March 9, 2015 </br>Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

March 9, 2015
Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

At Psalm 140

In Tone 8

10. Today, as we pass the middle of Lent,
by the might of the Cross
let us glorify the mighty God and Saviour
Who was lifted up in the midst of the earth.
As we look, show us Your sufferings, Master,
and Your precious Resurrection,
granting us purification and great mercy.

9. Today, as we pass the middle of Lent,
by the might of the Cross
let us glorify the mighty God and Saviour
Who was lifted up in the midst of the earth.
As we look, show us Your sufferings, Master,
and Your precious Resurrection,
granting us purification and great mercy.

8. Let us humble our fleshly passions
by turning away from food and laying our pleasures aside.
Let us kiss the tree of the Cross in faith.
It reveals itself through veneration,
and sanctifies all with divine grace!
So let us sing to the Lord:
We give thanks to You, tender-hearted One,
for You are saving our souls through the Cross!

7. Let us humble our fleshly passions
by turning away from food and laying our pleasures aside.
Let us kiss the tree of the Cross in faith.
It reveals itself through veneration,
and sanctifies all with divine grace!
So let us sing to the Lord:
We give thanks to You, tender-hearted One,
for You are saving our souls through the Cross!

6. As we all venerate the Cross, let us cry:
Rejoice, Tree of life!
Rejoice, holy sceptre of Christ!
Rejoice, heavenly glory of man!
Rejoice, majesty of faith!
Rejoice, invincible weapon!
Rejoice, vanquisher of enemies!
Rejoice, shining radiance which saves the world!
Rejoice, great glory of martyrs!
Rejoice, power of saints!
Rejoice, light of the angels!
Rejoice, precious Cross!

5. As we all venerate the Cross, let us cry:
Rejoice, Tree of life!
Rejoice, holy sceptre of Christ!
Rejoice, heavenly glory of man!
Rejoice, majesty of faith!
Rejoice, invincible weapon!
Rejoice, vanquisher of enemies!
Rejoice, shining radiance which saves the world!
Rejoice, great glory of martyrs!
Rejoice, power of saints!
Rejoice, light of the angels!
Rejoice, precious Cross!

In Tone 1

4. The choir of forty-fold splendour, the whole army assembled by God,
has shone forth upon the Fast in their honourable sufferings,
illumining and enlightening our souls.

3. The choir of forty-fold splendour, the whole army assembled by God,
has shone forth upon the Fast in their honourable sufferings,
illumining and enlightening our souls.

In Tone 2

2. The martyrs considered the lake to be as a paradise,
and winter to be as the heat of day, O Christ God;
and thoughts of the tyrants’ threats did not frighten them.
Valiant, they feared not the increase of tortures,
having acquired the weapon of the Cross;
and therewith, as mighty, they vanquished the foe,
for which they have received crowns of grace.

1. Who will not hymn the choir of the martyrs forty in number?
For they entered the waters of the lake boldly,
and, huddling together in. the cold, they chanted a hymn to the Lord:
Nay, in the rivers are You incensed against us, O Lord?
Nay, in the rivers are You incensed against us, O Lover of mankind?
Lighten the oppression and bitterness of the wind,
for our feet are empurpled with our own blood,
and You have led us into your everlasting habitations, O God!
May the bosom of Abraham warm us!

In Tone 2, Glory…

Prophetically David cried aloud in the Psalms:
We went through fire and water, and You brought us out into refreshment!
And you, O martyrs of Christ, fulfilling the word in very deed,
passed through fire and water and entered into the Kingdom of Heaven:
Wherefore, pray, O you forty athletes, that we be given great mercy.

Now…

O Virgin, the shadow of the Law passed away
with the realization of grace.
For as the bush had burned without being consumed,
so you gave birth while a virgin
and you remained a virgin.
Instead of the pillar of fire there rose the Sun of Justice.
Instead of Moses, Christ God came forth,
the Saviour of our souls.

 

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Hear my voice, O God* when I pray to You.
verse: Deliver my soul from fear of the Enemy!

Reading I
Genesis 8:21-9:7
When the Lord smelled the sweet odour, he said to himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done. As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: “Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth. Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered. Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat; I give them all to you as I did the green plants. Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat. For your own lifeblood, too, I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from man in regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting for human life. If anyone sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has man been made. Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on earth and subdue it.”

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Hear us, O God* our Saviour!
verse: A song is due to You, O God, in Zion!

Reading II
Proverbs 11:19-12:6
Virtue directs toward life, but he who pursues evil does so to his death. The depraved in heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those who walk blamelessly are his delight. Truly the evil man shall not go unpunished, but those who are just shall escape. Like a golden ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman with a rebellious disposition. The desire of the just ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked is wrath. One man is lavish yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is the poorer. He who confers benefits will be amply enriched, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Him who monopolizes grain, the people curse– but blessings upon the head of him who distributes it! He who seeks the good commands favour, but he who pursues evil will have evil befall him. He who trusts in his riches will fall, but like green leaves the just flourish. He who upsets his household has empty air for a heritage; and the fool will become slave to the wise man. The fruit of virtue is a tree of life,          but violence takes lives away. If the just man is punished on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner! He who loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. The good man wins favour from the Lord, but the schemer is condemned by him. No man is built up by wickedness, but the root of the just will never be disturbed. A worthy wife is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful one is like rot in his bones. The plans of the just are legitimate; the designs of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush, but the speech of the upright saves them.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Hear us, O God* our Saviour!
verse: A song is due to You, O God, in Zion!

Epistle
Hebrews 12:1-10
Brothers and Sisters, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children – “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness.

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Shout to the Lord, all the earth, sing now to His name, give glory to His praise.
verse: For You, O God, have tested us, You have tried us by fire as silver is tried. (Psalm 65:2,10)

Gospel
Matthew 20:1-16
The Lord told this parable, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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