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380 bytes added, 16:29, April 20, 2007
moved discussion of the procession to the Matins section; this is not part of nocturne; added discussion of Paschal stichera
Sometime before midnight, on the [[Holy Saturday|Blessed Sabbath]] the [[Midnight Office]] service is chanted. In the Slavic practice, the priest goes to the tomb and removes the [[epitaphios]] and carries it through the [[holy doors]] and places it on the [[altar]] table where it remains for forty days until the day of [[Ascension]]. In the Byzantine practice, the epitaphios has already been removed (during the [[Lamentations Orthros]] on [[Holy Friday]] evening).
The ===Matins===Paschal [[orthros|matins]] begins with a procession begins near that starts around midnight. The people leave the dark church building singing, carrying banners, [[icons]], candles, and the Gospel. The procession circles the outside of the church and returns to the closed front doors. In Greek practice, the Gospel which tells of the empty tomb is now read. In Syrian practice, following the Gospel reading, the priest beats on the door and takes part in a dialogue with an interlocutor inside the church doors, crying out with the words of [[Psalm]] 23 (24): "Lift up your heads, O gates! And be exalted, you everlasting doors, that the king of glory may enter in!" In Slavic practice, neither of these rites is preserved. Next, the [[Pascha#Hymns|Paschal troparion]] is sung for the first time, together with the verses of [[Psalm]] 67 (68) which will begin all of the Church services during the Paschal season.
:''Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee from before his face!''
:''As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish; as wax melts before the fire,''
The doors are opened and the faithful re-enter. The church is brightly lit and adorned with flowers. It is the heavenly bride and the symbol of the empty tomb. The celebrants change to white vestments, the bright robes of the resurrection. The Easter icon stands in the center of the church, where the grave just was. It shows Christ destroying the gates of hell and freeing [[Adam and Eve]] from the captivity of death. There constant proclamation of the celebrant: Christ is risen! The faithful continually respond: Indeed he is risen! and censing of the icons and the people.
===Matins===Next is Following the entrance into the church, the service of Paschal [[Orthros]]. The [[canon (hymn)|canon]] hymns of Christ's resurrection ascribed to St. [[John of Damascus]] are is chanted with the Paschal troparion as the constantly recurring refrain.Matins ends with the Paschal stichera: :''O day of resurrection! Let us beam with God's own pride! Let everyone embrace in joy! Let us warmly greet those we meet and treat them all like brothers, even those who hate us! Let all the earth resound with this song: Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and on those in the grave bestowing life!''

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