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THE EUCHOLOGION

 

THE SERVICE OF

HOLY BAPTISM

 

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The Priest arrayed in white vestments, takes up the censer and censes round the font. He then takes up the Holy Gospel and making the sign of the Cross over the font says:

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

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST

In peace let us pray unto the Lord.

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

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 water, that it may be sanctified by the might and operation and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray unto the Lord.

That there may be sent down upon it the grace of redemption, and the blessing of the Jordan, let us pray unto the Lord.

For these waters, that the cleansing operation of the Trinity Supreme in Being may come down upon them, let us pray unto the Lord.

That we may be enlightened by the light of knowledge and

godliness through the descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray unto the Lord.

For this water, that it may serve to the averting of every evil purpose of enemies visible and invisible; let us pray unto the Lord.

For him/her that is to be baptized herein, that he/she may be made worthy of the incorruptible kingdom, let us pray unto the Lord.

For him/her that now approaches Holy Illumination and for his/her salvation, let us pray unto the Lord.

That he/she may prove to be a son/daughter of light, and an heir of eternal blessings, let us pray unto the Lord.

That he/she may be united with and a partaker of the death and resurrection of Christ our God, let us pray unto the Lord.

That he/she may preserve the garment of baptism, and the earnest of the Spirit undefiled and blameless in the fearful day of Christ our God, let us pray unto the Lord.

That this water may be for him/her a washing of regeneration, unto remission of sins, and a garment of incorruption, let us pray unto the Lord.

That the Lord our God may hearken unto the voice of our supplication let us pray unto the Lord.

That He may deliver him/her and us 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

Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvellous are Thy works; no words suffice to sing the praise of Thy wonders [3].

Each time the Priest says these words, the choir shall sing:

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The Priest continues the prayer

For Thou by Thine own will hast brought all things out of nothingness into being, by Thy power Thou dost hold together the creation, and by Thy providence Thou dost govern the world. Of four elements hast Thou compounded the creation: with four seasons hast Thou crowned the cycle of the year. All the spiritual powers tremble before Thee. The sun sings Thy praises; the moon glorifies Thee; the stars supplicate before Thee; the light obeys Thee; the deeps are afraid at Thy presence; the fountains are Thy servants. Thou hast stretched out the heavens like a curtain; Thou hast established the earth upon the waters; Thou hast poured forth the air that living things may breathe. The angelic powers minister to thee; the Choir of Archangels worship Thee; the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, standing round Thee and flying about Thee, hide their faces in fear of Thine unapproachable glory. For Thou, the indescribable God, without beginning and inexpressible, hast come upon earth, taking the form of a servant and being made in the likeness of man. For Thou, O Master, in Thy merciful compassion couldst not bear to see mankind beneath the tyranny of the devil, but Thou hast come and saved us. We confess Thy grace, we proclaim Thy mercy, we hide not Thy beneficence. Thou hast set free the offspring of our kind. Thou hast hallowed a Virgin womb by Thy Nativity. At Thine Epiphany the whole creation sang Thy praises. For Thou, our God, hast appeared on earth and dwelt among men, Thou hast sanctified the streams of Jordan, sending down from on high the Most Holy Spirit, and Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons hidden therein.

Therefore, O King who lovest mankind, do Thou Thyself be present now as then through the descent of Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify this water. [3]

CHOIR: Amen.

And confer upon it the grace of redemption, the blessing of the Jordan. Make it a source of incorruption, a gift of sanctification, a remission of sins, a protection against disease, a destruction to demons, inaccessible to the adverse powers and filled with angelic strength. Let them that take council against Thy creature flee from it, for I have called upon Thy Name, O Lord, which is wonderful and glorious, and fearful to the adversaries.

Let all adverse powers be crushed beneath the signing of Thy most precious Cross. [3]

CHOIR: Amen.

We pray Thee, O Lord, let all aerial and invisible idols depart from us, and let not a demon of darkness conceal itself in this water; neither let an evil spirit, bringing obscure reasoning and confusing thoughts descend into it, together with him/her that is to be baptized. But do Thou, O Master of all, show forth this water, as water of redemption, water of sanctification, a cleansing of flesh and spirit, freedom from bonds, a pardon of transgression, an enlightenment of the soul, a washing of regeneration, a renewal of the spirit, a gift of adoption, a garment of incorruption, a source of life. For Thou hast said, O Lord: “Wash and be clean; put away evil from your souls”. Through water and the Spirit, Thou hast bestowed upon us a new life from on high. Manifest Thyself, O Lord, in this water, and grant that he/she that is to be baptized therein, may be transformed by the putting away of the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and by putting on the new, which is renewed according to the image of Him that created him/her: so that being united in the likeness of Thy death through baptism, he/she may become a partaker of Thy resurrection: and guarding the gift of Thy Holy Spirit, and increasing the deposit of grace, he/she may receive the prize of the high calling, and accounted among the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, in Thee our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

For unto Thee belong the glory, the might and the worship, together with Thine eternal Father, and Thine all-holy good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let is bow our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

The Priest breathes thrice upon the oil and signs it thrice while it is held by the Candidate or the Sponsor.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Lord have mercy.

THE PRAYER OF THE OIL

PRIEST

O Lord and Master, God of our Fathers, who didst send to them in the ark of Noah, a dove bearing a twig of olive in her mouth, as a sign of change and salvation from the flood, and through these things prefigured the mystery of grace; who also gave the fruit of the olive tree for the accomplishment of Thy Holy Sacraments, and thereby didst fill them that were under the law with Thy Holy Spirit, and perfected them that are under grace: Do Thou bless also this oil, by the power (+) and operation (+) and descent of Thy Holy Spirit (+), that it may become an unction of incorruption, an armour of righteousness, a renewal of the soul and body, an abomination deliverance from all evil, for all them that are anointed with it in faith, or that are partakers of it.

To Thy glory, and to that of Thine Only-begotten Son, and Thy all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

Then taking the vessel with the oil, the Priest pours from it into the baptismal font making three Crosses. At each Cross he shall say:

Let us attend.

And the choir shall respond with:

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

 

PRIEST

Blessed is God that enlightens and sanctifies every man that cometh into the world, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

At this point the Candidates clothes are removed. The Priest then takes oil and makes the sign of the Cross on the Candidate’s forehead, breast and shoulders saying:

The servant of God is anointed with the Oil of Gladness, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

CHOIR: Amen.

And making a seal of the Cross on his/her breast and shoulders he says:

For the healing of the soul and body.

And on the ears:

For the hearing of faith.

And on the feet:

That he/she may walk in Thy footsteps.

And on the hands:

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.

And having anointed the whole body, the Priest baptizes him/her, holding him/her upright (if an infant) and looking towards the east saying:

The servant of God [Name] is baptized in the Name of the Father, Amen: and of the Son, Amen: and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 At each invocation, the Priest immerses the whole body into the font and raises it up again. If the Candidate is an adult and the Church does not have a special font for adults, the Candidate stands in an appropriate vessel and the Priest pours the baptismal waters over the Candidate, making sure to cover the whole body. After the baptizing, the Priests places the child in a linen sheet held by the Godparent, or if an adult, the sheet is wrapped around the newly baptized.

CHOIR

Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (3)

If the newly baptized is an infant, the Priest immediately continues with the Chrismation, the tonsuring, and the Investing. If the newly baptized is an adult, the Priest continues as follows:

 

THE PRAYER OF CONFIRMATION (CHRISMATION)

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God Almighty, the source of goodness, the Sun of Righteousness, who didst shine for those in darkness a light of salvation, through the manifestation of Thine Only-begotten Son and our God, granting unto us, though we be unworthy, the blessed cleansing in Holy Baptism, and divine sanctification in the life-giving Anointing: Thou who now also hast been well-pleased to regenerate this Thy newly illumined servant through water and the Spirit, giving him/her forgiveness of his/her voluntary and involuntary sins: Wherefore, O Master and compassionate King of All, do Thou also grant upon him/her the seal of the gift of Thine omnipotent and venerable Spirit, and the communion of the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Thy Christ. Preserve him/her in Thy holiness; confirm him/her in the Orthodox Faith; deliver him/her from the evil one and all his devices, and through Thy saving fear, in purity and righteousness, do Thou preserve his/her soul: that being pleasing before Thee in every work and word, he/she may become a son/daughter and heir of Thy heavenly kingdom.

For Thou art our God, the God of mercy and salvation, 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 prayer, the Priest anoints the baptized with the Holy Chrism, making the sign of the Cross on the forehead, the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth, the ears, the breast, the hands, and the feet, saying:

The Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Priest then invests the baptized in new clothing, saying:

The servant of God [Name] is clothed with the garment of righteousness, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

CHOIR: Amen.

A robe of light Thou hast bestowed on me, O Thou that art arrayed with light as a garment, O Most Merciful Christ our God.

 

Then securing the Cross around the baptizan’s neck, the Priest says:

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 

The newly baptized, with the help of his/her Sponsor, is then dried and dressed with his/her new baptismal clothes. The Priest washes his hands and if the baptized was an infant, he reads silently the prayers of confirmation, ablution (3 prayers) and the prayer of the Tonsure. Meanwhile the choir sings the following verses:

 

Inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross upon the waters, Moses marked a straight line before him with his staff and divided the Red Sea, opening a path for Israel who went over dry-shod. Then he marked a second line across the waters and united them in one, overwhelming the chariots of Pharaoh. Therefore let us sing to Christ our God, for He has been glorified.

The rod of Aaron is an image of this mystery, for when it budded it showed who should be priest. So in the Church, that once was barren, the wood of the Cross has now put forth flower, filling her with strength and steadfastness.

O Lord, I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation: I have considered Thy works, and I have glorified Thy Godhead.

O thrice-blessed Tree, on which Christ the King and Lord was stretched! Through thee the beguiler fell, who tempted mankind with the tree. He was caught in the trap set by God, who was crucified upon thee in the flesh, granting peace unto our souls.

Jonah stretched out his hands in the form of a cross within the belly of the sea monster, plainly prefiguring the redeeming Passion. Cast out from thence after three days, he foreshadowed the marvellous Resurrection of Christ our God, Who was crucified in the flesh and enlightened the world by His rising on the third day.

The senseless decree of the wicked tyrant, breathing forth threats and blasphemy hateful to God, confused the people. Yet neither the fury of wild beasts nor the roaring of the fire could frighten the Three Children: but standing together in the flame, fanned by the wind that brought refreshment as the dew, they sang: “Blessed art Thou and praised above all, O our God and the God of our fathers”.

O ye Children, equal in number to the Trinity, bless ye the Father and Creator; sing ye the praises of the Word who descended and changed the fire to dew; and exalt ye above all for ever the most Holy Spirit, who gives life to all.

O Theotokos, thou art a mystical Paradise, who untilled hast brought forth Christ. He has planted upon earth the life-giving Tree of the Cross: therefore at its Exaltation on this day, we worship Him and thee do we magnify.

 

During the Easter period, that is from Easter day until the leave-taking of the Feast (40 days), the choir sings instead of the above, the following verses:

 

Of Holy Pascha
Ode 1. Tone 1

The day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O nations! Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha; for Christ God hath conveyed us from death to life, and from earth to heaven, as we sing the triumphal song.

Ode 3

Come let us drink a new drink, not one marvellously brought forth from a barren rock, but from the fount of incorruption, which from the tomb of Christ poured forth, in whom we are established.

Ode 4

Upon the divine watch let the God-inspired Habakkuk stand with us and show forth the radiant Angel fervently saying: Today is salvation to the world, for Christ is risen for he is Almighty.

Ode 5

Let us arise at the break of dawn, and instead of myrrh, offer a hymn to the Master; and we shall see Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, causing life to dawn on all life.

Ode 6

Thou didst descend into the deepest abyss of the earth, and didst shatter the eternal bars which held the prisoners captive, O Christ, and like Jonah from the whale, after three days Thou didst rise from the grave.

Ode 7

He who delivered the children from the furnace, becomes a man and suffers as a mortal, and through his suffering, he clothes mortality with the grace of incorruption: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Ode 8

This is the chosen and Holy Day, the first of all Sabbaths, the Sovereign and Lady, the Feast of Feasts, and the Festival of Festivals on which we bless Christ unto all ages.

Ode 9

The angel proclaimed to her that is full of grace, rejoice O pure Virgin, again I say rejoice; for thy Son is risen the third day from the tomb.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem; for the glory of the Lord hath risen upon thee, rejoice now and be glad O Zion; and do thou O pure, Mother of God, rejoice at the rising of thy Child.

 

Then the Priest, together with the newly baptized holding a candle, encircle the font thrice. All the while, the Priest censes around the font while the choir sings:

 

As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia. (3}

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

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Have put on Christ. Alleluia.

PRIEST: Power.

 

CHOIR

As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia.

READER: The Lord is my light and my Saviour.

PRIEST: Let us attend.

READER: The Lord is the defender of my life.

PRIEST: Wisdom.

READER: The reading is from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (Rom 6: 3-11)

PRIEST: Let us attend.

 

READER

Brethren, know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

PRIEST: Peace unto thee (that readeth).

READER: And unto thy spirit.

CHOIR: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

 

PRIEST

Wisdom; stand steadfast; let us hear the Holy Gospel. Peace unto all.

 

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

 

PRIEST

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (Matt.28: 16-20)

Let us attend.

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

 

PRIEST

At that time, the eleven Disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

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

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us bow our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

 

THE FIRST PRAYER OF ABLUTION

PRIEST

O Thou, who through Holy Baptism, hast granted forgiveness of sins to this Thy servant, bestowing upon him/her a life of regeneration, do Thou, O Lord and Master, be well pleased that the light of Thy countenance forevermore shines forth in his/her heart: maintain the shield of his/her faith against the plotting of enemies: preserve in him/her the garment of incorruption, which he/she has put on, spotless and undefiled: by Thy grace, preserve in him/her the spiritual seal unbroken: and be merciful unto him/her and unto us according to the multitude of Thy compassions.

For blessed and glorified is 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.

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

 

THE SECOND PRAYER OF ABLUTION

PRIEST

O Master and Lord, our God, who through the baptismal font bestows the heavenly splendour to them that are baptized; who hast regenerated this Thy newly illumined servant through water and Spirit, granting unto him/her forgiveness of his/her voluntary and involuntary sins: do Thou lay Thy mighty hand upon him/her, and guard him/her in the power of Thy goodness; in a place of safekeeping preserve his/her pledge of faith; and account him/her worthy of eternal life, and of Thy good pleasure.

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.

CHOIR: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us bow our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Lord have mercy.

 

THE THIRD PRAYER OF ABLUTION

PRIEST

He that hath put on Thee, O Christ, our God, together with us, bows his/her head to Thee: Do Thou preserve him/her that he/she may remain an invincible soldier against them that in vain raise up enmity against him/her and us: and by Thine incorruptible crown, declare us all victorious until the end.

For Thine it is to have mercy, and to save, and to Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thine eternal Father, and Thine all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

And taking the linen sheet, the Priest soaks the end in clean water and sprinkles the newly baptized saying

Thou art justified; thou art enlightened.

And taking a new sponge or cotton wool, he dips it in water and wipes the baptizan’s face, head, breast, and the rest, saying:

Thou art baptized, thou art enlightened, thou art chrismated, thou art sanctified, thou art washed clean, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

 

THE PRAYER OF THE TONSURE

PRIEST

O Master and Lord, Our God, who didst honour man with Thine own image, fashioning him to consist of a reason-endowed soul and a comely body, as though the body might be of assistance to the reason-endowed soul: For Thou didst set his head on high, and therein didst establish the greater number of the senses, which hinder not one another: crowning the head with hair that it might not be injured by the changes of the winds, and didst implant every member of the body that it might be of service, so that by all he might give thanks to Thee, the excellent artist. Do Thou, O Master, who through the vessel of Thy choice, Paul the Apostle, didst command us to do all things unto Thy glory, bless [+] this Thy servant [Name] who now approaches to make an offering of the firstfruits of his/her hair shorn from his/her head: do Thou bless also his/her sponsor: and grant them always to apply themselves to the meditation of Thy law and to do those things that are well pleasing unto Thee.

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.

PRIEST: Peace unto all.

CHOIR: And unto thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us bow our heads before the Lord.

CHOIR: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST: Let us pray unto the Lord.

CHOIR: Kyrie eleison.

 

The Priest lays his hand upon the baptizan’s head and prays:

O Lord, our God, who through the fulfilment of the baptismal font hast by Thy goodness, sanctified them that believe in Thee, bless this person (child) here present, and may Thy blessing come down upon his/her head. And as Thou didst bless David the King, through Thy Prophet Samuel, bless also the head of Thy servant (Name) Through my hand, though I be a sinner, sending down upon him/her Thy Holy Spirit, that as he/she advances in years and grey hairs of old age, he/she may ascribe glory to Thee, beholding the good things of Jerusalem all the days of his/her life.

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.

The Priest then tonsures (cuts) the hair of his/her head in a form of a Cross saying:

The hair of the head of the servant of God [Name] is tonsured in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

CHOIR: Amen.

 

PRIEST

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

At each petition the choir shall sing: Kyrie eleison.

Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health and salvation for the servants of God, the newly illumined [Name], the Sponsor [Name] and all those here present.

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.

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

May He who was deigned to be baptized in the Jordan by John for our salvation, Christ our true God, by the prayers of His Most Holy Mother, of the glorious Prophet and Forerunner, John the Baptist, of the holy and all glorious Apostles, [Name of the saint to whom the Church is dedicated], [Name of the saint whom the newly baptized hath received], and of 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 upon us and save us.

CHOIR: Amen

 

The newly baptized then approaches for communion of the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As the Priest gives the Communion he says:

The servant of God (Name) partaketh of the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

If the newly baptized was an infant, the Priest takes the child in his arms and giving the child to the mother he says:

Receive, O mother thy child, who hath been baptized, chrismated and sanctified, to which bear witness the angels in heaven and men on earth, whom do thou keep safe as the pupil of your eye until he/she reaches the legal age of consent

 

And taking the candle and giving it to the father (or to the newly baptized if he/she is an adult) he shall say:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.