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THE HIERATIKON

THE ORDERING OF THE HOLY AND

DIVINE LITURGY

 

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The Priest who would celebrate the Divine Mystery ought aforehand to be reconciled with all men and bear no ill toward any; and so far as he is able he shall guard his heart from evil thoughts. From the evening before he shall hold himself sober and vigilant in mind and body until the hour for the Sacred Office.

 

THE PREPARATION OF THE MINISTERS

 

When the time is come, the Priest shall enter the Church and being joined by the Deacon, together they shall bow in reverence before the Bishopís throne and then standing before the Holy Doors and facing to the east, shall bow themselves thrice saying each to himself:

O God, be gracious unto me a sinner, and have mercy upon me.

Thereupon the Deacon shall say:

Master, give the blessing.

PRIEST

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

DEACON: 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.

 

DEACON

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, purge away  our sins; O Master, pardon our transgressions; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy Nameís 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.

DEACON: Amen.

 

PRIEST

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for destitute of all defence, we sinners, O Master, offer unto Thee this prayer. Have mercy upon us.

 

DEACON

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

O Lord, have mercy upon us, for in Thee have we put our trust. Be not altogether wroth with us, neither remember our iniquities, but inasmuch as Thou art merciful, look down upon us even now, and deliver us from our enemies. For Thou art our God and we are Thy people. We all are the work of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.

 

 PRIEST

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Open the gate of compassion unto us, O blessed Mother of God, so that hoping in thee we shall not fail, but through thee may we be delivered from all adversity; for thou art the salvation of all Christian peoples.

 

DEACON: Kyrie eleison [12]

 

Then shall they approach and kiss the Icon of Christ saying:

We venerate Thy most pure Icon, O Good One, asking forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ our God, for of Thine own will Thou wast pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, so that Thou mightest deliver from the bondage of the enemy those whom Thou didst fashion. Therefore in thanksgiving we cry aloud to Thee. Thou hast filled all things with joy, our Saviour, who didst come to save the world.

And the Icon of the Mother of God saying:

Being the source of mercy, vouchsafe unto us thy compassion, O Mother of God. Look down upon thy people who have sinned: make manifest as always thy power; for hoping in thee we cry to thee hail, as aforetime did Gabriel, the commander of the bodiless hosts.

And the Icon of St. John the Baptist saying:

The memory of the just is praised, but thou art well pleased, O Forerunner, with the testimony of the Lord. For thou hast verily been shown forth as more honoured than the prophets, since thou wast counted worthy to baptize in the stream Him whom they foretold. Therefore, having mightily contended and suffered for the truth, with joy thou hast preached also to those in Hades of Godís manifestation in the flesh, who takes away the sin of the world and grants unto us great mercy.

 

And also the Icon of the saint to whom the Church is dedicated saying his apolytikion hymn. And after venerating the Icons, they shall bow their heads before the Holy Doors saying:

DEACON: Let us pray unto the Lord.  Kyrie eleison.

 

PRIEST

O Lord, send Thine hand from Thy holy habitation above, and strengthen me for this service unto Thee: that without condemnation I may stand before Thy dread altar, and perform the bloodless sacrifice.

For Thine is the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

DEACON: Amen.

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

DEACON: GloryÖ NowÖ Kyrie eleison [3]

Holy Master, give the blessing.

 

PRIEST

May [He who is risen from the dead] Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most holy Mother; of the holy and all-glorious Apostles; of [saint to whom the Church is dedicated]; of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople; [or if the Liturgy of St. Basil is to be celebrated then Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia;] and all the saints, have mercy upon us and save us; for He is good and loving-kind.

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

DEACON: Amen.

 

THE VESTING

 

And bowing their heads and asking forgiveness from the people, they shall enter the Sanctuary, the Priest by the north side and the Deacon by the south saying:

I will enter into Thine house: I will worship in Thy fear toward Thy holy temple.

Being come into the Sanctuary, they shall prostrate themselves thrice before the Holy Altar, and kiss the Gospel Book and the Altar. Then each shall take his stikharion and make three reverences toward the east, saying each within himself:

O God, be gracious unto me a sinner, and have mercy upon me.

The Deacon shall now come to the Priest, holding his stikharion in his right hand, with his orarion, and bowing his head to him shall say:

Bless, Master, the stikharion with the orarion.

The Priest shall bless them with the sign of the Cross, saying:

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

The Deacon shall then kiss the Priestís right hand and going apart to one side of the sanctuary shall put on his stikharion saying:

Let my soul rejoice in the Lord; for He has clothed me with the robe of salvation, and the garment of joy. He has put a mitre on me as on a bridegroom, and adorned me with ornaments as a bride.

And kissing the orarion he shall place it on his left shoulder. And when he fastens the cuffs around his wrists he shall say as he puts on the right cuff:

Thy right hand, O Lord, has been glorified in strength: Thy right hand, O Lord, has broken the enemies. And in the abundance of Thy glory, Thou hast broken the adversaries to pieces.

And with the left, he shall say:

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments.

And the Priest shall vest himself on this wise: taking his stikharion in his left hand, he shall bless it with the sign of the Cross saying: 

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

Putting it on, he shall say:

Let my soul rejoice in the Lord; for He has clothed me with the robe of salvation, and the garment of joy. He has put a mitre on me as on a bridegroom, and adorned me with ornaments as a bride.

For the epitrakhelion, he shall say:

Blessed is God who poureth out his grace upon his priests, like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaronís beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.

For the zone, he shall say:

Blessed is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

For the right cuff, he shall say:

Thy right hand, O Lord, has been glorified in strength: Thy right hand, O Lord, has broken the enemies. And in the abundance of Thy glory, Thou hast broken the adversaries to pieces.

For the left cuff:

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments.

For the epigonation, if he has that dignity:

Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Mighty One, in Thy comeliness, and in Thy beauty; and bend Thy bow, and prosper, and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall guide Thee wonderfully. 

And for the phelonion he shall say:

Thy priests shall clothe themselves with righteousness, and Thy saints shall exalt with joy.

Then the Priest and Deacon shall go to the piscina where each shall wash his hands saying:

I will wash my hands in innocency, and compass Thine altar, O Lord: to hear the voice of Thy praise, and to declare all Thy wondrous works, O Lord, I have loved the beauty of Thy house, and the place of the tabernacle of Thy glory. Destroy not my soul together with the ungodly, nor my life with bloody men: in whose hands are iniquities, and their right hand is full of bribes. But I have walked in my innocence: redeem me and have mercy upon me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless Thee, O Lord.

 

 

THE PROTHESIS

 

And going to the offertory table, the Deacon shall set out the sacred vessels: the paten on the left side, the chalice, which is the holy cup, on the right, and the other holy utensils with them saying:

Make ready, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened for all. Prepare, O Ephratha, for the tree of life has blossomed forth in the cave from the Virgin. For her womb has been shown forth as a spiritual paradise, in which is the divine plant, from which if we eat thereof, we shall live and not die as Adam. Christ shall be born raising the image that fell of old.

Then making three reverences before the offertory table each shall say within himself:

O God, be gracious unto me a sinner, and have mercy upon me.

And the Priest placing the holy spear upon the prosphoron, shall raise them to his forehead saying:

Thou hast redeemed us by Thy precious blood from the curse of the law: being nailed to the Cross and pierced with the spear, Thou art become for men the fount of immortal life: our Saviour, glory to Thee. 

 

Then the Deacon shall say:

Master, give the blessing.

 

PRIEST

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

DEACON: Amen.

Then the Priest holding with his left hand the prosphoron and with his right the holy spear, shall with the spear, make the sign of the Cross thrice over the prosphoron saying each time:

In remembrance of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And immediately he shall thrust the spear into the right side of the seal where is the IC, and while he cuts it, he shall say:

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter.

And as he cuts the left side, where is the XC, he shall say:

And as a lamb without blemish before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

And cutting the upper part of the seal:

In his humiliation, his judgement was taken away.

And cutting the lower part of the seal:

Who shall declare his generation?

And the Deacon reverently witnessing this mystery, at each incision shall say, holding his orarion in his hand.

Let us pray unto the Lord. Kyrie eleison.

Thereafter he shall say:

Master, lift out.

And the Priest thrusting the spear horizontally into the side of the prosphoron so as to cut it shall lift out the lamb from it saying:

For his life is taken away from the earth.

And having laid it with the seal downwards on the paten, the Deacon shall say:

Master, sacrifice.

The Priest shall cut it crosswise leaving the seal intact saying:

The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, is sacrificed for the life and salvation of the world.

When Thou wast crucified, O Christ, the tyranny of the enemy was destroyed, and his power was trampled underfoot. For it was not an angel nor a man that saved us, but Thou Thyself, O Lord: glory to Thee.

And the Priest turning the lamb the right way up; that is with the seal upwards the Deacon shall say:

Master, pierce.

And the Priest shall pierce with the spear the right side, immediately below the IC saying:

One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true.

The Deacon pouring into the chalice wine and water shall say to the Priest:

Bless, Master, the holy union.

The Priest blessing over the chalice shall say:

Blessed is the union of Thy holy things, always, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

The Priest shall then temporarily cover the chalice with a fan or communion veil. And taking in his hand a second prosphoron he shall say:

In honour and remembrance of our blessed Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary; at whose intercessions do Thou, O Lord, accept this sacrifice unto Thy heavenly altar.

And taking out the particle for the Mother of God, he shall lay it on the right side of the holy bread [the Priestís left hand side] near the centre thereof, saying:  

The queen stood by on the right hand, clothed in vesture wrought with gold, and arrayed in divers colours.

 

 

Then from the same or third prosphoron he shall take out nine particles and lay them on the left of the holy bread [the Priestís right hand side], making three ranks each with three particles. Thus taking out the first particle, he shall place it to the left of the lamb near the centre thereof, beginning with it the first rank saying:

In honour and remembrance of the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel and all the bodiless heavenly hosts.

And taking out a particle, he shall lay it below the first saying:

Of the glorious Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist, of the holy and glorious Prophets, Moses and Aaron, Elias and Elisha, David and Jesse; of the Three Holy Children and Daniel the Prophet; and all the holy prophets.

And taking out a third particle, he shall lay it below the second, thus completing the first rank saying:

Of the holy and all-glorious Apostles Peter and Paul, [of the holy and all-glorious Apostle Barnabas, the founder and protector of the Church of Cyprus]; and of all the holy Apostles.

And taking out a fourth particle he shall place it next to the first particle, thus beginning the second rank saying:

Of our fathers among the saints, the great hierarchs and teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, Athanasius and Cyril, Nicholas of Myra, and of all the holy hierarchs.

Then taking a fifth particle, he shall place it below the fourth saying:

Of the holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen; of the holy Greatmartyrs George the Victory bearer, Demetrius the Outpourer of myrrh, Theodore of Tyron and Theodore Stratelates; of the holy Hieromartyrs Charalambos and Eleutherius and of all the holy martyrs.

And taking out a sixth particle, he shall place it below the fifth, thus completing the second rank, saying:

Of our sacred fathers whom God inspired, Anthony, Euthymius, Savva, Onuphrius, Athanasius of Athos, Silouan the Athonite, and of all the holy ascetics.

And taking out a seventh particle, he shall place it at the top next to the fourth particle, thus beginning the third rank, saying:

Of the holy wonderworkers and selfless physicians Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Panteleimon and Hermolaus, and of all the holy physicians.

And taking out an eighth particle, he shall place it below the seventh, saying:

Of the holy and righteous progenitors of God Joachim and Anna; of [name of saint to whom the Church is dedicated]; of [name of saint] to whose memory we dedicate this day; and of all the saints, at whose intercessions visit us, O God.

And so taking a ninth particle he shall set it below the eighth particle, to complete the third rank saying:

Of our father among the saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople. [But if the Liturgy of St. Basil is to be celebrated, he shall say Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia].

 

Then either from the same prosphoron or from another he shall take out a particle and lay it below the holy bread saying:

Remember, O Master and lover of mankind, all the Orthodox Episcopate, our father and Archbishop [Name], the honourable order of priesthood, the diaconate which is in Christ, and every clerical and monastic order; our brethren and fellow-ministers, the priests, the deacons and all our brethren which Thou hast called into Thy fellowship, by Thy tender mercy, O gracious Sovereign.

Then he shall commemorate [if he is still among the living] the bishop who ordained him and those of the living whose name he has, and at each name, he shall take out a particle and place it below the lamb saying:

Remember, O Lord, [Names].

Then either from the same prosphoron or from another, he shall take out a particle and lay it below the particles of the living saying:

For a remembrance and remission of the sins of the blessed founders of this holy temple [monastery].

Then he shall commemorate the bishop who ordained him [if he has departed this life] and such that have departed this life, as he will, and at each name he shall take out a particle and place it below the particles of the living saying:

Remember, O Lord, [Names].

And he shall take out a last particle for the departed saying:

And all our Orthodox fathers and brethren, fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection, of life eternal and fellowship with Thee, O Lord and lover of mankind.

And having taken out all the particles for the living and the dead, he shall take out one more particle and place it among the living saying:

Remember, O Lord, my sinful self, and forgive me my trespasses, voluntary and involuntary.

And with the spear or the sponge, he shall gather the particles below the holy bread upon the paten, that all be secure and none may fall. The Deacon then taking up the censer and putting incense therein shall say to the Priest:

Master, bless the incense.

Let us pray unto the Lord. Kyrie eleison.

And the Priest shall bless the incense saying:

We offer incense unto Thee, O Christ our God, for a sweetsmelling savour of spiritual fragrance, which do thou accept upon Thy most heavenly altar; and send down upon us the grace of Thy most Holy Spirit.

 

DEACON

Let us pray unto the Lord. Master, make firm.

Then the Priest shall cense the asterisk and set it over the holy bread saying:

And the star came and stood over where the young child was with Mary his mother.

Or

By the word of the Lord the heavens were establishes; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

 

DEACON

Let us pray unto the Lord. Master, make ready.

And censing the first veil, the Priest shall cover therewith the holy bread and the paten saying:

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

 

DEACON

Let us pray unto the Lord. Master, cover.

The Priest shall then cense the second veil and cover the chalice saying:

Thy virtue, O Christ, covered the heavens, and the earth was full of Thy praise.

 

DEACON

Let us pray unto the Lord. Master, cover.

The Priest shall cense the third veil, that is the aer, and cover both the paten and the chalice saying:

Hide us under the shadow of Thy wings, and drive from us every foe and adversary. Grant us a peaceable life, O Lord. Have mercy upon us and upon Thy world and save our souls, for Thou art good and loving-kind.

 

DEACON

Master, bless.

Then taking the censer the Priest shall cense the whole oblation saying thrice:

Blessed is our God, who hath been well pleased on this wise. Glory be to Thee.

And at each time, the Deacon shall respond:

Always, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

And both shall make three devout reverences. And the Deacon taking the censer shall say:

For the precious gifts here set forth, let us pray unto the Lord.

And the Priest lifting his hands shall say the following prayer.

 

THE PRAYER OF OBLATION

O God, our God, who didst send the bread which cometh down from heaven and giveth food to all flesh, Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, our Saviour, Redeemer and Benefactor, by whom we are hallowed and blessed: do Thou bless this oblation here set forth, and receive it unto Thy most heavenly altar. Remember of Thy goodness and loving-kindness them by whom and for whom these things are offered; and preserve us uncondemned in the sacred service of Thy divine mysteries.

For hallowed 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.

 

And both shall kiss the holy vessels crosswise saying:

O Holy God, the Father eternal, Holy and Strong, the Son co-eternal, Holy and Immortal, the most Holy Spirit: Holy Trinity, glory be to Thee.

 

And the Priest shall pronounce the Dismissal saying:

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

 

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]. Master, give the blessing.

 

PRIEST

May He who for our salvation was born in a stable, and laid in a manger [if it be a Sunday: and risen from the dead], Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most holy Mother; of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople; [or if the Liturgy of St. Basil is to be celebrated: Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia]; and of all the saints, have mercy upon us, and save us, for He is good and loving-kind.

DEACON: Amen.

 

And after the Dismissal the Deacon shall cense the holy prothesis. Then is shall go to cense the Holy Altar round about and all the sanctuary saying secretly:

In the tomb according to the flesh, as God in hell with the soul,

In paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou, O Christ, omnipresent, incircumscript.

Thy life-giving tomb is revealed to us, lovelier far than Paradise, more radiant than a kingís palace, O Christ, the well-spring of our resurrection.

Hail, O hallowed and divine dwelling place of the Highest, for through thee is given joy to those who cry to thee, O Mother of God. Blessed art thou among women, most pure Lady.

 

And then 

 

Psalm 50 [51]

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned: and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and clear when Thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide 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 uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy righteousness. O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise. For Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise. Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

 

If the Divine Liturgy is celebrated apart from Mattins, he shall cense also the temple and all the people before laying aside the censer. But if the office of oblation was performed during Mattins, he shall lay aside the censer. And if the Divine Liturgy immediately follows Mattins then he shall take it up again at the start of the Doxology and again cense the Sanctuary and all the temple and people.

And when it is time to begin the Divine Liturgy, both the Priest and the Deacon shall stand before the Holy Altar and bowing their heads, the Priest shall say:

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.

And making three lowly reverences they shall say in turn, beginning with the Priest:

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

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise. [2]

And the Priest lifting up his hands shall say:

O Lord, Lord, open to us the gate of Thy mercy.

The Priest shall then kiss the Book of the Holy Gospels, and the Deacon the Holy Altar. Thereupon the Deacon bowing his head before the Priest and holding his orarion with three fingers of his right hand shall say:

It is time for Thee, Lord, to work.

Holy Master, give the blessing.

The Priest placing his right hand upon the Deaconís head and signing it with the sign of the Cross shall say:

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

DEACON: Amen. Pray for me, holy Master.

PRIEST: The Lord direct thy steps into every good work.

DEACON: Remember me. Holy Master.

 

PRIEST

The Lord God remember thee in His kingdom always, now and for ever: world without end.

DEACON: Amen.

And making a humble reverence and kissing the Priestís hand, the Deacon shall leave the Sanctuary by the north door and standing in his accustomed place before the Holy Doors he shall say:

Master, give the blessing.

And the Priest shall give the blessing for the start of the Divine Liturgy saying:

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