Four chanters raise their voices to the heavens
The Great Lent’s Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the Russian Orthodox church consists of vespers, followed by a portion of the full liturgy. Between readings, the priest turns and faces the faithful with a candle and censer, intoning, “The Light of Christ illumines all!” This calls to mind the prophets whose writings are heard within the liturgy and who have been illumined by the same light of Christ as the people of today. After another reading, the moving hymn of supplication is sung, with everyone kneeling:
Let my prayer arise in thy sight as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice.Lord, I have called to thee, hear me! Attend to the voice of my prayer when I call to thee!Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door around my lips!Incline not my heart to words of evil, to invent excuses for my sins.Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands Be an evening sacrifice.