Phocas exercised himself in all the Christian virtues from his youth. As bishop in his birthplace, the town of Sinope on the shores of the Black Sea, he strengthened the faith of the true believers by his example and divine words and converted many idol-worshipers to the true Faith. The hard-hearted pagans were filled with rage against holy Phocas. Through a vision granted him by the Lord, he foresaw his martyrdom: Phocas saw a white dove fly down from heaven carrying a beautiful wreath of flowers in its beak, and lowered the wreath onto his head. And Phocas heard a voice, saying: “Your cup is full and you should drink it!” From this vision the God-pleaser realized that he was soon to suffer for Christ. He was not afraid, but with gratitude toward God prepared himself for suffering. Soon after, a certain prince, Africanus, took Phocas for interrogation, and subjected him to harsh tortures. The torturers beat and wounded his whole body, and after a time of imprisonment threw him into boiling water, where this brave soldier of Christ ended his earthly life and settled in the joy of his Lord. Phocas suffered during the reign of Emperor Trajan. (Prologue of Ohrid)
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 1
10. Accept our evening prayer, O holy Lord,
and grant us forgiveness of sins,
for You alone manifested the Resurrection to the world.
9. O you people, walk around Zion and encompass her.
And there give glory to Him Who is risen from the dead.
For He is our God
Who delivers us from our sins.
8. Come you people, praise and worship Christ.
Glorify His Resurrection from the dead;
for He is our God Who delivered the world
from the deceit of the enemy.
7. Rejoice, O you heavens;
sound the trumpets, you foundations of the earth;
cry out with joy, O you mountains.
For behold, Emmanuel has nailed our sins to the Cross;
the Giver of Life has put Death to death;
and the Lover of Mankind
has raised up Adam.
6. Let us praise the Lord
Who for our sake was willingly crucified in the flesh.
He suffered, was buried, and rose from the dead.
Therefore, let us sing to Him:
O Christ, keep Your Church in the orthodox faith
and bring peace to our lives;
for You are gracious and love mankind.
5. O Christ our God, as we stand unworthily before Your life-bearing grave,
we offer a hymn of praise to Your ineffable tenderness of heart.
For You, O Sinless One,
in Your loving-kindness have accepted the Cross and death
in order to grant
resurrection to the world.
4. Let us praise the Word
Who is without beginning and co-eternal with the Father.
For our sake He was born of the Virgin;
He freely accepted the Cross and death, and rose in glory.
Therefore, let sing to Him:
Glory to You, O Lord,
the Giver of Life and Saviour of souls.
In Tone 1
3. Bishop Phocas, you cast down the vanity of idols by your holy teaching!
You steadied unstable hearts by faith.
You guided them to true life!
You suffered under the law, and became a martyr of the Lord!
2. You dyed your sacred vestment in the blood of your holy body,
you indeed received a double crown from Christ, most blessed one!
You sing together with the angels in heaven, venerable Father,
praying that we may be saved!
1. Father, you enlighten the whole world with the rays of your miracles:
Ever helping those who are at sea.
You dispel the carnal weakness of souls,
having received divine grace from the Lord,
divinely blessed Martyr Phocas!
In Tone 4, Glory…
You loved the Lord from your childhood, blessed Phocas!
You were a wise hieromartyr:
You took the weapon of the Cross upon your shoulders!
You travelled the path of salvation without faltering!
The Lord revealed you to be a conversor with the angels,
an enemy of demons;
a brilliant intercessor for the world!
In Tone 1, Now…
Let us sing a hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary,
glory of the whole world!
She was herself formed by human seed,
yet she became the Mother of the Master, the Gate of heaven,
the theme of the angels’ hymn and beauty of the faithful.
She was seen as being heavenly
and the Tabernacle of the Godhead.
She indeed tore down the wall of enmity between God and man,
and brought peace in its place, she opened up the kingdom of heaven.
Let us therefore cling fast to her for she is the anchor of faith,
and let us receive as our stronghold the Lord Who was born of her.
Be of good cheer, then, and have confidence, O people of God,
for He will fight our enemies for us, He is all-powerful!
In Tone 1
O Christ, by Your Passion we have been freed from suffering;
and by Your Resurrection we have been delivered from corruption.
O Lord, glory to You!
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
Let all creation rejoice, let the heavens be glad,
let the nations clap their hands with joy.
For Christ our Saviour, in His love for mankind,
has nailed our sins to the Cross;
He has put Death to death,
and by raising our fallen forefather, Adam,
He has given life to all mankind.
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O God, You are above all understanding;
You are King and Lord of heaven and earth.
Yet of Your own free will,
You allowed Yourself to be crucified because of Your love for mankind.
When You descended below,
Hades was filled with bitterness as You confronted it;
but the souls of the just received You with great joy.
Adam arose when he saw You, his Creator, down in the depths.
What a wonder this is!
You are the life of all and have tasted death
in order to dispel the darkness of the world with Your light.
O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
The myrrh-bearing women were filled with grief
as they hastened with spices to Your tomb;
but they did not find Your most pure body.
Instead, they found an angel
who proclaimed Your unique and glorious Resurrection,
and commanded them to announce to Your Apostles:
The Lord is risen, granting great mercy to the world.
O Mother of God, the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled,
since you remained a virgin both before and after giving birth.
For it was God Who was born of you to restore our human nature.
Therefore, do not overlook your servants who supplicate you in your temple.
Since you have held the merciful Lord in your arms,
be compassionate toward your servants,
and beseech Him to save our souls.
In Tone 1
Though the stone was sealed by the Judeans* and soldiers guarded Your most pure body,* You arose, O Saviour, on the third day* and gave life to the world.* And so the heavenly powers cried out You, O Giver of Life:* Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ!* Glory to Your Kingdom!* Glory to Your saving plan!** O only Lover of Mankind.
In Tone 4, Glory…
You participated in the ways of the apostles,* and were enthroned as their successor!* You discovered action an entrance into vision,* inspired one of God.* Therefore directing the word of truth,* you suffered for the faith to the shedding of your blood!* Bishop and Martyr Phocas, pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!
O Mother of God, the mystery hidden from all eternity* and unknown even to the angels,* was revealed through you to those on earth:* God took on our human nature* and united it to His divine nature in a perfect but unconfused union.* Then, He willingly accepted the cross for our sake* and thereby raised again the first created man,*and saved our souls from death.
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 1: Though the stone was sealed by the Judeans,* and soldiers guarded Your most pure body,* You arose, O Saviour, on the third day,* and gave life to the world.* And so the heavenly powers cried out to You, O Giver of Life:* Glory to Your resurrection, O Christ!* Glory to Your kingdom!* Glory to Your saving plan,* O only Lover of mankind.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 1: You arose in glory from the tomb* and with Yourself You raise the world.* All humanity acclaims You as God.* and death has vanished.* Adam exults, O Master,* and Eve, redeemed from bondage now, cries out for joy:* “You are the One, O Christ, Who offer resurrection to all.”
Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Theotokion, Tone 1: When Gabriel uttered to you, O Virgin, his ‘Rejoice!’* at that sound the Master of all became flesh in you, the Holy Ark.* As the just David said,* you have become wider than the heavens carrying your Creator.* Glory to Him Who dwelt in you!* Glory to Him Who came forth from you!* Glory to Him Who freed us through birth from you!
Prokeimenon, Tone 1
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in You.
verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:22,1)
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: God gives me vindication, and has subdued people under me.
verse: Making great the salvation of the king, and showing mercy to His anointed, to David, and to His posterity forever. (Psalm 17:48,51)
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)