Canons in Honour of St Mark of Ephesus

Canon I, the Composition of John, the acrostic whereof is: “May my brother be the tongue of the Only-begotten, as was his wont, chanteth John”, in Tone IV

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

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

Rescue my mind from attachments to that which is earthly and material, O hypostatic Wisdom of God the Father, Who sustainest heaven and earth, and grant discourse unto me who crown thy servant.

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

The grace of words sweeter than honey, embracing thy sacred soul through the inspiration of God, wrought a strange delight, the common delight of the faithful, the food of salvation.

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

Thou didst shine forth like a great beacon of the life beloved of the world, and like a giant of great might thou didst hasten from the East, and didst illumine the ends of the world with the rays of thy words, O divine Mark.

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

Thy divinely eloquent lips and honeyed tongue became the mouthpiece of grace; thy sacred tongue was shown to be as a scribe’s pen: it set down wisdom and poured forth grace.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

With the Mother of God the choir of angelic intelligences received Mark, the heavenly mind, the pure and exalted soul, the revelation of thoughts and mystic writings, the boundary of wisdom.

Canon II, the composition of Manuel the Great Rhetor of the Great Church, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn Mark, the most renowned hierarch of Asia”, in Tone VIII

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.

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

Having become a vessel of the radiance of the Most High because of the beauty of thy virtues, O Mark, thou didst illumine the flock of Christ. Wherefore, having passed on to the unwaning Light, breathe thou illuminating grace of the Word upon those who hymn thy divine memory, O glorious one.

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

As I strive to achieve thy praises as is meet, O blessed one, the well-spring of the words of thy divine corrections is seen to be most profound: yet, O father, by thy supplications grant me grace and power equal to thy love.

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

Let the most honoured Mark, the most holy temple of the grace of God, from whence mystic fragrances are disclosed to all who live piously, unto the glory and praise of the uncreated Trinity our God, Who is one by nature, be praised.

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

Of old, the sacred eyes of the prophets foresaw thee, O pure one, to be the noetic mountain, the unburnt bush, the impassable gate, the jar and vessel of manna; and with faith we proclaim thee to be in truth the Theotokos, O Bride of God.

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

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

Opening the divine floodgates of thy wisdom and knowledge, thou didst water the whole earth, theologising in most Orthodox fashion that the Holy Spirit originates solely from the Father.

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

Embracing zeal for the house of the Lord, zeal for the dogmas of the Fathers, thou didst set afire thy sacred heart and didst sharpen thine honoured tongue against innovation.

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

Having courageously dealt with the greatest of struggles and needs, and chosen the virtue and piety of the Fathers, O most blessed one, thou hast now inherited the greatest glory in the heavens.

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

Let the wondrous Mark, the great beacon for those who are at sea, the great star who liveth in the world, the sweet and most delightful light, the mighty salt of the earth, the tree of divine knowledge, be crowned.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Theotokos, having given birth unto the Creator of all, Who, in accordance with His immaterial nature, didst supernaturally become a man for all, thou hast renewed human nature which had grown old.

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

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

Thou hast been shown to be a reflection of the radiance of the most creative Spirit, O blessed one, illumining the fullness of the faithful with thine unerring teachings, and prevailing upon us to hymn the uncreated Trinity.

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

Holding forth amid the ranks of the council, thou didst establish the origin of the Holy Spirit by procession from the Hypostasis of the Father, O Mark, gladdening the assemblies of the faithful.

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

Let the most honourable Mark, the most melodious trumpet, the instrument of music, the sweet-sounding tongue which is moved by the Spirit, the well-spring of true wisdom, full of grace, be praised today.

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

Inexplicable was the mystery wrought in thee, O most pure one; for thou didst ineffably give birth unto the God of all, and even after having given birth wast shown to be a Virgin. Wherefore, we honour thee as the true Theotokos.

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

Kontakion of the holy hierarch, the composition of Manuel, Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Thou hast appeared …”: With the most wise plaiting of thy words, * O most blessed one, * thou didst stop every blaspheming mouth, * and with thy divine utterance hast enlightened the faithful ** to honour the Trinity in one and the same nature.

Sessional Hymn, the composition of John, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “The Wisdom and Word…”: Flying as though thou wert a bee about the sacred meadow and garden of paradise, which truly flourisheth well, thou didst draw forth a pleasing and fragrant dew from the writings of the Spirit and the holy Fathers of old, O venerable one, from whence thou didst fashion the honeycomb of faith and the honey of knowledge, which, receiving unto their health, rulers and simple folk alike all dedicate hymns of thanksgiving unto thee, O most wise one. Entreat Christ God, that He grant forgiveness of transgressions unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

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

Theotokion, Tone VIII: As thou art the all-immaculate Bride of the Creator, the Mother of the Redeemer who knewest not a man, the dwelling-place of the Comforter, O all-hymned one, make haste to deliver me from the evil workings of the demons, for in mind I have become their plaything, and am a vile habitation of iniquity; and make of me a radiant abode of the virtues, O splendid and incorrupt one, and drive from me the cloud of the passions by thy supplications, and vouchsafe me to share in the never-waning light of the Most High.

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

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

From childhood thou wast shown to be a manly, most excellent and thrice-victorious victor over the wicked prince of this world, and later thou didst do battle against the deception of innovation.

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

Bearing against deception the mighty weapon and standard of the Cross which is efficacious in battle, like Moses thou didst cleave the sea of the passions and didst likewise drown those who opposed thee.

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

Yearning with all thy desire from childhood, O ever-laudable one, for Christ, the rare delight, spiritual sweetness, ineffable beauty, thou didst come to hate the pleasures of the world.

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

The godliness of thy countenance also portrayed the signs of the divine and angelic interior character and the beauties of thy most splendid and holy soul.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou hast opened the portal of paradise which disobedience shut, O most pure one, having prepared thyself for fervent obedience to the commandments of the Creator; and thou hast been shown to be a path to life, O Sovereign Lady.

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

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

Grace poured forth from thy lips, O most blessed one, and thou hast enlightened the firmament of the Church with the sweetness of divine deliberations.

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

Thou wast a most sacred temple of the Holy Spirit, putting forth the divine fragrance of theology for all, O most sacred one.

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

Thy radiant memory hath shone forth and enlightened with love the thoughts of those who praise the perfection of thy theology.

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

Thou didst surpass the army of immaterial intelligences, O pure one, having given birth unto Him Who hath brought all things into existence and delivered us from deception.

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

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

As an acceptable sacrifice thou didst offer thyself wholly unto God Who was buried for our sake, adorning thy body as a temple of God, thy pure heart as a holy altar, and thy soul as a splendid immolation.

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

Valiantly thou didst escape the waves of life, overturning them all right intelligently, O blessed one, that thou mightest acquire that which alone is most precious: Christ, the only Pearl; and mightest lay up as treasure divine enlightenment and the knowledge of God.

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

With Paul thou didst mightily and valiantly endure all temptations, O blessed one, considering the little and unworthy sufferings of the present age to lead to splendid and never-ending glory.

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

The Master Who alone is mighty imparted to thee invincible power, both wholly against the serpent and ultimately against the wicked adulteration of the faith and the violation of its dogmas.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The failing sanctity of the Church of Christ, the holy bride of the Son of God, is radiantly restored and set aright by thy Mark, O holy and most pure Virgin, through thy grace.

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.

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

In the midst of the Church thou didst chant a divinely inspired hymn, teaching that the Father alone is the Source of the Godhead, the Begetter of the Son and the Issuer of the Spirit, O most glorious one.

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

Following the words and divine deliberations of the Fathers, O blessed one, thou didst proclaim the Son and the Spirit to be equal in honour to the Father, in that they both originated with the Father as Their Cause, from Whom they both proceeded together.

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

Rejoice, ladder of Jacob whereby God descended and drew mortal nature up to heavenly glory, O Bride of God! Rejoice, thou joy of the angels, hope and sure refuge of all the faithful!

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

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

By the grace of Him Who alone giveth strength unto those who trust in Him didst thou crush the heads of the iniquitous oppressors, the haters of mankind, and with the sword of the Spirit thou hast cut out the tongues of those who introduce novelties.

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

The sea is amazed, all the earth chanteth hymns of thy victory, and the Church proclaimeth thy wonders and rejoiceth, turning all its opponents to flight, O most wise one.

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

Like a river ever flowing in torrents, the fullness of the Church doth gladden the countenance of the city of God with right dogmas, O divinely eloquent Mark.

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

The nourishing torrents of thy divinely eloquent language, pouring forth the dogmas of Orthodoxy upon all, have been revealed to be like the golden and flowing streams of the Nile, sweeter than honey.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thou hast given birth unto a new Child, the Son of the ageless Father, O most pure one, and thou art more honourable than creation, in that thou hast revealed the Creator of all creation.

Irmos: Cleanse me, O Saviour, * for many are mine iniquities; * lead me up from the abyss of evils I pray Thee, * for unto Thee have I cried, * and Thou hast hearkened unto me, * O God of my salvation.

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

Having inherited the undiminished faith of the preachers of Christ, thou didst maintain it intact in the face of the rulers, O glorious one, being in no wise affrighted by the snares of the Italians.

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

Withdrawing from vile confusion, O most blessed one, thou didst depart to a spiritual and joyous state, where thou dost now behold the light of the threefold Sun, asking grace for us.

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

Thou didst make clear for us the sense of the doctrines of piety, and didst courageously confute those who imagine that essence and energy are one and the same; for, O blessed one, an attribute is by nature indeed different from being.

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

The Mighty One hath done great things for thee, O most pure one, and hath found thee as a lily amid thorns, and through thee hath filled all creation with the fragrance of divinity.

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

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

Kontakion of the holy hierarch, the composition of John, Tone VIII: Taking the divinely wise writings of the theologians into thy heart * as one of truly divine eloquence, thou didst proclaim the procession * of the Holy Spirit as was needful, O ever-laudable one, * and didst seal the most holy Symbol of the Faith; ** wherefore, we chant: Rejoice, O divinely eloquent Mark!

Ikos: One of the chiefs among the angels once announced with fear to the Theotokos: Rejoice! And I, one of those who see thee to be manifest as an angel transcending nature, do marvel as a man and with love chant unto thee such things as these: Rejoice, receptacle of holy purity; Rejoice, treasury of the wisdom of God! Rejoice, seal of the holy theologians; Rejoice, boundary of teachers and the Fathers! Rejoice, unfathomable abyss of spiritual thoughts; Rejoice, wise sea of mystical writings! Rejoice, for thou hast been shown to be a great light of the Church; Rejoice, for even to this day those who think contrary to thee are put to shame! Rejoice, well-spring of the dogmas of the Faith; Rejoice, slayer of the intentions of the innovators! Rejoice, thou by whom we are all made steadfast; Rejoice, thou through whom the truth shineth forth! Rejoice, O divinely eloquent Mark!

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

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

Beholding the pure robe of Christ defiled, which Christ beautified with His Blood, and which must needs be preserved inviolate, thou didst groan and with noble spirit, champion the Church.

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

Having acquired steadfast thought when thou wast tempted concerning God and the holy dogmas of the Faith, like a lion didst thou put to flight and rout the hordes of innovators with royal roaring.

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

As the magnetism of the lodestone attracteth iron, O divinely wise one, thou didst manifestly draw every man to thyself by the gladness and beauty of thy temperament, the splendour of thy words and the sanctity of thy life, and thou has moved all to the glory of God

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

To the human race, made corrupt through the serpent’s poison, hast thou imparted life, O thou who hast given birth unto the Grain of life Who granteth breath unto all; and thou hast established it firmly and made it to partake of paradise, O Theotokos.

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!

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

Rejoicing, thou didst mount to the light of the threefold Sun, and thou delightest to partake thereof; for, teaching on earth in an Orthodox manner thou didst declare to all: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

The Son and the Spirit shone forth timelessly from the Hypostasis of the Father alone, the One by being begotten, the Other by procession; this didst thou declare to be dogma, and thus confirm the faithful to chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers.

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

Thou didst proclaim to all the divine procession of the Comforter which taketh place solely from the Father as its cause, O wise one, and thou hast put to shame the putrid opinions of those who traffic in sacred things, who know not how to chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

By the Fruit of thy womb, O Theotokos, mortal nature hath been freed from the ancient curse and deemed worthy of holy blessing; wherefore it glorifieth and chanteth aloud, crying: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Ode VIII, Irmos: The Offspring of the Theotokos * saved the holy children in the furnace. * He who was then prefigured hath since 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, Mark, pray to God for us.

The great Steward of all, Who upholdeth and conceiveth all things, He Who provided for a general and most pious confession, O blessed one, setteth thee up as a teacher, father, pastor and mighty champion of all.

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

The sophistry of the machinations of those who reason contrary to the dogmas have been shown to be like the darts of babes, the sport of children, a spider’s web; and the power of their tongues hath grown weak when confronted with thy divinely inspired and theological tongue, O thou of godly eloquence.

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

Having lifted up the eyes of thy thought and stretched thy whole self out before the Lord, that thou mightest cast down the mighty and save the pious, thou didst find Him to be an invincible champion Who granteth discourse to thee as to one worthy to proclaim glad tidings with great might.

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

Repeatedly bestowing love for God and benefaction upon thy neighbour, as He promised thou hast acquired reward in the present and in the age to come: celestial riches, glory, delight which cannot be taken from thee, life everlasting and the kingdom of heaven.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The hatred of the ancient deceiver and apostate hath driven the Creator’s most excellent creation, the human race, into thousands of deceptions, now as before; yet by thine alliance with the divine herald Mark, O Lady, we are now saved therefrom.

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’.

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

Illumined from head to toe, O blessed God-bearer, in a pure manner thou didst minister the honoured and holy Gospel of the hierarchy; and, teaching the faithful, thou didst prevail upon them to chant: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

Thou didst shine forth like the sun from the East, O venerable one, radiating beams of theology, and enlightening the whole world; wherefore thou hast taught the people to chant unto the Trinity with fear: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

To all didst thou proclaim, O glorious one, that the Hypostases of the Trinity do not take their existence one from another, but proceed from a single Cause; for the Son and the Spirit are both manifestly from the Father, and in no wise one from the other, for they are sprung as from a single unfading Root. Wherefore, we honour thy memory throughout all ages.

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

O most splendid palace of the Master of all, guide my soul, which hath been darkened by the passions, to the paths of the virtues, that saved by thy mercy, I may chant: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

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

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

Let the Christian people now assemble rejoicing, and let the holy and unblemished Churches of the Orthodox be glad today and chant hymns of thanksgiving unto Christ, Who hath put an end to the shame of innovation through a single wise man.

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

Thou hast inherited true renown and heavenly glory, O blessed one, for, having cut pernicious glory and every other pleasure of life from thy soul as though they did not exist, thou rejoicest with the ranks of the teachers of theology as one who shareth in their life.

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

The turtle dove, which hath announced freedom from tribulations unto us who are endangered by a most grievous wave of new deception, taking wing on pinions of gold through the grace of the virtues of the Comforter, hath passed over to the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle.

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

Thou was set as a mediator between God and the ranks of the faithful, offering up amid grievous trials of the Faith the precious Blood of thy Creator, the Deliverance of the world, by thy right acceptable prayers moving to mercy Him Who by nature is the Lover of mankind.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The ravening and deceitful infernal serpent of primeval malice, who wounded mankind like a babe, grew strong, O most holy Lady; but having given birth unto God, the infinite Word, as a new-born Babe, O uncultivated land, thou hast delivered the human race, O most laudable one.

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

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

The grace of thy words and theology hath gladdened the Church of Christ, which do thou unceasingly pray to be preserved in peace.

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

Now thou dost delight well in the supreme and divine enlightenment for which thou didst long, O most blessed one, whereof do thou make us partakers through thy prayers.

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

Zeal for Orthodoxy, enkindled in thy pure soul, hath reduced to ashes the blasphemy of the heretics, O blessed Mark.

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

As one more exalted than the intelligences of heaven and close to God, O pure Virgin, illumine my mind, rescuing me from the depths of all manner of necessities.

Troparion of the holy hierarch, Tone VIII: Instructor of Orthodoxy, and opposer of innovations: * Stairway of the faith, beacon of the Church, and divinely inspired seal of teachers: * O most wise Mark, thou hast enlightened all by thy writings. ** O thou harp of the Spirit, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

The Canons to Saints Athanasius the Great and Cyril of Alexandria

Just a day after celebrating St Anthony the Great, the father of monastics, we celebrate the great Alexandrian hierarchs Athanasius and Cyril.

Their lives are freely available on-line, so I have simply published the canons to these two great Church Fathers.

Canon of Saint Athanasius, the acrostic whereof is: “Athanasius was the boast of Orthodoxy”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII

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The Akathist Hymn to St Anthony the Great

Kontakion 1: Chosen wonderworker and most marvellous servant of Christ, venerable Father Anthony! Lovingly praising thy God-pleasing life, we offer God a song of thanksgiving for thee. And as thou hast great boldness toward the Lord, free from all dangers us who joyfully call on thee: Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life! 

Ikos 1: Having loved the angelic life from thy youth, thou didst desire to walk in God’s commandments, venerable Father, and, with thy heart flaming toward to the Lord of Hosts, thou didst raise thy mind unto the divine, counting all things temporary and earthly as loss. Therefore, marvelling at God’s providence for thee, with faith we call upon thee:  

Rejoice, worthy son of devout parents. 
Rejoice, for thou wast raised in piety. 
Rejoice, for thou didst follow Christ from youth. 
Rejoice, for thou didst reckon earthly vanity as nought. 
Rejoice, fervent worker of Christ’s vineyard. 
Rejoice, great teacher of the desert dwellers. 
Rejoice, for thou didst desire salvation for all. 
Rejoice, for thou hast shown the true monastic path. 
Rejoice, luminous lamp ignited with divine fire. 
Rejoice, unshakable rock of faith in Christ. 
Rejoice, radiant with the grace of the Holy Spirit. 
Rejoice, thou who wast graced with the gift of working wonders.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 2: Seeing that the enemy of mankind wished to destroy thee for ascending to spiritual heights, O God-bearing Father, but was shamed by thy struggle and humility in constant fasting and prayer, thou hast crushed the head of the invisible serpent, singing to God with compunction: Alleluia.  

Ikos 2: Knowing with thy heart and mind all worldly goods to be swiftly passing and fleeting, thou didst shut thyself in a dark cave, mortifying thy passions and working only for the Lord. Wherefore, praising thine angelic living, we exclaim to thee:  

Rejoice, for thou hast placed thy hope in God. 
Rejoice, for thou hast shamed the folly of the enemy. 
Rejoice, fearless destroyer of the devil’s schemes. 
Rejoice, for thou resemblest an angel in thy purity and holiness. 
Rejoice, for thou didst sanctify the wilderness by thy struggles. 
Rejoice, for thou hast guided many to the Heavenly Kingdom. 
Rejoice, for thou didst overthrow despicable pride. 
Rejoice, for thou hast taught lowliness of mind. 
Rejoice, light that enlightens all with the divine wisdom. 
Rejoice, radiant star illuminating all with the brightness of thy struggles. 
Rejoice, for thou didst live to the glory of God. 
Rejoice, good and long-suffering shepherd. 
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 3: Strengthened by the divine power, most blessed Anthony, thou didst remain in fasting, prayer, unceasing labours, and vigils, overcoming all temptations of the enemy and singing to God, Who covered thee with grace, Alleluia.  

Ikos 3: Having a pure mind and a spotless soul, blessed Father, thou didst comprehend the vanity and inconstancy of this world, and, desiring the eternal blessings, thou didst renounce temporary goods. Wherefore, honouring thee, we sing: 

Rejoice, lover of blessed humility. 
Rejoice, searcher of spiritual wisdom. 
Rejoice, for thou didst ascend the heights of dispassion. 
Rejoice, for hast offered thyself wholly to God. 
Rejoice, for thou resemblest thy Lord in thy guilelessness. 
Rejoice, for thou wast wealthy in poverty. 
Rejoice, grace-filled adornment of the desert. 
Rejoice, all-radiant lamp of the world. 
Rejoice, banisher of terrifying demons. 
Rejoice, destroyer of their delusions. 
Rejoice, for thou art wiser than the wise of this world. 
Rejoice, zealous ascetic. 
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 4: Stilling the storm of evil temptations, thou didst settle in the wilderness, most blessed Anthony, traversing the sorrowful path of the monastic life, trampling all the snares of the enemy and casting off his deception, and didst sing to Christ, Who strengthened thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 4: Hearing of thy God-pleasing life, O venerable one, seekers of God’s truth came to thee from near and far and thou hast received them with love and guided them to salvation. With compunction of soul, we praise and cry out to thee: 

Rejoice, rule and foundation of desert dwellers. 
Rejoice, good teacher of Christ’s flock. 
Rejoice, adornment of Christ’s Church. 
Rejoice, glory of monastics. 
Rejoice, for thou didst offer thyself as a sacrifice to the Lord. 
Rejoice, for thou didst mortify thy sinful passions. 
Rejoice, joy of the angels. 
Rejoice, full vanquisher of the demons. 
Rejoice, dweller of the wilderness. 
Rejoice, zealous struggler for stillness. 
Rejoice, for thou showest the right path. 
Rejoice, announcer of the Kingdom of Heaven.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 5: Like a divinely moving star thou didst appear to the monastic world, venerable Father Anthony, thou wast an image of faithfulness in word, life, love, faith, and purity, singing to the Lord: Alleluia. 

Ikos 5: Seeing thy pure and holy living, Father Anthony, the enemy of the human race frequently attacked thee, but defeating him with thy humility, thou didst not depart from the way of salvation. Wherefore, we cry out to thee: 

Rejoice, partaker of eternal life. 
Rejoice, great teacher of salvation. 
Rejoice, for thou hast served God alone with thy life. 
Rejoice, for thou didst take up the yoke of Christ. 
Rejoice, for thou hast exposed the wiles of the demons. 
Rejoice, for thou hast directed to the way of salvation. 
Rejoice, keeper of purity. 
Rejoice, beholder of the Light of the Trinity. 
Rejoice, raising of the fallen. 
Rejoice, banishment of demonic power.  
Rejoice, solid pillar of faith. 
Rejoice, perfected teacher.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 6: Having heard the Gospel preaching: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me,” O Father Anthony, thou hast renounced worldly treasures, and, undertaking a life of fasting and struggles in the wilderness, thou didst acquire the treasures of heaven. Give us wisdom, O kindly-hearted Father, to not incline our hearts to the quickly perishing things of this earth, but to ponder the things above, exclaiming to the Lord of Hosts: Alleluia. 

Ikos 6: Thou didst shine forth as a divinely radiant light in the Egyptian wilderness, O Father Anthony, shining with the rays of thy virtues and miracles. Remembering thy struggles, we bless thee and say:  

Rejoice, for venerable saints are crowned by thee. 
Rejoice, for men are saved through thee. 
Rejoice, grace-filled visitation of the sick. 
Rejoice, helper of strangers. 
Rejoice, destroyer of enmity. 
Rejoice, annihilator of the enemy. 
Rejoice, peace and steadfastness of the faithful. 

Rejoice, swift deliverance from dangers. 
Rejoice, extinguisher of guile and craftiness. 
Rejoice, consolation of the despairing. 
Rejoice, defender of the Orthodox. 
Rejoice, helper of Christians.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 7: Desiring to undertake a worthy struggle, thou didst account all temporary things as nought, dwelling in poverty and humility in the wilderness, conversing with the One God and singing ceaselessly to Him: Alleluia. 

Ikos 7: The Lord revealed a truly new guide for monastics in thee, O Father Anthony. Many who learned of thy God-pleasing and righteous life and the heights of thy spiritual wisdom, heeded thy words as the words of a great servant of God. To thee we sing:  

Rejoice, for thou resemblest Abraham in faith. 
Rejoice, for thou resemblest David in meekness. 
Rejoice, for thou hast acquired the zeal of Elijah. 
Rejoice, for thou hast followed the way of the Forerunner. 
Rejoice, for thou didst pour forth water in the desert by thy prayers. 
Rejoice, for thou didst raise paralytics from their beds. 
Rejoice, for thou gavest sight to the blind. 
Rejoice, for thou hast healed many diseases. 
Rejoice, most marvellous and divinely wise guide of monks. 
Rejoice, fervent servant of Christ. 
Rejoice, most gentle consolation of the sorrowful. 

Rejoice, most beloved boast of monks.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 8: Having seen the strange and supernatural life of the venerable Paul, O blessed Anthony, thou didst marvel at the height of his struggles and virtues. Seeing his soul ascending to the heavens and surrounded by angels, thou didst cry out to God, Who is wondrous in His saints: Alleluia. 

Ikos 8: Thou didst rejoice with great joy, O Father Anthony, beholding with thy clairvoyant eyes the ascent of the soul of the venerable Ammon. Wherefore, we beseech thee with much wonder:  

Rejoice, for thou didst ever raise thine eyes to the heavens. 
Rejoice, for thou hast loved heavenly glory above all. 
Rejoice, for thou hast sanctified thy heart with ceaseless prayer. 
Rejoice, for thou hast established thy mind in God. 
Rejoice, for thou didst foresee the future as present. 
Rejoice, for thou hast acquired lofty gifts through humility. 
Rejoice, for thou hast freed those held captive by evil spirits. 
Rejoice, for thou grantest spiritual and bodily health. 
Rejoice, intercessor in hardships and calamities. 
Rejoice, defender in tribulations and afflictions. 
Rejoice, for thou forsakest not us here on earth. 
Rejoice, for thou dost offer thy prayers for us sinners.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 9: All angelic beings marvelled at the height of thine ascetic feats, for thou didst become like an angel in every way whilst still in the weakness of the flesh and, strengthened by the power of the Almighty, thou didst become abundant in virtues. Therefore, thou hast joined the ranks of angels, singing to the Almighty God: Alleluia. 

Ikos 9: Human eloquence is not sufficient to praise thy life, O Father Anthony: for who can recount all thy fastings, vigils, illnesses and labours? Who can count thy tears and sighings for God? But, moved with our love for thee, we dare to sing this to thee: 

Rejoice, great dweller of the wilderness. 
Rejoice, teacher of perfection. 
Rejoice, servant of the true God. 
Rejoice, for thou hast banished demons out of the desert. 
Rejoice, thunder that strikest the devil. 
Rejoice, for thou hast revealed his wiles. 
Rejoice, vessel of God’s grace. 
Rejoice, abode of the Holy Spirit. 
Rejoice, adornment of fasters. 
Rejoice, praise of saints. 
Rejoice, foundation of monks. 
Rejoice, glory of the Fathers.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 10: Thou wast a faithful guide to those who desired to be saved, and now leadest us to salvation through thy saintly intercessions, so that with thy help we may reach the Kingdom of Heaven, where the never-silent angels sing: Alleluia. 

Ikos 10: Thou wast a strong and unassailable rampart to thy followers, protecting them from demons’ arrows, remaining a wall and protection from the Devil’s snares to those who call on thee:  

Rejoice, earthly angel. 
Rejoice, heavenly man. 
Rejoice, pure and honourable abode of holiness. 
Rejoice, receptacle of great virtues. 
Rejoice, ardent lover of piety. 
Rejoice, denouncer of heresies. 
Rejoice, fulfilment of Christ’s love. 
Rejoice, instruction of monks. 
Rejoice, firm haven of the faithful. 
Rejoice, mighty uplifting of the fallen. 
Rejoice, strength of the infirm and the paralysed. 
Rejoice, consolation of the despairing and hopeless. 
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 11: Accept our tender singing, which we lift up to thee with love and diligent praise, O Father Anthony. Mercifully incline thine ear to us and vouchsafe to guide us to true repentance through thy prayers, so that we may sing to God: Alleluia.  

Ikos 11: Thou wast revealed on earth as a light-receiving lamp of the true Light, O venerable Anthony, enlightening the hearts of the faithful by thy struggles and miracles and instructing in the way of virtuous and God-pleasing living. Wherefore, thou hearest hear from all:  

Rejoice, all-wise instructor. 
Rejoice, trustworthy leader. 
Rejoice, for thou gavest thyself wholly to God’s will. 
Rejoice, for thou didst love the Lord Jesus above all. 
Rejoice, for thou hast shone forth patiently enduring various sorrows. 
Rejoice, for thou hast acquired eternal wealth through voluntary poverty. 
Rejoice, for thou didst spend thy life in patience and hardship. 
Rejoice, for thou hast bravely endured bitterness of the desert. 
Rejoice, for thou didst inspire the slothful to ascetic struggle. 
Rejoice, surety for the sinners’ correction. 
Rejoice, converser with angels and saints. 
Rejoice, zealous intercessor for the whole world.  
Rejoice, venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 12: Knowing the grace given thee by God, we reverently kiss thine image adorned with holiness, servant of God, and pray to thee: forsake us not in thine intercessions to Christ God, to Whom we gratefully sing: Alleluia. 

Ikos 12: Singing of thy life, we also praise thy peaceful end, O venerable Father Anthony, and beseech thee: be a quick helper in all good to us who call upon thee: 

Rejoice, dweller of heaven,

Rejoice, for thou standest before the Consubstantial Trinity. 
Rejoice, joy of angels. 
Rejoice, converser with saints. 
Rejoice, true pleaser of God. 
Rejoice, chosen servant of the Lord. 
Rejoice, fervent intercessor for all who call upon thy name. 
Rejoice, teacher and hope of all who honour thee. 
Rejoice, for thou wast imbued with the grace of God. 
Rejoice, for thou wast filled at the Divine spring. 
Rejoice, for thou wast bedewed with saving tears. 
Rejoice, for thou wast clothed in garments of incorruption. 
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 13: O venerable Father Anthony, eternally alive in the never-ending day of Christ’s Kingdom, beseech the Master of all to deliver us from calamities, misfortunes, and eternal torments, so that we may sing to Him in His Kingdom unto ages of ages: Alleluia. (Thrice)  

Ikos 1: Having loved the angelic life from thy youth, thou didst desire to walk in God’s commandments, O venerable Father, and, with thy heart flaming toward to the Lord of Hosts, thou didst raise thy mind unto the divine, counting all things temporary and earthly as loss. Therefore, marvelling at God’s providence for thee, with faith we call upon thee:  

Rejoice, worthy son of devout parents. 
Rejoice, for thou wast raised in piety. 
Rejoice, for thou didst follow Christ from youth. 
Rejoice, for thou didst reckon earthly vanity as nought. 
Rejoice, fervent worker of Christ’s vineyard. 
Rejoice, great teacher of the desert dwellers. 
Rejoice, for thou didst desire salvation for all. 
Rejoice, for thou hast shown the true monastic path. 
Rejoice, luminous lamp ignited with divine fire. 
Rejoice, unshakable rock of faith in Christ. 
Rejoice, radiant with the grace of the Holy Spirit. 
Rejoice, thou who wast graced with the gift of working wonders.  
Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life!

Kontakion 1: Chosen wonderworker and most marvellous servant of Christ, venerable Father Anthony! Lovingly praising thy God-pleasing life, we offer God a song of thanksgiving for thee. And as thou hast great boldness toward the Lord, free from all dangers us who joyfully call on thee: Rejoice, O venerable Father Anthony, founder of the desert life! 

Prayer: O our venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony! We believe that thou hast great boldness in prayer standing before the throne of the Holy Trinity, and the All-Merciful Lord always hears thee, His faithful servant. Wherefore, we humbly fall down before thee with compunction, O Saint of God: never cease to intercede for us to the Lord, Who is worshipped and glorified in the Trinity, that He may look mercifully on us and not let us perish in our sins, but wouldst raise the fallen and give correction to evil and wretched lives, averting our future transgressions, and forgive all faults committed in word or thought from our birth to the present hour. O ascetic of virtue, seeing the infirmity and sorrow of the present times, ceaselessly entreat Christ God to not withdraw His loving-kindness from us, but to preserve us from worldly temptations, the devil’s snares, and fleshly desires, so that we may receive all that is necessary for this temporary life, deliverance from affliction and tribulation, and unyielding patience to the end. Implore that we may lead the rest of our lives in peace and repentance and to pass from earth to heaven escaping tribulations, the aerial demons, and eternal torments, and be worthy of the Heavenly Kingdom with thee and all the saints that pleased our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Whom is due all glory, honour, and worship, together with His unoriginate Father and His All-Holy, Good and Life-Creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Troparion, Tone IV: Emulating the demeanour of the zealous Elijah, and following the Baptist with forthright steps, O father Anthony, thou wast a dweller in the desert, and hast made the whole world steadfast by thy supplications. Wherefore, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Kontakion, Tone II, “Seeking the highest”: Having cast off the tumults of life, thou didst live a life of stillness to the end, emulating the Baptist in every way, O all-venerable one. Wherefore, we honour thee with him, O Anthony, first among the fathers.

Canons For the Feast of St Anthony the Great

(In matins, the combined troparia of the canons would be repeated to make sixteen, including the irmosy, but are here formatted as they would be used for the moleben, and by extension for domestic prayers)

Canon of the Theotokos, the acrostic whereof is: “I chant praise unto the Life-bearing Maiden”, the composition of John of Damascus, in Tone II

Ode I, Irmos: Traversing the impassable, uncommon path of the sea dryshod, Israel the chosen cried aloud: Let us chant unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The immaterial ladder of old and the path of the sea made strangely firm showed forth thy birthgiving, O pure one, whom we all hymn, for thou hast been glorified!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The immaterial ladder of old and the path of the sea made strangely firm showed forth thy birthgiving, O pure one, whom we all hymn, for thou hast been glorified!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The power of the Most High, the perfect Hypostasis, the Wisdom of God incarnate of thee, O all-pure one, hath entered into fellowship with men, for He hath been glorified!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The Sun of thy righteousness hath passed through the impassible door of thy locked womb, O pure one, and hath shone forth upon the world, for He hath been glorified!

Canon of the venerable one, the acrostic whereof is: “It is good to praise the godly Anthony”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Manifestly embracing immortality and life everlasting, and delighting in threefold radiance, O father, pray thou that my darkened soul may be illumined with grace, that I may hymn thee as is meet.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Though thou wast small of bodily stature, choosing the new path of virtue thou didst tread it safely, obedient to the new law of the Savior and following the life-bearing precepts of the Gospel, O thrice blessed one.

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

Illumined with the effulgence of the threefold Sun, O most wise and blessed one, afire with divine desire thou didst destroy the savagery of the demons, the mouths of the wild beasts and the pain of sores as though they were a spider’s web.

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

Possessing boldness, as the Mother of God, before the only-begotten Son Who hath been born of thee, and the equally beginningless Father, and the consubstantial Spirit, cease thou never to pray, that They save from tribulations those who glorify thee as the Theotokos, O most immaculate one.

Ode III, Irmos: The bow of the mighty hath been broken by Thy might, O Christ, and the strengthless have girded themselves with power.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He Who, as the Creator of time, is outside all time, O Virgin, willingly made Himself a Child through thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He Who, as the Creator of time, is outside all time, O Virgin, willingly made Himself a Child through thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let us hymn the womb which is far more spacious than the heavens, through which Adam hath made his abode in the heavens, rejoicing.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Let us hymn the womb which is far more spacious than the heavens, through which Adam hath made his abode in the heavens, rejoicing.

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

With steadfast mind and mighty endurance thou didst cause the flame of the passions to die out, O father Anthony, and thou didst array thyself in the splendid vesture of dispassion and the robe of salvation.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Thou didst disdain the feeble power of the demons who dared mighty assaults and assumed the guise of wild beasts; for thou didst have a mighty Ally in battle.

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

Denouncing the princes and powers of darkness, O Anthony, through mighty asceticism thou becamest a God-bearer, a mighty victor, the glory of ascetics and boast of monastics.

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

By the activity of the Life Who manifested Himself to the world through thee, O pure one, raise up my mind which hath been slain, and guide it to Life, O thou who alone hast destroyed the gates of death by thy birthgiving.

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

Sessional hymn, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel. “Of the Wisdom…”: Having bound thy soul to the love of Christ, and wisely hated all the things of the earth, O venerable father, thou madest thine abode in the deserts and mountains; for, having tasted of the noetic tree, O glorious initiate of the mysteries, thou didst shine forth like an angel with never-waning rays. Wherefore, having passed through the darkness of thy flesh, thou didst dispel the gloom of the demons, O Anthony, first-chosen among monastics. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who honor thy holy memory with love. (Twice)

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

Theotokion: O all-hymned one, most immaculate Bride of the Creator, Mother of the Deliverer, who knewest not man: As the receptacle of the Comforter, make haste to deliver me, who am the vile abode of iniquity and in mind am become the plaything of the demons, from their evil wiles; and make me the splendid dwelling-place of the virtues, O radiant one untouched by corruption. Drive away the clouds of the passions and vouchsafe that, by thy supplications, I may receive a portion on high and a share in the never-waning light.

Ode IV, Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, of Thy glorious dispensation, and I have glorified Thine unapproachable power, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Behold! the most manifest Mother of God, the divine mountain of the house of the Lord, is exalted far above the heavenly powers.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Behold! the most manifest Mother of God, the divine mountain of the house of the Lord, is exalted far above the heavenly powers.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Virgin, who, alone outside the laws of nature, gavest birth unto the Ruler of creation: thou hast been vouchsafed a divine calling.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Virgin, who, alone outside the laws of nature, gavest birth unto the Ruler of creation: thou hast been vouchsafed a divine calling.

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Using the divine ladder of the virtues, O father, thou didst mount to the top, and didst behold God standing thereon, distributing gifts with His generous hand unto those who chant with faith: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Thou alone didst dedicate thyself wholly to God alone, O Anthony, uniting thyself to Him with virtue and spiritual discourses, and as thou art pure, thou hast been vouchsafed divine revelation; for, having abandoned the earth and the things of the earth, thou hast received heavenly delight, as is meet.

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

Having purified mind and soul, O father Anthony, thou didst denounce the soul-destroying deceit, the wiles, bitter delusions and phantasms of the enemy; for, having trained, thou didst achieve mastery, and having achieved mastery, thou teachest multitudes of monastics, O most blessed one.

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

Beseech the God Who was incarnate of thee, Who immutably remained what He was, Who is equal to the Father in essence and became consubstantial with thee who gavest Him birth, that He grant forgiveness of transgressions and salvation of soul to those who hymn thee with faith.

Ode V, Irmos: The Sun—the live Coal which was revealed beforehand to Isaiah—shone forth from the Virgin’s womb, granting the enlightenment of divine knowledge to those gone astray in darkness.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Clouds of darkness rain down delight upon those who are on earth, for unto us hath a Child been given, Who hath existed from before the ages: our God, incarnate of the Virgin.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Clouds of darkness rain down delight upon those who are on earth, for unto us hath a Child been given, Who hath existed from before the ages: our God, incarnate of the Virgin.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Light hath shone forth upon my life and my flesh, and hath destroyed the gloom of sin: the most Exalted One, Who in the latter days was incarnate without seed of the Virgin.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Light hath shone forth upon my life and my flesh, and hath destroyed the gloom of sin: the most Exalted One, Who in the latter days was incarnate without seed of the Virgin.

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.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Having God Who seeth all things living within thee, O blessed one, teaching, enlightening and making thee wise, thou wast vouchsafed to behold the ascents of pure and blessed souls, O thrice-blessed one.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Having God Who seeth all things living within thee, O blessed one, teaching, enlightening and making thee wise, thou wast vouchsafed to behold the ascents of pure and blessed souls, O thrice-blessed one.

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

O wise one, Christ hath given thee the grace to heal divers ailments and power against unclean spirits; for, having vanquished nature supernaturally, O father, thou didst receive a share of the gifts of the Spirit.

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

Having thee as a rampart, and preserved by thine intercession, we bless thee, boasting in thy divine glory; for thou, O most pure one, pourest forth gladness and joy upon our souls.

Ode VI, Irmos: Hearkening to the sound of the cries of entreaty which issue forth from a soul in pain, O Master, deliver me from my grievous sins, for Thou alone art the Cause of our salvation.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Human nature, enslaved to sin, hath obtained freedom through thee, O pure Lady; for thy Son hath been sacrificed like a lamb.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Human nature, enslaved to sin, hath obtained freedom through thee, O pure Lady; for thy Son hath been sacrificed like a lamb.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

We all cry out to thee, the true Mother of God: Save thou thy wrathful servants, for thou alone hast boldness before thy Son.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

We all cry out to thee, the true Mother of God: Save thou thy wrathful servants, for thou alone hast boldness before thy Son.

Irmos: The abyss of my sins and the tempest of my transgressions discomfit me and thrust me down into the depths of violent despondency; but stretch forth Thy mighty arm unto me, as Thou didst to Peter, and save my, O my Guide.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Accepting the life of God’s law from thine earliest childhood, O divinely wise one, as an athlete thou didst preserve it even unto the end; and as a godly warrior thou hast received the crown of victory from the King of all.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Accepting the life of God’s law from thine earliest childhood, O divinely wise one, as an athlete thou didst preserve it even unto the end; and as a godly warrior thou hast received the crown of victory from the King of all.

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

Having thee as a mighty advocate before God, an intercessor, a champion and pious mediator, who sharest in our cares, we are saved from all manner of tribulations, perils and evil circumstances.

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

Thou hast truly raised up fallen human nature, O Mother of God, having borne in thy womb, without seed, the immutable Son, Who is visible in divine appearance and in His equality with the Father.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone II, Spec. Mel. “Seeking the highest…”: Having cast off the tumults of life, thou didst live a life of stillness to the end, emulating the Baptist in every way, O all-venerable one. Wherefore, we honor thee with him, O Anthony, first among the fathers.

Ikos: Hearkening to the voice of Christ, thou didst follow His commandments, and, stripping off thy former life, thou didst put aside all the cares of possessions, property and thy slaves, as well as the love of thy sister, O God-bearing Anthony; and most purely conversing alone with God in the deserts, thou didst receive the grace of understanding, which do thou send upon me who praise thee in hymns, O Anthony, first among the fathers.

Ode VII, Irmos: The youths of old showed themselves to be rhetors with the greatest love of wisdom; for, theologizing with their lips, they chanted from the depths of their God-pleasing souls: O most divine God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

At night Jacob beheld God as in a dream, and He that was incarnate of thee hath manifested Himself in splendor unto those who chant: Most divine and supremely glorified is the God of our fathers!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

At night Jacob beheld God as in a dream, and He that was incarnate of thee hath manifested Himself in splendor unto those who chant: Most divine and supremely glorified is the God of our fathers!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He that wrestled with Jacob prefigured the ineffable union in thee, O pure one, whereby He willingly united Himself to mankind: He is the most divine and supremely glorified God of our fathers!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The vile one who had refused to proclaim Thee, the Son of the Virgin, to be One of the all-hymned Trinity, cried out with steadfast thought and with his tongue: Most divine and supremely glorified is the God of our fathers!

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Thy cheeks were as phials of perfume, emitting the sweet fragrance of the virtues and salvation, as from a garden, upon those who cry with faith: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Thy cheeks were as phials of perfume, emitting the sweet fragrance of the virtues and salvation, as from a garden, upon those who cry with faith: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

The grace of the most Holy Spirit, dwelling within thee, O father, made thee a dispeller of the wickedness of evil spirits and an instructor of monks, crying: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

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

Let us praise the all-pure and most holy Mary; for through her the grace of spiritual gifts is poured forth upon us past understanding, as from a torrent of divine goodness. Let us bless her now with pious intent.

Ode VIII, Irmos: The thrice-blessed youths, disdaining the golden image and beholding the immutable and living image of God, chanted in the midst of the flame: Let all existing creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He that is incomparable in grace and might through thee became visible on earth and dwelt with men. Chanting unto Him, O all ye faithful, let us cry out: Let all existing creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

He that is incomparable in grace and might through thee became visible on earth and dwelt with men. Chanting unto Him, O all ye faithful, let us cry out: Let all existing creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Truly proclaiming thee the pure one, we glorify thee, O Theotokos, for thou didst give birth to the One of the Trinity Who became incarnate. And to Him, with the Father and the Spirit, do we sing: Let all existing creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Truly proclaiming thee the pure one, we glorify thee, O Theotokos, for thou didst give birth to the One of the Trinity Who became incarnate. And to Him, with the Father and the Spirit, do we sing: Let all existing creation hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Like an angel on earth showing, by purity of mind, vigilance in prayer, might in ascetic endeavors and endurance amid tribulations, O Anthony, thou didst cry out to God: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Ever approaching God through supplications and entreaties, O venerable one, thou didst ascend to the highest summit, escaping the snares of the demons; and, freed from their tyranny, O divinely wise one, thou dost chant: Ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

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

Like a new Moses, thou didst win a victory over the foes and adversaries in the desert, guiding thy people, the assembly of ascetics, in joy and newness of life; and they cry out to the Master: Ye priests, bless; ye people, exalt God supremely for all ages!

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

O most pure Theotokos, cleanse the wounds of my soul and the stripes of my sins, washing them with the springs which issue forth from the side of thine Offspring, and purifying them with the streams which flow therefrom; for to thee do I cry, to thee do I flee and on thee do I call, who art full of the grace of God.

Ode IX, Irmos: Thou art all desire, all sweetness, O Word of God, Son of the Virgin, God of gods, all-holy Lord of the saints. Wherefore, we magnify Thee and her who gave Thee birth.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

In thy womb, O pure one, the Word of God was given to corruptible nature as a staff of strength. And He restored what had been dragged down to hell. Wherefore, we magnify thee, O all-pure one, as the Theotokos.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

In thy womb, O pure one, the Word of God was given to corruptible nature as a staff of strength. And He restored what had been dragged down to hell. Wherefore, we magnify thee, O all-pure one, as the Theotokos.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Master, mercifully accept Thy mother as an intercessor in our behalf, as is Thy pleasure, and all things shall be filled with Thy goodness, that we all may magnify Thee as our Benefactor.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Master, mercifully accept Thy mother as an intercessor in our behalf, as is Thy pleasure, and all things shall be filled with Thy goodness, that we all may magnify Thee as our Benefactor.

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

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

O most blessed father Anthony, thy splendid feast hath dawned, full of joy, full of spiritual gladness, full of the Holy Spirit, full of sweet fragrance and enlightenment; and having thee now as a rule and giver of the laws of asceticism, we rejoice.

Venerable father, Anthony, pray to God for us.

Never cease to pray to the Deliverer, O most honored father, that He grant to those who reverently celebrate thy sacred memory remission of transgressions, the reception of spiritual gifts, divine intercession, salvation of soul and everlasting joy.

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

Having lived angelically upon the earth, thou hast found the splendor of the angels; for thou hast obtained a share of their God-seeing effulgence. And with them thou dost ever rejoice, as a prophet of God, a crowned martyr, preëminent among monastics.

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

Without seed, without carnal desire, O Virgin, thou didst conceive the Word of God Who created all things, and thou gavest birth to Him without corruption, without experiencing the pangs of motherhood. Wherefore, confessing thee with tongue and heart, we magnify thee, the Theotokos.

Troparion, Tone IV: Emulating the ways of the zealous Elijah, and following the Baptist with forthright steps, O father Anthony, thou wast a dweller in the desert, and hast made the whole world steadfast by thy supplications. Wherefore, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

The Canon For the Feast of St Peter’s Chains

The canon of the apostle, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn Peter, the foundation of the dogmas,” the composition of Joseph, in Tone IV

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

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

The whole Church of Christ keepeth festival in spirit, joining chorus and praising thee with faith, and lovingly kissing the precious chains which thou didst wear when thou wast bound, thereby binding the tyrant.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Fishing for men in the deep of deception, O Peter, thou didst draw them forth like fish unto Him Who chose thee from among fishermen to be truly the foremost of all His disciples. Wherefore, we kiss the chains which thou didst wear.

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

Upon the foundation of faith didst thou build up the souls of all the faithful; and having demolished the temples of delusion, O Peter, thou didst found Churches which ever honour thee aloud, and the chains which thou didst wear.

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

All the weapons of the deceitful enemy have utterly failed, O all-pure Virgin, and the Word Who made His abode in thine immaculate womb was not wounded in the least. I entreat thee: Let my heart now be wounded with the most sweet desire for Him.

Ode III, Irmos: The bow of the mighty is become weak, and the strengthless have girded themselves with power; wherefore, my heart is established in the Lord.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Wholly united to the Light most pure through divine partaking thereof, O Peter, thou hast been shown to be a secondary luminary enlightening our souls.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thou hast confirmed the laws of Christ and hast taught observance of the law unto the most iniquitous, as the foremost of the apostles, the immovable foundation of the dogmas.

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

With thy sacred tongue thou didst preach God Who suffered and was crucified on the Cross. Wherefore, O Peter, we honour the chains which bound thee.

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

The irresistible onslaught of death came to a halt before thee, for thou gavest birth unto the Wellspring of immortality, O Theotokos, Virgin Mother.

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

Kontakion, Tone II, Spec. Mel. “Seeking the highest…”: Christ the Rock most splendidly glorifieth the rock of faith, the first-enthroned of His disciples; for He summoneth all to celebrate the wonders of thy precious chains, O Peter, and granteth forgiveness of offences.

Sessional hymn, Tone IV, Spec. Mel. “Having been lifted up….”: With faith do we praise thee, O apostle, as the chief of the wise apostles and the keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven; and with a pure conscience we kiss the chains which thou didst wear as though thou wast a malefactor, O Peter, thereby setting at naught the evil deeds of the enemy. From which pray thou that we be delivered. (Twice)

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

Theotokion: O thou who art more exalted than the cherubim and seraphim, and more spacious than heaven and earth, thou art shown to surpass creation, visible and invisible, in an ineluctable comparison; for He Whom the space of the heavens could not contain thou didst contain within thy womb, O pure one. Him do thou entreat, that thy servants be saved.

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

Ode IV, Irmos: Out of love for Thine image Thou didst stand affixed to the Cross, O Compassionate One, and the nations melted away; for Thou art my strength and boast, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Speaking as a rhetor concerning the mighty works of the Master, thou didst convert the hearts of the disobedient Jews to the divine Faith, in that thou art the foundation of the Faith.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thy journeys were known unto their Object: Him Who with all-abundant love walked upon the waters, O Peter, and related to thee the ways of God.

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

As thy divine chains possess the power to heal all manner of ailments, O blessed one, we kiss them with faith, honouring thee.

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

The King of all, having made His abode in thy holy womb as in a spacious palace, appeared incarnate, O all-immaculate Mistress.

Ode V, Irmos: Send down upon us Thine enlightenment, O Lord, and free us from the gloom of transgressions, O Good One, granting us Thy peace.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

By divine revelation Thou didst preach the Son Who with the Father is equally without beginning, and wast vouchsafed blessedness from the lips of the Blessed One.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

When thou didst behold on Tabor the light which shone forth, blotting out the rays of the sun, thou wast illumined by the light which comest from the Light, O Peter, and hast enlightened the faithful.

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

Thou didst preach Christ Who was dead for three days, and for Whose sake thou didst wear chains, O Peter. Accounted worthy to bow down before them, we piously honour thee.

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

Lighten now the burden of me who am heavy laden with the weight of my many sins, O all-pure one, giving me strength to bear the easy yoke of Christ.

Ode VI, Irmos: Prefiguring Thy three-day burial, the Prophet Jonah, praying within the sea monster, cried out: Deliver me from corruption, O Jesus, King of hosts!

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Most wondrously didst thou endure crucifixion upside-down; for thus didst thou prepare thy feet for the path to heaven. Do thou strengthen us also to walk it, O disciple of Christ.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thou didst make thine abode in the Life of the living and, bound for His sake, thou didst break the bonds of Belial who had bound thee. Wherefore, we honour thy chains.

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

Entreat the Master of creation, O most blessed one, that He send down purification, peace and mercy upon those who glorify thee, in that thou art His most fervent disciple.

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

Our forefather hath been stripped of the skin garments of mortality, for the Creator hath robed Himself therein through thy blood, becoming incarnate in manner past description, O all-immaculate one.

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

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

Kontakion, Tone II, Spec. Mel. “The Theotokos who is ever-vigilant in prayer….”: Let us praise the great Peter, the chief and first among the apostles, the godly disciple of the Truth, and with faith let us kiss his chains, receiving release from our transgressions.

Ikos: What human tongue is able worthily to praise the great and glorious disciple of the Lord? What mind can praise him whom the Word of God blessed with a blessing? Yet what one attaineth according to his own powers, that should he bring as an offering unto God; and this I attempt to do. O ye who love the feasts of the Church, let us piously crown the first-enthroned one with hymns, receiving released from our transgressions.

Ode VII, Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the children of Abraham trampled upon the flame of the furnace, crying aloud in hymns: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thrice didst thou deny Christ; wherefore by a threefold question did He compensate for thine offence, O all-glorious Peter; and He showed forth the steadfastness of many who waver.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

As a prisoner for Christ thou didst have thy share of divers bonds because of thy most sweet desire. Wherefore, with faith we bow down before thy chains which release us from the passions, O Peter.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Making a transit of the whole world like the sun most great, O Peter, glory of the apostles, who thyself didst behold Christ, thou hast banished the profound darkness of cruel polytheism.

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

Thou didst glorify Christ with thy members and didst become His boast, O all-glorious Peter. Wherefore, we glorify thee and bow down before the chains which bound thee.

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

He that descended upon the earth like rain hath in His divine knowledge watered the whole earth; and He hath shown thee forth, O pure Virgin, as more honourable than all the angels.

Ode VIII, Irmos: O Almighty Deliverer of all, descending into the midst of the flame Thou didst bedew the pious youths and didst teach them to chant: Bless and hymn the Lord, all ye works!

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Working hard hearts like the soil, O Peter, thou didst render them most fertile for the Husbandman of creation Who gave thee the divine keys and the authority to loose and bind transgressions.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

We ever bless thee, O Peter, and we venerate the chains which thou didst bear as though thou wert a malefactor, slaying the prince of evil and binding him with thy chains, O apostle.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Preserving the fullness of the Church by thine immovable rock of faith, O Peter, drive temptations from its midst and ask a peaceful estate therefor, O blessed Peter.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thou didst splendidly preach Him Who bound hades and death with His bonds and all-pure sufferings; wherefore, O most blessed one, we are sanctified, kissing thy chains.

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

Like the ranks of heaven we now cry out with thrice-holy voices, glorifying the Father, the Cause of all, and the Son and the Spirit: one Essence, one Power, and one Activity.

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

In writing the prophet described thee beforehand as a noetic candlestick bearing the divine Candle which hath illumined those who before were benighted by the darkness of evil, O Theotokos.

Ode IX, Irmos: Thy birth-giving was shown to be incorrupt: God came forth from thy womb, appeared on earth as a mortal, and dwelt with men. Wherefore, we all magnify thee as the Theotokos.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Thou wast accounted worthy to behold things afar off for which thou didst with faith hope, O Peter; and, rejoicing, thou hast received honours for thy labours from God Who loveth mankind, Whose divine suffering thou didst depict with thy flesh.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

As the divine keeper of the keys of the kingdom, open the gates thereof unto those who faithfully honour thee on earth and kiss the precious chains wherewith thou wast bound, O Peter.

Holy, glorious, all-praised chief of the apostles, Peter, pray to God for us.

Whilst thou wast with the Son on Tabor, thou wast vouchsafed to hear the voice of the Father reveal Him; for, cleansed by the divine Spirit, thy heart was most gloriously illumined, O Peter.

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

O Peter, ask thou cleansing, release from debts and the delight of the kingdom of heaven for us that with love honour thee and kiss the chains wherewith thou wast bound.

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

Thou wast the abode of the Light, O Maiden; wherefore, by thy light guide me who am benighted by all the temptations of the enemy, that I may magnify thee with faith, O most pure Virgin Mother.

Troparion, Tone IV: Without leaving Rome, thou art come to us in the precious chains which thou didst bear, O first-enthroned of the apostles; and, bowing down before them with faith we pray: By thy supplications unto God grant us great mercy!

Canons to St Seraphim


Canon I to the Venerable Seraphim, in Tone VI

Ode I, 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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

O Lord, open mine unworthy lips and grant me a word of understanding, that I may worthily hymn the memory of the blessed Seraphim, who with the angels doth now beseech Thee to deliver us from every grievous circumstance.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a great intercessor before the Theotokos, O venerable one, and wast deemed worthy to behold her with the apostles. And now, cease not to visit thy children by thine intercessions.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

From thy youth, O venerable one, thou didst surrender thyself in mind unto the Lord, and having subdued the passions of thy body through rigorous abstinence, thou wast adorned with every virtue, O most wise one.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

 O most blessed Sovereign Lady, who hast given birth unto the supremely good God in the flesh, cleanse thou my heart which is tormented by passions, that I may magnify thee with faith and love.

Canon II to the Venerable Seraphim, in Tone VIII:

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

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Thou didst tread the straight and narrow path to the heavenly kingdom in accordance with the commandment of Christ the Master, disdaining the broad and spacious path. And now do thou pray for us that keep thy most radiant memory.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Having ascended the mount of dispassion and taken up thy cross from thy youth, thou didst unfalteringly follow after Christ. And having acquired spiritual wisdom, thou didst attain the heavenly Jerusalem, O venerable one. Pray thou to the Lover of mankind on our behalf.

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

Standing now before the throne of God, O venerable one, intercede thou for the suffering Russian land; and by thy prayers, O venerable one, entreat salvation for the Christ-loving people of Russia.

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

Hearken, O Lady, unto those who flee to thee with faith and love, and who hymn thee with fear.

Ode III, 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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Standing before God with the angels in thy prayer, O venerable one, pray thou for the whole world, that the assaults of the enemy be overcome and that Orthodox Christians be granted victory over their adversaries.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

From thy youth thou didst cleave with faith and love unto the Master of the hosts on high, O venerable Seraphim; and, shining forth like the sun in the wilderness of Sarov, thou wast a comfort to those who approached thee in sorrow. Pray thou that we be saved!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

To those who pray unto thee, thou hast been revealed to be an unshakeable pillar and a refuge for those who have recourse unto the Monastery of Sarov, and abundant grace for those who receive healings.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Our first mother Eve heard: In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. And thou, O pure Virgin, hearing: The Lord is with thee! Rejoice! didst put to flight the grief of our first mother with this cry of joy!

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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Beseech Christ God, O blessed one, to deliver us from famine and plagues, from sudden death, from secret transgressions and wicked thoughts, that with a pure heart we may cry out to Christ: O Lord, save us by the supplications of the venerable one!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Following after Christ the Master in meekness and humility, thou wast all things to all mankind; tirelessly instructing both rich and poor in piety, thou didst foresee the future as though it were the present. Beseech Christ God, O venerable one, to grant us forgiveness of our sins!

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

Deliver thy monastery from every assault of the enemy, O venerable one, and fill it with love and grace, that it heed not the cares of this life, but attain unto the goodness and beauty which save the soul.

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

Our trust and hope art thou, O most holy Sovereign Lady. Save the suffering Russian land and thy people that pray and call upon thy holy name!

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

Sessional Hymn of the venerable one, Tone IV: Having utterly overcome the passions of the sea of life by abstinence, and attained unto the haven of dispassion, thou wast revealed as a vessel of abstinence, O venerable Seraphim. Beseech Christ God to grant us great 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.

Theotokion, Tone IV: When thou dost stand before the face of my Creator on the day of His righteous Judgment, O Lady, intercede for me, and deliver me from eternal torment, that I go not down into Hades, but that I be saved by thy defence, O most holy Theotokos.

Ode IV, 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.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Today the Monastery of Sarov doth radiantly celebrate thy memory, O venerable one, beseeching thee: Ask of the Lord peace for the whole world and great mercy for our souls!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

In thy great struggles didst thou flourish like a palm tree, O venerable one, sweetening the hearts of those who have recourse unto thee with fruitful words and a blameless life: Wherefore, do thou now pray that we obtain mercy from Christ our Saviour!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

By thy prayers entreat God for us, O venerable Seraphim, and drive away the sinful darkness of our grief. Adorn with dispassion, faith and love all who honour thy most glorious memory!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Rejoice, O Virgin Sovereign Lady, thou beauty of the Churches, might and boast of the suffering Russian land! Pray to Christ God without ceasing, that He preserve us from misfortunes by thy prayers.

Another Irmos: I have heard report of Thy dispensation, O Lord, * and have glorified Thee * Who alone art the Lover of mankind.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

It is not the Monastery of Sarov alone, but the whole land of Russia which hath thee, O blessed one, as a fervent intercessor and speedy helper, almighty and invincible defender and mediator for our souls.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Be thou an intercessor and mediator for us before the most holy Trinity, and move thou to pray with thee the choirs of the saints whose life thou didst emulate, O venerable one. With them pray for peace and the good estate of the whole world, that in this age we may live a peaceful and quiet life, and in the future inherit eternal life.

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

Being great among fasters, O venerable one, thou didst lead an arduous monastic life in the wilderness, and didst end it in compunctionate prayer. Pray that we be saved!

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

Thou art our refuge and confirmation, O most pure Theotokos. Beseech thy Son and our God, that He grant us salvation and forgiveness of sins.

Ode V, 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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Unto all who come to thee thou hast been a true teacher and a great intercessor before the Theotokos. And now, O venerable one, cease not to pray for thy children, for thou hast great boldness.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Let the Christian people now enter into the temple of the Monastery of Sarov, bowing down before thy precious relics, O venerable Seraphim, and, glorifying Christ, let them ask of thee healing and salvation.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

The invisible enemy desired to affright thee when thou wast praying to God at night, O venerable one. But, put to shame by thy prayer, the most wicked one vanished.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O most pure Mary, beseech God Who was born of thee, that He grant forgiveness of transgressions unto thy servants.

Another Irmos: Illumine us O Lord with Thy commandments, * and with Thine arm raised on high * grant us Thy peace, * O Lover of mankind!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Thou didst glorify the Monastery of Sarov with fasting and unceasing prayer, O venerable one, anointing the infirm with oil from the icon of the Theotokos and granting them healing in abundance. Pray thou now that our souls be saved!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

O ye hierarchs and priests, rejoice with the monks of Sarov, and ye people, hymn together the blessed father, the calm haven of those who are tempest-tossed by sorrows, the ready healer of infirmities of body and soul.

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

Offer up thy prayers, O venerable one, as an acceptable and unblemished sacrifice unto the most holy Trinity, and forget not us who now keep thy memory. Beg mercy for those who hate, wrong and are angered against us, and deliver all from every sorrow.

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

Guide my mind which is tempest-tossed by many passions, O Sovereign Lady. Save us who have recourse unto thee, O Theotokos, for apart from thee we know none other help, O pure one.

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

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Thy holy soul was an abode of God, wherein the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit dwelt. Wherefore, we pray thee, O venerable one, dispel the slanders of the enemy from those who honour thee, and grant peace to the suffering land of Russia.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

O venerable Seraphim, we honour thy great struggles and labours in the wilderness and the sweetness of thy teaching, whereby thou hast enlightened many who came to thee, teaching them to hymn the consubstantial Trinity.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Following after Christ the Master in purity of life, thou didst complete the good race, O venerable one. Having ascended to the eternal mansions, thou dost behold there what the angels see. Wherefore, honouring thy memory, we glorify Christ.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

I now flee unto thee, O most pure one. Save and preserve me by thy supplications. For whatsoever thou desirest, that thou canst do, in that thou art the Mother of the Almighty.

Another 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 my God.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

We are all full of sin, but thy prayers, O venerable Seraphim, ascend unto the Lord like fragrant incense. We now pray thee: Calm thou the raging storm of evil impiety in the land of Russia, and entreat the Lord for the salvation of our souls.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Truly blessed wast thou, O venerable Seraphim, having acquired riches through poverty, and through tears, joy, which thou didst abundantly bestow upon those who came to thee. And now emitting rays of miracles, thou dost heal all who have recourse unto thee in faith.

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

Having dug with thine own hands a well in the wilderness, O venerable one, thou didst give drink unto the thirsty that came unto thee. And now thou healest the diseases of the sick with the water of this well. Truly, the Master hath shown thee forth unto all as a miraculous intercessor and wonderworker, O venerable one.

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

We confess thee to be indeed the Mother of God, the true Theotokos, for by thy birthgiving we have been delivered from the curse of corruption, by the tender compassion of God, the Lover of mankind, and have been called to life incorruptible.

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

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

Kontakion of the Venerable One, Tone II: Having forsaken the beauty of the world and the corruption therein, * thou didst take up thine abode in the Monastery of Sarov. * And having lived there as an angel, thou didst become a path for many to salvation. * Wherefore, Christ hath glorified thee, O father Seraphim, * enriching thee with the gift of healings and miracles. ** Therefore, we cry out to thee: Rejoice, O our venerable father Seraphim!

Ikos: Having forsaken family and friends, and regarding riches as but dust, thou didst take up thine abode in the wilderness of Sarov; and having struggled against the passions like one of the bodiless hosts, thou wast deemed worthy to stand in the angelic choir. Wherefore, having received spiritual knowledge, grant even us, O venerable one, to chant this unto thee with understanding, saying: Rejoice, O blessed Seraphim, heavenly man and earthly angel! Rejoice, emulator of Christ in thy love! Rejoice, abode of the Holy Spirit! Rejoice, great joy of the despondent! Rejoice, source of healing! Rejoice, sweet consolation for sorrowful souls! Rejoice, calm haven for monks and most wise instructor! Rejoice, boast of the land of Russia! Rejoice, O our venerable father Seraphim!

Ode VII, 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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Wondrously was thy life shown to be full of the grace of the divine Spirit, O venerable one. Truly thou didst receive the blessed end of the righteous, rejoicing in Christ. And we cry out to Him who hath glorified thee: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Gathering together at thy holy monastery today, a multitude of people doth bow down before thy precious relics, O venerable Seraphim, and we all draw forth healings therefrom, crying out unceasingly: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

This report hath gone out into all the world, that a most glorious wonderworker hath appeared in Sarov, pouring forth a multitude of healings upon all who with faith approach and cry out: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Virgin Theotokos, who ineffably didst give birth unto the Word, thy Creator: With the venerable Seraphim beseech Him to have mercy upon our souls!

Another 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.’

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, and through the prayers of him who pleased Thee, the venerable Seraphim, preserve us from every soul-corrupting evil, that we may all cry out with compunction: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Who is not astounded, who doth not glorify the unfathomable abyss of Thy tender compassion, O Lord? For Thou hast revealed to the whole world him that pleased Thee, the venerable Seraphim, the fervent intercessor before Thee for us who cry aloud: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Accept this hymn of thanksgiving which we offer unto thee, O venerable Seraphim, and grant healing unto all of us who keep thy holy memory, and who bow down before the shrine of thy relics and cry aloud: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Thou art our refuge and confirmation, O most holy Theotokos. Entreat thy Son and our God to grant us salvation and forgiveness of sins.

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

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Having subdued the passions of the flesh and died to the world, thou didst receive the words of eternal life in thy heart, O blessed one, teaching all who had recourse unto thee to cry aloud: O ye works, praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

At the glorification of thy precious relics, O venerable one, the Monastery of Sarov was filled with joy. And all the people cried out unto God Who is wondrous in His saints: O ye works, praise ye the Lord, and supremely exalt Him for ever!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Being filled with the grace of the divine Spirit, O venerable Seraphim, through thy prayers beg forgiveness of sins for the faithful people that keep thy holy memory and cry out: Ye children, bless; ye priests, praise; ye people, and supremely exalt the Lord throughout all ages!

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

O Theotokos, who hast given birth unto the Saviour and Master of all, thou hast been shown forth to us as the mediatrix of salvation; wherefore, we pray thee: Grant salvation unto all who faithfully hymn thee throughout the ages.

Another Irmos: The King of heaven, * Who is glorified by the hosts of angels, * let us praise and supremely exalt throughout all ages.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

The most evil enemy, hating thy virtuous life, desired to cause thee to falter, O venerable one. But having put him to shame by the grace of God and the prayers of the Theotokos, thou didst glorify God, singing: O ye works, praise ye the Lord and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

As flashing lightning illumineth the firmament, so have the reports of thy wonders gone forth throughout all the world, O venerable one. And marvelling at thy glory, we cry out: O ye children, bless; ye priests, praise; ye people, supremely exalt the Lord throughout all ages!

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

Heal thou our minds which are disquieted by vain and passionate imaginings, O venerable one; quell thou the waves of evil disbelief in our land, and strengthen our hearts, which are crippled by worldly cares, that we may glorify Christ the Creator throughout all ages.

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

Rejoice, O fiery throne of the Lord! Rejoice, O ray of immaterial splendour! Rejoice, thou cloud of the radiant Sun of righteousness, Christ our Saviour, Whom we supremely exalt throughout all ages!

Ode IX, 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, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Accept, and disdain not, our small tribute, offered unto thee from unworthy lips, O venerable one. Sanctify all who glorify thee, and deliver us from misfortunes, dangers and eternal torments, that we may hymn thee throughout the ages.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Manfully enduring the heat of the day and the cold of night in the solitude of the wilderness, thou wast an abode of the Wisdom of God, and didst hasten toward the unwaning radiance. Pray thou that we be saved!

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

This day is the monastery glorified, wherein thou didst consent to take upon thyself the yoke of Christ; for there didst thou spend thy days in the wilderness; and, enlightening by thy teachings the many who came unto thee, thou didst teach them to be children of the Church of Christ.

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

Thou art our strength, thou art our boast and joy, our protectress, help, refuge and invincible intercessor. O most pure Theotokos, save thou thy servants!

Another Irmos: Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, * we truly confess thee to be the Theotokos, * and with the choirs of bodiless hosts we magnify thee.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

Emulating the great fathers who of old shone forth in fasting and ascetic struggle, O venerable one, thou didst spend all the days of thy life in prayer, tears and labour, until thou didst attain unto the heavenly mansions. Wherefore as is meet, we bless thee.

Venerable Father, Seraphim, pray to God for us.

With mighty power did Christ God gird thee about and strengthen thee to overcome the wiles of the demons, O venerable one. Wherefore, we now pray thee: Entreat God, the Lover of mankind, to deliver us all from the assaults and temptations of the enemies, and to save our souls.

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

In our pain and sorrow, we flee to thee, O venerable one, and cry out from the depths of our souls: Be thou a calm haven and ready healer for the sick, and deliver us from every ill and want, that we may unceasingly magnify thee.

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

O most pure Virgin, thou didst give birth unto One of the Holy Trinity, the Son and Word, Whom do thou entreat with the saints and the righteous on behalf of thy servants who with faith ask forgiveness of sins.

Troparion, Tone IV: From thy youth didst thou love Christ, O blessed one; * and, aflame with the desire to serve Him alone, * thou didst struggle in the wilderness in unceasing prayer and labour; * and with compunction of heart, having acquired the love of Christ, * thou wast shown to be the beloved favourite of the Mother of God. * Wherefore, we cry unto thee: ** Save us by thy prayers, O our venerable father Seraphim.

Canons of the Feast, St Stephen and St Theodore the Branded

Afterfeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Commemoration of the Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen.

Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Theodore the Branded, the Confessor, Brother of St. Theophanes the Hymnographer

Ode I, Canon of the Feast, in Tone I – Irmos: Christ is born, give ye glory! Christ cometh from heaven, meet ye Him! Christ is on earth, be ye exalted! O all the earth, sing ye unto the Lord, and chant with gladness, ye people, for He hath been glorified!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

That which is in the image of God, but which became wholly corrupt through the transgression, having fallen from the blessings of divine life, doth the wise Creator make new again, for He hath been glorified.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

The Creator, when he beheld man perishing, whom He had fashioned with His own hands, bowed the heavens also, and came down. And from the divine and pure Virgin He taketh upon Himself all man’s nature, becoming truly incarnate, for He hath been glorified!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Christ God, the Wisdom, Word, Power and radiant Splendour of the Father, having hidden His hosts, both heavenly and earthly, and become incarnate, hath renewed us, for He hath been glorified!

Canon of the Apostle, the composition of John of Damascus, in Tone V

Irmos: Bringing battles to nought with His upraised arm, Christ hath overthrown horse and rider in the Red Sea, and hath saved Israel, who chanteth a hymn of victory.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Come ye, and with wreaths of hymns let us gloriously crown the first martyr of the Church of Christ; and, crowned with the divine grace of Stephen, let us chant a hymn of victory.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Possessed of the meek mind of the Teacher and humility wrought by God through love, O Stephen, thou didst become the most senior of the deacons and an intercessor for widows.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

As is meet, thou wast called to assist the apostles of Christ; and thou wast a faithful deacon, for which cause thou didst, through blood, pass on to the place where Christ is, O Stephen, thou namesake of crowns.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

For men’s sake, O Christ, Thou wast borne by the Virgin and wast wrapped as a babe in swaddling clothes; and Thy protomartyr, buried beneath the stones cast at him, sheddeth his human life.

Canon of the Venerable One, the acrostic whereof is: “I weave thy praises, O my brother,” the composition of Theophanes, in Tone IV

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

The cherubim, beholding the inscription graven on thine honoured brow, withdrew from the Tree of Life; and the fiery sword giveth way to thee with all deference, O most wise Theodore.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

An inscription was set above the head of Christ the King, affixed to the Tree of the Cross; but thine inscription was graven on thy face, O most wise one, magnificently inscribed.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Lifted up on the Cross, the Lord was pierced through His side; and, stretched out on the rack and branded like a prized lamb, thou didst patiently endure the red-hot needles, O initiate of the sacred mysteries.

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

Adorned with all manner of wisdom, O father Theodore, thou didst openly denounce the sovereign for his evildoing; and by enduring torments thou didst disquiet his heretical thoughts.

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

Thou wast the abode of Wisdom all-wise, O all-pure Theotokos; thou alone art the salvation and hymn of the faithful, for today thou hast given birth unto divine Deliverance for us.

Ode III, Irmos: To Christ God, the Son Who was begotten of the Father without corruption before time began, and in latter times without seed became incarnate of the Virgin, let us cry aloud: O Lord Who liftest up our horn, holy art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Adam, though formed of dust, partook of the heavenly breath of life; yet, through the beguilement of the woman, fell into corruption. But now, beholding Christ born of a woman, he crieth out: O Lord, Who hast become like unto me for my sake, holy art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

O Christ, Who hast taken a form of miry clay, by Thy mingling and sharing of our base flesh, Thou didst make us partakers in the divine nature. O Lord, Who didst become man whilst yet remaining God and hast lifted up our horn, Holy art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Be thou glad, O Bethlehem, chief among the princes of Judah, for Christ, the Shepherd of Israel, cometh forth from thee in the sight of all, upborne upon the cherubim. He that hath lifted up our horn reigneth over all!

Irmos: O Christ Who by Thy command fixed the earth upon naught and suspended its weight unsupported: establish Thou Thy Church upon the immovable rock of Thy commandments, O Thou Who alone art good and lovest mankind.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Stephen, the warrior of Christ, having lawfully arrayed himself against the deicides, vested in the invincible power of God, denounced all the wicked opposition of the iniquitous.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Aflame with the zeal of the love of Christ and having stripped down for combat, filled with faith and the Spirit of God, O protomartyr, thou didst proclaim to all the divinely ordained preaching of the fishermen.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

As a proclaimer of the hidden and truly divine life, heedless of this present life, through deed the protomartyr manifestly showed to all truth triumphant, having assented to death, O Master.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

For our sake the Master entered the cave of life through condescension; and Stephen, chief among the martyrs, departeth from human burdens, overcome by the love of the Master.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Unable to say ought against thy doctrines, O venerable one, he who was filled with pagan madness resorted to blows.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Thou didst patiently endure wounds on thy shoulders and breast for Christ’s sake, and blows to thy head, O divinely-inspired one.

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

With spiritual wisdom and zeal of mind didst thou put to shame the impious and iniquitous one by thy most sacred dogmas.

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

With prophetic eyes David beheld thee in Bethlehem, O Mother of God, as the ark bearing the all-divine Infant.

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

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

Kontakion of the feast, Tone III: Today the Virgin giveth birth unto the Transcendent One, and the earth doth offer a cave to Him Who is unapproachable. Angels and shepherds give glory, and the magi journey with the star. For unto us a Child is born, the preëternal God!

Ikos: Bethlehem hath opened Eden! We have found Joy in a secret place: come, and let us receive the things of paradise within the cave. There the unwatered Root hath blossomed, bearing forgiveness as its fruit. There an unfailing Wellspring hath been found, whence of old David longed to drink. There the Virgin hath given birth to the Babe, quenching the thirst of Adam and David straightway. Wherefore, let us hasten to this place where now is born a young Child, the preëternal God!

Sessional hymn of the Apostle, Tone I, Spec. Mel. “Thy tomb, O Saviour…”: O apostle of Christ, first among the deacons, wise protomartyr, chief among the martyrs: having sanctified the ends of the earth with thy sufferings, thou hast also illumined the souls of men with miracles. O all-praised Stephen, from all manner of tribulations deliver those who honour thee.

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

Sessional hymn to the Venerable One, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Of the divine faith…”: Thou wast a mouth of boldness, most wisely putting to shame the audacity of the tyrant by the patient endurance of thy sufferings; for, branded on the brow for the most precious icon of Christ, O Theodore, thou didst tell all to honour and glorify Him, entreating great mercy for us.

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

Theotokion: Gazing upon Him Whom she had conceived without seed, the all-immaculate one exclaimed in wonder to Him Who was born of her: Even though Thou hast been wrapped in human guise, yet all things proclaim Thee to be God, O Child Who art without beginning, Who art equally without beginning with the unoriginate Father and grantest unto all great mercy!

Ode IV, Irmos: A rod from the root of Jesse and blossom therefrom, O Christ, Thou didst spring forth from the Virgin; from the mountain overshadowed and densely wooded hast Thou come, incarnate of her who knew not man, O Thou praised and immaterial God. Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

O Christ, whom Jacob foretold in days of old, calling Thee the Expectation of the nations, Thou hast shone forth from the tribe of Judah; and Thou hast come to take away the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria, changing falsehood to faith meet for God. Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

O Master, who shinest forth as a star out of Jacob, Thou didst fill with joy the astrologers, who wisely interpreted the words of Balaam, the soothsayer of old. As the first-fruits of the Gentiles were they led to Thee, and Thou didst receive them in the sight of all. Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Like the rain into a fleece of wool hast Thou come down into the womb of the Virgin, O Christ, even as the drops that water the earth. Ethiopia and Tarshish and the isles of Arabia, the kings of Saba, of the Medes and all the earth, fell down before Thee, O Saviour. Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Irmos: Perceiving Thy divine condescension prophetically, O Christ, Habbakuk cried out to Thee with trembling: Thou art come for the salvation of Thy people, to save Thine anointed ones!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Emulating the zeal of the angels, and splendidly adorned with an angelic countenance, thou didst behold the glory of God and the radiance thereof.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

The slanderer, judge and tyrant, the slayer of man and father of lies, appeared, O Stephen, but he vanquished himself, laying the very snares into which he fell.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Having opened for us the path of martyrdom, as first among the martyrs, the crown-bearer Stephen joineth chorus, crowned with the wreath of martyrdom.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O Christ Who shone forth from the Virgin like the sun, with Thy radiance Thou dost adorn the glorious memorial of the protomartyr as it were the daystar.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Stretched out upon the rack, O Theodore, with audacious vehemence and barbaric cruelty thou wast branded as one who venerated the icon of Christ and the Mother of God.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Having served the Master through abstinence from thy youth, O blessed one, placing thy trust constantly in Him, thou wast straightway most splendidly adorned with the blood of thy witnessing.

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

Luminous as the sun, O God-bearer, thou didst hasten from the East, emitting the rays of thy confession and thine exceeding wise and most valiant opposition.

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

Blessed is God the Word, Who in His loving-kindness cometh to Bethlehem from thy womb which knoweth not wedlock, O all-pure one. Him do thou now entreat, that He save those who have recourse unto thee.

Ode V, Irmos: As God of peace and Father of compassion, Thou didst send Thine Angel of Great Counsel, Who granteth us peace. Therefore, guided to the light of knowledge divine, and waking at dawn out of the night, we glorify Thee, Who lovest mankind.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Obedient to Cæsar’s command that his subjects be registered, Thou hast freed us that are subject to the enemy and to sin, O Christ. For, sharing wholly in our poverty, Thou hast made the very dust godlike by Thy union and communion with it.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Behold, the Virgin, as was said in days of old, hath conceived in her womb and given birth unto God incarnate, and yet remaineth virgin. O ye faithful, let us hymn her that is truly the Theotokos, for through her have we sinners been reconciled to God.

Irmos: O Thou Who art clothed in light as with a garment: I rise at dawn unto Thee, and to Thee do I cry: enlighten Thou my gloom-enshrouded soul, O Christ, in that Thou alone art compassionate!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

More exalted than the heavenly spheres and full of Thine ineffable glory, O Christ, Thy protomartyr hath shone forth like an angel.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

With outpourings of divinely eloquent words the protomartyr inundated the vile murderers; and, pelted by their countless stones, he received a victor’s crown.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

The boldness of the divine zeal of the protomartyr was invincible, for manfully did he stand against the deicides, even unto the shedding of his blood.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The protomartyr beheld Him Who came forth from the Mother who knoweth not man, standing in the heavens in the immutable divinity and glory of the Father.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Sojourning in a strange land, thou didst steadfastly endure exile, affliction, wounding, imprisonment, and the vilest of dungeons.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Now thou dost truly rejoice, receiving a victor’s crown on the splendid and radiant feast of the godly protomartyr.

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

The vow of piety which thou didst make in thy childhood, thou didst keep even unto the end, remaining unperverted, O invincible Theodore.

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

We wield thee as an invincible weapon against the foe, O Bride of God, for we have acquired thee as our help and hope of salvation.

Ode VI, Irmos: The sea monster thrust forth, like a babe from the womb, Jonah whom it had swallowed; and the Word, Who dwelt within the Virgin and took flesh of her, issued forth, preserving her incorrupt. He kept her who gave Him birth unharmed, for He Himself was not subject to corruption.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Christ our God, Whom the Father begat before the morning star, hath come forth incarnate from the Virgin’s womb; and He that holdeth sway over the all-pure hosts, lieth down in a manger of beasts. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes, that looseth the tangled chains of sin.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

The Son is born as a young Babe of the nature of Adam, and is given unto the faithful. He is the Father and Ruler of the Age to come, and He is called the Angel of great counsel. He is the mighty God, Who holdeth all creation in His dominion.

Irmos: O Christ Master, still Thou the sea of the passions which rageth with a soul-destroying tempest, and lead me up from corruption, in that Thou art compassionate.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Stephen, the glorious chief of the martyrs, having transcended the faithful laws of nature by grace, is made luminous by the glory of God.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

As a most renowned emulator of Thine honoured Passion, O Master Christ, Stephen repayeth his murderers with a blessing.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Preserve Thou those who hymn the protomartyr untouched by vile murder, and vouchsafe them Thine inheritance, in that Thou art compassionate.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thy birth was the beginning of the salvation of the universe and the foundation of the godly confession of the martyrs.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Still drenched in the sweat of thy struggles, thou didst stand before the Judge of the contest, Who, by His just judgment, doth govern all creation, O most blessed God-bearer Theodore.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Naught could separate thee from the love of Christ: neither the wounding of thy body, nor the threat of the death sentence, nor the loss of friends, O most blessed Theodore.

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

As a most radiant son of light and of the day, thou didst repose full of light, growing up towards the radiance of God, ever overflowing with light day and night, O thou who art pleasing unto God.

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

Having found thee alone to be a lily most pure, a lily of the valley amid the thorns, O Mother of God, the noetic Bridegroom made His abode within thee.

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

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

Kontakion of the Protomartyr, Tone III, Spec. Mel. “Today the Virgin…”: Yesterday the Master came to us in the flesh, and today his servant departeth from the flesh. Yesterday He that reigneth over the flesh was born, and today his servant is slain by stoning. For His sake the godly protomartyr Stephen doth meet his end.

Ikos: Like a radiant star doth Stephen the protomartyr shine forth on the Nativity of Christ, illumining and enlightening the ends of the earth, but casting a pall of darkness over all the impiety of the Jews. Reproving them with words of wisdom, discoursing from the Scriptures, and persuading those who Jesus, Who was born of the Virgin, is the Son of God and God, the godly protomartyr Stephen put to shame their impious wickedness.

Ode VII, Irmos: The children raised together in piety, disdaining the ungodly command, feared not the threat of the fire, but, standing in the midst of the flame, they chanted: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

The shepherds abiding in the field received a vision of light in awesome manner, for the glory of God shone round about them, and an angel cried out to them: Sing ye, for Christ is born. O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

At the angel’s proclamation, the hosts of heaven suddenly cried aloud: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men. Christ hath shone forth. O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

What are these tidings? the shepherds said. Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass, even the birth of the divine Christ! And, coming to Bethlehem, they worshipped with her that had given Him birth, chanting: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Irmos: The supremely exalted Lord of our fathers quenched the flame and bedewed the children, who sang together: Blessed art Thou, O God!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

The iniquitous, gnashing their teeth like beasts and falling upon Stephen with murderous intent, slew him as he chanted in godly manner: Blessed art Thou, O God!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

O Stephen, adorned with stones as with many-coloured and comely flowers, thou didst offer thyself unto Christ, the Bestower of life, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O God!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Almost insurmountable was the opposition of Paul, who at first persecuted the saints, but later led the gentiles unto Christ forever.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Caught up by the Holy Spirit, O Stephen, thou didst ineffably behold the Son and the Father, and thou didst cry out to the Trinity: Blessed art Thou, O God!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

An animate crown is offered unto Thee, as to a king, O Thou Who hast shone forth from the divine and pure Virgin, for in godly manner we chant unto Thee: Blessed art Thou, O God!

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Aflame with Orthodox zeal, O most wise one, with boldness thou didst spurn the food of vile and grievous heresy, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord my God!

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

The discourse of wisdom, the discourse of dogmas, the discourse of most pious doctrines did God the Word give unto thee, O father, who cried out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord my God!

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

Having shone forth from the East like the sun, O father Theodore, thou didst emit the radiance of piety upon the earth, enlightening and teaching it the veneration of icons.

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

Thou hast been shown to be adorned, most glorious, all-splendid with the light of virginity, O Mother, who gavest birth unto God in the flesh, and who wrapped in swaddling clothes Him Who doth manifestly clothe all things.

Ode VIII, Irmos: The dew-bearing furnace showed forth the image of a supernatural wonder; for it burned not the youths whom it had received, just as the fire of the Godhead burned not the Virgin, whose womb it entered. Wherefore, chanting, let us sing: Let all creation bless the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

From Sion did the daughter of Babylon draw the captive youths of David to herself, whom she had taken with the sword. But now she sendeth her own children, even the magi bearing gifts, to entreat the Daughter of David in whom God came to dwell. Wherefore, lifting up our voices in song, we chant: Let all creation bless the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Sorrow silenced the harps of the children of Sion, for they would not sing in a strange land; but Christ, shining forth in Bethlehem, hath destroyed all the deception of Babylon and the music of its instruments. Wherefore, lifting up our voices in song, we chant: Let all creation bless the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Babylon hath plundered the kingdom of Sion and taken away the riches thereof; but Christ hath brought the treasures of Babylon to Sion, guiding the astrologer kings by a star. Wherefore, lifting up our voices in song, we chant: Let all creation bless the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Irmos: The children, forming a universal chorus in the furnace, chanted to Thee, the Creator of all: Hymn the Lord, all ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Come, ye who are noetically illumined by the glory of Stephen, let us chant unto God incarnate: Hymn ye the Lord, all ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

For thee, O Stephen, is fashioned a wreath of sufferings, as for one who hath conquered most wicked deception. Wherefore, thou didst cry out: Hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Christ appeared to thee in the glory of the Father, manifestly promising thee recompense for thy sufferings. Wherefore, thou didst cry out: Hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

The nativity of the Master and the commemoration of the protomartyr are cause for us to join chorus. Wherefore, let us unceasingly hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Thee, who in manner past understanding gavest birth unto the Lord, the God-man, yet remainest virgin, O Virgin, do all of us, the works of the Lord, hymn and exalt supremely for all ages.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Trusting, like a lion, in the strength of thy spirit, O most blessed one, thou wast not afraid of the assault of the heretic, the namesake of savagery. And, spitting upon him, rejoicing thou didst cry out to the people: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Having adorned thy soul with manliness and acquired a mind full of understanding, thou didst perfect thy will with chastity, O blessed one, and didst direct thy thoughts with righteousness, and dost cry out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

By thy chastenings thou didst dry up the rushing torrent of heresy, O venerable father, destroying the snares of the impious with thy most wise instructions, and crying aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

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

God, Who fashioned human nature in the beginning, is therein clothed through thine all-pure and holy womb, O all-pure one, being born today in Bethlehem in accordance with the prophecies. Wherefore, we all call thee blessed, O Mary, Bride of God.

Ode IX, Irmos: A strange and most glorious mystery do I behold: the cave is heaven; the Virgin, the throne of the cherubim; the manger, the place wherein lay Christ God, Whom naught can contain, Whom praising, we magnify.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

The magi, beholding the remarkable course of the new star shining with a brightness that illumined all the heavens, learnt thereby that Christ the King was born on earth in Bethlehem for our salvation.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

The magi said, Where is the newborn Child King? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him. Then Herod, the enemy of God, was exceeding wroth and diligently sought how to slay the Christ.

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee!

Herod inquired what time the guiding star appeared, which led the magi to Bethlehem to worship Christ with gifts. But, brought by the star into their own country another way, they returned not to Herod, mocking the wicked slayer of children.

Irmos: Rejoice, O Isaiah! The Virgin hath conceived in her womb and borne a Son, Immanuel, both God and man. Orient is His name; and, magnifying Him, we call the Virgin blessed.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

O Stephen, thou hast surpassed all the degrees of praise, and with every word thou didst carry away trophies of victory. For the human mind is incapable of weaving a crown of praise worthy of thee.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

O, the blessed voice were with thou didst hold forth, O Stephen! Lay not this sin to the charge of my murderers, O Master Christ, thou didst cry, But, as Thou art my God and Creator, receive Thou my spirit as a sacrifice of savour most sweet.

Holy Apostle, Protomartyr and Archdeacon, Stephen, pray to God for us.

Thou didst receive recompense for thy sufferings: a victor’s wreath from the right hand of the Almighty. And now, O most blessed one, standing before the King of all, with glory and grace crown thou those who hymn thee.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

The timeless Son, begotten of the Father, hath received from the Virgin a beginning of existence in time. Slain for His sake, Stephen, the emulator of Christ, hath now inherited everlasting life from the Origin thereof.

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

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Compelled by the will of God, thou didst readily endure the assaults of persecutions, O divinely wise one; and having set at naught the savagery of the persecutor, thou hast received a crown for thy struggles, O father.

Venerable father, Theodore, pray to God for us.

Thou hast discovered heavenly riches, and an abiding home instead of bitter imprisonment, exile and wandering. And thou livest now in rapture, receiving eternal delight.

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

Offering hymnody unto the Master, O father, cease not to offer entreaties concerning mine infirmity, for the sake of our brotherhood and dwelling together; that, as we have lived together, we may also attain deification together.

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

We magnify thee, O Virgin, as the true Theotokos and divine Maiden, for, in manner surpassing comprehension and recounting, thou gavest birth in Bethlehem unto God the Word and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.

Troparion of the Protomartyr, Tone IV: Thou didst fight the good fight, and didst denounce the impiety of the tyrants, O protomartyr and apostle of Christ; for, stoned at the hands of the iniquitous, thou hast received from on high a crown from the right hand of the Lord, and didst exclaim to God, crying aloud: O Lord, lay not this sin to their charge!

Troparion of the Venerable One, Tone VIII: Instructor in Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and purity, beacon for the whole world, divinely inspired adornment of monastics, O Theodore most wise, by thy teachings hast thou illumined all. O harp of the Spirit, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of the feast, Tone IV: Thy nativity, O Christ our God, hath shone forth the light of reason upon the world; for therein those who worship the stars have been taught by a star to worship Thee, the Son of righteousness, and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on high. O Lord, glory be to Thee!

Day 40 – Advent With the Saints – the Holy Venerable-Martyr Eugenia

December / 6 January
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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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


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

Day 39 – Advent With the Saints: the Holy Hierarch, Nahum of Ochrid

23 December / 5 January

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 recognised 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.

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sessional Hymn, 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.

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

Sessional Hymn of the forefeast, 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!

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

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.

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 birth-giving, O Virgin!

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

Thy feet 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.

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 * the 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.

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; 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!

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.

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Troparion of the forefeast, 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 fell of old!

Day 38 – Advent With the Saints: St Anastasia of Rome

22 December 20 / 4 January

The Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions, a Roman by birth, suffered for Christ at the time of Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. Her father was a pagan, but her mother was secretly a Christian. Saint Anastasia’s teacher in her youth was an educated and pious Christian named Chrysogonus. After the death of her mother, her father gave Saint Anastasia in marriage to a pagan named Publius, but feigning illness, she preserved her virginity.

Clothing herself in the garb of a beggar, and accompanied by only one servant, she visited the prisons. She fed, doctored and often ransomed captives who were suffering for their faith in Christ. When her servant told Publius about everything, he subjected his wife to a beating and locked her up at home. Saint Anastasia then began to correspond secretly with Chrysogonus, who told the saint to be patient, to cleave to the Cross of Christ, and to accept the Lord’s will. He also foretold the impending death of Publius in the sea. After a certain while Publius did indeed drown, as he was setting out with a delegation to Persia. After the death of her husband, Saint Anastasia began to distribute her property to the poor and suffering.

Diocletian was informed that the Christians who filled the prisons of Rome stoically endured tortures. He gave orders to kill them all in a single night, and for Chrysogonus to be sent to him at Aquileia. Saint Anastasia followed her teacher at a distance.

The emperor interrogated Chrysogonus personally, but could not make him renounce his faith. Therefore, he commanded that he be beheaded and thrown into the sea. The body and severed head of the holy martyr were carried to shore by the waves. There by divine Providence, the relics were found by a presbyter named Zoilus who placed them in a coffer, and concealed them at his home.

Saint Chrysogonus appeared to Zoilus and informed him that martyrdom was at hand for Agape, Chione and Irene (April 16), three sisters who lived nearby. He told him to send Saint Anastasia to them to encourage them. Saint Chrysogonus foretold that Zoilus would also die on the same day. Nine days later, the words of Saint Chrysogonus were fulfilled. Zoilus fell asleep in the Lord, and Saint Anastasia visited the three maidens before their tortures. When these three martyrs gave up their souls to the Lord, she buried them.

Having carried out her teacher’s request, the saint went from city to city ministering to Christian prisoners. Proficient in the medical arts of the time, she zealously cared for captives far and wide, healing their wounds and relieving their suffering. Because of her labors, Saint Anastasia received the name Deliverer from Potions (Pharmakolytria), since by her intercessions she has healed many from the effects of potions, poisons, and other harmful substances.

She made the acquaintance of the pious young widow Theodota, finding in her a faithful helper. Theodota was taken for questioning when it was learned that she was a Christian. Meanwhile, Saint Anastasia was arrested in Illyricum. This occurred just after all the Christian captives there had been murdered in a single night by order of Diocletian. Saint Anastasia had come to one of the prisons, and finding no one there, she began to weep loudly. The jailers realized that she was a Christian and took her to the prefect of the district, who tried to persuade her to deny Christ by threatening her with torture. After his unsuccessful attempts to persuade Saint Anastasia to offer sacrifice to idols, he handed her over to the pagan priest Ulpian in Rome.

The cunning pagan offered Saint Anastasia the choice between luxury and riches, or grievous sufferings. He set before her gold, precious stones and fine clothing, and also fearsome instruments of torture. The crafty man was put to shame by the bride of Christ. Saint Anastasia refused the riches and chose the tools of torture.

But the Lord prolonged the earthly life of the saint, and Ulpian gave her three days to reconsider. Charmed by Anastasia’s beauty, the pagan priest decided to defile her purity. However, when he tried to touch her he suddenly became blind. His head began to ache so severely that he screamed like a madman. He asked to be taken to a pagan temple to appeal to the idols for help, but on the way he fell down and died.

Saint Anastasia was set free and she and Theodota again devoted themselves to the care of imprisoned Christians. Before long, Saint Theodota and her three sons accepted a martyrdom. Her eldest son, Evodus, stood bravely before the judge and endured beatings without protest. After lengthy torture, they were all thrown into a red-hot oven.

Saint Anastasia was caught again and condemned to death by starvation. She remained in prison without food for sixty days. Saint Theodota appeared to the martyr every night and gave her courage. Seeing that hunger caused Saint Anastasia no harm whatsoever, the judge sentenced her to drowning together with other prisoners. Among them was Eutychianus, who was condemned for his Christian faith.

The prisoners were put into a boat which went out into the open sea. The soldiers bored holes in the boat and got into a galley. Saint Theodota appeared to the captives and steered the ship to shore. When they reached dry land, 120 men believed in Christ and were baptized by Saints Anastasia and Eutychianus. All were captured and received a martyr’s crown. Saint Anastasia was stretched between four pillars and burned alive. A certain pious woman named Apollinaria buried her body, which was unharmed by the fire, in the garden outside her house.

In the fifth century the relics of Saint Anastasia were transferred to Constantinople, where a church was built and dedicated to her. Later the head and a hand of the Great Martyr were transferred to the monastery of Saint Anastasia [Deliverer from Potions], near Mount Athos.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.

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

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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