April 6, 2014 </br>Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. Mary of Egypt, Octoechos Tone 5 </br>Falling Asleep of Methodius

April 6, 2014
Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. Mary of Egypt, Octoechos Tone 5
Falling Asleep of Methodius

We are tempted to think of the saints as perfect people, who never did anything wrong, Since we are not like that, we might decide that we cannot become saints ourselves. This is, as I have just called it, a temptation, a deceit of the devil, the father of lies. There is no sinner who cannot repent, and become a great saint. To encourage us, on the fifth (and last) Sunday of Lent, the Church remembers Saint Mary of the Desert, Mary of Egypt as she is also called.

Mary of Egypt was a successful prostitute, and joined a pilgrimage boat to Palestine only in search of new customers! She had been baptized as a child, but she was not at all interested in the Faith. Then, however, in Jerusalem, God’s grace moved Mary to repentance, and she went out into the desert beyond the Jordan, where she led an eremitical life for many years. Shortly before she died, she met Saint Zosimas, of the monastery of Saint Sabbas, near Jerusa1cm; it was Saint Zosimas who gave her Holy Communion before she died, and who learned her history. Later another of the monks of Saint Sabbas became Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem; he wrote the life of Saint Mary. Because of her connection with the monastery of Saint Sabbas, the annual commemoration of Saint Mary of the Desert is an important one in all the Churches of the Byzantine tradition.

From one aspect, there is nothing extraordinary about Saint Mary of the Desert; in every generation there have been sinners who repented and became saints. The eremitical vocation is less common, but hermits have never been lacking in the Church. Such people do not seek publicity or notoriety; during her lifetime Saint Mary would certainly not have wanted any attention. God chose to reveal this particular saint to the Church, so that we should know that we may never despair over our sins; the possibility of repentance is always open to us.

Also, of course, it is not without significance that the last of the major saints remembered on the Sundays of Great Lent is a woman. After singing the praises of the Mother of God, we at once sing the praises of Saint Mary of the Desert. This brings to mind the recent words of the [late] Holy Father [John Paul II]:

“I would also like to mention the splendid witness of nuns in the Christian East. This witness has offered an example of giving full value in the Church to what is specifically feminine, even breaking through the mentality of the time. During recent persecutions, especially in Eastern European countries, when many male monasteries were forcibly closed, female monasticism kept the torch of the monastic life burning. The nun’s charism, with its own specific characteristics, is a visible sign of that motherhood of God to which Sacred Scripture often refers.”

Saint Hippolytus of Rome teaches:

“After His Resurrection, it was the women who were the first to see Him. Just as the first sin was introduced into the world by a woman, so it was also women who first announced life to the world. Accordingly they hear the sacred word ‘Women, rejoice’ so that the primal sorrow might be swallowed up in the joy of the Resurrection.” (Bishop Basil Losten)


GREAT VESPERS

 

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

10. With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.

9. O Christ, Who granted resurrection to mankind,
You were led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!

8. What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind,
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.

In Tone 6

7. The pollution of past sins
prevented you from entering the church
to see the elevation of the Holy Cross;
but then my conscience and the awareness of your actions
turned you, O wise in God,
to a better way of life.
And, having looked upon the icon of the blessed Maid of God,
You have condemned all your previous transgressions,
O Mother worthy of all praise,
and so have gone with boldness to venerate the precious Cross.

6. Having worshipped at the holy places with great joy,
you have received saving grace for the journey of virtue,
and with all haste you have set out upon the good path you have chosen.
Crossing the stream of the Jordan,
with eagerness you have gone to live
in the dwelling place of the Baptist.
you have tamed the savagery of the passions
through your ascetic way of life,
and boldly you have broken the rebelliousness of the flesh,
O Mother ever-glorious.

5. Having gone to dwell in the wilderness,
you had blotted out from your soul the images of your sensual passions,
and marked upon it the God-given imprint of holiness.
You attained such glory, blessed Mother,
as to walk upon the surface of the water,
and in your prayers to God you were raised up from the earth.
And now, all-glorious Mary,
standing before Christ with boldness,
entreat Him for our souls.

In Tone 4

4. О holy Bishop Methodius,
you took upon yourself task of teaching the law of grace.
By holy letters you brought together and handed on these teachings to your people and your flock,
that by them they could read and contemplate the holy Scriptures,
and they blessed the Lord.
We, therefore, bless you worthily.

3. О holy Bishop Methodius,
you took upon yourself task of teaching the law of grace.
By holy letters you brought together and handed on these teachings to your people and your flock,
that by them they could read and contemplate the holy Scriptures,
and they blessed the Lord.
We, therefore, bless you worthily.

2. О blessed Methodius,
you followed the words of the Lord,
and truly blessed the Father,
who gave birth to the Word in essence,
and sent forth the all-holy Spirit.
You continue to profess this, crying aloud,
“Truly the Comforter proceeds from the Father and not from the Son.”
Therefore, О divine preacher,
you stand with the fathers of the First Council in their same profession,
pray with them to the Saviour, that he may save us all.

1. О father Methodius,
you received apostolic grace from God in abundance.
You were counted worthy of the wonder of prophecy,
seeing the future as if it were present.
Rejoice, О glorious father,
sight of the blind, expeller of demons and healer of the sick.
Grant us forgiveness of sins and great mercy.

In Tone 4, Glory…

The power of Your Cross, O Christ,
has worked wonders,
for even the woman who was once a harlot
chose to follow the ascetic way.
Casting aside her weakness,
bravely she opposed the devil;
and having gained the prize of victory,
she intercedes for our souls.

In Tone 5, Now…

A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!

 

Readings
1) Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-15; 2) Wisdom 1:12-2:6, 21-24; 3) Isaiah 63:7-9

 

Aposticha

In Tone 5

O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.

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

O Giver of Life,
streams of forgiveness, life, and salvation
poured forth from Your pierced side upon us all.
By accepting physical death, You granted us immortality;
by lying in the tomb, You freed us from Hades,
and as God, by rising from the dead,
You raised us with Yourself in glory.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!

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

O Lover of mankind,
Your crucifixion and descent into Hades are most wondrous.
For, as God, You thereby conquered the power of Hades,
and raised up in glory, with Yourself, those who were long imprisoned there.
You reopened Paradise and enabled them to enter.
Grant forgiveness of sins to us
who glorify Your Resurrection on the third day,
for You alone are all-merciful.

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

O Lover of mankind,
You accepted suffering in the flesh
and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, heal the passions of our flesh,
raise us from our dreadful iniquities, and save us.

In Tone 2, Glory…

The desire of your soul and the passions of your flesh
you have cut down with the sword of abstinence;
your sinful thoughts you have choked with the silence of the ascetic life.
With the streams of your tears you have watered all the wilderness,
and caused the fruits of repentance to spring up for us:
therefore, O saint, we celebrate your memory.

In Tone 8, Now…

Come, О feast-lovers,
let us rejoice and exult with holy hymns,
the falling asleep of the bishop Methodius, the enlightener of Moravia,
the equal-to-the apostles of the Slavic peoples.
Behold, he rejected the pleasures of the world,
and took the apostolate of the cross on his shoulders,
together with his brother, enlightening the Slavic nations.
After his falling asleep, he received from God the reward of righteousness,
and prays without ceasing,
that our souls may be delivered from all troubles and dangers.

 

Troparia

In Tone 5
Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

In Tone 4, Glory…
O Christ, bestow from above Your mercies* to those who radiantly feast Your bishop’s falling asleep.* Through the intercession of our father Methodius,* Your holy disciple,* open to us the doors of the Kingdom* and loose the chains of our many sins.

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 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Troparion, Tone 4: O Christ, bestow from above Your mercies* to those who radiantly feast Your bishop’s falling asleep.* Through the intercession of our father Methodius,* Your holy disciple,* open to us the doors of the Kingdom* and loose the chains of our many sins.

Troparion, Tone 8: The divine image was faithfully preserved in you, O mother,* for taking up the Cross, you followed Christ.* By your deeds you have taught us to see beyond the flesh, which passes,* and care for the soul, a thing immortal.* And so, O venerable Mary,* your spirit rejoices with the angels.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3: Once you were filled with every impurity,* now through repentance you have been revealed as a bride of Christ,* following the angelic life, you crushed demons with the weapon of the Cross.* Therefore, O glorious Mary, you have been shown to be a bride of the kingdom.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5
You, O Lord, will guard us and will keep us* from this generation and for ever.
verse: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer left a just man. (Psalm 11:8,2)

Prokimenon, Tone 4
God is wonderful in His saints,* the God of Israel (Ps 67:36).

Epistle
Hebrews 9:11-14

Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing for ever; from generation to generation I will announce Your truth with my mouth.
verse: For You have said: Mercy shall be built up for ever; in the heavens Your truth shall be prepared. (Psalm 88:2,3)

Gospel
Mark 10:32-45

Hymn to the Mother of God
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.

 


 

5-а Неділя Великого Посту:
 св. Марія Єгипетська

Згідно Типікону в цей день служиться літургія св. Василія Великого.

Тропар (глас 5): Рівнобезначальне з Отцем і Духом Слово,* що від Діви народилося на спасіння наше,* прославмо, вірні, і поклонімся,* бо Воно благозволило тілом зійти на хрест* і смерть перетерпіти, і воскресити померлих* славним воскресінням Своїм.

Тропар (глас 8): В тобі, мати, дбайливо зберігся образ, бо, прийнявши хрест, ти пішла слідом за Христом і ділом навчала ти погорджувати тілом, бо воно проминає, а дбати про душу – єство безсмертне. Тим-то з ангелами разом радується, преподобна Маріє, дух твій.

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

Кондак (глас 3): Перше блудами всякими сповнена, як Христова невіста через покаяння днесь явилася, ангельське життя наслідуючи, демонів оружжям хреста ти убиваєш. Ради цього як невїста царева ти явилася, Маріє преславна.

Прокімен (глас 5): Ти, Господи, збережеш нас і захистиш нас* від роду цього і повік (Пс 11,8).

Стих: Спаси мене, Господи, бо не стало праведного (Пс 11,2).

Прокімен (глас 4): Дивний Бог у святих своїх. Бог Ізраїлів (Пс. 67,36).

Апостол: (Євр 9,11-14): Браття, Христос же, з’явившись як архиєрей майбутніх благ, через більший і досконаліший намет, що зроблений не людською рукою, тобто не земної будови, – і не з кров’ю козлів та телят, але з власною кров’ю, – увійшов, раз назавжди у святиню і знайшов вічне відкуплення. Бо коли кров волів і козлів та попіл із телиці, як покропить нечистих, освячує, даючи їм чистоту тіла, то скільки більше кров Христа, – який Духом вічним приніс себе самого Богові непорочним, – очистить наше сумління від мертвих діл, на служіння Богові живому!

Апостол: (Гал 3,23-29) (св. Марія): Браття, поки прийшла віра, під Законом стережено нас, замкнених до приходу віри, що мала об’явитись. Тому то Закон виховником був до Христа, щоб нам виправдатися вірою. А як віра прийшла, то вже ми не під виховником. Бо ви всі сини Божі через віру в Христа Ісуса! Бо ви всі, що в Христа охристилися, у Христа зодягнулися! Нема юдея, ні грека, нема раба, ані вільного, нема чоловічої статі, ані жіночої, бо всі ви один у Христі Ісусі! А коли ви Христові, то ви Авраамове насіння й за обітницею спадкоємці.

Алилуя (глас 5): Алилуя, Алилуя, Алилуя!
Стих: Милості Твої, Господи, оспівуватиму повік, і з роду в рід сповіщу устами моїми Твою вірність (Пс 88,2).
Стих:  Бо сказав Ти: Повік милість збудується, на небесах приготовиться істина Твоя (Пс 88,3).

Євангеліє: (Мр 10,32-45): У той час взяв Ісус дванадцятьох і почав їм говорити, що має статися з ним: “Оце йдемо в Єрусалим, і Син Чоловічий буде виданий первосвященикам та книжникам, і засудять його на смерть, і видадуть його поганам; і насміхатимуться з нього, плюватимуть на нього, бичуватимуть його й уб’ють, він же по трьох днях воскресне.” Яків же та Йоан, сини Заведея, підходять до нього та й кажуть йому: “Учителю, хочемо, щоб ти нам зробив те, чого попросим.” Він же їм відповів: “Що хочете, щоб я зробив вам?” “Зволь нам, – ті йому кажуть, – щоб ми сиділи: один праворуч, другий ліворуч від тебе у твоїй славі.” Ісус же сказав їм: “Не знаєте, чого просите. Чи можете пити чашу, яку я п’ю, і христитися хрищенням, яким я хрищусь?” Ті йому відповіли: “Можемо.” Ісус сказав їм: “Чашу, яку я п’ю, питимете, і хрищенням, яким я хрищуся, христитиметесь. Сидіти ж праворуч від мене чи ліворуч, – не моя річ вам дати, а кому приготовано.” Почули про те десятеро, тож обурились на Якова та Йоана. Тоді Ісус прикликав їх і сказав їм: “Ви знаєте, що ті, яких вважають князями народів, верховодять ними, а їхні вельможі утискають їх. Не так воно хай буде між вами, але хто з-між вас хоче стати великим, хай буде вам слугою, і хто з-між вас хоче бути першим, хай буде рабом усіх. Бо й Син Чоловічий прийшов не на те, щоб йому служити, лише щоб служити й віддати своє життя як викуп за багатьох.”

Євангеліє: (Лк 7,36-50) (св. Марія): В той цас просив Ісуса один з фарисеїв, щоб спожив Він із ним. І, прийшовши до дому того фарисея, Він сів при столі. І ось жінка одна, що була в місті, грішниця, як дізналась, що, Він у фарисеєвім домі засів при столі, алябастрову пляшечку мира принесла, і, припавши до ніг Його ззаду, плачучи, почала обливати слізьми Йому ноги, і волоссям своїм витирала, ноги Йому цілувала та миром мастила… Побачивши це, фарисей, що покликав Його, міркував собі, кажучи: Коли б був Він пророк, Він би знав, хто ото й яка жінка до Нього торкається, бож то грішниця! І озвався Ісус та й говорить до нього: Маю, Симоне, дещо сказати тобі. А той відказав: Кажи, Учителю. І промовив Ісус: Були два боржники в одного вірителя; один був винен п’ятсот динаріїв, а другий п’ятдесят. Як вони ж не могли заплатити, простив він обом. Скажи ж, котрий із них більше полюбить його? Відповів Симон, говорячи: Думаю, той, кому більше простив. І сказав Він йому: Розсудив ти правдиво. І, обернувшись до жінки, Він промовив до Симона: Чи ти бачиш цю жінку? Я прибув у твій дім, ти на ноги Мої не подав і води, а вона окропила слізьми Мої ноги й обтерла волоссям своїм. Поцілунку не дав ти Мені, а вона, відколи ввійшов Я, Мої ноги цілує невпинно. Голови ти Моєї оливою не намастив, а вона миром ноги мої намастила… Ось тому говорю Я тобі: Численні гріхи її прощені, бо багато вона полюбила. Кому ж мало прощається, такий мало любить. А до неї промовив: Прощаються тобі гріхи! А ті, що сиділи з Ним при столі, почали гомоніти про себе: Хто ж це Такий, що прощає й гріхи? А до жінки сказав Він: Твоя віра спасла тебе, іди з миром собі!

Замість Достойно: Тобою радується, Благодатная, всяка твар, ангельський собор і чоловічеський рід, освященний храме і раю словесний, дівственна 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 (Пс 148,1).

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


 

 

Epistle (Hebrews 9:11-14) (Sunday): Brethren, when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

Epistle (Galatians 3:23-29) (St. Mary):  Brethren, before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

 

Gospel: (Mark 10:32-45) (Sunday): At that time Jesus took the twelve and began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.’ James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’ When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.  So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

Gospel: (Luke 7:36-50) (St. Mary): At that time one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus spoke up and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Teacher,’ he replied, ‘speak.’ ‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

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