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THE PEOPLE'S HANDBOOK

HOLY AND GREAT FRIDAY

VESPERS
(SUNG ON HOLY AND GREAT FRIDAY MORNING)

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HOLY AND GREAT FRIDAY

AT VESPERS

Sung on Great Friday morning after the Ninth Hour

 

PRIEST

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

READER: Amen.

O come, let us worship and bow down before our King and our God.

O come, let us worship and bow down before Christ our King and our God.

O come, let us worship and bow down before the very Christ our King and our God.

 

THE INTRODUCTORY PSALM 103 [104]

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou hast clothed Thyself with praise and honour: who dost robe Thyself with light as a garment; spreading out the heavens as a curtain. Who covers His chambers with waters; who makes the clouds his chariots: who walks on the wings of the wind. Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flaming fire. Who establishes the earth on her sure foundation: it shall not be moved forever. The deep, as it were a garment, is His covering: the waters shall stand on the hills. At Thy rebuke they shall flee; at the voice of Thy thunder they shall be alarmed. They go up to the mountains, and down to the plains, to the place which Thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound which they shall not pass, neither shall they turn again to cover the earth. He sends forth His fountains among the valleys: the waters shall run between the mountains. They shall give drink to all the wild beasts of the field: the wild asses shall take of them to quench their thirst. By them shall the birds of the sky lodge: they shall utter a voice out of the midst of the rocks. He waters the mountains from His chambers: the earth shall be satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He makes grass to grow for the cattle, the green herb for the service of men, to bring bread out of the earth; and wine makes glad the heart of man, to make his face cheerful with oil: and bread strengthens man’s heart. The trees of the plain shall be full of sap; even the cedars of Lebanon which He has planted. There the sparrows will build their nests; and the house of the heron takes the lead among them. The high mountains are a refuge for the stags, and the rock for the rabbits. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knows his going down. Thou didst make darkness, and it was night; in it all the wild beasts of the forest will be abroad: even young lions roaring for prey, and to seek meat for themselves from God. The sun arises, and they shall be gathered together, and shall lie down in their dens. Man shall go forth to his work, and to his labour till evening. How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou wrought them all: the earth is filled with Thy creation. So is this great and wide sea: there are things creeping innumerable, small animals and great. There go the ships; and this dragon whom Thou hast made to play in it. All wait upon Thee, to give them food in due season. When Thou hast given it them, they will gather it; and when Thou hast opened Thine hand, they shall be filled with good. But when Thou hast turned away Thy face, they shall be troubled: Thou wilt take away their breath, and they shall fail, and return to their dust. Thou shalt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Let the glory of the Lord be for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in His works; who looks upon the earth, and makes it tremble; who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord while I live; I will sing praise to my God while I exist. Let my meditation be sweet to Him: and I will rejoice in the Lord. Let the sinners fail from off the earth, and transgressors, so that they shall be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

And again

The sun knows his going down, Thou didst make darkness, and it was night.

How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou wrought them all.

Glory… Now and for ever…

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

Our hope, glory be to Thee, O Lord.

DEACON

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.

PSALM 140 [141]

Tone 1

Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hear me: hear me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hear me, give ear to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee, hear me, O Lord.

Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Incline not my heart to evil words, to make excuse with pretexts for sins.
With men that work iniquity; I shall not join with their chosen.

The righteous shall chasten me with mercy, and reprove me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.

For yet shall my prayer be in the presence of their pleasures; their judges have been swallowed up against the rock.

They will hear my words, for they are sweet. As when a lump of
earth is broken up upon the ground, so have their bones been scattered at the mouth of Hades.

For mine eyes are unto Thee, Lord, O Lord; in Thee have I hoped; take not away my soul.

Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me, and from the stumblingblocks of the workers of iniquity.

The sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone, until that I pass hence.

 

PSALM 141 [142]

I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make supplication.

I will pour out my supplication before Him; I will show before Him my trouble.

When my spirit was fainting within me, then Thou knewest my paths.

In this way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

I looked on my right hand, and beheld; but there was none that knew me.

Flight failed me, and there is none that watcheth for my soul.

I cried unto Thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my hope, my portion in the land of the living.

Attend unto my supplication, for I am brought very low.

Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name.

The righteous shall await me, until Thou shalt reward me.

PSALM 129 [130]

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice.

Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee.

Tone 1

The whole creation was changed by fear, when it saw thee, Christ, hanging on the Cross. The sun was darkened and the foundations of the earth were shaken; all things suffered with the Creator of all. O thou, O Lord, who for us didst willingly endure, glory to thee.

For Thy name's sake have I waited for Thee, O Lord; my soul hath waited for Thy word. My soul hath hoped in the Lord.

The whole creation was changed by fear, when it saw thee, Christ, hanging on the Cross. The sun was darkened and the foundations of the earth were shaken; all things suffered with the Creator of all. O thou, O Lord, who for us didst willingly endure, glory to thee.

From the morning watch until night, from the morning watch, let Israel hope in the Lord.

 

Tone 2

Why does the impious and lawless people imagine vain things? Why have they condemned to death the Life of all? O mighty wonder! The Creator of the world is delivered into the hands of lawless men, and the lover of mankind is raised upon the Cross, that he may free from Hades, those held captive, who cry: O longsuffering Lord, glory to thee.

For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Today the most pure Virgin saw thee hanging on the Cross, O Word; and with a mother’s love she wept and bitterly her heart was wounded. She groaned in anguish from the depth of her soul, and in her grief she struck her face and tore her hair. And, beating her breast, she cried lamenting: Woe is me, my divine Child! Woe is me, thou Light of the world! Why dost thou vanish from my sight, O Lamb of God?’ Then the hosts of angels were seized with trembling, and said: O incomprehensible Lord, glory to thee.

O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

Seeing thee hanging on the Cross, O Christ the Creator and God of all, she who without seed gave birth to thee bitterly cried: O my Son, where is the beauty of thy form? I cannot bear to look upon thee crucified unjustly. Therefore, make haste to arise, that I too may see thy Resurrection on the third day from the dead.

For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.

Tone 6

Today the Master of creation stands before Pilate; the Creator of all things is given up to the Cross, and of his own will is led as a lamb. He who rained down manna is transfixed with nails, and his side is pierced, and the sponge touches his lips. The Saviour of the world is struck on the cheeks and the Creator of all is mocked by his own servants. O how great the Master’s love for mankind! For those who crucified him he prayed to his own Father, saying, Forgive them this sin, for the transgressors know not what unrighteousness they do. 

Glory…

Tone  6

Oh! how the lawless synagogue condemned the King of creation to death, being not ashamed when he reminded them of the blessings he had of old bestowed upon them saying: O my people, what have I done to you? Have I not filled Judea with miracles? Have I not raised the dead by my word alone?    Have I not healed every sickness and disease? How then have ye repaid me? Why have ye forgotten me?   giving me blows in return for healings; putting me to death in return for life; hanging upon the Cross your benefactor as a malefactor, the lawgiver as a lawbreaker, the King of all as one condemned. O Long-suffering Lord, glory to thee.

 Now and for ever…

A dread and marvellous mystery is seen come to pass this day. He who cannot be touched is seized; he who looses Adam from the curse is bound. He who tries the hearts and reins is unjustly brought to trial, he who closed the abyss is shut in prison. He before whom the Powers of heaven stand in fear, stands before Pilate; the Creator is struck by the his creature; he who judges the living and the dead, is condemned to the Cross; the destroyer of Hades is enclosed in a tomb. O thou who in thy compassion dost bear all things and dost save all from the curse, longsuffering Lord, glory to thee.

The Deacon and Priest holding the Holy Gospel  shall now exit the Sanctuary by the North door and make the Entrance.

DEACON: Let us pray unto the Lord.

PRIEST

Evening, and morning, and at noon we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks unto Thee, and we pray unto Thee, O Master of all: Let our prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and incline not our hearts to any evil thing. But keep us from all who would lay a snare for our souls; For our eyes wait upon Thee, O Lord. In Thee, O Lord, is our trust. Confound us not, O God.

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.

DEACON: Master, bless the Holy Entrance.

PRIEST

Blessed is the entrance into the holiest, always, now and for ever: world without end.

DEACON: Amen. Wisdom. Stand steadfast.

CHOIR

O Gladsome light of the holy glory, of the Immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed, Jesus Christ. As we approach the setting of the sun, and see the evening light, we hymn Thee, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God.

Meet it is at all times for Thee to be praised by righteous voices, O Son of God, the Giver of life. Wherefore the world glorifies Thee.

DEACON: Evening

READER

Prokhimenon Tone 4 Psalm 21

They parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Verse: O God, my God, look to me, why hast Thou forsaken me?

The reading is from Exodus.

DEACON: Wisdom. Let us give heed.

READER

Chap. 33: 11-23

The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as if one should speak unto his friend: and he turned again into the camp: but his minister Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. And Moses said unto the Lord, See, Thou sayest unto me, Lead up this people: but Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me; and Thou hast said unto me, I know thee above all, and thou hast favour in My sight. If then I have found favour in Thy sight, reveal Thyself unto me, that I may evidently see Thee, that I may find favour in Thy sight, and that I may know that this nation is Thy people. And He saith, I Myself will go before thee, and I will give thee rest. And he saith unto Him, If Thou go not up with us Thyself, lead me not up hence. And wherein shall it be surely known, that I have found favour with Thee, both I and Thy people except only if Thou go with us? So shall we be glorified, both I and Thy people, beyond all the nations, as many as are upon the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also for thee that thou hast spoken; for thou hast found favour before Me, and I know thee above all others. And he saith, Shew me Thine own glory. And he said, I will pass by before thee in My glory, and I will call by My name, LORD, before thee; and I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. And He said, Thou shalt not be able to see My face: for there shall no man see My face, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by Me: thou shalt stand upon the rock; and whensoever My glory passeth by, then I will put thee into a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand, until I shall have passed by. And I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not appear unto thee.

Prokhimenon Tone 4 Psalm 34

Judge Thou, O Lord, them that do me injustice; fight against them that fight against me.

Verse: They rewarded me evil for good, and bereavement to my soul.

The reading is from Job.

DEACON: Wisdom. Let us give heed.

READER

Chap. 42: 12-17

The Lord blessed the latter end of Job, more than the beginning: and his cattle were fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, a thousand she asses of the pastures. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. And he called the first Day, and the second Cassia, and the third, Amalthia’s Horn. And in all the world were there not found in comparision with the daughters of Job fairer than they: and their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren. And Job lived after his affliction an hundred and seventy years: and all the years that he lived were two hundred and forty: and Job saw his sons, and his son’s sons, the fourth generation. And Job died, an old man full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom God raiseth up. This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausitis, on the borders of Edom and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; And having taken an Arabian wife, he begat a son whose name was Ennon: and he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorra, so that he was the fifth from Abraham.

 The reading is from Isaiah.

DEACON: Wisdom. Let us give heed.

READER

Chap. 52:13 – 54:1

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, My servant shall understand, and be exalted, and exceeding glorified. As many shall be astonished at thee, so shall thy face be without glory from men, and thy glory absent from the sons of men. Thus shall many nations wonder at him; and kings shall shut their mouths: for they to whom he was not spoken of shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up as a child before Him; as a root in a thirsty land: he hath no form nor glory; and we saw him, but he had no form nor comeliness. But his form was without honour, failing beyond the children of men; a man in calamity, and acquainted with the bearing of sickness; for his face is turned away: he was dishonoured, and not esteemed. He beareth our sins, and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. But he was wounded for our transgressions, and weakened because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his bruise we were healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; every one is gone astray in his own way; and the Lord hath given him over to our sins. And he openeth not his mouth, because of his affliction: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so openeth he not his mouth. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth: for the iniquities of My people was he led to death. And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he did no iniquity, neither was guile found in his mouth. The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke. If ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long lived seed: the Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to fill him with understanding; to justify a righteous one that serveth many well; and he shall bear their sins. Therefore shall he inherit many, and divide the spoils of the mighty; because his soul was delivered unto death: and he was reckoned among the transgressors; and he bare the sins of many, and was delivered because of their iniquities. Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for more are the children of the desolate than of her that hath an husband.

Prokhimenon: Tone 6. [Psalm 87]

They have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

DEACON: Let us attend.

READER

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

DEACON: Wisdom.

READER

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

DEACON: Let us attend.

READER

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:2

Brethren, the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

PRIEST: Peace unto thee.

Alleluia [3]. Tone 5. [Psalm 68]

Save Me, O God; for the waters are come in unto My soul.

Verse: They gave Me also gall for my meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.

Verse: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.

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

Matt. 27:1-38, St Luke 23:39-43 , Matt. 27:39-54, John 19:31-37,  Matt. 27:55-61

At that time, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of  blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them,  What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But 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: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. 

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

If there is a Deacon then he shall read the Gospel from the Pulpit. During the reading at the place " When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea..." one of the Priests vested with epitrakhelion and phelonion and holding in his hands a white linen sheet, comes to the middle of the Church where is the Crucified and performs the Deposition. At the words "And when Joseph had taken the body..." he wraps the Body in the sheet and with reverence carries it into the Sanctuary and places it on the Holy Altar.

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, [Names] who observe this holy Feast; (and) 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.

READER: Amen.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening 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. Blessed art Thou, O Master: make me to understand Thy statutes. Blessed art Thou, O Holy One: enlighten me with Thy statutes. O Lord, Thy mercy is for ever: despise not the works of Thine hands. Unto Thee is due praise, unto Thee is due song, unto Thee is due glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. 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 evening 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, O God, art good and loving-kind, 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.

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 Lord our God, who bows the heavens and comest down for the salvation of mankind, look upon Thy servants and upon Thine inheritance. For unto Thee, the formidable Judge, who lovest mankind, have Thy servants bowed their heads, and submissively inclined their necks, expecting not help from men, but awaiting for Thy mercy and hoping for Thy salvation which do Thou preserve them at all times, during this present evening and in the approaching night, from every enemy, from all adverse powers of the devil, from vain thoughts and from evil imaginations.

 

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.

CHOIR: Amen.

Then the Choir enter the Sanctuary by the North side and begin singing the Aposticha 

" When Joseph of Arimathaea, from the tree..." with the verses. The bells ringing mournfully the procession of the Epitaphios takes place within the Church and is placed in the prepared Ciborium. The procession exits the Sanctuary by the North door preceded by lighted candles, the six-winged fans, the choir and the deacon censing. The Priest vested with epitrakhelion and phelonion carries in his left hand the Holy Gospel and upon his head the Epitaphios. The procession makes three circles around the Ciborium while it is sprinkled with rose water and petals. The Epitaphios and Gospel are then placed inside the Ciborium and is venerated by the priest followed by the people. At the "Glory... Now and for ever" the choir stand before the Ciborium and sing "When Joseph with Nicodemus took you..."

 

Aposticha

Tone 2

When Joseph of Arimathaea, from the tree, took down thy dead body, who art the life of all, in a sheet with myrrh he buried thee, O Christ, and was overcome with fervent desire to embrace with heart and lips thine immaculate body, but drawing back in fear, he cried to thee rejoicing: Glory to thy condescension, O Lover of mankind.

Verse: The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty.

When thou, the redeemer of all, wast laid for the sake of all in a new tomb, ridiculed Hades was terrified in seeing thee, the bars were smashed apart, the gates were shattered, the graves were opened and the dead arose,  then Adam with joy and thanksgiving, cried out to thee: Glory to thy condescension, O Lover of mankind.

Verse: For He hath established the world, which shall not be moved..

When thou, who art uncircumscribed, and unbounded in thy divine nature, O Christ, wast by thine own will in the flesh enclosed in the tomb, then didst thou, shut the chambers of death and emptied all of Hades kingdoms,  then thou, didst also honour, this Sabbath with divine blessing, and glory and thy radiance.

Verse: Holiness becomes thine house, O Lord, for ever.

When the powers of heaven saw thee. O Christ, falsely accused by lawless men as a deceiver,  and the stone before the tomb sealed by the hands which, pieced thy most pure side, they were filled with fear, at thine ineffable longsufffering, yet rejoicing at our salvation, they cried aloud to thee: Glory to thy condescension, O Lover of mankind.

Glory... Now and for ever.

Tone 5

When Joseph with Nicodemus took thee down from the tree, who art clothed with light as with a garment, and seeing thee dead, naked and without burial, was filled with compassion and in his grief he lamented saying: Woe is me, my sweetest Jesus! When but a little while ago the sun saw thee hanging on the Cross, it wrapped itself in darkness, and the earth quaked with fear, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain; but behold, now I see that for my sake thou didst willingly submit thyself to death. How shall I bury thee, my God or how shall I wrap thee in a sheet?   With what hands shall I touch thy most pure body or what song, O Merciful, shall I sing at thy departure? I magnify thy sufferings, and hymn thy burial together with thy Resurrection, crying O Lord, glory to thee. 

PRIEST

Lord, now lettest Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

READER

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

Glory...now and for ever...

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... now and for ever...

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.

CHOIR: Amen.

Apolytikion 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... now and for ever...

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

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, 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.