THE SUNDAY NEAREST THE 16TH DAY OF THE MONTH OF JULY
COMMEMORATION OF THE HOLY FATHERS OF THE FIRST SIX ECUMENICAL COUNCILS
BE IT KNOWN THAT IF THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF JULY FALL ON A SUNDAY, THIS SERVICE OF THE HOLY FATHERS IS CHANTED ON THAT VERY DAY; BUT IF THE SIXTEENTH FALL ON A MONDAY, TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY, THE SERVICE IS CHANTED ON THE PRECEDING SUNDAY; AND IF THE SIXTEENTH FALL ON A THURSDAY, FRIDAY OR SATURDAY, IT IS CHANTED ON THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY. WE CELEBRATE THE MEMORY OF THE SIX HOLY ECUMENICAL COUNCILS, AND TRANSFER THE SERVICE OF THE SAINT OF THE DAY TO COMPLINE.
At Little Vespers
We chant the stichera of the resurrection and the Theotokos, as usual.
At Great Vespers
After the Introductory Psalm, we chant “Blessed is the man...,” the entire kathisma.
On “Lord, I have cried...,” 4 stichera of the Resurrection, and 6 of the fathers, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel: “The wretched...” —
Before the ages before the morning star, Thou wast begotten of the womb of the Father without mother; yet Arius calleth Thee a creature, refusing to glorify Thee as God, with audacity mindlessly confusing Thee, the Creator, with a creature, laying up for himself fuel for the everlasting fire. But the Council in Nicæa proclaimed Thee to be the Son of God, Who art equally enthroned with the Father and the Spirit. Twice
Wisely did ye mend the robe of Christ which had been rent and torn by the jaws of dogs, O honored fathers, unable to endure the sight of His nakedness, as of old Shem and Japheth could not bear to see their father’s nakedness. And ye put to shame the mindlessness of those of like mind with Arius, the namesake of wrath. Twice
The Macedonians, Nestorians, Eutychians and Dioscorans, the Appollinarians, Sabellians and Severians, savage wolves who came clad in sheep skins, did ye, as true pastors, drive far away from the flock of the Savior, stripping each of the thrice-wretched ones of their sheep’s clothing. Wherefore, we call you blessed. Twice
Glory...: Idiomelon, in Tone VI —
Let us praise today the mystic clarions of the Spirit, the God-bearing fathers who in the midst of the Church chanted the harmonious hymn of theology, that the Trinity is one and immutable in essence and divinity; for they are the destroyers of Arius, the champions of the Orthodox, who ever pray to the Lord that our souls find mercy.
Now & ever..., the Dogmatic Theotokion of the tone.
Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. And three lessons:
A Reading from Genesis
Abram, having heard that Lot, his nephew, had been taken captive, numbered his own home-born servants, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued after them to Dan. And he came upon them by night, he and his servants; and he smote them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. And he recovered all the cavalry of Sodom, and he recovered Lot, his nephew, and all his possessions, and the women and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after he returned from the slaughter of Chedorla-omer, and the kings with him, to the valley of Shaveh (this was the plain of the kings). And Melchizedek, King of Salem, brought forth loaves and wine, and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed Abram, and said: “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Who made heaven and earth; and blessed be the Most High God Who delivered thine enemies into thy power.” And Abram gave him the tithe of all.
A Reading from Deuteronomy
In those days, Moses said to the children of Israel: “Behold, God hath delivered the land before you. Go in and inherit the land, which He promised to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give it to them and to their seed after them. And I spoke to you at that time, saying: I shall not be able by myself to bear you. The Lord your God hath multiplied you; and, behold, ye are today as the stars of heaven in multitude. The Lord God of your fathers add to you a thousandfold more than you are, and bless you as He hath said to you. How shall I alone be able to bear your labor, and your burden, and your gainsayings? Take to yourselves wise men for your tribes, and I will set your leaders over you. And ye answered me, and said: ‘The thing which thou hast told us is good to do.’ So I took of you wise and understanding and prudent men, and I set them to rule over you as rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, and officers to your judges. And I charged your judges at that time, saying: Hear causes between your brethren, and judge rightly between a man and his brother, and the stranger who is with him. Thou shalt not have respect to persons in judgment, thou shalt judge small and great equally; thou shalt not shrink from before the person of a man, for the judgment is God’s.
A Reading from Deuteronomy
In those days, Moses said to the children of Israel: “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord thy God, the earth and all things that are therein. Only the Lord chose your fathers to love them, and He chose out their seed after them, even you, beyond all nations, as at this day. Therefore, ye shall circumcise the hardness of your heart, and ye shall not harden your neck. For the Lord your God, He is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, and strong, and terrible God, Who doth not accept persons, nor will He by any means accept a bribe: executing judgment for the stranger and orphan and widow. And as He loveth the stranger, to give him food and raiment, so shall ye love the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him, and shalt cleave unto Him, and shalt swear by His name. He is thy boast, and He is thy God, Who hath wrought in the midst of thee these great and glorious things, which thine eyes have seen.
At the Litia, the sticheron of the temple; and Glory..., in Tone III —
O holy fathers, ye were careful preservers of the Traditions of the apostles, for, having taught in Orthodox manner the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, in council ye cast down the blasphemy of Arius; and having denounced both him and Macedonius, who contended against the Spirit, ye condemned Nestorius, Eutyches and Dioscorus, Sabellius and the mindless Severus. Pray ye that we be delivered from their deception, that our life may be kept undefiled in the Faith, we beseech you.
Now & ever..., in the same tone —
Through the divine Spirit, by the will of the Father, without seed thou didst conceive the Son of God Who hath existed without mother from before the ages, and for our sake thou gavest birth in the flesh unto Him Who came forth from thee without father; and thou didst nurture Him on milk as a babe. Wherefore, cease not to pray, that our souls be saved.
The Aposticha from the Octoechos; and Glory..., in Tone IV —
This day let us, the assemblies of the Orthodox, faithfully acting in accordance with piety, celebrate the prayerful memory of the God-bearing fathers who assembled from throughout all the world in the splendid city of Nicæa; for with pious mind they rejected the godless dogma of the dreadful Arius, and in council cast him out of the Church universal, and in their Symbol of Faith have clearly taught all to confess the Son of God to be consubstantial, equally everlasting, and existing from before the ages, setting this forth with precision and piety. Wherefore, following their divine dogmas and believing them with certainty, we worship the Trinity One in essence — the Son and the Holy Spirit together with the Father — in one Godhead.
Now & ever...: Theotokion, in the same tone —
Mercifully regard the supplications of thy servants, O all-immaculate one, quelling the demons’ cruel uprisings against us, delivering us from every sorrow; for thee alone have we as a steadfast and sure confirmation, and we have acquired thine intercessions; let not us that call upon thee be put to shame, O Mistress. Haste thou to answer the entreaty of those who cry out to thee with faith: Rejoice, thou help, joy and protection of all, and salvation of our souls!
At the Blessing of the Loaves, the troparion “Virgin Theotokos, rejoice...,” twice; and that of the fathers, once, in Tone VIII —
Most glorious art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast established our fathers upon the earth as beacons, and hast thereby guided us all to the true Faith! O greatly Compassionate One, glory be to Thee!
At “God is the Lord...,” the troparion of the resurrection, twice; Glory..., the troparion of the fathers; Now & ever...: Theotokion —
O Good One, Who for our sake wast born of the Virgin and, having endured crucifixion, cast down death by death, and as God revealed the resurrection: disdain not that which Thou hast fashioned with Thine own hand. Show forth Thy love for mankind, O Merciful One; accept the Theotokos who gave Thee birth and prayeth for us; and save Thy despairing people, O our Savior!
After the kathismata, the sessional hymns from the Octoechos.
Canon of the Resurrection, with 4 troparia, including the Irmos; canon of the Theotokos, with 2 troparia; and 2 canons of the fathers, with 8 troparia.
Canon I of the Holy Fathers, the composition of Kyr Germanus II, sacred and Ecumenical Patriarch, in Tone VI —
Irmos: Traversing the deep on foot, as though it were dry land, and seeing the tyrant Pharaoh drowned, Israel cried aloud: Let us chant unto God a hymn of victory!
With sacred words let the fathers be honored who from Nicæa, as it were from the sky, thundered forth the Word of the living God everywhere, showing forth His enemies as slain by their thunder.
With the Holy Spirit hath Christ driven the evil spirit of the Spirit-haters far from His Church, unifying the Church by the activity of the Second Council.
Cyril, the leader of the Council, who clearly confessed the Virgin Mary to be the pure Mother and Theotokos, dispelled the deception of Nestorius the Christ-hater.
Theotokion: O pure one, thou gavest birth unto Christ, One of the uncreated Trinity, in two natures and volitions, Who for thy sake hath accomplished the uniting of men and angels.
Canon II of the Holy Fathers, in Tone VIII —
Irmos: The staff of Moses, once working a wonder, striking the sea in the form of the Cross and dividing it, drowned the mounted tyrant Pharaoh, and saved Israel who fled on foot, chanting a hymn unto God.
The pious council of the fathers, which once assembled against Eutyches, truly preached the Savior in two inseparable natures, manifestly walking and abiding in the doctrine of the godly father Cyril.
The six hundred and thirty pious men, having cast down the deception of Eutyches and the heresy of Severus, gave voice to this hymn: We preach Christ in two natures, walking according to the pronouncement of the blessed Cyril.
Let him who doth not confess Christ, the Word of the Father, to be in two natures and activities, fall under our anathema! For thus did the Fourth Council of the holy fathers unanimously preach. Let us all, therefore, call them blessed.
Theotokion: Most glorious things have been said of thee among generations of generations, O Mary Theotokos, who contained God the Word within thy womb, and remained pure. Wherefore, we all honor thee, after God, as our intercessor.
Irmos: There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord my God, Who hast uplifted the horn of Thy faithful and established us on the rock of the confession of Thee, O Good One.
The mindless Arius, showing himself to be a servant of a created being, and Macedonius, likewise revealed as abominable, are tormented together in the fire of Gehenna with the heathen.
With the seven sacred councils of the holy fathers didst thou adorn the honored Church, O Christ, driving far away the darkness of deception as with the light of seven beacons.
The multifarious murrain of the heretics destroyeth Thy flock, O Word; but the shepherds of Thy noetic sheep have cured this by their doctrine.
Theotokion: O all-pure one, thou gavest birth unto One of the uncreated Trinity, Who is two in nature and volition, and Whose image we worship, filled with grace.
Irmos: O Christ, Who in the beginning established the heavens in wisdom and founded the earth upon the waters, make me steadfast upon the rock of Thy commandments; for none is holy as Thee, O Thou Who lovest mankind.
Those who have foolishly inclined towards the words of Severus, which are full of dreadful poison, are ever put to shame, driven away from the Church like predatory wolves and dogs.
O ye faithful who join chorus together, we honor the Savior and Creator of all in two indivisible natures, two volitions and activities. Wherefore, we utterly reject the deception of Severus.
Come ye, and let us openly reject the deception of the pernicious Severus and Jacob, and with them Theodosius and Dioscorus; but let us praise the Fourth Council of the pious fathers with hymns divine.
Theotokion: Thou hast been shown to be more exalted than the cherubim and the seraphim, O Theotokos; for thou alone hast received the uncontainable God in thy womb, O immaculate one. Wherefore, all of us, the faithful, bless thee with hymns, O pure one.
Kontakion and Ikos of the Resurrection; and this Sessional hymn of the fathers, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel: “Go thou quickly before...” —
Ye have been shown to the world as all-radiant beacons of the truth of Christ on earth, O truly most blessed and divinely eloquent fathers, having burned the heresies of the blasphemous confusion of tongues and quenched the flaming tumults of those whose faith is false. Wherefore, as holy hierarchs of Christ, pray ye that we be saved. Twice
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
By thy divine birthgiving, O pure one, thou hast renewed mortal nature which had grown corrupt in earthly passions; and thou hast raised up all from death to the life of incorruption. Wherefore, as is meet, we all bless thee as thou didst foretell, O all-glorious Virgin.
Irmos: Christ is my power, my God and my Lord, the honored Church doth sing, crying out in godly manner with a pure mind, keeping festival in the Lord.
Thine enemies raised a great tumult, O Savior, and they that hate Thee have lifted up their head a little; yet straightway they have fallen, unable to endure the blare of Thy spiritual trumpets.
The suns of the Sun have with twofold radiance made clear that the Son and the Spirit are from the Father, uncreated, equally without beginning. The Father is believed to be the sole Cause of both.
Seven are the spirits which rested on Christ, Isaiah said; and Christ, with the Father and the divine Spirit, rested on the seven councils.
Theotokion: From thy precious blood didst thou give birth unto God Who bore flesh, O pure Maiden; Him have the fathers professed to be in two natures, but a single Hypostasis.
Irmos: Thou art my strength, O Lord, Thou art my power; Thou art my God, Thou art my joy, Who, without leaving the bosom of the Father, hast visited our lowliness. Wherefore, with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!
O mindless and vain Severus, tell us: Is the Word, the Son of the Father of lights, a single essence, commingled, without beginning? For if thou sayest so, thou dost postulate a different essence; for flesh and the Word are not a single essence, but are two, O accursed one!
To speak of a single nature of the Word goeth against the incarnate nature of humankind apart from any change and commingling; and the teacher and primate of the Alexandrians hath clearly taught two natures and volitions to those who wish to reason in Orthodox manner.
The two unconfused natures of Christ do we all proclaim, O ye faithful, trampling underfoot all the impiety of Eutyches and the mindless Dioscorus. And we follow the limits set down by the holy fathers through the discourse of the divine Cyril.
Theotokion: Thou art the chariot of the cherubim, O pure Mother of God; thou art the habitation, the dwelling-place of God the Word of the Father, Who clothed Himself in flesh of thine all-pure womb. Wherefore, worshipping Him Who became incarnate of thee in two natures, we glorify Him unceasingly.
Irmos: With Thy divine light illumine the souls of those who with love rise at dawn unto Thee, O Good One, that they may know Thee, O Word of God, to be the true God Who calleth all forth from the darkness of sin.
The divine grapevine of Christ which was brought from Egypt was once consumed by the wild beasts of the accursed destroyer; but they have been driven far away with the sling of the holy fathers.
Illumining their minds with thrice-radiant divine splendor, the honored fathers professed the Lord Christ to be One of the worshipful Trinity and two in nature and volition.
Triadicon: O Trinity, among material things hath the Church been made heavenly by the wise fathers as among the seraphim; and ever chanting unto Thee the thrice-holy hymn, it uniteth Thy threefold nature into One.
Theotokion: Thou wast the Mother and handmaiden of thy Son, O pure one; for He Who came forth from thee existed before thee as thy Creator. Him do we know to be in two natures and we unite them in the hypostatic Word.
Irmos: Wherefore hast Thou turned Thy face from me, O Light never-waning? And why hath a strange darkness covered me, wretch that I am? But turn me, and guide my steps to the light of Thy commandments, I pray.
O Severus! Do not wickedly confuse the natures of Christ, O iniquitous one; for all the priests and all-blessed teachers, professing that in the one Person of Christ there are two natures, have expounded thus to all.
Desiring to take pity on us who were perishing, He Who is without beginning, the Word of the Father, Who loveth mankind, manifestly assumed human nature. Wherefore, I profess Him in two natures and volitions.
The Fourth Council, having set at naught Severus and Dioscorus, who blaspheme Christ, read aloud the Tome of Leo, the primate of Rome, showing forth right well the natures of the Savior as two in number, without separation.
Theotokion: Possessed of maternal boldness before thy Son, O most pure one, spurn not any thought of us as kin, we pray; for thee alone do we Christians set before the Master as our merciful purification.
Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging with the tempest of temptations, fleeing to Thy calm haven I cry unto Thee: Lead up my life from corruption, O greatly Merciful One!
Once David, chanting, said: The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken, and He hath called them from the ends of all the earth, from the rising of the sun and even unto the setting thereof, signifying the œcumenical councils of the fathers.
The wisdom of God hath founded seven pillars, Thy Church, O Master, which is maintained unshaken by all the heresies by the councils of the sacred fathers, seven in number.
May shame cover the countenances of Eutyches and Dioscorus, who spake foolishly of a commingling of the nature of Christ; for He received the nature of earthborn man not in appearance, but in His divinity.
Theotokion: Let Nestorius be admitted to the benighted councils of the Jews and let his blasphemous tongue be cut out; for the Virgin Mary gave birth to God Who became incarnate for us.
Irmos: Cleanse me, O Savior, for many are my transgressions; and lead me up from the abyss of evils, I pray, for to Thee have I cried, and Thou hast hearkened to me, O God of my salvation.
The two epistles of Cyril which were once sent to the prefect who held authority over the East, denounce all the deception of Severus, piously proclaiming Christ.
Cyril preached Christ in two natures and two activities, cutting to pieces the heresy of the senseless Severus. Wherefore, let us all remain in his doctrines.
Theotokion: We, the pious, proclaim thee truly to be the pure and all-glorious Virgin, O Mary Theotokos, closing off the impudent mouth of Nestorius and the evil mind of Dioscorus.
Kontakion, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel: “As the firstfruits...” —
The preaching of the apostles and the dogmas of the fathers sealed the one Faith of the Church; and clad in the robe of Truth woven of theology from on high, it setteth aright and glorifieth the great mystery of piety.
Ikos: Let us hearken unto the Church of God which crieth out with exalted preaching: let him who thirsteth come to me and drink the cup which I hold, for it is the cup of wisdom! This drink of truth have I drawn by the word, which poureth forth not the water of gainsaying, but of confession, and drinking of it the present Israel beholdeth God, Who declareth: Behold ye, and see that it is I Myself Who am God, and I change not! I have been God from the beginning, and will be so ever after; and other than Me there is no God! They that drink hereof shall be satisfied, and shall praise the great mystery of piety.
Irmos: The Angel caused the furnace to pour forth dew upon the pious youths, and the command of God, which consumed the Chaldæans, prevailed upon the tyrant to cry out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Once Daniel destroyed the dragon of Babylon; and by the prayers of the fathers hath Arius, the cruel serpent of Egypt, which devoureth the flock of Christ, been manifestly broken asunder.
With unforgivable impiety the wolf Macedonius showed his disdain, striking out against the Spirit Who deifieth men and restoreth all the faithful to their primal goodness through the laver of baptism.
Dioscorus, Eutyches and Severus the Leviathan, the three who have commingled and mixed the natures of Christ with mental confusion, have struck out with audacity against the worshipful Trinity.
Theotokion: With reverence do we venerate the image of the countenance of Thine incarnation, O Master, and that of Thy Mother and of all the saints, knowing with right thought that the veneration passeth well to the Prototype.
Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fire stood in awe of the condescension of God; wherefore, the youths, dancing with joyous step in the furnace, as in a meadow, chanted: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Confessing Christ to be in two natures and activities, without confusion, immutably, we vanquish the deception of Severus. Wherefore, we cry out to Him Who, in assuming flesh, endured suffering: Blessed is the God of our fathers!
We understand that it was One Who was on the Tree, yet, as God in the highest, was in the bosom of the Father, and Who was in the tomb in that He was joined to the flesh. To Him do we chant, crying out together: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Despising the enemies of the Trinity, the emptiness and division of Arius who belittled God, and the like-mindedness of Sabellius, let us cry out to the Trinity, O ye faithful: Blessed is the God of our fathers!
Trinitarian: Theologizing in Orthodox manner, we declare Thee to be the Lord of all, the one and, more precisely, only-begotten Son of the Father, knowing Thy one, proceeding Spirit to be upright, equally united and eternal with Thee.
Irmos: From the flame didst Thou pour forth dew upon the venerable ones, and didst consume the sacrifice of the righteous one with water; for Thou, O Christ, dost do all things soever Thou desirest. Thee do we exalt supremely for all ages!
The Son and the Spirit shone forth as divinely planted shoots from a single Root; for the Father is the sole Cause, is timeless and of honor equal with the other timeless Persons.
Thou didst timelessly shine forth from an immaterial womb, O Word Who art of one essence with the Father and the Spirit; yet for our sake Thou madest Thine abode in the material womb of the only Theotokos.
Darts ablaze with the fire of the Spirit, the seven councils of the godly fathers, pierced the shameful hearts of the heretical enemies and sent them to their death.
Theotokion: Not in more than one Person do we glorify the one Christ, nor do we unify Him in commingling His essence; for He is one and the same Person, thy Son and Creator, O Virgin, distinguished by being dual in nature.
Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for the pious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Let those who do not profess the one Son in two natures, indivisible, immutable and unconfused, be put to shame, and let their mouths be stopped; for we, the pious, render glory, believing that Christ acteth and willeth not in accordance with different hypostases, but in two natures.
O ye who bear the name of Jacob the ragged and take his name to yourselves, tell us: Were ye baptized in his name of old? Wherefore, because of him, ye who yet willingly cleave unto shamelessness with that liar have fallen away from the grace of Christ.
In Chalcedon, the Fourth Council set at naught Dioscorus, Eutyches and Severus, and utterly cut off from the Church of Christ the Master the thorns of their heresy, which confused the natures of the Savior. With the Church we who are Orthodox hold them in derision.
Triadicon: The one, thrice-luminous splendor of the Godhead which shineth forth from the one essence in three Hypostases: the unoriginate Father, the conjoined Word of the Father, and the equally reigning consubstantial Spirit, ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Theotokion: O all-pure Theotokos, cleanse thou the wounds of my soul and the bruises of sin, washing them with the stream which springeth forth from the side of thy Son in flowing streams; for to thee do I cry, to thee do I flee, and thee, who art full of the grace of God, do I invoke.
Irmos: It is not possible for men to behold God, upon Whom the ranks of angels dare not gaze; but through thee, O most pure one, hath the Word appeared incarnate unto men; and magnifying Him with the armies of heaven, we call thee blessed.
One must not add to or subtract anything from sacred Tradition, our Orthodox Faith; for therein have we been baptized with faith. And they that add anything to this Faith shall fall under the ban of anathema.
Let us all leap up in joy of heart, uniting in one feast the memory of the sacred councils of the fathers, for for their sake have we come to behold the light of Orthodoxy; for they have been revealed as beacons guiding all to find the right doctrines.
Let us ask cleansing for our souls, and let us strive to live our life piously, that we may share in the portion of the holy fathers who have disclosed the riches of right doctrine unto us their children.
Theotokion: God shone forth from thy womb, O Mother of God, and hath deified the human race and counted it worthy of His own glory; and He hath shown all who ever proclaim thee truly the Theotokos to be His heirs.
Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, and the ends of the earth were amazed, that God hath appeared in the flesh, and that thy womb became more spacious than the heavens. Wherefore, the ranks of men and angels magnify thee as the Theotokos.
The false Severus, having traversed the right glorious Church of Christ, rightly became the object of the vengeance of the council of the pious fathers because of his blasphemy and deceptive verbal artifice; and, condemned, he is cut off from the company of the teachers of the Church.
O wretched Severus, why comminglest thou the natures of Christ and introducest confusion and commixture into them, thus adding to the Godhead, which is devoid of passion, the suffering on the Cross and the burial of the only-begotten Word of God? Wherefore, we abominate thy great blasphemy.
Theotokion: The pride and audacity of the foe and the counsels of those who utter blasphemy against the Creator hath He Who was born of the Virgin set at naught; and as God Who hath lifted up the horn of His people and strengthened them with faith He hath made the council of the faithful unshakable, that we may all magnify thee, O Theotokos.
Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel: “Hearken, ye women...” —
Celebrating the memory of the divine fathers today, by their supplications, O most Compassionate One, we entreat Thee: Deliver Thy people, O Lord, from all the harm of heresies, and vouchsafe that all may glorify the Father, the Word and the most Holy Spirit.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
Rejoice, palace of God! Rejoice, mountain overshadowed! Rejoice, bush unburnt! Rejoice, throne of glory! Rejoice, divine table! Rejoice, golden candlestick! Rejoice, most radiant lamp! Rejoice, O Mary, Virgin and Mother, thou light cloud!
At the Praises, 4 stichera of the resurrection; and 4 of the fathers, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel: “Having set all aside...” —
Having combined their spiritual skills, and applied them to the heavenly and precious Symbol of Faith through the divine Spirit, the honored fathers inscribed it in divine writing, wherein the right glorious, most rich and truly divine wise ones teach most clearly that the Word is equally without beginning and eternal with Him Who begot Him, thus following most carefully the teachings of the apostles. Twice
Stichos: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages.
Having received all the noetic radiance of the Holy Spirit, as preachers of Christ, the divine defenders of the teachings of the Gospel and the traditions of the pious, inspired by God, proclaimed their most supernatural decision; and having manifestly received from on high the revelation thereof, being illumined they expounded the Faith taught by God.
Stichos: Gather together unto Him His holy ones who have established His covenant upon sacrifices.
Having mustered all their pastoral skill, moved to wrath most just, as champions, as most true servants of Christ and most sacred keepers of the mysteries of divine preaching, the godly pastors drove away the savage and pernicious wolves, casting them out of the fullness of the Church; and they fell, as it were, to their deaths as ones afflicted incurably.
Glory...: the composition of George of Nicomedia, in Tone VIII —
The choir of the holy fathers, which hath gathered from the ends of the earth, hath taught the single essence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and hath carefully committed to the Church the mystery of theology. Praising them in faith, let us bless them, saying: O divine legion, divinely eloquent swordsmen of the Lord’s command, most radiant stars of the noetic firmament, unassailable towers of the mystical Sion, sweet-scented blossoms of paradise, golden mouths of the Word, boast of Nicæa and adornments of the whole world: Pray ye in behalf of our souls!
Now & ever...: the Theotokion “All-blessed art thou, O Virgin Theotokos...”
Great Doxology, and after the Trisagion, the troparion of the Resurrection alone. Litanies, and Dismissal. Catechetical Discourse of St. Theodore the Studite. Departure to the narthex. Glory..., Now & ever...: Evangelical Sticheron. First Hour. Final dismissal.
At the Hours
Troparion of the Resurrection; Glory..., that of the fathers; Now & ever..., Theotokion of the Hour. Kontakion of the Resurrection.
On the Beatitudes: 10 troparia, 6 for the Resurrection, and 4 for the fathers, from Ode III of their canon.
After the Entrance: troparia of the Resurrection and of the fathers; kontakia of the Resurrection; Glory..., of the fathers; Now & ever..., that of the temple, if it be dedicated to the Theotokos, or “Protectress of Christians that cannot be put to shame...”
Prokimena: first, that of the resurrection; then that of the fathers, in Tone IV —
Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages.
Stichos: For righteous art Thou in all which Thou hast done for us.
Epistles: first, of the Sunday, and then —
Epistle to the Hebrews, § 334 [Heb. 13:7-16]
Brethren: Remember those who have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited those who have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered beyond the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Alleluia; first, of the Tone, and then, of the fathers, in Tone I —
Stichos: The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken, and He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun and unto the setting thereof.
Stichos: Gather together unto Him His holy ones who have established His covenant upon sacrifices.
Gospels: first, of the Sunday, and then —
Gospel according to John, § 56 [Jn. 1-13]
At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee, as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that thou didst send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those whom Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Communion Verses —
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; praise is meet for the upright.