O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Explore my Wounds and Doubt no Longer"

Today has more official names than any other day of the year. It is Antipascha, Thomas Sunday, Low Sunday (last Sunday being High Sunday), Sunday in White (referencing the removal of the baptismal garments worn for a week after Baptism at Pascha), the Octave of Easter, Quasimodo Sunday (after today's Mass in the Latin Rite; the Introit begins with the phrase "Quasi modo"-and yes the hunchback is named after today, the day he was found orphaned in the story) & the Feast of Mercy (which is the only name used by Our Lord for today speaking to St. Faustina). The Byzantine Rite reads the second half of the story of St. Thomas today (i.e., the part that takes place today), the first half, which took place on Easter Sunday night, having been read on Easter Sunday night at Agape Vespers. The Latin Rite reads the whole thing today as a single passage.

The Litiya at Vespers last night:
At the Liti, Idiomel Stichera. Tone 4.
O Lord, when doors were shut you came in the unbearable blaze of your godhead and standing among your Disciples you bared your side. You showed them the scars of the wounds in your hands and feet, and banishing their dejection you cried out clearly: ‘The way you see me, my friends, I bear, not a spirit’s nature, but the flesh which I assumed’. To the doubting Disciple, ‘you were ready to handle me with dread’, he said, ‘you investigate all things, come then, do not hesitate’. But he, sensing with his hand your double being, with fear cried out in faith: ‘My Lord and my God, glory to you.’

Tone 8.
‘Touch my side with your hand, Thomas, ‘Christ says, ‘and come, handle the marks of the nails; investigate with faith and become faithful to me. Be not faithless.’ But Thomas, as he touched the Master with his finger, cried out aloud: ‘You are my Lord and my God. O Compassionate, glory to you!’

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 8. By Anatolios.
When the doors were shut and the Disciples assembled, the Saviour came where they were gathered; and standing among them he says to Thomas: ‘Come, handle me, and see the marks of the nails; stretch out your hand and touch my side, and be not faithless, but with faith proclaim my Resurrection from the dead.’

From the Canon at Matins:
Ode 6. The Irmos:
You saved the prophet from the whale, O Lover of mankind, lead me up too, I pray, from the deep of offences.

Verse: Glory to Thee, Our God, Glory to Thee.

You did not leave Thomas, Master, plunged in the deep of unbelief when you stretched out your palms for investigation.

Verse: Glory to Thee, Our God, Glory to Thee.

The Saviour said, ‘Handle me and see that I have bones and flesh. I am not changed’.

Verse: Glory to Thee, Our God, Glory to Thee.

Thomas, who was not present at your first entrance, handled your side and believing acknowledged you.