The Advent Journey With the Saints: the Prophet Obadiah and the Martyr Barlaam

Thursday November 19/ December 2: the Holy Prophet Obadiah and the Holy Martyr Barlaam.

The Holy Prophet Obadiah [or Abdia] is the fourth of the Twelve Minor Prophets, and he lived during the ninth century B.C. He was from the village of Betharam, near Sichem, and he served as steward of the impious Israelite King Ahab. In those days the whole of Israel had turned away from the true God and had begun to offer sacrifice to Baal, but Obadiah faithfully served the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in secret.

When Ahab’s wife, the impious and dissolute Jezebel, hunted down all the prophets of the Lord (because of her quarrel with the Prophet Elias), Obadiah gave them shelter and food (3/1 Kgs 18:3 ff). Ahab’s successor King Okhoziah [Ahaziah] sent three detachments of soldiers to arrest the holy Prophet Elias (July 20). One of these detachments was headed by The Holy Prophet Obadiah. Through the prayer of the Prophet Elias, two of the detachments were consumed by heavenly fire, but Obadiah and his detachment were spared by the Lord 4/2 Kgs 1).

From that moment Obadiah resigned from military service and became a follower of the Prophet Elias. Afterward, he himself received the gift of prophecy. The God-inspired work of The Prophet Obadiah is the fourth of the Books of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible, and contains predictions about the future salvation of the Gentiles (Ch. 15) and that the Savior would come forth from Sion (Ch. 17). The holy Prophet Obadiah, whose name means servant (or worshipper) of the Lord, was buried in Samaria.

In iconography, the Prophet Obadiah is depicted as a grey-haired old man with a rounded beard. His scroll reads: “In that day, saith the Lord, I shall destroy the wise men out of Idumea.”(Obadiah1:8).

The Holy Martyr Barlaam lived in Antioch of Syria. During Diocletian’s persecution against Christians, the aged Saint Barlaam was arrested and brought to trial, where he confessed himself a Christian.

The judge, wanting to compel the saint to renounce Christ, ordered that Saint Barlaam be brought to the pagan altar. His right hand was placed over it, and a red-hot censer burning with incense was put into his hand. The torturer thought that a physically weak old man could not endure the pain and would drop it on the altar. In this way he would involuntarily be offering sacrifice to the idol. However, the saint held on to the censer until his hand fell off. After this, the holy Martyr Barlaam surrendered his soul to the Lord.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

 

Canon of the prophet, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn the glory of the clairvoyant Obadiah,” the composition of Theophanes, Tone V.

Ode 1, Irmos: Unto God the Saviour * Who made His people pass dryshod through the sea, * but drowned Pharaoh with all his host, * unto Him alone let us sing: * For He hath been glorified.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Standing now as a prophet before God the Saviour, entreat Him with boldness, that He enlighten with rays of light those who with faith call thee blessed, O divinely inspired one.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

He who manifestly foreknoweth all things, beholding the untroubled and radiant purity of thy heart, O blessed one, appointed thee a God-pleasing prophet.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Truly beholding visions revealed to thee by God, thou didst proclaim the impiety and cruel perniciousness of thy brethren and their just destruction, O blessed one.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Saved by thy seedless birthgiving, O pure Theotokos, we beseech thee: from the temptations of the world do thou deliver us, who together offer a hymn of victory unto thee.

Canon of the martyr, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn thy pangs of endurance, O Barlaam,”  the composition of Theophanes, in Tone IV.

Ode 1, Irmos: I hymn Thee, O Lord my God, * for Thou hast led Thy people out of the bondage of Egypt, * and hast drowned in the waters * the chariots and the might of Pharaoh.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Rendered luminous by the splendours of thy contest, O Barlaam, do thou preserve us by thy supplications, for with faith we honour thy sacred memory.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

With hymnody let the wondrous Barlaam be honoured, who, with fame, quenched the fire of impiety by the divinely inspired fire of his reverence for God.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Having contended for piety, O crown-bearer Barlaam, thou hast now been honoured at the right hand of the Almighty with a crown of glory, as is meet.

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

The Master gave thee strength against divers wounds, O all-blessed martyr; wherefore, thou didst vanquish the savagery of the godless.

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

The ladder leading to heaven, which Jacob, thine ancestor, foresaw of old, hast thou truly been revealed to be, whereby the Word hath descended to us, O Virgin.

Ode III, canon of the prophet, Irmos: By the power of Thy Cross, O Christ, * do Thou make steadfast mine understanding, * that I may hymn and glorify ** Thy saving Ascension.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Like the waters of a mystic river didst thou appear, issuing forth from the abyss of the gifts of the Spirit, O herald of God.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Thou wast put forth by the will and providence of God to proclaim things to come, O right glorious one.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Illumined by the divine and heavenly light, O all-blessed one, thou didst proclaim the future salvation of the Gentiles.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The Word made His abode within thee, O Virgin Mother, and by thy mediation He doth save those who know thee to be the Theotokos, O all-immaculate one.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: The bow of the mighty hath waxed feeble * and the weak have girded themselves with strength: * therefore is my heart established * in the Lord.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

The whole bond of thy body and the cohesion of thy members were broken; yet the strength of thy soul was preserved intact.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Mightily showing forth the endurance of youth, O all-blessed one, thou didst right mightily endure the assaults of those who lacerated thy sides.

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

Who can rightly praise the mighty, powerful and tranquil understanding of thy thought, as is meet, O all-blessed one?

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

Theotokion: In the hypostatic Life which appeared unto us through thy womb, O most pure Bride of God, hath the corruption of death been brought to an end.

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

Sessional Hymn of the prophet, in Tone I – Spec. Mel. “Thy tomb, O Saviour …”: The great Obadiah, having acquired a mind luminous with divine splendour, spoke through the Holy Spirit, proclaiming things to come. Honouring him today with pious mind, we celebrate his sacred memory which enlightened men’s hearts.

Glory …, Sessional Hymn of the martyr, in Tone IV – Spec. Mel. “Having been lifted up …”: Let the glorious Barlaam, who quenched the flame of impiety and set the hearts of the faithful afire with the dew of the knowledge of God, now be faithfully honoured with divine hymns; for he put to shame the deception of idolatry and, having taken the crown of victory, asketh remission of sins for all.

Now & ever …, Theotokion, in Tone IV: He that sitteth upon the throne of the cherubim * and abideth in the bosom of the Father * sat in thy womb as upon a throne, O Lady; * for, being truly God incarnate, * He reigneth over all nations, * and with understanding we now chant to Him. * Him do thou also entreat, ** that thy servants be saved.

Stavrotheotokion: She who in the latter days * gave birth in the flesh unto Thee O Christ, * Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, * upon seeing Thee hanging upon the Cross, cried aloud: * “Woe is me, O Jesus, most beloved Christ! * How is it that Thou Who art glorified as God by the angels * dost now consent to be crucified by iniquitous men O my Son? ** I hymn Thee, O Thou Long-suffering One!”

ODE IV, Canon of the Prophet, Irmos: I have heard report of the mighty deed * of Thy Cross, O Lord, * how Paradise was opened thereby, and I cried: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Having cleansed thy soul of the passions beforehand, receiving the grace of prophecy through the Holy Spirit, thou didst cry out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

The prophet Obadiah, illumined by the brilliance of the lightning of the Bestower of light, hath enlightened us to cry to Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Thou wast revealed to be like a wedding attendant of the Church, the Bride of Christ, O all-blessed one, proclaiming that the Saviour would come forth from Zion, to Whom we cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

In a divine manner thou hast given birth, O pure one, unto the co-unoriginate and everlasting Word of the Father, to Whom we cry: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: Proclaiming the advent of Thine appearance on earth, O Christ God, * the prophet cried aloud with gladness: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Spurning the foolish speech of the rhetors and accepting the true teaching of the apostles, O glorious one, thou wast a true witness.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Thou didst withstand the fire and torments even unto death for Christ, O patient-hearted one, chanting aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

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

Constrained by the most powerful fervour, O all-blessed one, thou didst trample deception underfoot with godly wisdom, chanting: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

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

The Incorporeal One, incarnate of the Virgin, hath come to us on earth; wherefore, with faith we cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

ODE V, Canon to the Prophet, Irmos: Waking at dawn, * we cry unto Thee, O Lord: * Save us, for Thou art our God; * we know none other besides Thee.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Rising early unto the Lord, O all-praised one, thou didst receive the gift of the most holy Spirit from heaven.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Having acquired the godly life of Him Who helped thee, thou wast deemed worthy to behold Him Who is understood to be invisible.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Light shone upon thee, in that thou art a prophet, O all-blessed one, and gladness was given thee as a bride.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

The supremely divine One, Who created all things by His will, was formed from thee after our kind, O most pure one.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: O Thou Who hast caused the light to shine, * who hast made bright the dawn and revealed the day; * glory be to Thee, glory be to Thee, * O Jesus Thou Son of God.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Christ hath shown us a witness to His own sufferings, who crieth out: Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, O Jesus, Thou Son of God! For thy great endurance is a reward given, and a wreath of victory woven for thee who criest: Glory to Thee!

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Christ hath shown us a witness to His own sufferings, who crieth out: Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, O Jesus, Thou Son of God! For thy great endurance is a reward given, and a wreath of victory woven for thee who criest: Glory to Thee!

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

Glory to Thee, O Jesus, Thou Son of God! With the darts of thy words thou didst penetrate the hearts of the foe, crying: Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, O Jesus, Thou Son of God!

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

Understanding thee to be a holy mountain and the tabernacle of the Most High, O Virgin, we cry aloud: Glory to thee, O Theotokos, our hope!

ODE VI, Canon of the Prophet, Irmos: The abyss hath encompassed me, * the sea monster hath become my grave; * but I cried unto Thee, * the Lover of mankind, * and Thy right hand saved me, O Lord.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

By the power of the divine Spirit thou didst behold things to come, receiving images of divine revelations as in a mirror through the splendour of thy soul.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

By thy supplications entreat the Lord, O all-blessed prophet, asking that He grant forgiveness of sins unto those who with faith keep thy memory.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Take pity on Thy servants and grant them forgiveness of transgressions, O Lover of mankind, for Thy prophet who proclaimed Thee beforehand to the world doth entreat Thee.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

He Who beareth up all things by His word and divine power was borne in thine embrace, O thou who knewest not wedlock. Him do thou now beseech, that our souls be saved.

Canon of the Martyr, 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.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Let the faces of the demons be smitten with the martyr’s burned right hand; let the hearts of the faithful leap up, and let the choirs of the incorporeal ones be radiantly glad!

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

The conquests and victories of thy good struggles and the athletic contests of those who watched are adorned, O chosen and radiant triumph of the firstborn.

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

Arise now, ye good artists! Adorn ye the image of the martyr with your goodly skills, manifestly depicting therein the Judge of the contest.

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

Delivered by thy birthgiving from the ancient curse and the bitter condemnation of death, our first mother rejoiceth in thee, O all-praised Mother of God.

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

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

Kontakion of the martyr, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Thou hast appeared …”: Thou wast shown to be most amazing * in the fortitude whereby thou didst endure immolation, * offering thyself in sacrifice unto Christ as incense of sweet savour. * Having received a crown of honour, O Barlaam, ** do thou ever pray for us, O spiritual athlete.

ODE VII, Canon of the Prophet, Irmos: The children were saved * in the burning furnace, * chanting: Blessed art Thou * O God of our fathers.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Truly supra-natural is the glory of Thy prophets, O blessed God of our fathers!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Having been deemed worthy to dwell with God, thou dost chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Thou revealest Thy divine grace in Thy prophets, O blessed God of our fathers.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Delivered by thy birth-giving, O most pure Virgin, we chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: O God of our fathers, put us not to shame, * but grant that with boldness we may sing to Thee: * ‘O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou’.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

As an invincible martyr hast thou been deemed worthy to cry aloud to Christ with the choirs of the martyrs: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

With radiant lamps thou didst enter into the divine bridal chamber, O great martyr, crying out to Christ: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Having acquired a right hand stronger than fire, as an intercessor at the right hand of thy Master thou criest out: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Delivered by thy most pure birth-giving, we, the faithful, hymn thee, crying out unceasingly: Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, O most pure one!

Ode VIII, Canon of the Prophet, Irmos: Unto God the Son, Who was begotten of the Father before the ages * and was incarnate of a Virgin Mother in these last times, * give praise, O ye priests, ** and supremely exalt Him, O ye people, throughout all ages.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Enlightened by God, the prophets proclaim beforehand knowledge of things to come, crying aloud with divine wisdom: Ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt God throughout all ages!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Enlightened by God, the prophets proclaim beforehand knowledge of things to come, crying aloud with divine wisdom: Ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt God throughout all ages!

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Illumined with divine beams of light, thou didst enlighten those who were in darkness like a ray in the deep, O herald of God, crying: Ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt God throughout all ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thou hast revealed Thyself as of one nature with us, O Thou Who art consubstantial with Thy Father in the divine Essence, having become incarnate of the Mother, who kneweth not man. Wherefore, we hymn Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee throughout all ages.

Canon of the Martyr, Irmos: O all ye works of God and all creation, * bless ye the Lord, * ye venerable and humble of spirit * chant ye and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Thou didst destroy all the armour of the enemy, O right glorious Barlaam, utterly consuming the deception of idolatry, crying aloud: Thee do we supremely exalt, O Christ, throughout all ages!

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Adorned with magnificence, thou didst stand before Christ, O ever-memorable spiritual athlete, arrayed in fine linen empurpled with thy martyr’s blood and hymning the Master throughout all ages.

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

Enkindled with the fire of piety, thou didst utterly consume all the illusions of the demons as if they were thorns, crying aloud: Thee do we exalt supremely, O Christ, throughout all ages!

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

Those who with faith call thee blessed, O all-immaculate one, are blessed by the Lord; for thou hast given birth unto the Master Who blesseth creation, Whom we supremely exalt, O pure one, throughout all ages.

Ode IX, Canon of the Prophet, Irmos: O thou who art God’s Mother transcending mind and word, * who ineffably in time hast given birth unto the Timeless One, * thee do we the faithful * with one accord magnify.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Adorned with divine discourse and activity, and having taken wing in the Spirit, O wondrous prophet, thou wast deemed worthy to behold things to come.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

O glorious one, who dwellest where the choirs of the prophets and the splendours of the saints are, entreat the Lord to save those who praise thee with faith.

Holy prophet, Obadiah, pray to God for us.

Cleaving wholly unto God with fervour, thou didst converse in a pure manner through divine revelations, wherein thou dost now delight, O all-blessed one.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

We hymn thee, the candle-stand of the Light and the tablet of grace, O pure one, and we magnify thee, who received the incarnate Word.

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

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

The law of praise is overturned by the magnificence of thy struggles. Christ, the only Master, knoweth to glorify thee with divine radiance. Him do thou earnestly entreat on behalf of those who hymn thee.

Holy martyr, Barlaam, pray to God for us.

Having brought thy whole self to the Lord as a living sacrifice, thou wast revealed to be a fellow heir and sharer in His kingdom; and, rejoicing, thou now reignest with Him, O ever-memorable one.

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

The godly martyr, having arrayed himself against sword, fire and torments, shedding his blood for the love of Thee, even unto death, O Saviour, doth delight, receiving immortality from Thee, O Lover of mankind.

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

Rejoicing, I set thee forth as the helper of the world, the Virgin Mother of God, the intercessor and salvation of all my life; for having given birth unto God, thou art able to save those who hymn thee.

Troparion of the martyr, in Tone IV: In his sufferings, Thy martyr Barlaam O Lord, * received an imperishable crown from Thee, our God; * for, possessed of Thy might, * he set at naught the tyrants and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons. ** By his supplications save Thou our souls.

The Advent Journey With the Saints: Martyrs Platon, Romanus & Barulas

Wednesday November 18/ December 1: The Martyrs Platon of Ancyra, Romanus the Deacon of Caesarea, & Varulas the Youth of Caesarea

The Holy Martyr Platon, brother of the holy Martyr Antiochus the Physician (July 16), was born at the city of Ancyra in Galatia. While still a youth he left home and went through the cities, preaching the Word of God to pagans, amazing his audience with the persuasiveness and beauty of his speech, and his profound knowledge of Greek learning.

Because of his preaching he was arrested and brought for trial to the temple of Zeus before the governor Agrippinus. At first, the judge attempted to persuade the saint to turn away from Christ by flattery. He assured the youth that he might be on a par of intellect with the greatest of the philosophers Plato, if only he worshipped also the pagan gods. To this Saint Platon answered, that the wisdom of the philosopher, although great, was but ephemeral and limited, whereas the true, eternal and unbounded wisdom comprised the Gospel teachings. Then the judge promised to give him his beautiful niece for his wife if he would deny Christ. He also threatened him with torture and death if he refused. Saint Platon replied that he chose a temporal death for the sake of eternal life. The patience of the governor was exhausted, and he gave orders to mercilessly beat the martyr, and then send him off to prison.

When they led Saint Platon off to prison, he turned to the people gathered about the temple, and he called on them not to forsake the Christian Faith. Seven days later they again led the Martyr Platon for trial before Agrippinus in the temple of Zeus, where they had the implements of torture already prepared: boiling cauldrons, red-hot iron and sharp hooks. The judge offered the martyr a choice: either to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, or to feel the effects of these implements of torture on his body. Again the saint steadfastly refused to worship idols, and after his tortures they threw him in prison for eighteen more days without bread or water. But seeing that this did not shake the martyr, they offered him his life and freedom if he would only say, “Great is the god Apollo.” The martyr refused to deny Christ or to sacrifice to the idols. Therefore, Agrippinus ordered the holy Martyr Platon to be beheaded.

Information concerning Saint Romanus is found in Books 3 and 12 of the CHURCH HISTORY of Eusebius. Saint Romanus was born in Palestine, and served as a deacon in Caesarea. At the time of the persecution against Christians, he was living in Antioch. Through his preaching, he encouraged the faithful to stand firm in their confession of Christ when the Eparch Asclypiades wanted to raze the church to its foundations. Saint Romanus told the people that they must fight to prevent the destruction of the house of God, assuring them that even if they died in their efforts they would sing a hymn of victory in heaven.

At that time there a festival was being celebrated in honor of the idols, and Saint Romanus went to the pagan temple to upbraid the Eparch and the unbelievers for their impiety. As Asclypiades was about to enter the temple, Saint Romanus fearlessly proclaimed that the idols were not gods, and that only Jesus Christ was truly God.

Asclypiades ordered the saint to be beaten, and even tried to persuade him to deny Christ. When this failed, the Eparch ordered that Saint Romanus be tortured. He was suspended and beaten, and his sides were scraped with metal blades. Bravely enduring these torments, Saint Romanus confessed Christ, and chastised Asclypiades for his obstinate refusal to see the truth.

Then Saint Romanus was condemned to death by fire. As soon as the fire was lit, however, a rain fell and put it out. Then the Eparch ordered the saint’s tongue to be cut out, because he still confessed Christ and reviled the idolaters. Even after his tongue was cut out, the saint continued to speak as before.

Finally, Saint Romanus was nailed to a keg, and he was strangled in his prison cell. Having completed his contest for Christ, he was found worthy of the heavenly Kingdom, where he continuously glorifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit throughout all ages.

Saint Varulas was a child in the crowd of people who witnessed the torture of Saint Romanus. Christ’s holy martyr told the Eparch Asclypiades that the young child was wiser than he was, because he knew the true God, while the Eparch did not.

Asclypiades asked the boy what gods he worshiped, and he replied that he worshiped Christ. “Your gods are demons,” the child stated, “and they have not created anything.”

With these and other words, the young child put the idolaters to shame. Seeing that he could not convince Saint Varulas to worship the false gods, he had the boy tortured. His mother stood by, encouraging him to remain faithful to the Savior Christ.” Do not be afraid of death, my son,” she told him. You shall not die, but shall live forever. When you are beheaded, you will behold Christ’s glory, and you will dwell with Him in unspeakable joy.”

After the child was executed, his mother took his body and buried it, rejoicing because he had shed his blood for Christ.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

Canon of the martyr Platon, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn the expanse of thy praises, O Platon”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII.

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

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Traversing the most pure expanse of the eternal kingdom, O glorious one, from all tribulation and the dangers of imprisonment save those who hymn thee, leading to the path to heaven those who walk without turning back.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Protected by the armour of piety, and having shown thyself to be an unshakable pillar, O Platon, thou didst endure all the savagery of wounds and accepted the pangs of imprisonment, exalted by divine grace.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Showing forth the mettle of youth, in thy suffering thou didst cast off mortal and corruptible coarseness, O all-wise one, and, arrayed in the garment of incorruption, thou standest, rejoicing, before the Master.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

In a manner surpassing understanding thou hast given birth to the incarnate and Only-Begotten Word, Who is co-unoriginate and everlasting with the Father, O blessed and most pure Theotokos. Wherefore, reasoning correctly, we proclaim and honourably glorify thee.

Canon of the martyr Romanus, the acrostic whereof is: “With spiritual athletes’ wreaths I crown thee, O Romanus”, in Tone IV.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Shining brightly with the never-waning radiance of the Trinity, and enlightened with the choirs of spiritual athletes, O Romanus, send down enlightenment upon me, and drive away the darkness of the passions by thy supplications, which are acceptable to God.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Unmoved by the raging waves of the sea of idolatry, in that thou wast set firmly upon Christ the rock, thou didst destroy the threefold billows of most seditious ungodliness with the calm of the divine Spirit.

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

The Church of Christ, which aboundeth in every good thing, O Romanus, didst thou preserve untouched by the wolves, like a right-glorious and right-fruitful meadow, making it steadfast by thy teaching.

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

Truly, human nature hath found mercy through thee, O all-immaculate one; for the Creator, having become incarnate from thee in a manner past all telling and understanding, was led to death for us, delivering us from Hades.

Ode III, Irmos: O Christ fortify me on the rock of Thy commandments, * Thou who in the beginning didst establish the heavens with understanding * and didst establish the earth upon the waters, * for there is none holy save Thee, O only Lover of mankind.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Manifestly aflame with the zeal of piety, and enlightened by the divine fire of the Faith, O all-blessed one, with endurance thou didst enter into the cruel flame like a spark of incorruption.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Having supra-naturally vanquished the servants of the demons, and borne with patience the pain of mighty tortures, O blessed and divinely wise Platon, thou wast shown to be a dweller with the angels and a crown-bearer.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Having struggled for Christ on earth, O all-blessed one, receiving from Him heavenly gifts and crowns which abide forever, thou dwellest in the pure land of paradise.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Mother of God, thou art the portal of the Light, adorned with the rays of the light of the Spirit; for through thee descended unto us the Word Who illumineth with divine light all who hymn thee.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Having slain the spiritual beast with the sling of thy words, O Romanus, thou didst preserve the flock of Christ uncorrupted by the evil of idolatry.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Rendered mighty by the armour of the Cross, thou didst turn back the assaults of the enemy and denounced their impotence, O wise and right blessed Romanus.

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

When thy cheek was lacerated for Christ, O glorious, blessed and ever-memorable Romanus, thou didst cast down the enemy, breaking their jaws.

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

Clothed in the flesh He received from thee, He Who alone is God by nature, the Word of the Father, Who is one in essence with the Spirit, hath deified mortals, O Mother of God.

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

Sessional Hymn of the martyr Plato, in Tone VIII – Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom …”: Exalted in the breadth of thy struggles, O wise martyr, thou didst destroy the snares of the enemy, discomfiting them, O all-glorious one; and having run well the divine course, thou didst reach the expanse of heaven, rejoicing. Wherefore, the Church, resplendent today in an abundance of piety, doth celebrate thy memorial, O blessed one, and crieth out to thee: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love honour thy holy memory.

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

Sessional Hymn of the martyr Romanus, in Tone IV – Spec. Mel. “Having been lifted up …”: Having trampled underfoot the wicked one by fasting, thou wast glorified by suffering, O martyr of Christ, having endured manfully with a perfected mind. Wherefore, thou hast been numbered among the choirs of martyrs and reached the everlasting kingdom. Joining chorus therein, be thou mindful of us who celebrate thy holy memory with faith.

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

Stavrotheotokion: She who in the latter days * gave birth in the flesh unto Thee O Christ, * Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, * upon seeing Thee hanging upon the Cross, cried aloud: * “Woe is me, O Jesus, most beloved Christ! * How is it that Thou Who art glorified as God by the angels * dost now consent to be crucified by iniquitous men O my Son? ** I hymn Thee, O Thou Long-suffering One!”

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

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Wholly transformed by the love of thy Creator, thou didst not feel the pain of thy body, having shed the skin-garments of thy flesh from passions and mortality, and clothed thyself in the robe of chastity and salvation.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Thou wast revealed to be a true priest of God, offering thyself unto Christ the Redeemer Who was slain for all, as an unblemished lamb and a perfect sacrifice, O martyr; for, having set thy soul afire with love for the Master, thou didst pay no heed to thy burning flesh.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Emulating the three youths who were in Babylon, thou didst not fear the all-devouring fire, but mightily and youthfully endured the unbearable flame thereof. Wherefore, the Bestower of dew hath rightly taken thee with them into the chamber of glory.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

In that thou art the royal root, thou hast given birth for us unto the Word of God Who reigneth over all, Who became flesh, yet remained unchanged. Wherefore, O all-holy Virgin, with truth and authority we glorify thee, the Theotokos.

Another Irmos: Beholding Thee, the Sun of righteousness, * lifted up upon the Cross, * the Church now standeth arrayed and doth worthily cry aloud: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

With ineffable beauty thou didst ascend the tree, mounting it like a stairway, O blessed one, and attained unto the everlasting choir, O right glorious martyr Romanus.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Having shed thy mortal garments amid thy tortures, O blessed one, thou didst array thyself splendidly in a garment of light, O all-glorious martyr Romanus.

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

Made wise by the inspiration of the Comforter, the tongue of the boy proclaimed Thee to be the Lord of glory, the Creator of all and God Who art able to save, O Lover of mankind.

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

Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, O Virgin, whereby all peoples of the world have been delivered from the curse of death; and blessed by thee, we hymn thee as the mediatress of Life.

Ode V, 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.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Thou gavest neither slumber to thine eyelids, nor sleep to thine eyes, O martyr, until, beheaded by the sword, thou didst sleep the sleep of the blessed like those who love God, O blessed one.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Suffering, thou didst struggle as in another’s body, O all-blessed one; thou didst suffer, viewing thy pangs as though another was experiencing them. For, set afire with divine zeal, thou didst not fear the future torments, O glorious one.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Thou hast discovered riches which cannot be taken away, and unfading glory, joining chorus with the angels in the mansions of heaven, partaking of incorruptible immortality, O most eminent one.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

By thy supplications grant remission of sins to thy servants, delivering them from temptations, misfortunes and sorrows, and from enslavement to blasphemous heretics, O all-praised Virgin Theotokos.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

With the martyric streams of thy blood thou didst engulf the sea of ungodliness; and thou hast poured forth rivers of healing, O Romanus.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

O Romanus, thou didst offer to the Master as a choice gift, an unblemished sacrifice, the slain boy Varulus who proclaimed theological things.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Thou didst wound the foolishness of the enemy with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, as he inflicted wounds upon thy body, O all-glorious Romanus.

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

In that thou hast given birth unto Joy, O Virgin Mary who knewest not wedlock, thou hast destroyed the curse and restored mankind through thy birthgiving.

Ode VI, 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.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Transcending sufferings and tortures, thou didst endure the cutting away of thy flesh, O glorious one; for thou didst have Christ as thy Helper, Assistant and Companion.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Ever gazing upon the majesty of the Creator with spiritual understanding, and contemplating ineffable beauty, thou didst spurn the baseness of visible things.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

As an animate ark thou didst hold the Bestower of life, as a holy temple thou didst receive the Holy One Who had become a man, for the good of mankind, O all-blessed one.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Having with ease shed mortality and corruption and arrayed thyself in the beauty of life incorruptible, O Romanus, thou hast been adorned with never-diminishing spiritual splendours.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Thy tongue was severed and poured forth torrents of blood like teachings, O passion-bearer, and thou didst thereby inherit the imperishable blessedness which is ever-abiding.

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

Thirsting for a stream of wisdom, by the counsel of his mother thou didst pour drink into the mouth of the boy who uttered theology, and who entered into the endless life by means of the sword.

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

Be thou a ready refuge for me, O most pure Mother of God, delivering me from violence, taking from me the shame of the passions and guiding me to the godly path.

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

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

Kontakion of the martyr Platon, in Tone III – Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin …”: Thy holy memory doth gladden the whole world, * summoning all the faithful to thine all honourable temple, * where, assembled now with joy, we chant in hymns amid splendour. * Wherefore, O Platon, we cry out to thee: ** Deliver thy city from the invasion of the heathen, O holy one.

Ikos: Having abandoned all pagan superstition, the divinely wise Platon came to love the soul-saving teachings of the disciples of Christ. Wherefore, he appeared honourable to all, like an anchor of the Faith in his native land, and manifestly bore the title “Of Ancyra.” For, nurtured well, it found him to be an excellent protection against the enemy and a fervent helper in battle, crying aloud: Deliver thy city from the invasion of the heathen, O holy one!

Ode VII, Irmos: Once in Babylon the fire stood in awe * of God’s condescension; * for which sake the youths in the furnace, * dancing with joyous steps as in a meadow, chanted: * O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

He Who set down the law hath crowned with a wreath of victory thee who suffered lawfully and trampled underfoot thine enemies, and who cried aloud, saying: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Thou didst pass over, rejoicing, to Him Whom from of old thou didst desire, emulating His most pure sufferings, which were the cause of the salvation of mankind; and thou didst chant: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

All the hosts of heaven, and the people looking on, marvelled at thy patient endurance of suffering; for thy severed tongue supra-naturally cried aloud: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Delivered from the bonds of death and the curse of the first-formed Adam by the divine Offspring of thy virginity, O most pure one, mindful that thou art the Theotokos, we cry aloud: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

By being strangled, thou didst choke the serpent, O passion-bearer, and didst truly find life, O most glorious Romanus, ever crying aloud: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Illumined with rays of never-waning light, O Romanus, thou didst quench the lofty flame, adorned with the gift of prophecy and numbered among the choirs of the martyrs, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

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

A fragrant rose of tender growth, watered with his mother’s teachings and the blood of martyrdom, hath been incorruptibly offered to Christ as from a garden of many flowers.

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

O all-hymned one who hast alone given birth to God without seed, lead us forth who have fallen into the abyss of sin, but who hymn thee, saying: Blessed art Thou among women, O all-immaculate Lady.

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

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Thou didst struggle in radiant feats, O all-praised one, and Christ bestowed upon thee the most splendid, blessed and ever-enduring fame, causing thee to dwell in the mansions of heaven, wherefore thou dost fervently chant: Ye priests hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages!

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

As a most faithful supplicant, as a most fervent intercessor for us, we now set thee before the King of all, the Author of creation. Pray thou for us, interceding in thy martyr’s boldness on behalf of those who praise thee and chant with faith: Ye people, supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages!

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Because of thine active faith thou wast deemed worthy to receive a kingship which cannot be taken away; for God, Who lieth not, promised to give it thee, and for Him thou didst commit thy body to fire and torture, crying aloud: Ye priests hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

In a manner most divine thou didst give birth to the Word of God, Who is co-unoriginate and of equal honour with the Father, Who brought all things forth out of non-existence by the counsel of the Father, and assumed flesh for the sake of mankind. Wherefore, acknowledging thee, in an Orthodox fashion, to be the Theotokos, we supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Thou wast obedient to the words of Christ, O glorious one, laying down thy life for thy flock, being strangled in thy zeal for it, tortured, lacerated and wounded; and thou didst cry aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

Thou wast obedient to the words of Christ, O glorious one, laying down thy life for thy flock, being strangled in thy zeal for it, tortured, lacerated and wounded; and thou didst cry aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

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

Truly thy mouth and tongue were full of joy and gladness, continually blessing God; for, cut out and dripping with blood, O Romanus, it setteth forth for us the law of faith, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

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

Having given birth to the Word of the Father through the divine Spirit, thou didst remain a virgin, O Birthgiver of God, who knewest not a man, transcending the laws of nature in thy birthgiving. Wherefore, rejoicing, we chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX, Irmos: Every ear is awestruck at hearing of God’s ineffable condescension, * for the Most High voluntarily descended and assumed flesh, * becoming man in the Virgin’s womb; * wherefore we the faithful magnify the most pure Theotokos.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

O ye who love the martyrs, come, let us hymn the martyr, crowned by God, who extended the piety of his birth; for, as an offshoot of the branch of life, he bringeth forth fruit which poureth forth the wine of compunction for us.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

Precious in the sight of the Lord was the death of the martyr, for he hath become the mediator of the true life which is everlasting and imperishable, giving abundant recompense, incorruption and immortal glory.

Holy martyr, Platon, pray to God for us.

All thy life didst thou consecrate to God almighty, O martyr, and, rejoicing, thou didst offer thyself as a well-pleasing and living sacrifice. Wherefore, thou hast manifestly been deemed worthy of the sweetness which passeth understanding. Pray thou that those who hymn thee be delivered from temptations.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Save me, O Mother of God who hast given birth to Christ my Saviour, Who is both God and man, in two natures, but not in two hypostases, the Only-Begotten of the Father and of thee, the first-born of all creation. Wherefore, all of us ever magnify thee.

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

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

All thy trust didst thou place in the Master, O glorious martyr Romanus, enduring many and varied wounds; wherefore thou hast received ineffable glory and divine delight.

Holy martyr, Romanus, pray to God for us.

All thy trust didst thou place in the Master, O glorious martyr Romanus, enduring many and varied wounds; wherefore thou hast received ineffable glory and divine delight.

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

Behold, instead of pain a torrent of sweetness hath been granted thee, O martyr Romanus, bearing a crown and wearing a robe dyed red in thine own blood. Like a fragrant and never-fading rose thou wast slain as a child for Christ’s sake.

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

O Virgin, thou hast delivered mortals from the primal curse of our ancestors, and opened unto us the life of Eden by thy birthgiving, which transcendeth nature. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Troparion, in Tone IV: In their sufferings, Thy martyrs O Lord, * received imperishable crowns from
Thee, our God; * for, possessed of Thy might, * they set at naught the tyrants and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons. ** By their supplications save Thou our souls.

The Advent Journey With the Saints: St Gregory the Wonderworker

17/30 NOVEMBER

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea, was born in the city of Neocaesarea (northern Asia Minor) into a prominent pagan family (between 210 – 215), and his original name was Theodore.

After his elementary education, Saint Gregory and his brother Gregory, or Athēnódoros1 (according to some hagiological sources) they went to Beirut to study law. The great thinkers of antiquity were not able to quench his thirst for knowledge, however. Truth was revealed to him only in the Holy Gospel, and the young man became a Christian.

In order to continue his studies, Saint Gregory went to Alexandria, known at that time as a center for pagan and Christian learning. Eager to acquire knowledge, Gregory went to the Alexandrian Catechetical School, where the presbyter Origen taught. Origen was a famous teacher, possessing a great strength of mind and profound knowledge. Saint Gregory became a pupil of Origen. Afterward, the Saint wrote of his mentor: “This man received from God a sublime gift, to be an interpreter of the Word of God for people, to apprehend the Word of God, as God Himself did use it, and to explain it to people, insofar as they could understand it.” Saint Gregory studied for eight years with Origen, who baptized him.

Saint Gregory’s ascetical life, his continence, purity, and lack of covetousness aroused the envy of his conceited and sin-loving peers, pagans that they were, and they decided to slander Saint Gregory. Once, when he was conversing with philosophers and teachers in the city square, a notorious harlot came up to him and demanded payment for a sin he had supposedly committed with her. At first Saint Gregory gently remonstrated with her, saying that perhaps she had mistaken him for someone else. But the profligate woman would not be silenced. Then he asked a friend to give her the money. Just as the woman took the unjustified payment, she fell to the ground in a demonic fit, and the fraud was revealed. Saint Gregory prayed over her, and the demon was expelled. This was the first of his miracles.

After returning to Neocaesarea, the Saint fled from worldly affairs, into which influential townsmen persistently sought to push him. He went into the desert, where by fasting and prayer he attained great spiritual heights, as well as the gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy. Saint Gregory loved his life in the wilderness and wanted to remain in solitude until the end of his days, but the Lord willed otherwise.

Learning of Saint Gregory’s ascetical life, Bishop Phaίdēmos of the Cappadocian city of Amaseia, decided to make him Bishop of Neocaesarea. But foreseeing in spirit the intention of Bishop Phaίdēmos, the Saint hid himself from the hierarch’s messengers who were sent to find him. Then Bishop Phaίdēmos consecrated Saint in absentia as Bishop of Neocaesarea, entreating the Lord to bless the unusual ordination. Saint Gregory regarded the extraordinary event as a manifestation of God’s will, and he did not dare to protest. This episode in the life of Saint Gregory was recorded by Saint Gregory of Nyssa (January 10). He relates that Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea received the episcopal rank only after Bishop Phaίdēmos had ordained him to all the canonical ranks.

During this time, the heresy of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata began to spread. They taught falsely concerning the Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal the truth to him. The Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him, as radiant as the sun, and with her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in hierarchal vestments.

By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle John taught the Saint the correct way to speak of the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory wrote down all that Saint John revealed to him. The Symbol of the Faith, as written down by Saint Gregory, is a great divine revelation in the history of the Church. The teaching concerning the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology is based on it. Subsequently, it was accepted by the Holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa. Saint Gregory’s Symbol (Creed) was later examined and affirmed in the year 325 by the First Ecumenical Council, showing its enduring significance for Orthodoxy. Even those who disagreed with Saint Gregory regarded him as a second Moses.2

After becoming a hierarch, Saint Gregory journeyed to Neocaesarea. Along his way from Amaseia, he cast out the demons from a pagan temple, the priest of which he converted to Christ. That convert was a witness to yet another of the Saint’s miracles: at his word a large stone moved from its place.

The Saint’s sermons were direct, lively and fruitful. He taught and worked miracles in the name of Christ: he healed the sick, helped the needy, and settled disputes and complaints. Two brothers who shared an inheritance were unable to agree about their dead father’s property. A large lake was the cause of their dispute, for each brother wanted the lake for himself. Both of them gathered their friends together, and were ready to come to blows. Saint Gregory persuaded them to delay their fight until the following day, while he prayed all night long on the shore of the lake which had sparked the quarrel. When dawn came, everyone saw that the lake had dried up or gone underground. Now, by the Saint’s intense prayer, there was only a stream, and its course defined the boundary line. Another time, during the construction of a church, he commanded a hill to move and make room for the foundation to be dug.

When the persecution of Christians began under Emperor Decius (249-251), Saint Gregory led his flock to a faraway mountain. A certain pagan, who knew where the Christians were hiding, informed the persecutors, and soldiers surrounded the mountain. The Saint went out into an open place, raised his hands to heaven, and ordered his deacon to do the same. The soldiers searched the entire mountain, and several times they went right past those who were praying. Unable to see them, they gave up and went away. In the city they reported that there was nowhere to hide on the mountain. There were no people, just two trees standing next to each other. The informer was struck with amazement, he repented of his ways and became a devout Christian.

Saint Gregory returned to Neocaesarea after the end of the persecution. With his blessing, Church Feasts were established in honor of the martyrs who had suffered for Christ.

By the holiness of his life, his effective preaching, his miracles, and inspired guidance of his flock, the Saint increased the number of converts to Christ. When Saint Gregory first came to his See, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At the time of his repose, only seventeen pagans were left in the city.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

Canon of the saint, the acrostic whereof is:

“I shall weave praise for Gregory the Wonderworker,” the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII.

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

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

O father Gregory, do thou now splendidly show forth the divine activity of thy wonders in me, delivering me from the abyss of my transgressions and enlightening me with thy radiance, that I may hymn thee as is meet, O blessed one.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

As one who is skilful, sensible and wise, thou didst prefer nobility of soul to the passions of the flesh, O blessed one, industriously assembling the dogmas of wisdom whereby the soul that draweth nigh to God is nourished, O Gregory.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

When thou hadst acquired chastity as a sister, as a good companion, O Gregory, the wicked serpent, beholding thee, raised up hatred against thee. But thou didst put him to shame, O father, by thy longsuffering, healing the woman who was held fast in the clutches of passion.

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

Residing in a strange land, O venerable one, in thy virtue thou wast manifest to all as honourable, pious and God-loving, having received the gift of working wonders from God, whereby thou hast been known, O divinely eloquent one, shining forth in the world like the sun.

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

Thou wast put forth as a shoot from a royal root, O pure one, and, in a manner surpassing comprehension and thought, thou didst give birth from thy pure blood unto Christ the King, the incarnate Word of God, Who is of two natures, yet a single hypostasis.

Ode III, Irmos: O Christ fortify me on the rock of Thy commandments, * Thou who in the beginning didst establish the heavens with understanding * and didst establish the earth upon the waters, * for there is none holy save Thee, O only Lover of mankind.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Having cleansed thy mind of the turbulence of the passions, and being full of the love of wisdom and vision, thou wast shown to be magnificent, an abode of wisdom, enriched with the gift of prophecy, O Gregory.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Being conversant in the divinely inspired Scriptures, O all-blessed one, and having clearly chosen a different way of life, thou didst establish within thyself the single image of virtue, O divinely wise Gregory.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

O divinely revealed one, having obtained the mystery of theology through divine initiation, enlighten us, that we may honour the consubstantial Trinity, one in essence, uncreated and equally everlasting.

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

Instructed by God, in that thou didst seek Him with love, thou didst have the pure Theotokos Mary and the son of thunder as instructors in the mysteries, guiding thee to the light of the Trinity, O divinely eloquent one.

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

O pure Maiden, we all know thee to be the staff which budded forth Christ, the Flower of incorruption, and the golden censer who held in thine arms the Burning Coal of the divine Essence, O divinely blessed one.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Of the divine faith …”: Thou wast a new Moses in thy works, receiving the tablets of faith on the mountain of mystical divine revelation, setting down as law for the people the piety of the mystery of the Trinity, O Gregory. Wherefore, all we, the faithful, honor thy memory, asking for great mercy through thee.  

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

Theotokion, in Tone III: Thou wast the divine tabernacle of the Word, * O only most pure Virgin Mother * who surpassed the angels in purity. * By the divine waters of thy supplications * cleanse me who, more than all others, * have become dust, defiled by carnal transgressions; ** and grant me great mercy, O pure one.

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

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Having ploughed the good earth, O divinely wise father, and sown the seed of the Word, thou dost ever now evangelically increase thy yield an hundredfold, O Gregory, by thy teachings bringing to God those who chant: Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Thy life, shining forth like lightning, O father, hath dispelled the falsehood of the demons; for their darkness could not withstand the light of thy virtues. Wherefore, the minister of spiritually pernicious deception, moved like the stone he beheld, was enlightened.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Thou wast deemed worthy to behold the darkness of the most divine Light, O father, and, having received the divinely written law like Moses, thou didst obtain precision in theology. Hence, thou hast been shown to be a law-giver of the Church of Christ, O divinely wise Gregory.

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

Having turned away from the foolish talk of the rhetors and being enlightened by the word of grace, O father, thou didst truly receive the apostles’ power over the demons, for the prince of darkness fled before thy brilliant splendour.

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

From of old the ark prefigured thee, O all-immaculate one, who received within thy womb the divinely written Law, ineffably conceiving the life-creating Word, Who doth richly nourish the souls of those who cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!

Ode V, 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.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Having loosened hardened hearts with the husbandry of thy words, thou didst cast upon them the divine seed, O hierarch, bringing forth an abundant harvest, the salvation of the faithful, unto the Redeemer, O divinely eloquent one.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Phaedimus, the servant of God, aflame with zeal, piously trusting in God, Who knoweth all things, and in thine honourable life, O divinely eloquent father Gregory, ordained thee even though thou hadst not come to him.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

With the streams of thy precepts thou didst quench idolatrous immolations, and established the faithful through thy teachings, O all-wise one, having, like Samuel, ascended the mountain through visions, and being also like an oak in thy steadfastness.

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

O divinely wise and holy hierarch, by thy prayers deliver me from evil and grievous circumstances, and rend asunder the handwriting of my transgressions, O father, for thou art a priest who hast received from God the power to loose transgressions.

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

O Virgin, thou wast adorned with the most-pure beauties of thy virginity, covering the misshapen shame of the first Eve, having given birth to Christ, Who bestoweth upon those who honour thee the garment of immortality.

Ode VI, 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.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

The lake which was the cause of contention between two brethren didst thou dry up in a miraculous fashion; and thou didst cause the rushing of the river to cease, O all-wise one, and when thou didst plant thy staff, it took root and grew at thy divine command, O Gregory.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Godly zeal consumed thee, O thou who art most noetically rich in grace, for unable to endure the sight of an insult to God, O divinely eloquent one, thou didst destroy the vain-minded one by thy prayers.

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

The wretched and impious Jew, who wished to destroy thee, himself died, showing thee forth as a fulfiller of the dogmas of God, Who doth glorify thee, O divinely wise Gregory.

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

The Spirit, Who worketh all things, came down upon thee, O all-immaculate one, and the Word of God made His abode within thee, ineffably becoming flesh, yet remaining unchanged.

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

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

Kontakion, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.“Seeking the highest …”: Receiving the power to work many miracles, * thou didst terrify the demons with awesome signs, * and dispelled the diseases of men, O all-wise Gregory. * And thou wast called the wonderworker, ** receiving this title from thy works.

Ikos: Where shall I, wretched as I am, begin to weave praises, beholding so many and most wondrous things? If I begin with the life of the venerable one, I will not in any way be able to proceed; for his divine life surpasseth comprehension. And if I begin with his miracles, I shall be ashamed to try to proceed any further, for they are more numerous than the sands of the sea. For this cause he is called the wonderworker, receiving this title because of his works.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once in Babylon the fire stood in awe * of God’s condescension; * for which sake the youths in the furnace, * dancing with joyous steps as in a meadow, chanted: * O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

The boast of the fathers and the pride of the holy instructors, the luminary of the Church and immovable pillar of piety hast thou been revealed to be, O Gregory, who dost cry aloud: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Shining forth in miracles, thou didst enlighten the whole world, O divinely wise Gregory; wherefore, having assembled together, we bless thee, nurtured by thy words and chanting: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

O divinely wise one, thou hast poured forth healing upon all the infirm; for most abundant and wonderworking grace was poured forth through thy mouth, whereby thou didst cry: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Now all things are filled with divine light through thee, O most pure one; for thou hast been revealed to be the door through which God hath communed with the world, enlightening those who cry with faith: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Enriched by thee with the radiance of the consubstantial and honoured Trinity and celebrating now thy festival, O Gregory, we ask that we may be illumined with wonderworking grace, crying aloud to the Master: Ye children bless; ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Receiving the radiance of the sovereign Godhead like a newly revealed mirror, thou hast illumined the world with rays of light, beaming down Orthodoxy upon those who melodiously chant: Ye children bless; ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

Protected by God, O all-wise one, thou wast preserved in hiding on the mountain for those who honour God, as a source of piety, like another Moses the law-giver; and thou didst teach them to hymn the Creator and Redeemer, singing: Ye children bless; ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

Thou wast the abode of the unwaning Light, O most pure one, shining with the beauties of virginity and illumining all who from the depths of their souls confess thee to be the true Theotokos and who chant: Ye children bless; ye priests hymn; ye people supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Ode IX, 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.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

Shining with the light of thy most exemplary life, thou dost now stand before the great Light, crowned as a victor with divinely wrought miracles, O divinely wise wonderworker, venerable hierarch, father Gregory, thou beacon of the Church and adornment of the Orthodox.

Holy father, Gregory, pray to God for us.

In thy supplications do thou now ask that the royal elect and sanctified priesthood be guided aright, O wonderworker, and that those who now faithfully celebrate thy memory receive the Kingdom of heaven and be deemed worthy of divine gladness.

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

Having put down the attacks of the demons and subjected the reasoning of thy flesh, O wonderworker, as a venerable and guileless hierarch, arrayed in the garment of righteousness, thou dost stand before the throne of the King of all with boldness, O all-blessed one.

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

O Virgin Mother of God, thou art revealed as she who, in a manner transcending nature, gaveth birth in the flesh to the good Word, Whom the Father poured forth from His heart before all ages, in that He is good. Him do we now know as more exalted than all beings, even though He hath been clothed in a body.

Troparion, in Tone VIII: By vigilance in prayer and continuance in the working of miracles, * thou didst acquire the name of thy worthy deeds. * Yet pray thou to Christ God, O father Gregory, ** that He enlighten our souls, lest we sleep unto death.

The Advent Journey With the Saints: St Matthew

Monday 16/29 November: St Matthew

Dear brothers and sisters,

As we come to the first weekday of the Nativity Fast, I encourage as many of you as are able to make the journey of this Winter Lent with the companionship of the saints whose memories sanctify the days leading us to the Nativity of the Saviour, praying their canon in your daily prayers.

On this second day of the Fast, we celebrate the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, whose genealogy of Christ will tell us when we are drawing near to Bethlehem, and it will be his Nativity Gospel that will proclaim the good-tidings of the Incarnation in the services of Christmas night, when hear the words that the faithful have heard for two thousand years, as the magi lead us to the Infant Saviour to worship Him with them:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

May the Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us, and lead us to the new-born King.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Канон святому апостолу и евангелисту Матфею: https://azbyka.ru/days/caa/272

Canon of the Apostle, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone IV.

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

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

O all-glorious Matthew, servant of Christ, richly bestow upon me the grace witch abideth within thee, that I may cry aloud, splendidly proclaiming, and, rejoicing hymn thy wonders.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Thou didst utterly abandon the tumult of earthly things; for, having hearkened to the voice of the incarnate Word, thou wast revealed to be a steward and God-pleasing herald of His grace.

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

 As an eye-witness and servant of the radiant Word of the pre-eternal Father, O apostle, thou didst go forth, proclaiming the glad tidings of His coming unto all the nations.

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

Thou didst announce the glad tidings of the destruction of death, the abolishment of corruption and the manifestation of life, O wise one; for, having conceived the Unapproachable One in her womb, the Virgin hath restored the world.

Ode III, 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.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

O Word of God, thou hast shown forth Thine apostles as beacons of life which drive away the gloom of ungodliness, illumining the whole world with Thy divine glory, O Master.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Having armed the most valiant Matthew with Thine armour, O Saviour, thou hast made him mightier than the tormenters and revealed him to be the destroyer of the deception of idolatry, O Master and Lover of mankind.

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

The sound of thy fiery tongue consumed the temples of the demons, O divinely inspired Matthew, thou instrument of the Comforter, through whom Christ, the hypostatic Life of all, hath been proclaimed.

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

The trumpet of theology which soundeth forth mightily hath illumined the divinely wise Matthew to proclaim to the peoples, the Effulgence of the Trinity and the incarnation of the Word from thee, O most pure one, in a manner transcending understanding.

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII, Spec. Mel.: “Of the Wisdom …”: Truly the sound of thy wise words hath gone forth to all the ends of the earth, O all-praised apostle of the Lord, for thou, manifestly preaching to all the vision of God, didst draw the nations from ignorance unto understanding. Wherefore, having dispelled the darkness of idolatry, thou hast shone forth the light of knowledge upon those who sit in darkness, O all-praised Matthew. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honour thy holy memory with love.

Glory …, in Tone VIII & same melody: O apostle of the Lord, we all praise thee as the lamp and disciple of the Light, an eyewitness of the divine Word; for, spreading thy nets of grace, by thy command thou didst ensnare reason-endowed souls like fish. Wherefore having entrapped the nations through the power of the Spirit, they are now manifestly guided by faith, O all-praised initiate of the mysteries of heaven. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honour thy holy memory with love.

Now & ever …, Theotokion in Tone VIII: In that thou art the most immaculate Bride of the Creator, the Mother of the Redeemer who knewest not wedlock, the receptacle of the Comforter, O all-hymned one, haste thou to deliver me, who am the vile abode of iniquity and in mind am the plaything of the demons, from their wickedness, and make of me a radiant dwelling place of the virtues, O luminous and incorrupt one. Drive from me the cloud of the passions and grant that I may partake of the never-waning light of the Most High, through thy supplications.

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

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Taught by Thy hypostatic Word, O God, the God-seeing disciple destroyed worldly wisdom, crying aloud unto Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

What manner of praise can we offer unto thee who wast blessed by Christ, O divinely eloquent one? For no man is able to describe in words, the grace which hath blossomed forth in thee, O right wondrous one.

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

Looking upon thine undefiled and pure mind as a lamp placed on a lofty stand, shining upon those in darkness, O divinely manifest one, the Most High hath set thee before all.

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

O blessed and all-praised Maiden, thou hast elevated slain human nature, in that, in a manner surpassing nature, thou hast given birth to the might of the Most High, as Matthew hath taught.

Ode V, 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.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Receiving the grace of the all-holy Spirit, thou wast shown to be a divine habitation, having taught the light of divine knowledge in a godly manner, wherefore thou wast entrusted with the task of committing to writing the dogmas of Christ, as a chosen eye-witness of God.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Thy tongue was the pen of the Paraclete, Who grants speedy deliverance unto those who acknowledge His dominion and breathes heavenly understanding into the souls of the wise, O most honoured Matthew.

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

Christ sent thee unto the world shining with miracles and the grace of healing, trampling upon the might of the demons and enlightening the souls of all the faithful who hymn thee, the preacher of the world.

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

O Virgin, thou hast given birth to the pre-eternal son Who clothed Himself in human nature and saved it from corruption in His absolute goodness, as the divinely eloquent one said in his teaching; thou didst remain a Virgin.

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

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

By Thine omnipotent might, O Maker of all, the divinely eloquent and most excellent Matthew was transformed from a publican into an evangelist, in that he followed Thee.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

By the spiritually nourishing words of thy glad tidings, O all-blessed Matthew, a multitude of the gentiles have been lifted up and directed to the lofty summit of the virtues.

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

With the divinely woven nets of the disciple Matthew the assemblies of the faithful are ever drawn up, guided to the knowledge of Thee, O our Benefactor.

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

O all-immaculate one, the most excellent Matthew announceth glad tidings, describing thee as the Virgin who gaveth birth without seed and corruption unto Him Who fashioned all things.

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

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

Kontakion, in Tone IV, Spec. Mel.: “Having been lifted up …”: Casting off the yoke of the office of a publican, * thou didst shoulder the yoke of righteousness * and wast shown to be a most excellent merchant, * bringing in the wisdom from on high as riches. * Wherefore, thou didst preach the Word of truth * uplifting the souls of the despondent, ** describing the hour of judgment.

Ikos: The tyranny of the enemy oppresseth me constantly and seizeth all the seed of my soul, O Matthew, friend of Christ; yet, providing me with the seed of thy prayers, render me fruitful to serve thee, and show me to be the least of those who hymn thee and a recounter of thy many and great corrections, for without hesitation, forsaking all things for the love of Christ, thou didst ardently follow after Him Who called thee, being the first evangelist in the world, describing the hour of judgment.

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

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a divine image of the primal effulgence, as a disciple set afire by His splendours; and, chanting to Him, thou didst say: Blessed and supremely praised art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers!

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

As servant of the Word, O all-blessed one, thou hast made thine abode in the divine mansions where Christ abideth, as the one supremely divine Lord and God of all the fathers promised thee.

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

Infirmities are banished and a multitude of demons are forced to flee by the gifts of the divine Spirit which are in thee, wherein thou didst chant: Blessed and supremely praised art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers!

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

With thy divine words, O apostle, thou didst describe the all-hymned Virgin who hath given birth to the Creator. To Him do we all chant: Blessed and supremely praised art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers!

Ode VIII, 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.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Deified by the mighty forces within Thee and by Thine ordination and nature, O Master, the most sacred Matthew prevailed upon the whole world to chant to Thee: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

The Word sent the theologian forth like lightning to the whole world, driving away the darkness and enlightening the nations with the dogmas of theology. Wherefore, he chanted: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

With pure discourse and mind God conversed with thee; for having rid thyself of mire, thou didst draw nigh and associate with Him, O glorious one. Wherefore, thou dost chant: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

The Word willed to become incarnate for the good of mankind; for the Lord passed through the portal of virginity and showed her forth as the Theotokos. Wherefore, we cry aloud: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Ode IX, 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 honor the holy feast of the Mother of God, * and let them cry aloud: * Rejoice! O Theotokos, thou pure Ever-Virgin.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Thou didst receive the divine diadem of noetic beauty, O apostle, and wast adorned with the most magnificent crown of the kingdom by the right hand of the Almighty, O wise one. And thou dost shine, standing with the angels before the throne of Christ the Master, O all-blessed one.

Holy, glorious, all-praised Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, pray to God for us.

Thou didst receive the tree of life as is meet, O preacher of the living God, having spread the glad tidings of life, the visitation of God to the world; for thou didst not permit thy mind to become corrupt through the tree of knowledge, remaining an unshaken and immovable foundation of the Church, O all-blessed one.

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

In a godly manner thou didst adorn the Church, the Bride of Christ, with thy Gospel as with a diadem, O divinely blessed one, and now it splendidly celebrateth thy divine memory, pray thou, O Apostle Matthew, that it be delivered from every evil circumstance and cruel misfortune.

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

Without leaving the bosom of the unoriginate Father, the unoriginate Word became incarnate from thee, O pure and all-praised one, wholly clothing Himself in human nature and accepting its traits, as Matthew writeth, proclaiming the glad tidings.

Troparion, in Tone III: O holy Apostle and evangelist Matthew, * entreat the Merciful God * that He grant remission of sins ** unto our souls. 

Another troparion, in the same tone: Zealously following Christ the Master, * Who in His goodness appeared to mankind on the earth, and called thee from thy tax-booth, * thou wast shown to be a chosen apostle * and a trumpet-voiced proclaimer of the Gospel to the whole world. * Wherefore, we honor thy precious memory, O divinely eloquent Matthew. * Entreat the merciful God, ** that He granteth remission of sins unto our souls.

The Feast of St John Chrysostom: November 13/26

As we celebrate the feast of the great Church Father, St John Chrysostom, we greet our brother Kevin-John on his name day, and thank him for his labours, serving as a reader for our community, and always being there to offer help and assistance whenever anything is needed. He is always a great support for the clergy, and no request is ever too much. May God bless him, and grant him ‘Many Years!’

The Canon of the Hierarch, the Acrostic Whereof Is:
“I Hymn Thee, The Golden Mouth of The Spirit,”
by Theophanes, in Tone VIII

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

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

As a most fervent preacher of repentance, O father Chrysostom, pray to God that I may be able to repent with all my heart, and beg thou that, through thy suffering, the wounds of mine ancient transgressions may be healed.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Receiving all the effulgence of the Holy Spirit, O venerable father, thou wast revealed to be a most radiant pillar going before the Church and guiding it, and a luminous cloud overshadowing the councils of the Orthodox, O all-blessed one.

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

A teacher ordained by Christ, with golden tongue and a divinely wise mind thou didst abundantly pour forth divine doctrines; for thou wast revealed to be a river of God full of the waters of the Spirit, O divinely revealed Chrysostom.

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

All-adorned with divers forms of grace, O divinely joyous and blessed one, thou hast given birth to the Word of the Father Who, in His great compassion, and in a manner past understanding and all telling, assumed flesh; and thou didst remain an undefiled Virgin.

Ode III, Irmos: O Christ fortify me on the rock of Thy commandments, * Thou who in the beginning didst establish the heavens with understanding * and didst establish the earth upon the waters, * for there is none holy save Thee, O only Lover of mankind.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Enriched by the mind of Christ, by thy pure life thou didst become an aid, the explication and enabling of the salvation of all, O divinely inspired Chrysostom, pouring forth salvific teachings.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Made rich by the immaterial treasures of the Spirit, thou didst draw forth an ever-flowing stream of doctrines from the wellsprings of salvation, O venerable father, watering all of the Churches therewith.

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

With the most-wise tilling of thy discourses thou didst clear the stony fields of men’s souls, O wise and God-pleasing Chrysostom, rendering them fertile, and watering them with heavenly showers.

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

There was no blemish or defilement within thee, O Virgin, and thou wast revealed to be a habitation transcending the beauties of heaven; for in thee all the holiness of the virtues abided, O all-immaculate one.

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

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

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom …”: In a godly manner thou didst draw forth a wealth of knowledge of the ineffable wisdom, gathering in the waters of Orthodoxy for all, which divinely gladden the hearts of the faithful and drown, as is meet, the thoughts of infidels. Wherefore, through the sweat of piety, thou didst show thyself to be an invincible champion of the Trinity, O John Chrysostom. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

Glory …, in Tone VIII & same melody:

Having come to know the wisdom which is from on high and the grace of words from God, thou didst shine forth upon all like gold in the crucible, preaching the Holy Trinity in Unity, and shooting down the delusion of avarice with the arrows of thy words. Wherefore, having zealously reproved the empress, thou didst put to shame the alien thinking of Arius, O John Chrysostom. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

Now & ever …, Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. in Tone VIII:

Pondering the flames and burning of Gehenna, and the weeping and lamentation therein, the exceedingly accursed and most bitter separation, as well as the inheritance of the saints and their joyous assembly, O my soul, restrain thyself and give utterance to sighs; strive to erase the record of thy many debts with tears of compunction, having the pure Mother of God as thine unashamed companion. For, it is for her sake that remission of sins hast been granted to those, who in an Orthodox manner, glorify her as the Theotokos.

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

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Christ Who, in that He is good, exerciseth forethought for all in His providence, hath given thee to us, O all-blessed John Chrysostom, as another peer of the apostles, a proclaimer of the heavenly liturgy, and a divine expounder of celestial mysteries.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Let us honour the golden John Chrysostom of golden eloquence, who hath rendered all things golden through the golden lustre of his teachings, and hath illumined the world with his tongue, which shineth brighter than gold, is full of light and poureth forth divine grace.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Thou wast wholly the habitation of God; thou wast shown to be wholly the instrument of the Spirit, sounding forth a divinely inspired hymn of every virtue and the cause of salvation, and revealing the beauty of the kingdom of heaven, O all-blessed John Chrysostom.

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

Thou didst proclaim the compassion of God, setting forth examples of repentance, and most excellently instructing us how to avoid evils, O most blessed, most perfect and most honored father Chrysostom, pouring forth excellent teachings on good works.

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

After God, we have acquired thee as our intercessor; for thou wast the Mother of God, the Creator and Fashioner, Who took upon Himself our guise, saving it from corruption and death, and glorifying it with divine glory, O all-immaculate one.

Ode V, 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.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

We all know thee to be the most radiant beacon of the Church, saving the souls of all, rescuing them from the jaws of death, and guiding them to everlasting life, O ever-hymned father.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Protected by the armor of piety and with great courage of soul, thou dost rend asunder the hordes of the heretics, O thrice-blessed and most sacred one; and, rejoicing, thou dost most radiantly unite the choirs of the Orthodox in the bond of the Spirit.

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

Thy cheeks, full of divine scents like phials of perfume, gladden the whole world with noetic fragrance through the distilled mystagogy of thine understandings and the beauty of thy words, O all-wise one.

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

Conceiving God, thou hast given birth to the Lord, Creator and Fashioner, O pure one. All mankind blesses thee, and the intelligent ranks of the bodiless ones glorify thee as the Mother of God.

Ode VI, 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.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

As a rich bestower of discourse, thou hast enriched the whole world with spiritual wisdom; for rich grace poured forth through thy lips from on high, O hierarch.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Thy sound hath gone forth into all the earth like lightning, O Chrysostom, and the power of thy words hath sounded in all the ends of the world like a blaring trumpet.

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

Clad in a robe of the virtues woven from on high, O all-blessed one, and arrayed in the beauty of thy discourses, thou wast revealed to be the glorious confirmation of the truth.

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

The Lover of mankind, Who beareth all things by His omnipotent power arrayed Himself in the weak flesh He received from thee, O all-immaculate Virgin, for the benefit of mankind.

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

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

Kontakion, in Tone VI, Spec. Mel. “He Who fulfilled His providence concerning us …”: From the heavens hast thou received grace, * and by thy lips thou dost teach all to worship the One God in Trinity, * O John Chrysostom, all blessed righteous one. ** Rightly do we acclaim thee, for thou art a teacher revealing things divine.

Ikos: I bend my knee before the Creator of all, I stretch forth my hands to the pre-eternal Word, seeking the gift of discourse, that I may hymn the saint whom He Himself hath magnified; for through His prophet He Who liveth forever doth say: I glorify those who glorify me with faith. He Who in ancient times raised up Samuel hath now glorified a hierarch; for, having invested well the talant with which he was entrusted, he hath brought it to the King, for which cause the Transcendent One hath exalted him. I beg that the Word impart unto me his grace, unworthy as I am, that I may be able to hymn him with piety. For he is the teacher of the ends of the world, revealing things divine.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once in Babylon the fire stood in awe * of God’s condescension; * for which sake the youths in the furnace, * dancing with joyous steps as in a meadow, chanted: * O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Probing the depths of the abyss of goodness and compassion, thou didst show thyself to be the surety of salvation for those who fervently repent and cry aloud to the Lord with all their soul: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Thou settest aright every thought by thy teachings, O Chrysostom, and healest spiritual infirmities, as one most compassionate; and thou chantest in gladness to those who run well the race: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

As elect, venerable, guileless, a priest of the Most High, splendidly arrayed in righteousness, O thou who art most noetically rich, thou hast been exalted, crying out with gladness: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

O most pure one, thou didst conceive Him Who is God and Lord over all, Whose good pleasure it was to save the human race from corruption and death. Hymning Him as is meet, we cry: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

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

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Using thy discourses with knowledge, O Chrysostom, we learn what is precious in theology; we bear as fruit the profit of good things and escape the harm of evil. For thou hast been the common cause of our salvation, crying aloud: Supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages!

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

As thou hast most compassionate boldness, with thy merciful and sympathetic love pray to the Master on our behalf, O father Chrysostom; for we, the faithful, set thee before the Saviour as our mediator and intercessor, as one who prayeth fervently for us, O divinely wise and all-blessed hierarch John.

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

Thou didst reprove the youthful opposition, headstrong thought and injustice of the rulers, O venerable one, interceding fervently for the oppressed; and in thy loving conduct thou wast a father for orphans, widows and the poor, crying: Supremely exalt Christ throughout the ages!

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

O Virgin, the divinely eloquent prophets foretold thy supra-natural and wondrous birthgiving by means of bodily forms, divers indistinct images, and significant symbolic phenomena; wherefore, in gladness we piously hymn thee, supremely exalting Christ throughout all ages.

Ode IX, 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.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Truly delighting in the life for which thou didst struggle as far as thou wast able, O divinely eloquent father, and having excelled on earth by thine angelic life and acquired the tongue of Christ and a mouth of tranquillity, pray thou that those who truly bless thee with faith may be saved.

Holy Father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us.

Thy words are the words of life, O thrice-blessed one, bringing life everlasting; for Christ hath shown thee to be a flowing wellspring, a river pouring forth torrents of divine teachings, a true stream of sweetness and brook of remission, and a radiant preacher of repentance.

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

Thou hast been shown to be a most splendid mediator between God and mortals, O most radiant one; for thou wast revealed to be a divinely luminous lamp of grace and divine understanding and a teacher of almsgiving. Wherefore, O Chrysostom, with heartfelt love we now magnify thee as is meet.

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

O pure and exceedingly glorious Birthgiver of God, save those who hymn thee with love, mercifully silencing the tumult of temptations; for, having given birth unto God, thou doest all things whatsoever thou dost desire, and dost accomplish unhindered what thou dost will, O Virgin. Wherefore, we all magnify thee.

Troparion of the saint, in Tone VIII: Grace shining forth from thy mouth like a beacon hath illumined the universe, * and disclosed to the world treasures of uncovetousness, * and shown us the heights of humility; * but while instructing by Thy words, O Father John Chrysostom, ** intercede with the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls.

The Canon to the Holy Great-Martyr Menas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat sedalion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Eternal Memory

Dear brothers and sisters,

It is with sadness that we have received news that Marina, one of the pillars of Orthodox life in Little Walsingham, departed to the Lord yesterday evening.

Together with her husband Cennydd, Marina has devotedly and devoutly preserved Orthodox spiritual life in ‘England’s Nazareth’, supporting Mother Melangell in prayer and worship in the shrine and in Mother’s Skete chapel.

When serving in the shrine on behalf of ROCOR, on pilgrimage with Norman and Georgina – and of course the other parishioners whom we introduced to Walsingham – Marina has been a peaceful and prayerful presence, singing at the kliros, and praying with a thoroughness that is wonderfully summed up in her pomianik: the commemoration book for Liturgy.

Page after page records the names of hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and lay people from so many different Orthodox parishes across the world, from every Orthodox nation, every Orthodox jurisdiction and every pilgrimage that Marina and Cennydd have made – and their record of pilgrimage across the Orthodox world is formidable.

These pages of names, show that Marina was a woman of prayer, who embraced all whom she met as brothers and sisters, remembering them before the Lord with love and compassion.

Now is the time for all who have benefitted from her prayers to repay her, remembering her before the Lord, and praying for the peaceful repose of her soul.

We thank the Lord for her inspiring example and devout witness to the Faith, and pray for Cennydd at this time, knowing that he will be greatly comforted by Marina’s immense faith, and the peacefulness of her departure.

Eternal Memory!

In Christ – Fr Mark

Through the prayers of St Menas…

I am pleased that there are others in our community who, like me, have a devotion to the Holy Great-Martyr Menas – one of the most beloved Egyptian saints. I first encountered this great saint even before I was Orthodox, when Father Luke and his matushka were given an embroidery from Egypt, showing St Menas. Fr Luke introduced me to the pilgrim flasks showing the saint with his arms raised in prayer, with camels seated on either side of him. A strange introduction, perhaps, but St Menas appealed.

During November last year, when we were homeless and without the opportunity for public Liturgy, some of us united in a week of prayer to the Holy Great-Martyr, who answered our prayers, with the Anglican Parish offering us a home for the duration of our ‘exile’ from Nazareth House. From that time on, the saint has answered so many prayers, and granted many graces. May St Menas, the Christ-Bearer, continue to pray for us, and remember us before the Lord, together with the Mother of God, the Queen of Martyrs.

Canon to the Martyr Menas and Company

by St. John of Damascus, in Tone IV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat sedalion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Prayer against Passions, Torments, Despair and Distress

A Prayer of Saint Nikolaj (Velimirovic) to the Most-Holy Theotokos

 

Waves of passion disturb my spirit, great sadness and anguish have overwhelmed my soul. Embalm my soul with Thy Son’s peace, O Most Holy One, and by His Grace drive away every doubt and despair. Calm the storm of my sins that, like a fiery worm, burn me, and quench its flame. Fill my heart with joy, O Most Pure One, and disperse the fog of my iniquities before me, for it confuses me. Illumine me with the light of Thy Son. Helpless is my soul, and everything is cumbersome, even prayer. Here I am, cold as a stone, my lips whispering prayers, while my heart remains immovable, for it is smothered in anguish. Melt the ice which envelops my soul and warm my heart with Thy love.

I rely not on human protection, but fall down before Thee, O Most Pure Sovereign Mother of God; reject me not, but hearken unto the prayer of Thy servant. Sadness has overcome me; I can endure the demonic attack no more. I have no protection; there is no shelter for this poor man, and in this battle, I am ever being wounded. I have no consolation, but in Thee, O Holy Sovereign. O Hope and Protection of all who believe, reject not my prayer.

O Most Holy Mother of Christ, Most Pure, Most Blessed Theotokos, Satan is pounding at me like the waves of the sea against a ship, pursuing me by day and tormenting me at night. I have no peace; turbulent is my soul, my spirit trembles. Hearken, O Most Holy One and help me. Intercede before the dear Lord that He may have mercy on me and forgive the sins I have committed. O Most Holy Mother of Jesus, Thy grace is great, and the mightiest opponent to the powers of Hades. Thou art able to save even the greatest of sinners who, having been cast into the depths of hell by unclean powers, should call upon Thee. So too, save me, for lo, Satan will have me stumble and will destroy my faith, but I trust in the Lord. I magnify Thee, Who art more holy than the Cherubim and the Seraphim. Amen.

The Canon for the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God

Ode 1, Irmos: I will open my mouth, and with the Spirit will it be filled; and I shall utter discourse unto the Queen and Mother, and shall be seen keeping splendid festival; and, rejoicing, I shall hymn her wonders.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Having entered the church in great glory today as the Mother of God, with the ranks of the holy angels and the assemblies of the prophets and apostles, thou prayest for all Christians and deliverest them from perils and grief, covering them with thy mercy.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Moses called thee the tabernacle and the rod of Aaron, for thou didst put forth Christ, the Tree of life; and as thou hast boldness before Him, O Queen, pray thou for us who honour thee, that He deliver us from all evil, that we may glorify the feast of thy protection.

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

Assembling choirs, David doth dance, not as he did before the ark of old, but even more now, hastening into thy presence in the church with the ranks of the saints. And bowing down before thee, we say: Pray thou for us, the people who honour thee, that, glorifying thy protection, we may celebrate it with honour.

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

The ranks of the angels hymn thee, O Theotokos, and the patriarchs and holy hierarchs glorify thee, hastening into thy presence in the church. And the holy Andrew then beheld thee with them, praying to God for us sinners, that He have mercy upon the people who glorify the feast of thy protection.

Ode 3, Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and abundant fountain, in thy divine glory spiritually establish those who hymn thee, forming themselves into a choir, and vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Like an unploughed field thou didst manifestly produce the divine Grain. Rejoice, O animate table holding the Bread of life! Rejoice, O Mistress, thou inexhaustible wellspring of the Water of life!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Mistress, we, thy people, standing before thee with faith in thy church, await thy mercy. Visit our lowliness, and with thy holy protection defend the Orthodox people from all evil.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O far-famed Virgin who was honourably prefigured by the prophets, with the angels they now do thee homage. Pray thou to God with them, that, rejoicing, we may all splendidly celebrate thy holy protection today.

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

Gideon prefigured thee as a fleece, for Christ God descended upon thee like dew. Pray thou to Him, O Theotokos, that He grant victory to our Orthodox hierarchs over all heresies, that, casting them down like the Midianites, they may glorify thy holy feast.

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

O Theotokos, with thy radiant omophorion thou lightest the church and the people more than the rays of the sun, and by thy visitation drivest away the darkness of our sins, praying for us to thy Son and God.

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

Sedalion, Tone 5: O pure Ever-virgin, fervent and invincible intercessor, excellent and unashamed hope, bulwark, protection and refuge of those who have recourse to thee: with the angels beseech thy Son and God, that He grant compunction, salvation and great mercy to the world.

Glory …, Now & ever …, The foregoing is repeated.

Ode 4, Irmos: Seated in glory upon the throne of the Godhead, Jesus most divine is come upon a light cloud, and with His incorrupt arm hath saved those who cry: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O most hymned Virgin, we cry out to thee in voices of hymnody: Rejoice, thou butter mountain, curdled by the Spirit! Rejoice, O lampstand, O jar bearing the Manna which sweeteneth the senses of all the pious!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Theotokos, God hath sanctified thee wholly, more than the ark of Aaron, and hath commanded the saints and angels to do thee homage. With them pray for the city and people who glorify thine honoured feast.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Theotokos, come now in glory unto thy church, with the councils of all the saints, as once the holy Andrew beheld thee in the air, radiantly praying for Christians; and grant us thy mercy.

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

Strengthen our Orthodox hierarchs against all heresy and schism, as God did David against Goliath, O Mistress, that in gladness we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O holy protection and helper of our city!

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

With faith do we fall down before thee, O Lady, and, rendering homage with thanksgiving, we cry out to thee: Rejoice, O Virgin full of the grace of God, our protection and wall of defence, the helper of those in misfortune! Save us who have recourse to thee, for in thee do we place our trust!

Ode 5, Irmos: All things are filled with awe by thy divine glory; for thou, O Virgin who knewest not wedlock, didst hold in thy womb Him Who is God over all, and thou gavest birth to the timeless Son, granting peace to all who hymn thee.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Of old, Solomon described thee as the marriage-couch and bed of the King of heaven, and spake of thee as surrounded by the seraphim, O Theotokos. Wherefore, we now beseech thee, O most holy Mother of God: Protect us from all misfortunes!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

To thee do the foremost among the angels and the honoured prophets and apostles render service with honour as the Mother of God, beholding thee making supplication for the world; and the Lord, hearkening to thine entreaties, doth save thy city and people who place their trust in thee.

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

Isaiah, great among the prophets, prophesied thee, saying that without knowing wedlock thou wouldst give birth to God; for thou, O pure Mary, wast more holy than all, in that thou didst bear God in thy womb and in thine arms. To Him pray thou for us, with thy protection covering those who faithfully glorify thee.

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

Spreading spiritual wings, the councils of the saints came mystically to do thee homage, O Theotokos, beholding thee on the light cloud of glory, praying to Christ the Saviour, that He grant victory to our Orthodox hierarchs, to prevail over all heresy and schism.

Ode 6, Irmos: Celebrating this divine and most honoured festival of the Mother of God, come, ye divinely wise, let us clap our hands and glorify God Who was born of her!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Divinely wise priests, standing in thy church with the pious people, await thy mercy, O Theotokos. Transform our grief into joy, in that thou gavest birth to the Joy Who hath done away with the sins of all men.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

To thee doth all the earth offer gifts as to the Queen and Mother of God. Kings and princes bow down in homage, and all the people are glad, protected from all evil by thy supplications, O Theotokos.

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

Daniel described thee beforehand as a great mountain; for from thee was Christ born without seed. He hath destroyed all the falsehood of the demons, and hath filled all the earth with His Faith. To Him do thou pray for us who glorify the feast of thy protection, O Theotokos.

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

O all-pure one, we utter unto thee the cry of the angel: Rejoice, O throne of God, whereon Ezekiel beheld the Lord in the guise of a man, borne up by the cherubim! With them pray thou for us, O Theotokos, that He save our souls.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone 3: Today the Virgin standeth forth in the church, and with the choirs of the saints she invisibly prayeth to God for us. Angels and hierarchs offer homage, and the apostles and prophets join chorus; for, for our sake the Theotokos entreateth the pre-eternal God.

Ikos: Come, O ye people, let us delight in her all-glorious miracles; for through her hath Adam been delivered from corruption. She is the ark fashioned, not by Noah, but by God. Of old, Moses was unable to see God in the fiery bush; but now the whole earth doth acknowledge the Son of God Who was born of her and to Whom she prayeth for us. Wherefore, we glorify her as the Mother of God; for, for our sake the Theotokos entreateth the pre-eternal God.

Ode 7, Irmos: The divinely wise would not worship a created thing instead of the Creator, but, manfully trampling the threat of the fire underfoot, they rejoiced, chanting: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Virgin, thou wast not described by the many prophets and wast also unknown to the angels of heaven who minister to God; but now we all know thee to be the Theotokos, and require thy help and aid, O blessed one.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Virgin Theotokos, thou mountain curdled by the Spirit which Habbakuk saw pouring forth the sweetness of healing upon the faithful, heal us who cry out to thy Son: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

He Who bowed down the heavens made His abode within thee, O Virgin, and now regardeth thy supplication, fulfilling thy petitions, O pure Queen and Theotokos. To Him do thou now earnestly pray, for we place our hope in thee, O blessed one.

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

O Christ God, our Creator and Saviour, accept the entreaty of Thy Mother, which she offereth to Thee for us sinners, that, rejoicing, we may chant to Thee: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Ode 8, Irmos: The birth giving of the Theotokos saved the pious children in the furnace – then in figure, but now in deed, – and it moveth the whole world to chant to Thee: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

With the ranks of the angels, the honourable and glorious prophets, the preeminent apostles, the hieromartyrs and holy hierarchs, O Mistress, pray thou to God for us sinners who glorify the feast of thy protection in this land.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Cast down pride and arrogance, scatter the councils of unjust princes, and destroy those who instigate wars, O Mother of God, most honoured Queen! And exalt the horn of our Orthodox hierarchs, that we may glorify thy feast, O all-pure Virgin Theotokos, crying: Hymn the Lord, ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

Offering thee hymnody with our mouths, we bow down before thee spiritually with our souls; for our hearts burn within us. O all-pure Mother of God, have mercy upon us who pray to thee, who hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages.

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

I have been weighed down by many sins, and am at a loss how to write in praise of thy protection, O Theotokos; but as thou art the Mother of God, adorn thy feast with miracles, that, rejoicing, we may all hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages.

Ode 9, Irmos: Let every earthborn man leap up, enlightened by the Spirit; and let the nature of the incorporeal intelligences hold festival, honouring the sacred feast of the Mother of God, and let it cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, thou pure Ever-virgin!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O exalted King Who sittest with the Father and art hymned by the seraphim: look down upon the supplication of Thy Mother, which she offereth to Thee for us sinners, and wash away our sins. Save this city and multiply the people. Grant health of body and victory over all adversaries to the Orthodox through the prayers of her who gave Thee birth.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O divinely chosen Virgin, we cry out to thee with the voice of the angel: Rejoice, thou who hast led Adam back into paradise! Rejoice, thou who drivest the demons away with thy name! Rejoice, O hope of Christians! Rejoice, sanctification of souls! Rejoice, preserver of our city!

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

Remember us in thy supplications, O Virgin Lady and Theotokos, that we not perish because of the multitude of our sins. Protect us from all evil and grievous perils, for in thee do we place our trust, and, honouring the feast of thy protection, we magnify thee.

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

As Mother of God, thou hast received from God the gift to heal the infirmities of all Christians, to deliver them from misfortunes, to forgive their sins and save them from captivity and all want. Disdain us not, O Lady, for thou knowest that we are in need of health for our bodies and salvation for our souls.

Troparion, Tone 4: Overshadowed by thy coming, O Mother of God, * we, the right faithful people, celebrate today with splendor, * and gazing upon thy most precious image, we cry aloud with compunction: * Cover us with thy precious omophorion, * and deliver us from all evil, * entreating thy Son, Christ our God, ** that He save our souls.