Variable Portions of the Vesperal Liturgy for Annunciation



At Lord I have Cried…11 Verses are sung:


          Bring my soul out of prison * that I may confess Thy name.


Tone 8:  Of mine own free will, through my first transgression /

I put off the beauty of the virtues; /

but through Thy loving self-abasement, O Word of God, /

I am clothed with beauty once again.  /

For though I was defiled by grievous passions /

and thieves had left me wounded on the road, /

yet hast Thou not despised me; /

but Thou hast kept me safe by Thine almighty power, /

granting me Thine aid, //

O Lord most merciful. 


          The righteous shall wait patiently for me * until Thou shalt reward me.


Repeat: “Of mine own free will …”


          Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord; * O Lord, hear my voice.


Tone 1: Nailed, O Lord, upon the Cross, /

with the divine spear Thou hast torn up the record of Adam’s sin.  /

Tear, then, to pieces my bonds, O Word, /

that I may offer Thee with joy and faith a sacrifice of praise: /

for I have come now to the acceptable season of the Fast, //

which Thou hast appointed for the salvation of all.


          Let Thine ears be attentive * to the voice of my supplication.


Shining with the radiance of fasting, /

Moses once beheld the glory of God.  /

Follow his example, O my humble soul, /

and with acts of abstinence and prayer serve Him /

who for thy sake stretched out His hands in love upon the Cross, //

granting thee a share in the divine gladness.


          If Thou shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, O Lord, who shall stand? *  For with Thee there is forgiveness.


Tone 6: We venerate Thy life-giving Cross, O Christ, /

on which Thou hast suffered /

in Thine ineffable and measureless love towards us.  /

Our souls illumined by it, /

we praise Thee without ceasing, /

asking that we may complete the course of the Fast /

with good courage and in joy; /

and so may we attain, O Lord, and glorify Thy Passion, //

through which Thou hast saved us.


          For Thy name’s sake have I patiently waited for Thee, O Lord; my soul hath patiently waited for Thy word, * my soul hath hoped in the Lord.


Tone 4:  During the sixth month /

the archangel was sent to the pure Virgin, /

and having pronounced a salutation to her, /

he announced that the Deliverer would come forth from her. /

Wherefore, having accepted the salutation, /

she conceived Thee, the preeternal God, /

Who wast well pleased to become ineffably incarnate //

for the salvation of our souls.  


          From the morning watch until night, from the morning watch * let Israel hope in the Lord.


The Theotokos heard a tongue which she knew not, /

for the archangel spake to her words of annunciation. /

And accepting his salutation with faith, /

she conceived Thee, the preeternal God. /

Wherefore, rejoicing, we cry out to Thee: /

O God Who wast immutably incarnate of her, //

grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls! 


          For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption; * and He shall redeem Israel out of all his iniquities.


Behold, our restoration hath now been revealed to us! /

God uniteth Himself to men in manner past recounting! /

Falsehood is dispelled by the voice of the archangel! /

For the Virgin receiveth joy, /

an earthly woman hath become heaven! /

The world is released from the primal curse! /

Let creation rejoice and chant aloud: //

O Lord, our Creator and Deliverer, glory be to Thee! 


          O praise the Lord, all ye nations; * praise Him, all ye peoples.


Tone 1 [Special Melody: “O most lauded martyrs…”]:


The great Gabriel, the most godly, radiant and salvific intelligence, /

who with the ranks on high beholdeth the light of the threefold Sun /

and chanteth divine and awesome hymnody, /

prayeth that He grant unto our souls //

peace and great mercy.


          For He hath made His mercy to prevail over us, * and the truth of the Lord abideth forever.


The great mystery unknown before to the angels /

and kept secret from before time began /

was entrusted to thee alone, O Gabriel; /

and thou didst declare it to her who alone is pure, /

having arrived in Nazareth.  /

With her do thou pray, /

that God grant unto our souls //

peace and great mercy.


          Who maketh his angels spirits, * and his ministers a flame of fire.


Ever full of light, doing the will of the Almighty /

and carrying out His commands, /

O chief among the angels, most excellent Gabriel, /

save those who honor thee with love, /

ever asking, that God grant unto our souls //

peace and great mercy.


Glory… Both now… Tone 6:

The Archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven /

to announce the conception to the Virgin. /

And, arriving in Nazareth, /

he pondered within himself, marveling at the wonder: /

How is it that He Who in the highest is unapproachable /

is born of the Virgin; /

that He Who hath heaven for His throne and the earth for His footstool /

is contained within the Virgin’s womb; /

that He upon Whom the six-winged and many eyed beings cannot gaze /

hath been well pleased to become incarnate of her by His word alone? /

This is God’s word. /

Why, therefore, do I stand and not say to the Virgin: /

'Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace! /

The Lord is with thee! /

Rejoice, O pure Virgin! /

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride! /

Rejoice, O Mother of Life! //

Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb!'?"


Entry with the Gospel.


O Gladsome Light…


Prokimena and two readings from the Lenten Lectionary, and then 2 for the feast: (1) Exod 3:1-8 and (2) Prov 8:22-30.


The First Prokimenon:


Tone 7: Exalt ye the Lord our God, * and worship the footstool of His feet for He is holy.


Stichos:  The Lord is King, let the peoples rage.


The First Old Testament Reading:


Genesis 18:20-33:


The Lord said: Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?  That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.  And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.  And he said unto him, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.  And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.  And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.


The Second Prokimenon:


Tone 6: Shout with jubilation * unto God, all the earth.


Stichos: Serve the Lord with gladness.


The Second Old Testament Reading:


Proverbs 16:17 – 17:17


He that receives instruction shall be in prosperity; and he that regards reproofs shall be made wise. He that keeps his ways, preserves his own soul; and he that loves his life will spare his mouth. Pride goes before destruction, and folly before a fall. Better is a meek spirited man with lowliness, than one who divides spoils with the proud. He who is skillful in business finds good: but he that trusts in God is most blessed.  Men call the wise and understanding evil: but they that are pleasing in speech shall hear more. Understanding is a fountain of life to its possessors; but the instruction of fools is evil. The heart of the wise will discern the things which proceed from his own mouth; and on his lips he will wear knowledge.  Good words are honeycombs, and the sweetness thereof is a healing of the soul. There are ways that seem to be right to a man, but the end of them looks to the depth of hell.  A man who labors, labors for himself, and drives from him his own ruin.  But the perverse bears destruction upon his own mouth: a foolish man digs up evil for himself, and treasures fire on his own lips.  A perverse man spreads mischief, and will kindle a torch of deceit with mischiefs; and he separates friends.  A transgressor tries to ensnare friends, and leads them in ways that are not good.  And the man that fixes his eyes devises perverse things, and marks out with his lips all evils: he is a furnace of wickedness. Old age is a crown of honor, but it is found in the ways of righteousness.  A man slow to anger is better than a strong man; and he that governs his temper better than he that takes a city.  All evils come upon the ungodly into their bosoms; but all righteous things come of the Lord.  


And the 2 Readings for the Feast


The Epistle


Reader: The Prokimenon in the 4th Tone: Proclaim from day to day the good tidings of the salvation of our God.

Choir:  Proclaim from day to day the good tidings of the salvation of our God.

Reader: O sing unto the Lord a new song, sing unto the Lord all the earth.

Choir:  Proclaim from day to day the good tidings of the salvation of our God.

Reader: Proclaim from day to day

Choir: the good tidings of the salvation of our God.


Reader: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews:  [Hebrews 2:11-18]


Reader: Alleluia in the 1st Tone.

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Reader:  He shall come down like rain upon a fleece, and like raindrops that fall upon the earth.

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Reader:  His name shall be blessed unto the ages, before the sun doth his name continue.

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Gospel [Luke 1:24-38]


Instead of “It is truly meet…” we chant the Irmos of the 9th Ode of the Canon of the feast, Fourth Tone:


          Refrain:  Proclaim, O earth, good tidings of great joy; ye heavens, praise the glory of God.

          Irmos:  Let no profane hand touch the living Ark of God, / but let the lips of the faithful, / chanting unceasingly the words of the angel to the Theotokos, / with joy cry out: // Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.


But according to other texts (such as the Festal Menaion), after the above refrain, we chant instead (also in the fourth tone):


Let every mortal born on earth, / radiant with light, in spirit leap for joy; / and let the host of the angelic powers / celebrate and honor the holy feast of the Mother of God, / and let them cry: // Rejoice!  Pure and blessed Ever-Virgin, who gavest birth to God.


Communion Verse:

The Lord hath elected Zion, He hath chosen her to be a habitation for Himself.  Alleluia!   Alleluia!  Alleluia!