When the cross has been venerated by the bishop and concelebrating priests, the deacon will intone in a loud voice: "Wisdom" and in a lower voice "It is truly meet...". The choir sings "It is truly meet..." softly, melodiously, and slowly as the deacon continues to recite the entrance prayers. [If the liturgical season does not call for the singing of "It is truly meet...," then the proper zadostoinik or replacement Hymn to the Theotokos is sung instead.] The clergy proceed to the foot of the amvon. The singing of the choir of "It is truly meet..." must last through the entrance prayers, that is, until the bishop has completed his veneration of both the icon of the Savior and Theotokos and turns to bless the congregation. Often, it is necessary to repeat the secion "More honorable than the Cherubim..." once or even twice to cover the liturgical actions. However, if the tempo is slow enough, one should normally need to repeat only once. The bishop is handed his staff when he completes the entrance prayers and turns to bless the faithful. As he blesses, "Ton dhespotin" is sung by the choir. Thus, it is necessary to be prepared to sing "Ton dhespotin" immediately.
The clergy go to the kathedra to receive a blessing from the bishop to vest. The choir sings: "The prophets..." as the subdeacons receive the bishop's klobuk, chotki, panagia, and riassa to prepare for the vesting. The deacon comes out of the sanctuary with a censer, receives a blessing, and exclaims: "Let us pray to the Lord. Thy soul shall rejoice in the Lord...". The choir sings: "Thy soul shall rejoice...", but only after the deacon has begun to recite the prayer. This hymn is sung slowly during the entire vesting. In most cases, it will be necessary to repeat it several times and should be timed to end as the subdeacons are standing beside the fully vested bishop with dikiri and trikiri in hand. The deacon will then exclaim: "May thy light so shine before men that they may see thy good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven, always now and ever and unto ages of ages." The choir responds with "Ton dhespotin" and the bishop blesses the faithful.
The bishop goes into the altar and begins to cense as the clergy continue singing: "Save us, O Son of God,...". When the clergy have finished, the choir [in Russian usage a trio] sings softly and slowly: "Eis polla eti dhespota". "Eis polla..." is then sung by the entire choir and the troparia and kontakia proper to the celebration are begun.
The choir does not sing the final theotokion [or in festal seasons kontakion]. Rather, the clergy sing "Now and ever..." and the final theotokion or kontakion. This should be coordinated with the clergy [preferably the deacon before the service begins].
The deacon leaves the altar through the royal doors and exclaims: "Let us pray to the Lord." The choir responds: "Lord, have mercy." The bishop recites the prayer "For holy art Thou..." and the deacon exclaims: "O Lord, save the pious!" The choir repeats his exclamation on a recitation tone. The deacon continues: "And hear us!". The choir also repeats, but this time with a cadential ending: "And hear us!" Do not wait for the deacon to stop singing. He will hold both "pious" and "us" and the choir should come in over him in the same key. The deacon then says as he turns about, pointing with his orarion: "And unto ages of ages!". The choir responds: "Amen" and begins the pontifical "Holy God".
The pontifical "Holy God" is sung in the following manner:
The litany: "Let us complete our prayer...", the Creed, Anaphora, and Hymn to the Theotokos are as usual.
At the completion of the Hymn to the Theotokos, the deacon leaves the altar through the open royal doors and exclaims: "And all mankind!" The choir responds as usual. The bishop then says: "Among the first...". The deacon, already out on the amvon, then begins: "And our lord, the Right Revered n., bishop of (city)..." which ends "...and for all mankind." The choir repeats with a cadential formula: "And for all mankind."
The liturgy proceeds as normal up to the post-Communion sequence. After the bishop says, "O God save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance", he blesses with the dikiri and trikiri. The choir responds with: "Eis polla... We have seen the true light...".
The bishop offers the dismissal and blesses the faithful with the dikiri and trikiri once more. The choir responds with: "Eis polla...".
Should a Procession and Molieben be served on the parish feastday, it would begin at this point.
If "Many Years" is to be sung, it is done at this point. Usually on a parish feast day there are three sets: 1) "To our lord, the Most-blessed Theodosius...", 2) "To the President of the United States...", and 3) "To the rector, the priest n., the parish council...". Following sets 1 & 2, "God grant them many years" is sung only three times (that is the customary musical setting once through). After the third set, it is sung nine times (That is the customary musical setting three times through).
If you know who the author of this document is, please contact the webmaster.
Last modified: October 27, 2004 - firstname.lastname@example.org.