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THE CHOIR'S HANDBOOK

THE BREAKING OF

 BREAD

 

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If there is a Lity and an offering of the “five loaves”, the order according to the Cypriot tradition is as follows: After the Priest says “Blessed and glorified is the power of the kingdom” and before the Aposticha, the choir, the Six-winged Seraphim, the Cross, the Priest and the Deacon censing the Icon of the Feast and all the people exit the Church from the western doors and make a procession around the Church, the choir all the while singing the hymns of the Lity. On reaching again the western doors, the Icon is held up high and all the people pass under it. Then the Icon is placed on a stand outside the Church [or inside in its customary place] and the Deacon says the following prayers:

Save, O God, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance…

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

Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians.

Again we pray for our Archbishop…

Again we pray for mercy, life, peace…

Again we pray for the preservation of this holy temple…

Again we pray that the Lord our God hear…

PRIEST: Hear us, O God and our Saviour…

For Thou art a merciful God…

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

DEACON: Let us bow our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: O most merciful Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, our God…

While the Priest and the people venerate and kiss the Icon of the Feast, the choir sing the following troparia:

 

TONE 2

Accept, O Lord, the supplications of us sinners, as Thou didst accept Abel’s gifts, Abraham’s sacrifice and Peter’s repentance, the publican’s sigh of sorrow and the harlot’s tears, the incense of the myrrhbearing women, the thief’s confession when Thou was upon the Cross, and hear us that pray to Thee.

The rage of Thy wrath, do Thou transform into peace and save Thy world, O Thou who alone art good and lovest mankind.

Hail, Mary, Mother of God, the indestructible temple, or rather holy, as the Prophet cries: Thy Temple is holy, Thou art wonderful in righteousness.

All my hope I entrust unto thee, O Mother of God, do thou keep me safe under thy shelter.

 

And then the Aposticha. On completion of the Aposticha, the Priest shall say the song of Symeon:

Lord, now lettest Thy servant depart in peace…

READER: Trisagion…

PRIEST: For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory…

CHOIR: Amen.

The choir shall then sing the Apolytikia hymns. The choir shall not sing the Theotokion, but the Priest, taking up the censer, shall sing “Now and for ever” whilst proceeding to the customary table whereupon the five loaves have been placed. The Deacon shall stand opposite the Priest holding an Icon of the Mother of God and a lighted candle. The Priest shall then cense around the table singing:

O Virgin Mother of God, hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb;

And the choir shall take up the last line of the hymn saying:

For thou gavest birth to the Saviour of our souls.

DEACON: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

PRIEST: O Lord, Jesus Christ our God, who didst bless the five loaves in the wilderness…

For Thou art He that blesses and sanctifies all things…

CHOIR: Amen.

Then taking one of the loaves, the Priest shall make with it the sign of the Cross over the other four. Then having, both he and the Deacon, kissed the loaf, he shall offer it to the person who made the offering. All the while he shall sing the following verse from Psalm 33 [34].

The rich have become poor and hungry, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

The choir repeat the verse twice and then sing the Dismissal:

Blessed be the Name of the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore. (3)

DEACON: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

PRIEST: The blessing of the Lord and His mercy be upon you…

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Glory be to Thee, O Christ our God and our hope, 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 is risen from the dead] Christ our true God…

 

CHOIR:

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.

Eternal be the memory of the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this holy Church [monastery] and of all Orthodox Christians.

 

PRIEST

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

CHOIR: Amen.