January 25, 2014 </br>Our Holy Father Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople

January 25, 2014
Our Holy Father Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople

Gregory was born in Nazianzus of a Greek father and a Christian mother. Before his baptism, he studied in Athens along with Basil the Great and Julian the Apostate. Gregory often prophesied that Julian would become an apostate and a persecutor of the Church which actually happened. Gregory was especially influenced greatly by his good mother Nonna. When he completed his studies, Gregory was baptized. St. Basil consecrated him as bishop of Sasima, and Emperor Theodosius the Great summoned him to fill the vacant archepiscopal throne of Constantinople. He wrote numerous works of which his most famous are those concerning theology for which he is called The Theologian. Especially known because of its depth is his work: Homilies on The Holy Trinity. Gregory wrote against the heretic Macedonius who erroneously taught that the Holy Spirit is a creation of God and, Gregory also wrote against Appolinarius who erroneously taught that Christ did not have a human soul but that His divinity was in lieu of His soul. Additionally Gregory wrote against Emperor Julian the Apostate, his one-time colleague in school. In 381 A.D., when a debate began regarding his election as archbishop, he withdrew on his own and issued a statement: “Those, who deprive us of our archepiscopal throne cannot deprive us of God.” After that, he left Constantinople and went to Nazianzus and there lived a life of solitude and prayer, writing worthwhile books. Even though he was in poor health throughout his entire life, nevertheless, Gregory lived to be eighty years old. His relics were later transferred to Rome. A reliquary containing his head reposes in the Cathedral Church of the Assumption in Moscow. He was, and remains, a great and wonderful light of the Orthodox Church as much by his meekness and purity of character as well as for the unsurpassable depth of his mind. He died in the Lord in the year 390 A.D. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

GREAT VESPERS FOR POLYELEOS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

8. By your words of wisdom, Gregory the theologian,
you have glorified Him who is worshipped in Trinity:
the consubstantial Godhead: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
You have withered the vanity of false philosophers,
boldly proclaiming the truth with your godly preaching.

7. By your words of wisdom, Gregory the theologian,
you have glorified Him who is worshipped in Trinity:
the consubstantial Godhead: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
You have withered the vanity of false philosophers,
boldly proclaiming the truth with your godly preaching.

6. Let us sing the praises of the prince of bishops,
the great teacher of the church of Christ,
the mighty organ of the Spirit of God;
the well-tuned lyre, the sweet-sounding harp:
rejoice, depth of divine grace!
Rejoice, heavenly and exalted mind:
Gregory, father and theologian!

5. You ascended the mountain of virtue, renouncing all earthly cares.
With dead works you held no fellowship;
as Moses received from the hand of God the tables of the law of life,
so you were given the pure dogmas of your theology,
by which you teach us heavenly mysteries,
Most wise father Gregory.

In Tone 1

4. The grave, the means of forgetfulness, did not close your mouth, father Gregory,
for you have been revealed as the voice of theology,
declaring now to the whole world the teachings of the faith!
Pray that peace and great mercy may be granted to our souls!

3. The grave, the means of forgetfulness, did not close your mouth, father Gregory,
for you have been revealed as the voice of theology,
declaring now to the whole world the teachings of the faith!
Pray that peace and great mercy may be granted to our souls!

2. You wisely turned from the hostile and treacherous flesh,
and mounting the heaven-bound chariot, father Gregory,
you were drawn by the virtues as by four horses!
You soared aloft into ineffable beauty!
Now as you delight in it,
grant our souls peace and great mercy!

1. Through grace you were a faithful mediator between God and men.
Now, as you brought Christ, mercifully turned toward us, father Gregory,
by your bold prayers, never cease to pray to Him, venerable one,
that He may grant our souls peace and great mercy!

In Tone 6, Glory…

Faithful, let us assemble!
Let us celebrate in spiritual songs the prince of bishops and the glory of patriarchs,
the interpreter of the words and thoughts of Christ.
Let us honour him whom God exalted with a heavenly mind:
rejoice, fountain of theology and river of wisdom;
the abyss of divine contemplation!
Rejoice, brilliant star, enlightening the world with true doctrine!
Rejoice, fearless opponent of error and powerful defender of truth!
Most wise Gregory the theologian, never cease to pray to Christ our God
for those who celebrate your God-pleasing and honorable memory
with faith and love!

Now…

Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.

 

Readings
Proverbs 10:6-8; 8:6-21; Wisdom 8:17-21; 9:1-4; Wisdom 4:7-15

 

Aposticha

In Tone 5

Opening your mouth, directed by the Word of God,
you have partaken of the Spirit of Wisdom:
full of grace, you proclaimed divine doctrine, thrice-blessed Gregory.
You have imitated the ceaseless worship of the angelic host,
preaching on earth the triune and undivided Light.
Illumined by your divine teaching we confess the one Godhead in Trinity,
pray for the salvation of our souls.

My mouth shall speak wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

With your tongue of fire, divinely-inspired Gregory,
you burned to ashes the false teachings of the enemies of God.
You have appeared to us as a man with divine words,
speaking in the spirit of the mighty works of God,
writing for us of the hidden mystery of the Trinity of Persons,
equal in power and one in essence.
You have enlightened the ends of the earth as a radiant sun:
never cease to pray for the salvation of our souls.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

Rejoice, river of God, full of the waters of grace,
gladdening the ransomed people of Christ the King with divine teaching:
rejoice, torrent of delight and inexhaustible sea of truth,
faithful and just guardian of doctrine, undefeated warrior of the holy Trinity,
organ of the Holy Spirit and ever-vigilant mind,
your words explain the deep mysteries of the Scriptures:
pray to Christ, that He may grant our souls great mercy!

In Tone 8, Glory…

You have cultivated the hearts of believers by your words, Gregory:
you have yielded abundant fruit for God:
an ever-green pasture of righteousness.
You have torn out by the roots the thorns of heresy,
cleansing the world by your divine reasoning.
We faithful in joy offer praise to you:
inspired lyre and ever-vigilant mind,
faithful shepherd of the flock of Christ,
never cease to pray to the Word, theologian,
that He will deliver from the wolf all those who honour your memory.

Now…

O Virgin, You have never known wedlock,
Yet You conceived God in the flesh
in a manner which words can never describe.
You thus became the Mother of God on high.
O Immaculate Lady, receive the supplication of your servants
and grant us the cleansing of our sins.
Accept now our prayers and beseech God to save all of us.

 

Troparia

In Tone 1
Like a shepherd’s flute, O Father Gregory* your theology vanquished the trumpets of orators,* for searching the depths of the spirit,* beauty of speech was increased in you.* Pray Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Glory… 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

Troparion and Kontakion
Troparion, Tone 1:
Like a shepherd’s flute, O Father Gregory* your theology vanquished the trumpets of orators,* for searching the depths of the spirit,* beauty of speech was increased in you.* Pray Christ God that our souls may be saved.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3: O glorious saint, your tongue, versed in theology,* loosed the webs of vain philosophers;* you adorned the Church with a robe of true belief woven on high.* Wearing it she cries with us, your children:* Rejoice, O Father, highest mind of theology.

Prokeimenon, Tone 1
My mouth shall speak wisdom* and the meditation of my heart understanding.
verse: Hear these things, all you nations; give ear all you inhabitants of the world. (Psalm 48:4,2)

Epistle
1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Alleluia, Tone 2
verse: Give heed, O my people, to my law, incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
verse: I will open my mouth in parables, and proclaim secrets from of old. (Psalm 77,1-2)

Gospel
John 10:9-16

Communion Hymn
The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 111:6)

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