Saturday 18 April 2020

Midnight Office and Paschal Matins

Midnight Office

We start this service at around 11.30 p.m. at Brookwood. All the candles and lamps in the church are extinguished except for one above the Holy Table. The complete service you need for Sunday morning is in the Blue Boston Prayer Book with the exception of the Gospel Reading which we have included below. A parishioner has mentioned that the page numbers in the Second Edition of the Prayer Book are different. We’ve included both.

Midnight Office begins with: ‘Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.' We then read from Glory to Thee O God...’ and end with Psalm 50 (see p.15-17 Prayer Book 1st Edition; p. 31-33 2nd Edition)

We now read the canon for Great Saturday in the Lenten Triodion (see p. 646). We sing the irmos and read four troparia in each ode.

Before the first two we say: ‘Glory to Thee O God, Glory to Thee’
Before the third: ‘Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.'
Before the fourth: ‘Both now an ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.'

We leave out the sessional hymns, the kontakion and ikos.

At the end of the canon we say ‘Holy God to Our Father’ and read the troparion ‘When Thou didst descend unto death…’ (p.158 Prayer Book 1st Edition; p. 174 2nd Edition)

We end Midnight Office with 'Glory…. Both now… Lord have mercy (thrice). Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us’.

Paschal Matins

This service is complete in the Boston Prayer Book ’ (p.161 1st Edition; p. 177 2nd Edition). We light our candles from the single light in the icon corner. As we light our candles we sing the hymn ‘Come receive ye light…’

This is the point where we process around the church three times. You can do this around your house too. While we process we sing the hymn: ‘Angels in the heavens…’

At the end of the procession we read the Gospel from St. Mark:

When the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
Now we say: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us’.

Then we sing the Paschal Troparion three times: 'Christ is risen from the dead, by death hath He trampled down death, and one those in the graves hath He bestowed life.'

We then say the verse: ‘Let God arise….’ All this is in the Boston Prayer Book. We continue following the Prayer Book  until p.182 in the 1st Edition (p.198 2nd Edition). At the end of the verse: 'It is the day of Resurrection; let us be radiant O ye peoples…’ we exchange the Paschal kiss as we do in church.

Then we read the Catechetical Homily and then sing the Dismissal Hymn of Saint John Chrysostom.

We now read or sing the Paschal Hour (p.186 1st Edition; p.202 2nd Edition) and this completes the service.

Paschal Vespers

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrate Paschal Vespers with the reading of the Gospel in many languages. The text for the service for Vespers is here. The translation is slightly different to the one we use, but it will do. Replace all the long litanies with ‘Lord have mercy (twelve times) Glory… Both now…'

At Brookwood we read the Gospel at Vespers in different languages. To do this we split up the reading into three sections.

1) John 20: 19-20
2) John 20: 21-23
3) John 20: 24-25
On the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

We read the Gospel in the following way. The first section is read in the different languages. When all the readers have finished this first section, we start reading the second section with the same readers in the same order. The third section follows the same order.

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