January 17, 2015 </br>Venerable and God-Bearing Father Anthony the Great

January 17, 2015
Venerable and God-Bearing Father Anthony the Great

Anthony was an Egyptian and was born about the year 250 A.D. in the village of Koman near Herculea. Following the demise of his noble and wealthy parents, he divided the inherited estate with his sister, who was a minor, and provided for her with some relatives. Anthony distributed his half of the estate to the poor and, he, in his twentieth year, dedicated himself to the ascetical life for which he yearned from his childhood. In the beginning Anthony lived a life of asceticism in the proximity of his village but, in order to flee the disturbances of people, he withdrew into the wilderness on the shore of the Red Sea, where he spent twenty years as a recluse not associating with anyone except with God through constant prayer, reflection and contemplation, patiently enduring unspeakable temptations from the devil. His fame spread throughout the entire world and many disciples gathered around him whom he placed on the path of salvation by his example and words. During the eighty-five years of his ascetical life, only twice did he go to Alexandria. The first time to seek martyrdom during the time of the persecution of the Church and, the second time at the invitation of St. Athanasius, in order to refute the accusation of the Arians: supposedly that he, too, was an adherent of the Arian heresy. Anthony died in the one-hundred fifth year of his life, leaving behind an entire army of his disciples and imitators. Even though Anthony was not a scholar, nevertheless, he was a counselor and teacher of the most learned men of that time, as was St. Athanasius the Great. When certain Greek philosophers tempted him with literary wisdom, Anthony shamed them with the question: “Which is older, the understanding or the book? Which of these two was the cause of the other?” Ashamed, the philosophers dispersed for they perceived that they only had literary knowledge without understanding and Anthony had understanding. Here is a man who attained perfection in as far as man, in general, can attain on earth. Here is an instructor to instructors and a teacher to teachers, who, for a full eighty five years perfected himself and only in that way was he able to perfect many others. Filled with many years of life and great works, Anthony died in the Lord in the year 335 A.D. (Prologue of Ohrid)


GREAT VESPERS FOR POLYELEOS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

8. Burning with divine love and radiant with the Spirit,
your soul rose to desire truly infinite love!
You despised flesh and blood, and lived apart from the world,
yet you were united to it by great silence and abstinence.
Therefore you were fulfilled as you desired,
and as a star radiant with blessings, Anthony, you illumine our souls!

7. Burning with divine love and radiant with the Spirit,
your soul rose to desire truly infinite love!
You despised flesh and blood, and lived apart from the world,
yet you were united to it by great silence and abstinence.
Therefore you were fulfilled as you desired,
and as a star radiant with blessings, Anthony, you illumine our souls!

6. Burning with divine love and radiant with the Spirit,
your soul rose to desire truly infinite love!
You despised flesh and blood, and lived apart from the world,
yet you were united to it by great silence and abstinence.
Therefore you were fulfilled as you desired,
and as a star radiant with blessings, Anthony, you illumine our souls!

5. Anthony, you were radiant with divine light
by the grace of the Holy Spirit;
you shattered the flying weapons of the demons;
by your godly teachings you exposed their evil snares.
You were a radiant light for monks: the first to adorn the desert;
a prayerful and skilled physician of the sick,
and the first clear example of the ascetic life.

4. Anthony, you were radiant with divine light
by the grace of the Holy Spirit;
you shattered the flying weapons of the demons;
by your godly teachings you exposed their evil snares.
You were a radiant light for monks: the first to adorn the desert;
a prayerful and skilled physician of the sick,
and the first clear example of the ascetic life.

3. Anthony, you were radiant with divine light
by the grace of the Holy Spirit;
you shattered the flying weapons of the demons;
by your godly teachings you exposed their evil snares.
You were a radiant light for monks: the first to adorn the desert;
a prayerful and skilled physician of the sick,
and the first clear example of the ascetic life.

2. Anthony, pure in heart and soul;
an earthly angel, a heavenly man!
A teacher of chastity, a clear measure of abstinence!
Now you live with your Master, blessed saint.
As you offer Him unceasing praise with the angels, all holy monastics and martyrs,
set free from sin and danger those who ever keep your holy memory.

1. Anthony, pure in heart and soul;
an earthly angel, a heavenly man!
A teacher of chastity, a clear measure of abstinence!
Now you live with your Master, blessed saint.
As you offer Him unceasing praise with the angels, all holy monastics and martyrs,
set free from sin and danger those who ever keep your holy memory.

In Tone 6, Glory…

You set your mind as master over the disturbing passions,
keeping the image unharmed through the ascetic life.
Thus you rose into the perfect likeness,
for bravely curbing nature,
you hastened to subject what is lower to that which is above:
you made the body servant to the Spirit.
Therefore you were revealed as the chief of those living the monastic life,
a citizen of the desert,
a master teaching those who hasten to you,
a perfect example of virtue.
Now the image has been broken, Anthony,
and in heaven you behold in purity the holy Trinity,
as you pray with boldness for those who honour you with faith and love!

Now…

Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.

 

Readings
Proverbs 3:13-16, 8, 6
Proverbs 10:31-32; 11:1-10
Wisdom 3:1-9

 

Aposticha

In Tone 5

Rejoice, Anthony, as you dwell on high with the angelic choirs!
For you truly learned their virtue, blessed saint.
You lived on earth, and appeared as a clear, undefiled image;
as a glass which received the brilliant lights of the Holy Spirit.
Thus enlightened, you saw what was to come,
foretelling all things taught by the divine manifestations of the light of Christ.
entreat Him to grant our souls great mercy.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints!

Rejoice, leader of ascetics and their unconquered champion!
For cutting down passions to the root and opposing the attempts of devils,
you bravely laid bare their weakness and soul-destroying error.
You made plain the invincible power and might of the Saviour’s cross.
Girded with it, you defeated all who reject
the divine appearance of Christ in the flesh.
Entreat Him to grant our souls great mercy.

Blessed is the man who fears the lord.  He has great delight in His commandments.

You were an overshadowing cloud,
strengthened as a shining pillar of virtues,
leading those in the desert from earth to heaven.
Thus you were a seer of God!
With the staff of the cross you destroyed the sea of the passions,
and having defeated the reasoning of Amalek,
you easily found the way into heaven, blessed one of God,
and an incorruptible inheritance.
Rejoicing, you stand with the angels beside the throne of Christ.
Entreat Him to grant our souls great mercy.

In Tone 8, Glory…

We honour you, Anthony our father, the instructor of a multitude of monks!
We have indeed learned to walk rightly in your footsteps!
You are blest, for having laboured for Christ,
you denounced the power of the enemy!
Conversor with the angels, companion of Paul of Thebes!
Together with them, entreat the Lord that He may grant mercy to our souls!

Now…

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.

 

Troparia

In Tone 4
By your zeal you equalled Elijah, father Anthony,* you imitated the life of John the Baptist;* you founded a city in the wilderness;* you established the Church on the firm foundation of your prayers.* Pray to Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Glory… Now…
The mystery hidden from eternity* and unknown to the angels* is manifested to those on earth through you, O Theotokos!* God being incarnate of you by union without confusion,* and of His own will freely enduring the cross for us* and raising the first-formed man,* has saved our souls from death!

 

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparion and Kontakion
Troparion, Tone 4: By your life you imitated the zealous Elias* and by following straight paths you emulated the Baptist, John.* O Father Anthony,* you peopled the desert and strengthened the world by your prayers;* intercede with Christ God to save our souls.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: You rejected earthly worries* and finished your life in silence imitating the Baptist in every way* and so with him we honour you,* O Anthony, most venerable, first of the Fathers.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
Precious in the sight of the Lord* is the death of His venerable ones.
verse: What shall I render to the Lord for all the things He has rendered to me? (Psalm 115:6,3)

Epistle
Hebrews 13: 17-21

Alleluia, Tone 6
verse: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he shall delight exceedingly in His commandments.
verse: His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth. (Psalm 111:1-2)

Gospel
Luke 6: 17-23

Communion Hymn
The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 111:6)

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