Polycarp, this great apostolic man, was born a pagan. St. John the Theologian converted him to the Faith of Christ and baptized him. In his childhood, Polycarp became an orphan and according to a vision in a dream Callista, a noble widow, took him as her own son, raised and educated him. From his childhood Polycarp was devout and compassionate. He strove to emulate the life of St. Bucolus, then the Bishop of Smyrna, as well as the holy Apostles John and Paul, whom he knew and heard. St. Bucolus ordained him a presbyter and before his death, Bucolus designated him as his successor in Smyrna. The apostolic bishops, who gathered at the funeral of Bucolus, consecrated Polycarp as bishop. From the very beginning, Polycarp was gifted with the power of working miracles. He expelled an evil spirit from the servant of a prince and through prayer stopped a terrible fire in Smyrna. Upon seeing this, many pagans regarded Polycarp as one of the gods. He brought down rain in times of drought, healed illnesses, discerned, prophesized and so forth. He suffered during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Three days before his death, St. Polycarp prophesized: “In three days, I will be burned in fire for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ!” And on the third day when the soldiers arrested him and brought him to trial, he cried out: “Let this be the will of the Lord my God.” When the judge counseled him to deny Christ and to acknowledge the Roman gods, Polycarp said: “I cannot exchange the better for the worse!” The Jews especially hated Polycarp and endeavored to have Polycarp burned alive. When they placed him bound at the stake, he prayed to God for a long while. He was very old, grey and radiant as an angel. The people witnessed how the flame encircled him but did not touch him. Frightened by such a phenomenon, the pagan judges ordered the executioner to pierce him with a lance through the fire. When he was pierced, so much blood flowed from him that the entire fire was extinguished, and his body remained whole and unburned. At the persuasion of the Jews, the judge ordered Polycarp’s lifeless body be incinerated according to the custom of the Hellenes. So the evil ones burned the dead body of the lifeless one whom they could not burn while alive. St. Polycarp suffered on Great and Holy Saturday in the year 167 A.D. (Prologue of Ohrid)
“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!
In Tone 6
4. When you shall come, O righteous Judge, to execute just judgment,
seated on Your Throne of glory,
a river of fire will draw all men amazed before Your judgment seat;
the powers of heaven will stand beside You,
and in fear mankind will be judged
according to the deeds that each has done.
Then spare us, Christ, in Your compassion,
with faith we entreat You,
and count us worthy of Your blessings
with those that are saved.
3. The books will be opened
and the acts of men will be revealed
before the unbearable judgment-seat;
and the whole vale of sorrow
shall echo with the fearful sound of lamentation,
as all the sinners, weeping in vain, are sent by Your just judgment to everlasting torment.
Therefore, we beseech You,
O compassionate and loving Lord:
spare us who sing Your praise,
for You alone are rich in mercy.
2. The trumpets shall sound and the tombs shall be emptied,
and all mankind in trembling shall be raised.
Those that have done good shall rejoice in gladness, awaiting their reward;
those that have sinned shall tremble and bitterly lament,
as they are sent to punishment and parted from the chosen.
O Lord of glory, take pity on us in Your goodness,
and count us worthy of a place with them that have loved You.
1. I lament and weep when I think of the eternal fire,
the outer darkness and the nether world, the dread worm and the gnashing of teeth,
and the unceasing anguish that shall befall those who have sinned without measure,
by their wickedness arousing You to anger,
O Supreme in love.
Among them in misery I am first:
but O Judge compassionate, in Your mercy save me.
In Tone 8, Glory…
When the thrones are set up and the books are opened,
and God sits in judgment,
O what fear there will be then!
When the angels stand trembling in Your presence and the river of fire flows before You,
what shall we do then, guilty of many sins?
When we hear Him call the blessed of His Father into the Kingdom,
but send the sinners to their punishment,
who shall endure His fearful condemnation?
But Saviour, who alone love mankind, King of the ages,
before the end comes turn me back through repentance
and have mercy on me.
In Tone 7, 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.
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 8, Glory…
Alas, black soul!
How lone will you continue in evil?
How long will you lie in idleness?
Why do you not think of the fearful hour of death?
Who do you not tremble at the dread judgment-seat of the Saviour?
What defence will you make, or what will you answer?
Your works will be there to accuse you:
your actions will reproach you and condemn you.
O my soul, the time is near at hand;
make haste before it is too late, and cry aloud in faith:
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against You;
but I know Your love for man and Your compassion.
O good Shepherd, deprive me not of a place at Your right hand
in Your great mercy.
O Virgin who knew not carnal union,
O you who ineffably carried God in the flesh,
O Mother of Almighty God.
O you who obtain for all of us the cleansing of sins
accept now our supplication
and intercede for the salvation of us all.
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.
O Mother of God, we sing your praises,* for you were a virgin before conceiving,* and remained a virgin after giving birth.* And since you have given birth to our Salvation, Jesus Christ,* you have become a treasury of assistance* for all who seek resurrection and eternal life.* Therefore, lift us up from the depth of our transgressions,* for we place our hope in you.
Troparion and Kontakion
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, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion, Tone 1: When You come on earth, O God, in glory,* and the universe trembles,* while the river of fire flows before the seat of judgement,* and the books are opened and all secrets disclosed,* then deliver me from the unquenchable fire,* and count me worthy to stand at Your right hand,* O Judge who are most just.
Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Great is our Lord and great is His strength;* and of His knowledge there is no end.
verse: Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good; may praise be sweet to Him. (Psalm 146:5,1)
1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2
Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: Come, let us rejoice in the Lord; let us acclaim God our Saviour.
verse: Let us come before His face with praise, and acclaim Him in psalms. (Psalm 94:1,2)
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.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 32:1)
Неділя М’ясопусна (Страшного Суду).
Тропар (глас 7): 3нищив Ти хрестом Твоїм смерть,* відчинив розбійникові рай,* мироносицям плач на радість перемінив* і апостолам звелів проповідувати,* що воскрес Ти, Христе Боже,* даючи світові велику милість.
+Слава Отцю, і Сину, і Святому Духові. І нині, і повсякчас, і на віки вічні. Амінь.
Кондак (глас 1): Коли прийдеш, Боже, на землю зо славою* і затрепече все,* а ріка вогненна потече перед судищем,* і книги розгортаються, і таємне з’являється,* – тоді ізбав мене від вогню невгасимого* і сподоби мене праворуч тебе стати,* Судде найправедніший.
Прокімен (глас 3): Великий Господь наш і велика сила його,* і розумові його немає міри (Пс 146,5).
Стих: Хваліте Господа, бо благий псалом, Богові нашому нехай солодке буде хваління (Пс 146,1).
Апостол: (1Кр 8,8-9,2): Браття, страва не зближує нас до Бога: коли не їмо, не втрачаємо нічого, ані коли їмо, не набуваємо нічого. Але глядіть, щоб оця ваша свобода не стала причиною падіння для слабких. Бо коли хтось побачить тебе, що маєш знання, як ти у капищі сів за стіл, то чи ж його сумління, бувши слабке, не буде заохочене їсти ідольські жертви? Таким то чином твоє знання погубить немічного брата, за якого Христос помер. Грішивши так проти братів і ранивши їх слабовите сумління, ви грішите проти Христа. Тому, якщо страва призводить брата мого до гріха, повік не буду їсти м’яса, щоб не спокушувати мого брата. Хіба я не вільний? Хіба я не апостол? Хіба я Ісуса, Господа нашого, не бачив? Хіба ви не моє діло у Господі? Коли іншим я не апостол, то бодай вам, бо ви, у Господі, є достовірним доказом мого апостольства.
Алилуя (глас 8): Алилуя, aлилуя, aлилуя!
Стих: Прийдіте, возрадуємося Господеві, воскликнім Богу, Спасителеві нашому (Пс 94,1).
Стих: Ідім перед лицем його з ісповіданням і псалмами воскликніть йому (Пс 94,2).
Євангеліє: (Ів 1,43-51): Сказав Господь: “Якже прийде Син Чоловічий у своїй славі, й ангели всі з ним, тоді він сяде на престолі своєї слави. І зберуться перед ним усі народи, і він відлучить їх одних від одних, як пастух відлучує овець від козлів; і поставить овець праворуч себе, а козлів ліворуч. Тоді цар скаже тим, що праворуч нього: Прийдіть, благословенні Отця мого, візьміть у спадщину Царство, що було приготоване вам від створення світу. Бо я голодував, і ви дали мені їсти; мав спрагу, і ви мене напоїли; чужинцем був, і ви мене прийняли; нагий, і ви мене одягли; хворий, і ви навідались до мене; у тюрмі був, і ви прийшли до мене. Тоді озвуться праведні до нього: Господи, коли ми бачили тебе голодним і нагодували, спрагненим і напоїли? Коли ми бачили тебе чужинцем і прийняли, або нагим і одягнули? Коли ми бачили тебе недужим чи в тюрмі й прийшли до тебе? А цар, відповідаючи їм, скаже: Істинно кажу вам: усе, що ви зробили одному з моїх братів найменших – ви мені зробили. Тоді скаже й тим, що ліворуч: Ідіть від мене геть, прокляті, в вогонь вічний, приготований дияволові й ангелам його; бо голодував я, і ви не дали мені їсти; мав спрагу, і ви мене не напоїли; був чужинцем, і ви мене не прийняли; нагим, і ви мене не одягнули; недужим і в тюрмі, і не навідались до мене. Тоді озвуться і ті, кажучи: Господи, коли ми бачили тебе голодним або спраглим, чужинцем або нагим, недужим або в тюрмі, і тобі не послужили? А він відповість їм: Істинно кажу вам: те, чого ви не зробили одному з моїх братів найменших – мені також ви того не зробили. І підуть ті на вічну кару, а праведники – на життя вічне.”
Причасний: Хваліте Господа з небес,* хваліте Його на висотах (Пс 148,1).
Другий: Радуйтеся, праведні, у Господі,* правим належить похвала (Пс 32,1). Алилуя (х3).
Epistle (1Corinthians 8:8-9:2): Brethren, ‘food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
Gospel: (Matthew 25:31-46): The Lord said: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’