Drawing Closer to the Mother of God Through Prayer and Devotion

During last night’s talk, I spoke of prayers and devotions as the primary way in which we draw closer to the Mother of God, and how the kannonik and akafistnik had been so instrumental in shaping the relationship that our forebears had with her, forging an especialy valuable connection when the Faith was persecuted, churches and monastery closed and the clergy and monastics incarcerated or martyred.

Even though he lived centuries before the appearance of the Mother of God in the chuch of the Blachernae in Constantinople, St Romanos the Melodist appears on the amvon in our festal icon – the feast of Pokrov also being HIS feast. This superimposed cameo-appearance of the great hymnographer is not out of place, as his supreme work the Akathist Hymn, is the greatest hymnographic celebration of the Mother of God and the finest address to her that we have as Orthodox Christians.

However, just as we have so many canons to the Mother of God, we also have many other akathists: some very fine, some frankly mediocre… some very late ones, well-meant but not written with a blessing, unfortunately being the liturgical equivalent of  kitsch.

Though the great work of St Romanos is the only akathist appointed to be chanted in services by the Church’s typikon, and the only one accepted by Old Rite Orthodox and some purists in other Orthodox countries, we do however have a wealth of good akathist hymns with which to address the Mother of God; to draw close to her; to share our trials, sorrows and needs; to celebrate her feasts and venerate her icons.

With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, thousands of Orthodox Christians united in the daily praying of the akathist to the Mother of God, in honour of her icon ‘The Softener of Evil Hearts’, as this has akathist loved and valued with the icon for centurie become a shared offering of prayer to the Theotokos across countries, continents and battle-lines, uniting people with one another as well as to the blessed Mother.

In our own Cardiff community, we have new Orthodox Christians for whom the wealth of canons and akathists is a brand-new-discovery, and one that can bring immeasurable spiritual wealth and strength. So, over the next few weeks, between the feast of the Protecting Veil and the Kazan Icon, I will endeavour to highlight our wealth of prayers and hymns to the Mother of God, so that through their words, whether chanted, or prayed quietly and contemplatively, we may draw near to the Mother whom the Saviour gave us as He battled hell and death on the battle-field of Golgotha from the vantage point from His Life-Giving Cross.

As pastoral circumstances have highlighted the need to turn to the Mother of God as the ‘Giver of Reason – Прибавление ума’ and her wonder-working icon of that name (also now as Loretskaya/of Loreto), I will start by re-posting the akathist which so many people turn to for themselves and for others: to pray for wisdom, clarity of mind, for right decisions, for the mentally troubled and ill, for those slow of learning, for those with learning disabilities…  crying “Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.”

Romanian text: https://rugainimii.wordpress.com/acatistul-maicii-domnului-icoana-sporirea-mintii/

Slavonic text: https://akafistnik.ru/akafisty-ko-presvyatoj-bogoroditse/akafist-presvyatoj-bogoroditse-pred-ikonoj-pribavlenie-uma/

English below…

Kontakion 1: To the Mother of God, chosen from all generations, the Queen of Heaven and earth, who grantest a spiritual remedy to the whole world, we offer a hymn of thanksgiving for receiving the divine treasure, her wonder-working icon ‘The Giver of Reason’. Guarded by it we feel radiant joy and lovingly call: Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who dost grant wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Oikos 1: The angelic messenger was sent to the town of Nazareth to the pure Virgin Mary to say to her, ‘Rejoice’, when the divine Word was made flesh in her womb. Having heard the annunciation, the Most Pure Virgin spoke from the humility of her heart, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word.’ Wherefore, we sinful ones reverently honour the Mother of Christ our God, and taught by the Archangel we cry out with compunction: 

Rejoice, thou who art blessed among women. 

Rejoice, thou who art favoured by God. 

Rejoice, thou who art shielded by God’s strength. 

Rejoice, thou who art sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

Rejoice, thou who art God’s faithful handmaiden. 

Rejoice, thou who art chosen by God. 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to the Saviour of the world. 

Rejoice, thou Mother of the Light, which illuminest all. 

Rejoice, thou who surpassest the wisdom of the wise. 

Rejoice, thou who grantest wisdom to thy faithful. 

Rejoice, Queen of heaven and earth. 

Rejoice, for all generations shall call thee blessed. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 2: Knowing the desire of the newly-enlightened, O Most Pure, thou hast blessed the herald of the Gospel’s mysteries, the Apostle Luke, to paint an image of thy Most Pure countenance. Looking upon this image, thou hast said regally: ‘My grace and strength will be with this image.’ Wherefore, reverently honouring thy holy icons, with which thou hast adorned the entire Christian commonwealth, we cry to God in thanksgiving for thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 2: Opening heavenly reason for us, O Most Pure Virgin, thou dost grant all of thy faithful to learn of God’s will, which is good, pleasing and perfect; excelling all reason. O All-Praised Theotokos, grant us thy care; vouchsafe us the light of truth; comfort us as a mother and teach us the path of truth, that we may cry to thee, in prayer: 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to Christ, God’s Power and Wisdom. 

Rejoice, thou who hast united God and Man. 

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened our souls with the light of reason. 

Rejoice, thou who hast held the ineffable glory of God. 

Rejoice, thou who dost sanctify the honour given to the holy icons. 

Rejoice, giver of spiritual treasures. 

Rejoice, thou who hast granted grace to thy glorious icons. 

Rejoice, for looking upon thy icons, we venerate thee. 

Rejoice, thou who through thy holy icons grantest healing throughout the world. 

Rejoice, thou who liftest our minds and hearts to heaven. 

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened the entire universe by thy rays of grace. 

Rejoice, thou who reignest eternally with thy Son and God. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 3: Shielded by the power of God’s grace, the pious came to the town of Nazareth, finding there the house of the Mother of God, wherein the Most Pure Virgin was born and received the glad tidings: translated thence to the Italian lands, to the town of Loreto, where, on high, is an icon of the Mother of God, painted upon wood and surrounded by the invisible angelic powers, praising it magnificently and joyfully singing to God: alleluia. 

Oikos 3: Having maternal mercy for Christians, O Most Pure, thou callest all lands on earth to salvation. Therefore, people of diverse nations visit thy house and confess their sins before thine icon, and its glory shineth in the East and in the West and people delivered from sicknesses, sorrow and misfortune give thee thanks, crying:  

Rejoice, House, created by God’s Wisdom for Himself.  

Rejoice, City of God, from the small town of Nazareth.  

Rejoice, thou who hast sanctified the house of God by thy presentation.  

Rejoice, thou who art greater than the Holy of the Holies.  

Rejoice, thou who hast come to Nazareth with the pre-eternal Infant.  

Rejoice, thou who hast served the mystery of salvation of mankind.  

Rejoice, thou ladder by which we ascend from earth to heaven.  

Rejoice, wondrous protecting veil for the whole world. 

Rejoice, for we faithfully honour the image of thy Most Pure countenance.  

Rejoice, for we receive from thee the blessed gifts for our salvation.  

Rejoice, thou who dost manifest miraculous signs through thine icons.  

Rejoice, powerful Protector of Christians.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 4: An iconographer seized by a storm of sorrow, whose reason was darkened, could find no help from earthly physicians. Then the Most Pure Mother of God appeared to him and commanded him to paint her icon, which sanctifies her house in Loreto. Having done this, the painter was healed and from thence he called the newly painted icon ‘The Giver of Reason’, singing before it God’s praise: alleluia. 

Oikos 4: When the people of Russia came to know that the most holy Theotokos gave them, for their joy and consolation, her icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’ they adorned their temples and houses with many copies. A multitude of wondrous signs and miracles happen for those who faithfully come before them and sing to the most blessed one:  

Rejoice, thou who hast granted us thy glorious image to sanctify and comfort us.  

Rejoice, thou who quickly curest bodily and spiritual illnesses.  

Rejoice, thou who hast shielded the Russian land with the veil of thy favour. 

Rejoice, thou who hast delivered those who love and honour thine image, from all misfortunes. 

Rejoice, thou who dost enter invisibly our houses through thine intercession.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest us blessing and joy.  

Rejoice, thou who takest in thine all-mighty hands those abandoned by physicians.  

Rejoice, thou who healest those who lost their mind through illness. 

Rejoice, hope of the hopeless.  

Rejoice, enlightener of our minds.  

Rejoice, pure mirror which reflects the truth.  

Rejoice, thou whose name is praised in East and West.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 5: Thine icon, O Theotokos, hath appeared as a divine star, for it sanctifies our land and its cities; it enlightens those darkened by ignorance with the light of theology; illumining our reason, darkened by sin, it sets the lost on the path following the commandments of thy Son and God, and we cry to Him thankfully: alleluia. 

Oikos 5: Having seen the divine treasure, the wondrous icon of the Mother of God, we pray to her diligently, finding therein the cure of our ailments, relief from our sorrows and salvation from our misfortunes; wherefore we sing to our Lady and protector:  

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened the faithful by the appearance of thine icon.  

Rejoice, thou through whom the Sun of Truth, Christ, our God, began to shine in the darkness.  

Rejoice, Mother of the Light of Reason, that enlightened by its grace the whole universe.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest us by thy blessing. 

Rejoice, thou who dispellest the gloom of our ignorance by thy light.  

Rejoice, O Virgin, for through thee the light of theology began to shine for all.  

Rejoice, inextinguishable candle, which kindlest the light of faith.  

Rejoice, thou who illuminest the path of virtue.  

Rejoice, thou who art the source of all that is holy.  

Rejoice, thou who powerfully guardest us from adversities and misfortune.  

Rejoice, inextinguishable light of divine love.  

Rejoice, thou who proclaimest to us the spring of salvation by the light of thy miracles.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 6: Thy favours are known in the entire world, O Mother of our Lord; for in many cities and villages of the Russian land, thy icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ shines with the rays of miracles; enlightening our souls by the light of God’s Grace and prompting us to sing to God, Who honoured thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 6: There appeared the light of salvation in thy glorious icon, O Theotokos, for all who stray in the darkness of sins and passions, and swift help is rendered to all who pray before it with reverence and faith. Remove the darkness from our minds, O all-praised, by thy light and show the True Light to all who lovingly cry to thee:  

Rejoice, inextinguishable star, that hast given to the world, the Sun of Truth.  

Rejoice, thou Mother of True Light, which enlightenest the souls of the faithful. 

Rejoice, mentor of blessed instruction.  

Rejoice, thou who dost shield our darkened mind with a light veil.  

Rejoice, thou who art the dawn which dispellest the fog of our sins.  

Rejoice, thou who dost deliver us from darkness and eternal torment.  

Rejoice, thou who dost free us from the snares of the enemy. 

Rejoice, thou who gainest a victory over the madness of the world.  

Rejoice, thou who expellest teachings harmful for the soul. 

Rejoice, giver of knowledge beneficial for the soul.  

Rejoice, thou who comfortest us with thine icon.  

Rejoice, thou who encouragest souls with the light of joy.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 7: Wishing all men to be saved and to realise the truth, our most merciful Lord and Creator hath granted us the image of His Most Pure Mother, called ‘The Giver of Reason’, that those praying before it, having received strength in word, reason and wisdom, freed from wandering thoughts, may sing to our King and God: alleluia. 

Oikos 7: O Mother of God, who dost manifest new and even more glorious wonders through thy holy icon; by the power of Christ’s grace thou enlightenest those with darkened minds, deterring men from madness, strengthening the weak, and swiftly helping all who turn to thy healing image, inspiring them to sing to thee:  

Rejoice, thou who pullest us from the depth of ignorance.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest many minds.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest wise words to those who ask.  

Rejoice, thou who makest fools to reason clearly.  

Rejoice, thou who drivest away sinful designs.  

Rejoice, thou who softenest embittered hearts.  

Rejoice, thou who raisest the mind to God.  

Rejoice, thou who makest the unwise to be wise.  

Rejoice, thou who encouragest us to strive for piety.  

Rejoice, thou who clothest us with eternal joy.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest the prayers of the faithful to thy Son and God.  

Rejoice, thou who prayest ceaselessly for all before the throne of the Almighty.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 8: It is wondrous to see, O Most Pure Theotokos, thine icon painted upon wood, drive away the spirits of darkness by thy divine power, giving reason to those seized by feebleness of mind and by trouble in learning. Therefore, we, perishing because of our sins, plead with thee tearfully: deliver us from our visible and invisible enemies, from the darkness of ignorance, so that we may always sing to our Saviour and God: alleluia. 

Oikos 8: The whole Russian land hath an abundance of thy wonder-working icons, O Virgin Theotokos, shining like God’s bright stars. Amongst them also the grace of thine icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ shines and warms our frozen hearts by the signs of thy favour to us sinful ones. Therefore, kneeling before thy holy countenance, we praise thee, our Most Pure Mother:  

Rejoice, thou who transformest our sorrows into joy.  

Rejoice, thou who defendest us from the burning arrows of the Evil One.  

Rejoice, thou who dost bring up children and shield them with thy grace.  

Rejoice, thou who art the wise protector and mentor of the young.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest reason to children poor of learning.  

Rejoice, thou who destroyest the traps of the enemy.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest the minds of the faithful.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace those without faith.  

Rejoice, thou who healest those seized by madness.  

Rejoice, thou whose blessed icon drives away demons. 

Rejoice, Mother of mercy and benevolence. 

Rejoice, hope of our salvation.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 9: All the angels serve thee reverently, O Queen of heaven and earth, whilst mankind praises thee and honours thy holy icon that thou hast granted to comfort us and give us joy. Teach us, O most good Lady, to praise thee worthily and to sing to the Saviour of the world, who was born from thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 9: The eloquent orators of mankind can neither grasp the mystery of thy service to Christians nor explain the miraculous power of thine icons, which benefit in every way the soul and body of man. We, Orthodox, standing with tears of joy before thy holy icons praise thee, O grace-giving one, and say:  

Rejoice, thou who art the joy of the angels. 

Rejoice, thou who art adored by the archangels.  

Rejoice, thou whom the cherubim receive in the air.  

Rejoice, thou who art praised by the seraphim.  

Rejoice, bright adornment of both the Churches of heaven and earth.  

Rejoice, thou who art above all the powers of the heaven.  

Rejoice, thou who art honoured by the heavenly host.  

Rejoice, thou who art the glory of all who live on earth.  

Rejoice, thou who dost elevate our minds to the Highest by thine example.  

Rejoice, guide to our homeland in the heavens.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest the whole earth by the radiance of thy soul. 

Rejoice, thou who hast adopted us all at the cross of thy Son.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 10: Having wished to save the world from insanity and the delusions of the enemy, the Lord, the lover of mankind, has granted us thy wondrous icon, O Mother of God. Praying before it the insane are cured, the possessed are freed from demons, the sorrowful find joy and comfort. Praising God, Who is so merciful to us, with thanksgiving we cry to Him: alleluia. 

Oikos 10: Be for us an impregnable wall and protecting veil, all-pure Mother of God, from the armies of enemies, visible and invisible and guard us from misfortune and disease. Wherefore, kneeling before thine icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ and firmly believing in thy blessed help and cure from all spiritual and bodily illness, we joyfully cry to thee:  

Rejoice, thou who dost deter us from the ways of perdition.  

Rejoice, thou who guidest the faithful on the path of truth.  

Rejoice, thou who drivest away the spirit of sickness and despair. 

Rejoice, thou who helpest us to obtain the spirit of reason and strength.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace the enemies by God’s might.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest to ruin the assemblies of the impious.  

Rejoice, thou cure of the possessed.  

Rejoice, thou who healest all aggressive diseases.  

Rejoice, thou who deliverest us from spiritual death.  

Rejoice, thou who washest away our sins with thy tears.  

Rejoice, thou who dost satisfy us miraculously with spiritual joy.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest us eternal joy, also in the age to come.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 11: We sing in thanksgiving before thy Most Pure image, O Most Pure, beseeching thine ineffable mercy, and we pray to thee who art full of divine grace: guard our minds and hearts against pernicious teaching, disbelief and superstitions; keep our land free from all manner of disorders, stirred up by the enemies of faith, and let us praise our Creator with a pure heart, singing: alleluia. 

Oikos 11: We see thine icon, O Theotokos, like a burning candle, which enlightenest our land with the light of thy miracles, sets us on the path of salvation and kindles our hearts with love for thee, Most Pure Mother of our God. Therefore, knowing the power of thy grace, we glorify thee with hymns of joy:  

Rejoice, thou whose wisdom is immeasurably higher than the wisdom of Solomon.  

Rejoice, thou who revealest God’s most secret mysteries to thy faithful.  

Rejoice, thou who transformest the dull-witted into lovers of wisdom.  

Rejoice, thou light which enlightenest our souls.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace the vain wisdom of this age.  

Rejoice, thou who settest on the right path those blinded by vain wisdom.  

Rejoice, thou who renewest the minds of those who pray with conviction.  

Rejoice, thou who placest a joyful thought in the heart in times of confusion.  

Rejoice, thou who art the revelation of God’s Wisdom and Goodness. 

Rejoice, thou who art the beauty of the heavens.  

Rejoice, thou who hast given us a heavenly gift, thy wonder-working icon.  

Rejoice, source of incessant joy.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 12: Obtain for us divine grace from thy Son and God, O all-good one; extend to us thy helping hand, that we may not perish without repentance; shield us with thy love; cleanse our minds of sinful designs; clear the eyes of our heart that we may see the path of salvation and grant us to sing to our Creator and God in this life and in the Heavenly Kingdom: alleluia. 

Oikos 12: Singing the miracles, which have been manifested through thine icon, O Lady, we praise, glorify and honour thee, who art more honourable than the cherubim, and more glorious, beyond compare, than the seraphim. Look upon us, standing before thy holy icon, O Theotokos, who art now in the heavens, and send us thy blessing; deliver us from all misfortune and the enemy’s temptations, for we honour thee with songs as our protector and keeper:  

Rejoice, thou who dost save the entire universe by thy prayers.  

Rejoice, thou who art the comfort of this sorrowful age.  

Rejoice, Mother of Light, who enlightenest all with the light of thy purity.  

Rejoice, thou who revealest to us the mysteries of God’s will.  

Rejoice, thou who hast chosen Russia as thy portion and thy domain.  

Rejoice, thou who by thy wonder-working icons hast blessed this land.  

Rejoice, thou who raisest us to the Light of Truth through thine image.  

Rejoice, thou who shieldest us invisibly with its divine grace.  

Rejoice, thou who pourest blessed joy into God-loving hearts.  

Rejoice, thou who by thine entreaties openest the doors of God’s mercy.  

Rejoice, thou who helpest us to court the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Rejoice, thou who art the only pure and blessed one amongst women.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 13: O all-praised Mother of the pre-eternal Light and Wisdom of the Father, who art the light of the darkened, the increase of intelligence and the joy of our hearts; hear and accept the pleading of us sinful ones; make us, who are unwise, wiser and teach us to sing and pray before thine icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’. Cease not to pray for us, thine unworthy servants, who glorify thee and sing to thy Son and God: alleluia. (Thrice) 

Oikos 1: The angelic messenger was sent to the town of Nazareth to the pure Virgin Mary to say to her, ‘Rejoice’, when the divine Word was made flesh in her womb. Having heard the annunciation, the Most Pure Virgin spoke from the humility of her heart, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word.’ Wherefore, we sinful ones reverently honour the Mother of Christ our God, and taught by the Archangel we cry out with compunction: 

Rejoice, thou who art blessed among women. 

Rejoice, thou who art favoured by God. 

Rejoice, thou who art shielded by God’s strength. 

Rejoice, thou who art sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

Rejoice, thou who art God’s faithful handmaiden. 

Rejoice, thou who art chosen by God. 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to the Saviour of the world. 

Rejoice, thou Mother of the Light, which illuminest all. 

Rejoice, thou who surpassest the wisdom of the wise. 

Rejoice, thou who grantest wisdom to thy faithful. 

Rejoice, Queen of heaven and earth. 

Rejoice, for all generations shall call thee blessed. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 1: To the Mother of God, chosen from all generations, the Queen of Heaven and earth, who grantest a spiritual remedy to the whole world, we offer a hymn of thanksgiving for receiving the divine treasure, her wonder-working icon ‘The Giver of Reason’. Guarded by it we feel radiant joy and lovingly call: Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who dost grant wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Prayers to the Most Holy Theotokos before her icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’ 

O most holy Virgin, thou art the Bride of God the Father and the Mother of His Divine Son Jesus Christ! Thou art the Queen of Angels and the salvation of mankind, thou who dost unmask sinners and punish apostates. Have mercy upon us, who have sinned greatly and not fulfilled God’s commandments; who have broken the vows of baptism and of the monastic life and many other vows that we had promised to keep.  When the Holy Spirit abandoned King Saul, fear and despondency seized him and the darkness of despair and a joyless soul tortured him. And now we also, because of our sins, are deprived of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Our mind is corrupted by idle thoughts, our soul is darkened since we have forgotten God, and now our hearts are crowded with all manner of sorrows, grievances, illnesses, hatred, malice, hostility, vindictiveness, pleasure at another’s misfortune, and other sins. And, having no joy or consolation, we call to thee, the Mother of our God Jesus Christ, to move thy Son by thine entreaties to forgive us our transgressions and to send us the Spirit the Comforter, as He sent Him to the apostles so that we, being comforted and enlightened by Him, would sing to thee a song of thanksgiving: rejoice, most holy Theotokos who hast increased our intelligence so that we may find our salvation. Amen. 

My good Queen, my holy hope, shelter of the lost and the protector of strangers, the helper of the poor and the protecting veil of those in temptations, see my misfortune, see my sorrow: I am surrounded by temptations and there is no one to guard me against them. Wherefore help me, thyself, as I am feeble, guide me as I am a stranger; instruct me as I have strayed; heal me and save me for I am hopeless. I have no other help, no other hope, besides thee, my Lady: help us, as we have placed our hope in thee and we glorify thee ceaselessly, as we are thy servants, let us not be disgraced. I kneel before thy mercy, O Virgin Theotokos, reject not mine entreaties as I am full of sorrows, but deliver me from my misfortunes, as thou only art pure and blessed. Amen.  

O Most Pure Theotokos, the House that God’s Wisdom has created for Himself, Giver of spiritual gifts, who dost elevate our minds from the world to the spiritual spheres and teach us reason! Accept the prayerful singing of thine unworthy servants, who venerate thee with faith and compunction before thy Most Pure image. Entreat thy Son and our God that He may grant our authorities wisdom and power; our judges truth and justice; our pastors spiritual wisdom, zeal and vigilant guarding of our souls; our mentors humble wisdom; our children obedience, and to all of us the spirit of reason and piety, the spirit of humility and meekness, the spirit of purity and truth. And now, our all-praised and all-loved Mother, increase our intelligence, pacify and unite those in hostility and separation, and give them an unbreakable bond of love; direct all those who have strayed through lack of reason, to the light of Christ’s truth and edify them in fear of God, abstention and love of work; give words of wisdom and knowledge, useful for the souls of those pleading with thee, who art more radiant than the cherubim and more honourable than the seraphim; that we, seeing God’s glorious works and His unfathomable wisdom, in the world and in our lives, shall abandon all earthly vanity and needless earthly concerns, raising our minds and our hearts to the heavens, and with thy protection and help shall glorify, thank and praise God, One in three and Creator of all, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen  

Troparion, tone 4:  O most glorious Mother of Christ, our God, who art the Giver of all good, preserve the universe by thy mercy; give us, thy servants, wisdom and reason; enlighten our souls with the light of thy Son, thou only all-praised, who art glorified by the cherubim and the seraphim.  

Kontakion, tone 2:  As thou enlightenest us by the reason of the one God, we praise thee, the Most Pure Mother of Reason which upholds the entire Universe. Thou art the beauty of the visible and the invisible world who enlightenest us by the rays of Life.  

16/29 June – St Tikhon of Kaluga

Saint Tikhon of Medin and Kaluga, in his youth received monastic tonsure at the Chudov monastery in Moscow, but through his love for solitude he settled at an isolated spot near Maloyaroslavl. He lived in asceticism in a deep dense forest, on the bank of the River Vepreika, in the hollow of an ancient giant oak. Once, during a hunt, Prince Basil Yaroslavich (grandson of Vladimir the Brave), came upon St Tikhon, angrily ordered him to leave his property immediately, and dared to raise his whip against the monk. At once, the hand of the prince grew numb. Taken aback by such punishment, the prince repented of his conduct and with humility asked forgiveness.

He received healing through the prayer of St Tikhon. The prince entreated the monk to remain always on his property and to build a monastery there for monks, promising to provide it with everything necessary. St Tikhon built a monastery in honour of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, which he headed. He guided the monastery until he reached a great old age, and he died in the year 1492, after receiving the great schema.

St Tikhon’s body was buried at the cathedral church of the monastery he founded. The celebration of St Tikhon was established at the Council of 1584.

The Orthodox Church in America

6/16/2016

Canon of the saint, Tone VIII:

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

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Relying wholly upon almighty God, O divinely wise one, through desire and love thou didst furnish thy mind with wings to fly unto Him, that, abiding with Christ, thou mightest inherit eternal life

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Strengthened by trust in our supremely good God, O most blessed Tikhon, by fasting and prayer thou didst strive towards the good things which are to come.

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

Wondrous was thy life and the humility which thou didst acquire from thy youth, O all-blessed one; wherefore, having cut thyself off from the world, thou didst become a right skilful monk in whom the virtues flourished.

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

The Word of God, incarnate through thy most pure blood, O most pure Virgin, hath made clear to all His great and divine love; for He hath united human nature to the choir of the angels, and lifted it up unto those who dwell in heaven.

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

Through fasting and prayer thou hast acquired great boldness before God, O venerable Tikhon. Him do thou beseech, that He be merciful even unto us.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Spurning transitory things here below, the things above, which are exalted, didst thou love, setting thy God-loving soul afire with divine zeal; and having done the will of the Most High, thou hast received the good things of heaven.

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

Desiring to enjoy the sweet things which are ever abiding, O venerable one, thou didst subsist on plants grown by thyself in the wilderness; and having thus reached the end of the struggle of thy life, thou dost now delight in everlasting good things.

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

O Sovereign Lady, grant thine aid unto me, thy servant, give me understanding, and guide me to the path of salvation O Virgin. Deliver me from misfortunes and tribulations, for thou hast given birth to the Redemption of all.

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

Sessional Hymn, Tone IV: Considering the greatly tumultuous world and ephemeral vanity to be as dust, thou didst please God, acquiring the angelic life; wherefore, we pray, from the corrupting passions deliver us who ever honour thy memory in hymns, O blessed Tikhon our father.

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

Like a vine which hath not been cultivated, O Virgin, thou didst produce the most comely Grape, Who poureth forth upon us the wine of salvation which gladdeneth the souls and bodies of all. Wherefore, blessing thee as the cause of good things, we ever cry out to thee with the angel: Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace!

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

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

With torrents of tears thou didst irrigate the wilderness, O blessed one, sowing therein the seed of thy labors; wherefore, in joy thou didst reap fruit an hundredfold, crying aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Mindful of the final day of this life, O venerable Tikhon, thou didst prepare thyself for thy departure at every hour, adorning thy soul with good works, awaiting the arrival of thy Master.

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

O Tikhon our father, never cease to pray for thy holy monastery and hermitage, which thou didst cultivate with much labour, asking that they be delivered from evil circumstances and all manner of tribulation, that we may all unceasingly hymn thee as a gracious father.

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

Christ the Lord, the King of all, loving thee as a divinely chosen Maiden, a scion of royal lineage, O Theotokos, wholly dwelt within thee, showing thee to be more exalted than the cherubim and the seraphim.

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

Like a right flourishing tree planted by streams of water, O venerable father Tikhon, thou hast put forth the virtues as though they were many branches, receiving under thy shade those who desire salvation.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Thou wast a fervent advocate in this life, O our blessed father Tikhon, imparting abundant health unto all by thy mediations; wherefore, we now rely on thy supplication even more, asking that through thee we may receive mercy and the remission of sins.

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

By voluntary poverty thou didst acquire the kingdom of heaven; wherefore, thou pourest forth in abundance the gifts of spiritual healings upon all who with faith venerate thy most honoured memory, O Tikhon our venerable father.

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

The noetic Sun shone forth from thee O Theotokos, extending the brilliant rays of His divinity; wherefore with unceasing hymns, we all magnify thee O Sovereign Lady.

Ode VI, 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.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Thy precious body poureth forth great healing upon those who approach thy salutary tomb with faith, O Tikhon our father.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

By thine unceasing prayers unto God, O Tikhon our father, thou didst attain to the mansions of heaven, where the ineffable Light and the delight of the venerable are, with whom thou standest before the God of all, O father Tikhon.

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

Thou didst consider night to be like day, O blessed one, for thou gavest no rest to thy body, nor sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids, until thou didst reach the resting-place of heaven.

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

By thy supplications tear apart the record of my transgressions, and grant me release from the grief and sufferings which beset me, O Sovereign Lady.

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 VIII: Forsaking thy homeland, O venerable one, thou didst make thine abode in the wilderness, * where thou didst show thy manner of life to be strict; * and amazing many by thy virtues, * thou didst receive from Christ the gift of miracles. * Wherefore, remember us who honour thy memory, that we may cry out to thee: ** Rejoice, O venerable Tikhon our father!

Ikos: Loving the divine commandments of Christ, O Tikhon our venerable father, and hating the delights of this world, thou didst leave thy homeland and eagerly hasten to the wilderness; and thou wast a beacon therein, enlightening those parts with the effulgence of the Spirit. Wherefore, approaching thy healing tomb with fervour, we cry out to thee: Rejoice, O Tikhon our venerable father!

Ode VII, Irmos: In Babylon, the pious youths did not worship the golden image, * but, bedewed in the midst of the fiery furnace, * they chanted a hymn, saying: * O supremely exalted God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Thou didst struggle manfully in the wilderness and, receiving the effulgence of the Spirit, wast caught up to the heights of heaven, O venerable father Tikhon, where thou art now glorified with the angels.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

In the wilderness thou didst curb thy tongue with silence, O Tikhon our father, leading an untroubled life like an angel in the flesh.

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

Truly thou hast been deemed worthy of a good life, O venerable father Tikhon, obtaining it through purity and asceticism; and now thou standest before God with the ranks of the incorporeal beings.

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

The mind of man is at a loss as to how to understand the ineffable depths of thy birthgiving, O pure one; for, abasing Himself in His tender compassion, God hath made me wholly new by His incarnation.

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

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Thou didst water the ground of thy heart with torrents of tears, O Tikhon our venerable father, and, standing immovably in prayer, thou didst glorify the Creator of all.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

By thy watchful vigils and frequent sighs, O blessed father Tikhon, the grace of the Holy Spirit grew within thee revealing thee as glorious.

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

By the sufferings of asceticism and thy valiant struggles, O most blessed father Tikhon, thou didst cause the divine grain to grow, wherewith thou dost feed those who piously honour thy memory.

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

O most good Sovereign Lady who hast given birth in the flesh to the supremely good God, purify my heart, which hath been tormented by the passions, that I may glorify thee with faith and love.

Ode IX, 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.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

In the depths of thy tears thou didst drown the serpent, the author of evil, O venerable father Tikhon, and as an excellent victor thou hast ascended to the heavens, where with the choirs of the angels thou dost unceasingly glorify the God of all.

Venerable Father, Tikhon, pray to God for us.

Thou wast possessed of a guileless life, adorned with the sweat of suffering, O all-praised and venerable father Tikhon; wherefore, thy spirit was filled with divine joy.

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

Arrayed as with a royal crown, the city of Kaluga boasteth in thee O our venerable father Tikhon; having thy relics within its environs as a goodly guardian given it by the Lord.

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

O all-hymned Virgin who hast given birth unto God in the flesh, show forth those who glorify thee as ones who share in the divine light, and by thy supplications deliver us from the fire of Gehenna and from all the harm of the enemy.

Troparion, Tone IV: O Tikhon our venerable father, * thou wast shown to be a most radiant beacon in the midst of the Russian land; * for, having made thine abode in the wilderness * and led a strict way of life therein, * thou didst live like an incorporeal being, * for which cause God hath enriched thee with the gift of miracles. * Wherefore, hastening to the shrine of thy relics, * we say with compunction: ** O venerable father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

 

 

The Feast of St John Chrysostom: November 13/26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory …, in Tone VIII & same melody:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ode V, Irmos: O Light never-waning, * why hast Thou turned Thy face from me * and why hath the alien darkness surrounded me, * wretched though I be? * But do Thou guide my steps I implore Thee * and turn me back towards the light of Thy commandments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the prayers of St Menas…

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

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

Canon to the Martyr Menas and Company

by St. John of Damascus, in Tone IV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat sedalion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Canon for the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Canon to the Honourable and Life-Giving Cross

The Canon of the Cross, the acrostic whereof is:

“Having arrayed myself in the Cross, I give utterance to hymnody”;

The composition of Cosmas of Maiuma, in Tone 8.

Ode 1, Irmos: Tracing an upright line with his staff, Moses divided the Red Sea for Israel which was traveling on foot; and striking it a transverse blow, he brought the waters together over the chariots of Pharaoh, thereby inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Of old, Moses, standing between the priests, prefigured in himself the image of Christ’s most pure sufferings; for, forming a cross with his outstretched arms, he raised up victory, vanquishing the might of the tyrant Amalek. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Of old, Moses, standing between the priests, prefigured in himself the image of Christ’s most pure sufferings; for, forming a cross with his outstretched arms, he raised up victory, vanquishing the might of the tyrant Amalek. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

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

Upon a pole did Moses set the cure of the deadly and venomous sting of the serpents, and the deliverance therefrom; for to the tree, in the image of the Cross, he bound a serpent which crawleth upon the ground, triumphing over the sinister bane therein. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ God, for He hath been glorified.

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

The sky showed forth the victory of the Cross to the divinely wise Emperor Constantine, the pious ruler; and therein the audacity of the hostile foe was cast down, delusion was destroyed and the divine Faith spread to the ends of the earth. Wherefore let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

Katavasia: Tracing an upright line with his staff, Moses divided the Red Sea for Israel which was traveling on foot; and striking it a transverse blow, he brought the waters together over the chariots of Pharaoh, thereby inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

Ode 3, Irmos: The rod of Aaron is taken to be an image of the mystery, for by its budding forth it chose one priest over others; and for the Church, which before was barren, the tree of the Cross hath now budded forth, for her might and confirmation.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

The rough stone, struck, put forth water for a disobedient and hard-hearted people, and showed forth the mystery of the divinely elect Church, whereof the Cross is the might and confirmation.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

The rough stone, struck, put forth water for a disobedient and hard-hearted people, and showed forth the mystery of the divinely elect Church, whereof the Cross is the might and confirmation.

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

When Christ’s all-pure side was pierced by the spear, blood and water flowed therefrom, renewing the covenant and washing sin away, for the Cross is the boast of the faithful, the might and confirmation of kings.

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

When Christ’s all-pure side was pierced by the spear, blood and water flowed therefrom, renewing the covenant and washing sin away, for the Cross is the boast of the faithful, the might and confirmation of kings.

Katavasia: The rod of Aaron is taken to be an image of the mystery, for by its budding forth it chose one priest over others; and for the Church, which before was barren, the tree of the Cross hath now budded forth, for her might and confirmation.

Sedalion, in Tone 4: Rejoicing in thee, O thrice blessed and life-bestowing Cross, the people celebrate together with the immaterial choirs, the ranks of hierarchs reverently hymn thee, multitudes of monastics and fasters bow down before thee in adoration, and we all glorify Christ Who was crucified on thee.

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

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Of old, Moses transformed with a tree the bitter springs in the desert, showing forth the conversion of the gentiles to piety through the Cross.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Of old, Moses transformed with a tree the bitter springs in the desert, showing forth the conversion of the gentiles to piety through the Cross.

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

Jordan, having hidden in its depths an axe-head, gave it forth again through the power of a stick, signifying the cutting off of deception by the Cross and baptism.

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

In a sacred manner did the people encamp in four divisions; and preceding in this fashion the tabernacle of the witness, they were glorified in the cross-like formation of their ranks. Wondrously stretched forth, the Cross emitted rays like the sun’s, and the heavens declared the glory of our God.

Katavasia: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery-of Thy dispensation; I have considered Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.

Ode 5, Irmos: O thrice-blessed Tree, whereon the King and Lord was crucified, and whereby he who beguiled mankind by the tree did fall! He was beguiled by thee, when God was nailed in the flesh, Who granteth peace unto our souls!

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

O ever-hymned Tree, whereon Christ was stretched: the whirling sword which guarded Eden stood in awe of thee, O Cross, and the dread cherubim withdrew, when Christ was nailed to thee, Who granteth peace unto our souls.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

O ever-hymned Tree, whereon Christ was stretched: the whirling sword which guarded Eden stood in awe of thee, O Cross, and the dread cherubim withdrew, when Christ was nailed to thee, Who granteth peace unto our souls.

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

The adverse powers of the nether world are stricken with fear when the sign of the Cross is traced in the air in which they live, as are the generations of the earthborn and the heavenly, who bend the knee to Christ, Who granteth peace unto our souls.

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

Having shone forth a divine light and revealed itself in rays of incorruption unto the benighted gentiles astray in error, the divine Cross acquireth them for Christ Who was nailed thereto, and granteth peace unto our souls.

Katavasia: O thrice-blessed Tree, whereon the King and Lord was crucified, and whereby he who beguiled mankind by the tree did fall! He was beguiled by thee, when God was nailed in the flesh, Who granteth peace unto our souls!

Ode 6, Irmos: Stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross in the belly of the sea monster, Jonah clearly prefigured the saving Passion. And, issuing forth after three days, he foreshadowed the transcendent resurrection of Christ God, Who was nailed in the flesh and enlightened the world by His rising on the third day.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Bent with age and weighted down with infirmity, Jacob drew himself up when he crossed his arms, showing forth the power of the life-bearing Cross; for God Who was nailed in the flesh hath set aright the obsolescence of the law of the Scripture which was written in shadows, and hath dispelled the soul-destroying disease of deception.

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

Bent with age and weighted down with infirmity, Jacob drew himself up when he crossed his arms, showing forth the power of the life-bearing Cross; for God Who was nailed in the flesh hath set aright the obsolescence of the law of the Scripture which was written in shadows, and hath dispelled the soul-destroying disease of deception.

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

Divine Israel, laying his hands cross-wise upon the heads of the young, revealed that the people who hath the honour of being the elder is a slave to the law. Wherefore, when suspected of erring in so doing, he did not alter the life-bearing image, for, he said, protected by the Cross, the newly established people of Christ God surpass them.

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

Divine Israel, laying his hands cross-wise upon the heads of the young, revealed that the people who hath the honour of being the elder is a slave to the law. Wherefore, when suspected of erring in so doing, he did not alter the life-bearing image, for, he said, protected by the Cross, the newly established people of Christ God surpass them.

Katavasia: Stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross in the belly of the sea monster, Jonah clearly prefigured the saving Passion. And, issuing forth after three days, he foreshadowed the transcendent resurrection of Christ God, Who was nailed in the flesh and enlightened the world by His rising on the third day.

Kontakion of the Cross, Tone 4: O Thou Who wast lifted up willingly on the Cross, bestow Thy compassions upon the new community called after Thee, O Christ God; gladden by Thy power Orthodox Christians, granting them victory over all adversaries. May they have as an ally the invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace.

Ikos: He that was caught up to the third heaven of paradise and heard unspeakable and divine words which the human tongue cannot utter, what writeth he to the Galatians, which, as lovers of the Scriptures, ye have both read and come to understand? God forbid, saith he, that I should glory, save only in the Gross of the Lord, whereon having suffered He slew the passions. Let us all then firmly hold this boast, the Cross of the Lord; for this Wood is our salvation, the invincible trophy, the weapon of peace.

Ode 7, Irmos: The mad command of the impious tyrant, breathing forth threats and blasphemy hateful to God, cast the people into confusion. Yet the three children feared not the fury of the wild beasts, nor the roaring blaze; but, in the midst of the fire, when, the dew-bearing wind blew upon it, they sang: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

The first man, tasting of the tree, made his abode in corruption; for, having condemned himself by an inglorious rejection of life, he imparted a certain taint as a corruption to the whole race. But we mortals, gaining utterance through the tree of the Cross, cry out: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

The first man, tasting of the tree, made his abode in corruption; for, having condemned himself by an inglorious rejection of life, he imparted a certain taint as a corruption to the whole race. But we mortals, gaining utterance through the tree of the Cross, cry out: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Disobedience violated the commandment of God, and the tree brought death to man by its being partaken of unseasonably, for, for the preservation of that which is most precious, the tree of life was forbidden; but God disclosed it to the hapless thief who cried out rightly: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

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

Israel, foreseeing things to come, laid hold of the tip of Joseph’s staff, revealing beforehand that the most glorious Cross would seize the power of the kingdom, for it is the victorious boast of kings and a light for those who cry out with faith: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Katavasia: The mad command of the impious tyrant, breathing forth threats and blasphemy hateful to God, cast the people into confusion. Yet the three children feared not the fury of the wild beasts, nor the roaring blaze; but, in the midst of the fire, when, the dew-bearing wind blew upon it, they sang: O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

ODE 8, Irmos: O children equal in number to the Trinity: bless ye God, the Father and Creator; hymn ye the Word Who came down and transformed the fire into dew; and the all-holy Spirit, Who giveth life unto all, exalt ye supremely forever!

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

O hosts of heaven, chant ye to the exalted Tree which was drenched in the blood of God the Word incarnate, celebrating the restoration of those on earth. Ye people, worship the Cross of Christ, whereby the resurrection of the world is accomplished forever!

Glory to Thy Precious Cross, O Lord.

O hosts of heaven, chant ye to the exalted Tree which was drenched in the blood of God the Word incarnate, celebrating the restoration of those on earth. Ye people, worship the Cross of Christ, whereby the resurrection of the world is accomplished forever!

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

O ye mortal stewards of grace, in sacred manner raise on high with your hands the Cross whereon Christ God stood and the spear which pierced the body of God the Word, that all the nations may see the salvation which is of God, glorifying Him forever!

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

O faithful Christian kings, forechosen by divine decree, be ye glad! And having received from God the precious Cross, rejoice in it, the weapon of victory, for thereby tribes of warriors seeking courage are scattered abroad forever.

Katavasia: O children equal in number to the Trinity: bless ye God, the Father and Creator; hymn ye the Word Who came down and transformed the fire into dew; and the all-holy Spirit, Who giveth life unto all, exalt ye supremely forever!

Magnify, O my soul, the all-honoured Cross of the Lord!

Ode 9, Irmos: O Theotokos, thou art a mystical paradise, which untilled did put forth Christ, by Whom the life-bearing tree of the Cross was planted. Wherefore, worshiping it as it is now raised aloft, we magnify thee.

Magnify, O my soul, the all-honoured Cross of the Lord!

Let all the trees of the forests rejoice, for their nature hath been sanctified by Him Who planted them in the beginning – Christ Who was stretched out upon the Tree. Wherefore, worshiping it as it is now raised aloft, we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Magnify, O my soul, the all-honoured Cross of the Lord!

A sacred horn hath been lifted up, the chief horn for all the divinely wise: the Cross, whereby all the horns of the sinful are noetically broken asunder. Wherefore, worshiping it as it is now raised aloft, we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Magnify, O my soul, the all-honoured Cross of the Lord!

That Thou mayest show the Cross to the world, O worshipful Lord and King, in the sight of all Thou didst form its all-glorious image in the skies, radiant with boundless light, an invincible weapon. Wherefore, all the powers of heaven magnify Thee.

Magnify, O my soul, the exaltation of the life-creating Cross of the Lord!

Canon II, Irmos: Death, which came upon our race through the eating of the tree hath been abolished by the Cross today; for the curse of our first mother, which fell upon us all, hath been annulled through the Offspring of the pure Mother of God, whom all the hosts of heaven magnify.

Magnify, O my soul, the exaltation of the life-creating Cross of the Lord!

Thou didst not permit the murderous bitterness of the tree still to remain, O Lord, for thou didst utterly destroy it by the Cross. Wherefore, by a tree Thou didst once sweeten the bitterness of the waters of Marah, prefiguring the activity of the Cross, which all the hosts of heaven magnify.

Magnify, O my soul, the exaltation of the life-creating Cross of the Lord!

Those who are continually sunk in the darkness of our forefather, Thou hast raised up by the Cross today, O Lord; for though our nature was brought low through deceit and great lack of restraint, the light of Thy Cross hath again guided all of us aright, which we, the faithful magnify.

Magnify, O my soul, the exaltation of the life-creating Cross of the Lord!

That Thou mightest show forth to the world the image of the Cross venerated among all, O Lord, Thou didst trace its outline in the heavens, in that it is all-glorious, radiant with boundless light: the invincible weapon for the emperor. Wherefore, all the hosts of heaven magnify Thee.

Katavasia: O Theotokos, thou art a mystical paradise, which untilled did put forth Christ, by Whom the life-bearing tree of the Cross was planted. Wherefore, worshiping it as it is now raised aloft, we magnify thee.

Troparion of the Cross, in Tone 1: Save O Lord Thy people, * and bless Thine inheritance. * Grant now unto the faithful * victory over adversaries, * and by the power of Thy Cross ** do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

THE CANON OF SUPPLICATION TO THE MOST HOLY MOTHER OF GOD AT THE CONFESSION OF A SINNER

This canon, which is to be found the Greek Great Book of Needs, is also chanted at Tuesday Compline in the week of tone six of the Octoechos. Whilst we are having confessions during Saturday Compline, this may be pertinent to be chanted at that time, and would certainly be valuable for parishioners as they prepare for confession and Holy Communion. In the Euchologion (Book of Needs) it is followed by a prayer of absolution by St John of Damascus, making it clear that it is intended for use in this context.

Continue reading