Radonitsa and Praying For the Non-Orthodox

Christ is Risen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Canons for the Entry of the Mother of God

Canon I of the Theotokos: The acrostic whereof is: “O Lady, grant me the grace of discourse”, the composition of George, in Tone IV.

Ode I, Irmos: I shall open my mouth, * and be filled with the Spirit, * and utter discourse to the Queen and Mother; * and be seen radiantly keeping festival, * joyfully praising her entry.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure one, we know thee to be a treasury of wisdom and an ever-flowing fountain of grace; and we pray thee rain down upon us knowledge, that we may praise thee forever.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Being a temple and palace more exalted than the heavens, O most pure one, thou wast set apart in the Temple of God to be prepared as a divine dwelling-place for His advent.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Shining with the Light of grace, the Theotokos hath illumined all and assembled us to adorn her most splendid festival. Come ye, let us draw nigh to her!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The glorious portal which surpasseth human thought, having opened the doors of the Temple of God, doth now command us who have assembled to delight in her divine wonders.

Canon II of the Theotokos, the composition of Basil, in Tone I:

Irmos: Let us all chant a triumphant hymn unto God * Who wrought
wondrous miracles * with His upraised arm, * and saved Israel, * for He hath been glorified.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let us hasten today, honoring the Theotokos with hymns, and let us celebrate a spiritual feast; for she is offered as a gift to God in the temple.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

With songs let us hymn the glorious arrival of the Theotokos; for today, as the prophets foretold, she is borne as a gift of great price into the temple, though she is herself the temple of God.

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

The blameless Anna rejoiced, maternally bringing a gift of great price to God in the temple; and with her Joachim keepeth splendid festival.

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

Of old, David, thine ancestor, hymned thee, O Virgin Bride of
God, calling thee the daughter of Christ the King; and, having given birth to Him, as a Mother thou didst feed Him with milk as a babe.

Katavasia: Christ is born, render ye glory. * Christ cometh from heaven, meet ye Him. * Christ is on earth, be ye exalted. * O all the earth, sing unto the Lord, * and sing praises in gladness, O ye people, * for He hath been glorified.

Ode III, Canon I, Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and plentiful fount, * establish in spiritual fellowship those who sing hymns of praise * of thine honored entry: * grant them crowns of glory.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Receiving the pure and undefiled one, who is more splendid than all creation, the animate bridal chamber of God, the beautiful Temple and chamber doth appear today like a bride adorned for her wedding.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

David, preceding the chorus, doth leap and dance with us, declaring thee, O allpure one, to be the queen all-adorned, standing in the Temple before our King and God, O most pure one.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

From her, whom transgressions issued forth among the race of mankind, hath her correction and incorruption blossomed forth, the Theotokos, who is led today into the house of God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The angelic armies and the multitudes of all mankind leap for joy, and they advance as lamp-bearers before thy countenance, proclaiming thy majesty in the house of God.

Canon II, Irmos: Let my heart be established in Thy will O Christ God, * Who hath established a second heaven over the waters, * and founded the earth upon the waters, * O all-powerful One.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O ye who love the feasts of the Church, let us keep festival and rejoice today together in spirit, and in gladness, on the holy feast of the daughter of the King, the Mother of our God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice today, O Joachim! Be thou glad in spirit, O Anna, leading to the Lord the three year old child born from thee, as though she were a pure and most immaculate heifer.

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

Mary, the Theotokos, the habitation of God, is led into the holy temple, being three years of age in the flesh; and, going before her, virgins bear lighted lamps.

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

The pure ewe-lamb of God, the undefiled turtle-dove, the tabernacle containing God, the sanctuary of glory, hath chosen to dwell within the holy tabernacle.

Katavasia: To the Son who was begotten of the Father * without change before all ages, * and in the last times, without seed, was made flesh of the Virgin, * to Christ our God let us cry aloud: * Thou hast raised up our horn, holy art Thou, O Lord.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Joseph marvelled …”: Tell us, O David: what is this present festival? Who is she whom of old thou didst hymn in the Book of Psalms as the daughter, divine Maiden and Virgin? “The virgins that follow after her,;together with those near her,” said he, “shall be mystically brought unto the King.” Make this a wondrous and universal feast for those who cry aloud: the Theotokos is come unto us, the mediatress of salvation!

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

Tone IV & same melody: With gladness Mary, the Theotokos, is most gloriously brought into the house of God: the unblemished ewe-lamb, the undefiled bridal-chamber, whom the angels of God, escort with faith and all the faithful ever call blessed and hymn her unceasingly with a loud voice in thanksgiving: Thou art our glory and salvation, O most immaculate one!

Ode IV, Canon I, Irmos: Perceiving the profound counsel of God, * that the incarnation of Thee the Most High, * will be from a Virgin, * the Prophet Habbakuk cried aloud: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The Temple of God, receiving today the portal through whom none may pass, hath ceased to perform any service of the Law, crying: Truly truth hath appeared to those who are on earth!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The mountain overshadowed, which Habbakuk beheld of old, prefigured her who hath made her abode in the inaccessible chambers of the Temple, flourishing with virtues, for she doth cover the ends of the earth therewith.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

All the earth hath seen most glorious things, things strange and marvelous, for the Virgin, receiving food from an angel, doth receive tokens of God’s dispensation.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Revealed as the temple and palace and animate heaven, O divine bride of the King, thou art brought today to the Temple of the Law to be kept for Him, O most pure one.

Canon II, Irmos: Foreseeing in the Spirit O Prophet Habbakuk, * the incarnation of the Word, * thou didst proclaim, crying aloud: * When the years draw nigh, Thou shalt be known; * when the season cometh, Thou shalt be shown forth! * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Prophet Isaiah, prophesy unto us: Who is the Virgin Who will conceive in her womb, who springing forth from the root of Judah, and who shall give birth to the right glorious Fruit of the holy seed of King David?

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O virgins, commence ye to chant hymns, holding candles in your hands, and praising the arrival of the pure Theotokos who now cometh to the temple of God, celebrating with us!

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

Rejoice now, O Joachim and Anna, leading into the temple of the Lord, like a heifer three years of age, the pure one born from you, who will become the Mother of God.

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

As the holy of holies, O pure one, thou didst love to dwell in the holy temple, remaining there and conversing most gloriously with the angels, receiving bread from heaven, O Virgin, thou nourisher of Life.

Katavasia: Rod of the root of Jesse, * and flower that blossomed from his stem, * O Christ, Thou hast sprung from the Virgin. * From the Mountain overshadowed by the forest * Thou hast come, made flesh from her that knew not wedlock, * O God who art not formed from matter. * Glory to Thy power,
O Lord.

Ode V, Canon I, Irmos: All creation stands in awe of thy divine glory; * for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, * didst enter into the temple of the Lord; * thyself being a most pure temple, * bestowing peace, upon all who hymn thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The most pure Virgin, the glorious sanctity and sacred offering which is brought today to the Temple of God, is preserved as a habitation for our one God, the King of all, as He Himself knoweth.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Zachariah, having of old beheld the beauty of thy soul, cried out in faith: Thou art the deliverance, thou art the joy of all, thou art our restoration, through whom the Uncontainable One shall appear unto me contained.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O, thy wonders which pass understanding, O all-pure one! Strange is thy birthgiving; strange is the manner of thy maturation; strange also, most glorious and unutterable by mortals, are all thy wonders, O Bride of God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

As a most radiant lamp, O Bride of God, hast thou shone forth today in the house of the Lord, illumining us with the precious gifts of thy wonders, O pure and allhymned Theotokos.

Canon II, Irmos: Shine forth thy radiant and everlasting light * upon us who rise early at dawn, * unto the judgments of Thy commandments, * O Master, Lover of mankind, * Christ our God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O all ye Orthodox, let us take up lamps, hastening to glorify the Mother of God, for she is led to the Lord today as a right acceptable sacrifice.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let thine ancestors be glad today, O Lady; and let her who gave birth to thee rejoice with thy father, for their fruit is offered to the Lord.

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

Celebrating with faith, let us all hymn the unblemished heifer, most glorious and of great renown, for she gave birth to the divine Bullock in the flesh.

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

The divine tokens of thy betrothal, of thy birthgiving which passeth understanding, O pure Virgin; are recorded today by the Holy Spirit in the house of God.

Katavasia: As Thou art the God of peace and Father of compassions, * Thou hast sent unto us Thine Angel of great counsel, * granting us peace. * Wherefore guided towards the light of the knowledge of God, * and watching by night we glorify Thee, * O Lover of mankind.

Ode VI, Canon I, Irmos: Celebrating the divine and solemn feast * of the Mother of God * O ye divinely wise, * let us come, clapping our hands, * and glorify God who was born of her.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou Who hast upheld all things by Thy word hast hearkened to the prayer of the righteous ones. Wherefore, Thou hast loosed the infirmity of the barren woman, in that Thou art compassionate, and given them her who is the cause of joy.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Wishing to make His salvation known to the Gentiles, the Lord hath now taken from among mankind her who hath not known wedlock, as a sign of reconciliation and renewal.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

As a house of grace, wherein treasures of the ineffable dispensation of God are laid up, O all-pure one, thou didst share in unfading delight in the Temple.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Receiving thee as a royal diadem, O Bride of God, the Temple hath been rendered splendid and been elevated to better things, beholding in thee the fulfillment of the prophecies.

Canon II, Irmos: Emulating the Prophet Jonah, I cry aloud: * Free Thou my life from corruption, O Good One; * and save me who crieth out: * O Savior of the world, Glory be to Thee!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O ye faithful, let us celebrate the spiritual feast of the Mother of God, chanting piously; for she is more holy than the heavenly intelligences.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

With spiritual hymns let us praise the Mother of the Light, O ye faithful, for she hath appeared to us today, going forth into the temple of God.

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

The unblemished ewe-lamb, the pure turtle-dove, is brought to dwell in the house of God, for, as one all-immaculate, she was chosen beforehand to be the Mother of God.

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

The temple of God, the heavenly tabernacle, maketh entry into the temple of the law, and from her hath the Light shone forth upon us who are in darkness.

Katavasia: The sea monster spat forth Jonah as it had received him, * like a babe from the womb: * while the Word, having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh, * came forth from her yet kept her incorrupt. * For being Himself not subject to decay. * He preserved His Mother free from all harm.

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

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

Kontakion of the feast, Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Having been lifted up …”: The most pure temple of the Savior, * the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, * the sacred treasury of the glory of God, * hath been brought into the house of the Lord this day, * bringing with her the grace that is in the divine Spirit. * To her do the angels of God chant the hymn: ** She is the heavenly tabernacle!

Ikos: Beholding the grace of the ineffable and divine mysteries of God made plainly manifest in and filling the Virgin, I rejoice; yet I know not how to understand this strange and ineffable image. How hath the pure one alone been shown to be above all creation, visible and immaterial? Wherefore, wishing to praise her, I am greatly in awe in mind and word; yet, bold, I proclaim and magnify her, saying: She is the heavenly tabernacle!

Ode VII, Canon I, Irmos: Refusing to worship created things * in place of the Creator, * the divinely wise youths bravely trampled down the threatening fire * and rejoicing they sang aloud: * O supremely hymned Lord and God of our Fathers, Blessed art Thou.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Lo, today a joyous spring hath dawned upon the ends of the earth, enlightening our souls, thoughts and minds with grace: the festival of the Theotokos. Let us mystically make festival this day!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let all things – heaven and earth, the ranks of angels and the multitudes of mankind – bear gifts today unto the Queen and Mother of God; and let them cry aloud: Our joy and deliverance is brought into the Temple!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The Scriptures have come to pass, the Law hath faded like a shadow, and rays of grace have shone forth upon thee who hast entered into the Temple of God, O pure Virgin Mother wherein thou art blessed.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Heaven and earth and the netherworld are subject to thine Offspring as Creator and God, O all-pure one, and every nation of mortals doth confess that the Lord and Savior of our souls hath appeared.

Canon II, Irmos: The furnace became bedewed, O Savior, * and the children dancing, chanted: * O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O ye who love the feasts of the Church let us join chorus and hymn the pure Lady honoring Joachim and Anna as is meet.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Prophesy, O David, speaking in the Spirit: The virgins who follow after thee shall be brought to thee into the temple of the Queen and Mother.

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

The ranks of the angels rejoiced and the souls of the righteous were gladdened, for the Mother of God is led into the Holy of holies,

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

Receiving heavenly food, she who was to become the Mother of Christ God in the flesh, excelled in wisdom and grace.

Katavasia: Scorning the impious decree of the godless one, * the Children brought up together in godliness * feared not the threat of fire, * but standing in the midst of the flames, they sang: * O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.

Ode VIII, Canon I, Irmos: Hearken, O pure Virgin Maiden, * that Gabriel may tell thee the true counsel of the Most High of old. * Make ready to receive the Godhead; * for through thee the Infinite One hath come to dwell among mankind. *

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Wherefore, rejoicing, I cry aloud: * Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord! Anna, once, leading the most pure temple to the house of God, faithfully said unto the priest, crying aloud: Now accept thou this child, given me by God; lead her into the Temple of the Creator; and, rejoicing, chant unto Him: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

And Zachariah then, beholding them in the Spirit, said unto Anna: Thou dost bring hither the true Mother of Life, whom the prophets of God have clearly foretold as the Theotokos! How, therefore, can the Temple hold her?

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Wherefore, marveling, I cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord! The handmaid of God have I been, answered Anna unto him, and I call upon Him with faith and prayer to accept the fruit of my birth-pangs, that, having received this child, I might bring her that was born unto Him that bestowed her. Wherefore, I cry aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Truly this is a matter of the Law, the priest said to her, and strange doth this thing seem unto me, beholding her that doth most gloriously surpass the holy ones in grace led into the house of God. Wherefore, rejoicing, I cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Canon II, Irmos: Him of whom the angels and all the hosts of heaven are in awe * as their Lord and Creator, * ye priests hymn, ye children praise, * ye peoples bless and supremely exalt * throughout all ages.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Joachim rejoiceth today in splendor, and the blameless Anna offereth to the Lord God a sacrifice: the holy daughter given her according to God’s promise.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The holy David and Jesse render praise, and Judah offereth homage; for the pure Virgin, of whom the pre-eternal God was born, grew forth as fruit from their root.

We bless the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit, the Lord:

The most pure Mary, the animate tabernacle, is brought today into the house of God; and Zachariah taketh her in his arms as the sanctified treasure of the Lord.

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

O ye faithful, let us truly honor the Virgin Mother of God, who is blessed by the hands of the priests, as the portal of salvation, the noetic mountain and the animate ladder.

Katavasia: The furnace moist with dew showed forth an image * of a wonder past nature, * for it burned not the youths whom it had received; * neither did the fire of the Godhead consume the Virgin * when it descended into her womb. * Wherefore, chanting, we sing: * Let all creation bless the Lord and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Ode IX,  Canon I, Irmos: In nowise may the hand of the defiled * touch the animate ark of God; * and let the lips of the faithful * never-silently cry out with joy to the Theotokos, * chanting the words of the angel: * Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace! * The Lord is with thee!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

O pure Theotokos, as thou hast the most radiant beauty of purity of soul and art full of the grace of God from heaven, with the ever-existent light thou dost ever enlighten those who cry out with joy: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

Thy wonder doth surpass the power of words, O pure Theotokos, for in thee I perceive a body impervious to the movement of sin. Wherefore, thankfully I cry out to thee: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

Most gloriously did the Law prefigure thee, O pure one, as the tabernacle, the divine jar, the awe-some ark, the veil, the staff, the inviolable temple and portal of God. Wherefore, all these things teach us to cry to thee: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

In hymnody David cried out to thee prophetically, calling thee the daughter of the King in the comeliness of thy virtues, beholding thee standing, elaborately adorned, at the right hand of God. Wherefore, in prophecy he cried out: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

Foreseeing thee who art pleasing to God, Solomon proclaimed thee to be the bower of the King, the living and sealed fountain, from whence untroubled waters have issued forth for us who cry out with faith: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the all-pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

O Theotokos, thou givest to my soul the tranquility of thy gifts, pouring forth life upon those who honor thee as is meet, defending, protecting and preserving them thyself, that they might cry to thee: Truly thou art more highly exalted than all, O pure Virgin!

Canon II, Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

Irmos: The light-bearing cloud upon whom * the beginningless Master of all descended from heaven, * like the dew upon the fleece, * and of whom He was incarnate, * becoming a man for our sake, * let us all magnify as the pure Mother of God.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

The divine maiden Mary, the fruit of the promise, issued forth from the righteous Joachim and Anna, and, a babe in the flesh, she is brought into the holy sanctuary like pleasing incense, to dwell in the Holy of holies.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

With hymns let us praise her who was a babe by nature and was supernaturally revealed as the Mother of God; for she is led unto the Lord in the temple of the law, as the fragrance of sweet savor for the righteous, as the spiritual fruit of her righteous parents.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

O ye faithful, with the angel let us fittingly cry out to the Theotokos “Rejoice!” Rejoice, O most comely Bride! Rejoice, O radiant cloud, from whom the Lord hath shone forth upon us who sit in the darkness of ignorance! Rejoice, thou hope of all!

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

O pure Mary Mother of God, thou Holy of holies, from the snares of the enemy and from all heresy and tribulation do thou free us by thy supplications, who bow down with faith before the image of thy holy countenance.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

With the Angel Gabriel all creation uttereth a fitting hymn to the Theotokos, crying: Rejoice, O most immaculate Mother of God, by whom we have been delivered from the primal curse, coming to share in incorruption!

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

O Virgin, thou hast been shown to be greater than the cherubim, more exalted than the seraphim and more spacious than the heavens, for thou didst contain within thy womb our God Whom naught can contain, and hast given birth to Him ineffably. Him do thou earnestly beseech on our behalf.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

Triadicon: Let us glorify the indivisible Trinity, the Essence in three Hypostases, the undivided glory, Who in a single Godhead, is unceasingly hymned in heaven and on earth, piously worshiping the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

Refrain: Magnify, O my soul, her who hath been led into the temple of the Lord and been blessed by the hands of the priest.

O Virgin Birthgiver of God, pray thou, that we who flee with faith beneath thy compassion and piously worship thy Son as God and Lord of the world be delivered from corruption, misfortunes and all manner of temptations.

Refrain: The angels, beholding the entry of the most pure one, were amazed to see the Virgin enter into the Holy of holies.

O Virgin Birthgiver of God, pray thou, that we who flee with faith beneath thy compassion and piously worship thy Son as God and Lord of the world be delivered from corruption, misfortunes and all manner of temptations.

Katavasia: A strange and most wondrous mystery do I see: * the cave is heaven; * the Virgin the throne of the cherubim; * the manger a room, in which Christ God, * whom nothing can contain, is laid. * Whom we praise and magnify.

Troparion, Tone IV: Today is the prelude of God’s good will * and the proclamation of the salvation of mankind. * The Virgin hath manifestly appeared in the temple of God, proclaiming Christ unto all. * To her let us cry aloud: ** Rejoice, thou fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation!

 

A Canon of Preparation For the Nativity

 

In the middle of Thursday’s confessions in Nazareth House, there was a blessed opportunity to sing a special moleben (supplicatory service) with hymns, verses and prayers of preparation for the Nativity.

Together with the canons for the saints celebrated during the season, the canon posted below would make a beautiful, seasonal addition to Advent prayers, with the images and themes focussing us on the coming feast.

Ode One, Irmos: A triumphant force once laid low all the armed hosts of Pharaoh in the deep: even so the glorious Lord, the Word made flesh, hath blotted out malignant sin; for He hath been greatly glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

O King of All, wishing man to be enrolled in the book of life, Thou hast enrolled Thyself according to the law of Caesar. As a stranger hast Thou come unto Thine own, calling back to heaven those who were unhappily estranged from paradise.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

O King of All, wishing man to be enrolled in the book of life, Thou hast enrolled Thyself according to the law of Caesar. As a stranger hast Thou come unto Thine own, calling back to heaven those who were unhappily estranged from paradise.

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

O Bethlehem, receive Christ: for, made flesh, He cometh to dwell in thee, opening Eden to me. Make ready, O cave, to behold most strangely contained in thee, Him Who cannot be contained, who now is made poor in the wealth of His tender mercies.

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

Christ comes to be born, granting in His goodness a strange rebirth to those sprung from Adam. Be glad, the whole nature of mortal man, thou that art barren and bearest not: the Master hath come to make thee a mother of many children.

Ode III, Irmos: The desert flowered as a lily at Thy coming, O Lord, even the Church of the Gentiles that was barren: and in that same coming is my heart established.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Redeeming me from the bands of evil, O Lord who lovest mankind, Thou comest to be wrapped as a babe in swaddling bands. I venerate Thy divine condescension.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Redeeming me from the bands of evil, O Lord who lovest mankind, Thou comest to be wrapped as a babe in swaddling bands. I venerate Thy divine condescension.

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

The Virgin draweth nigh to bear Thee, O Lord, who, shining timelessly from the Father, hast now come to be in time, setting us loose from the temporal passions of our souls.

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

Lord most merciful and full of pity, seeking me who had gone astray in transgression, Thou hast come to dwell in a cave as in Heaven, thereby preparing the Heavenly mansions for me.

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. 

Sedalion, Tone I: Rejoice exceedingly, O Sion: make ready, O Bethlehem. The Upholder of All Things, sending a star before Him, hath made known His condescension without measure. He before Whom the heavenly powers tremble, our only God, without suffering change, is born in very truth from the Virgin.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou hast come forth from a virgin, neither as an angel nor an ambassador, but the Lord Himself made flesh, and to me who am man Thou hast brought salvation. Therefore, I cry unto Thee: ‘Glory to Thy power, O Lord.’

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let the creation now cast off all things old, beholding Thee the Creator made a child. For through Thy birth Thou dost shape all things afresh, making them new once more and leading them back again to their first beauty.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

The magi who had been led on their way by a divine star, stood before Thee, in wonder at Thy marvellous birth; and bearing gifts, they saw the Sun that rose from the virgin cloud.

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

Behold, the Virgin cometh like a young heifer, bearing in her womb the fatted calf that takest away the sins of the world. Let the creation, as it keeps feast, rejoice exceedingly.

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

The preaching of the prophets, foretelling the manifestation of Christ, hath today received its saving fulfilment: for He has come in the flesh to enlighten those in peril of darkness.

Ode V, Irmos: Thou art become mediator between God and man, O Christ our God; for through Thee, O Master, we have access from the darkness of ignorance to Thy Father, the Author of Light.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let the people that once sat in darkness see the Light that knoweth no evening shine forth: Him whom the star once made known to kings from Persia, who worshipped fire.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let the people that once sat in darkness see the Light that knoweth no evening shine forth: Him whom the star once made known to kings from Persia, who worshipped fire.

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

The great King cometh in haste to enter a small cave, that He may make me great who had grown small, and that, as transcendent God, by His poverty without measure He may enrich me who had grown poor.

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

‘Now is Christ born of Jacob,’ so Balaam said: ‘And He shall rule over nations, and His kingdom shall be exalted in grace and shall remain perpetually.’

Ode VI, Irmos: Compassed about in an abyss of sin, on the unsearchable abyss of Thy tender mercies do I call: raise me out of corruption, O God.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Christ in strange wise cometh to His own. Let us make ourselves strangers to sin, and let us receive Him who dwellest in the souls of the meek.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Christ in strange wise cometh to His own. Let us make ourselves strangers to sin, and let us receive Him who dwellest in the souls of the meek.

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

Thou, O Bethlehem, art not least among cities: for in thee is born the King and Lord who shall tend as a shepherd the people that is His own.

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

How shall a small cave receive Thee, for whom the world cannot find room, O Thou Whom none can comprehend? O Thou, Who with the Father art without beginning, how shalt Thou appear as a small child?

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

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

Kontakion, Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Today the Virgin…”: Today the Virgin cometh to give birth ineffably to the preëternal Word in the cave. Dance, O world! And having heard this, with the angels and shepherds glorify the preëternal God, Who is to appear as a little babe.

Ikos: The sacred sayings of the prophets have received their fulfilment, for, lo! the Virgin giveth birth to the All-perfect One in the city of Bethlehem, within a cave! All creation hath been refashioned! Rejoice and dance! The Master of all hath come to dwell with His servants, delivering from the dominion of the alien us who were cast down by corruption, and He is seen as an infant, wrapped in swaddling-clothes, in the manger, the preëternal God, the little babe.

Ode VII, Irmos: The profane command of a lawless tyrant fanned the flame exceeding high; but Christ cast the dew of the Spirit over the children who feared God: blessed is He and exalted above all.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let clouds drop water from on high; He who in glory maketh the clouds His chariot, cometh borne upon a cloud, that is the Virgin. The Light that knows no evening, He cometh to shine on those who before were in darkness and in peril.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let clouds drop water from on high; He who in glory maketh the clouds His chariot, cometh borne upon a cloud, that is the Virgin. The Light that knows no evening, He cometh to shine on those who before were in darkness and in peril.

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

O army of divine angels, make ready to sing the praises of the ineffable condescension of the Lord. O ye magi, come with all speed; O shepherds, make haste. Christ is come, the predestined expectation of the nations and their deliverance.

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

‘What is this great and strange wonder? How do I uphold Thee who upholdest all the world by Thy word? O my Son Who art without beginning, Thy birth is beyond all speech!’ So spake the All-Pure, fearfully holding Christ in her arms.

Ode VIII, Irmos: In Babylon of old, by the command of God, the fiery furnace worked in contrary ways: burning the Chaldeans, it refreshed the faithful as they sang: ‘O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord.’

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

The blameless Lady was amazed at the height of the mystery, in truth past speech, that covered the heavens with knowledge, and she said: ‘The heavenly throne is consumed in flames as it holds Thee; how is it, then, that I carry Thee, my Son?’

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

The blameless Lady was amazed at the height of the mystery, in truth past speech, that covered the heavens with knowledge, and she said: ‘The heavenly throne is consumed in flames as it holds Thee; how is it, then, that I carry Thee, my Son?’

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

‘Thou dost bear the likeness of Thy Father, O my Son. How then hast Thou become poor and taken upon Thyself the likeness of a servant? How shall I lay Thee in a manger of beasts without reason, Who dost deliver all men from unreason? I sing the praises of Thy compassion.’

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

Be joyful all the earth: behold, Christ draws nigh to be born in Bethlehem. Be glad, O sea; dance for joy, thou congregation of prophets, seeing the fulfilment of your words; rejoice, O all ye righteous.

Ode IX, Irmos: The Son of the Father without beginning hath appeared to us, God the Lord made flesh of the Virgin, to give light to those in darkness, and to gather the dispersed. Therefore, the far-famed Theotokos do we magnify.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

Let the kings of the whole earth sing rejoicing, and let the companies of the nations be in exceeding joy. Mountains and hills and hollows, rivers and seas, and the whole creation, magnify the Lord who now is born.

Glory to Thee, our God. Glory to Thee.

As far as it was right, Thou wast seen by the prophets. Made man in the last times, Thou hast appeared to all in Bethlehem, city of Judah, and a star showed Thee to the star-gazers, O Thou Who passest all interpretation.

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

Behold, the Most Holy Word comes unto His own in a holy body that is not His. By a strange birth He maketh His own the world that was estranged. To Him let us sing in praise, Who became poor for us.

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

‘O sweetest Child, how shall I feed Thee Who givest food to all? How shall I hold Thee Who holdest all things in Thy power? How shall I wrap Thee in swaddling clothes, Who dost wrap the whole earth in clouds?’ So cried the all-pure Lady whom in faith we magnify.

O God and Father, the Almighty One, Thou didst create the human race in Thine image and likeness, and when we fell through disobedience, Thou didst promise to send a Saviour. When the fullness of time had come, Thy favour rested on Thine Only-Begotten Son, and He was born of the Virgin Mary. Thus, that which Isaiah the prophet foretold was fulfilled: “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which meaneth ‘God with us.’ “ His birth filled all creation with light; He gave us the baptism of repentance, and didst restore our ancient dignity. Now, most compassionate Lord, Thou bringest us to these honoured days of the Nativity Fast, that we may do battle with the desires of the flesh and draw strength from the hope of the resurrection. Receive us, then, as penitents and forgive our iniquities, whether comitted knowingly and unknowingly, through malice and through weakness. And may our prayers, our fasting, and our works of mercy rise up before Thee as incense, as a sweet spiritual fragrance, that in company with the Magi and the shepherds, we too, with pure hearts, may be found worthy to bow down before the Nativity of Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son. To Whom, together with Thee and Thine All-Holy Spirit, belongeth glory, honour, and worship, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The Canons to the Mother of God in Honour of Her Kazan Icon

Canon to the Directress, the all-holy Theotokos, the composition of the Hieromonk Ignatius, in Tone IV 

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O pure one, joyously do I now offer my foremost praise: Rejoice! And with gladsome voice I cry out to thee, O Directress: Rejoice, and fill me with understanding as I begin to hymn thee!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O all-hymned one who gavest birth unto Christ our everlasting Joy! O Directress, thou hope of the Orthodox, all-hymned Virgin, fill me with the joy which the world hath desired.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

All men and angels join chorus, ever crying out together in heaven and on earth, O Directress: Rejoice, O Virgin, for by thy birthgiving thou hast filled all things with joy!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Directress, vouchsafe joy unto those who with fear cry out to thee Rejoice!, in that thou art the Mother of joy who deliverest from all tribulations; and have mercy on all that have recourse unto thee.

Another canon of the feast, in the same tone:

Irmos: Same as that of the preceding canon.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The captains of the angels reverence thee, O Theotokos; and the ranks of the saints minister to thee with honor; the righteous adorn themselves and bless thee as the Mediatress of heavenly things; heaven and earth together praise thee splendidly in gladness. And we sinners ask mercy: Illumine our hearts, O Mistress, that we may chant a hymn to the revelation of thy holy icon.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Come ye, O Christian people, having mystically cleansed your minds, and assemble in the holy church of the Mother of Christ our God; for from her holy icon there poureth forth upon us inexhaustibly a spiritual wellspring which healeth the souls and bodies of those who cry out in song: Blessed is our God Who was born of thee!

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

The strange wonder of thy divine birthgiving striketh every ear with wonder and awe, O all-immaculate one: how thou didst conceive the Creator of the cherubim; how thou didst bear in the flesh Him Who is life, and for the whole world didst give birth to life: the God and Man!

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

Beneath thy shelter do all of us, the generations of man, flee, O Virgin Lady. With the light of thy birthgiving enlighten us, thy sinful servants who earnestly pray, bowing down before thine all-pure icon, asking to receive from thee great mercy.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O unshakable, pure and animate palace of Christ the King Most High! Rejoice, O Directress, Rejoice! For by thee is our city preserved intact!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

In thy womb which tasted not of wedlock thou didst bodily contain Him Whom creation cannot contain, O Virgin Directress. Wherefore, magnifying thee as is meet, we chant, Rejoice!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O all-hymned joy of the world, ever hymning thee with joy, O pure one, we are vouchsafed everlasting joy by thy maternal supplications unto Him Who was born of thee, O Directress.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Directress, we invoke thee as the golden jar, the candlestick, the rod and the table, O pure one, and we ever raise the cry, Rejoice! to thee when we use these terms.

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

What worthy praise can our utter infirmity offer thee? For through the manifestation of thine all-pure, divine icon thou pourest forth bountiful streams of healing upon thy servants who faithfully have recourse to thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The holy revelation of thy divine icon, O Virgin Theotokos, hath shone upon us like the radiant sun, emitting rays of all-glorious miracles, and dispelling a myriad of evil circumstances by thy sacred intercessions, O Mistress.

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

Thou didst once fill thy first-painted icon with grace, O Virgin Lady Theotokos; and now that same grace speaketh forth truly in the effulgence of the wonders of faith, as the first one did for the sake of thee who wast first depicted thereon, unto those who with faith have recourse to thee after God.

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

We bow down before the all-pure image of thee and thy Babe all-sweet, Christ the preëternal and never-waning Light, O Theotokos, by Whom thou hast saved all human nature from cruel evils and mortal corruption.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: The divine apostles of the Word, the clarion-voiced universal heralds of the Gospel of Christ, having founded a divine temple in thine all-holy name, O Theotokos, approached thee, entreating thee to come to its consecration. But thou didst say, O Mother of God: “Go in peace, and I shall be with you there!” And they, going forth, there found, on the wall of the church, the likeness of thine image limned powerfully in colored hues; and seeing it, they did thee homage and glorified God. And we also, with them, bow down before thy divine icon, asking of thee great mercy. Grant remission of sins to thy servants, O thou who alone art blessed.

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

The above Sessional hymn is repeated.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O Mistress Directress, thou wonder of wonders! Rejoice, joy of all cities and towns, impregnable fortress and bulwark for Christians amid misfortunes, thou victory over the enemy!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O boast of Orthodox kings, for thou, O Queen of all, dost accompany Christ-loving armies! Rejoice, O Directress, thou refuge and confirmation of us all!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, deliverance for all amid misfortunes! Rejoice, ready consolation for all the sorrowful! Rejoice, O all-hymned one! Rejoice, most blessed Directress, healer of all the infirm!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, thou whose mighty works all creation doth make haste to glorify as is meet; yet it is unable, O Directress, and therefore it crieth out to thee: Rejoice, O Mistress, thou dwelling-place which contained God!

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O ye pure people, in purity let us cherish the icon of the Virgin Theotokos and of the divine Infant Christ our God; and let us kiss it and glorify her with fear and trembling; for we right honorably venerate the icon and honor even more the pure Mother of God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

David, the divine and wondrous prophet, foreseeing as from a great distance, said: The rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance. And let us, O ye faithful, bow down and venerate the precious icon, sanctified body and soul.

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

Luke, the divinely eloquent recorder of the Gospel, at the behest of God set down thine all-immaculate image, O Theotokos, depicting the preëternal Infant in thine arms; and from temptations and misfortunes thou deliverest those who have recourse thereto, and thou protectest and savest them all by thine image.

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

Thou art the boast and crown of all the saints, O Queen; after God, thou art our hope and helper, and on thee have we all set our hope of salvation. Thee do we entreat as the Mother of God: Rain down thy rich and soul-saving mercies upon thy sinful servants.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou art an abyss of goodness and compassions. Rejoice, O Virgin Directress! Rejoice, thou who makest all faithful! O rejoice, most speedy helper of those who are in misfortune and sorrow!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Beholding the mighty works of the fullness of thy wonders, we, the faithful, are filled with joy, even those among us who hear of them yet see them not. Wherefore, in every place we all ever chant unto thee, Rejoice, O Directress!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O rejoice, O Virgin Directress, thou dwelling-place of Christ our God and habitation of His ineffable and all-divine glory! O rejoice, palace all adorned! Rejoice, animate city ever reigning!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Looking upon thee as a sea of joy inexhaustible, O Virgin Maiden Directress, rejoicing we all cry out to thee, Rejoice! And chanting, we ever expect of thee divine gifts invisibly bestowed.

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Every being is at a loss how to hymn thee, O all-pure one; for thou art exalted far above the heavenly intelligences, having given birth unto the unapproachable and dread King and God of all. But as thou art merciful and the ready helper of men, attend unto the entreaty of thy servants, and grant us thy help.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Where thy grace overshadoweth, O Theotokos, the demons vanish in fear and their wickedly devised phantasy is destroyed; the dark demons flee and the whole multitude of the faithful rejoice, crying out a hymn of praise to thee from their hearts: Rejoice, thou divine protection of our souls!

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

Sweet sight is given to the eyeless, hearing to the deaf, goodly speech to the mute, the ability to walk to the lame, cleansing to the leprous, chastity to the demonized, and healing to those who suffer from divers sicknesses, through the overshadowing of thine all-pure icon, O Theotokos.

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

O joyous Theotokos, let us never fail to hymn thy mighty works with psalms and hymns; for thou truly gavest birth unto the incarnate God unto our universal salvation and deliverance.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Receiving Christ within thyself, O pure Virgin Directress, thou didst hear the cry, Rejoice! And having given birth unto Him ineffably, thou dost ever hear the salutation Rejoice! from all.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou hast filled all with joy, and hast united those who are on high with them below, O Directress. Wherefore, with joy heaven and all the earth now cry out to thee together.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O all-hymned Directress, consolation of widows and all orphans! Rejoice, thou who pourest forth inexhaustible riches upon all the destitute!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O Directress, dwelling-place of Christ, more lustrous than any gold and more splendid than the dawning of the sun! Rejoice, O Virgin! Rejoice, O Bride unwedded!

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Virgin Lady, by thine exclamation of old thou didst impart to thine all-pure image the all-rich grace of thy divine birthgiving, that it work great and all-glorious miracles in abundance, unto the salvation of those who set their hope on thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Where the holy name of the joyous Theotokos is glorified, streams of every good thing pour forth. Come ye in purity, O people, for, lo! by the manifestation of the divine icon of the Virgin is the presence of the Queen revealed, unto the salvation of all the faithful.

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

Approaching with faith, O all-immaculate Mistress and Mother of God, from thine all-pure icon we receive healing of maladies, the dispelling of the passions, salvation which nourisheth the soul, forgiveness of sins, and everlasting deliverance.

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

To thee, O Lady, do the generations of the earthborn flee, and ask great mercy; and they that are infirm receive healing in abundance, release from the passions, and consolation amid grief. O Mistress, let fall upon me a drop of soul-saving rain, that with all I also may hymn thy magnitude.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel.” To thee, the champion leader…” : O ye people, let us flee to that calm and good haven, the speedy helper and ready and fervent salvation, the protection of the Virgin, and let us make haste to prayer and speed to repentance. For the all-pure Theotokos poureth forth upon us inexhaustible mercies; she cometh in advance to help us and delivereth her good-hearted and God-fearing servants from great misfortunes and evils.

Ikos: Having cleansed thought and mind, let us make haste to the Theotokos, calling her blessed in splendid hymns; and let us glorify and honor her all-pure icon; and falling down before it, let us do homage as to herself; for the veneration shown an icon ascendeth unto the Prototype, and he that honoreth and boweth down before it, honoreth the Prototype Himself, as the divine fathers have said. And if one doth not reverence the all-holy Theotokos, and doth not venerate her icon, let him be anathema. For she putteth to shame and destroyeth those who honor her not, and delivereth from great misfortunes and evils her good-hearted and God-fearing servants.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Directress, who dost ever direct all the faithful to tread the path to all salvation! Rejoice, O Mistress, for by thee are we ever delivered from the present tribulations brought about by the barbarians!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Theotokos Directress, who keepest watch and prayest to God for us, delivering all the people from every sorrow and from all evil by thy mediation!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O all-holy Directress, who fulfillest those of our petitions which are for our profit, and ever desirest for all good and brotherly unity, especially among the leaders.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Directress of ships which must needs sail, who deliverest the faithful, and quickly loosest them from divers and long-standing ailments, O deliverance of all from every sorrow!

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Come ye, let us draw forth remission from the inexhaustible wellspring which poureth forth sanctity, the all-pure Virgin and her all-pure Infant, God the Word, Who became incarnate for our sake. And let us cry out to Him: O Creator and Deliverer Who art God glorified with the Father and the Spirit, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Possessed of ever-vigilant and God-pleasing prayer, O pure one, and an insuperable dominion of might, crush thou the audacity of the enemy which is directed against us, that we, thy servants, may rejoice in thee, crying out to thy Son: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

O ye faithful people, let us rejoice and be glad in the wondrous appearance of the icon of the all-pure Mistress, the Theotokos; for it hath been shown to be an inexhaustible river pouring forth the water of healing. For it giveth sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, the ability to walk to the lame, and free healing to all amid their infirmities.

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

An unfathomable abyss, an incomprehensible mystery is the unapproachable image of thy conception, O Virgin; for thy conception was seedless; thou gavest birth without a husband; the Incorporeal One became incarnate, the Preëternal One became an infant, the Son of God became thy Son, O Virgin. To Him do we cry aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God!

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O most blessed Mary, for through thee the most blessed God hath arrayed Himself wholly in me; and having arrayed Himself in man, He hath united man to His divinity in an ineffable union, O Virgin Directress! Rejoice, O joyous one, thou joy of all the world!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, dispeller of evil spirits! Rejoice, O Theotokos Directress! Rejoice, thou whom the invisible armies of heaven ever glorify and magnify as the Mother of God! Rejoice, thou who hast joined those who are below with those above!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Directress who without exception surpassest all the heavenly hosts! Rejoice, O all-hymned Mistress, who gavest birth to the God of all creation, and hast dominion over it! Rejoice, O pure one, who even after giving birth remainest a virgin!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, glory of all women, all-hallowed temple of our God! Rejoice, O Directress! Rejoice, thou who savest the souls of all the world! Rejoice, protecting cloud broader than the heavens! Rejoice, phial full of divine oil of myrrh!

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The minds of angels and men are filled with awe, O Theotokos, in contemplating how thou gavest flesh unto the God of heaven, containing Him in thy womb, and how, having given birth unto Him as a babe, thou bearest Him as a Son in thine arms. Before Him doth creation stand in awe and the heavenly thrones tremble, crying out unceasingly: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God Who art all-hymned and supremely exalted above all forever!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, thou who art the joy of all the world! With the Archangel Gabriel we cry out to thee, O Theotokos: Rejoice, thou who didst contain the Infinite One! Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace, bearer of the whole Divinity! Rejoice, restoration of Adam, the Lord is with thee, saving us for thy sake! Him do we hymn and exalt supremely forever.

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

O sanctified root of Jesse, thou hast plucked forth the root of our sin, O rod of Aaron which blossomed, giving rise to a Blossom, Christ the Bestower of life! O jar which received the Manna, thou hast crushed all the power of death, and hast brought the human race to the generation of life. Wherefore, we hymn thee, the cause of that which is good.

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

Thou art the boast of Christians, O Mistress; thou art a sword against our enemies and a rampart for those who have recourse unto thee. We now call upon thee for aid, O Lady: permit not the foe to rise up against thy people, for they praise neither thee nor thy Son, O Theotokos, nor do they bow down before thine icon. Vanquish them, and save thou our souls.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O lamp who bore the never-waning Light and who in thy birth-giving hast destroyed the darkness of polytheism and delivered thy people from the abyss of hades! Rejoice, O Theotokos Directress, mediatress of all good things!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O earth from whence the Ear of heavenly grain hath budded forth for the faithful; and deliver the whole world from soul-destroying famine, O noetic and animate one! Rejoice, O vine who gavest birth to the Cluster of life, O pure Theotokos Directress!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, most comely paradise of mystic flowers! Rejoice, Virgin Mother, O Theotokos who by purity hast most strangely vanquished the understanding of the invisible foe! Rejoice, O Maiden, rejoice, O Directress, thou universal wonder and report!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

By thine aid, keep thou the remaining time of our life untouched by harm, O Virgin Maiden, and count us worthy to receive a good end, for we hymn thee and cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed and pure Theotokos and Directress!

Same Irmos

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thee, the steadfast helper of the human race, O Theotokos Mary, did the choir of the prophets foretell in many and divers ways, as the holy tabernacle more spacious than the heavens, the tablet divinely inscribed, the bush unconsumed by the Fire, the portal through which God passeth, the mountain and the ladder, the bridge and the rod which blossomed forth. And we truly magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The mystery of the depth of thy birthgiving moveth the mind of the angels to awe, O Virgin, and thine all-pure icon driveth the demons away, darkeneth the countenances of the ungodly, and putteth them to shame. For they cannot bear to look upon its power, and they flee and vanish away. And we lovingly bow down and venerate it, and magnify thee as the Theotokos.

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

As a constant intercessor before the King Most High, in that thou art possessed of undaunted boldness, establish thou the life of the Orthodox in peace profound, exalt our right-believing hierarchs, and ever grant unto thy servants all things profitable, that we may magnify thee as the Theotokos.

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

O most merciful helper of Christians, the mind of men or angels cannot hymn thee as is meet, for thou art more honorable than all creation, more glorious than all things of heaven and earth; for thou gavest birth unto the Creator and God of all. O Mistress, mercifully accept the hymn which we have composed for thee from the depths of our heart, and ever save us, for on thee have we set our hope.

Troparion, Tone IV: O earnest helper, Mother of the Lord Most High, thou dost entreat Christ, thy Son and our God, on behalf of all, and dost cause all to be saved who have recourse to thy mighty protection. O Lady, Queen and Mistress, help us all who, amid temptations, sorrows and sickness, are heavy laden with many sins, who stand before thee and with tears pray to thee with compunctionate soul and contrite heart before thine all-pure image, and who have unfailing hope in thee: Grant deliverance from all evils, and things profitable unto all, O Virgin Theotokos, and save us all, for thou art the divine protection of thy servants.

Canon to the Holy & Righteous Virgin Juliana, Princess Olshanskaya

If one takes a close look at the icon of the Synaxis of the Saints of the Kiev Caves Lavra, the figure of St Juliana, Princess Olshanskaya, is to be seen alongside the Fathers of the Caves. Her incorrupt relics, dug up near the Dormition Cathedral in 1540 were enshrined within the temple, but they were moved to the Near Caves after a fire in 1718.

The feast of the translation of her relics having been celebrated in the last day, we would do well to pray her canon for Metropolitan Pavel, the persecuted Abbot of the Lavra, and all of the much-suffering fathers and brethren.

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

O Jesus, King of hosts, immortal Word of God: Grant me the discourse and intelligence, that I may hymn Thine immaculate bride, the righteous virgin Juliana, whom Thou hast radiantly glorified with incorruption and miracles.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Wounded with desire for immortal life and the beauty of Him Who is more comely than all the sons of men, thy heart captivated thou didst hasten after Him with faith, O divinely wise Juliana.

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

In godly manner thou didst array thyself in garments of purity, and didst clothe thyself in the vesture of immaculate virginity, O beauteous virgin. Wherefore, Christ loved the comeliness of thy soul.

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

Strengthened by the grace of Him Who shone forth from thy womb, O all-immaculate one, the choirs of virgins were led in unto Him in thy train, rejoicing and crying out: Thou art the boast of the virginal!

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by the power of God, O Juliana, while yet in thy youth thou didst overcome the uprisings of the passions, having one desire: faithfully to be well-pleasing unto Christ alone, and to serve Him blamelessly in holiness and purity.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

A divine miracle of the goodness of God was revealed in thee, O holy virgin — how thou, a young maiden, didst vanquish the machinations of ancient Belial — for in thy weakness was the power of God gloriously glorified.

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

Thou didst love heavenly wisdom from childhood, O unblemished ewe-lamb Juliana, and instructed therein, thou didst consider the glory of princely rank, riches and beauty to be as nought, that thou mightest be pleasing unto Christ.

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

Reasoning in Orthodox manner, we proclaim thee to be the true and most immaculate Mother of God; for through thee was the Creator pleased to unite Himself with us.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone IV: All-adorned with the beauty of virginity, O immaculate bride, holy virgin Juliana, thou didst enter, rejoicing, into the bridal-chamber of Christ, where the choirs of the angels and the councils of the saints lovingly greeted thee, and the King of glory Himself, thy beloved Bridegroom, looked mercifully upon thee, and crowned thee with a crown of immortality. Him do thou entreat, O most blessed one, that He not deprive us, who are made of earth and dust, of the inheritance of His kingdom.

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: O pure and most immaculate one, who knewest not wedlock, who alone gavest birth in time to the timeless Son and Word of God: With the holy and honorable apostles, martyrs, prophets and the venerable, entreat Him, that He grant us cleansing and great mercy.

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

To the sounds of angelic hymnody thou didst enter into marriage with the Lamb, O Juliana, bride of Christ, and didst receive the grace of miracles as a token of your betrothal to Christ, wherewith thou treatest the infirmities of men.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

With divine miracles and the incorruption of thy virginal body dost thou assure us that thy life was well-pleasing unto God, O favorite of God, and that thou hast received a heavenly reward with the saints.

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

Thou didst offer gifts unto Christ — unsullied virginity, a silent mouth and a meek heart — O blessed Juliana; and by the labors of asceticism thou didst win the kingdom of heaven, wherein thou delightest in everlasting blessedness.

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

Like rain upon the fleece which the Prophet Gideon beheld of old did the Lord descend upon thy womb, O all-immaculate one. Thou gavest birth to Him in two natures for the salvation of us who cry out: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Like a treasure of great price were thy relics, blossoming with incorruption, found in the earth through the wondrous providence of God, O holy virgin Juliana; for thou didst most beautifully rest in the grave with a radiant face and the ornaments of a virgin, unharmed by corruption.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Having died in the body, thou art alive in spirit, O God-pleasing princess; wherefore, thou didst appear in a vision to Peter [Moghila], the first hierarch of the Church of Kiev, commanding Him to render fitting honor to thy relics.

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

Acknowledging thy holiness, the holy hierarch Peter had thy holy relics clad in new and magnificent garments, O righteous Juliana; and he placed them with honor in the Great Church, and decreed that thy memory ever be celebrated, in that thou art a true favorite of God

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

Raise me up who have fallen into the pit of the passions, and guide me to the haven of salvation, O only most immaculate one who gavest birth to God the Helmsman Who by grace hath united those above to those below, who had formerly been separated.

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

The mindless and sacrilegious robber who stole the ring from thy hand thou didst punish terribly, O favorite of God, for he straightway bitterly gave up his soul at the entrance to the church and fell prey to the devil.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Desiring to assure the right reverend abbot that thou truly restest with the saints in the mansions of paradise, thou didst appear to him in a vision among a choir of holy virgins, O blessed Juliana, and didst upbraid him for not believing that thou hadst been numbered by God among the holy virgins who were well-pleasing to Him.

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

Thy holy relics pour forth healings upon the infirm, O princess Juliana, and the demons tremble before them; for great power is given thee by God against unclean spirits. From their oppression free us also through thy right acceptable supplications.

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

Beholding the fulfillment of thy words, we magnify thee who hast magnified our race, O Mother of God; for giving birth unto One of the Trinity thou becamest an animate chariot of the Godhead. Wherefore, all generations now truly call thee blessed.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone VIII: We know thee to be an animate temple of God right beautifully adorned with virginal purity, O holy and righteous virgin princess Juliana; wherefore, celebrating the discovery of thy holy relics with love, we beseech thee, O excellent mediatress of our desires: Carry thy supplications for us to the Lord, and by thine intercession at the throne of the Most High free us from all misfortunes, that we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O holy virgin Juliana, all-comely bride of Christ!

Ikos: Loving the purity beloved of the angels, O holy and righteous virgin, thou didst blamelessly finish thine earthly life, having acquired in the flesh the ways of the angels; wherefore, thou now dwellest in the mansions of paradise with the incorporeal ones and all the saints, and hearest from us who honor thee these hymns of praise: Rejoice, God-loving daughter of noble parents; rejoice, thou who didst wondrously join a princely diadem with the crown of immortality! Rejoice, thou who didst not desire to know an earthly betrothed instead of the heavenly One; rejoice, thou who didst blamelessly preserve thy virginity for Christ alone! Rejoice, thou who in thy youth didst love Jesus most sweet with all thy soul; rejoice, thou who maintained thy fidelity to Him unto the end of thy life! Rejoice, thou who hast been glorified by the Lord with incorruption and miracles; rejoice, thou who abundantly pourest forth gracious healings! Rejoice, ever-shining lamp illumining the Holy Church; rejoice, priceless treasure given by God to the Lavra of the Caves! Rejoice, cure for our bodies provided without any charge; rejoice, diligent intercessor before the Lord for our souls! Rejoice, O holy virgin Juliana, all-comely bride of Christ!

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Even though death touched thee through the law of nature, O divinely wise Juliana, yet dost thou emit a ray of immortality from thy tomb; for clothed with life-bearing mortality in Christ, thou didst most beautifully blossom forth with miraculous incorruption.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

The laws of nature were altered in thee in manner past understanding and comprehension, O wondrous virgin Juliana; for lying for many years in a grave in the bosom of the earth, thou wast shown to be incorrupt, thy face blossoming, as one who in the Lord slept the sleep of the righteous.

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

Desiring to behold the beauty of the all-radiant countenance of Christ, O pure virgin, thou didst reject an earthly bridegroom, that thou mightest wed thyself to Christ forever. And thou didst offer immaculate purity unto Him as a costly dowry. Wherefore, He loved the beauty of thy soul.

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

Spare me, O Christ, when thou wilt judge the earth with glory. Dispel the gloom of my passions through the supplications of the immaculate Virgin who gave Thee birth, and with her receive also the righteous Juliana who prayeth for me, in that Thou art good and great in mercy.

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Thy splendid memorial is joy for the faithful, O blessed Juliana, for therein hath the triumph of Orthodoxy been made manifest; for only in the bosom of the One Orthodox Church doth the grace-bearing incorruption flourish, wherewith thou hast been divinely invested, receiving fitting honor.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Christ gave thee an inexhaustible wealth of healings, O maiden, and instead of an earthly principality enriched thee with the inheritance of a heavenly kingdom, as one who loved Him sincerely with all thy soul. Wherefore, entreat His goodness, that He not deprive us, the benighted, of enlightenment from on high and the goodly portion of the saints.

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

Thy holy relics pour forth streams of healing, O God-pleasing princess, wherewith thou dost bedew our souls with grace, and healest our bodies of multifarious ailments: for thou hast received rich gifts of healing from the Lord.

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

O thou who gavest birth to the hypostatic Wisdom, the preëternal Word, the Physician of souls and bodies, heal thou the sores and wounds of my soul, which are grievous and of long standing, and assuage the pain of my heart, O Virgin.

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

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

The Holy Lavra of the Caves danceth, having thy wonder-working relics as a priceless treasure, O Juliana, from whence, as from an inexhaustible wellspring, thou pourest forth healings upon the faithful; wherefore, with love we bless thee with hymns of praise.

Holy, Righteous Princess, Juliana, pray to God for us.

Thou hast been shown to be like a radiant star illumining the noetic heaven of the Lavra of the Caves with grace, O righteous virgin; and with the purity of thy life thou shinest upon all who desire to live in holiness of life, that through thee all might be sanctified to the love of Christ God.

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

O immaculate turtle-dove, thou didst fly beneath the shelter of the heavenly Eagle, and didst find goodly rest with Him, O right laudable Juliana. Bear thou our thoughts up to Him, and teach us to emulate the purity of thy life and thy fervent love for Christ God.

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

Blessed is the Fruit of thy blessed womb, O pure one, Whom the hosts of heaven and the assemblies of men bless, and Who hath delivered us from the primal curse, O blessed Virgin.

Troparion, Tone VIII: As an immaculate bride of Christ, the incorrupt Bridegroom, O righteous virgin Juliana, with the radiant lamp of good works thou didst enter into His heavenly bridal-chamber, and there dost delight with the saints in eternal blessedness. Wherefore, entreat Him Whom thou lovest, and to Whom thou didst betroth thy virginity, that He save our souls.

The Canon to St Sisoës the Great

Canon, in Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: Let us chant unto the Lord, Who led His people through the Red Sea, for He alone hath gloriously been glorified.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

By thy prayers enliven me who am done to death by the passions, O father, interceding with great boldness now before the Life of the living.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Rejecting the love of the flesh, O father, with divine desire thou didst follow after Him Who crieth out to thee with love, O blessed Sisoës.

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

Receiving the immaterial radiance within thy heart, O father, thou wast illumined and didst drive away the gloom of all the passions.

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

O all-immaculate one who gavest birth unto the Savior, the Peace of all: save me who am tempest-tossed by the storm of all the passions.

Ode III, Irmos: Thou art the confirmation of those who have recourse to Thee, O Lord; Thou art the light of the benighted; and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Mightily didst thou subject thy flesh to thy mind, O venerable one, and didst show thy soul to be free of slavery to the passions.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

With thy pangs thou didst plough well the furrow of thy soul, O wise and venerable one, and didst grow the grain of dispassion and miracles.

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

Thou wast clad in the mortality of Christ, the Bestower of life, O venerable one, and didst follow in His steps. Wherefore, He giveth thee the grace to raise up the dead.

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

O pure one, we hymn thee as a place of sanctification and the noetic table which received Christ the Bread, the Life of all.

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

Sessional hymn, Tone IV: Thou didst adorn thy life with abstinence; and having mortified thy members, didst triumph over the onslaughts of the passions, O blessed Sisoës, and didst pass over to everlasting life in God, as a worthy heir to His kingdom. Wherefore, cease thou never to pray that our souls be saved.

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

Theotokion: O pure Ever-virgin, thou fervent and invincible intercessor, renowned and unashamed hope, thou rampart, shelter and haven for those who have recourse unto thee: With the angels beseech thy Son and God, that He grant peace to the world, salvation and great mercy.

Or this Stavrotheotokion (Wednesdays and Fridays):By the Cross of thy Son, O thou who art full of the grace of God, the deception of idolatry hath been wholly put to shame, and the might of the demons hath been trampled down. Wherefore, as is meet, we, the faithful, ever hymn and bless thee; and confessing thee to be in truth the Theotokos, we magnify thee.

Ode IV, Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy dispensation; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

With the rain of grace, O father, thou hast poured forth rivers of wonders, cleansing from defilement those who with faith have recourse unto thee, O blessed one.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Having thoroughly cleansed thy soul with all-night entreaties and day-long standings, O venerable one, thou didst show it to be a dwelling-place of the Trinity.

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

In flight thou didst betake thyself to the desert places, O father, waiting upon Him Who saved thee from faint-heartedness and affliction.

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

Habbakuk of old foresaw thee as an unquarried mountain, O all-immaculate one, whence God appeared Who hath renewed us who are corrupted.

Ode V, Irmos: Waking at dawn, we cry to Thee: Save us, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

As a temple of the three-Sunned Godhead, thou didst cast down the passions of thy soul as though they were graven images.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Having slain the wisdom of thy flesh, O God-bearer, thou didst raise up the dead through the activity of the Spirit.

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

Thou wast shown to be a dispeller of unclean spirits, O father; for thou wast a pure abode of the Holy Spirit.

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

As thou gavest birth unto the never-setting Sun, O Theotokos, enlighten me who am wholly darkened by the passions.

Ode VI, Irmos: Cleanse me, O Savior, 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.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Thou didst escape being destroyed by the noetic whale, O father, having acquired abstinence, prayer, unfeigned love, mighty humility and steadfast love for Christ.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Our mighty God directed thy steps toward Himself and manifestly gave thee the strength to trample down serpents and crush the heads of scorpions, O all-blessed God-bearer.

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

By thine inclination towards God, thou wast manifestly deified, becoming light by thine all-embracing love for the Lord, O God-bearing father, thou earthly angel and heavenly man.

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

O Mary, thou pure vessel of ­virginity, cleanse thou my mind of the darkness of the passions, and fill my heart with grace and righteousness, O all-immaculate one.

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, Spec. Mel. “Thou hast appeared today…”: Having struggled, thou wast seen to be an angel on the earth, O venerable one, ever illumining the thoughts of the faithful with divine signs. Wherefore, we honor thee with faith, O Sisoës.

Ode VII, Irmos: In the furnace the Hebrew children boldly trod the flame underfoot and transformed the fire into dew, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

With a pure mind thou didst receive all the radiance of the Spirit, and didst become a beacon for those who cry out with faith: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

With a pure mind thou didst receive all the radiance of the Spirit, and didst become a beacon for those who cry out with faith: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

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

With the divine fire of abstinence didst thou utterly consume the tinder of sin, and thou didst pass over into the noetic light, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

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

O Mother of the Savior, save me who am held fast in the abyss of transgressions, and rescue me from all the malice of the enemy, that, saved, I may magnify thine aid.

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

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Abiding in unceasing prayers and entreaties, thou didst drive the gloom of the passions from thy soul, and didst cleanse thy mind’s eye. Wherefore, thou wast vouchsafed to behold the future prophetically, O Sisoës, piously crying Aloud: Ye people, exalt the Lord supremely forever!

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Like an angel didst thou dwell in thy body, O venerable one and thou didst vanquish legions of the adversary. Wherefore, with gladness, O father, thou hast made thine abode in immaterial life, where the ranks of the angels dwell, and with them thou dost cry out: Hymn the Lord, ye priests; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

By thy sacred prayers unto God cleanse thou my soul, which hath dried up through the passions, and deliver me from the captivity which holdeth me fast, O God-bearing father, that I may cry out in a pure manner: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

Sanctified by the Spirit, thou didst receive the Creator of human nature in thy womb, and didst ineffably give birth unto Him, O pure Maiden. Lauding Him unceasingly, we chant: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

An awesome wonder took place at the very moment of thy repose; for thy countenance shone forth more brightly than the sun, and choirs of angels arrived to receive thy soul and bear it to the three-Sunned Light.

Venerable Father Sisoës, pray to God for us.

Delighting in divine beauties, and deified in partaking thereof, illumined with the radiant splendors which issue forth therefrom, O blessed one, by thine entreaties deliver from the dark destruction of the passions those who faithfully honor thy light-bearing memory, O wise one.

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

Abstaining from all evil, O father, thou wast righteous, blameless, venerable, guileless, and obedient unto God in thy holiness. Wherefore, the Trinity abode within thy heart, in Whom thou now dost radiantly delight, O right wondrous one.

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

There is no salvation for me because of my deeds, O all-immaculate one; for, having trodden the wrong path, I have been filled with darkness. But as thou didst shine forth upon us light from the Light, enlighten and save me, and disdain me not who am grievously perishing.

Troparion, Tone I: A desert-dweller, an angel in the flesh and a wonderworker wast thou shown to be, O our God-bearing father Sisoës. For, having acquired heavenly gifts through fasting, vigilance and prayer, thou dost heal the infirm and the souls of those who have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him Who gave thee strength! Glory to Him Who hath crowned thee! Glory to Him Who worketh healings for all through thee!

The Canon for the Uncovering of the Relics of St Sergius

Celebrated, 5/18 July

Ode I, Irmos: Parting the abyss of the Red Sea, God drowned Pharaoh therein, but led Moses across to the wilderness dry-shod, and rained down manna as food for the people of Israel, in that He is mighty.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

With the light of Thee, the three-Sunned Godhead, O my Creator, illumine the darkened eyes of my soul, I beseech Thee, and cleanse Thou my heart, that I may hymn the uncovering of the precious relics of the venerable Sergius, who loved Thee.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Grant me words for the opening of my mouth, O Word of God, make my tongue brilliant, O Merciful One, and be Thou not mindful of the multitude of my sins, that, guided by Thy grace, I may hymn Thy venerable saint, Sergius.

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

As thou didst preach the Trinity by crying out within thy mother’s womb, so did the Trinity glorify thee. Lo! thy precious relics, hidden for so many years beneath the ground, were found to be incorrupt, filling the faithful with sweet fragrance and miracles.

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

O all-pure Mistress who art more exalted than the hosts of heaven, and gavest birth to the Saviour and Creator of all, Who is consubstantial with the Father and the Spirit: grant us discourse, O all-hymned one, that we may hymn thee who art the helper of our race.

Ode III, Irmos: Let the vainglorious sage boast not, but let him consider this: There is none as holy as God, Who exalteth our horn, granting might to our rulers.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by the power of the Cross of the Lord, thou didst make the spiritual passions and reasoning of the flesh subject to thy spirit; wherefore, thou didst become an all-comely habitation of the all-holy Spirit and the chosen resting-place of the indivisible Trinity.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

By thy life in this world having become a model for all who have laboured for Christ with all their soul, thou didst shine forth in purity like the sun; wherefore, thou hast received recompense an hundredfold from the hand of the Almighty, O divinely wise Sergius, for which cause we joyfully call thee blessed.

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

Come, let us now come together on this present feast, and let us behold and be filled with joy, that we may glorify Christ Who hath so glorified those who glorify Him, and hath given us the divinely blessed Sergius as an invincible rampart and bestower of miracles.

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

Rejoicing, we offer thee thanks together with hymnody, O Mother of God, for in the flesh thou gavest birth to Almighty God, Who hath given thee to Christians as a steadfast intercessor.

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

Sessional hymn, Tone VIII: With great abstinence thou didst sail across the sea of life, and thou hast put in at the calm harbour, the mansions of heaven. Thou shinest like a radiant star, and like a never-setting sun dost illumine the whole world with the lightning-flashes of thy miracles, and enlightenest the flock of thy disciples. To our pious Orthodox hierarchs and all the faithful thou grantest forgiveness of sins, correction of life, and victory over the adversary, that, standing joyfully round about thine honoured and much-healing shrine, we may lovingly venerate thy holy relics and cry aloud to thee, as to a solicitous father: O divinely wise and all-blessed father Sergius, entreat the Holy Trinity, for Whom thou didst labour in this life, that we who honour the uncovering of thy precious relics with love may be granted remission of sins. (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: All of us, the generations of men, bless thee who gavest birth to God in the flesh, without seed, as the only Virgin among mothers; for the Fire of the Godhead made His abode within thee, and with milk thou didst feed the Creator and Lord as a babe. Wherefore, we, the generation of angels and men, glorify thine all-holy birth-giving as is meet, and cry out to thee together: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offences unto those who with faith worship thine all-holy Offspring.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thy virtue hath covered the heavens, and the earth hath been filled with Thy glory, O Christ. Wherefore, we cry out with faith: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Thou didst cleave unto God from thy mother’s womb, O blessed father Sergius, and loving poverty of spirit didst have in thy heart the fear of God as the beginning of wisdom, the root and foundation of all good things. Wherefore, Christ the Master hath enriched thee with miracles.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Like a fragrant lily thy precious relics have emerged from the bosom of the earth, O all-blessed Sergius, and like a treasure they emit the radiance of miracles, gladdening thy spiritual children.

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

Today the royal city of Moscow rejoiceth, and the whole world is filled with gladness; and thy monastery, O divinely blessed Sergius, boasting, is adorned, having thy precious relics within it as an inexhaustible and all-wondrous treasure.

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

O Virgin Lady, Queen of all creation, who wast foretold by many prophets and gavest birth to the King of the hosts of heaven: Grant victory to thy servants, our pious Orthodox hierarchs, over all heresies, O Lady, and by thy supplications vouchsafe unto us all the kingdom of heaven.

Ode V, Irmos: O Lord, Thou art my portion and the glory of my countenance; for by the knowledge of God Thou alone hast delivered me from the darkness of ignorance. I pray to Thee, O Christ: Grant peace to Thy servant, in that Thou lovest mankind!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

The Holy Church, wondrous in righteousness in the Trinity our God, is splendidly adorned, O divinely wise Sergius, and a multitude of the people spiritually rejoice, beholding thee carried with honour in the arms of the hierarch of God, upborne upon the shoulders of the priests.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Filled with joy at the visitation of the Mother of God, thou didst become a light for thy flock and a guide for the new Israel, O father, leading us from earth to the mansions of heaven, where thou now enjoyest ineffable effulgence.

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

Thy mother’s womb was sanctified by thine honoured conception, and the glorious city of Rostov was rendered splendid by thy nativity; thy great and most glorious monastery hath been glorified by thy struggles, and the whole world hath been filled with thy miracles, O venerable father Sergius.

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

O all-pure Mother of God, thou steadfast helper of those who set their hope on thee, O protection and guardian of our city, invincible bulwark of this holy community, and weapon of salvation for our devout hierarchs: Save all who piously venerate thy holy image.

Ode VI, Irmos: Let not the watery tempest drown me, nor the abyss destroy me; for I have been cast into the depths of the heart of the sea. Wherefore, like Jonah I cry aloud: Let my life ascend to Thee out of the corruption of evils, O God!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Having loved Christ from childhood, O father Sergius, following His life-bearing footsteps thou didst flee this world, and didst attain unto the never-waning light of understanding, where thou now standest with boldness before the Holy Trinity, Whom do thou beseech on behalf of us all.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

The ranks of the incorporeal ones marvelled at thy life in the flesh, and the hordes of the demons were affrighted by the victory which God gave thee over them; and we glorify thee, O venerable Sergius, standing round about the shrine of thy precious relics, and we magnify Christ who hath glorified thee with miracles.

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

By thy supplications, O all-blessed father Sergius, ask what is beneficial for all who venerate the honoured and glorious uncovering of thy holy relics with love and pure faith, and who celebrate thy sacred memory with splendour.

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

Having conceived the Creator and Saviour of all without seed in thy womb, O Mistress Mother of God, and given birth to Christ God in the flesh, by thy supplications render Him merciful unto us, that we all may be counted worthy of His revelation and kingdom.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “To thee, the champion leader…”: Thy precious relics, shining forth from the ground today like the all-radiant sun, have been found to be incorrupt, resplendent with a multitude of miracles like a fragrant flower, pouring forth divers healings upon all the faithful, and gladdening thy chosen flock, which, having wisely assembled, thou didst shepherd well. On their behalf thou now standest in supplication before the Trinity, praying that victory be granted to our Orthodox hierarchs over all heresies, that we may all cry out to thee: Rejoice, O divinely wise Sergius!

Ikos: Having disdained that which is in the world, O divinely wise father, thou didst acquire incorrupt habitations which are above the world, and having been enriched with abundant gifts by the right hand of the Almighty, in accordance with the number of thy virtues, and been crowned with the wreath of honour as a victory, thou dost enrich with miracles all who hymn thee thus: Rejoice, O thou who, before thy nativity, didst glorify the Holy Trinity by a threefold exclamation; rejoice, thou who didst consider the beauty and glory of the world to be as dung! Rejoice, for thou didst make thine abode in the wilderness; rejoice, for thou didst make of it a city! Rejoice, for therein thou didst erect an all-honoured temple for the praise of the Holy Trinity; rejoice, for, having assembled therein multitudes of monastics, thou didst lead them to the Lord! Rejoice, for thou wast vouchsafed the merciful visitation of the Mother of God; rejoice, for thou didst serve her in the flesh like an angel! Rejoice, for thou prayest to the Lord on behalf of those who honour the uncovering of thy precious relics; rejoice, for thou art a weapon of salvation for our Orthodox hierarchs and a vanquisher of all heresies! Preserve them ever in health and gladness, that we may all celebrate thine uncovering with splendour, joyously crying: Rejoice, O divinely wise Sergius!

Ode VII, Irmos: Deliver us not up utterly, for Thy holy name’s sake, neither disannul Thou Thy covenant, and cause not Thy mercy to depart from us, O Lord God of our fathers, Who art supremely hymned forever.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

By divine preservation was thy precious body kept intact, O divinely wise Sergius, which was covered wholly by the earth for many years, and it emerged, untouched by any harm. And we, thy children, beholding it, cry out with joy: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast clothed in the raiment of gladness, and thy precious head was crowned with a wreath of joy; and thou hast entered in splendour into the heavenly bridal-chamber of Christ the King, receiving honour for thy labours, and chanting to the Lord: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

Resplendent in thy radiant life, O wondrous Sergius, in this life thou didst attain unto the ranks of the incorporeal ones; and thou now joinest chorus with them before the throne of the God of all, Whom do thou beseech, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate the memory of the uncovering of thy precious relics.

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

Offer supplication, O all-pure Virgin Mistress, unto our God Who was born of thee, and Who through thee hath restored Adam and renewed our nature, that we may all cry out to thee: O all-pure one, blessed is the Fruit of thy womb!

Ode VIII, Irmos: O Master Who hast created all things in Thy wisdom, Thou hast established the earth as a weight upon the deep, planting its foundation upon the boundless waters. Wherefore, we all cry out, chanting: Bless the Lord unceasingly, O ye works of the Lord!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

The Church of God is glad today, arrayed as in a robe of royal purple; and thy holy monastery, O divinely blessed Sergius, doth possess as a treasure beyond price thy precious body which imparteth divers healings unto all who chant with faith: Bless the Lord unceasingly, O ye works of the Lord!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

The temple of God is illumined with heavenly light, and therein the assemblies of the pious rejoice, beholding thee, O divinely blessed Sergius, borne in the hands of the hierarchs and venerated with mouth and soul by all the faithful who cry out to Christ: Bless the Lord unceasingly, O ye works of the Lord!

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

Standing now with the armies of heaven before the Trinity, and dwelling with the choirs of all the saints, ask thou for forgiveness of sins to be given to those who honour thy memory with faith; and to us who celebrate with splendour the uncovering of thy precious relics grant salvation, that, rejoicing, we may chant: Bless the Lord unceasingly, O ye works of the Lord!

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

The Preëternal One is conceived in thy womb, O pure Virgin, and the perfect God, Who is born an Infant in the flesh, of thee, the Maiden who knew not wedlock, is seen by men to be perfect God and man, equally enthroned with the Father and the Spirit. Him do we exalt supremely forever.

Ode IX, Irmos: On the mountain did Moses behold the unconsumed bush; and in the cave did Joseph hear the ineffable birth. O Theotokos, Virgin undefiled, Mother who knewest not man: thee do we magnify!

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

Thou wast taken up to the heights of heaven by the virtues, O divinely wise Sergius, and in gladness of heart thou standest before the throne of the Holy Trinity. Forget not thy servants, but grant perfect health and wondrous victory over all heresies to our pious Orthodox hierarchs, that we may all magnify thee unceasingly with hymns.

Venerable Father, Sergius, pray to God for us.

More brightly than the rays of the sun, O God-bearer, doth thine all-glorious memory illumine the faithful who piously honour thee, who venerate the shrine of thy precious relics with faith and love, and praise thee in hymns, O divinely wise Sergius.

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

O divinely blessed father Sergius, accept thou this small supplication, offered to thee by mine unworthy hand and with heartfelt love, and by thy supplications grant salvation for our souls, health for our bodies and peace for the world, that we may magnify thee all the more in hymnody.

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

O most hymned Virgin Mistress, Mother of Christ our God, save all who set their hope on thee, who have recourse to thine aid, and in hymns piously magnify thee, who art the Theotokos.

Troparion, Tone IV: From thy youth thou didst receive Christ within thy soul, O venerable one, and didst desire more than all to withdraw from the tumult of the world. Thou didst manfully dwell in the wilderness, and therein didst produce the fruit of humility, the children of obedience. Wherefore, as thou didst become the abode of the Trinity, thou hast illumined with thy miracles all who have recourse to thee with faith, granting healing in abundance unto all. O Sergius our father, entreat Christ God, that He save our souls.

The Lamentation of the Martyred-Tsar

Canon: the Lamentation of the Martyred-Tsar, the acrostic whereof is “Take pity, O God, upon Thy sinful people,” in Tone II

Ode I, Irmos: Come, ye people, let us chant a hymn to Christ God, Who divided the sea and guided the people whom He had led forth from the bondage of Egypt, for He hath been glorified.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

Beholding the mockery and spoliation of thy land by the godless foe, the pious Tsar wept from the depths of his heart, like the Prophet Jeremiah and the three youths, praying for the sinful people and groaning bitterly: O merciful Lord, forsake us not!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

O how hath the Russian land, which before was prosperous and glorious in the world, been made captive by those who contend against God? All who were her friends have forsaken her and have become her foes. The Lord hath rejected tsar and prince and priest. Behold, O Lord, look down and have mercy!

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

Great is the abyss of the Lord’s compassion. The Lord doth not reject us forever, but taketh pity on the humbled and penitent, in accordance with the multitude of His mercies, and He delivereth His people, as of old He delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt.

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

O Mistress, hearken unto the cry of prayer of those who with faith and love have recourse to thee and hymn thee with fear.

Ode III, Irmos: Establishing me upon the rock of faith, Thou hast enlarged my mouth against mine enemies, for my spirit doth exult when I chant: There is none holy as our God, and none righteous save Thee, O Lord!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

At God’s behest, the guardian angel was taken away from the land of Russia, her enemies assumed the rule over it, and they that despise her prosper, because of the multitudes of the impieties of what before was a pious land; and her princes languish among alien peoples. Spurn not utterly Thy suffering people, O Lord, but turn Thou and establish them on the rock of Thy commandments.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

How long, O Lord, will the way of the wicked prosper? How long will the land weep because of the evil of those who dwell therein? Hierarchs, priests, princes and faithful people have been cast down and slain. How long, O Lord, O true and holy Master, wilt Thou refrain from condemning Thine enemies for their blood? Have mercy and deliver us all from Thine enemies, and save our souls.

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

Bereft of deliverance, the land which before was called Christian hath been filled with tribulation and groaning, saying amid its suffering: We have sinned and transgressed, falling away from Thee, O Lord, and have not obeyed Thy commandments, nor kept them. Turn us to repentance, O God, and establish us upon the immovable rock of Thy commandments.

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

Thou art our hope and trust, O all-holy Mistress. Save our suffering homeland and thy people who entreat and call upon thy name.

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

Kontakion to the holy martyr Grand-Duchess Elizabeth, Tone IV: Taking up the Cross of Christ, thou didst pass from royal glory to the glory of heaven, praying for thine enemies, O holy martyr  Grand-Duchess Elizabeth; and with the martyr Barbara thou didst find everlasting joy. Therefore, pray ye in behalf of our souls.

Sessional hymn, Tone VII: O holy passion-bearer Grand-Duchess Elizabeth, when they cast thee alive into the mine shaft at Alapaevsk, together with the holy martyrs of royal blood, the princes Sergius, John, Constantine, Igor and Vladimir, as well as the martyr Barbara and the holy martyr Theodore, though all were long enfeebled because of their wounds, thou though barely alive, didst alleviate the suffering of the dying, chanting sacred hymns which they that passed by did hear. Wherefore, we beseech thee: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who celebrate thy holy memory with love.

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: When I stand before my Creator on the day of His righteous judgement, then, O Mistress, stand before me and deliver me from everlasting torment, that I may not go down into hades, but may be saved by thine assistance, O all-holy Theotokos.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou didst come forth from the Virgin, neither a mediator nor an angel, but Thyself incarnate, O Lord, and hast saved me, the whole man; wherefore, I cry to thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

The great iniquities of Thy people were before Thine eyes, O Lord; and the godless foe hath defiled and razed Thy sanctuaries, as the Prophet Isaiah said: Your feasts My soul hateth; I will no more pardon your sins; when ye stretch forth your hands to Me, I will turn away Mine eyes from you. These people draw nigh to Me with their mouths, but their heart is far from Me. Mindful thereof, we now repent and turn to Thee, that Thy wrath may cease, and that we may prevail over those who assail us and say: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

O how the time of the iniquities of Thy people hath increased, O Lord, for Thou hast taken away our strength, Thou hast given us into the hands of transgressors and hast made us all slaves. Only Thou alone, O Lord, canst, if Thou wishest, free us, when we acknowledge our sins and turn to Thee, our Creator, and glorify Thee.

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

Only in God is there blessed life which is everlasting, but narrow is the way which leadeth to that life. Thy people, O Lord, have forgotten these things, and have not obeyed Thy words, O Christ our King, but have taken the wide path of sin. And perdition and violence have come upon us, yea, exile and death, that we may come to acknowledge Thee to be the only true path, O our Saviour, and convert, and glorify Thee.

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

Thou art our refuge and consolation, O all-pure Theotokos. Beseech thy Son and our God to grant us salvation and the remission of sins.

Ode V, Irmos: O Lord, Bestower of light and Creator of the ages: guide us in the light of Thy commandments, for we know none other God than Thee.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

When the Lord rejected tsar, prince and priest, He did not spare His temples and holy things, and they were then laid waste. My heart hath been troubled within me; I sigh, but there is none to console me. O Lord, look down and take pity; enlighten us with Thy commandments, that we may turn to Thee and serve Thee.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

Thy people, O Lord, wished to escape the violence of the foe, but were unable, and others have sojourned among alien peoples. This hath taken place, for false leaders have spoken vain things and foolishness, and have not spoken of sin, to avert the wrath of God, captivity and exile. And now all the lips of our enemies are opened against us, their teeth have gnashed and said: Let us swallow them up! Arise and cry out at night, pouring forth prayer unto the Lord and stretching forth thine hands unto Him, saying: Behold our destruction, O Lord! Enlighten, look upon us, and have mercy!

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

Youths and virgins, elders and innocent babes have been slain; the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life to the earth; he hath set me in dark places, like the dead of old, and my soul hath been despondent within me; within me my heart is troubled; but strength hath perished, yet my hope is in the Lord. Be Thou mindful, O Lord, of my poverty and embitterment. These things I spake within my heart; wherefore, I endure suffering from God, that the Lord may regard my humility.

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

O all-pure Mary, entreat God Whom thou hast borne, that He grant thy servants remission of sins.

Ode VI, Irmos: Stuck fast am I in the abyss of sin, O Saviour, and tempest-tossed on the deep of life; yet lead me up from the passions and save me, as Thou didst Jonah from the sea monster.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

The Lord hath granted consolation, for the mercy of the Lord hath not forsaken us and His compassion hath not ended; for they are renewed with each passing day. Wherefore, let us trust in God; the Lord is our portion, let us hope in Him Who is able to deliver us from all misfortunes, as He did Jonah from the sea monster.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

It is a good thing to seek God, for the Lord is good to those who trust in Him, and good it is for the soul which awaiteth in patience the salvation of God, who giveth his face to the smiter and accepteth abuse, that the Lord not utterly reject it, but deliver from destruction the souls of the humble who trust in Him.

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

The Lord hath sent woe upon sinful people, but He hath mercy according to His great goodness and love in His care, for He hath smitten and rendered bitter the lot of the children of men not out of the volition of His heart, but when they trampled upon His commandments; for from the Most High come punishment and prosperity alike. Let not every mortal complain concerning his chastisement, but let his face be downcast because of his sins and let him lament until he sinketh down in death and beholdeth the Lord from heaven.

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

Now do I flee unto thee, O all-pure one. Save me by thy supplications, and preserve me; for what thou wishest, thou canst do, as thou art the Mother of the Almighty.

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 VI: Thou didst strengthen the hope of the martyred Tsar, his Tsaritsa and children, and it took flight to Thy love, proclaiming beforehand their future rest. Through their supplications, O Lord, have mercy upon us.

Ikos: Beholding the faith of Christ made mighty throughout the land of Russia by the pious Tsar, and unable to endure it, the enemies of God pondered how they might destroy the Christ-loving Tsar-martyr Nicholas, and they gave him over to an undeserved death with his pious Tsaritsa, children and servants, and with all the royal race; yet were they deceived, for the way of the iniquitous shall perish, but the righteous shall live for ever. Instead of destruction and harm, they made them glorious martyrs and intercessors before God, and by their blood and that of all the new martyrs, the land of Russia, oppressed by those who contend against God, shall be saved; for this blood is the seed of new life in Christ. Through their supplications, O Lord, have mercy upon us!

Ode VII, Irmos: When the golden image was worshipped on the plain of Dura, Thy three youths spurned the ungodly command, and, cast into the midst of the fire, bedewed, they sang: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

Turn us to Thee, O Lord, and we shall repent; renew our days by our ministering unto Thee as before, for Thou art blessed, and Thy name is praised and glorified for ever. For just art Thou in all that Thou hast wrought for us, and all of Thy works are truth, and straight are Thy paths; and all of Thy judgements are true. Wherefore, with contrite heart and humble spirit, let us say: Blessed art Thou, O God, Who art supremely hymned and exalted for ever!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

O Lord God, blessed art Thou; for with true judgement hast Thou brought all of these sufferings upon us because of our sin. For we have sinned and transgressed, and have neither preserved nor kept that which Thou hast commanded us, that all may be well with us, and that we may glorify the holy name of Thy glory, which is supremely hymned and exalted for ever.

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

O Lord, Thou Remitter of all the debts of sin, grant the grace of forgiveness unto the sinful land of Russia which Thou hast punished with bitter wounds. Yet not in Thy wrath, but according to the multitude of Thy compassions and Thine ineffable mercy cleanse the Orthodox land of the godless foe; raise up, O Compassionate One, thine anointed tsar, and hearken unto us; grant peace to the Church and salvation to Thy people, the Tsar and all the countless assembly of new martyrs entreat Thee, the one blessed God of our fathers.

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

O Virgin Theotokos, who gavest birth unto the Word, thy Creator, in manner past recounting: Him do thou entreat, together with the great martyred Tsar, the Tsaritsa, their children, servants, and the other royal martyrs, and all the new martyrs of Russia, that He have mercy upon our souls.

Ode VIII, Irmos: God, Who descended into the fiery furnace for the Hebrew children and transformed the flame into dew, hymn ye as Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

Deliver us from standing at Thy left hand, O Lord Who orderest all things for our good and hast sent fiery purification upon our land, that we may cry out unceasingly: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

A great treasure have we in the holy Faith which Christ hath given us, unworthy though we are; and we cherish it amid prosperity and amid sufferings, as the great assembly of new passion-bearers preserved the Faith even unto death. And let us cry out with them: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!

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

The all-good God, desiring to reveal the strength of the faith and the power of the patience of the royal martyrs, gave them a cup of bitter sufferings to drink and a martyr’s death to undergo; and they did not murmur, but, like innocent lambs, opened not their mouths; and with patience and joy they endured all things, crying out: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely forever!

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

O Theotokos, who gavest birth unto the Saviour and Master of all, thou hast been shown to us to be the mediatress of our salvation; wherefore, we beseech thee: Intercede, that the grievously suffering land of Russia be delivered from the godless, and vouchsafe salvation unto all that faithfully hymn thee forever!

Ode IX, Irmos: O ye faithful, with hymns let us magnify in oneness of mind the Word of God, Who from God came in His ineffable wisdom to renew Adam who had grievously fallen into corruption, and Who became ineffably incarnate of the holy Virgin for our sake.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

Wide is the path which leadeth to perdition, and many are they that enter thereupon, said the Lord. The people of Russia did not hearken unto this saying of the Gospel, and the wrath of God hath overtaken them; deliver us therefrom, O Christ, the holy and great martyred Tsar Nicholas and those slain with him pray, and as Thou lovest mankind, save Thou our souls.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us.

O Jesus Christ our God, in accordance with the multitude of Thy mercies turn us, and we shall be saved; look down from heaven with mercy and love, and behold, for Thou hast given us over into the hands of the iniquitous, and we are humbled throughout all the earth because of our sins. And now we shall follow Thee and fear Thee, and seek Thy countenance. Put us not to shame, but save our souls, through the supplications of the holy royal passion-bearers.

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

Show forth Thy power, the passion-bearing Tsar beseecheth Thee; rescue us from our godless enemies by Thy wonders, and deal with us according to Thy meekness and the multitude of Thy mercies; and let all that act evilly against Thy servants be put to shame, and let their might be cast down, that they may understand that Thou art the one Lord God of all the world, Who art glorious and savest our souls!

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

Thou art our strength, thou art our boast and joy, our preserver, aid, refuge, invincible intercessor and protection of the Russian land. O all-pure Theotokos, with the martyred Tsar and the great multitude of the new martyrs, pray that thy servants be saved.

Troparion, Tone V: Meekly didst thou endure the loss of thine earthly kingdom, the bonds and divers sufferings inflicted upon thee by those opposed to God, and didst bear witness for Christ even unto death, O great passion-bearer, divinely crowned Tsar Nicholas; wherefore, Christ God hath crowned thee in the heavens with a martyr’s crown, together with thy queen, thy children and thy servants. Him do thou beseech, that He have mercy upon the Russian land and save our souls.

Canons For the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul, the acrostic whereof is: “I honour Peter and hymn Paul with understanding”, in Tone IV

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

O Lord, grant me the gifts of Thine all-holy Spirit like drops of rain, fitting discourse; and I shall rejoice, faithfully praising the corrections of Thy foremost apostles.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

O all-praised Peter, zealously thou didst forsake transitory things and didst follow in the steps of Christ; and leaving behind thine unbelief, O Paul, thou didst follow Him Who called thee.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

O apostles Peter and Paul, receiving the grace of the divine Spirit which descended upon you in essence, ye traversed the world, teaching the ends of the earth.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The most eloquent of orators and musical tongues of exalted sound are unable to honour or hymn thee, O pure one; for in thee alone have divine mysteries which transcend man been wrought.

Canon of the twelve apostles, the acrostic whereof is: “I honour the wise apostles of Christ”, the composition of Theophanes, in the same tone.

Irmos: Having traversed the depths of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, Israel of old vanquished the might of Amalek in the wilderness by Moses’ arms stretched out in the form of the Cross.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

O Christ, in that Thou art God grant unto me, who desire to hymn the choir of the apostles, the radiance of the all-holy Spirit and the light of Thy wisdom through their supplications.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by Thy power and grace, O Christ, Thine honoured apostles destroyed the power of the adverse foe, in that they have become seers of God through Thine expansive gesture.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Working healings by Thy name, O Master, the glorious apostles looked upon the multitudes of the nations and illumined them with Thy light.

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

Having learned heavenly wisdom, O all-wise and all-glorious apostles of Christ, with your successful preaching ye manifestly showed the overweening discourse of the ungodly to be foolish.

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

O all-pure Virgin Mother, thou gavest birth to One of the all-divine Trinity, Who through thee hath shown Himself to be like unto us in the flesh, through the good pleasure of Him Who begat Him, and through the activity of the all-holy Spirit.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Andrew, thy kinsman, O Peter, showed thee Christ the Messiah, and thou didst approach Him with faith; and thou, O wondrous Paul, wast enlightened by Ananias with divinely ordained baptism.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

With the enlightenment of grace Peter brought in the race of Israel, which had fallen, deceived by the letter of the law; and Paul delivered the flock of the nations from ­falsehood.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Thou didst send Thy disciples to the nations naked and simple, bearing Thy holy name instead of a sword, O Christ; and with faith they set at nought the warfare of falsehood.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O all-praised apostles Peter and Paul, all the earth was full of the knowledge of the Lord Who shone forth from the Virgin and hath restored the world by your divine preaching.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: Thy Church rejoiceth in Thee, O Christ, crying aloud: Thou art my strength, O Lord, my refuge and my consolation!

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Divinely proclaiming the heavenly and precious doctrines on earth, and declaring them with fiery tongues, O preachers of Christ, ye transmitted them.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

O Master, Thou didst show forth Thy disciples as noetic heavens which declare Thy glory to all the ends of the earth.

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

O all-wise ones who were inscribed in the heavens and revealed as dwelling with Christ, preserve us now who honour you with love.

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

He Who dwelleth in the highest and hath made His abode among us, O all-pure one, hath manifested Himself, receiving flesh from thee without seed.

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

Sessional hymn of the 12 apostles, Tone IV: Spec. Mel. “Having been lifted up upon the Cross…”: O ye who have made your abode in unapproachable Light, as habitations of the Light, ye ever illumine your holy temple with divine proclamations. Wherefore, with faith we cry out: Entreating the Creator, O apostles, deliver us from darkness, from all manner of misfortunes and the cruel invasion of pagans.

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

Sessional hymn of the apostles Peter & Paul, Tone VIII: Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: Let us praise Peter and the all-wise Paul, the great and radiant luminaries, who have been shown to be the preëminent disciples; for, shining with the fire of the divine Spirit, they have utterly consumed the darkness of falsehood. Wherefore, they have worthily been shown to be citizens of the kingdom on high, sharing the throne of grace. For this cause we cry out to them: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offences unto those who with love celebrate your holy memory.

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

Theotokion: All of us, the generations of men, bless thee as the Virgin who, alone among women, gavest birth without seed to God in the flesh; for the fire of the Godhead dwelt within thee, and thou didst nurture the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Wherefore, we, the generation of angels and men, glorify thine all-holy birth-giving as is meet, and cry out together: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offences unto those who with faith worship thine all-holy birth-giving.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Piously joining the mighty with the lowly, orators with the unlearned, O Peter and Paul, apostles of Christ, ye won the victory.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

The godly Peter denounced the cruel apostate Simon Magus as a lover of gold, and now the wise Paul hath rendered blind the steps of Elymas, who blasphemed Christ.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Though the fisherman and the tent-maker were coarse of speech, yet have they seasoned with divine salt the souls of those who love wisdom and led them to Christ by faith.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Of old, with divinely inspired speech the divine Habbakuk called thee the pure and overshadowed mountain of Him Who cometh from the south and is incarnate of thee, O Mistress, manifestly making declaration.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: Beholding Thee lifted up upon the Cross, O Sun of righteousness, the Church stood rooted in place, crying out as is meet: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

The sound of the words of the divine apostles passed through the whole world like fire, burning up the tinder of falsehood and illumining the assemblies of the pious with grace.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

The ungodly world, benighted in gloom, did the disciples of the Lord, the divinely radiant beacons, illumine with rays of grace, shown forth by the effulgence of their ­preaching.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Illumined by the sacred rays of the noetic Sun, ye shine forth in the world like the sun, O all-praised ones, dispelling the gloom of falsehood with divine light.

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

Possessing Thy Cross as a staff of power, O Word, those who themselves beheld Thee divided the salty sea of life, roiling the waters of polytheism like steeds.

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

The animate heaven of Thee, O Christ, the King of kings, adorned with divers effulgences, the all-pure Virgin is now glorified as the Theotokos.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

In that thou art steadfast, O Peter, Christ called thee a stone, and on thee did He set the Church, against which the gates of hell will not prevail; and thee, O Paul, He called His vessel, chosen to bear His name before the nations.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Peter denied the Teacher thrice, and thrice made himself His by declaring his love for Him; and Paul, who before was a blasphemer who grievously oppressed the faithful, later preached Him Whom he before had persecuted.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

An incorruptible name and everlasting glory have Peter and Paul obtained from Christ; for the one hath received the keys of heaven, and the other, caught up into paradise, heard ineffable words which surpass men’s understanding.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Full of the divine Spirit, Isaiah foretold the birth without father of Emmanuel, God with us, from thee, O pure Virgin, Whom thou didst bear. Wherefore, we all hymn thee.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: Thou hast come, O my Lord, as a light into the world: a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance those who hymn Thee with faith.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Thy divine and all-wise ministers hast Thou shown forth in the world as light, proclaiming Thee, the never-waning Light, unto all.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Having manifestly passed through every virtue, O apostles, ye have destroyed the divers webs of the demons’ malice.

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

Speaking with fiery tongues, O apostles, ye have revealed to us the effulgence of the ­Trinity, the Godhead in unity.

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

Thee do we present as an invincible weapon against our enemies for thou art our foundation and our hope of salvation, O divine maiden.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Splendid were the miracles of Peter, and wondrous the signs of Paul: for their garments and handkerchiefs work healings when placed upon the sick.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

The truly glorious Peter and the truly wondrous Paul, the two godly ones, the most precious habitations of the life-creating Trinity, are commemorated by all.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Like a divine and excellent physician Peter hath healed the souls and bodies of the sick, and Paul hath enlightened the nations, signing them with the light of the Lord.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

We must needs hymn thee, yet are truly unable to do so worthily; wherefore, we hymn thee with silence, honouring the ineffable mystery wrought in thee, O Virgin.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: I will sacrifice to Thee with a voice of praise, O Lord, the Church crieth unto Thee, cleansed of the blood of demons by the blood which, for mercy’s sake, flowed from Thy side.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Having made Thy disciples steadfast through wisdom and miracles, Thou didst make them stronger than the foolish prating of the Greeks; and they have abolished their false precepts.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

The divine rivers of wisdom have filled all the vales of the Church with salvific waters of salvation, enriching them with streams from the wellsprings of salvation.

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

Revealed as living stars, O all-praised ones, ye destroyed all the darkness of falsehood with radiant effulgence, shining forth the light of divine knowledge.

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

O Mother of God, the noetic Bridegroom found thee to be a perfect and all-comely turtle-dove, a radiant lily and blossom of the valley; and He made His abode within 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 II: Spec. Mel. “Seeking the highest…”: Christ the Rock doth radiantly glorify the rock of Faith, the most excellent of His disciples, as He doth Paul and the assembly of the twelve today; and, faithfully celebrating their memory, we glorify Him Who glorified them.

Ikos: Celebrating now your most honoured and all-blessed memory, in hymns we earnestly cry out to you: O all-radiant and divinely luminous beacons of the world, ye twelve beloved disciples of Christ, in that ye have boldness before Him, pray for us; for to you hath been given the grace to heal and forgive sins. Wherefore, earnestly entreat Him, that we be delivered from sins and temptations, that we may glorify Him Who alone loveth mankind, Who hath glorified you.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Peter was called blessed by Christ when he called Him the Son of the living God; and Paul was honoured as a right profitable vessel; and they cried: O Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Peter made wise the servants of the law as He was commanded, and Paul enlightened the gentiles; and both cleaved unto Christ through grace and cried: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

As a most excellent shepherd of Christ Peter hath received the flock, and Paul became their divine teacher; and they cry aloud: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most immaculate Mary, excellent in holiness, O Virgin who gavest birth to God in the flesh, O pure one who knewest not wedlock: entreat Him, that He deliver us from every assault and from sin.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: The children of Abraham in the Persian furnace, afire with love of piety more than with the flame, cried out: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

O All-good One Who wast God before nature, making Thy disciples sons Thou didst lovingly show them to be heirs of the inheritance of the Father, and it was Thy good pleasure that they walk with Thee, their God and Master.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Bestowing an outpouring of wisdom, breadth of heart and right eloquent tongues upon Thy godly disciples, O Word, Thou didst send them forth to preach the Gospel of the kingdom to all the ends of the earth.

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

The apostles, shown to be clouds of the light of God, let fall life-creating water as rain upon all, crying: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

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

Thou wast revealed as wholly adorned by the glory of God, O all-pure one, Mother and Virgin who alone didst conceive God the Word Who existed from before the beginning of time. Blessed art thou among women, O most immaculate Mistress!

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by divine power, Peter resurrected the dead Tabitha; and Paul raised up the dead Eutyches, who had fallen from a great height; and both cry out: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Having received an awesome and wondrous vision, Peter enlightened Cornelius, and Paul baptised Gaius, Crispus, Panestius and Stephaninus; and both cry out: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

At night, by His angel, Christ released Peter, who was fettered and kept under guard; and while Paul and Silas were praying, their feet made fast in stocks, He set them free and caused the prison to quake. Wherefore, they hymn Christ forever.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Deliver us from the most pernicious passions, and break asunder now the bonds of offences wherewith each is bound; for we all have sinned, and, being guilty, we ask purification. Through thine entreaties, O Theotokos, grant it to us who exalt Christ supremely forever.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: Stretching forth his hands, Daniel shut the lions’ mouths in the pit; and the young lovers of piety, girded about with virtue, quenched the power of the fire, crying out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

With the fire of the Spirit the divine and all-wise choir of the apostles utterly consumed many of the sanctuaries of the demons as though they were tares, and have enlightened the hearts of the faithful, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

O godly disciples and apostles of Christ, who together have thundered forth to us the commandments of God, ye havens of the faith and common benefactors of mankind: Serve ye the Savior, that we may honour you.

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

Let us honour the most precious vessels, the receptacles of the virtues, the first-fruits of humanity, the clarions of preaching, the torrents of life incorruptible, the God-bearing flashes of lightning, the wellsprings of healing, the beautiful feet of the Gospel.

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

He Who is full humbleth Himself for our sake, that we may share in His fullness; for the Infinite One, entering into thine all-pure womb, became incarnate without leaving the bosom of the Father. Wherefore, we all call thee blessed, O Mary Bride of God.

Canon of the Apostles Peter & Paul

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

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Ye passed over all the world, soaring as on wings, preaching the Gospel of Christ to all tribes, nations and lands; and ye have brought them to the Faith, O all-blessed Peter and wondrous apostle Paul.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

Having attained an advanced age, O Peter, discharging the debts of nature ye endured the cross in emulation of thy Teacher Christ. And when thy head was cut off, O Paul, — O the wonder! — instead of blood milk poured forth in torrents, converting the unbelieving.

Holy all-praised Apostles, Peter and Paul, pray to God for us.

O ye two godly ones, who wisely dedicated yourselves to the souls of the whole world, converting them from ungodliness to piety, and, even after your death, have saved the souls of the faithful: be ye now mindful of us, and intercede before Christ, O preëminent apostles.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O good Saviour Who lovest mankind by nature and art full of loving-­kindness: through the divine entreaties of Thine all-hymned Virgin Mother and the supplications of Thine apostles Peter and Paul, send down Thy mercy and aid upon us from heaven.

Canon of the 12 Apostles

Irmos: Christ, the Chief Cornerstone uncut by human hands, Who united the two disparate natures, was cut from thee, the unquarried mountain, O Virgin. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

Having received from the Master the authority to loose the bonds of transgressions, O ye who have beheld God, mercifully cleanse us of sins who hymn you, and vouchsafe unto us salvation.

Holy Apostles, pray to God for us.

O glorious apostles who learned exalted preaching and doctrine in the upper chamber, ye have all received the full effulgence of the Spirit which was made manifest to you essentially; and now ye are called blessed, as is meet.

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

Now Christ bestoweth never-fading wreaths upon you, His friends, as ye rest; and He filleth you with divine vision. Entreat Him now, that He save all the Churches.

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

Desiring to come in the flesh, He Who hath adorned all things by His word made His abode within thee, found thee to be holier than all others, and hath shown thee to be the true Theotokos, O Virgin Mother.

Troparion of the apostles, Tone IV: O first-enthroned among the apostles and teachers of the whole world: Entreat the Master of all, that He grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls.

The Canon to St Columba

The canon to the venerable one, the acrostic whereof is “Iona, the Holy Isle, is blessed in Columba”, in Tone VIII

Ode I, Irmos: Having traversed the water as thogh it were dry land, and escaped the evil of Egypt, the Israelite cried aloud: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Iona, the Isle of Saints, crieth aloud: O ye people of the New Israel, exalt Columba greatly, for he taught you to sing: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

O venerable father Columba, Ireland where thou wast born and Scotland where thou didst labor sing together with joy: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

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

Neither sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids didst thou give, O saint, until thou hadst taught all to sing: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

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

Across the waters of temptations and passions doth the Mother of our Redeemer mercifully lead those who cry aloud: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Ode III, Irmos: Number me among the mighty of Thy people, O Lord, girding me about with power; break Thou the bows of the adversary, and uplift the horn of my poverty.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

The holy Columba hath been reckoned among the mighty saints of Christ, and hath been girded about with the power of grace by the Spirit, to uplift us sinners.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

How mighty are thy supplications, O wondrous Columba! For thereby, as by the horns of the priests of Israel, are the ramparts of the adversary brought down in ruin.

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

Even when thou didst live on earth thine intercessions were mighty, O venerable one; and now, as thou dwellest in heaven, they abundantly enrich our spiritual poverty.

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

Her in whom Thy mighty works are wrought hast Thou exalted supremely above Thy powers and dominions, O Lord, and through her is the horn of our poverty uplifted.

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

Sessional hymn of the venerable one, Tone I, Spec. Mel. “Thy tomb, O Savior…”: As a faithful disciple of the Lord and Master of all, thou didst teach the nations, enlightening them with sacred teachings and instructing them in the understanding thereof, O God-bearer. Wherefore, we all call thee a herald of the Truth, a spiritual athlete and favorite of Christ.

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: O all-holy Virgin, thou hope of Christians: with the hosts on high do thou unceasingly entreat God, to Whom thou gavest birth in manner past understanding and recounting, that He grant remission of all sins and amendment of life unto those who ever glorify thee with faith and love.

Stavrotheotokion (replaces the Theotokion on Wednesdays and Fridays): The unblemished ewe-lamb, beholding the Lamb and Shepherd hanging dead upon the Tree, said, weeping and bitterly exclaiming: “How can I bear Thine ineffable condescension, O my Son, and Thy voluntary suffering, O all-good God?” 

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

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Over the waves of the sea didst thou and thy disciples sail thy frail craft, O Columba, and thy coming became salvation for many in a new land, who learned to chant: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Like steeds didst thou bridle the passions of thy followers with the reins of obedience, labor and prayer, O holy one, guiding them to the fold of salvation, singing: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

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

“Ye who seek salvation, take up the cross which Christ giveth you;” said Columba, “for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light for all who with faith chant unto Him: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!” 

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

Intent upon bidding farewell to thy body, O Lady, the apostles of the Lord mounted clouds, as they were steeds, and were borne unto Sion, to chant at thy bier: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Ode V, Irmos: My spirit riseth early unto Thee, O God, Who wast ineffably begotten of the Father and hast lifted up for us the horn of salvation.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Salvation cometh to those who rise early unto God, Who hath raised up Columba as a horn of strength for the people of the New Israel.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Let our hymns sound forth like clarions as we exalt the venerable Columba, who brought light into the midst of heathen darkness.

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

Every mouth praiseth the wondrous saint who taught the Picts and Scots to worship the only-begotten Son of the Father.

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

Ineffably and past all human comprehension didst thou beget the only-begotten Son of the Father, in Whom is our salvation, O Maiden.

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

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Souls full of evil and wickedness didst thou, by thy teachings and struggles, redeem for thy Master, O holy one, delivering them from everlasting torment and leading their lives up from corruption.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Be thou a refuge for us amid sorrows and tribulation, a firm bulwark against the waves of grief that assail us, O saint; and pour forth thy prayer, beseeching the Lord to deliver us from corruption.

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

Let Iona, the Holy Isle, like a beacon shine forth the divine grace which dwelt in thee, O great Columba, that guided and illumined thereby, we may not founder on the rocks of evil and corruption. 

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

Evils befall me every day of my life, and I am beset on every side by demonic temptations, O pure Mistress; but deliver me by thy supplications, for I cry to thee: Lead me up from corruption!

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

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

Kontakion of the venerable one, Tone VIII: As one in whom grace burned with flames of zeal, like Elijah thou didst ascend to the heavens, upborne upon thy virtues as upon a fiery chariot, O Columba; for thou wast filled with the love of Him Who loveth mankind, and by thy miracles didst convert many to faith and amendment of life. Wherefore, joining chorus with the angelic hosts, thou prayest with fervor to Christ, the King of all, Whom do thou ever entreat, O venerable father, that He save our souls.

Ikos: Chosen by Christ to tend the sheep and lambs of His monastic flock, O Columba, thou didst shine forth with miracles upon thy newly enlightened people; and by thy godly teaching thine Irish homeland became a country of great renown, a blessed land; for, illumining benighted souls, thou didst draw them forth from the abyss of ungodliness. And with thy gracious discourse thou didst likewise illumine the heathen Picts, who before languished in ignorance, showing the sorceries of their priests to be utterly powerless, and instructing all to glorify the one true God, Who is worshiped in Trinity: Whom do thou ever entreat, O venerable father, that He save our souls.

Ode VII,Irmos: O Lord, make us imitators of Thy three children, opposing sin and trampling the fire of the passions underfoot, and chanting: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Soaring above the deep of the passions like the dove for which thou wast named, O Columba, thou didst chant unceasingly: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Scion of a royal clan and kinsman of kings, Columba chose humility over vanity, tramping down all the passions, chanting: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

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

Everlasting Gehenna didst thou escape, having quenched the furnace of sins with thy fervent tears, O venerable one, chanting: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers! 

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

Deem me a worthy imitator of the children in the furnace, O Lady, subduing the fire of the passions for me, a sinner, as I chant: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Ode VIII, Irmos: Cast into the furnace, Thy venerable children chanted: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Inspired, the saint of God uttered prophecies, crying: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

No king nor pauper left Columba without aid, crying: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Covered by grace, as by a cloud, the holy one cried: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

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

 O Holy Trinity, transcendent Godhead, we cry: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

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

Look with pity on me, O immaculate one, for I chant: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX, Irmos: We magnify thee, the most immaculate Mother of Christ our God, whom the Holy Spirit overshadowed.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Unto the ends of the earth hath word of thy holiness spread, O venerable one, and all Christians magnify thee.

Venerable Father, Columba, pray to God for us.

Mediate for us with Christ our God, O Columba, joining His all-holy Mother in her prayers for us sinners.

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

Be thou ever unceasing in thine intercessions in our behalf, O saint of God, that we may escape perdition. 

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

All true Christians magnify thee, O all-blessed and ever-virgin Mary, whom the Holy Spirit overshadowed.

Troparion of the venerable one, Tone VIII: Innocent in soul, thou didst mortify the passions of the body, soaring on high to the mansions of heaven as on the wings of the dove, whose namesake thou wast, O God- bearing father Columba. And having by grace restored within thee the true image of God, thou didst teach multitudes of the faithful the ways of repentance; wherefore, we glorify thee as our father in the Holy Faith, O venerable one.