glorious and wonderworking saint was born in Thessalonica of noble and devout parents. Implored of God by childless parents, Demetrius was their only son, and so was raised and educated with great care. Demetrius’s father was a commander in Thessalonica. When his father died, Emperor Maximian appointed Demetrius as commander in his place. As he appointed him, Maximian, an opponent of Christ, particularly recommended that he persecute and exterminate the Christians in Thessalonica. Demetrius not only disobeyed the emperor but openly confessed and preached the Lord Jesus Christ in the city of Thessalonica. When the emperor heard of this he became furious with Demetrius. Then, when he was returning from battle against the Sarmatians, Maximian stopped at Thessalonica to investigate the matter. The emperor summoned Demetrius and questioned him about his faith. Demetrius openly acknowledged his Christian Faith to the emperor and also denounced the emperor’s idolatry. Maximian cast Demetrius into prison. Knowing what was awaiting him, Demetrius gave all his goods to his faithful servant Lupus to distribute to the poor, and joyfully awaited his imminent suffering for Christ the Lord. An angel of God appeared to him in prison, saying: “Peace be to you, O sufferer of Christ; be brave and be strong!” After several days, the emperor sent soldiers to the prison to kill Demetrius. The soldiers found the saint of God at prayer and ran him through with lances. Christians secretly took his body and honorably buried it. Healing myrrh flowed from the body of the martyr of Christ, curing many of the sick. Soon, a small church was built over his relics.
An Illyrian nobleman, Leontius, was afflicted with an incurable illness. He hastened, with prayer, to the relics of St. Demetrius and was completely healed. In thanksgiving, Leontius erected a much larger church on the site of the old church. The saint appeared to him on two occasions. When Emperor Justinian wanted to translate the relics of the saint from Thessalonica to Constantinople, flaming sparks sprang from the tomb and a voice was heard: “Stop, and do not touch!” And thus, the relics of St. Demetrius have remained for all time in Thessalonica. As the protector of Thessalonica, St. Demetrius has appeared many times, and on many occasions has saved Thessalonica from great calamity. His miracles are without number. The Russians considered St. Demetrius to be the protector of Siberia, which was conquered and annexed to Russia on October 26, 1581. (Prologue of Ohrid)
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 3
10. By Your Cross, O Christ our Saviour,
the power of Death has been vanquished
and the deceit of the devil has been destroyed.
Therefore, mankind, saved by faith,
offers You hymns of praise forever.
9. O Lord, all creation has been enlightened by Your resurrection,
and Paradise has been reopened;
therefore, all creation extols You
and offers You hymns of praise forever.
8. I glorify the powers of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
and I praise the dominion of the undivided Divinity,
the consubstantial Trinity,
Who reigns forever and ever.
7. We adore Your precious Cross, O Christ,
and with hymns of praise we glorify Your Resurrection;
for by Your wounds we have all been healed.
In Tone 2
6. O glorious martyr Demetrius,
like a bright star you glisten forever for your fatherland
because you always protect it from destruction at the hands of enemies,
and you deliver it from every strife and menace.
Therefore, O blessed one, your people annually observe your memory
and celebrate with joy,
and with faith and love they extol the Lord who glorified you.
5. O Demetrius, martyr and sufferer of the Passion of Christ,
your miracles shine upon the world like the sun.
Therefore, all of us are filled with joy as we remember them,
and in faith we fittingly celebrate.
Since you have favour with the Lord,
pray that He may save your servants from corruption.
4. Your side was pierced by a spear for the sake of the Saviour
whose side had been pierced on the cross.
By your wounds you lovingly resembled Him, O Martyr.
You showed to all that you were an unconquerable witness.
Thereby, your torturer was also wounded and made helpless
when he was the instrument of the test of your faith,
O Demetrius, great sufferer for Christ.
In Tone 8
3. O, what a great marvel!
There is joy in heaven and on earth,
for this day glistens in the remembrance of the martyr Demetrius.
He is crowned by the praises of angels and by the hymns of all.
O, how he suffered and how well he struggled!
Through him the Evil One fell and was conquered for Christ.
2. O, what a great marvel!
It is the most radiant of wonders.
It is more brilliant than the sun.
Demetrius shines upon the ends of the earth at all times.
He is filled with the radiance of the Light that never grows dim
and beautified by the Light which never sets.
By his rays, the clouds of foreign foes have been dispersed,
illnesses have been cast out, and demons conquered.
1. O, what a great marvel!
Having been slain for the sake of Christ, O thrice-blessed Demetrius,
you have always manifested yourself to be a two-edged sword,
humbling the exaltations of the enemies
and bringing to naught the intrigues of the demons.
Let us cry out to him:
O Demetrius, protect us at all times,
for in faith and love we venerate you.
In Tone 6, Glory…
Today the universal feast of the martyr summons us.
Come, therefore, O lovers of feasts,
let us celebrate his memory in splendour and say:
Rejoice, for you overcame the snares of the enemy
by the might given to you by the one God.
Rejoice, for you suffered wounds by the thrusts of a sword,
and thus spiritually depicted for us the blessed passion of Christ.
O Demetrius, O inspiration of martyrs,
implore Him that we be delivered from visible and invisible enemies,
and that our souls may be saved.
In Tone 3, Now…
O Lady most honourable,
how can we but be rapt in wonder
at you giving birth to the Incarnate God
who, without a mother, was born of the Father before all ages?
You gave Him birth in the flesh without a father,
without a man instrumentality.
He is God and man whose two natures are intact,
neither one losing any of its properties.
Therefore, O Virgin Mother,
intercede with Him to save the souls
of those who believe and confess in true faith
that you are the Mother of God.
Isaiah 63:15-19; 64:1-9; Jeremiah 2:2-12; Wisdom 4:7-15
At the Litija
In Tone 1
Rejoice in the Lord, O city of Thessalonica!
Adorn yourself with faith and leap and dance with joy!
Like a treasure, hold onto Demetrius,
the glorious Martyr and witness to the truth.
Be full of delight at the sight of his miraculous healings;
look as he repels the foreign invaders;
and thankfully cry out to the Savoir:
O Lord, glory to You!
O city of Thessalonica, together with everyone,
let us brighten this day with beautiful hymns,
and let us glorify the martyr’s deeds
because the great martyr Demetrius is deserving of praise.
He courageously repelled the onsets of demons.
He fervently came into the arena and gloriously won a victory.
He is praying to the Savoir that our souls may be saved.
In Tone 2
O wise martyr Demetrius,
Christ our God has placed your spotless spirit in the abode on high,
for you were a defender of the Trinity.
And unbreakable as a diamond,
you courageously suffered martyrdom in the arena.
Your holy side was pierced, O all-precious one,
just like Him who was pierced on the cross
for the salvation of the whole world.
You received the power of healing,
and you freely grant healings to all.
We, therefore, fittingly celebrate your dormition today,
and we glorify you as you glorified the Lord.
In Tone 5, Glory…
Let us hasten with faith and love;
let us shout with festive joy;
let all of us clap our hands on this feast of our leader.
May the heavenly hosts be happy
because he was pierced in behalf of Christ the Lord
who was pierced by a spear,
and because he destroyed the boldness of the arrogant Leo.
May the heavens and the sea be astounded
by the glorious witness given by the great luminary.
May they praise him who restrains the young and leads those in danger.
He enriches the lowly and brings good fortune;
he wins in battle and sails with those at sea.
He is a staff in old age and our own steadfast defender.
So let us pray to him and say:
O glorious Demetrius, be our leader, rescue us from every anguish,
and save your servants by your prayers.
Let us sound the trumpets of praise,
for the Queen of all, the Virgin Mother,
looks down from on high to crown with blessings those who honour her.
Let kings and leaders come together
to praise the Queen who gave birth to the King.
Because of his love for all,
He released those who had been condemned to death.
O shepherds and teachers,
come together and praise the most pure Mother of the Good Shepherd.
She is the lampstand that gleams like gold,
the light-bearing cloud more spacious than the heavens,
the living tabernacle and golden urn containing the manna,
the sealed door of the Word and refuge of all Christians.
Let us praise her with God-inspired songs, saying:
O palace of the Word,
make us lowly ones worthy of the kingdom of heaven,
for nothing is impossible through your intercession.
In Tone 3
O Christ, Who darkened the sun by Your passion
and enlightened all creation by Your resurrection,
accept our evening prayer; for You love mankind.
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
O Lord, Your life-giving Resurrection has enlightened the entire universe
and has revived Your creation which lay in corruption.
Therefore, we, who have been released from the curse of Adam, cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O God, although in Your divine nature You are unchangeable,
yet in Your human nature You underwent change by suffering in the flesh.
All creation was prostrate with fear
when it saw You hanging on the Cross,
and it groaned in sorrow as it sang the praises of Your long-suffering.
But You descended into Hades and arose on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
You suffered death, O Christ, to deliver mankind from death.
And when You arose from the dead on the third day,
You enlightened the world
and resurrected all who acknowledge You as God.
In Tone 8, Glory…
Your sublime and spotless soul,
O ever-commemorated Demetrius,
has the heavenly Jerusalem as an abode.
Its walls were painted by the most pure hands of the invisible God.
This beautiful church on earth
also contains your very precious body which had suffered so much,
It is a treasure of miracles that cannot be stolen away,
and it is a medicine for illnesses
whenever we hasten to draw upon its healing.
O all-praiseworthy one,
protect from threatening destruction the city which extols you,
for you have found favour before Christ who glorified you.
O Virgin, you have never known wedlock,
yet you conceived God in the flesh
in a manner which words can never describe.
You thus became the Mother of God on high.
O immaculate Lady, receive the supplication of your servants
and grant us the cleansing of our sins.
Accept now our prayers and beseech God to save all of us.
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 borne Christ,* the Saviour and Deliverer of our souls. (2)
In Tone 3
In you, O martyr Demetrius,* the world has discovered a champion in its travails,* for you have routed the nations* and so, as you smashed the pride of Lyaeus*, encouraging Nestor to struggle,* pray to Christ our God to grant great mercy to our souls. (1)
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 3: Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice,* for the Lord has done a mighty deed with His arm.* He trampled death by death. He became the first-born of the dead;* He saved us from the abyss of Hades* and granted great mercy to the world.
Troparion, Tone 3: In you, O martyr Demetrius,* the world has discovered a champion in its travails,* for you have routed the nations* and so, as you smashed the pride of Lyaeus*, encouraging Nestor to struggle,* pray to Christ our God to grant great mercy to our souls.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 3: You rose from the tomb, O compassionate Lord,* and led us out from the gates of death.* Today Adam exults and Eve rejoices,* and the prophets together with the patriarchs* unceasingly acclaim the divine might of Your power.
Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion, Tone 2: With the streams of your blood, O Demetrius,* God, who gave you invincible strength,* has dyed the Church in royal crimson* and preserved your city invulnerable* for you are its fortification.
Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Sing to our God, sing; sing to our King, sing.
verse: Clap your hands, all you nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy. (Psalm 46:7,2)
Prokeimenon, Tone 7
The just man shall be glad in the Lord,* and shall hope in Him. (Psalm 63:11)
Galatians 1:11-19; 2 Timothy 2:1-10
Alleluia, Tone 3
verse: In You, O Lord, have I hoped that I may not be put to shame for ever.
verse: Be a protector unto me, O God, and a house of refuge to save me. (Psalm 30:2,3)
verse: The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, and he shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon.
verse: They who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 91:13-14)
Luke 7:11-16; John 15:17-16:2
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 111:6-7)