The Canons to the Prophet Obadiah and the Martyr Barlaam

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

Sessional Hymn of the martyr, 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 and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion, 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 (in place of the Theotokion on Wednesdays and Fridays): 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, 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.

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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 Canons of the Holy Martyrs Platon and Romanus

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.

Theotokion, Tone IV: O Theotokos, fleeing to thy divine protection after God, * I humbly fall down and beseech thee: * Have mercy, O most pure one, * for my sins have submerged my being, * and trembling O Lady, I fear the torments to come, * O pure one, entreat thy Son, ** that I may be delivered from them.

Stavrotheotokion (in place of the Theotokion on Wednesdays and Fridays): 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 Canon to the Holy Apostle Matthew

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

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

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

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

Another troparion, 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 Canon to Saints Gury, Samon and Aviv

Dear brothers and sisters, as we celebrate the Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv on the first day of the Nativity Fast, we turn to them as the protectors and patrons of the Christian family, praying for our own families and those of our community.

The canon of the martyrs, with 4 Troparia, the acrostic whereof is: “I praise the three who speak most wisely together”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone IV:

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Theologizing worshipfully concerning the lordship of the Trinity, O saints, ye easily destroyed the inconstant darkness of polytheism, shining forth like stars of great radiance from the East.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

O ye three confessors who are manifestly illumined by the grace of the ruling Trinity, showing forth your opposition with endurance ye destroyed the falsehood of polytheism.

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

Making you sons by adoption through love, O glorious ones, He Who is the essential Son hath shown you forth as co-heirs to the inheritance now manifestly given Him, and sharers in His kingdom, in that He is compassionate.

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

Thou wast the tabernacle of the most wise Wisdom, O all-immaculate one; for it was His good pleasure to make for Himself a temple of thy most pure blood, O pure one, for the salvation of our souls.

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

The confessors and favorites of Christ willingly gave their bodies over to tortures and cruel wounds.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

O holy ones, pray ye that those who celebrate your memory with faith may be delivered from evil thoughts of sin.

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

Suspended upon a tree, with endurance the honored witnesses most piously preserved inviolate their confession.

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

He Who entered into thy womb hath shown thee to be a well-spring of healings, O most pure Mother of God; wherefore, heal thou my soul.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “Of the Wisdom …”:
Armed with the Cross of Christ, as champions of the Faith ye manfully cast down all the might of the tyrants, and denounced all the ungodliness of the idols, O holy ones, fervently confessing the Trinity. Wherefore, ye have worthily received crowns of victory, in that ye suffered lawfully, O all-glorious spiritual athletes. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate your holy memory.

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

Another Sessional Hymn, Tone VIII & same melody: Serving Christ in martyrdom, possessed of an unenslaved soul and wisdom ye enslaved the delusion of the tyrants; for, wounded by faith in the Trinity, O all- praised ones, ye denounced the inglorious fame of polytheism. Wherefore, like stars ye shine forth radiantly in the world with the brilliance of miracles, O blessed and all- praised spiritual athletes. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love honor your holy memory.

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

Theotokion in Tone VIII: All we, the generations of mankind, * call thee blessed, * in that thou art the Virgin who alone among women * hast given birth without seed unto God in the flesh; * for the fire of the Godhead made its abode within thee, * and thou didst feed the Creator and Lord * with milk as an infant. * Wherefore, we, the race of mankind and of angels, * glorify thy birthgiving, * and together we cry out to thee: * Entreat Christ God to grant forgiveness of sins ** unto those who with faith worship thy most holy Offspring.

Stavrotheotokion: Upon beholding the Lamb, Shepherd and Redeemer * upon the Cross, * the ewe-lamb exclaimed weeping, bitterly lamenting, and crying aloud: * “The world rejoiceth, having received deliverance through Thee, * but my womb doth burn, beholding Thy crucifixion, * which Thou hast endured in Thy merciful loving-kindness. * O long-suffering Lord, * Thou abyss and inexhaustible well-spring of mercy, * take pity, and grant forgiveness of sins ** unto those who hymn Thy divine sufferings with faith!”

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

The crowned ones, equal in number to the Trinity, illumined with thrice-radiant light those who now celebrate their most sacred memory, granting healing unto them
all.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

O ye divinely wise, let us hasten with reverence to the radiant and splendid shrine of the martyrs; for it poureth forth healings upon those who cry out with faith: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

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

Confessing the divine dispensation and the mystery which transcendeth understanding, with tongues of theology, the godly and all-wise confessors trampled underfoot all the ungodliness of the tyrants.

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

In a manner transcending understanding, O Virgin, thou wast shown to be a virgin even after giving birth. Wherefore, with unwavering faith, O Lady, we unceasingly cry out: Rejoice!

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Shining manifestly with the radiance of their struggles, the champions of the Faith put to shame the savage character of the tyrants.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

The miracles of the martyrs have been manifestly proclaimed unto all the ends of the world, and have made all steadfast through faith.

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

Receiving the seed of grace like good earth, the blessed ones industriously produced riches by their manner of life.

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

He Who alone is good, Who sustaineth all things by the depths of His goodness, O Mother of God, deigned to be held in thine arms.

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Having withstood all torments lawfully and manifestly preserved the faith, as valiant warriors, O divinely wise ones, ye have received crowns of divine righteousness.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Of old Habbakuk was lifted up on high at the command of God; and through you, O divinely eloquent ones, the tortured maiden was returned to her mother.

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

The shrine of the martyrs shineth with miracles and poureth forth rivers of healing upon all who approach it with faith and marvel at their endurance.

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

Finding thee alone among the thorns as a most pure rose and a lily of the valley, O Mother of God, the noetic Bridegroom made His abode within thee.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone II: Spec. Mel.: “Seeking the highest …”:
Having received grace from on high, * O all-praised martyrs, * ye intercede for those amid temptations; * wherefore, ye delivered the maiden from a bitter death, O holy ones: ** for ye are truly the glory of Edessa and the joy of the world.

Ikos: Entreated by the supplications of Thy spiritual athletes, deliver me from bondage to the enemy, O Jesus, Bestower of life, that, acquiring a soul and body unenslaved by the passions, I may praise their speedy assistance: for they quickly delivered from death the maiden enclosed in a tomb by the wickedness of her husband, anticipating her need, and she cried: Ye are the glory of Edessa and the joy of the world!

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

He Who delivered the children of Abraham in the furnace hath now also saved the foreign maiden from cruel peril by the mediation of His holy favorites, in that He is compassionate.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

O Word, Wisdom and Power of God, the infamous murderer who inflicted torment of most savage inhumanity was straightway tried for all his evils by Thy righteous judgment.

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

Strengthened by her trust in you, O glorious ones, the maiden who had been enclosed with the dead in a tomb was not mistaken in her hope, crying: O Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Like a newly cast and lustrous mirror reflecting the radiance of divine effulgence, O Virgin, thou didst receive it as it came upon thee. Blessed art Thou among women, O all-immaculate Lady!

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Today the universal festival of the martyrs of Christ hath dawned for us, illumining with the grace of miracles those who approach with faith and spiritual joy, and who cry out with love: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

The confessors of Thy divinity, O Master, easily abolished all the ungodliness of the tyrants, undaunted by the threats of the evil-minded; and, strengthened by faith, they cried aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

The all-wise confessors, standing up for the divine dogmas, vanquishing hordes of the enemy, and slain by the sword, manifestly and most gloriously have shown themselves to be all-splendidly victorious; for being felled, they triumphed over the adversary.

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

Thou hast given birth to Christ Who is seen to be in two natures, manifestly bearing a single hypostasis composed of both divinity and manhood, truly essentially joined together in a unity. Wherefore, we bless thee, O Mary, Bride of God.

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

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Following the godly and divinely inspired words of Christ, O divinely radiant confessors, rejoicing, ye took the cross upon your shoulders, following in the steps of the Bestower of life, O right glorious ones.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Entering with gladness into the whole light of the Trinity, the valiant confessors receive honors for their struggles, being deemed worthy to dwell with the ranks of the incorporeal ones.

Holy Martyrs Gury, Samon and Aviv, pray to God for us.

Not in a mirror do ye now behold your hopes of things divine, O confessors of Christ: rather, O most honored and most wise crown-bearers, ye behold the beauty of truth.

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

Manifestly shown to be equal in number with the supremely divine Trinity, O confessors of godly eloquence, ye are illumined with the radiance thereof, for, having suffered for the Trinity’s sake, ye have now received life incorruptible.

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

O Virgin Mother, The Word Who hath adorned all things, and Who desired to come in the flesh, made His abode within Thee, and He found thee alone to be more holy than all others, and truly revealed thee to be the Theotokos.

Troparion, in Tone V: O Christ God, Thou hast given us an impregnable rampart * in the miracles of Thy holy martyrs. * Through their supplications destroy Thou the councils of the heathen * and strengthen the scepters of kingdoms, ** in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

The Canon to St Menas the Great-Martyr

The 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.

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.

The Feast of the Holy Great-Martyr Menas of Egypt

Dear brothers ands sisters,

I was very happy that a few of us were able to gather in Llanelli and use our midweek compline to celebrate the Holy-Great Martyr Menas, adding his canon to the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God.

Though little known outside the Orthodox Church today, he was known and revered across the Christian world in the middle ages, with pilgrim flasks bearing his image found by archaeologists across North Africa and Europe, including Russia.

For those who turn to him, St Menas, martyred during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian is a great wonder-worker and intercessor.

As a Roman centurion and a Christian, he refused to take part in earlier persecutions of Christians, and withdrew to mountain isolation to lead a life of prayer and ascetic labour, but during one of his visits to a city during a pagan festival he castigated the idol worshippers and denounced their impiety. This greatly angered the prefect, Pyrrhus, who sought to tempt Menas to renounce his Faith.

St Menas was steadfast in confessing Christ, and equally steadfast in opposing the pagans, confessing his Faith in a trial before the Imperial prefect. For his resilient Faith, he was subject to cruel tortures before being beheaded.

His sacred relics were taken by Christians at night and guarded until after the persecutions had ended, when they were buried with honour at the place we know call Al Alamein, south west of Alexandria.

In that place, he famously appeared driving camels through Field-Marshall Romel’s waiting German tank Army on the first night of the Battle of Al Alamein, frightening the superior and stronger German Army. The weaker allied forces gained a notable victory over the Germans, changing the course of the war in north Africa. Such is the grace and power of the intercession of our great St Menas!

Honour him on this feast, and bring your prayers and sorrows to him with great faith!

May God bless us and have mercy on us for the sake of his prayers.

Happy Feast!

Fr Mark 

THE AKATHIST HYMN ST NECTARIOS OF AEGINA

Kontakion 1: In joy of heart let us hymn with songs the newly revealed star of Orthodoxy, the newly erected bulwark of the Church; for, glorified by the activity of the Spirit, he pours forth the abundant grace of healings upon those who cry: Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Ikos 1: In the world thou wast shown to be a man of heavenly mind, O Nektarios, hierarch of Christ; for having passed through life in holiness, thou wast shown to be blameless, venerable and Godpleasing in all things. Wherefore, thou hearest from us such praises as these:

Rejoice, thou by whom the faithful are edified;
Rejoice, thou of whom the enemy is afraid!
Rejoice, emulator of the venerable fathers;
Rejoice, divine teacher of the Orthodox!
Rejoice, thou for whom the Church joins chorus;
Rejoice, thou in whom Aegina Rejoices!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

2: Having adorned thyself with meekness of soul from thy youth, O holy father, one fervent desire consumed thy heart: to become a preacher of the Holy Gospel. From childhood thou knewest the Scriptures which are able to make man wise for salvation, teaching them to cry: Alleluia.

Ikos 2: When thou left thy home and traveled to Constantinople, thou labored in the midst of worldly distractions. Yet thou didst not forsake the Faith which dwelt first in thy grandmother and mother and also dwelt in thee, steadfastly dedicating thyself to prayer and to the sayings of the Fathers, which thou wrote on packages and wrappings so that others might read them and receive spiritual profit. Wherefore, to one who was in the world but not of it, we the faithful cry aloud in thanksgiving:

Rejoice, most holy temple of the activity of God;
Rejoice, divinely inscribed book of new morals!
Rejoice, for thou made thyself like unto the saints in perfection;
Rejoice, for thou wisely spurned material things!
Rejoice, splendid victory of the Faith;
Rejoice, honored clarion of grace!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 3: As a fervent lover of the monastic life, thou often visited the Monastery of the Holy Fathers, conversing there about the spiritual struggle with its holy founder, Elder Pachomios. As thou aspired to the angelic habit, thou wast tonsured and dedicated thyself to prayer on behalf of the people as thou sang: Alleluia!

Ikos 3: Wholly consumed with the love of heavenly knowledge, thou received a blessing to continue thy theological education to which thou devoted thyself with zeal and self-denial. While living in Athens, thou studied day and night, knowing no other roads but that to the school and to the Church. Wherefore, as to our instructor in heavenly theology, we thy children joyfully cry:

Rejoice, great pillar of piety;
Rejoice, city of refuge for the faithful!
Rejoice, firm stronghold of Orthodoxy;
Rejoice, venerable vessel and praise of the Holy Trinity!
Rejoice, thou who shone forth in these latter times like a never-setting sun;
Rejoice, thou who pours forth the nectar of grace upon all believers.
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 4: Arrayed in true holiness and pure morals, Patriarch Sophronios of Alexandria saw in thee great potential for service to Christ’s Holy Church. Thou wast ordained to the sacred priesthood and elevated to the office of Bishop. O wise one, thou offered thy life to Christ as a pure sacrifice, ever chanting: Alleluia!

Ikos 4: In thy position as Metropolitan of Pentapolis, thou wast deeply loved by the faithful, for clothed in the vesture of the hierarchy, thou adorned thy life with humility. Ever disdainful of material possessions, thou opened thy hand freely and distributed thine alms to the poor. Like thy Master, thou willingly came not to be served but to serve and to give thy life as a ransom for many. Conquered by thy love, we who honor thy holy memory cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, model of lambs and shepherds;
Rejoice, pure and honorable abode of holiness!
Rejoice, worthy converser with angels;
Rejoice, good guide of men!
Rejoice, for through thee we are delivered from bodily passions;
Rejoice, for through thee we are filled with spiritual delights!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 5: When the enemy of our souls saw thee laboring in humility, he could not abide thy holy presence among the people. Raising up slanders, inciting rumors, he sought to destroy thy good name and to lead thee to bitterness and anger. But thou overcame all of his devices, for in all things thou didst meekly chant unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos 5: Lacking even thy daily bread, slandered on all sides, thou prayed for thy accusers, begging the Father to forgive them. Refusing to speak one word in thy own defense, thou joyfully suffered according to the will of God, committing thyself to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. Wherefore, amazed by thy long-suffering and steadfast endurance, we thy children exclaim:

Rejoice, treasury of great mercy;
Rejoice, inexhaustible bread for the hungry!
Rejoice, container of great virtues;
Rejoice, model of spiritual meekness!
Rejoice, thou who said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they have done;”
Rejoice, thou who repaid evil with good!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 6: Having within thee a strong desire for the life of stillness on the Holy Mountain, thou could not abandon the people but heeded their call to remain in the world and to proclaim the words of salvation. Freely thou received and freely thou gave, calling all men to exclaim: Alleluia!

Ikos 6: With the words of thy mouth thou dropped heavenly sweetness into the hearts of those who accepted thy words with faith, directing the minds of the faithful to seek those things which are above. The sacred writings of thy teachings continually gladden the souls of the pious; for moved by the Holy Spirit, O Father, thou wisely recorded words of grace and instruction for those who cry to thee:

Rejoice, faithful servant of the Most Holy Trinity;
Rejoice, habitation adorned of the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice, light that illumines all the ends of the earth;
Rejoice, thou who delivers people from the abyss of sin!
Rejoice, thou who exalts truth;
Rejoice, thou who dispells falsehood!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 7: Invited to assume the direction of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School, thou brought peace where there once existed confusion, for thou treated all as a loving father. Wherefore thy students in gratitude sang to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 7: Strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, having received the words of Life, thou committed these to faithful men who, because of thy good instruction and spiritual example, were enabled to teach them to others. Enduring hardships as a good soldier of Christ, thou did not entangle thyself in the affairs of this life but thought only how to please the Master. Therefore, as to a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, we cry out to thee in words such as these:

Rejoice, teacher of the divine commandments;
Rejoice, thou who makes wise the unwise by thy teachings!
Rejoice, new Paul, who has bequeathed to us the pattern of sound words;
Rejoice, new Jude, who has given us the exhortation to contend earnestly for the faith!
Rejoice, new Chrysostom, who has poured forth upon the Church the heavenly nectar of piety;
Rejoice, new Damascene, who has defended the faithful from impious doctrines!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 8: Wisely adorned with understanding and meekness, thou brought together venerable virgins in godliness, leading them to Christ by thy words and the works of thy blameless life, teaching them to sing: Alleluia!

Ikos 8: Listening to thy prayers and earnest supplications, the Lord Who does the will of those who fear him, led thee to the island of Aegina where thou rebuilt the monastery which had been abandoned. Who can describe thy labors and toils? Exercising vigilance in all things, thou showed forth a model of divine virtue. Thy spiritual daughters in thanksgiving cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, pure and honorable abode of holiness;
Rejoice, all-luminous lamp, beloved by all!
Rejoice, worthy converser with angels;
Rejoice, good guide of men!
Rejoice, pious rule of faith;
Rejoice, holy purification of mortals!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 9: Worldly-minded men cannot understand thy patience, for despite the many cares of the monastery, thou did not cease writing edifying books for Christians living in the world. Wherefore, amazed at the great wisdom which thou wast given, we cry to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 9: Having settled at the Monastery in Aegina, thou became all spirit and led an altogether spiritual life. Venerable, meek, kindly, humble, extremely compassionate and charitable, thou carried on the good fight in order to lay hold of that which for which Christ Jesus laid hold of thee. In thy pious ways thou blamelessly followed Dionysios, the godly pastor of Aegina. Now as thou partakest of heavenly glory with him, receive from us these praises:

Rejoice, thou who despised the world and its delusive pleasures;
Rejoice, thou who received in exchange heavenly blessings!
Rejoice, thou who completely subdued thy flesh to thy spirit;
Rejoice, thou who subjected thy spirit to thy sweetest Lord Jesus!
Rejoice, thou of the holy Fathers;
Rejoice, instructor in the prayer of the heart!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 10: Never neglecting mental prayer but always crying from the depths of thy heart, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me,” all bore witness that thou hadst become completely spiritualized. Noticing in thee an exceptional sweetness which radiated from thy serene countenance, the faithful joyfully exclaimed: Alleluia!

Ikos 10: Knowing that the Most Holy Virgin is a bulwark for all saints and a joy to monastics, thou often offered thy intercessions to her with tears and commited thyself to her motherly protection. Writing beautiful hymns, thou gave to the faithful the gift of thy love teaching them to sing, “Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!” Therefore, we cry to thee:

Rejoice, precious chosen one of Christ;
Rejoice, unblemished fragrance of God!
Rejoice, thou who showed flaming love for the Lord;
Rejoice, thou who always honored His Holy Mother!
Rejoice, boast of the Orthodox Church;
Rejoice, thou who work many miracles through the power of God!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 11: When the time came for thee to depart to Christ to receive the Crown of righteousness laid up for thee in heaven, thou endured severe pain and suffering with exemplary patience. Always thanking the Heavenly Father and blessing His all-holy name, thou continually cried: Alleluia!

Ikos 11: The Lord, Who always glorifies those who glorify Him, did not allow thy virtue to be hidden but desiring that those on earth know the glory He has given thee in the heavens has revealed thy relics as a well-spring of healings and miracles. For immediately after thy repose, as thy body was being prepared for burial, the Lord worked wonders through thy sweater, raising up a man who had been paralyzed for many years. Therefore, together with him we also gratefully cry to thee:

Rejoice, speedy helper of those in need;
Rejoice, constant stream of mercy by which we are cleansed!
Rejoice, physician of soul and body;
Rejoice, new pool of Siloam, healing the infirm!
Rejoice, sweet myrhh of compassion;
Rejoice, miracle worker of the faithful!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 12: Multitudes of the faithful from all lands continually flee to thy shrine, O holy one, and from thy precious relics faithfully obtain divine grace and answers for their every petition. O Father, as thou knowest how, fulfill thou also the petitions of those who now cry: Alleluia!

Ikos 12: Singing praises we glorify thee, O all-praised Nektarios; for in thee God Who is glorified in the Trinity is wonderfully glorified. But even if we were to offer thee a multitude of psalms and hymns composed from the soul, O holy wonderworker, we should do nothing to equal the gift of thy miracles, and amazed by them we cry unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who conquered all the snares of the Evil One;
Rejoice, thou who were sanctified both in soul and body!
Rejoice, speedy helper of those in need;
Rejoice, restoration of health to the sick!
Rejoice, healer of diseases by the Grace of God;
Rejoice, helper of those that suffer cruelly!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 13: As a partaker in the life of heaven and a dweller with the angels, O Father Nektarios, in that thou labored to please God, accept our present offering, and unceasingly intercede for thy flock and for all the Orthodox who honor thee, that we may be healed of all diseases of both body and soul, that together with thee in the eternal Kingdom we may unceasingly cry: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! (Repeat 3x)

Ikos 1: In the world thou wast shown to be a man of heavenly mind, O Nektarios, hierarch of Christ; for having passed through life in holiness, thou wast shown to be blameless, venerable and Godpleasing in all things. Wherefore, thou hearest from us such praises as these:

Rejoice, thou by whom the faithful are edified;
Rejoice, thou of whom the enemy is afraid!
Rejoice, emulator of the venerable fathers;
Rejoice, divine teacher of the Orthodox!
Rejoice, thou for whom the Church joins chorus;
Rejoice, thou in whom Aegina rejoices!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

Kontakion 1: In joy of heart let us hymn with songs the newly revealed star of Orthodoxy, the newly erected bulwark of the Church; for, glorified by the activity of the Spirit, he pours forth the abundant grace of healings upon those who cry: Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue.

 

 

 

6/19 NOVEMBER: ST PAUL THE CONFESSOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

Holy Martyr, Varus, pray to God for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved by the translator.

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