Bind yourselves to your brethren. Those bound together in love bear everything with ease.... If now you want to make the bond double, your brother must also be bound together with you. He wants us to be bound together with one another, not only to be at peace, not only to be friends, but to be all one, a single soul. Beautiful is this bond. With this bond we bind ourselves together both to one another and to God. This is not a chain that bruises. It does not cramp the hands. It leaves them free, gives them ample room and greater courage.

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Ephesians 9.4.1-3

Kathisma 19

 PSALM 134
 Alleluia.

Praise ye the name of the Lord; O ye servants, praise the Lord. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise ye the Lord, for the Lord is good; chant unto His name, for it is good. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, Israel for His own possession. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. All that the Lord hath willed He hath done, in heaven and on the earth, in the seas and in all the abysses. Bringing clouds up from the uttermost parts of the earth, lightnings for the rain hath He made. He bringeth winds out of His treasuries; He smote the firstborn of Egypt, from man unto beast. He sent forth signs and marvels in the midst of thee, O Egypt, on Pharaoh and on all his servants. He smote many nations and slew mighty kings. Seon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of the land of Basan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan. And He gave their land for an inheritance, an inheritance for Israel His people. O Lord, Thy name endureth for ever, and Thy memorial unto generation and generation. For the Lord will judge His people, and because of His servants shall He be comforted. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the works of the hands of men. They have a mouth but shall not speak, eyes have they and shall not see. Ears have they and shall not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouth. Let those that make them become like unto them, and all they that put their trust in them. O house of Israel, bless ye the Lord. O house of Aaron, bless ye the Lord. O house of Levi, bless ye the Lord. Ye that fear the Lord, bless ye the Lord. Blessed is the Lord out of Sion, Who dwelleth in Jerusalem.

 PSALM 135
 Alleluia.

 O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods; for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the Lord of lords; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him Who alone hath wrought great wonders; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that made the heavens with understanding; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that established the earth upon the waters; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him Who alone hath made great lights; for His mercy endureth for ever. The sun for dominion of the day; for His mercy endureth for ever. The moon and the stars for dominion of the night; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that smote Egypt with their firstborn; for His mercy endureth for ever. And led forth Israel out of the midst of them; for His mercy endureth for ever. With a strong hand and a lofty arm; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that divided the Red Sea into parts; for His mercy endureth for ever. And led Israel through the midst thereof; for His mercy endureth for ever. And overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that led His people through the wilderness; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that smote great kings; for His mercy endureth for ever. And slew mighty kings; for His mercy endureth for ever. Seon, king of the Amorites; for His mercy endureth for ever. And Og, king of the land of Basan; for His mercy endureth for ever. And gave their land for an inheritance; for His mercy endureth for ever. An inheritance for Israel His servant; for His mercy endureth for ever. For in our humiliation the Lord remembered us; for His mercy endureth for ever. And redeemed us from our enemies; for His mercy endureth for ever. He that giveth food to all flesh; for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven; for His mercy endureth for ever.

 PSALM 136
 For David. By Jeremias, in the Captivity.

 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and we wept when we remembered Sion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof did we hang our instruments. For there, they that had taken us captive asked us for words of song. And they that had led us away asked us for a hymn, saying: Sing us one of the songs of Sion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my throat, if I remember thee not, If I set not Jerusalem above all other, as at the head of my joy. Remember, O Lord, the sons of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem, Who said: Lay waste, lay waste to her, even to the foundations thereof. O daughter of Babylon, thou wretched one, blessed shall he be who shall reward thee wherewith thou hast rewarded us. Blessed shall he be who shall seize and dash thine infants against the rock. 

Stasis

 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God. (Three times). Lord, have mercy. (Three times). Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

PSALM 137
 David's. Of Aggeus and Zacharias.

 I will confess Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; and before angels will I chant unto Thee, for Thou hast heard all the words of my mouth. I will worship towards Thy holy temple and confess Thy name, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth; for Thou hast magnified Thy holy name above all that is. In whatsoever day I call upon Thee, quickly hearken unto me; Thou shalt abundantly endow my soul with Thy strength. Let all the kings of the earth, O Lord, confess Thee, for they have heard all the words of Thy mouth. And let them sing in the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For the Lord is exalted, yet on lowly things He looketh; and things haughty He knoweth from afar. Though I should walk in the midst of affliction, Thou shalt quicken me; against the wrath of mine enemies hast Thou stretched forth Thy hands, and Thy right hand hath saved me. The Lord shall give recompense in my behalf. O Lord, Thy mercy endureth for ever; disdain not the work of Thy hands. 

PSALM 138
 For the End. David's. A Psalm of Zacharias in the Dispersion.

 O Lord, Thou hast proved me and Thou knowest me; Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising. Thou hast discerned my thoughts from afar; my path and my lot hast Thou traced out, And hast foreseen all my ways, for there is no guile in my tongue. Behold, Lord, Thou knowest all things, the last and the first; Thou hast fashioned me and hast laid Thy hand upon me. Thy knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is mighty, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? And from Thy presence whither shall I flee? If I go up into heaven, Thou art there; if I go down into hades, Thou art present there. If I take up my wings toward the dawn, and make mine abode in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Thy hand guide me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. And I said: Surely darkness shall tread me down, and the night shall be turned into light in my delight. For darkness will not be darkness with Thee, and night shall be bright as the day; as is the darkness thereof, even so shall the light thereof be. For Thou hast possessed my reins; O Lord, Thou hast holpen me from my mother's womb. I will confess Thee, for awesomely art Thou wondrous, marvelous are Thy works, and my soul knoweth it right well. My bone is not hid from Thee, which Thou madest in secret; nor my substance in the nethermost parts of the earth. My being while it was still unformed Thine eyes did see, and in Thy book shall all men be written; day by day they are formed, when as yet there be none of them. But to me, exceedingly honourable are Thy friends, O Lord; their principalities are made exceeding strong. I will count them, and they shall be multiplied more than the sand; I awoke and I am still with Thee. Surely Thou wilt slay the sinners, O God. Ye men of blood, depart from me. For Thou wilt say concerning their thoughts that in vain shall they take Thy cities. As for them that hate Thee, O Lord, have I not hated them? And because of Thine enemies have I not pined away? With perfect hatred have I hated them; they are reckoned enemies with me. Prove me, O God, and know my heart; examine me and know my paths. And see if the way of iniquity be in me, and guide me in the way everlasting.

 PSALM 139
 For the End. A Psalm of David.

 Rescue me, O Lord, from the evil man; from the unjust man deliver me. Who have devised injustice in their heart; all the day long have they arrayed themselves for wars. They have whetted their tongue like that of a serpent; the venom of asps is under their lips. Keep me, O Lord, from the hand of the sinner; rescue me from unjust men who have devised to undermine my steps. The proud have hid a snare for me, and with cords have they spread a snare for my feet; stumbling-blocks near the paths have they set for me. I said unto the Lord: Thou art my God; give ear, O Lord, unto the voice of my supplication. Lord, O Lord, Thou strength of my salvation, Thou hast overshadowed my head in the day of battle. Because of my desire, O Lord, give me not up unto the sinner. They have taken counsel against me; forsake me not, lest they should be exalted. As for the head of those that encircle me, the mischief of their lips shall cover them. Coals shall fall upon them; in fire shalt Thou cast them down, and they shall not stand in afflictions. A babbling man shall not prosper on the earth; evils shall hunt an unjust man to his destruction. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the poor and the justice of the paupers. Surely the righteous shall confess Thy name, and the upright shall dwell in Thy presence.

 Stasis

 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God. (Three times). Lord, have mercy. (Three times). Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

PSALM 140
 A Psalm of David.

 Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hearken unto me; attend to the voice of my supplication when I cry unto Thee. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Set, O Lord, a watch before my mouth, and a door of enclosure round about my lips. Incline not my heart unto words of evil, to make excuse with excuses in sins, With men that work iniquity; and I will not join with their chosen. The righteous man will chasten me with mercy and reprove me; as for the oil of the sinner, let it not anoint my head. For yet more is my prayer in the presence of their pleasures; swallowed up near by the rock have their judges been. They shall hear my words, for they be sweetened; as a clod of earth is broken upon the earth, so have their bones been scattered nigh unto hades. For unto Thee, O Lord, O Lord, are mine eyes, in Thee have I hoped; take not my soul away. Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me, and from the stumbling-blocks of them that work iniquity. The sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone until I pass by. 

PSALM 141
 Instruction by David. When He Was in the Cave Praying.

 With my voice unto the Lord have I cried, with my voice unto the Lord have I made supplication. I will pour out before Him my supplication, mine affliction before Him will I declare. When my spirit was fainting within me, then Thou knewest my paths. In this way wherein I have walked they hid for me a snare. I looked upon my right hand, and beheld, and there was none that did know me. Flight hath failed me, and there is none that watcheth out for my soul. I have cried unto Thee, O Lord; I said: Thou art my hope, my portion art Thou in the land of the living. Attend unto my supplication, for I am brought very low. Deliver me from them that persecute me, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison that I may confess Thy name. The righteous shall wait patiently for me until Thou shalt reward me.

 PSALM 142
 David's. When His Son Abessalom Pursued Him.

 O Lord, hear my prayer, give ear unto my supplication in Thy truth; hearken unto me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgement with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life down to the earth. He hath sat me in darkness as those that have been long dead, and my spirit within me is become despondent; within me my heart is troubled. I remembered days of old, I meditated on all Thy works, I pondered on the creations of Thy hands. I stretched forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee like a waterless land. Quickly hear me, O Lord; my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not Thy face away from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning; for in Thee have I put my hope. Cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk; for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. Rescue me from mine enemies, O Lord; unto Thee have I fled for refuge. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness; for Thy name's sake, O Lord, shalt Thou quicken me. In Thy righteousness shalt Thou bring my soul out of affliction, and in Thy mercy shalt Thou utterly destroy mine enemies. And Thou shalt cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Thy servant.

 Final Stasis

 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God. (Two times). Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God our Hope, O Lord, glory be to Thee. Lord, have mercy. (Three times). Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Psalter copyright 1974 Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, MA