The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

The Divine Liturgy of Saint James

THE ENARXIS OR PREPARATION

Note (1): Deacons do not enter or leave the Sanctuary through the Royal Doors unless the Liturgy contains specific instructions for them to do so. Nor do they ever cross the Sanctuary in front of the Altar, and only cross the Sanctuary behind the Altar when it is necessary for them to do so to carry out their duties. In general, if there are two deacons, one should remain on the left and one on the right of the Altar. When entering the Sanctuary, the right foot should enter first; the Sanctuary should be left backwards (that is, facing the Altar), with the left foot first.

Note (2): The vestments of the clergy should be blessed, and the clergy should be vested, if not now, then prior to the Raising of Incense. All clergy who are to participate in the Liturgy stand with their vestments over their left arms. The Priest (or, if there is a Bishop present, the Bishop; or, if there is more than one Priest, the Priest who will be the principal celebrant) signs himself with the cross saying:

 

Blessing of Vestments

Priest : + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, One God.

He then crosses the vestments of the other clergy three times, saying aloud:

Priest :

+ Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen.

+ Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

+ Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Amen.

If the celebrant is a Bishop, he alone does this. If the celebrant is a Priest and there is another Priest present, the celebrant says + Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen, and then gives his hand cross to the other Priest who says + Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen, then returning the hand cross to the celebrant who concludes the blessing. The celebrant then says:

Priest: Lord, make us worthy to pray thankfully:

Our Father…

The clergy together recite the Lord’s Prayer. The celebrant then prostrates before the other clergy. If there is another Priest present, he says: I have sinned; absolve and forgive me. If there is no other Priest present he says: I have sinned, forgive me. The deacons (and any other Priests) kiss the hand cross of the celebrant saying quietly: I have sinned, absolve me, and the Priest says quietly: God absolves you. The clergy then assume their vestments.

After the offering of the Morning Incense, the Curtain remains open. On the Table of Prothesis within the Sanctuary stand the flasks of wine and water, the wine being on the right and the water on the left of the paten which is in front (or, if the size of the table will not allow that, to the right) of the chalice. The basket containing the bread is on a table outside the Sanctuary, and is covered with a cloth. There should be at least five breads, arranged in the form of a cross; however, there must be an uneven number of breads (three, five, seven and so on). The breads should be placed so that the three wounds are to the right.

 

The First Lavabo

The Priest stands within the Sanctuary; a deacon brings to him a ewer of water and a bowl, and a towel over his left arm. The Priest washes his hands three times saying,

Priest :

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.

I will wash mine hands in innocency : so will I compass Thine altar, O Lord.

The Priest dries his hands, takes a veil from the altar and folds it, placing it within his left sleeve, and stands at the door of the Sanctuary, facing west. The deacons leave the Sanctuary by the side doors, one carrying the two flasks of wine and water.

 

The Preparation

A deacon bearing the covered basket of bread stands in front of the Priest, facing east; if there is another Priest present, he carries the basket. If there is more than one assisting Priest, the senior assisting Priest carries the basket, the other the wine. If there are three assisting priests, they hold, in order of seniority, the basket, the wine and the water, and follow the instructions which would apply if these were carried by deacons.

Two other deacons stand on either side of the deacon bearing the basket, the one to the north of the basket carrying the wine flask on a veil in his right hand and a lighted candle in his left; his right hand is crossed over his left hand. The other deacon stands to the south carrying the water flask in his right hand (but without a veil), a lighted candle in his left hand, and with his right hand crossed over his left hand.

If there is only one deacon to carry both wine and water, he stands to the north of the basket with the wine in his right hand and the water in his left, his right hand crossed over his left hand.

The Priest crosses himself once silently, and uncovers the basket. He places his hand cross in the basket to his right, and takes the flask of wine from the deacon. He smells the flask of wine and offers it to the deacon or priest carrying the bread, and to the deacon who was carrying the wine, and if it is good each says,

Priest : Good and pleasant.

The Priest takes the flask of wine into his left hand and holds it on the lower left hand side of the basket. Taking up his hand cross with his right hand, he crosses himself, saying aloud:

Priest : + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, One God.

He then crosses the basket three times, touching the loaves at each extreme of the cross each time and then touching the flask of wine, saying aloud:

Priest :

+ Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen.

+ Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

+ Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Amen.

Placing his hand cross down on the bottom right hand side of the basket he takes the flask of wine with his right hand and crosses the basket once with the wine flask, touching the breads at each extreme of the cross, and saying aloud:

Priest : Glory and honour, honour and glory unto the Holy Trinity : the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Priest returns the wine flask to the deacon and says aloud:

Priest : O Lord, hearken unto us and have mercy upon us

and forgive us our sins. Amen.

Deacons : Kyrie eleison ! (41 times)

While the deacons and the people chant, the Priest crosses his right hand over his left, saying silently:

Priest: God chooses for himself a good lamb, without defilement or imperfection

The Priest takes the loaves in turn, selecting the best as the Lamb. He then touches all the other loaves with the Lamb, beginning with those at the top of the basket, then those at the bottom, those at the left and those at the right. Taking the veil from his sleeve, he lays the Lamb on the back of the veil and wipes any flour from the Lamb. He then places the Lamb in the centre of the basket, shakes the veil to remove any flour, and turns it over, placing the Lamb in the centre of the front of the veil, holding it on his left hand. He moistens his right thumb with wine, and crosses the centre of the Lamb with wine, saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of glory

He then crosses the loaves at the top of the basket saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of blessing.

He then crosses the loaves at the bottom of the basket saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of Abraham.

He then crosses the loaves on the left of the basket saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of Isaac

He then crosses any loaves on the right of the basket saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of Jacob.

He finally crosses the centre of the Lamb again saying inaudibly:

Priest: The sacrifice of Melchizadek.

The Priest places the veil, face upwards, in a diamond shape, on the basket. Holding the Lamb in his left hand, he extends his right hand and the deacon carrying the flask of water pours a little into the Priest’s hand. The Priest wipes the Lamb over all of its surface (but without turning it over) with the water and places the Lamb in the centre of it. He folds the veil, left side first, then right, then bottom, then top. If the basket has been held by a Priest, the principal Priest closes the cover and holds out his right hand to that Priest saying, inaudibly:

Priest: I have sinned; absolve me

The other Priest touches his hand saying inaudibly:

Priest: God absolve you; absolve me.

If the basket was held by a deacon, the Priest hold his hand cross for the deacon to kiss, saying inaudibly:

Priest: I have sinned; forgive me, my brother.

The deacon replies, inaudibly:

Deacon: I am the sinner; absolve me.

 

The Procession of the Lamb

The Priest takes the Lamb in his right hand and turns to the Altar. The basket is returned to its place outside the Sanctuary. The Priest and the deacons carrying the wine and water enter the Sanctuary through the Royal Doors. The deacons stand at the north-west corner of the Altar.

The Priest bows towards the Altar and silently remembers those for whom he is offering the Sacrifice; he then turns towards the people, raising the Lamb wrapped in the veil, with his hand cross in front of it facing the people, and lifts the Lamb above his head and bowing, says aloud:

Priest : Glory and honour, honour and glory unto the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Peace and edification unto the Church of God: the One, Holy, Catholic andApostolicChurch. Amen.

Remember, O Lord, those who offered unto Thee these oblations, those for whom they were offered and those by whom they are offered. Grant them all Thy heavenly recompense.

The Priest turns back to the east, and then processes around the Altar, followed by the deacon bearing the wine, and then the deacon bearing the water, each also bearing candles in their left hands. Any other Priests present prostrate themselves within the Sanctuary facing towards the Altar. The deacons chant:

Deacons : Pray for these holy and precious gifts, for our sacrifices and those who have offered them. Kyrie eleison !

People : Alleluia ! This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us. O Lord, straighten our ways. Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord. Alleluia !

During fasts the People shall respond :

People : Alleluia ! The thought of man shall confess unto Thee, O Lord, and the remains of his thoughts will keep festival to Thee. Accept the oblations. Alleluia !

During Great Lent the People shall respond :

People : Alleluia ! Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God. Alleluia ! Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions. Alleluia !

The Priest reaches the Royal Doors again and, turning to face the people, makes the Sign of the Cross over them with the Lamb and the Cross in silence. The deacons place the flasks of wine and water on the Table of Prothesis, as they were before and stand away from the table. The Priest places the Lamb upon the paten beneath which is a linen mat. He crosses himself saying aloud:

Priest : + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, One God.

He then blesses the elements three times with his hand cross

Priest: + Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen.

+ Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

+ Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Amen.

At each Sign of the Cross he touches (on the downward stroke) the Lamb, and the flasks of water (on the left stroke) and wine (on the right stroke).

Deacon: One is the Holy Father; One is the Holy Son; One is the Holy Spirit, Amen. Blessed be the Lord God unto all ages. Amen. Praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise Him all ye people. For His lovingkindness is great towards us : and the truth of the Lord enbdureth for ever. Amen. Alleluia !

People: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Alleluia !

While the deacon and people are singing the Priest veils the Lamb saying inaudibly :

Priest : Glory and honour, honour and glory unto the Holy Trinity : the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

While the deacon and people are singing, the Priest takes the flask of wine and goes to the Royal Doors; facing the people, he makes the Sign of the Cross over them with it. He returns to the Table of Prothesis and empties the wine into the chalice in the form of a cross, ensuring that all the wine drains from the flask. He holds the empty flask out to a deacon who fills it with about one fifth of water. The Priest shakes the flask to remove any remaining wine, and pours the water into the chalice in the form of a cross, ensuring that all the water drains from the flask. He then veils the chalice.

The deacons leave the Sanctuary by the side doors and stand on either side of the Royal Doors, facing towards the people.

The Bishop (or Priest, if he is the celebrant) stands before the Holy Altar and the concelebrant presbyters stand around it. And the Bishop (or Priest) in a quiet voice so that he might be heard by the concelebrants, says this prayer as he faces towards the east :

 

Prayer of Preparation

Priest : Though defiled with the multitude of my sins, reject me not utterly, O Master, Lord our God. For behold, I have come to this Thy divine and heavenly mystery, not as being worthy, but looking to Thy goodness. I address my voice unto Thee : O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and am not worthy to gaze upon this Thy sacred and spiritual table, whereon Thine Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is to be set forth as a mystic sacrifice through me who am sinful, and marked with every stain. Therefore, I offer unto Thee this supplication and thanksgiving, in order that Thy Spirit, the Comforter, may be sent down to strengthen and fortify me for this service; and do Thou count me worthy to declare, without condemnation, Thy word delivered by me to Thy people from Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy most holy, good, life-giving and consubstantial Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

After this prayer, the Bishop or Priest, standing in front of the Holy Altar and facing to the east, exclaims :

 

The Invocation

Priest : + Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, Eternal Trinity and only light of Godhead, one in Essence and undivided. The one Almighty God is the Trinity, Whose glory the heavens declare, and the earth His power, and the sea His might, and every sentient and intelligent creature proclaims everywhere His greatness. For to Him belongs all glory, honour, might, greatness and magnificence, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

People : Amen.

And one of the concelebrants (if there be any) chants this prayer audibly :

 

Prayer for Perfection

Priest : O Beneficent King of Ages and Maker of the whole Creation, accept Thy Church as she approaches unto Thee through Thy Christ. Fulfil that which is profitable to each, bring all to perfection, and count us worthy of the grace of Thy sanctification. Gather us together in Thy holy Church, which Thou hast purchased by the precious Blood of Thine Only-Begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; with Whom Thou art blessed and glorified, together with the most holy and life-giving Spirit, both now, and ever and unto the ages of ages.

People : Amen.

The deacon, standing in the midst of the soleas, and looking towards the people, exclaims :

Deacon : Let us pray to the Lord !

Then the Bishop or Priest takes the censer and censes the Holy Altar three times from the front, chanting this prayer aloud :

 

First Incense Prayer

Priest : O God, Who didst receive the gifts of Abel, the sacrifices of Noah and Abraham, the incense of Aaron and Zechariah, receive also from the hands of us sinners this incense for a sweet-smelling savour, for the remission of our sins, and for all Thy people. For Thou art blessed, and unto Thee is due glory, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

People : Amen.

 

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