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Composed by St. Adæus and St. Maris, Teachers of the Easterns.
I. First: Glory to God in the highest, etc. Our Father which art in heaven.
Strengthen, O our Lord and God, our weakness through Your mercy, that we may administer the holy mystery which has been given for the renovation and salvation of our degraded nature, through the mercies of Your beloved Son the Lord of all.
On common days.
Who shall shout with joy? Etc.
II. Before the resplendent throne of Your majesty, O Lord, and the exalted and sublime throne of Your glory, and on the awful seat of the strength of Your love and the propiatory altar which Your will has established, in the region of Your pasture, with thousands of cherubim praising You, and ten thousands of seraphim sanctifying You, we draw near, adore, thank, and glorify You always, O Lord of all.
On commemorations and Fridays.
Your name, great and holy, illustrious and blessed, the blessed and incomprehensible name of Your glorious Trinity, and Your kindness to our race, we ought at all times to bless, adore, and glorify, O Lord of all.
Responsory at the chancel, as above.
Who commanded, etc.
To the priest, etc.
How breathes in us, O our Lord and God, the sweet fragrance of the sweetness of Your love; illumined are our souls, through the knowledge of Your truth: may we be rendered worthy of receiving the manifestation of Your beloved from Your holy heavens: there shall we render thanks unto You, and, in the meantime, glorify You without ceasing in Your Church, crowned and filled with every aid and blessing, because You are Lord and Father, Creator of all.
III. Prayer of Incense.
And on account, etc.
At the commemoration of saints.
You, O Lord, art truly the raiser up of our bodies: You are the good Saviour of our souls, and the secure preserver of our life; and we ought to thank You continually, to adore and glorify You, O Lord of all.
At the lessons.
Holy are You, worthy of praise, mighty, immortal, who dwellest in the holies, and Your will rests in them: have regard unto us, O Lord; be merciful unto us, and pity us, as You are our helper in all circumstances, O Lord of all.
IV. At the apostle.
Enlighten, O our Lord and God, the movements of our meditations to hear and understand the sweet listenings to Your life-giving and divine commands; and grant unto us through Your grace and mercy to gather from them the assurance of love, and hope, and salvation suitable to soul and body, and we shall sing to You everlasting glory without ceasing and always, O Lord of all.
To You, the wise governor, etc.
You, the renowned seed of Your Father, and the image of the person of Your Father, who was revealed in the body of our humanity, and arose to us in the light of Your annunciation, You we thank, adore, etc.
And after the proclamation: —
You, O Lord God Almighty, we beseech and entreat, perfect with us Your grace, and pour out through our hands Your gift, the pity and compassion of Your divinity. May they be to us for the propitiation of the offenses of Your people, and for the forgiveness of the sins of the entire flock of Your pasture, through Your grace and tender mercies, O good friend of men, O Lord of all.
VI. The Deacons say:—
Bow your heads.
The Priest says this secret prayer in the sanctuary: —
O Lord God Omnipotent, Yours is the Holy Catholic Church, inasmuch as You, through the great passion of Your Christ, bought the sheep of Your pasture; and from the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is indeed of one nature with Your glorious divinity, are granted the degrees of the true priestly ordination; and through Your clemency You vouchsafed, O Lord, to make our weakness spiritual members in the great body of Your Holy Church, that we might administer spiritual aid to faithful souls. Now, O Lord, perfect Your grace with us, and pour out Your gift through our hands: and may Your tender mercies and the clemency of Your divinity be upon us, and upon the people whom You have chosen for Yourself.
And grant unto us, O Lord, through Your clemency, that we may all together, and equally every day of our life, please Your divinity, and be rendered worthy of the aid of Your grace to offer You praise, honour, thanksgiving, and adoration at all times, O Lord.
VII. And the Deacons ascend to the altar, and say:—
He who has not received baptism, etc.
And the Priest begins the responsory of the mysteries, and the Sacristan and Deacon place the disk and the chalice upon the altar. The Priest crosses his hands, and says: —
We offer praise to Your glorious Trinity at all times and forever.
May Christ, who was offered for our salvation, and commanded us to commemorate His death and His resurrection, Himself receive this sacrifice from the hands of our weakness, through His grace and mercies forever. Amen.
Your memory, etc.
Our Father, etc.
Upon the holy altar, etc.
They who have slept, etc.
Matthew Mark, Luke, etc.
VIII. The Priest draws near to celebrate, and thrice bows before the altar, the middle of which he kisses, then the right and the left horn of the altar; and bows to the Gospel side, and says:—
Bless, O Lord, etc.
Pray for me, my fathers, brethren, and masters, that God may grant unto me the capability and power to perform this service to which I have drawn near, and that this oblation may be accepted from the hands of my weakness, for myself, for you, and for the whole body of the Holy Catholic Church, through His grace and mercies forever. Amen.
And they respond:—
May Christ listen to your prayers, and be pleased with your sacrifice, receive your oblation, and honour your priesthood, and grant unto us, through your mediation, the pardon of our offenses, and the forgiveness of our sins, through His grace and mercies forever.
Presently he bows at the other side, uttering the same words; and they respond in the same manner: then he bows to the altar, and says:—
And bowing towards the Deacon, who is on the left (Epistle side), he says:—
God, the Lord of all, confirm your words, and secure to you peace, and accept this oblation from my hands for me, for you, for the whole body of the Holy Catholic Church, and for the entire world, through His grace and mercies forever.
He kneels at the altar, and says in secret:—
IX. O our Lord and God, look not on the multitude of our sins, and let not Your dignity be turned away on account of the heinousness of our iniquities; but through Your unspeakable grace sanctify this sacrifice of Yours, and grant through it power and capability, so that You may forget our many sins, and be merciful when You shall appear at the end of time, in the man whom You have assumed from among us, and we may find before You grace and mercy, and be rendered worthy to praise You with spiritual assemblies.
He rises, and says this prayer in secret:—
And he proceeds:—
Us who were sinful and degraded, on account of the multitude of Your clemency, You have made worthy to celebrate the holy mysteries of the body and blood of Your Christ. We beg aid from You for the strengthening of our souls, that in perfect love and true faith we may administer Your gift to us.
And we shall ascribe to You praise, glory, thanksgiving, and adoration, now, always, and for ever and ever.
He signs himself with the sign of the cross, and they respond:—
X. And he proceeds:—
Peace be with you:
With you and with your spirit.
And they give the (kiss of) peace to each other, and say:—
The Deacon says:—
Let us thank, entreat, and beseech.
The Priest says this prayer in secret:—
O Lord, mighty God, help my weakness through Your clemency and the aid of Your grace; and make me worthy of offering before You this oblation, as for the common aid of all, and to the praise of Your Trinity, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
O our Lord and God, restrain our thoughts, that they wander not amid the vanities of this world. O Lord our God, grant that I may be united to the affection of Your love, unworthy though I be. Glory be to You, O Christ.
Ascend into the chamber of Your renowned light, O Lord; sow in me the good seed of humility; and under the wings of Your grace hide me through Your mercy. If You were to mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Because there is mercy with You.
[The Priest says the following prayer in secret: —
O mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, beseech for me the only-begotten Son, who was born of you, to forgive me my offenses and my sins, and to accept from my feeble and sinful hands this sacrifice which my weakness offers upon this altar, through your intercession for me, O holy mother.]
XI. When the Deacon shall say, With watchfulness and care, etc., immediately the Priest rises up and uncovers the sacraments, taking away the veil with which they were covered: he blesses the incense, and says a canon with a loud voice:—
He signs the sacraments, and they respond:—
The Priest proceeds:—
Lift up your minds:
The oblation is offered to God, the Lord of all.
It is meet and right.
Peace be with you.
O Lord, Lord, grant me an open countenance before You, that with the confidence which is from You we may fulfil this awful and divine sacrifice with consciences free from all iniquity and bitterness. Sow in us, O Lord, affection, peace, and concord towards each other, and toward every one.
And standing, he says in secret: —
Worthy of glory from every mouth, and of thanksgiving from all tongues, and of adoration and exaltation from all creatures, is the adorable and glorious name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who created the world through His grace, and its inhabitants through His clemency, who saved men through His mercy, and showed great favour towards mortals. Your majesty, O Lord, thousands of thousands of heavenly spirits, and ten thousand myriads of holy angels, hosts of spirits, ministers of fire and spirit, bless and adore; with the holy cherubim and the spiritual seraphim they sanctify and celebrate Your name, crying and praising, without ceasing crying unto each other.
They say with a loud voice:—
The Priest in secret:—
Holy, holy, holy are You, O Lord God Almighty; the heavens and the earth are full of His glory and the nature of His essence, as they are glorious with the honour of His splendour; as it is written, The heaven and the earth are full of me, says the mighty Lord.
Holy are You, O God our Father, truly the only one, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Holy are You, Eternal Son, through whom all things were made. Holy are You, Holy, Eternal Spirit, through whom all things are sanctified.
Woe to me, woe to me, who have been astonied, because I am a man of polluted lips, and dwell among a people of polluted lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the mighty Lord. How terrible today is this place! For this is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven; because You have been seen eye to eye, O Lord.
Now, I pray, may Your grace be with us, O Lord; purge away our impurities, and sanctify our lips; unite the voices of our insignificance with the sanctification of seraphim and archangels. Glory be to Your tender mercies, because You have associated the earthly with the heavenly.
And he proceeds, saying in secret this prayer, in a bowing posture:—
XII. And with those heavenly powers we give You thanks, even we, Your insignificant, pithless, and feeble servants; because You have granted unto us Your great grace which cannot be repaid. For indeed You took upon Yourself our human nature, that You might bestow life on us through Your divinity; You exalted our low condition; You raised our ruined state; You roused up our mortality; You washed away our sins; You blotted out the guilt of our sins; You enlightened our intelligence, and You condemned our enemy, O Lord our God; and You caused the insignificance of our pithless nature to triumph.
Here follow the words of institution, after which:—
Through the tender mercies of Your grace poured out, O clement One, pardon our offenses and sins; blot out my offenses in the judgment. And on account of all Your aids and Your favours to us, we shall ascribe unto You praise, honour, thanksgiving, and adoration, now, always, and for ever and ever.
The Priest signs the sacraments. The response is made.
In your minds. Pray for peace with us.
The Priest says this prayer bowing, and in a low voice:—
O Lord God Almighty, accept this oblation for the whole Holy Catholic Church, and for all the pious and righteous fathers who have been pleasing to You, and for all the prophets and apostles, and for all the martyrs and confessors, and for all that mourn, that are in straits, and are sick, and for all that are under difficulties and trials, and for all the weak and the oppressed, and for all the dead that have gone from among us; then for all that ask a prayer from our weakness, and for me, a degraded and feeble sinner. O Lord our God, according to Your mercies and the multitude of Your favours, look upon Your people, and on me, a feeble man, not according to my sins and my follies, but that they may become worthy of the forgiveness of their sins through this holy body, which they receive with faith, through the grace of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
The Priest says this prayer of inclination in secret:—
XIII. Do Thou, O Lord, through Your many and ineffable mercies, make the memorial good and acceptable with that of all the pious and righteous fathers who have been pleading before You in the commemoration of the body and blood of Your Christ, which we offer to You upon Your pure and holy altar, as You have taught us; and grant unto us Your rest all the days of this life.
He proceeds with the Great Oblation: —
O Lord our God, bestow on us Your rest and peace all the days of this life, that all the inhabitants of the earth may know You, that You are the only true God the Father, and You sent our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son and Your beloved; and He Himself our Lord and God came and taught us all purity and holiness. Make remembrance of prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, doctors, priests, deacons, and all the sons of the Holy Catholic Church who have been signed with the sign of life, of holy baptism. We also, O Lord:
We, Your degraded, weak, and feeble servants who are congregated in Your name, and now stand before You, and have received with joy the form which is from You, praising, glorifying, and exalting, commemorate and celebrate this great, awful, holy, and divine mystery of the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And may Your Holy Spirit come, O Lord, and rest upon this oblation of Your servants which they offer, and bless and sanctify it; and may it be unto us, O Lord, for the propitiation of our offenses and the forgiveness of our sins, and for a grand hope of resurrection from the dead, and for a new life in the kingdom of the heavens, with all who have been pleasing before Him. And on account of the whole of Your wonderful dispensation towards us, we shall render thanks unto You, and glorify You without ceasing in Your Church, redeemed by the precious blood of Your Christ, with open mouths and joyful countenances:
The Priest bows himself and kisses the altar, first in the middle, then at the two sides right and left, and says this prayer: —
Have mercy upon me, O God, down to the words, and sinners shall be converted unto You: and unto You lift I up my eyes, down to have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Also stretch forth Your hand, and let Your right hand save me, O Lord; may Your mercies remain upon me, O Lord, for ever, and despise not the works of Your hands.
Then he says this prayer:—
XIV. O Christ, peace of those in heaven and great rest of those below, grant that Your rest and peace may dwell in the four parts of the world, but especially in Your Holy Catholic Church; grant that the priesthood with the government may have peace; cause wars to cease from the ends of the earth, and scatter the nations that delight in wars, that we may enjoy the blessing of living in tranquillity and peace, in all temperance and fear of God. Spare the offenses and sins of the dead, through Your grace and mercies forever.
And to those who are around the altar he says:—
Bless, O Lord. Bless, O Lord.
And he puts on the incense with which he fumes himself, and says:—
Sweeten, O Lord our God, the unpleasing savour of our souls through the sweetness of Your love, and through it cleanse me from the stains of my sin, and forgive me my offenses and sins, whether known or unknown to me.
The Priest repeats these words once and again, and at each interval unites his hands over his breast in the form of a cross. He kisses the altar in the middle, and receives with both hands the upper oblation; and looking up, says:—
For He is the living and life-giving bread which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the whole world, of which they who eat die not; and they who receive it are saved by it, and do not see corruption, and live through it for ever; and You are the antidote of our mortality, and the resurrection of our entire frame.
XV. * * *
XVI. Praise to Your holy name, O Lord. (As above.)
The Priest kisses the host in the form of a cross; in such a way, however, that his lips do not touch it, but appear to kiss it; and he says:—
Glory to You, O Lord; glory to You, O Lord, on account of Your unspeakable gift to us, forever.
Then he draws near to the fraction of the host, which he accomplishes with both his hands, saying:—
And, naming the Trinity, he breaks the host, which he holds in his hands, into two parts: and the one which is in his left hand he lays down on the disk; with the other, which he holds in his right hand, he signs the chalice, saying:—
And they respond:—
Then he dips it even to the middle in the chalice, and signs with it the body which is in the paten, saying:—
And they respond:—
And he unites the two parts, the one with the other, saying:—
Divided, sanctified, completed, perfected, united, and commingled have been these renowned, holy, life-giving, and divine mysteries, the one with the other, in the adorable and glorious name of Your glorious Trinity, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that they may be to us, O Lord, for the propitiation of our offenses and the forgiveness of our sins; also for the grand hope of a resurrection from the dead, and of a new life in the kingdom of the heavens, for us and for the Holy Church of Christ our Lord, here and in every place whatsoever, now and always, and forever.
XVII. In the meantime he signs the host with his right thumb in the form of a cross from the lower part to the upper, and from the right to the left, and thus forms a slight fissure in it where it has been dipped in the blood. He puts a part of it into the chalice in the form of a cross: the lower part is placed towards the priest, the upper towards the chalice, so that the place of the fissure looks to the chalice. He bows, and rising, says:—
Glory be to You, O Lord Jesus Christ, who has made me, unworthy though I be, through Your grace, a minister and mediator of Your renowned, holy, life-giving, and divine mysteries: through the grace of Your mercy, make me worthy of the pardon of my offenses and the forgiveness of my sins.
He signs himself with the sign of the cross an his forehead, and does the same to those standing round him.
The Deacons approach, and he signs each one of them on the forehead, saying:—
Christ accept your ministry: Christ cause your face to shine: Christ save your life: Christ make your youth to grow.
And they respond:—
Christ accept your oblation.
XVIII. All return to their own place; and the Priest, after bowing, rises and says, in the tone of the Gospel:—
The Priest signs himself, and lifts up his hand over his head, so that it should be in the air, and the people be partakers in the singing:—
The Deacon says:—
We all with fear, etc.
And at these words:—
He has given to us His mysteries:
The Priest begins to break the body, and says:—
Be merciful, O Lord, through Your clemency to the sins and follies of Your servants, and sanctify our lips through Your grace, that they may give the fruits of glory and praise to Your divinity, with all Your saints in Your kingdom.
And, raising his voice, he says:—
And make us worthy, O Lord our God, to stand before You continually without stain, with pure heart, with open countenance, and with the confidence which is from You, mercifully granted to us: and let us all with one accord invoke You, and say thus: Our Father, etc.
The People say:—
Our Father, etc.
O Lord God Almighty, O Lord and our good God, who is full of mercy, we beg You, O Lord our God, and beseech the clemency of Your goodness; lead us not into temptation, but deliver and save us from the evil one and his hosts; because Yours is the kingdom, the power, the strength, the might, and the dominion in heaven and on earth, now and always.
He signs himself, and they respond:—
XIX. And he proceeds:—
Peace be with you.
With you and with your spirit.
And they say:—
And they say the responsory. And when the Deacon comes to carry the chalice, he says:—
Let us pray for peace with us.
The Priest says:—
The Deacon says:—
Bless, O Lord.
And he signs the people with the cross. In the meantime the responsories are said.
Strengthen, O Lord, etc.
On the Lord's day.
O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.
The mysteries which we have received, etc.
The responsories being ended, the Deacon says:—
All therefore, etc.
And they respond:—
Glory be to Himself on account of His ineffable gift.
Let us pray for peace with us.
The Priest at the middle of the altar says this prayer: —
XX. It is meet, O Lord, just and right in all days, times, and hours, to thank, adore, and praise the awful name of Your majesty, because You have through Your grace, O Lord, made us, mortal men possessing a frail nature, worthy to sanctify Your name with the heavenly beings, and to become partakers of the mysteries of Your gift, and to be delighted with the sweetness of Your oracles. And voices of glory and thanksgiving we ever offer up to Your sublime divinity, O Lord.
Christ, our God, Lord, King, Saviour, and Life-giver, through His grace has made us worthy to receive His body and His precious and all-sanctifying blood. May He grant unto us that we may be pleasing unto Him in our words, works, thoughts, and deeds, so that that pledge which we have received may be to us for the pardon of our offenses, the forgiveness of our sins, and the grand hope of a resurrection from the dead, and a new and true life in the kingdom of the heavens, with all who have been pleasing before Him, through His grace and His mercies forever.
On ordinary days.
Praise, O Lord, honour, blessing, and thanksgiving we ought to ascribe to Your glorious Trinity for the gift of Your holy mysteries, which You have given to us for the propitiation of our offenses, O Lord of all.
Blessed be Your adorable honour, from Your glorious place, O Christ, the propitiator of our offenses and our sins, and who takest away our follies through Your renowned, holy, life-giving, and divine mysteries. Christ the hope of our nature always and forever. Amen.
Obsignation or final benediction.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom we have ministered, and whom we have seen and honoured in His renowned, holy, life-giving, and divine mysteries, Himself render us worthy of the splendid glory of His kingdom, and of gladness with His holy angels, and for confidence before Him, that we may stand at His right hand.
And on our entire congregation may His mercies and compassion be continually poured out, now and always, and ever.
On the Lord's day and on feast-days.
May He Himself who blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavens, through Jesus Christ our Lord, and prepared us for His kingdom, and called us to the desirable good things which neither cease nor perish, as He promised to us in His life-giving Gospel, and said to the blessed congregation of His disciples— Verily, verily I say unto you, that every one who eats my body and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him, and I will raise him up at the last day; and he comes not to judgment, but I will make him pass from death to eternal life:
May He Himself now bless this congregation, and maintain our position, and render glorious our people who have come and rejoiced in receiving His renowned, holy, life-giving, and divine mysteries; and may you be sealed and guarded by the holy sign of the Lord's cross from all evils, secret and open, now and always.
Source. Translated by James Donaldson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0719.htm>.
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