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Great Vespers (Saturday Evening)

When the service is to begin, the Priest, vested in epitrachil goes before the closed Royal Doors and makes three reverences. The faithful stand.


Priest: Blessed is our God, always now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

The beginning prayers are now recited, alternately between the Priest and Faithful.

Priest: Glory to You, O God, glory to You!

All: O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who are in all places and fill all things. Treasurer of blessings, and giver of Life, come and dwell within us, and cleanse us from every blemish, and save our souls, O blessed One.

Priest: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

All: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

Priest: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Priest: Now and ever and forever. Amen.

All: O most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, cleanse us of our sins; O Master, forgive our transgressions; O Holy One, come to us and heal our infirmities for Your Name's sake.

Priest: Lord, have mercy. (three times)

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Priest: Now and ever and forever. Amen.

All: Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

Priest: Lord, have mercy. (six times)

All: Lord, have mercy. (six times)

Priest: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

All: Now and ever and forever. Amen.

Priest: Come, let us adore God our King. (reverence)

All: Come let us adore Christ, our King and our God. (reverence)

Priest: Come, let us adore and bow down to Christ Himself, our King and our God. (reverence)

The Priest then goes before the icon of Christ and says the prayers of light (Appendix I) while Psalm 103 is sung. The Priest remains before the Royal Doors for the Great Litany.

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord, my God, You are great indeed. You are clothed with honor and majesty; You clothe Yourself with light as with a cloak. You stretch out the heavens like a canopy; You lay the beams of Your chambers in the waters. You make the clouds your chariot; You walk upon the wings of the wind. You make Your Angels spirits; Your servants a flaming fires. You laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Glory to You O God! (3)

The Great Litany

The faithful sit.

Priest: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For the peace that comes from heaven above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For peace throughout the whole world, for the welfare of the holy Churches of God, and for the union of them all, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For this holy Church and for those who enter it with faith, devoutness, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For our Ecumenical Patriarch ( N) , the Archbishop of Constantinople, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For our Most Reverend Metropolitan (N), (and/or) Our God Loving Bishop (N) for our esteemed priesthood, for the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon : For the honorable government of our country and all civil authorities, and for our armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For this city, and for every city, village and country, and for those who with faith dwell in them, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For healthful seasons, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For those who travel by land, by sea, and by air, for the sick, the suffering, for those who are held in captivity, and for their safety and salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, and want, let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Commemorating our ever holy, ever pure, ever blessed and glorious Lady, the Birthgiver of God and ever Virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

All: To You, O Lord.

Priest: For to You are due all glory, honor, and adoration, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

The Priest enters the Altar and goes to the High Place. The First Kathisma is now sung in an abbreviated form. The faithful remain seated.

Blessed is the Man -The First Kathisma

Blessed is the man, Alleluia. Who follows not the counsel of the wicked. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. For the Lord knows the way of the just, but the way of the wicked, will perish. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The faithful stand for Psalm 143 until the censing is finished.

The Lamp Lighting Psalms
Psalm 143

All: (Sung in the Tone of the week.)
O Lord, I have cried unto You: hear me! Hear me, O Lord. O Lord I have cried unto You: hear me! Receive the voice of my prayer when I call upon You. Hear me, O Lord! Let my prayer be set forth in Your sight as incense and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Hear me O Lord!

The Priest censes the altar on four sides, the high place, the icons in the sanctuary. Leaving the altar, he censes the icons on the iconostas and the people from the solea. He then reenters the sanctuary and censes once again at the foot of the altar. The Cantors and the faithful sing the appointed stichiri. At the Glory, Now and Ever, the royal doors are opened and the procession begins. During the procession of the entrance the Priest prays the following prayer:

Priest: O gracious King, You love mankind and bless all things. With contrite heart and humble spirit we pray to You, O Christ our true God, to bless our going and coming. For Your coming and dwelling among us and Your ascension are blessed, now and ever and forever. Amen.

Priest: Blessed is the entrance of Your Saints, always now and ever and forever.

Standing before the Royal Doors, the Priest makes the sign of the Cross with the censer and proclaims:

Priest: Wisdom! Be attentive!

The Hymn of the Evening is now sung while the Priest censes as he does at the Lamp Lighting Psalm.

Gladsome Light.

Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory That shines from the Immortal, Heavenly Father, the Holy, the Blessed, Jesus Christ. In that we have come to sunset, now that we see the evening light, we sing the praise of Father and Son, and Holy Spirit, one God! Worthy are You, to be praised at all times with voices meet for holy song, O Son of God, the Giver of life, for which cause all the world, does give glory to You.

The Priest goes to the High place for the Prokimenon

Priest:Be attentive! Peace be unto all! Priest/Priest: Wisdom: Be attentive!

The Cantor chants the Prokimenon of the day while the Priest intones the verse.

The Prokimenon

Saturday - Tone 6

All: The Lord is King, * He is robed in majesty.

Priest: The Lord has put on His apparel, and girded Himself with strength.

All: The Lord is King, * He is robed in majesty.

Priest: For He has made the world so sure that it cannot be moved.

All: The Lord is King, * He is robed in majesty.

Priest: Holiness is fitting for Your house, O Lord, for length of days.

All: The Lord is King, * He is robed in majesty.

The Priest goes to the Altar for the Triple Litany.

The Triple Litany

Priest: Let us say with our whole soul and with all our mind, let us say.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord, almighty, God of our fathers, we pray to You, hear us and have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great mercy, we pray to You, hear us and have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: Furthermore we pray for our Ecumenical Patriarch (N.), the Archbishop of Constantinople, for our Most Reverend Metropolitan (N.), (for our God-loving Bishop (N.)) for our spiritual fathers and all other clergy, and for all our brethren in Christ; for their welfare, peace, health, salvation, and for the remission of their sins, and that the Lord our God may prompt them and help them in all things.

All: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: Furthermore we pray for those who give offerings and do good works in this holy and venerable Church, for those who labor in its service, for those who sing, and for all the people here present who await your great and abundant mercy, for those who have shown us kindness, and for all Orthodox Christians.

All: Lord, have mercy. (3)

Priest: For You are a merciful God Who loves mankind, and we give glory to You, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

The faithful stand.

Evening Prayer

All: Grant us this evening, O Lord, to be protected from sin. Blessed are You, O Lord God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name forever. Amen. Let Your mercy be upon us, O Lord, even as we have set our hope on You. + Blessed are You , O Lord, teach us Your commandments. + Blessed are You, O Master make us to understand Your Commandments. +Blessed are You, O Holy one, enlighten us with your precepts. Your mercy O Lord endures forever, do not despise the works of Your hands. To You belongs song, to You glory belongs to the Father and Son and The Holy Spirit. Now and ever and Forever. Amen.

The faithful may sit.

Litany of Supplication

Priest: Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For an evening that in all things will be perfect, holy, peaceful, and without sin, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: For an Angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: For the pardon and remission of our sins and transgressions, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: For all that is good and profitable to our souls and for the peace of the world, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: That we may pass the remainder of our life in peace and repentance, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: For a Christian ending of our life without pain or shame, peaceful, and for a good account at the fearful judgment seat of Christ, let us beseech the Lord.

All: Grant it, O Lord.

Priest: Commemorating our ever holy, ever pure, ever blessed and glorious Lady, the Birthgiver of God and ever Virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

All: To You, O Lord.

Priest: For You are a gracious God and You love mankind, and we give glory to You, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

The faithful stand.

All: Amen.

Priest: Peace be unto all!

All: And to your spirit.

Priest: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

All: To You, O Lord.

Priest: O Lord our God, You lowered the heavens and came down for the salvation of the human race. Now look upon Your servants and upon Your inheritance; for they have bowed their heads to You, the Judge both awesome and loving. They do not await human help, but look for Your mercy and are ever ready to receive Your salvation. Guard them at all times, this evening and tonight, against all enemies, against the devils assaults, against vain thought and evil dreams. May the might of Your kingdom be blessed and exalted, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

The faithful may sit.

The Aposticha

Sung in the appointed Tone. At the Glory, now and ever, the people stand

St. Simeon's Prayer

All: Now let Your servant, depart in peace, O Master, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all people. A light of revelation for the Gentiles, and the Glory of Your people Israel.

At the conclusion of the hymn, the Trisagion prayers are chanted by the Priest and people.

Priest: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

All: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

Priest: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Priest: Now and ever and forever. Amen.

All: O most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, cleanse us of our sins; O Master, forgive our transgressions; O Holy One, come to us and heal our infirmities for Your Name's sake.

Priest: Lord, have mercy. (three times)

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Priest: Now and ever and forever. Amen.

All: Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen.

Troparia

The appointed troparia and theotokion are now sung

Priest: Wisdom!

All: Father, bless!

Priest: Christ our God, the Existing, is blessed, now and ever and forever.

All: Amen. Preserve, O God, the Holy Orthodox Faith and Orthodox Christians now and ever and forever.

The Priest comes through the Royal Doors and faces the Icon of the Virgin Mary, saying:

Priest: O most holy Birth-giver of God, save us.

All: More honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who as a Virgin gave birth to the Word of God, true Birth-giver of God, we magnify you!

Facing the Icon of Christ, the Priest says:

Priest: Glory to You, O Christ our God, our Hope, glory to You!

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Lord, have mercy. (three times)
Father, bless!

Facing the faithful, the Priest says:

Priest: May Christ our true God (Who rose from the dead), through the prayers of His most pure Mother, through the power of the precious and life giving Cross, the intercession of the honorable, bodiless powers of heaven, the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles, Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycea, the venerable and divinely enlightened Fathers, of Saint (N) whom we commemorate today patron saint of Saints Cyril and Methodius, equal to the Apostles and Evangelizers of the Slavs, of Saint Nectarius the wonderworker, Metropolitan of Pentopolis, of the righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is gracious and He loves mankind.


All: Amen.


Prayers of Light

1. O Lord, compassionate and loving, long-suffering and most merciful, hear our prayer and listen to the voice of our supplication. Make a favorable covenant with us, guide us along Your ways that we may live in Your truth, gladden our hearts that we may fear Your holy Name; for You are great and You perform wondrous deeds. You are the only God and none other is like You, O Lord. You are great in mercy and able, in Your power, to assist, support, and save all those who place their hope in Your holy Name; and to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor, and adoration, now and ever and forever. Amen.

2. O Lord, in Your indignation do not rebuke us; in Your wrath do not chastise us; but deal with us according to Your loving kindness. O Physician and Healer of our souls, guide us to the harbor of Your will; enlighten the eyes of our mind that we may know Your truth. Grant that the remainder of this day and all the days of our life may be peaceful and without sin, through the prayers of the holy Mother of God and through the prayers of all the Saints; for Yours is the might, and Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

3. O Lord our God, be mindful of us sinners, Your unworthy servants, as we call upon Your holy Name, and put us not to shame for having placed our hope in Your mercy. Graciously grant us, O Lord, all the means of salvation; make us worthy to love and fear You with all our heart and to accomplish Your will in all things. For You are a gracious Lord and You love mankind; and we give glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

4. O Lord, You are praised by the holy Powers in hymns which are never silent, and in doxologies which never cease. Fill our mouths with Your praise that we may exalt Your holy Name. Through the prayers of the holy Mother of God and the intercession of all Your Saints, give us a part and an inheritance with those who fear You in truth and who keep Your commandments. For to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor, and adoration, now and ever and forever. Amen.

5. Blessed are You, O Lord, Almighty God, You know the mind of each person; You know what each needs even before they ask or are aware of it. Now, O King Who loves mankind and Who is gracious in everything, in Your great mercy allow us to call upon Your holy Name with an unashamed conscience. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One; for to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor, and adoration, now and ever and forever. Amen.

6. O Lord, O Lord, You hold all things together in Your spotless hands; You are long-suffering toward us all; You grieve at our wickedness. Remember Your compassion and mercy, and look down upon us in Your goodness. Grant that for the rest of this day we may escape from the manifold deceits of the Evil One; and keep our life free from every assault of the enemy, through the grace of Your All-holy Spirit. Grant this through the mercies and love for mankind of Your only-begotten Son with Whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

7. O great and wonderful God, You govern all things with Your indescribable goodness and rich providence. You have provided us with the goodness of this world and have assured us, through Your kindness, of attaining the promised kingdom. O Lord, through all the blessings already received this day, You have kept us away from evil; grant that we spend its remaining hours without blame before Your holy glory, and that we may sing Your praise, O You, the only Gracious One Who loves mankind. For You are our God, and we send up glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

8. O great and most high God, You alone are immortal and You dwell in a light which is unapproachable. You created all things in Your wisdom, dividing light from darkness, establishing the sun to govern the day and the moon and stars to rule the night. You have deemed us, poor sinners, worthy to reach this hour, to come into Your presence with our thanks, and to offer You our evening praise. O Lord Who loves mankind, let our prayers ascend to You as incense, and accept them as sweet fragrance. Grant that this evening and the coming night may be spent in peace; clothe us with the armor of light; save us from the fears of the night and from things that lurk in darkness. Grant that the sleep You have given to refresh us from our fatigue may be free from every evil. Yes, O Lord and Giver of all good things, may we remember Your name throughout the night; and enlightened by the practice of Your commandments, may we rise in gladness of soul to praise Your goodness. offering prayers and supplications for our sins and those of Your people. Look down upon us with mercy, through the intercession of the Mother of God; for You are a gracious Lord Who loves mankind, and we glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever Amen.

 

 


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