The Orthodox Pages
THE CHOIR'S HANDBOOK
The Priest, making a lowly reverence before the Bishop’s throne shall then vest himself with only the epitrakhelion and say:
Blessed is our God always, now and for ever: world without end.
PRIEST: Glory be to Thee, our God, glory be to Thee.
O heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of Truth, that art in all places and fillest all things, Treasure of goodness, and Giver of life: come and abide in us; and cleanse us from all that defileth, and save our souls, O Thou who art Good.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.
CHOIR: Amen. Lord have mercy. 
Glory…Now… O come, let us worship… 
PSALM 50, 
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
PSALM 69 
Make haste, O God, to deliver me, make haste to help me, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.
PSALM 142 
Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.
And the Reader shall recite the Small Doxology:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee, for Thy great mercy.
Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; O Lord the Only- begotten Son Jesus Christ, and Thou O Holy Spirit.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us, Thou that takest away the sins of the world.
Receive our prayer, Thou that sittest on the right hand of the Father, and have mercy upon us.
For Thou only art Holy, Thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Everyday I will bless Thee and praise Thy name for ever and ever.
O Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation. I said, Lord have mercy upon me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.
O Lord, unto Thee have I fled for refuge, teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God.
For with Thee is the fountain of life, and in Thy light shall we see light.
Continue Thy mercy upon those that know Thee.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name for evermore. Amen.
O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us as our trust is in Thee.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statutes.
Blessed art Thou, O Master: make me to understand Thy statutes.
Blessed art Thou, O Holy One: enlighten me with Thy statutes.
O Lord, Thy mercy is for ever: despise not the works of Thine hands.
To Thee belongeth praise, to Thee belongeth hymns, to Thee belongeth glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.
And then the Creed
After the Creed, the choir shall sing or recite the canon to the Theotokos or Canon appointed for the day.
For Thine is the kingdom...
READER: Troparion of the day or
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for destitute of all defence, we sinners, O Master, offer unto Thee this prayer. Have mercy upon us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, for in Thee have we put our trust. Be not altogether wroth with us, neither remember our iniquities, but inasmuch as Thou art merciful, look down upon us even now, and deliver us from our enemies. For Thou art our God and we are Thy people. We all are the work of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.
Now and for ever: world without end. Amen.
Open the gate of compassion unto us, O blessed Mother of God, so that hoping in thee we shall not fail, but through thee may we be delivered from all adversity; for thou art the salvation of all Christian peoples.
Kyrie eleison. 
Prayer of the Hours.
O Thou, who at all times and every hour, art worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy and ever-compassionate, who lovest the righteous and hast mercy upon sinners, who callest all to salvation through the promise of the blessings to come: Do Thou, O Lord, at this very hour accept our supplications, and direct our lives in the way of Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, purify our bodies, correct our reasoning, cleanse our thoughts: and deliver us from all affliction, evil and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that being guarded and guided by their interposition, we mat attain unto the unity of the faith, and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Kyrie eleison (3) Glory… Now…
More honourable than the cherubim…
In the name of the Lord, Father, give the blessing.
God be merciful unto us, and bless us. May His face shine forth upon us and have mercy upon us.
Prayer to The Most
Holy Mother of God
O spotless, undefiled, incorrupt, immaculate, pure Virgin, Lady and Bride of God, who didst by thy glorious birth-giving join God the Word to mankind, and the banished nature of our race didst thou unite with the heavenly. The only hope of the hopeless and the help of the oppressed: the constant help of those who flee to thee, and refuge for all Christians. Despise not me a sinner, abominable and wretched that I am, who has become wholly unprofitable through my shameful thoughts, words and deeds, and by slothful mind am become a slave to the pleasures of life. But as the Mother of God, who loveth mankind, with loving kindness have compassion on me a sinner and prodigal, and accept my supplication offered thee from lips defiled, and with maternal boldness, implore thy Son and our Lord and Master, that He may of His goodness, open unto me also, the bowels of His loving-kindness, and disregarding my countless offences, to direct me towards repentance, and to manifest me as a tried worker of His commandments. And as thou art merciful, compassionate, and loving-kind, do thou be ever present with me: In this life be thou my fervent protector and helper, a fortress guarding me from the assaults of my adversaries. And guide me towards salvation, and at the time of my departure, watch over my wretched soul and drive away from it the dark forms of the evil demons. And on that dread day of judgement, deliver me from the eternal punishment, and manifest me as an heir of the ineffable glory of thy Son and our God. All of which I may obtain, my Lady, and most holy Mother of God, through thy mediation and help. By the grace and love for mankind of thine only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ: to whom belongs all glory, honour and worship, together with His eternal Father and His all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit; now and for ever: world without end. Amen.
to Our Lord Jesus Christ
And grant us, O Master, as we go forth to our sleep, rest for body and soul, and preserve us from the dark sleep of sin, and from every dark passion of the night. Calm the assaults of the passions, quench the fiery arrows of the evil one, that are deceitfully cast at us, restrain the insurrection of our flesh and every earthly and material thought do Thou put to rest. And grant us, O God, a watchful mind, chaste thoughts, a sober heart, and a gentle sleep, free from every satanic illusion. And raise us at the hour of prayer established in Thy commandments, and holding steadfast within us the remembrance of Thy judgements. Grant us all the night long to utter Thy praises, that we may hymn, bless and glorify Thy most honourable and majestic Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.
O most glorious and ever-Virgin blessed Mother of God, commend our prayer to thy Son and our God, and entreat Him, that through thee, He may save our souls.
The Father is my hope, the Son my refuge, the Holy Spirit my protection: Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.
All my hope I entrust unto thee, O Mother of God, do thou keep me safe under thy shelter.
Prayer to the Guardian Angel.
O Holy Angel, guardian of my wretched soul and miserable life. Do not thou forsake me a sinner; neither do thou depart from me because of my intemperance: Give not place to the evil demon to obtain dominion over me by gaining control of this mortal body. Strengthen my wretched and feeble hand and guide me on the path of salvation. Yea, O Holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my wretched soul and body; forgive me all, however many times I have grieved thee all the days of my life, and whatever sins I have committed this day. Shelter me this night and preserve me from every influence of the adversary: that I may not anger God by any sin. And intercede unto the Lord for me, that He may establish me in His fear, and manifest me as a worthy servant of His goodness. Amen.
As our victorious leader of triumphant hosts, and our deliverer from evil we thy flock ascribe to thee, songs of thanksgiving O Mother of God. Inasmuch as thou hast invincible might, keep us free from every danger, that we may cry to thee; Hail, O Bride Unwedded.
Glory… Now… Kyrie eleison 
Holy Father give the blessing.
The Priest facing toward the west shall give the Dismissal saying:
May Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most pure and undefiled Mother; of the holy and all-glorious Apostles; of our holy God- bearing fathers; of [name of the saint to whom the Church is dedicated]; and of all the saints, have mercy upon us, and save our souls: For He is good and loving-kind.
And turning to face east and the Icon of Christ he shall say:
Let us pray for the peace of the whole world.
CHOIR: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. And after each petition
For our father and Archbishop [Name] and for all our brethren in Christ,
For our absent fathers and brethren,
For those who minister and have ministered unto us,
For those who hate and love us,
For those who have asked of us sinners to pray for them,
For the deliverance of those held captive,
For the fair sailing of those at sea,
For those who in sickness are bedridden,
Let us pray also for the abundance of the fruits of the earth.
And for all our departed fathers, brethren, and Orthodox Christians everywhere who have fallen asleep.
Let us say for them, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison.
Την Ωραιότητα Tone 3
Seeing the comeliness of thy virginity, And the resplendence of thy purity, Gabriel, in amazement cried out to thee, O Mother of God: What praise is meet that I may offer thee, What name can I assign to thee, I’m at a loss and dumbfounded. Therefore as I have been charged I cry to thee, Hail, thou who art full of grace.
By the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.
And turning to face the people he shall make a lowly reverence and say:
Bless, holy fathers [brethren], forgive me the sinner.
And they shall reply:
May God forgive thee, holy father.