November 8/21: Canons for the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael

The Canon I to the Bodiless Hosts, the acrostic whereof is: “O ye divinely wise, let us solemnize praise to the assembly of the incorporeal ones …,” the composition of John the Monk, of Damascus

Ode, I Irmos: Let us, O ye people, send up a hymn * unto our wondrous God * Who hath freed Israel from bondage, * chanting a hymn of victory * and crying aloud:* We sing unto Thee, O only Master.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ye faithful let us all hymn the uncreated Trinity, Who doth govern all the immaterial ranks of the heavenly choirs, crying aloud: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Creator of the angels, Thou didst set as a beginning to Thy creations the immaterial essence which doth surround Thy most honored throne that it might cry out to Thee: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Rejoice, O Gabriel, initiate of the mystery of the incarnation of God, and Michael, foremost among the immaterial ranks, who unceasingly cry out: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

I tremble before the mystery of Thy condescension, O Christ; for, God in essence, Thou didst deign to be born from the Virgin as a man, that Thou mightest save the world from slavery to the enemy.

Canon II to the Bodiless Hosts, also the Composition of John of Damascus

Ode I, Irmos: The wonderworking staff of Moses, * striking and dividing the sea in the figure of a cross, * once drowned Pharaoh the pursuing charioteer, * while it saved the fleeing people of Israel * as they fled on foot, * chanting a hymn unto God.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Come ye, and, joining chorus, let us praise the noetic choirs of the incorporeal ranks, for they are divine ministers who unceasingly pray for our salvation and rejoice over our repentance.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The chief captains of the angels, chosen before others, the valiant commanders, the incorporeal intelligences, today arise for the celebration of the feast of their radiant memory. With them we also rejoice, offering a hymn to the Trinity.

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

O ye people, with spiritual joy let us be glad today with the angels, for Gabriel again announceth glad tidings: the union of the Churches and the destruction of all adverse heresies, in the commemoration of the supreme commanders.

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

O most pure one, through the Holy Spirit thou hast given birth unto the Word of the Father, Who transcending nature made His abode within thee, being of two natures and wills, yet immutably one in hypostasis; and Whose countenance we venerate.

Ode II, Irmos: Thy fear, O Lord, do Thou plant * in the hearts of Thy servants * and be Thou the confirmation of us * who in truth call upon Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

With strength, O Immortal One, hast Thou appointed the mighty ones who fulfill Thine all-holy will, ever standing before Thee in the highest.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Christ, accept those who pray on our behalf, the commanders of the angels, initiates of the mystery of Thine incarnation and Thine honored Resurrection.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou hast appointed angels as guardians for all mankind, in that Thou art compassionate; and Thou hast shown forth the ministers of the salvation of Thy favored ones.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

O Bride of God, thou hast ineffably conceived the Lord and Savior, Who delivereth from evil those who call upon thee in truth.

Another Irmos: O Lord, thou art the confirmation of those who flee to Thee, * Thou art the Light of those in darkness, * and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Michael, chief captain, foremost among the angels, as a secondary luminary of the Trinity hast thou revealed thyself to those who faithfully praise thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Having proclaimed the coming of God in the flesh, Gabriel faithfully filled the whole world with the effulgence of divine grace.

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

O ever-hymned couple, radiant and immaterial pair, show forth the light of God upon those who faithfully celebrate your memory.

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

O pure one, Isaiah hymned thine Offspring, Who transcendeth nature; and I too sing, that I may obtain His cleansing.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “That which was commanded …”: O ye captains of the heavenly hosts, foremost among those who are enthroned on high, and awesome in divine glory, O Michael and Gabriel, supreme commanders, chief captains of the angels, and all ye bodiless ones, ministers of the Master: praying unceasingly on behalf of the world, ask for the remission of the sins we have committed, and that we may find mercy and grace on the day of Judgment. (Twice)

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

Theotokion in Tone VIII: O pure and blessed one, who art full of divine grace, out of the compassion of thy tender compassion, with the hosts on high, the archangels and all the bodiless powers, unceasingly entreat Him Who was born from thee, that, before the end, He mercifully grant us forgiveness of sins and correction of life, that we may find mercy.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou didst mount Thy steeds O Lord, * Thine apostles, * and taking their bridles in Thy hands, * Thy chariot became salvation unto those who sing with faith: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst mount the angels like steeds, O Lover of mankind, and taking their bridles in Thy hand, Thy chariot became salvation unto those who unceasingly cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thy virtue covereth the angels, O Lover of mankind, and with Thy divine, glorious praise, O Beginningless One, filleth the ends of the earth, which cry out with them: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst go forth unto the salvation of Thy people, O compassionate Christ, summoning Thy friends, the powers; and Thy coming hath been gladness unto all who faithfully cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Thou hast been supra-naturally revealed to be both Virgin and Mother, O all-pure one; for thou hast given birth to Christ, both God and man, to Whom the ranks of the angels cry out with fear: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Another Irmos: Thou, O Lord, art my strength and Thou art my power, * Thou art my God and Thou art my joy, * Thou Who, while never leaving the bosom of Thy Father, * hast visited our poverty. * Therefore with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee, * ‘Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!’

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

In Jericho of old the great Michael, supreme commander of the hosts of the Lord and chief among the bodiless ones, appeared unto Joshua, son of Nun, who was waging war, and he gave them victory, fighting for him; and the servant of God, receiving power from him, conquering them with the spear by which the enemy was captured.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Once the great Gabriel, the truly divine archangel, chief among the bodiless hosts, appeared, bearing the glad tidings of a child to Zechariah the priest. Wherefore, the voice of the Word, who was born John, restoreth the voice of prophecy to his own father.

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

All the ends of the earth rejoice today with exceeding joy, O God, celebrating the honored memory of Thine archangels, the divine Michael and Gabriel of divine wisdom. And together with them all the ranks of angels rejoice, for by their protection the world is preserved.

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

Thou alone didst remain pure after giving birth, and only thou hast been shown to be without husband, O thou that with milk didst nourish the true Word of the Father, Who through the Holy Spirit assumed our form, that of a servant, O Virgin Theotokos. And venerating the divine likeness of His countenance, Him do we honour.

Ode V, Irmos: Guide me out of the night of ignorance * with the light of Thine understanding, O Lord, * for I am lost on the path that ensnares the soul, * and direct me to the way of Thy commandments.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Borne up to the heights by inexorable longing for Thee, O Christ, Thou ultimate of all desires, the angelic powers unceasingly glorify Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou hast made Thine angels noetic by nature and incorrupt by Thy grace, that they may hymn Thy majesty, O Christ, having fashioned them according to Thine image, O Unapproachable One.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Through their nearness to Thee, O Christ, Thou hast kept Thy servants un-inclined towards evil, for Thou art the Source of all goodness, and Thou doest good unto those who serve Thee as is meet.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Enliven my soul which hath been slain by vile passions, O all- immaculate one, for thou hast given birth unto the Preserver of life, and direct it to the path of eternal and blessed life.

Another Irmos: O Light never-waning, * why hast Thou turned Thy face from me * and why hath the alien darkness surrounded me, * wretched though I be? * But do Thou guide my steps I implore Thee * and turn me back towards the light of Thy commandments.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

When, of old, Balaam the prophet refused to submit to the ineffable and divine wonders of God, an angel appeared to his donkey at the crossroads and strangely denounced him, showing his irrational animal to be unnaturally rational.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

When Peter had been arrested and languished in prison, an angel of God appeared, delivering him from the hands of Herod, from bonds and death. Wherefore, come ye, let us all honor the wise angels as divine protectors of our souls.

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

O angels and archangels, ye divine powers of God, by your ever-offered supplications to God put an end to the uproar of battles, heresies in the Church and all temptations, and maintain us in peace.

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

We know Thee to be the God of creation: One in two natures, two actions and wills, though uncommingled, the Son of God Who took flesh from a woman, whose image depicted in Icons we venerate.

Ode VI, Irmos: Thou O Lord, didst place Jonah alone within the sea monster. * Do Thou save me, * who am ensnared in the nets of the enemy, * as thou didst save him from corruption.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

By Thy Word, O Lord, Thou didst in a godly manner bring the heavenly beings, the immortal hosts, out of non-existence, making them luminous.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Honoured initiates of the mysteries of the praise of God have ye been, O incorporeal ones, citizens of heaven, truly divine tabernacles, who serve the Creator as is meet.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thee, O beginningless Son of God, do the noetic ranks of the bodiless ones unceasingly praise and glorify as the Creator and Fashioner of all things.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

O most pure one, thou hast been deemed worthy to cradle in thine embrace Him Who eternally sitteth with the Father in the highest. Render Him merciful unto us, thy servants, O pure one.

Another Irmos: Cleanse me, O Savior, * for many are mine iniquities; * lead me up from the abyss of evils I pray Thee, * for unto Thee have I cried, * and Thou hast hearkened unto me, * O God of my salvation.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Taking flight in mind away from material corruption, let us with fear honor the immaterial ones who are bodiless like flames of fire and light, chanting hymns unto them with lips of clay.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Calm the tempests of the passions, O archangels, and quell all revolts against the Faith, for ye are the holy and fiery chief commanders of the Trinity.

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

O captains Michael and Gabriel, ye chief commanders and archangels of God, leaders of the bodiless ones, preserve us from all heresies by your protection.

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

O Christ, being incorporeal in that Thou art God, Thou didst manifest Thyself incarnate from the womb of her who knew not a man, and, as man, thou wast a bearer of our flesh, Whose likeness we honour, O ye faithful.

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, in Tone II: Supreme Leaders of God’s armies * and ministers of the divine glory, * princes of the bodiless Angels and guides of mankind, * ask ye for that which is beneficial for us, and for great mercy, ** as Supreme Leaders of the Bodiless Hosts.

Ikos: In Thy Scriptures, O immortal Lover of mankind, Thou didst say that a multitude of angels rejoiceth in heaven over one man that repenteth. Wherefore, O- Sinless One, Who alone knowest the hearts of all people, amid our transgressions we ever make bold to beseech Thee to have compassion and send down compunction upon us, unworthy though we be, granting us forgiveness, O Master; in that Thou art compassionate, for the supreme commanders of the bodiless host entreat Thee on behalf of us all.

Ode VII, Irmos: The Hebrew children in the furnace * boldly trampled upon the flames, * changing the fire into dew, they cried aloud: * ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, throughout the ages’.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Compassionate One, Thou didst reveal the immaterial essence of Thine angels to be light, for they are unceasingly filled with Thine ineffable light, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The myriads of ministering angels cannot endure to behold the sight of the Countenance before which they unceasingly stand, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst create the nature of the angels by Thy hypostatic Word, and having sanctified it by the divine Spirit, O God, Thou didst teach it to bless the Trinity throughout all ages.

Most Holy Trinity our God, glory to Thee.

Mindful of the three hypostases, we glorify the un-circumscribed essence of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

Another Irmos: The Children of Judaea, * who of old came to dwell in Babylon, * trampled underfoot the flame of the furnace * through their faith in the Trinity, * as they sang: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.’

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Come ye, O human race, and with the choirs of the bodiless ones let us worship, celebrating on this auspicious day the memory of the wise archangels of Christ, singing: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God of our fathers!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Of old, Abraham the God-seer, and the glorious Lot, gave shelter to the angels, in that they were hospitable, and they found fellowship with the angels, crying: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God of our fathers!

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

To the valiant Manoah and the most wise Tobit appeared the angels who give rewards for the struggles of life as is meet; and once the Angel of the children quenched the flame in the fiery furnace.

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

All that is ours by nature didst Thou take from the Virgin, except change, O Jesus, and with the fathers we proclaim Thee to be of two natures, but One in hypostasis; and, depicting the visage thereof, we faithfully venerate it.

Ode VIII, Irmos: Glorified in the holy mountain, * the Lord revealed the mystery of the Ever-Virgin unto Moses * in the flames of the burning bush: * praise ye and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Let us emulate the life of the angels and wing our thoughts to the heights, and with them let us immaterially chant unto the Lord, hymning and supremely exalting Him throughout all ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The angels, heavenly members of the chorus which doth surround the throne of glory and ever dance about God, hymn and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Most Holy Trinity our God, glory to Thee.

The Trinity, which unceasingly maketh its ministers a flame of immate- rial fire in the highest and doth show forth its angels as spirits, let us worship and glorify throughout all ages.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Him before Whom myriads of angels and archangels stand in trepidation wast thou deemed worthy to bear in thine arms, O Theotokos, pray thou that those who glorify Him may be saved throughout all ages.

Another Irmos: In his wrath the Chaldean Tyrant made the furnace blaze, * with heat fanned sevenfold for the servants of God; * but when he perceived that they had been saved by a greater power * he cried aloud to the Creator and Redeemer; * ‘ye children bless, ye priests praise, * ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages’.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Michael the archangel is chief among the angels; but with him Gabriel is also radiantly glorified as the initiate of the mystery of grace, the honored one who obtained the consent of the Virgin, the champion leader of the bodiless ones; and they both proclaim joy unto those who cry: O ye people, exalt Christ supremely throughout all ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ezekiel, beholding the ranks of angels in their divers forms, proclaimed, prophesying: ‘Among them six-winged seraphim stood in intercession, and many-eyed cherubim surrounded them; and with them I saw most radiant archangels glorifying Christ throughout all ages’.

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

How the dread coming of Thy second Judgment will be was foretold by Daniel in revelation: ‘The thrones were set, and the Ancient One sat, and He let in the myriads of angels who stand with fear and cry out with incessant voices to the Trinity throughout all ages’.

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

The Word, Who is consubstantial with the Father and the Spirit, of His own will manifested Himself from the Virgin is like unto us, not mingling one with the other of the two natures of His awesome union. For He showed Himself to be One and the Same in both, in two natures, and one hypostasis. And now we bow down before the image of His likeness.

Ode IX, Irmos: Thou hast passed the limits of nature, * having conceived the Maker and the Lord, * and didst become a door of salvation * unto the world; * wherefore we unceasingly magnify thee, O Theotokos.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Christ, Who hast ineffably united those who are in heaven with those who are on earth, and made one Church of angels and mortals, Thee do we unceasingly magnify.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O ye angels and archangels, thrones, virtues and dominions, principalities and powers, cherubim and seraphim: pray ye with the Theotokos on behalf of the world.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Michael and Gabriel, who are shown to be leaders of all, visit those who with love honor your most festive memory and faithfully cry aloud: Save us from all evil circumstances!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O holy bride of God! Rejoice, thou that didst give birth unto the Light of the world for the faithful! Rejoice, rampart and shelter of us all! Do thou unceasingly entreat God on our behalf, for He is our Benefactor.

Another Irmos: Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, * we confess thee to be truly the Theotokos, * and together with the choirs of the bodiless hosts * thee do we magnify.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ye have shown yourselves to be champions for the infirm, for those who sail the sea and those who are in need, O Michael and Gabriel, first among the bodiless hosts.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Gabriel, in that thou dost hold chorus with the divine powers and thrones, and art the champion leader of the angels and an initiate of the mysteries of God, pray thou to the Saviour for us.

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

In that ye are the protectors of the world and commanders of the hosts on high, entreat ye the Saviour on our behalf.

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

Together we glorify thee, O Theotokos, for thou dost save us from the passions and dost fulfill those of our supplications which are to our benefit.

Troparion of the Angels, Tone IV: O supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts, * we entreat you unworthy as we are, * that by your prayers, you will encompass us * with the protection of the wings of your immaterial glory * preserving us who fall down before you and earnestly cry aloud: * deliver us from all misfortunes, ** for ye are the commanders of the hosts on high.

Sunday 20 November: Looking Forward to Our Return to Nazareth House

Dear brothers and sisters, 

Thanks to all who laboured for the celebration of today’s service, and to everyone for their patience given the number of confessions today and the delayed start to Liturgy. 

Today’s Liturgy was one tinged with sorrow, as we prayed for the repose of the soul of the newly departed Andrzej and Sara: a double loss for the Pietraszkewicz family, with Lukasz having lost both brother and goddaughter within days. Following Liturgy, I celebrated a panikhida, and we will continue to remember the newly-departed, praying for their repose in a place of refreshment, light and peace. May the Lord remember them in His Kingdom, and may their memory be eternal! We pray for all who sorrow and mourn at this sad and difficult time, commending them to the maternal care and protection of the Mother of God. 

As announced after Liturgy, today’s service was our penultimate celebration in St John’s, as we will be returning to Nazareth House for the first weekend in December, at the beginning of the Nativity Fast. I was very happy to visit and spend time with Sisters Aquinas and Marie, and the greatly-missed Morag the West Highland Terrier, yesterday – entering the church for the first time since the beginning of lockdown. 

After a series of ‘false-starts’ and disappointments, we will be returning just over five years since we first arrived in Cathays, and will do so with so many new parishioners who have never been inside the convent church. So much has happened since our initial arrival, with a whole series of baptisms, parishioners travelling from England for Liturgy, and so much growth in our community. 

The Sisters have missed our parish presence greatly and look forward to welcoming us back, to being surrounded by icons and having Orthodox worship within the House once more. We know that even in such a long absence, so many prayers have been offered before the shrines and icons. We have not been forgotten, and the imprint of Orthodoxy remains. 

I will be having further discussions with Sister Anna, the new superior on her return from a week away, and will confirm our new timings.

Though the Fathers of the Oratory are no longer Catholic chaplains to the univeristy, they retain spiritual care for Nazareth House and its residents, as well as the convent, and we are grateful for their ongoing support and concern for the Russian Orthodox parish faithful and clergy.

Father Luke, Deacon Mark and I will be in London for the diocesan clergy convocation from Thursday to Saturday and will be able to meet brother clergy from across our vast Western European Diocese as we celebrate services together and discuss diocesan and parish life. As I still feel under the weather, and will no doubt be very tired after these days away, there will be no possibility of hearing confessions on our return journey on Saturday.

Sunday morning confessions will be for those who did not confess this weekend, and who are preparing to commune of the Holy Mysteries. Those who have confessed this weekend may be blessed to commune next weekend unless a pressing need for confession arises. 

May I ask those requiring confession next week and who did not confess today to email me by Friday evening, just to establish how many will need to be confessed before Liturgy. 

We ask your prayers for Svetlana’s daughter, Julia, who will be returning to Ukraine for a week, for Lukasz who left for Poland today, for Masha and Neil, who are in Cyprus, and for our clergy who will be travelling to London from so many countries within Western Europe. We ask the Lord to bless their journeys. 

Looking forward to the week ahead, we celebrate some notable commemorations: 

  • Monday 8/21 – The Synaxis of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel and the Other Bodiless Powers. 
  • Tuesday 9/22 – St. Nectarius (Kephalas), metropolitan of Pentapolis (1920) and the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “She Who Is Quick to Hear” of Docheiariou, Mt. Athos (10th c.). 
  • Wednesday 10/23 – The commemoration of the beginning of the torture of Great-Martyr George (303). 
  • Thursday 11/24 – The Great-Martyr Menas of Egypt (304) and Blessed Maximus of Moscow, the fool-for-Christ (1433). 
  • Friday 12/25 – St. John the Merciful, patriarch of Alexandria (616-620) and Blessed John “the Hairy,” fool-for-Christ, of Rostov (1580). 
  • Saturday 13/26 – St. John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople (407). 

I will post lives of the saints and some of their canon as the week progresses. Please try to celebrate the saints in your daily prayers. 

May God bless you all. 

In Christ – Fr Mark  

The Canon to the Holy Hieromartyr Antipas

Dear brothers and sisters,

It was only on receiving news of the ill-health of one of our parishioners, that it struck me that many of our newer parishioners and converts to Holy Orthodoxy may be unaware of the intercessory help of the Holy Great Hieromartyr Antipas of Pergamum for those suffering from dental problems. For centuries the Slav faithful have turned to St Antipas for help in times of physical pain and affliction.

I have posted the life of the saints from oca.org and also attach the canon to St Antipas, who is commemorated on April 11.

The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68).

During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of Holy Church.

“And to the angel of the Church of Pergamum write: the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is, and you cleave unto My Name, and have not renounced My faith, even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:12-13).

By his personal example, firm faith and constant preaching about Christ, Saint Antipas began to turn the people of Pergamum from offering sacrifice to idols. The pagan priests reproached the bishop for leading the people away from their ancestral gods, and they demanded that he stop preaching about Christ and offer sacrifice to the idols instead.

Saint Antipas calmly answered that he was not about to serve the demons that fled from him, a mere mortal. He said he worshiped the Lord Almighty, and he would continue to worship the Creator of all, with His Only-Begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit. The pagan priests retorted that their gods existed from of old, whereas Christ was not from of old but was crucified under Pontius Pilate as a criminal. The saint replied that the pagan gods were the work of human hands and that everything said about them was filled with iniquities and vices. He steadfastly confessed his faith in the Son of God, incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin.

The enraged pagan priests dragged the Hieromartyr Antipas to the temple of Artemis and threw him into a red-hot copper bull, where usually they put the sacrifices to the idols. In the red-hot furnace the martyr prayed loudly to God, imploring Him to receive his soul and to strengthen the faith of the Christians. He went to the Lord peacefully, as if he were going to sleep (+ ca. 68).

At night Christians took the body of the Hieromartyr Antipas, which was untouched by the fire. They buried him at Pergamum. The tomb of the hieromartyr became a font of miracles and of healings from various sicknesses.

We pray to the Hieromartyr Antipas for relief from toothache, and diseases of the teeth.

The Canon of the Holy Hieromartyr Antipas of Pergamum, the acrostic whereof is: “I honour Antipas, radiant among the martyrs”, the composition of Joseph, in Tone IV:

Ode I, Irmos: Through the deep of the Red Sea, * marched dry shod Israel of old, * and by Moses’ outstretched hands, * raised in the form of a cross, * the power of Amalek was routed in the wilderness.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Illumined by the radiance of the grace of the threefold Sun, O martyr Antipas, do thou illumine those who celebrate thy radiant feastday, delivering us from the darkness of the passions.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

The Word of God showed thee to be a true witness of His sufferings, O all-wise one, who hast destroyed impiety and vanquished all the wickedness of the demons.

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

Having mortified the wisdom of thy flesh with much asceticism, thou wast arrayed in the sacred vesture of the divine priesthood; and didst offer the un-bloody sacrifice of Him Who became mortal for thy sake.

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

With the radiance of thy light illumine my heart, which is mired in the night of passions and temptations, O all-immaculate Maiden, who ineffably shone forth the Sun of righteousness upon all.

Ode III, Irmos: Thy Church, O Christ, rejoiceth in Thee crying aloud: * Thou, O Lord, art my strength, * my refuge and foundation.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst pour forth rivers of doctrine, giving drink to the faithful, and drying up the turbulent waters of polytheism.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst cut down the might of the persecutors by the might of Christ, O blessed one, and suffering patiently thou hast received the crown of martyrdom.

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

Thou didst enlighten those who worshiped demons to worship the true God Who, in the richness of His compassion, bore mortal flesh, O venerable one.

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

Thou hast given birth to the Redeemer Who hath delivered us all from the captivity of the enemy, O pure one. Wherefore, we piously glorify thee.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone III: Enkindled with the divine embers of the love of God, O martyr Antipas, thou didst quench the flame of ungodliness; and, thrust into a heated cauldron, thou didst depart into never-waning Light. O venerable father, entreat Christ God, that He grant us forgiveness of sins.

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

Theotokion, Tone III: Without separating Himself from the divine Essence when He took flesh in thy womb, the one Lord remained God though He had become a man; and even after thy birthgiving He preserved thee, His Virgin Mother, as immaculate as thou wast before giving birth. Him do thou earnestly beseech, that He grant us great mercy.

Ode IV, Irmos: Beholding Thee, the Sun of righteousness, * lifted up upon the cross, * the Church now standeth arrayed and doth worthily cry aloud: * Glory be to Thy power, O Lord.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

The opposition of the most iniquitous ones did not shake the pillar of thy heart, O martyred passion-bearer; wherefore, aflame with zeal for the Faith, thou didst shown thyself to be mightier than fire.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Awakening those held fast by the slumber of impiety, O all-praised one, by the teachings of the Holy Spirit thou didst raise them up to the understanding of true knowledge.

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

Thou didst bring low the loftiness of the demons, yearning for God with exaltation, O Antipas, deified by divine ascents and known to be a God-seer.

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

Thou wast preserved after giving birth as thou wast before birthgiving, O incorrupt Virgin Mother; for thou hast given birth to the Creator of all, Who through thee voluntarily took upon Himself a human body.

Ode V, Irmos: Thou, O Lord, who camest into the world, * art my light, * a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance * those who sing Thy praises in faith.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst ascend the mountain of the virtues, O blessed one, and noetically enter into the uttermost darkness, and there converse with God.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

With the nets of thy words, O holy hierarch, thou didst draw forth from the abyss of ungodliness lost souls, and saved them by grace.

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

Thou gavest thy body over as food for the fire, O holy hierarch, richly receiving divine dew from God.

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

The Lord, Who is supremely divine in godly form, having assumed my form, made His abode within thy womb, O all-immaculate one.

Ode VI, Irmos: The church crieth out unto Thee O Lord, * ‘I will sacrifice unto Thee with a voice of praise’ * having been cleansed of the blood of the demons’ * by the blood that for mercy’s sake flowed from Thy side.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Having crucified thy members by asceticism and struggled in fasting, O blessed Antipas, thou wast crowned with the struggles of martyrdom, which thou didst undergo with firmness of mind.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst stand before the tribunal, preaching the incarnation of Him Who abased Himself for thy sake, Who stood before the tribunal of Pilate and hath slain the enemy by the Cross, O passion-bearer.

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

The Church, wherein thy patient body lieth, O blessed martyr, is a source of healing for the sick, emitting the divine effulgence of the gifts of the Spirit.

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

Holy is Jesus, O Virgin Maiden, Who made His abode within thy womb, and Who resteth in the saints and glorifieth those who glorify Him with true
faith.

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 IV: O most wise Antipas, the iniquitous consumed thee who tended well the sheep of God, with fire as a lamb of the flock of Christ the Chief Shepherd; and thou didst chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode VII, Irmos: In the Persian furnace the youths and descendants of Abraham, * burning with a love of piety * rather than by a flame of fire, * cried aloud saying: * Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Emulating the three young children, O wise Antipas, thou didst stand in the midst of a cruelly heated brass vessel as they did in the midst of a furnace, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

That thou mightest be shown to be a partaker of the Light, enlightened by God thou didst pass through the darkness of the evil demons, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God my Lord!

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

Through the activity of the Spirit, O martyr Antipas, thou dost assuage the divers sufferings of men, emulating the sufferings of Christ, and crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God my Lord!

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

The Word, Who with the Father is unoriginate, was truly incarnate of thy virginal blood, O Maiden, setting aright our broken state. Blessed art thou among women, O most immaculate Sovereign Lady!

Ode VIII, Irmos: Having spread his hands, Daniel closed the lions jaws * in their den; * while the zealously pious youths, * girded with virtue, * quenched the power of the fire and cried aloud: * Bless ye the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Now that thou beholdest the ultimate of good things, not in reflections or indistinct images, but face to face, transcending all shadows, thou dost cry out joyously to Him Who hath glorified thee: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

O most wise Antipas, the iniquitous consumed thee who tended well the sheep of God, with fire as a lamb of the flock of Christ the Chief Shepherd; and thou didst chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

Thou didst set the feet of thy heart firmly upon the rock of the divine commandments, and the winds of cruel torments and the tempests of blandishments could not shake thee, O most wise Antipas, who chanted: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

As the Mother of the Creator of all, as the divine temple of the Almighty, as the unploughed ground which produced the uncultivated Grain, O Virgin Mother, preserve the faithful who cry: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX, Irmos: A cornerstone not cut by hand O Virgin, * was cut from thee the unhewn mountain: * even Christ, Who hath joined together the disparate natures; * therefore rejoicing we magnify thee, * O Theotokos.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

As a hierarch thou didst finish the sacred race, most sacredly reaching the end of thy most sacred life, O holy hierarch, and, rejoicing, thou didst run to Him Who was beloved of thee, O most sacred martyr Antipas.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Being comely in aspects of the virtues, O most sacred one, thou wast sanctified by the glory of martyrdom, and didst pass over to the comely Lord, O God-pleaser, now deified by communion with Him.

Holy Hieromartyr, Antipas, pray to God for us.

Aflame with love for the Lord, O martyr Antipas, thou didst eagerly enter the heated vessel, and being wholly consumed, O father, thou didst offer thyself to God as a pleasing sacrifice.

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

The sacred shrine of thy sacred relics, O blessed one, poureth forth the myrrh of healings, dispelling the fetid passions and manifestly perfuming those who glorify thy memory.

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

Bearing in thine arms Christ Who beareth all things in His hand, O pure one, entreat Him as God and Master, that He take pity upon us who ever confess thee to be the pure Theotokos, O immaculate Lady.

Troparion, Tone IV: As thou didst share in the ways of the apostles * and didst occupy their throne, * thou didst find thine activity to be a passage to divine vision, * O divinely inspired one. * Wherefore, ordering the word of truth, * thou didst suffer for the Faith even to the shedding of thy blood, ** O Hieromartyr Antipas, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Another Troparion, Tone IV: Thou didst demolish the false idols, O Antipas, * and trampling underfoot the power of the devil, * thou didst boldly confess Christ in the face of those who fought against God. * Wherefore, dwelling in the highest with the ranks of the angels, * sending up glorification to the Master of all, * thou dost offer supplication of thanksgiving on our behalf, * granting us the grace of healing: * wherefore, we honour thee. O hieromartyr Antipas, ** entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved

6/19 NOVEMBER: ST PAUL THE CONFESSOR

Saint Paul the Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople, was chosen to the patriarchal throne after the death of Patriarch Alexander (+ 340), when the Arian heresy had again flared up. Many of the Arians were present at the Council which selected the new Archbishop of Constantinople. They revolted in opposition to the choice of Saint Paul, but the Orthodox at the Council were in the majority.

The emperor Constantius, ruling over the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, was an Arian. He was not in Constantinople for the election of the Archbishop, and so it took place without his consent. Upon his return, he convened a council which illegally deposed Saint Paul, and the emperor banished him from the capital. In place of the saint they elevated Eusebius of Nicomedia, an impious heretic. Archbishop Paul withdrew to Rome, where other Orthodox bishops were also banished by Eusebius.

Eusebius did not rule the Church of Constantinople for long. When he died, Saint Paul returned to Constantinople, and was greeted by his flock with love. But Constantius exiled the saint a second time, and so he returned to Rome. The Western emperor Constans wrote a harsh letter to his Eastern co-ruler, which he sent to Constantinople along with the holy exiled archpastor. The threats worked, and Saint Paul was reinstated upon the archepiscopal throne.

But soon the pious emperor Constans, a defender of the Orthodox, was treacherously murdered during a palace coup. They again banished Saint Paul from Constantinople and this time sent him off in exile to Armenia, to the city of Cucusus, where he endured a martyr’s death.

When the Archbishop was celebrating the Divine Liturgy, Arians rushed upon him by force and strangled him with his own omophorion. This occurred in the year 350. In 381, the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great solemnly transferred the relics of Saint Paul the Confessor from Cucusus to Constantinople. In 1326, the relics of Saint Paul were transferred to Venice.

Saint Athanasius the Great, a contemporary of Saint Paul, writes briefly about his exiles, “Saint Paul the first time was sent by Constantine to Pontus, the second time he was fettered with chains by Constantius, and then he was locked up in Mesopotamian Syngara and from there moved to Emesus, and the fourth time to Cappadocian Cucusus in the Taurian wilderness.”

Troparion, Tone 3: For confessing the divine faith, among her priests the Church hath shown thee to be another Paul. Abel cries out to the Lord together with thee, as does the righteous blood of Zachariah. O Venerable father, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion , Tone 4: O Paul, thou didst shine, on the earth like a star of heavenly splendour; now thou enlightenest the universal Church for which thou dfidst suffer, for thou hast laid down thy life, and thy blood cries out to the Lord like that of Zachariah and Abel.

The Holy Emperor, John Vatatzes the Merciful (+ 1254)

On the fourth of this month [November], we commemorate the holy, glorious, divinely-crowned emperor John Doukas the Vatatzes and Merciful, born in Didymotheicho in the year 1193, and departed for the Lord in Nymphaeum, Magnesia in the year of our salvation 1254.

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Verses

Below thou didst bear a crown as emperor,

Above thou art now welcomed by the King, O glory!

+ + +

Having, O John, heaven as a dwelling place,

Thou meetest Constantine, the great the former emperor.

John met his end and hasteneth towards the perfect on the fourth.

The Christ-loving Emperor John had as his homeland the great city of Adrianople, whose ancestors were leaders of the royal senate. His grandfather Constantine, called the Vatatzes, was a military commander under Manuel Komnenos (1143–1180). When the parents of this emperor died, he inherited a great amount of wealth, which he distributed to the poor, and provided offerings to the divine temples and churches. He then went to Nymphaeum in Bithynia, where at that time the palace and seat of the emperor of Constantinople was located. There he found his paternal uncle, a clergyman of the priesthood, near Emperor Theodore Laskaris (1204–1221). Through his uncle, he became friends with the emperor. He was not full of pride due to this friendship however, but he always presented himself before others with humility. Wherefore he was loved by all, having a revered disposition, being sensible in life, and possessing a gladsome expression in his eyes. He was easily approachable to everyone, mild, guileless, calm, conversant

After his father-in-law Emperor Theodore died, the gracious John came to rule as emperor in 1222. He therefore became a fervent protector of all those who were unjustly treated, showing measure in justice. He also came to be known to all as a source of mercy, which is why he came to be called “Merciful.” Likewise he was known for his piety and zeal for the Orthodox faith. Wherefore the renowned one became the cause in his time for the Jewish race to be baptised. He also received zeal in his heart to bring about union between the Eastern Church and the Western, for which ambassadors were sent from Pope Gregory IX of Rome. And there was a dialogue between East and West, with the leader of this dialogue being Patriarch Germanos the New of Constantinople. And he would have brought about the longed for peace, if only the westerners were willing to retract the addition to the Symbol of Faith.

This merciful emperor heard a divine voice noetically say: “The crucified will rise, the boastful will fall, and the fallen and crushed will arise.” This strengthened him, and he set out to slaughter in single combat the boastful Sultan Azeddin, who upon leaving Iconium, razed the cities along the valley of Meander. Having governed therefore in a God-loving manner the ship of the universal kingdom, the thrice-blessed one delivered his soul in peace into the hands of God at the age of seventy-two, and his honourable body was buried in the Monastery of the Saviour Christ, which the emperor himself had built, and renamed Sosandra. Later, through a revelation of this same emperor, his holy body was transferred to the city of Magnesia.

A great miracle took place when his holy relic was transferred from this tomb and brought to Magnesia. For when his tomb was opened, a foul smell did not issue forth from it, but there came forth a fragrance and grace that was mixed with pleasure and sweetness, as if it was an aromatic and fragrant garden. And his corpse appeared as if it was seated on a royal throne, without having lost any limbs, having no bruises, or odour, or any sign of being dead. Despite the fact that he had been buried seven years before, it seemed as if he were alive, while his limbs moved naturally and his cheeks were pink. Even his royal robes were preserved as if they had been sewn that very day. In this way, God glorifies those who glorify Him. Since that time, this honourable relic which lies in Magnesia, has done many miracles, curing illnesses, exorcising demons, healing other sufferings as well, by the grace of God contained within, for all those who flee to him with faith.

Apolytikion in the First Tone: The radiant king and great boast of the faithful, the pride of Didymoteichou, let us honour John in hymns and spiritual odes, as we celebrate his memory, that we might richly be rewarded, crying out together: Glory to Christ Who glorified thee, glory to Him Who crowned thee, glory to Him Who grantest  us, through thee, healing for all.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone: Today, John, the divine ruler, flees his earthly kingdom for the Kingdom of Heaven, leaving for eternity merrily.

Oikos: The Lord, Who foresaw before his birth the good nature of his soul, the uprightness of his heart, and his proclivity to choosing the good path, chose John Vatatzes to be ruler of the faithful. Having the name of mercy, and being arrayed with many graces, he now is alive in heaven, and after his death hath been shown forth to be a spring of wonders and a stream of healings, and he drives away the spirits of error. Therefore, having rightly and manfully completed his path in God, and having kept the faith, he flees for the Kingdom of Heaven, leaving for eternity merrily.

The Akathist to the Holy Great Martyr, George the Trophy-Bearer

Kontakion 1: Unto thee, O champion leader and victorious Saint George, we offer a hymn of praise as unto our intercessor and speedy helper. Do thou, holy Great Martyr, as one who hath boldness before the Lord, deliver us from dangers of all kinds that we may cry unto thee:  Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Ikos 1: The Creator of angels and Maker of all creation hath revealed thee unto His Church as a guardian and passion-bearer for the faith. Thou art an inspiration for us, and we lift up praises unto thee for the ascetic labours of thy sufferings, Saint George, in this manner:

Rejoice, thou who didst love unto the end Jesus, the Son of God.

Rejoice, thou who didst lay down thy life with love for His Name.

Rejoice, confessor called forth by God.

Rejoice, spiritual athlete glorified by the grace of God.

Rejoice, thou who dwellest with the angels.

Rejoice, thou who art the equal of the prophets.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 2: Beholding how the wicked idolaters were persecuting the Christians, thou didst not fear their wiles and tortures, divinely wise George. As a good soldier of Christ, thou didst distribute all thy possessions among the poor, and then didst voluntarily run to that ungodly gathering, singing unto Christ, thy commander and God: Alleluia.

Ikos 2: Mentally comprehending the One God divinely worshipped in Three Persons, with a firm mind thou didst confess Him before the assembly of the ungodly. Thus, thou didst expose the unwise king’s foolish worship of creation. In admiration of thy lofty love of wisdom, Saint George, accept from us these fervent praises:

Rejoice, wise preacher of the One True God.

Rejoice, faithful advocate of the All-Holy Trinity.

Rejoice, thou who didst manifest the great mystery of the True Faith unto the unbelievers.

Rejoice, thou who didst expose the deception of idol worship.

Rejoice, revelation of holy wisdom.

Rejoice, image of divine inspiration.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 3: The power of God, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, did visit thee also, whilst thou wast suffering in prison, O George wise in humility. Thou didst despise all the corruptible things of this life as chaff. Thou didst faithfully cling unto Christ alone, that after fighting the good fight for His Name, thou mightest be granted eternally to chant with the angels: Alleluia.

Ikos 3: Possessing a mind and heart enlightened by the Holy Ghost, by His inspiration thou wast fervent to struggle for the Name of Christ, even unto blood. Standing courageously in the faith, thou didst expose the puffed-up pride of the ungodly congregation. Let us, then, come to thee, most wonderful George, singing praises unto thee:

Rejoice, shield lifted for preservation of piety.

Rejoice, sword raised for the beheading of evil.

Rejoice, confirmation of the Christian Church.

Rejoice, comfort of those gathered in prayer.

Rejoice, encouragement of the faithful.

Rejoice, fear and disgrace of the unbelievers.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 4: The mad persecutor, breathing murder against thee, O passion-bearer George, longed for thy blood like a thirsty dog, ordering thy body stretched out on a wheel and giving thee over unto the most evil torments. Wherefore thou, taking strength in the Lord, with hope and trust in God didst cry aloud: Alleluia.

Ikos 4: When Diocletian and the priest of the idols heard words of wisdom from thee, they were enraged with hatred for thee, and even more so when thou didst say: O tormentor king, why dost thou torture me in vain? For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. The faithful therefore humbly cry unto thee, O George of great fame, in this way:

Rejoice, thou who didst shed thy blood upon the wheel for thy courageous confession of the Faith.

Rejoice, thou who didst magnify the triumph of the Faith by thy blood.

Rejoice, zealot together with the apostles.

Rejoice, imitator of the voluntary Passion of Christ.

Rejoice, unshakable champion of the Faith.

Rejoice, passion-bearer harder than adamant.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 5: Thou wast as a star sent by God, O Saint George, for with thy miraculous healing and release from the wheel by an angel before the eyes of all, thou didst enlighten the unbelievers to believe in the Trinity in One Essence, and to sing unto Him together with thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 5: The people beheld the miracles of the power of God so clearly taking place in thee, and meekly accepted the teaching of Christ from thee. They cried aloud, saying: Truly great is the God of the Christians. It is fitting that we also sing praises unto thee, George worthy of glory, and so we cry out thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst disperse the darkness of unbelief by the radiant word of salvation.

Rejoice, thou who didst convert unbelievers unto Christ by thy martyr’s confession of faith.

Rejoice, thou who didst lead legions of earthly soldiers unto the heavenly army.

Rejoice, thou who dwellest with the heavenly hosts as a soldier of Christ.

Rejoice, glory of courageous soldiers.

Rejoice, beauty of the all-radiant choirs of martyrs.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 6: Zealous in faith, like unto those Spirit-bearing preachers, the apostles, thou wast crucified unto the world, O Martyr George. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster, thou wast hurled headlong into the furnace of the lime pit — that through thy life might be manifested the glory of the Lord Who is wondrous in His saints. Henceforth in the lime pit as in a temple of glory, thou didst noetically cry out: Alleluia.

Ikos 6: Having shone forth in His Resurrection from the tomb on the third day, Jesus, the Almighty Conqueror of hades and death, did save thee from corruption, O victorious George. After three days thou wast found alive in the lime pit, with thy hands lifted and singing unto God. The ungodly were sore afraid and stricken with terror, but we rejoice and compose a hymn of victory unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who didst cast down the puffed-up pride of the devil by thy being cast down in disgrace into the lime pit.

Rejoice, thou who didst overcome the persecutor’s bestiality by thy miraculous salvation from God.

Rejoice, for as one without guile, thou didst pray as for benefactors for those who worked evil against thee.

Rejoice, for thou wast zealous for their conversion as Paul was for the Jews.

Rejoice, man of spiritual desires.

Rejoice, victor through the power of Christ.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 7: Desiring by any means to ensnare thy heart for service to the idols, the wicked persecutor contrived to mislead thee by magical spells. Therein thou, chosen of God, didst cry out with David: In God is my salvation and my glory, and didst faithfully chant unto Him: Alleluia.

Ikos 7: That evil servant of Satan, Diocletian , revealed a new villainy. In his insane zeal for the idols, he ordered thee to be given poison, Saint George, but thou wast filled with faith and hope. Even though thou didst drink the deadly poison, yet thou didst remain unharmed, O praised-one of God. We marvel at thy holiness and sing unto thee:

Rejoice, for thou wast not disgraced by thy hope in the living God.

Rejoice, for thou didst count thy torment as nothing.

Rejoice, expeller of soul-destroying demons.

Rejoice, destroyer of the wiles of magicians.

Rejoice, through thee God is shewn to be wondrous in His saints.

Rejoice, through thee the Name of Christ is piously glorified.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 8: There came to the wicked king a strange and terrible counsel from a certain wizard: that he command thee, as proof of the truth of the Christian Faith, by thy word to resurrect a dead man. Thou, Saint George, having no doubt whatsoever, didst sing unto Him Who is not the God of the dead but the God of the living: Alleluia.

Ikos 8: The all-desirable and Sweetest Jesus, Whom thou lovest with all thy soul and heart, most blessed George, attended to the fervent prayer of thy faith and speedily commanded the resurrection of the dead man at thy word. This was to the glorification of His Name and the confirmation of the faithful, so that the unbelievers and the blind might be astounded and thereby gain knowledge of God. For this reason, we dutifully cry unto thee:

Rejoice, through thee the Lord of hosts manifested wonders.

Rejoice, through thee He resurrected a dead man from the tomb.

Rejoice, thou who didst grant the mental vision of faith unto the blinded wizard.

Rejoice, thou who didst shew the way to the Holy of Holies unto many who suffered for Christ.

Rejoice, astonishment of Rome.

Rejoice, exaltation of the Christian race.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 9: All the angels rendered praise unto God, Who granted thee such courage, victorious George, that even when locked up in prison thou didst not cease to keep vigil in prayer. As a great communicant of the mystery of divine grace, thou wast vouchsafed to behold the Lord in a vision. He crowned thy head with the crown of incorruption, so that we might cry out with thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 9: The learned orators are unable with their rhetorical tongues to render worthy praises unto thee, Martyr George, for thy labours and sufferings which thou didst assume voluntarily for Christ and the Church. We also, not knowing how to properly praise thee, chant this hymn with faith:

Rejoice, by thy voluntary suffering for Christ and the Church thou didst crucify the old Adam in thyself.

Rejoice, by thy courageous suffering thou didst receive a crown of righteousness from the Lord.

Rejoice, rule of pious zeal.

Rejoice, model of self-sacrifice.

Rejoice, for thou didst please not thyself, but Christ alone.

Rejoice, for thou wast prepared for any form of death for the sake of thy Saviour, Christ.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 10: Desiring to save the souls perishing in idolatry, O Saint George, lover of God, thou wast zealous for God like Elijah. Entering into the temple of the idols, by the power of God thou didst drive out the demons, shattering the idols and putting the priests to shame. Thereafter as conqueror, not with men but with angels, thou didst chant unto God: Alleluia.

Ikos 10: More unfeeling than a wall, thy hard-hearted tormentor, O Great Martyr, did not see God, Who so clearly worked miracles through thee, but to the end remained as an asp, stopping his ears. He commanded thee to be executed as a criminal by beheading. Though grieving over the loss of his soul, thou didst joyfully accept thine end, for which we praise thee with love in this manner:

Rejoice, thou who didst keep faith, hope and love unto the end.

Rejoice, thou who didst work many great miracles at thy beheading.

Rejoice, thou who wast crowned to the glory of God’s goodwill toward those on earth.

Rejoice, thou who wast adorned with majesty in Heaven.

Rejoice, man of God.

Rejoice, good soldier of Christ.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 11: Thou didst render a hymn unto the Most Holy Trinity exceeding others, holy Saint George, not in word and mind only, but by the living sacrifice of thy whole self. Imitating Him Who was crucified for us, Christ the Lamb without blemish, thou didst voluntarily lay down thy life for thy friends. Even though we are incapable of praising such courage as thine, for no man hath greater love than this, yet being grateful we sing unto Him Who is wondrous in the saints: Alleluia.

Ikos 11: A light-receiving lamp of the True Light art thou to those on earth, Saint George, chosen of God, for thou dost enlighten the hearts of the faithful and dost guide them all unto divine understanding, instructing us also to joyfully cry aloud:

Rejoice, for thou dost dwell in the all-radiant angelic mansions.

Rejoice, for thou dost commune of the never-waning light of the Trinity not in a mirror, but face to face.

Rejoice, provider for the needy and defender of the wronged.

Rejoice, healer of the infirm and support of kings.

Rejoice, champion of Orthodox soldiers in battle.

Rejoice, fervent intercessor for the salvation of sinners.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 12: Knowing the grace granted by God, we celebrate thy memory, Great Martyr George. Running with fervent prayer to thy miraculous icon, we are protected by thine all-powerful help in the Lord as by an invincible wall. In praise of thine aid to others, we fervently cry unto God: Alleluia.

Ikos 12: Hymning thy glorious end, by which thou wast magnified as a good soldier of Christ, we pray thee, O passion-bearer and helper in all good for us: Protect us as we earnestly cry unto thee:

Rejoice, by thee the Church of the faithful is enlightened.

Rejoice, for thy name is praised even among the infidels.

Rejoice, wondrous glory of the confessors.

Rejoice, lofty praise of the martyrs.

Rejoice, protector of those who honour thy memory.

Rejoice, deliverer of those who confess Christ God.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Kontakion 13

Most blessed and holy Great Martyr George, accept our hymn of praise and deliver us from every evil by thy fervent intercession unto God, so that we may sing with thee: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. (Repeat three times)

Kontakion 1: Unto thee, O champion leader and victorious Saint George, we offer a hymn of praise as unto our intercessor and speedy helper. Do thou, holy Great Martyr, as one who hath boldness before the Lord, deliver us from dangers of all kinds that we may cry unto thee:  Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

Ikos 1: The Creator of angels and Maker of all creation hath revealed thee unto His Church as a guardian and passion-bearer for the faith. Thou art an inspiration for us, and we lift up praises unto thee for the ascetic labours of thy sufferings, Saint George, in this manner:

Rejoice, thou who didst love unto the end Jesus, the Son of God.

Rejoice, thou who didst lay down thy life with love for His Name.

Rejoice, confessor called forth by God.

Rejoice, spiritual athlete glorified by the grace of God.

Rejoice, thou who dwellest with the angels.

Rejoice, thou who art the equal of the prophets.

Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer.

A Prayer: Great Martyr George, we hasten to thee for triumph over every torment and distress and over all pride and passion, that we may glorify Jesus Christ as zealous conquerors of this world and heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom. We acknowledge our unworthiness of such holy victory but, in praise of the courage, hope and trust which thou hast demonstrated throughout thy life and into thy martyrdom, we lovingly beseech thine aid in battle against sin. Pray for us, Saint George, that we may be granted the grace to confess the Faith before others and to fulfil the Commandments under all circumstances and among all people. Let us witness of Christ the Lord that everyone might see His radiant light and believe in His holy teachings. Amen

Consecration of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George in Lydda

The city of Lydda (Lod) is the birthplace of the Great Martyr George the Victorious. His mother’s house was there, where he spent his childhood. The Holy Great Martyr George was a Roman soldier, he suffered under Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia at the beginning of the IV century. His relics were transferred by Christians to their homeland, Lydda, and there he was buried.

The tomb where the relics of the Great Martyr were laid is now located in an Orthodox church dedicated to the Great Martyr George. In the temple itself there is a piece of the relics of Saint George, as well as the chain with which the Great Martyr was bound.

The first church was built here in the VI century. The temple was destroyed several times and was restored in its present form only in 1872, thanks to donations from Russia. The consecration of the restored temple took place on November 3, 1872, the anniversary of the day when it was first consecrated. The Russian Church remembers and celebrates this event until the present day. This Feast is included in the Menaion, in honor of the churches built and dedicated to Saint George in Russia.

It was also in Lydda that the Apostle Peter healed Aeneas, who had been lying paralyzed for eight years (Acts 9:32-35).

Troparion, Tone 4: O liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, Trophy-Bearer and Great Martyr George, ntercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion, Tone 8 (Podoben: “O Victorious Leader…”): We the faithful flee to thee for refuge seeking thy protection and speedy help, we entreat thee, O Champion of Christ, that we who sing thy praises may be delivered from the snares of the enemy  and from every peril and adversary,  that we may cry: “Rejoice, O Martyr George!”

The Past Weekend


Dear brothers and sisters, the weekend and days before it have been rather different to our normal parish routine, given the unavailability of St John’s at the weekend.

After an early return from Glastonbury for a medical appointment, I was able to use the time at the end of the week to catch up with a few of our young parishioners, who are a joyful antidote to the ageing and aches and pains of the more ‘mature’ among us. Praise God for our young parishioners!

Confessions on Friday afternoon and evening preceded compline in St Mary’s, and I was glad to be able to spend the night in Cardiff before travelling to Cheltenham with Deacon Mark on Saturday.

Our Cheltenham Liturgies are always a great blessing and a source of joy, and the past Saturday was no different. Having not had a weekday Liturgy for St Demetrios, we ‘caught up’ and honoured the Holy Great-Martyr by our celebration, mindful that three of our young parishioners had venerated his sacred, myrrh-flowing relics in Thessaloniki only weeks before.

The sun shone through the chapel windows and bathed our Liturgy with great light and warmth, though the warmth of trapeza was just as great, as we gathered round the table welcoming those for whom the Liturgy was a first in Cheltenham. Our sisters provided a wonderful lunch, prepared with great care and love – introducing our non-Slavs to wonderful home made Ukrainain and Russian food. It was a blessing to have such a social and convivial time, extending the fellowship of the Liturgy to our agape meal, which is such an important part of community life.

With no Cardiff Liturgy on Sunday, some of our parishioners took the opportunity to worship with Father Sorin and our Romanian sister-parish, where they were welcomed with great warmth and were happy to share the Liturgy with friends, experiencing the Romanian spiritual tradition. Thanks go to Laura-Elena who translated Father’s sermon for our ROCORites. We thank all in the Romanian parish for their love in Christ: la mulți ani!

Here in Llanelli, Father Deacon Mark served the Liturgy with Father Luke, whilst I took to the kliros, quite enjoying a change of role, for once.

On such a sunny, warm day it was a joy to be in the little garden chapel with the small but friendly congregation, and to then enjoy a very warm and sociable meal together. I must admit that having a little free-time on a Sunday afternoon, praying and walking through a carpet of fallen leaves, was a rare and very welcome treat!

Today is the feast of the Holy Unmercenary Healers, Cosmas and Damian, and I encourage you to ask the intercessions of the Holy Healers for the sick – especially for the servants of God Nikolai, Vyacheslav, Aleksey, Vadim, Angela, Mary-Louisa, the child Sergei, the child Kyrill, and for the non-Orthodox relatives of our parishioners, Celine and Paul.

Given my ongoing health problems and the possibility of the arising need for unplanned appointments, we will not meet on Friday evening, though I will make myself available for confessions this week, and will be making some parish visits.

May I ask for confession requests by 22:00 on Wednesday, and I will communicate with parishioners to make arrangements on a suitable day and time.

May God bless you all, and I ask for your continued prayers.

In Christ – Fr Mark

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Homily: The 22nd Sunday After Pentecost

Luke 8:26-39: At that time, Jesus and His disciples arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.  

 

In The Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  

In the Gospel for the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, we encounter the demoniac dwelling in the tombs, benighted and chained by the powers of darkness that controlled him, spiritually-dead and spiritually-decaying whilst still in the world – hardly alive in the miserable, possessed existence that he led, robbed of freedom, dignity, and personhood in his nakedness and enslavement.  

The tenth century monk, Blessed Notker the Stammerer, famously wrote “Media vita in morte sumus… In the midst of life, we are in death…,” and although this refers to us all in our common human mortality, in the case of the possessed man of the Gospel we see this truth in a very graphic and specific way, as he dwelt among the tombs as a possessed and living corpse.  

In many ways, his situation, through the demonic hold upon him, was only a concentration and magnification of the existence of all of the Gadarenes who rushed to the scene when they heard of the miracle of his deliverance and healing – not to rejoice, nor to celebrate and fall down at the feet of the Saviour and glorify Him, but rather to ensure His departure, as His mere presence threatened and challenged the way of life that they did not want changed, as they failed to even appreciate their own spiritual captivity.  

The demons who possessed the tomb-dwelling man recognised Christ, asking, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not”, yet the Gadarenes were insensate to the Saviour, despite the obvious wonder that He had wrought.   

They were in fearful awe seeing the former demoniac “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind”, but as soon as they learned the details and the loss of their pigs they wanted the Miracle-Worker gone and far away from them, and like the demons their attitude was “what have we to do with you?” Awe changed to fear for themselves and their way of life as they beheld the challenging power of Jesus. 

Their profane attachments to the world, summed up in their reaction to the loss of their pigs (an unclean, impure, and forbidden animal in Jewish society) were more important to them than Christ’s power and message.

They wanted no participation in the miracle; no share in true freedom; no part in Christ’s promise; preferring their worldly attachments, uncleanness and impurity symbolised by the herd of swine – and all because they did not want to change, fearing all that Christ represented as He stood before them.  

How little the world has changed, as we look around and find ourselves surrounded by Gadarenes who do not wish to hear the voice of the Saviour in His Gospel and in His Church, and the challenges that His message brings to lifestyles, choices, attachments, ideologies, -isms and worldly passions that have become a way of life.  

Modern day Gadarenes believe themselves free, though they are as shackled and as much in bonds as the man dwelling in the tombs. They do not want change; they do not want challenge; they fear both. They are too attached to life as it is, even though it is like the pigswill that failed to fill the Prodigal Son, no matter how much he ate. 

Society lives out the maxim we read in the sayings of St Anthony the Great, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us’.”   

There are those who see our Faith as a madness and tyranny that enslaves us, unlike them in the ‘sanity’ and ‘freedom’ of their living-death, passionate attachments and spiritual-slavery.  

But our challenge is to be a contrast to this, and to ALWAYS be like the healed and exorcised man, as “he went his way, and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done unto him.”  

The dangerous truth is that we so often vacillate between behaving as the healed man and the Gadarenes, with their attachment to the swine. We cannot have it both ways, 

He could so easily have slipped back into being no different to them despite his new found freedom. The release from the demonic power that possessed him was only a beginning and the starting point of his new-life in which he begged the Lord to receive him as a disciple, to live alongside Him and follow Him from place to place. But, such was the Lord’s will that the man’s discipleship was to be in his own country, proclaiming the great things that God had done for him.

The liberation of this man who had dwelt in the tombs can be seen as a token and foreshadowing of the resurrection, just as our exorcism, baptism and clothing in our baptismal robe are the beginning of our life in the Risen Saviour and the resurrection in the age to come. But, like the new beginning after the driving out of the man’s demons, the new birth of our baptism is no guarantee of continued and sustained new life in Christ unless we are willing to follow, obey and embrace the freedom we have been granted and the salvific promise made to us. 

We cannot vacillate between freedom and slavery, neither can we embrace and accept change that we like and which suits us, whilst rejecting the need for change, involving the rejection of things and behaviours to which we are attached and with which we are comfortable, despite their harmfulness and destructive power in our lives. 

No… we cannot swing between being like the healed man and the Gadarenes. We have a choice, between freedom and the swine-attachments, between liberated personhood in Christ or the dissolution of self, and loss of personhood in spiritual slavery.

When Jesus encountered the paralysed man at the Pool of Bethesda, He asked “Do you want to be made well?” 

It is not enough for each of us to simply answer “Yes”. We must be willing to do everything to preserve our freedom and growing wholeness in Christ, by following Him and rejecting all that can make us sick again, and possibly even worse than we were at the starting point of our first encounter with the Saviour. 

Having being led through the waters of baptism from slavery and the tyranny of the spiritual-pharaoh to the promised land and freedom of life in Christ, let us not look back and long for the fleshpots of Egypt. 

Serving the Lord with gladness, we must reject all that comes between us and life in Christ, even if we initially miss what is harmful, despite the fact that it may have brought gratification and pleasure in our past lives. What is harmful is so often like this. 

We cannot have freedom and slavery; we cannot cling to the swine, whilst being called to obedience and sacrifice. 

Our life has to be simple and spiritually focussed, not divided and contradicting itself. This can often seem like a challenge, but there is no other way for us to live in Christ as we long for the resurrection and the life of the age to come.

Let us rejoice in the spiritual freedom of our present life, even if it a struggle and challenge, going our way proclaiming the great things that God had done for us.

Amen. 

The Akathist to the Holy Great-Martyr Demetrios

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings as we celebrate the feast of the Holy Great-Martyr St Demetrios the Myrrhstreamer, whose sacred relics continue to pour forth the sign of God’s mercy for the suffering world.

Let us turn to him, praying for a world plunged into darkness and confusion – in some ways so similar to the world of St Demetrios: full of godlessness, tyranny, idolatry, falsehood, lies and violence.

Having great confidence in his intercessions for the people of Christ, we take comfort in the prayers and miracles of the saints, whom God has given us as intercessors and helpers, proclaiming through them His love and mercy to the world.

Holy Great-Martyr Demetrios, pray to God for us!

The work of St. Athanasios Patelarios, of Crete, bishop of Thessaloniki.

Kontakion I: O ye faithful, let us praise with hymns and divine praises the Myrrhstreamer, who hast deposed the cruelty of the tyrant, and conquered the audacity of Lyaios, and preached Christ as God clearly, and let us cry out to him: Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Ikos I: Angels were astonished in heaven, beholding the godless rage of the tyrant and as thou wast put to death by his decree, O Demetrios, we cry out to you thus:

Rejoice, sacred pinnacle of the martyrs,

Rejoice, joyous radiance of the saints.

Rejoice, for thou wast placed in a pit as one condemned,

Rejoice, for thou didst ascend to Heaven as one without a body.

Rejoice, dweller in the ranks of the angels,

Rejoice thou who didst bear the tortures of the tyrant.

Rejoice, for thou despisest the wiles of the enemies,

Rejoice, for thy soul now dwellest in Heaven.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion II: The divine Nestor, beholding himself in manliness, approached the king with boldness: “Thine exceeding danger appears as an abomination to my soul. For I will put to death the godless Lyaios, crying out: Alleluia.

Ikos II: Having godly knowledge, O Demetrios the boast of martyrs, thou didst say to the tyrant: “From soulless matter [i.e. idols], how is possible to give birth to God? Speak to me.” To [the Martyr], the faithful who honour God cry out with fear:

Rejoice, most-radiant lamp of Thessaloniki,

Rejoice, for thou didst overcome Lyaios in victory.

Rejoice, thou who pourest forth divine myrrh from thy grave,

Rejoice, thou who bearest divine zeal in thy heart.

Rejoice, for thy blood was a purifying bath,

Rejoice, for through thee there is blotting out of sins.

Rejoice, thou who deposest the delusion of the idols,

Rejoice, thou who hast censured the mania of tyrants.

Rejoice, for thou healest the suffering of bleeding,

Rejoice, thou who hast offered thy soul from its depths.

Rejoice, for thou hast delivered Marinon from leprosy,

Rejoice, thou who didst send forth thy beloved Istron.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion III: Power from heaven then strengthened Nestor to fight, and he took up arms against the utterly strong Lyaios, and with swift hand, he struck him down as dead, and therefore cried out to the Saviour, chanting: Alleluia.

Ikos III: Having the divine desire to obtain the body of Demetrios, the pious Emperor [Justinian] went, but as he did not desire this, fire came forth from his grave threatening death. And he said to him such words in fear:

Rejoice, unemptying river of wonders,

Rejoice, irrevocable icon of traumas.

Rejoice, for thou didst not grant thy relic to him who didst seek,

Rejoice, for thou grantest sanctification to those who venerate thee.

Rejoice, for thou didst summon fire from thy divine grave,

Rejoice, for thou who didst censure the mania of the tyrant.

Rejoice, for thou deposest the worship of the idols,

Rejoice, for thy body was pierced with spears.

Rejoice, for thy blood was given as drink to the godless,

Rejoice, for thou sanctifieest the whole world with thy body.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion IV: Having godless confusion and evil thoughts, the senseless king was enraged, beholding the martyr not preaching the delusion of the idols. We, beholding the unjust slaughter of the saint at his hands, cry out: Alleluia.

Ikos IV: The ends of the world heard of the murder of Demetrios at the hands of the senseless tyrant, and beholding him dead, they hastened to him, seeing the sacred wonders that he pourest forth throughout the whole world, as they honour him, saying:

Rejoice, thou who tradest the corruptible things for the heavenly,

Rejoice, thou who hast deposed the counsels of the evil ones.

Rejoice, thou who joinest chorus with the bodiless angels,

Rejoice, thou who didst enter the land of the greatly-suffering saints.

Rejoice, thou who servest together with the spotless cherubim,

Rejoice, thou who walkest together with the pure seraphim.

Rejoice, for thou hast served the Lord of Lords,

Rejoice, for thou bearest within the seat of divine thrones.

Rejoice, most-fervent fellow servant with the angels,

Rejoice, most-wise fellow counsellor with the archangels.

Rejoice, sacred adornment of the venerable,

Rejoice, radiant rejoicing of the martyrs.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion V: Perceiving Demetrios to be a God-bearer, the most fervent man hastened to be delivered through him from the terrible demon. And having touched his deliverer, he rejoiced in the Lord, crying out: Alleluia.

Ikos V: Leontios, the son of the Orthodox, formerly saw the unspeakable might of the martyr, and desiring to come to him, he sought for Istron to hasten to pass by him with his robe, and cried out to him:

Rejoice, thou who through thy robe didst work awesome wonders,

Rejoice, thou who didst not bear stains of offences.

Rejoice, for thy streams have become our own.

Rejoice, for thou didst drive back the campaigns of barbarians,

Rejoice, for thou dwellest amongst the thrones of the Martyrs.

Rejoice, thou who didst drive away the plague from Thessaloniki,

Rejoice, our sun which shinest upon the faithful.

Rejoice, thou who deliverest from the love of idols,

Rejoice, thou who deliverst all from the bonds of slavery.

Rejoice, thou who grantest grace to all those who approach thee,

Rejoice for thou ever dwellest with those who praise thee.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion VI: The deluded became preachers of the corruption of souls, as they hastened through Thessaloniki, performing idolatrous acts and preaching godlessness everywhere, and as the martyr left the tyrant like a mule, he said: Alleluia.

Ikos VI: The divine Nestor, shining together with the sacred Demetrios, drove away the darkness of error, for they anathematised the idols steadfastly, and cast them down, whilst the faithful who were saved cried out to those strugglers:

Rejoice, Demetrios, O firm support,

Rejoice, Nestor, O splendid pride.

Rejoice, thou who didst grant strength to Nestor,

Rejoice, thou who didst grant corruption to Lyaios.

Rejoice, thou who didst firstly censure the blind tyrant,

Rejoice, thou who secondly didst keep St. Demetrios’s example.

Rejoice, thou who didst receive death by spears,

Rejoice, thou who receivest incorruptible life through the sword.

Rejoice, thou who wast murdered in prison like a convict,

Rejoice, thou who wast preached throughout the world as one immortal.

Rejoice, thou who before death didst work awesome deeds,

Rejoice, thou who after death workest wonders.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion VII: The holy twain of martyrs then passed from this world, as the sacred martyrs had greatly endured lawless murder. Therefore, those who behold this are astonished, and cry out to the Lord: Alleluia.

Ikos VII: A new song was found, as we bitterly sing the funeral hymn to Demetrios, for he was slaughtered by a godless tyrant, and did not sacrifice to the idols. We therefore hymn him and fervently cry out:

Rejoice, thou who wast placed dead in a grave,

Rejoice, thou who ridest throughout the world as one alive.

Rejoice, for thy blood wast shown to be a new cleansing bath,

Rejoice, for thy soul hast company with the Angels.

Rejoice, for thou art hymned from the ends of the earth,

Rejoice, for they draw forth from thy fragrant myrrh.

Rejoice, lamp amidst the martyrs,

Rejoice, ray of divine graces.

Rejoice, thou who wast dyed with your holy blood,

Rejoice, thou who wast sanctified in thy divine body.

Rejoice, thou who didst receive diamond crowns,

Rejoice, for thou now dwellest in the halls of the ever-memorable.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion VIII: Beholding a strange wonder, the idols were moved by the bravery of the martyrs. Therefore, he who now dwellest on high givest bravery to those who dwell on the earth to take courage, and aim their arrows at the idols. To him we now cry out: Alleluia.

Ikos VIII: Having his mind wholly on things above without departing from the earth, was the most-pure martyr, for he didst clearly conquer the delusion of the idols, and preached Christ with boldness, hearing thus:

Rejoice, for thou wast killed for the sake of Christ thy God,

Rejoice, for thou desirest the joyous things of Paradise.

Rejoice, for thou didst travel the upper road to Heaven,

Rejoice, for thou inhabitest the dwelling-places of the pure.

Rejoice, for thou dost now travel with the angels,

Rejoice, for thou hast come to dwell with the saints.

Rejoice, for thou didst preach thy Christ like a holy trumpet,

Rejoice, for thou dwellest in the spotless mansions of Paradise.

Rejoice, thou who dost put forth myrrh from thy godly body,

Rejoice, thou who dost scoff at the rubbish of the godless,

Rejoice, for thou didst break asunder the intrigues of rulers,

Rejoice, for thou didst trample upon the delusion of the idols.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion IX: Thou hast received every grace from heaven, O Martyr Demetrios, and preached, paradoxically, that the inaccessible God didst become man, being the Son of God. Therefore, to Him let us cry: Alleluia.

Ikos IX: O Martyr Demetrios, thou didst show the many words of the orators of the tyrants to be foolish, for they were astonished at how thou didst strongly condemn the delusion of the idols. We, being astonished at this paradox, cry out to thee:

Rejoice, rose of virginity,

Rejoice, pinnacle of continence.

Rejoice, thou who didst live purely before thou wast killed,

Rejoice, thou who after thou wast wast killed wast led towards God.

Rejoice, thou in whom the light of God was planted,

Rejoice, thou in whom the grace of the Trinity didst make its dwelling.

Rejoice, length and breadth of the pious,

Rejoice, sharp sword against the faithless.

Rejoice, thou who shinest with the rays of the sun,

Rejoice, thou who drivest away the mania of the tyrant.

Rejoice, tree bearing the fruits of many graces,

Rejoice, for thou didst bear the shoots of many victories.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion X: Saving the Orthodox from the delusion of the godless idols, thou didst come straightaway, O Martyr, and didst preach the Lord as perfect God to the deluded and idiotic tyrant, crying out to him: Alleluia.

Ikos X: Thou art the shelter of the Martyrs, O Champion and Martyr, and all those who take refuge in thee, for thou hast revealed the Maker of heaven and earth to all, and deposed the tyrant and the idols. Therefore, we cry to thee:

Rejoice, deliverance for those in sickness,

Rejoice, saviour of those continuously bleed.

Rejoice, thou who sowest grace among all those who hymn thee,

Rejoice, for thou art a pillar of grace.

Rejoice, divine power, the casting-down of idols.

Rejoice, pure dwelling-place of God,

Rejoice, chaste type of Christ.

Rejoice, for thy blood didst become as a new baptism,

Rejoice, thou whose body didst receive death.

Rejoice, bridge leading those who die from earth to heaven,

Rejoice, for thou art a guide to the faithful.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion XI: We thy servants all offer funeral hymns at thy grave, O Martyr, shedding tears and offering odes and psalms to thee, for we are not at all worthy of what has been accomplished through thee, as befittest thy grave, but we cry out to the Saviour: Alleluia.

Ikos XI: Thy grave, O martyr, hast been shown to be light-bearing, shining forth with grace like light. For all who approach are suddenly granted joy and health, whilst we who approach thee cry out:

Rejoice, thou who preservest thy Church unharmed,

Rejoice, thou who didst trample upon the wiles of the evil one.

Rejoice, for thou hast driven back the nation of the Slavs,

Rejoice, for thou hast trampled upon the rule of the idols.

Rejoice, thou who hast uprooted the pride of the barbarians,

Rejoice, thou who castest out the conceit of the tyrants.

Rejoice, thou who hast preserved thy city unharmed,

Rejoice, thou who didst shake the delusion of the godless one.

Rejoice, thou who didst punish Onesiphoros for his theft,

Rejoice thou who hast uprooted the danger of the idols from the earth.

Rejoice, sure consolation of those who take refuge in thee,

Rejoice, salvation of the souls of those who approach thee.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion XII: Bearing grace from above, O Demetrios, thou didst drive out all the campaigns of enemies. Thou hast preached Christ to the ranks as a steadfast foot-soldier of grace, and didst cast down the idols, chanting with everyone: Alleluia.

Ikos XII: We hymn the wonder thou hast worked, O Martyr, as thy city was preserved victorious, as thou didst appear like a god to the faithless, sending forth angels speedily, saying: “Drive them far away from the city”. Therefore, we cry out:

Rejoice, for by thy will thy city was saved,

Rejoice, for through thy strength the enemy wast cast down.

Rejoice, thou who didst meet Achilleos in thy flight,

Rejoice, thou who didst send out Nestor with thy strength.

Rejoice, thou who drownest Lyaios in blood,

Rejoice, thou who didst rage against the faithless in spirit.

Rejoice, thou who strengthenst thy city through thy presence,

Rejoice, for if thou wouldst leave her, thy city would be lost.

Rejoice, thou whose grave is beloved by the writers of hymns,

Rejoice, thou who puttest to death falsehood through thy might.

Rejoice, thou who dost grant us a sea of graces,

Rejoice, thou who sowest the mercy of thy myrrh within all.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion XIII: O twain of Martyrs, who didst preach Christ as the surpassing Word before all, receive these funeral hymns and odes, and through thy prayers deliver us from every danger, and from the coming trial those who cry out to the Lord: Alleluia. (Thrice)

Ikos I: Angels were astonished in heaven, beholding the godless rage of the tyrant and as thou wast put to death by his decree, O Demetrios, we cry out to you thus:

Rejoice, sacred pinnacle of the martyrs,

Rejoice, joyous radiance of the saints.

Rejoice, for thou wast placed in a pit as one condemned,

Rejoice, for thou didst ascend to Heaven as one without a body.

Rejoice, dweller in the ranks of the angels,

Rejoice thou who didst bear the tortures of the tyrant.

Rejoice, for thou despisest the wiles of the enemies,

Rejoice, for thy soul now dwellest in Heaven.

Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.

Kontakion I: O faithful, let us praise with hymns and divine praises the Myrrhstreamer, who hast deposed the cruelty of the tyrant, and conquered the audacity of Lyaios, and preached Christ as God clearly, and let us cry out to him: Rejoice, O Martyr Demetrios.