The Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos


Vespers:* No Kathisma.

Lord I have Cried, Tone 4, on 8: Triodion 3 (Two of the holy apostlesLTS, p. 298f); Feast: 5 (Gabriel stood before thee); G/N: Feast (The Archangel Gabriel).

Entrance with the Censer; O Gladsome Light.

Prokimenon of the Triodion, Tone 6: Lord in mine affliction have I cried, and He heard me. Reading: Gen. 46:1-7. Prokimenon of the Triodion, Tone 6: The Lord shall keep thee from all evil, the Lord shall guard thy soul. Reading: Prov. 23:15-24:5. Then the 3 readings for the Feast.

Vouchsafe O Lord.

At the Aposticha: Triodion 3 (Deliver me from the rich man’s lack of love – LTS, p. 300), with the usual refrains from the Horologion; G/N, of the feast (Today the joy of the Annunciation).

Now lettest Thou. Trisagion. Troparion of the feast (Today is the fountainhead of our salvation).  Litany: Have mercy on us, O God. Prayer of St Ephraim with three prostrations only. The usual lenten ending of Vespers.


*There is an opinion that on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, when it falls on a weekday of Great Lent, Vespers is served with the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, regardless of the day of the week. This opinion is based, primarily, on the analogy with the eves of Nativity and Theophany (on which Vespers is served with a full Liturgy), and secondly, on instructions in 17th century typica, which, in describing the service of Vespers for the eve of Annunciation do not provide the heading "if the Presanctified Liturgy is not served." Following this opinion, the service for the Forefeast of Annunciation would have the following features: At Vespers (in conjunction with the Presanctified Liturgy) the Lamp-Lighting Prayers during Psalm 103 are all read (starting with the first one). There is no Kathisma (the transfer of the Holy Gifts, which usually happens during the Kathisma, takes place during the singing of "Lord, I have cried"). At Lord, I have cried, 10 stichera are appointed: Triodion 5: the idiomelon from the stichera Aposticha (twice) and the 3 prosomia from Lord, I have cried (the Martyricon is omitted); and the 5 stichera for the Annunciation (the first two stichera are sung twice); G/N: Feast. Entrance with the censer. O Gladsome Light. Prokimenon and Old Testament Lesson from the Triodion; second Prokimenon and second Old Testament Lesson from the Triodion. 3 Old Testament Lessons for the Feast (Genesis, Ezekiel, and Proverbs). Then Let my prayer arise, and the prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (with three prostrations). Litany: Let us all say, and the rest of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.


The Vigil


Great Compline: The priest, vested in a phelonion, proclaims Blessed is our God, and censes the whole church.  Reader: Amen. And then we read Great Compline according to its order, singing God is with us. (The Royal Doors are opened for God is with us and for the singing of the troparion and the kontakion.)

After the first Trisagion: Troparion of the Feast (Today is the fountainhead of our salvation)

After the second Trisagion:  Kontakion of the Feast (To thee the champion leader)

After the Doxology: Litia of the Feast (In the sixth month); G/N: Today Gabriel announceth.

Aposticha:  Feast (During the sixth month); G/N: Today is the joy.

Now lettest Thou.  Trisagion.

Troparia:  Feast (Today is the fountainhead of our salvation) x3.

The Blessing of the Bread before Blessed be the name.


Matins: God is the Lord, Tone 4; Troparia: Feast (Today is the fountainhead of our salvation).

Kathismas 13, 14, and 15.

After the first Kathisma: Sessional Hymns from the Triodion (Two of the disciples are sent to bring the foal of an ass; G: Two of the disciples are sent today; N: Standing at the Passion of her SonLTS, p. 301f), without litany; but immediately: Lord, have mercy. x3. After the 2nd and 3rd Kathisma: Small litany, and Sessional Hymns of the Feast.

Polyeleos and Magnification of the Feast: With the Archangel’s voice we cry to thee, O most-pure one: Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Psalm Verse: O God, give Thy judgment to the king, and Thy righteousness to the son of the king.

Small litany and Sessional Hymns of the Feast: Gabriel from heaven; G/N: Gabriel was sent.

Hymns of Ascents, First Antiphon, Tone 4: From my youth.

Prokimenon of the Feast, Tone 4: Proclaim from day to day the good tidings of the salvation of our God.

Matins Gospel: Luke 1:39-49,56 (§4).

Psalm 50; G: Through the prayers of the Theotokos; N: Repeat; Have mercy on me, O God; Sticheron of the Feast (Today Gabriel). Save, O God, Thy people.

Canon:                  Odes  1, 3, 4, 6, and 7:

Feast                                      14           Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Katavasia of the Feast: I shall open my mouth.


                Odes 5, 8, and 9:                 

                Feast                                      6             Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

                Triodion (2 canons)             8*           Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Katavasia: After Odes 5 and 8, the Irmos from the second canon of the Triodion; but at Ode 9, the Irmos of the second Canon of the Triodion, and the refrain and Irmos of the Feast.


After Ode 3, Sessional hymns of the Feast (The Word of God; G/N: Gabriel, the supreme commander).

After Ode 6, Kontakion (To thee the champion leader) and Ikos of the Feast.

At Ode 9, We do not sing More Honorable. We instead sing the refrains of the Feast: O earth, announce glad tidings of great joy! Ye heavens, praise the glory of God; with the canon of the feast, but the usual refrain (Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee) for the troparia from the Triodion.


Exapostilaria: Feast (The supreme commander) x2; G/N: Feast (The mystery of God).

Praises, Tone 1: Feast 4 (Flying down to Nazareth); G/N: Feast (Today the mystery is revealed).

After the Doxasticon, the priest does not say To Thee glory is due, O Lord our God…, but instead immediately announces Glory to Thee Who hast shown us the light! 

The Small Doxology is read.

Litany: Let us complete our morning prayer.

Aposticha: Triodion (Idiomelon (Despising the divine commands LTS, p. 306) x2, with the usual psalm verses from the Horologion; Martyricon (Come, all ye peoples, and with hymns and spiritual songs); G/N: Feast (Let the heavens be glad).

It is good to give praise unto the Lord x1; Trisagion; Troparion of the Feast.

Litany: Have mercy on us, O God; followed by the Prayer of St. Ephrem, with 3 Great Prostrations.

No dismissal for Matins, but instead the First Hour is begun.


* Each ode of the second three-canticled canon contains an additional troparion, following the theotokion, and not counted with the 8. This troparion is read in addition to the 8 troparia with the refrain Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.


First Hour: No Kathisma.

Troparion: Feast; Kontakion:  Feast.

At the end, three Great prostrations with the prayer of St. Ephrem.

Then immediately (no concluding Trisagion) O Christ, the true Light.

Festal Dismissal: May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of His Most Pure Mother and of all the saints...


Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours:  With Kathisma 19 at the 3rd Hour, and Kathisma 20 at the 6th Hour.

At the end of each hour, 3 Great Prostrations, with the prayer of St. Ephrem.

Troparion and Kontakion of the Feast.

At the 6th Hour, the troparion of the prophecy; and the prokimena and reading from the Triodion.


Typika: The Typical psalms are not said, but rather, at the conclusion of the 9th Hour we read the Beatitudes, quickly, without prostrations.

The Creed is not read, but after Both now skip to Remit, pardon, forgive, O God.

Our Father.

Kontakion of the Feast.

Lord, have mercy. x40

Glory... Both now... More honorable.

In the name of the Lord, father (master) bless.

Priest: God be gracious unto us... Reader: Amen.

3 Great Prostrations, with the prayer of St. Ephrem.

O All-Holy Trinity, the Consubstantial Dominion.

Priest: Wisdom!

Choir: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless and Mother of our God.

Priest: O most holy Theotokos, save us.

Choir: More honorable.

And the Dismissal as usual.


Vesperal Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: No Kathisma.

Lord I have cried, Tone 6, on 10: Triodion, Idiomelon (Having completed the forty days Triodion, p. 464) x2; Feast: 3 (During the sixth month)*; Lazarus 5 (O Lord, wishing to see the tomb of Lazarus Triodion, p. 464f); G: Lazarus (Having completed the forty days – Triodion, p. 465f); N: Feast (The Archangel Gabriel was sent).

Entry with the Gospel; O Gladsome Light.

Prokimenon, Tone 6: Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who hath made heaven and the earth.

Reading: Gen. 49:33-50:26.

Prokimenon, Tone 4: They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, nevermore shall they be shaken.

Reading: Prov. 31:8-31.

2 Readings for the Feast, from Exodus and Proverbs.

Small Litany.

Trisagion Hymn, as usually done at a liturgy

Prokimenon of the Feast in Tone 4: Proclaim from day to day the good tidings.

Epistle: Heb. 2:11-18 (§306).

Alleluia, Tone 1.

Gospel: Luke 1:24-38 (§3).

And the rest of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Instead of It is truly meet, we sing the refrain Proclaim, O earth; with the Irmos of the 9th Ode of Annunciation (Let no profane hand).

Communion Hymn: The Lord hath elected Zion, He hath chosen her to be a habitation for Himself. 

Fish, wine and oil are allowed at trapeza.


*The service to the Archangel Gabriel is transferred to another day or to Compline.