December 13, 2015 </br>Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, Octoechos Tone 4; Holy Martyrs Eustratios, Auxentius, Eugenius, Mardarius and Orestes

December 13, 2015
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, Octoechos Tone 4; Holy Martyrs Eustratios, Auxentius, Eugenius, Mardarius and Orestes

GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

  1. Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.

We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
And we glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For You, Almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.

  1. The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.

O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As Almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of death.
We, therefore, venerate Your resurrection from the dead,
and joyfully cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!

  1. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of death.
You have freed mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.

In Tone 8

  1. Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

Today we commemorate the Forefathers of Christ.
Sing with fervour a hymn of praise to Christ the Saviour
who exalted them among the nations.
He is the Lord who does wondrous deeds
because He is powerful and almighty.
From them He brought forth a royal sceptre,
the Immaculate Maiden of God and Virgin Mary.
From her, Christ our God came forth
to give life and eternal salvation for all.

  1. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

O Lord and Master,
You rescued the three holy youths from the fire.
You saved Daniel from the mouths of the lions;
You blessed Abraham, Isaac Your servant, and Jacob his son.
You willed to be like one of us by choosing to be born from them
in order that You might save our Forefathers who had fallen.
By Your Cross and Resurrection You tore apart the bonds of death.
You raise up all those who for ages had been among the dead
and who bow to You, O Christ, the eternal King.

  1. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

The three holy youths were refreshed by the Holy Spirit
when they walked in the fire as though in a cool place.
In them the Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ
were prefigured in a mystical manner.
By their wisdom and faith
they overcame the power of fire.
As for the just Daniel, he stopped the mouths of lions.
Through their intercession, we beseech You:
O Saviour and Lover of Mankind,
protect us from eternal fire
and make us worthy of Your heavenly Kingdom.

  1. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

When the three holy youths stood in the flaming furnace
as if covered with dew,
they mystically prefigured Your coming from the Virgin,
giving light to us without being consumed.
And Daniel, the just and wondrous prophet,
clearly saw in a vision Your second divine coming.
He said: “I saw thrones set up and the Judge seated
and the river of fire flowing in His presence.”
Through their intercession
deliver us from this fire, O Lord.

In Tone 4

  1. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

The memory of Your martyr Eustratios, O Lord, shines like the sun;
by the brilliance of his invincible words,
he eclipsed the multitude of false gods.
As a house without foundations is brought down,
so did he overcome them by his faith
and was joined by four other martyrs as his companions.
Through their prayers, O Lover of mankind, grant us the remission of our sins.

  1. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

By their words, the sufferings of their lives and their privations,
the holy martyrs showed You their unshakeable dedication even to the end:
Orestes and Mardarius joined the wise Eustratios, Auxentius and Eugenius
in their glorious struggle.
Through their prayers, O Lord, save our souls.

  1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

In the fury of the brutal tyrant, the illustrious Auxentius was beheaded;
Mardarius was crowned as he was hanged;
Eugenius attained the fullness of eternal life as they cut off his hands and tongue;
Orestes fell asleep in the Lord as he was laid on a bed of burning coals;
Eustratios was led like a lamb to the fire for Christ.

In Tone 6, Glory…

O believers, let us give praise today
to all the fathers who lived before the Law:
Abraham who was beloved by God,
Isaac who was born according to the promise,
Jacob and the Twelve Patriarchs,
the very meek David and the favoured prophet Daniel.
Let us also glorify with them the three youths
who changed the fiery furnace into a place of refreshing dew.
Let us beg forgiveness of our sins from Christ our God
who is glorified in His Saints.

In Tone 4, Now…

O Mother of God, because of You David the Prophet
became an ancestor of God;
he foretold and sang a joyous hymn of praise
and cried out to Him who worked wonders in you:
“The Queen stood at your right hand.”
God revealed you as a life-giving mother,
when He chose to be incarnate of you without a father.
He renewed in man His image which the passions had corrupted.
He found the lost sheep in the mountains, carried it on His shoulders,
offered it to the Father, generously numbered it among the powers of heaven,
and saved the whole world, since He is Christ of great and rich mercy.

Readings
(1) Isaiah 43:9-14; (2) Wisdom 3:1-9; (3) Wisdom 5:15-6:3

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our ancestors.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there,
and granted incorruption to the human race.
We, therefore, praise Your life-giving and redeeming resurrection.

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

By hanging on the Cross, O Almighty One,
You shook the whole creation to its foundations.
When You Yourself were laid in the grave,
You raised to life those who had been lying in the graves,
and You granted life and incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore, praise and glorify Your resurrection on the third day.

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

O Christ, the lawless people showed their ingratitude to You, their Benefactor,
by delivering You to Pilate who condemned you to be crucified.
But You willingly suffered death and burial;
and, as God, You rose by Your own power on the third day,
granting us everlasting life and great mercy.

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

The women, shedding bitter tears, came to see You in Your tomb;
and not finding Your body, they lamented, saying:
O Saviour and King of All, how were You stolen?
What place holds Your life-bearing body?
An angel answered them, saying:
Do not weep, but go and proclaim that the Lord is risen,
filling our hearts with joy;
for He alone is most compassionate.

In Tone 3, Glory…

Come, O lovers of the feast,
let us sing a hymn of praise to the assembly of the Forefathers:
Adam, the father of mankind,
Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Let us also honour those who came after the Law:
Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, and David;
together with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel,
Daniel, and the twelve minor prophets;
likewise Elijah, Elisha, and all the others;
also Zechariah and the Baptist,
and all those who preached Christ, the Life and Resurrection of our race.

In Tone 5, Now…

Without fear in the face of the bold tyrants,
you confessed your faith in Christ
and endured the torments and punishments.
O Eustratios and Auxentius, Mardarius, Eugenius and Orestes, glorious martyrs,
ceaselessly intercede with the King, our God,
for the faithful who celebrate your holy memory.

Troparia

In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”

In Tone 4, Glory…
Your martyrs, O Lord,* by their sufferings acquired the crowns of incorruptibility from You, our God.* For possessing Your power they overcame the torturers* and shattered the feeble insolence of demons.* By their supplications, save our souls.

In Tone 2, Now…
By faith you justified Your ancestors* and through them in advance you betrothed the Church taken from the nations.* The saints exult in glory;* from their seed comes the blessed fruit, the one who bore You without seed.* By their prayers, O Christ our God, have mercy on us.


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,* granting to the world great mercy.”

Troparion, Tone 2: By faith You justified Your ancestors* and through them in advance You betrothed the Church taken from the nations.* The saints exult in glory;* from their seed comes the blessed fruit, the one who bore You without seed.* By their prayers, O Christ our God, have mercy on us.

Troparion, Tone 4: Your martyrs, O Lord,* by their sufferings acquired the crowns of incorruptibility from You, our God.* For possessing Your power they overcame the torturers* and shattered the feeble insolence of demons.* By their supplications, save our souls.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2: You shone, O victorious Martyr,* as a brilliant light for those sitting in the darkness of ignorance.* And armed with faith as with a lance, O Eustratios, most eloquent orator,* you feared not your enemies’ arrogance.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 6: Armed by the Being that defies description,* you defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth.* In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God:* “In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,”* for You can do whatever You will.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers,* and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26, 27)

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
To the saints who are in His land, the Lord has made wonderful all His desires in them. (Psalm 15:8)

Epistle
Colossians 3:4-11; Ephesians 6:10-17

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Moses and Aaron are among His priests and Samuel among those who call upon His name.
verse: They called on the Lord and He heard them. (Psalm 98:6)
verse: The just cried out and the Lord heard them, and delivered them out of their afflictions.
verse: The afflictions of the just are many, and out of them all will the Lord deliver them. (Psalm 33:18, 20)

Gospel
Luke 14:16-24; Luke 21:12-19

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest (Psalm 148:1).* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1).* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 32:1)

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