The 24th Day of the MONTH OF JULY

Commemoration of the Holy Martyr Christina

(for this day we provide also the services in honor of the Holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb)

AT VESPERS

On “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera of the martyr, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs…” —

He Who ordereth all things according to His providence granted thee the name of Christ as thou didst deserve; for thou didst have a better end in both thy name and thy works, having betrothed thyself to Christ piously and with faith. And as the daughter of the King of heaven thou dost rejoice with Him, praying for us, O martyr.

Desiring the heavenly Father, O glorious one, thou didst spurn thine ungodly father; and loving the Jerusalem on high as thy mother, thou didst reject thy mother’s overweening love; and, deified by Christ with all, thou didst afterward lay down thy life, O martyr, undaunted by tortures.

Neither the passionate attachment of thy parents, nor the pleasure of food, nor possession of riches, O glorious one, nor threats of torments, neither fire, the sword, the abyss or the wheel, nor yet the attack of wild beasts were able to separate thee from the love of the Creator, O virgin martyr Christina, thou glory and boast of the martyrs.

Glory…, in Tone II —

Thy blood didst thou offer to Christ thy Bridegroom as priceless myrrh, O martyr Christina, invincible athlete, and thou didst receive from Him as thy reward an imperishable crown, O right wondrous one. Wherefore, invoking the all-holy Spirit, by thy word thou didst raise from the dead one who died of the sting of a venomous serpent. For this cause Jesus, the Savior of our souls Who loveth mankind, hath vouchsafed thee to dwell in the mansions of heaven.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: “When from the Tree…” —

Enduring many pangs at the crucifixion of thy Son and God, O all-pure one, thou didst groan, weeping and exclaiming: “Woe is me, O my sweet Child! How it is that Thou dost suffer unjustly, desiring to deliver mortals born of Adam?” Wherefore, O all-pure Virgin, we beseech thee with faith: render Him merciful unto us.

At the Aposticha, Glory…, the composition of Anatolius, in Tone II —

Thou didst truly demonstrate the twofold working of thy Christian name: in betrothing thyself to Christ in the purity of thy virginity, with the blessing of the Father and by the activity of the Spirit; and thou didst shine forth more brightly than the rays of the sun in thy steadfast endurance of torture. Wherefore, thou didst offer thyself as a pure and unblemished sacrifice on the altar of heaven, and dost rejoice forever with the choirs of virgins and martyrs. With them, O Christina, namesake of Christ, beg thou that peace and great mercy be given to those who honor thee.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: “When from the Tree…” —

When iniquitous men uplifted Thee, the Life of all, upon the Tree, O Savior, Thy pure and all-immaculate Mother, standing before it, cried out, lamenting: “O my sweet Child, O light of mine eyes, woe is me! How is it that Thou hast endured to be nailed to a cross between two thieves, Who hast suspended the earth upon the waters?”

Troparion, in Tone IV —

Thy ewe-lamb Christina, O Jesus, crieth out with a loud voice: “I love Thee, O my Bridegroom, and, seeking Thee, I suffer. I am crucified and buried in Thy baptism. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; I die for Thee, that I may live with Thee. Accept me, who sacrifice myself for Thee with love, like an unblemished offering!” By her supplications save Thou our souls, in that Thou art merciful.

AT MATINS

Canon of the martyr, with 6 troparia, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn thee, the maiden who art the namesake of Christ”, the composition of Joseph, in Tone VIII —

Ode I

Irmos: Having traversed the water as though it were dry land, and escaped the evil of Egypt, the Israelite cried aloud: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Having made thy mind steadfast with goodly hopes, O martyr Christina, thou didst take wing and wast borne aloft, away from transitory things, transported to the everlasting mansions.

Beholding the wicked one broken and lying at the feet of the maiden, O passion-bearers, let us all render praise to the Savior Who hath shown her forth as victor.

Thou didst have the pure desire to behold the comely beauty of the Bridegroom and King; wherefore, O passion-bearer, thou didst splendidly adorn thyself with sufferings.

Theotokion: Thou didst conceive the Word of the Father, Who ineffably united Himself hypostatically to the flesh He received of thee, O pure Mother. And desiring Him, Christina obtained the glory of martyrdom.

Ode III

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.

Directing thine eyes and mind to heaven, O glorious one, thou didst recognize the Author of creation.

Faith in God didst thou possess as riches which cannot be taken away, O honored one; wherefore, thou didst forsake the poverty of idolatry.

Cruelly bound to a tree and enduring laceration, thou didst chant hymnody of thanksgiving unto Christ the Creator, O martyr.

Theotokion: Still thou the turmoil of my thoughts, O pure Mistress, and calm all the grief of my soul, O thou who gavest birth to Christ.

Sessional hymn, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “Thy tomb, O Savior…” —

With love thou didst offer thy blood to Christ thy Bridegroom, like an alabaster phial of myrrh; and thou didst receive from Him as a reward a divine and imperishable crown, O right wondrous martyr. Wherefore, thou hast received the grace of healings with spiritual power. Twice

Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion —

O pure Virgin Theotokos who knewest not wedlock, sole intercessor and protection of the faithful: Deliver those who set their hope on thee from tribulations and sorrows and all grievous circumstances, O Maiden; and by thy divine supplications save thou our souls.

Stavrotheotokion —

Seeing Thee stretched out dead upon the Cross, O Christ, Thy most immaculate Mother cried out: “O my Son, Who with the Father and the Spirit art without beginning, what is this ineffable sight which I see, whereby Thou hast saved the creation of Thine all-pure hands, O Compassionate One?”

Ode IV

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

Gazing at the beauty of thy Bridegroom, O martyr, namesake of Christ, thou didst experience divine wounding, delighting in visions of Him.

Bound to the wheel thou didst cry out, O martyr, “I magnify Thee, O Lord, and I glorify the name of Thee Who strengthenest those who love Thee!”

“Wounded by desire for Thy love, I have cleaved unto Thee, and Thou hast shown me to be victorious amid suffering,” the martyr cried aloud.

Theotokion: Of old, Isaiah, glorious among the prophets, called thee the staff which beareth the Lord as a blossom, O Ever-virgin Mother and Theotokos.

Ode V

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

As thou wast like an angel in the flesh, O martyr, the angels of heaven fed thee with angelic food.

Thou didst not reject the Rock of life, O Christina; wherefore, the enemies bound thee to a stone and cast thee in the water.

Thou wast caught up to the heights, soaring aloft like a swallow on wings furnished by the divine Spirit; and thou didst find rest in the Creator.

Theotokion: O Virgin Mother Who gavest birth to immortal Life, enliven me who have become dead through sin.

Ode VI

Irmos: I pour forth my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him do I declare my grief; for my soul is full of evil and my life hath drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I pray: Lead me up from corruption, O God!

Thy heart was made sweet by the beauties of thy Lover most sweet, O passion-bearer, and thou didst hasten to the fragrance of His sufferings, crying: “O my Bridegroom, I now sacrifice myself for the sake of Thy love!”

Thy father, seeing thy love for the heavenly Father, O martyr, showed himself to be barbaric and inflicted multifarious tortures upon thee, for the wickedness of his nature knew no bounds.

Thou didst blossom forth like a lily in the vales of the martyrs, like a sweet-smelling rose; and emitting grace as myrrh, thou hast anointed the hearts of the faithful, O honored martyr, namesake of Christ, who sharest the portion of the holy angels.

Theotokion: Understanding the depth of thy mystery, O Virgin, the divinely eloquent prophets, illumined from afar by the Spirit of God, proclaimed thee in prophecy to be the Mother of the Master of all, in truth.

Kontakion, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Having been lifted up upon the Cross…” —

Thou wast known to be a radiant dove with wings of gold, and didst soar aloft to the heights of heaven, O honored Christina. Wherefore, we celebrate thy glorious festival, bowing down before the shrine of thy relics with faith, from whence divine healing for souls and bodies poureth forth upon all in abundance.

Ikos: Piously hymning the Holy Trinity, O honored virgin martyr, thou didst show to those then benighted by the gloom of cruel wrath how the splendor of the Trinity illumineth the faithful. And thou didst elude the hands of the tyrant, fleeing the iniquitous like another Thecla, and didst pass through the midst of their snares. Wherefore, hymning thy repose, we truly honor thee, giving thanks to the one God Who, for thy sake, hath imparted divine healing for souls and bodies.

Ode VII

Irmos: In the furnace the Hebrew children boldly trod the flame underfoot and transformed the fire into dew, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Drawing nigh to the roiling fire, thou didst utter a hymn to the Benefactor Who bedeweth thy heart: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Desiring to receive the one God, thou didst pay no heed to thy charred members and didst not deny Christ, O virgin, chanting: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

With outpourings of thy blood thou didst dry up the streams of the madness of idolatry, and now dost cause an ocean of healings to fall as rain, O virgin martyr, having quenched the flame of the passions.

Theotokion: Transcending the laws of nature in thy conceiving, O Virgin, in manner past nature thou gavest birth to God, crying: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Ode VIII

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!

With divine guidance thou didst sail unharmed over the tumultuous sea of dangers and torments, drowning the serpent in the abyss of thy struggles, O martyr. Wherefore, thou didst safely reach the havens of paradise, crying out: Ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

By thy life-creating struggles thou didst slay the cruel serpent, and didst lull to sleep wild beasts by standing in prayer; and thou didst remain untouched by the harm they could wreak, chanting to the Creator, O Christina: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

With a voice of life thou didst raise up one who had died of the venom in a serpent’s sting, O martyred passion-bearer; for God Who hath trampled down death by His divine burial heard thy prayers, O Christina. To Him dost thou cry out unceasingly: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Theotokion: O Ever-virgin, thou steadfast helper of the faithful, deliver me from the deception of the wicked serpent who wageth cruel warfare and doth strive to bring me down; for thou art the sure guide of those who set their hope on thee and cry out without ceasing: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Ode IX

Irmos: Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, we confess thee to be in truth the Theotokos, magnifying thee with the incorporeal choirs.

Resplendent in the vesture of martyrdom, thou wast vouchsafed to behold thy Bridegroom adorned, O Christina, long-suffering martyr.

As thy lovely beauty loved Christ Who is more comely than all beauties, He hath vouchsafed thee the bridal chambers of heaven.

Thou hast joined the choirs of the incorporeal ones, O glorious one, and hast been numbered with the assemblies of the martyrs, entreating the Most Compassionate One in our behalf.

Thy memorial hath been shown to be brighter than the sun, O Christina, illumining those who honor thee with the radiance of the grace of the Spirit.

Theotokion: O right loving Virgin, bless thou my soul, which hath been afflicted by sins, and by thy supplications deliver me from the everlasting flame.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: “Hearken, ye women…” —

Thou didst spring forth like a most beautiful rose from a thorny root, O virgin martyr Christina, dyed red by the blood thou didst shed when thou wast flayed amid thy torment. And now, save from misfortunes those who keep thy divine memory.

Theotokion —

Divinely wise virgins, standing round about thee like queens by birth, O Mary Theotokos, are brought as brides before thy Son, the King of all, O all-pure one. Him do thou entreat in our behalf, O Virgin Mother and Maiden.

On the Praises, 4 stichera, in Tone IV, idiomela —

Holding the Cross in thy hands as a mighty weapon, O martyr Christina, and bearing faith as a shield, hope as a breastplate and love as a bow, thou didst manfully overcome the vengeance of the tyrants and didst divinely bring to an end the machinations of the demons. And having been beheaded, thou dost dance with Christ, unceasingly praying for our souls.

Having forsaken the riches of her father, and truly desiring Christ, the martyr found glory and heavenly riches; and, protected by continual grace-bearing prayer, she felled the tyrant with the sword of the Cross. Wherefore, marvelling at her struggles, the angels said: “The enemy hath fallen, vanquished by a woman! The martyr hath won the crown of victory! And Christ reigneth forever as God, bestowing great mercy upon the world!”

We glorify Thy great loving-kindness, O Christ, and the goodness which Thou hast shown us, in that women have brought to an end the deceit of the insanity of idolatry by the power of Thy Cross, O Thou Who lovest mankind, were unafraid of the torturers, and trampled upon their falsehood. They were enabled to follow in Thy steps and have hastened to the fragrance of Thy perfume, praying for our souls.

The power of Thy Cross hath wrought wonders, O Christ. For the martyr Christina fought the fight of martyrdom and, ignoring the weakness of her nature, she valiantly opposed the tyrants. Wherefore, having received the crown of victory, she prayeth for our souls.

Glory…, in Tone V —

Christ, the King of glory, desired the beauty of thy virginity, and with incorrupt union He betrothed thee to Himself as an immaculate bride; for, imparting power to thy beauty by His own will, He showed thee to be unconquered by the enemy and the passions, and with a twofold wreath He crowned thee who endured bitter torments and savage tortures, and hath set thee as a queen all adorned at His right hand. Him do thou beseech, O honored and much-suffering martyr Christina, that He grant salvation, life and great mercy to those who hymn thee.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: “Rejoice…”

For our sake, O my sinless Christ, didst Thou will to given Thine all-pure blood as the great price of our deliverance, desiring to obtain salvation for us. Wherefore, beholding Thee nailed, Thy Mother, lamenting, tore her hair, saying: “O my Child, unblemished Lamb, O Savior, never-waning Sun, Thou hast set from before mine eyes, desiring to deliver the world with Thy precious blood, Who bestowest enlightenment, peace and great mercy upon all!”

At the Aposticha, Glory…, in Tone I —

Desiring Christ and forsaking the world, O most honored and glorious Christina, thou hast joined the hosts on high. Beg for us great mercy.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: “Joy of the ranks of heaven…” —

Standing at the Cross of thy Son and God, and perceiving His long-suffering, O pure Mother, thou didst say, weeping: “Woe is me, O my Child most sweet! How dost thou suffer these things unjustly, O Word of God, that Thou mayest save mankind?”

AT LITURGY

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from the Octoechos, and 4 from Ode III of the martyr’s canon.

Prokimenon, in Tone IV —

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

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

Epistle to the Corinthians, §181

[II Cor. 6: 1-10]

Brethren: We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Alleluia, in Tone I —

Stichos: With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me.

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

Gospel according to Luke, §33 [Lk 7:36-50]

At that time, one of the Pharisees desired Jesus that He would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had bidden Him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, “This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is who toucheth Him: for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said unto him, “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.” And he saith, “Master, say on.” “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.” And He said unto him, “Thou hast rightly judged.” And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, “Seest thou this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee: her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” And He said unto her, “Thy sins are forgiven.” And they who sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves, “Who is this who forgiveth sins also?” And He said to the woman, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

Communion Verse —

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