February 24, 2014 </br>Cheesefare Monday </br>The First and Second Finding of the Precious Head of the Holy, Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

February 24, 2014
Cheesefare Monday
The First and Second Finding of the Precious Head of the Holy, Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The great and glorious Baptist John was beheaded according to the wish and instigation of the wicked Herodias, the wife of Herod. When John was beheaded, Herodias ordered that his head not be buried with his body for she feared that this awesome prophet, somehow, would resurrect. Therefore, she took his head and buried it deep in the ground in a secluded and dishonorable place. Her maidservant was Johanna, the wife of Chuza a courtier of Herod. The good and devout Johanna could not tolerate that the head of the Man of God remain in this dishonorable place. Secretly she unearthed it, removed it to Jerusalem and buried it on the Mount of Olives. Not knowing of this, King Herod, when he learned of Jesus and how He worked great miracles, became frightened and said: “This is John whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead” (St. Mark 16:16). After a considerable period of time, an eminent landowner believed in Christ, left his position and the vanity of the world and became a monk, taking the name, Innocent. As a monk, he took up abode on the Mount of Olives exactly in the place where the head of the Baptist was buried. Wanting to build himself a cell for himself, he dug deep and discovered an earthen vessel and in it a head, which was mysteriously revealed to him, to be the head of the Baptizer. He reverenced it and reburied it in the same spot. Later, according to God’s Providence, this miracle-working relic [The head of St. John] traveled from place to place, sunk into the darkness of forgetfulness and again was rediscovered. Finally, during the reign of the pious Empress Theodora, the mother of Michael and the wife of Theophilus and at the time of Patriarch Ignatius it was translated to Constantinople. Many miraculous healings occurred from the relic of the Forerunner [Precursor]. It is important and interesting to note that while he was still alive, “John did no miracles” (St. John 10:41), however, his relics have been endowed with miraculous power. (Prologue of Ohrid)

VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

6. Rejoice, holy and light-bearing head, venerated by the angels!
Of old, you were cut off by the sword,
for you had cut through the shame of impurity with incisive reproofs!
Like a fountain refreshing the faithful with wonders,
you declared the saving coming of the Saviour,
and perceived the coming of the Spirit, which took up his abode in you,
as you stood between the grace of the Old and New Covenants.
Entreat Christ God to grant our souls great mercy!

5. Rejoice, holy and light-bearing head, venerated by the angels!
Of old, you were cut off by the sword,
for you had cut through the shame of impurity with incisive reproofs!
Like a fountain refreshing the faithful with wonders,
you declared the saving coming of the Saviour,
and perceived the coming of the Spirit, which took up his abode in you,
as you stood between the grace of the Old and New Covenants.
Entreat Christ God to grant our souls great mercy!

4. The head of the Forerunner is made manifest.
Once it was concealed in an earthen vessel;
now it is openly given up from the depths of the earth,
pouring forth streams of healing.
For he washed in the waters the Head of the One
who even now covers the chambers of the firmament with waters
and rains down divine forgiveness for all peoples!
Then let us bless this truly praiseworthy head
and joyfully celebrate its finding,
entreating Christ to grant our souls great mercy!

3. The head of the Forerunner is made manifest.
Once it was concealed in an earthen vessel;
now it is openly given up from the depths of the earth,
pouring forth streams of healing.
For he washed in the waters the Head of the One
who even now covers the chambers of the firmament with waters
and rains down divine forgiveness for all peoples!
Then let us bless this truly praiseworthy head
and joyfully celebrate its finding,
entreating Christ to grant our souls great mercy!

2. The head which proclaimed the Lamb of God who appeared in the flesh
declared to all the ways of saving repentance with divine precepts,
before it had denounced the transgression of Herod
and therefore was severed from its body.
It was concealed for a time and has risen to us as a shining sun,
crying out: repent and with compunction of soul submit to the Lord
who grants the world great mercy!

1. The head which proclaimed the Lamb of God who appeared in the flesh
declared to all the ways of saving repentance with divine precepts,
before it had denounced the transgression of Herod
and therefore was severed from its body.
It was concealed for a time and has risen to us as a shining sun,
crying out: repent and with compunction of soul submit to the Lord
who grants the world great mercy!

In Tone 6, Glory…

A treasury of divine gifts, your head, O Forerunner,
guarded by God, has risen from the depths of the earth!
As we faithfully receive it and venerate it, glorious one,
we are made rich through you, Baptist of Christ,
with marvellous wonders and remission of sins!

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
Isaiah 40:1-11; Malachi 3; Wisdom 4:7-15

Deign, O Lord

Ekteny, “Let us complete..”

Aposticha

In Tone 2

Let us humble the flesh by abstinence,
as we follow the divine path of pure fasting.
with prayers and tears let us seek the Lord who saves us.
Let us put an end to anger, crying out:
Save us for we have sinned against you!
Save us, Christ our King, as You saved the men of Ninevah,
and make us partakers of Your heavenly kingdom, compassionate One!

I have lifted up my eyes to You enthroned in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the Lord our God until He has mercy on us.

When I think of my deeds, Lord,
I am filled with despair,
and know that I am worthy of every torment.
I have despised your commandments, Saviour.
I have spent my life as a prodigal.
I pray to you, only merciful one:
Cleanse me by repentance,
enlighten me through prayers and fasting,
and despise me not, most gracious Benefactor of all!

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for we have been filled with shame; our soul is all too full of the mockery of the rich, of the contempt of the proud.

Let us begin the fast with joy!
Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts!
Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh!
Let us abstain from every passion as we abstain from food!
Let us rejoice in virtues of the spirit and fulfill them in love!
that we all may see the Passion of Christ our God,
and rejoice in spirit at the holy Pascha!

In Tone 2, Glory…

Your head, O all-praised John,
the all-revered shrine of divine thoughts,
has shone forth today from the secret places of the earth.
From your mother’s womb it clearly foresaw the mystery of Ineffable Being
and has made the whole earth fragrant,
pouring forth the sweet oil of sanctification,
spiritually preaching the way of repentance,
and entreating the Saviour of all on behalf of our souls.

Now…

A new miracle surpasses all ancient miracles!
Who knows of a Mother who gave birth without a man,
who carried in her arms her Creator?
This birth is the will of God!
Since you carried Him as an infant in your arms, O most pure one,
and since you possess motherly boldness before Him,
do not cease praying for us who honour you,
that He may be bountiful and save our souls!

Troparia

In Tone 4
The head of the Forerunner has dawned from the earth* shedding rays of incorruption and healing on those who believe;* from on high it assembles the multitude of angels,* from below it summons the human race** to glorify Christ God with one voice.

Glory… Now…
O Mother of God, the mystery hidden from all eternity* and unknown even to the angels,* was revealed through you to those on earth:* God took on our human nature* and united it to His divine nature in a perfect but unconfused union.* Then, He willingly accepted the cross for our sake* and thereby raised again the first created man,** and saved our souls from death.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparion and Kontakion
Troparion, Tone 4: The head f the Forerunner has dawned from the earth* shedding rays of incorruption and healing on those who believe;* from on high it assembles the multitude of angels,* from below it summons the human race* to glorify Christ God with one voice.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2: O Forerunner of Grace and prophet of God,* having obtained your head from the earth like a sacred rose,* we always receive gifts of healing;* for again as of old you proclaim repentance in the world.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
The just man shall be glad in the Lord and shall hope in Him.
verse: Hear, O God, my voice when I make my petition to You. (Psalm 63:11,2)

Epistle
2 Corinthians 4:6-15

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: The just man shall flourish like the palm tree; and he shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon.
verse: They who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish the courts of our God. (Psalm 91:13,14)

Gospel
Matthew 11:2-15

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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Перше та друге знайдення чесної голови святого славного пророка, предтечі i хрестителя Івана;
24 лютого

Тропар (глас 4): Із землі засяяла предтечі глава,* проміння випускає нетління,* оздоровлення вірним;* з висот збирає множество ангелів,* на низах скликує людський рід,* щоб одноголосну славу возсилати Христу Богові.

+Слава Отцю, і Сину, і Святому Духові. І нині, і повсякчас, і на віки вічні. Амінь.

Кондак (глас 2): Пророче Божий і предтече благодаті,* як рожу священну із землі знайшовши,* оздоровлення завжди приймаємо,* бо знову, як і перше, у світі проповідуєш покаяння.

Прокімен (глас 7):
Возвеселиться праведник у Господі* і уповає на нього (Пс 63,11).

Стих: Вислухай, Боже, голос мiй, коли молитимусь до Тебе (Пс 63,2).

Апостол: (2Кр 4,6-15): Браття, Бог, який сказав: «Нехай із темряви світло засяє», – він освітлив серця наші, щоб у них сяяло знання Божої слави, що на обличчі Ісуса Христа. А маємо цей скарб у глиняних посудинах, щоб було видно, що велич сили є від Бога, а не від нас. Нас тиснуть звідусіль, але ми не пригноблені; ми в труднощах, та ми не втрачаємо надії; нас гонять, та ми не покинуті; ми повалені, та не знищені. Увесь час носимо в тілі мертвоту Ісуса, щоб і життя Ісуса в нашім житті було явним. Нас бо ввесь час живими віддають на смерть із-за Ісуса, щоб і життя Ісуса було явним у нашім смертнім тілі. І так смерть діє в нас, а життя у вас. Та мавши той самий дух віри, про який написано: «Я вірував, тому й говорив», – то й ми віримо, тому й говоримо; бо знаємо, що той, хто воскресив Господа Ісуса, – воскресить і нас з Ісусом і поставить з вами. Бо все це ради вас, щоб розмножена благодать через багатьох збагатила подяку на славу Божу.

Алилуя (глас 4): Алилуя, aлилуя, aлилуя!
Стих: Праведник квітнутиме немов пальма; він виженеться вгору, мов кедр ливанський (Пс 91,13).
Стих: Насаджені в домі Господнім, у дворах Бога нашого процвітуть (Пс 91,14).

Євангеліє: (Мт 11,2-15) (Cвятого Івана): У той час, почувши у в’язниці йро діла Христові, Йоан послав його спитати через своїх учнів: “Ти той, що має прийти, чи іншого маємо чекати?” У відповідь на це Ісус сказав їм: “Ідіть і сповістіть Йоана про те, що чуєте й бачите. Сліпі бачать і криві ходять; прокажені очищуються і глухі чують; мертві воскресають і вбогим проповідується Добра Новина. Щасливий, хто через мене не спотикнеться.” Тоді, як ті відходили, Ісус почав говорити людям про Йоана: “На що ви вийшли подивитися в пустиню? На тростину, що її колише вітер? На що ж вийшли подивитись? На чоловіка, одягненого в одежу м’яку? Таж ті, що носять м’яку одежу, сидять у царських палацах. Чого ж тоді вийшли? Побачити пророка? Так, кажу вам, і більше, як пророка. Це той, що про нього написано:
Ось я посилаю мого посланця перед тобою, що приготує тобі дорогу перед тобою. Істинно кажу вам, що між народженими від жінок не було більшого від Йоана Христителя; однак найменший у Небеснім Царстві більший від нього. Від часів Йоана Христителя і понині Царство Небесне здобувається силою; і ті, що вживають силу, силоміць беруть його. Усі бо пророки й закон пророкували до Йоана. І коли хочете знати – він є Ілля, що має прийти. Хто має вуха, нехай слухає.”

Причасний: В пам’ять вічну буде праведник,* злих слухів не убоїться (Пс 111,6-7). Алилуя (х3).


Epistle (2 Corinthians 4:6-15): Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Gospel: (Matthew 11:2-15): At that time, when John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

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