Matins & Vespers

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  • TheEnglish Office


    Matins & Vespers according to theOrthodox Western Rite

    With Antiphoner & Office Hymns


  • First edition 2004

    Second edition 2007

    Copyright 2007

    St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church

    Washington, DC

    All rights reserved

  • The Daily Office

    In addition to the Eucharist, the Church offers services (known as The

    Daily Office) consisting of the singing of Psalms and hymns, the

    reading of Scripture and prayer. While the monastic office is

    considered to be the ideal form of daily prayer, it is seldom kept

    outside of monastic establishments where the community regularly

    sings all seven day offices as well as the night office. In the 16th

    century, the English Church simplified the monastic office for use in

    parish churches and for family and private use. This work was not

    original, but a condensation of the primary elements of the ancient

    Office. Western Rite congregations of the Antiochian Orthodox

    Christian Archdiocese may make use of this structure for Matins and

    Vespers, while restoring important didactic content from the monastic

    use (e.g. the office hymns and antiphons).

    The Ordo available from the Western Rite Vicariate provides the

    official daily calendar and lectionary. The St. Ambrose Hymnal (SAH)

    provides the office hymns and Marian anthems. The Antiphoner

    provides collects and antiphons; the collects may also be found in The

    Orthodox Missal. Additional settings of the canticles may be found in

    St. Dunstans Plainsong Psalter and other resources.

    The Office should be sung as common prayer, with the participants

    listening to one another, singing together, and no one voice standing

    out from the rest. The chants are best sung at the tempo and rhythm

    one would use in speaking the texts corporately; the Officiant and

    cantors should set the pace. It is customary for the Officiant alone to

    sing the first phrase of the canticles, Creed and Lords Prayer.

    According to ancient custom, the psalms may be sung in unison,

    responsorially (the cantor beginning and alternating verses with the

    people), or antiphonally (two groups of participants alternating verses).

    Matins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    Vespers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    The Psalter . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    Compline . . . . . . . . . . . . 218

    Opening Sentences . . . . . 232

    Antiphoner . . . . . . . . . . . 237

    Office Hymns . . . . . . . . . 489


  • Prayers before the Office

    which may be said silently

    Open my mouth, O Lord, to bless thy holy Name: cleanse my heart from

    all vain, evil, and wandering thoughts; enlighten my understanding and

    kindle my affections, that I may say this Office worthily, with attention and

    devotion, and so may be meet to be heard before the presence of thy divine

    Majesty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    OLord, in union with that divine intention wherewith thou thyself didst

    offer thy praises to God while upon the earth, I now recite this Office of

    prayer unto thee.

    Our Father, 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. Amen.

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among

    women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother

    of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    Ibelieve in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in

    Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

    born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead,

    and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the

    dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the

    Father Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of

    saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,

    a and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Prayers after the Office

    To the holy and undivided Trinity, to the crucified Humanity of our Lord

    Jesus Christ, to the fruitful Virginity of the blessed and glorious

    ever Virgin Mary, and to the whole company of the Saints, be everlasting

    praise, honor, power, and glory from every creature, and unto us the

    remission of all our sins for ever, world without end. Amen.

    The Our Father and the Hail Mary may be repeated.


  • The Order for Matins

    All stand and the officiant may sing or say the opening sentence (page

    232). Then follows:

    -`vDvvvvgvvvvvvGvvvGvvvvvvFvvvvvGvvvvvgvvvvv] a O Lord, o-pen thou our lips.

    -`vDvvvvGvvvvvvgvvvvvvvvvGvvvvvvvvGvvvvvvvvFvvvvvvGvvvvvvgvvvvvvv]People And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.

    -`vDvvvvgvvvvvvGvvvvvvvvvHvvvvvGvvvvFvvvvgvvvv]Officiant a O God, make speed to save us.

    -`vDvvvvgvvvvvvvvvGvvvvvvvGvvvvvvvvGvvvvvFvvvvgvvvv]People O Lord, make haste to help us.

    -`vvTvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv]Officiant Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,

    -`vvvGvvvvGvvvGvvbvFvvvvGvvvvgvvvvvvv] and to the Ho-ly Ghost:


  • -`vvTvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv]People As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

    -`vvvTvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvFvvvvvvGvvvvvgvvvvvvv] world without end. A - men.

    -`vvvvGvvvvvvvHvvvGvvvvGvvvvvfvvv]Officiant Praise ye the Lord.

    -`vvGvvvvvvvGvvvvvvvvvvHvvvvvvGvvvvvbbfvvvvfvvv}People The Lord's ame be prais-ed.

    Then is sung Venite, exultemus. A proper antiphon may be sung with

    the response O come / let us worship. During the Paschal season

    and on major feasts the response is O come let us worship. /

    Alleluia. 4ote that Psalm 95 is sung in place of the Venite on the

    19th day and in Penitential seasons.

    Venite, exultemus Tone V 3

    O COME, let us sing unto the / Lord; * let us heartily rejoice in the

    strength of / our salvation.

    Let us come before his presence with thanks/giving, * and show

    ourselves / glad in him with psalms.

    For the Lord is a great / God, * and a great King / above all gods.

    In his hand are all the corners of the / earth, * and the strength of the

    hills / is his also.


  • The sea is his and he / made it, * and his hands pre/pared the dry land.

    O come, let us worship and fall / down * and kneel before the / Lord

    our Maker.

    For he is the Lord our / God, * and we are the people of his pasture

    and the / sheep of his hand.

    Conclusion of Venite

    O worship the Lord in the

    beauty of / holiness; * let the

    whole earth / stand in awe

    of him.

    For he cometh, for he cometh

    to judge the / earth, * and

    with righteousness to judge

    the world and the / peoples

    with his truth.

    Glory be to the Father, and to

    the / Son, * and / to the

    Holy Ghost:

    As it was in the beginning,

    is now, and ever / shall

    be, * world / without end.


    Conclusion of Psalm 95

    (sung on the 19th Day and on

    penitential occasions)

    Today if ye will hear his voice,

    harden not your / hearts * as

    in the provocation, and as in

    the day of temptation / in the


    When your fathers / tempted

    me, * proved / me, and saw

    my works.

    Forty years long was I grieved

    with this generation and /

    said, * It is a people that do

    err in their hearts, for they /

    have not known my ways:

    Unto whom I sware in my /

    wrath, * that they should

    not en/ter into my rest.

    Glory be to the Father, and to

    the / Son, * and / to the

    Holy Ghost:

    As it was in the beginning,

    is now, and ever / shall

    be, * world / without end.


    The antiphon is repeated. Then shall be sung the Psalm or Psalms

    appointed for the day (psalm antiphons may be sung), followed by the

    First Lesson.


  • The first canticle is then sung. The Te Deum laudamus is sung on most

    Sundays and feast days. 4ote that in Advent and Lent Benedicite

    omnia (p. 5) is sung in place of Te Deum when Matins is sung with

    two lessons. The canticle Benedictus es, Domine (p. 7) may also be

    sung in place of Te Deum at any time. Following local custom,

    Matins may be sung with one lesson and canticle.

    Te Deum laudamus Tone VIII 1

    WE PRAISE thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the / Lord. *

    All the earth doth worship thee, the Father / everlasting.

    To thee all Angels cry aloud, the Heavens and all the / Powers

    therein. * To thee Cherubim and Seraphim con/tinually do cry:

    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of / Sabaoth; * Heaven and earth are full

    of the majesty / of thy glory.

    The glorious company of the Apostles / praise thee: * the goodly

    fellowship of the / prophets praise thee.

    The noble army of martyrs / praise thee: * the holy Church throughout

    all the world / doth acknowledge th