November 3, 2013 </br>24th Sunday after Pentecost, Octoechos Tone 7 </br>Holy Martyrs Acepsimas the Bishop (378), Joseph the Priest and Aithalis the Deacon (379)

November 3, 2013
24th Sunday after Pentecost, Octoechos Tone 7
Holy Martyrs Acepsimas the Bishop (378), Joseph the Priest and Aithalis the Deacon (379)

The eighty-year-old Acepsimas, filled with every Christian virtue, was sitting one day in his home with guests. Just then a child, filled with the Spirit of God, ran up to the aged bishop, kissed him on the head and said: “Blessed is this head, for it will receive suffering for Christ.” This prophecy was soon fulfilled. King Sapor raised a bitter persecution of Christians throughout Persia, and St. Acepsimas was apprehended. He was brought before a prince who was also a pagan priest. As the bishop was arrested and bound, a member of his household asked him what should be done with his home if he were martyred. The saint replied: “It is no longer my home. I am going to a home on high and will not return.” After prolonged interrogation he was thrown into prison. The following day Joseph, a seventy-year-old presbyter, and Aithalas, a deacon, were also imprisoned. After three years of imprisonment and many tortures, Acepsimas was beheaded. Joseph and Aithalas were buried up to their waists in the ground, and the soulless pagans forced Christians to stone them. That night, by God’s providence, Joseph’s body disappeared, and a myrtle tree grew over Aithalas’s body that healed every kind of disease and pain of men. This tree stood for five years before the wicked and envious pagans cut it down. These soldiers of Christ suffered in Persia in the fourth century, during the time of the pagan King Sapor. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

 


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

 

In Tone 7

10. Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
Who destroyed the power of death
and enlightened the human race;
and let us cry out with the angels:
Glory to You, our Creator and Saviour!

9. O Saviour, for our sake You suffered crucifixion and burial;
and, as God, You destroyed death by Your death.
Therefore, we adore Your resurrection on the third day
and we sing: Glory to You, O Lord!

8. On seeing the resurrection of the Creator,
the Apostles were amazed,
and they sang an angelic hymn of praise:
This is the glory of the Church,
this is the richness of the Kingdom!
O Lord, Who suffered for our sake, glory to You!

7. O Christ, although You were taken captive by Your enemies,
I still acknowledge You as my God,
and am not ashamed of You;
I will not hide the fact that You were nailed to the Cross.
Your death is my life, almighty Lord,
and I extol Your resurrection.
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!

6. In fulfilment of the prophecy of David,
Christ revealed His majesty to His disciples in Sion.
He showed Himself to be worthy of equal praise
with His Father and the Holy Spirit;
for He existed from all eternity as God the Word, without a body;
then, out of love for mankind, He became incarnate,
and for our sake He was put to death as a man;
finally, by His own power He arose from the dead.

5. O Christ, of Your own free will, You descended into Hades;
and, as God the Lord, You destroyed death.
On the third day You arose from the dead and raised up Adam
from the bonds of Hades and corruption.
In joy he cried out and said:
Glory to Your resurrection, O Lover of mankind!

4. O Lord, You were placed in the tomb as one sleeping,
and on the third day You arose in might and power.
You raised up Adam from the corruption of death,
for You alone are almighty.

In Tone 8

3. Most glorious wonder!
The handsome Acepsimus who ministered to the martyrs
today is crowned with a wreath of hymns.
He puts before us the suffering he endured for his worship of God
and wounds the bodiless enemy!
What great gifts of grace he received!
Through his prayers, save our souls, O Christ,
since You are great in love and mercy!

2. Most glorious wonder!
Joseph shines forth as a star from Persia!
He destroyed the outrage of sorcery through the Spirit;
he extinguished the impious worship of fire with the streams of his blood!
How great is the strength by which he cast down the demons!
Through his prayers, save our souls, O Christ,
since You are compassionate!

1. Most glorious wonder!
The steadfast Aithalas, a champion of suffering,
is revealed as an ever-blossoming garden.
Cut down, it brings forth the flower of wounds;
slain, it then begins to live!
What great strength of nature through which he endured!
Through his prayers, save our souls, O Christ,
since You are compassionate!

In Tone 7, Glory… Now…

Immaculate Mother of God,
you became a mother outside the laws of nature,
remaining a virgin in a way that exceeds all description
and human understanding.
The wonder of your birth-giving could not be told in human language,
for your conception of Christ blinded intelligence,
and your birth-giving exceeded understanding:
for whenever God so desires, the laws of nature are broken.
Wherefore, we all firmly believe that you are the Mother of God,
and we eagerly beseech you to intercede for the salvation of our souls.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 7

O Saviour of the world, You arose from the grave,
and together with Your own flesh You raised up mankind.
O Lord, glory to You!

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

Come, let us worship Christ Who arose from the dead
and enlightened all creation.
For by His resurrection on the third day,
He set us free from the oppression of Hades,
granting us life and His great mercy.

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

O Christ, Lover of mankind,
You descended into Hades and destroyed death.
Then You arose on the third day;
and, together with Yourself You lifted up all of us
who glorify Your mighty resurrection.

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

O Lord, what a fearful sight it was to see You lying in the tomb as if asleep.
Yet on the third day You arose in great power,
and at the same time You raised up Adam who joyfully cried out:
Glory to Your resurrection, O Lover of mankind!

In Tone 6, Glory…

The three children preserved unharmed by the Persian fire
mystically foreshadowed your thrice-radiant unity of mind
and your martyrdom in Christ!
Athletes of the ineffable Trinity and supernatural Unity,
as they stood in the midst of the flames and did not cry out against God,
so also you did not refuse to die
when your lives were not spared by the love of Christ.
As in their midst, a fourth appeared who sprinkled them with dew,
so also Christ, one of the Trinity,
received you into a place of refreshment!
Acepsimus, Joseph and Aithalas, chosen by God,
ever 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.

 

Troparia

In Tone 7
By Your cross You destroyed death;* You opened Paradise to the thief;* You changed the lamentation of the myrrh-bearers to joy,* and charged the apostles to proclaim* that You are risen, O Christ our God,* offering great mercy to the world.

In Tone 1, Glory…
Be swayed by the pains that the saints have suffered for You, O Lord,* and heal all our pains,* O Lover of mankind, for this we pray.

Now…

O Holy Tabernacle, when Gabriel called out to you:* Rejoice, O Virgin, full of grace,* the Lord of All became incarnate of you,* as the righteous David had foretold.* In bearing your Creator, you have shown yourself to surpass the vastness of the heavens.* We, therefore, cry out: Glory to Him Who dwelt in you!* Glory to Him Who came forth from you!* Glory to Him Who has set us free* through your life-giving birth!

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 7: By Your cross You destroyed death;* You opened Paradise to the thief;* You changed the lamentation of the myrrh-bearers to joy,* and charged the apostles to proclaim* that You are risen, O Christ our God,* offering great mercy to the world.

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

Kontakion, Tone 7: No longer shall the dominion of death be able to hold humanity,* for Christ went down shattering and destroying it s powers.* Hades is bound.* The prophets exult with one voice.* The Saviour has come for those with faith, saying:* “Come forth, O faithful, to the resurrection!”

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 7: O all-praised treasury of our resurrection, we hope in you,* bring us up from the pit and depth of sin,* for you have saved those subject to sin* by giving birth to our Salvation,* O Virgin before childbirth, and Virgin in childbirth,* and still a Virgin after childbirth.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
The Lord will give strength to His people;* the Lord will bless His people with peace.
verse: Bring to the Lord, O you sons of God; bring to the Lord young rams. (Psalm 28:11,1)

Epistle
Ephesians 2:14-22

Alleluia, Tone 7
verse: It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing to Your name, O Most High.
verse: To announce Your mercy in the morning, and Your truth every night. (Psalm 91:2,3)

Gospel
Luke 8:41-56

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

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