Canons for the Translation of the Relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

The Canon of the Saint, Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: O ye people, let us send up a hymn unto our wondrous God, Who freed Israel from bondage, singing and crying out a hymn of victory unto Thee Who alone art Master.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Accept Thou the song of my lips, O Christ my Benefactor, and cleanse Thou my tongue, being not mindful of my manifold sins; that I may extol in song the honourable life of Thy hierarch, in memory of the translation of his relics.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Having received the gift of working miracles, and crowns of patience, and being adorned with thy hierarchal office, do thou beseech God, O our Father, that He grant remission of transgressions to us who glorify the translation of thy relics.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

O Father, shepherd of the flock of Christ, thou art sent to other sheep, of the Latin tongue, that thou mayest astonish all with thy wonders and lead them to Christ. O blessed one, pray thou unceasingly in our behalf.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The heathen nations formerly far removed have drawn nigh unto God through thy birth-giving, O Theotokos; and, deified and set free from the ancient curse by thy blood, I have been given rebirth by thee.

Another Canon to the Holy Hierarch, Tone IV

Irmos: I will open my mouth, and with the Spirit will it be filled; and I shall utter discourse unto the Queen and Mother, and shall appear, keeping splendid festival; and, rejoicing, I will hymn her wonders.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Illumine my soul and heart, I pray thee, O Bestower of light and Fashioner of creation. Grant unto me the gift of praising in song Thy most honoured favourite, by whom do Thou deliver the world from misfortune.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Illumine my soul and heart, I pray thee, O Bestower of light and Fashioner of creation. Grant unto me the gift of praising in song Thy most honoured favourite, by whom do Thou deliver the world from misfortune.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Having acquired heavenly wisdom, thou didst invest it as a talent entrusted to thee; for, having set at nought the guile of those opposed to God, thou didst enlighten the people with divine instruction.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

From a Maiden is the Infant born, pre-eternal of origin and preserved in perfection, Whom thou didst preach in two Natures and in one Hypostasis, O divinely blessed one.

Ode III, Irmos: O Lord, Fashioner of the vault of heaven and Creator of the Church: establish me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, confirmation of the faithful, Who alone lovest mankind.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Guileless in manner and meek in demeanour, possessed of an angelic life, O divinely blessed Nicholas: cease thou never to pray to Him Who loveth mankind, in behalf of us all.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

What city doth not have thee as a helper, O blessed one? What soul uttereth not thy name? And what place dost thou not visit in spirit, astounding all with thy wonders, O Nicholas?

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Though the city of Bari hath received thy body, yet thy spirit dwelleth in the heavenly Jerusalem, where thou exultest with the prophets, apostles and holy hierarchs, praying in our behalf to Him Who alone loveth mankind.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Beg thou enlightenment for me who am engulfed in darkness because of my many sins, O all-pure Lady who gavest birth to the Light of the whole world; and drive far from me the gloom of the passions, O divinely blessed one.

Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and abundant fountain: in thy divine glory establish those who hymn thee and spiritually form themselves into a choir; and vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

The grieving have found great consolation; they that are in darkness have acquired the light; and those assailed by sorrows have in thee received deliverance from evils, O most sacred father.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

The grieving have found great consolation; they that are in darkness have acquired the light; and those assailed by sorrows have in thee received deliverance from evils, O most sacred father.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O holy hierarch Nicholas, who wast the mouth of God: thou hast delivered men from the maw of the diabolic wolf, O glorious one, and hast borne them to the Creator as a gift, granting healing unto all.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O most pure Mother of God: the Word Who chose for Himself a servant, the hierarch Nicholas, as a teacher of His people, did will to be born of thee alone in the flesh, in manner past all recounting.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Sessional hymn, Tone I, Spec. Mel. “Thy tomb, O Saviour…”: The translation of thy precious relics is for us an occasion of splendid celebration, O Nicholas, holy hierarch of the Lord whom we piously praise, joyously honouring thee, the light of the never-setting Sun, thou adornment of the faithful. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Repeat the foregoing hymn.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou didst mount Thy steeds, Thine apostles, O Lord, and didst take their bridles in Thy hands; and Thy chariot hath become salvation for those who chant with faith: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Enlighten my heart and dispel from it the gloom of sin, O holy hierarch who art illumined by the light of the Most High, that I may joyously hymn the holy translation of thy relics.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Having ascended the ladder of the virtues, O blessed one, thou wast revealed to all the world as a wonder-worker, O Nicholas; wherefore the people of Bari removed thy holy relics from Myra.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Faithful priests rejoice in thee, and Christ-loving princes call upon thee as an ally in battle; and we, unworthy though we are, exhort thee to pray to God in our behalf, O Nicholas.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The depth of thy mystery doth astound the ranks of the angels, O Theotokos, and thine icon doth cast the demons into confusion; and honouring thee as the Mother of God, we bow down before it.

Irmos: Perceiving the inscrutable counsel of God – the Incarnation of Thee, the Most High, from the Virgin – the Prophet Habbakuk cried aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

O herald of God, through partaking of the primal light of God, thou wast shown to be a secondary luminary, enlightening with thy splendour them that are in darkness, in that thou art a lover of virtue, soaring aloft in glory.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

O herald of God, through partaking of the primal light of God, thou wast shown to be a secondary luminary, enlightening with thy splendour them that are in darkness, in that thou art a lover of virtue, soaring aloft in glory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Deliver thy flock from the tempests of sins, from waves of tribulation and hostility, guiding us ever to the calm haven by thy saving prayers.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

He to Whom thou gavest birth in an ineffable manner is by nature the unutterable Light of the Most High, Who is rich in mercy, and hath enriched us, impoverished as we are, with the gifts of God.

Ode V, Irmos: O Christ God, Bestower of light, Who didst dispel the primeval darkness of the abyss: disperse the gloom of my soul, and grant me the light of Thy commandments, O Word, that, rising early, I may glorify Thee.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thy cathedra was in Myra, but thy body was transported to Bari; yet in spirit thou dwellest with the apostles in heaven, in that thou art their successor. With them pray for us who hymn the translation of thy relics.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

O hope of all Christians and great defender of the oppressed, healer of the afflicted, consolation of the grieving and intercessor before the Lord for the human race: beg thou peace for our land, and save us from the incursions of the aliens.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Through thine intercessions, O Nicholas, do thou enliven my soul which hath drowned because of its many passions and hath been slain by the fall; and guide it to repentance, that I may glorify the translation of thy relics with all the faithful.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Virgin, thou dost nourish as a babe Him Whom the myriads of angels and multitudes of the seraphim fear, and before Whom all reason-endowed creatures tremble; and, beholding Him in thine arms, we ever worship Him, as is meet.

Irmos: All things are filled with awe at thy divine glory; for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, didst contain within thy womb Him Who is God over all, and gavest birth to the timeless Son, granting peace unto all who hymn thee.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Having acquired beautiful feet through the working of many wonders, thou didst bring glad tidings of good things to all. Freeing all from the ancient enmity by thy divine teaching, save us, O sacred hierarch.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Having acquired beautiful feet through the working of many wonders, thou didst bring glad tidings of good things to all. Freeing all from the ancient enmity by thy divine teaching, save us, O sacred hierarch.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Embarking upon the crest of the sea by God’s will, thou didst arrive at the city of Bari, having traversed the deep with many pious men, O blessed Nicholas.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

We truly glorify thee, O Virgin Mother of God, as the shield of the faithful, crying out to thee as did the angel: Rejoice, thou who art blessed and full of grace, awesome rumor and report, wondrous place of rest for the Master of all creation!

Ode VI, Irmos: As Thou didst deliver the prophet from the uttermost abyss, O Christ God, in that Thou lovest mankind deliver me from my sins, and direct my life, I beseech Thee.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Health of body and cleansing of soul do we receive abundantly from thy divine church as from a pool, O holy hierarch Nicholas; for through grace wonders pour forth upon them that trust in thee with faith unfeigned.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

As thou art the most glorious favorite of Christ, O father, deliver thy servants, who honour the translation of thy holy relics, from all manner of danger, from grievous misfortunes and the sorrows that beset us.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Blighted by the frost of sin and driven by the wind of life, let me be warmed by thy prayers, gazing upon the likeness of thy divine image; for thou art a second sun, O father Nicholas, thou servant of Christ.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The earthly mind cannot comprehend heavenly mysteries; neither can a creature attain to knowledge of the Creator: for the birth of the Lord from the Virgin passeth man’s understanding. And entreating her with faith, we shall receive remission of sins.

Irmos: Celebrating this divine and most honoured festival of the Mother of God, come, ye divinely wise, let us clap our hands and glorify God Who was born of her.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Save us by thy guidance, O Nicholas, preacher and teacher of the nations, who hast led to salvation the people of God Who appeared in the flesh for the benefit of many.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Save us by thy guidance, O Nicholas, preacher and teacher of the nations, who hast led to salvation the people of God Who appeared in the flesh for the benefit of many.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O thou who didst have the sea as thy way and the waters as thy paths: beseech the Lord, that we may navigate the sea of life unharmed, and may reach the heavenly kingdom by the waters of our tears.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou art the portal of the King of the heavens and the temple of His glory, O all-hymned Virgin. Open thou the gates of mercy, and lead us into the abode of heavenly glory by thy supplications.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the ­Virgin…”: Thy relics have moved like a star, from the East unto the West, O holy hierarch Nicholas; and the sea hath been sanctified by thy passage. The city of Bari receiveth grace through thee, for thou hast been shown forth for us as a wonder-worker: illustrious, most wondrous and merciful.

Ikos: Let us now praise with hymns the holy hierarch, pastor and teacher of the people of Myra, that by his entreaties we may be enlightened. For he is shown to be wholly pure, incorrupt of spirit, bringing unto Christ an unblemished sacrifice, pure and well-pleasing unto God, in that he is a hierarch pure of both body and soul. Wherefore, he is truly an intercessor and champion for the Church, and a wonder-worker: illustrious, most wondrous and merciful.

Ode VII, Irmos: On the plain of Dura the tyrant once built a furnace to torment the God-bearers; and therein the three youths chanted hymns unto the one God, and sang, all three together, saying: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Today the angels of God rejoice and a multitude of demons lamenteth; for He hath delivered the people from temptation and hath driven away the spirits of darkness. Wherefore, thou, O Nicholas, art worthily called victor; for which cause we chant unto the Lord: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

They that are taken with the grief of sickness, who are heavy laden with divers afflictions, hasten to thy shrine with faith, and, having received thy mercy, depart in haste, joyfully chanting unto the Lord: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

The assemblies of the people stand before thee, O blessed one, and the teachers of the Church rejoice in thee. Kings glorify thee as their defender; and we entreat thee, O Nicholas: Save us who chant unto the Lord: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O how can I chant unto my Saviour, Whom even the angels praise with trembling? But do thou, O Mother, direct me, and by thy compassion move the mercy of thy Son to have pity on us who set our hope on thee. As thou dost beseech Him in our behalf, deliver us from torment.

Irmos: The divinely wise youths worshipped not a creation rather than the Creator, but, manfully trampling the threat of the fire underfoot, they rejoice, chanting: Blessed art Thou, the all-hymned God of our fathers!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

By thy word grant healing to the whole human soul which, like salt, hath lost its savor through the vanity of things; and teach us to chant unto the Lord: O all-hymned Lord and God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

By thy word grant healing to the whole human soul which, like salt, hath lost its savor through the vanity of things; and teach us to chant unto the Lord: O all-hymned Lord and God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O most glorious are the wonders thou hast wrought! For thou healest infirmities and deliverest from misfortunes, commanding all to chant unto the Lord: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O pure Theotokos, thou art the defender and rampart of our lowliness, and we, thy servants, ever cry unto the Lord: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Ode VIII, Irmos: O ye angels and heavens, bless, hymn and exalt supremely Him Who sitteth upon the throne of glory and as God is glorified unceasingly forever!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

The angels of the heavens accept thee as a minister, and the prophets greet thee as a fellow servant. The Lord Himself receiveth thee. And we sinners ask thee for mercy.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Great is the authority given thee by God, O Nicholas: the sea is subject to thee; the winds obey thee; and the nations, beholding thy most glorious wonders, submit themselves to thee.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

O Saviour, Thou hast shown Thy holy hierarch Nicholas to be more glorious than Moses, delivering from all tribulation the New Israel, the Christian people.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

In that thou art the Mother of God, ask for us remission of sins, O Lady, and stretch forth thy hand unto me, who am sunk in the abyss of despair, that, raised up by hope, I may exalt thee supremely for all ages.

Irmos: The birth-giving of the Theotokos saved the pious children in the furnace – then in figure, but now in deed – and it moveth all the world to chant to Thee: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst grow as a sweet-smelling flower in the land of Myra, O glorious one, wafting gifts of healing like fragrant perfume upon all that praise thee and sing: O ye works, chant unto the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst grow as a sweet-smelling flower in the land of Myra, O glorious one, wafting gifts of healing like fragrant perfume upon all that praise thee and sing: O ye works, chant unto the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Having poured out the sweetness of God’s grace like oil from the Mount of Olives, thou didst have in the sea a path made safe by the grace of the Lord, to Whom we sweetly cry: O ye works, chant unto the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou gavest birth, yet remainest ever Virgin, to the astonishment of the choirs above; for thou didst bear the Word, Who was man unaltered by His divinity, and to Whom we sing: O ye works, chant unto the Lord and exalt Him ­supremely for all ages!

Ode IX, Irmos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Who hath exalted the horn of salvation for us in the house of David His child, wherein the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, and directed us to the path of peace.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Blessed be the Lord our God, for He hath glorified His holy hierarch throughout all lands, who gusheth forth streams of wonders, who worketh healing in all the lands of Myra and of the Latins, who visiteth us with mercy.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Blessed be the Lord our God, for He hath glorified His holy hierarch throughout all lands, who gusheth forth streams of wonders, who worketh healing in all the lands of Myra and of the Latins, who visiteth us with mercy.

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst fall into an honourable sleep and didst permit thy body to go to Bari for the good of all; for by thy supplications thou art an ever-vigilant defender for all that call upon thee with faith, O Nicholas.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

At a loss for words, I am unable to praise thee fittingly, who art higher than the heavenly hosts and more honourable than all creation, who gavest birth to God the Creator in the flesh. Entreat Him, O Theotokos, to have mercy upon us on the day of judgment.

Irmos: Let every mortal leap for joy, enlightened by the Spirit; and let the nature of the incorporeal intelligences keep festival, honouring the sacred feast of the Mother of God, and let them cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thy memorial is for us an occasion of festivity this day. The choir of the apostles, the assembly of martyrs and the spirits of the righteous rejoice; and we, the faithful, glorify thee with hymns, crying aloud: O holy hierarch of Christ, deliver us from all sorrows!

Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, pray to God for us.

Thy memorial is for us an occasion of festivity this day. The choir of the apostles, the assembly of martyrs and the spirits of the righteous rejoice; and we, the faithful, glorify thee with hymns, crying aloud: O holy hierarch of Christ, deliver us from all sorrows!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thy most glorious memory hath shown forth upon us, illumining the faithful with splendour, O wise Nicholas, holy hierarch of Christ. Wherefore, we beseech thee: be thou mindful of us all, and deliver us from all the temptations of the adversary by thine intercessions.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Mortify our carnal passions and lusts, O pure Theotokos; still the tempest of our passions; calm the tumult of our thoughts; and strengthen the hearts of them that honour thee as their defender, O most pure and blessed one.

Troparion, Tone IV: The day of splendid solemnity is come; the city of Bari rejoiceth, and with it the whole world doth exult with hymns and spiritual songs. For today is the sacred feast of the translation of the precious and much-healing relics of the hierarch Nicholas the wonder-worker. For like the never-setting Sun, he shineth with brilliant beams of light, driving away the darkness of temptations and misfortunes from them that cry out with faith: Save us, O Nicholas, for thou art our intercessor!

Translation of the Relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

In the eleventh century the Byzantine Empire was going through some terrible times. The Turks put an end to its influence in Asia Minor, they destroyed cities and villages, they murdered the inhabitants, and they accompanied their cruel outrage with the desecration of churches, holy relics, icons and books. The Mussulmen also attempted to destroy the relics of Saint Nicholas, deeply venerated by the whole Christian world.

In the year 792 the caliph Aaron Al’-Rashid sent Khumeid at the head of a fleet to pillage the island of Rhodes. Having lain waste this island, Khumeid set off to Myra in Lycia with the intent to rob the tomb of Saint Nicholas. But instead he robbed another tomb standing alongside the crypt of the saint. Just as they succeeded in committing this sacrilege, a terrible storm lifted upon the sea and almost all the ships were shattered into pieces.

The desecration of holy things shocked not only Eastern, but also Western Christians. Christians in Italy were particularly apprehensive for the relics of Saint Nicholas, and among them were many Greeks. The inhabitants of the city of Bari, located on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, decided to save the relics of Saint Nicholas.

In the year 1087 merchants from Bari and Venice went to Antioch to trade. Both these and others also proposed to take up the relics of Saint Nicholas and transport them to Italy on the return trip. In this plan the men of Bari commissioned the Venetians to land them at Myra. At first two men were sent in, who in returning reported that in the city all was quiet. In the church where the glorified relics rested, they encountered only four monks. Immediately forty-seven men, having armed themselves, set out for the church of Saint Nicholas. The guards, suspecting nothing, showed them the raised platform, beneath which the tomb of the saint was concealed, and where they anointed foreigners with myrrh from the relics of the saint.

At this time the monks told them about an appearance of Saint Nicholas that evening to a certain Elder. In this vision Saint Nicholas ordered the careful preservation of his relics. This account encouraged the barons, they saw an avowal for them in this vision and, as it were, a decree from the saint. In order to facilitate their activity, they revealed their intent to the monks and offered them money, 300 gold coins. The guards refused the money and wanted to warn the inhabitants about the misfortune threatening them. But the newcomers bound them and put their own guards at the doorway.

They took apart the church platform above the tomb with the relics. In this effort the youth Matthew was excessive in his zeal, wanting to find the relics of Saint Nicholas as quickly as possible. In his impatience he broke the cover and the barons saw that the sarcophagus was filled with fragrant holy myrrh. The compatriots of the barons, the priests Luppus and Drogus, offered a litany, after which the break made by Matthew began to flow with myrrh from the saint’s sarcophagus. This occurred on April 20, 1087.

Seeing the absence of a container chest, the priest Drogus wrapped the relics in the cloth, and in the company of the barons he carried them to the ship. The monks, having been set free, alerted the city with the sad news about the abduction of the relics of the Wonderworker Nicholas by foreigners. A crowd of people gathered at the shore, but it was too late.

On May 8 the ships arrived in Bari, and soon the joyous news made the rounds of all the city. On the following day, May 9, 1087, they solemnly transported the relics of Saint Nicholas into the church of Saint Stephen, not far from the sea. The solemn bearing of the relics was accompanied by numerous healings of the sick, which inspired still greater reverence for God’s saint. A year afterwards, a church was built in the name of Saint Nicholas and consecrated by Pope Urban II.

This event, connected with the transfer of the relics of Saint Nicholas, evoked a particular veneration for the Wonderworker Nicholas and was marked by the establishment of a special Feast day on May 9. At first the Feast day of the Transfer of the Relics of Saint Nicholas was observed only by the people of the city of Bari. It was not adopted in the other lands of the Christian East and West, despite the fact that the transfer of the relics was widely known. This circumstance is explained by the custom in the Middle Ages of venerating primarily the relics of local saints. Moreover, the Greek Church did not establish the celebration of this remembrance, since they regarded the loss of the relics of Saint Nicholas as a sad event.

The Russian Orthodox Church celebration of the memory of the Transfer of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari in Italy on May 9 was established soon after the year 1087, on the basis of an already established veneration by the Russian people of the great saint of God, brought from Greece simultaneously with the acceptance of Christianity. The glorious accounts of the miracles performed by the saint on both land and sea, were widely known to the Russian people. Their boundless power and abundance testify to the help of the great saint of God for suffering mankind. The image of Saint Nicholas, a mighty wonderworker and benefactor, became especially dear to the heart of the Russian people, since it inspired deep faith and hope for his intercession. The faith of the Russian people in the abundant aid of God’s saint was marked by numerous miracles.

A significant body of literature was compiled about him very early in Russian writings. Accounts of the miracles of Saint Nicholas done in the Russian land were recorded at an early date. Soon after the Transfer of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra to Bari, a Russian version of his Life and an account of the Transfer of his holy relics were written by a contemporary to this event. Earlier still, an encomium to the Wonderworker was written. Each week on Thursday, the Russian Orthodox Church honors his memory in particular.

Numerous churches and monasteries were built in honor of Saint Nicholas, and Russian people are wont to name their children after him at Baptism. In Russia are preserved numerous wonderworking icons of the saint. Most renowned among them are the icons of Mozhaisk, Zaraisk, Volokolamsk, Ugreshsk and Ratny. There was no house or temple in the Russian land in which there was not an icon of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.

The significance of the intercession of the great saint of God is expressed by the ancient compiler of the Life, in the words of whom Saint Nicholas “did work many glorious miracles both on land and on sea, aiding those downtrodden in misfortune and rescuing the drowning, carrying to dry land from the depths of the sea, raising up others from corruption and bringing them home, liberating from chains and imprisonment, averting felling by the sword and freeing from death, and granting healing to many; sight to the blind, walking to the lame, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the mute. He brought riches to many suffering in abject poverty and want, he provided the hungry food, and for each in their need he appeared a ready helper, an avid defender and speedy intercessor and protector, and such as appeal to him he doth help and deliver from adversity. Both the East and the West know of this great Wonderworker, and all the ends of the earth know his miracle-working.”

SOURCE: https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2023/05/09/101336-translation-of-the-relics-of-saint-nicholas-the-wonderworker-fro

The Canons to St John the Theologian & St Arsenius

Canon of the Apostle, in Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: The staff of Moses, once working a wonder, striking the sea in the form of the Cross and dividing it, drowned the mounted tyrant Pharaoh, and saved Israel who fled on foot, chanting a hymn unto God.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

In that thou wast pure and beloved of the incorruptible light, thou didst recline, resting against His breast, and with thy bold soul didst draw forth from the Abyss of wisdom the light of understanding, O blessed Apostle John.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

In that thou wast pure and beloved of the incorruptible light, thou didst recline, resting against His breast, and with thy bold soul didst draw forth from the Abyss of wisdom the light of understanding, O blessed Apostle John.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Theologising supernaturally, thou didst thunder forth, O beloved of Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, as alive and hypostatic as His Father; and the Word was God; and the Word became flesh, and remained God immutable.”

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Fleeing beneath thy protection, O pure one, we are buried beneath all the perils which befall us, O all-pure one. Wherefore, we now beseech thee: From the depths of transgressions raise up the fallen by thy divine entreaties, O pure one.

Canon of the venerable one, in the same tone

Irmos: The staff of Moses…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Submitting to the divine precept of the Master, thou didst abandon the glory of royal wealth, as did Moses the law-giver; and fleeing from men, thou becamest a dweller with the angels, rejoicing with them.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Submitting to the divine precept of the Master, thou didst abandon the glory of royal wealth, as did Moses the law-giver; and fleeing from men, thou becamest a dweller with the angels, rejoicing with them.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Fleeing from turmoil, O Arsenius, thou didst restrain thy tongue with silence as it were a spring of sin; wherefore, in stillness thou didst preserve thy mind untroubled, becoming a right magnificent house of rest for the divine Spirit.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

All-glorious things have been said of thee among generations of generations, O Mary Theotokos who contained God the Word in thy womb, and remained pure. Wherefore, we all honour thee as our help after God.

Ode III, Irmos: O Christ, Who in the beginning established the heavens in wisdom and founded the earth upon the waters, make me steadfast upon the rock of Thy commandments; for none is holy as Thee, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Among fishermen thou becamest a fisher of men and a theologian, O wise John, setting aside the love of thy father and that of the world, and following the Word and Master with divine desire.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Among fishermen thou becamest a fisher of men and a theologian, O wise John, setting aside the love of thy father and that of the world, and following the Word and Master with divine desire.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Having purified the eyes of thy soul, O theologian, thou didst behold the ineffable glory which doth emanate from the Word, the only-begotten Son of the Father, through Whom all things are wisely accomplished by the divine Spirit.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

We flee beneath thy saving refuge, O Virgin Theotokos, and find salvation from the assaults of the enemy by thy supplications; and we are delivered from the torment which is to come, O pure one.

Irmos: O Christ, Who in the beginning…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

O father Arsenius, the torn and exceedingly tattered rags of thy poverty, assumed in emulation of Christ, replaced the splendour of thy former robes, winning for thee vesture of ineffable glory.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

O father Arsenius, the torn and exceedingly tattered rags of thy poverty, assumed in emulation of Christ, replaced the splendour of thy former robes, winning for thee vesture of ineffable glory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Receiving help from God through contrition of heart, O father Arsenius, thou didst cast down the offences of the enemy and the boastful spirit, becoming a victor through humility.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou wast shown to be more exalted than the cherubim and the seraphim, O Theotokos; for thou alone didst receive the infinite God within thy womb, O undefiled one. Wherefore, all of us, the faithful, bless thee with hymns, O pure one.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Kontakion of the Venerable One, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: From Rome thou didst shine forth like the great sun, and thou didst reach the imperial city, O all-blessed one, illumining it with thy words and deeds and dispelling all the darkness of ignorance. Wherefore, we honor thee, O venerable Arsenius, thou glory of the fathers.

Ikos: Hearkening to the voice of the Lord, and forsaking the beauties of this world, O divinely wise one, thou didst enter upon the monastic life, emulating the life of the angels. Wherefore, thou wast shown to be wholly transformed, an angel in the body, offering to Christ fasting and tears, blameless prayer and standing all night. Thus thou becamest a temple of the Trinity, a model for monks, an instructor in the virtues and a fervent advocate for those who ever honor thee. Therefore, we honor thee, O venerable Arsenius, thou glory of the fathers.

Sessional hymn, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: Having reclined against the breast of Wisdom and learned an understanding of things, thou didst thunder forth divinely: “In the beginning was the Word!”, being the first to record the unoriginate begetting; and thou hast proclaimed to all the incarnation of the Word. Wherefore, fishing for the nations, using thy tongue as a net, thou teachest the ends of the earth by the grace of the Spirit, and dost enlighten them with miracles. O theologian and apostle, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Sessional Hymn of the Venerable One, the same tone & melody: Fleeing the tumults of the world and perfecting thy life in stillness, thou didst mortify the passions and furnish thy mind with wings to soar aloft to God; and thou wast shown to be a pillar of fire and a luminary for all the faithful who honour thee. And thou didst show thyself to be a fruitful tree watered by showers of tears. O God-bearing Arsenius, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offences unto those who honour thy holy memory with love.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou art my strength, O Lord, Thou art my power; Thou art my God, Thou art my joy, Who, without leaving the bosom of the Father, hast visited our lowliness. Wherefore, with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

The Lord called thee the son of thunder and vouchsafed through the Spirit that thou thunder forth that He was ineffably begotten of the Father divinely and unapproachably; wherefore, with hymns we glorify as is meet thy most festive memory, O theologian.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

The Lord called thee the son of thunder and vouchsafed through the Spirit that thou thunder forth that He was ineffably begotten of the Father divinely and unapproachably; wherefore, with hymns we glorify as is meet thy most festive memory, O theologian.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Thou didst mount to the heights by the virtues, O apostle, and didst behold the only-begotten Word shining forth with glory in the flesh, Who sitteth eternally in the bosom of the Father; and thou wast vouchsafed to hear the voice of the Father, Who bore witness that He was His Son.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

As I now flee to thine aid, O most immaculate one, let me not, thy useless servant, be put to shame; for thee do I have as an intercessor before God and an impregnable bulwark. In thee may I enjoy the tranquility and divine life which is to come, I pray.

Irmos: Thou art my strength, O Lord…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Thou hast shown thyself to be a constrainer of nature, O father Arsenius, for thou didst make the passions subject to the dominion of thy mind, commanding sleep as though it were a servant. Wherefore, thou didst cry out amid thine all-night vigils: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Thou hast shown thyself to be a constrainer of nature, O father Arsenius, for thou didst make the passions subject to the dominion of thy mind, commanding sleep as though it were a servant. Wherefore, thou didst cry out amid thine all-night vigils: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou didst seek after God with all thy desire, O venerable one. Thou didst greatly desire Him Who had revealed Himself, and having become wholly godly in appearance through purity, thou didst converse with Him Whom thou didst desire, gaining understanding through a union past all attainment, O father Arsenius.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou art the boast of the faithful, O unwedded one; thou art the intercessor and refuge of Christians, their rampart and haven: for thou bearest supplications to thy Son, O most immaculate one, and savest from misfortunes those who with faith and love acknowledge thee to be the pure Theotokos.

Ode V, Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me, O Light never-waning? And why hath a strange darkness covered me, wretch that I am? But turn me, and guide my steps to the light of Thy commandments, I pray.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Beholding the all-pure Light Who shone forth amid the darkness of the world, thou wast transformed by love; and as a beacon of piety, O John, thou didst illumine with the light of theology the generations of populous nations.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Beholding the all-pure Light Who shone forth amid the darkness of the world, thou wast transformed by love; and as a beacon of piety, O John, thou didst illumine with the light of theology the generations of populous nations.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Having learned that the shadowy law was given by Moses, but that divine grace came about through Christ our God, O beloved son of thunder, thou didst proclaim His divinity with the language of theology.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thou art my protection and might, my confirmation and indestructible rampart, O all-pure one, and I call upon thee: Night and day preserve me from all the harm wrought by Belial, that I may glorify thee with faith and love.

Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Perceiving well the wiles of the enemy, O father, thou didst piously reject the instigator of the primeval disobedience of Adam the first created; wherefore, dancing in the immaculate haven of sustenance, entreat Christ the Master.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Perceiving well the wiles of the enemy, O father, thou didst piously reject the instigator of the primeval disobedience of Adam the first created; wherefore, dancing in the immaculate haven of sustenance, entreat Christ the Master.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Denying thyself, thou didst reject all luxury; and bearing thy cross upon thy shoulder and desiring Christ, O Arsenius, thou wast fittingly shown to be a fellow heir in the heavens.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

As thou hast maternal boldness before thy Son, O most pure one, disdain not thought of thy kinship with us, we pray; for thee alone do we set before the Master as our cleansing, seeking mercy.

Ode VI, Irmos: The abyss of my sins and the tempest of my transgressions discomfit me and thrust me down into the depths of violent despondency; but stretch forth Thy mighty arm unto me, as Thou didst to Peter, and save my, O my Guide.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Isaiah beheld in an image the burning Coal of the divine fire which purified his lips, and He was vouchsafed prophecy; and thou, O blessed John, wast shown to recline against the breast of God the Word incarnate.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Isaiah beheld in an image the burning Coal of the divine fire which purified his lips, and He was vouchsafed prophecy; and thou, O blessed John, wast shown to recline against the breast of God the Word incarnate.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

The only-begotten Word Who sitteth in the bosom of the Father was seen incarnate, O blessed John, and told thee, as the beloved initiate of His mysteries, that thou wouldst see the incorporeal God Whom no-one can behold.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Illumine my soul, O most hymned Virgin Theotokos who gavest birth to the Effulgence of the Father’s glory; for, having thy true grace, we abstain from blasphemous speech.

Irmos: The abyss of my sins…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Through dispassion thou didst piously mortify thy carnal understanding, not loving an earthly inheritance, O venerable father Arsenius, but desiring to receive from Christ an inheritance in the highest.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Through dispassion thou didst piously mortify thy carnal understanding, not loving an earthly inheritance, O venerable father Arsenius, but desiring to receive from Christ an inheritance in the highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The sun which appeared interrupted thine all-night standing, but the incomparable effulgence of the noetic Sun shone forth amid the night of thy life of labors, to enlighten thee, O Arsenius.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

As thou hast compassion, in that thou gavest birth to the Word Who loveth man, save us from bitter and cruel peril; for thee alone, O all-pure Mistress, have we, the faithful, acquired as an invincible help.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion of the apostle, Tone II: Who can recount thy mighty works, O virgin apostle? For thou pourest out miracles and dost cause healings to flow forth; and thou prayest for our souls, in that thou art a theologian and the friend of Christ.

Ikos: It is a bold and unattainable thing to study the heights of heaven and to plumb the depths of the sea; for as it is impossible to calculate the number of the stars and the sands of the shore, so is it impossible to speak sufficiently of the theologian, whom Christ loved and hath crowned with so many crowns. For, reclining against His breast, he ate with Him at the mystical supper, in that he is a theologian and friend of Christ.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fire stood in awe of the condescension of God; wherefore, the youths, dancing with joyous step in the furnace, as in a meadow, chanted: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Thou didst diligently depart from the bonds of matter, O most blessed one, as an intercessor before God, and as a herald of divinely inspired theology thou hast taught all to cry: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Thou didst consider gold and riches to be like the grass, O most blessed one, and by the action of God thou didst transform hay into gold when thou didst theologise concerning the Creator and Lord, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

The Holy Spirit Who proceedeth from the unoriginate Father do we accept as indivisible from Thee, O only-begotten Word of God; and Thou didst call upon the apostles to cry: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thou wast the temple and palace of Christ the King; thou alone wast the couch of Solomon, which, as saith the Scriptures, sixty of the mighty surround. And with thee, O Virgin do they cry out and chant: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fire stood in awe…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Mindful of the perniciousness of thy former ointments, and enduring fœtor for their sake, O father Arsenius, through partaking of grace thou didst become a sweet fragrance, and didst cry out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Entering into the divine darkness in the body, O father Arsenius, and having learned to recognise the unoriginate Father and the Spirit in Christ , thou didst hymn the Unity in Trinity, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Theologising in Orthodox fashion the only Father of the one only-begotten Son, we declare Thee the Lord of all, acknowledging Thine only upright Spirit, Who proceedeth from Him, shareth the same essence and is equally everlasting.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Without knowing wedlock thou gavest birth in time to the Timeless One, O pure one, and didst bear the Word Who before was incorporeal, giving Him flesh. To Him do we chant together, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Ode VIII, Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for thepious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

As thine all-glorious memory is magnificent and right well renowned, O herald of the divinity of Christ, it hath shone forth upon the Church, perfuming it with godliness. Wherefore, rejoicing, we cry out, O ye faithful: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

As thine all-glorious memory is magnificent and right well renowned, O herald of the divinity of Christ, it hath shone forth upon the Church, perfuming it with godliness. Wherefore, rejoicing, we cry out, O ye faithful: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Having the theologian as the leader of our choir, O Christ, We declare Thee, Who wast theologised by him, and the Father and the Spirit, to be God, and hymning the monarchy thereof, we cry: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O most immaculate one, thou gavest birth to God the Word incarnate. Him do thou beseech, that He deliver me from fire; for, lo! my whole life hath become a burden and I have become wholly enslaved to cruel sins. Wherefore, I flee to thee, O Virgin, and call upon thee, the joyous one.

Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

With the springs of thy tears thou didst prudently quench the tormenting conflagration of soul-destroying lusts and the burning of Gehenna, O Arsenius; wherefore, that thou mightest rescue us from them both, cease thou never to entreat Christ, the Savior of the world, Whom we bless for all ages.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

With the springs of thy tears thou didst prudently quench the tormenting conflagration of soul-destroying lusts and the burning of Gehenna, O Arsenius; wherefore, that thou mightest rescue us from them both, cease thou never to entreat Christ, the Savior of the world, Whom we bless for all ages.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Within thyself thou didst kindle a furnace of compunction seven times more intense than that of Babylon, which was heated sevenfold; and bedewed therein by the enlightenment of grace, thou didst cry out to the Creator and Saviour: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The thrice radiant Godhead Which shineth forth a single radiance from a single Essence in three Hypostases—the unoriginate Father, the Word Who is of the same essence as the Father, and the consubstantial Spirit Who reigneth with them—do ye children bless, ye priests hymn, ye people exalt supremely for all ages!

Ode IX, Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, and the ends of the earth were amazed, that God hath appeared in the flesh, and that thy womb became more spacious than the heavens. Wherefore, the ranks of men and angels magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Standing before the Cross of the Master and the pure Virgin Theotokos, the beloved disciple, the pure instrument of theology, in that he himself was virginal, accepted the commission to care for her; and, becoming the guardian of the immaculate Theotokos, he is now blessed as is meet.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

Standing before the Cross of the Master and the pure Virgin Theotokos, the beloved disciple, the pure instrument of theology, in that he himself was virginal, accepted the commission to care for her; and, becoming the guardian of the immaculate Theotokos, he is now blessed as is meet.

Holy All-Praised Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian, pray to God for us.

The All-pure One, loving thine honoured and blameless life as is meet, accepted thee, who lived angelically on earth, together with thy brother, O blessed John, and declared thee the son of His own Mother, the Theotokos. With her we all call thee blessed.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Be thou a pillar of salvation for me, O pure one; render the hordes of the demons impotent, cutting off the tumult of temptations and misfortunes, granting me pure freedom, and bestowing upon me divine gifts in abundance.

Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe…

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Moses marvelled, being vouchsafed to behold the birth-giving of the Virgin in the image formed by the fiery bush; and thou, having wholly united thyself to the divine Spirit in ecstasy, becamest fiery of visage. Wherefore, we bless thee as is meet, O Arsenius.

Venerable Father, Arsenius, pray to God for us.

Moses marvelled, being vouchsafed to behold the birth-giving of the Virgin in the image formed by the fiery bush; and thou, having wholly united thyself to the divine Spirit in ecstasy, becamest fiery of visage. Wherefore, we bless thee as is meet, O Arsenius.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Christ, the never-waning Light, shone forth upon thee, and joy bore thee up to the heavens; for through constant memory of death, thou didst diligently bring thyself to an undefiled life. Wherefore, thou hast received the fruits of thy labours as is meet, O most blessed one.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Virgin Mother of God, thou hast been shown supernaturally to have given birth in the flesh to the Word of God, Whom the Father put forth from His own heart before time began, in that He is good. Him do we now understand as transcending the body, even though He was clothed in a body.

Troparion of the Apostle, Tone II: O beloved apostle of Christ God, haste thou to deliver a defenceless people. He Who permitted thee to recline against His breast receiveth thee, prostrate in supplication. Him do thou beseech, O theologian, that He dispel the gloom of the nations which doth beset us, asking for us peace and great mercy. 

Troparion of the Venerable One, Tone VIII: With the streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the desert, and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst render thy labours fruitful an hundredfold, and becamest a beacon for the whole world, resplendent with miracles. O Arsenius our father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Parish Newsletter – the Week of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

The godly-wise women with myrrh followed after Thee in haste; but Him Whom they sought with tears as dead, they worshipped joyfully as the living God, and they brought unto Thy disciples, O Christ, the good tidings of the mystical Pascha.

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Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is Risen! Христосъ воскресе!

In greeting you all with the continuing Paschal season, our greetings go beyond South Wales and the west of England, to our parishioners who are abroad at the moment – in Morocco, Russia, Montenegro and wherever else our faithful are in these Paschal days.

The joy and triumph of the resurrection continues to resound through our services, with the recurring words of Christ is Risen echoing as we approach the victory of the resurrection from different perspectives… from that of the apostles and St Thomas, the late comer; then through the experience of the Myrrh-Bearing women, whom we remembered yesterday, together with the Noble Joseph and the Righteous Nicodemus.

What a perfect example of Christian discipleship and devotion we see in their enduring witness: supporting the Lord and the twelve during His earthly ministry; following Christ as He carried the Cross; standing by the Cross as all but one of the disciples fled; and then coming to the garden Tomb at the break of day bearing sweet-smelling ointments. Such was their love, devotion and sense of duty to the Lord, that despite the darkness, confusion and fear that had descended on them as they saw the Light go out in their lives. They never gave up on the Lord, despite seeing His death on the Cross and His lifeless body laid in the Tomb.

Their enduring devotion led them through their darkness, and in the dawn of the first Pascha their faithfulness led them to the rising of the Sun Who never sets. Despite the confusion and fear that must have gripped their lives in that short time after the Saviour’s death on the Cross, they did not hide behind locked door like the twelve, and as a result discovered that Christ their hope had trampled down death by death and was risen. Devotion and faithfulness led them from darkness to light, and in the place of death and corruption they discovered the Unwaning Light.

Let us all emulate their devotion and fulfilment of duty in their unwavering love for the Saviour, and trust that this will lead us through the uncertainties and fears of life, for with them, we know that “from the tomb today, as from a bridal chamber, Christ hath shone forth…”.

Thanks to all who contributed to our Liturgy, and thanks also to our Cheltenham faithful who gathered in Prestbury for Liturgy and a panikhida on Saturday. As we celebrate the Myrrh-Bearing Women, our thanks especially go to our devoted parish-sisters, who work tirelessly for our communities.

Tomorrow, will see the ninth hour and vespers chanted at the shrine of St Alban, in Swinton Street, marking the eve of the feast of the translation of the relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari. The office will be chanted at 14:30, and I will be very happy if any of you are able to join me, but remind you that services are celebrated on behalf of the whole community, wherever the faithful are at times of worship.

Vespers will also be celebrated in St Alban’s at the same time on Thursday, and I will be available to hear confessions before and immediately after the service. If anyone requires a later confession, which will need to be in Nazareth House, please contact me immediately, so that I can arrange to visit in the evening. Requests for confessions in St Alban’s by Wednesday at 18:00, please.

Saturday, being the fourth in the month will see a quite informal local pilgrimage-visit to the holy well at Penrhys, in the Rhondda, with midday prayers at the statue on the site of the former Cistercian monastic grange, and a moleben at the holy well, which sadly sounds like it is in need of some tlc and attention. This may be a prompt for a follow-up visit, in which we offer the Mother of God our time and energy in caring for a place that was so important in the spiritual consciousness of Welsh Christianity in the Middle-Ages.

For information regarding the location, please see: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Our+Lady+of+Penrhys/@51.6414181,-3.4433783,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x47805798f145f061?sa=X&ved=1t:2428&ictx=111

The nearest station is Ystrad, with trains from Queen St. The walk from there to Penrhys takes around thirty minutes, and should in itself be part of the pilgrimage-experience for anyone availing themselves of this route.

I hope that at least a few souls will join me in honouring the Mother of God at the site of her ancient shrine.

Those of you who were at Liturgy will have heard the now official news, after Vladyka’s edict, that Deacon Mark will be ordained to the sacred priesthood in our cathedral on Wednesday 17 July, the feast of Royal Martyrs, the altar-feast of the lower church.

We very much hope that as many parishioners as possible will be able to be in the cathedral that day, supporting their devoted deacon as he submits to our need for a second priest, and offers himself to serve our Great-High priest in ministering to His flock. A bus will carry those wishing to make the journey to London for this very special day, and we would appreciate indications of those who wish to attend the feast as soon as possible, so that the size of bus can be confirmed. Once the bus is booked we will not be able to change plans. So… so please communicate your interest.

As you know, we will hold our General Meeting the Sunday after next, 2nd June, and in the course of the meeting will elect parishioners to the office of starosta and senior-sister. We have had nominations for both positions, with several individuals actually having been nominated for both posts.

Any further nominations should be received by next Sunday. Thanks to those who have taken the time to do so, and for having spoken with those whom they consider to be worthy, and capable candidates for these obediences. We would also welcome items for the agenda.

Before we know it, the summer will have passed and the March for Life will be held in London. An increasing number of parishioners have attended over the last few years, and the considerable Orthodox presence was clearly valued and appreciated last year.

This year’s march is on Saturday 7th September. I hope Karen doesn’t mind me directing those interested in her direction without having checked with her. Last year’s Cardiff attendees travelled with our friends from St Alban’s, in Splott, and it would be good if this could be repeated.

Please endeavour to keep the Pascal season and the feasts, wherever you are in the wide diaspora of our parish, and if you are able to gather together for prayer, this is a great blessing and sign of community in the Risen Lord.

May God bless you all!

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

The Canon to St Nilus of Sora

Канон преподобному Нилу Сорскому: https://azbyka.ru/molitvoslov/kanon-prepodobnomu-nilu-sorskomu.html

Ode I, Irmos: I will open my mouth, and with the Spirit will it be filled; and I shall utter discourse unto the Queen and Mother, and shall appear, keeping splendid festival; and, rejoicing, I will hymn her wonders.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Covered over by the darkness of sin, I am unable to gaze clearly toward the height of thy corrections, O father; but as thou art compassionate and merciful, help me, shining the light of salvation into my soul, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thy splendid corrections and all-glorious miracles.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou hast been shown to be a noetic garden of paradise, O father, producing divers flowers of the virtues; and thou didst offer beautiful fruits to thy Master, Who hath adorned thee with miracles.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Having broken but a single commandment, the first-created man was driven from paradise; but thou, O venerable one, hast by the keeping of the commandments of the Master been shown to be the inheritor thereof, delighting ever in the tree of life; and, gazing upon the Lord in the gladness of thy pure heart, thou sharest in His divine light.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Following the paths of the commandments without wavering, and holding the Cross of Christ in thy hand as a staff of power, thou didst attain unto the haven of dispassion, O father; wherefore, thou didst also receive the grace to heal the infirmities of men and to work all-glorious miracles.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Now is the time for thee to help us, O Mistress! Mercifully regard the affliction of thy servant, O pure one, granting me consolation, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thy divine wonders.

Ode III, Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and abundant fountain: in thy divine commemoration establish those who hymn thee and spiritually form themselves into a choir; and vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Without being prideful, I have dared to offer hymnody to thy sacred memory, O father. Therefore, moved by thy love, O thou who art beloved of God, accept it from thy servant, and by thy mediations before the Lord vouchsafe unto me salvation.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

O father, from misfortunes and evil circumstances save those who honour thee with love, ­forming themselves into a choir for thine honoured memorial; by thine entreaties make us firm who have been shaken by the tempest of the passions, and vouchsafe that we may reach the harbour of salvation.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Who can describe thy struggles, O father; who can recount the height of thy humility? Truly thou wast a disciple of Christ, O thou who art beloved of God, and a fellow heir to His kingdom. Wherefore, be thou mindful of thy children, O father, praying to Christ, that He vouchsafe unto us also the portion of the saved.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Useless am I and altogether unprofitable; and I am at a loss how fittingly to hymn thy directions toward God. Yet accept thou my love and faith, O kind-hearted father, and by thy sacred mediations vouchsafe unto me salvation.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Truly every human tongue is at a loss how to glorify thee as is meet, O Mistress. What then shall I, who am beset by ignorance and many sins, offer unto thee, O good one? Yet accept thou the love and faith of thy servant, and vouchsafe unto me salvation.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Sessional hymn, Tone VIII: Thou didst mount from action to the summit of divine vision, O father, and, having embraced utter stillness, thou didst ever converse with God with a mind untroubled; wherefore, thou wast enriched by divine understandings therefrom, O blessed one, and hast become a pastor and guide for those who follow thine angelic way of life. Therefore, O Nilus our God-bearing father, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Repeat the foregoing sessional hymn.

Ode IV, Irmos: Seated in glory upon the throne of the Godhead, Jesus most divine hath come on a light cloud, and with His incorrupt arm hath saved those who cry: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Standing vigilantly on attentive watch, and foreseeing the insidious snares of the enemy, O father, thou didst bring down all their hordes, and soaring aloft unharmed, through prayer and fasting, thou didst chant victoriously: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Having the sufferings of our Saviour and His voluntary crucifixion on the Cross ever in thy mind, thou wast crucified with Him in the mortification of thy flesh, O venerable one; and thy heart, wounded by divine love, O thou who art beloved of God, was shown to be a wellspring of compunction, ever pouring forth tears and chanting: Glory to Thy compassionate condescension, O Christ!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Wounded by the love of Christ, thou didst unceasingly shed torrents of tears from thine eyes, O Nilus our ever-memorable father; and, dwelling in the wilderness as in the garden of paradise, thou didst offer up incessant supplications, ever chanting: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Alas! with what insensitivity am I plagued! Guilty as I am of every evil, I neither fear death nor tremble before the dread judgment! Yet do thou henceforth come to thy senses in repentance, O most passionate soul, crying aloud unto Christ: Have pity on me, O Saviour, for the sake of Nilus Thy favoured one, and guide my steps aright with Thine omnipotent power, O Master!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Virgin Theotokos, true hope of all Christians, who gavest birth to the Life of all: grant life unto me who am dead in soul. O Life-bearing wellspring, give me to drink the waters of compunction, for I am cruelly consumed by the burning heat of the passions, that, cooled by tears of repentance, I may cry out in thanksgiving: Glory to thine almighty power, O Mistress!

Ode V, Irmos: All things are filled with awe at thy divine glory; for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, didst contain within thy womb Him Who is God over all, and gavest birth to the timeless Son, granting peace unto all who hymn thee.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Emulating the way of life of the ancient fathers of the Holy Mountain, O ever-memorable Nilus our God-bearing father, thou didst hasten, rejoicing, to the tranquility of the stillness of the wilderness; and there, bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit in humility, thou wast exceeding well-pleasing to Him Who enriched thee with the glory of miracles.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Fulfilling the commandments of the Lord, O father, thou wast meek and guileless, humble and simple, and right skilful in all the virtues; wherefore, thou wast shown to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, O all-wise one, teaching and instructing thy children to walk worthily in the steps of Christ, Who granteth salvation unto those who serve Him in humility.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

O venerable Nilus, receiving the reward of thy labours in the heavens, forget us not who joyously celebrate thy feast, but ask for us the remission of sins, entreating Christ Who granteth salvation unto those who glorify those who have glorified Him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou didst clothe thyself in Christ, O divinely wise one, adorning thyself with the vesture of dispassion; and thou wast compassionate and merciful unto those who sinned, O father, teaching them with humility of mind, urging them on to repentance and leading them to Christ, Who granteth salvation unto all who ask it in humility.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Wretch that I am, I have clothed myself in garments of shame, having shed the divinely woven raiment I received at baptism, O most immaculate Virgin, Yet do I beseech thee, O most merciful one: Clothe me again in the vesture of salvation, that I may be worthy to attend the wedding-banquet of the Lamb, for Whom thou didst weave a royal robe of thy pure blood, and Who granteth salvation unto all who hymn thee.

Ode VI, Irmos: Celebrating this divine and most honoured festival of the Mother of God, come, ye divinely wise, let us clap our hands and glorify God Who was born of her.

Dwelling now with the choirs of the saints in the mansions of heaven, O God-bearing Nilus, and standing with boldness before the all-holy Trinity, forget not us, thy children, O father, but ask remission of sins for those who celebrate thy feast with joy, that with thanksgiving we may glorify God Who hath glorified thee.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be a new and goodly wellspring flowing in the land of Russia, pouring forth streams of healing from thy holy grave upon those who with unwavering faith have recourse unto thee, O Nilus our father; and, full of gladness, we glorify God Who glorifieth thee.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

From thy youth even unto thine honoured repose thou didst earnestly serve Christ with a pure conscience, O venerable one, keeping His divine commandments; for, guarding thyself with poverty and non-acquisitiveness, O wise Nilus our father, thou didst set thy feet firmly upon the rock of patience.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O thy manifold corrections and thy labours and struggles for God, O father! Who can describe thy fasting and keeping of vigils, thy lying upon the ground and patient endurance of ill treatment? For thou didst truly show thyself to be a true monk, O thou who art beloved of God. Wherefore, lovingly honouring thy memory, we glorify God Who strengthened thee.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O all-immaculate Virgin, thy womb, which contained the uncontainable God, was shown to be far more spacious than the heavens! O the all-glorious things! O He Who in thee wrought a mystery beyond the comprehension of angels and men! Wherefore, truly confessing thee to be the Theotokos, we glorify God Who was born of thee.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “To thee, the champion leader…”: Fleeing from the tumult of the world for the sake of Christ’s love, with joyous soul thou didst make thine abode in the wilderness, and struggling well therein, O father Nilus, thou didst live on earth like an angel; for thou didst lay waste to thy body through fasting and the keeping of vigils for the sake of everlasting life. And having been counted worthy thereof, standing with the saints before the all-holy Trinity in the light of ineffable joy, pray thou,—we, thy children, beseech thee, falling prostrate,—that we be preserved from every assault of enemies visible and invisible, and from evil circumstances, and that our souls be saved.

Ikos: Emulating the life of the angels and likening thyself to those who were great among the fathers, thou didst cut thyself off wholly from the turmoil of the world and, manfully arming thyself for the struggles of asceticism, thou didst carefully tread the path of the commandments of God, O blessed one. Wherefore, honouring thy sacred memory with faith, we bless thee with these praises: Rejoice, emulator of the life of the angels; rejoice, heir to the way of life of the great fathers of old! Rejoice, courageous vanquisher of invisible enemies; rejoice, diligent keeper of the commandments of God! Rejoice, ardent lover of the divinely inspired traditions of the fathers; rejoice, recorder of rules for the ascetic life of monastics! Rejoice, most clear mirror of the virtues; rejoice, melodious instrument of the Holy Spirit! Rejoice, paragon of profound humility; rejoice, zealous doer of godly works! Rejoice, for through thee have we learned to tread the way of life without wandering; rejoice, for through thy mediation for us do we hope to receive salvation! Rejoice, O wonder-working Nilus our father!

Ode VII, Irmos: The divinely wise youths worshipped not a creation rather than the Creator, but, manfully trampling the threat of the fire underfoot, they rejoice, chanting: Blessed art Thou, the all-hymned God of our fathers!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

O father, I earnestly offer thee simple hymnody; wherefore, accept it from me who am unworthy, and spurn me not who have sinned beyond all others, O all-blessed one; but, mercifully inclining thyself, vouchsafe that through thine intercession I may receive salvation, that, rejoicing, I may chant: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou didst unceasingly converse with God face to face, O father, offering pure supplications unto Him with a pure and untroubled mind and a clean conscience, O divinely wise one; for, hastening from action to vision, thou didst wholly attain the vision of God, O blessed one, ever chanting: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou didst show thyself to be a fertile garden producing the fruits of the Spirit, O father; for thou wast full to overflowing with love and joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness and temperance, and as one truly belonging to Christ, thou didst crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts, ever chanting: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Accept me who hymn thee not with wisdom, but with love, O father, and, driving away from me the darkness of oblivion and ignorance by thy luminous supplication, help me ever to cry: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

merciful, save thy poor servant, delivering me from my boundless offences, that, rejoicing, I may chant: O Mother of the all-hymned Lord and God of our fathers, blessed art thou forever!

Ode VIII, Irmos: The birth-giving of the Theotokos saved the pious children in the furnace — then in figure, but now in deed — and it moveth all the world to chant to Thee: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

O ever-memorable Nilus our father, beloved of God, thou didst truly lead a good and beautiful life; for fleeing turmoil and withdrawing into the solitude of the wilderness, thou didst sow the tribulations of fasting with tears, but now, rejoicing, dost reap the grain of everlasting life.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou didst labor in secret for the one God Who knoweth things hidden, O father, passing through the ascetic contest in humility; and after thy repose thou wast revealed and illumined by miracles, moving the faithful to chant: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

By the divine grace within thee thou pourest forth healings and drivest away evil spirits from those who have recourse to thee with faith, O most blessed Nilus; wherefore, we lovingly honour thy most sacred memory, chanting with gladness: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Hearken, O Mistress, to the pain-wracked sighing of thy servant, pulling asunder the chains of mine offences; change my grief into joy and quickly transform my pangs, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thee, O pure Virgin, and exalt thee supremely for all ages.

Ode IX, Irmos: Let every mortal leap for joy, enlightened by the Spirit; and let the nature of the incorporeal intelligences keep festival, honouring the sacred feast of the Mother of God, and let them cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Thou hast been shown to be an all-radiant beacon for thy native land, O venerable and blessed one, illumining our habitations with thy brilliance and with the splendours of the miracles whereby thou hast been glorified since thy repose; wherefore, honouring thy radiant memory, we glorify Christ Who doth glorify thee with splendour.

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

When upon thy death bed thou didst stretch out thy beautiful feet which had trod well the path of salvation, O blessed one, thy disciples, shedding tears, said: “Whither goest thou, O our pastor? O father, to whom dost thou leave thy children, whom, having given birth to them in the Spirit, thou didst nurture with the milk of thy wise instruction?”

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

“Mingle not weeping with my joy, O my children,” thou didst say to them, O thou who art blessed of God, “for in gladness I am departing to receive the crown of righteousness which Christ hath promised to those who love Him, and which ye also must strive to attain, keeping His commandments as well as mine own.”

Venerable father, Nilus, pray to God for us.

Let thy wilderness also lament with us, O father; for even though it blossomed like a lily, adorned with Thy God-pleasing life, yet, bereft of a good husbandman after thy departure, thorns and thistles have grown rife in it. Fail not to visit thy flock, O father, and do thou thyself shepherd those who magnify thee.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Forget not those who now abide in the place of thine industrious life, O God-bearing Nilus our father, and mediate salvation for those who earnestly offer thee hymnody; for, having acquired thee as an advocate and intercessor before the Lord, O most blessed one, let not us who honour thee with faith, suffer the loss of hope.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Clothe me in the vesture of salvation, O most merciful Mother of God, thou full hope of my salvation, for I place my trust in thee; for thou art a treasury of mercy and savest all who have recourse unto thee. Wherefore, save even me, the accursed, that I may chant in thanksgiving: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Troparion, Tone I: Having spurned the worldly life, O our venerable and God-bearing father Nilus, fleeing the tumult of life thou wast quick to gather the flowers of paradise from the writings of the fathers, and, having made thine abode in the wilderness, thou didst flourish like a lily of the field; wherefore, thou hast passed over to the mansions of heaven. Teach us also who honor thee to tread thy royal path, and pray thou for our souls

Radonitsa and Praying For the Non-Orthodox

Christ is Risen!

On and around Radonitsa, we are very much focussed on the remembrance of the departed, and have chanted a panikhidas in the Oratory Church and the chapel in Llanelli, and a litia for the departed at the end of yesterday’s vespers in St Alban’s. Our memorials have resounded with the Paschal canon and other paschal hymns reminding us that as Orthodox Christians, our understanding of death and our relationship with this ultimate conclusion of our earthly life is shaped by the Lord’s Resurrection.

However, many parishioners have departed loved ones who were not Orthodox Christians, whether this is the fruit of Soviet atheism, or having family of non-Orthodox backgrounds. What of them?

The fact that the Church (whatever may happened in various places) does not liturgically commemorate the non-Orthodox departed is a challenge for us – particularly for those who saw devotion in Faith in loved ones, even if they were outside Orthodoxy. Indeed, some people can say that they have seen and continue to see greater prayer, spiritual observance and active Faith in their heterodox loved ones and friends than in relation to many nominally Orthodox people. This is a trying and challenging truth.

By tradition, the Church has turned to the Great-Martyr Varus to pray for those who have died outside the Church, and there is a special canon to St Varus for their prayerful commemoration. However, throws up challenges, as it supposes – in a very black and while way reflecting the time and place in which it was written – that those whom we commemorate were impious, sinful unbelievers who rejected the Orthodox Church and God… even though our loved ones may have been geographically distant of Orthodox lands and lived pious lives in the traditions of their forebears.

Many of us may respond that although our loved ones were not Orthodox, they heeded the Gospel, were prayerful, and served and worshipped God to the best of their abilities, in the only way and in the only tradition they knew. As such, we cannot pretend that the canon and associated prayers do not throw up challenges, and given that it is for para-liturgical / private use, I cannot imagine that it does not get adapted in its personal prayerful use.

We are reposting the canon as it was written, with the hope that it will prove useful to those who wish to intercede for their non-Orthodox departed loved-ones.

We have previously posted the life of St Varus from Orthodox Life: https://russianorthodoxchurchcardiff.com/st-varus

The Slavonic Canon may be found here: https://akafist.ru/saints/muchenik-uar/kanon-uaru-za-umershix-bez-kreshenija

The link to the festal Canon to St Varus in English may be found here: https://russianorthodoxchurchcardiff.com/varus-life-canon?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR13cs3jvQPL5pfzxh0XWen5rC4_PeMyXZryxaRQ6dw7yTG9mtcVjPzuoY0_aem_AaD611FWV4GiGyTpeYkkz5G9XPFhPbjXIof6aIg3JNfvA2sPiyPihaotOPKl-YdP8CHSZh8Rq65u9gamrRpEyzl0

A Canon Of Supplication To The Holy Martyr Varus, To Whom The Grace Was Given To Pray For Those Deceased Ancestors Of Cleopatra Who Had Not Been Vouchsafed To Receive Holy Baptism: Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: The staff of Moses, once working a wonder, striking the sea in the form of the Cross and dividing it, drowned the mounted tyrant Pharaoh, and saved Israel who fled on foot, chanting a hymn unto God.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O Lord, be Thou entreated by Thy holy martyr Varus, and clothe Thyself in mercy and compassions! Lo! they will be poured out even unto hades, O Thou Who lovest mankind, and, through Thy rich lovingkindness will bring pity unto NN., for whom we pray.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O great martyr of Christ, be thou mindful of the afflicted and helpless NN. Who sit, unenlightened, in the gloom of darkness; and do not cease to fall down before the compassionate Lord, until He comfort them with His rich lovingkindness.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou wast able to make entreaty for the family of the wondrous Cleopatra, O glorious passion-bearer; wherefore, rendering aid today, thou art likewise able to free from torments NN., who are remembered by us, if it is fitting for thee to pray to the Lord for them: for the Master will comfort them with His rich lovingkindness for thy sake.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O good helper and Mistress, look down from thy glory upon the helpless who are in the gloom of hades, and behold the misfortunes of the pitiful NN. whom we remember to thee; and cease thou never to entreat thy Son, the compassionate Lord and Master, in their behalf, until He comfort them with His rich lovingkindness.

Ode III, Irmos: O Christ, Who in the beginning established the heavens in wisdom and founded the earth upon the waters, make me steadfast upon the rock of Thy commandments; for none is holy as Thee, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Move thou the choir of the holy hosts of heaven to make supplication with thee, O martyr, and do thou a thing all-wondrous, great and honourable, which will bring even greater joy unto those who have no hope and consolation and are without expectation: our ancestors who died a bitter death outside the Faith, and NN., who are remembered with them, that the Lord may grant them forgiveness and great mercy.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O excellent passion-bearer, beloved of Christ! Thou knowest how desirable and joyful freedom is for those in torment; wherefore, the joy of our kin and NN. with them, who have incurred everlasting torments because of their unbelief, will know no bounds if thou wilt ask the Lord to grant them forgiveness and great mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O Varus, right victorious athlete, be thou merciful to our entreaties, and look upon NN., who are in desperate need; and moved by pity, do thou thyself earnestly pray to the Master Who loveth mankind, that He grant them forgiveness and great mercy.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Mary our Mistress, thou hope of the universe, divinely acceptable habitation, our reconciliation with God: Accept the petitions of this present intercession, and cease not to beseech thy Son, the Lord of all, that for thy sake He grant forgiveness and great mercy unto the hopeless NN.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Sessional hymn, Tone V: Pray thou for the whole world, O great-martyr, and cease not to ask mercy for all sinners who have in divers ways grievously offended the Master and continue to offend him, who by mortal works have utterly done themselves to death and acquired nought, since they have wrought evil. And intercede also, O passion-bearer, for our departed kinfolk, NN., beginning as is possible; and cease not to pray and fall down before the Lord Who hath mercy on all, that He forgive and have mercy on those who sit in darkness and are embittered with exceeding great bitterness.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Another sessional hymn, Tone III: O great Varus, dweller in everlasting joy and namesake of heavenly rest: With boldness thou darest to remember before the Lord the redeeming qualities of our forebears; for even though we cannot place thee in their graves, yet do we beseech thee to add thy prayers to our earnest supplications that they be granted pity. Wherefore, fall down and pray, for the Master will not reject thine intercession, but, inclined by His infinite goodness, will send deliverance and great mercy upon those who are embittered with exceeding great bitterness.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O all-radiant Lady, who art hymned above all and art continually magnified by the heavenly hosts, Mother of the King of all: Since thy glory and greatness are increased where and when He desireth, when thou helpest sinners and coverest the whole world with thy supplications, O Mistress, increase the majesty of thy sublimity, and by thy fervent supplications deliver from grievous torments our unbelieving and unbaptised kinfolk and NN., who are commemorated with them; and grant them deliverance and great mercy.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou art my strength, O Lord, Thou art my power; Thou art my God, Thou art my joy, Who, without leaving the bosom of the Father, hast visited our lowliness. Wherefore, with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Since thou lovest all who have recourse to thee with faith, O passion-bearer, thou hast won the love of those who make entreaty unto thee. What other thing, desiring to glorify thee, will He Who loveth mankind do if not to bestow the asked-for mercy upon the compunctionate, the eternal prisoners bereft of all joy, NN. As before, O valiant martyr, fail not in thy prayers for them.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Cruel winter, barren of salvation, and joyless lamentation lie upon the ungodly who have died, in the place where NN., whom we remember, are assigned. But haste thou, O passion-bearer, to unite them to the race of the righteous, and fail not in thy prayers for them.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Let not the gloomy prison of hades forever hold our ancestors and kinfolk, and all who are remembered with them, NN. Since thou, the wondrous athlete, hast set at nought the power of unbelief and the might of sin, so as before with the family of Cleopatra, fail not in thy prayers for them, that they may be forgiven, O martyr.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Through thee, O all-pure one, have we come to know how to glorify the Creator of all things; through thee are we wont to magnify the true Saviour Who came forth from thee bearing flesh. We praise and bow down before thee, the Mistress, and pray: Have mercy on the our kinfolk NN. who have died in unbelief, and fail not in thy prayers to thy Son, that He deliver them.

Ode V, Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me, O Light never-waning? And why hath a strange darkness covered me, wretch that I am? But turn me, and guide my steps to the light of Thy commandments, I pray.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Every gift and every mercy poured forth from the merciful Lord, though all-wondrous and all-marvellous, when brought to bear to accomplish the forgiveness of NN. who have died in impiety, impart excellent magnitude thereto. Wherefore, today also do thou make haste to entreat the Master, O martyr, that He work great things.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Turn not away from our compunction, O Lord, neither be Thou mindful of the multitude of our sins; rather, remember Thy mercies which are from of old, and in Thy compassions, and for the sake of the valiant athlete Varus, exhaust not the riches of Thine infinite lovingkindness, but pour forth Thy mercies and forgiveness upon NN., whom we remember.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

If the Master’s love for mankind extendeth even unto those afar off at sea, O great-martyr, stand forth today and, falling down, beseech Him to have mercy on those far away from the Faith, our kinfolk who have died unbaptised, and NN., who are commemorated with them, that He may grant them forgiveness and great mercy.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Intercede, O Mistress, for our weakness, and be thou constantly with us in time of need, helping us everywhere and always; for thou art the hope and expectation of Christians. Wherefore, reject not our petitions, but fulfil and perfect them by thine incomprehensible grace.

Ode VI, Irmos: Cleanse me, O Saviour, for many are my transgressions; and lead me up from the abyss of evils, I pray, for to Thee have I cried, and Thou hast hearkened to me, O God of my salvation.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Let not the pride of the enemy rejoice, having seized men’s souls as plunder; but by thy fervent supplications do thou, O martyr, destroy his desires, entreating the Lord to forgive NN., whom we remember, and to deliver them and us from everlasting torment.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

The inspiration for our feat of prayer is the forgiveness of the family of Cleopatra, whence we have conceived the thought to move thee to make supplication. Disdain not NN., whom we remember, O great-martyr, and reject not their sinful state; but making haste, ask of Christ the Master that He grant them forgiveness and deliverance from bitter torments.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Assuming boldness, O passion-bearer, ask of the King of heaven that He grant the joy of remission instead of dread punishment unto those who have met an evil end because of their unbelief, and whose hope of good things hath utterly perished because they have angered God; and having led them up from bitterness, preserve them in the mercy of the Master.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

What evil can prevail over thy maternal supplications, O Mistress? For truly, if thou wilt stand forth today and make supplication for NN., for whom we ask thee to pray, thou shalt obtain for them joyous forgiveness, deliverance and great mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone IV: Following Christ, O martyr Varus, and draining His cup, thou wast crowned with the wreath of martyrdom and joinest chorus with the angels. Pray thou without ceasing for our souls.

Ikos: Be thou mindful of our words, O splendid denizen of heaven, glorious Varus, great-martyr of Christ, namesake of everlasting rest, who by thy great sufferings didst obtain an impassable and splendid resting-place, far from inescapable imprisonment, unceasing retribution and want: Haste thou by thy God-pleasing supplications to deliver His compunctionate servants NN., for whose sake we entreat thee, standing before thee and crying out with earnestness: Fulfil our petitions, O holy one, and beseech Christ God unceasingly in behalf of our souls.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fire stood in awe of the condescension of God; wherefore, the youths, dancing with joyous step in the furnace, as in a meadow, chanted: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

As Thou dost enlighten all like the sun, O Lord, and lettest rain fall in abundance upon all, and unceasingly bestowest mercy upon those who anger Thee, hearken now unto Varus, Thine athlete, and pour forth Thy mercy utterly upon our kinfolk who have been separated from Thee, and upon the unbelieving NN., whom we remember, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Now as before, be Thou compassionate, O Lord, and allowing Thyself to be entreated, O Master, as Thou didst with Cleopatra, so do Thou deal with us, O Merciful One: Send forth Thy compassions and lovingkindness upon NN., whom we remember, for Thou art the inexhaustible Well-spring of mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The prophet, soaring aloft, hymneth Thy mercies, O Lord, unto the ages, and we also believe that Thou hast not diminished in Thy compassions, for the bounds of Thy lovingkindness are infinite. We entreat Thee to pour forth mercies from the abyss thereof upon NN., who have been drowned in the depths, and fill them therewith, for the sake of the martyr, O our Master.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

He who is most wise among the prophets calleth thee the mountain; and we believe him when he saith that from thee, without the interference of man, the Stone of the divine Offspring issued forth, from Whom we have received salvation and release from the depths of hades. O Mistress, lead up from hades NN., whom we remember today, that we may unceasingly magnify thee, the most merciful one.

Ode VIII, Irmos: When the musical instruments sounded and innumerable were those who worshiped the image in Dura, the three youths, refusing to obey the tyrant’s command, hymned and glorified the Lord for all ages.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

Let Thine ancient words of mercy, which bespeak the hope that we will be lifted up, be fulfilled, O Lord, for Thou didst hearken to Thy saints when they besought Thee to have mercy on those who died in unbelief. And today we bring them before Thee, O Lord, to pray that for the sake of their entreaties Thou mightest have pity on NN., who have died outside of Orthodoxy, O Master, and have offended Thee, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O Lamb of God Who hast redeemed us by Thy precious Blood, Who didst hearken to the plea of Thecla and the blessed Gregory, who didst accept the petitions of Methodius, Macarius and many others, bestowing joy and deliverance upon those who died in wicked religions, and moved Chrysostom to write that we pray for them: Accept, O Master, with him the glorious Varus, and by their supplications forgive and have mercy on NN., whom we remember.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Entreat joy for us, O great-martyr, for we will be filled with gladness if we find that our kinfolk NN. are delivered from everlasting torments; for the Master always listeneth to thy supplications and fulfilleth thy petitions. Wherefore, fail not therein, praying even now, that we may continually glorify thee.

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O all-immaculate Mistress, wondrous and unwedded Mother of the King, increase to abundance the multitude of thy lovingkindness and compassions for us who seek mercy. For where else may we find it if we do not make haste to fall down before thee? For thou gavest birth for us to the most abundant Torrent of delight, O all-blessed one.

Ode IX, Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, and the ends of the earth were amazed, that God hath appeared in the flesh, and that thy womb became more spacious than the heavens. Wherefore, the ranks of men and angels magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O glorious Varus, in God thou art able by thy divinely acceptable supplications to obtain and pour forth mercies upon those who have been utterly separated therefrom. For there is but one Father of compassions and lovingkindness, and as Master all things are possible for Him. Unfailingly beseech Him, O athlete, that He forgive and have mercy on NN., whom we remember.

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

O great-martyr, accomplish thou an all-wondrous deed attendant upon thy glory: Ask forgiveness from the Lord and the assuaging of His righteous anger for our ancestors, who are embittered because of their dark unbelief, and for NN., who find themselves in bitterness and the expectation of the most grievous of torments, that thou mightest raise them up to a deliverance free of fear, where are the mansions wherein the Master placeth the forgiven to live.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

What miracle is more wondrous than this, what glory more remarkable, what lovingkindness greater than when thou, O martyr, takest pity and entreatest the merciful Lord to remit the sin of impiety from NN., whom we remember, and to deliver them from grievous punishment?

Now & ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O merciful Mistress, who lovest mankind and art not mindful of evil: Accept the urgency of our petition, and unfailingly intercede for mercy with thy Son and Master, that He have mercy and forgive the sin of heterodoxy for our deceased kinfolk, and for NN. who are remembered with them, and that He bestow upon them remission and a place of mercy which shall not be taken away.

Prayer: O Holy, wondrous Martyr Varus, who, burning with zeal for the Heavenly King, didst confess Him before thy torturers and didst greatly suffer for Him! Now the Church doth venerate thee, as one glorified with the glory of heaven by Christ the Lord, Who granted thee the abundant grace to approach Him boldly. And now, standing before Him together with the Angels, rejoicing on high, beholding the Most Holy Trinity clearly, and enjoying the Uncreated Light, remember the suffering of our relatives (and those we remember, and those we hold in our hearts) who have died outside the Faith, and accept our pleas, and as thou didst intercede for the unbelieving ancestors of Cleopatra and didst free them from eternal suffering, remember those who have died unbaptised or have been buried in an ungodly manner, or died suddenly, or by their own hand, or unjustly, N.N. …. and pray earnestly that they may be delivered from eternal darkness, that we may all, with one mouth and one heart, praise the Most Merciful Creator unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Translated from the Church Slavonic by the reader Isaac E. Lambertsen from The Holy Martyr Varus: Prayers for Those Who Have Died Unbaptised, 5th printing (Moscow: Dunkan Service, 1996), pp. 4-13. Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved by the translator.

Troparion, Tone V:  Thou didst follow in the steps of the martyrs and contend for the glory of Christ. Thou wast tied to a beam and restored by the Tree of Life, and thine intercessions gladden our souls.

Canons to St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves

As we celebrate the feast of St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, the founder of cenobitic monasticism in Rus’, we commend his abbot-successor, Metropolitan Pavel, the Brotherhood, and the faithful worshippers, pilgrims and servitors of the Caves to his intercessions.

We also ask him to pray for our community – especially for our Ukrainian faithful, so far from home.

Canon I of the venerable one, Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: The staff of Moses, once working a wonder, striking the sea in the form of the Cross and dividing it, drowned the mounted tyrant Pharaoh, and saved Israel who fled on foot, chanting a hymn unto God.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Having attained the God-pleasing struggle, O father Theodosius, thou wast shone to be a God-seer; wherefore, pray thou unto God Whom thou didst please, that He drive away the darkness of mine ignorance and inspire me with blessed discourse, that I may hymn thee.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

From thy mother’s womb thou didst cleave unto God, O venerable one, like the all-wise Paul and the Prophet Jeremiah of old; wherefore, divine grace through the lips of the servant of God gave thee thy name, O Theodosius.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Having obeyed the commandments of the Saviour from thy youth, O wise one, and considered this life to be as nought, desiring to bear the Cross on thy shoulders thou didst spurn all earthly things, looking to the things of heaven, O Theodosius.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The Word of God Who became incarnate of thine all-pure womb, O all-holy Virgin, hath shone upon all the love of divine knowledge, and, having ascended into the heavens, He hath vouchsafed celebration unto the choir of men and angels.

Canon II of the venerable one, Tone VI

Irmos: Traversing the deep on foot, as though it were dry land, and seeing the tyrant Pharaoh drowned, Israel cried aloud: Let us chant unto God a hymn of victory!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Illumined by the all-radiant beams of God, O father Theodosius, enlighten my mind by thy supplications, that I may hymn thy divine memory with splendour.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

From thy youth thou didst offer thyself to the one God, from Whom thou didst receive the abundant grace of miracles; wherefore, thou becamest a source of incorruption for thy flock.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou wast shone forth unto us as a new Abraham, offering sacrifice unto God—the Lamb Who truly taketh away the sins of the whole world,—making the bread [for the liturgy] with thine own pure hands.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The Word of God Who existed before the morning-star hath revealed Himself to us as man, incarnate for our sake of the all-pure Virgin; and having issued forth from her, He preserved her free of harm.

Ode III, Irmos: O Lord, Fashioner of the vault of heaven and Creator of the Church: establish me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, confirmation of the faithful, Who alone lovest mankind.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thy divine and blessed soul enriched with the spiritual gifts of incorruption, O holy one, thou didst desire to behold the tomb of the Lord; yet thou wast chosen from on high by the dispensation of God.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Desiring to be a perfect, true and blameless sacrifice of the Lamb Who taketh away the sin of the whole world by His all-pure blood, O blessed one, thou didst offer unto Him the unbloody sacrifice.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Becoming an acquirer of rules from the height of thy youth and a ruler over thy mind, O father, fleeing the abyss of the world thou didst receive instruction from the divine Spirit.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Rejoice, O thou who alone gavest birth to the Lord of all! Rejoice, thou who hast proclaimed joy unto men! Rejoice, O tabernacle and unquarried mountain, thou confirmation of the faithful, O only all-hymned one!

Irmos: There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord my God, Who hast uplifted the horn of Thy faithful and established us on the rock of the confession of Thee, O Good One.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Theodosius heard the voice of the Gospel and hastened to the church; and desiring to bear the Cross of the Lord upon his shoulder, forsaking all passionate attachment to the world, he followed after Him.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

When thy mother, who gave thee birth, testing thee, commanded thee to remove thy garment, she beheld a horrible sight: thy sides wet with blood from the iron chains thou didst wear.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Greatly desiring to behold the tomb of the Lord, O blessed Theodosius, yet held back by the dispensation of God, thou becamest the companion of the venerable Anthony.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

In manner past understanding thou alone from among all ages didst conceive God, the Creator and Fashioner, O thou who alone gavest birth unto the Word of God

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Sessional hymn, Tone IV: In manner past the understanding of man, O venerable one, on earth thou wast shown to be a sacred garden of God set in the midst of the house of the Lord, giving the fruit of thy pangs unto thy disciples; for from thy mouth thou didst produce the grace of the Spirit, having become an example of struggles and a model for those who love the Lord. Him do thou never fail to entreat, that those who hymn thee be saved. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Repeat the hymn.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou art my strength, O Lord, Thou art my power; Thou art my God, Thou art my joy, Who, without leaving the bosom of the Father, hast visited our lowliness. Wherefore, with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The grace of God increased within thee, O father, when thou didst behold her who gave thee birth weeping and lamenting exceedingly, yet thou, standing before her as she shed streams of tears, didst remain a pillar unshaken and unmoved.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The most wicked enemy strove, through cruel men, to drag thee away from the nest all-adorned which thou didst desire, O Theodosius; yet thou didst account him as nought, driving away his hordes by thy supplications, and chanting: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Refreshed by the rain of the Spirit and watered by the Wellspring of life, thou didst produce divine grain through the tongue of Anthony thy guide; and thou feedest multitudes, having truly become like the inexhaustible granary of Joseph.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Who is able to describe the depths of thy wonders as is meet, O pure one? For through thee the whole world, offering thee praise, findeth mercy and is delivered from grievous misfortunes and divers evils, from enemies and perils.

Irmos: Christ is my power, my God and my Lord, the honoured Church doth sing, crying out in godly manner with a pure mind, keeping festival in the Lord.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

When thy mother learned that thou wast living in a cave with the blessed Anthony, thou didst comfort her when she came to thee, weeping, and didst exhort her to flee the evil of the world.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast truly a blameless priest of God, O sacred father, offering up the unbloody sacrifice, and chanting unto the Lord with a pure heart, ever keeping festival.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Ask for us deliverance from sins, O servant of God and intercessor, we, thy flock, cry out to thee, and from the temptations of the enemy preserve us who hymn thee.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The Word of God, Who shone forth from the Father, sanctified thine all-pure womb, and in His surpassing goodness He hath delivered the human race from the ancient curse.

Ode V, Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me, O Light never-waning? And why hath a strange darkness covered me, wretch that I am? But turn me, and guide my steps to the light of Thy commandments, I pray.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thy correction shone forth in struggles of virtue, for that which from of old was a poor hovel thou didst render spacious, leading many ascetics unto God, Who giveth them every abundance through thy supplications.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

By the radiant beams of thy struggles was a multitude of demons driven from thy dwelling-place; for the grace of the Spirit of the Creator of all accompanied thee and revealed thee as glorious, O Theodosius.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

In the midst of the church thou didst hymn the compassionate Saviour; wherefore, He sent upon thee His abundant compassions, alleviating the grief of want and pouring forth ever-flowing gifts upon thy flock.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thou wast higher than the hosts on high, O thou who art full of the grace of God, having conceived the Word Who created all things by His word, and given birth to Him Who was ineffably begotten of the Father before time began.

Irmos: With Thy divine light illumine the souls of those who with love rise at dawn unto Thee, O Good One, that they may know Thee, O Word of God, to be the true God Who calleth all forth from the darkness of sin.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a pure basin adorned with the flowers of the virtues, O father Theodosius, from whence thou pourest forth upon thy flock a fountain of teaching sweeter than honey and the honey-comb.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

With virtuous struggles thou didst mortify carnal nature, O wise father Theodosius; wherefore, Christ showed thee forth as a shepherd in the place which He chose to be a pasture for the pure Virgin.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou wast an instructor of monks and a shepherd of sheep tended in the pasture of the Mother of God; wherefore, God giveth thee twofold joy, O Theodosius, through the supplications of the pure Mother of God.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

He Who dwelleth in the heavens found thee to be a sacred abode, and of His own will made His dwelling within thy womb; wherefore, standing in thy house, with cries of thanksgiving we ever hymn thine all-pure birth-giving.

Ode VI, Irmos: I pour forth my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him do I declare my grief; for my soul is full of evil and my life hath drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I pray: Lead me up from corruption, O God!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Through prayers, the keeping of vigils and the chanting of psalms thou didst continually make thy soul a divine garden of paradise, manifestly causing the life-bearing and precious Tree of the Saviour and Lord to grow therein.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

It was thy will to acquire mystic humility, emulating the poverty of the Master, O blessed one; and treading the path of thine own will, at the command of a slothful servant thou didst deign to bear water up to the holy place, where those who met thee recognised thee and paid thee homage.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Emulating Him Who washed the feet of His disciples, O divinely wise one, thou didst consent to draw water and bear it upon thy shoulders, and hewing and carrying wood with thine own hands, thou didst show thyself forth as a guide in labours for monks.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Through thee, O Theotokos, was slain the most crafty foe who brought destruction upon all creation through corruption, and through thee have the dead been led up to life again; for thou didst truly give birth to the Lord, the Life of all.

Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging with the tempest of temptations, fleeing to Thy calm haven I cry unto Thee: Lead up my life from corruption, O greatly Merciful One!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Having truly built a church for the Mother of God, therein thou hast assembled a choir of a multitude of monastics, who hymn thine honoured memory with love.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Upon all who have recourse to thy protection with faith thou pourest forth a wellspring of healings, O venerable one: thou dost cause holiness to gush forth, and illuminest men’s hearts, dispelling the deception of the demons.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lift up thy hands unto Christ God, O venerable father, and by thy supplications preserve thy flock which thou didst splendidly gather together in the Spirit, and who hymn thy memory.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Rejoice, O all-hymned one who gavest birth to the all-hymned God of all! O pure one, show those who hymn thee to be partakers of the light, and deliver them from everlasting fire.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: We honour today the blessed Theodosius, the star of Rus’, who shone forth from the East and arrived in the West; for he hath enriched this whole land and all of us with miracles and goodness by the implementation and grace of the monastic rule.

Ikos: Who can describe thy struggles, O father? Who can reckon the multitudes of thy labours and wondrous miracles? For while yet in the flesh thou didst behold one of the incorporeal beings conversing with thee in fleshly form and offering thee a gift: gold sent by God. Thou wast shown to surpass men in humility and a meek demeanour, and to be full of spiritual wisdom. Wherefore, receiving the Spirit within thee, thou wast seen to be in the light, shining like the sun. With the brilliance of thy monastic rule, O venerable and godly Theodosius, enlighten me who hymn thee.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the youths who had come forth from Judæa trod down the flame of the furnace with their faith in the Trinity, chanting: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Everyone who fleeth with faith to thy supplications, O blessed one, is never put to shame; but, receiving the grace of his petition, O father, he returneth and danceth, singing: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thou didst show thyself to be a father and helper of orphans, the hope of widows, and the uplifting of all the sick, O father; wherefore, we chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast the adornment of monastics and a path of salvation for men; for, enriching all by thy discourses on the divine mysteries, thou didst teach them to say: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Christ, for our salvation Thou didst appear incarnate of the Virgin’s womb; wherefore, knowing Thy Mother to be the Theotokos, we chant with thanksgiving: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Irmos: The Angel caused the furnace to pour forth dew upon the pious youths, and the command of God, which consumed the Chaldæans, prevailed upon the tyrant to cry out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The grace of God increased within thee, O father, overshadowing thee with the Spirit and enlightening thy heart; and thereby thou didst teach men to chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thy discourse explaining the dispensation of the mysteries hath gone forth into all lands, unto those who ever chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The multifarious grace of the Spirit rested on thee, O father, and showed forth all-glorious miracles unto those who chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Fleeing beneath thy protection, O Mistress, we are delivered from evils; for having thee as our hope, all of us, the faithful, pray: Disdain not thy servants, O Virgin Theotokos.

Ode VIII, Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for the pious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be like a prophet of God gazing into the future, O Theodosius; for, inspired by the Spirit, thou didst command him who bore the Gospel scripture unto thee to bear it away, and he cried aloud unto thee, confessing with a pure mind the sacrifice to the all-pure Theotokos.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The right-believing prince who sustained the whole land hastened to thy dwelling-place, like a deer to a spring of water, that he might receive the ever-flowing sustenance of incorruption; wherefore, desiring to dine with him, O blessed one, thou didst command thy vessel to fill completely with honey when thy patron cried out at thy lack.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The angelic hosts hymned thy struggles, O Theodosius, and the choir of the venerable praised thy way of life, O thou splendid adornment and joy of monks; wherefore, rejoicing now therewith, thou art filled with gladness, chanting melodiously: Ye children, bless! Ye priests, hymn! Ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thee do I set forth as the invincible protector and ally of my life, O all-pure Theotokos: be thou for me an aid against misfortunes and tribulations, delivering thine unworthy servant, who chant with love: Ye children, bless! Ye priests, hymn! Ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Irmos: From the flame didst Thou pour forth dew upon the venerable ones, and didst consume the sacrifice of the righteous one with water; for Thou, O Christ, dost do all things soever Thou desirest. Thee do we exalt supremely for all ages!

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

The choir of thy disciples, standing round about thy shrine with their abbot, hymneth Christ, having received thy labours which are worthy of God, Whom we exalt supremely forever.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Rejoicing, thou didst follow Christ God the Crucified, mortifying thy body with manifold labours and pangs; and thou didst acquire true faith and love, having rejected the world and come to love Christ alone.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The shrine of thy relics, O father Theodosius, poureth forth health with divine power and healeth sufferings of soul and flesh; wherefore, we hymn thy memory as is meet.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

We now exclaim to thee the cry of Gabriel: Rejoice, O all-blessed Mistress full of the grace of God, for whose sake we have been delivered from the ancient curse; for thou art the mediator of the salvation of all.

Ode IX, Irmos: Every ear trembleth to hear of the ineffable condescension of God, for the Most High willingly came down even to the flesh, becoming man through the Virgin’s womb. Wherefore we, the faithful, magnify the all-pure Theotokos.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Today thy memorial hath shone forth upon us like the sun, O venerable one, and we rejoice, kissing thy shrine, and, standing round about it as it were a divine ark, with the ranks of heaven we hymn thy repose with faith, O Theodosius.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Rejoice, O land of Rus’, having received from the Lord a treasure which cannot be taken away: Theodosius, the great helper blessed of God, the fervent aid. And do thou, O first among the cities of Rus’, rejoice with the choir of fasters.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

We have gathered now in festival on the day of thy memorial, to hymn the Lord Who assigned thee the goodly struggles which thou endured; wherefore, we beseech thee, O holy and wise one, that thy flock, which thou didst acquire by thy supplications, may be delivered from the temptations of the enemy.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Save me, O Saviour Who alone art our Deliverer, Who accepted the fervent repentance of the harlot and the prodigal and the sighing of the publican. O Christ, be Thou merciful unto me, a prodigal, through the supplications of thy favoured one, driving away the multitude of my sins.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Saviour Who wast born, and Who preserved her who gave Thee birth without corruption, even after birth-giving: Take pity on me when Thou shalt sit to judge my works, overlooking my sins and iniquities, in that Thou art sinless and merciful, and lovest mankind.

Irmos: It is not possible for men to behold God, upon Whom the ranks of angels dare not gaze; but through thee, O most pure one, hath the Word appeared incarnate unto men; and magnifying Him with the armies of heaven, we call thee blessed.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

O father, through faith thou hast united thy children. As a worthy shepherd of shepherds, O venerable one, vouchsafe to enlighten them with the virtues, and pray thou that we be granted remission of sins and correction of life.

Venerable Father, Theodosius, pray to God for us.

Living a life equal to that of the holy fathers, thou wast a servant of the all-pure Virgin, O blessed one, and an excellent pastor of monks, a true pillar of the Orthodox Faith, the hope of the faithful and the trust of those who chant in the house of the Mother of God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Sanctified by the power of the Almighty, thou didst overcome the snares of the enemy, didst drive away their hordes and grant health to the sick; wherefore, rejoicing, we ever honour thy memory.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Ineffably conceiving Him Who shone forth from the Father without mother, thou gavest birth to Him, O Mother of God, pure and all-hymned Virgin. Entreat thy Son and our God, O all-holy one, in behalf of us, thy servants.

Troparion, Tone VIII: Exalted in virtue, having loved the monastic life from childhood, and valiantly attained thy desire, thou didst dwell within a cave; and having adorned thy life with asceticism and splendour, like one of the incorporeal beings thou didst abide in prayer, shining like a radiant beacon in the land of Rus’. O father Theodosius, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Radonitsa Reader Memorial Service

THE PASCHAL COMMEMORATION OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED: RADONITSA, 14 MAY 2024

Dear brothers and sisters – Christ is Risen!

As we recommence the liturgical remembrance of the departed with memorial services, we should all pray for their repose and eternal rest, not just the ordained clergy.

The lay-rule of services was always well known amongst the East Slavs, and allowed the continuance of services in even the darkest years of the Soviet-yolk, when clergy were few, but Church life went on.

We should be actively trying to maintain this tradition in our widely dispersed communities, where liturgical literacy and the ability of readers to lead worship must taken seriously and pro-actively developed.

The primary role of a reader is not be a virtuoso psaltist, but to be a cleric who is able to lead the worship of the Church, with confidence, knowledge and prayerful devotion.

We will start posting services according to the lay-order, whether for reader services in community or home worship, and start by encouraging parishioners to use the lay-order for the Radonitsa memorial service, which has been corrected and updated for this year.

THE PASCHAL PANIKHIDA FOR USE IN THE HOME OR CELL.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy upon us. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life (Thrice).

Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish, as wax melteth before the fire.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

So let sinners perish at the presence of God, and let the righteous be glad.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad therein

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times)

Prayer: Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servants, N., who have reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all their sins, voluntary and involuntary. Deliver them from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto them the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee. For though they have sinned, yet have they not forsaken Thee, and they undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until their last breath did they confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto them and reckon their faith in Thee, rather than their deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant them rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin. But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Paschal Canon

Ode 1, Eirmos: It is the Day of Resurrection! Let us be radiant, O ye people! Pascha! The Lord’s Pascha! For Christ our God hath brought us from death to life, and from earth unto heaven, as we sing triumphal hymn!

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Let us purify our senses and we shall behold Christ, radiant with inaccessible light of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him saying clearly, “Rejoice!” As we sing the triumphal hymn!

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

Let the heavens rejoice in a worthy manner, the earth be glad, and the whole world, visible and the invisible, keep the Feast. For Christ our eternal joy hath arisen!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou hast broken through the barrier of death, by giving birth to Christ, the eternal Life, Who today hath shone forth from the tomb, O Virgin all-blameless, and Who hath enlightened the world.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen

Having beheld thy resurrected Son and God, rejoice thou with the apostles, O Pure One graced of God, and be the first to rejoice, as thou hast received the Cause of joy for all, O Mother of God all-blameless.

Katavasia: It is the Day of Resurrection!…

Ode 3, Eirmos: Come, let us drink a new drink, not miraculously drawn from a barren rock, but the fountain of Incorruption springing from the tomb of Christ in Whom we are established.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

Now all things are filled with light: heaven and earth, and the nethermost regions. So let all creation celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, whereby it is established.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

Yesterday, O Christ, I was buried with Thee, and today I arise with thy arising. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee. Glorify me, O Saviour, with Thee in Thy Kingdom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Into incorruptible life have I entered today, through the goodness of Him Who was born of thee, O Pure One, and Who makest all the ends of the earth radiant with joy.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Having beheld God, Whom thou hast borne in the flesh, risen from the dead, as He said, O Pure One, dance, and Him as God, O most Pure One, do thou magnify.

Katavasia: Come, let us drink…

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Prayer: Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servants, N., who have reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all their sins, voluntary and involuntary. Deliver them from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto them the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee. For though they have sinned, yet have they not forsaken Thee, and they undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until their last breath did they confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto them and reckon their faith in Thee, rather than their deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant them rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin. But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Hypakoe, tone 4: When at dawn, the women with Mary came and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, they heard from the angel: Why seek ye among the dead (as if He were a mortal man) Him Who lives in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Run and tell the world that the Lord is risen, and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves mankind.

Ode 4, Eirmos: May the divinely speaking Abbacum now stand watch with us, and show forth a shining Angel saying resoundingly: Today salvation hath come to the world; for Christ is risen as Almighty.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

Christ revealed Himself as of the male sex when He opened the Virgin’s womb, and as a mortal is He called the Lamb. Thus, without blemish also, is our Pascha, for He tasted no corruption, and, since He is truly God, He was proclaimed perfect.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

Christ, our blessed Crown, like a yearling Lamb, of His own good will sacrificed Himself for all, a Pascha of purification, and as the glorious Sun of Righteousness, He has shone upon us again from the grave.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead

David, the forefather of our divine Lord, leapt and danced before the symbolic Ark of the Covenant. Let us also, the holy people of God, beholding the fulfilment of the symbols, be divinely glad; for Christ hath risen as Almighty.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

He Who created Adam thy forefather, O Pure One, took form from thee, and the habitation of the dead hath He demolished today through His death, and shone upon all things with the divine radiance of the Resurrection.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Beholding Christ Whom thou hast borne, shining forth splendidly from the dead, O Pure One, who art good and spotless among women, and comely, today rejoicing with the apostles in the salvation of all, Him do thou glorify.

Katavasia: May divinely speaking Abbacum …

Ode 5, Eirmos: Let us arise in the deep dawn and, instead of myrrh, offer a hymn to the Lord, and we shall behold Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, Who causest life to dawn for all.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

When they who were held by the chains of hell beheld Thy boundless compassion, O Christ, they hastened to the light with joyful feet, exalting the eternal Pascha.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Bearing lights, let us meet Christ, Who cometh forth from the tomb like a bridegroom. And with the ranks of joyfully celebrating Angels, let us celebrate the redeeming Pascha of God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Enlightened by the divine rays and the life-bearing Resurrection of thy Son, O most pure Mother of God, the gathering of the pious is filled with joy.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou didst not open the gates of virginity in the incarnation, nor the seal upon the tomb didst Thou destroy, O King of creation; from whence seeing Thee risen, Thy Mother rejoiceth.

Katavasia: Let us arise…

Ode 6, Eirmos: Thou didst descend into the nethermost regions of earth, O Christ, and didst shatter the eternal bars which held the prisoners captive; and like Jonah from the sea-monster, after three days Thou didst rise from the grave

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Having kept the seals intact, Thou didst rise from the grave, O Christ, Who didst not violate the Virgin’s womb by Thy birth, and Thou hast opened to us the gates of Paradise.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

O my Saviour, while as God Thou didst voluntarily offer Thyself to the Father as an unslain and living sacrifice, Thou didst raise up with Thyself the whole race of Adam, when Thou didst rise from the grave.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

He that of old was held by death and corruption is raised up by Him Who was incarnate of the thy most pure womb, O Theotokos Virgin, unto incorruption and everlasting life.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

He Who went down into the nethermost part of the earth, and came into thy womb, O Pure One, and dwelt and past understanding was incarnate, hath also raised up Adam with Himself when He rose from the tomb.

Katavasia: Thou didst descend…

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Prayer: Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servants, N., who have reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all their sins, voluntary and involuntary. Deliver them from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto them the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee. For though they have sinned, yet have they not forsaken Thee, and they undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until their last breath did they confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto them and reckon their faith in Thee, rather than their deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant them rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin. But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion for the departed, tone 8: With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is neither pain, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

Kontakion of the resurrection, tone 8: Though Thou did descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hell, and did rise again as a conqueror, O Christ our Lord, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, rejoice! And giving peace to Thine Apostles, and offering Resurrection to the fallen.

Eikos: The myrrh-bearing maidens anticipated the dawn and sought, as those who seek the day, their Sun, Who was before the sun and Who had once sat in the grave. And they cried to each other: Friends, come, let us anoint with spices His life-giving and buried body – the Flesh Who raised up fallen Adam, and Who now lies in the tomb. Let us go, let us hasten, and like the Magi, let us worship; and let us bring myrrh as a gift to Him, Who is wrapped, not now in swaddling clothes, but in a shroud. And let us weep and cry: Arise, O Lord, Who dost offer Resurrection to the fallen.

Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy Holy Resurrection we praise and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know no other than Thee; we call upon Thy name. O come all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection. For by enduring the Cross for us He destroyed death by death. (Thrice)

Jesus, having risen from the grave as He foretold, hath given us eternal life and great mercy. (Thrice)

Ode 7, Eirmos: He Who delivered the children from the furnace, and became man and suffered as a mortal, through His suffering, He clothes mortality with the grace of incorruption. He is the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

The godly wise women came to Thee with myrrh. But Him Whom they sought with tears as dead, they joyfully adored as the living God. And they told to Thy disciples, O Christ, the glad tidings of the mystical Pascha.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

We celebrate the death of death, the destruction of hell, the beginning of eternal life. And leaping for joy, we celebrate the Cause, the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

For a truly holy and a supreme feast is this saving night radiant with Light, the harbinger of the bright day of Resurrection, on which the Eternal Light shone bodily from the grave upon all.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thy Son, having put death to death, O All-spotless One, today hath granted unto all mortals the life that abideth unto the ages of ages, the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

He Who reigneth over all creation, became man, dwelling in thy God-graced womb, and having endured crucifixion and death, is risen in a God-befitting manner, raising us up with Himself, for He is almighty

Katavasia: He Who delivered…

Ode 8, Eirmos: This is the chosen and Holy Day, the first of Sabbaths, the Sovereign and Queen, the Feast of Feasts, and Triumph of Triumphs, on which let us bless Christ forever.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

O come, let us partake of the fruit of the new vine of divine joy on the auspicious Day of the Resurrection and Kingdom of Christ, praising Him as God forever.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Cast thine eyes about thee, O Zion, and behold! For lo! Thy children have assembled unto thee from the West and from the North and from the South and from the East, as divinely radiant luminaries, Blessing Christ unto the ages.

Refrain: O Most Holy Trinity, our God, glory to Thee.

Father, Almighty, the Word, and the Spirit, one Nature in three Persons united, transcending essence supremely Divine! In Thee we have been baptized, and Thou wilt bless us throughout all ages.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Through thee the Lord came into the world, O Virgin Theotokos, and the womb of hades did He tear open, granting unto us mortals resurrection; wherefore, we bless Him unto the ages.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Laying low all the dominion of death by His resurrection, thy Son, O Virgin, as the mighty God, hath raised us up with Himself and deified us; wherefore, we sing His praise unto the ages.

Katavasia: This is the chosen…

Ode 9, Eirmos: Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord hath risen upon thee. Dance now for joy and be glad, O Sion! And thou, pure Mother of God, rejoice in the rising of Him Whom thou didst bear.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

O divine, O dear, O sweetest Voice! For Thou, O Christ, hast faithfully promised to be with us to the end of the world. And holding fast this promise as an anchor of hope, we the faithful rejoice.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

O great and holiest Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom, Word and Power of God! Grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the unending Day of Thy Kingdom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

With one voice, O Virgin, the faithful do bless thee: Rejoice, O Portal of the Lord; rejoice, O living City; rejoice, through whom for our sake the Light hath shone, Who, born of thee, is the resurrection of the dead.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Be glad and rejoice, O Portal of the Divine Light; for Jesus set into the grave, hath dawned forth shining more brightly than the sun, and hath illumined all the faithful, O Sovereign Lady who rejoiceth in God.

Katavasia: Shine, shine…

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the graves bestowing life. (Thrice)

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Prayer: Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servants, N., who have reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all their sins, voluntary and involuntary. Deliver them from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto them the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee. For though they have sinned, yet have they not forsaken Thee, and they undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until their last breath did they confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto them and reckon their faith in Thee, rather than their deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant them rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin. But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Troparia, tone 4: With the spirits of the righteous give rest, O Saviour, to the souls of Thy departed servants and keep them in the blessed life with Thee, O Lover of man.

In the place of Thy rest, O Lord, where all Thy Saints repose give rest also to the souls of Thy servants, for Thou alone art the Lover of men.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou art the God Who descended to hell and loosed the chains of the captives. Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants.

Both, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O only pure and immaculate Virgin, who without seed didst bear God, pray to Him that their souls may be saved.

Lord, have mercy. (Forty times)

Prayer: Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servants, N., who have reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all their sins, voluntary and involuntary. Deliver them from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto them the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee. For though they have sinned, yet have they not forsaken Thee, and they undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until their last breath did they confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto them and reckon their faith in Thee, rather than their deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant them rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin. But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, the true Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. (Thrice) Lord, bless.

Christ our True God, Who art risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the graves bestowing life, through the prayers of Thy most pure Mother and all Thy saints, grant the souls of Thy departed servants, N to dwell in the abode of all Thy saints, and number them among the righteous, and have mercy on us, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind. Amen

Give rest eternal, O Lord, in blessed repose, to the souls of Thy departed servants, our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters N., and make their memory eternal.

MEMORY ETERNAL. (Thrice)

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the graves bestowing life (Thrice).

And has bestowed on us life eternal, we worship His resurrection on the third day.

Thomas Week Newsletter

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is Risen! Христосъ воскресе! Hristos a înviat! Χριστός ἀνέστη!

After the joy of Bright Week and our celebration of Thomas Sunday, we now enter the second week of Pascha, with the need to maintain the joy of the Resurrection each day of this season.

Saturday saw a wonderful Liturgy in Warminster, and though we were few in number, our celebration was joyful and prayerful, and the day was blessed with beautiful weather and sun blazing through the windows of the Chapel of St Lawrence.

It was lovely to be in Wiltshire on such a glorious spring weekend, beginning with a lovely evening beneath apple-blossom and surrounded by birdsong. Thanks to our Wessex brothers and sisters for their hospitality, kindness and dedication.

Our Sunday congregation was small compared to our numbers for Pascha, but we had a wonderful Liturgy, with a great sense of peace and joy. Thanks to all who contributed in every way.

Were able to congratulate Deacon Mark, George and Yuriy on their recent name-days, with Many Years being chanted after a litia to St Mark the Evangelist and the Holy Great-Martyr George.

In future weeks, it would be appreciated if we could streamline the setting up and putting away in St John’s, with the lack of help before the Liturgy sometimes creating pressure. I hope that our younger brothers can be rather more involved in this initial part of our Sundays.

Might we also suggest that our younger people need to be rather more involved on the domestic side of Sundays in St John’s: cleaning, sweeping, washing up and drying up would be a good start. I’m afraid some of our seasoned sisters are taken for granted, and after cooking, baking, preparing trapeza, and driving very long distances in some cases… never getting to sit down to eat or drink. I would like to see them getting to the table and having a rest, whilst energetic youth takes to the kitchen for a welcome change. Let’s share the labours of parish life and make things a little more fair and reasonable, and not be shy to ask if anything needs doing.

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Further to announcements in church, our General Parish Meeting will be held after Liturgy on Sunday 2 June. Elections will be held for the offices of starosta and senior-sister, and nominations for these positions are requested, and candidates should be communicant members of the parish and in good standing within the community. Before nominating candidates, please ascertain their willingness to stand for office. Over the course of the coming week, we will clarify the duties of each respective parish office, so that prospective officers can be sure that these can be fulfilled.

Some confusion has been caused by the initial announcement, and I would like to clarify that until the forthcoming election, it is only the position of starosta / warden that is vacant. The position of senior sister remains occupied by virtue of election by the parishioners, and our present senior remains the only elected officer within the parish.

After nominations for each position, the parish meeting will see the election of both starosta and senior sister, so that terms of office commence at the same time.

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I am happy to announce that Father Sebastian has welcomed us to use the Oratory Church in Swinton Street on weekdays, and this week will see the chanting of a memorial service for radonitsa tomorrow (Tuesday) at 14:30 and Thursday will see the celebration of the 9th Hour, Vespers and litia for the departed at 14:30 on Thursday. I hope that we may begin with these extra services, as well as on the first Saturday of the month – the only free Saturday at the moment, given the Liturgies in our missions and our pilgrimages.

Some of our young brothers have already used the Oratory as a place of prayer, with the enshrined relics of St Alban being a welcome place for Orthodox prayer when St John’s is inaccessible due to weekday use.

I know that the time may only allow a few parishioners who are free in the day to attend, but the need is for conciliar parish prayer as often as possible, and part of the initial possibility is “when and where”. Services are always celebrated on behalf of all members of the parish, whether they can be present or not, and prayers are offered for the whole community, whether this is at Liturgy, the services of the Horologion, molebens or memorials.

We can hopefully build up more regular common prayer throughout the week, whether in Cardiff or in the Wessex part of our community, and will investigate the possibilities for evening worship, possibly in parish homes. This will be greatly aided by the presence of capable readers in our community, and we will be concentrating on their training and development in the months ahead.

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On Saturday 25 May, this month’s rather low-key and informal pilgrimage will see a visit to Penrhys in the Rhondda. It was once an important centre of Welsh pilgrimage, with origins in the Celtic Age of Saints, before becoming a major medieval shrine to the Mother of God , before post-reformation obscurity, neglect and deprivation and 20th century revival.

In our younger days, Father Luke and I were involved with the annual three day walking “Cistercian Way” pilgrimage that once made its way from Llantarnam Abbey to Penrhys, stopping at local places of worship and of Christian significance in the Valleys.

We very much want to reconnect with this holy place, and hope that we can make a beginning with a simple visit – meeting at the statue of Our Lady of Penrhys on the site of the former Franciscan monastic house at midday. We will say prayers there and hope that the weather allows for a picnic, before walking down the hillside to the well-chapel, where it would be wonderful to celebrate vespers. Please get in touch with me if you can make it, and would like to be part of this initial connection with our local shrine of the Mother of God.

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May I ask requests for this week’s Thursday confession by 18:00, on Wednesday, please, with the intention to hear confessions before and after the service in St Alban’s Church, though I will happily head to Nazareth House for any confessions required in the evening.

Please remember our students and scholars Alexander, Stefan, Tara, Kalina, Henry, Ambrose and Jelena in your prayers at what is a demanding time of the year, with assignments, assessments and exams – and remember George, who has interviews coming up. Prayers for travellers are offered for Alla, and for her parents, and for Marina, who is visiting family in Ukraine. Among the sick we pray for Metropolitan Longin, Bishop Alexander, the priests Spyridon and Anthony, Ludmilla, Brigid, Annamieke, Dymphna, Yiannis and Foevos. Please remember them all in your home commemorations.

Christ is Risen!

Hieromonk Mark

Paschal Newsletter

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is Risen! Христосъ воскресе! Hristos a înviat! Χριστός ἀνέστη!

I hope that today has brought a brief rest for those who laboured greatly for the services of the Great and Holy Week and the Lord’s Pascha. For some, the labour was to sing, for others to read or serve, for others to give their time to cooking, baking, arranging flowers, sewing, and for some the tasks of setting up and putting away – the last seemingly menial, but necessary above most other things.

The first half of the week saw services in Llanelli, where the vesperal Liturgy of Great and Holy Thursday was celebrated in Father Luke’s home chapel, with the matins of Holy and Great Friday and the reading of the twelve passion Gospels in St Mary Butetown. We are very grateful to Father Dean and Georgina for the hospitality offered to us as St John’s was in use all evening.

Our choir and readers worked hard to make this a very beautiful service, as it was, despite the very minimal set up in the nave of St Mary’s.

Holy Friday saw our return to Canton, with the celebration of Vespers and the bringing out of the Shroud of the Saviour. Thanks to our reduced choir for again singing so well, as also in the evening Burial Service. We must also thank those who provided plain and simple fasting food for those needing a little sustenance before the long service and long journeys home for our Wessex parishioners.

On Holy Saturday, I was fortunate that matushka Alla brought me to Cardiff, where she and Svetlana arranged the flowers for the Paschal services, and the arrangements were plentiful and beautiful, with vases of flowers – some brought by parishioners and their offering at the Lord’s Tomb.

I was very blessed that Stefan and Mark gave hours of assistance setting up the church for the night service, allowing me to hear periodic confessions, including those of new visitors from Bristol and the west of England.

The service itself brought lots of new faces, as did the two services celebrated on Sunday morning and afternoon, after which Holy Communion was administered to those unable to be in church during the night for very good reason.

Our night services – with the triple procession around the church, matins with the Paschal Canon, many censings in different coloured vestments, the wonderfully encouraging Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom, then our wonderful Liturgy – overflowed with the joy and triumph of the Lord’s Resurrection.

Sunday morning saw the chanting of the Paschal Hours, and the communing of young children, with communion also administered after our Paschal Vespers.

This week will be relatively quiet, with confessions on Thursday (requests by 18:00 on Wednesday pleased). As indicated before, we do not have access to Nazareth House chapel until 17:00. If anyone is able to attend I will make myself available to hear confessions on Friday morning, but will do so in St Alban’s Church. For those who are unaware, the Oratory Church contains relics of the Holy Protomartyr of Britain, St Alban, and is a place where some of us often go to pray before his relics and icon.

Friday afternoon will see my departure to Warminster, where our Bright Saturday Hours and Liturgy will be celebrated in the Chapel of St Lawrence at 10:30, with a bring-and-share lunch after our service. It was lovely to welcome Cardiff parishioners last month, and I hope the coming months will see others make the journey across the Severn from South Wales.

Thomas Sunday Liturgy will be in St John’s at 11:00, as usual, with a litia to St George and St Alexandra, giving us the opportunity to greet and congratulate our young parishioners George, Yuriy and Sasha (Alexandra), who celebrated their nameday, today. We wish them Many Years!

In Bright Week, it is a custom to replace our home prayers with the Paschal Hours, and I encourage you to pray the Paschal Canon each day, if you are able, echoing with the radiant joy of the Resurrection.

Christ is Risen!

Hieromonk Mark