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An exapostilarion (also spelled exaposteilarion, from the Greek exapostello, "dismiss") is a troparion that follows the canon at Orthros. It takes its name from the fact that it is near the end of the service. These hymns also often develop the theme of Christ as the Light of the world, and so they are sometimes called "photagogikon" ("hymn of light"; Slavonic, svetilen). The Sunday exapostilarion is always linked to the Matins Gospel used earlier in the service.[1]

Some examples of the better known exapostilaria are:

"O Lord, this very day hast Thou vouchsafed the Good Thief Paradise. By the Wood of the Cross do Thou enlighten me also and save me." -From the Matins of Holy Friday[2]
"Having fallen asleep in the flesh, as a mortal, O King and Lord, on the third day Thou didst rise again, raising up Adam from corruption, and abolishing death: O Pascha of incorruption, Salvation of the world!" -From the Paschal Matins[3]
"O ye Apostles from afar, being now gathered together here in the vale of Gethsemane, give burial to my body; and Thou, O my Son and my God, receive Thou my spirit." -From the Matins of Dormition[4]


  1. The Festal Menaion (Tr. Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware, Faber and Faber, London, 1984), p. 551.
  2. The Lenten Triodion (Tr. Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware, Faber and Faber, London, 1978), p. 595.
  3. Prayer Book, 4th ed.(Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1996), p. 201
  4. The Great Horologion (Boston, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1997), p. 784

See Also