Prayers During Bright Week

The following notes [an annual “tradition”] come courtesy of Fr Mark Mancuso of St Elizabeth the New-Martyr, Columbia, South Carolina.

Christ is Risen!

A few notes for Bright Week and the Paschal season.

• We greet one another during the entire Paschal season (which lasts 40 days) with the words: “Christ is risen!” and the response to the greeting is: “Indeed, He is risen!”

• During Bright Week, the Holy Doors and the Deacons’ doors of the iconostasis remain open symbolizing the empty tomb of our Master and Savior: Christ is risen!

• During Bright Week, our prayers in church and at home are sung and not read as we sing all week the feast of the risen Christ: Christ is risen!

• During Bright Week, our morning and evening prayers are replaced by the singing of the short service of the Hours of Pascha (see your prayer books or see below): Christ is risen!

• During Bright Week, we do not read from the psalter at home or in church for the prophecies have been fulfilled: Christ is risen!

• During Bright Week, there is no fasting as we are at feast with the Bridegroom who processes forth from the tomb: Christ is risen!

• During the entire Paschal season there is no prostrating or kneeling permitted in church or at home for we stand with the resurrected Christ: Christ is risen!

• During the Paschal season we begin all of our prayers at home and in church by singing the troparion of Pascha: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

• During the Paschal season and extending to Pentecost, we do not pray “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth…” for the Comforter comes on Pentecost. Christ is risen!

• And most important of all: “A Pascha worthy of all honor has dawned for us. Pascha! Let us embrace each other joyously!…This is the day of resurrection. Let us be illumined by the feast. Let us embrace each other. Let us call ‘Brother’ even those who hate us, and forgive all by the resurrection, and so let us cry: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” “And unto us He has given eternal life. Let us worship His resurrection on the third day!”

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PASCHAL HOURS

PRIEST: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages

But a layman sayeth: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us.

Amen. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life. Thrice.

Then we chant:

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless One. We worship Thy cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we hymn and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, and we call upon Thy name. O come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn His Resurrection; for, having endured crucifixion, He hath destroyed death by death. Thrice.

The Hypakoe, eighth tone, once:

Forestalling the dawn, the women came with Mary, and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and heard from the angel: why seek ye among the dead, as though He were a mortal, Him Who liveth in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Go quickly and proclaim to the world that the Lord is risen and hath slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saveth mankind.

The Kontakion, eighth tone, once:

Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hades. And didst arise as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women: Rejoice! And giving peace unto Thine apostles: Thou Who dost grant resurrection to the fallen.

And these Troparia, eighth tone, once:

In the grave bodily, but in hades with Thy soul as God: in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Inexpressible.

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

How life-giving, how much more beautiful than Paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace was Thy tomb shown to be, O Christ, the source of our resurrection.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O sanctified and divine tabernacle of the Most High, rejoice! For through thee, O Theotokos, joy is given to them that cry: Blessed art thou among women, O all-spotless Lady.

Lord, have mercy. Forty times.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

If a Priest Serve: In the name of the Lord, Father bless.

PRIEST: O Lord Jesus Christ our God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, have mercy on us.

If a Reader’s service: O Lord bless.

Amen. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life. (thrice) Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

If a Priest Serve: Father bless.

PRIEST: May Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead, and trampled down death by death and on those in the tombs bestowed life, through the intercessions of His most Pure Mother, and of all the saints have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.

If a Reader’s service: O Lord bless!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Indeed, He is Risen!

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