The Canon to St Varus for Those Who Have Died Without Baptism

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Translated from the Church Slavonic by the reader Isaac E. Lambertsen from The Holy Martyr Varus:

Prayers for Those Who Have Died Unbaptized, 5th printing (Moscow: Dunkan Service, 1996), pp. 4-13.

Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved by the translator.

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

Celebrating the Glorification of St John of Kronstadt

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today the Russian Church Outside of Russia celebrates the canonisation of our Holy and Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, that bright luminary, who shone through the gathering storm clouds and darkness in the last days of the Imperial Russia.

At the time of the canonisation in 1964, the Church Abroad was the only free part of the Russian Church, with its prophetic voice championing the plight of the martyric suffering of the faithful in the Soviet Union, whilst the Bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate fervently denied the persecution of the Church, especially before western commentators, despite the renewed, savage attacks on the Church under Krushchev, who had died only weeks earlier.

Despite its poverty and numerical insignificance, our Russian Church Abroad struggled to preserve the Faith and the legacy of Holy Russia – and continued that life and legacy in exile and the emigration.

It was clear that the Church in captivity could not canonise such a holy and light-bearing spiritual giant as St John, clearly glorified by God among the choir of the Saints in the Heavenly Church. So, in 1964, our Russian Church Outside of Russia, as the free voice of Russian Orthodoxy glorified St John – an event so long awaited by the faithful in the homeland and in the emigration. The Moscow Patriarchate would not declare St John a saint for another twenty six years.

In this event, we not only reflect upon the holiness and awe-inspiring life and ministry of St John, but also on the importance of our Church Abroad in championing and preserving the inheritance and legacy of our Faith, rejecting compromise and the ‘dumbing down’ of Orthodoxy, the perversion of the tenets of Faith to suit nationalistic and political agendas, communion with schismatics, the cancer of ecumenism that still spreads its deathly cells throughout the ‘Orthodox’ world, and the temptation to accommodate the Church to the fallen world, with its politically correct, hellish agendas.

This is why recognising St John up as a beacon of Orthodoxy and holiness was so important in 1964, and remains so important at the present time, when we are surrounded by darkness… but darkness that is dispelled by the light of God’s Glory shining in the lives of His saints and in His Holy Church.

Let us pray to St John for the Church and the suffering-world, and for us to have the courage and strength to tread the Royal Path that leads to the Kingdom of God.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us!

The Canon to St John of Kronstadt 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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Make firm my senses and mind, O my Savior, that I may worthily hymn the supplications and struggles of Thy servant John our father, who loved Thee and was beloved of Thee.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

O blessed one who from thy youth wast forechosen to chant unto the first-called apostle in his holy temple, illumined with the radiance of the Cross thou didst flee the gloom of sin, unceasingly offering up prayers and hymnody to God our Savior.

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

On a chariot of the virtues didst thou mount to heaven, as once did Elijah on a chariot of fire; hence, beseech thou the Lord that He send down upon us correction of life.

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

Through thee, O Virgin Theotokos, we who were once deprived of life in paradise have received everlasting life; for thou hast given birth unto Him Who alone is without beginning and giveth life unto all.

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

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

As one who shared in the manner of life of the apostles and wast an emulator of their life, O divinely inspired one, thou didst set forth the word of truth unto the end.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

The eye of thy soul beheld the kingdom of heaven, for it was pure; wherefore, thou didst splendidly set forth thy life, and, honoring it in God, we glorify thee.

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

Let him who doth not labor not eat! These words of the Apostle Paul didst thou proclaim to thy brethren; wherefore, thou didst raise up a house of industry for the sake of the poor, wherein the impoverished and ailing might be provided for, being sustained by the work of their own hands.

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

Thou art wholly light, all-goodness, all-wisdom; thou canst, as Mother of the Almighty, do all things; thou alone art all-perfect, in that thou art the Mother of the all-perfect King of glory.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone VIII: O blessed John, lamp of Kronstadt, thou whose activity and preaching were continual, who offered up before the throne of the Most High lamentation over the sins of many, and who in the Spirit beheld the bowing down of the heavens at the holy liturgy: Pray thou on behalf of our souls!

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 VIII: O ye faithful, with hymns let us magnify the Theotokos, * the unshakable confirmation of the Faith * and the precious gift of our souls: * Rejoice, thou who didst hold within thy womb the Stone of life! * Rejoice, thou hope of the ends of the earth * and aid of the sorrowful! ** Rejoice, thou Bride unwedded!

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Having a firm foundation in Christ, thou didst imitate Abraham of old in thy hospitality, receiving those who came to thee from all lands, and leading them to the Lord; and thus didst thou do that which is pleasing unto God.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Desiring to make thy heart a temple of God, it was thy wish to serve unceasingly in the house of God, adorning thy soul with the beauties of heaven.

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

Having extinguished all the passions of the body with the dew of thy feats, thou didst kindle the light of dispassion; wherefore, thou wast shown also to be a child of the everlasting day, O blessed father.

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

The divine Ezekiel, O most pure one, called thee prophetically the gate which was closed, through which He Who alone is pre-eternal hath passed without change, granting His peace.

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Unceasingly serving thy Lord and ever emulating the labors of the apostles, O father, thou wast deemed worthy of heavenly gifts.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Having slain the passionate pleasures of thy corruptible flesh, thou didst enliven thine incorruptible soul with piety, and make of it a house of the divine Spirit.

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

Earnestly proclaiming the Gospel of Christ unto all, thou wast a daily communicant at the banquet of the Lord, making thyself and thy flock a living offering which was holy in God’s sight.

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

O most pure one, thou hast given birth unto One of the Trinity, Who, for the sake of His loving-kindness, appeared on earth in two natures; Him do thou unceasingly entreat, that He save our souls.

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a fruitful olive tree in the house of thy Lord, O divinely manifest John, for the Lord imparted divine knowledge unto thee and strengthened thee in thine apostolic work.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Ye are the members of the body of Christ! Thus, with the Apostle Paul didst thou preach, teaching thy flock to love Christ alone, that all may be one.

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

Thy life is holy, thy discourse, O divinely wise one, was filled with the grace of God, and thy heart became a vessel of grace-filled prayer. Wherefore, with faith and love we honor thee.

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

The angelic hosts marveled at the ineffable wonder which took place within thee, O most holy Virgin; how He Who is incorporeal and sustaineth all things took flesh from thee.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone IV: O father John, namesake of grace, * who wast chosen by God from childhood, * who in thy youth miraculously received from Him the gift of learning, * and in a dream wast most gloriously called to be a priest: ** Entreat Christ God, that we may all be with thee in the kingdom of heaven.

Ikos: The Holy Spirit Who spake in the prophets and enlightened the whole world through the apostles, Who gave strength to the martyrs and made clear the Orthodox Faith through the holy hierarchs, poured forth His grace abundantly upon thee, O father John; for by thy discourse, by thy works and thy whole life thou didst proclaim the faith of Christ. Wherefore, the Lord hath summoned thee to His habitations; and as thou dost now stand before the throne of His glory, do thou pray that all who honor thee may be with thee in the kingdom of God.

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

By the providence of God thou wast revealed to be a light of piety amid the heavy darkness of godlessness and unbelief, O father, calling upon all to cry aloud: Blessed art Thou in the churches of Thy glory, O Lord!

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Man is formed in the image of God; and thou, O father John, wast a most splendid mirror of the love of God and a dwelling place of the Holy Trinity, Whom we sinners also glorify.

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

From the Lord didst thou receive the grace to heal the infirmities and passions of all; visit us also therewith always, that with thee we may all chant in oneness of mind: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, throughout all ages!

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

O Lady, save thy people, save those who are of the same blood as thee. Save us, O Mother of life and of the whole human race, and, even though we are unworthy to call thee our mother, sanctify, make steadfast and save us by thy supplications.

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Cleanse our hearts and thoughts by thy supplications, and show us forth to be fertile ground, that, girded about with virtue, we may cry aloud: Bless the Lord all ye works of the Lord!

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Thou wast crowned with a crown of gifts of grace, contemplating heavenly wisdom and ever crying aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

Glory to Thee, O most holy, life-creating Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father and ever restest in the Son! Glory to Thee, O Son of God, Who sanctifiest through the Holy Spirit, and strengthenest and makest us wise! Glory to Thee, O Father, Who art ever well pleased with us through the Holy Spirit! O indivisible Triune Unity, have mercy upon us!

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

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to the salvation of the world! for through thee we have been raised up from earth to heaven! Rejoice, O blessed one, thou protection and dominion, rampart and foundation of those who chant: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Truly thou wast a light to the world, O holy father, for, having adorned thy soul with godly works, thou wast revealed to be an eminent pastor of the Orthodox Church, being a model for the faithful in word and life; wherefore, we bless thee.

Holy, Righteous Father, John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us.

Keeping the One Creator ever before thy mind, through Whom and in Whom all things exist, with a pure heart and guileless soul thou didst labor for Him throughout thy life as thy Lord; and in no wise wast thou bound by Mammon.

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

Princes praised thee and many people glorified thee; but, disdaining earthly glory, thou didst desire to be in the eternal mansions of God, there to glorify the Lord always.

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

He Who is pre-eternal descended into thy womb, O most holy Virgin, and ineffably, in a manner transcending comprehension and all telling, was born from thee, that He might renew Adam of old; wherefore, we ever magnify thee as the cause of our renewal.

Troparion, in Tone IV: With the apostles thy sound hath gone forth into all the earth; * with the confessors thou didst endure sufferings for Christ; * thou didst resemble the holy hierarchs in thy preaching of the Word; * and with the venerable hast thou shone forth in the grace of God. * Therefore, the Lord hath exalted the depths of thy humility above the heavens, * and hath given us thy name as a source of most wondrous miracles. * Wherefore, O wonderworker, who livest in Christ forever, * take pity in thy love upon people in misfortunes; * and hearken unto thy children, * who with faith call upon thee, ** O righteous John, our beloved pastor.

Troparion, in Tone IV: O wonderworker, who livest in Christ forever, * take pity in thy love upon people in misfortunes; * hearken unto thy children who with faith call upon thee, * expecting compassionate aid from thee, ** O John of Kronstadt, our beloved pastor.

Canon for the Nativity of St John the Forerunner

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings as we celebrate the feast of the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sending nameday congratulations to the many Johns named for the Baptist of the Lord – especially our starosta, Norman John. May God grant them all many, blessed years.

Canon I, of John the Monk, with 8 Troparia, including its Irmos, in Tone IV:

Ode I, Irmos:  O Thou who wast born of the Virgin, * drown I implore Thee, in the depth of dispassion * the triune nature of my soul, * as Thou didst the mighty strongholds of the warriors, * that in the mortality of my flesh * as on a timbrel * I may chant a hymn of victory.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The offspring of the barren woman manifestly proclaimeth the birthgiving of the Virgin, preceding the Sun like a magnificent dawn. And he now shineth forth the light of piety and grace upon the whole universe.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

“Truly art thou called the prophet of the Most High; for thou goest before the face of Christ, to prepare the way for the Creator!” Zacharias cried out to thee, his son, borne up by the most Holy Spirit, O most praised John.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Hearing the words of Gabriel’s divine news, Zacharias showed himself to be intractable, and was stricken with muteness; but he is suddenly loosed therefrom, for John the Forerunner, the voice of the Word, hath been born.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most immaculate Theotokos, thou godly city of the King of all, habitation well-pleasing unto God, precious treasure: preserve thine inheritance, which ever praiseth thee and honoureth thy birthgiving with faith.

Another Canon, of Andrew, with 6 Troparia, in Tone IV:

Irmos:  Let us chant unto God our Redeemer, * Who of old guided Israel * fleeing from the slavery of Pharaoh, * and fed them in the wilderness, * for He hath been glorified.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The silence of the father is a symbol of the mysteries of the Scriptures of the law; for when grace arrived Moses fell silent. For it was fitting that all fall silent in the presence of the treasure of wisdom which had been revealed.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

While the priest was censing in the temple, an angel from on high stood before him and cried aloud: “I am come unto thee bearing news of a strange birthgiving, O elder! For thou shalt receive from the barren woman the baptizer of Christ as your offspring.”

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

“Wherefore dost thou marvel, O elder? Why standest thou, refusing to believe the one who telleth thee these things? For he is an angel, even if he is in the semblance of a man, be thou therefore mute until the time of the birth of the voice of the Word!”

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

He who made the silence of Zacharias a symbol of the written law hath thereby shown me to be a preacher of repentance who cry out: He giveth unto the barren woman a son who is the voice who crieth.

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

O the most glorious pronouncements of the Forerunner of Christ! He who, even before he was wrapped in swaddling bands, recognized Him who hath loosed our bonds and sanctified the nations, is born today of Elizabeth and looseth the voice of his father.

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

Thou art the habitation of God and the noetic ladder by which God hath descended and, taking our form, hath led our nature up to the heavens. Thee do we all praise as the mediatress of our salvation.

Ode III, Irmos: Not in wisdom, nor in power do we glory, * but we glory in Thee O Christ, * the Hypostatic Wisdom of the Father, * for there is none more holy than Thee, O Lover of mankind.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The birthgiving of the Master is accomplished through the Virgin, while that of His beloved servant is through an elderly and barren mother; wherefore, splendidly hath he proceeded the Wonder of wonders.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The elderly and barren woman kisseth the Virgin Mother, truly recognizing her birthgiving, for the bond of her barrenness hath been loosed by the will of God. 

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O thou who hast given birth unto God incarnate without having known wedlock, make me steadfast who am beset by the assaults of the passions; for I have none other helper than thee, O most pure one.

Another Irmos:  Having established the thunder * and fashioned the wind: * do Thou make me steadfast O Lord, * that I may hymn Thee in truth and do Thy will; * for none is as holy as Thou, O our God.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Elizabeth, who before was barren, prefigured Thy Church of the nations, O Christ, and, giving birth most gloriously, she hath revealed as most fertile that which once was seen to be barren.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Making straight the ways of the Lord and preparing His path, O prophet and herald of Christ, thou didst show mankind the fruits of repentance, teaching them the way of life.

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

Dancing today, Elizabeth holdeth thee in her elderly arms, O Forerunner, and crieth out, uttering the praise: None is as holy as Thou, O Lord our God!

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

O most holy Theotokos, thou didst loose the grief of our first parents, giving birth to the Creator of life and Redeemer for us. Him do thou earnestly entreat, that thy flock be saved.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “That which was commanded …”: The Forerunner, the voice of the Word, upon his birth splendidly loosed the voice of Zacharias, and he hath shown unto all the barrenness of the law, crying out: Repent, ye who are on earth, for, lo! Jesus cometh and hath appeared, desiring to deliver all from the primal curse, illumining them with baptism! Truly this is a most glorious wonder!

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

Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Joseph marvelled …”: Like the radiant sun, the son of Zacharias hath shone forth upon us through the womb of Elizabeth, and loosed the muteness of his father, crying out to all men with great boldness: “Make straight the way of the Lord! For He freeth and saveth those who have recourse unto Him.” Entreat Him Whom didst thou preach, O John, that our souls be saved.

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

By thy divine birthgiving, O pure one, * thou hast renewed the mortal nature of those born on earth, * which had become corrupt through the passions, * raising up all from death to a life of incorruption. * Wherefore, as is meet we all bless thee, ** O exceedingly glorious Virgin, as thou didst foretell.

Ode IV, Irmos: He who sitteth in glory upon the throne of the Godhead, * Jesus the true God, * is come in a swift cloud * and with His sinless hands he hath saved those who cry: * Glory to Thy power, O Christ.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

A mystery hath preceded ineffable mysteries, proclaiming release from suffering by a renewed nature, through its correction and deification, O Christ.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Isaiah prophesied that when the Son would become flesh, the Father would say: “Behold, I send before Thy face an earthly angel, the equal of the angels, who crieth out: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!”

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

I have been born to serve the Master as a servant; for, lo! for this reason I have come, to announce His coming, that the barren and elderly woman, putting forth fruit, may believe beforehand the birthgiving of the Virgin.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The womb of the holy Theotokos, in whom it was Thy good pleasure to make Thine abode as in a fragrant dwelling, O supremely divine Word of the Father, was neither corrupted, nor suffered pain; for she gaveth birth to Emmanuel: God and man.

Another Irmos: I have heard of Thy glorious Dispensation, * O Christ our God: * how Thou wast born of the Virgin, * that Thou mightest deliver from error * those who cry aloud to Thee: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Repentance was made accessible through thy nativity, O Forerunner and herald; for thou alone didst preach, crying aloud: Repent ye! The kingdom of heaven is at hand!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Virginity is established and chastity doth triumph; the desert rejoiceth, and the world holdeth festival in thy nativity, O Forerunner!

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

Elizabeth rejoiceth and Zacharias speaketh once again. Both, therefore, become young in their old age and are rendered luminous through John the voice of the Word.

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

Of old, the lawgiver saw thee as the bush unconsumed by the fire, and Daniel envisioned thee as a holy mountain, O Sovereign Lady who alone art Mother and Virgin.

Ode V, Irmos: Now I shall arise said God prophetically, * now I shall be glorified, now I shall be exalted, * elevating fallen human nature, * which I received from the Virgin, * to the noetic light of My divinity.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The earth hath given rise to the true herald, the voice who preacheth to all, with the tongue of the Spirit, the Son of the Virgin, righteousness from heaven which hath come down to us in a bodily substance.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The Lord hath appointed thee the true luminary of Christ, enlightening all, clothing only those who are His enemies in shame, as in a garment, and forthrightly proclaiming the Word and Son of God.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

All creation rejoiceth in thy nativity in a godly manner; for thou wast shown to be an earthly angel and a heavenly man, O Forerunner, proclaiming the God of heaven Who assumed flesh for our sake.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He Who is begotten of the Father hath been born of thee and is ever with thee: the ever-existing and indivisible Word, the only-begotten Son, Who, in the latter days, became incarnate of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit.

Another Irmos: Shine upon me, O Lord, * the light of Thy commandments, * for my soul riseth early to Thee and hymneth Thee: * For Thou art our God, * and unto Thee do I flee, O King of peace.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

O Sun of righteousness, Thou hast prepared a star, Thy baptizer John, who today is born according to Thy promise and hath loosed the voice of his father.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Utter thou no words of protest, O sacred elder; for Gabriel, the foremost among the archangels, telleth thee the mysteries of God, telling all of His descent unto us.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Be not unbelieving, O elder; for God hath promised that thou shalt beget a son in thine old age, in whose birth many shall rejoice, for he shall come with the power of Elijah.

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

O prophet, herald and forerunner, offspring of the barren woman, preacher of repentance, lamb of the wilderness, and lampstand of the Light: pray thou for all with faith who honour thee

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

We hymn thee, O Sovereign Lady, Mother of the Creator of all, as the impassable portal, the bush unconsumed, and the unquarried mountain from whom was cut the Stone Who is He Who assumed flesh from thee.

Ode VI, Irmos: I have reached the depths of the sea * and the tempest of my many sins hath engulfed me; * but do Thou raise up my life from the abyss * O Greatly-merciful One.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

While yet in thy mother’s womb, as a prophet thou didst recognize the Word of God, and, deified by the unapproachable light, thou didst utter theology in that dark chamber, employing her tongue.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

As the voice of one crying unceasingly, O Baptist, cease thou never to entreat the Redeemer of the world, that He loose the spiritual barrenness of those who hymn thy nativity.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thy womb, O pure Theotokos, was revealed to be the dwelling-place of the unapproachable Godhead, upon Whom the heavenly ranks cannot gaze without fear.

Another Irmos: The tempest of evil thoughts, hath overwhelmed me, * dragging me down into the abyss of my numberless sins; * but, going before me, O good Helmsman, * govern me as Thou didst the Prophet, * and save me.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Today John is born: the citizen of the desert, the preacher of repentance, the true witness of grace, the forerunner of the Word, the star which shineth before the Light.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Today, the axe which hath been forged, hath portended the hewing of barren souls, and planting the fruits of the virtues, hath surely come forth in thy nativity, O forerunner.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Jordan hath rejoiced most gloriously and leapeth up, learning that John is born of the barren one’s womb; wherefore the sea danceth with leaping waters.

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

Coming forth, the candle-stand of the Light preached the coming of the Saviour, the Lamb of God, Who hath shone forth light upon the earth, offered spiritually for all nature.

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

O all-immaculate Birthgiver of God, who hast given birth to the Abyss of mercy: drowning the abyss of my passions in the depths of thy compassions, grant me a torrent of tears from my soul.

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

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

Kontakion, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Today the Virgin …”: Today she who before was barren * giveth birth unto the forerunner of Christ, * he is the fulfilment of all prophecy; * for, laying his hand in the Jordan upon Him * Whom the prophets foretold, * he hath been shown to be the prophet, herald and forerunner ** of the Word of God.

Ikos: Let us now praise the forerunner of the Lord, to whom Elizabeth gaveth birth for the priest, by means of her barren womb, though not seedlessly; for Christ alone passed through an inviolate dwelling without seed. The barren woman gaveth birth unto John, but did not beget him without the aid of her husband; but the pure virgin gaveth birth to Jesus through the overshadowing of the Father and the Spirit of God. The prophet, herald and forerunner was revealed through the barren woman to the Seedless One.

Ode VII, Irmos: The three youths in Babylon, * regarded the tyrant’s command as foolishness, * and cried aloud in the midst of the flame: * Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Before, all of human nature was in darkness, O forerunner; but thou wast shown to be the dawn, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Thy nativity through the barren woman hath healed all afflicted nature, O forerunner, teaching it to chant: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Thy nativity through the barren woman hath healed all afflicted nature, O forerunner, teaching it to chant: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O blessed Virgin, pray for us who beseech thee; for on thee do we set our hope, and to thee do we cry aloud: O Sovereign Lady, disdain not thy servants!

Another 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 Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Falling mute for a time, Zacharias made plain his silence by writing; and, provided again with speech through thy nativity, O forerunner, he most gloriously announced the grace of the Spirit.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The most honoured Elizabeth, that barren and childless woman, is like unto the Church: which before was bedimmed with sacrifices and ordure now boasteth in beauty and birthgiving.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Today the spiritual axe, whereby all the uprisings of the passions are hewn down, is honed by the nativity of the forerunner; and the fruits of repentance mystically flourish.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

We honour thee, O John, as the mediator between the old and the new testaments, the one who maketh straight the paths of Christ Who cleanseth the threshing-floor of transgression with the winnowing-fan of the Spirit.

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

We all hymn the glorious John who issued forth from the barren woman, the forerunner and preacher of repentance, who hastened like a star before the Sun, Christ our God.

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

O Virgin Theotokos, cease thou never to pray on behalf of all unto Him Who, without seed, made His abode within thy womb, Who, in His ineffable and utter humility, was born and beggared Himself for our sake.

Ode VIII Irmos: O almighty Redeemer of all, * having descended and bedewed the children * in the midst of the flame, * Thou didst teach them to sing: * All ye works bless and hymn the Lord.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Moses the lawgiver was a servant, but Jesus is the God of the new covenant; and now the forerunner hymneth both, as mediator between them, saying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

A turtle-dove hath issued forth from the womb of the barren one! Like a divinely planted grove she hath offered the forerunner of Christ unto the Church, chanting: All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

O God-bearing people, holy nation, liken yourselves unto the turtle-dove of Christ and, abiding in chastity, chant ye with voices flowing with honey: All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord!

Most Holy Trinity, our God, glory to Thee.

Illumined with the threefold Light, let us worship the one uncreated Godhead, ceaselessly crying aloud in an Orthodox manner: All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord!

Another Irmos: In wisdom hast Thou fashioned all things, O Master, * Thou didst establish the earth firmly upon the fathomless depths of the waters, * in accordance with Thy knowledge, * wherefore we hymn Thee chanting: * Unceasingly bless ye the Lord all ye works of the Lord.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Before thy birth, before thine own swaddling-clothes, O forerunner, thou didst recognize Christ, the Bestower of life, Whom thou didst worship, pointing Him out by leaping, and naming Him thy Lord, by borrowing thy mother’s tongue, and singing unto Christ our God.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

The ends of the earth celebrate the forefeast today; the angels and the souls of the righteous rejoice; the quick and the dead are gladdened by the birth of John, receiving through him the preaching of the Saviour and Lord of all.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Today the Jordan, likening itself to John, hath leapt up most gloriously in its fluid torrents, listening to him whose life is like unto that of the angels, who was born of a barren and elderly woman, who maketh straight the ways and paths of the Lord and hath baptized the world.

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

Today Zacharias noted on a slate the name of the prophet and forerunner which was designated by God, and in his silence he declared: Let him be called John who is born to me in mine old age! This marvellous designation befitteth one who was begotten according to God’s promise.

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

Thy people, O Virgin, have thee as a mighty consolation, a hope unashamed, an unassailable rampart and divine intercession, and, saved, they glorify and cry out to thee earnestly: Bless the Lord unceasingly, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX, Irmos: The ineffable hidden mystery of God hath been revealed in thee, * O most pure Virgin; * for in His tender compassion * God become incarnate of thee. * Wherefore, we magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Lo! the voice of the forerunner falleth upon barren and empty hearts, crying: Prepare ye now the way of Christ, for He shall come in glory, and, submitting ourselves, we magnify Him!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

As of old, O forerunner, thou didst through the Holy Spirit manifestly preach the Son, Who is the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world, ask thou forgiveness of sins for thy flock.

Most Holy Trinity, our God, glory to Thee.

Chanting in an Orthodox manner, O ye faithful, let us glorify the threefold Unity, the consubstantial Trinity, Who illumineth us divinely and filleth our souls with the splendors of the never-waning light.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O thou who hast dominion over all creatures, grant the trophy of victory to thy people and set the feet of Orthodox hierarchs upon all heresies and schisms, that we may magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Another Irmos: For the Mighty One hath done great things to me, * and holy is His name; * and His mercy is upon them that fear Him * unto generation and generation

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Behold, in thee, O priest, hath God wrought a great and most glorious sign; for thou hast begotten a son, the forerunner, in thine old age and in the mortality of thy flesh.

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Let barren women hearken and chant unto God! For, lo! Elizabeth crieth out: I give birth unto a son of mine old age and in the mortality of my flesh!

Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, pray to God for us.

Be glad and rejoice now in God, O Zacharias! For, lo! Elizabeth nourisheth the son of her old age at her breast and in the mortality of her flesh giveth birth to the forerunner.

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

Glory to Him Who hath giveth fruit to the barren woman in her old age and hath bestowed upon the aged prophet a son, the divine forerunner, who prepareth for Him a perfected people.

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

He Who was begotten in the bosom of the Father without passion and corruption, having made His abode within thee, in His loving-kindness hath led us to the Father and the divine Spirit.

Troparion, Tone IV: O prophet and forerunner of the coming of Christ, * we who honour thee with love * are at a loss how to worthily praise thee; * for by thy glorious and honoured nativity * thou didst loose the barrenness of her who gave birth to thee * and the muteness of thy father, ** and proclaimed to the world the incarnation of the Son of God.

 

 

Hymns for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the elect of the patriarchs, the fathers before the Law, have shone forth like beacons, for all the prophets and the righteous shone forth from them like radiant lamps. With rays of honourable prophecy have they illumined all creation; and they earnestly pray to God in behalf of the world.

Rejoice, ye honourable prophets who dedicated yourselves well to the Law of the Lord, and by faith revealed yourselves as unshaken and unbreakable pillars of Christ; and, having passed on to heaven, ye beseech Him to grant peace to the world and to save our souls.

Lift up thy voice, O Zion, Thou truly divine city, and proclaim the divine memory of the fathers, honouring Abraham, Isaac and the ever-memorable Jacob; for, lo! we all magnify Judah and Levi, the great Moses and the wondrous Aaron, and we honour David, Joshua and Samuel. And weaving divine hymns into godly praise on the forefeast of Christ’s nativity, we ask that we receive grace from Him, and that He grant the world great mercy.

O Elijah, who once rode upon a divine chariot of fire, come thou forth, and thou, O divinely wise Elisha; and joining with Ezekiel and Hosea, rejoice! O ye honoured and divinely inspired twelve prophets, join chorus, and all ye righteous, chant in hymns unto the nativity of Christ; ye most blessed youths that quenched the flame of the furnace with the dew of the Spirit, entreat Christ on our behalf, that He send down upon our souls great mercy.

Most blessed art thou, O Virgin Theotokos, for through Him Who became incarnate of thee is hades led captive, Adam recalled, the curse annulled, Eve set free, death slain, and we are given life. Wherefore, we cry aloud in praise: Blessed is Christ God. O Thou Who hast been so pleased, glory to Thee.

The Canon to the Holy Great-Martyr Menas

Canon to the Martyr Menas and Company by St. John of Damascus, in Tone IV:

Ode 1, Irmos: The people of Israel, having fled across the watery deep of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, beholding the mounted captains of the enemy drowned therein, sang with gladness: Let us chant unto our God, for He hath been glorified!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

O ye sacred people, now passing gloriously not over the Red Abyss but the sea of the struggles of Menas the sufferer, with glorious Moses and Miriam, the wise woman and prophetess, let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

O Menas, champion of piety, thou wast well pleased to stand as a warrior of Christ before the fierce destroyer and the wicked tormenter who breathed the anger of threats and the heat of wrath. And thou wast His beacon, crying aloud: Let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified.

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

Thou, O Christ, didst foretell: When I be lifted up, I will draw those born of earth; and Thou didst do this indeed, summoning from the ends of the world the ranks of martyrs and the people that cry out in joy: Let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified!

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

The rod of Aaron which budded prefigured thee, O Virgin, the root which sprung forth from Jesse, which shone forth to the world God incarnate, the imperishable bloom. Him do thou ever entreat on behalf of us that have recourse to thee, O Theotokos.

Ode 3, Irmos: Let us not boast of wisdom, power or riches, but in Thee, the hypostatic Wisdom of the Father, O Christ, for none is holy save Thee, O Lover of mankind.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

The tormenter, stung by thy most wise words, wounded thee without mercy with rawhide thongs, thinking thereby to bow thee down, O invincible martyr.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Directing the eyes of thy mind to the Lord, thou didst endure unbearable oppression with a most courageous spirit, O right glorious one.

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

Fearing not the exceeding painful torment, but breathing with divine zeal, thou didst depart for the struggles, crying: unlooked for and uninvited, I have come!

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

He that was incarnate of Thee and Who accepted voluntary death hath led up from the gates of hell me who have been slain by the evil tasting of the tree.

Katavasia: Pray to God for us, O Holy Great-Martyr Menas, for we eagerly betake ourselves to thee, who art a speedy helper and intercessor for our souls.

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

Sedalion, Tone 8: Egypt, which before had been held fast by the cruel darkness of ignorance, shone thee forth, O divinely wise martyr Menas, as a beacon to all the world, who by the rays of thy divine struggles dost mightily disperse the night of ungodliness. Wherefore, radiantly celebrating thy radiant and honored day, we earnestly cry out to thee: O adornment of sufferers, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins to them that with love honour thy holy memory.

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

Repeat sedalion.

Ode 4, Irmos: Seated in glory on the throne of the Godhead, Jesus most divine is come on a light cloud and with His incorrupt hand hath saved them that sing: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

By the shedding of thy blood they extinguished the ember of polytheism, and the legion of demons was drowned, and the Church of Christ, which praises thee, was watered thereby, O most blessed passion-bearer Menas.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

O martyr, by being lifted up on the tree thou dost portray the passion on the Cross of Him that slew the cruel serpent; thou dost endure lacerations which win for thee that delight which is in the Heavens, O most valorous one.

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

Thou didst undergo a trial of pain past nature, O sufferer, and divine love, strengthening thy nature, caused thee to receive forgetfulness, urging thee to reach out for wounds, rejoicing.

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

Ineffably didst thou give birth unto God incarnate, Who fashioned for Himself a home of thy blood, and in godly manner is known in two essences and wills, O thou that knewest not wedlock.

Ode 5, Irmos: The impious perceive not Thy glory, O Christ; but we, waking at dawn out of the night, hymn Thee, O Lover of mankind, Radiance of the glory of the Father’s Divinity, O Only-begotten One.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Luminous with the bright rays of thy witness, having overshadowed dark godlessness, O most wise one, thou hast enlightened the faithful of the fullness who hymn thee, O all-laudable one.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Every contrivance of the foe hath vanquished away through thy mighty endurance, for neither hunger, nor wounds, nor immolation, nor subjection to iron hooks clouded thy resolve.

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

Surrounded by faith as the sun is by its rays, thou didst make thine abode in the desert and didst enlighten all the cities, preaching Christ, the Son of God, Who came in the flesh, O glorious one.

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

The Deliverer, born of thee in manner surpassing nature, maketh me new who am subject to corruption, freeing me from the ancient curse, O pure Mother of God. Him do thou entreat, that He save me.

Ode 6, Irmos: I have come to the depths of the sea, and the tempest of my many sins hath engulfed me, but, as Thou art God, lead up my life out of the depths, O most Merciful One!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Burned by fire, thy wounds rubbed raw with haircloth, yet thou didst remain without pain, for divine grace, being present, strengthened thee, O Menas.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Thou dost stand condemned before the tribunal of the tyrants, denouncing the falsehood, O ever memorable one, and giving thyself to the faithful as a pillar of piety.

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

With the sweat of thy struggles thou didst dry up the falsehood of idolatry, and didst fashion of thyself a temple of the honoured Trinity, O right wondrous passion-bearer Menas.

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

Heal thou the incurable passions of my soul with the balm of thy goodness, O all-immaculate one, who didst give birth to Christ, the good Saviour, for them that are in the world.

Katavasia: Pray to God for us, O Holy Great-Martyr Menas, for we eagerly betake ourselves to thee, who art a speedy helper and intercessor for our souls.

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 4: O Passion-bearer Menas, * Christ our God, the imperishable Crown of martyrs, * took thee from a transient army, * and showed thee forth * as a partaker of the incorruptible and heavenly.

Ikos: The memory of the martyrs is a cause of great gladness for us, for it showeth forth courage amid suffering and victory over the enemy in the radiant and joyful confession of grace. Come ye, therefore, all ye that love this festival, and let us be glad therein, keeping the memory of the passion-bearer Menas as the best and abiding time of our gladness, and receiving the gift of being loosed from our passions, for Christ God is the Bestower thereof, the imperishable Crown of martyrs.

Ode 7, Irmos: Blessed art Thou, O all-hymned Lord, God of our fathers, Who saved the children of Abraham in the fire, they that sought the truth righteously, and Who slew the Chaldeans.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

With wounds didst thou strip off sin’s garment of skin, and thou didst robe thyself in vesture which groweth not old and which grace, appearing, wore, O blessed one.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

By the burning zeal of thine honourable and mighty struggles hath wicked and thorny godlessness been utterly consumed, O martyr, and the leaping flame of ignorance is extinguished by the streams of thy blood, O most blessed one.

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

Possessed of abundant gifts, thou dost pour forth miracles upon them that celebrate thine honoured festival, O right wondrous Menas; and thou dost aid them that sing: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Blessed is the Fruit of thy blessed womb, Whom the hosts of Heaven and the assemblies of those born of earth do bless, He that hath delivered us from the ancient curse, O blessed one.

Ode 8, Irmos: O Almighty Deliverer of all, descending upon the pious youths amid the flame, Thou didst bedew them and teach them to sing: All ye works, bless and hymn the Lord!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

O Menas, thou wast revealed as a crown-bearer; having set at nought the enemies of the Cross of thy Lord, thou didst put them to shame and didst cry out, O most blessed one: All ye works of the Lord, praise and supremely exalt Him unto the ages!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

God hath wrought wonders in thy memory, pouring forth healings, both spiritual and bodily, through thy relics upon us that cry out: All ye works of the Lord, praise and supremely exalt Him unto the ages!

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst offer God thy service; and having bowed thy head to the ground, thou wast beheaded by the sword, O martyr, crying aloud: All ye works of the Lord, praise and supremely exalt Him unto the ages!

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

Today is the Holy Church adorned with your blood, as with purple and fine linen, O Menas, Victor and Vincent, who cry out: All ye works of the Lord, praise and supremely exalt Him unto the ages!

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

Virgin remaineth the womb of her that bore the Saviour Who without seed was conceived of the Holy Spirit, God uncircumscribable wrapped in flesh, the Word co-unoriginate with the Father. Him do all works praise and supremely exalt as Lord unto the ages!

Ode 9, Irmos: Christ Who uniteth disparate natures, the cornerstone uncut by hands, hath been cut from thee, the unquarried mountain, O Virgin. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

Thou didst love no less than thou wast beloved, O passion-bearer, laying down thy beloved life for Christ Who loved thee and Who glorified thy witness with Himself, O ever memorable one.

Holy Great-Martyr, Menas, pray to God for us.

As a lampstand aflame with the light of three suns did the three inseparable martyrs appear: Menas, Victor, and Vincent, illuminating the faithful and dispersing the gloom of the demons.

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

Accept, as that which is thy due, our praise of thee which proceedeth from a readiness which, I know, surpasseth, our words; and from thy treasuries bestow upon us gifts without number.

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

Of old rightly did all the prophets praise thee, the Mother of the King and Master; and now, the apostles and martyrs magnify thee, glorifying thee with us.

Troparion, Tone 8: With great valour of soul, didst thou strive in martyrdom, and having fought the good fight, O divine Great Martyr Menas, from Heaven hast thou received the gift of miracles; for God hath shown thee to the world as a worker of great signs, and He made thee our protector and a swift help in afflictions and ever-vigilant defence from harm.

 

Preparing for Pentecost

ascension icon - for website.jpgDear brothers and sisters, greetings, as we continue to celebrate the after-feast of the Lord’s Ascension.

We now find ourselves in that waiting period between Ascension and Pentecost, remembering the contemplative days in which the Holy Apostles awaited the revelation of the meaning of the Saviour’s words: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…” (John 14:16) and “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)Continue reading

THE CANON OF SUPPLICATION TO THE MOST HOLY MOTHER OF GOD AT THE CONFESSION OF A SINNER

This canon, which is to be found the Greek Great Book of Needs, is also chanted at Tuesday Compline in the week of tone six of the Octoechos. Whilst we are having confessions during Saturday Compline, this may be pertinent to be chanted at that time, and would certainly be valuable for parishioners as they prepare for confession and Holy Communion. In the Euchologion (Book of Needs) it is followed by a prayer of absolution by St John of Damascus, making it clear that it is intended for use in this context.

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