Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 15, 2013 - 5th Monday of Lent

Prayer of St. Ephraim
Κύριε καὶ Δέσποτα τῆς ζωῆς μου, πνεῦμα ἀργίας, περιεργίας, φιλαρχίας, καὶ ἀργολογίας μή μοι δῷς.,
Πνεῦμα δὲ σωφροσύνης,ταπεινοφροσύνης, ὑπομονῆς, καὶ ἀγάπης χάρισαί μοι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ.
Ναί, Κύριε Βασιλεῦ, δώρησαι μοι τοῦ ὁρᾶν τὰ ἐμὰ πταίσματα, καὶ μὴ κατακρίνειν τὸν ἀδελφόν μου, ὅτι εὐλογητὸς εἶ, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of whole-mindedness, humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:


Crescens the Martyr
Leonidas, Bishop of Athens
Michael the New Martyr of Smyrna
The 9 Monk-martyrs of Corinth


Τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Κρήσκεντος, τοῦ ἐν Μύροις τῆς Λυκίας καί τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Λεωνίδου, Ἐπισκόπου Ἀθηνῶν.


READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:


http://www.goarch.org/resources/monthly_readings
Isaiah 37:33-38:6
"Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David." And the angel of the LORD went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went home and dwelt at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, slew him with the sword, and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover." Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD, and said, "Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in thy sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.


Ἠσαΐας 37:33-38:6
Διὰ τοῦτο οὕτω λέγει Κύριος ἐπὶ βασιλέα ᾿Ασσυρίων· οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς τὴν πόλιν ταύτην οὐδὲ μὴ βάλῃ ἐπὶ αὐτὴν βέλος οὐδὲ μὴ ἐπιβάλῃ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὴν θυρεόν, οὐδὲ μὴ κυκλώσῃ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὴν χάρακα, ἀλλὰ τῇ ὁδῷ ᾗ ἦλθεν, ἐν αὐτῇ ἀποστραφήσεται καὶ εἰς τὴν πόλιν ταύτην οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ. τάδε λέγει Κύριος· ὑπερασπιῶ ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως ταύτης τοῦ σῶσαι αὐτὴν δι᾿ ἐμὲ καὶ διὰ Δαυὶδ τὸν παῖδά μου. Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἄγγελος Κυρίου καὶ ἀνεῖλεν ἐκ τῆς παρεμβολῆς τῶν ᾿Ασσυρίων ἑκατὸν ὀγδοηκονταπέντε χιλιάδας, καὶ ἀναστάντες τὸ πρωΐ εὗρον πάντα τὰ σώματα νεκρά. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἀποστραφεὶς Σενναχηρεὶμ βασιλεὺς ᾿Ασσυρίων, καὶ ᾤκησεν ἐν Νινευῇ. καὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτὸν προσκυνεῖν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Νασαρὰχ τὸν πάτραρχον αὐτοῦ, ᾿Αδραμέλεχ καὶ Σαρασὰρ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπάταξαν αὐτὸν μαχαίραις, αὐτοὶ δὲ διεσώθησαν εἰς ᾿Αρμενίαν· καὶ ἐβασίλευσεν ᾿Ασορδὰν ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἀντ᾿ αὐτοῦ.
᾽Εγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ ἐμαλακίσθη ᾿Εζεκίας ἕως θανάτου· καὶ ἦλθε πρὸς αὐτὸν ῾Ησαΐας υἱὸς ᾿Αμὼς ὁ προφήτης καὶ εἶπε πρὸς αὐτόν· τάδε λέγει Κύριος· τάξαι περὶ τοῦ οἴκου σου, ἀποθνήσκεις γὰρ σὺ καὶ οὐ ζήσῃ. καὶ ἀπέστρεψεν ᾿Εζεκίας τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν τοῖχον καὶ προσηύξατο πρὸς Κύριον λέγων· μνήσθητι, Κύριε, ὡς ἐπορεύθην ἐνώπιόν σου μετὰ ἀληθείας, ἐν καρδίᾳ ἀληθινῇ, καὶ τὰ ἀρεστά ἐνώπιόν σου ἐποίησα· καὶ ἔκλαυσεν ᾿Εζεκίας κλαυθμῷ μεγάλῳ. καὶ ἐγένετο λόγος Κυρίου πρὸς ῾Ησαΐαν λέγων· πορεύθητι καὶ εἰπὸν ᾿Εζεκίᾳ· τάδε λέγει Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς Δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρός σου· ἤκουσα τῆς προσευχῆς σου καὶ εἶδον τὰ δάκρυά σου. ἰδοὺ προστίθημι πρὸς τὸν χρόνον σου δεκαπέντε ἔτη· καὶ ἐκ χειρὸς βασιλέως ᾿Ασσυρίων ρύσομαί σε καὶ τὴν πόλιν ταύτην καὶ ὑπερασπιῶ ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως ταύτης.


Genesis 13:12-18
Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, while Lot dwelt among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your descendants also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you." So Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the LORD.


Γένεσις 13:12-18
῞Αβραμ δὲ κατῴκησεν ἐν γῇ Χαναάν, Λὼτ δὲ κατῴκησεν ἐν πόλει τῶν περιχώρων καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν Σοδόμοις· οἱ δὲ ἄνθρωποι οἱ ἐν Σοδόμοις πονηροὶ καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἐναντίον τοῦ Θεοῦ σφόδρα. ῾Ο δὲ Θεὸς εἶπε τῷ ῞Αβραμ μετὰ τὸ διαχωρισθῆναι τὸν Λὼτ ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ· ἀνάβλεψον τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς σου καὶ ἴδε ἀπὸ τοῦ τόπου, οὗ νῦν σύ εἶ, πρὸς βορρᾶν καὶ λίβα καὶ ἀνατολὰς καὶ θάλασσαν· ὅτι πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν, ἣν σὺ ὁρᾷς, σοὶ δώσω αὐτὴν καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου ἕως αἰῶνος. καὶ ποιήσω τὸ σπέρμα σου ὡς τὴν ἄμμον τῆς γῆς· εἰ δύναταί τις ἐξαριθμῆσαι τὴν ἄμμον τῆς γῆς, καὶ τὸ σπέρμα σου ἐξαριθμηθήσεται. ἀναστὰς διόδευσον τὴν γῆν εἴς τε τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς καὶ εἰς τὸ πλάτος, ὅτι σοὶ δώσω αὐτὴν καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. καὶ ἀποσκηνώσας ῞Αβραμ, ἐλθὼν κατῴκησε παρὰ τὴν δρῦν τὴν Μαμβρῆ, ἣ ἦν ἐν Χεβρώμ, καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν ἐκεῖ θυσιαστήριον τῷ Κυρίῳ.


Proverbs 14:27-15:4
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined. He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot. He who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him. The wicked is overthrown through his evil-doing, but the righteous finds refuge through his integrity. Wisdom abides in the mind of a man of understanding, but it is not known in the heart of fools. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. A servant who deals wisely has the king's favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.


Παροιμίαι 14:27-15:4
Πρόσταγμα Κυρίου πηγὴ ζωῆς, ποιεῖ δὲ ἐκκλίνειν ἐκ παγίδος θανάτου. ἐν πολλῷ ἔθνει δόξα βασιλέως, ἐν δὲ ἐκλείψει λαοῦ συντριβὴ δυνάστου. μακρόθυμος ἀνὴρ πολὺς ἐν φρονήσει, ὁ δὲ ὀλιγόψυχος ἰσχυρῶς ἄφρων. πραΰθυμος ἀνὴρ καρδίας ἰατρός, σὴς δὲ ὀστέων καρδία αἰσθητική. ὁ συκοφαντῶν πένητα παροξύνει τὸν ποιήσαντα αὐτόν, ὁ δὲ τιμῶν αὐτὸν ἐλεεῖ πτωχόν. ἐν κακίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἀπωσθήσεται ἀσεβής, ὁ δὲ πεποιθὼς τῇ ἑαυτοῦ ὁσιότητι δίκαιος. ἐν καρδίᾳ ἀγαθῇ ἀνδρὸς ἀναπαύσεται σοφίᾳ, ἐν δὲ καρδίᾳ ἀφρόνων οὐ διαγινώσκεται. δικαιοσύνη ὑψοῖ ἔθνος, ἐλασσονοῦσι δὲ φυλὰς ἁμαρτίαι. δεκτὸς βασιλεῖ ὑπηρέτης νοήμων, τῇ δὲ ἑαυτοῦ εὐστροφίᾳ ἀφαιρεῖται ἀτιμίαν. ΟΡΓΗ ἀπόλλυσι καὶ φρονίμους, ἀπόκρισις δὲ ὑποπίπτουσα ἀποστρέφει θυμόν, λόγος δὲ λυπηρὸς ἐγείρει ὀργάς. γλῶσσα σοφῶν καλὰ ἐπίσταται, στόμα δὲ ἀφρόνων ἀναγγέλλει κακά. ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ὀφθαλμοὶ Κυρίου, σκοπεύουσι κακούς τε καὶ ἀγαθούς. ἴασις γλώσσης δένδρον ζωῆς, ὁ δὲ συντηρῶν αὐτὴν πλησθήσεται πνεύματος.


READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:


http://analogion.gr/glt/
Τῇ ΙΕ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Κρήσκεντος, τοῦ ἐν Μύροις τῆς Λυκίας.
Θάμβος βλέπειν Κρήσκεντα τοῦ πυρὸς μέσον,
Ἡγούμενον λειμῶνα τερπνὸν τὴν φλόγα.
Κάτθανε καὶ Κρήσκης πέμπτῃ δεκάτῃ πυρὶ λαύρῳ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων γυναικῶν, Βασιλίσσης καὶ Ἀναστασίας.
Ἀμνοῦ Θεοῦ σφάττουσιν ἀμνάδας δύο,
Ἀναστασίαν καὶ Βασίλισσαν ἅμα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ ἐν Ἁγίοις Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Λεωνίδου, Ἐπισκόπου Ἀθηνῶν.
Σκότος συνέσχε τὰς Ἀθήνας ἀθρόον,
Δύναντος αὐταῖς ἡλίου Λεωνίδου.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Θεοδώρου Πρεσβυτέρου, καὶ Παυσολυπίου.
Παυσολυπίῳ καὶ Θεοδώρῳ θύτῃ,
Δῶρόν τι παυσίλυπον ὄντως τὸ ξίφος.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.


http://www.goarch.org/chapel/calendar
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.


Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ο Μάρτυς σου Κύριε, έν τή αθλήσει αυτού, τό στέφος εκομίσατο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, έχων γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλεν, έθραυσε καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση, αυτού ταίς ικεσίαις Χριστέ, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.


http://www.ec-patr.org/gr/saints/
Το ποία και πόση είναι η ευθύνη των διωκτών της πίστεως αυτό είναι το ζήτημα της κρίσεως του Θεού. Κανείς δεν ξέρει πόσοι απ' αυτούς πλανώνται και πόσοι ψεύδονται. Γι' αυτό ο Χριστός είπε να προσευχώμαστε για κείνους που μας διώκουν· πολλές φορές αυτοί "ουκ οίδασι τι ποιούσι" και πιστεύουν πως προσφέρουν "λατρείαν τω Θεώ". Οι διώκτες και οι Μάρτυρες στέκονται ο καθενας σε διαφορετική βάση κ' είναι φυσικό να μην μπορούν οι διώκτες να καταλάβουν τους Μάρτυρες. Ο ηγεμόνας, ενώπιον του οποίου κρίνεται ο άγιος Μάρτυς Κρήσκης, τον οποίον τιμά σήμερα η Εκκλησία, ονομάζει τον Άγιο δυστυχή, επειδή θεληματικά βάζει τον εαυτό του σε βάσανα. Κι ο Άγιος απαντά· "Της εσχάτης μενούν ευκλείας και ευδαιμονίας το πάσχειν υπέρ Χριστού". Ο Απόστολος γράφει· "υμίν εχαρίσθη το υπέρ Χριστού, ου μόνον το εις αυτόν πιστεύειν, αλλά και το υπέρ αυτού πάσχειν".


http://users.uoa.gr/~nektar/orthodoxy/agiologion/
Ὁ Ἅγιος Κρήσκης
Ἡ καταγωγή του ἦταν ἀπὸ τὰ Μύρα τῆς Λυκίας. Τὴν ἐποχὴ ἐκείνη, ἡ Ἐκκλησία δεχόταν ἀνελέητα τὰ βέλη τῶν εἰδωλολατρῶν. Τότε ὁ Κρήσκης ἦταν γέροντας, ἀρκετὰ μεγάλος στὴν ἡλικία. Ὅμως, ἡ θερμή του πίστη καὶ ἡ ἀκατανίκητη δίψα γιὰ ὁμολογία Χριστοῦ, ἔδιναν φτερὰ νεότητας στὸ γέρικο κορμί του γιὰ ἀγῶνα. Μία μέρα, καὶ ἐνῷ θυσίαζε μία ὁμάδα εἰδωλολατρῶν, αὐτὸς πῆγε μὲ κατάλληλο τρόπο ἀνάμεσά τους καὶ προσπάθησε, παρὰ τὶς ἀντιδράσεις μερικῶν, νὰ τοὺς πείσει γιὰ τὴν ἀλήθεια τῆς χριστιανικῆς πίστης. Αὐτό, βέβαια, τὸ ἔμαθε ὁ ἔπαρχος καί, ἀφοῦ τὸν κάλεσε, τοῦ εἶπε νὰ μὴ προβαίνει σὲ τέτοιες ἐνέργειες, διότι βάζει σὲ κίνδυνο τὸν ἑαυτό του καὶ εἶναι κρῖμα νὰ ὑποστεῖ μαρτυρικὸ θάνατο τώρα στὰ γεράματά του. Ὁ γέροντας Κρήσκης κοίταξε τὸν ἔπαρχο μὲ ἥσυχο βλέμμα καὶ τοῦ ἀπάντησε: «Ἡ ἀλήθεια τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀποδεικνύεται ἀπὸ τὴν ζωὴ καὶ τοὺς θριάμβους τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Ἑπομένως, γιὰ μένα τὰ βασανιστήρια θὰ ἀποτελοῦν ἡδονὴ καὶ τρυφή, διότι οἱ χριστιανοὶ θεωροῦν εὐεργέτημα νὰ ἀγωνιστοῦν καὶ νὰ πάθουν γιὰ τὸ Χριστό». Ἀμέσως, τότε, διατάχθηκε νὰ τὸν βασανίσουν καὶ ἔτσι μαρτυρικὰ παρέδωσε τὴν ψυχὴ τοῦ στὸ Θεό.


Ὁ Ἅγιος Λεωνίδης ἐπίσκοπος Ἀθηνῶν
Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά.


Οἱ Ἁγίες Ἀναστασία καὶ Βασίλισσα
Ἦταν καὶ οἱ δυὸ ἀπὸ τὴν Ῥώμη, εὐγενεῖς καὶ πλούσιες (ἐπὶ Νέρωνος 54-68). Καὶ ἦταν ἀπὸ τὶς γυναῖκες ἐκεῖνες, ποὺ μέσα στὴ διαφθορὰ ποὺ κατέκλυζε τὸ λαὸ καὶ τὰ ἀνώτερα στρώματα τῆς κοσμοκράτειρας πόλης, διατηροῦσαν σεμνὰ ἤθη ἄξια τῶν μεγάλων χρόνων τῆς ῥωμαϊκῆς ἀκμῆς. Σὲ τέτοιο ἠθικὸ ἔδαφος, βλάστησε ὁ σπόρος τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Καὶ οἱ δυὸ δέχτηκαν τὴν πίστη τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ μὲ τὴν ἀγαθοεργὴ διανομὴ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων τους, ἔγιναν παρηγοριὰ καὶ στήριγμα τῶν χριστιανῶν τῆς Ῥώμης. Ὅταν ὁ Παῦλος καὶ ὁ Πέτρος, ἔπεσαν ἱερὰ σφάγια στὸν πρῶτο διωγμὸ ἐναντίον τῶν χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τὸ Νέρωνα, τότε ἡ Ἀναστασία καὶ ἡ Βασίλισσα παρέλαβαν καὶ ἔθαψαν τὰ τίμια λείψανά τους. Μετὰ ἀπὸ λίγο συνελήφθησαν. Κατηγορήθηκαν ὅτι ἀνήκουν σὲ ὁμάδα χριστιανῶν. Ἐκεῖνες, ὄχι μόνο δὲν τὸ ἀρνήθηκαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ δήλωσαν ὅτι καυχῶνται γι᾿ αὐτό, καὶ εὐχήθηκαν, ὅλος ὁ κόσμος νὰ γίνει ἄξιος της ζωῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ἀπειλὲς καὶ βασανισμοὶ δὲν ἴσχυσαν νὰ μεταβάλουν τὴν γνώμη τους. Καὶ ἐνῷ εἶχαν κόψει τὰ χέρια καὶ τὴν γλῶσσα τους, τὸ φρόνημά τους παρέμεινε ἀπτωτο. Τελικὰ τὶς ἀποκεφάλισαν καὶ ἔτσι ἀξιώθηκαν τῶν λαμπρότερων μαρτυρικῶν στεφάνων.


Οἱ Ἅγιοι Θεόδωρος ὁ Πρεσβύτερος καὶ Παυσολύπιος
Μαρτύρησαν διὰ ξίφους. Ἡ δὲ σύναξή τους τελεῖται στὸ γηροκομεῖο τοῦ Μελοβίου.


Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀνανίας ὁ Ἱερομάρτυρας μητροπολίτης Λακεδαιμονίας (1750-1767 ἢ 1764)
Ἦταν λόγιος κληρικὸς καὶ ἡγετικὴ φυσιογνωμία τῆς ἐποχῆς του. Χρημάτισε προηγουμένως ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Δημητσάνας (1747-1750), ἀπέκτησε δὲ τεράστιο κῦρος ὄχι μόνο ἀνάμεσα στοὺς Ἕλληνες τῆς Πελοποννήσου, ἀλλὰ καὶ στοὺς Τούρκους. Τὸ 1762 ἡγήθηκε ἀποστολῆς στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ πέτυχε τὴν ματαίωση τῆς μετάθεσης τοῦ μετριοπαθοῦς μόρα-Βαλεσὴ Ὀσουμάν, τὸν ὁποῖο οἱ Τοῦρκοι ἀγάδες τῆς Πελοποννήσου προσπαθοῦσαν νὰ διώξουν γιὰ τὰ φιλελληνικά του αἰσθήματα καὶ γιατί στεκόταν ἐμπόδιο στὶς αὐθαιρεσίες τους. Ἀνέλαβε ἡγετικὸ ῥόλο στὴν ὀργάνωση καὶ στὸν συντονισμὸ τῆς ἐξεγέρσεως τῶν Ἑλλήνων τῆς Πελοποννήσου, ποὺ εἶχε ζητήσει μὲ εἰδικοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους ἡ Μεγάλη Αἰκατερίνη τῆς Ῥωσίας. Συνεργάστηκε μὲ τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς τῆς Πελοποννήσου, τοὺς προκρίτους καὶ τοὺς ὁπλαρχηγοὺς γιὰ τὴν ὀργάνωση τῶν πρώτων πυρήνων τῆς ἐξεγέρσεως. Ἡ προσπάθεια ὅμως αὐτὴ ἀπέτυχε, ὁ δὲ διάδοχος τοῦ Ὀσουμάν, ὁ Χαμζᾶ πασάς, πληροφορήθηκε τὶς προετοιμασίες καὶ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισε στὸν Μυστρὰ τὸ 1767. Ὁ μαρτυρικὸς θάνατός του, ποὺ ἐνέπνευσε τὸ δημοτικὸ τραγούδι, ὑπῆρξε μεγάλη συμφορὰ καὶ θρηνήθηκε ἀπὸ τὸν λαό.


http://www.abbamoses.com/
Holy Martyr Sabbas the Goth (372)
In the kingdom of Wallachia (in modern-day Romania) the Goths undertook a brutal persecution of Christians. A Gothic prince came to the village of Buzau and asked the villagers if any Christians lived there. They swore to him that there were none. At this, Sabbas came before the Prince and said 'Let no one swear an oath on my behalf. I am a Christian.' Touched by his courage, the prince let Sabbas go, saying 'This one can do neither harm nor good.'
  The following year a priest named Sansal came to the village and celebrated Pascha with Sabbas (who was truly the only Christian there). When the pagans heard of this, they attacked Sabbas' house and seized both men. They dragged Sabbas naked through thorns, then tied both him and Sansal to trees and tried to make them eat meat offered to idols. Neither man would touch the sacrifices. The prince then sentenced Sabbas to death and gave him over to the soldiers. Sabbas walked to the place of execution joyfully, singing and praising God. Seeing his goodness, the soldiers tried to free him on the way, but Sabbas refused, telling them that it was their duty to carry out the prince's command.
  The soldiers took him to a river, tied a rock to his neck and cast him into the waters, where he gave back his soul to God. Some Christians later recovered his body and gave it honorable burial. The saint was 31 years old at the time of his martyrdom. In the reign of the Emperor Valens, the Greek commander Ionnios Soranos found the Saint's body during a war against the Goths, and took it to Cappadocia.


Menologion 3.0
The Holy Disciples Aristarchus, Pudas and Trophymos were from among the Seventy Disciples, whom the Lord Jesus Christ had sent before him with the good-news of the Gospel (Lk. 10: 1-24).
The holy Disciple Aristarchus, a co-worker of the holy Apostle Paul, became bishop of the Syrian city of Apameia. His name is repeatedly mentioned in the book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles (Acts 19: 29, 20: 4, 27: 2) and in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul (Col. 4: 10, Philemon 1: 24).
The holy Disciple Pudas is mentioned in the 2nd Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4: 21). He occupied high position as a member of the Roman Senate. At his home the saint took in the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul, and believing Christians gathered. His house was converted into a church, receiving the name "Pastorum". In it, according to tradition, the holy Apostle Peter himself served as priest.
The holy Disciple Trophymos hailed from the city of Edessa. His name is mentioned in the book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles (Acts 20: 4) and in the 2nd Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4: 20). He was a student and companion of the holy Apostle Paul, sharing with him all the sorrows and persecution.
All these three holy disciples accepted a martyr's death at Rome under the emperor Nero (54-68), concurrent with that of the Apostle Paul ( c. 67).


The Holy Women Martyrs Basilissa and Anastasia lived in Rome and were enlightened with the light of the Christian faith by the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. They devoted themselves to the service of the Lord. When the emperor Nero (54-68) persecuted Christians and gave them over to torture and execution, Saints Basilissa and Anastasia intrepidly took up the bodies of the holy martyrs and gave them reverent burial. Rumours about this reached Nero. Saints Basilissa and Anastasia were then locked up in prison. They subjected them to cruel tortures: they scourged them with whips, tore at their skin with hooks, and burned at them with fire. But the holy martyresses remained unyielding and bravely confessed their faith in Christ the Saviour. By command of Nero they were beheaded with the sword (+ c. 68).


The Holy Martyr Sukhios and his 16 Gruzian (Georgian) Companions were illustrious dignitaries who served at the court of the Albanian (Hagbanite) ruler (i.e. "Caucasian Albania" -- a realm on the present day territory of Azerbaizhan).
Escorting the Albanian ruler's daughter Satenika, spouse of the Armenian emperor Artaxar (88-123), Saint Sukhios and his 16 Companions arrived in Artashat, the ancient capital of Armenia (the city was later destroyed by the Romans in the year 163). Preaching there at the time was the Greek Christian named Chrysos, who had been enlightened and ordained by the holy Disciple Thaddeus (+ c. 44, Comm. 21 August). The dignitaries came to believe in Christ the Saviour, and they firmly resolved to devote all their life to the service of God. All seventeen of the newly-converted Gruzianians followed Chrysos into Mesopotamia. At the time of their Baptism in the waters of the Euphrates, made over them by Bishop Chrysos, they were vouchsafed to behold the Lord of Glory Jesus Christ.
At the place of their Baptism, the holy martyrs erected a venerable cross and named it the "Cross of the Annunciation". Bishop Chrysos at the Baptism gave all the saints new names: to the eldest -- Sukhios (replacing his old name Bagadras), and to his companions the names -- Andrew, Anastasias, Talale, Theodorites, Juhirodion, Jordan, Kondrates, Lukian, Mimnenos, Nerangios, Polyeuktos, James, Phoki, Domentian, Victor and Zosima.
After the martyr's death of Blessed Chrysos, Saint Sukhios became the spiritual leader of the brethren. All soon resettled in a wild locality on Mount Sukaketi, not far from the mountain village of Bagrevandi. Here the former dignitaries led very strict ascetic lives, the scant mountain vegetation sufficed them for food, and for drink -- a cold spring of water.


THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:


http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm
1. THE HOLY APOSTLES ARISTARCHUS, PUDENS AND TROPHIMUS
They were numbered among the Seventy Apostles. Aristarchus was bishop of Apamea in Syria. The Apostle Paul mentions him several times. "The city was filled with confusion and the people rushed with one accord into the theater, seizing Gaius and Aristarchus" (Acts of the Apostles 19:29). "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions) if he comes to you, receive him" (Colossians 4:10). "Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as well as Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my co-workers" (Philemon 1:23,24). Aristarchus was captured in Ephesus with Gaius by a multitude of people who had risen up against Paul. The Apostle Paul writes to the Colossians: "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner sends you his greetings" (Colossians 4:10). In the Epistle to Philemon, Paul calls Aristarchus "my co-worker" together with Mark, Demas and Luke.
Pudens was a distinguished citizen of Rome. The Apostle Paul mentions him once. "Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers send greetings"(2 Timothy 4:21). At first, the home of Pudens was a haven for the Chief Apostles [Peter and Paul] and later it was converted into a place of worship, called the Shepherd's Church.
Trophimus was from Asia. "Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, accompanied him, as did Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia" (Acts of the Apostles 20:4). He accompanied the apostle on his travel. In one place the Apostle Paul writes: "I left Trophimus sick at Miletus" (2 Timothy 4:20).
During the reign of Nero's persecution, when the Apostle Paul was beheaded, all three of these glorious apostles were also beheaded.


2. THE HOLY MARTYR SABAS OF GOTHLAND [SABAS THE GOTH]
In Gothland, there was a brutal persecution against Christians. A certain prince of the Goths [Atharidus] entered the village where this devout Sabas lived and asked the villagers: "Are there any Christians living in your village?" They convinced him by swearing that there are none. Then Sabas stood before the prince and the people and said: " Let no one swear for me; I am a Christian!" Upon seeing Sabas, wretched and poor, the prince let him go in peace saying: " This one can neither harm nor benefit anyone." The following year, around Easter, a certain priest Sansala came to this village and celebrated the glorious Feast of the Pascha [Resurrection] with Sabas. Upon learning of this, the heathens suddenly attacked the home of Sabas and began to beat this holy man of God unmercifully with canes and, besides this, they dragged the naked body of Sabas through thorns and then tied both Sabas and Sansala to a tree and offered them the meat of the idolatrous sacrifices to eat. These men of God called to mind the words of the apostles and refused to eat of the unclean sacrifices of the devil. Finally, Prince Atharidus condemned Sabas to death and handed him over to the soldiers. Full of joy, Sabas arrived at the scaffold praising God. Recognizing him as a good man, the soldiers wanted to release him along the way and, because of that, Sabas became very sorrowful and said to the soldiers that they are duty-bound to carry out the order of the prince. The soldiers then brought him to the Mussovo river [at Targoviste, Romania, near Bucharest] tied a stone around his neck and tossed him into the water. His body was washed up along the shore. Later on, during the reign of Emperor Valens when the Greek Commander Ioannis Soranos was warring with the Goths, he discovered the body of Sabas and translated it to Cappadocia. Sabas, the saint, suffered at the age of 31 in the year 372 A.D.


3. THE HOLY FEMALE MARTYRS BASILISSA AND ANASTASIA
Basilissa and Anastasia were two pious and devout Romans. During the reign of Emperor Nero, they gathered the slain bodies of the disciples of the apostles and buried them with honor. For this, they were accused and imprisoned. After prolonged torture, during which their breasts and tongues were severed, they were finally beheaded.


HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HOLY MARTYRS
Martyrs radiant, their blood they shed,
And the entire black earth, with their blood they stained
The fire was powerful in which they were burned,
But, more powerful the love, with which they loved Christ.
For the greatest good, a martyr to be
With what kind of riches, can this be compared?
All-victorious Christ, the King of that age,
Your brave souls in heaven welcomed.
From the hands of the angels, He took them to Himself,
And all your weighty pains, He blessed.


REFLECTION
Concerning contemplation, St. Gregory Sinaites writes: "We confirm that there are eight principle subjects for contemplation: First, God, invisible and unseen; without beginning and uncreated; the First Cause of everything that exists; Triune; the one and only pre-existing Divinity; Second, the order and rank of rational powers: [the bodiless powers of heaven; the angelic world]; Third, the composition of visible things; Fourth, the plan of the Incarnation of the Word; Fifth, the general resurrection; Sixth, the awesome second coming (Second Advent) of Christ; Seventh, eternal torment; Eighth, the Kingdom of Heaven. The first four have already been revealed and belong to the past. The last four have not yet been revealed and belong to the future, even though these four are clearly contemplated by those who, with the help of acquired Grace, attained complete purity of mind. Whosoever approaches this task of contemplation without the illumination of Grace, let him know that he is building fantasies and does not possess the art of contemplation." Thus wrote the great and discerning Gregory Sinaites who, that which he knows, he knows form personal experience.


CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:
1. How he is concerned about the physical nourishment of His disciples; How He breaks and blesses bread for the disciples in Emmaus;
2. How by the shore of the lake he asked His disciples: "Have you caught anything to eat?" (St. John 21:5). When they answered Him that they have not, He prepared bread and fish and gave it to them.


HOMILY
About how we will resemble Him Whom we love
"Beloved, we are God's childrennow; what we shall be has notyet been revealed. We do knowthat when it is revealed we shallbe like Him, for we shall see Himas He is" (1 John 3:2).
Until now, we were slaves and now we are the children of God. We were the slaves of evil and now we are the servants of good; the supreme good in heaven and on earth. We were slaves to all of that which is lower and worse than man and now, we will serve the All-Highest and the All-Good. We were squashed by darkness and now, we will labor in the light. Until now, the devil, sin and death held us in continual fear and now, we will live close to God in freedom and joy.
Now, when now? Now, when the Lord appeared on earth in the flesh, when He gave us the knowledge of light, freedom and life; when He gloriously resurrected and manifested Himself in His glorified body; when He fulfilled all the prophecies of the prophets and all of His promises. Now we, too, are the children of God: "The sons of light and the heirs of the Kingdom."
"We shall be like Him." Truly, this has not yet materialized but He has manifested Himself and, for now, that is sufficient. He Himself showed how beautiful man is in the resurrection and we know that we will also be the same as He. The Apostle John says: "We know that we shall be like Him." He does not say we suspect or it has been told to us but he does say: "We know that we shall be like Him." For He did not resurrect for His sake, but for our sake. He did not resurrect from the grave, only to show His power to the dead who are without hope, but to assure the dead that they, too, will live again and to show them how they will be when they become enlivened. Neither did the apostles write: " We know," because of their vanity before the ignorant, but because of brotherly love toward man, that all men may know the same and "that we may also know."

O resurrected Lord, confirm in us also this saving knowledge through the prayers of Your Holy Apostles.

April 14, 2013 - Fourth Sunday of Lent

Prayer of St. Ephraim
Κύριε καὶ Δέσποτα τῆς ζωῆς μου, πνεῦμα ἀργίας, περιεργίας, φιλαρχίας, καὶ ἀργολογίας μή μοι δῷς.,
Πνεῦμα δὲ σωφροσύνης,ταπεινοφροσύνης, ὑπομονῆς, καὶ ἀγάπης χάρισαί μοι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ.
Ναί, Κύριε Βασιλεῦ, δώρησαι μοι τοῦ ὁρᾶν τὰ ἐμὰ πταίσματα, καὶ μὴ κατακρίνειν τὸν ἀδελφόν μου, ὅτι εὐλογητὸς εἶ, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of whole-mindedness, humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Fourth Saturday of Lent
Martin the Confessor

Δ΄ ΤΩΝ ΝΗΣΤΕΙΩΝ.
Ἐν ᾗ μνείαν ποιούμεθα τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Ἰωάννου τοῦ συγγραφέως τῆς Κλίμακος.
Τῶν Ἁγίων ἐνδόξων Ἀποστόλων ἐκ τῶν Ο΄, Ἀριστάρχου, Πούδη καί Τροφίμου.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

http://www.goarch.org/resources/monthly_readings
First Orthros Gospel
The Gospel of 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."

Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 28.16-20
Οἱ δὲ ἕνδεκα μαθηταὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, εἰς τὸ ὄρος οὗ ἐτάξατο αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς. καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν. καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς. πορευθέντες μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ῾Αγίου Πνεύματος, διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ᾿ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος. ἀμήν.

St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20
Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
Psalm 28.11,1
The Lord will give strength to his people.
Verse: Bring to the Lord, O sons of God, bring to the Lord honor and glory.
BRETHREN, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Πρὸς Ἑβραίους 6:13-20
Προκείμενον. Ἦχος βαρύς.
ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 28.11,1
Κύριος ἰσχὺν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ δώσει.
Στίχ. Ἐνέγκατε τῷ Κυρίῳ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ, ἐνέγκατε τῷ Κυρίῳ δόξαν καὶ τιμήν.
Ἀδελφοί, τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ἐπαγγειλάμενος ὁ θεός, ἐπεὶ κατʼ οὐδενὸς εἶχεν μείζονος ὀμόσαι, ὤμοσεν καθʼ ἑαυτοῦ, λέγων, Ἦ μὴν εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω σε, καὶ πληθύνων πληθυνῶ σε. Καὶ οὕτως μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχεν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. Ἄνθρωποι μὲν γὰρ κατὰ τοῦ μείζονος ὀμνύουσιν, καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὅρκος. Ἐν ᾧ περισσότερον βουλόμενος ὁ θεὸς ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς κληρονόμοις τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ, ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ, ἵνα διὰ δύο πραγμάτων ἀμεταθέτων, ἐν οἷς ἀδύνατον ψεύσασθαι θεόν, ἰσχυρὰν παράκλησιν ἔχωμεν οἱ καταφυγόντες κρατῆσαι τῆς προκειμένης ἐλπίδος· ἣν ὡς ἄγκυραν ἔχομεν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀσφαλῆ τε καὶ βεβαίαν, καὶ εἰσερχομένην εἰς τὸ ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος· ὅπου πρόδρομος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδὲκ ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

The Gospel of Mark 9:17-31
At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again." And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."

Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 9.17-31
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἄνθρωπός τις προσῆλθε τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγων, διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρός σε, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον. καὶ ὅπου ἂν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ, ῥήσσει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ξηραίνεται· καὶ εἶπον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσι, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει· ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος, ἕως πότε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε αὐτὸν πρός με. καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν εὐθέως τὸ πνεῦμα ἐσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων. καὶ ἐπηρώτησε τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ· πόσος χρόνος ἐστὶν ὡς τοῦτο γέγονεν αὐτῷ; ὁ δὲ εἶπε· παιδιόθεν. καὶ πολλάκις αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς πῦρ ἔβαλε καὶ εἰς ὕδατα, ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόν· ἀλλ᾿ εἴ τι δύνασαι, βοήθησον ἡμῖν σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς. ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ εἰ δύνασαι πιστεῦσαι, πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι. καὶ εὐθέως κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου μετὰ δακρύων ἔλεγε· πιστεύω, κύριε· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ. ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος, ἐπετίμησε τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ· τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφόν, ἐγώ σοι ἐπιτάσσω, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν. καὶ κράξαν καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξαν αὐτὸν ἐξῆλθε, καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρός, ὥστε πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν. ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς κρατήσας αὐτὸν τῆς χειρὸς ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη. Καὶ εἰσελθόντα αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν κατ᾿ ἰδίαν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ. Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνῷ· ἐδίδασκε γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναστήσεται.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
http://analogion.gr/glt/
Τῇ ΙΔ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων ἐκ τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, Ἀριστάρχου, Πούδη καὶ Τροφίμου.
Τιμῶ τὸν Ἀρίσταρχον ὡς ἀριστέα,
Καλῶς ἀριστεύσαντα μέχρι καὶ ξίφους.
Ποῦ δὴ μετέστης, ὡς ἀπετμήθης, Πούδη;
Ποῦ δὴ μετέστην, ἢ πρὸς ἄφθαρτον κλέος;
Τρυφὴν Τρόφιμος οὐρανοῦ ποθῶν ἄκρως,
Τροφὴ προσῆκται τῷ τεθηγμένῳ ξίφει.
Τῇ δεκάτῃ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἀπῆραν καί γε τετάρτῃ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ἀρδαλίωνος τοῦ Μίμου.
Νῦν Μῖμος ὄντως Ἀρδαλίων ἢ πάλαι.
Μιμούμενος γὰρ Μάρτυρας, τὸ πῦρ στέγει.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Θωμαΐδος.
Αἰῶνος ἦρας τοῦδε τὴν Θωμαΐδα,
Τὸ τῆς Γραφῆς, μέλλοντος αἰῶνος Πάτερ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Κυριακῇ τετάρτῃ τῶν Νηστειῶν, μνήμην ποιοῦμεν τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰωάννου, τοῦ Συγγραφέως τῆς Κλίμακος.
Ὁ σάρκα καὶ ζῶν νεκρὸς ὢν Ἰωάννης,
Αἰωνίως ζῇ, καὶ νεκρὸς φανεὶς ἄπνους.
Σύγγραμμα λιπὼν Κλίμακα τῇ ἀνόδῳ,
Δείκνυσιν αὐτοῦ πορείαν τῆς ἀνόδου.
Ταῖς αὐτοῦ πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον, καὶ σῶσον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/calendar
Apolytikion in the Second Tone
Ἀπόστολοι, Μάρτυρες, καὶ Προφῆται, Ἱεράρχαι, Ὅσιοι καὶ Δίκαιοι, οἱ καλῶς τὸν ἀγῶνα τελέσαντες, καὶ τὴν Πίστιν τηρήσαντες, παρρησίαν ἔχοντες πρὸς τὸν Σωτῆρα, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν αὐτὸν ἱκετεύσατε, σωθῆναι δεόμεθα τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
O Apostles, martyrs, prophets, hierarchs, righteous, and just ones, who have finished your course well and have kept the Faith: seeing ye have boldness with the Saviour, beseech Him for us, since He is good, that our souls be saved, we pray.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Μετὰ τῶν Ἁγίων ἀνάπαυσον Χριστέ, τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν δούλων σου, ἔνθα οὐκ ἔστι πόνος, οὐ λύπη, οὐ στεναγμός, ἀλλὰ ζωὴ ἀτελεύτητος.
Give rest, O Christ, among the Saints to the souls of Your servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no grieving, but life everlasting.

Saint Martin was born in Tuscany. He had been the papal delegate at Constantinople; upon the death of Pope Theodore, Saint Martin was elected his successor. At this time the Emperor Constans II, also known as Constantine Pogonatus (reigned 641-668), 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. But 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 Saint Maximus the Confessor, who was then in Rome), which anathematized the Typos and the Monothelite heresy. Because of this Saint Martin was seized by an imperial force in 653 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.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ὁ Θεὸς τῶν Πατέρων ἡμῶν, ὁ ποιῶν ἀεὶ μεθ΄ ἡμῶν, κατὰ τὴν σὴν ἐπιείκειαν, μὴ ἀποστήσῃς τὸ ἔλεός σου ἀφ΄ ἡμῶν. Ἀλλὰ ταῖς αὐτῶν ἱκεσίαις, ἐν εἰρήνῃ κυβέρνησον τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν.
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

http://www.ec-patr.org/gr/saints/
Είναι βρωμερές επιθυμίες και πάθη, που γεννά στην ψυχή των ανθρώπων ο διάβολος. Κ' είναι αγνότης λογισμών και δύναμη θελήσεως, που τα εμπνέει η θεία χάρη. Βρέθηκε πολλές φορές αντιμέτωπη η αγνότης προς το πάθος και νίκησε η αγνότης ακόμη και με θυσία και με θάνατο της σαρκός. Γεμάτη τέτοια παραδείγματα είναι η ζωή της Εκκλησίας κι ένα από τα πιο ζωντανά είναι η θυσία της αγίας μάρτυρος Θωμαΐδος της οποίας η Εκκλησία σήμερα τιμά την μνήμη. Μια οικογενειακή τραγωδία είναι η ιστορία της, που δεν είναι δυστυχώς η μόνη, που συνέβη κάποτε. Στις ημέρες μας ο Τύπος τακτικά μιλεί για παρόμοια εγκλήματα, για βρωμιές που συμβαίνουν μέσα στην οικογένεια. Το λυπηρό είναι πως άφοβα τέτοια πράγματα γράφονται κι ευχάριστα διαβάζονται, και το λυπηρότερο πως πολλές φορές δεν υπάρχει καν αντίσταση και θυσία για χάρη της αγνότητος.

http://users.uoa.gr/~nektar/orthodoxy/agiologion/
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἀρίσταρχος, Πούδης καὶ Τρόφιμος Ἀπόστολοι ἀπὸ τοὺς 70
Ἦταν καὶ οἱ τρεῖς ἀπὸ τοὺς ἑβδομήκοντα Ἀποστόλους καὶ ἀφοσιωμένοι συνεργάτες τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου. Τὸν Ἀρίσταρχο ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ἀναφέρει στὴν πρὸς Κολασσαεῖς (δ´ 10) ἐπιστολή του σὰν συναιχμάλωτό του στὴ Ῥώμη, καθὼς καὶ στὴν πρὸς Φιλήμονα (στ´ 24) σὰν συνεργάτη του. Γιὰ τὸν Πούδη κάνει λόγο στὴ Β´ πρὸς Τιμόθεον (δ´ 22) ἐπιστολή του, ἀπὸ τὴν ὁποία καταλαβαίνουμε ὅτι ὁ Ἀπόστολος Πούδης ἦταν ἀπὸ αὐτοὺς ποὺ συνεργάστηκαν ὑπὲρ τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου στὴ Ῥώμη. Τὸν Τρόφιμο ἔφερε στὴν χριστιανικὴ πίστη ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος, ὅταν πῆγε στὴν Ἔφεσο. Ἀπὸ τότε, τὸν ἀκολούθησε στὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα, ἀλλὰ καὶ στὴ Ῥώμη, γιὰ νὰ συνεργασθεῖ καὶ νὰ κακοπάθει μαζὶ μὲ τὸ διδάσκαλό του. Στὸν Τρόφιμο ἀναφέρεται ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος στὴ Β´ πρὸς Τιμόθεον (δ´ 20) ἐπιστολή του. Στὸ φοβερὸ διωγμὸ τοῦ Νέρωνα καὶ οἱ τρεῖς αὐτοὶ συνεργάτες τοῦ Παύλου ἀξιώθηκαν νὰ μαρτυρήσουν μὲ θάνατο δι᾿ ἀποκεφαλισμοῦ. Κατόρθωσαν, ἔτσι, μὲ τὴν χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ μὲ τὸν προσωπικό τους ἀγῶνα, νὰ γίνουν «συνεργοὶ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ». Δηλαδή, συνεργάτες γιὰ τὴν διάδοση τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀρδαλίων ὁ μῖμος
Μὲ τὴν σημερινὴ ὁρολογία ἦταν ἠθοποιός, στὰ χρόνια του Διοκλητιανοῦ (298). Ἐργαζόταν στὰ θέατρα καὶ ἔπαιζε κωμῳδίες καὶ δράματα. Μία μέρα λοιπὸν τοῦ ἦλθε ἡ ἰδέα, νὰ μιμηθεῖ τὴν ἀντίσταση τῶν χριστιανῶν μπροστὰ στοὺς τυράννους. Κρεμάστηκε ψηλά, ἐπάνω στὴ σκηνή, καὶ δῆθεν ξεσχιζόταν ἐπειδὴ δὲν ἤθελε νὰ προσφέρει θυσία στοὺς θεούς. Ἡ παράσταση ἦταν - σὰ δρᾶμα- τόσο καταπληκτική, ὥστε ὁ λαὸς ἄρχισε νὰ χειροκροτεῖ θερμὰ τὴν ἐπιδεξιότητα τοῦ Ἀρδαλίωνα καὶ τὴν γενναιοκαρδία τῶν χριστιανῶν. Τότε ὁ Ἀρδαλίων φώναξε δυνατὰ καὶ εἶπε στὸ λαὸ νὰ σωπάσει, διότι καὶ αὐτὸς ἦταν στ᾿ ἀλήθεια χριστιανός. Ὅταν τὸ ἄκουσε αὐτὸ ὁ ἄρχοντας, τοῦ εἶπε ν᾿ ἀλλάξει γνώμη. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐπειδὴ ὁ Ἀρδαλίων ἐπέμενε στὴν ὁμολογία τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τὸν ἔριξαν μέσα στὴ φωτιὰ καὶ ἔτσι ἔλαβε τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.

Ἡ Ἁγία Θωμαΐς
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια καὶ οἱ εὐσεβεῖς γονεῖς της τὴν ἀνέθρεψαν ἐν παιδείᾳ καὶ νουθεσίᾳ Κυρίου. Ὅταν ἦλθε σὲ κατάλληλη ἡλικία τὴν πάντρεψαν μὲ κάποιο νέο, μὲ τὸν ὁποῖο ζοῦσε ἁρμονικὰ καὶ μὲ μεγάλη σωφροσύνη. Ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν ἀπουσία τοῦ ἀνδρός της, ὁ πεθερός της ποὺ συνοικοῦσε μαζί τους, προσπαθοῦσε μὲ κάθε τρόπο νὰ τὴν ἑλκύσει σὲ συνουσία. Μάταια ἡ καλὴ νύφη προσπαθοῦσε νὰ λογικέψει τὸν πόρνο γέροντα. Αὐτὸς ὅμως, ἐπειδὴ δὲν μπόρεσε νὰ καταφέρει τὰ ἄνομα σχέδια του, καὶ τυφλωμένος ἀπὸ τὸ πάθος, μαχαίρωσε τὴν νύφη του. Ὅταν τὸ ἔμαθε αὐτὸ ὁ ἄρχοντας τῆς Ἀλεξάνδρειας, καταδίκασε τὸν πόρνο γέροντα σὲ θάνατο. Τὸ δὲ λείψανο τῆς Θωμαΐδας, παρέλαβε ὁ ἀββᾶς Δανιήλ, ὁ ἀπὸ τὴν Σκήτη, καὶ τὴν ἔθαψε στὸ κοιμητήριο, ἐπειδὴ ἔδωσε τὸ αἷμα της γιὰ τὴν σωφροσύνη.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Δημήτριος ὁ Πελοποννήσιος
Γεννήθηκε στὸ χωριὸ Λιγούδιστα τῆς Ἀρκαδίας καὶ σὲ μικρὴ ἡλικία ἦλθε μαζὶ μὲ τὸν ἀδελφό του στὴν Τρίπολη, ὅπου ἐργαζόταν μαζὶ μὲ κάποιους κτίστες. Ἐπειδὴ ὅμως αὐτοὶ τὸν βασάνιζαν, ἔφυγε ἀπὸ τὴν συντροφιά τους καὶ πῆγε στὸ σπίτι ἑνὸς Τούρκου κουρέα, ὁ ὁποῖος καὶ κατόρθωσε τὸν ἐξισλαμισμό του, ὀνομάζοντας τὸν Μεχμέτ. Ἀργότερα ὁ Δημήτριος ἐγκατέλειψε τὴν Τρίπολη, μετάνιωσε γιὰ τὴν ἀποστασία του καὶ ἦλθε στὸ Ἄργος. Ἀπὸ τὸ Ἄργος, γιὰ μεγαλύτερη ἀσφάλεια, πῆγε στὴ Σμύρνη καὶ ἀπὸ ἐκεῖ στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Προδρόμου κοντὰ στὶς Κυδωνιές, ὅπου βρῆκε εὐσεβῆ πνευματικό, ἐξομολογήθηκε καὶ ζήτησε τὶς συμβουλές του. Μὲ τὴν προτροπὴ τοῦ πνευματικοῦ αὐτοῦ ὁ Δημήτριος ἦλθε στὴ Χίο, ὅπου ἔμεινε γιὰ ἀρκετὸ καιρὸ κοντὰ σὲ ἄλλο φημισμένο πνευματικό, μὲ προσευχὴ καὶ μετάνοια. Προετοιμάσθηκε γιὰ τὸ μαρτύριο καὶ πῆγε στὸ Ἄργος, ὅπου παρέμεινε κρυμμένος καὶ χειραγωγούμενος ἀπὸ τὸν Ἱερέα Ἀντώνιο Σακελάριο καὶ ἀπὸ ἐκεῖ ἔφτασε στὴν Τρίπολη. Παρουσιάστηκε μπροστὰ στὸν Τοῦρκο Διοικητή, δήλωσε ὅτι πιστεύει στὸν Χριστὸ καὶ ὅτι εἶναι ἕτοιμος νὰ χύσει καὶ τὸ αἷμα του γι᾿ Αὐτόν. Τὰ βασανιστήρια ποὺ ἀκολούθησαν ἦταν φρικτά, ἀλλὰ ὁ Δημήτριος ἔμεινε ἀμετακίνητος στὴν πίστη του καὶ ἔτσι στὶς 14 Ἀπριλίου 1803 τὸν ἀποκεφάλισαν στὴν Τρίπολη. Τὸ ἱερό του λείψανο διασώθηκε ἀπὸ τοὺς χριστιανοὺς στὸν Ναὸ τῆς Μονῆς τοῦ Ἁγ. Νικολάου Βαρσῶν. Στὴν κεντρικὴ ἀγορὰ τῆς Τρίπολης, μικρὸς ναὸς τιμᾶται στὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Νεομάρτυρα αὐτοῦ.

http://www.abbamoses.com/
Apostles Aristarchus, Pudens and Trophimus of the Seventy
All three are mentioned by name by the Apostle Paul.
  Aristarchus is mentioned in Acts 19:29, Colossians 4:10 and Philemon 24. He was bishop of Apamea in Syria; St Paul calls him 'my fellow-prisoner' and 'my fellow-laborer'.
  Pudens is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21. He was a prominent Roman citizen who gave refuge to Christians; his house was first a place of refuge for the Apostles, then one of the first churches in Rome.
  Trophimus is mentioned with Pudens in 2 Timothy 4:21, and in Acts 21:29, where we learn that he was from Ephesus. He accompanied the Apostle Paul on some of his missions.
  All three, like St Paul, were beheaded during Nero's persecutions.

Holy Martyr Ardalion the Actor (3rd c.)
He was a comic actor whose specialty was an act which mocked the Christian martyrs. But during an especially fierce persecution under the Emperor Maximian, his heart was changed in an unknown way, and during one of his performances he called out to the crowd that he was a Christian and that they must not laugh. For this, Ardalion was arrested and tried, and died by torture, as the Prologue says, "playing the role of martyr in very truth and with honour."

Menologion 3.0
Sainted Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome, was a native of the Tuscany region of Italy. He received a fine education and entered into the clergy of the Roman Church. After the death of Pope Theodore I (642-649), presbyter Martin was chosen to the throne.
At this time the peace of the Church was disturbed by the Monothelite heresy, which had become widespread.
The endless disputes of the Monothelites with the Orthodox took place in all levels of the population. Even the emperor Constans (641-668) and the Constantinople Patriarch Paul II (641-654) were adherents of the Monothelite heresy. The emperor Constans published the heretical "Pattern of Faith" (Tupos), obligatory for all the population. In it was forbidden all further disputes.
The heretical "Pattern of Faith" was received at Rome in the year 649. Holy Pope Martin, a firm supporter of Orthodoxy, convened at Rome the local (Lateran) Council, which condemned the Monothelite heresy. At the same time Saint Martin sent a letter to the Constantinople Patriarch Paul with an exhortation to return to the Orthodox confession. The enraged emperor ordered the military commander Olympios to bring Saint Martin to trial. But Olympios, being at Rome, feared the clergy and the people who had descended upon the Council, and he dispatched a soldier to secretly murder the holy Pope. When the assassin approached Saint Martin, he was unexpectedly blinded. The terrified Olympios hastily journeyed to Sicily and was soon killed in battle.
In 654 the emperor with his former aim sent to Rome another military commander, Theodore, who accused Saint Martin of the serious charges of being in secret correspondence with the enemies of the empire -- the Saracens, and of blaspheming the MostHoly Mother of God, and of uncanonically entering upon the papal throne. Despite the presenting by Roman clergy and laity of proof of full innocence of the holy Pope, the military commander Theodore with a detachment of soldiers seized hold of Saint Martin by night and took him to one of the Cycladian islands, -- Naxos, in the Aegean Sea. Saint Martin spent an entire year on this almost unpopulated island, suffering deprivation and abuse from the guards. Then they sent the exhausted confessor for trial to Constantinople.
They brought the sick elder on a stretcher, but the judges callously ordered him to raise himself up and give answer standing. Again there came an interrogation, and soldiers propped up the saint weakened by illness. At the trial false-witnesses came forward, slandering the saint and imputing treasonous relations with the Saracens. The biased judges did not even bother to hear the defence of the saint. In profound grief he said: "To the Lord is known, what great kindliness ye would show me, if quickly ye would deliver me over to death".
After suchlike trial they brought forth the saint in tattered garb to the jeering of a crowd, which they forced to shout: "Anathema to Pope Martin!" But those who knew the holy Pope was suffering innocently, withdrew in tears. Finally the sakellarios (shield-bearer), sent by the emperor, approached the military commander and declared the sentence -- to deprive the Pope of his dignity and deliver him to death by execution. They put the half-naked saint into chains and dragged him to prison, where they locked him up with thieves. These were more merciful to the saint than the heretics.
Amidst this the emperor went to the dying Patriarch of Constantinople Paul and told him about the trial over Saint Martin. That one turned away from the emperor and said: "Woe is me! Yet another deed towards my judgement", -- and he besought that the tortures of Saint Martin be stopped. The emperor again sent a notary and other persons to the saint in prison for continued interrogation. The saint answered them: "If even they smash me up, I wilt not have relations with the Constantinople Church while it dwelleth in bad-faith". The torturers were astonished at the boldness of the confessor and they commuted his death by execution with exile in the faraway Tauridian Chersonesus.
There also the saint died, exhausted by sickness, want, hunger and deprivations (+ 16 September 655). He was buried outside the city in the Blakhernae church in the name of the MostHoly Mother of God.
The Monothelite heresy was condemned at the VI OEcumenical Council in the year 680. The relics of the holy confessor Pope Martin were transferred to Constantinople, and thence to Rome.

The Holy Martyrs Antonii, John and Eustathii suffered for Christ under the Lithuanian GreatPrince Ol'gerd (1345-1377). The prince was married to the Vitebsk Orthodox princess Maria Yaroslavna (+ 1346). He himself was baptised and during the lifetime of his spouse he allowed the preaching of Christianity. Two brothers by birth, Nezhilo and Kumets, received holy Baptism from the clergy of the princess the priest Nestor, and they received the names Antonii and John. And at the request of Maria Yaroslavna there was even built at Vilna an Orthodox church.
But after the death of his spouse, prince Ol'gerd began openly to support the pagan priests of the fire-worshippers, who started a persecution against Christians. Saints John and Antonii endeavoured not to display their belonging to the Christians, but still they did not observe the pagan customs, they did not cut their hair as the pagans did, and on fastdays they did not eat forbidden foods.
The prince soon became suspicious of the brothers in the renunciation of faith, so he interrogated them and they confessed themselves Christians. Then they demanded them to eat meat (it was a fast day). The holy brothers refused, and the prince locked them up in prison. The brothers spent an entire year incarcerated. John took fright at the impending tortures and declared, that he would fulfill all the demands of the GreatPrince. The delighted Ol'gerd released both brothers and drew them near to himself.
But Antonii did not betray Christ. When he again refused to eat meat on a fast day, the prince again locked him up in prison and subjected him to brutal tortures. The renouncing brother remained free, but as a traitor not only did the Christians not associate with him, but neither did the pagans. Repenting of his sin, John went to the priest Nestor and asked him to intercede before his brother, so that he would forgive him and consort with him. "When he openly confesses Christ, everything betwixt us wilt be reconciled", -- answered the martyr Antonii. Once, serving the prince at the bath, Saint John spoke privately with him about his reconciliation with the Church. Ol'gerd did not display any anger and gave him to understand, that this was his personal matter and that he could believe in Christ, but conduct himself like all the pagans. Then Saint John confessed himself a Christian in the presence of numerous courtiers. They beat him fiercely with canes and dispatched him to his brother in prison. The martyrs met with joy in prison and on that day did partake of the Holy Mysteries.
A throng of the people approached the prison so as to view the new confessor. By their preaching the brothers converted many to Christ. The prison was transformed into a Christian teaching-place. The frightened pagan-priests demanded the execution of the brothers, but now already they did not fear temporal parting. On the morning of 14 April 1347 the Martyr Antonii after receiving the Holy Mysteries was hung on a tree. This oak, considered by the pagans as sacred, became from that time truly sacred for Orthodox Christians.
The hopes of the pagan priests, that with the death of Saint Antonii the preaching about Christ would stop, were not justified. A multitude of the people as before gathered at the walls of the prison, where Saint John was situated. On 24 April 1347 they strangled and hung him dead upon the same oak. The venerable bodies of both martyrs were buried by Christians in a church of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.
A third sufferer for faith in Christ was Kruglets. At Baptism the priest Nestor gave him the name Eustathii. He was a relative of the holy brothers. Within the retinue of the GreatPrince of Lithuania, Kruglets stood out by his comeliness, valour and bravery, but even moreso in mind and virtue of soul. A favourite of Ol'gerd, he could count on an excellent future. But one time he also like the martyred brothers refused to eat meat at the festal table. Saint Eustathii openly declared, that he was a Christian and would not eat meat because of the Nativity fast. Hereupon they began to beat him with iron rods, but the youth let out not a groan. The prince tried refining the torture. There was a bitter frost. Ol'gerd gave orders to strip the martyr naked, take him out on the street and to pour icy water in his mouth. But this did not break the spirit of the saint. Then they broke his ankle-bones, and tore off from his head the hair with the skin and cut off his ears and nose. Saint Eustathii endured the torments with such gladness and courage, that the very torturers themselves were astounded by this Divine power, which strengthened him. After the torture the martyr Eustathii was sentenced to death and hung on that oak (+ 13 December 1347), where earlier Saints John and Antonii received a martyr's death.
During the course of 3 days it was not permitted to take down the body of the martyr, and a column of cloud protected it from birds and beasts of prey. A church was afterwards built on the hill where the holy martyrs suffered. The trinity of venerable passion-bearers glorified the True God worshipped in the Holy Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit -- wherefore the church was consecrated in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity. The prestol' (altar-table) was secured on the base of the sacred oak, on which the martyrs accepted death. Soon their relics were uncovered undecayed. Already in the year 1364 the Constantinople Patriarch Philotheos (1354-1355, 1362-1376) sent to the Monk Sergei of Radonezh (+ 1392, Comm. 25 September) a cross with the relics of the holy martyrs. The Church established the celebration of memory of all three martyrs on a single day, 14 April.
The act of the holy martyrs held immense significance for all the Western frontier. Vilensk monastery in the Name of the Holy Trinity, at which the holy relics are kept, became a stronghold of Orthodoxy and peace on this frontier. In the year 1915 during the invasion of the Germans, these relics as very precious in the Baltic frontier were taken to the heart of Russia -- Moscow.
Within the memory of believers at Vilnius and to this day there live sorrowful recollections about parting from the holy martyrs and joyful memories -- about the solemn meeting of the relics of the holy passion-bearers in 1946 at the Vilensk Holy-Spirit monastery. The date of their return -- 13 (26) July -- from that time is solemnly noted annually at the monastery.

The Holy Martyr Ardalion accepted death for Christ under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). Saint Ardalion was a talented mimic actor.
One time at the circus he played the rolé of a christian. The actor, on the intent of the play-author, was to at first refuse to offer sacrifice to idols, but later to consent to renounce Christ. Along the course of the action they suspended him upon a wooden torture device and tore at him with iron hooks. He so naturally depicted the suffering, that the spectators were delighted and loudly declared their praise of his artistry. Suddenly the saint ordered all to be quiet and declared, that he actually was a Christian and did not renounce the Lord. The governor of the city tried to explain the matter thus, that Saint Ardalion was continuing to play the rolé, and at the end of the show he would renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the gods. But Saint Ardalion continued to confess his faith in Christ. Then the governor gave orders to throw the martyr onto a red-hot iron-pan. Thus did Saint Ardalion merit a martyr's crown.

The Holy Martyr Christophoros Savvaites was murdered by Saracens in the VIII Century in Palestine.

The Vilensk Icon of the Mother of God was written by the holy Evangelist Luke. For a long time it was in the family of the Greek emperors at Constantinople. In 1472 Sophia Paleologa, spouse of the Moscow GreatPrince Ivan III (1462-1505), transferred the icon to Moscow. In 1495 the GreatPrince blessed his daughter Elena with this icon before giving her in marriage to the Lithuanian king Alexander. In honour of the transfer of the icon to Vilna a feast was established 15 February. Later on they placed the holy icon in the John the ForeRunner church, in which princess Elena was buried. And afterwards they transferred the icon to the Vilensk Holy-Trinity monastery.

THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm
1. SAINT MARTIN THE CONFESSOR, POPE OF ROME
Martin became pope on July 5, 649 A.D., at the time of the furious debates between the Orthodox and the Monothelete heretics, who adhered to the belief in a single will in Christ. Reigning at that time was Constans II, the grandson of Heraclius. The Patriarch of Constantinople was Paul. In order to establish peace in the Church, the emperor complied a booklet, entitled Type [Typos] which was very favorable to the heretics. Pope Martin convoked a Council of one-hundred five bishops (in the Church of the Holy Savior in the Lateran Palace in October) which condemned this pamphlet of the emperor. At the same time, the pope wrote a letter to Patriarch Paul imploring him to adhere to the purity of the Orthodox Faith and to counsel the emperor to renounce this heretical sophistry. This letter angered both the emperor and the patriarch. The emperor dispatched Olympius, one of his commanders, to Rome to bring the pope to Constantinople in bonds. The commander did not dare to bind the pope but bribed a soldier to slay him in church with a sword. When the soldier entered the church with the concealed sword, he was instantly blinded. Thus, by the Providence of God, Martin escaped death. At that time, the Saracens attacked Sicily and Olympius was ordered to Sicily and there he died. Then, according to the intrigue of the heretical Patriarch Paul, the emperor dispatched Theodore, another commander, to bind the pope and to bring him to Constantinople under the accusation that he, Pope Martin, was in collaboration with the Saracens and does not honor the All-Pure Mother of God. When the commander arrived in Rome and read the accusation against him, Pope Martin responded that: "This was slanderous and that he has no association with the Saracens, the adversaries of Christianity. As regards the All-Pure Mother of God; if one does not honor her and does not confess her and does not reverence her, let him be cursed in this world and in the next." However, this did not alter the decision of the commander. Pope Martin was bound and brought to Constantinople where he lay for a long time in prison, painfully ill, suffering from anxiety and hunger, until finally, he was sentenced to exile to Cherson. Pope Martin lived for two years in exile and died in the year 655 A.D., offering his soul to the Lord, for Whom he suffered much. Two years prior to Pope Martin's death, the repentant Paul died. When the emperor visited him before his death, Paul turned his head toward the wall and wept, confessing that he had greatly sinned against Pope Martin and begged the emperor to release him.
2. THE HOLY MARTYRS ANTHONY, JOHN AND EUSTACE [EUSTATHIUS]
All three were pagans and, at first, were fire worshippers. All of them were servants in the palace of the Lithuanian Prince Olgard in Vilna. They were formerly called: KRUGLETZ, KUMETZ AND NEZILO. All three were baptized by Nestor, the priest. All three were hanged, one after the other on the same oak tree in the year 1347 A.D. Christians cut down the tree and erected a church in honor of the Holy Trinity. The revered relics of these martyrs were then placed in this church and a holy altar table was carved from the stump of the oak tree. Their relics repose in Vilna.
3. THE HOLY MARTYR ARDALION, THE ACTOR
At first Ardalion was an actor-comedian. For the sake of entertaining the people, he eagerly played the role of a martyr for the Faith deriding Christians in every possible manner. When a persecution surfaced during the reign of Emperor Maximian, his spirit completely changed. In front of the crowd, he cried out in a loud voice that he is a Christian and that he was not jesting. For this, Ardalion was condemned, suffered for Christ and died tied to a red hot framework of rods thus portraying a true and honorable role of a martyr.

HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINT MARTIN
Saint Martin the Pope, before the Senate speaks:
May my body be crushed and burned,
And the most cruel sufferings, I will joyfully endure;
But, the True Faith, I will not deny.
The Good Savior was God and Man,
Two natures different with two wills, He bore,
But, two natures in one person,
And, both wills in a single light.
Such a Faith, all the Fathers passed on to us,
For such a Faith, many suffered.
May I suffer also; of all, the least
The servant of my Lord, of all the most sinful!
Thus, Martin confessed his faith to all
And truth did he speak before the heretics.
O what is the worth of man when he fears God:
Above little men, he [Martin] stands as a mountain!

REFLECTION
"It is befitting for a monk to love God as a son and to fear Him [God] as a slave," says St. Evgarius. Naturally, this is also befitting to every Christian, even though he might not be a monk. It is a great art for anyone to unite love for God and to have fear of God. Many other Holy Fathers whenever they speak about love for God, at the same time, also mention fear of God, and vice-versa. In his homily: "On Perfect Love," St. John Chrysostom speaks about suffering and the pains of Hell at the same time. Why? Because the great love of man toward God without fear, imperceptibly crosses over into pride and then, again, a great fear of God without love leads to despair.

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:
1. How He appeared to the disciples on the shore of the lake and addresses them as “children” (St. John 21:5).
2. How He fills their nets again with fish and they knew Him but did not dare to ask Him, “Who are You?” (St. John 21:12).

HOMILY
About the personal experience of all the apostles
“What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands---We proclaim now to you” (1 St. John 1:1).
Behold, such is the apostolic preaching! The apostles do not speak as worldly sages, nor like philosophers and even less as theoreticians who make suppositions about something in order to discover something. The apostles speak about things which they have not sought but which unexpectedly surrounded them; about the fact which they did not discover but, so to speak, unexpectedly found them and seized them. They did not occupy themselves with spiritual researches nor have they studied psychology, neither did they, much less, occupy themselves with spiritism. Their occupation was fishing – one totally experiential physical occupation. While they were fishing, the God-Man [Jesus] appeared to them and cautiously and slowly introduced them to a new vocation in the service of Himself. At first, they did not believe Him but they, still more cautiously and slowly with fear and hesitation and much wavering, came toward Him and recognized Him. Until the apostles saw Him many times with their own eyes and until they discussed Him many times among themselves and, until they felt Him with their own hands, their experienced fact is supernatural but their method of recognizing this fact is thoroughly sensory and positively learned. Not even one contemporary scholar would be able to use a more positive method to know Christ. The apostles saw not only one miracle but numerous miracles. They heard not only one lesson but many lessons which could not be contained in numerous books. They saw the resurrected Lord for forty days; they walked with Him, they conversed with Him, they ate with Him, and they touched Him. In a word: they personally and first handedly had thousands of wondrous facts by which they learned and confirmed one great fact, I.e., that Christ is the God-Man, the Son of the Living God, the Man-loving Savior of mankind and the All-Powerful Judge of the living and the dead.
O resurrected Lord confirm us in the faith and ardor of Your Holy Apostles.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 3, 2013 - Additional Readings (Sermons and Triodion)


http://cpress.orthodoxws.com/c_sunday_prodigal_son.html
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32
From the Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria
11-16. And He said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of the property that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there squandered his property with prodigal living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he longed to fill his belly with the pods that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. This parable is like those which precede it. For it also presents a man, Who is in fact God, the Lover of man. The two sons represent the two kinds of men, righteous and sinners. The younger son said, Give me the portion of the property that falleth to me. Of old, from the beginning, righteousness belonged to human nature, which is why the older son (born at the beginning) does not become estranged from the father. But sin is an evil thing which was born later. This is why it is the younger son who alienates himself from the father, for the latter-born son grew up together with sin which had insinuated itself into man at a later time. The sinner is also called the younger son because the sinner is an innovator, a revolutionary, and a rebel, who defies his Father’s will.
Father, give me the portion of the property (ousia) that falleth to me. The essential property of man is his rational mind, his logos, always accompanied by his free will (autexousia), for all that is rational is inherently self-governing. The Lord gives us logos for us to use, according to our free will, as our own essential property. He gives to all alike, so that all alike are rational, and all alike are self-governing.3 But some of us use this generous gift rationally, in accordance with logos, while others of us squander the divine gift. Moreover, everything which the Lord has given us might be called our property, that is, the sky, the earth, the whole creation, the law and the prophets. But the later sinful generation, the younger son, saw the sky and made it a god, and saw the earth and worshipped it, and did not want to walk in the way of God’s law, and did evil to the prophets. On the other hand, the elder son, the righteous, used all these things for the glory of God. Therefore, having given all an equal share of logos and self-determination, God permits us to make our way according to our own will and compels no one to serve Him who is unwilling. If He had wanted to compel us, He would not have created us with logos and a free will. But the younger son completely spent this inheritance. Why? Because he had gone into a far country. When a man rebels against God and places himself far away from the fear of God, then he squanders all the divine gifts. But when we are near to God, we do not do such deeds that merit our destruction. As it is written, I beheld the Lord ever before me, for He is at my right hand, that I might not be shaken (Ps. 15:8). But when we are far from God and become rebellious, we both do, and suffer, the worst things, as it is written, Behold, they that remove themselves from Thee shall perish (Ps. 72:25).
The younger son indeed squandered and scattered his property. For every virtue is a simple and single entity, while its opposing vice is a many-branched complexity, creating numerous deceptions and errors. For example, the definition of bravery is simple, that is, when, how, and against whom, one ought to make use of one’s capacity to be stirred to action. But the vice of not being brave takes two forms, cowardice and recklessness. Do you see how logos can be scattered in every direction and the unity of virtue destroyed? When this essential property has been spent, and a man no longer walks in accordance with logos, by which I mean the natural law, nor proceeds according to the written law, nor listens to the prophets, then there arises a mighty famine—not a famine of bread, but a famine of hearing the word (logos) of the Lord (Amos 8:11). And he begins to be in want, because by not fearing the Lord he has departed far from Him. But there is no want to them that fear the Lord (Ps. 33:9). How is there no want to them that fear Him? Because blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight. Therefore glory and riches shall be in his house, and far from being himself in want, he hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor (see Ps. 111). Therefore the man who makes a journey far from God, not keeping God’s dread face ever before his eyes, indeed is in want, having no divine logos at work in him.
And he went, that is, he proceeded and advanced in wickedness, and joined himself to a citizen of that country. He who is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with Him. But he who is joined to a harlot, that is, to the nature of the demons, becomes one body with her (I Cor. 6:16) and he makes himself all flesh, having no room in himself for the Spirit, as it was for those men at the time of the flood (Gen. 6:4). The citizens of that country far from God are none other than the demons. The man who joins himself to these citizens, having advanced and become powerful in wickedness, feeds the swine, that is, he teaches others evil and filthy deeds. For all those who take pleasure in the muck of shameful deeds and carnal passions are like swine. Pigs are never able to look upward because of the peculiar shape of their eyes. This is why, when a farmer grabs hold of a pig, he is not able to make it stop squealing until he turns it upside down on its back. This quiets the pig, as if, by looking upward, the pig can see things it had never seen before, and it is startled into silence. Such are they whose eyes are ever turned to filthy things, who never look upward. Therefore, a man who exceeds many others in wickedness can be said to feed swine. Such are the keepers of brothels, the captains of brigands, and the chief among publicans. All these may be said to feed swine. This wretched man desires to satisfy his sin and no one can give him this satisfaction. For he who is habitual in sinful passions receives no satisfaction from them. The pleasure does not endure, but is there one moment and gone the next, and the wretched man is again left empty. Sin is likened to the pods which the swine eat, because, like them, sin is sweet in taste yet rough and harsh in texture, giving momentary pleasure but causing ceaseless torments. Therefore, there is no man to provide satisfaction for him who takes pleasure in these wicked passions. Who can both satisfy him and quiet him? Cannot God? But God is not present, for the man who eats these things has traveled a far distance from God. Can the demons? They cannot, for they strive to accomplish just the opposite, namely, that wickedness never end or be satisfied.
17-21. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no longer worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no longer worthy to be called thy son. The man who until now had been prodigal came to himself. This is because he was “outside himself” and had taken leave of his true self so long as he committed foul deeds. Rightly is it said that he wasted and spent his essential property. This is why he was outside himself. For he who is not governed by logos, but lives irrationally without logos, and teaches others to do the same, is outside of himself and has abandoned his reason, which is his very essence. But when a man regains his logos (analogizetai) so as to see who he is and into what a state of wretchedness he has fallen, then he becomes himself again, and using his reason, he comes to repent and returns from his wanderings outside reason. He says hired servants, signifying the catechumens, who have not yet become sons because they have not yet been illumined by Holy Baptism. Indeed the catechumens have an abundance of the rational bread, the sustenance of the Word (Logos), because they hear each day the readings of Scripture.
Listen, so that you may learn the difference between a hired servant and a son. There are three ranks of those who are being saved. The first kind are like slaves who do what is good because they fear the judgment. This is what David means when he says, Nail down my flesh with the fear of Thee, for of Thy judgments am I afraid (Ps. 118:120). The second kind, who are like hired servants, are those who are eager to serve God because of their desire for the reward of good things, as David again says, I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes for ever for a recompense (Ps. 118:112). But if they are of the third kind, that is, if they are sons, they keep His commandments out of love for God. This is what David means when he says, 0 how I have loved Thy law, 0 Lord! The whole day long it is my meditation (Ps. 118:97); and again, with no mention of fear, I lifted up my hands to Thy commandments which I have loved (Ps. 118:48), and again, Wonderful are Thy testimonies, and because they are wonderful, therefore hath my soul searched them out (Ps. 118:129). One must understand the hired servants to refer not only to the catechumens, but also to all those in the Church who obey God out of some lesser motive than love. Therefore when a man is among the ranks of those who are sons, and then is disowned because of his sin, and sees others enjoying the divine gifts, and communing of the Divine Mysteries and of the Divine Bread, such a man ought indeed to apply to himself these piteous words, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise, arise, that is, from my fall into sin, and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee. When I abandoned heavenly things, I sinned against heaven, preferring shameful pleasure to heavenly things, and choosing the land of hunger instead of my true fatherland, heaven. Just as we have a saying that the man who prefers lead to gold sins against the gold, so too the man who prefers earthly things to heaven, sins against heaven. Indeed he has gone astray from the road that leads to heaven. Understand that when he sinned, he behaved as if he were not acting in the sight of God, that is, in the presence of God; but once he confesses his sin, then he realizes that he has sinned in the sight of God.
And he arose, and came to his father, for we must not only desire the things that are dear to God but must get up and do them as well. You see the warm repentance—behold now the compassion of the father. He did not wait for his son to come to him, but he went and met him on the way and embraced him. God is called Father on account of His goodness and kindness, even though by nature He is God Who encompasses all things so that He could have restricted a man within His embrace, no matter which way the man might try to turn. As the prophet says, The glory of God shall compass thee (Is. 58:8). Before, when the son distanced himself, it was fitting that God, as Father, release him from His embrace. But when the son drew near through prayer and repentance, it was fitting that God again enclose him within His embrace. Therefore the Father falls on the neck of the one who before had rebelled and who now shows that he has become obedient. And the Father kisses him, as a sign of reconciliation, and by this kiss He first makes holy the defiled one’s mouth, which is as it were the doorway to the whole man, and through this doorway He sends sanctification into the innermost being.
22-24. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the first robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the grain-fed bullock, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. The servants you may understand to mean the angels, the ministering spirits who are sent to serve those who are counted worthy of salvation. For the angels clothe the man who has turned from wickedness with the first robe, that is, with the original garment which we wore before we sinned, the garment of incorruption; or, it means that garment which is honored above all others, the robe of Baptism. For the baptismal robe is the first to be placed around me, and from it I receive a covering of my former shame and indecency. Therefore you may understand the servants to mean the angels who carry out all those things that are done on our behalf, and by means of which we are sanctified. You may also understand the servants to mean the priests. For they clothe the repentant sinner with Baptism and the word of teaching, placing around him the first robe, which is Christ Himself (for all we that have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, Gal. 3:18). And they put a ring on his hand, which ring is the seal of Christ given at Chrismation so that we might execute good deeds in His name. The hand is a symbol of action, and the ring is a symbol of a seal. Therefore he who has been baptized, and, in general, everyone who has turned from wickedness, ought to have on his hand, that is, on his entire faculty of action, the seal and the mark of Christ, which is placed on him to show that he has been made new in the image of his Creator. You may also understand the ring to signify the earnest of the Spirit (II Cor. 1:21-22). By that I mean that God will give us perfect and complete good things when it is time for them; but for now He gives us gifts as earnest, that is, as tokens of assurance of those good things to come. For example, to some He gives the power to work miracles, to others the gift of teaching, and to others still other gifts; having received these gifts, we have more confident hope in the perfect and complete good things to come.
And shoes are put on his feet to protect him from scorpions, that is, from the seemingly small and hidden sins described by David (Ps. 18:12), which are in fact deadly. And these shoes also protect him from serpents, that is, from those sins which can be seen by all. And, in another sense, shoes are given to him who has been counted worthy of the first robe: God makes such a man ready to preach the Gospel and to bring benefit to others. This is Christianity—to benefit one’s neighbor. We are not ignorant of what is meant by the grain-fed bullock (ton moschon ton siteuton) which is slain and eaten. It is none other than the very Son of God, Who as a Man took flesh which is irrational and animal by nature, although He filled it with His own glory. Thus Christ is symbolized by the bullock, the Youngling which has never been put under the yoke of the law of sin; and He is grain-fed in the sense that Christ was set apart and prepared for this mystery from before the foundation of the world. And though it may seem somewhat difficult to take in, nevertheless it shall be said: the Bread which we break in the Eucharist appears to our eyes to be made of wheat (sitos) and thus may be called of wheat (siteutos); but in reality it is Flesh, and thus may be called the Bullock. For Christ Himself is both Bullock and Wheat. Therefore every one who is baptized and becomes a son of God, or rather, is restored to the status of son, and in general, every one who is cleansed from sin, communes of this Bullock of Wheat. Then he becomes the cause of gladness to the Father, and also to His servants, namely, the angels and the priests, because he who was dead is alive again, and he who was lost is found. For whoever is dead from the abundance of his wickedness is without hope; but whoever is able, with his changeable human nature, to change from wickedness to virtue, is said to be merely lost. To be lost is less severe than to be dead.
25-32. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the grain-fed bullock, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gayest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the grain-fed bullock. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Here is the celebrated question—how is it that the son who lived a God-pleasing life in all other respects, and who faithfully served his father, could display such envy? The question will be answered if one considers the reason why this parable was told. This parable and the ones preceding it were told because the Pharisees, who considered themselves pure and righteous, were grumbling at the Lord because He received harlots and publicans. The Pharisees murmured indignantly, believing themselves to be more righteous than the publicans, which is why the Lord presented this parable. Consider that the figure of the son who is seen to grumble is understood to refer to all those who are scandalized at the sudden good fortune and deliverance of sinners. Such men grumble, not because of envy, but because neither they nor we can understand the outpouring of God’s compassion for man. Does not David bring forward the figure of a man scandalized at the peace of sinners (Ps. 72:3)? And Jeremiah likewise, when he says, Why is it that the way of ungodly men prosper? Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root (Jer. 12:1-2). Such thoughts reflect man’s weak and poor understanding, which easily ignites with annoyance and questions the good fortune of the wicked, which seems undeserved.
In this parable, therefore, the Lord is saying to the Pharisees words like these: “Let us suppose that you are as righteous as that elder son and well-pleasing to the Father; I entreat you who are righteous and pure not to grumble, as this elder son did, against the gladness which we are showing over the salvation of the sinner, who is also a son.” Do you see that this parable is not about envy? Instead, by means of this parable, the Lord is instructing the minds of the Pharisees, so that they will not be vexed that the Lord receives sinners, even though they themselves are righteous and have fulfilled every commandment of God. It is no wonder that we too become vexed at those who appear undeserving. God’s compassion is so great, and He gives to us so abundantly of His own good things, that we may even grumble at His generosity. That criticism follows generosity is a fact to which we refer in everyday speech. If we do good to someone who fails to thank us, we often say to him, “Everyone says I am a fool for having been so good to you.” We use this expression, even if no one has actually criticized us, because extreme generosity is so often followed by criticism that to suggest the latter is to prove the former. But let us turn to the particulars of the parable, in brief.
The elder son was in the field, that is, in this world, working his own land, meaning his flesh, so that he might have his fill of bread, sowing with tears so that he might reap with rejoicing. When he learned what was being done, he did not want to enter into the common joy. But the compassionate father goes out and begs him to come in, and explains to him the reason for the joy, that a man who was dead has come back to life. Because as a man he did not understand, and because he was scandalized, the elder son accused the father of not giving him even a young goat, while for the prodigal son he slaughtered the fatted calf. What does the kid, the young goat, signify? You may learn here. Every young goat is considered to be of the portion of sinners who are placed on the left side. The righteous son is saying, then, “I have passed my life in toil and labor, I have been persecuted, suffered hardships, been oppressed by sinners, and on my behalf you have never slaughtered and killed a kid, that is, a sinner who afflicts me, so that I might have some small measure of rest.” For example, King Ahab was just such a goat to the Prophet Elijah. Ahab persecuted Elijah, but the Lord did not quickly give this goat over to the slaughter so that Elijah could have some small rest, and take his ease with his friends, the prophets. Therefore Elijah complained to God, Lord, they have digged down Thine altars, and have slain Thy prophets (III Kings 19:10) And Saul was a goat to David, as were also all those who slandered David. But the Lord allowed them to tempt him, and did not slay them to give David some rest. Therefore David said, How long shall sinners, 0 Lord, how long shall sinners boast (Ps. 93:3)? The elder son in the parable is saying these things: “You did not count me worthy of any consolation in all my toils; you never handed over to me for slaughter any of these who were afflicting me. But now you save the prodigal son who never had to toil.”
This is the entire purpose of the parable—to correct the Pharisees who were grumbling that He had accepted sinners. The parable also instructs us that no matter how righteous we may be, we ought not to rebuff sinners, nor to grumble when God accepts them. The younger son, therefore, represents the harlots and the publicans; the elder son represents those Pharisees and scribes who consider themselves righteous. It is as if God were saying, “Let us suppose that you are indeed righteous and have not transgressed any commandments; if some others have turned away from wickedness, why do you not accept them as your brothers and fellow laborers?” I am not unaware that some have interpreted the elder son to signify the angels, and the younger son, the latter-born nature of men which rebelled against the commandment it was given and went astray. Still others have said that the two sons represent the Israelites and the Gentiles who later believed. But the simple truth is this: the person of the elder son signifies the righteous, and the person of the younger son signifies sinners who have repented and returned. The entirety of the parable is given for the sake of the Pharisees, to teach them not to be vexed that sinners are received, even if they themselves are righteous. Let no one be vexed at the judgments of God—let him be patient with those apparent sinners who prosper, and are saved. How do you know whether a man whom you think is a sinner has not repented, and on this account has been accepted? Or that he has secret virtues on account of which God looks favorably upon him?


http://lent.goarch.org/messages/prodigal_son.asp
James Iliou, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
+ In the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit.
"Of what great blessings in my wretchedness have I deprived myself! From what a kingdom in my misery have I fallen! I have wanted the riches that were given to me, I have transgressed the commandment. Alas, unhappy soul! You are henceforth condemned to the eternal fire. Therefore before the end cry out to Christ our God: Receive me as the Prodigal Son, and have mercy upon me."
This hymn is chanted on the Sunday of The Prodigal Son, which we celebrated in yesterday's Liturgy. We all know the parable of the father and his two sons, the younger receiving his share of the money and going off to a far away land and squandering it all on loose living. Then suddenly finding himself poor and hungry he realizes his folly and comes to himself and goes back to his father in repentance. His Father embraces him and holds a feast in his honor for his return.
The older brother, a son who always followed his father's wishes, never left his father's side, becomes angry and jealous, refusing to partake in the joy of his brother's return. He complains to his father saying: " Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him."
In the parable we are told and in our minds we think of the younger as being the Prodigal. But which one of these two brothers is truly the Prodigal Son? Is it the younger who leaves and comes back in repentance, or the older brother who refuses to welcome him back? I tell you it is both brothers. For if we examine the parable from a different view we will see that even though the older brother always obeyed his father, he too is constantly squandering his fathers riches.
How is he doing this? The Father has given all of us gifts, gifts that could be used for His glory, or squandered for our own purposes. The older son only obeys the father for he expects something in return! He has gone by the book all his life, for all the wrong reasons. He has not learned love, the perfect love that the father possesses! By not striving to be as perfect as his father is, he does things for the opposite reason, to what the father does.
He too lives in a strange land, for his actions are strange to his father, this is not the way that the Father created us to be, to live in self-centeredness, and even worse not to realize the sin of selfishness, and therefore not to feel the need to repent. His brother was lost but now is found, he was dead and now is alive again, all because of his remorse for his way of living, and his repentance in returning to the love of the even as a servant. His brother though is too blind to understand this, for he has done everything in his life by his father's law, but all has been done in vain, for he is lost in himself, and can not be found, he is dead in his sin, and can not arise for he is too blind to see.
How many Christians live by the book? Go to Church every service, out of duty, pray to God, but with empty words, help the Church financially, but for the wrong reasons, doing all this but never realizing the intentions of God and how we should truly live as Christians. They go home and gossip about each other, slander their neighbors name, and do not possess even the love to forgive their transgressors! Yet they expect to be saved for their empty works.
We are entering Great Lent soon, and Christ asks us today, which of these brothers are you identified with? What will we answer? Do we truly see our sin, or just our brother's and sister's? Do we indulge in cursing, gossiping, and slandering our follow Christian brother and sister's name? or do we come to ourselves and strive to be better everyday in repentance? Do we truly treat each other with Christian love or are we holding any grudges against anyone, or does it matter, for we live by the book and feel that we will be saved anyway?
We are all prodigals in our own way, but let us be like the younger prodigal Son, let us realize that we live in a strange land full of sin, and we need to return and live in our Father's kingdom where love and peace rule. Remember the hymn I quoted at the beginning "Therefore before the end cry out to Christ our God: receive me as the Prodigal Son, O God, and have mercy upon me."
Amen.


TRIODION:
http://www.anastasis.org.uk/ProdigalE.htm#_ftnref1


SUNDAY OF THE PROFLIGATE SON
ON SATURDAY EVENING


AT VESPERS


After the Opening Psalm and the usual reading from the Psalter, at Lord, I have cried, we insert ten stichera: six of the Resurrection in the Tone of the week from the Octoichos, and the following two Idiomels from the Triodion, doubling them.


Tone 1.


I was entrusted with a sinless and living country, but, having sown the ground[1] with sin, with a sickle I have reaped the ears of indifference and piled up the heaps of the sheaves of my actions, which I have not spread out on the threshing floor of repentance.[2] but I beg you, our God, husbandman before the ages, with the wind of your loving compassion winnow away[3] the chaff of my works, and provision[4] my soul with forgiveness; shut me in your heavenly storehouse and save me. (Twice)


Brethren, let us learn the power of the mystery. For when the Profligate Son ran back from sin to his Father’s hearth, the all-loving Father, coming out to meet him, kissed him and gave him back again the tokens of his own glory, and completed the mystical joy of those on high by sacrificing the fatted calf, so that we might live lives worthy of the loving Father, who offered the sacrifice, and of the glorious sacrificial victim, the Saviour of our souls. (Twice)


Glory. Tone 2.


Of what great blessings, wretch that I am, have I deprived myself! From what a kingship[5] in my misery have I fallen! I have wasted the wealth that I received, I have transgressed the commandment. Alas, unhappy soul ! You are henceforth condemned to the eternal fire. Therefore before the end cry out to Christ our God, ‘Receive me as the Profligate Son, O God, and have mercy on me’.


Both now.


The 1st Theotokion in the Tone of the week from the Octoichos.


Entrance, O Joyful Light. Prokeimenon of the day. At the Liti[6] we sing the sticheron of the patron saint of the monastery.


Glory. Tone 4.


Like the Profligate Son, having dissipated my whole livelihood in exile, I have squandered the wealth you gave me, Father. Accept me as I now repent, and save me.


Both now. Theotokion.


The mystery hidden from all eternity and unknown to Angels, has been revealed to those on earth through you, O Mother of God: God being made flesh in a union without confusion, and willingly accepting the Cross for us, through which he raised the first-formed man and saved our souls from death.


Alphabetical Aposticha from the Octoichos.


Glory. Tone 6.


I have squandered the wealth of my Father’s gift, and have grazed[7], poor wretch, with irrational beasts. Yearning for their food, I starved and was not filled. But now I return to the compassionate Father and cry out with tears, ‘Accept me as a hired servant, as I fall down before your loving‑kindness, and save me’.


Both now. Theotokion.


My maker and redeemer, Christ the Lord, by coming from your womb, All-pure Lady, and clothing himself in me freed Adam from the former curse. Therefore, All-pure, as to her who is truly Mother of God and Virgin, we cry unceasingly the Angel’s ‘Hail’: Hail, Sovereign Lady, defence, protection and salvation of our souls!


Apolytikion, Virgin Mother of God, three times. And the rest of the office of the Vigil.[8]


on Sunday morning


AT MATINS


After the Six Psalms, The Lord is God, the Apolytikion of the Resurrection (twice) and the Theotokion in the Tone of the week. The usual readings from the Psalter, the Kathismata in the Tone of the week from the Octoichos, the Evlogitaria, the Ypakoï, the Anavathmi and the Prokeimenon in the Tone of the week, and the appointed Morning Gospel. Then Having seen the Resurrection of Christ, followed by Psalm 50, and the following Idiomels.


Glory. Tone 8.


Open the gates of repentance to me, O Giver of Life, for my spirit rises early in the morning to your holy temple, bearing a temple of the body all defiled. But as you are full of pity, cleanse it by your compassionate mercy.


Both now. Same Tone.


Guide me to paths of salvation, Mother of God, for I have befouled my soul with shameful sins and have squandered all my life in sloth. By your intercessions deliver me from all uncleanness.


Have mercy on me, O God, in accordance with your great mercy. According to the multitude of your compassion blot out my offences.


Tone 6.


As I ponder the multitudes of dreadful things that I have done, wretch that I am, I tremble for the fearful day of judgement. But confident in your merciful compassion, like David I cry to you, ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, in accordance with your great mercy’.


The Canons. The Canon of the Resurrection, the Canon of the Cross and Resurrection, the Canon of the Mother of God, and of the Triodion. We sing the Office from the Menaion on the preceding Friday at Compline.


Canon of the Triodion to 6.
Composition of Kyr Joseph. Acrostic in Ode 9: Joseph.


Ode 1. Tone 2. Take up Moses’ song.


Jesus my God, now accept me too as I repent like the Profligate Son. All my life I have lived in carelessness and provoked you to anger.


The divine wealth that you once gave me I have squandered wickedly. I have gone far from you and lived like the Profligate, compassionate Father. And so accept me too as I return.


Spread wide your fatherly embrace now and accept me too like the Profligate, compassionate Lord, that with thanksgiving I may glorify you.


Theotokion


Show in me all your goodness, O God. As my Benefactor, overlook the multitude of my offences at your Mother’s godly prayers.


Katavasia.


Take up Moses’ song, my soul, and shout, ‘He has become my helper and protector. This is my God, and I will glorify him.’


Ode 3. Make my barren mind.


Wholly beside myself, I attached myself in madness to the inventors of passions. But accept me, O Christ, like the Profligate.


Imitating the words of the Profligate I cry aloud, ‘I have sinned, Father’. Like him now embrace me too and do not reject me.


Open wide your arms, O Christ, and in compassion receive me as I return from a far country of sin and passions.


Theotokion


O lovely among women, enrich me too, reduced to poverty by many sins, pure Virgin, with notions of what is fair and lovely, that I may glorify you.


Katavasia.


Make my barren mind produce fruit, O God, husbandman of what is lovely and planter of good things, in your compassion.


Kathisma. Tone 1. The soldiers watching.


Make haste and open to me your fatherly embrace. Like the Profligate I have squandered my whole livelihood. As I look to the inexhaustible wealth of your mercy, do not now despise my beggared heart, for to you, Lord, with compunction I cry, ‘I have sinned against you. Save me!’


Glory. The Same.


Both now. Theotokion


Pure Virgin Mother of God without bridegroom, the only guardian and protection of the faithful, deliver from dangers, afflictions and dread circumstances all who have their hopes on you, O Maiden, and by your godly intercessions save our souls.


Ode 4. Irmos. Foreseeing your birth.


The wealth of fair blessings which you gave me, heavenly Father, I have wrongly squandered, enslaved to citizens of a foreign country, therefore I cry to you, ‘I have sinned against you. Receive me like the Profligate of old, unfolding your arms to me’.


I have become enslaved to every evil and, wretchedly bowed down to the creators of the passions, through negligence I have lost possession of myself. Take pity on me, Saviour, heavenly Father, as I flee to your many mercies.


I have been filled with every shame and dare not look towards the height of heaven, for I have irrationally bowed down to sin. But now as I return I cry aloud in compunction, ‘I have sinned against you. Receive me, King of all’.


Theotokion.


You are the help of humankind, the sure hope of all Christians, immaculate Virgin, and the refuge of the saved. Save me by your motherly intercessions and count me worthy of the life to come.


Katavasia.


Foreseeing your birth from a Virgin, the Prophet cried out and proclaimed, ‘I heard your report, O Christ, and I was afraid, for you came from Theman and from a holy shaded mountain.’


Ode 5. Irmos. The night has passed.


I was enslaved to citizens of a foreign country, I became an exile in a land of destruction, and I was filled with shame. But now, as I return, O Compassionate, I cry to you, ‘I have sinned.’


Open to me now your fatherly compassion as I return from evils, heavenly Father, and in your surpassing mercy do not reject me.


I dare not look up at the height of heaven, O Christ, for I have angered you beyond measure. But knowing your compassion, merciful Lord, I cry, ‘I have sinned. Be merciful. Save me’.


Theotokion.


All-holy Virgin, full of grace, who gave birth to the propitiation of all, by your prayers lighten the heavy burden of my offences.


Katavasia.


The night has passed, the day is at hand, and the light has shone out on the world. Therefore the ranks of angels sing your praise and glorify you, Christ our God.


Ode 6. I am held fast by an abyss.


The depth of sin ever holds me fast, and a tempest of transgressions drags me down. Pilot me, Christ my God, to the harbour of life and save me, King of glory.


I have wickedly squandered my Father’s wealth, and reduced to poverty, I am filled with shame, enslaved to fruitless thoughts. Therefore I cry to you who love humankind, ‘Take pity on me and save me’.


I am wasted with starvation of every good, and estranged from you, O Christ supremely good. Take pity on me as I now return, and save me as I sing the praise of your love for humankind.


Theotokion.


Maiden, who conceived Christ the Saviour and Master, count me, beggared of every kind of good, worthy of salvation, pure Virgin, that I may sing the praise of your mighty acts.


Katavasia.


I am held fast by an abyss of sins, O Saviour, and am drowning in the ocean of life. But like Jonas from the beast, bring me up too from the passions and save me.


Kontakion. Tone 3. Today the Virgin.


I have foolishly run away, O Father, from your glory; I have squandered in evil deeds the riches you entrusted to me; therefore I offer you the words of the Profligate: I have sinned before you, compassionate Father: take me now repentant and make me as one of your hired servants.


Ikos.


Our Saviour teaches us every day through his own voice. Let us therefore listen to the Scriptures concerning the Profligate who became temperate again, and with faith let us imitate his fair repentance. With humble heart let us cry out to him who knows all secrets, ‘We have sinned against you, merciful Father, and are not worthy ever to be called your children as before. But since you are by nature full of love for humankind, accept me and make me as one of your hired servants.


Synaxarion from the Menaion, then what follows.


On this day we commemorate the parable of the Profligate Son from the holy Gospel, which our most godly Fathers prescribed for the second Sunday of the Triodion.


Verses.
If you’re a Profligate, like me, take heart!
All doors to God’s compassion open lie.


By your ineffable love for humankind, Christ our God, have mercy on me.


Ode 7. Irmos. Imitating the Cherubim.


I have bowed down miserably to the pleasures of the body and I have become wholly enslaved to the inventors of the passions; and I have become a stranger to you, lover of humankind. But now I cry with the voice of the Profligate, ‘I have sinned, O Christ, do not despise, for you alone are merciful’.


I call out, ‘I have sinned’, and I dare not even look towards the height of heaven, O King of all; for in foolishness I alone have angered you, rejecting your commandments. Therefore, as you alone are good, do not cast me away from your presence.


At the prayers of the apostles, prophets, ascetics, honoured martyrs and the just, pardon me all the things by which I have offended, and angering your goodness, Christ my Lord, that I may sing your praise to all the ages.


Theotokion.


Mother of God, you are revealed as more radiant than the Cherubim and Seraphim and all the heavenly host. With them, O all-blameless, entreat the One to whom you gave a body, God the Word of the Father without beginning that we may all be found worthy of the good things that last for ever.


Katavasia.


Imitating the Cherubim, the Youths in the furnace, danced as they cried out, ‘Blessed are you, O God, for with truth and judgement you have brought all these things upon us because of our sins; you who are highly praised and glorified to all the ages.’


Ode 8. Him, whom the wonder.


You, who through great mercy came down to earth to save the world by voluntary poverty, save me as you are merciful, for I am poor in all good works.


Distancing myself from your commandments, in utter wretchedness I became enslaved to the deceiver. But, as I now turn back like the Profligate of old and fall before you, accept me, heavenly Father.


Subjected by corrupting thoughts, I became dark and distanced myself from you, and I lost all possession of myself, compassionate Lord. Therefore, as I fall before you in repentance, save me.


Theotokion.


Pure Mother of God, only restoration of the broken, restore me, for I am wholly crushed and humbled by every kind of sin.


Katavasia.


Him, who for Moses foreshadowed the wonder of the Virgin in the Bush on mount Sinai, praise, bless and highly exalt to all the ages.


Ode 9. Who of those born of earth.


See, O Christ, the affliction of my heart; see my turning back; see my tears, O Saviour, and do not despise me. But embrace me once again through your compassion and number me with the multitude of the saved, that with thanksgiving I may sing the praise of your mercies.


Like the Thief I cry to you, ‘Remember me’. Like the Tax Collector, with downcast eyes cast, I now beat my breast and say, ‘Be merciful’. Like the Profligate deliver me from all my evils, compassionate King of all, that I may sing the praise of your profound condescension.


Groan now, my soul, all-wretched, and cry aloud to Christ, ‘Lord, who for my sake willingly became poor, in my poverty I lack every good work. Make me rich with an abundance of fair things, as you alone are good and full of mercy’.


O Good One, the joy that you once created at the voluntary return of the Profligate, now create once again because of me, wretch though I am. Open wide your holy arms to me, that saved I may sing the praise of your profound condescension.


Theotokion.


I pray you, Virgin, through your radiant intercessions enlighten the eyes of my mind darkened by wickedness and bring me to ways of repentance. So that, as is fitting, I may sing your praise, who beyond reason gave a body to the Word.


Katavasia.


Who of those born of earth has heard the like? Or who has ever seen that a Virgin has been found to bear in her womb and give birth to a babe without pangs? Such is your wonder. And, Mary, pure Mother of God, we magnify you.


The appointed Exapostilarion of the Resurrection
and the following of the Triodion.
Women hear.


By uselessly leaving home, wretch that I am, I wickedly wasted the wealth of grace that you gave me. And living like the Profligate I squandered my wealth deceitfully to demons. But now, as I return, accept me like the Profligate, merciful Father, and save me.


Another to the same melody.


I have squandered and spent all your wealth and have become the subject to evil demons, wretch that I am. But, most compassionate Saviour, take pity on the Profligate, cleanse me of filth and give me back again the first robe of your kingdom.


Theotokion.


Holy Virgin Mother of God, the great boast of Martyrs, Prophets and Ascetics, gain the mercy of your Son and Lord for us your servants, when he sits to judge each according to their due.


At Lauds. Four stichera of the Resurrection from the Octoichos and one by Anatolios, and then the following three Idiomels of the Triodion.


Tone 2.


I bring you the words of the Profligate, Lord. I have sinned in your sight, O Good One. I have squandered the wealth of your gifts of grace. But receive me in repentance Saviour, and save me.


Verse 1: Arise, O Lord, my God, lift up your hand: do not forget your poor for ever.


Tone 4.


Like the Profligate Son I too have come to you, merciful Lord. I have squandered my whole livelihood in a foreign land; I have scattered the wealth which you gave me, Father. Receive me as I repent, O God, and have mercy on me.


Verse 2: I will give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will tell of all your wonders.


Tone 8.


Like the Profligate I have wasted the riches of my Father’s substance; and having spent them all I am now destitute, dwelling in the land of the evil citizens. No longer can I bear to live among them, but turning back I cry to you, merciful Father, ‘I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am not worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants, O God, and have mercy on me’.


Glory. Tone 6.


Loving Father, I have gone far from you, but do not forsake me, nor declare me unfitted for your Kingdom. The all-evil enemy has stripped me naked and taken all my wealth. I have squandered like the Profligate the graces given to my soul. But now I have arisen and returned, and I cry aloud to you, ‘Make me as one of your hired servants, you who for my sake stretched out your spotless hands on the Cross, to snatch me from the fearsome beast and to clothe me once again in the first robe, for you alone art full of mercy‘.


Both now.


You are most blessed, Virgin Mother of God, for through him who took flesh from you, Hell has been taken captive, Adam recalled, the curse slain, Eve set free, death put to death, and we given life. Therefore in praise we cry: Blessed are you, Christ our God, who have been thus well-pleased, glory to you.


Great Doxology. the two Litanies, and the Dismissal. The usual Liti, at which we sing the Eothinon, and the Catecheses are read.


[1] This word geosporo is not attested in the lexica, though the meaning is obvious.
[2] The first sentence of this sticheron is not easy. The use of the preposition eis, ‘to’, with the passive of pisteuo is, so far as I can tell, unprecedented. The passive ‘To be entrusted with something’ would normally have the accusative of the thing entrusted. The Slavonic is equally odd. Bishop Kallistos takes the meaning to be ‘with’, which at least makes sense, and for the moment I follow him. It is unclear what the ‘sinless and living land is’. The latter adjective is not scriptural and the former only occurs twice, at Deuteronomy 29:18 and John 8:7; neither of which is of any help. The word ‘but’ in the first line is not in the Greek and there is a colon after ‘sin’. The latter would not make sense. It is simpler to take ‘having sown the ground with sin’ with what follows. In Slavonic ‘reaped’ and ‘piled’ are also participles, which all depend on ‘I was entrusted’ in the first clause. This is also very odd. As so often in these texts, one can ask to whom the ‘I’ refers. In one sense it clearly refers to the writer, and hence to the person praying, but if the opening phrase means ‘entrusted with’, there could also be a allusion to Adam. There is no obvious reference to the Profligate Son, except, perhaps, the use of the word ‘country’.
[3] The word apolikmazo is not attested in the lexical, but again the meaning is obvious.
[4] The usual meaning is ‘pay’, used with reference to soldiers, but the word is connected with sitos, ‘corn’, and so the meaning must be the one proposed above.
[5] The Greek basileia means both ‘kingdom’ and ‘kingship’.
[6] See the note to the Liti of the previous Sunday.
[7] The only reference in Liddell and Scott is to Isaias 11:6, which is the only occurrence of the word in Scripture. The Septuagint has pointed up the reference to animals, since the Hebrew simply means ‘dwell with’.
[8] See the rubrics for the previous Sunday.


http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Tri/ProdigalSun.uni.htm
ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΣΩΤΟΥ


Τῼ ΣΑΒΒΑΤῼ ΕΣΠΕΡΑΣ
ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΕΣΠΕΡΙΝΟΝ


Μετὰ τὸν Προοιμιακὸν καὶ τὴν συνήθη Στιχολογίαν, εἰς τὸ Κύριε ἐκέκραξα ἱστῶμεν Στίχ. ι', καὶ ψάλλομεν Στιχηρὰ Ἀναστάσιμα τῆς Ὀκτωήχου στ', καὶ τὰ παρόντα Ἰδιόμελα τοῦ Τριῳδίου β' δευτεροῦντες αὐτά.


Ἦχος α'


Εἰς ἀναμάρτητον χώραν, καὶ ζωηράν, ἐπιστεύθην, γεωσπορήσας τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, τῇ δρεπάνῃ ἐθέρισα, τοὺς στάχυας τῆς ἀμελείας, καὶ δραγμάτων ἐστοίβασα, πράξεών μου τὰς θημωνίας, ἃς καὶ κατέστρωσα οὐχ ἅλωνι τῆς μετανοίας. Ἀλλ' αἰτῶ σε, τὸν προαιώνιον γεωργὸν ἡμῶν Θεόν, τῷ ἀνέμῳ τῆς σῆς φιλευσπλαγχνίας ἀπολίκμισον τὸ ἄχυρον τῶν ἔργων μου καὶ σιτάρχησον τῇ ψυχῇ μου τὴν ἄφεσιν, εἰς τὴν οὐράνιόν σου συγκλείων με ἀποθήκην καὶ σῶσόν με. (Δίς)


Ὅμοιον


Ἐπιγνῶμεν ἀδελφοὶ τοῦ μυστηρίου τὴν δύναμιν· τὸν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς ἁμαρτίας, πρὸς τὴν πατρικὴν ἑστίαν, ἀναδραμόντα, Ἄσωτον Υἱὸν ὁ πανάγαθος Πατήρ, προϋπαντήσας ἀσπάζεται, καὶ πάλιν τῆς οἰκείας δόξης, χαρίζεται τὰ γνωρίσματα, καὶ μυστικὴν τοῖς ἄνω ἐπιτελεῖ ευφροσύνην, θύων τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς ἀξίως πολιτευσώμεθα, τῷ τε θύσαντι φιλανθρώπῳ Πατρί, καὶ τῷ ἐνδόξῳ θύματι, τῷ Σωτῆρι τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν. (Δίς)


Δόξα... Ἦχος β'


Ὢ πόσων ἀγαθῶν, ὁ ἄθλιος ἐμαυτὸν ἐστέρησα! ὢ ποίας βασιλείας ἐξέπεσα ὁ ταλαίπωρος ἐγώ! τὸν πλοῦτον ἠνάλωσα, ὅν περ ἔλαβον, τὴν ἐντολὴν παρέβην. Οἴμοι τάλαινα ψυχὴ! τῷ πυρὶ τῷ αἰωνίῳ λοιπὸν καταδικάζεσαι· διὸ πρὸ τέλους βόησον Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ. Ὡς τὸν Ἄσωτον δέξαι με υἱόν, ὁ Θεός, καὶ ἐλέησόν με.


Καὶ νῦν... Θεοτοκίον τοῦ ἐνδιατάκτου Ἤχου. Εἴσοδος, τὸ Φῶς ἱλαρόν, Προκείμενον, Ὁ Κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν κ.λ.π. Εἰς τὴν Λιτήν, τὸ Στιχηρὸν τοῦ Ἁγίου τῆς Μονῆς. Ἀπόστιχα τῆς Ὀκτωήχου τὰ κατ' Ἀλφάβητον.


Δόξα... Ἰδιόμελον Ἦχος πλ. β'


Τῆς πατρικῆς δωρεὰς διασκορπίσας τὸν πλοῦτον, ἀλόγοις συνεβοσκόμην ὁ τάλας κτήνεσι, καὶ τῆς αὐτῶν ὀρεγόμενος τροφῆς ἐλίμωττον μὴ χορταζόμενος, ἀλλ' ὑποστρέψας πρὸς τὸν εὔσπλαγχνον Πατέρα, κραυγάζω σὺν δάκρυσι· Δέξαι με ὡς μίσθιον, προσπίπτοντα τῇ φιλανθρωπίᾳ σου, καὶ σῶσόν με.


Καὶ νῦν... Θεοτοκίον Ἦχος ὁ αὐτὸς


Ὁ ποιητὴς καὶ λυτρωτής μου Πάναγνε, Χριστὸς ὁ Κύριος, ἐκ τῆς σῆς νηδύος προελθών, ἐμὲ ἐνδυσάμενος, τῆς πρώην κατάρας, τὸν Ἀδὰμ ἠλευθέρωσε· διό σοι Πάναγνε, ὡς τοῦ Θεοῦ Μητρί τε, καὶ Παρθένῳ ἀληθῶς, βοῶμεν ἀσιγήτως, τὸ Χαῖρε του Ἀγγέλου, χαῖρε Δέσποινα, προστασία, καὶ σκέπη, καὶ σωτηρία τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν.


Ἀπολυτίκιον, Θεοτόκε Παρθένε ἐκ γ'


Καὶ ἡ λοιπή, Ἀκολουθία τῆς Ἀγρυπνίας


Τῌ ΚΥΡΙΑΚῌ ΠΡΩΪ
ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΟΡΘΡΟΝ


Μετὰ τὸν Ἑξάψαλμον τό, Θεὸς Κύριος τὸ Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἀναστάσιμον δίς, καὶ τὸ Θεοτοκίον. Εἶτα ἡ συνήθης Στιχολογία, τὰ Ἀναστάσιμα Εὐλογητάρια τὰ Καθίσματα, καὶ οἱ Ἀναβαθμοὶ τῆς Ὀκτωήχου τό, Πᾶσα πνοή, καὶ τὸ Ἑωθινὸν ἐνδιάτακτον Εὐαγγέλιον. Εἶθ' οὕτω τό, Ἀνάστασιν Χριστοῦ θεασάμενοι καὶ μετὰ τὸν Ν' ψάλλομεν τὰ Ἰδιόμελα ταῦτα.


Δόξα... Ἦχος πλ. δ'


Τῆς μετανοίας ἄνοιξόν μοι πύλας Ζωοδότα· ὀρθρίζει γὰρ τὸ πνεῦμά μου, πρὸς ναὸν τὸν ἅγιόν σου, ναὸν φέρον τοῦ σώματος, ὅλον ἐσπιλωμένον, ἀλλ' ὡς οἰκτίρμων κάθαρον, εὐσπλάγχνῳ σου ἐλέει.


Καὶ νῦν... Θεοτοκίον


Ἦχος ὁ αὐτὸς


Τῆς σωτηρίας εὔθυνόν μοι τρίβους, Θεοτόκε· αἰσχραῖς γὰρ κατερρύπωσα, τὴν ψυχὴν ἁμαρτίαις, ὡς ῥαθύμως τὸν βίον μου, ὅλον ἐκδαπανήσας, ταῖς σαῖς πρεσβείαις ῥῦσαί με, πάσης ἀκαθαρσίας.


Στίχ. Ἐλέησόν με ὁ Θεὸς κατὰ τὸ μέγα ἐλεός σου καὶ κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν σου, ἐξάλειψον τὸ ἀνόμημα μου.


Ἦχος πλ. β'


Τὰ πλήθη τῶν πεπραγμένων μοι δεινῶν, ἐννοῶν ὁ τάλας, τρέμω τὴν φοβερὰν ἡμέραν τῆς κρίσεως· ἀλλὰ θαρρῶν εἰς τὸ ἔλεος τῆς εὐσπλαγχνίας σου, ὡς ὁ Δαυῒδ βοῶ σοι· Ἐλέησόν με ὁ Θεός, κατὰ τὸ μέγα σου ἔλεος.


Οἱ Κανόνες, ὁ Ἀναστάσιμος, ὁ Σταυροαναστάσιμος τῆς Θεοτόκου καὶ τοῦ Τριῳδίου. Τὴν δὲ Ἀκολουθίαν τοῦ Μηναίου ψάλλομεν τῇ παρελθούσῃ Παρασκευῇ ἑσπέρας ἐν τοῖς, Ἀποδείπνοις.

Ὁ Κανὼν τοῦ Τριῳδίου εἰς στ'. Ποίημα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰωσήφ.


ᾨδὴ α' Ἦχος β'


Τὴν Μωσέως ᾠδὴν ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ἰησοῦ ὁ Θεός, μετανοοῦντα δέξαι νῦν κἀμέ, ὡς τὸν Ἄσωτον Υἱόν, πάντα τὸν βίον ἐν ἀμελείᾳ ζήσαντα καὶ σὲ παροργίσαντα.


Ὅν μοι δέδωκας πρίν, κακῶς ἐσκόρπισα θεῖον πλοῦτον, ἐμακρύνθην ἀπὸ σοῦ, ἀσώτως ζήσας, εὔσπλαγχνε Πάτερ. Δέξαι οὖν κἀμὲ ἐπιστρέφοντα.


Τὰς ἀγκάλας νυνί, τὰς πατρικὰς προσεφαπλώσας δέξαι, Κύριε, κᾀμέ, ὥσπερ τὸν Ἄσωτον, πανοικτίρμον, ὅπως εὐχαρίστως δοξάζω σε.


Θεοτοκίον


Ἐν ἐμοὶ ὁ Θεός, πᾶσαν δεικνὺς ἀγαθωσύνην, πάριδέ μου τὴν πληθύν, τῶν ἐγκλημάτων ὡς εὐεργέτης, θείαις τῆς Μητρός σου δεήσεσι.


Καταβασίας δὲ λέγομεν τοὺς Εἱρμοὺς τοῦ Κανόνος. ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τὴν Μωσέως ᾠδήν, ἀναλαβοῦσα βόησον ψυχή. Βοηθὸς καὶ σκεπαστής, ἐγένετό μοι εἰς σωτηρίαν, οὗτός μου Θεὸς καὶ δοξάσω αὐτόν».


ᾨδὴ γ'


Στειρωθέντα μου τὸν νοῦν ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ἔξω ὅλος ἐμαυτοῦ, γεγονὼς φρενοβλαβῶς προσεκολλήθην, τοῖς παθῶν ἐφευρέταις, ἀλλὰ δέξαι με Χριστέ, ὥσπερ τὸν Ἄσωτον.


Τοῦ Ἀσώτου τὴν φωνήν, ἐκμιμούμενος βοῶ· Ἥμαρτον Πάτερ, ὡς ἐκεῖνον οὖν κᾀμέ, ἐναγκάλισαι νυνί, καὶ μὴ ἀπώσῃ με.


Τὰς ἀγκάλας σου Χριστέ, ὑφαπλώσας συμπαθῶς ὑπόδειξαί με, ἀπὸ χώρας μακρᾶς, ἁμαρτίας καὶ παθῶν ἐπαναστρέφοντα.


Θεοτοκίον


Ἡ καλὴ ἐν γυναιξί, καταπλούτισον κᾀμέ, καλῶν ἰδέαις, ἁμαρτίαις πολλαῖς, τὸν πτωχεύσαντα, Ἁγνή, ὅπως δοξάζω σε.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Στειρωθέντα μου τὸν νοῦν, καρποφόρον ὁ Θεὸς ἀνάδειξόν με, γεωργὲ τῶν καλῶν, φυτουργὲ τῶν ἀγαθῶν, τῇ εὐσπλαγχνίᾳ σου».


Κάθισμα Ἦχος α'


Τὸν τάφον σου Σωτὴρ ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ἀγκάλας πατρικάς, διανοῖξαί μοι σπεῦσον, ἀσώτως τὸν ἐμόν, κατηνάλωσα βίον, εἰς πλοῦτον ἀδαπάνητον, ἀφορῶν τοῦ ἐλέους Σου. Νῦν πτωχεύουσαν, μὴ ὑπερίδῃς καρδίαν· σοὶ γὰρ Κύριε, ἐν κατανύξει κραυγάζω. Ἥμαρτον, σῶσόν με.


Δόξα... Τὸ αὐτὸ


Καὶ νῦν... Θεοτοκίον, Ὅμοιον


Ἀνύμφευτε ἁγνή, Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, ἡ μόνη τῶν πιστῶν, προστασία καὶ σκέπη, κινδύνων καὶ θλίψεων, καὶ δεινῶν περιστάσεων, πάντας λύτρωσαι, τοὺς ἐπὶ σοὶ τάς ἐλπίδας, Κόρη, ἔχοντας, καὶ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν σῶσον ταῖς θείαις πρεσβείαις σου.

ᾨδὴ δ'



Τὴν ἐκ Παρθένου σου γέννησιν ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Πλοῦτον καλῶν ὅν μοι δέδωκας, ἐπουράνιε Πάτερ, διεσκόρπισα κακῶς, ξένοις πολίταις δουλούμενος· διὸ βοῶ σοι· Ἥμαρτόν σοι δέξαι με, ὡς τὸν Ἄσωτον πάλαι, ὑφαπλώσας, τὰς ἀγκάλας μοι τὰς σάς.


Πάσῃ κακίᾳ δεδούλωμαι, ὑποκύψας ἀθλίως τοῖς παθῶν δημιουργοῖς καὶ ἐμαυτοῦ ἔξω γέγονα, ἀπροσεξίᾳ· οἴκτειρόν με Σῶτερ, ἐπουράνιε Πάτερ, προσφυγόντα, τοῖς πολλοῖς σου οἰκτιρμοῖς.


Πάσης αἰσχύνης πεπλήρωμαι, μὴ τολμῶν ἀτενίσαι εἰς τὸ ὕψος τοῦ οὐρανοῦ· καὶ γὰρ ἀλόγως ὑπέκυψα τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, νῦν δὲ ἐπιστρέφων, ἐκβοῶ κατανύξει· Ἥμαρτόν σοι, δέξαι με, Παμβασιλεῦ.


Θεοτοκίον


Ἡ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βοήθεια, ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡ βεβαία, πάντων τῶν Χριστιανῶν, τὸ καταφύγιον, ἄχραντε, τῶν σῳζομένων, σῶσόν με, Παρθένε, μητρικαῖς σου πρεσβείαις, καὶ μελλούσης, καταξίωσον ζωῆς.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τὴν ἐκ Παρθένου σου γέννησιν, ὁ Προφήτης προβλέπων, ἀνεκήρυττε βοῶν· Τὴν ἀκοήν σου ἀκήκοα καὶ ἐφοβήθην, ὅτι ἀπὸ Θαιμάν, καὶ ἐξ ὄρους ἁγίου κατασκίου, ἐπεδήμησας, Χριστέ».


ᾨδὴ ε'


Τῆς νυκτὸς διελθούσης ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ἐδουλώθην πολίταις, ξένοις καὶ εἰς χώραν φθοροποιὸν ἀπεδήμησα, καὶ ἐπλήσθην αἰσχύνης, νῦν δὲ ἐπιστρέφων, κράζω σοι· Οἰκτίρμον τό, Ἥμαρτον.


Τὰ πατρῷά σου σπλάγχνα, νῦν ὑπάνοιξόν μοι, ἀπὸ τῶν κακῶν ἐπιστρέφοντα, ἐπουράνιε Πάτερ, καὶ μή με ἀπώσῃ, ἔχων ὑπερβάλλον τὸ ἔλεος.


Οὐ τολμῶ ἀτενίσαι, ἄνω εἰς τὸ ὕψος, ἄμετρα Χριστὲ παροργίσας σε ἀλλ' εἰδώς σου Οἰκτίρμον τὸ εὔσπλαγχνον κράζω· Ἥμαρτον, ἱλάσθητι, σῶσόν με.


Θεοτοκίον


Παναγία Παρθένε, κεχαριτωμένη, ἡ τὸν ἱλασμὸν πάντων τέξασα, τῶν ἐμῶν ἐγκλημάτων, τὸ βαρὺ φορτίον, σοῦ ταῖς ἱκεσίαις ἐλάφρυνον.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τῆς νυκτὸς διελθούσης, ἤγγικεν ἡ ἡμέρα, καὶ τὸ φῶς τῷ κόσμῳ ἐπέλαμψε· διὰ τοῦτο ὑμνεῖ σε τάγματα Ἀγγέλων καὶ δοξολογεῖ σε Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός».


ᾨδὴ στ'


Βυθῷ ἁμαρτημάτων ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Βυθὸς ἁμαρτημάτων, συνέχει με ἀεί, καὶ τρικυμία πταισμάτων, βυθίζει με κυβέρνησον, πρὸς λιμένα με ζωῆς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ σῶσόν με Βασιλεῦ τῆς δόξης.


Τὸν πλοῦτον τὸν πατρῷον, ἐσκόρπισα δεινῶς, καὶ πενητεύσας, αἰσχύνης πεπλήρωμαι, δουλούμενος τοῖς ἀκάρποις λογισμοῖς· διό σοι βοῶ φιλάνθρωπε· Οἴκτειρόν με, σῶσον.


Λιμῷ καταφθαρέντα, παντοίων ἀγαθῶν καὶ ξενωθέντα ἐκ σοῦ Ὑπεράγαθε, οἰκτείρησον, ἐπιστρέφοντά με νῦν, καὶ σῶσον Χριστέ, ὑμνοῦντά σου τὴν φιλανθρωπίαν.


Θεοτοκίον


Σωτῆρα καὶ Δεσπότην κυήσασα Χριστόν, τῆς σωτηρίας με Κόρη ἀξίωσον, πτωχεύσαντα, ἐκ παντοίων ἀγαθῶν, Παρθένε ἁγνή, ἵνα ὑμνῶ τὰ σὰ μεγαλεῖα.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Βυθῷ ἁμαρτημάτων, συνέχομαι Σωτήρ, καὶ ἐν πελάγει τοῦ βίου βυθίζομαι ἀλλ' ὥσπερ τὸν Ἰωνᾶν ἐκ τοῦ θηρός, κᾀμὲ τῶν παθῶν ἀνάγαγε, καὶ διάσωσόν με».


Κοντάκιον Ἦχος γ'


Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Τῆς πατρῴας, δόξης σου, ἀποσκιρτήσας ἀφρόνως, ἐν κακοῖς ἐσκόρπισα, ὅν μοι παρέδωκας πλοῦτον· ὅθεν σοι τὴν τοῦ Ἀσώτου, φωνὴν κραυγάζω· Ἥμαρτον ἐνώπιόν σου Πάτερ οἰκτίρμον, δέξαι με μετανοοῦντα, καὶ ποίησόν με, ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.


Ὁ Οἶκος


Τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν καθ' ἑκάστην διδάσκοντος δι' οἰκείας φωνῆς, τῶν Γραφῶν ἀκουσώμεθα, περὶ τοῦ Ἀσώτου καὶ σώφρονος πάλιν, καὶ τούτου πίστει ἐκμιμησώμεθα τήν καλὴν μετάνοιαν, τῷ κατιδόντι πάντα τὰ κρύφια μετὰ ταπεινῆς καρδίας κράξωμεν· Ἡμάρτομέν σοι Πάτερ οἰκτίρμον, καὶ οὐκ ἐσμὲν ἄξιοι ποτέ, κληθῆναι τέκνα ὡς πρίν. Ἀλλ' ὡς φύσει ὑπάρχων φιλάνθρωπος, σὺ προσδέχου, καὶ ποίησόν με, ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.


Συναξάριον τοῦ Μηναίου, εἶτα τὸ παρόν.


Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῆς τοῦ Ἀσώτου Υἱοῦ παραβολῆς ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ Εὐαγγελίου μνείαν ποιούμεθα, ἣν οἱ θειότατοι Πατέρες ἡμῶν δευτέραν ἐν τῷ Τριῳδίῳ ἐνέταξαν.


Στίχοι


Ἄσωτος εἴ τις, ὡς ἐγώ, θαρρῶν ἴθι.


Θείου γὰρ οἴκτου πᾶσα ἤνοικται θύρα.


Τῇ ἀφάτῳ φιλανθρωπίᾳ σου, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.


ᾨδὴ ζ'


Τὰ Χερουβὶμ μιμούμενοι ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ταῖς ἡδοναῖς τοῦ σώματος, ὑπέκυψα παναθλίως, καὶ ἐδουλώθην ὅλως, τοῖς τῶν παθῶν ἐφευρεταῖς, καὶ ξένος ἐγενόμην, ἀπὸ σοῦ φιλάνθρωπε, νῡν δὲ κράζω, τὴν τοῦ, Ἀσώτου φωνὴν· Ἡμάρτηκα Χριστέ, μή με ὑπερίδῃς, ὡς μόνος ἐλεήμων.


Ἀναβοῶ τὸ Ἥμαρτον, μηδόλως ἐνατενίσαι, ἀποτολμῶν εἰς ὕψος τοῦ οὐρανοῦ Παμβασιλεῦ· ὅτι ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ, μόνος σε παρώργισα, ἀθετήσας τὰ σὰ προστάγματα· διὸ ὡς μόνος ἀγαθός, μή με ἀπορρίψῃς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ προσώπου.

Τῶν Ἀποστόλων Κύριε, καὶ Προφητῶν καὶ Ὁσίων, καὶ τῶν σεπτῶν Μαρτύρων καὶ τῶν Δικαίων προσευχαῖς συγχώρησόν μοι πάντα, ἅπερ ἐπλημμέλησα, παροργίσας Χριστέ, τὴν ἀγαθότητά σου, ὅπως ὑμνολογῶ σε εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας.


Θεοτοκίον


Τῶν Χερουβὶμ φανεῖσα, καὶ Σεραφὶμ Θεοτόκε, καὶ πάσης λαμπροτέρα, ἐπουρανίου στρατιᾶς, σὺν τούτοις ἐκδυσώπει, ὅν περ ἐσωμάτωσας Θεὸν Λόγον πανάμωμε, ἀνάρχου Πατρός, ὅπως τῶν ἀγαθῶν τῶν αἰωνιζόντων, πάντες ἀξιωθῶμεν.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τὰ Χερουβὶμ μιμούμενοι, Παῖδες, ἐν τῇ καμίνῳ ἐχόρευον βοῶντες· Εὐλογητὸς εἶ ὁ Θεός, ὅτι ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ κρίσει, ἐπήγαγες ταῦτα πάντα διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, ὁ ὑπερύμνητος καὶ δεδοξασμένος εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας».


ᾨδὴ η'


Τὸν ἐν τῇ βάτῳ ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ὁ καταβὰς ἐπὶ γῆς εἰς τὸ σῶσαι τὸν κόσμον, ἑκουσίῳ πτωχείᾳ διὰ ἔλεος πολύ, πτωχεύσαντά με πάσης νῡν ἀγαθοεργίας, ὡς ἐλεήμων σῶσον.


Ἀπὸ τῶν σῶν ἐντολῶν μακρυνθεὶς ἐδουλώθην, παναθλίως τῷ πλάνῳ, ἐπιστρέφοντα δὲ νῦν, τὸν Ἄσωτον ὡς πάλαι, προσπίπτοντά σοι δέξαι, ἐπουράνιε Πάτερ.


Φθοροποιοῖς λογισμοῖς, ὑπαχθεὶς ἠμαυρώθην, καὶ ἐκ σοῦ ἐμακρύνθην, ὅλως ἔξω ἐμαυτοῦ, γενόμενος Οἰκτίρμον· διὸ ἐν μετανοίᾳ, προσπίπτοντά σοι σῶσον.


Θεοτοκίον


Θεογεννῆτορ Ἁγνὴ ἡ τῶν κατερραγμένων, ἐπανόρθωσις μόνη, ἐπανόρθωσον κᾀμέ, παντοίαις ἁμαρτίαις, συντετριμμένον ὅλον, καὶ τεταπεινωμένον.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τὸν ἐν τῇ βάτῳ Μωσῆ, τῆς Παρθένου τὸ θαῦμα, ἐν Σιναίῳ τῷ ὄρει προτυπώσαντα ποτέ, ὑμνεῖτε, εὐλογεῖτε, καὶ ὑπερυψοῦτε εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας».


ᾨδὴ θ' ἧς ἡ ἀκροστιχίς, Ἰωσήφ.


Τῶν γηγενῶν τίς ἤκουσε ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ἴδε Χριστέ, τὴν θλῖψιν τῆς καρδίας, ἴδε μου τὴν ἐπιστροφήν, ἴδε τὰ δάκρυα Σῶτερ, καὶ μὴ παρίδῃς με, ἀλλ' ἐναγκάλισαι πάλιν δι' εὐσπλαγχνίαν, πληθύϊ σῳζομένων συναριθμῶν ὅπως ὑμνῶ εὐχαρίστως τὰ ἐλέη σου.


Ὡς ὁ λῃστὴς βοῶ τὸ Μνήσθητί μου, ὡς ὁ Τελώνης κατηφὴς τύπτω τὸ στῆθος καὶ κράζω, νῡν τό, ἱλάσθητι ὥσπερ τὸν Ἄσωτον ῥῦσαί με πανοικτίρμον, ἐκ πάντων τῶν κακῶν μου Παμβασιλεῦ, ὅπως ὑμνῶ σου τὴν ἄκραν συγκατάβασιν.


Στέναξον νῦν, ψυχή μου, παναθλία, καὶ ἀναβόησον Χριστῷ· Ὁ δι' ἐμὲ ἑκουσίως πτωχεύσας Κύριε, πτωχεύσαντά με ἐκ πάσης ἀγαθοεργίας, καλῶν περιουσίᾳ, ὡς ἀγαθός καὶ πολύελεος, μόνος καταπλούτισον.


Ἥν περ ποτέ, εἰργάσω εὐφροσύνην, τῇ τοῦ, Ἀσώτου Ἀγαθέ, ἐπιστροφῇ ἑκουσίῳ· ταύτην νῡν ποίησον καὶ ἐπ' ἐμοὶ τῷ ἀθλίῳ προσεφαπλῶν μοι, τὰς σὰς σεπτὰς ἀγκάλας ἵνα σωθεὶς ὑμνολογῶ σου τὴν ἄκραν συγκατάβασιν.


Θεοτοκίον


Φωτιστικαῖς, πρεσβείαις σου Παρθένε, τοὺς νοερούς μου ὀφθαλμούς, ἐσκοτισμένους κακίᾳ, φώτισον δέομαι, καὶ πρὸς ὁδοὺς μετανοίας εἰσάγαγέ με, ὅπως χρεωστικῶς σε ὑμνολογῶ, τὴν ὑπὲρ λόγον τὸν λόγον σωματώσασαν.


Ὁ Εἱρμὸς ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


«Τῶν γηγενῶν τίς ἤκουσε τοιοῦτον, ἢ τίς ἑώρακε ποτέ; ὅτι παρθένος εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα, καὶ ἀνωδίνως τὸ βρέφος ἀποτεκοῦσα τοιοῦτόν σου τὸ θαῦμα καὶ σὲ ἁγνὴ Θεοκυῆτορ Μαρία μεγαλύνομεν».


Ἐξαποστειλάριον τὸ Ἑωθινὸν Ἀναστάσιμον.


Εἶτα τὰ παρόντα τοῦ Τριῳδίου.


Γυναῖκες ἀκουτίσθητε ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Τὸν πλοῦτον, ὅν μοι δέδωκας, τῆς χάριτος ὁ ἄθλιος, ἀποδημήσας ἀχρείως, κακῶς ἠνάλωσα Σῶτερ, ἀσώτως ζήσας δαίμοσι, δολίως διεσκόρπισα· διό με ἐπιστρέφοντα, ὥσπερ τὸν Ἄσωτον δέξαι, Πάτερ οἰκτίρμον, καὶ σῶσον.


Ἕτερον, Ὅμοιον


Ἐσκόρπισα τὸν πλοῦτόν σου, ἐκδαπανήσας Κύριε, καὶ πονηροῖς δαιμονίοις, καθυπετάγην ὁ τάλας· ἀλλὰ Σωτὴρ πανεύσπλαγχνε τὸν Ἄσωτον οἰκτείρησον, καὶ ῥυπωθέντα κάθαρον, τὴν πρώπην ἀποδιδούς μοι, στολὴν τῆς σῆς βασιλείας.


Θεοτοκίον, Ὅμοιον


Ἁγία Μητροπάρθενε, τὸ μέγα περιήχημα τῶν Ἀποστόλων Μαρτύρων, καὶ Προφητῶν καὶ Ὁσίων, τὸν σὸν Υἱὸν καὶ Κύριον, ἱλέωσαι τοῖς δούλοις σου, ἡμῖν Θεογεννήτρια, ὅταν καθίσῃ τοῦ κρῖναι, τὰ κατ' ἀξίαν ἑκάστου.


Εἰς τοὺς Αἴνους Στιχηρὰ Ἀναστάσιμα τῆς Ὀκτωήχου δ' καὶ Ἀνατολικὸν ἕν, καὶ τοῦ Τριῳδίου γ' τὰ παρόντα Στιχ. Ἰδιόμελα.


Ἦχος β'


Τὴν τοῦ Ἀσώτου φωνὴν προσφέρω σοι Κύριε. Ἥμαρτον ἐνώπιον τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν σου ἀγαθέ, ἐσκόρπισα τὸν πλοῦτον τῶν χαρισμάτων σου, ἀλλὰ δέξαι με μετανοοῦντα, Σωτὴρ καὶ σῶσόν με.


Στίχ. Ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι Κύριε.


Ἦχος δ'


Ὡς ὁ Ἄσωτος Υἱὸς ἦλθον κᾀγὼ οἰκτίρμον, ὁ τὸν βίον ὅλον δαπανήσας ἐν τῇ ἀποδημίᾳ, ἐσκόρπισα τὸν πλοῦτον, ὃν δέδωκάς μοι Πάτερ, δέξαι με μετανοοῦντα ὁ Θεός, καὶ ἐλέησόν με.


Στίχ. Ἀνάστηθι Κύριε ὁ Θεός μου.


Ἦχος πλ. δ'


Δαπανήσας ἀσώτως, τῆς πατρικῆς οὐσίας τὸν πλοῦτον, καὶ καταναλώσας, ἔρημος γέγονα, ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ οἰκήσας, τῶν πονηρῶν πολιτῶν, καὶ μηκέτι φέρων τὸ μετὰ τούτων συνοικέσιον, ἐπιστρέψας βοῶ σοι τῷ οἰκτίρμονι Πατρί· Ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, καὶ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου· ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου, ὁ Θεός, καὶ ἐλέησόν με.


Δόξα... Ἦχος πλ. β'


Πάτερ ἀγαθέ, ἐμακρύνθην ἀπὸ σοῦ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με, μηδὲ ἀχρεῖον δείξῃς τῆς βασιλείας σου· ὁ ἐχθρὸς ὁ παμπόνηρος ἐγύμνωσέ με, καὶ ᾖρέ μου τὸν πλοῦτον· τῆς ψυχῆς τὰ χαρίσματα ἀσώτως διεσκόρπισα, ἀναστὰς οὖν, ἐπιστρέψας πρὸς σὲ ἐκβοῶ· Ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου, ὁ δι' ἐμὲ ἐν Σταυρῷ τὰς ἀχράντους σου χεῖρας ἁπλώσας, ἵνα τοῦ δεινοῦ θηρὸς ἀφαρπάσῃς με, καὶ τὴν πρώτην καταστολὴν ἐπενδύσῃς με, ὡς μόνος πολυέλεος.


Καὶ νῦν... Θεοτοκίον ΤΟ ΑΚΟΥΤΕ


Ὑπερευλογημένη ὑπάρχεις, Θεοτόκε Παρθένε· διὰ γὰρ τοῦ ἐκ σοῦ σαρκωθέντος, ὁ ᾍδης ἠχμαλώτισται, ὁ Ἀδὰμ ἀνακέκληται, ἡ κατάρα νενέκρωται, ἡ Εὔα ἠλευθέρωται, ὁ θάνατος τεθανάτωται, καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐζωοποιήθημεν· διὸ ἀνυμνοῦντες βοῶμεν· Εὐλογητὸς Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ὁ οὕτως εὐδοκήσας, δόξα σοι.


Δοξολογία μεγάλη, καὶ Ἀπόλυσις. Καὶ ἡ συνήθης Λιτὴ ἐν ᾗ ψάλλομεν τὸ Ἑωθινὸν Ἰδιόμελον, καὶ ἀναγινώσκονται αἱ Κατηχήσεις.

ΕΙΣ ΤΗΝ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑΝ


Τὰ τυπικά, καὶ οἱ Μακαρισμοὶ τῆς Ὀκτωήχου, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ Κανόνος ἡ στ' ᾨδή. Ἀπόστολος.


Προκείμενον Ἦχος α'


Γένοιτο, Κύριε, τὸ ἔλεός σου ἐφ' ἡμᾶς.


Στίχ. Ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι ἐν Κυρίῳ,


Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' Ἐπιστολῆς Παύλου


Κεφ. στ' 12 - 20


Ἀδελφοί, πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλ' οὐ πάντα συμφέρει, πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος. Τὰ βρώματα τῇ κοιλίᾳ, καὶ ἡ κοιλία τοῖς βρώμασιν· ὁ δὲ Θεὸς καὶ ταύτην, καὶ ταῦτα καταργήσει, τὸ δὲ σῶμα οὐ τῇ πορνείᾳ, ἀλλὰ τῷ Κυρίῳ, καὶ ὁ Κύριος τῷ σώματι. Ὁ δὲ Θεὸς καὶ τὸν Κύριον ἤγειρε, καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξεγερεῖ διὰ τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ. Οὐκ οἴδατε, ὅτι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν, μέλη Χριστοῦ ἐστιν; Ἄρας οὖν τὰ μέλη τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ποιήσω πόρνης μέλη; Μὴ γένοιτο. Ἤ οὐκ οἴδατε, ὅτι ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστιν. Ἔσονται, γάρ, φησίν, οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν, ὁ δὲ κολλώμενος τῷ Κυρίῳ, ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστι. Φεύγετε την πορνείαν, πᾶν ἁμάρτημα, ὃ ἐὰν ποιήσῃ ἄνθρωπος, ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ πορνεύων, εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα ἁμαρτάνει. Ἤ οὐκ οἴδατε, ὅτι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν ναὸς τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν ἁγίου Πνεύματός ἐστιν, οὗ ἔχετε ἀπὸ Θεοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν. Ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς, δοξάσατε δὴ τὸν Θεὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ὑμῶν, ἄτινά ἐστι τοῦ Θεοῦ.


Ἀλληλούϊα Ἦχος α'


Ὁ Θεὸς ὁ διδοὺς ἐκδικήσεις ἐμοί.


Εὐαγγέλιον ἐκ τοῦ κατὰ Λουκᾶν


(Λουκ. ιε' 11-33)


Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην. Ἀνθρωπός τις εἶχε δύο υἱούς...


Κοινωνικὸν


Αἰνεῖτε τὸν Κύριον ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν, Αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. Ἀλληλούϊα.