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ON THE HOLY AND GREAT SUNDAY OF PASCHA

At the time of Matins all the simandra are sounded, and the Sacristan distributes candles to the brethren. The Priest and Deacon put on all their brightest sacred vestments. Then the Priest takes the sacred Gospel and the Deacon the censer, and preceded by torches we all go into the Narthex, holding lighted candles, and singing:

Your Resurrection, Christ Saviour, Angels sing in heaven; grant that we too, who are on earth, may with pure hearts give glory to you.

 

Only the Lamplighter remains in the Church; he lights all the candles and all the lamps and, making a fire, he puts incense on it and places it in the middle of the Church. In the Narthex before the Royal Doors, which are shut, a stand has been prepared on which the Priest places the sacred Gospel [and reads the ordinary second Resurrection Gospel, Mark 16,1-8, or the Gospel of Holy Saturday, Matt.1,1-20].

After this he takes the censer and while censing intones:

Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-giving and undivided Trinity, always, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

 

And when we have answered: Amen, the Priest begins the following in a loud voice:

Troparion. Tone 5.

Christ has risen from the dead,
by death he has trampled on death,
and to those in the graves given life.

 

This is sung by the Priest three times and then three times by the Singers, without verses. The Priest, or the Deacon, then says the following verses, between which the Singers sing the same Troparion [traditionally to a ‘short’ melody] while the Priest censes the Gospel, the Icon of the Resurrection and the People:

Priest: Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered, and let those that hate him flee before his face.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts at the presence of fire.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God; and let the just be glad.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Singers: Christ has risen...

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

Singers: Christ has risen...

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

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest, in a louder voice: Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death...

Singers:...and to those in the graves given life.

After this he takes the Holy Gospel in his hands, the remaining priests following, and he enters the Holy Altar, singing with them Christ has risen... to a slow melody. Then the Great Litany and the ekphonesis. The Superior, with the right-hand Choir, starts the Canon. The Irmi are sung twice and the Troparia to 12 [in practice usually less], and at the end the Irmos as Katavasia by both Choirs. Then Christ has risen... (x3) and Jesus having risen... After each Ode the Small Litany by the Priest in the Altar. The Priest censes as usual at the start of the Canon.

The Canon, a composition by John of Damascus.
Ode 1. 1st Tone. Irmos.

The day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O peoples! Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha; for Christ God has brought us from death to life, and from earth to heaven, as we sing the triumphal song. Twice.

Before each Troparion we sing:
Glory to your holy Resurrection, O Lord!

Troparia.

Let us purify our senses, and in the unapproachable light of the resurrection we shall see Christ shining forth, and we shall clearly hear him saying ‘Rejoice!’, as we sing the triumphal song.

Let the heavens, as is fitting, rejoice and let the earth be glad. Let the whole world, both seen and unseen, keep the feast: for Christ has risen, our eternal joy.

Katavasia.

The day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O peoples! Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha; for Christ God has brought us from death to life, and from earth to heaven, as we sing the triumphal song.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and his great mercy.

Then the Small Litany.

Conclusion: For yours is the might, and yours is the Kingdom of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Ode 3. Irmos.

Come let us drink a new drink, not one marvellously brought forth from a barren rock, but a Source of incorruption, which pours out from the tomb of Christ, in whom we are established.

Troparia.

Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing Christ’s rising, by which it is established.

Yesterday I was buried with you O Christ, today I rise with you as you arise. Yesterday I was crucified with you; glorify me with you, Saviour, in your Kingdom.

Katavasia.

Come let us drink a new drink, not one marvellously brought forth from a barren rock, but the Source of incorruption, which pours out from the tomb of Christ, in whom we are established.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For you are our God, and to you we give glory…

The Ypakoï. 4th Tone.

When those who were with Mary came, anticipating the dawn, and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, they heard from the Angel, ‘Why do you seek among the dead, as though he were mortal, the One who exists in everlasting light. See the grave clothes. Run and proclaim to the world that the Lord has been raised, and has put death to death; for he is the Son of God, who saves the human race.

Ode 4. Irmos.

Let the Prophet Avvakoum, inspired by God, keep the divine watch with us, and show forth the radiant Angel, who with resounding voice declares, ‘To-day is salvation for the world, for Christ has risen as omnipotent’.

Troparia.

Christ appeared as a ‘male’ who opened the virgin womb. As our food he is called ‘lamb’; ‘unblemished’, as our Passover without stain; and ‘perfect’, for he is true God.

As a yearling lamb, for us a crown of goodness, the Blessed One, the cleansing Passover has been sacrificed for all; and from the tomb the fair Sun of justice has shone for us again.

God’s forebear David, dancing, leaped before the Ark, mere shadow, but seeing the fulfilment of the types, let us, God’s holy people, inspired, rejoice, for Christ has risen as omnipotent.

Katavasia.

Let the Prophet Avvakoum, inspired by God, keep the divine watch with us, and show forth the radiant Angel, who with resounding voice declares, ‘To-day is salvation for the world, for Christ has risen as omnipotent’.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For you, O God, are good and love humankind…

Ode 5. Irmos.

Let us arise in the early dawn, and instead of myrrh, offer praises to the Master; and we shall see Christ, the Sun of Justice, who causes life to dawn for all.

Troparia.

Those who were held by Hades’ bonds, seeing your measureless compassion, press forward to the light, O Christ, with joyful steps, praising an eternal Passover.

With torches in our hands let us go out to meet Christ as he comes from the grave like a bridegroom, and with the festive ranks of Angels, let us together feast God’s saving Passover.

Katavasia.

Let us arise in the early dawn, and instead of myrrh, offer praises to the Master; and we shall see Christ, the Sun of Justice, who causes life to dawn for all.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For sanctified and glorified is your all-honoured and majestic Name, of the Father…

Ode 6. Irmos.

You went down to the deepest parts of the earth, and you shattered the everlasting bars of those that those that were fettered, O Christ. And on the third day, like Jonas from the whale, you arose from the tomb.

Troparia.

Keeping the seals intact, O Christ, you rose from the tomb, you who did not harm the locks of the Virgin’s womb at your birth, and you have opened to us the gates of Paradise.

O my Saviour, the living, unslain Victim, as God offering yourself willingly to the Father, you raised with yourself all Adam’s race, in rising from the tomb.

Katavasia.

You went down to the deepest parts of the earth, and you shattered the everlasting bars of those that those that were fettered, O Christ. And on the third day, like Jonas from the whale, you arose from the tomb.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For you are the King of peace and the Saviour of our souls, and to you we give glory…

Kontakion. Tone 8.

Though you descended into the tomb, O Immortal, yet you destroyed the power of Hades; and you arose as victor, O Christ God, calling to the Myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice! and giving peace to your Apostles, O you who grant resurrection to the fallen.

The Ikos

To the Sun who was before the sun and yet had set in a tomb Myrrh-bearing Maidens hastened towards dawn, seeking him as the day, and they cried to one another: ‘Friends, come, let us anoint with spices the life-bearing yet buried Body, the flesh which raises fallen Adam and now lies in the grave. Come, let us hurry like the Magi, let us adore and let us offer sweet spices as gifts to the One who is now wrapped, not in swaddling clothes, but in a shroud. Let us weep and let us cry, Be roused, Master, who grant resurrection to the fallen!’.

Synaxarion from the Menaion, then the following:

On the holy and great Sunday of Pascha we celebrate the life-bearing Resurrection of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ itself.

Verses.
Christ going down met Hell in single fight,
Laden with spoils of victory he came up.

To him be the glory and the might to the ages of ages. Amen.

We call the present Feast ‘Pascha’, which in Hebrew means ‘Passing Over’; for this is the day on which God from the beginning brought the world out of non-existence. On this same day he also made the people of Israel pass over the Red Sea and snatched them from the hands of Pharao. Again it was on this day that he came down from heaven and dwelt in the womb of the Virgin. And now he has snatched the whole of humanity from the vaults of Hell and made it pass upwards to heaven and brought it to its ancient dignity of incorruption. But when he descended into Hell he did raise all, but as many as believed in him were chosen. He freed the souls of the Saints since time began who were forcibly held fast by Hell and made them all ascend to heaven. And so we, rejoicing exceedingly, celebrate the Resurrection with splendour as we image joy with which our nature has been enriched by God’s compassionate mercy. Likewise, to demonstrate the abolition of the enmity and the union with God and the Angels, we give one another the customary kiss.

The Lord’s Resurrection took place as follows. While the soldiers were guarding the tomb, at around midnight there was an earthquake, for and Angel came down and took the stone from the door of the grave. The guards on seeing this fled and then came the arrival of the Women, late on the Sabbath, that is around midnight on the Sabbath. The Resurrection was known first to the Mother of God, who was sitting, as St Matthew says, opposite the tomb with the Magdalen. But that there might be no doubt of the Resurrection, because of its appropriateness to his Mother, the Evangelists say, ‘He appeared first to Mary Magdalen.’ She also saw the Angel on the stone and leaning down again she saw the ones inside the grave, who proclaimed the Lord’s Resurrection. ‘For, they said, he has risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid him’. On hearing this she ran and came to the leaders of the Apostles, Peter and John, and brought them the good news of the Resurrection. As she was returning with Mary Christ met them and said ‘Rejoice!’; for it was necessary that the sex which had first heard, ‘In pains you will bear children’ should be the first to hear also of the joy. But they, overcome with longing, came forward and touched his most pure feet, or more accurately, wanted to. The Apostles came to the tomb and Peter, having simply leaned down near the tomb, went away, but John and in and inspected more closely, and touched both the shroud and the napkin.

Again the Magdalen came around dawn with other women to verify what had been seen more accurately. She stood outside grieving, but bending down inside the tomb she sees two angels, blazing with splendour, and, as if rebuking her, saying, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking? Are you looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the crucified? He has been raised, he is not here’. And at once they arose, filled with fear, for they had seen the Lord. And so she, on turning round, sees Christ standing there; but, imagining him to be a gardener (because the grave was in a garden), she says, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will remove him’. When she had again made a sign to the Angels, the Saviour said to the Magdalen, ‘Mary’. But she, recognising the sweet and familiar voice of Christ, wished to touch him. But he said, ‘Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, as you reckon, understanding me to be yet a mortal. But go to my brethren and tell them all that you have seen and heard’. And the Magdalen did so. But when daylight came again she came to the tomb with the rest of the women. Those with Joanna and Salome came when the sun had risen, and, briefly, the arrival of the women at the tomb occurred at different times. Among them was also the Mother of God, for she is the one whom the Gospel calls ‘Mary of Joses’. This Joses was the son of Joseph. It is uncertain at what time the Lord rose. Some say at the first crowing of the cocks, others when the earthquake took place, and others give different times.

When these events had taken place, some of the watch came and told the Chief Priests what had happened. The latter, bribing them with money, persuaded them to declare that his disciples had come by night and stolen him. That same evening, the disciples being gathered in one place for fear of the Jews and the doors being tight shut, Christ came in to them, because he had an incorrupt body, and gave them customary good greeting of ‘Peace’. When they saw him they were overjoyed and through his breathing on them the received a fuller force of the all-holy Spirit.

Understand how the Lord’s Resurrection was on the third day like this. Thursday evening and Friday (for this is how the Hebrews reckon the space of a full day) make one day. The Friday night and the whole of the Saturday make another full day; so this is the second day. The Saturday night and the Sunday (for the whole is understood from the part) make another full day; so that is the third day. Or it can be calculated as follows. Christ was crucified at nine o’clock on the Friday, then there was darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour, and this can be reckoned as a night. So from nine o’clock to three o’clock is counted as one full day. Then after the darkness a day and the night of Friday. This then makes two full days. The day of Saturday and the following night then makes up the three full days. Though our Saviour had promised to exercise his loving-kindness towards us on the third day, he accomplished that act of loving kindness more rapidly.

And at once:

Having seen the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We worship your Cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your holy Resurrection. For you are our God, we know no other but you, we name you by name. Come all the faithful, let us worship the holy Resurrection of Christ; for see, through the Cross, joy has come in all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn his Resurrection. For having endured the Cross for us, he has destroyed death by death. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy. (x3)

And the remaining Odes of the Canon.
Ode 7. Irmos.

He who delivered the Young Men from the furnace, becoming man suffers as a mortal, and through suffering he clothes the mortal with the glory of incorruption: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Troparia.

The holy women hastened after you with sweet spices. The One whom they sought with tears as a mortal, they worshipped with joy as the living God, and they proclaimed the mystic Passover, O Christ, to your disciples.

We feast death’s slaughter, the overthrow of Hell, the first fruits of a new eternal life: and dancing we hymn the cause: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

How truly holy and all-festive is this saving night, how full of light, herald of the bright day of the resurrection, in which the timeless Light shone bodily for all from the tomb.

Katavasia.

He who delivered the Young Men from the furnace, becoming man suffers as a mortal, and through suffering he clothes the mortal with the glory of incorruption: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: Blessed and glorified be the might of your Kingdom, of the Father…

Ode 8. Irmos.

This chosen and holy day is the first of Sabbaths, the Queen and Lady, the Feast of Feasts and the Festival of Festivals on which we bless Christ to all the ages.

Troparia.

Come let us share in the new fruit of the vine, in divine joy, and in the kingdom of Christ, on the glorious day of the Resurrection, as we sing his praise as God to all the ages.

Lift your eyes around you, Sion, and see. For behold, like beacons shedding light divine your children have come to you, from West and North, from the Sea and from the East, blessing Christ in you to all the ages.

Almighty Father, Word and Spirit, nature united in three Persons, beyond all being and beyond all Godhead, into you we have been baptised and we bless you to all the ages.

Katavasia.

This chosen and holy day is the first of Sabbaths, the Queen and Lady, the Feast of Feasts and the Festival of Festivals on which we bless Christ to all the ages.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For blessed is your Name and glorified your Kingdom, of the Father…

Ode 9. Irmos.

Megalynarion: Magnify, O my soul, him who suffered willingly, and was buried, and rose from the grave on the third day.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Dance now and be glad, O Sion, and you too rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of him to whom you gave birth.

Megalynarion: 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 has risen upon you. Dance now and be glad, O Sion, and you too rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of him to whom you gave birth.

Megalynarion: Christ is the new Passover, the living sacrificial victim, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

O divine! O beloved! O sweetest voice! You have truly promised that you will be with us unto the end of time, O Christ. And we the faithful rejoice, having this as an anchor of hope.

Megalynarion: The Angel cried to her that is full of grace: Pure Virgin, rejoice! And again I say: Rejoice! For your Son has risen from the tomb on the third day.

O divine! O beloved! O sweetest voice! You have truly promised that you will be with us unto the end of time, O Christ. And we the faithful rejoice, having this as an anchor of hope.

Megalynarion: Mary Magdalen ran to the tomb, and seeing Christ, questioned him as though he were the gardener.

O divine! O beloved! O sweetest voice! You have truly promised that you will be with us unto the end of time, O Christ. And we the faithful rejoice, having this as an anchor of hope.

Megalynarion: A dazzling Angel appeared to the women and cried: Cease your tears, for Christ has risen.

O divine! O beloved! O sweetest voice! You have truly promised that you will be with us unto the end of time, O Christ. And we the faithful rejoice, having this as an anchor of hope.

Megalynarion: You awoke and wakened the dead from every age, as the Lion of Juda, roaring like a king.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

Megalynarion: Christ has risen, trampling on death and raising the dead. Rejoice all you peoples.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

Megalynarion: Today the whole creation rejoices and is glad, for Christ has risen and Hell has been despoiled.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

Megalynarion: Today the Master despoiled Hell and raised the prisoners whom it had held from the ages in harsh captivity.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

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

Megalynarion: Magnify, O my soul, the might of the Godhead in three Persons yet undivided.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Megalynarion: Rejoice, O Virgin, rejoice! Rejoice, Blessed One! Rejoice, Glorified One. your Son has risen from his three days in the tomb.

O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.

Katavasia.

Megalynarion: Magnify, O my soul, him who suffered willingly, and was buried, and arose from the grave on the third day.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Dance now and be glad, O Sion, and you too rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of him to whom you gave birth.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Jesus, having risen from the tomb as he foretold, has given us eternal life and great mercy.

Then the Little Litany.

Conclusion: For all the powers of heaven praise you, and to you we give glory…

Exapostilarion.

When you had fallen asleep in the flesh as one mortal, O King and Lord, you arose again on the third day, raising up Adam from corruption and abolishing death. A Pascha of incorruption, salvation of the world. (x3)

At Lauds:

We insert 8 verses, and sing 4 of the Resurrection from the Octoichos in Tone 1, and 4 of Pascha.

Psalm 148
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens. Praise him in the highest. To you praise is due, O God.

Praise him, all his angels. Praise him, all his Powers. To you praise is due, O God.

[Praise him, sun and moon. Praise him, all you stars and light.

Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters that are above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord

For he spoke and they came into being. He commanded and they were created.

He established them for ever and ever; he made an ordinance, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth. Praise him, you sea-monsters and all deeps;

Fire and hail, snow and ice, and storm-wind, things that do his word.

Mountains and all hills, fruiting trees and all cedars;

Beasts of the wild, and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds;

Kings of the earth and all peoples, rulers and all judges of the earth;

Young men and maidens, old men and youths together, let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted.

His praise is above earth and heaven, and he will exalt the horn of his people.

A hymn for all his holy ones, for the children of Israel, a people that draws near him.

psalm

Psalm 149
Sing to the Lord a new song: his praise in the Church of the holy ones.

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him. Let the children of Sion be joyful in their king.

Let them praise him in the dance. Let them sing his praise with timbrel and with harp.

For the Lord is well-pleased with his people. He will exalt the meek with salvation.

His holy ones will exult in glory, and rejoice upon their beds.

The high praises of God in their mouths, and two-edged swords in their hands,

To exact vengeance on the nations, punishments among the peoples.

To bind their kings in chains, and their nobles in shackles of iron.

To execute upon them the judgement that is decreed. Such glory will be for all his holy ones.

Psalm 150
Praise God in his saints. Praise him in the firmament of his power.]

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to the greatness of his majesty.

We hymn your saving Passion, O Christ, and we glorify your Resurrection.

Praise him in the sound of the trumpet. Praise him with lute and harp.

Having endured the Cross, destroyed death and risen from the dead, give peace to our life, O Lord, as you alone are All-powerful.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance. Praise him with strings and pipe.

Having despoiled Hell and raised humanity by your Resurrection, O Christ, grant that with pure hearts we may praise and glorify you.

Praise him with tuneful cymbals. Praise him with loud cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

As we glorify your divine condescension, we sing your praise, O Christ. You were born from a Virgin, yet were not separated from the Father. As human you suffered and willingly endured the cross. You rose from the tomb, as though coming out of a bridal chamber, that you might save the world. Lord, glory to you!

Then the Easter Stichera with their verses. Tone 5.

Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let those that hate him flee before his face.

A sacred Pascha has been revealed to us today, a new and holy Pascha, a mystic Pascha, an all-venerable Pascha, a Pascha that is Christ the Redeemer, an unblemished Pascha, a great Pascha, a Pascha of the faithful, a Pascha that has opened for us the gates of Paradise, a Pascha that makes all the faithful holy.

As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts at the presence of fire.

Come from that sight, you women, bearers of good tidings, and say to Sion, ‘Receive from us the good tidings of joy, of Christ’s Resurrection. Exult, dance and be glad, Jerusalem, for you have seen Christ the King like a bridegroom coming from the grave.

So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God; and let the just be glad.

The myrrh-bearing women at deep dawn came to the grave of the giver of life. They found an Angel sitting on the stone, and he addressed them and said, ‘Why do you seek the living with the dead? Why do you mourn the incorruptible as though he were in corruption? Go, proclaim it to his Disciples.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

A Pascha of delight, Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha, an all-venerable Pascha has dawned for us, Pascha. Let us embrace one another with joy. O Pascha, ransom from sorrow! Today Christ shone forth from a tomb as from a bridal chamber, and filled the women with joy, saying, ‘Proclaim it to the Apostles’.

Glory. Both now. Same Tone.

The day of Resurrection; let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us say, brethren, even to those that hate us, ‘Let us forgive all things on the Resurrection’, and so let us cry, ‘Christ has risen from the dead: by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life’.

Then:

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death: and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

This is sung many times, until the Brethren have exchanged the Easter Kiss, which takes place as follows.

The Priest takes the sacred and holy Gospel and stands in front of the doors of the holy Altar. The Superior comes and kisses the holy Gospel and the Priest, takes the Gospel from him and stands on his right. Then all the Brethren, according to the order, kiss first the holy Gospel, then the priest and the Superior, and then they too stand where they find themselves and kiss one another.

After the Kiss the catechetical Sermon of St John Chrysostom is read by the Superior or the Ecclesiarch. The Brethren all stand and listen to the sermon.

Sermon of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom.

Is anyone devout and loves God, let them enjoy this fair and shining festival. Is anyone a grateful servant, let them enter into the joy of his Lord. Have any wearied themselves with fasting, let them now enjoy their payment. Has anyone laboured since the first hour, let them today receive their due. Did any come after the third hour, let them feast with gratitude. Did any arrive after sixth hour, let them not hesitate: for there is no penalty. Did any delay until after the ninth hour, let them approach without hesitating. Did any arrive only for the eleventh hour, them not fear because of their lateness: for the Lord is generous and receives the last as the first: he gives rest to the worker of the eleventh hour as to those of the first. He has pity on the latter, he cares for the former. He gives to the one, he is generous to the other. He accepts the work done, he welcomes the intention. He honours the achievement, he praises the purpose. Therefore all of you enter into the joy of our Lord: first and last, enjoy your reward. Rich and poor dance together. Sober and slothful honour the day. Fasters and non-fasters be glad today. The table is full, all of you enjoy yourselves. The calf is fatted let none go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of the faith. All of you enjoy the richness of his goodness. Let no one grieve at their poverty: for the kingdom for all has been revealed. Let no one bewail their faults: for forgiveness has risen from the tomb. Let no one fear death: for the Saviour’s death has freed us. By enduring it he quenched it. He who descended into Hell has despoiled Hell. He embittered it when it tasted his flesh as Isaias proclaimed in prophecy, ‘Death’, he said, ‘was embittered when it met you there below’. Embittered, for it was destroyed. Embittered, for it was mocked Embittered, for it was slain. Embittered for it was wiped out. Embittered, for it was bound fast. It received a body, and came face to face with God. It received earth, and met heaven. It received what it saw, and fell through what it did not see. Where, death, is your sting? Where hell, is your victory? Christ has risen and you are abolished! Christ has risen and the demons have fallen! Christ has risen, and Angels rejoice! Christ has risen, and life has found freedom! Christ has risen, and there is no corpse in the grave! For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first fruits of those who sleep. To him be glory and might to the ages of ages. Amen.

Then we sing the Troparion of the Saint:

Tone 8.

The grace which shone from your mouth like a torch of flame enlightened the whole earth; it laid up for the world the treasures of freedom from avarice; it showed us the height of humility. But as you train us by your words, Father John Chrysostom, intercede with Christ God, the Word, that our souls may be saved.

The two usual Litanies by the Priest and the Dismissal as follows:

Priest: Wisdom!

Reader: Bless.

Priest: Blessed is He Who Is, Christ our true God, always, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen. May God preserve the holy Orthodox faith of Orthodox Christians with his holy Church and this sacred Monastery to ages of ages.

Priest: Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Reader: Greater in honour than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim; without corruption you gave birth to God the word; as truly the Mother of God we magnify you.

Priest: Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death...

Singers:...and to those in the graves given life.

And the Dismissal.

Then the Priest gives the Easter Greeting (x3) and we answer, and he adds:

Glory to his Rising on the third day!

We answer:

We worship his rising on the third day!

Then we sing the Troparion three times.

[The Hours are then read and the divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom follows]

HOURS OF EASTER WEEK

Note that from Sunday of Pascha until the following Saturday the Hours, Compline and the Midnight Office are recited as follows.

After the blessing by the Priest:

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Then
Having seen the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We worship your Cross, O Christ, and we hymn and glorify your holy Resurrection. For you are our God, we know no other but you, we name you by name. Come all the faithful, let us worship the holy Resurrection of Christ; for behold through the Cross, joy has come in all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn his Resurrection. For having endured the Cross for us, he has destroyed death by death.
(x3)

When those who were with Mary came, anticipating the dawn, and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, they heard from the Angel, ‘Why do you seek among the dead, as though he were mortal, the One who exists in everlasting light. See the grave clothes. Run and proclaim to the world that the Lord has been raised, and has put death to death; for he is the Son of God, who saves the human race.

Though you descended into the tomb, O Immortal, yet you destroyed the power of Hades; and you arose as victor, O Christ God, calling to the Myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice! and giving peace to your Apostles, O you who grant resurrection to the fallen.

With your body, O Christ, you were in the tomb, with your soul in Hell as God, in Paradise with the Thief, on the throne with Father and the Spirit, filling all things, yet yourself uncircumscribed.

Glory.

Your tomb, O Christ, has been declared bearer of life, lovelier than Paradise, brighter than any kingly bridal chamber, the source of our resurrection.

Both now. Theotokion.

Rejoice, divine and hallowed dwelling of the Most High, for through you, Mother of God, joy has been given to those who cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, spotless Lady!’

Then Lord, have mercy (x40). Glory, Both now.

Greater in honour than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim. Without corruption you gave birth to God the Word; truly the Mother of God, we magnify you.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

This office is repeated three times for each Hour, and at Compline and the Midnight Office.

At Compline after Through the prayers we add the following

Prayer of Saint Basil the Great

Blessed are you, Master almighty, who have given light to the day by the light of the sun and made the night bright with rays of fire, who have granted us to pass through the length of the day and draw near to the beginnings of the night. Hearken to our entreaty and that of all your people, and forgive all of us our sins voluntary and involuntary and send down the multitude of your mercy and acts of compassion upon your inheritance. Wall us about with your holy Angels. Arm us with the weapons of your justice. Surround us with the rampart of your truth. Guard us with your power. Deliver us from every calamity and every assault of the adversary. Grant us that the present evening with the coming night may be perfect, holy, peaceful, sinless, without stumbling, and dreamless and likewise all the days of our life; at the prayers of the holy Mother of God and of all the Saints who have been well pleasing to you since time began. Amen.

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

And Dismissal.

AT THE LITURGY

The Priest begins with the usual blessing, and when we have answered: Amen, he sings the following in a loud voice:

Troparion. Tone 5.

Christ has risen from the dead,
by death he has trampled on death,
and to those in the graves given life.

This is sung by the Priest three times, and then three times by the Singers without verses. Then:

Priest: Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered, and let those that hate him flee before his face.

Singers, after each verse:

Christ has risen from the dead,
by death he has trampled on death,
and to those in the graves given life.

Priest: As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts at the presence of fire.

Priest: So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God; and let the just be glad.

Priest: This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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

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

Priest: Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death...

Singers:...and to those in the graves given life.

Then the Litany of Peace and after it the

First Antiphon

 

Verse: Shout with joy to the Lord all the earth.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Verse: Sing to the honour of his name. Give glory to his praise.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Verse: Say to God, ‘How fearful are your works! Because of your great might your enemies shall cower before you.’

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Verse: All the earth shall worship you, and sing to you, and sing to your name, O Most High.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Glory. Both now.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Small Litany as usual, then:

Second Antiphon

 

Verse: Let God be gracious to us and bless us, and make his face to upon us and have mercy on us.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to you: Alleluia.

Verse: That your ways may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to you: Alleluia.

Verse: Let all the peoples praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to you: Alleluia.

Verse: May God bless us, and all the ends of the earth fear him.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to you: Alleluia.

Glory. Both now.

Only begotten Son as usual.

Small Litany, then:

Third Antiphon

Verse: Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let those that hate him flee before his face.

Christ has risen...

Verse: As smoke is dispersed, so let them be dispersed: as wax melts before the fire.

Christ has risen...

Verse: So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God: and let the righteous be glad.

Christ has risen...

Verse: This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Entrance

Bless God in the Churches; the Lord from the fountains of Israel. Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

Apolytikion. Tone 5. (Three times)

Christ has risen from the dead,
by death he has trampled on death,
and to those in the graves given life.

The Ypakoï. 4th Tone.

When they who were with Mary came, anticipating the dawn, and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, they heard from the Angel: Why do you seek among the dead, as though he were mortal man, Him who abides for in everlasting light. Behold the grave clothes. Go quickly and proclaim to the world that the Lord has risen, and has put death to death; for he is the Son of God, who saves human race.

Kontakion. Tone 8.

Though you descended into the grave, O immortal One, yet you destroyed the power of Hell. And You arose as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice; and giving peace to your Apostles.

Instead of the Trisagion we sing:

As many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia. (Three times)

)

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

Both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Have put on Christ. Alleluia.

As many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia.

 

Prokeimenon. Tone 8.

This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Verse:: : Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.

The reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
[1:1-8]

In the first book, Theophilos, I dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me, for John baptised with water, but before many days you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.’

Alleluia. Tone 8.

Verse: You will arise, Lord, and take pity on Sion.

Verse: The Lord has looked from heaven upon the earth.

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to John.
[1:1-17]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him nothing that was made, was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not master it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who accepted him, he gave power to become children of God, those who believed in his name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness to him, and cried, ‘This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Then the rest of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom as usual. There is no Litany for the Catechumens.

At Especially, instead of It is truly right we sing:

The Angel cried to her that is full of grace, ‘Pure Virgin, rejoice!, And again I say, Rejoice! For your Son has risen from the tomb on the third day’.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you; dance now and be glad, O Sion, and you too rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of him to whom you gave birth.

Communion

Receive the Body of Christ; taste from the immortal fount. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

This is sung during the Communion of the people as well.

When the Priest says: With fear of God, with faith and love draw near, we sing the Troparion Christ has risen… once.

Instead of both We have seen the true light and Blessed be the name of the Lord we sing:

Christ has risen…

The Dismissal

Instead of Glory to you, Christ God

Priest: Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death

Singers: and to those in the graves given life.

And the Dismissal, as at Matins.

Then the Priest gives the Easter Greeting (x3) and we answer, and he adds:

Glory to his Rising on the third day!

We answer:

We worship his rising on the third day!

Then we sing the Troparion three times.

The Thanksgiving after Communion is read as usual, except that after the Now Master the Easter Troparion is read three times and immediately the Troparion and Kontakion of St John Chrysostom, Glory, Both now and the Kontakion of Easter. Lord, have mercy (12), and the rest as usual.

Note

During all this week of Renewal, which is reckoned to be one radiant day, we have permission for everything.

ON THE HOLY AND GREAT SUNDAY OF PASCHA

AT VESPERS

For Vespers the Priest vests in all his priestly vestments and standing in front of the Holy Table with the censer [and the triple Candle] he makes the sign of the Cross and declaims:

Blessed is our God, always, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

We answer: Amen.

The Priest then begins Christ has risen… exactly as at the beginning of Matins, as follows:

Troparion. Tone 5.

Christ has risen from the dead,
by death he has trampled on death,
and to those in the graves given life.

This is sung by the Priest three times, and then three times by the Singers without verses. The Priest, or the Deacon, then says the following verses, between which the Singers sing the same:

 

Priest: Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered, and let those that hate him flee before his face.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts at the presence of fire.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God; and let the just be glad.

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest: This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Singers: Christ has risen...

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

Singers: Christ has risen...

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

Singers: Christ has risen...

Priest, in a louder voice: Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death...

Singers:...and to those in the graves given life.

Then the Litany of Peace as usual.

At Lord, I have cried we insert 6 Stichera and sing 3 of the Resurrection and 3 by Anatolios.

Resurrection Stichera. Tone 2.

Come let us worship God the Word, begotten of the Father before the ages, incarnate of the Virgin Mary; for having endured the Cross, he was handed over for burial, as he himself wished, and having risen from the dead he saved me, mankind that had gone astray.

Christ our Saviour by nailing the record against us to the Cross annulled it, and destroyed the might of death. We worship his Rising on the third day.

With Archangels let us sing the praise of the Resurrection of Christ; for he is the Redeemer and the Saviour of our souls; and with dread glory and mighty power he is coming again to judge the world which he fashioned.

Other Verses, by Anatolios.

An Angel proclaimed you, the crucified and buried Master, and said to the women; ‘Come, see where the Lord was lying. For he has risen as he said, as all-powerful’. Therefore we worship you, the only immortal. O Christ, giver of life, have mercy on us.

By your Cross you destroyed the curse of the tree; by your burial you slew the might of death; by your Rising you enlightened the human race; therefore we cry out to you; ‘Benefactor, Christ our God, glory to you!’

The gates of death opened to you Lord, in fear; Hell’s gate-keepers shuddered when they saw you; for you smashed the gates of brass, crushed to powder the iron bars, led us out of darkness and the shadow of death and tore our bonds asunder.

Glory.

As we sing the hymn of salvation, let this song rise from our lips; ‘Come all in the Lord’s house, let us fall down in worship as we say; "You who were crucified on the Tree, rose from the dead and are in the bosom of the Father, have mercy on our sins!"’

Both now. Theotokion.

The shadow of the law has passed now that grace has come, for as the Bush in flames was not consumed, so as a Virgin you bore a Child and remained a Virgin; instead of a pillar of fire the Sun of righteousness has dawned, instead of Moses Christ, the salvation of our souls.

After the Entrance and O Joyful Light, the following

Great Prokeimenon. Tone 7.

What God is great as our God? You are God, who alone work wonders!

Verse 1: You have made your power known among the peoples.

Verse 2: Now I have begun. This change is of the right hand of the Most High.

Verse 3: I have remembered the works of the Lord.

Then the Gospel, in many languages, in three sections, followed by the rest of Vespers.

Priest: And that he would count us worthy to listen to the Holy Gospel let us pray to the Lord God.

Reader: Lord, have mercy (three times).

Priest: Wisdom. Stand upright. Let us listen to the Holy Gospel. Peace to all.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Priest: The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to John.

[20:19-25]

Reader: Glory to you, Lord. Glory to you.

Priest: Let us attend.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

Then the Insistent Litany, the prayer Grant Lord to keep us, the rest of the Litany Let us complete and the Prayer for the Bowing of Heads. Then the Aposticha

Resurrection Aposticha. Tone 2.

Your Resurrection, O Christ Saviour, has enlightened the whole inhabited world; and you have called back your own creation. All-powerful Lord, glory to you!

Then the Paschal Stichera with their verses.
Tone 5.

Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let those that hate him flee before his face.

A sacred Pascha has been revealed to us today, a new and holy Pascha, a mystic Pascha, an all-venerable Pascha, a Pascha that is Christ the Redeemer, an unblemished Pascha, a great Pascha, a Pascha of the faithful, a Pascha that has opened for us the gates of Paradise, a Pascha that makes all the faithful holy.

As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts at the presence of fire.

Come from that sight, you women, bearers of good tidings, and say to Sion, ‘Receive from us the good tidings of joy, of Christ’s Resurrection. Exult, dance and be glad, Jerusalem, for you have seen Christ the King like a bridegroom coming from the grave.

So shall the wicked perish at the presence of God; and let the just be glad.

The myrrh-bearing women at deep dawn came to the grave of the giver of life. They found an Angel sitting on the stone, and he addressed them and said, ‘Why do you seek the living with the dead? Why do you mourn the incorruptible as though he were in corruption? Go, proclaim it to his Disciples.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

A Pascha of delight, Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha, an all-venerable Pascha has dawned for us, Pascha. Let us embrace one another with joy. O Pascha, ransom from sorrow! Today Christ shone forth from a tomb as from a bridal chamber, and filled the women with joy, saying, ‘Proclaim it to the Apostles’.

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

Same Tone.

The day of Resurrection; let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us say, brethren, even to those that hate us, ‘Let us forgive all things on the Resurrection’, and so let us cry, ‘Christ has risen from the dead: by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life’.

Then:

Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death: and to those in the graves given life. (x3)

Priest: Wisdom!

Reader: Bless.

And the rest, exactly as at Matins.


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Archimandrite Ephrem ©

This page was last updated on 03 November 2008