December 22, 2013 </br>Sunday of the Holy Fathers, Octoechos Tone 6 </br>Holy Great-Martyr Anastasia

December 22, 2013
Sunday of the Holy Fathers, Octoechos Tone 6
Holy Great-Martyr Anastasia

This glorious heroine of the Christian Faith was born in Rome into a wealthy senatorial family of a pagan father and a Christian mother. From her early youth, she clung in love to the Lord Jesus, guided in the teaching of Christ by a devout teacher, Chrysogonus. Anastasia was forced by her father to enter into marriage with a pagan landowner, Publius. Excusing herself on the basis of a female illness, she in no way wished to enter into physical relations with him. For this, her husband tortured her harshly by confinement and starvation. He inflicted even more tortures upon her when he learned of her secret visits to the prisons of the Christian martyrs: bringing them provisions, ministering to them, bathing their wounds and loosening their bonds. But by God’s providence she was freed from her wicked husband. Publius was sent to Persia by the emperor, and while sailing on the sea he was drowned. St. Anastasia then began to minister freely to the tortured Christian martyrs and to comfort the poor, giving them alms from her great inheritance. At one time the Emperor Diocletian was in the town of Aquileia and ordered that Chrysogonus, the confessor of Christ, be brought to him. St. Anastasia accompanied him on the way. Holy Chrysogonus was beheaded by order of the emperor, and then three sisters-Agape, Chionia and Irene-also suffered (April 16): the first two were cast into fire and the third was shot through with arrows. St. Anastasia took their bodies, wrapped them in white linen, anointed them with many aromatic spices, and honorably buried them. Following this, Anastasia went to Macedonia, where she helped the sufferers for Christ. There she became well known as a Christian, for which she was seized and brought before various judges for interrogation and torture. Desiring to die for her beloved Christ, Anastasia constantly longed for Him in her heart. A certain chief of the pagan priests, Ulpianus, lustfully tried to touch St. Anastasia’s body, but he was suddenly blinded and breathed his last. Condemned to death by starvation, St. Anastasia lingered in prison for thirty days without food, nourishing herself only on tears and prayer. Then she was placed in a boat with several other Christians to be drowned, but God delivered her even from this death. She was finally tied by the feet and hands to four wheels over a fire, and she gave up her holy soul to God. She suffered and took up her habitation in the Kingdom of Christ in the year 304. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 6

10. O Christ, You won the victory over Hades,
You ascended the Cross so that You might raise up with Yourself
all those who dwelt in the darkness of death.
Almighty Saviour, You are free from death
and bestow life by Your divine light.
We, therefore, beseech You to have mercy on us.

9. Today Christ has conquered Death.
He has risen from the grave as He foretold,
bestowing great joy upon the world.
Therefore, let us all lift up our voices and sing:
O Fount of Life, O Light Whom no one can approach,
Almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.

8. O Lord, where can we sinners flee from You,
for You are present in all creation?
You are present in heaven, for it is Your dwelling place.
Your power prevails in Hades where You conquered Death.
O Master, Your sustaining hand touches even the depths of the sea.
Where, then, can we take refuge except in You?
We, therefore, prostrate ourselves before You and pray:
O Lord, risen from the dead, have mercy on us.

7. We exult in Your Cross, O Christ,
and we sing the glory of Your Resurrection.
For You are our God, and we have no other Lord but You.

In Tone 6

6. The Never-setting Sun is coming from the Virginal womb
to enlighten everyone under the sun.
Let us meet Him with pure hearts and with good works.
Let us prepare ourselves now through the Holy Spirit
to greet Him who is coming to His own people
as He Himself had willed.
He is being born in Bethlehem
so that through His compassion
He might bring back all of those
who were exiled from life in Paradise.

5. He who is carried by the Cherubim
has taken human nature in the abode of the Immaculate womb.
He has come to earth to be born of the tribe of Judah.
The holy cave has been adorned
like a splendid palace for the King of all;
the manger, like a ruby throne.
The Virgin will place the Child into it
for the renewal of His boundless creation.

4. Having conceived in a manner beyond understanding,
the Virgin places You into the manger of the dumb animals,
O eternal Word of God,
because You come to pardon the ignorance
that I acquired through the envy of the serpent.
You come to be wrapped in swaddling clothes
in order to break the chains and the fetters of my sins.
Only-blessed One and Lover of mankind,
I most joyfully glorify, extol, and adore You
and Your coming in the flesh;
for through You have I been freed.

In Tone 8

3. The commemoration of the holy Fathers
is manifested to the ends of the world.
It is truly full of splendor,
and it glistens with the rays of grace;
for Christ the splendorous Sun has shone forth on high from afar.
He forms the assembly of stars which glisten with Him,
and the star reveals that the nativity of the God-man will be in Bethlehem.
Therefore, we piously and faithfully clap our hands
and leap for joy at this nativity,
and we give praise before the feast.

2. The Holy Fathers are adorned
by the glory of the divine sharing of our nature.
Adam rejoices today,
since he is the foundation and the strength of the wise Forefathers;
Abel leaps for joy as well.
Enoch is glad; Seth and Noah dance together.
The praiseworthy Abraham sings with the Patriarchs.
Melchizedek now sees from on high
the birth without a father.

1. The faithful and God-wise youths
are radiant with joy in the furnace.
They herald the nativity of Christ on earth.
As the precious dew which the Lord sent down,
He now preserves the Virgin without stain
and enriches her sublime with gifts.
Therefore, Daniel, inspired by God,
is also happy and full of joy
because he had a clear vision of the unhewn stone of the mountain.
He now zealously prays for our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Daniel was a beloved man.
He saw You, O Lord, as the Rock
which was hewn without the use of a hand.
He foretold that You, the Incarnate Word,
the Unchangeable God, and Saviour of our souls,
would be born without seed
as a Child of the Virgin.

Now…

O Cave, prepare yourself to receive the Mother
who bears Christ within her womb.
O Manger, receive the Word Who destroyed the sins of all.
O Shepherds, keep watch and then bear witness to the awesome wonder.
O Magi, come from Persia,
and bring your gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the King.
For the Lord has appeared from a virgin Mother;
yet she bowed to Him as a servant
and spoke to Him within her bosom, saying:
How were You conceived in me?
How did You grow in me, my God and Saviour?

 

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

 

Aposticha

In Tone 6

O Christ our Saviour,
the angels in heaven sing the praises of Your Resurrection;
make us on earth also worthy
to extol You with a pure heart.

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

Almighty God, You destroyed the brazen gates and bars of Hades,
and raised up fallen mankind.
Therefore, with one accord, we cry out:
O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!

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

Christ willed to renew us from our corruption of old
by being nailed to a cross and placed in a tomb.
When the women came to anoint His body they tearfully cried out:
O, what sorrow afflicts us!
O Saviour of All, how could You consent to occupy a grave?
If you truly willed this, then why did You allow Your body to be stolen?
How were You removed?
What place now conceals Your life-bearing body?
O Lord, appear to us as You promised
and put an end to out tears.
As they were lamenting, an angel appeared and cried out to them:
Do not weep, but tell the Apostles that the Lord is risen,
granting sanctification and great mercy to the world.

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

O Christ, You were crucified of Your free will,
and by Your burial You imprisoned Death.
As God, You rose in glory on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.

In Tone 2, Glory…

Rejoice, O illustrious Prophets!
You firmly established the Law of the Lord,
and you faithfully manifested yourselves
to be invincible and unshakeable pillars.
You have been taken to heaven
and have shown yourselves to be mediators of the new Law of Christ.
Implore Him to give peace tot he world
and to save our souls.

Now…

Behold, the time of salvation is drawing near.
O Cave, prepare yourself,
for the Virgin is coming to give birth.
O Bethlehem, O land of Judah,
adorn yourself and be happy
since the Lord will shine forth from you.
O mountains and hills and lands around Judah,
hearken, for Christ is coming that He may save His creation
because He is the Lover of mankind.

 

Troparia

In Tone 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory to You!

In Tone 2, Glory…
Great are the achievements of faith!* In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest,* and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep.* Through their intercession, O Christ God, save our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…
Bethlehem, make ready, for Eden has been opened for all. * Ephrathah, be alert, for the Tree of Life has blossomed forth from the Virgin in the cave. * Her womb has become a spiritual paradise * wherein fruit was planted, * and if we eat of it we shall live and not die like Adam. * Christ is coming forth to bring back to life ** the likeness that had been lost in the beginning.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 6: Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory to You!

Troparion, Tone 2: Great are the achievements of faith!* In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest,* and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep.* Through their intercession, O Christ God,* save our souls.

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

Kontakion, Tone 6: Armed by the Being that defies description* You defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth.* In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God:* “In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,”* for You can do whatever You will.

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 11:9-10,17-23,32-40

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us the work You did in their days.
verse: You saved us from our oppressors and put to shame those who hate us. (Psalm 43:2,8)

Gospel
Matthew 1:1-25

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest (Psalm 148:1).* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1).* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

 

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