Eve of Theophany & Hieromartyr Theopemptus and Theonas; St. Syncletica
Vespers: Lord, I have cried, Tone 4, on 6: Martyrs 3 (Let us hymn the wise Theonas and Theopemptus); Saint 3 (Having truly desired the glory of the fathers); G/N: Forefeast (Make ready, O River Jordan).
No Entrance; O Gladsome Light; Prokimenon of the day, Tone 7: O God, my helper art Thou.
Aposticha: Forefeast (O earth, and ye that are above the earth).
Troparia: Troparion of the Forefeast (The River Jordan was once turned back). Usual ending for daily vespers; Daily Dismissal.
Small Compline: Canon of the Forefeast (He Who of old). After the Trisagion to Our Father, the Kontakion of the Forefeast (In the streams of the Jordan).
Daily Matins: God is the Lord, Tone 4: Troparia: Forefeast x2 (The River Jordan was once turned back); G/N: Forefeast.
After each Kathisma: Small Litany, Sessional hymns of the Forefeast. Psalm 50.
Canon: Forefeast 6, Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.
Martyrs 4, Holy Martyrs Theopemptus and Theonas, pray to God for us.
Saint 4, Venerable Mother Syncletica, pray to God for us.
Irmos: Delivered from bitter bondage. Katavasia: The Irmos of the Canon of St. Syncletica, after Odes 3, 6, 8, and 9.
After Ode 3, Kontakion (O Christ, Who in thy Compassion), Sessional hymns of the Martyrs (Theopemptus, who hath been shown to be); G: Saint (Thou hast transcended); N: Forefeast (The great Rain cometh). After Ode 6, Kontakion and Ikos of the Forefeast (In the streams of the Jordan). At Ode 9, More Honorable.
Exapostilaria: Forefeast (When the Jordan beheld Thee); G/N: Forefeast (He Who in the flesh shone forth).
Praises, Tone 6: Forefeast 4 (Wherefore dost thou not comprehend); G: Forefeast (Serving the Master with trembling); N: Forefeast (O ye people, let us chant). The Small Doxology is read. Litany: Let us complete.
Aposticha: Forefeast. It is good. Trisagion. Troparion: Forefeast. Litany: Have mercy on us. Usual Dismissal. First Hour.
Hours: Troparia: Forefeast; Kontakion: Forefeast (In the streams of the Jordan).
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: Beatitudes on 8: Forefeast: 4, from Ode 3; and 4 from Ode 6.
After the entrance: Troparion of the Forefeast; G/N: Forefeast (In the streams of the Jordan).
Prokimenon of Saturday, Tone 8: Be glad in the Lord, and Rejoice ye righteous. Epistle: I Tim. 3:14-4:5 (§284); Eph. 5:1-8 (§228). Alleluia, Tone 4. Gospel: Matt. 3:1-11 (§5); Matt. 24:34-44 (§101).
Communion Hymn: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous. Daily Dismissal.
Note: The Eve of Theophany is always a strict fast day; food with oil, but without fish, is allowed after Vespers. But if the Eve falls on a Saturday or Sunday, as it does this year, then after the Liturgy (which is celebrated not with Vespers but in the morning at its usual time), we are allowed to eat bread and some wine prior to Vespers, simply in order to observe the fact that it is Saturday or Sunday – days on which the fast is always relaxed.
Vespers: At 1:00 o’clock (the seventh hour of the day according to the ecclesiastical time): Priest: Blessed is our God. Choir: Amen. Reader: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee; O Heavenly King; Trisagion, etc.; O come let us worship; Psalm 103; Great Litany; Blessed is the man.
Lord, I have cried, Tone 2: Feast 8 (The forerunner, beholding our Enlightener); G/N: Feast (Thou didst bow Thy head).
Entrance with the Gospel; O Gladsome Light; Prokimenon of the day, Tone 6: The Lord is King; and 13 readings for the Feast.
After the 3rd reading the Royal Doors are opened, and the reader intones the Troparion: O Thou Who hast created, with its verses, and the choir sings a refrain after each verse; at the conclusion, the reader sings the same refrain. The Royal Doors are closed.
After the 6th reading the Royal Doors are opened, and the reader intones the Troparion: To sinners and publicans, with its verses, and the choir sings a refrain after each verse; at the conclusion, the reader sings the same refrain. The Royal Doors are closed. After the 13th reading, the Royal Doors are opened. Small Litany with the exclamation: For holy art Thou.
Prokimenon, Tone 3: The Lord is my light. Epistle: I Cor. 9:19-27 (§143). Alleluia, Tone 6. Gospel: Luke 3:1-18 (§9).
Litany: Let us all say. Vouchsafe, O Lord. Litany: Let us complete our evening prayer. The prayer at the bowing of the heads, and the exclamation (Blessed and most glorified be the dominion of Thy kingdom). Then, immediately after the exclamation: The voice of the Lord, which is upon the waters, there is a procession, with lighted candles, to the Narthex, or to the place where the Great Blessing of the Waters is to be done, as set forth in the Menaion (Menaion, vol. 5: pp. 115ff; Festal Menaion: pp. 348ff; Hapgood: pp. 189ff.). And after the blessing is completed, returning, we sing: G/N and the sticheron in Tone 6: O ye faithful, let us hymn. Deacon: Wisdom! Choir: (Father) Bless! And the rest as at the end of daily vespers. Festal Dismissal: May Christ our true God, Who for our salvation deigned to be baptized by John in the Jordan.
After the dismissal a candle is placed in the center of the Church, and the chanters come to the center of the Church and sing the Troparion of the Feast, G/N and the Kontakion of the Feast. We partake of the holy water and the priest goes forth with the water to bless the homes of the faithful.