While the situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make normal attendance at Divine Services within the temples difficult or impossible for many of the faithful, the Diocese continues to provide resources to aid in praying at home, in the sacredness ofthe ‘domestic Church’, during this period.
For this purpose, we provide here full ‘Readers versions’ (arrangements of the Divine Offices for situations in which no priest is present, to be prayed by laypeople) of the sacred services of the whole of the Great and Holy Week of the Passion of Christ (‘Holy Week’).
His Grace Bishop Irenei has blessed all the pious faithful of the Diocese to pray these services at home, either alone or amongst household family members, standing before your sacred icons, confident in the knowledge that God hears the prayers of those who love Him, from wherever they are offered.
Complete ‘At-home’ Readers Services for the Whole of Holy Week:
- Palm Sunday: Reader’s Vigil for Saturday evening and Typica in place of the Palm Sunday Liturgy, with all festal hymnography incorporated.
- The evenings of Holy Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: The complete text of the ‘Bridegroom Matins’ for each of the initial evenings of Holy Week.
- Holy Thursday: The Hours and Typica in place of the Liturgy of the Institution of the Mystical Supper and the Lord’s washing of His disciples’ feet; Vespers; and the evening service of the Twelve Passion Gospels — including the full text of the twelve readings themselves, for those who do not have a liturgical Gospel book at home.
- Holy Friday: The Royal Hours of Pascha; the afternoon Vespers of the Burial of the Lord; and the evening service of Matins with the Lamentations at the tomb of Christ — including sheet music for singing
- Holy Saturday: Hours, Typica and Vespers of the Resurrectional Sabbath, including the 15 Old Testament readings of the Resurrection; and the Paschal Midnight Office that leads into Pascha itself.
The Divine Services of Pascha itself will be provided in a separate document to be published here on the Diocese’s web site.
Throughout the pages provided here, texts are most gratefully taken from the website of Archpriest John Whiteford, of the Mid-American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, via his page here. The texts have been formatted to European / British page sizes (A4) and converted to an embedded format for display online and in convenient downloads.