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THE PEOPLE'S HANDBOOK

 

MATTINS OF GREAT SATURDAY

(SUNG ON HOLY AND GREAT FRIDAY EVENING)

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THE LAMENTATIONS

MATTINS OF GREAT SATURDAY SUNG ON

HOLY AND GREAT FRIDAY EVENING

 

PRIEST

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

READER: Amen.

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

O heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of truth, which art in all places and fillest all things; Treasure of goodness and Giver of life: Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from all that defileth. And save our souls, O Thou who art good.

READER

O Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us. (3)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, world without end. Amen.

Most Holy Trinity, have mercy upon us; O Lord, cleanse us from our sins; O Master, pardon our transgressions; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy Name’s sake.

Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [3]

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

PRIEST

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

READER: Amen.

Save, O Lord, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, granting them victory over their enemies; And by Thy Cross, do Thou, protect Thy commonwealth.

 

Glory…

Lifted up of Thine own will upon the Cross, do Thou bestow Thy compassions upon the new commonwealth, that bears Thy name, O Christ our God, Make glad with Thy strength, our pious rulers, granting them victory over their enemies; may they have as an alliance, that invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace.

Now and for ever… Theotokion

O formidable and unashamed protector, O good and all praiseworthy Mother of God, despise not our prayers: sustain the Orthodox people: save those whom thou hast charged to rule over us, granting them victory from heaven: for thou didst give birth to God, thou who alone art blessed.

PRIEST

Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hear us and have mercy.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. (3) [And after each petition]

PRIEST

Again we pray for all pious Orthodox Christians.

Again we pray for our Archbishop [name] and for all our brethren in Christ.

For Thou art a merciful God and a lover of mankind, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

READER Amen. Bless, father, in the name of the Lord.

PRIEST

Glory be to the Holy, Consubstantial, life-giving and undivided Trinity: always, now and for ever: world without end.

READER Amen.

THE SIX PSALMS

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. [3]

Lord, open Thou my lips and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. [2]

PSALM 3

Lord, why are they increased that trouble me? many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no salvation for him in his God. But Thou, O Lord, art my support, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy mount. I laid me down and slept; I rose up, for the Lord will support me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for Thou hast smitten all them that are mine enemies without a cause; Thou hast broken the teeth of sinners. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord, and Thy blessing is upon Thy people.

I laid me down and slept; I rose up, for the Lord will support me.

 

PSALM 37 [38]

O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chasten me in Thy wrath. For Thine arrows are stuck fast in me, and Thou hast laid Thy hand heavily upon me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger, neither is there any peace in my bones because of my sins. For mine iniquities are gone over my head; as an heavy burden have they pressed heavily upon me. My wounds are become noisome and corrupt, because of my foolishness. I have been wretched and bowed down greatly; I went with mourning countenance all the day long. For my loins are filled with mockings, and there is no healing in my flesh. I am troubled and brought down greatly; I have roared by reason of the groaning of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hid from Thee. My heart is troubled, my strength hath failed me; as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My friends and my neighbours drew near and stood over against me, and my kinsmen stood afar off. They also that sought after my life used violence, and they that sought my hurt spake vanities, and imagined deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. And I became as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; Thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God. For I said, Let never mine enemies rejoice over me; for when my feet slipped, they magnified themselves against me. For I am ready for scourges, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity, and be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies live, and are stronger than I, and they that hated me wrongfully are multiplied. They that render me evils for good have slandered me, because I followed the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O Lord my God; depart not from me. Attend to helping me, O Lord of my salvation.

Forsake me not, O Lord my God; depart not from me.

Attend to helping me, O Lord of my salvation.

PSALM 62 [63]

O God, my God, early do I watch to Thee: my soul hath thirsted for Thee, how many ways my flesh hath longed for Thee, in a barren and untrodden land, where no water is. Thus have I appeared before Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and glory. Because Thy mercy is better than lives; my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live, and I will lift up my hands in Thy name. Let my soul be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips. If I remembered Thee upon my bed, I meditated on Thee in the morning watches. Because Thou hast been my help; and in the shelter of Thy wings will I rejoice. My soul hath cleaved unto Thee; Thy right hand hath upholden me. But they have sought my soul in vain; they shall go into the lower parts of the earth: they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be portions for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall be praised, for the mouth of them that speak unjustly hath been stopped.

I meditated on Thee in the morning watches. Because Thou hast been my help; and in the shelter of Thy wings will I rejoice.

My soul hath cleaved unto Thee; Thy right hand hath upholden me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. [3]

Kyrie eleison. [3]

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

PSALM 87 [88]

O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee. Let my prayer come before Thee; incline thine ear unto my supplication. For my soul is full of evils, and my life hath drawn nigh unto Hades. I am counted with them that go down into the pit; I am become as a man without help, free among the dead. Like the bodies of the slain that sleep in the grave, whom Thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from Thy hand. They have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, and in the shadow of death. Thy wrath is made strong over me, and Thou hast brought all Thy waves upon me. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; they have made me an abomination unto them; I am delivered up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eyes are grown weak by reason of poverty. Lord, I have called daily upon Thee, I have stretched out my hands unto Thee. Wilt thou work wonders for the dead? or shall physicians raise them up to praise Thee? Shall any in the grave tell of Thy mercy, and of Thy truth in that destruction? Shall Thy wonders be known in that darkness, and Thy righteousness in the land of that is forgotten? But unto Thee have I cried, O Lord, and in the morning shall my prayer prevent Thee. Lord, why castest Thou off my soul, and turnest Thou Thy face from me? I am poor and in troubles from my youth up; yea, having been exalted, I was bowed down, and brought low unto distress. Thy fierce wrath hath gone over me, and Thy terrors have troubled me. They came round about me like water; all the day long they compassed me about together. Friend and neighbour hast Thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance, because of misery.

O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee.

Let my prayer come before Thee; incline thine ear unto my supplication.

PSALM 102 [103]

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, Who healeth all thine infirmities. Who redeemeth thy life from corruption, Who crowneth thee with mercy and loving kindness. Who satisfieth thy desire with good things; thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's. The Lord executeth mercy and judgment for all that are wronged. He made known His ways unto Moses, His will unto the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy. He will not always be angry, neither will He be wrathful for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, the Lord hath made His mercy to prevail over them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our iniquities from us. Like as a father hath compassion upon his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear Him; for He knoweth whereof we are made, He remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as the grass; as a flower of the field, so shall he flourish. For when the wind hath passed over it, it shall be gone, and it will know the place thereof no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness upon children's children, upon such as keep His testament, and remember His commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared His throne in heaven, and His kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, all ye His angels, mighty in strength, that perform His word, to hearken unto the voice of His words. Bless ye the Lord, all ye His hosts, ye ministers of His that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all ye works of His, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.    

In all places of His dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

PSALM 142 [143]

Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear unto my supplication in Thy truth; hear me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life to the ground; he hath sat me in darkness, as those that have been long dead; and my spirit hath fainted within me, my heart within me is troubled. I remembered the days of old, I meditated on all Thy works, I considered the works of Thy hands. I stretched forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee as a thirsty land. Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit hath fainted away; turn not Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning, for in Thee have I put my trust; cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk, for I have lifted up my soul unto Thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies; I have fled unto Thee for refuge. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God; Thy good Spirit shall lead me into the land of uprightness. Thou shalt quicken me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake; in Thy righteousness shalt Thou bring my soul out of trouble; and of Thy mercy shalt Thou cut off mine enemies. And Thou shalt destroy all them that afflict my soul, for I am Thy servant.

Hear me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with Thy servant. (2)

Thy good Spirit shall lead me into the land of uprightness.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. [3]

Our hope, glory be to Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

In peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

For the peace from on high, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray unto the Lord.

For the peace and union of the whole world, and for the good estate of the holy churches of God, let us pray unto the Lord.

For this holy temple and for them that enter therein with faith, reverence and fear of God, let us pray unto the Lord.

For our father and Archbishop [name], for the honourable order of priesthood, and for the diaconate which is in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray unto the Lord.

For this city [village, monastery]; for every city and land, and for them that dwell therein with faith, let us pray unto the Lord.  

For fair seasons and the abundance of the fruits of the earth, let us pray unto the Lord.

For them that travel by land, by water, by air; for the sick and the suffering, For those in captivity, And for their salvation, let us pray unto the Lord.

That we may be deliver from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray unto the Lord.

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.                            

PRIEST

For unto Thee belong all glory, honour and worship, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Spirit; now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

God is the Lord and hath appeared unto us. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Verse 1: O give thanks unto the Lord, and call upon His holy name.  

God is the Lord…

Verse 2: All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I repulsed them.

God is the Lord…

Verse 3: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

God is the Lord…

Troparia Tone 2

Down from the tree Joseph, a godly man, took Thy most pure Body, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, and laid and closed it in a new sepulchre.

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

When Thou didst descend toward death, O Life Everlasting, Then Thou didst shatter Hades with the light of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst raise the dead from that infernal place, all the heavenly powers cried out to Thee, O Christ our God, the giver of life, glory to Thee.

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen

The Angel stood by the tomb and to the Myrrh-bearing women he cried aloud: Myrrh is fitting for the dead, but Christ hath shown himself a stranger to corruption. 

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thine is the might, and Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

CHOIR: Amen.

Kathismata Tone 1

 

Thy precious Body did Joseph beg from Pilate, and having anointed it with sweet smelling spices wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in a new tomb. Whereby, early in the morning the Myrrhbearing women cried aloud: As thou didst foretell, O Christ, show us thy Resurrection.

Glory…

As thou didst foretell, O Christ, show us thy Resurrection.

Now and for ever…

The choir of the Angels were amazed when they saw how he who is immortal and rests in the bosom of the Father was laid in the tomb as one dead: whom the ranks of Angels encircle and glorify together with the dead in Hades as Creator and Lord.

READER

Psalm 50 [51]

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight; that Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquity, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou revealed to me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that are humbled shall rejoice. Turn away Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and stablish me with Thy sovereign spirit. I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn again to Thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise. For hadst Thou desired sacrifice, I would have given it; Thou wilt not delight in whole burnt offerings. A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, oblation and whole burnt offerings: then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

And straightway the following Canon, chanting the Eirmos twice and the Troparia as four with the verse Glory to thee, O God, glory to thee. And then again the Eirmos as Katavasia.

 

Ode 1 Tone 6. The Eirmos

He who in ancient times hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea, is hidden beneath the earth by the children of those whom once He saved. But as the maidens let us sing unto the Lord, for He is greatly glorified.

Lord my God, I will sing to Thee a funeral hymn, a song at Thy burial: for by Thy burial Thou hast opened for me the gates of life, and by Thy death Thou hast slain death and hell.

All things above and all beneath the earth quaked with fear at Thy death, as they beheld Thee, O my Saviour, upon Thy throne on high and in the tomb below. For beyond our understanding Thou dost lie before our eyes, a corpse yet the very Source of Life.

To fill all things with Thy glory, Thou hast gone down into the nethermost parts of the earth: for my person that is in Adam has not been hidden from Thee, but in Thy love for man Thou art buried in the tomb and dost restore me from corruption.

Katavasia

He who in ancient times hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea, is hidden beneath the earth by the children of those whom once He saved. But as the maidens let us sing unto the Lord, for He is greatly glorified.

Ode 3 The Eirmos

When the creation beheld Thee hanging in Golgotha, who hast hung the whole earth freely upon the waters, it was seized with amazement and it cried: There is none holy save Thee, O Lord.

Signs and tokens of Thy burial Thou hast disclosed in a multitude of visions; and now, O Master, as both God and man, Thou hast revealed Thy hidden secrets unto those in hell who cry: There is none holy save Thee, O Lord.

Thou hast stretched out Thine arms and united all that before was separated; wrapped in a winding-sheet, O Saviour, and buried in a tomb, Thou hast loosed the prisoners, and they cry: There is none holy save Thee, O Lord.

O Thou whom nothing can contain, of Thine own will Thou wast enclosed and sealed within the tomb: but through Thine energies Thou hast as God revealed Thy power to those who sing: There is none holy save Thee, O Lord who lovest mankind.

Katavasia

When the creation beheld Thee hanging in Golgotha, who hast hung the whole earth freely upon the waters, it was seized with amazement and it cried: There is none holy save Thee, O Lord.

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thou art our God and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

CHOIR: Amen.

Kathisma Tone 1

The soldiers who kept watch over thy tomb, O Saviour, became as dead men from the lightning flash of the Angel who appeared and announced to the women of thy Resurrection. We glorify Thee, the destroyer of corruption. We fall down before thee, who didst rise from the tomb, O thou, our only God.

Ode 4 The Eirmos

Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the Cross, Habakkuk cried out marvelling: Thou hast cut short the strength of the powerful, O gracious and almighty Lord, and preached to those in hell.

Today Thou dost keep holy the seventh day, which Thou hast blessed of old by resting from Thy works. Thou bringest all things into being and Thou makest all things new, observing the sabbath rest, my Saviour, and restoring Thy strength .

Thou hast gained the victory by Thy greater strength: Thy soul was parted from Thy body, yet by Thy power, O Word, Thou hast burst asunder the bonds of death and hell.

Hell was filled with bitterness when it met Thee, O Word, for it saw a mortal deified, marked by wounds yet all-powerful; and it shrank back in terror at this sight.

Katavasia

Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the Cross, Habakkuk cried out marvelling: Thou hast cut short the strength of the powerful, O gracious and almighty Lord, and preached to those in hell.

Ode 5 The Eirmos

Isaiah, as he watched by night, beheld the light that knows no evening, the light of Thy Theophany, O Christ, that came to pass from tender love for us; and he cried aloud: The dead shall arise and they that dwell in the tomb shall be raised up, and all those born on the earth shall rejoice exceedingly.

Becoming a creature formed from dust, O Creator, Thou makest new those born on earth. The winding-sheet and tomb point, Word, to the mystery that is within Thee. For the honourable counsellor fulfils the counsel of Thy Father, who has gloriously refashioned me in Thee.

By death dost Thou transform mortality, and by Thy burial, corruption. With divine power Thou makest incorruptible the nature Thou hast taken, rendering it immortal; for, 0 Master, Thy fies saw not corruption, nor was Thy soul left in hell as that of stranger.

Coming forth from a birth without travail and wounded in Thy side with a spear, O my Maker, Thou hast brought to pass the recreation of Eve. Becoming Adam, Thou hast in ways surpassing nature slept a life-giving sleep, awakening life from sleep and from corruption by Thine almighty power.

Katavasia

Isaiah, as he watched by night, beheld the light that knows no evening, the light of Thy Theophany, O Christ, that came to pass from tender love for us; and he cried aloud: The dead shall arise and they that dwell in the tomb shall be raised up, and all those born on the earth shall rejoice exceedingly.

Ode 6 The Eirmos

Jonah was enclosed but not held fast in the belly of the whale; for, serving as a figure of Thee, who hast suffered and wast buried in the tomb, he leapt forth from the monster as from a bridal chamber and he called out to the watch: O ye who keep guard falsely and in vain, ye have forsaken your own mercy.

Thou wast torn but not separated, O Word, from the flesh that Thou hadst taken. For though Thy temple was destroyed at the time of Thy Passion, yet the Person of Thy Godhead and of Thy flesh is but one; in both Thou art one Son, the Word of God, both God and man.

The fall of Adam brought death to man but not to God. For though the earthly substance of Thy flesh suffered, yet the Godhead remained impassible; that which was corruptible in Thy human nature Thou hast transformed to incorruption, and by Thy Resurrection Thou hast revealed a fountain of immortal life.

Hell is king over mortal men, but not for ever. Laid in the sepulchre, mighty Lord, with Thy life-giving hand Thou hast burst asunder the bars of death. To those from every age who slept in the tombs, Thou hast proclaimed true deliverance, 0 Saviour, who art become the firstborn from the dead.

Katavasia

Jonah was enclosed but not held fast in the belly of the whale; for, serving as a figure of Thee, who hast suffered and wast buried in the tomb, he leapt forth from the monster as from a bridal chamber and he called out to the watch: O ye who keep guard falsely and in vain, ye have forsaken your own mercy.

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thou art the King of peace and the Saviour of our souls, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

Kontakion Tone 2

He who closed the abyss lies before us dead; and as a corpse the Immortal is wrapped in linen with sweet spices and laid in a tomb. The women come to anoint Him with myrrh, weeping bitterly and crying: This is the most blessed Sabbath on which Christ sleeps, but on the third day He shall rise again.

Oikos

He who holds all things in unity was lifted on the Cross, and the whole creation wept to see Him hanging naked on the Tree. The sun hid its rays and the stars cast aside their brightness; the earth shook in mighty fear, the sea fled and the rocks were rent, and many graves were opened and the bodies of the saints arose. Hell groaned below and the Jews considered how to spread false tidings against Christ’s Resurrection. But the women cried aloud: ‘This is the most blessed Sabbath on which Christ sleeps, but on the third day He shall rise again.

Synaxarion

On Holy and Great Saturday we commemorate the Burial of the divine Body and the Descent into Hades of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through which he restored the human race from corruption and transported it to eternal life.

Verses

In vain, O guards, do ye keep watch on the tomb.

For no sepulchre can hold the very life itself.

By thine ineffable condescension, O Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Ode 7 The Eirmos

Wonder past speech! He who delivered the holy Children from the fiery furnace, is laid a corpse without breath in the tomb, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

Hell was wounded in the heart when it received Him whose side was pierced by the spear; consumed by divine fire it groaned aloud at our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

O happy tomb! It received within itself the Creator, as one asleep, and it was made a divine treasury of life, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

The Life of all submits to be laid in the tomb, according to the law of the dead, and He makes it a source of awakening, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

In hell and in the tomb and in Eden, the Godhead of Christ was indivisibly united with the Father and the Spirit, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

Katavasia

Wonder past speech! He who delivered the holy Children from the fiery furnace, is laid a corpse without breath in the tomb, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

Ode 8 The Eirmos

Be ye astonished O ye heavens, be ye horribly afraid, and let the foundations of the earth be shaken. For lo, He who dwells on high is numbered with the dead and lodges as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

The most pure Temple is destroyed, but raises up the fallen tabernacle. The second Adam, He who dwells on high, has coma down to the first Adam in the depths of hell. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

The disciples’ courage failed, but Joseph of Arimathaea was more bold; for seeing the God of au a corpse and naked, he asked for the body and buried Him, crying: Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

O strange wonders! O love and infinite forbearance! He who dwells on high is sealed beneath the earth with His own consent, and God is falsely accused as a deceiver. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

We praise, bless and worship the Lord.

Katavasia

Be ye astonished O ye heavens, be ye horribly afraid, and let the foundations of the earth be shaken. For lo, He who dwells on high is numbered with the dead and lodges as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

DEACON

Let us honour in hymns and magnify the Theotokos and Mother of the Light.

CHOIR

Ode 9 The Eirmos

Weep not for Me, O Mother, beholding in the sepulchre the Son whom thou hast conceived without seed in thy womb. For I shall rise and shall be glorified, and as God I shall exalt in everlasting glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

O Son without beginning, in ways surpassing nature was I blessed at Thy strange birth, for I was spared all travail. But now beholding Thee, my God, a lifeless corpse, I am pierced by the sword of bitter sorrow. But arise, that I may be magnified.

By Mine own will the earth covers Me, O Mother, but the gatekeepers of hell tremble as they see Me, clothed in the bloodstained garment of vengeance: for on the Cross as God have I struck down Mine enemies, and I shall rise again and magnify thee.

Let the creation rejoice exceedingly, let all those born on earth be glad: for hell, the enemy, has been despoiled. Ye women, come to meet Me with sweet spices: for I am delivering Adam and Eve with all their offspring, and on the third day I shall rise again.

Katavasia

Weep not for Me, O Mother, beholding in the sepulchre the Son whom thou hast conceived without seed in thy womb. For I shall rise and shall be glorified, and as God I shall exalt in everlasting glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

After the Ninth Ode we begin singing the following Lamentations in three stages.

 

FIRST STASIS

Tone 5

In the tomb they laid thee,* O Christ, who art the Life;* and the host of all the angels were amazed,* and they glorified thy self-abasement.

O Life, how canst thou die,* how canst thou dwell in a tomb?* Yet thou dost unloose the bonds of deaths kingdom,* and from Hades thou dost raise again the dead.

We magnify thee,* O Jesus our King,* and thy burial we honour and thy Passion,* whereby thou hast saved us from corruption.

King of all, O Jesus,* who hast set measures to the earth,* thou dost make this day thy dwelling a narrow grave,* raising up the dead of ages from their graves.

O my Christ, my Jesus,* and King of all,* having come to those in Hades, what dost thou seek?* Is it not to liberate the mortal race?

The Master of all,* is here seen lying dead,* and his body in a new tomb is laid to rest,* he who empties all the tombs of their dead.

In the tomb they laid thee,* O Christ, who art the Life;* by thy death thou hast destroyed death and art become,* a fountain of life for all the world.

Together with the transgressors,* thou wast numbered O Christ,* and didst deliver justice for all of us,* from the ancient trickster’s foul and evil deeds.

Fairer is his beauty,* more than all mortal men,* who now as a corpse appears unsightly,* he who beautified the nature of all things.

How could Hades, O Saviour,* endure the presence of thee,* was it not shattered and cast into darkness,* blinded by the dazzling glory of thy light.

O Jesus, my sweetness* and of salvation the light,* in the darkness of the tomb how art thou hid?* O forbearance that no language can express!

Dumbfounded are the angels* and all the bodiless hosts,* at the mystery, O Christ, of thy burial,* indescribable beyond all speech.

O most strange of wonders,* What new deeds we now see!* He who gave me my life’s breath, lies unbreathing,* borne to burial at noble Joseph’s hands.

Like the sun when setting,* to the tomb thou didst descend,* yet thy Father’s side, O Christ, thou didst never part.*  What strange and marvellous wonder this is.

Though thou wast enclosed* in the narrowest of tombs,* all creation knew thee, O Jesus,* as true King of heaven and earth.

When thou, O Christ, the creator* was laid dead in the tomb,* the foundations of Hades were shaken,* and the graves of mortal men were opened wide.  

He who holds the earth,* in the flesh is put to death,* and by the earth is now held fast,* as he sets free from Hades’ grasp the dead.

Thou hast risen from corruption,* O my Saviour, my life,* having died and gone to dwell among the dead,* and hast smashed and shattered Hades’ bars.

The flesh of God is hidden* beneath the earth,* and like a lighted candle under a bushel,* now drives away the darkness from Hades. 

All the heavenly powers* make haste with Joseph* and Nicodemus to enclose in a small tomb,* thee whom nothing can contain.

Of thy own will thou wast slain* and wast laid beneath the earth,* O my Jesus, fount of life, thou hast brought me back* to life when I was dead through bitter sin. 

All creation was altered* by thy Passion,* for all things suffered with thee, O Word,* knowing that thou holdest all in unity.

The all devouring Hades* in his belly received,* the Rock of Life and cast forth all the dead,* he had swallowed up from all time.

In a new tomb they laid thee,* O Christ,* and thou hast made new the nature of mortal men,* when from death thou didst divinely arise.

Down to earth, O Master,* to save Adam thou didst come,* and not finding him on earth, thou didst descend* to the depths of Hades, searching for him there.

All the earth did shake* and tremble in fear,* and the Daystar hid its rays, O Lord,* when thy Great Light was hidden in the earth.

Willingly as a mortal,* thou dost die, O Saviour,* but as God dost thou raise the dead back to life,* from the graves and the abysmal depths of sin.

With a mother’s grief, O Jesus,* the pure Virgin shed for thee,* tears of lamentation as she cried aloud:* How, my Son, am I to bury thee?

Like a grain of wheat buried* in the bosom of the earth,* thou hast yielded up a harvest in abundance,* raising up the mortal sons of Adam.

Now thou hast been hidden* like the sun beneath the earth* and by the night of death hast thou been covered,* but, O, Saviour, rise a brighter dawn.

As the moon eclipses* the circle of the sun,* O Saviour, now the tomb has hidden thee,* and thy flesh has been eclipse by death.

Having tasted of death,* Christ who is Life itself,* hast delivered from death all mortal men,* and the gift of life he now grants to all.

Of old through envy,* Adam was lead to death,* but thou, O Saviour, didst bring him back to life,* and a new Adam in the flesh didst thou appear.

The angelic orders,* were amazed to see thee,* who for our sake, O Saviour, was laid out dead,* and with their wings they veiled their faces.

Taking thee down dead* from the Tree, O Word,* Joseph now has laid thee in a tomb,* but as God arise and save us all.

The joy of the angels* thou art, O Saviour,* but now thou art become the cause of their grief,* as they see thee in the flesh a lifeless corpse.

Lifted up upon the Cross,* thou didst lift up with thyself,* all living men, then to the earth descending,* all those who lay beneath it thou didst raise.

As a lion, O Saviour,* in the flesh thou didst sleep,* and art risen from the dead as a lion’s cub,* putting off the old age of flesh.

Thou didst fashion Eve, * from a rib from Adam’s side, * and then thy own side was pierced with a spear, * and from it came forth purifying streams.

The lamb of old* was in secret sacrificed, * but under open skies, O Saviour long-suffering,* cleansing all creation, thou wast sacrificed.

Who can tell of this truly* new and terrible thing, * for the Master of creation today accepts, * the Passion and lays down his life for us.

The angels in amazement* cried aloud and said, * how do we see now dead the treasure of life, * how can God within a tomb be confined?

Pierced with a spear, O Saviour, * from thy side thou didst pour forth, * life on Eve who from life had banished me, * and giving life to her thou gavest life to me.

On the Cross stretched out, O Jesus, * thou didst gather mortal men, * and pierced in thy life giving side thou art become, * a fountain of forgiveness for all.   

With reverence and fear, * noble Joseph lays thee out, * as a corpse for burial, O Saviour, * and with wonder looks upon thy dread form.

Beneath the earth as one dead, * of thine own will thou didst descend, * and didst lead from earth to heaven, O Jesus, * all mankind who there had laid fallen.   

Dead in outward appearance, * yet alive as God, * and didst lead from earth to heaven, O Jesus, * all mankind who there had laid fallen. 

Dead in outward appearance,* yet alive as God,* to dead mortals thou hast once again given life,* and him who gave me death thou hast slain. 

How great the joy,* oh! what endless pleasure, * with which thou dist fill those in Hades, * when thou didst shine as lightning in its gloomy depths.

I venerate thy Passion,* and thy burial I praise, * and I magnify thy might, O Lover of mankind, * for through them am I set free from passions.

A sword was sharpened, * against thee, O Christ, * but the sword of the mighty was blunted, * and the sword that guarded Eden was turned back.

The Ewe lamb seeing, * her Lamb that was slain, * was pierced with anguish and cried aloud in grief: * calling all the flock with her to lament.

Though in a tomb buried, * though to hell thou dost descend, * yet, O Saviour thou hast emptied all the tombs, * and hast stripped Hades naked, O Christ. 

Willingly, O Saviour,* beneath the earth thou hast gone down,* granting life once again to dead mortals,* to the glory of the Father leading them.

One of the Trinity,* in the flesh for our sake,* didst suffer a death most shameful:* the sun trembles and the earth does quake.

From a bitter source, * from the tribe of Judah, * the descendants came who cast into the pit, * Jesus, who with manna fed and nourished them. 

The Judge as one accused, * before Pilate the judge, * stood and was condemned to an unjust death, * condemned to the wood of the Cross.

O arrogant Israel,* O people guilty of blood,* why didst thou set free Barrabas from suffering, * but the Saviour didst deliver to the Cross?

With thy hand thou didst fashion, * Adam from the earth; * and for him thou didst become by nature man, * and was crucified for him by thine own will.

O thou Word in obedience, * to thine own Father, * didst descend as far as dreadful Hades, * and the race of mortal men thou didst raise.

Woe is me, Light of the world! * Woe is me, my Light! * O my Jesus, O my very heart’s desire,* cried the Virgin lamenting with grief.

O bloodthirsty and jealous* and vengeful people, * may the very grave-clothes and the napkin, * at the rising of Christ put you to shame.

Come, O thou unclean,* murdering disciple,* and show me the manner of thy wickedness, * how thou didst become betrayer of Christ. 

O vindictive and blind fool, * utter hostility,* in hypocrisy thou dost pretend to love mankind, * yet thou hast sold the Myrrh for a price.

What price wast thou given, * for the heavenly Myrrh? * In exchange what wast thou given for the Precious one? * Thou found raving madness, Satan, most accursed.

If thou dost love the poor, * and for the myrrh wast thou grieved,* when for the mercy of a soul it was emptied out, * how dost thou sell the Light for gold?

O my God, O thou Word, * O my joy and gladness, * how shall I endure thy burial for three days? * As a mother now my heart is torn with grief.

Who will give me water, * and a wellspring of tears, * that I may weep for my sweet Jesus?* did the Virgin bride of God cry aloud.

O mountains and valleys, * and the multitude of men, * come all creatures weep and lament with me, * shed tears with me the Mother of our God.  

When shall I see thee Saviour, * the eternal Light, * the joy, the gladness and delight of my heart, * cried aloud the Virgin in her bitter grief.  

Though thou art, O Saviour, * like a rock of flint, * when thy side was pierced thou didst pour forth a living stream, * for thou art the source and fountain of life.  

As from a single source, * from thy side, O Saviour, * flows a double river from which we draw and drink, * and reap the fruits of life eternal.

By thy will thou wast seen, * as a corpse in the tomb, * but, O Word, and Saviour, thou dost live as thou foretold, * by thy Resurrection raising mortal men.

Glory…

O Word and God of all, * we hymn and praise thee, * with the Father and thy most Holy Spirit,* and we glorify thy burial divine.

Now and for ever… Theotokion.

We hymn, we bless thee, * O pure Mother of God, * and we honour the three day burial, * of thy Son and our God with faith.

And again the first Troparion.

In the tomb they laid thee, * O Christ, who art the Life; * and the host of all the angels were amazed, * and they glorified thy self-abasement. 

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For blessed is Thy Name and glorified is Thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

SECOND STASIS

Tone 5.

It is meet indeed, * to magnify thee, the Giver of Life, * who upon the Cross hast stretched out thy hands, * and hast smashed the power of the enemy.

It is meet indeed, * to magnify thee the Creator of all, * for through thy Passion we have no suffering, * being set free, from corruption.  

The earth quaked in fear, * and the sun concealed itself, O Saviour, * when the splendour of the glory of thy flesh divine,* didst like the evening light set in death.  

Thou hast slept, O Christ, * a life-giving sleep in the tomb, * and as God thou hast aroused the human race, * from the heavy sleep brought about by sin.

Alone among women, * without pain, my Child, I gave thee birth, * but now the pain is unbearable, * cried the Holy Virgin at thy Passion.

At thy Crucifixion, * the temple veil was rent in twain, * and, O Word, the lights of heaven are darkened, * at the insolence of the men and priests.    

He who at the beginning, * with just a gesture set the earth revolving,* descended as one dead to the earth willingly: * Look, O heaven with great wonder at the sight.

Thou, O Sun, hast set, * beneath the earth, who with thy hand didst fashion man, * and the multitude of mortals thou hast raised, * with thy powerful and mighty right hand.

In truth thou art, O Word, * the everlasting spring of myrrh, * wherefore did the Myrrhbearing women come, * bringing myrrh to thee the living God.

Through thy burial, O Christ, * thou dost destroy the palaces of Hades, * invincible in death thou dost slay death, * and to those who seek it dost thou grant life.

The river of life, * which flowed with the Wisdom of God, * incorruptly dwelling in the tomb, * snatches everyone from Hades deepest depths.

With fear I tremble, O Word, * and my inward parts are rent asunder, * as I behold and know thou wast unjustly slain, * the Virgin cried aloud in lament.

Seeing thy body, O Christ, * laid in the tomb, thy Mother brings to thee, * the offering of her tears as she cries: * Arise my Child as thou hast foretold.   

Joseph with reverence, * hid thee, O Saviour, in a new tomb, * and God-inspired mournfully sang to thee, * funeral hymns fitting for God.

Seeing thee, O Word, * pierced with nails upon the Cross, * thy Mother's, heart was wounded and cast down, * by the nails and arrows of bitter grief.

When thy Mother beheld, * thee O Sweetness of the world, instead of manna, * taste the bitter vinegar and gall, * then her cheeks were wet with bitter tears.

How shall I, O Word, * close thy sweet eyes, and thy lips, * how am I to bury thee as befits the dead, * cried Joseph with fear and trembling.

Joseph and Nicodemus, * singing mournful hymns of burial, * to God dead in the flesh are now joined, * by all the ranks of Seraphim on high.

Sun of Righteousness, * O Saviour, thou dost set beneath the earth, * therefore the Moon thy Mother is eclipsed, * in grief at seeing thee no more. 

O Saviour, Hades trembled, * when he saw thee the giver of life, * invincibly despoiling him of his wealth, * and raising up the dead from every age.

When the earth received thee, * in her bosom, O Creator and Saviour, * she did shake with fear and trembling, * and with her quaking she awoke the dead. 

With sweet myrrh, O Christ,* Nicodemus and the noble Joseph,* in a strange manner laid thee out for burial, * and they cried aloud: tremble all the earth!  

Thou hast set, O Light, * and with thee also has set the sun's light, * creation is seized with fear and trembling, * proclaiming thee the Maker of all.

The Cornerstone is covered, * with a stone hewn from a rock, * Tremble Earth to see how a mortal man* hides away our God as mortal in a tomb!

Behold thy Mother, * and the disciple whom thou hast loved, * O my sweetest Child grant me a word, * cried the Pure Virgin pouring forth her tears.

At thy Passion, O Word, * there was neither form nor beauty in thee, * but rising thou didst shine forth resplendently, * with thy divine light giving beauty to men.

Thou hast slept for a while, * and to the dead thou hast given life, * and with thy rising, thou who art good, * thou hast raised from every age all those who slept.

Perverse and crooked, * people of the Hebrews, * ye knew how the temple would be raised again, * why then did ye condemn the Christ.

In a robe of mockery, * ye have clothed him who ordered all things, * who bejewelled the heaven with the stars, * and adorned the earth with wonders.

Wounded in thy side, * O Word, like the pelican, * thou didst give life to thy dead children, * with the flow of thy life-giving blood.  

O merciful Christ, * without leaving thy Father's bosom, * thou didst willingly become a mortal man, * and descended to the depths of Hades.  

Woe is me, my Son, * the Virgin says lamenting, * thou whom I had hoped to see enthroned as King, * I see now condemned  upon the Cross.

Such things did Gabriel, * announce to me when he flew down, * that the kingdom of my Son Jesus, * would be for all eternity.

Alas! the prophecy* of Simeon has been fulfilled, *  for he foretold of how thy sword, * would pierce my very heart, Emmanuel.

Bitterly she wept, * thine all-blameless Mother, O Word, * when she beheld thee in the tomb, * God ineffable without beginning.

Seeing thy death, O Christ, * thy most pure and undefiled Mother, * cried to thee in bitter sorrow: * Tarry not O Life among the dead.

Dreadful Hades, * was shaken when he saw thee, * O immortal Sun of glory, * and gave up all his prisoners in haste.

In our hymns, O Christ, * we with all the faithful now worship, * thy Crucifixion and thy Sepulchre, * for by thy burial we are set free from death.

Glory…

O God without beginning, * coeternal Word and Holy Spirit, * strengthen the power of our rulers, * against their enemies for thou art Good.

Now and for ever... Theotokion

O Virgin pure and undefiled, * who hast given birth to our life, * bring to an end the scandals of the Church, * and bestow upon her peace, for thou art good.

And again the first Troparion.

It is meet indeed, * to magnify thee, the Giver of Life, * who upon the Cross hast stretched out thy hands, * and hast smashed the power of the enemy.

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thou our God art holy, and dost rest in glory on the throne of Seraphim, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

THIRD STASIS

Tone 3

Every generation* offers, O my Christ,* praises for thy burial.

 

He of Arimathaea,* taking thee down from the Cross,* lays thee in a sepulchre.

The Myrrh-bearers came,* providently bringing,* sweet myrrh to thee, O my Christ.

Let us with all Creation, * to the Creator offer, * our mournful hymns of farewell.

With understanding let us,* with the Myrrh-bearers, * anoint as dead the Living.

O thrice-blessed Joseph, * bury now the body* of Christ the Giver of life.

Those he fed with manna, * have lifted up their heels* against the Benefactor.

Those he fed with manna, * offer to the Saviour, * vinegar and also gall.  

O the raving madness* of the slaying of Christ, * by those who killed the prophets.

Like a foolish servant* the disciple has betrayed, * the Abyss of Wisdom.

The deceitful Judas, * had sold his deliverer* and thus became a captive.

According to King Solomon, * the mouth of the transgressing* Hebrews is like a deep pit. 

In the crooked paths of* the transgressing Hebrews* are many traps and thistles.

Joseph and Nicodemus* bury the Creator* with honours fitting for the dead.

O Life-giving Saviour, * who hast destroyed Hades, * glory be to thy power.

When she saw thee lying dead, * O Word, the all-pure Virgin, * wept with a mother’s pain and grief. 

O my sweetest springtime, * O my sweetest Offspring, * where has thy beauty vanished?

When thou was dead before her, * thine all-pure Mother, O Word, * cried out a lamentation.

Women with sweet myrrh came, * to anoint with myrrh Christ, * who is himself Divine Myrrh.

By thy death, O my God, * death thou hast put to death, * through thy divine power and might. 

Deceived is the deceiver, * the once deceived is now redeemed, * through thee, my God and thy Wisdom.

To the depths of Hades, * to the pit of destruction, * the cast down traitor didst descend.

Thorns and snares beset the path* of the thrice-wretched* foolish and mad Judas.

All those who crucified thee, * will be destroyed together, * O Word, God’s Son and King of all.

All those guilty men of blood, * shall be destroyed together, * within the pit of destruction.

O  Son of God and King of all, * my God and my Creator,* how didst thou willingly suffer?

Seeing thee upon the tree, * the Virgin raised her voice in grief,* as does a heifer for her calf.

The life-giving Body, * noble Joseph buries, * together with Nicodemus.

Pierced to the heart, the Maiden, * weeping streams of warm tears, * with a loud voice cried aloud.

O Thou, Light of my eyes, * O my sweet and gentle child, * why does the tomb now hide thee?

Weep not, O Mother, do not grieve,* for this I suffer willingly, * to free both Adam and Eve.

O my Son, I glorify, * the depths of thy compassion* that causes thee to suffer so.

They gave thee vinegar to drink, * and gall, O thou compassionate, * to loose the guilt of that ancient taste.

Thou art nailed upon the Cross, * who of old didst shelter, * thy people with a pillar of cloud. 

The Myrrh-bearing women came, * to thy tomb, O Saviour, * to offer thee sweet spices.

Arise, O thou compassionate* and with thee do thou also raise, * us from the depths of Hades.

Arise, O Life-giver, * said through her tears of sorrow, * the Mother who bore thee.    

Make haste to rise again, O Word, * and take away the sorrow, * from her who bore thee in purity. 

All the powers of Heaven, * were filled with fear and wonder, * when they beheld thee lying dead.

To those who with love and fear, * give honour to thy Passion, * grant thou remission of their sins.

What strange and most dreadful, * this sight we see, O Word of God, * tell us how can the earth cover thee?

Of old a Joseph carried thee, * in flight with him, O Saviour, * and now another does bury thee.

Thine all-pure Mother with tears, * weeps for thee lamenting, * O thou my Saviour at thy death.

The spiritual powers tremble,* at thy strange and fearful, * burial of the Maker of all.

Early in the morning,* came the Myrrh-bearers,* sprinkling myrrh upon thy tomb. (3, or as many times until the Priest finishes the sprinkling)

Peace unto thy Church, * salvation to thy people, * grant by thy Resurrection.

Glory…

O my God in Trinity, * Father, Son and Spirit, * have mercy upon the world.

Now and for ever...

Count all thy servants worthy, * to behold, O Virgin, * thy Son’s Resurrection.

And again the first Troparion.

Every generation* offers, O my Christ, * praises for thy burial.

  

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thou art the King of peace and the Saviour of our souls, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

The Eulogitaria

Tone 5

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.

The company of the angels were amazed when they beheld Thee numbered among the dead, yet the power of death, O Saviour, Thou didst destroy, and didst raise up Adam with Thyself, and from Hades Thou didst set all man free.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.

O women disciples, why do ye mingle sweet scented spices with your tears of pity, the radiant angel within the tomb cried unto the Myrrhbearers: Behold the sepulchre and rejoice, for the Saviour hath risen from the grave.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.

Very early in the morning the Myrrhbearers hasted unto Thy sepulchre lamenting, but the angel stood before them and said, weep not for the time of lamentation is past, but tell the Apostles of the Resurrection.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.

With sweet smelling ointment the myrrhbearing women came to Thy tomb, O Saviour, but they heard an angel say unto them: Why count ye the living among the dead, for as God He hath risen from the dead.

Glory…

We worship the Father together with His Son and the Holy Spirit, The Holy Trinity, One in essence, and together with the seraphim we cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O Lord.

Now and for ever….

Thou hast delivered, O Virgin, who hast borne the Giver of Life, Adam from sin, and to Eve thou hast brought joy in place of sorrow. For He who took flesh from thee, who is both God and man, hath made life to flow in them that fell from life.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. [3]

DEACON

Again and again in peace let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. [And after each petition]

DEACON

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

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For all the powers of heaven praise Thee, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

Exapostilarion

Tone 2

Holy is the Lord our God [3]

Lauds.

Tone 2

Verse 1) Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Today a tomb holds Him who holds the creation in the palm of his hand; a stone covers Him who covered the heavens with glory. Life sleeps and hell trembles, and Adam is set free from his bonds. Glory to Thy dispensation, whereby Thou hast accomplished all things, granting us an eternal Sabbath, Thy most holy Resurrection from the dead.

Verse 2) Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp.

What is this sight that we behold? What is this present rest? The King of the ages, having through His Passion fulfilled the plan of salvation, keeps Sabbath in the tomb, granting us a new Sabbath. Unto Him let us cry aloud: Arise, O Lord, judge Thou the earth, for Thou, whose great mercy is without measure, dost reign forever

Verse 3) Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.

Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that He may give life to those lying in the tombs. Come, let us today look on the Son of Judah as he sleeps, and prophetically let us cry aloud to him: Lying down, Thou hast slept as a lion; who shall awaken Thee, O King? But of Thine own free will do Thou rise up, who willingly dost give Thyself for us. O Lord, glory to Thee.

Verse 4) Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.

Tone 6

Joseph asked for the body of Jesus and he laid it in his own new tomb: for it was fitting that the Lord should come forth from the grave as from a bridal chamber. O Thou who hast broken the power of death and opened the gates of Paradise to men, glory to Thee.

Glory... Tone 6

Moses the Great mystically prefigured this present day, saying: And God blessed the seventh day, for this is the blessed Sabbath, this is the day of rest, on which the only-begotten Son of God rested from all His works. Suffering death in accordance with the plan of salvation, he kept the Sabbath in the flesh; and returning once again to what he was, through his Resurrection he has granted us eternal life, for he alone is good and loves mankind.

Now and for ever… Tone 2

Most blessed art thou, O Virgin Mother of God, for through Him who took flesh from thee, Hades is held captive, Adam has been recalled, the curse has been made extinct, Eve has been set free, death has been eradicated, and we have been given life. Therefore we cry aloud in praise: Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, who hast so been pleased, glory to Thee.

 

And then the Great Doxology:

Glory to Thee, who hast shown to us the light; Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee, for Thy great mercy.

 

Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; O Lord the Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, and Thou O Holy Spirit.

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us, Thou that takest away the sins of the world.

Receive our prayer, Thou that sittest on the right hand of the Father, and have mercy upon us.

For Thou only art Holy, Thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Everyday I will bless Thee and praise Thy name for ever and ever.

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

 

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name for evermore. Amen.

O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us as our trust is in Thee.

 

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes. [3]

O Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation. I said, Lord have mercy upon me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.

O Lord, unto Thee have I fled for refuge, teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God.

For with Thee is the fountain of life, and in Thy light shall we see light.

Continue Thy mercy upon those that know Thee.

O Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.

O Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.

O Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.

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

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.

O Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.

 At the concluding “O Holy God” the exit and procession of the Epitaphios takes place around the Church and streets. The Epitaphios is held above the priest’s head and he holds the Gospel Book with the image of the Crucifixion in front. On returning to the Church, the priests from the Royal Doors will exclaim:

Let us attend. Peace unto all. Wisdom.

And the Epitaphios enters the Sanctuary held above the Priest’s head as he goes around the Holy Alter chanting:

Tone 2

When Thou didst descend toward death, O Life Everlasting, Then Thou didst shatter Hades with the light of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst raise the dead from that infernal place, all the heavenly powers cried unto Thee, O Christ our God, the giver of life, glory to Thee.

The Angel standing by the tomb, cried to the Myrrh-bearing women: Myrrh is fitting for the dead, but Christ hast shown himself a stranger to corruption.   

 Down from the tree Joseph, a godly man, took Thy most pure Body, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, and laid and closed it in a new sepulchre.

At the end of the Troparion where is sung the line “and laid and closed it in a new sepulchre” the Epitaphios is laid upon the Holy Altar. Then straightway the reader recites the Troparion of the Prophecy.

Troparion of the Prophecy

Tone 2

O Christ, who holdest fast the ends of the earth, thou hast accepted to be held fast within the tomb, to deliver man from the fall into Hades; and as immortal God thou hast conferred upon us immortality and life. 

Prokhimenon Tone 4 Psalm 43

Arise, O Lord, help us, and redeem us for thy name’s sake.

 

Verse: O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us,

The reading is from the Book of Ezekiel

DEACON: Wisdom. Let us attend

READER

37: 1-14

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

 

 

Prokhimenon Tone 7 (Psalm 9)

Arise, O Lord God; let thy hand be lifted up: forget not the poor.

 

Verse: I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will recount all thy wonderful works.

The reading is from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

DEACON

Let us attend. Wisdom. Let us attend.

READER

1 Cor. 5: 6-8, Gal. 3: 13-14

Brethren, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

PRIEST: Peace unto thee [that readest].

READER: And unto thy spirit.

Alleluia [3]. Tone 5. [Psalm 67]

Verse 1: Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

 

Verse 2: As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire.

Verse 3: So shall the sinners perish at the presence of God, but let the righteous rejoice.

DEACON: Wisdom. Stand steadfast. Let us hear the Holy Gospel.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

PRIEST

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

DEACON: Let us give heed.

CHOIR: Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory be to Thee.

PRIEST

Matthew 27:62-66

The next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

CHOIR: Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory be to Thee.

DEACON

Let us all say with our whole soul, and with our whole mind, let us say,

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison [3] And after each petition.

DEACON

O Almighty Lord, God of our fathers, we pray Thee, hear us and have mercy.

Have mercy upon us, O God, after Thy great goodness. We pray Thee, hear us and have mercy.

Again we pray for our Archbishop [Name], and for all our brethren in Christ.

Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, visitation, forgiveness and remission of the sins of the servants of God, all the pious Orthodox Christians who dwell or visit this city, [village] the parishioners, the Church committee, those who give help and those who have dedicated gifts in this holy temple.

Again we pray for the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this holy Church and for all our departed fathers, brethren, and Orthodox Christians everywhere who have fallen asleep.

Again we pray for them that strive and bring forth the fruit of good works in this holy and venerable temple; for them that serve, and them that sing; and for all the people here present who await Thy great and bountiful mercy.

PRIEST

For Thou art a merciful God, and a lover of mankind, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

DEACON

Let us complete our supplication unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison

DEACON

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

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison

DEACON

That this whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful and without sin, let us entreat the Lord.

CHOIR: Grant us, O Lord And after each petition.

DEACON

For an angel of peace, faithful guide and guardian of our souls and bodies, let us entreat the Lord.

For pardon and remission of our sins and transgression, let us entreat the Lord.

For things good and profitable to our souls, and peace for the world, let us entreat the Lord.

That we may pass the remainder of our lives in peace and repentance, let us entreat the Lord.

For a Christian ending to our life, painless, without shame and peaceful, and a good defence before the dread judgement seat of Christ, let us entreat the Lord.

Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary; and of all the saints; Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

For Thou art the God of mercies, compassions and loving-kindness, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

DEACON:  Let us bow down our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST

O Holy Lord, who dwellest in the highest, and dost observe what is humble, and Thine all observing eye dost look upon all Thy creation, to Thee have we bowed the neck of our soul and body, and beseech Thee, Holy of Holies, stretch forth Thine invisible hand from Thy holy habitation, and bless everyone of us: and whatsoever sins we have committed, voluntary or involuntary, do Thou forgive, for Thou art, O God, good and lovest mankind, and grant unto us Thy worldly and heavenly riches.

For Thine it is to have mercy, and to save, O Christ our God, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

DEACON: Wisdom.

PRIEST:

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

CHOIR: Amen.
PRIEST

Glory be to Thee, O our God, glory be to Thee.

CHOIR

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, world without end. Amen.

Kyrie eleison  [3] Holy Father, give the blessing.

PRIEST

May He who for us men and for our salvation deigned to suffer in the flesh the frightful passions, the life-giving Cross and the voluntary burial, Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most holy Mother; by the power of the precious and life-giving Cross; by the protection of the heavenly bodiless hosts; through the supplications of the glorious Prophet and Forerunner, John the Baptist; of the holy and all-glorious Apostles; of the holy and all-glorious Apostle Barnabas, the founder and patron Saint of Cyprus; of the holy, glorious and triumphant martyrs; of our holy God-bearing fathers; of [name of the saint to whom the Church is dedicated]; of the holy and righteous progenitors of God, Joachim and Anna; and of all the saints, have mercy upon us, and save our souls: For He is good and loving-kind.

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

CHOIR: Amen.