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Home > Fathers of the Church > Divine Liturgy of St. James

Divine Liturgy of St. James

1

The Priest.

I O Sovereign Lord our God, contemn me not, defiled with a multitude of sins: for, behold, I have come to this Your divine and heavenly mystery, not as being worthy; but looking only to Your goodness, I direct my voice to You: God be merciful to me, a sinner; I have sinned against Heaven, and before You, and am unworthy to come into the presence of this Your holy and spiritual table, upon which Your 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 You this supplication and thanksgiving, that Your 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 You by me to the people, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening, and consubstantial Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

Prayer of the standing beside the altar.

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.

III Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, O Word of God, who freely offered Yourself a blameless sacrifice upon the cross to God even the Father, the coal of double nature, that touched the lips of the prophet with the tongs, and took away his sins, touch also the hearts of us sinners, and purify us from every stain, and present us holy beside Your holy altar, that we may offer You a sacrifice of praise: and accept from us, Your 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 Your all-holy Spirit: for You alone are holy, who sanctifies, and are communicated to the faithful; and glory becomes You, with Your eternal Father, and Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

Prayer of the commencement.

IV O beneficent King eternal, and Creator of the universe, receive Your Church, coming unto You through Your Christ: fulfil to each what is profitable; lead all to perfection, and make us perfectly worthy of the grace of Your sanctification, gathering us together within Your holy Church, which You have purchased by the precious blood of Your only-begotten Son, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom You are blessed and glorified, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

The Deacon.

V Let us again pray to the Lord.

The Priest, prayer of the incense at the entrance of the congregation.

God, who accepted the gifts of Abel, the sacrifice of Noah and of Abram, the incense of 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 Your people; for blessed are You, and glory becomes You, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.

The Deacon.

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest prays.

Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who through exceeding goodness and love not to be restrained was crucified, and did not refuse to be pierced by the spear and nails; who provided this mysterious and awful service as an everlasting memorial for us perpetually: bless Your ministry in Christ the God, and bless our entrance, and fully complete the presentation of this our service by Your unutterable compassion, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

The responsive prayer from the Deacon.

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 fullness and exceeding abundance of all the perfection of holiness, now and ever.

Then the Deacon begins to sing in the entrance.

You who art the only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal; who submitted for our salvation to become flesh of the holy God-mother, and ever-virgin Mary; who immutably became man and was crucified, O Christ our God, and by Your death trod death underfoot; who art one of the Holy Trinity glorified together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

The Priest says this prayer from the gates to the altar.

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 Your only-begotten Son, our Lord, and God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, we supplicate and invoke Your goodness, since we are fearful and trembling when about to stand at Your holy altar; send forth upon us, O God, Your 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 You gifts, offerings, and fruits for the remission of our transgressions, and for the propitiation of all Your people, by the grace and mercies and loving-kindness of Your only-begotten Son, with whom You are blessed to all eternity. Amen.

After the approach to the altar, the Priest says:—

VIII. Peace be to all.

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Priest.

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.

IX. In peace let us beseech the Lord.

For the peace that is from above, and for God's love to man, and for the salvation of our souls, let us beseech the Lord.

For the peace of the whole world, for the unity of all the holy churches of God, let us beseech the Lord.

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.

Then the Singers sing the Trisagion Hymn.

Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal, have mercy upon us.

Then the Priest prays, bowing.

X. O compassionate and merciful, long-suffering, and very gracious and true God, look from Your prepared dwelling-place, and hear us Your suppliants, and deliver us from every temptation of the devil and of man; withhold not Your 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 You are able, Lord, to save us from everything that is against us. Save us, O God, from the difficulties of this world, according to Your goodness, in order that, having drawn near with a pure conscience to Your holy altar, we may send up to You without condemnation the blessed hymn Trisagion, together with the heavenly powers, and that, having performed the service, well pleasing to You and divine, we may be counted worthy of eternal life.

(Aloud.)

Because You are holy, Lord our God, and dwell and abide in holy places, we send up the praise and the hymn Trisagion to You, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

XI. Peace be to all.

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Singers.

Alleluia.

Then there are read in order 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.

After the reading and instruction the Deacon says:—

XII. Let us all say, Lord, be merciful.

Lord Almighty, the God of our fathers;

We beseech You, hear us.

For the peace which is from above, and for the salvation of our souls;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For the peace of the whole world, and the unity of all the holy churches of God;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For the salvation and help of all the Christ-loving people;

We beseech You, hear us.

For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, distress, from captivity, bitter death, and from our iniquities;

We beseech You, hear us.

For the people standing round, and waiting for the rich and plenteous mercy that is from You;

We beseech You, be merciful and gracious.

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.

Visit Your world in mercy and compassion.

Exalt the horn of Christians by the power of the precious and quickening cross.

We beseech You, most merciful Lord, hear us praying to You, and have mercy upon us.

The People (thrice).

Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Deacon.

XIII. For the remission of our sins, and forgiveness of our transgressions, and for our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and distress, let us beseech the Lord.

Let us all entreat from the Lord, that we may pass the whole day, perfect, holy, peaceful, and without sin.

Let us entreat from the Lord a messenger of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies.

Let us entreat from the Lord forgiveness and remission of our sins and transgressions.

Let us entreat from the Lord the things which are good and proper for our souls, and peace for the world.

Let us entreat from the Lord, that we may spend the remaining period of our life in peace and health.

Let us entreat that the close of our lives may be Christian, without pain and without shame, and a good plea at the dread and awful judgment-seat of Christ.

The Priest.

XIV. For You are the gospel and the light, Saviour and keeper of our souls and bodies, God, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your all-holy Spirit, now and ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest

God, who hast taught us Your 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.

(Aloud.)

In Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good, and quickening Spirit, now and always, and for ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

XV. Peace be to all.

The People.

And to Your spirit.

The Deacon.

Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

The People.

To You, Lord.

The Priest prays, saying:

O Sovereign giver of life, and provider of good things, who gave to mankind the blessed hope of eternal life, our Lord Jesus Christ, count us worthy in holiness, and perfect this Your divine service to the enjoyment of future blessedness.

(Aloud.)

So that, guarded by Your power at all times, and led into the light of truth, we may send up the praise and the thanksgiving to You, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Deacon.

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. The door.

All erect: let us again pray to the Lord.

2

The Priest says the prayer of incense.

Sovereign Almighty, King of Glory, who know all things before their creation, manifest Yourself to us calling upon You 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 You accepted the offering of Abel, and Noah, and Aaron, and Samuel, and of all Your saints, guarding us from everything evil, and preserving us for continually pleasing, and worshipping, and glorifying You, the Father, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your all-holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever.

And the Readers begin the Cherubic Hymn.

Let all mortal flesh be silent, and stand with fear and trembling, and meditate nothing earthly within itself:—

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, says this prayer:—

XVII. O God, our God, who sent 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 You Yourself bless this offering, and graciously receive it to Your altar above the skies:

Remember in Your 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 Your divine mysteries: for hollowed and glorified is Your all-honoured and great name, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.

The Priest.

Peace be to all.

The Deacon.

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest.

Blessed be God, who blesses and sanctifies us all at the presentation of the divine and pure mysteries, and gives rest to the blessed souls among the holy and just, now and always, and to all eternity.

The Deacon.

XVIII Let us attend in wisdom.

The Priest begins.

I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God: and the rest of the Creed.

Then he prays, bowing his neck.

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 Your divine knowledge through Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

The Deacon.

XX. Let us stand well, let us stand reverently, let us stand in the fear of God, and with compunction of heart. In peace let us pray to the Lord.

The Priest.

For God of peace, mercy, love, compassion, and loving-kindness are You, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your all-holy Spirit, now and ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

Peace be to all.

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Deacon.

Let us salute one another with an holy kiss. Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

The Priest bows, saying this prayer:—

XXI. Only Lord and merciful God, on those who are bowing their necks before Your holy altar, and seeking the spiritual gifts that come from You, send forth Your good grace; and bless us all with every spiritual blessing, that cannot be taken from us, You, who dwellest on high, and hast regard unto things that are lowly.

(Aloud.)

For worthy of praise and worship and most glorious is Your all-holy name, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, now and always, and to all eternity.

The Deacon.

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest.

The Lord will bless us, and minister with us all by His grace and loving-kindness.

And again.

The Lord will bless us, and make us worthy to stand at His holy altar, at all times, now and always, and for ever.

And again.

Blessed be God, who blesses and sanctifies us all in our attendance upon, and service of, His pure mysteries, now and always, and for ever.

The Deacon makes the Universal Litany.

XXII In peace let us pray to the Lord.

The People.

O Lord, have mercy.

The Deacon.

Save us, have mercy upon us, pity and keep us, O God, by Your grace.

For the peace that is from above, and the loving-kindness of God, and the salvation of our souls;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For the peace of the whole world, and the unity of all the holy churches of God;

Let us beseech the Lord.

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;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For those who are in old age and infirmity, for the sick and suffering, and those who are troubled by unclean spirits, for their speedy cure from God and their salvation;

Let us beseech the Lord.

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, and dens, and caves of the earth;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For Christians sailing, travelling, living among strangers, and for our brethren in captivity, in exile, in prison, and in bitter slavery, their peaceful return;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For the remission of our sins, and forgiveness of our transgressions, and for our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and constraint, and uprising against us of enemies;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For favourable weather, peaceful showers, beneficent dews, abundance of fruits, the perfect close of a good season, and for the crown of the year;

Let us beseech the Lord.

For our fathers and brethren present, and praying with us in this holy hour, and at every season, their zeal, labour, and earnestness;

Let us beseech the Lord.

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.

For the hearing and acceptance of our prayer before God, and the sending down on us His rich mercies and compassion.

Let us beseech the Lord.

And for the offered, precious, heavenly, unutterable, pure, glorious, dread, awful, divine gifts, and the salvation of the priest who stands by and offers them;

Let us offer supplication to God the Lord.

The People.

O Lord, have mercy.

(Thrice.)

Then the Priest makes the sign of the cross on the gifts, and, standing, speaks separately thus:—

XXIII Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will among men, etc.

(Thrice.)

Lord, You will open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

(Thrice.)

Let my mouth be filled with Your praise, O Lord, that I may tell of Your glory, of Your majesty, all the day.

(Thrice.)

Of the Father. Amen. And of the Son. Amen. And of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Now and always, and to all eternity. Amen.

And bowing to this side and to that, he says:

XXIV. Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

And they answer, bowing:—

The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you.

Then the Priest, at great length:—

O Sovereign Lord, who hast visited us in compassion and mercies, and hast freely given to us, Your humble and sinful and unworthy servants, boldness to stand at Your holy altar, and to offer to You this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our sins, and for the errors of the people, look upon me Your unprofitable servant, and blot out my transgressions for Your compassion's 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 Your all-holy Spirit for this service; and receive me graciously by Your goodness as I draw near to Your 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 Your presence, and abhor not my unworthiness; but pity me according to Your great mercy, and according to the multitude of Your mercies pass by my transgressions, that, having come before Your glory without condemnation, I may be counted worthy of the protection of Your only-begotten Son, and of the illumination of Your all-holy Spirit, that I may not be as a slave of sin cast out, but as Your servant may find grace and mercy and forgiveness of sins before You, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come.

I beseech You, Almighty Sovereign, all-powerful Lord, hear my prayer; for You are He who work all in all, and we all seek in all things the help and succour that come from You and Your only-begotten Son, and the good and quickening and consubstantial Spirit, now and ever.

XXV. O God, who through Your great and unspeakable love sent forth Your only-begotten Son into the world, in order that He might turn back the lost sheep, turn not away us sinners, laying hold of You by this dread and bloodless sacrifice; for we trust not in our own righteousness, but in Your good mercy, by which You purchase our race.

We entreat and beseech Your goodness that it may not be for condemnation to Your 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 You, God and Father, in the mercy and love of Your only-begotten Son, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy and good and quickening Spirit, now and always, and for ever.

XXVI. O Lord God, who created 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 Your all-holy Spirit, grant, O Sovereign, that we may become servants of Your new testament, ministers of Your pure mysteries, and receive us as we draw near to Your holy altar, according to the greatness of Your mercy, that we may become worthy of offering to You 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 You this spiritual and bloodless sacrifice, and graciously receiving it unto Your holy and spiritual altar above the skies for an odour of a sweet spiritual smell, send down in answer on us the grace of Your all-holy Spirit.

And, O God, look upon us, and have regard to this our reasonable service, and accept it, as You accepted 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 You accepted from the hand of Your apostles this true service, so accept also in Your 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 for our transgressions and the errors of the people; and for the rest of the souls that have fallen asleep aforetime; that we also, Your humble, sinful, and unworthy servants, being counted worthy without guile to serve Your holy altar, may receive the reward of faithful and wise stewards, and may find grace and mercy in the terrible day of Your just and good retribution.

Prayer of the veil.

XXVII. We thank You, O Lord our God, that You have given us boldness for the entrance of Your holy places, which You have renewed to us as a new and living way through the veil of the flesh of Your Christ. We therefore, being counted worthy to enter into the place of the tabernacle of Your glory, and to be within the veil, and to behold the Holy of Holies, cast ourselves down before Your goodness:

Lord, have mercy on us: since we are full of fear and trembling, when about to stand at Your holy altar, and to offer this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our own sins and for the errors of the people: send forth, O God, Your 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 You a peace-offering, the sacrifice of praise:

(Aloud.)

By the mercy and loving-kindness of Your only-begotten Son, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and always:

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

Peace be to all.

The Deacon.

Let us stand reverently, let us stand in the fear of God, and with contrition: let us attend to the holy communion service, to offer peace to God.

The People.

The offering of peace, the sacrifice of praise.

The Priest [A veil is now withdrawn from the oblation of bread and wine.]

And reveal it clearly to us, uncovering the veils that darkly invest in symbol this sacred ceremonial. 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 You are an all-merciful and gracious God, and we send up the praise and the thanksgiving to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now, and always, and for ever.

3

The Anaphora.

Then he says aloud:—

XXVIII. The love of the Lord and Father, the grace of the Lord and Son, and the fellowship and the gift of the Holy Spirit, be with us all.

The People.

And with your spirit.

The Priest.

Let us lift up our minds and our hearts.

The People.

It is becoming and right.

Then the Priest prays.

Verily it is becoming and right, proper and due to praise You, to sing of You, to bless You, to worship You, to glorify You, to give You 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, 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:

(Aloud.)

With loud voice singing the victorious hymn of Your majestic glory, crying aloud, praising, shouting, and saying:—

The People.

Holy, holy, holy, O Lord of Sabaoth, the heaven and the earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The Priest, making the sign of the cross on the gifts, says:—

XXIX. Holy are You, King of eternity, and Lord and giver of all holiness; holy also Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom You have made all things; holy also Your Holy Spirit, which searches all things, even Your deep things, O God: holy are You, almighty, all-powerful, good, dread, merciful, most compassionate to Your creatures; who made man from earth after Your own image and likeness; who gave him the joy of paradise; and when he transgressed Your commandment, and fell away, did not disregard nor desert him, O Good One, but chastened him as at merciful father, call him by the law, instruct him by the prophets; and afterwards sent forth Your only-begotten Son Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, that He by His coming might renew and restore Your image;

Who, having descended from heaven, and become flesh of the Holy Spirit and Virgin Godmother 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,

Then the Priest holds the bread in his hand, and says:—

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 You, His God and Father, He gave thanks, and hallowed, and broke, and gave it to us, His disciples and apostles, saying:—

The Deacons say:

For the remission of sins and life everlasting.

Then he says aloud:—

Take, eat: this is my body, broken for you, and given for remission of sins.

The People.

Amen.

Then he takes the cup, and says:—

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 You, 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 all of it; this is my blood of the new testament shed for you and many, and distributed for the remission of sins.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

This do in remembrance of me; for as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show forth the Lord's death, and confess His resurrection, till He come.

The Deacons say:—

We believe and confess:

The People.

We show forth Your death, O Lord, and confess Your resurrection.

The Priest (Oblation).

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 You, 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 You, O Lord, this dread and bloodless sacrifice, praying that You will not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities;

But that You, according to Your mercy and Your unspeakable loving-kindness, passing by and blotting out the handwriting against us Your suppliants, wilt grant to us Your heavenly and eternal gifts (which eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man ) that you have prepared, O God, for those who love You; and reject not, O loving Lord, the people for my sake, or for my sin's sake:

Then he says, thrice:—

For Your people and Your Church supplicate You.

The People.

Have mercy on us, O Lord our God, Father Almighty.

Again the Priest says (Invocation):—

XXXII. Have mercy upon us, O God Almighty.

Have mercy upon us, O God our Saviour.

Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Your great mercy, and send forth on us, and on these offered gifts, Your all-holy Spirit.

Then, bowing his neck, he says:—

The sovereign and quickening Spirit, that sits upon the throne with You, our God and Father, and with Your only-begotten Son, reigning with You; the consubstantial and co-eternal; that spoke in the law and in the prophets, and in Your 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 Your apostles in the form of tongues of fire in the upper room of the holy and glorious Zion on the day of Pentecost: this Your all-holy Spirit, send down, O Lord, upon us, and upon these offered holy gifts;

And rising up, he says aloud:—

That coming, by His holy and good and glorious appearing, He may sanctify this bread, and make it the holy body of Your Christ.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

And this cup the precious blood of Your Christ.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest by himself standing.

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 establishing of Your Holy Catholic Church, which You have founded on the Rock of Faith, 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 fullness of the time.

And having bowed, he says:—

XXXIV. We present them to You also, O Lord, for the holy places, which You have glorified by the divine appearing of Your Christ, and by the visitation of Your all-holy Spirit; especially for the glorious Zion, the mother of all the churches; and for Your Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church throughout the world: even now, O Lord, bestow upon her the rich gifts of Your all-holy Spirit.

Remember also, O Lord, our holy fathers and brethren in it, and the bishops in all the world, who rightly divide the word of Your truth.

Remember also, O Lord, every city and country, and those of the true faith dwelling in them, their peace and security.

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 You, O God, and their salvation.

Remember, O Lord, every Christian soul in affliction and distress, needing Your mercy and succour, O God; and the return of the erring.

Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brethren, toiling hard, and ministering unto us, for Your holy name's sake.

Remember all, O Lord, for good: have mercy on all, O Lord, be reconciled to us all: give peace to the multitudes of Your people: put away scandals: bring wars to an end: make the uprising of heresies to cease: grant Your peace and Your 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 Your goodness; for the eyes of all wait on You, and You give their food in due season: you open Your hand, and fill every living thing with gladness.

Remember, O Lord, those who bear fruit, and labour honourably in the holy of Your Church; 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 Your holy altar, and for what each one has brought them or with what mind, and those persons who have just now been mentioned to You.

Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of Your mercy and compassion, me also, Your humble and unprofitable servant; and the deacons who surround Your 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 You 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 Your Christ.

XXXV. Hail, Mary, highly favoured: the Lord is with You; blessed are you among women, and blessed the fruit of your womb, for you bore the Saviour of our souls.

The Deacons.

XXXVI. Remember us, O Lord God.

The Priest, bowing, says:—

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 You give rest there in the land of the living, in Your 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 Your countenance looks upon them, and enlightens them for ever.

Make the end of our lives Christian, acceptable, blameless, and peaceful, O Lord, gathering us together, O Lord, under the feet of Your elect, when You will, and as You will; only without shame and transgressions, through Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ: for He is the only sinless one who has appeared on the earth.

The Deacon.

And let us pray:—

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:

The People.

And for all men and all women. (Amen.)

The Priest says aloud:—

Wherefore, both to them and to us, do You in Your goodness and love:

The People.

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 Your goodness and love, forgive us them all.

The Priest.

Through the grace and compassion and love of Your only-begotten Son, with whom You are blessed and glorified, together with the all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

XXXVII. Peace be to all:

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Deacon.

Again, and continually, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

For the gifts to the Lord God presented and sanctified, precious, heavenly, unspeakable, pure, glorious, dread, awful, divine;

Let us pray.

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;

Let us pray.

Having prayed for the unity of the faith, and the communion of His all-holy and adorable Spirit;

Let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ our God:

The People.

Amen.

The Priest prays.

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: You have accepted the gifts, offerings, and fruits brought unto You 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 Your Christ, and by the presence of Your 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 Your holy will:

(Aloud.)

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 You, the holy God, Father in heaven, and to say,

The People.

Our Father, which art in heaven: hollowed be Your name; and so on to the doxology.

The Priest, bowing, says (the Embolism ):—

And lead us not into temptation, Lord, Lord of Hosts, who know our frailty, but deliver us from the evil one and his works, and from all his malice and craftiness, for the sake of Your holy name, which has been placed upon our humility:

(Aloud.)

For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

XXXIX. Peace be to all.

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Deacon.

Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

The People.

To You, O Lord.

The Priest prays, speaking thus:—

To You, O Lord, we Your servants have bowed our heads before Your holy altar, waiting for the rich mercies that are from You.

Send forth upon us, O Lord, Your plenteous grace and Your blessing; and sanctify our souls, bodies, and spirits, that we may become worthy communicants and partakers of Your holy mysteries, to the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting:

(Aloud.)

For adorable and glorified are You, our God, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your all-holy Spirit, now and ever.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest says aloud:—

And the grace and the mercies of the holy and consubstantial, and uncreated, and adorable Trinity, shall be with us all.

The People.

And with your spirit.

The Deacon.

In the fear of God, let us attend.

The Priest says secretly:—

O holy Lord, who abides in holy places, sanctify us by the word of Your grace, and by the visitation of Your all-holy Spirit: for You, O Lord, have said, You 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 Your holy and bloodless sacrifices; with the cherubim, and seraphim, and from me, a sinful man, crying and saying:—

He takes up the gifts and says aloud:—

XL. The holy things unto holy.

The People.

One only is holy, one Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, to whom be glory to all eternity.

The Deacon.

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;

Let us all say fervently, Lord, have mercy:

The People (twelve times).

Lord, have mercy.

Then the Priest breaks the bread, and holds the half in his right hand, and the half in his left, and dips that in his right hand in the chalice, saying:—

The union of the all-holy body and precious blood of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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 immediately he begins to divide, and before all to give to each chalice a single piece, saying:—

It has been made one, and sanctified, and perfected, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever.

And when he makes the sign of the cross on the bread, he says:—

Behold the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, that takes away the sin of the world, sacrificed for the life and salvation of the world.

And when he gives a single piece to each chalice he says:—

A holy portion of Christ, full of grace and truth, of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom be the glory and the power to all eternity.

Then he begins to divide, and to say:—

XLII. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. In green pastures, and so on.

Then,

I will bless the Lord at all times, and so on.

Then,

I will extol You, my God, O King, and so on .

Then,

O praise the Lord, all you nations, and so on .

The Deacon.

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest.

The Lord will bless us, and keep us without condemnation for the communion of His pure gifts, now and always, and for ever.

And when they have filled, the Deacon says:—

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest 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.

Then,

O taste and see that the Lord is good; who is parted and not divided; distributed to the faithful and not expended; for the remission of sins, and the life everlasting; now and always, and for ever.

The Deacon.

In the peace of Christ, let us sing:

The Singers.

O taste and see that the Lord is good.

The Priest says the prayer before the communion.

O Lord our God, the heavenly bread, the life of the universe, I have sinned against Heaven, and before You, and am not worthy to partake of Your pure mysteries; but as a merciful God, make me worthy by Your grace, without condemnation to partake of Your holy body and precious blood, for the remission of sins, and life everlasting.

XLIII. Then he distributes to the clergy; and when the deacons take the disks and the chalices for distribution to the people, the Deacon, who takes the first disk, says:—

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest replies:—

Glory to God who has sanctified and is sanctifying us all.

The Deacon says:—

Be exalted, O God, over the heavens, and Your glory over all the earth, and Your kingdom endures to all eternity.

And when the Deacon is about to put it on the side-table the Priest says:—

Blessed be the name of the Lord our God for ever.

The Deacon.

In the fear of God, and in faith and love, draw near.

The People.

Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.

And again, when he sets down the disk upon the side-table, he says:—

Sir, pronounce the blessing.

The Priest.

Save Your people, O God, and bless Your inheritance.

The Priest again.

Glory to our God, who has sanctified us all.

And when he has put the chalice back on the holy table, the Priest says:—

Blessed be the name of the Lord to all eternity.

The Deacons and the People say:—

Fill our mouths with Your praise, O Lord, and fill our lips with joy, that we may sing of Your glory, of Your greatness all the day.

And again:—

We render thanks to You, Christ our God, that You have made us worthy to partake of Your body and blood, for the remission of sins, and for life everlasting. We pray You, in Your goodness and love, keep us without condemnation.

The prayer of incense at the last entrance.

XLIV. We render thanks to You, the Saviour and God of all, for all the good things You have given us, and for the participation of Your holy and pure mysteries, and we offer to You this incense, praying: Keep us under the shadow of Your wings, and count us worthy till our last breath to partake of Your holy rites for the sanctification of our souls and bodies, for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven: for You, O God, are our sanctification, and we send up praise and thanksgiving to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Deacon begins in the entrance.

Glory to You, glory to You, glory to You, O Christ the King, only-begotten Word of the Father, that You have counted us, Your sinful and unworthy servants, worthy to enjoy your pure mysteries for the remission of sins, and for life everlasting: glory to You.

And when he has made the entrance, the Deacon begins to speak thus:—

XLV. Again and again, and at all times, in peace, let us beseech the Lord.

That the participation of His Holy rites may be to us for the turning away from every wicked thing, for our support on the journey to life everlasting, for the communion and gift of the Holy Spirit;

Let us pray.

The Priest prays.

Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most glorious, blessed Lady, the God-Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the saints that have been well-pleasing to You since the world began, let us devote ourselves, and one another, and our whole life, to Christ our God:

The People.

To You, O Lord.

The Priest.

XLVI. O God, who through Your great and unspeakable love condescended to the weakness of Your servants, and hast counted us worthy to partake of this heavenly table, condemn not us sinners for the participation of Your pure mysteries; but keep us, O good One, in the sanctification of Your Holy Spirit, that being made holy, we may find part and inheritance with all Your saints that have been well-pleasing to You since the world began, in the light of Your countenance, through the mercy of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit: for blessed and glorified is Your all-precious and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.

The People.

Amen.

The Priest.

Peace be to all.

The People.

And to your spirit.

The Deacon.

XLVII. Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

The Priest.

O God, great and marvellous, look upon Your servants, for we have bowed our heads to You. Stretch forth Your hand, strong and full of blessings, and bless Your people. Keep Your inheritance, that always and at all times we may glorify You, our only living and true God, the holy and consubstantial Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now and ever, and to all eternity.

(Aloud.)

For unto You is becoming and is due praise from us all, and honour, and adoration, and thanksgiving, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever.

The Deacon.

XLVIII. In the peace of Christ let us sing:

And again he says:—

In the peace of Christ let us go on:

The People.

In the name of the Lord. Sir, pronounce the blessing.

Dismission prayer, spoken by the Deacon.

Going on from glory to glory, we praise You, the Saviour of our souls. Glory to Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit now and ever, and to all eternity. We praise You, the Saviour of our souls.

The Priest says a prayer from the altar to the sacristy.

XLIX. Going on from strength to strength, and having fulfilled all the divine service in Your temple, even now we beseech You, O Lord our God, make us worthy of perfect loving-kindness; make straight our path: root us in Your fear, and make us worthy of the heavenly kingdom, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and always, and for ever.

The Deacon.

L. Again and again, and at all times, in peace let us beseech the Lord.

Prayer said in the sacristy after the dismissal.

You have given unto us, O Lord, sanctification in the communion of the all-holy body and precious blood of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; give unto us also the grace of Your good Spirit, and keep us blameless in the faith, lead us unto perfect adoption and redemption, and to the coming joys of eternity; for You are our sanctification and light, O God, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your all-holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

The Deacon.

In the peace of Christ let us keep watch.

The Priest.

Blessed is God, who blesses and sanctifies through the communion of the holy, and quickening, and pure mysteries, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

Then the prayer of propitiation.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Lamb and Shepherd, who takest away the sin of the world, who freely forgave 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 offenses, voluntary and involuntary, in knowledge and in ignorance, by transgression and by disobedience, which Your all-holy Spirit knows better than Your servants do:

And if men, carnal and dwelling in this world, have in anything erred from Your 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 Your unspeakable loving-kindness, that they may be set free from their word, and released from the oath and the special vow, according to Your goodness.

Verily, O Sovereign Lord, hear my supplication on behalf of Your servants, and pass by all their errors, remembering them no more; forgive them every transgression, voluntary and involuntary; deliver them from everlasting punishment: for You are He that hast commanded us, saying, Whatsoever things you bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever things you loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven: for, you are our God, a God able to pity, and to save and to forgive sins; and glory is due unto You, with the eternal Father, and the quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.

About this page

Source. Translated by James Donaldson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0717.htm>.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is feedback732 at newadvent.org. (To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.) Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

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