Saturday Vespers

For use by the Laity at home

On Saturday evenings we invite you all to join us in praying this service.

Saturday 6th March 2021
35th after Pentecost – 18th of Luke, Meatfare Sunday

The whole service may be prayed by an individual.
If more than one person is present, one of them is designated ‘Reader’ and says or chants the text in normal type. The others respond with the text in
Or the rôle of Reader could be shared.

The mark + indicates that the Sign of the Cross is made here.

All stand
+ Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us. Amen.

Come, let us worship and fall down before our King and our God. (metania)
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God.
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our King and our God.

Psalm 103
Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord my God, you are greatly magnified.
You have clothed yourself with thanksgiving and majesty, wrapping yourself in light as in a cloak,
He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, roofing his upper chambers with waters,
Placing clouds for his ascent, walking on the wings of the wind,
Making spirits his Angels, and a flame of fire his Ministers,
Establishing the earth on its sure base: it will not be moved to the ages of ages.
The deep, like a cloak, is its mantle; waters will stand upon the mountains.
At your rebuke they will flee; they will quail at the voice of your thunder.
The mountains will rise and the plains descend to the place which you established for them.
You fixed a limit which they will not pass, nor will they return to cover the earth.
You send out springs into the valleys; waters will run between the mountains.
They will give drink to all the beasts of the field; the wild asses will look for them to quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the air will make their dwelling, and sing among the rocks.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth will be filled from the fruit of your works.
He makes grass spring up for the cattle, and greenery in the service of the people;
Bringing food out of the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart;
Making the face cheerful with oil, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of the plain will be satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon that you planted.
There the sparrows will build their nests; the heron’s dwelling is above them.
The high mountains are for the deer; rocks a refuge for hares.
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun to know when to set.
You appoint darkness and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest will prowl;
Young lions roaring after their prey and seeking their food from God.
The sun rises and they gather together, and will lie down in their dens.
People will go out to their work; and will labour until evening.
How your works are magnified, Lord.
With wisdom you made them all, and the earth is filled with your creation.
See, this great and wide sea where there are things which crawl without number, living creatures small and great.
There ships go to and fro; and the dragon which you fashioned to play in it.
All look to you to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they will gather it. When you open your hand, everything will be filled with goodness.
But when you turn away your face they will be dismayed. You will take away their spirit, and they will perish and return to their dust.
You will send out your spirit and they will be created; and you will renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure to the ages. The Lord will rejoice in his works.
He looks upon the earth and makes it tremble. He touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord while I live; I will praise my God while I exist.
May my words be pleasing to him. As for me, I shall rejoice in the Lord.
O that sinners might perish from the earth, and the wicked, so that they are no more.
Bless the Lord, my soul!

The sun knows when to set; you make darkness, and it is night.
How your works are magnified, Lord. With wisdom you have made them all!

+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Glory to you, O God. (x3)

Lord, have mercy. (40x)

+ Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy and save us. Amen.

Lord, I have cried
Lord, I have cried to you; hear me.
Hear me, O Lord.
Lord, I have cried to
you; hear me.
Give heed to the voice of my supplication when I cry to
Hear me, O Lord.
Let my prayer be set forth before
you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord.
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, a door of enclosure about my lips.
Incline not my heart to evil words, to make excuses in sins.
With men who work lawlessness; and I will not join with their choice ones.
The righteous man shall correct me with mercy, and he shall reprove me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.
For my prayer shall be intense in the presence of their pleasures. Their judges are swallowed up by the rock.
They shall hear my words, for they are pleasant. As a clod of ground is dashed to pieces on the earth, so their bones were scattered beside the grave.
For my eyes, O Lord, O Lord, are toward
you; in you I hope; take not my soul away.
Keep me from the snares they set for me, and from the stumbling blocks of those who work lawlessness.
Sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone, until I escape.
I cried to the Lord with my voice, with my voice I prayed to the Lord.
I shall pour out my supplication before
him; I shall declare my affliction in his presence.
When my spirit fainted within me, then
you knew my paths.
For on the way I was going, they hid a trap for me.
I looked on my right, and saw there was no one who knew me.
Refuge failed me, and there was no one who cared for my soul.
I cried to
you, O Lord; I said, “You are my hope, my portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my supplication, for I was humbled exceedingly.
Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.

Ten stichera – six of the Resurrection and four for the Sunday of the Last Judgement
In Tone 6
Bring my soul out of prison to give thanks to your name, O Lord.
Triumphant over Hades, O Christ, you ascended upon the cross to raise up with yourself those dwelling in the darkness of death. Free from among the dead, you pour forth life from your own light. Almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.
The righteous shall wait for me, until you reward me.
Today, Christ, having trampled upon death, according to his word, rose up bestowing joy upon the world, so that all of us shouting this hymn might say, ‘O Fount of life, light that no person may approach, O almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.’
Out of the depths I have cried to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.
Where shall we sinners fly from you, O Lord, who are everywhere in creation? Into heaven? Your abode is there. Into hell? You have trampled upon death. Into the uttermost parts of the sea? Your hand reaches there, O Master. We run to you and falling before you we pray, ‘You, who rose from the dead, have mercy on us.’
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
We exult in your cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your resurrection. You are indeed our God; we know no other Lord but you.
If you, O Lord, should mark transgression, O Lord, who would stand? For there is forgiveness with you.
Ever blessing the Lord, we praise his resurrection. For by enduring the cross, he destroyed death by death.
Because of your law, O Lord, I waited for you; my soul waited for your word. My soul hopes in the Lord.
Glory be to your might, O Lord, for you have destroyed the power of death, and you have renewed us through your cross, bestowing on us life and incorruption.
In Tone 6
From the morning watch until night; from the morning watch until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
On that day when you will come to render judgement with justice, you, O righteous Judge, will be seated on your throne of glory, as the King of all. Before your tribunal flows a fiery river, filling everyone with fear and awe; and all the bodiless hosts of heaven stand by attending you, as all humanity is judged, everyone according to what they did. Spare us then, O Master, as you are most compassionate, O Christ, and grant that we be among the saved, we implore with faith, O Lord.
For with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is abundant redemption; and he shall redeem Israel from all his transgressions.
At the unendurable Tribunal, books will be opened, and revealed will be the deeds done by all humanity. And the Vale of Tears will resound with the cries and the frightful gnashing of the sinners who did not repent. According to your just verdict they are rightfully sent away to never-ending punishment, weeping as they go, but to no avail. Therefore we implore you, O Lord, who are compassionate and good, that you will spare us who sing your praise, only very merciful God.
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; praise him, all you peoples.
On that day when trumpets sound, the graves and tombs will be emptied, and in trembling all mankind will be resurrected then, to be judged by you. Those who did what was right will rejoice awaiting their reward from you, O gracious God; while on the other hand those who sinned will shudder and cry in pain, as they are sent to punishment and are separated from the elect. Therefore, Lord of glory, as you are good, be merciful to us, and count us worthy to be among those who truly loved you, O Christ.
For His mercy rules over us; and the truth of the Lord endures forever.
I weep and lament, O Lord, when I remember your judgement, the flames of eternal fire, and the outer darkness and the netherworld of hell and the gnashing of teeth and the never-sleeping dreadful worm and the unceasing pain and anguish that befall those who without measure offended you, O Master most benevolent, and who roused your wrath with their bad intent. I, the wretched sinner, am one of these and foremost of the lot. But in your mercy, O Judge of all, save me, O compassionate Christ.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit...
Doxastikon – For the Sunday of the Last Judgement in Tone 8
When the thrones are set up and the books are opened, and God sits in judgement, O what fear there will be then! When the angels stand with fear in your presence and the river of fire is flowing, what shall we humans, guilty of many sins, do then? When we hear him calling the blessed of his Father into the Kingdom, but sending sinners away to punishment, who will withstand that fearful condemnation? But, Saviour who alone love mankind, King of the ages, before the end comes turn me back through repentance and have mercy on me.
...both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion – In Tone 6
Who will not call you blessed, most holy Virgin? Who will not sing praises of your wondrous birth giving? For the only begotten Son, timelessly having shone forth from the Father, came forth from you who are pure. And having been ineffably made flesh, he, who by nature is God, for our sake became also by nature man: not in two divided persons, but in two natures without confusion. O honoured and all blessed one, beseech him to have mercy on our souls.

Gladsome Light
Gladsome light of holy glory of the holy, blessed, heavenly, immortal Father, O Jesus Christ: arriving at the hour of sunset and having seen the evening light, we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God. It is worthy for you to be praised at all times with happy voices, O Son of God and Giver of life; * and therefore the world glorifies you.

The Saturday Prokeimenon
The Lord reigns; he clothed himself with majesty.
The Lord reigns; he clothed himself with majesty.
The Lord clothed and girded himself with power.
The Lord reigns; he clothed himself with majesty.
And he established the world, which shall not be moved.
The Lord reigns; he clothed himself with majesty.

The Evening Prayer
Grant, Lord, to keep us this evening without sin. Blessed are you, Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is your name to the ages. Amen.

Let your mercy, Lord be upon us, as we have hoped in you. Blessed are you, Lord: teach me your statutes. Blessed are you, Master: make me understand your statutes. Blessed are you, Holy One: enlighten me with your statutes.

Lord, your mercy is for ever; do not scorn the work of your hands. To you praise is due, to you song is due, to you glory is due, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (12x)

+ Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us. Amen.


Resurrectional Stichera in Tone 6
Angels in heaven sing the praises of your resurrection, Christ our Saviour. Grant that we too on earth may with pure hearts glorify you.
The Lord reigns; he clothed himself with majesty; the Lord clothed and girded himself with power.
After smashing the gates of brass and breaking the bolts and bars of Hades, you, almighty God, raised up fallen mankind. Therefore, with one accord, we cry, ‘O Lord, risen from the dead, Glory to you.’
And he established the world, which shall not be moved.
Wishing to lift us out of the ancient corruption, Christ was nailed upon the cross and laid in the tomb. In tears the women bearing myrrh searched for him and said lamenting, ‘Woe to us! O Saviour of all, how did you consent to stay in a tomb? And as you stayed there willingly, how were you stolen? How were you moved? What place now hides your life giving body? O Master, appear to us as you have promised, and dry up the fountain of our tears.’ Thereupon as they wept, an angel came to them and cried, ‘Cease your weeping and tell the apostles that the Lord is risen, granting the world forgiveness and great mercy.’
Holiness is proper to your house, O Lord, unto length of days.
Crucified according to your will and despoiling death by your entombment, O Christ, you rose in glory on the third day as God, granting the world life everlasting and great mercy.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit...
For the Sunday of the Last Judgement in Tone 8
Alas, dark soul of mine! How long will you delay cutting off your wicked ways? How long will you just lie there in idleness? Why not bring to mind the awful hour of death? Why not shudder picturing the dread Judgement Seat of the Saviour? Tell me, what will be your defence, how will you respond? The evidence of what you did will be presented, your own actions will accuse you and condemn you. O my soul, it is almost time. So run before it is too late, and in faith cry out, “I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against You. But I know Your compassion, O Lover of humanity. So I pray, O Good Shepherd, please do not deny me a place at Your right hand, in Your great mercy.”
...both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Resurrectional Theotokion in Tone 8
O Virgin who did not know man and yet ineffably conceived God in the flesh, Mother of the Most High God, accept entreaties from your supplicants, All-blameless one. To all you grant purification of their offences. We pray you now accept our supplications, and entreat him, to save us all.

Song of Simeon the God-Receiver
Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

The Trisagion
+ Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (x3)

+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your names sake.

Lord have mercy. (x3)

+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

+ Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For the Resurrection in Tone 6
When the angelic powers appeared at your grave, the soldiers guarding it feared and became as dead. And standing by the sepulchre was Mary who was seeking your immaculate body. You devastated Hades, not afflicted by it. You went to meet the virgin, and granted eternal life. You resurrected from the dead. O Lord, glory to you.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion in Tone 6
O Lord, who called the blessed Maid your Mother, you came to the Passion of your own will and intent. Adam you wished to seek; you therefore shone upon the Cross, saying to the Angels, “Rejoice with me together, for I have found the coin that was lost.” O Lord, you have disposed all things wisely. Glory to you.

Make firm, Lord our God, the holy and pure faith of the pious Orthodox Christians, together with the Holy Church and this city forever. Amen.

+ More honourable than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim; you who without corruption gave birth to God the Word, very Mother of God, we magnify you.

+ Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.(3x)

The Dismissal
+ Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us. Amen.