The Saturday before Pentecost


The entire service is for the departed, as on the Saturday of Meatfare (February 9). With the exception of the sessional hymns after kathisma XVI, the exapostilaria, and the stichera on the praises and the aposticha, the texts are identical to those on Meatfare Saturday and the material from the Octoechos, Tone 6.


Vespers: The usual beginning of daily Vespers. Kathisma 18.

Lord, I have cried, Tone 6, on 6: Octoechos, Tone 6 of the Martyrs: 3 (Thy martyrs did not deny thee, O Lord – Pentecostarion, p. 272); 3; Pentecostarion: 3 (Celebrating by name today the memory of all the dead); G: Pentecostarion (I weep and lament); N: Dogmatic Theotokion, Tone 6 (Who doth not call thee blessed).

No Entrance; Reader: O Gladsome Light. In place of Prokimenon, Alleluia, Tone 8 with verses for the departed (Verse 1: Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thyself, O Lord.  Their memorial is from generation to generation. & Verse 2: Their souls shall dwell among good things). Vouchsafe, O Lord; Litany: Let us complete our evening prayer.

Aposticha: Octoechos, Tone 6 (Thy Cross was the invincible weapon of the Martyrs); G: Pentecostarion (Thy creative command); N: Theotokion from the Pentecostarion (O Christ, through the prayers of her who gave Thee birth).

Troparia: Tone 8, O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom; G/N: Theotokion (In thee we have a wall and a haven). Litany: Have mercy on us, O God; Dismissal.


Note: According to the Pentecostarion,  a Panikhida is appointed to be served after Vespers, using the canon for the departed found in the Pentecostarion, pp. 273-277, along with the rubrics, which differ from a normal Pannikhida. However, the Jordanville calendar calls for the canon for the departed to be done at Small Compline.


Small Compline: Canon of the Departed, Tone 6 (if not done already in a Pannikhida). After It is truly meet: Kontakion of the Departed (With the Saints).


Matins: The usual beginning for daily Matins.

In place of God is the Lord, we sing Alleluia, Tone 8, with the following verses (as at a Panikhida): 1. Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and hast taken to Thyself, O Lord. 2. Their remembrance is unto generation and generation. 3. Their souls shall dwell among good things. Then these Troparia, Tone 8: O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom x2; G/N: Theotokion (In thee we have a wall and a haven).

Kathisma 16.  Small litany (usual, not for the departed). Sessional Hymns from the Pentecostarion (While the choirs of the incorporeal ones stood by Pentecostarion,  p. 277f). Choir: Lord, have mercy x3; Glory; Reader: Both now; and he begins the first half of Kathisma 17, with the refrain Blessed art Thou, O Lord, sung slowly, softly, and repeatedly, by the choir, while this is read.  The last two verses (If Thy law had not been; & I will never forget Thy statutes) are sung thrice by the choir. 

Small Litany (for the departed): Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord. Choir: Lord, have mercy. Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the departed servants of God, our forefathers, fathers, brethren, and the Orthodox here and everywhere laid to rest and that they may be forgiven every transgression, both voluntary and involuntary.  Choir: Lord, have mercy. Deacon: That the Lord God commit… Choir: Lord, have mercy. Deacon: The mercy of God… Choir: Grant this, O Lord. Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord. Choir: Lord, have mercy, x40, While the priest secretly says the prayer O God of spirits. Exclamation (For Thou art the Resurrection). Choir: Amen.

The second half of Kathisma 17 is read, with the refrain Save me, O Savior, sung while this is read, as above.  Last two verses (My soul shall live; & I have gone astray) are sung thrice. 

Then immediately, the choir sings the Evlogitaria of the Departed (Blessed art Thou, O Lord; The choir of the saints; and the rest), during which there is a full censing of the Church. Small Litany (for the departed, as previously). Sessional Hymn from the Pentecostarion (Unto Thy servants grant rest); G/N Theotokion (O Christ God, Who shone forth); Psalm 50.


Canon:   Temple                 6

               Pentecostarion     8             Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

               Irmos of the Temple          

               Katavasia from the Pentecostarion: O ye people, let us send up a hymn (which is printed in the Pentecostarion as the Irmos).

               Ode 2 is taken entirely from the Pentecostarion, and for that ode, the Irmos and the Katavasia are likewise of the Pentecostarion.


After Ode 3, Small Litany (usual) and sessional hymns from the Pentecostarion (O Savior, who for our sakes). After Ode 6, Small Litany (departed), Kontakion (With the saints give rest) and Ikos.

At Ode 9, More Honorable; After Ode 9:  It is truly meet.*  Small Litany (usual).

Exapostilaria from the Pentecostarion: Celebrating the memory of all who have fallen asleep; G/N: O Virgin Mother of the Lord.

Praises, (all the verses are read, down to Praise Him for His mighty acts), on 4: Pentecostarion 4 (Fearsome is the end of death); G: Pentecostarion (Every man cometh to ruin); N: Theotokion in the Pentecostarion (Thou art our God). The priest does not say To Thee glory is due, but immediately Glory to Thee who has showed us the light.

Small Doxology is read; Litany: Let us complete our morning prayer.

Aposticha: Pentecostarion (O greatly merciful Master); G: Pentecostarion (Of old, the eating of the tree in Eden brought infirmity); N: Theotokion from Pentecostarion (Thou wast shown to be a receptacle). It is good to give praise x1; Trisagion prayers; Troparia: O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom; G/N: In thee we have a wall and a haven. Litany of Fervent Supplication; First Hour; and Dismissal.


*Some sources argue that It is truly meet should not be sung here, but the Pentecostarion and the Jordanville Calendar both call for it.


Hours: Troparion (O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom); and Kontakion (With the saints).


Liturgy: Beatitudes on 8: Pentecostarion: 4, from Ode 3; Pentecostarion: 4, from Ode 6.

After the entrance: Troparion: O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom; G: Kontakion: With the saints; N: In thee we have a wall and a haven.

Prokimenon for the departed, Tone 6: Their souls shall dwell among good things.

Epistle: Acts 28:1-31 (§51); 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (§270).

Alleluia: Tone 4.

Gospel: John 21:15-25 (§67); John 5:24-30 (§16). 

It is truly meet.

Communion verse: Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and hast taken to Thyself, O Lord, and their memorial is unto generation and generation.

Instead of We have seen the true Light (which is not sung, beginning on the day of Pascha until Pentecost): it is customary to sing on this day the Troparion of the departed (O Thou who by the depth of Thy wisdom).


After the Liturgy: A general Panikhida for all Orthodox Christians is served.