April 9, 2014 </br>Wednesday of the Sixth Week of the Great Fast

April 9, 2014
Wednesday of the Sixth Week of the Great Fast

They all suffered for Christ and were crowned with the wreaths of glory during the reign of Emperor Decius. By order of the emperor, the governor of Africa announced to the people that everyone must offer sacrifices to the idols. To those who resisted, the governor threatened with cruel tortures. Upon hearing about these threats many fell away from the Faith and worshipped the idols. However these forty remained unwavering in their faith and were exposed to torture. St. Terentius (Terence) encouraged his companions saying: “Brothers, let us be on guard that we do not deny Christ our God, lest He deny us before His Heavenly Father and Holy Angels.” The governor divided them into two groups. Thirty-six of them, after flogging, scrapping of the skin and pouring salt into their open wounds, were all beheaded. The first four they cast into prison with heavy iron chains around their necks, their hands and their feet. An angel of God appeared in the prison, touched the chains of the shackled and the chains fell off. After that, the angel prepared a bountiful table for them and fed them. Once again, they were brought out and tortured and, again, they were imprisoned. Then the governor ordered the soothsayers to gather as many poisonous, loathsome creatures as possible, such as snakes and scorpions and to lock them up in the same cell with the martyrs. The loathsome creatures did not want to touch those chosen by God but rather lay compressed in the corner where they remained for three days. On the third day, when the door of the cell was opened, the repulsive creatures rushed out and bit the soothsayers. Finally, the governor pronounced the death penalty upon the four martyrs. When they were brought out to be beheaded, they rejoicefully chanted Psalms and praised God, Who made them worthy of a martyr’s death. They suffered honourably in the year 250 A.D., and were found worthy of the Kingdom. (Prologue of Ohrid)


LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED GIFTS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

10. I am rich in all sorts of passions,
and I am clothed in a garment of hypocrisy,
as I revel in the intemperance of sin.
My lack of mercy is beyond measure,
and I disregard my spirit lying before the gates of repentance.
Starved of every good thing, I suffer from illness.
But You, O Lord, make me like Lazarus who was poor in sin,
so that I will not have to beg for a drop of water
for my tongue suffering from thirst in the eternal fire.
Make me dwell in the bosom of the patriarch Abraham, O Lover of humankind.

9. I am rich in all sorts of passions,
and I am clothed in a garment of hypocrisy,
as I revel in the intemperance of sin.
My lack of mercy is beyond measure,
and I disregard my spirit lying before the gates of repentance.
Starved of every good thing, I suffer from illness.
But You, O Lord, make me like Lazarus who was poor in sin,
so that I will not have to beg for a drop of water
for my tongue suffering from thirst in the eternal fire.
Make me dwell in the bosom of the patriarch Abraham, O Lover of humankind.

8. With your souls filled with unquenchable love, O holy martyrs,
you endured the most terrible sufferings without ever denying Christ;
and you laid low the impudence of the torturers.
You kept the faith unwavering and unharmed
and have gone to dwell in heaven.
Therefore, having the boldness to approach the Lord,
beg Him to grant us His great mercy.

7. As You walked in the flesh, O Jesus,
in the land beyond the Jordan,
You said to those who were with You:
Our friend Lazarus has died and has been placed in the tomb.
But I rejoice for you, my friends,
for you will learn that I know all things,
and that with God, I am one,
even though by nature I appear in human form.
Therefore, let us go and give life to Lazarus
so that Death may recognize this victory,
and the perfect consummation I shall bring about
by granting great mercy to the world.

6. O faithful, let us imitate Martha and Mary,
and offer virtuous deeds as ambassadors before the Lord,
that when He comes, He may uplift our minds full of misery which now lie dead in the tomb.
Without life, they have no sense of what they are neglecting,
and they are unaware of the awesomeness of God.
Behold, O Lord, now give life to all and grant us Your great mercy,
as once You had pity on Your friend Lazarus,
and by Your awesome power, You raised him from the dead.

In Tone 6

5. Now Lazarus has been in the tomb for two days,
and he sees all generations of the dead.
He beholds such strange and awesome things
and a countless number held within the power of death.
His relatives weep bitterly before his tomb;
but Christ is on His way to give life to His friend,
that He may stir up the same joy in the hearts of all.
Blessed are You, O Saviour; have mercy on us.

In Tone 4

4. The many-personed unity of martyrs
endured various tortures with firmness.
they went rejoicing to the one God,
celebrating with a host of holy angelic powers!
They overcame many thousands of snakes with firm resistance
and the grace of the Spirit.

3. The many-personed unity of martyrs
endured various tortures with firmness.
they went rejoicing to the one God,
celebrating with a host of holy angelic powers!
They overcame many thousands of snakes with firm resistance
and the grace of the Spirit.

2. Let us honour with hymns the most-glorious Maximus,
the great Terence, the most-wise Pompeius,
the divine Macarius and Africanus
and with them the whole company of martyrs.
By their own blood they purchased the highest kingdom
and were filled with eternal glory!

1. Neither starvation nor misfortune,
nor life nor death
was able to separate you, glorious ones,
from the love you have towards Him Who created you!
Therefore you inherited the Kingdom of heaven,
inexhaustible sweetness and unending joy!
Pray for cleansing and mercy for us.

In Tone 5, Glory… Now…

Come, all faithful, and rejoice in the Holy Scriptures!
Rejoice in the preaching of the apostles!
Rejoice in the Virgin who gave birth to God!
She is the Queen of Heaven.
In her we exult with hymns and songs,
for she is our fervent intercessor before God.

 

Prokeimenon I, Tone 4
I walk in the presence of the Lord* in the land of the living.
verse: I love the Lord, for He has heard the cry of my appeal.

Reading I
Genesis 43:26-31 and 45:1-16

Prokeimenon II, Tone 4
I will pay my vows to the Lord,* in the presence of all His people.
verse: I trusted, even when I said: I am sorely afflicted.

Reading II
Proverbs 21:23-22:4

Close Menu