CHRISTMINSTER
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)
1910 Falls Street, Niagara Falls, New York 14303 USA
The Mass of the Faithful: Part 4

THE MASS OF THE FAITHFUL

THE LITANY
Omitted in Low Masses and Requiems.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Priest/Deacon: In peace let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will rule and govern his Holy Orthodox Church, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will preserve the hierarchy and clergy of his Church, especially our Patriarch N., our Metropolitan N., our Bishop N., (and our Abbot N.), in true religion, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will spread the light of his Gospel unto all nations, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will restore to the unity of his Church all such as have erred and gone astray, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will give to all nations true peace and concord, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will bless his servant (handmaid) N., our King (Queen) and Governor, and all in civil authority, with wisdom to know and courage to do his will, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

Here special petitions may be added.

That our God will strengthen and preserve us in his holy service, let us pray to the Lord. R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will heal the sick [especially NN], and succour all who are in any trouble, sorrow, or adversity, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will give to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will grant us the spirit of true repentance, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will reward our brethren, kinsfolk, benefactors, and friends with eternal blessings, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

That our God will grant rest to the souls of [his servants and handmaids NN., and] all the faithful departed, let us pray to the Lord.
R. Kyrie eleison.

Here follows a Collect to which all respond: AMEN.

ALMIGHTY and eternal God, Ruler of all things in heaven and earth: mercifully accept the prayers of thy people, and grant us strength to do thy will. Through Jesus Christ, etc. R. AMEN.

Or:

O LORD our God, receive the fervent prayers of thy people: in the multitude of thy mercies, look with compassion upon us, and upon all who turn to thee for help. Through Jesus Christ, etc. R. AMEN.

THE OFFERTORY VERSE
Here the Solemn Mass differs from a Low Mass, as follows.

At a Solemn Liturgy the elements are prepared beforehand and placed on a Table of Preparation elsewhere in the Church or on a Credence in the Sanctuary. While the Offertory Verse is sung, the Deacon (or Priest) spreads the Corporal on the Altar. The the Deacon and Subdeacon, accompanied by the acolytes with candles and incense, go to the Table and, in procession, bring the Gifts, veiled, to the Altar. The Deacon (or Priest) places them on the Corporal, setting the veil aside.

At a Low Mass (or for any suitable reason) the Gifts may be set on the Altar before Mass begins, and the Procession is omitted.

The Procession may be accompanied by the Choir and Congregation singing further verses of the Offertory Psalm verse, where appropriate.

The Priest lifts the Paten with the Host(s), saying:

RECEIVE, O most merciful Father, this holy bread that it may become the Body of thine only-begotten Son. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Pouring wine and (after the blessing) a little water into the Chalice, the Priest (or Deacon) says:

FROM THE SIDE of our Lord Jesus Christ came forth Blood and Water, unto the remission of sins.

The Priest blesses the water:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The Priest (assisted by the Deacon) lifts up the Chalice, saying:

RECEIVE, O most merciful Father, this Chalice of wine and water, that it may become the Blood of thine only-begotten Son. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Bowing, the Priest says quietly:

IN A SPIRIT of humility, and with a contrite heart, may we be accepted by thee, O Lord; and so let our sacrifice be offered in thy sight this day, that it may be pleasing unto thee, O Lord God.

Raising then joining his hands, he blesses the Gifts:

COME, O THOU that makest holy, almighty and eternal God; and bless this sacrifice made ready unto thy holy Name.

THE CENSING
The incense is blessed.
BE THOU BLESSED by him, in whose honor thou shalt be burnt.

The Gifts are censed in the traditional manner.

MAY THIS INCENSE, which thou hast blessed, rise up to thee, O Lord; and let thy mercy come down upon us.

The Cross, Altar, Icons, Clergy and People are censed.

During the censing a hymn is sung, usually “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”

THE WASHING OF THE HANDS
The Priest prays quietly as he washes his hands:

I WILL wash my hands in innocency, O Lord : and so will I go to thine altar. That I may shew the voice of thanksgiving : and tell of all thy wondrous works. Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house : and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

O shut not up my soul with the sinners : nor my life with the blood-thirsty. In whose hands is wickedness : and their right hand is full of gifts. But as for me, I will walk innocently : O deliver me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth right : I will praise the Lord in the congregations. Except in Requiems: Glory be etc.

Bowing the Priest prays quietly:

RECEIVE, O holy Trinity, this oblation which we offer unto thee in memory of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ: and to the honor of blessed Mary ever Virgin, of blessed John Baptist, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of these and of all thy Saints: that it may avail to their honor, and for our salvation; and may they vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we keep on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Priest turns to the People, saying:

PRAY, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable unto God the Father almighty.

The People respond:

THE LORD receive the sacrifice at thy hands, to the praise and glory of his Name, to our benefit also, and that of all his holy Church.

In Requiems the following is added:

And may the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

THE PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
(Called the Secret Prayer)
Here the Priest sings one or more prayers, to the final one of which all respond:
AMEN.

SURSUM CORDA

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up unto the Lord.

V. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
R. It is meet and right so to do.

THE PREFACE TO THE CANON OF THE MASS
Here follows the Proper Preface, according to the Season or Feast:

IT IS truly meet and right, our joy and salvation….evermore praising thee and saying:

SANCTUS AND BENEDICTUS

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

THE CANON OF THE MASS

Kneel, except on Sundays or in Eastertide, or as local custom is observed.

This prayer, dating back before the time of Saint Gregory the Great, is the oldest and most solemn part of the Liturgy, and is said alone by the Priest on behalf of the whole Church.

THEREFORE, most gracious Father, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, (he kisses the Altar) to receive and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and spotless oblations, which we offer unto Thee, first for thy Holy Catholic Church: that it may please Thee to preserve and govern it in peace and unity throughout the world; together with thy servant our Patriarch N., our Metropolitan N., our Bishop N., the Bishops of the Russian Church at home and abroad, [our Abbot N.], for thy servant (handmaid) N. our King (Queen) and Governor; as also all the Orthodox defenders of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

BE MINDFUL, O Lord, of thy servants and handmaids whom we remember this day, [especially NN.] (he joins his hands and prays silently for those he intends to remember, then extends his hands) and of all round about us, whose faith and devotion are known unto Thee: who offer to Thee this sacrifice of praise, for themselves and for their own, for the redemption of their souls, and for their hope of health and salvation; for which they now pay their vows unto Thee, O eternal God, the Living and the True.

The following prayer may vary slightly with the feast or liturgical season:

UNITED in one Communion, we honor first the memory of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God; as also of thy holy Apostles and martyrs, of our Holy Father Benedict, blessed N(N) [the Saint(s) commemorated on this day,] of blessed Gregory, Maurus, Placid, Seraphim, Tikhon, John, Scholastica, Xenia, and of all thy Saints: by whose prayers do thou grant that in all things we may be defended by the help of thy protection.

Bowing, the Priest continues:

WE THEREFORE beseech thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our bounden service, ad of thy whole family; and to order all our days in thy peace; to preserve us from eternal damnation, and to count us in the number of thy chosen flock.

WHICH oblation do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things to bless, approve, ratify, and accept; that it may become unto us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

WHO, in the day before he suffered, took bread into his holy and venerable hands, and lifting his eyes up to heaven unto thee, Almighty God his Father, giving thanks unto thee, he blessed, brake, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take ye all and eat of this:

FOR THIS IS MY BODY.

All bow profoundly.

In like manner, after he had supped, taking this excellent chalice into his holy and venerable hands, and again giving thanks unto thee, he blessed and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take ye all and drink of this:

FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
of the new and eternal Testament, the mystery of faith,
which shall be shed for you and for many
unto the remission of sins.
As often as ye do these things,
ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

All bow profoundly.

WHEREFORE, O Lord, we thy servants and thy holy people, calling to mind the blessed Passion of the same Jesus Christ our Lord, his Resurrection from the dead, and his glorious Ascension into heaven, do offer unto thy most excellent majesty, of thine own gifts and bounty, a pure Host, a holy Host, a spotless Host – the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.

UPON which vouchsafe to look with a gracious and serene countenance, and to accept them; as thou wert pleased to accept the gifts of thy just servant Abel, the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and the holy sacrifice and pure oblation which thy high priest Melchisedech did offer unto thee.

WE BESEECH thee, O Lord, to send down thy Holy Spirit upon this sacrifice; and make this Bread the precious Body of thy Christ, and that which is in this Chalice the precious Blood of thy Christ, changing them by thy Holy Spirit.

All bow profoundly in adoration.

WE HUMBLY pray thee, almighty God, to command these gifts to be borne by the hand of thy holy Angel to thine Altar on high, in the presence of thy divine majesty, that whosoever shall partake at this Altar (He kisses the Altar.) of the most sacred Body and Blood of thy Son, may be filled with all grace and heavenly benediction.

REMEMBER also, O Lord, thy servants and handmaids whom we remember this day [especially NN], who have gone before us with the sign of faith, and who rest in the sleep of peace. (Here a pause is made for silent remembrance of the departed by name.) To these, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, we beseech thee to grant a place of refreshment, light, and peace.

The Priest strikes his breast.

TO US SINNERS also, thy servants who trust in thine infinite mercy, vouchsafe to grant some part in the fellowship of thy Holy Apostles and Martyrs, [NN.] and of all thy Saints, into whose company we beseech thee to admit us, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses.

At this time bread may be blessed or other blessings observed.

THROUGH Christ our Lord: by whom, O Lord, thou dost ever create, sanctify, quicken, bless, and bestow all good things upon us.

THE DOXOLOGY AND ELEVATION

BY HIM, and with him, and in him, is to thee, God the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory, world without end.

All heartily respond:
AMEN.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
THE LORD'S PRAYER
The Priest introduces the prayer:

LET US PRAY. Commanded by thy saving precepts, and taught by divine direction, we presume to say: Our Father.

All continue:

WHO ART in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done. on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.

The Priest silently says Amen, then continues aloud:

DELIVER US, we beseech thee, O Lord, from all evil, past, present, and to come: and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of thy Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Andrew, and of all thy Saints, graciously grant peace in our days; that by the help of thy mercy, we may ever be free from sin, and safe from all adversity.

THE BREAKING OF THE HOST

THROUGH the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. R. AMEN.

The Priest signs with the Particle over the Chalice:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

All respond:

And with thy spirit.

The Priest continues quietly:

MAY this mingling of the hallowed Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ avail us who receive it unto life everlasting. Amen.

THE AGNUS DEI

O LAMB of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.

But in Masses for the Departed, as follows:

O LAMB of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant them rest.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant them rest.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant them rest everlasting.

THE PAX
Omitted in Low Masses and Masses for the Dead.
The Priest prays quietly:

O LORD Jesus Christ, who saidst to thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: regard not my sins, but the faith of thy Church: and vouchsafe to grant her peace and unity according to thy will, who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

The Priest offers the Pax to the Deacon (or Acolyte or Reader, if no Deacon), who in turn passes it on to every other minister, and, if it be the custom and can readily be done, among all the People present, using the Pax brede where customary.

V. Peace be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.

Then follow prayers of preparation for Communion, said silently by the Priest, with whom all should join in silent prayer..

O LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who by the will of the Father, and the co-operation of the Holy Ghost, hast through thy death given life to the world: deliver me by thy most sacred Body and Blood from all mine iniquities, and from every evil; and make me ever to cleave unto thy commandments, and suffer me never to be separated from thee: who with the same God the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

LET the partaking of thy Body, O Lord, Jesus Christ, which I, unworthy, presume to receive, turn not to my judgment or condemnation; but of thy goodness let it avail unto me for protection and healing of my soul and body: who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

THE PRIEST’S COMMUNION
The Priest takes up the sacred Host and says:

I WILL receive the Bread of heaven, and will call upon the Name of the Lord.

Then, three times, striking his breast:

O LORD, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the world only, and my soul shall be healed.

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my body and soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

The Priest receives the Body of Christ.

WHAT return shall I make unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me? I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. I will call upon the Name of the Lord which is worthy to be praised, so shall I be safe from mine enemies.

THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my body and soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

The Priest receives the Blood of Christ.

THE COMMUNION OF THE PEOPLE
In Sung and Solemn Masses, where the Confession was not made at the Foot of the Altar during the Preparation, here, on behalf of all, the Deacon (or, in his absence, the Reader) chants the Confiteor:

I CONFESS to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to our holy Father Benedict, to all the Saints, and to thee, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, [here he strikes the breast thrice] by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault. Therefore I beg blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, our holy Father Benedict, all the Saints, and thee, Father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The Priest turns and gives the absolution:

Almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting. R. Amen.

The almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins. R. Amen.

The Priest holds forth the Body and Blood of Christ, saying:

BEHOLD the Lamb of God: behold him that taketh away the sins of the world.

All respond three times, reverently and slowly, striking the breast each time:

O LORD, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.

Communion may be received standing or kneeling, depending on the custom of the place. Those receiving should come forward, arms crossed on the breast. With the head erect and not bowed down, open the mouth and extend the tongue so the Priest may without difficulty place on it the Body and Blood of Christ. Then withdraw the tongue and return to the pews. It may be the custom, in some places, for non-Orthodox Christians to come forward to receive a simple blessing.

A Psalm or Hymn may be sung at this time, along with the appointed Communion Verse.

THE ABLUTIONS
Returning to the Altar, the Priest (or Deacon) purifies the vessels in the customary manner, praying quietly:

GRANT, O Lord, that what we have received with our outward lips we may receive in purity of heart; and let this temporal gift avail for our healing unto life eternal.

LET thy Body, O Lord, which I have eaten, and thy Blood, which I have drunk, cleave unto my very heart; and grant that no stain of sin remain in me, whom thou hast refreshed with these pure and holy mysteries: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

The Communion Verse is sung, if not sung earlier.

THE POSTCOMMUNION COLLECT
Stand.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

At the end of each Collect the response is made: AMEN.

Bowing, the Priest silently prays:

LET this my bounden duty and service be pleasing to thee, O holy Trinity: and grant that the sacrifice which I, all unworthy, have offered in the sight of thy majesty, may be acceptable unto thee, and by thy mercy may it be a propitiation for me and all for whom I have offered it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE BLESSING
Omitted in Requiem Masses.

On Sundays and Solemnities, a Solemn Blessing includes three petitions, to each of which is sung: AMEN. To the fourth petition is sung:

R. And with thy spirit.

These petitions are omitted in Low Masses, and a Simple Blessing given. Bowing, make the Sign of the Cross as the Priest gives the blessing:

MAY almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. R. AMEN.

THE DISMISSAL

V. Depart in peace. (Alleluia, alleluia.)
R. Thanks be to God. (Alleluia, alleluia.)

But in a Requiem, the Dismissal is as follows:

V. May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. AMEN.

The seasonal Hymn to the Mother of God is sung or said. A final Hymn may be sung, and the Last Gospel said quietly by the Priest as he leaves the Altar. The Thanksgiving Prayers After Communion are said by the Reader.


Go to Part V: Thanksgiving Prayers After Communion