March 30, 2014 </br> Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. John Climacus, Octoechos Tone 4

March 30, 2014
Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. John Climacus, Octoechos Tone 4

Saint John, Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Catherine, on Mount Sinai, who died in 603 AD, wrote an ascetic book called The Ladder of Divine Ascent. This book became one of the greatest classics of Christian spirituality. It has been translated into innumerable languages, both ancient and modern; one of the first books printed in the Western Hemisphere was a Spanish translation of the Ladder: For several centuries there has been a Church Slavonic translation which our monks and nuns made use of; unfortunately, there is as yet no translation into modem Ukrainian.

While the Ladder is definitely an important work of the Eastern Christian tradition, it is by no means confined to the East. The Western Church also knows and honours this book. In the same way, while Saint John, who wrote the Ladder was an abbot and a great master of the monastic life, his book is not just for monks and nuns! As Pope John Paul II has written:

“I will look to monasticism in order to identify those values which I feel are very important today for expressing the contribution of the Christian East to the journey of Christ’s Church towards the Kingdom. While these aspects are at times neither exclusive to monasticism nor to the Eastern heritage they have frequently acquired a particular connotation in themselves. Besides, we are not seeking to make the most of exclusivity, but of the mutual enrichment in what the one Spirit has inspired in the one Church of Christ.

“Monasticism has always been the very soul of the Eastern Churches: the first Christian monks were born in the East and the monastic life was an integral part of the Eastern lumen passed on to the West by the great Fathers of the undivided Church” (Orientale Lumen, 9)

Saint John is one of the greatest of these Fathers. And his writings, like all good spiritual and ascetical writings, should move us to improve our Christian lives. It is impossible to be “static” in our Christian practice; either we ascend further towards God, or we fall back, we fall away.

In the monastic communities of the Byzantine Churches, including our own Ukrainian Church, Saint John’s book The Ladder of Divine Ascent is read aloud every year, during Great Lent. Perhaps we may not necessarily read The Ladder iii our families, but we should try during Lent to read some good book of our traditional spirituality. Such a book should not be read quickly, “in one sitting.” Rather, we try to let such a book teach us, speak to us, and instruct us. For this purpose, we read only a little each day, and we pray, asking God and the Saints to show us, slowly perhaps, how we arc to benefit from this instruction. (Our Paschal Pilgrimage by Bishop Basil Losten)

 


 


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

10. We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
And we glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For You, Almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.

9. O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As Almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of death.
We, therefore, venerate Your resurrection from the dead,
and joyfully cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!

8. O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of death.
You have freed mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.

7. Come, all you people,
let us sing the praises of our Saviour’s resurrection on the third day.
For we have, thereby, been delivered from the invincible bonds of Hades,
and we have received incorruption, together with eternal life.
Therefore, we cry out to You
after Your crucifixion, burial, and resurrection:
Save us by Your resurrection, for You love mankind.

6. O Saviour, with the angels we sing the praises of Your resurrection on the third day.
For the very ends of the universe have, thereby, been enlightened,
and we have been saved from the deceit of the enemy.
Therefore, we cry out to You,
Almighty Saviour, Giver of Life, and Lover of Mankind:
Save us by Your resurrection.

5. O Christ our God, You have demolished the brazen gates of Hades.
You have broken asunder the bonds of death,
and lifted up the fallen human race.
Therefore, we cry out with one accord:
O Lord, Who arose from the dead, glory to You!

In Tone 8

4. O holy father John,
truly have you ever carried on your lips the praises of the Lord,
and with great wisdom have you studied the words of Holy Scripture,
that teach us how to practice the ascetic life.
So have you gained the riches of grace,
and you have become blessed,
overthrowing all the purposes of the ungodly.

3. O holy father John,
truly have you ever carried on your lips the praises of the Lord,
and with great wisdom have you studied the words of Holy Scripture,
that teach us how to practice the ascetic life.
So have you gained the riches of grace,
and you have become blessed,
overthrowing all the purposes of the ungodly.

2. Most glorious father John,
with the fountain of your tears you have cleansed your soul,
and by keeping vigils through the night
you have gained God’s mercy.
You were raised on wings, O blessed one,
to the love of Him and of His beauty;
and as is right you dwell now in His unending joy,
with your fellow soldiers in the spiritual fight,
O holy saint of God.

1. O holy father John,
through faith you have lifted up your mind on wings to God;
hating the restless confusion of this world,
you have taken up your Cross;
and, by following Him who sees all things
you have subjected your rebellious body to His guidance through ascetic discipline,
by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Tone 5, Glory…

O holy father,
hearing the voice of the Gospel of the Lord,
you have forsaken the world, counting as naught its riches and its glory;
and so you have cried out to all:
“Love God,
and you shall find eternal grace.
Set nothing higher than His love,
that, when He comes in glory,
you may find rest with all the saints.”
at their prayers, O Christ, guard and save our souls.

In Tone 4, 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.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our ancestors.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there,
and granted incorruption to the human race.
We, therefore, praise Your life-giving and redeeming resurrection.

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

By hanging on the Cross, O Almighty One,
You shook the whole creation to its foundations.
When You Yourself were laid in the grave,
You raised to life those who had been lying in the graves,
and You granted life and incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore, praise and glorify Your resurrection on the third day.

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

O Christ, the lawless people showed their ingratitude to You, their Benefactor,
by delivering You to Pilate who condemned you to be crucified.
But You willingly suffered death and burial;
and, as God, You rose by Your own power on the third day,
granting us everlasting life and great mercy.

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

The women, shedding bitter tears, came to see You in Your tomb;
and not finding Your body, they lamented, saying:
O Saviour and King of All, how were You stolen?
What place holds Your life-bearing body?
An angel answered them, saying:
Do not weep, but go and proclaim that the Lord is risen,
filling our hearts with joy;
for He alone is most compassionate.

In Tone 2, Glory…

Let us honour John, angel upon earth and man of God in heaven,
adornment of the world, joy of the good and virtuous, glory of the ascetics.
For planted in the house of God he has blossomed with the flower of holiness,
and spread abroad like a cedar in the desert,
causing the sheep of Christ’s spiritual flock to increase
in sanctity and righteousness.

Now…

O wondrous event exceeding every miracle that ever happened!
Who ever heard that a mother could conceive without a man,
and that she would hold in her arms the One who contains the whole universe?
This was the will of the One who was born of you.
Woman most pure,
never cease to intercede for those who honour you,
together with the One you carried in your arms as a child.
You have the power of a Mother:
therefore, intercede with Him that He may have mercy on us
and save our souls.

 

Troparia

In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”

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

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”

Troparion, Tone 1: O John, our God-bearing father,* you were shown to be a citizen of the desert,* an angel in bodily form,* and a worker of miracles.* Through fasting, prayers and vigils you received heavenly gifts* to heal the sick and the souls of those who, in faith, run to you.* Glory to Him who gives you strength.* Glory to Him who crowned you.* Glory to Him who works healing for all through you.

Glory… Now…

Kontakion, Tone 4: On the heights of true abstinence,* the Lord established you as a reliable star,* giving light for guidance to the ends of the earth,* O father John, our teacher.

 

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
How great are Your works, O Lord* You have made all things in wisdom.
verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, You are exceedingly great.
Prokeimenon, Tone 7
The venerable ones will exult in glory* and they shall be joyful in their beds.

Epistle
Hebrews 6:13-20

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Poise yourself and advance in triumph and reign in the cause of truth, and meekness, and justice.
verse: You have loved justice and hated iniquity
verse:
They who are planted in the hose of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Gospel
Mark 9:17-31

Instead of It is truly right we sing:
In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices: the angelic ranks and all the human race. Sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, virgins’ pride and boast, from whom God is made flesh and became a little Child; and He who is our God before the ages, He made your womb a throne, and He made it wider than all the heavens. In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices. Glory be to you.

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

 

 

 

 The Ukrainian texts will be updated shortly

Тропар, глас X Resurrectional

Тропар, глас 1 Пустинним жителем, і в тілі ангелом,* і чудотворцем показав ти себе,* богоносний отче наш Іване;* постом, чуванням, молитвою небесні ларування прийнявши,* зціляєш недужих і душі, що з вірою прибігають до тебе.* Слава тому, що дав тобі кріпость,* слава тому, що вінчав тебе,* слава тому, що діє тобою всім зцілення.

Слава… І нині…

Кондак, глас 4 На висоті правдивої повздержности* Господь тебе поставив як звізду необманну,* що просвічує світокраї,* наставнику Іване, отче наш.

Прокімен, глас X Resurrectional

і після, глас 7: Восхваляться преподобні у славі, і возрадуються на ложах своїх.

Апостол (до Євреїв 6:13-20)

Браття і сестри, коли Бог учиняв Авраамові обітницю, не маючи поклястися ніким вищим, то поклявся самим собою, кажучи: “Справді поблагословлю тебе щедро й розмножу тебе вельми.” І він, завдяки довгій терпеливості, осягнув обітницю: люди клянуться більшим від себе, і всякі їхні суперечки кінчаються клятвою на ствердження. Тому й Бог, бажаючи дати спадкоємцям обітниці якнайсильніший доказ, що його рішення непорушне, вжив клятви, щоб двома незмінними речами, в яких неможливо, щоб Бог казав неправду, ми мали сильну заохоту – ми, що прибігли прийняти надію, призначену нам. В ньому маємо, неначе якір душі, безпечний та міцний, що входить аж до середини за завісу, куди ввійшов за нас, як предтеча, Ісус, ставши архиєреєм повіки, на зразок Мелхиседека.

Алилуя, глас X Resurrectional

стих: Насаджені в домі Господньому у дворах Бога нашого процвітуть.

Євангеліє (від Марка 9:17-31)

Одного разу чоловік якийсь прийшов до Ісуса, і кланяючись йому, сказав: “Учителю, привів я до тебе сина мого, що має німого духа, і де тільки його вхопить, кидає його об землю так, що піниться, скрегоче зубами, дерев’яніє. Просив я учнів твоїх, щоб його вигнали, та не змогли.” Він же у відповідь каже їм: “О роде невірний! Доки я буду з вами? Доки вас терпітиму? Приведіть но його до мене.” І привели його до нього. Скоро дух угледів його, притьмом того затряс, і повалившись той на землю, запінившися, почав качатися. Спитав же його батька: “Скільки часу, як це йому сталося?” – “З дитинства”, – відповів той. І часто він кидає його у вогонь і в воду, щоб його погубити. Та якщо можеш, поможи нам, змилосердившись над ним.” Ісус же каже йому: “Щодо того – якщо можеш – то все можливо тому, хто вірує.” І вмить батько хлопчини викрикнув крізь сльози: “Вірю, поможи моєму невірству!” Ісус же, бачивши, що збігається народ, погрозив нечистому духові, кажучи: “Німий та глухий душе! Наказую тобі: Вийди з нього й не входь більше в нього.” І, закричавши та сильно його стрясши, вийшов з нього. І наче змертвів той, тож многі казали: “Вмер він.” Але Ісус, узявши його за руку, підвів його, і той устав. Коли ж увійшов у дім, то учні його питали його насамоті: “Чому ми не могли його вигнати?” Він відповів їм: “Цей рід нічим не можна вигнати, тільки молитвою та постом.” Вийшовши звідти, проходили крізь Галилею, і він не хотів, щоб будь-хто знав. Навчав бо своїх учнів і казав їм: “Син Чоловічий буде виданий у руки людям, і вб’ють його, і, вбитий, по трьох днях, воскресне.”

Замість Достойно співаємо: Тобою радується, Благодатная, всяка твар, ангельський собор і чоловічеський рід, освященний храме і раю словесний, дівствення похвало, що із неї Бог воплотився і младенцем став, перед віками сущий Бог наш. Лоно бо твоє престолом сотворив і утробу твою просторішою небес учинив. Тобою радується, Благодатная, всяка твар, слава тобі.

Причасний Хваліте Господа з небес,* хваліте Його на висотах.* В пам’ять вічну буде праведник,* злих слухів не убоїться.* Алилуя, тричі.

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