Forgiveness Vespers

Tone 8 / February 26th



At Lord I have cried:  Penitential Stichera in the tone of the week: 4; Triodion: 3; Menaion 3.


            Penitential Stichera, Tone 8:


The angels praise Thee without ceasing, O King and Master, /

and I fall before Thee crying like the Publican: //

God be merciful to me and save me.


Since thou art immortal, O my soul, /

be not overwhelmed by the waves of life; /

but return to soberness and cry to Thy Benefactor: //

God be merciful to me and save me.


Give me tears, O God, as once Thou gavest them to the woman that had sinned,  /

and count me worthy to wash Thy feet /

that have delivered me from the way of error.  /

As sweet-smelling ointment let me offer Thee a pure life, /

created in me by repentance; /

and may I also hear those words for which I long: //

“Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.”


When I call to mind the many evils I have done, /

and I think upon the fearful day of judgment, /

seized with trembling I flee to Thee for refuge, /

O God who lovest mankind.  /

Turn not away from me, I beseech Thee, /

who alone art free from sin; /

but before the end comes grant compunction to my humbled soul //

and save me.








            Triodion, Tone 2:


Let us all make haste to humble the flesh by abstinence, /

as we set out upon the God-given course of the holy Fast; /

and with prayers and tears let us seek our Lord and Savior. /

Laying aside all memories of evil, let us cry aloud: /

We have sinned against Thee, Christ our King; /

save us as the men of Nineveh in days of old, //

and in Thy compassion make us sharers in Thy heavenly Kingdom.


When I think of my works, deserving every punishment, /

I despair of myself, O Lord. /

For see, I have despised Thy precious commandments, /

and wasted my life as the Prodigal. /

Therefore I entreat Thee: /

cleanse me in the waters of repentance, /

and through prayer and fasting make me shine with light, /

for Thou alone art merciful; abhor me not, //

O Benefactor of all, supreme in love.


Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, /

and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat.  /

Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; /

and as we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion.  /

Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit may we persevere with love, /

and so be counted worthy to see the solemn passion of Christ our God, /

and with great spiritual gladness //

to behold His holy Pascha.


            Stichera for Venerable Porphyrius of Gaza, Tone 8 (special melody: “O most glorious wonder…”:


O venerable father Porphyrius, /

taking the Cross of Christ upon thy shoulder /

thou didst abandon all /

and didst attain unto the desert, /

and armed with fasting and prayers didst do battle /

with the prince of this world.  /

Wherefore, as a temple of the Spirit of God, /

thou didst cast him down //

together with carnal mindedness.



As of old God saved the three youths /

from the fire by His Angel, /

so now by thee hath he saved three youths /

who had been dragged down into a pit; /

for when thy were borne as in a basket /

He overshadowed them with the light of a cloud /

which formed three crosses on their bodies /

unto the reproof of those //

who oppose thee, O Porphyrius.


Who can hymn thy temptations and pangs, /

thy misfortunes and tribulations, /

thy struggles for the faith as is meet, /

O Porphyrius?  /

For thou didst show the boldness /

which thou hast before God to be great. /

Wherefore, we entreat thee, /

for thou hast such boldness: //

Pray thou in our behalf to the Lord, that we be saved!



            Glory…, Both now…, in the same tone and melody:


The preeternal God, /

taking flesh of thy blood, /

hath shown thee forth, O pure one, /

as an intercessor for men.  /

Wherefore, deliver thy servants from all misfortune /

and every evil circumstance, /

and vouchsafe that all who glorify and bow down before thee /

may be accounted worthy //

of the splendor of the elect.


            Entrance with the censer:


            O gladsome Light…


            Great Prokimenon, Tone 8:


Deacon/Priest:  Turn not away Thy face from Thy servant, for I am afflicted; hear me speedily: hearken unto my soul, and deliver it.


Choir:  Turn not away Thy face from Thy servant, for I am afflicted; hear me speedily: hearken unto my soul, and deliver it.


Deacon/Priest:  Let Thy salvation, O God, help me.


Choir:  Turn not away Thy face…


Deacon/Priest:  Let the poor see it and be glad.


Choir:  Turn not away Thy face… 


Deacon/Priest:  Seek God, and your soul shall live.


Choir:  Turn not away Thy face…


Deacon/Priest:  Turn not away Thy face from Thy servant, for I am afflicted.


Choir:  Hear me speedily: hearken unto my soul, and deliver it.


Reader:  Vouchsafe, O Lord…


Then the Litany,  Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord, with the choir singing the responses according to the penitential Lenten melody.


            Aposticha, Tone 4:


Thy grace has shone forth, O Lord, /

it has shone forth and given light to our souls. /

Behold, now is the accepted time: /

behold, now is the season of repentance. / 

Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, /

that having sailed across the great sea of the Fast, /

we may reach the third-day Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, //

the Savior of our souls.

Stichos 1:  Unto Thee have I lifted up mine eyes, unto Thee that dwellest in heaven.  Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid look unto the hands of her mistress, so do our eyes look unto the Lord our God, * until He take pity on us.

          Repeat the sticheron “Thy grace has shone forth, O Lord…”

Stichos 2:  Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for greatly are we filled with abasement.  Greatly hath our soul been filled therewith; let reproach come upon them that prosper, * and abasement on the proud.

          To the Martyrs, Same Tone:


Thou art glorified in the memorials of Thy saints, O Christ our God: /

at their intercessions //

send down upon us Thy great mercy.


          Glory…Both now…in the Same Tone:


The ranks of the angels glorify thee, O Mother of God, /

for thou hast given birth to Him that is God, /

who dwells ever with the Father and the Spirit, /

who created the angelic hosts out of nothing by an act of His will. /

Entreat Him, all-pure Lady, to save and illumine the souls //

of those who with true worship sing thy praises.


          Everything else is found in the Horologion, an outline is provided to keep the choir on track:


            Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master…


            Holy God…


            O Theotokos and Virgin…


            Glory…  O Baptizer of Christ…


            Both now…  Plead in our behalf…


            Beneath thy compassion…


            Lord, have mercy.  40 times


            Glory… Both now… More Honorable…


            In the name of the Lord, father bless.


            Priest: He that is is blessed…


            O Heavenly King, strengthen Orthodox Christians.


            Then the priest says the prayer of St. Ephrem with 3 prostrations, then the dismissal and the mutual forgiveness.