The Lamentations.

The clergy come out of the sanctuary and stand in front of the Epitaphion, censing and beginning each stanza.

First Stanza. Mode pl. 1.

Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your ordinances.

Verse: Blessed are the blameless in the way who walk in the law of the Lord. (118:1)

In the tomb they laid you, * you, O Christ, who are Life; * in amazement angel armies lift up their song * as they glorify your self-abasement, Lord. [EL]

Verse: Blessed are those who search out His testimonies; they shall search for Him with their whole heart. (118:2)

Life, how can you perish, * or how dwell in a tomb? * Yet the royal hall of Death you now bring to nought, * and from Hades' realm you raise the dead again. [EL]

Verse: For those who work lawlessness do not walk in His ways. (118:3)

Now we magnify you, * O Lord Jesus, our King, * we pay honor to your Passion and burial * for from foul corruption you saved us thru them. [EL]

Verse: You commanded us regarding Your commandments, that we should be very diligent to keep them. (118:4)

King of all, O Jesus, * who established earth's bounds * on this day you make your home in a little tomb, * raising up the dead of ages from their graves. [EL]

Verse: Would that my ways were led, that I might keep Your ordinances. (118:5)

O my Christ, my Jesus, * King and Monarch of all, * seeking what have you descended to those in Hell? * Was it not to liberate the mortal race? [EL]

Verse: Then I would not be ashamed when I regard all Your commandments. (118:6)

He who governs all things * here is seen as a corpse, * new the grave in which his body is laid to rest, * he the one who empties graves of all their dead. [EL]

Verse: I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with an upright heart, when I learn the judgments of Your righteousness. (118:7)

In the tomb they laid you, * you, O Christ who are Life; * death itself you brought to nothing by your own death, * and became the fount of life for all the world. [EL]

Verse: I shall keep Your ordinances; do not utterly forsake me. (118:8)

Guilty with the guilty * you were judged, O my Christ, * at the moment you wrought justice for all of us, * from the ancient trickster's foul and evil deeds. [EL]

Verse: How shall a young man keep his way straight? when he keeps Your words. (118:9)

Fairer he in beauty * than are all mortal kind, * now a corpse we see, unsightly, bereft of form, * he who beautified the nature of all things. [EL]

Verse: I searched for You with my whole heart; do not drive me away from Your commandments. (118:10)

How could Hell endure it, * when in splendor you came, * and how not be swiftly shattered and plunged in dark, * blinded by the blazing glory of your light? [EL]

Verse: I hid Your teachings in my heart so as not to sin against You. (118:11)

Light that saves, O Jesus, * you are sweetness to me, * in the darkness of the grave how can you lie hid? * O forbearance that no language can express! [EL]

Verse: Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your ordinances. (118:12)

Angels are bewildered, * and the bodiless host * at a loss, O Christ, before that great mystery * your ineffable entombment, beyond speech. [EL]

Verse: With my lips I declared all the judgments of Your mouth. (118:13)

O most strange of wonders! * What new deeds we now see! * He who gave me my life's breath, lies unbreathing now, * borne to burial at noble Joseph's hands. [EL]

Verse: I delight in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. (118:14)

Like the sun when setting, * to the tomb you descend, * yet, O Christ, your Father's bosom you do not leave. * What strange paradox, what wondrous thing this is. [EL]

Verse: I shall meditate on Your commandments, and I shall understand Your ways. (118:15)

As the sky's true monarch, * as true king of the earth, * though enclosed within the narrowest sepulcher, * you were known by all creation, Jesus Lord. [EL]

Verse: I shall meditate on Your ordinances; I shall not forget Your words. (118:16)

In the tomb they laid you, * Christ the maker of all; * then were Hell's foundations shaken; they tremble now, * as the graves of mortal kind are opened wide. [EL]

Verse: Reward Your servant; I shall live, and keep Your words. (118:17)

He who in the hollow * of his hand holds the earth, * in the flesh is put to death and lies in earth's grasp, * as he now redeems the dead from Hades' grip. [EL]

Verse: Unveil my eyes, and I shall understand the wonders in Your law. (118:18)

You rose from corruption, * O my Savior, my life, * having died and gone to dwell there among the dead, * smashed and shattered Hades' brazen bolts and bars. [EL]

Verse: I am a sojourner on the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. (118:19)

Like a burning lampstand * here the flesh of our God, * as beneath a bushel measure, now lies concealed * under earth and puts the gloom of Hell to flight. [EL]

Verse: My soul longed to desire Your judgments in every season. (118:20)

Nothing can contain you, * yet the Heavenly hosts, * with the noble Joseph and with Nicodemus now * hasten to enclose you in a little grave. [EL]

Verse: You rebuke the arrogant; those who turn aside from Your commandments are accursed. (118:21)

Willingly, my Jesus, * slain and laid underground, * fount of life, you gave me life when I lay in death, * when by bitterest transgressions I was slain. [EL]

Verse: Take away reproach and contempt from me, for I searched Your testimonies. (118:22)

By your Passion, Jesus, * all creation was changed, * all things suffered with you, Word, knowing you to be * the Maintainer and Sustainer of the world. [EL]

Verse: For rulers sat and spoke against me, but Your servant meditated on Your ordinances. (118:23)

Death who eats up all things * swallowed you, Rock of Life; * when you entered in his belly he vomited, * spewing forth the dead gulped down from every age. [EL]

Verse: For Your testimonies are my meditation, and Your ordinances are my counsels. (118:24)

There, O Christ, they laid you, * in a newly made grave, * and the nature of us mortals you then renewed, * when from death you rose in majesty divine. [EL]

Verse: My soul cleaves to the earth; give me life according to Your word. (118:25)

Down to earth, O Master, * to save Adam you came, * and not finding him on earth, you descended, Lord, * to the depths of Hades, searching for him there. [EL]

Verse: I made known my ways and You heard me; teach me Your ordinances. (118:26)

All the earth was shaken * and it trembled in fear, * and the light-bearer, O Word, hid its rays away * to see you, the greatest Light, hid in the earth. [EL]

Verse: Cause me to understand the way of Your ordinances, and I shall meditate on Your wonders. (118:27)

Willingly as mortal, * O my Savior, you die, * but as God you raised the dead back to life again, * from their graves and the abysmal depths of sin. [EL]

Verse: My soul fainted because of its listlessness; establish me in Your words. (118:28)

Tears of lamentation * she pours out over you, * as your mother the pure Virgin, O Jesus, cries, * "How my son am I to lay you in the tomb?" [EL]

Verse: Remove the way of unrighteousness from me, and with Your law have mercy on me. (118:29)

Like a wheat grain buried * in the bosom of Earth, * you have yielded harvest in great abundance, Lord, * raising up all Adam's mortal progeny. [EL]

Verse: I chose the way of truth; I have not forgotten Your judgments. (118:30)

Now you have been hidden * like the sun 'neath the earth * and been covered over, veiled by the night of death. * Dawn again, O Savior, dawn more brightly yet. [EL]

Verse: I cleave to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not disappoint me. (118:31)

As the moon eclipses * the sun's disk, Savior Lord, * now the sepulcher has hidden you from our eyes, * in the flesh you undergo eclipse by death. [EL]

Verse: I ran on the path of Your commandments, when You enlarged my heart. (118:32)

Life itself, Christ Savior, * having tasted of death, * freed all mortal kind from death, liberated us * and the gift of life he now bestows on all. [EL]

Verse: Give me as law, O Lord, the way of Your ordinances, and I shall always search them. (118:33)

By your death, O Savior, * you lead back into life * Adam, who of old by envy was brought to death, * as in flesh as a new Adam you appear. [EL]

Verse: Cause me to understand, and I shall search out Your law; and I shall keep it with my whole heart. (118:34)

The angelic orders * were amazed to behold * you, our Savior, for our sake laid out as a corpse; * with their wings they veil their faces from the sight. [EL]

Verse: Guide me in the path of Your commandments, for I desire it. (118:35)

Noble Joseph takes you * as a corpse from the Tree; * new the grave, O Word, in which he now buries you. * But as God arise and save all human kind! [EL]

Verse: Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to greediness. (118:36)

To the angels, Savior, * you are gladness and joy, * but a cause of grief you now have become to them, * as they see you in the flesh a lifeless corpse. [EL]

Verse: Turn away my eyes that I may not see vanity; give me life in Your way. (118:37)

Lord you lift up with you, * lifted up on the Tree, * every living mortal, but now laid under earth * all who lie beneath it you raise up again. [EL]

Verse: Establish Your teaching in Your servant In regard to Your fear. (118:38)

In the flesh, O Savior, * like a lion you slept; * as a lion cub he rises, our Mighty Dead, * sloughing off the flesh's feebleness and age. [EL]

Verse: Take away my blame, which I have suspected, for Your judgments are good. (118:39)

Mother Eve you fashioned * from a rib, which you took * from the side of Adam; Lord, now your side is pierced, * and from thence there gush forth purifying streams. [EL]

Verse: Behold, I long for Your commandments; give me life in Your righteousness. (118:40)

Sacrificed in secret * was the lamb slain of old; * under open skies, O Savior longsuffering, * cleansing all creation, you were sacrificed. [EL]

Verse: And may Your mercy come upon me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your teaching. (118:41)

Who is there can tell it, * this dread thing, truly new: * see, the Master of creation today accepts * death and suffering, and dies now for our sake. [EL]

Verse: And I shall answer those who insult me with a word, for I hope in Your words. (118:42)

"How can life's Dispenser * now be seen as a corpse?" * cried the Angels in amazement. "How can our God * be confined here, be shut up within a grave?" [EL]

Verse: Do not take away the word of truth completely from my mouth, for I hope in Your judgments. (118:43)

When the lance, O Savior, * pierced your side, you let fall * drops of life on Eve, who from life had banished me, * giving life to her you gave me life as well. [EL]

Verse: So I shall keep Your law always, forever and unto ages of ages. (118:44)

Mortal kind you gathered * into one, Jesus Lord, * when stretched out upon the Tree, and your side was pierced; * from that life-source you pour pardon forth for all. [EL]

Verse: And I walk in a broad space, for I searched Your commandments. (118:45)

Noble Joseph, Savior, * filled with dread lays you out, * nobly readies you and buries you as a corpse, * trembling awestruck at the sight of your dread form. [EL]

Verse: I spoke of Your testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed. (118:46)

Willingly as mortal, * you went down 'neath the earth; * from the earth's depths you lead back up to Heaven's height * all of those, O Jesus, who lay fallen there. [EL]

Verse: And I meditate on Your commandments, which I love exceedingly. (118:47)

Though a corpse we see you, * yet alive as our God * you gave life again to mortals who once were slain, * put to death the one who brought me to my death. [EL]

Verse: And I raise my hands to Your commandments, which I love. And I meditate on Your ordinances. (118:48)

O the joy the gladness, * O the boundless delight, * with which, Jesus, you filled those who lay bound in Hell, * when you made light blaze throughout its murky depths. [EL]

Verse: Remember Your word to Your servant, in which You give me hope. (118:49)

Lord, your pains I worship, * and your burial praise, * and I magnify your might, Lover of mankind. * By them I am freed from passions which destroy. [EL]

Verse: This comforted me in my humiliation, for Your teaching gives me life. (118:50)

A great sword was sharpened * against you, O my Christ, * but the strong one's mighty sword has been blunted now, * and the sword that guarded Eden is turned back. [EL]

Verse: The arrogant transgressed exceedingly, but I did not turn away from Your law. (118:51)

When the Ewe that bore him * saw the Lamb that was slain, * shot with anguish she lamented and cried aloud, * rousing all the flock to join its cry to hers. [EL]

Verse: I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord, and I was comforted. (118:52)

Buried in a tomb, Lord, * and descended to Hell, * yet, O Savior, you have emptied the sepulchers, * mighty Hades you stripped naked, O my Christ. [EL]

Verse: Despondency held me because of sinners who abandon Your law. (118:53)

Willingly, O Savior, * you went down 'neath the earth, * granted life again to mortals whom death had slain, * in the glory of the Father led them up. [EL]

Verse: Your ordinances were sung to me In the place of my sojourning. (118:54)

Shameful death he suffered * in the flesh for our sake, * who is one of the divine holy Trinity. * Quails the sun and all earth shudders at the sight. [EL]

Verse: I remembered Your name in the night, O Lord, and I kept Your law. (118:55)

From the tribe of Judah * from that bitterest source, * came the offspring who cast Jesus into the pit, * him who furnished them with manna for their food. [EL]

Verse: This happened to me in the night, because I searched Your ordinances. (118:56)

Judge he stands for judgment * before Pilate as judge, * and the unjust judge condemns him to unjust death, * to be put to death upon that Tree, the Cross. [EL]

Verse: You are my portion, O Lord; I said I will keep Your law. (118:57)

Why so boastful Israel, * people tainted with blood? * Why did you deliver Barabbas from his pains, * yet hand over Christ the Savior to a Cross? [EL]

Verse: I sought Your presence with my whole heart; have mercy on me according to Your teaching. (118:58)

With your hand you fashioned * Adam out of the earth; * for him you became by nature a man, O Lord, * and were crucified for him by your own will. [EL]

Verse: I considered Your ways, and I turned my feet toward Your testimonies. (118:59)

You obeyed your Father * and descended, O Word, * to the depth of dreadful Hell, to the realm of Death, * and raised up again the race of mortal kind. [EL]

Verse: I prepared myself, and I was not troubled, that I might keep Your commandments. (118:60)

Bitterly lamenting, * "Woe is me, O my light! * my heart's longing and the Light of the World, alas! * Woe is me, my heart's desire," the Virgin cried. [EL]

Verse: The ropes of sinners ensnared me, but I did not forget Your law. (118:61)

Murderous, malicious, * men whose deeds for vengeance cry! * See the grave-clothes and the napkin left lying here, * as Christ rises from the dead: are you not shamed? [EL]

Verse: At midnight I arose to give thanks to You because of the judgments of Your righteousness. (118:62)

Murdering disciple, * bloodstained man, show me now * all the manner, all the ways of your wickedness, * thru which you became betrayer of our Christ. [EL]

Verse: I am a companion of all who fear You and keep Your commandments. (118:63)

Monster of destruction, * blind, implacable fool! * How can you pretend to act from philanthropy, * when you sold the Myrrh for thirty silver pence? [EL]

Verse: Lord, the earth is full of Your mercy; teach me Your ordinances. (118:64)

How much did they pay you * for the heavenly Myrrh? * What did you receive as price of the precious One? * You found raving madness, Satan, most accursed. [EL]

Verse: Lord, You dealt with Your servant in goodness, according to Your word. (118:65)

If you suffered anguish * as a friend of the poor, * when for mercy on a soul precious myrrh was poured, * how, then, can you sell the fount of light for gold? [EL]

Verse: Teach me goodness, instruction, and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments. (118:66)

"O God's Word, my gladness, * O my Lord and my God, * how can I endure your burial for three days? * As a mother now my heart is torn with grief." [EL]

Verse: Before I was humbled, I transgressed; therefore, I kept Your teaching. (118:67)

"Who will give me water, * give me fountains of tears," * cried the Virgin bride of God, "that I may lament * and may weep for my sweet Jesus, who lies slain?" [EL]

Verse: You are good, O Lord, and in Your goodness teach me Your ordinances. (118:68)

"Mountain heights and valleys, * all the whole human race, * come, all creatures, come lament and shed tears with me, * weep with me, who am the Mother of your God." [EL]

Verse: The unrighteousness of the arrogant multiplied against me, but I will search out Your commandments with my whole heart. (118:69)

"Savior, light eternal, * the delight of my heart, * when shall I see you, my gladness, my only joy?" * cried the Virgin most afflicted in her grief. [EL]

Verse: Their heart was curdled like milk, but I meditated on Your law. (118:70)

Like a rock, O Savior, * sharp and flinty and hard, * you received the blow, but poured forth as source of life, * streams of living water, bringing life to all. [EL]

Verse: It is good for me that You humbled me, that I might learn Your ordinances. (118:71)

As if from one fountain * as from only one spring, * from the double stream that flows from your side we drink, * and we pluck the fruit that grants immortal life. [EL]

Verse: The law of Your mouth is good for me, rather than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. (118:72)

By your will we see you, * as a corpse in the tomb, * but you live, O Word and Savior, as you foretold, * by your Resurrection you raise mortal kind. [EL]

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Word, we sing your praises, * as the Lord God of all, * with the Father and your most Holy Spirit, Lord, * and we glorify your burial divine. [EL]

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Now we call you blessed, * All-Pure Mother of God, * and in faith we hold in honor and venerate * the three day entombment of your Son our God. [EL]

(End with the first one again.)

In the tomb they laid you, * you, O Christ, who are Life; * in amazement angel armies lift up their song * as they glorify your self-abasement, Lord. [EL]


Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)


For blessed is your name, and glorified is your kingdom, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.


Second Stanza. Mode pl. 1.

It is right indeed * we should magnify the one who grants life, * you, that stretched your hands wide upon the Cross, * broke and smashed the might and power of the foe. [EL]

Verse: Your hands made and fashioned me; instruct me, and I will learn Your commandments. (118:73)

It is right indeed * you to magnify, who fashion all things, * your pains from corruption deliver us, * and your Passion grants dispassion to our souls. [EL]

Verse: Those who fear You will see me and be glad, because I hope in Your words. (118:74)

All Earth quaked in fear * and the sun concealed itself, O Savior, * when, O Christ, our light, you set bodily, * as the light that knows no evening was entombed. [EL]

Verse: I know, O Lord, Your judgments are righteousness, and You humbled me with truth. (118:75)

Sleeping in the tomb * with the sleep that breathes forth life, Anointed, * from sin's heavy sleep you, as God, aroused * all the human race that sin had held enthralled. [EL]

Verse: Let Your mercy be for my comfort, according to Your teaching to Your servant. (118:76)

"Of all woman-kind * I alone bore you, my child, without pain; * cruel pangs now wrack me as I behold * your great suffering", the Holy Virgin cries. [EL]

Verse: Let Your compassions come to me, and I shall live; for Your law is my meditation. (118:77)

Seeing you on high, * never separated from the Father, * yet below on Earth, laid out as a corpse, * the dread Seraphim, my Saviour, shake with fear. [EL]

Verse: Let the arrogant be shamed, for they transgressed unjustly against me; but I shall meditate on Your commandments. (118:78)

See, the Temple Veil, * rent asunder at your crucifixion, * Heaven's beacons hide, O my Christ, their light, * to see you, the Sun, now hid beneath the earth. [EL]

Verse: Let those who fear You turn to me, and those who know Your testimonies. (118:79)

He who at the start * by His will alone set Earth revolving, * lifeless as a mortal sets under earth; * let the sky now shake and tremble at the sight. [EL]

Verse: Let my heart be blameless in Your ordinances, that I may not be disappointed. (118:80)

Human-kind you formed, * with your own hand fashioned us, O Saviour, * now, O Sun, you set underneath the earth, * raising companies of mortals from the fall. [EL]

Verse: My soul earnestly longs for Your salvation, and I hope in Your word. (118:81)

Come, now, let us sing, * let our sacred hymn lament the dead Christ, * singing as the Myrrh-bearing women did, * that with them we too may hear the word "rejoice!" [EL]

Verse: My eyes strained to look at Your teaching, saying, "When will You comfort me?" (118:82)

Truly you are Myrrh, * truly, Word of God, the Myrrh Unfailing, * so it was myrrh-bearers brought myrrh to you, * to the Living God brought myrrh as to the dead. [EL]

Verse: I am like a leather bag in a frost; I did not forget Your ordinances. (118:83)

Buried, O my Christ, * the great palaces of Hell you shattered, * Death you put to death by your death, O Lord, * from corruption you set free those born of earth. [EL]

Verse: How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment for me upon those who persecute me? (118:84)

To the grave descends * he, the Wisdom of our God, that pours out * streams of life; descending into a tomb, * giving life to those in Hades deepest depths. [EL]

Verse: Transgressors described their meditations to me, but these are not like Your law, O Lord. (118:85)

"Willingly by death * I was wounded in the flesh, dear Mother, * thus the broken nature of mortal kind * to renew, so do not beat your breast in grief." [EL]

Verse: All Your commandments are truth; they persecuted me unjustly; help me. (118:86)

When beneath the Earth * you had set, the Morning Star of justice, * you aroused the dead as if they but slept, * as you put to flight the murk and gloom of Hell. [EL]

Verse: They almost ended my life on earth, but I did not forsake Your commandments. (118:87)

Sown with tears today, * the life-breathing grain of two-fold nature, * here within earth's furrows the grain is sown, * but tomorrow it will burst once more to life. [EL]

Verse: Give me life according to Your mercy, and I shall keep the testimonies of Your mouth. (118:88)

Trembling, Adam quailed, * when God walked in Paradise, he feared him, * but rejoices now as God enters Hell. * As of old he fell, so now he rises up. [EL]

Verse: Forever, O Lord, Your word continues in heaven. (118:89)

Offerings of tears, * O my Christ, your Mother poured out, weeping, * as in flesh you lay buried in the grave, * "But arise, my Son, as you foretold", she cried. [EL]

Verse: Your truth continues from generation to generation; You laid the foundation of the earth, and it continues. (118:90)

Filled with godly fear, * in a new tomb noble Joseph hides you, * singing, Saviour, hymns for your burial, * hymns befitting God and mingled with laments. [EL]

Verse: By Your arrangement each day continues, for all things are Your servants. (118:91)

Bolts of bitter grief * pierced you Mother's soul, and nails of anguish, * when she saw you nailed to a Tree, O Word, * saw you fastened to the Cross with cruel nails. [EL]

Verse: If Your law were not my meditation, I would have perished in my humiliation. (118:92)

When her eyes beheld * you who are the whole world's sweetness, * drinking, O my Saviour, the bitter drink, * your sweet Mother drenched her eyes with bitter tears. [EL]

Verse: I will never forget Your ordinances, for in them You give me life, O Lord. (118:93)

"Dreadful is the wound, * all my inward parts are rent asunder, * as your unjust slaughter I see, O Word", * cried the Virgin most afflicted as she wept. [EL]

Verse: I am Yours; save me, for I search Your ordinances. (118:94)

"Tell me, Word of God, * how am I to close you lips and sweet eyes, * how to bury you as befits the dead?" * cried the noble Joseph, shivering with fear. [EL]

Verse: Sinners waited for me to kill me; I understood Your testimonies. (118:95)

Sacred hymns they sing, * Nicodemus and the noble Joseph, * while the Seraphim join them in their hymn * for the burial of Christ, who now lies dead. [EL]

Verse: I saw the limit of every accomplishment; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. (118:96)

Sun of justice, now * you have set beneath the earth, my Saviour, * Therefore she, the Moon that gave birth to you, * is eclipsed with grief, at seeing you no more. [EL]

Verse: How I love Your law, O Lord; It is my meditation the whole day long. (118:97)

Hades trembled then, * when he saw you, the Life-giving Saviour, * in your might despoiling him of his wealth, * raising up the dead he held from every age. [EL]

Verse: You make me wiser than my enemies with Your commandment, for it is mine forever. (118:98)

Once the night has passed * then again, O Word, the bright Sun blazes; * radiant you blaze forth, when after death, * as though from a bridal chamber, you arise. [EL]

Verse: I understand more than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. (118:99)

How Earth quaked with fear, * O Creator, as into her bosom, * shaking, she received you, my Saving Lord, * by her fearful shaking she awoke the dead. [EL]

Verse: I understand more than the elders, for I search Your commandments. (118:100)

With sweet myrrh, O Christ, * Nicodemus and the noble Joseph * laid you out for burial strange and new, * as they cried aloud, "Now tremble, all the earth!" [EL]

Verse: I withheld my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your words. (118:101)

Maker of the light, * you have set, and with you sets the sunlight; * all creation, trembling and shuddering, * now proclaims you as the Maker all things. [EL]

Verse: I did not turn away from Your judgments, for You taught me Your law. (118:102)

Christ, our Cornerstone, * Him a stone hewn from the rock now covers; * Tremble Earth to see how a mortal man * hides away our God as mortal in a tomb! [EL]

Verse: How sweet to my taste are Your teachings, more than honey and the honeycomb in my mouth. (118:103)

"O my Child, behold * the disciple whom you loved; my sweet one, * see your Mother too, and grant us a word", * cried the Virgin as she raised her sad lament. [EL]

Verse: I gained understanding because of Your commandments; therefore, I hate every unrighteous way. (118:104)

O, Life-giving Word, * even stretched out on the Cross and nailed there, * you, as Lord of Life, did not kill the Jews, * granting resurrection even to their dead. [EL]

Verse: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my paths. (118:105)

Suffering, O Word, * you were quite bereft of form and beauty; * Rising, Lord, you shone forth resplendently, * and with your Godhead's rays made mortals fair. [EL]

Verse: I swore and confirmed that I would keep the judgments of Your righteousness. (118:106)

In the flesh you set, * 'neath the earth, Dawn Star that knows no evening, * at height of noon-day the sun grew dark, * as unable to endure the fearful sight. [EL]

Verse: I was humbled exceedingly; O Lord, give me life according to Your word. (118:107)

Sun and moon grew dark, * they are images of faithful servants, * who, as mourners, Saviour, attire themselves * in the sombre mourners' robes of deepest black. [EL]

Verse: Be well-pleased with the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your judgments. (118:108)

"Though you hung there dead, * the centurion knew you as true God. * See, with fear I shake", noble Joseph cried, * "Tell me, how am I to touch you with my hands?" [EL]

Verse: My soul is always in Your hands, and I have not forgotten Your law. (118:109)

Adam lay asleep, * and, while sleeping, from his side brought forth death. * You, O Word of God, who are sleeping here, * now are pouring from your side life for the world. [EL]

Verse: Sinners set snares for me, but I did not wander from Your commandments. (118:110)

For a while you slept, * to the dead who lay in Hell you brought life. * Rising up, O Good One, you then raised up * all the multitudes of dead from every age. [EL]

Verse: I inherited Your testimonies forever, for these are the exceeding joy of my heart. (118:111)

Vine from which life flows! * As above the earth, Lord, you were lifted, * you poured forth the wine of salvation then, * now I glorify your Passion and your Cross. [EL]

Verse: I inclined my heart to do Your ordinances forever for a reward. (118:112)

Lords of Angel Hosts, * when they saw you, O my Saviour, naked, * blood-stained, and condemned, how did they endure * to perceive your crucifiers' insolence? [EL]

Verse: Transgressors I hate, but I love Your law. (118:113)

What perversity! * Come, most crooked race of Hebrews, tell us, * how could you condemn the Anointed One, * when you knew the temple would be raised again. [EL]

Verse: You are my helper and my protector; I hope in Your word. (118:114)

In a mocking cloak * you have clothed the one who orders all things. * He arrayed the Earth, and most wondrously, * he it was who strewed the stars across the skies. [EL]

Verse: Turn away from me, you evildoers, and I shall search out the commandments of my God. (118:115)

Like the pelican, * you gave life, O Word, to your dead children, * wounded in your side, you let life-blood flow, * letting fall life-giving drops of blood on all. [EL]

Verse: Uphold me according to Your teaching, and give me life; and may You not disappoint my expectation. (118:116)

Jesus stayed the sun, * as of old he smote the foreign foe, Lord; * you, Christ, hid its light as you overthrew * that great prince, the Lord of darkness and of death. [EL]

Verse: Help me, and I shall be saved; and I shall meditate always in Your ordinances. (118:117)

O Compassionate, * while remaining in your Father's bosom, * mortal nature willingly you assumed, * and as mortal man, O Christ, went down to Hell. [EL]

Verse: You set at naught all who departed from Your ordinances, for their thought is unrighteous. (118:118)

He who hung the earth * on the waters, on a Cross is lifted, * as a lifeless corpse he is laid in earth, * which, unable to endure it, dreads and quakes. [EL]

Verse: I counted as transgressors all the sinners of the earth; for this reason I always love Your testimonies. (118:119)

"Woe is me, my Son! * For I hoped as king to see you reigning, * whom I see condemned, hanging on the Cross," * the pure Virgin Mother voices her lament . [EL]

Verse: Nail my flesh with the fear of You, for I fear You because of Your judgments. (118:120)

"Gabriel announced, * in the wondrous message that he brought me, * the eternal kingdom he said would be * the possession of my Jesus, my dear Son". [EL]

Verse: I work judgment and righteousness; do not deliver me to those who wrong me. (118:121)

"Woe, alas for me! * Now a prophecy has found fulfilment, * As the just man Symeon had foretold, * now, Emmanuel, your sword has pierced my heart." [EL]

Verse: Take Your servant to that which is good; do not let the arrogant falsely accuse me. (118:122)

Are you not ashamed? * Tell me, do not all those dead he raised up * shame you, for the Giver of life is he, * whom from spiteful envy, Jews, you did to death . [EL]

Verse: My eyes strained to look at Your salvation and at the teaching of Your righteousness. (118:123)

Bitterly she wept, * your all-blameless Mother, when she saw you * lying dead, O Word, lying in the tomb, * the eternal God no language can express. [EL]

Verse: Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy and teach me Your ordinances. (118:124)

Seeing you, my Christ, * you, the Light invisible, now hidden, * lifeless in the grave, then the sun on high * shook and trembled as its light grew dark in fear. [EL]

Verse: I am Your servant; cause me to understand, and I shall know Your testimonies. (118:125)

When she saw your death * then your Mother free from all defilement * cried out, O my Christ, bitterly to you, * "Life, I beg, do not delay among the dead!" [EL]

Verse: It is time for the Lord to act; they broke Your law. (118:126)

Hades, death's dread lord, * shook in fear, he shuddered when he saw you, * Sun of glory, deathless and radiant, * and he gave up all his prisoners in haste. [EL]

Verse: For this reason I love Your commandments more than gold and topaz. (118:127)

Terrible indeed, * great the sight that now is seen, O Saviour, * He, the cause of life, willing went to death, * wishing life to bring as gift to all mankind. [EL]

Verse: Therefore I directed myself to all Your commandments; I hated every unrighteous way. (118:128)

Lord, your side was pierced, * nails were hammered through your hands, O Saviour, * from your side came healing to heal the wound, * and to cure the greed of our first parents' hands. [EL]

Verse: Wondrous are Your testimonies; for this reason my soul searches them out. (118:129)

Once for Rachel's son * house by house were all set sadly weeping. * With his Mother now, the Disciples' choir * in its grief mourns and laments the Virgin's Son. [EL]

Verse: The revelation of Your words gives light, and it causes children to understand. (118:130)

With their hands they gave * a great blow upon the cheek of Jesus, * Christ, who with his hand fashioned all mankind * Christ, who with his hand has crushed the Beast's foul fangs. [EL]

Verse: I opened my mouth and drew in my breath, for I longed for Your commandments. (118:131)

With our hymns, O Christ, * all the faithful bring their adoration, * to your crucifixion and burial; * by your burial we have been freed from death. [EL]

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Great eternal God, * co-eternal Word and Holy Spirit, * look down in your goodness on those who rule, * grant their sceptres strength against the warlike foe. [EL]

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Wholly undefiled, * Mother, who gave birth to life, pure Virgin, * end all scandals which still beset Church, * and as you are loving, Mother, grant her peace. [EL]

(End with the first one again.)

It is right indeed * we should magnify the one who grants life, * you, that stretched your hands wide upon the Cross, * broke and smashed the might and power of the foe. [EL]


Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)


For holy are You, our God, resting on the glorious throne of the cherubim, and to You we send up glory, together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.


Third Stanza. Mode 3.

Each generation offers, * my Christ, for your entombment * in hymns and songs its praises. [EL]

Verse: Look upon me and have mercy on me, according to the judgment of those who love Your name. (118:132)

The Noble Joseph takes you * down from the Tree, my Saviour, * and in the tomb he lays you. [EL]

Verse: Direct my steps according to Your teaching and let no lawlessness rule over me. (118:133)

Myrrh-bearing Woman came then, * providently bringing * to you, O Christ, the sweet myrrh. [EL]

Verse: Ransom me from the slander of men, and I will keep Your commandments. (118:134)

Let all Creation join us, * as to the Creator * our farewell hymns we now sing. [EL]

Verse: Make Your face shine upon Your servant and teach me Your ordinances. (118:135)

With myrrh-bearing women * let us, with understanding, * anoint as dead the Living. [EL]

Verse: My eyes poured down streams of tears because they did not keep Your law. (118:136)

O thrice-blessed Joseph, * entomb Messiah's body, * the corpse of Him who grants life. [EL]

Verse: Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright is Your judgment. (118:137)

Those he fed with manna * raised their heels against him, * against the Benefactor. [EL]

Verse: You commanded Your testimonies exceedingly In righteousness and truth. (118:138)

Those he fed with manna * bring vinegar and gall now * to offer to the Saviour.. [EL]

Verse: The zeal of Your house caused me to yearn for home, for my enemies forgot Your words. (118:139)

O the boundless folly * of those who slew the prophets * and now slay God's Anointed. [EL]

Verse: Your teaching is exceedingly purified in fire, and Your servant loves it. (118:140)

Initiate yet traitor, * he, the senseless servant, * sold the Abyss of Wisdom. [EL]

Verse: I am young, and beheld as nothing, but I have not forgotten Your ordinances. (118:141)

Judas the deceiver * for silver sold the Saviour, * and thus became a captive. [EL]

Verse: Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your law is truth. (118:142)

Solomon declared it: * like a deep-dug pit the mouth * of Law-transgressing Hebrews. [EL]

Verse: Affliction and trouble found me, but Your commandments are my meditation. (118:143)

Law-transgressing Hebrews * on the crooked paths they tread * face pits and traps and sharp snares. [EL]

Verse: Your testimonies are righteousness forever; give me understanding, and I shall live. (118:144)

With Nicodemus, Joseph * buries the Creator * as for the dead is fitting. [EL]

Verse: I cry out with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord; I shall search Your ordinances. (118:145)

O Life-giving Saviour, * the conqueror of Hades, * to your great might be glory. [EL]

Verse: I cry out to You; save me, and I shall keep Your testimonies. (118:146)

When the All-Pure saw you * lying limp and dead, Lord, * as mother, Word, she mourned you. [EL]

Verse: I arose at midnight and cried out; I hoped in Your words. (118:147)

"O my sweetest springtime, * O my sweetest Offspring, * where has your beauty vanished?" [EL]

Verse: My eyes awoke before dawn that I might meditate on Your teachings. (118:148)

What sad lament she raises, * O Word, your all-pure Mother, * as you lie dead before her. [EL]

Verse: Hear my voice, O Lord, according to Your mercy; give me life according to Your judgment. (118:149)

Women with sweet myrrh came * to anoint with myrrh Christ, * who is himself Divine Myrrh. [EL]

Verse: Those who persecute me in lawlessness drew near; they are far removed from Your law. (118:150)

Death itself, O Saviour, * by death you put to death, Lord * my God, by your divine might. [EL]

Verse: You are near, O Lord; all Your commandments are truth. (118:151)

Deceived is the deceiver, * the once deceived redeemed now * my God and by your Wisdom. [EL]

Verse: From the beginning I knew Your testimonies, that You established them forever. (118:152)

Behold the traitor cast down, * to Hades' depths abysmal, * the deep pit of destruction. [EL]

Verse: Behold my humiliation and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your law. (118:153)

Traps and pits and sharp snares - * these are the ways of Judas, * the madman and thrice-wretched. [EL]

Verse: Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life because of Your word. (118:154)

All those who crucified you * will be destroyed together, * God's Word and Son, the Great King. [EL]

Verse: Salvation is far from sinners, for they have not searched Your ordinances. (118:155)

All the men of blood now * will be destroyed together * within destruction's deep pit. [EL]

Verse: Your compassions are many, O Lord; give me life according to Your judgment. (118:156)

Son of God, All-Sovereign, * my God and my Creator, * why did you will to suffer? [EL]

Verse: Many are those who pursue and afflict me, but I did not turn away from Your testimonies. (118:157)

The heifer, when she saw him, * her calf, hanged on the dread Tree, * raised up a cry of great grief. [EL]

Verse: I saw those acting foolishly, and I yearned for You; for they did not keep Your teachings. (118:158)

See, noble Joseph buries * the one life-bearing Body, * and Nicodemus helps him. [EL]

Verse: Behold, I love Your commandments; O Lord, in Your mercy, give me life. (118:159)

The weeping Maiden cried out, * and from her eyes hot tears pour, * as to the heart she is pierced. [EL]

Verse: The beginning of Your words is truth, and all the judgments of Your righteousness are forever. (118:160)

"O Light that gives my eyes light, * my gentle Son, my sweet Child, * why does the tomb now hide you?" [EL]

Verse: Rulers persecuted me without cause, but my heart feared because of Your words. (118:161)

"To free both Eve and Adam, * Mother, this I suffer. * Come, do not grieve and sorrow." [EL]

Verse: I shall greatly rejoice in Your teachings, like one finding great spoil. (118:162)

"The depth of your compassion, * I glorify my dear Son, * which makes you suffer these things." [EL]

Verse: I hate and abhor unrighteousness, but I love Your law. (118:163)

They gave you gall to drink, Lord, * and vinegar, Most Loving: * the apple's taste now passes. [EL]

Verse: I praise You seven times a day for the judgments of Your righteousness. (118:164)

To a post they nailed you, * who once your people sheltered * below a cloudy pillar. [EL]

Verse: Great peace have all who love Your law, and it is not an offense to them. (118:165)

Myrrh-bearing women, Saviour, * approach your tomb to bring you * the sweet myrrh to anoint you. [EL]

Verse: I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and I love Your commandments. (118:166)

Arise, O Lord of mercy, * and from the depths of Hades * now raise us all up with you. [EL]

Verse: My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. (118:167)

Through her tears, your Mother, * who gave you birth now cries out * "Arise, O Giver of life." [EL]

Verse: I keep Your commandments and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You, O Lord. (118:168)

Make haste to rise again, Word, * abolish now her grieving, * the all pure Maid, who bore you. [EL]

Verse: Let my supplication draw near before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your teaching. (118:169)

Heaven's awesome powers * stood amazed in terror, * to see you lying lifeless. [EL]

Verse: May my petition come before You; Deliver me according to Your teaching. (118:170)

To those who love and fear you, * and honour your dread Passion, * now give release from all faults. [EL]

Verse: My lips shall overflow in song when You teach me Your ordinances. (118:171)

A dread and most strange sight, this, * O Word of God now tell us, * how can earth cover you, Lord? [EL]

Verse: My tongue shall speak of Your teaching, for all Your commandments are righteousness. (118:172)

One Joseph bore you, Saviour * with him in flight, a second, * to burial now bears you. [EL]

Verse: Let Your hand be for saving me, for I chose Your commandments. (118:173)

Your all-pure Mother, Saviour, * with tears and lamentation * now mourns for you, who lie slain. [EL]

Verse: I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my meditation. (118:174)

All Heaven's angels tremble * Creator of the Cosmos, * at your strange, dread entombment. [EL]

Verse: My soul shall live and praise You, and Your judgments shall help me. (118:175)

Myrrh-bearers came and sprinkled * sweet myrrh upon your tomb, Lord, * at early dawn they come now. [EL]

Repeat the following verse several times, as the priest sprinkles the tomb and the people.

Myrrh-bearers came and sprinkled * sweet myrrh upon your tomb, Lord, * at early dawn they come now.

Verse: I went astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commandments. (118:176)

Peace unto your Church, Lord, * salvation to your people, * grant by your Resurrection. [EL]

Verse: Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Father, Son and Spirit, * O Trinity, my One God, * have mercy on the whole world. [EL]

Verse: Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Count all your servants worthy, * to see, Most Holy Virgin, * you Son's bright Resurrection. [EL]

(End with the first one again.)

Each generation offers, * my Christ, for your entombment * in hymns and songs its praises. [EL]


Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)


For You are the King of peace and the Savior of our souls, O Christ our God, and to You we send up glory, together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.