"And at the ninth hour.. Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last." –Mark 15:34,37
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Come, let us worship!
How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! Blessed are the men whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Behold our shield, O God; look upon the face of Your anointed! For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; He bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!
O Christ God, at the ninth hour You tasted death in the flesh for our sake: mortify the rebellion of our flesh and save us!
In the midst of two thieves, Your Cross was revealed as the balance-beam of righteousness;
For while the one was led down to hell by the burden of his blaspheming, the other was lightened of his sins to the knowledge of things divine. O Christ our God, glory to You!
O Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, You have led us to the present hour, in which, as You hung upon the life-giving Tree, You made a way into Paradise for the penitent thief, and by death destroyed death: Cleanse us, Your unworthy servants, for we fall into sin continuously and are not worthy to lift up our eyes and look upon the heights of heaven. Forgive us for departing from the path of righteousness and following the desires of our own hearts. We implore Your unending goodness: Spare us, O Lord, according to the multitude of Your mercies, and save us for Your holy name's sake, for our days are passing away in vanity. Take us from the hand of the adversary and forgive our sins, and mortify in us all impure thoughts. Help us to lay aside our old ways so that we may be clothed with new resolve and may dedicate our lives to You, our Master and Benefactor, so that by following Your commandments, we may come to the eternal rest which is the abode of all those who rejoice. For You are the true joy and exultation of those who love You, O Christ our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with the Father who is without beginning and Your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Through the prayers of our holy fathers, may the Lord have mercy on us. Amen.
At this hour, corresponding to about three o'clock in the afternoon, the drama of our Lord's sacrifice upon the Cross ended as He gave up His spirit to the Heavenly Father. He had promised His Kingdom to the repentant thief (Luke 23:43). Our Church, and with her every faithful soul observing in wonder, gives thanks and prays to the divine Redeemer, singing of these inconceivable and saving events with appropriate hymns. And so the liturgical day is closed with the joy and fulfillment of the Cross of Christ.
Taken from A Manual of the Hours of the Orthodox Church, translated by Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, NY. No copyright was applied to the original work.
Posted on www.holycrossonline.org.