Theotokos of the Sign

A Molieben for the Salvation of Our Land and the Appeasing in it of Discord and Strife

A service from the Book of Needs

This Molieben has been adapted from one printed at the time of the All-Russian Council of 1917, calling for the salvation of the “Russian Dominion.” Altered parts appear within square brackets [ ].

Deacon: Bless, Master.

Priest: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen. O Heavenly King.

The Reader: Trisagion.  O Most-holy Trinity Our Father Priest: For Thine is the Kingdom Reader: Amen. Lord, have mercy. (12 times)  Glory now and ever Come, let us worship, and Psalm 45.

Psalm 45

God is our Refuge and Strength, a Helper in afflictions which have found us exceedingly. Therefore we shall not fear when the earth is shaken, nor when the mountains be removed into the heart of the seas. Their waters roared and were troubled, the mountains were troubled by His might. The rushings of the river make glad the City of God; the Most High has sanctified His tabernacle. God is in the midst of her, and she shall not be moved. God shall help her early in the morning. The nations were troubled, kingdoms were bowed down; the Most High gave forth His voice, the earth was shaken. The Lord of hosts is with us; our Helper is the God of Jacob.

Come and behold the works of God, what wonders He has wrought on the earth, making wars to cease even unto the ends of the earth. He will crush the bow and shatter the weapon, and shields He will burn with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The God of hosts is with us; our Helper is the God of Jacob.

Glory now and ever. Alleluia. (thrice)

Then “God is the Lord ” in the Tone of the Troparion or Troparia that follows:

Deacon: God is the Lord and hath revealed Himself to us! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. (Ps. 117:27)

O give praise to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. (Ps. 117:1)

Choir: (After each) God is the Lord and hath revealed Himself to us! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.

Deacon: Surrounding me, they compassed me about, but in the name of the Lord, I stood against them. (Ps. 117:11)

I shall not die, but live; and I shall declare the works of the Lord. (Ps. 117:17)

The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the head of the corner; this is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes. (Ps. 117:22–23)

(If it be the time of a Feast, the Troparion of the Feast.) Then the following:

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for laying aside all excuse, we sinners offer to Thee, as to our Master, this supplication: Have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

O Lord, have mercy on us, for in Thee have we put our trust. Do not be angry with us, nor remember our iniquities, but look down on us even now, as Thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies; for Thou art our God, and we are Thy people; we are all the work of Thy hands, and we call on Thy name.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Blessed Theotokos, open the doors of compassion to us whose hope is in thee, that we may not perish, but be delivered from adversity through thee. For thou are the salvation of the Christian people.

Then Psalm 50 is read. (Although not found in the printed Service, the reading of Psalm 50 is assumed.)

Psalm 50

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is before me continually. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight; that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words and victorious when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou revealed unto me.

Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; my humbled bones shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; 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 have given it; with whole burnt-offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Sion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be built. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole burnt-offerings. Then shall they offer young bulls upon Thine altar.

After this, the refrains of the Canon:

Clergy: O merciful Lord, hearken unto the prayers of Thy servants who are entreating Thee.

Choir: Most-holy Theotokos, save us.

Clergy: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Choir: Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

Then the following Troparia (Special Melody):

Deliver Thy servants from misfortunes, O Greatly-merciful One, for, with fervor, we flee unto Thee, the merciful Redeemer, the Master of all, the Lord Jesus.

Save thy servants from misfortunes, O Theotokos, for after God all of us hasten unto thee as unto an unshakeable wall and protection.

Look down with compassion, O all-hymned Theotokos, on the cruel affliction of my body, and heal the sickness of my soul.

Then the Priest or the Deacon says the Litany:

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (thrice—after each)

Again we pray for our Metropolitan (N.); for our Bishop [or Archbishop] (N.); and for all our brethren in Christ.

Again we pray for the President of our country, for all civil authorities, and for the armed forces.

We have warranted meet chastisement and Thy righteous judgment has overtaken us, O Lord. But spare Thy people who have sinned and destroy us not forever. We fall down before Thee in repentance and humbly pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

We know that we have provoked Thy love for mankind, O All-good Master, and we have angered Thy goodness. But turn away from us Thy wrath which justly rises against us; drive the present strife and discord away from us, and the shedding of blood, appease civil strife, in repentance and with broken hearts, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

Ever encompassed round about by afflictions and our tears with which our enemies have encircled us, with compunction we cry out unto Thee, O Lord, our God, that our life be brought up from corruption, that we not be destroyed forever, and that all our enemies may be scattered. For we flee unto Thee and we call upon Thy help only: Hearken unto Thy people who are afflicted and in need, O Lord, and out of Thy love for mankind have mercy.

Then the Exclamation:

For Thou art a merciful God and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

The refrains are repeated, as before. After the Sixth Ode, the Troparia as after the Third Ode. Then, the Little Litany:

Deacon: Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (after each)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.

Commemorating our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: To Thee, O Lord.

Priest: For Thou art the King of peace and the Savior of our souls, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

Deacon: Let us attend

Priest: Peace be unto all.

Reader: And to your spirit

Deacon: Wisdom.

Reader: The Prokeimenon in the Fourth Tone:

(Prokeimenon, Tone 4:)

They cried unto the Lord in their affliction, and out of their distresses He saved them. (Ps. 106:13)

Choir: They cried unto the Lord in their affliction, and out of their distresses He saved them.

Reader: ℣. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death. (Ps, 106:14)

Choir: They cried unto the Lord in their affliction, and out of their distresses He saved them.

Reader: They cried unto the Lord in their affliction:

Choir: And out of their distresses He saved them.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

And the Priest says the Exclamation:

For holy art Thou, O our God, Who restest in the Saints, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

Deacon: Let every breath praise the Lord.

Choir: Let every breath praise the Lord.

Deacon: Praise God in His Saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Choir: Let every breath praise the Lord.

Deacon: Let every breath:

Choir: Praise the Lord.

Deacon: And that we may be accounted worthy of hearing the Holy Gospel, let us pray to the Lord God.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

Deacon: Wisdom. Let us attend. Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.

Priest: Peace be unto all.

Choir: And to your spirit.

Priest: The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew.

Choir: Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Deacon: Let us attend.

And immediately the Priest reads the Gospel:

The Gospel according to Saint Matthew (§98 from the center—Matt. 24:6–10, 12, 21–22):

The Lord said to His Disciples: You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you, and you shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many lose faith and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.

Choir: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee.

Then the Deacon says this Litany:

Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (thrice—after each)

Again we pray for our Metropolitan (N.); for our Bishop [or Archbishop] (N.); and for all our brethren in Christ.

Again we pray for the President of our country, for all civil authorities, and for the armed forces.

Again we pray that He will protect this city, [if a monastery: this holy habitation; or this town; or this village] and every city and country, and the faithful dwelling in them.

Then the Priest says the Exclamation:

Hearken unto us, O God our Savior, Thou hope of all the ends of the earth and of them that be far off at sea; and be merciful, be merciful, O Master, regarding our sins, and have mercy on us; for Thou art a merciful God, and the Lover of Mankind, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

Deacon: Let us attend, and with humble hearts having inclined the knees of our souls and bodies, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

And the Priest reads this Prayer:

O Lord God, our Savior: With broken hearts we fall down before Thee and we confess our sins and iniquities wherewith we have provoked Thy deep compassion and have shut out Thy tender mercies. For we have departed from Thee, O Master, and we have not kept Thy commandments nor done that which Thou hast commanded us. Therefore, Thou hast been angered with Thy wrath against us and Thou hast visited our transgressions with an iron rod and our unrighteous deeds with wounds. Thou hast stretched forth Thine arm, and the earth laments, and the sickness of death has overtaken us. And Thou hast struck us with discord and strife; and Thou hast given us as refuse unto our enemies, and we have become least of all nations and have become as a taunt and derision unto our neighbors. O God, great and wonderful, Who repentest over the evils of men, Who liftest up them that are cast down and settest aright them that have fallen: Do Thou send down Thy heavenly power from Heaven, heal the wounds of our souls, and raise us up from the bed of sickness, for our loins are filled with weakness, we are sick with unrighteousness and inflamed with iniquity. Do Thou calm the agitation and discord in our land, banish from us slander and conflict, murder and drunkenness, bitter disputes and scandals, and burn out of our hearts every impurity, conflict and evil, that again we all may love one another and abide, as one, in Thee, O Lord, our God, as Thou hast commanded and directed us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have been filled with humiliation and none of us are worthy to lift up our eyes to Heaven. Remember the mercies which Thou hast shown unto our fathers, change Thy wrath into loving-kindness, and grant unto us help in afflictions. Thy Church prays Thee, through the mediation of Thy Friends who are standing before Thee—[our Holy Hierarchs Tikhon, Innocent, Nicholai and John, the Martyrs Juvenaly and Peter, John and Alexander, our Venerable Father Herman, the Righteous Alexis and Jacob], and all the Saints that have shone in our land, and, most important, of the Most-holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary—who have protected and aided our land from times of old. Instruct us and strengthen all who are in authority, and proclaim unto them good things concerning Thy Church and all Thy people. With the power of Thy Cross, strengthen our Christ-loving armies, and deliver them from every snare of the enemy. Raise up for us men of strength and understanding, and grant unto all of us a spirit of wisdom and the fear of God, a spirit of strength and piety.

O Lord, we make haste unto Thee; do Thou teach us to do Thy will, for Thou art our God; for with Thee is the Fountain of Life; in Thy light shall we see light. Let Thy mercy be upon them that know Thee unto the ages of ages. Amen.

And at the conclusion of this, the Priest makes the usual Dismissal.

Fr Silouan Thompson

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