St Ephrem the Syrian’s Fourteenth Hymn on the Epiphany of our Lord

My thought bore me to Jordan,
and I saw a marvel when there was revealed
the glorious Bridegroom who to the Bride
shall bring freedom and holiness.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I saw John filled with wonder
and the multitudes standing about him
and the glorious Bridegroom bowed down
to the Son of the barren that he might baptise Him.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

At the Word and the Voice my thought marvelled:
for lo! John was the Voice;
our Lord was manifested as the Word,
that what was hidden should become revealed.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The Bride was espoused but knew not
who was the Bridegroom on whom she gazed:
the guests were assembled, the desert was filled
and our Lord was hidden among them.                                                              

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Then the Bridegroom revealed Himself
and to John at the voice He drew near:
and the Forerunner was moved and said of Him
This is the Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

He came to baptism Who baptises all
and He showed Himself at Jordan.
John saw Him and drew back
deprecating, and thus he spoke:

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

How, my Lord, dost Thou will to be baptised
Thou Who in Thy baptism atonest all?
Baptism looks unto Thee
do Thou shed on it holiness and perfection?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Our Lord said I will it so
draw near, baptise Me that My Will may be done.
Resist My Will thou cannot:
I shall be baptised of thee, for thus I will it.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I entreat, my Lord, that I be not compelled
for this is hard that Thou hast said to me
‘I need thee to baptise Me;’
for it is Thou that with Thy hyssop purifiest all.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I have asked it, and it pleases Me that thus it should be
and thou, John, why dost thou gainsay?
Allow righteousness to be fulfilled
and come, baptise Me; why art thou standing there?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

How can one openly grasp
in his hands the fire that burns?
O Thou that art fire have mercy on me
and bid me not come near Thee, for it is hard for me!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I have revealed to thee My Will;  what dost thou question?
Draw near, baptise Me, and thou shalt not be burned.
The bridechamber is ready; keep Me not back
from the wedding-feast that has been made ready.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The Watchers fear and dare not
gaze on Thee lest they be blinded
and I, how, O my Lord, shall I baptise Thee?
I am too weak to draw near; blame me not!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Thou fearest; therefore gainsay not
against My Will in what I desire:
and Baptism hath respect unto Me.
Accomplish the work to which thou hast been called!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Lo! I proclaimed Thee at Jordan
in the ears of the people that believed not
and if they shall see Thee baptised of me
they will doubt that Thou art the Lord.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Lo! I am to be baptised in their sight
and the Father Who sent Me bears witness of Me
that I am His Son and in Me He is well pleased
to reconcile Adam who was under His wrath.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

It becomest, me, O my Lord, to know my nature
that I am moulded out of the ground
and Thee the moulder Who formest all things:
I, then, why should I baptise Thee in water?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

It becomes thee to know why I have come
and for what cause I have desired that thou shouldst baptise Me.
It is the middle of the way wherein I have walked
withhold not Baptism.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Small is the river whereto Thou hast come
that Thou shouldst lodge therein and it should cleanse Thee.
The heavens suffice not for Thy mightiness;
how much less shall Baptism contain Thee!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The womb is smaller than Jordan;
yet was I willing to lodge in the Virgin:
and as I was born from woman
so too am I to be baptised in Jordan.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Lo! The hosts are standing!
the ranks of Watchers, lo! They worship!
And if I draw near, my Lord, to baptise Thee
I tremble for myself with quaking.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The hosts and multitudes call thee happy
all of them, for that thou baptisest Me.
For this I have chosen thee from the womb:
fear not, for I have willed it.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I have prepared the way as I was sent:
I have betrothed the Bride as I was commanded.
May Thine Epiphany be spread over the world
now that Thou hast come, and let me not baptise Thee!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

This is My preparation, for so have I willed;
I will go down and be baptised in Jordan,
and make bright the armour for them that are baptised
that they may be white in Me and I not be conquered.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Son of the Father, why should I baptise Thee?
for lo! Thou art in Thy Father and Thy Father in Thee.
Holiness unto the priests Thou givest –
why dost Thou ask for water that is common?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The children of Adam look unto Me
that I should work for them the new birth.
A way in the waters I will search out for them
and if I be not baptised this cannot be.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

High-priests of Thee are consecrated
priests by Thy hyssop are purified –
the anointed and the kings Thou makest.
Baptism, how shall it profit Thee?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The Bride thou didst betroth to Me awaits Me
that I should go down, be baptised, and sanctify her.
Friend of the Bridegroom withhold Me not
from the washing that awaits Me.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I am not able, for I am weak
Thou blazest in my hands to grasp.
Lo! Thy legions are as flame
bid one of the Watchers baptise Thee!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Not from the Watchers was My Body assumed,
that I should summon a Watcher to baptise Me.
The body of Adam, lo! I have put on
and thou, son of Adam, art to baptise Me.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The waters saw Thee, and greatly feared;
the waters saw Thee, and lo! They tremble!
The river foams in its terror
and I that am weak, how shall I baptise Thee?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The waters in My Baptism are sanctified,
and fire and the Spirit from Me shall they receive
and if I be not baptised they are not made perfect
to be fruitful of children that shall not die.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Fire, if to Thy fire it draw near
shall be burnt up of it as stubble.
The mountains of Sinai endured Thee not
and I that am weak, wherein shall I baptise Thee?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I am the flaming fire
yet for man’s sake I became a babe
in the virgin womb of the maiden.
And now I am to be baptised in Jordan.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

It is very meet that Thou shouldst baptise me
for Thou hast holiness to purify all.
In Thee it is that the defiled are made holy;
but Thou that art holy, why art Thou to be baptised?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

It is very right that thou shouldst baptise Me
as I bid, and should not gainsay.
Lo! I baptised thee within the womb –
baptise me in Jordan!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I am a bondman and I am weak.
Thou that freest all have mercy on me!
Thy latchets to unloose I am not able
Thine exalted head who will make me worthy to touch?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Bondmen in My Baptism are set free
handwritings in My washing are blotted out
manumissions in the water are sealed;
and if I be not baptised all these come to nought.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

A mantle of fire the air wears
and waits for Thee, above Jordan;
and if Thou consent to it and will to be baptised
Thou shall baptise Thyself and fulfil all.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

This is meet, that thou should baptise Me
that none may err and say concerning Me –
‘Had He not been alien from the Father’s house –
why feared the Levite to baptise Him?’

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The prayer, then, when Thou art baptised-
how shall I complete over Jordan?
When the Father and the Spirit are seen over Thee –
Whom shall I call on, as priest?

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The prayer in silence is to be completed:
come, thy hand alone lay on Me,
and the Father shall utter in the priest’s stead –
that which is meet concerning His Son.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

They that are bidden, lo! All of them stand –
the Bridegroom’s guests, lo! They bear witness
that day by day I said among them,
‘I am the Voice and not the Word.’

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

Voice of him that criest in the wilderness
fulfil the work for which thou didst come –
that the desert whereunto thou didst go out may resound
with the mighty peace thou didst preach therein.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The shout of the Watchers has come to my ears –
lo! I hear from the Father’s house –
the hosts that sound forth the cry,
‘In Thine Epiphany, O Bridegroom, the worlds have life.’

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The time hastes on, and the marriage guests
look to Me to see what is doing.
Come, baptise Me, that they may give praise
to the Voice of the Father when it is heard!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

I hearken, my Lord, according to Thy Word:
come to Baptism as Thy love constrainest Thee!
The dust worships that whereunto he has attained
that on Him Who fashioned him he should lay his hand.

Response:  Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The heavenly ranks were silent as they stood
and the Bridegroom went down into Jordan;
the Holy One was baptised and straightway went up
and His Light shone forth on the world.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

The doors of the highest were opened above
and the voice of the Father was heard –
This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased.
All ye peoples, come and worship Him.

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

They that saw were amazed as they stood,
at the Spirit Who came down and bore witness to Him.
Praise to Thine Epiphany that gladdens all –
Thou in Whose revelation the worlds are lightened!

Glory to Thee, my Lord, for Heaven and earth worship Thee with joy!

St Ephrem the Syrian’s Eighth Hymn on the Epiphany of the Lord

God in His mercy stooped and came down to mingle His compassion with the water and to blend the nature of His majesty with the wretched bodies of men. He made occasion by the water to come down and to dwell in us: like to the occasion of mercy when He came down and dwelt in the womb: O the mercies of God, Who seeks for Himself all occasions to dwell in us!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

To the cave in Horeb He stooped and came down and on Moses He caused His majesty to dwell. He imparted His glorious splendour to mortals. There was therein a figure of Baptism: He Who came down and dwelt in it tempers within the water the might of His majesty, that He may dwell in the feeble. On Moses dwelt the Breath and on you the Perfecting of Christ.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

That might then none could endure: not Moses chief of deliverers; nor Elijah chief of zealots; and the Seraphim too veil their faces; for it is the might that subdues all. His mercy mingled gentleness in the water and by the oil, that mankind in its weakness might be able to stand before Him when covered by the water and the oil.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

The captive priests again, in the well hid and concealed the fire of the sanctuary, a mystery of that glorified fire which the High-priest mingles in Baptism. The priests took up of the mire and on the altar they sprinkled it for its fire, the fire of that well with the mire had been mingled mystery of our bodies, which in the water with the fire of the Holy Spirit have been mingled.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

The famous Three in Babylon in the furnace of fire were baptised, and came forth. They went in and bathed in the flood of flame; they were buffeted by the blazing billows. There was sprinkled on them there the dew that fell from heaven; it loosed from off them there the bonds of the earthly king. Lo! The famous Three went in and found a fourth in the furnace.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

That visible fire that triumphed outwardly pointed to the fire of the Holy Ghost which is mingled, lo! And hidden in the water. In the flame, Baptism is figured in that blaze of the furnace. Come, enter, be baptised, my brethren, for lo! It looses the bonds; for in it there dwells and is hidden the Mediator of God, Who in the furnace was the fourth.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Two words again our Lord spoke which in one voice agree in unison: He said, I have come to send fire, and again, I have a baptism to be baptised with. By the fire of Baptism is quenched the fire that which the Evil One had kindled: and the water of Baptism has overcome those waters of contention by which he had made trial of Joseph who conquered and was crowned.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Lo! The pure fire of our Redeemer which he kindled in mankind of His mercy! Through His fire He quenched that fire which had been kindled in the defiled and sinful. This is the fire wherein the thorns are burnt up and the tares. But happy are your bodies that have been baptised in the fire which has consumed your thickets and by it your seeds have sprung up to heaven!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Jeremiah in the womb He sanctified and taught. But if the lowly bosom of wedlock was sanctified in conceiving and bringing him forth, how much more shall Baptism sanctify its conception and its bringing forth of them that are pure and spiritual! For there, within the womb is the conception of all men, but here, out of the water is the birth whereof the spiritual are worthy.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

For Jeremiah though sanctified in the womb, they took up nails and cast him into the pit. Holy was the prophet in his befoulment, for clean was his heart though he was in the mire. Be afraid, my brethren, for lo! Today is washed away your secret befoulment, and the abomination of your sins. Turn not again to uncleanness for there is but one cleansing of your bodies!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

The presumptuous who is baptised and again sins is as the serpent that casts its slough and again puts it on, that is renewed and made young, and turns again putting on anew its skin of old for the serpent does not cast off its nature. Cast off the tempter the corrupter of souls even the old man let it not make old the newness you have put on!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Elisha cast the wood into the water, and made the heavy float and the light sink: their natures were exchanged in the water. There a new thing came to pass not according to nature. How much easier then, O Lord, is this for Thy grace; that in the water should sink transgression which is heavy, but that the soul which is light should be drawn forth and raised up on high!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Joshua, son of Nun, on Jericho laid a curse on its walls and a doom on its fountains. They whom Joshua cursed to their destruction again in the mystery of Jesus have been blessed. There was cast into them salt and they were healed and sweetened: a mystery of this salt the sweet salt that came from Mary, that was mingled in the water whereby was healed the noisomeness of our plagues.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Lo! quiet waters are before you holy and tranquil and pleasant for they are not the waters of contention that cast Joseph into the dungeon, nor yet are they the waters those waters of strife beside which the people strove and gainsaid in the wilderness. There are waters whereby there is reconciliation made with Heaven.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Hagar saw the spring of water and from it she gave drink to her forward son, him who became as a wild ass in the wilderness. Instead of that fountain of water is Baptism. In it are baptised the sons of Hagar and have become gentle and peaceful. Who has seen rams like these that are yoked, lo! And labour along with tame bullocks and the seed of their tillage is reaped an hundredfold!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

In the beginning the Spirit that brooded moved on the waters; they conceived and gave birth to serpents and fishes and birds. The Holy Spirit has brooded in Baptism, and in mystery has given birth to eagles – Virgins and Prelates; and in mystery has given birth to fishes – celibates and intercessors; and in mystery of serpents, lo! The subtle have become simple as doves!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Lo! The sword of our Lord in the waters! that which divides sons and fathers: for it is the living sword that makes division, lo! Of the living from the dying. Lo! They are baptised and they become Virgins and saints who have gone down, been baptised, and put on the One Only begotten. Lo! Many have come boldly to Him!

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

For whoever have been baptised and put on Him the Only begotten the Lord of the many has filled thereby the place of many, for to him Christ has become a great treasure: for He became in the wilderness a table of good meats and He became at the marriage feast, a fountain of choice wines. He has become such to all in all things by helps and healings and promises.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

Elisha was the equal of the Watchers in his doings, glorious and holy. The camp of the Watchers was round about him thus let Baptism be unto you a camp of guardians for by means of it there dwells in the heart the hope of them that are below and the Lord of them that are above. Sanctify for Him your bodies for where He abides, corruption comes not near.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

They are no more, the waters of that sea which by its billows preserved the People and by its billows laid low the peoples. Of contrary effect are the waters in Baptism. In them, lo! The people have life in them, lo! The People perishes: for all that are not baptised in the waters that give life to all they are dead invisibly.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

They are no more, the waters of that sea which were tempestuous, and boiled against Jonah and plunged into the depths the Son of Amittai. Though he fled he was bound in the prison-house, God cast him in and bound him in dungeon within dungeon for he bound him in the sea, and He bound him in the fish. For him Grace stood surety and she opened the prison and brought forth the preacher.

Happy are ye, whose bodies have been made to shine!

The Prophets have called the Most High a fire: a devouring fire, and who can dwell with it? The People were not able to dwell in it; its might crushed the peoples and they were confounded. In it, with the unction you have been anointed; you have put Him on in the water; in the bread you have eaten Him; in the wine you have drunk Him; in the voice you have heard Him; and in the eye of the mind you have seen Him!

St Ephrem the Syrian’s Sixth Hymn on the Epiphany of the Lord

The Spirit came down from on high and hallowed the waters by His brooding. In the baptism of John, He passed by the rest and abode on One: but now He has descended and abode  on all that are born of the water.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences

Out of all that John baptised, on One it was that the Spirit dwelt: but now He hath flown and come down that He may dwell on the many, and as each after each comes up, He loves him and abides on him.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

A marvel it is that surpasses all! To the water He went down and was baptised. The seas declared it blessed, that river wherein Thou wast baptised: even the waters that were in heaven envied because they were not worthy to be Thy bath.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

A marvel it is, O my Lord, now also that while the fountains are full of water, it is the water of baptism that alone is able to atone. Mighty is the water in the seas, yet is it too weak for atonement.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

Thy might, O my Lord, if it abides within the humble, it exalts him like as royalty and if it abide within the desert gives it peace. Water by Thy might has triumphed over sin, for Life hath encompassed it.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The sheep exulted when they saw the hand draw near to baptise them. Receive, O ye sheep, your sealing; enter and be mingled in the flock! For more than over all the flock, over you rejoice the Watchers today.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The Angels and the Watchers rejoice over that which is born of the Spirit and of water: they rejoice that by fire and by the Spirit the corporeal have become spiritual. The Seraphim who sing “Holy” rejoice that they who are made holy have been increased.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

For lo! The Angels rejoice over one sinner if he repent: how much more do they now rejoice that in all churches and congregations lo! Baptism is bringing forth the heavenly from the earthly!

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The baptised when they come up are sanctified; the sealed when they go down are pardoned. They who come up have put on glory; they who go down have cast off sin. Adam put off his glory in a moment; ye have been clothed with glory in a moment.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

A house that is of dust when it hath fallen by means of water can be renewed: the body of Adam that was of dust which had fallen by water hath been renewed. Lo! The priests as builders renew afresh your bodies.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

A great marvel is this of the wool, that it can take every dye as the mind takes every discourse. By the name of its dye it is called as ye who were baptised when Hearers, have gained the name of Recipients.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The common waters he sanctified, even Elisha through the Name that is secret. In them washed the leper openly and was cleansed by the Power that is secret: the leprosy was done away in the water, as transgressions in Baptism.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

Today, lo! Your offences are blotted out and your names are written down. The priest blots out in the water and Christ writes down in Heaven. By the blotting out and the writing down, lo! Doubled is your rejoicing.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

Lo! Mercy hath dawned today and from bound to bound it stretches: the sun hath sunk and mercy hath dawned. Justice hath drawn in her wrath; Grace hath spread forth her love. Lo! She pardoneth and quickeneth freely.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The sheep that beforetime were in the fold, lo! They hasten forth to greet the new lambs that have been added to it. They are white and are clad in white within, and white without are your bodies as your vestments.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

From every mouth, Blessed are ye. On every side Blessed are ye. Sin from you is driven out and the Holy Spirit on you is dwelling. The Evil One hath become sad of countenance; the Good God makes glad your countenance.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

The gift that ye have received freely cease not from watching over: this pearl if it shall be lost cannot again be sought out; for it is like to virginity, which if it be lost is not to be found.

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

May you from all defilement be kept by the power of your white robes! And he whose freedom hath defiled itself, may it be able to wash itself clean by his weeping! For me who am a servant of the community, may the supplication of the community win pardon!

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

To the author who hath toiled in words, let there be reconciliation in rest! To the teacher who hath toiled with voice, let thee be forgiveness through grace! To the priest who hath toiled in baptising, let there come the crown of righteousness!

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

From every mouth with one consent, of those beneath and those above, Watchers, Cherubim, and Seraphim, the baptised, the sealed, and the hearers; let each of us cry aloud and say: Glory to the Lord of our feasts!

Blessed be He Who was baptised that He might baptise you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.

St Ephrem the Syrian’s Fourth Hymn on the Epiphany of the Lord


Descend my sealed brethren, put on our Lord, and be rejoined to His lineage, for He is son of a great lineage, as He has said in His Word.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

From on high is His Nature, and from beneath is His  Vesture. Each that puts off his vesture, commingled is that vesture, with His Vesture forever.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

You too in the water, receive from him the vesture that wastes not, nor is lost for, it is the vesture that vests them that are vested in it forever.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

But the blessed Priest, is mediator between two: the covenant shall be made before Him, He is mediator of his Lord, and surety on our part.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

The Godhead in the water, lo, has mingled His leaven for the creatures of dust, that leaven raises up and the Godhead joins them.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

For it is the leaven of the Lord that can glide into the bondman and raise him to freedom; it has joined the bondman to the lineage of Him the Lord of all.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

For the bondman who has put on Him, Who makes all free in the waters though bondman he be on earth, is son of the free on high, for freedom He has put on.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

The freeman who has put on, that Angel in the waters, is as the fellow of servants, that he may be made like to the Lord, Who became bondman unto bondmen.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

He Who enriches all came down, and put on poverty, that He might divide to the poor, the stores that were hidden out of the treasure-house of the water.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

The lowly one again that has put on the Giver of all greatness, in the water even though he be base in the sight of fools, yet is great in the sight of the Watchers, for that he is clad in greatness.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

For like as He Who is great, Who became lowly in His love by the unbelievers was persecuted, and by the Watchers* was worshipped, was made lowly and makes the lowly great.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Thus, let him be lowly who is great, that in him the lowly may be great: Let us be like to Him Who is greater than all, Who became less than all: He was made lowly, and makes all men great.

The meek man who has put on Him Who is great, in the water though humble be his countenance, very great is his discernment, for He Who is exalted above all dwells in him.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

For who could be found to despise the bush of thorn the despised and humble, wherein the Majesty in fire made its dwelling within?

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Who again could be found to despise Moses the meek and slow of speech when that excelling glory dwelt upon his meekness?

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

They that despised him despised his Lord; the wicked that despised him the earth swallowed up in anger; the Levites who scorned Him the fire devoured in fury.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Of Him Christ commanded, You shall not call him who is baptised and has put Him on Raca (worthless/empty); for whoso despises the despised, despises with him the Mighty.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

In Eden and in the world are parables of our Lord; and what tongue can gather the similitudes of His mysteries? For, He is figured all of Him in all things.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

In the Scriptures He is written of; on Nature He is impressed; His crown is figured in kings, in prophets His truth, His atonement in priests.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

In the rod of Moses was He, and in the hyssop of Aaron and in the crown of David: to the prophets pertains His similitude, to the Apostles His Gospel.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Revelations beheld Thee, proverbs looked for Thee, mysteries expected Thee, similitudes saluted Thee, parables showed types of Thee.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

The Covenant of Moses looked forward to the Gospel: all things of old time flew on and alighted thereon in the new Covenant.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Lo! The prophets have poured out on Him their glorious mysteries; the priests and kings have poured out upon Him their wonderful types: they all have poured them out on all of Him.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

Christ overcame and surpassed, by His teachings the mysteries by His interpretations the parables; as the sea into its midst receives all streams.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

For Christ is the sea, and He can receive the fountains and brooks, the rivers and streams, that flow from the midst of the Scriptures.

Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!

* Syriac: ‘ira = Watcher/Angel. The book of Daniel refers t ‘irin and qaddishin, “Watchers and Holy Ones” among the angels.

St Ephrem the Syrian’s First Hymn on the Epiphany of the Lord

The heavens He has renewed, for that fools worshipped all the luminaries: He has renewed the earth, for that in Adami t was wasted. That which He fashioned has become new by His spittle: and the All-Sufficing has restored bodies with souls.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

Gather yourselves again O sheep and without labour receive cleansing! For one needs not as Elisha to bathe seven times in the river, nor again to be wearied as the priests are wearied with sprinklings.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

Seven times Elisha purified himself in a mystery of the seven spirits; and the hyssop and blood are a mighty symbol. There is no room for division  He is not divided from the Lord of all Who is Son of the Lord of all.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock in the day of Thine Epiphany!

Moses sweetened in Marah the waters that were bitter because the People complained and murmured: Thus he gave a sign of baptism wherein the Lord of life makes sweet them that were bitter.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock in the day of Thine Epiphany!

The cloud overshadowed and kept off the burning heat from the camp it showed a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which overshadows you in baptism tempering the flaming fire that it harm not our bodies.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

Through the sea the People then passed, and showed a symbol of the baptism wherein ye were washed. The People passed through that and believed not: the Gentiles were baptised in this and believed and received the Holy Spirit.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The Word sent the Voice to proclaim before His Coming, to prepare for Him the way by which He came and to betroth the Bride till He should come that she might be ready when He should come and take her from the water.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The voice of prophecy stirred the son of the barren woman and he went forth wandering in the desert and crying, “Lo! The Son of the Kingdom comes! prepare the way that He may enter and abide in your dwellings!”

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

John cried, Who comes after me, He is before me: I am the Voice but not the Word; I am the torch but not the Light the Star that rises before the Sun of Righteousness.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

In the wilderness this John had cried and had said, “Repent ye sinners of your evils and offer the fruits of repentance; for lo! He comes that winnows the wheat from the tares.”

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The Light-giver has prevailed and marked a mystery, by the degrees he ascended: Lo! There are twelve days since he ascended, and today this is the thirteenth: a perfect mystery of Him, the Son, and His twelve!

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

Darkness was overcome to make it manifest that Satan was overcome and the Light prevailed that he should proclaim that the Firstborn triumphs: darkness was overcome with the Dark Spirit, and our Light prevailed with the Light-giver.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

In the Height and the Depth the Son had two heralds. The star of light proclaimed Him from above John likewise preached Him from beneath: two heralds, the earthly and the heavenly.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The star of light, contrary to nature, shone forth of a sudden less than the sun yet greater than the sun. Less was it than he in manifest light and greater than he in secret might because of its mystery.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The star of light shed its rays among them that were in darkness and guided them as though they were blind so that they came and met the great Light: they gave offerings and received life and adored and departed.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The herald from above showed His Nature to be from the Most High; likewise he that was from beneath showed His Body to be from humankind, mighty marvel! that His Godhead and His Manhood by them were proclaimed!

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

Thus whoever reckons Him as of earth, the star of light will convince him that He is of Heaven: and whoever reckons Him as of spirit, this John will convince him that He is also bodily.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

John drew near with his parents and worshipped the Sun and brightness rested on His Face. He was not moved as when in the womb. Mighty marvel! That here he worships and there he leaped!

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The whole creation became for Him as one mouth and cried out concerning Him. The Magi cry out in their gifts; the barren cry out with their children the star of light, lo! It cries out in the air, Behold the Son of the King!

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The heavens are opened, the waters break forth, the dove is in glory! The voice of the Father is stronger than thunder as it utters the word, “This is My Beloved”; the Watchers brought the tidings, the children acclaimed Him in their Hosannas.

To Thee be praise from Thy flock on the day of Thine Epiphany!

The Akathist to our Holy Father Paisios the Athonite

Kontakion 1: Let us believers with one voice all praise him who was sent by God in these times of trial for our comfort and guidance, Paisios the wonderful, who struggled graciously and pleasingly for the Master, burning with love for the whole world and pledged his heart for us and for our salvation. And let us call out to him in thanksgiving, saying: Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Ikos 1: God ordained that thou wast born in the blessed land of Cappadocia, the cradle of a countless multitude of saints, to whom thou too wast added in perfect worthiness, shining forth together with them and unceasingly guiding us to repentance. Therefore we praise thee with great joy, saying:

Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself a precious follower of the saints of Cappadocia!
Rejoice, for thou didst wholly liken thyself to them as a true bearer of God!
Rejoice, most fair and fragrant flower, who hast blossomed for our enlightenment!
Rejoice, wellspring of heavenly grace, who refreshest the whole world!
Rejoice, sweetest food, who fillest the souls that are starved of right teaching!
Rejoice, receptacle that hast gathered all our weaknesses, troubles and sorrows!
Rejoice, pillar of fire, who art the unshakable support of those that desire to gain salvation!
Rejoice, star that shinest in the firmament of the Church, guiding us to the everlasting mansions!
Rejoice, for thou wast shown to be a blessing of God and a sign of His ineffable mercy!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 2: O Blessed Father, thou wast chosen from thy mother’s womb to give thyself up to God in all things and thus become a precious vessel unto Him, for the salvation and guidance of all that put their hope in thee. To Him, Who worked great wonders and mercy through thee, for such a blessing we all sing with joy the song: Alleluia!

Ikos 2: The baptism which thou, O Father, didst receive from the hands of the saint of God, Arsenios, was a sign of God’s grace resting on thee. For seeing thy many gifts in spirit, from thine early infancy he blessed thee to be his disciple and bear his name. Therefore, despite our unworthiness, we honour thee, saying:

Rejoice, for thou wast found worthy to be baptised by Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian!
Rejoice, for he foresaw all that was to come to pass with thee!
Rejoice, for his spirit rejoiced, seeing such blessed fruit sprung forth from the flock that he shepherded! 
Rejoice, for on account of this he cared for thee unceasingly through all his earthly life!
Rejoice, for even after departing to heaven he did not forsake thee, but all the more interceded for thee! 
Rejoice, for thou too didst honour him as befitting, piously reckoning him to be thy father in Christ!
Rejoice, for thou didst struggle heartily for his glorification, gathering testimonies of his wondrous life!
Rejoice, for the Saint of God blessed thee to find his most beloved relics, which became a fount of countless healings!
Rejoice, for lovingly thou didst lay his revered body in the monastery founded by thee at Souroti!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 3: Moving to Greece because of the tyrannical Turkish persecution, thy parents came to the land of Konitsa, and, sacrificing thyself, O father, thou didst begin to ascend the godly ladder of perfection. For even since childhood, thou wast shown to be to be a guiding light for all those around thee, who, seeing thy precious gifts, glorified God, saying: Alleluia!

Ikos 3: Instructed by the example of thy parents, from a young age thou didst strive with burning zeal for the love of Christ, showing the deeds of a perfect man. For following thy blessed mother, before long thou didst begin to fast strictly and pray unceasingly to God, a hermit by life, yet a child by age. Wondering at the manliness of thy heart, with joy we sing to thee thus:

Rejoice, for still young thou didst wholly forsake the fleeting lusts of this world!
Rejoice, for through perfect fasting thou didst preserve unspoiled the crown of virginity!
Rejoice, for thy youth did not prevent thee from acquiring unceasing prayer in solitude! 
Rejoice, for instead of revelling in childish games, thou didst delight in ever being with Christ and His saints!
Rejoice, for on account of this thou didst avoid the friendship of those that sundered thee from thine ardent love!
Rejoice, for thou didst not only strive for outward things, but also adorned thy soul with all virtue!
Rejoice, for thou didst follow the kindness and devoutness of thy blessed mother!
Rejoice, for she set thee an unspoiled example of love and utter self-sacrifice!
Rejoice, for we all wonder at the courage with which thou didst begin to fight the good fight!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 4: Called to battle to defend thy country from the unbelievers, O Father, thou didst shine forth in thy boundless courage. For, wholly forsaking the love of self, thou didst ever seek to be amidst peril, in order to spare those that fought together with thee. And seeing this, they all thanked God for such support, saying: Alleluia!

Ikos 4: O Blessed Father, thou didst use the war as a means of sanctification, for thou didst unceasingly grow in love beyond passion, sacrificing thy soul for the sake of thy friends. And thus thou didst win immortal crowns from Christ our God, Who makes Himself a hundredfold reward for all sacrifice. Understanding this, we too hasten to bring words like these to praise thee:

Rejoice, for thou wast a wonderful example of utter self-sacrifice in battle!
Rejoice, for thou didst utterly scorn this earthly life, thus earning heavenly life!
Rejoice, for thou didst not lose thy piety in the dread perils which thou didst endure! 
Rejoice, for through the greatness of thy soul, thou didst make thyself a light of sanctification to those around thee!
Rejoice, for thou didst help in and out of season all in trouble and sorrow!
Rejoice, for thou didst utterly overcome human fear, arming thyself with iron courage!
Rejoice, for fighting against the enemies of thy country, thou didst also secretly fight against the enemies of Thy soul!
Rejoice, for although thou didst wish to die in place of thy friends, God shielded thee as His most beloved one!
Rejoice, for through the wonderful power of thy soul, thou didst show us also the path to perfection!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 5: With burning zeal thou didst forsake the world, O Father, and wholly dedicate thyself to Christ, joining the army of monks, who unceasingly struggle to overcome their nature. And in a short time thou didst become an angel in the flesh, wholly clothing thyself in Him, to Whom we too humbly sing: Alleluia!

Ikos 5: Thou didst withdraw to the blessed desert of Sinai in order to serve Christ, O Blessed Father, and overcoming the lusts of the world, thou didst become perfect man, shining forth with all virtue and burning with true love for God, Who through thee bestowed on us the abundance of His mercy. Therefore, despite our unworthiness, we too thank thee, saying:

Rejoice, angelic man, for thou didst reckon all worldly lusts as vanity!
Rejoice, for thou didst strive for three years in the harsh desert of Sinai!
Rejoice, for unknown by all, thou didst live there in a hidden cave, enduring heat and frost!
Rejoice, for there thou didst fight unto blood against all desires!
Rejoice, for through thy great meekness, thou hast utterly defeated the cunning demons!
Rejoice, for thou didst wash from thyself all the filth of sin, becoming a true light of Christ!
Rejoice, for thou didst begin to pray with fervent tears for the whole world!
Rejoice, for seeing thy overwhelming sacrifice, God filled thee with gifts beyond nature!
Rejoice, for in thy narrow cave, thou wast vouchsafed countless revelations of divine grace!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 6: After fighting the good fight in Sinai, O Father, thou wast called by the Mother of God to her earthly garden, the Holy Mount of Athos, the blossom and light of Orthodoxy. And foreseeing there the place of thy perfection, thou didst thank the Most Holy Queen for her wondrous protecting veil, with which she unceasingly shieldeth the whole world from troubles and sufferings; and with joy thou didst sing to her Son the sweet song: Alleluia!

Ikos 6: Arriving on the Holy Mountain and taken to many places by the grace of God, thou didst ascend the ladder of holiness, O Blessed Father, like a wise bee gathering from everywhere the sweetest spiritual nectar. And afterward thou didst become the son of Father Tikhon, the Spirit-bearing Elder who was full of virtue and whom thou didst follow in absolute obedience. Therefore, with feeble voices we sing to thee thus:

Rejoice, for God foreordained glorification for thee on blessed Mount Athos!
Rejoice, for He entrusted thee to the care of His Most Pure Mother, Who guarded thee as Her beloved son!
Rejoice, for overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, thou didst wander over the whole Mountain, seeking out fathers of holy life!
Rejoice, for thou didst wonder at their unceasing prayers, through which God sheddeth His mercy on the whole world! 
Rejoice, for thou didst strive to write their lives too, for the glory of God and the profit of men!
Rejoice, for afterward thou didst become the disciple of Blessed Father Tikhon, the one perfect in holiness!
Rejoice, for thou didst serve him with endless love, in all things trusting in his wise guidance!
Rejoice, for seeing thy utter obedience, God also gave thee the gift to abide in thy holy father!
Rejoice, for after his repose, Blessed Tikhon revealed to thee that he would pray for thee unceasingly!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 7: Perfecting thyself in absolute love, thou didst make thyself a tool of God, Who began to work through thee with great power. For He made thee a comfort for all those that were troubled and a guide for those that were darkened in sin. We all thank God, O Father, for He gave thee to us for our salvation, and we sing to Him thus: Alleluia!

Ikos 7: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father that is in heaven, said the Saviour of the world with true voice. For in thee too, O Father, his word was fulfilled with all power. Therefore we praise thee too, saying:

Rejoice, thou who hast taught the world through books enlightened by the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, thou who through words of great profit hast dispelled the ignorance of our times!
Rejoice, trumpet of the Spirit, who heralded to all the joy of repentance!
Rejoice, wondrous prophet, who showed us that we live in the end times!
Rejoice, merciful healer of all diseases which cannot be healed!
Rejoice, precious carer for all whose souls are burdened with sorrows!
Rejoice, godly oil, that hast cleansed all our wounds!
Rejoice, heavenly peace, that hast brought so many broken families back together!
Rejoice, skilful guide, that hast removed all devilish snares from among the people!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 8: Seeing the terrible struggle conducted by the enemy of salvation against the family blessed by God, thou didst gird thyself with the weapon of the word, teaching spouses that only patience, long-suffering, forbearance and self-sacrifice with love can ensure the peace of their homes. Unceasingly we glorify God for sending thee, O Blessed Father, to show us the right way, and we sing: Alleluia!

Ikos 8: Give me Christian mothers and I will give you saints to change the world, said the godly l. And touched by this truth, thou didst ever struggle with prayers and advice, showing faithful spouses that peace in the family is fruit of the Holy Spirit, and that they must wisely strive for this. We all thank thee for thine effort to bring healing to our families, so cruelly struck by temptations, saying:

Rejoice, intercessor before God for the harmony of those in married life!
Rejoice, for the faithful spouses whom thou didst advise to live in moderation and holiness!
Rejoice, for thou didst teach them lovingly and unselfishly to bear one another’s weaknesses!
Rejoice, for thou didst show the parents that through prayer the grace of God descendeth on the whole family, bringing peace and happiness!
Rejoice, for thou didst struggle against all sins, seeing them as the cause of the falling apart of families!
Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself an unyielding reprover of the horrible slaughter of infants!
Rejoice, for thou didst tell faithful mothers that through the example of their lives they can turn their children into saints!
Rejoice, for thou didst show the young that through obedience they attract the mercy of God and a peaceful life!
Rejoice, for thou didst beseech them to earn their parents’ blessing, through which cometh also the blessing of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 9: Let us now joyfully praise Paisios, our intercessor, who through his heartfelt prayers miraculously healed all our sufferings, both in body and soul. And let us sing with thanksgiving to God, Who is glorified in the Holy Trinity: Alleluia!

Ikos 9: O Father, thou didst make thyself the healer of all diseases through the gift given to thee by God. For burning with love and pity for those tormented by afflictions, thou didst selflessly pray for their relief, teaching them to thank God for all things. We all praise thee with one voice, saying:

Rejoice, strong weapon against the horrible disease of cancer!
Rejoice, tireless carer for those that suffer in terrible pain!
Rejoice, wellspring of healing, in which all those wounded in soul refresh themselves!
Rejoice, banisher of demons, for with thy meekness thou didst crush all the wickedness and tyranny of the devil!
Rejoice, most merciful father, for thou couldst not bear to see the people crushed under the weight of their sufferings of body and soul!
Rejoice, for on account of this thou didst take upon thyself all our troubles and sorrows!
Rejoice, for thou didst selflessly pray that God might give thee our weaknesses! 
Rejoice, for thou didst teach us that all sorrows come through straying from God and His commandments!
Rejoice, thou who hast shown us that the reward for those that suffer with patience and glorify God is ineffable!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 10: The Lord and Saviour of the world promised a great reward to those that would strive in righteousness for the perfection of others. And though a simple monk and unlearned in worldly things, thou, O Blessed Father, wast gifted with wisdom by the Spirit of the Lord Himself, to guide thousands on the path of salvation. Unto now thou prayest for them to God, to Whom with joy we too sing: Alleluia!

Ikos 10: On account of thy complete virtue, God adorned thee with gifts beyond nature, which thou didst use for His glory and the profit of men. For thou didst make thyself a father of countless believers, who, beset by the terrible temptations of our times, sought thee as a heavenly haven. And therefore we ask thee to accept us too among thy spiritual children and allow us to sing with thanksgiving to thee thus:

Rejoice, for thou didst teach the people to struggle against the evil thoughts sown in their minds by the enemy of our salvation!
Rejoice, for shining with the gift of discernment, thou didst at once reveal to thy sons whether their thoughts were from God or from the devil!
Rejoice, for by the grace of God thou didst know the depths of the hearts of men!
Rejoice, for having great wisdom, thou hast brought to naught all the cunning snares of the evil one!
Rejoice, for thou didst bring many to repentance through thine unfeigned love!
Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself a wise reproof of the proud and stubborn!
Rejoice, for thou wast a tender caress for those in despair and overwhelmed by temptations!
Rejoice, for thou didst weep unceasingly for all that looked to thee as a true hope of salvation!
Rejoice, for on the day of judgement thou shalt say to God with sweet joy: Behold I and the children that Thou hast given me!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 11: Becoming a perfect monk, O Father, and full of the grace of God, thou didst make thyself the steadfast hope of the unconsoled souls of those who desired to dedicate themselves wholly to Christ. And in thy gifts they all saw in thee a guide enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Therefore we praise God, Who did not deprive His flock of shepherds of holy life, saying: Alleluia!

Ikos 11: Thou didst found a convent in Souroti, where thy finest spiritual daughters would dedicate themselves to Christ the Bridegroom with great love. And then thou didst lead them to perfection through thy most wondrous counsel, as a loving and long-suffering father, who is to us also an undeceiving guide. Therefore we all bless thee, saying:

Rejoice, for thou didst found the convent of Saint John the Theologian in Souroti!
Rejoice, for this became a haven of salvation for souls that thirsted for Christ!
Rejoice, for thou didst strive in and out of season to make the nuns into perfect brides of our Lord!  
Rejoice, for thou didst teach them true monastic life, signifying to forsake the world and its lusts!
Rejoice, for thou didst strive unceasingly to kindle their zeal for blessed ascetic feats!
Rejoice, for thou didst guide them to frequent confession of sins, through which all the devil’s works are utterly despoiled!
Rejoice, for thy counsel fell on fruitful earth and refreshed the whole world!
Rejoice, for thou didst struggle diligently against the spirit of this world, which doth terrible harm to monastic life!
Rejoice, for through thy courage and love thou didst make thyself an example of spiritual victory for all monks!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 12: Great was the grace of God on thee, O Blessed Father, and also His great mercy, for on account of thy great self-sacrifice, the Almighty vouchsafed thee wonderful revelations and joys beyond belief. We too rejoice, seeing the reward that God giveth His saints, and we beg Him to make us too partakers thereof and we sing to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos 12: Even from this earth, O Father, thou didst taste of the joys of heaven, prepared by our All-Merciful God for all that serve Him with love. For although the struggles which the evil one conducted against thee were terrible, so much greater were the consolations through which God strengthened thee in virtue. Therefore, in humble praise, we sing to thee:

Rejoice, all-sweet light, through which Christ shineth forth to the whole world!
Rejoice, wonderful flame that thou kindlest in us with the love of God!
Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself the perfect abode of heavenly grace!
Rejoice, for in thee it bore all the fruits of holiness!
Rejoice, for God overwhelmed thee with His gifts beyond nature!
Rejoice, for thou didst taste of everlasting and uncreated light!
Rejoice, for thou didst live with the Saints as with thy close friends!
Rejoice, for the Most Gracious Mother of our Lord appeared to thee to strengthen thee in sorrows!
Rejoice, ineffable wonder, for thou wast vouchsafed to speak to Christ Our Lord and God Himself!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 13: Thou, O Father, didst say with words enlightened by the Holy Spirit that many saints would have desired to live in our times, in order to strive for salvation. For Thou didst herald to us, who live in darkness, that the time is almost ready and that those that now struggle valiantly to win their salvation will receive a martyr’s reward. For this we thank God, Who with mercy looked on His people, sending His Saint for our enlightenment, and thus with voices of joy we gladly sing to our All-Gracious Master the song: Alleluia! (3 times)

Ikos 1: God ordained that thou wast born in the blessed land of Cappadocia, the cradle of a countless multitude of saints, to whom thou too wast added in perfect worthiness, shining forth together with them and unceasingly guiding us to repentance. Therefore we praise thee with great joy, saying:

Rejoice, for thou didst make thyself a precious follower of the saints of Cappadocia!
Rejoice, for thou didst wholly liken thyself to them as a true bearer of God!
Rejoice, most fair and fragrant flower, who hast blossomed for our enlightenment!
Rejoice, wellspring of heavenly grace, who refreshest the whole world!
Rejoice, sweetest food, who fillest the souls that are starved of right teaching!
Rejoice, receptacle that hast gathered all our weaknesses, troubles and sorrows!
Rejoice, pillar of fire, who art the unshakable support of those that desire to gain salvation!
Rejoice, star that shinest in the firmament of the Church, guiding us to the everlasting mansions!
Rejoice, for thou wast shown to be a blessing of God and a sign of His ineffable mercy!
Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Kontakion 1: Let us believers with one voice all praise him who was sent by God in these times of trial for our comfort and guidance, Paisios the wonderful, who struggled graciously and pleasingly for the Master, burning with love for the whole world and pledged his heart for us and for our salvation. And let us call out to him in thanksgiving, saying: Rejoice, Blessed Father Paisios, enlightener of the latter times!

Prayer to our Blessed Father Paisius the Athonite

O beloved Father Paisios, thou that didst ascend the rungs of holiness and become perfect in virtue, therefore gaining boldness before our Merciful God, do thou pray to Him, Whom thou didst serve unceasingly all thy life, not to let us perish for the multitude of our sins, but to turn us back to blessed repentance. Thou, who on earth didst heal with such love our countless weaknesses, diseases both of body and soul, canst all the more now deliver us from all sufferings. So do thou have mercy on us, O Father, through thy immeasurable love and godly kindness, not forsaking us that are full of sins. Do thou, who didst never tire of guiding us to salvation and bearing our weaknesses whilst thou wast here with us, now grant us too the wisdom to overcome the temptations which the wicked devil doth ever weave around us and through which he would destroy our souls for eternity. Enlighten us to know the will of God for us and pray to the Master that He might give us power to fulfil it with thanksgiving. Do thou, who didst set an unwavering example of courage and self-sacrifice, strengthen us also to follow Thy virtue, that we may win an everlasting crown, of which thou thyself wast found most worthy. Thus, O Father, do not forsake us, who ceaselessly anger our long-suffering God, but rather stand with boldness before His throne, interceding for us with tears, that God may give us for thy sake most dear salvation. And thus, thanking thee with all our heart for all that thou hast done and still doest for us, let us also thank our Most Gracious God, Who is glorified in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen!

The Canons of the Forefeast and the Holy Martyr Eugenia

Canon of the forefeast, the acrostic whereof is the (Greek) alphabet, the composition of Joseph, in Tone II:

Ode 1, Irmos: In the deep of old the infinite Power overwhelmed Pharaoh’s whole army. * But the Incarnate Word annihilated pernicious sin. * Exceedingly glorious is the Lord, * for gloriously hath He been glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou wast registered according to the edict of Caesar, desiring to enter mankind into the book of life, O King of all; and in a strange manner Thou didst come unto Thine own summoning to heaven him who had grievously been exiled from paradise.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Receive Christ, O Bethlehem, for He cometh to thee incarnate, opening Eden to me! Prepare thyself, O cave, for thou shalt behold the Infinite One most gloriously contained within thee, having now abased Himself in the richness of His compassion.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Christ cometh to be born, bestowing a strange regeneration upon the descendants of Adam, in that He is God. Be glad, O human nature, thou barren desert, for the Master hath come to make thee bear many children.

Canon of the martyr, the acrostic whereof is: “In songs I eminently hymn the great glory of Eugenia”, the composition of Theophanes, in the same tone:

Irmos: In the deep of old the infinite Power overwhelmed Pharaoh’s whole army. * But the Incarnate Word annihilated pernicious sin. * Exceedingly glorious is the Lord, * for gloriously hath He been glorified.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

O Eugenia, martyr of Christ, joyfully dancing now with the angelic armies, as an immaculate virgin, as a most noetically rich and crowned martyr, pray thou, that He bestow grace upon, those who hymn thee with love.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Hearkening to divine hymnody, O bride of Christ, through thy nobility thou didst soar aloft to the Most High; for like light the theology of hymns of the Spirit shone in thy heart, driving away all ungodliness.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Unmindful of thy feminine nature, thy mind hastened to manly feats, having found courage through grace, being directed toward the providence of God, O martyr Eugenia, namesake of divine nobility.

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

Illumined with noetic light, O divinely wise one, thou didst cause a great many to partake of effulgence; delivering from sin those who hymn thee, by thine entreaties grant it.

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

We the faithful who have been slain by the tree of knowledge, O pure one, have, by Christ God – the Tree of Life, Who sprang forth from thee in a manner past understanding, O Theotokos, been called back to life. Entreat Him with boldness, that our souls be saved.

Ode III, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: The desert of the barren Church of the nations * blossomed like a lily * at Thy coming, O Lord, * therein hath my heart been established.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Delivering me from the bonds of evil, O Lord Who lovest mankind, Thou comest to be wrapped as a babe in swaddling-bands. I worship Thy divine condescension!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Virgin cometh forth to give birth to Thee Who, though Thou hast shone forth timelessly from the Father, hast come under time, releasing our souls from the ancient passions.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Seeking me who have become lost through disobedience, Thou hast made the cave a dwelling-place, like unto heaven; preparing mansions for me there, O Compassionate and greatly Merciful One!

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: Thou hast established me on the rock of faith, * and my mouth hath been emboldened against mine enemies. * For my spirit rejoiceth when I sing: * There is none as holy as our God * and none more righteous than Thee, O Lord.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

With most perfect resolve thou didst offer thyself to the Master as an unblemished sacrifice, spurning corrupt wealth, O all-wise one, and crying aloud: Thou art our God, and there is none more holy than Thee, O Lord!

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

O all-pure one, thy purity was recognized, and the might of thy sufferings hath shone forth; for thou didst make thine activity an ascent of vision, crying: Thou art our God, and there is none more holy than Thee, O Lord!

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

Held fast by desire for chastity, thou didst preserve the boast of purity, and didst become pleasing in wisdom, crying out to Christ: Thou art our God, and there is none more holy than Thee, O Lord!

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

O ye divinely wise, let us hymn Mary, the pure Theotokos, who hath been revealed to be the mediatress of salvation, and let us cry aloud: There is none as pure as thee, O most pure one, and none more immaculate than thee, O Lady!

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

Sessional Hymn of the martyr, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: Confining thyself to feats of struggle, thou didst become glorious through the struggles of martyrdom, leading many of the saved to thy Creator; for, having forsaken transitory things with divine love, thou didst accomplish courageous struggles, O glorious one. Wherefore, after thine end thou hast found endless life, abiding ever with thy Bridegroom, O angelic Eugenia. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honour thy most precious memory with love.

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

Sessional Hymn of the forefeast, Tone VIII: Today the earth hath been shown forth as heaven for me, for therein the Creator is born and laid in a manger, in Bethlehem of Judah. Shepherds chant unceasingly with the angels: “Glory in the highest, and peace on earth!” For they beheld the star which journeyed with the magi, who hastened quickly to bring gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the God of all, the eternal King and Creator of all things, Who in His tender compassion is born in a cave.

Ode IV, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: From a Virgin didst Thou come forth, not as an ambassador, * nor as an Angel, * but the very Lord himself incarnate, * and didst save me, the whole man; * wherefore I cry unto Thee: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Now creation hath cast off all aging, beholding Thee, the Creator taking on our form and in newness becoming a babe, leading it back to its pristine beauty.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Marvelling at His most glorious nativity, the magi who had been led by the divine star stood and beheld the Sun shining forth from the cloud of the Virgin, and they offered gifts unto Him.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Behold, the Virgin cometh as a heifer, bearing in her womb the fatted Calf Who taketh away the sins of the world, that creation may rejoice, holding festival.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The predictions of the prophets which proclaimed the manifestation of Christ have now received their salvific fulfilment; for He hath come in the flesh to enlighten those who languish in darkness.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: From a Virgin didst Thou come forth, not as an ambassador, * nor as an Angel, * but the very Lord himself incarnate, * and didst save me, the whole man; * wherefore I cry unto Thee: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thou hast come, taking flesh from the Virgin, O Most High, betrothing companies of virgins to Thyself, who loved Thee alone as their virginal Bridegroom.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thou didst shed the raiment of thy fleshly birth, O all-glorious martyr, and by baptism didst splendidly clothe thyself in the incorrupt garment of regeneration.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Luminous radiance shone upon thy heart, with the effulgence of grace dispelling the gloom of delusion which had been poured forth, O Eugenia, martyr of Christ.

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

Thou didst illumine thy life with beauty and comeliness, having first caused the carnal passions to wither away through abstinence, and later shone forth most radiantly in suffering, O Eugenia.

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

Thou didst become more exalted than the angels, giving birth to the Angel of great Counsel, Who became a man in His exceeding loving-kindness, and is the Lover of mankind, O all-hymned one.

Ode V, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: O Christ God Thou art a mediator between God and man; * for by Thee, O Master, * we have been led from the night of ignorance, * to Thy Father, the Source of light.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Let the people who once sat in darkness behold the never-waning Light which hath shone forth, Whom the star announced of old to the Persian kings, the worshippers of fire.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The great King maketh haste to enter the little cave, that the Supremely blessed One might magnify me who have become of little account, and with boundless wealth enrich me who have become poor.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Now is Christ born of Jacob, as Balaam said, and He hath dominion over the nations, and His kingdom, which abideth immutably, is exalted by grace.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: O Christ my Saviour, the enlightenment of those lying in the darkness of sin. * I rise early to hymn Thee O King of Peace, * enlighten me with Thy radiance, * for I know no other God than Thee.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Seeing thy journey leading to salvation, the soul-destroying serpent raised up divers temptations against thee, striving to weaken thy might, O passion-bearer; but thou didst trample him underfoot, O divinely wise and pure one.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

To Christ, the Accomplisher of all good things, the Benefactor and Bridegroom of souls, thou didst appear as adorned in ascetic struggles by abstinence and resplendent with the suffering of martyrdom, O goodly virgin Eugenia, martyr of Christ.

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

A crown of gifts was set upon thy brow, for thou didst cherish divine wisdom, disdaining the riches and glory of thy father; and with strength followed after thy beloved Bridegroom, O all-honoured one.

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

The Life Who shone forth from thee upon the world, O Birthgiver of God, by communion calleth those who before were held fast by death to everlasting life, and who cry aloud with faith: We know none other God than Thee!

Ode VI, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, * I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of Thy compassion: * Raise me up from corruption, O God.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Christ cometh to His own in a strange manner. Let us estrange ourselves from sin and receive Him Who hath made His abode in the souls of the meek.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

In nowise shalt thou be the least among cities, O Bethlehem; for in thee is born the King and Lord, that He might shepherd His rich people.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

How doth a lowly cave receive Thee Whom the whole world cannot contain, O Immutable One? How dost thou behold as an infant the Beginningless One Who shareth the mind of the Father?

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, * I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of Thy compassion: * Raise me up from corruption, O God.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thou gavest no slumber to thine eyelids until thou didst extinguish all passionate attachments, and made of thyself a pure dwelling-place for thy Creator.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Emulating the morals of the wife of Potiphar, she who was black in deed and name violently slandered thine honourable life, O all-honoured one.

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

Showing forth steady radiance and enriched with the grace of healings and a wealth of faith, thou didst become the teacher of a company of nuns.

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

All the prophets mystically learned of thine ineffable birthgiving, O all-pure one, in the Spirit describing and foretelling to all those things which were to come.

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

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

Kontakion of the forefeast, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Today the Virgin cometh to the cave * to ineffably give birth unto the pre-eternal Word. * Having heard this, be glad, O thou ecumene, * and with the angels and shepherds glorify the pre-eternal God, ** Who is to appear as a little babe.

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

Ode VII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: The godless order of the lawless tyrant * fanned the roaring flame; * but Christ bedewed the God-fearing children with the Spirit, * therefore He is blessed and supremely exalted.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Let the clouds drop down water from on high! He Who doth honourably appoint the clouds for His ascent is borne by a cloud that is the Virgin, and cometh to shine never-waning light upon those who before were darkened and afflicted.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O army of divine angels, prepare yourselves well to hymn the ineffable condescension of the Lord! Come, ye magi! Make haste, ye shepherds! Christ hath come as He should, the Expectation and Deliverance of the nations.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

“What is this strange wonder most great? How can I bear Thee Who bearest up all things by Thy word? Ineffable is Thy nativity, O my beginningless Son!” said the all-pure one, holding Christ in her arms with awe.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: The godless order of the lawless tyrant * fanned the roaring flame; * but Christ bedewed the God-fearing children with the Spirit, * therefore He is blessed and supremely exalted.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thou madest clear to all the truth of the divinely inspired Scriptures, having rendered manly thy feminine nature, and didst most gloriously astonish those whom thou didst lead in splendour to Christ when they had believed on Him, O most noetically rich and honoured one.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

By thy divine teachings thou didst manifestly denounce the madness of idolatry, O all-praised one, by the blood of thy martyrdom betrothing an innumerable and radiant multitude of virgins to Christ Who reigneth over all.

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

Beholding thy radiant life, the glorious Basilla, moved by divine zeal, betrothed herself to Christ, forsaking all the passionate attachments of the flesh; and she hath now been deemed worthy of the joy of the martyrs.

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

Having seedlessly given birth to hypostatic Life, O all-immaculate Virgin, pure Birthgiver of God, thou hast healed the pasturage of death. Wherefore, rejoicing, we call thee the well-spring of immortality.

Ode VIII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: In Babylon, the activity of the fire was once divided, * for, by the command of God it consumed the Chaldeans, * but bedewed the faithful, who chant: * Bless ye the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Beholding the height of the truly ineffable mystery which covered the heavens with wisdom, the immaculate one marveled and said: “O my Son, how can I bear

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thee Who sitteth upon the flaming throne of heaven?” “Thou bearest the likeness of the Father, O my Son. How hast Thou assumed the likeness of a servant, abasing Thyself? How can I lay Thee Who deliverest all from irrationality, in a manger of dumb beasts? I hymn Thy tender compassions!”

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Rejoice, all the earth! Lo! Christ draweth nigh to Bethlehem to be born! Be glad, O sea! Leap up, ye assembly of prophets, beholding today the fulfillment of your words, and rejoice, all ye righteous!

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: God Who descended into the fiery furnace * with the Hebrew children, * and transformed the flame into dew, * do ye works hymn, * and supremely exalt as Lord throughout all ages.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thine endurance was tested in the river and the fire; and, transcending nature, thou didst pass through them mightily, crying out: Hymn Christ, ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Christ, Who appeared in strange manner unto thee who wast held in prison, richly nourished thee, and by His own nativity uniteth to the armies on high thee who glorify Him throughout all ages.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thy Bridegroom doth magnificently adorn thee with twofold crowns, O divinely wise Eugenia, and in that He is righteous, He rightly bestoweth upon thee a splendid bridal-chamber. Him do we supremely exalt throughout all ages!

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

The grace of God, having radiantly illumined thee, now shineth in the mansions of heaven: Pray thou unceasingly, that by thy supplications those who celebrate thy memory may be filled therewith, O divinely wise one.

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

We know thee to be a wellspring of the radiance of immortality, O Theotokos, for thou hast given birth to the Word of the immortal father, Who delivereth from death all who supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.

Ode IX, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: The Son of the Beginningless Father, God and Lord, * hath appeared to us incarnate of a Virgin, * to enlighten those in darkness, * and to gather the dispersed; * therefore the all-hymned Theotokos do we magnify

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Let all the kingdoms of the earth chant, rejoicing, and let the nations of the gentiles be glad. The mountains, valleys and hills, the rivers and the sea, and all creation, magnify the Lord Who is now born.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou wast seen in ages past insofar as the prophets were able to behold Thee; and, becoming a man in latter times, Thou hast revealed Thyself to all mankind in Bethlehem, the city of Judah, the star showing Thee forth to the astrologers, O Ineffable One.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

“O my most sweet Child, how can I feed Thee who nourishest all things? How can I hold Thee Who holdest all things in Thy hand? How can I wrap in swaddling-bands Thou Who wrappest the whole word in shadows?” cried the all-pure Lady, whom we magnify unceasingly.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: The Son of the Beginningless Father, God and Lord, * hath appeared to us incarnate of a Virgin, * to enlighten those in darkness, * and to gather the dispersed; * therefore the all-hymned Theotokos do we magnify.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Making thine abode in the mansions of heaven, O glorious one, as a martyr most true and an all-immaculate virgin among martyrs, thou hast now manifestly been deemed worthy of the sweetness of paradise with the virgins, O all-blessed Eugenia.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Thou hast obtained the Desire which transcends understanding and thought, standing in splendour before the Ultimate Desire, manifestly shining with the brilliant rays of the Sovereign Trinity, O divinely wise and goodly virgin Eugenia.

Venerable-Martyr, Eugenia, pray to God for us.

Keeping the lamp of virginity ever-burning, thou wast adorned with the crown of martyrdom. Cease thou never in thy prayers for those who with piety and love honour thee that we may be saved by thy supplications, O all-glorious Eugenia.

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

Thou hast now departed unto divine coolness, O most comely one, having passed through the unbearable fire of wounds and the surging waters of temptations, O martyr Eugenia. Wherefore, entreat Christ, that He save our souls.

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

Having conceived in thy womb the Rain of heaven which had descended upon the fleece, O all-immaculate one, thou hast given birth to Him Who granteth immortality, for us who piously hymn Him and magnify thee, the immaculate Theotokos.

Troparion, Tone 4: Thy lamb Eugenia, O Jesus, calls out to Thee in a loud voice: I love Thee, O my bridegroom, and in seeking Thee, I endure suffering. In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in Thee, and died so that I might live with Thee. Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love. By her prayers save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

The Canons of the Forefeast and St Naum of Ochrid

Canon of the forefeast, the acrostic whereof is the (Greek) alphabet, the composition of Joseph, in Tone VI:

Ode I, Irmos: He Who in ancient times * hid the pursuing tyrant beneath the waves of the sea, * is now concealed in a manger * for Herod seeketh to slay Him * But let us sing with the magi; chanting unto the Lord, * for gloriously hath He been glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Judah shall not lack for a prince, for to him was a promise made, as hath been written before: Jesus Christ, the Expectation of the nations, hath come, and is born in a cave in His surpassing goodness.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Be glad with great joy, O Bethlehem; for in thee is Christ the Lord born! Let the whole world leap up, receiving deliverance, and let all creation dance, keeping festival!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Desiring to save the human race, the Supremely good One made His abode in the womb of the Virgin who knew not wedlock; and, lo! He cometh to be born. Let us worship Him, for gloriously hath He been glorified!

Canon of the venerable one, the acrostic whereof is “I, Constantine, archpastor of Bulgaria, do praise Nahum, the latter acquisition of God”, 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.

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

O Nahum, who art full of the streams of the Holy Spirit, by thine entreaties show me to be a divine river, that I may proclaim thy works, praising thee with hymns.

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

Thou wast a follower of those who taught the Faith of Christ in the land of Bulgaria, O venerable one, sharing from thy youth in the labours and sufferings of Cyril and Methodius.

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

Thy life was angelic, thy life truly beyond that of men, and thy struggle truly like unto that of the martyrs, O venerable one; wherefore we hymn thee.

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

As a teacher of perfect doctrines, O Nahum, thou and thy fellow initiates of the mysteries went up to the summit of divine cedars, and covered the mountains of Mresia.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure one, from ages past nature hath recognized thee as the one who in a manner transcending nature alone art Mother and Virgin; for thou hast given birth for us unto the Creator of all.

Canon II of the venerable one, which is connected to the foregoing canon and the acrostic whereof is a continuation of that of the former; in Tone IV:

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 wonders.

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

O Christ Who of old dried up the deep for the people who were traveling on foot, dry up the abyss of my transgressions, and let fall a drop of understanding upon me, that with hymns I may praise Thy venerable one.

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

Desiring to behold the ineffable glory of God, O Nahum, thou didst endure tribulations, imprisonment and cruelties, and every earthly disgrace, and didst struggle for the sake of Christ’s name.

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

Solitary in spirit, yet burning with zeal for the Faith, thou didst bear the yoke of the grace of Christ and didst clear the souls of thy people of the brush of the demons and didst plant therein the seed of divine understanding.

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

O blessed one, thou didst consider the whole world to be as dung; thou didst love Christ, and by withdrawing from it thou didst draw nigh unto Him Who draweth nigh unto all for the sake of their faith.

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

O Lady as thou hast given birth unto Life, give life unto me who have become dead through many and varied evils, and cause me to pass over to the life which is on high, that I may ever glorify thee as her who giveth me life.

Ode III, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: When creation beheld Thee, * Who founded the whole earth upon the waters, * born in the cave, * it was seized with awe, crying aloud: * none is holy save Thee, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou didst desire to clothe Thyself in the guise of a servant, that Thou mightiest deliver me from slavery to the evil one. I hymn Thy loving-kindness, O Word Who art co-unoriginate and consubstantial with the Father: Glory to Thy dispensation!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Virgin cometh to give birth to the Lord in the cave! Come forth, O ye magi! Ye shepherds, come forth! Ye angels, cry out hymns from on high: The Deliverance of mankind hath come!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Seeking me who have become lost and by my barren acts have been shown to be a den of thieves O Lover of mankind, Thou hast now arrived at the cave to be born today from the Virgin, O Master. Glory to Thy Nativity, O Word!

Canon I of the Saint, 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.

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

Thou didst pass beyond the bounds of nature, O blessed one, and draw nigh unto the mountains of divine knowledge through truly everlasting life; and bringing light to the mountains of ungodliness, thou didst protect the people with the mountains of faith.

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

Out of the cruel and waterless pit of ignorance didst thou draw the children of darkness, hard of heart, showing them to be habitations of Christ through their teachers and thy compatriots.

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

The people of the West, who were in the darkness of ungodliness, didst thou enlighten, O father, and by thy holy and divine teaching thou didst make them temples.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Virgin, the prophets proclaimed thee to be the mountain, the jar, the table, the golden censer, and ark of holiness; and we hymn thee as the tabernacle which contained God.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and plentiful fount, * establish in spiritual fellowship those who sing hymns to thee, * and in thy divine glory * grant them crowns of glory.

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

In latter times the land of Bulgaria became thy portion, O venerable one, and with thy teachers thou didst struggle, and didst strive to share in the ways of the apostles.

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

The godly Nahum was the assistant of the holy hierarch Clement: he reached the lands of the West and, having illumined them with the light of preaching, is therefore glorified with him.

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

The people of Bulgaria, whom for thy sake, O venerable Nahum, the Lord hath raised up from stones as children of Abraham, as the Forerunner said, now glorify thee, abiding in the knowledge of Him.

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

The people of Bulgaria, who before sat in the darkness of grievous unbelief, O venerable one, through thee have beheld the light of understanding; wherefore, we honour thy memory with sweet hymns of joy.

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

Fill me with tranquillity, O Theotokos, for thou art the tranquillity of the souls of all peoples; and still the tempest of the demons which make war on me and in vain seek to thrust me into the abyss and pit of Hades, O Lady.

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

Kontakion of the forefeast, in Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Today the Virgin cometh to the cave * to ineffably give birth unto the pre-eternal Word. * Having heard this, be glad, O thou inhabited earth, * and with the angels and shepherds glorify the pre-eternal God, ** Who is to appear as a little babe the pre-eternal God.

Ikos: O truly awesome wonder past all telling! He Who giveth existence to all, in His goodness hath entered the womb of the holy Virgin, and cometh to be born in the cave and to be laid in a manger. And His star is a herald from on high to the magi who come to do Him homage with gifts, drawing from afar those who zealously follow the prophecy of Balaam who said: “A star will proclaim beforehand the little babe, the pre-eternal God!”

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: As one wise and intelligent, from the time of thy youth thou didst bow thyself beneath the easy yoke of thy Master, O father, and, filled with goodness, thou didst receive the godly Clement as thy fellow husbandman. With him thou didst plough the hearts of unbelievers and didst sow therein the seeds of Orthodoxy. Wherefore, thou hast passed over to the lands which are devoid of pain, ever reaping the reward of thy labours. O most blessed Nahum, entreat Christ God that He grant remission of offences unto those who celebrate thy holy memory with love.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Joseph marvelled…”: O venerable Nahum, emulator of the apostles and rule of hierarchs, adornment of the venerable and fellow struggler with the spiritual athletes of God: thou wast crowned as a martyr though thou didst not shed thy blood, for thou wast buffeted by cruel tribulations, bearing the divine name of Christ and ever preaching with boldness the mystery of the Trinity, to Whom do thou never cease to pray on behalf of those who praise thee.

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

Sessional Hymn of the forefeast, in Tone I, Spec. Mel. “Thy tomb, O Saviour…”: Rejoice, O Sion! Adorn thyself, O Bethlehem! For the Sustainer of all, having sent forth a star, hath announced His infinite condescension, before which the hosts of heaven tremble: Truly, He Who alone is the Lover of mankind is immutably born from the Virgin!

Ode IV, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Foreseeing Thine advent from the Virgin, * Habbakuk cried out in awe: * Thou hast come from Theman incarnate, O Redeemer * to restore Adam who had been expelled!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The radiant cloud cometh forth to shine from her maternal womb Christ, the Sun of righteousness, Who illumineth the whole earth with the rays of divinity. God hath revealed Himself to be like unto men: He abaseth Himself by assuming flesh, that He might deify us, and is born in a cave. O ye faithful, let us receive Him with a pure heart.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Behold! Christ is born in the city of Bethlehem, that He might open Eden unto us, which of old was closed through the disobedience initiated by the serpent: Let us celebrate a divine festival!

Canon I of the Saint, 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!

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

Behold! by thy preaching have hard-hearted pagans been called and come to know God, O wise one; for, as Isaiah writeth, all the land is filled with divine understanding; wherefore, we glorify thy memory.

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

Full of higher wisdom, thou didst teach the all-simple people of Bulgaria to worship the Hypostases of the Triune-God Who is immutably One in nature, united without commingling; and they cry aloud: Glory to Thee, O Lord!

Like a divinely chosen steed thou didst stir up the sea of ungodliness, O wise Nahum, as the prophet saith; and thou didst draw forth as fish the men who were drowning in the depths of unbelief, who cry out: Glory be to thee O Lord!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou wast shown to be a divine palace and a temple truly consecrated unto God, O Virgin Mary. Him do thou entreat on our behalf, that He wash away the defilement of our sins, that we also may become the abode and habitation of the Spirit.

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

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

Thou wast shown to be an unshakable pillar of the Faith, in nowise toppled by the winds of temptations; enduring multifarious wounds, and opposing the enemies of the Holy Spirit.

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

Speaking of the mighty works of God before kings and nations, with simplicity of speech thou didst shut the mouths of the rhetors who uttered evil fables; and magnify piety and the glory of Christ.

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

For piety’s sake, like an apostle and a preacher thou didst endure every tribulation; wherefore, we beseech thee, O venerable one: dispel every sorrow and illness from us who celebrate thy memory.

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

O pure Mother of God, strengthen the movement of my mind, illumine the senses of my soul, and make me strong against mine enemies, that I may cry out unto thee: Glory to thy birthgiving, O Virgin!

Ode V, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: I seek Thee early in the morning, * Who for our sake didst mercifully empty Thyself * and willingly submit to be baptised by the hand of a servant, * O Word of God, * Grant Thy peace unto me the fallen one, * O Lover of mankind.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Let the hearts of all mortals leap up, and let creation be glad! The Lord is born from the pure Maiden in the cave of Bethlehem, and the magi offer Him fitting gifts.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O ye people, who of old sat in the shadow of death, behold the Light which hath shone forth upon us from the Virgin, and be filled with great sweetness of soul, ever magnifying the Word Who lowered Himself.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Thou comest to be contained in a little cave, O Thou Who art infinite by nature, that, in Thy boundless mercy, Thou mightest magnify me who have made myself insignificant through disobedience.

Canon I of the Saint, 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.

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

O father, thou wast a new apostle, like unto the seventy; and, following Methodius as if he were Paul, thou wast an initiate of the mysteries of God, proclaiming Him by preaching.

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

Like the chosen vessel, thou wast truly shown to be a receptacle of grace, O most wise one, like the godly Prophet Nahum of old, whose name and goodly ways thou didst inherit, O Nahum.

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

Thou didst surpassingly love Christ with all thy heart, thy mind and soul, O venerable one, and thou wast accounted worthy to be surpassingly loved by Him,

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Tempest-tossed by violent changes, evil circumstances and long scattering, we flee to thy haven, O Lady, for thou art the hope of the hopeless.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: All creation stands in awe of thy divine glory; * for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, * didst contain within thy womb the God of all, * and gave birth to the timeless Son, * bestowing peace, upon all who hymn thee.

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

Thou didst sincerely hearken unto the all-wise teachings of the godly Methodius, who brought rebirth to Pannonia through holy baptism and the introduction of the written word, and thou didst emulate his way of life.

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

Thy feet didst become beautiful through the preaching of the divine Gospel, and they traversed divers lands, leading up to the divine Light those who in darkness had stumbled on the rocks of unbelief.

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

The apostles went about the whole earth and ploughed it; and thou and the godly Clement didst sow doctrines therein, O venerable one, and now take in the fruits of divine knowledge and everlasting hymnody.

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

O Lady, bestow a sword of goodwill upon us, strengthening us with thy compassions, help and aid; for evil circumstances pitilessly surround our lives.

Ode VI, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: The uttermost depths of sin have encompassed me; * and its stormy waves I can endure no more, * wherefore like Jonah I cry out to Thee, O Master: * Lead me up from corruption.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Transcending the laws of the flesh, O Lord, the Virgin cometh to give birth to Thee in the cave and to lay Thee in a manger as a babe in the flesh.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

In His mercy, the Supremely divine One, Who was born of the Maiden who knew not wedlock, showeth me to be a citizen of heaven, though I had become a stranger to God through disobedience.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Ye mountains, hills and valleys, be glad; for the Lord is born in the flesh, restoring creation which had become corrupt through wicked disobedience.

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

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

O wise one, thou wast added to the four disciples of Cyril and Methodius, the preachers of Christ, the wise initiates of the holy mysteries, the godly fathers of the Bulgarians and Slavs.

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

O preachers and initiates of the mysteries, ye were driven far away and endured imprisonment and beatings, suffering affliction for the procession of the Holy Spirit.

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

With the most wise Cyril thou didst traverse far paths, from the North even unto Rome, sharing in his labours, O wise one; and with Methodius thou didst enlighten the Bulgarians.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Deliver us from the cruel assault of the evil one, from the temptations of the passions and all misfortunes, O most pure one, and quickly rescue us from every harm.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: Prefiguring Thy three-day burial * Prophet Jonah praying in the belly of the sea-monster cried aloud: * Deliver me from corruption * O Jesus Thou King of hosts.

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

In thee also was the word of God fulfilled, for thy divine sound went forth into all the land of Bulgaria, and thy words even unto the ends of the earth.

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

From the ends of the North even unto the ends of the West your paths were in the sea, O blessed ones, and ye entered Rome, proclaiming the New Testament.

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

As a divine temple and precious divine habitation from thy youth, O God-bearing Nahum, by thy supplications make me a receptacle of the Holy Spirit.

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

What will happen to me, who am ever beset on every side? Be thou a protection and refuge for me, O Bride of God, for thou art the invincible helper of the downtrodden.

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

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

Kontakion, in Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Like a great sun doth the all-honoured memorial of thy splendid struggles * shine forth upon all; * it illumineth the faces of those who hymn thee * and driveth away the demons and every illness. ** Wherefore, assembling, we faithfully praise thee with love.

Ikos: Come, ye multitudes of the Slavs, and let us hasten together, rejoicing in our father Nahum, for he hath appeared today as the great intercessor and most splendid luminary; for he hath enlightened us all and dispelled the gloom of deception. He followed after Christ and gave himself up as a right acceptable sacrifice; and he now offereth unto all the faithful his most glorious memorial as a spiritual banquet. Let us all praise it with love!

Ode VII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: In Babylon the Children feared not the fiery furnace; * but cast into the midst of the flames * they were bedewed and sang: * ‘O Lord God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou.’

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

How can the least of caves hold Thee, O Word, Who in Thine exceeding abasement assumed the poverty of Adam, enriching mankind with the wealth of divine grace?

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Hearing strange words, the shepherds hastened to Bethlehem to behold Him Who lieth in a manger of dumb beasts and releaseth all mankind from irrationality.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

With mouth and heart let us hasten to hymn and worship with faith Christ Who cometh to be born in the flesh from the Virgin Maiden, in the cave.

Canon I of the Saint, Irmos: Thy children who were in the furnace O Saviour, * were neither touched nor troubled by the fire. * Whereupon the three sang, as with a single mouth * Thy praises and blessed Thee, saying: * ‘O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou.’

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

Working wonders, God miraculously delivered thee and thy friends from prison and arrest by the ungodly, O Nahum; for the fetters suddenly fell from your hands and feet, and ye were released.

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

Through the proclamation of divine doctrines thou didst become a teacher for people of evil ways, and by thy divine translations thou didst make them truly knowledgeable in things divine, transforming them from wild beasts into sheep of the meek O Christ.

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

Thou wast shown to be a chariot of God, O Nahum, bearing the name of Christ in writing against many pagan kings, and glorifying His works, and being gloriously glorified by Him.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most holy and pure one, accept the lowly entreaties of thy servants, and by thy supplications deliver us from the grievous sorrows which afflict us; and cause us to share in thy divine glory.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, * Who saved the children of Abraham in the fire * and slew the Chaldeans, * blessed art Thou!

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

O father, thou didst mix the sweat of asceticism with the sweat of apostolic labour, and later thou wast shown to be a willing martyr, though thou didst not shed thy blood. And thou didst cry aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God!

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

Thou didst manifestly cut off the deadly bonds of wicked thoughts, as Moses freed his feet of old; and thou didst truly understand God and command the people to chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

He Who doeth the will of those who fear Him in nowise rejecteth thy prayers on our behalf, O father; wherefore, be thou ever mindful of those who hymn thee with all their heart and all their soul.

Ode VIII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Suffering affliction for the sake of the laws of their fathers, * the blessed Children in Babylon * scorned the foolish decree of the King. * Standing together in the midst of the flames, they remained unharmed, * and sang a song fitting for almighty God: * ‘O ye works of the Lord, praise ye the Lord * and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.’

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Holding in thine arms, bowing down before, and kissing maternally the one Lord Who had become incarnate in a manner beyond all telling, and was clad in human likeness, O Maiden, thou didst say: “O my most sweet Child, how is it that I hold Thee Who holdest all creation in thy hand, while freeing it from the hand of bondage?”

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Make ready to chant to Him Who hath been born on earth, O divine angels! Guided by the star, bring ye gifts, O magi! Ye shepherds, hasten ye to behold Him sitting as a babe in His Mother’s arms, crying out: Hymn the Lord, ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O cloud of the Light, thou who knewest not wedlock, how canst thou wrap in swaddling-bands Him Who clothes the heavens with clouds by His ineffable will?

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

How canst thou lay in a manger of dumb beasts the Master Who in His boundless mercy doth deliver mankind from irrationality? Him Whom all creation worships with fear, hymning Him throughout all ages.

Canon I of the Saint, 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.

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

Let us hymn Nahum, the divinely inspired instrument of the Holy Spirit, O ye faithful, crying out to the Lord in sacred words: By his supplications save those who hymn Thy might!

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

With Clement as thy companion, thou didst traverse all the lands of the Slavs, O most wise one, by thy preaching guiding Ochrid and the people round about it unto the straight path.

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

Taking thy cross upon thy shoulder, O Nahum, thou didst follow after Christ, the one King, struggling lawfully; and from Him thou hast received a crown of victory, O blessed one of God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The children who were in nowise burned prefigured thy womb which was in nowise consumed by the divine Fire, O most pure one, but was preserved as a habitation for the one God.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: The Offspring of the Theotokos * saved the holy children in the furnace. * He who was then prefigured hath now been born on earth, * and He gathereth all creation to hymn thee: * all ye works praise ye the Lord * and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.

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

Desiring to deliver all peoples from irrationality, the Word of God gave thee a tongue of fire, whereby thou didst lead the people of Bulgaria to a knowledge of the Truth, teaching them to hymn Christ throughout all ages.

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

By thine opposition thou didst overcome the savagery of the tyrants, O ever-memorable Nahum, and as a champion of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the divine Source of the uncaused Trinity thou didst endure wounding, beatings and imprisonment.

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

Thou didst in nowise escape all tribulation, pain and groaning, O Nahum; but Christ, accepting thy labours for Him, hath caused thee to dwell in the place of ineffable joy and delight, where the first-formed beings now abide.

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

Beset with violent tribulations by enemies visible and invisible, contending with sorrows, pain and evil circumstances, with ignorant injustices and bitter banishment, we cry out in pain of heart: Save us, O Compassionate One, through the supplications of the venerable Nahum.

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

Flight hath utterly failed me, and, as say the Scriptures, they that seek after me have multiplied; but be thou for me protection and strength, a refuge and confirmation, O Lady, a hope and the sure joy of salvation, that I may glorify thee throughout all ages.

Ode IX, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Be not now amazed, O Mother, * beholding as an infant Him Whom the Father begat from within Himself * before the morning star; * for I have manifestly come to restore and glorify with Me * the nature of fallen mankind, * who with faith and love magnifieth thee.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Rejoice, O most pure one, thou receptacle of ineffable joy! For, lo! thou comest to give birth ineffably in the cave to the Master Who truly desires to restore all creation, which of old became corrupt through disobedience. Hymning Him with faith, we magnify thee.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O all ye souls of the righteous, and those beneath the earth, rejoice! For, lo! The Deliverance of all hath appeared, born in the city of Bethlehem! And the star proclaimeth Him to the magi, who seek Him with piety; and, beholding Him in the cave, they are filled with joy.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Virgin, we hymn thee as another heaven, who in the morning shall shine forth the Sun of righteousness upon us from thy most pure womb, illumining those in the darkness of death and corruption. Wherefore, we magnify thee with praises, as is meet.

Canon I of the Saint Irmos: The light-bearing cloud upon whom * the Unoriginate 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.

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

As is meet, the land of Bulgaria honoureth thy memory, O Nahum; for with the godly Clement, Gorazd the wonder-worker, and Angelarius the wise initiate of the sacred mysteries, thou wast its enlightener. By your supplications do thou save it!

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

Rome beheld your apostolic journeys, O godly Cyril, right blessed Methodius and glorious Nahum, and it stood in awe of the wonders of God wrought through you; wherefore, we honour you with annual hymnody.

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

O blessed Nahum, the choirs of the fathers, the apostles, the venerable, the hierarchs, prophets and martyrs, have now received thee and those who suffered with thee; for thou didst emulate their manner of life. With them remember us all.

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

We know thee to be the sacred ark of the covenant which beareth the word of God saving multitudes of the Slavs, and bringing them to the eternal promised land; wherefore, guided toward everlasting life, we venerate the shrine of thy relics.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure Theotokos, free all of us who trust in thee from iniquitous people and the assault of the demons, from the grievous oppression of multifarious passions, and from the cruel affliction of many temptations.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: Let every mortal born on earth, * radiant with light, in spirit leap for joy; * and let the host of the angelic powers * celebrate and honour the holy feast of the Mother of God, * and let them cry aloud: * Rejoice! O Theotokos, thou pure Ever-Virgin.

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

O ye faithful, let us stand in the house of our God and let us glorify His mighty works and miracles in His courts; for He is wondrous in His saints, who submit to His commands.  With them the venerable Nahum rejoiceth.

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

That, holding festival, we may honour thee, O Nahum, by thy supplications deliver us from all assaults and evil circumstances, perils and tribulations, and every other form of wrath, entreating Christ, Who hath revealed thee to be a keeper of His commandments.

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

The people whom thou didst nurture with thy labours, whom thou didst water with thy sweat, and whom thou didst root firmly by thy sufferings, O all-blessed one, offer thee annual hymnody as the first-fruits of thy memory; wherefore, pray thou to God for them.

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

Loose me, O Christ, for Thou knowest mine infirmities, that through them I may find rest before my departure through the supplications of Nahum Thy favoured one, O Master; and let me not become a joy for mine enemies in this age or that which is to come.

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

With faith we entreat thee, the true Mother of the Creator Who hath wrought all things by His will: In that thou art good, cause the counsels and pursuit of those who are at enmity with us to be in vain, O all-hymned one, and preserve all thy servants, thy pastors and flock, from the hands of our enemies.

Troparion of the saint, Tone IV: Thou hast departed this world, cleaving unto Christ. * And having crucified thy flesh, thou livest for the Spirit, * O all-blessed Nahum. Thou didst strive to follow the course of the apostles, * and didst win countless multitudes in Bulgaria for the Faith. * Wherefore, by thy supplications ** deliver us from temptations.

Troparion of the forefeast, in the same tone: Make ready, O Bethlehem! * Be thou opened unto all, O Eden! * Adorn thyself, O Ephratha! * For in the cave the Tree of Life hath sprung forth from the Virgin. * Her womb is shown to be a noetic paradise, * in the midst of which is the divine Tree, * whereof eating, we shall live, and not die as did Adam. * Christ is born, that He might restore His image ** which of old fell!

The Canons of the Forefeast and St Anastasia of Rome

Ode I, Canon of the forefeast, in Tone VI: Irmos: When Israel walked on foot in the sea as on dry land, * on seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, * they cried: * Let us sing to God * a song of victory.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Jesus our enlightenment, the great Sun, hath shone forth upon us through the cloud of the Virgin; and we who are in darkness chant unto Him, brightly illumined with His splendours.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The King of peace, the expectation of the gentiles, cometh to slay the enemy. Let us make haste to meet Him Who is born in Bethlehem for our salvation.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The divine sayings of the prophets are fulfilled, which foretold the awesome appearance of Christ; for the ewe-lamb draweth nigh to give birth unto the Lamb, the Redeemer and Lord of all.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

With faith we call thee blessed, O blessed of God, pure dove of the Master, honoured and immaculate and most comely among women, in that thou hast given birth to the God of all.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn thee with love, O martyr Anastasia”, the composition of Joseph, in Tone VIII:

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

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

Let us offer up hymnody unto God, Who desireth to be born in the flesh of the Virgin in the city of Bethlehem, and to be laid in an infant’s manger as a babe, that He may save the human race.

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

Seeking the only desirable beauties, those of Christ, O glorious martyr Anastasia, with steadfast character thou didst pass by the beauties of the world and wast deemed worthy to inherit immortality.

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

Enlightened by the effulgence of the Spirit, thou didst pass intently through the night of the gloom of deception, O honoured one, and hast now made thine abode where the divine splendour of the uncreated Trinity doth shine.

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

The invisible God hath appeared, born of thee supranaturally in His great loving-kindness, O Virgin Mother. The Rich One hath beggared Himself, that He might enrich the race of mankind with immortality.

Ode III, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: There is none as holy as Thou, * O Lord my God, * who hast exalted the horn of The faithful O good One, * and strengthened us upon the rock * of Thy confession.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Christ Who stretched out the heavens by His word entereth the cave to recline in a manger of dumb beasts, desiring, in His tender compassion, to deliver us from folly.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The prophet manifestly crieth aloud: “This is our God, and there is none other who can take His place! Uniting Himself to mankind, He hath disclosed every way of knowledge.”

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The cherubim cannot bear to gaze upon Thee, O Lord Who lovest mankind. How
then can the manger hold Thee Who art infinite in nature, but born for our sake from
the Virgin in Thy great loving-kindness?

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Daniel the prophet once foresaw thee, O Theotokos, all-pure Bride of God, as the mountain from whence the Stone was cut which crushed and destroyed the temples of idolatry.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, Irmos: O Lord, Creator of the vault of Heaven * and Builder of the Church, * do Thou strengthen me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, * O Support of the faithful, * O only Lover of mankind.

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

The untouchable Lord desireth to be seen lying in the manger, an infant wrapped in swaddling-bands. Leap up, O ye mountains, and, filled with light, array yourselves in divine joy, O ye hills!

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

Enriched by the Saviour’s words, with the boldness of piety thou didst blunt the darts of the persecutors’ burning words, O Anastasia, governing the movements of thy soul with divine love.

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

Thou didst simply cry out, O martyr: “I seek the Lord to Whose love alone I have bound my soul! With most desired simplicity, I go to be richly illumined by His all-pure splendours.”

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

O Maiden who knewest not wedlock, thou didst bear within thy womb incarnate, Him Who holdeth all creation in His hand, the pre-eternal Babe Who, when He is born, Thou wilt lay in a manger.

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

Kontakion of the forefeast, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Today the Virgin cometh to the cave * to ineffably give birth unto the pre-eternal Word. * Having heard this, be glad, O thou inhabited earth, * and with the angels and shepherds glorify the pre-eternal God, ** Who is to appear as a little babe.

Ikos: O wonder truly awesome and beyond all telling! He Who hath given existence unto all things hath, in His goodness, entered into the womb of the holy Virgin, and cometh to be born in a cave, and to be laid in a manger. From above, the star heralds Him to the Magi who come to render Him homage with gifts, drawn from afar, following with care the prophecy of Balaam, who said: A star will announce beforehand the young Child, the pre-eternal God.

Sessional Hymn of the Great-Martyr, in Tone I, Spec. Mel.: “Thy tomb, O Saviour …”: We praise thee as a bride of Christ, O virgin, and we honour thee like the honoured Thecla, as is meet. Wherefore, rivers of healings pour forth by the power of the Spirit on the day of thy commemoration; for thou hast received grace, in that thou didst keep the commandments of the Lord.

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

Sessional Hymn of the forefeast, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “That which was mystically commanded…”:Celebrating the days of the forefeast of the nativity of Christ, let us hold festival, O ye faithful; and bearing the virtues as the magi did gifts, let us all worthily go forth to chant the greeting and new hymn of the angels to our God Who hath been born in Bethlehem from the divine Maiden and Virgin without seed. Him do all things glorify.

Ode IV, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Christ is my power, * my God and my Lord, * the holy Church divinely singeth, * crying with a pure mind, * keeping festival in the Lord.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Behold! the star which wast proclaimed of old by Jacob, hath shone forth from afar. The infinite God, becoming a man, is seen wrapped in swaddling-bands.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The Lord, the deliverance of all, is seen as a Babe, sitting in the bosom of the Virgin: He Who, as the Son, resteth in the bosom of the Father.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Open wide, O Eden, which once wast closed to me because of the theft of the fruit! For now, in Bethlehem, He is born Who hath clad Himself in me and hath set me apart to share in thy painless delights.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The prophet Habbakuk foresaw thee in the Spirit, O Virgin, as the mountain overshadowed with the virtues, from whence He Who illumineth our souls hath appeared unto us.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, Irmos: O Lord, I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation; * I have beheld Thy works, * and I have glorified Thy Divinity.

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

Already fulfilled are the sayings of those who prophesied in the divine Spirit; for the Virgin cometh to give birth in the cave to the all-perfect One.

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

Seeking after the glory of martyrdom with love, thou didst receive it, suffering steadfastly, with a fearless will, O thou who art patient of soul.

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

When thy body was stripped, O all-praised spiritual athlete and martyr, thou wast truly vested in a robe of grace woven from on high.

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

O most pure one, the King of heaven cometh forth from thy light-bearing womb as a mortal, laying in a manger as though on a royal throne.

Ode V, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Illumine with Thy divine light, I pray, O Good One, * the souls of those who with love rise early to pray to Thee, * that they may know Thee, O Word of God, * as the true God, * Who recalleth us from the darkness of sin.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Bethlehem, thou house of Ephratha, the Prince shall issue forth from thee unto Israel, summoning the rejected gentiles, as Micah foretold, illumined by the Spirit.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Jesus alone is born of the Virgin, to shepherd His flock with strength. Unto the end of the earth is He magnified, thus proclaimed the divinely eloquent prophet of old.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The spirit of wisdom, the spirit of God, the spirit of strength and counsel, of knowledge and understanding, the spirit of the fear of God filled the Son Who was incarnate from thy womb, O Virgin.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Of a truth, O most pure, all-immaculate one, thou didst cause all the weaponry of the enemy to utterly fail; for thou hast given birth unto the God of all, Who with a spear hath brought low his savagery.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, Irmos: Rising early we cry to Thee, O Lord; * save us, for Thou art our God, * and we know none other besides Thee.

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

The star of Judah hath shone forth from the land of Chaldea, moving the magi to worship, as it was written.

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

Lawfully didst thou contend, vanquishing the iniquitous with the power of the Spirit, O all-glorious martyr.

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

As is thy name, so didst thou show forth the resurrection of God, cursing the invisible foe, O all-praised one.

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

Christ cometh to be born of the Virgin in a subterranean cave, that all things may be glad.

Ode VI, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging with the tempest of temptations, * I run to Thy calm haven, and cry to Thee: * Raise up my life from corruption, * O Most Merciful One.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Behold! Christ cometh to His own. We are made His by grace and godly virtues, O faithful; and, illumined in soul and heart, we receive Him.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The root of Jesse hath sprouted forth, and our God hath come forth from thence, the hope of the nations, their peace and honour, as Isaiah, divinely illumined, foretold of old.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Incarnate, O my Jesus, Thou didst make Thyself poor, enriching me who have become grievously impoverished through evil, and loosing the bonds of my many sins by Thy being wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The winter of adverse thoughts doth beset my lowly heart with assaults of evil spirits, O right beloved Lady, tame it by thy mediations.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, Irmos: I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, * and to Him will I proclaim my grief; * for my soul is filled with evils, * and my life unto Hades hath drawn nigh, * and like Jonah I pray unto Thee: * Raise me up from corruption, O God.

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

The Compassionate One, Who doth form babes in their mothers’ wombs, took human nature from us and is seen as a babe; and wrapped in swaddling bands, He is laid in the manger, loosing the intricate bonds of my passions by grace.

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

Patiently following the struggles of the holy martyrs for Christ’s sake, ministering to their needs, and cleansing their sores, O venerable one, thou wast most splendidly enriched, illumining them with glory.

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

Thou pourest forth drops of healing with showers of divine gifts, and dost hold in check the rivers of the passions, helping those who are in cruel misfortune, O all-glorious martyr of Christ, thou namesake of the divine resurrection.

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

Healing human nature which had become corrupt through the ancient transgression, a new Babe is born without corruption; and He sitteth in thy womb, as upon a throne, O unwedded one, without leaving the throne that He shares with the Father in His divinity.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone II, Spec. Mel. “Seeking the highest…”: When those who have recourse to thy temple, * find themselves in temptations and sorrows, * they receive precious gifts through the divine grace which dwelleth within thee, * O Anastasia. ** For thou ever pourest forth healings upon the world.

Ikos: As thou art the namesake of the resurrection of Christ, O martyr, by thy supplications, raise me up who have now fallen, letting the drops of thy miracles fall upon my soul, quenching the burning of grievous sin; for thou dost ever save the world from a multitude of sins, of which I am also tempted, for pouring forth healings upon the world, thou dost grant them abundantly to all.

Ode VII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: An angel made the furnace bedew the holy children. * But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans * and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry: * O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The most Perfect One is born as a babe, and wrapped in swaddling bands; and the Unoriginate One receiveth a beginning in time from the Virgin, seeking to deify that which He had taken upon Himself. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Clad in the flesh as in a robe of royal purple, The King of peace cometh forth from thy womb, O Maiden, destroying His enemies, in that He is almighty, and bringing peace to our stormy life.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

God Who is with us is revealed to be incarnate! Understand, O ye hostile nations, and submit, withdrawing from our life! lo! our Restoration desireth to lay in the manger of Bethlehem as a babe!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The King Who made His abode within thy womb chose thee out of all generations to be His undefiled palace, O Maiden. To Him we now piously chant: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

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

The choirs of the incorporeal ones give glory on high, and we on earth render homage, beholding Thee Who hast made Thyself like unto us mortals and liest in a manger, O Christ, Thou God of all.

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

Thou didst reduce the fire of deception to ashes, partaking of the flame as did the children. And thou didst show forth thy fervent love, O divinely wise one, which thou didst have for thy Master and Bridegroom.

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

Thou pourest forth showers of healings, assuaging the fever of illness, ever causing the people to chant: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, throughout the ages!

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

A wonder which amazeth the mind hath been wrought in thee, O Virgin Mother: thou shalt give birth to God and lay in a manger, Him Who is unapproachable even to the cherubim and is infinite in His being.

Ode VIII, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Thou didst make flame bedew the holy children, * and didst burn the sacrifice of a righteous man with water. * For Thou alone, O Christ, dost do all as Thou willest, * Thee do we supremely exalt throughout all ages.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The sayings of the divinely eloquent prophets are now fulfilled: the Virgin draweth nigh to give birth to the Lord. Let all the earth joining chorus, be glad, and let it rejoice throughout all ages!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Shining with beams of divine grace and abolishing the shadow of the law, Christ the Bestower of light hath shone forth. O ye who are in darkness, behold the great Light!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Lord Who wast born in the cave, show me to be a temple of Thee and of the Father and Thy divine Spirit, even though I have become a lair of brigands, that I may glorify Thee throughout all ages.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

A heavenly Star hath shone forth from thy womb; and the astrologers have been moved to look upon it, illumined by the Spirit through the knowledge thereof, O most pure Virgin who art ever blessed.

Canon of the Great-Martyr, Irmos: Treading down the fiery flame in the furnace, * the divinely eloquent children sang: * ‘Bless the Lord, ye works of the Lord’.

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

The cave holdeth the New-born, before Whom thousands and myriads of angels stand on high. O ye works, hymn Him unceasingly as Lord!

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

Thou wast shown to be a temple of the Trinity when in the temples of God thou didst exercise thyself in fasting and supplication, O Anastasia, crying aloud: Bless the Lord, ye works of the Lord!

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

Strengthening Chrysogonus with thy fortifying words, O passion-bearer, thou didst trample upon the feeble cruelty of the idols, suffering valiantly.

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

O Maiden who held God within thyself: thou hast given birth unto the Babe Who created time, the immutable Lord, Who, in His ineffable mercy, is born in the city of Bethlehem.

Ode IX, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: It is impossible for mankind to see God * upon Whom the orders of angels dare not gaze; * but through thee, O all-pure one, * did the Word Incarnate become a man * and with the Heavenly Hosts * Him we magnify and thee we call blessed.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Behold! Christ, the restoration, cleansing, salvation and power of all, is come! The priceless Treasure is hidden within the cave! And the magi, enriched thereby, offer Him gold, as to a king.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Keep watch, O shepherds of Christ, and come ye noetically to the city of Bethlehem; and cry out to God in the highest: Glory and majesty be unto Him Whose good pleasure it hath been to reveal Himself as a babe for our sake, in His goodness!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Wrapped in swaddling clothes in the flesh, O Thou Who dost shroud the earth in darkness and settest bounds for the sea with sand, thou hast broken the bonds of mine evil deeds and with righteousness hast girded those who have become weak through the assaults of the enemy.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O chamber and throne of the Ruler, mountain of God, chosen city, garden of paradise, most radiant cloud of the Sun: illumine my soul, dispelling the cloud of my manifold iniquities, O divinely joyous one.

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

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

Leap up in gladness, ye mountains, and gird yourselves about with joy, O ye hills! The Virgin now draweth nigh to give birth unto the Lord.

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

Today, creation offereth thee gladness, O Anastasia, glorifying the memory of the Word Whom thou didst glorify with thy blood.

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

Illumined now with a most pure light, O right noble martyr, by thy supplications ask that we all receive illumination from on high.

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

Let all creation now rejoice in splendour! The Theotokos cometh to give birth to God the Word Who hath become a man through the will of God.

Troparion of the Great-martyr, Tone IV: Thy ewe-lamb Anastasia O Jesus, crieth out with a loud voice: * “Thee do I love, O my Bridegroom, * and, seeking Thee, I endure suffering. * in Thy baptism I am crucified and buried with Thee. * I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; * I die for Thee, that I may live with Thee. * Accept me, who with love sacrifice myself for Thee, * as an unblemished offering!” ** By her supplications save Thou our souls, O most merciful One.

Troparion of the forefeast, in the same tone: Make ready, O Bethlehem! * Be thou opened unto all, O Eden! * Adorn thyself, O Ephratha! * For in the cave the Tree of Life hath sprung forth from the Virgin. * Her womb is shown to be a noetic paradise, * in the midst of which is the divine Tree, * whereof eating, we shall live, and not die as did Adam. * Christ is born, that He might restore His image ** which of old fell!

Troparion of the Great-martyr, Tone IV: Thy ewe-lamb Anastasia O Jesus, crieth out with a loud voice: * “Thee do I love, O my Bridegroom, * and, seeking Thee, I endure suffering. * in Thy baptism I am crucified and buried with Thee. * I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; * I die for Thee, that I may live with Thee. * Accept me, who with love sacrifice myself for Thee, * as an unblemished offering!” ** By her supplications save Thou our souls, O most merciful One.

Troparion of the forefeast, in the same tone: Make ready, O Bethlehem! * Be thou opened unto all, O Eden! * Adorn thyself, O Ephratha! * For in the cave the Tree of Life hath sprung forth from the Virgin. * Her womb is shown to be a noetic paradise, * in the midst of which is the divine Tree, * whereof eating, we shall live, and not die as did Adam. * Christ is born, that He might restore His image ** which of old fell!

The Canons for the Forefeast & Metropolitan Peter

Canon of the forefeast, with the alphabet acrostic, by Joseph, in Tone IV:

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Rejoice, O heaven, and be glad, O earth! For our God, having taken on flesh, is born of the Virgin Maiden and is wrapped in swaddling bands, breaking the bonds of our transgressions, in that He is compassionate.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The pure Queen giveth birth in a manner past understanding to the King of all Who openeth the kingdom on high to the faithful and utterly removeth the sin which ever accursedly reigneth within us.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The writings of the prophets have attained their end; for, lo! Christ Whom they proclaimed beforehand is revealed, incarnate, in the city of Bethlehem. Let us now hasten today to celebrate the forefeast of His nativity with uprightness of mind.

Canon I of the Saint, in Tone VIII: Irmos: Having passed through the water as upon dry land, * and having escaped the malice of the Egyptians, * the Israelites cried aloud: * Unto our God and Redeemer let us sing.

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

O divinely wise father, holy hierarch Peter, open thou mine unworthy lips, that I may hymn thee; and accept as incense of sweet savour that which, unworthy though I am, I offer unto thee out of my poverty.

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

Let us all hymn Peter, the great hierarch. Let us honour the helper and confirmation of the land of Russia, whom the Lord hath given to the city of Moscow as a vigilant guardian.

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

Thou didst follow the saving commandments of Christ, O most wise and holy hierarch Peter, and wast an intercessor for widows and orphans, and the great defence of the Russian land.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure Theotokos, who hast given birth unto the Creator and Saviour of all who hymn thee, from misfortunes save thy city, unceasingly praying to thy Son and our God for us.

Canon II of the Saint, in Tone I: Irmos: 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.

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

Taking the grace of the Spirit into thy heart, O father, holy hierarch of Christ, illumine the tongue and enlighten the heart of those who hymn thee, that with splendour we may hymn thy memory, O venerable Peter.

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

The great Peter, the mighty pastor of the Church, summoneth shepherds and the flock, and the whole Church, to his memorial. Wherefore, having assembled let us with splendour keep the festival of our common father.

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

Even though thy corrections are beyond our words and thoughts, O father Peter, yet do thou accept with love the spiritual offering which we make unto thee according to our strength, O right wondrous one; for none of us are able to fashion fitting hymns for thee.

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

The radiant Sun cometh, appearing from the gates which were shut; for His appearance hath abolished the night, and the day draweth nigh. Wherefore, O our corrupt nature, receive from the Virgin the Master Who is become man for thy sake.

Ode III, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Likened to a barren woman * the Church from among the nations hath given birth, * and the assembly abundant in children, hath grown weak. * Let us cry out to our wondrous God: * Holy art Thou, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Daniel beheld Thee, O Word, as the Stone cut from the mountain of the Virgin, which broke the temples of the idols in pieces by Thy might. Wherefore, we glorify Thee with fear.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Guided to Thee by the star, O Christ, Thou King of all, the magi from the East bring gifts; myrrh, gold and frankincense – marvelling at Thy condescension.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The unploughed field beareth the life-bearing Grain; Mary cometh to give birth in the city of Bethlehem to Him Who feedeth the souls of all who cry: Holy art Thou, O Lord!

Canon I of the Saint, Irmos: O Lord, Creator of the vault of Heaven * and Builder of the Church, * do Thou strengthen me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, * O Support of the faithful, * O only Lover of mankind.

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

By thy prayers to our Creator and God crush the Moslems and all our godless adversaries, O venerable Peter, show forth their power, which warreth against us, as impotent; and put down their wicked savagery.

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

O Master, in a generation gone by Thou didst show forth a wonder-worker, the holy hierarch Peter, the confirmation of the Russian land, the upright rule of Thy Church, the leader of the priestly rank.

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

The man who touched thee while thou wast in thy coffin was counted worthy to receive healing, O holy one; for by the grace of God thou didst grant that he be able to stretch forth his arms, which were bent in upon his breast.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Be thou for me a refuge and haven, an unassailable rampart and helper, O most pure Virgin who hast given birth in the flesh unto God, the most compassionate Redeemer and Saviour of those who hymn thee, O Bride of God.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

God, Who knoweth all things, knew thee in the womb before thou wast conceived, O God-bearer. And when thou wast born, He sanctified thee and made thee a great shepherd of His sheep; for He entrusted His sheep to thee, as He did to the Apostle Peter.

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

Parting the sea of the passions with the staff of abstinence, O blessed one, like Moses thou didst ascend the mountain of dispassion, and, having received noetic tablets, thou didst teach thy flock the law of God.

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

Thou wast shown to be humble, meek and gentle, O Peter; wherefore, the grace of the Spirit, abundantly poured forth upon thee, revealed thee to be a great man who shineth over our land with rays of miracles.

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

God, Who is strong and mighty, hath now revealed Himself to those who are in the darkness of the shadow of death. O ye faithful, behold the great Light, Christ-in the cave, Who is to be born of the Virgin in an awesome manner. Let us hymn her with faith.

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

Kontakion of the forefeast, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Today the Virgin cometh to the cave * to ineffably give birth unto the pre-eternal Word. * Having heard this, be glad, O thou ecumene, * and with the angels and shepherds glorify the pre-eternal God, ** Who is to appear as a little babe.

Ikos: O truly awesome wonder past all telling! He Who giveth existence to all, in His goodness hath entered the womb of the holy Virgin, and cometh to be born in the cave, and to be laid in a manger. And His star is herald from on high to the magi who come to do Him homage with gifts, drawing from afar those who zealously follow the prophecy of Balaam, who said: “A star will proclaim beforehand the little babe, the pre-eternal God!”

Sessional Hymn of the saint, Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Go thou quickly before…”: Thou hast been revealed to the world to be a resplendent beacon, illumining the thoughts of the faithful with the brilliance of thy discourses, O holy hierarch Peter our father; wherefore, with joy we all celebrate thy sacred and divine memory today.

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

Sessional Hymn of the forefeast, in the same melody: O virgin, begin ye beforehand the joy of virgins; ye mothers, praise the coming forth of the Mother of Christ our God; rejoice, O magi, with the angels, and ye shepherds with us! For the Virgin cometh to give birth in the city of Bethlehem to a Son, the pre-eternal God, Who saveth the world from corruption.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The holy phial of precious sanctity cometh to pour forth in the city of Bethlehem Him Who imparteth sanctity unto all of us who cry: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O divinely eloquent Isaiah, beholding the fulfilment of thine honoured prophesies, rejoice and be glad! For without seed the Virgin hath given birth in the flesh to the Uncontainable One in the cave of Bethlehem.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Jesus is born in the flesh; the Timeless One is seen as an infant in time, and by His ineffable abasement deifieth me who, have become poor through corrupting disobedience.

Canon I of the Saint, Irmos: O Lord, I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation; * I have beheld Thy works, * and I have glorified Thy Divinity.

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

With the grace of the Spirit thou wast anointed a high priest, O most excellent Peter; for thou didst put on Christ because of thy pure life. Wherefore, thou didst teach all to glorify the one God in Trinity.

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

Deliver thy flock from the storm of sin, from tribulations and sorrows, O venerable hierarch Peter, leading us to the calm harbour of the divine will of Christ.

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

Thou wast shown to be a favoured one of Christ, O most sacred father Peter; wherefore, cease thou never to pray to the Lord, that He deliver thy flock from perils, misfortunes and sorrows, and from violent trials.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The assemblies of hierarchs and the choirs of the venerable glorify thee in a sacred manner; for thou didst bear in thine arms, as an infant, the Creator of all, the Son and Word of God.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

Bowing to the laws of the Spirit from earliest childhood, O venerable one, thou didst pass over the laws of the flesh, which by mighty asceticism thou didst mortify in thy life. Wherefore, thou hast been given to the faithful as a great wonder-worker, O blessed Peter.

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

Thou gavest neither sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids, until the Creator of all found thy heart to be a tranquil place. And, having fittingly purified it, the eternal King and God showed it to be His habitation of glory.

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

Slay thou the incurable sensual knowledge of my flesh, O most wise one, and as thou art mighty and powerful, guide me to the divine ways. Make me subject to good laws, O blessed one, and show me, who art enslaved to cruel passions, to be a servant of Christ.

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

As it is written, the Lord hath now sent deliverance unto peoples, tribes and nations; for He maketh all peoples for Himself, that they may worship the one incarnation of the Son and confess thee to be the Theotokos.

Ode V, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: The wicked will not behold Thy glory, O Christ, * but we who rise early to hymn Thee shall behold Thee, * the Only-Begotten effulgence of Thy Father’s divinity, * O Lover of mankind.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

God-Emmanuel is born from the Virgin, and laid in a manger; of His own will He worketh our restoration. Wherefore, we piously celebrate the forefeast of His nativity.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O Thou Who art the Unoriginate Word, equal in essence with the Father, having been laid in a manger of dumb beasts thou hast released from irrationality us who piously celebrate the forefeast of Thy nativity.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Blessed was the root of Jesse which produced the pure one who beareth the divine Flower, Christ the Lord. And, rejoicing, we celebrate the forefeast of His nativity.

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

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

Standing round about thy shrine, O venerable hierarch Peter, we have thee as a mediator before God, a help and an unshakable confirmation for the land of Russia.

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

As thou wast merciful to the poor, O all-praised one, ask now the mercy of the Spirit; for in exercising almsgiving, O holy father Peter, thou didst set up a radiant lamp.

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

Thou wast truly the habitation of the Holy Spirit, O blessed Peter, and wast well enriched by the divine gifts revealed in Him.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure one, we call thee the myrrh, in that thou hast given birth in the flesh unto God, the gracious Myrrh poured forth upon all who have recourse to thy protection.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

The great wealth of thy compassions hath been shown forth in our land as an infinite outpouring of thy mercy, O servant of Christ; for thou dost answer those who petition thee, and dost strive to fulfill their requests, O blessed one.

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

Thou wast shown to be meek and humble in deed and word, and thereby drew all to thee. With love and good works thou didst subdue all, and by thy miracles thou didst gladden the hearts of those strengthened by thee.

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

Christ, the great Shepherd of all, showed thee forth as the shepherd and teacher of His reason-endowed sheep, O blessed one. As a compassionate shepherd, seek me out now, who am thy sheep lost in the mountains of perdition.

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

In the abyss of His ineffable compassions, the great Shepherd of mankind and High Priest came forth as a man from the Virgin. Prepare thyself, O Bethlehem! Ye shepherds, raise a hymn proclaiming unto the ends of the earth our common exaltation!

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Having been born for us as a little babe on earth, O Thou Who shone forth ineffably from the Father before all ages, free all from the ancient disobedience, in that Thou art compassionate.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Strange and most glorious things were heard in the city of Bethlehem when Thou wast born, O Unoriginate Word; for with the angels, shepherds offered up hymnody to Thee as Master.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

The star of righteousness ineffably proclaimeth to the magi the Sun Who hath been born, and, rejoicing, we now celebrate the forefeast of His honoured nativity.

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

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

Thou didst make thy life chaste, O thou who art manifest in sanctity, adorning thyself with righteousness and uniting to thyself the virtues by manliness of mind, O most blessed and holy hierarch Peter.

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

Preserve thy city from the predations of the ungodly infidels and from civil strife, O most blessed hierarch Peter, unceasingly entreating Christ the Master to grant peace to thy flock.

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

Glorified even after thy death as one living, thou workest miracles for the infirm and by the grace of God givest healing unto those who are crippled; for the Lord saith: I will glorify him who glorifieth Me.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou wast more exalted than the heavenly hosts, having conceived the ineffable Word of God, Who hath accomplished all things by His word, and Who was begotten of the Father before all ages. Him do thou never cease to entreat, O pure one.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

Thou wast truly a father to orphans and a helper of widows, O glorious one, the sweet consolation of the grieving and those in sorrow, the healer of sufferings of soul and body; wherefore, we call upon thee to be our intercessor amid our adverse circumstances.

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

Joyfully celebrating thy memorial with the people today, sacred peoples keep festival, O father, and together with them true hermits and simple folk hymn thee in common as their intercessor and teacher.

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

I alone am become a wicked child through vile passions, O glorious father, and for this cause am unworthy to participate in thy goodly and beautiful celebration; yet, having washed away the defilement of my soul and body, O venerable one, show me forth as worthy of thy festival.

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

O true wonder! Wonder surpassing all telling and all understanding! The Virgin is acknowledged to be both Virgin and Mother, and Him Who was born of her to be both God and man. Celebrating the forefeast of His radiant nativity, we sing hymns of joy.

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

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

Kontakion of the saint, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “To thee, the champion leader…”: Unto thee, the chosen and wondrous wonderworker of our land, * do we flee today with love, weaving hymns, O God-bearer, * as thou hast boldness before the Lord, * deliver us from multifarious evil circumstances that we may cry to thee: ** Rejoice, O confirmation of our city!

Ikos: Thou hast been revealed to be a new wonder-worker, imparting healings unto all who fervently approach thee in humility of heart. And, invisibly visiting the Christian people, O God-bearer, thou dost enlighten our land, that together we may cry out to thee thus: Rejoice, abode of the light of dispassion; Rejoice, dispeller of dark passions! Rejoice, thou who hast set at naught the wiles of the demons; Rejoice, thou who hast gladdened the ranks of the angels! Rejoice, summit of the pure vision of God; Rejoice, depths of humility, washing sicknesses away! Rejoice, for thou didst behold invisible things; Rejoice, for thou hast joined the choir of holy hierarchs! Rejoice, pastor and teacher of the Russian land; Rejoice, excellent boast of bishops! Rejoice, thou for whose sake God hath shown forth great miracles; Rejoice, thou in whom God is glorified! Rejoice, thou confirmation of our city.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

How can a cave contain Thee, the Uncontainable One, Who cometh to be born for our sake? How can the Virgin give suck to Thee, Who art the Nourisher of all, O compassionate Jesus?

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Following the words of the magus Balaam, the magi hastened to pay homage to Christ with gifts, perceiving that He is the One Who reigneth over all creatures.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O human nature, barren of any of the virtues, rejoice and dance! For Christ cometh to be born in the flesh of the Virgin, that He might show thee to be right fruitful in good works.

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

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

Open unto me the gates of repentance, O most blessed hierarch Peter, that I may wash away the defilement of my wretched soul and body, directing all my senses and my conscience to chant unto God: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

We, thy servants, have thee as a fervent helper and the unassailable rampart and confirmation of thy city of Moscow; and we fear not the adverse foe, but vanquishing them by the power of Christ, we chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Thou didst confirm the rules of the fathers, and with the magnificence of the priesthood didst build an all-beauteous church for the most holy Mother of God; and by thy teachings instructed the people to chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Having thee now as a haven of salvation, O Virgin Theotokos, we flee the misfortunes and storms of life; and, escaping to the harbour of thy tranquillity, we cry out to thy Son: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

Together our land and other countries proclaim thy wonders, O father, teaching all to chant unto Christ most joyously: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

The Bridegroom Who surpasseth all the sons of mankind in beauty, as it is written, showed thee forth to His bride, the Church, as a most comely bridegroom who bore the likeness of His image.

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

Having adorned thy life with almsgiving, meekness and true love, thou wast shown to be an excellent emulator of the good Shepherd, having chosen well His virtues.

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

The Master cometh to be born in the cave as a man. Let us go forth to greet the pure Virgin, O ye faithful, chanting unto her with joy: Rejoice, joy of the world! Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of Christ!

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

In Thine ineffable loving-kindness, to save me who through my great disobedience have become a den of thieves, O Christ, it was Thy will to be born in a cave of the pure Virgin.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Signing a writ of complete remission for me, Thou, the Author of creation, didst register Thyself with servants in accordance with the edict of Caesar. O Master, I hymn the unfathomable abyss of Thy loving-kindness!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O radiant palace of the Master, how is it that thou hast entered the least of caves to give birth to the Lord and King Who became incarnate for our sake, O all-holy Virgin Bride of God?

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

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

Though I have been overcome by the enemy through many transgressions due to the tumults of life, like Manasseh I approach Thee with faith, O Christ, and cry out to Thee in repentance: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout the ages!

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

O most blessed one, earnestly make supplications and entreaties unto God for thy servants, for, having thee as helper and ally amid griefs, we are saved from misfortunes, hymning the Lord and supremely exalting Him throughout the ages.

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

The children of Hagar are arming themselves against thy humble people, O all-honoured hierarch, father Peter. Crush them with the invisible power of thy prayers to the Master on behalf of us, thy faithful servants, who hymn the Lord and supremely exalt Him throughout the ages.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O most pure and most glorious Virgin Lady, with the holy hierarch Peter earnestly entreat thy Son and King, that from all need and tribulation He deliver thy loyal city of Moscow, which blesseth thee with faith, O Sovereign Lady, and doth hymn and supremely exalt thee throughout the ages.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: The furnace moist with dew * was an image and prefiguring of a wonder past nature, * burning not the Children whom it had received, * so the fire of the Godhead consumed not the Virgin’s womb * into which it had descended. * Therefore in song let us sing: * Let the whole creation bless the Lord * and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.

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

By thy supplication nurture this thy flock which is great in number; by thy prayers still thou the storm of contrary winds, both physical and spiritual; deliver us from all temptations and troubles, and preserve us utterly unharmed.

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

The descendants of Hagar, who rise up against us and desire to vex thine inheritance, have fallen, vanquished by thy supplications, and are become a mockery and a byword, bewailing their fall; but we joyously hymn thy sacred memory.

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

Ineffable is thy love for thy children, surpassing paternal love, O father; wherefore, thou dost ever invisibly visit us, by thy constant supplications asking salvation for us, and giving us joy and tranquillity, O Peter.

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

Not disdaining that which He created in His own image – me who am wholly fallen and have perished, O pure Virgin Theotokos, God hath wholly restored me through thee. Wherefore, all creation continually hymneth thee, the cause of our salvation, saying: Blessed art thou among women, O all-immaculate Lady.

Ode IX, Canon of the Forefeast, Irmos: Eve dwelt under the curse of sin * because of the infirmity of disobedience; * but thou, O Virgin Theotokos, * hast through the Offspring of thy pregnancy * blossomed forth blessing upon the world. * Wherefore, we all magnify thee.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

O ye faithful, let us dance, leap up and cry aloud together: The Salvation of all cometh! The Lord draweth nigh to be born, that He might save those who with godly wisdom celebrate His nativity!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Take up thy psaltery and harp, O holy David, and chant in hymnody: O house of Ephratha, be glad! For He Whom the Father begat from within Himself is most radiantly born in thee, incarnate of the Virgin!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

Like a downpour, like a mighty rainfall hath the Master descended into thy womb, O Virgin Mother and Birthgiver of God, and He hath watered lands hardened by dark ungodliness, drying up the seas of falsehood.

Canon I of the Saint, Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, * and the ends of the earth were filled with amazement, * for God hath appeared in the flesh, * and thy womb was rendered more spacious than the heavens. * Wherefore, the ranks of men and of angels * magnify thee as the Theotokos.

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

Like the harlot, the thief and the publican I cry unto Thee from the depths of my heart: I have sinned! Forgive me my many offenses, O Master, and deliver me from all Thine anger through the prayers of the holy hierarch Peter, that I may unceasingly magnify Thee.

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

Come, all ye people of Moscow! And, gathering at the tomb of the blessed hierarch Peter, cry out unto God with tears, saying: O Lord, deliver Thy people from misfortunes, that we may magnify Thee forever!

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

Thine own city of Moscow greatly rejoiceth in thee, O all-honoured father, holy hierarch Peter, having thee as an ally and helper. Depart not now in spirit from us, O master, making supplication for us to God, that He deliver us from the violence of the ungodly Moslems, our enemies, that we may ever magnify thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O all-pure Mary, Sovereign Lady, by thine entreaties cleanse my defiled heart and soul, and make me an heir to life everlasting; and, remembering not my countless evils, beseech thy Son and God for me, wretch that I am, and preserve those who hymn thee, O most holy one.

Canon II of the Saint, Irmos: 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.

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

It is not possible to hymn thy glory as is meet; for thou grantest a multitude of miracles and abundant healings unto those who with ardent faith approach thee, O holy hierarch Peter, thou boast of our land.

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

Christ hath set thee as the foundation of His Church and a mighty tower forever unshakable, protecting and making steadfast thy city, that it might remain utterly unshaken and unassailed by its enemies.

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

Let all of us; bishops, priests and monks, and all the people, men and women, the old and the young, of every age and every dignity, splendidly celebrate the memory of our holy hierarch.

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

Let us hasten to behold the greatest of wonders! For the Virgin cometh, bearing in her womb the Babe Who giveth life to babes. Angels join in common hymnody with shepherds, proclaiming the salvation made manifest in the cave.

Troparion of the saint, Tone IV: Be glad now, O earth that before wast barren! * For, lo! Christ hath shown forth within thee a luminary * who shineth forth clearly in the world * healing our infirmities and ailments. * Wherefore, join chorus and rejoice with boldness; * for it is the high priest of the Most High ** who doeth these things.

Troparion of the forefeast, same tone: Make ready, O Bethlehem! * Be thou opened unto all, O Eden! * Adorn thyself, O Ephratha! * For in the cave the Tree of Life hath sprung forth from the Virgin. * Her womb is shown to be a noetic paradise, * in the midst of which is the divine Tree, * whereof eating, we shall live, and not die as did Adam. * Christ is born, that He might restore His image ** which of old fell!