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  • Mary of Egypt
    All day
    01-04-2017-30-03-2018

    When Mary was only twelve years old, she left her parents and departed to Alexandria, where she lived a depraved life for seventeen years. Then, moved by curiosity, she went with many pilgrims to Jerusalem, that she might see the Exaltation of the venerable Cross. Even in the Holy City she gave herself over to every kind of licentiousness and drew many into the depth of perdition. Desiring to go into the church on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, time and again she perceived a certain invisible power preventing her entrance, whereas the multitude of people about her entered unhindered.

    Therefore, wounded in heart by this, she decided to change her way of life and reconcile herself to God by means of repentance. Invoking our Lady the Theotokos as her protectress, she asked her to open the way for her to worship the Cross, and vowed that she would renounce the world. And thus, returning once again to the church, she entered easily. When she had worshipped the precious Wood, she departed that same day from Jerusalem and passed over the Jordan. She went into the inner wilderness and for forty-seven years lived a most harsh manner of life, surpassing human strength; alone, she prayed to God alone.

    Toward the end of her life, she met a certain hermit named Zosimas, and she related to him her life from the beginning. She requested of him to bring her the immaculate Mysteries that she might partake of them. According to her request, he did this the following year on Holy and Great Thursday. One year after this, Zosimas again went thither and found her dead, laid upon the ground, and letters written in the sand near her which said: “Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of wretched Mary. I died on the very day I partook of the immaculate Mysteries. Pray for me.” Her death is reckoned by some to have taken place in 378, by some, in 437, and by others, in 522. She is commemorated also on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. Her life was recorded by Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.

    Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Mary, your soul rejoices with the angels.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    By the toils of thy struggles, O God-inspired one, thou didst hallow the harshness of the desert. Wherefore, we glorify thy memory, as we honour thee with hymns, O Mary, glory of the righteous.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gerontios & Vasilides the Martyrs
    • Euthemios of Suzdal
  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    01-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Fifth Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn
    All day
    01-04-2017

    About the year 626, the Persians, Avars, and Slavs came with a great host and besieged the imperial city of Constantinople while the Emperor Heraclius and the main body of the Byzantine army were absent in the East. Enemy ships filled the sea, especially the Golden Horn, and on land the adversaries were ready for attack with foot-soldiers, horses, and engines of war. Though the citizens courageously withstood them, yet they were few in number and would be unable to repulse the attack of such a great host. Hence, they could not count on any other means of salvation, except the protection of the Theotokos. And truly, suddenly a violent tempest broke up all the ships and submerged them, and the bodies of the invaders were cast out near the Blachernae quarter of the city where the famous Church of the Theotokos stood. Taking courage from this, the people went forth from the city and repulsed the remaining forces, who fled out of fear. In 673, the city was miraculously delivered yet again, this time from an invasion of the Arabs.

    Then in 717-718, led by the Saracen general Maslamah, the Arab fleet laid siege once more to the city. The numerical superiority of the enemy was so overwhelming that the fall of the Imperial City seemed imminent. But then the Mother of God, together with a multitude of the angelic hosts, appeared suddenly over the city walls. The enemy forces, struck with terror and thrown into a panic at this apparition, fled in disarray. Soon after this, the Arab fleet was utterly destroyed by a terrible storm in the Aegean Sea on the eve of the Annunciation, March 24, 718. Thenceforth, a special “feast of victory and of thanksgiving” was dedicated to celebrate and commemorate these benefactions. In this magnificent service, the Akathist Hymn is prominent and holds the place of honour. It appears that even before the occasion of the enemy assaults mentioned above, the Akathist Hymn was already in use as the prescribed Service for the Feast of the Annunciation, together with the kontakion, “When the bodiless one learned the secret command,” which has the Annunciation as its theme. It was only on the occasion of the great miracle wrought for the Christian populace of the Imperial City on the eve of the Annunciation in 718 that the hymn “To thee, the Champion Leader” was composed, most likely by Saint Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople.

    Historians have ascribed the Akathist Hymn to Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople (638), to Saint George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia (818), or even to Saint Photius the Great (891), all of whom lived either at the time of or after the above-mentioned sieges. However, it appears most likely from its language, content, and style that the true composer of the Akathist Hymn is Saint Romanus the Melodist (6th century).

    Apolytikion of Fifth Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    When the bodiless one learned the secret command, in haste he came and stood before Joseph’s dwelling, and spake unto the Maiden who knew not wedlock: The One Who hath bowed the Heavens by His descent is held and contained unchanging wholly in thee. Seeing Him receiving the form of a servant in thy womb, I stand in awe and cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride unwedded.

    Kontakion of Fifth Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

  • Hebrews 9:1-7
    Luke 1:39-49, 56
    All day
    01-04-2017

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 9:1-7

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

    My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
    Verse: For he has regarded the humility of his servant.

    BRETHREN, the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tent, performing their ritual duties; but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.

     

    5th Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn

    The Gospel according to Luke 1:39-49, 56

    VMAKTHSTIn those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

    And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

     

2
  • Titus the Wonderworker
    All day
    02-04-2017-31-03-2018

    Little is known of St Titus except that he displayed zeal for the monastic life from his youth. He pursued asceticism in the ninth century at the Studion monastery near Constantinople. By his deeds of fasting, purity of life and mild disposition, St Titus gained the love of the brethren, and at their request he was ordained priest.

    Fervent of faith, the Saint stood up for the Orthodox veneration of icons during the Iconoclast persecution. Because of his virtuous life, God granted him the gift of wonderworking. The Saint was translated to the Lord in his old age.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Titus, your soul rejoices with the angels.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    You purify yourself through prayer and abstinence and shine forth with the brightness of grace and virtues, thus gladdening those who sing to you, “Rejoice, O Titus, adornment of the Fathers”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodora the Virgin-martyr of Palestine
    • Amphianos & Aedesios the Martyrs of Lycia
  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    02-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Sunday of St Mary of Egypt
    All day
    02-04-2017

    One of the most celebrated (and discussed) saints in the Orthodox pantheon, Mary of Egypt has a long history. Scholars attribute the earliest known version of her legend to Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem (+ 639 A.D.). Written first in Greek, it appeared later in Latin, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, German, Norwegian, English, Armenian, Ethiopian, Syrian and Ukrainian translations. Immensely popular throughout the Middle Ages, both in the East and West, the haunting figure of Mary of Egypt is known also in modem literature.

    Dostoevsky mentions her in The Brothers Karamazov (1880), James Joyce in Ulysses (1922). The subject of a poem by the American poet John Berryman, she is named in its title, No 47: April Fool’s Day or Saint Mary of Egypt (1964). Along with this “funny title,” the poem’s final two verses note that Mary’s feast day falls on April 1. In addition to April 1, this saint is also commemorated in the Orthodox Church on the Fifth Sunday and Thursday of Lent.

    As indicated by her name, Mary was born in Egypt. When she was twelve years old, she ran away from home. She went to Alexandria, the cosmopolitan city founded and named for the world conqueror born in Macedonia. There the runaway girl became a prostitute. For seventeen years Mary led a licentious life on the streets of that busy Mediterranean seaport. She enjoyed the life she had chosen. Money did not interest her. Mary had, she confessed, “an irresistible passion for wallowing in the mud.”

    One year, she encountered some young men down by the harbour Wishing to venerate the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, the young men were about to sail to the Holy Land. Mary, always ready for adventure, joined them. She had no money. So she offered herself as payment for her passage. The young men accepted her offer. On arrival in Jerusalem, the pilgrims from Alexandria went to the great church to venerate the Cross. (It had been discovered in 326 AD by Saint Helen.) Out of curiosity, Mary joined the procession with her fellow-travellers. Unlike them, however, she could not step across the threshold into the church. She tried repeatedly, but each time invisible hands held her back.

    After Mary’s companions entered the church, she remained alone, outside in the courtyard, frustrated and weeping. Suddenly the thought crossed her mind that it was her dissolute life which prevented her from entering the church. Mary then noticed an ikon of the Theotokos. Falling on her knees before it, she appealed to the Mother of God to help her enter the church. Always as compassionate as her son, the Theotokos granted Mary’s request. After venerating the Holy Cross, Mary returned to the ikon to thank the Theotokos for the mercy and grace given her. As she stood in front of the ikon, Mary heard a mysterious voice, instructing her to cross the Jordan. She obeyed the voice.

    En route to the river, she met a Christian who gave her three loaves of bread. By nightfall Mary reached the Church of Saint John the Baptist, located near the Jordan. When she had washed her face in the sacred water, she returned to the church and received Holy Communion. She then ate half of one of the three loaves of bread and drank water from the Jordan. The next morning, Mary found a boat and crossed over into the desert on the other side. She was at that time twenty one years old. She spent the rest of her life in the wilderness. For forty-seven years Mary lived in total isolation from the world. Until the day a monk named Zosimas found her, she had neither seen nor talked with any human being.

    Zosimas was a holy man much honoured for “the purity of his way of life and the fervour of his repentance.” For fifty three years, since childhood, he had submitted himself to a strict ascetic discipline. Although he had attained spiritual perfection, Zosimas had the uneasy thought that somewhere there was someone who surpassed him spiritually. He decided he must somehow find that person. Zosimas therefore entered the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, near the Jordan, “the holiest of rivers.” This monastery was famous throughout Christian East for its austere rules and the extraordinary holiness of its community.

    Every year, on the first Sunday of Lent, the monks of Saint John’s crossed the Jordan and withdrew into the desert. Each monk went his separate way, to pray and fast alone until Palm Sunday. Zosimas also made this Lenten retreat. After walking twenty days into the interior of the desert, he saw a human figure in the distance. Fearing it might be a demon, he made the sign of the cross. He then began to pursue the strange, black-skinned, white-haired creature, begging it to stop. Mary stopped. Calling Zosimas by name, she asked him for a cloak to cover her naked, sun-baked body. That the stranger knew his name astonished the monk. At the same time, it revealed to him that she was a “vessel” of the Holy Spirit.

    Mary and Zosimas prostrated themselves at the same moment. Each thus acknowledged the holiness of the other. Mary, respecting Zosimas because he was a priest, asked for his blessing. For his part, Zosimas, certain that Mary was a saint, asked her to bless him. “Your grace,” he declared, “is greater than mine.” Zosimas had expected to find his spiritual superior among the monks in the monastery by the Jordan. Instead, he discovered a woman in the desert whose spiritual triumphs outshone his. This was Mary’s first contact with a human being in the forty- seven years since, led by the Theotokos, she had crossed the Jordan into the barren desert.

    She wanted to know about Zosimas. She also questioned him about conditions in the world. Was there peace? Did the church prosper? How were the Christians? Zosimas answered her questions. Reverently addressing Mary as “my spiritual mother,” he begged for her intercessions in heaven. While the monk continued to lie prostrate on the ground, Mary stood in silent prayer, her arms stretched toward heaven. When Zosimas lifted his eyes, to his amazement he saw Mary standing in the air, several feet above the ground.

    The thought again crossed his mind that she must be a demon. Demons, it was well known, inhabited the desert wastelands. But Mary, reading his unspoken thought, reassured him. “Do not doubt,” she said, “that I am only a woman and a sinner.” Impressed by Mary’s insight and powers of discernment, Zosimas wanted more than ever to hear her story. Mary described to him her career as a prostitute for seventeen years on the streets of Alexandria, her conversion in Jerusalem and the experiences of forty-seven years in the desert.

    Zosimas wondered how she had managed to survive alone in such a hostile environment. She explained. “For seventeen years I lived on the two and half loaves of bread I had brought with me. Although they became hard as rocks, I ate them, little by little. After that, I lived on plants growing in the desert.” The first seventeen years had been the hardest. “This was a time of daily struggles against temptations of all kinds. Songs of the devil, which I used to sing, echoed through my head. When I was thirsty and had no water to drink, I remembered the refreshing sweet wines of Egypt. Then I would turn my thoughts to the Theotokos. And a bright light would shine in front of me, chasing away all bad thoughts. It was always the Theotokos who restored peace to my soul.”

    In the course of their conversation, Mary quoted from the Scriptures, the “books of Moses, Job and Psalms.” This surprised Zosimas. When he questioned her, she replied: “I never learned to read or write. For forty-seven years I have seen no one, not even an animal. I have had no teacher. God taught me these words.” An illiterate woman, Mary had been transfigured into a “theologian of the divine Word.” Convinced that he was in the presence of a person “who was pleasing to God,” Zosimas tried again to kneel before her. But Mary, taking his hand, again did not let him.

    Before they parted, she told him to keep her story a secret. Mary also asked Zosimas to return next year on Holy Thursday and to bring her Holy Communion. He should not however, cross the Jordan: they would meet on the other side. The following year passed slowly for Zosimas. He was eager to see Mary again. On Holy Thursday, Zosimas prepared the consecrated bread and wine in a small chalice. He took a few dates, figs and soaked lentils and went to the bank of the Jordan. There he waited for Mary as she had instructed. Night fell. A full moon rose and shone in the sky. Mary still had not appeared. Zosimas sat and waited. No boat was in sight on either bank. He wondered how Mary would cross the river.

    All of a sudden, Zosimas saw her standing on the opposite bank. Mary made the sign of the cross over the river. Then she walked across the Jordan. Her feet remained dry. It was as if Mary had crossed on dry land. (Saint Peter almost drowned when he tried to walk on water.) After reciting the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, Mary received Holy Communion from Zosimas. It was her first Communion in forty-seven years. Filled with joy, Mary then sang Saint Symeon’s canticle:

    “Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen my Saviour.”

    Zosimas offered Mary the dates, figs and soaked lentils that he had brought. But she refused everything, taking nothing except three tiny grains of the soaked lentils. Before parting from Zosimas, Mary asked him to return on Holy Thursday next year to their first meeting place in the desert. Mary then left him. She walked across the Jordan again and vanished from his sight into the desert. Zosimas had in vain tried to detain her longer. The monk then returned to his monastery, “joyful and amazed.” Nevertheless, he regretted one thing. Zosimas did not know her name. He was sorry that he had not asked the woman for it. At their next encounter he would ask.

    The next year, on Holy Thursday, Zosimas crossed the Jordan and went to the place in the desert where he had first met Mary two years earlier. He found her dead. Her head faced the east. Her hands were crossed. On the ground beside her body were written these words: “Father Zosimas, bury the body of wretched Mary. Return to the earth that which is made of earth. Add dust to dust.” Mary our Holy Mother had died the year before, after Zosimas had given her Holy Communion. Now as he chanted appropriate hymns and prayers, Zosimas wept. Then with a small stick he began to dig a grave for Mary. But he made little progress. The ground was hard and he was a feeble old man.

    Suddenly a large strong lion appeared and began digging the hard ground. His appearance startled Zosimas because Mary had told him that she had seen no animals in the desert. Soon the lion excavated a grave large enough for the saint. Zosimas then buried Mary. She was still wearing the cloak he had given her at their first meeting. After the burial, the lion and monk parted. The lion bowed to Zosimas and disappeared into the desert. The monk returned to his monastery. Before dying at the age of one hundred, Zosimas had told the story of Mary of Egypt. Later, patriarchs of Constantinople and emperors of Byzantium glorified Saint Mary of Egypt in sermons and hymns.

    “O holy transformation that brought you to a noble way of life.

    O godlike love, O burning faith in God.

    We bless you, Mary, worthy of great praise. And forever we exalt you above all others.”

    Note:

    Byzantine hymnographers address Mary as “holy mother.” They describe her as “god-bearing,” “god-minded,” and victorious over Satan who deceived a “gullible little woman” (Eve). At the hands of Saint Mary of Egypt, Satan had endured disgrace, “defeat and ridicule.”

    Trusting in her powers of intercessions in heaven, and relying on her sympathetic understanding, generations of Orthodox have turned in prayer to Saint Mary of Egypt.

    “O Holy One, behold my sorrow and the groaning of my heart. See the narrowness of my life. Save me from my sin and have mercy on my soul, through your mediation before the Lord.”

  • John 20:11-18
    Hebrews 9:11-14
    Mark 10:32-45
    All day
    02-04-2017

    Eighth Orthros Gospel

    The Gospel according to John 20:11-18

    At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that He had said these things to her.

     

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
    Psalm 75.11,1

    Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
    Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.

    BRETHREN, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

     

    Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

    The Gospel according to Mark 10:32-45

    Mary_of_EgyptAt that time, Jesus taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant of James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

     

3
  • Nikitas the Confessor
    Joseph the Hymnwriter
    All day
    03-04-2017-01-04-2018

    Saint Nikitas the Confessor, Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium

    Saint Nikitas lived in the eighth century and became the Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium, which was near the city of Triglia on the Sea of Marmara. For his Orthodox confession of the veneration of the holy icons, he was persecuted and exiled twice by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, but recalled by Michael the Stutterer, and reposed, adorned with the twofold crown of holiness and of confession of the Orthodox Faith, about the year 824.

    Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)

    You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Nikitas, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

    Joseph the Hymnographer

    Saint Joseph was from Sicily, the son of Plotinus and Agatha. Because Sicily had been subjugated by the Moslems, he departed thence and, passing from place to place, came with Saint Gregory of Decapolis (see NOV. 20) to Constantinople, where he endured bitter afflictions because of his pious zeal. Travelling to Rome, he was captured by Arab pirates and taken to Crete, whence he later returned to Constantinople. He became an excellent hymnographer and reposed in holiness shortly after 886 (according to some, it was in 883). The melismatic canons of the Menaion are primarily the work of this Joseph; they bear his name in the acrostic of the Ninth Ode. He also composed most of the sacred book known as the Paracletike, which complements the Octoechos For this reason, Joseph is called par excellence the Hymnographer.

     

    Also Celebrated Today Are:

    • Theodosia and Irene the Martyrs
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    03-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Isaiah 48:17-49:4
    Genesis 27:1-41
    Proverbs 19:16-25
    All day
    03-04-2017

    Isaiah 48:17-49:4

    Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.”

    Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it forth to the end of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!” They thirsted not when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he cleft the rock and the water gushed out. “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

    Listen to me, O coast lands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.”

     

    Genesis 27:1-41

    When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son, and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me, and prepare for me savoury food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat; that I may bless you before I die.” Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game, and prepare for me savoury food, that I may eat it, and bless you before the LORD before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. Go to the flock, and fetch me two good kids, that I may prepare from them savoury food for your father, such as he loves; and you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” His mother said to him, “Upon me be your curse, my son; only obey my word, and go, fetch them to me.” So he went and took them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savoury food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son; and the skins of the kids she put upon his hands and upon the smooth part of his neck; and she gave the savoury food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

    So he went in to his father, and said, “My father”; and he said, “Here I am; who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your first-born. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that you may bless me.” But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And he did not recognise him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” Then he said, “Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be every one who curses you, and blessed be every one who blesses you!”

    As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared savoury food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your first-born, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? – Yes, and he shall be blessed.” When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” But he said, “Your brother came with guile, and he has taken away your blessing.” Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered Esau, “Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. Then Isaac his father answered him: “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you break loose you shall break his yoke from your neck.” Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

     

    Proverbs 19:16-25

    He who keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises the word will die. He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed. Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction. A man of great wrath will pay the penalty; for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established. What is desired in a man is loyalty, and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the LORD leads to life; and he who has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth. Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

     

4
  • George of Maleon
    All day
    04-04-2017-02-04-2018

    St George took up the monastic life from his youth during the 9th Century, and went to Mount Maleon in the Peloponnesus, where a community of monks gathered about him. He foretold his death from three years before, and reposed in an odour of sanctity.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labours have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O George, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    O Father George, you did wisely disdain the pleasures of earth and on wings of virtue find rest in the abodes of the incorporeal choirs in heaven. And you intercede unceasingly for us all.

     

    Also Celebrated Today Are:

    • Righteous Plato the Studite
    • Nicetas the Hieromartyr, Struggler of Serrai (1808)
    • Righteous Zosimas
    • Theonas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, Founder and Renovator of the Sacred
    • Monastery of Saint Anastasia of Pharmakolytria, Halkidiki
    • Theodoulos and Agathopous of Thessaloniki
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    04-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Isaiah 49:6-10
    Genesis 31:3-16
    Proverbs 21:3-21
    All day
    04-04-2017

    Isaiah 49:6-10

    Thus says the LORD: “I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” Thus says the LORD: “In a time of favour I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, ‘Come forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’ They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.

     

    Genesis 31:3-16

    Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favour as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength; yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. In the mating season of the flock I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream that the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that leap upon the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go forth from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’” Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. All the property which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

     

    Proverbs 21:3-21

    To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but every one who is hasty comes only to want. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour and a snare of death. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just. The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is right. It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman. The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbour finds no mercy in his eyes. When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. The righteous observes the house of the wicked; the wicked are cast down to ruin. He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard. A gift in secret averts anger; and a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers. A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead. He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright. It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful woman. Precious treasure remains in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honour.

     

5
  • Claudios & Companions
    All day
    05-04-2017-03-04-2018

    Monk-Martyrs Claudios, Diodore, Victor, Victorinus, and those with them

    Of these Martyrs, Sts Victor, Victorin, and Nicephoros were crushed to death by a large boulder St Claudios died when his arms and legs were severed; Sts Diodore and Serapion were burned alive; St Pappias was cast into the sea. According to some accounts, they contested in Corinth under Decios in 251 AD; according to others, in Diospolis in Egypt under Numerian in 284 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since they possessed Your strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    O blessed Martyrs, as Christ’s courageous soldiers you scattered the enemy principalities. Rejoicing in one spirit, you proclaimed together, “Christ is the crown of Athletes”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodora the Righteous of Thessaloniki
    • Agathopodes and Theodulos the Martyrs
    • George the new Martyr
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    05-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Isaiah 58:1-11
    Genesis 43:26-31; 45:1-16
    Proverbs 21:23-22:4
    All day
    05-04-2017

    Isaiah 58:1-11

    Thus says the LORD: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgements, they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and thou seest it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and thou takest no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

    “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, “Here I am.”

    “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

     

    Genesis 43:26-31; 45:1-16

    When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which they had with them, and bowed down to him to the ground. And he inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” They said, “Your servant our father is well, he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and made obeisance. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” Then Joseph made haste, for his heart yearned for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, “Let food be served.”

    (Chapter 45:1-16) Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, “Make every one go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, I pray you.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Make haste and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry; you shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have; and there I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come; lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty.’ And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father of all my splendour in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Make haste and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him. When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well.

     

    Proverbs 21:23-22:4

    He who keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. “Scoffer” is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. The desire of the sluggard kills him for his hands refuse to labour. All day long the wicked covets, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent. A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure. A wicked man puts on a bold face, but an upright man considers his ways. No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel, can avail against the LORD. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and flavor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honour and life.

     

6
  • Eutychios of Constantinople
    All day
    06-04-2017-04-04-2018

    Saint Eutychios, Patriarch of Constantinople

    Born in Theia Kome of Phrygia, St Eutychios was the son of illustrious parents, from whom he received a pious upbringing. He studied in Constantinople, and became a monk in a certain monastery of Amasia. In 552 AD, he was chosen Patriarch of New Rome, but was exiled in 565 AD as a result of the machinations of the Origenists. In 577 AD he was restored to his throne and reposed on April 6, 582 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Eutychios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    O divine Eutychios, to all that praise you, you gave abundant gifts of holy joy and grace divine from that which God has bestowed on you, O rightful namesake of blessed prosperity.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • 120 Martyrs of Persia
    • Gregory of Sinai
    • Platonis the Nun of Nisibis
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    06-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Isaiah 65:8-16
    Genesis 46:1-7
    Proverbs 23:15-24:5
    All day
    06-04-2017

    Isaiah 65:8-16

    Thus says the LORD: “As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for my servants’ sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me. But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame; behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit. You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will slay you; but his servants he will call by a different name. So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hid from my eyes.

     

    Genesis 46:1-7

    So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” Then Jacob set out from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their cattle and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

     

    Proverbs 23:15-24:5

    My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way. Be not among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. Hearken to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad, let her who bore you rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit; an adventuress is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the faithless among men. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine, those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink.” Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge than he who has strength.

     

7
  • Savva
    Calliopus & Akylina the Martyrs
    Tikhon, Pat of Moscow
    George of Lesvos
    All day
    07-04-2017-05-04-2018

    Saint Savva Of Kalymnos

    Saint Savva was born in 1862 in Eastern Thrace and was baptised with the name of Vasilios. From a young age he had a calling for the holy monastic life and so he left for Mount Athos as a teen where he entered St. Anne’s Skete. Along with the usual monastic duties, he learned iconography and Byzantine music. After a few years, he traveled to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage to the holy sites, and there he entered the monastery of St. George Hozevitou. After a period of being a novice, he was tonsured a monk and given the name of Savva.

    In 1902, St. Savva was ordained a deacon and a year later he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. He spent almost 10 years in the desert by the Jordan where he led an austere life and occupied himself with prayer and iconography. His dwelling consisted of two cells which he reached by ascending up a rope ladder. This isolation was necessary for successful inner concentration and noetic prayer and he made great spiritual progress there.

    Due to health reasons and the political situation in Palestine which made life unsafe, St. Sava returned to Greece where he searched for a quiet place to continue his monastic life. He traveled throughout Greece for three years but could not find a suitable place. His prayers were answered when another saint, St. Nektarios of Aegina, had asked St. Savva to come to the Holy Trinity Convent in Aegina and serve as a priest for nuns. There he would also be able to teach them the sacred art of iconography and Byzantine music. St. Savva stayed at the convent for six years, from 1919 until 1925. This time at the Convent was one of the most significant events in the saint’s life due to his association with St. Nektarios who was at the height of his spiritual development. St. Savva had the opportunity to confess and receive counsel from St. Nektarios. The two had the highest esteem for each other and each considered the other a saint. Saint Savvas also conducted Saint Nektarios’ funeral service.

    As a matter of fact, St. Savva painted the first icon of St. Nektarios: One day St. Savva asked the abbess not to let anyone disturb him for forty days, during which he remained confined to his cell in which the nuns could hear constant conversation between the living Saint and the reposed Saint. After 40 days, he came out of his cell holding an icon of St. Nektarios. He handed it to the abbess and asked her to place it in the church for veneration. The abbess was surprised since St Nektarios had not been glorified (“canonized”) as a saint yet, and she was afraid that the convent would get into trouble. Although the saint was always meek and humble, he insisted, and told her in a commanding manner: “You must show obedience. Take the icon and place it on the icon stand, and do not scrutinize the will of God.” He knew the holiness and purity of St. Nektarios.

    After St. Nektarios reposed, more and more pilgrims would come to the convent due to the growing reputation of St. Nektarios as a miracle-worker. This disrupted the quiet life that St. Savva loved, and so he departed the convent in 1925, again for a quieter life. St. Savva spent the last years of his life as the priest and spiritual father at the Convent of All Saints on the island of Kalymnos. As a confessor, he combined leniency with severity. He was lenient on certain sins and severe to others. He remained an ardent spiritual striver until the end of life and practiced extreme forms of self-restraint with regard to food, drink, and sleep. St. Savva became a shining example of virtue to all who came into contact with him. Many smelled a heavenly fragrance in his presence and some even saw him rising above the ground as he stood at prayer.

    Towards the end of his life, St. Savva was in a state of intense prayer and holy contrition. For three days he did not receive anyone and he gave his last counsels: requested love and obedience in Christ. When he was on the point of death taking his last breath, suddenly he received strength, brought his blessed small hands together, and clapped them repeatedly saying his last Holy words: “The Lord! The Lord! The Lord!” He went to the Lord in 1948 on the eve of the feast of the Annunciation. One nun saw the soul of the saint ascending in a golden cloud towards heaven. After about 10 years when the saint’s grave was opened in accordance to the Greek Orthodox custom, a heavenly fragrance emanated from the grave which covered the whole island of Kalymnos, this phenomenon was witnessed by many, including the local bishop. This was a testament to the sanctity of the saint. Numerous miracles and healings have since been attributed to St. Savva the New of Kalymnos.

    Apolytikion

    Let us faithful praise Holy Savas, the glory and protector of Kalymnos, and peer of the Holy Ascetics of old; for he has been glorified resplendently as a servant of Christ, with the gift of working miracles, and he bestows upon all God’s grace and mercy.

    Kontakion

    Today the island of the Kalymnians celebrates your holy memory with a rejoicing heart; for it possesses as truly God-given wealth, your sacred body that has been glorified by God, O Father Savas, approaching which they receive health of both soul and body.

     

    Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs

    The holy Martyr Calliopius was from Perga in Pamphylia, brought up in piety by his godly mother Theocleia. When the persecution of Maximian broke out, Saint Calliopius presented himself of his own accord before the Governor Maximus in Pompeiopolis of Galatia. After he had suffered many torments, his mother visited him in prison and encouraged him in his martyrdom. After this, his thrice-blessed mother, upon learning that he was to be crucified on Holy and Great Thursday, bribed the tyrants to defer it one day, that he might imitate the Lord’s Crucifixion on the same day that He suffered it. The holy Martyr Calliopius received the crown of martyrdom on Holy and Great Friday in the year 304, being crucified upside down.

    Apolytikion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Third Tone

    When thy mother looked on thee made fair with wounds as a Martyr and conformed unto the Lord through holy contests and suff’rings, she was filled with ardent longing to win such glory and became with thee a Martyr in her volition. Now with her do thou entreat Christ, O Calliopius, that we find mercy and grace.

     

    Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America

    Born in 1865 in the region of Pskov, our Father among the Saints Tikhon was tonsured a monk in 1891 and ordained to the priesthood in the same year. In 1897 he was consecrated Bishop of Lublin, and a year later appointed Bishop of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, with his see extending to all of North America from 1900 onwards. He did much to unite the Orthodox Christians of a great many ethnic backgrounds in North America, so that there was indeed one flock under one shepherd. In 1907 he was made Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov, and in 1913, Archbishop of Lithuania.

    In 1917, when he was Metropolitan of Moscow, he was elected to be the first Patriarch of Russia in over 200 years, in times that could not have been more difficult. After the Revolution of 1917, the persecution of the Russian Church by the atheist government grew more bold and more fierce with every year. By nature a meek and peace-loving man, Tikhon sought to determine, while giving only to God that which is God’s, what could be given to Caesar to preserve peace and avoid the shedding of blood. At his departure on the feast of the Annunciation in 1925, Saint Tikhon made the sign of the Cross thrice, pronouncing the words, “Glory to Thee, O God!” Because of the many unspeakable sufferings he endures as Patriarch, he is honoured as a Confessor.

    Note: St. Tikhon’s repose was on the Feast of the Annunciation according to the Old Calendar (March 25), but on the New Calendar his repose falls on April 7.

    Apolytikion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Plagal of the First Tone

    To the new world sent forth as a shepherd of the flock, thou wast called back to the old, to take up the Cross as a staff and from wolves and faithless shepherds to defend the Church; and after thee, the sheep of Christ knew no shepherd to be true who kept not thy good confession, wherein, O Tikhon, preserve us unharmed throughout our earthly pilgrimage.

    Kontakion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Fourth Tone

    The most holy Patriarch, ven’rable Tikhon, the Confessor of the Faith, hath gained from Christ the crown of life; for he did labour with godly zeal and strove till death in defence of the Church of Christ.

    George, Bishop of Lesvos

    The righteous George struggled in behalf of the holy icons, and reposed in peace about the year 821.

    Apolytikion of George, Bp. of Mytylene in the Third Tone

    As a garden planted by the Spirit, thou didst yield as fruit the soul’s salvation, teaching men the ineffable mysteries of Him that fell as a grain of wheat in the earth and by His dying hath made all the world to live. Righteous Father George, entreat Christ our God in our behalf, that His great mercy may be granted unto us.

    Kontakion of George, Bp. of Mytylene in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As a true husbandman of grace and godly piety, who wast thyself the Holy Spirit’s sacred husbandry, thou didst cultivate the plants of exalted wisdom; and in worshipping the icons of Christ and His Saints, thou didst pull up by the roots the tares of heresy. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O God-bearing Father George.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gerasimos the God-Bearer of Byzantium
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    07-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Isaiah 66:10-24
    Genesis 49:33-50:26
    Proverbs 31:8-31
    All day
    07-04-2017

    Isaiah 66:10-24

    “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory.” For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies. “For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the storm-wind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD execute judgement, and by his sword, upon all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, says the LORD. “For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coast-lands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. “And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

     

    Genesis 49:33-50:26

    When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people. Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel; forty days were required for it, for so many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.

    And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found flavor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, ‘I am about to die: in my tomb which I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.’ Now therefore let me go up, I pray you, and bury my father; then I will return.” And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.” So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; it was a very great company. When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abelmizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them; for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite, to possess as a burying place. After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, ‘Say to Joseph, Forgive, I pray you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, we pray you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him, and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he reassured them and comforted them.

    So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation; the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph’s knees. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph took an oath of the sons of Israel, saying, “God will visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

     

    Proverbs 31:8-31

    Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy. A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

     

8
  • Herodion, Agavos, Rouphos, Asynkritos, Phlegon & Hermes of the 70
    All day
    08-04-2017-06-04-2018

    Apostle Herodion, whom St Paul mentions in his Epistle to the Romans (16:11) and calls his “kinsman”, was ordained Presbyter and then Bishop of New Patras, where he was slain by Jews and pagans. St Agavos is mentioned in Acts 21:10-11, where he prophesied St Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish leaders. In Acts 11:27-28 it is mentioned also that this Saint foretold the great famine that would happen in the time of Claudius Caesar.

    Having preached the Gospel throughout various regions, he departed to the Lord. The Apostle Rouphos became Bishop of Thebes in Greece. The Apostles Asynkritos and Phlegon preached Christ in many places, suffered many afflictions at the hands of the pagans and Jews, and departed unto the Lord. The Apostle Hermes is mentioned with them in the Epistle to the Romans (16:13-14).

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Like stars, O holy Apostles, you illumine the way of the faithful with the light of the Holy Spirit. You repel the darkness of error as you gaze on God the Word.

    We also celebrate today:

    • Rufus the Obedient of the Kiev Caves
    • Celestine, the Pope of Rome
    • The HolyNew Martyr John the Ship-Builder who was martyred in Kos
  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    08-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Saturday of Lazarus
    All day
    08-04-2017-07-04-2018

    Through the miracle of modern medicine the life-sustaining machine can pump air into a lung, cause a heart to beat, or a kidney to function, but although it can sustain life, it cannot restore it. Restoration of life calls for a true miracle. Such a true miracle is recounted in the familiar story of how Jesus Christ recalled a man named Lazaros from a premature death by his divine grace. A spark of that divinity was transmitted to Lazaros in the process of his deliverance and instilled in him the grace with which he was to become a saint.

    Such great emphasis is placed on the return of Lazaros from the dead that his prior life is practically ignored. His true life began after he had died. exactly four days after, since that was the period of time in which he had lain dead before Christ appeared at his tomb in Bethany. A true friend of the departed Lazaros, as well as of his grieving sisters Mary and Martha, Jesus stood before the tomb and commanded Lazaros to come forth, whereupon Lazaros stepped from oblivion into immortality. Thereafter he became a servant of the Lord in the early development of the new faith.

    Following the death and resurrection of the Saviour, Lazaros undertook an apostolic mission which carried him to many corners of the empire and ultimately to the island of Cyprus, where he settled after his ordination as bishop of Kition. The apostles of Christ encouraged him to stay on this island, and there he spent the final thirty years of his life, implanting Christianity with the firmness that was to sustain Cyprus centuries later through conquest, piracy, and subjugation. The association of Lazaros with Cyprus has been obscured by events on that strife-torn land, but evidence of his presence there is still extant after nearly two thousand years.

    Christianity had taken a firm hold on the island when Lazaros died at the age of fifty-eight, this time not to be recalled by, but to join the Messiah who had summoned him many years before. He was buried in Cyprus and according to tradition there was inscribed after his name on his casket the words, “Tetraimeros, friend of Jesus Christ.” The word “tetraimeros” is translated the “fourth day,” the day on which he was brought back from the grave. Moreover, he was honoured in life as a friend of Jesus and was thus assured a place of honour in the kingdom of heaven. Lazaros was entombed in a small chapel dedicated to his memory. More than 800 years later, Emperor Leo of Constantinople, himself a devout Christian, replaced the chapel which was threatened with ruin with a beautiful cathedral and monastery, a fitting tribute to the personal friend of Jesus. After a time, Leo decided that the proper resting place for St. Lazaros would be in the capital city of Constantinople. That project was probably frowned upon by the islanders who pridefully cherished the shrine of Lazaros, but in due course, they came to accept the plan to place Lazaros in a more hallowed setting. The remains of St. Lazaros were ceremoniously brought to the cultural centre of Constantinople on 17 October 891.

    A magnificent cathedral was erected in honour of St. Lazaros and his holy relics lie enshrined their in a bronze casket. The official dedication of the cathedral took place on 4 May 892. About the same time the remains of St. Mary Magdalene were also brought to Constantinople by the devout Emperor Leo. Thus the Emperor sought to honour these two friends of Jesus. If a man can be measured by the kind of friends he has, then the measure of St. Lazaros cannot be drawn, because he had the friendship of Jesus Christ.

    The closeness with the Saviour, although it added considerable lustre to the life of St. Lazaros, extended by a miracle of the Lord, was the deep commitment to Jesus Christ and subsequent mission in his behalf which has made Lazaros a saint of the Greek Orthodox Church. When the life expectancy standards at the time of Christ are considered, it can be said that Lazaros at age fifty-eight departed this earth after having lived a full life.

    Apolytikion of Lazarus Saturday in the First Tone

    O Christ our God, before Your Passion, You raised Lazarus from the dead to confirm the common Resurrection for all. Therefore, we carry the symbols of victory as did the youths, and we cry out to You, the victor over death, “Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. ”

    Kontakion of Lazarus Saturday in the Second Tone

    Christ, everyone’s joy, the truth, the light, life, the resurrection of the world, has by His goodness appeared to those on earth. He is the archetype of the resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.

  • Hebrews 12:28-29; 13:1-8
    John 11:1-45
    All day
    08-04-2017

    St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 12:28-29; 13:1-8

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 26.1,2

    The Lord is my light and my savior.
    Verse: The Lord is the defender of my life.

    BRETHREN, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” Hence we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

     

    Lazarus Saturday

    The Gospel according to John 11:1-45

    Saturday_LazarusAt that time, a certain man was ill, Lazaros of Bethany, from the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazaros was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”

    Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazaros. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Lazaros has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazaros is dead; and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

    Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazaros had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

    When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

    Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you have heard me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you did send me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazaros, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him.

     

9
  • Martyr Eupsychios
    All day
    09-04-2017-07-04-2018

    The Holy Martyr Eupsychios

    The Holy Martyr Eupsychios was born in the city of Caesarea in Cappadocia and received a Christian upbringing by his illustrious parents. During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), Eupsychios entered into Christian wedlock. At Caesarea there was a pagan temple to the goddess Fortuna, whom Julian the Apostate revered. As Eupsychios was going to his wedding, the pagans were offering sacrifice to the goddess Fortuna. St Eupsychios was filled with zeal for the Lord, and he destroyed the temple. He knew that this would inevitably result in his punishment. He distributed all his possessions to the poor and prepared himself for martyrdom.

    The enraged emperor Julian loosed his wrath not only upon St Eupsychios, but against all the inhabitants of this city. Some of the citizens were executed, while the more respectable were sent into exile. Christian clergy were drafted into military service, and he looted the churches of anything valuable. The city was deprived of its title Caesarea (i.e. “Imperial”) and resumed its original name of Maza. He also imposed a severe tax on the inhabitants. The emperor threatened to annihilate the city altogether, if the people did not build a new pagan temple in place of the one destroyed.

    Julian tried to compel St Eupsychios to offer sacrifice to idols. For many days they tormented the Saint on a rack, and also with iron claws. But his faith was firm, and the judge sentenced the martyr to be beheaded with a sword. Then Julian embarked on a campaign against the Persians, marching through Cappadocia and approaching Caesarea. Danger threatened the city, since the emperor intended to raze it to its foundations. Then St Basil the Great (commemorated January 1), showing Julian the proper respect as sovereign authority, came out to meet him carrying with him three loaves of barley bread, which he ate. The emperor ordered his retainers to take the loaves, and to give St Basil a pinch of hay saying, “You have given us barley, cattle fodder. Now receive hay from us in return”.

    The Saint answered, “O Emperor, we bring you that which we ourselves eat, and you give us cattle feed. You mock us, since you, by your might, are not able to transform hay into bread, the essential food of mankind”. Julian angrily retorted, “I’ll shove this hay down your throat when I return here from Persia. I shall raze this city to its very foundations, and plow over this ground and turn it into a field. I know that it was on your advice that the people dared to destroy the statues and temple of Fortuna”. After this the emperor continued on his way, but soon perished in his campaign against the Persians. He was struck down in the year 363 AD by the holy Great Martyr Mercurios (commemorated November 24). After the emperor’s demise, the Christians of the city of Caesarea built a splendid church over the grave of St Eupsychios, and from his holy relics they received help and healing.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    As a living temple of Christ the Lord you destroyed the ungodly temple, and built a dwelling in Paradise, O Martyr Eupsychios, by your steadfast toils in martyrdom.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

  • Palm Sunday
    All day
    09-04-2017

    The Saturday of Lazarus from the liturgical point of view is the pre-feast of Palm Sunday – the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem. Both feasts have a common theme; triumph and victory. Saturday reveals the Enemy, which is Death. Palm Sunday announces the meaning of victory as the triumph of the Kingdom of God. Palm Sunday announces the acceptance by the world of its only King, Jesus Christ.

    In the life of Jesus the solemn entrance in the Holy City was the only visible triumph. Up to that day, He consistently rejected all attempts to glorify Him. But six days before the Passover, He not only accepted to be glorified, He Himself provoked and arranged this glorification by doing what the prophet Zacharias announced: “behold, Thy King cometh unto thee… lowly and riding upon an ass.. “(Zac. 9:9). He made it clear the He wanted to be acclaimed and acknowledged as the Messiah, the King and the Redeemer of Israel.

    The Gospel narratives stress all these Messianic features; the Palms, the cry from the crowd of “Hosannah”, the acclamation of Jesus as the Son of David and the King of Israel. The history of Israel is now coming to its end. Such is the meaning of this event. The purpose of that history was to announce and to prepare the Kingdom of God, the advent of the Messiah. And now it is fulfilled. For the King enters His Holy City and in Him all prophecies, all expectations find their fulfillment. He inaugurates His Kingdom.

    The Liturgy of Palm Sunday commemorates this event. With palm branches in our hands, we identify ourselves with the people of Jerusalem, together with them we greet the lowly King, singing Hosannah to Him. But what is the meaning of this today for us? First, it is our confession of Christ as our King and Lord. We forget so often that the Kingdom of God has already been inaugurated and that on the day of our Baptism we were made citizens of it and promised to put our loyalty to it above all other loyalties.

    We must remember that for a few hours Christ was indeed King on earth in this world of ours, for a few hours only and in one city. But as in Lazarus we have recognised the image of each man, in this one city we acknowledge the mystical centre of the world and indeed of the whole of creation. For such is the biblical meaning of Jerusalem, the focal point of the whole history of salvation and redemption, the holy city of God’s advent. Therefore, the Kingdom inaugurated in Jerusalem is a universal Kingdom, embracing in its perspective all men and the totality of creation.

    The entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem came at the end of the entire process of preparation revealed in the Bible: it was the end of all that God did for men. And thus this short hour of Christ’s earthly triumph acquires an eternal meaning. It introduces the reality of the Kingdom into our time, into all hours, it makes this Kingdom the meaning of time and its ultimate goal. The Kingdom was revealed in this world – from that hour – its presence judges and transforms human history. And at the most solemn moment of our liturgical celebration, when we receive from the priest a palm branch, we renew our oath to our King and confess His Kingdom as the ultimate meaning and content of our life. We confess that everything in our life and in the world belongs to Christ, nothing can be taken away from its sole real Owner, for there is no area of life in which He is not to rule, to save and to redeem. We proclaim the universal and total responsibility of the Church for human history and uphold her universal mission.

    However, we know that the King whom the Jews acclaimed then, and whom we acclaim today, is on His way to Golgotha, to the Cross and to the grave, we know that this short triumph is but the prologue to His sacrifice. The branches in our hands signify, therefore, our readiness and willingness to follow Him on this sacrificial way and our acceptance of sacrifice and self-denial as the only royal way to the Kingdom. And finally these branches, this celebration, proclaim our faith in the final victory of Christ. His Kingdom is yet hidden and the world ignores it. It lives as if the decisive event had not taken place, as if God had not died on the Cross and Man in Him was not raised from the dead. But we, Orthodox Christians, believe in the coming of the Kingdom in which God will be all in all and Christ the only King.

    Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

    As by baptism we were buried with Thee, O Christ our God, so by Thy Resurrection we were deemed worthy of immortal life; and praising Thee, we cry: Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    In Heaven, He is seated upon a Throne and on earth He rides upon a foal. O Christ our God, accept the praise of the Angels and the hymn of the Children who cry out to You, “Blessed are You who comes to recall Adam.”

  • Fish Allowed
    All day
    09-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Matthew 21:1-11; 15-17
    Philippians 4:4-9
    John 12:1-18
    All day
    09-04-2017

    Palm Sunday

    The Gospel according to Matthew 21:1-11; 15-17

    At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

    “Tell the daughter of Zion,
    Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble and mounted on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

    The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.” But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; and they said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

    ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings,
    you have brought perfect praise’?”

    And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

     

    St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 117.26,1

    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    Verse: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.

    BRETHREN, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

     

    Palm Sunday

    The Gospel according to John 12:1-18

    Palm_SundaySix days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazaros was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazaros was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

    When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazaros, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazaros also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

    The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazaros out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

     

10
  • Hieromartyr Gregory V of Constantinople
    Martyrs Terence & Companions
    All day
    10-04-2017-08-04-2018

    Saint Gregory V, the Holy Martyr and Patriarch of Constantinople

    Saint Gregory V, Archbishop of Constantinople, occupied the Patriarchal throne three times (1797-1799, 1806-1808, 1819-1821 AD). During this time Greece was under the harsh Turkish yoke, but many Greek patriots lived in the hope of winning national independence. They found a brave champion for freedom, the Holy Patriarch Gregory V.

    Saint Gregory’s connections with the Greek patriots came to light only when Alexander Ypsilantis and his army crossed over the River Prut against Sultan Makhmul. Toward the end of 1820 AD, the Russian Embassy advised him to flee from Constantinople because his life was in danger. The Saint replied, “Only a hireling deserts the flock in time of danger, but the good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his flock”. He hoped that if he were killed, the other Christian nations would rise up to help Greece.

    As the Revolution began in Greece, the enraged Turks retaliated against the Christians. It is estimated that 30 000 men, women, and children were killed by the Moslems because of the insurrection. The Patriarch, as the leader of the Greek people, was a natural scapegoat. He was accused of being a traitor, and a secret leader of the Revolution.

    On the day of Holy Pascha, April 10, 1821 AD, they arrested St Gregory and hanged him before the doors of the Patriarchate. Because of his age and his asceticism, his body was not heavy enough to cause immediate death, so he suffered for a long time. No one dared to help him, and it was after nightfall before he finally gave up his soul to God. Those doors have remained shut since that day. After three days, the Saint”s body was sold to a Jewish mob, who dragged his body through the streets, then threw it into the sea.

    Mark Sklabos, the Greek captain of a Russian ship saw the body floating in the water. Under the cover of darkness, they brought the holy relics on board and sailed to Odessa. There, in the Greek church of the Most Holy Trinity, the body of the Saint was buried on June 17, 1821. The Tsar of Russia sent vestments and a mitre with cross, which had belonged to Patriarch Nikon (1652-1658 AD) from Moscow to clothe the Hieromartyr”s body.

    In 1871 AD, at the request of the Greek authorities, it was decided to transfer the relics of St Gregory from Odessa to Athens for the fiftieth anniversary of Greek independence. A special service in honour of the Saint was composed in Athens. St Gregory”s death contributed to the rebirth of Greece.

    The Holy Martyr Terence and his Companions beheaded at Carthage

    St Terence and his Companions beheaded at CarthageThe Holy Martyr Terence and his Companions suffered under the emperor Decius (249-251 AD). The emperor issued an edict commanding all subjects to offer sacrifice to the pagan idols. When the governor of Africa Fortunianus received this edict, he gathered the people into the city square, set out cruel instruments of torture and declared that everyone without exception had to offer the sacrifice to the idols. Many, afraid of torture, complied. However, St Terence and forty other Christians bravely affirmed their faith in the Saviour and ridiculed the idols. Fortunianus was amazed at their boldness and he asked how they as rational people, could confess as God, One Whom the Jews crucified as a malefactor.

    St Terence answered that their belief was in the Saviour, Who voluntarily endured death on the Cross and rose on the third day. Fortunianus saw that Terence inspired the others by his example, and so he ordered him to be isolated in prison with his three closest companions: Africanus, Maximus, and Pompeius. Fortunianus was determined to force the rest of the martyrs, including Xenon, Alexander, and Theodore, to renounce Christ. Neither threats nor terrible tortures could sway the holy martyrs. They burned them with red-hot iron, they poured vinegar on the wounds, they sprinkled on salt, and they raked them with iron claws. In spite of their sufferings, the Saints did not weaken in their confession of Christ, and the Lord gave them strength.

    Forunatian gave orders to lead the martyrs into the pagan temple, and once again he urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The valiant warriors of Christ cried out, “O Almighty God, Who once sent down fire on Sodom for its iniquity, destroy this impious temple of idolatry”. The idols fell down with a crash, and then the temple lay in ruins. The enraged governor gave orders to execute them, and the martyrs, glorifying God, bowed their necks beneath the executioner’s sword.

    After the execution of the thirty-six martyrs, Fortunianus summoned Terence, Maximus, Africanus and Pompeius before him. He showed them the martyrs’ bodies and again urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The martyrs refused. The governor put heavy chains on them, and gave orders to starve them to death. By night, an angel of the Lord removed the martyrs’ chains and fed them.

    In the morning, the guards found the Saints cheerful and strong. Then Fortunianus ordered sorcerers and conjurers to carry snakes and all kinds of poisonous creatures into the prison. The guards looked into the cell through an opening in the ceiling and saw the martyrs unharmed, praying, and the snakes crawling at their feet. When the sorcerers opened the door of the prison cell, the snakes bit them. The furious Fortunianus gave orders to behead the holy martyrs. Christians took up their holy bodies and buried them with reverence outside the city.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the First Tone)

    All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, they overcame the fleshless foe by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.

    Kontakion (First Tone)

    Let us celebrate the memory of Terence and his companions and draw near to receive healing. For with grace and power of the Spirit they heal the sicknesses of our souls.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Holy Father Theonas, Archbishop of Thessolonica
    • 150 and more Righteous Martyr Fathers of the Sacred Monastery of Pantocrator Daou Pentelis
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    10-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Holy Monday
    All day
    10-04-2017

    The Holy Passion of our Saviour begins today, presenting Joseph the all-comely as a prefiguring of Christ. He was the eleventh son of Jacob, and his first son by Rachel; because he was so beloved of his father, his own brethren came to envy him and cast him into a pit. Later they sold him to foreigners for thirty pieces of silver, who later sold him again in Egypt. Because of his virtue, his master gave him much authority in governing his house; because he was fair of countenance, his master’s wife sought to draw him into sin with her; because of his chastity, he refused her, and through her slanders was cast into prison. Finally, he was led forth again with great glory and was honoured as a king. He became lord over all Egypt and a provider of wheat for all the people. Through all this, he typifies in himself the betrayal, Passion, death, and glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ (see Gen., chapters 37, 39 41).

    To the commemoration of Patriarch Joseph is added also the narration concerning the fig tree, which on this day was cursed and subsequently dried up because of its unfruitfulness. It portrayed the Jewish synagogue, which had not produced the fruit demanded of it, that is, obedience to God and faith in Him and which was stripped of all spiritual grace by means of the curse (Matt. 21:18-20).

    Apolytikion of Holy Monday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    See! The Bridegroom sets forth in the dead of night. And blessed is that servant whom he shall find on watch; unworthy the one he shall come upon lazing. See to it, soul, that sleep does not overtake you, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the kingdom. Bestir yourself, then, and sing out: “Holy, holy, holy are You, our God; through the protection of the bodiless powers, save us.”

    Kontakion of Holy Monday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Jacob mourned the loss of Joseph, while the noble one rode in a chariot, honored as royalty. For having spurned the enticements of the Egyptian woman, he was in turn glorified by Him who knows the hearts of men and bestows an incorruptible crown.

  • Matthew 21:18-43
    Matthew 24:3-35
    All day
    10-04-2017

    Holy Monday

    The Gospel according to Matthew 21:18-43

    At that time, Jesus was returning to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. ” And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or from men? ” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.

    “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 24:3-35

    At that time, as Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the sufferings.

    Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.

    So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

     

11
  • Antipas of Pergamon
    All day
    11-04-2017-09-04-2018

    St Antipas was a contemporary of the holy Apostles, by whom he was made Bishop of Pergamom. He contested during the reign of Domitian, when he was cast, as it is said, into a bronze bull that had been heated exceedingly. The Apostle John writes of him in the Book of Revelation, and says (as it were from the mouth of Christ, Who says to the Angel [that is, the Bishop] of the Church of Pergamom), “I know your works, and where you live, even where Satan”s seat is; and you hold fast My Name, and have not denied My Faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful Martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:13). The faithful pray to this Saint for ailments of the teeth.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    The celebrated hierarch and Pergamom”s first prelate, the fellow-contestant of Martyrs and most divine myrrh-streamer, come let the faithful honour now wise Antipas, who truly is a great and swift healer of severely afflicted teeth, and cry to him with our whole soul, “Glory to Christ that has glorified you. Glory to Him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healing for all through you”.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    To the Hierarch and renowned Great Martyr of the Lord, to the most excellent protector of all Pergamom, to him that cast our common foe down in ruin, to Antipas let us sing praises as is due, for he heals them that suffer from afflicted teeth. Let us cry with love, “Rejoice, O thrice-blessed Father”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Pharmuthios the Anchorite
    • Guthlac the Hermit of Crowland
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    11-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Holy Tuesday
    All day
    11-04-2017

    Today we bring to mind the parable of the ten virgins, which our Saviour related as He was coming to His Passion. This parable teaches us that the accomplishment of the great work of virginity should not make us careless in other matters, especially in almsgiving, wherewith the lamp of virginity is made radiant. Furthermore, it teaches us that we should not be remiss about the end of our life, but should be prepared for it at every moment, like the wise virgins, so that we may meet the Bridegroom, lest He come suddenly and the doors of the heavenly bridechamber be shut, and we also, like the foolish virgins, hear that dread sentence: “Amen, I say unto you, I know you not” (Matt. 25:1-13).

    Apolytikion of Holy Tuesday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    See! The Bridegroom sets forth in the dead of night. And blessed is that servant whom he shall find on watch; unworthy the one he shall come upon lazing. See to it, soul, that sleep does not overtake you, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the kingdom. Bestir yourself, then, and sing out: “Holy, holy, holy are You, our God; through the prayers of the Forerunner, save us.”

    Kontakion of Holy Tuesday in the Second Tone

    Soul, mindful of your final hour, and dreading the fate of the fig tree, cultivate with diligence the talent you were given. Endure, be vigilant, and say: “May we not be shut out of the bridal chamber!”

  • Matthew 22:15-46; 23:1-39
    Matthew 24:36-51; 25:1-46; 26:1-2
    All day
    11-04-2017

    Holy Tuesday

    The Gospel according to Matthew 22:15-46; 23:1-39

    At that time, the Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle him in his talk. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men. Tell us, then, what do you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the money for the tax.” And they brought him a coin. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render, therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. ” When they heard it, they marveled; and they left him and went away.

    The same day the Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her.”

    But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not God of the dead, but of the living. ” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

    But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying: “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet?’ If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.

    Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honour at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men, but you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of Gehenna as yourselves.

    “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like white-washed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to Gehenna? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 24:36-51; 25:1-46; 26:1-2

    The Lord said to his disciples, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two of them will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

    “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers 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 feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man shall come.

    “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’

    “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

     

12
  • Basil the Confessor
    All day
    12-04-2017-10-04-2018

    St Basil the Confessor lived during the eighth century. He was elected as bishop by the inhabitants of Parios, who venerated the Saint as a true pastor of the flock of Christ. When the Iconoclast heresy broke out, St Basil resolutely came out on the side of icon veneration and refused to sign the orders for their abolition (the “Iniquitous Scroll” of the Council of 754 AD, which was convened under the emperor Constantine V Copronymos (741-775 AD). The Saint avoided any contact with the heretics and did not permit them into his diocese. For his zeal, he suffered much persecution, hunger and deprivation. St Basil remained faithful to the Orthodox Church until he finally reposed in peace.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Sixth Tone)

    You royally served the King of all, O holy Hierarch Basil. You revealed divine truths and become a whole burnt offering. To those who honour you your cry, “The honour given to the icon ascends to Christ”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Anthousa the Righteous of Constantinople
    • Akakios of Kavsokalyvia
    • Sergius II, Patriarch of Constantinople
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    12-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Holy Wednesday
    All day
    12-04-2017

    Two women – say the more discerning interpreters of the Gospel – anointed the Lord with myrrh; the one, a long time before His Passion; the other, a few days before. One was a harlot and sinner; the other, chaste and virtuous. The Church commemorates this reverent act today. While mentioning herein the person of the harlot, it also mentions Judas’ betrayal; for, according to the account in Matthew, both of these deeds took place two days before the Passover, on Wednesday.

    That woman, then, anointed Jesus’ head and feet with very precious myrrh, and wiped them with the tresses of her hair. The disciples, especially the avaricious Judas, were scandalized, supposedly because of the waste of the myrrh, which could be sold for a great price and given to the poor. The Lord Jesus reproved them and told them not to trouble the woman. Indignant, Judas went to the high priests, who were gathered in the court of Caiaphas and were already taking counsel against Jesus. On agreeing with them to betray his Teacher for thirty pieces of silver, Judas sought from that time opportunity to betray Him (Matt. 26:14-16). Because the betrayal took place on Wednesday, we have received the tradition from Apostolic times to fast on Wednesday throughout the year.

    Apolytikion of Holy Wednesday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    See! The Bridegroom sets forth in the dead of night. And blessed is that servant whom he shall find on watch; unworthy the one he shall come upon lazing. See to it, soul, that sleep does not overtake you, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the kingdom. Bestir yourself, then, and sing out: “Holy, holy, holy are You, our God; by the power of Your Cross, save us.”

    Kontakion of Holy Wednesday in the Fourth Tone

    Though I have outdone the harlot in sin, yet I have offered You no shower of tears. Rather, I fall before You fervently kissing Your spotless feet, praying silently that, as Master, You will remit my debts as I cry: “Savior, free me from the foulness of my deeds!”

  • John 12:17-50
    Matthew 26:6-16
    All day
    12-04-2017

    Holy Wednesday

    The Gospel according to John 12:17-50

    At that time, the crowd that had been with him when he called Laz’arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.”

    Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa’ida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him.

    “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

    When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

    And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 26:6-16

    When Jesus was at Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

     

13
  • Martin of Rome
    George the New Martyr
    All day
    13-04-2017-11-04-2018

    Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome

    St Martin was born in Tuscany. He had been the papal delegate at Constantinople; upon the death of Pope Theodore, St Martin was elected his successor. At this time the Emperor Constans II, also known as Constantine Pogonatus (reigned 641-668 AD), was seeking support of his confession of faith called the Typos, which espoused the Monothelite heresy, that is, that there is only one will and energy in the Incarnate Son of God. However, the newly consecrated Pope not only did not accept the Typos, but convened the Lateran Council of 649 (attended by 105 of his Bishops, and St Maximos the Confessor, who was then in Rome), which anathematized the Typos and the Monothelite heresy. Because of this, St Martin was seized by an imperial force in 653 AD and brought to Constantinople, where he was charged with sending money to the Saracens and conspiring with them, and blaspheming against the most holy Mother of God. Though innocent of these accusations, he was exiled to Cherson on the Black Sea, where, after many sufferings and privations, he received the crown of his courageous confession in the year 655 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    O High Priest and teacher of mysteries, you poured forth streams of doctrine, you expounded the true theology that Christ has two natures and wills. Intercede for those who cry, “Rejoice, blessed Father Martin”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodosios the Martyr
    • Zoilos the Martyr
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    13-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Holy Thursday. The Last Supper
    All day
    13-04-2017

    On the evening of this day, which was the eve of the feast of unleavened bread (that is, the Passover), our Redeemer supped with His twelve disciples in the city. He blessed the bread and the wine, and gave us the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist. He washed the feet of the disciples as an example of humility. He said openly that one of them was about to betray Him, and He pointed out the betrayer by revealing that it was he “that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish.” And after Judas had straightway gone forth, Jesus gave the disciples His final and sublime instructions, which are contained in the first Gospel Reading of the Holy Passion (John 13:31-18:1 known as the Gospel of the Testament). After this the God-man went forth to the Mount of Olives, and there He began to be sorrowful and in anguish. He went off alone, and bending the knees He prayed fervently. From His great anguish, His sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. As soon as He had completed that anguished prayer, lo, Judas came with a multitude of soldiers and a great crowd; on greeting the Teacher guile fully with a kiss, he betrayed Him.

    The Lord Jesus was then apprehended and taken prisoner to the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. The disciples were scattered, but Peter, who was more fervent than the others, followed Him even into the court of the high priest, but in the end denied thrice that he was His disciple.

    Then our divine Teacher was brought before the lawless Sanhedrin and was interrogated concerning His disciples and His teaching. The high priest adjured Him before God that He tell them whether He was truly the Christ. And having spoken the truth, He was judged guilty of death, supposedly as one who had blasphemed. Then they spat in His face, beat Him, smote Him with the palms of their hands, and mocked Him in every way, throughout the whole night until the morning.

    Apolytikion of Holy Thursday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As the glorious disciples, in the washing of the feet, were enlightened, the profane Judas, ravaged by greed, was benighted. And to the lawless judges he surrenders You the just judge. Consider, you who love money, the one who hanged himself for the sake of it. Shun the insatiate heart that could dare such a deed against the Teacher. Lord, benevolent above all humans, glory to You.

    Kontakion of Holy Thursday in the Second Tone

    Taking the Bread into his hands, the betrayer stretcheth them forth secretly and receiveth the price of Him that, with His own hands, fashioned man. And Judas, the servant and deceiver, remained incorrigible.

  • Luke 22:1-39
    1 Corinthians 11:23-32
    Matthew 26:1-20; John 13:3-17; Matthew 26:21-39; Luke 22:43-44; Matthew 26:40-75; 27:1-2 12
    The Twelve Gospels of the Passion of Our Lord
    All day
    13-04-2017

    Holy Thursday

    The Gospel according to Luke 22:1-39

    At that time, the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death. For they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude. Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.” And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them. “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. ” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed! ” And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this. A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me. ” And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, “And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords. ” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

    And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.

     

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 11:23-32

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 2.2,1

    The rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ.
    Verse: Why did the heathen rage, and the peoples plot in vain.

    BRETHREN, I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

    Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 26:1-20; John 13:3-17; Matthew 26:21-39; Luke 22:43-44; Matthew 26:40-75; 27:1-2

    At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people.” Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover.

    When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.” When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

    And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.” Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter declared to him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples. Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

    An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

    And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.

     

    The Twelve Gospels of the Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    The Gospel Reading 1 is from John 13:31-38; 14-18:1

    Christ 2The Lord said to his disciples, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.

    Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence.

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

    I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me.” Some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’? ” They said, “What does he mean by ‘a little while”? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him; so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall ask the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

    When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made. I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. ” When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

     

    The Gospel Reading 2 is from John 18:1-28

    judaskissAt that time, Jesus went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go. ” This was to fulfill the word which he had spoken, “Of those whom you gave me I lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchos. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?” So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in?law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in. The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed. Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.

     

    The Gospel Reading 3 is from Matthew 26:57-75

    peterrepentAt that time, the soldiers seized Jesus and led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter followed him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ I Who is it that struck you?” Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him, and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the cock crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

     

    The Gospel Reading 4 is from John 18:28-40; 19:1-16

    nymphiosAt that time, they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die. Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not of this world.” Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no crime in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again, and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.” Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” PIlate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to be crucified.

     

    The Gospel Reading 5 is from Matthew 27:3-32

    wayofcrossAt that time, when Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” So they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.” Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly. Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you? ” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified.” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross.

     

    The Gospel Reading 6 is from Mark 15:16-32

    nailcrossAt that time, the soldiers led Jesus away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passer?by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

     

    The Gospel Reading 7 is from Matthew 27:33-54

    stavrosisserbAt that time, when the soldiers came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

    Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

    And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

     

    The Gospel Reading 8 is from Luke 23:32-49

    crossthievesAt that time, two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! ” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.

     

    The Gospel Reading 9 is from John 19:25-37

    stavrosisAt that time, standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture), “I thirst.” A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness ? his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth? that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

     

    The Gospel Reading 10 is from Mark 15:43-47

    04_takingdownAt that time, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

     

     

    The Gospel Reading 11 is from John 19:38-42

    burialAt that time, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. Nikodemos also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

     

    The Gospel Reading 12 is from Matthew 27:62-66

    christinhadesNext day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore order the sepulcher to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the sepulcher secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

     

14
  • Aristarchus, Pudens, Trophimus the Apostles of the 70
    All day
    14-04-2017-12-04-2018

    Saint Aristarchus is mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians (4:10), and also in the Epistle to Philemon (v. 24). By his ascetical manner of life, this Saint proved to be another Saint John the Baptist. He became Bishop of Apamea in Syria, and brought many to the Faith of Christ. Saints Pudens and Trophimus are mentioned in II Timothy 4:20-21. Also, Acts 21:29 mentions that Trophimus was from Ephesus. According to sources that Saint Dorotheus of Tyre (celebrated on June 5) found written in Latin in Rome, these Apostles were beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero (54-68).

    Apolytikion of Aristarchus, Pudens, & Trophimus of the 70 in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Thomais the Martyr of Alexandria
    • Ardalion the Actor and Martyr
    • Demetrios the New-Martyr of Arcadia
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    14-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Holy Friday. The Passion of our Lord
    All day
    14-04-2017

    When Friday dawned, Christ was sent bound from Caiaphas to Pontius Pilate, who was then Governor of Judea. Pilate interrogated Him in many ways, and once and again acknowledged that He was innocent, but to please the Jews, he later passed the sentence of death against Him. After scourging the Lord of all as though He were a runaway slave, he surrendered Him to be crucified.

    Thus the Lord Jesus was handed over to the soldiers, was stripped of His garments, was clothed in a purple robe, was crowned with a wreath of thorns, had a reed placed in His hand as though it were a sceptre, was bowed before in mockery, was spat upon, and was buffeted in the face and on the head. Then they again clothed Him in His own garments, and bearing the cross, He came to Golgotha, a place of condemnation, and there, about the third hour, He was crucified between two thieves. Although both blasphemed Him at the first, the thief at His right hand repented, and said: “Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom,” to which our Saviour answered, “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” As He hung upon the Cross, He was blasphemed by those who were passing by, was mocked by the high priests, and by the soldiers was given vinegar to drink mixed with gall. About the ninth hour, He cried out with a loud voice, saying, “It is finished.” And the Lamb of God “Which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) expired on the day when the moon was full, and at the hour when, according to the Law, was slain the Passover lamb, which was established as a type of Him in the time of Moses.

    Even lifeless creation mourned the death of the Master, and it trembled and was altered out of fear. Yet, even though the Maker of creation was already dead, they pierced Him in His immaculate side, and forthwith came there out Blood and Water. Finally, at about the setting of the sun, Joseph of Arimathea came with Nicodemus (both of them had been secret disciples of Jesus), and they took down the all-holy Body of the Teacher from the Cross and anointed it with aromatic spices, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. When they had buried Him in a new tomb, they rolled a great stone over its entrance.

    Such are the dread and saving sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ commemorated today, and in remembrance of them, we have received the Apostolic commandment that a fast be observed every Friday.

    Apolytikion of Holy Friday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As the glorious disciples, in the washing of the feet, were enlightened, the profane Judas, ravaged by greed, was benighted. And to the lawless judges he surrenders You the just judge. Consider, you who love money, the one who hanged himself for the sake of it. Shun the insatiate heart that could dare such a deed against the Teacher. Lord, benevolent above all humans, glory to You.

    Kontakion of Holy Friday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Come, let us all praise Him Who was crucified for us. Mary beheld Him on the Tree and said, “Though You endure even the Cross, You are my Son and my God.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
    Matthew 27:62-66
    All day
    14-04-2017

    Holy Friday

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 5:6-8

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 9.20,1

    Arise, O Lord, let your hand be raised; forget not the poor.
    Verse: I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds.

    BRETHREN, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (Galatians 3.13-14) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree” – that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 27:62-66

    Burial_Holy_FridayNext day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore order the sepulcher to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the sepulcher secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

15
  • Martyr Crescens
    All day
    15-04-2017-13-04-2018

    Crescens the Martyr

    This Martyr was from Myra of Lycia, born of an illustrious family. Of his own accord, he went amidst the idolaters and admonished them to leave off their futile religion and worship the only true God, Who is worshipped by the Christians; for this he was arrested. When asked by the ruler what his name and lineage were, the Saint would answer only that he was a Christian; counseled to offer sacrifice to the idols, he refused. For this, he was hung up and beaten, was scraped, and then was cast into fire, in which he gave up his holy soul into the hands of God, though not even the hair of his head was harmed by the flames.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Inspired Crescens, you ended your life as a martyr. You rejoiced in your torments and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Pray to the Lord for us who celebrate thy memory.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Leonidas, Bishop of Athens
    • Michael the New Martyr of Smyrna
    • The 9 Monk-martyrs of Corinth
    • Padarn, Bishop and Founder of Llandabarn Fawr
  • Holy Saturday. The Descent of the Lord into Hades
    All day
    15-04-2017

    This is the Blessed Sabbath. The “Great and Holy Sabbath” is the day which connects Good Friday, the commemoration of the Cross, with the day of His Resurrection. To many the real nature and the meaning of this “connection”, or “middle day”, remains obscure. For a good majority of churchgoers, the “important” days of Holy Week are Friday and Sunday, the Cross and the Resurrection. These two days, however, remain somehow “disconnected.” There is a day of sorrow, and then, there is the day of joy. In this sequence, sorrow is simply replaced by joy, but according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, expressed in Her Liturgical tradition, the nature of this sequence is not that of a simple replacement. The Church proclaims that Christ has “trampled death by death.”

    It means that even before the Resurrection, an event takes place, in which the sorrow is not simply replaced by joy, but is itself transformed into joy. Great Saturday is precisely this day of transformation, the day when victory grows from inside the defeat, when before the Resurrection, we are given to contemplate the death of death itself. All this is expressed, and even more, all this really takes place every year in this marvelous morning service, in this liturgical commemoration which becomes for us a saving and transforming present.

    On coming to the Church on the morning of Holy Saturday, Friday has just been liturgically completed. The sorrow of Friday is, therefore, the initial theme, the starting point of Matins of Saturday. It begins as a funeral service, as a lamentation over a dead body. After the singing of the funeral troparia and a slow censing of the church, the celebrants approach the Epitaphion. We stand at the grave of our Lord, we contemplate His death. Psalm 119 is sung and to each verse we add a special “praise”, which expresses the horror of men, and of the whole creation, before the death of Jesus:

    “O all ye mountains and hills, and all ye gatherings of men,”

    “Mourn, weep and lament with me, the Mother of your God”

    And yet, from the beginning, along with this initial theme of sorrow and lamentation, a new theme makes its appearance and will become more and more apparent. We find it, first of all, in Psalm 119 – “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.”

    The death of Christ is the ultimate proof of His love for the will of God, of His obedience to His Father. It is an act of pure obedience, of full trust in the Father’s will; and for the Church it is precisely this obedience to the end, this perfect humility of the Son that constitutes the foundation, the beginning of His victory. The Father desires this death, the Son accepts it, revealing an unconditional faith in the perfection of the Father’s will, in the necessity of this sacrifice of the Son by the Father. Psalm 119 is the psalm of that obedience, and therefore the announcement that in obedience the triumph has begun.

    But why does the Father desire this death? Why is it necessary? The death of Christ is described as His descent into Hades. “Hades” in the concrete Biblical language means the realm of death, which God has not created and which He did not want; it also signifies that the Prince of this world is all powerful in the world. Satan, Sin, Death – these are the “dimensions” of Hades, its content. For sin comes from Satan and Death is the result of sin – “sin entered the world, and death by sin.” (Romans 5:12).

    The entire universe after the fall had become a cosmic cemetery, it was condemned to destruction and despair. And this is why death is “the last enemy,” (1 Corinthians 15:20) and its destruction constitutes the ultimate goal of the Incarnation. This encounter with death is the “hour” of Christ of which He said that “for this hour have I come.” (John 12:27) Now this hour has come and the Son of God enters into Death. The Holy Fathers of the Church usually describe this moment as a duel between Christ and Death, Christ and Satan. For this death was to be either the last triumph of Satan, or his decisive defeat. The duel develops in several stages. At first, the forces of evil seem to triumph. The Righteous One is crucified, abandoned by all, and endures a shameful death.

    He also becomes the partaker of “Hades,” of this place of darkness and despair. But at this very moment, the real meaning of this death is revealed. The One who dies on the Cross has Life in Himself, i.e., He has life not as a gift from outside, a gift which therefore can be taken away from Him, but as His own Essence. For He is the Life and the Source of all life. “In Him was Life and Life was the light of man.” The man Jesus dies, but this Man is the Son of God. As man, He can really die, but in Him, God Himself enters the realm of death. This is the unique, the incomparable meaning of Christ’s death. In it, the man who dies is God, or to be more exact, the God-Man. God is the Holy Immortal; and only in the unity “without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” of God and Man in Christ can human death be “assumed” by God and be overcome and destroyed from within, be “trampled down by death.”

    Death is Overcame by Life Now we understand why God desires that death, why the Father gives His Only Begotten Son to it. He desires the salvation of man. Hence the necessity of the Incarnation and the necessity of that Divine death. Death was not only destroyed by God, but was overcome and trampled down in human nature itself by man and through man.

    “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15;21) Sabbath, the seventh day, achieves and completes the history of salvation, its last act being the overcoming of death. But after the Sabbath comes the first day of a new creation, of a new life born from the grave.

    However, we are still in Great Saturday before Christ’s tomb, and we have to live through this long day, before we hear at midnight ‘Christ is Risen!’, before we enter into the celebration of His Resurrection. Thus, the third lesson — Matthew 27:62-66 – which completes the service, tells us once more about the Tomb – which was made secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” But it is probably here, at the end of Matins, that the ultimate meaning of this “middle day” is made manifest. Christ arose again from the dead. His Resurrection we will celebrate the next day on Pascha (Easter). This celebration, however, commemorates a unique event of the past, and anticipates a mystery of the future. It is already His Resurrection, but not yet ours.

    We will have to die, to accept the dying, the separation, the destruction. Our reality in this world, is the reality of the Great Saturday; this day is the real image of our human condition. We believe in the Resurrection, because Christ has risen from the dead. We expect the Resurrection. We know that Christ’s death is no longer the hopeless ultimate end of everything, Baptised into His death, we partake already of His life that came out of the grave. We receive His Body and Blood, which are the food of immortality. We have in ourselves the token, the anticipation of the eternal life. All our Christian existence is measured by these acts of communion to the life of the “new eon” of the Kingdom, and yet we are here, and death is our inescapable share. But this life between the Resurrection of Christ and the day of the common resurrection, is it not precisely the life in the Great Saturday? Is not expectation the basic and essential category of Christian experience? We wait in love, hope and faith. We wait for “the Resurrection and the life of the world to come” (see Nicene Creed).

    Every year, on Great and Holy Saturday, after this morning service, we wait for the Easter night and the fullness of Paschal joy. We know that they are approaching — and yet, how slow is this approach, how long is this day! But is not the wonderful quiet of Great Saturday the symbol of our very life in this world? Are we not always in this “middle day,” waiting for the Pascha of Christ, preparing ourselves for the day without evening of His Kingdom?

  • Strict Fast
    All day
    15-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Matthew 27:62-66
    Romans 6:3-11
    Matthew 28:1-20
    All day
    15-04-2017

    Holy Saturday

    The Gospel according to Matthew 27:62-66

    Next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore order the sepulchre to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the sepulchre secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

     

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 6:3-11

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 1.
    Psalm 65.4,1

    Let all the earth worship you, and sing praises to you.
    Verse: Shout with joy to God, all the earth.

    Brethren, all who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death. We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. The death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 28:1-20

    After the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail! ” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

    While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

    Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen.”

     

16
  • Martyrs Agape, Chionia & Irene
    All day
    16-04-2017-14-04-2018

    When the Emperor Diocletian was at Aquileia, he learned that these Saints were Christians, and had them brought before him. Because they would not deny Christ, he had them imprisoned, and when he went into Macedonia, he committed them to Dulcitius the Prefect, who, however, lost his understanding and became incapable of doing them any harm. Diocletian then gave Count Sisinius charge over them. He had Saints Agape and Chionia burned; he ordered that Saint Irene be put in a brothel, but by the providence of God this was not accomplished, and she was shot with an arrow. These holy sisters suffered martyrdom in Thessalonica in the year 295.

    Apolytikion of Virgin Martyrs Agape, Chionia and Irene in the Plagal of the First Tone

    Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.

    Kontakion of Virgin Martyrs Agape, Chionia and Irene in the Third Tone

    O Most fair Chionia, divine Irene, and Agape, ye are mirrors glittering with spotless virginal brightness; and ye shine like unto lightning upon the whole Church with the splendour of your contest as valiant Martyrs; and ye drive away the darkness of pain and sickness as brilliant gems of Christ God.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Leonidas and Charissa, Nike, Galene, Kallida, Nounenchia, Vasilissa, and Theodora the Martyrs
  • GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA
    All day
    16-04-2017

    Before midnight on Saturday evening, the Odes of Lamentation of the previous day are repeated. The Orthros of the Resurrection begins in complete darkness. The priest takes light from the vigil light and gives it to the faithful, who are holding candles. The priest sings: “Come ye and receive light from the unwaning life, and. glorify Christ, who arose from the dead”, and all the people join him in singing this hymn again and again. From this moment, every Christian holds the Easter candle as a symbol of his vivid, deep faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Savior. In many churches the priest leads the people outside the church, where he reads the Gospel which refers to the Angels statement: “He is Risen; He is not here,” (Mark 16:1-8).

    Then comes the breathless moment as the people wait for the priest to start the hymn of Resurrection, which they join him in singing, repeatedly: “Christ has Risen from the dead, by death trampling upon Death, and has bestowed life upon those in the tombs”. From this moment the entire service takes on a joyous Easter atmosphere. The hymns of the Odes and Praises of Resurrection which follow are of superb meaning and expression. The people confess, “It is the Day of Resurrection, let us be glorious, let us embrace one another and speak to those that hate us; let us forgive all things and so let us cry, Christ has arisen from the dead”. By this hymn they admit that love of one’s fellowman is the solid foundation of the faith in the Resurrection of Christ.

    The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom is then officiated. At the end of the Liturgy, a part of the marvelous festival sermon of Saint Chrysostom is read, which calls upon the people to “Take part in this fair and radiant festival. Let no one be fearful of death, for the death of the Savior has set us free . . . O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is Thy victory? Christ is Risen and Thou art overthrown. To Him be glory and power from all ages to all ages.”

    On Easter Sunday the faithful gather once more for prayer with lighted candles. All sing the hymn, “Christ is Risen from the Dead”. The people greet one another joyously, saying: “Christ is Risen”, the Easter salutation which is answered, “Truly He is Risen”. They sing, “the dark shadows of the Law has passed away by the coming of grace”, and standing in exaltation they exclaim, “Who is so great a God as our God?”

    The Gospel according to John (20:19-25) is read in various languages, proclaiming the Good News of Resurrection all over the universe without discrimination. The fruit of faith in the Resurrection of the Lord is love in His Name; therefore, this day is called “Sunday of Agape” (love feast), a day dedicated to Christian principles, especially to forgiveness and charity. At this time, Christians seek to end misunderstanding and arguments among those whom they may be at odds. Apostle Paul firmly interprets the Resurrection of Christ, saying: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The Church also states in its Creed, “The Third day He rose again.”

    Apolytikion of Great and Holy Pascha in the Plagal of the First Tone

    Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

  • Acts 1:1-8
    John 1:1-17
    All day
    16-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 1:1-8

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
    Psalm 117.24,29

    This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    Verse: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.

    IN THE FIRST BOOK, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

    So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of lsrael?” He said to them, “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”

     

    The Gospel according to John 1:1-17

    anastasiIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

    The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

     

17
  • Renewal Monday
    All day
    17-04-2017

    Kontakion of Renewal Mon. in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

  • Hieromartyr Symeon
    All day
    17-04-2017-16-04-2018

    Symeon the Holy Martyr and Bishop of Persia

    This Martyr was Bishop of the royal cities Seleucia and Ctesiphon in Persia. As the number of Christians increased in Persia, building churches and appointing clergy, the Magi, guardians of the Persian religion, and the Jews, who also envied them, accused Symeon to Sapor II, King of Persia, saying that Symeon was a friend of the Roman Emperor and his spy. Then began Sapor’s persecution of the Christians of Persia, about the year 343. The Magi together with the Jews destroyed the churches. Saint Symeon was brought before Sapor, and, refusing to worship the sun, was imprisoned. On Holy and Great Friday of that year, Saint Symeon was brought out of prison with a hundred others, bishops, priests, and deacons. As each was taken to be slain, Saint Symeon exhorted him to be of good courage; he was slain last of all. It is said that 1,150 Martyrs were slain; an innumerable multitude of Christians were slain throughout Persia during this persecution, among them Saints Acepsimas, Joseph, and Aethalas (see Nov. 3).

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the Plagal of the First Tone

    All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, they overcame the fleshless foe by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Makarios, Bishop of Corinth
    • Agapetos of Rome
    • Hadrian the New-Martyr
    • Donnan, Abbot of Eigg, and the Monk-Martyrs with him
  • Fast Free
    All day
    17-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 1:12-17, 21-26
    John 1:18-28
    All day
    17-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 1:12-17, 21-26

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    IN THOSE DAYS, the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaios and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

    In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us-one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

    And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justos, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

     

    Renewal Monday

    The Gospel according to John 1:18-28

    No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

    And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, ” I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

    Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptising, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordon, where John was baptising.

     

18
  • John the Righteous
    All day
    18-04-2017-16-04-2018

    Holy Father John the Righteous, disciple of St. Gregory of Decapolis

    This Saint took up the monastic life from his youth and became a disciple of Saint Gregory of Decapolis (see Nov. 20). After his elder, Saint Gregory, reposed (in the first half of the ninth century), he came to Jerusalem and finally reposed in peace in the Monastery of Saint Chariton.

    Apolytikion of John the Righteous in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy John, your soul rejoices with the angels.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Euthemios the Enlightener of Karelia
    • Cosmas, Bishop of Calcydon
    • John the New Martyr of Epiros
    • Athanasia the Wonderworker of Aegina
  • Fast Free
    All day
    18-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Renewal Tuesday
    All day
    18-04-2017

    Renewal Tuesday: The Commemoration of Saints Raphael, Nicholas, Irene, and the Other Newly-revealed Martyrs of Lesbos

    On the island of Mytilene (Lesbos in ancient times), near the village of Therme, the villagers had a custom of ascending a certain hill on this day to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the ruins of a small chapel, although no one knew whence the tradition sprang. In the year 1959, certain villagers began seeing persons who spoke to them, first in dreams, then awake, both by day and by night. Through these wondrous appearances, which were given to many people independently, the holy Martyrs Raphael, Archimandrite of the ancient monastery, and Nicholas, his deacon, together with other Saints who had been martyred on the island, told the villagers the whole account of their martyrdom, which had taken place at the hands of the Moslem Turks ten years after the fall of Constantinople, in 1463. The twelve-year-old Irene had been tortured, then burned alive in a large earthenware jar in the presence of her parents. On Tuesday of Renewal Week, Saint Raphael had been tied to a tree and his head sawn off through his jaws; Saint Nicholas had died at the sight of this. Although the feast is celebrated today because it is the day of their martyrdom, through the appearances of the Saints as living persons five hundred years after their martyrdom, it is also a singular testimony to the Resurrection of Christ.

    Apolytikion of Renewal Tuesday in the Fourth Tone

    On Lesbos, ye strove in contest for the sake of Christ God; ye also have hallowed her with the discovery of your relics, O blessed ones. O God-bearer Raphael, with thee, we all honour Nicholas the deacon and Irene the chaste virgin, as our divine protectors, who now intercede with the Lord.

    Kontakion of Renewal Tuesday  in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Ye shone on the world like stars first as ascetics, then as athletes slain for Christ, and were translated to the heights through the great torments that ye endured; and them that praise you, ye keep and protect, O Saints.

  • Acts 2:14-21
    Luke 24:12-35
    All day
    18-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 2:14-21

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

    My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
    Verse: For he has regarded the humility of his servant.

    IN THOSE DAYS, standing with the eleven, Peter lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maid servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”

     

    Renewal Tuesday: The Commemoration of Saints Raphael, Nicholas, Irene, and the Other Newly-revealed Martyrs of Lesbos

    The Gospel according to Luke 24:12-35

    raphNicholasIreneAt that time, Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.

    And behold, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognising him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

    So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

     

19
  • Martyr Paphnutius
    All day
    19-04-2017-17-04-2018

    The Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutius

    All that is known concerning this Saint is that he was a bishop and that he suffered many torments by fire, the sword, and wild beasts.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Paphnutius in the Fourth Tone

    As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Paphnutius. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • George the Confessor
    • Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Martyrs Emmanuel, Theodore, George, Michael and the other George of Samothrace
    • Aelphege the Hieromartyr of Canterbury
  • Fast Free
    All day
    19-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Renewal Wednesday
    All day
    19-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 2:22-38
    John 1:35-52
    All day
    19-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 2:22-38

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 44.17,10

    They shall make mention of your name from generation to generation.
    Verse: Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter said to the people, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.’

    “Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

    Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.”

     

    Renewal Wednesday

    The Gospel according to John 1:35-52

    At that time, John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

    The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

     

20
  • Theodore the Trichinas
    Zacchaeus the Apostle of Caesaria
    All day
    20-04-2017-18-04-2018

    Saint Theodore who was from Constantinople, was born to parents who were pious and of means. He took up the monastic life in a monastery in the imperial city, and wore nought but a rough hair shirt for all his life, from whence also he received his name. He reposed in the late fourth, or early fifth century. Saint Joseph the Hymnographer composed a canon in his honour.

    Apolytikion of Theodore Trichinas in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Theodore, your soul rejoices with the angels.

    Kontakion of Theodore Trichinas in the Third Tone

    As thy fiery chariot, thou didst ascend on the virtues, O God-bearer, mounting up unto the dwellings of Heaven; and thou wast an Angel living on earth among men, and a man dancing for joy with the holy Angels. Hence, O Theodore, thou hast proved a godly vessel of awesome wonders and signs.

     

    Zacchaeus the Apostle of Caesaria

    The conversion of the publican Zacchaeus, and our Saviour’s compassion for him, is narrated in the Holy Gospel (Luke 19:1-10). Afterwards he laboured as a companion of the Holy Apostles, and became first Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.

    Apolytikion of Apostle Zachaias in the Third Tone

    Having justly hated unjust riches, thou didst lay up treasures of salvation; for, receiving the Saviour within thy house, thou, O Zacchaeus, wast truly made marvelous with all the fruits of repentance thou broughtest forth: deeds of mercy, the correction of wrongs, and godly life, because of which we honour thee and call thee blest.

    Kontakion of Apostle Zachaias in the Fourth Tone

    When He that bowed the Heavens came to save sinners, Zacchaeus, great in zeal, but little of stature, beheld the Tree of Life from in the sycamore; lifted above the earth, he saw Jesus, Who called him: coming down in lowliness, he repenting, received Him; and so salvation came into his house, and he was shown forth a true son of Abraham.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gregory & Anastasios, Patriarchs of Antioch
    • Athanasios, Founder of the Monastery of Meteora
  • Fast Free
    All day
    20-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Renewal Thursday
    All day
    20-04-2017

    Kontakion of Renewal Thursday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

  • Acts 2:38-43
    John 3:1-15
    All day
    20-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 2:38-43

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Psalm 46.6,1

    Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
    Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter said to the people, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptised, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

     

    The Gospel according to John 3:1-15

    01_resurrection21At that time, there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nikodemos, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nikodemos said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The Spirit blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, and you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nikodemos said to him, “How can this be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

21
  • Hieromartyr Januarius
    Alexandra the Martyr
    All day
    21-04-2017-19-04-2018

    The Holy Hieromartyr Januarius and Those With Him

    These Martyrs contested for piety’s sake in Campania of Italy, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), when Timothy was Proconsul. Saint Januarius was the Bishop of Benevento in Campania; he was arrested and taken to Nola, where he was cast into a burning furnace, from which he came forth unharmed; at Puteoli, together with Proculus, Sosius, and Faustus the deacons, Desiderius, reader of the Church of Benevento, and Eurychius and Acutius, nobles from Puteoli, he was cast to wild beasts, which as they came near the Saints, fell affectionately at their feet. Finally they were all beheaded, about the year 305.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Januarius in the Fourth Tone

    As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Januarius. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

     

    Alexandra the Martyr

    Martyr Alexandra, the Empress and wife of Emperor Diocletion, was so impressed by the courage and martyrdom of St George that she became a Christian and fell under the same persecution. She also was condemned to be beheaded but when she arrived at the place of execution she asked to be allowed to sit down. Her request was granted. She sat down and died quietly before the executioners could carry out their task. Her feast day is 21 April.

    Apolytikion of Alexandra the Martyr in the Fourth Tone

    O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Our Holy Father Maximian, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Theodore the Holy Martyr & his mother Philippa of Perge
    • Anastasios the Monk of Sinai
    • Beuno, Abbot of Clynnog
  • Fast Free
    All day
    21-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Renewal Friday
    All day
    21-04-2017

    Renewal Friday: Theotokos of the Life-giving Spring

    Outside of Constantinople, towards the district of the Seven Towers, there was in ancient times a very large and most beautiful church named in honour of the Theotokos; it had been built about the middle of the fifth century by the Emperor Leo the Great (also called “Leo of Thrace,” he is commemorated on Jan. 20). Before he became Emperor, he had encountered there a blind man, who being tormented with thirst asked him to help him find water. Leo felt compassion for him and went in search of a source of water but found none. As he became downcast, he heard a voice telling him there was water nearby. He looked again, and found none. Then he heard the voice again, this time calling him “Emperor” and telling him that he would find muddy water in the densely wooded place nearby; he was to take some water and anoint the blind man’s eyes with it. When he had done this, the blind man received his sight. After Leo became Emperor as the most holy Theotokos had prophesied, he raised up a church over the spring, whose waters worked many healings and cured maladies by the grace of the Theotokos; from this, it came to be called the “Life-giving Spring.” The Church of Christ celebrates the consecration of this church on this day.

    After the fall of the imperial city, this church was razed to the ground and the materials from it were used for building the mosque of Sultan Bayezid. Nothing remained of that church’s ancient beauty, except for a small and paltry chapel, almost completely buried in the ruins. This chapel had twenty-five steps going down into it, and a transom window on the roof, wherefrom it received a little light. Toward the western side of the chapel was the aforementioned holy Spring, fenced about with a railing, and with fish swimming in it. Such was the condition of the Spring until 1821. Then even that little remnant was destroyed, occasioned by the uprising of the Greek nation against the Ottoman Empire; the sacred Spring was buried with it and disappeared altogether.

    But in the days of Sultan Mahmud, when those subject to him were rejoicing in their freedom to practice their religion, permission was sought by the Orthodox Christian community to rebuild at least part of the chapel. Thus the work was begun on July 26, 1833. When the excavation had been made, and the foundations of the ancient church were found, there was rebuilt — by a later writ of permission from the Sultan — not merely a chapel of the holy Spring, but another new church, constructed upon the foundations of the ancient one. The building of this spacious, beautiful, and most majestic temple began on September 14, 1833, and the work was completed on December 30, 1834. On February 2, 1835, the Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine II, serving the Liturgy together with twelve hierarchs and a great company of clergy, as well as a boundless multitude of Christians, performed the consecration of this sacred church and dedicated it to the glory of the Mother of God. On September 6, 1955, however, it was desecrated and destroyed again by the Moslem Turks; it has been restored again, but not to the former magnificence.

    Apolytikion of Renewal Friday in the Third Tone

    As a life-giving fount, thou didst conceive the Dew that is transcendent in essence, O Virgin Maid, and thou hast welled forth for our sakes the nectar of joy eternal, which doth pour forth from thy fount with the water that springeth up unto everlasting life in unending and mighty streams; wherein, taking delight, we all cry out: Rejoice, O thou Spring of life for all men.

    Kontakion of Renewal Friday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    O Lady graced by God, you reward me by letting gush forth, beyond reason, the ever-flowing waters of your grace from your perpetual Spring. I entreat you, who bore the Logos, in a manner beyond comprehension, to refresh me in your grace that I may cry out, “Hail redemptive waters.”

  • Acts 3:1-8
    John 2:12-22
    All day
    21-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 3:1-8

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.24,1

    O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
    Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

    Renewal Friday: Theotokos of the Life-giving Spring

    The Gospel according to John 2:12-22

    TheotokosAt that time, Jesus came to Capernaum with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.

    The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

     

22
  • Theodore of Sykeon
    All day
    22-04-2017-20-04-2018

    Saint Theodore was born out of wedlock in Sykeon, a village of Galatia in Asia Minor. From his childhood, he was under the protection and guidance of the holy Great Martyr George, who often appeared to him, and was as it were his trainer in the hard ascetical discipline which he took upon himself all his life. After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he became a monk in his native Galatia. About 584 he was ordained Bishop of Anastasiopolis in Galatia, where he shepherded his flock for ten years. After this, he asked to be allowed to be relieved of the duties of governing the diocese. His request was granted but he was commanded to retain his rank as bishop. Saint Theodore was a great worker of miracles, and also received from God the power to cast out even the most obstinate demons, who called him “Iron-eater” because of his stern way of life. Having passed throughout many regions, worked numerous miracles, and strengthened the faithful in piety, he departed this life in 613.

    Apolytikion of Theodore of Sykeon in the Fourth Tone

    Since thou hadst been known from thy swaddling bands to be sanctified, and hadst been shown to be filled with graces, thou didst illuminate the world with miracles, and dist drive off the swarms of demons, O sacred minister Theodore; wherefore do thou beseech the Lord in our behalf.

    Kontakion of Theodore of Sykeon in the Third Tone

    As thy fiery chariot, thou didst ascend on the virtues, O God-bearer, mounting up unto the dwellings of Heaven; and thou wast an Angel living on earth among men, and a man dancing for joy with the holy Angels. Hence, O Theodore, thou hast proved a godly vessel of awesome wonders and signs.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Nathaniel, Luke, & Clemente the Apostles
    • Nearchos the Martyr
    • Gregory Gravanos of Nisyros
  • Fast Free
    All day
    22-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Renewal Saturday
    All day
    22-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 3:11-16
    John 3:22-33
    All day
    22-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 3:11-16

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 26.1,2

    The Lord is my light and my savior.
    Verse: The Lord is the defender of my life.

    IN THOSE DAYS, while the healed lame man clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through him has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

     

    The Gospel according to John 3:22-33

    Christ 2At that time, Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there He remained with them and baptised. John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people came and were baptised. For John had not yet been put in prison.

    Now a discussion arose between John’s disciples and a Jew over purifying. And they came to John, and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, here he is, baptising, and all are going to him.” John answered, “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.

    “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony; he who receives His testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”

     

23
  • Great Martyr George
    All day
    23-04-2017-21-04-2018

    George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

    Saint George, this truly great and glorious Martyr of Christ, was born of a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Palestine. Being a military tribune, or chiliarch (that is, a commander of a thousand troops), he was illustrious in battle and highly honoured for his courage. When he learned that the Emperor Diocletian was preparing a persecution of the Christians, Saint George presented himself publicly before the Emperor and denounced him. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was put to unheard-of tortures, which he endured with great bravery, overcoming them by his faith and love towards Christ. By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in 296 in Nicomedia.

    His sacred remains were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. (The translation of the Saint’s holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21.)

    If April 23 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St George is translated to Bright Monday.

    Apolytikion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer, Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Cultivated by God, you became manifest as an honorable tiller gathering for yourself the sheaves of virtue. For you sowed with tears but reaped with gladness; in the contest you competed with your blood and came away with Christ. By your intercessions, O Holy One, all are granted forgiveness of sins.

  • Matthew 28:16-20
    Acts 12:1-11
    John 15:17-27; 16:1-2
    All day
    23-04-2017

    First Orthros Gospel

    The Gospel according to Matthew 28:16-20

    At that time, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen.”

     

    Acts of the Apostles 12:1-11

    Peter_and_Paul,_the_Holy_ApostlesProkeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    ABOUT THAT TIME, Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church.

    The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him. And Peter came to himself, and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

     

    George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

    The Gospel according to John 15:17-27; 16:1-2

    George_the_Great_Martyr_&_TriumphantThe Lord said to his disciples: “This I command you, to love one another. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’

    But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”

     

24
  • Elizabeth the Wonderworker
    All day
    24-04-2017-23-04-2018

    Elizabeth the Wonderworker

    Saint Elizabeth was born in Heraclea of Thrace. She lived in virginity and exhausted herself with ascetical labours and every kind of hardship from the time of her youth, and was deemed worthy of the grace of wonderworking from God; she reposed in peace in Constantinople in the middle of the fifth century.

    Apolytikion of Elizabeth the Wonderworker in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Elizabeth, your soul rejoices with the angels.

    Kontakion of Elizabeth the Wonderworker in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As a fair house of virtues and a temple of virginity, thou makest miracles pour forth abundantly as an unfailing fount of grace; and thou purgest all sickness from the body and soul, O Mother Elizabeth, for them that praise the Maker while crying out: Alleluia.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Savvas the General of Rome
    Nicholas the New-Martyr of Magnesia
    Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Second Monday after Pascha
    All day
    24-04-2017

    Apolytikion of Second Monday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Acts 3:19-26
    John 2:1-11
    All day
    24-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 3:19-26

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

    Who makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire
    Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God you are very great.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter said to the people, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

     

    The Gospel according to John 2:1-11

    At that time, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the wedding, with his disciples. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

25
  • Apostle & Evangelist Mark
    All day
    25-04-2017-23-04-2018

    Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

    Mark was an idolater from Cyrene of Pentapolis, which is near Libya. Having come to the Faith of Christ through the Apostle Peter, he followed him to Rome. While there, at the prompting of Peter himself and at the request of the Christians living there, he wrote his Gospel in Greek, and it is second in order after Matthew’s. Afterwards, travelling to Egypt, he preached the Gospel there and was the first to establish the Church in Alexandria. The idolaters, unable to bear his preaching, seized him, bound him with ropes, and dragged him through the streets until he, cut to pieces on rocks, gave up his soul. It is said that he completed his life in martyrdom about the year 68. He is depicted in holy icons with a lion next to him, one of the living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), and a symbol of Christ’s royal office, as Saint Irenaeus of Lyons writes.

    If April 25 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. Mark is translated to Bright Tuesday.

    Apolytikion of Apostle and Evangelist Mark in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Apostle and Evangelist Mark in the Second Tone

    When thou hadst received the Spirit’s grace from Heaven’s heights, thou rentest apart the webs of the philosophers; and on catching all of the nations in thy net, O all-lauded Mark, thou didst offer them to thy Lord, by preaching the Gospel of divine renown.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    New Martyr Emmanuel and Companions

  • 1 Peter 5:6-14
    Luke 10:16-21
    All day
    25-04-2017

    St. Peter’s First Universal Letter 5:6-14

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    BRETHREN, humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, first in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    By Silvanos, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God; stand fast in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with the kiss of love.

    Peace to all of you that are in Christ.

     

    Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

    The Gospel according to Luke 10:16-21

    Mark_the_Apostle_&_EvangelistThe Lord said to his disciples, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! ” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. ” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”

     

26
  • Hieromartyr Basil
    All day
    26-04-2017-24-04-2018

    Basil the Holy Martyr Bishop of Amasea

    This Saint was Bishop of Amasia in Pontus, in the days of Licinius (reigned 308-324), fellow Emperor and brother-in-law of Saint Constantine the Great. Licinius’ wife Constantia, sister of Saint Constantine, had as handmaid a virgin named Glaphyra. When it became known that Licinius had conceived a sinful desire for her. Constantia secretly sent Glaphyra away to the East. Coming to Amasia, she took refuge with Saint Basileus. When Licinius learned of this, he furiously commanded that both be brought before him. When the soldiers came for them, however, Saint Glaphyra had already departed to the Lord; she is also commemorated this day. Saint Basileus was taken alone to Nicomedia, where he was beheaded. His body was cast into the sea, but through divine revelation was found again and brought back to Amasia.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Basil of Amaseia in the Fourth Tone

    As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Basil. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Glaphyra the Righteous
    Justa the Nun

  • Second Wednesday after Pascha
    All day
    26-04-2017

    Apolytikion of Second Wednesday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    26-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 4:13-22
    John 5:17-24
    All day
    26-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 4:13-22

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

    My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
    Verse: For he has regarded the humility of his servant.

    IN THOSE DAYS, when the Jews saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognised that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for all men praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom the sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

     

    2nd Wednesday after Pascha

    The Gospel according to John 5:17-24

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him: “My Father is working still, and I am working.” This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these he will show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son, that all may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.”

     

     

27
  • Martyr Symeon
    Eulogios the Innkeeper of Constantinople
    All day
    27-04-2017-25-04-2018

    The Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord

    St Symeon was a first cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the son of Clopas (or Cleopas, also called Alphaeus), the brother of Joseph the Betrothed. He became the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as a successor to James the Brother of God. He ended his life when he was crucified during the reign of Trajan, in 107 AD, at the age of 120.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    We sacredly acclaim you as Jesus Christ’s kinsman, and as His steadfast Martyr, O all-lauded Hierarch. For bravely you have destroyed all deception and kept the faith. Hence, O Symeon, we keep your holy remembrance on this festive day; and by your prayers, we are granted the pardon of grievous sins.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Since the Church has Symeon, the God-proclaimer, as a great and shining star, She is now guided by his light as She cries out in joy today: Rejoice, O venerable summit of martyred Saints.

  • Second Thursday after Pascha
    All day
    27-04-2017

    Apolytikion of Second Thursday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Acts 4:23-31
    John 5:24-30
    All day
    27-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 4:23-31

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    IN THOSE DAYS, when the apostles were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’- for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

     

    The Gospel according to John 5:24-30

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement. I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.”

28
  • 9 Martyrs of Cyzicus
    All day
    28-04-2017-26-04-2018

    The Holy Nine Martyrs of Cyzicus

    These holy Martyrs, who were from various regions, suffered martyrdom together when they were beheaded in Cyzicus, a city in Asia Minor on the southern coast of the Sea of Marmara.

    Apolytikion of 9 Martyrs of Cyzicus in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    John, the Martyr of Romania
    Theocharus and Apostolos
    Memnon the Wonderworker

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    28-04-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Second Friday after Pascha
    All day
    28-04-2017

    Apolytikion of Second Friday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Acts 5:1-11
    John 5:30-47; 6:1-2
    All day
    28-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 5:1-11

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 98.9,1

    Exalt the Lord our God.
    Verse: The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.

    IN THOSE DAYS, a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

     

    The Gospel according to John 5:30-47; 6:1-2

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him: “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of the Father who sent me. If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true; there is another who bears witness to me, and I know that the testimony which he bears to me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen; and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent. You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men. But I know that you have not the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

    After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased.

     

29
  • Jason & Sosipater
    All day
    29-04-2017-27-04-2018

    Saints Jason and Sosipater, the Apostles of the 70 and their Companions

    Both of Saints Jason and Sosipater were disciples of the Apostle Paul, who mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans, saying, “Jason and Sosipater my kinsmen greet you” (Rom 16:21). St Jason was from Tarsus of Cilicia, and became Bishop there. St Sosipater was from Patras of Achaia, and became Bishop of Iconium. When they had shepherded their churches well for a long time, they departed west that they might profit others also, and arrived finally at the island of Corfu, where they were the first to preach the Gospel to its people. They suffered many things for Christ’s Name, drew many souls to salvation, and finished the course of their life there. In the ancient city of Corfu, a church from the first centuries, built in their honour and bearing inscriptions that mention the Saints by name, verifies the historical account concerning them.

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Second Tone)

    Being illuminated with the teachings of Paul, you became luminaries to the whole world, O thrice-blessed ones; for you ever shine upon the world with miracles, O Jason, fountain of healings, and Sosipater, glory of the Martyrs of Christ. O God-bearing Apostles, protectors of them that be in need, entreat God that our souls be saved.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy Martyr Cercyra
    Our Holy Father John of Kaloktenos, Metropolitan of Thebes
    Basil, Bishop of Montenegro
    Nektarios the New Martyr of Optina

  • Second Saturday after Pascha
    All day
    29-04-2017

    Apolytikion of Second Saturday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

    Kontakion of Second Saturday after Pascha in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Thomas examined Your life-giving side with his probing right hand, O Christ our God. As You entered, though the doors were closed, he cried out to You, with the other Apostles “You are my Lord and my God.”

  • Acts 5:21-32
    John 6:14-27
    All day
    29-04-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 5:21-32

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

    Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous.
    Verse: Blessed are they whose transgressions have been forgiven.

    IN THOSE DAYS, the apostles entered the temple and taught. Now the high priest came and those who were with him and called together the council and all the senate of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, and they returned and reported, ‘We found the prison securely locked and the sentries standing at the doors, but when we opened it we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And some one came and told them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

    And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

     

    The Gospel according to John 6:14-27

    At that time, when the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”

    Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

    When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, entered a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

    On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. However, boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves entered the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

    When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”

30
  • Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women
    All day
    30-04-2017

    About the beginning of His thirty-second year, when the Lord Jesus was going throughout Galilee, preaching and working miracles, many women who had received of His beneficence left their own homeland and from then on followed after Him. They ministered unto Him out of their own possessions, even until His crucifixion and entombment; and afterwards, neither losing faith in Him after His death, nor fearing the wrath of the Jewish rulers, they came to the sepulchre, bearing the myrrh-oils they had prepared to annoint His body. It is because of the myrrh-oils, that these God-loving women brought to the tomb of Jesus that they are called the Myrrh-bearers. Of those whose names are known are the following: first of all, the most holy Virgin Mary, who in Matthew 27:56 and Mark 15:40 is called “the mother of James and Joses” (these are the sons of Joseph by a previous marriage, and she was therefore their step-mother); Mary Magdalene (celebrated July 22); Mary, the wife of Clopas; Joanna, wife of Chouza, a steward of Herod Antipas; Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus; and Susanna. As for the names of the rest of them, the evangelists have kept silence (Matt 27:55-56; 28:1-10. Mark 15:40-41. Luke 8:1-3; 23:55-24:11, 22-24. John 19:25; 20:11-18. Acts 1:14).

    Together with them we celebrate also the secret disciples of the Saviour, Joseph and Nicodemus. Of these, Nicodemus was probably a Jerusalemite, a prominent leader among the Jews and of the order of the Pharisees, learned in the Law and instructed in the Holy Scriptures. He had believed in Christ when, at the beginning of our Saviour’s preaching of salvation, he came to Him by night. Furthermore, he brought some one hundred pounds of myrrh-oils and an aromatic mixture of aloes and spices out of reverence and love for the divine Teacher (John 19:39). Joseph, who was from the city of Arimathea, was a wealthy and noble man, and one of the counsellors who were in Jerusalem. He went boldly unto Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and together with Nicodemus he gave Him burial. Since time did not permit the preparation of another tomb, he placed the Lord’s body in his own tomb which was hewn out of rock, as the Evangelist says (Matt. 27:60).

    Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Second Tone

    When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the lightning of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst also raise the dead out of the nethermost depths, all the powers in the Heavens cried out: O Life-giver, Christ our God, glory be to Thee.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

  • Apostle James
    All day
    30-04-2017-29-04-2018

    James the Apostle and brother of St. John the Theologian

    James was one of the Twelve, like his brother John (celebrated on Sept. 26), whom the Lord called “Sons of Thunder,” because they became great preachers and because of their profound theology. It was the Saint’s boldness in preaching the Gospel that Herod Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod the Great, could not endure, and so he took him into custody during the days of the Passover, and slew him with the sword (Acts 12: 1-2); and thus he drank the cup of which the Saviour had spoken to him prophetically (Matt. 20:23). As for Herod, the following year he went down to Caesarea, and, as the Acts of the Apostles records: “Upon a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration” to the elders of Tyre and Sidon; and the flatterers that surrounded him “gave a shout, saying, ‘it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.’ And immediately an Angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory; and like his grandfather (see Dec. 29) “he was eaten of worms and gave up the spirit” (Acts 12:21-23)

    Apolytikion of Apostle James in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle James, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Apostle James in the Second Tone

    The voice of thy God thou heardest when it called to thee, O glorious James; hence, casting off thy father’s love, thou together with John thy brother didst run straightway to Christ the Lord, and with him was granted to see the Lord’s most divine Transfiguration.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Argyra the New Martyr
    Clement the Hymnographer
    Erconwald, Bishop of London

  • Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8
    Luke 24:1-12
    Acts 6:1-7
    All day
    30-04-2017

    The Gospel according to Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8

    At that time, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

    And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 24:1-12

    ANGELATTOMBOn the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered in to the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

    But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.

     

    Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7

    Prokeimenon. Mode 2.
    Psalm 117.14,18

    The Lord is my strength and my song.
    Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.

    IN THOSE DAYS, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “it is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochoros, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaos, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.