Monthly Archives: January 2013

Coptic Hours (Modified) Midnight Watch 3

Agpeya Midnight
INTRODUCTION TO EVERY HOUR
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven; . . . but deliver us from evil, in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.
O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours. But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honor, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
PSALM 50
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. My transgressions, truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. So you are just in your sentence, without reproach in your judgment. O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner when my mother conceived me. Yes, you delight in sincerity of heart; in secret you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may exult. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. Create a pure heart for me, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence; take not your holy spirit from me. Restore in me the joy of your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach transgressors your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from bloodshed, O God, God of my salvation, and then my tongue shall ring out your justice. O LORD, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For in sacrifice you take no delight; burnt offering from me would not please you. My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit: a broken and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn. In your good
pleasure, show favor to Sion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in right sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed. Then you will be offered young bulls on your altar. ALLELUIA.
Then the worshipper says :
Arise, you, O children of the light, to praise the Lord of Hosts, that He may grant us the salvation of our souls. When we stand in the flesh before You, take away from our minds the sleep of forgetfulness, and grant us alertness, in order that we understand how to stand up before You at the time of prayer, and send up to You the appropriate doxology, and win the forgiveness of our many sins. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 134 O come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the courts of the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion, he who made both heaven and earth. ALLELUIA. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
Let my supplication come near before You; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my petition come before You; revive me according to Your word. Let my lips flow with praise, when You have taught me Your ordinances. Let my tongue speak of Your words; for all Your commandments are righteous. Let Your hand be for saving me; for I have desired Your commandments. I have longed for Your salvation, O Lord; and Your law is my meditation. My soul shall live, and praise You; and Your judgments shall help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant; for I have not forgotten Your commandments.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
Glory to You O the good and lover of mankind. Hail to Your mother the Virgin and to all Your Saints. Glory to You, O Holy Trinity; have mercy upon us. Let God arise, and let His enemies be dispersed; and let all who hate His holy name flee before His face. But let Your people be in blessing, thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands, doing Your will. O Lord, You shall open my lips; and my mouth shall declare Your praise. Amen. ALLELUIA.
The Third Watch
The worshipper says:
The service of the third watch of the blessed Midnight Hour, we offer unto Christ our King and our God, beseeching Him to forgive us our sins.
From the Psalms of our father David the prophet and the king, may his blessings be upon us all. Amen.
PSALM 130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive to the sound of my pleadings. If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, LORD, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, that you may be revered. I long for you, O LORD, my soul longs for his word. My soul hopes in the LORD more than watchmen for daybreak. More than watchmen for daybreak, let Israel hope for the LORD. For with the LORD there is mercy, in him is plentiful redemption. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 131 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor haughty my eyes. I have not gone after things too great, nor marvels beyond me. Truly, I have set my soul in tranquility and silence. As a weaned child on its mother, as a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, wait for the LORD, both now and forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 132 O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured, the oath he swore to the LORD, his vow to the Strong One of Jacob. “I will not enter my house, nor go to the bed where I rest; I will give no sleep to my eyes, to my eyelids I will give no slumber, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Strong One of Jacob.”At Ephrata we heard of it; we found it in the plains of Yearim. “Let us go to the place of his dwelling; let us bow down at his footstool. Go up, LORD, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength. Your priests shall be clothed with justice; your faithful shall ring out their joy. For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed. The LORD swore an oath to David; he will not go back on his word: “A son, the fruit of your body, will I set upon your throne. If your sons hold fast to my covenant, and my laws that I have taught them, their sons, in turn, shall sit on your throne from age to age.” For the LORD has chosen Sion; he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place from age to age; here have I chosen to dwell. I will greatly bless her produce; I will fill her poor with bread. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful shall ring out their joy. I will make a stock sprout up for David; I will prepare a lamp for my anointed. I will cover his enemies with shame, but on him my crown shall shine.” ALLELUIA.
PSALM 133 How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers live in unity! It is like precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, running down upon Aaron’s beard, upon the collar of his robes; Like the dew of Hermon, which runs down on the mountains of Sion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing: life forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 134 O come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the courts of the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion, he who made both heaven and earth.
PSALM 137 By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Sion; on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. For it was there that they asked us, our captors, for songs, our oppressors, for joy. “Sing to us,” they said, “one of Sion’s songs.” O how could we sing the song of the LORD on foreign soil? If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! O let my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not, if I prize not Jerusalem as the first of my joys! Remember, O LORD, against the children of Edom the day of
Jerusalem, when they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundations!” O daughter Babylon, destroyer, blessed whoever repays you the payment you paid to us! Blessed whoever grasps and shatters your children on the rock! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 138 I thank you, LORD, with all my heart; you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I praise you. I bow down toward your holy temple. I give thanks to your name for your merciful love and your faithfulness. You have exalted your name over all. On the day I called, you answered me; you increased the strength of my soul. All earth’s kings shall thank you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, “How great is the glory of the LORD!” The LORD is high, yet he looks on the lowly, and the haughty he knows from afar. You give me life though I walk amid affliction; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes. With your right hand you save me; the LORD will accomplish this for me. O LORD, your merciful love is eternal; discard not the work of your hands. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 140 I have called to you, LORD; hasten to help me! Hear my voice when I cry to you. Let my prayer be accepted as incense before you, the raising of my hands like an evening oblation. Set, O LORD, a guard on my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips! Do not turn my heart to things that are evil, to wicked deeds with those who are sinners. Never allow me to share in their feasting. If a good man strikes me it is kindness; but let the oil of the wicked not anoint my head. Let my prayer be ever against their malice. If they fall into the merciless hands of their judges, they will grasp how kind are my words. As clods of earth plowed up on the ground, so their bones were strewn at the mouth of the grave. To you my eyes are turned, O LORD, my LORD. In you I take refuge; spare my soul! From the trap they have laid for me, keep me safe; keep me from the snares of those who do evil. Let the wicked together fall into their traps, while I pursue my way unharmed. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 142 With all my voice I cry to the LORD; with all my voice I entreat the LORD. I pour out my trouble before him; I tell him all my distress while my spirit faints within me. But you, O LORD, know my path. On the way where I shall walk, they have hidden a snare to entrap me. Look on my right hand and see: there is no one who pays me heed. No escape remains open to me; no one cares for my soul. To you I cry, O LORD. I have said, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen, then, to my cry, for I am brought down very low. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, and I shall give thanks to your name. Around me the just will assemble, because of your goodness to me. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 144 Blest be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, who prepares my fingers for war. He is my merciful love, my fortress; he is my stronghold, my savior, my shield in whom I take refuge. He brings peoples under my rule. LORD, what is man that you regard him, the son of man that you keep him in mind, man who is merely a breath, whose days are like a passing shadow? Lower your heavens, O LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains; wreathe them in smoke. Flash your lightnings; rout the foe. Shoot your arrows, and put them to flight. Reach down with your hand from on high; rescue me, save me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreign foes whose mouths speak only emptiness, whose hands are raised in perjury. To you, O God, will I sing a new song; I will play on the ten-stringed harp to you who give kings their victory, who set David your servant free from the evil sword. Rescue me, free me from the hands of foreign foes, whose mouths speak only emptiness, whose right hands are raised in perjury. Let our sons then flourish like saplings, grown tall and strong from their youth; our daughters graceful as columns, as though they were carved for a palace. Let our barns be filled to overflowing with crops of every kind; our sheep increasing by thousands, tens of thousands in our fields, our cattle heavy with young. No ruined wall, no exile, no sound of weeping in our streets. Blessed the people of whom this is true; blessed the people whose God is the LORD! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 147a Alleluia! How good to sing psalms to our God; how pleasant to chant fitting praise! The LORD builds up Jerusalem and brings back Israel’s exiles; he heals the brokenhearted; he binds up all their wounds. He counts out the number of the stars; he calls each one by its name. Our LORD is great and almighty; his wisdom can never be measured. The LORD lifts up the lowly; he casts down the wicked to the ground. O sing to the LORD, giving thanks; sing psalms to our God with the harp. He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares the rain for the earth, making mountains sprout with grass, and plants to serve human needs. He provides the cattle with their food, and young ravens that call upon him. His delight is not in horses, nor his pleasure in a warrior’s strength. The LORD delights in those who revere him, those who wait for his merciful love. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 147b O Jerusalem, glorify the LORD! O Sion, praise your God! He has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. He established peace on your borders; he gives you your fill of finest wheat. He sends out his word to the earth, and swiftly runs his command. He showers down snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down hailstones like crumbs; before such cold, who can stand? He sends forth his word and it melts them; at the blowing of his breath the waters flow. He reveals his word to Jacob; to Israel, his decrees and judgments. He has not dealt thus with other nations; he has not taught them his judgments. ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE (CH 12 : 32-64)
“Do not fear, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have, and give alms, provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fails, where no thief approaches, nor moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Let your loins be girded, and your lamps burning; And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom their master, when he comes will find them: Assuredly I say to you, that he shall gird himself, and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and finds them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have allowed his house to be broken into. You therefore be ready also: for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think.” Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do you speak this parable only to us, or to all people?” And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, `My master is delaying his coming;’ and begins to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunk; The master of that servant will come in a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” Glory to God forever. Amen. We worship You O Christ with Your Good Father and the Holy Spirit, for You have come and saved us.
1. With a compassionate eye, O Lord, look at my weakness, for shortly my life will end, and in my deeds I shall have no salvation. Therefore, I beseech, O Lord, with a merciful eye look at my weakness, my humility, my poverty and my sojourn, and save me. Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. As the Judge is present, take heed, O my soul, awake and consider that awesome hour; for in the day of judgment, there will be no mercy on those who were not merciful. Therefore, have compassion on me, O Savior, for You alone are the Lover of mankind. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. O the reasonable gate of life, the honored Theotokos, deliver from hardships those who, in faith, take refuge in you, so that we might glorify your immaculate birth of Christ for the salvation of our souls. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
4. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good things and the Life-Giver, graciously come, and dwell in us and purify us from all defilement, O Good One, and save our souls. Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
5. Just as You were with Your disciples, O Savior, and gave them peace, graciously come also and be with us, and grant us Your peace, and save us, and deliver our souls. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
6. Whenever we stand in Your holy sanctuary, we are considered standing in heaven. O Theotokos, you are the gate of heaven, open for us the gate of mercy.
Lord, hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen. (Lord have mercy) 41 times
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE (CH. 2 : 29-32)
Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to Your word: For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of people; A light to be revealed to the Gentiles and a glory of Your people Israel. Glory to God forever. Amen.
THE ORTHODOX CREED
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. Lord, hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen. (Lord have mercy) 41 times
HOLY HOLY HOLY
Holy Holy Holy. Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory and honor. Have mercy on us, O God the Father, the Almighty O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, God of hosts, be with us. For we have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but You. Absolve, forgive, and remit, O God, our transgressions; those which we have committed willingly and those we have committed unwillingly, those which we have committed knowingly and those which we have committed unknowingly, the hidden and manifest, O Lord forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy name which is called upon us.
Let it be according to Your mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins. Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven …
ABSOLUTION
O Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, the Living and Eternal Son of God, enlighten our minds to understand Your life-giving words. Raise us up from the darkness of sin which ruins the soul. Make us worthy to become upright in good deeds. And at the time of Your coming to judge the world, make us worthy of hearing that voice full of joy saying, “Come to Me you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world.” Yes, Lord, grant us in that Hour to be without fear, anxiety or condemnation; and do not judge us according to our many iniquities. For You alone are compassionate, longsuffering and exceedingly merciful. We ask this, through the intercession of our Lady the Theotokos, Saint Mary, and the intercession of all the choir of Your saints. Amen.
THE CONCLUSION OF EVERY HOUR
Have mercy on us, O God, and have mercy on us, who, at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, the good, the long suffering, the abundant in mercy, and the great in compassion, who loves the righteous and has mercy on the sinners of whom I am chief; who does not wish the death of the sinner but rather that he returns and lives, who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come.
Lord receive from us our prayers in this hour and in every hour. Ease our life and guide us to fulfill Your commandments. Sanctify our spirits. Cleanse our bodies. Conduct our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our diseases. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every evil grief and distress of heart. Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your imperceptible and infinite glory. For You are blessed forever. Amen.

Coptic Hours (Modified): Midnight Watch 2

Agpeya Midnight
INTRODUCTION TO EVERY HOUR
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven; . . . but deliver us from evil, in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.
O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours. But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honor, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
PSALM 50
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. My transgressions, truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. So you are just in your sentence, without reproach in your judgment. O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner when my mother conceived me. Yes, you delight in sincerity of heart; in secret you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may exult. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. Create a pure heart for me, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence; take not your holy spirit from me. Restore in me the joy of your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach transgressors your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from bloodshed, O God, God of my salvation, and then my tongue shall ring out your justice. O LORD, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For in sacrifice you take no delight; burnt offering from me would not please you. My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit: a broken and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn. In your good
pleasure, show favor to Sion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in right sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed. Then you will be offered young bulls on your altar. ALLELUIA.
Then the worshipper says :
Arise, you, O children of the light, to praise the Lord of Hosts, that He may grant us the salvation of our souls. When we stand in the flesh before You, take away from our minds the sleep of forgetfulness, and grant us alertness, in order that we understand how to stand up before You at the time of prayer, and send up to You the appropriate doxology, and win the forgiveness of our many sins. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 134 O come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the courts of the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion, he who made both heaven and earth. ALLELUIA. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
Let my supplication come near before You; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my petition come before You; revive me according to Your word. Let my lips flow with praise, when You have taught me Your ordinances. Let my tongue speak of Your words; for all Your commandments are righteous. Let Your hand be for saving me; for I have desired Your commandments. I have longed for Your salvation, O Lord; and Your law is my meditation. My soul shall live, and praise You; and Your judgments shall help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant; for I have not forgotten Your commandments.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
Glory to You O the good and lover of mankind. Hail to Your mother the Virgin and to all Your Saints. Glory to You, O Holy Trinity; have mercy upon us. Let God arise, and let His enemies be dispersed; and let all who hate His holy name flee before His face. But let Your people be in blessing, thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands, doing Your will. O Lord, You shall open my lips; and my mouth shall declare Your praise. Amen. ALLELUIA.
The Second Watch
The worshipper says: The service of the second watch of the blessed Midnight Hour, we offer unto Christ our King and our God, beseeching Him to forgive us our sins. From the Psalms of our father David the prophet and the king, may his blessings be upon us all. Amen.
PSALM 120 Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me insight by your word. Let my pleading come before you; rescue me according to your promise. My lips shall proclaim your praise, because you teach me your statutes. My tongue will sing of your promise, for your commands are just. Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I have longed for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. My soul shall live and praise you. Your judgments give me help. I have strayed like a sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commands. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 121 Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me insight by your word. Let my pleading come before you; rescue me according to your promise. My lips shall proclaim your praise, because you teach me your statutes. My tongue will sing of your promise, for your commands are just. Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I have longed for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. My soul shall live and praise you. Your judgments give me help. I have strayed like a sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commands. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 122 I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city bonded as one together. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD. For Israel’s witness it is to praise the name of the LORD. There were set the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. For the peace of Jerusalem pray, “May they prosper, those who love you.” May peace abide in your walls, and security be in your towers. For the sake of my family and friends, let me say, “Peace upon you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD, our God, I will seek good things for you.ALLELUIA.
PSALM 123 To you have I lifted up my eyes, you who dwell in the heavens. Behold, like the eyes of slaves on the hand of their LORDs, like the eyes of a servant on the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are on the LORD our God, till he show us his mercy. Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy. We are filled with contempt. Indeed, all too full is our soul with the scorn of the arrogant, the disdain of the proud. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 124 “If the LORD had not been on our side,” let Israel say— “If the LORD had not been on our side when people rose against us, then would they have swallowed us alive when their anger was kindled. Then would the waters have engulfed us, the torrent gone over us; over our head would have swept the raging waters.” Blest be the LORD who did not give us a prey to their teeth! Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler. Indeed, the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 125 Those who put their trust in the LORD are like Mount Sion, that cannot be shaken, that stands forever. Jerusalem! The mountains surround her; so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever. For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest over the land allotted to the just, for fear that the hands of the just should turn to evil. Do good, LORD, to those who are good, to the upright of heart; but those who turn to crooked ways— the LORD will drive away with the wicked! On Israel, peace! ALLELUIA.
PSALMS 126 When the LORD brought back the exiles of Sion, we thought we were dreaming. Then was our mouth filled with laughter; on our tongues, songs of joy. Then the nations themselves said, “What great
deeds the LORD worked for them!” What great deeds the LORD worked for us! Indeed, we were glad. Bring back our exiles, O LORD, as streams in the south. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap. They go out, they go out, full of tears, bearing seed for the sowing; they come back, they come back with a song, bearing their sheaves. ALLELUIA.
PSALMS 127 If the LORD does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the LORD does not guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch. In vain is your earlier rising your going later to rest, you who toil for the bread you eat, when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber. Yes, children are a gift from the LORD, a blessing, the fruit of the womb. Indeed, the sons of youth are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. Blessed is the warrior who has filled his quiver with these arrows! He will have no cause for shame, when he disputes with his foes in the gateways. ALLELUIA.
PSALMS 128 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, and walk in his ways! By the labor of your hands you shall eat. You will be blessed and prosper. Your wife like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your children like shoots of the olive around your table. Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion. May you see Jerusalem prosper all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children. On Israel, peace! ALLELUIA.
PSALMS 129 They have pressed me hard from my youth,” let Israel sing. “They have pressed me hard from my youth, but could never overcome me. The plowmen plowed my back, drawing long furrows. Yet the LORD, who is just, has destroyed the yoke of the wicked.”Let them be shamed and routed, all those who hate Sion! Let them be like grass on the roof, that withers before it flowers. With that no reaper fills his hands, no binder of sheaves his arms. And those passing by will not say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you!” We bless you in the name of the LORD! ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE (CH. 7 : 36-50)
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went unto the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And, behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat to eat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke within himself, saying “This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is who touch Him: for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Master, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose that he, to whom he forgave more.” And He said unto him, “You have rightly judged.” And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, you gave Me no water for My feet: but she has washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You gave Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment. Therefore I say unto you, `Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” And He said unto her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And they who sat to eat with Him began to say within themselves, “Who is this who forgives sins also?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Glory to God forever. Amen. We worship You O Christ with Your Good Father and the Holy Spirit, for You have come and saved us.
1. Give me, O Lord, many fountains of tears, as You gave, in the past, the sinful woman. Make me worthy to wash Your Feet which liberated me from the path of straying, and to offer you a precious fragrant oil, and gain, through repentance, a pure life, so that I may hear that voice full of joy: “Your faith has saved you.” Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. When I realize my many wicked deeds, and the thought of that awesome judgment comes to my heart, a tremble takes hold of me, and I take refuge in You, O God, the Lover of mankind. So do not turn away Your face from me, I entreat You, Who alone are without sin. Grant humbleness to my poor soul before the end comes, and save me. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. The Heavens bless you, O full of grace, the Bride who was never married. And we, too, glorify your incomprehensible giving birth. O Theotokos, the mother of mercy and salvation, intercede for the salvation of our souls. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
4. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good things and the Life-Giver, graciously come, and dwell in us and purify us from all defilement, O Good One, and save our souls. Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
5. Just as You were with Your disciples, O Savior, and gave them peace, graciously come also and be with us, and grant us Your peace, and save us, and deliver our souls. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
6. Whenever we stand in Your holy sanctuary, we are considered standing in heaven. O Theotokos, you are the gate of heaven, open for us the gate of mercy.
Then the worshipper prays: Lord, hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen. (Lord have mercy) 41 times
HOLY HOLY HOLY
Holy Holy Holy. Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory and honor. Have mercy on us, O God the Father, the Almighty O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, God of hosts, be with us. For we have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but You. Absolve, forgive, and remit, O God, our transgressions; those which we have committed willingly and those we have committed unwillingly, those which we have committed knowingly and those which we have committed unknowingly, the hidden and manifest, O Lord forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy name which is called upon us.
Let it be according to Your mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins. Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven …
THE CONCLUSION OF EVERY HOUR
Have mercy on us, O God, and have mercy on us, who, at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, the good, the long suffering, the abundant in mercy, and the great in compassion, who loves the righteous and has mercy on the sinners of whom I am chief; who does not wish
the death of the sinner but rather that he returns and lives, who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come.
Lord receive from us our prayers in this hour and in every hour. Ease our life and guide us to fulfill Your commandments. Sanctify our spirits. Cleanse our bodies. Conduct our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our diseases. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every evil grief and distress of heart. Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your imperceptible and infinite glory. For You are blessed forever. Amen.

Coptic Hours (Modified): Midnight, Watch 1

Midnight
INTRODUCTION TO EVERY HOUR
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven; . . . but deliver us from evil, in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.
O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours. But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honor, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
PSALM 50
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. My transgressions, truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. So you are just in your sentence, without reproach in your judgment. O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner when my mother conceived me. Yes, you delight in sincerity of heart; in secret you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may exult. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. Create a pure heart for me, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence; take not your holy spirit from me. Restore in me the joy of your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach transgressors your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from bloodshed, O God, God of my salvation, and then my tongue shall ring out your justice. O LORD, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For in sacrifice you take no delight; burnt offering from me would not please you. My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit: a broken and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn. In your good
pleasure, show favor to Sion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in right sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed. Then you will be offered young bulls on your altar. ALLELUIA.
Then the worshipper says :
Arise, you, O children of the light, to praise the Lord of Hosts, that He may grant us the salvation of our souls. When we stand in the flesh before You, take away from our minds the sleep of forgetfulness, and grant us alertness, in order that we understand how to stand up before You at the time of prayer, and send up to You the appropriate doxology, and win the forgiveness of our many sins. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 134 O come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the courts of the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion, he who made both heaven and earth. ALLELUIA. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
Let my supplication come near before You; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my petition come before You; revive me according to Your word. Let my lips flow with praise, when You have taught me Your ordinances. Let my tongue speak of Your words; for all Your commandments are righteous. Let Your hand be for saving me; for I have desired Your commandments. I have longed for Your salvation, O Lord; and Your law is my meditation. My soul shall live, and praise You; and Your judgments shall help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant; for I have not forgotten Your commandments.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
Glory to You O the good and lover of mankind. Hail to Your mother the Virgin and to all Your Saints. Glory to You, O Holy Trinity; have mercy upon us. Let God arise, and let His enemies be dispersed; and let all who hate His holy name flee before His face. But let Your people be in blessing, thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands, doing Your will. O Lord, You shall open my lips; and my mouth shall declare Your praise. Amen. ALLELUIA.
The First Watch
The worshipper says: The praise of the first watch of the blessed Midnight Hour, we offer unto Christ our King and our God, beseeching Him to forgive us our sins. From the Psalms of our father David the prophet and the king, may his blessings be upon us all. Amen.
PSALM 3 How many are my foes, O LORD! How many are rising up against me! How many are saying about me, “There is no help for him in God.” But you, LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, who lift up my head. I cry aloud to the LORD. From his holy mountain he answers me. I lie down, I sleep and I wake, for the LORD upholds me. I will not fear even thousands of people who are ranged on every side against me. Arise, LORD; save me, my God, you who strike all my foes on the cheek, you who break the teeth of the wicked! Salvation belongs to the LORD; may your blessing be on your people! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 6 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger; reprove me not in your rage. Have mercy on me, LORD, for I languish. LORD, heal me; my bones are shaking, and my soul is greatly shaken. But you, O LORD, how long? Return, LORD, rescue my soul. Save me in your merciful love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; from the grave, who can give you praise? I am exhausted with my groaning; every night I drench my bed with tears, I bedew my couch with weeping. My eyes waste away with grief; I have grown old surrounded by all my foes. Leave me, all who do evil, for the LORD heeds the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will receive my prayer. All my foes will be shamed and greatly shaken, suddenly put to shame. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 13 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear grief in my soul, have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy prevail over me? Look, answer me, LORD my God! Give light to my eyes lest I fall asleep in death; lest my enemy say, “I have overcome him”; lest my foes rejoice when they see me fall. As for me, I trust in your merciful love. Let my heart rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD who has been bountiful with me. I will sing psalms to the name of the LORD Most High. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 70 O God, come to my assistance; O LORD, make haste to help me! Let there be shame and confusion on those who seek my life. O let them turn back in confusion, who delight in my harm; let them retreat, covered with shame, who jeer at me and mock. O let there be rejoicing and gladness for all who seek you. Let them say forever, “God is great,” who love your saving help. As for me, wretched and poor, hasten to me, O God. You are my rescuer, my help; O LORD, do not delay. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 86 Turn your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul, for I am faithful; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I cry to you all the day long. Gladden the soul of your servant, for I lift up my soul to you, O LORD.O LORD, you are good and forgiving, full of mercy to all who call to you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to my voice in supplication. In the day of distress, I will call to you, and surely you will answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, O LORD, nor works to compare with yours. All the nations you have made shall come; they will bow down before you, O LORD, and glorify your name, for you are great and do marvelous deeds, you who alone are God. Teach me, O LORD, your way, so that I may walk in your truth, single-hearted to fear your name. I will praise you, LORD my God, with all my heart, and glorify your name forever. Your mercy to me has been great; you have saved me from the depths of the grave. The proud have risen against me, O God; a band of the ruthless seeks my life. To you they pay no heed. But you, O God, are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, O LORD, abundant in mercy and fidelity; turn and take pity on me. O give your strength to your
servant, and save the son of your handmaid. Show me the sign of your favor, that my foes may see to their shame that you, O LORD, give me comfort and help. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, and abides in the shade of the Almighty, says to the LORD, “My refuge, my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!” He will free you from the snare of the fowler, from the destructive plague; he will conceal you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness is buckler and shield. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that prowls in the darkness, nor the scourge that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand fall at your right: you it will never approach. Your eyes have only to look to see how the wicked are repaid. For you, O LORD, are my refuge. You have made the Most High your dwelling. Upon you no evil shall fall, no plague approach your tent. For you has he commanded his angels to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you upon their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. On the lion and the viper you will tread, and trample the young lion and the serpent. Since he clings to me in love, I will free him, protect him, for he knows my name. When he calls on me, I will answer him; I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him, and give him glory. With length of days I will content him; I will show him my saving power ALLELUIA.
PSALM 117 O praise the LORD, all you nations; acclaim him, all you peoples! For his merciful love has prevailed over us; and the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 118 Give praise to the LORD, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let those who fear the LORD say, “His mercy endures forever.” I called to the LORD in my distress; he has answered and freed me. The LORD is at my side; I do not fear. What can mankind do against me? The LORD is at my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on my foes. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man; it is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. The nations all encircled me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off. They encircled me all around; in the name of the LORD I cut them off. They encircled me about like bees; they blazed like a fire among thorns. In the name of the LORD I cut them off. I was thrust down, thrust down and falling, but the LORD was my helper. The LORD is my strength and my song; he was my savior. There are shouts of joy and salvation in the tents of the just. “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty deeds; his right hand is exalted. The LORD’s right hand has done mighty deeds.” I shall not die, I shall live and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD punished me, punished me severely, but did not hand me over to death. Open to me the gates of justice: I will enter and thank the LORD. This is the LORD’s own gate, where the just enter. I will thank you, for you have answered, and you are my savior. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done, a marvel in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. O LORD, grant salvation; O LORD, grant success. Blest is he who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD; the LORD is God, and has given us light. Go forward in procession with branche as far as the horns of the altar. You are my God, I praise you. My God, I exalt you. Give praise to the LORD, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 119 (I) Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his decrees! With all their hearts they seek him. They never do anything evil, but walk in his ways. You have laid down your precepts to be carefully kept. May my ways be firm in keeping your statutes. Then I shall not be put to shame as I observe all your commands. I will thank you with an upright heart, as I learn your just judgments. I will keep your statutes; do not ever forsake me. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (II) How shall a youth remain pure on his way? By obeying your word. I have sought you with all my heart; let me not stray from your commands. I treasure your word in my heart, lest I sin against you. Blest are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. With my lips have I recounted all the decrees of your mouth. I rejoice in the way of your precepts, as though all riches were mine. I will ponder your precepts, and consider your paths. I take delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (III) Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may see the wonders of your law. I am a pilgrim in the land; hide not your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing at all times for your decrees. You threaten the proud, the accursed, who stray from your commands. Free me from scorn and contempt, for I observe your decrees. Though princes sit plotting against me, your servant ponders your statutes. See, your decrees are my delight; your statutes are my counselors. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (IV) My soul holds fast to the dust; revive me by your word. I declared my ways and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me grasp the way of your precepts, and I will ponder your wonders. My soul pines away with grief; by your word raise me up. Keep me from the way of falsehood; grant me mercy by your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; your decrees I have upheld. I cling to your decrees, O LORD; let me not be put to shame. I will run the way of your commands; you open wide my heart. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (V) LORD, teach me the way of your statutes, and I will keep them to the end. Grant me insight that I may keep your law, and observe it wholeheartedly. Guide me in the path of your commands, for in them is my delight. Bend my heart to your decrees, and not to wrongful gain. Turn my eyes from gazing on vanities; in your way, give me life. Fulfill your promise to your servant, that you may be revered. Turn away the taunts I dread, for your decrees are good. See, I long for your precepts; give me life by your justice. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (VI) LORD, let your mercy come upon me, the salvation you have promised. I shall answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in your decrees. I shall always keep your law, forever and ever. I shall walk on a spacious plain, for I seek your precepts. I will speak of your decrees before kings, and not be abashed. In your commands I have found my delight; these I have loved. I reach out to your commands, which I love, and ponder your statutes. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (VII) Remember your word to your servant, by which you made me hope. This is my comfort in sorrow: that your promise gives me life. Though the proud may utterly deride me, I do not turn from your law. When I remember your judgments of old, these, O LORD, console me. I am seized with indignation at the wicked who forsake your law. Your statutes have become my song wherever I dwell. I remember your name in the nighttime, and I keep your law. This has been my lot, for I have kept your precepts . Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (VIII) I have said, “O LORD, my portion is to obey your words.” With all my heart I implore your favor; as with your promise, have mercy. I have pondered my ways, and turned my steps to your decrees. I made haste; I did not delay to obey your commands. Though the nets of the wicked ensnare me, your law I did
not forget. At midnight I will rise and thank you for your just decrees. I am a friend of all who revere you, who keep your precepts. O LORD, your merciful love fills the earth. Teach me your statutes.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (IX) O LORD, you have been good to your servant, according to your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I trust in your commands. Before I was humbled, I strayed, but now I keep your word. You are good, and you do what is good; teach me your statutes. The arrogant smear me with lies; with all my heart I keep your precepts. Their heart is dense like fat, but your law is my delight. It was good for me to be humbled, that I might learn your statutes. The law from your mouth means more to me than large quantities of silver and gold. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (X) It was your hands that made me and shaped me; grant me insight to learn your commands. Those who revere you see me and rejoice, for I trust in your word. O LORD, I know that your decrees are right; though I am humbled, you are just. Let your merciful love console me by your promise to your servant. Show me compassion, that I may live, for your law is my delight. Let the arrogant be shamed who deflect me with lies; as for me, I will ponder your precepts. Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your decrees. Let my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XI) My soul yearns for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes yearn to see your promise. I ask, “When will you comfort me?” I am like a wineskin shriveled by smoke, yet I remember your statutes. How long must your servant endure? When will you bring judgment on my foes? For me the proud have dug pitfalls; they defy your law. Your commands are all true; then help me when lies oppress me. They have almost made an end of me on earth, yet I forsake not your precepts. In your merciful love, give me life; I will obey the decrees of your lips.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XII) Forever is your word, O LORD, standing firm in the heavens. From age to age is your truth; like the earth, it stands firm. Your judgments endure to this day, for all things are your servants. Had your law not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for with them you give me life. Save me, I am yours, for I seek your precepts. Though the wicked lie in wait to destroy me, yet I ponder your decrees. I have seen that all perfection has an end, but your command is boundless.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XIII) O LORD, how I love your law: my meditation all the day! Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is with me always. I have more insight than all who teach me, for I ponder your decrees. I have gained more understanding than my elders, for I keep your precepts. I keep my feet from every evil path, to obey your word. I have not turned away from your decrees, which you yourself have taught me. How sweet is your promise to my tongue, more than honey in the mouth. I gain understanding from your precepts, and so I hate all false ways.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XIV) Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path. I have sworn an oath and affirmed it, to obey your just judgments. I am deeply afflicted, O LORD; by your word, give me life. Accept, LORD, my freely offered homage, and teach me your decrees. My life is in my hands at all times; I do not forget your law. For me the wicked have set a snare; yet I do not stray from your precepts. Your decrees are my heritage forever, the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to carry out your statutes forever, to the end.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XV) I detest those with a divided heart, but I love your law. You are my hiding place, my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you who do evil; I will keep my God’s commands. Uphold me by your promise; I shall live. Let my hopes not be in vain. Bear me up and I shall be saved, and ever muse on your statutes. You spurn all who stray from your statutes; their cunning is in vain. You regard the wicked like dross, so I love your decrees. My flesh trembles in terror before you; I fear your judgments.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XVI) I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my foes. Guarantee the well-being of your servant; let not the proud oppress me. My eyes grow weary as I watch for your salvation, and for your promise of justice. Treat your servant with merciful love, and teach me your statutes. I am your servant; give me understanding: then I shall know your decrees. It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken. That is why I love your commands more than finest gold, why I rule my life by your precepts, and hate false ways.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XVII) Your decrees are wonderful indeed; therefore my soul obeys them. The unfolding of your word gives light, and understanding to the simple. I have opened my mouth and I sigh, for I yearn for your commands. Turn and have mercy on me, as is your rule for those who love your name. Let my steps be guided by your promise; may evil never rule me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, and I will keep your precepts. Let your face shine forth on your servant, and teach me your decrees. My eyes shed streams of tears, because of those who have not kept your law.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XVIII) You are just, O LORD; your judgments are upright. You have imposed your decrees with justice, and with utter fidelity. I am consumed with zeal, for my foes forget your word. Your promise has been thoroughly tested, and it is cherished by your servant. Although I am young and despised, I do not forget your precepts. Your justice is justice forever, and your law is truth. Though anguish and distress have found me, your commands are my delight. Your decrees are forever just; give me insight, and I shall live.
Zoxa si Philanthrope. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XIX) I call with all my heart; LORD, answer me. I will observe your statutes. I call upon you; save me, and I will keep your decrees. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have hoped in your word. My eyes awaken before dawn, to ponder your promise. In your mercy, hear my voice, O LORD; give me life by your decrees. Those who pursue me with malice draw near; they are far from your law. But you, O LORD, are close; all your commands are truth. From of old I have known that your decrees are established forever. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XX) See my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. Uphold my cause and defend me; by your promise, give me life. Salvation is far from the wicked, who are heedless of your statutes. Numberless, LORD, are your mercies; in your justice, give me life. Though my foes and oppressors are countless, I have not swerved from your decrees. I look at the faithless with disgust; they have not kept your word. See how I love your precepts, O LORD! In your mercy, give me life. Truth is the sum of your word; all your just judgments are eternal. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XXI) Though princes oppress me without cause, my heart reveres your word. I rejoice at your promise, like one who finds a great treasure. Falsehood I hate and detest, but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your just decrees. The lovers of your law have great peace; no stumbling block for them. I await your salvation, O LORD; I fulfill your commands. My soul obeys your decrees, and loves them dearly. I obey your precepts and decrees; all my ways are before you. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
PSALM 119 (XXII) Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me insight by your word. Let my pleading come before you; rescue me according to your promise. My lips shall proclaim your praise, because you teach me your statutes. My tongue will sing of your promise, for your commands are just.Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I have longed for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. My soul shall live and praise you. Your judgments give me help. I have strayed like a sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commands. Glory to You, the Lover of mankind.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (CH. 25:1-13)
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him.” Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out.” But the wise answered, saying, “No; lest there should not be enough for us and you: but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I do not know you.” Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. Glory to God forever. Amen. We worship You O Christ with Your Good Father and the Holy Spirit, for You have come and saved us.
1. Behold, the Bridegroom is coming at midnight, blessed is the servant whom He finds watching. But he whom He finds sleeping is unworthy of going with Him. Therefore, take heed, O my soul, that you may not fall into deep sleep, and then be cast out of the Kingdom. But watch and cry out saying “Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O God; for the sake of the Theotokos, have mercy on us.” Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. O my soul, be mindful of that awesome day, and wake up and light your lamp with the oil of joy, for you do not know when the voice will call upon you saying: “Behold, the Bridegroom is coming.” So, take heed, my soul, not to fall asleep, lest you stand outside knocking like the five foolish virgins. But watch, entreating that you may meet Christ the Lord with rich oil, and He may grant you the wedding of His true and heavenly glory. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. You are the rampart of our salvation, O Theotokos the Virgin, the mighty and impregnable fortress. Abolish the counsel of the adversaries, and transform the sorrow of your servants into joy. Fortify our city, defend our governors, and intercede for the peace of the world; for you are our hope, O Theotokos. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
4. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good things and the Life-Giver, graciously come, and dwell in us and purify us from all defilement, O Good One, and save our souls. Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
5. Just as You were with Your disciples, O Savior, and gave them peace, graciously come also and be with us, and grant us Your peace, and save us, and deliver our souls. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
6. Whenever we stand in Your holy sanctuary, we are considered standing in heaven. O Theotokos, you are the gate of heaven, open for us the gate of mercy.
Then the worshipper prays: Lord, hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen. (Lord have mercy) 41 times
HOLY HOLY HOLY
Holy Holy Holy. Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory and honor. Have mercy on us, O God the Father, the Almighty O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, God of hosts, be with us. For we have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but You. Absolve, forgive, and remit, O God, our transgressions; those which we have committed willingly and those we have committed unwillingly, those which we have committed knowingly and those which we have committed unknowingly, the hidden and manifest, O Lord forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy name which is called upon us.
Let it be according to Your mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins. Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven …
THE CONCLUSION OF EVERY HOUR
Have mercy on us, O God, and have mercy on us, who, at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, the good, the long suffering, the abundant in mercy, and the great
in compassion, who loves the righteous and has mercy on the sinners of whom I am chief; who does not wish the death of the sinner but rather that he returns and lives, who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come. Lord receive from us our prayers in this hour and in every hour. Ease our life and guide us to fulfill Your commandments. Sanctify our spirits. Cleanse our bodies. Conduct our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our diseases. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every evil grief and distress of heart. Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your imperceptible and infinite glory. For You are blessed forever. Amen.

Swearing, Part II

The “Calah Alexander” debate is not the only incident of swearing being an issue in the blogosphere this week, and I suspect that’s why Patrick Madrid, in his initial Twitter and Facebook posts, spoke in general terms. The week’s other story doesn’t involve “Catholics” officially–I’m not sure what the offender’s religious denomination was–but “conservatives.” A popular conservative blog called “Chicks on the Right” almost had its Facebook page shut down for allegedly violating Facebook’s terms of service in using the “a” word about a Cabinet official.
Now, it is absolutely true that Facebook seems to have a double standard. There are tons of Facebook pages and groups with names like “$@#% Jesus Christ” and “Kill all Christians,” and “Conservatives %@#%,”etc. When these groups are reported for violating Facebook’s TOS regarding hate speech, threatening others, offensive language, etc., nothing happens but if someone “reports” a user for Christian and or conservative comments that seemingly violate the TOS, even in a relatively minor way, Facebook acts.
On the other hand, whenever I see a claim that Facebook has unfairly censored a conservative page or group, it’s almost always fairly racist, or violent, or laden with profanity.
If conservatives are about calling society to a higher standard, shouldn’t we demonstrate a higher standard?
If Facebook is known for unfairly targeting conservative sites, shouldn’t that make it imperative for conservative sites to be beyond reproach? “You let them get away with it so why not me?” is never a good defense. As a parent and as a teacher, I know how that “defense” only serves to incite the wrath of the authority figure being challenged.
As it turned out, Facebook lifted the disciplinary measures and apologized, but come on! Do people *really* need to make their points by swearing?
I referred in my previous post to a guy who said that Michael Voris’s demagoguery is more offensive than Calah Alexander’s swearing. Alexander herself said that my “scorched earth” approach to dissecting (in her words, “misconstruing”) her arguments was unloving and off-putting> Why is that?
Why is it in our society that you can use profanity in an ideological argument, and that’s OK, but if you actually lay out the points in favor of your position, or against your opponent’s position, that is somehow offensive and uncharitable? Is Aristotle offensive and uncharitable? Is Thomas Aquinas offensive and uncharitable?

What an upside down world we live in where swearing is acceptable and breaking an argument down to its first principles is considered uncharitable.

Coptic Hours: Compline

Agpeya 12th Hour (Retiring) – Compline
INTRODUCTION TO EVERY HOUR
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven; . . . deliver us from evil, in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life. O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour.
Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours. But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honor, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
PSALM 50 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. My transgressions, truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. So you are just in your sentence, without reproach in your judgment. O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner when my mother conceived me. Yes, you delight in sincerity of heart; in secret you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may exult. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. Create a pure heart for me, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence; take not your holy spirit from me. Restore in me the joy of your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach transgressors your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from bloodshed, O God, God of my salvation, and then my tongue shall ring out your justice. O LORD, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For in sacrifice you take no delight; burnt
offering from me would not please you. My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit: a broken and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn. In your good pleasure, show favor to Sion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in right sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed. Then you will be offered young bulls on your altar. ALLELUIA. The blessed prayer of retiring, we offer to Christ our King and our God, beseeching Him to forgive us our sins. From the Psalms of our father David the prophet and the king, may his blessings be upon us all. Amen.
PSALM 130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive to the sound of my pleadings. If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, LORD, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, that you may be revered. I long for you, O LORD, my soul longs for his word. My soul hopes in the LORD more than watchmen for daybreak. More than watchmen for daybreak, let Israel hope for the LORD. For with the LORD there is mercy, in him is plentiful redemption. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 131 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor haughty my eyes. I have not gone after things too great, nor marvels beyond me. Truly, I have set my soul in tranquility and silence. As a weaned child on its mother, as a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, wait for the LORD, both now and forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 132 O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured, the oath he swore to the LORD, his vow to the Strong One of Jacob. “I will not enter my house, nor go to the bed where I rest; I will give no sleep to my eyes, to my eyelids I will give no slumber, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Strong One of Jacob.” At Ephrata we heard of it; we found it in the plains of Yearim. “Let us go to the place of his dwelling; let us bow down at his footstool.” Go up, LORD, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength. Your priests shall be clothed with justice; your faithful shall ring out their joy. For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed. The LORD swore an oath to David; he will not go back on his word: “A son, the fruit of your body, will I set upon your throne. If your sons hold fast to my covenant, and my laws that I have taught them, their sons, in turn, shall sit on your throne from age to age.” For the LORD has chosen Sion; he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place from age to age; here have I chosen to dwell. I will greatly bless her produce; I will fill her poor with bread. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful shall ring out their joy. I will make a stock sprout up for David; I will prepare a lamp for my anointed. I will cover his enemies with shame, but on him my crown shall shine.” ALLELUIA.
PSALM 133 How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers live in unity! It is like precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, running down upon Aaron’s beard, upon the collar of his robes; Like the dew of Hermon, which runs down on the mountains of Sion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing: life forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 134 O come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the courts of the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Sion, he who made both heaven and earth. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 137 By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Sion; on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. For it was there that they asked us, our captors, for songs, our oppressors, for joy. “Sing to us,” they said, “one of Sion’s songs.” O how could we sing the song of the LORD on foreign soil? If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! O let my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not, if I prize not Jerusalem as the first of my joys! Remember, O LORD, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem, when they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundations!” O daughter Babylon,
destroyer, blessed whoever repays you the payment you paid to us! Blessed whoever grasps and shatters your children on the rock! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 137 I thank you, LORD, with all my heart; you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I praise you. I bow down toward your holy temple. I give thanks to your name for your merciful love and your faithfulness. You have exalted your name over all. On the day I called, you answered me; you increased the strength of my soul. All earth’s kings shall thank you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, “How great is the glory of the LORD!” The LORD is high, yet he looks on the lowly, and the haughty he knows from afar. You give me life though I walk amid affliction; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes.With your right hand you save me; the LORD will accomplish this for me. O LORD, your merciful love is eternal; discard not the work of your hands. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 141 I have called to you, LORD; hasten to help me! Hear my voice when I cry to you. Let my prayer be accepted as incense before you, the raising of my hands like an evening oblation. Set, O LORD, a guard on my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips! Do not turn my heart to things that are evil, to wicked deeds with those who are sinners. Never allow me to share in their feasting. If a good man strikes me it is kindness; but let the oil of the wicked not anoint my head. Let my prayer be ever against their malice. If they fall into the merciless hands of their judges, they will grasp how kind are my words. As clods of earth plowed up on the ground, so their bones were strewn at the mouth of the grave. To you my eyes are turned, O LORD, my LORD. In you I take refuge; spare my soul! From the trap they have laid for me, keep me safe; keep me from the snares of those who do evil. Let the wicked together fall into their traps, while I pursue my way unharmed. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 142 With all my voice I cry to the LORD; with all my voice I entreat the LORD. I pour out my trouble before him; I tell him all my distress while my spirit faints within me. But you, O LORD, know my path.On the way where I shall walk, they have hidden a snare to entrap me. Look on my right hand and see: there is no one who pays me heed. No escape remains open to me; no one cares for my soul. To you I cry, O LORD. I have said, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen, then, to my cry, for I am brought down very low. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, and I shall give thanks to your name. Around me the just will assemble, because of your goodness to me. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 146 My soul, give praise to the LORD; I will praise the LORD all my life, sing praise to my God while I live. Put no trust in princes, in mortal man who cannot save. Take their breath, they return to the earth, and their plans that day come to nothing. Blessed is he who is helped by Jacob’s God, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made the heavens and the earth, the seas and all they contain, who preserves fidelity forever, who does justice to those who are oppressed. It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the LORD who sets prisoners free, the LORD who opens the eyes of the blind, the LORD who raises up those who are bowed down. It is the LORD who loves the just, the LORD who protects the stranger and upholds the orphan and the widow, but thwarts the path of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever, the God of Sion from age to age. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 147 A Alleluia! How good to sing psalms to our God; how pleasant to chant fitting praise! The LORD builds up Jerusalem and brings back Israel’s exiles; he heals the brokenhearted; he binds up all their wounds. He counts out the number of the stars; he calls each one by its name. Our LORD is great and almighty; his wisdom can never be measured. The LORD lifts up the lowly; he casts down the wicked to the ground. O sing to the LORD, giving thanks; sing psalms to our God with the harp. He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares the rain for the earth, making mountains sprout with grass, and plants to serve human needs. He provides the
cattle with their food, and young ravens that call upon him. His delight is not in horses, nor his pleasure in a warrior’s strength. The LORD delights in those who revere him, those who wait for his merciful love. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 147 B O Jerusalem, glorify the LORD! O Sion, praise your God! He has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. He established peace on your borders; he gives you your fill of finest wheat. He sends out his word to the earth, and swiftly runs his command. He showers down snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down hailstones like crumbs; before such cold, who can stand? He sends forth his word and it melts them; at the blowing of his breath the waters flow. He reveals his word to Jacob; to Israel, his decrees and judgments. He has not dealt thus with other nations; he has not taught them his judgments. ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE (CH. 2: 25-32)
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen Christ the Lord. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God, and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for the revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Glory to God forever. Amen. We worship You O Christ with Your Good Father and the Holy Spirit, for You have come and saved us.
1. Behold, I am about to stand before the Just Judge terrified and trembling because of my many sins. For a life spent in pleasures deserves condemnation. But repent, O my soul, so long as you dwell on this earth, for inside the grave, dust does not praise. And among the dead, no one remembers, neither in hades, does anyone give thanks. Therefore arise from the slumber of laziness, and entreat the Savior, repenting and saying, “God, have mercy on me and save me.” Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. If life were everlasting, and this world ever-existing, you would have an excuse, O my soul. But if your wicked deeds and ugly evils were exposed before the Just Judge, what answer would you give while you are lying on the bed of sins, negligent in disciplining the flesh!? O Christ our God, before Your awesome seat of judgement I am terrified, and before Your council of judgement I submit, and from the Light of Your divine radiance I tremble, I, the wretched and defiled, who lies on my bed, negligent in my life. But I take example of the Publican, beating my chest and saying, “O God, forgive me and have mercy on me, a sinner.” Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. O pure Virgin, overshadow your servant with your instant help, and keep the waves of evil thoughts away from me, and raise up my ailing soul for prayer and vigil, for it has gone into a deep sleep. For you are a capable, compassionate and helpful mother, the bearer of the Fountain of Life, my King and my God, Jesus Christ, my hope.
GRACIOUSLY ACCORD, O LORD
Graciously accord, O Lord, to keep us this night without sin. Blessed are You, O Lord, God of our fathers, and exceedingly blessed, and glorified be Your name forever. Amen.
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according to our hope in You; for the eyes of everyone wait upon You, for You give them their food in due season. Hear us, O God, our Savior, the hope of all the regions of the earth. And You, O Lord, keep us safe from this generation and forever. Amen. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. Blessed are You, O Lord; make me to understand Your commandments. Blessed are You, O Lord; enlighten me with Your righteousness. Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever. Despise not, O Lord, the works of Your hands. You have been my refuge from generation to generation. I said, O Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul; for I have sinned against You. Lord, I have fled unto You, save me, and teach me to do Your will, for You are my God, and with You is the fountain of life. In Your light shall we see light. Let Your mercy come unto those who know You, and Your righteousness unto the upright in heart. To You belongs blessing. To You belongs praise. To You belongs glory, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, existing from the beginning, now, and forever and ever. Amen. It is good to confess unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Your name, O Most High; to show forth Your mercy every morning, and Your righteousness every night.
THE TRISAGION Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was born of the Virgin, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was crucified for us, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who rose from the dead and ascended into the heavens, have mercy on us. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, forgive us our sins. O Lord, forgive us our iniquities. O Lord, forgive us our trespasses. O Lord, visit the sick of Your people, heal them for the sake of Your holy name. Our fathers and brothers who have slept, O Lord, repose their souls. O You Who are without sin, Lord have mercy on us. O You Who are without sin, Lord help us and receive our supplications. For Yours is the glory, the dominion, and triple holiness. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord bless. Amen. Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven …
INTRODUCTION TO THE CREED
We exalt you, the Mother of the true Light. We glorify you, O Saint, the Theotokos, for you brought forth unto us the Savior of the whole world; He came and saved our souls. Glory to You, our Master, our King, Christ, the pride of the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the joy of the righteous, the firmness of the churches, the forgiveness of sins. We proclaim the Holy Trinity in One Godhead. We worship Him. We glorify Him. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord bless. Amen.
THE ORTHODOX CREED
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Then the worshipper prays: Lord, hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen. (Lord have mercy) 41 times
HOLY HOLY HOLY
Holy Holy Holy. Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory and honor. Have mercy on us, O God the Father, the Almighty O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, God of hosts, be with us. For we have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but You. Absolve, forgive, and remit, O God, our transgressions; those which we have committed willingly and those we have committed unwillingly, those which we have committed knowingly and those which we have committed unknowingly, the hidden and manifest, O Lord forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy name which is called upon us.
Let it be according to Your mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins. Make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father Who art in heaven …
ABSOLUTION
Lord, all our sins which we committed against You in this day, whether in deeds or in words or in thoughts or through all senses, please remit and forgive us, for the sake of Your holy name, as You are Good and Lover of mankind. God, grant us a peaceful night and a sleep free from all anxiety. And send us an angel of peace to protect us from every evil, and every affliction, and every temptation of the enemy; through the Grace, compassion and love of mankind of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, to Whom is due, with You and with the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver Who is of one essence with You, all glory, honor and dominion, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE CONCLUSION OF EVERY HOUR
Have mercy on us, O God, and have mercy on us, who, at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, the good, the long suffering, the abundant in mercy, and the great in compassion, who loves the righteous and has mercy on the sinners of whom I am chief; who does not wish the death of the sinner but rather that he returns and lives, who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come.
Lord receive from us our prayers in this hour and in every hour. Ease our life and guide us to fulfill Your commandments. Sanctify our spirits. Cleanse our bodies. Conduct our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our diseases. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every evil grief and distress of heart. Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your imperceptible and infinite glory. For You are blessed forever. Amen.

And Consequentialism Has Come Down to This: Catholic Bloggers Defending Swearing

Many of the debates that erupt in the Catholic blogosphere revolve around whether something is an objective moral issue or a matter of prudential judgement, and one of the terms that gets batted around is “consequentialism.” On the one hand, it’s a principle of Catholic ethics that the ends never justify the means. On the other hand, both in terms of personal culpability and in terms of the objective evil of an act, the Church puts quite a premium on motive. In some cases, such as incidents of “double effect,” the motive may change the objective nature of an act. So when Jean Valjean steals his loaf of bread (we’ll set aside breaking the glass or holding a gun on the baker), he’s acting in accordance with Catholic ethics: he’s not stealing because his family is starving and will die without food. When Sr. Simplice “lies” to Javert, she’s not really “lying” according to Catholic teaching–He asks if she is alone in the room, and she says “Yes”. As Obi Wan Kenobi would put it, Valjean is “in a manner of speaking” not in the room because he’s hiding. Javert asks, “Have you seen the criminal Jean Valjean,” and she says, “no.” She’s not lying: she has only seen Mayor Madeleine whom she knows to be a saintly man.

So we had the Great Torture Debate: is waterboarding “torture”? Does the urgency of a “ticking time bomb” scenario take away from the nature of torture the way starvation takes away from the nature of theft?
The Great Lying Debate: If masking the truth the way Sr. Simplice does in _Les Miserables_ or the way Christians did to protect Jews from Nazis (or Catholics from the English in the Elizabethan era) mean it’s OK to do “undercover work”? And if it’s OK for “authorities” to do “undercover” work, what about self-proclaimed activists and investigative journalists?
Does a “Celebrity priest” with an “important ministry” have the right to disobey a legitimate order from his bishop and/or the superiors in his order for a higher cause?
The Great Christopher West Debate: Do West’s extrapolations of JPII’s “Theology of the Body” constitute advocacy of lust?
In all these debates, two concepts that keep coming up are “consequentialism” and the slippery slope. In some cases, such as West, critics have argued that his teaching will lead to dangerous trajectories, and apparently they’re right. Recently, an article in a major Catholic site proposed that the best way to deal with the temptation of pornography is to indulge it until one gets burned out (the link is to one of Kevin O’Brien’s articles on the subject, not the article itself). In all these debates, one side is saying, “But we’re doing it for a good reason,” and the other side is saying, “That’s consequentialism.”

Well, whatever the merits of whichever side in those previous debates, the voices warning of consequentialism have had their fears realized: Catholics are now arguing on the Internet in defense of swearing.
That’s right. “Do not take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain” doesn’t apply if you’re doing it for a good reason, such as declaring Michael Voris to be full of excrement.

In one of Michael Voris’s most recent podcasts–and that’s why I preceded this article with a discussion of my “take” on Voris–he apparently made an argument in favor of Catholic monarchy. This of course ruffled a lot of modernists’ feathers, and my advice there is for people to brush up on St. Thomas Aquinas’s _Treatise on Kingship_, Bl. Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, Benedict XVI’s _Caritas in Veritate_, and maybe some Gilson and von Hildebrand, then reconsider Voris’s arguments.

So, a blogger named Calah Alexander (and how one person gets “famous” versus another in the blogosphere is beyond me, given that I’ve been doing this now for almost 10 years) “critiqued” (and I use the word loosely) Voris’s argument. The gist of her actual content is that her parents aren’t Catholic, and she loves her parents, and they should have the right to vote, and non-Catholics are good people, too. Uh-huh. She’s arguing from a completely different world view than the one Voris is coming from. Yes, the very definition of Natural Law is that non-Catholics should be able to know and accept Natural Law without accepting Catholic Revelation. However, is it really practical that a non-Catholic knows *every* aspect of Natural Law? How many non-Catholics, for example, support the notion of making contraception illegal? The other issue she touches on is the old “cradle Catholic” versus convert debate. In both cases, she unwittingly undermined her own argument.

Her post starts with that ubiquitous and highly offensive textspeak abbreviation, “OMG.” A commentor identifying herself as “KAT” said, “You lost me after the first three letters. What good come [sic] follow?” It gets worse. She proceeded to call Voris’s beliefs (and mine) by a crude word meaning excrement. Then she says “Don’t excuse my French, because I totally mean that word. . . . ” So this has led to a sideshow of debating the use of profanity. There are so many people foaming at the mouth to “Get Voris” that they’re not only ignoring but excusing and even supporting Alexander’s use of profanity. According to this guy, Voris’s use of online demagoguery is worse than Alexander taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Indeed, very little of the brouhaha has revolved around her taking the Lord’s name in vain–it mostly pertains to her use of a certain Anglo-Saxon word for execrement. Now, it’s interesting that, as a textbook on language from my wife’s college studies that I often refer to points out, we consider Latin-based words for body parts and functions to be OK, but Anglo-Saxon based words are considered obscene because they’re more guttural. A case may be made that it’s rather silly to consider “sh–” to be a bad word *in its proper context.* Indeed, the MPAA rates a movie differently if sh– refers to manure or the f word is used in its proper definition than if these words are used as mere expletives.

Patrick Madrid invited Alexander to come on his show and defend her use of profanity. By her own admission, she did a bad job on the show (I haven’t heard it), and in her follow up on her blog (“D-word” right in the title), and Patrick came right out with pointing out that it’s sinful, and she didn’t have much of a response, so she tried to make a response on her blog.

Alexander’s points in defense of profanity are, basically:
a. “There’s no such thing as a bad word”: Perhaps not in its proper context. “Hell” is not a bad word. Even telling someone, “If you proceed on that course of action, you put yourself in danger of Hell” is not bad–it is quite good; it’s a spiritual work of mercy (one for which Michael Voris often gets lambasted). “Damn” is not a bad word if used in its proper context. Certainly, the Lord’s Name is not a “bad word,” and one of the reasons why it’s wrong to take the Lord’s Name in vain is that you’re trivializing it.
Alexander’s argument is basically the same as that of people who say, “God made all things good, so cocaine and marijuana are OK.” They may be OK in the *proper* use God intended them for, but that doesn’t mean He intended them for “getting high.”
I’ve relayed the story before of the time when it was announced that Hasbro took away the comic book license for GI Joe from a company called “Devil’s Due.” I said on a message board that I’d always been uncomfortable with the name. A member who was a secular liberal said, sarcastically, “You do know they don’t mean it literally, don’t you?” I said, “Well, if they don’t, then they’re trivializing spiritual things.” “Oh, I never thought of it that way.” Taking the Lord’s name in vain can mean taking to oneself authority that belongs to God (declaring something worthy of damnation) or using profound concepts in a manner that loses all meaning.
It gets to the dilemma Flannery O’Connor illustrates with the Grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”: when most people exclaim “God” or “Jesus” as a form of profanity, then it sounds profane when someone exclaims in authentic prayer.
This leads to another of Alexander’s arguments:
b. She claims there’s nothing wrong with exclaiming a curse word when one stubs one’s toe, etc., because everyone does it and it’s so common. No, as above, that’s still trivializing the concept, it’s trivializing the emotion. Yes, I am the first to note that the Church teaches that habit can mitigate culpability for a sin, but it’s still a sin. You may not have to confess every specific incident of cussing if you have a total potty mouth, but you should still confess the fact that you have the bad habit to be a potty mouth, and you should strive to overcome that habit, not justify it!
And what’s really wrong about cursing is the emotion behind it (see Matthew 5:26). It would be *ideal* if people had such a habit of virtue and such inner peace that they lose something and immediately say “St. Anthony, help me,” or they stub their toe and immediately say, “I offer this pain up with Jesus on the Cross.” It would be great if we could *not* react in anger to life’s inconveniences. It would be great if we could approach hardship with peace and serenity.

c. Alexander claims that particular words are not inherently profane, and if everyone used the same words, the new ones would be the new curse words. She seems obsessed with excrement, but I’ll use the example of “heck” instead. According to Alexander, if everyone started saying “What the heck,” that would eventually take on the same meaning as referring to Hades. Perhaps she is right, but in our *current* language usage, consciously opting for a less-offensive term will show some level of self-control and build up everybody.

d. Alexander says that some of her critics have said that it causes scandal for Catholic bloggers to use profanity. She doesn’t see how this is possible. She also says that “causes scandal” is a shorthand for people who don’t really have an argument. No, sorry, avoiding scandal is like a kindergarten level principle of Catholic morality, and to dismiss that concern is to negate the argument that started it all–that she objected to Voris a) saying non-Catholics don’t know as much about morality as Catholic do, and b) Voris supposedly saying or implying that there are areas of Catholic teaching that converts are a little weak on.

Alexander also seems to ignore the fact that swearing breeds swearing. Her kids will grow up to swear because they hear their mother doing it–that’s called scandal. She’s setting an example of sin for others. Conversely, setting a habit of saying a less offensive term, or not saying anything at all, or saying something nice, helps build up virtue in others. I’ve always insisted that of “sex, violence and language” in the media, offensive language is the worst because it’s the most easily replicated, and it sticks in one’s head.

I feel like I’m missing something, but it strikes me that in making her case, Alexander never one refers to the Bible or the Catechism. If the Commandments–2nd, 5th, 6th, and 8th in particular–aren’t enough reason not to use profanity, vulgarity and obscenity, what about Matthew 5? Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:29, Matthew 15:11, James 3:6-13, Ephesians 5:4, Matthew 12:36-37, 2 Timothy 2:16, Proverbs 21:23, Psalm 19:14, Luke 6:45, Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 4:24, Proverbs 6:12, Psalm 10:7, etc.?

And then there’s the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2146-2148
Catechism 2149 is particularly useful in rebutting Alexander’s “defense”:
“Oaths which misuse God’s name, though without the intention of blasphemy, show lack of respect for the Lord. The second commandment also forbids magical use of the divine name. ”
If words aren’t important, why does the Catechism say that eve one’s name is sacred? (2159).

This post is running long, but there’s a related issue I hoped to talk about, where a popular blog “Chicks on the Right” nearly lost its Facebook page for use of profanity, and “conservatives” were jumping to the defense of these potty-mouthed bloggers.

It’s shameful. Chesterton once said, “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”

e.

A Word on Michael Voris

I don’t know what to make of Michael Voris. However one would classify his “brand” of Catholicism, I’m it, though I find that Catholics who think the way we do tend to be so contrarian that they won’t even admit it. The sedes and SSPxers say he’s a coward because he basically says the same things they do but refuses to say there’s anything wrong with the Vatican.

I have said many times that if there’s any truth to “hermeneutic of continuity,” and if Vatican II was primarily about having a different approach to the world, then there should be nothing wrong with a Catholic choosing to keep looking at the world from a pre-Vatican II angle. This is what Voris does, basically. He takes 1950s, Baltimore Catechism style Catholicism and examines the present situation from that lens. He also condenses a lot of more sophisticated arguments in to talk show style soundbites.

For example, in one of Voris’s most controversial podcasts, he critiques “Amazing Grace” as anti-Catholic. I happen to agree with him, however unpopular that opinion may be. Simply because it is so “beloved,” people viscerally jump to the defense of a hymn that is overtly Protestant. It’s not so much the issue of being saved by “grace”–obviously, that’s Catholic dogma. It’s the “wretch” part–nice hyperbole, but bad theology. It’s Calvinist. The whole point of “Amazing Grace” is to express a Protestant notion that we’re completely passive in our salvation. Catholic teaching is that people are saved by grace because they have good will and choose to accept the invitation God gives everyone. Jesus uses the metaphor of blindness for those who hear the Word but refuse to accept it. No one who accepts the Word could have been blind before it.

Metaphors are important. We use metaphors in hymns for a reason. The popularity of the metaphor doesn’t make it any less dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the metaphor is in “Amazing Grace” or “Let us Sing a New Church”. I’ve never really cared for “Amazing Grace” because it’s so blatantly Protestant, and I don’t understand why Catholics give such honor to “traditional” Protestant hymns when there are so many traditional Catholic hymns we could be singing. I first heard the argument that the theology of “Amazing Grace” is distinctly non-Catholic not from Michael Voris, but from Marcus Grodi, the former Presbyterian minister. I also never understood how all those critiques of “contemporary” hymnody in Adoremus and Crisis, particularly the critiques of Protestant composers like Marty Haugen, don’t apply to “traditional” Protestant hymns, as well.

So, that’s just an example of an area where everyone jumps on Michael Voris but I think he’s right.

That said, I’ve only listened to a few of his podcasts, and only one or two in their entirety. Like a lot of people, there’s something in his style I find off-putting. It started with the original title of his “network,” “Real Catholic TV”, which implies that other Catholic broadcasters, including EWTN and SQPN, are not “real” Catholic networks.

I have a general policy against watching or listening to TV/radio news and talk shows, and Voris falls under that category. That policy derives from Ray Bradbury’s criticism of broadcast media versus text in _Farenheit 451_. Online is a little better than broadcast, since one can pause, rewind, etc., but it is still a more passive way to digest information than text, and it’s very personally agitating. I find, now that my aortic dissection makes me keenly aware of my blood pressure, that even listening to talk show host I agree with raises my blood pressure unnecessarily, so I avoid it.

So, where any debate involving Michael Voris is concerned, I have a certain disadvantage in that I usually do not know what he actually *said*, nor do I particularly care to.

One of the only podcasts I listened to all the way through was his infamous piece on Judaism, where I thought he laid out his arguments pretty well, and I partially agreed with his point, but I found that he made a few errors in his thought process. This is another example of my previous point, since such errors are easier to identify and work with in text than in a spoken, recorded lecture.

It seems poor Voris gets it from all sides, and that’s partly because he comes off as attacking everyone. Maybe he’s a prophet; maybe he’s a jerk. I dunno. One man’s prophet is another man’s jerk, and it’s ultimately up to God and history to sort out which.