Sunday before Theophany, Octoechos Tone 5 </br>Synaxis of the Seventy Holy Apostles </br>Our Venerable Father Theoctistus, </br>Hegumen of the Cucomo Monastery in Sicily

Sunday before Theophany, Octoechos Tone 5
Synaxis of the Seventy Holy Apostles
Our Venerable Father Theoctistus,
Hegumen of the Cucomo Monastery in Sicily

Besides the Twelve Greater Apostles, the Lord chose Seventy Lesser Apostles and sent them to preach the Gospel, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place He intended to visit, He said to them, ` The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’ Go on your way: behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this household’ ” (St. Luke 10:1-5). But, as Judas, one of the Twelve, fell away from the Lord, so it was with some of the Seventy who abandoned the Lord not with the intention of betrayal but because of human weakness and faintheartedness. “As a result of this, many of His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied Him” (St. John 6:66). As Judas’ place was filled by another apostle, “So they [The Apostles] proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, `You, Lord, Who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two You have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place’. Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles” (Acts of the Apostles 1:23-26); so also were the places of these lesser apostles filled by others that were chosen. These Seventy Lesser Apostles labored at the same work as did the Twelve Great Apostles; they were co-workers with the Twelve in spreading and establishing the Church of God in the world. They endured many sufferings and malevolent acts from men and demons, but their strong faith and fervent love for the resurrected Lord made them victors over the world and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. (Prologue of Ohrid)


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

10. With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.

9. O Christ, Who granted resurrection to mankind,
You were led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!

8. What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind,
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.

7. We offer to You our evening worship,
O Light Whom the darkness of night can never extinguish.
For in these latter days Your radiance has appeared to the world,
shining in Your flesh as light reflected in a mirror.
Your brilliance has descended even to the depths of Hades and dissolved its gloom.
O Lord, Giver of Light, glory to You;
for You have shown the radiance of Your Resurrection to all the nations.

In Tone 4

6. O faithful, let us bless with sacred hymns:
Cleophas, Andronicus, Silvanus, and Agabus;
Ananias and Philip;
Prochorus, Nichanor, Rufus, and Sostenes;
Linus, and then Stachius, Stephen, and Timon,
Hermas, Phlegontus, and Mark,
together with Luke, Sosipater, Jason, and Gaius;
and Tychius and Philemon.

5. May Narcissus and Trophimus be worthily venerated,
together with Caesar, Zenus, and Aristarchus;
Mark, Silus, and Gaius;
Hermas and Asyncritus; Apollo and Cephas;
Clement and Justus; Quartus, Erastus, and Luke;
Onesiphorus, Carpus, and Evodius;
Matthias and James; Urban and Aristobulus;
Tychius and Aristarchus.

4. Let us venerate the honourable preachers of God:
Pudens, Herodionus, and Artemis;
Philologus, Olympus, and Rhodion;
Apellus and Amplius; Patrobus and Mark;
Tertius and Thaddeus;
the wonderful Epenetus, Achaicus, and Aquila;
Lucius, Barnabus, and Fortunatus;
and the glorious Apollo and Crispus.

In Tone 2

3. When you pierced your souls with divine yearning, O all-blessed one,
you rejoiced and took up your cross and followed Christ.
Through self-discipline, you mortified the desires of your flesh.
By the warmth of your prayers, you received the life-giving energy of the Spirit,
to put an end to the winter of illnesses.
Therefore, we willingly bless you.

2. O Father, through assiduous prayer and continual fasting,
you purified the cravings of the soul.
You were the temple of the Divinity,
and you received the holy, divine anointing of the priesthood;
you entered into the sanctuary to offer as a sacrifice
the One who was sacrificed out of His great love for us.

1. You revealed yourself to be meek and innocent
in living the rule, O Father Theoctistus.
You truly followed the way of the meek.
Having become deified through communion with God,
you savoured the joy and happiness of the True One.
Do not cease to remember those who sincerely venerate you
and who observe your divine falling asleep.

In Tone 3, Glory…

Resplendent is the feast which has passed;
but more glorious is the present day.
On that day the Magi adored the Saviour;
on this, the glorious servant baptizes the Master.
There, the shepherds sang in amazement;
here, the voice of the Father proclaims Him to be the Only-begotten Son.

In Tone 5, Now…

A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!

 

Aposticha

In Tone 5

O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.

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

O Giver of Life,
streams of forgiveness, life, and salvation
poured forth from Your pierced side upon us all.
By accepting physical death, You granted us immortality;
by lying in the tomb, You freed us from Hades,
and as God, by rising from the dead,
You raised us with Yourself in glory.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!

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

O Lover of mankind,
Your crucifixion and descent into Hades are most wondrous.
For, as God, You thereby conquered the power of Hades,
and raised up in glory, with Yourself, those who were long imprisoned there.
You reopened Paradise and enabled them to enter.
Grant forgiveness of sins to us
who glorify Your Resurrection on the third day,
for You alone are all-merciful.

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

O Lover of mankind,
You accepted suffering in the flesh
and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, heal the passions of our flesh,
raise us from our dreadful iniquities, and save us.

In Tone 6, Glory… Now…

Christ the Truth is coming to the Jordan
to be baptized by John,
and the Baptizer says to Him:
I should be baptized by You, but You are coming to me.
I do not dare to put straw to the fire.
O Master, sanctify me by Your divine Theophany.

 

Troparia

In Tone 5
Let us, the faithful, acclaim and worship the Word* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh,* to suffer death and to raise the dead,* by His glorious Resurrection.

In Tone 3
O holy apostles, intercede with the all-merciful God,* that he may grant us forgiveness of our sins.

In Tone 8
In you, O holy father Theoctistus, the faithful image of God shone forth,* for you carried your cross and followed Christ.* You taught by your deeds how to spurn the body, for it passes away;* and how to value the soul, for it is immortal.* Therefore, your soul is forever in happiness with the angels.

In Tone 4
Make ready, O Zabulon,* and prepare yourself, O Nephtali;* O River Jordan, stop and receive with joy* the Master coming to be baptized.* O Adam, rejoice with the first mother, Eve,* and do not hide yourselves as before in paradise.* For, having seen you unclothed,* Christ has appeared to clothe you with the first robe;* He has appeared to renew all creation.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

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

Kontakion, Tone 5: You, my Saviour, descended to Hades,* and as the Almighty, You shattered its gates.* With Yourself You, as the Creator, raised the dead and shattered the sting of death,* and delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Mankind.* And so we cry out: “Save us, O Lord.”

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 5: Rejoice, O rampart and protection of those who have recourse to you!* Rejoice, O tranquil haven and Virgin,* who gave birth in the flesh to your Maker and God!* Fail not to intercede for those* who sing and worship the Child you bore.

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. (Psalm 27:9,1)

Epistle
2 Timothy 4:5-8

Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: God, be merciful to us and bless us.
verse: make the light of Your face shine upon us and have mercy on us. (Psalm 66:2)

Gospel
Mark 1:1-8

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

 

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