Variable Portions of the Vesperal Liturgy for Annunciation



At Lord I have Cried…10 Verses are sung:


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


Tone 4:

The Fast that brings us blessings has now reached it midmost point; /

it has helped us to receive God’s grace in the days that are past, /

and will bring us further benefit in the days still to come. /

For by continuing in what is right we attain yet greater gifts. /

We therefore cry to Christ, the giver of all good: /

O Thou who for our sakes hast fasted and endured the Cross, /

make us worthy to share uncondemned in Thy divine Passover. /

May we spend our lives in peace //

and rightly glorify Thee with the Father and the Spirit.


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


Tone 5: If we look for a spiritual recompense, /

let us perform our good deeds in secret; /

let us not proclaim them in the streets /

but keep them hidden in our hearts. /

Then He Who sees the secrets of all men will reward us for our abstinence. /

Let us complete the Fast, not with a sad countenance, /

but praying in the inner chamber of our souls; /

and without ceasing, let us cry: /

Our Father Who art in heaven, /

lead us not into temptation, we pray, //

but deliver us from the evil one.


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


Tone 1:  Let us wash our souls clean in the waters of the Fast, /

and, approaching the precious and honored Cross of the Lord, /

let us venerate it in faith; /

let us draw from it divine enlightenment, //

gathering the fruit of eternal salvation, peace and great mercy.


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


O Cross, glory of the apostles, /

attended by principalities and powers and archangels, /

keep safe from all harm those that venerate thee. /

Grant us to follow rightly to the end the divine path of abstinence, //

and to reach the day of salvation when we too shall be saved.


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


Tone 7: As we venerate today the Cross of the Lord, let us cry: /

Rejoice, Tree of Life, victor over hell; /

rejoice, joy of the world and slayer of corruption, /

for by thy power thou scatterest the demons! /

Strong support of the faithful, weapon that cannot be broken, //

we pray thee, guard and sanctify those who show thee honor.


          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… Tone 8:

Today He Who is in essence unapproachable, /

becomes approachable for me and suffers His Passion, /

delivering me from passions. /

He who grants light unto the blind is spat upon /

by the mouths of the transgressors, /

and He gives His back to scourging /

for the sake of those that are held captive. /

When the pure Virgin His Mother saw Him on the Cross, /

she cried aloud in pain: /

“Woe is me, my Child! /

What is this that Thou hast done? /

Thou who wast in beauty fairer than all mortal men, /

dost now appear without life and form, /

having neither shape nor comeliness. /

Woe is me, O my Light! /

I cannot bear to look upon Thee sleeping, /

and I am wounded inwardly, /

a harsh sword has pierced my heart. /

I sing the praises of Thy Passion, /

I venerate Thy merciful kindness: //

O longsuffering Lord, glory to Thee!”


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 Old Testament Readings


Tone 4: Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, * Who alone doeth wonders.


Stichos: O God, give Thy judgment to the king, and Thy righteousness to the son of the king.


Reading: Genesis 9:18-10:1


Now the sons of Noah which came out of the ark, were Shem, Ham, Japheth. And Ham was father of Canaan. These three are the sons of Noah, of these were men scattered over all the earth. And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard. And he drank of the wine, and was drunk, and was naked in his house. And Ham the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father, and he went out and told his two brothers without. And Shem and Japheth having taken a garment, put it on both their backs and went backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their face was backward, and they saw not the nakedness of their father. And Noah recovered from the wine, and knew all that his younger son had done to him. And he said, Cursed be the servant Canaan, a slave shall he be to his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his bond-servant. May God make room for Japheth, and let him dwell in the habitations of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant. And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died. Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth; and sons were born to them after the flood. 


Prokimenon, Tone 4: But it is good for me * to cleave unto God.


Stichos: How good is God to Israel, to them that are upright of heart.


Reading: Proverbs 12:23-13:9:


An understanding man is a throne of wisdom; but the heart of fools shall meet with curses. The hand of chosen men shall easily obtain rule; but the deceitful shall be for a prey. A terrible word troubles the heart of a righteous man; but a good message rejoices him. A just arbitrator shall be his own friend; but mischief shall pursue sinners; and the way of ungodly men shall lead them astray. A deceitful man shall catch no game; but a blameless man is a precious possession. In the ways of righteousness is life; but the ways of those that remember injuries lead to death. A wise son is obedient to his father: but a disobedient son will be destroyed. A good man shall eat of the fruits of righteousness: but the lives of transgressors shall perish before their time. He that keeps his own mouth keeps his own life: but he that is hasty with his lips shall bring terror upon himself. Every slothful man desires, but the hands of the active are diligent. A righteous man hates an unjust word: but an ungodly man is ashamed, and will have no confidence. There are some who, having nothing, enrich themselves: and there are some who bring themselves down in the midst of much wealth. A man's own wealth is the ransom of his life: but the poor endures not threatening. The righteous always have light: but the light of the ungodly is quenched. Crafty souls go astray in sins: but just men pity, and are merciful. 


And the 2 Readings for the Feast


Exodus (3:1-8)


Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he brought the sheep nigh to the wilderness, and came to the mount of Horeb.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to him in flaming fire out of the bush, and he saw that the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.  And Moses said, I will go near and see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed.  And when the Lord saw that he drew nigh to see, the Lord called him out of the bush, saying, Moses, Moses; and he said, What is it?  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: loose thy sandals from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.  And he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and Moses turned away his face, for he was afraid to gaze at God.  And the Lord said to Moses, I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and I have heard their cry caused by their task-masters; for I know their affliction.  And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land, and to bring them into a good and wide land, into a land flowing with milk and honey.


Proverbs (8:22-30).


The Lord made me the beginning of his ways for His works.  He established me before time was in the beginning, before He made the earth: even before He made the depths; before the fountains of water came forth:  before the mountains were settled, and before all hills, He begetteth me. The Lord made countries and deserts, and the highest inhabited parts under the heavens. When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him; and when He prepared his throne upon the winds: and when he strengthened the clouds above; and when he secured the fountains of the earth:  and when He strengthened the foundations of the earth: I was by Him, arranging all things.  I was that in which He took delight; and daily I rejoiced in His presence continually.


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!