Category Archives: Psalms

How Considering Sedevacantism led me back to the Novus Ordo

I have recently “come out of the closet,” so to speak, that after 5 years of wavering I cannot accept the notion that Jorge Bergoglio is or ever has been the Vicar of Christ.
So that leaves the question: “What now?”
Many people have attempted to provide “plans” or “predictions” for worldly processes of “purifying” the Catholic Church–but that is only going to happen with direct, obvious intervention by God, whether it’s in the form of the actual Second Coming or the time period variously called the “new Pentecost,” the “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart,” “Eucharistic Reign of Christ,” etc.
As I have also been very open about sharing, I’ve been deeply shaken to my core not just by recent news headlines, which really aren’t that surprising to me except the depth to which we have been lied to by the hierarchy, but by personal events.  I was diagnosed with epilepsy, and since that diagnosis have read some very convincing arguments that most of the Bible and most of the apparitions and miracles that have given me confidence in Christ may have just been epileptic seizures.
And they make a good case. And every “But what about–” I think about comes from the Church, which has been lying to us  about all sorts of basic things.
So, trying to get my mind around all this stuff, I was reading a sedevacantist page last night, and much like C. S. Lewis applied the arguments atheists made against Christianity and applied them to atheism, I took home a few key points:
On the one hand, much of what sedevacantists see as heresy in the Vatican II era is really based on their own Jansenism and/or the Tridentine and Vatican I rejection of all but a few specific theological traditions and emphasis on Papal supremacy.
In spite of their own arguments for Jansenism, the sedes seem to hold that if they are wrong about the Papacy being vacant or the Mass being invalid, we’re saved by faith, so doing what they think is faithful to the True Church, even if they’re wrong, is better in their view than attending the Novus Ordo.  They do not seem to give the same benefit of the doubt to those who go to the so-called “Vatican II sect” in good conscience.
Then there was this point, which basically seems to be what sedes do to begin with:

Do not spend too much time trying to figure things out — it can lead to pride, vain curiosity, dangerous ideas, and a misplaced reliance on self rather than on God. In general, we are well-advised to seek after virtue rather than knowledge. Certainly we may suppose that living a holy prayerful life and seeking to be pleasing to God, cannot but hasten the day of Restoration.

So, if I should be relying totally on God, then shouldn’t I just do the basics in the most practical way possible?

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Evening Prayer II

If you are a brother or sister in Carmel, or a member of a parish or town named for Our Lady under this title, happy Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel! If you are not, happy optional memorial! (A little humor)

You can find the Carmelite “Propers” (the parts of the Liturgy of the Hours specific to different feasts; as opposed to the Ordinary and the Commons) at this site http://carmelcanada.org/liturgy/office.pdf.
If you can find a way to access the site, please make a donation to them for their service. It is a tragic injustice that the liturgy, which is supposed to be the common prayer of the Church, is copyrighted. I understand in one sense why, but I wanted to provide a convenient blend of the texts, since, though praying online is helpful, flipping between screens or apps can be distracting and cause things to refresh.
So I’ve provided links to different sites, and reflections on each passage to fall under “fair use,” while providing a guide to deeper prayer. Again, please donate to the people who provide these great services for free.

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

[Hymn]

Flos Carmeli, vitis florigera,
Splendor cæli, virgo puerpera, singularis.
Mater mitis sed viri nescia
Carmelitis esto propitia, stella maris.
Radix Iesse germinans flosculum
Hic adesse me tibi servulum patiaris.
Inter spinas quæ crescis lilium
Serva puras mentes fragilium tutelaris.
Armatura fortis pugnantium
Furunt bella tende præsidium scapularis.
Per incerta prudens consilium
Per adversa iuge solatium largiaris.
Mater dulcis Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam reple lætitia qua bearis.
Paradisi clavis et ianua,
Fac nos duci quo, Mater, gloria coronaris.

Ant. 1 I am the Handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you have said.”
Psalm 122I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to God’s house.” And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. For Israel’s law it is, there to praise the Lord’s name. There were set the thrones of judgment of the house of David. For the peace of Jerusalem pray: “Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!” For love of my brethren and friends I say: “Peace upon you!” For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: — as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. – See more at: http://divineoffice.org/xmas-0101-ep2/#sthash.vQumIqyC.dpuf

How does this speak to us as Brothers (and Sisters) of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel?

Ant. 2Mary heard the word of God and kept it; she pondered it in her heart.
Psalm 127
If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil. 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. Truly sons 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. O the happiness of the man who has filled his quiver with these arrows! He will have no cause for shame when he disputes with his foes in the gateways. Glory…
See also http://www.athanasius.com/psalms/psalms5.html

this is one of my favorite Psalms. It speaks particularly to the vocation of the secular, but also to the spiritual fatherhood and motherhood of the Friars and Nuns. The first historical Carmelites were former soldiers who laid down their physical arms for spiritual warfare. The Scapular is both our shield and our token from Our Lady.

Ant. 3The Apostles were constantly at prayer together, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Canticle – See Revelation 19:1-7
Alleluia.
Salvation, glory, and power to our God:
(Alleluia.)
his judgments are honest and true.
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
Sing praise to our God, all you his servants,
(Alleluia.)
all who worship him reverently, great and small.
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
The Lord our all-powerful God is King;
(Alleluia.)
Let us rejoice, sing praise, and give him glory.
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
The wedding feast of the Lamb has begun,
(Alleluia.)
and his bride is prepared to welcome him.
Alleluia (alleluia). Glory…

See also http://www.liturgies.net/Liturgies/Catholic/loh/mary/eveningprayerii.htm
How are we preparing ourselves to welcome our spiritual Bridegroom?

A Reading from the Letter to the Galations (4:4-6)

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5
to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. 6 As proof that you are children,* God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. See http://www.usccb.org/bible/galatians/4

To be brothers of Our Lord, we must humbly accept the mantle of obedience, as He did.

Responsory
I will cry out with joy to the Lord;
my soul will rejoice in my God.
–I will cry out with joy to the Lord;
my soul will rejoice in my God.
For he has clothed me with the garment of salvation and robed me in a mantle of justice.
–My soul will rejoice in my God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
–I will cry out with joy to the Lord;
my soul will rejoice in my God.
“Receive, my beloved son, this habit of your Order. This shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.”

Canticle of Mary
Ant. Today we received the Virgin Mary as our mother. Today, she has taken pity on us. Today, all Carmel rejoices in the solemnity of the Blessed Virgin, whose name we bear.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my Spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant. From this day forward, all generations will call me blessed, for the almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of His Arm; He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things; the rich He has sent away empty. He has come to the help of His servant, Israel. For He has remembers His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham, and his children, forever. Glory . . .

The privilege of the Scapular is neither a symbol nor a superstition, but to die clothed with the Scapular, the garment of work in a religious habit, is to die doing God’s work.

As we honor the holy Holy Mother of God, under whose name and patronage we live, let us pray with confidence to Christ our Lord and say:
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”;
–may we stand with Mary among the poor and humble of the Lord, so that you may be our only wealth.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”;
–in following the Immaculate Virgin may we come to live that purity of heart which makes us eager to see the Father’s Face.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe”;
–with Mary at our side, may we never cease to trust in the love You have for us as we journey in this night of faith.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “You ought to pray always and never lose heart”;
–teach us to pray like Mary, treasuring Your Word in our hearts and proclaiming it in our lives.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “A new commandment I give you; love one another as I have loved you”;
–united in heart and mind, may we be ready to spend our lives for our brothers and sisters and share with Mary in Your work of redemption.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

Dying on the cross, You said to John, and through him to all disciples, “Behold your Mother”;
–may all those who trusted in Your everlasting mercy [especially ____] rejoice one day with you and Mary in our Father’s house.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

Here list your own intentions.
Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.
Our Father .. . .

Prayer
Lord God, You willed that the Order of Carmel should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Son. Through her prayers, as we honor her today, bring us to your holy Mountain, Christ Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the malice and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the other evil spirits, who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Click here for my Litany to Carmelite Saints

How will we be remembered?

One of my favorite lines in Jesus Christ Superstar is in “Pilate’s Dream,” where Pilate says, “then I saw thousands of millions, crying for this Man.  And then I heard them mentioning my name–and leaving me the blame.”
In Bread in the Wilderness, Thomas Merton observes how God even glorifies those who don’t deserve it, asking who would remember “Sihon, King of the Amorites and Og, the King of Bashan,” if they hadn’t been destroyed by Israel?  By being mentioned in the Psalms (135:11 and 136:20), they get mentioned more frequently than many “great conquerors.”
I thought about both these observations at Christmas liturgy at St. Ignatios in Augusta this past evening.  Look at the Ikon of the Last Supper.  I was struck by the figure of Judas, leaving with his back turned to Jesus, colored in grey clothes where the others are brightly robed.  His eyes are smaller.  His skin is grayish.  There, amidst however many images of Our Lord, 2 of Our Lady, John the Baptist, Anges, the Apostles, the Major and Minor Prophets, and the parish patron Saint, is the Betrayer.  Like Sihon, Og and Pilate, in spite of his dubious status in God’s eternal memory, Judas has earned everlasting mention in the liturgy by his act of unspeakable evil.
St. Ignatios.jpg
Each of us from time to time can be a Sihon or an Og, impeding the progress of God’s people; each of us can be a Pilate, using moral subjectivism, doubt and peer pressure as excuses to ignore the Truth and condemn Jesus by our sins; and each of us can be a Judas, betraying Our Lord with a kiss, as the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom reminds us every week. To die unrepentant, without the Sacraments, is to risk sharing in their infamy. Merely being in God’s presence does not guarantee us salvation any more than it did Judas or Pilate.

Carmelite Office, Morning Prayer: St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila), Virgin, Doctor and Foundress

Download the Carmelite Propers in PDF.
(This link is the only link I can find from this domain name)

Invitatory
Ant.     Come, let us worship the Lord, source of all wisdom.

Morning Prayer

Ant. 1  For you my soul is thirsting, Lord; my body pines for you.
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, v. 4, p. 652 (CP., p. 707).
Ant. 2  All your creatures praise you, Lord; your saints shall bless  your name.
Ant. 3  I have sung the praises of your mercies, Lord, in the assembly of the faithful.

READING                                                      2 Corinthians 4:5-7

RESPONSORY
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face. —My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
I long to gaze upon you, Lord. —Show me your face.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. —My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
Ant.     All who love me will be loved by my Father,  and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

INTERCESSIONS
The Lord of glory, Crown of all the Saints, gives us the joy of honoring our Mother, Saint Teresa.
Let us praise him, saying:
Glory to you, Lord!

Source of life and holiness, in your saints you show us the infinite marvels of your grace;  —in company with Saint Teresa may we sing of your mercies forever.
You want your love to blaze like fire throughout the world;  —with Saint Teresa, make us zealous in spreading your charity.
You make friends of your saints, and reveal to them the mysteries of your heart;  —bind us to yourself in friendship so close that we may taste the secrets of your love, proclaim your wonders, and draw others to you.
You pronounced blessed the pure of heart, and promised that they should see you;  —purify our sight, so that we may see you in everyone and be faithful to you in all things.
You resist the proud and give wisdom to little ones; —make us humble of heart, so that we may receive your wisdom for the sake of the whole Church

Our Father . . .

PRAYER (Collect)
Father, by your Spirit you raised up our Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus to show your Church the way to perfection.  May her inspired teaching awaken in us a longing for true holiness.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Flos Carmeli and Litany of Carmelite Saints

“He who seeks to keep his life will lose it; he who loses his life will save it.”: Vaccines versus viruses; prepping versus providence

If there’s one thing the Bible is clear about, it’s not putting our trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help, not trusting in our own devices, etc., for God chooses the weak things of the world that no flesh may glory in His sight. The foolish man cannot know this, and the fool cannot understand.
From the time when Satan refused to trust God, then tempted Adam and Eve to “be like Gods who know,” to the Tower of Babel to Israel being punished over and over for not doing things Gods way, while those who were justified were justified by their absolute trust in God, even when His instructions were foolishness to human wisdom, the Bible tells us over and over that we should, as Jesus says, “Consider the lilies of the field,” for we know no the day nor the hour. Just when we are saying “peace and security,” the Lord will come like a thief in the night and say, “You fool! Don’t you know this very night your life will be demanded of you?”
I am always dismayed by Christians who insist that they should put their trust in worldly goods, rather than building up treasure in Heaven, be they investors, “preppers,” etc. Obviously, there is a common sense level of protecting ones health and family, and keeping an emergency reserve if possible, but some people seem way too concerned about storing up treasure on earth.
Then there’s the vaccine issue. Again, nothing wrong with protecting health, but doing so at the expense of other people’s lives should be avoided, and it is difficult to suppress the instinct to say, “I told you so,” when the efforts people cling to prove futile in the face of worse and worse viruses and bacteria strains. We hear about “herd immunity” (a term that’s offensive in itself), and see arguments about what that does or does not mean. We see arguments about old viruses returning supposedly because of unvaccinated families, though others arguing they’re spreading among the vaccinated and that they’ve gotten worse because of resistance. Now, there is apparently a virus spreading that mimics a cold or flu but is far worse and they barely even know what it is. . . .

Praying the Office Online

I’ve been praying the Office since 1997 or ’98. My aunt and uncle sent me a copy of _Christian Prayer_ for, I believe, my Confirmation. My wife also had a copy she’d received from an uncle. We bought the four volume set (at least two of one). The latter is tricky because despite my best efforts, I always seem to be unable to find the correct volume for the season. The one volume versions have both fallen apart from use.

One of the goals of Vatican II was to make the Liturgy of the Hours more accessible to laity, reducing its complexity, but many people are still intimidated by all the “ribbons,” keeping track of the Psalter, the Proper of Seasons, the Proper of Saints, and the various Commons, etc.

It was about 10 years ago that I started thinking how it should be relatively easy to create an interactive version of the Office using HTML, where one could click on a link, bringing up a frame with the appropriate materials, and providing choices for optional memorials, or memorials celebrated as personal Feasts, etc.

So, I created several HTML files in Word, and made it part of my daily prayer to type the relevant sections into the appropriate files.

Then I discovered that others were already deep into similar projects, and I saw little need to recreate their work, though some of the problems still remain, as I will discuss in reviewing and linking each site in this post.

The Liturgy of the Hours is one of the oldest prayer forms in the Church, and is used by Catholics, the various Orthodox churches and many “mainline” Protestant denominations. In Roman Catholic (as opposed to Byzantine/Orthodox) theology, the Liturgy of the Hours is “public prayer” or liturgy, an extension of the Mass. To pray the Office is to pray “with the Church,” so it’s important the words be as unified as possible. This is distinguished from “private devotion.” So, in a popular internecine debate among faithful Catholics, 1,000 people saying the Rosary are in “private prayer,” while one person praying the Office under certain circumstances is engaging in “public prayer.” Catholic clergy (bishops, priests, deacons), religious (nuns, monks, friars, sisters) and members of secular orders are under canonical obligation to say the Office but also have the grace of praying “publicly” even when we’re “alone,” because in sharing the common texts that others are praying around the world, we are joining with them spiritually. For laity who are not in Third Orders, it’s still a private devotion, unless they’re saying it in community with others. Thus, the “trick” with online adaptations is whether the translations are appropriate.

Even a few years ago, there were not as many options there are now.

One of the first sites providing a daily Breviary online was Universalis, which is based out of England and provides detailed information on the degree to which its texts are approved for various English-speaking countries. It has gotten much more elaborate, of course, since 2005, and it provides apps. For those under obligation, I just discovered that Universalis provides the official Latin translations, so if you’re extra-cautious about whether the translation is official, you can always just use Latin. 🙂

Perhaps the most popular and well-made, and the one I use most regularly, is DIvineOffice.org.
It has all its copyrights in order and uses the canonically approved texts for the US. It also has very well-made podcasts of a group of people praying the Office, with licensed hymns, and the participants (mostly volunteers who, IIRC, started the project as a way of teaching the Office to an RCIA class) alternate methods of communal praying: sometimes chanting the Psalms, sometimes repeating the antiphons, sometimes having one person read or sometimes alternating. You can read the text with no audio, listen to the audio, or read and listen. The audio usually takes about 20-25 minutes for morning prayer and 15-20 minutes for evening prayer, depending upon how much is chanted.

Before Divine Office, I used to use PrayStation Portable from Fr. Roderick Vonhogen’s SQPN. I used to also have it on an RSS feed here but found it was unreliable. Sometimes, it seems to update too quickly and you can’t find the actual links for the day. Other times, there was a delay in posting. I hope they’ve fixed those issues, but it’s been a while since I followed it. It’s just Fr. Roderick reading it, not a group of people, and much simpler, but he does include prayer requests that listeners send him as part of the General Intercessions.

Plenty of websites and apps offer the Traditional Breviary, and several sites offer the various offices of Eastern Churches.

The added challenge, which led to my most recent discovery of a treasure trove of sites, is praying “Optional Memorials,” days that are not on the “General Calendar” (such as the Discalced Carmelite Propers), days that are personal/community Feasts or Solemnities, etc.

CatholicCulture.org* has a cool Liturgical Calendar page with the Feast(s) or Saint(s) of the day on both the Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form Roman Calendars, Collects, devotional prayer suggestions and other activities. So, if I’m looking for a Collect that’s not in DivineOffice.org, I have been turning to CatholicCulture.

Still, if it’s a day where I want, say, the Common of Doctors or the Common of the Blessed Virgin, and DivineOffice just has the regular Four Week Psalter options, I often find myself searching the Internet, and recently those searches have proven more fruitful:

Liturgy Archive is exactly what I imagined 10 years ago. It is a basic HTML page with links to every option for the entire year: the liturgical seasons, and the collect for every saint on the general calendar. It also has the Commons. So now, when it’s a Carmelite day, I go there for the Commons. I don’t know what their arrangements are with the copyright-enforcing USCCB, but it’s all there for now. Its wider “Archive” has both internal and external links for a variety of liturgical prayers from a number of Christian traditions.

iBreviary is also very good. Indeed, when I heard people say “iBreviary,” I always thought they meant “Divine Office.org”. It is based out of Italy, and defaults to Italian but offers a variety of language options, including both Latin and the official (Grail Psalter) English translations. It is a relatively simple website but is oriented towards tablets.

eBreviary offers everything in PDF format but only offers certain parts for free on its website or App and otherwise requires a subscription because of the copyrights.

More and more, with all these apps available, priests, deacons and religious are finding their confreres praying along in chapel with their phones, tablets and eReaders.

Pray for Peace in the Ukraine and in the World


If you’re reading this, and you’re not doing something that absolutely prevents it (which you likely aren’t if you’re reading Facebook or blogs; if so, do it when you’re free), drop everything else and take 15 minutes, at least, to pray together for the Ukraine. Preferably say the Rosary, or the Jesus Rosary, and/or the following Psalms (first number is Septuagint/Second is the Masoretic/common English numbering): 29/30, 111/112, 131/132, 132/133, 140/141, 143/144

Our Lady of Guadalupe, to whom the winning fleet at Lepanto was dedicated.

Coptic Hours (Modified) Midnight Watch 3

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

Coptic Hours (Modified): Midnight Watch 2

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

Coptic Hours (Modified): Midnight, Watch 1

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

Coptic Hours: Compline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

e.

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.

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.

On Pain and Contemplative Prayer

I wish I could fully put into words what my prayer life has become of late. In many ways, the dissection was the best thing to happen to my spiritual life, although I’m still struggling with sins and attachments.

First, a few definitions. The terms contemplation, meditation, mysticism, etc., get batted around and can mean several things. A simple way to explain the Catholic, and particularly Carmelite, tradition of contemplative prayer is that there is “acquired contemplation” and “received contemplation.”

Usually, in Catholic discussions of contemplative prayer, there are four pitfalls considered (besides the old, “Only those who are worthy should practice contemplative prayer,” which the spiritual Masters would deny vociferously):

1) Confusing the physiological and psychological experiences that naturally come from being in a prayerful state with received contemplation
2) Becoming too attached to consolations
3) Falling into pagan prayer modes or occultism
4) Lastly, the Eastern tradition tends to warn against being too reliant on imagination (often recommended as a strategy in the Western tradition), and recommends sticking with the Scriptures and Icons (which are supposed to be written according to careful rules of theological symbolism) so as to avoid letting the imagination run wild.

Often, and I’ve found this to be true in my own life, we can get so caught up in trying to avoid all the warnings that we actually thwart our prayer life.

For example, I had come to misinterpret “avoid attachment to consolations” as “avoid consolations,” so when I would feel consolations, I would often try to ignore them. And, as many Catholics do, I interpreted warnings 1 and 3 as meaning I had to always be practicing some form of vocal prayer–though there’s nothing wrong with that. Holy Mother Teresa says that some people can achieve contemplation through vocal prayer.

So, a year ago, as I discussed previously on this blog, I worked through some of the kinks in my prayer life: very small but significant mistakes I was making. I spent a lot of time hashing some things out with experienced Carmelites, both Internet friends and my local Community’s president. In a Facebook discussion with a friend who’s been a Secular for a long time and even lived with the Carmelite nuns on Mount Carmel for a while, I said how sometimes I like to just sit and hold a crucifix, or a statue of Jesus, and just love Him, and my friend said, reminding me of Lucy Van Pelt, “THAT’S IT!” She said, “If that’s what it takes for you, just sit there wearing your ceremonial scapular and holding a crucifix.”

Then there were two things my President said that also helped. One was that, in response to my concerns about how, if one is praying without words, one knows that one is being Catholic and not Pagan, he said that that comes from having a well-rounded prayer life. If we’re participating in the liturgy and practicing devotions, then we can engage in prayer of quiet with confidence that we’re on track with Jesus. The second thing he said is that we know by the fruits, that prayer of quiet will make us more of what we’re on track to be. If we’re otherwise right with God, prayer of quiet will make us more peaceful, more loving, etc. On the other hand, if you’re *not* right with God, and you try to practice prayer of quiet without a proper framework, it’s going to produce bad fruit.

And when he said that, I responded that prayer of quiet is a lot like suffering.

So these things really helped me to break loose in my prayer life in the past year.

I am nowhere near contemplative union, but I am pretty sure I’m solidly in what St. John of the Cross calls the Night of the Senses (the stage at which one is purged of remaining sins and attachments to external things).

But what has really struck me is how my pain (and my painkillers) contribute to my prayer life, and combine to create a very interesting state of prayer. Where just a year ago, I found prayer of quiet incredibly difficult, and where I started by, following my mentors’ advice, using very slow recitation of vocal prayers combined with deep breathing exercises to get myself into the proper mental state for prayer of quiet, now I can easily lapse into not only prayer of quiet but outright contemplation, but simply giving a mental aspiration to God and by embracing my pain.

It goes beyond “offering it up.” Again, I can’t put into words what the experience is like, but by surrendering completely to the pain (or painkiller wooziness, as the case may be), I can completely surrender to God.

I just wish I were better about it.

Then there’s Mass, which has always been a time of great torture for me. It’s like as soon as Mass starts, God cranks up my pain meter or something. Both Ralph McInerny and Cardinal Ratzinger have argued that the cliche “old lady saying her Rosary” during the Traditional Latin Mass is more in keeping with Vatican II’s call to “active participation” than someone who’s focusing entirely on flipping through hymnals, hopping up and down, or engaging in some “lay ministry” without being prayerfully recollected. So in order to prayerfully recollect myself at Mass, I usually have to engage in practices that, on the surface, many “Vatican II fanatics” would insist are “not active participation,” like spiritual reading, or praying the Psalms, or praying the Jesus Prayer or something.

I’ve been trying to relatively “cram” for the fact that next week I’m making my definitive promises as a Carmelite, and I’ve been reading the Letters of St. Therese. So today I read a few letters, but, in keeping with what my Community’s president says about “reading for formation, not information,” I could only manage a few letters and had to stop, but it put me in a deep state of contemplation for Mass and afterwards.

And one of the other thoughts that came to me had to do with reading. I have a house full of books I want to read, and I feel like I *ought* to read. And I find it ever more difficult to read, for a variety of reasons. But when I *do* read, it seems like a basic thing spiritual masters-Thomas a Kempis, Therese, John of the Cross, etc.–complain about is people who confuse “book learning” with spirituality and read more than they have to. I have all the information in my head. It’s the practical application I struggle with–so do I really need to read all those books?

I keep wanting to read the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism in honor of the Year of Faith, but again–is that really what God wants?

I know what God wants of me: to practice contemplation and achieve detachment. I know *how* to do that, and certainly one of my attachments is my desire to read so much, yet there’s also the idea that if I spent less time on other forms of recreation and dedicated it to holy reading, at least I’d be occupying my mind better and building an even deeper prayer life, to hopefully root out the remainder of my sins and attachments.

So, that’s where I stand right now, but I thank God for the deep graces He has granted me in this past year, and I truly appreciate the gifts in prayer He has granted me. This reflection wasn’t as well written as I hoped, but I pray this meager attempt might be helpful to someone.

I wish everyone would come to Jesus’ Heart

There are so many people in pain and sorrow; so many struggling with worry.  There are so many lost, so many seeking, so many following false hopes and false gods.  How do I make them see? How do I bring them all to Jesus’ Heart?
Heaven is so beautiful.  If they only knew the happiness–it’s a prize worth anything.  It’s not something to be taken for granted.
Hell is so horrible.  The torment, the pain.  Even Purgatory, which we tend to dismiss or joke about, is a nightmare too dire to imagine.

Why do people gamble with their souls?
Why do people take their salvation for granted?
This day, your life will be demanded of you. Wake up!  Get your lamps ready!  Purge yourselves of evil.  Cut off that which leads you to sin.  Preen the bad limbs from your soul so you will only produce good fruit.  Sell all you have and give to the poor.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love your neighbor as Jesus loves you–by giving yourself completely.  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Live the beautitudes.  This is the Gospel.  It is so simple, yet so difficult.  Why do people hear Jesus’ words and ignore them?  Say, “This doesn’t apply to me”?  Let the dead bury their dead.  Come, take up your cross and follow Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light, even if it may not look at it.  It is time for you to rise from sleep!  Pray, fast and do acts of love.  Do small things with great love and offer up the small things that bother you as great sacrifices  This is the message of Fatima, the message of Therese, the Little Way.

John Paul II said the Little Way is perhaps the greatest new doctrine ever given to the Church, for it sums up the Gospel so perfectly.  Live it.

My Funeral, and thereabouts.

Basics of what I want for my funeral, when the time comes:
1. Somewhere in the mix, I want the following hymns:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Now We Remain
On Eagle’s Wings
I am the Bread of Life
excerpts from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem (or the whole thing, if in the usus antiquor).

2. Readings, if the Eucharistic Liturgy is in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite:
Sirach, Chapter 18:1-13
Psalm 15 or Psalm 127
1 John 1-10
John 6:48-64

3. Ideally, I’d like the liturgy to be according to the usus antiquor of the Roman Rite or according to the Byzantine Rite, which might obviate parts of 1 & 2. Regardless of Mass, I would like to have the Office of the Dead prayed in community for me the day of my funeral, as well as the Rosary (Luminous Mysteries), Divine Mercy Chaplet (at 3 PM) and Paraklesis

So, ideally:

Scenario 1:
In the morning, Office of the Dead–Office of Readings and Morning Prayer according to the modern Roman Rite, with “Now We Remain” as the opening hymn.
Just before Mass, “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”.
Holy Mass in the usus antiquor of the Roman Rite, with Lloyd Webber’s settings.
“I Am the Bread of Life” for Communion.
At 3 in the Afternoon a Eucharistic Holy Hour (give or take) consisting of
O Salutaris/Exposition
Come, Holy Spirit
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Sirach, Chapter 18:1-13
Rosary (Luminous Mysteries)
1 John 1-10
Service of Paraklesis recited; chanted if possible, with John 6:48-64 as the Gospel
Vespers according to the modern Roman Rite, with “On Eagle’s Wings” as the opening hymn.
Benediction, with Tantum Ergo, the Te Deum and Flos Carmeli as the hymns. St. Michael Prayer.

Scenario 2:
Office of the Dead, Office of Readings and Morning prayer, according to the modern Roman Rite, with “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” as the opening hymn.
Funeral according to the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

At 3 o’clock, Eucharistic Exposition and Holy Hour (give or take):
O Salutaris
Divine Mercy Chaplet
“Now We Remain”
Rosary, Luminous Mysteries
“On Eagle’s Wings”
Sirach, Chapter 18:1-13
1 John 1-10
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Requiem, parts 1-4
John 6:48-64
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Requiem, parts 5-8
Evening Prayer from the modern Office of the Dead, “I Am the Bread of Life” as the hymn
Benediction, with Tantum Ergo, Te Deum, and Flos Carmeli as the hymns. St. Michael Prayer.

Scenario 3:

Office of the Dead, modern Roman Rite, combined with the funeral liturgy in the Ordinary Form.
Hymns:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Now We Remain
On Eagle’s Wings
I am the Bread of Life

Readings:
Sirach, Chapter 18:1-13
Psalm 15 or Psalm 127
1 John 1-10
John 6:48-64

At 3 o’clock:
Exposition, with O Salutaris
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Rosary (Luminous)
Lloyd Webber Requiem
Paraklesis
Evening Prayer from the Office of the Dead
Benediction, with Tantum Ergo, Te Deum, Flos Carmeli and St. Michael Prayer

Here is the text of the Byzantine Funeral Service