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Vespers for Holy and Great Friday
STAND Priest: Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. People: Amen. Come, let us adore our King and God. Come, let us adore Christ, our King and our God. Come, let us adore and bow down to Christ, our King and our God. Psalm 103 Praise of God's Creation -Bless the Lord, 0 my soul! You are very great, 0 Lord, my God! -Clothed in pomp and brilliance, arrayed with light as with a cloak. -Stretching out the sky as a tent-cloth, covering your lofty halls with water. -You make the clouds your conveyance, You surge on the wings of the wind. -You make spirits your messengers and flaming fires your attendants. -You settle the earth on its firm foundation: it shall stand unmoved from age to age. -The abyss covers it like a garment; waters stand over the mountains. -At your rebuke, they will take to flight, at the peal of your thunder they will fear. -They hurdle the hills and run down the dales to the place you have chosen for them. -You have set up a boundary not to be passed: they shall never return to cover the earth. -Down in the gullies, You make springs to rise: waters shall go down between the mountains. -They shall give drink to the beasts of the field; wild asses will seek them to quench their thirst. -The birds of the sky will abide by them: from among the rocks they will raise their song. -From your lofty halls You refresh the mountains; the earth shall be fed with the fruit of your works. -You make green pastures for the cattle

2 and food-plants for the service of man, -So that bread may be brought forth from the earth and wine that gladdens the heart of man. -So that oil may put a gleam upon his face and that bread may strengthen the heart of man. -The trees of the plain will be satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon that He planted. -The sparrows will build their nests in them and the herons will call them their home. -To the deer belong high mountains, to rodents, the shelter of the rocks. -You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows the time of its setting. -You establish darkness and it is night wherein the forest creatures prowl around. -Young lions roar for their prey and call out to God for their meat. -As the sun rises, they will come together and lay themselves down in their dens. -Man will go out to his labor and work until eventide. -How great are your works, 0 Lord! In wisdom You have wrought them all: the earth is filled with your creatures. -Even the wide and open sea itself: within it there are countless creeping things, living beings small and large. -Upon it there are ships a-sailing and that great beast You made to have fun. -All of them look up to You to give them their food in due time. -You provide and they gather up; You open your hand and they are full. -You hide your face and they cringe, You suspend their breath and they die and return to their dust. -You send forth Your breath and they live: You renew the face of the earth! -May the Lord's glory endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in his works. -He looks upon the earth and makes it quake, He touches the mountains and they smoke. -I will sing to the Lord as long as I live,

3 I will praise my God as long as I last. -Would that my thoughts be pleasing to Him and I will rejoice in the Lord. -May the sinners vanish from the earth and may the wicked be no more. -Bless the Lord, 0 my soul! -Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen. -Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia. Glory be to You, 0 God. (3 times with a bow)

SIT LITANY OF PEACE Priest: In peace, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For peace from on high, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For peace in the whole world, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For this holy church and for all who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For our holy ecumenical pontiff N., the Pope of Rome, for our most reverend Archbishop and Metropolitan N., for our God loving Bishop N., for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, and all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For our civil authorities and all in the service of our country, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For this city, for every city and country, and for those living within them in faith, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For seasonable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy.

4 Priest: For those who travel by sea, air, and land, and for the salvation of the sick, the suffering and the captive, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: For deliverance from all affliction, wrath, and need, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: Protect us, save us, have mercy on us and preserve us, O God, by your grace. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: Having remembered our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints - let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ, our God. People: To You, O Lord. Priest: (Silently) O Lord, our God, whose might is beyond description, whose glory surpasses all understanding, whose mercy is without limits, whose love for man is beyond expression, now, O Master, in your kindness, look down upon us and this holy church, and bestow on us and upon those praying with us your abundant mercies and your benefits. (Aloud) For to You is due all glory, honor, and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. People: Amen.

STAND PSALM 140 O Lord, I have cried to You, hear me. Hear me, O Lord. O Lord, I have cried to You, hear me: receive the voice of my prayer when I call upon You. Hear me, O Lord. Let my prayer be directed as incense to You, * the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice; * hear me, O Lord.

SIT HYMNS OF THE VESPERS Verse: If You, 0 Lord, mark iniquities,* Tone 1 Lord, who can stand? * But with You is forgiveness. Hymn: All creation was transformed with fear, * when it beheld You hanging on the cross, O Christ. * The sun was darkened and the foundations of the earth trembled. * All creation

5 suffered with the One Who created all things. * O Lord, Who willingly suffered for us, * glory be to You. Verse: Tone 2 For Your Name’s sake, 0 Lord, I have waited for You, * my soul has waited for Your word, my soul has hoped in the Lord. Hymn: Why do evil and iniquitous people concern themselves with what is in vain? * Why have they condemned to death the Life of All? * Q what a great wonder! * The Creator of the World is handed over to lawless ones, * and He, Who loves mankind, is raised upon the cross, * that He might free the enslaved of the Abyss who are crying out: * "0 long-suffering Lord, glory be to You." Verse: Tone 2 From the watch of dawn until the night, * from the watch of dawn let Israel long for the Lord. Hymn: The all-pure Virgin seeing You, O Word,* lifted upon the cross today, * lamented as a mother. * Her heart bursting with sorrow and moaning from the depths of her soul, * her countenance deeply scarred with grief, * she cried out so mournfully: * "O Divine Child, how great is my sorrow. * 0 Light of the World, 0 Lamb of God, * why have You passed from my sight?" * Beholding all this, the heavenly hosts were struck with fear, and they cried out: * "O Incomprehensible Lord, glory be to You." Verse: Tone 2 For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him abundant redemption; * and it is He Who will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. Hymn: As she beheld You hanging upon the tree, 0 Christ our God, * she, who gave virgin birth to You, the Creator and God of All, * cried out in such great sorrow: * "Where has the beauty of Your countenance gone, 0 my Son? * I cannot endure this sight of unjust crucifixion. * Hasten and arise * so that I may also see Your resurrection from the dead on the third day." Verse: Tone 6 Praise the Lord all you nations, * exalt Him all you peoples. Hymn: Today the Master of Creation stands before Pilate * and the Creator of All is condemned to the cross. * As a lamb He is willingly led, and fastened with nails. * His side is pierced, and He, Who rained manna on the earth, * is given drink from a sponge. * The Savior of the World is struck on the cheek, * and the Creator of All is mocked by His own servants. * For those who crucify Him, * He entreats His Father, saying: * "Father, forgive them this sin * because the lawless ones know not what injustice they do." * O, what a supreme love for mankind. Verse: Tone 6 For mighty is His love for us, * and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Hymn: O, how could the lawless council condemn to death * the King of Creation * without being ashamed at the thought of His good works * which He recounted to them, saying: * "0 My

6 people, what have I done to You? * Have I not filled Judea with miracles? * Have I not raised the dead with a word? * Have I not cured infirmities and sufferings? * So now, what do you give Me in return? * Why have you not remembered Me? * For the healing you have wounded Me; * for life you gave Me death; * you hang Me, your benefactor, on a tree as a criminal. * You treat Me, the Lawgiver, as a lawbreaker. * You condemn the King of All." * Q longsuffering Lord, glory be to You. STAND TONE 5 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, * now and ever, and forever. Amen. Hymn: An awesome and glorious mystery occurs today: * the One Who cannot be contained is now restrained. * He, Who freed Adam from the curse, is bound. * The Searcher of Hearts and Souls is questioned unjustly. * He, Who confined the deep, is now confined to prison. * In front of Pilate now stands the One * before Whom the heavenly powers tremble. * The Creator is struck by the hand of a creature. * The Judge of the Living and the Dead * is condemned to the cross. * He, Who conquered hell, is sealed in a tomb. * 0 innocent Lord Who graciously suffered all things * and saved all mankind from the curse, glory be to You.

PRAYER OF ENTRANCE As the "Glory be" is being sung, the priest opens the royal doors and places incense in the censer. Then taking the holy gospel from the altar and censer in hand, and preceded by servers carrying a candle, he proceeds around the altar and comes before the royal doors where he recites the following prayer quietly: O gracious King, You love mankind and bless all things. With contrite heart and humble spirit we pray to You, 0 Christ our true God, to bless our going and coming. For Your coming and dwelling among us and Your going in the Ascension are blessed always, now and ever, and forever. Amen. When the people complete the last Hymn of Vespers, the priest raises the Holy Gospel on high and intones: Priest: Wisdom! Be attentive! REMAIN STANDING HYMN OF THE EVENING O Joyful Light! * Light and Holy Glory * of the Father immortal, * the heavenly holy, the Blessed One; * 0 Jesus Christ. * Now that we have reached the setting of the sun, * and see the evening light, * we sing to God, * Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. * It is fitting at all times * to raise a song of praise in measured melody to You, * O Son of God, the Giver of Life. * Behold, the universe sings Your glory.

7 PROKIMENON Tone 4 Priest: Let us be attentive! Peace t be with all! Wisdom! Be attentive! People: They divide my garments among themselves, * and for my vesture they cast lots; * and for my vesture they cast lots. Verse: My God, my God, hear me! Why have You forsaken me?

OLD TESTAMENT READING Priest: Wisdom! Reader: A reading from the Book of Isaiah. Priest: Let us be attentive! The reader gives the reading. Book of Isaiah: 52:13 thru 54:1 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand. Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and

8 judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. "Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman," says the LORD.

STAND PROKIMENON Tone 6 Priest: Let us be attentive! Peace be with all! Wisdom! Be attentive! People: You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit, * into the darkness and the shadow of death, * into the darkness and the shadow of death. Verse: O Lord, God of my salvation, by day and by night I cry out to You.

SIT EPISTLE A reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians is given. 1st Corinthians 1:18 to 2: 2 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will

9 destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the 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 consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord." And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

STAND ALLELUIA Tone 1 Priest: Peace t be to you! Wisdom! Be attentive! People: AIIeIuia, alleluia alleluia! Save me, O God, for the waters threaten my life. AlleIuia, alleluia alleluia! Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak.

10 AIleIuia, allelula, alleluia! Let their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see. AIIeIuia, alleluia, alleluia! GOSPEL Priest: Let us stand and listen to a reading of the holy gospel according to Saint Matthew. People: Glory be to Your passion, O Lord. Priest: Let us be attentive! (and chants the gospel) After the gospel reading: People: Glory be to Your long-suffering, O Lord.

SIT LITANY OF SUPPLICATION People: Lord, have mercy. (for four petitions) Amen. STAND HYMN OF GLORIFICATION Vouchsafe, O Lord, * to keep us this evening without sin. * Blessed are You, O Lord, God of our fathers, * and praised and glorified be Your Name forever. Amen. * Lord, Your mercy be upon us, * as we have placed our trust in You. * Blessed are You, O Lord, * teach us Your precepts. * Blessed are You, O Master, * make us understand Your precepts. * Blessed are You, O Holy One, * enlighten us by Your precepts. * Lord, Your mercy endures forever, * despise not the work of Your hands. * To You is due praise, * to You is due a hymn. * Glory is due to You, * Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, * now and ever, * and forever. Amen. SIT SECOND LITANY OF SUPPLICATION People: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Grant it, O Lord. (for six petitions) To You, O Lord. Amen. STAND Priest: Peace be with all!

11 People: And with your spirit! Priest: Bow your heads to the Lord. People: To You, O Lord. Priest: O Lord our God, You lowered the heavens when You came down for the salvation of the human race. Now look down on Your servants and on Your inheritance; for they have bowed their heads to You, the Judge, both awesome and loving. They do not await the help that is from man, but look for Your mercy and are ready to receive Your salvation. Guard them at all times, this evening and tonight, against all enemies, against the devil’s assaults, against vain thoughts and evil dreams. May the might of Your kingdom be blessed and exalted, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. People: Amen. HYMNS AT THE PRAISES TONE 2 Hymn: When the Arimathean lifted You, * lifeless from the cross, O Lord of Life, * he anointed You, O Christ, with myrrh, * and wrapped You in a shroud, * and he was moved by heartfelt love * to kiss Your body not subject to decay; * but was restrained by fear, * and rejoicing, he cried out to You: * "Glory to Your condescension, O Lover of Mankind." Verse: The Lord is King, * in robed splendor. Hymn: O Savior of All, * when You placed Yourself for all mankind in a new tomb, * The Abyss, which ever mocked was terrified when it saw You; * the bonds were shattered, * the gates were broken, * and the graves opened and the dead arose. * Adam joyfully called out to You: * "Glory to Your condescension, 0 Lover of Mankind." Verse: He has made the world firm, * It shall not to be moved. Hymn: When You, by divine nature, * indescribable and infinite, * were willingly enclosed in the tomb, * You ended the mysteries of death, O Christ, * and annihilated the kingdom of Hades, * favoring this Sabbath Day * with Your divine blessing, glory, and light. Verse: Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, * for length of days. Hymn: When the heavenly powers saw You, O Christ, * calumniated by lawless men, * they were amazed at Your longsuffering * which our words cannot express. * And when they beheld the stone of Your tomb * being sealed by the hands * that pierced Your incorruptible side, * they still rejoiced at our salvation and cried out to You: * "Glory to Your condescension, O Christ." STAND Then in TONE 5:

12 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,* now and ever, and forever. Amen. Hymn: Joseph with Nicodemus, * took You down from the cross, * Your body clothed in glory as with a robe* but seeing You lifeless, naked, and unburied, * began to weep and lament, saying:* "Great is my sorrow, O Sweet Jesus!" * The sun, seeing You hanging upon the cross, was clothed in darkness, * the earth quaked in fear, * and the curtain of the temple was torn asunder. * But, behold!, I now see You as accepting death for my sake. * How, 0 my God, shall I bury You? * With what type of shroud shall I wrap You? * With what hands shall I touch Your body not subject to decay? * 0 Gracious Lord, with what songs shall I hymn Your departure? * I exalt Your suffering. * I extol in song Your burial and resurrection, calling out: * "O Lord, glory be to You." CANTICLE OF ST. SIMEON Now You shall dismiss Your servant, O Lord, * according to Your word, in peace; * because my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You prepared * before the face of all peoples. * A light of revelation to the Gentiles, * and the glory of Your people, Israel. The Cantor and people recite the following prayers: —Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us. (3) —Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen. —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. —Lord, have mercy. (3) —Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen. —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, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. People: Amen. KNEEL PROCESSION Then according to local custom, the procession with the burial shroud takes place while the people sing repeatedly the following Troparion:

13 The noble Joseph * took down from the cross Your most pure body. * Anointing it with spices, * he wrapped it in pure linen, * and placed it in a new tomb. The procession ends at the grave where the priest places the burial shroud, incenses it, and venerates it while the people sing: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Spirit, * now and ever, and forever. Amen. The angel standing by the grave * exclaimed to the myrrh-bearing women: * "Spices are meant for the dead, * but Christ reveals Himself as not subject to decay." A homily or sermon is usually given at this time.

DISMISSAL Priest: Wisdom! People: Give the blessing! Priest: Blessed and glorified are You, O Christ our God, always, now and ever, and forever. People: Amen. Make firm, O God, the Catholic faith forever and ever. Amen. Priest: O all-holy Mother of God, save us. People: More honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who, a virgin, gave birth to God the Word, you, truly the Mother of God, we magnify. Priest: Glory be to You, O Christ, our God, our hope; glory be to You. People: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Give the blessing! Priest: May Christ, our true God, Who endured dreadful sufferings, the life-giving cross, and voluntary burial for our sake and for our salvation, have mercy on us and save us through the prayers of His most holy Mother, and of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles, of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers, and of all the Saints, for He is gracious and loves mankind. People: Amen. The faithful approach to venerate the burial shroud.

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