September 26, 2013
Falling Asleep of John the Theologian, Apostle and Evangelist

John was the son of Zebedee the fisherman and Salome the daughter of Joseph, the betrothed of the Holy Theotokos. Called by the Lord Jesus, John immediately left his father and his fishermen’s nets and, with his brother James, followed Christ. From then on, he was not separated from his Lord until the end. With Peter and James, he was present at the raising of Jairus’s daughter and the Transfiguration of the Lord. At the Last Supper, he inclined his head on Jesus’ breast. When all the other apostles had abandoned the crucified Lord, John and the Holy Mother of God remained beneath the Cross. In obedience to the Lord, he was as a son to the Holy Virgin Mary, and carefully served and watched over her until her Dormition. After her Dormition, John took his disciple Prochorus to preach the Gospel in Asia Minor. He lived and labored mostly in Ephesus. By his inspired preaching and miracles he converted many to Christianity and shook paganism to its foundation. The embittered pagans bound him and sent him to Rome, to face Emperor Dometian. Dometian had him tortured and flogged, but neither the bitterest poison he was given to drink, nor the boiling oil into which he was thrown, did him any harm. This terrified the emperor and, thinking him immortal, Dometian sent him into exile to the island of Patmos. There St. John converted many to Christianity by words and miracles, and confirmed well the Church of God. He also wrote his Gospel and Revelation on Patmos. In the time of Emperor Nero, who granted freedom to all prisoners, John returned to Ephesus, where he lived for some time, confirming the work he had begun earlier. He was over one hundred years old when he went to the Lord. When his disciples later opened his grave, they did not find his body. On May 8 of every year, a fine dust, fragrant and healing, rose from his grave. After a long, laborious and fruitful life on earth, this beloved disciple of Christ, a true pillar of the Church, took up his habitation in the joy of His Lord. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

Word PDF EPUB

 

Great Vespers

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 1

6. As witness of revelations beyond words
and interpreter of the sublime mysteries of God,
O son of Zebedee,
you have written the gospel of Christ for us.
You taught us to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

5. As witness of revelations beyond words
and interpreter of the sublime mysteries of God,
O son of Zebedee,
you have written the gospel of Christ for us.
You taught us to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

4. Divinely moved lyre of heavenly canticles,
you are the mystical writer
and the God-inspired voice melodiously singing the divine hymns.
Pray for the salvation of our souls.

3. Divinely moved lyre of heavenly canticles,
you are the mystical writer
and the God-inspired voice melodiously singing the divine hymns.
Pray for the salvation of our souls.

2. O beloved of God, with your thundering voice
you declared the wisdom of God.
You constantly proclaimed aloud the hidden word by frequently saying:
In the beginning was the Word.
You have illumined all with the knowledge of God.

1. O beloved of God, with your thundering voice
you declared the wisdom of God.
You constantly proclaimed aloud the hidden word by frequently saying:
In the beginning was the Word.
You have illumined all with the knowledge of God.

In Tone 2, Glory…

Let all the human race give the praise that is due to John, the son of thunder,
the virgin apostle and the bearer of God’s message,
the chief theologian and the first to proclaim the truths
which are contained in the teachings of divine Wisdom.
For always being filled with that which is divine, he said:
In the beginning was the Word, not separated from the Father
but equal to the Father according to His nature,
thereby showing us the right worship of the Holy Trinity.
He has also shown us that the Word was with the Father, the Creator of all,
and that He bears life and has shown us the true light.
O awesome marvel! O Wisdom!
John was filled with love for God;
he was also filled with glory, honour, and faith;
he was the preacher of our pure faith.
Because of this, we shall obtain eternal blessing on the day of judgment.

Now…

O Virgin, the shadow of the Law passed away
with the realization of grace.
For as the bush had burned without being consumed,
so you gave birth while a virgin
and you remained a virgin.
Instead of the pillar of fire there rose the Sun of Justice.
Instead of Moses, Christ God came forth,
the Saviour of our souls.

 

Readings
I John 3:21- 4:6
I John 4:11-16
I John 4:20-5:5

 

At the Lytia

In Tone 1

O Apostle, rivers of theology poured out from your precious mouth.
The Church of God has drunk from them
and in true faith adores the consubstantial Trinity.
O John the Divine, pray to the Holy Trinity
to strengthen the Church and to save our souls.
The garden of purity, the fragrant myrrh,
has again come upon us in the present feast
so that we may cry aloud:
O John, the apostle who reclined on the bosom of the Master,
and made the word fall on the world like rain,
you have guarded the Virgin as the most cherished one.
Ask Christ to grant us his great mercy.

As an eye-witness of the ineffable mysteries,
you cried out that the eternal Word was in God and that He is God.
O Apostle John, you reclined upon the breast of Christ.
O delight of the Trinity,
O unshakable fortitude of Ephesus and Patmos, help us!
O blessed Theologian, pray that those who honour you faithfully
will be delivered from the wicked enemies of both body and spirit.

O Disciple of the Saviour, O celibate and theologian,
Christ our God entrusted the Virgin Theotokos to you.
You protected her as the most cherished one.
Therefore, intercede that our souls may be saved.

In  Tone 4, Glory…

O beloved Disciple, at the Lord’s supper
you reclined on the breast of Christ the Master.
From that place you understood things ineffable,
and your heavenly voice thundered to all:
In the beginning was the Word;
the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God.
The true light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
Christ is God and the Saviour of our souls.

Now…

The Son, glorified on high with the Father and the Spirit by the Cherubim,
desired to restore Adam.
He completely and ineffably emptied himself in your womb, O ever-praised Theotokos;
and having shone forth from you,
He has enlightened the world with his divinity.
Christ the Lord and Saviour of our souls,
having divinized the human race,
led us back to heaven.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

You are the theologian who spoke of the Son of the Most High.
He is co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father,
Light from unchangeable Light, and Image of the very person of the Father,
shining from Him eternally and without change,
the Creator and Lord of all.
O beloved, you have preached about Christ our God to the world,
who is the Light leading us out of darkness.

Through all the world their voice resounds; their message reaches to the ends of the earth.

Having received the light of the Comforter
and having been enlightened by Him,
O beloved, as theologian
you taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father
and was manifested to mankind by the Son.
He is equal in holiness, essence, and majesty
with the eternal Father and the Word of God.
We, therefore, venerate you in hymns as the blessed preacher of our faith.
Keep it firm by your prayers to the Lord, our God.

The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord; the assembly of your holy ones proclaims your truth.

Having ascended to the height of theology,
you have learned the ineffable mysteries of God:
that the essence of the Godhead is one;
one glory, one kingdom, and one dominion,
ever-divided into three Persons,
yet undivided in essence,
united in a divine union without confusion.
Thus you gloriously proclaimed the undivided Trinity.
O Theologian, entreat God to save and enlighten our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

O apostle of Christ, O evangelist, O theologian,
you were the mystic of the ineffable mysteries.
You proclaimed to us the untold teachings of Wisdom.
You clarified for the faithful
that the Word was present to God in the beginning.
You cast aside the words of the heretics
and rejected their false teachings.
You appeared as the favourite and beloved friend of Christ,
even as the thundering Isaiah and Moses who saw God.
Having boldness before Him, earnestly pray for our souls.

Now…

Christ the Lord, our Creator and Redeemer,
came forth from your womb, O most pure Virgin.
He clothed himself in our human flesh
to set us free from the original curse of Adam.
Therefore, O Mary, we praise you, without ceasing,
as the true Virgin Mother of God,
and we sing with the angels:
Rejoice, O Lady, advocate, protector, and salvation of our souls.

 

Troparion

In Tone 2
O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us, asking peace and great mercy for us.

 

DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 2: O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us,* asking peace and 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: O virgin apostle, who can recount your mighty works?* For you pour out wonders and healings* and you pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ.

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
verse: The heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hand. (Psalm 18:5,2)

Epistle
1 John 4:12-19

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: The heavens shall confess our wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the church of the saints.
verse: God is glorified in the assembly of the saints. (Psalm 88:6,8)

Gospel
John 19:25-27; 21:24-25

Communion Hymn
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth,* and their word unto the ends of the world.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 18:5)