The 21st Day of the MONTH OF JULY

Commemoration of Our Venerable Fathers, Symeon, the Fool for Christ’s Sake, & John, His Companion

Commemoration of the Holy Prophet Ezekiel

AT VESPERS

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 6 stichera: 3 of the venerable ones, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Thou hast given a sign…” —

Having made your abode in the wilderness in oneness of mind, O blessed ones, by fasting, prayer and radiant visions ye manifestly caused the uprisings of the flesh to fall away, and made your hearts splendid, rendering them pleasing through spiritual surrender, O Symeon and John, confirmation of monastics.

With foolish behavior thou didst render foolish the malice of the wise, O blessed father, working all-glorious miracles, causing signs to show forth, casting out demons, and illumining those who are in caught in the night of sin. And in the midst of tumults thou didst preserve thy mind untroubled, O Symeon, receiving dispassion from God.

Humble in wisdom and merciful, God-loving and full of love wast thou shown to be, O divinely inspired one, compunctionate and meek, going about the earth like an angel, possessed of a heavenly life. Wherefore, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit rested in thee, O blessed Symeon, as in a place of purity.

And 3 stichera of the prophet, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O all-glorious wonder…” —

O divinely blessed and wondrous Ezekiel, having cleansed soul and body, and thy mind with purity, thou didst noetically behold the ineffable glory of the Lord which is more brilliant than the lightning-flash, and passeth understanding, for He surpasseth and exceedeth the divine seraphim, and is hymned by ten thousand mouths.

O God-pleasing Ezekiel, as an emulator of Christ thou didst endure the oppression of the alien’s debt, cruelly tortured, prefiguring the ­salvation and deliverance which were to come unto the world through the precious Cross, O thou who wast revealed by God. Pray thou that all who hymn thee now may partake thereof.

O divinely inspired Ezekiel, receiving a scroll from the hands of the Almighty, thou didst become a God-seeing theologian, manifest in sacred manner and godly in appearance, O glorious one, whose lips were truly sweeter than honey, imparting wisdom unto the enraged synagogue.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion —

Rejoice, enlightenment of souls, forgiveness of the sinful, correction of the negligent! Rejoice, consolation, joy and helper of the sorrowful! Rejoice, O blessed one, thou healing of the souls of the infirm! Rejoice, mediator and reconciler of men to God, O pure one who art more holy than all the seraphim!

Stavrotheotokion —

“What is this vision that I see, which mine eyes behold, O Master? Thou Who sustainest all creation dost die, lifted up upon the Tree, granting life unto all!” Thus did the Theotokos say, weeping, when she beheld the God and man Who had shone forth ineffably from her, suspended upon the Cross.

Troparion of the venerable ones, in Tone IV —

O God of our fathers, Who ever dealest with us according to Thy gentleness, withdraw not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties govern our life in peace.

Glory…: Troparion of the prophet, in Tone II —

Celebrating the memory of Thy prophet Ezekiel, O Lord, through him do we entreat Thee: Save Thou our souls!

Now & ever…: Theotokion or stavrotheotokion.

AT MATINS

One canon from the Octoechos, and two canons of the saints, each with 4 troparia.

Ode I

Canon of the venerable fathers, the composition of Theophanes, 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.

Through communion with God thou becamest light, O venerable father Symeon, and by uttermost desire thou didst set thyself apart for Him, and didst receive the fulfillment of thy goodly hopes.

Afire with desire for God, thou didst forsake the world, O father, taking the glorious John as thy companion; and with him thou didst tread the path of salvation, rejoicing.

In nowise desiring to become rich in superfluous things, O wise ones, with valiant mind ye spurned wealth and fleeting glory, transitory food and a worldly inheritance.

Theotokion: Knowing thee to be comely, chosen and most honorable, O all-immaculate one, the Son of God became thy Son, and through grace He hath made those who honor thee as the Theotokos His own children.

Canon of the prophet, in Tone VIII —

Irmos: Let us chant unto the Lord, Who led His people through the Red Sea, for He alone hath gloriously been glorified.

O Benefactor, grant the gift and grace of the Spirit unto me who desire to praise Ezekiel Thy prophet.

The sacred Ezekiel, the eye-witness of ineffable things, is illumined by the glory of the Lord, in that he possesseth ascents.

Having set thy life aright and made the uprisings of thy flesh subject to thy mind, thou hast been shown to be a God-pleasing prophet.

Theotokion: Wholly illumined, O divinely inspired one, thou prophesiest the Virgin as the most hymned door which faceth the East.

Ode III

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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

By zeal thou wast attracted to noetic works, O Symeon, vanquishing the hordes of the enemy by thine alliance with the Spirit.

With the plagues of prayer and the afflictions of abstinence, O venerable father John, thou didst smite the Egypt of the passions.

O Jesus Master, joyously desiring Thy life-bearing mortality, Thine ascetics slew the enemy.

Theotokion: O pure and most immaculate one, thou gavest birth to the Cause of all, Who delivereth men from the grievous fall into disobedience.

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: Thou art the confirmation of those who have recourse to Thee, O Lord; Thou art the light of the benighted; and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

Having achieved the mortification of the passions, O glorious one, as a prophet thou beholdest, delineated beforehand, the resurrection of the dead.

Showing mercy to His creation, O thou who wast divinely revealed, God made thee manifest as divine understanding for the erring.

The effulgence of the Godhead Who sitteth upon the cherubim, O glorious and divinely eloquent one, made thee radiant, appearing to Thee.

Theotokion: With prophetic eyes Thy prophet, O Benefactor, beheld the pure one as a meadow, an entry-way of virginity preserved for Thee.

Kontakion of the prophet, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Thou hast appeared today…” —

Thou hast been shown to be a prophet of God, O wondrous Ezekiel, and hast proclaimed unto all the incarnation of the Lord, the Lamb and Creator, the Son of God Who hath revealed Himself forever.

Sessional hymn of the venerable ones, in Tone V: Spec. Mel.: “The Word Who is equally unoriginate…” —

Illumined by divine accord, O venerable fathers, with faith ye trod the paths which lead to divine effulgence; and having eluded the assaults of the enemy, O divinely blessed John and Symeon, ye have been shown to be children of the light and the day.

Glory…: Sessional hymn of the prophet, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Awed by the beauty of thy virginity…” —

Illumined by the divine Spirit, thou didst shed light beforehand on the incarnation of the Word, O divinely inspired Ezekiel, great among the prophets of God. Wherefore, in sacred manner we bless thee as a prophet and celebrate thy memory today, together crying out to thee, O wise one: Entreat Christ, that He save our souls!

Now & ever…: Theotokion —

Past understanding and beyond the mind of man is the awesome mystery of God which was wrought within thee, O divinely joyous Mistress; for, having conceived the Infinite One, thou gavest birth to Him, wrapped in flesh through thine all-pure blood. Him do thou ever beseech as Thy Son, O pure one, that our souls be saved.

Stavrotheotokion —

Thy pure Mother who knew not wedlock, O Christ, Beholding thee hanging, dead, upon the Cross, said, weeping maternally: “How hath the iniquitous and thankless council of the Jews, who enjoyed Thy many and great gifts, rewarded Thee, O my Son? I hymn thy divine condescension!”

Ode IV

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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!

United on the path of righteousness, O venerable ones, ye entered into the divine fold of the God-bearing Nicon, and by his instructions ye were enriched by the radiance of salvation.

The God-bearing and venerable one, seeing the two of you reasoning together venerably as with a single mind, adorned you with godly words and the godly raiment of monastics.

The grace of the Holy Spirit, finding thy heart to be a blank tablet, inscribed perfect dispassion, faith and love unfeigned thereon, O father.

Theotokion: Our all-glorious God, Who sitteth on the exalted throne of the cherubim, had thee as a throne, resting in thine embrace, O Mary Bride of God.

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy dispensation; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.

On thee rested the hand of thy Master, the Almighty, teaching thee ineffable things and illumining thee with divine precepts.

When thou wast vouchsafed to behold divine visions, in awe thou didst fall prostrate, and thou didst hear the voice of the divine Spirit.

The scroll placed by the hand of the Lord in thy mouth sweetened thy heart, O excellent one, and made thee a prophet of God.

Theotokion: Ezekiel beheld the radiant and divine portal through which the Lord hath passed, keeping it closed.

Ode V

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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.

Receiving radiance of surpassing brightness, O John, thou wast shown to be like the sun, dispelling the darkness of the demons, O right glorious one.

Having furnished themselves with wings in their desire for Thee, O Christ, the venerable ones wisely shook off the desires of the flesh as though they were the foam of the sea.

Having strengthened your souls with divine power, O divinely wise fathers, rendering the passions barren ye made your abode in the wilderness.

Theotokion: The course of corruption hath come to an end, for the Virgin hath incorruptibly given birth to God the Word, remaining a virgin in manner transcending nature and speech.

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: Waking at dawn, we cry to Thee: Save us, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee.

O blessed and God-pleasing Ezekiel, by thy words thou hast instructed all sinners to turn from their ways.

The prophet emulated the Lord in all things; for he made entreaty concerning the offenses of others.

Even the tongues of orators cannot praise thee; for thou hast been adorned with splendor surpassing that of the heavens.

Theotokion: The divine Ezekiel beheld thee, the door through which the Lord, the Bestower of light, hath shone upon us.

Ode VI

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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.

Straining with thy whole mind towards God, with unceasing effort thou didst not spare carnal love, O Symeon, winning for thyself the acquisition of good things.

Living in the midst of the world, O blessed one, thou didst receive neither spot nor wrinkle; rather, with pure supplications thou dost wash away the spiritual defilements of those who have recourse unto thee.

Transcending the understanding of the flesh, thou wast not wounded in mind when thou didst go about naked in the midst of women; for thou wast arrayed in the vesture of dispassion, O Symeon.

Theotokion: With mouth, mind and heart we profess thee to be the Theotokos, O all-pure one; for through thee have we been reconciled with God, who through the disobedience of our forefather of old were cast out.

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: Grant me a robe of light, O Thou Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, O most merciful Christ our God.

Thou wast vouchsafed to behold God, O wondrous and all-blessed prophet, having been cleansed of every material manifestation.

Having risen above the flesh, thou wast taken up by the all-exalted power of the Spirit, and hast been filled with pure light.

Possessed of an all-honorable life, thou beholdest the heavenly chorus giving forth the hymnody of the cherubim to the Almighty.

Theotokion: In an image thou didst behold the true Virgin Mother, the most splendid portal, the mediatress between God and men.

Kontakion of the venerable ones, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.: “The steadfast…” —

Let us praise the God-bearing Symeon, the peer of the angels, who appeared in the flesh as one incorporeal, and with him the ever-memorable John: for with faith and love they entreat the Lord unceasingly in behalf of us all.

Ode VII

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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!

Embraced by the divine love of Christ, thou didst joyously give thyself over wholly to the salvation of others, O father, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Thou receivest food given thee from the heavens, O father, and therewith thou dost feed all who right dutifully accept thy precepts and forsake sin, which draggeth them down, O blessed one.

Following the Traditions of the fathers, O wise father, the command that they flee the ungodly heresy of Origen thou didst give to those who cry: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Theotokion: Rejoice, O hallowed and divine dwelling-place of the Most High! For through thee, O Theotokos, hath joy been given to those who cry: Blessed art thou among women, O most immaculate Mistress!

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the youths who had come forth from Judæa trod down the flame of the furnace with their faith in the Trinity, chanting: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Thou hast been shown to be an animate temple of God, O most blessed God-bearer, and thou hast mystically learned the measure of the Church, crying out in the Spirit: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Wholly in awe, thou wast once translated to the holy city, where thou wast taught divine mysteries through revelation, learning to chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Manifest as a priest of God, O right wondrous one, thou dost offer up sacrifices and entreaties to the Master for the people who stand forth and chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Theotokion: The all-divine Word desired to save human nature, and He issued forth from the portal of the Virgin, arrayed in flesh through her. O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Ode VIII

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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!

Thou wast a most radiant star, leading to life those who are in the mire of the passions; for thou didst cause lewd women to live chastely, and dost drive away cruel infirmities, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

As one who was whole of mind, O venerable one, amid an abundance of wise miracles thou didst draw many to become fools for Christ’s sake, ­knowing that they would be mocked, and crying out with a most pure soul: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

The Lord of glory, Who alone resteth perfectly among His own as is meet, O venerable one, with splendid angelic discourse honoreth thee who wast taken away and confined to a tomb, yet who cried: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Theotokion: The Lord Who delivereth us shone forth from thee, O pure Virgin. Him do thou entreat, O Mistress, that He illumine those who hymn thee and deliver from evil circumstances us who cry: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: The King of heaven, Whom the hosts of angels hymn, praise and exalt ye supremely for all ages!

Sacredly adorned with the prophetic priesthood of prophecy, O prophet, thou shinest forth, hymning Christ the Bestower of light for all ages.

In that Thou art good, accept Thou Ezekiel, the beholder of Thy glory, who bendeth down in supplication for the world, that we may hymn Thee for all ages.

Afire with divine desire, thou didst learn mysteries which pass understanding, O Ezekiel, crying aloud: Thee, O Christ, do we exalt supremely forever!

Theotokion: Rising at dawn out of the night, and beholding the stream of remission and virginity, Ezekiel cried aloud unto the Lord: Thee do we exalt supremely forever!

Ode IX

Canon of the Venerable Ones

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.

Relying zealously upon the Trinity with all your heart, and having thankfully received the beams thereof, ye became radiant and join chorus with the angels.

United by divine desire, and illumined by abstinence, ye have already received the good things for which ye hoped, and have obtained blessed delight, O divinely blessed ones.

Partaking of gladness which hath no end, O venerable Symeon and glorious John, in that your pangs and exertions have been received, hold us unceasingly in mind.

Theotokion: Save me, O thou who gavest birth to the Deliverer and Benefactor of all! Dispel the clouds from my soul, O holy Mistress, thou cloud of the Light, and impart unto me the power to oppose the passions which war against me.

Canon of the Prophet

Irmos: Thy birthgiving, O Ever-virgin, which was revealed to the law-giver on the mountain in the fire and the bush, for the salvation of us, the faithful, do we magnify with unceasing hymnody.

Shining with the radiance of piety, O prophet, thou wast vouchsafed to behold Him Who appeared of old to Moses in the fire and the bush, and who mystically taught thee ineffable things.

Thou wast shown to be a priest, an initiate of the mysteries, a giver of laws, an all-wise prophet, an emulator of the Master, in that thou didst undergo sufferings; and now thou hast been shown to be His heir.

O the ineffable and divine effulgence which thou now enjoyest, O blessed one! For thou dost gaze from afar upon the Son and the Spirit in the Father, the three Hypostases of the Godhead.

Theotokion: O Theotokos, thou art our weapon and rampart, thou art the help of those who set their hope on thee! And we now move thee to make supplication, that we may be delivered from our enemies.