August 31, 2013
The Placing of the Sash of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God in Calcoprateia

After her Dormition [Falling-asleep], the Holy Theotokos gave her girdle [sash] to the Apostle Thomas. That girdle was later brought to Constantinople and kept in a sealed reliquary in the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae, the royal foundation [Zaduzbina] of Empress Pulcheria. This reliquary was never opened until the time of Emperor Leo the Wise (886-912 A.D.). Leo’s wife, the Empress Zoe, became mentally ill and, according to a mysterious vision, she desired that the girdle of the Holy Theotokos be placed on her. The emperor implored the patriarch and the reliquary was opened and the girdle was removed and placed on the ailing empress. The empress was immediately healed. This feast was instituted in commemoration of this miracle. One part of the girdle is to be found in Zugdid, Georgia. That is to say: the daughter of Emperor Romanus was healed with the aid of this girdle and later when her father married her to the Georgian Emperor Abuchaz, she took a part of that girdle with her. By order of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, a special church was built in Mingrelia in Zugdid where that part of the miracle-working garment of the Holy Theotokos is kept.After her Dormition [Falling-asleep], the Holy Theotokos gave her girdle [sash] to the Apostle Thomas. That girdle was later brought to Constantinople and kept in a sealed reliquary in the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae, the royal foundation [Zaduzbina] of Empress Pulcheria. This reliquary was never opened until the time of Emperor Leo the Wise (886-912 A.D.). Leo’s wife, the Empress Zoe, became mentally ill and, according to a mysterious vision, she desired that the girdle of the Holy Theotokos be placed on her. The emperor implored the patriarch and the reliquary was opened and the girdle was removed and placed on the ailing empress. The empress was immediately healed. This feast was instituted in commemoration of this miracle. One part of the girdle is to be found in Zugdid, Georgia. That is to say: the daughter of Emperor Romanus was healed with the aid of this girdle and later when her father married her to the Georgian Emperor Abuchaz, she took a part of that girdle with her. By order of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, a special church was built in Mingrelia in Zugdid where that part of the miracle-working garment of the Holy Theotokos is kept. (Prologue of Ohrid)


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VESPERS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

3. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;
and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
The shrine which holds your belt, O Theotokos,
is ever known by your servants to be an ark of sanctification.
It is our glory and boast; a sacred wall surrounding us;
a fountain of healings!
Therefore being divinely gathered today,
we hymn your mighty acts
and the vast abyss of your wonders!

2. Praise the Lord, all the nations;
proclaim His glory, all you people.
Behold the all-glorious place!
Behold the ever-radiant temple in which a treasure has been laid:
the belt of the Mother of the divine Son!
People, come!  Draw forth enlightenment and mercy,
and shout with a grateful heart: all-holy Virgin, we bless you,
for we have been saved by your childbearing!

1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;
eternally will His truth endure.
We rejoice and keep the feast of the placing of your belt, O Theotokos,
for today you have granted it to your people,
it is a sacred garment, wealth that cannot be stolen,
a precious gift and river of healings
overflowing with spiritual treasures!

In Tone 2, Glory… Now…

All-pure Theotokos, the Church of God is robed in your holy belt,
as with a supremely shining diadem!
It is radiant today and cries out to you rejoicing,
rejoice, sovereign Lady!
Precious diadem and crown of divine glory!
Rejoice, for you alone are the fullness of glory and everlasting gladness!
Rejoice, refuge of those who run to you:
our intercessor and salvation!

 

Readings
Genesis 28:10-17
Ezekiel 43:27; 44:1-4
Proverbs 9:1-11

 

Aposticha

In Tone 2, Glory… Now…

Having cleansed our heart and mind,
let us keep feast together with the angels,
joyfully addressing the song of David
to the maiden Bride of the King of all, Christ our God,
saying: arise, Lord, into your resting place,
both You and the ark of Your holiness!
For You have adorned her as a beautiful palace,
giving her as an inheritance to Your people, O Master,
to preserve and shelter them from their enemies,
by Your mighty power, through her supplications!

 

Troparion

In Tone 8

Protection of humans, ever-Virgin Mother of God* as a mighty bulwark for your city* you gave your pure body’s robe and sash.* They remained incorrupt by your giving birth without seed.* For in you are nature and time made new.* Therefore, we pray you, give peace to your city** and to our souls great mercy.

 

 

DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 8: Protection of humans, ever-Virgin Mother of God* as a mighty bulwark for your city* you gave your pure body’s robe and sash.* They remained incorrupt by your giving birth without seed.* For in you are nature and time made new.* Therefore, we pray you, give peace to your city** and to our souls great mercy.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: Your womb which received divinity* was girded about by your precious sash, O Mother of God.* It became an unconquerable force for your city* and a generous treasury of good things:* O you, the only virgin who ever gave birth.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
verse: Because he has regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46-48)

Epistle
Hebrew 9:1-7

Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: Rise up, O Lord, to the place of Your rest, You and the ark of Your holiness.
verse: The Lord swore an oath to David, and will not go back on His word. (Psalm 131:8,11)

Gospel
Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28

Communion Hymn
I will take the cup of salvation;* and I will call upon the name of the Lord.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 115:13)