June 29, 2014 </br>Third Sunday after Pentecost </br>Octoechos Tone 2 </br>Holy, Glorious, All-Praiseworthy and Chief Apostles, Peter and Paul

June 29, 2014
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Octoechos Tone 2
Holy, Glorious, All-Praiseworthy and Chief Apostles, Peter and Paul

Peter was the son of Jonah and the brother of Andrew, the First-called. He was of the Tribe of Simeon from the town of Bethsaida. He was a fisherman and, at first, was called Simon but the Lord was pleased to call him Cephas or Peter: “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, You are Simon the son of Jonah: you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a rock” (St. John 1:42). He was the first of the disciples to clearly express faith in the Lord Jesus saying: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (St. Matthew 16:16). His love for the Lord was great and his faith in the Lord gradually strengthened. When the Lord was brought to trial, Peter denied Him three times but after only one glance into the face of the Lord, Peter’s soul was filled with shame and repentance. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, Peter appears as a fearless and powerful preacher of the Gospel. Following one of his sermons in Jerusalem, three-thousand souls converted to the Faith. He preached the Gospel throughout Palestine and Asia Minor, throughout Illyria and Italy. Peter worked many powerful miracles; he healed the sick, resurrected the dead; the sick were healed even from his shadow. He had a great struggle with Simon the Magician who proclaimed himself as god but in reality Simon was a servant of Satan. Finally, Peter shamed and defeated him. By order of the evil Emperor Nero, Simon’s friend, Peter was condemned to death. Installing Linus as Bishop of Rome, counseling and comforting the flock of Christ, Peter proceeded joyfully to his death. Seeing the cross before him, he begged his executioners to crucify him upside down for he considered himself unworthy to die as did his Lord. Thus the great servant of the Great Lord reposed and received the wreath of eternal glory.

Paul was born in Tarsus of the tribe of Benjamin. At first, he was called Saul, studied under Gamaliel, was a Pharisee and a persecutor of Christianity. He was miraculously converted to the Christian Faith by the Lord Himself Who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. He was baptized by the Apostle Ananias, was called Paul and numbered in the service of the great apostles. With a fiery zeal, Paul preached the Gospel everywhere from the borders of Arabia to Spain, among the Jews and among the Gentiles. He received the title “Apostle to the Gentiles.” As horrible as his sufferings were, so much more was his super human patience. Throughout all the years of his preaching Paul, from day to day, hung as one on a weak thread between life and death. Since he fulfilled all days and nights with labor and suffering for Christ, since he organized the Church in many places and since he attained such a degree of perfection he was able to say: “It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero at the same time as the Apostle Peter. (Prologue from Ochrid)


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

10. Come, let us adore God the Word,
Who was born of the Father before all ages,
and was incarnate of the Virgin Mary;
for of His own free will He suffered the Cross
and submitted Himself to burial,
and arose from the dead to save me, a sinful one.

9. Christ our Saviour cancelled the decree that was written against us,
by nailing it to the Cross;
and He abolished the dominion of Death.
Let us glorify His Resurrection on the third day.

8. Let us, together with the archangels, sing of Christ’s resurrection;
for He is the Redeemer and Saviour of our souls.
He will come again in awesome glory and mighty power
to judge the world which He has fashioned.

7. Although You died and were buried,
the angel yet declared You as Master.
He said to the women: Come and see where the Lord was placed;
for He is risen as He foretold,
because He is almighty.
Therefore, we worship You, the only Immortal One,
and we beseech You to have mercy on us, O Giver of Life.

6. What crowns of praise shall we weave for Peter and Paul?
They were separated in the body but united in spirit,
and outstanding as the preachers of God.
The one indeed led the apostles,
while the other laboured more than all the rest.
Christ our God, showing great mercy,
fittingly crowns them with immortal glory.

5. What crowns of praise shall we weave for Peter and Paul?
They were separated in the body but united in spirit,
and outstanding as the preachers of God.
The one indeed led the apostles,
while the other laboured more than all the rest.
Christ our God, showing great mercy,
fittingly crowns them with immortal glory.

4. With what beautiful hymns shall we praise Peter and Paul?
They are wings of divine knowledge,
spreading out to the far ends of the earth
and soaring aloft to heaven.
They are two heads of the Gospel of grace,
two feet of the preaching of the truth,
two rivers of wisdom and two arms of the Cross,
through which the merciful Christ casts down the pride of demons.

3. With what beautiful hymns shall we praise Peter and Paul?
They are wings of divine knowledge,
spreading out to the far ends of the earth
and soaring aloft to heaven.
They are two heads of the Gospel of grace,
two feet of the preaching of the truth,
two rivers of wisdom and two arms of the Cross,
through which the merciful Christ casts down the pride of demons.

2. With what spiritual songs shall we praise Peter and Paul?
They slew the godless tongues of idolaters.
They are fearful swords of the Spirit and notable ornaments of Rome,
nourishers of the whole world
and the God-inspired tablets of the new covenant.
Christ, in His great mercy, has proclaimed their honour in Sion.

1. With what spiritual songs shall we praise Peter and Paul?
They slew the godless tongues of idolaters.
They are fearful swords of the Spirit and notable ornaments of Rome,
nourishers of the whole world
and the God-inspired tablets of the new covenant.
Christ, in His great mercy, has proclaimed their honour in Sion.

In Tone 4, Glory…

Christ asked three times: Peter, do you love Me?
Thereby He satisfied the three-fold denial;
and Simon, understanding the mystery, cried to the Lord:
You know all things; You know that I love You.
After this, Christ said to him:
Feed my sheep, feed my lambs;
feed those sheep which I have fashioned for salvation with my own blood.
Therefore, O blessed Apostle of God,
beseech Him to grant us great mercy.

In Tone 2, Now…

O Virgin, the shadow of the Law passed away
with the realization of grace.
For as the bush had burned without being consumed,
so you gave birth while a virgin
and you remained a virgin.
Instead of the pillar of fire there rose the Sun of Justice.
Instead of Moses, Christ God came forth,
the Saviour of our souls.

 

Readings
(1) 1 Peter 1: 3-9; (2) 1 Peter 1: 13 – 19; (3) 1 Peter 2: 11-24

 

Lytia

In Tone 2

Come today, O assemblies of the faithful,
O choirs full of praise, O beautiful gathering,
O chosen craftsmen of grace,
we are crowning Peter and Paul with worthy praises.
They sowed the Word in its fullness;
through them the grace of the Spirit was poured out abundantly.
And being the vine of the true vineyard,
they divided up for us a ripe cluster, making our hearts joyful.
Let us sing to them with clear expression,
and with a clean conscience let us say:
Rejoice, O destroyers of the unwise
and the servants of the spiritual ones.
Rejoice, O intermediaries for the good who banish evil.
Let us beseech them to always pray to the Creator and Teacher
to grant an enduring peace to the world
and great mercy to our souls.

Let us praise as intercessors for the world,
the teachers and foundations of the Church of Christ,
its true pillars and walls,
trumpets of the divine teachings and sufferings of Christ,
the prime apostles Peter and Paul.
They travelled throughout the earth,
as though with a plough, sowing the faith,
and planted a knowledge of God in all,
revealing the Word of the Trinity.
O Peter, rock of foundation, and Paul, O chosen vessel,
you were harnessed together to the will of Christ.
You raised up all creation to a knowledge of God:
the nations, the cities, and the islands.
Indeed, you lifted up anew the Hebrews into the Church,
and now you pray that our souls be saved.

O Peter, the first of the glorious apostles and rock of faith!
wondrous Paul, orator and lamp stand of the holy churches,
standing before the divine throne,
pray to Christ for us.

O Paul, spokesman of the Lord and foundation of doctrine!
Once you were a persecutor of Jesus the Saviour,
and then indeed you were among the first of the apostles, O blessed one.
You saw the ineffable One, O wise Apostle.
You were transported up to the third heaven, and you exclaimed:
Come with me and do not be deprived of the good things.

In Tone 3

O citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem,
behold the rock of faith and the orator of the Church of Christ,
the two men of the Trinity and fishers of the world,
today are departing from the earth.
Suffering the passion, they ascend to God,
and they pray to Him with confidence to save our souls.

In Tone 5, Glory…

The wisdom of God and the Word who is co-eternal with the Father
has truly foretold in the Gospel, O all-praiseworthy Apostles,
that you are the two most fruitful vines;
for you bore in your branches the ripe and beautiful cluster
from which we believers are now nourished
and whose taste brings us both sweetness and delight.
Therefore, O Peter, rock of faith, and Paul, pride of the universe,
strengthen the flock that became yours through your teachings.

Now…

We bless you, O Theotokos and Virgin;
and we faithful ones glorify you always.
You are the ineffable city, the mighty wall,
the powerful mediatrix, and the haven of our souls.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 2

Your Resurrection, O Christ our Saviour,
has enlightened the whole universe;
and, through it, You call back to Yourself all Creation.
Almighty God, glory to You!

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

By the wood of Your Cross, O Saviour,
You have abolished the curse of the tree;
by Your burial You have destroyed the power of death;
and by Your Resurrection You enlightened the human race.
We, therefore, cry out to You:
O Christ our God, Giver of Life, glory to You!

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

O Christ, when You were nailed to the Cross,
the distorted nature of creation was made manifest.
The soldiers showed their inhumanity by piercing Your side with a lance,
and the people showed their ignorance of Your power
by asking that Your tomb be sealed.
But, in Your mercy, You accepted burial
and then arose on the third day.
O Lord, glory to You!

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

O Christ, Giver of Life,
You freely endured the Passion for the sake of mortals.
In Your power You descended into Hades;
and snatching, as from a mighty monster, the souls of those who awaited Your coming,
You placed them in Paradise.
Therefore, show Your great mercy to us who glorify Your Resurrection,
and cleanse our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Today a delightful feast has shone forth to the ends of the earth,
the all-solemn memorial of the most wise and first apostles, Peter and Paul.
Therefore, let Rome receive the glad tidings, rejoicing;
and let us feast on this solemn day, crying out to them:
Rejoice, O Peter, apostle and special friend of the Teacher, Christ our God.
Rejoice, O truly beloved Paul,
preacher of the faith and teacher of the universe.
Because of your privilege, O holy ones,
beseech Christ our God to save our souls.

Now…

Christ the Lord, our Creator and Redeemer,
came forth from your womb, O most pure Virgin.
He clothed himself in our human flesh
to set us free from the original curse of Adam.
Therefore, O Mary, we praise you, without ceasing,
as the true Virgin Mother of God,
and we sing with the angels:
Rejoice, O Lady, advocate, protector, and salvation of our souls.

 

Troparia

In Tone 1
Rejoice, Virgin Mary, Mother of God, full of grace,* The Lord is with you.* Blessed are you among women,* and blessed is the fruit of your womb.* For you have given birth to Christ, the Saviour and Deliverer of our souls. (2)

In Tone 4
As the leaders of the apostles* and teachers of the whole world,* intercede with the Master of all* to grant peace to the world* and to our souls great mercy. (1)

 


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 4: As the leaders of the apostles* and teachers of the whole world,* intercede with the Master of all* to grant peace to the world* and to our souls great mercy.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2: You rose from the tomb, O almighty Saviour;* and Hades, seeing this wonder, was stricken with fear; and the dead arose.* Creation saw and rejoices with You, and Adam exults.* And the world, my Saviour, sings Your praises for ever.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: You received Your inspired and steadfast preachers, Your chief disciples,* into the enjoyment of Your good things and into repose.* You, Who alone know the heart, accept their labours and death* more gladly than any holocaust.

Prokeimenon, Tone 2
The Lord is my strength and my song of praise, and He has become my salvation.
verse: The Lord has indeed chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death. (Psalm 117:14,18)

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their word unto the ends of the world. (Psalm 18:5)

Epistle
Romans 5:1-10; 2 Corinthians 11:21-12:9

Alleluia, Tone 2
verse: The Lord will hear you in the day of tribulation; the name of the God of Jacob will shield you.
verse: Lord, grant victory to the king and hear us in the day that we shall call upon You. (Psalm 19:2,10)
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
Matthew 6:22-33; Matthew 16:13-19

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify Peter the solid rock of Christ’s Church and Paul her chosen vessel.
You, most glorious Bride and all holy Mother of God,* in song do we magnify;* for the Maker of all things seen and unseen* was born of you.

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* 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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