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Given that we are still within the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, I thought it would be nice to sample some more of Georgia’s regional vocal traditions for the Nativity Season.

Northwestern Georgia’s Svaneti region is a rugged alpine environment, with the distinction of incorporating the highest permanent settlement in Europe. The people are likewise rugged, making their livings from herding sheep and cattle, timbercutting, beekeeping and furniture making in remote mountain villages. Svaneti has the distinction of having safeguarded Georgia’s religious heritage during the Mongol invasions, by hiding and protecting icons and other treasures of the Church from the heathen invaders.

Svani chant has a mournful tone and is an important part of Georgia’s liturgical and musical tradition. A Svaneti Alilo is presented hereThe neighbouring subtropical coastal region of Samegrelo (Mingrelia in Russian) also has its own strong Christmas musical traditions. A Megruli Alilo can be viewed belowFor those interested in the sights of the 2011 Alilo Parade in Tbilisi, here is some footage.

 

 

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Anyone visiting an Orthodox temple tonight will notice the Icon of the Nativity displayed prominently. The symbolism of this icon is very well explained here

A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons

Modern Icon of the Nativity

The most wise Lord comes to be born,
Receiving hospitality from His own creatures.
Let us also receive Him,
That this divine Child in the cave may make us His guests
In the paradise of delights!

The Birth of Christ has always been celebrated and hymned by Christians in some way or other, as it is central to the Faith. The Word of God in past times may have appeared as an angel of the Lord, or the divine fire of the burning bush, but now, from this time onwards, He has become one of us; and not just as a fully-grown man descended from Heaven, but in humility God is born of a woman, and comes to us as a tiny, speechless, infant. This is what is shown in the Nativity Icon, and around this central historical event other stories surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ are depicted.

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Saint Luke is one of the most significant saints in the Church; his Feast is held today. As a Greek medical doctor from Antioch, schooled in Greek medicine, art and philosophy, his background was quite different from the many Jewish peasants and fisherman whom Christ called to serve. Saint Luke was a witness to Christ’s Resurrection on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24.13) , and became a constant companion to Saint Paul the Evangelist in his extensive travels. It is hard to imagine a more “odd couple” to work together as evangelists for so many years, one formerly a Pharisee, the other an affluent Greek physician, but obviously their talents were complementary and they were very effective at spreading the faith amongst both Jews and Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire.

He is attributed as being the first iconographer, painting under the direction of the Virgin Mary.

He is most widely known as the author of the Gospel of Saint Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Icons of the saint usually show him as a well-dressed professional gentleman in Greek garb, carrying a copy of the Holy Gospel.

11th Century Georgian Miniature of Saint Luke

The Holy Disciple and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a Disciple from amongst the Seventy, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul (Phil. 1: 24, 2 Tim. 4: 10-11), and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and here he fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. Included amidst the number of the Seventy Disciples, Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others for the first preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven while yet during the earthly life of the Saviour (Lk. 10: 1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saints Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.

The Disciple Luke took part in the second missionary journey of the Apostle Paul, and from that time they were inseparable. At a point when all his co-workers had left the Apostle Paul, the Disciple Luke stayed on with him to tackle all the toiling of pious deeds (2 Tim. 4: 10-11). After the martyr’s death of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Luke left Rome to preach in Achaeia, Libya, Egypt and the Thebaid. In the city of Thebes he finished his life in martyrdom.

Tradition ascribes to him the writing of the first icons of the Mother of God. “Let the grace of He born of Me and My mercy be with these icons”, – said the All-Pure Virgin in beholding the icons. Saint Luke painted likewise icons of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul. His Gospel was written by Saint Luke in the years 62-63 at Rome, under the guidance of the Apostle Paul. Saint Luke in the preliminary verses (1: 3) spells out exactly the aim of his work: he recorded in greater detail the chronological course of events in the framework of everything known by Christians about Jesus Christ and His teachings, and by doing so he provided a firmer historical basis of Christian hope (1: 4). He carefully investigated the facts, and made generous use of the oral tradition of the Church and of what the All-Pure Virgin Mary Herself had told him (2: 19, 51).

In the theological content of the Gospel of Luke there stands out first of all the teaching about the universal salvation effected by the Lord Jesus Christ, and about the universal significance of the preaching of the Gospel [Lat. “evangelum” with Grk. root “eu-angelos” both mean “good-news”].

The holy disciple likewise wrote in the years 62-63 at Rome, the Book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles. The Acts, which is a continuation of the Four Gospels, speaks about the works and effects of the holy Apostles after the Ascension of the Saviour. At the centre of the narrative – is the Council of the holy Apostles at Jerusalem (year 51 A.D.), a Church event of great critical significance, with a dogmatic basis for the distancing of Christianity from Judaism and its independent dispersion into the world (Acts 15: 6-29). The theological objective of the Book of Acts is that of the Dispensation-Economy of the Holy Spirit, actualised in the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, from the time of the Ascension and Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ.

From “Calender, Saint John of Kronstadt Press”

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The death of the Virgin Mary is commemorated in Orthodox countries with great reverence, solemnity and joy. In Georgian, it is known as Mariamoba.

It has been likened to “a second Pascha” by Orthodox theologians for many reasons. Firstly, it involves the physical death of a great and revered figure in the Church.  Secondly, according to Church tradition, her body was borne away from this earth rather than being buried, creating amazement amongst Christ’s disciples mirroring that which they experienced when discovering Christ’s tomb to be empty. Thirdly, on the third day after her death, she appeared to Christ’s disciples and commanded them to rejoice, as she had joined her Son in heaven, as they would also do. So the elements of physical death, disappearance of the physical body, and revelation to the faithful three days after death associated with Pascha are recapitulated.

As with the Lenten period preceding Pascha, the faithful are required to fast prior to the feast, which usually involves abstaining from meat and liquor. The Mariamoba fast lasts for two weeks and starts tomorrow.

As with the feast of Pascha, the Mariamoba overnight vigil is followed by morning celebrations. This often involves the slaughter of a sheep and consumption of a great deal of meat and wine with family. As Georgia is the country allocated to the Virgin Mary by God, Georgians take this celebration very seriously. The traditional Georgian identification of the Virgin Mary with a vineyard, producing a ripe vintage of the Son of God for the salvation of mankind, makes the consumption of wine at the feast a deeply meaningful exercise. While some will feast at home, many will make pilgrimages to hilltop monasteries in the hills and picnic outdoors.

Mariamoba is also the name-day for Georgian women bearing names derived from the name of the Virgin Mary. So your friends named Mariam, Mari, or Mariko will have a double celebration  on August 28.

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Today marks the 891st anniversary of the “Miraculous Victory” (dzlevai sakvirveli) of Georgian forces under King David the Builder (Davit Aghmashenebeli) against the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Didgori.

In the 11the century, the Seljuk Turks of Central Asia had migrated westwards, established their own Sultanate in 1055 and commencing invasions of much of Georgia in 1064. In 1071, the Seljuk victory over the Eastern Roman Empire at Manzikert marked the beginning of the end for the Byzantine Empire, with much of eastern Anatolia overrun by Turks with the exception of Greek and Georgian enclaves on the Black Sea coast, known to Greeks as Trebizond and Georgians as Lazeti.

From 1080 to 1089, the Seljuks conquered most of Georgia, forced local rulers to accept seasonal migration of Seljuk herds and flocks each year from Anatolia and Central Asia, and demanded heavy tribute. Replacing his father in a bloodless coup, the 16 year-old King David commenced small scale raids throughout Georgia to force the Seljuks to withdraw, and he engaged in such guerrilla warfare from 1080-1102, by which time the Seljuks had been expelled from most of Eastern and Central Georgia. Between 1110-1118, he added much of today’s Armernia, Azerbaijan, Turkey’s Pontus region and Russia’s Black Sea Coast to Georgia’s territory.

In 1118, King David took a very significant gamble. He had a Royal Guard of 5000 troops but no additional standing army, depending on feudal lords for additional conscripts. Many of these lords had been in the pay of the Seljuks in the past and treachery was a common problem, so relying on their exclusive loyalty was risky. Instead, King David invited 200,000 Kipchak Turks from the southern steppes of Russia to settle in Georgia in exchange for military service. Garrisoned throughout the country, many of these Turkic animists converted to Orthodox Christianity and it is assumed that many intermarried with local people.  This provided the Georgian State with a large, well- trained standing army that was independent of feudal loyalties.

At this time, Tbilisi was still under Arab occupation. The development of a large Christian power that interrupted communication between Turk territories in Anatolia, Turk and Persian territories on the Caspian and Arab forces in the south threatened their Muslim neighbours. A consortium of forces from throughout the Middle East, led by the Seljuk Turks, was assembled after jihad was called, with the express purpose of extinguishing the Georgian State and Church, and the enslavement of the Georgian people.

An army of over 250,000 men was mustered by the Turks and marched towards Mtshketa from the west, and camped on the pastures of Didgori, about 40 km west of Tbilisi. King David was able to assemble a force of 56,000 men including 500 Alans (Ossetians) and many thousands of Kipchaks and Georgians. A cunning ruse resulted in the assassination of most of the Muslim High Command, leaving the huge enemy forces confused and poorly led.

King David addressed his troops prior to the battle thus: ““Soldiers of Christ! If we fight with abandon, defending the faith of our Lord, we shall not only overcome the countless servants of Satan, but the Devil himself. I will only advise you one thing that will add to our honor and our profit: raising our hands to Heaven we will all swear to our Lord that in the name of love to Him, we will rather die on the battlefield than run….”

Despite being outumbered more than five to one, the Georgian forces routed the Muslim forces and killed more than 90% of the troops facing them. The victory is still seen as a God-given miracle and celebrated by the church annually as a deliverance from persecution. It is also a secular nationalistic celebration.

It is particularly interesting that King David, having driven Muslim troops and government structures out of his country thoroughly, then proceeded to treat the Muslim inhabitants of Georgia in a very magnanimous and humane fashion. These Muslims would presumably have been of Arab, Turk and Persian origin, as well as local converts. Muslims were permitted to build and operate mosques, and engage in all areas of normal civil society. In addition, some Muslim sects that were harshly persecuted in the Arab world were tolerated in Georgia, such as the Sufis. This would have been considered completely unthinkable in Western Europe or the Eastern Roman Empire. King David hence had a solid grasp of the concept that, while one must defend one’s own religion, one must appreciate that God confers the gift of freedom of choice on us all, and respect must be given to those that choose a different path. He created a sound model that is now emulated by modern Georgian society, in developing a robust state with Orthodox sensibilities, that respects and cherishes its Muslim and Jewish compatriots. King David the Builder is considered a saint in Georgia. While he did remove substantial power from the Georgian Church, he is still seen in a very positive manner as a defender of the Georgian Church from Islamic persecution.

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The commemoration of  the Holy Prophet Ezekiel follows the day after that of the Prophet Ilia. His prophecies in Babylonian exile foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Third Temple, interpreted by Christians as the presence of Christ himself rather than construction of a building. He also foretold the role of the Virgin Mary in God’s Incarnation as Man, and the Resurrection of the Dead through Christ.

The Holy Prophet Ezekiel lived in the 6th Century before the Birth of Christ. He was born in the city of Sarir, and descended from the Levite tribe; he was a priest and the son of the priest Buzi. In the second invasion against Jerusalem by the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnessar, at age 25 Ezekiel was led off to Babylon together with the king Jechoniah II and many other Jews.

In captivity the Prophet Ezekiel lived by the River Chobar. There, in his 30th year of life, in a vision there was revealed to him the future of the Hebrew nation and of all mankind. The prophet beheld a shining cloud, in the midst of which was a flame, and in it ‑- a mysterious likeness of a chariot moving by the spirit and four-winged beasts, each having four faces: of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. Under their faces was situated a wheel, bestrewn with eyes. Over the chariot towered as it were a crystalline firmament, and over the firmament – the likeness of a throne as though of glittering sapphire. And upon this throne a radiant “likeness of Man”, and about Him a rainbow (Ez. 1: 4-28).

According to the explanation of the fathers of the Church, the most-bright “likeness of Man” radiant upon the sapphire throne, was a prefigurament of the Incarnation of the Son of God from the MostHoly Virgin Mary, manifest as the Throne of God. The four creatures prefigured the four evangelists, the wheel with a multitude of eyes – the sharing of light with all the nations of the earth. During this vision the holy prophet out of fear fell down upon the ground, but the voice of God commanded him to get up and then explained, that the Lord was sending him to preach to the nation of Israel.

From this time began the prophetic service of Ezekiel. The Prophet Ezekiel announces to the nation of Israel, situated in Baylonian Captivity, about its coming tribulations for straying in the faith and forsaking the True God. The prophet proclaimed also a better time for his captive fellow-countrymen, and he predicted their return from Babylon and the restoration of the Jerusalem Temple.

Particularly important are two significant elements in the vision of the prophet – the one about the vision of the temple of the Lord, full of glory, – the second about the bones upon the field, to which the Spirit of God gave new life. The vision about the temple was a mysterious prefigurament of the freeing of the race of man from the working of the enemy and the building up of the Church of Christ through the redemptive deed of the Son of God, incarnated of the MostHoly Virgin Mary, – called by the prophet “the shut gates”, through which would be entered the One only Lord God (Ez. 44: 2).

The vision about the dry bones upon the field – prefigured the universal resurrection of the dead and the new eternal life of the redeemed by the death on the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ez. 37: 1-14).

The holy Prophet Ezekiel had from the Lord a gift of wonderworking. He, like the Prophet Moses, by prayer to God divided the waters of the river Chobar, and the Hebrews crossed to the opposite shore, escaping the pursuing Chaldeans. During a time of famine the prophet besought of God an increase of food for the hungry.

For his denunciation of the idol-worship of a certain Hebrew prince, Saint Ezekiel was given over to execution: bound to wild horses, he was torn to pieces. Pious Hebrews gathered up the torn body of the prophet and buried it upon Maur Field, in the tomb of Sim and Arthaxad, fore-fathers of Abraham, not far from Baghdad. The prophecy of Ezekiel was written down in a book, mentioning him by name, and is included in the Bible.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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Today the Church celebrates the entry of Saint Nino into the Kingdom of Iberia in the year 323. Despite the efforts of the Apostles Andrew, Simon the Zealot and Matthias, and no doubt other Christian evangelists after them, Iberia and Colchis remained steadfastly heathen in the early 4th century.

Saint Nino came from a well-respected family; her father Zabulon was a Roman Army officer who retired, moved to Jerusalam and was tonsured a monk. His wife Sosana was ordained by her brother Patriarch Juvenal in Jerusalem as a diaconess (a rank of the Orthodox Christian clergy that has since fallen out of use), and Nino went to live with a devout old lady, Sara, who told her of how Christ’s robe had been taken to Iberia and was hidden there.

Nino prayed to the Virgin Mary for inspiration on how to travel to Georgia to venerate the robe of Christ. The Theotokos appeared to her in a vision and commanded her “Go to the country that was assigned to me by lot and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will send down His grace upon you and I will be your protector”.

Afraid, Nino replied “How can I, a fragile woman, perform such a momentous task, and how can I believe this vision is real?” In reply, the Virgin Mary gave her  cross made of grapevines and commanded “Receive this cross as a shield against visible and invisible enemies!”. The cross is still held at Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi.

When Nino awoke, she was clasping a cross fashioned of grapevines. She lashed them together with her hair and resolved to engage in her mission to the Georgians. It is significant that her cross was to made of grapevines, as the vine in Georgia is treated with greater reverence than any other living thing.

Her mission was endorsed by her uncle, Patriarch Juvenal, and she endured many difficulties and dangers on her travels from Jerusalem to southern Georgia. Over fifty of her followers were martyred in Armenia by the Armenian King Tiridates, and she managed to escape by hiding in rose bushes.

After travelling through the Lesser Caucasus mountains of Javakheti, she entered Iberia in the vicinity of Lake Paravani.

Lake Paravani, Samtske-Javakheti region

Arriving in the middle of a blizzard, she met Mtskhetan shepherds who provided her with directions to Urbnisi, from where she travelled to the Iberian capital city, Mtskheta, to commence her mission to the Georgians.

It is common to hear foreign social commentators describing Georgian Christian society not only as patriarchal, but as misogynist (literally, demonstrating hatred of women or girls). I believe this view to be erroneous.

Certainly, traditional Georgian culture ascribes different roles to men and women, just as western societies did until after the Second World War, and recognition of the professional talents of Georgian women is still a work-in-progress. That being said, it should be recognised that Christianity ascribes great importance to the dignity and uniqueness of the individual, male or female, rather than just applying a label to a person and treating them generically. It is a common assumption made by foreign gender-equity consultants in Georgia, of whom there are a plethora (indeed, more than agriculture or public health experts) that Georgian women are downtrodden, defenceless and in need a a government programme to “save” them, whereas the reality is that the main breadwinner, spiritual guide and financial controller of most Georgian families is the wife. Certainly there is room for improvement in recognition of women’s capabilities and rights in our society, but it would be fair to say that today’s successful women in Georgia are standing on the shoulders of giants.

If you ask any Georgian Christian to name the ten people of greatest importance to Georgia in history, the Virgin Mary, Saint Nino and Queen Tamar will be mentioned with great regularity. The Theotokos is the most frequently venerated and invoked Saint in Georgian Christianity, and Saint Nino would follow a close second; despite the fact that neither were Georgian, they are seen as the protectors and champions of the Georgian people, and most Georgian males have a strong devotion to them. A truly “misogynist” society would have airbrushed such characters out of history and replaced them with “heroic” male figures.

We shall talk more about the importance of women in the dissemination of the Christian faith in Georgia, and the Church’s recognition of their achievements, in a future post.

 

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John Sanidopoulos’ excellent “Mystagogy” blog alerted me to this ignoble anniversary.  We should be grateful that this ugly programme failed, while remembering those who were martyred during those terrible times and those who suffer still for their faith in China, North Korea and Vietnam.

1929 magazine showing Jesus being dumped from a wheelbarrel by a muscular industrial worker; the text suggests that Industrialization Day can be a replacement of the Christian Transfiguration Day.

May 15, 2012
 
On Tuesday, there will be 80 years since the Soviet government issued a decree on the “atheistic five-year plan.”
 
Stalin set a goal: the name of God should be forgotten on the territory of the whole country by May 1, 1937, the article posted by the Foma website says.
 
Over 5 million militant atheists were living in the country then. Anti-religious universities – special educational establishments for training people for decisive attack against religion – were organized.
 
According to the plan on religion liquidation, all churches and prayer houses should have been closed by 1932-1933, all religious traditions implanted by literature and family by 1933-1934, it was planned that the country, and firstly youth, would be grasped by total anti-religious propaganda by 1934-1935, clerics were to eliminated by 1935-1936, and the very memory about God should have disappeared from life by 1937.
 
However, the census of 1937, where a question about religion was included on Stalin’s instruction, puzzled Bolsheviks: 84% of 30 million illiterate USSR citizens aged over 16 said they were believers; the same was said by 45% of 68.5 million literate citizens.
 
Churches were again closed in big numbers in 1937. About ten thousand churches were closed in 1935-1936, eight thousand in 1937, over six thousand in 1938. According to the modern data, about 350-400 churches from pre-revolutionary churches were open in the early war years.
 
When bishops were arrested, Metropolitan Sergy (Stragorodsky) had to dissolve the temporary Synod on May 10 and administer all dioceses with the help of his vicar bishop and chancellery, which included a secretary and a typist.

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The patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church presided over the baptism of hundreds of babies in a Tbilisi cathedral on Sunday as part of an effort credited with helping raise the birth rate in this former Soviet nation.

Patriarch Ilia II has promised to become the godfather of all babies born into Orthodox Christian families who already have two or more children. Since he began the mass baptisms in 2008, he has gained nearly 11,000 godchildren.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has said the patriarch deserves much of the credit for the rising birth rate, which in 2010 was 25 percent higher than in 2005. The number of abortions also declined by nearly 50 percent over the same five-year period.

Parents of the 400 babies baptized by an array of priests Sunday said the patriarch was instrumental in their decision to have a third or fourth child.

“This is a wonderful day for my family,” said Tamar Kapanadze, a 33-year-old father of four. “Our fourth son, Lashko, was baptized by the patriarch himself, and before this he baptized our daughter Liziko. This is why we decided to have a fourth child.”

Lamara Georgadze, whose fourth child was among those baptized on Sunday, said she and her husband also answered the patriarch’s call to have more children.

“The Holy Father reminded us all of the importance of increasing the birth rate,” she said. “There are too few of us Georgians and therefore this is very important.”

Saakashvili has set a goal of increasing Georgia’s population from 4.5 million to 5 million by 2015.

Since coming to power in 2004, Saakashvili has focused on modernizing and expanding the economy, attracting foreign investment and pushing for closer ties with the United States and Europe. With Georgia’s population aging, he is eager to see a new generation born that could help secure the country’s future.

In his annual address to parliament in February, he said the government would give parents a one-time payment the equivalent of about $600 for a third child and double that amount for a fourth child.

“This will help raise the birth rate,” Saakashvili said. “The patriarch has already taken steps in this direction. We should be thankful to him for continually reminding the Georgian people that we should multiply.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/05/06/3597247/georgias-patriarch-baptizes-400.html#storylink=cpy

Georgia’s patriarch baptizes 400 babies – KansasCity.com.

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For those who are interested, an English translation of the Midnight Office and Paschal Matins are provided below. Please forgive any inaccuracies as the text has been translated from Greek rather than Georgian.

The Midnight Office

 Midnight Office for Pascha begins at 11:00 P.M.

 Priest: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen. Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Heavenly king, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present, and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

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

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

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

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

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; 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 of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times)

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

O come let us worship God our King.

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

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

Psalm 50

 Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

Canon, Sixth Tone

ODE I

Irmos, Tone 6: He Who in ancient times hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea, is hidden beneath the earth by the children of those whom once He saved. But let us, like the maidens, sing unto the Lord, for gloriously is He glorified.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Lord my God, I will sing to Thee a funeral hymn, a song at Thy burial: for by Thy burial Thou hast opened for me the gates of life, and by Thy death Thou hast slain death and Hades.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

All things above and all beneath the earth quaked with fear at Thy death, as they beheld Thee, O my Saviour, upon Thy throne on high and in the tomb below. For seeing Thou wert mortal is beyond understanding, O Author of life.

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

To fill all things with Thy glory, Thou hast gone down into the nethermost parts of the earth: for my substance that is in Adam is not hidden from Thee, but when buried, Thou dost restore me from corruption, O Lover of mankind.

Katavasia, Tone 6: He Who in ancient times hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea, is hidden beneath the earth by the children of those whom once He saved. But let us, like the maidens, sing unto the Lord, for gloriously is He glorified.

ODE III

Irmos, Tone 6: When the creation beheld Thee, Who hast hung the whole earth freely upon the waters, hanging on Golgotha, it was seized with horror and cried aloud: “There is none holy beside Thee, O Lord.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Images of Thy burial hast Thou disclosed in a multitude of visions; and now, as the God-Man, Thou hast revealed Thy secrets unto those in hades, O Master, who cry aloud: “There is none holy beside Thee, O Lord.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast stretched out Thine arms and united all that of old was separated; clothed in a winding sheet, O Saviour, and buried in a tomb, Thou hast loosed the captives, who cry aloud: “There is none holy beside Thee, O Lord.”

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

By a tomb and seals, O Uncontainable One, wast Thou held of Thine own will; but through Thine energies Thou hast showed Thy power by Divine action to those who sing: “There is none holy beside Thee, O Lord, Lover of mankind.

Katavasia, Tone 6: When the creation beheld Thee, Who hast hung the whole earth freely upon the waters, hanging on Golgotha, it was seized with horror and cried aloud: “There is none holy beside Thee, O Lord.”

 Sessional Hymn, First Tone

The soldiers keeping watch over Thy tomb, O Saviour, became as dead men from the shining brightness at the appearing of the angel, who proclaimed to the women the Resurrection. We glorify Thee as the Destroyer of corruption; we fall down before Thee, risen from the tomb, our only God.

ODE IV

Irmos, Tone 6: Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the Cross, Habakkuk, amazed, cried out: “Thou hast cut asunder the strength of the mighty, O Good One, and preached to those in hades, as the Almighty One.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Today Thou hast sanctified the seventh day, which anciently Thou didst bless by resting from Thy works. Thou bringest all things into being and renewest all things, observing the sabbath, O my Saviour, and restoring all.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

By Thy greater power, Thou hast conquered; from the flesh Thy soul was parted, yet Thou hast burst asunder both bonds, death and hades, O Word, by Thy might.

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

Hades was embittered when it met Thee, O Word, for it saw a mortal deified, striped with wounds, yet all-powerful; and it shrank back in terror at this sight.

Katavasia, Tone 6: Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the Cross, Habakkuk, amazed, cried out: “Thou hast cut asunder the strength of the mighty, O Good One, and preached to those in Hades, as the Almighty One.

ODE V

Irmos, Tone 6: Thy Theophany, O Christ, the Unwaning Light, that mercifully came to pass for us, Isaiah, keeping watch, beheld out of the night, and he cried aloud: “The dead shall arise, and those in the tombs shall be raised up, and all that are born of earth shall rejoice.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou makest new those of earth, O Creator, becoming a thing of dust, and the winding-sheet and tomb reveal, O Word, the mystery that is within Thee; for the noble counselor typifies the counsel of Him that begat Thee, Who hath majestically refashioned me in Thee.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

By Thy death dost Thou transform mortality and by Thy burial, corruption, for Thou makest incorruptible, by divine majesty, the nature Thou hast taken, rendering it immortal; for Thy flesh saw not corruption, O Master, nor was Thy soul left in Hades as that of a stranger.

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

Coming forth from an unwedded Mother, and wounded in Thy side with a spear, O my Maker, Thou hast brought to pass the re-creation of Eve. Becoming Adam, Thou hast in ways surpassing nature slept a nature-restoring sleep, raising life from sleep and from corruption, for Thou art the Almighty.

Katavasia, Tone 6: Thy Theophany, O Christ, the Unwaning Light, that mercifully came to pass for us, Isaiah, keeping watch, beheld out of the night, and he cried aloud: “The dead shall arise, and those in the tombs shall be raised up, and all that are born of earth shall rejoice.”

ODE VI

Irmos, Tone 6: Caught but not held in the belly of the whale was Jonah; for, bearing the image of Thee, Who hast suffered and wast given to burial, he came forth from the monster as from a bridal chamber, and he called out to the watch: “O ye who keep guard falsely and in vain, ye have forsaken your own mercy.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Torn wast Thou, but not separated, O Word, from the flesh of which Thou hadst partaken; for though Thy temple was destroyed at the time of Thy Passion, yet the Substance of Thy Godhead and of Thy flesh is but one. For in both Thou art one Son, the Word of God, both God and man.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Fatal to man, but not to God, was the sin of Adam; for though the earthly substance of Thy flesh suffered, yet the Godhead remained impassable; that which in Thy nature was corruptible Thou hast transformed to incorruption, and a fountain of life incorruptible hast Thou revealed by Thy Resurrection.

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

Hades reigneth, but not for ever over the race of man; for Thou, laid in a tomb, O Sovereign Lord, hast burst asunder the bars of death with Thy life-giving hand, and Thou hast proclaimed to those who slept from the ages the true redemption, O Saviour, Who art become the Firstborn from the dead.

Katavasia, Tone 6: Caught but not held in the belly of the whale was Jonah; for, bearing the image of Thee, Who hast suffered and wast given to burial, he came forth from the monster as from a bridal chamber, and he called out to the watch: “O ye who keep guard falsely and in vain, ye have forsaken your own mercy.”

Kontakion, Sixth Tone

He Who closed the abyss is beheld dead, and as a corpse the Immortal is wrapped in linen with sweet spices and laid in a tomb. The women come to anoint Him with myrrh, weeping bitterly and crying: “This is the most blessed sabbath on which Christ sleepeth but on the third day He shall rise again.”

Ikos

He Who sustaineth all things was lifted upon the Cross, and all creation wept, seeing Him hanging naked on the Tree. The sun hid its rays, and the stars cast aside their light; the earth shook in much fear, and the sea fled, and the rocks were rent, and many graves were opened and the bodies of the saints arose. Hades groaned below, and the Jews conspired to spread slander against Christ’s Resurrection. But the women cried aloud: “This is the most blessed sabbath on which Christ sleepeth, but on the third day He shall rise again.”

ODE VII

Irmos, Tone 6: O ineffable wonder! He Who delivered the holy Children from the fiery furnace is laid a corpse without breath in the tomb, for the salvation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Wounded in the heart was Hades when it received Him Who was wounded in the side by a spear, and consumed by divine fire it groaned aloud at the salvation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O wealthy tomb! For it received within itself the Creator, as one asleep, and it was shown to be a divine treasury of life, for the sa1vation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

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

In accordance with the law of the dead, the Life of all submitteth to be laid in the tomb, and He showeth it to be a source of awakening, for the salvation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Whether in Hades or in the tomb or in Eden, the Godhead of Christ was indivisibly one with the Father and the Spirit, for the salvation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

Katavasia, Tone 6: O ineffable wonder! He Who delivered the holy Children from the fiery furnace is laid a corpse without breath in the tomb, for the salvation of us who sing: “O God our Redeemer, blessed art Thou.”

ODE VIII

Irmos, Tone 6: Be ye astonished and afraid, O heaven, and let the foundations of the earth be shaken; for lo, He Who dwelleth on high is numbered with the dead and lodgeth as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people supremely exalt unto all ages.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The most pure Temple is destroyed, but raiseth up the fallen tabernacle. For the second Adam, He Who dwelleth on high, hath come down to the first Adam, even into the chambers of hades. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people supremely exalt unto all aces.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The disciples’ courage failed, but Joseph of Arimathea was bolder; for, seeing the God of all a corpse and naked, he asked for the body and buried Him, crying: Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people supremely exalt unto all ages.

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

O new wonders! O what goodness! O ineffable forbearance! For of His own will He Who dwelleth on high is sealed beneath the earth, and God is falsely accused as a deceiver. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people supremely exalt unto all ages.

Katavasia, Tone 6: Be ye astonished and afraid, O heaven, and let the foundations of the earth be shaken; for lo, He Who dwelleth on high is numbered with the dead and lodgeth as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people supremely exalt unto all ages.

ODE IX

Irmos, Tone 6: Weep not for Me, O Mother, beholding in the tomb the Son Whom thou hast conceived without seed in the womb; for I shall arise and shall be glorified, and as God I shall exalt with glory unceasing those that with faith and love magnify thee.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

At Thy strange birth, O Son without beginning, I was blessed in ways surpassing nature, for I was spared all travail. But now, beholding Thee, my God, a lifeless corpse, I am pierced with the sword of bitter grief. But arise, that I may be magnified.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The earth covereth Me as I desire, O Mother, but the gatekeepers of hades tremble as they see Me, clothed in the bloodstained garment of vengeance; for on the Cross as God have I struck down Mine enemies, and I shall rise again and magnify thee.

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

Let creation rejoice, let all that are born of earth be glad, for the enemy, Hades, hath been despoiled; let the women come with myrrh to meet Me, for I am delivering Adam and Eve with all their offspring, and on the third day I shall rise again.

Katavasia, Tone 6: Weep not for He, O Mother, beholding in the tomb the Son Whom thou hast conceived without seed in the womb; for I shall arise and shall be glorified, and as God I shall exalt with glory unceasing those that with faith and love magnify thee.

Trisagion

Reader: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

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

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

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

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; 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 of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Troparion, Second Tone:

 Choir: When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the lightning of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst also raise the dead out of the nether-most depths, all the hosts of the heavens cried out: O Life-giver, Christ our God, glory be to Thee.

Priest: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: Again let us pray for Our Great Lord and Father, His Holiness Catholicos Ilia, Patriarch of All Georgia ; for our lord the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan N., and all our brethren in Christ.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: Again we pray for all the brethren and for all Christians.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir:Amen.

Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee.

Choir: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Father bless.

THE DISMISSAL

Priest: May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.

Choir: Amen.

Paschal Matins

At the stroke of midnight, the clergy, assembled in the altar, begin to chant the following, at first quietly and then more loudly with each of the two repetitions:

 Clergy: Thy Resurrection, O Christ Savior, / the angels in the heavens sing; / vouchsafe also us on earth // with pure hearts to glorify Thee. (Thrice)

 As this is chanted the third time, the clergy go out of the church in procession, followed by all the faithful.

 Choir: Thy Resurrection, O Christ Savior, / the angels in the heavens sing; / vouchsafe also us on earth // with pure hearts to glorify Thee. (Repeatedly)

 After going around the church, the clergy stop at the closed doors.

 Senior Clergyman: Glory to the holy, and consubstantial, and life-creating, and indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Clergy: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Thrice)

 Choir: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life! (Thrice)

 While the choir chanteth, the priest censeth the people exclaiming:

 Priest: CHRIST IS RISEN!

 People: INDEED HE IS RISEN!

 The Priest reads the stichoi, and the choir sings the troparion after each

stichos:

Stichos 1: Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.

Choir: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Stichos 2: As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish, as wax melteth before the fire.

Choir: Repeat Troparion

Stichos 3: So let the sinners perish at the presence of God, and let the righteous be glad.

Choir: Repeat Troparion

Stichos 4: This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad therein.

Choir: Repeat Troparion

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

Choir: Repeat Troparion

Priest: Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Choir: Repeat Troparion

Priest: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death.

Choir: And upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

 And all enter the church. The Priest (or clergy) stand before the icon of the Resurrection in the center of the church. And the Great Litany is said.

 Deacon:In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon: For the peace from above, and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God, and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:For this holy temple, and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter herein, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon: For our Great Lord and Father, His Holiness Catholicos Ilia, Patriarch of All Georgia.; for our lord the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan N., for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:For this land, its authorities and armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:That He may deliver His people from enemies both visible and invisible, and confirm in us oneness of mind, brotherly love and piety, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:For this city (or this town, or this holy monastery), for every city and country, and the faithful that dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:For seasonable weather, abundance of the fruits of the earth, and peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

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

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

Priest: For unto Thee is due all glory, honor and worship; to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

ODE I

 Irmos, Tone 1:It is the Day of Resurrection, /

let us be radiant, O ye people; /

Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha: /

for from death to life, /

and from earth to heaven, /

Christ God hath brought us, //

as we sing the song of victory.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Let us purify our senses, /

and we shall behold Christ, /

radiant with the unapproachable light of the Resurrection, /

and we shall clearly hear Him say, Rejoice! //

as we sing the hymn of victory.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Let the heavens be glad as is meet, /

and let the earth rejoice, /

and let the whole world, both visible and invisible, /

keep festival: /

for Christ is risen, //

O gladness eternal.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

Priest: For Thine is the dominion, and 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 unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

ODE III

 Irmos, Tone 1: Come, let us drink a new drink, /

not one miraculously brought forth from a barren rock /

but the Fountain of Incorruption, /

springing forth from the tomb of Christ, //

in Whom we are strengthened.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Now all things are filled with light; /

heaven and earth, /

and the nethermost parts of the earth; /

let all creation, therefore, celebrate the arising of Christ //

whereby it is strengthened.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Yesterday I was buried with Thee, O Christ; /

today I rise with Thine arising. /

Yesterday I was crucified with Thee; /

do Thou Thyself glorify me with Thee, O Savior, //

in Thy kingdom.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

 Small Litany

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For Thou art our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Hypakoe, Eighth Tone

 Forestalling the dawn, the women came with Mary, /

and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and heard from the angel: /

Why seek ye among the dead, as though He were mortal, Him Who liveth in everlasting light? /

Behold the grave-clothes. Go quickly and proclaim to the world that the Lord is risen and hath slain death. //

For He is the Son of God Who saveth mankind.

ODE IV

 Irmos, Tone 1:

On divine watch let the God-inspired Habakkuk stand with us, /

and show forth the light-bearing angel clearly saying: /

Today salvation is come to the world, /

for Christ is risen //

as Almighty.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

As a man-child did Christ appear /

when He came forth from the Virgin’s womb, /

and as a mortal was He called the Lamb. /

Without blemish also, is our Pascha /

for He tasted no defilement; //

and as true God, perfect was He proclaimed.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Like unto a yearling lamb, /

Christ, our blessed Crown, /

of His own will was sacrificed for all, /

a Pascha of purification; /

and from the tomb the beautiful Sun of Righteousness //

shone forth again upon us.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

David, the ancestor of God, /

danced with leaping before the symbolical Ark; /

let us also, the holy people of God, /

beholding the fulfillment of the symbols, /

be divinely glad; //

for Christ is risen as Almighty.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For Thou art a good God, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

ODE V

 Irmos, Tone 1: Let us awake in the deep dawn, /

and instead of myrrh, offer a hymn to the Master, /

and we shall see Christ, /

the Sun of Righteousness, //

Who causeth life to dawn for all.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Seeing Thy boundless compassion /

they who were held in the bonds of hades /

hastened to the light, O Christ, /

with gladsome feet, //

praising the Pascha eternal.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Bearing lights, let us approach Christ, /

Who cometh forth from the tomb like a bridegroom, /

and with the feast-loving ranks of angels /

let us celebrate //

the saving Pascha of God.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

Priest: For sanctified and glorified is Thy most honorable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

 ODE VI

 Irmos, Tone 1: Thou didst descend into the nethermost parts of the earth, /

and didst shatter the eternal bars that held the fettered, O Christ, /

and on the third day, /

like Jonah from the whale, //

Thou didst arise from the tomb.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Having kept the seals intact, O Christ, /

Thou didst rise from the tomb, /

O Thou Who didst not break the seal of the Virgin by Thy birth, /

and Thou hast opened for us //

the doors of Paradise.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

O my Savior, the living and unslain Sacrifice, /

when, as God, Thou, of Thine Own will, /

hadst offered up Thyself unto the Father, /

Thou didst raise up with Thyself the whole race of Adam, //

when Thou didst rise from the tomb.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For Thou art the King of peace, and the Savior of our souls, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Kontakion:

 Tone 8:

Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal, /

Thou didst destroy the power of hell. /

In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, /

proclaiming “Rejoice!” to the myrrh-bearing women; /

granting peace to Thine apostles, //

and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.

Ikos

 The myrrh-bearing women forestalled the dawn, seeking, as it were day, the Sun that was before the sun and Who had once set in the tomb, and they cried out one to another: O friends! come, let us anoint with spices the life-bringing and buried Body, the Flesh that raised up fallen Adam, that now lieth in the tomb. Let us go, let us hasten, like the Magi, and let us worship and offer myrrh as a gift to Him Who is wrapped now not in swaddling clothes but in a shroud. And let us weep and cry aloud: O Master, arise, Thou Who dost grant resurrection to the fallen.

 Hymn of the Resurrection

 Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, * let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, * the only sinless One. * We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, * and Thy holy Resurrection we hymn and glorify. * For Thou art our God, * and we know none other beside Thee; * we call upon Thy name. * O come, all ye faithful, * let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection, * for, behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. * Ever blessing the Lord, * we hymn His Resurrection; * for, having endured crucifixion, * He hath destroyed death by death. (Thrice)

 ODE VII

 Irmos, Tone 1: He Who delivered the Children from the furnace, /

became man, suffereth as a mortal, /

and through His Passion /

doth clothe mortality with the beauty of incorruption, /

He is the only blessed and most glorious //

God of our fathers.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

The godly-wise women with myrrh /

followed after Thee in haste; /

but Him Whom they sought with tears as dead, /

they worshipped joyfully as the living God, /

and they brought unto Thy disciples, O Christ, //

the good tidings of the mystical Pascha.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

We celebrate the death of death, /

the destruction of hades, /

the beginning of another life eternal, /

and leaping for joy, /

we hymn the Cause, //

the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

For truly sacred and all-festive is this saving night, /

and this shining, light-bearing day, /

the harbinger of the Resurrection, /

whereon the Timeless Light bodily //

from the tomb upon all hath shined.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: Blessed and most glorified be the dominion of Thy kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 ODE VIII

 Irmos, Tone 1: This chosen and holy day /

is the first of the sabbaths, /

the queen and lady, /

the feast of feasts, /

and the festival of festivals, //

wherein we bless Christ unto the ages.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Come, on this auspicious day of the Resurrection, /

let us partake of the fruit of the new vine /

of divine gladness of the kingdom of Christ, /

praising Him as God //

unto the ages.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Lift up thine eyes about thee, O Zion, /

and see, for behold, there cometh unto thee /

like God-illumined beacons, /

from the west, and from the north, /

and from the sea, and from the east, //

thy children, in thee blessing Christ unto the ages.

Refrain: O Most Holy Trinity, our God, glory be to Thee.

O Father Almighty, and Word, and Spirit, /

one Nature united in three Persons, /

transcendent and most divine! /

Into Thee have we been baptized, //

and Thee will we bless unto all ages.

Choir: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany

Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For blessed is Thy name, and glorified is Thy kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

 ODE IX

 Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, Him Who willingly suffered, and was buried, and rose from the grave on the third day.

 Tone 1:Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem, /

for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee; /

dance now and be glad, O Zion, /

and do thou exult, O pure Theotokos, //

in the arising of Him Whom thou didst bear.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, Christ the Giver of life, Who arose from the grave on the third day.

Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem, /

for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee; /

dance now and be glad, O Zion, /

and do thou exult, O pure Theotokos, //

in the arising of Him Whom thou didst bear.

Refrain: Christ is the new Pascha, the living-sacrifice, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

O how divine, how loving, /

how sweet is Thy voice! /

For Thou hast truly promised /

to be with us unto the end of the age, O Christ; /

having this foundation of hope, //

we the faithful rejoice.

Refrain: Today all creation is glad and rejoiceth, for Christ is risen, and hades is led in captivity.

O how divine, how loving, /

how sweet is Thy voice! /

For Thou hast truly promised /

to be with us unto the end of the age, O Christ; /

having this foundation of hope, //

we the faithful rejoice.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, the dominion of the Tri-hypostatic and Indivisible Godhead.

O Christ, Thou great and most sacred Pascha! /

O Wisdom, Word and power of God! /

Grant us to partake of Thee more fully /

in the unwaning day //

of Thy kingdom.

Refrain: Rejoice, O Virgin, rejoice; rejoice O blessed one; rejoice, O most glorified one: for thy Son is risen on the third day from the grave.

O Christ, Thou great and most sacred Pascha! /

O Wisdom, Word and power of God! /

Grant us to partake of Thee more fully /

in the unwaning day //

of Thy kingdom.

Choir: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Small Litany:

 Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon:Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For all the hosts of heaven praise Thee, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Exapostilarion

 Tone 3: Having fallen asleep in the flesh, * as a mortal, * O King and Lord, * on the third day Thou didst rise again, * raising up Adam from corruption, * and abolishing death: * O Pascha of incorruption, * Salvation of the world! (Thrice)

 The Lauds (the Praises) in 1st tone:

 Choir: Let every breath praise the Lord. * Praise the Lord from the heavens, * praise Him in the highest. * To Thee is due praise, O God.

Praise Him, all ye His angels; * praise Him, all ye His hosts. * To Thee is due praise, O God.

Praise Him, O sun and moon; praise Him all ye stars and light.

Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and thou water that art above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the Lord; for He spake, and they came to be; He commanded, and they were created.

He established them for ever, yea, for ever and ever; He hath set an ordinance, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all ye abysses.

Fire, hail, snow, ice, blast of tempest, which perform His word.

The mountains and all the hills, fruitful trees, and all cedars.

The beasts and all the cattle, creeping things and winged birds.

Kings of the earth, and all peoples, princes and all the judges of the earth.

Young men and virgins, elders with the younger; let them praise the name of the Lord, for exalted is the name of Him alone.

His praise is above the earth and heaven, and He shall exalt the horn of His people.

This is the hymn for all His saints, for the sons of Israel, and for the people that draw nigh unto Him.

Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise is in the church of the saints.

Let Israel be glad in Him that made him, let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King.

Let them praise His name in the dance; with the timbrel and the psaltery let them chant unto Him.

For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people, and He shall exalt the meek with salvation.

The saints shall boast in glory, and they shall rejoice upon their beds.

The high praise of God shall be in their throat, and two-edged swords shall be in their hands.

To do vengeance among the heathen, punishments among the peoples.

To bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron.

To do among them the judgment that is written. This glory shall be to all His saints.

Praise ye God in His saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power.

 Stichos: Praise Him for His mighty acts, * praise Him according to the multitude of His greatness.

Tone 1: We hymn, O Christ, Thy saving Passion, // and glorify Thy Resurrection.

Stichos: Praise Him with the sound of trumpet, * praise Him with the psaltery and harp.

 O Thou Who didst endure the Cross, / and didst abolish death, / and didst rise again from the dead: / Make our life peaceful, O Lord, // for Thou alone art almighty.

 Stichos: Praise Him with timbrel and dance,  praise him with strings and flute.

O Thou Who didst lead hades captive, / and didst raise up man by Thy Resurrection, / deem us worthy, with pure hearts, // to hymn and glorify Thee.

 Stichos: Praise Him with tuneful cymbals, praise Him with cymbals of jubilation. * Let every breath praise the Lord.

 Glorifying Thy Godly-majestic condescension, / we hymn Thee, O Christ; / for Thou wast born of a Virgin, / yet Thou didst remain inseparable from the Father; / Thou didst suffer as a man, and willingly didst endure the Cross; / Thou didst rise from the tomb, / coming forth as from a bridal chamber, / that Thou mightest save the world: // O Lord, glory be to Thee.

 THE PASCHAL STICHERA

Fifth Tone:

 Stichos: Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.

 A Pascha sacred today hath been shown unto us;  Pascha new and holy,  a Pascha mystical,  a Pascha all-venerable!  A Pascha that is Christ the Redeemer;  a Pascha immaculate,  a great Pascha;  a Pascha of the faithful;  a Pascha that hath opened the gates of Paradise to us;  a Pascha that doth sanctify all the faithful.

 Stichos: As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish.

 Come from the vision, O ye women, bearers of good tidings, * and say ye unto Zion: * Receive from us the good tidings * of the Resurrection of Christ; * adorn thyself, exult, * and rejoice, O Jerusalem, * for thou hast seen Christ the King, * like a bridegroom come forth from the tomb.

 Stichos: So let sinners perish at the presence of God, and let the righteous be glad.

 The myrrh-bearing women * in the deep dawn * stood before the tomb of the Giver of life; * they found an angel sitting upon the stone, * and he, speaking to them, said thus: * Why seek ye the Living among the dead? *Why mourn ye the Incorruptible amid corruption? *Go, proclaim unto His disciples.

 Stichos: This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad therein.

 Pascha the beautiful, * Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha, * the Pascha all-venerable hath dawned upon us. * Pascha, with joy let us embrace one another. * O Pascha! * Ransom from sorrow, * for from the tomb today, * as from a bridal chamber, * hath Christ shone forth, * and hath filled the women with joy, saying: * Proclaim unto the apostles.

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

 It is the Day of Resurrection, * let us be radiant for the feast, * and let us embrace one another. * Let us say, Brethren, even to them that hate us, * let us forgive all things on the Resurrection, * and thus let us cry out: *Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

 Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Thrice)

 Catechetical Homily of St. John Chrysostom

SEE HERE

Troparion to the Saint, Eighth Tone:

Choir: Grace shining forth from thy mouth like a beacon hath illumined the universe, / and disclosed to the world treasures of uncovetousness, / and shown us the heights of humility; / but while instructing by Thy words, O Father John Chrysostom, // intercede with the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls.

 After this, the deacon saith the Ektenia:

 Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray for our Great Lord and Father, His Holiness Patriarch N.; for our lord the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan N., First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; for our lord the Most Reverend (Archbishop or Bishop N., whose diocese it is) and all our brethren in Christ.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray for the God-preserved land and its Orthodox people both in the homeland and in the diaspora and for their salvation.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Deacon: Again we pray for this land, its authorities and armed forces.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray to the Lord our God that He may deliver His people from enemies visible and invisible, and confirm in us oneness of mind, brotherly love and piety.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray for our brethren, the priests, priestmonks, and all our brethren in Christ.

 Choir: Lord have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray for the blessed and ever-memorable, holy Orthodox patriarchs; for pious kings and right-believing queens; and for the founders of this holy temple (if it be a monastery: this holy monastery): and for all our fathers and brethren gone to their rest before us, and the Orthodox here and everywhere laid to rest.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Deacon: Again we pray for them that bring offerings and do good works in this holy and all-venerable temple; for them that minister and them that chant, and for all the people here present, that await of Thee great and abundant mercy.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 Priest: For a merciful God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir:Amen.

 Deacon: Let us complete our morning prayer unto the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Deacon: That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.

 Choir: Grant this, O Lord.

 Deacon: An angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

 Choir: Grant this, O Lord.

 Deacon: Pardon and remission of our sins and offences, let us ask of the Lord.

 Choir: Grant this, O Lord.

 Deacon: Things good and profitable for our souls, and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

 Choir: Grant this, O Lord.

 Deacon: That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

 Choir: Grant this. O Lord.

 Deacon: A Christian ending to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful, and a good defense before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us ask.

 Choir: Grant this, O Lord.

 Deacon: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For a good God art Thou, and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Priest: Peace be unto All.

 Choir: And to thy spirit.

 Deacon: Let us bow our heads unto the Lord.

 Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

 Priest: For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen.

 Deacon: Wisdom!

 Choir: Father, bless.

 Priest: He that is, is blessed, Christ our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 Choir: Amen. Establish, O God, the holy Orthodox Faith and Orthodox Christians, unto the ages of ages.

 Clergy: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death:

 Choir: And upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

THE DISMISSAL:

 Priest: May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead, and trampled down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowed life, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.

 Priest: CHRIST IS RISEN! (Thrice)

 People: INDEED HE IS RISEN! (After each)

 Choir: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Thrice)

And unto us hath He granted life eternal; we worship His Resurrection on the third day.

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