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The Divine Liturgies Of Our Fathers by Saint John Chrysostom

If both the Priest and the Deacon vest at the beginning of the Hesperinos, when this is come, the Priest, together with the Deacon, entereth into the Sanctuary; and the Deacon having asked a blessing upon his Stoicharion and the Orarion, each putteth on his proper vestments. And the Deacon going out, and standing in the accustomed place, saith: Bless, Master. And the Priest adoring, and kissing the holy Table, saith the Blessing. But if both vest not at the beginning of the Hesperinos, the Priest wearing the Epitrachelion, saith the Blessing; but the Deacon vesteth at the third Antiphon of the Psalter, and saith the Little Synapte (but if there be no stichologia, he vesteth, as the Prœmiac is being said, and saith the Great Synapte). But at the Entrance the Priest putteth on the Phelonion also.

Throughout Renewal week, and on the Apodosis of the Pasch, instead of, Blessed is our God, it is usual to say: Glory to the holy, and consubstantial, and life-giving, and undivided Trinity, always. In like manner throughout all Paschal time, instead of, Come let us adore, and the Trisagion, there is sung thrice, Christ is risen (See page 443).

On great Feasts it is usual, for the sake of shortening to omit the Stichoi from, Set a watch, and for the first Choir to pass on to whatever Stichos is required by the quantity of the Stichera.

In the absence of the Deacon, the Priest saith the parts of the Deacon; and moreover: Wisdom! upright! and:The Evening Prokeimenon; and at the end of the Office: Wisdom.

The whole Psalter is divided into twenty Kathismata, and again each Kathisma is subdivided into three staseis. And at the end of each stasis there is sung: Glory; Both now. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to thee, the God. Thrice (and in the third repetition, if the Extenê followeth, there is added: our hope art thou, O Lord, glory to thee; but if not). Lord, have mercy. Thrice. Glory; Both now.

On all Lord’s-days there is no stichologia of the Psalter in the Hesperinos; likewise also on the Vigils of Feasts of our Lord. But on the Vigils of Feasts of the Saints there is recited the first stasis of, Blessed is the man.

As often soever as the Deacon is going to cense, he cometh up to the Priest, and saith: Bless, Master, the incense. And the Priest blesseth it, saying: Blessed is our God, always: now, and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen. But in the absence of the Deacon, the Priest censeth.

If there are many Priests celebrating together, they sing outside, forming a semicircle in the middle of the Nave, O gladsome light, as far as, and Holy Spirit, God, but the remainder from the Bema; and after it there is sung the Prokeimenon of the day once from the Bema, and twice from the outside.

On days that are not feasts no Entrance taketh place, wherefore the Beautiful Gates remaining closed, after, O gladsome light, and the Prokeimenon, there is straightway read, Vouchsafe, and then in due order the Ektenê, Let us complete our evening entreaty, etc.

After the Title of every Lesson from the Old Testament the Deacon saith aloud (or in his absence the Priest): Wisdom! Let us attend. But if the Lessons are from the New Testament, at each one the Deacon saith aloud: Let us attend. And the Reader having announced the Title, he saith again: Wisdom! Let us attend.

According to the custom now obtaining, if there is an Artoklasia, as one Sticheron selected from the Litê is being sung, the Deacon taketh the Censer, and cometh out together with the Priest; and they stand in the middle of the Church, where the five loaves, and the wine, and the oil are lying; then the Deacon saith: Have mercy on us, O God (See page 33). Again, we beseech for the protection. Again, we beseech that the Lord our God. The Priest: Hearken to us, O God. Then: Peace to all. The Choir: And to thy spirit. The Priest: O Master, very merciful Lord Jesu Christ. And straightway there is sung: Theotokos, Virgin (See pages 53–57), or in Renewal Week, Christ is risen (See page 443), and the Priest censeth the Loaves. This ended the Deacon saith: Let us beseech the Lord. The Choir: Lord, have mercy. And the Priest blesseth the Loaves, saying the Prayer: O Lord Jesu Christ (See page 57). Then is sung thrice. The rich have become poor, and after this the Aposticha.

And note that the blessed Bread is a preventative of all manner of evils, if it be received with faith.

Each Feast of our Lord hath its proper characteristic in the Apolysis (See pages 469–473); but on their afterholydays that are Lord’s-days, the Apolysis hath the characteristic of both the concurring Feast, and of the Lord’s-day: as, He that was born in a cave, and laid in a manger (or, He that deigned to be baptized by John in Jordan), for our salvation, and rose again from the dead, Christ our true God.

On Feasts, at, O Lord, I have cried, there are sung the Idiomela, or the Prosomoia of the Feast in six (beginning at the Stichos, If iniquities thou wilt be extreme to mark). Glory; Both now; the Doxastikon of the Feast. And after the Entrance, there is said the Prokeimenon of the day. At the Stichos, the Aposticha of the Feast: Glory; Both now; the Doxastikon of the Feast. After the Trisagion, etc., the Apolytikion of the Feast.

If there occur on a Lord’s-day a Saint having the Doxastikon of the Hesperinos, and of the Aposticha, at, O Lord, I have cried, there are sung six Stichera of the Resurrection, out of the Oktoechos, and four of the concurring Saint: Glory; of the Saint; Both now; the first Theotokion of the Tone. And at the Stichos, the Stichera of the Resurrection, out of the Oktoechos: Glory; of the Saint; Both now; a Theotokion out of the Oktoechos, of the Tone of the Doxastikon. After the Trisagion, etc., the Apolytikion of the Resurrection: Glory; of the Saint; Both now; a Theotokion to the same Tone, out of the Oktoechos.








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