The Order of the Divine Hierarchical Liturgy


The Order of the Divine Hierarchical Liturgy
Choir Notes for an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
Preserve, 0 Lord, our master and chief priest = Ton dhespotin kai archierea imon
Many years, master = Eis polla eti, dhespota
1.  If following the first verse of the Praises Let everything that hath breath ...during Orthros the bishop descends from the throne for Kairon, the choir sings very slowly Preserve, 0 Lord, our master and chief priest; it should be timed so that the singing of Many years, master at the end of the hymn coincides with the moment at the end of Kairon when the bishop turns and blesses the congregation with the trikirion.  Then the Praises continue with Praise ye him all his angels . . . .
2.  When, prior to the singing of the Great Doxology at the end of Orthros, the bishop exits the sanctuary through the holy doors and blesses the congregation, the choir sings Many years, master (once).
3.  When, during the Litany of Peace at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, the bishop is commemorated by name, the choir quickly and softly sings Many years, master (once).  At the end of that petition the choir sings Lord, have mercy as usual.
4.  When, during the singing of the eisodikon Entrance Hymn) by the choir, the choir sings Many years, master (once) as the bishop blesses with the dikirion and trikirion.  The choir may then repeat the refrain Save us, 0 Son of God before singing the first apolytikion after the Little Entrance.  Then all the other apolytikia are sung by the choir.  It is usual for the bishop and clergy to sing the kontakion, but the Bishop will usually defer this to the choir.
5.  The Holy God sequence is sung as outlined in The Liturgikon(pp.486-488).  Note that no phimi is sung for a Diocesan bishop in our Archdiocese.
6.  When the bishop gives the peace before the reading of the Gospel, the choir responds Many years, master (once) rather than And to thy spirit.
7.  At the conclusion of the reading of the Gospel, the choir sings Many years, master (once) immediately followed by the usual Glory to thee, 0 Lord, glory to thee.
8.  At the conclusion of the Cherubic Hymn, the choir sings Many years, master (once) as the bishop blesses the congregation; then the Litany of Supplication is done.  Note that if there is to be an ordination to the holy priesthood it takes place before the Litany of Supplication; in that event this singing of Many years, master is delayed and the following order is observed:
a.  As the candidate is led three times around the holy table, the choir sings the three troparia Ye holy martyrs; Glory to thee, O Christ God; and O Isaiah. After the bishop says The grace divineall-holy Spirit may come upon him the choir sings softly and repeatedly Lord, have mercy while a priest or deacon inaudibly says an expanded Litany of Peace.
b.  To the bishop's exclamation For blessed and glorified...ages of ages the choir responds Amen.
c.  After each proclamation of Axios.  He is worthy.  Moustahiq by the bishop and congregation, the choir sings the same as the newly-ordained priest is vested.
d.  After the newly-ordained priest is fully vested, the choir sings Many years, master (once) and the bishop blesses the people.
e.  Then the Litany of Supplication is done.
9.  When the bishop gives the peace before the saying of the Creed, the choir responds Many years, master (once) rather than And to thy spirit.
10.  At Let us love one another it is proper for the choir to respond by slowly singing  I will love thee, O Lord, my strength rather than Father, Son and Holy Spirit as at any concelebrated Divine Liturgy.
11.  When, during the Anaphora, the bishop says Among the first the choir responds Amen.  Then, when the priests say Among the first the choir responds And of all mankind; but if a deacon is serving, the choir responds Amen to both the bishop and the priests, and then, when the deacon says And for those who offer these precious and holy gifts ... and of all mankind the choir responds And of all mankind.
12.  Note that if there is to be an ordination to the holy diaconate it takes place immediately after the bishop blesses the congregation saying And the mercies of our great God and Savior... and the choir responds And with thy spirit.  Then the following order is observed:
a.  As the candidate is led three times around the holy table, the choir sings the three troparia Ye holy martyrs; Glory to thee, O Christ God; and O Isaiah. After the bishop says The grace divineall-holy Spirit may come upon him the choir sings softly and repeatedly Lord, have mercy while a priest or deacon inaudibly says an expanded Litany of Peace.
b.  To the bishop's exclamation For thou art our God ... ages of ages the choir responds Amen.
c.  After each proclamation of Axios.  He is worthy.  Moustahiq by the bishop and congregation, the choir sings the same as the newly-ordained deacon is vested.
d.  After the newly-ordained deacon is fully vested, the choir sings Many years, master (once) and the bishop blesses the people.
e.  Then the litany before the Our Father is done.
13.  While the bishop says the dismissal at the end of the Divine Liturgy, the choir slowly and softly sings Preserve, O Lord, our master and chief priest … or the polykhronion.
14.  When, after the dismissal, the priest says Through the prayers of our holy master...  the choir responds Amen.