Amphilochius was a fellow countryman, companion and friend of St. Basil the Great and other great saints of the fourth century. Amphilochius left the uproar of the world early in life and withdrew to a cave where, as a hermit, he lived in asceticism for forty years. It then happened that the episcopal throne in Iconium was vacated, and Amphilochius, in a wondrous manner, was chosen and consecrated Bishop of Iconium. He was a splendid shepherd and a great defender of the purity of the Orthodox Faith. He took part in the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. He fought zealously against the impious Macedonius, the Arians and the Eunomians. He personally begged Theodosius the Great to expel all the Arians from every city in the empire, but the emperor did not heed him. A few days later, Amphilochius came before the emperor again. When the bishop was led into the reception chamber, the emperor was sitting on his throne, and on his right sat his son Arcadius, whom Theodosius had taken as his co-emperor. Entering the chamber, St. Amphilochius bowed to Emperor Theodosius but paid no attention to Arcadius, the emperor’s son, as if he were not there. Greatly enraged at this, Emperor Theodosius ordered that Amphilochius be immediately expelled from the court. The saint then said to the emperor: “Do you see, O Emperor, how you do not tolerate disrespect to your son? So too, God the Father does not tolerate disrespect to His Son, and is disgusted with the corruptness of those who blaspheme Him and is angered at all those adherents of that cursed (Arian) heresy.” Hearing this, the emperor then understood why Amphilochius had not given honor to his son, and was amazed at his wisdom and daring. Among many other works, St. Amphilochius wrote several books on the Faith. He entered into rest in great old age in the year 395 and took up his habitation in eternal life.
Gregory was born of devout parents, Chariton and Theodota in Sicily near the town of Agrigentum, where he was later bishop,. His entire life was imbued with God’s wonderful miracles. In a miraculous manner, he went to Jerusalem; in a miraculous manner, he was chosen as bishop; and in a miraculous manner, he was saved from slander. He himself was a great miracle-worker, for he was a great God-pleaser, a great spiritual father and an ascetic. He participated at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 553. After difficult trials he reposed peacefully near the end of the sixth century or the beginning of the seventh. (Prologue of Ohrid)
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 7
10. Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
Who destroyed the power of death
and enlightened the human race;
and let us cry out with the angels:
Glory to You, our Creator and Saviour!
9. O Saviour, for our sake You suffered crucifixion and burial;
and, as God, You destroyed death by Your death.
Therefore, we adore Your resurrection on the third day
and we sing: Glory to You, O Lord!
8. On seeing the resurrection of the Creator,
the Apostles were amazed,
and they sang an angelic hymn of praise:
This is the glory of the Church,
this is the richness of the Kingdom!
O Lord, Who suffered for our sake, glory to You!
7. O Christ, although You were taken captive by Your enemies,
I still acknowledge You as my God,
and am not ashamed of You;
I will not hide the fact that You were nailed to the Cross.
Your death is my life, almighty Lord,
and I extol Your resurrection.
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!
In Tone 1
6. O faithful, let us leap for joy today,
singing psalms and hymns of praise
in honour of Mary, his mother,
the holy Tabernacle and Ark that contained the Word
whom nothing can contain.
She is offered to God as a child in a marvellous way,
and Zechariah the high priest receives her with great joy,
for she is the dwelling place of the Most High.
5. Today the living Temple of the holy glory of Christ our God,
Mary, the pure and blessed One,
is being brought into the temple according to the Law
to live in its holy precincts.
Joachim and Anne and all the virgins
rejoice with her in spirit.
They sing hymns of praise to the Lord
and honour his Mother.
4. O Virgin Mother of God,
you are the One foretold by the prophets.
You are the glory of the apostles
and the pride of martyrs
and the cause of renewal for the entire human race.
Through you we have been reconciled with God.
Therefore, we honour your entrance into the temple of the Lord.
Together with the angels, all of us who are saved by your prayers sing to you:
Rejoice, O most holy One.
In Tone 4 (Amphilochius)
3. O all-blessed one,
you disciplined your mind and controlled your passions,
thereby choosing good rather than evil.
You used a just measure to make the comparison, O Father.
Because of that you were able to see and know God,
O inspired Hierarch.
2. O venerable one,
you tore the nets and destroyed the catches of heresy.
With true dogmas and theology
you escaped from disunity and evil confusion, O Father.
You Preached the Trinity in the oneness of the Divinity
and remained in the bounds of our true faith.
1. Having given wisdom to the Emperor Theodosius
who was reigning on earth,
you rebuked his obstinate son.
O venerable one, you taught him that the Lord of the universe
abhors those who are ungrateful towards his Son,
their Saviour and Benefactor.
In Tone 4, Glory… Now…
Come all you people,
and let us praise the only-Immaculate One
who was foretold by the prophets
and is being led into the temple.
She was chosen from eternity to be the Mother;
and in time she was revealed as the Theotokos.
O Lord, by her prayers
grant us your peace and great mercy.
In Tone 7, Now…
Immaculate Mother of God,
you became a mother outside the laws of nature,
remaining a virgin in a way that exceeds all description
and human understanding.
The wonder of your birth-giving could not be told in human language,
for your conception of Christ blinded intelligence,
and your birth-giving exceeded understanding:
for whenever God so desires, the laws of nature are broken.
Wherefore, we all firmly believe that you are the Mother of God,
and we eagerly beseech you to intercede for the salvation of our souls.
In Tone 7
O Saviour of the world, You arose from the grave,
and together with Your own flesh You raised up mankind.
O Lord, glory to You!
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
Come, let us worship Christ Who arose from the dead
and enlightened all creation.
For by His resurrection on the third day,
He set us free from the oppression of Hades,
granting us life and His great mercy.
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O Christ, Lover of mankind,
You descended into Hades and destroyed death.
Then You arose on the third day;
and, together with Yourself You lifted up all of us
who glorify Your mighty resurrection.
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
O Lord, what a fearful sight it was to see You lying in the tomb as if asleep.
Yet on the third day You arose in great power,
and at the same time You raised up Adam who joyfully cried out:
Glory to Your resurrection, O Lover of mankind!
In Tone 5, Glory… Now…
A day of joy has truly dawned.
It is a most precious feast for us,
because she who was virgin before and after childbirth,
today is offered in the temple.
The aged Zechariah, father of the Forerunner, cries aloud, rejoicing:
The intercessor of those in affliction
comes into the holy temple, since she herself is holy.
She will be sanctified in the abode of the King of all.
Let her father, Joachim, be glad
and let Anne rejoice exceedingly,
because they have offered to God
the immaculate Queen as a three year old child.
Rejoice with them, all you women;
all you virgins and barren ones, dance for joy
and celebrate with them,
for the Queen of all has opened the kingdom of heaven for us.
Let all people be glad and rejoice.
In Tone 7
By Your cross You destroyed death;* You opened Paradise to the thief;* You changed the lamentation of the myrrh-bearers to joy,* and charged the apostles to proclaim* that You are risen, O Christ our God,* offering great mercy to the world.
In Tone 4, Glory… Now…
Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed,* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:** Rejoice, fulfilment of the Creator’s plan.
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 7: By Your cross You destroyed death;* You opened Paradise to the thief;* You changed the lamentation of the myrrh-bearers to joy,* and charged the apostles to proclaim* that You are risen, O Christ our God,* offering great mercy to the world.
Troparion, Tone 4: Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God,* and the proclamation of salvation for the human race.* In the Temple of God* the Virgin is clearly revealed,* and beforehand announces Christ to all.* To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice:* Rejoice, fulfilment of the Creator’s plan.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Kontakion, Tone 7: No longer shall the dominion of death be able to hold humanity,* for Christ went down shattering and destroying it s powers.* Hades is bound.* The prophets exult with one voice.* The Saviour has come for those with faith, saying:* “Come forth, O faithful, to the resurrection!”
Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion, Tone 4: The Saviour’s pure temple,* the precious bridal chamber and Virgin,* the sacred treasury of the glory of God,* is brought today into the house of the Lord;* and with her she brings the grace of the divine Spirit.* God’s angels sing in praise of her:* She is indeed the heavenly dwelling-place.
Prokeimenon, Tone 7
The Lord will give strength to His people;* the Lord will bless His people with peace.
verse: Bring to the Lord, O you sons of God; bring to the Lord young rams. (Psalm 28:11,1)
Alleluia, Tone 7
verse: It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing to Your name, O Most High.
verse: To announce Your mercy in the morning, and Your truth every night. (Psalm 91:2,3)
Hymn to the Mother of God
Seeing the entrance of the pure one, angels marvel in wonder how the Virgin could enter the holy of holies.
And the Irmos, Tone 4: Let no hand of the profane touch God’s living ark,* but instead let the lips of those who are believers* sing out ceaselessly
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 148:1)