Sunday of the last judgment

Saturday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

(6 Stikhera of the resurrection)

Tone 6
Righteous judge of all mankind!
You will come to judge the living and the dead,
Enthroned in glory and escorted by your angels.
Every man will stand in fear before you,
Trembling at the river of fire flowing past your throne,
As each one waits to hear the sentence he deserves.
On that awesome day have mercy on us as well, O Christ;
Count us worthy of salvation,
For, worthless as we are, we turn to you in faith,
Compassionate and merciful Lord!

The books will be opened and the works of all men laid bare:
The vale of tears will echo with gnashing of teeth;
The sinners will mourn in vain, as they depart to eternal damnation.
Your judgments are just, O Lord almighty!
We beg you, master, full of goodness and compassion:
Take pity on us who sing to you, most merciful one!

The trumpet shall sound and the graves be opened:
All mankind will arise in trembling;
The righteous will rejoice, as they receive their reward,
But the wicked will depart to eternal fire with wailing and horror.
Lord of glory, have mercy on us!
Number us with those who love you, master,
For you alone are good!

I shudder in terror when I think of that dreadful day;
I weep as I consider the darkness that will never see light:
There the worm shall not cease, or the fire be quenched;
The pain of those who reject you will never end.
Save me, your most worthless servant, righteous judge,
For your mercy and compassion are my only hope!


Tone 8
When the thrones are set in place and the books are opened,
Then God will take his place on the judgment-seat.
What a fearful sight,
As the angels stand in awe and the river of fire flows by:
What shall we do, who are already condemned by our many sins,
As we hear Christ call the righteous to his Father's kingdom,
And send the wicked to eternal damnation?
Who among us can bear that terrible verdict?
Hasten to us, lover of mankind and king of the universe
Grant us the grace of repentance before the end and have mercy on us!

Now and ever... (of the resurrection tone of the week)

Apostikha (of the resurrection)


Tone 8
Woe to you, my darkened soul!
Your life is stained by depravity and laziness;
Your folly makes you shun all thought of death.
How complacent you remain!
How can you flee the awesome thought of judgement day?
When will you change your way of life?
On that day all your sins will rise against you:
What will your answer be then?
Your acts will condemn you; your deeds will expose you.
The time is at hand, O my soul.
Turn to the good and loving Savior!
Beg him to forgive your malice and weakness and cry in faith:
I have sinned, Lord; I have sinned against you!
But I know you as the lover of mankind.
Good shepherd, call me to enjoy your lasting presence on your right hand!

Now and ever...

Unwedded Virgin,
You ineffably conceived God in the flesh!
Mother of God most high!
Accept the cries of your servants, blameless one!
Grant cleansing of transgressions to all!
Receive our prayers and pray to save our souls!

(Troparion of the resurrection)

Kontakion           Tone 1
When you, O God, shall come to earth with glory,
All things shall tremble,
And the river of fire shall flow before your judgment seat,
The books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed;
Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire,
And make me worthy to stand at your right hand, righteous judge!


(After the Psalms of the Polyeleon we sing psalm 137: "By the waters of Babylon...", to a slow and solemn melody. At the end of each verse we sing "Alleluia," and make a deep bow. After the reading of the Resurrection Gospel we sing "Having beheld the resurrection...", Psalm 51, and the verses: "Open to me the gates of repentance...")

The Canon (by Theodore the Studite)

Tone 6

Canticle one:

A helper and a protector,
He has become my salvation.
This is my God, I will glorify him,
My Father's God will I exalt,
For gloriously has he been glorified.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

As I ponder and look towards the dread day of your ineffable coming,
I tremble with fear.
Then you will sit and judge the living and the dead,
My all-powerful God.

When you will come, O God,
With the thousands and ten thousands of the heavenly ranks of angels,
Count me worthy in my wretchedness, O Christ,
To meet you in the clouds.

Come, my soul, and call to mind the very day and hour
When God shall stand before you visibly;
Then weep and lament,
And so you shall be found pure in the hour of trial.

Terror and amazement seize me
When I think of the unquenchable fire of Gehenna,
Of the bitter worm and gnashing teeth.
But release me and forgive me, O Christ,
And set me in the ranks of your elect.

Unworthy though I be,
May I also hear your voice
That so greatly desired, calls your saints to joy,
And may I attain the ineffable blessings of the kingdom of heaven.

Do not enter into judgement with me,
Bringing before me the things I should have done,
Examining my words and correcting my impulses.
But in your mercy overlook my sins and save me, Lord almighty.


Unity in three persons, sovereign Lord of all,
Source of perfection, God without beginning,
Father, Son and all-Holy Spirit,
Be yourself our salvation.

Now and ever...

Who has ever begotten a Son
Not sown by a Father according to the law of nature?
Yet the Father begets such a Son without a mother!
Most strange and marvelous wonder!
For you, pure Virgin, have at the same time borne both God and man!


A helper and protector...

Canticle three:

Irmos: Establish, O Lord, my unstable heart
On the rock of your commandments,
For you only are holy and the Lord.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Behold the coming of the Lord,
And who shall endure the fear when he comes?
Who shall dare to appear before his face?
But prepare yourself to meet him, my soul.

Let us go quickly while there is still time;
Let us lament, let us be reconciled to God before the end comes.
For the judgement is fearful
In which all of us shall stand naked.

I cry to you, O Lord:
Have mercy, have mercy on me,
When you come with your angels
To give every man the due reward for his deeds.

How shall I endure the naked wrath of your judgement,
For I have disobeyed your commandment?
But in the hour of judgement,
Spare me, O spare me!

Turn back and lament, wretched soul,
Before the fair ground of life comes to an end,
Before the Lord shuts the door of the bridal chamber.

I have sinned as no other man before,
I have transgressed more than any man, O Lord:
Before the day of judgement comes,
Be merciful to me, lover of mankind!


Simple unity praised in Trinity of persons,
Uncreated nature without beginning,
Save us, as in faith we worship your power.

Now and ever...

(After the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Undefiled Virgin,
You gave birth without seed to the living word,
Who took flesh in your womb yet was not changed.
Glory to your child-bearing, mother of God!

Establish, O Lord, my unstable heart...

Sessional hymn

Tone 6

I think upon the fearful day and lament my evil acts.
What answer shall I give to the immortal King?
And what boldness could I have as prodigal to gaze upon the judge?
Compassionate Father, only-begotten Son and Holy Spirit, have mercy on me!


In the valley of lamentation, the place you have appointed,
When you shall sit, merciful Lord, to execute just judgement,
Do not publish my secret sins, or put me to shame before the angels,
But spare me, O God, and have mercy on me.
Now and ever...

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

O Virgin Theotokos, good hope of the world:
I ask alone for your dread protection.
Have compassion on a defenseless people and pray to the merciful God
That our souls may be delivered from all danger, for you alone are blessed.

Canticle four:

Irmos: The prophet heard of your coming, O Lord
And was afraid
That you were to be born of a Virgin and appear to men,
And he said:
I have heard the report of you and am afraid;
Glory to your power, O Lord!

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

The day is upon us; the judgement is now at the door.
Be vigilant, my soul.
Kings and princes, the rich and poor are gathering,
And each shall receive the due reward for what he has done.

Monk and hierarch, old and young, slave and master:
Each shall be examined in his own order;
Widow and Virgin shall be corrected.
And woe to all whose lives are sinful!

Your judgement is without respect of persons;
No cunning argument or skill in speech
Can deceive your judgement seat;
False witnesses cannot pervert your sentence.
For every secret stands revealed in your sight, O God.

Do not let me come into the valley of lamentation, my Christ and word;
Do not let me see the place of darkness;
Do not let me be bound hand and foot,
Cast out from your bridal chamber,
Because in my complete wretchedness
I have defiled the garment of incorruption.

When at the judgement of the world
You will separate the sinners from the righteous,
Count me as one of your sheep
And do not place me with the goats, loving Lord,
But may I hear your words of blessing.

When the trial takes place and books recording all our acts are opened
What shall you do, miserable soul?
What answer shall you make before the judgement seat,
For you have no fruits of righteousness to offer Christ, your creator.

I hear the lamentation of the rich man in the flames of torment,
And in my misery, deserving the same condemnation, I weep and wail.
Therefore I entreat you:
Savior of the world, have mercy on me at the time of judgement.


I glorify the Son and spirit who come from the Father
As light and ray from the sun:
The one begotten, the other proceeding and sent forth;
Divine and co-eternal Trinity,
Adored by all creation.

Now and ever...

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Every ear and mind are filled with wonder, Virgin mother
At your miracle, honored Virgin,
For you gave birth, yet kept your purity,
Bringing forth both God and man, a single person with twofold nature.

Katavasia: The prophet heard of your coming, O Lord...

Canticle five:

Out of the night, watching early for you,
Enlighten me I pray, O lover of man
And guide me in your commandments
And teach me, O Savior, to do your will

have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Indescribable fear and trembling are there,
For the Lord will come trying the work of every man,
And who will not mourn for himself?

The river of fire devours and torments me;
The gnashing of teeth grinds me to dust.
The darkness of the abyss fills my heart with dismay,
And what can I do to gain God's mercy?

Spare, Lord, spare your servant;
Do not deliver me to the bitter tormentors,
To the cruel angels of hell,
Who will never let me be at rest.

Prince and governor together,
Rich and humble, great and small,
All alike are tried:
Woe to him who is not prepared!

Lord, pardon, remit and forgive all my sins against you;
Do not condemn me there, in the presence of the angels,
To the punishment of fire and to unending shame.

Spare, spare the work of your hands, Lord.
I have sinned: forgive me,
For you alone are pure by nature,
And none but you is free from defilement.


Trinity, I praise you as unity by nature
Without beginning, incomprehensible, supreme in sovereignty,
God and light and life, beyond perfection,
The creator of the world!

Now and ever...

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

The laws of nature, holy Virgin,
Are clearly voided by your childbearing surpassing nature,
For you gave birth to God without seed,
Begotten before all ages from the Father.

Katavasia: Out of the night, watching early...

Canticle six:

Irmos: With my whole heart I cried unto the compassionate God,
And he heard me;
And he lifted up my soul from the depths of hell
And from corruption.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

At your fearful coming, O Christ,
When you appear from heaven,
When the thrones are set up and the books are opened,
Then spare, Savior, spare your creature.

Since God is the judge, nothing can help you there,
No zeal, no skill, no glory, no friendship,
But only what you have gained in strength from your works, my soul.

Prince and governor will be there together,
Rich and poor, my soul;
No Father or mother will be able to help us,
No brother will redeem us from the condemnation.

Think, my soul of the fearful examination before the judge;
In trembling, prepare your defense!
Lest you be condemned to the eternal bonds.

Do not let me hear you say: take what is your due! Lord,
As you send me from your presence;
Do not let me hear you say:
Depart from me into the fire of the accursed!
But may I hear your words of blessing to the righteous.

Deliver me, Lord, from the gates of hell,
From chaos and darkness without light,
From the lowest depths of the earth and the unquenchable fire,
And from all the other everlasting punishments.


I sing The Praises of the triune Godhead:
Father, Son and divine spirit,
One sovereign principle
Divided in three persons.

Now and ever...

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

You are the gate, pure lady,
Through which one alone has passed,
Entering in and leaving, yet not breaking the seal of your virginity:
Jesus, the creator of Adam, and your son.

With my whole heart I cried...


Tone 1
When you, O God, shall come to earth with glory,
All things shall tremble
And the river of fire shall flow before your judgement seat;
The books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed;
Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire,
And make me worthy to stand at your right hand, righteous judge!

Lord of supreme love, as I think upon your fearful judgement seat and the day of judgement, I tremble and am filled with fear, accused by my own conscience. When you sit on your throne and bring all to trial then no one will be able to deny his sins, for the truth will accuse him and terror will hold him fast. The flames of Gehenna will roar and the sinners will gnash their teeth. Therefore have mercy upon me before the end, and spare me, righteous judge!

Canticle seven:

We have sinned, transgressed, done wrong before you.
We have not watched or done as you have commanded us,
But do not give us up utterly,
O God of our Fathers.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Let us, faithful, fall down and lament
Before that day of judgment comes,
When the heavens shall be destroyed,
The stars fall and all the earth shall be shaken,
That at the end we may receive mercy from the God of our Fathers.

The trial is without respect of persons,
And fearful is the judgement on that day;
Nothing escapes the judge, no favor can be won with bribes.
But spare me, master, and deliver me from all your fearful wrath.

The Lord comes to judge: who can endure the sight of him?
Tremble, my wretched soul!
Tremble and prepare for your wretched departure,
That you may gain mercy and compassion from the God of your Fathers.

Terror seizes me when I think of the unquenchable fire,
Of the bitter worm, the gnashing of teeth, and soul-destroying hell;
Yet I do not turn to true compunction.
Lord, Lord, before the end, strengthen your fear within me.

I fall down before you and offer you my words as tears:
I have sinned as the harlot never sinned,
And I have transgressed as no other man on earth.
But take pity on your creature, O master, and call me back.

Turn back, repent, uncover all that you have hidden!
Say to God, to whom all things are known:
You alone know all my secrets, Savior;
Have mercy on me, as David says, according to your mercy.


I sing The Praises of the three that are one in essence,
Of the one that is three in persons:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One power, one will, one energy, one thrice holy God,
One sovereign kingdom.

Now and ever...

(After the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Virgin, God comes forth in beauty from the chamber of your womb;
He is clothed as a king in the divinely-woven robe
Dyed mystically in your all-pure blood,
And he reigns over all the earth.

Katavasia: We have sinned, transgressed...

Canticle eight:

Him whom the hosts of heaven glorify,
Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim dread,
Let every breath and creature praise, bless and magnify
Throughout all ages.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Lord, when I think how I must meet you at your fearful second coming,
I tremble at your menace, I fear your wrath.
In that hour deliver me, I cry,
And save me forever.

When you, O God, shall judge all things,
Who among us earthborn, beset by passions,
Shall dare to stand before you?
Then the unquenchable fire and the destroying worm
Shall seize the condemned and hold them fast forever.

All that has breath, O Christ,
You shall assemble to be judged together.
Then great shall be the fear and anguish;
And only our good actions shall help us forever.

Judge of all, my God and Lord,
On that day may I hear your words of blessing,
May I see your mighty light, may I look upon your tabernacles,
May I behold your glory and rejoice forever.

Righteous judge and Savior, have mercy on me,
And deliver me from the fire that threatens me,
From the punishment that I deserve to suffer at the judgement.
Grant me remission through virtue and repentance before the end!

When you sit on your throne, merciful judge,
What fear will there be then,
When you reveal your dread glory, O Christ!
When the furnace burns with fire,
And all shrink back in terror before your judgement seat.

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

I honor God one in essence,
I sing The Praises of the three persons,
Distinct, yet not differing in nature,
For there is one Godhead in the three:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Now and ever...
(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Christ has come forth from your radiant womb
As a bridegroom from his chamber,
And as a great light he has illumined those in darkness.
The sun of righteousness has shone forth as lightning,
Giving light to the world, pure Virgin.

Katavasia: him who the hosts of heaven glorify...

Canticles nine:

Ineffable is the child-bearing of a seedless conception,
A mother remaining pure.
For the birth of God renews natures,
So in all ages we magnify you in an Orthodox manner
As the mother and bride of God.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

The Lord comes to punish sinners and to save the righteous.
Let us tremble and lament,
And call to mind that day when our hidden secrets will be disclosed
And he will pay us what is due.

Moses was filled with fear and trembling when he saw you from behind.
Then how, in my wretchedness,
Shall I endure to behold your face when you shall come from heaven?
But spare me, compassionate Lord,
And look on me in mercy.

Daniel was afraid of the hour of trial,
And what shall i, unhappy one, feel
When I come to that terrible day, Lord?
But grant me before the end
To worship you acceptably and to gain your kingdom.

The fire is prepared, the worm is ready;
Yet ready also is the glory of rejoicing, the eternal rest,
The light without evening, the gladness of the righteous!
And who is he that shall be blessed
To escape the torment and inherit the joy?

Do not reject me from your presence, in anger, Lord;
Do not let me hear you sending me away accursed to the fire.
But let me then enter with your saints
Into the joy of your eternal bridal-chamber.

My mind is wounded, my body has grown feeble,
My spirit is sick, my speech has lost its power, my life is dead.
The end is at the door, and what shall you do then, miserable soul,
When the judge comes to examine your deeds?


Father, the single source of the only-begotten son;
Only light and brightness from the one and only light;
And you, one only Holy Spirit from the one God,
True Lord from the Lord:
Holy three in one, save me as I tell of your divinity.

Now and ever...

(After the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

The marvel of your childbearing fills me with wonder,
All blameless lady.
How did you conceive without seed him whom none can comprehend?
How did you remain a Virgin and yet become a mother?
"accept the miracle with faith!
Worship the child that is born:
For all that he wills, he has the power to do!"

Ineffable is the child-bearing...

Hymn of Light           (Of the resurrection)

As I ponder the fearful day of your judgement and ineffable glory,
I am wholly filled with fear, O Lord,
And trembling in terror I cry:
When you come upon earth, Christ our God,
To judge all things in glory,
Then deliver me in my wretchedness from every punishment
And count me worthy, master, of a place at your right hand.


Behold, the day of the Lord almighty comes,
And who can endure the fear of his presence?
It is a day of wrath; of the burning, fiery furnace,
And the judge shall sit, giving each the due reward of his works.

Now and ever...

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

As I call to mind the hour of trial
And the fearful coming of the master and lover of mankind,
I tremble in every part,
And with a downcast face I cry to you:
My most righteous judge, at the intercessions of the Theotokos,
Accept me in repentance
For you alone are rich in mercy.

The Praises

(5 Stikhera of the resurrection)

Tone 6
I think upon that day and hour
When we shall all stand naked as men condemned
Before the judge who respects no man's person.
Then the trumpet shall sound
And the earth's foundations shall shake:
The dead shall rise from their graves,
And men shall be brought together from all generations.
Then each man's secrets will be openly brought before you,
And those who have never repented shall weep and lament,
Departing to the outer fire;
But with gladness and rejoicing//
The company of the righteous shall enter the heavenly bridal chamber!

Verse: I will praise you, Lord, with my whole heart!
I will speak of all your marvelous works!

How shall it be in that fearful day and hour,
When the judge shall sit on his dreadful throne!
The books shall be opened, and men's actions examined,
And the secrets of darkness shall be made public.
Angels shall move quickly, gathering all the nations:
Come and hearken, kings and princes,
Those who were slaves and free,
Sinners and righteous, rich and poor:
For the judge is come to pass sentence on all of the inhabited earth!
And who shall bear to stand before his face in the presence of the
Calling us to account for our actions and thoughts by night or by day?
How shall it be then in that hour?
But before the end is here, make haste, my soul,
Crying: turn me back and save me, only compassionate God!

Verse: I will be glad and rejoice in you, I will sing
praises to your name, O God most high!

Tone 8
Daniel the prophet, and greatly beloved man,
When he saw the power of God, cried out:
The court sat in judgement and the books were opened!
Consider well, my soul:
Do you fast? Then do not despise your neighbor!
Do you abstain from food?
Then do not condemn your brother,
Lest you be sent to burn as wax in the fire.
But may Christ lead you without stumbling into his kingdom!

Verse: Arise, Lord my God, lift up your hand; forget
not your poor forever!

Tone 1
Brethren, let us cleanse ourselves with the queen of virtues:
For behold her, bringing us a wealth of blessings.
She quells the uprising of the passions,
Reconciling sinners to the master.
Therefore let us welcome her with gladness,
And cry aloud to Christ our God:
You are risen from the dead, only sinless one:
Guard us, uncondemned, as we give you glory!


Brethren, let us cleanse ourselves...

Now and ever...
Tone 2
You are most blessed...

Divine Liturgy

Prokeimenon           Tone 3
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; *
his understanding is beyond measure!

Verse: Praise the Lord! For it is good to singpraises to our God!

Alleluia           Tone 8
Come, let us sing to the Lord!

Verse: Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving!


("Lord I call...": the prescribed Stikhera from the octoechos and Menaion)

Apostikha          Tone 8
We are gluttons, who revel in our fallen nakedness;
Exiles banished from the face of God!
The delights of food have become exceedingly bitter for us!
Let us return through repentance, and enlist for the battle!
Let us complete the days of fasting, that our flesh may be cleansed.
Strengthening our hearts with the hope of grace,
Let us not labor for the food which perishes,
For the lamb of God will feed us
On the radiant night of his resurrection.
He is the victim offered for us.
He comes to eat with us
On the night when his mysteries shall be accomplished:
The chains of darkness will be destroyed,
And we shall enter into the light of his resurrection!

We are gluttons, who revel in our fallen nakedness...

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...

(After the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

The powers of heaven sing your praises,
Unwedded mother full of grace,
And we glorify your wondrous childbearing:
Theotokos, pray that our souls may be saved!


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