October 13, 2013
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council,
Octoechos Tone 4;
Holy Martyrs Carpus Papylas and Agathonicus (249-51)

Carpus was Bishop of Thyateira and Papylus was a deacon. They were born in Pergamum where they finally suffered for the Christian Faith at the hands of the evil proconsul Valerius, during the reign of Decius. Valerius tied them to horses and dragged them to Sardis, where he subjected them to harsh tortures. Then an angel of God appeared to them, healed them of their wounds and encouraged them. Carpus’s servant, Agathadorus, followed his master with great sorrow. Valerius then condemned him to torture as well. The saints were again tied to horses, and were dragged from Sardis to Pergamum. They tied holy Carpus to a tree and flogged him so that his body was covered with wounds, and his blood flowed like a stream, soaking the ground; but Carpus smiled in the midst of these horrible tortures. When they asked him why he was smiling, the holy martyr replied that he saw the heavens opened and the Lord seated on His throne, surrounded by Cherubim and Seraphim. As Papylus was being tortured, by prayer he healed a man blind in one eye, and many who witnessed this came to believe in Christ the Lord. Thrown to wild beasts, the martyrs remained unharmed. Then they were thrown into a fiery furnace. Agathonica, Carpus’s sister, also leaped into the fire, but the fire did not consume them. Finally, they were all beheaded with the sword, in the year 251. Thus, after their righteous endeavors, they received a wreath of glory in the Kingdom of Christ. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

Word PDF EPUB

 


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

10. We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
And we glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For You, Almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.

9. O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As Almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of death.
We, therefore, venerate Your resurrection from the dead,
and joyfully cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!

8. O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of death.
You have freed mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.

7. Come, all you people,
let us sing the praises of our Saviour’s resurrection on the third day.
For we have, thereby, been delivered from the invincible bonds of Hades,
and we have received incorruption, together with eternal life.
Therefore, we cry out to You
after Your crucifixion, burial, and resurrection:
Save us by Your resurrection, for You love mankind.

In Tone 6

6. Truly the Seven Councils of the Fathers
although held at various times
were brought together under the canons and in good order
by the Patriarch Germanus the New.
By inscribing and establishing their doctrines
and offering themselves as intercessors with the Lord,
the Fathers are protectors of our salvation
and shepherds of the fold.

5. The Book of the Law has truly honoured the seventh day for the Hebrews
who were dispersed in the shadow of the Law and devoted to it.
But you Fathers, by your participation in the Seven Councils,
by the inspiration of God who in six days finished this universe
and blessed the seventh day,
have made it even more honourable by decreeing the bounds of faith.

4. You have given all, O thrice-blessed Fathers,
to know the Father, the Son, and the Spirit clearly by their works:
the Trinity who is the cause of the creation of the world.
By your mystical speech
you called the first three Councils and then the next four.
You have appeared as champions of the true faith,
proving that the Trinity is truly the Creator
of the four elements and of the world.

3. It would have sufficed Elisha the Prophet
to bend but once to instill life into the dead son of the servant,
but he kneeled and bent seven times.
Thus, in his foreknowledge he prophesied your gathering
through which you revived the Incarnation of the Word of God,
and humiliated Arius and his co-workers.

2. In wisdom, O venerable Fathers,
you patched the garment of Christ
which had been torn by barking dogs;
for you could not possibly bear to see his nakedness,
like Shem and Japheth of old,
who could not bear to see the nakedness of their father.
Thus you confounded the foolish Arius
and all those who followed his doctrines.

1. O Fathers, you are the true shepherds
who expelled from the Saviour’s fold
the Macedonians and the Nestorians,
the followers of Ephtechnis and Dioscorus,
Appolonarius, Sabellius, and Severus
because they became devouring wolves hidden in the skins of lambs.
Since you exposed these wretched ones, we truly honour you.

Glory…

Let us honour today those mystical trumpets of the Spirit,
namely the God-mantled Fathers
who, speaking of divine things,
sang in the midst of the Church a hymn in unison,
teaching that the Trinity is One,
not differing in Substance or Godhead,
refuting Arius and struggling for the true faith.
They always intercede with the Lord
to have mercy on our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…

O Mother of God, because of You David the Prophet
became an ancestor of God;
he foretold and sang a joyous hymn of praise
and cried out to Him who worked wonders in you:
“The Queen stood at your right hand.”
God revealed you as a life-giving mother,
when He chose to be incarnate of you without a father.
He renewed in man His image which the passions had corrupted.
He found the lost sheep in the mountains, carried it on His shoulders,
offered it to the Father, generously numbered it among the powers of heaven,
and saved the whole world, since He is Christ of great and rich mercy.

 

Readings
Genesis 14: 14-20; Deuteronomy 1: 8-11, 15-17; Deuteronomy 10: 14-21

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our ancestors.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there,
and granted incorruption to the human race.
We, therefore, praise Your life-giving and redeeming resurrection.

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

By hanging on the Cross, O Almighty One,
You shook the whole creation to its foundations.
When You Yourself were laid in the grave,
You raised to life those who had been lying in the graves,
and You granted life and incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore, praise and glorify Your resurrection on the third day.

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

O Christ, the lawless people showed their ingratitude to You, their Benefactor,
by delivering You to Pilate who condemned you to be crucified.
But You willingly suffered death and burial;
and, as God, You rose by Your own power on the third day,
granting us everlasting life and great mercy.

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

The women, shedding bitter tears, came to see You in Your tomb;
and not finding Your body, they lamented, saying:
O Saviour and King of All, how were You stolen?
What place holds Your life-bearing body?
An angel answered them, saying:
Do not weep, but go and proclaim that the Lord is risen,
filling our hearts with joy;
for He alone is most compassionate.

Glory…

Come all you people of the true faith,
let us celebrate today in faith and true worship
the anniversary of the God-mantled Fathers
who came together in the splendid city of Nicaea
from the whole inhabited world.
These Fathers, in the wisdom of their pious minds,
refuted the impious belief which the wretched Arius had invented.
They banished him from the universal Church by a decree of the Council.
They instructed all to confess openly
that the Son of God is consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father before all eternity,
decreeing the same with precision and true worship in the Canon of Faith.
Therefore, following their divine doctrines,
in true faith let us worship the Father and the Son and the most Holy Spirit,
the consubstantial Trinity in one Godhead.

Now…

O most pure Virgin, hear the petitions of your servants.
Remove the burdens which oppress us,
and deliver us from our sorrows;
for you are the only firm and constant support on whom we rely.
O Mother of God, never permit us who call upon you
to be overwhelmed by our cares.
Hasten to fulfill the supplications of all who, in faith, cry out to you:
Rejoice, O Lady, helper of all mankind,
the joy, the refuge, and the salvation of our souls.

 

Troparia

In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”

In Tone 8, Glory…
O Christ our God, You are above all praise* for You established our Fathers as lights to all the earth.* You led us to the true faith through them.* O Most Bountiful Lord, glory be to You!

Now…
O gracious Lord, for the sake of mankind You were born of a virgin;* through Your death on the cross You conquered death;* and through Your resurrection You revealed yourself as God.* O merciful Lord, do not disdain those whom You have created with Your own hands,* but show forth Your love for mankind.* Accept the intercession which the Mother, who bore You, makes in our behalf.** O Saviour, save Your despairing people!

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,* granting to the world great mercy.”

Troparion, Tone 8: Christ our God, You are glorified above all,* You established our fathers as beacons on the earth* and through them guided all of us to the true faith.* Glory to You, most compassionate Lord.

Kontakion, Tone 4: My Saviour and Deliverer from the grave* as God raised out of bondage the children of the earth* and shattered the gates of Hades;* and as Master, He rose on the third day.

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

Kontakion, Tone 6: The Son who ineffably shone from the Father* was born two-fold of nature from a woman.* Beholding Him, we do not reject the image of His form;* but depicting it, we revere it faithfully.* Therefore the Church, holding the true faith,* kisses the icon of Christ’s becoming man.

Now and forever and ever. Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 6: Undaunted patroness of Christians,* O steadfast intermediary with the Creator,* turn not away from the suppliant voices of sinners,* but in your kindness come to help us who cry out to you in faith.* Be quick to intercede, make haste to plead,* for you are ever the patroness of those who honour you, O Mother of God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers,* and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26-27)

Epistle
Hebrews 13:7-16

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: The God of gods, the Lord, spoke and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
verse: Gather to Him His devout ones, who with sacrifice make covenant with Him. (Psalm 49:1,5)

Gospel
John 17:1-13

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens,* praise Him in the highest.* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalms 184:1; 32:1)