The First Hour

Note: The translation used is primarily that of Fr. Lawrence of Jordanville.   The order of service is based primarily on the Reader Service Typikon by Bishop Daniel (the Old Rite Bishop of the ROCA) and translated by Fr. George Lardas.  All the psalms are from The Psalter According to the Seventy, © Copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. Some other material, such as prayers and hymns, are also Copyright HTM, used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, beyond printing out a single copy for personal non-commercial use, without the prior written authorization of Holy Transfiguration Monastery. 

If the First Hour is not preceded immediately by Matins, then it begins with the usual beginning as below.  But if it is followed by Matins, the reader skips down to “O come let us worship…”

Senior Reader:  Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. 

 

Reader: Amen.  

 

 

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

 

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

 

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

 

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Senior Reader:  O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

 

Reader: Amen.  Lord have mercy. Twelve Times

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. 

 

 

O come, let us worship God our King.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.

 

Psalm 5

Unto my words give ear, O Lord, hear my cry. Attend unto the voice of my supplication, O my King and my God; for unto Thee will I pray, O Lord. In the morning shalt Thou hear my voice. In the morning shall I stand before Thee, and Thou shalt look upon me; for not a God that willest iniquity art Thou. He that worketh evil shall not dwell near Thee nor shall transgressors abide before Thine eyes.  Thou hast hated all them that work iniquity; Thou shalt destroy all them that speak a lie.  A man that is bloody and deceitful shall the Lord abhor.  But as for me, in the multitude of Thy mercy shall I go into Thy house; I shall worship toward Thy holy temple in fear of Thee.  O Lord, guide me in the way of Thy righteousness; because of mine enemies, make straight my way before Thee, For in their mouth there is no truth; their heart is vain. Their throat is an open sepulcher, with their tongues have they spoken deceitfully; judge them, O God.  Let them fall down on account of their own devisings; according to the multitude of their ungodliness, cast them out, for they have embittered Thee, O Lord. And let all them be glad that hope in Thee; they shall rejoice, and Thou shalt dwell among them. And all shall glory in Thee that love Thy name, for Thou shalt bless the righteous. O Lord, as with a shield of Thy good pleasure hast Thou crowned us.

 Psalm 89

Lord, Thou hast been our refuge in generation and generation.  Before the mountains came to be and the earth was formed and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting art Thou.  Turn not man away unto lowliness; yea, Thou hast said: Turn back ye sons of men.  For a thousand years in Thine eyes, O Lord, are but as yesterday that is past, and as a watch in the night. Things of no account shall their years be; in the morning like grass shall man pass away.  In the morning shall he bloom and pass away. In the evening shall he fall and grow withered and dry.  For we have fainted away in Thy wrath, and in Thine anger have we been troubled.  Thou hast set our iniquities before us; our lifespan is in the light of Thy countenance.  For all our days are faded away, and in Thy wrath are we fainted away; our years have, like a spider, spun out their tale.  As for the days of our years, in their span, they be threescore years and ten.  And if we be in strength, mayhap fourscore years; and what is more than these is toil and travail.  For mildness is come upon us, and we shall be chastened.  Who knoweth the might of Thy wrath? And out of fear of Thee, who can recount Thine anger?  So make Thy right hand known to me, and to them that in their heart are instructed in wisdom.  Return, O Lord; how long? And be Thou entreated concerning Thy servants.  We were filled in the morning with Thy mercy, O Lord, and we rejoiced and were glad.  In all our days, let us be glad for the days wherein Thou didst humble us, for the years wherein we saw evils.  And look upon Thy servants, and upon Thy works, and do Thou guide their sons.  And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us, and the works of our hands do Thou guide aright upon us, yea, the works of our hands do Thou guide aright.

Psalm 100

Of mercy and judgment will I sing to Thee, O Lord; I will chant and have understanding in a blameless path. When wilt Thou come unto me?  I have walked in the innocence of my heart in the midst of my house.  I have no unlawful thing before mine eyes; the workers of transgressions I have hated.  A crooked heart hath not cleaved unto me; as for the wicked man who turned from me, I knew him not.  Him that privily talked against his neighbor did I drive away from me.  With him whose eye was proud and his heart insatiate, I did not eat.  Mine eyes were upon the faithful of the land, that they might sit with me; the man that walked in the blameless path, he ministered unto me.  The proud doer dwelt not in the midst of my house; the speaker of unjust things prospered not before mine eyes.  In the morning I slew all the sinners of the land, utterly to destroy out of the city of the Lord all them that work iniquity. 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.  Glory to Thee, O God. Thrice.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

If there be two troparia, we say the first one here.  If not, we continue:

               Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.  And we say the second troparion, if any, or the only troparion.  Then:

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: What shall we call thee, O thou who art full of grace? Heaven, for from thee hast dawned forth the Sun of Righteousness. Paradise, for from thee bath blossomed forth the flower of immortality. Virgin, for thou hast remained incorrupt. Pure Mother, for thou hast held in thy holy embrace the Son, the God of all. Do thou entreat Him to save our souls.

My steps do Thou direct according to thy saying, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the false accusations of men, and I will keep Thy commandments. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant, and teach me Thy statutes.

Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise, that I may hymn Thy glory and Thy majesty all the day long.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

 

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Senior Reader:  O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

 

Reader: Amen.   And we read the appointed Kontakion.  If there be two kontakia, we read the one that was chanted after the 3rd Ode of the canons at Matins.  Then:

Lord, have mercy. Forty times.  And the Prayer of the Hours:

Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners; Who callest all men to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain.  Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

More honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim; who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Senior Reader: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.

Reader: Amen. Then the Prayer of the First Hour:

Reader:  O Christ, the True Light, Who enlightenest and sanctifiest every man that cometh into the world: Let the Light of Thy countenance be signed upon us, that in it we may see the Unapproachable Light, and guide our steps in the doing of Thy commandments, through the intercessions of Thy most pure Mother, and of all Thy saints.  Amen.

Choir:  Tone 8: To Thee, the Champion Leader, we Thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos: but as Thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do Thou deliver us, that we may cry to Thee: Rejoice, Thou Bride Unwedded! *

 

               Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

              

               Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

 

               O Lord, bless.

 

Senior Reader (Facing the East, rather than facing the people):  O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, our holy and God-bearing fathers, and all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind. 

 

 

Choir:  Amen.  Lord, have mercy.  Thrice

 

The End of the First Hour

 

 

* According to Byzantine practice, “To Thee, the Champion Leader…” is omitted.

 

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