21 April 2014

Paschal Hours

Christ is Risen!

In the Eastern tradition, regular hourly prayers are suspended through bright week (from Pascha until the following Saturday). During that time the following Paschal Hours are read for all the “minor” hours – The midnight office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None and Compline – during the day (Matins, Vespers are also in special format). Another interesting tradition is that no psalms are read: because they are viewed as all prophecy that is now fulfilled.

If you wish, I think these prayers would make a wonderful addition for Easter Week, as well as throughout the 50 days. Most of the prayers are repeated – traditionally when prayers are repeated thrice (Such as the prayer “Holy God, Holy Mighty”) the sign of the cross is made at the beginning of each prayer. I’ve also marked the sign of the cross (+) at places where it is traditionally made in the Eastern Rite. Note the tones – if you are familiar with Orthodox Chant, these can be chanted, if not, just read ‘em!

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

+Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.(3x)

+Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless One. We worship your cross, O Christ, and your holy Resurrection we praise and glorify; for you are our God, and we know no other besides you, and we call upon your name. O come, all you faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy has come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn His Resurrection; for, having endured crucifixion, He has destroyed death by death. (3x)

The Hypakoe, eighth tone:
Before the dawn, the women came with Mary, and found the stone rolled away from the tomb, and heard from the angel: why do you seek He who lives in everlasting light here among the dead, as though He were a mortal? Behold the grave-clothes. Go quickly and proclaim to the world that the Lord is risen and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves all.

The Kontakion, eighth tone:
Though you descended into the grave, O Immortal One, you destroyed the power of Hell. And you rose as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice! And giving peace unto your apostles: you grant resurrection to the fallen.

And these Troparia, eighth tone:
You were in the grave bodily, but in Hell with your soul as God: in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit. You fill all things, O Christ the Inexpressible.

+Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Your tomb is shown to be life-giving and more beautiful than Paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace, O Christ, the source of our resurrection!

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O sanctified and divine tabernacle of the Most High, rejoice! For through you, O Theotokos, joy is given to those who cry: Blessed are you among women, O all-pure Lady.

Lord, have mercy (40x).

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

+More honourable than the Cherubim, more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the Word, True Theotokos, we magnify you.

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, for the sake of the prayers of your most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers and mothers, and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.

[For Compline add this prayer:

Blessed are you, Master almighty, who have given light to the day by the light of the sun and made the night bright with rays of fire, who have granted us to pass through the length of the day and draw near to the beginnings of the night. Hearken to our entreaty and that of all your people, and forgive all of us our sins voluntary and involuntary and send down the multitude of your mercy and acts of compassion upon your inheritance. Wall us about with your holy Angels. Arm us with the weapons of your justice. Surround us with the rampart of your truth. Guard us with your power. Deliver us from every calamity and every assault of the adversary. Grant us that the present evening with the coming night may be perfect, holy, peaceful, sinless, without stumbling, and dreamless and likewise all the days of our life; at the prayers of the holy Mother of God and of all the Saints who have been well pleasing to you since time began. Amen. ]

+Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.(3x)

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

+May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead, trampling down death by death bestowing life on those in the tombs, through the intercessions of His most Pure Mother, and of all the saints have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of All.