Forefeast of the Entry of the Theotokos
Gregory of Decapolite

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20-11-2015 All day

The Forefeast of the Presentation of the Theotokos into the Temple

theotokos-entranceApolytikion of Forefeast of the Entry of the Theotokos in the Fourth Tone

By blossoming forth the only Ever-virgin as fruit, today holy Anna doth betroth us all unto joy, instead of our former grief; on this day she doth fulfil her vows to the Most High, leading her with joy into the Lord’s holy temple, who truly is the temple and pure Mother of God the Word.

Kontakion of Forefeast of the Entry of the Theotokos in the Fourth Tone

The whole world is filled today with joy and gladness on the Theotokos’s auspicious and resplendent feast, whereon with great voice it crieth out: The heavenly tabernacle is she in truth.

 

Gregory the Righteous of Decapolis

 St_Gregory_the_Righteous_of_DecapolisSaint Gregory the Decapolite was born in the city of Isaurian Decapolis (ten cities) in the eighth century. From his childhood, he loved the temple of God and church services. He read the Holy Scripture constantly and with reverence. In order to avoid the marriage which his parents had intended for him, he secretly left home. He spent all his life wandering in Constantinople, Rome, Corinth, and he pursued asceticism for a certain while on Olympos. Saint Gregory preached the Word of God everywhere, denouncing the Iconoclast heresy, strengthening the faith and fortitude of the Orthodox, whom the heretics in those times oppressed, tortured and imprisoned.

Through his ascetic effort and prayer, God gifted Saint Gregory with prophecy and wonderworking. Having attained purity of heart, he was granted to hear angelic singing in praise of the Holy Trinity. To better contend against the Iconoclast heresy, Saint Gregory left the monastery of Saint Menas where he had laboured for a long while, and he went again to Constantinople. At the capital, a grievous illness undermined his strength, and he departed to the Lord in 816 AD.

Dismissal Hymn(Fourth Tone)

O God of our Fathers do not take away Your mercy from us, but ever act towards us according to Your kindness and by the prayers of Your Saints guide our lives in peace.

Kontakion (Third Tone)

The Church knows you to be a shining sun that enlightens all people with the rays of cures and with the beauty of virtue. Hence, O truly blessed Father, Christ’s faithful servant, we all celebrate your venerable memorial, O wise Gregory most righteous; and we now honour your valiant struggles for Christ.

 

Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople

Saint Proclus lived during the reign of Saint Theodosius the Younger. A disciple and scribe of Saint John Chrysostom, he was ordained Bishop of Cyzicus about the year 426, but because the people there unlawfully elected another bishop before his arrival, he remained in Constantinople. In 429, Nestorius, who had been Archbishop of Constantinople for about a year, and had already begun his blasphemous teaching that it is wrong to call the holy Virgin “Theotokos,” invited Bishop Proclus to give a sermon on one of the feasts of our Lady, which he did, openly defending in Nestorius’ presence the name “Theotokos,” that is, “Mother of God.” Saint Proclus was elevated to the throne of Archbishop of Constantinople in 434. It was he who persuaded Emperor Theodosius the Younger and his holy sister Pulcheria to have the most sacred relics of his godly teacher Saint John Chrysostom brought back from Comana, and triumphantly received them upon their return to the imperial city (see Jan. 27 and Nov. 13). He reposed in peace in 447.

Apolytikion of Proclus, Abp. Of Constantinople in the Fourth Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of Proclus, Abp. Of Constantinople in the Fourth Tone

On this day, thy ven’rable departure from us, O wise Proclus blest of God, is celebrated fittingly with joy by her that in very truth is the most honoured of cities in all the world.