The Song of Salvation (3)

icon extreme humility

5)      Matthew 27:3-32

Antiphon Thirteen: The assembly of the Jews sought Pilate to crucify Thee, O Lord. For though they found no guilt in Thee, they released Barabbas the malefactor & condemned Thee the Righteous; & so they incurred the guilt of murder. But give them, O Lord, their reward, for they devised vain things against Thee.

He before whom all things quake & tremble, to whom every tongue gives praise, Christ the Power of God & the Wisdom of God, is struck on the face by the priests, & they give Him gall to drink. Yet He was pleased to suffer all things, wishing to save us from our sins by His own blood, in His love for mankind.

Antiphon Fourteen: O Lord, Thou hast taken as Thy companion the thief who had soiled his hands with blood: in Thy goodness & love for mankind, number us also with him.

Few were the words that the thief uttered upon the Cross, yet great was the faith that he showed. In one moment he was saved: he opened the gates of Paradise was the first to enter in. O Lord, who hast accepted his repentance, glory to Thee.

Antiphon Fifteen: Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross. He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon his face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We venerate Thy passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.

Let us not keep festival as the Jews: for Christ our God & Passover is sacrificed for us. But let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement, & with sincerity entreat Him: Arise, O Lord, & save us in Thy love for mankind.

Thy Cross, O Lord, is life & resurrection to Thy people; & putting all our trust in it, we sing to Thee, our crucified God: Have mercy upon us.

Sessional Hymn: Thou hast redeemed us from the curse of the Law by Thy precious blood: nailed to the Cross & pierced by the spear, Thou hast poured forth immortality upon mankind. Oh our Savior, glory be to Thee.

6)      Mark 15:16-32

The sixth gospel is followed by the Beatitudes, with eight stichera. The Beatitudes can be found in Matthew 5:1-12 & Luke 6:20-23 in are omitted here. What follows are the eight stichera:

Through a tree Adam lost his home in Paradise, & through the Tree of the Cross the thief made Paradise his home. For the one, by eating, transgressed the commandment of his Maker; but the other, crucified at Thy side, confessed Thee as the hidden God. Remember us also, Savior, in Thy Kingdom.

The lawless people bought the Maker of the Law from His disciple, & they led Him as a transgressor before the judgment seat of Pilate, crying ‘Crucify Him’, though it was He who gave them manna in the wilderness. But, following the example of the righteous thief, we cry with faith: remember us also, Savior, in Thy Kingdom.

The murderers of God, the lawless nation of the Jews, cried to Pilate in their madness, saying, ‘Crucify the innocent Christ’; & they asked rather for Barabbas. But with the words of the good thief we cry to him: remember us also, Savior, in Thy Kingdom.

Thy life-giving side, O Christ, flowing as a fountain from Eden, waters Thy Church as a living Paradise. Then, dividing into the four branches of the Gospels, with its streams it refreshes the world, making glad the creation & teaching the nations to venerate Thy Kingdom with faith.

For my sake Thou wast crucified, to become for me a fountain of forgiveness. Thy side was pierced, that Thou mightest pour upon me streams of life. Thou wast transfixed with nails, that through the depth of Thy sufferings I might know with certainty the height of Thy power, & cry to Thee, O Christ the Giver of Life: O Savior, glory to Thy Cross & Passion.

When Thou wast crucified, O Christ, all the creation saw & trembled. The foundations of the earth quaked in fear of Thy power. The lights of heaven hid themselves & the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the mountains trembled & the rocks were split. With the faithful thief we cry: Remember us, O Savior.

O Lord, on the Cross Thou hast torn up the record of our sins; numbered among the departed, thou hast bound fast the ruler of hell, delivering all men from the chains of death by Thy Resurrection. Through this Thy Resurrection, O Lord who lovest mankind, we have been granted light, & cry to Thee: Remember us also, Savior, in Thy Kingdom.

Thou wast lifted up, O Lord, upon the Cross & hast destroyed the power of death, & as God Thou hast blotted out the record of our sins that was against us. Grant to us also the repentance of the thief, O Christ our God who alone lovest mankind, for we worship Thee with faith & cry to Thee: Remember us also, Savior, in Thy Kingdom.

7)      Matthew 27:33-54

Psalm 50 (LXX) / Psalm 51 (MT) is recited after this Gospel passage.

8)      Luke 23:32-49

After this Gospel passage is sung the three-ode (Canticle) Canon by St. Cosmos:

Canticle Five:icon crucifixion

Irmos: I seek Thee early in the morning, Word of God; for in Thy tender mercy towards fallen man, without changing Thou hast emptied Thyself, & impassably Thou hast submitted to Thy Passion. Grant me Thy peace, O Lord who lovest mankind.

Their feet were washed, & in preparation they were cleansed by partaking in the divine Mystery; & now, O Christ, Thy servants Went up with Thee from Zion to the Great Mount of Olives, singing Thy praises, O Lord who lovest mankind.

‘See that ye be not troubled, O My friends’, Thou hast said. ‘For now the hour is come when I shall be taken & slain by the hands of wicked men; & ye shall all be scattered & forsake Me. But I shall gather you together to proclaim Me, in My love for mankind.’

Kontakion: come, & let us all sing the praises of Him who was crucified for us. For Mary said, when she beheld Him on the tree: ‘Though Thou dost endure the Cross, yet Thou art my Son in God.’

Ikos: Seeing her own Lamb led to the slaughter, Mary His Mother followed Him with the other women & in her grief she cried: ‘Where dost Thou go, my Child? Why dost Thou run so swiftly? Is there another wedding in Cana, & art Thou hastening there, to turn the water into wine? Shall I go with Thee, my Child, or shall I wait for Thee? Speak some word to me, O Word; do not pass me by in silence. Thou hast preserved me in virginity, & Thou art my Son & God.’

Canticle Eight:

Irmos: The holy Children brought mockery upon the idol of ungodly wickedness; & the lawless Sanhedrin raged & took vain counsel against Christ, purposing to kill Him who holds life in the hollow of His hand. The whole creation blesses Him, finds Him to all ages.

‘Shake the sleep now from your eyelids’, Thou has said to the disciples, O Christ. ‘Watch in prayer, that she fall not into temptation. And thou, O Simon, most of all: for the trial is greater to the strong. Know Me, O Peter, for the whole creation blesses Me & glorifies Me to all ages.’

‘No profane word shall ever pass my lips, O Master’, Peter cried. ‘Gladly will I die with Thee, though all men shall deny Thee. Neither flesh nor blood, but Thy Father has revealed Thee to me: & the whole creation blesses Thee & glorifies Thee to all ages.’

‘Thou hast not fathomed the full depth of divine wisdom & knowledge’, said the Lord. ‘Thou hast not understood the abyss of My judgments. Therefore do not boast, for that work flesh, & three times shalt thou deny Me, though the whole creation blesses Me & glorifies Me to all ages.’

‘Thou dost protest, O Simon Peter, against the very thing that thou shall shortly do, even as I have foretold. A maidservant shall suddenly approach & fill thee with fear’, said the Lord. ‘Yet, weeping bitterly, thou shalt find Me merciful; for the whole creation blesses Me & glorifies Me to all ages.’

Canticle Nine:

Irmos: More honorable than the cherubim & more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the word, true Theotokos, we magnify you.

The destructive band of evil men, hateful to heaven, the synagogue of the murderers of God, drew near to Thee, O Christ, & as a malefactor they led Thee away, who art the Creator of all. Thee do we magnify.

Ignorant of the Law & their impiety, studying the words of the prophets in vain & to no purpose, unjustly they led Thee, the Master of all, as a lamb to the slaughter. Thee do we magnify.

Moved by jealous wickedness, the priests & scribes took Him who is by nature Life & Life-Giver, & they delivered Him to the Gentiles to be put to death. Him do we magnify.

Like many dogs they compass Thee, O King, & struck Thee on the face; they questioned Thee & bore false witness against Thee. And all these things Thou hast endured to save us all.

Exapostilarion: O Lord, this very day hast Thou vouchsafed the Good Thief Paradise. By the Wood of the Cross do Thou enlighten me also & save me.

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