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THE CHOIR'S HANDBOOK

 

DAILY VESPERS  

OF GREAT LENT 

 

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After the Dismissal of the Ninth Hour the Priest shall say:

Blessed is our God always, now and for ever: world without end.

READER: Amen.

O come, let us worship... [3]

And the Introductory Psalm:  

Bless the Lord, O my soul...

 After the introductory psalm, the  Priest shall say the Great litany.

PRIEST: For unto Thee belong all glory...

CHOIR: Amen.

And immediately the choir shall sing Lord I have cried”.

And the Choir shall sing 6 verses with the appointed hymns. 3 from the Triodion, and 3 from the Menaion.

Glory... Now and for ever... the Theotokion from the Menaion.

 And the Reader  shall recite the Evening Hymn “O Gladsome light”,

And the choir shall sing the Prokhimenon of the day. And straightway the Reader shall read the Old Testament readings.

First reading: The reading is from the Book of Genesis

PRIEST: Wisdom. Let us give heed.

Second reading: The reading is from the Book of Proverbs

PRIEST: Wisdom. Let us give heed.

 

READER

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without sin...

 

PRIEST

Let us complete our supplication unto the Lord.

Succour, save, have mercy and preserve us O God, by Thy grace.

That this whole evening may be perfect...

 CHOIR: Grant us O Lord. And after each petition

For an angel of peace, faithful guide...

For pardon and remission of our sins...

For things good and profitable to our souls...

That we may pass the remainder of our lives...

For a Christian ending to our life...

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled...

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: For Thou, O God, art good and loving-kind...

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

Let us bow down our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: O Lord our God, who bows the heavens...

Blessed and glorified is the power...

CHOIR: Amen.

The choir shall now sing the  Aposticha of the day. The first without a verse and the other two preceded by the following verses.

 1) Unto Thee have I lifted up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaiden look unto the hands of her mistress, so do our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until He take pity upon us.

 

2) Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are utterly humiliated. Let shame come on them that prosper, and abasement on the proud. 

 

Glory be to the Father.... Now and for ever....

And the Theotokion

PRIEST: Lord, now lettest Thy servant depart in peace...

READER: The Trisagion

After the Trisagion and the Lord’s Prayer, the Priest shall say:

For Thine is the kingdom, the power...

CHOIR: Amen.

The choir shall then sing the following hymns. All the people shall make a prostration at each hymn except for the last.

O Virgin Mother of God, hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb; for thou gavest birth to the Saviour of our souls.

O Baptist of Christ, be mindful of us all, that we may be delivered from our iniquities: for unto thee is given grace to pray for us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Pray for us, holy Apostles and all saints, that we may be delivered from peril and afflictions: for ye are our fervent advocates before the Saviour.

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Beneath thy tender mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God: despise not our supplications in distress, but deliver us from peril, for thou alone art pure, thou alone art blessed.

Kyrie eleison. [40] Glory be to the Father...  now and for ever...

More honourable than the cherubim...

In the name of the Lord, Father give the blessing

PRIEST

Christ our God, the Supreme Being, is blessed always, now and for ever: world without end.

 

O heavenly King, uphold our faithful rulers, strengthen the faith, calm the nations, give peace to the world. Preserve this city [village, monastery], grant to our fathers and brethren that they may dwell with the righteous, and accept us in repentance and confession: for Thou art good and lovest mankind.

 

And the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian with three prostrations.

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power, and vain words.

But the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love, grant unto me Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me awareness of my own sins and let me not judge my brother: for blessed  art Thou for ever and ever. Amen.

Then 12 prostrations and again:

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me awareness of my own sins and let me not judge my brother: for blessed  art Thou for ever and ever. Amen.

READER: The Trisagion

After the Trisagion and the Lord’s Prayer, the Priest shall say:

For Thine is the kingdom, the power...

CHOIR: Amen. Kyrie eleison [12]

O most holy Trinity, consubstantial power, undivided Kingship, the cause of all good, be gracious even unto me, a sinner. Confirm and instruct my heart and take away from me every defilement. Enlighten my mind, that I may ever glorify, praise, and worship Thee, saying: One only is Holy, One only is the Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Blessed is the name of the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore. [3]

Glory be to the Father.... Now and for ever....

PSALM 33 [34]

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The rich have become poor and hungry, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.  Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

PSALM 144 [145]

I will extol thee, my God, O King; and will bless thy name for ever and ever. Everyday will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and  greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men  shall speak of the might of thy  terrible  acts:  and  I  will  declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The Lord is gracious, and full of com­passion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon  him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love
him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

PRIEST Wisdom

CHOIR

Meet it is in very truth to call thee blessed who didst bring forth God, ever blessed and most pure, and Mother of our God.

PRIEST: Most holy Mother of God, save us.

CHOIR

More honourable than the cherubim and past compare more glorious than the seraphim, who inviolate didst bear God the Word, very Mother of God, thee we magnify.

PRIEST: Glory be to Thee, O Christ our God and our hope, glory be to Thee.

CHOIR: Glory be to the Father... Now and for ever... Kyrie eleison [3]. Holy Father, give the blessing.

 

PRIEST

May Christ our true God, by the prayers...

By the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.

CHOIR: Amen.