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Advent Prayer Service

adventservice

 

Opening Hymn

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.
In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.
Refrain
From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
Refrain

 

Opening Prayer

Deacon: Peace be with us.

Priest: It is right at all times for us to confess, adore and glorify the great and awesome, holy and blessed, lofty and incomprehensible Name of your glorious Trinity, and your grace toward our race, O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever.

People: Amen.

We give you thanks, O Lord of all,
we glorify you, Jesus Christ;
you raise our bodies into life,
you are the Savior of our souls.
I rejoiced when I heard them say:
let us go to the house of the Lord!
We give you thanks…
Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
From age to age, amen, amen.
We give you thanks…

Lakhu Mara d-kulla mawdenan,
w-lakh Ysho’ Mshyha mshabhynan
d-attu Mnahmana d-paghrayn,
w-attu Paroqa d-nawshathan.
Hdyth kadh amryn waw ly:
l-bayteh d-Marya azynan!
Lakhu Mara d-kulla…
Shuha l-Aba w-laBra wal-Ruha d-Qudsha
min ‘alam wa’dhamma l-‘alam amen, w-amen.
Lakhu Mara d-kulla…

 

Deacon: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

Priest: Lord, you alone are the Lamp of Truth who puts away the cloud of ignorance from our minds in his guiding light, and the one in whom our souls find delight and are renewed. Accept the rational oblations of our hearts, O Lord our God, at this eventide, for to you do we lift up glory, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, Lord of all forever. 

People: Amen. 

 

Hymns “Before”

I will praise the word of God
God the Word, who is from the Father,
did not assume the form of a servant from the angels,
but rather from the seed of Abraham,
and came by his grace, in our humanity,
to save our race from error.

And we have beheld his glory
The great Mystery that had been hidden
for centuries and generations
has been revealed to us in the final age:
the Only-Begotten,
who is in the Womb of his Begetter,
came and assumed the form of a servant in his grace;
and he related and revealed to us
the perfect faith of the Trinity.

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
God advised and promised Abraham from the beginning:
“through your seed, all the sinful nations shall be blessed,
who were dead in their sins and lost in error.”
For he gathered them and healed their wounds,
as the prophet saw from ages ago,
“he will take on their wounds and carry their sicknesses.
For this we cry out as we say:
glory to you, O Son of the Lord of All!

 

Fixed Evening Psalmody

Deacon: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

Priest: It is our duty, O Lord our God, to thank, adore and glorify you for your mercy and your providential will for us, at all times, O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit forever.

People: Amen.


annunciationPsalm 140

I have called to you, Lord; hasten to help me!
        Hearken to my words and accept my prayer.

I have called to you, Lord; hasten to help me!
Hearken to my words and accept my prayer.

Let my prayer arise before you like incense,
the offering of my hands like an evening oblation.

Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth
and a guard over my lips!

That my heart may not turn to an evil deed,
or accomplish works of wickedness.

May I not dine with evil men.
Let a just man teach me and reprove me.

But let the oil of the wicked not anoint my head,
for my prayer is against their malice.

Their judges were thrown down by a rock-like hand,
then they heard that my words were kind.

Like a plough that scatters the ground,
their bones were strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

To you, Lord God, I lift up my eyes:
I trust in you; do not cast my soul away!

Guard me from the hands of the boastful,
who set traps for me.

Let the wicked fall together into their own nets 
while I pursue my way unharmed.

 

Psalm 141

With my voice I called to the Lord,
with my voice I begged the Lord.

I lifted my pleading before him.
I showed him my distress.

When my spirit trembled, you knew my path.
On the way I walked they set a trap for me.

I looked to my right and saw:
there was no one to advise me.

I had no means of escape,
not one who cared for my soul.

I cried to you, Lord; I said: you are my hope,
all that I have in the land of the living.

Hearken then to my pleading
for I am brought very low.

Rescue me from those who pursue me
for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of this prison
that I may give thanks to your Name.

Your just ones will await me
as you grant me reward.

 

Psalm 118: 105-112

Your word is a lamp for my feet
        and a light for my paths.

I have sworn and made up my mind
        to keep your just decrees.

Lord, I am deeply afflicted:
by your word give me life.

Be pleased, Lord, with the words of my mouth
        and teach me by your decrees.

My soul is in your hands at all times,
I will not forget your law.

Though sinners laid traps for me
        I did not stray from your commands.

Your witness is my heritage forever,
for it is the joy of my heart.

I set my heart to carry out your statutes
in truth, for ever.

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
        From age to age, amen, amen.

I have called to you, Lord; hasten to help me!
        Hearken to my words and accept my prayer.

 

Deacon: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

Priest: Hear, O Lord our God, the prayer of your servants in your mercy; accept the supplication of your adorers in your compassion, and pity our sinfulness in your grace and mercies, O Healer of our bodies and Good Hope of our souls at all times O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever.

People: Amen.

 

Hymns “After”

And the angels were ministering to him
The angels glorified, and their ranks shouted:
“Glory in heaven, and peace on earth!”
The mortal race rejoiced and glorified,
In the birth of Christ, who saved our nature.

There I will make a horn to sprout for David
In the flesh was born, from the house of David,
Christ our life-giver, whose birth has delighted all.
The Lord of glory is from the Father
and in the flesh of our humanity:
Christ, the seed of Abraham.

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
He who is neither understood nor limited by creatures,
has accomplished his plan in our humanity:
indeed, the divine Nature has united
to the human nature he has assumed,
while not changing.
The Virgin gave birth in holiness
to Christ, the Power of God and his Wisdom.
While adoring, we confess Him to be
the one Son who is the Savior of the world.

 

Liturgical Season

Deacon:

Lift your voices, all you people,
and glorify the living God.
Arym qalkhon, w-shabbah kulleh ‘amma,
l-Alaha hayya.

 People:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One: Have mercy on us.
Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

 Holy God…

 From age to age, amen, amen.

 Holy God…

Qaddysha Alaha Qaddysha Hayilthana,
Qaddysha La Mayotha Ithraham ‘layn.
Shuha l-Aba w-laBra wal-Ruha d-Qudsha.

Qaddysha Alaha…

 Min ‘alam wa’dhamma l-‘alam amen, w-amen.

 Qaddysha Alaha…

Deacon: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

Priest: O Holy, Glorious, Mighty and Immortal One, who dwells in the saints and delights in them: we implore you: turn to us, O Lord, pardon us and have mercy on us as you always do: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.

People: Amen.

Seasonal Psalmody

Psalm 87

nativityIts foundations are on his holy mountain:
        Halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah.

Its foundations are on his holy mountain:
the Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all of Jacob’s dwellings.

Honorable things are said in you,
O villiage of our God.

You will be remembered in Egypt and known in Babylon,
Philistia, Tyre, and among the Cushites.

That man will be born there,
and of Zion it shall be said:

the Great One shall be born there,
and he has established her.

The Lord will count his people in his register:
that man will be born there.

The leaders who dwell in you will rejoice,
as well as all the lowly within you.

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
        From age to age, amen, amen.

Halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah. 

Deacon: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

Priest: To your wondrous and indescribable providence, O Lord, which was accomplished, completed and perfected in mercies and pity for the renewal and the salvation of our weak race through the Headship that is from us, do we lift up glory, honor, thanksgiving and adoration at all times, O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever.

People: Amen.

Seasonal Hymn

– He makes the winds blow and the waters flow.
– And before the sun is his Name.

In deepest winter, when all the earth is barren,
Lord Jesus was revealed in the womb of the Virgin.
He is the Cause of all benefits –
the greatest Hope of creation.
He is indeed the true Light, Lord and Messiah,
adorable with his Father and Spirit.

 Old Testament Readings

Priest: We plead to you O Wise Provider, O Wondrous Caretaker of his households, O Great Treasure from which all riches and blessings overflow in his compassion: turn to us, O Lord, pardon us and have mercy on us as you always do: Father, Son and Holy Spirit forever.

First Reading: Genesis 2: 4-25

The Lord God then formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. … The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” …So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Second Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-17

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah — the king of Assyria.”

The Epistle Reading

Priest: Enlighten our mental faculties, our Lord and our God, that we may understand and savor the sweet sound of your life-giving and divine commands. Grant, in your grace and your mercies, that we may reap benefit from them: love, hope and the salvation that befits both body and soul. Thus will we unceasingly sing a perpetual praise to you at all times O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit forever.

Galatians 4: 3-9

So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?

The Gospel
Luke 2: 4-20

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

[Sermon]

 

Hymn on the Natures of Christ

  • The Son of God showed the revealed truth to his Church betrothed when he chose, in his love, to come to the world and proclaim and teach his Divinity and his humanity.
  • For he had been in the womb of his Father, before the ages, without beginning – truly, he is God indeed.
  • He came to us in the latter times, put on our body and saved us through it – truly, he is man indeed.
  • The prophets proclaimed him in their revelations, the just revealed him through their mysteries – truly, he is God indeed.
  • He was carried in the womb for nine months, and was also born as a man – truly, he is man indeed.
  • The angels glorified him – he is God indeed. He was placed in a manger – he is man indeed. The star proclaimed him – he is God indeed. He suckled milk – he is man indeed.
  • The magi of Persia carried and brought him glorious gifts and offerings – truly, he is God indeed.
  • He accepted circumcision and offered sacrifices in the holy temple according to the law – truly, he is man indeed.
  • Simon called him a light to the nations and the glory of the people of Israel – truly, he is God indeed.
  •  He fled to Egypt from Herod the tyrannical king full of all evils – truly, he is man indeed.
  • The shepherds ran to honor him, and they knelt on their staffs and adored him – truly, he is God indeed.
  • He grew and advanced in stature, in wisdom and in divine grace – truly, he is man indeed.
  • Blessed is the one who completed his providence on behalf of the salvation of mankind! To him be glory, and upon us his mercies, at all times.

 

Universal Petitions

Deacon: Let us all stand composed. In faith and hope, let us implore and say: Lord, have mercy on us.

People: Lord, have mercy on us. | Maran ithraham ‘layn.

Deacon:

* O Father of mercies and God of every consolation, we implore you.

* Our Savior, our Caretaker and Provider for all, we implore you…

* For the peace, concord and well-being of the whole world and of all churches, we implore you…

* For the well-being of our country and of all countries, and for the protection of all the faithful who inhabit them, weimplore you…

* For good weather, a fertile season, the abundance of fruits and all the poor and needy, we implore you…

* For the health of our holy fathers: Mar Benedict, our High Pontiff and the Pope of Rome, Mar Emmanuel, our Catholicos-Patriarch, Mar Sarhad Yawsip, our Bishop, and for all those in the same priestly service, we implore you…

* For the priests and deacons of our Church, and for all of our Christian brethren, we implore you…

* O Rich in his mercies and Overflowing in his compassion, we implore you…

* O Kind One in his Nature who is the Giver of all good things, we implore you…

* O One who is glorified in heaven and worshipped on earth, we implore you…

* O One through whose holy Birth has gladdened earth and delighted heaven, we implore you…

* Save us all, O Christ our Lord, in your grace, increase your peace and your tranquility within us and have mercy on us…

Deacon: Let us entrust our souls mutually to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

People: To you, O Lord our God.

Priest: To you, Lord God almighty do we entrust our bodies and our souls, and from you, O Lord our God, do we receive all benefits and blessings; and so, as the crown of our prayer, in that confidence that is from you, we call together upon you and say thus:

People:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. Your kingdom come. Holy, holy, you are holy. Our Father in heaven: heaven and earth are full of the greatness of your glory; angels & men cry out to you: holy, holy, you are holy.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever.

(Priest): Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

People: From age to age, amen, amen. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. Your kingdom come. Holy, holy, you are holy. Our Father in heaven: heaven and earth are full of the greatness of your glory; angels & men cry out to you: holy, holy, you are holy.Abun dba-shmayya nithqaddash shmakh, tethe malkuthakh, qaddysh, qaddysh, qaddysh-at, Abun dba-shmayya. Damlen shmayya w-ar’a rabbuth shuhakh, ‘yre wnasha qa’en lakh qaddysh, qaddysh, qaddysh-at.

Abun dba-shmayya nithqaddash shmakh, tethe malkuthakh, nehwe siw-yahakh aykanna dba-shmayya ap b-ar’a, haw lan lahma d-sunqanan yawmana wa-shwoq lan hawbayn wa-htahayn aykanna d-ap hnan shwaqn l-hay-yawayn, w-la ta’lan l-nisyona illa pasan min bysha mittul d-dhylakh-y malkutha, w-hayla w-tish-buhta l-‘alam ‘almyn, amen.

(Priest): Shuha l-Abba wla-Bra wal Ruha d-Qudhsha.

People: Min ‘alam wa-’dham-ma l-‘alam amen w-amen. Abun dba-shmayya nithqaddash shmakh, tethe malkuthakh, Qaddysh, qaddysh, qaddysh-at, Abun dba-shmayya. Damlen shmayya w-ar’a rabbuth shuhakh, ‘yre wnasha qa’en lakh qaddysh, qaddysh, qaddysh-at.

Deacon: Bless us, sir. | Barekh-mar.

(Deacon says to the people): Bow your heads for the prayer and accept the blessing.

 

Final Blessing

May God the Lord of all, in whose house we have assembled, and before whose greatness we have prayed for the great hope of his compassion, hear our prayer in his mercy, accept our pleading in his pity, cleanse and scour the filth of our debts and sins with the overflowing hyssop of his benevolence, give rest to the souls of our deceased in the glorious dwelling-places of his kingdom, and sprinkle the dew of his kindness upon us all. And upon us and all creatures, may the right hand of his providence rest, in his grace and mercies, now, at all times, and forever and ever.