The word Agpeya is derived from the Coptic Ti agp which means: the hour; so the Coptic Ti agpeya means:
the Book of Hours.
The Book of the Agpeya
The book contains the offices for the seven canonical hours used by the Coptic Orthodox Church. It contains Psalms, Gospel readings, and prayers to be said at specific hours by day and night; arranged in accordance with analogous events in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. David the Prophet says, “Seven times a day l praise You because of Your righteous judgments” (Ps.119:164); and the Lord commands, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
Why do we use the Agpeya for praying?
H. H. Pope Shenouda Ill writes:
We use the Agpeya when we pray date to the spirituality and idealism of its contents.
By the assistance of the Agpeya we learn how to say our prayers and the appropriate way to speak to God.
The Agpeya teaches us to pray and to examine everything carefully. Such a way allows us to involve God in the details of our whole life since we leave nothing out in our dialogue with Him.
A worshipper who constantly has access to the Agpeya during his prayer time gets to know so many Biblical pass ages which assist him in his daily life and have a profound influence over his feelings and behavior.
The originality of the Agpeya
The incorporation of such selected Psalms, Gospels, and prayers into Christian worship was adopted first by the Coptic Church of Alexandria. Thanks to the relative peace that it enjoyed during the first and second centuries, the Egyptian Church, long before any other church, was able to establish the pattern of these canonical hours. Both the structure and the contents of the Coptic Agpeya are the direct descendants of the original Canonical Hours which were used by the cenobite (communal) monasteries which originated in Egypt in the first quarter of the fourth century.
The Agpeya and the Psalms
The principal element in the structure of the Agpeya is a selection of Psalms specially arranged to correspond with the basic theme of the hour in question. The Book of Psalms is seen by the Coptic Church as a source of divine treasure and a stream of spiritual edification and teaching which covers all aspects of the relationship between God and man. Therefore, the Church used the Psalms as a remedy of the believers’ lives and a means of inflaming their hearts with the fire of divine love.
The Agpeya and prayer
The hours of the Agpeya are used in all kinds of player individual, familial, and congregational. In the Eucharistic service, Midnight prayer is re¬cited before Midnight praise, which, in turn, is followed by the Morning prayer. Then, after the service of Morning Offering of Incense, the Terce, Sext, and, on the days of fasting, None hours are incorporated. On the days of Jonah and during the Lent, Vespers and Compline are added, then fol¬lows the Divine Liturgy. None, Vespers, and Compline precede the Evening Offering of In¬cense, while, on days of fasting, None is not recited, as it is recited in the morning.
The Order of the Agpeya
Following the practice common at the time of Christ (John 11:9), the day is computed from sun¬rise to sunset; thus, the first hour corresponds to 6 a.m., the third hour to 9 a.m., the sixth hour to noon, the ninth hour to 3 p.m., and so on (see also Acts
2:15; 3:1; 10:3; 16:25). The Psalm system of the Coptic Caraomcal Hours is still that mentioned by St. John Cassian (c. 360 - 435 AD.) in his De Institutes 2:4; namely, twelve psalms for each hour. However, a further seven psalms are added to the twelve of the Office of Morning Prayer, while the Office of Midnight Prayer is composed of three nocturnes (watches).
Manner of praying the Hours
Each of the Canonical Hours starts with the Lord’s Prayer, the Prayer of Thanksgiving, and Psalm 50. Then follow the appropriate Psalms, the reading from the Gospel, and the Litanies. These are followed by Kyrie eleison 41 times (repre¬senting the thirty-nine scourges (2 Cor. 11:24) of the Lord, the spear, and the crown of thorns), the Petition, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Saba¬outh...”, the Lord’s Prayer, the Absolution, and concluding with the supplication, “Have mercy on us, 0 God, and have mercy onus...”
Themes of the Hours
1 - Prime: Morning Prayer, is designed to be prayed early in the morning as a reference to the coming of the true Light, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Prime is mainly associated with the eternity of God, His incarnation, and His resurrection from the dead. It is intended to offer thanks to Him for having raised us from sleep, beseeching Him to shine upon us, enlighten our lives, and grant us the power of His resurrection.
2 - Terce: Third Hour, commemorates three significant events: Christ’s trial by Pilate, His ascension to the heavens, and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. We pray that the grace of the Holy Spirit may cleanse our hearts and renew our lives.
3 - Sext: Sixth Hour, reminds us of the cruci¬fixion and passion of Christ We pray that through His life-giving passions, He may deliver our minds from lusts, turn our thoughts to the remem¬brance of His commandments, and make of us a light of the world and salt of the earth.
4 - None: Ninth Hour, commemorates the redemptive death of Christ in the flesh on the cross, and His acceptance of the repentance of the Thief.
We pray that the Savior may mortify our carnal lusts, make us partakers of His grace, and accept our repentance when we cry out with the Thief, “Remember us, 0 Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
5-Vespers: Eleventh Hour, is associated with the act of taking down Christ’s body from the cross. At the end of the day, we give thanks for God’s protection, and confess our sins with the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) that we may be counted among the laborers who were called at the eleventh hour of the day (Matt. 20:1-16).
6 - Compline: Twelfth Hour, commemorates the burial of Christ. We remember the passing world and the final judgment. Mindful of our imminent standing before God, we ask forgiveness of our sins and protection through the night.
7 - Midnight: Commemorates the second coming of the Lord. The office consists of three nocturnes (watches), corresponding to the three stages of Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethse¬mane (Matt. 25:1-13).
8- The Veil: In addition to these hours, there is another prayer called the Office of the Veil. The Didascalia directs that it be read by bishops and priests as a means of examining the heart before sleep. According to the Agpeya, it is for the use of monks.
Advice on how to use the Agpeya
1. The Agpeya is a book of prayer, let it be the first one to be opened in the morning. This will direct the whole day towards God, and encour¬age us to use the book several times a day.
2. Praying the hours is a means of examining the heart and correcting its faults. Therefore, with following the order of the Agpeya, we need to purify our hearts constantly by repentance and humility, to dwell in the truth, and to love all people. Thus, our order of prayer will be effec¬tive and fruitful.
3. The few minutes during which we prepare our¬selves for prayer by examining the heart, repen¬tance, prostration and contemplation have an important influence for obtaining the spirit of prayer.
4. Psalms are a rich food of the spirit; let us love them and enjoy reciting them frequently.
5. The quality of time used to pray matters more than the quantity of psalms that are recited. You can consult your spiritual father. It is useful to understand the meaning of prayer and think of it in your mind.
6. The words of the psalms are to be applied to yourself, and be said as if they are your own words, and not as sayings of others.
7. Do not move from one word to the other am from one psalm to the other without grasping the feeling and the truth it bears. Try to understand the purpose of each and every word am touch it with your heart, in order to experience its hidden and real meaning.
8. With each word which purposes worship, kneel down or at least bow your head in reverence.
9. Assign a time for your own prayers articulated by yourself, in which you express your desire and burning love to God. When you pray to God using your own words or verses from the psalms you will experience that joy and happiness will dominate your life.
N.B. The numbering of the Psalms in this Coptic Book of Hours (Agpeya) follow the Coptic Version of the Bible. It Is one number behind that of other published versions of the Bible. For example, Psalm 50 in this Agpeya Is Psalm 51 In the other Versions.
INTRODUCTION TO EVERY HOUR
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Make us worthy to pray thankfully:
Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread’. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF THANKSGMNG
Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merci¬ful God. the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, sup¬ported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord of our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.
0 Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and have brought us to this hour.
Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, 0 Lover of mankind: Grant us to complete this holy day, am all the days of our life, mall peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, am the rising up of enemies, hidden am manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours.
But those things which are good am profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents am scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honor, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, am the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
Have mercy upon me, 0 God, according to Your great mercy; am according to the multitude of Your compassion’s blot out my iniquity. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, am cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my iniquity, and my sin is at all times before me.
Against You only I have sinned, am done evil before You, that You might be just in Your say¬ings, and might overcome when You are judged.
For, behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins my mother conceived me.
For, behold, You have loved the truth; You have manifested to me the hidden and unrevealed things of Your wisdom. You shall sprinkle me with Your hyssop, and I shall be purified; You shall wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. You shall make me to hear gladness and joy; the humbled bones shall rejoice.
Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, 0 God, and renew a right spirit in my inward parts.
Do not cast me away from Your face, and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me. Give rue the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a directing spirit. Then I shall teach the transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly men shall turn to You.
Deliver me from blood, 0 God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall rejoice in Your righteousness. 0 Lord, You shall open my lips, am my mouth shall declare Your praise. For if You desired sacrifice, I would have given it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken am humbled heart God shall not despise.
Do good, 0 Lord, in Your good pleasure to Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be built. Then
You shall be pleased with sacrifices of righteous¬ness, offering, and burnt sacrifices: then they shall
offer calves upon Your altar. ALLELUIA.
Morning Prayer is designed to be prayed early in the morning, as a reference to the coming of the true Light, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Prime is mainly associated with the eternity of God, His incarnation, and His resurrection from the dead. It is intended to offer thanks to Him for having raised us from sleep, beseeching Him to grant us the power of His resurrection, to shine upon us, enlighten our lives, and help us to lead the holy life which is pleasing to Him.
The worshipper prays the INTRODUCTION OF EVERY HOUR which includes:
Then the worshipper says:
COME LET US KNEEL DOWN
Come let us kneel down, let us ask Christ our God.
THE LORD’S PRAYER page 1
THANKSGIVING PRAYER page 2
PSALM 50 page 4
Come let us kneel down, let us beseech Christ our King.
Come let us kneel down, let us entreat Christ our Savior.
0 Laid Jesus Christ; the Word of God, our God, through the intercession of Saint Mary and all Your saints, preserve us, and bring us to a good start. Have mercy onus according to Your will forever.
The night has passed; we thank You, 0 Lord, and we ask You to keep us this day away from sin and deliver us.
THE PAULINE EPISTLE
From St. Paul’s Epistle
to the Ephesians,
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH
One is God the Father of everyone.
One is His Son, Jesus Christ the Word, Who took flesh and died and rose from the dead on the third day, and raised us with Him.
One is the Holy Spirit; the Comforter, one in His Hypostasis, proceeding from the Father, puri¬fying the whole creation, and teaching us to wor¬ship the Holy Trinity, one in divinity and one in essence. We praise Him’ and bless Him forever. Amen.
Then the worshipper says:
The morning prayer of the blessed day, I offer to Christ my King and my God, beseeching Him to forgive me my sins.
From the Psalms of our father David the prophet and the king may his blessings be upon us all. Amen.
Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of the sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the evil men. But his will is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he shall meditate day and night. He shall be like the tree which is plantedby the streams of water, which shall yield its fruit in its due season, and its leaf shall not scatter, and in everything he does he prospers.
Not so are the ungodly, not so, but rather they are like the chaff which the wind scatters upon the face of the earth. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor the sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Why did the nations rage, and the peoples meditate on vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ saying, “Let us break through their bonds, and cast away their yoke from us.”
He who dwells in the heavens shall laugh at them, and the Lord shall mock them. Then He shall speak to them in His anger, and in His wrath He shall trouble them.
“But I have been established king by Him on Zion, His holy mountain, proclaiming the ordi¬nance of the Lord; the Lord said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and Your authority to the end of the earth. You shall shepherd them with a rod of iron; You shall crush them as a potter’s vessel;’
Now, understand, 0 kings; be instructed, all you who judge the earth; serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice in Him with trembling. Take hold of instruction, lest the Lord be angry, and you perish from the way of righteousness, whenever His wrath shall be suddenly kindled. Blessed are all who trust in Him. ALLELUIA.
0 Lord, why have they who afflict me multi¬plied? Many have risen up upon me. Many say unto my soul, “There is no salvation for him in his God.” But You, 0 Lord, are my supporter, my glory, and the elevation of my head.
With my voice I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me out of His holy mountain. I laid down and slept and I arose, for the Lord is He who supports me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who surround me, who have risen upon me. Rise, 0 Lord, save me, O my God, for You have smitten all who are enemies tome without cause. The teeth of the sinners You have broken. Salvation is the Lord’s, and His blessing is upon His people. AL¬LELUIA.
When I cried out, God of my righteousness heard me; in tribulation You have made room for me. Have compassion upon me, 0 Lord, and hear my prayer.
0 you, sons of men, how long will your hearts be heavy? Why do you love vanity, and seek false¬hood? Know you that the Lord has made His Holy One wondrous. The Lord hears me when I cry to Him. Be angry, and do not sin, feel sorrow upon your beds for what you say in your hearts. Offer the sacrifice of righteousness, and trust in the Lord.
Many say, “Who can show us the good things?” The light of Your countenance, 0 Lord, has been shined upon us. You have given gladness to my heart; they have been multiplied with the fruit of their wheat and wine and oil. I shall both lie down in peace and sleep, for You alone, 0 Lord, have caused me to dwell in hope. ALLELUIA.
Hearken, 0 Lord, to my words and consider my cry. Observe the voice of my supplication, my King and my God, for to You, 0 Lord, I will pray. In the morning You shall hear my voice; in the early morning I shall stand before You, and You will look upon me. For You are not a God who desires iniquity; nor shall he who works evil dwell in You; nor shall the transgressors abide before Your eyes. You have hated, 0 Lord, all who work iniquity; You will destroy all who speak falsehood. A man of blood and deceit the Lord abhors. But as for me, according to the multitude of Your mercy I shall enter Your house; I shall worship before Your holy temple in Your fear.
Guide me, 0 Lord, in Your righteousness; for the sake of my enemies, make my way straight before You. For in their mouth there is no truth, their heart is vain, their throat is an open tomb; with
their tongues they have done deceit. Judge them, 0 God; let them fall down in all their counsels. Wipe them out according to the abundance of their un¬godliness; for they have provoked You, 0 Lord.
But let all who hope in You be glad; they shall rejoice for ever, and You shall dwell in them, awl all who love Your name shall be proud in You. For You, 0 Lord, have blessed the righteous; as a shield of favor You have crowned us. ALLELUIA.
O Laid, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath. Have mercy on me, 0 Lord, for l am weak; heal me, 0 Lord, for my bones are troubled, and my soul is grievously troubled.
But You, 0 Lord, how long? Return, deliver my soul; revive me for the sake of Your mercy. For in death there is no one who is remembering You; and in Hades who is able to give thanks to You? I became wearied in my groaning; I shall wash my bed every night; I shall wet my couch with my tears. My eye is troubled because of anger, I have grown old because of all my enemies.
Depart away from me, all who do iniquity, for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my petition, the Lord has accepted my prayer. All my enemies shall be put to shame and greatly troubled; they shall be turned back and put to shame speedily. ALLELUIA.
0 Lord, our Lord, how wonderful Your name became in all the earth For the greatness of Your splendor has been exalted above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have prepared praise, because of Your enemies, that You might put down an enemy and avenger.
For I will regard the heavens, the work of Your fingers; the moon and stars You have established. What is man, that You have been mindful of him? Or the son of man, that You have visited him? You made him a little less than angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and You have set him upon the works of Your hands. You have put everything under his feet; all the sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, and the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. 0 Lord our Lord, how wonderful Your name became in all the earth ALLELUIA.
Save me 0 Lord, for the godly one has ceased; and the truths have diminished from the children of men. Every one has spoken vanities to his friend. Deceiving lips are in their hearts, and thus they have spoken with their hearts. The Lord shall wipe out every deceiving lip, and every tongue that speaks great words; those who have said, “We will magnify our tongues; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” “Because of the misery of the poor and the sighing of the oppressed, now I will rise,” says the Lord, “I will set them in salvation, and I will be revealed in it.”
The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in the fire, proved in the earth, purified seven times. You, 0 Lord, shall keep us, and shall pre¬serve us from this generation, and forever. The ungodly walk around: according to Your greatness You have prolonged the lives of the children of men. ALLELUIA.
How long, 0 Lord, do You forget me? forever? How long do You turn Your face away from me? How long do I put these counsels in my soul, and these sorrows in my heart for the whole day? How long does my enemy exalt over me?
Look, hearken to me, 0 Lord my God: en¬lighten my eyes, lest I sleep in death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; those who distress me will rejoice if ever l stumble. But I have hoped in Your mercy; my heart will rejoice in Your salvation. I will praise the Lord Who has done good to me, and I will sing to the name of the Lord Most High. ALLELUIA.
O Lord, who shall abide in Your dwelling place? And who can rest upon Your holy moun¬tain? It is he who walks blamelessly, doing righteousness, speaking truth in his heart, he who has not spoken deceitfully with his tongue, neither has done evil to his friend, nor taking up a reproach against his neighbors. The evil worker is disdained before him, but he glorifies those who fear the Lord. He gives oath to his friend and does not turn away from him. He has not given his money on usury, and has not received bribes against the godly. He who does these things shall not stumble forever. ALLELUIA.
Keep me, 0 Lord, for I have hoped in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, and You have no need of my goodness.” He has manifested His wonders to His saints who are in His earth, and He has wrought all His desires in them. Their ailments have been multiplied who hastened after another god. I will not assemble their meetings of blood, nor make mention of their names with my lips. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup. You are He who brings my inheritance back to me. The measuring lines have fallen to me among the best, and my inheritance is confirmed for me.
I will bless the Lord who has given me under¬standing; my reins too have instructed me even till the night I foresaw the Lord always before me; He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue ex¬ulted; moreover also my flesh shall live in hope; because You shall not leave my soul in Hades, neither shall You suffer Your holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will fill me with joy with Your face; delight is in Your right hand forever. ALLELUIA.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day to day utters speech, and night to night proclaims knowledge. There are no speeches or words, in which their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out upon all the earth, and their words have reached to the ends of the world. In the sun He has set His dwelling, and it comes forth as a bride¬groom out of his chamber, it shall exult as a giant running his course. Its going forth is from the extremity of heaven, and its goal is to the other end of heaven, and nothing will be hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting souls; the testimony of the Lord is faithful, instruct¬ing the babes. The ordinances of the Lord are straight, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is a light, enlightening the eyes from afar. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever and ever, the judgements of the Lord are true, and justified altogether. The desires of His heart are chosen more than gold and precious stone, and sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. For Your servant keeps them, and in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can understand transgressions? From my secret sins cleanse me, 0 Lord, and from the attack of strangers spare Your servant Let them not have dominion over me, then I shall be blameless, and I shall be cleansed from great sin. All the sayings of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, shall be pleasing continually before You. 0 Lord, You are my helper, and my Savior. ALLELUIA.
To You, 0 Lord, I have lifted up my soul 0 my God, I have trusted in You; let me not be ashamed forever, nor let my enemies mock me. For all who wait for You shall not be ashamed; let them be ashamed who wrought iniquity in vain. Show me Your ways, 0 Lord, and teach me Your paths. Lead me to Your truth, and teach me; for You are God my Savior, and for You I have waited the whole day. Remember, 0 Lord, Your compassions and Your mercies, for they exist from everlasting. The sins of my youth and those of my ignorance do not remember, and according to Your mercy remember me, for the sake of Your goodness, 0 Lord
For good and upright is the Lord; therefore He shall set a law for those who sin in the way. He shall guide the meek in judgment He shall teach the meek His ways. All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. For the sake of Your name, 0 Lord, You shall forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who is the man that fears the Lord? He shall set a law for him in the way which pleases Him. His soul shall dwell in good things, and his seed shall inherit the earth. The Lord is the strength of those who fear Him, and the name of the Lord is for those who revere Him, and His covenant He will manifest to them. My eyes are ever looking towards the Lord, for He will draw my feet out of the snare.
Look upon me, and have mercy on me, for l am an only child and poor. The afflictions of my heart have been multiplied; bring me out of my troubles. Behold my lowliness and my toil, and forgive all my sins. Look upon my enemies, for they have multiplied, and they have hated me with an unjust hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me. Let me not be put to shame, for I have hoped in You. The harmless and upright joined themselves to me, for I waited for You, 0 Lord. Deliver Israel, 0 God, out of all his afflictions. ALLELUIA.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom will I feat? The Lord is the defender of my life; of whom will I be afraid? When the wicked drew near against me to eat up my flesh, those who distress me and my enemies, they fainted and fell. Though an army should fight me, my heart shall not be afraid, though war should rise up against me, in this I am confident
One thing l have asked of the Lord, this also l will seek, that I should dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I should behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and visit His holy temple. For in the day of my afflictions He hid me in His tabernacle; He sheltered me in the secret of His tabernacle; He set me up on a rock. And now, behold, He has lifted up my head over my enemies; I went round and offered in His tabernacle a sacri¬fice of joy; I shall sing, and sing psalms to the Lord.
Hear, 0 Lord, my voice which I have uttered aloud; have mercy on me, and hearken to me. For You are He to whom my heart said, “I have sought
Your face; Your face, 0 Lord, I will seek.” Do not turn away Your face from me, do not reject Your servant in anger. Be a helper to me, and do not forsake me; and do not overlook me, 0 God my Savior. For my father and my mother have for¬saken me, but the Lord has accepted me unto Himself Set a law for me, 0 Lord, in Your ways, and guide me in a right path, because of my ene¬mies. Do not deliver me over to the hands of those who afflict me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and injustice has lied to itself I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be of good cheer and let your heart be strengthened, and wait for the Lord. ALLELUIA.
O God, my God, I will rise up early unto You; for my soul has thirsted for You, to make my flesh blossom for You, in a barren land and a trackless and dry place. So I have appeared before You in the Holy, to see Your power and Your glory. For Your mercy is chosen more than life; my lips shall praise You. So I will bless You during my life; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be filled as with marrow and fatness; and my lips of joy shall praise Your name.
I have remembered You on my bed, in the time of early morning I have usually meditated on You. For You have become unto me a helper, and under the shadow of Your wings I shall rejoice. My soul has kept very close behind You; Your right hand has upheld me. But those who seek to destroy my soul, shall go into the lowest parts of the earth. They shall be delivered up to the hand of the sword; they shall be portions for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by him shall be proud, for the mouths of those who speak unjust things shall be shut. ALLELUIA.
God shall pity us, and bless us, and reveal His face upon us and have mercy on us; that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples, 0 God, give praise to You; let all the peoples give praise to You. Let the nations rejoice and exult, for You will judge peo¬ples in equity, and guide nations on the earth. Let peoples, 0 God, give praise you let all the peoples give praise to You. The earth has yielded its fruit. God, our God, shall bless us; God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
0 God, be mindful to my help; make haste, 0 Lord, to help me. Let them be ashamed and be scorned, those who seek my soul; let them be turned backward and put to shame, those who wish to do evil unto me. Let those who say to me, “Aba, aba,” be turned back in shame immediately. Let all who seek You exult and be glad in You, and let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified.” But I am poor and weak, 0 God, help me. You are my Helper and Savior, 0 Lord, do not delay. ALLELUIA.
Praise the Lord, 0 the servants, praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be blessed from now and forever. From the risings of the sun to its settings, praise the name of the Lord. The Lord is high above all the nations; upon the heav¬ens is His glory.
Who is like the Lord our God? who dwells in the high places, and looks upon the low things in heaven and on the earth, who lifts up a poor person from the earth, and raises up a needy person from the ash heap, to seat him with the princes, even with the princes of his people; who makes a barren woman in a house, rejoicing as a mother of chil¬dren. ALLELUIA.
0 Lord, hear my prayer, give ear to my suppli¬cation in Your truth, hearken to me in Your justice. And do not enter into judgement with Your ser¬vant, for in Your sight no one living shall be justified.
For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has humbled my life down to the ground; he has made me to sit in darkness, as those who have been long dead. Therefore, my spirit grieves in me; my heart is troubled within me. I remembered the days of old, and l meditated on all Your doings; I meditated on the works of Your hands. I spread forth my hands unto You; my soul is toward You as a dry land.
Hear me quickly, 0 Lord, for my spirit has failed; do not turn away Your face from me, or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your mercy in the morning, for in You do I hope; make known to me, O Lord, the way in which I should walk, for I have lifted up my soul to You. Deliver me from my enemies, 0 Lord, for I have fled to You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your Holy Spirit guide me in the straight way. You shall revive me, 0 Lord, for Your name’s sake; in Your righteousness You shall bring my soul out of affliction. And in Your mercy You will wipe out my enemies, and destroy all who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.
THE HOLY GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not the Light, but came to bear witness to the Light. That was the true Light that gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came unto His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only ¬Begotten of His Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
Glory be to God forever. Amen.
1. 0 the true Light Who gives light to every man coming into the world, You came into the world through Your love for mankind, and all creation rejoiced in Your coming. You saved our father, Adam, from the seduction, and delivered our mother, Eve, from the pangs of death, and gave us the spirit of son ship. Let us, therefore, praise You and bless You saying:
DOXA PATRI KAI EIYOU KAI AGIO
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
2.As the daylight shines upon us, 0 Christ Our God, the true Light, let the luminous senses and the bright thoughts shine within us, and do not let the darkness of passions hover over us, that mindfully we may praise You with David say¬ing, “My eyes hastened to awake before the dawn, that I might meditate on Your sayings.” Hear our voices according to your great mercy, and deliver us, 0 Lord our God, through Your compassion.
KE NIN KA1 A EE KAI EIS TOUS E ONAS TON E ONON. AMEN.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
3. You are the honored Mother of the Light; from the risings of the sun to its settings praises are offered to you, 0 Mother of God (Theotokos), the second heaven, for you are the bright and unchanging flower, and the ever virgin mother, for the Father chose you, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed you, and the Son condescended and took flesh from you. Wherefore, ask Him to give salvation to the world which He created, and to deliver it from all tribulations. Let us praise Him a new praise, and bless Him, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
Let us praise with the angels, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will toward men.”
We praise You. We bless You. We serve You. We worship You. We confess to You. We glorify You. We give thanks to You for Your great glory,
0 Lord, King of heaven, God the Father, the Al¬mighty (Pantocrator); 0 Lord, the one and Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. 0 Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. 0 You, Who takes away the sin of the world, receiveourpmyers unto You. Who sits at the right hand of His Father, have mercy on us. You only are the Holy; You only are the Most High, my Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit glory be to God the Father. Amen.
Every day I will bless You, and praise Your holy name forever and unto the ages of ages.
From the night season my soul awakes early unto You, O my God, for Your precepts are a light upon the earth. I was meditating on Your ways, for You have become a help erun to me. In the morning You shall hear my voice. Early I will stand before You, and You shall see me.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was born of the Virgin, have mercy onus.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was crucified for us, have mercy onus.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who rose from the dead and ascended into the heavens, have mercy onus.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
0 Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. 0 Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. 0 Holy Trinity, have mercy onus.
0 Lord, forgive us our sins. 0 Lord, forgive us our iniquities. 0 Lord, forgive us our trespasses.
0 Lord, visit the sick of Your people; heal them for the sake of Your holy name. Our fathers and brethren who have fallen asleep, 0 Lord, repose their souls.
0 You Who are without sin, Lord have mercy on us. 0 You Who are without sin, Lord help us and receive our supplications. For Yours is the glory, the dominion, and triple holiness. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord bless. Amen.
Make us worthy to Pray thankfully:
Our Father Who art in heaven ... etc.
HAIL TO ST. MARY
Hail to you. We ask you, 0 saint, full of glory, the ever virgin, the Mother of God (Theotokos) , the Mother of Christ, lift up our prayers unto your beloved Son, that He may forgive us our sins.
Hail to the Holy Virgin, who has brought forth unto us the true Light, Christ our God. Ask the Lord on our behaW that He may have mercy on our souls, and forgive us our sins.
O Virgin Mary, the holy Mother of God (Theo¬tokos), the faithful advocate for all mankind, inter¬cede on our behalf before Christ, Whom you bore, that He may forgive us our sins.
Hail to you, 0 Virgin, the right and true queen. Hail to the pride of our race, who bore to us Emmanuel
We ask you, remember us, 0 our faithful advo¬cate, before our Lord Jesus Christ, that He may forgive us our sins.