Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prayer Rule of the Theotokos IV: The Encyclopedia of Orthodoxy

Here is one last variation of the Prayer Rule of the Theotokos. This is a reconstruction of the Rule as presented in the Russian Encyclopedia of Orthodoxy. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my dear friend, Dr. Alexander Roman, who provided the translation that enabled me to create this reconstruction. If anything on it is inaccurate, the fault is totally mine and does not reflect the excellent work that he does.

There are, of course, many other potential variations of the Prayer Rule of the Theotokos. The three variations I have now provided are meant to serve primarily as an illustration, and also to encourage others in the Byzantine tradition (both Catholic and Orthodox) to begin praying some variation of this important Rule. One can also taylor it to one's personal devotional preferences.


Prayer Rule of the Theotokos According to the Encyclopedia of Orthodoxy
I must give the credit for this to Dr. Alexander Roman, a dear friend of mine. He provided the translation from the Russian of the pertinent passages from the Encyclopedia of Orthodoxy that enabled me to reconstruct this complete Rule. The translation of the prayers, Troparia and Kontakia are those used by the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton and can be found either in their Horologion or in their magnificent “Publican’s Prayer Book.”


Introductory Prayers


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: One God, unto ages of ages. Amen.


Glory to You, O our God, glory to You!


O Heavenly King, Consoler, Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, the Treasury of Blessings and the Giver of Life, come and dwell in us, cleanse us of all stain and save our souls, O Good One!


Trisagion
Holy God! Holy Mighty One! Holy Immortal One! Have mercy on us! (Thrice with metanies)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive us our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, look upon us and heal our infirmities for Your Name’s sake.


Lord, have mercy! (thrice) Glory... both now and ever...


Our Father... For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Come, let us worship God, our King, and bow down before Him. (Metany) Come, let us worship Christ God, our King, and bow down before Him. (Metany) Come let us worship Christ, our King and our God, and bow down before Him. (Metany)


Psalm 50(51)
Have mercy on me, O God, in the greatness of Your love; in the abundance of Your tender mercies wipe out my offense.


Wash me thoroughly from malice and cleanse me from sin, for I am well aware of my malice and my sin is before me always.


It is You alone I have offended, I have done what is evil in Your sight; wherefore You are just in Your deeds and triumphant in Your judgment.


Behold, I was born in iniquities and in sins my mother conceived me. But You are the Lover of Truth: You have shown me the depths of secrets of Your Wisdom.


Wash me with hyssop and I shall be pure, cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear sounds of joy and feasting; the bones that were afflicted shall rejoice.


Turn Your face away from my offenses and wipe off all my sins. A spotless heart create in me, O God; renew a steadfast spirit in my breast.


Cast me not afar from Your face, take not Your Blessed Spirit out of me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and let Your guiding Spirit dwell in me.


I will teach Your ways to the sinners and the wicked shall return to You. Deliver me from blood-guilt, O God, my saving God, and my tongue will joyfully sing Your justice.


O Lord, You shall open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise. Had You desired sacrifice, I would have offered it, but You will not be satisfied with whole-burnt offerings.


Sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit: a crushed and humbled heart God will not spurn. In Your kindness, O Lord, be bountiful to Sion; may the walls of Jerusalem be restored.


Then will You delight in just oblation, in sacrifice and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer calves upon Your altar.


Creed
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God; begotten of the Father before all ages: Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made, of one Essence with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became Man; who was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; who rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven and is enthroned at the right hand of the Father; who will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; and of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and
Apostolic Church. I profess one Baptism for the remission of sins. O look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


At the beginning of each decade, announce the Mystery being presented for consideration. Then:


Our Father...


Hail, O Mother of God, Virgin Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou has borne the Savior of our souls! (10 times)


Followed by:

Open to us the doors of Mercy, blessed Mother of God (or Theotokos), so that we who hope in thee may not perish, but be saved by thee from troubles, for thou art the salvation of the Christian people.
Then the appointed Troparion.
  1. 1)  Nativity of the Theotokos
    Your Nativity, O Mother of God, heralded joy to the whole universe, for from you rose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God. He cancelled the curse and poured forth His grace; He vanquished death and granted us eternal life.

  2. 2)  Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
    Today is the prelude of the benevolence of God, and the announcement of the salvation of men. In the Temple of God the Virgin is seen openly, foretelling to all the coming of Christ. Wherefore, let us cry to her in a loud voice: “Hail, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s plan.

  3. 3)  Death of Sts. Joachim and Anna
    Triumphant leader, to you belongs our prize of victory! And since you saved us from adversity, we offer you our thanks. We are your people, O Mother of God! But, as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger that we may cry out to you: Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever-pure!

  4. 4)  Annunciation/Incarnation
    Today is the beginning of our salvation and the revelation of the Mystery that was planned from all eternity. The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel announces this grace. Let us join him in crying out to the Mother of God: “Hail, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!”

  5. 5)  Meeting of the Theotokos and St. Elizabeth
    It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, who are ever-blessed and all-blameless and the Mother of our God. More honored than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, you who without stain did bear God the Word. You are truly Theotokos; we magnify you!

  6. (One could also recite the Magnificat in place of the above)
  1. 6)  Nativity of Christ
    Your Nativity, O Christ our God, has shed the light of knowledge upon the world. Through it, those who had been star-worshippers learned through a star to worship You, O Sun of Justice, and recognize in you the One Who rises from on high; O Lord, glory to You!

  2. 7)  Meeting in the Temple with Symeon
    Hail O Full of Grace, Virgin and Mother of God, from you has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, enlightening those who stand in darkness. You too O just elder Symeon, rejoice for you carried in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who grants us resurrection.

  3. 8)  Flight into Egypt
    Triumphant leader, to you belongs our prize of victory! And since you saved us from adversity, we offer you our thanks. We are your people, O Mother of God! But, as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger that we may cry out to you: Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever-pure!

  4. 9)  Finding of Christ in the Temple
    Triumphant leader, to you belongs our prize of victory! And since you saved us from adversity, we offer you our thanks. We are your people, O Mother of God! But, as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger that we may cry out to you: Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever-pure! 

  5. 10) Crucifixion
  6. The noble Joseph took down from the Tree Your spotless Body and wrapped it in pure linen with spices and laid it for burial in a new tomb.

  7. 11) Resurrection
  8. Christ is risen from the dead and by His death He has trampled upon Death, and has given life to those who were in the tombs!

  9. 12) Ascension
  10. You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, and gladdened Your Disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Through Your blessing, they were confirmed in their belief that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World!

  11. 13) Pentecost/Descent of the Holy Spirit
  12. Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who have filled the fishermen with wisdom by sending down the Holy Spirit upon them; and who through them have caught in Your net the whole world. O Lover of Mankind, glory to you!

  13. 14) Dormition/Assumption
  14. In giving birth, you have preserved your virginity, and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Mother of God. You have passed to Life being the Mother of Life; through your intercession, save our souls from death.

  15. 15) Glorification of the Trinity
  16. It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, who are ever-blessed and all-blameless and the Mother of our God. More honored than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, you who without stain did bear God the Word. You are truly Theotokos; we magnify you! 

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