UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH
OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA & the DIASPORA
Archeparchy of the United States & the Americas


JULIAN LITURGICAL CALENDAR - MARCH/APRIL/MAY 2005


BYZANTINE RITE LITURGICAL CALENDAR
GREAT LENT - PASSION WEEK - PASCHA - 2005
ACCORDING TO THE UKRAINIAN/RUTHENIAN RECENSION

The following liturgical calendar and rubrics, having been prepared by myself from Ukrainian typikons and traditional sources, has my approbation for use in the churches and oratories of our Metropolia, according to the Julian Calendar.

March 1, 2005

+Metropolitan Michael
Archbishop-Metropolitan of the United States & the Americas
Presiding Hierarch
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America & the Diaspora

INTRODUCTION:

The services of Great Lent, Passion Week and the Radiant Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to our Rite and tradition are most beautiful and moving to the worshipper. Each week of Lent has a particular theme and is meant to help us spiritually reach our sacred destination: Pascha - Easter. Likewise, the services of Passion Week each take us another step closer to this joyous goal. Therefore it is important that they be observed with both dignity and attention to detail, so as to create an environment in which the Christian assembly can together walk the holy journey with Jesus, from the region of Caesarea Philippi, down to Jerusalem and ultimately, to Calvary, the Tomb and the Radiant Resurrection.

Liturgical commentators of the Byzantine Liturgy interpret the services of Passion Week as a spiritual re-enactment and re-creation of those saving events that took place long ago. We are not only remembering the acts that Christ endured during these days, but are actually taking part in them, as if we were present in Jerusalem some 2000 years before. Therefore, the liturgy makes use not only of hymns and prayers, but also of "props," movements and decorations that bring us closer to the heart of the narrative. In this way, we walk with Jesus through the Holy City, we are present at his mystical supper, at his crucifixion and death, and are, like the women disciples, the first witnesses to his resurrection.

It is my hope and prayer that through participation in as many of the services of Great Lent and Passion Week as is possible, we will together, be spiritually, emotionally and physically renewed by the powerful message of hope and peace that Easter offers us.

Let us join our prayers together as the People of God of our Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, whether we are near or far from each other, so that the Gospel message may be manifest in each one of us.

Faithfully in Christ,

+METROPOLITAN MICHAEL
Great Lent 2005

_____________________________________________

Note:
It is our venerable tradition to sing the hymn, "Preterpyvyj" or "Having suffered the Passion" three times at the conclusion of all Lenten services up until the Easter Triduum, except on Sundays and during the week following the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross. For this hymn, the priest and ministers stand at the amvon and the faithful in their places. A prostration is made at the conclusion of each repetition of the hymn. The English text of the hymn is as follows: "Having suffered the Passion for us, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy on us."

Other Lenten hymns may be sung before and after the services.

Dark Vestments are worn on all Lenten weekdays, except as noted. Bright vestments are worn on all Lenten Sundays, in honor of the Resurrection, except on the Third Sunday of Lent - the Veneration of Holy Cross, when Red or Dark vestments are worn.

For the weekday readings given below, the one from Isaiah is for the Sixth Hour and those from Genesis and Proverbs (Exodus and Job during Passion Week) are for the Presanctified Liturgy and/or Vespers. The Divine Liturgy itself is not celebrated on Lenten weekdays, but only on Saturdays and Sundays during Lent. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, while prescribed for Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent, may be celebrated on any Lenten weekday.

THURSDAY, MARCH 24.
Genesis 5:1-24; Proverbs 6:3-20.

FRIDAY, MARCH 25.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Genesis 5:32-6:8; Proverbs 6:20-7:1.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26
Second Saturday of the Great Fast. Second All-Souls' Saturday.
Dark vestments. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Epistle: Hebrews 3:12-16; Gospel: Mark 1:35-44.

A Panakhyda with general commemoration of the deceased, (by family name first, and then individual names of that family) is celebrated following the Ambo Prayer. In keeping with an ancient tradition of our church, Kutiya (Boiled wheat mixed with honey, poppyseed and walnuts) may be blessed before the panakhyda and distributed to the faithful in memory of the deceased following the dismissal.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27.
SECOND SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST. COMMEMORATION OF ST. GREGORY PALAMAS.
Bright vestments. Tone 2;
Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Resurrection Troparion; Troparion of St. Gregory; Glory: Now: Kontakion of the Triodion; Prokimenon and Alleluia Verses of the Triodion; Communion Hymn of Sunday.
Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3; Gospel: Mark 2:1-12.

MONDAY, MARCH 28.
Genesis 6:9-22; Proverbs 8:1-21.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29.
Genesis 7:1-15; Proverbs 8:32-9:11.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Genesis 7:6-9; Proverbs 9:12-18.

THURSDAY, MARCH 31.
Genesis 7:11-8:4; Proverbs 10:1-22.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1.
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Genesis 8:4-21; Proverbs 10:31-11:12.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2.
Third Saturday of the Great Fast. Third All-Souls' Saturday.
Dark vestments. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Epistle: Hebrews 10:32-38a; Gospel: Mark 2:14-17.

A Panakhyda with general commemoration of the deceased, (by family name first, and then individual names of that family) is celebrated following the Ambo Prayer. In keeping with an ancient tradition of our church, Kutiya (Boiled wheat mixed with honey, poppyseed and walnuts) may be blessed before the panakhyda and distributed to the faithful in memory of the deceased following the dismissal.

SUNDAY, APRIL 3.
THIRD SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST. VENERATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
Dark vestments. Tone 3;
Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Resurrection Troparion; Troparion of the Cross; Glory: Now: Kontakion of the Triodion; Instead of Trisagion, We bow to Your Cross...; Prokimenon, Alleluia Verses and Communion Hymn of the Triodion. Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1.

Prior to the Divine Liturgy, the decorated Cross (with a wreath of red flowers) is placed on the tetrapod for veneration. It should be prepared and placed on the altar, in place of the Gospel Book (which is stood upright as during the "Liturgy of the Eucharist") between two lighted candles. At the beginning of the service, the priest takes up the decorated cross and, holding it on high, preceded by the deacon and other ministers, processes around the altar and through the northern door. They comes before the tetrapod and the priest places the decorated holy cross there. "We bow to Your Cross, O Lord" is sung three times with the usual prostrations.

During the Trisagion, the priest and ministers proceed to the tetrapod, for the singing of "We bow to Your Cross, O Lord." A prostration is made at each repetition. After the "Glory, now and ever;" the second part of the verse, "and we praise your Holy Resurrection" is sung, and then the full hymn once more (as with the trisagion). The priest and ministers then venerate the Holy Cross and return to the sanctuary.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the ministers again go to the tetrapod, for the singing of "We bow to Your Cross . . . " three times again with prostrations. After this, the faithful come forward to venerate the Holy Cross.

The Holy Cross is venerated after the Liturgy today and after every service until Friday.

MONDAY, APRIL 4.
Is. 14: 24-32; Gen. 8:21 - 9:7; Prov. 11:19 - 12:6

TUE APRIL 5
Is. 25: 1-9; Gen 9: 8-17; Prov. 12: 8-22

WED APRIL 6
MID-LENT Prefestive Day of the Annunciation.
Is. 26: 21 - 27:9; Gen. 9:18 - 10:1; Prov. 12:23 - 13:9
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.


If there are catechumens to be baptized at Pascha, today we begin the chanting of the "Litany for those about to be Enlightened," during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as given in the service book.

At Vespers and the Presanctified Liturgy, the stichera are taken from both the Festal Menaion, for the Annunciation (March 25/April 7) and from the Triodion.

THU APRIL 7
THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD. Solemn Holyday.
At the Divine Liturgy: Heb. 2: 11-18; Lk. 1: 24-38 (of the Annunciation)
Is. 28: 14-22; Gen. 10:32 - 11:9; Prov. 13:20 - 14:6
Blue or Bright vestments are worn for the Divine Liturgy.

NOTE: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated together with Vespers on Thursday evening, for the Feast of the Annunciation. The stichera are taken from both the Festal Menaion, for the Feast (for March 26/April 8) and from the Triodion.

FRI APRIL 8
Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel. Leave-taking of the Annunciation.
Is. 29: 13-23; Gen. 12: 1-7; Prov. 14: 15-26
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

SAT APRIL 9
Fourth Saturday of Lent. Fourth All Soulsí Saturday.
Heb. 6: 9-12; Mk. 7: 31-37
Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Black or Dark Vestments.

A Panakhyda with general commemoration of the deceased, (by family name first, and then individual names of that family) is celebrated following the Ambo Prayer. In keeping with an ancient tradition of our church, Kutiya (Boiled wheat mixed with honey, poppyseed and walnuts) may be blessed before the panakhyda and distributed to the faithful in memory of the deceased following the dismissal.

SUN APRIL 10
FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST. MEMORY OF OUR HOLY FATHER JOHN CLIMACUS.
Tone 7. Heb. 6: 13-20; Mk. 9: 17-31
Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Bright Vestments.

MON APRIL 11
Fifth Week of the Great Fast.
Is. 37:33 - 38:6; Gen. 13: 12-18; Prov. 14:27 - 15:4

TUE APRIL 12
Is. 40: 18-31; Gen. 15: 1-15; Prov. 15: 7-19

WED APRIL 13
Is. 41: 4-14; Gen. 17: 1-9; Prov. 15:20 - 16:9
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

THU APRIL 14
THE GREAT CANON OF ST. ANDREW OF CRETE WITH PROSTRATIONS.
Is. 42: 5-16; Gen. 18: 20-33; Prov. 16:17 - 17:17
Matins with the Great Canon. (morning) Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (evening).

The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is prescribed to be taken during Matins. It may be anticipated on Wednesday evening, if the participation of the faithful benefits it. Many versions of this service have been printed. Because of its length, Matins may be abbreviated to accommodate the many troparia of the Great Canon.

The Canon is sung with full prostrations between the troparia of the canon, at each verse "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me." No prostrations are made at the verses, "Holy Father Andrew, pray to God for us," or "Holy Mother Mary (of Egypt) pray to God for us," or at the Glory; now and ever."

Because of the strenuous nature of the "Great Canon with Prostrations," the Typikon precribes that the Presanctified Liturgy be celebrated this evening, to spiritually strengthen the faithful with the Holy Eucharist.

FRI APRIL 15
Is. 45: 11-17; Gen. 22: 1-18; Prov. 17:17 - 18:5
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

SAT APRIL 16
AKATHISTOS SATURDAY
Heb. 9: 24-28; Mk. 8: 27-31
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Blue or Bright Vestments.

The Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God is prescribed to be taken during Matins. If Matins are not celebrated, then the Akathist Hymn itself may be sung at any appropriate time, beginning on Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, before Vespers.

SUN APRIL 17
FIFTH SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST. OUR HOLY MOTHER MARY OF EGYPT.
Tone 5. Heb. 9: 11-14; Mk. 10: 32-45
Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Bright Vestments.

MON APRIL 18
Sixth Week of the Great Fast.
Is. 48:17 - 49:4; Gen. 27: 1-41; Prov. 19: 16-25

TUE APRIL 19
Is. 49: 6-10; Gen. 31: 3-16; Prov. 21: 3-21

WED APRIL 20
Is. 58: 1-11; Gen. 43: 26-31; Prov. 21:23 - 22:4
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

THU APRIL 21
Is. 65: 8-16; Gen. 46: 1-7; Prov. 23:15 - 24:5

FRI APRIL 22
Is. 66: 10-24; Gen. 49:33 - 50:26; Prov. 31: 8-32
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

This day (Friday), marks the end of the Holy 40-Day Fast. The following two days are festal days, outside of Lent and before Passion Week begins.

SAT APRIL 23
LAZARUS SATURDAY - THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS.
Heb. 12:28 - 13:8; Jn. 11: 1-45
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Bright Vestments. Gospel of the Resurrection of Lazarus.
Great Vespers with Litiya for Palm Sunday are celebrated in the evening.

SUN APRIL 24
PALM (FLOWERY) SUNDAY. Feast of Our Lord. Mitigation of the Fast.
Special Festal Antiphons & Troparia. Phil. 4: 4-9; Jn. 12: 1-18
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Bright Vestments. Mirovannya (Anointing with Blessed Oil).

The typikon prescribes that palms and branches are blessed during Matins. For parochial usage, if Matins are not celebrated, then the branches may be blessed immediately prior to the Divine Liturgy.

Before the Divine Liturgy begins, the priest and ministers proceed to the place where the branches will be blessed. This often takes place at the Tetrapod, but where the tradition exists, may occur outside the church, in a separate chapel or in the narthex. The priest first incenses and then blesses the branches using the prayers found in the Euchologion (Trebnyk). After the final prayer, he sprinkles the branches with holy water.

At this time, the faithful come forward and received the newly-blessed branches from the priest, according to local custom. If there is to be a procession into the church, then after all have received their branches, the priest and other ministers lead the assembly inside for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. During the procession, either the troparion of Palm Sunday ("By raising Lazarus from the dead before your passion . . . ") or stichera from the Litiya may be sung. If there is not procession, the faithful return to the places after receiving the blessed branches as the priest or deacon incenses the church. The Divine Liturgy begins.

Special arrangements of branches, tied together with colored ribbon, should be prepared for the priest, deacon and other ministers, to carry during the service, to add dignity to the celebration.

It is important to note that the faithful are to hold their blessed branches during the entire service. If this is not possible, then they must be held at least during the reading of the Holy Gospel and at the Great Entrance.

The priest and ministers hold their branches at the following times: (1) at the Little Entrance; the one carrying the Gospel Book places his branches in front of the Book. The other clergy, including the celebrant, carry their branches in front of them, diagonally, over their breasts; (2) During the reading of the Gospel in the manner just described; (3) during any incensing, by the one performing the incensation; (4) at the Great Entrance, if not carrying the chalice or diskos.

After the Divine Liturgy, the anointing with blessed oil (mirovannya) is given to the faithful on their foreheads. Those in holy orders, receive this anointing on the middle of the top of their heads, where the tonsure was performed. The priest greets each one with "Christ is in our midst" to which they respond "He is and shall be."

The blessed branches may remain in the church throughout the rest of the week. They may be used as additional decoration at Our Lord's sepulchre (grave) during the Triduum. The faithful should be encouraged to decorate their homes and the graves of their departed loved ones with the blessed palms and branches today.

PASSION WEEK

MON APRIL 25
GREAT & HOLY MONDAY.

At the Presanctified: Ex. 1: 1-20; Job 1: 1-12; Gospel: Mt. 24: 3-35
Bridegroom Matins (morning) Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (evening). Dark Vestments.

NOTE: During the first three days of Passion Week, a Gospel reading is percscribed to be taken during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

Some traditions anticipate the "Bridegroom Matins" in the evening, forgoing the Presanctified Liturgy. This is not common in our tradition, but rather emphasis is placed on the Eucharistic service (Presanctified). The main charecteristic of the "Bridegroom Matins" is the singing of the Troparion, "Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night . . . " This could also be sung before the Presanctified Liturgy, to set the theme of these first three days, known as "Days of the Bridegroom," as we await the celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord.

TUE APRIL 26
GREAT & HOLY TUESDAY.

At the Presanctified: Ex. 2: 5-10; Job 1: 13-22; Mt. 24:36 - 26:2
Bridegroom Matins (morning) Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (evening). Dark Vestments.

WED APRIL 27
GREAT & HOLY WEDNESDAY.
At the Presanctified: Ex. 2: 11-22; Job 2: 1-10 Gospel: Mt. 26: 6-16
Bridegroom Matins (morning) Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (evening). Dark Vestments.

The celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick may take place today. Normally in our tradition, it is combined with the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Special petitions are taken during the litanies and the oil is blessed before the Cherubic Hymn (Now the powers of heaven . . . ). The prayers for blessing the oil are taken from the Euchologion. After the oil is blessed, the priest anoints each person on their forehead and the palms of their hands with the prayer, "The servant (handmaid) of God (name) is anointed for the healing of his/her soul and body, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Some traditions celebrate the entire service of Holy Anointing, including the seven epistles and gospels, in place of the Presanctified Liturgy. It is our custom to combine the two services as above.

THU APRIL 28
GREAT & HOLY THURSDAY.
At the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil: Epistle: 1 Cor. 11: 23-32;
Gospel: (Composite) Lk. 21: 37-22, 39; Mt. 26: 2-20; Jn. 13: 1-17; Mt. 26: 21-39; Lk. 22: 43-45; Mt. 26:40 - 27:2
Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great with Vespers. Office of the Twelve Passion Gospels.

In the morning, Matins are celebrated, with the Troparion, "While the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet, at the supper . . . " as in the Triodion. Bright vestments are worn on this day for all services.

In the afternoon or preferably in the evening, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated with Vespers. This liturgy may be anticipated in the morning, but the faithful should be encouraged to attend the liturgy and receive the Eucharist on this day.

In Cathedral Churches, the eparchial bishop consecrates the chrism (myro) to be used in parishes throughout the eparchy during the coming year. The chrism is scented and prepared with resins, wine and spices, as prescribed in the Old Testament. The rite of consecration of chrism is to be found in the Euchologion or Archieretikon. During the Great Entrance of this Liturgy, the senior priest in dignity carries the receptacle containing the prepared chrism. It is then placed on the altar, next to the chalice and diskos for the Eucharistic Prayer. At the conclusion of the Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer), the chrism is consecrated.

NOTE: At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, after "Blessed be the name of the Lord," the bishop washes the feet of twelve persons. They should be seated on the amvon in twelve chairs and should be representative of the community, both clergy, religious and laity. During this preparation, stichera are sung as prescribed. A litany and two prayers follow, as in the Archieretikon or Euchologion. An ewer of warm water and basin with a towel are prepared with which the bishop washes the feet of the twelve persons.

The account of the washing of the feet is then read from the Gospel of St. John by a priest or deacon. The usual invitations to the gospel reading are sung. As the Gospel begins, the bishop removes his omophorion and sakkos and places on himself a white garment, similar to an apron, that covers the front and back of his vestments. As the narrative arrives at the verse, "And he began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to dry them with a towel with which he was girded," the bishop begins to wash the feet of the first eleven persons. The one reading the gospel, repeats this verse as each person's feet are washed by the bishop.

When he reaches the twelfth person (Simon Peter), the bishop pauses as the deacon or priest continues the narrative. This final part of the Gospel Reading is done in "dialogue form" with the twelfth person chanting the words of Peter, the bishop taking the role of Jesus and the deacon or priest reading the rest of the dialogue.

For the verse, "Then Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well," the one playing the role of Peter stands up, raises his arms and points with the right hand to his feet, while saying the verse. The priest or deacon then chants, "Jesus said to him," and the bishop reads the verse, "No one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are." After this, the bishop washes the feet of the one playing the role of Peter. The Gospel concludes with the narrator (deacon or priest) chanting the verse, "He knew who was going to betray him, that was why he said, 'Though not all of you are.'"

The usual response, "Glory be to You, O Lord, glory be to you," is sung. The bishop takes off the white garment and puts his vestments back on. Following is another short Gospel reading, which concludes the rest of John's narrative of the feet washing. The bishop concludes the service with a prayer, after which he blesses the twelve people with holy water, while the cantor sings the following sticheron in Tone 6: "Having washed their feet and cleansing themselves before partaking of your Divine Mystery, O Christ, the disciples now left with you from Zion to the Mount of Olives, praising you, O Lover of Humankind."

The Divine Liturgy concludes with the usual blessing and dismissal.

If there is the need, the eparchial bishop also blesses new antimensia on this day. This takes place immediately prior to the Divine Liturgy and is a lengthy service. The text can be found in the Euchologion (Trebnyk).

FRI APRIL 29
GREAT & HOLY FRIDAY.
At Great Vespers with Procession: Epistle: 1. Cor. 1:18 - 2:2; Gospel: (Composite) Mt. 27: 1-56; Lk. 23: 39-43; Mt. 27: 39-54; Jn. 19: 31-37; Jn. 27: 55-61

Black or Dark vestments are worn for all services on this day. The Office of Matins with the Twelve Passion Gospels is celebrated either on Friday morning or Thursday night, according to pastoral prudence.

Office of Matins with the Twelve Passion Gospels: As mentioned, this service is often celebrated by anticipation on Thursday evening. The Sepulchre (tomb - grave) of Our Lord is to be set up in the center of the church (in place of the Tetrapod) before this service. An analogion (lectern) is placed in front of the sepulchre, from which the Gospels are read. For all services from this time until Resurrection Matins, the priest and deacon stand in front of the sepulchre instead of at their usual place on the amvon (before the Royal Doors).

The Holy Sepulchre can take on various forms, according to local custom. It's simplelist form is a flat table, convered with a cloth. Often, the top of the table has a slightly elevated platform, so as to make the burial shroud more visible and accessible for veneration. Always, a large wooden cross, without a corpus, is placed behind the sepulchre. A white linen towel is draped over the arms of the cross. The grave should be decorated with Easter flowers and candles placed on the four sides of it, as at a funeral. These flowers remain on the grave until the Resurrection Matins. In some traditions, the sepulchre is made in the more "realistic" form of a cave, with a rock-formation facade. In this case, a platform is placed inside the cave, at medium height, to receive the burial shroud.

Twelve candles are used for this service. One candle is extinguished after each Gospel reading. The candles may be placed in a candelabra if there is one, or held by twelve persons. If they are held by persons, then they depart their places one by one, after each corresponding Gospel. The candles are placed in a suitable place, in front of the lectern used to read the Gospels.

The Twelve Passion Gospels are as follows:
1. Jn. 13:31 - 18:1
2. Jn. 18: 1-28
3. Mt. 26: 57-75
4. Jn. 18:29 - 19:16
5. Mt. 27: 3-32
6. Mk. 15: 16-32
7. Mt. 27: 33-54
8. Lk. 23: 32-49
9. Jn. 19: 25-37
10. Mk. 15: 43-47
11. Jn. 19: 38-42
12. Mt. 27: 62-66

Royal Hours: There are four "Royal Hours" prescribed: the First, Third, Sixth & Ninth Hours and include special scripture readings. These can be celebrated on Friday in the late morning or early afternoon. They can be celebrated either together as one service, or separately (each hour on the hour). If the latter option is chosen, then the faithful may avail themselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) between the Hours. These Hours take their name from the fact that in imperial days, the Emperor and royal family would attend these services on this day.

Gospel Readings for the Royal Hours:
1st. Hour: Mt. 27: 1-56
3rd. Hour: Mk. 15: 16-32
6th. Hour: Lk. 23: 32-49
9th. Hour: Jn. 14:28 - 19:16

Great Vespers with the Procession with the Burial Shroud: Vespers take place in the mid-afternoon around 3:00 p.m. or in the evening, according to the convenience of the faithful. The burial shroud (plashchanitsa in Church Slavonic and Ukrainian) is placed on the altar before Vespers begin, under the Gospel Book. The Gospel is read in front of the sepulchre as at Matins, after the Old Testament readings and Epistle. Two special prokeimena are perscribed between the OT readings and one before the Epistle. At the Aposticha (stichera with verses) of Vespers, the priest stands the Gospel Book upright and incenses the plashchanitsa (burial shroud) three times. He places it on his back (or in some places, it is held above the celebrant's head by four persons; in this case, the priest carries the Gospel Book). The deacon or a server incenses the burial shroud during the procession. The priest and ministers process through the northern door of the iconostasis and into the nave of the church. Preceded by the faithful, carrying lighted candles, the they go outside of the church and walk around it three times, (once if pastoral prudence suggests it), while the stichera of the aposticha are sung. If it is impossible to encircle the church on the outside, then the procession may take place inside the church, with the priest and ministers making the procession around the church interior.

Gospel for Great Vespers: (Composite) Mt. 27: 1-56; Lk. 23: 39-43; Mt. 27: 39-54; Jn. 19: 31-37; Jn. 27: 55-61

NOTE ON THE READING OF THE GOSPEL: It is customary, when reading the Gospels of Good Friday (both at Matins, the Hours & Vespers), for the priest or deacon proclaiming the text, to bow his head and make a brief pause after the words, "and He gave up His spirit," in reverence to the death of Our Lord. After this, the Gospel reading continues.

ALTERNATIVE NOTE: In many places, especially in our tradition, the procession is delayed until the Troparion of Vespers. This allows for an easier and more familiar singing of the well-known troparion, "The noble Joseph . . . " during the procession. The people normally know this troparion by heart. Pastoral prudence suggests this alternative.

After the third round, the procession re-enters the church. In some places, the burial shroud is held on high and the faithful enter the church by passing underneath it. The priest enters last, with the burial shroud. After arriving at the sepulchre, the priest places the burial shroud in it, as the faithful sing the kontakion: "The angel standing by the grave . . ." The Gospel Book is placed to the right side of the burial shroud. The priest and ministers venerate the shroud. A sermon is usually delivered at this time. After the homily, Vespers concludes in the usual manner, with the blessing and dismissal. There is a special prayer found in the Trebnyk, to be recited before the Sepulchre of Our Lord. If available, it may be taken by the priest at the end of the service. It focuses on the Lenten journey, preparation for holy communion and the passion and death of Jesus.

Where it is local custom, children or other persons may carry the "Instruments of the Passion" during the procession. These are carried in front of the burial shroud and usually include a cross, nails, the lance, crown of thorns, and other objects. They are placed near the Sepulchre after the procession is over.

Before the service is over, the priest and ministers come before the sepulchre where the Troparion, "The Noble Joseph . . . " is sung three times, once by the priest-celebrant, once by the cantor and assembly, and the third time, the priest sings the first portion and the assembly completes the troparion. There is a prostration at the end of each repetition. The ministers then venerate the burial shroud, followed by all of the assembly. In many places, people approach the burial shroud on their knees.

If possible, a vigil should be kept in the church from the conclusion of these Vespers, until the celebration of Resurrection Matins. During this time, the Psalms are read. Directly before the Resurrection Matins, the Acts of the Apostles are read. These are done from a lectern in the middle of the church. If an all night vigil is not possible, the church should be open for an appropriate period of time both Friday night and Saturday afternoon, to allow the people to make personal visitations to the Sepulchre.

From now until the Matins of the Resurrection, all divine services are taken at the Sepulchre rather than at the altar. In liturgical theology, the Lord's grave is the altar and the church becomes the Holy City of Jerusalem during these holy days.

In some places, Matins of Holy Saturday with the Lamentations (also known as "Jerusalem Matins") is celebrated on Friday night. See tomorrow's comments.

SAT APRIL 30
GREAT & HOLY SATURDAY.
At the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil: Rom. 6: 3-11; Mt. 28: 1-20
Matins with the Lamentations before the Sepulchre of Our Lord.
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great with Vespers.

Jerusalem Matins: These Matins are celebrated either early Saturday morning or late Friday night. There are three "stations" (lamentations) that are sung before the Sepulchre after the Troparia of Matins. All hold lighted candles. The priest or deacon incenses the sepulchre during the singing of the stations (Lamentations). At the end, after the "Great Doxology," a procession may take place around the church, with the burial shroud, as at Good Friday Vespers, during which the Trisagion (Holy God . . .) is sung to a funeral melody. After the procession, the priest replaces the burial shroud in the sepulchre. The spiritual interpretaion give to this procession by liturgical commentators is that of the wandering of Our Lord throughout Hades, giving resurrection to the righteous who proceeded His passion and death, from Adam to Christ himself. The service concludes with a "Liturgy of the Word" which includes readings from the Old Testament (the Dry Bones narrative from Ezekiel), as well as the following:

For Jerusalem Matins: Epistle: 1 Cor. 5: 6-9, Gal. 3: 13-14 Gospel: Mt. 27: 62-66

Vespers & the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: This service is the historic "Easter Vigil." It contains 16 readings from the Old Testament, an Epistle and the Gospel of the Resurrection (from Matthew). The Old Testament readings may be reduced to two or three, for pastoral needs. In this case the readings from Exodus regarding the crossing of the Red Sea and Daniel's account of the Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace should always be taken. This Liturgy is normally celebrated in the morning of Holy Saturday, although it's more proper place is in the evening and if possible should be taken then. If there are catechumens to be baptized and chrismated, this takes place during this Divine Liturgy.

The service begins in Black vestments. The Trisagion is replaced by "All you who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia." During the singing of the verses and response before the Gospel ("Arise O God and judge the earth . . . ") the priest changes from Black to White vestments. Any penitential colored altar coverings and the like are also changed to white during this time.

After the amvon prayer, the blessing of the five loaves, wheat, wine and oil takes place, with the simple prayer of blessing from Vespers. This bread is later used to distribute to the faithful after the Paschal Divine Liturgy. The service concludes with the singing of the Troparion, "The Noble Joseph . . . " before the Sepulchre, as on Good Friday evening. Before leaving the church, all venerate the burial shroud.

The rest of Holy Saturday is spent as one of anticipation of the Resurrection. People prepare their homes and the church for Easter. Paschal food baskets are also prepared. In some places, the faithful bring their baskets of paschal foods to the church to be blessed on Holy Saturday afternoon. However, the most proper time to bless paschal food is after the Resurrection Matins and Divine Liturgy of Easter Day. As noted, personal visitations to the church and to the Sepulchre are to be encouraged throughout the day on Holy Saturday. There is a separate "Canon of the Lamentations of the Mother of God" given in our texts, that may be taken either individually or in small assemblies, during the visitations to the Sepulchre of Our Lord.

SUN MAY 1
PASCHA. VELYKDEN. THE FEAST OF THE RADIANT RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
At the Divine Liturgy: Acts 1: 1-8; Jn. 1: 1-17
Procession. Matins of the Resurrection. Veneration of the Glorified Cross of Our Lord.
Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. White vestments.

NOTE: From this service, throughout Bright Week, all blessings are given with the hand cross, not merely with the hand. After Bright Week, the hand cross is used for blessing on Sundays, until the leave-taking of Pascha. All the doors of the iconostasis remain open throughout Bright Week, until Thomas Sunday. According to ancient Ukrainian custom, these doors may be kept open through the entire paschal season, until the Vespers of the Ascension.

RESURRECTION MATINS WITH PROCESSION: This service takes place either late on Saturday night, at Midnight or preferably, in the early hours of Sunday, beginning shortly before Sunrise.

Before this service, the Gospel Book is placed upright on the altar. The antimension and hand cross are placed aside, so that the altar is ready to receive the burial shroud. All the lighting in the church should be dimmed or darkened.

The priest, vested in all the priestly vestments (white), opens the Royal Doors and proceeds to the Sepulchre. (If "nocturnes" are celebrated, they take place now. For the sake of pastoral prudence, the entire nocturnes may be eliminated.) As the cantor and faithful sing the resurrection troparion of Tone 2: "When you descended to death, O Immortal Life . . . ", the priest takes the burial shroud out of the sepulchre and bearing it upon his shoulders, processes through the royal doors to the altar. He places the burial shroud upon the holy altar, and then replaces the Gospel book and antimension. The shroud remains on the altar until the day before the Ascension.

After this, the priest and ministers emerge from the sanctuary, the priest and deacon through the open royal doors. The priest holds either a large single candle or if available, the triple-branched Easter candelabra. If the bishop celebrates, he carries the trikerion. Holding the candle in his left hand and the hand cross in his right, the priest begins to light the candles of the faithful from his candle. The light is passed on throughout all in the church. As he does this, the priest sings the invitation in tone 6, "Come take light from the light that never fades. Come, worship Christ, who is risen from the dead."

After all have lighted their candles, the priest, carrying the candle and cross, leads the procession outside of the church. He is immediately followed by members of the clergy and laity who carry the Gospel Book, the icon of the Resurrection, the censer and the Artos (if one has been prepared). Once outside, the procession passes around the church one time and then all come before the closed exterior doors of the church. If for reason of circumstance, it is not possible to go outside or around the church, all should process at least to the narthex (vestibule) of the church, if there is a second set of doors there.

Several members of the laity should remain inside the church while the procession and opening of the doors takes place. Inside, the Sepulchre is moved from the center of the church to the side, where an icon of the Resurrection is placed in it. Some Easter flowers may remain in the sepulchre, while the rest are placed around the church, in front of the iconostasis, on the tetrapod, and at other shrines and places. The Tetrapod is moved back to the center of the church, ready to receive the icon of the Resurrection. All the lights inside the church are turned on, so that when the priest and faithful enter, all will be emblazoned with light.

During the procession, the sticheron is sung repeatedly, in tone 6, "Your Resurrection, O Christ our Savior, the angels in heaven sing. Grant also to us on earth, to glorify you in purity of heart."

In front of the main doors of the church, the service begins. The priest first reads the Gospel account of the Resurrection from Mark (Mk. 16: 1-8). He incenses in the usual way and the usual invitations and responses are given.

After the Gospel reading Matins begins. The priest incenses the closed doors of the church while saying, "Glory to the holy, consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, . . . " as in the service book. The people respond, Amen. After this, the priest sings the paschal troparion for the first time, in a loud, clear voice: "Christ is risen from the dead, by death He conquered death, and to those in the graves, He granted life." This is repeated twice by the cantor and people. All the church bells are rung.

The priest sings the paschal verses, ("Let God arise . . . ; As smoke vanishes; So let the wicked perish before the face of God; This is the day that the Lord has made; Glory . . . now and ever,") and after each one is the people sing the paschal troparion, "Christ is risen . . . " After this, the priest sings the paschal troparion once more, by himself. As he comes to the words, "by death he conquered death," he strikes the doors with the hand cross, in the form of a cross. The doors are opened and led by the priest, the assembly enters the brightened church, singing the rest of the troparion, "and to those in the graves he granted life." This is repeated as many times as necessary, until the priest and ministers are situated at the altar. The icon of the Resurrection and the Artos are placed on the Tetrapod.

When all are in their places, the "litany of peace" is sung. After this, the Paschal Canon begins. The priest sings the first "irmos" of each "ode" of the canon. After he is finished, the people respond with the verse, "Christ is risen from the dead" and continue with the rest of the troparia of the ode. During each ode, after the initial irmos, the priest-celebrant or another priest or a deacon incenses the altar, iconostasis and the people (from the amvon). As he incenses the people on both sides, he says in a loud voice, three times, "Christ is Risen!" to which the assembly responds, "Indeed He is risen!"

Matins continues as in the service book. The small litanies are taken between each ode of the Paschal Canon. After the third ode, the "hypakoe" is sung. After the sixth ode, the paschal kontakion, "Although you descended to death, O Life Immortal . . . is sung. Then, the hymn, "Having beheld the resurrection of Christ . . . " is sung in tone 6. It is sung once by the priest and twice by the people, although for the sake of brevity, it may be sung only once. This is followed by the sticheron, "Jesus is risen from the tomb, as He foretold . . . " three times. After the ninth ode of the canon, the "exapostolarion" or "hymn of light" is sung solemnly. The priest sings it once and the cantor and people twice.

During the singing of the "Paschal Stichera" with its verses, the priest and ministers come to the amvon. The faithful come forward to venerate the glorified hand cross, the Gospel Book and the icon of the Resurrection. The priest holds the hand cross and other ministers hold the Gospel and icon. The priest greets each person with the paschal greeting above: "Christ is Risen" to which they respond, "Indeed He is risen!"

After the litanies, the service concludes with the paschal blessing and dismissal. At the conclusion, the priest raises the hand cross and greets the people with the paschal greeting: "Christ is Risen" to which they respond, "Indeed He is risen!" This is repeated three times and is performed from today until the day before the Ascension.

DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom now begins. After "Blessed is the Kingdom . . ." the paschal troparion is sung three times, once by the priest and twice by the cantor and people. This is done at the beginning of every service from now until Ascension Day. The usual Sunday antiphons (paschal antiphons) are sung. The Third Antiphon consists of the paschal troparion with verses. After the last verse, the priest and ministers make the Little Entrance. The Trisagion is replaced by "All you who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia."

The Gospel, from the Prologue of John, is read in as many languages as possible. In our tradition, it is read in twelve sections. A priest or deacon takes each verse in the language assigned to him. Preferably, the Gospel should be read in at least Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, Latin, Greek, and any other languages that the ministers are able to read. The final repetition of each verse should always be in the vernacular language of the people (normally Ukrainian, English or Spanish). After the final language repetition of each verse, all the bells of the church are rung and a brief pause is made. If there are no large bells, hand bells may be used. Then, the next verse is read in the same way and the same languages as before. At the end, the bells are again rung and the usual response to the Gospel reading is sung.

The "Hymn to the Mother of God" during the Anaphora is replaced by the irmos of the ninth ode of the paschal canon, "The Angel exclaimed . . ." together with the final troparion of that ode, Shine in splendor, O new Jerusalem . . ." from now until Ascension day.

During the "communion rite" of the Divine Liturgy, today and throughout the entire Paschal Season, the usual responses are replaced by the paschal troparion, "Christ is risen . . . " The priest sings the normal invitations or blessings, ending them with the words, "Christ is Risen!" For example, before communion, the priest sings, Approach with the fear of God and with faith, Christ is risen!" The people respond with the paschal troparion. After communion, the priest blesses the congregation with the chalice, singing, "Save your people, O God and bless your inheritance, Christ is risen!" The people respond with the paschal troparion. The priest then shows the holy gifts to the people singing, "Blessed is our God, always now and ever and forever. Amen. Christ is risen!" The people respond with the paschal troparion, repeated as many times as necessary until the priest returns to the altar for the Litany of Thanksgiving.

The paschal dismissal is as follows: The priest gives the blessing, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His grace and loving-kindness, always now and ever and forever." The people respond, "Amen." The priest then, turning to the icon of Christ, sings, "Glory be to You, O Christ, our God and our hope, Glory be to You." The people respond with the paschal troparion in a "recitando" tone, followed by "Lord have mercy (3 times). Give the blessing! Facing the people, the priest gives the dismissal. Today, during Bright Week and on paschal Sundays, he begins by saying, "May Christ our true God, risen from the dead, by death conquering death and to those in the graves, bestowing life, through the prayers of His most Pure Mother . . ." and the rest. (On weekdays after Bright Week, the dismissal includes only, "Christ our true God, risen from the dead, through the prayers of His most Pure mother . . . " as on every Sunday of the year. At the conclusion, the priest raises the hand cross and greets the people with the paschal greeting: "Christ is Risen" to which they respond, "Indeed He is risen!" This is repeated three times and is performed from today until the day before the Ascension.

The Artos (a large, round, yeast-raised bread, with a braided cross on top) may be blessed before the conclusion of the service, using the prayer in the Euchologion (Trebnyk).

At the conclusion of this and all paschal services, until Ascension Day, the paschal troparion is sung three times. The priest, standing before the open royal doors, sings it once. It is repeated by the people once and the third time, the priest sings the first half of the troparion, up to "by death He conquered death," and the people complete the hymn, "and to those in the graves, he granted life." After the third repetition of the troparion, the concluding verse is added (only at the end of services): "And to us He granted life eternal, let us glorify His third-day Resurrection."

The "mirovannya" or "anointing with blessed oil" and the distribution of the blessed bread may be given to the faithful, from the oil and loaves blessed at Saturday's Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, as they come forward at the conclusion of the services. They should also venerate the glorified Cross of the Lord.One minister may offer the Cross and another administer the anointing.

The priest and people proceed to the place where the paschal food baskets will be blessed. The priest carries the candle and hand cross. Other ministers carry the holy water and censer. The food may be blessed outside, in the church garden, or in a hall, where tables have been suitably arranged to receive the people's baskets. The priest begins the blessing service with "Glory to the holy, consubstantial, undivided Trinity . . . " and then the paschal troparion is sung three times. The prayers of blessing of paschal food are found in the Euchologion (Trebnyk).

If Vespers are celebrated on Easter evening, they follow the paschal order as found in the service books. This is a shortened form of Vespers. In this and all Bright Week and Paschal Sunday Vespers, the Apostica are replaced by the "Paschal Stichera" during which the faithful venerate the glorified hand cross.

From Pascha until Pentecost Sunday (at the "Kneeling Prayers" of Vespers), there is no kneeling in church or at home for private or corporate prayer. Standing is the position of gladness and rejoicing.

BRIGHT WEEK


During Bright Week, all services are celebrated as those on Pascha itself, with the exception of the daily readings. The Hours for Bright Week are brief and follow a special paschal format. For all services during this week, the priest wears all the priestly vestments (white). All blessings are given with the cross and not merely with the hand. The paschal order above is followed for the beginning of each service (Paschal Troparion three times after the blessing). At the Divine Liturgy, the hymns of the communion rite and the dismissal are taken as given above.

MON MAY 2
BRIGHT MONDAY. Solemn Holyday.
Acts 1: 12-17, 21-26; Jn. 1: 18-28
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.

NOTE: After the Divine Liturgy, a procession may take place around the church. At each side, a Paschal Gospel reading is taken from the Four Evangelists. The usual invitations and responses are made. During the procession, the paschal stichera, troparion and kontakion, or other Easter hymns are sung. Historical Note: This procession is more ancient than the procession at Resurrection Matins.

On Bright Monday afternoon, it is our custom, in the Ukrainian recension, to visit the graves of our departed loved ones and place Easter eggs and flowers there. In many communities, the priest and clergy go with the people as a group to the cemetery, where a Panachyda (short memorial service) is celebrated, followed by the blessing of individual graves. The priest sprinkles each grave with holy water, saying, "Christ is risen!" Other traditions, transfer this observance to the Sunday after Easter - Thomas Sunday, but it is preferable, in our usage, to do so on Bright Monday.

During the paschal season, the usual responses for the dead, "Eternal memory . . . " and for the living, "Many years . . . " are replaced by the paschal troparion, "Christ is risen from the dead . . . "

TUE MAY 3
BRIGHT TUESDAY. Simple Holyday.
Acts 2: 14-21; Lk. 24: 12-35
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.

CULTURAL NOTE: Bright Week are days of festal celebration, both in church and at home and in the community. Particularly on Bright Monday and Tuesday, special Easter games and dances are observed. In the Ukrainian tradition, a custom is held in many places, in which the men sprinkle or squirt the women with water on Monday and the women sprinkle the men on Tuesday. The say to each other, "Christ is risen" with the response, "Indeed He is risen. These Easter games are ancient and are meant to be reminders of our baptisms.

During the entire paschal season, whenever the faithful see each other, they use the greeting, "Christ is risen" with the response, "Indeed He is risen.

WED MAY 4
BRIGHT WEDNESDAY.
Acts 2: 22-36; Jn. 1: 35-51
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.

THU MAY 5
BRIGHT THURSDAY.
Acts 2: 38-43; Jn. 3: 1-15
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.

FRI MAY 6
BRIGHT FRIDAY.
FEAST OF ST. GEORGE, GREAT-MARTYR. Simple Holyday.
Acts 3: 1-8; Jn. 2: 12-22 (Bright Friday); Acts 12: 1-11; Jn. 15:17 - 16:2 (St. George)
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.

FRI MAY 7
BRIGHT SATURDAY.
Acts 3: 11-16; Jn. 3: 22-33
Paschal Matins. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Paschal Vespers.


Back to Main Page.