Coptic Hours (Modified): Vespers

Agpeya 11th Hour (Sunset) – Vespers
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.
The sunset prayer of the blessed day, 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 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 branches, 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 120 To the LORD in the hour of my distress I call—and he answers me. “O LORD, save my soul from lying lips, from the tongue of the deceitful.” What should he give you, what repay you, O deceitful tongue? The warrior’s arrows sharpened, with red-hot coals from the broom tree! Alas, that I live in Meshech, dwell among the tents of Kedar! I have had enough of dwelling with those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 121 I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall come my help? My help shall come from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will keep your foot from stumbling. Your guard will never slumber. No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, Israel’s guard. The LORD your guard, the LORD your shade at your right hand. By day the sun shall not smite you, nor the moon in the night. The LORD will guard you from evil; he will guard your soul. The LORD will guard your going and coming, both now and forever. 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 124 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.
PSALM 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.
PSALM 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.
PSALM 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.
PSALM 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. 4 : 38-41)
And He arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they requested Him concerning her. And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and served them.
When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, “You are Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak: for they knew that He was Christ. 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. If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall I, the sinner, appear? The burden and heat of the day I did not endure because of the weakness of my humanity. But, O merciful God, count me with the fellows of the eleventh hour. For, behold, in iniquities I was conceived, and in sins my mother bore me. Therefore, I do not dare to lift up my eyes to Heaven; but rather, I rely on the abundance of Your mercy and love for mankind, crying out and saying, “God, forgive me, a sinner, and have mercy on me.” Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. Hasten, O Savior, to open to me the fatherly bosoms, for I wasted my life in pleasures and lusts, and the day has passed by me and vanished. Therefore, now I rely on the richness of Your never-ending compassion. So, then, do not forsake a submissive heart which is in need of your mercy. For unto You I cry, O Lord, humbly, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before You, and I am no longer worthy to be called Your son, so make me as one of Your hired servants.” Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. Every iniquity I did with prudence and activity, and every sin I committed with eagerness and diligence, and of all torment and judgement I am worthy. Therefore, prepare for me the ways of repentance, O Lady the Virgin; for to you I appeal, and through you I seek intercession, and upon you I call to help me, lest I might be put to shame. And when my soul departs my body attend to me, and defeat the conspiracy of the enemies, and shut the gates of Hades, lest they might swallow my soul, O you, blameless bride of the true Bridegroom.
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
We thank You, our compassionate king, for You have granted us to pass this day in peace, and brought us to the evening thankfully, and made us worthy to behold daylight until evening. Lord, accept our glorification which is offered now, and save us from the trickeries of the adversary, and abolish all the snares which are set against us. Grant us, in this coming night, peace without pain, or anxiety, or unrest, or illusion; so that we may pass it in peace and chastity, and rise up for praises and prayers. And thus, at all times and everywhere, we glorify Your holy name, together with the Father, who is incomprehensible and without beginning, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is in one essence with You, now and at all times, 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.

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