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The Divine Liturgies Of Our Fathers by Saint John Chrysostom

When a Priest is going to accomplish the divine Mystagogia, he ought above all things to be reconciled to all men, and have nothing against any; also to keep his heart, as much as possible, from evil thoughts; to practice abstinence from eventide, and continue watchful until the time of the Hierurgy.

And when this is come, after making the usual obeisance to the Prelate, he cometh into the Church; and together with the Deacon, maketh three adorations.

Then the Deacon saith:

Bless, Master.

The Priest:

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

And the Deacon beginneth to say:

Glory to thee, our God, glory to thee.

O heavenly King, Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, who art everywhere present, and fillest all things, the treasury of good things, and supplier of life; come and tabernacle in us, and cleanse us from all stain, and save, O Good One, our souls.

The Trisagion. Holy God, Holy Strong One Holy Immortal One, 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 the ages. Amen.

O All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, be gracious to our sins. O Master, forgive us our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for thy Name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Glory to the Father (to the end).

Our Father that art in the heavens, hallowed be thy Name; thy Kingdom come; thy will be done, as in heaven, also on the earth: give us to-day our bread of subsistence; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The 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 the ages. Amen.

Then they say these Troparia.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for being devoid of all defence, we sinners offer to thee, as Master, this supplication: Have mercy on us.

Glory …

O Lord, have mercy on us; for in thee have we trusted: be not very angry with us, nor mindful of our iniquities; but look upon us even now, since thou art tender of heart, and deliver us from our enemies; for thou art our God, and we are thy people; all of us are the work of thy hands, and we call upon thy Name.

Both now …

Theotokion. The gate of thy tenderness of heart, open to us, O blessed Theotokos; hoping in thee we shall not fail; may we be delivered through thee from misfortunes; for thou art the salvation of the race of Christians.

Then they go up to the Eikon of Christ, and kiss it, saying the Troparion:

Thine undefiled Eikon we adore, O Good One, asking forgiveness of our stumblings, O Christ the God; for, of thine own will, thou wast pleased to ascend the Cross in flesh, that thou mightest deliver from the slavery of the enemy those whom thou hadst fashioned; wherefore we thankfully cry out to thee: With joy hast thou filled all things, O our Saviour, having come to save the world.

Then they kiss the Eikon of the Theotokos, saying the Troparion:

Being a fountain of tenderness of heart, vouchsafe us thy sympathy, O Theotokos: look upon the people that have sinned; shew, as ever, thy power; for hoping in thee, we cry out to thee “Hail”, as once did Gabriel the Chief-captain of the Bodiless Ones.

They kiss moreover the other Eikons.

Then they bow their heads, and the Deacon having said, Let us beseech the Lord, the Priest saith this Prayer:

O Lord, stretch forth thy hand from on high thy dwelling place, and strenghten me for this purposed service of thee, that, standing without condemnation in thy fearful Bema, I may accomplish the unbloody Hierurgy. For thine is the power, and the glory, unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

Then they make adorations to the Choirs also, one to each; and thus go into the Altar (through the door of the south part), saying:

I will enter into thy house; I will adore toward thy holy temple in thy fear. O Lord, guide me in thy righteousness: because of mine enemies, direct my way before thee. For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is vain; their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues have they dealt deceitfully: judge them, O God. Let them fall from their devices: according to the multitude of their impieties cast them out, for they have provoked thee, O Lord. And let all those that hope in thee be glad: they shall exult for ever, and thou shalt tabernacle in them; and all that love thy Name shall make their boast in thee, for thou shalt bless the righteous. O Lord, as with a shield of good will hast thou crowned us.

And having entered the Sanctuary, they make three adorations before the holy Table, and kiss the holy Gospel, and the holy Table.

Then each taketh into his hand his Stoicharion, and maketh three adorations toward the east, saying to himself:

O God, be gracious to me a sinner.

Then the Deacon cometh up to the Priest, holding in his right hand his Stoicharion together with the Orarion, and bowing his head, saith:

Bless, Master, the Stoicharion with the Orarion.

And the Priest saith:

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

Then the Deacon retireth apart by himself to some part of the Sanctuary, and putteth on his Stoicharion, praying thus:

My soul shall exult in the Lord; for he hath put on me a robe of salvation, and with a garment of gladness hath he clothed me: he hath crowned me, as a bridegroom, with a crown, and adorned me, as a bride, with adornment.

And kissing his Orarion, he putteth it on his left shoulder. Now when he putteth the Epimanika on his hands, for the right, he saith:

Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength: thy right hand, O Lord, hath shattered the enemies; and in the multitude of thy glory thou hast crushed the adversaries.

And for the left, he saith:

Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me: instruct me, and I shall learn thy commandments.

Now the Priest vesteth thus:—having taken his Stoicharion into his left hand, and adored thrice toward the east, as aforesaid, signing it with the sign of the Cross, he saith:

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

Then he putteth it on, saying:

My soul shall exult (to the end, as above).

Then taking the Epitrachelion, and signing it with the sign of the Cross, he putteth it about his neck, saying:

Blessed is God, who poureth forth his grace upon his Priests, as unguent on the head, that runneth down upon the beard, even the beard of Aaron, that runneth down upon the border of his garment.

Then taking the Zone, he saith, girding himself:

Blessed is God, who girdeth me about with power, and hath made my way blameless, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

And he taketh the Epimanika, as above.

Then taking the Hypogonation (if he be Protosyncellos of the Great Church, or other having the honour), and blessing and kissing it, he saith:

Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Powerful One, in thy bloom and thy beauty; and go forward, and proceed prosperously, and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall guide thee wondrously, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

Then taking the Phelonion, and blessing, he kisseth it, saying thus:

Thy Priests, O Lord, shall put on righteousness, and thy Pure Ones shall exult with exultation, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

Then going to the Piscina, they wash their hands, each saying to himself:

I will wash my hands among the innocent, and compass thine Altar, O Lord; that I may hear the voice of thy praise, and tell of all thy wonders. O Lord, I have loved the comeliness of thy house, and the place of the tabernacle of thy glory: destroy not my soul with the impious, nor my life with men of blood; in whose hands are iniquities, their right hand is filled with gifts: but I,—I have walked in mine innocence; redeem me, O Lord, and have mercy on me: my foot hath stood in uprightness; in the Churches will I bless thee, O Lord.

And thus they go into the Prothesis-Chapel.

And the Deacon arrangeth the sacred Vessels, placing the holy Paten on the left side, and the Chalice on the right, and the other things with them.

Then making three adorations before the Prothesis-Table, each saith:

O God, be gracious to me a sinner, and have mercy on me.

Then the Priest saith the Troparion:

Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law by thy precious Blood; having been nailed to the Cross, and pierced by the Lance, thou hast poured forth streams of immortality to man; O our Saviour, glory to thee.

Then the Deacon saith:

Bless, Master.

And the Priest:

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

Then he taketh in his left hand the Oblation, and in his right the holy Lance; and the Deacon having said, Let us beseech the Lord, he therewith thrice signeth with the sign of the Cross over the seal of the Oblation, saying each time:

In remembrance of our Lord, and God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And then he thrusteth the Lance into the right side of the seal, and saith, as he cutteth:

As a sheep to slaughter was he led.

And into the left:

And as a blameless lamb before his shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

And into the upper part of the seal:

In his humiliation his judgement was taken away.

And into the lower:

But his generation who shall declare?

And the Deacon, looking reverently on this rite, saith at each incision: Let us beseech the Lord, holding his Orarion in his hand.

After these things, he saith:

Take up, Master.

And the Priest, thrusting the holy Lance obliquely into the right side of the Oblation, taketh up the holy Bread, saying thus:

For his life is taken away from the earth.

And laying it inverted on the holy Paten, and the Deacon having said, Sacrifice, Master, he sacrificeth, cutting it in the form of a Cross, saying thus:

Sacrificed is the Lamb of God,—which taketh away the sin of the world,—for the life and salvation of the world.

And he turneth the other side upwards, which hath the Cross upon it; and the Deacon having said, Pierce, Master, he pierceth it on the right side with the Lance, immediately under the name Jesus, saying:

One of the soldiers with a Lance pierced his side, and straightway there came out Blood and Water: and he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is true.

The Deacon then poureth into the holy Chalice wine and water, saying first to the Priest:

Bless, Master, the holy union.

Who then blesseth them, saying:

Blessed is the union of thy Saints, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

And taking into his hand the second Oblation, he saith:

In honour and memory of our exceedingly blessed, glorious Lady, Theotokos and ever-virgin, Mary; at whose intercessions accept, O Lord, this Sacrifice at thy heavenly Altar.

And with the Lance taking away a portion, he placeth it on the right side of the holy Bread, near the middle thereof, saying:

There stood by on thy right hand the Queen, clothed in vesture wrought with gold, and arrayed in divers colours.

Then, taking the third Oblation, he saith:

In honour and memory of the honourable, glorious, Prophet, Precursor and Baptist John.

And taking away a portion, he placeth it on the left side of the holy Bread, near it, opposite the portion of the Theotokos, making a beginning of the first row.

Then he saith:

Of the holy, glorious Prophets, Moses and Aaron, Elias and Eliseus, David and Jesse: of the holy Three Children, and Daniel the Prophet, and of all the holy Prophets.

And taking away a second portion, he placeth it in order under the first.

Then again he saith:

Of the holy, glorious and all-famous Apostles, Peter and Paul, the Twelve, and the Seventy, and of all the holy Apostles.

And thus he placeth the third portion under the second, finishing the first row.

Then he saith:

Of our Fathers among the Saints, great Hierarchs and Œcumenical Doctors, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, Athanasius and Cyril, Nicolas of Myra, and of all the holy Hierarchs.

And taking away a fourth portion, he placeth it beside the first portion, beginning a second row.

Then again he saith:

Of the holy Proto-martyr and Archdeacon Stephen: of the holy Great Martyrs, Demetrius, George, Theodore, and of all the holy Martyrs, men and women.

And taking away a fifth portion, he placeth it under the first of the second row.

Then he saith:

Of our Pure and God-bearing Fathers, Anthony, Euthymius, Sabbas, Onuphrius, Athanasius of Athos, and of all the Pure, men and women.

And so taking away a sixth portion, he placeth it under the second portion, to the completion of the second row.

After this he saith:

Of the holy and Wonder-working Unmercenaries, Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Panteleemon and Hermolaus, and of all the holy Unmercenaries.

And taking away a seventh portion, he placeth it at the top, beginning the third row.

Then again be saith:

Of the holy and righteous progenitors of God, Joakeim and Anna: of Saint (of the day), and of all the Saints; at whose supplications, visit us, O God.

And he placeth an eighth portion in order under the first of the row.

Yet further he saith:

Of our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (if his Liturgy be said; but if Basil the Great’s, he maketh mention of him).

And thus, taking away the ninth portion, he placeth it at the bottom of the third row to the completion thereof.

Then, taking a fourth Oblation, he saith:

Be mindful, O Master, lover of man, for every Bishopric of the Orthodox, of our Bishop (or. Archbishop) N., of the honourable Presbytery, of the Diaconate in Christ, and of every Sacerdotal Order: of N. the Hegumen, of our Brethren and fellow-ministers, Presbyters, and Deacons, and of all our brethren, whom thou hast called unto thy communion, through thy great tenderness of heart, O all-good Master.

And taking away a portion, he placeth it below the holy Bread.

Then he maketh mention of such also of the living as he chooseth, by name; and so, taking away their portions, placeth them below.

Then, taking another Oblation, he saith:

For memory and remission of the sins of the blessed Founders of this holy Abode (or, of this holy House).

And he taketh away a portion.

Then he maketh mention of the Bishop that ordained him, and of such others that have fallen asleep as he pleaseth, by name; and so taketh away portions for them.

And lastly he saith thus:

And of all who in the hope of a resurrection to life eternal, have in thy communion fallen asleep Orthodox, our fathers and brethren, O Lord, lover of man.

And he taketh away a portion.

And the Deacon also maketh mention of such as he pleaseth, living and dead, the Priest taking away portions for them.

And lastly the Priest saith:

Be mindful, O Lord, of my unworthiness also, and forgive me every transgression, voluntary and involuntary.

And he taketh away a portion.

And taking the Sponge, he gathereth together the portions in the Paten under the holy Bread, so that they be in safety, and that nothing fall off.

Then the Deacon, taking the Censer, and putting incense therein, saith to the Priest:

Bless, Master, the incense.

And straightway:

Let us beseech the Lord.

And the Priest saith the Prayer of the incense:

Incense we offer to thee, O Christ our God, for an odour of a spiritual sweet smell: which accepting at thy heavenly Altar, in return send down on us the grace of thine All-holy Spirit.

The Deacon: Let us beseech the Lord.

Stablish, Master.

And the Priest censing the Asterisk, placeth it over the holy Bread, saying:

And the Star came and stood over where the Child was.

The Deacon: Let us beseech the Lord.

Make comely, Master.

And the Priest censing the first Veil, sheltereth therewith the holy Bread together with the Paten, saying:

The Lord is become king, he hath put on comeliness: the Lord hath put on power, and girded himself about.

The Deacon: Let us beseech the Lord.

Cover, Master.

And the Priest censing the second Veil, sheltereth therewith the holy Chalice, saying:

Thy virtue, O Christ, hath covered the heavens, and the earth is full of thy praise.

The Deacon: Let us beseech the Lord.

Shelter, Master.

And the Priest censing the third Veil, that is the Aër, sheltereth therewith both, saying:

Shelter us with the shelter of thy wings; chase away from us every enemy and foe; keep our life in peace: O Lord, have mercy on us and on thy world, and save our souls, since thou art good and lovest man.

The Deacon: Let us beseech the Lord.

Bless, Master.

And the Priest, taking the Censer, censeth the Prothesis, saying thrice:

Blessed art thou our God, who art thus well pleased: glory to thee.

And the Deacon saith each time:

Always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

And they both adore reverently, thrice.

Then the Deacon, taking the Censer, saith:

At the holy and sacred Prothesis of the precious Gifts, let us beseech the Lord.

And the Priest saith the Prayer of the Prothesis:

O God, our God, who didst send forth the heavenly Bread, the nourishment of the whole world, our Lord and God Jesus Christ, as a Saviour, and Redeemer, and Benefactor, that blesseth and sanctifieth us: do thyself bless this Prothesis, and accept it at thy heavenly Altar: be mindful, since thou art good and lovest man, of those that have offered it, and of those for whom they have offered it; and keep us without condemnation in the Hierurgy of thy divine Mysteries. For hallowed and glorified is thine all-honourable and majestic Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

And after this he there maketh Dismission, saying thus:

Glory to thee, O Christ the God, our hope, glory to thee.

The Deacon:

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

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Then: Master, bless.

And the Priest maketh the Dismission, saying thus:

If it be the Lord’s day,

He that rose again from the dead, Christ our …

But if not,

Christ our true God, at the intercessions of his all-undefiled Mother, of our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (but if the Liturgy of Basil the Great be used, he saith: Basil the Great, of Cæsarea in Cappadocia), and of all the Saints, have mercy on us, and save us, since he is good and loveth man.

The Deacon: Amen.

After the Dismission, the Deacon censeth the holy Prothesis; then he goeth and censeth the holy Table all round in the form of a Cross, saying to himself the Troparion:

In the tomb bodily, in Hades with thy soul as God, in Paradise with the Thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit, wast thou, O Christ, filling all things, thyself uncirumscribed.

And the 50th Psalm: Have mercy on me, O God.

During which he censeth both the Sanctuary and the whole Nave, and cometh again into the holy Bema, and having again censed the holy Table and the Priest, putteth down the censer in its place: he then cometh close to the Priest; and they stand together before the holy Table, and adore thrice, praying secretly, and saying:

O heavenly King …

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, among men good will. Thrice.

O Lord, thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim thy praise. Twice.

Then the Priest kisseth the holy Gospel, and the Deacon the holy Table.

And after that the Deacon, bowing his head to the Priest, and holding his Orarion with three fingers of his right hand, saith:

It is time to do sacrifice to the Lord.

Holy Master, bless.

And the Priest, signing him with the sign of the Cross, saith:

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

Then the Deacon saith:

Pray for me, holy Master.

And the Priest:

May the Lord direct thy steps unto every good work.

And again the Deacon:

Be mindful of me, holy Master.

The Priest:

May the Lord God be mindful of thee in his Kingdom, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages.

And the Deacon, having said, Amen, and adored, goeth out (through the north part); and standing in the accustomed place, over against the holy Doors, adoreth with reverence thrice, saying to himself:

O Lord, thou shalt open my lips …

And after this he saith:

Bless, Master.

And the Priest beginneth:

Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father …








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