Great and Holy Saturday

The Praises

The first stasis:
Tone 5

Blessed are you, O Lord!
Teach me your statutes!

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.

In a tomb they laid you,
O Christ the life.
The angelic hosts were overcome with awe,
And glorified your condescension.

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.

O life, how can you die?
How can you dwell in a tomb?
Yet by your death you have destroyed the reign of death,
And raised all the dead from hell.

For those who work wickedness have not walked in his ways.

We magnify you,
O Jesus, our King.
We worship your passion and your burial,
For by them, you have saved us from death.

You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.

Earth's bounds you have measured,
O Jesus, king of all,
Yet today you dwell in a narrow tomb,
Raising the dead from their graves.

O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!

O messiah, Jesus,
My king, the Lord of all,
Whom are you seeking in the depths of hell?
Have you come to free the race of mortal men?

Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

Lo, the sovereign ruler
Of creation is dead.
Almighty God is laid in a new tomb,
To empty the graves of all their dead.

I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous ordinances.

In a tomb they laid you,
O Christ the life.
By your death you have cast down the might of death
And become the font of life for all the world.

I will observe your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.

You have been numbered
Among transgressors, O Christ.
You have justified us all, O Lamb of God,
By freeing us from the devil's works.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

You, O Lord, are fairer
Than all the sons of men.
You have filled creation with your beauty;
How can you lie before us dead this day?

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments.

How could hell bear your coming
And not shatter at once?
Death is blinded by your splendor, Lord.
Its gloom is scattered by your dazzling light.

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

O Jesus, my salvation,
Mv sweetness, my light!
How are you hidden in a dark tomb?
O patience, past our strength to understand!

Blessed are you, Lord! Teach me your statutes!

The spiritual powers
And the angelic hosts
Stand in silence, overcome with wonder
Before the awesome myst'ry of your tomb

With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.

A new and strange wonder!
He who gave me life and breath
Now is lifeless; breathless, carried to the tomb
And buried by Joseph's hands.

In the way of your testimonies I delight, as much as in all riches.

In your body, buried,
In hell with your soul,
Yet not parted from your Father's side, O Christ!
O strange and awesome wonder!

I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.

O Jesus, all creation
Knew you to be its Lord!
You are truly king of heaven and earth,
Though you are shut within a narrow tomb.

I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

O Christ, Creator,
You were laid within a tomb.
Hell's foundations quaked and trembled, seeing you
Opening the graves of mortal men.

Deal bountifully with your servant; give me life, and I shall keep your word.

He who holds the earth
In the hollow of his hand
Has been put to death and held fast by the earth,
To save the dead from hell's grasping hand.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

O my life, my savior
Dwelling with the dead in death,
You have destroyed the iron bars of hell,
And have risen from corruption.

I am only a sojourner on earth; hide not your commandments from me.

Now is God's flesh hidden
Beneath a veil of earth,
Yet it is a lampstand brightly shining,
Scattering the darkness of hell.

My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times.

Joseph, Nicodemus --
And all the heavenly hosts --
Hasten to a narrow tomb to enclose you
Whom the heights of heaven cannot contain.

You have rebuked the proud, and cursed are those who wander from your commandments.

Slain willingly, O Jesus,
And laid beneath the earth,
You have raised me, O fountain of life,
When I lay dead in bitter sin.

Take away from me their scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.

The universe was altered
At your passion, O word;
Knowing that you hold all in unity,
All created things suffered with you.

Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.

When devouring Hades
Engulfed the rock of life,
In great pain he burst asunder, and the dead
Held captive from all ages were released.

Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

You, O Christ, were buried
In a new tomb,
And the nature of mortals was made new,
When as God, you arose from the dead.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to your word.

Wishing to save Adam,
You came down to earth.
Not finding him on earth, O master,
You descended to Hades seeking him.

When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!

All the earth was troubled
And quaked with fear.
The daystar hid his brilliant face, O Word,
When your great light was hidden in the earth.

Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

As a man, O Savior,
You consented to die.
As God you raised the dead from their tombs,
And lifted them from the dark abyss of sin.

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Tears of lamentation
The pure Virgin shed for you.
With a mother's grief, O Jesus, she cried out:
How can I lay you in the grave, O my son?

Put false ways far from me, and graciously teach me your law.

In the earth's dark bosom
The grain of wheat is laid.
By its death, it shall bring forth abundant fruit:
Adam's sons, freed from the chains of death.

I have chosen the way of truth; I have not forgotten your ordinances.

As the sun at evening
Sets beneath the earth,
You are hidden, covered by the night of death.
O Savior, arise in brighter dawn!

I cleave to your testimonies, Lord; let me not be put to shame.

As when the moon covers
The circle of the sun,
Now the grave has hidden you, O savior,
Your mortal flesh eclipsed in death.

I will run in the way of your commandments when you have enlarged my heart.

By dying in the body
O life-giving Christ,
You have delivered mortal men from death,
Bestowing new life upon us all.

Teach me, Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will keep it to the end.

Through the serpent's envy
Adam died of old,
But you came, O Savior, our new Adam
To bring him back to life, through your death.

Give me understanding that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

When the ranks of angels
Saw you laid out dead,
They were filled with fear and wonder, O Lord,
And covered their faces with their wings.

Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

Ramah's son, O Savior
Took you down from the tree.
He laid your lifeless body in his tomb;
But rise up as God to save us all.

Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to gain.

You are the gladness
Of angels, O Lord,
But today you have become their cause of grief,
As they see you in the flesh, a lifeless corpse.

Turn my eyes from looking at vanities, and give me life in your ways.

On the cross up lifted
To draw living men to you,
You descended beneath the earth as well,
To raise up all that lay buried there.

Establish your promise in your servant, that I may fear you.

O Savior, as a man
You sleep in the flesh,
Yet as a lion's cub you arose,
Casting off the old age of the flesh.

Take away the reproach which I dread; for your ordinances are good.

You have fashioned
Eve from Adam's side.
Now a spear has pierced your side, O Savior,
And from it flows a purifying stream.

Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

Secretly in Egypt
The lambs of old were slain,
But you were sacrificed beneath the open sky,
For the cleansing of the universe.

Let your mercy come to me, Lord; my salvation, according to your promise.

What human tongue can utter
This terrible, strange thing?
Today the Lord, of heaven and earth
Suffers and dies for our sake.

So shall I give an answer to those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.

How can we see the giver
Of life now dead?
The angels cried in fear and awe.
How is God enclosed within a tomb?

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your ordinances.

New life for Eve, O Savior,
Flows from your opened side.
Through her I was banished from the tree of life;
Today she is redeemed, with all her sons.

I will keep your law continually forever and ever.

When you, O Jesus,
Were stretched out upon the wood,
You drew us mortal men to unity;
And from your pierced side, forgiveness flowed for all.

And I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts.

The noble Joseph
With trembling and fear,
Lays your body out for burial, O Lord,
As he gazes with awe on your dread form.

I also spoke of your testimonies before kings, and was not ashamed.

You willed, O Savior,
To go beneath the earth.
You freed death's fallen captives from their chains,
Leading them from earth to heaven.

For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love exceedingly.

Death seized you, O Jesus,
And was strangled in your trap.
Hell's gates were smashed, the fallen were set free,
And carried from beneath the earth on high.

I lift up my hands to your commandments, which I love.

O Savior, death's corruption
Could not touch your holy flesh.
You have bound the ancient murderer of man,
And restored all the dead to new life.

And I will meditate on your statutes.

O, how great the joy,
How full the gladness,
That you have brought to Hades' prisoners,
Like lightning flashing in its gloomy depths.

Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.

Your passion, I worship;
Your burial, I praise;
Your pow'r, I magnify, O loving Lord;
For from corrupting passions you have set me free.

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

A sword was sharpened
Against you, O Christ,
But the sword of the strong foe was blunted,
And the sword that guards Eden was turned back.

Godless men utterly derided me, but I do not turn away from your law.

The ewe saw her lamb slaughtered
And cried aloud in grief.
She was pierced, with anguish, and the flock of Christ
Assembled to join her lament.

When I think of your ordinances from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.

Though you are buried
In a grave, O Christ,
Though you went down to hell, O Savior,
You have stripped hell naked, emptying its graves.

Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law.

Willingly, O savior,
You descended to hell.
There you restored the dead to new life,
And led them back to the Father's house.

Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my exile.

One person of the Godhead,
For the sake of mortal men,
Endures a shameful death on the cross;
The sun trembles and the earth quakes in fear.

I remember your name in the night, Lord, and keep your law.

The offspring of Judah
Became a poisoned well.
They rejected you, the water of life,
Who filled them with water from the rock.

This blessing has fallen to me, because I have kept your precepts.

As one accused, the judge stood
At Pilate's judgment seat.
He was handed over to an unjust death,
And suspended on the wood of the cross.

You are my portion, Lord; I promise to keep your words.

O blood-guilty people,
Faithless Israel,
The murderer Barabbas you set free,
But delivered your Savior to the cross.

I entreat your favor with all my heart; be merciful to me, according to your promise.

You fashioned Adam
From the dust of the earth.
Becoming man by nature, for his sake,
You have offered up your life on the cross.

I thought of your ways, and turned my feet to your testimonies.

You obeyed your Father,
O Word of God most high.
Descending to the dread depths of the pit,
You have raised the race of mortal men.

I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.

My heart's desire, O Jesus!
Woe to me, my light!
Woe to me, O light of the world!
Cried the Virgin in her bitter grief.

Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.

O blood-thirsty people,
Vengeful and envious,
Be convicted by the shroud and napkin,
Which bear witness to the rising of Christ.

At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous ordinances.

Evil disciple,
Murderer of God!
Tell me what poison entered your heart
To make you betray Christ.

I am a friend of all who fear you and keep your commandments.

Money-loving blindness!
You claimed to love the poor,
Yet you sold immortal ointment for a price,
And earned wages of death and despair.

The earth, Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes.

For the myrrh of heaven,
What price have you received?
You gained only madness, O cursed Satan
In exchange for the pearl of great price.

You have dealt well with your servant, Lord, according to your word.

For her soul's forgiveness,
Mary poured out myrrh.
Judas claimed to love the poor, but envied her,
And for silver sold the light of the world.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

O Word of God immortal,
My joy and my desire,
How shall I endure your three days in the tomb?
My heart is torn asunder with grief.

Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word.

Who will give me water,
A spring for my tears,
That I may weep for my sweet Jesus?
Cried the Virgin bride of God.

You are good, Lord; in your goodness teach me your statutes.

O hills and valleys,
The multitude of men,
And all creation, weep and lament
With me, the mother of your God.

The lies of the proud are multiplied against me, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.

O joy and light eternal
The gladness of my heart,
When shall I see you, O my Savior?
Cried the Virgin in her bitter grief.

Their heart is gross like fat, but I delight in your law.

Your side was pierced, O Jesus,
Like the desert's rock of old.
From it, O Savior, wellspring of eternal life,
A stream of living water flows

It was good for me that you have humbled me, that I might learn your statutes.

Blood and water flowing
In a double stream
From your pierced side as from a single source
Has quenched our thirst for immortal life.

The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Of your own will, O Savior
You were laid dead in the tomb,
Yet you are alive, and as you have foretold,
By your rising you shall raise up mortal man.

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

O Word of God, we praise you,
The Lord of all the world,
With your Father and your Holy Spirit,
And we glorify your burial.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

We bless you, O Virgin
Birth-giver of God.
And with faithful hearts we praise the burial
Endured by your Son and our God.

In a tomb they laid you,
O Christ the life.
The angelic hosts were overcome with awe,
And glorified your condescension.

- The Little Litany -

The second stasis
Tone 5

It is right to magnify you,
Life-giving Lord;
You have stretched out your most pure arms upon the cross,
And broken the enemy's power.

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

It is right to magnify you,
O creator of all.
We are freed from passion through your passion,
And delivered from corruption.

Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.

The earth quaked with fear, O savior Christ;
The sun hid itself,
Seeing you, the light that knows no evening,
Sinking down into the tomb.

I know, Lord, that your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

You have slept in the tomb, O Christ,
A life-giving sleep,
By which you have wakened all the human race
From the heavy slumber of sin.

Let your steadfast love be ready to comfort me, according to your promise to your servant.

Alone among women, O my child,
I gave birth to you without pain.
Now I cannot bear the grief I suffer,
The most pure Mother cried.

Let your mercy come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

The Seraphim saw you, O Lord,
Lying dead on earth below,
Yet united with your Father on high
And they shuddered and trembled with fear.

Let the Godless be put to shame, because they have transgressed against me unjustly; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.

The veil of the temple was torn
At your crucifixion,
And the lights of heaven hid their radiance,
When you, the sun, were hidden in the earth.

Let those who fear you turn to me, that they might know your testimonies.

By your nod alone, long ago,
The earth was set on its course.
Now you have descended dead beneath the earth.
Tremble, O heaven, at this sight.

May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame.

You, who formed man with your hand,
Have gone down beneath the earth,
And, O sun, with your almighty right hand,
You have raised up fallen men.

My soul languishes for your salvation; I hope in your word.

Come, let us sing our lament
To Christ, who dies for us,
That we may be worthy, with the Myrrhbearers,
To hear his saving greeting: rejoice!

My eyes fail with watching for your promise; I ask, when will you comfort me?

You are in very truth, O Word,
The myrrh of incorruption.
Therefore, to anoint you as the living God,
The women brought you precious myrrh.

For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.

You have destroyed the palaces of hell
By your burial, O Christ.
You have trampled death down by your death, O Lord,
And redeemed earth's children from corruption.

How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?

The source of the river of life,
The wisdom of God,
Has descended to the utmost depths of hell,
To give life to all held captive there.

Godless men have dug pitfalls for me, men who do not conform to your law.

That I may fashion anew
Adam's broken nature,
I willingly endure death's sting in my flesh.
Mother, do not strike your breast in grief.

All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!

Morning-star of righteousness,
You have set beneath the earth,
And have raised up all the dead as though from sleep,
Dispersing all the darkness of hell.

They have almost made an end of me on earth; but I have not forsaken your precepts.

The seed that gives life to the world,
Twofold in nature,
Sown today with tears in earth's dark furrows,
Tomorrow will sprout forth life.

In your steadfast love spare my life, that I may keep the commandments of your mouth.

Adam was greatly afraid
When God walked in paradise.
Now, with joy he sees God stalking Hades' depths.
There he fell, but here he is raised up.

For ever, Lord, your Word is firmly fixed in heaven.

She who gave birth to you, O Christ,
Poured out her tears for you;
When she saw your body buried in the tomb,
Arise, as you have promised, she cried.

Your truth endures to all generations. You have established the earth, and it stands fast.

In a new tomb, O Savior,
Joseph laid you rev'rently,
Singing lamentations for your Exodus,
Mingled with the voices mourning for you.

The day continues by your ordinance, for all things are your servants.

When your mother saw you, O Christ,
Pierced with nails upon the cross,
She was smitten with the nails of bitter grief;
Her soul was pierced, as Simeon foretold.

If your law had not been my delight, I should have perished in my affliction.

Sweetness of the universe,
When your mother saw you
Drink the bitter vinegar upon the cross,
Her cheeks were wet with bitter tears.

I will never forget your precepts; for by them you have given me life.

I am torn asunder with grief;
My heart is wounded unto death,
Seeing you unjustly slaughtered, O my son,
Said the all-pure Virgin in her tears.

I am yours, save me; for I have sought your precepts.

How shall I close your lips, O word,
And your eyes, so sweet?
How shall I prepare your body for the tomb?
Joseph cried in trembling.

The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.

Joseph and Nicodemus
Now sing hymns of burial,
As they stand before the tomb of Christ the Lord,
And with them sing the Seraphim.

I have seen that all things come to an end, but your commandment alone is eternal.

Savior, sun of righteousness,
You have set beneath the earth,
And the moon, your mother, is eclipsed with grief,
Suffering the loss of your light.

Lord, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long!

Hell shook with fear, O Savior,
Seeing you, the giver of life,
Spoiling him of all his hoarded riches,
And raising up the dead from every age.

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies for it is mine forever.

The sun rises brightly, O Word,
When the night is passed
And you, after your death, shall rise in splendor
As a bridegroom coming from his chambers.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.

Earth shook and quaked in fear,
O Savior and creator,
When in her dark bosom she enfolded you,
And with her quaking she awoke the dead.

I understand more than my elders, for I seek your commandments.

Joseph, that righteous man,
With Nicodemus,
Wrapped you in sweet spices as they cried aloud:
Be terrified, and tremble, O earth!

I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.

The sun set together with you,
Creator of the light.
All creation was then overcome with fear,
And confessed you as creator.

I do not turn aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.

A stone hewn by human hands
Conceals the cornerstone,
And a mortal man hides God within a tomb.
Be shaken and tremble, O earth!

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Behold the disciple you have loved
And your own mother!
Let us hear your voice again, my sweetest child,
Cried the pure one, weeping.

Through your precepts I gain understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Though your people nailed you to the cross,
You did not destroy them,
But raised up their Fathers from the dead, O Word,
As you are the giver of life.

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

No form or beauty did you have
When you suffered,
But when you were clothed in resurrection light,
You beautified the human race.

I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.

You have gone down beneath the earth,
Daystar without evening,
And the sun was darkened at the height of noon,
Unable to endure the sight of you.

I am sorely afflicted, give me life, Lord, according to your word!

Clothed in black robes of mourning,
Like faithful servants,
Sun and moon together, O my Savior,
Were darkened completely at your death.

Accept my offerings of praise, Lord, and teach me your ordinances.

The centurion knew you to be God,
Though you were cold in death.
How then shall I touch you with my hands, my God?
I am afraid, Joseph cried.

My soul is continually in my hands, and I have not forgotten your law.

Adam slept and from his side came Eve;
Who brought death to all flesh.
You have slept a blessed sleep, O Word of God,
And from your side flows life for all the world.

The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.

You have slept a little while,
And brought the dead to life.
You have raised up all who slept from every age,
By your resurrection, loving Lord.

Your testimonies are my heritage forever; yea, they are the joy of my heart.

O life-giving vine,
You were lifted from the earth;
There you poured out your saving wine, O Lord.
I glorify your passion and your cross!

I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

When the captains of the angels
Saw you, O Savior,
Naked, stained with blood, condemned unjustly,
How could they bear such murderous cruelty?

I have hated transgressors, but your law I have loved.

O deceitful people,
Unbelieving Israel,
Knowing that his temple would be raised again,
Why did you condemn Christ to the cross?

You are my hiding place and my defender; I hope in your word.

You clothe him, who orders all things,
In a robe of mockery,
Though he filled the vault of heaven with bright stars,
And made the earth most wondrously.

Depart from me, you evildoers, and I will keep the commandments of my God.

Wounded in your side, O Word,
Like the pelican
You have given life to your dead children,
With the life-giving drops of your blood.

Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope.

Joshua made the sun stand still of old
As he smote the heathen tribes;
You, O Lord, have blotted out its brightness,
When you crushed the prince of darkness.

Help me, and I shall be saved, and I will meditate on your statutes continually.

You have consented in your love
To become a mortal man;
Without being parted from your Father's side,
You have gone down to Hades, O Christ.

You spurn all who go astray from your statutes; yes, their cunning is in vain.

He who hung the earth upon the floods
Is hung upon the cross.
As a lifeless corpse the earth receives him,
And quakes in terror at his presence.

I have regarded all the wicked of the earth as transgressors; therefore I love your testimonies.

O my beloved son,
Laments the Virgin,
I now see you hanging on the cross condemned,
Whom I had hoped to see enthroned as king.

Nail my flesh with the fear of you, for I am afraid of your judgments.

Gabriel announced to me this news,
When he flew down from heaven;
He said that the reign of my Son Jesus
Would endure forever.

I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.

Simeon's prophecy
Has been fulfilled today,
For the sword, of which he spoke, has pierced my heart,
O my son, Emmanuel.

Uphold the welfare of your servant; let not the Godless oppress me.

Be ashamed, O Jews,
At the witness of your dead,
Raised to life by him whom you condemned to death
In malice and envy.

My eyes fail with watching for your salvation, and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.

O my Jesus, light invisible
When the sun beheld you
Hidden without breath inside a tomb of stone,
It trembled and darkened its light.

Deal with your servant according to your mercy, and teach me your statutes.

Your all-blameless mother
Wept most bitterly,
When she saw you laid within the tomb, O Word,
Ineffable, eternal God.

I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies.

Your undefiled mother,
When she saw you die,
Cried to you, O Christ in bitter sorrow:
Do not tarry among the dead, O life.

It is time for the Lord to act, for they have broken your law.

Hell, who had filled all men with fear,
Trembled at the sight of you,
And in haste he yielded up his prisoners,
O immortal sun of glory.

Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.

O Savior, the sight before our eyes
Is great and terrible,
For the cause of life today submits to die,
Wishing to give life to all.

Therefore, I direct my steps by all your precepts; I hate every false way.
Master, your side is pierced
And your hands are nailed.
Thus you have healed the wound of our first parents
And the sinful greed of their hands.

Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my souls seeks them.

Once in every house of Bethlehem
They wept for Rachel's children.
Now his mother with the apostolic choir,
Laments with the Virgin's son.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Christ was slapped on the face
By the hands of mortal men,
Though he fashioned man with his almighty hand,
And crushed the teeth of the beast.

With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments.

All your faithful people, O Christ,
Singing hymns of praise,
Bless your crucifixion and your burial,
By which we are ransomed from death.

Glory to the Father, and to the son, and to the Holy Spirit,

O God without beginning,
Eternal word and spirit,
Help your people to prevail against the foe,
As you are the lover of mankind.

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Virgin, pure and undefiled,
You gave birth to our life:
Make the strife and scandals of the church to cease;
In your goodness, grant her peace.

It is right to magnify you,
O life-giving Lord;
You have stretched out your most pure arms upon the cross,
And broken the enemy's power

- The Little Litany -

The third stasis:
Tone 3

Every generation
Offers you its hymn of praise
At your burial, O my Christ.

Look upon me, and be merciful to me, as is your good pleasure toward those who love your name.

The Arimathean
Took you down from the tree
And laid you in a tomb.

Order my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

The Myrrhbearing women,
With foresight brought sweet spices
And drew near to you, O my Christ.

Deliver me from the false accusation of men, that I may keep your precepts.

Come, all creation,
Sing a hymn to honor
The creator's burial.

Make your face to shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.

Let us, with the Myrrhbearers,
Anoint as dead the living one
With the myrrh of true knowledge.

My eyes shed streams of tears, because men do not keep your law.

Thrice blessed Joseph,
Bury now the body
Of Christ the giver of life.

Righteous are you, Lord, and right are your judgments.

You fed your people
With manna in the desert,
But they raised their heel against you.

You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.

You fed the nations,
Filling them with bounty.
They betray you with gall and vinegar.

My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.

O the folly
Of those who killed the prophets!
Now they slay the Messiah.

Your promise is well tried in the fire, and your servant loves it.

Judas the disciple
Like a foolish servant,
Has betrayed the abyss of wisdom.

I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.

Judas the traitor
Has become a captive
By selling his deliverer.

Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is truth.

As Solomon has written,
The mouth of the transgressor
Is a pit of evil.

Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight.

God's chosen people,
Chose to walk on crooked paths.
Thorns and snares are in their way!

Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.

Joseph and Nicodemus
Bury the creator
With honors fitting for the dead.

I cry with my whole heart; hear me, Lord! I will keep your statutes.

Life-giving savior,
You have destroyed hell.
Unto you be might and glory!

I cry to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.

The all-pure Virgin wept
With a mother's grief, O word,
When she saw you lying dead.

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

O my sweet springtime,
O my sweetest child,
Where has all your beauty faded?

My eyes are awake before the morning, that I may meditate upon your promise.

Your all-pure mother
Mourned and lamented you
When she saw you dead, O Word.

Hear my voice according to your loving-kindness, Lord; in your judgment give me life.

The myrrh-bearing women
Came at dawn with spices
To anoint Christ, the myrrh of God.

They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.

By dying, O my God,
You have put death to death,
Through your divine power.

But you are near, Lord, and all your commandments are true.

The deceiver has been deceived
And those whom he deceived are freed
By your wisdom, O my God.

Long have I known from your testimonies, that you have founded them forever.

The traitor has thrown himself
Down to the depths of hell
And the pit of destruction.

Look on my humiliation and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.

Foolish and most wretched,
Judas chose an evil path.
Thorns and snares are in his way!

Judge my cause, and redeem me; give me life according to your promise.

All who crucified you, O Word,
Shall be destroyed, together,
O Son of God and King of all

Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.

All blood-guilty men
Shall be destroyed together
In the pit of destruction.

Great are your tender mercies, Lord; give me life according to your justice.

Son of God and king of all,
My God and my creator?
How can you endure such suffering?

Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.

As a ewe beholds her lamb
The Virgin gazed on you with grief
When she saw you hanging on the tree.

I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commandments.

Joseph and Nicodemus
Bury the body
That gives life to all the world.

Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life, according to your mercy.

The Virgin's heart was pierced;
She shed hot tears for you,
And cried out lamenting.

The sum of your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.

Light of my eyes,
O my beloved sun,
How are you now hidden in a tomb?

Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.

Do not weep, O mother!
I suffered all these things
To give freedom to Adam and eve.

I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

O my son, I praise you!
For your great compassion
That led you to this suffering.

I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.

You have tasted vinegar
To free us from the bitter taste
Of the fruit forbidden of old.

Seven times a day I praise you, for your righteous ordinances.

You are nailed upon the cross
Who of old did shelter
Your people with a pillar of cloud.

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
The myrrh-bearing women
Came, O savior, to your tomb,
Offering you sweet spices.

I hope for your salvation, Lord, and I love your commandments.

Arise, O Lord all-merciful!
Raise us from the depths of hell
And from the dark abyss of sin.

My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.

The mother who gave birth to you
Prayed to you with weeping:
Arise, O Lord, and giver of life!

I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you, Lord.

Make haste to arise, O Word!
Take away the sorrow
Of your Virgin mother.

Let my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word!

All the hosts of heaven
Were filled with fear and wonder
When they saw you dead, O Lord.

Let my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your word.

We honor your passion.
With love and fear, O Lord.
Grant us forgiveness of our sins.

My lips will pour forth praise, for you have taught me your statutes.

Strange and dreadful wonder!
How are you now hidden
In the earth, O Word of God!

My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.

When you fled to Egypt,
Joseph guarded you, O Lord.
Now another Joseph buries you.

Let your hand be near to save me, for I have chosen your precepts.

Your all-holy mother
Weeps for you, lamenting
At your death, O my Savior.

I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law is my delight.

The hosts of angels tremble
At the strange and fearful sight
Of your burial, O maker of all.

Let my soul live, that I may praise you, and let your ordinances help me.

Early in the morning,
The myrrh-bearing women
Came to you and sprinkled myrrh on your tomb.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commandments.

By your resurrection,
Grant peace to your church,
And salvation to your people.

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

O God in trinity,
Father, Son and Spirit,
Grant your mercy to the world.

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Grant us, your servants,
To behold, O Virgin,
The resurrection of your Son!

(There is no little litany, but at once we begin the singing of the Resurrectional Troparia)

Great and Holy Saturday
(and paschal nocturne)

(After the singing of the resurrectional Troparia):

The little litany

Sessional hymn
Tone 1

Joseph begged your holy body from Pilate;
He anointed it with sweet-smelling spices;
He wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his own new tomb
And early in the morning the myrrh-bearing women cried out:
As you have foretold, O Christ,
Show us the resurrection!

As you have foretold, O Christ,
Show us the resurrection!

Now and ever...

The choirs of angels are filled with awe,
Seeing him who rests in the Father's bosom
Laid in the tomb as dead, though he is immortal!
The ranks of angels surround him;
Together with the dead in hell,
They glorify him as creator and Lord!

Psalm 51

(The prayer of intercession, "O Lord save your people..." is not said on this day. The Canon begins immediately.)

The Canon

Tone 6

Canticle one:

Irmos: He who in ancient times hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea is hidden beneath the earth by the children ofd those whom he once saved. But as the maidens, let us sing unto the Lord, for he is greatly glorified.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Unto you I sing a hymn for the departed
And a song of burial, O Lord my God,
Who by your burial have opened for me the entrance to life
And by your death have put death and hell to death.

Beholding you upon the throne
And on high and in the grave below,
The things of heaven and the things beneath the earth
Trembled at your death;
For in a manner past understanding
Were you, the very source of life, seen dead.

You descended to the depths of the earth
To fill all with your glory;
For my person that is in Adam was not hidden from you,
And when you were buried,
You renewed me who am corrupt, O lover of mankind.

Katavasia: He who in ancient times...

Canticle three:

Irmos: When the creation beheld thee hanging in Golgotha, who hast hung the whole earth freely upon the waters, it was seized with amazement and it cried: "There is none holy save thee, O Lord."

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

By a multitude of visions
You indicated the signs of your burial, O master.
But now, as dead and man,
You make clear your hidden things even unto those in hell,
Who cry: None is holy but you, O Lord!

You have stretched out your hands, O Savior,
And united what before had been divided;
And by clothing yourself in a winding sheet
You have saved even those held captive by the tomb,
Who cry: None is holy but you, O Lord!

By your will a sealed tomb contained you,
Who cannot be contained;
For by your divine accomplishments you have made known your power
Unto those who sing: None is holy but you, Lord the lover of mankind.

Sessional hymn
Tone 1

The soldiers guarding your tomb, O Savior,
Became as dead men at the lightning flash of the angel
Who appeared announcing your resurrection to the women.
We glorify you, who cleanse from corruption.
We fall down before you, who rose from the tomb,
Our only God.

Canticle four:

Irmos: Foreseeing the self-emptying upon the Cross, Habakkuk cried out marvelling: "Thou hast cut short the strength of the powerful, O gracious and almighty Lord, and preached to those in hell."

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You have sanctified this, the seventh day,
Which of old you blessed by rest from work;
For you bring all things into being and renew them, my Savior,
While resting and reviving on the Sabbath.

By the overwhelming strength of your divine nature.
You won the victory, O Word;
For your soul was parted from the flesh,
Sundering by your might the bonds of hell and death.

When hell encountered you, O Word,
It was embittered.
Seeing you as a mortal man deified,
Marked with wounds yet having almighty power,
It cried out at your awesome appearance.

Katavasia: Foreseeing the self-emptying upon the Cross...

Canticle five:

Irmos: Isaiah, as he watched by night, beheld the light that knows no evening, the light of Thy Theophany, O Christ, that came to pass from tender love for us; and he cried aloud: "The dead shall arise and they that dwelt in the tomb shall be raised up, and all those born on the earth shall rejoice exceedingly."

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

When you became earthly, O creator,
You renewed those born on earth,
And the winding sheet and the grave
Revealed the mystery concerning you, O Word;
For Joseph, the noble counselor,
Fulfills the counsel of him who begot you
And who wondrously renews me in you.

Through death you transform what is mortal,
And through burial you transform what is corruptible;
For in a manner befitting God
You make incorrupt and immortal the nature which you have assumed,
Since your flesh did not see corruption,
And in a wondrous manner your soul was not abandoned in hell.

You came forth from a painless birth, my maker,
And your side was pierced.
By this have you, the new Adam,
Accomplished the restoration of Eve.
You fell into a sleep surpassing and renewing nature,
And as the all-powerful one, you raised up life from sleep and corruption.

Katavasia: Isaiah, as he watched by night...

Canticle six:

Irmos: Jonah was enclosed but not held fast in the belly of the whale; for, serving as a figure of Thee, who hast suffered and wast buried in the tomb, he leapt 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."

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You were killed, O Word, but not separated from the flesh
Which you share with us;
For even though the temple of your body was destroyed
At the time of the passion,
The person of your divinity and of your flesh was one,
For in both you remain one son,
Word of God, God and man.

The fall of Adam resulted in the death of man, not God;
For even though the earthly substance of your flesh suffered,
Your divinity remained passionless.
In yourself you have transformed the corruptible to incorruption,
And by your resurrection
You have revealed a fountain of incorruptible life.

Hell rules the race of mortal men,
But not eternally;
For when you were placed in the grave, O powerful one,
You tore asunder the bars of death by your life-creating hand
And proclaimed true deliverance to those sleeping there from the ages,
Since you, Savior, have become the first-born of the dead.

Katavasia: Jonah was enclosed but not held fast...

He who holds all things together has been lifted up upon the cross, and all of creation weeps at seeing him hanging, naked, upon the wood. The sun hid its rays and the stars cast aside their splendor. The earth shook with great fear, the sea fled, and the rocks were split asunder. Many tombs were opened, and the bodies of holy men arose. Hell groaned below and the Jews considered how to slander the resurrection of Christ, but the women cried: "This is the most blessed Sabbath on which Christ sleeps, but on the third day he shall rise again."

Canticle seven:

Irmos: Wonder past speech! He who delivered the holy Children from the fiery furnace is laid a corpse without breath in the tomb for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Hell was wounded in the heart
When it received him whose side was pierced by a spear,
And it groans, consumed by divine fire,
Unto the salvation of us who sing:
Blessed are you, O God, our redeemer!

Happy is the tomb!
For having received the creator as one asleep,
It became a divine treasury of life
For the salvation of us who sing:
Blessed are you, O God, our redeemer!

In accordance with the law of the dead,
The life of all accepts burial in the tomb,
And the tomb becomes the source of resurrection
Unto the salvation of us who sing:
Blessed are you, O God, our redeemer!

In hell, in the tomb and in Eden,
With the Father and the Spirit,
The divinity of Christ was one and undivided
For the salvation of us who sing:
Blessed are you, O God, our redeemer!

Katavasia: Wonder past speech!...

Canticle eight:

Irmos: Be ye astonished, O ye heavens, be ye horribly afraid, and let the foundations of the earth be shaken. For lo, he who dwells on high is numbered with the dead and lodges as a stranger in a narrow tomb. Him do ye children bless, ye priests praise, and ye people exalt above all for ever.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

The pure temple has been destroyed,
Yet he raises with himself
The tabernacle that had fallen;
For the second Adam, who dwells in the highest
Has descended to the first Adam,
Even into the lowest chambers of hell.
Bless him, youths! Praise him, O priests!
People, exalt him above all forever!

The courage of all the disciples failed,
But Joseph of Arimathea showed valor;
For seeing the God of all dead and naked,
He sought him and dressed him for burial, crying:
Bless him, youths! Praise him, O priests!
People, exalt him above all forever!

Let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit: the Lord; Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

What new wanders ! What great goodness!
What ineffable forbearance!
For he who dwells in the highest is willingly sealed beneath the earth,
And God is slandered as a deceiver.
Bless him, youths, praise him, O priests!
People, exalt him above all forever!

We praise bless and worship the Lord, singing and exalting him throughout all ages!

Katavasia: Be ye astonished, O ye heavens...

Canticle nine:

Irmos: Weep not for me, O Mother, beholding in the sepulchre the Son whom thou hast conceived without seed in thy womb. For I shall rise and shall be glorified, and as God I shall exalt in everlasting glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

I escaped sufferings and was blessed
Beyond nature at your strange birth,
Son without beginning.
But now, beholding you, my God, dead and without breath,
I am sorely pierced by the sword of sorrow.
But arise, that I may be magnified.

By my own will, the earth covers me, O mother,
But the gatekeepers of hell tremble at seeing me
Clothed in the blood-stained garments of vengeance;
For when I have vanquished my enemies on the cross,
I shall arise as God and magnify you.

Let creation rejoice!
Let all born on earth be glad!
For hateful hell has been despoiled.
Let the women with myrrh come to meet me;

For I am redeeming Adam and Eve and all their children,
And on the third day shall I arise!

Katavasia: Weep not for me, O Mother...

- The little litany -

(followed at Matins by:)

Holy is the Lord our God

(as on Sunday)

The Praises

Let every breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens!
Praise him in the highest!
To you, O God, is due a song!

Praise him all his angels!
Praise him all his hosts!
To you, O God, is due a song!

Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

(first Stikhera)

Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

(second Stikhera)

Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

(third Stikhera)

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

(fourth Stikhera)

Tone 2

Today the one who holds creation in the palm of his hand
Is held in the tomb.
A stone covers the one who covered the heavens with glory!
Life sleeps, and hell trembles,
While Adam is set free from his bonds.
Glory to your dispensation!
Glory to your almighty power, granting us an eternal Sabbath:
Your all-holy resurrection from the dead!

What is this sight we behold?
What is this present rest?
The king of the ages, who through his passion
Fulfilled the plan of salvation,
Keeps Sabbath in the tomb, granting us a new Sabbath!
Let us cry aloud to him:
Arise, Lord, and judge the earth!
For your great mercy is without measure
And you reign forever!

Come, let us behold our life, lying in the tomb,
Giving life to those who lie dead in their graves.
Come, let us behold the Son of Judah as he sleeps today,
And with the prophet, let us cry aloud to him:
Why do you lie, and sleep as a lion?
Who shall awaken you, O King?
But as you willingly give yourself for us,
Arise by your own free will!
O Lord, Glory to you!

Tone 6

Joseph asked for the body of Jesus
And laid it in his own new tomb:
For it was fitting that the Lord should come forth
Out of the grave as from a bridal chamber!
You have broken the power of death
And opened the gates of paradise to men:
O Lord, Glory to you!


Tone 6

The great Moses mystically foreshadowed this day
God blessed the seventh day when he said:
This is the blessed Sabbath.
This is the day of rest
On which the only-begotten Son of God rested from his works.
He kept the Sabbath in the flesh,
Through the dispensation of death.
But on this day, he returned again
Through the resurrection.
He has granted us eternal life,
For he alone is good, the lover of mankind.

Now and ever... You are most blessed...

Great and Holy Saturday

(during the veneration of the tomb following the dismissal of Matins):

Tone 5

Come, let us bless Joseph of eternal memory,
Who came to Pilate by night,
Who begged for the life of all:
Give me this stranger, who has no place to lay his head!
Give me this stranger, whom his evil disciple delivered to death!
Give me this stranger, whom his mother saw hanging on the cross,
And with a mother's sorrow, cried weeping:
Woe is me, O my child!
Woe is me, O light of my eyes!
The beloved fruit of my womb!
For what Simeon foretold in the temple has come to pass this day:
A sword pierces my heart!
But change my grief to joy by your resurrection!
We venerate your passion, O Christ.
We venerate your passion, O Christ.
We venerate your passion, O Christ; and your holy resurrection!

The hours are not sung

Great and Holy Saturday

"Lord I call..."

Tone 1
(of the resurrection)

Accept our evening prayers, O holy Lord!
Grant us remission of sins,
For you alone have manifested the resurrection to the world

Encircle Zion
And surround her, people!
Give glory in her to the one who rose from the dead!
For he is our God,
Who has delivered us from our transgressions!

Come, people! Let us hymn and fall down before Christ,
Glorifying his resurrection from the dead!
For he is our God,
Who has delivered the world from the enemy's deceit!

(Anatolian Stikhera):

Heavens, be glad;
Sound trumpets, foundations of the earth!
Sing in gladness, mountains!
Behold Emmanuel has nailed our sins to the cross,
Granting life, he has slain death.
He has resurrected Adam as the lover of mankind.

Tone 8

Today hell cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God, he raised the souls that I had held captive.
Glory to your cross and resurrection, O Lord! (twice)

Today, hell cries out groaning:
My dominion has been shattered.
I received a dead man as one of the dead,
But against him I could not prevail.
From eternity I had ruled the dead,
But behold, he raises all.
Because of him do I perish.
Glory to your cross and resurrection, O Lord!

Today, hell cries out groaning:
My power has been trampled upon.
The shepherd is crucified and Adam is raised.
I have been deprived of those whom I ruled.
Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up.
He who was crucified has emptied the tomb.
The power of death has been vanquished.
Glory to your cross and resurrection, O Lord!

Tone 6

The great Moses mystically foreshadowed this day, when he said:
God blessed the seventh day.
This is the blessed Sabbath.
This is the day of rest
On which the only-begotten Son of God rested from his works.
He kept the Sabbath in the flesh,
Through the dispensation of death.
But on this day, he returned again
Through the resurrection.
He has granted us eternal life,
For he alone is good, the lover of man.

Now and ever...
(of the resurrection)

Tone 1

Let us praise the Virgin Mary!
The gate of heaven, the glory of the world!
The song of the angels, the beauty of the faithful!
She was born of man, yet gave birth to God!
She was revealed as the heaven, as the temple of the Godhead!
She destroyed the wall of enmity!
She commenced the peace, she opened the kingdom!
Since she is our foundation of faith,
Our defender is the Lord whom she bore!
Courage! Courage! People of God!
For Christ will destroy our enemies
Since he is all powerful.


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