Also on The 1st DAY OF THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

THE COMMEMORATION OF OUR VENERABLE MOTHER BRIDGET, ENLIGHTENER OF IRELAND

AT GREAT VESPERS:

At “Lord, I have cried...,” 8 stichera; 3 of the Forefeast, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs…”—

The honored temple maketh ready to receive within itself the Lord Who cometh as a Babe and noetically illumineth with grace His most faithful assembly beloved of God; wherefore it crieth out: “Thou art the glory, the boast and the adornment of my fullness, O Word Who for my sake becamest a Babe in the flesh!”

The most splendid bridal-chamber, the all-precious tabernacle, the holy and spacious temple, bearing the Lord within the chambers of the temple, doth betroth herself beforehand to His honored Church and ever prayeth, that those who unceasingly glorify her as the true Theotokos be delivered from corruption and misfortunes.

Let us now offer unto Christ the praise of the forefeast, glorifying His condescension; for, carried in the Virgin’s arms as an infant, He cometh to lie in the arms of Symeon, crying out to all men, and to deify their nature, as Benefactor and Lord.

And 5 stichera of the saint, in Tone I—

Come, ye faithful, from the west and from the north, from the sea and from the east: and let us make haste to the radiant feast, glorifying the wise enlightener of the Irish land and praising her struggles; and, clapping our hands, let us cry aloud: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who art wondrous in Thy saints!

Having brought to thy homeland the light of Orthodoxy, which is that of the threefold Sun, and which heralded the day of salvation, O venerable one, by thy life didst thou instruct the people who, enlightened by faith, cried out: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who art wondrous in Thy saints!

Forsaking princely rank and spurning earthly glory, thou didst choose slavery to Christ and voluntary poverty, desiring the angelic rank. Wherefore, having found thee to be a new and fervent intercessor, we cry out in thanksgiving: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who art wondrous in Thy saints!

In Tone II: The Lord said to His disciples: “It is better to enter life with one eye, rather than, having two eyes, to destroy the soul.” Wherefore, having destroyed one eye, O venerable one, thou didst rejoice, for thus didst thou smooth thy way to the monastic life.

Like unto the evening star, which appeareth to the west of the sun, thou didst shine, O venerable one, illumining the night of unbelief and heralding the spiritual dawn of the right Faith. Wherefore, we cry aloud to thee: Rejoice, O Bridget, thou instructor in Orthodoxy!

Glory..., in Tone VI—

When the host of unbelievers besieged thy city, desiring to destroy it and set it afire, and the Christians were beset with fear and trembling, and earnestly besought thine aid, O venerable one, thou didst show thyself to be a dread commander, turning the enemy’s own deadly weaponry against themselves, and wreaking confusion in the camp of the foe. Wherefore, saved by thine intercessions, the people cried out: Rejoice, O most glorious Bridget, who hast hastened to our aid!

Now & ever…, the composition of Germanus, in Tone II—

Today Symeon taketh in his arms the Lord of glory, Whom Moses beheld before in the darkness when He gave him the tablets of the law on Mount Sinai. He is the Creator of the law Who speaketh through the prophets. He is the One Whom David proclaimed, of Whom all are in awe, Who hath great and rich mercy.

O gladsome Light. Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. Three readings:

A Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah

Thus saith the Lord: all the nations are gathered together, and princes shall be gathered out of them. Who will declare these things, or who will declare to you things from the beginning? Let them bring forth their witnesses, and be justified; and let them hear, and declare the truth. Be ye My witnesses, and I too am a witness, saith the Lord God, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know, and believe, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no other God, and after Me there shall be none. I am God; and beside Me there is no Savior. I have declared, and have saved; I have reproached, and there was no strange god among you. Ye are My witnesses, and I am the Lord God, even from the beginning; and there is none that can deliver out of My hands. I will work, and who shall turn it back? Thus saith the Lord God Who redeemeth you, the Holy One of Israel.

A Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for Himself. As gold in the furnace hath He tried them and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign forever. They that put their trust in Him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with Him: for grace and mercy is to His saints, and He hath care for His elect.

A Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

Though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest. For honorable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the grey hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age. He pleased God, and was beloved of Him: so that living among sinners he was translated. Yea, speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time; for his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted He to take him away from among the wicked. This the people saw, and understood not, neither laid they up this in their minds, that His grace and mercy is with His saints, and that He hath respect unto His chosen.

At Litia, the sticheron of the temple, and these stichera—

In Tone IV: Having found the straight path which leadeth to eternal life, O venerable one, thou didst lead to Christ those who sought the monastic life, and didst shepherd them wisely in the convent of Kildare, which flourished like a spiritual garden, watered by thy tears before God and protected from adverse winds by the wall of thy prayers.

In Tone V: Emulating the apostles of Christ, as the disciple of the holy Patrick thou didst diligently plant the Orthodox Faith in thy homeland, O most honorable Bridget. Wherefore, celebrating thy commemoration, we now piously honor thy labors, glorifying Christ Who gave thee strength.

In Tone VIII: Establishing thyself upon the rock of the Orthodox Faith, and casting down hard-hearted unbelief, thou didst found thy house upon a rock, O venerable one, and the floods came and the winds of temptation blew, but it did not fall; yet more hast thou been manifest as a calm haven for all who have recourse to thee, O mother, and learn from thee the word of God, glorifying Christ the Savior Who hath bestowed thee upon us as an instructor.

Glory..., in Tone IV—

Beholding the multitudes of those who sought salvation and knocked at the gates of the convent of Kildare, thou didst open unto them the portals of the monastic life with joy, and with humility of mind didst instruct those who came to struggle with thee, giving thanks to Christ God and crying out: Lo! here am I and the children which God hath given me!

Now and ever...: Theotokion, in the same tone—

Having obtained the adoption of the human race from the lips of Christ, O all-immaculate one, deprive us not of thy maternal care, O Theotokos, for though we are unworthy to call ourselves thy children, yet take pity on us, the lowly and condemned, for thee do we have as our only hope, O all-holy Virgin Mother.

At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone III—

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light!” didst thou cry, O blessed Bridget, calling virgins and widows to thy convent, and guiding them on the path to salvation.

Stichos: Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Burning with zeal for the glory of God, and taking thought for the enlightenment of thy homeland, thou didst cry to the sisters of thy convent, O wise Bridget: “Knowing the truth, let us not close our mouths before any man, but let us preach aloud the Orthodox Faith, for the salvation of our souls!”

Stichos: Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, that walk in His ways.

Emulating Abraham, who offered hospitality to the three Angels at the oak of Mambre, by founding a house of God in a grove of oaks, thou didst make ready a dwelling-place for the all-holy Trinity, O most honored Bridget. Wherefore, interceding for thy people, as did the patriarch of old, by thy bold entreaties thou didst avert the wrath of God therefrom.

Glory..., in Tone VIII—

Having a pure gaze and a mind undefiled, O venerable one, thou wast vouchsafed to behold Christ, the noetic Sun. Him do thou entreat, O Bridget, that He grant us enlightenment and great mercy.

Now & ever…:, of the forefeast, in Tone II—

The sacred Virgin brought the Sacred One to the high priest in the temple, and Symeon, stretching forth his hands, received Him, rejoicing, and cried out: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Lord, according to Thy word!”

Troparion, in Tone IV—

Instructed by the discourse of the holy Patrick, thou didst arrive at the uttermost west, heralding the Orient which hath visited us from on high. Wherefore, we bless thee, O venerable mother Bridget, and cry out to thee: Pray thou in behalf of our souls.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Troparion of the forefeast, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “The choir of angels…”—

The celestial choir of the angels of heaven, coming to earth, behold the Firstborn of all creation Who is come, borne into the temple as a Babe in the arms of the Mother who knew not man. Wherefore, with us they chant hymns of the forefeast, rejoicing.

AT MATINS:

At “God is the Lord…”, the troparion of the forefeast, twice; Glory…, that of the saint; Now & ever…, that of the forefeast, once.

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone I—

“We know not what we should pray for as we ought, but do Thou Thyself, O Lord, teach us to pray!” didst thou cry, O venerable mother. Wherefore, God hath bestowed upon thee the grace to pray for us; and now, having acquired thine intercession, we glorify Him.

Glory...; Now and ever...: Sessional hymn of the forefeast, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Awed by the beauty of thy virginity…”—

Rejoicing, the sacred Symeon embraced Thee, Who wast incarnate of the Virgin, O Christ; and he cried out: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Master!” And Anna, the blameless and glorious prophetess, now offereth thee confession and hymnody. And we cry out to Thee, O Bestower of life: Glory to Thee Who hast thus been well pleased!

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone VII—

“What shall separate us from the love God that is in Christ our Lord? Neither death, nor life, nor height, nor depth, nor things present, nor things to come!” didst thou cry with the Apostle Paul, O venerable one, surrendering thy life into the hands of God and serving Him with boldness. Wherefore, thou hast now found consolation in His kingdom.

Glory...; Now and ever...: Sessional hymn of the forefeast, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “Of the shepherds’ pipes…”—

Thou wast born on earth, O Thou Who with the Father art equally without beginning, and wast carried into the temple, O Unapproachable One. And, rejoicing, the elder took Thee in his arms, crying: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, whom Thou hast visited according to Thy word, O Thou Whose good pleasure it hath been, as God, to save the human race!”

Polyeleos, and this Magnification—

We bless thee, O venerable mother Bridget, and we honor thy holy memory, O instructor of nuns and converser with the angels.

Selected Psalm verses—

A With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication. [Ps. 39: 2]

B He set my feet upon a rock, and He ordered my steps aright. [Ps. 39: 3]

A Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness. [Ps. 54: 8]

B I am become like a pelican of the wilderness. [Ps. 101: 7]

A I have watched, and am like a sparrow that sitteth alone upon the housetop. [Ps. 101: 8]

B My knees are grown weak through fasting. [Ps. 108: 24]

A And my flesh is changed for want of oil. [Ps. 108: 24]

B With tears will I water my couch. [Ps. 6: 4]

A For many dogs have encircled me, the congregation of evil doers hath surrounded me. [Ps. 21: 17]

B They have bent their bow, a bitter thing. [Ps. 63: 4]

A That they may shoot in secret at the blameless man. [Ps. 63: 4]

B I beheld the Lord ever before me, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. [Ps. 15: 8]

A All the nations compassed me round about, and by the name of the Lord I warded them off. [Ps. 117: 10]

B Blessed be the Lord Who hath not given us to be a prey to their teeth. [Ps. 123: 6]

A Let all Thy works, O Lord, give praise to Thee. [Ps. 144: 10]

B And let the righteous ones bless Thee. [Ps. 144: 10]

A Know also that the Lord hath made wondrous His righteous one. [Ps. 4: 4]

B He hath labored forever, and shall live to the end. [Ps. 48: 9-10]

A The Lord preserveth the souls of His saints. [Ps. 96: 10]

B The saints shall boast in glory and shall rejoice upon their beds. [Ps. 149: 5]

A Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. [Ps. 115: 6]

B Chant unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. [Ps. 29: 5]

Glory…, Now & ever…

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Glory to Thee, O God! Thrice

After the Polyeleos, this Sessional hymn, in Tone II—

“O God Who art mighty in battle, rout Thou the foe that warreth against us!” didst thou cry, O Bridget, praying fervently for the salvation of thy city.

Glory...; Now and ever...: Theotokion—

Having thine aid as a shield and rampart, O Theotokos, mighty commander, let us not fear the enemy, visible or invisible.

Song of Ascents, the first antiphon of Tone IV

Prokimenon, in Tone IV—

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Stichos: In congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

Let every breath praise the Lord...

Gospel according to Matthew, §104 [25:1-13].

The Lord spake this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise: ‘Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying: ‘Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying: ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered and said: ‘Verily I say unto you, I know you not.’ Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

After Psalm 50, this sticheron, in Tone VI—

With the apostle the venerable Bridget saith these things: “The remaining time is short; let those who weep therefore be as though they wept not; those who buy, as though they possessed not; and those who need this world, as not in need thereof. For the fashion of this world passeth away.” And, laying up incorruptible treasures in heaven, let us serve the Lord with love, strengthening one another, and crying out: O Savior, deprive us not of Thy kingdom!

Canon of the Forefeast of the Meeting, with 6 troparia; and that of the saint, with 8 troparia.

Ode I

Canon of the Forefeast, in Tone IV—

Irmos: Having traversed the depths of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, Israel of old vanquished the might of Amalek in the wilderness by Moses’ arms stretched out in the form of the Cross.

Having made ready our hearts as though they were arms, in purity let us all receive Christ Who is coming today, and let us spiritually delight in His divine gifts.

Opening its gates beforehand today, the temple of the law giveth splendid entry to the Giver and Creator of the law and prepareth divine praise for Him as precious gifts.

I hymn Thee, O Lord my God Who becamest a babe in the flesh, submitted to the law and hast saved man, for whose sake Thou becamest a man.

Theotokion: O all-pure Mistress, the old temple, understanding thee to be the pure dwelling-place of the Master and God of all, called forth a choir, magnifying thy glory.

Canon of the venerable one, the acrostic whereof is: “Let us hymn Bridget who hath come to us from the West,” in Tone II—

Irmos: Traversing the impassable, uncommon path of the sea dryshod, Israel the chosen cried aloud: Let us chant unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

Led by the providence of God, O venerable one, as were the chosen people in the wilderness, fleeing the darkness of unbelief as though it were the army of Pharaoh, thou didst cry aloud: I shall sing unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

Burning with apostolic zeal, O honored Bridget, and planting the Orthodox Faith in thy homeland, rejoicing thou didst chant: I shall sing unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

Desirous of the monastic life, thou didst offer up fervent supplication unto God. Wherefore, having found that which thou hadst desired, thou didst cry out: I shall sing unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

Theotokion: O Lady Theotokos, accept thou the faithful Bridget who prayeth for us, that, possessed of her intercession, we may hymn and glorify thee.

Ode III

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: Thy Church rejoiceth in Thee, O Christ, crying aloud: Thou art my strength, O Lord, my refuge and my consolation!

Those who went about in the house of God have leapt up noetically to receive Christ the King Who is coming in the flesh.

Making ready beforehand precious gifts acceptable to Christ, O ye faithful, let us greet Him with joy today.

Now hath the tabernacle passed on, and truth come forth as grace hath arrived! Take Christ up now, O Symeon.

Theotokion: The proclamation in shadows and descriptive images hath now ceased; for Truth, O pure one, hath been manifested through thee to the ends of the earth.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: The bow of the mighty hath been broken by Thy might, O Christ, and the strengthless have girded themselves with power.

Let us glorify Patrick and Bridget, the enlighteners of the Irish land, who, girded about with the strength of Christ, shattered the idols of unbelief.

Having deprived thyself of a bodily eye, thou didst acquire the vision of things heavenly and unknown, O venerable one; for the power of God is made perfect in weakness.

Strengthened by the grace of God, O Bridget, Thou didst resolve to journey to the heavenly ­kingdom by the narrow way, crying aloud: Thou, O Christ, art the strength of the weak!

Theotokion: O Mother and Virgin, not in wisdom, strength or riches do we boast, but in thee who hast raised up the human race to the heights.

Kontakion of the forefeast, in Tone VI—

The Word Who is invisibly with the Father is now seen in the flesh, ineffably born of the Virgin; and He is given to the high priest on the arm of the elder. Let us worship Him as our true God!

Ikos: A sacred banquet is set forth! Today the assembly of those who love the feasts of the Church, bearing tokens of the forefeast, sing to our true God the praises of the forefeast, hymning the awesome nativity from the Virgin of the forty-day old Lord, the embrace of the honorable elder and the memory of the honored martyr.

Sessional hymn, in Tone VIII—

The choirs of the righteous dance in chorus with the venerable Bridget, especially those who labored apostolically: Mary Magdalene who, on reaching Rome, preached the resurrection of Christ, the holy Nina who planted the Christian Faith in the land of Iberia, the righteous Princess Olga who ordered the first church in the land of Russia to be built, and Cyril and Methodius who were shown to be the enlighteners of the Slavic lands. Wherefore, we honor Bridget as one who shareth in their ways and, celebrating her feast, with gladness we cry out: Rejoice, O thou who didst bring the Orthodox Faith from the East even unto the West! Rejoice, thou who didst raise up congregations of monastics! Pray thou unceasingly, O venerable one, that our souls be saved!

Glory...; Now and ever...: Sessional hymn of the Forefeast, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “When the stone had been sealed by the Jews…”—

O eternal repository of the Life of all, Who of old inscribed the law on tablets on Mount Sinai, and Who for my sake hast become a babe, that Thou mayest release all from bondage to the ancient law: Glory to Thy compassion, O Savior! Glory to Thy condescension! Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind!

Ode IV

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: Beholding Thee lifted up upon the Cross, O Sun of righteousness, the Church stood rooted in place, crying out as is meet: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

He Who is upborne on a radiant cloud, corporeally, as the Sun of righteousness, giveth forth His divine rays today and illumineth His temple beforehand.

Today the Church offereth festal laudation beforehand to Christ the Master, doth splendidly make ready to receive Him as its Bridegroom, and rejoiceth with Symeon. The ranks of angels are stricken with awe, beholding in the elder’s arms Him Who with the Father and the Spirit is praised as the Son and our God.

Theotokion: O all-glorious Theotokos, the tabernacle of the law, desiring to receive thee, the tabernacle bearing the Lord of the law in thine arms, was made radiant by thy grace.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, of Thy glorious dispensation, and I have glorified Thine unapproachable power, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Considering the beauty of the body as of no account, and destroying one of thine eyes, thou didst rejoice, O venerable one, desiring to behold the splendor of heaven and to glorify God with the choirs of the righteous.

Spurning an earthly betrothed and praying that the refusal of thy parents be changed beyond hope, thou didst find aid from on high, depriving thyself of the beauty of thy body.

Thou didst emulate the apostles, didst imitate the venerable, and in patience didst follow after the passion-bearers, O blessed Bridget.

Theotokion: Cover us with thy precious veil, O Mistress, delivering us from all want and grief, that together we may glorify thy loving-kindness and thine inaccessible power.

Ode V

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: Thou hast come, O my Lord, as a light into the world: a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance those who hymn Thee with faith.

The Church, desiring to receive Thee in the flesh, O Lord, hath been gloriously enlightened by the divine and ineffable radiance of Thy divinity.

O Lord, vouchsafe that those who praise Thy dispensation may receive Thee with spiritual hands; and accept us who hymn Thee with faith, in that Thou lovest mankind.

O Lord, vouchsafe that we who receive with joyous soul Thee Who dost desire to come in the flesh for our sake, may give thanks to Thee with Symeon.

Theotokion: Delivered for thy sake from the worship of the temple, O pure one, we glorify thee with true understanding and steadfast faith, as is meet.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Night hath passed; the day hath drawn nigh, and light hath shone upon the world. Wherefore, the ranks of angels praise Thee, and all things glorify Thee.

The ranks of angels rejoiced, beholding thee, O Bridget, laboring in the field of Christ and bringing fruit unto God an hundredfold. Wherefore, they chanted glorification unto the Creator of all.

Let us honor the two glorious enlighteners: Patrick, apostle of the Irish land, and Bridget, who founded the first convent in her native country; for they have been shown to be planters of the Orthodox Faith.

When thou didst drive the hosts of hell unto the outermost darkness by thy labors, O venerable mother, the Christian Faith of the threefold Sun shone forth in thy homeland. Wherefore, lifting up our voices, we glorify thee.

Theotokion: To whom shall we flee, if not to thee, O Theotokos, thou light of our benighted souls? For thou art the hope of the hopeless and the help of the embattled, and on thee do we set all our hope.

Ode VI

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: I will sacrifice to Thee with a voice of praise, O Lord, the Church crieth unto Thee, cleansed of the blood of demons by the blood which, for mercy’s sake, flowed from Thy side.

Weaving hymns like flowers today, let us with faith prepare a divine wreath of thanksgiving for the Master Who shall come noetically.

Let us prepare the arms of our soul for God, like Symeon the elder, and with gladness let us receive Him Who cometh to the temple of His divine glory.

Receiving the Creator of the ages as a babe, the elder understood Him to be the preëternal God, the Light of the nations, the Christ, the glory of Israel.

Theotokion: The prophets, writing of thee in godly manner with the pen of the Spirit, O Virgin, described thee as a temple, the tabernacle, the divine home of the Master of all; and in thee were they adorned.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Hearkening to the sound of the cries of entreaty which issue forth from a soul in pain, O Master, deliver me from my grievous sins, for Thou alone art the Cause of our salvation.

Though thou wast but a frail woman, O venerable one, yet didst thou fell invisible foes, as David did Goliath, with the sling of thy prayers to the Savior, God Almighty.

Bringing thine eye to the incorrupt heavenly Bridegroom as a dowry, O Bridget, thou didst truly betroth thyself to Him, and didst go forth, lighting the lamp of faith and love, to meet Him Who cometh at midnight.

Shown forth as the victor in spiritual battle, thou didst rise up against the hosts which besieged thy great city, O venerable one, and didst cast them into consternation by thine intercession before God for the people who cried out to Him in the pain of their souls.

Theotokion: O all-pure, all-blessed and all-merciful Virgin Theotokos: look upon us that languish in the abyss of evils, and grant surcease unto us thy servants.

Kontakion, in Tone VI—

Rejecting thy noble rank, and loving the godly monastic life, from the wood of the oak didst thou raise up a convent, the first in thy land; and having there united a multitude of nuns to God, thou didst teach the surrounding lands to cry to the Lord: Have mercy on us!

Ikos: Be thou mindful of the people whom thou didst enlighten, O venerable Bridget, guiding them to the straight path. Go forth to save the stray lambs, leading them back from the wilderness to the fold of the Church, that with one heart and one mouth we may cry: O almighty Savior, have mercy on us!

Ode VII

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: The children of Abraham in the Persian furnace, afire with love of piety more than with the flame, cried out: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

The Church, adorned with noetic radiance and the love of the Master and Creator of all, maketh ready to receive Him and weaveth for Him joyous ascents.

In obedience to the law, the Mother beareth in her arms her only-begotten Son in the flesh, Who is the Word Who abideth in the Father’s bosom, and she carrieth Him as a babe.

God Who made His abode in the womb of the Virgin today doth sit in the arms of Symeon as on a throne of fire.

Theotokion: All the nations have seen thy glory, O only pure one; wherefore, they piously bless thee as the Queen of all creation and unceasingly glorify thee as the Mother of God in manner transcending nature.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: The all-wise children did not worship the golden body, but entered into the flame themselves and mocked the gods of the heathen. They cried aloud in the midst of the flame, and the Angel bedewed them, saying: The prayer of your mouths hath already been heard.

Stretching forth thy venerable hands unto God, O Bridget, thou didst still the bestial raging of the enemy as Daniel stilled the savagery of the lions. Wherefore, saved, the people cried out one to another: The prayer of our lips hath been heard!

The blessed God of our fathers, Who delivered the youths out of the hands of the Chaldæan tyrant, delivered thy city from the incursion of barbarians, moved to mercy by thy supplications, O Bridget.

Whilst the tumult of battle raged and the people wept, thou didst lift up thy voice to Him Who alone is mighty in battle, O venerable one; and answering thee as He did Moses, He said: “Wherefore criest thou unto Me? I will yet again save the people, taking pity on them!”

Theotokion: Thee alone do we have as a protection and aid, O most holy and all-immaculate Theotokos; for mightily hast thou done battle against the enemies, visible and invisible, which war against us.

Ode VIII

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: Stretching forth his hands, Daniel shut the lions’ mouths in the pit; and the young lovers of piety, girded about with virtue, quenched the power of the fire, crying out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Stretching forth his hands, and cleansing his soul with divine activity, Symeon received the Lord Who in His goodness had become an infant; and he cried out to Him with gladness: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

The light of the grace of Christ hath shone upon us, desiring to be brought into His temple; and as restorer He transformeth all the shadowy images for those who cry out in truth: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord, the preëternal God Whose good pleasure it hath been to become a babe for our sake and to be received by the arms of the elder Symeon!

Theotokion: Christ, Who is all-pure and all-immaculate, and Who in His surpassing goodness became a man through thee, O all-pure one, for our sake offereth to the Father today acceptable purification, preserving thee, the most pure one, alone as all-holy.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Hymn and bless Him Who, on Mount Sinai of old, prefigured the miracle of the Virgin in the bush for Moses, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

The two glorious preachers of Christ proclaimed the worship of the Trinity and the Orthodox Faith; wherefore, the newly-enlightened people cried out: Hymn and bless ye the Lord, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

From a place on the left hand at the dread tribunal of Christ, and from everlasting and unquenchable fire, do thou deliver us by thine intercession, O glorious Bridget, that we may hymn and exalt the Lord supremely for all ages.

Beholding thee who fended off the deadly sword from the city and cast the hordes of the foe into confusion, the people, saved beyond hope, cried out: Hymn and bless ye the Lord, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Theotokion: In supplications do we call upon the all-pure Theotokos, whom the unburnt bush prefigured for Moses; and we cry aloud: Quench thou the flame of the passions and of grievous temptations, that we may hymn and supremely exalt thee, O Queen, for all ages.

Ode IX

Canon of the Forefeast

Irmos: Christ, the Chief Cornerstone uncut by human hands, Who united the two disparate natures, was cut from thee, the unquarried mountain, O Virgin. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

O Benefactor, vouchsafe that, like Symeon of old, I may receive Thee in the hands of my soul and delight in Thy grace; for Thou alone art the desire and sweetness for which I most yearn.

Having noetically lighted all the lamps of the virtues, with love let us lamp-bearers go forth with Symeon and Anna to meet Christ Who will come to sanctify those who hymn Him.

In the temple the elder Symeon received Christ our God in his arms and cried aloud, saying: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Master!”

Theotokion: The Word of the Most High, Who transcendeth all that existeth, received flesh of thee; and in that He is pure He offereth purification to the unoriginate Father and cleanseth those who magnify thee, the Mother of God, with love.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Thou art all desire, all sweetness, O Word of God, Son of the Virgin, God of gods, all-holy Lord of the saints. Wherefore, we magnify Thee and her who gave Thee birth.

Hymning thy struggles and celebrating thy commemoration with splendor, O Bridget, with all our soul we magnify thee as one who planted the right Faith in the lands of the West.

By thy coming hallow thy temple, O venerable one, accepting the entreaties offered up therein, and bestowing gifts of grace upon the people, that we may magnify Christ Who hath given thee to us as an intercessor.

Have we glorified thee as is meet, O venerable mother? Have we offered thee fitting praise? Yet do thou accept our hymnody as a drop of dew upon the blossoms of thy virtues, that we may magnify thy lowliness of mind.

Theotokion: Possessed of a maternal boldness before thy Son, O pure one, disdain not the supplications we offer unto thee, but bear them to Christ God Whom, with thee, O Mistress, we magnify.

Exapostilarion—

Having lit the lamp of the Orthodox Faith, thou wast not able to hide it or thyself beneath a bushel, O glorious Bridget; wherefore, Christ God placed thee upon the lampstand of thy homeland, and thou dost illumine all who have recourse to thee from the west, from the north and from the east.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Exapostilarion of the forefeast—

When the most immaculate Maiden bore her Babe into the sanctuary to fulfill the law, the righteous Symeon received Him in his arms and said to the Virgin: “This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many, and for a sign in the world!”

On the Praises, 6 stichera: 3 of the forefeast, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.: “O house of Ephratha…”—

Christ, the Son Who was begotten of the Father incorruptibly before the morning-star, is born of the Virgin without defilement, delivering Adam.

Open wide, ye gates of heaven, for, in the temple, Christ is offered as a babe to God the Father by the Virgin Mother.

O Symeon, receive thee the Lord of glory, as thou wast told by the Holy Spirit; for, behold, He is come!

And 3 stichera of the saint, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel: “O most glorious wonder....”—

O most glorious vision! O wondrous report! A monastic community is sheltered within a grove of oaks and a temple of God is fashioned of the wood of oaks unto the glory of the Life-creating Trinity, for the preaching of the Orthodox Faith, erected by thy labors, O Bridget, and protected by thy fervent supplications unto the salvation and enlightenment of many.

Desirous of serving the King of kings, thou didst spurn thy princely rank, O venerable mother Bridget, most gloriously vanquishing the prince of darkness, exchanging purple vesture for monastic rags, and choosing the convent of Kildare over princely palaces. Wherefore, Christ God, the Judge of the contest, hath crowned thee, and we all now cry out to thee: Pray thou, O righteous Bridget, in behalf of our souls!

Tell us, O blessed Bridget: Why hast thou fled princely honors? Why hast thou chosen voluntary poverty? Why dost thou consider all the beauties of this world as of no account? The venerable one maketh answer: “I have loved my Savior and God more than a life of vanity; I strive to serve Him, planting the true Faith, and to make steadfast the newly enlightened people, entreating Him that we may glorify Him together.”

Glory..., in Tone VI—

Having set aside the cares of the world, thou didst earnestly follow after Christ, O venerable Bridget, battling against the evil spirits with prayer and fasting. Wherefore, thou art shown to be a helper of Christians in battle and a great mediator before God. Forsake us not, therefore, O mother, in thy care.

Now & ever…, of the Forefeast, in Tone II—

The Creator of heaven and earth hath been borne by the holy Symeon in his arms today. For by the Holy Spirit he said: Now have I been released, for I have seen my Savior!

AT LITURGY

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: four from Ode III of the canon of the Forefeast, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the venerable one.

Prokimenon, in Tone IV—

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Stichos: In congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

Epistle to the Galatians, §208 [3:23-29].

Brethren: Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the ­promise.

Alleluia, in Tone I—

With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication.

Stichos: And He brought me up out of the pit of misery, and from the mire of clay.

Gospel according to Matthew, §104

[25:1-13].

The Lord said this parable: “The kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise: ‘Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying: ‘Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying: ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered and said: ‘Verily I say unto you, I know you not.’ Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Communion verse—

In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.