Fourth week of Lent
Wednesday Matins

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Sessional hymn
Tone 6

The divine and precious cross lies before us
For our veneration!
It sanctifies the time of abstinence.
Let us approach with a pure conscience:
Let us draw sanctification and enlightenment from it!
Let us cry aloud with fear:
Glory to your compassion, O our Savior, the lover of mankind!


The divine and precious cross lies before us...

Now and ever...

Standing by the cross of the child she bore without seed,
The Virgin mother cried aloud:
O my son, a sword has pierced my heart!
I cannot bear to see you hanging on the wood!
All things tremble before you,
For you are their creator and God!
Glory to you, longsuffering Lord!

(after the 3rd reading of the Psalter):

Sessional hymn
Tone 1

Clothed in glory by the virtues
And cleansed by abstinence,
Let us draw near and venerate the precious cross, crying aloud:
Sanctify our souls and bodies, O only God of all!
Count us worthy to celebrate your most pure passion,
Granting us your great mercy!


Clothed in glory by the virtues...

Now and ever...

Beholding you, O Christ, stretched dead upon the cross,
Your all-blameless mother cried aloud:
My son, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,
What is this ineffable act of love, by which in your compassio/
You have saved the creation of your holy hands?

Hymn of Light
(in the Tone of the week, then the following):


In the middle of the fast,
God calls us all to the veneration of the holy wood.
Through our own sufferings
Let us join ourselves to the sufferings of Christ.
Come, all faithful!
Let us venerate the wood of this dread mystery!

Now and ever...

The all-holy Virgin mother of God the Word
Cried weeping and lamenting:
Such are the good tidings of joy that Gabriel brought me.
Go forth then, child, to fulfill the secret counsel
And the divine plan of salvation!

Tone 8

We have reached the middle of the course of the fast
That leads to your precious cross.
Grant that we may see your day which Abraham saw and rejoiced
When he received Isaac back alive on the mountain as from the tomb!
Delivered by faith from the enemy
May we share in your mystical supper,
Calling out to you in peace:
Our light and our Savior, Glory to you! (twice)

Invincible martyrs of Christ,
You defeated deceit with the power of the cross
And received the grace of eternal life!
The threats of your torturers, you did not fear!
You were glad of being wounded by them,
And now your blood is the healing of our souls!
Pray that our souls may be saved!

Glory... Now and ever...

Having crossed half way over the sea of abstinence,
Let us look towards the harbor of salvation:
The season of your voluntary passion, O Lord.
Grant us also in your steadfast love and mercy,
To behold the day of your glorious resurrection in peace!


Fourth week of Lent Wednesday
6th hour

Tone 6

Before your cross, we bow down in worship, O master,
And your holy resurrection we glorify!

Tone 6

May all those who seek you * rejoice and be glad in you, O God!

Verse: Be pleased, O God, to deliver me!

Reading: Isaiah 26:21-27:9

Tone 6

In you, Lord, do I take refuge; * let me never be put to shame!

Verse: In your righteousness, deliver me!


Fourth week of Lent
Wednesday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

Tone 4

The fast, the means of receiving blessings,
Has now led us half-way through its course,
Pleasing God with the days that are past
And proposing purposeful tasks for the days ahead,
For the increase of blessings produces a greater number of good deeds!
Therefore let us cry to Christ, the giver of all blessings:
You fasted and endured the cross for our sake:
Enable us to partake uncondemned of your divine Pascha,
To lead our lives in peace,
Worthily glorifying you with the Father and the Spirit.

Tone 5

Those who thirst for spiritual blessings
Perform their good deeds in secret,
Not noising them abroad in markets,
But cherishing and keeping them in their hearts.
For he who sees all that is done in secret
Will reward us for our abstinence.
Let us fulfill the fast without sad faces,
But ceaselessly praying in the depths of our hearts:
Our Father, in heaven,
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil!

Your souls filled with unquenchable love,
You endured the most terrible sufferings without denying Christ,
And cast down the tyrant's pride.
You who kept the faith unchanged and unharmed
Have gone to dwell in heaven.
Since you have boldness before the Lord,
Pray that he may grant us great mercy!

Tone 1

Let us cleanse our souls with the water of the fast.
Let us draw near to the precious and pure cross of the Lord,
Venerating it in faith and drawing divine enlightenment;
Even now obtaining eternal salvation,
Peace and great mercy.

Cross, boast of apostles,
Surrounded by principalities, powers and archangels!
Save those who bow before you from all harm,
And enable us to fulfill well the divine course of abstinence;
To attain to the saving day, by which we are saved!

Tone 7

Today, as we bow before the cross of the Lord, let us cry:
Rejoice, tree of life, the tormentor of hell!
Rejoice, joy of the world, the destroyer of corruption!
Rejoice, power which drives out demons!
Rejoice, confirmation of the faithful, invincible weapon!
Preserve and sanctify those who kiss you.

(4 Stikhera to the saint of the day from the Menaion)

Glory... Now and ever...

Tone 8

Today the unapproachable by nature approaches me,
And frees me from passions by enduring the passion.
The light of the blind is spat upon by sinful men,
And gives his back to scourgings for the sake of the captives.

When the pure Virgin mother beheld him on the cross, she cried out in pain:
Woe to me! What is this you have done, my child!
Your beauty was fairer than that of any man, yet you appear lifeless,
With no form or comeliness.
Woe to me, my light.
I cannot bear to look upon you sleeping.
My being is wounded, for a sword has pierced my heart!
But I praise your passion;
I bow before your compassion!
Long-suffering Lord, Glory to you!

Tone 4

Blessed be the Lord, the God if Israel, * who alone does wondrous things!
Verse: Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son.

Reading: Genesis 9:18 - 10:1

Tone 4

It is good for me * to be near my God!
Verse: Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!

Reading: Proverbs 12:23 - 13:9


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