From Vespers for the Meeting of the Lord

February 1, 2012

Tonight I went to Great Vespers with Liti for the feast day known as the Meeting of the Lord. On such feast days, I particularly enjoy hearing the special verses that are sung — most of them ancient compositions from the patristic age. For example, here are a few of the verses that were sung at the Liti in reflection of when Christ, as a babe, was met by Simeon and Anna at the Temple, when He was 40 days old, demonstrating the rich theology that is interweaved into such services:

The Ancient of Days, who in times past gave Moses the Law on Sinai, appears this day as a babe. As Maker of the Law He fulfills the Law, and according to the Law He is brought into the temple and given over to the Elder, Simeon the righteous receives Him, and beholding the fulfillment of the divine ordinance now brought to pass, rejoicing he cries aloud: “My eyes have seen the mystery hidden from the ages, made manifest in these latter days, the Light that disperses the dark folly of the Gentiles without faith and the Glory of the newly-chosen Israel. Therefore let your servant depart from the bonds of this flesh to the life filled with wonder that knows neither age nor end, O You who grants the world great mercy.”

Today He who once gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai submits Himself to the ordinances of the Law, in His compassion becoming for our sakes as we are. Now the God of purity as a holy child has opened a pure womb, and as God He is brought as an offering to Himself, setting us free from the curse of the Law and granting light to our souls.

Him whom the ministers at the liturgy on high entreat with trembling, Simeon has now received below in his earthly arms, and he proclaims the union of the Godhead with mankind. Seeing the heavenly God as mortal man, he makes ready to withdraw from earthly things, and raises his cry in joy, “Glory to You, O Lord, who has revealed to those in darkness the Light that knows no evening.”

Today Simeon takes in his arms the Lord of Glory whom Moses saw of old in the darkness, when on Mount Sinai he received the tablets of the Law. This is He who speaks through the prophets; He is the Creator of the Law. This is He whom David announced; He is fearful to all, yet has great and abundant mercy.

Today Simeon the Elder enters the temple rejoicing in spirit, to receive in his arms Him who gave the Law to Moses and who Himself fulfills the Law. For Moses as counted worthy to see God through darkness and sounds not clear; and with his face covered he rebuked the unbelieving hearts of the Hebrews. But Simeon carried the pre-eternal Word of the Father in bodily form, and he revealed the Light of the Gentiles, the Cross and the Resurrection; and Anna was proved to be a prophetess, preaching the Savior and Deliverer of Israel.

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From Vespers: Bless the Lord (Psalm 102)

October 26, 2011

Vigil for Reconsecration — Liturgical Service

September 20, 2011

The service of All-Night Vigil from All Saints Orthodox Church in Olyphant, Pennsylvania at the church’s reconsecration, celebrated September 16, 2011. The responses are sung by St. Tikhon’s Seminary choir. More on the meaning of the All-Night Vigil can be read here. Pictures from the services can be seen here.

followed the next morning by the Rite of Reconsecration of the church:

Afterwards, All Saints celebrated a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy:

 


Lazarus Saturday & Palm Sunday Chants

April 18, 2011

Lazarus Saturday Stichera, from Presanctified Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday, Friday, April 15, 2011 at St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church, Denton, Texas:

Let My Prayer Arise in Thy Sight As Incense:

O Gladsome Light:

Palm Sunday Troparion from Elevation of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Sacramento, California:

Procession of Palms:

Part of Monday’s Bridegroom Service from Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Beltsville, Maryland:

Behold the Bridegroom cometh at midnight, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching; but unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep; lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the kingdom. But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God: through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.


Two Hymns From Vespers

February 2, 2011

Two hymns from Vespers sung by the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Men’s Choir, sung at a concert a couple of weeks ago at St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in York, Pennsylvania:

Gladsome Light: “the earliest known Christian hymn recorded outside of the Bible that is still being used today.”

Song of St. Simeon: sung at the conclusion of Vespers.