Thursday, May 2, 2013

The blessing of the Book of the Holy Gospels

I saw this recent post of the blessing of the Gospel book and was intrigued to see what the prayer for this was. The Great Book of Needs (Trebnik) from St. Tikhon's Seminary Press provides an enlightening preface to the service in addition to the prayers themselves.

(OCA-DEPA) - St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church blessed a new Gospel Book donated in memory of Onufriy Zabinko on April 14, 2013 following Vespers.

Concerning the Blessing and Sanctification of the Book of the Holy Gospels

There is no specific Order of Prayers appointed for the Blessing and Sanctification of the Book of the Gospels, itself. According to a Note found in K. Nikolsky, Posobiye k'izucheniu Ustava Bogosluzheniya Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi, St. Petersburg, 1900, p. 826, the Book of the Gospels is not blessed because, as the Word of God, it is holy. But if it be covered with a precious Cover (usually metal), upon which are affixed Icons, then the Cover itself is blessed using the Order for the Blessing and Sanctification of Various Icons Laid Out Together.

Order of Sanctification of the Gospel Book

Although not specifically directed, presumably the Gospel Book to be blessed is set upon a specifically-prepared table before the Ambon, as for the Blessing of the other church items.

The Priest begins, as usual:

Blessed is our God...

The Reader continues:

Amen. O Heavenly King... Trisagion... Our Father.


For Thine is the Kingdom...


Let us pray to the Lord.


Lord, have mercy.

Priest reads the prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Who, from time immemorial, hast been well-pleased also at the appointed time to reveal unto us Thine uncreated Wisdom hidden from the ages, in the divine words of they teaching, which is written for us in the Book of Thy Good News (the Gospel): Do Thou Thyself, O Most-wise King, look down with Thine own merciful gaze upon our offering, and bless our good desire to be taught always by Thy divine words, which are for our building up and salvation, and sanctify this Gospel Book, making it to be a participant of Thy Divine Grace, that these Thy words inscribed in it may be, for the souls of us who with faith and reverence read it and listen to it, an incorrupt food and everliving drink, that receiving Thy commandments we may be able to do them, being strengthened in our infirmity by Thy grace. For Thou only art the Most-wise and All-powerful Master of All, O our God, and unto Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.



And immediately the Priest sprinkles it with Holy Water, saying:

This Gospel Book is sanctified by the grace of the Most-holy Spirit, through the sprinkling of this Holy Water, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (thrice)

And immediately he pronounces the Dismissal And kissing the Gospel, he sets it on the Holy Table.

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