Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

We sinners also cry out with these blessed powers, O loving and kind Master,
and say:  Holy are you; truly, all-holy.
Immeasurable is the majesty of your holiness.
You are revered in all your works;
for with righteousness and just judgment you have ordered all things for us.
Taking clay from the earth, you formed man
and honored him with your own image, O God.
You placed him in a delightful paradise
and promised him immortal life and the enjoyment of eternal blessings
through the observance of  your commandments.
But man disobeyed you, the true God who created him;
he was led astray by the deceit of the Serpent,
and by his own transgressions was subjected to death.
In your righteous judgment, O God, you banished him from paradise
and returned him to the earth from which he had been taken,
but provided for him the salvation of rebirth in your Christ.

For you did not turn away from your creature forever, O Good One,
nor forget the work of your hands;
rather, you intervened in various ways because of your merciful loving-kindness.
You sent prophets and performed mighty deeds through your holy ones
who have pleased you in every generation.
You spoke to us through the mouth of your servants, the prophets, 
who foretold the salvation which was to come.
You gave the Law as an aid, and appointed angels as guardians.
When the fullness of time had come, you spoke to us through your own Son,
the very one through whom you created the ages.
Although he is the reflection of your glory and the express image of your person,
sustaining all things by his powerful word,
He did not deem equality with you, God and Father, something to be grasped;
rather, while remaining everlasting God,
he appeared on earth and lived among men.
In becoming incarnate from the holy Virgin, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
conforming himself to the lowliness of our body,
that he might conform us to the image of his glory.

For since, through a man, sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
so it pleased your only-begotten Son,
who is in your bosom, God and Father,
to be born of a woman, the holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary,
to be born under the Law,
to condemn sin in his flesh
so that those who are dead in Adam
might be brought to life in him, your Christ.
Living in this world, he gave us precepts for salvation,
turned us away from the deceit of idols,
and brought us to know you, true God and Father.
He purchased us for himself as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, 
and a holy nation,
cleansing us with water and sanctifying us with the Holy Spirit.

He surrendered himself as a ransom to Death
by which we were held captive,
sold into slavery under sin.
Descending by the cross into Hades
to fulfill all things in himself,
he freed us from Death’s despair,
and rose on the third day,
preparing the way for the resurrection of all flesh from the dead.
Since Corruption could not keep the Author of Life in its clutches,
he became the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep,
the first-born of the dead,
that in all things he might have pre-eminence over all.
A portion of the Holy Thursday services 

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