April 2, 2017 </br>Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast; Venerable Mother Mary of Egypt; Octoechos Tone 5; Our Venerable Father Titus the Wonderworker; Passing into Eternal Life (1959) of Blessed Mykola (Nicholas) Charnetsky, Exarch of Volhynia and Confessor

April 2, 2017
Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast; Venerable Mother Mary of Egypt; Octoechos Tone 5; Our Venerable Father Titus the Wonderworker; Passing into Eternal Life (1959) of Blessed Mykola (Nicholas) Charnetsky, Exarch of Volhynia and Confessor

The biography of this wonderful saint was written by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Once, during the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], a certain priest-monk (Heiromonk), the Elder Zosimus, withdrew into the wilderness beyond the Jordan, a twenty-day trek. Suddenly, he caught sight of a human being with a withered and naked body whose hair was as white as snow and who began to flee from the sight of Zosimus. The elder ran for a long while until this person crouched down in a brook and cried out: “Abba Zosimus forgive me for the sake of the Lord. I cannot face you for I am a naked woman.” Zosimus then tossed his outer garment to her which she wrapped around herself and then showed herself to him. The elder was frightened upon hearing his name spoken from the mouth of this woman he did not know. Following his prolonged insistence, the woman related her life story. She was born in Egypt and at the age of twelve began to live a life of debauchery in Alexandria where she spent seventeen years in this perverted way of life. Driven by the adulterous flame of the flesh, one day she boarded a boat which was sailing for Jerusalem. Arriving at the Holy City, she wanted to enter the church in order to venerate the Honorable Cross but some invisible force restrained her and prevented her from entering the church. In great fear, she gazed upon the icon of the All-Holy Mother of God in the vestibule and prayed that she be allowed to enter the church to venerate the Honorable Cross, all the while confessing her sinfulness and uncleanness and promising that she would go wherever the All-Pure One would direct her. She was then permitted to enter the church. Having venerated the Cross she again entered the vestibule and, before the icon, gave thanks to the Mother of God. At that very moment she heard a voice saying: “If you cross over Jordan you will find real peace!” Immediately she purchased three loaves of bread and started out for the Jordan where she arrived that same evening. The next day she received Holy Communion in the Monastery of St. John and crossed over the Jordan river. She remained in the wilderness for forty-eight years in great torment, fear and struggle with passionate thoughts as though with wild beasts. She fed on vegetation. Afterward, when she stood for prayer, Zosimus saw her levitate in the air. She begged him to bring her Holy Communion the following year on the shore of the Jordan where she would then come to receive it. The following year, Zosimus arrived on the shore of the Jordan in the evening with Holy Communion. He wondered how this saint would cross the Jordan. At that moment, in the light of the moon, he saw her as she approached the river, made the sign of the cross over it and walked upon the water as though upon dry land. After Zosimus administered Holy Communion to her, she begged him to come the following year to the same brook where they had first met. Zosimus came and discovered her lifeless body on that spot. Above her head in the sand was written: “Abba Zosimus, bury the body of the humble Mary on this site; render dust to dust. I died on April 1, the same night of the saving-suffering of Christ, after having received Communion of the Divine Mysteries.” From this inscription Zosimus first learned her name and the other and awesome miracle was that, she, on that same night the previous year, when she received Holy Communion, arrived at this brook which took him twenty days to travel. Thus, Zosimus buried the body of this wonderful saint, Mary the Egyptian. When he returned to the monastery Zosimus related the entire history of her life and the miracles which he had personally witnessed. Thus, the Lord knows how to glorify penitent sinners. St. Mary is also commemorated on the Fifth Sunday of the Honorable Fast (Fifth Sunday in Lent). The Church holds her up as an example to the faithful during these fast days as an incentive for repentance. She died about the year 530 A.D.

Excerpt from the Prologue of Ohrid


GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

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

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

Let us glorify Christ, the Author of our Salvation;
for by His Resurrection from the dead,
the world has been delivered from the deception of Satan.
The choirs of angels rejoice as the treachery of evil spirits vanishes.
Fallen Adam arises, and the Devil is vanquished.

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

Those who guarded the tomb of Christ
were told by the evil men who hired them:
Take this silver and keep silent.
Tell no one of the Resurrection of Christ;
rather tell everyone that while you were sleeping His body was stolen.
But who has ever heard of a body being stolen,
a body which had already been anointed?
Why would anyone take a body from the grave naked,
and leave the burial shroud in the tomb?
Do not deceive yourselves, O people of Judea.
Study the teachings of the Prophets,
and you will come to understand that Jesus Christ is Almighty God,
and truly the Saviour of the world.

In Tone 6

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

The pollution of past sins
prevented you from entering the church
to see the elevation of the Holy Cross;
but then my conscience and the awareness of your actions
turned you, O wise in God,
to a better way of life.
And, having looked upon the icon of the blessed Maid of God,
You have condemned all your previous transgressions,
O Mother worthy of all praise,
and so have gone with boldness to venerate the precious Cross.

  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 pollution of past sins
prevented you from entering the church
to see the elevation of the Holy Cross;
but then my conscience and the awareness of your actions
turned you, O wise in God,
to a better way of life.
And, having looked upon the icon of the blessed Maid of God,
You have condemned all your previous transgressions,
O Mother worthy of all praise,
and so have gone with boldness to venerate the precious Cross.

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

Having worshipped at the holy places with great joy,
you have received saving grace for the journey of virtue,
and with all haste you have set out upon the good path you have chosen.
Crossing the stream of the Jordan,
with eagerness you have gone to live
in the dwelling place of the Baptist.
you have tamed the savagery of the passions
through your ascetic way of life,
and boldly you have broken the rebelliousness of the flesh,
O Mother ever-glorious.

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

Having gone to dwell in the wilderness,
you had blotted out from your soul the images of your sensual passions,
and marked upon it the God-given imprint of holiness.
You attained such glory, blessed Mother,
as to walk upon the surface of the water,
and in your prayers to God you were raised up from the earth.
And now, all-glorious Mary,
standing before Christ with boldness,
entreat Him for our souls.

In Tone 4, Glory…

The power of Your Cross, O Christ,
has worked wonders,
for even the woman who was once a harlot
chose to follow the ascetic way.
Casting aside her weakness,
bravely she opposed the devil;
and having gained the prize of victory,
she intercedes for our souls.

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 2, Glory…

The desire of your soul and the passions of your flesh
you have cut down with the sword of abstinence;
your sinful thoughts you have choked with the silence of the ascetic life.
With the streams of your tears you have watered all the wilderness,
and caused the fruits of repentance to spring up for us:
therefore, O saint, we celebrate your memory.

Now …

We now behold a new wonder,
greater than the wonders of old.
For who has ever known a mother to bear a child without the help of man?
Who has known a mother to hold in her arms the Source of all Creation?
It was God’s own will to be born in this manner;
and you, O most pure Virgin, carried Him as an infant in your arms.
Because of this, you can approach God with the boldness of a mother.
Therefore, we venerate you, and ask you to always beseech Him
to have mercy on us and save our souls.

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.

Glory… Now…
Rejoice, O Virgin, impassable gateway of the Lord! * Rejoice, protective wall of those who take refuge in you! * Rejoice, peaceful haven untroubled by storms! * Rejoice, Virgin who has not known wedlock * and yet has given birth in the flesh to your Creator and God! * O Mother of God, never cease to intercede * for those who praise and worship your Son.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated today.

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.

Troparion, Tone 8: The divine image was faithfully preserved in you, O mother,* for taking up the Cross, you followed Christ.* By your deeds you have taught us to see beyond the flesh, which passes,* and care for the soul, a thing immortal.* And so, O venerable Mary,* your spirit rejoices with the angels.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3: Once you were filled with every impurity,* now through repentance you have been revealed as a bride of Christ,* following the angelic life, you crushed demons with the weapon of the Cross.* Therefore, O glorious Mary, you have been shown to be a bride of the kingdom.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5
You, O Lord, will guard us and will keep us* from this generation and for ever.
verse: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer left a just man. (Psalm 11:8,2)

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
God is wonderful in His saints,* the God of Israel. (Psalm 67:36)

Epistle
Hebrews 9:11-14; Galatians 3:23-29

Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing for ever; from generation to generation I will announce Your truth with my mouth.
verse: For You have said: Mercy shall be built up for ever; in the heavens Your truth shall be prepared. (Psalm 88:2,3)

Gospel
Mark 10:32-45; Luke 7:36-50

Hymn to the Mother of God
In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices: the angelic ranks and all the human race. Sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, virgins’ pride and boast, from whom God is made flesh and became a little Child; and He who is our God before all ages, He made your womb a throne, and He made it wider that all the heavens. In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices. Glory be to you.

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)*  The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 111:6)

Close Menu