November 16,2013 </br>Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

November 16,2013
Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

Matthew, son of Alphaeus, was a tax collector when the Lord saw him in Capernaum and said: Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him (Matthew 9:9). After that, Matthew prepared a reception for the Lord in his home and thus provided the occasion for the Lord to express several great truths about His coming to earth. After receiving the Holy Spirit, Matthew preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes and Ethiopians. In Ethiopia he appointed his follower Plato as bishop, and withdrew to prayerful solitude on a mountain, where the Lord appeared to him. Matthew baptized the wife and the son of the prince of Ethiopia, at which the prince became greatly enraged and dispatched a guard to bring Matthew to him for trial. The soldiers returned to the prince saying that they had heard Matthew’s voice, but could not see him with their eyes. The prince then sent a second guard. When this guard approached the apostle, he shone with a heavenly light so powerful that the soldiers could not look at him; filled with fear, they threw down their weapons and returned. The prince then went himself. Matthew radiated such light that the prince was instantly blinded. However, the holy apostle had a compassionate heart; he prayed to God, and the prince was given back his sight. Unfortunately, he saw only with physical eyes and not spiritual eyes. He arrested Matthew and subjected him to cruel tortures. Twice, a large fire was lighted on his chest, but the power of God preserved him alive and unharmed. Then the apostle prayed to God and gave up his spirit. The prince commanded that the martyr’s body be placed in a lead coffin and thrown into the sea. The saint appeared to Bishop Plato and told him where the coffin bearing his body could be found. The bishop retrieved the coffin with Matthew’s body from the sea. Witnessing this new miracle, the prince was baptized and received the name Matthew. After that, the prince left all the vanity of the world and became a presbyter and served the Church in a God-pleasing way. When Plato died, the Apostle Matthew appeared to the presbyter Matthew and counseled him to accept the episcopacy. He accepted the bishopric and, for many years, was a good shepherd until the Lord called him to His Immortal Kingdom. St. Matthew the Apostle wrote his Gospel in the Aramaic language. It was soon after translated into Greek and the Greek text has come down to us, while the Aramaic text has been lost. It is said of this evangelist that he never ate meat, but only vegetables and fruit. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

 


POLYELEOS GREAT VESPERS

 

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

6. The searcher of the hearts of men
inspired your mind, Apostle, with His divine knowledge:
He called you to Himself, ransoming you from the world’s deceit:
for He is the light whose rays shine to the ends of the earth.
He commanded you to proclaim His Word.
He made you worthy to write His Holy Gospel:
pray that He may enlighten and save our souls.

5. The searcher of the hearts of men
inspired your mind, Apostle, with His divine knowledge:
He called you to Himself, ransoming you from the world’s deceit:
for He is the light whose rays shine to the ends of the earth.
He commanded you to proclaim His Word.
He made you worthy to write His Holy Gospel:
pray that He may enlighten and save our souls.

4. Once a publican, now a disciple, you accepted the urgent call of the Eternal Word.
You abandoned the collection of the taxes,
eager for the promise of communion in His Kingdom;
you cast away the raging tumult of this life.
Now you behold His glory face to face:
pray that He may enlighten and save our souls.

3. Once a publican, now a disciple, you accepted the urgent call of the Eternal Word.
You abandoned the collection of the taxes,
eager for the promise of communion in His Kingdom;
you cast away the raging tumult of this life.
Now you behold His glory face to face:
pray that He may enlighten and save our souls.

2. In days of old, as the earth lay waste in evil,
the prophet Daniel was endowed with clearness of sight.
He beheld a stone, cut without human hands from a mountain:
a stone which ground the riches of earthly kingdoms to dust.
In the fullness of time this all-wise Lord came down to earth:
passing by the customs-house, He chose you to be His herald,
He called you, who once served an earthly kingdom,
to serve Him, the Light of the world,
pray to Him, blessed Matthew, that He may enlighten and save our souls.

1. In days of old, as the earth lay waste in evil,
the prophet Daniel was endowed with clearness of sight.
He beheld a stone, cut without human hands from a mountain:
a stone which ground the riches of earthly kingdoms to dust.
In the fullness of time this all-wise Lord came down to earth:
passing by the customs-house, He chose you to be His herald,
He called you, who once served an earthly kingdom,
to serve Him, the Light of the world,
pray to Him, blessed Matthew, that He may enlighten and save our souls.

Glory…

You were called by Christ to heavenly discipleship;
you followed Him eagerly, chosen one of God.
He delivered you from subjection to earthly cares;
abandoning the vain collection of tribute,
you faithfully kept the accounts of the heavenly King.
Blessed evangelist, you are a light for those who dwell in darkness,
a guide to salvation for those who wander astray,
Matthew, the herald of glad tidings, pray for those who honour you!

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.

 

Prokeimenon
of the day

 

Readings

1 Peter 1:1-2:6; 1 Peter 2:21-3:9; 1 Peter 4:1-11

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

All-praised Matthew, your words are a trumpet
drawing men to the knowledge of God.
They have delivered the inhabitants of the earth from enslavement to evil,
leading us into the true faith, the unity of righteousness:
Pray to Christ our God to deliver us from corruption and danger.

Their proclamation has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the universe!

By a fiery tongue you were armed mightily with the spirit;
apostle, your words overthrew the deceitful enemy.
Christ our God whom you proclaimed to be the fulfilment of the prophets,
adorned you with the resplendent crown of His love:
Pray to Christ our God to deliver us from corruption and danger.

The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

The publican in a single moment becomes an apostle,
the tax collector seizes riches from the fount of joy;
abundantly blessed with the fullness of the Spirit,
He made you to be the bearer of glad tidings for us.
Pray to Christ our God to deliver us from corruption and danger.

In Tone 6, Glory…

The full stature of goodness is made manifest in you, blessed Matthew:
in the fullness of time you abandoned the occupation of an evil age,
soaring as an eagle to the heights of righteousness,
you have filled the earth with the wisdom hidden from all eternity,
following fervently in the footsteps of Christ,
you have borne the Gospel of peace, life, and salvation to men,
filling with divine commandments those who hunger after righteousness,
blessed guide, well-pleasing to the Creator,
pray for us who bless your memory.

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 3

O Matthew, proclaimer of God’s word,* you earnestly turned from the tax collector’s booth* and followed the Master, who our His love* appeared to us on earth and summoned you.* You shone to the world as chosen apostle and loud herald of the Good News.* Because of this we feast your memory;* pray to God all-merciful* for the forgiveness of sins.

Glory… Now…

We sing your praises, O Virgin;* for, as the Mother of God, you always intercede for the salvation of the human race.* It is from you that our God and Your Son took flesh. * Then, by suffering the passion on the Cross,** and out of love for mankind, He delivered us from corruption.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 3: O Matthew, proclaimer of God’s word,* you earnestly turned from the tax collector’s booth* and followed the Master, who our His love* appeared to us on earth and summoned you.* You shone to the world as chosen apostle and loud herald of the Good News.* Because of this we feast your memory;* pray to God all-merciful* for the forgiveness of sins.

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

Kontakion, Tone 4: Casting off the yoke of the custom house* you yoked yourself to justice;* revealed as an excellent merchant* you gained wisdom— wealth from on high.* From whence you preached the word of truth,* arousing sluggish souls by describing the hour of judgment.

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

Epistle
1 Corinthians 4:9-16

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
Matthew 9:9-13

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)

 

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