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THE SERVICE COMMON TO THE FESTIVALS OF THE HOLY VIRGIN.
For O Lord, I have cried, the following Stichera Tone 4. Similar to: Thou hast given a token...
With divine workings dost Thou preserve and shelter from incursions of the enemy those that lovingly celebrate Thine all-glorious (name of the event) and call unto Thee: Thou art our strength and stablishment and Thy Son our God is the God-becoming delight, Whom adoring we say: Jesu all-powerful, save our souls as Compassionate One!
To-day being divinely gathered together let us praise the Theotokos. most holy Virgin, many are thy grandeurs and abyss-full are thy wonders, for thou art holy protection, praise and glory and source of healing unto us also that celebrate thy holy (name of the event); wherefore praying we say: O Jesu all powerful, save our souls as Compassionate One.
Do thou, O most holy one, with thy honourable supplications both shelter and preserve, and unto the enemies -- as fearful and unsubduable shew those that make a festival of thy (name of the event), that we may call unto thy Son: O Jesu all-powerful, save us as Compassionate One ! [Glory ...Both now ...Tone 6.
As with a most brilliant circle, with thy (name of the event), O most holy Theotokos, the Church of God bath been surrounded and shining for joy and secretly exulting doth to-day call aloud unto thee, O Sovereign-Lady: Hail thou -- O precious diadem and crown of God's glory ; hail -- the only fulfilment of the glory and the eternal gladness ; hail -- the haven unto those that flee to thee, mediatrix and the salvation of our souls.
The Entrance. The Prokeimenon of the day.
The Reading from the Book of Genesis (28, 10-17).
Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all 14night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and, behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said: I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father and the God of Isaac; be not afraid : the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep and he said: Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said : How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
The Reading from the prophecy of Ezekiel (43, 27. and 44, 1-4).
Thus saith the Lord: upon the eighth day and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings, and I will accept you, saith the Lord God. Then He brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the Lord unto me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. As for the Prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. Then brought He me the way of the north gate before the house, and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
The Reading from the Proverbs (9, 1-11).
Wisdom hath builded her house, and hath fixed the seven pillars thereof. She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled15her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens. She crieth upon the highest places of the city: whoso is single, let him turn in hither; as for them that want understanding, she saith unto them: come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake foolishness, and ye shall live, and go in search of understanding that ye may live, and improve understanding in knowledge. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame; and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot, for rebukes unto the wicked are as wounds to him. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For understanding of the law proceedeth from a good thought, for in this wise thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
For Versicles, the Stichera, Tone 3.
Come, O ye all the ends of the earth, and the honourable (name of the event) of the Mother of God let us glorify, for lifting up her hands to her Son doth she pray; wherefore with her holy (name of the event) the world is revivified; with psalms, and hymns and spiritual odes, let us joyfully celebrate with all the saints.
The Versicle : Unto the King shall virgins be brought in her train, and her companions shall be brought unto thee. Greatly hath God adorned thee with beauty since in the midst of men He placed the Light in thine arms. Do thou, that art alone in His light, the hope of Christians, the help unto those afflicted with wants and sorrows, and the haven for those labouring in the deep, entreat that may be delivered from afflictions those who lovingly hymn thy (name of the event) all-honoured.
The Versicle : Hearken, O daughter, and look and incline thine ear. Thine all-honoured (name of the event), O all-holy and pure Virgin, is glorified both by angels in the heavens and by the race of man on earth, for thou wast the Mother of the Maker of all, Christ the God. Him to entreat for us do not16cease, pray we, that have in thee, next to God, placed our trust, O Theotokos, most highly praised and innocent of marital intercourse.
Glory...Both now...Tone 2. Having purged our thoughts and minds, we, together with angels, joyfully celebrate the Virgin -- the Bride of the King of all, Christ our God, beginning with the David's hymn and saying: Arise, O Lord, in Thy repose, Thou and the ark of Thy sanctuary. As a beautiful chamber hast Thou adorned her and numbered her unto Thy city, O Master, to rear and to shelter from the inimical pagans, by the mighty power, through her entreaties.
The Troparion of the Festival from the Typicon. If there be no Typicon, say the following Troparion, Tone 4.
To the Theotokos let us, sinners and humbled, now flee and in penitence fall down before her calling out of the depth of our souls: O Sovereign Lady, help us taking pity on us, do hasten to our assistance as we are perishing from the multitude of our transgressions; neither turn thy servants empty away, for thou art the only hope that we have.
Glory...Both now... We shall never cease, although unworthy, to proclaim thy powers, O Theotokos; for if thou didst not intercede with thine entreaties, who should have delivered us from so many dangers ? and who should have preserved us in freedom until now? we shall never turn away from thee, for thy servants dost thou always deliver from all manner of evils.
At the Matins, for " God is the Lord," the Troparion twice; Glory ...Both now: We shall never cease ...Once.
After the 1st Stichologia, the Cathisma, Tone 4. Similar to: Thou hast appeared to-day...
Auroras like hath shone forth the world-wide joy of thy (name of the event), O Virgin Mother, Mary. Do thou enlighten on earth the thoughts of those who lovingly hymn thee.
Glory...Both now...the same
After the 2nd Stichologia, the Cathisma, Tone 4. Similar to: Amazed...
The Virgin Mary that is truly Theotokos hath shone forth unto us as a bright cloud; therewithall Adam is no longer condemned 17and Eve is released from bonds; wherefore we also cry out unto the only pure one, with boldness vociferating: O most holy Virgin, entreat thy Son to grant us remission of sins.
Glory...Both now...the same. After Praise ye the name of the Lord...the Refrain
Let us bring unto the Theotokos every spiritual hymn. The selected Psalm: Remember David, O Lord, and all his affliction. ... After the Polyeleon, the Cathisma, Tone 1. Similar to: The angelic hosts were upon Thy tomb-stone...
The ear of thy virginal womb proved to be beautiful, for thou hast given birth unto the Life of the world; wherefore the heavenly powers vociferate unto thee, O Theotokos, praising thy venerated festival, O most pure one. Glory unto thy (name of the event); glory to thy virginity, O Mother, that knewest not a man. [Glory...Both now...the same.
The Graduals, the 1st Antiphon of the 4th Tone. The
Prokeimenon, Tone 4:
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations. The Verse : My heart hath poured forth a good word, I speak of my doings unto the King. Every breath... [The Gospel, St. Luke 10, 38-42; 11, 27-28.
After the 50th Psalm, the Sticheron, Tone 6:
To-day the gates of heaven are opening and the divine door moveth forth. To-day the grace of gladness beginneth, shewing forth unto the world (name of the event) of the Mother of God, through whom the earthly things become united with the heavenly, unto the salvation of our souls.
The Canon of the All-holy Theotokos, Tone 8. The Heirmoi to be said twice; the Troparia 12 times. Ode 1. The Heirmos.
Having crossed the water as if it were dry land and having escaped the evils of Egypt, the Israelites cried out: Let us sing unto our Deliverer and our God.
Do thou graciously strengthen me with God's power joyfully to sing thy (name of the event), O most pure one, -- the protection18of thy city, and unto all thy people, O all-holy one, invincible dominion and stability unto thy flock.
Benignity and mercy do we draw with thine entreaties, for thou hast brought forth God, the Mighty One, Who saveth all the pious through thine intercessions, O most spotless one; for His sake we all glorify thee, O Sovereign-Lady.
Thy divine (name of the event) do we celebrate, since through thee, O most pure Theotokos, have been granted incorruptible salvation, indestructible joy and hope, shelter and dominion and a refuge unto our souls.
Under thy shelter, O Sovereign-Lady, do we -- thy people -- flee. Be thou, O most spotless one, a help unto us, thy servants, and transmit supplication for salvation of those that lovingly hymn thee.
The Catabasia: I will open my mouth.
Ode 3. The Heirmos.
O Lord, the roofer of the heavenly firmament and the founder of the church, do Thou stablish me in Thy love, Thou -- the end of the desires, the stablishing of the faithful, the only Lover of man.
Let us with faith renew the hearts on (name of the event) of the holy Theotokos. Vouchsafing unto all that in faith pray for deliverance, do thou, O most pure one, protect us from the enemies, both visible and invisible.
Thou dost graciously sanctify those that in faith flee into thy temple and in love fall down before thy (name of the event). Do thou deliver us from all dangers and grant victories unto our Emperor (mentioned by name) over the pagans, and make gracious unto us thy Son and our God.
Having become incarnate of thee, God the Word hath made a house for Himself in thy holy womb and was pleased to be born, as He desired, and granted unto us to see the day of thy (name of the event); which lovingly celebrating, we do send our supplications unto thee.
With gladsome souls and joyful hearts we have directed our intelligence unto thy honoured and divine (name of the event), and we all the faithful, pray unto thee, O Theotokos, since thou hast suckled with thy milk thy most pure Son that feedeth us with His mercy.19
The Catlcisma, Tone 4 :
Thy church doth festively celebrate thy glorious (name of the event), and we, all the faithful, in hymning thee, diligently call unto thee, O pure Virgin, to strengthen all the faithful against the power of the enemy, to destroy the counsels of the wicked, and to direct our lives so that we do the divine will of thy Son.
Glory ...Both now ...the same.
Ode 4. The Heirmos :
I have hearkened, O Lord, unto the mystery of Thine Economy, comprehended Thy works and glorified Thy Godhead.
Since thou, O Virgin pure, hast passed over unto the neversetting Light, in praying unto thy Son and our God, remember also us who are celebrating thy honoured (name of the event) that He may grant us the remission of sins.
As the resplendent sun, in crossing the horizon, shineth forth, so doth also thy divine festival emit the rays, and driving away from us the darkness of passions, imparteth cleansing unto our souls and deliverance from dangers.
Now the darkness of the evil is dispersed and as light both of the sun and soul the festival of thy honoured (name of event), O all-spotless Mother of God, shineth forth, which we do piously celebrate.
Thou art, O most pure and most spotless Mother hymned of all, the great refuge and praise, thou art the ark of the intellectual sanctity and the inexhaustible source of cures unto those that venerate thy honoured (name of the event).
Ode 5. The Heirmos.
Wherefore hast Thou driven me away from Thy presence, O neversetting Light, and a strange darkness hath overcome me, the wretched one ? Do, however, turn me and set my paths unto the light of Thy commandments, I implore Thee.
Unto those that flee to thee for refuge everything becometh full of holiness, and we, faithful, obtaining pardon, celebrate thy honoured (name of the event), whereon we entreat thee to grant us grace and mercy in the day of judgment.
Adorned with the purity of virginity wast thou that gavest birth unto the Fair One, thy Son and our God; do thou adorn20the festival of thy honoured (name of the event) and gladden the hierarchical order; subdue unto our Emperor the foreign races and deliver from all dangers thy people.
As another paradise possessing in its midst the flower of sweet smell, becometh known thy honoured festival; with a divine sweet smell doth it fill the hearts of the faithful that lovingly venerate thee, O most spotless Sovereign-Lady.
A cloud wast thou, O Virgin, unto the divine rain, O most spotless Sovereign-Lady, pouring down the water of salvation with which was filled the earth dried with sins, and bringing unto the creation the fruit of virtue; wherefore we glorify thee.
Ode 6. The Heirmos
Cleanse me, O Saviour, for many are my transgressions, and lead me up from the depth of evils, I implore Thee, for unto Thee have I cried, and hearken to me, O God of my salvation.
Him that existed before all ages, hast thou as a babe brought forth and hast rejuvenated our hearts which were decayed through many sins ; accept also the renewal of our hymnology which is being offered unto Thy festival, O all-holy Theotokos.
Holy is thy temple and truly wonderful is thy most honoured (name of the event) which we celebrate therein; granting unto all that glorify thee, O most pure one, the cures for their hearts, do also preserve thy servants from all dangers.
Every soul rejoiceth at coming together in thy temple, and thy festival we celebrate, hymning, O Virgin Theotokos, thy honoured (name of the event) that is resplendent as a sun and shineth with light through the grace of God's Spirit. Do thou illumine us also and enlighten our hearts, O Virgin-Mother, Sovereign-Lady.
We hymn thy most honoured (name of the event) and reverence thy spotless conception and birth, O God's Bride and Maiden; with us do the angelic orders and the choirs of all saints glorify thee, Thereupon the Contakion of the Festival which happeneth to be. But if there be none, say the following Contakion, Tone 1.
Thou that wast above word and understanding the honoured dwelling of the ineffable divine nature and art the joint security for sinners, that grantest grace and cure as the Mother of the21King of all, do thou entreat thy Son that we may obtain mercy in the day of judgment.
Another Contakion, Tone 6
We have no other help, we have no other hope but thee, O Sovereign-Lady; do thou help us, in thee we trust, and in thee we glory; since we are thy servants, let us not be put to shame.
The Oikos : Let us lovingly cry unto the Theotokos: Hail thou, O Lord's city; hail thou, O David's sceptre; hail thou, O intellectual palace; hail thou, O pot of the divine manna; hail thou, O unconsumed bush; hail thou, O golden candlestick; hail thou, O inextinguishable candle; hail thou, O God's overshadowed mountain; hail thou, O fire-bearing throne; hail thou, O heavenly ladder and door; hail thou, O Aaron's rod that sprouted without moisture; hail thou that savest all from all dangers and afflictions. Do entreat, O most pure one, thy Son that we may obtain mercy in the day of judgment.
Ode 7. The Heirmos
Through God's descent the fire in Babylon did once become softened ; wherefore the youths dancing with joyful step in the furnace as if it were a flowery lawn, sung: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers.
As the Queen of all having come, thou hast set unto our glory the heavenly shelter of thy divine festival (name of the event); therewith we obtain deliverance from the irruption of the invisible enemies, crying out unto thy Son: Blessed is the God of our fathers.
With thy nativity, O Sovereign Theotokos and Virgin, and with all thy festivals the cycle of the year is crowned. Do now adorn also the day of thy honoured (name of the event) by outpouring grace, while we all the faithful are flocking into thy temple.
All the heavenly powers praise her that bare the Lord and the races of men glorify her that shewed unto us the day of her honoured (name of the event): she is our refuge, hope and protection, and the shelter from the incursions of the enemy.
O gracious cloud, do thou sprinkle from above with the dew of thy grace and mercy us that venerate the day of thy glorious 22festival (name of the event), which every soul gladly hymneth and glorifieth: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Ode 8. The Heirmos :
The Unoriginate King of glory, before Whom tremble the heavenly hosts, sing ye the priests and ye the peoples extol unto all the ages.
The only Queen of all before God art thou, O pure parent of God, both holy throne and the palace of Christ the God. Him entreat for those that venerate thy honoured (name of the event) to grant us the remission of sins.
In holy arms truly hast thou carried on earth the Lord Who of thee became incarnate, O all-glorious, and now hast thou ascended above heavens and left unto men the most joyous day of thy honoured (name of the event), whereon we also glorify thee, singing: Sing unto the Lord and exalt Him unto the ages.
Rejoice, O ye divine prophets, venerating the honoured (name of the event) of the Virgin Theotokos ; for she has fulfilled the sayings of you all, having brought forth Christ the King of all; Whom we exalt unto the ages.
O thou, raising of the fallen, gladness of the despondent, instructress of the wandering, unto the sick visitation and cure and salvation unto all Christians ; do, O Sovereign-Lady, preserve us that cry unto thee and venerate thy (name of the event) and deliver us from the incursion of other nations.
Ode 9. The Heirmos :
Everyone became terrified at hearing of the ineffable God's condescension, that the Most High did voluntarily come down even unto the flesh itself, having become man in a virgin's womb ; wherefore we the faithful magnify the most pure Theotokos.
Glorious things were said of thee, O city of God and of Him Who ever reigneth over the heavenly and earthly things, was born of thee and raised thee from the earth into heaven. Do unceasingly entreat Him for those that venerate thy honoured (name of the event), with Whom we magnify thee.
O ye the incorporeal orders, the assembly of the patriarchs and of apostles the godly compound, the prophetic choir, and the army of martyrs, the companies of hierarchs and of pious23fathers, and ye all the saints -- do rejoice with us celebrating (name of the event) of the Mother of God and magnifying her.
Thou hast sanctified everything with thy bringing forth, O most pure Virgin, and caused to appear a yet greater illumination -- the all honourable day of thy (name of the event), which celebrating we magnify thee.
Exalt the horn of our right pious Emperor and put down the ragings of other nations, O most pure Parent of God; keep free from wars thy cities and preserve all the christian countries wherein is magnified and faithfully glorified by all thy great and multiglorious name, O pure Sovereign-Lady.
The Photagogicon. Similar to : Hearken ye women...
Revive, O Adam, and thou Eve, rejoice, exalt ye -- prophets together with apostles and martyrs and be glad -- ye ascetics and hierarchs; for joy and gladness is both unto the angels and men the (name of the event) of the most pure Theotokos Mary. Thrice.
With the Lauds the Stichera. Tone 1.
Since unto the source of light and the inexhaustible stream of sereneness we offer the festival (name of the event), Him entreat, O Theotokos, to deliver us from the darkness of ignorance and from passions both spiritual and bodily, and in the world to come to save us from endless torment. Twice.
Being the source of benign wisdom and the gulf of understanding and grace, He that was born of thee in the flesh hath shewn thee, O Theotokos, as an abyss of the Hypostatical Wisdom of God in the festival (name of the event); for His sake do grant me a drop of thy wisdom and understanding, and instruct me with regard to the life.
The head of the mysterious wonders of Christ -- that awful commencement -- having seen, we honour and adore the venerable accomplishment -- the festival (name of the event) of thy O Sovereign-Lady, venerated image and of the divine wonders ; do visit us as instructress in sicknesses and sorrows and deliver us, O Theotokos, from the torment to come.
Glory ... Both now ... Tone 8:
Let us all sing unto the Theotokos Mary: Hail thou O Mother of God; hail, -- the ladder animated and reasonable; hail -- the24bush unconsumed; hail, -- the all-holy pot; hail, -- the flower of the faith; hail, -- the rod that sprouted; hail, -- the golden censer; hail, -- the God's overshadowed mountain, the Virgin; hail, -- the loosening of the first Eve; hail, -- the throne of God; hail, -- the multimerciful beauty; hail, -- the Sovereign-Lady.
The Great Doxology... and the Dismission.
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