The Public Celebration
Or the Liturgy of the Catechumens
© Syrian Orthodox Dioceses of North America and Canada. Reproduced with permission. No part of the material may be reproduced in any form or by any means, without written permission from the publisher.
As the curtain is drawn back, the celebrant
burns incense and says aloud:
Deacons: By the prayers of Your Mother who brought You forth and of all Your saints.
Then they shall sing the antiphon by St. Severius, the Patriarch of Antioch:
I will exalt You, O my Lord, the King, the Only-begotten Son and the Word of the heavenly Father, Who, by Your nature, are immortal. You accepted, by Your grace, and came down for the life and salvation of mankind, and did become incarnate of the holy, glorious and pure Virgin, Mother of God, Mary. Who without change did become a man and was crucified for us. O Christ our God, Who by Your death trampled our death and destroyed it. You Who are One of the Holy Trinity, and are worshiped and glorified in unity with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, have compassion on us all.
While they sing the antiphon, the celebrant and the deacons go around the altar in a procession. When the procession ends they stand before the altar. There the celebrant censes the altar, the clergy and the people, and gives the censer to the thurifer.
The celebrant puts three fingers of his left hand on the left corner of the folded shushefo and with the first three fingers of his right hand joined together, he touches first the tablitho, saying: Holy are You, O God.
Deacons and People: Holy are You, O Almighty; Holy are You, O Immortal; You Who were crucified + for us, have mercy on us.
When the deacons say: "You Who were crucified for us," the celebrant raises the fingers of his right hand and crosses himself. Then he puts his three fingers on the rim of the paten and says: Holy are You, O God.
Deacons and People: Holy are You, O Almighty; Holy are You, O immortal; You Who were crucified + for us, have mercy upon us.
The celebrant puts his three fingers on the edge of the tablitho. When the deacons and the people say: You Who were crucified for us, " he crosses himself for the second time. Then he puts his three fingers on the chalice and says for the third time: Holy are You, O God.
Deacons and People:Holy are You, O Almighty; Holy are You, O Immortal; You Who were crucified + for us, have mercy upon us.
When the deacons and the people say: "Holy are You, O Almighty," he brings his fingers to the rim of the paten and then to the edge of the tablitho when they say: "Holy are You, O Immortal." And when they say: "You Who were crucified for us, " he crosses himself. Then the deacons and people shall add:
Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.
Before reading from Acts or the General Epistle, the celebrant shall say the following prayer silently:
Accept, O Lord, our prayers and supplications which we offer before You at this time, and make us worthy that, with purity and holiness, we may keep Your commandments and those of Your divine apostles and of Paul the architect of Your Holy Church. Our Lord and our God, forever.
The people sing the following hymn before the reading from the Acts or the General Epistle:
The chosen apostles, who were sent by God to the whole world, went forth and preached the good tidings of the Son among the nations and to the ends of the earth and preached the kingdom of heaven, saying: "Blessed are the believers."
The reader stands on the step of the sanctuary toward the north, saying:
From the Acts of the Holy Apostles, (or from the General Epistle of _____ ). Barekhmor.
People: Praise be to the Lord of the apostles (of the apostle), may His prayer be with us. Amen.
Then the reader reads the lesson of the day: My Beloved.
At the end of the reading the reader shall say: Barekhmor.
The Hymn Before the Pauline Epistle
People: I heard Paul the blessed Apostle say: If anyone comes to you preaching contrary to what we have preached, he shall be excommunicated from the Church, even though it were an angel from heaven. Behold there springs up different teachings from all parts. Blessed is he who begins and ends in God's teachings.
The reader stands on the step of the sanctuary
toward the south, saying:
Deacons: Praise be to the Lord of the apostle, may His prayer be with us. Amen.
The reader reads the lesson of the day: My Brethren, ...
At the end of the reading the reader shall say: Barekhmor.
The deacons and the people chant the following hymn before the reading of the Gospel.
Halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah. Offer unto Him sacrifices of praise and take spotless offerings and enter into the Lord's courts and worship Him before His holy altar. Halleluiah.
The celebrant silently recites the following prayer before he reads the Gospel:
Grant us, O Lord God, the knowledge of Your divine words and fill us with the understanding of Your Holy Gospel, the richness of Your divine gifts and the endowments of Your Holy Spirit. And grant us that, with joy, we may keep Your commandments, perform and fulfill Your will and become worthy of Your blessings and mercies from You, our Lord and our God, now and forever.
The celebrant bows before the altar and turns toward the west to read the Gospel, flanked by two servers with lit candles.
Thurifer: Barekhmor. With calm, awe and modesty, let us give heed and listen to the good tidings of the living words of God, of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is being read to us.
People: Make us worthy, O Lord God.
Celebrant: Peace be unto you all.42:1
People: And with your spirit.
Celebrant: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the life-giving message from Matthew (or John) the Apostle, the preacher who preaches life and salvation to the world.
If the reading is from Mark or Luke, he says:
The life-giving message from Mark (or Luke) the Evangelist, who proclaims good tidings of life and salvation to the world.
Thurifer: Blessed is He Who came and shall come. Praises be to Him Who sent Him for our salvation, and upon all of us be His mercies, forever.
Celebrant: Now in the time of the (dispensation)42:2 of our Lord, our God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word of Life, God Who took flesh of the Holy Virgin Mary, these things thus happened.
Deacons: We believe and confess.
The celebrant reads the Gospel and concludes, saying: Tranquillity and peace be unto you all.42:3
The deacons and the people will chant the following hymn or any other hymn that may suit the festival.
At all times and in all seasons remembered are the prophets and the apostles who preached the Gospel among the gentiles, remembered are the just and the righteous who were gloriously victorious and were crowned, remembered are the martyrs and the confessors who endured tortures and affliction, remembered is the Mother of God, the saints and the faithful departed.
The celebrant returns to the altar, bows his head reverently and says the following prayer silently:
Unto our Lord Jesus Christ be glory, thanks and blessings for His living words to us, unto His Father Who sent Him for our salvation and to His Living and Holy Spirit, our Quickener, now and forever. Amen.
Thurifer: Stomen kalos.
Deacons: Kyrie eleison.
Celebrant: Let us all pray and beseech the Lord for kindness and mercy. Merciful Lord, have mercy upon us and help us. May we be worthy to raise to You praise, thanksgiving, glory, adoration and never-ceasing good exaltation continually, at all times and in all seasons.44:1
Glory be to the Bread of Life Who came down from heaven, and became visible from the Daughter of David; Who was broken on Golgotha, was distributed in the Holy Church and given to the faithful people and is able to delight the living and the dead. To Him are due glory and honor at this time of the celebration of the Divine Eucharist, and at all feasts, times, hours, seasons and all the days of our life forever.44:2
Deacons: Before the merciful Lord, before His absolving altar and before these Holy and Divine Mysteries, incense is offered by the hands of this reverend priest.44:3 Let us pray and beseech the Lord for grace and mercy.
People: Merciful Lord, have mercy upon us and help us.44:4
Prayer for Pardon and Grace (Not Variable)
Celebrant: By the fragrance of incense, O You Absolver, Purifier, Forgiver, wipe, blot out and remember not our wickedness. Blot out, O Lord God, by the mercy of Your loving-kindness, my many, great and countless sins and the sins of all Your faithful people. O You, Good One, spare and have mercy upon us. Remember us, O Lord God, in Your mercy, and remember, my Lord, also our souls and the souls of our fathers, our brethren, our elders, our teachers, our departed ones and all the faithful departed, the children of Your Holy and Glorious Church. O Lord, grant rest to their souls, spirits and bodies and sprinkle the dew of mercy and compassion on their bones, and be You pardon and pardoner unto us and unto them, O Christ our King, O Lord, our Lord, the Master of glory. Answer us, my Lord, and come unto our aid, condescend to our help, save us and accept our prayers and petitions. Remove, in Your mercy, all hard punishments and prevent, forbid and remove from us the lacerating rods of wrath, O Lord God. Make us worthy of the good end meant for the men of peace, O You, the Lord of peace and tranquillity. Grant us that Christian end which is dear and proper to You and pleasing to the honor of Your Lordship; and to You we raise glory and thanksgiving, now, always and forever.
Celebrant: Before You, O God of gods and Lord of lords, before You, O Judge of judges Who is awesome unto rulers, at Whose brightness the fiery spirits tremble, and at Whose sight the spiritual beings quake; we worship and entreat Your Godhead, for You have made us worthy of the holy Seraphim's service and to partake of Your Divinity's adorable Mysteries, that You may pardon us in Your abundant mercies, that, in holiness, we may stand before Your holy altar and piously offer You sacrifices on Your spiritual altar. May you send to us Your Holy Spirit and consecrate the bread and the wine that are set before us, purify our bodies and souls, sanctify our thoughts and our minds and purge from us the defilements of sin that we may offer You sweet and unblemished sacrifices and become worthy of the blessings which You promised Your saints. Together with them and among them we offer glory and thanksgiving to You, to Your Father and to Your Holy Spirit, now and forever.
People: Amen. May the Lord accept your petition and help us by your prayers.
Celebrant: Peace be unto you all.48:1 From God may we receive remission of debts and forgiveness of sins in both worlds forever and ever.
Celebrant: Glory to the Good Lord Who broke His Body and gave us to eat and blended His Blood and gave us to drink and made us inherit His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory, honor and worship at this time of the celebration of the Divine Eucharist and at all feasts, seasons, hours, times and all the days of our life and forever.
Before You, O God the Father, Who are invisible to the angels and the archangels, before Your Beloved Son Who revealed Himself to the world in His love, before Your Holy Spirit Who cleansed the world by His brooding and before Your holy altar where Your Divinity is proclaimed and the Holy Trinity abides; we present this sacrifice that it may be for the remission of offenses, the forgiveness of sins, the blotting out of the transgressions of all Your flock and for the rest and good memorial of all the faithful departed. We offer You glory and praise, now, always and forever.
Blessed is the delightful offering and glorious is the Sweet Fruit Who was offered for us and cleansed us, and by His sanctifying oblation hallowed us. The Lamb, the Son of the Virgin Ewe, Who ascended the Cross and redeemed us, and delivered us from the sacrifices of dumb animals. To Him befit glory, honor and worship at this time of the celebration of the Divine Eucharist, and at all feasts, seasons, hours, times and all the days of our life and forever.
O Lord God Almighty, Who accepts the sacrifices of glory from those who call upon You wholeheartedly, accept this incense from the hands of Your sinful servants and draw us near to Your holy altar. Strengthen us to offer You spiritual oblations and sacrifices for our sins and the transgressions of Your people, and make us worthy to be an acceptable sacrifice to You. May Your Good Spirit rest upon us and upon these offerings set before us and upon all Your faithful people in our Lord Jesus Christ with Whom, glory, honor and dominion are due unto You with Your Holy Spirit, now, always and forever.
The Blessing of the Censer
The celebrant says: I, a weak and sinful servant of God, respond and say: Then he holds one chain with the first two fingers of his left hand and, with his right hand, he draws the sign of the Cross on the chain, saying50:1 Holy is the Holy Father. +
Then he holds another chain together with the one in the middle and draws the sign of the Cross on the chains, saying: Holy is the Holy Son. +
The third time, he grasps the last chain of the censer and draws the sign of the Cross over them. Then he moves his right hand around the censer, twice from left to right and once from right to left, saying: Holy is the Holy Spirit + Who sanctifies the censer of His sinful servant while sparing and showing mercy upon our souls and the souls of our parents, brothers, elders, our departed ones and the faithful departed, the children of the Holy Church, in both worlds, forever and ever. Amen.
The celebrant takes the censer from the thurifer and censes the altar, the clergy and the deacons on the northern side of the altar. He then stands in the middle of the sanctuary to cense the people. Then he turns to the southern side of the altar and censes the clergy and the deacons. He gives the censer to the thurifer who goes about the church and censes the people.
Deacon: Let us attend to the Divine Wisdom. Let us all stand well and respond to the prayer of the reverend priest,52:1 and say:
Celebrant:52:2 We believe in one true God.
Deacon: The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, Who was begotten of the Father before all worlds; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made, of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and became man and He was crucified for us in the days of Pontius Pilate, and suffered, died and was buried; and the third day He rose as He willed and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of His Father. And he shall come again with great glory to judge both the living and the dead; and to His kingdom there will be no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life to all, Who proceeds from the Father; Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets and the apostles. And in one Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church.We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead and the new life in the world to come. Amen. Barekhmor.
Deacon: Stomen kalos.
People: Kyrie eleison.
The celebrant washes his fingertips and says the following prayer silently:
Wash away, O lord, the defiling filthiness of my soul and cleanse me by the sprinkling of life, that, in purity and holiness, I may be worthy to enter into Your holy and sanctifying Holy of Holies, and without blemish, to handle Your Adorable and Divine Mysteries so that, with pure conscience, I may offer unto You a living sacrifice that is well-pleasing to Your Godhead, and is like Your Glorious Sacrifice, our Lord and our God, forever.
If a prelate is present, the celebrant says to him:Barekhmor. I beg pardon.
Then he modestly stretches out his hands to the clergy and then to the people, saying:
My brethren and beloved one, forgive me and pray for me that the Lord may accept my oblation.
The celebrant kneels before the altar and says the following prayer silently:
Holy and Glorious Trinity, have mercy upon me.
Holy and Glorious Trinity, spare my sinfulness.
Holy and Glorious Trinity, accept this offering from my weak and sinful hands. O God, in Your compassion, grant rest and good remembrance on Your holy and heavenly altar to Your Mother, Your saints and to all the faithful departed. O God, at this hour absolve and pardon my sins, I your sinful servant, and help my weakness which calls upon You always by the prayers of Your Mother and all Your saints. O God, in Your mercy pardon and forgive the sins of those who are of our blood: our parents, brothers, elders and those on whose behalf this sacrifice is offered.56:1
36:1 The Trisagion, according to the doctrines of the Syrian Orthodox Church, is addressed only to our God and Savior Jesus Christ. If a prelate is present, he intones the Trisagion.
42:1 The celebrant crosses the people with the fingers of his right hand. If the celebrant is a prelate, he makes the sign of the Cross with his hand cross.
42:2 The word dispensation has to suit the festivals of our Lord, i.e. Now in the time of the birth, the baptism, etc. of our Lord.
42:3 The celebrant crosses the people and returns to the altar.
44:1 If a prelate is present, he says: "Let us all pray."
44:2 The celebrant burns incense and unfolds the corner of the shushefo. If a prelate is present, he performs both actions.
44:3 If the celebrant is an archbishop, the deacon shall say, "The venerable prelate." If a Catholicos, "His Beatitude." If a Patriarch, "His Holiness."
44:4 The thurifer censes the altar, the celebrant, the clergy who are in the sanctuary and the people.
48:1 The celebrant turns toward people and draws the sign of the Cross upon them.
50:1 If a prelate is present, the celebrant holds the censer and the prelate says: "I, a weak and sinful servant of God..."
52:1 If a prelate is present, the deacon says: "to the venerable prelate."
52:2 If a prelate is present, he says: "We believe in one true God."
56:1 Here the celebrant mentions whomever he wishes to pray for, living or dead. Whenever he mentions a person's name, he must draw the sign of the Cross with his right thumb on the altar. Then he rises, kisses the altar in the middle, the north and the south. He ascends the altar step and stands with his feet close together. Here the Divine Liturgy begins. The celebrant must perform all the inaudible and audible prayers in an orderly manner and not hastily.
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|Last Update: December 1, 1997|