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Menaion - December 23

Memory of the Holy Ten Martyrs in Crete

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VESPERS

PRIEST

Blessed is our God always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

( Amen. )

While the Introductory Psalm is being read, the Priest with head uncovered stands in front of the holy Altar, or before the icon of Christ the Savior, standing on the Solea (as at Matins) and inaudibly reads the Vesperal Prayers.

READER

Come, let us worship and bow down before God our King.

Come, let us worship and bow down before Christ God our King.

Come, let us worship and bow down before Him, Christ our King and God.

It is appropriate to stand for the reading of the Introductory Psalm.

Psalm 103 (104).

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, You are magnified exceedingly; You clothe Yourself with thanksgiving and majesty, who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain; You are He who covers His upper chambers with water, who makes the clouds His means of approach, who walks on the wings of the winds, who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. He established the earth on its stable foundation; it shall not be moved unto ages of ages. The deep like a garment is His covering; the waters shall stand upon the mountains; at Your rebuke they shall flee; at the sound of Your thunder, they shall be afraid. The mountains rise up, and the plains sink down to the place You founded for them. You set a boundary they shall not pass over; neither shall they return to cover the earth. You are He who sends springs into the valley; the waters shall pass between the mountains; they shall give drink to all the wild animals of the field; the wild asses shall quench their thirst; the birds of heaven shall dwell beside them; they shall sing from the midst of the rocks. You are He who waters the mountains from His higher places; the earth shall be satisfied with the fruit of Your works. You are He who causes grass to grow for the cattle, and the green plant for the service of man, to bring forth bread from the earth; and wine gladdens the heart of man, to brighten his face with oil; and bread strengthens man's heart. The trees of the plain shall be full of fruit, the cedars of Lebanon, which You planted; there the sparrows shall make their nests; the house of the heron takes the lead among them. The high mountains are for the deer; the cliff is a refuge for the rabbits. He made the moon for seasons; the sun knows its setting. You established darkness, and it was night, wherein all the wild animals of the forest will prowl about; the young lions roar and snatch their prey, and seek their food from God. The sun arises, and they are gathered together; and they shall be put to bed in their dens. Man shall go out to his work and to his labor until evening. O Lord, Your works shall be magnified greatly; You made all things in wisdom; the earth was filled with Your creation. There is this great and spacious sea: the creeping things are there without number; the living things are there, both small and great; there the ships pass through; there is this dragon You formed to play therein. All things wait upon You, that You may give them food in due season. When You give it to them, they shall gather it; when You open Your hand, all things shall be filled with Your goodness. But when You turn Your face away, they shall be troubled; when You take away their breath, they shall die and return again to their dust. You shall send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. Let the glory of the Lord be forever; the Lord shall be glad in His works; He looks upon the earth and makes it tremble; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing to my God as long as I exist; may my words be pleasing to Him, and I shall be glad in the Lord. May sinners cease from the earth, and the lawless, so as to be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

The sun knows its setting. You established darkness, and it was night.

O Lord, Your works shall be magnified greatly; You made all things in wisdom. [SAAS]

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to You, O God. (3)

Our hope, O Lord, glory to You.

DEACON

In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For the peace of the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For pious and Orthodox Christians, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For our Archbishop (name), for the honorable presbyterate, for the diaconate in Christ, and for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For our country, the president, all those in public service, and for our armed forces everywhere, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For the Great and Holy Church of Christ, for our Holy Archdiocese, [for this Holy Metropolis,] for this city and parish, for every city and land, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For those who travel by land, sea, and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

( Lord, have mercy. )

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

( To You, O Lord. )

PRIEST

For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

( Amen. )

CHOIR

Mode 4.

Lord, I have cried to You; hear me. Hear me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to You; hear me. Give heed to the voice of my supplication when I cry to You. Hear me, O Lord. [SAAS]

Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord. [SAAS]

Show Stichologia

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, a door of enclosure about my lips.

Incline not my heart to evil words, to make excuses in sins.

With men who work lawlessness; and I will not join with their choice ones.

The righteous man shall correct me with mercy, and he shall reprove me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.

For my prayer shall be intense in the presence of their pleasures. Their judges are swallowed up by the rock.

They shall hear my words, for they are pleasant. As a clod of ground is dashed to pieces on the earth, so their bones were scattered beside the grave.

For my eyes, O Lord, O Lord, are toward You; in You I hope; take not my soul away.

Keep me from the snares they set for me, and from the stumbling blocks of those who work lawlessness.

Sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone, until I escape.

I cried to the Lord with my voice, with my voice I prayed to the Lord.

I shall pour out my supplication before Him; I shall declare my affliction in His presence.

When my spirit fainted within me, then You knew my paths.

For on the way I was going, they hid a trap for me.

I looked on my right, and saw there was no one who knew me.

Refuge failed me, and there was no one who cared for my soul.

I cried to You, O Lord; I said, "You are my hope, my portion in the land of the living."

Attend to my supplication, for I was humbled exceedingly.

Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of prison to give thanks to Your name, O Lord.

The righteous shall wait for me, until You reward me.

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.

Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

Hide Stichologia

   

Stichera. For the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. N/M (When you were called.)

If You, O Lord, should mark transgression, O Lord, who would stand? For there is forgiveness with You. [SAAS]

Now is fulfilled the saying of Isaiah the prophet: ⁄ The uncircumscribed Lord is enclosed in the womb of the Virgin: ⁄ She hastens to give Him birth most wondrously. ⁄ Let the divine cavern be prepared; ⁄ make ready, O Bethlehem: ⁄ the King delights to take up his abode in you; ⁄ manger, receive Christ as a babe in swaddling bands, ⁄⁄ Who in his goodness comes to loose men from the chains of sin. [OCA]

Because of Your law, O Lord, I waited for You; my soul waited for Your word. My soul hopes in the Lord. [SAAS]

The radiant and life-bearing cloud ⁄ carrying the heavenly rain ⁄ now comes forth to shed Him upon the earth ⁄ that He may water the face of the ground: ⁄ she is the flower of grace and the spiritual spring! ⁄ She disperses the winter of godlessness, ⁄ bearing in her womb Him Who was conceived by a wondrous Word: ⁄⁄ the royal palace brings into the cave the incarnate King! [OCA]

From the morning watch until night; from the morning watch until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. [SAAS]

Wishing to destroy the bond of our sins, ⁄ You, Master, were enrolled by your servants, ⁄ inscribing in the book of life ⁄ all who were held in death by the serpent's deceit. ⁄ You uphold all things and are clothed in mortal flesh, borne by a Virgin: ⁄ She accepts to lodge in a small cave to give You birth! ⁄ The host of angels from on high sing with the shepherds, ⁄⁄ trembling before your power. [OCA]

For the Martyrs.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. N/M (To a brave one.)

For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption; and He shall redeem Israel from all his transgressions. [SAAS]

On this day let the group of ten holy Martyrs elect of God be extolled in sacred hymns of praise sung with uplifted voices. They are a lamp with ten flames, which illumines the complement of the Church with divine rays; they are unshaken pillars, and bright stars that made earth like heaven, by the brilliance of their great contests. [SD]

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; praise Him, all you peoples. [SAAS]

Let us extol the holy Martyrs: Theodoulos, Zotikos, and Pompey, Vasilides and Efporos, Agathopus, Satorninos, Gelasios, Evarestos, and Evnikianos; and let us honor them now in song. They are a calm harbor in the storm. They exposed deceptive error, and they received crowns of victory. [SD]

For His mercy rules over us; and the truth of the Lord endures forever. [SAAS]

Let us extol the medal-winning Martyrs, the offspring of Crete, the supporters of the Church, the unfading ornaments of the faithful, the precious fragrant flowers of Paradise, the finest sacrificial victims acceptable to Christ, those ten holy men dedicated in the celestial temple to the Trinity. [SD]

Glory.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 2.

Today, Crete celebrates the fore-feast of the Birth of Christ, in the memory of its medal-winning Martyrs. Therefore we entreat You, Lord, that by their prayers You save our souls. [SD]

Both now. For the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 2.

Bethlehem, land of Judah, ⁄ prepare the divine cavern ⁄ as a dwelling for God to be born in the flesh ⁄ from a Virgin who knew not a man ⁄⁄ to save the human race. [OCA]

   

(No Entrance)

   

It is appropriate to stand for the hymn.

READER

Gladsome light of holy glory of the holy, blessed, heavenly, immortal Father, O Jesus Christ: arriving at the hour of sunset and having seen the evening light, we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God. It is worthy for You to be praised at all times with happy voices, O Son of God and Giver of life; * and therefore the world glorifies You. [SD]

DEACON

The evening Prokeimenon.

CHOIR

Prokeimenon. Mode pl. 2.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (2) [SAAS]

Verse: I lifted my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

It is appropriate to stand for the reading of prayer.

READER

O Lord, keep us this evening without sin. Blessed are you, O Lord, God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is your name to the ages. Amen. O Lord, let your mercy be upon us for we have set our hope in you. Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your commandments. Blessed are you, Master, grant me understanding of your commandments. Blessed are you, Holy One, enlighten me with your commandments. Lord, your mercy is forever. Do not despise the works of your hands. To you is due praise, to you is due song, to you is due glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. [HC]

( Amen. )

DEACON

Let us complete our evening prayer to the Lord.

( Lord, have mercy. )

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

( Lord, have mercy. )

That the whole evening may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us ask the Lord.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask the Lord.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

For pardon and remission of our sins and transgressions, let us ask the Lord.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

For that which is good and beneficial for our souls, and for peace for the world, let us ask the Lord.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

And let us ask for a Christian end to our life, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ.

( Grant this, O Lord. )

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

( To You, O Lord. )

PRIEST

For You, O God, are good and love mankind, and to You we offer glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.

( Amen. )

PRIEST

Peace be with all.

( And with your spirit. )

DEACON

Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

( To You, O Lord. )

PRIEST (in a low voice)

Lord our God, You inclined the heavens and descended for the salvation of humankind. Look on Your servants and Your inheritance. For they have bowed their heads and bent their necks to You the awesome yet compassionate Judge, not looking for human help but awaiting Your mercy and in expectation of Your redemption. Preserve them at all times and during this evening and the impending night, from every enemy, from all opposing demonic activity, from vain thoughts and evil dreams.

PRIEST

Blessed and glorified be the majesty of Your kingdom, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

( Amen. )

CHOIR

Aposticha of the Feast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 2. N/M (O Christ, as it is written.)

Christ, Who is the infinite wisdom of God, ⁄ has wondrously built a house for Himself from the Virgin; ⁄ she comes into the cave and manger of dumb beasts: ⁄ There she will give birth in the flesh to Him ⁄⁄ in a manner beyond all understanding. [OCA]

Verse: God will come from Teman, the Holy One from the mount of shaded leafy trees. [SAAS]

You are the adornment of the prophets, O Christ: ⁄ it is fitting and right that You should reveal yourself, ⁄ visiting us as a man in the latter days, ⁄⁄ born in the city of Bethlehem. [OCA]

Verse: Lord, I have heard Your report and was afraid; I considered Your works and was greatly astonished. [SAAS]

The star rises in the heavens, ⁄ revealing Christ, the sun of righteousness. ⁄ The stargazers proceed to the city of Bethlehem; ⁄ the angels announce glad tidings to the shepherds. ⁄ Let us run with them, our hearts cleansed by godliness. [OCA]

Glory. For the Martyrs.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 3.

Today we celebrate the forefestal feast of the Martyrs, which is a harbinger for us of the coming feast of the Nativity, as it heralds the Sun from the Sun who physically appeared from the Virgin. The Ten Martyrs in Crete competed mightily, and they received the crowns of victory from heaven. Let us say to them, "O holy Martyrs, chosen and sanctified choir, entreat Christ on behalf of us who faithfully observe your most solemn memory. [SD]

Both now. For the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 3.

Make ready, Bethlehem, for Eden is opened; ⁄ prepare, Ephratha, for Adam and Eve are renewed. ⁄ Salvation enters the world and the curse is destroyed; ⁄ make ready, hearts of righteous men: ⁄ instead of myrrh, bring hymns as an offering of wisdom: ⁄ receive salvation and immortality of your souls and bodies. ⁄ Behold, the Master lying in the manger ⁄ urges us to complete our spiritual songs. ⁄ Let us cry out to Him unceasingly, ⁄⁄ O Lord, glory to You! [OCA]

It is appropriate to stand for the reading of prayers

PRIEST

Song of Simeon.

Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel. [NKJV]

From Menaion - - -

Three-ode Canon of the Forefeast.

CHOIR

Ode v.

N/M (Early in the morning.) Mode pl. 2.

Early will I seek You, O Word of God, ⁄ Who without change emptied yourself in your compassion for fallen man, ⁄ Who received from a Virgin the form of a servant. ⁄ Grant peace to us, O Lover of mankind. (2) [OCA]

Glory.

Let us purify our minds, ⁄ washing ourselves with the divine mysteries; ⁄ let us draw near in soul and body to Bethlehem, ⁄ that we may behold the fearful dispensation of the birth of the Lord. [OCA]

Both now.

Behold, my friends, do not fear in vain; ⁄ in false confidence the lawless Herod seeks to murder the newborn Judge, ⁄ but He is the Master of life and of death, ⁄ Who brings life and salvation to the world. [OCA]

From Menaion - - -

Ode viii.

(N/M) Mode pl. 2.

The godly youths exposed a monument of godless wickedness, ⁄ but the lawless Herod plots against Christ, ⁄ studying how to kill Him Who holds life in his hand, ⁄ Whom all creation blesses and glorifies throughout all ages. (2) [OCA]

Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

Shake the sleep of heedlessness from your eyes, O faithful; ⁄ be vigilant in prayer; shun the temptations of the evil one. ⁄ With the shepherds behold Christ Who comes to be born: ⁄ Bless Him Whom all creation glorifies in song. [OCA]

Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

Guard your lips against evil words, O faithful; ⁄ speak in sincerity and truth to Christ. ⁄ He frees us from vain and reasonless speech, ⁄ lying in the manger of dumb beasts, ⁄ the Lord Whom all creation blesses and glorifies throughout all ages. [OCA]

Glory.

Who among men understands the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God? ⁄ Who among the wise can explain the abyss of God's love for mankind? ⁄ He has bowed the heavens and come down to live with men, ⁄ the Lord Whom all creation blesses and glorifies throughout all ages. [OCA]

Both now.

Let us eagerly abandon the delights of the world; ⁄ let us spurn the passions of the flesh. ⁄ Let us cling fast to thoughts of godliness, ⁄ offering ourselves and our good works to the newborn Master, ⁄ Whom all creation blesses and glorifies throughout all ages. [OCA]

From Menaion - - -

Ode ix.

Heirmos. Mode pl. 2.

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. (2) [SD]

Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

As Herod the King, with evil intent, ⁄ conspires to kill the blameless infants, ⁄ let us the faithful honor the Mother of Jesus, ⁄ fleeing from the malice of darkness. [OCA]

Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

Miserable Herod! ⁄ You despise the laws of nature and blaspheme the statutes of God. ⁄ Slaying the innocent infants, ⁄ you have rendered the mothers barren ⁄ in your hatred for the Life of the world. [OCA]

Glory.

The gate of Eden is opened to all peoples: ⁄ the fountain of desires, flowing with immortality: ⁄ the cave of the newborn Redeemer, ⁄ the Lord of glory, Whom we magnify in song. [OCA]

Both now.

The angels surround the manger as the throne of the cherubim; ⁄ they behold the cavern as heaven. ⁄ They sing to the Master enthroned in the cave: ⁄ Glory to God in the highest! [OCA]

Heirmos.

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

PEOPLE

Trisagion Prayers.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Your name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

PRIEST

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to ages of ages.

( Amen. )

CHOIR

Apolytikion. For the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4.

O Bethlehem, prepare, Eden is opened unto all. * And be ready, Ephrata, for the Tree of life * has in the grotto blossomed forth from the Virgin. * Indeed her womb is shown to be spiritually * a Paradise, in which is found the God-planted Tree. * And if we eat from it we shall live, and shall not die, as did Adam of old. * Christ is born, so that He might raise up * the formerly fallen image. [SD]

Glory. For the Martyrs.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 3. N/M (Seeing how beautiful.)

Let us show forth our great praise of Crete ⁄ which brought forth these precious Christians: the pearls of Christ! ⁄ And these blessed ten, the offspring of martyrs, ⁄ who few in number, yet overcame all the deceits of powerful demons. ⁄⁄ Therefore these martyrs of Christ have been crowned with victory! [OCA]

Both now.

Apolytikion. For the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4.

O Bethlehem, prepare, Eden is opened unto all. * And be ready, Ephrata, for the Tree of life * has in the grotto blossomed forth from the Virgin. * Indeed her womb is shown to be spiritually * a Paradise, in which is found the God-planted Tree. * And if we eat from it we shall live, and shall not die, as did Adam of old. * Christ is born, so that He might raise up * the formerly fallen image. [SD]

(The "ektenia" litany has been omitted.)

PRIEST

Wisdom.

( Father, bless! )

Blessed are You, Christ our God, always now and forever and to the ages of ages. ( Amen. )

HIERARCH or READER

The Lord God make firm the holy and pure faith of the pious Orthodox Christians, together with the Holy Great Church of Christ, our holy Archdiocese, [this holy Metropolis,] and this city, to the ages of ages..

( Amen. )

PRIEST

Glory to You, O Christ our God. Glory to You.

May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-pure and all-immaculate holy Mother, the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, the protection of the honorable, bodiless powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable, glorious prophet and forerunner John the Baptist, of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy apostles, of the holy, glorious, and triumphant martyrs, of our righteous and God-bearing fathers, (local patron saint); of the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and merciful and loves mankind.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.

( Amen. )