Monthly Archives: January 2013

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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Coptic Hours (Modified): 3 PM

Agpeya 9th Hour – None
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; hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, 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.9 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 prayer of the ninth hour 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 96 O sing a new song to the LORD; sing to the LORD, all the earth. O sing to the LORD; bless his name. Proclaim his salvation day by day. Tell among the nations his glory, and his wonders among all the peoples. For the LORD is great and highly to be praised, to be feared above all gods. For the gods of the nations are naught. It was the LORD who made the heavens. In his presence are majesty and splendor, strength and honor in his holy place. Give the LORD, you families of peoples, give the LORD glory and power; give the LORD the glory of his name. Bring an offering and enter his courts; worship the LORD in holy splendor. O tremble before him, all the earth. Say to the nations, “The LORD is king.” The world he made firm in its place; he will judge the peoples in fairness. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad; let the sea and all within it thunder praise. Let the land and all it bears rejoice. Then will all the trees of the wood shout for joy at the presence of the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice; he will govern the peoples with his truth. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 97 The LORD is king, let earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. Cloud and darkness surround him; justice and right are the foundation of his throne. A fire prepares his path; it burns up his foes on every side. His lightnings light up the world; the earth looks on and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the face of the LORD, before the face of the LORD of all the earth. The skies proclaim his justice; all peoples see his glory. Let those who serve idols be ashamed, those who boast of their worthless gods. All you angels, worship him. Sion hears and is glad; the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments, O LORD. For you indeed are the LORD, most high above all the earth, exalted far above all gods. The LORD loves those who hate evil; he guards the souls of his faithful; he sets them free from the wicked. Light shines forth for the just one, and joy for the upright of heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you just; to the memory of his holiness give thanks. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 98 O sing a new song to the LORD, for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation. The LORD has made known his salvation, has shown his deliverance to the nations. He has remembered his merciful love and his truth for the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song, and sing out your praise. Sing psalms to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn, raise a shout before the King, the LORD. Let the sea and all within it thunder; the world, and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, and the hills ring out their joy at the presence of the LORD, for
he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the peoples with fairness. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 99 The LORD is king; the peoples tremble. He is enthroned on the cherubim; earth quakes. The LORD is great in Sion. He is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he! O mighty King, lover of justice, you have established what is upright; you have made justice and right in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God; bow down before his footstool. Holy is he! Among his priests were Aaron and Moses; among those who invoked his name was Samuel. They cried out to the LORD and he answered. To them he spoke in the pillar of cloud. They obeyed his decrees and the statutes which he had given them. O LORD our God, you answered them. For them you were a God who forgives, and yet you punished their offenses. Exalt the LORD our God; bow down before his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 100 Cry out with joy to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy. Know that he, the LORD, is God. He made us; we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his flock. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with songs of praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name. Indeed, how good is the LORD, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 101 I sing of merciful love and justice; I raise a psalm to you, O LORD. I will ponder the way of the blameless. O when will you come to me? I will walk with blameless heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes whatever is base. I hate the deeds of the crooked; I will have none of it. The false-hearted must keep far away; I will know no evil. Whoever slanders a neighbor in secret I will bring to silence. Proud eyes and haughty heart I will never endure. My eyes are on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. The one who walks in the way of the blameless shall be my servant. No one who practices deceit shall live within my house. One who utters lies shall not stand before my eyes. Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, uprooting from the city of the LORD all who do evil. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 110 The LORD’s revelation to my LORD: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your foes your footstool.” The LORD will send from Sion your scepter of power: rule in the midst of your foes. With you is princely rule on the day of your power. In holy splendor, from the womb before the dawn, I have begotten you. The LORD has sworn an oath he will not change: “You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.” The LORD, standing at your right, shatters kings in the day of his wrath. He brings a judgment among the nations, and heaps the bodies high; he shatters heads throughout the wide earth. He shall drink from the stream by the wayside, and therefore he shall lift up his head. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 111 Alleluia! I will praise the LORD with all my heart, in the meeting of the just and the assembly. Great are the works of the LORD, to be pondered by all who delight in them. Majestic and glorious his work; his justice stands firm forever. He has given us a memorial of his wonders. The LORD is gracious and merciful. He gives food to those who fear him; keeps his covenant ever in mind. His mighty works he has shown to his people by giving them the heritage of nations. His handiwork is justice and truth; his precepts are all of them sure, standing firm forever and ever, wrought in uprightness and truth. He has sent redemption to his people, and established his covenant forever. Holy his name, to be feared. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; understanding marks all who attain it. His praise endures forever! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 112 Alleluia! Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who takes great delight in his commandments. His descendants shall be powerful on earth; the generation of the upright will be blest. Riches and wealth are in his house; his justice stands firm forever. A light rises in the darkness for the upright; he is generous, merciful, and just. It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice. He will
never be moved; forever shall the just be remembered. He has no fear of evil news; with a firm heart, he trusts in the LORD. With a steadfast heart he will not fear; he will see the downfall of his foes. Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm forever. His might shall be exalted in glory. The wicked sees and is angry, grinds his teeth and fades away; the desire of the wicked leads to doom. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 113 Alleluia! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! May the name of the LORD be blest both now and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the LORD! High above all nations is the LORD, above the heavens his glory. Who is like the LORD, our God, who dwells on high, who lowers himself to look down upon heaven and earth? From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the ash heap he raises the poor, to set them in the company of princes, yes, with the princes of his people. To the childless wife he gives a home as a joyful mother of children. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 116A I love the LORD, for he has heard my voice, my appeal; for he has turned his ear to me whenever I call.They surrounded me, the snares of death; the anguish of the grave has found me; anguish and sorrow I found. I called on the name of the LORD: “Deliver my soul, O LORD!” How gracious is the LORD, and just; our God has compassion. The LORD protects the simple; I was brought low, and he saved me.Turn back, my soul, to your rest, for the LORD has been good to you; he has kept my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I will walk in the presence of the LORD in the land of the living. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 116B I trusted, even when I said, “I am sorely afflicted,” and when I said in my alarm, “These people are all liars.” How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will fulfill before all his people. How precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful. Your servant, LORD, your servant am I, the son of your handmaid; you have loosened my bonds. A thanksgiving sacrifice I make; I will call on the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will fulfill before all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE (CH. 9 : 10-17)
And the Apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them, and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the multitude, when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.
And when the day began to wear away, the twelve came, and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get provisions: for we are here in a deserted place.”
But He said unto them, “You give them to eat.” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish; unless we go and buy food for all these people.” For they were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” And they did so, and made them all sit down.
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they ate, and were all filled, and twelve baskets of the remaining fragments were taken by them.
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. O, Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God, and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You, O Lord; according to Your word give me understanding. Let my petition come before Your presence; according to Your word revive me.
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. O You, who commended the spirit into the hands of the Father as You hung on the cross, in the ninth hour, and guided the Thief who was crucified with You into entering the Paradise, do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I, the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the grace of Your life-giving mysteries; that when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendor above all things, O Christ our Lord, and deliver us.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. O, You who was born of the Virgin for our sake, and endured crucifixion, O Good One, and abolished death by Your death, and manifested resurrection by Your resurrection, O God, do not turn away from those whom You have created with Your own hands, but manifest, O Good One, Your love for mankind. Accept from Your mother an intercession on our behalf. Deliver, O Savior, a humble people. Do not leave us to the end, and do not forsake us forever. Do not break Your covenant, and do not take away from us your mercy, for the sake of Abraham, Your beloved, Isaac, Your servant, and Israel, Your saint.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
4. When the Thief saw the Prince of Life hung on the cross, he said: “Had not the One Crucified with us been God Incarnate, the sun would not hide its rays, nor would the earth have quaked trembling. But O, the Almighty One who endures all things, remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.”
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
5. O, You who accepted unto Him the confession of the Thief on the cross, accept us unto You, O Good One; we who deserve the sentence of death because of our sins. We all confess our sins with him, and acknowledging Your divinity, and cry out with him saying, “Remember us, O Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom.”
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
6. When the mother saw the Lamb and Shepherd, the Savior of the world, hung on the Cross, she said while weeping, “The world rejoices in receiving salvation, while my heart burns as I look at Your crucifixion which You are enduring for the sake of all, my Son and my God.”
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
God, Father, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who, through His manifestation saved us and delivered us from the bondage of the enemy, we ask You, in His blessed and great name, turn our minds away from worldly cares and carnal lusts, to the remembrance of Your heavenly statutes; and reveal to us Your love for mankind, O Good One.
May our prayers at all times, and specially the prayer of this ninth hour, be favorably accepted by You. And grant us to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called, so that when we depart from this world, we may be counted with the worshippers worthy of the passions of Your Only-Begotten Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Thus, we gain mercy, and forgiveness of our sins, and salvation with the choir of saints who truly pleased You since the beginning and forever.
Lord, abolish for us the power of the adversary and all his evil armies, as Your Only-Begotten Son has trampled on them by the power of His life-giving cross. Accept us unto You, O our Lord, Jesus Christ, as You accepted the Thief at Your right, while You were hung on the cross. And shine upon us as You have shone upon those who were in the darkness of Hades, and restore us all to the paradise of joy. For You, our Master, are blessed God, and unto You is due all the glory, honor, majesty, dominion, and worship, with Your good Father and the Holy Spirit, forever. 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), 9 AM

Agpeya 3rd Hour – Terce
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 prayer of the third hour 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 20 May the LORD answer you in time of trial; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you. May he send you help from the holy place, and give you support from Sion. May he remember all your offerings, and receive your sacrifice with favor. May he give you your heart’s desire, and fulfill every one of your plans. May we ring out our joy at your victory, and raise banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your prayers. Now I know the LORD saves his anointed, and answers from his holy heaven with the mighty victory of his hand. Some put their trust in chariots or horses, but we in the name of the LORD, our God. They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise up and hold firm. Grant salvation to the king, O LORD, give answer on the day we call. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 23 The LORD’s is the earth and its fullness, the world, and those who dwell in it. It is he who set it on the seas; on the rivers he made it firm. Who shall climb the mountain of the LORD? Who shall stand in his holy place? The clean of hands and pure of heart, whose soul is not set on vain things, who has not sworn deceitful words. Blessings from the LORD shall he receive, and right reward from the God who saves him. Such are the people who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.* * * O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory? The LORD, the mighty, the valiant; the LORD, the valiant in war. O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory? He, the LORD of hosts, he is the king of glory. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 24 The LORD’s is the earth and its fullness, the world, and those who dwell in it. It is he who set it on the seas; on the rivers he made it firm. Who shall climb the mountain of the LORD? Who shall stand in his holy place? The clean of hands and pure of heart, whose soul is not set on vain things, who has not sworn deceitful words. Blessings from the LORD shall he receive, and right reward from the God who saves him. Such are the people who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. * * * O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory? The LORD, the mighty, the valiant; the LORD, the valiant in war. O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory? He, the LORD of hosts, he is the king of glory. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 26 Give judgment for me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity. I have trusted in the LORD; I have not wavered. Examine me, LORD, and try me. O test my heart and my mind. Your mercy is before my eyes, and I walk according to your truth. I never take my seat with liars, and with hypocrites I shall not go. I hate the evildoer’s company; I will not take my seat with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence and take my place around your altar, singing a song of thanksgiving, recounting all your wonders. O LORD, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory abides. Do not sweep away my soul with sinners, nor my life with those who shed blood, in whose hands are evil plots, whose right hands are filled with a bribe. As for me, I have walked in my integrity. Redeem me and have mercy on me. My foot stands on level ground: I will bless the LORD in the assembly. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 29 Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly powers, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; bow down before the LORD, majestic in holiness. The voice of the LORD upon the waters, the God of glory thunders; the LORD on the immensity of waters; the voice of the LORD full of power; the voice of the LORD full of splendor. The voice of the LORD shatters cedars, the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon; he makes Lebanon leap like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild-ox. The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness, the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh; the voice of the LORD rends the oak tree and strips the forest bare. In his temple they all cry, “Glory!” The LORD sat enthroned above the flood; the LORD sits as king forever. The LORD will give strength to his people, the LORD will bless his people with peace. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 30 I will extol you, LORD, for you have raised me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O LORD, you have lifted up my soul from the grave, restored me to life from those who sink into the pit. Sing psalms to the LORD, you faithful ones; give thanks to his holy name. His anger
lasts a moment; his favor all through life. At night come tears, but dawn brings joy. I said to myself in my good fortune: “I shall never be shaken.” O LORD, your favor had set me like a mountain stronghold. Then you hid your face, and I was put to confusion. To you, O LORD, I cried, to my God I appealed for mercy: “What profit is my lifeblood, my going to the grave? Can dust give you thanks, or proclaim your faithfulness?”Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; be my helper, O LORD. You have changed my mourning into dancing, removed my sackcloth and girded me with joy. So my soul sings psalms to you, and will not be silent. O LORD my God, I will thank you forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 33 I will bless the LORD at all times; praise of him is always in my mouth. In the LORD my soul shall make its boast; the humble shall hear and be glad. Glorify the LORD with me; together let us praise his name. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free. Look toward him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed. This lowly one called; the LORD heard, and rescued him from all his distress. The angel of the LORD is encamped around those who fear him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed the man who seeks refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy ones. They lack nothing, those who fear him. The rich suffer want and go hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no blessing. Come, children, and hear me, that I may teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is it that desires life and longs to see prosperous days? Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn aside from evil and do good. Seek after peace, and pursue it. The LORD turns his eyes to the just, and his ears are open to their cry. The LORD turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth. When the just cry out, the LORD hears, and rescues them in all their distress. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save. Many are the trials of the just man, but from them all the LORD will rescue him. He will keep guard over all his bones; not one of his bones shall be broken. Evil brings death to the wicked; those who hate the just man are doomed. The LORD ransoms the souls of his servants. All who trust in him shall not be condemned. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 41 Blessed is he who has concern for the poor. In time of trouble, the LORD will rescue him. The LORD will guard him, give him life, and make him blessed in the land, not give him up to the will of his foes. The LORD will help him on his bed of pain; you will bring him back from sickness to health. As for me, I said, “LORD, have mercy on me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.” My foes are speaking evil against me: “How long before he dies, and his name be forgotten?” When someone comes to visit me, he speaks empty words; his heart stores up malice; on leaving, he spreads lies. All my foes whisper together against me; they devise evil plots against me: “Something deadly has fastened upon him; he will not rise from where he lies.” Thus even my friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. But you, O LORD, have mercy on me. Raise me up and I will repay them. By this I know your favor: that my foes do not triumph over me. In my integrity you have upheld me, and have set me in your presence forever.* * * [] Blest be the LORD, the God of Israel, from age to age. Amen. Amen. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 43 Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless. From the deceitful and the cunning rescue me, O God. You, O God, are my strength; why have you rejected me? Why do I go mourning, oppressed by the foe? O send forth your light and your truth; they will guide me on. They will bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. And I will come to the altar of God, to God, my joy and gladness. To you will I give thanks on the harp, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, my soul; why groan within me? Hope in God; I will praise him yet again, my saving presence and my God. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 44 My heart overflows with noble words. To the king I address the song I have made, my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe. You are the most handsome of the sons of men, and graciousness is poured out upon your lips, for God has blessed you forevermore. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one, with your splendor and your majesty. In your majesty ride on triumphant in the cause of truth, meekness, and justice. May your right hand show your wondrous deeds. Your arrows are sharp—peoples fall beneath you— in the heart of the foes of the king. Your throne, O God, shall endure forever. A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom. Your love is for justice; your hatred for evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above other kings: your robes are fragrant with aloes, myrrh, and cassia. From the ivory palace you are gladdened with music. The daughters of kings are those whom you favor. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Listen, O daughter; pay heed and give ear: forget your own people and your father’s house. So will the king desire your beauty. He is your LORD, pay homage to him. And the daughter of Tyre shall come with gifts; the richest of the people shall seek your favor. The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor; her robes are threaded with gold. In fine clothing she is led to the king; behind her are her maiden
companions, brought to you. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king. Sons will be yours to succeed your fathers; you will make them rulers over all the earth. I will make your name forever remembered. Thus the peoples will praise you from age to age. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 46 God is for us a refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of distress: so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains quake to the heart of the sea; even though its waters rage and foam, even though the mountains be shaken by its tumult.The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place, the dwelling of the Most High. God is within, it cannot be shaken; God will help it at the dawning of the day. Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken: he lifts his voice, the earth melts away. The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come and behold the works of the LORD, the awesome deeds he has done on the earth. He puts an end to wars over all the earth; the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps, the shields he burns with fire: “Be still and know that I am God, exalted over nations, exalted over earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 47 All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy! For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, the great king over all the earth. He humbles peoples under us and nations under our feet. Our heritage he chose for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. God goes up with shouts of joy. The LORD goes up with trumpet blast. Sing praise for God; sing praise! Sing praise to our king; sing praise! God is king of all the earth. Sing praise with all your skill. God reigns over the nations. God sits upon his holy throne. The princes of the peoples are assembled with the people of the God of Abraham. The rulers of the earth belong to God, who is greatly exalted. ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN (CH. 14:26-31 & CH. 15:1-4)
When the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, has come, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said unto you. My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard how I said unto you, “I go away, and come again unto you.” If you loved Me, you would rejoice, because I said, “I go unto the Father”: for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that, when it comes to pass, you might believe. I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do: arise, let us go from here.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you.
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. Your Holy Spirit, O Lord Whom You sent forth upon Your holy disciples and honored apostles in the third hour, do not take away from us, O Good One, but renew Him within us. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence. And do not take Your Holy Spirit away from me.
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. O Lord who sent down Your Holy Spirit upon Your holy disciples and Your honored apostles in the third hour, do not take Him away from us, O Good One, but we ask You to renew Him within us, O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Word; a steadfast and life giving spirit, a spirit of prophecy and chastity, a spirit of holiness, justice and authority, O the Almighty One, for You are the light of our souls. O Who shines upon every man that comes into the world, have mercy on me.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. O Theotokos, you are the true vine who bore the Cluster of Life, we ask you, O full of grace, with the apostles, for the salvation of our souls. Blessed is the Lord our God. Blessed is the Lord day by day. He prepares our way, for He is God of our salvation.
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 …
ABSOLUTION
O God of all compassion, and Lord of all comfort, who comforted us at all times with the comfort of Your Holy Spirit, we thank You for You raised us for prayer in this holy hour, in which You abundantly poured the grace of Your Holy Spirit upon Your holy disciples and honorable and blessed apostles, like tongues of fire. We ask and entreat You, O lover of mankind, to accept our prayers, and forgive our sins, and send forth upon us the grace of Your Holy Spirit, and purify us from all defilement of body and spirit. Change us into a spiritual manner of life, that we may walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. And make us worthy to serve You with purity and righteousness all the days of our life. For unto You is due glory, honor, and dominion, with Your good Father and the Holy Spirit, 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.

Coptic Hours (Slightly Modified): 6 AM

Agpeya 1st Hour – Prime
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.
COME LET US KNEEL DOWN
Come let us kneel down, let us ask Christ our God. Come let us kneel down, let us beseech Christ our King. Come let us kneel down, let us entreat Christ our Savior. O Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, our God, through the intercession of Saint Mary and all Your saints, preserve us, and bring us to a good start. Have mercy on us according to Your will forever. The night has passed; we thank You, O Lord, and we ask You to keep us this day away from sin and deliver us.
THE PAULINE EPISTLE (Ephesians 4:1-5)
Paul the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God. A Chapter from his epistle to the Ephesians, may be His blessing be with us all. Amen.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH
One is God the Father of everyone. One is His Son, Jesus Christ the Word, Who took flesh and died; and rose from the dead on the third day, and raised us with Him. One is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, one in His Hypostasis, proceeding from the Father, purifying the whole creation, and teaching us to worship the Holy Trinity, one in divinity and one in essence. We praise Him and bless Him forever. Amen.
The Morning 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 1
Blessed indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path with sinners, nor abides in the company of scorners, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who ponders His law day and night. He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper. Not so are the wicked, not so! For they, like winnowed chaff, shall be driven away by the wind. When the wicked are judged they shall not rise, nor shall sinners in the council of the just; for the LORD knows the way of the just, but the way of the wicked will perish. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 2
Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the LORD and His Anointed. “Let us burst asunder their fetters. Let us cast off from us their chains.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD derides and mocks them. Then he will speak in his anger, his rage will strike them with terror. “It is I who have appointed my king on Sion, my holy mountain.” I will announce the decree of the LORD: the LORD said to me, “You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day. Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. With a rod of iron you will rule them; like a potter’s jar you will shatter them.” So now, O kings, understand; take warning, rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear; exult with
trembling, pay him your homage, lest he be angry and you perish on the way, for suddenly his anger will blaze. Blessed are all who put their trust in God!
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 me in God.” But you, O 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!
PSALM 4
I called, the God of justice gave me answer; from anguish you released me; have mercy and hear me! Children of man, how long will my glory be dishonored, will you love what is futile and seek what is false? Know that the LORD works wonders for His faithful one; the LORD will hear me whenever I call Him. Tremble, do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still. Offer right sacrifice, and trust in the LORD. “What can bring us happiness?” many say. Lift up the light of your face on us, O LORD. You have put into my heart a greater joy than abundance of grain and new wine can provide. In peace I lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
PSALM 5
To my words give ear, O LORD; give heed to my sighs. Attend to the sound of my cry, my King and my God. To you do I pray, O LORD. In the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead and watch before you. You are no God who delights in evil; no sinner is your guest. The boastful shall not stand their ground before your eyes. All who do evil you despise; all who lie you destroy. The deceitful and those who shed blood, the LORD detests. Yet through the greatness of your merciful love, I enter your house. I bow down before your holy temple in awe of you. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 6
O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger; reprove me not in your rage. Have mercy on me, O Lord; for I languish. LORD, heal me, O Lord, 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 pillow 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 8
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name through all the earth! Your majesty is set above the heavens. From the mouths of children and of babes You fashioned praise to foil Your enemy, to silence the foe and the rebel. When I see the heavens, the work of Your fingers; the moon and stars which You arranged, what is man that You should keep him in mind, the son of man, that You care for him? Yet You have made him little lower than the angels; with glory and honor You crowned him, gave him power over the works of Your hands: You put all things under his feet: all of them, sheep and oxen, yes, even the cattle of the fields, birds of the air, and fish of the sea that make their way through the waters. O Lord our Lord, how majestic is Your name through all the earth! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 12
Save me, O Lord, for the holy ones are no more; the faithful have vanished from the sons of men. They babble vanities, one to another, with cunning lips, with divided heart. May the Lord destroy all cunning lips, the tongue that utters boastful words, those who say, “We prevail with our tongue; our lips are our own: who is our master?” “For the poor who are oppressed and the needy who groan, now will I rise,” says the Lord; “I will grant them the salvation for which they long.” The words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined. It is You, O Lord, who will keep us safe, and protect us forever from this generation. The wicked prowl on every side, while baseness is exalted by the sons of men. 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 15
Lord, who may abide in Your tent, and dwell on Your holy mountain? Whoever walks without fault; who does what is just, and speaks the truth from his heart. Whoever does not slander with his tongue, who does no wrong to a neighbor, who casts no slur on a friend, who looks with scorn on the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD. Who keeps an oath, whatever the cost, who lends no money at interest, and accepts no bribes against the innocent. Such a one shall never be shaken. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 16
Preserve me, O Lord; for in You I take refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord. My happiness lies in You alone.” As for the holy ones who dwell in the land, they are noble, and in them is my delight. Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows. I will not take part in their offerings of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips. O LORD, it is You who are my portion and cup; You yourself who secure my lot. Pleasant places are marked out for me: a pleasing heritage indeed is mine! I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the LORD before me always; with Him at my right hand, I shall not be moved. And so, my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my flesh shall rest in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to hell, nor let your holy one see corruption. You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand, bliss forever. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 18
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day unto day conveys the message, and night unto night imparts the knowledge. No speech, no word, whose voice goes unheeded; their sound goes forth through all the earth, their message to the utmost bounds of the world. There he has placed a tent for the sun; it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent, rejoices like a champion to run his course. At one end of the heavens is the rising of the sun; to its further end it runs its course. There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect; it revives the soul. The decrees of the Lord are steadfast; they give wisdom to the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right; they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear; it gives light to enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, abiding forever. The judgements of the Lord are true; they are, all of them, just. They are more to be desired than gold, than quantities of gold. And sweeter are they than honey, than honey flowing from the comb. So in them your servant finds instruction; great reward is in their keeping. But who can detect their own errors? From hidden faults acquit me. From presumption restrain your servant: may it not rule me. Then shall I be blameless, clean from gave sin. May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favor in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 25
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. In You, O my God, I have trusted: let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Let none who hope in You be put to shame; but shamed are those who wantonly break faith. O Lord, make me know Your ways. Teach me your paths. Guide me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. I have hoped in You all day long. Remember Your compassion, O Lord, and Your merciful love, for they are from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. In Your merciful love remember me, because of Your goodness, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; He shows the way to sinners. He guides the humble in right judgment; to the humble He teaches His way. All the Lord’s paths are mercy and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and commands. O Lord, for the sake of Your name, forgive my guilt, for it is great.
Who is this that fears the Lord? He will show him the path to choose. His soul shall live in happiness, and his descendants shall possess the land. The Lord’s secret is for those who fear Him; to them He reveals His covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord; for He rescues my feet from the snare. Turn to me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. Relieve the anguish of my heart, and set me free from my distress. See my lowliness and suffering, and take away all my sins. See how many are my foes; with a violent hatred they hate me. Preserve my life and rescue me. Let me not be put to shame, for in You I trust. May integrity and virtue protect me, for I have hoped in You, O Lord. Redeem Israel, O God, from all its distress. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 26 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? When those who do evil draw near to devour my flesh, it is they, my enemies and foes, who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart would not fear. Though war break out against me, even then would I trust. There is one thing I ask of the LORD, only this do I seek: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD, to inquire at his temple. For there he keeps me safe in his shelter in the day of evil. He hides me under cover of his tent; he sets me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be raised above my foes who surround me, and I shall offer within his tent a sacrifice of joy. I will sing and make music for the LORD. O LORD, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer me. Of you my heart has spoken, “Seek his face.” It is your face, O LORD, that I seek; hide not your face from me. Dismiss not your servant in anger; you have been my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Savior! Though father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Instruct me, LORD, in your way; on an even path lead me because of my enemies. Do not leave me to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, and they breathe out violence. I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 63 O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you; for you my soul is thirsting. For you my flesh is pining, like a dry, weary land without water. I have come before you in the sanctuary, to behold your strength and your glory. Your loving mercy is better than life; my lips will speak your praise. I will bless you all my life; in your name I will lift up my hands. Alleluia My soul shall be filled as with a banquet; with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you. When I remember you upon my bed, I muse on you through the watches of the night. For you have been my strength; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who seek to destroy my life shall go down to the depths of the earth. Put to the power of the sword, they shall be left as prey for the jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all that swear by him shall exult, for the mouth of liars shall be silenced. Alleluia
PSALM 67 O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your salvation. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad
and shout for joy, with uprightness you rule the peoples; you guide the nations on earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its fruit for God, our God, has blessed us. May God still give us his blessing that all the ends of the earth may revere him. 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 113 Alleluia! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! May the name of the LORD be blest both now and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the LORD! High above all nations is the LORD, above the heavens his glory. Who is like the LORD, our God, who dwells on high, who lowers himself to look down upon heaven and earth? From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the ash heap he raises the poor, to set them in the company of princes, yes, with the princes of his people. To the childless wife he gives a home as a joyful mother of children. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 143 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.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT JOHN (1:1-17)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness to the Light. That was the true Light that gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came unto His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of His Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, `He who comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.’ ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Glory be 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. O the true Light Who gives light to every man coming into the world, You came into the world through Your love for mankind, and all creation rejoiced in Your coming. You saved our father, Adam, from the seduction, and delivered our mother, Eve, from the pangs of death, and gave us the spirit of sonship. Let us, therefore, praise You and bless You saying: Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. As the daylight shines upon us, O Christ Our God, the true Light, let the luminous senses and the bright thoughts shine within us, and do not let the darkness of passions hover over us, that mindfully we may praise You with David saying, “My eyes have awaken before the morning watch, that I might meditate on Your sayings.” Hear our voices according to your great mercy, and deliver us, O Lord our God, through Your compassion. Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. You are the honored Mother of the Light; from the risings of the sun to its settings praises are offered to you, O Theotokos, the second heaven, as you are the bright and unchanging flower, and the ever virgin mother; for the Father chose you, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed you, and the Son condescended and took flesh from you. Wherefore, ask Him to give salvation to the world which He created, and to deliver it from all tribulations. Let us praise Him a new praise, and bless Him, now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
THE GLORIA
Let us praise with the angels, saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
From the night season my soul awakes early unto You, O my God, for Your precepts are a light upon the earth. I was meditating on Your ways, for You have become a helper unto me. In the morning You shall hear my voice. Early I will stand before You, and You shall see me.
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 …
HAIL TO SAINT MARY
Hail to you. We ask you, O saint, full of glory, the ever virgin, the Mother of God (Theotokos), the Mother of Christ, lift up our prayers unto your beloved Son, that He may forgive us our sins. Hail to the Holy Virgin, who bore for us the true Light, Christ our God. Ask the Lord on our behalf, that He may have mercy on our souls, and forgive us our sins. O Virgin
Mary, the holy Mother of God (Theotokos), the trusted advocate of the human race, intercede on our behalf before Christ, Whom you bore, that He may grant us the forgiveness of our sins. Hail to you, O Virgin, the right and true queen. Hail to the pride of our race, you bore for us Emmanuel. We ask you, remember us, our trusted advocate, before our Lord Jesus Christ, that He may forgive us our sins.
fINTRODUCTION TO THE CREED
We exalt you, the Mother of the true Light. We glorify you, O Saint, the Theotokos,1 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 …
FIRST ABSOLUTION
O Lord, God of hosts, who exists before all ages and abides forever, who created the sun for daylight, and the night as rest for all men; we thank You, O King of ages, for You have let us pass through the night in peace, and brought us to the
daybreak. Therefore, we ask You, O our Master, the King of all ages, to let Your face shine upon us, and the light of Your divine knowledge enlighten us. Grant us, O our Master, to be sons of light and sons of day, to pass this day in righteousness, chastity and good conduct, that we may complete all the rest of the days of our life without offence; through the grace, the compassion and the love of mankind of Your Only-Begotten Son Jesus Christ, and the gift of Your Holy Spirit, now and at all times and forever. Amen.
SECOND ABSOLUTION
O God Who causes the light to burst forth, Who lets His sun shine upon the righteous and the wicked, Who created the light which illuminates the whole world, enlighten our minds, our hearts and our understandings, O Master of all, and grant us to please You this present day. Guard us from every bad thing, from every sin, and from every adversitive power; through Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom You are blessed, with the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver and one essence with You, now and at all times and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
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–Noon

Agpeya 6th Hour – Sext
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 prayer of the sixth hour 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 55 O God, save me by your name; by your power, defend my cause. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. For the proud have risen against me, and the ruthless seek my life. They have no regard for God. See, I have God for my help. The LORD sustains my soul. Let evil recoil on my foes. In your faithfulness, bring them to an end. I will sacrifice to you with willing heart, and praise your name, for it is good: for it has rescued me from all distress, and my eyes have gazed upon my foes. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 57 Have mercy on me, God, have mercy, for in you my soul has taken refuge. In the shadow of your wings I take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I call to you, God the Most High, to God who provides for me. May he send from heaven and save me, and put to shame those who assail me. May God send his loving mercy and faithfulness. My soul lies down among lions, who would devour the sons of men. Their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharpened sword. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; may your glory shine on earth! They laid down a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my path, but fell in it themselves. My heart is ready, O God; my heart is ready. I will sing, I will sing your praise. Awake, my soul! Awake, lyre and harp! I will awake the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the peoples, among the nations sing psalms to you, for your mercy reaches to the heavens, and your truth to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; may your glory shine on all the earth! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 61 Listen, O God, to my cry! Attend to my prayer! From the end of the earth I call you; my heart is faint. Set me high upon the rock too high for me to reach, you, my refuge and mighty tower against the foe. Then will I dwell in your tent forever, and hide in the shelter of your wings. For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. Day upon day you will add to the king; his years as age upon age. May he ever sit enthroned before God: bid mercy and truth be his protection. So I will sing to your name forever, and day after day fulfill my vows. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 63 O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you; for you my soul is thirsting. For you my flesh is pining, like a dry, weary land without water. I have come before you in the sanctuary, to behold your strength and your glory. Your loving mercy is better than life; my lips will speak your praise. I will bless you all my life; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet; with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you. When I remember you upon my bed, I muse on you through the watches of the night. For you have been my strength; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who seek to destroy my life shall go down to the depths of the earth. Put to the power of the sword, they shall be left as prey for the jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all that swear by him shall exult, for the mouth of liars shall be silenced. ALLELUIA.
PSALM 67 O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your salvation. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and shout for joy, with uprightness you rule the peoples; you guide the nations on earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its fruit for God, our God, has blessed us. May God still give us his blessing that all the ends of the earth may revere him. 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 84 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts. My soul is longing and yearning for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself in which she sets her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, forever singing your praise. Blessed the people whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrim ways. As they go through the Baca Valley, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rain covers it with pools. They walk with ever-growing strength; the God of gods will appear in Sion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob. Turn your eyes, O God, our shield; look on the face of your anointed. One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. The threshold of the house of God I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun, a shield; the LORD will give us his favor and glory. He will not withhold any good to those who walk without blame. O LORD of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in you! ALLELUIA.
PSALM 85 O LORD, you have favored your land, and brought back the captives of Jacob. You forgave the guilt of your people, and covered all their sins. You averted all your rage; you turned back the heat of your anger. Bring us back, O God, our savior! Put an end to your grievance against us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will your anger last from age to age? Will you not restore again our life, that your people may rejoice in you? Let us see, O LORD, your mercy, and grant us your salvation. I will hear what the LORD God speaks; he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful, and those who turn their hearts to him. His salvation is near for those who fear him, and his glory will dwell in our land. Merciful love and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have kissed. Faithfulness shall spring from the earth, and justice look down from heaven. Also the LORD will bestow his bounty, and our earth shall yield its increase. Justice will march before him, and guide his steps on the way. 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 87 Founded by him on the holy mountain, the LORD loves the gates of Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Of you are told glorious things, you, O city of God! “Rahab and Babylon I will count among those who know me; of Tyre, Philistia, Ethiopia, it is told, ‘There was this one born.’ But of Sion it shall be said, ‘Each one was born in her.’” He, the Most High, established it. In his register of peoples the LORD writes, “Here was this one born.” The singers cry out in chorus, “In you, all find their home.” 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 93 The LORD is king, with majesty enrobed. The LORD has robed himself with might; he has girded himself with power. The world you made firm, not to be moved; your throne has stood firm from of old. From all eternity, O LORD, you are. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods have lifted up their thunder. Greater than the roar of mighty waters, more glorious than the surgings of the sea, the LORD is glorious on high. Truly your decrees are to be trusted. Holiness is fitting to your house, O LORD, until the end of time. ALLELUIA.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (CH. 5 : 1-16)
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when they revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”
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. O You, Who on the sixth day and in the sixth hour was nailed to the cross, for the sin which our father Adam dared to commit in Paradise, tear the handwriting of our sins, O Christ our God, and save us. I cried to the Lord and He heard me. God hear my prayer, and do not refuse my petition. Be attentive to me and hear me in the evening, in the morning, and at midday. I say my words, and He hears my voice and delivers my soul in peace.
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. O Jesus Christ, our God, who was nailed to the cross in the sixth hour, and killed sin by the tree, and by Your death You made alive the dead man, whom You created with Your own hands, and had died in sin. Put to death our pains by Your healing and life-giving passions, and by the nails with which You were nailed. Rescue our minds from thoughtlessness of the earthly deeds and worldly lusts, to the remembrance of Your heavenly commandments, according to Your compassion.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
3. Since we have no favor, nor excuse, nor justification because of our many sins, we, through you, implore to Him who was born of you, O Theotokos, the Virgin, for abundant and acceptable is your intercession with our Savior. O pure mother, do not exclude sinners from your intercession with Him whom you bore, for He is merciful and able to save us, because He suffered for us to deliver us. Let your compassion speedily reach us, for we are exceedingly humbled. Help us, O God, our Savior, for the glory of Your name. O Lord, deliver us and forgive us our sins for the sake of Your holy name.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
4. You wrought salvation in the midst of all the earth, O Christ our God, as You stretched Your holy hands on the cross. Therefore, all nations cry out saying, “Glory to You O Lord”.
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
5. We worship Your incorruptible person, O Good One, asking for the forgiveness of our sins, O Christ our God. For, of Your will, You were pleased to be lifted up onto the cross, to deliver those whom You created from the bondage of the enemy. We cry out unto You and give thanks to You, for You have filled all with joy, O Savior, when You came to help the world. Lord, glory to You.
Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.
6. You are she who is full of grace. O Theotokos, the Virgin, we praise you, for, through the cross of your Son, Hades fell down and death was abolished. We were dead but we are raised and became worthy of eternal life, and gained the delight of the first Paradise. Therefore, we thankfully glorify the immortal Christ our God.
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 King, the Almighty, the Father of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, and glorify You, for You have made the times of the passions of Your Only-Begotten Son, to be times of comfort and prayer. Accept our supplication and abolish the handwriting of our sins that is written against us, just as You tore it in this holy hour, by the cross of Your Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior of our souls, this is by which you destroyed all the power of the enemy.
Grant us, O God, a glorious time, a spotless conduct, and a peaceful life, so that we may please Your holy and worshipped name, and that, without falling into condemnation, we may stand before the fearful and just throne of Your Only-Begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and that we, together with all Your saints, glorify You, our Father, who is without beginning, and the Son who is of one essence with You, and the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver, 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.

I don’t always post Facebook Memes on my blog

But when I do, they’re good ones.

After Sandy Hook, I posted on here about how the common factors in most of these mass shooters (and most serial killers) are:
anti-Christian rhetoric in the media + violent movies and video games + mental health problems + “dabbling” (to say the least) in occultism.
I called on parents, as I have done many times, to be more careful in censoring what their children are exposed to, and I quoted, yet again, the St. Pio story about the couple who were worried about their children in prison, and he refused to bless them because their children were in prison because of their own permissiveness.
To this, a liberal lady who’s been a frequent commentor here of late (but seems to have disappeared after telling me I was “full of myself), insisted there is *nothing* that “poor people” can do about these problems but pray until “rich people” produce media content that is wholesome (or, adding to the theme of the cartoon, clothes that are modest?)

What do you do as a homeschooling parent when you try to teach your kids modesty, and the DRE or Youth group leader (not singling anyone out in particular: my parish has wonderful people in both jobs, and I’m truly abstracting a friend’s story) sends her kids to Church on Sunday wearing prostitute outfits? I was once at Adoration in an incredibly conservative parish, and saw a mother come in with her three daughters: they were all wearing mantillas, but one of the girls was wearing short-shorts and a tube top!

There’s something between dressing like a Muslim and dressing like a slut.

Parents: Guess what? You can say “no.” It’s your job. In fact, you know what? If you don’t just say no but *explain* why you’re saying no, you’ll teach them a valuable lesson, and they’ll start to respect you for it, and understand the values you’re trying to teach.
Overly draconian parents? There’s something to be said to raising one’s kids the way St. Therese of Lisieux was raised, since St. Teresa of Avila attributes her mother telling her fairy tales to why she took over 40 years to get right with God. However, beware that you may be raising kids who are unprepared to face the world’s temptations or who may be chomping at the bit to rebel. A “yes” or “maybe” now and then goes a long way to backing up the “no” when it’s important–and, yes, it can be a gray line sometimes, especially in areas where the parents have slightly different views.

Another problem that plagues our society is the absurd notion, so popularized in movies, that parents who committed certain sins in their youth are hypocrites for expecting better behavior of their own kids. Father in movie: “I don’t want you going to that party; there will be drinking.” Kid: “Dad, I’m 18!” Mother: “You went out drinking when you were *16*.” Dad: “OK, you can go.”

Indeed, one thing that *totally* perplexes me is “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” paradoxes like this. “What business does some celibate priest have talking about sexual morality? What does he know?” Yes, what does a guy who’s living (hopefully) in celibate chastity know about how to live in celibate chastity? What business does an Olympic athlete have telling people not to be couch potatoes?
But, if a person *does* have “experience,” they’re a hypocrite. “You did it, too, so you don’t have any business talking about it.” In that case, we have a person who did it, found out the deleterious consequences of the action, and at some point repented, and now that person wants to save the younger person the dangers of falling into it. That is not hypocrisy. That’s valuable life experience. In this case, it’s the winner of “Biggest Loser” telling people why it’s bad to be a couch potato.

And when it comes to parents, even if they’re still stuck in the bad habit, that’s still valuable experience the children should take to heart in *not* falling into it to begin with.

The other day, I was talking to my wife and eldest daughter about a project I’m working on, regarding _Les Miserables_ and how Catholics from traditionalists to liberals think it’s a great work even though it was once on the Index. I said how in my research I haven’t been able to turn up an exact reason, and that one would have to dig through the Vatican Archives to find out. “Probably Fantine,” my 11 year old daughter said.

I took her and her 8 year old sister to see the movie the day after it came out–and was shocked that it was a bit more graphic than I expected–because they have become big fans, like their parents, having heard the soundtrack so many times and having watched the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts with me several times.
However, there’s a lot of stuff we *don’t* let them see, watch, or listen to, and it doesn’t always even have to do with the moral content. It may just be that I feel the aesthetics are too postmodernist, Masonic or otherwise subversive.

Last year, when they were in Catholic school, our now 8 year old had trouble getting along with her peers, most of whom seemed like great kids to us, except for one kid (whom I later learned is just as “sheltered” by his mom as my kids are). When Thanksgiving or Christmas break was starting, I was taking them to the mall one afternoon, and my daughter started talking about how the kids in her class were playing “vampires versus werewolves” all the time at recess, and she didn’t know what to do (I suggested she bring a large crucifix and a bottle of holy water with her to school on recess day and use them). I thought I had given my children enough “secular” exposure by letting them watch the old cartoons I grew up on on DVD & Boomerang, then sent them to *Catholic* school to deal with second graders who were into _Twilight_!

This is how perverse and saturated with filth our society is, and parents really need to be diligent about the spiritual well-being of our children!

Anyway, the point I’m making is that yes, our kids don’t often fit in with “peer groups,” though as the late Carrol O’Connor said in his activism following his son’s death from drugs, “The *last* thing you want is for your kid to get involved in peer groups.” We’ve taught them that friendships are important–real friendships based upon common values. They have friends, and they have social lives through our homeschool friends and different church groups, but we’ve taught them they don’t have to indiscriminately “friends” with and fully “accepted” by everyone–just polite and respectful. So they don’t have to feel bad if they don’t fit in because the other kids are into things they know are wrong (though we encourage them to try and redirect the other kids’ interests). They don’t have to feel bad if the other kids at Catholic school make fun of them for dressing up as saints for All Saints Eve (aka Halloween).

1000 years from now, it isn’t going to matter if your kid was “popular” in elementary school or high school. It isn’t going to matter what kind of grades they got, or what kind of job they had, or how much money they saved for retirement, or whatever. 1000 years from now, the only thing that will matter is what C. S. Lewis says in his famous “Weight of Glory”:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which,if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

Or, as Leon Bloy famously said, popularized by Jacques Maritain, “There is only one tragedy: not to be a saint.”

In the end, that’s all that matters. That is our primary duty and obligation as parents: to do everything we can to help our children become saints.

If we fail at that, we fail at everything.

People Just Don’t Trust God

Recently, on FB, there’s been a bit of a controversy over the discovery that a “pro-life” page, Abolish Human Abortion, is actually a front operation for Jack Chick-type Evangelicals. In my final participation in that page, I compared them to sedevacantist Catholics: both groups insist that just about everyone is damned except members of their group, and even many members of their group. Both groups take texts (passages of the Bible on the one hand; Church documents on the other) and insist on interpreting them by taking select passages out of context, refusing to consider historical situation, audience and other factors of hermeneutics. Both sides engage primarily in condemnation of other views rather than in promoting why their view is good.

One of my best friends once called the sede “Most Holy Family Monastery” on the phone after watching some of their Youtube videos and reading their web page. He said, “I would like to ask you some questions, because I’m really involved in my parish, and I even teach John Paul II’s theology of the body. I’ve watched your videos and read your website, and you’ve pretty much convinced me that he’s wrong, but I’m wondering what is it that *you* believe? If I decide you’re right, and the Church has gone into heresy, what is it about your group that I should decide to join you and not become a Protestant or something?” The woman who answered the phone screamed something at him about being a “Popolator,” and hung up on him. So he called her back. She didn’t answer . This went on several times till she finally picked up and screamed, “Stop calling here, or I’ll call the police and have you arrested for harrassment!!”

Last year, I blogged about the Baptist couple who accosted me while I was in the ER with my daughter. It’s happened to me several times that I’ve been grocery shopping in a mart cart, and someone has come up to me and said, “Can I pray over you?” or “Can I pray with you?” And that person starts some prayer, and then starts an akward “conversation” about whether I have faith in Jesus, and how I just need faith in Jesus and I’ll be healed.

The notion of “planting seeds” totally eludes some people. It’s like they have to convert you to attend *their* church on the spot, no matter where “on the spot” is. They can’t just strike up a friendly, brief conversation and trust God to do the rest. That’s how we Catholics are trained to evangelize, and they even attack us for taking that approach.

But extremists aren’t the only ones who do it–they’re just the ones who make the least sense.

Some Catholics raise a mostly academic question about whether a pro-life activist’s “undercover” work conforms to the Church’s teaching that all lies are to be condemned. People protest that “her work is necessary,” and “God needs her”. “God cares more about ending Planned Parenthood than about some passage in the Catechism.”
A popular TV priest is asked to step out of the spotlight and return to community life with his order while they investigate some charges against him. People get upset and say, “God needs him!” “He’s the *only* priest preaching the true teachings of the Church.”
A popular pro-life activist priest is asked to return to his diocese and serve in pastoral life for a while. “God needs him,” people cry. “The pro-life movement depends on him.”

Is God just what the atheists claim: an imaginary figure? Is God as impotent as Baal? Is God just an idol that has a mouth but cannot speak and eyes but cannot see?

Or is God able to raise up servants from the stone? Do you believe that all things are possible with God?

Is God truly more concerned about ending Planned Parenthood than about the salvation of a single soul? Couldn’t God just strike every Planned Parenthood building with lightning and burn it to the ground?

Yes, He could. But He doesn’t operate that way, except under certain circumstances, because His will is for us to change our will and love Him freely. Yes, He chooses to use us as instruments, but He doesn’t “need” any particular one of us to serve any purpose other than to serve Him as best as possible. And what’s best for our souls is often what’s least public, what’s most private, what’s most secret.

That is why, after Holy Father Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal, God said he would come to visit him on Mt. Carmel, and showed Elijah that He was not to be found in the Earthquake, the fire or the storm but in the still, soft breeze.