May 8, 2014 </br>Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

May 8, 2014
Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

The feast day of this great apostle and evangelist is celebrated on September 26. This day (May 8) commemorates the miracle which appeared at his grave. When John was over one hundred years old, he took seven of his disciples, went outside the town of Ephesus and ordered them to dig a grave in the form of a cross. After that, the elder went down into this grave and was buried. Later on, when the faithful opened John’s grave, they did not find his body. On May 8 of every year, dust is raised from his grave from which the sick are healed of various diseases. (The Prologue of Ohrid)


GREAT VESPERS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

10. Hearing the joyful words
of the angels sitting in the tomb of the Word,
the women who had run there with good intentions
knew that the purpose of their group would be changed.
No  longer will you carry myrrh!
Instead, you will preach to the apostles:
He Who was hidden in the earth is risen from hell!
Initiate them into the mystery
of Him Who became Man for us!

9. Very early in the morning
the Myrrhbearing women came to the tomb in fear
bringing myrrh for the Giver of life:
Christ Who died to slay hell!
But the divine angel stood before them and cried:
Why do you seek the life-bearing Lord among the dead?
Go, proclaim the Resurrection!

8. Blessed Joseph,
you bear in your arms the Word enthroned upon the cherubim!
You carried on your shoulders Him Who first took our flesh,
and then died to give life to us who lay dead.
Then, you mourned His death with the Myrrhbearers;
now you see His Resurrection and rejoice!

In Tone 1

7. The beholder of ineffable revelations
and recounter of the most sublime mysteries of God,
the son of Zebedee, who set down in writing the Gospel of Christ,
has taught us to theologize
concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

6. The beholder of ineffable revelations
and recounter of the most sublime mysteries of God,
the son of Zebedee, who set down in writing the Gospel of Christ,
has taught us to theologize
concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

5. The harp of heavenly songs played by God,
the recorder of mysteries, the divinely eloquent mouth,
beautifully chants the hymn of hymns;
for, moving his lips as though they were strings,
and using his tongue as a plectrum,
he prays that we be saved.

4. Proclaiming with your thunderous tongue
the hidden Word of divine wisdom, O beloved of God,
you ever cry out, continually moving your lips:
In the beginning was the Word!
And you instruct every man in the knowledge of God.

In Tone 8

3. O divinely wise father Arsenius,
having illumined your mind with fountains of tears,
you conversed with God,
and by unceasing purification and effulgence
was shown to be a most radiant pillar of piety,
shining as with fire, O blessed one, boast of monks.
And now, by your supplications, preserve us all.

2. O divinely wise father Arsenius,
having girt your mind round about with abstinence,
you caused it to ascend to the primal Cause,
and, forsaking the turbulence of the world and shunning its tumults,
you truly mingled purity of mind with the utmost desire, O blessed and all-wise one.

1. O venerable father Arsenius, seeking after God,
and piously desiring to be illumined by His radiant effulgence,
you abandoned all the splendour of high position and the imperial palace,
and received an immortal inheritance,
abiding now with Christ, O divinely blessed one.

In Tone 1, Glory…

O you of the race of man,
let us offer goodly praise as is meet to the beloved and virginal John,
the son of thunder, the foundation of the words of God, the author of theology,
the first preacher of the truth of the dogmas of the wisdom of God;
for having the Divine continually within him, he said:
In the beginning was the Word,
Who is inseparable from the Father and of the same essence with the Father,
revealing to us through himself the orthodoxy of the Holy Trinity.
And he has likewise shown us that He creates with the Father
and bears life and the light of Truth.
O awesome wonder! O uttermost wisdom!
For, full of love, he was also filled with theology through glory, honour and faith,
as a founder of our pure Faith.
Wherefore, we shall receive everlasting blessings on the day of judgment.

In Tone 1, Now…

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
came to the tomb, seeking the Lord.
They saw an angel, like lightning,
sitting upon the stone.
He said to them:
Why do you seek the Living among the dead?
He is risen, as He said!
You will find Him in Galilee!
Lord, Who rose from the dead, glory to You!

 

Readings
(1) 1 John 3:21-4:6; (2) 1 John 4:11-16; (3) 1 John 4:20-5:5

 

Lytia

In Tone 1

Rivers of theology poured forth from your honoured mouth, O apostle,
and the Church of God, watered thereby, worships the consubstantial Trinity in Orthodoxy.
Pray now to the Trinity, O theologian John,
that our souls be made steadfast and saved.

The garden of purity has emitted for us the myrrh of sweet fragrance on this present feast,
that we may cry out to him: O Apostle John,
who reclined against the Master’s breast,
who has rained down discourse upon the world
and preserved the Virgin as the apple of your eye,
beseech Christ, that He grant us great mercy.

O disciple of the Saviour, virgin and theologian, when Christ God was crucified
He committed the Virgin Theotokos to your care, in that you are virginal;
and you preserved her as the apple of your eye.
Wherefore, pray that our souls be saved.

As an eyewitness to ineffable mysteries, you cried out, exclaiming:
“In the beginning the pre-eternal Word was with God, and He was God!”
O Apostle John, intimate and faithful friend of Christ,
delight of the Trinity, unshakable confirmation of Ephesus and Patmos, our help.
Pray, O most blessed theologian, that the people who ever celebrate your memory with faith
be delivered from wicked enemies, material and noetic.

In Tone 5

O venerable father, having heard the voice of the Gospel of the Lord,
you forsook the world, holding riches and glory to be as naught.
Wherefore, you cried out to all:
“Love God and you shall find eternal grace.
Prefer nothing to His love, that when He shall come in His glory,
you shall find rest with all the saints.”
By his supplications, O Christ, preserve and save our souls.

In Tone 4, Glory… Now…

Reclining against the breast of Christ the Teacher at the Lord’s supper,
O beloved disciple, you thereby came to know ineffable things,
and has thundered forth your heavenly voice for all to hear,
saying: “In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:
Christ God, the Saviour of our souls,
the Light of truth Who enlightens every man
who comes into the world.”

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

Theologizing concerning the Son of the Most High,
Who with the Father is equally everlasting and of the same essence,
immutable Light from Light, the impress of the hypostasis of the Father,
Who shone forth timelessly and dispassionately from Him,
the Creator and Lord of all the ages, Christ our God,
you preached to the world, O beloved,
as the One Who brought light forth out of darkness.
Entreat Him that He save and enlighten our souls.

Their sound has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.

Receiving the light of the Comforter,
illumined therewith you theologized and proclaimed to all, O beloved,
that He proceeds from the Father
and through the Son is revealed to mankind,
equal in honour, equally enthroned
and of the same essence with the unoriginate Father and God the Word.
Wherefore, we honour you in hymns as the foundation of the divine Faith,
which you preserve unshaken through your supplications to the Lord.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands.

Having ascended to the summit of theology,
you learned the ineffable mysteries of God:
the single essence of the Godhead,
His single glory, kingdom and dominion, ever distinct in three Hypostases,
yet essentially indivisible and united in unconfused divine unity.
And, rendering glory, O theologian,
you preached the indivisible Trinity.
Entreat Him that He save and enlighten our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

O apostle of Christ, evangelist and theologian,
as an initiate of ineffable mysteries you have thundered forth upon us
the ineffable doctrines of wisdom,
explaining to the faithful that He was in the beginning,
and discounting that there was a time when He did not exist,
thus rejecting the words of the heretics.
And as you were shown to be the beloved intimate and friend of Christ,
like the eloquent Isaiah and Moses the God-seer,
pray earnestly for our souls, in that you have boldness before God.

In Tone 2, Now…

The women sprinkled spices mixed with tears on Your grave,
but their mouths were filled with laughter
when they said:  The Lord is risen!

 

Troparia

In Tone 2
O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us,* asking peace and great mercy for us. Twice

and then, “Rejoice, Mother of God, Virgin Mary, full of grace…”

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 2: When You went down to death, O Life Immortal,* You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity.* When You raised the dead from the nether world,* all the powers of heaven cried out:* “O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!”

Troparion, Tone 2: The noble Joseph took down Your most pure body from the tree.* He wrapped it with a clean shroud and aromatic spices* and placed it in a new tomb.* But on the third day You arose, O Lord,* granting the world Your great mercy.

Troparion, Tone 2: O beloved apostle of Christ our God,* hasten, deliver a people without defense.* He who received you when you leaned upon His breast accepts you as you bow in prayer.* Implore Him, O Theologian, to scatter the cloud of nations that besets us,* asking peace and great mercy.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Kontakion, Tone 2: O virgin apostle, who can recount your mighty works?* For you pour out wonders and healings* and you pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: You commanded the myrrh-bearers to rejoice, O Christ God,* and ended the grief of our mother Eve by Your Resurrection.* You ordered the apostles to proclaim to all:* “The Saviour is risen from the tomb.”

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
verse: The heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hand. (Psalm 18:5,2)

Epistle
Acts 8:26-39

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: The heavens shall confess our wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the church of the saints.
verse: God is glorified in the assembly of the saints. (Psalm 88:6,8)

Gospel
John 6:40-44

Hymn to the Mother of God
The Angel cried out to the One full of Grace: O chaste Virgin, rejoice! And again I say, Rejoice! Your Son has risen from the tomb on the third day, and raised the dead. Let all people rejoice! Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Exult now and be glad, O Sion! And you, O chaste Mother of God, take delight in the resurrection of your Son.

Communion Hymn
Receive the Body of Christ;* taste the fountain of immortality.* Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth,* and their word unto the ends of the world.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 18:5)

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