The Order for the Lesser Sanctification of the Water
Items needed for the celebration of the Lesser Sanctification of' Water are a small table, upon which the Priest places the Gospel; a wooden, silver‑bound Cross; a censer; a bowl of water; two candlesticks with their candles; a few branches of basil and a clean white towel. The Priest wears his cassock and stole.
Blessed is our God always, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord, hear my prayer; give ear unto my supplication in Your truth; hear me in Your righteousness and enter not into judgment with Your servant, for before, You shall not any man be justified. For the enemy has persecuted my soul: he has humbled my life to the earth. He has made me dwell in darkness like dead men of old; and anguished within me is my spirit, and within me my heart is troubled. I remembered the days of old, and I meditated on all Your works, I mused on the creations of Your hands. I stretched forth my hands to You; my soul like a waterless land thirsts for You. Quickly hear me, O Lord; my spirit has fainted away; turn not Your face from me lest I be like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk, for to You have I lifted up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord; to You for refuge have I fled‑, teach me to do Your Will, for You are my God; Your good Spirit shall guide me in the land of uprightness. For Your Name's sake, O Lord, shall You quicken me? In Your righteousness shall You lead forth my soul out of tribulation, and in Your mercy shall you destroy my enemies; and You shall cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Your servant.
We then sing.
God is the Lord, and He has become manifest unto us; blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord and call upon His Name.
God is the Lord ...
All the nations encompassed me, and in the name of the Lord I crushed them.
God is the Lord ...
This was done by the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes.
God is the Lord ...
Troparia, Tone 4
To you, O Theotokos, we sinners now flee. In repentance we bow down before you, saying: "O Sovereign Lady, help us: have compassion on us, make haste to help, for we perish in the multitude of our sins Turn us not empty away, for we have you as our only hope.
Glory. . . both now and ever...
Never, O Theotokos, will we, unworthy, cease to proclaim your powers: for if you did not hasten to our aid, making intercession, who would have delivered us from our manifold adversities? Who would have preserved us free to this day? We will not forsake you, O Lady, for you save your servants from all malicious foes.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy: and according to the multitude of Your compassions blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly of my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight, that You might be justified in Your words, and victor when You are Judge. For behold I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. For behold You love truth; the unclear and secret lore of Your wisdom have You made clear to me. You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; You shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. For You shall make me hear of joy and gladness: the bones, which were humbled, shall rejoice. Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me, O God, a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and with a guiding Spirit establish me. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall turn back to You. Deliver me from blood ‑guiltiness, O God, You that are the God of my salvation: O Lord, You shall open up my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For if You had desired sacrifice, I would have given it; with holocausts shall You not be pleased, a sacrifice for God is a broken spirit, a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Your pleasure unto Zion: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; then shall You be pleased with a Sacrifice of Righteousness, with Oblations and Holocausts; then shall they lay young bullocks upon Your altar.
Then is chanted the following verse: All-Holy Theotokos, guard, protect and keep your servants.
Troparia, Tone 6
O Virgin who from the Angel received, hail! And gave birth to the Life‑giver Himself, your Creator, save them that magnify you. (3)
We sing of your Son, O Theotokos, and cry aloud: from all adversities save your servants, O Immaculate.
The praise of Kings, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs are you, and Intercessor of the world, O All‑Immaculate One.
Every Orthodox tongue praises, blesses, and glorifies your immaculate Birth‑giving, O Mary, Bride of God.
I beseech You, O my Christ, give to me also, though unworthy, remission of offenses, I beseech You; through the intercessions of her that bore You, in that You are compassionate.
In you, O Theotokos, have I put my hope. Save me by your prayers; grant for me remission of sins.
Give me life, you that have borne the Life‑giver and Savior: save me through your prayers, O blessed Hope of our souls.
O Virgin immaculate, who did conceive in your Womb the Creator of all people: through your prayers save our souls.
All-praised Theotokos, who through the word of an Angel, in a manner beyond reason, gave birth to the Word, pray that He will save our souls.
Through your intercessions, O Lady, make your Son a merciful Judge unto me, who am a sinner above all people.
With binding duty we cry to you, Hail! O immaculate Theotokos Ever-Virgin; through your intercessions are saved those that pray to you.
Deliver me from the fire eternal, and the torments that await me, O all-praised Lady, that I may be delivered from all tribulation.
All-praised Sovereign Lady, we pray You: do not overlook the prayers of Your servants, so that we might be delivered from all tribulation.
From every sickness and infirmity. Deliver us, who have recourse unto you and your holy Protection.
Marvelous wonder shown to you, O Theotokos: for our sake the Creator of All and our God was in our likeness born to you.
Your Temple, O Theotokos, was shown forth as remedy without price of ills‑the consolation of our wounded souls.
O All-Holy Theotokos, who has borne the Savior, save your servants from adversity and from all other necessity.
From every ban under which they labor deliver your servants from every ailment of body and spirit, O you most Holy.
Through your intercessions, O Virgin Theotokos, save all that have recourse unto you; deliver all from sorrow and necessity.
Who, having recourse unto your Temple, O Theotokos, does not receive speedy healing both of soul and body, O All-immaculate?
Entreated by the Saints and heavenly Hosts, O Merciful
One, through her that bore You, do You cleanse me.
Spare, O Savior, the souls of our brethren, who died in the Hope of Life; loose, and remit their sins.
Hail! O Virgin, Mercy‑Seat of the world; Hail! O Receptacle of the Manna and Candelabrum all‑golden of the light divine, O Bride of God unwedded.
We sing unto You, O God in Three Persons, crying aloud the thrice‑Holy Hymn, entreating that we may receive salvation.
O Virgin, who has borne the Savior, the Sovereign of the world: pray unto Him that He will save our souls.
Hail! O Mount, Hail! O Bush that burned and yet was not consumed; Hail! O Gate, Hail! O Ladder and Altar Divine, Hail! Sovereign Lady, the Helper of all.
Through the prayers of Your Holy Mother, and of Your Holy Saints, O Merciful God, to Your people grant Your great mercies.
Through the prayers of the glorious Archangels, the Angels, and all the heavenly Hosts, mightily preserve Your servants, O Savior.
Through the prayers of the glorious Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist, and of all Your Saints, mightily preserve Your servants, O my Christ and Savior.
Through the prayers of the glorious Apostles, and the victorious Martyrs, and of all Your Saints, grant Your mercies to Your servants.
Through the prayers of the glorious Unmercenaries, O Theotokos, preserve your servants, in that you are Intercessor and Confirmer of the world.
The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit we glorify saying: O Holy Trinity, save our souls.
Both now and ever...
O Virgin who in mystery did conceive and bring forth in these latter days Your Creator: save us who magnify you:
Open for us the door of your tender compassion, O blessed Theotokos; and as we set our hope in you, let us never be confounded; through you may we be delivered from all adversity; you, who are the salvation of all good Christian folk.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For Holy are You, O God, and to You are due all glory, honor, and adoration: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
And the following
Troparia, Tone 8
Now draws nigh the time that sanctifies all men, and a just Judge awaits us; turn then, O my soul, to repentance, like the Adulteress tearfully crying: have mercy on me, O Lord.
O Christ, the Fountain, Who did sprinkle the waters of healing in the all‑holy Temple of the Virgin, You, today, through the sprinkling of blessing did expel the maladies of ailing, O You Physician of our souls and bodies.
As a Virgin you knew not man, but gave birth; and as a Mother unwedded, a Virgin did you remain; entreat then, O Mary Theotokos, Christ our God that He will save us.
O All‑Holy Theotokos Virgin, guide aright the works of our hands, and entreat pardon for our transgressions, when we chant the angelic Hymn:
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us. (3)
Glory... both now and ever...
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us.
Let us attend.
The Prokeimenon, in Tone 4
The Lord is my Light and my Savior; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the defender of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
The Lesson from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews. (Heb. 2:11-18)
Let us attend.
Brethren, he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: "I will proclaim your name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. And again: "I will put my trust in him." And again: "Here am I, and the children God has given me." Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
Peace be to you who read.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Wisdom! Let us attend! Let us hear the Holy Gospel.
Peace be to all.
And to your spirit.
The Holy Gospel according to St. John. Let us attend.
Glory to You, O God; Glory to You.
At that time, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and troubled the water. And whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.
Glory to You, O God; Glory to You.
The Ektenia of Blessing
Following each petition, the Choir responds with "Lord have mercy” and, at the end, with "To You, O Lord."
In peace let us pray to the Lord.
For the peace from above; for the salvation of our souls; let us pray to the Lord.
For the peace of the whole world; for the stability of the holy Churches of God; and for the union of all; let us pray to the Lord.
[For this holy House; and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter therein; let us pray to the Lord.)
For our Most Reverend Archbishop (Name), for all the Clergy, and the people, let us pray to the Lord.
[For the President of the United States and for all civil authorities; let us pray to the Lord.]
For this city, for every city and land, for the faithful that dwell in them, let us pray to the Lord.
For seasonable weather; for abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful seasons; let us pray to the Lord.
For all them that travel by land or sea, or in the air; for the sick, and the afflicted; for captives, and for their salvation; let us pray to the Lord.
That this water might be hallowed by the might, and operation, and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.
That there may descend upon these waters the cleansing operation of the super substantial Trinity; let us pray to the Lord.
That this water may be to the healing of souls and bodies, and to the banishment of every hostile power, let us pray to the Lord.
That there may be sent down upon it the Grace of Redemption, the blessing of the Jordan; let us pray to the Lord.
For all of them who need God to help and give protection, let us pray to the Lord.
That He will illuminate us with the Light of understanding of the Consubstantial Trinity; let us pray to the Lord.
That the Lord our God will show us forth as sons and daughters and heirs of His Kingdom through the partaking and sprinkling of these waters; let us pray to the Lord.
That He will deliver us from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.
Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by Your Grace.
Calling to remembrance our all-Holy, pure, exceedingly blessed glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and all our life to Christ our God.
To You, O Lord.
For to You do we send up all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
O Lord our God, Who are mighty in counsel and wondrous in all Your deeds: the Creator of all things: Who keep Your Covenant and Your mercy upon all those who love You and keep Your commandments: Who receive the devout tears of all that are in distress: for this cause did You come in the similitude of a servant, scorning not our image but giving true health to the body and saying, "Lo! You are healed, sin no more." And with clay did make man's eyes whole, and having commanded him to wash, made him by Your word rejoice in the light, putting to confusion the floods of passions of enemies; and drying up the bitter sea of life of the same, subduing the waves of sensual desires heavy to be endured: do You, the same Lord and King Who loves mankind, Who has granted to us to clothe ourselves in the garment of snowy whiteness, by water and by Spirit: send down on us Your blessing, and through the partaking of this water, through sprinkling with it, wash away the defilement of passions.
Yea, we beseech You visit our weaknesses, O Good One, and heal our infirmities both of spirit and of body through Your mercy; through the prayers of the all‑pure, exceedingly blessed Lady Theotokos and Ever‑Virgin Mary; Through the intercessions of the precious and life-creating Cross; through the protection of the glorious bodiless Powers of the Heavens; through the intercessions of the glorious Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist; of the holy, glorious and all‑praiseworthy Apostles; of the holy and theophoric Fathers; of our Fathers among the Saints, the great Hierarchs and ecumenical Teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom; of our Fathers the Saints, Athanasios, Kyrillos, and John the Merciful, Patriarchs of Alexandria; of Nicholas Bishop of Myra in Lycia; of Spyridon the Wonderworker Of Trymitheus; of the holy, glorious Martyrs, George the Victorious, Demetrios the Exhaler of Myrrh, Theodore of Tyron and Theodore Stratilatis; and of the holy and glorious Hieromartyrs Charalambos and Eleutherios, and of all the righteous Martyrs; of the holy and righteous forefathers Joachim and Anna; of the holy wonderworking Unmercenaries, Kosmas and Damian, Kyros and John, Panteleimon and Hermolaus; Samson and Diomedes, Mokios and Anekitas, Thallelaios and Tryphon; of Saint (Name of the Saint of the Day), whose memory we commemorate; and of all Your Saints.
Preserve, Lord, the president of the United States, and all the other Civil Authorities enabled by the American people; save, O God, all Orthodox Bishops who rightly divide the word of Your truth, granting unto them spiritual and bodily health; be merciful unto this Christian habitation which labors for You; have in remembrance, O God, every priestly and monastic order and their salvation; have in remembrance, O God, both those that hate us and those who love us, the brethren who serve with us; the people here present; and who for any cause are worthy of blessing and have gone forth having empowered us, unworthy though we are, to pray, for them; have in remembrance, O God, our brethren who are in captivity and affliction, and show mercy unto them according to Your great Mercy, delivering them from every tribulation.
For You are the Fountain of healing, O Christ our God, and to You do we send up all glory, together with Your Eternal Father and Your All-Holy, Good, and Life-creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Peace be to all. (+)
And to your spirit.
Let us bow our heads before the Lord.
To You, O Lord.
Bow down Your ear and listen to us, O Lord, Who deigned to be baptized in the river Jordan, and there sanctified the water. Bless us all who by the bowing of our heads do show forth our apprehension that we are Your servants. Grant that we may be filled with Your sanctification through the partaking of this water, and let it be for us, O Lord, for the health of soul and body.
For You are the sanctification of our souls and bodies, and to You do we send up all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Then the Priest, taking up the venerable Cross, dips it crosswise in the Water thrice, singing the Troparion:
Save, O Lord, Your people, and bless Your inheritance, giving us victory over all who assail us and protecting the Church of Your faithful by Your Cross. (3)
Then the Priest sprinkles the Holy Water in the form of the Cross and sings:
Make us worthy of your gifts, O Virgin Theotokos, overlooking our transgressions; give healing through faith to them that accept your blessing, O Immaculate One.
Then the Priest kisses the Precious Cross and blesses all the people, and he sprinkles all with the Holy Water, the Altar, and all the Temple. Meanwhile the Choir sings the following Troparia:
O holy Unmercenaries, who had a fountain of healing, give healing to all that ask; in that you have been given gifts most excellent from the everlasting Font of the Savior. For the Lord has said to you: Lo! To you and your fellows has been given power over all unclean spirits, to drive them off with healing and free from every ill and wound; wherefore, abiding in that command, freely have you received, freely give healing of all our passions.
Glory ... both now and ever...
Regard the prayer of your servants, O all‑immaculate One; allay the fierce risings against us, and assuage our every woe; for in you have we a certain hope secured; so by your intercessions, O Lady, put us not to shame when we cry to you: listen when we plead: Hail! O Lady, Helper of men, the Joy and Protection of our souls.
Accept, O Lady, the prayers of your servants, delivering us from every pain and sorrow.
Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great Mercy, we beseech You: listen and have mercy.
Lord have mercy. (And after each petition)
Again we pray for our Most Reverend Archbishop (Name) and for all our brethren in Christ.
Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, protection, pardon and remission of the sins of the servants of God, all pious and Orthodox Christians who dwell in this city, and of the servants of God, the members, trustees, contributors, and benefactors of this Holy Church.
Again we pray for the servants of God (names of those for whom the service is being conducted).
Furthermore, we pray that He will save this our city and this Holy Temple, and every city and countryside from pestilence, famine, earthquake, flood, fire, and the sword; from invasion of enemies, and from civil war; and that our good God, Who loves mankind, will be graciously favorable and easy to be entreated with, and will turn away all wrath stirred up against us and deliver us from all His righteous chastisement which impends against us, and have mercy on us.
Again we pray that the Lord our God listens to the voice of the supplication of us sinners, and has mercy on us.
Hear us, O God our Savior, the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of those far off at sea, or in the air: show mercy, show mercy O Master, upon our sins, and have mercy on us. For You are a merciful God and love mankind, and to You do we send up all Glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to You, O Christ our God and our Hope, glory to You. Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all‑pure Mother; of the holy, glorious, and all-praiseworthy Apostles; of the holy, glorious, and right-victorious Martyrs; of the holy and theophoric Fathers; of Saint (Name of the Saint of the Temple); of the holy and righteous forefathers Joakim and Anna; of Saint (Saint of the Day) whose memory we commemorate, and of all Your Saints, have mercy on us and save us, as our good and loving Lord.
Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.
Liturgical Texts courtesy and copyright of Holy Cross Press, Brookline, MA