September 7, 2014 </br>Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross, Tone 4 </br>Forefeast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God </br>Holy Martyr Sozon the Shepherd

September 7, 2014
Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross, Tone 4
Forefeast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God
Holy Martyr Sozon the Shepherd

Sozon was born in Lyconia. He was a shepherd and kept all of God’s laws, instructing his peers and friends in his pious Faith. In a vision he was shown that he would suffer martyrdom for Christ. This was in the time of Maximian, magistrate of Cilicia, who perpetrated a terrible persecution of Christians in the nearby city of Pompeiopolis. In that city there was a certain golden idol which the pagans worshiped. Sozon left his flock, went to the city, entered the pagan temple and broke the arm off the golden idol. He crumbled it into bits and distributed it to the poor. There was a great uproar because of this, and the pagans sought out the guilty one. So that no one else would suffer for his deed, Sozon went to the magistrate and declared himself to be a Christian and the perpetrator of that act. His torturers first beat him, then suspended him from a tree and scraped his body with iron combs. When he was nearly dead, they cast him into a fire, where St. Sozon gave up his holy soul to God. He suffered in about the year 304. St. Sozon’s relics were miracle-working, and a church in his name was built over them (Prologue of Ohrid)


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.

In Tone 1

6. By your birth, O pure one,
beams of joy shine on all the universe,
announcing Christ our God to all.
He is the Sun of glory!
You will give birth to Him for us:
He brings us gladness, grace and truth!

5. We anticipate your glorious feast, O pure one!
It proclaims to all the good will of our Benefactor.
Now you have become the cause of our joy,
the herald of promised grace
and the fruit of divine gladness!

4. The child of God, the holy Theotokos,
the promise of the prophets, the daughter of David,
today is born from wise Joachim and Anna.
She has overthrown the curse of Adam for us
by her holy childbearing.

In Tone 4

3. When He Who of His own will took our weakness upon Himself
strengthened your weakness with power, blessed one,
you ran the race of martyrdom for His sake with joy.
You crushed the impotent enemy with your most beautiful feet.
Therefore, Jesus, the Lover of mankind and Saviour of our souls,
has woven wreaths of victory for you!

2. When you were wounded, glorious one,
you wounded your enemies
and armed with the cross, you threw them down to the ground!
You were openly arrayed in invincible armour
and made steady by the love of Him
Who has translated you to the spiritual kingdoms
as an unconquered martyr and heavenly man!

1. You openly imitated the Saviour and Lord
Who for your sake endured voluntary sufferings.
Of your own will, athlete Sozon, you gave yourself
to wounds and beatings and unbearable torments.
Therefore, He has honoured you with heavenly gifts
and revealed you to be a source of healings for those who love you!

In Tone 4, Glory…

The angelic host of heaven and we mortals on earth,
bless your honourable birth, most holy Virgin,
for you became the Mother of Christ our God, the Creator of all.
Never cease to pray for us unwedded Theotokos:
Bring our hopes before your Son!

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 4, Glory… Now…

The joy of the world has appeared:
The glorified Virgin sprung from Joachim and Anna.
Because of her purity she became the living temple of God.
Only she is called the Theotokos.
Through her prayers, Christ God, send peace to the world,
and to our souls great mercy!

 

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.”

In Tone 4, Glory…
Your holy martyr Sozon, O Lord,* through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.* For having Your strength he laid low his adversaries,* and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.* Through his intercessions save our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…
Today is born to us, from the stem of Jesse and the loins of David,* Mary, the Maiden of God.* Therefore, the whole creation rejoices and is renewed;* and you peoples of the world, sing to her a joyful hymn of praise.* Joachim is elated and Anne shouts for joy:* The barren one gives birth to the Mother of God,* the Sustainer of our life.

 


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 4: Today is born to us, from the stem of Jesse and the loins of David,* Mary, the Maiden of God.* Therefore, the whole creation rejoices and is renewed;* and you peoples of the world, sing to her a joyful hymn of praise.* Joachim is elated and Anne shouts for joy:* The barren one gives birth to the Mother of God,* the Sustainer of our life.

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

Kontakion, Tone 4: My Saviour and Deliverer from the grave* as God raised out of bondage the children of the earth* and shattered the gates of Hades;* and as Master, He rose on the third day.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 3: Today the holy Virgin and God-bearer Mary* is born from a barren womb by divine counsel.* She is the everlasting bridal chamber of the heavenly bridegroom.* Today the chariot of the Word is adorned,* and the door for God is foretold;* she is called the Mother of Life.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Save Your people, O Lord,* and bless Your inheritance.
verse: Unto You I will cry, O Lord, my God, lest You turn from me in silence. (Psalm27:9,1)

Epistle
Galatians 6:11-18

Alleuia, Tone 1
verse: I have exalted one chosen from the people and with my holy oil anointed him.
verse: My hand shall always be with him and my arm shall make him strong. (Psalm 88:20-21,22)

Gospel
John 3:13-17

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

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