NOTE: The translation of this service needs to be thoroughly checked, especially where I have made notes.


If in the cells, or if there is no Menaion, of if there is no Octoechos, then we chant

The General Office for Any Weekday
to Our Lord Jesus Christ

(Also called the Penitential Office)

At Vespers:

On Lord, I have cried, three stichera, Tone 6. Special melody: Having set all your hope.

When Thou shalt come, * O righteous Judge, * to execute just judgement, * seated on Thy throne of glory, * a river of fire will draw all men amazed before Thy judgement seat; * the powers of heaven will stand beside Thee, * and in fear mankind will be judged * according to the deeds that each has done. * Then spare us, O Christ, in Thy compassion, * with faith we entreat Thee, * and count us worthy of Thy blessings with those that are saved.

Who will not weep for me, * who have broken the command of the Most High? * Because of intemperance * I have dwelt in hades rather than paradise: * I have obtained death through the sight of sweet food, * and I have for its sake been revealed * as a stranger to the divine glory and to life: * but receive me, a penitent, O Lord, * for Thou art merciful and a Lover of mankind, * because of Thy great kindness.

See my sorrow and pain, * and the immense greatness of my sins, * the burden of my soul, * the temptation of my mind. * Hear the voice of one who hast despaired * and has been judged, * and grant me, O Lord, * a broken spirit and contrite heart, * a fountain of tears * and the forgiveness of my many sins, * because of Thy great kindness.

(Then 3 stichera to the saint from the Menaion, if available.)

Glory… O God, who desirest to save all mankind, hear my prayer, and do not deny my tears as futile. Who comes to Thee weeping and is not immediately saved? Who calls out fervently, and is not immediately heard? But, O Master, Thou dost quickly obtain salvation for those who pray to Thee in Thine unspeakable kindness.

Both now… Theotokion: Manifest, O most pure Virgin, the sea of thy love for mankind, the depths of thy kindness, and the mercies of thine unspeakable goodness to me who have been condemned. Keep me safe from the sinful meadow; grant me purity, and preserve my body unstained along with my soul.

Aposticha Stichera, Tone 6:

At Thy fearful coming, O Christ, may we not hear the words, “I know you not.” For we have put our trust in Thee, O Saviour, though in our negligence we keep not Thy commandments. Yet we entreat Thee: spare our souls.

Verse: 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 take pity on us.

I have no repentance and no tears. Therefore I entreat Thee, O Saviour: before the end comes cause me to turn back, and grant me compunction, that I may be delivered from torment.

Verse: 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.

Thy martyrs, O Lord, denied Thee not, nor did they forsake Thy commandments. By their intercessions, have mercy upon us.

Glory…, both now… Theotokion: No one that hath recourse to thee, O all-pure Virgin Theotokos, departeth from thee ashamed; for he asketh grace, and receiveth a gift for his profitable petition.

On Tuesday or Thursday evening we chant the Stavrotheotokion: The all-immaculate Mother of God, seeing our Life hanging on the Cross, weeping like any mother, cried out, “My Son and my God, save those who sing to Thee with love.”

Then: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace… etc.

At Matins:

After the first Kathisma, Sessional Hymn, Tone 5:

When the Judge takes His seat and the angels stand beside Him, when the trumpet sounds and the flames are burning, what wilt thou do, O my soul, as thou art led to judgement? For then all thine evil actions will be brought before thee, thy secret faults will be reproved. Therefore, before the end comes, cry unto Christ our God: O Knower of men’s hearts, I have sinned. Have mercy upon me.

Glory…, both now… Theotokion: O Sentient Vine, growing for us the Divine Cluster, whence we have drunk the wine of incorruption; pour the cleansing waster of contrition on my soul, by the grace of thy prayers.

Stavrotheotokion: Standing beside the Cross of the Lord, the Mother of God cried aloud lamenting: “Woe is me, my Son! Woe is me, Light of mine eyes! How art Thou stretched upon a Cross, Who in Thy divine power didst stretch out the heavens as a curtain, and at Thy command didst open up the fountains of the water from the sea?”

After the second Kathisma, Sessional Hymn, Tone 2:

I think upon the fearful day and lament my evil acts. What answer shall I give to the Immortal King? And with what boldness shall I, the Prodigal, gaze upon the Judge? O compassionate Father, only-begotten Son, and Holy Spirit, have mercy upon me.

Glory…, both now… Theotokion: Grant thy swift protection, hope, and mercy to thy servant. Calm the waves of my vain thoughts, O pure Theotokos, and raise up my fallen soul. For I truly know, O Virgin, that thou hast power for all thou dost desire.

Stavrotheotokion: Seeing Thee stretched dead upon the Tree, O Christ, Thy virgin Mother cried aloud with biter tears: “O my Son, what is this fearful mystery? Thou givest eternal life unto all. How dost Thou willingly suffer a shameful death upon the Cross?”

After Psalm 50, the Canon to our Lord Jesus Christ in Tone 6.

1st Ode

Heirmos: He is for me unto salvation Helper and Protector (He is for me Helper and Protector unto salvation). He is my God, and I glorify Him; God of my fathers is He, and I exalt Him, for He is greatly glorified.

Verse: Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee.

When Thou shalt come, O God, with thousands and ten thousands of the heavenly hosts of angels, count me worthy in my wretchedness, O Christ, to meet Thee in the clouds.

Verse: Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee.

Enter not into judgement with me, bringing before me the things I should have done, examining my words and correcting my impulses. But in Thy mercy overlook my sins, and save me, O Lord almighty.

Glory… Terror and amazement seize me when I think of the fire of Gehenna that never shall be quenched, of the bitter worm and the gnashing of teeth. But release me and forgive me, O Christ, and set me in the ranks of Thine elect.

Both now… Theotokion: I am bowed down by many temptations and evil deeds, and with soul and body I bow down to thee, O pure one, and ceaselessly exclaim: O grant me conversion!

3rd Ode

Heirmos: O Lord, upon the rock of Thy commandments make firm my wavering heart, for Thou alone art holy and Lord.

The Lord comes, and who shall endure the fear of His coming? Who shall dare to appear before His face? But prepare thyself to meet Him, O my soul!

How shall I endure the naked wrath of Thy judgement, for I have disobeyed Thy commandment? But spare, O spare me in the hour of judgement.

Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on me, I cry to Thee, when Thou comest with Thine angels to give every man due return for his deeds.

Theotokion: O Lady, Door of Grace, who openest the gates of heaven to the faithful, open unto me the shining doors of repentance, and deliver me from the gates of death.

[Lord, have mercy. thrice] Then, the Sessional Hymn, Tone 6:

In the valley of lamentation, in the place Thou hast appointed, when Thou shalt sit, O merciful Lord, to execute just judgement, publish [or: proclaim] not my secret sins; put me not to shame before the angels, but spare me, O God, and have mercy upon me.

Glory…, both now… Theotokion: O Virgin Theotokos, thou art the good hope of the world. I ask for thy great protection, thine alone. Have compassion on thy people that are without defence; pray unto the merciful God that our souls may be delivered from every threat, for thou alone art blessed.

4th Ode

Heirmos: The prophet heard of Thy coming, O Lord, and he was marvelled, how Thou wast to be born of a Virgin and revealed to mankind [or: and he marvelled at Thy birth from the Virgin and revelation to mankind], and he said: “I have heard the report of Thee and I was afraid!” Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

The day is upon us, the judgement is already at the door. Be vigilant, O my soul. Kings and princes, rich and poor are gathering, and each shall receive the due reward for his actions.

Thy judgement is without respect of persons. No cunning argument or skill in eloquence can deceive Thy judgement seat. False witnesses cannot pervert Thy sentence. For in Thy sight, O God, every secret standeth revealed.

Let me not come into the valley of lamentation, O my Christ and Word; let me not see the place of darkness; let me not be bound hand and foot, and cast out from Thy bridal chamber, because in my utter wretchedness I have defiled the garment of incorruption.

Theotokion: O most pure one, my stronghold, my refuge, mine unassailable wall, and my mediatress with God: deliver me form the eternal flame and hell.

5th Ode

Heirmos: From the night I seek Thee early, O Lover of Mankind. Give me light, I pray Thee, and guide me in Thy commandments, and teach me, O Saviour, to do Thy will.

Fear and trembling beyond all description are there; for the Lord will come and try the work of every man. And who will not mourn for himself?

Spare, O spare the work of Thy hands, O Lord. I have sinned, forgive me, for Thou alone art pure by nature, and none save Thee is free from defilement.

I have no tears, no repentance, no contrition, but grant these to me, O God my Saviour.

Theotokion: O undefiled Mother of God, my intentions are defiled and accursed because of my faults, but I pray thee to have compassion upon me, and save me by thine intercession.

6th Ode

Heirmos: With my whole heart I cried to the all-compassionate God, and He heard me from the lowest depths of hell, and brought my life out of corruption.

At Thy fearful coming, O Christ, when Thou appearest from heaven, when the thrones are set up and the books are opened, then spare, O Saviour, spare Thy creature.

Since God is the Judge, nothing can help thee there: no zeal, no skill, no glory, no friendship, but only the strength that thou gainest, O my soul, from thy works.

O Lord, let me not hear Thee say, “Take what is due to thee,” as Thou dost send me from Thy presence; let me not hear Thee say, “Depart from Me into the fire of the accursed,” but may I hear Thy words of blessing to the righteous.

Theotokion: O most pure and undefiled one, who cleansest us before the face of God; pray that in the day of judgement we who confess thee to be the true Mother of God may escape fearful torment.

[Lord, have mercy. thrice] Then, the Kontakion, Tone 1:

When Thou comest, O God, upon the earth with glory, the whole world will tremble [before Thee]. The river of fire will bring men before Thy judgement seat, the books will be opened and all hidden things revealed. Deliver me then from the unquenchable fire, and count me worthy to stand on Thy right hand, O Judge most righteous.

Oikos: O Lord supreme in love, as I think upon Thy fearful judgement-seat and the day of Judgement, I tremble and am full of fear, for I am accused by my own conscience. When Thou sittest on Thy throne and bringest all to trial, none will be able then to deny his sins, for the truth will accuse him and terror will constrain him. The flames of Gehenna will roar and the sinners will gnash their teeth. Therefore have mercy upon me before the end, and spare me, O Judge most righteous.

7th Ode

Heirmos: We have sinned, we have transgressed, we have done evil in Thy sight; we have not kept or followed Thy commandments. But reject us not utterly, O God of our fathers.

The Lord comes to judge. Who can endure the sight of Him? Tremble, my wretched soul, tremble and prepare for thy departure, that thou mayest gain mercy and compassion from the God of thy fathers.

I fall down before Thee, and as tears I offer Thee my words. I have sinned as the harlot never sinned, and I have transgressed as no other man on earth. But take pity on Thy creature, O Master, and call me back.

Shut not the door on me, O Lord; but open it unto me, a penitent, for with a grieving heart I fall down before Thee. O God, have mercy upon me.

Theotokion: When the Bridegroom shall come in the night to judge the earth, O Pure One, then conduct me with a shining lamp to meet Him, and to worship His appearing.

8th Ode

Heirmos: The hosts of heaven give Him glory; before Him tremble cherubim and seraphim; let everything that hath breath and all creation praise Him, bless Him, and exalt Him above all for ever.

O Lord, when I think how I must meet Thee at Thy fearful second coming, I tremble at the menace. I fear Thy wrath. In that hour deliver me, I cry, and save me for ever.

O Merciful One, I trust in Thy goodness. I fall down before Thee, and I ask Thee to pardon mine iniquity. O Lord, reject me not.

Verse: We bless the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, the Lord.

O Judge of all, my God and Lord, on that day may I hear Thy words of blessing. May I see Thy mighty Light. May I look upon Thy tabernacles [or: mansions]. May I behold Thy glory and rejoice forever.

Now and ever… Theotokion: In the Day of Judgement reveal thyself, O Lady, and intercede for me, and deliver me from the torment and from the fire, that I may be saved by thee and may sing thine invincible goodness.

9th Ode

Heirmos: Conception without seed; Nativity past understanding from a Mother who never knew a man; childbearing undefiled. For the birth of God makes both natures new. Therefore, as the Mother of our God, with true worship all generations magnify you.

The Lord comes to punish sinners and to save the righteous. Let us tremble and lament, and call to mind that day when our hidden secrets will be disclosed and He will pay us what is due.

Daniel was afraid at the hour of trial. And what shall I feel, unhappy that I am, when I come to that terrible day, O Lord? But grant me before the end to worship Thee acceptably and to gain Thy kingdom.

The fire is prepared, the worm is ready; yet ready also is the glory of rejoicing, the eternal rest, the light without evening, the gladness of the righteous. And who is he that shall be blessed to escape from the torment and inherit the joy?

Theotokion: The surge of passion dismays me, and pleasure overwhelms me. O most undefiled Virgin who bore the Pilot Christ, stretch forth thine hand to help and save me, for thou alone art the salvation of those who faithfully call thee blessed.

[Then: It is truly meet… and a prostration.]

Exaposteilarion. Special melody: Hearken, ye women:

O Lord, when the thrones shall be set and the books be opened, and Thou, O Judge, shalt come to try the deeds of men; condemn not us, whom Thine hands made, to the fire of Gehenna, but vouchsafe to us Thy kingdom, O Saviour.

Glory…, both now… Theotokion: He that was born of thy blood, O pure one, is perfect man and true God and Lord. O pray Him to deliver us from eternal fire.

Aposticha Stichera, Tone 6:

Finding me naked, stripped of virtues, the enemy wounded me with the arrow of sin. O God, Physician of our souls and bodies, heal the wounds of my soul and have mercy on me.

Verse: We were filled in the morning with Thy mercy, O Lord; and we rejoiced and were glad. In all our days, let us be glad for the days wherein Thou didst humble us, for the years wherein we saw evils. And look upon Thy servants, and Thy works, and do Thou guide their sons.

Heal the wounds of my heart, inflicted on me through my many sins, O Saviour and Physician of our souls and bodies; for Thou always grantest forgiveness and remission of my sins; O Lord, have mercy upon me.

Verse: And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us, and the works of our hands do Thou guide aright upon us; yea, the works of our hands do Thou guide aright.

O Lord, if we had not Thy saints as intercessors, and Thy goodness being merciful to us [or: Thy love that is tenderly compassionate towards us], how should we have dared, O Saviour, to hymn Thee, Whom angels do unceasingly glorify? O Thou that knowest the [or: our] hearts, spare our souls.

Glory…, both now…Theotokion: O pure Mary, O golden censer, thou wast the receptacle of the uncontainable Divinity, in whom the Father was well-pleased, the Son entered, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed thee, O handmaiden, and revealed thee to be the Theotokos.

Stavrotheotokion: O Virgin Mother of God, thy Son, Christ our God, was nailed of His own will upon the Cross, and He hath risen from the dead. Pray to Him for the salvation of our souls.

Then: It is good to give praise unto the Lord… and the Trisagion. After Our Father…: The Troparion (and Theotokion). And the dismissal. Then, the usual psalms of the First Hour, etc., and the final dismissal.

At the Divine Liturgy (or the Typica):

The Beatitudes, Tone 6:

[check translation carefully!]

Remember me, my God and Saviour, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom, and save me, as Thou alone lovest mankind.

Verse: Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

O Christ, Thou accepted the tears of Peter. Accept also my repentance, and grant me forgiveness of my sins.

Verse: Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.

O Baptizer and Forerunner of the Lord, thou hast preached repentance unto men. I pray thee to grant that I may repent from my soul.

Verse: Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Lifting up those who are disturbed by passions, O holy ones, you also save those who are in a tempest of infirmities; therefore ye are blessed.

Glory… O Thou Whom the prophets glorified in Trinity, my Saviour, simply and without division: through the prayers of the Forerunner save me.

Both now… Theotokion: O steadfast intercessor for those in afflictions, save me from the attacks of the passions of life, and save me, O sovereign Lady.

[The prokeimenon of the day.] Then, on all weekdays the general
Epistle of
St. Paul to the Colossians, §258 (3:12-16):

Brethren: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

[Alleluia, of the day.] Then, on all weekdays the general
Gospel according to St. Mark, §37 (8:34b-9:1):

The Lord spake: Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.