The Saturday of Lazarus

As the Orthodox Church passes from Lent to Holy Week with the the Saturday of Lazarus marking the boundary, the Canon for the feast is posted below for use in the home or monastic cell – i.e. outside matins, in which it would normally be chanted.

Ode I, Irmos: Let us sing to the Lord, Who led His people through the Red Sea: for He alone is gloriously glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

With Thy divine command Thou hast raised dead Lazarus, in Thy love for mankind; for Thou art the Fashioner and Guardian of Life.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O immortal Lord, with Thy word Thou hast raised Lazarus, four days dead, and by Thy power Thou hast destroyed the dark kingdom of hell.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast given to all, O Master, a proof of Thy transcendent Godhead, raising Lazarus from the dead on the fourth day.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Today Bethany proclaims beforehand the Resurrection of Christ the giver of Life, and it rejoices at the rising of Lazarus.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

In the beginning Thou hast brought all creation out of nothing, and Thou knowest the secrets of our hearts; and now as Master Thou dost foretell to Thy disciples the falling asleep of Lazarus.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Christ, Thou hast become man, taking human nature from the Virgin, and as man Thou hast asked where Lazarus was buried, although as God Thou wast not ignorant of this.

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

O Word, giving us an assurance of Thine own Resurrection, Thou hast raised Thy friend as if from sleep, though he had lain four days in the tomb and already stank.

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

The host of angels and of mortal men praise thee, O Virgin Mother, without ceasing.  For thou hast carried their creator as a babe in thine arms.

Ode III, Irmos: Thou art the support of those who flee unto Thee, O Lord, Thou art the light of those in darkness, and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Displaying Thy two energies, O Saviour, Thou hast made manifest Thy two natures: for Thou art both God and man.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Though Thou art the Abyss of knowledge, Thou dost ask where they have laid the body of Lazarus.  For it was Thy purpose, O Giver of Life, to raise him from the dead.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Going from one place to another, Thou hast as mortal man, appeared circumscribed; but, as God uncircumscribed, Thou fillest all things.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

At Thy divine word, Thou hast raised Lazarus, O Christ, I pray Thee, raise me also, dead through my many sins.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Lord who workest miracles, standing in Bethany by the tomb of Lazarus, Thou hast shed tears for him in accordance with the law of nature, confirming the full reality of the flesh which Thou hast taken, O Jesus my God.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Straightway Thou hast made the sorrow of Mary and Martha to cease, O Saviour, showing Thy sovereign authority.  For, as Thou hast said, Thou art in truth the Resurrection and the Life and the Lord of all.

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

O Lord, from the ranks of the dead and the darkness of hell thou hast snatched Thy friend Lazarus, bound in his grave-clothes; and by Thine all-powerful word Thou hast broken open the gates of the kingdom of death.

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

Taking up Thy dwelling in a Virgin, O Lord, Thou hast appeared to men incarnate, enabling them to see Thee with their eyes; Thou hast made her in very truth the Theotokos and the help of the faithful, O Thou who alone lovest mankind.

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

Sessional hymn, Tone 4:  The sisters of Lazarus stood beside Christ and, lamenting with bitter tears, they said to Him: “O Lord, Lazarus is dead.” And though as God He knew the place of burial, yet He asked them, “Where have ye laid him?”  Coming to the tomb, He called Lazarus that was four days dead; and he arose and worshipped the Lord who had raised him.

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

Sessional hymn, Tone 8: Foreknowing all things as Creator, Thou hast warned the disciples at Bethany saying: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep today.” And, though Thou was not ignorant, Thou hast asked: “Where have ye laid him?” Weeping as a man, Thou hast prayed to the Father; Thou hast called Thy friend Lazarus from hell, O Lord, and raised him when he had been four days dead. Therefore, we cry to Thee: Accept, O Christ our God, the praise we dare to offer, and count us all worthy of Thy glory.

Ode IV, Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, of the mystery of Thy dispensation, and I considered Thy works, and I have glorified Thy Godhead.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast prayed to the Father, not because Thou art in need of any help, but to fulfill the mystery of Thine incarnation; and so, almighty Lord, Thou hast raised up a corpse that was four days dead.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Coeternal with the Father, the Word that was revealed from the beginning as God, now offers prayers as man, though it is He that receives the prayers of all.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Saviour, Thy voice destroyed all the power of death, and the foundations of hell were shaken by Thy divine might.

O most holy Theotokos, save us.

Let us sing the praises of the Virgin, for she remained a virgin after bearing child, and she gave birth to Christ our God, who has delivered the world from error.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

As Shepherd, O Saviour and Creator, Thou hast snatched from the fierce and all-devouring wolf a man that had been four days dead; and through him, in Thy power as Lord, Thou hast revealed beforehand the universal glory of Thy Resurrection on the third day.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Beholding Thee, O Christ the Life, the companions of Martha cried aloud: “If Thou hadst been here, O Lord, the Light and Life of all, Lazarus would not have died.”  But since Thou art the Life of the dead, in Thy love for mankind Thou hast turned their sorrow into joy.

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

The depths are afraid at Thy presence, O Lord, the source of life; all the waters are Thy servants.  The gatekeepers tremble before Thee, O Christ, and the bars of hell are broken by Thy power, as Lazarus rises from the dead at Thy command, almighty Saviour who lovest mankind.

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

Unwedded Virgin, thou art the glory of the faithful; thou art the advocate and refuge of Christians, their rampart and haven, for, Undefiled, thou dost offer intercession to thy Son, saving from danger those who in faith and love acknowledge thee as the pure Theotokos.

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.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

In Thy love for mankind, coming to the tomb of Lazarus Thou hast called him and granted him life, for Thou art the immortal life of all mortal men; and so Thou hast as God clearly foretold the future Resurrection.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

His feet bound in the grave-clothes, Lazarus walked out from the tomb.  O wonder of wonders!  Christ who gave him strength is greater than the power of death which held him back.  All things obey Christ’s word, serving Him as God and Master.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast raised Lazarus on the fourth day, though his corpse already stank.  Raise me up, O Christ, for I am dead in sin and lie in the pit and the dark shadow of death; deliver and save me in Thy compassion.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast prayed and given glory to the Father, for Thy power is not opposed to His.  To confirm the faith of the multitude that stood round Thee, Thou hast thanked Thy Father, O longsuffering Lord, and then raised Lazarus by Thy command.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O voice of God!  O divine power and might!  With that voice, O Saviour, Thou hast shattered the gates of hell and all-devouring death.  Deliver me from my passions, as once Thou hast delivered Thy friend Lazarus that was four days dead.

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

At the prayers of Lazarus, of Martha and Mary, O loving Lord, make us worthy to behold Thy Cross and Passion, and the joyful Queen of Days, the feast of Thy Resurrection.

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

Since, all-pure Virgin, thou hast a mother’s boldness before thy Son, do not forget us and our needs, we pray, for we are thy kinsfolk: thee alone we Christians bring as intercessor, to win the gracious mercy of the Master.

Ode VI, Irmos: O Lord, who hast made Jonah dwell within the whale, deliver me from corruption, as Thou hast delivered him; for I am caught in the snares of the enemy.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Love led Thee, Master, to Lazarus at Bethany; and as God Thou hast raised him, though his corpse already stank, and hast delivered him from the bonds of hell.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Martha despaired when she saw Lazarus already four days dead.  But Christ, as God, raised him from decay and brought him back to life by His word.

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

As true God Thou hast known of the falling asleep of Lazarus and hast announced it beforehand to Thy disciples, giving them a proof, O Master, of the infinite power of Thy divinity.

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

Thou who art by nature uncircumscribed wast circumscribed in the flesh; coming to Bethany, O Master, as man Thou dost weep over Lazarus, and by Thy power as God Thou dost raise him on the fourth day from the dead.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone 2:  Christ, the Joy of all, the Truth, the Light, the Life, the Resurrection of the world, hath, of His goodness, appeared to those on earth, and become the archetype of the Resurrection, granting divine forgiveness unto all.

Ikos: The Creator of the world foretold to His disciples what would come to pass, proving to them that He knows all things as the Maker of all.  “Brethren and companions, our friend has fallen asleep”,  He said.  “Let us go, then, and see a strange burial, and behold the tears of Mary and the tomb of Lazarus.  For I shall work a miracle there, as the prelude to My Crucifixion, granting divine forgiveness unto all.”

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

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Weeping as man in Thy compassion, Thou hast as God raised Lazarus from the tomb; and, delivered from hell, he cried aloud: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!”

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

At the Master’s word Lazarus came out bound in grave clothes, escaping from the chaos and darkness of hell, and he cried aloud: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!”

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Shedding tears over Thy friend, O merciful Lord, Thou hast made the tears of Martha cease, and by Thy voluntary Passion Thou hast wiped away all tears from the face of Thy people.  O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.

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

Master of Life and Saviour, Thou hast called the dead man as if he were asleep.  With Thy word thou hast burst asunder the belly of hell and raised up Lazarus as he sang: “O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.”

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

O Master, Thou hast raised a dead man bound in grave clothes, a corpse that already stank.  I am held fast in the bonds of sin; raise me up and I shall sing: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.

Ode VIII, Irmos: When the instruments of music sounded, countless multitudes worshipped the image in Dura; but the three Children, refusing to bow down, praised and glorified the Lord forever.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

As Shepherd, Thou hast gone to seek Thy sheep; rescuing the dead man from the fierce and destructive wolf, in Thy power Thou hast brought him from corruption to new life, and he cried out to Thee: “Praise the Lord and exalt Him above all forever.”

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

As mortal man Thou hast asked where Lazarus was buried; as Maker, Thou hast raised him from the dead by Thy royal command.  Hell was afraid of him when he cried out to Thee: “Praise the Lord and exalt Him above all forever.”

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

As a mortal, Thou dost search for Lazarus; as God, Thou dost raise him by Thy word, though he was four days dead.  Therefore we sing Thy praises forever.

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

Fulfilling a debt of gratitude for her brother, Mary brought Thee, O Lord, sweet-smelling spices; and she sings Thy praises forever.

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

As man Thou dost pray to the Father, as God Thou dost raise Lazarus.  Therefore, O Christ, we sing Thy praises for ever.

Ode IX, Irmos:  O ye people, with glory let us honour the pure Theotokos, who conceived within her womb the divine fire and yet was not consumed, and let us magnify her with hymns.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Seeing a four-day corpse walking, the people were struck with wonder at the miracle and cried out to the Deliverer: “We magnify Thee in hymns, O God.”

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast established men’s faith in Thy glorious Resurrection, O my Saviour, before it came to pass, by freeing Lazarus from hell when he was four days dead; and I magnify Thee in hymns.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Honouring Thy Father, O Christ, and showing that Thou art not opposed to Him, after praying Thou hast by Thine own authority raised Lazarus that was four days dead.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O my Christ, Thou hast raised from the tomb Lazarus that was four days dead, and so Thou makest him a truthful witness to Thy Resurrection on the third day.

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

Thou dost walk and weep and speak, my Saviour, showing the action of Thy human nature; and, revealing Thy divine nature, Thou dost raise Lazarus.

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

In ways surpassing speech, my Master and Saviour, Thou hast brought about my salvation by the free will exercised in each of Thy two natures.

 

The Prophetic Voice of Blessed Nicholas of Pskov

“Ivanushko, Ivanushko, eat our bread and salt, and not Christian blood.”
In February 1570, after a devastating campaign against Novgorod, Tsar Ivan the Terrible moved against Pskov, suspecting the inhabitants of treason. As the Pskov Chronicler relates, “the Tsar came … with great fierceness, like a roaring lion, to tear apart innocent people and to shed much blood.”

On the first Saturday of Great Lent, the whole city prayed to be delivered from the Tsar’s wrath. Hearing the peal of the bell for Matins in Pskov, the Tsar’s heart was softened when he read the inscription on the fifteenth century wonderworking Liubyatov Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God (March 19) in the Monastery of Saint Nicholas (the Tsar’s army was at Lubyatov). “Be tender of heart,” he said to his soldiers. “Blunt your swords upon the stones, and let there be an end to killing.”

All the inhabitants of Pskov came out upon the streets, and each family knelt at the gate of their house, bearing bread and salt to the meet the Tsar. On one of the streets Blessed Nicholas ran toward the Tsar astride a stick as though riding a horse, and cried out: “Ivanushko, Ivanushko, eat our bread and salt, and not Christian blood.”

The Tsar gave orders to capture the holy fool, but he disappeared.

Though he had forbidden his men to kill, Ivan still intended to sack the city. The Tsar attended a Molieben at the Trinity cathedral, and he venerated the relics of holy Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11), and expressed his wish to receive the blessing of the holy fool Nicholas. The saint instructed the Tsar “by many terrible sayings,” to stop the killing and not to plunder the holy churches of God. But Ivan did not heed him and gave orders to remove the bell from the Trinity cathedral. Then, as the saint prophesied, the Tsar’s finest horse fell dead.

The blessed one invited the Tsar to visit his cell under the bell tower. When the Tsar arrived at the cell of the saint, he said, “Hush, come in and have a drink of water from us, there is no reason you should shun it.” Then the holy fool offered the Tsar a piece of raw meat.

“I am a Christian and do not eat meat during Lent”, said Ivan to him. “But you drink human blood,” the saint replied.

Frightened by the fulfillment of the saint’s prophecy and denounced for his wicked deeds, Ivan the Terrible ordered a stop to the looting and fled from the city. The Oprichniki, witnessing this, wrote: “The mighty tyrant … departed beaten and shamed, driven off as though by an enemy. Thus did a worthless beggar terrify and drive off the Tsar with his multitude of a thousand soldiers.”

Blessed Nicholas died on February 28, 1576 and was buried in the Trinity cathedral of the city he had saved. Such honors were granted only to the Pskov princes, and later on, to bishops.

The local veneration of the saint began five years after his death. In the year 1581, during a siege of Pskov by the soldiers of the Polish king Stephen Bathory, the Mother of God appeared to the blacksmith Dorotheus together with a number of Pskov saints praying for the city. Among these was Blessed Nicholas (the account about the Pskov-Protection Icon of the Mother of God is found under October 1).

At the Trinity cathedral they still venerate the relics of Blessed Nicholas of Pskov, who was “a holy fool in the flesh, and by assuming this holy folly he became a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem” (Troparion). He also “transformed the Tsar’s wild thoughts into mercy” (Kontakion).

Blessed Nicholas of Pskov, pray to God for us, for we eagerly flee unto thee, as a fervent helper, and intercessor for our souls!

Kontakion, Tone 8: Thou wast revealed as a wonderworker, O Nicholas, / when thou didst turn the Tsar’s power from wrath to mercy, / and so a fervent intercessor hath appeared in our land. / Now we entreat thee, O Saint: “Remain with us once more and protect us from the wiles of the Enemy; / for thou art the glory and affirmation of the city of Pskov and of all those who love Christ.”

Pilgrim-Prayers at the Shrine of St Alban

It was wonderful for a small group of parishioners to be given the opportunity to gather at the shrine of St Alban in the Oratory Church in Splott, yesterday afternoon, offering a moleben to the Holy Protomartyr with the biographical canon telling the story of his passion.

This was the first liturgical visit to the shrine, and though a number of parishioners have been quietly visiting the relics to seek the intercession and help of St Alban, the public celebration in English and Church Slavonic brought Orthodox chant to the church, as we prayed for our communities, for the Church and for the world.

It was a great blessing for the faithful to be able to venerate a relic of St Alban after the dismissal of the moleben, having prayed before the relic enshrined in the feretory.

We extend our thanks to the Fathers and brethren of the Oratory, who have been supporters and benefactors of our Russian Orthodox parish over the last four years, and look forward to regular Orthodox prayers at the shrine.

Holy Protomartyr Alban, pray to God for us!

Troparion, Tone 3: With faith, piety and devotion let us hasten to the sacred shrine of the wondrous martyr Alban, the first in Britain to shed his blood for Christ the Lord, for Whom he willingly laid down his life; and let us pray that through his supplications our souls may find mercy and salvation.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2: Spec: Imbued with courage and bravery from on high, the glorious martyr Alban stood undaunted before the tyrant and boldly confessed Christ as the only God of all; and he utterly refused to offer sacrifice to false deities. Wherefore, having laid down his life for the Lord, he maketh earnest entreaty in behalf of our souls.

Saints Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians

Dear brothers and sisters,

This day brings a double-joy, as we celebrate two great Syrian saints, Ephraim and Isaac, who testify to the spiritual glory of the Christian Tradition in which Syriac, rather than Greek, was the language of theology, and where poetry and hymnography were used to explore the Faith.

Their prayers hymns and homilies have had a profound affect on various members of our ROCOR parish in Cardiff, who have found great sustenance in the works of each of these fathers, and not a week goes by without reference to them by our parishioners and clergy.

The lives of these Syriac fathers are at the fingertips of anyone reading these words, and I will leave anyone wishing to read them to find their own way, but below are the canons to St Ephraim and St Isaac for anyone who would like to celebrate their feast by chanting them.

May their words guide us on the path to Heaven, and may their prayers be for our succour and encouragement on our journey towards the age to come.

The icons were painted for my cell in 2021, by Old Believer iconogropher Konstantin Antonov in Eysk: https://drev-obraz.ru/

Canon of the venerable one, the acrostic whereof is: “I honour Ephraim, the noetic Euphrates”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VI:

Ode 1, Irmos: When Israel walked on foot in the sea as on dry land, * on seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, * they cried: * Let us sing to God * a song of victory.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

With the Euphrates-like flood of thy supplications water thou my soul, which hath become dry with the burning heat of the passions, and inspire discourse within me who praise thy festival, O all-blessed one.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Shining forth noetic light, thou didst show thyself to be a radiant sun, O Ephraim, illumining all the fullness of the faithful with brilliant virtues and teachings.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Extinguishing the flame of the passions with the streams of tears, O divinely blessed Ephraim, thou wast a precious vessel of the Holy Spirit, pouring forth wellsprings of doctrines.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Having received the incorrupt Word in thy womb, thou hast given birth to Him Who delivereth from corruption those who ever worship Him, O pure Mother and Virgin, who art truly the portal of Life.

Canon of the venerable one, the composition of Gerasimus of the Little Skete of Saint Anna, in Tone VIII:

Another 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.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Give strength and words to my lips, O Word of God and God, that I may hymn the venerable Isaac, who hath radiantly glorified Thee with a perfect life and instructed the ranks of monastics with divinely inspired discourse.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Having from thy youth hated all carnal luxury, O blessed Isaac, and been wounded by divine love, thou didst take the Cross of the Lord upon thy shoulders, and with thy brother choose a life of asceticism.

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

Borne aloft by the love of Christ the Bestower of life, O venerable one, thou didst soar to the heavenly life, and through ascetic labours wast shown to be a stranger and sojourner on the earth, O most blessed father Isaac.

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

Without knowing wedlock, thou didst conceive God Who for our sake became immutably incarnate as we are, through thy pure blood, O most pure Mary Theotokos. Wherefore, deliver us from changing to the worse.

Ode 3, Irmos: There is none as holy as Thou, * O Lord my God, * who hast exalted the horn of The faithful O good One, * and strengthened us upon the rock * of Thy confession.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Having purified thyself of the mire of the passions, thou didst reveal thyself to be a true receptacle of the virtues and a vessel containing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

In nowise giving slumber to thine eyes, thou didst show thyself to be a temple of the Holy Trinity and a treasury of wisdom, enriching the world with the golden rays of teachings, O blessed one.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

The honoured Church of Christ doth recognize thee as a golden-streamed Euphrates, flowing with torrents of wise doctrines and watering all creation.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

 Incarnate of thy precious blood, One of the Holy Trinity divinely issued forth in two natures, saving by grace the children of Adam, O all-pure one.

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

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

In that thou didst rid thy heart of the bonds of the passions, thou wast shown to be a receptacle of dispassion and a vessel fit for the effulgence of spiritual life, O blessed Isaac, dweller with the angels.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Full of the graces of heaven, O venerable one, who emulated the angels in thy conduct, at all times pouring forth from thy mouth discourse of salvation, as it were the sweetness of incorruption.

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

Putting off the burden of the flesh, O father, thou didst elect to make thine abode in the wilderness, uniting thyself unto God with great stillness, prayer and fasting. Wherefore, thou didst become the dwelling-place of the divine Spirit.

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

O all-hymned Maiden who hast given birth unto God and destroyed the ancient sin, by thy grace do thou restore my mind, which hath been marred by the decadence of the passions which sorely afflict me.

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

Kontakion of St Ephraim, in Tone II, Spec. Mel “Seeking the highest …”: Ever looking forward to the hour of judgment, * thou didst bitterly lament, O Ephraim; * and though a lover of stillness * thou wast also a teacher of activity, O venerable one. ** Wherefore, O universal father, thou dost motivate the slothful to repentance.

Ikos: Do thou let but a drop of the waters of thy grace bedew my soul, purifying it of every unclean defilement, that cleansed, it may complete the remaining time of life zealous in all things profitable, and partake of the divine sweetness which thou didst enjoy, for thou dost quench the thirst of all who burn with passions, inspiring the slothful to repentance by thy discourses.

Sedalion of St Ephraim, in Tone V, Spec. Mel “The Word Who is co-beginningless …”: O ye faithful, on the day of his commemoration let us hymn the treasury of the wisdom of the mysteries of Christ, the cup of divine compunction, for in accordance with his name the godly Ephraim doth ever gladden the hearts of the faithful with divine discourses, as a performer and initiate of the mysteries of the revelations of the Lord.

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

Sedalion, in Tone IV, Spec. Mel., “Go thou quickly before …”: As a divinely radiant lamp of stillness thou shinest the never-waning light of a virtuous life upon the ends of the earth, O wise one; wherefore, we, the choirs of monastics, hymn thee as a divine luminary, O God-bearer Isaac, and we study thy radiant discourses with love.

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

Theotokion in Tone IV: O pure Virgin Mother, unceasingly beseech Christ our God, Who in His ineffable tender compassion became incarnate of thee, that He grant us forgiveness of sins, O Maiden, and deliverance from the grievous woes of life; for unto thee, O Mother of God, do we have recourse in faith.

Ode 4, Irmos: Christ is my power, * my God and my Lord, * the holy Church divinely singeth, * crying with a pure mind, * keeping festival in the Lord. The power of thy words hath passed through the whole world, O blessed one, driving away the blindness of men’s souls by the exalted radiance of humility.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou didst render thy life blameless, cleansing thyself with tears, O right wondrous and divinely revealed one, and by thy wise discourses hast described to all the coming of the Judge.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Having beheld the most glorious height of thy humility, the Lord gave thee exalted  discourse, whereby the grievous uprisings of heresies have been humbled.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by the grace of the Almighty, thou didst array thyself against the princes of the demons, O father, and having vanquished them, fervently pray on behalf of us who praise thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let us bless the Virgin as a divine temple, as a holy mountain, as a wellspring of incorruption, as the one who alone was the chosen of God our Creator.

Another 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!’

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Irrigated with the streams of thy sacred teachings, O wise Isaac, multitudes of monastics splendidly produce abundant fruit: the purity of abstinence, prayerful contemplation, and the grace of dispassion, chanting: Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

With thy whole mind conversing and uniting thyself with the one God, the sight of Whom is beyond comprehension, O venerable one, thou wast filled past understanding with enlightenment, and wast shown to be a light-bearer, a tower of stillness and a most radiant beacon for monastics.

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

Living in the flesh like an incorporeal being, thou didst serve God in stillness, O God-bearer Isaac, and wast granted many graces by Christ, of which do thou grant, if only a small portion, unto me who doth cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!

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

O Theotokos, having given birth unto God in the flesh, without seed, without corruption, in a manner beyond understanding and comprehension, thou hast annulled the condemnation of Eve, at the hour of my judgment do thou also free me from the dread sentence.

Ode 5, Irmos: Illumine with Thy divine light, I pray, O Good One, * the souls of those who with love rise early to pray to Thee, * that they may know Thee, O Word of God, * as the true God, * Who recalleth us from the darkness of sin.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

With torrents of tears, O father, thou didst utterly dry up the depths of pleasures; and with the outpourings of thy doctrines thou hast staunched the torrents of heresies, O blessed one.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thy mind, illumined by seeking God, O father Ephraim, began to take pleasure in the full vision of God, receiving immaterial revelation as if a mirror of the divine Spirit.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou didst truly become a temple imbued with the Trinity, adorned with grace and the radiance of pure virtues, and the fullness of teaching, O father.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Eating of the tree in Eden through the wicked treachery of the serpent I was revealed to be mortal; but thou, having given birth to Christ, the Bestower of life, hast brought me to life, O thou who alone art full of God’s grace.

Another Irmos: O Light never-waning, * why hast Thou turned Thy face from me * and why has 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.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Lifting thy mind to the undefiled good, O saint of Christ, thou didst reveal thyself by thy way of life, to be alien to the things that are in the world, O Isaac, teaching all to disdain that which is corruptible, and in nowise to desire those things that are temporal.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be a scribe and model of the angelic life, O divinely wise Isaac; wherefore, the grace of the Spirit hath revealed thee to be a divine pastor and a God-bearing hierarch of the Church of Christ.

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

Having been inducted into the divine mysteries because of the purity of thy way of life, O God-bearer, thou didst attain to yet greater deeds, O divine Isaac, archpastor of Nineveh, explaining the words of the Gospel to all, and cleansing the wounds of their souls.

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

Slain by the deception and delusion of the serpent, O most pure one, I flee unto thee who hast given birth to eternal Life. Enliven my mind by thy vivifying help, and guide me to a blameless life.

Ode 6, Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging the flood of temptations, * I run to calm haven, and cry to Thee: * Raise up my life from corruption, * O Most Merciful One.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Setting thy foundation not on sands, but on the inviolate Faith, O God-bearer, thou didst remain undaunted by all the assaults of the enemy, guided by the hand of the Invincible One.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thy tongue was truly like the pen of a swiftly-writing scribe, showing forth a most pious intellect and tracing the law of the Spirit upon the tablets of our hearts, O father.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Those who navigate the calm expanse of thy dogmas, O divinely wise Ephraim, are delivered from the soul-destroying billows of the abyss and, awakened, are saved by faith from the storm of heresies.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Incarnate, He Who as God is above all noetic beings and visible creatures, issued forth from thy womb, preserving thee incorrupt as thou wast before birthgiving, O Virgin Mother.

Another 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.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Thou didst brighten thy hierarchal vestments through strict observance of the commandments of God, O divinely-inspired Isaac; wherefore, the Saviour hath received thee as one of His own.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Directing thy life towards the uttermost Judge, thou didst show thyself to be a true and venerable hierarch, O Isaac, revealing the commandments of the laws of grace unto all.

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

Adorned with the spiritual wisdom which cometh from doing good works, thou wast revealed to be a pious teacher of monastics, O Isaac, guiding them to perfection by thine instructions and deeds.

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

O most pure one, who hast given birth in the flesh to the transcendent God, from the fall hast thou raised the nature of mortals to the heights of their former nobility; wherefore, we glorify 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 of St Isaac, in Tone VIII, Spec. Mel, “To thee, the champion leader…”: By thine angelic way of life thou wast shown to be a divine instrument of the Comforter, * and a model for monastics in all things, O blessed Isaac. * As the habitation of divine grace, ask thou grace and heavenly light for us ** who cry out to thee: Rejoice, O divinely wise father!

Ikos: Thou wast revealed to be an angel in the flesh in thine ascetic labours, O Godbearing Isaac, and by thine angelic voice hast thou set before us the words of salvation, whereby guided to a higher life, we cry out to thee: Rejoice, star coming forth from Syria; rejoice, lamp of stillness! Rejoice, thou who art more sublime than earthly thoughts; Rejoice, partaker of heavenly enlightenment! Rejoice, divinely inscribed pillar of hesychasts; Rejoice, mouth flowing with the honey of spiritual teachings! Rejoice, for thou wast filled with God-given wisdom; Rejoice, for thou deliverest from the evil of the passions! Rejoice, most fervent of the servants of Christ; Rejoice, our godly teacher! Rejoice, wise God-bearer Isaac; Rejoice, our instructor, guided by God! Rejoice, O divinely wise father!

Ode 7, Irmos: An Angel made the furnace bedew the holy Children. * But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans * and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry: * O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be a most excellent giver of laws for monastics, O most honoured one, rescuing them from all the machinations of the enemy. Wherefore, O blessed one, they honour thine honoured and sacred memory on earth.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be a most excellent giver of laws for monastics, O most honoured one, rescuing them from all the machinations of the enemy. Wherefore, O blessed one, they honour thine honoured and sacred memory on earth.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast an excellent instrument of the Spirit, ever sounding forth thine inspirations and playing the saving hymn of repentance for us who hymn thee, O ever-memorable one.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thy conception was beyond description, O Bride of God, for thou hast given birth to the Word of God Who hath delivered all mankind from irrationality granting them the words to cry: O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou!

Another 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!

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Having shone forth like a most radiant sun among the choirs of monastics, O father, thou dost illumine with the radiance of thine instructions, as with beams of light, all who cry out with faith: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

O father, the honourable choirs of monastics know thee to be a divinely-wise describer and guide to the higher life, and as is fitting, celebrate thy memory, O wise father Isaac, thou rule of hesychasts.

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

Caught up by the Spirit to the vision of the mystical mysteries of a higher glory, which passeth understanding, and deified by partaking thereof, thou didst cry aloud: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

With the rich streams of thy mercy purify my heart, which hath been defiled by the passions of the enemy, O Maiden; and dispel the darkness of my mind, that I may gaze upon the Light which shone forth from thee.

Ode 8, Irmos: Thou didst make flame bedew the holy children, * and didst burn the sacrifice of a righteous man with water. * For Thou alone, O Christ, dost do all as Thou willest, * Thee do we exalt throughout all ages.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast shown to be like another sun, O blessed one, and, emitting the beams of thy teachings upon the ends of the earth, thou hast driven away the lightless gloom of all sin with the light of repentance.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Surrounded by the streams of divine dogmas, thou didst flow forth like another river from Eden, watering the face of the earth, O wondrous one, inundating the tares of ungodliness.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Confessing thee to be the true Theotokos, like the angel we cry out to thee with faith: Rejoice! For thou alone hast given birth to Joy on earth, O ever joyous and blessed one.

Another 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’.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Thou didst live an angelic life, O most blessed Isaac, and through stillness and the mortification of the passions didst bring forth the first-fruits of the life to come. And now thou dost cry aloud with the angels in the highest: Ye, children, bless! Ye priests, hymn! Ye people, supremely exalt Christ forever!

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Offering up most earnest prayers and supplications, thou didst unite thyself unto God through purity of mind, and wast shown to be blessed and full of divine grace while yet amid the threefold waves of the flesh. And now in the highest, freed from material things, thou dost manifestly enjoy things ineffable.

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

Having been sacredly arrayed in the vesture of a bishop, O God-bearer, by thy venerable labours and virtuous struggles thou rendered it yet more splendid. And now, O Isaac, with the holy hierarchs and the choirs of the venerable thou dost offer up the mystical sacrifice of immaterial praise unto the Lord.

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

Preserving the seal of thy virginity intact after birthgiving, thou gavest suck to the Lord to Whom thou hadst given birth, bearing him as a babe, O Virgin Sovereign Lady, Mary Theotokos. Him do thou beseech, that He grant the cleansing of offenses unto those who hymn thine ineffable glory.

Ode 9, Irmos: It is impossible for mankind to see God * upon Whom the orders of Angels dare not gaze; * but through thee, O all-pure one, * did the Word Incarnate become a man * and with the Heavenly Hosts * Him we magnify and thee we call blessed.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Wounded by the love of the Almighty O venerable one, thou didst reach the end of thy life, lamenting and crying out with fear: “Assuage my passing with the waves of thy grace, O Saviour, richly preserving me therewith in the life to come!”

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thy sweet discourse was replete with compunction and full of enlightenment for those who have recourse to thee, O right wondrous God-bearer Ephraim; and thy life was blameless, adorned and illumined with all manner of divinely radiant virtues.

Venerable Father, Ephraim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a temple of the Spirit, a river full of life-giving waters, the unshakable foundation of the Church, the confirmation of monastics, and an ever-flowing stream of divine compunction, O right wondrous Ephraim.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The mind of man cannot understand the mystery of thy birthgiving which passeth understanding, O Virgin; for, making His abode within thy womb, God did not violate the seal of thy virginity, as He, Who is unapproachable alone knoweth.

Another Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, * and the ends of the earth were filled with amazement, * for God hath appeared in the flesh, * and thy womb was rendered more spacious than the heavens. * Wherefore, the ranks of men and of angels * magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Let Isaac, great among the venerable ascetics, the scion of Syria, the God-bearing initiate of the life which is in Christ, the most excellent recorder of the mysteries and the enlightener of monastics, be worthily hymned as one who entreateth God, for he prayeth that great mercy be granted unto us.

Venerable Father, Isaac, pray to God for us.

Thou didst engage in the pious struggle of holy ascesis, O venerable one, and thereby piously learn the mysteries of all the wisdom of asceticism, that wisely teaching us to avoid the sophistries of the enemy, we may live virtuously, O Godbearer.

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

Thou hast passed over to the true glory, whose revelation thou didst acquire beforehand; and face to face thou dost gaze upon the effulgence of Christ which is beyond comprehension, O Isaac, adornment of the venerable. Cease not to pray for us who praise thee with love.

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

O unwedded Virgin Mother who ineffably gave birth to God in the flesh, deliver me from diseases of the flesh, redeem my greatly sinful soul from grievous insensitivity, and illumine my mind with the light of repentance, that I may hymn thee, O greatly hymned one.

Troparion of St Ephraim, in Tone VIII: With the streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the barren desert, * and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst render thy labours fruitful an hundredfold, * and didst become a beacon for the whole world, resplendent with miracles. ** O Ephraim our father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of St Isaac, in Tone V: Illumined by rays of the virtues, * O God-bearer Isaac, * in spirit thou wast shown to be a most radiant beacon * of the life which is in Christ; * and by thy divinely inspired teachings, O father, * thou dost guide safely to the way of salvation * those who bless thee ** as a godly servant of Christ.

Tomorrow: Pilgrimage in Honour of St Cadoc

Dear brothers and sisters,

Just to remind you that the parish pilgrimage to Llancarfan tomorrow will be at noon at St Cadoc’s Church, where we will serve a moleben in honour of St Cadoc’s Feast, which we will keep tomorrow, given that the feast of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia displaces Sunday’s commemorations.

The moleben text is below, and we will be celebrating this quite simply, given that it is our first visit – and hopefully, the first of many.

God bless – Fr Mark

MOLEBEN TO OUR VENERABLE FATHER CADOC

ABBOT OF LLANCARFAN

Priest: Blessed is our God always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Chanters: Amen. O Heavenly King, O Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Reader: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice) 

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

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake. 

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice) 

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

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. 

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. 

Reader: Amen. Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times)

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

O come let us worship God our King. 

O come let us worship and. fall down before Christ our King and God. 

O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God. 

Psalm 142: O Lord, hear my prayer, give ear unto my supplication in Thy truth; hearken unto me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with Thy servant for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life down to the earth. He hath sat me in darkness as those that have been long dead, and my spirit within me is become despondent; within me my heart is troubled. I remembered days of old, I meditated on all Thy works, I pondered on the creations of Thy hands. I stretched forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee like a waterless land. Quickly hear me, O Lord; my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not Thy face away from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning; for in Thee have I put my hope. Cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk; for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. Rescue me from mine enemies, O Lord; unto Thee have I fled for refuge. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness; for Thy name’s sake, O Lord, shalt Thou quicken me. In Thy righteousness shalt Thou bring my soul out of affliction, and in Thy mercy shalt Thou utterly destroy mine enemies. And Thou shalt cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Thy servant. 

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

Chanters: Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.  / Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory to Thee, O God. (Thrice)

And God is the Lord: tone 4: God is the Lord, and hath appeared unto us. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Stichos 1: O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.

Chanters: God is the Lord…

Stichos 2: Surrounding me they compassed me, and by the name of the Lord I warded them off.

Chanters: God is the Lord…

Stichos 3: 1 shall not die, but live, and I shall tell of the works of the Lord.

Chanters: God is the Lord…

Stichos 4: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the comer. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

Chanters: God is the Lord…

Troparion of St. Cadoc, Tone 5: Having been raised to piety, O Hierarch Cadoc,/ thou didst dedicate thy life to God,/ serving Him in the monastic state./ As with joyful heart thou didst fulfil thy daily obedience,/ caring for the earthly needs of countless paupers,/ look now upon our spiritual poverty/ and beseech Christ our God,/ that He will grant us great mercy. (Twice)

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

Tone 5:  Rejoice, impassible gate of the Lord!  / Rejoice, rampart and protection of those who have recourse unto thee!  / Rejoice, haven untouched by storms, / thou that knowest not wedlock, / who gavest birth in the flesh to thy Creator and God!  / fail not in thy supplications // for those who hymn and venerate thy birthgiving!

Reader – Psalm 50: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Sion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

Ode 1, Irmos: Having passed through the water as upon dry land, * and having escaped the malice of the Egyptians, * the Israelites cried aloud: * Unto our God and Redeemer let us sing.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

From thy youth thou wast adorned with goodly moral qualities, cleaving unto Christ, and mortifying the passions of the flesh with abstinence and fasting, thou hast passed over unto life, O venerable one.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

O most wise Father, being a doer of the divine sayings and laws, thou hast been blessed with divine gifts and miracles, wherefore all are richly illumined with thy splendour.

Refrain: Venerable Father Cadoc, pray to God for us

Strengthened by Christ, thou, O Father, subdued the might and power of the enemy, wherefore in honour of thy victory thou hast been rewarded with the gift of miracles, O venerable one.

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

Possessing a clear conscience, and directing the eye of thy heart towards God O most wise one, God, in answer to thy prayers, hath numbered thee among the just.

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

I implore thee, O most pure Virgin, subdue the passions of my flesh and quieten the beguiling thoughts of my mind, and do thou thyself set me upon the right path.

Ode 3, Irmos: O Lord, thou art the confirmation of those who flee to Thee, * Thou art the Light of those in darkness, * and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Altogether devoted to the Almighty, thou, O most wise venerable Father, didst escape all the wiles of the demons, and adorned with the loftiest humility, by thy most excellent works, thou didst overcome the proud boaster.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

While still in the flesh thou, O most wise Father, shamed the stiff-neckedness of the wicked one by thy humble instructions.

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

Having the grace of God as thine effectual helper, thou, O most wise and wondrous father, wast granted the gift of miracles, driving away diseases.

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

In becoming incarnate, the Creator found an abode within thy womb, O all-immaculate one, unto the profit of those who with faith hymn thee.

Katavasia: Pray to God for us, O holy father, Cadoc, for we fervently flee unto thee, the speedy helper and intercessor for our souls.

Then the priest says the ectenia: Have mercy upon us, O God…

Sessional Hymn, Tone 4: Spec. Mel.: “Go thou quickly before …”: Vanquishing the fleshly subtlety of the passions through fasting, * thou didst make the weaker subject unto the better, * O most glorious Father Cadoc, * and thereby destroyed the scheming of the enemy. * In the brilliant radiance of thy virtues thou didst shine forth in the world * as a beacon of divine light; ** Wherefore we ever hymn thee.

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

Theotokion, Tone 4: O Virgin Theotokos, * thou art an invincible wall for all Orthodox Christians. * For having recourse unto thee we remain unharmed * and in thee we have a sure intercessor for the forgiveness of our sins; * wherefore rendering thanks unto thee, we cry aloud! ** Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Stavrotheotokion: O most immaculate Virgin, * Mother of Christ God, * a sword pierced thy most holy soul * when thou didst behold thy Son and God * crucified of His own will. * Him do thou never cease to entreat, O blessed one, ** that He grant us the forgiveness of our transgressions.

Ode 4, Irmos: O Lord, I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation; * I have considered Thy works, * and I have glorified Thy Divinity.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Making thy soul a temple of the Holy Spirit, thou didst become an heir of the Heavenly Kingdom, together with the hosts on high.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Thou dost ever relieve the suffering of those who, afflicted with manifold infirmities, have recourse unto thee; for thou, O venerable one, hast obtained from the Lord the grace to work wonders and miracles.

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

Thou, O Father, sprouted forth like a preeminent blossom in the temple of God, adorned with virtues and filled with the sweet fragrance of grace-filled fruit.

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

Thou, O Ever-Virgin art a truly spiritual field, for from thy furrow thou didst bring forth the fruit that doth feed the whole of creation, the God of all.

Ode 5, Irmos: Rising early we cry to Thee, O Lord; * save us, for Thou art our God, *  and we know none other besides Thee.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

With thy mind purified, O most glorious one, thou didst behold the ineffable goodness of Christ, the God of all.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Like unto Elijah, thou, O Father, aided by the Holy Spirit, ascended into heaven on the chariot of thy virtues.

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

Having withered thy body with abstinence and attained bodily purity, thou, O Father, didst ascend unto the fullness of the loftiest abodes on high.

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

Heal the blindness of my polluted mind, O all-immaculate Lady for thou hast given birth unto Christ the great Physician.

Ode 6, Irmos: I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, * and to Him will I proclaim my grief; * for my soul is filled with evils, * and my life unto Hades hath drawn nigh, * and like Jonah I pray unto Thee: * Raise me up from corruption, O God.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

By thy sacred prayers, O thou who art blessed by God, the cunning serpent hath been slain and the malice of those who demanded of thee a sign hath been destroyed, for thou, as one favoured by God, art effulgent with the light of the Godhead in thine unshakable faith.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Assiduously ploughing the fields of thy soul, and most wisely sowing the diversely fruitful seeds of virtues, thou, O sacred Father, hast harvested the rich bounty of abundant healings.

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

Helped, O holy Father, by the strength of the Spirit, thou hast subdued the might and power of the enemy, and in honour of thy victory thou hast been rewarded, O holy one, with the effulgent gift of miracles.

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

The Lord is with thee, O most pure one! As it was well pleasing to Him, to be with thee O Maiden, so by thine intercessions, He hath delivered us all from the reign of the deceitful one; wherefore as is meet, from generation to generation we call thee blessed.

Katavasia: Pray to God for us, O holy father, Cadoc, for we fervently flee unto thee, the speedy helper and intercessor for our souls.

Then the priest says the ectenia: Have mercy upon us, O God…

Kontakion of St. Cadoc, Tone 5: We honour thee with hymns, O righteous Hierarch Cadoc,/ for the pilgrimage of thy life was found pleasing to God,/ Who in His goodness adorned thee with authority,/ and as thou didst receive the crown of martyrdom,/ whilst serving the Holy Mysteries,/ pray for us that we also may be blessed to die in Christ.

Ikos: Having conceived within thyself a loving attachment to the divine commandments of Christ, and a hatred for the delights of this world, with diligence thou didst achieve thy God-pleasing goals, like a divine lamp enlightening the ends of the world with spiritual radiance. Wherefore falling down before thee I implore thee: Enlighten my spiritual eyes that I may worthily hymn thine endeavours of fasting, thy watchfulness, the shedding of thy tears, thy labours and the emaciation of thy body, all for the sake of a blessed future life, which thou dost now enjoy; do thou ever pray for us who celebrate thy holy memory!

Ode 7, Irmos: The Children of Judaea, * who of old came to dwell in Babylon, * trampled underfoot the flame of the furnace * through their faith in the Trinity, * as they sang: “O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.”

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Having with great resolve completed thine exploits of fasting, thou, O Father, hast humbled the proudest of minds by thy divine humility, singing: “O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou”.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Thou, O Father, sprouted forth like a preeminent blossom in the temple of God, adorned and filled with the sweet fragrance of the grace-filled fruits of virtue.

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

Having enlightened thy heart, O Father, thou wast made the guide of thy sacred assembly, giving them spiritual direction, teaching them and rousing them all to fulfil the will of God, singing: “O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou”.

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

Giving birth to a new Child, the beginningless Word, thou, O Virgin, hast renewed us who have grown old through sin, and granted us strength to sing: “O God of our fathers, Blessed art Thou”.

Ode 7, Irmos: Treading down the fiery flame in the furnace, * the divinely eloquent children sang: * “Bless the Lord, ye works of the Lord”.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

As an heir of the divine habitations, thou, O Father, didst live like an angel; wherefore with the Angels thy spirit rejoiceth.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

O most wise and right wondrous Father, without wavering thou didst proceed along the divine paths leading to heaven, and thou didst, even unto the end, avoid those that lead to perdition.

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

Through the grace which found an abode in thy soul, O Father, the unclean spirits that cunningly find their abode in mortals, are driven away.

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

Thou, O Virgin, art an inexhaustible source of spiritual water, drinking of which we all are filled with grace, and cleansed in both soul and body.

Ode 9, Irmos: All are 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.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

By the action of the Holy Spirit thine honoured relics shed forth healings, curing the long standing diseases of those who have recourse unto thee, O Father; driving away cunning ferocious spirits, and raising the faithful to praise thy splendid deeds.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

Like a great sun that shineth forth with the majesty of thine ascetic deeds, O godly-wise one, thou hast enlightened the ends of the earth, and in thy death hast been exalted from light unto a most effulgent light; wherefore we cry unto thee: Enlighten our thoughts, O holy Father Cadoc.

Refrain: Venerable Father, Cadoc, pray to God for us

By touching thine enduring body resplendent with ascetic endeavours, O blessed  one, incurable diseases are healed, for our God and Saviour hath greatly glorified thee O most wise and wonder-worthy Father Cadoc; wherefore, for thy good works, thou art showered with fame, O holy one.

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

In the hollows of fasting hast thou, O most praised Father, blossomed like a sweet-smelling rose, and like a lily hast thou filled the consciences of the faithful with the fragrances of thy virtues and miracles; wherefore, O holy one, drive away from us putrid passions.

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

Enlighten, O pure Virgin, my heart ever grieving from my transgressions and the multitude of worldly distractions, and never leave me to mine enemies, that I may glorify and with love hymn thee, O all-hymned one.

And then: It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most immaculate, and the Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, the true Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Reader: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

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

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice).

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

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Troparion, Tone 5: Having been raised to piety, O Hierarch Cadoc,/ thou didst dedicate thy life to God,/ serving Him in the monastic state./ As with joyful heart thou didst fulfil thy daily obedience,/ caring for the earthly needs of countless paupers,/ look now upon our spiritual poverty/ and beseech Christ our God,/ that He will grant us great mercy.

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

Kontakion, Tone 5: We honour thee with hymns, O righteous Hierarch Cadoc,/ for the pilgrimage of thy life was found pleasing to God,/ Who in His goodness adorned thee with authority,/ and as thou didst receive the crown of martyrdom,/ whilst serving the Holy Mysteries,/ pray for us that we also may be blessed to die in Christ.

Then the priest says the ectenia: Have mercy upon us, O God…

Priest: Wisdom. Most Holy Theotoks, save us.

Chanters: More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, the true Theotokos, thee do we magnify.  

Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our hope, glory to Thee. 

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

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)  

Master give the blessing. 

Priest: May Christ our true God, through the prayers of His Most-Pure Mother, of our Venerable and God-Bearing Father, Cadoc, and of all the saints, have mercy upon us, and save us, for He is good and the lover of mankind. Amen.

Nameday Thanks

Dear brothers and sisters,

I would like to thank all who have conveyed greetings on this feast of St Mark of Ephesus.

It was my good fortune that when the late Hegumen Seraphim performed my monastic tonsure, close to a quarter of a century ago, he decided that rather than give a completely new name, he would tonsure me in honour of St Mark of Ephesus.

My cell-icon

To be named for St Mark Evgenikos is rather daunting, and I must admit that for years I misunderstood his zeal, as Father Seraphim and I showed such a narrow, negative and belligerent attitude (and resistance) towards the reunification of the Church Abroad with the Church in Russia.

With the passage of time, I came to understand that the primary zeal of St Mark was an affirmative one, and that it was precisely by his positive zeal for the Orthodox Faith and its purity that St Mark shone in the world in a time of apostasy, compromise and worldly expediency.

Yes, St Mark opposed falsehood and compromise, but he did not live to oppose; he lived to affirm the glory of the fulness of Orthodoxy, teaching others by this uncompromising life and demonstration of the True Faith. He looked to the Light, rather than dwelling on the darkness.

I often say to the faithful in confession, that the darkness can seem almost total, with only the tiniest glimmer of light challenging the tide of blackness, and we can easily reflect that darkness by negativity, spiritual and mental pessimism, defeatism and gloom – or, we can concentrate on that tiny living-flame and nurture it, knowing that the smallest glowing spiritual-ember or the tiniest spiritual-spark may set the world ablaze.

As we live surrounded by such seemingly expanding darkness and corruption – spiritually, politically, socially – the lesson of St Mark is for us not to be swallowed in the black deluge, but to keep the eyes of our hearts concentrating on the flame of Faith and Truth, no matter how small it may seem, joyful in the resurrectional-freedom of our baptism and reflecting this in an affirmative and positive spiritual-life.

Placards and protests may have their place, but it is first and foremost by living the fulness of Faith that we resist falsehood.

It is by humbly and quietly living in the Truth of Orthodoxy in uncompromising strictness, thoroughness and constancy that we will resist the schism and heresy that attack the Church, globally and locally.

It is by our zeal for God and Truth, that falsehood, heresy and schism will be defeated, as we become spiritual lamps burning with the flame of Faith, dispelling the darkness and illumining the world with the Light of Christ.

Let us imitate St Mark by living the spiritual life affirmatively, with uncompromising zeal and joy.

Hierarch of Christ, Mark of Ephesus, pray to God for us.

May God bless you all.

With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Nameday Greetings To Our Tatianas!

As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Martyr, Tatiana, of Rome, we greet our Cardiff and Cheltenham parishioners named in her honour, the Tatianas of our cathedral-parish, and all of the Tatianas among our Facebook friends and followers. May God bless them and grant them many years!

Kontakion, Tone IV: Thou didst shine forth radiantly in thy suffering, O passion-bearer, adorned with thy blood, and like a beautiful turtle-dove thou hast soared aloft to the heavens, O Tatiana. Wherefore, pray thou ever for those who honour thee.

Кондак, глас 4: Све́тло во страда́нии твое́м возсия́ла еси́, страстоте́рпице, от крове́й твои́х преиспещре́на, и, я́ко кра́сная голуби́ца, к Небеси́ возлете́ла еси́, Татиа́но, те́мже моли́ при́сно за чту́щия тя.

The Holy Virgin Martyr Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family, and her father was elected consul three times. He was secretly a Christian and raised his daughter to be devoted to God and the Church. When she reached the age of maturity, Tatiana decided to remain a virgin, betrothing herself to Christ. Disdaining earthly riches, she sought instead the imperishable wealth of Heaven. She was made a deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God in fasting and prayer, tending the sick and helping the needy.

When Rome was ruled by the sixteen-year-old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the regent Ulpian, an evil enemy and persecutor of Christians. Christian blood flowed like water. Tatiana was also arrested, and they brought her into the temple of Apollo to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol. The saint began praying, and suddenly there was an earthquake. The idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol fled screeching from that place. Those present saw its shadow flying through the air.

Then they tore holy virgin’s eyes out with hooks, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners saw four angels encircle the saint and beat her tormentors. A voice was heard from the heavens speaking to the holy virgin. Eight men believed in Christ and fell on their knees before Saint Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their sin against her. For confessing themselves Christians they were tortured and executed, receiving Baptism by blood.

The next day Saint Tatiana was brought before the wicked judge. Seeing her completely healed of all her wounds, they stripped her and beat her, and slashed her body with razors. A wondrous fragrance then filled the air. Then she was stretched out on the ground and beaten for so long that the servants had to be replaced several times. The torturers became exhausted and said that an invisible power was beating them with iron rods. Indeed, the angels warded off the blows directed at her and turned them upon the tormentors, causing nine of them to fall dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and sang praises to the Lord with the angels.

A new morning began, and they took Saint Tatiana to the tribunal once more. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. Saint Tatiana made the Sign of the Cross and began to pray. Suddenly, there was a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests.

Once again, the martyr was fiercely tortured. She was hung up and scraped with iron claws, and her breasts were cut off. That night, angels appeared to her in prison and healed her wounds as before. On the following day, they took Saint Tatiana to the circus and loosed a hungry lion on her. The beast did not harm the saint, but meekly licked her feet.

As they were taking the lion back to its cage, it killed one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyr. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to take away her magical powers, then locked her up in the temple of Zeus.

On the third day, pagan priests came to the temple intending to offer sacrifice to Zeus. They beheld the idol on the floor, shattered to pieces, and the holy martyr Tatiana joyously praising the Lord Jesus Christ. The judge then condemned the valiant sufferer to be beheaded with a sword. Her father was also executed with her, because he had raised her to love Christ.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

9/22 January: St Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow & All Russia

9/22 January: Our Holy Father Among the Saints, Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow & All Russia, the New Confessor.

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings to you, as we celebrate the feast of the Holy New-Hieromartyr, Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, a great and inspiring model of Christian life, who put Truth and faithfulness to the Saviour and the Gospel above all earthly comforts, reputation, security and even life itself.

He is not only a model for all true hierarchs, but for all Christian people in new times of uncertainty – when injustice, inequality and tyranny rear their heads, and the prophetic voice of the Church is needed, but little heard.

May he pray for us, and may his example give us the courage to live the Christian life with all of the risks and dangers that professing the Gospel and swimming against the political, sociological and ideological tide pose for us – and may we have the courage to do so heedless of the threats of governments, societies, and even those in the Church who oppose the Gospel with agendas that betray the Orthodox Faith of the Holy Fathers, of the Sacred Councils, and of the Saints, among whom St Philip is glorified, having received his crown and the reward of shedding his blood in the name of Truth, justice and righteousness!

We commend our Bishop, clergy and faithful to the intercessions of St Philip, rejoicing in his radiant memory, and confident in his prayers.

Holy Hieromartyr and Wonderworker Philip, pray to God for us!

 

Saint Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, in the world Theodore, was descended from the illustrious noble lineage of the Kolichevi, occupying a prominent place in the Boyar duma at the court of the Moscow sovereigns. He was born in the year 1507. His father, Stephen Ivanovich, “a man enlightened and filled with military spirit,” attentively prepared his son for government service.

Theodore’s pious mother Barbara, who ended her days as a nun with the name Barsanouphia, implanted in the soul of her son a sincere faith and deep piety. Young Theodore Kolichev applied himself diligently to the Holy Scripture and to the writings of the holy Fathers. The Moscow Great Prince Basil III, the father of Ivan the Terrible, brought young Theodore into the court, but he was not attracted to court life. Conscious of its vanity and sinfulness, Theodore all the more deeply immersed himself in the reading of books and visiting the churches of God. Life in Moscow repelled the young ascetic. The young Prince Ivan’s sincere devotion to him, promising him a great future in government service, could not deter him from seeking the Heavenly City.

On Sunday, June 5, 1537, in church for Divine Liturgy, Theodore felt intensely in his soul the words of the Savior: “No man can serve two masters” (Mt.6:24), which determined his ultimate destiny. Praying fervently to the Moscow wonderworkers, and without bidding farewell to his relatives, he secretly left Moscow in the attire of a peasant, and for a while he hid himself away from the world in the village of Khizna, near Lake Onega, earning his livelihood as a shepherd.

His thirst for ascetic deeds led him to the renowned Solovki monastery on the White Sea. There he fulfilled very difficult obediences: he chopped firewood, dug the ground, and worked in the mill. After a year and a half of testing, the igumen Alexis tonsured him, giving him the monastic name Philip and entrusting him in obedience to the Elder Jonah Shamina, a converser with Saint Alexander of Svir (August 30).

Under the guidance of experienced elders Philip grew spiritually, and progressed in fasting and prayer. Igumen Alexis sent him to work at the monastery forge, where Saint Philip combined the activity of unceasing prayer with his work with a heavy hammer.

He was always the first one in church for the services, and was the last to leave. He toiled also in the bakery, where the humble ascetic was comforted with a heavenly sign. In the monastery afterwards they displayed the “Bakery” image of the Mother of God, through which the heavenly Mediatrix bestowed Her blessing upon the humble baker Philip. With the blessing of the igumen, Saint Philip spent a certain while in wilderness solitude, attending to himself and to God.

In 1546 at Novgorod the Great, Archbishop Theodosius made Philip igumen of the Solovki monastery. The new igumen strove with all his might to exalt the spiritual significance of the monastery and its founders, Saints Sabbatius and Zosimus of Solovki (September 27, April 17). He searched for the Hodigitria icon of the Mother of God brought to the island by the first head of Solovki, Saint Sabbatius. He located the stone cross which once stood before the saint’s cell. The Psalter belonging to Saint Zosimus (+1478), the first igumen of Solovki, was also found. His robe, in which igumens would vest during the service on the days when Saint Zosimus was commemorated, was also discovered.

The monastery experienced a spiritual revival. A new monastic Rule was adopted to regulate life at the monastery. Saint Philip built majestic temples: a church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, consecrated in the year 1557, and a church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The igumen himself worked as a simple laborer, helping to build the walls of the Transfiguration church. Beneath the north portico he dug himself a grave beside that of his guide, the Elder Jonah. Spiritual life in these years flourished at the monastery: struggling with the brethren with the disciples of Igumen Philip were Saints John and Longinus of Yarenga (July 3) and Bassian and Jonah of Pertominsk (July 12).

Saint Philip often withdrew to a desolate wilderness spot for quiet prayer, two versts from the monastery, which was later known as the Philippov wilderness.

But the Lord was preparing the saint for other work. In Moscow, Tsar Ivan the Terrible fondly remembered the Solovki hermit from his childhood. The Tsar hoped to find in Saint Philip a true companion, confessor and counsellor, who in his exalted monastic life had nothing in common with the sedition of the nobles. The Metropolitan of Moscow, in Ivan’s opinion, ought to have a certain spiritual meekness to quell the treachery and malice within the Boyar soul. The choice of Saint Philip as archpastor of the Russian Church seemed to him the best possible.

For a long time the saint refused to assume the great burden of the primacy of the Russian Church. He did not sense any spiritual affinity with Ivan. He attempted to get the Tsar to abolish the Oprichniki [secret police]. Ivan the Terrible attempted to argue its civil necessity. Finally, the dread Tsar and the holy Metropolitan came to an agreement: Saint Philip would not meddle in the affairs of the Oprichniki and the running of the government, he would not resign as Metropolitan in case the Tsar could not fulfill his wishes, and that he would be a support and counsellor of the Tsar, just as former Metropolitans supported the Moscow sovereigns. On July 25, 1566 Saint Philip was consecrated for the cathedra of Moscow’s hierarch saints, whose number he was soon to join.

Ivan the Terrible, one of the greatest and most contradictory figures in Russian history, lived an intensely busy life. He was a talented writer and bibliophile , he was involved in compiling the Chronicles (and himself suddenly cut the thread of the Moscow chronicle writing), he examined the intricacies of the monastic Rule, and more than once he thought about abdicating the throne for the monastic life.

Every aspect of governmental service, all the measures undertaken to restructure civil and social life, Ivan the Terrible tried to rationalize as a manifestation of Divine Providence, as God acting in history. His beloved spiritual heroes were Saint Michael of Chernigov (September 20) and Saint Theodore the Black (September 19), military men active with complex contradictory destinies, moving toward their ends through whatever the obstacles before them, and fulfilling their duties to the nation and to the Church.

The more the darkness thickened around Ivan, the more resolutely he demanded cleansing and redemption of his soul. Journeying on pilgrimage to the Saint Cyril of White Lake monastery, he declared his wish to become a monk to the igumen and the brethren. The haughty autocrat fell on his knees before the igumen, who blessed his intent. Ivan wrote, “it seems to me, an accursed sinner, that I am already robed in black.”

Ivan imagined the Oprichnina in the form of a monastic brotherhood, serving God with weapons and military deeds. The Oprichniki were required to dress in monastic garb and attend long and tiring church services, lasting from 4 to 10 o’clock in the morning. “Brethren” not in church at 4 o’clock in the morning, were given a penance by the Tsar. Ivan and his sons fervently wished to pray and sing in the church choir. From church they went to the trapeza, and while the Oprichniki ate, the Tsar stood beside them. The Oprichniki gathered leftover food from the table and distributed it to the poor at the doorway of the trapeza.

Ivan, with tears of repentance and wanting to be an esteemer of the holy ascetics, the teachers of repentance, wanted to wash and burn away his own sins and those of his companions, cherishing the assurance that even his terribly cruel actions would prove to be for the welfare of Russia and the triumph of Orthodoxy. The most clearly spiritual action and monastic sobriety of Ivan the Terrible is revealed in his “Synodikon.” Shortly before his death, he ordered full lists compiled of the people murdered by him and his Oprichniki. These were then distributed to all the Russian monasteries. Ivan acknowledged all his sins against the nation, and besought the holy monks to pray to God for the forgiveness of his tormented soul.

The pseudo-monasticism of Ivan the Terrible, a dark most grievous oppression over Russia, tormented Saint Philip, who considered it impossible to mix the earthly and the heavenly, serving the Cross and serving the sword. Saint Philip saw how much unrepentant malice and envy was concealed beneath the black cowls of the Oprichniki. There were outright murderers among them, hardened in lawless bloodletting, and profiteers seeking gain, rooted in sin and transgressions. By the sufferance of God, history is often made by the hands of the impious, and Ivan the Terrible wanted to whiten his black brotherhood before God. The blood spilled by its thugs and fanatics cried out to Heaven.

Saint Philip decided to oppose Ivan. This was prompted by a new wave of executions in the years 1567-1568. In the autumn of 1567, just as the Tsar was setting out on a campaign against Livonia, he learned about a boyar conspiracy. The plotters intended to seize the Tsar and deliver him to the Polish king, who already was on the move with an army towards Russian territory.

Ivan dealt severely with the conspirators, and again he shed much blood. It was bitter for Saint Philip, and the conscience of the saint compelled him boldly to enter into defense of the executed. The final rift occurred in the spring of 1568. On the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, March 2, 1568, when the Tsar with his Oprichniki entered the Dormition cathedral in monastic garb, as was their custom, Saint Philip refused to bless him, and began openly to denounce the lawless acts committed by the Oprichniki. The accusations of the hierarch shattered the harmony of the church service. In a rage Ivan retorted, “Would you oppose us? We shall see your firmness! I have been too soft on you.”

The Tsar began to show ever greater cruelty in persecuting all those who opposed him. Executions followed one after the other. The fate of the saintly confessor was sealed. But Ivan wanted to preserve a semblance of canonical propriety. The Boyar Duma obediently carried out his decision to place the Primate of the Russian Church on trial. A cathedral court was set up to try Metropolitan Philip in the presence of a diminished Boyar Duma, and false witnesses were found. To the deep sorrow of the saint, these were monks of the Solovki monastery, his former disciples and novices whom he loved. They accused Saint Philip of a multitude of transgressions, including sorcery.

“Like all my ancestors,” the saint declared, “I came into this world prepared to suffer for truth.” Having refuted all the accusations, the holy sufferer attempted to halt the trial by volunteering to resign his office. His resignation was not accepted, however, and new abuse awaited the martyr.

Even after a sentence of life imprisonment had been handed down, they compelled Saint Philip to serve Liturgy in the Dormition cathedral. This was on November 8, 1568. In the middle of the service, the Oprichniki burst into the temple, they publicly read the council’s sentence of condemnation, and then abused the saint. Tearing his vestments off, they dressed him in rags, dragged him out of the church and drove him off to the Theophany monastery on a simple peasant’s sledge.

For a long while they held the martyr in the cellars of the Moscow monasteries. They placed his feet into stocks, they held him in chains, and put a heavy chain around his neck. Finally, they drove him off to the Tver Otroch monastery. And there a year later, on December 23,1569, the saint was put to death at the hands of Maliuta Skuratov. Only three days before this the saint foresaw the end of his earthly life and received the Holy Mysteries. At first, his relics were committed to earth there at the monastery, beyond the church altar. Later, they were transferred to the Solovki monastery (August 11, 1591) and from there to Moscow (July 3, 1652).

Initially, the memory of Saint Philip was celebrated by the Russian Church on December 23, the day of his martyric death. In 1660, the celebration was transferred to January 9.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

Canon of the holy hierarch, in Tone VIII.

Ode I, Irmos: That which had been hewn down divided the undivided, * and land unseen was seen by the sun; * water engulfed the cruel enemy, * and Israel traversed the impassable, chanting a hymn: * Let us sing unto the Lord, * for gloriously hath He been glorified!

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

O Lamb and Word of God, through the effulgence of Thy Holy Spirit send down upon my mind a brilliant ray of light, and inspire within me the words to praise him whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thyself: the sacred passion-bearer Philip.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

O holy one, ask of God divine grace for thy servant, and fill my soul with understanding, that I may praise thy life, O holy hierarch Philip, wherein, by thy struggles, thou didst astonish all, chanting unto the Lord: For gloriously hast Thou been glorified!

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

Kings marvelled at thy mighty courage and the effulgence of the great virtues which illumined thy works, O venerable one, for thy tongue never ceased to admonish them, and thou didst chant unto the Lord: For gloriously hast Thou been glorified!

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

The words of the divinely eloquent preachers’ have been fulfilled in thee, O Mother of God; for, lo! thou hast given birth, O Virgin, to a little Babe Who is older than ancient Adam and is co-enthroned with the Father, unto the salvation of the whole world and the abolition of corruption.

Ode III, Irmos: My heart is established in the Lord, * my horn is exalted in my God, * my mouth is enlarged against mine enemies, * and I rejoice in Thy salvation.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thou didst hasten to ascend the mountain of the virtues, and enter the darkness of vision, O holy hierarch Philip, and didst come to know, as far as it is possible, the nature of the Unapproachable One; and full of light, O father, thou didst receive divine grace.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Seeking the one God of goodness, and desiring to receive His glory alone, O blessed one, thou didst forsake the honour of thine earthly sojourn as something fleeting, and didst shine forth as a favoured  one of Christ, the Master of all.

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

With desire for the Spirit, thou didst cause the desire of the flesh to wither away, O blessed one, and within thyself thou didst wed purity as thy bride; and through purity were all the virtues begotten in thee, O ever glorious one, making thee a child of the immaterial Light.

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

Thou didst slay the noetic serpent who brought death upon Adam in paradise and grief upon Eve, our first mother. And having caused Life to spring forth, O pure Virgin, thou hast freed us from corruption, for God ineffably issued forth from thy womb.

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

Sessional Hymn of the saint, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “Of the Wisdom …”: As the namesake and emulator of a chosen apostle, O father, thou didst endure tribulation and persecution. And emulating the zeal of the Prophet Elijah and the Baptist, thou didst manfully denounce the iniquitous, and didst govern well the see entrusted to thee, running the good race until the end. And thou hast left thy body behind like a mantle, emitting myrrh redolent of perfumes, and pourest forth the grace of the Spirit like rain, mystically watering the furrows of our hearts. O holy hierarch Philip, entreat Christ God, that He grant forgiveness 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; both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Repeat…

Ode IV, Irmos: With noetic eyes the Prophet Habbakuk * foresaw Thy coming, O Lord; * wherefore he cried aloud: * ‘God shall come out of Theman!’ Glory to Thy power! * Glory to Thy condescension!

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Those moved by malice against thee, the innocent lamb, rose up like wild beasts against thee, and, unable to bear being pierced by thy words as with a pike, they were provoked to rage, O divinely wise and holy hierarch.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

The whole world hath thee as its ally and help amid perils, for, as a faithful champion and a speedy intercessor, by thy sacred supplications thou dost rescue from dangers and misfortunes those who have recourse to thy care.

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

Having carried out the goodly struggles of Him Whom thou didst desire, O divinely wise namesake, thou hast been granted immortality, where, rejoicing, thou hast received the crown of victory, and criest aloud: Glory to Thine advent, O Christ!

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

Cast down the might of all the enemies who bring grief to those who hymn thee as her who gave birth to the Lord of glory, O Mother of God, and preserve thy flock, unharmed by the assaults of the wicked, that we may bless thee as is meet.

Ode V, Irmos: Disperse, O Word, the darkness from my soul, * O Christ God, the Light-Giver, * Having driven out the primordial darkness of the abyss, * grant unto me the light of Thy commandments, * that early in the morning I may glorify Thee.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thine intercession hath been shown to be like a ray of the Sun of righteousness, shining with the splendours of the virtues, O holy hierarch Philip, dispelling the cloud of the misfortunes which assail us. Preserve now in peace those who hymn thee, glorify and illumine them with beauty.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thy tongue was shown to be a two-edged sword, O blessed one, for, armed with the fear of Christ, thou didst wisely denounce rulers, calling upon Christ, the King of all, as witness, and His divine apostles.

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

Thou wast shown to be a new man of zeal, like a second Moses, causing us to wonder not by performing awesome signs, but instructing us with the teachings of godly discourses, and leading us forth from the passions of Egypt to the calm haven of the new Israel.

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

We call thee the noetic cloud, for from thee did Christ shine forth, O all-immaculate one, and show thee to be more spacious than the heavens: for without knowing a man, O pure one, thou hast given birth to Him Who became incarnate in His indescribable loving-kindness.

Ode VI, Irmos: Thou O Lord, didst place Jonah alone within the sea monster. * Do Thou save me, * who am ensnared in the nets of the enemy, * as thou didst save him from corruption.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thou didst make thy general concern that those cared for by thee be one in soul and heart, O glorious one, abiding in the one Faith of Christ; thou didst uproot heathen customs, O wise one, and didst teach them to avoid divisions.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Moved by zeal for Christ, thou didst try to turn the rage of the ruler into meekness, and wast in nowise daunted by the threats of the tsar, for, in that thou art a doer of the commandments of Christ, thou didst show thyself to be a mighty and brave warrior, suffering for thy flock even unto death with rejoicing.

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

We see thee, O holy hierarch Philip, as a light-bearing ray shining upon those in the darkness of life, and as an inextinguishable lamp burning with the immaterial Light, illumining all the ends of the earth and removing the gloom of ignorance.

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

In a godly manner Moses, among the prophets, once prefigured thee, O all-immaculate one, as a tablet of the law, the lampstand of the Light, the tabernacle, the rod which budded forth, the jar containing the Manna, and the ladder whereby we are led up from earth to the heights of heaven.

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

Kontakion of the holy hierarch, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Today the Virgin …”: Let us praise the most wise Philip, * the instructor of Orthodoxy, * the proclaimer of the Truth, the luminary of Russia, * who noetically feedeth his children with the food of his words; * for with his tongue he sang praise, * and with his lips he chanted hymnody, ** as an initiate of the mysteries of the grace of God.

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

Ikos: Come, ye who love the martyrs, and, celebrating the memory of the hieromartyr with hymnody and spiritual songs, let us rejoice in a godly manner. The time of our gladness and reward hath arrived, wherein we shall receive the gift of release from sufferings; for the pillar of fire hath appeared, consuming the heads of the iniquitous, but illumining the souls of the faithful with teachings of divine knowledge, and leading us, the New Israel, to the divine city, the heavenly Jerusalem, in that he is a disciple of the grace of God.

Ode VII, Irmos: On the plain of Dura the tyrant once placed a furnace * to torment the God-bearers; * and therein the three youths chanted hymns unto the one God, * and the three together, chanted saying: * O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thou didst stand before the Lord, adorned with the struggles of virtue and wearing a crown inlaid with drops of thy blood, O holy hierarch Philip. Wherefore, be thou ever mindful of those who celebrate thy radiant memorial, and chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Having fled the hordes of the noetic Pharaoh, O blessed one, thou didst easily pass over to the heavens, making thine abode there, receiving the honour of glory in the light of the righteous for thy patience, chanting in joy with the saints: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Those who have recourse to thy shrine praise thee, blessing thee with love, O blessed one, for, kissing thy relics which lie therein, they receive abundant grace: for by thy touch thou hast healed diseases of the eyes and cured pain of the teeth for those who chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

From the love of my soul I cry to thee, O Lady: O cloud of the supremely radiant Sun, portal of salvation, gate of heaven, noetic ladder, accept the entreaty of all Christians who bless thee, the hope of our souls, and who cry aloud to thy Son: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Ode VIII, Irmos: O Thou who dost cover Thy chambers on high with the waters, * Thou Who hast set the sands to bound the sea * and Who upholdest all things: * the sun doth sing Thy praises, * the moon giveth Thee glory, * every creature offereth a hymn unto Thee, * as their Fashioner, throughout the ages.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thou dost freely heal those who call upon thee with faith, as, appearing to the paralytic, thou didst straightway raise him up, didst heal one suffering from a complaint of the liver by the touch of thy hand, and by thine appearance didst move to joy one suffering from despondency, O blessed one, ever doing these things for all, throughout the ages.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

In that thou wast a victor, O all-blessed one, with His life-bearing right hand the Creator hath set upon thy head the crown of suffering, an honour beyond price; and He hath preserved thy body unharmed by earthly wolves, emitting the sweet savour of perfumes. And thus, hath the Judge of the contest glorified thee throughout the ages.

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

As a true pastor, O blessed one, do thou subdue arrogance and civil strife; drive away the wolves which rage against thy flock with the staff of thy supplications; make mighty the rule of our civil authorities, and put down the uprisings of the heathen, that we may hymn thee as our intercessor throughout the ages.

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

With the shield of the Faith do thou preserve thy holy temple, O Virgin Theotokos; vouchsafe thy glory unto those who together glorify thee therein, and deliver us from the assault and retribution of the barbarians; and still thou the raging waves of our mind by thy supplication, O all-hymned one.

Ode IX, Irmos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, * Who hath exalted the horn of salvation on our behalf * in the house of His child David, * wherein the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, * and guided us on the path of peace.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

Thou didst theologize concerning the one essence of the Trinity, and boldly denouncing those who taught vain things, O all-wise one, and exhorting the faithful with thy godly instructions, thou didst wisely strengthen them. O holy hierarch Philip, dweller with the angels, preserve in peace those who celebrate thy memory.

Holy Hieromartyr, Philip, pray to God for us.

For youths silence is a relative attainment, yet for fathers is it truly wondrous; wherefore, do thou accept this our thanksgiving, O father, not as truly worthy to serve for thy praise, but as offered unto thee with fervour; for we are unable to praise and magnify thee as is meet.

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

As one co-enthroned with the apostles, equally enrolled in the choir of the martyrs, and equal in honour with the holy hierarchs, O passion-bearer Philip, by thine intercession preserve those who hymn thee in peace, lift up the horn of our civil authorities, and set at naught the savagery of the barbarians, that, rejoicing, we may hymn and magnify thee.

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

O receptacle of the Light, divinely joyous Lady, true confirmation of holy hierarchs and boast of all the venerable: save us who hymn thee, the all-hymned one, from misfortunes and evil circumstances, and from the invasion of the heathen.

Troparion, in Tone VIII: O successor of the primates of Russia, pillar of orthodoxy, * champion of the truth, new confessor, holy hierarch Philip, * thou didst lay down thy life for thy flock. * Wherefore, as thou hast boldness before Christ, pray thou for this city, ** and the people who honour thy holy memory as is meet.

The Advent Journey With the Saints: The Holy Venerable-Martyr Eugenia

Thursday 24 December / 6 January: Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ and the Holy Venerable-Martyr Eugenia

The Holy Martyr Eugenia, was a Roman by birth. She lived at Alexandria, where her father Philip was sent by the emperor Commodus (180-192) to be Prefect of Egypt. Eugenia received a fine upbringing and was noted for her beauty and good disposition. Many illustrious youths sought her hand, but she did not wish to marry anyone, for she was determined to preserve her virginity.

Providentially, she became acquainted with the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. She yearned with all her soul to become a Christian, but kept this a secret from her parents. At that time, Christians were banished from Alexandria by the command of the emperor. Wishing to learn more about Christian teachings, she asked permission to visit one of the family estates outside the city, supposedly to enjoy the countryside. She left in the company of her two servants Protus and Hyacinthus, dressed in men’s clothes. She and her companions were baptized at a certain monastery by Bishop Elias (July 14), who learned about her in a vision. He blessed her to pursue asceticism at the monastery disguised as the monk Eugene.

By her ascetic labours, Saint Eugenia acquired the gift of healing. Once, a rich young woman named Melanthia turned to her for help. Seeing “Eugene,” this woman burned with an impure passion, and when she was spurned, she falsely accused the saint of attempted rape. Saint Eugenia came to trial before the Prefect of Egypt (her father), and she was forced to reveal her secret. Her parents and brothers rejoiced to find the one for whom they had long grieved.

After a while they all accepted holy Baptism. But Philip, after being denounced by pagans, was dismissed from his post. The Alexandrian Christians chose him as their bishop. The new Prefect, fearing the wrath of the people, did not dare to execute Philip openly, but sent assassins to kill him. They inflicted wounds upon Saint Philip while he was praying, from which he died three days later.

Saint Claudia went to Rome with her sons, daughter, and her servants. There Saint Eugenia continued with monastic life, and brought many young women to Christ. Claudia built a wanderers’ hostel and aided the poor. After several peaceful years, the emperor Galienus (260-268) intensified the persecution against Christians, and many of them found refuge with Saints Claudia and Eugenia.

Basilla, an orphaned Roman girl of imperial lineage, heard about the Christians and Saint Eugenia. She sent a trusted servant to the saint asking her to write her a letter explaining Christian teachings. Saint Eugenia sent her friends and co-ascetics, Protus and Hyacinthus, who enlightened Basilla, and she accepted holy Baptism.

Basilla’s servant then told her fiancé Pompey that his betrothed had become a Christian. Pompey then complained to the emperor against the Christians for preaching celibacy and denouncing idolatry. Basilla refused to enter into marriage with Pompey, and so they killed her with a sword.

They dragged Saints Protus and Hyacinthus into a temple to make them sacrifice to the idols, but just as they entered, the idol fell down and was shattered. The holy Martyrs Protus and Hyacinthus were beheaded. They also brought Saint Eugenia to the temple of Diana by force, but she had not even entered it, when the pagan temple collapsed with its idol.

They threw the holy martyr into the Tiber with a stone about her neck, but the stone became untied and she remained unharmed. She also remained unscathed in the fire. Then they cast her into a pit, where she remained for ten days. During this time the Savior Himself appeared to her and said that she would enter into the heavenly Kingdom on the day He was born. When this radiant Feast came, the executioner put her to death with a sword. After her death, Saint Eugenia appeared to her mother to tell her beforehand the day of her own death.

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Advent Journey With the Saints: St Nahum of Ochrid

Wednesday 23 December / 5 January: Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ and Commemoration of the Holy Hierarch, Nahum of Ochrid

Saint Nahum of Ochrid, a Bulgarian by descent, was one of the disciples of the holy Equals of the Apostles Cyril and Methodius (May 11), and he accompanied Saint Clement of Ochrid (July 27) when he preached the Gospel in Bulgaria. When Saint Clement set off to the southwestern regions, Saint Nahum remained in the then capital city of Plisk. Afterwards Saint Nahum succeeded Saint Clement in a monastery on the shores of Lake Ochrid, where he laboured for ten years.

Saint Nahum reposed on December 23, 910, and his relics were glorified by numerous miracles, especially healings of spiritual infirmities. The memory of the saint is also celebrated on December 23.

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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