Who wast lifted up willingly on the cross…" During the singing of the kontakion the cross is again laid on the analogion, after which the veneration of the cross takes place. "Before Thy cross we fall down in worship, O Master, and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify" is sung thrice, first by the clergy, then by the choirs. After each repetition a prostration is made, regardless of what day of the week it may be. Then the cohir sings special stichera to the cross, during which first the clergy, then all the worshippers venerate the cross, making three prostrations before it, as usual; that is, two prostrations before venerating, then one after venerating. The exaltation of the cross is not always performed; only in cathedrals and monasteries. If there has been no exaltation, the adoration of the cross with the singing of "Before Thy cross…" takes place immediately after the troparion — "Save, O Lord, Thy people" — and the censing. If the exaltation of the cross has been performed, after the veneration of the cross the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God…," is not pronounced, as is usual at a vigil; instead the supplicatory litany is immediately said: "Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord." During the bringing out of the cross the ringing of the bells is appointed. The chief clergyman, who carries out the cross, regardless of whether he is a priest or a bishop, vests in full vesture before the time for the bringing out of the cross.

At the Liturgy special festal antiphons are sung, an entry verse is said, and "Before Thy cross we bow down in worship, O Master, and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify" is sung instead of "Holy God." The Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord, in commemoration of the suffering of the Lord upon the cross, is a fast day, on which not only ferial foods but even fish may not be eaten. On the first day of the feast Great Vespers is appointed, with an entrance and a Great Prokeimenon. The Exaltation has a forefeast of one day and an afterfeast of seven days. Its leave- taking is September 21.

In addition to the day of the forefeast and the days of the afterfeast, the feast of the Exaltation is also peculiar in that the Saturday and Sunday preceding the day of the Exaltation are called the Saturday and Sunday before the Exaltation, and the Saturday and Sunday which follow the day of the Exaltation are called the Saturday and Sunday after the Exaltation. On these Saturdays and Sundays special Apostles and Gospels are appointed for the Liturgies, which are related to the celebration of the cross of the Lord, are read first, before the regular readings, and are preceded by similar prokeimena and alleluiaria. The Life-giving Cross which was carried out to the center of the temple remains lying on the analogion until the day of the leave-taking, Sepetember 21. On the day of the leave-taking, after the dismissal of the Liturgy, it is carried by the priest through the royal doors and into the altar, to the singing of the troparion and kontakion; it is laid on the holy table and censed, then finally taken back to the vessel repository.

October.

October 1 — The Protection of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. This feast is of Greek origin, but only in Russia did it attain the significance of a great feast, albeit one not included with the twelve great feasts. It was established in commemoration of when, in 936, St. Andrew, a fool for Christ, and his disciple, Epiphanius, during the All-night Vigil in the temple at Blachernae, saw the Most Holy Mother of God praying for people present in the temple and overshadowing them with Her omophorion. This feast has neither forefeast nor afterfeast, but on the day after, October 2, the memory of St. Andrew is celebrated, who was made worthy of this vision. The feast of the Protection is observed either independently or in combination with the service for the holy prophet Ananius and Venerable Roman the Melodist. At the ninth ode no refrains are appointed; rather, "More Honorable" is sung as usual.

November.

November 21 — The Entry of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary into the Temple. (In the vernacular it is called the Bringing into the Temple, though this is incorrect, since the Most Holy Virgin Mary Herself went up the steps and into the temple.) On this day we remember how the holy righteous Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, fulfilling their promise to consecrate Her to God, when she had reached three years of age, brought her to the temple in Jerusalem, where She was met by the high priest Zacharius himself, who, in accordance with a special revelation from God, led Her into the very Holy of Holies, into which he himself might enter but once a year. This feast is notable in that it is, as it were, the threshold of the Nativity of Christ, and beginning on this day the katavasia of the feast of the Nativity of Christ are sung at all festal Matins: "Christ is born, give ye glory…" The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple has a forefeast of one day and an afterfeast of four days. Its leave-taking on November 25 is peculiar in that the service for the leave-taking is combined with the service to the hieromartyr Clement of Rome and St. Peter, archbishop of Alexandria.

December.

December 25 — The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On this day we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus to His Most Pure and Unwedded Mother, the Virgin Mary, in the year 5508 from the creation of the world, in the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus, in Bethlehem of Judea. Due to a nation-wide census the Virgin Mary, together with Her betrothed, the aged Joseph, came from Nazareth, where they lived, to their native city of Bethlehem so as to be registered. Since every place in the city was overcrowded, they were compelled to take up their lodging in a cave where shepherds kept their flocks in the winter. Here the Savior of the world was born and laid in a manger.

The feast of the Nativity of Chris is the most of important of all of the twelve great feasts, and is second only to the Bright Resurrection of Christ. In the Typicon it is also called "Pascha." As for Pascha, the faithful prepare for its worthy celebration by means of a forty-day fast, which begins on November 15. This fast, however, is not as strict as Great Lent: fish is permitted on the feast of the Entry into the Temple, on all Sundays until December 20, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays when a saint is commemorated for whom a polyeleos is served. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday fish is permitted if a vigil saint is commemorated. When there is no feast, plain foods are appointed for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while oil and wine are permitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturday fish is also permitted, just as on Sunday (see the Typicon, Chapter 33). On several days of the Nativity fast, which are marked with the word, "Alleluia," a service is performed which is similar in part to the services of Great Lent, at which the prayer of Venerable Ephraim the Syrian, "O Lord and Master of my life," is read with prostrations. The feast of the Nativity of Christ has a forefeast of five days — beginning from December 20 — and an afterfeast of six days. Its leave-taking falls on December 31. Additionally, on the second to last Sunday before the Nativity of Christ the memory is celebrated of the Old Testament righteous ones who were saved by faith in Him Who was to be born, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is called the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. The following Sunday, immediately preceding the Nativity of Christ, is called the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, or the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, on which a special service from the Menaion is performed in addition to the Sunday service from the Ochtoechos; a special Apostle and Gospel are also read. A special Apostle and Gospel are also read on the Saturday before the Nativity of Christ. The ustav for the service on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers varies depending on when it occurs — 1) outside the forefeast; that is, before December 20, on December 18 or 19; 2) within the forefeast; that is, December 20 — 23; or 3) on the Eve of the Nativity of Christ itself, December 24. The closer it falls to the feast, the more pre-Nativity hymns occur in the service. On each day of the forefeast a special triode and special canons are sung at Small Compline, similar to the triodes and canons of Holy Week. The eve of the Nativity of Christ — which (in Russian) is also called the Sochelnik, from the word "sochevo," meaning kutia with honey — is the strictest day of the fast, for which an entirely unusual service is appointed. On the Eve, if it falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, in the second hour of the day (eight o’clock in the morning, by our reckoning) the Royal Hours are served — First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth. At each of these there are two special prophetic psalms, special troparia, prokeimena, lessons, an Apostle and a Gospel. The Gospel is carried out at the beginning into the center of the temple and laid on an analogion. Throughout the entire service, until the Gospel is carried back into the altar, the royal doors remain open. A censing is performed at each hour: a full censing at the First and Ninth Hours, and a small censing at the Third and Sixth Hours. The Typica are combined with the hours. Then, at the seventh hour of the day — one o’clock in the afternoon by our reckoning — the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is served, beginning with Vespers. After the entrance with the Gospel and "O Gentle Light," eight lessons are read: after the first three a special troparion is proclaimed, the ending of which, "With them have mercy on us," is sung by the reader and the choirs; and after the sixth lesson another troparion is proclaimed, the ending of which, "O Life-giver, glory to Thee," is likewise sung by the reader and the choirs. After the eight lesson the small litany is pronounced with the liturgical exclamation, "For holy art Thou, O our God…," after which follows the Trisagion and the usual order of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. After the Liturgy the icon of the feast is set in the middle of the temple with a lighted lamp, and before the icon the clergy together with the people glorify the feast which has arrived with the singing of the troparion, "Thy nativity, O Christ our God…," and the kontakion, "Today the Virgin giveth birth to Him Who is transcendent in essence…"

In the evening the All-night Vigil is served, which consists of Great Compline (since Vespers has already been served) and Matins with the First Hours. At Great Compline the hymn of the holy prophet Isaiah is triumphantly sung: "God is with us, understand, O ye nations, and submit yourselves: for God is with us." Compline concludes with the reading of the Great Doxology, after which the exit for the Litia takes place. The litia, the litany of the lita, the stichera of the aposticha, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant," and the Trisagion through Our Father are completed; then the troparion of the feast is sung thrice during a censing, the loaves are blessed, and "Blessed be the name of the Lord" is sung — in other words, everything is as is usual for the end of vespers at a festal vigil. Thus, the Nativity Vespers is as though divided into two halves: the first half is performed before the Liturgy, in conjunction therewith; then the end is joined to the end of Great Compline at the All-night Vigil. The vigil Matins and the First Hour then follow in the usual order. On the day of the feast itself the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served, at which there are special festal antiphons and an "entry verse;" the Trisagion is replaced by "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia," and instead of "It is Truly Meet," the Zadostoinik is sung.

If the Eve falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, this order changes somewhat. The Royal Hours are served the day before, on Friday; on this Friday the Liturgy is not served after the Royal Hours. On the day of the Eve the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served according to the usual order, and only after the Liturgy, at one o’clock in the afternoon, the Nativity Vespers are served separately, at which, following the lessons and the small litany with the exclamation, "For holy art Thou, O our God…," the Trisagion is not sung, since the Liturgy is not to follow. The Apostle and Gospel of the feast are, however, read, followed by the augmented litany, "Let us all say…;" the prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord…," is then read, followed by the supplicatory litany, "Let us complete our evening prayer…" After the exclamation, "Wisdom," and the usual dismissal, the feast is glorified with the singing of the troparion and kontakion. The vigil likewise consists of Great Compline and Matins with the First Hour, but on the day of the feast itself the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is served.

On the following day, December 26, the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated. Great Vespers is served, with an entrance and the great prokeimenon, "What God is as great as our God? Thou art God Who alone workest wonders." Matins, however, is only doxology-rank. On the following Saturday, called the Saturday after the Nativity of Christ, a special Apostle and Gospel are appointed. The Sunday that follows is called the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ, or the Sunday of the Holy Forebears of God. On this day the memory of the holy and righteous Joseph the Betrothed, David the King, and James, the brother of the Lord is celebrated. If it should fall after the leave-taking of the Nativity of Christ, January 1, the service to these saints is performed on the second day of the feast, December 26.

Beginning with the first day of the Nativity of Christ, December 25, and ending with the feast of Theophany, January 6 (excluding the eve thereof, January 5), every day "all things are permitted;" that is, the fast on Wednesdays and Fridays is suspended, as is praying on bended knee in church and in one’s cell, as stated by the Typicon in the order for December 25.

During the days of the Nativity of Christ the clergy customarily "glorify the feast," visiting the homes of their parishioners with the cross and with prayer.

January.

January 1 — The Circumcision of the Lord and The Commemoration of St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesaria of Cappadocia. Also, The Beginning of the Civil New Year. This is the eighth day after the Nativity of Christ, which is why on this day the fulfillment of the law of circumcision upon the infant Jesus is celebrated, which law was established as a sign of the covenant of God with Abraham and his descendents. This feast is marked with the sign of a great feast, but is not included in the number of the twelve great feasts. The celebration of the memory of St. Basil the Great is combined with it; hence, a double service is performed: to the feast and to the hierarch. In the case of a coincidence with a Sunday, the resurrectional service precedes the others and, instead of the refrains at the ninth ode for the Circumcision and for St. Basil, "More Honorable" is sung. The katavasia at Matins are for the feast of Theophany, "The depths of the deep were opened," which are sung from January 1 through the leave-taking of Theophany on January 14.

There is no special service for the beginning of the New Year on this day. The January 1 new year came to be celebrated by us only in 1700. Until then it was celebrated on September 1, when the Church New Year is celebrated even now. This is the beginning of the indiction, a period of fifteen years, which was been accepted by the Christian reckoning of time since the deliverance of the Church of Christ from persecution under Emperor Constantine the Great in 312. "Indiction," from the Latin "indictio," means the imposition of a tribute or tax. In the Roman Empire, every fifteen years the rate of taxation was set.

January 6 — Theophany, or The Baptism of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. On this day we commemorate how, in the thirtieth year of His life, before His going out for voluntary service to the human race, the Lord accepted baptism from John in the river Jordan; how the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and how God the Father in a voice from heaven bore witness to Him as His Beloved Son. In ancient times the baptism of catechumens was performed on the Eve of Theophany, and since baptism is spiritual enlightenment, the feast itself is sometimes called "Enlightenment" in the Typicon. The feast of Theophany has a forefeast of four days — January 2 — 5 — and an afterfeast of eight days. Its leave-taking fall on January 14. The Saturday and Sunday before Theophany are called the Saturday and Sunday before Enlightenment in the ustav, and special readings from the Apostle and the Gospel are appointed for them.

The entire ustav of the service for Theophany, as also for the days of the forefeast, is very reminiscent of the ustav of the service for the Nativity of Christ: the scheme of the entire service is nearly one and the same. During the days of the forefeast, triodes and canons resembling the triodes and canons of Holy Week are likewise sung at Small Compline. The day before Theophany, or the Eve of Enlightenment, is also called the Sochelnik. On this Sochelnik the same service is appointed as for the Nativity of Christ, i.e., the Royal Hours and the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great beginning with Vespers. The All-night Vigil also consists of Great Compline and Matins. If the Eve falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then, as for the Nativity of Christ, the Royal Hours are performed on Friday, while on the Eve the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served, followed by the Vespers of the feast, separately. The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is then performed on the feast itself.

The chief peculiarity of the feast of Theophany is the Great Blessing of Water, which is performed twice: 1) on the Eve, after the prayer below the ambon, but usually somewhere on a river or spring, in remembrance of the Baptism of the Lord by John in the Jordan. When the Eve falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the Great Blessing of Water is performed at the end of Vespers after the supplicatory litany. The Great Blessing of Water consists of the singing of the stichera, "The voice of the Lord in the waters cried out, saying…," the reading of three lessons, an Apostle, and a Gospel, the Great Litany with special petitions, a prayer beginning with the words, "Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works…," and the thrice-repeated immersion of the cross in the water to the singing of the troparion, "When Thou was baptized the Jordan, O Lord…" This order is given in the Menaion under January 5, as well as in the Book of Needs. The blessed water, which is called the "Great Agiasma" (that is, "sacred object;" in Greek, to agiasma) is used to bless the temple, and the homes of the faithful when the priest then visits them. It is customary to not partake of food on the Eve before the blessing of the water, but the eating of food is not considered an impediment to drinking the blessed water. On the Eve of Theophany a strict fast is appointed; only if it falls on a Saturday or a Sunday is there "no fast;" i.e., after the dismissal of the Liturgy food may be eaten until Vespers — food, however, which is fasting.

On the next day after Theophany, January 7, the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist is celebrated. The Saturday and Sunday that follow after the feast of Theophany are called the Saturday and Sunday after Enlightenment; special Apostles and Gospels are read for them.

February.

February 2 — The Meeting of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in the temple of Jerusalem by the righteous Symeon and Anna the Prophetess. This occurred on the fortieth day after the Nativity fo Christ, when the Most Holy Virgin Mary, in accordance with the requirements of the law of Moses, brought the Infant Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem in order to offer sacrifice for Her purification (though She had no need of such, having immaculately given birth without seed), for the presentation of the Infant God, and to redeem Him. The feast of the Meeting is simultaneously both a feast of the Lord and of the Theotokos, but in the peculiarities of its ustav it inclines more towards feasts of the Theotokos, since when it coincides with a Sunday the Sunday service is not suspended, but precedes that of the feast, as occurs on great feasts of the Theotokos. The Meeting, however, although it has not festal antiphons (the "typical psalms and the beatitudes" are sung), has an "Entry Verse," as do feasts of the Lord, and has a special festal dismissal. If the Meeting occurs on one of the Sundays preparatory to Great Lent, the usual "The doors of repentance open unto me…" is not called for; rather, the stichera of the feast are sung. "By the Rivers of Babylon," however, which is appointed for these Sundays, is not suspended. When the Meeting falls on a Sunday, the refrains of the feast are not sung, and the resurrectional hymns precede the hymns for the Meeting. The katavsia for the Meeting, "When the depths of the earth became dry…," is sung beginning from January 15, immediately after the leave-taking of Theophany, and continuing until the leave-taking of the Meeting, which usually falls on February 9 (if Great Lent or Cheesefare Week is not already approaching, in which case the afterfeast of the Meeting is abbreviated; detailed instructions on this may be found in the Markovy chapters, which should always be carefully consulted). If the feast of the Meeting occurs on Cheesefare Wednesday or Friday, Liturgy is served, and on the evening before the usual All-night Vigil, consisting of Great Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour, is served. At the end of Vespers, Matins, and every hour the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian is read with three prostrations. If the feast of the Meeting falls on Meetfare Saturday (Ancestral Saturday), the requiem service is transferred either to the Saturday before the Sunday of the Prodigal Son or to Meetfare Thursday. If the Meeting occurs on Monday of the first week of Great Lent, which happens when Pascha occurs at its earliest, the service of the fast is moved one day back, to February 1, and performed on Cheesefare Sunday.

March.

March 25 — The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. On this day we remember the glad tidings of the Archangel Gabriel to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, concerning Her birthgiving to the Son of God, which were announced to Her in Nazareth, the home of the betrothed of the Most Holy Virgin, the righteous elder Joseph. In the majority of cases the feast of the Annunciation falls during Great Lent, no earlier than Thursday of the third week. It may coincide with Pascha (this coincidence is called "Kyriopascha"). The latest that it can occur is Wednesday of Bright Week. Hence, the ustav for its service is extremely changeable, and each time requires a careful consultation of the Markovy chapters. It has both a forefeast and an afterfeast of only one day; if it should fall on Palm Sunday, or on Holy Week or Bright Week, then it has neither forefeast nor afterfast, but is celebrated for only one day.

The All-night Vigil on the eve of the Annunciation begins sometimes with Great Compline, and sometimes with Great Vespers. It begins with Great Compline when Vespers has already been served on the eve, either by itself or before the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which is always combined with Vespers. Thus, if the Annunciation falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday of the great Forty-day Fast, or on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of Holy Week, on the eve of which days Vespers is served either separately or with Liturgy, the All-night Vigil begins with Great Compline. If, however, the Annunciation falls on a Sunday or Monday, the All-night Vigil begins with Great Vespers. If the Annunciation falls on Great Friday or Great Saturday the All-night Vigil does not take place at all, and only the usual Matins for these days is served, combined with the service for the Annunciation. On Kyriopascha, i.e., when the Annunciation falls on the same day as Pascha, the canon of the Annunciation is sung at Matins with the Paschal canon, and after the sixth ode the reading of the Gospel for the feast of the Annunciation is appointed. On the remaining days of Bright Week the usual Paschal services for these days are performed in combination with the service for the Annunciation: the litia and the blessing of bread at Vespers, and the polyeleos, megalynarion, and Gospel reading at Matins.

It is essential to know the following concerning the Annunciation:

1. At Matins for the Annunciation there is always a Gospel reading; hence, there is also a polyeleos. Only on the first day of Pascha does a polyeleos not occur; the Gospel is simply read after the sixth ode. When the Annunciation coincides with a Sunday, the Gospel for the Annunciation, and not for Sunday, is always read at Matins, with the exception of Palm Sunday, when the Gospel for Palm Sunday is read. On Great Friday, thirteen Gospels are read: the twelve holy Passion Gospels and the Gospel for the Annunciation. On Great Saturday, two Gospels are read: one for the feast, following the polyeleos, and the other, as usual, after the Great Doxology.

2. "More Honorable" is sung after the eighth ode of the canon only on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Great Lent; on all other days the refrains of the ninth ode of the feast are always sung (either alone or with the refrains from the Triodion).

3. The Great Doxology is sung only on Saturdays and Sundays of Great Lent; on weekdays it is read. During Paschal (Bright) Week the Great Doxology is not appointed whatsoever.

4. On all days of Great Lent when prostrations with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian are appointed, they are also performed at Matins for the Annunciation; however, only three prostrations are made with the reading of the prayer, following the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God…"

The Hours on the day of the Annunciation are Lenten if the Annunciation falls on a day of Great Lent when Lenten hours are appointed, i.e., on Monday, Tuiesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the Great Forty-day Fast, and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week. However, prostrations with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian during the Great Forty-day Fast are appointed only at the First Hour and at the end of the Typica; they do not occur at the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours. However, on Holy Week they are appointed for every hour, but no more than three prostrations are ever made. At the hours the troparion and kontakion of the Annunciation are read. On the Saturdays and Sundays of the Great Forty-day Fast, as well as on Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, the usual daily hours are read.

The Liturgy on the feast of the Annunciation, regardless of what day the feast falls on (not even excluding Great Friday, when no Liturgy is normally appointed), is always performed in full — either the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or of St. Basil the Great (on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of the Holy Forty-day Fast, Great Thursday, and Great Saturday, when this Liturgy is appointed). On days when the Liturgy begins with Vespers, the same occurs on the feast of the Annunciation: on all weekdays of the Holy Forty-day Fast, i.e., all days excluding Saturday and Sunday, the Liturgy for the day of the Annunciation is always begun with Vespers. This Vespers is peculiar in that an eleventh sticheron is added at "Lord, I have Cried," with the verse, "Thou hast made Thine angels spirits…"

On the day after the Annunciation, March 26, the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel is celebrated. This is, additionally, the day of the leave-taking of the Annunciation. If the leave-taking of the Annunciation falls on Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday, or one of the days of Holy or Bright Week, the leave-taking of the Annunciation does not take place at all; the canon and stichera of the day are sung at Compline "during the previous days of the sixth week."

If the feast of the Annunciation falls on Wednesday or Thursday of the fifth week of Great Lent, the service of the Graet Canon of Ven. Andrew of Crete, known as "St. Andrew’s Standing," is transferred to Tuesday and, consequently, is performed, not on Wednesday evening, as is usual, but on Monday evening.

June.

June 24 — The Nativity of the Honorable and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John. On this day we remember the birth from barren and aged parents, the priest Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, of the greatest of all the prophets — St. John the Baptist, who was to prepare the Jewish nation for the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a great feast, which has an afterfeast of one day. A vigil service is served, with a litia and blessing of bread, a polyeleos, and a megalynarion, without any particular peculiarities.

June 29 — The Holy Glorious and All-praised First-leaders of the Apostles Peter and Paul. The holy Church particularly reveres these two apostles and sets them apart from the rest — Peter, as the foremost of the apostles, that is, the one who first began his apostolic service, and Paul, as one who labored more than the rest, who worked more than others for the spreading of the Gospel. Both of these great apostles departed this life on the same day, June 29, AD 67, through a martyric death in Rome under the emperor Nero. St. Peter was crucified upside-down upon a cross, and St. Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded with the sword. According to other accounts, St. Paul was beheaded a year after the martyric death of St. Peter, on the same day, in AD 68.

This is a great feast, which has an afterfeast of one day. The day after the feast, June 30, the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles is celebrated together with the afterfeast. The faithful prepare for the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul by means of a special fast, called the Apostles’ Fast, or St. Peter’s Fast." It begins on Monday after the Sunday of All Saints. Due to this the fast may be longer or shorter, depending on the day of the celebration of Pascha (on which the celebration of the Sunday of All Saints depends, which always falls on the Sunday after Pentecost). The shortest possible St. Peter’s Fast lasts eight days; the longest, six weeks. It finishes on June 28, but only if the commemoration of the holy apostles Peter and Paul does not fall on Wednesday or Friday. The ustav for the eating of foods during St. Peter’s Fast is the same as that for the Nativity Fast (see below). Fish may be eaten on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on feasts. On Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, there is no feast, simple food (without oil) is appointed.

August.

August 6 — The Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. This day commemorates how in the last year of His earthly life, wishing to strengthen the faith of His disciples in Himself, that it might not be shaken during His sufferings on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured before them upon Mount Tabor, showing them the glory of His Divinity. This is a great feast of the Lord, included in the number of the twelve great feasts. It has a forefeast of one day, on August 5, and an afterfeast of seven days. Its leave-taking is on August 13. From the first of August until the Transfiguration, on the day of Transfiguration itself, and on the leave-taking therof, the katavasia of the Exaltation is sung — "Inscribing a cross upon the waters…" —, but during the days of the afterfeast until the leave-taking of the Transfiguration the katavasia of the Transfiguration are sung: "The choirs of the Israelites…"

One peculiarity of the fast of the Transfiguration is that at the end of the Liturgy, following the prayer below the ambon, the blessing of the "clusters," or grapes, which in Palestine ripen right at this time, takes place. Grapes are not permitted to be eaten before Transfiguration. The blessing consists of the following: the troparion of the feast is sung, during which time the grapes are censed; then a special prayer is read, whih is locatedin the Menaion in place and in the Book of Needs, and the grapes are sprinkled with holy water. The blessed grapes are then distributed to all those present. Since back in Russia, in the north, there are no grapes, apples and other fruits are blessed in their stead. For this the "Prayer for those bringing the first fruits" is read, which is located in the Book of Needs.

August 15 — The Dormition of our Most Holy, Glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. On this day we remember the repose of the Mother of God — which was made known to Her three days before by the Archangel Gabriel —, the wondrous arrival of all the apostles except for Thomas from all the ends of the earth, Her burial in Gethsemane, and the Lord’s taking of Her most pure body into heaven on the third day. As the Most Pure Mother of God was only in the tomb three days, and on the third day the holy apostles did not find Her most pure body there, Her death is called the Dormition; that is, ‘sleep.’

This is a great feast, and is included in the theotokian feasts of the twelve. It has a forefeast of one day, August 14, and an afterfeast of nine days. Its leave-taking takes place on August 23. From August 14 — 23 the katavasia of the Dormition are sung: "Adorned with Divine glory…"

The faithful prepare for the worthy celebration of this feast by means of a two-week fast, which is called the Dormition Fast, or the Fast of the Most Holy Theotokos. It begins on August 1, and ends on August 14. During this fast fish may be eaten only on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord; on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday simple food is appointed, on Tuesday and Thursday — cooked food without oil, and on Saturday and Sunday — cooked food with oil and wine. On August 3 and 4 the Typicon directs that "Alleluia," or the "Troparion" be sung. This means that on these days a service similar to a Lenten service may be served, with prostrations and the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, as also occurs during the Nativity and St. Peter’s fasts; this is not, however, obligatory, but as desired.

At Matins on the day of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, "in some countries the funeral rite is performed, especially where a temple is dedicated to this feast." This rite is similar to the service on Great Saturday before the shroud of Christ. This occurs, for example, in the Kiev Caves Lavra, immediately before the singing of "Praise ye the Name of the Lord" and the megalynarion. A funereal rite which still more greatly resembled the service on Great Saturday was performed (before the revolution) on August 17 in the Gethsemane skete, near the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. This rite begins immediately after the singing of "God is the Lord": all the troparia are composed in the likeness of the troparia of Great Saturday. All of this is performed before the icon of the Dormition, set in the center of the tmemple on an analoy, or, sometimes, before the shroud of the Mother of God.

August 29 — The Beheading of the Precious Head of the Honorable and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John. On this day we remember how, by the command of King Herod Antipus, St. John, the Forerunner of the Lord, the greatest born of woman, for having rebuked the king for his lawless cohabitation with his brother’s wife, was beheaded at the demand of the daughter of the latter, who pleased King Herod by her dancing at a banquet. This is a great feast, which has an afterfeast of one day. On the day of this feast a strict fast is appointed, as a sign of lamentation and of denunciation of the gluttony of Herod at the banquet. On this day we also commemorate all Orthodox warriors killed on the field of battle, who, like St. John, suffered for the truth.

 

IV. Temple Feasts

On the eve of a temple feast the All-night Vigil is invariably served. An exception is the temple feasts of a saint which falls on the day of the Holy Spirit. On the eve of this feast, i.e., on the day of Pentecost, the ninth hour and Great Vespers are served as usual, followed by Compline, the Midnight Office, and Matins at their proper times (see the Typicon, Chapter 56, "On Temples"). The services for the twelve great feasts of the Lord and of the Theotokos are served identically in all churches, both where the feast is the temple feast and where it is not. Peculiarities occur only in a temple of the Annunciation or of the Archangel Gabriel, if the parish feast should fall on Monday of Holy Week (see Chapter 47 of the Typicon, on temples). In a temple feast of a saint, even if the saint is not included with the Great Saints, the temple service is served with greater solemnity than usual, and is not transferred to another day; the All-night vigil is invariably performed. The only exception is the coincidence of a temple feast with the first week of Great Lent, Holy Week, and the day of Pascha, concerning which there are special chapters on the temple in the Typicon — 34, 35, and 36 —: in these cases the service of the patronal feast is transferred to Cheese-fare Week, Palm Sunday, or the second day of Pascha. The leave-taking of the temple feast is peformed on the same day, at Vespers (see the Typicon, Temple Chapter 1), at which stichera to the temple are also sung. In general in these cases it is essential to always consult the special so-called temple chapters, located at the end of the Typicon, where all possible occurrences are foreseen.

 

 

V. Worship on the

Movable Days of the Year

These liturgical days of the year depend on the feast of Pascha, which is performed on the first Sunday after the spring full moon, i.e., the full moon which occurs on the same day as the vernal equinox or immediately thereafter. The earliest date at which Pascha can occurs is March 22, and the latest — April 25. There are two liturgical periods connected with the celebration of the day of Pascha: 1) the weeks preparatory to Great Lent, Great Lent — or the Holy Forty-day Fast — itself, and Holy Week — this is the period during which worship is conducted according to the Lenten Triodion —, and 2) Holy Pentecost, from the first day of Pascha until the Sunday of All Saints, which occurs after the Sunday of Pentecost: this is the period during which worship is conducted according to the Pentecostarion.

 

VI. The Divine Services of the Lenten Triodion

I. The Weeks Preparatory to Lent.

Lent, which consists of the Holy Forty-day Fast and, joined immediately thereto, Holy Week — seven weeks in all — serves as preparation for the greatest of the Christians feasts: the Bright Resurrection of Christ, called the Pascha of the Lord, the prefiguration of which was the Old Testament Jewish Pascha (the very word "Pascha" pasca - is from the Hebrew "phesach," and means "passing over," "deliverance;" i.e., when the angel of death, in slaying the first-born of the Egyptians, passed (over) the homes of the Hebrews (Ex. 12). The Jews use this title to denote their feast, established in remembrance of their passing from slavery in the land of Egypt into the promised land of Canaan. Great Lent is a time that the Church has set aside predominantly for repentance: it is a time of universal spiritual cleansing and purification. For this reason all of the liturgical hymns of Great Lent and the entire liturgical order is so directed as to awaken in us compunction for our sins. However, feelings of repentance and an appropriately repentant inclination of spirit are not always achieved easily or immediately by everyone. One must incline one’s soul ahead of time to a repentant disposition. Taking this into account, long before Great Lent the holy Church begins to prepare us to the labor of repentance. For this she has appointed special Preparatory Sundays before Great Lent. There are four such preparatory Sundays: 1) the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, 2) the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, 3) Meatfare Sunday, or the Sunday of the Last Judgment, and 4) Cheesefare Sunday, or the Sunday of the Casting out of Adam, which in the vernacular is also called "Forgiveness Sunday." In this manner, already three weeks beforehand the Church begins to prepare the faithful for Great Lent, and beginning on the first preparatory Sunday — the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee the services are performed according to the Lenten Triodion, and continue thus all the way until Great Saturday. ("Triodion" is a Greek word, and means "triode," i.e., three odes, three songs; see above, on pages 98 and 99.)

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is so called because at the Liturgy the Gospel concerning the parable of the publican and the pharisee is read, and in the church hymns from the Lenten Triodion the humility of the publican is set forth as an example, and the pride and boasting of the Pharisee is censured. The principle idea of the worship on this day is the same as that expressed in the closing words of the parable: "Every one that exalteth himself will be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Lk. 18:14). From this day and on throughout the whole fast until the fifth week inclusive, after the Gospel at every Sunday Matins compunctionate troparia of repentance are sung: "The doors of repentance open to me, O Giver of life…," "Guide me in the paths of salvation, O Theotokos…," and "When I think of the multitude of evil things I have done, I, a wretched one, I tremble at the fearful day of judgment…" The service on this Sunday, as on the following Sundays, is performed according to the Ochtoechos, but stichera and a canon are added from the Triodion. The order for the saint (from the Menaion), which is excluded on all of these Sundays, is sung on Friday at Compline, except, obviously, the commemoration of a great saint, the service to whom is included, combined according to the directions of the Markovy chapters. Normally the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee should be the thirty-third after Pentecost, but depending on whether "outer Pascha" or "inner Pascha" occurs it may come earlier or later. Hence, in the table of the Gospel readings at Matins, from this date the regular Matins reading from the Gospel is no longer indicated; the regular tone is not indicated as well. On Saturdays, from the Saturday following the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee until the Sunday of All Saints, at Liturgy the regular Gospel for the Saturday is appointed to be read first, then that of the saint. This week is fast-free; i.e., the fast is suspended on Wednesday and Friday to the disgrace of the Pharisee, who took pride in that he fasted twice a week, and, as is said in the Triodion to the disgrace of the Armenian heretics, who maintain a fast all this week, "called the Fast of Artsiri."

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son.

This Sunday is thus called because at the Liturgy the Gospel parable of the prodigal son is read, and in the church hymns the forgiving love of his father is set forth as an example, symbolizing the limitless mercy of God towards repentant sinners. The idea of this Sunday is that no sin can conquer God’s love for man, and thus, in grieving over one’s sins, one need never fall into despair. On this Sunday, as on the following two — Meetfare and Cheesefare —, at Matins, after the polyeleos psalms, "Praise ye the name of the Lord" and "O give thanks unto the Lord," Psalm 136 is sung, "By the Rivers of Babylon," with a melodic alleluia. The singing of this psalm should remind us sinners of our wretched condition of captivity to the devil and to sin, just as the Jews of old repented, in Babylonian captivity recognizing their impoverished state. This sorrowful hymn now vividly expresses our sorrow over our heavenly homeland, lost to us on account of our sins, and instills in us the necessity of repenting in order to be vouchsafed the joy of returning into that heavenly homeland. On the Sundays of the Prodigal Son, Meetfare, and Cheesefare special "katavasia of the Triodion," indicated in place, are sung.

The week after the Sunday of the Prodigal Son is called Meetfare because thereon ceases the eating of meat — the "dismissal of meat" takes place; that is, the cessation of the eating of meat. At Compline during this week the reading of the canon of the Theotokos is suspended, as are the Inner-hours.

Meatfare Saturday.

Meetfare Saturday is dedicated to the commemoration of the departed.

This is the so-called Ancestral Saturday, on which a special requiem service is served. On this Saturday the Church prays especially for those departed who, as expressed in the synaxarion, "did not receive the appointed psalms and hymns of commemoration;" i.e., dud to various exceptional circumstances of their deaths were not vouchsafed proper Christian burial. The commemoration of the departed is appointed for this Saturday because on the following day, Meetfare Sunday, the Church remembers the Last Judgment, at which all men will appear, both the living and the departed. In accordance with the obligations of Christian love, we, praying for our deliverance from condemnation at this final judgment of God, pray also that God may have mercy upon our departed.

One peculiarity of this requiem service is that at Vespers, instead of the prokeimenon, "Alleluia" is sung with requiem verses; at Matins, instead of "God is the Lord," "Alleluia" is again sung with requiem verses; and after the regular sixteenth kathisma the seventeenth kathisma is sung, which is called "The Blameless," and is divided into two articles (parts) with special refrains and the singing of the requiem troparia, "The choirs of the saints…," after the second article. After the first article, the second article and troparia, and the sixth ode of the canon, a requiem litany is pronounced with the commemoration by name of all the departed. (The priest commemorates thus: "Again we pray for the repose of the souls of the departed servants of God (Names), and all our forefathers, fathers, and brethren and all Orthodox Christians here and everywhere laid to rest…," and, "That they may be forgiven…") In the middle of the temple the memorial table with the crucifixion and lighted candles is set. In the canon of the Triodion there is also an Ode II. If the Meeting of the Lord or a temple feast falls on this Saturday, the commemoration of the departed is observed on the previous Saturday or on Meatfare Thursday.

Meatfare Sunday.

Meatfare Sunday is dedicated to the remembrance of the Last Judgment, in order that sinners, in hoping on the boundlessness of God’s love for mankind, might not give themselves up to carelessness and negligence regarding their salvation. At the Liturgy the Gospel concerning the Last Judgment is read, which impresses on us that the Lord is not only boundlessly merciful, but also infinitely righteous; that He is not only a loving Father, but simultaneously a righteous Judge, who renders to each according to their deeds.

Cheesefare Week.

After Meatfare Sunday, on which the eating of meat ceases, there follows what is called "cheesefare" week, or, in the vernacular, "Butter Week," during which the eating of cheese is permitted; that is, of dairy foods in general and of eggs. On all the days of Cheesefare Week special liturgical orders are sung, which are indicated for each day in the Lenten Triodion. This is a week of direct preparation for Great Lent — as it were, a gradual approach thereto —, and in the liturgical hymns is called "the threshold of Divine repentance;" "the bright gateways of the fast."

On the weekdays of Cheesefare Week (except for Saturday), the hymns from the Ochtoechos at the canon at Matins are not sung at those odes at which the Triode "comes in." On Wednesday and Friday a canon from the Triodion is likewise sung at Matins.

On Wednesday and Friday of Cheesefare Week a service is appointed which is similar to a Lenten service, but nevertheless has several distinctions from the latter. At Vespers, after "Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant," the troparia, "O Theotokos Virgin," "O Baptizer of Christ," and "Intercede in our behalf " are sung with prostrations, and instead of the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God," "Lord, have mercy" is read forty times; then, after the exclamation of the priest, "He that is, is blessed…," "O Heavenly King" is read, after which follows the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, "O Lord and Master of my life," with sixteen bows; then, after the bows and before the dismissal, the Trisagion through Our Father is read, then "Lord, have mercy," twelve times. After Vespers, Great Compline is performed. However, at Great Compline there is no singing such as occurs during Great Lent; rather, after "It is Truly Meet" the same troparia are read that are usually read at Small Compline. This Great Compline concludes with the usual small dismissal. The Midnight Office is served with prostrations. At Matins "Alleluia" is sung instead of "God is the Lord;" then, instead of the troparion to the saint and the theotokion, the "Trinitarian hymns of the tone" are sung. In addition to the triodes appointed for each day of Cheesefare Week, on Wedneday and Friday full canons are sung; however, at the odes at which the triode is read, the canons from the Ochtoechos and the Menaion are omitted. The odes of the Ochtoechos are completely omitted, but the odes of the Menaion are sung with other odes on the same day; each of these is combined with one previous to it: the third with the first, the eighth with the sixth, the ninth with the seventh. At the ninth ode the Trinitarian Photagogicon of the tone is sung. After the reading of "It is good," instead of the litany, "Have mercy on us, O God," "Lord, have mercy" is read forty times, and after the exclamation of the priest, "He that is, is blessed…," "O Heavenly King" is read, and sixteen reverences are made with the reading of the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian: "O Lord and Master." The Hours are performed, as during Great Lent, with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim and full prostrations, but at these the bell is not rung, kathismata are not appointed, and the troparia of the hours are not sung, but read. After the Ninth Hour the Typica immediately follow, but these begin, not with the singing of "Blessed," as during Great Lent, but with the reading of the typical psalms 102 and 145; the "Beatitudes" are read, as is the Symbol of Faith. After the Typica the usual daily Vespers is performed, at which, however, lessons are appointed, and, after the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God," three full prostrations are made, if there is no feast on the following day. On Wednesday and Friday the Liturgy is not performed. On Thursday and Saturday, Small Compline is served.

If the feast of the Three Hierarchs — January 30 — or the feast of The Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Forerunner — February 24 — falls on Cheesefare Wednesday or Friday, the service for these feasts is transferred to Cheesefare Tuesday or Thursday. However, of the Meeting of the Lord or a temple feast occurs, the service of the feast is performed invariably: only at the end of Vespers, Matins, and each hour three full prostrations are made with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian.

Cheesefare Saturday is dedicated to the memory of All Saints who have Shown Forth in Fasting or Spiritual Labors. Similarly to "how captains, before the armed troops standing in formation, describe the feats of men of old and thereby encourage the warriors, to those entering the fast the Holy Fathers indicate holy men who have shone forth in fasting, and teach that the fast lies not only in the rejection of foods, but in the fettering of the tongue, the heart, and the eyes" (the Synaxarion). Matins is performed with a Great Doxology. At Matins there is an Ode II of the canon.

Cheesefare Sunday.

Cheesefare Sunday, on which the "dismissal of cheese" takes place, i.e., the cessation of the eating of cheese, immediately before the beginning of Great Lent, is dedicated to "The Casting Out of Adam." On the hymns for this Sunday the fall of our first parents Adam and Eve is recalled, by which is explained the necessity of the labors of fasting. Adam and Eve fell through incontinence and disobedience, and now, through the willingly undertaken labor of abstinence and obedience to the Church, we may rise up once again and restore the paradisiacal blessedness which they lost. At the Liturgy a Gospel is read which inspires us to forgive neighbors their offences and fast, not in display, like the Pharisees, but sincerely, for God’s sake (Matt. 17).

Entering into Great Lent, the faithful, according to the ancient Christian practice, remembering the exhortation of the Lord regarding this in the Gospel, mutually ask forgiveness of one another. This rite of forgiveness takes place at the end of Vespers. This Vespers has a series of characteristic peculiarities. The first half of Vespers, up until the vespral entrance, is festal in character and is performed in bright festal vesture. There are ten stichera at "Lord, I have Cried: four of these are "penitential" — two from the Ochtoechos of the given tone, for the aposticha, and two from the Matins aposticha —, three stichera are from the Triodion and three stichera are from the Menaion; then, Glory, Both now, and the theotokion in the same tone from the Menaion. After the vespral entrance and "O Gentle Light," the Great Prokeimenon is sung four and one half times to a special compunctionate melody: "Turn not Thy face away from Thy child, for I sorrow; swiftly hearken unto me: attend unto my soul and deliver it." After the singing of the prokeimenon the royal doors are immediately closed, and "Vouchsafe, O Lord" is immediately read; the priest disrobes himself of his festal vestments, dons a black epitrachelion, and exits onto the ambon to pronounce the supplicatory litany: "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord." The rest of the service is already of a Lenten character. After "Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant," the troparia, "O Theotokos Virgin," "O Baptizer of Christ," and "Intercede in our behalf" are sung with prostrations. Instead of the augmented litany, "Have mercy on us, O God," "Lord, have mercy" is read forty times; then, after the exclamation of the priest, "He that is, is blessed," the prayer "O Heavenly King" is read, followed by the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, "O Lord and Master of my life," with three full prostrations. The dismissal then follows immediately. Instead of the usual dismissal it is customary to read the prayer, "O Master, plenteous in mercy," which is usually read throughout Great Lent at the end of Great Compline, "we throwing our selves upon the ground," face down. After this prayer a homily suitable to the day is usually given concerning the forgiveness of offences; then the serving priest or, in cathedral temples, the bishop, prostrating himself fully to the ground, asks forgiveness of the faithful; then each, venerating the icons and the cross held by the priest, approach the latter and make a full prostration, asking of him forgiveness; then all stand in a row and with a full prostration ask forgiveness of one another. "Forgiveness Sunday — what a great and heavenly day of God!" says the hierarch Theophan the Recluse. "If we all were to make use of it as we ought, the present day would transform Christian communities into heavenly communities, and the earth would become one with heaven…" ("Thoughts for Each Day of the Year").

This day was especially movingly and compunctionately observed in ancient monasteries. In the Holy Land many ascetics, following this, would depart into the desert for the duration of Great Lent, returning to the monastery only on Lazarus Saturday. Many did not survive to return. For such as these it was particularly customary, during this compunctionate rite of mutual forgiveness, to sing the stichera of Pascha: "Let God arise" and "A Pascha sacred today hath been shown unto us…" This singing has been customary in many monasteries in our time as well. It gives heart to human weakness, which dreads, as it were, the prolonged days of strict fasting, by setting us on the verge of the bright festival of the feast of the Resurrection of Christ.

II. The Great Forty-day Fast.

On the Monday after Cheesefare Sunday, Great Lent itself begins, which in the Ustav is usually called the Great or Holy Forty-day Fast, for this same fast, as being a time of repentance, in fact comprises forty days, directly joined to which are two feast days — Lazarus Saturday and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem — and Holy Week, so that altogether there are seven weeks. This fast is called great both due to its length and, especially, to its great strictness. In the course of this fast the eating of fish at all is not permitted, excepting the days of the feasts of the Annunciation and of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. Only on Saturdays and Sundays is the consumption of wine and oil permitted; on all other days, if there is no feast, simple food is appinted; i.e., food uncooked and without oil. To the physical fast is added spiritual fasting, which consists of abstinence from the passions and every kind of pleasure and amusement, and of increased prayer, almsgiving, and good works.

Lenten worship differs in many ways from that which is usually performed on other days, both in its external appearance and in its content. Since the days of Great Lent are predominantly days of repentance, all Lenten worship is designed to aroused heartfelt contrition and remorse for one’s sins. All splendor and festivity is removed therefrom. The royal doors are rarely opened, and at many services even the curtain remains drawn. Only a few lamps are lit, the clergy vest in mourning vesture (now usually black), singing occurs infrequently, and more reading is heard. Worship is accompanied by a greater number of prostrations great (to the earth) and small (from the waist).

On weekdays, that is, from Monday through Friday, worship during Great Lent is structured thus: in the morning — the Midnight Office, Matins, and the First Hour; before noon — the Lenten Hours, Third, Sixth, and Ninth, Typica, and Vespers; and in the evening — Great Compline. On Wednesdays and Fridays (and, during the fifth week, on Thursday), to this is added the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Saturday (in commemoration of its original observance in the Old Testament) and Sunday are set apart from the other days of Great Lent in that on these days the mourning vesture is exchanged for dark red, full prostrations with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian are suspended, and a full Liturgy is served — on Saturdays, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and on Sundays — the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Worship during Holy Week has its own characteristics: during the first three days the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is performed; on Great Thursday — the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great; on Great Friday there is no Liturgy at all (unless the Annunciation falls on this day), but the Royal Hours are read; and on Great Saturday the Liturgy of St. basil the Great is performed. The sixth Sunday of Great Lent is likewise set apart: this is what is called Palm Sunday, on which is celebrated the great feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, and on which the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served.

 

III. The Peculiarities of Daily Lenten Services.

The Midnight Office.

This service is the one least subjected to changes during Great Lent. The sole distinction of the Lenten Midnight Office from the usual is that after the prayer, "Thou Who at all times," and the exclamation of the priest, "God, be merciful to us," before the royal doors the priest reads the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian: "O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talking give me not. But rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me, Thy servant. Yea, O Lord King, grant me to see my own failings, and not condemn my brother, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The first time this prayer is pronounced it is divided into three parts, each of which is accompanied by a full prostration. Then the priest, together with the people, makes twelve small bows, from the waist, quietly saying, "O God, cleanse me, a sinner," after which he again exclaims the same prayer entirely and undivided, concluding it with one full prostration. On the first day of Great Lent at the Midnight Office, as well as on feast days which fall on weekdays of Great Lent (Monday through Friday), and always at the end of the Ninth Hour, the prayer of Ven. Ephraim is read only once, with three full prostrations. Hence, in the Ustav a distinction is always made: "sixteen prostrations" or "three prostrations." The two-fold reading of the prayer of Ven. Ephraim with three great prostrations, twelve small ones, and concluding with one great prostration bears the technical term in the Typicon of "Sixteen prostrations," and the single reading of the same prayer, with three prostrations — "Three prostrations." In general, when the term "great prostrations" is encountered in the Typicon, this name is understood to mean the Prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, accompanied by full prostrations.

Lenten Matins.

This service begins just as does the usual daily Matins, the only peculiarity being that at the beginning, before the psalms, not only "O Come, Let us Worship" is read, but also "Holy God" through "Our Father." Instead of "God is the Lord," the "Alleluia" of the tone is sung, and instead of the troparion of the saint — the "Trinitaria of the Tone," located at the end of the Triodion with the refrain of the first trinitarion, which changes depending on the day of the week. For the most part, three kathismata are read, the sedalia for the first kathisma being taken from the Ochtoechos, and for the second and third, from the Triodion. After Psalm 50, on the ambon before the icon of the Savior the priest reads the prayer, "Save, O Lord, Thy people" (the same prayer which is read at the All-night Vigil).

The chief distinguishing characteristic of Lenten Matins is that for the canon the Old Testament Hymns are sung, together which are combined the irmosi and troparia of the canon from the Menaion and the triode from the Triodion. On weekdays of Great Lent the Ochotechos is not sung whatsoever. Only three Old Testament Hymns are sung in their entirety: those which match the corresponding odes of the triode from the Triodion. The eighth and ninth hymns are always sung, while the preceding hymns are sung in order: on Monday, the first hymn; on Tuesday, the second; on Wednesday, the third; on Thursday, the fourth; and on Friday, the fifth. Of the remaining hymns only the final verses of each are sung, which in a way serve as the refrains for the troparia.

The order for this chanting, as indicated in the Typicon, is as follows. After the prayer of the priest, "Save, O God, Thy people…," and the exclamation, "Through Thy mercies and compassions…," we begin "Let us sing to the Lord" in the tone of the canon of the Menaion for the saint of the day: the verses of the hymns are sung quickly, each choir singing its own verse, until they reach "And at the breath of Thy wrath," from which the verses are kept to fourteen. We then sing the Menaion with six including its irmos. We sing thus: the first choir sings the verse, "And at the breath of Thy wrath," then sings the irmos. Then the second choir sings the second verse, "The enemy said," followed by the troparion of the canon (of the saint, from the Menaion). The verses continue in order, alternating between the choirs, until "The nations heard:" from the verse "The nations heard" we begin the triode of Master Joseph, with four. At "The Lord is king" we sing another triode, of Master Theodore the Studite: one choir sings a troparion, then the other choir sings the second verse and troparion. Then both choirs come together and sing "Glory," and the Trinitarion, in a raised tone, followed by "Both now" and the theotokion. Then, again in a raised voice, we sing: "Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee," and another troparion of Master Theodore, inasmuch as the ode has five troparia. Finally we sing the Katavasia — the irmos of the second canon.

Thus also the eighth and ninth odes are sung (in the same order as indicated above for the first ode).

The third ode is sung thus: the first choir sings the verse, "The Lord hath gone up into the heavens" and a troparion of the canon from the Menaion. Then the second choir, the verse: "And He will give strength to our kings," with the second troparion from the Menaion. Likewise, the first choir sings — Glory, and the second choir — Both now, with troparia of the canon. Then the first choir sings the irmos of the third ode from the Menaion, following the canon.

In this manner we also sing the sixth ode.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth odes we sing thus. We first say the irmos of the canon from the Menaion; then we sing the final two verses of the hymn, and Glory and Both now, with the troparia of the canon. The ode is not concluded with the irmos, as the irmos is sung preceding the ode: the irmosi from the Menaion are sung following the canon only after the third and sixth odes, as at these odes the irmos is not sung at the beginning.

On the remaining days of the week, except for Monday, the first ode is sung just as is indicated for the fourth and fifth odes. Whenever a triode occurs, the irmos of the triode is sung at the end of that ode as the katavasia, as indicated above.

In present times all of this is somewhat simplified in that the singing is not performed on two clirosi; the hymns are not sung in the given tone, but are simply chanted recitatively or even read; the troparia of the canon are indeed read; and only irmosi and katavasii are sung. It is important to remember that at the third and sixth odes the irmos is not sung at the beginning of the ode, as is usual, but covers the ode — i.e., is sung at the conclusion of the entire ode. In those instances when there is a triode at the given ode, the given ode is concluded by the irmos of the triode from the Triodion.

It should likewise be known that after the first kathisma the sedalia of compunction are read from the Osmoglasnik, i.e. the Ochtoechos. These are all collected together at the end of the Lenten Triodion, hence it is unnecessary to use the Ochtoechos. After the second and third kathismata the sedalia of the Triodion are read, which are indicated in place. After the third ode of the canon and the small litany there follows the sedalion of the saint from the Menaion. After the sixth ode and the small litany follows the martyricon sedalion. All of these are likewise indicated at the end of the Lenten Triodion. "If a saint should have a kontakion, we say the same here;" that is, after the sixth ode of the canon; in this case the martyricon is read after the first kathisma, together with the sedalia, using the refrain, "Wondrous is God in His saints." After the ninth ode, "It is Truly Meet" is sung, followed by a prostration to the ground, after which follow a small litany and the Photagogicon Trinitarion of the tone, thrice. These photagogica are also collected at the end of the Triodion: the concluding words of the first change depending on the day of the week, similarly to the Trinitaria of the tone following the "Alleluia." Then follow the usual three Laudational Psalms of Matins.

At Lenten Mains, according to ustav, for the edification of the faithful, readings are appointed from patristic works, specifically: after the first kathisma and sedalia, from Ven. Ephraim the Syrian; after the second kathisma and sedalia — likewise from Ven. Ephraim, and after the third kathisma and sedalia — from the book by Bishop Palladius of Helenopolis, called the Lausaic; after the third ode of the canon — likewise from the Lausaic, and after the sixth ode of the canon, a reading from the Prologue. In present times this takes place only in monasteries, though in some parishes the priest reads a homily or a short life of a saint from the Prologue.

The end of Lenten Matins likewise has its own peculiarities: the great doxology is read, as at the usual daily Matins; then follows the usual supplicatory litany, after which the stichera at the aposticha are sung from the Triodion. After these stichera, "It is good to give praise unto the Lord" is read twice, followed by the Trisagion through Our Father; then, after the exclamation, instead of the usual troparion, "Standing in the temple of Thy glory, we seem to stand in heaven; O Theotokos, gate of heaven, open unto us the door of Thy mercy." The augmented litany, as at the usual daily Matins, does not take place; rather, "Lord, have mercy" is read forty times, followed by Glory, Both now, More honorable than the Cherubim…, In the name of the Lord, Father, bless, and the exclamation of the priest: "He that is is blessed, Christ our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." Instead of the usual ‘many years,’ the prayer "O Heavenly King" is read, following which the priest reads the Lenten prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, "O Lord and Master of my life," with sixteen prostrations. At the end of this prayer and the prostrations the reading of the First Hour immediately begins.

The Lenten Hours.

The peculiarities of the Lenten hours are as follows: 1) at every hour, with a few exceptions, following the usual three psalms, a kathisma is read; 2) at every hour the troparion of the given hour is sung thrice with full prostrations; 3) at the sixth hour, after the first half of the theotokion, a lesson is read, before and after which special prokeimena from the Triodion are appointed, and 4) at the end of every hour, after the exclamation of the priest, the Lenten prayer "O Lord and Master of my life" is read, usually with sixteen bows, though always with three bows at the Ninth Hour.

The troparia of the hours are the follwing:

Troparion of the First Hour, tone six:

In the morning hearken unto my voice, O my King and my God.

Troparion of the Third Hour, tone six:

O Lord, Whop dist send down Thy Most-holy Spirit at the third hour upon Thine apostles: Take Him not from us, O Good Once, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.

Troparion of the Sixth Hour, tone two:

O Thou Who on the sixth day and in the sixth hour didst nail to the Cross Adam’s daring sin in Paradise, tear asunder also the handwriting of our sins, O Christ God, and save us.

Troparion of the Ninth Hour, tone eight:

O Thou Who at the ninth hour for our sake didst taste of death in the flesh, mortify our carnal mind, O Christ God, and save us.

Between the repetitions of these troparia the priest pronounces two other special verses; then, after the third repetition, the priest says, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit," and the reader continues, "Both now and ever…" and goes on to the read the theotokion of the hour.

After the Trisagion and Our Father, the kontakion of the feast or saint is not read, as is usual, but is replaced by special troparia located in place at every hour, which are related in their content to the commemorations of each hour.

The First Hour has an additional peculiarity in that the second half of the Theotokion, "My steps do Thou direct according to Thy word…," is sung in the sixth tone; each verse is repeated twice, except for "Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise, O Lord…," which is sung thrice.

The Lenten Typica.

These always follow immediately after the reading of the closing prayer of the Ninth Hour; the typical psalms themselves are omitted, the order beginning with the singing of the Commandments of Beatitude in the sixth tone, each of which commandments is followed by "Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." In conclusion are sung the three-fold "Remember us, O Lord…," "Remember us, O Master…," and "Remember us, O Holy One…" to an especially drawn-out, compunctionate melody, accompanied by full prostrations. After "More honorable than the Cherubim" and the exclamation of the priest, "O God, be gracious unto us…," the Lenten prayer "O Lord and Master of my life" is said with sixteen bows, after which immediately, without an exclamation, Lenten Vespers begins with the reading of "O come, let us worship" and the opening psalm. This occurs in instances when there is no Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. If the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is served, then after the prayer and bows we read "O All-holy Trinity, the consubstantial dominion…;" then the priest: Wisdom; "It is truly meet" is sung; the priest gives the exclamation, "O Most-holy Theotokos, save us;" then, "More honorable," "Glory to Thee, O Christ God…," and the full great dismissal.

 

IV. The Liturgy

of the Presanctified Gifts

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as its very name indicates, is the name given to a Liturgy at which in communion the faithful are given Holy Gifts which have been already sanctified. Hence the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts differs from the Liturgys of St. John Chrysostom and of St. Basil the Great in that no offering (proskomede) or sanctification of the Holy Gifts (Eucharist) occurs thereat.

In the "Supplement" to the fifth section of "Ancient Liturgies," published in St. Petersburg in 1878, it is stated: "Included among the ancient Liturgies is the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (h twn prohgiasmenwn leitourgia, Missa praesanctificatorum, i.e. munerum), which is performed during the Holy Forty-day Fast — in the Eastern Orthodox Church predominantly on Wednesdays and Fridays of the first six weeks, Thursday of the fifth week, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, and in the Western church only once a year, on Great Friday of Holy Week. The origin and structure of this Liturgy is and has been ascribed now to the East, now to the West by various researchers of Church antiquity; several Eastern writers accredit the West, specifically the Roman Pope Gregory the Great, or the Dialogist, with its original formulation; while Western writers for the most part attribute it to the East, supposing its communication from thence to the West when the Eastern and Western Churches still maintained mutual interrelations with one another. The rites themselves of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, while differing from East to West in several dissimilarities in specific details, in their general passage and the structure of their prayers present considerable similarity, which serves as clear evidence of the single origin of this Liturgy in both halves of the Christian world, and of the common source of all the forms thereof. This source is original Christianity. The special circumstances of the Christian Church in the first three centuries, which identically affected the mystery of the Eucharist in both East and West, laid the foundations from which, little by little, there developed a special eucharistic service by the name of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts…" (see pp. 141-142).

Thus, as indicated above, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Fits has its origin from the earliest times of Christianity; however, it may be supposed that its final edition was set down in written form by St. Gregory the Great, pope of Rome, known as the Dialogist, who lived in the sixth century (pope from 590-604).

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is performed only during Great Lent. The purpose of its establishment is so that the faithful might not be deprived of the possibility of communing on weekdays of Great Lent, when by ustav the full Liturgy is not appointed to be served. When present at the performance of the Mystery of the Eucharist, the ancient Christians were so stirred by such exalted joy in Christ the Savior that they called the Liturgy "Pascha." Therefore it was considered that such exalted feelings of joy were incompatible with the repentance and contrition for one’s sins for which the days of Great Lent was appointed, and the performance of a full Liturgy on the days of Great Lent was considered out of place. However, since the ancient Christians considered it impossible for themselves to remain an entire week without the communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was introduced, from which all festivity was removed and from which which the principle, most solemn part of the liturgy is absent — the transformation of the Holy Gifts.

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is performed throughout the duration of Great Lent, as stated above, on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as on Thursday of the Great Canon during the fifth week of Great Lent and on the first three days — Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday — of Holy Week. It is additionally appointed to be performed on days of Great Lent on which falls a parish feast or one of two feasts which usually occur on fast days: the First and Second Findings of the Head of St. John the Baptist, on February 24, and the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, on March 9. On Saturdays of Great Lent the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is always served, and on Sundays, that of St. Basil the Great (except for the feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, on which the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom is also sanctified).

The Holy Gifts which are given to the faithful at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts are sanctified earlier at a previous full Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great. For this, in addition to the usual single Lamb, at the proskomede two or more additional Lambs are prepared (depending on how many Liturgies of the Presanctified Gifts are to be performed), over which all the usual actions are performed and all the same prayers are pronounced as over the Lamb which is being prepared for the Liturgy being performed on that day. During the consecration of the Holy Gifts the priest pronounces the usual words over all the Lambs, without changing the singular number to the plural, for Christ is One in all Lambs. When the priest performs the elevation of the Holy Gifts, he likewise simultaneously elevates the Lambs intended for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. When the time for the communion of the clergy approaches, following the pouring of the warm water into the holy poterion and before beginning communion, in his left hand (usually on the sponge) the officiating clergyman lays the Lamb, not breaking it; then, taking the spoon with his right hand and dipping it in the Most-pure blood, he touches it to the Holy Lamb cruciformly, "on the side on which the cross is traced, beneath the soft part;" that is, he touches the side of the holy bread which has been cruciformly cut. Thus united with the Most-holy Blood, the Holy Body of Christ is laid in the "bread-holder," a special small shrine which usually stands on the holy table, and is preserved there until the day appointed for the performance of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

Since by ustav on weekdays of Great Lent (i.e., all but Saturday and Sunday) food is permitted to be eaten but once a day, in the evening, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is performed after the Ninth Hour and Vespers. Before it an order is always performed which consists of the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Lenten Hours and the Typica. Following these the Dismissal is given, and the Liturgy itself, in conjunction with Vespers, begins with the usual liturgical exclamation, "Blessed is the kingdom."

On the Presanctified Liturgy of the Holy Apostle James.

This Liturgy is an ancient rite of the Jerusalem Church, which was performed in Palestine and on Sinai as a local form of the Presanctified Liturgy, but in the fifteenth century was gradually displaced by the Constantinopolitan form of the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Dialogist. The rite of the Presanctified Liturgy of the apostle James has the same relationship to the full Liturgy of the apostle james as the Presanctified Liturgy of St. Gregory the Dialogist has to the full Liturgies of Sts. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great.

Mentioned in the ustav of the Church of the Tomb of the Lord, this Liturgy apparently appeared in print only in the nineteenth century, when the text thereof from the service book of the Sinai monastery was published; the latter is cited by Dimitrievsky. In Greece contemporary editions appeared in Athens in 1955 and in Thessalonica in 1979 (the second is a corrected edition with the ustav directions from the Typicon of the Church of the Tomb of the Lord). The 1995 service book of the Jerusalem church, or the Jerusalem Liturgicon (leitourgikon Ierousalhmwn), with the blessing of Patriarch Diodoros, contains the full text of this service. In Serbia a service book for the Presanctified Liturgy of Apostle James was published in 1996 by Bishop Chryzostom of Banastsk. This edition consists of four separate small books with the full text of the services of Wednesday of the fourth week of the fast and of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, printed not in Slavonic, but in Serbian. A Slavonic translation was made from the Greek 1995 Jerusalm service book by Protopriest John Shaw. (Prot. John Shaw is the rector of Holy Trinity parish in Milwaukee, of the ROCA. His translation is valuable in that the said work makes possible a comparison with other historical facts related to the question of the Presanctified Liturgy).

The Entrance Prayers and Vesting of the Clergy

before the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

The entrance prayers are usually read at the end of the Ninth Hour, after the reading of the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian — "O Lord and Master of my life" —, while the vesting of the clergy is then performed immediately during the singing and reading of the Typica, being calculated so that by the time of the dismissal of the Typica the clergy should already be ready to begin the Liturgy.

The same entrance prayers are read as those at a full Liturgy; i.e., they begin with the reading of "We worship Thine immaculate Icon…;" however, the prayer, "O Lord, stretch forth Thy hand…" is left out, since the sacred rite has already been performed over the Holy Gifts. Then, entering the altar, as usual the priest kisses the holy table, the cross lying thereon, and the Gospel, and vests in full priestly vesture, as for a full Liturgy; however, during this vesting, he only signs (blesses) and kisses each garment, saying nothing other than "Let us pray to the Lord."

V. The Order of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

The usual prayers are not read before the beginning of the Liturgy; rather, after the thrice-repeated bows before the holy table, with the words, "O God, cleanse me, a sinner," the priest and the deacon kiss the holy table. The deacon silently receives a blessing from the priest, goes out to his usual place before the royal doors, and exclaims, "Bless, master."

The priest then pronounces the opening exclamation of the Liturgy: "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." As always, in so doing he signs a cross over the holy table with the Gospel. The choir responds, "Amen;" Vespers then begins with the reading of the opening psalm 103. During this time, with bared head the priest reads the Lamp-lighting prayers before the royal doors, beginning with the fourth, as the first three are read later, during the exclamations of the small litanies between the antiphonal kathismata.

After the opening psalm the Great Litany is pronounced, with the usual closing exclamation by the priest, "For to Thee is due all glory…," after which the eighteenth kathisma is read — "Unto the Lord in mine affliction…" (the reader concludes each Glory with the reading of Alleluia thrice). After each antiphon, or every "Glory," the deacon pronounces the Small Litany. During the litanies the priest reads prayers privately — the first three of the lamp-lighting prayers —, then gives the exclamation: after the first small litany, "For Thine is the dominion and Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory…;" after the second, "For a good God art Thou, and a Lover of mankind…;" and after the third, "For Thou art our God, a God to have mercy and to save…"

During the reading of the kathisma the transferal is performed of the Presanctified Lamb from the holy table, where it is now usually kept in the bread-holder, to the table of oblation. In ancient times the bread-holder was kept on the table of oblation, in the so-called "Oblation." Hence, the ustav instructs: "At the beginning of the reading, the priest goes to the oblation and, taking the Presanctified Bread from the bread-holder, with great reverence sets it on the holy diskos. He then pours wine and water into the holy chalice, after which he incenses the asteriskos and the coverings over the censer, and with them covers the diskos and chalice. He pronounces none of the prayers of the proskomede, but says only: "Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us," for the Holy Gifts are already consecrated." In present times the bread-holder is usually found not on the table of oblation, but on the holy table; thus, the preparatory transferal of the Presanctified Lamb from the holy table to the table of oblation is performed. At the beginning of the first antiphon, the priest sets the Gospel upon the high place of the holy table, unfolds the antimins, sets the diskos thereupon, and sets upon it the Presanctified Lamb from the bread-holder. During the second antiphon the priest, with the deacon, who holds a candle, censes the holy table with the Lamb lying on the diskos, going around it thrice. During the third antiphon the priest, making a full prostration before the Holy Gifts, lifts the diskos with the Holy Lamb up upon his head and, going around the holy table to the right, carriest it to the table of oblation. There he pours wine with water into the chalice and covers the sacred vessels with the coverings, as indicated above, and censes the Holy Gifts. He then returns to the holy table, refolds the antimins, and upon them lays the Holy Gospel.

Following the end of the kathisma and the third small litany there follows the singing of "Lord, I have Cried" and the stichera, of which at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts there are always ten. At "Glory, both now" the royal doors are opened and the vespral entrance with the censer takes place. However, when the Gospel is to be read at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as occurs on feast days and on the first three days of Holy Week, the entrance is performed with the Gospel. If bishop himself performs the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the entrance always takes place with the Gospel.

After the entrance and the usual singing of "O Gentle Light," the prokeimenon from the Triodion is sung and two lessons are read. During the Holy Forty-day Fast the first lesson is always from the book of Genesis, as being a book that depicts the fall of man into sin and the destructive consequences thereof, and the second is from the book of Proverbs, concerning Divine Wisdom, which repentant sinners must seek out if they sincerely desire to improve their sinful lives and please God. During the reading of the lessons the royal doors are closed.

At the conclusion of the reading of the first lesson the doors are opened and the second prokeimenon, likewise from the Triodion, is said by the reader and sung by the choir. After the singing of the prokeimenon, the deacon, addressing the priest (or — at a hierarchical service — the protodeacon, addressing the bishop), says: "Wisdom, aright," thereby arousing the worshippers to special attention and reverance. Then, turning to the west to face the people, he says: "The light of Christ illumineth all," as though thereby showing that the forefathers and prophets, the writings of whom were just read and are about to be read, were illumined by the same Divine light that illumines all even now, through the Redeemer Whom they foretold, Who has appeared in the world. This is usually performed with the royal doors open, while the worshippers bow down to the ground. Historically this sacred rite may be explained by the fact that in ancient times, during the days of the Holy Forty-day Fast, the catechumens who were preparing for baptism were blessed with a lighted candle before their exit from the temple, in representation of the grace-filled light of Christ which they were to receive at holy baptism at the end of Great Lent (usually on Great Saturday). Then immediately follows the reading of the second lesson from the book of Proverbs.

Sometimes at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, in addition to the two lessons from the Triodion, lessons from the feast are read as well. This occurs at Presanctified Liturgies on feasts of great saints if the feast falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday of the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth weeks of Great Lent; that is, for the Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist on February 24 and for the Forty Martyrs on March 9, as well as on days of parish feasts. The lessons for the feast are read on the eve of the feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, on March 24, if this eve falls on a Wednesday or a Friday, when a Presanctified Liturgy is served. In general it should be known that the Vespers combined with the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts which is being served on the eve of the feast relates already to the day of the feast itself, which is why the stichera of the feast are sung and the lessons thereof are read. In such cases the All-night Vigil for the feast begins, not with Vespers, but with Great Compline.

After the reading of the lessons the priest says to the reader, "Peace be unto thee," and the deacon, "Wisdom." After this follows the singing of the compunctionate verses of Psalm 140, with the refrain "Let my prayer be set forth" after every verse.

By ustav the reader or the priest, standing before the royal doors, sings these verses, while the choir sings the refrain after each verse. In present times it has become the established custom almost everywhere for three singers to sing these verses in the middle of the church, while the choir sings the refrain after each verse. The order of this singing is as follows.

The singers sing the first verse: "Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice."

The choir sings the same verse, which serves as the refrain.

The singers sing the second verse: "Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hearken unto me; attend to the voice of my supplication when I cry unto Thee."

The choir sings the same refrain: "Let my prayer be set forth…"

The singers sing the third verse: "Set, O Lord, a watch before my mouth, and a door of enclosure round about my lips."

The choir sings the refrain: "Let my prayer be set forth…"

The singers sing the fourth verse: "Incline not my hear unto words of evil, to make excuse with excuses in sins."

The choir sings the verse: "Let my prayer be set forth…"

After this the singers sing the first half of the first verse — "Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee" and the choir finishes the singing with the second half: "The lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice."

Thus, this singing is similar to the singing of the great prokeimenon. In music books it indeed called a "Great Prokeimenon." During this singing the priest, having taken the censer with incense, standing in the altar before the table of the holy supper and censes. During the singing of the final verse, "Incline not my heart," the priest goes to the table of oblation, and the deacon, rising from his knees, follows after. The priest censes thrice before the table of oblation and gives the censer to the deacon, who, standing before the table of oblation, censes until the end of the singing of "Let my Prayer." The priest, returning to the holy table, kneels down before it, remaining thus until the end of the singing. During the singing of "Let my prayer" the Ustav instructs the people and the choirs at what times to rise from kneeling, and what at times to kneel down again. Those who are singing stand while singing, not kneeling down. Each time they finish singing, they kneel down. In this manner, at the very beginning of the singin, all, except the reader or three singers singing "Let my prayer," and the priest, censing in the altar, are on their knees. Then the singers kneel down while the rest of the temple stands and sings the refrain, "Let my prayer…" During the final time that "Let my prayer…" is sung, all, including the reader or singers and the priest, kneel down. The ustav calls for the right and left choirs to sing in turn, and with them all the people standing on the given side; it instructs not only the choir to stand, not kneeling, but also the people standing on the same side as the choir which is singing. It is important to note the direction of the Typicon in the article, "On bows," which states that, in addition to the singers, the Ustav frequently calls for the people to sing. In many liturgical books this is clearly implied by the words, "The people say…"

After the singing of "Let my prayer," three prostrations are to be made with the prayer, "O Lord and Master of my life…"

After these great bows, on days of the commemoration of great saints and on days of parish feasts the prokeimenon is pronounced and the Apostle and Gospel are read. During Holy Week the Gospel alone is read. During this the royal doors are to be opened. Consequently, by Ustav during the singing of "Let my prayer" they are not to be opened, but in practice it has become the firmly established custom to open them.

After the reading of the Gospel or after the prostrations, if no Gospel was read, the usual order of the Liturgy follows: the augmented litany, litany of the catechumens, and two small litanies of the faithful are said. During the augmented litany the same private prayer is read that occurs at the full Liturgy, and the Antimins are unfolded as at a full Liturgy. Many consider the pronunciation of the requiem litany, as at a full Liturgy, inappropriate at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, inasmuch as this Liturgy cannot be considered a propitiatory sacrifice for the departed; some, however, consider this commemoration permissible, like any other commemoration. During the litany of the catechumens, as usual, the Antimins are unfolded entirely, and at the final exclamation the officiator signs a cross over the Antimins with the sponge, kisses the latter, and lays it on the upper right-hand side of the Antimins. Since in ancient times there were those among the catechumens who were preparing to receive holy baptism on Great Saturday of Holy Week, from Wednesday of the Veneration of the Cross a special litany is said for "our brethren who are preparing for holy illumination," with a special private prayer for them and the final exclamation of the priest, "For Thou art our illumination…" At the two small litanies which then follow, special private prayers are read; the second litany concludes with a special exclamation of the priest: "According to the gift of Thy Christ, with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."

Then, instead of the Cherubic Hymn, a special hymn is sung:

"Now the Hosts of Heaven invisibly worship with us; for behold, the King of Glory enters in. Behold, the accomplished mystical sacrifice is being escorted in. With faith and longing let us draw night, that we may become partakers of life everlasting. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

At the beginning of this singing the royal doors are opened. The deacon censes the holy table thrice precisely in the center, then the holy table of oblation. In practice the whole altar is censed, but the one censing does not go out onto the ambon, and the censing of the iconostasis, choirs, and people does not take place. The prayer of the Cherubic Hymn is not read; instead, while censing, the priest may silently read Psalm 50. Then, as at a full Liturgy, the priest and the deacon, having bowed thrice, read, "Now the hosts of heaven…" The deacon finishes each time with the words, "With faith and love let us draw near…" This, like the Cherubic Hymn, is read thrice, after which, having kissed the holy table, the priest and the deacon go to the table of oblation to begin the Great Entrance.

The peculiarities of this Great Entrance are as follows.

The priest bows only thrice before the table of oblation, saying, "O God, cleanse me, a sinner;" he then censes thrice and silently lays the air on the shoulder of the deacon. He himself takes the diskos in his right hand and sets it upon his own head, then takes the poterion in his left hand and carries it, holding it before his breast. If several priests participate in the Liturgy, the senior amongst them carries the diskos, and the next in seniority — the chalice. The deacon precedes him with the censer, censing often, going from the table of oblation out through the north doors, then in through the royal doors to the holy table; they say nothing, for the commemoration was already performed at the Liturgy at which these gifts were consecrated. During the trasnferal fo the Divine Mysteries all the people and the singers, falling face down, in Godlike manner worship Christ God, Who is present in the Mysteries, inasmuch as they are perfectly Presanctified. Following the carrying of the Holy Gifts into the altar, all stand, and the singers finish by singing the second half of the hymn, "Now the hosts," beginning from the words, "With faith and love let us draw near…"

After the Holy Gifts have been set upon the holy table, the priest removes the coverings from them, takes the air from the shoulder of the deacon, holds it over the censer and sets it, fragrant, upon the Holy Gifts. All this he does silently. "After the procession (that is, the entrance) of the Holy Gifts, following the completion of ‘Now the Hosts,’" the Ustav directs that "three bows" be made, "with heads uncovered." Usually three prostrations are made, with the reading of the prayer, "O Lord and Master of my life," although in the Ustav this is not directly stated.

After the Great Entrance the curtain is drawn closed, but only halfway. This half-closing of the curtain corresponds to its closing and opening at the full Liturgy, as at the latter it remains fully closed until "I Believe," after which it remains open until the exclamation, "Holy things are for the holy."

At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts there is no actual consecration of the Gifts; instead, after the Great Entrance, there immediately follows the preparation of the faithful for communion. The deacon pronounces the same supplicatory litany which is pronounced at the full Liturgy before "Our Father," but beginning with the words, "Let us complete our evening prayer un to the Lord." Here the deacon prays "For the precious gifts which have been set forth and Presanctified," and the priest reads a special private prayer, in which he prays for worthy communion of the Holy Mysteries, and concludes the litany with the usual exclamation from the full Liturgy: "And vouchsafe us, O Master…," in answer to which the choir sings the Lord’s Prayer, "Our Father." Everything then continues in the usual order, as at the full Liturgy. However, the priest, the gifts being covered, puts in his hand and touches the bread with reverence and the fear of God, and exclaims, "The presanctified Holies are for the holy." Thus the elevation of the Lamb does not take place, as it was already performed at the full Liturgy. During this the curtain is drawn completely. The priest removes the air from the Holy Gifts and breaks the Holy Lamb with the same words as at the full Liturgy, then sets the particle IC in the poterion, saying nothing; the deacon then pours the warm water, likewise saying nothing.

Then follows the communion of the clergy, with the following peculiarities. As the body of Christ has been moistened with the blood of Christ, the deacon, approaching to receive the Holy Gifts, says: "Give me, Master, the precious and holy body and blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ." The priest, giving him the particle, says: "The holy deacon Name is given the precious and holy and most pure body and blood…" He speaks similarly when he himself communes. If the priest serves alone, without a deacon, he does not drink from the chalice until the consuming of the Holy Gifts, after the end of the Liturgy. For although the wine has been sanctified by the Holy Mysteries put into it, it has not been transformed into the Divine blood. If the priest serves with a deacon, however, the deacon does not drink from the chalice, as it is for him to consume the gifts. The priest, however, does drink from the holy chalice, saying nothing.

During the communion of the clergy the Communion Verse is sung: "O taste and see that the Lord is good: alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." The priest reads the thanksgiving prayer, and the deacon puts all the particles remaining on the diskos into the holy poterion and covers the latter.

The royal doors are then opened, and the deacon carries out the holy chalice with the usual exclamation: "With the fear of God and with faith, draw nigh." The choir, however, instead of "Blessed is he that cometh," sings: "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be in my mouth." If there are lay communicants, they commune as usual; infants, however, who are unable to swallow a particle of the body of Christ, do not commune at the Presanctified Liturgy. During communion, as usual, the choir sings, "Receive Ye the Body of Christ." After this follows the blessing of the priest, with the words, "Save, O Lord, Thy people…," at which the choir sings, "Taste ye the heavenly bread and the cup of life, and see that the Lord is good. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." During the censing of the Holy Gifts the priest says nothing, but taking the holy poterion and turning to face the doors, looking upon the people, he says privately, "Blessed is our God," and exclamatorialy, "Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir sings, as usual, "Let our mouths be filled…" The deacon pronounces the usual litany of thanksgiving after communion: "Aright, having partaken…"

A special prayer below the ambon is read, which begins with the words, "O Master Almighty …" In it the priest asks God that He vouchsafe us "to fight the good fight; to accomplish the course of the fast… to crush under foot the heads of invisible serpents… and uncondemned to attain unto and adore His holy Resurrection." The choir sings, "Amen," and, "Blessed be the name of the Lord," thrice. The reader then reads recitatively, or the choir sings, "I will bless the Lord," Psalm 33, and the pries distributes the antidoron from the ambon. At the end of the psalm he gives the exclamation, "The blessing of the Lord…" Then, "Glory to Thee, O Christ God…," followed by the usual dismissal of the Liturgy. On Great Saturday, after "Blessed be the name of the Lord" the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian, "O Lord and Master," is read with three prostrations. The Antidoron is then distributed. At the dismissal the composer of the Liturgy, St. Gregory the Dialogist, pope of Rome, is commemorated. It should not be forgotten that this Liturgy, being performed after Vespers, already relates to the following day; hence, the saint of the next day is commemorated. At a Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts performed on a feast day, however, first the saint being celebrated is commemorated, then the saint of the coming or next day.

VI. Special commemorations and Rituals during the Days

of the Holy Forty-day Fast.

The first week of Great Lent is conducted with the greatest strictness, having nothing festive or triumphant in its services. If a feast occurs on a week day — from Monday through Friday — during the course thereof, it is transferred either to Cheesefare Sunday or to Saturday of the first week. Even the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord is to be transferred to Cheesefare Sunday

On the first four days of this week the Great Canon of Ven. Andrew of Crete, divided into four sections, is read at Great Compline. To this on Wednesday and Thursday the canon of Ven. Mary of Egypt is joined.

On the first Saturday of Great Lent the feast of the Holy Greatmartyr Theodore of Tiron is celebrated in commemoration of how this saint, appearing from the other world, saved Christians from being defiled by food which, by order of the emperor Julian the Apostate, during this first week was sprinkled with blood which had been sacrificed to idols. He informed Bishop Eudoxius of this and recommended that, instead of the defiled food, "kolivo" be eaten, which is boiled wheat with honey.

At the Presanctified Liturgy on Friday, which already relates to Saturday, after the prayer below the ambon a moleben is served to St. Theodore of Tiron with the blessing of kolivo, which after the dismissal is distributed to the worshippers.

The Sunday of Orthodoxy.

On the first Sunday of Great Lent, the Triumph of Orthoxy is celebrated in memory of the restoration of the veneration of the holy icons during the reign of the empress Theodora in 842. On this day in cathedral churches the Rite of Orthodoxy is performed, which consists of a Moleben for the correction of those gone astray, the proclamation of the "anathema" against all apostates from the true faith and the sowers of false teachings, the "memory eternal," sung to all upholders of Orthodoxy, and the many years to all faithful children of the Church and protectors of the holy faith. This rite is distinguished by great solemnity, and hence is performed only by a bishop with a large gathering of coservers. In normal parish churches only the first part of this rite, consisting of the moleben, is performed.

The order for the saint whose memory falls on this Sunday, as on all subsequent Sundays of Great Lent, is performed on Friday at Compline.

On the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of Great Lent, a requiem service is served with the commemoration of the departed. However, if the commemoration of the feast of the Forerunner, February 24, or of the forty martyrs, March 9, or of the Annunciation, March 25, or the parish feast should fall on one of these Saturdays, the requiem service is suspended.

The Second Sunday of Great Lent.

On the second Sunday of Great Lent the memory of St. Gregory Palamas, archbishop of Thessalonica is celebrated, who against the heretic Barlaam defended the teaching of the divinity of the grace-filled light with which the Lord shone forth on Tabor, and which illuminates a man as a result of intensified labors of prayer and fasting. This may be thought of as the feast of the triumph of Orthodox asceticism over rationalistic false doctrines which deny the significance of the labor of fasting.

The Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.

On the third Sunday of Great Lent a service is performed in honor of the Cross of the Lord, which at the All-night Vigil, following the Great Doxology, is solemnly carried out to the center of the temple for veneration, due to which, not only this Sunday, but the entire week which follows is one "of the Veneration of the Cross." The cross is carried out in the middle of the fast for the encouragement and strengthening of the spiritual vigor of those fasting, for the remembrance of the passions of the Lord, undertaken for the sake of our salvation, and of the subsequent glorious resurrection of the Lord from the dead; hence, in glorifying the Cross of the Lord, the Church sings: "Before the Cross we fall down in worship, O Master, and Thy holy resurrection we glorify." The carrying out of the Cross takes place exactly as on the feast of the Exaltation; the exaltation itself, however, does not take place — only the adoration of the Cross with the singing of, "Before Thy Cross." This adoration of the Cross is likewise repeated on Monday and Wednesday of the following week of the Veneration of the Cross at the First Hour, instead of the singing of, "My steps do Thou direct according to Thy words…," and on Friday after the dismissal of all the Hours, when, following the kissing of the Cross, it is carried back into the altar. During the veneration of the Cross the stichera, "Come, O ye faithful, let us worship the Life-creating Wood…," are always sung. The Cross of the Lord is glorified in the liturgical hymns throughout the course of the entire week. On Wednesday and Friday of this week the service takes place according to the Triodion; service for the regular saint from the Menaion is read at Compline.

The Fourth Sunday of Lent.

On the fourth Sunday of Great Lent the memory of our venerable father John of the Ladder is commemorated, who depicted the entire path of the spiritual, ascetic life in his excellent book, "The Spiritual Ladder, Leading Up to Heaven," and who, in the example of his own life of great asceticism, gave us a model for the traversing of this path. The Gospel read at the Liturgy on this day (Mark 9:7-31) recalls the prophecy of the Lord concerning His murder and resurrection.

The fifth week is marked by special services, and has a special allocation of the reading of the kathismata of the Psalter. At Matins on Thursday of the fifth week, performed on Wednesday evening, the Great Canon of Ven. Andrew of Crete combined with the canon of Ven. Mary of Egypt is read in its entirety; hence, in the vernacular this service received the name "St. Andrew’s" or "St. Mary’s Standing." At this Matins the life of Ven Mary of Egypt is appointed to be read in two parts. The first part is read after the kathisma and the sedalion, and the second, after the third ode of the canon. At Vespers on the eve of this day, i.e. on at the Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday, in addition to the five stichera, sung with six, by Ven. Joseph the Studite, twenty-four stichera of Venerable Andrew of Crete are sung in alphabetical order, which are distinguished by particular compunction, and in their content are similar to the Great Canon. Each of these penitential stichera concludes with the same words: "Before I perish utterly, save me, O Lord." On the day of the canon Small Compline is served, in the cells, as is the Midnight Office. After Matins, "we sing the entire service quickly," that is, without singing and without bows; the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian is read with only three bows, instead of sixteen, "due to the labor of the vigil." On Thursday, due to the Great Canon, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is served.

If the feast of the Annunciation falls on Wednesday or Thursday of the fifth week, the singing of the Great Canon is transferred to Tuesday of the same week and, consequently, takes place on Monday evening.

On Saturday of the fifth week a feast is celebrated which is known as the Laudations of the Most Holy Theotokos, with the reading of an akathist divided into four sections; hence, this Saturday is also known as the Saturday of the Akathist. This service was established in commemoration of the repeated deliverance of Constantinople from its enemies by the protection and intercession of the Mother of God, Who is hence glorified in the akathist as the "Champion Leader." This service is called an "akathist," which in Greek means "no-sitting," since thereat it is not permitted to sit. It is unknown precisely who composed this akathist: some ascribe it to the ninth-century chronographer George Amartolos, others to Patriarch Sergius, who lived in the reign of emperor Hiraclius in the seventh century, others to Ven. Roman the Melodist, and still others to Patriarch Photius. On the Saturday of the Akathist, Small Compline takes place, and is read in the cells, as is the Midnight Office. The akathist itself is read at Matins, in four sections, which replace the usual sedalia and the kontakion and ikos. The first section begins with the singing of the kontakion, "To Thee the Champion Leader," and a censing; at the singing of the first section a full censing of the entire temple takes place, while at the remaining three sections only a small censing is performed. Each time three ikosi and three kontakia are read, the reading of which concludes with the singing again of the kontakion, "To Thee the Champion Leader." This Matins concludes with the singing of the Great Doxology.

The Fifth Sunday of Lent.

On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent the memory of our venerable mother Mary the Egyption is celebrated. Incidently, this only occurs if the forefeast, afterfeast, or feast of the Annunciation, or the feast of the Forty Martyrs, does not fall on this day. In the Gospel at the Liturgy the prophecy of the Lord concerning His suffering, death, and resurrection is again cited. Ven. Mary of Egypt is presented on this day as an example of true repentance, which completely regenerates even a person who has sunk deeply into the mire of sin.

The entire sixth week of Great Lent which follows is called Palm Week, and serves in a way as the forefeast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, called also Palm Sunday. Friday of the sixth week of Great Lent is the conclusion of the Holy Forty-day Fast, as a sign of which at Matins and at Vespers on this day the compunctionate sticheron, "Having completed the forty days that bring profit to the soul, we beseech Thee in Thy love for mankind: Grant us also to behold the Holy Week of Thy Passion…"

With this the time appointed by the Church specifically for repentance comes to an end. There then follow two feasts and a week dedicated to the remembrance of the last days of the earthly life of the Lord — of His sufferings, death on the cross, and burial — which is hence called Holy (or Passion) Week.

On the Saturday before Palm Sunday, the great miracle is commemorated of the Lord’s resurrection of Lazarus, who was four days dead, in Bethany, "before the sixth day of the Passover;" hence, it is called Lazarus Saturday. The resurrection of Lazarus showed forth clearly before all the divine might of Christ, and before His suffering and death assured all men of the resurrection of Christ and the general resurrection of all the dead. This idea is expressed in the troparion: "In confirming the common resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst raise up Lazarus from the dead…" In accordance with this, at Matins for Lazarus Saturday resurrectional hymns are sung: after the second kathisma, the resurrectional troparia, "The assembly of the angels was amazed…;" after the sedalion, "Having beheld the resurrection of Christ…;" "Holy is the Lord our God;" and "Most blessed art Thou, O Virgin Theotokos…" Matins concludes with the Great Doxology. From Lazarus Saturday until Thomas Sunday, "More Honorable" is not sung. At the Liturgy, in place of the Trisagion, "As many as have been baptized into Christ…" is sung. At meals, in addition to oil and wine, caviar is permitted.

Palm Sunday.

On the sixth Sunday of Great Lent, called PALM SUNDAY, the ENTRY OF THE LORD INTO JERUSALEM is celebrated — the royal going of our Lord and Savior to sufferings and the death of the cross, "for us men and for our salvation." Before the Lord, as before a victorious king, palm branches were carried. From these branches the feast itself received the name of Palm Sunday. This is a great feast of the Lord, and the entire service is dedicated to the feast alone. It has neither forefeast, nor afterfeast. The All-night Vigil is performed according to the usual order. One peculiarity thereof is the blessing of palms or, with us, pussy-willows, this being a plant which puts forth more buds than most. Immediately after the reading of the Gospel, Psalm 50 is read, during which the priest cruciformly censes the palms from all sides, which have been prepared in the middle of the Church. Then, at the exclamation of the deacon, "Let us pray to the Lord," the priest reads a special prayer from the Triodioin at the blessing of palms, and sprinkles the palms with holy water. By ustav at the polyeleos the kissing of the Gospel is appointed, and not of the icon standing in the center of the temple. In practice the kissing of the Gospel and of the icon is permitted, after which the anointing with blessed oil takes place. When the worshippers venerate, to each who approaches the priest gives a palm and a lighted candle. They then stand with the palms and candles in their hands throughout Matins.

In Jerusalem they also stand with the palms throughout the Liturgy. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served.

In the evening, at Vespers, only six stichera are sung at "Lord, I have Cried," instead of ten, as on the first five Sundays of Great Lent; and, although an entrance takes place, there is no Great Prokeimenon, the prokeimenon of the day being pronounced instead: "Behold now, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord." Then follows the vesting in black vestments during the reading of "Vouchsafe, O Lord;" the end of Vespers is Lenten, as on all the previous Sundays of the fast. A special dismissal is given on the first three days of Holy Week: "May the Lord, Who for the sake of our salvation went to His voluntary passion…"

Holy Week.

Small Compline is served with a special triode from the Triodion, and in the evening Matins of Great Monday is served. At this Matins the Church calls us to meet "the beginnings of the passions of the Lord," to "accompany the Lord on the path to Jerusalem with purified mind and deadened passions," to "be crucified with Him and for His sake die to the sweetness of life," in order to "live with Him." At this Matins, after the "Alleluia," the compunctionate troparion, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at midnight" is sung thrice, "slowly and with strong voice, evenly and with sweet singing." Then follow three kathismata with sedalia after each. The third sedalion is followed by the exclamation, "And that we may be vouchsafed the hearing of the holy Gospel…," and a Gospel is read containing an account of the deeds and words of the Lord in the last days of His earthly life, not long before His sufferings upon the cross, and in particular of His outstanding parables and discussions regarding the end of the world and His second coming. Throughout all of Holy Week the Menaion is completely suspended, and the entire service is performed according to the Triodion alone. The services for the saints from the Menaion which fall during Holy and Bright weeks are read ahead of time, throughout the duration of Great Lent, at Compline. Instead of a full canon, only a triode is read (on Great Tuesday, only a diode) from the Triodion, with the refrain, "Glory to Thee, O God…" On each of these days, up until Great Thursday, after the small litany, "slowly and with sweet singing," a compunctionate exapostilarion is sung: "I see Thy bridal chamber adorned, O my Savior, and I have no wedding garment that I may enter in. Illumine the vesture of my soul, O Light-giver, and save me." Stichera at the praises also occur (though "Let Every Breath" is not sung), as well as at the aposticha. The Great Doxology is not sung, but read, and the end of Matins is Lenten. The Lenten First Hour is joined thereto, but without a kathisma and with the kontakion from the Triodion.

On Great Monday the Lenten Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours and the Typica are performed, followed by the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. There are kathismata at the Third and Sixth Hours, the troparia of the Hours are sung, and at the end of every Hour, as usual during the fast, prostrations are made with the prayer of Ven. Ephraim the Syrian; the kontakion, however, is from the Triodion. At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts only the Gospel is read, without an Apostle or prokeimenon. The chief peculiarity of the Hours during the first three days of Holy Week is that at these the four Gospels are read entirely, as follows: the Gospel of St. Matthew is read entirely in two parts, the Gospel of St. Mark is likewise read entirely in two parts, the Gospel of St. Luke, in three parts, and the Gospel of St. John, in two parts. These are read, however, only up until the beginning of the holy passions, until the words, "Now is the Son of man glorified…" Thus, in the course of three days, at each of the three Hours — the Third, Sixth, and Ninth — a single reading occurs, numbering nine readings in all.

The divine services are performed according to this outline on the first three days of Holy Week — Great Monday, Great Tuesday, and Great Wednesday. However, each of these three days has its own special commemorations, and its own liturgical hymns and readings of corresponding content.

On Great Monday we recall the chaste Joseph, sold into Egypt by his brothers out of envy, as a prefiguration of Christ, and the Lord’s curse of the barren fig tree, as a prefiguration of the Jewish synagogue, which condemned the Lord to death.

On Great Tuesday we recall the parable of the Lord concerning the ten virgins, the talents, the second coming of the Lord, and the last judgment.

On Great Wednesday we recall how the sinful woman anointed the Lord in Bethany, in the house of Simon the Leper, and the betrayal of Judas which took place immediately thereafter. In the hymns the deed of the repentant harlot and of the disciple-betrayer are movingly and edifyingly compared. On Tuesday and Wednesday Great Compline is served; the vesture for these first three days is black, as for mourning.

Great Thursday.

On Great Wednesday evening the vestments are dark red, as also at the Liturgy on Great Thursday. Small Compline is served with a triode, followed, usually that evening, by Matins of Great Thursday (by ustav, at the seventh hour of the night, i.e. midnight).

On Great Thursday we recall the Mystical Supper, the humility of the Lord, expressed in His washing the feet of His disciples, and the establishment of the mystery of His Body and Blood. At Matins, following "Alleluia," the troparion, "When the glorious disciples were illumined at the washing…" is sung thrice, and immediately thereafter, without a kathisma (the Psalter is suspended until Thomas Sunday, except for the seventeenth kathisma on Great Saturday), the Gospel of St. Luke is read, §108, concerning the Mystical Supper. After the Gospel follows Psalm 50; then, without the prayer which is usual during the fast, "Save, O God, Thy people…," the canon immediately begins: "The Red Sea was parted…" The exapostilarion is "I See Thy Bridal Chamber." There are stichera at the praises and at the aposticha; the doxology is read. After "It is good" there follow the Trisagion and "Our Father;" then the troparion, "When the glorious…" is sung, followed by the augmented litany. After the exclamation and "Establish, O God…," the First Hour is read, at which the troparion and kontakion are from the Triodion, and which between the theotokia has the peculiarity of the reading of a lesson — the "Prophecy of Jeremiah" — in which the prophet contemplates the enmity of the elders of the Jews against Christ, and sees the meekness and gentleness with which He delivers Himself into the hands of the lawless, as well as His sorrow over them.

The Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours are performed simply, without singing, with three psalms and the troparion and kontakion from the Triodion; to these the Typica are added, after which follows a dismissal.

The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is combined with Vespers, similarly to the way in which this occurs on the eves of the Nativity of Christ and of Theophany. Three prophetic lessons are read, followed by a small litany, the Trisagion, and then the Liturgy as usual, at which, instead of the Cherubic Hymn and the Communion Verse, during communion, and instead of, "Let our mouths be filled…," we sing, "Of Thy mystical supper, O Son of God, receive me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy mysteries to Thine enemies, neither will I give Thee a kiss, as did Judas; but like the thief do I confess Thee: remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom." There is a special dismissal: "May He Who in His surpassing goodness…" (At this Liturgy, if it be necessary, reserve gifts are prepared for the communion of the sick).

After the prayer below the ambon, in cathedral temples the Rite of the Washing of the Feet is performed. The bishop goes out through the royal doors, supported by none, without his staff, to the place for robing; before him one deacon carries the Gospel, and two others, a washbasin and a washstand. The priests, sitting at the High Place, slowly read Psalm 50. The protodeacon leads twelve priests, two by two, into the center of the temple during the singing of the fifth ode of the canon of Great Thursday. The protodeacon pronounces the Great Litany with special petitions "That this washing may be blessed and sanctified…;" the bishop then reads the a prayer. The protodeacon reads the Gospel of St. John concerning the washing of the feast, during which reading the bishop does all that is being read regarding Jesus Christ, and washes the feast of all twelve priests, who represent the apostles. The senior of the priests represents the apostle Peter, and with him the bishop holds a dialogue in the words of the Gospel. The bishop himself completes the reading of the Gospel, in which the Lord explains the significance of the washing He has performed. In conclusion he reads a prayer, asking that the Lord wash away every impurity and uncleanness from our souls.

During Holy Week the Boiling of Myrrh and the consecration of myrrh are performed. Earlier, in Russia, the boiling of myrrh took place in the Patriarchal robing vestry, while the consecration of myrrh took place in the Moscow Dormition Cathedral and in the Kiev Caves Lavra in Kiev. Holy myrrh is used 1) at the sacrament of Chrysmation, 2) at the consecration of a new temple — the Antimins, the holy table, and the walls are anointed —, and 3) at the solemn coronation of kings.

Great Friday.

On Great Friday we commemorate the holy and saving passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for our sake willingly endured spitting, beating, blows, mockery, and death on the cross. The night of Great Friday is thus appointed to be passed in the hearing of the Gospel concerning the passion of Christ. The account of the sufferings of Christ is depicted, in chronological order, in twelve readings, taken from all four Evangelists. These readings continue throughout the entire duration of Matins of Great Friday, which is performed on Great Thursday evening, beginning by Ustav at the second hour of the night, i.e. seven o’clock in the evening. This Matins thus has a special name: The Order of the Holy and Saving Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. At each reading of the Gospel a bell is rung as many times as the number of the Gospel that has been read. Upon the completion of the twelfth Gospel the bell is rung twelve times, after which a short ringing of all the bells takes place. All listen to the reading of the Gospels with lighted candles, which are lit for each Gospel. After each reading, "Glory to Thy longsuffering, O Lord" is sung. Before the first and last Gospels a censing of the whole temple takes place, beginning from the center of the temple. For the reading of the Gospels the priest or bishop exits from the altar, carrying the Gospel into the center of the church, where it is set upon an analoy, and where it remains until all twelve Gospels have been read. The carrying-out of the Gospel takes place after the Six Psalms, the great litany, and the "Alleluia," during the singing of the troparion, "When the glorious disciples…," after which a censing of the whole temple takes place. The royal doors remain open the whole time. The Gospels are arranged around the hymns of Matins. Between the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Gospels, three antiphons, a small litany, and a sedalion are appointed.

During each sedalion the priest censes the holy altar, hence sitting is not appropriate — "we sing them standing," states the Ustav. Thus, the reading of the Gospel at this Matins replaces, as it were, the reading of kathismata. After the sixth Gospel the "Beatitudes" are sung with troparia, after which a Prokeimenon is pronounced before the seventh Gospel: "They parted my garments amongst themselves, and for my vesture have they cast lots." Before the eighth Gospel, Psalm 50 is read and a Triode is sung. After the triode and the photagogicon, "The Good Thief," the ninth Gospel is read. Then, "Let Every Breath" is sung with stichera, and the tenth Gospel is read. Then the Great Doxology is read (not sung0, followed by the Supplicatory Litany and the eleventh Gospel. Then follow the stichera at the aposticha and the twelfth Gospel. The end of Matins is as usual: "It is good," the Trisagion through "Our Father," the troparion — "Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law" —, the augmented litany, and the dismissal: "May He Who endured spitting, and beating, and blows, and the cross and death…"

The First Hour is not joined to Matins.

In the morning on Great Friday, "at the second hour of the day," i.e., seven o’clock in the morning by our reckoning, the Royal Hours are served, at which special troparia are sung and Old Testament prophecies are read concerning the passion of Christ, together with Apostle readings and, again, passion Gospels. This is done in such a manner that at the First Hour the entire account of the passion according to the Evangelist Matthew is read; at the Third Hour, that according to St. Mark; at the Sixth Hour, that according to St. Luke; and at the Ninth Hour, that according to St. John.

So as not to transgress the strictest fast which is called for on this day, and out of especial reverence for the Sacrifice on Golgotha which was offered on this day, no Liturgy whatsoever is served on Great Friday, with one rare exception, when the feast of the Annunciation coincides therewith, in which case the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served.

At about the third hour of the afternoon (by Ustav, "at the tenth hour of the day"), when the Lord Jesus Christ surrendered His spirit upon the Cross, Vespers is served. At the latter three lessons are read: from the book of Exodus, in which Moses is depicted praying for the offending Hebrew people, as a prefiguration of universal Mediator on Golgotha; from the book of Job, where the righteous Job is depicted crowned, after many extraordinary sufferings, by the mercies of God, and being alos a prefiguration of the Divine Sufferer; and from the book of Isaiah, in which in the fifty-third chapter the prophet, named "the Old Testament evangelist," vividly and with trembling foresaw the abasement of the Redeemer of the world. Then the Apostle is read from the first epistle of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians, in which Divine Wisdom and might are proclaimed, which were revealed in the cross of the Lord. Finally, a conciliar account of the passion of Christ, as well as His burial, is read from three Evangelists — Matthew, Luke, and John. Then follow the augmented and supplicatory litanies, divided, as always, by the prayer: "Vouchsafe, O Lord;" after this the stichera at the aposticha are sung. At the singing of the final sticheron, "Thou Who art clothed in light as with a garment," the serving clergyman performs a censing around the Shroud, which lies on the holy table and depicts the Lord layed in the tomb, going around it thrice. At the singing of the troparion — "The noble Joseph, having taken Thy most pure Body down from the Tree and wrapped It in pure linen and covered It with spices, laid It in a new tomb" — all the clergy raise the shroud above their heads and carry it out through the north doors to the center of the temple, where they lay it upon a special table there prepared, which represents the tomb. For the bringing out of the shroud the officiator robes in full vesture, and beneath the shroud carries the Gospel, which he will then lay upon the shroud. After the laying of the shroud in the tomb a censing is performed thrice around the latter, after which a homily appropriate to the occasion is given. Then the dismissal is given, "May He who for us men and for our salvation…," and all venerate the shroud to the singing of the stichera, "Come, let us bless Joseph of everlasting memory." Then Small Compline is served, at which the Canon of the Crucifixion of the Lord and the Lamentations of the Theotokos is sung.

If the Annunciation falls on Great Friday, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served, combined, according to custom, with Vespers. However, it is not indicated in the Typicon when the bringing out of the shroud should then be performed, and this has been resolved variously in practice. In the St. Petersburg diocese it was directed, after the end of the Liturgy, following the dismissal, to sing the stichera at the aposticha appointed at Vespers for Great Friday. During this time the clergy exchanged their festal vestments for those of mourning and the shroud was laid on the holy table; then, during the singing of "The noble Joseph," it was brought out in the usual manner. A similar arrangement is given by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, the only distinction being that the stichera at the aposticha are directed to be sung after the prayer below the ambon.

Great Saturday.

The service for Great Saturday is a reverent vigil at the tomb of the Lord. On this day is commemorated the Lord’s resting in the tomb and His descent into Hades. At the seventh hour of the night, by Ustav, or about midnight by our reckoning, Matins of Great Saturday is served. Today it is often performed in the evening on Great Friday. At this service, immediately after the Six Psalms, "God is the Lord" is sung, followed by the troparia, "The noble Joseph..,," twice; Glory: "When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal…," Both now: "The myrrh-bearing women…" Then the seventeenth kathisma, "Blessed are the blameless," is sung, at which after each verse of the kathisma a short hymn is sung or read, called the funeral lamentations, in which the dead and buried Lord is glorified. This is, as it were, a funeral lamentation over the Divine Departed. During this the royal doors are opened, the clergy go out into the center of the temple to stand before the shroud, and a full censing of the whole temple is performed, beginning at the shroud. This funeral singing takes place in three parts, after each of which there is a small litany and a censing. After the third section, the Resurrectional Troparia are sung: "The assembly of the angels was amazed…" All stand with lighted candles. Then follow the sedalion, Psalm 50, and the Canon of Great Saturday, "In the waves of the deep," in which is portrayed the turmoil of heaven and earth at the sight of their Lord lying in the tomb, and at which the significance of the death on cross, the burial of the Savior, and His descent into Hades are explained. During the singing of the canon the clergy go into the altar. The officiator vests in full vesture; then, after the final sticheron at the Praises, during the singing of, "Most blessed art Thou, O Virgin Theotokos," all again go out into the center to stand before the shroud. The officiator exclaims, "Glory to Thee, Who hast show us the light," and the Great Doxology is sung, during which a three-fold censing takes place around the shroud. At the final Trisagion, which is sung to the funereal melody, the clergy lift the shroud over their heads, the officiator carrying the Gospel beneath the shroud, and perform a procession around the temple. Returning into the temple, the shroud is carried up to the royal doors; the exclamation, "Wisdom, aright" is given, and then, to the singing of "The noble Joseph," the shroud is again laid in the tomb and a three-fold censing it performed around it. This carrying of the shroud signifies the going of the Lord into Hades after His death, and His remaining inseparably with the Father upon the throne. After this the church hymns and readings instill hope in the resurrection, and a change takes place in the spirit of the worshippers. The troparion of the prophecy is read, and the prokeimenon, "Arise, O Lord, help us and redeem us for Thy name’s sake," is pronounced. The lesson is read from the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the dry bones which came to life in the middle of the field, foretelling the resurrection of the dead. Then follows a second prokeimenon, likewise resurrectional — "Arise, O Lord my God, let Thy hand be lifted high; forget not Thy paupers to the end" —, and the Apostle is read concerning our redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ from the curse of the law, which also states that the Lord is our Pascha (I Cor. 5:6-8, combined with Gal. 3:13-14). An Alleluiaria with verses is pronounced that reminds us of the approach of Pascha, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered," and the same Gospel of St. Matthew is read as for the twelfth passion Gospel, concerning the sealing of the tomb of the Lord and the setting of a watch thereat. Then the augmented and supplicatory litanies are pronounced, followed by the dismissal, after which the veneration of the shroud takes place to the singing of, "Come, let us bless Joseph of everlasting memory…" The First Hour is then read.

The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Great Saturday is performed later than on any other day of the year, "at the tenth hour of the day" by ustav, which by our reckoning is after three o’clock in the afternoon. Before it begins the usual Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours with the Typica are performed, with the troparia and kontakia of Great Saturday. The Liturgy itself begins with Vesepers, which already relates to the following day, i.e. Sunday; hence, at Vespers triumphant resurrectional hymns are joined to the hymns for Great Saturday, specifically the first four stichera at "Lord, I have Cried" in the first tone. After "O Gentle Light" the prokeimenon is not said; rather, "Wisdom" is immediately exclaimed, followed by the reading of fifteen lessons containing prophecies concerning the redemption of the human race, accomplished by the death of the Son of God. Following the reading of the sixth lesson the triumphant refrain, "For gloriously has He been glorified," is sung, and after the fifteenth lesson, the refrain of the three youths: "O praise the Lord and supremely exalt Him unto all ages." Instead of the Trisagion hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia" is sung, in commemoration of the baptism of the catechumens, which in ancient times was appointed on Great Saturday. After the reading of the Gospel, which explains the significance of the mystery through which we are buried with Christ and arise with Him unto a new, sinless life for God, instead of the usual "Alleluia" the refrain, "Arise, O God, judge the earth, for Thou shalt have an inheritance among all the nations," is sung with the verses of Psalm 81. During this singing all the clergy in the altar remove their black garments and vest in white or resurrectional vestments. In the same way the hangings on the holy table, the table of oblation, and all the analoys are changed, so that nothing black should remain in the temple. The deacon, in shining robes, then appears in the center of the temple, in order, like the Angel who appeared at the resurrection of Christ, to proclaim the glad tidings of the Risen One, by reading the Gospel of St. Matthew which describes the earthquake which occurred at the tomb of the Lord, His resurrection, the appearing to the myrrh-bearing women, the flight of the guards, the bribing of the latter by the high priests, and the appearance of the Lord to the disciples in Galilee with the commandment to go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The Liturgy then continues in the usual order — however, instead of the Cherubic Hymn a special hymn is sung: Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and stand with fear and trembling… Both the small entrance and the great entrance take place around the shroud, before which likewise all the readings are read and the litanies are pronounced. Instead of "It is Truly Meet," the irmos of the ninth ode of the canon is sung: "Weep not for me, O Mother, gazing into the tomb…" The communion verse is: "The Lord has risen as though from sleep, and He who saveth us hath arisen." After the Liturgy follows the blessing of the bread and the wine (the same prayer is read as that for the Litia, but without mention of "wheat and oil"). The bread and the oil are blessed that the faithful might be strengthened, since in ancient times, after this Liturgy, which finished late (in the Ustav it is stated: "The ecclesiarch must take care, that when the Liturgy finishes it should be the second hour of the night"), the faithful did not depart to their homes, but remained in the temple, listening to the reading of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, right up until the Paschal Matins. By Ustav the book of Acts should b read entirely by the fourth hour of the night, i.e. ten o’clock at night, at which time the "Paschal Midnight Office" is appointed to be read — a service which is given no name in the Typicon, and which consists of the reading of the opening prayers, the canon of Great Saturday — "In the waves of the deep" —, the Trisagion through "Our Father," the singing of the troparion, "When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life immortal…," a short augmented litany (as at Small Vespers), and the resurrectional dismissal. During the ninth ode of the canon the clergy, having censed the shroud, carry it into the altar and lay it upon the holy table, where it lies until the leave-taking of the feast of Pascha.

The Divine Services of the Pentecostarion.

The divine services of the Pentecostarion — in Greek, pentekostarion, which means "The Book of Fifty" — begin from the day of Holy Pascha and encompass the period of time throughout which three great occurrences are glorified: 1) the Resurrection of Christ, 2) the Ascension of the Lord, and 3) the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. This entire period is called Pentecost, from the Greek penthkosth. To this another celebration is added, in honor of All Saints, which caps this entire period on the Sunday following the feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, called, in the vernacular, the "Day of the Trinity."

 

I. The Pascha of the Lord,

or the Resurrection of Christ

This is the most joyous and triumphant of feasts, on which we recall the great occurrence of the arising of the Lord Jesus Christ from the tomb after three days, after His crucifixion, death on the cross, and burial. Christ arose early in the morning, after the Sabbath had passed, on the first day of the week, from which this day received our name for it, "Voskresenie" ("Resurrection"), though in other languages it retained its previous pagan title of "day of the sun" (Sunday, Sonntag); in Slavonic, "nyedyelya" ("no-doing").

The service for the resurrection of Christ begins in part already at Vespers, before the Liturgy of Great Saturday, but in all its triumph it begins at Matins, which with us in the Russian Church, according to custom, is served precisely at midnight, and bears the name of "Bright Matins." Immediately following this, with us, the Paschal Liturgy is served.

Before this Matins, by ustav, the entire temple is filled with the fragrance of incense, as a sign of the abundant grace which we have received through the resurrection of Christ. In the temple all the candles are lit, and the worshippers all stand with candles as a sign of spiritual joy. All the clergy vest in their entire "bright dignity."

Following the end of the Midnight Office, with the royal doors still shut and the curtain closed, those in the altar begin to sing, in the sixth tone, the sticheron: "Thy resurrection, O Christ Savior, the angels hymn in the heavens; vouchsafe also us on earth with pure hearts to glorify Thee." The rector censes the holy table, going around it thrice with the deacon. Then the royal doors are opened, and all exit through them, singing the same sticheron, performing a procession around the temple from the west towards the south, east, and north, in a way portraying the myrrh-bearing women who hastened to the tomb of the Savior "very early in the morning," in order to anoint His Body. In his hand the rector holds a cross together with the tri-candleholder, adorned with flowers; other priests — the Gospel and the icon of the Resurrection of Christ; the deacon — the censer and a candle. Having gone around the temple, they stop before the doors thereof, which have been closed ahead of time. Those holding Holy Gospel, the icon, and the fans stand facing the west. The rector censes the icon and the brethren; then, signing a cross with the censer over the closed doors of the church, exclaims: "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-creating, and Indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." The choir responds, "Amen." Then the rector, together with the other clergy, thrice sings the troparion of Pascha: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life." The choir then sings the same, thrice. Then the rector exclaims the verses, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered," and at each verse the choir sings the troparion, "Christ is Risen." In conclusion the clergy sing the first half of the troparion, and the choir concludes with the second half: "And on those in the tombs bestowing life." Then all go in through the opened doors of the temple, as into the opened tomb of the Lord, from which the stone rolled away. The priest and his coservers go into the altar, and the deacon pronounces the Great Litany on the ambon, after which follows the Paschal canon. This is entirely sung, as are all the paschal hymns for the duration of all Bright Week. After each ode of the canon a small litany is pronounced with a special exclamation, as indicated in the Triodion. At each ode of the canon the priests, by turns, perform a full censing, beginning with the alter and going on to cense the people and the temple. The priest goes out with the cross and the tri-candleholder in his hands, preceded by a deacon carrying a candle, and during this he greets the worshippers with the exclamation: "Christ is risen!" In cathedral temples, where the Paschal service is officiated by a bishop, the Paschal canon is sung in the center of the temple, before the icon of the Resurrection of Christ. In this case the order of the censing is as follows: first the icon of the Resurrection is censed, then the altar, iconostasis, choirs, people, and the whole temple. It is customary that the beginning of each ode be sung by the clergy in the altar. From this day until the leave-taking of Pascha the katavasia of the Paschal canon are sung: "This is the day of resurrection." (Exceptions are the day of Midfeast and its leave-taking, the sixth Sunday after Pascha, and the leave-taking of Pascha.)

After the canon the exapostilarion is sung, "Having fallen asleep…," followed by "Let every breath," the stichera at the praises, and then the stichera of Pascha, "A Pascha sacred today has been shown unto us," with the refrains, "Let God arise…" During this singing the exchanging of the triple kiss takes place, which among us is called the "Christosovanie." It begins amongst the clergy in the altar; then the clergy go out through the royal doors and, standing in a row outside the altar, exchange the triple kiss with the laity. The one approaching first kisses the cross, or the Gospel, or the icon which the priest is holding, then kisses the priest himself on the lips thrice. He says, "Christ is risen!" and is answered, "Truly He is risen!" After the kiss, within the royal doors the rector reads the "Homily of St. John Chrysostom for Pashca," at the completion of which the troparion of the latter is sung. Then the augmented and supplicatory litanies are pronounced, followed by the prayers which usually precede the dismissal, the only distinction being that after the singing of "Establish, O God," the rector immediately sings the first half of the troparion, "Christ is Risen," and the singers complete it. Then the rector gives the special paschal dismissal with the cross: "May He Who rose from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His Most Pure Mother and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the lover of mankind. Amen." Then, raising the cross thrice, he pronounces the greeting, "Christ is Risen," to which all the people reply, "Truly He is risen." The troparion, "Christ is Risen," is again sung thrice, concluding with the singing of: "And unto us He granted life eternal; we worship His resurrection on the third day." In this order Matins is served on each day of Bright Week: only the triple kiss and the reading of the homily of St. John Chrysostom do not take place; a censing usually does not occur after each ode, but only thrice; likewise, small litanies are not pronounced at each ode, but only as is usual at the canon — at the third, sixth, and ninth odes —; and a canon of the Theotokos is added to the Paschal canon.

If Annunciation coincides with Pascha (Kyriopashca), at the beginning of Matins, upon entering the temple, before the Great Litany, the troparion of the Annunciation is sung; the canon of Pascha is combined with the canon of the Annunciation; after the sixth ode the Gospel of the feast of the Annunciation is read; and at the praises are added stichera of the Annunciation.

The First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours during all of Bright Week consist, not of the usual psalms, but exclusively of Paschal hymns, which are all sung: "Having beheld the resurrection," thrice; "Forestalling the dawn;" the kontakion: "Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One;" the troparion of the Hours: "In the grave bodily;" "How life-giving;" the theotokion: "O sanctified and divine tabernacle;" then "Lord, have mercy" forty times, Glory, both now, "More Honorable," and "In the name of the Lord, father, bless." Then the exclamation of the priest: "Through the prayers of our holy fathers…," "Christ is risen…" thrice, and the simple resurrectional dismissal: "May He Who rose from the dead…" — not the paschal dismissal, which occurs only at Matins, Liturgy, and Vespers.

This order replaces both the Midnight Office and Compline.

The Liturgy that is performed is that of St. John Chrysostom. After the exclamation, "Blessed is the kingdom…," "Christ is risen…" is sung with the verses, as at the beginning of Matins, and with a censing of the altar, the iconostasis, and the people. This Paschal beginning takes place throughout all of Bright Week, at every Matins, Liturgy, and Vespers. Likewise, throughout all of Bright Week the festal antiphons are sung instead of the "Typica" and the "Beatitudes;" an "entrance verse" is pronounced, followed by the Troparion of Pascha, "Christ is Risen" (once); "Forestalling the dawn the women came with Mary…;" Glory, both now, and the Kontakion: "Though Thou didst descend…" Instead of the Trisagion, throughout all of Bright Week we sing: "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia."

The chief peculiarity of the Paschal Liturgy on the first day is that the Gospel, the first reading from St. John, which tells of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ ("In the beginning was the Word…"), is read by the clergy in various languages, particularly in the most ancient, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, in which the superscription on the cross of the Savior was written. All the priests and all the deacons read in turn, in sections, as arranged by the rector. At each section the kandia is rung, and outside the temple the great semitron is struck and the great kampan (bell) is rung. At the end of the reading of the Gospel all the bells are rung. (The reading of the Gospel in various languages at the Liturgy is a Russian tradition; the Greeks read the Gospel in various languages at the Paschal Vespers, when the Gospel tells of the Resurrection.) If Annunciation coincides with Pascha, the Gospel of the Annunciation is read second, simply. At the end of the Liturgy, instead of "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" and "Blessed be the name of the Lord," "Christ is Risen" is sung. Instead of "Glory to Thee, O Christ God…," the priest sings the first half of the troparion, "Christ is Risen," and the choir completes it, after which the priest pronounces the Paschal dismissal with the cross, as at the end of Matins. Until the feast of Pentecost, at all services the prayer, "O Heavenly King" is completely suspended.

After the prayer below the ambon the Artos is blessed. This is a bread which symbolizes the invisible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is carried during the procession, stands for all of Bright Week on a special small table before the local icon of Christ the Savior, and on Bright Saturday, after the Liturgy, following the reading of a special prayer at the breaking of the Artos, is broken and distributed to the worshippers together with the antidoron.

Throughout all of Bright Week the royal doors and the north and south doors of the altar are not closed at all, either during the services nor outside of them, as a sign that by His resurrection the Lord opened for us the gates of the Kingdom of God. Likewise, Canon 20 of the First Ecumenical Counsel forbids kneeling down for the duration of the Pentecostarion.

In addition to the Artos, which has a special symbolic significance, after Liturgy on the day of Pascha Paschal foods are blessed, called in the vernacular "kulichi" and "pashcas." This is done as a sign of the blessing of the Church on the eating of ferial foods after Great Lent, but these foods have no mystical significance. The ustav forbids carrying these into the church itself to be blessed, directing instead that they be set out to be blessed in the vestibule. Likewise at this time eggs are blessed, which are dyed red in memory of how, according to tradition, Mary Magdalene, appearing before the emperor Tiberius in Rome, offered him a red egg with the greeting, "Christ is risen!" The egg is a symbol of rebirth: the egg colored with red dye symbolizes our rebirth by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Book of Needs there is a Prayer for the blessing of flesh meats on the holy and great Sunday of Pascha, as well as a Prayer for the blessing of cheese and eggs. One should not submit to the request of contemporary parishioners and bless the Paschal foods after Matins, before the end of the Liturgy.

Throughout all of Bright Week a day-long ringing of the bells in the churches is appointed, as a sign of the special celebration of the Church, which celebrates the victory of the Lord over Hades and death.

Vespers on the first day of Pascha begins with the usual singing of the troparion, "Christ is Risen," with the verses and the censing; the rector vests in all his sacred vesture. Then follow the Great Litany and "Lord, I have Cried" with six stichera, and at Glory, both now, the dogmaticon of the second tone. On all the following days of Bright Week the tones are sung in turn, of which only the seventh tone is omitted, as there is no day for it. There then follow the entrance with the Gospel, "O Gentle Light," the great prokeimenon — "What God is as great as our God? Thou art God Who alone worketh wonders" —, and in the royal doors, facing the people, the Gospel is read concerning the appearance of the Risen Lord to the disciples "when it was late," i.e. in the evening on the very day of the resurrection. Then follow the Augmented Litany; the prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us…," which is sung (not read); the Supplicatory Litany; the Stichera at the Aposticha; and the Stichera of Pascha: "A Pascha sacred today hath been shown unto us…" Finally, the exclamation, "Wisdom," the dismissal as for Matins with the cross, and the Paschal greeting.

Thus Vespers is served on all the remaining days of Bright Week, except that the rector does not vest in full vesture, as he does on the first day; the entrance takes place with the censer; and the Gospel is not read. Each day there is a special great prokeimenon. After Vespers, Paschal Compline is sung.

Molebens during Pascha are likewise served according to a special rite, with the canon of Pascha. Pannykhidas should not be served, and funerals are only performed according to a special rite, and consist entirely of joyous Paschal hymns: only the litanies are funereal.

After the first day of Pascha all of Bright Week constitutes, as it were, one great, unceasing feast. Each day, after Liturgy, a procession with the singing of the Paschal canon and the reading of the resurrectional Gospels are appointed (in current practice a procession is only performed on the second day of Pascha). If a commemoration of a great saint should fall on one of the days of the week of Pascha, such as the Holy Greatmartyr and Trophy-bearer George, on Apirl 23, the prayers for the saint are combined with the prayers of Pascha, i.e., there are stichera and a canon for the saint, his troparion is sung, and lessons are read; at Matins a polyeleos is sung with a megalynarion, the antiphons are sung, and a Gospel is read. Only the Great Doxology does not occur. At the Liturgy a troparion, kontakion, prokeimenon, Apostle, Gospel, and communion verse are also added.

On Bright Friday, to the Paschal service is joined a Service to the Life-bearing Fount of the Most Holy Theotokos.

This service is of local character, and is not found in the Typicon. It was composed by Nikita Kallist Xanthopul, who lived in the fourteenth century, in commemoration of the renewal, i.e., the consecration of the temple known as the Life-bearing Fount.

On the day of Pascha and on the other days of Bright Week the clergy glorify the feast, going around to the homes of their parishioners with the cross and the singing of the Paschal hymns.

On Bright Saturday, after the Divine Liturgy, the royal doors and the north and south doors are closed (there also exists a custom that the royal doors are closed on Saturday evening, at Great Vesperes, during the singing of the stichera at "Lord, I have Cried" — "When the doors were shut…"). Thus, from the Ninth Hour begins the second period of the celebration of Pascha, which is distinguished by lesser festivity and which continues throughout the following four and a half weeks after Pascha. Each of the Sundays which follow after Pascha has a special title and is dedicated to a specific commemoration.

 

II. Special Commemorations and Services During the Days of the Holy Pentecost.

The hymns on the day of holy Pascha, although not as completely as during Bright Week, continue to be sung for the duration of the remaining period of time before the leave-taking of the feast of Pascha, which is observed on Wednesday of the sixth week after Pascha, on the eve of the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, which is always observed on Thursday of the sixth week, and hence on the fortieth day after Pascha.

Thus, until the leave-taking of Pascha, every service, following the exclamation of the priest, begins with the three-fold singing or reading of "Christ is Risen." In cases where the service begins with the reading or singing of "O Heavenly King," this prayer to the Holy Spirit is replaced by "Christ is Risen." When the service begins with "O come, let us worship," this is also replaced with the singing or reading of "Christ is Risen." At Matins, before the Six Psalms, "Christ is Risen" is always sung thrice, after which the Six Psalms are read beginning from "Glory to God in the highest…" At Matins before the canon, "Having beheld the resurrection of Christ" is sung on weekdays as well, while on Sundays, after the reading of the Gospel, this hymn is sung thrice. At Sunday Matins, "More Honorable" is not sung; it is sung, however, on weekdays. On the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Sundays after Pascha, at Vespers after the stichera at the aposticha, the stichera of Pascha are sung — "A Pascha sacred" — while at Matins the canon of Pascha is sung with its troparia, to which are added the theotokian troparia and the troparia of the canon of the given day. At Liturgy, after the opening exclamation, with the royal doors open the priest sings, "Christ is Risen," two and a half times; the choir then sings, "and on those in the tombs…" Instead of "We have seen the true light," "Christ is Risen" is sung once. Likewise, instead of "It is Truly Meet," "The angel cried…" and "Shine, shine…" are sung. "At the dismissal, when the priest shall say: "Glory to Thee, O Christ God…," we sing, "Christ is Risen;" this we do only at the Liturgy." The dismissal at all services until the leave-taking of Pascha, even on weekdays, is for the resurrection; that is, "May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God…"

In the orders for the Sundays of the period of Pentecost there are special commemorations of events in which were revealed the Divinity of the Lord, His power and glory, and which still more greatly confirm in us the faith in the unshakable truth of His most glorious resurrection from the dead.

The celebration of the holy apostle Thomas continues for the whole week, the leave-taking of the feast, as it were, being observed on Saturday. This occurs on all the Sundays that follow during holy Pentecost: the commemoration of the Sunday is celebrated all week, the leave-taking being observed on Saturday.

The Sunday of Antipascha.

On the second Sunday after Pascha, i.e., the one following after Pascha, which is called the "Sunday of Antipascha," we commemorate "The Touching of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas." Here a note is made that "On this second Sunday of Antipascha, nothing resurrectional is sung; everything is from the feast." On this, the eighth day after the Resurrection of the Lord, we recall how the Lord appeared to all His disciples who were gathered together, this time with Thomas, and allowed Thomas, who had doubted in His resurrection, to touch His wounds; and how when Thomas, believing, confessed Him to be his Lord and his God, the Lord called blessed those who have not seen, and yet have believed. "Antipascha" means "instead of Pascha," since this day is the first of all the Sundays in the year on which the event of the Resurrection of Christ is once again celebrated. This day is likewise called the "Sunday of Regeneration" or the "New Sunday," since for the first time after Pascha it repeats the feast of the Resurrection, renewing it, as it were. The order of the service for this day, like its contents, is not the usual Sunday order. It is like the order for a great feast of the Lord, without lessons, but with the litia, the singing of special stichera in honor of the celebrated event, and the three-fold singing of the troparion: "Though the tomb was sealed, Thou, O Life, didst shine forth from the grave, O Christ God…," both at Vespers and at Matins; likewise, the first antiphon of the fourth tone, as for all the twelve great feasts, and, after the polyeleos, the megalynarion: "We magnify Thee, O Life-giver, Christ, Who for our sakes didst descend into Hades and didst raise up all with Thyself." The canon is a special canon of the feast, not the Paschal or resurrectional canon. Great Vespers is served on Thomas Sunday, with the great prokeimenon: "What God is as great…," which likewise occurs at great feasts of the Lord. Beginning on Thomas Sunday and continuing until the leave-taking of Pascha, Matins is customarily performed (as there is not a sufficient basis for this in the Typicon) with the omission of the first two "royal psalms" and the prayer for the Tsar, beginning immediately with the exclamation: "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, and Indivisible Trinnity…," after which "Christ is Risen" is very slowly sung three times, during which the priest performs a censing of the whole temple. Then the reading of the Six Psalms immediately begins with "Glory to God in the highest…," and the rest follows as usual.

On Thomas Week, on Tuesday, and in some places (in south-west Russia) on Monday, not by Ustav, but according to pious tradition, a commemoration of the departed is observed, colloquially called "Radonitsa." In this Ustav no particular prayers for the departed are appointed on this day; this commemoration is observed because on Thomas Sunday we likewise commemorate Christ’s descent into Hades; also, beginning with Monday of Thomas Week, the Ustav once again permits the serving of pannykhidas and prayers for the departed. On this day pannykhidas are served at the cemeteries, by which the living in a way greet their departed loved ones and relatives with the great and joyous feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Instead of "Holy God" at pannykhidas and processions accompanying the departed to the cemetery, "Christ is Risen" is sung, until the leave-taking of Pascha.

The Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women.

The Third Sunday after Pascha is called the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women. Commemorated on this Sunday are all those who were witnesses of the burial of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His resurrection: the holy righteous Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who asked of Pilate the body of the Lord, to bury it, and the myrrh-bearing women who accompanied the Lord to Golgotha, took part in His burial, and then, coming very early to the tomb on the first day of the week, in order to anoint the Body of the Lord with myrrh, were found worthy to see first the angels, who imparted to them the joyous news of the resurrection of the Lord, and then the resurrected Lord Himself. On this Sunday, and on the following three, at Vespers the stichera of Pascha — "A Pascha sacred" — are sung after the stichera at the aposticha, and at Matins, the entire Paschal canon with the addition of special theotokia (which during Bright Week are daily sung after the troparia of the Paschal canon, except on the first day). In temples consecrated to the myrrh-bearing women a megalynarion to the latter is added.

At the end of the Pentecostarion a special ustav is indicated for the weekdays of Pentecost, as well as a special ustav for Saturdays. On weekdays at "Lord I have Cried," three stichera of the feast are sung (by "feast" is meant the commemoration of the given week) from the Triodion (similarly to how three stichera are usually taken from the Ochtoechos on weekdays throughout the year), and three from the Menaion to the saint of the day. Then, Glory, both now, and a sticheron of the feast. At the aposticha the stichera are for the day, from the Triodion; then Glory, both now, and a sticheron of the feast. If there are two saints, at "Lord, I have Cried" six stichera are sung to them; then Glory, both now, and for the feast. The stichera of the feast from the Triodion are then sung at the aposticha with the refrains of the feast; Glory, and for the saints, if there be such; then Both now, and for the feast. There other combinations of liturgical hymns are likewise indicated for various situations. For this reason it is essential to always consult this chapter of the Ustav. At Matins likewise, at "God is the Lord" the troparion of the feast is sung first; then, at Glory, that of the saint, and at Both now, the theotokion. The canon of the feast is always read first, followed by that of the saint from the Menaion. One must not mistakenly understand the "canon of the feast" to mean the Paschal canon, as some do; this is the canon from the Triodion in which the event which was commemorated on Sunday is glorified. It is the first canon read every day throughout the week.

A peculiarity of the Saturday service is that thereat the leave-taking of the feast is observed; hence, at "Lord, I have Cried," the same stichera are sung as for the feast itself; the theotokion is sung in the current, first tone; at the aposticha the resurrectional stichera are sung with the resurrectional refrains: "The Lord is King;" after the Trisagion at Vespers follow the troparion of the feast; Glory, of the saint; both now, and the theotokion in the current, first tone (not in the tone of the troparion); at Matins, however, at "God is the Lord," the theotokion is sung the tone of the troparion of the saint. The first canon is the canon from the Triodion, for the feast, then those of the saint of the temple and the saint from the Menaion. The canons for temples of Christ or the Theotokos are not sung throughout all of Pentecost, except for the Pentecostal Saturdays of the Departed. One must carefully attend to all these directions, which foresee all possible occurrences and coincidences.

The Sunday of the Paralytic.

The fourth Sunday after Pascha is called the Sunday of the Paralytic, since on in the Gospel at the Liturgy for this Sunday we recall the account of the Lord’s healing of the paralytic, who had lain for thirty-eight years by the Sheep’s Pool in Jerusalem. This event, like those of the Sundays that follow, testifies to us of the Divine omnipotence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby strengthen our faith in the truth of His resurrection. In addition to this, these events were performed during this very period of time — during the days of Pentecost. The order for the Sunday of the paralytic only continues to be sung on Monday and Tuesday, for on Wednesday a special feast is celebrated: Midfeast.

On Wednesday of the fourth week after Pascha, the Midfeast of Pentecost is celebrated. This is a day which unites within itself two great feasts — Pascha and Pentecost. On this day we recall how at the midfeast of the Jewish feast of Tents the Lord went into the temple at Jerusalem (John, Ch. 7) and expounded the teachings concerning Himself as the Messiah, after which he cried: "Whosoever is thirsty, let him come unto Me and drink." In the hymns for Midfeast, alternately, the Resurrection of Christ is glorified and we are reminded of the approach of the feast of Pentecost, on which the Risen Lord sent down the Holy Spirit upon His disciples. The image of this water, which the Lord offers all who thirst to drink, represents specifically the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abundantly quenches and satisfies the thirst of those who believe in Christ as the Messiah and Redeemer of the world. On the day of Midfeast, Great Vespers is served with Old Testament readings, or lessons, but the regular kathisma is read, and not "Blessed is the Man." The following troparion is sung: "In the midst of the Feast, give Thou my thirst soul to drink of the waters of piety; for Thou, O Savior, didst cry out to all: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Well-spring of life, Christ our God, glory be to Thee."

At Matins no polyeleos is appointed; only the Great Doxology. The katavasia on the day of the feast itself and on the leave-taking is not the Paschal katavasia, but "Thou didst make the sea a wall." At Matins and Liturgy, instead of "More Honorable" and "It is Truly Meet," the irmos, "Strange to mothers is virginity," is sung. On the feast itself a procession to the springs and a small blessing of water takes place. The Midfeast is celebrated for eight days, and the leave-taking is observed on Wednesday of the fifth week. Also on the leave-taking, instead of "It is Truly Meet," "Strange to mothers is virginity" is sung. There is no forefeast.

The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.

On the fifth Sunday after Pascha — that of the Samaritan Woman — we commemorate how the lord, coming from the Samaritan city of Sihar to Jacob’s well, while in conversation with the Samaritan woman gave her "the living water which dries up the fount of sins," revealed that He is the Knower of hearts, and clearly proclaimed Himself the Messiah, Christ. The service for the Samaritan woman is likewise served on Thursday and Friday, and its leave-taking is observed on Saturday, since on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the service of Midfeast is performed.

The Sunday of the Blind Man.

The sixth Sunday after Pascha is called the Sunday of the Blind Man, since thereon we commemorate and read the Gospel account of how the Lord miraculously healed the man blind from birth. This miracle infuriated the Jews, it being performed on the Sabbath, even though it clearly testified to the Divine might of Christ. The relationship of this miracle to the feast of the Resurrection of Christ is explained by the Church, which sings that the blind man was entirely illumined, and recognizes the Light-giver and Creator of light, who shone forth from the tomb on the third day and illumined the earth by His resurrection; from Whom the light of rebirth shone forth upon the man held fast in darkness. The service in honor of this miracle is likewise performed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; on the latter the leave-taking of Pascha likewise occurs. On the sixth Sunday and on the leave-taking of Pascha the katavasia of the Ascension is sung: "To God the Savior."

The Leave-taking of Pascha.

On Wednesday of the sixth week the Leave-taking of Pascha is observed, in the same fashion as the leave-taking of the twelve great feasts. It is differs only in that the priest begins Vespers, Matins, and Liturgy in the same way as for the services of Bright Week: that is, with the royal doors open and with the cross and tri-candleholder in his hand, with a censing, and with the singing of "Christ is Risen" and the verses, "Let God arise." At Vespers after the stichera of the aposticha the stichera of Pascha are sung: "A Pascha sacred." The dismissal at Vespers, as at Matins, is the usual resurrectional dismissal, with the commemoration of the saint of the day and without the cross. The Paschal dismissal with the cross only takes place at the Liturgy. At Matins three canons are sung: the canon of Pascha (without the theotokia), the canon of the blind man, and the canon of the forefeast of the Ascension. After the stichera at the praises the stichera of Pascha — "A Pascha sacred" — are again sung, followed by the Great Doxology. The Hours are read as usual, with three psalms. The leave-taking of Pascha ends at Liturgy, the end of which is exactly the same as on Pascha itself. After the Liturgy the shroud is removed from the holy table and laid in the shrine or case intended for it. The Ninth Hour on this day is directed to be begun with the Trisagion, since "Christ is Risen" is no longer read; for leave is taken from the feast of Pascha at the end of the Liturgy, and the prayer "O Heavenly King" is not read until Pentecost.

The Ascension of the Lord

Ascension is celebrated on the fortieth day after Pascha, and therefore always falls on Thursday of the sixth week after Pascha. The church hymns for this day alternately portray the apostles in a melancholy state — as a result of their being parted from their Divine Teacher — and depict their joy over the glory of the Lord which has been shown to them in His ascension to heaven and sitting at the right hand of the Father, as well as over the Holy Spirit promised to them. Simultaneously the second coming of the Lord is recalled. The All-night Vigil is served as is usual on a great feast of the Lord, now without any Paschal hymns. At Matins, however, after the reading of the Gospel concerning the resurrection of Christ, "Having beheld the resurrection of Christ…" is sung. At the Liturgy, instead of "We have seen the true light," the troparion of the Ascension is sung until the leave-taking thereof: "Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, having gladdened Thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit. And they were assured by the blessing that Thou art the Son of God, the redeemer of the world." The leave-taking of the Ascension takes place after nine days, on Friday of the seventh week after Pascha. The katavasia on the feast itself is that of Pentecost, "Covered by the divine cloud," but from Ascension until its leave-taking, "Let us sing unto the only Savior and God." If the day of the parish patron or of a great saint falls on Ascension — for example, the commemoration of the holy apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, May 8, or Sts. Constantine and Helen, May 21 — the service is performed as indicated in the Typicon in a special Markovy chapter, "of the Theologian" (concerning the coincidence of Ascension and the commemoration of St. John the Theologian).

The Seventh Sunday after Pascha.

The seventh Sunday after Pascha commemorates the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Counsel at Nicea, who convened against the heretic Arius and his false doctrine. This counsel preached the Son of God as one in essence and of equal honor with the Father. To the service for the Holy Fathers the afterfeast of the Ascension is joined, but the katavasia are not from the canon of the Ascension, but for Pentecost: "Covered by the divine cloud." The feast of the Holy Fathers ends on the same day, at Vespers.

Just as on Meatfare Sunday, at the commemoration of the Last Judgment, the Holy Church inclines the thoughts of Christians to the future lot of the departed, so also at the commemoration of the accomplishment of the whole of the Divine economy — the work of the salvation of mankind — the Holy church appoints a special day of prayer for the reposed, specifically the Saturday before Pentecost.

The requiem service on this day is performed in exactly the same manner as on Meatfare Saturday. The only difference is that on Meatfare Saturday hymns are taken from the Ochtoechos in the regular tone for that week, while on the Saturday before Pentecost the hymns from the Ochtoechos are always in the sixth tone, this being the tone of the entire week. The katavasia is sung from the Pentecostarion, "When Israel walked on foot." At the Liturgy, instead of "We have seen the true light," the requiem troparion is sung: "O Thou Who by the depths of Thy wisdom…" If a saint with a polyeleos falls on this Saturday, the service to him is transferred to Thursday of this same seventh week; if a parish feast occurs, the requiem service is itself transferred to Thursday.

 

IV. The Sunday of Holy Pentecost

This is the feast of the Glorification of the Holy Trinity, in commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. Inasmuch as this great event took place on the fiftieth day after the Resurrection of Christ, this feast always occurs on the fiftieth day after the feast of Pascha; hence, it always falls on a Sunday. The entire service for the day of Pentecost, which is distinguished by particular triumph and exaltedness, is an expounding of the hymn which is sung daily at the Liturgy in honor of the Holy Trinity: "We have seen the true light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true faith; we worship the indivisible Trinity, for He hath saved us." In the services on this day the prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King," is likewise sung many times.

The All-night Vigil is performed according to the usual order, as on all of the great feasts of the Lord. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served with festal antiphons. Instead of "Holy God," though only on the first day of the feast, "As many as have been baptized into Christ" is sung.

The chief peculiarity of the feast of Pentecost is that immediately after the Liturgy Great Vespers is served with an entrance, the great prokeimenon: "What God is as great as our God," and the reading of the three kneeling prayers. After the Ninth Hour, after the exclamation of the priest: "Blessed is our God," "O Heavenly King" is sung, usually by the clergy in the altar; then the Trisagion through "Our Father" is read, followed by the opening psalm 103: "Bless the Lord, O my soul," and the Great Litany with special petitions — "for those that are here present and await the grace of the Holy Spirit," and others. Then, "Lord, I have Cried" with six stichera; Glory, both now, and "O Heavenly King;" the entrance with the censer, "O Gentle Light," and the great prokeimenon: "What God is as great..." Immediately after this the first kneeling prayer is read. Then the Augmented Litany: "Let us all say" is pronounced, followed immediately by the second kneeling prayer. Then the prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord" is read, followed by the third kneeling prayer. The priest reads the prayers in the altar, facing the people. After each reading a Small Litany takes place, with the petition: "Help us, save us, have mercy on us, raise us up and keep us, O God, by Thy grace," and with a special exclamation by the priest who read the prayer. Vespers is concluded as usual, but with a special festal dismissal. There is a custom on the day of Pentecost of adorning homes and the temple with greens and flowers, and to stand during the Vespers service holding flowers. This custom has its origins as far back as the Old Testament, from the Jewish Pentecost. Undoubtedly in this manner the upper room on the hill of Sion was likewise adorned, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. The greens and flowers of nature, renewed by spring, symbolize the renewing of men by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The Monday that follows after the feast of Pentecost is called "Spirit Day," since it is a feast in honor of the All-holy, Life-creating, and All-mighty Spirit, one of the persons of the Trinity, equal in honor and one in essence with the Father and the Son. The hymns on this day are nearly the same as on the first day of the feast. In the evening Small Compline is performed (since Vespers was already served) with the canon to the Holy Spirit. Matins is served without a polyeleos, but with the Great Doxology. "More Honorable" is not sung at Matins; rather, the irmos of the ninth ode of the canon is immediately sung. At the Liturgy there are no special antiphons, the Typica and the Beatitudes being sung instead; there is, however, an entrance verse. The feast of Penttecost is celebrated all week, during which the fast on Wednesday and Friday is suspended (it being a fast-free week). The leave-taking of the feast is on Saturday.

The Sunday of All Saints.

The first Sunday after Pentecost is dedicated to celebration of the memory of All Saints, as being the "harvest of the Spirit of God," the "fruits of the Divine grace" sent down upon men on the day of Pentecost. With this feast the period of the Pentecostarion ends, and the usual, ordinary time of year begins, when the divine services are served according to the Ochtoechos and the Menaion. On Monday after the Sunday of All Saints, St. Peter’s Fast, or the Apostles’ Fast, begins, which serves for preparation for the great feast in honor of the Holy First-leaders of the Apostles Peter and Paul, on June 29. Due to the fact that the date of the Sunday of All Saints depends on the date of the celebration of Pascha, and is therefore a movable feast, the Apostles’ Fast, or St. Peter’s Fast, varies in length — from eight days to six weeks. The ustav for this fast is the same as that for the Nativity Fast.

After Pentecost, beginning with the first Sunday, that of All Saints, all Sundays are designated by the numbers "one" through "thirty-two." Thirty-two Sundays in all are designated in all before the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. The pillars of the Matins resurrection Gospels and of the tones of the Ochtoechos revolve around this total. The pillar of the Gospels begins with the Sunday of All Saints, when the first Matins resurrection Gospel is read at Matins. The pillar of the tones of the Ochtoechos, however, begins with the following, second Sunday. On this Sunday the first tone and the second Gospel are called for. Everything then continues in order. Beginning on the Sunday of All Saints, the katavasia for the whole year are sung: "I shall open my mouth…"

According to a resolution of the All-Russian Church Counsel of 1917-1918, on the second Sunday after Pentecost the memory of All Saints who have Shown Forth in the Land of Russia is to be celebrated. Their service is published in a separate booklet, and is combined with the regular resurrectional service of the first tone, in the same manner as the first Sunday, of All Saints; however, a megalynarion is likewise appointed to be sung, which on the Sunday of All Saints is sung only in the case of a parish feast.

 

 

Part V

I. Concerning Private Worship

In addition to communal worship, which takes place at specific times for all the faithful, there also exist various forms of private worship. These are prayers and sacred rituals which are performed separately, at various times, according to the requests and various needs of the faithful. These forms of worship in the vernacular are called needs. The orders for these services are compiled into liturgical books which are called the "Book of Needs," the "Supplementary Book of Needs," the "Great Book of Needs," and the "Book of Molebens." Several of these orders are published in separate books or located in a special section at the end of the "Jerusalem Prayer Book."

Numbered among such liturgical services are the orders of all the sacraments — except, of course, the Eucharist, which is performed at the Divine Liturgy, and which is the focus of all common worship —, as well as the rites of the burial of the departed, molebens, and prayers for the most diverse occasions.

In the prayers and sacred rituals (except for the Eucharist and the priesthood) which are included in the Book of Needs — or the Potrebnik, as it was called in old Russia —, as evidenced by the very name thereof, everything is contained that is needful for every child of the Orthodox Church. In this is especially vividly expressed the motherly care of the holy Church for her children — all believing Christians. These needs encompass the whole course of a man’s life, beginning with his appearance in the world and ending with his commission to the earth after his death. According to the design of the holy Church, literally every step of a Christian, his every undertaking and enterprise, must be sanctified with prayer, the calling down of the grace of God, and a blessing. The true Christian does nothing without God’s blessing, knowing firmly that in this blessing lies the sure security of his success. In this respect the holy Church meets him halfway, offering prayers and liturgical rites that correspond in content to all occasions of life.

All these services are set forth in the Book of Needs in approximately the same order in which the need arises for them in the life of a Christian, beginning with his birth; hence, we will consider them in this same order.

 

II. The Book of Needs, Part One

The Prayer on the First Day

after a Woman gives Birth

No sooner than a new person appears in the world, the holy Church already begins guarding both him and his mother who bore him from every evil by means of three special prayers, which are read by a priest in the epitrachelion over the birth-giver and the new-born infant. In the order the usual beginning is not called for — i.e., "O Heavenly King" and the Trisgagion —; rather, the priest immediately reads "Let us pray to the Lord," and the prayer, "O Master, Lord Almighty…" Unfortunately, in present times few know that these prayers exist, and therefore do not invite the priest. The priest, then, should take care to establish this custom and prepare his parishioners ahead of time, so that they might be aware of these prayers and notify the priest at the proper time. Thus, the first appearance of a person into the world will be sanctified with prayer, as the Holy Church has established.

The Prayer at the Naming of the Child,

Who takes a name on the Eight Day after his Birth.

According to the ustav of the Church, on the eight day after his birth the new-born infant is taken by the "baba" (an experienced midwife) into the vestibule of the temple, and there, before the doors of the temple, he is given his Christian name through the reading of several prayers. Regarding the name, the Ustav states: "And he is given a name in honor of the saint whose commemoration falls on the eighth day, or of whichever saint is desired." Earlier in Russia there always existed a pious custom not to choose a name for the new-born infant, but to name him in honor of the saint whose memory the Church celebrates on the day of his birth or on the day of the naming. The Church does not, however, prohibit naming in honor of any saint. The rite of naming consists of the opening exclamation of the priest: "Blessed is our God…," the reading of the opening prayers from the Trisagion through "Our Father," and the singing of the dismissal troparion of the day or of the saint of the temple, after which the priest signs the forehead, lips, and breast of the infant with the sign of the cross, giving him his name. Then the priest takes the infant into his arms and with him signs a cross before the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, singing the troparion of the Meeting of the Lord: "Rejoice, O Theotokos Virgin, full of grace…" After this the dismissal is given with the commemoration of the name of the saint whose name has been given to the infant.

Here a note is made that if the infant is sick one should not wait for the eighth day. Instead, immediately after his birth, one should "only wash" him "and immediately baptize" him, "that he should not die unillumined" — that is, one should baptize immediately, that he might not die unbaptized.

If the infant was born dead, there is a special prayer for this occurrence, the "Prayer for the woman when there is a miscarriage," in which the priest prays for her who bore the dead infant as for one who fell into murder "whether voluntarily or involuntarily," asking forgiveness for her sins.

The Prayer on the Fortieth Day

for a Woman who has Given Birth

On the fortieth day after the birth of the infant, the woman who bore him must come to the temple with her no-born infant, regardless of whether he is already baptized or not, for special prayers to be read over herself and him. If the infant has died during this interval, the mother must nevertheless come alone for the reading of the prayers over her. In regard to the new-born infant this rite is called the "Churching," i.e., the bringing into the temple, while in regard to the mother it has purpose of cleansing her from every natural defilement after giving birth. Until the fortieth day after the birth of the infant, the mother who bore him may not enter the church and is not permitted to receive Holy Communion, except in case of mortal danger. This rite consists of the opening exclamation of the priest, the reading of the opening prayers from the Trisagion through "Our Father," the singing of the dismissal troparion of the day or of the saint, and the reading of four prayers. The first prayer consists of two parts: the first half concerns the mother, and the second — the infant; hence, the second is not read "if the infant is no longer among the living." If the infant is not yet baptized, after the reading of the fourth prayer the dismissal is given; if he is already baptized, however, then his churching is immediately performed. The priests takes the infant into his arms, saying thrice: "The servant of God (name) is churched." While saying this he traces a cross with the infant, first before the doors of the temple, in the vestibule; then, entering the temple, in the middle of the same; and finally, the third time, before the royal doors, at which he also adds verses from the psalms appropriate to the occasion. If the infant is of the male sex, the priest carries him into the altar and there, at the north or south side of the holy table, again traces a cross with him. Then, pronouncing the prayer: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant," the priest lays the infant down before the royal doors and pronounces the dismissal — according to custom, the dismissal of the Meeting of the Lord, in imitation of which feast the whole of this rite is performed.

III. Baptism.

The mystery of baptism was established by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the Gospel it is related how, after His resurrection, the Lord appeared to His disciples and apostles. During one such appearance he said to them: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:18-20). Yet another such direction of the Lord is found in his conversation with Nicodemus, in which He told him: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 5:3). The history of the ancient Church testifies that the mystery of Baptism was being performed already by the apostles and by all their successors.

Baptism is a mystery in which the one being baptized, upon his three-fold immersion in water, with the pronunciation of the words: "The servant of God (name) is baptized in the name of the Father, amen, and of the Son, amen, and of the Holy Spirit, amen," is cleansed of original sin and of all his sins (if the one being baptized is an adult), and, as it were, dies to the life of sin and is born into a new spiritual, grace-filled life. Thus, baptism is a spiritual birth, and inasmuch as a man is born only once, baptism is not repeated, as long as it was properly performed, i.e., through three-fold immersion in water with the pronunciation of the words indicated above, in accordance with the teaching of the holy Orthodox Church on the Holy Trinity. If there is any doubt as to whether or not the given infant has been baptized (if, for instance, he was abandoned), it is essential that he be baptized, so as not to deprive him of such a great mystery, so necessary for salvation. In this case the conditional formula is used: "If he has not been baptized…" Baptism, according to the rules of the Church, must be performed in the temple, the performance thereof in the home being permitted only in case of great need. Baptism must not be performed in any liquid other than water. The water must be pure, unmixed with any other substance. Several infants may be baptized (one after the other) in the same water, not pouring out or adding any new water. Water for the sacrament of baptism must be sanctified afresh each time — baptism may not be performed in unsanctified water (except for cases when there is no priest to properly sanctify the water), in water to which holy water has merely been added, in holy water from Theophany, or in any other. After the baptism the water should be poured out in a pure place. During the baptism three candles must be lit at the font.

Baptism is always preceded by the rite of catechization. The Church does not admit an adult — beginning at the age of seven — to baptism until he has been catechized, i.e., instructed in the truths of the Orthodox Christian faith. He must abandon his previous pagan, Jewish, Islamic, or heretical errors, and, having rejected his previous faith, must publicly proclaim his desire to become an Orthodox Christian.

Catechization is performed in the same way for all infants, whether they have Orthodox or heterodox parents. Catechization for adults, however, varies depending on the religion to which the one desiring to be baptized belongs. At the baptism of an adult, the latter is first given a Christian name. (In present times there is no special right for the naming of an adult. Some read the prayer from the rite, "At the naming of a child," for the eighth day. In the Book of Needs of Peter Mogila there is a "Rite of the first day of the catechization of one who is of age, and the giving of a Christian name." There it is stated that the firmness of resolve of the one wishing to receive baptism is first tested, after which he is instructed in the Orthodox faith. Then two short prayers are read: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…," and, "Thou, O Master, God and Father, hast sent salvation to the world…" After this follows the dismissal. Some believe that since, at the baptism of adults, the latter are first catechized, and during this catechization they are given the Christian names with which they will be baptized, there is no need to perform a special rite for the naming.) Three catechisms are then performed over those wishing to be baptized. This is directed to be performed at the church doors, i.e., in the vestibule. In the first catechism the one desiring to be baptized in detail enumerates the errors of his prior faith, renounces them, and declares his desire to be united to Christ. In the second catechism he individually confesses the dogmas of the Orthodox Church and reads an oath of confession of his renunciation of his previous errors and the truth of the Orthodoxy faith which he is now voluntarily accepting. The third catechism is performed over both adults and infants. In it the one being catechized renounces Satan and is united unto Christ.

The one approaching for holy baptism, if an adult, enters the temple (an infant is carried in by the godfather or godmother) in a single undergarment (an adult is usually in a long shirt), ungirded and unshod, as one deprived of the pristine faith, with lowered arms, as one bound with the bonds of sin, and gazing to the east, where the paradise which man lost once was. In the beginning he stands in the vestibule of the temple, as one unworthy to enter the house of God; the priest thrice breaths upon his face and upon his breast, signing him thrice with the sign of the cross, then lays his hand upon him and reads the prayer before the catechization. The breathing of the priest symbolizes the renewal of the image of God in the one being baptized; through the sign of the cross the newly-converted is removed from the company of the unbelievers; the laying of the hand upon his head indicates the giving of grace to him. After this prayer before catechization follow four prayers of exorcism, called, in the Book of Needs, "bans." In the first two of these the priest personally, by the name of God, adjures the devil to depart from the newly-chosen warrior of Christ with all his evil angels. In the last two prayers he asks God to drive out from the one begin catechized every evil and impure spirit which hideth and maketh its lair in his heart. During this final exorcism the priest again performs the breathing upon the lips, forehead, and breast of the one being baptized, as it were for the conclusive expulsion of the devil, who from the time of Adam gained access to man and a certain degree of power over him as over his prisoner and slave. It is very important to always read these four prayers of exorcism attentively and completely. Cases have been known in which the omission of some of these prayers, through laziness and carelessness, had destructive consequences for those baptized: even after baptism they displayed symptoms of demonic possession or, at least, possession of some sort. Then follows the renunciation of Satan by the catechized himself. The priest turns the catechized to face the west — this being the direction towards which the sun sets and from which darkness appears, since the devil, whom he is to renounce, is darkness and has his power in darkness —, commands the catechized to raise his hands, as it were, before Satan standing before him, and thrice asks him the question: "Dost thou renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his angels, and all his service, and all his pride?" To this the catechized thrice answers: "I do." Then the priest asks thrice: "Hast thou renounced Satan?" to which the catechized thrice responds: "I have." This three-fold renunciation the catechized then completes when, at the words of the priest: "Blow and spit upon him" (that is, on Satan), blows and spits upon Satan, thereby showing the weakness of the devil and testifying of his disdain for him and his decisive severance from him.

After the renunciation of Satan the catechized unites himself unto Christ. For this he turns to face the east, from which the light of truth shone forth, which illumines and sanctifies every man that cometh into the world. He lets his hands down, displaying thereby his humility and subjection to God, and, at the thrice-repeated question of the priest: "Dost thou unite thyself unto Christ?" and, "Hast thou united thyself unto Christ?" responds: "I do," and, "I have." This uniting unto Christ is nothing other than a promise of fidelity to Him: as a warrior, upon entering into service, gives an oath of loyalty to his king, so also the catechized, entering into a grace-filled union with Christ, by way of an oath thrice reads the Symbol of Faith. Then the priest calls on him to bow down to Christ with the words: "I bow down before the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and indivisible." This bowing down must be according to St. Basil the Great, and made by kneeling down. When the baptism of an infant is being performed, all of this is said for him by the sponsors, who before the whole Church are the warrantors for the faith of the one being baptized, and by the same token take upon themselves the obligation to see to it that the one baptized, when he should come of age, be brought up and instructed in the Orthodox Christian faith. Hence, it is understood that heterodox and non-believers cannot be sponsors. At the baptism of an infant of the male sex a single male sponsor is required; at the baptism of an infant of the female sex — a single godmother. It has, however, become the custom to always invite two — both godmother and godfather —, who in the vernacular are called the "godfather" and "godmother." Sponsors are also present at the baptism of adults. In this case they are the witnesses and warrantors for the faith and promises of the one being baptized, and in this way dispel from their baptism any deceit, falsehood, hypocrisy, and so forth. The sponsors enter into spiritual kinship with the one baptized and the relatives of the latter, which kinship acts as an obstacle to marriage in accordance with Canon 53 of the Sixth Ecumenical Counsel. Monastics may not be sponsors. The priest may not be the sponsor of the one whom he is baptizing. In an extreme situation the baptism may be performed without a sponsor.

The baptism itself begins immediately after the catechization (usually before the Liturgy, at which the newly-baptized will then commune). The priest vests in white garments — the epitrachelion, phelonion, and cuffs (the catechism is performed in the epitrachelion alone). The lamps in the temple are then lit, and the priest censes the font. The white garments of the priest and the lighting of the lamps expresses the spiritual joy of the Church, which rejoices in the rebirth of her new children. Three candles are usually placed at the font itself; candles are likewise given to the sponsors to hold. The first part of the rite consists of the sanctification of the water. The priest begins the rite with the liturgical exclamation, "Blessed is the kingdom…" The deacon pronounces the Great Litany, with special petitions for the consecration of the water and for the one being baptized. During this litany the priest begins privately to read a prayer which, at the end of the litany, he continues aloud with the thrice-repeated exclamation: "Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and there is no word which sufficeth to hymn Thy wonders." In its first section this prayer is identical to the prayer for the blessing of water which is read at the feast of Theophany, which inclines some priests to omit it from the rite of baptism and, in place of the sanctification of the water, to pour some of the water from Theophany into the font. This, however, is absolutely impermissible, taking into account the fact that the second half of this prayer contains a prayer for the one being baptized: "… manifest Thyself, O Lord, in this water, and grant the one who is baptized therein to be changed…"

Following the sanctification of the water, the sanctification of oil and the anointing of the one being baptized therewith is performed. (Usually oil for several baptisms is sanctified at one time, ahead of time, and is preserved in a special vessel; in this case the prayer for the sanctification of oil is not read.) The water in the font is then anointed with the blessed oil, following the exclamation: "Let us attened," to the three-fold singing of "Alleluia," in remembrance of how, to those in Noah’s ark, the Lord sent a dove with an olive branch — a sign of reconciliation and salvation from the flood: above the water a cross is made with the oil as a sign that the waters of baptism serves for reconciliation with God, and that, in them, to sinful men the mercy of God is revealed, which saves them from eternal destruction. Following this the one being baptized is anointed with oil, as a laborer of Christ who is to engage in struggles with the world which lies in sin. His forehead is anointed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; his breast, unto the healing of soul and body; his ears, unto the hearing of faith; his hands, for holy deeds; his feet, that they might walk in the path of the commandments of the Lord.

Immediately after the anointing with holy oil, the priest lays his hand upon the one who has been anointed and, "gazing to the east," thrice immerses him in the water, pronouncing: at the first immersion — "The servant of God (name) is baptized, in the name of the Father, amen;" and at the second — "… and of the Son, amen;" and at the third — "… and of the Holy Spirit, amen." The "Amen" is likewise pronounced thrice by the sponsor. The Greek name for baptism is "to baptisma" - baptisma, or baptismoV -, while the means of performing the baptism is described by the word baptizw, meaning "immersion." Hence, baptism must be performed through immersion, and not through pouring, as practiced in the West; this has come into practice in south-western Russia under the influence of the Catholics. In immersion the essence of the mystery is symbolically expressed — death to the life of sin and of the flesh, and resurrection or birth to holy, spiritual life. The immersion is burial with Christ, and the emersion from the water is the arising with Him. The immersion is performed thrice, firstly, in honor of the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity, Who recreates man through grace-filled baptism, and secondly, in depiction of the resurrection on the third day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

After the performance of the baptism, Psalm 31 is appointed to be sung thrice, which psalm points to God’s predetermination of the remission of sins: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven…" During this time the priest robes him who has emerged from the font in the robe of righteousness — a white garment. This signifies that he who has been baptized has put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), has put on the new man, created after God in righteousness (Eph. 4:24), and has been made pure of every sin. At this time a cross is placed upon the newly baptized as a constant reminder of the commandment of Christ: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).

Only bishops and priests may perform the sacrament of baptism. However, in case of need, if there is no priest and the unbaptized is in danger of death, a layman, either man or woman, may also perform a baptism. This person must, however, be Orthodox and understand the significance and importance of baptism. This baptism is recognized as valid if it was performed through three-fold immersion in water with the pronunciation of the established formula, "The servant of God (name) is baptized…," and so on. However, such a baptism, should the one who is baptized remain alive, must be completed by the priest, who performs the remaining rites of the mystery, but does not rebaptize.

According to the canons of the holy Orthodox Church, a second mystery is performed over the newly-baptized immediately following baptism: Chrysmation.

IV. Chrysmation.

Chrysmation is a sacrament in which the believer, at the anointing of the members of his body in the name of the Holy Spirit, receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which increase and strengthen him in the spiritual life, so that he might be strong, firm, and unshakable in Orthodox faith, love, and hope, with boldness and without fear to confess the name of Christ before all, and to grow in all the virtues (Orthodox cathechesis and the litany from the rite of the chrysmation of heretics).

On the tenth day after His Ascension, on the day of the feast of Pentecost, the Lord Jesus Christ, as He had promised his disciples, sent down upon them the Most Holy Spirit. Upon receiving this Gift, on the same day the holy apostles began to preach Him to the faithful, who were converted by the preaching of the apostle Peter, as described in the book of Acts, 2:38. In the beginning the apostles called down the Holy Spirit upon the faithful through prayer and the laying on of hands; later they themselves changed this, as they were unable to visit and lay hands upon all the faithful everywhere. Thus, in the Holy Church they appointed for this sacrament to be performed through chrysmation. The word "chrysm" — in Greek, crisma, meaning "anointing" — signifies "grace-filled oil." Only bishops and priests were able to perform the mystery of chrysmation, but the right of consecrating the holy chrysm belongs to the bishops alone. Holy chrysm must be kept in the altar with honor and the great care, as befits something holy, on the holy table in a silver or crystal vessel. A special box, usually called a "crysm holder," is designated for the performance of the sacraments of baptism and chrysmation: in this box are placed a vessel of holy chrysm, a vessel with blessed oil, two swabs for anointing, a sponge, and scissors for the cutting of hair.

In the West, the Catholics and others perform this mystery through the laying on of hands, which with them is called confirmatio. This is only performed by a bishop, and apart from baptism, not before the attainment of seven to twelve years of age.

In the Orthodox Church, the performance of the sacrament of baptism is always united with the sacrament of chrysmation. However, there are two instances when the sacrament of chrysmation is performed separately from baptism. These are 1) when unbelievers who have received proper baptism, but have not been anointed with holy chrysm, are united to the holy Orthodox Church, and 2) when the anointing of kings to kingship is performed.

Chrysmation combined with baptism is performed in the following manner. Following the robing of the newly-baptized in a white garment, the priest reads a prayer in which he asks God to bestow upon the former the "seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit," to preserve him in the sanctity given him, and to establish him in the Orthodox faith. The priest then cruciformly anoints the forehead, eyes, nostrils, lips, ears, breast, hands, and feet of the newly-baptized, at each anointing pronouncing: "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, amen." At this time, as the visible chrysm anoints the body, the Holy and Life-creating Spirit enlightens the soul. After the anointing with holy chrysm, "the priest makes a circle with the sponsor and the newly-baptized;" i.e., they walk thrice around the font with the three-fold singing of: "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia." The circle signifies eternity; hence, the encircling of the font three times with candles represents the entrance of the newly-illumined into an eternal union with Christ, the light of the world. The walk begin from the right side, i.e., from the west side towards the south, and not with the sun, as with us the Old Believers required. After this walking around the prokeimenon is pronounced: "The Lord is my light and my Savior; whom then shall I fear;" the Epistle to the Romans, §91 (Rom. 6:3-11) is read, in which the meaning of baptism is explained; and the Gospel is read from St. Mark §116 (Mk. 28:16-20) is read, which tells of the commandment of the Lord, given to the apostles — that they baptize all men in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. After the reading of the Gospel the litany, "Have mercy on us, O God…" is pronounced, in which there are special petitions for the sponsor and the newly-baptized. Then, by ustav, the dismissal is given. In present times, however, the rite of baptism does not finish with this. In ancient times the newly-baptized would wear the white garment for seven days, removing himself from all amusements and passing the time in fasting and prayer, for fear that, through light-mindedness and distraction, he might erase from himself the material traces of the seven-fold gift of the Holy Spirit (see Isaiah, 11:2). The newly-baptized could not even bathe the visible signs of the mystical sealing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. On the eighth day he removed the white garment from himself, and the priest read a prayer to God that He, through His grace, might preserve in complete wholeness the spiritual seal upon the newly-baptized; after this he washed those parts of the body which were anointed with holy chrysm. In present times this washing is performed immediately after the reading of the Gospel and the litany, without giving the dismissal. In the Book of Needs, however, according to the ancient rite, this is found under a special heading — "The washing on the eighth day" —, in the beginning of which is stated: "And on the eighth day he is again brought into the church, to be washed." First the priest reads two prayers, then "looses" the belt and clothes of the infant and, bringing together the edges thereof (currently it is customary to use the edges of the garment with which the infant is to be clothed), dampens them with clean water and wipes his face and the other parts of the body that were anointed with chrysm, saying: "Thou art baptized, thou art illumined…," and so forth. After the washing, two prayers are read at the tonsure; the tonsure itself is performed with the words: "The servant of God (name) is tonsured, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The tonsure shows that the newly-illumined commits himself to obedience to God: he becomes a servant of God, for the tonsure of one’s hair has always served as a sign of servitude and submission. The tonsure is performed cruciformly in the same order as that in which the head is blessed. After each cut the priest gives the hairs to the sponsor, who sets them into a piece wax and puts them into the font. (The water from the font should be poured out in a place which will not be walked upon; usually under a tree.) Then follow a litany and the dismissal, at which the saint is commemorated whose name was given to the newly-baptized. After the dismissal there exists a practice of pronouncing the many years to the newly-illumined, his the sponsors, and his parents.

After this the cross is usually proferred for veneration.

The Prayer for the Short Order of Baptism,

When an infant must be baptized, for fear of death.

If the infant was born very weak or sick, and may die, a special, greatly abbreviated rite of baptism is performed over him, which consists only of the reading of the opening prayers, one priestly prayer at the sanctification of the water, the pouring of oil into the water, the baptism itself with the usual words, the robing, the anointing with holy chrysm, and the walk around the font with the singing of: "As many as have been baptized into Christ…"

Concerning Rites of Unification to Orthodoxy.

These rites are not found in the usual Book of Needs; instead, they are printed in a separate booklet: "How to receive those who come to the Orthodox faith." It is usually customary to distinguish three different rites of unification to Orthodoxy.

The first rite is used for the unification of pagans, Muslims, and Jews; i.e., those who do not believe in Christ and are unbaptized. These are united through a renunciation of their errors, baptism, and chrysmation, after which they become worthy of communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.

The second rite is used for the unification of all protestants and sectarians who have been properly baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but have not been anointed with holy chrysm. They are united through a renunciation of their errors, which is preceded by confession without the prayer of absolution (the latter is read at the end of the rite of unification, after the renunciation), and chrysmation, after which they receive the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Roman Catholics and Armenian-Gregorians who did not receive the sacrament of chrysmation in their own faith are received through this same rite.

The third rite is used for the unification of Roman Catholics and Armenian-Gregorians. This rite consists only of confession and a renunciation of the errors of their previous faith, after which the prayer of absolution is read over them and they are permitted to receive communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.

All of these rites are usually performed before the Divine Liturgy, in order that the newly-united might immediately communion following their unification.

The common outline of all these rites consists of the following. The heterodox first of all confesses before the priest all of his sins from all his past life; the prayer of absolution, however, is not read after this. Then, in the vestibule of the temple, the one being united pronounces a renunciation of the errors of his previous faith, listing them, after which he confesses the dogmas of the Holy Orthodox Church and reads the Symbol of Faith. The priest gives him the edge of his epitrachelion and leads him into the church, places him before an analoy with the Gospel and a cross, and reads a prayer over him, and presents to him an oath, "to firmly, with God’s help, to maintain and confess the Orthodox faith whole and unharmed until his last breath, and to carry out the duties thereof," in testimony of which the one being united kisses the words of the Gospel and the cross. The rite concludes with a special prayer of absolution. Then, upon the unchrysmated, chrysmation is performed according to a special rite. They then partake of the Holy Mysteries of Christ at the Liturgy. For the rite of chrysmation in such cases, a table covered with a cloth is placed in the middle of the temple, on which are placed the holy Gospel and a cross, two lighted candles, a vessel with holy chrysm, a sponge, a swab, and a small vessel of warm water, in which the sponge is moistened for the wiping of the areas anointed with holy chrism. The lighted candles are given to the one being united and his sponsor. The rite of this chrysmation, which is performed separately from baptism, begins with the liturgical exclamation: "Blessed is the kingdom…" Then, "O Heavenly King" is sung, the great litany is read with special petitions, and a prayer is read, after which the anointing itself takes place as usual, after which a cross is placed on the chrysmated one. Following this another prayer is read, and the parts of the body that were anointed with holy chrysm are wiped with the sponge, moistened in the warm water. Then the augmented litany is pronounced, and the dismissal is given with the cross, which is offered for veneration to the newly-united and his sponsor.

If one of the heterodox, before his death, should wish to receive the Orthodox faith, such a one, according to the decree of the Holy Synod, is to be untied to our Church, due to the short time available and the weakness of the ailing one, through the laying on of the priest’s hands and confession alone, as well as, for those who have not been anointed with holy chrysm, the anointing of the forehead alone. Then, having been vouchsafed the communion of the Holy Mysteries, after their death they are buried according to the whole rite of our Church. At this rite of unification, only two prayers are read: the opening, supplicatory prayer and the closing prayer of absolution.

A special signed statement is required of all those who are united to the holy Orthodox Church, stating that they completely voluntarily accept holy Orthodoxy and promise to remain faithful thereto until death.

Concerning the Chrysmation of Kings at a Coronation

According to the rite of the holy Orthodox Church, the sacrament of chrysmation is performed according to a special rite for Orthodox kings upon their coronation. For this reason kings are called "God’s Anointed." The chrysmation which is performed for kings is not some separate sacrament, nor should it be looked upon as a repetition of the sacrament of chrysmation, since the latter, like baptism, is unrepeatable. This holy anointing of the Sovereigns with holy chrysm on the day of their coronation is nothing other than a higher level of communication of the grace of the Holy Spirit, one essential for the Sovereign’s successful fulfillment of his high royal service. The Sovereign reads aloud the Symbol of the Orthodox Faith, after which follows the rite itself, which is reminiscent of a moleben in its order. A certain moving prayer in this rite is read by the crowned Sovereign himself, who prays to God: "Do Thou, O my Master and God, instruct me in the work for which Thou hast sent me; give me understanding and guide me in this great service, that the wisdom which is present at Thy throne may be with me…" At the beginning of the Liturgy the Sovereign removes his crown, and after the communion of the clergy in the altar and the opening of the royal doors the chrysmation of the Sovereign and his Queen is performed, at which the King is anointed with holy chrysm on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, lips, ears, breast, and both sides of the hands, while the Queen is anointed on the forehead alone. Then the metropolitan leads the Sovereign through the royal doors into the altar, the doors are closed, and the Sovereign, as God’s Anointed and the supreme protector of the Church, partakes of the Holy Mysteries of Christ before the altar, "according to the royal rite,," just as the clergy commune — of the body of Christ and the holy blood separately. The Queen then partkes before the royal doors in the usual manner. They then return to their thrones, and their spiritual father reads for them the prayers of thanksgiving.

V. The Order of Confession.

(The Sacrament of Repentance)

A Christian who has fallen into sin after baptism is granted forgiveness and spiritual healing by the holy Church through the sacrament of Repentance, which is therefore called a second baptism. Repentance is a sacrament in which the one confessing his sins, in the visible demonstration of forgiveness by the priest, is invisibly loosed of his sins by Jesus Christ Himself. Since the power to bind and to loose was given by the Lord (Matt. 18:18 and Jn. 20:23) to the apostles and their successors, the sacrament of repentance can only be performed by bishops and presbyters lawfully ordained by them.

The establishment of this sacrament has its origins from our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to His disciples: "As my Father has sent Me, even so send I you… Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (Jn. 20:21-23).

During the first three centuries of Christianity, if anyone fell into an especially serious sin, such as falling away from the faith, murder, and fornication were recognized to be, such a one was completely cut off from the Church. If he were to display sincere remorse and a desire to be accepted into the Church anew, he had to confess his sin publicly, before the whole Church, and, in testimony of the sincerity of his remorse, pass through various stages of examination. Each of these stages continued several years, although in several instances condescension was shown to the sincerely penitent and the length of this repentance was shortened. Admission to such repentance itself, as well as the passing from one category of penitents to another, was not permitted other than with prayer and the laying on of hands; in precisely the same way the final absolution of sins was given before the whole Church. At the end of the third century individual confession, in private with a confessor, entered into practice. The chief cause for the introduction of such individual confession was the schism of the Novations. Two priests, Novatius of Roman and Novatus of Carthage, began to teach that those who had fallen into sin after baptism could not be absolved whatsoever. The Church condemned their teaching and, in order to avoid the censure of heretics and the temptation of the weak, granted bishops the power to appoint special presbyters, who were known for their spiritual life and experience, as confessors, and to entrust them with hearing the confession of sins in private. The decline of zeal in penitents, as well as the fact that many began to turn open confession from edification of themselves to an occasion for the slander and disrespecting of their neighbor, became the reason for why public repentance was gradually entirely replaced by individual confession, in private, with a confessor.

The primary time for confession is considered to be the fasts, but the sacrament of repentance may be performed at any other time. It is forbidden by the canons of the Church (Ap. Can. 12, Mosc. Coun. of 1677, Ch. 5) to go from one confessor to another without particular reasons, especially for persons under an epitimia.

In present times one who wishes to approach for the sacrament of repentance prepares for it through a time of fasting: for several days he must attend all the church services, passing the time in fasting, the reading of the Word of God, an examination of his past life, and contrition for his sins. After appropriate preparation he comes to the priest to offer his confession. The priest receives him before an analoy on which lie the symbols of our redemption — the Holy Gospel and the Cross. With humility the penitent thrice bows down completely before them as before the Lord Himself, his Redeemer and Judge. Then the priest reads for him the "Order of Confession." This order is usually read immediately for all those making confession together, if not one but many people are confessing. The confession itself, however, according to the directions of the Book of Needs, must take place alone with each person, even if he should be very young (those who have reached the age of seven must come for confession).

"The Order of Confession" consists of the opening exclamation: "Blessed is our God…," the opening prayers from the Trisagion through Our Father, the penitent Psalm 50 of David, the penitential troparia: "Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us…," and two priestly prayers for the forgiveness of the sins of those who repent. In beginning confession the priest first of all asks the one who has come concerning the faith, without which the remission of sins is impossible. Then he goes on to questions concerning sins. During this the penitent is obligated to relate everything that reproaches his conscience, hiding and concealing nothing. It is more correct for the one confessing his sins to speak himself, not awaiting the questions of the priest. Having confessed all of which he recognizes himself to be guilty before God, the penitent kneels down, awaiting the righteous judgment of God upon himself. The priest reads over him the prayer, "O Lord God of the salvation of Thy servants…," in which he asks God to show mercy upon His servant, to forgive him all his sins, both voluntary and involuntary, and to reconcile and unite him anew unto His Holy Church, from which he had fallen away through sin. Then the priest lays upon him the end of his epitrachelion, as a sign of the outpouring upon him of the merciful grace of God, and pronounces the confessional prayer of absolution: "May our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love for mankind, forgive thee, my child, (name), all thy transgressions; and I, an unworthy priest, through the power given unto me by Him, do forgive and absolve thee of all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen." While pronouncing the final words of this prayer of absolution, with his right hand the priest cruciformly signs the head of the penitent, which is covered with the epitrachelion. He then reads "It is Truly Meet," "Glory, both now," and the dismissal. After the dismissal the penitent kisses the Gospel and the Cross, and receives a blessing. Afer this the priest may give the penitent "a canon against his sin," i.e., impose an epitimia upon him for his sins. Epitimia comes from the Greek words "epitimao" - epitimaw - "I forbid," or egitimion, "chastisement," "retribution," which is imposed either in the form of spiritual chastisement — debarring from Holy Communion for a certain period of time — or in the form of spiritual healing — fasting, prostrations, almsgiving, or prayer. One should be aware, however, that, in the Orthodox understanding, the epitimia has neither the quality nor the significance of satisfying the righteousness of God; for recompense for our sins was made once and for all by the Lord Himself upon the cross. Hence, the epitimia does not constitute an unconditional necessity of confession: it is imposed for the spiritual good of the penitent, as a pious exercise which aids deliverance from the injurious pattern of sinning. In this connection spiritual fathers must be condescending and cautious in imposing epitimias, so as not to drive away the penitent.

According to the canons, for many serious sins, debarring from communion for several years is in order, during which only "agiasma," i.e., holy water from Theophany, may be drunk. Without a bishop, a spiritual father by himself cannot subject a person to debarring from the Holy Mysteries. In present times, in view of the general decline of religious moral life, debarring from Holy Communion for great lengths of time is not permitted.

For one who has fulfilled an epitimia there is a special Prayer for one being released from debarring in the Book of Needs. A spiritual father has not the right to receive for confession those debarred by other spiritual fathers and absolve them from their debarring, with the exception of the ill and dying, whom any priest can and must confess and absolve. Since some may die without having received absolution during their life, it is customary to read a special prayer of absolution over every deceased person.

VI. The Sacrament of the Priesthood.

Only a bishop has the right to perform this sacrament; hence, all the rites of this sacrament are not found in the Book of Needs, but in the "Book of Rites for Hierarchal Service." The rite for the appointment and ordination of a bishop is located in a separate book.

The priesthood is a sacrament in which, through hierarchal ordination ("heirotonia," from the Greek ceirotonia: "heir" - o ceir - meaning "hand," and "tithimi," meaning "I lay"), the Holy Spirit descends upon one properly chosen and sets appoints him to perform the sacraments and shepherd the flock of Christ.

"The Divine establishment of the sacrament of the priesthood is presupposed by the Divine establishment and significance of the very hierarchy of the New Testament Church. The hierarchy is established in the Church so as to be an instrument of the actions of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments, in teaching, and in the guidance of the Church, and so that through her, by succession from the apostles, who received the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ, the current of grace might likewise be continually poured out from its source, Christ, upon the nations separated from Him by time and space. It is evident that the appointment of persons called to be instruments of the actions of the Spirit of God may only be conducted by the Holy Spirit, and not by men; therefore, the means of this appointment must also be particular, divine, and mystical, as well as visible" ("Essays on Orthodox Dogmatic Theology," Prot. N. Malinovski, p. 219, Sergiev Posad, 1912, second edition).

The sacrament of the priesthood is performed only upon persons who have been lawfully chosen for the duties of deacon, presbyter, or bishop, and is called "heirotonia" or "ordination," since, after the example of the apostles, it is performed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the bishop upon the head of the one being ordained. The sacrament of the priesthood is always performed in the altar and, moreover, during a Divine Liturgy. Since the newly-ordained bishop or priest take part in the consecration of the Holy Gifts on the day of their ordination, for them the heirotonia is performed only at the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or of St. Basil the Great. At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, however, only an ordination to the deaconate may be performed, or a consecration to the lower levels of clergy — subdeacon, reader, singer, and candle-bearer. At a single Liturgy only one bishop, one priest, and one deacon may be ordained.

The consecration to the lower church ranks is called the "heirotesia" - ceiroqesia -, which means "placing of hands," and is performed, not in the altar, but in the center of the temple. It may also be performed outside of the Liturgy.

One may not be consecrated to higher ranks of the church clergy without having passed through the preceding lower ranks. The first rank is the rank of the reader or singer.

The Consecration of a Reader and Singer

The consecration of a reader and singer takes place in the middle of the church, usually before the beginning of the Liturgy (several persons may be consecrated at once). Following the vesting of the bishop, during the reading of the Sixth Hour, the subdeacons lead the one who has been selected before the royal doors. There they make three bows towards the altar, then, turning around, they bow thrice to the bishop. Then, approaching the bishop, the one being consecrated bows his head. The bishop signs him with the sign of the cross and, laying his hand upon the one being consecrated, reads a prayer. Then the bishop tonsures his hair cruciformly, after which he lays upon the one being consecrated a short phelonion, which St. Symeon of Thessalonica calls "the first of the sacred vestments." Then the bishop blesses his head thrice and reads a second prayer. The first prayer is read for the consecration of a candle-bearer, and the second, for the consecration of readers and singers. Following the end of this prayer, the reader is commanded to read a section from the Apostle, as a sign that his chief duty is to read this sacred book at the divine services. Then the phelonion is removed from the consecrated one and he his vested in a sticharion. After this the bishop read to him, from the Book of Needs, a special homily, and give him a "lampada," or candle-holder, with which the consecrated one stands by an icon of the Mother of God during the Liturgy.

Readers are usually called clerics, clergymen, and sextons, as well as "ponomars," or, more correctly, "paramoniaris," from the Greek "paramoni — ponomarh -, i.e. a server who remains in or is appointed to the altar. In the Service Book it is stated that one should enter the altar except for the ponomaris. It is their duty to prepare the prosphora, wine, water, incense, and fire in the altar, and to see to its cleanliness. In the Typicon the one who fulfills all these duties is additionally called the "paraecclesiarch," or the "lamp-lighter." He is likewise responsible for ringing the bells for the services.

The name "cleric" — in Greek, klhrikoV - comes from "cliros," which means "lot," since they belong to the lot of the Lord and are the Lord’s inheritance, as ones who have consecrated themselves to His service.

The Consecration of a Subdeacon.

This is likewise performed in the middle of the church, before the Liturgy, after the vesting of the bishop. Sometimes this consecration is performed immediately after the consecration of a reader. After the vesting of the reader in the sticharion, the subdeacons bring the bishop the sticharion belt, or orarion. The bishop blesses it, the one being consecrated kisses the belt and the hand of the bishop, and the subdeacons gird him with the belt. The subdeacon represents the service of the angels, hence he is girded cruciformly with the orarion to represent the wings with which the Cherubim cover themselves, standing before the throne of God. The bishop then blesses the head of the one being consecrated thrice with his hand and, laying his hand upon the head of the latter, reads a prayer. Following this the newly-consecrated is given a basin, an ubrus, or towel, is layed upon him, and he assists the bishop with washing his hands, pouring water for him. Having kissed the bishops hand, he is lead to a specified place (on the cliros), where he stands holding the basin, the pitcher, and the towel until the Cherubic Hymn, reading to himself the Trisagion through "Our Father," "Lord, have mercy," "I Believe," "Remit, pardon…," and whichever other prayers he desires. During the singing of the Cherubic Hymn he is lead to the royal doors, where he assists the bishop to wash his hands, after which he goes into the altar. (According to the directions in the Book of Rites, at the Great Entrance he must follow after all those serving and, when the bishop takes the diskos and the poterion, and all enter the altar, he carries the water to the clirosi and the people to anoint themselves; this, however, is no longer done.)

The subdeacon is given the duties of cleaning and wiping all dust from the holy table and the table of oblation; he must see to their cleanliness. The subdeacons serve, for the most part, with a bishop: they vest him and, at the proper moments, give him the trikiri and dikiri to bless with.

The Ordination of a Deacon.

Only one who has already been consecrated a reader and a subdeacon may be ordained a deacon. Therefore, in present times it often occurs that the one being ordained a deacon, on the same day, is first consecrated a reader and a subdeacon (if he was not already ordained to these ranks before).

The ordination of a deacon may only take place at a Liturgy, either full or of the Presanctified Gifts.

The deacon do