The Apostolic Constitutions
Thou didst overthrow walls without instruments or the hand of man. (13) For all these things, glory be to Thee, O Lord Almighty. Thee do the innumerable hosts of angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers, Thine everlasting armies, adore. The cherubim and the six-winged seraphim, with twain covering their feet, with twain their heads, and with twain flying, (14) say, together with thousand thousands of archangels, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels, (15) incessantly, and with constant and loud voices, and let all the people say it with them: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts, heaven and earth are full of His glory: be Thou blessed for ever. Amen." (16) And afterwards let the high priest say: For Thou art truly holy, and most holy, the highest and most highly exalted for ever. Holy also is Thy only begotten Son our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who in all things ministered to His God and Father, both in Thy various creation and Thy suitable providence, and has not overlooked lost mankind. But after the law of nature, after the exhortations in the positive law, after the prophetical reproofs and the government of the angels, when men had perverted both the positive law and that of nature, and had cast out of their mind the memory of the flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of the Egyptians, and the slaughters of the inhabitant of Palestine, and being just ready to perish universally after an unparalleled manner, He was pleased by Thy good will to become man, who was man's Creator; to be under the laws, who was the Legislator; to be a sacrifice, who was an High Priest; to be a sheep, who was the Shepherd. And He appeased Thee, His God and Father, and reconciled Thee to the world, and freed all men from the wrath to come, and was made of a virgin, and was in flesh, being God the Word, the beloved Son, the first-born of the whole creation, and was, according to the prophecies which were foretold concerning Him by Himself, of the seed of David and Abraham, of the tribe of Judah. And He was made in the womb of a virgin, who formed all mankind that are born into the world; He took flesh, who was without flesh; He who was begotten before time, was born in time; He lived holily, and taught according to the law; He drove away every sickness and every disease from men, and wrought signs and wonders among the people; and He was partaker of meat, and drink, and sleep, who nourishes all that stand in need of food, and "fills every living creature with His goodness;" (1) "He manifested His name to those that knew it not;" (2) He drave away ignorance; He revived piety, and fulfilled Thy will; He finished the work which Thou gavest Him to do; and when He had set all these things right, He was seized by the hands of the ungodly, of the high priests and priests, falsely so called, and of the disobedient people, by the betraying of him who was possessed of wickedness as with a confirmed disease; He suffered many things from them, and endured all sorts of ignominy by Thy permission; He was delivered to Pilate the governor, and He that was the Judge was judged, and He that was the Saviour was condemned; He that was impassible was nailed to the cross, and He who was by nature immortal died, and He that is the giver of life was buried, that He might loose those for whose sake He came from suffering and death, and might break the bonds of the devil, and deliver mankind from his deceit. He arose from the dead the third day; and when He had continued with His disciples forty days, He was taken up into the heavens, and is sat down on the right hand of Thee, who art His God and Father. Being mindful, therefore, of those things that He endured for our sakes, we give Thee thanks, O God Almighty, not in such a manner as we ought, but as we are able, and fulfil His constitution: "For in the same night that He was betrayed, He took bread" (3) in His holy and undefiled hands, and, looking up to Thee His God and Father, "He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, This is the mystery of the new covenant: take of it, and eat. This is my body, which is broken for many, for the remission of sins." (4) In like manner also "He took the cup," and mixed it of wine and water, and sanctified it, and delivered it to them, saying: "Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood which is shed for many, for the remission of sins: do this in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth my death until I come." Being mindful, therefore, of His passion, and death, and resurrection from the dead, and return into the heavens, and His future second appearing, wherein He is to come with glory and power to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works, we offer to Thee, our King and our God, according to His constitution, this bread and this cup, giving Thee thanks, through Him, that Thou hast thought us worthy to stand before Thee, and to sacrifice to Thee; and we beseech Thee that Thou wilt mercifully look down upon these gifts which are here set before Thee, O Thou God, who standest in need of none of our offerings. And do Thou accept them, to the honour of Thy Christ, and send down upon this sacrifice Thine Holy Spirit, the Witness of the Lord Jesus' sufferings, that He may show this bread to be the body of Thy Christ, and the cup to be the blood of Thy Christ, that those who are partakers thereof may be strengthened for piety, may obtain the remission of their sins, may be delivered from the devil and his deceit, may be filled with the Holy Ghost, may be made worthy of Thy Christ, and may obtain eternal, life upon Thy reconciliation to them, O Lord Almighty. We further pray unto Thee, O Lord, for thy holy Church spread from one end of the world to another, which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ, that Thou wilt preserve it unshaken and free from disturbance until the end of the world; for every episcopate who rightly divides the word of truth. We further pray to Thee for me, who am nothing, who offer to Thee, for the whole presbytery, for the deacons and all the clergy, that Thou wilt make them wise, and replenish them with the Holy Spirit. We further pray to Thee, O Lord, "for the king and all in authority," (5) for the whole army, that they may be peaceable towards us, that so, leading the whole time of our life in quietness and unanimity, we may glorify Thee through Jesus Christ, who is our hope. We further offer to Thee also for all those holy persons who have pleased Thee from the beginning of the world--patriarchs, prophets, righteous men, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, presbyters, deacons, sub-deacons, readers, singers, virgins, widows, and lay persons, with all whose names Thou knowest. We further offer to Thee for this people, that Thou wilt render them, to the praise of Thy Christ, "a royal priesthood and an holy nation;" (1) for those that are in virginity and purity; for the widows of the Church; for those in honourable marriage and child-bearing; for the infants of Thy people, that Thou wilt not permit any of us to "become castaways." We further beseech Thee also for this city and its inhabitants; for those that are sick; for those in bitter servitude; for those in banishments; for those in prison; for those that travel by water or by land; that Thou, the helper and assister of all men, wilt be their supporter. We further also beseech Thee for those that hate us and persecute us for Thy name's sake; for those that are without, and wander out of the way; that Thou wilt convert them to goodness, and pacify their anger. We further also beseech Thee for the catechumens of the Church, and for those that are vexed by the adversary, and for our brethren the penitents, that Thou wilt perfect the first in the faith, that Thou wilt deliver the second from the energy of the evil one, and that Thou wilt accept the repentance of the last, and forgive both them and us our offences. We further offer to Thee also for the good temperature of the air, and the fertility of the fruits, that so, partaking perpetually of the good things derived from Thee, we may praise Thee without ceasing, "who gavest food to all flesh." (2) We further beseech Thee also for those who are absent on a just cause, that Thou wilt keep us all in piety, and gather us together in the kingdom of Thy Christ, the God of all sensible and intelligent nature, our King that Thou wouldst keep us immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable: for to Thee belongs all glory and worship, and thanksgiving, honour and adoration, the Father, with the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, both now and always, and for everlasting, and endless ages for ever. And let all the people say, Amen. And let the bishop say, "The peace of God be with you all." And let all the people say, "And with thy spirit." And let the deacon proclaim again:- THE BIDDING PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL AFTER THE DlVINE OBLATION.