Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Triumphant Leader, to you belong the strains of victory, and since you save us from adversity we offer you our thanks: We are your people, O Mother of God. So, as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from dangers that we may cry out to you: Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure.



The priest begins:

AN ARCHANGEL was sent from heaven to greet the Mother of God. And as he saw you taking a body, O Lord, at the sound of his bodiless voice, he stood rapt in amazement and cried out to her in these words:

Hail, O you through whom joy will shine forth;
Hail, O you through whom the curse will disappear!

Hail, O Restoration of the fallen Adam;
Hail, O Redemption of the tears of Eve!

Hail, O Peak above the reach of human thought;
Hail, O Depth even beyond the sight of angels!

Hail, O you who have become a kingly throne;
Hail, O you who carry Him who carries all!

Hail, O Star who manifest the Sun,
Hail, O Womb of the divine Incarnation!

Hail, O you through whom creation is renewed;
Hail, O you through whom the Creator becomes a Babe!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! SECOND CHANT

Knowing herself for ever pledged to purity, the holy Maiden boldly said to Gabriel: Your strange message appears to me hard of acceptance; for how can you speak of virginity and conception, crying out: Alleluia.


When the Virgin tried to fathom the mystery, she asked the messenger: Tell me, how can a son come forth from my virginal womb? With fear he answered saying to her:

Hail, O you who know the plan beyond description;
Hail, O confidence of those who approach you in silence!

Hail, O preface of Christ's miracles;
Hail, O book of His teachings!

Hail, O celestial ladder by whom the Lord descended;
Hail, O bridge leading from earth to heaven!

Hail, O most renowned marvel of the angels;
Hail, O most painful wound of demons!

Hail, O you who brought forth the Light ineffable;
Hail, O you who cost teach our reason to accept!

Hail, O you who exceed the knowledge of the wise;
O Hail, O you who illumine the minds of the faithful!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! FOURTH Chant

The power of the Most High overshadowed her who knew not wedlock, and revealed her fruitful womb as a garden of delight to all those who desire to gather salvation, as they sing: Alleluia.

Alleluia. FIFTH Chant

Bearing God in her womb, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth whose unborn babe recognized her greetings. He rejoiced and leaped as if he were singing to the Mother of God:

Hail, O branch of a Tree ever green;
Hail, O soil producing fan imperishable Fruit!

Hail, O you who reared the Labourer who loves mankind;
Hail, O Mother of Him who sowed our life!

Hail, O fertile meadow of mercies abundant;
Hail, O table laden with forgiveness!

Hail, O you who revive the green fields of bliss;
Hail, O you who prepare a haven for souls!

Hail, O acceptable incense of intercession;
Hail, O propitiation for all the world!

Hail, O good pleasure of God among men;
Hail, O access of the human race to God.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! SIXTH CHANT

The chaste Joseph felt within him the storm of troublous conflict. He became perplexed as he looked upon you, O Virgin. And he feared that you had been betrayed, O blameless one. But when he knew that your conception was of the Holy Spirit, he said: Alleluia.


The choir sings the Kondakion.


The shepherds heard the angels extolling the coming of Christ in the flesh, and they hastened unto Him as unto a shepherd. And when they beheld Him feeding at Mary's breast as a spotless lamb, they sang to her saying:

Hail, O Mother of both Lamb and Shepherd;
Hail, O fold of rational sheep!

 Hail, O weapon against unseen foes;
Hail, O key of the gates of paradise!

Hail, for heaven rejoices with earth;
Hail, for earth sings with heaven.

Hail, O unstilled voice of the Apostles;
Hail, O impregnable strength of martyrs.

Hail, O firm support of faith;
Hail, O shining token of grace.

Hail, O you through whom Hades has been despoiled;
Hail, O you through whom we have put on glory.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! EIGHTH CHANT

WHEN THEY SAW the Star moved by God, the Magi followed its glittering light; and using it as a beacon they found through it the Mighty King; and reaching the One beyond all reach, they rejoiced and cried out to Him: Alleluia!


THE SONS OF CHALDEA saw in the Virgin's hands the One whose hands had fashioned men: and acknowledging Him as Master, although He had taken the form of a servant they hastened to honor Him with their gifts, and cried out to the Blessed One:

Hail, O Mother of the never-setting Star;
Hail, O mystical radiance of day.

Hail, O quencher of the furnace of guile;
Hail, O light to those who have knowledge of the Trinity.

Hail, O you who did expel the tyrant from his kingdom;
Hail, O you who did reveal Christ, the Lord, lover of men.

Hail, O you who deliver us from pagan doctrine;
Hail, O you who rescue us from the flames of passion.

Hail, O guide of the faithful to chastity;
Hail, O joy of all generations.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! TENTH CHANT

THE MAGI, become God-bearing messengers, returned to Babylon, conforming to your command. They announced to all that you are the Christ, and they forsook the inept Herod, too spiteful to sing. Alleluia.


ILLUMINATING EGYPT with the light of truth, you cast away the darkness of error. For the idols, unable to stand your might, fell down, and those who had been delivered from them cried out to the Mother of God:

Hail, O Resurrection of mankind;
Hail, O Downfall of the demons!

Hail, O you who crushed the error of deceit;
Hail, O you who exposed the fraud of idols!

Hail, O Sea who drowned the symbolic Pharao;
Hail, O Rock who quenched those who thirst for life!

Hail, O Pillar of fire who guided those in darkness;
Hail, O Shelter of the world, wider than the clouds!

Hail, O Food who took the place of Manna;
Hail, O Handmaid of holy delight!

Hail, O Land of the promised good;
Hail, O you who flow with milk and honey!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! TWELFTH CHANT

AS SIMEON was about to cave the present deceitful world, You were entrusted to him as an infant, but You made Yourself known to him as the perfect God. Wherefore he marveled at your wisdom beyond words, and cried out: Alleluia!


The choir rings the Kondakion.


To be recited during the third week.

THE CREATOR displayed a new creation to us who had come from Him: He came forth from a virginal womb and He left it intact as it had been, so that at the sight of this marvel, we may sing to her and cry out:

Hail, O flower of virginity;
Hail, O crown of chastity.

Hail, O you who flash forth the sign of Resurrection;
Hail, O you who have shown us the life of angels.

Hail, O tree of delectable fruit nourishing the faithful;
Hail, O shady plant, beneath whose leaves many find cover.

Hail, O you who did bear the guide of the wanderers;
Hail, O you who engendered the Redeemer of captives.

Hail, O intercessor with the righteous Judge;
Hail, O forgiveness for many transgressors.

Hail, O compassionate garment of the naked;
Hail, O tenderness surpassing all tenderness.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure. FOURTEENTH CHANT

NOW that we have seen this strange birth, let us estrange ourselves from the world and turn our minds to heaven: indeed, it is for this that the God most high appeared on earth as a lowly man, desiring to draw up to heaven those who cry out to Him: Alleluia!


The infinite Word dwelt among men but was not removed from those above, for divine condescension needed no change of place. His birth was of a Virgin overshadowed by the Spirit of God, who heard these hymns of:

Hail, O sanctuary of God whom no place can bound;
Hail, O gate of the sublime mystery.

Hail, O message hidden from the unfaithful;
Hail, O unquestionable pride of those who do believe.

Hail, O sacred chariot of Him who rides upon the Cherubim;
Hail, O holy abode of Him who sits upon the Seraphim.

Hail, O you who reconciled things opposed;
Hail, O you who united virginity and motherhood.

Hail, O you by whom iniquity was abated;
Hail, O you by whom paradise was opened.

Hail, O key of the kingdom of Christ;
Hail, O hope of eternal blessedness.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure. SIXTEENTH CHANT

All the orders of angels were amazed at the great event of Your incarnation, for they saw the God beyond all reach, become a man accessible to all, walking among us and listening to us all chanting: Alleluia!


O MOTHER OF GOD, we see the best of speakers become as mute as fish in your regard, for they could not explain how you could give birth while remaining a virgin. As for us, while marveling at the mystery, we cry out to you with faith:

Hail, vessel of God's wisdom;
Hail, treasury of His providence.

Hail, you who expose the foolishness of the wise;
Hail, you who silence the tongue of orators.

Hail, for those who would explain you labored in vain;
Hail, for you dried up the inventors of myths.

Hail, for Athenian subtlety dissolved before your name;
Hail, for you did fill the fishermen's nets.

Hail, you who drew us from the depths of ignorance;
Hail, you who implanted knowledge in many minds.

Hail, ship of salvation to men of good will;
Hail, haven for those who struggle on the ocean of life.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure. EIGHTEENTH CHANT

When the Maker of all planned to save the world, He freely came among us. At once our God and our Providence, He took our flesh and, having become like unto us, lovingly listens as we cry: Alleluia.


The choir sings the Kondakion.


O VIRGIN Mother of God, you are the Bastion of Virgins and of all those who have recourse to you. For the Maker of heaven and earth covered you with this shadow, O Pure One, and came to dwell in your womb, and taught us all to cry out to you:

Hail, O pillar of Virginity;
Hail, O gate of salvation.

Hail, O source of our rebirth to reason;
Hail, O bestower of divine beneficence.

Hail, for you did regenerate our fallen race;
Hail, for you did instill the truth in minds lacking truth.

Hail, for you destroyed the work of corrupter of souls;
Hail, for you did give birth to the sower of purity.

Hail, O holy chamber of virginal wedlock;
Hail, O reconciliation of the faithful with God.

Hail, O gracious instructress of virgins;
Hail, O adornment of the souls of Saints.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! TWENTIETH CHANT

All praise falls short when it tries to comprehend the multitude of your mercies, O most holy King; for if our hymns were as many as the sands of the seashore, they would still be as nothing compared to what you have done for us who sing to you: Alleluia!


WE SEE the holy Virgin as a brilliant luminary enlightening those who live in darkness; for having kindled the immaterial Light, she leads men to the knowledge of God and fills their minds with her radiance, so that she is worthily praised in these words: Hail, O radiance of the suprasensible sun; Hail, O beam of light that sets not.

Hail, O lightning illuminating our souls;
Hail, O thunder that strikes down the enemy.

Hail, for you caused the radiant light to dawn;
Hail, for you made the overflowing stream gush forth.

Hail, O image of Bethesda's pool;
Hail, O remover of the abomination of sin.

Hail, O laver purifying conscience;
Hail, O cup wherein joy is compounded.

Hail, O sweet fragrance of Christ;
Hail, O life of the mystical banquet.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! TWENTY-SECOND CHANT

BECAUSE He wished to grant release from all the ancient debts, the Remitter of all debts came down Himself to those who had spurned his grace, He tore up their obligations, and heard from all of them this cry: Alleluia!


In honoring your maternity, O Theotokos, we praise you, O living temple. For the Almighty Lord who holds all in His hand has dwelt in your womb, sanctifying and glorifying you and teaching all men to sing to you:

Hail, O tabernacle of God, the Word;
Hail, O holiest of all saints.

Hail, O ark guilded by the Spirit;
Hail, O inexhaustible treasury of life.

Hail, O precious crown of pious kings;
Hail, O true honor of zealous priests.

Hail, O unshakable tower of the Church;
Hail, O unbreachable wall of our nation.

Hail, O you through whom the flags of victory fly;
Hail, O you through whom the enemy is destroyed.

Hail, O healing of my body;
Hail, O salvation of my soul.

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure!

Hail, O Virgin and Bride ever pure! TWENTY FOURTH CHANT

O MOTHER worthy of all praise, you who have given birth to the Word, the Holiest of the Holy, accept this present offering, deliver all men from every affliction, and save from the future punishment those who cry out to you: Alleluia!


The choir sings the Kondakion.

At the magnificence of your virginity and your exceedingly splendorous purity Gabriel stood amazed and cried out to you, O Theotokos: what praise may I offer you that is worthy of your beauty? By what name shall I call you? I am lost and bewildered But I shall greet you as I was commanded: Hail, O full of grace.

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