September 11, 2016
Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross, Octoechos Tone 8; Post-feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God; Our Venerable Mother Theodora of Alexandria


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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 8

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

O Christ, during this spiritual service,
we sing to You these evening prayers,
commemorating the mercy You have shown us
by Your resurrection.

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

O Lord, O Lord, do not cast us away from Your face;
but in Your kindness have mercy on us
through Your resurrection.

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

Rejoice, O holy Zion,
the Mother of Churches and the dwelling-place of God;
for you were the first to receive the forgiveness of sins
through the resurrection.

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

Christ the Word was begotten by God the Father before all ages;
yet in these latter times,
He freely willed to take flesh from the Virgin who did not know man.
By His death on the cross and His resurrection,
He saved mankind from the ancient curse of death.

In Tone 8

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

All glorious wonder!
Today the unwedded Mother of God springs forth
as a stem bearing a flower from a childless and barren womb,
from the righteous Joachim and Anna!
Therefore the councils of the prophets and the whole assembly of the patriarchs,
rejoice at her nativity!

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

Today David rejoices and Jesse dances!
Levi is magnified and the righteous Joachim leaps in spirit!
The barrenness of Anna is openly loosed by your birth, pure Mary!
Unwedded one, the company of angels and all mortals
call your divine womb blessed!

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

Rejoice, union of earth with heaven!
Rejoice, Temple of the Lord!
Rejoice, unwedded mother!
You have most gloriously loosed Anna’s barrenness
and by your birth have given remission of sins to mortals!
Rejoice, all-immaculate one! Rejoice, divine temple!
Rejoice, tabernacle in which our Creator and Lord made his dwelling place!

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.

O Theodora, although you bore the body of a woman,
you took up your dwelling in the midst of men.
You underwent sufferings and the struggles of passions.
You overcame them through fasting,
unceasing prayer, and attentiveness to the Lord.

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

The sun that sets has never known you to sin,
and the Unsetting Sun knows your life of virtue;
He is the Lord who knows the depths of the heart and sees the secrets of all.
He enlightened the eyes of your heart through the light of penance.
Because of this, you hasten to please Him by abstaining from evil
and by the perfecting of virtues.

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

Although you fell into the trap of the enemy,
you still loved the child whom you bore amid reproach;
you nourished him with your love, O glorious mother,
and piously bore the condemnation of those who defamed you.
For this reason, we celebrate your honourable feast, O Theodora.

In Tone 4, Glory…

O Virgin, today you were born a most noble child
from the two just ones, Joachim and Anne,
as the angel had promised in his announcement.
To God you are a heaven, a throne, and a vessel of holiness;
to the whole world, a herald of joy,
the cause of our life, the blessing that wiped out the curse.
You are the reason for all the blessings of God.
O Maiden whom God has chosen,
on this day of your nativity
obtain peace and great mercy for our souls.

In Tone 8, Now…

Out of his love for mankind
the King of heaven appeared on earth and dwelt with men,
for He assumed a human body from the pure Virgin
and was seen in the flesh He received from her.
He is the One and only God having two natures but not two persons.
Wherefore we profess and declare the truth
that Christ our God is perfect God and perfect Man.
O Mother, who knew not carnal union,
intercede with Him that He may have mercy on our souls.


In Tone 8

O Jesus, You descended from heaven
so that You might ascend the cross.
O immortal Life, You came to die.
You are the true light to those who live in darkness,
and You are the resurrection of the fallen.
Therefore, O Saviour of all, we glorify You.

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

Let us glorify Christ, the Saviour of our Souls
Who arose from the dead.
For He took upon himself a soul and a body,
and during His passion He separated the one from the other.
His pure soul went down to conquer Hades,
while His holy body lay uncorrupted in the grave.

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

O Christ, we glorify Your resurrection with psalms and hymns.
For by Your victory over death
You delivered us from the sufferings of Hades,
and as God You granted us eternal life and great mercy.

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

O Lord of all, Creator of heaven and earth,
You are above all understanding.
Through Your passion on the cross
You freed us from the sufferings of Hades.
And, after condescending to be buried, You arose in glory;
and with Your mighty arm You also raised up Adam.
O most merciful Lord, we glorify You;
for by Your resurrection on the third day
You granted us remission of sins and eternal life.

In Tone 4, Glory… Now…

Today Anne, the barren one, claps her hands for joy.
The earth is bathed in light and kings sing their happiness,
priests enjoy all blessings and the whole universe rejoices;
for the Queen and immaculate Bride of the Father
comes forth from the stem of Jesse.
Behold, no woman will ever again bear a child in sorrow and anxiety,
for joy has come forth in abundance and life has filled the world.
Joachim’s offerings shall no more be rejected,
for the tears of Anne have now been turned into joy.
And now Anne can say:
Rejoice with me, all you chosen ones of Israel,
for the Lord has given me the palace of his divine and living glory
to be a place of joy and happiness for the whole universe
and for the salvation of our souls.


In Tone 8
You came down from on high, O Merciful One,* and accepted three days of burial* to free us from our sufferings.* O Lord, our life and our resurrection,* glory be to You.

In Tone 8, Glory…
In you, O venerable Mother Theodora, 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, Now…
Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * has made joy known to all the world,* for from you dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.* He abolished the curse and gave the blessing;* and by making death of no effect He bestowed on us eternal life.



Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 8: You came down from oh high, O Merciful One,* and accepted three days of burial* to free us from our sufferings.* O Lord, our life and our resurrection,* glory be to You.

Troparion, Tone 4: Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God,* has made joy known to all the world,* for from you dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.* He abolished the curse and gave the blessing;* and by making death of no effect He bestowed on us eternal life.

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

Kontakion, Tone 8: When You rose from the tomb,* You also raised the dead and resurrected Adam.* Eve exults in Your resurrection,* and the ends of the world celebrate Your rising from the dead,* O most merciful One.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone4: By your birth, O immaculate one,* Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness,* and Adam and Eve* from the corruption of death.* And your people, redeemed from the guilt of their sins,* celebrate as they cry out to you:* “The barren one gives birth to the Mother of God* and nourisher of our life.”

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. (Psalm27:9,1)

Galatians 6:11-18

Alleluia, Tone 1
I have exalted one chosen from the people and with my holy oil anointed him.
verse: My hand shall always be with him and my arm shall make him strong. (Psalm 88:20-21,22)

John 3:13-17

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify the Virgin Mary, born from a barren womb.
And the Irmos, Tone 8: Virginity is alien to mothers* and childbearing is foreign to virgins;* yet in you, O Mother of God, both of them came together.* Therefore we and all the nations of the earth* without ceasing magnify you.

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