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THE CHOIR'S HANDBOOK

 

THE SIXTH HOUR

 

 

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The Sixth Hour

 

If the Sixth Hour is to be read immediately after the Third Hour then the service begins from * O come, let us worship and bow down before our King and our God (see below). Otherwise the Priest shall give the opening blessing.

 

PRIEST

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

READER: Amen.

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

O heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of Truth, that art in all places and fillest all things, Treasure of goodness, and Giver of life: come and abide in us; and cleanse us from all that defileth, and save our souls, O Thou who art Good.

READER

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, 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 (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.

READER: Amen.

Kyrie eleison. (12)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

* If the Sixth Hour is to be read immediately after the Third Hour then the service begins from here.

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.

 

Psalm 53

Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy might. O God, hear my prayer; hearken to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and mighty men have sought my life: they have not set God before them. For lo! God assists me; and the Lord is the helper of my soul. He shall return evil to mine enemies; utterly destroy them in thy truth. I will willingly sacrifice to thee: I will give thanks to thy name, O Lord; for it is good. For thou hast delivered me out of all affliction, and mine eye has seen my desire upon mine enemies.

Psalm 54

Hearken, O God, to my prayer; and disregard not my supplication. Attend to me, and hearken to me: I was grieved in my meditation, and troubled; because of the voice of the enemy, and because of the oppression of the sinner: for they brought iniquity against me, and were wrathfully angry with me. My heart was troubled within me; and the fear of death fell upon me. Fear and trembling came upon me, and darkness covered me. And I said, O that I had wings as those of a dove! then would I flee away, and be at rest. Lo! I have fled afar off, and lodged in the wilderness. I waited for him that should deliver me from distress of spirit and tempest. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen iniquity and gain saying in the city. Day and night he shall go round about it upon its walls: iniquity and sorrow and unrighteousness are in the midst of it; and usury and craft have not failed from its streets. For if an enemy had reproached me, I would have endured it; and if one who hated me had spoken vauntingly against me, I would have hid myself from him. But thou, O man like minded, my guide, and my acquaintance, who in companionship with me sweetened our food: we walked in the house of God in concord. Let death come upon them, and let them go down alive into Hades, for iniquity is in their dwellings, in the midst of them. I cried to God, and the Lord hearkened to me. Evening, and morning, and at noon I will declare and make known my wants: and he shall hear my voice. He shall deliver my soul in peace from them that draw nigh to me: for they were with me in many cases. God shall hear, and bring them low, even he that has existed from eternity. Pause. For they suffer no reverse, and therefore they have not feared God. He has reached forth his hand for retribution; they have profaned his covenant. They were scattered at the anger of his countenance, and his heart drew nigh them. His words were smoother than oil, yet are they darts. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloody and crafty men shall not live out half their days; but I will hope in thee, O Lord.

Psalm 90

He that dwells in the help of the Highest, shall sojourn under the shelter of the God of heaven. He shall say to the Lord, Thou art my helper and my refuge: my God; I will hope in him. For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters, from every troublesome matter. He shall overshadow thee with his shoulders, and thou shalt trust under his wings: his truth shall cover thee with a shield. Thou shalt not be afraid of terror by night; nor of the arrow flying by day; nor of the evil thing that walks in darkness; nor of calamity, and the evil spirit at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou observe and see the reward of sinners. For thou, O Lord, art my hope: thou, my soul, hast made the Most High thy refuge. No evils shall come upon thee, and no scourge shall draw night to thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up on their hands, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread on the asp and basilisk: and thou shalt trample on the lion and dragon. For he has hoped in me, and I will deliver him: I will protect him, because he has known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will hearken to him: I am with him in affliction; and I will deliver him, and glorify him. I will satisfy him with length of days, and shew him my salvation.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. (3)

Kyrie eleison. (3)

If at Mattins we sung "God is the Lord and hath appeared unto us..." we say:

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

and then the Apolytikion of the day.

Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Theotokion

In that we have no boldness because of our many sins, do thou, O Virgin Mother of God, intercede with the One born of thee, for a Mother's prayer has great strength to win the favour of the Master.  Despise not the prayers of sinners, O most honourable, for he, who for our sake, willingly accepted to suffer, is merciful and able to save.

But if at Mattins we sung "Alleluia" (During weekdays of Great Lent) then we sing the following in tone 6:

O Thou Who on the sixth day and hour didst nail upon the Cross Adam's defying sin in paradise, do thou also tear asunder the record of our sins, O Christ God, and save us.

Verse: Hearken, O God, to my prayer; and disregard not my supplication. 

O Thou Who on the sixth day and hour didst nail upon the Cross Adam's defying sin in paradise, do thou also tear asunder the record of our sins, O Christ God, and save us.

Verse: I cried to God, and the Lord hearkened to me.

O Thou Who on the sixth day and hour didst nail upon the Cross Adam's defying sin in paradise, do thou also tear asunder the record of our sins, O Christ God, and save us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.

Theotokion

In that we have no boldness because of our many sins, do thou, O Virgin Mother of God, intercede with the One born of thee, for a Mother's prayer has great strength to win the favour of the Master.  Despise not the prayers of sinners, O most honourable, for he, who for our sake, willingly accepted to suffer, is merciful and able to save.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the 4th week of Great Lent, instead of the verses "O Thou Who on the sixth day..." we sing the following in Tone 2:

Thy Cross, O Master, do we venerate, and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify.

In Great Lent we then read the Troparion of the Prophecy (Look in the Triodion at the day and week of the service) the Prokheimenon, the Prophecy and again the Prokheimenon.

Καὶ εὐθὺς λέγομεν τὸ παρὸν

Let thy compassion speedily come to us, O Lord, for we are greatly impoverished; help us, O God our Saviour, for the glory of thy name, O Lord, deliver us and have mercy upon our sins for thy name's sake.

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, 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 (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.

READER: Amen.

We then read the Kontakion of the saint of the day or the Kontakion of the present feast. But if at Mattins we sung "Alleluia"(During weekdays of Great Lent)  then we say the following: 

Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, O Christ God; Thou didst stretch out Thine immaculate hands upon the Cross, thereby gathering all the nations that cry to Thee: O Lord, glory be to Thee.

Glory...

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.

Now and for ever... 

Theotokion

On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday:

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.

On Wednesday and Friday:

We hymn thee, O Virgin Mother of God, who art most glorious, for through the Cross of thy Son, Hades hast been cast down and death hast deceased, we who are dead have risen, and have been vouchsafed life, we have received Paradise, our ancient delight, therefore in thanksgiving we glorify Christ our God as almighty and only most merciful.

During the 4th week of Great Lent we say the Kontakion for the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.

Tone 7

No longer does the flaming sword guard the gate of Eden, for a marvelous quenching is come upon it, even the Tree of the Cross. The sting has been taken from death, and the victory from Hades. And, thou, O my Saviour, hast appeared unto those in Hades saying: Enter again into Paradise.

Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. (40)

O Thou, who at all times and every hour, art worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy and ever-compassionate, who lovest the righteous and hast mercy upon sinners, who callest all to salvation through the promise of the blessings to come: Do Thou, O Lord, at this very hour accept our supplications, and direct our lives in the way of Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, purify our bodies, correct our reasoning, cleanse our thoughts: and deliver us from all affliction, evil and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that being guarded and guided by their interposition, we mat attain unto the unity of the faith, and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kyrie eleison. (3)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, world without end. Amen.

More honourable than the cherubim and past compare more glorious than the seraphim, who inviolate didst bear God the Word, very Mother of God, thee we magnify.

In the name of the Lord, Father, give the blessing.

PRIEST

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us and have mercy upon us.

* In Great Lent the priest does not say the following prayer and dismissal but the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim (see below).

O God and Lord of hosts, and author of all creation, who in thine incomparable tender mercy didst send thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of our race, and through his precious Cross didst tear up the record of our sins, and thereby triumphed over the principalities and powers of darkness; Do thou, O Master who lovest mankind, also accept from us sinners these prayers of thanksgiving and supplication, and deliver us from every dark and deadly transgression, and from every visible and invisible enemies that seek to do us harm.  Nail our flesh with fear of thee, and incline not our hearts to evil words or thoughts, but would our souls with desire for thee, that ever gazing upon thee and guided by thy light and beholding thee, the everlasting light that no man can approach, we may ascribe unceasing praise and thanksgiving to thee, the Father without beginning, together with thine only-begotten Son and thy most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

READER: Amen.

Here begins the Sixth Hour if it is to be read immediately after the Third, otherwise the Dismissal 

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

READER: 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)

PRIEST

May Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most holy Mother…

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

READER: Amen.

* In Great Lent after the Priest says "God be merciful unto us, and bless us..." he immediately says the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian. After each verse we make a deep prostration.

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power, and vain words.

But the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love, grant unto me Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me awareness of my own sins and let me not judge my brother: for blessed art Thou for ever and ever. Amen.

Then we make 12 small prostrations each saying to himself: O God, be gracious unto me, a sinner and have mercy upon me. Then the last verse of the prayer is repeated with another deep prostration.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me awareness of my own sins and let me not judge my brother: for blessed  art Thou for ever and ever. Amen.

READER

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, 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 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.

READER: Amen.

Kyrie eleison (12)

PRIEST

O God and Lord of hosts, and author of all creation, who in thine incomparable tender mercy didst send thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of our race, and through his precious Cross didst tear up the record of our sins, and thereby triumphed over the principalities and powers of darkness; Do thou, O Master who lovest mankind, also accept from us sinners these prayers of thanksgiving and supplication, and deliver us from every dark and deadly transgression, and from every visible and invisible enemies that seek to do us harm.  Nail our flesh with fear of thee, and incline not our hearts to evil words or thoughts, but would our souls with desire for thee, that ever gazing upon thee and guided by thy light and beholding thee, the everlasting light that no man can approach, we may ascribe unceasing praise and thanksgiving to thee, the Father without beginning, together with thine only-begotten Son and thy most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.

READER: Amen.

Here begins the Ninth Hour if it is to be read immediately after the Sixth, otherwise the Dismissal 

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

READER: 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)

PRIEST

May Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most holy Mother…

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

READER: Amen.