THE GENERAL VIGIL SERVICE OF THE HOLY FATHERS, IN REMEMBRANCE OF COUNCILS

This service is always served on a Sunday. It is sung on the 7th Sunday after Pascha in memory of the holy Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council, on the Sunday closest to July 16th after the memory of the holy Fathers of the first 6 Ecumenical Councils; and on the Sunday closest to October 11th after the memory of the holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council.

On "Lord, I have cried ...", 4 Stichera from the Octoechos, and the following 6 Stichera from the Fathers,

In Tone VI:

Spec. Mel.: The desperate.

Stichos: If Thou shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, O Lord, who shall stand? * For with Thee there is forgiveness.

   Without mother, before the morning star, * Thou wast born from the bosom of the Father before all ages, * yet we behold Arius glorifying Thee as a creature and not as God, * audaciously commingling Thee, the Creator, with His creation * and thus brashly heaping upon himself the punishment of eternal Fire, * but the council that was held in Nicea, * proclaimed Thee, O Lord, to be the Son of God, * enthroned together with the Father and the Spirit.

Stichos: For Thy name’s sake have I patiently waited for Thee, O Lord; my soul hath patiently waited for Thy word, * my soul hath hoped in the Lord.

   Without mother, before the morning star, * Thou wast born from the bosom of the Father before all ages, * yet we behold Arius glorifying Thee as a creature and not as God, * audaciously commingling Thee, the Creator, with His creation * and thus brashly heaping upon himself the punishment of eternal Fire, * but the council that was held in Nicea, * proclaimed Thee, O Lord, to be the Son of God, * enthroned together with the Father and the Spirit.

Stichos: From the morning watch until night, from the morning watch * let Israel hope in the Lord.

   O Savior, Thou hast proclaimed Arius * as one who hath rent Thy divine raiment, * for having rejected Thee as One Trinitarion in his teachings * he endeavored to separate and divide the pre-eternal and equal in honor unity Trinitarion; * also teaching Nestorius to refuse agreement with the title Theotokos; * but the council that was held in Nicea, * proclaimed Thee O Lord, to be the Son of God, * enthroned together with the Father and the Spirit.

Stichos: For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption; * and He shall redeem Israel out of all his iniquities.

   O Savior, Thou hast proclaimed Arius * as one who hath rent Thy divine raiment, * for having rejected Thee as One Trinitarion in his teachings * he endeavored to separate and divide the pre-eternal and equal in honor unity Trinitarion; * also teaching Nestorius to refuse agreement with the title Theotokos; * but the council that was held in Nicea, * proclaimed Thee O Lord, to be the Son of God, * enthroned together with the Father and the Spirit.

Stichos: O praise the Lord, all ye nations; * praise Him, all ye peoples.

   Despising the comprehension of the true light, * Arius was recompensed with a most extreme consequence for his sin, * for his bowels were rent asunder as if by a divine cleaver, * after which, like unto Judas, he gave up his body and soul * in a manner similar to Judas; * nevertheless the council that was held in Nicea, * proclaimed Thee, O Lord, to be the Son of God, * enthroned together with the Father and the Spirit.

Stichos: For He hath made His mercy to prevail over us, * and the truth of the Lord abideth forever.

   Arius, in his Foolishness, * attempted to divide the one essence of the Holy Trinity * into three independent and distinct essences; * wherefore the God-bearing Fathers zealously assembled * and moved by the flame of divine fervor, * like unto Elijah the Tishbite, * cut down the blasphemer with the sword of the spirit, * as the Spirit directed them.

Glory ..., In Tone VI:

   Let us this day praise the trumpets of the mysteries of the Spirit, * the God-bearing Fathers * who in the midst of the Church * melodiously and with one voice chant the divine odes of theology * Trinitarion one in essence and without distinction, * in both essence and Divinity, * they who have vanquished Arius and exonerated the Orthodox * and ever pray to the Lord that our souls may be saved.

Now & Ever ...,

The Dogmatic of the In Tone for the Saturday evening Vigil Service:

   After the Entrance and O Joyous Light,

Saturday Vespers Prokeimenon, In Tone VI:

The Lord is King, * He is clothed with majesty.

Stichos 1: The Lord is clothed with strength and He hath girt Himself.

Stichos 2: For He established the universe which shall not be shaken.

Stichos 3: Holiness becometh Thy house, O Lord, unto length of days.

The readings for the Holy Fathers:

The Reading is from Genesis [14, 14-20].

   When Abram heard that Lot his brother's son was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother's son Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him and said: Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Who created heaven and earth; and blessed be the Most High God, Who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.

The Reading is from Deuteronomy [1, 8-11 and 15-17].

   In those days spake Moses unto the sons of Israel saying: Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your Fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. And I spake unto you at that time saying: I am not able to bear you myself alone. The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. The Lord God of your Fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are and bless you, as He hath promised you! So I took from among you wise men and known and experienced, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains over fifties; and captains over tens, and scribes unto your judges. And I charged your judges at that time, saying: Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, but ye shall hear the small as well as the great ; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's.

The Reading is from Deuteronomy [10, 14-21].

   In those days spake Moses unto the sons of Israel, saying: Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight in thy Fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you, above all people as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. For the Lord our God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and a terrible, which regardeth not persons nor taketh reward; He doth execute the judgment of the Fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

At the Litia, the Stichera of the Feast of the Temple then:

Glory ..., In Tone III:

   O ye holy Fathers, * renowned preservers of the apostolic traditions, * for in an Orthodox manner * you declared the unity of essence of the Holy Trinity, * and overthrew in council the blasphemies of Arius, * and together with him you censured Macedonius the Pneumatomach * and with them you censored Nestorius, Eutyches and Dioscorus, * Sabellius and Severus the headless one; * wherefore we beseech you to pray that we may be delivered * from the allurement of their false teachings * and that our life may be preserved in the faith unsoiled.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   By the will of the Father and without seed * thou didst conceive through the divine Spirit the Son of God * Who hath existed without mother from before the ages, * and for our sake thou gavest birth to Him in the flesh, * and suckled as a babe Him who came forth from thee without father. * Wherefore, cease not to pray, that our souls be delivered from all tribulations.

At the Aposticha, Four Stichera from the Oktoechos. Then:

Glory ..., In Tone IV:

   Let us, the assembly of the faithful, celebrate today in faith, * with devout veneration and thanksgiving, * the memory of the God-bearing Fathers * who were gathered together from the far ends of the world in the radiant city of Nicea, * for with the most devout wisdom they have vanquished the godless teaching of the rapacious Arius * and with an anathema expelled him from the Orthodox Catholic Church; * clearly teaching all to confess the Son of God as One in Essence, pre-eternal and equal with the Father, * devoutly expounding this with certainty in the symbol of faith; * wherefore we also believing and following their divine teaching, * rightfully serve, together with the Father, * the Son and All-holy Spirit in One Divinity, * the Trinity One in essence.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   Mercifully regard the supplications of thy servants, * O all-immaculate one, * quelling the cruel uprisings of the demons against us, * delivering us from every sorrow; * for thee alone do we have as a steadfast and sure confirmation, * and having acquired thine intercession; * let not us who call upon thee be put to shame, * O Sovereign Lady. * Hasten thou to answer the entreaties of those who cry out to thee with faith: * Rejoice, thou help, joy and protection of all, * and the salvation of our souls!

   Now Master, Trisagion. Then:

   For the blessing of the loaves the Troparion:

In Tone IV:

   O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, * O Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; * blessed art thou among women, * and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, * for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls. [Twice]

And of the Fathers,

Troparion In Tone VIII:

   Most glorious art Thou, O Christ our God, * since Thou hast established our Holy Fathers as luminaries upon the earth * and through them hath instructed us all in the true faith. * O Most merciful One, glory be to Thee. [Once]

   And the Dismissal.

AT MATINS

   At "God is the Lord", the Troparion of the Resurrection according to the In Tone of the Vigil Service [Twice]

Glory ...,

   Most glorious art Thou, O Christ our God, * since Thou hast established our Holy Fathers as luminaries upon the earth * and through them hath instructed us all in the true faith. * O Most merciful One, glory be to Thee.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O Good One, Who for our sake wast born of the Virgin * and, having endured crucifixion, * cast down death by death, and as God revealed the resurrection: * disdain not that which Thou hast fashioned with Thine own hand. * Show forth Thy love for mankind, O Merciful One; * Accept the supplications of the Theotokos who bore Thee, * and save Thy despairing people, O our Savior!

   After the 2nd and 3rd Kathismata, the Sedalions from the Oktoechos.

   The Canon of the Resurrection with the Troparia in 6, that of the Resurrection and Cross in 2 each, of the Theotokos in 2 and of the Fathers in 6. The Canon is the work of the Holy Ecumenical Patriarch, Germanus. In Tone VI:

ODE I

Irmos: When Israel walked on foot in the sea as on dry land, * on seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, * they cried: * Let us sing to God * a song of victory.

   Let the Fathers from Nicea be honored With sacred words, they who, as if from the heavens, thundered everywhere the Word of the Living Father and by their thunder put to flight His enemies.

   Through the Holy Spirit, Christ hath expelled far from His Church The evil inspirations of the Pneumatomachi, bringing union to His Church by the declerations of the second Ecumenical Council.

   Nestorius hath been expelled along with the enticements of the Christomachi, for Cyril as the Chairman of the council clearly confessed the Virgin Mary to be the pure Mother of God.

Theotokion: Thou, O pure one, hast brought forth One of the uncreated Trinity, Christ in two natures and wills, Who for thy sake hath brought about the union of mankind and of Angels.

ODE III

Irmos: There is none holy as Thou, * O Lord my God, * who hast exalted the horn of The faithful O good One, * and strengthened us upon the rock * of Thy confession.

   The foolish Arius appeared as serving the creature, and Macedonius appeared equally abhorrent, wherefore both now suffer torments in the fire of Gehenna, together with the pagan Hellenes.

   Thou, O Christ, hast illumined Thy Church with the radiance of the seven sacred councils of the holy Fathers as with the light of a seven-candled lamp, having expelled far from her the darkness of delusion.

   Thy flock, O Word, was being ravaged by the multitudes of heretics, but the shepherds of Thy spiritual sheep have, by their teachings, returned order to the Church.

Theotokion: Thou, O pure one, hast brought forth One of the uncreated Trinity, Christ in two natures and wills, Whose venerated image we adore, being filled with grace.

The Kontakion and The Ikos of the Resurrection; thereupon the

Sedalion of the Fathers, In Tone IV:

Spec. Mel.: Speedily prevent.

   Ye Godly-instructed ones have appeared on the earth, * shining forth unto the world like brilliant lamps of the truth of Christ, * O most truly blessed Fathers, * for you have withered the blasphemous babbling of the heretics, * and extinguished the fiery confusion of the ignoble teachers; * wherefore as Hierarchs of Christ we beseech you * to intercede that we may be saved. [Twice]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   With thy divine birth O pure one, * thou hast renewed the nature of those born on earth, * mortal and corrupted by passions, * and raised all from death unto the life of incorruption; * wherefore we all dutifully bless thee, * O most glorious Virgin, * as thou didst foretell.

ODE IV

Irmos: Christ is my power, * my God and my Lord, * the holy Church divinely sings, * crying with a pure mind, * keeping festival in the Lord.

   Noisome have thine enemies and those that hate Thee become, O Savior, raising their heads for a time, but soon they fall unable to endure the sound of Thy spiritual trumpets.

   The suns of the pre-eternal Sun have shown clearly that both the Son and the Spirit are of the same essence as the Father, Uncreated, Co-unoriginate, and that we believe the sole cause of Both to be the Father alone.

   Seven in number, are the spirits that descended upon Christ, in accordance with the prophecy of Isaiah, and seven are the councils upon which hath come to rest Christ, with the Father and the Divine Spirit.

Theotokion: Thou hast brought forth God, Who assumed flesh from thy pure blood, O most pure Maiden; and the Fathers have proclaimed Him in two natures and one Hypostasis.

ODE V

Irmos: Illumine with Thy divine light, I pray, O Good One, * the souls of those who with love rise early to pray to Thee, * that they may know Thee, O Word of God, * as the true God, * Who recalls us from the darkness of sin.

   The divine grapes of Christ's [dogmas] brought forth from Egypt, have been polluted by the servants of the dark and desolate destroyer; but with a sling from the holy Fathers they have been expelled far away.

   By the illumination of the divine thrice-radiant brilliance the minds of the venerable Fathers have been enlightened to proclaim Christ the Lord as One of the Venerated Trinity, dual in nature and wills.

Trinitarion: Through the wisdom of the Fathers, the Church hath been made like unto heaven on earth, O Trinity, for she ever singeth unto Thee in the company of the Seraphim the trisagion hymn, confessing Thy unity in one Triunal Divinity.

Theotokion: Thou, O pure one, wast both the Mother and servant Of thy Son; for He that was born from thee, was thy Creator before thee, Who hath became known in two natures united through the Hypostatic Word.

ODE VI

Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging the flood of temptations, * I run to calm haven, and cry to Thee: * Raise up my life from corruption, * O Most Merciful One.

   'The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the setting thereof', once sung David, signifying thereby the ecumenical councils of the Fathers.

   The wisdom of God hath builded Thy Church, she hath hewn out her seven pillars, O Master, by the sevenfold number of the councils of the holy Fathers, which undeviatingly protect her from all heresies.

   Let the countenances of Eutyches and Dioscorus be shamed for they invented the teaching of commingling in the nature of Christ. Learn now that it was not in appearance only, but by deification He assumed human nature.

Theotokion: Let Nestorius be led into communion with the dark assemblies of the Hebrews and let his blasphemous tongue be cut off, for the Virgin Mary hath for our sake given birth to God incarnate.

The Kontakion, In Tone VIII:

Spec. Mel.: As the first fruits.

   The preaching of the Apostles and the dogmas of the Fathers * have confirmed the one faith in the Church. * In the garment of truth woven by theology from on high, * she rightly divides and glorifies the great mystery of piety.

The Ikos: Let us hearken unto the Church of God crying in her sublime teachings: 'He that thirsteth, let him come unto me and drink of the cup that I hold; for it is the cup of wisdom.' This cup of truth hath been drawn by the word and it issues not the water of confusion, but of confession, drinking from which the present Israel contemplateth God, Who hath said: 'See ye, see that it is I Myself and that I change not; I am the first God, and I am also thereafter and there is none other; those that partake thereof shall be satisfied and will praise the great mystery of godliness.'

ODE VII

Irmos: An Angel made the furnace throw dew on the holy Children. * But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans * and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry: * 'Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers'.

   The Babylonian serpent was once shattered by Daniel, similarly the rapacious Egyptian serpent, Arius, who was destroying the flock of Christ, perished through the prayers of the Fathers.

   Moved by unforgivable wickedness, the wolf Macedonius revolted against the Spirit that deifieth mankind and through the bath of baptism bringeth all the faithful unto the good estate.

   Dioscorus, Eutyches and Severus, the Leviathan, the three who in mingling the spirit commingled the essence of Christ with His human nature, daringly revolted against the venerable Trinity.

Theotokion: The image of Thy fleshly countenance, O Master, do we kiss with reverence and in a right spirit do we venerate with honor those of Thy Mother and of all the saints that it may be well with us when we pass over to Thee, the first-born from the dead.

ODE VIII

Irmos: Thou didst make flame sprinkle the Saints with dew, * and didst burn the sacrifice of a righteous man with water. * For Thou alone, O Christ, dost do all as Thou willest, * and Thee do we exalt throughout all ages.

   The Father is the One Cause of The Son and the Spirit, which shine forth like sprouts from one single, God-planted root; Ever-existing unto the Ever-existing Hypostases, equal in honor.

   From an immaterial bosom dost Thou for ever shine forth, O Word; Being of the same essence with the Father and the Spirit, Who for our sake didst dwell in the temporal maternal womb of the only Mother of God.

   Arrows burning with spiritual fire have pierced the cold hearts of the enemy heretics, for their demise hath been brought about by the sevenfold divine assemblies of the Fathers.

Theotokion: We do not glorify one Christ in separate persons, nor do we unite Him in the commingling of His divine essence with His human nature, for one and the same is He in person but divided in natures thy Son and Thy Creator, O Virgin.

ODE IX

Irmos: It is impossible for mankind to see God * upon Whom the orders of Angels dare not gaze; * but through thee, O pure one, * did the Word Incarnate become man * and with Heavenly Hosts * Him we magnify and thee we call blessed.

   It behoveth us to neither add anything to nor to omit anything from the sacred tradition of our Orthodox faith, for we were truly baptized into it, and those who pervert this faith, will be truly banned under the anathema.

   With joyful hearts let us exult in the gathering of the sacred councils of the Fathers, for through them we behold the light of Orthodoxy, appearing unto us as lamps that instruct and lead us to the right ways of true knowledge.

   Let us pray for the cleansing of our souls, and let us strive to pass our lives in piety, that we may be participants with the holy Fathers who have preserved for us their children, the riches of true dogmas.

Theotokion: God hath shone forth from thy side, O Theotokos, and hath deified the race of mankind, granting to them His own glory and making all who ever declare thee as the true Mother of God, His heirs.

Expostilarion [Svetilen].

Spec. Mel.: Hearken O ye, women.

   Celebrating today the memory of the divine Fathers, * we pray Thee, O All-Compassionate One * that through their prayers Thy people may be delivered from every form of heresy, * and vouchsafe O Lord, that they all may rightly glorify * the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   Rejoice! O divine mansion; Rejoice! O overshadowed mountain; Rejoice! O bush unconsumed; Rejoice! O throne of glory; Rejoice! O divine table; Rejoice! O handle of pure gold; Rejoice! O lamp all-radiant; Rejoice! O cloud of light, Virgin Mother Mary.

At the Aposticha, 4 Stichera of the Resurrection and 4 of the Fathers: In Tone VI:

Spec. Mel.: Having laid aside all.

Stichos: Praise Him with timbrel and dance, * praise him with strings and flute.

   Gathering together with spiritual acumen, * consulting together under the guidance of the Divine Spirit, * the venerable Fathers divinely composed the blessed and venerable creed, * in which they most clearly teach the Word to be Co-unoriginate * and of the same essence as the Father, * clearly following the teachings of the Apostles * you revealed yourselves to be illustrious, * O Divinely-wise ones.

Stichos: Praise Him with tuneful cymbals, praise Him with cymbals of jubilation. * Let every breath praise the Lord.

   Gathering together with spiritual acumen, * consulting together under the guidance of the Divine Spirit, * the venerable Fathers divinely composed the blessed and venerable creed, * in which they most clearly teach the Word to be Co-unoriginate * and of the same essence as the Father, * clearly following the teachings of the Apostles * you revealed yourselves to be eminently illustrious, * O Divinely-wise ones.

Stichos: Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages.

   Above nature, receiving the fullness of the spiritual light and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, * the blessed Fathers have created an inspired declaration, * few in words but plenteous in meaning. * For as preachers of Christ, and principal interpreters of the Gospel's teaching and sacred tradition, * the revelation of which they had clearly received enlightened from on high, * they fashioned the God-inspired creed of the faith.

Stichos: Gather unto Him His righteous.

   Gathering together with pastoral concern, * and expressing their spiritual ire, * the most righteous and divine pastors * in retribution [for heresy] expelled the dangerous and pernicious wolves, * smiting them with the sling of the spirit through the fullness of the Church * as ones incurably afflicted and fallen in death, * acting thus as true servants of Christ * and most sacred sages of divine teaching.

Glory ..., In Tone VIII:

   The choir of the holy Fathers, * gathered together from all the ends of the world, * have taught the Father, Son and Holy Spirit * as one in essence and nature, * handing over to the Church in clarity the mystery of the Divinity. * Praising them therefore, let us faithfully bless them saying: * O divine company of God-inspired infantry in the Lord's army, * multi-illumined stars of the spiritual firmament, * unassailable pillars of the mystical Zion, * flowers of paradise fragrant with myrrh, * most precious golden-mouths of the Word, * the glory of Nicea, and ornaments of the universe, * unceasingly pray for our souls.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion. In Tone II:

   Thou art supremely blessed, O Virgin Theotokos, * for through Him who was incarnate of thee * Hell hath been taken captive, Adam recalled, the curse slain, and Eve set free, * death hath been put to death and we have been given life; * therefore with hymns we cry unto Thee: * Blessed art Thou O Christ our God who hast been thus well-pleased, glory be to Thee!

   The Great Doxology.

   After the Trisagion, the Troparion of the Resurrection. The Ectinias. And the Dismissal.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., The unread Eothinon of the Gospel. Thereupon the First Hour and the final Dismissal.

    

AT THE LITURGY

Typika and Beatitudes, 6 from the Oktoechos, and the following 4 from the Fathers:

   7. The foolish Arius appeared as serving the creature, and Macedonius appeared equally abhorrent, wherefore both now suffer torments in the fire of Gehenna, together with the pagan Hellenes.

   8. Thou, O Christ, hast illumined Thy Church with the radiance of the seven sacred councils of the holy Fathers as with the light of a seven-candled lamp, having expelled far from her the darkness of delusion.

   9. Thy flock, O Word, was being ravaged by the multitudes of heretics, but the shepherds of Thy spiritual sheep have, by their teachings, returned order to the Church.

   10. Thou, O pure one, hast brought forth One of the uncreated Trinity, Christ in two natures and wills, Whose venerated image we adore, being filled with grace.

Troparion of the Fathers, In Tone VIII:

   Most glorious art Thou, O Christ our God, * since Thou hast established our Holy Fathers as luminaries upon the earth * and through them hath instructed us all in the true faith. * O Most merciful One, glory be to Thee.

The Kontakion of the Fathers, In Tone VIII:

   The preaching of the Apostles and the dogmas of the Fathers * have confirmed the one faith in the Church. * In the garment of truth woven by theology from on high, * she rightly divides and glorifies the great mystery of piety.

The Prokeimenon of the Fathers: In Tone IV: Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages.

The Epistle to the Hebrews: [Heb. 10: 19-31].

   Brethren: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And [having] an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; [for he [is] faithful that promised;] And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Alleluia of the Fathers, In Tone I: The God of Gods, the Lord hath spoken.

Stichos: Gather unto Him His righteous.

The Holy Gospel according to St. John the Theologian [Jn. 17: 1-13].

   At that time Jesus: lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

The Communion Verse: Praise ye the Lord from the heavens, Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord.