Service of the Divine and Sacred Liturgy of our Holy Father John Chrysostom/In the Great Church and in the Holy Mountain of Athos




Divine and Sacred Liturgy,




The Priest who is going to celebrate the Divine mystery must be careful above all things to be at peace with all men, and to bear no malice against any one, and to keep his heart, as far as he can, from evil thoughts; to use abstinence from eventide, and to be watchful until the time of Divine Service. When that time is come, after making a bow to the principal, he goeth into the church, and together with the Deacon, maketh three adorations before the holy doors.

Then the Deacon saith,

Master, give the blessing.

The Priest. Blessed be our God always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The Deacon beginneth to say,

O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who art everywhere present and fillest all things, the treasure of good things and giver of life; come and abide in us, and cleanse us from all stain, and save our souls, O good Lord.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us. (thrice.)

O most Holy Trinity, have mercy upon us; O Lord, cleanse us from our sins; O Master, forgive our wickednesses; O holy One, look upon us, and heal our weaknesses for Thy Name's sake. Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Glory to the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; both now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in the heavens, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven, so upon the earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from the evil.

The Priest. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; now, and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Then they both say,

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us; for being devoid of all excuse, we sinners offer to Thee, as our Master, this entreaty, Have mercy upon us.

Glory, &c.

O Lord, have mercy upon us; for in Thee have we trusted; be not greatly angry with us, neither be mindful of our wickednesses, but graciously look upon us even now, and deliver us from our enemies; for Thou art our God, and we Thy people; all the work of Thy hands, and by Thy Name are we named.

Both now.



Open to us the gate of mercy, O blessed Mother of God; hoping in thee, let us not be confounded; may we be delivered through thee from all troubles; for thou art the salvation of the race of Christians.


Then they go up to the Ikon of Christ, and salute it, and say,

We bow before Thy spotless Image, O good One, entreating forgiveness of our failings, O Christ, our God; for Thou wast willing and pleased to bear flesh upon the Cross, to deliver from the slavery of the enemy them whom Thou hast made; wherefore we thankfully cry unto Thee; Thou hast filled all things with joy, O our Saviour, coming forth to save the world.


Then they salute the Ikon of the Mother of God, saying this Troparion.

Grant us compassion, O Mother of God, since thou art the fountain of mercy; look upon the people who have sinned; show, as ever, thy power; for hoping in thee, we cry to thee "Hail," as formerly did Gabriel the chief leader of the bodiless ones.


Then bowing their heads, the Priest saith this prayer.

O Lord, send down Thine hand from Thy dwelling-place on high, and strengthen me for this present service of Thee, that standing blameless at Thine awful throne, I may celebrate Thine unbloody worship. For Thine is the strength and the glory to the ages of ages. Amen.


Then they make reverences also to the two choirs, one to each, and thus go in to the altar, saying,

But I in the fulness of Thy mercy will enter into Thine house, I will worship towards Thy holy temple in Thy fear, O Lord, lead me in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies; guide my way in Thy sight, for there is not truth in their mouth; their heart is wrong, their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues have they beguiled. Judge them, O God, let them fall from their counsels, after the fulness of their ungodliness cast them out, for they have rebelled against Thee, O Lord, and let all them that trust in Thee rejoice; they shall be glad for ever, and Thou wilt dwell in them, and they that love Thy Name shall exult in Thee. For Thou wilt bless the righteous, O Lord; as with a shield of good will hast Thou crowned us.


And coming into the sanctuary, they make three adorations before the holy table, and kiss the holy Gospels, and the holy table. Then each taking his Sticharion in his hand, and making three adorations towards the east, they say at each of them,

O God, pardon me a sinner, and be merciful to me.


Then the Deacon goeth to the Priest holding his Sticharion with the Orarion in his right hand, and bowing down his head to him, saith,

Master, bless the Sticharion with the Orarion.


And the Priest saith,

Blessed be our God always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Then the Deacon goeth apart by himself on one side of the sanctuary, and putteth on the Slicharion, praying thus:

My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He hath put on me the robe of salvation, and clothed me with the garment of gladness; as a bridegroom hath He put a crown upon mine head, and decked me like a bride.


And then kissing the Orarion, he putteth it upon his left shoulder; and he putteth on the Epimanikia. For the one on the right hand he saith,

Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength; Thy right hand, O Lord, hath destroyed the enemies; and in the fulness of Thy glory hast Thou crushed the adversaries.


For that on the left, he saith.

Thine hands have made me and formed me; make me to know and I shall learn Thy commandments.


Then going into the Prothesis, he rangeth the sacred things, putting the holy Diskos on the left side, and the Cup on the right, and the others by themselves.

And the Priest vesteth thus: taking the Sticharion in his left hand, and adoring thrice towards the east, as aforesaid he signeth it, saying,

Blessed be our God always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Then he putteth it on, saying,

My soul shall rejoice, to the end as before.

Then taking the Epitrachelion and signing it, he putteth it on, saying,

Blessed be God, who poureth forth His grace upon His priests, as ointment upon the head, that runneth down upon the beard, even the beard of Aaron, that went down unto the skirts of his garment.

Then, taking the Zone he saith, girding himself,

Blessed be God, who girdeth me with strength, and keepeth me blameless in my way; always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

And the Epitnanikia, as before said. Then taking the Hypogonation, (if he be Protosyncellus of the great Church, or other that hath the privilege,) and, blessing and kissing it, he saith,

Gird Thee with Thy sword upon Thy thigh, most Mighty, in Thy beauty and goodliness; and go forward, and proceed well, and reign, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall guide Thee wondrously; always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.


Then taking the Phelonion, and blessing, he kisseth it, saying,

Thy Priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy saints shall rejoice with gladness; always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Then they go to the fountain and wash their hands, each one saying to himself,

I will wash my hands with the innocent, and compass Thine altar, O Lord, that I may hear the sound of Thy praise, and tell of all Thy wonders. O Lord, I have loved the beauty of Thine house, and the dwelling-place of Thy glory. Lose not my soul with the ungodly, nor my life with men of blood, in whose hands are wickednesses, their right hand full of gifts; but I will go forth in mine innocence; deliver me, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; my foot shall stand in uprightness; in the churches will I bless Thee, O Lord.


And thus they go into the Prothesis; then making three adorations before the Prothesis each saith,

O God, pardon me a sinner, and have mercy upon me.

The Priest, alone. Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the law by Thy precious blood. When Thou wast fastened to the cross, and pierced with a spear, Thou didst pour forth immortality to men; O our Saviour, glory to Thee.


Then the Deacon saith,

Master, give the blessing.

And the Priest saith,

Blessed be our God always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Then the Priest taketh the Oblation in his left hand, and the holy Spear in his right, and maketh the sign of the cross thrice over the seal of the Oblation with the Spear, and saith,

In remembrance of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (thrice.)


And thus he thrusteth the Spear into the right side of the seal, and saith, as he cutteth,

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.

In the left side,

And as a blameless lamb, dumb before his shearers, He opened not His mouth.

And into the upper part of the seal,

In His humiliation His judgment was taken away.

Then into the lower part,

And who shall declare His generation?

The Deacon, looking devoutly at this being done, saith, at each incision,

Let us pray of the Lord,

holding his Orarion with three fingers of his right hand. After which he saith,

Master, elevate.

And the Priest, thrusting the holy Spear slantingly into the right side of the Oblation, lifteth up the holy Bread, saying,

For His life was taken away from the earth,

And lays it with the seal downwards in the holy Diskos, and the Deacon saith,

Slay, Master.

The Priest cutteth it crosswise, and saith,

The Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, is slain for the life and salvation of the world.

And he turneth the other side upwards that hath the Cross upon it, and the Deacon saith,

Stab, Master.

And the Priest, piercing the right side with the Spear in the midst under the name IC, saith,

One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and forthwith there came out blood and water; and he that saw bare record, and his record is true.

The Deacon then poureth into the holy Cup wine and water together, saying first to the Priest,

Master, bless the holy union.

And the Priest blesseth them, saying,

Blessed be the union of Thy saints always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

And taking in his hands the second Oblation, he saith,

In honour and memory of our most blessed, glorious lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, at whose prayers, O Lord, receive this sacrifice at Thine heavenly altar.

And taking a portion, he placeth it at the right side of the holy Bread, near its middle, saying,

At Thy right hand did stand the Queen in vesture of gold, girt about and embroidered.

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Then taking the third Oblation, and taking away one portion from it, he placeth it on the left side of the holy Bread, near it, and opposite the portion of the Mother of God: and making a beginning of the first row, he saith,

In honour and memory of the most mighty Archangels, Michael and Gabriel, and of all the heavenly bodiless powers.


Then taking a second portion, he saith,

Of the honourable and glorious prophet, forerunner, and Baptist John; the holy glorious prophets Moses and Aaron, Elias, Elissæus, David and Jesse; the three holy children and Daniel the prophet, and of all holy Prophets.


And he putteth it orderly underneath the first: then he saith,

Of the holy, glorious, and most famous Apostles, Peter and Paul, the twelve, the seventy, and of all the holy Apostles.

And then he putteth the third portion under the second, finishing the first row: then he saith.

Of our holy Fathers, great Hierarchs, and Œcumenical Doctors, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, Athanasius and Cyril, Nicholas of Myra, and of all holy Hierarchs.

And taking the fourth portion he putteth it beside the first, beginning a second row: then he saith again,

Of the holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen; of the holy Martyrs Demetrius, George, Theodore, and of all holy Martyrs, men, and women.

And taking a fifth portion, he putteth it beneath the first of the second row: then he saith.

Of our religious and inspired Fathers Antony, Euthymius, Sabba, Onyphrius, Athanasius of Athos, and of all religious men and women.

And so, taking the sixth portion, he putteth it beneath the second portion, filling up the second row: after this he saith,

Of the holy and wonder-working Unmercenaries, Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Panteleemon and Hermolaus, and of all holy Unmercenaries.

And taking the seventh portion, he putteth it above, making a beginning of the third row; with that he saith.

Of the holy and righteous progenitors of God, Joachim and Anna, (of the saint of the day,) and of all saints, at whose prayers look upon us, O God.

And he putteth the eighth portion in order beneath the first, and again he saith,

Of our holy Father, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, (if his Liturgy be said; but if that of Basil the Great be said, he commemorateth him.)

And so, taking the ninth portion, he putteth it at the end, for the completion of the third row: then taking the fourth seal, he saith,

Remember, O Master, lover of men, all sees of the Orthodox, our Bishop, (name,) the honourable Presbytery, the Diaconate in Christ, and every sacred order; (name,) the Hegumen, our brethren and fellow-ministers, Priests, Deacons, and all our brethren, whom Thou hast called to Thy communion, through Thy tender mercy, O All-good Master!

And taking a portion, he putteth it beneath the holy Bread. Then he commemorateth those of the living whose names he hath, and so, taking portions, he putteth them beneath. Then taking another seal he saith,

For the memory and forgiveness of sins of the blessed founders of this holy abode.

Then he commemorateth the Bishop who ordained him, and such others of the departed as he may will, by name: and lastly, saith thus:

And of all the orthodox departed in hope of rising to everlasting life in Thy communion, our fathers and brethren, O Lord, lover of men. And he taketh a portion.

And the Deacon also commemorateth those whom he willeth of the living and dead, taking portions for them from the Priest. And lastly the Priest saith,

Remember also. O Lord, my unworthiness, and forgive me every offence voluntary and involuntary.

And taking the sponge, he gathereth together the portions that are in the Diskos beneath the holy Bread, so that they be safe, and that nothing fall off. Then the Deacon taking the Censer, and putting incense in it, saith to the Priest,

Master, bless the incense, and then this, Let us pray of the Lord.

And the Priest saith the Prayer of Incense:

We offer to Thee incense, O Christ our God, for a savour of spiritual perfume. Receive it unto Thine heavenly altar, and send down in its stead the grace of Thy most Holy Spirit.

The Deacon. Let us pray of the Lord.


And the Priest censeth the Asterisk, and putteth it over the holy Bread, saying,

And the star came, and stood over where the Child was.

The Deacon. Let us pray of the Lord.


The Priest, censing the first Veil, covereth the holy Bread, together with the Diskos, saying,

The Lord hath reigned, He hath put on beauty, the Lord hath put on strength and hath girded Himself.

The Deacon. Let us pray of the Lord. Master, cover up.


And the Priest, censing the second Veil, covereth the holy Cup, saying,

Thy power, O Christ, hath covered the heavens, and the earth is full of Thy praise.

The Deacon. Let us pray of the Lord. Shelter, Master.

The Priest censeth the third Veil, that is, the Aër, and covering both, saith,

Shelter us with the shelter of Thy wings, drive from us every enemy and foe: guide our life in peace, O Lord: have mercy upon us and on Thy world, and save our souls, as Thou art good and the lover of men.

Then the Priest, taking the Censer, censeth the Prothesis, saying thrice,

Blessed be our God, who art thus well pleased: glory to Thee.

And the Deacon saith each time,

Always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

And both adore devoutly thrice. Then the Deacon taking the Censer, saith, at the offering of the holy gifts,

Let us pray of the Lord.

Prayer of the Prothesis.

The Priest. O God, our God, who didst send forth the heavenly Bread, the food of all the world, our Lord and God Jesus Christ, for a Saviour and Redeemer and Benefactor, to bless and hallow us: Do Thou bless this offering, and receive it at Thine heavenly altar. Remember, as Thou art good and the lover of men, those who offer it, and them for whom it is offered; and keep us blameless in the celebration of Thy divine mysteries. For hallowed and glorified be Thine honourable and exalted Name, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

And after this he maketh the dismission, saying thus:

Glory to Thee, O God Christ, our help, glory to Thee.

The Deacon. Glory: both now: Kyrie eleison, thrice; Master, give the blessing.

And the Priest maketh the dismissal thus:

Christ, our true God, (if it be the Lord's day, who arose from the dead,) at the prayers of His spotless Mother, of our holy Father, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, (but if the Liturgy of Basil the Great be celebrated, he saith, of Basil the Great, of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia,) and of all Saints, have mercy upon us, and save us, as Thou art good and the lover of men.

The Deacon. Amen.


And after the dismissal, the Deacon censeth the holy Prothesis; then he goeth and censeth the holy Table all round cross wise, saying to himself,

In the tomb bodily; in Hades with Thy soul as God; in Paradise with the thief, still wert Thou on the throne, O Christ, with the Father and the Spirit, filling all things, uncircumscript.


Then he saith Psalm 50, during which, after having censed the sanctuary and the whole Church, he cometh again into the holy Bema, and again censeth the holy Table and the Priest; he then putteth down the Censer in its place, and cometh near to the Priest; and standing together before the holy Table, they adore thrice, praying to themselves, and saying,

O heavenly King, &c.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men, (thrice.)

O Lord, Thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise, (twice.)


Then the Priest kisseth the holy Gospels, and the Deacon the holy Table. And after that, the Deacon bowing his head to the Priest, and holding his Orarion with three fingers of his right hand, saith,

It is time to perform unto the Lord. Give the blessing, holy Master.

And the Priest signing him, saith,

Blessed be our God always, now, and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Then the Deacon. Pray for me, holy Master.

And the Priest. The Lord prosper thy steps unto every good work.

The Deacon. Remember me, holy Master.

The Priest. The Lord remember thee in His kingdom always; now, and ever, and to the ages of ages.

The Deacon. Amen.


And, having adored, he goeth out by the northern door: and standing in the accustomed place before the holy doors, he adoreth thrice with all devoutness, saying to himself at each adoration,

O Lord, Thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.

Then shall the Veil before the holy doors be withdrawn, and the Deacon beginneth the holy Liturgy.