Untitled Document






Bishop Demetri M. Khoury


a Working Copy. NOT for Publication




During the Presanctified Liturgy, the bishop, if he is not presiding, does not stand at his episcopal throne, but rather he stands at the chair beside it, holding a bamboo staff instead of his regular staff, and without “mandya.”

[1] The priest and deacon take the Kairon from the bishop following the same order as that of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.


If the bishop presides, especially during major feast days when both the Epistle and the Gospel, or only the Gospel, are read (as done during the first three days of Holy Week), the service will be as follows: 

The bishop arrives at the church as usual, he dons his mandiya, takes his staff, blesses the people and  stands at his episcopal throne.  The clergy approach him two by two, receive his blessing, and proceed to make prostration before the holy doors, bow to the people and ask forgiveness, and enter the sanctuary through the side doors, and vest.

After the beginning of the ninth hour and the exclamation “for Thine is the Kingdom… “the bishop descends from his throne, makes three prostrations in front of the Holy Doors, venerates the Icons on the Iconostas while the deacon says at each, “Through the prayers of our Holy Master…“ then the bishop blesses the people and enters the sanctuary through the royal door, makes a metania before the Holy Table, kisses it without saying anything, and vests fully with the small omophorion.  He blesses each piece and kisses it while the deacon says “Through the prayers of our Holy Master …” without the usual vesting prayers[2]

At the conclusion of the Beatitudes, the bishop and the clergy exit the sanctuary through the holy doors.  The bishop ascends his throne.  The clergy approach and receive his blessing as usual.  The protos enters the sanctuary while the rest of the clergy remain in their places on either side of the throne.  After the prayer “O Thou who at every season and every hour…” the bishop says

BISHOP:  May God have compassion upon us and bless us; may he show the  light of his countenance upon us and be merciful unto us.

The bishop descends from the throne and says the prayer of St. Ephraim with its prostrations.

BISHOP:  O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power and idle talk. (prostration)


But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant. (prostration)

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages.  Amen.  (prostration)

 After Holy God and Lord have mercy 12 times, the bishop says the following prayer:


BISHOP:  O all Holy Trinity, Might One in Essence, Kingdom undivided, Origin of all good things, be graciously inclined also unto me, a sinner.  Establish Thou me; give understanding unto my heart, and purge away all my vileness. Enlighten my mind, that I may glorify, sing praises, and adore Thee, and say: Thou only art holy, Thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, in the glory of the Father.  Amen.”


Then the priest concludes the ninth hour standing in the middle of the Holy Doors facing West. 

The bishop ascends his throne.  The deacon bows to the bishop, and stands in front of the Holy Doors, facing East.  The protos kisses the Gospel book and the Holy Table, and the deacon lifts his orarion with the three fingers of his right hand and says aloud:


DEACON:  Bless, master.


The priest lifts the Gospel book up with hands and lowers it, making with it the sign of the cross over the antiminsion and saying with the fear of God:


PRIEST:   Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.


CHOIR:    Amen.

The priest and deacon bow to the bishop, and the deacon enters the Sanctuary through the south door and stands at his place at the Holy Table while the bishop says:

BISHOP:  O come, let us worship and fall down before God our King. (metania)


O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God. (metania)


O come, let us worship and fall down before the Very Christ, our King and our God. (metania) 



Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord my God, Thou hast been magnified exceedingly.


Confession and majesty hast Thou put on, Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment.


Who stretchest out the heaven as it were a curtain; Who supporteth His chambers in the waters,


Who appointeth the clouds for His ascent, Who walketh upon the wings of the winds,


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


Who established the earth in the sureness thereof; it shall not be turned back forever and ever.


The abyss like a garment is His mantle; upon the mountains shall the waters stand.


At Thy rebuke they will flee, at the voice of Thy thunder shall they be afraid.

The mountains rise up and the plains sink down, unto the place where Thou hast established them.


Thou appointedst a bound that they shall not pass, neither return to cover the earth.


He sendeth forth springs in the valleys; between the mountains will the waters run.


They shall give drink to all the beasts of the field; the wild asses shall wait to quench their thirst.


Beside them will the birds of the heaven lodge, from the midst of the rocks will they give voice.


He watereth the mountains from His chambers; the earth shall be satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.


He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and green herb for the service of men.


To bring forth bread out of the earth; and wine which maketh glad the heart of man.


To make his face cheerful with oil; and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.


The trees of the plain shall be satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon, which Thou hast planted.


There will the sparrows make their nests; the house of the heron is chief among them.


The high mountains are a refuge for the deer, and the rocks for the hares.


He hath made the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down.


Thou appointedst the darkness, and there was the night, wherein all the beasts of the forest will go abroad.


Young lions roaring after their prey, and seeking their food from God.


The sun ariseth, and they are gathered together, and they lay themselves down in their dens.


But man shall go forth unto his work, and to his labour until the evening.


How magnified are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is filled with Thy creation.


So is this great and spacious sea, therein are things creeping innumerable, small creatures with the great.


There go the ships, there is this serpent, whom Thou hast made to play in the sea.

All things wait on Thee, to give them their food in due seasons; when Thou givest it them, they will gather it.


When Thou openest Thy hand, all things shall be filled with goodness; when Thou turnest away Thy face they shall be troubled.


Thou wilt take their spirit, and they shall cease; and unto their dust shall they return.


Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


Let the glory of the Lord be unto the ages; the Lord will rejoice in His works.


Who looketh on the earth and maketh it tremble, Who toucheth the mountains and they smoke.


I will sing unto the Lord throughout my life, I will chant to my God while I have being.


May my words be sweet unto Him, and I will rejoice in the Lord.


O that sinners would cease from the earth, and they that work iniquity, that they should be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul.


The sun knoweth his going down. Thou appointedst the darkness, and there was the night.

How magnified are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all.


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to Thee, O God.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to Thee, O God.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to Thee, O God.


O Lord, our Hope, glory be to Thee.


While Psalm 103 is being said, the priest stands at the southwest corner of the Holy Table and quietly says the fifth, sixth and seventh prayers at the lighting of the lamps.



       PRIEST:      O Lord, O Lord, who upholdest all things in the undefiled hollow of Thy hand, who showest long-suffering upon us all and repentest Thee at our wickedness: Remember Thy compassions and Thy mercy. Visit us with goodness, and grant that, through the remainder of the present day, by Thy grace, we may avoid the diverse subtle snares of the evil one and preserve our lives unassailed, through the grace of Thine all-holy Spirit. Through the mercy and love toward mankind of Thine only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy, and good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.


PRIEST:     O God, great and wonderful, who with wisdom inscrutable and great riches of providence, orderest all things and bestowest upon us earthly good things, who hast given us a pledge of the promised kingdom through the good things already bestowed upon us, and hast made us to shun all evil during that part of the day which is past: Grant that we may also fulfill the remainder of this day without reproach before Thy holy glory and hymn Thee, the only good One, our God, who lovest mankind.  For Thou art our God and unto Thee we ascribe glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.


PRIEST:    O great and most high God, who alone hast immortality, and dwellest in light unapproachable, who hast made all creation in wisdom, who has divided the light from the darkness and hast appointed the sun to rule the day, the moon and stars also to rule the night, who has vouchsafed unto us sinners at this present hour also to come before Thy presence with confession and to offer unto Thee our evening praise:  Do Thou Thyself, O Lord who lovest mankind, direct our prayer as incense before Thee, and accept it as a savour of sweet fragrance, and grant that we may pass the present evening and the coming night in peace. Endue us with the armour of light.  Deliver us from the terror of the night and from everything that walketh in darkness, and grant that the sleep which Thou hast appointed for the repose of our weakness may be free from every imagination of the devil. Yea, O Master of all, Bestower of good things, may we, being moved to compunction upon our beds, call to remembrance Thy name in the night, that, enlightened by meditation on Thy commandments, we may rise up in joyfulness of soul to glorify Thy good-ness, offering up prayers and supplications unto Thy tender love for our sins and for those of all Thy people whom do Thou visit in mercy, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen. 

At the conclusion of Psalm 103, the priest remains standing at his place at the Holy Table.  The deacon exits the Sanctuary, passing the High Place, through the north door.  Standing before the Holy Doors and facing the bishop, he bows to him, and turns to face the icon of Christ, lifts his orarion and intones the petitions of the litany of peace.  If no deacon is serving, the priest says the petitions from his place at the Holy Table




DEACON: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.


(The choir responds Lord, have mercy to each petition.) 


For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. 


For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God and the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord. 


For this holy house and those who with faith, reverence, and fear of God enter therein, let us pray to the Lord.


For our (metropolitan (N) and our archbishop or bishop), N., the honorable presbytery, the diaconate in Christ, all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord. 


For our president (or appropriate head of state), civil authorities, and armed forces, let us pray to the Lord. 


For this city, and every city and countryside, and the faithful who dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord. 


For healthful seasons, abundance of the fruits of the earth and peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord. 


For travelers by sea, by land and by air, for the sick, the suffering, captives and their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.  


For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord. 


Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. 


Calling to remembrance our all-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other and all our life unto Christ our God. 


CHOIR:    To Thee, O Lord. 


BISHOP:   (inaudibly) O Lord, compassionate and merciful, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy, give ear to our prayer, and attend to the voice of our supplication. Work upon us a sign for good.  Lead us in Thy way, that we may walk in Thy truth. Make glad our hearts, that we may fear Thy holy name. For Thou art great and doest wonders. Thou alone art God, and among all the gods there is none like unto Thee, O Lord, mighty in mercy, gracious in strength, to aid and to comfort and to save all those who put their trust in Thy holy name.


PRIEST:   (aloud) For unto Thee are due all glory, honor and worship to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. 


CHOIR:    Amen. 


The reader says the first stasis of the 18th kathisma of the Psalter.

The priest and deacon bow to the bishop and the deacon then enters the Sanctuary through the south door, washes his hands and prepares the prothesis and censer while the priest washes his hands.

While the Psalms are being read[3] the deacon brings the discos from the prothesis to the Altar Table.  The priest puts the Gospel Book on the right side of the Holy Table and opens the Antimins.  Then they both make three prostrations.  The priest censes the Presanctified Gifts three times, and places it on the discos.  Preceded by the deacon, who is carrying the censer and a candle, they process from the Altar Table to the prothesis, passing the high place, while the priest is carrying the diskos over his head.  It is customary to have all the clergy and the people in the nave and sanctuary kneel. 

When the priest and deacon reach the prothesis, the priest takes the censer and censes the gifts.  He then pours wine and water into the chalice, censes the asterisk, and puts it over the diskos, censes the covers, and puts them over the diskos and chalice; then the Veil, without saying the usual prayers, but saying instead, “Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us.”  The deacon answers, “Amen”.

Then the priest censes the Holy Gifts and puts the censer away.  The deacon and the priest make three prostrations and kiss the veil over the chalice, diskos, and prothesis table and go back to the Altar Table.  The priest folds the antimins, and puts the Gospel Book over it.




PSALM – 119

READER:   Unto the Lord in mine affliction have I cried, and He heard me.


O Lord, deliver my soul from unrighteous lips and from a crafty tongue.


What shall be given unto thee and what shall be added unto thee for thy crafty tongue?


The arrows of the mighty one, sharpened with coals of the desert.


Woe is me, for my sojourning is prolonged; I have tented with the tentings of Kedar, my soul hath long been a sojourner.


With them that hate peace I was peaceable; when I spake unto them, they warred against me without a cause.


PSALM – 120


I have lifted up mine eyes to the mountains, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, Who hath made heaven and earth.


Give not thy foot unto moving, and may He not slumber that preserveth thee.


Behold, He shall not slumber nor shall He sleep, He that preserveth Israel .


The Lord shall preserve thee; the Lord is thy shelter at thy right hand.


The sun shall not burn thee by day, nor the moon by night.


The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, the Lord shall guard thy soul.


The Lord shall keep thy coming in and thy going out, from henceforth and for evermore.


PSALM – 121

I was glad because of them that said unto me: let us go into the house of the Lord.


Our feet have stood in thy courts, O Jerusalem .


Jerusalem is builded as a city which its dwellers share in concord.


For there the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, as a testimony for Israel , to give thanks to the Name of the Lord.


For there are set thrones unto judgement, thrones over the house of David.


Ask now for the things which are for the peace of Jerusalem , and for the prosperity of them that love Thee,


Let peace be now in Thy strength, and prosperity in Thy palaces.


For the sake of my brethren and my neighbors, I spake peace concerning Thee.


Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for Thee.



Unto Thee have I lifted up mine eyes, unto Thee that dwellest in heaven.


Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid look unto the hands of her mistress, so do our eyes look unto the Lord our God, until He takes pity on us.


Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for greatly are we filled with abasement.


Greatly hath our soul been filled therewith; let reproach come upon them that prosper, and abasement on the proud.

PSALM  123

Had it not been that the Lord was with us, let Israel now say, had it not been that the Lord was with us,


When men rose up against us, then had they swallowed us up alive.


When their wrath raged against us, then had the water overwhelmed us.


Our soul hath passed through a torrent; then had our soul passed through the water that is irresistible.