The Vesperal Service in the Orthodox Church can have four different orders: Daily Vespers, Lenten Vespers, Paschal Vespers,and Great Vespers. In addition, Great Vespers can be served in conjunction with Matins, to form the All-night Vigil. The booklet you hold in your hands contains the fixed parts of the service of Great Vespers and the 9th hour, and is intended for use when Great Vespers is served by itself on Saturday evening and the eve of feast days, with or without the Litia.
When served by itself, Great Vespers is usually preceded by the 9th hour. The hours of prayer are short, read (not sung) services, which correspond roughly to dawn (1st hour), morning (3rd hour), midday (6th hour), and mid-afternoon (9th hour), comprised of the opening prayers, 3 psalms, hymns, and prayers. These “canonical hours of prayer” have Biblical roots, and, along with Matins, Vespers, and Compline are a manifestation of the “sanctification of time”. It is normal to “aggregate” the hours to the nearest “main” service: the 1st hour following Matins, the 3rd and 6th hours preceding the Liturgy, and the 9th hour preceding Vespers. The 9th hour is the last service of the liturgical day (e.g., the 9th hour on Saturday afternoon is the last service of Saturday, and so we would read the festal or daily tropar and kondak for Saturday during the 9th hour), and Vespers is the first service of the new day (e.g., Vespers on Saturday evening is the first service of Sunday, so all the stykhyry, hymns, the dismissal, etc., are all for Sunday).
Depending on the local parish practice and the particular solemnity of the day or feast being celebrated, certain portions of the service will change.
Розп’яттям Своїм розіпни мене від світу з його спокусами та пожадливостями.
Своїм Хрестом закрий мене від ворогів невидимих, що ловлять вони мою душу.
Своїми ногами проколотими відверни ноги мої від усякої лукавої дороги.
Руками Своїми проколотими стримай руки мої від усякого вчинку, для Тебе невгодного.
Прицвяхований тілом, прибий цвяхами до страху моє тіло, щоб я відхилявся від злого, і чинив Тобі добре.
Ти, що схилив на Хресті Свою голову, похили до покори мою горду земну пиху.
Терновим вінком Своїм охорони мої в уха, щоб нічого не чути мені, крім чеснотного.
Ти, що устами Своїми спробував жовчі, поклади охорону нечистим устам моїм.
Ти, що маєш проколоте списом серце, — створи серце чисте в мені.
Солодко рань усього мене всіма Своїми ранами до любови Твоєї,
щоб Тебе, свого Господа, я полюбив усією душею своєю, усім серцем своїм, усією силою й усією думкою.
Attached, two simplified versions of the Typikon, in Ukrainian and English for the month of February.
These are without service tables and incipits, but have the key information most parishes will need.
March, April and subsequent months will be posted very shortly.
The elaborated eTYPIKION project will move into a different phase in the meanwhile — the build-out of a series of service templates and a corresponding database which, when completed, should serve not only to speed up the process of compiling a monthly calendar, but also permit linking of relevant text, music and readings.
At the moment, much of the delay is down to manual data entry, sourcing and editing of relevant texts — not all of which are currently available in one uniformly-styled source — in either Ukrainian or English. The good news is that this is changing — good work is being done now in both languages, and we can expect in the course of the coming years, that doors formerly closed to us will be opened.
The hope is that once completed, the eTYPIKON will permit anyone using it to access the fundamental resources they need when researching any service, via embedded links, directly from the document itself.
Liturgy — the worship life of the Church — is profound and beautiful, but the complexity of properly assembling services that are subject to the annual rhythm of fixed and non-fixed Feasts, ruled by an 8-tone weekly cycle, governed by the relative honour which the Church ascribes Her Feasts and Her Saints, sourced from a daunting library of materials (Octoechos, Menaion, Triodion, Pentecostarion, Irmologion, etc.) presents something of a stumbling block even to the pious to whom knowledge has not always been perfectly (or yet partially) transmitted. We are driven to find patterns, logic and order in things — and in the absence of an order we might perceive at once, with the first glance, we tend to impose our own. Mistakes will be made — but we should be on guard for the easy temptation to assert in these cases that someone else, somewhere else, for some unworthy reason, has fallen short — when the truth is (as it so often is) — that the beam is in our own eye.