The Priest. 4087
I O Sovereign Lord our God, contemn me not, defiled with a multitude of sins: for, behold, I have come to this Thy divine and heavenly mystery, not as being worthy; but looking only to Thy goodness, I direct my voice to Thee: God be merciful to me, a sinner; I have sinned against Heaven, and before Thee, and am unworthy to come into the presence of this Thy holy and spiritual table, upon which Thy only-begotten Son, and our Lord Jesus Christ, is mystically set forth as a sacrifice for me, a sinner, and stained with every spot. Wherefore I present to Thee this supplication and thanksgiving, that Thy Spirit the Comforter may be sent down upon me, strengthening and fitting me for this service; and count me worthy to make known without condemnation the word, delivered from Thee by me to the people, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening, and consubstantial 4088 Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
II Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, the triune light of the Godhead, which is unity subsisting in trinity, divided, yet indivisible: for the Trinity is the one God Almighty, whose glory the heavens declare, and the earth His dominion, and the sea His might, and every sentient and intellectual creature at all times proclaims His majesty: for all glory becomes Him, and honour and might, greatness and magnificence, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
Prayer of the incense at the beginning. 4089
III Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, O Word of God, who didst freely offer Thyself a blameless sacrifice upon the cross to God even the Father, the coal of double nature, that didst touch the lips of the prophet with the tongs, and didst take away his sins, touch also the hearts of us sinners, and purify us from every stain, and present us holy beside Thy holy altar, that we may offer Thee a sacrifice of praise: and accept from us, Thy unprofitable servants, this incense as an odour of a sweet smell, and make fragrant the evil odour of our soul and body, and purify us with the sanctifying power of Thy all-holy Spirit: for Thou alone art holy, who sanctifiest, and art communicated to the faithful; and glory becomes Thee, with Thy eternal Father, and Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
IV O beneficent King eternal, and Creator of the universe, receive Thy Church, coming unto Thee through Thy Christ: fulfil to each what is profitable; lead all to perfection, and make us perfectly worthy of the grace of Thy sanctification, gathering us together within Thy holy Church, which Thou hast purchased by the precious blood of Thy only-begotten Son, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom Thou art blessed and glorified, together with Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
God, who didst accept the gifts of Abel, the sacrifice of Noah and of Abram, the incense of p. 538 Aaron and of Zacharias, accept also from the hand of us sinners this incense for an odour of a sweet smell, and for remission of our sins, and those of all Thy people; for blessed art Thou, and glory becomes Thee, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.
Sir, pronounce the blessing. 4090
Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who through exceeding goodness and love not to be restrained wast crucified, and didst not refuse to be pierced by the spear and nails; who didst provide this mysterious and awful service as an everlasting memorial for us perpetually: bless Thy ministry in Christ the God, and bless our entrance, and fully complete the presentation of this our service by Thy unutterable compassion, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
VI. The Lord bless us, and make us worthy seraphically to offer gifts, and to sing the oft-sung hymn of the divine Trisagion, by the fulness and exceeding abundance of all the perfection of holiness, now and ever.
Then the Deacon begins to sing in the entrance. 4091
Thou who art the only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal; who didst submit for our salvation to become flesh of the holy God-mother, 4092 and ever-virgin Mary; who didst immutably become man and wast crucified, O Christ our God, and didst by Thy death tread death underfoot; who art one of the Holy Trinity glorified together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.
VII God Almighty, Lord great in glory, who hast given to us an entrance into the Holy of Holies, through the sojourning among men of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord, and God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, we supplicate and invoke Thy goodness, since we are fearful and trembling when about to stand at Thy holy altar; send forth upon us, O God, Thy good grace, and sanctify our souls, and bodies, and spirits, and turn our thoughts to piety, in order that with a pure conscience we may bring unto Thee gifts, offerings, and fruits for the remission of our transgressions, and for the propitiation of all Thy people, by the grace and mercies and loving-kindness of Thy only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed to all eternity. Amen.
The Lord bless us all, and sanctify us for the entrance and celebration of the divine and pure mysteries, giving rest to the blessed souls among the good and just, by His grace and loving-kindness, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
Then the Deacon says the bidding prayer. 4093
For the remission of our sins, and forgiveness of our transgressions, and for our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and distress, and from the uprising of our enemies, let us beseech the Lord.
X. O compassionate and merciful, long-suffering, and very gracious and true God, look from Thy prepared dwelling-place, and hear us Thy suppliants, and deliver us from every temptation of the devil and of man; withhold not Thy aid from us, nor bring on us chastisements too heavy for our strength: for we are unable to overcome what is opposed to us; but Thou art able, Lord, to save us from everything that is against us. Save us, O God, from the difficulties of this world, according to Thy goodness, in order that, having drawn nigh with a pure conscience to Thy holy altar, we may send up to Thee without condemnation the blessed hymn Trisagion, together with the heavenly powers, and that, having performed the service, well pleasing to Thee and divine, we may be counted worthy of eternal life.
Because Thou art holy, Lord our God, and dwellest and abidest in holy places, we send up the praise and the hymn Trisagion to Thee, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. p. 539
Then there are read in order 4094 the holy oracles of the Old Testament, and of the prophets; and the incarnation of the Son of God is set forth, and His sufferings and resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and His second appearing with glory; and this takes place daily in the holy and divine service. 4095
XII. Let us all say, Lord, be merciful. 4096
God, who hast taught us Thy divine and saving oracles, enlighten the souls of us sinners for the comprehension of the things which have been before spoken, so that we may not only be seen to be hearers of spiritual things, but also doers of good deeds, striving after guileless faith, blameless life, and pure conversation.
XV. Peace be to all. p. 540
O Sovereign giver of life, and provider of good things, who didst give to mankind the blessed hope of eternal life, our Lord Jesus Christ, count us worthy in holiness, and perfect this Thy divine service to the enjoyment of future blessedness.
XVI. Let none remain of the catechumens, none of the unbaptized, none of those who are unable to join with us in prayer. Look at one another. 4098 The door.
All erect: 4099 let us again pray to the Lord.
Sovereign Almighty, King of Glory, who knowest all things before their creation, manifest Thyself to us calling upon Thee at this holy hour, and redeem us from the shame of our transgressions; cleanse our mind and our thoughts from impure desires, from worldly deceit, from all influence of the devil; and accept from the hands of us sinners this incense, as Thou didst accept the offering of Abel, and Noah, and Aaron, and Samuel, and of all Thy saints, guarding us from everything evil, and preserving us for continually pleasing, and worshipping, and glorifying Thee, the Father, and Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy all-holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever.
For the King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ our God, comes forward to be sacrificed, and to be given for food to the faithful; and the bands of angels go before Him with every power and dominion, the many-eyed cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim, covering their faces, and crying aloud the hymn, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
The Priest, bringing in the holy gifts, 4101 says this prayer:—
XVII. O God, our God, who didst send forth the heavenly bread, the food of the whole world, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be a Saviour, and Redeemer, and Benefactor, blessing and sanctifying us, do Thou Thyself bless this offering, and graciously receive it to Thy altar above the skies:
Remember in Thy goodness and love those who have brought it, and those for whom they have brought it, and preserve us without condemnation in the service of Thy divine mysteries: for hollowed and glorified is Thy all-honoured and great name, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.
Blessed be God, who blesseth and sanctifieth us all at the presentation of the divine and pure mysteries, and giveth rest to the blessed souls among the holy and just, now and always, and to all eternity.
XIX. God and Sovereign of all, make us, who are unworthy, worthy of this hour, lover of mankind; that being pure from all deceit and all hypocrisy, we may be united with one another by the bond of peace and love, being confirmed by the sanctification of Thy divine knowledge through Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
Let us salute one another with an holy kiss. 4102 Let us bow our heads to the Lord.
XXI. Only Lord and merciful God, on those who are bowing their necks before Thy holy altar, and seeking the spiritual gifts that come from Thee, send forth Thy good grace; and bless us all with every spiritual blessing, that cannot be taken from us, Thou, who dwellest on high, and hast regard unto things that are lowly.
For those who bear fruit, and labour honourably in the holy churches of God; for those who remember the poor, the widows and the orphans, the strangers and needy ones; and for those who have requested us to mention them in our prayers;
For those who are passing their days in virginity, and celibacy, and discipline, and for those in holy matrimony; and for the holy fathers and brethren agonizing in mountains, 4103 and dens, and caves of the earth;
p. 542 For every Christian soul in tribulation and distress, and needing the mercy and succour of God; for the return of the erring, the health of the sick, the deliverance of the captives, the rest of the fathers and brethren that have fallen asleep aforetime;
Let us beseech the Lord. 4104
Then the Priest makes the sign of the cross on the gifts, 4105 and, standing, speaks separately thus:—
And bowing to this side and to that, 4106 he says:
O Sovereign Lord, who hast visited us in compassion and mercies, and hast freely given to us, Thy humble and sinful and unworthy servants, boldness to stand at Thy holy altar, and to offer to Thee this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our sins, and for the errors of the people, look upon me Thy unprofitable servant, and blot out my transgressions for Thy compassions sake; and purify my lips and heart from all pollution of flesh and spirit; and remove from me every shameful and foolish thought, and fit me by the power of Thy all-holy Spirit for this service; and receive me graciously by Thy goodness as I draw nigh to Thy altar.
And be pleased, O Lord, that these gifts brought by our hands may be acceptable, stooping to my weakness; and cast me not away from Thy presence, and abhor not my unworthiness; but pity me according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies pass by my transgressions, that, having come before Thy glory without condemnation, I may be counted worthy of the protection of Thy only-begotten Son, and of the illumination of Thy all-holy Spirit, that I may not be as a slave of sin cast out, but as Thy servant may find grace and mercy and forgiveness of sins before Thee, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come.
I beseech Thee, Almighty Sovereign, all-powerful Lord, hear my prayer; for Thou art He who workest all in all, and we all seek in all things the help and succour that come from Thee and Thy only-begotten Son, and the good and quickening and consubstantial Spirit, now and ever.
XXV. O God, who through Thy great and unspeakable love didst send forth Thy only-begotten Son into the world, in order that He might turn back the lost sheep, turn not away us sinners, laying hold of Thee by this dread and bloodless sacrifice; for we trust not in our own righteousness, but in Thy good mercy, by which Thou purchasest our race.
We entreat and beseech Thy goodness that it may not be for condemnation to Thy people that this mystery for salvation has been administered by us, but for remission of sins, for renewal of souls and bodies, for the well-pleasing of Thee, God and Father, in the mercy and love of Thy only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy and good and quickening Spirit, now and always, and for ever. 4109
XXVI. O Lord God, who didst create us, and bring us into life, who hast shown to us ways to salvation, who hast granted to us a revelation of heavenly mysteries, and hast appointed us to this ministry in the power of Thy all-holy Spirit, grant, O Sovereign, that we may become servants of Thy new testament, ministers of Thy pure p. 543 mysteries, and receive us as we draw near to Thy holy altar, according to the greatness of Thy mercy, that we may become worthy of offering to Thee gifts and sacrifices for our transgressions and for those of the people; and grant to us, O Lord, with all fear and a pure conscience to offer to Thee this spiritual and bloodless sacrifice, and graciously receiving it unto Thy holy and spiritual altar above the skies for an odour of a sweet spiritual smell, send down in answer on us the grace of Thy all-holy Spirit.
And, O God, look upon us, and have regard to this our reasonable service, and accept it, as Thou didst accept the gifts of Abel, the sacrifices of Noah, the priestly offices of Moses and Aaron, the peace-offerings of Samuel, the repentance of David, the incense of Zacharias. As Thou didst accept from the hand of Thy apostles this true service, so accept also in Thy goodness from the hands of us sinners these offered gifts; and grant that our offering may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, as a propitiation 4110 for our transgressions and the errors of the people; and for the rest of the souls 4111 that have fallen asleep aforetime; that we also, Thy humble, sinful, and unworthy servants, being counted worthy without guile to serve Thy holy altar, may receive the reward of faithful and wise stewards, and may find grace and mercy in the terrible day of Thy just and good retribution.
Prayer of the veil. 4112
XXVII. We thank Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou hast given us boldness for the entrance of Thy holy places, which Thou hast renewed to us as a new and living way through the veil of the flesh 4113 of Thy Christ. We therefore, being counted worthy to enter into the place of the tabernacle of Thy glory, and to be within the veil, and to behold the Holy of Holies, cast ourselves down before Thy goodness:
Lord, have mercy on us: since we are full of fear and trembling, when about to stand at Thy holy altar, and to offer this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our own sins and for the errors of the people: 4114 send forth, O God, Thy good grace, and sanctify our souls, and bodies, and spirits; and turn our thoughts to holiness, that with a pure conscience we may bring to Thee a peace-offering, the sacrifice of praise:
And, uncovering the veils that darkly invest in symbol 4115 this sacred ceremonial, do Thou reveal it clearly to us: fill our intellectual vision with absolute light, and having purified our poverty from every pollution of flesh and spirit, make it worthy of this dread and awful approach: for Thou art an all-merciful and gracious God, and we send up the praise and the thanksgiving to Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now, and always, and for ever.
Let us lift up our minds and our hearts. 4116
Verily it is becoming and right, proper and due to praise Thee, to sing of Thee, to bless Thee, to worship Thee, to glorify Thee, to give Thee thanks, Maker of every creature visible and invisible, the treasure of eternal good things, the fountain of life and immortality, God and Lord of all:
Whom the heavens of heavens praise, and all the host of them; the sun, and the moon, and all the choir of the stars; earth, sea, and all that is in them; Jerusalem, the heavenly assembly, p. 544 and church of the first-born that are written in heaven; spirits of just men and of prophets; souls of martyrs and of apostles; angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, and authorities, and dread powers; and the many-eyed cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim, which cover their faces with two wings, their feet with two, and with two they fly, crying one to another with unresting lips, with unceasing praises:
Holy, holy, holy, O Lord of Sabaoth, the heaven and the earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. 4117
The Priest, making the sign of the cross 4118 on the gifts, says:—
XXIX. Holy art Thou, King of eternity, and Lord and giver of all holiness; holy also Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom Thou hast made all things; holy also Thy Holy Spirit, which searches all things, even Thy deep things, O God: holy art Thou, almighty, all-powerful, good, dread, merciful, most compassionate to Thy creatures; who didst make man from earth after Thine own image and likeness; who didst give him the joy of paradise; and when he transgressed Thy commandment, and fell away, didst not disregard nor desert him, O Good One, but didst chasten him as at merciful father, call him by the law, instruct him by the prophets; and afterwards didst send forth Thine only-begotten Son Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, that He by His coming might renew and restore Thy image;
Who, having descended from heaven, and become flesh of the Holy Spirit and Virgin Godmother 4119 Mary, and having sojourned among men, fulfilled the dispensation for the salvation of our race; and being about to endure His voluntary and life-giving death by the cross, He the sinless for us the sinners, in the night in which He was betrayed, nay, rather delivered Himself up for the life and salvation of the world,
XXX. Having taken the bread in His holy and pure and blameless and immortal hands, lifting up His eyes to heaven, and showing it to Thee, His God and Father, He gave thanks, and hallowed, and brake, and gave it to us, 4120 His disciples and apostles, saying:—
The Deacons say: 4121
In like manner, after supper, He took the cup, and having mixed wine and water, lifting up His eyes to heaven, and presenting it to Thee, His God and Father, He gave thanks, and hollowed and blessed it, and filled it with the Holy Spirit, and gave it to us His disciples, saying, Drink ye all of it; this is my blood of the new testament shed for you and many, and distributed for the remission of sins.
XXXI. Remembering, therefore, His life-giving sufferings, His saving cross, His death and His burial, and resurrection from the dead on the third day, and His ascension into heaven, and sitting at the right hand of Thee, our God and Father, and His second glorious and awful appearing, when He shall come with glory to judge the quick and the dead, and render to every one according to His works; even we, sinful men, offer unto Thee, O Lord, this dread and bloodless sacrifice, praying that Thou wilt not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities;
But that Thou, according to Thy mercy and p. 545 Thy unspeakable loving-kindness, passing by and blotting out the handwriting against us Thy suppliants, wilt grant to us Thy heavenly and eternal gifts (which eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man 4122 ) that thou hast prepared, O God, for those who love Thee; and reject not, O loving Lord, the people for my sake, or for my sins sake:
The sovereign and quickening Spirit, that sits upon the throne with Thee, our God and Father, and with Thy only-begotten Son, reigning with Thee; the consubstantial 4123 and co-eternal; that spoke in the law and in the prophets, and in Thy New Testament; that descended in the form of a dove on our Lord Jesus Christ at the river Jordan, and abode on Him; that descended on Thy apostles in the form of tongues of fire in the upper room of the holy and glorious Zion on the day of Pentecost: this Thine all-holy Spirit, send down, O Lord, upon us, and upon these offered holy gifts;
That coming, by His holy and good and glorious appearing, He may sanctify this bread, and make it the holy body of Thy Christ. 4124
XXXIII. That they may be to all that partake of them for remission of sins, and for life everlasting, for the sanctification of souls and of bodies, for bearing the fruit of good works, for the stablishing of Thy Holy Catholic Church, which Thou hast founded on the Rock of Faith, 4125 that the gates of hell may not prevail against it; delivering it from all heresy and scandals, and from those who work iniquity, keeping it till the fulness of the time.
XXXIV. We present them to Thee also, O Lord, for the holy places, which Thou hast glorified by the divine appearing of Thy Christ, and by the visitation of Thy all-holy Spirit; especially for the glorious Zion, the mother of all the churches; 4126 and for Thy Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church throughout the world: even now, O Lord, bestow upon her the rich gifts of Thy all-holy Spirit.
Remember, O Lord, Christians sailing, travelling, sojourning in strange lands; our fathers and brethren, who are in bonds, prison, captivity, and exile; who are in mines, and under torture, and in bitter slavery. Remember, O Lord, the sick and afflicted, and those troubled by unclean spirits, their speedy healing from Thee, O God, and their salvation.
Remember all, O Lord, for good: have mercy on all, O Lord, be reconciled to us all: give peace to the multitudes of Thy people: put away scandals: bring wars to an end: make the uprising of heresies to cease: grant Thy peace and Thy love to us, O God our Saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth.
Remember, O Lord, favourable weather, peaceful showers, beneficent dews, abundance of fruits, and to crown the year with Thy goodness; for the eyes of all wait on Thee, and Thou givest their food in due season: thou openest Thy hand, and fillest every living thing with gladness.
Remember, O Lord, those who bear fruit, and labour honourably in the holy 4127 of Thy Church; p. 546 and those who forget not the poor, the widows, the orphans, the strangers, and the needy; and all who have desired us to remember them in our prayers.
Moreover, O Lord, be pleased to remember those who have brought these offerings this day to Thy holy altar, and for what each one has brought them or with what mind, and those persons who have just now been mentioned to Thee.
Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of Thy mercy and compassion, me also, Thy humble and unprofitable servant; and the deacons who surround Thy holy altar, and graciously give them a blameless life, keep their ministry undefiled, and purchase for them a good degree, that we may find mercy and grace, with all the saints that have been well pleasing to Thee since the world began, to generation and generation—grandsires, sires, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, teachers, saints, and every just spirit made perfect in the faith of Thy Christ.
Remember, O Lord God, the spirits and all flesh, of whom we have made mention, and of whom we have not made mention, who are of the true faith, from righteous Abel unto this day: unto them do Thou give rest there in the land of the living, in Thy kingdom, in the joy of paradise, in the bosom of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, our holy fathers; whence pain, and grief, and lamentation have fled: there the light of Thy countenance looks upon them, and enlightens them for ever. 4130
Make the end of our lives Christian, acceptable, blameless, and peaceful, O Lord, gathering us together, O Lord, under the feet of Thine elect, when Thou wilt, and as Thou wilt; only without shame and transgressions, through Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ: for He is the only sinless one who hath appeared on the earth.
For the peace and establishing of the whole world, and of the holy churches of God, and for the purposes for which each one made his offering, or according to the desire he has: and for the people standing round, and for all men, and all women:
Forgive, remit, pardon, O God, our transgressions, voluntary and involuntary: in deed and in word: in knowledge and in ignorance: by night and by day: in thought and intent: in Thy goodness and love, forgive us them all.
Through the grace and compassion and love of Thy only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed and glorified, together with the all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.
That the Lord our God, having graciously received them to His altar that is holy and above the heavens, rational and spiritual, for the odour of a sweet spiritual savour, may send down in answer upon us the divine grace and the gift of the all-holy Spirit;
p. 547 Having prayed for the unity of the faith, and the communion of His all-holy and adorable Spirit;
XXXVIII. God and Father of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, the glorious Lord, the blessed essence, the bounteous goodness, the God and Sovereign of all, who art blessed to all eternity, who sittest upon the cherubim, and art glorified by the seraphim, before whom stand thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand hosts of angels and archangels: Thou hast accepted the gifts, offerings, and fruits brought unto Thee as an odour of a sweet spiritual smell, and hast been pleased to sanctify them, and make them perfect, O good One, by the grace of Thy Christ, and by the presence of Thy all-holy Spirit.
Sanctify also, O Lord, our souls, and bodies, and spirits, and touch our understandings, and search our consciences, and cast out from us every evil imagination, every impure feeling, every base desire, every unbecoming thought, all envy, and vanity, and hypocrisy, all lying, all deceit, every worldly affection, all covetousness, all vainglory, all indifference, all vice, all passion, all anger, all malice, all blasphemy, every motion of the flesh and spirit that is not in accordance with Thy holy will:
And count us worthy, O loving Lord, with boldness, without condemnation, in a pure heart, with a contrite spirit, with unshamed face, with sanctified lips, to dare to call upon Thee, the holy God, Father in heaven, and to say,
The Priest, bowing, says (the Embolism 4131 ):—
And lead us not into temptation, Lord, Lord of Hosts, who knowest our frailty, but deliver us from the evil one and his works, and from all his malice and craftiness, for the sake of Thy holy name, which has been placed upon our humility:
Send forth upon us, O Lord, Thy plenteous grace and Thy blessing; and sanctify our souls, bodies, and spirits, that we may become worthy communicants and partakers of Thy holy mysteries, to the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting:
And the grace and the mercies of the holy and consubstantial, and uncreated, and adorable Trinity, shall be with us all. 4132
The Priest says secretly:— 4133
O holy Lord, that abidest in holy places, sanctify us by the word of Thy grace, and by the visitation of Thy all-holy Spirit: for Thou, O Lord, hast said, Ye will be holy, for I am holy. O Lord our God, incomprehensible Word of God, one in substance with the Father and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal and indivisible, accept the pure hymn, in Thy holy and bloodless sacrifices; with the cherubim, and seraphim, and from me, a sinful man, crying and saying:—
XL. The holy things unto holy.p. 548
XLI. For the remission of our sins, and the propitiation of our souls, and for every soul in tribulation and distress, needing the mercy and succour of God, and for the return of the erring, the healing of the sick, the deliverance of the captives, the rest of our fathers and brethren who have fallen asleep aforetime;
Lord, have mercy. 4134
Then he makes the sign of the cross on that in his left hand: then with that which has been signed the other half: then forthwith he begins to divide, and before all to give to each chalice a single piece, saying:—
XLII. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. In green pastures, and so on. 4135
I will bless the Lord at all times, and so on. 4136
I will extol Thee, my God, O King, and so on. 4137
O praise the Lord, all ye nations, and so on. 4138
And when they have filled, 4139 the Deacon says:—
The Lord will bless us, and make us worthy with the pure touchings of our fingers to take the live coal, and place it upon the mouths of the faithful for the purification and renewal of their souls and bodies, now and always.
O Lord our God, the heavenly bread, the life of the universe, I have sinned against Heaven, and before Thee, and am not worthy to partake of Thy pure mysteries; but as a merciful God, make me worthy by Thy grace, without condemnation to partake of Thy holy body and precious blood, for the remission of sins, and life everlasting. 4140
XLIII. Then he distributes to the clergy; and when the deacons take the disks 4141 and the chalices for distribution to the people, the Deacon, who takes the first disk, says:—
And when the Deacon is about to put it on the side-table 4143 the Priest says:—
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. 4144
The Priest again. 4145
We render thanks to Thee, Christ our God, that Thou hast made us worthy to partake of Thy body and blood, for the remission of sins, and for life everlasting. Do Thou, in Thy goodness and love, keep us, we pray Thee, without condemnation.
XLIV. We render thanks to Thee, the Saviour and God of all, for all the good things Thou hast given us, and for the participation of Thy holy and pure mysteries, and we offer to Thee this incense, praying: Keep us under the shadow of Thy wings, and count us worthy till our last breath to partake of Thy holy rites for the sanctification of our souls and bodies, for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven: for Thou, O God, art our sanctification, and we send up praise and thanksgiving to Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Glory to Thee, glory to Thee, glory to Thee, O Christ the King, only-begotten Word of the Father, that Thou hast counted us, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, worthy to enjoy thy pure mysteries for the remission of sins, and for life everlasting: glory to Thee. 4146
Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most glorious, blessed Lady, the God-Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary, 4147 and all the saints that have been well-pleasing to Thee since the world began, let us devote ourselves, and one another, and our whole life, to Christ our God:
XLVI. O God, who through Thy great and unspeakable love didst condescend to the weakness of Thy servants, and hast counted us worthy to partake of this heavenly table, condemn not us sinners for the participation of Thy pure mysteries; but keep us, O good One, in the sanctification of Thy Holy Spirit, that being made holy, we may find part and inheritance with all Thy saints that have been well-pleasing to Thee since the world began, in the light of Thy countenance, through the mercy of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit: for blessed and glorified is Thy all-precious and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.
O God, great and marvellous, look upon Thy servants, for we have bowed our heads to Thee. Stretch forth Thy hand, strong and full of blessings, p. 550 and bless Thy people. Keep Thine inheritance, that always and at all times we may glorify Thee, our only living and true God, the holy and consubstantial 4148 Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now and ever, and to all eternity.
In the name of the Lord. Sir, pronounce the blessing. 4149
XLIX. Going on from strength to strength, and having fulfilled all the divine service in Thy temple, even now we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, make us worthy of perfect loving-kindness; make straight our path: root us in Thy fear, and make us worthy of the heavenly kingdom, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and always, and for ever.
Thou hast given unto us, O Lord, sanctification in the communion of the all-holy body and precious blood of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; give unto us also the grace of Thy good Spirit, and keep us blameless in the faith, lead us unto perfect adoption and redemption, and to the coming joys of eternity; for Thou art our sanctification and light, O God, and Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy all-holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Lamb and Shepherd, who takest away the sin of the world, who didst freely forgive their debt to the two debtors, and gavest remission of her sins to the woman that was a sinner, who gavest healing to the paralytic, with the remission of his sins; forgive, remit, pardon, O God, our offences, voluntary and involuntary, in knowledge and in ignorance, by transgression and by disobedience, which Thy all-holy Spirit knows better than Thy servants do:
And if men, carnal and dwelling in this world, have in aught erred from Thy commandments, either moved by the devil, whether in word or in deed, or if they have come under a curse, or by reason of some special vow, I entreat and beseech Thy unspeakable loving-kindness, that they may be set free from their word, and released from the oath and the special vow, according to Thy goodness.
Verily, O Sovereign Lord, hear my supplication on behalf of Thy servants, and do Thou pass by all their errors, remembering them no more; forgive them every transgression, voluntary and involuntary; deliver them from everlasting punishment: for Thou art He that hast commanded us, saying, Whatsoever things ye bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever things ye loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven: for, thou art our God, a God able to pity, and to save and to forgive sins; and glory is due unto Thee, with the eternal Father, and the quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
[This title is misleading, as we have no copies of the originals of these liturgies, and they are encrusted with the ideas of later ages. I shall distinguish between the interpolations legitimately made by councils and the manifest corruptions which contradict Scripture and ancient authors. N.B.: I print the deacons parts as such.]537:4087 537:4088 537:4089 538:4090 538:4091 538:4092 538:4093 539:4094 539:4095 539:4096 539:4097
Commemorating with all the holy and just, our all-holy, pure, most glorious Lady, the God-mother, and ever-virgin Mary, let us devote ourselves, and one another, and our whole life, to Christ our God.540:4098 540:4099 540:4100 540:4101
[Here is the Great Entrance, or bringing-in of the unconsecrated elements. It has a symbolical meaning (Heb. i. 6) now forgotten; and here, instead of the glorified Christ, no doubt the superstitious do adore bread and wine in ignorance.]540:4102
[The sexes sat apart, the salutations of each confined to its own: an apostolic feature. 1 Pet. v. 14 et alibi; and see Clementine, p. 486, supra. [Note that beautiful tribute of Augustine to the purity of primitive rites, “Honesta utrinsque sexus discretione,” Civ. Dei, lib. ii. cap. xxviii. p. 77, ed. Migne.] See vol. ii. 291 and iii. 686, this series.]540:4103 542:4104
[Here an interpolation as follows: “Let us commemorate our all-holy, pure, most glorious, blessed lady, God-mother, and ever-virgin Mary, and all the holy and just, that we may all find mercy through their prayers and intercessions.” On which, and like interpolations (the Clementine free from all this), see Scudamore, p. 381.]542:4105 542:4106 542:4107 542:4108 542:4109 543:4110 543:4111 543:4112 543:4113 543:4114
[Based on Heb. v. 1-3.]543:4115 543:4116 544:4117 544:4118 544:4119 544:4120 544:4121 545:4122 545:4123 545:4124 545:4125 545:4126 545:4127 546:4128 546:4129
Verily it is becoming to bless Thee, the God-bearing, the ever-blessed, and all-blameless, and mother of our God, more honourable than the cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the seraphim: thee, who didst bear with purity God the Word, thee the true God-mother, we magnify.
In thee, highly favoured, all creation rejoices, the host of angels, and the race of men; hallowed temple, and spiritual paradise, pride of virgins, of whom God was made flesh and our God, who was before eternity, became a little child: for He made Thy womb His throne, and Thy bowels more capacious than the heavens. In thee, O highly favoured one, all creation rejoices: glory unto thee.546:4130 547:4131 547:4132 547:4133 548:4134
[The publicans prayer, adapted to the Christian worship: ἰλάσθητί μοι, is the plea for mercy through propitiation. Luke xviii. 13.]548:4135 548:4136 548:4137 548:4138 548:4139 548:4140 548:4141 548:4142 549:4143 549:4144 549:4145 549:4146 549:4147 550:4148 550:4149
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