Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

~ THE DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THE SERVICE OF THE SACRED RITE ACCORDING TO THE HOLY SYNAXIS ~

LITURGY OF THE WORD

PRIEST: Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

THE GREAT LITANY

PRIEST: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For the peace of God and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For peace in the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our Archbishop (Name), the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For this parish and city, for every city and town, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For favorable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and temperate seasons, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For travelers by land, sea, and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Lord, our God, whose power is beyond compare, and glory is beyond understanding; whose mercy is boundless, and love for us is ineffable: look upon us and upon this holy house in Thy compassion. Grant to us and to those who pray with us Thy abundant mercy.

PRIEST: For to Thou belongs all glory, honor, and worship to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

THE FIRST ANTIPHON

(The designated verses from the Psalms are sung with the hymn:)

PEOPLE: Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us (3).

PRIEST: In peace let us again pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Lord our God, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance; protect the whole body of Thy Church; sanctify those who love the beauty of Thy house; glorify them in return by Thy divine power; and do not forsake us who hope in You.

PRIEST: For Thine is the dominion, the kingdom, the power, and the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

THE SECOND ANTIPHON

(The designated verses from the Psalms are sung with the hymn:)

PEOPLE: Save us, O Son of God, (who rose from the dead)*, we sing to Thee: Alleluia (3).

*On weekdays we sing (“who are wondrous among Thy saints”).

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.


THE HYMN OF JUSTINIAN

Only begotten Son and Word of God, although immortal Thou humbled Thyself for our salvation, taking flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and, without change, becoming man. Christ, our God, You were crucified but conquered death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit save us.

PRIEST: In peace let us again pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Lord, Thou hast given us grace to offer these common prayers with one heart. Thou hast promised to grant the requests of two or three gathered in Thy name. Fulfill now the petitions of Thy servants for our benefit, giving us the knowledge of Thy truth in this world, and granting us eternal life in the world to come.

PRIEST: For Thou art a good and loving God, and to Thee we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.


THE BEATITUDES*

*In the Greek parishes (excluding the Athonite monasteries), this section is omitted from the liturgy.

PEOPLE: In Thy kingdom remember us O Lord when Thy comest into Thy kingdom

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

THE THIRD ANTIPHON

(The designated verses of the Psalms are sung with the Apolytikion of the day.)

First Tone
Though the tomb was sealed by a stone and soldiers guarded Thy pure body, Thou arose, O Savior, on the third day, giving life to the world. Therefore, O Giver of life, the heavenly powers praise Thee: Glory to Thy resurrection, O Christ, glory to Thy kingdom, glory to Thy plan of redemption, O only loving God.

Second Tone
When Thou descended unto death, O life immortal, Thou destroyed Hades with the splendor of Thy divinity. And when Thou raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers shouted: O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to Thee.

Third Tone
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, for the Lord has shown the power of His reign: He has conquered death by death, and become the first born of the dead. He has delivered us from the depths of Hades; and has granted to the world great mercy.

Fourth Tone
The joyful news of Thy resurrection was told to the women disciples of the Lord by the angel. Having thrown off the ancestral curse, and boasting, they told the Apostles: death has been vanquished, Christ our God is risen, granting to the world great mercy.

Fifth Tone
To the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation, let us, the faithful, give praise and worship. Of His own will He mounted the cross in the flesh, He suffered death, and raised the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Sixth Tone
The heavenly powers appeared at Thy tomb, and those guarding it became like dead. Mary stood at Thy grave seeking Thy pure body. Thou stripped the power of hades, not touched by its corruption. Thou met the virgin woman, as one who grants life. O Lord, who rose from the dead, glory to Thee.

Seventh Tone
By Thy cross Thou hast destroyed death, and to the thief Thou opened paradise. Thou transformed the sorrow of the Myrrhbearers, and commanded the Apostles to proclaim that Thou hast risen from the dead, Christ our God, granting to the world great mercy.

Eighth Tone
From on high Thou descended, O merciful Lord, and accepted the three-day burial to free us from our passions. Glory to Thee, O Lord, our life and our resurrection.

THE SMALL ENTRANCE

(While the Apolytikion is sung, the priest carrying the holy Gospel Book comes in procession before the Beautiful Gate of the ikonostasis offering in a low voice the following prayer:)

Master and Lord our God, Thou hast established in heaven the orders and hosts of angels and archangels to minister to Thy glory. Grant that the holy angels may enter with us that together we may serve and glorify Thy goodness. For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The priest blesses the entrance saying in a low voice:) Blessed is the entrance of Thy saints always, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

(He then raises the Holy Gospel Book and says:)

PRIEST: Wisdom. Let us be attentive.

PEOPLE: Come, let us worship and bow before Christ. Save us, O Son of God (who rose from the dead)*, we sing to Thee: Alleluia.

*On weekdays we sing: (“who art wondrous among Thy saints”), while the Feasts of the Lord have their own Entrance Hymns.

(The priest enters the sanctuary. The Apolytikion is repeated and the Troparion of the church and the Kontakion of the day are sung.)

THE TRISAGION HYMN

PRIEST: Let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Holy God, You dwell among Thy saints. You are praised by the Seraphim with the thrice holy hymn and glorified by the Cherubim and worshiped by all the heavenly powers. Thou hast brought all things out of nothing into being. You have created man and woman in Thy image and likeness and adorned them with all the gifts of Your grace. Thou givest wisdom and understanding to the supplicant and do not overlook the sinner but have established repentance as the way of salvation. You have enabled us, Your lowly and unworthy servants, to stand at this hour before the glory of Your holy altar and to offer to Thee due worship and praise. Master, accept the thrice holy hymn also from the lips of us sinners and visit us in Your goodness. Forgive our voluntary and involuntary transgressions, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship and serve You in holiness all the days of our lives, by the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and of all the saints who have pleased Thee throughout the ages.

PRIEST (aloud): For Thou art holy, our God, and to Thee we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever . . . and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen. 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (3).  

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. 

Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

PRIEST: With strength.

(The priest, turning towards the Prothesis, says in a low voice:)

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed art Thou on the throne of glory of Thy kingdom, seated upon the Cherubim always, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

PEOPLE: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

~ THE READINGS ~

THE EPISTLE

PRIEST: Let us be attentive.

(The Reader reads the verses from the Psalms.)

PRIEST: Wisdom.

READER: The reading is from (the name of the book of the New Testament from which the Apostolic reading is taken).

PRIEST: Let us be attentive.

(The Reader reads the designated Apostolic pericope.)

PRIEST: Peace be with you.

PEOPLE: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Shine within our hearts, loving Master, the pure light of Thy divine knowledge and open the eyes of our minds that we may comprehend the message of Thy Gospel. Instill in us also reverence for Thy blessed commandments, so that having conquered all sinful desires, we may pursue a spiritual life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to Thee. For Thou, O Christ our God, are the light of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we give glory together with Thy Father who is without beginning and Thy all holy, good, and life giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

THE HOLY GOSPEL

PRIEST: Wisdom. Arise. Let us hear the holy Gospel. Peace be with all.

PEOPLE: And with thy spirit.

PRIEST: The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to (Name). Let us be attentive.

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

(*The Priest reads the designated pericope of the holy Gospel.)

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

THE HOMILY

(Following the readings, it is customary for the priest to proclaim the Gospel.)


THE LITANY FOR THE CATECHUMENS

PRIEST: You who are Catechumens, pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That the Lord will show them mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That He will instruct them in the word of His truth.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That He will reveal to them the Gospel of righteousness.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That He will unite them to His Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Save them, have mercy on them, help them and keep them, O God, in Your grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: You who are Catechumens, bow your heads to the Lord.


PRIEST(in a low voice): O God, our God, Author and Creator of all things, it is Your will that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Look upon Your servants the Catechumens, and free them of ancient error and from the wiles of the enemy. Call them to eternal life, illuminating their souls and bodies, and numbering them among Your reasoning flock, on which Thy holy name is invoked.

PRIEST: That with us they too may glorify Thy most noble and majestic name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forevermore.

PEOPLE: Amen.

(Here the Priest unfolds the Antimension.)

PRIEST: All Catechumens, depart. The Catechumens, depart. All who are admitted for Illumination, depart. Pray, all you who preparing for Illumination. Let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Catechumens, depart. Let none of the Catechumens remain.

PRIEST: All we faithful once again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, in Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.


PRIEST: Wisdom!

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

PRIEST (in a low voice): Again, we bow before Thee and pray to Thee, O good and loving God. Hear our supplication: cleanse our souls and bodies from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and grant that we may stand before Thy holy altar without blame or condemnation. Grant also, O God, progress in life, faith, and spiritual discernment to the faithful who pray with us, so that they may always worship Thee with reverence and love, partake of Thy Holy Mysteries without blame or condemnation, and become worthy of Thy heavenly kingdom.

PRIEST: And grant that always guarded by Thy power we may give glory to Thee, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.



LITURGY OF THE FAITHFUL


PEOPLE: Amen.

THE GREAT ENTRANCE: THE CHERUBIC HYMN

PEOPLE: We who mystically represent the Cherubim sing the thrice holy hymn to the life giving Trinity. Let us set aside all the cares of life that we may receive the King of all . . .

(While the Cherubic Hymn is being sung, the Priest prays in a low voice:) 

No one bound by worldly desires and pleasures is worthy to approach, draw near or minister to Thee, the King of glory. To serve Thee is great and awesome even for the heavenly powers. But because of Thine ineffable and immeasurable love for us, Thou becamest man without alteration or change. Thou hast served as our High Priest, and as Lord of all, and have entrusted to us the celebration of this liturgical sacrifice without the shedding of blood. For Thou alone, Lord our God, rule over all things in heaven and on earth. Thou art seated on the throne of the Cherubim, the Lord of the Seraphim and the King of Israel. Thou alone art holy and dwell among Thy saints. Thou alone art good and ready to hear. Therefore, I implore Thee, look upon me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant, and cleanse my soul and heart from evil consciousness. Enable me by the power of Thy Holy Spirit so that, vested with the grace of priesthood, I may stand before Thy holy Table and celebrate the mystery of Thy holy and pure Body and Thy precious Blood. To Thee I come with bowed head and pray: do not turn Thy face away from me or reject me from among Thy children, but make me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant, worthy to offer to Thee these gifts. For Thou, O Christ our God, are the Offerer and the Offered, the One who receives and is distributed, and to Thee we give glory, together with Thy eternal Father and Thy holy, good and life giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

(The Priest censes and recites in a low voice the “Cherubic Hymn,” “Having Beheld Christ’s Resurrection”(on Sundays), and the 50th Psalm. Then the Great Entrance takes place.)

PRIEST: May the Lord God remember all of you in His kingdom, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

(The priest enters the sanctuary, while the people sing the end of the Cherubic Hymn.)

PEOPLE: ...invisibly escorted by the angelic hosts. Alleluia.

(After placing the holy gifts on the holy Table, the priest says:)

THE PETITIONS

PRIEST: Let us complete our prayer to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For the precious gifts here presented, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For a perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless day, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: For forgiveness and remission of our sins and transgressions, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: For all that is good and beneficial to our souls, and for peace in the world, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: For the completion of our lives in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: For a Christian end to our lives, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, let us ask the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant this, O Lord.

PRIEST: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

THE PRAYER OF THE PROSKOMIDE

PRIEST (in a low voice): Lord, God Almighty, Thou alone art holy. Thou acceptest a sacrifice of praise from those who call upon Thee with their whole heart. Receive also the prayer of us sinners and let it reach Thy holy altar. Enable us to bring before Thee gifts and spiritual sacrifices for our sins and for the transgressions of the people. Make us worthy to find grace in Thy presence so that our sacrifice may be pleasing to Thee and that Thy good and gracious Spirit may abide with us, with the gifts here presented, and with all Thy people.

PRIEST: Through the mercies of Thine only begotten Son with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all holy, good, and life creating Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace be with all.

PEOPLE: And with thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us love one another that with one mind we may confess:

(The Priest kisses the holy Gifts saying:) I love Thee, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.

(At this time it is customary for the kiss of peace to be exchanged.)

PEOPLE: The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided.*

*If more than one priest is serving, the following is sung instead:

PEOPLE: I will love Thee, O Lord, my might; the Lord is my foundation, my refuge, and my deliverer.

PRIEST: Guard the doors. Wisdom. Let us be attentive.

THE SYMBOL OF FAITH

UNISON:  I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father through Whom all things were made. Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets.  In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I expect for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. Amen.

THE HOLY ANAPHORA

PRIEST: Let us stand well. Let us stand in awe. Let us be attentive, that we may present the holy offering in peace.

PEOPLE: Mercy and peace, a sacrifice of praise.

PRIEST: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.

PEOPLE: And with thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us lift up our hearts.

PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord.

PRIEST: Let us give thanks to the Lord.

PEOPLE: It is proper and right.

PRIEST (in a low voice): It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Thy dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank Thee and Thine only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank Thee for this holy liturgy which Thou art pleased to accept from our hands, even though thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels surround Thee, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, with six wings and many eyes, soaring aloft.

PRIEST: Singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying:

PEOPLE: Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to God in the highest.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Together with these blessed powers, merciful Master, we also proclaim and say: You are holy and most holy, You and Thine only-begotten Son and Thy Holy Spirit. You are holy and most holy, and sublime is Thy glory. You so loved Thy world that You gave Thine only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. He came and fulfilled the divine plan for us. On the night when He was betrayed, or rather when He gave Himself up for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy, pure, and blameless hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified, broke, and gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying:

PRIEST: Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Likewise, after supper, He took the cup, saying:

PRIEST: Drink of it all of you; this is My Blood of the new Covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Remembering, therefore, this command of the Savior, and all that came to pass for our sake, the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the enthronement at the right hand of the Father, and the second, glorious coming.

PRIEST: We offer to Thee these gifts from Thine own gifts in all and for all.

(The faithful kneel here, unless it is Sunday, when it is instead more appropriate to bow their heads. During Bright Period, kneeling is omitted for the entire 50 days until the Kneeling Service on Pentecost.)

PEOPLE: We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks to Thee, and we pray to Thee, Lord our God.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Once again we offer to You this spiritual worship without the shedding of blood, and we ask, pray, and entreat You: send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here presented.

PRIEST: And make this bread the precious Body of Thy Christ. Amen.

PRIEST: And that which is in this cup the precious Blood of Thy Christ. Amen.

PRIEST: Changing them by Thy Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen.

PRIEST: So that they may be to those who partake of them for vigilance of soul, forgiveness of sins, communion of Thy Holy Spirit, fulfillment of the kingdom of heaven, confidence before You, and not in judgment or condemnation. Again, we offer this spiritual worship for those who repose in the faith, forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.

PRIEST: Especially for our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary.


AXION ESTIN (IT IS TRULY MEET)*

(On certain feast days, this hymn is substituted.)

PEOPLE: It is truly right to bless thee, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, thou who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

PRIEST (in a low voice): For Saint John the prophet, forerunner, and baptist; for the holy glorious and most honorable Apostles, for Saints(s) (Name(s)) whose memory we commemorate today; and for all Your saints, through whose supplications, O God, bless us. Remember also all who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto eternal life. (Here the priest commemorates the names of the deceased.) And grant them rest, our God, where the light of Your countenance shines. Again, we ask You, Lord, remember all Orthodox bishops who rightly teach the word of Thy truth, all presbyters, all deacons in the service of Christ, and every one in holy orders. We also offer to You this spiritual worship for the whole world, for the holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and for those living in purity and holiness. And for all those in public service; permit them, Lord, to serve and govern in peace that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness.

PRIEST: Above all, remember, Lord, our Archbishop (Name): Grant that he may serve Your holy churches in peace. Keep him safe, honorable, and healthy for many years, rightly teaching the word of Thy truth.

PRIEST: Remember also, Lord, those whom each of us calls to mind and all Thy people.

PEOPLE: And all Thy people.

PRIEST (in a low voice): Remember, Lord, the city in which we live, every city and country, and the faithful who dwell in them. Remember, Lord, the travelers, the sick, the suffering, and the captives, granting them protection and salvation. Remember, Lord, those who do charitable work, who serve in Thy holy churches, and who care for the poor. And send Thy mercy upon us all.

PRIEST: And grant that with one voice and one heart we may glorify and praise Thy most honored and majestic name, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST: The mercy of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with all of you.

PEOPLE: And with thy spirit.

PRIEST: Having remembered all the saints, let us again in peace pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For the precious Gifts offered and consecrated, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That our loving God who has received them at His holy, heavenly, and spiritual altar as an offering of spiritual fragrance, may in return send upon us divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us pray.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Having prayed for the unity of the faith and for the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commit ourselves, and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To You, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): We entrust to You, loving Master, our whole life and hope, and we ask, pray, and entreat: make us worthy to partake of your heavenly and awesome Mysteries from this holy and spiritual Table with a clear conscience; for the remission of sins, forgiveness of transgressions, communion of the Holy Spirit, inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, confidence before You, and not in judgment or condemnation.

PRIEST: And make us worthy, Master, with confidence and without fear of condemnation, to dare call You, the heavenly God, FATHER, and to say:

THE LORD’S PRAYER

UNISON: 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 the Evil One.

PRIEST: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST: Peace be with all.

PEOPLE: And with thy spirit.

PRIEST: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): We give thanks to Thee, invisible King. By Thine infinite power Thou created all things and by Thy great mercy Thou broughtest everything from nothing into being. Master, look down from heaven upon those who have bowed their heads before You; they have bowed not before flesh and blood but before Thee the awesome God. Therefore, Master, guide the course of our life for our benefit according to the need of each of us. Sail with those who sail; travel with those who travel; and heal the sick, Physician of our souls and bodies.

PRIEST: By the grace, mercy, and love for us of Thine only begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all holy, good, and life giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

HOLY COMMUNION

PRIEST (in a low voice): Lord Jesus Christ, our God, hear us from Thy holy dwelling place and from the glorious throne of Thy kingdom. Thou art enthroned on high with the Father and are also invisibly present among us. Come and sanctify us, and let Thy pure Body and precious Blood be given to us by Thy mighty hand and through us to all Thy people.

PRIEST: Let us be attentive.

PRIEST: The holy Gifts are for the holy people of God.

PEOPLE: One is Holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

THE COMMUNION ANTHEM

PEOPLE: Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the highest. Alleluia (3).

(The Communion Hymn changes according to the Feast Day.)

** *
Priest (After the fraction of the sacred Bread, the priest says in a low voice): The Lamb of God is broken and distributed; broken but not divided. He is forever eaten yet is never consumed, but He sanctifies those who partake of Him.

(Then the priest places a portion of the sacred Bread in the Cup saying:) The fullness of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(He then blesses the warm water saying:) Blessed is the fervor of Thy saints, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

(Pouring the water into the Cup crosswise, he says:) The warmth of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

** * * * * *
(The Communion Prayers are recited silently by those prepared to receive the holy Mysteries.)

I believe and confess, Lord, that Thou are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Thy pure Body and that this is truly Thy precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to Thee, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of Thy pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. Amen. 

How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Thy saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Thy love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me. Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.

Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Thy mystical Supper. I will not reveal Thy mystery to Thine adversaries. Nor will I give Thee a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to Thee: Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom.

* * *
(The Priest prepares to receive holy Communion.)

PRIEST: Behold, I approach Christ, our immortal King and God. The precious and most holy Body of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is given to me (Name) the Priest, for the forgiveness of my sins and eternal life.

(He then partakes of the sacred Bread.)

The precious and most holy Blood of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is given to me (Name) the priest, for the forgiveness of my sins and eternal life.

(He then drinks from the Chalice.)

(Afterwards, he wipes the Chalice, kisses it, and says:) This has touched my lips, taking away my transgressions and cleansing my sins.

(The priest then transfers the remaining portions of the consecrated Bread into the Cup, saying:)

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless One. We venerate Thy cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify Thy holy resurrection. Thou art our God. We know no other than Thee, and we call upon Thy name. Come, all faithful, let us venerate the holy resurrection of Christ. For behold, through the cross joy has come to all the world. Blessing the Lord always, let us praise His resurrection. For enduring the cross for us, He destroyed death by death.

* * *
(He takes the holy Cup, comes to the Royal Doors, raises it and says:)

PRIEST: With the fear of God, with faith, and with love, draw near.

(Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and just as it sanctifies and becomes for those prepared provision for eternal life, it may very well become “fire burning the unworthy” for those who are not. All Orthodox Christians are therefore asked to prepare with confession and to have permission from their Spiritual Father before receiving Holy Communion, and also to prepare with the required fast as established by the Holy Fathers of the Church.)

(The people sing the communion hymn while Holy Communion is administered to the faithful. While it is subject to change according to various feast days, the one below is often sung.)


PEOPLE: Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Thy mystical Supper. I will not reveal Thy mystery to Thine adversaries. Nor will I give Thee a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to Thee: Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom.


(When administering Holy Communion, the priest says:) The servant of God (Name) receives the Body and Blood of Christ for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

(When Communion has been given to all, the priest blesses the people with his hand, saying:)

PRIEST: Save, O God, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.

PEOPLE: We have seen the true light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us.

(Having returned the Cup to the holy Table, the priest transfers the particles of the Theotokos and the saints into the Chalice, and then those of the living and the dead saying:) 

Wash away, Lord, by Thy holy Blood, the sins of all those commemorated through the intercessions of the Theotokos and all Thy saints. Amen.

(He covers the vessels and censes them saying:) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let Thy glory be over all the earth (3).

(He lifts the vessels and says in a low voice:) Blessed is our God.

PRIEST (aloud): Always, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PEOPLE: Let our mouths be filled with Thy praise, Lord, that we may sing of Thy glory. Thou hast made us worthy to partake of Thy holy mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that all the day long we may meditate upon Thy righteousness. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

PRIEST: Let us be attentive. Having partaken of the divine, holy, pure, immortal, heavenly, life giving, and awesome Mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Having prayed for a perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, day, let us commit ourselves, and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.

PEOPLE: To Thee, O Lord.

PRIEST (in a low voice): We thank Thee, loving Master, benefactor of our souls, that on this day Thou hast made us worthy once again of Thy heavenly and immortal Mysteries. Direct our ways in the right path, establish us firmly in Thy fear, guard our lives, and make our endeavors safe, through the prayers and supplications of the glorious Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and of all Thy saints.

PRIEST: For Thou art our sanctification and to Thee we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

THE DISMISSAL

PRIEST: Let us go forth in peace.

PRIEST: Let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Lord, bless those who praise Thee and sanctify those who trust in Thee. Save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Protect the whole body of Thy Church. Sanctify those who love the beauty of Thy house. Glorify them in return by Thy divine power, and do not forsake us who hope in Thee. Grant peace to Thy world, to Thy churches, to the clergy, to those in public service, to the armed forces, and to all Thy people. For every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from Thee, the Father of lights. To Thee we give glory, thanksgiving, and worship, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.  Blessed is the name of the Lord, both now and to the ages (3).

(The priest proceeds to the Prothesis and prays in a low voice:) Christ our God, Thou art the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Thou hast fulfilled all the dispensation of the Father. Fill our hearts with joy and gladness always, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

PRIEST: Let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy (3). Father, give the blessing.

PRIEST: May the blessing of the Lord and His mercy come upon you through His divine grace and love always, now and ever and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.

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

PRIEST: May Christ our true God (who rose from the dead)*, as a good, loving, and merciful God, have mercy upon us and save us, through the intercessions of His most pure and holy Mother; the power of the precious and life giving Cross; the protection of the honorable, bodiless powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable, glorious prophet and forerunner John the Baptist; the holy, glorious and praiseworthy apostles; the holy, glorious and triumphant martyrs; our holy and God-bearing Fathers (name of the church); the holy and righteous ancestors Joachim and Anna; Saint (of the day) whose memory we commemorate today, and all the saints.

*Omitted during weekday liturgies.

PEOPLE: Amen.

PEOPLE: Lord, grant long life to him who blesses and sanctifies us.

PRIEST: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.*

*During the Paschal period, the priest says instead “Christ is risen ...”

PEOPLE: Amen.

PRIEST (blessing the people): May the holy Trinity protect all of you.

(Distributing the antidoron, the priest says:)

May the blessing and the mercy of the Lord be with you.

THANKSGIVING FOLLOWING HOLY COMMUNION

Glory to Thee, our Lord, glory to Thee. (3)

ANONYMOUS

Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let Your sacred Body be unto me for eternal life and Your precious Blood for forgiveness of sins. Let this Eucharist be unto me for joy, health and gladness. And in Your awesome Second Coming make me, a sinner, worthy to stand at the right hand of Your glory; through the intercessions of Your pure Mother and of all Your Saints. Amen.

SAINT BASIL

I thank You, Christ and Master our God, King of the ages and Creator of all things, for all the good gifts You have given me, and especially for the participation in Your pure and life-giving mysteries. I pray You, therefore, good and loving Lord, keep me under Your protection and under the shadow of Your wings. Grant that to my last breath I may with a pure conscience partake worthily of Your gifts for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life. For You are the bread of life, the source of holiness, the giver of all good things, and to You we give glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

ANONYMOUS

I thank You, Lord my God, that You have not rejected me, a sinner, but have made me worthy to partake of Your holy mysteries. I thank You that You have permitted me, although I am unworthy, to receive Your pure and heavenly gifts. O loving Master, who died and rose for our sake, and granted to us these awesome and life-giving mysteries for the well being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, let these gifts be for healing of my own soul and body, the averting of every evil, the illumination of the eyes of my heart, the peace of my spiritual powers, a faith unashamed, a love unfeigned, the fulfilling of wisdom, the observing of Your commandments, the receiving of Your divine grace, and the inheritance of Your kingdom. Preserved by them in Your holiness, may I always be mindful of Your grace and no longer live for myself, but for You, our Master and Benefactor. May I pass from this life in the hope of eternal life, and attain to the everlasting rest, where the voices of Your Saints who feast are unceasing, and their joy, beholding the ineffable beauty of Your countenance, is unending. For You, Christ our God, are the true joy and gladness of those who love You, and all creation praises You forever. Amen.

SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOMOS

I thank You, loving Master, benefactor of my soul, that on this day You have made me worthy once again of Your heavenly and immortal mysteries. Direct my ways on the right path, establish me firmly in Your fear, guard my life, and make my endeavors safe, through the prayers and supplications of the glorious Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and of all Your Saints. Amen.