Third week of Lent
Sunday Matins

The Canon           Tone 1 (by Theodore the studite)

Canticle one:

Irmos: This is the day of resurrection:
Let us be illumined, O people!
Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord!
For from death to life, and from earth to heaven
Has Christ our God led us,
As we sing the song of victory!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

This is a festival day:
At the awakening of Christ, death has fled away;
The light of life has dawned;
Adam has risen and dances for joy!
Therefore let us cry aloud and sing a song of victory!

This is the day of the veneration of the precious cross:
Now it is brought before us,
Shining with the brightness of Christ's resurrection!
Let us all draw near
And kiss it with great rejoicing in our souls!

Mighty cross of the Lord,
Manifest yourself, showing me the divine vision of your beauty!
Grant that I may worthily venerate you,
For I speak to you and embrace you as alive!

Let earth and heaven give praise with one accord,
For the all-blessed cross is now set out before us all.
Christ's body was nailed there when he was offered in sacrifice:
Let us venerate it with great rejoicing in our souls!


Trinity of persons, unity of essence,
Father, Son and Spirit,
Equal in might, one in will and purpose, rule and dominion:
Watch over your world and grant it peace!

Now and ever...

You conceived without seed, unwedded Virgin:
The birth is pure and sinless!
The child you bear is the maker of all, Christ our God.
Entreat him to grant peace to the world!

Katavasia: Moses, the servant of God,
Prefigured your cross in days of old,
Dividing the red sea with his rod
And leading Israel across on dry land;
Singing a song of deliverance to you, O Christ our God!

Canticle three:

Irmos: Come, let us drink,
Not miraculous water drawn from a barren stone,
But a new vintage from the fount of incorruption
Springing from the tomb of Christ:
In him we are established!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Come, let us sing a new song
To celebrate the conquering of hell,
For Christ is risen from the tomb;
He has taken death captive, saving the whole world!

Come, all faithful, let us drink,
Not from a well of earthly water that passes away,
But as we venerate the cross of Christ,
Let us drink from the fountain of light,
For his cross is our glory!

Now as we venerate your cross,
Which Moses once prefigured with his outstretched arms,
We put to flight the invisible Amalek, O Christ our master,
And so we gain salvation!

Faithful, let us joyfully venerate the cross of the Lord
With pure eyes and lips,
Singing a song of exultation!


I honor one God without beginning,
Three in persons but undivided in essence:
The Father, the Son and the spirit of life,
In whose name we were baptized!

Now and ever...

Moses saw your mystery prefigured in the bush
In days of old, holy Virgin:
As the flames did not consume it,
So the fire of the Godhead did not consume your womb.

Katavasia: Through your cross, Christ my master,
Establish me firmly on the rock of faith:
That my mind may not be shaken by the assaults of the evil enemy,
For you alone are holy!

Sessional hymn          Tone 6
Lord, your cross is holy,
Bringing salvation to those who are sick through their sins.
As we venerate it, we fall before you:
Have mercy on us!

Verse: Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool, for it is holy!

Lord, today the words of the prophet are fulfilled:
For behold, we worship where your feet have stood.
Tasting from the tree of salvation,
Only lover of mankind,
We have been delivered from our sinful passions
At the intercessions of the Theotokos.


At the setting up of the wood of the cross,
The foundations of death were shaken, Christ our Lord!
Hell swallowed you eagerly,
But cast you forth with trembling!
You have shown us your salvation, holy one!
We glorify you, Son of God; have mercy on us

Now and ever...

Virgin Theotokos, your son, Christ our God,
Was nailed of his own will upon the cross!
He has risen from the dead:
Pray to him for the salvation of our souls!

Canticle four:

Irmos: The inspired prophet Habakkuk now stands with us in holy vigil.
He is like a shining angel who cries with a piercing voice:
Today salvation has come to the world,
For Christ is risen as all powerful!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Behold, Christ is risen! said the angel to the myrrh-bearing women!
Do not lament, but go and say to the apostles:
Rejoice, for today is the world's salvation!
The tyranny of the enemy has been destroyed
Through the death of Christ!

Today as we celebrate the joyful veneration of your life-giving cross,
We prepare ourselves for your most holy passion, O Christ our Savior;
For you have wrought the salvation of the world
In your almighty power!

Today there is joy in earth and heaven,
For the sign of the cross is made manifest to all the world!
The thrice-blessed cross is set before us;
A fountain of ever-flowing grace to all who show it honor!

What shall we offer you, Christ,
For you have given us your precious cross to venerate:
Where your holy blood was shed, and your flesh was fixed by nails:
We kiss it with love, giving thanks to you!


I sing the praises of the three persons in one Godhead;
I proclaim one simple, undivided nature:
Father eternal, Son and Holy Spirit,
One in throne and dominion,
One single kingdom,
One everlasting power!

Now and ever...

In you alone among women, pure lady,
A fearful and wonderful thing was revealed:
You renewed nature, conceiving without seed and remaining a Virgin,
For the child you have borne is the true God!

Katavasia: Seeing you, mighty Lord, upon the cross,
The sun was seized with fear and hid its rays!
The whole creation glorified your longsuffering with awe,
And the earth was filled with your praise!

Canticle five:

Irmos: Let us arise at the rising of the sun
And bring to the master a hymn instead of myrrh,
And we shall see Christ, the sun of righteousness,
Who causes life to dawn for all!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You have risen from the tomb, never-setting light,
Shining upon the world with the bright dawn of incorruption!
In your compassion you have driven out the dark sorrow of death
From the farthest corners of the earth!

Let us draw near, being cleansed by abstinence,
And let us venerate the all-holy wood with fervent praise,
Where Christ was crucified when he saved the world
In his compassion.

Today the ranks of angels dance with gladness
At the veneration of your cross!
For through the cross, O Christ,
You have shattered the hosts of devils,
Bringing mankind salvation!

The church is revealed as a second paradise,
Having a tree of life, as the first paradise of old:
By touching your cross, O Lord,
We share in immortality!


I glorify three co-eternal persons in one essence:
Father, Son and Spirit!
A single light in threefold brightness:
One power and kingdom in unconfused unity!

Now and ever...

You conceived by the law of nature,
Yet above that law;
For you alone bore a child without seed.
We fear to think or speak of your childbearing,
All-blameless Virgin!

Katavasia: Rising early in the morning, we sing your praises,
Savior of the world,
For through your cross, we have found peace!
By it, you have renewed mankind,
Leading us to the light that knows no evening!

Canticle six:

Irmos: You descended, O Christ, to the depths of the earth.
You broke the everlasting bars
Which had held death's captives,
And like Jonah from the whale,
On the third day you arose from the grave!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You crushed death, O Christ, and rose as a mighty king,
Recalling us from the depths of hell!
You brought us to the land of immortality,
Granting us the joy of the kingdom of heaven!

Faithful, let us cry aloud with joy
As we greet the cross of the Lord.
Let us sing triumphantly to God,
For it is a fountain of holiness to all in the world!

The words of the psalmist are fulfilled,
For behold, we worship at the footstool of your most pure feet,
At your precious cross, all-powerful Lord,
The thrice-blessed wood!

We venerate your cross, merciful Lord:
The tree which the prophet of lamentation saw with its fruit.
And we sing in praise of your bonds and tomb,
Of the spears and the nails.

We kiss the holy cross, O Christ,
Which you were pleased to bear on your shoulders,
On which you accepted to be lifted up and crucified in the flesh!
We receive from it strength against our invisible enemies.


I praise the unity in three persons
And the Trinity worshipped in one nature;
The triune God, the threefold light:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Now and ever...

The greatest of all wonders was revealed in you,
Ewe without blemish,
For you bore the lamb that takes away the sin of the world!
Entreat him fervently for those who sing your praises!

Katavasia: With his outstretched arms in the belly of the whale,
Jonah foreshadowed the figure of the cross!
He leapt out from the monster
Saved by your power, O Word!

Kontakion          Tone 7
Now the flaming sword no longer guards the gates of paradise;
It has been mysteriously quenched by the wood of the cross!
The sting of death and the victory of hell have been vanquished,
For you, my Savior, came and cried to those in hell:
Enter again into paradise!

Pilate set up three crosses in the place of the skull, two for the thieves, and one for the giver of life. Seeing him, hell cried to those below: my ministers and powers! Who is this that has fixed a nail in my heart? A wooden spear has pierced me suddenly, and I am torn apart! I suffer inwardly; anguish has seized my belly and my senses. My spirit trembles and I am forced to cast out Adam and his posterity! A tree brought them to my realm, but now the tree of the cross cries out to them:

Enter again into paradise!

Canticle seven:

Irmos: He who saved the three young men in the furnace
Became incarnate and suffered as a mortal man.
Through his sufferings,
He clothed what is mortal in the robe of immortality.
He alone is blessed and most glorious,
The God of our Fathers!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You arose on the third day from the tomb,
As one waking from sleep, O Lord.
By your divine power, you struck down the keepers of hell,
Raising up all our ancestors from the beginning of time,
For you alone are blessed and greatly glorified:
The God of our Fathers!

Nations, let us dance and sing to the music of the harp today,
And greatly rejoice at the veneration of the cross!
Let us give glory to Christ who was nailed upon it!
He alone is blessed and greatly glorified:
The God of our Fathers!

Your cross, all-merciful Lord,
Is honored by all the world,
For you made the instrument of death
Into a source of life!
Sanctify those who venerate it,
For you alone are blessed and greatly glorified:
The God of our Fathers!

You alone, only Jesus, are merciful and tenderhearted.
Illumine and sanctify those who with faith
Venerate your cross and divine passion,
For you alone are blessed and greatly glorified:
The God of our Fathers!


I praise the Godhead, unity in three persons,
For the Father is light, the Son is light, and the Spirit is light,
But the light remains undivided, shining forth in oneness of nature,
Yet in the three rays of the persons!

Now and ever...

You were proclaimed by all the prophets under many different names,
Revealed as the gateway of God, the golden vessel of Manna, the holy land,
For you conceived Jesus Christ in the flesh, Virgin bride of God,
The God of our Fathers who is greatly glorified!

Katavasia: The Lord who delivered the children from the flames,
Took flesh and came to earth:
Nailed to the cross, he granted us salvation,
For he alone is blessed and greatly glorified:
The God of our Fathers!

Canticle eight:

Irmos: This is the chosen and holy day,
The first of Sabbaths, king and Lord of days,
The feast of feasts, holy day of holy days:
On this day we bless Christ for ever more!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Why do you hold fragrant spices in your hands?
Whom do you seek? Cries the young man at the tomb.
Christ our God is risen,
Raising up the nature of mortal men from the hidden depths of hell!

Rejoice, thrice-blessed and divine wood of the cross,
A light to those in darkness.
As you shine to the four corners of the earth,
You prepare us for the dawn of Christ's resurrection.
Grant to all the faithful
That they may come to the feast of Pascha.

On this day, the cross of Christ, the wood anointed with life,
Fills all things with the fragrance of divine grace.
As we smell its God-given scent,
Let us venerate it with faith forever!

Come, Elisha the prophet, and tell us plainly,
What was the wood you cast into the water?
It was the cross of Christ,
Which draws us up from the depths of corruption,
And we venerate it with faith forever!

Jacob prefigured your cross in days of old, O Christ,
When he venerated the top of Joseph's holy staff,
Where he saw the dread sceptre of your kingdom foreshadowed,
And now we venerate your cross in faith for ever!

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Lord!

I glorify one substance in three beings:
Father, Son and Spirit,
Neither confused in persons nor divided in essence,
For there is one God in Trinity, ruling over all forever!

Now and ever...

You alone among mothers, Mary, bride of God, remained a Virgin.
Without wedlock you gave birth to Christ the Savior,
Yet you kept the seal of your purity unbroken.
With all the faithful we shall call you blessed forever!

We praise, bless and worship the Lord,
Singing and exalting him forever!

Katavasia: Daniel, great among the prophets
Was cast into the lions' den;
But he stretched out his hands in the form of the cross,
And was kept unharmed, delivered from their mouths,
And blessing Christ our God forever!

The Magnificat is sung

Canticle nine:

Irmos: Shine! Shine! Shine! O new Jerusalem.
The glory of the Lord has shone on you!
Exult now, exult and be glad, O Zion.
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the resurrection of your son.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

You went down into the tomb, O God the giver of life,
Breaking its bars and chains,
Raising up the dead who cry aloud:
Glory to your resurrection, Christ, the all-powerful Savior!

Your tomb, O Christ, has brought life to me,
For you, the Lord of life,
Came and cried to those dwelling in the grave:
Be free, all who are in bonds,
For I am come, the ransom of the world!

Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing,
Beholding the tree of the cross today as it receives veneration,
For Christ, as the holy David prophesied,
Has exalted it on high.

I died through a tree,
But have found a tree of life in you, cross of Christ!
You are my invincible protector and strong defense against the demons.
As I venerate you today I cry aloud:
Sanctify me by your glory!

Rejoice, church of God and be exceedingly glad,
As you venerate today
The thrice-blessed wood of the most holy cross of Christ.
It is attended by the ranks of angels,
Who stand before it with fear!


I worship you, holy God,
As Trinity of persons in unity of essence:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One power and kingdom, sovereign over all.

Now and ever...

You are the great mountain, Virgin,
In which Christ dwelt, as holy David says.
We are raised up to heaven by you, all-blessed lady,
Through the Spirit, regaining the adoption of sons.

Katavasia: Virgin mother, and true Theotokos,
You bore Christ our God without seed:
He was lifted up in the flesh upon the cross.
With all the faithful, we rightly magnify you with your Son!

Hymn of Light           (Of the resurrection)

Today as we behold the precious cross of Christ
Let us bow before it with faith!
Let us rejoice and embrace it with longing!
Let us beg the Lord who was voluntarily crucified:
Make us worthy to venerate the precious cross!
Enable us to reach the day of resurrection free from evil!

Most pure one, in true worship we now adore the tree
On which your Son stretched out his pure hands for nailing.
Therefore grant us to come in safety
To adore the venerable passion of salvation,
And the bright day of Pascha that gives joy to the world!

At the Veneration of the Cross          Tone 2
Come, faithful,
Let us fall down in worship before the life-creating tree.
Christ, the king of glory, stretched out his hands on it
And exalted us to paradise,
From where he had been driven by the devil's instigation.
Come, faithful, let us fall down in worship before the tree.
By it, we are empowered to crush the heads of invisible enemies.
Come, all generations of nations.
Let us honor the cross of the Lord with songs.
Rejoice, perfect redemption of fallen Adam.
Now all Christians venerate you in fear and love,
Singing, have mercy on us, gracious Lord and lover of mankind!

The Praises
(4 Stikhera of the resurrection)

Tone 4
Let us rejoice in song and magnify the precious cross!
Let us embrace it, crying out:
By your power, all-honored cross, sanctify us.
Keep us who venerate you in true worship,
Safe from the harm of our enemies. (twice)

Verse: Extol the Lord and worship at his footstool, for he is holy!

Come, let us drink living waters flowing from the tree of life,
As we behold before us the holy cross,
The fountain of blessings, the spring of blood and water,
Flowing from the life-giving side of the master.
Of his own will he was lifted up upon the cross,
Raising up mankind and drawing us to himself.

Verse: God is our king throughout the ages; he has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth!

Precious cross, you are the pillar of the church,
The confirmation of the faithful,
The pride and salvation of those who fast.
We bow before you with all our heart and soul.
We seek illumination from the divine grace of him who hung on you,
For it demolished the power of the evil one and healed the curse.


Tone 8
The Lord taught us all parables to flee the pride of the Pharisee.
He himself taught us not to exalt ourselves.
He humbled himself, taking the form of a servant.
He was obedient unto death, even to death on a cross.
Let us give thanks to him with the publican:
You endured the passion for us,
Deliver us from our passions, Lord, and save us!

Now and ever...

Tone 2
You are most blessed, Virgin Theotokos...


Third Sunday of Lent
At the Liturgy

Communion Psalm           (Psalm 4)
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, Lord!
Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
You have given me room when I was in distress:
Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

Mankind, how long shall my honor suffer shame?
How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
But know that the Lord has set apart the Godly for himself;
The Lord hears when I call to him:
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord!

Be angry, but sin not;
Commune with your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say:
O that we might see some good!
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord!

You have put more joy in my heart
Than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
For you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord!


Third week of Lent Sunday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

Tone 8           (by Joseph)

Lord, you willingly stretched out your hands on the cross:
Make us ready for its adoration with reverent hearts,
Radiant with fasting, intercessions, abstinence and love;
For you are good and the lover of mankind.

Most compassionate Lord,
Blot out the multitude of my sins by the great number of your mercies.
Make me worthy to behold your cross,
And to embrace it with a pure soul in this week of abstinence;
For you are the lover of mankind.

(by Theodore)

Great wonder! I behold the tree
On which Christ was crucified in the flesh.
I see the world in adoration in its enlightenment!
I cry: how great is the power of the cross!
When the demons behold it, they are burned!
By its sign, they are consumed with flames.
Therefore, pure tree, I bless you;
I honor and adore you with fear,
Glorifying God, who through you, granted me unending life!

Apostikha          Tone 8
Because of my evil deeds,
I, a wretched man, dare not gaze upon heaven with my eyes.
But sighing like the publican, I cry to you:
O God, forgive me a sinner,
And deliver me from the Pharisee's hypocrisy,
For you alone are compassionate.

Because of my evil deeds...

O 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... 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.

The Great Prokeimenon           Tone 8
You have given an inheritance * to those who fear your name, OLord!

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!


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