August 25, 2013
14th Sunday after Pentecost, Octoechos Tone 5
Return of the Relics of the Holy Apostle Bartholomew; Holy Apostle Titus

Today commemorates the translation of the relics of St. Bartholomew, although his main feast is celebrated on June 11. When this great apostle was crucified in Albanopolis [Derbend] in Armenia, Christians removed his body and honorably buried it in a lead sarcophagus. When numerous miracles occurred over the grave of the apostle, especially healings of the sick, because of which the number of Christians increased, the pagans then took the sarcophagus containing the relics of Bartholomew and tossed it into the sea. At the same time they also threw four more sarcophagi into the sea containing the relics of four martyrs: Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Acacius. However, by God’s providence, the sarcophagi did not sink but were carried by the current and floated: Acacius to the town of Askalon, Gregory to Calabria, Lucian to Messina, Papian to the other side of Sicily and Bartholomew to the island of Lipara. By some mysterious revelation Agathon, the Bishop of Lipara, learned of the approaching relics of the holy Apostle Bartholomew to Lipara. Agathon, with the clergy and people, came to the shore to receive the sarcophagus with great joy. On that occasion, many healings of the sick occurred from the relics of the holy apostle. The relics were placed in the church of St. Bartholomew and there they reposed until the time of Theophilus the Iconoclast about the year 839 A.D. and since the Muslims threatened Lipara, the relics of the apostle were translated to Benevento. Thus, the Lord glorified His apostle by miracles both during his life and after his death.

Titus was one of the Seventy [Apostles]. He was born in Crete and educated in Greek philosophy and poetry. Following a dream, he began reading the Prophet Isaiah and doubted all the wisdom of the Hellenes. Hearing about Christ the Lord, Titus traveled to Jerusalem with other Cretans and personally heard the words of the Savior and witnessed His mighty works. His young heart completely adhered to Christ. Later, he was baptized by the Apostle Paul whom he served as a son to a father in the work of evangelization. Paul loved Titus so much that, at times, he referred to him as son: “To Titus, my beloved son” (Titus 1:4) and, at times, brother: “I urged Titus to go to you and I sent the other brother with him” (2 Corinthians 12:18). Titus traveled extensively with the great apostle of the people [St. Paul] and was appointed by him as the bishop of Crete. Titus was present at the suffering and death of Paul in Rome and honorably buried the body of his teacher and spiritual father. After that, Titus returned to Crete where, with great success, he baptized the pagans and prudently governed the Church of God until old age. Titus entered into rest at the age of ninety-four.  (Prologue of Ohrid)


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GREAT VESPERS

 

Kathisma Reading
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

10. With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.

9. O Christ, Who granted resurrection to mankind,
You were led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!

8. What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind,
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.

7. We offer to You our evening worship,
O Light Whom the darkness of night can never extinguish.
For in these latter days Your radiance has appeared to the world,
shining in Your flesh as light reflected in a mirror.
Your brilliance has descended even to the depths of Hades and dissolved its gloom.
O Lord, Giver of Light, glory to You;
for You have shown the radiance of Your Resurrection to all the nations.

In Tone 4

6. Let us fittingly bless the glorious Bartholomew:
the glorious sun, the never-setting star;
the living heaven declaring the glory of God,
the divinely-inspired preacher of salvation
and the enlightener of nations,
the river pouring forth streams of knowledge,
enriching the hearts of all!

5. The coffin with your relics was put through the great waters;
your paths were seen in the sea, Apostle!
For beyond human understanding, Bartholomew, you went to the west,
while noble martyrs from the east accompanied you,
with the honour that comes from the God and Master of all!

4. Your relics sanctified the watery depths, apostle Bartholomew,
as you mysteriously sailed them and came to the island of Liparis.
you gushed forth myrrh, glorious one, healing incurable passions and disease!
You became a saviour and refuge for the people,
their deliverer and patron before the King and Saviour of all!

3. You proclaimed the tri-personal Godhead,
churning up the idolatrous sea of the gentiles!
You rescued those floundering in the depths of godlessness,
bringing them into tranquil harbours.
You received the reward of heaven,
where you beseech the Lover of mankind for those who sing your praises!

2. Your mind was illumined with divine brilliance, Titus,
as you journeyed with the divine Paul!
You were a ray of the sun enlightening those in darkness.
With him you freed the whole earth from the deepest night!
Therefore we call you blessed, as a God-chosen bishop,
an inspired apostle and most fervent intercessor!

1. The blessed Titus set out from Crete;
he returned there, established as a firm foundation!
With upright faith, he built the faithful into a building of divine and heavenly strength!
He is the chief bishop of his fatherland,
the traveling companion of Paul and the comfort of the faithful!

In Tone 1, Glory…

Apostle Bartholomew,
you forsook the things of the earth and followed after Christ.
You were marked by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
being sent by Him to perishing nations
turning the people to the light of the knowledge of God!
You completed the godly exploits of your suffering.
you endured different tortures,
and surrendered your soul to Christ.
Entreat Him, most blessed one,
that He may grant us great mercy!

In Tone 5, Now…

A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!

 

Aposticha

In Tone 5

O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.

The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.

O Giver of Life,
streams of forgiveness, life, and salvation
poured forth from Your pierced side upon us all.
By accepting physical death, You granted us immortality;
by lying in the tomb, You freed us from Hades,
and as God, by rising from the dead,
You raised us with Yourself in glory.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!

For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.

O Lover of mankind,
Your crucifixion and descent into Hades are most wondrous.
For, as God, You thereby conquered the power of Hades,
and raised up in glory, with Yourself, those who were long imprisoned there.
You reopened Paradise and enabled them to enter.
Grant forgiveness of sins to us
who glorify Your Resurrection on the third day,
for You alone are all-merciful.

Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.

O Lover of mankind,
You accepted suffering in the flesh
and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, heal the passions of our flesh,
raise us from our dreadful iniquities, and save us.

In Tone 8, Glory…

You were a disciple of the chosen vessel and herald of God!
Instructed by Him in divine teachings,
you were sent to the nations to convert them to the faith,
enlightening them with the brilliance of your words!
You passed over to the ends of the earth, Apostle Titus,
proclaiming the good news of the incarnate God to all!
Earnestly entreat Him to save those who celebrate your memory in faith!

Now…

O Virgin, You have never known wedlock,
Yet You conceived God in the flesh
in a manner which words can never describe.
You thus became the Mother of God on high.
O Immaculate Lady, receive the supplication of your servants
and grant us the cleansing of our sins.
Accept now our prayers and beseech God to save all of us.

 

Troparia

In Tone 5

Let us, the faithful, acclaim and worship the Word* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh,* to suffer death and to raise the dead,* by His glorious Resurrection.

In Tone 1

O Bartholomew, disciple of the Lord and worthy of all praise,* the transfer of your relics is a great feast for us and time of rejoicing!* We exalt you, as we honour your relics,*giving glory to Christ* who made you a lamp of everlasting light!

In Tone 5, Glory…

O holy apostle Titus, pray to the merciful God* that He may grant to our souls* remission of our transgressions!

Now…

Rejoice, O Virgin, impassable gateway of the Lord! * Rejoice, protective wall of those who take refuge in you! * Rejoice, peaceful haven untroubled by storms! * Rejoice, Virgin who has not known wedlock * and yet has given birth in the flesh to your Creator and God! * O Mother of God, never cease to intercede * for those who praise and worship your Son.

 

 

DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

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

Kontakion, Tone 5: You, my Saviour, descended to Hades,* and as the Almighty, You shattered its gates.* With Yourself You, as the Creator, raised the dead and shattered the sting of death,* and delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Mankind.* And so we cry out: “Save us, O Lord.”

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 5: Rejoice, O rampart and protection of those who have recourse to you!* Rejoice, O tranquil haven and Virgin,* who gave birth in the flesh to your Maker and God!* Fail not to intercede for those* who sing and worship the Child you bore.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5
You, O Lord, will guard us and will keep us* from this generation and for ever.
verse: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer left a just man. (Psalm 11:8,2)

Epistle
2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4

Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing for ever; from generation to generation I will announce Your truth with my mouth.
verse: For You have said: Mercy shall be built up for ever; in the heavens Your truth shall be prepared. (Psalm 88:

Gospel
Matthew 22:1-14

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)