THE ELEVENTH HOUR
(VESPERS)

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INTRODUCTORY PRAYERS

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God.  Amen.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless.  Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now, and always, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

Make us worthy to say thankfully,

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Our bread of the morrow, give us today, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One; in Christ Jesus our Lord.  For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

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 THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  For He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us to Himself, spared us, supported us, and has brought us to this hour.

Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Pantocrator, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life. 

O Master, Lord, God the Pantocrator, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we thank Thee for everything, concerning everything, and in everything.  For Thou hast covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us to Thee, spared us, supported us, and hast brought us to this hour.

Therefore, we ask and entreat Thy Goodness, O Lover of mankind, grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Thy fear.

All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them  away from us, and from all Thy people, and from this holy place that is Thine.

But those things which are good and profitable do Thou provide for us, for it is Thou Who has given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Thine OnlyBegotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Through Whom the glory, the honour, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto Thee, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, Who is of One Essence with Thee, now, and at all times, and unto the age of all ages.  Amen.

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PSALM 50

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy great mercy: and according to the multitude of Thy compassions Thou shalt blot out my iniquity.  Thou shalt wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my iniquity: and my sin is before me at all times.  Against Thee alone have I sinned, and done evil before Thee: that Thou mayest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged.  For behold, I was conceived in iniquity; and in sin did my mother desire me. 

For behold, Thou hast loved truth, the secret and the hidden things of Thy wisdom, Thou hast manifested unto me.  Thou shalt sprinkle me with Thy hyssop, and I shall be clean: Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Thou shalt cause me to hear joy and gladness; and my humble bones shall rejoice.  Turn Thy face away from my sins, and all my iniquities Thou shalt blot out.  A pure heart Thou shalt create in me, O God; and an upright spirit renew within me.  Cast me not away from Thy face; and take not Thine Holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of Thy salvation; and strengthen me with a governing spirit.  That I may teach the lawless Thy ways; and the wicked shall turn to Thee.

Deliver me from blood, O God, the God of my salvation: and my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness.  O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips; and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.  For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice; I would indeed have given it: but, Thou delightest not in burnt offerings.  A sacrifice of God is a broken spirit: a broken and a humble heart, God will not despise. 

Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: and may the walls of Jerusalem be built.  Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with oblation and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer calves upon Thine altar.  Alleluia.

Then is said:

The hymn of the blessed evening: I offer to Christ, my King and my God: I will hope in Him that He may forgive me my sins.

PSALM 116
Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye peoples.  For His mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord endures for ever.  Alleluia. 

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PSALM 117
Confess unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endures for ever.  Let the house of Israel say, that He is good: that His mercy endures for ever.  Let the house of Aaron say, that He is good: that His mercy endures for ever.  Let those who fear the Lord say, that He is good: that His mercy endures for ever. 

In my trouble, I have cried unto the Lord: and He has heard me, and brought me into a broad place.  The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: what can man do to me?  The Lord is my helper; and I will look upon my enemies. 

It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to hope in the Lord than to hope in rulers.  All nations surrounded me: but in the Name of the Lord I took my vengeance upon them.  They surrounded me and compassed me about; and in the Name of the Lord I took my vengeance upon them.  They surrounded me like bees around a honeycomb; and they burned as a fire in thorns: and in the Name of the Lord I took my vengeance upon them.  They laid their hands on me that I might fall: but the Lord supported me.  My strength and my praise is the Lord, He has become to me salvation. 

The voice of rejoicing and salvation in the dwellings of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord has wrought strength.  The right hand of the Lord has exalted me: the right hand of the Lord has wrought strength.  I shall not die, but I shall live, and I shall declare the works of the Lord.  For with chastening the Lord has chastened me: but He has not delivered me over to death. 

Open to me the gates of righteousness: that I may go into them, and confess to the Lord: this is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it.  I shall confess Thee, Lord: for Thou hast heard me, and hast become to me salvation.  The stone which the builders despised, the same is become the head of the corner.  This is the Lord's doing; and it is marvellous in our eyes. 

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  O Lord, Thou shalt save us, O Lord, Thou shalt straighten our way.  Blessed be He Who comes in the Name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.  God the Lord, has enlightened us.  Ordain a feast, in those who reach unto the horns of the altar.  Thou art my God, and I will confess Thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee.  I shall confess Thee, Lord: for Thou hast heard me, and hast become to me salvation.  Confess unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endures for ever.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 119
In my trouble I cried unto Thee, Lord, and Thou hast heard me.  O Lord, deliver my soul, from iniquitous lips, and from a deceitful tongue.  What shall be given to you?  Or what shall be added unto you, by a deceitful tongue?  The sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of the desert.  Woe unto me, that my sojourn is prolonged: I have dwelt in the dwellings of Kedar!  My soul has been a sojourner in a multitude of places.  With those who hated peace, I was peaceable: when I spoke with them, they fought against me in vain.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 120
I have lifted up my eyes unto the mountains, from whence comes my help.  My help is from the Lord, Who created the heaven and the earth.  Let not your foot be moved: He Who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He Who watches over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord shall keep you: the Lord shall be a shade upon your right hand.  By day, the sun shall not burn you, nor the moon by night.  The Lord shall guard you from all evil: the Lord shall guard your soul.  The Lord shall guard your coming in and your going out from now and for ever.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 121
I was gladdened by what they said to me: we will go into the house of the Lord.  Our feet stood in the courts of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is built as a city: her good pleasure is in this and that: for thither had the tribes gone up, the tribes of the Lord, a testimony of Israel, to confess the Name of the Lord.  For there are set thrones of judgement, thrones over the house of David. 

Seek after that which belongs to your peace, Jerusalem: and abundance for those who love you.  Let peace be in your strength, and abundance in your heavy towers.  For the sake of my brethren and my relatives, I have spoken peace concerning you.  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God I have sought after good things concerning you.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 122
I have lifted up my eyes unto Thee, Who dwells in the heaven.  Behold, as the eyes of servants on the hands of their masters, and as the eyes of a handmaiden on the hand of her mistress; so our eyes (are) unto the Lord our God, until He has compassion upon us.  Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt, and our soul is exceedingly filled.  The reproach give to those who are prosperous, and the contempt to the proud.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 123
Except the Lord had been with us, let Israel say; except the Lord had been with us, when men rose up against us: they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath raged against us: the water would have submerged us, our soul would have passed through a torrent: Our soul would have passed through bottomless water.  Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us as a prey to their teeth.  Our soul has escaped as a sparrow from the snare of the hunters: the snare is crushed, and we have escaped.  Our help is in the Name of the Lord, Who created the heaven and the earth.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 124
Those who trust in the Lord are like mount Zion: He who dwells in Jerusalem shall not be moved for ever.  Mountains surround her, and the Lord is round about His people from now and for ever.  The Lord shall not leave the rod of the sinners (rest) upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous stretch forth their hands unto iniquity.  Do good, O Lord, to the good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.
 
But those who sway into stumbling blocks, the Lord will remove them with evil doers: but peace (be) upon Israel.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 125
When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we became like those who are comforted.  Then our mouth was filled with joy, and our tongue with rejoicing: then shall be said among the nations, that the Lord has magnified His doings with them.  The Lord has magnified His doings with us; we have become joyful.

The Lord shall bring back our captivity, like torrents in the south.  Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  Going, they went and they were weeping, bearing their seeds, coming; they will come with joy, bearing their sheaves.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 126
Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain those who build it: unless the Lord guard the city, those who guard it watch in vain.  It is vain for you to rise up early, rise up, after being seated, who eat the bread of grief: for He gives sleep to His beloved ones.  Lo, sons are the heritage of the Lord: the reward of the fruit of the womb.  As arrows in the hand of a mighty one; so are children of those who have been awakened.  Blessed is the man who shall fulfill his desire with them.  Then they shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gates.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 127
Blessed are all who fear the Lord; who walk in His ways.  You will eat of the fruit of your labours: you will be blessed, and it shall be well with you.  Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine blossoming forth by the sides of your house: your children like olive shoots around your table.  Behold, thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.  The Lord shall bless you out of Zion: and you shall see the good things of Jerusalem all the days of your life.  You shall see your children's children, and peace be upon Israel.  Alleluia.

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PSALM 128
Many a time have they fought against me from my youth, let Israel say: many a time have they fought against me from my youth: Yet they could not prevail against me.  The sinners were striking me upon my back: and they lengthened their iniquity.  The Lord is righteous: He will break the necks of the sinners.  Let them be ashamed and turned back all who hate Zion.  Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withers before it is plucked up: with which the reaper has not filled his hand; Neither has he who gathers sheaves filled his bosom.  And those who pass by have not said, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we have blessed you in the Name of the Lord.”  Alleluia. 

THE GOSPEL FROM
SAINT LUKE 4:38-41 

But when He had risen out of the synagogue, He entered into Simon's house.  And Simon's mother in law had a great fever; and they entreated Him for her.  And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she rose and ministered unto them.
 
Now when the sun set, every one that had any sick (ones) with many kinds of sickness, brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them.  And demons also were coming out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art (Christ) the Son of God.  And He rebuking them did not let them speak: for they knew that He was Christ.  Glory be to God forever.

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Then shall these Troparia be said,

If the righteous is hardly saved, where shall I the sinner appear?  The burden of the day and its heat I could not bear because of my human frailty.  But, O Thou merciful God, count me among those of the eleventh hour, for behold, I was conceived in iniquities and in sin did my mother desire me.  Therefore, I (dare) not lift up my eyes unto heaven, rather, I trust in the richness of Thy mercy and Thy love to mankind, proclaiming and saying, “O God, forgive  me, a sinner, and have mercy upon me!”

Doxa Patri ke Eio ke Agio Pnevmati.  (Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.)

Hasten, O my Saviour, to accept me in the Fatherly bosom, for I have destroyed my life in pleasures and lusts, and the day is over and spent.  Therefore, I now trust on the abundance of Thine infinite compassion.  So, do not be far away from a lowly heart, begging for Thy mercy, for I cry to Thee, O Lord, with fear, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to be called Thy son, so make me like one of Thine hired servants.”

Ke nyn ke a-ee ke ees toos é-onas ton é-onon.  Amen.  (Both now, and always, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.)

I have sinned with attention and eagerness and I have subjected (myself) to every sin with yearning and diligence and I have become worthy of every torture and judgement.  Prepare for me the causes of repentance, O Lady, the Virgin, for your intercessions I ask and entreat: and to you, only, I cry to help me lest I be ashamed.  And when my soul flies forth from me, be with me, and the counsel of the enemies, defeat, and the mouths of Amenti shut, lest they swallow me, O spotless bride of the True Bridegroom. 

Then shall be said, “Lord hear us and have mercy on us and forgive us our sins,” “Kirié Eleison” (Lord have mercy) 41 times, and the following prayer:

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory and Thine honour.  Have mercy on us, O God, the Father, the Pantocrator.  AllHoly Trinity, have mercy on us.  O Lord, God of the powers be with us, for we have no helper in our afflictions and our troubles, save Thee.  Loose, remit and forgive us, O God, our iniquities, which we have committed willingly, and which we have committed unwillingly; which we have committed knowingly, and which we have committed unknowingly.  The hidden and the manifest, O Lord, remit unto us, for the sake of Thine Holy Name which is called upon us.

According to Thy mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins.

Our Father Who art in Heaven...  

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Then shall this absolution be said,

We thank Thee, our Master, the compassionate, that Thou hast granted us to pass this day in peace, brought us to the evening in thanksgiving, and made us worthy to behold the light until sunset.  Accept, O God, our doxology which has now been made, and deliver us from the wiles of the adversary, and abolish all his snares which are laid against us.  Grant us in this coming night peace without suffering, nor trouble, nor weariness, nor phantasies, that we may pass it also in peace and chastity; that we may stand up for hymns and prayers, at all times and in all places, glorifying Thine Holy Name in all things, together with the Father Who is incomprehensible nor having any beginning, and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life, Who is Co-Essential with Thee, now and unto the age of ages.  Amen.

THE PRAYER OF THE HOURS

Have mercy on us, O God, Who is worshipped and glorified at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth.  Christ our Good God, the longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and compassion, Who loves the righteous and has mercy upon sinners, (among whom I am chief; Who desires not the death of a sinner, but rather that he return and live.) Who calls everyone to salvation, through the promises of the good things to come; do Thou, O Lord, receive our supplications at this very hour, and straighten our life to do Thy commandments.

Sanctify our souls, purify our bodies, rectify our thoughts, cleanse our consciences, and deliver us from all evil affliction and grief.  Surround us with Thine holy Angels, that we being guarded and guided by their encampment; may attain to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory.  For blessed art Thou forever.  Amen.

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