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THE HIERATIKON

 

MATTINS

ON SUNDAYS AND FEASTS 

 

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After the Dismissal of the Midnight Office, the Priest, vested with his Epitrakhelion, enters the Sanctuary by the south door saying as he enters: I will come into Thy house: I will worship in Thy fear toward Thy holy temple. And standing before the Holy Altar he shall make three reverences saying within himself: O God, be gracious unto me a sinner, and have mercy upon me. Then he shall say aloud:

 

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

According to an old rubric ordering, which is still observed by some monasteries and in Holy Week, after the Priest has given the blessing, the service has as follows: [For the modern ordering see below].                                         

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: Trisagion..., Kyrie eleison [12], Glory…and now…, O come, let us worship etc, and Psalms 19 and 20.

During the reading of Psalm 19, the Priest censes with the katsiou [a hand held censer].

Today all the above is omitted from the usual daily Mattins. After the Priest has given the blessing, the modern ordering has as follows:

READER: Amen. Trisagion. And then the Troparia:Save, O Lord, Thy People” Glory… “Lifted up of Thine own will” Now and for ever… “O formidable and unashamed protector”.

 

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. 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.

CHOIR: 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.

The Reader shall now begin the reading of the Six Psalms. The Priest meanwhile shall say inaudibly the following 12 prayers:

 

PRAYER 1

We thank Thee, O Lord our God, who hast arisen us from our beds and hast put in our mouths words of praise that we may venerate and call upon Thy Holy Name and pray for Thy compassions, which are always needed with regard to our life. And now send down Thy help upon those who stand before Thy holy glory, who await for Thy bountiful mercy, and give them, who with fear and love always worship Thee, praise Thee, hymn Thee, and venerate Thine ineffable goodness.

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. Amen.

 

PRAYER 2

From the night my spirit rises to Thee, O our God, for Thy commands are as light upon the earth. Enlighten us, with fear of Thee, to fulfil all righteousness and holiness, for Thee we glorify, who verily art our true God. Incline Thine ear and hear us and remember, O Lord, all those here present and praying with us, everyone by name and save them with Thy might. Bless Thy people and sanctify Thine inheritance. Give peace to thy world, to Thy Churches, to thy Priests, to those who rule over us and all Thy people.

For blessed and glorified be Thy most honourable and majestic Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

 

PRAYER 3

From the night my spirit rises to Thee, O God, for Thy commands are as light: teach us, O God, Thy righteousness, Thy commandments, and Thy judgements; enlighten the eyes of our understanding, lest with our sins we die in our sleep. Expel every darkness from our hearts: grant unto us the sun of righteousness, and uninfluenced do Thou preserve our life, with the seal of Thy Holy Spirit. Direct our feet to walk the way of peace: give us the dawning and the day in joyfulness, so that we may offer unto Thee the morning prayers.

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.

 

PRAYER 4

O God and Master, holy and incomprehensible, who said, let the light shine forth from the darkness; who gives us rest in the night sleep, and makes us to stand to pray and give glory to Thy goodness; being not silent by Thine own compassion, accept us who now venerate Thee and, according to our ability, give thanks unto Thee, and grant unto us all our petitions that are unto salvation. Manifest us as sons of light and the day, and heirs of Thine eternal riches. Remember, O Lord, in the multitude of Thy mercies, all the people here present and praying with us, and all our brethren, those on land, those at sea, and those in every place of Thy dominion, praying for Thy loving-kindness and assistance, and grant to all Thy great mercy.

So that being saved in soul and body, we may always continue boldly to glorify Thy wonderful and blessed Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

 

PRAYER 5

Treasure of goodness, source of eternity, Holy Father, maker of wonders, all powerful, and almighty, we all worship Thee and pray unto Thee, appealing to Thy mercies and Thy compassions, for help and the perception of our humility. Remember, O Lord, those who beseech Thee, accept all our morning prayers as incense before Thee, and none of us do Thou make reproachable, but preserve us all through Thy compassions. Remember, O Lord, those who are vigilant, and sing Thy glory, and of Thine Only-begotten Son and our God, and of Thy Holy Spirit. Be for them a helper and protector, accept their petitions upon Thy most heavenly and spiritual altar.

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

 

PRAYER 6

We thank Thee, O Lord, God of our salvation, for Thou dost always perform what is profitable for our life, so that for ever, we may have regard toward Thee, the Saviour and benefactor of our souls: For Thou hast given us rest with the passing measure of the night and hast risen us from our beds and set us upright to worship Thine honourable Name. Wherefore we pray Thee, O Lord, give us grace and strength, so that we may be accounted worthy to hymn Thee with understanding and pray to Thee ceaselessly, with fear and trembling, working for our salvation, through the help of Thy Christ. Remember, O Lord, also those who cry unto Thee in the night; hear them and have mercy, and crush under their feet the invisible and hostile enemies.

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. Amen.

 

The first six prayers are said before the Holy Altar. Prayers 7-12 are said before the Icon of Christ when the Reader says “Glory be to the Father and to the Son etc”, during the reading of the Six Psalms.

 

PRAYER 7

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast risen us again from our beds, and assembled us together at this time of prayer, grant us grace when we open our mouths and accept from us our thanks according to our ability. And teach us Thy righteousness, for we do not know how each of us must pray to Thee, if not for Thee, O Lord, guiding us with thy Holy Spirit. Therefore we beseech Thee, whatsoever sins we have committed up to this present hour, in word or deed or thought, voluntary or involuntary, remit, forgive and pardon; for if Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand, but there is redemption with Thee. For Thou alone art holy, a helper, a mighty defender of our life, and in Thee is our praise for ever.

Blessed and glorified is the power of Thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

 

PRAYER 8

O Lord our God, who hast dispelled from us the slothfulness of sleep, and summoned us together for a holy calling: to lift up our hands also in the night and to confess thee upon the judgement of Thy righteousness: accept our prayers, our petitions, our confession, our nocturnal worship and grant us, O God, faith unashamed, a firm hope and love without dissimilation. Bless our entrances and exits, our works and our deeds, what we say and what we bring to mind, and grant us to approach the beginnings of the day, praising, hymning and blessing the goodness of Thine inexpressible kindness.

For blessed is Thy most holy 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. Amen.

 

PRAYER 9

O Lord and lover of mankind: make the imperishable light of Thy divine knowledge to shine in our hearts; and open the eyes of our understanding that we may apprehend the preaching of Thy Gospel. Implant in us likewise awe of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling under feet all the lusts of the flesh we may pursue a spiritual life, thinking and doing such things as are pleasing in Thy sight.

For Thou art our sanctification, 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.

 

PRAYER 10

O Lord our God, who grants forgiveness to people who repent, who with the transgressions and confession of the Prophet David, hast shown to us an example of Thy forgiveness: Do Thou also, O Lord, with our many and great offences to which we have fallen, have mercy according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy compassions, blot out our transgressions; for against Thee have we sinned, O Lord, who knowest the hidden secret of the hearts of men and who alone hast the power to forgive sins. Create in us a clean heart, establish us with a guiding spirit, and make us to know the joy of Thy salvation. Cast us not away from Thy presence, but be well pleased, for us to offer unto Thee, until our last breath, sacrifices of righteousness and offerings upon Thy holy altars: for Thou art good and a lover of mankind.

Through the mercies, compassions and loving kindness of Thine Only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art glorified, together with Thine all-holy good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

 

PRAYER 11

O God, our God, we pray and beseech Thee, place in our mind and reasoning, the ability to do Thy will. Accept from us with all Thy creation, our praise and doxology, offered to the best of our ability, and through the abundance of Thy goodness send down upon us Thy gifts: for unto Thee bends every knee in heaven, on earth and in that infernal place, and every breath and creation hymns Thine incomprehensible glory; for Thou alone art a true and merciful God.

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. Amen.

 

PRAYER 12

We praise Thee, we hymn Thee, we bless Thee, and give thanks unto Thee, O God of our fathers, for Thou hast taken away the shadow of the night, and shown to us again the light of the day; nevertheless, we beseech Thy goodness: forgive us our sins and accept our prayer in Thy great compassion, for with Thee, the merciful and almighty God, do we seek refuge. Shine in our hearts the true Sun of Thy Righteousness: enlighten our minds and preserve all our senses; so that, as in the day, we may with grace, walk the path of Thy commandments, and arrive at life eternal, and be accounted worthy to enjoy Thine unapproachable light: for with Thee is the source of life.

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.

 

And he shall kiss the Icon of Christ and enter the Sanctuary by the south side. And after the Six Psalms, the Priest, standing before the Holy Altar, shall say the Great Litany.

 

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 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.

After the singing of “God is the Lord” and the appointed troparia, the Priest shall say the Short Litany. But in monasteries, there follows the readings from the Psalter and after the first reading the Priest says the Short Litany.

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

After each petition, the choir shall sing: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy.

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.

And after the second reading the Short Litany with the Glorification:

For Thou, O God, art good and loving-king, and we ascribe glory to Thee, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.  

    

And after Psalm 118 “Blessed are the undefiled” or the Resurrection hymns “Blessed art Thou O Lord” or the Polyeleos, the Short Litany with the Glorification:

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.

 

If the Divine Liturgy immediately follows Mattins, the Priest shall, from the onset of Mattins, be fully vested. But if not, then while the choir sing the “Hymn of Degrees”, the Priest shall vest himself with the Epitrakhelion and Phelonion. The Deacon also shall vest himself and after the “Hymn of degrees” and the Prokhimenon he shall say:

Let us pray unto the Lord.

 

PRIEST

For Thou our God art holy, and dost rest in the holies, 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.

The choir shall say Amen and then sing “Let everything that hath breath”. The Deacon shall then say:

That we may be accounted worthy to hear the Holy Gospel, let us beseech the Lord our God.

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

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. [Name].

DEACON: Let us give heed.

And the Priest shall read the Mattins’ Gospel. And if it be a Sunday he shall read the morning Gospel standing at the right side of the Holy Altar, but on all other days he shall read the Gospel from the Holy Doors.

After the reading of the Gospel, the Reader recites Psalm 50 [51]. On Sundays, the Reader first recites the Resurrection hymn “We have seen the Resurrection of Christ” and then Psalm 50 is sung. At the verse “Behold Thou desirest Truth” the Priest, holding the Gospel Book, exits the Sanctuary by the Holy Doors and offers the Holy Book for veneration by the faithful. After the hymn “Jesus has risen from the tomb” or the appointed hymn for the Feast, the Deacon says:

Save, O God, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Visit Thy world in mercy and compassions, exalt the trumpet of Orthodox Christians, and send down upon us Thy bountiful mercies: by the prayers of our most pure, Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary; by 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 our holy fathers among the saints, the great Hierarchs, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom; Athanasius and Cyril, John the Almsgiver, Patriarchs of Alexandria; Nicholas of Myra, Spyridon of Trimythounta, the Wonderworkers; the holy and great martyrs George the Victory bearer, Demetrius the Outpourer of myrrh, Theodore of Tyro and Theodore Stratelates; the Hieromartyrs Charalambos and Eleutherius; our holy and God-bearing fathers; of [Name of the saint to whom the Church is dedicated]; the holy and righteous progenitors of God, Joachim and Anna, of [the Name of the saint] to whose memory we dedicate this day, and of all Thy saints: we beseech Thee, O Lord, who alone art plenteous in mercy, hear us sinners, who pray unto Thee, and have mercy upon us.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison [12]

 

PRIEST

Through the mercies, compassions and loving-kindness of Thine Only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art glorified, together with Thine all-holy good and life-giving Spirit, now and fore ever: world without end.

The Deacon shall now say the Short Litany, but in monasteries now follows the reading or singing of the Canon, and after the third ode the Short Litany.

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

After each petition, the choir shall sing: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy.

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.

 

And after the sixth ode:

DEACON

Again and again in peace … [as above]

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.

And after the eighth ode, or as is the usual practice in parishes, after the reading of the Synaxarion [a short account of the lives of the saints being celebrated on that day], and the singing of the Katavasias, the Deacon exclaims:

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

And while the choir sing the Magnificat and the ninth ode, the Deacon shall cense the sanctuary and all the temple in the customary way. After the ninth ode the deacon shall say the Short Litany.

Again and again in peace … [as above]

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.

The choir then sing the Exapostilaria [Hymns of Light], the Praises, the Doxology and the Apolytikion Hymn. And then the Deacon shall say the following petitions. But if the Divine Liturgy immediately follows Mattins, then at the beginning of the Doxology, he shall cense the Sanctuary and the entire temple in the customary way and then standing to the right of the Priest before the Holy Altar, he shall say the petitions in a low voice.

 

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

After each petition the choir [or the Priest if the Divine Liturgy follows] shall say Kyrie eleison. [3]

Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians.

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 [town, village, monastery], 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 [monastery] 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 or DEACON: Amen.

 

DEACON

Let us complete our supplication unto the Lord.

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

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

After each petition the choir [or the Priest if the Divine Liturgy follows] shall say: Grant us O Lord.

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 or PRIEST: 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 or DEACON: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

DEACON: Let us bow down our heads before the 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 or DEACON: Amen.

DEACON: Wisdom.

 

PRIEST

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

CHOIR or DEACON: Amen.

May the Lord God make firm the holy and undefiled faith of pious Orthodox Christians in this holy Church [monastery], this city [village] and in all Thy world, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

 

CHOIR or DEACON

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 is risen from the dead] 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, 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; of [Name of saint] to whose memory we dedicate this day; 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 or DEACON: Amen.