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The dismissal is the concluding portion of the divine services in which the presiding priest or bishop prounounces a final, formal blessing on the faithful. The dismissal is omitted in Reader's services (that is, services in which a priest or bishop is not presiding).
The dismissal takes two forms. The Divine Liturgy, Great Vespers, and Orthros celebrated on a Sunday or on a feast that includes an Orthros Gospel lection uses the great dismissal. The remainder of the services of the Daily Cycle conclude with an abbreviated form known as the small dismissal.
The dismissal may include variable elements determined by the day of the week, festal season, commemoration of the day, service being served, saint to whom the temple is dedicated, etc.
An example of the great dismissal for the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom served on a Sunday not during a festal season is as follows (Antiochian practice):
- May he who rose again from the dead, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate and all-blameless holy Mother; by the might of the precious and life-giving cross; by the protection of the honorable bodiless powers of heaven; at the supplication of the honorable, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable apostles; of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople; of the holy, glorious and right-victorious martyrs; of our venerable and God-bearing fathers; of (saint to whom the temple is dedicated); of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; (saint(s) of the day) and of all the saints: have mercy on us, and save us, forasmuch as He is good and loveth mankind.
- DISMISSAL, a Microsoft-Windows–based application that generates the dismissals of various services for any day of the year. This application is freeware.