First week of Lent
Sunday Matins

The Canon
Tone 4 (by Theophanes)

Canticle one:

In ancient times Israel walked dry-shod across the red sea,
And Moses, lifting his hands in the form of the cross,
Put the power of Amalek to flight in the desert.
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!
Let us and all the faithful cry aloud and leap with joy today:
How marvelous are your works, O Christ!
How great is your might!
For you have made us of one mind
And brought about our agreement!

People of God, come and let us celebrate a day of joy:
Now heaven makes glad!
Earth with all the hosts of angels
And the companies of mortal men,
Each in their varied orders, keep the feast.
Seeing the great blessing we have received:
How the divided members of Christ have been brought to unity,
Let us clap our hands for joy
And praise God who has granted us peace!

Today a festival of victory is given to the church
Through the divinely-inspired intention and will of Michael and Theodora,
The rulers who in piety upheld the true faith.

The swords of impious heresies have failed:
For in deep reverence, pure and holy virgin,
We now behold your temple,
Made beautiful with icons,
And we rejoice with holy joy!

Katavasia: In ancient times Israel walked...

Canticle three:

Your church celebrates in you, O Christ, and cries aloud:
You are my strength, O Lord,
My refuge and my stronghold!
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!
The impious heretics
Are no longer exalted in their pride,
For the power of God has firmly established Orthodoxy!

Today let the prophets
At the restoration of the faith,
Drop on us life-giving dew from heaven!
Let the mystical trumpets of Christ's apostles
Sound in God-given harmony,
Proclaiming the re-establishment of the precious icons.
Let us sing in praise of Christ,
Who appointed a devout and pious empress to rule over his people,
Together with her son, who was crowned by God.

We pray you, most pure lady,
Shine now with the light of grace upon the faithful
Who have gathered in your holy house.

Katavasia: Your church celebrates in you...

Sessional hymn
Tone 1
Depicting your divine form in icons, O Christ,
We openly proclaim your nativity,
Your ineffable miracles, and your voluntary crucifixion!
So the devils are driven out in fear,
And the heretics, their fellow-workers,
Lament in shame and sorrow!


The heavenly Zion, our mother, is made beautiful
With the holy icons of the prophets and apostles,
Of the martyrs and all the saints,
Brightly adorned with the glory of the spiritual bridegroom and bride!

Now and ever...

We venerate your holy icon with love, honored virgin,
Proclaiming you with one accord as the true Theotokos!
In faith, we bow before you:
Since you have power to do all things,
Be our guardian and our strong protection,
Driving far from us every tribulation!

Canticle four:

Seeing you lifted upon the cross, O sun of righteousness,
The church stood still and cried aloud:
Glory to your power, O Lord!
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!
Sanctify your temple, most merciful Word of God
Through the divine descent of the Comforter,
And by his coming banish the error of heresy!

Deliver your people from the violence of impiety,
Kindling them with zeal for Orthodoxy
As they cry out to you in faith:
Glory to your power, O Lord!
We rejoice with holy joy,
Seeing the churches of God bright with the sacred icons
Of Christ and the Theotokos.
The royally crowned empress, in love for the true kingdom of Christ,
Restored in all the churches
His most pure icon and the pictures of the saints.

You were sanctified as the holy temple of God,
Full of grace who bore God the incarnate word:
Therefore we consecrate your shrine, newly adorned with glory.

Katavasia: Seeing you lifted upon the cross...

Canticle five:

Lord my light, you have come into the world
As a light of holiness,
Turning back from dark ignorance those who sing your praises in faith.
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!
Firmly establish your church, Lord,
That she may stand unshaken by the storm of heresy
Unto ages of ages!
The rejoicing granted to the faithful from on high
And the help they have received from God
Shines with glory over all the earth.
The light of the true faith that knows no evening
Has shone forth upon us
At the divinely-inspired decree of our faithful monarchs.

Renew the ancient splendors for us, most pure mother of God,
And sanctify your dwelling with grace.

Katavasia: O Lord my light...

Canticle six:

The church which is purified from the blood offered to demons
By the blood which flowed in mercy from your side
Cries aloud to you, Lord:
I will offer you a sacrifice of praise!
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!
Once more the master's countenance is depicted,
Venerated and honored with faith;
Once more the church regains
Her boldness of approach to God,
Reverently glorifying the Savior!
The church of Christ is delivered from the dark despondency of heresy:
She puts on a robe of gladness,
And is clothed in the light of divine grace.
Through the decision of the empress Theodora
And her pious Son the emperor Michael,
The Orthodox people regained the light and glory which it had of old.

He who of old commanded Moses
To set up the ark of the testimony,
Came to dwell in you, virgin, as in a spiritual ark:
He alone is glorified,
And he makes your temple glorious with miracles.

Katavasia: The church which is purified...

Kontakion Tone 8
No one could describe the Word of the Father;
But when he took flesh from you, Theotokos, he accepted to be described,
And restored the fallen image to its former state by uniting it to divine beauty.
We confess and proclaim our salvation in word and images!

Enlightened by this mystery of God's providence, the divinely-inspired
Prophets foretold it of old for our sakes, who now see the fulfillment
Of the ages. Receiving divine knowledge through this mystery, we know
One Lord and God, glorified in three persons, and him alone we
Worship; we have one faith, one baptism, and we are clothed in Christ.
We confess and proclaim our salvation in word and images!

Canticle seven:

The children of Abraham in the Persian furnace,
Burning with love for the true faith, stronger than the flames,
Cried out from the midst of the fire:
Blessed are you, Lord, in the temple of your glory!
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Let the hosts of angels share in the joy of the church,
And filled with the love of God, let them cry aloud:
Blessed are you, Lord, in the temple of your glory!
The triumphant assembly and church of the firstborn rejoices
Beholding the people of God who cry aloud with one accord:
Blessed are you, Lord, in the temple of your glory!
Delivered from the dark heresies of the past
Through the decision of the honored empress Theodora, we cry aloud:
Blessed are you, Lord, in the temple of your glory!

Most pure virgin, you are exalted above the choirs on high,
For alone among women,
You became mother of the creator of all.
And so in joy we shout aloud:
Blessed are you among women, undefiled lady!

Katavasia: The children of Abraham....

Canticle eight:

Daniel stretched out his hands in prayer
In the den of lions and stopped their mouths;
And girded with holiness, the children, lovers of the true faith,
Quenched the power of the fire as they cried aloud:
All works of the Lord, bless the Lord!
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Keeping the laws of the church we received from the Fathers,
We paint icons of Christ and his saints,
And with our lips and heart and will
We venerate them as we cry aloud:
All works of the Lord, bless the Lord!

The honor and veneration we show to the icon
We ascribe to the prototype it represents,
Following the teaching of the saints inspired by God,
And with faith we cry aloud to Christ:
All works of the Lord, bless the Lord!

Her mind enlightened by the illumination of the Holy Spirit
And filled with the wisdom of God,
The honored empress
Loved the beauty and splendor of the church of Christ,
And with all the faithful
She blesses Jesus, the God-man.

Illumined by rays of spiritual light,
Your holy house overshadows us all with the cloud of the spirit
And sanctifies the faithful who sing with one accord:
All works of the Lord, bless the Lord!

Katavasia: Daniel stretched out his hands...

-- the Magnificat is sung --

Canticle nine:

Christ the corner stone not cut by the hand of man
Was taken from you, the unhewn mountain, virgin;
Joining in one two different natures,
Therefore we magnify you, Theotokos, with great rejoicing.
Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Seeing the holy church adorned with icons once more,
Let us make haste and cry aloud to Christ with reverence:
We magnify you, thrice holy one!
As a mark of glory and honor,
The church possesses your cross,
And the holy icons of the saints, master,
And with joy and gladness she magnifies you!
Shine on those in authority with your divine glory,
Compassionate master,
And fence them around with the protection of the angelic hosts,
Subjecting the proud powers of evil beneath their feet!

Since you, pure Theotokos, ineffably gave birth to the master of all,
The condemnation of our first mother Eve has been abolished,
And now we kiss his likeness in icons!

Katavasia: Christ the corner stone...

Hymn of Light
(of the resurrection)
Exchange good tidings and clap your hands!
Greet each other joyfully, crying out:
How wonderful and how great are your works, O Christ!
Who can dare to speak of them,
For you create accord and unity in one church!

The fierce weapons of the heretics,
And the very mention of them have been completely destroyed!
Seeing your temple adorned in splendor, most pure one,
With the grace of venerable icons,
We all are filled with joy and gladness!

The Praises
(5 Stikhera of the resurrection)
Tone 4

Your church rejoices in you, lover of mankind:
Her bridegroom and her creator,
Who by your own will, as is befitting God,
Rescued her from the worship of idols,
Joining her to yourself by your precious blood,
Rejoicing in the elevation of the worthy icons.
Therefore she praises you in faith, and glorifies you in joy.

We set forth the likeness of your flesh,
And venerate it in contemplation of its source,
Making plain the mystery of your dispensation,
Lord, the lover of mankind;
For you did not appear to us in delusion or imagination,
As the followers of Mani claim, contending against God,
But in truth and in nature of the body,
By which we ascend to your divine desire and love.

A day full of joy; this day has come,
Because the splendor of true doctrine shines forth brilliantly,
And the church of Christ is now radiant,
Adorned by the elevation of the icons of the saints
And believers attain there a unity rewarded by God.


Tone 6

Moses received the law in a time of abstinence,
And he led his people;
Elijah, when he fasted, closed the heavens.
As for the young men of Abraham,
By fasting they vanquished the transgressing enemy.
Therefore, Savior, prepare us through the same fasting
To meet your resurrection,
Shouting: Holy God! Holy mighty!//
Holy immortal, have mercy on us!

Now and ever...

Tone 2

You are most blessed...

First week of Lent
Sunday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

Tone 4

Grant reverence, estrangement from evil,
Perfect discipline to me,
Now drowned in the passions of the flesh,
Estranged from you, in utter lack of hope, my God, the king of all!
Save me, your prodigal son,
By the bounty of your goodness,
Jesus, the almighty, the Savior of our souls.

When Moses the wonder-worker
Was purified by fasting,
He beheld the beloved one.
Therefore, emulate him, my humble soul.
Hasten to be purified of evils on the day of abstinence,
That the Lord may bestow forgiveness on you,
And that you may behold him,
For he is the almighty, the good Lord, and the lover of mankind.

Let us begin the second week of the fast, brethren,
Fulfilling it with rejoicing, day by day,
Making a fiery chariot for ourselves, like Elijah the Tishbite,
Out of the great cardinal virtues,
Elevating our minds by subduing our passions,
Arming ourselves with purity,
To chase away and vanquish the enemy.

The Great Prokeimenon

Tone 8

You have given an inheritance * to those who fear your name, O Lord!
Verse: From the end of the earth I call to you!
Verse: O to be safe under the shelter of your wings!
Verse: So will I ever sing praises to your name!

Proclamation of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy:
As the prophets beheld, as the apostles have taught, as the church has received, as the teachers have dogmatized, as the universe has agreed, as grace has shown forth, as truth has revealed, as falsehood has been dissolved, as wisdom has presented, as Christ has awarded, let us declare, let us assert, let us preach in like manner Christ our true God and honor his saints in words, in writings in thoughts, in deeds, in churches, in holy icons -- worshiping him as God and Lord and honoring them as his true servants

The Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose, according to the scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. In one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Tone 8
Come, let us purify our souls with alms and mercy to the poor,
Not blowing a trumpet, or publishing what we do in charity,
Lest our left hand know what our right has done,
And vainglory steal from us the fruit of alms.
But let us plead in secret with the one who knows our secrets,
Crying out: Father, forgive us our wrongs,
For you are the lover of mankind! (twice)

Martyrs of the Lord,
You sanctify every place and heal every ill.
Now therefore, intercede with him,
That he may deliver our souls from every wile and snare of the enemy!

Glory to the Father... Now and ever...

The hosts of heaven praise you,
Unwedded mother, full of grace.
We glorify your ineffable childbearing.
Therefore, Theotokos, intercede for the salvation of our souls!


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