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INTRODUCTION

At the end of Matins will be found the text of the Polyeleos for the feast, that is to say Psalms 44, 135 and the Selection of verses, together with the short Doxastikon and Theotokion, as sung on the Holy Mountain.

We warmly recommend a most valuable collection of patristic material concerning this feast, On the Dormition of Mary. Early Patristic Homilies, translated by Fr Brian Daley, recently published by St Vladimir’s Seminary Press. It contains a dozen homilies never previously fully translated into English, including the sets of three homilies by St Andrew of Crete and St John of Damascus.


ON THE 15TH OF THE MONTH

Commemoration of the Falling Asleep of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.

AT SMALL VESPERS

At Lord, I have cried we insert 4 Stichera and sing the 3 following Prosomia, doubling the 1st.

Tone 2. Ποίοις εὐφημιῶν στέμμασι.

With what lips may we, poor and worthless, call the Mother of God blessed? She is greater in honour than creation and holier than the Cherubim and all the Angels; the unshakeable throne of the King; the house in which the Most High made his dwelling; the salvation of the world; the Sanctuary of God; on her memorial she richly grants to all the faithful his great mercy. (Twice)

What songs of awe did all the Apostles of the Word offer you then, O Virgin, as they stood around your deathbed and cried out with amazement: ‘The King’s palace is being taken up. The Ark of sanctification is being exalted. Be lifted up, you gates, that the Gate of God may enter with great joy, as without ceasing she asks his great mercy for the world’?

What spiritual songs may we now offer you, O All-holy? For by your immortal Falling Asleep you have hallowed the whole world and have passed over to regions beyond the world to contemplate the beauty of the Almighty and to rejoice with him as his Mother. Angelic ranks and the souls of the Righteous escort you, pure Virgin. With them ask peace for us and his great mercy.

Glory. Both now. Tone 2.

She who is higher than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim and greater in honour than all creation, who through her surpassing purity became the vessel of the eternal being, today places in the hands of her Son her all-holy soul. With her the universe is filled with joy and to us is given his great mercy.

At the Aposticha, Prosomia. Tone 2. Οἶκος τοῦ Ἐφραθά.

Having come from the ends of the earth at an all-powerful command, the company of the Disciples is gathering to bury the Mother who gave birth to God.

Verse: Arise, Lord, to your rest; you and the Ark of your sanctification.

The Bride of God, the Queen and Virgin, the glory of the elect and pride of Virgins, is passing over to her Son.

Verse: The Lord has sworn truth to David and will not annul it: Of the fruit of your womb I will place on your throne.

The choir of Disciples has been marvellously gathered from the ends of the world to bury your divine and most pure body.

Glory. Both now. Same melody.

Gracious Lady, raise your holy hands towards your Son, the Fashioner and Lover of souls, that he may take pity on your servants.

Apolytikion. Tone 1.

In giving birth you retained your virginity; in falling asleep, O Mother of God, you did not abandon the world. You passed over into life, you, the Mother of life; and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

And Dismissal.


AT GREAT VESPERS

We recite the 1st Section of the 1st Kathisma, Blessed is the man.

At Lord, I have cried we insert 8 Stichera and sing 3 Prosomia.

Tone 1. Model Melody. Ὧ τοῦ παραδόξου θαύματος!

O marvellous wonder! The source of life is laid in a grave, and the tomb becomes a ladder to heaven. Be glad, O Gethsemane, the holy shrine of the Mother of God. Let us the faithful cry, with Gabriel as our captain: O Full of grace, hail! The Lord is with you, who grants the world through you his great mercy. (Three times).

O wonder of your mysteries, pure Lady! You were proclaimed the Throne of the Most High, and you have passed today from earth to heaven. Your glory is full of splendour, shining with grace in divine brightness. O Virgins, with the Mother of the King, be raised to the heights. O Full of grace, hail! The Lord is with you, who grants the world through you his great mercy. (Three times).

Dominions, Thrones, Rulers, Principalities and Powers, Cherubim and the fearful Seraphim glorify your Falling Asleep. Those born of earth rejoice, adorned by your divine glory. Kings fall down and sing with Angels and Archangels: O Full of grace, hail! The Lord is with you, who grants the world through you his great mercy. (Twice)

Glory. Both now.
For both Choirs in the 8 Tones.

Tone 1

By divine command the god-bearing Apostles were caught up from all over the world by clouds on high.

Tone 5.

Reaching your all-immaculate body, source of life, they kissed it with mighty honour.

Tone 2.

The highest Powers of heaven stood by with their own Master.

Tone 6.

Seized with dread they accompanied your inviolate body that had contained God; while they went on before in a manner not of this world and crying out, unseen, to the ranks above them: See, the Queen of all, God’s Child, has come.

Tone 3.

Lift up the gates, and in a manner not of this world receive the Mother of the everlasting light.

Tone 7.

For through her the salvation of all mortals has come. We have not the strength to gaze on her, and it is not possible to render her worthy honour.

Tone 4.

For her excellence outstrips all understanding.

Tone 8.

Therefore, immaculate Mother of God, as you live for ever with the life-bearing King, your Offspring, pray without ceasing that he guard and save from every hostile assault your new people; for we have gained your protection.

Tone 1.

As to the ages with splendour we call you blessed.

Entrance, O Joyful Light. Prokeimenon of the day and the Readings.

The Reading is from Genesis.
[
28:10-17]

Jacob went out from the well of the oath and journeyed towards Harran. And he lighted on a place and slept there, for the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of the place and put it at his head; and he slept in that place, and he dreamed. And behold, a ladder set up on the earth, whose head reached to heaven; and the Angels of God were going up and going down upon it. But the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am the God of Abraham, your father, and the God of Isaac, do not be afraid. The land on which you are sleeping I shall give to you and to your seed. And your seed will be like the sand of the earth, and it will be spread abroad to the Sea and Liva and North and East; and in you and in your seed all the tribes of the earth will be blessed. And behold, I am with you, guarding you on every road on which you may journey; and I shall bring you back again to this land, because I shall never abandon you until I have done all that I have said to you’. And Jacob arose from his sleep and said: ‘The Lord is in this place, but I did not know it’. And he was afraid, and said: ‘How fearful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven’.

The Reading is from the Prophecy of Ezekiel.
[
43:72, 44:1]

‘It shall be from the eighth day and upwards, the Priests shall make your holocausts upon the altar, and those for your salvation; and I shall accept you’, says the Lord. And he turned me back by the way of the outer gate of the Holy Place, which looks towards the east, and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no one shall pass through it, because the Lord, the God of Israel, will enter through it, and it shall be shut. Therefore this prince shall sit in it to eat bread. By the way of the Elam of the gate he shall enter, and by that way he shall go out’. And he brought me by the way of the gate towards the North, opposite the House; and I saw, and behold the whole house of the Lord was full of glory.

The Reading is from Proverbs.
[
9:1-11]

Wisdom has built herself a house. She has slaughtered her beasts and mixed her wine in the mixing bowl, and prepared her table. She her sent out her servants, to invite with a loud proclamation upon the mixing bowl: ‘Whoever is foolish, let him turn to me’. And to those who lack wisdom she said: ‘Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine that I have mixed for you. Abandon folly, and you will live; and seek understanding that you may have life, and set aright your understanding with knowledge. One who corrects the wicked will gain dishonour for himself. One who rebukes the impious will get blame for himself; for to the impious rebukes are blows. Do not rebuke the wicked, lest they hate you. Rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be wiser; teach a just man and he will increase learning. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the counsel of Saints, understanding. While to know the law is the part of a good mind. For by this means you will live for a long time, and years will be added to your life’.

At the Liti, Idiomel Stichera.
Tone 1.

It was fitting for the eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word to see the Falling Asleep of his Mother according to the flesh, the final mystery concerning her, that they might not only see the Ascension of the Saviour from the earth, but also be witnesses to the Translation from earth of her who bore him. Therefore, carried over from all parts by divine power, they came to Sion and escorted her, as she who is higher than the Cherubim hastened towards heaven. With them we worship her as she intercedes for our souls.

Tone 2. By Anatolios.

She who is higher than the heavens, more glorious than Cherubim and greater in honour than creation, who through her surpassing purity became the vessel of the eternal being, today places in the hands of her Son her all-holy soul. With her the universe is filled with joy and to us is given his great mercy.

The same Tone. By John.

The all-blameless Bride and Mother of the Father’s Good Pleasure, who was foreordained by God as a dwelling for himself of the union without confusion, today delivers her immaculate soul to her Maker and God. The Bodiless Powers receive her in a manner fitting God, and she, who is indeed Mother of life, passes over to life, the lamp of the unapproachable Light, the salvation of the faithful, the hope of our souls.

Tone 3. By Germanos.

Come, all the ends of the earth, let us call blessed the Translation of the Mother of God. For she has placed her unblemished soul in the hands of her Son. Therefore the world has been restored to life by her holy Falling Asleep, as with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs it radiantly celebrates the feast with the Bodiless hosts and the Apostles.

Glory. Tone 5. By Theophanes

Come, gathering of the lovers of festivals; come, and let us form a choir; come, let us garland the Church with songs as the Ark of God goes to her rest. For today heaven unfolds its bosom as it receives the one who gave birth to him whom nothing can contain. The earth, as it gives back the source of life, is robed in blessing and majesty. Angels with Apostles form a choir as they gaze with fear while she who gave birth to the Prince of life is translated from life to life. Let us all worship her as we beg: ‘Sovereign Lady, do not forget your ties of kinship with those who celebrate with faith your all-holy Falling Asleep’.

Both now. Same Tone.

Sing, you peoples, to the Mother of our God, sing! For today she places her soul, all filled with light, in the immaculate palms of the One who was incarnate from her without seed. And she implores him without ceasing that to the inhabited world there may be granted his peace and great mercy.

At the Aposticha, Idiomels. Tone 4.

Come, you peoples, let us sing the praises of the pure, all-holy Virgin, from whom the Word of the Father came forth ineffably incarnate, as we cry and say: Blessed are you among women. Blessed is the womb which contained Christ. As you deliver your soul into his holy hands, intercede, O Immaculate, that our souls may be saved.

Verse: Rise, Lord, to your rest; you and the Ark of your sanctification.

The multitudes of Angels in heaven and we the human race on earth call your all-revered Falling Asleep blessed, O pure and all-holy Virgin; because you became Mother of the Maker of all things, Christ God. Do not cease to intercede with him, we beg, for us who next to God place our hopes in you, O Mother of God, all-praised and who did not know wedlock.

Verse: The Lord has sworn truth to David, and will not annul it: Of the fruit of your womb I will place on your throne.

You peoples, let us sing David’s song today to Christ God: ‘Virgins, he says, will be brought after her to the King, they will be brought in joy and gladness’. For she, who is from the seed of David and through whom we have been made divine, passes over in glory and beyond reason into the hands of her own Son and Master. As we sing her praise as Mother of God we cry out and say: ‘Save us who confess you, O Mother of God, from every disaster, and from dangers rescue our souls’.

Glory. Both now. Tone 4.

When you departed, Virgin Mother of God, to the One who was born ineffably from you, James, God’s brother and first Hierarch, was present with Peter, the most honoured high summit of the Theologians, and all the godly choir of the Apostles; in teachings that revealed the things of God they sang in praise of the divine and amazing mystery of Christ’s dispensation; and as they buried your body, source of life and which had received God, O all-praised, they rejoiced. From above the all-holy and most venerable of the Angelic Powers, amazed at the wonder, bowed and said to one another: ‘Lift up your gates and receive her who gave birth to the Maker of heaven and earth. And let us praise with hymns of glory the revered and holy body which contained the Lord on whom we may not look’. Therefore we too, as we celebrate your memory, cry out to you, all-praised: ‘Exalt the horn of Christians and save our souls’.

Apolytikion. Tone 1.

In giving birth you retained your virginity; in falling asleep, O Mother of God, you did not abandon the world. You passed over into life, you, the Mother of life; and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

And Dismissal.


AT MATINS

After the 1st Reading from the Psalter, Kathisma.

Tone 4. Κατεπλάγη Ἰωσὴφ.

David, cry out: ‘What is this present feast? The one I sang of in the book of Psalms, he says, as daughter and child of God and Virgin, Christ, who was born from her without seed, has taken over to the mansions of the world to come; and therefore mothers and daughters and brides of Christ rejoice as they cry: Hail, you who have passed over into the palaces on high’.

Glory. Both now. The same.

After the 2nd Reading, Kathisma.

Tone 1. Τὸν τάφον σου Σωτὴρ

The all-honoured choir of the wise Apostles was wondrously assembled to bury with glory your immaculate body, O all-praised Mother of God. With them the multitudes of Angels also raised their song as they reverently praised your Translation, which we celebrate with faith.

Glory. Both now. The same.

After the Polyeleos, Kathisma.
Tone 3. Τὴν ὡραιότητα.

In your giving birth conception was without seed; in your falling asleep death was without corruption. A double wonder ran to meet a wonder, O Mother of God; for how could one who knew not wedlock suckle a babe, while yet remaining pure? How could God’s Mother be carried as a corpse while yet giving off sweet fragrance? And so with the Angel we cry to you: ‘Hail, full of grace!’

Glory. Both now. The same

The Anavathmi, the 1st Antiphon in Tone 4.

Prokeimenon. Tone 4.

I will remember your name from generation to generation.

Verse: Listen, O daughter, see and incline your ear; and forget your people and your father’s house.

Then, Let everything that has breath. After the Gospel and Psalm 50:

Glory.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Merciful, wipe out the multitude of my transgressions.

Both now.

At the prayers of the Mother of God, O Merciful, wipe out the multitude of my transgressions.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy; and according to the multitude of your compassions wipe away my offence.

Then the Sticheron for Psalm 50.
Tone 6. By Vyzas.

When the Translation of your immaculate Body was being prepared, the Apostles surrounded your deathbed and looked on you with dread. And as they gazed at your body they were seized with awe, while Peter cried out to you with tears: ‘Immaculate Virgin, I see you, who are the life of all, lying here outstretched, and I am struck with wonder; for in you the Delight of the life to come made his dwelling. But fervently implore your Son and God that your City may be kept safe from harm’.

Then the two Canons are sung. The 1st in Tone 1, with the Irmi, to 8 and the 2nd in Tone 4, with the Irmi, to 6. Finally the Irmi again as Katavsias.

First Canon, of which the Acrostic is:
Let the godly minded keep festival.

A Composition by Kyr Kosmas.

Ode 1. Tone 1. Irmos.

Your sacred and renowned memorial, embroidered, O Virgin, with divine glory, has brought all the faithful together for joy and led by Miriam with dances and timbrels they sing to your Only-begotten Son, for he has been glorified.

Troparia

A host of the immaterial dwellers in heaven was attending your godlike body in Sion; while suddenly the multitude of the Apostles, streaming together from the ends of the earth, stood beside you all at once, Mother of God; with them, immaculate Virgin, we glorify your august memory.

You have carried off prizes of victory against nature, Pure Virgin, in bearing God; yet, imitating your Maker and Son, beyond nature you submit to nature’s laws; and so dying, you rise with your Son and live forever.

Second Canon.

A Composition by John of Damascus.

Ode 1. Tone 4. Irmos.

I will open my mouth and it will be filled with the Spirit, and I will utter a word for the Queen and Mother, and I will be seen keeping glad festival, and rejoicing I will sing her falling Asleep.

Troparia

Young virgin maidens with Miriam the Prophetess, now raise the song of departure; for the Virgin and only Mother of God is being taken over to her appointed place in heaven.

The divine tabernacles of heaven fittingly received you as a living heaven, all-pure Virgin; and as a blameless bride you stand radiantly adorned before your King and God.

Ode 3. Irmos.

O Christ, the Wisdom and Power of God, which creates and upholds all, establish the Church unshaken and unwavering; for you alone are holy, who have your resting place among the Saints.

Troparia

Knowing you, All-blameless, to be a mortal woman, but beyond nature Mother of God, with fearful hands the illustrious Apostles touched you, as you blazed with glory, gazing on you as the Tabernacle that had received God.

Just punishment intervened to cut off the sacrilegious hands of the presumptuous, for God guarded with the glory of the godhead the reverence due to the living Ark, in which the Word had become flesh.

Second Canon. Irmos.

O Mother of God, as a living and unstinted fount, establish those united in spiritual fellowship who sing you hymns of praise, and in your divine glory grant them crowns of glory.

Troparia

Pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, your final departure was in conformity with nature; but, as you gave birth to the true life, you have passed over to the one who is the divine life in person.

A company of Theologians from the ends of the earth and a multitude of Angels hastened to Sion at an all-powerful command, that they might fittingly minister at your burial, Sovereign Lady.

Ypakoο. Tone 5.

All generations we call you blessed, Virgin Mother of God; for in you Christ our God, the uncontainable, was well-pleased to be contained. Blessed are we also, for we have your protection, for day and night you intercede for us and the sceptres of the kingdom are strengthened by your intercessions. And so we sing your praises and cry out to you: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you’.

Ode 4. Irmos.

The sayings and riddles of the Prophets foreshadowed your incarnation from a Virgin, O Christ, even the brightness of your lightning, which would come as a light for the nations; and the deep calls to you with joy: Glory to your power, O Lover of mankind.

Troparia

See, you peoples, and marvel; for the holy and most manifest mountain of God is being lifted up far above the hills of heaven, as the earthly heaven makes her dwelling in a heavenly and incorruptible land.

Death has become for you, pure Virgin, a crossing to an eternal and better life, translating you from one which perishes to one which is truly divine and without change, to gaze in joy upon your Son and Lord.

The gates of heaven were lifted up, the Angels sang in praise and Christ received the virgin treasure of his own Mother. Cherubim withdrew before you with gladness and Seraphim glorify you with joy.

Second Canon. Irmos.

The prophet Avvakoum, perceiving the unsearchable divine counsel of your incarnation from the Virgin, O Most High, cried out: Glory to your power, O Lord!

Troparia

Strange marvel it was to see the living heaven of the universal King going down below the hollows of the earth. How wonderful are your works! Glory to your power, O Lord!

At your Translation, Mother of God, the hosts of Angels in fear and joy covered with hallowed wings your body that had been spacious enough to receive God.

If her fruit, who is beyond understanding, because of whom she was called Heaven, willingly underwent burial as a mortal, how will she refuse burial, who bore him without wedlock?

Ode 5. Irmos.

I shall expound the divine and ineffable beauty of your virtues, O Christ; for you shone out from the eternal glory as the empersonned and eternal brightness, and taking flesh, and incarnate from a virgin womb, for those in darkness and in shadow you dawned as the sun’.

Troparia

Riding as though upon a cloud, the company of the Apostles was being gathered to Sion from the ends of the earth to minister, O Virgin, to you, the light cloud, from which God the Most High, the Sun of righteousness had shone for those in darkness.

The inspired tongues of men who were theologians, resonant with the Spirit, cried out more loudly than trumpets the burial hymn for the Mother of God: Hail, unsullied source of God’s incarnation, origin of life and salvation for all.

Second Canon. Irmos.

The universe was amazed at your divine glory, for you, O Virgin, who did not know wedlock, have passed over from earth to eternal mansions and to life without end, as you give salvation as the prize to all who sing your praise.

Troparia

Let the trumpets of the theologians ring out today, and let the human tongue now sound praises with many voices. Let the air re-echo, shining with infinite light. Let Angels honour with hymns the Falling Asleep of the Virgin.

The vessel of election, wholly beside himself, wholly transported, surpassed himself in hymns to you, O Virgin; wholly consecrated to God, he truly was and proved himself to all to be possessed by God, O all-praised Mother of God.

Ode 6. Irmos.

The fire within the whale, the monster dwelling in the sea, was a prefiguring of your three-day burial; and Jonas acted as interpreter, for saved and unharmed, as though he had never been swallowed, he cried aloud: I will sacrifice to you with a voice of praise, O Lord!

Troparia

The Suzerain and God of all apportions to you the things above nature; for just as he kept you a Virgin in your giving birth, so he preserved your body incorrupt in the tomb, and he glorified you with him by a divine Translation, gracing you with honours, as a Son his Mother.

Your Offspring, O Virgin, has truly made you dwell in the Holy of Holies as shining Lampstand of the immaterial fire, golden Censer of the divine coal, Jar and Rod and Tablet written by God, holy Ark and Table of the bread of life.

Second Canon. Irmos.

As we celebrate this divine and honoured feast of the Mother of God, come, godly-minded people, let us clap our hands as we glorify God who was born of her.

Life dawned from you without loosing the keys of your virginity. How then has your spotless tabernacle, source of life, become a partaker in the experience of death?

Once the sacred enclosure of life, you have found eternal life; for through death you, who gave birth to life in person, have passed over to life.

Kontakion. Tone 2. Model Melody.

Nor tomb nor death overpowered the Mother of God, unsleeping in her prayers, unfailing hope in intercession; for as Mother of Life she has been taken over to life by him who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Ikos

Set a rampart about my mind, my Saviour, for I dare to sing the praise of the rampart of the world, your all-pure Mother. Strengthen me in the tower of my words and fortify my in the turrets of my thoughts. For you cry out that you fulfil the requests of those who ask in faith. Grant me therefore tongue, utterance and thought without shame. For every gift of enlightenment is sent down from you, Giver of light, who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Synaxarion

On the 15th of the month, commemoration of the all-revered Translation of our most glorious Lady and ever-virgin Mary.

Verses.
No wonder that the Maiden, world’s salvation, dies,
When the world’s Fashioner in the flesh had died.
God’s Mother ever lives, though the fifteenth she died.

When Christ our God was well pleased to take to himself his own Mother, three days before he told her through an Angel of her translation from the earth. It is the moment, he said, to take my Mother to myself. Do not then be any way troubled by this, but accept my word with joy, for you are coming to immortal life. And she, in her longing for her translation to her Son, went up the mount of Olives with haste to pray (for it was her custom to go up there to pray). Then there took place a marvel; for the plants on the mount bowed themselves down of their own accord and like living slaves accomplished fitting reverence to their Lady. After her prayer she returned home and at once the whole house was shaken. She prepared many lights and having given thanks to God she invited her relatives and neighbours. She swept the house and prepared the couch and everything needed for the burial. She explained everything which had been told her by the Angel about her translation to heaven and as confirmation of her words showed the reward that had been given her, which was a palm branch [from Paradise]. But the women who had been summoned on hearing this poured out lamentations and tears and lamented with cries of grief. When they ceased their lament they begged her not to leave them orphans. She assured them that when she had passed over she would watch over and protect not only them but the whole world. Much of their grief was assuaged by these words of consolation which she spoke to the bystanders. Then she gave instructions about her two tunics, that the two poor widows who were customarily with her and known to her and who received from her what was required for their nourishment should take one each.

While she was detailing and arranging this, there suddenly came the sound of mighty thunder and the arrival of many clouds from the ends of the earth bringing Christ’s disciples together to the house of God’s Mother. Among them also were the Hierarchs, wise in God, Denys the Areopagite, Hierothoes and Timothy. When they learned the reason of their presence together they spoke to her as follows: While we saw you, Lady, remaining in the world, like our Master and Teacher himself, we were comforted; but how shall we now bear the suffering? But since by the wish of your Son and God you are passing over to the regions beyond the world, we rejoice for the things that have been so disposed for you. As they said this they wept profusely. But she answered them: Friends and Disciples of my Son and God, do not turn my joy to sorrow, but bury my body just as I have arranged it on the bed.

When these things had been completed, Paul the inspired vessel of election arrived. He fell at the feet of God’s Mother, worshipped and opening his mouth uttered a great eulogy of her, saying: Hail, Mother of life and subject of my preaching. For though I never saw Christ, in seeing you I seem to see him. Then the Virgin took leave of all. She lay down on the bed and arranged her all-pure body as she wished. She prayed for the conservation of the world and for peaceful life. She filled them too with blessing through her, and so committed her spirit into the hands of her own Son and God.

At this Peter began the funeral hymns. The rest of the Apostles took up the bier and accompanied the body that had received God to the grave, some going in front with lamps and hymns, others following behind. At this the rulers of the Jews stirring up some of the crowd persuaded them to try to upset the bier on which the life-giving body had been placed and to throw it to the ground. But already punishment came upon those who dared such things, and they were all smitten with blindness. One of them, who attempting even greater folly had touched the sacred bier, was deprived of both his insolent hands. They were severed by the sword of punishment and left hanging from the bier. He remained a pitiable sight until, after he had come to belief with his whole heart and found healing, he was restored to health as before. So too part of the covering of the bier, when placed on those who had been blinded and come to belief, gave them healing. When the Apostles reached Gethsemane they laid the live-giving body in the grave and remained there for three days responding to the unceasing voices of the Angels.

But when, by divine dispensation, one of the Apostles, who had been absent from the burial of the life-giving body, arrived on the third day, he was greatly grieved and distressed that he had not been found worthy of what they had. All his fellow Apostles, who had been found worthy, by a common vote opened the tomb for the sake of the Apostle who had been absent, so it seemed good to all, for him also to venerate that all-blameless body. When they looked they were amazed. For they found it empty of the holy body, and containing only the winding sheet, which remained as a consolation for those who were about to grieve and for all the faithful, and as a sure witness of the Translation. For even until today the tomb hewn from the rock is visible and venerated, and remains empty of a body, to the glory and honour of our most blessed Lady, Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary.

At whose holy intercessions, O God, have mercy and save us, as you are good and love mankind.

Ode 7. Irmos.

Fighting against cruel wrath and fire, love divine quenched the fire with dew, and laughed the wrath to scorn, making the three-stringed lyre of the Saints, inspired by God, sing in the midst of the ame, in answer to the instruments of music: Blessed are you, most glorious God, our God and the God of our fathers.

Troparia

In wrath Moses smashed the tablets made by God, written by the divine Spirit; but his Master having kept her who gave him birth unharmed for heavenly abodes, has now made her dwell in them. As with her we leap for joy, we cry to Christ: Blessed are you, most glorious God, our God and the God of our fathers.

With cymbals of pure lips and the harmonious harp of the heart, with the well-sounding trumpet of an uplifted mind, as we clap with active hands, we cry on this auspicious and chosen day of the translation of the pure Virgin: Blessed are you, most glorious God, our God and the God of our fathers.

The people inspired by God has gathered; for the Tabernacle of God’s glory is being translated in Sion to a heavenly abode, where there is the pure sound of those who feast, the voice of ineffable joy of those who cry with gladness to Christ: Blessed are you, most glorious God, our God and the God of our fathers.

Second Canon. Irmos.

The godlike Youths did not worship creation instead of the Creator, but bravely trampling on the threat of fire, rejoicing they sang: O highly exalted Lord and God of our fathers, blessed are you!

Troparia

Young men and maidens, old men and rulers, kings with judges, as you honour the memory of the Virgin and Mother of God, sing out: Lord and God of our fathers, blessed are you!

Let the mountains of heaven resound with the trumpet of the Spirit; let hills now rejoice, and let the godlike Apostles leap for joy: the Queen is being translated to her Son, with who she rules for ever.

The most sacred Translation of your godlike and undefiled Mother has gathered the celestial ranks of the Powers on high to rejoice together with those on earth who sing to you: O God, blessed are you!

Ode 8. Irmos.

The all-powerful Angel of God revealed to the Youths a flame that brought refreshment to the Holy, but consumed the ungodly; while he made the Mother of God a spring, source of life, gushing forth the destruction of death, but life for those who sing: We who have been delivered praise the only Creator, and highly exalt him to all the ages.

Troparia

The whole multitude of the Divines accompanied the Ark of God in Sion with words, as they cried: Where do you now depart, Tabernacle of the living God? Do not cease to watch over those who sing: We who have been delivered praise the only Creator, and highly exalt him to all the ages.

As she departed the All-blameless lifted up her hands, which had held God incarnate in their embrace, and she said with a Mother’s boldness to the One whom she had borne: Those whom you have made mine keep unto the ages, as they cry to you: We who have been delivered praise the only Creator, and highly exalt him to all the ages.

Second Canon. Irmos.

The Offspring of the Mother of God saved the innocent Youths in the furnace. Then he was prefigured, but now in reality he gathers the whole world which sings: All you works, praise the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages.

Troparia

Immaculate Virgin, Rulers and Dominions with Powers, Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Principalities, the Cherubim and the dread Seraphim glorify your memory; while we, the human race, praise and highly exalt you to all the ages.

He, who when taking flesh made his dwelling strangely in your immaculate womb, himself received your all-holy spirit and, as a dutiful Son, gave it rest with himself. And so we praise you, O Virgin, and exalt you above all to all the ages.

Ode 9.

Megalynarion, which is sung before each Troparion of the following Ode:

All generations call you blessed, the only Mother of God.

Irmos.

In you, O Virgin without spot, the bounds of nature have been overcome; for childbirth remains virgin, and death is betrothed to life; Virgin after bearing child, and alive after death, O Mother of God, may you ever save your inheritance.

The angelic Powers were amazed as they looked in Sion on their own Master bearing in his hands the soul of a woman; for as befitted a Son he was saying to the one who gave him birth without spot: Come, honoured Lady, be glorified with your Son and God.

The choir of the Apostles shrouded your Body, which had received God, as they looked with awe and addressed you with clear voice: As you depart into heavenly bridal chambers to your Son, may you ever save your inheritance.

Second Canon.

Megalynarion, sung as the one above:

Angels, when they saw the falling Asleep of the Virgin, were amazed at how the Virgin went up from earth to the things on high.

The angelic Powers were amazed as they looked in Sion on their own Master bearing in his hands the soul of a woman; for as befitted a Son he was saying to the one who gave him birth without spot: Come, honoured Lady, be glorified with your Son and God.

The choir of the Apostles shrouded your Body, which had received God, as they looked with awe and addressed you with clear voice: As you depart into heavenly bridal chambers to your Son, may you ever save your inheritance.

Second Canon.

Megalynarion, sung as the one above:

Angels, when they saw the falling Asleep of the Virgin, were amazed at how the Virgin went up from earth to the things on high.

Irmos.

Let all those born of earth, bearing torches, in spirit leap for joy; let the nature of the immaterial Minds keep festival as it honours the sacred festival of God’s Mother, and let it cry out: Hail, all-blessed Mother of God, pure and ever-virgin’.

Troparia

Come now, on Sion, the divine and fertile mountain of the living God, let us be glad as we gaze on the Mother of God. For as his Mother Christ translates her to a far better and more divine tabernacle, the Holy of Holies.

Come, you faithful, let us approach the tomb of God’s Mother, and let us embrace it, touching it sincerely with the lips, eyes and brows of the heart; and let us draw abundant gifts of healings, which flow from an ever-owing fount.

Receive from us this burial hymn, O Mother of the living God; and overshadow us with your light-bearing and divine grace. Grant victories to our Sovereign, peace to the people that loves Christ, to us who sing forgiveness and salvation of our souls.

Exapostilarion. Tone 3.

O you Apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane; and you, my Son, receive my spirit. (Three times)

At Lauds we insert 6 Stichera and sing Prosomia, doubling the 1st.

Tone 4.

At your glorious Falling Asleep the heavens rejoice and the armies of Angels exult; the whole earth is glad as it utters its funeral hymn to you, Mother of the Master of all things, all-holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, who have delivered the human race from the ancestral sentence.

At a divine command the chief Apostles hastened from the ends of the earth to bury you, and when they saw you being taken from the earth to heaven they cried out with joy in Gabriel’s words: Hail, chariot of the whole Godhead; hail, who alone by your childbirth have joined together things on earth with those on high.

Virgin Mother, Bride of God, who gave birth to life, you have passed over to immortal life by your revered Falling Asleep. Angels, Rulers and Powers, Apostles, Prophets and all creation escorted you, and your Son received in his immaculate hands your unblemished soul.

Glory. Both now. Tone 6.

At your immortal Falling Asleep, O Mother of God, Mother of life, clouds caught the Apostles up into the air; and though they were scattered through the world, made them form a single choir in the presence of your immaculate body. As they reverently buried you they sang Gabriel’s song, crying out: ‘Hail, full of grace, Virgin Mother without bridegroom, the Lord is with you’. With them implore him as your Son and our God that our souls may be saved.

Great Doxology.

Holy oil is also given to the brethren.

At the Liturgy, the Typika, the Beatitudes, and from the Canons of the Feast Odes 3 and 6.


APPENDIX

POLYELEOS

Psalm 44

A good word, Alleluia.

My heart has uttered a good Word. I tell my works to the King.

My tongue is the pen of ready writer, You are lovely with a beauty beyond the sons of men.

Grace has poured from your lips, therefore God has blessed you for ever.

Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty warrior, in your splendour and beauty.

Draw your bow and prosper and reign in the cause of truth and meekness and justice, and your right hand will guide you wonderfully.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the sceptre of your Kingdom is a rod of justice.

You have loved right and hated wrong, therefore God your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your fellows.

Your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia, from the ivory palaces which gladden you.

Kings’ daughters are in your train. The Queen stood at your right hand arrayed in gold wrought with many colours.

Listen my daughter and see, and incline your ear, and forget your people and your father’s house.

Then the King will desire your beauty, for he is your God and your shall worship him.

And the daughter of Tyre will worship you with gifts; the richest of the people will entreat your favour.

All the glory of the King’s daughter is within, though she is arrayed in tasselled gold wrought with many colours.

The virgins in her train will be brought to the King; those near her will be brought to you.

They will be brought with joy and gladness; they will be led into the King’s temple.

Instead of your fathers, sons are born to you. You shall make them rulers over all the earth.

I will remember your name throughout all generations, therefore people will praise and thank you for ever and ever.

Psalm 135

O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, Alleluia: for his mercy endures for ever, Alleluia.

O give thanks to the God of gods, Alleluia: for his mercy…

O give thanks to the Lord of lords, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who alone does great wonders, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who made the heavens with Wisdom, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who established the earth on the waters, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who alone made the great lights, Alleluia: for his mercy…

The sun to rule the day, Alleluia: for his mercy…

The moon and the stars to rule the night, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who smote Egypt with their firstborn, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And brought Israel out from among them, Alleluia: for his mercy…

With a mighty hand and arm upraised, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who divided the Red Sea in two, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And led Israel through the midst of it, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And shook off Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who led his people in the wilderness, Alleluia: for his mercy…

To him who smote great kings, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And slew mighty kings, Alleluia: for his mercy…

Sehon, King of the Amorites, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And Og, the King of Bashan, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And gave their land as a heritage, Alleluia: for his mercy…

A heritage for Israel his servant, Alleluia: for his mercy…

For in our humiliation the Lord remembered us, Alleluia: for his mercy…

And redeemed us from our enemies, Alleluia: for his mercy…

Who gives food to all flesh, Alleluia: for his mercy…

O give thanks to the God of heaven, Alleluia: for his mercy…

Selection.
All the earth, Alleluia.

Rejoice in the Lord all the earth, Alleluia: rejoice before the Lord, the King, Alleluia.

O give thanks to him, praise his name, Alleluia: In the city of the lord of hosts, in the city of our God, Alleluia.

His place was in peace, Alleluia: and his dwelling in Sion, Alleluia.

The Lord loves the gates of Sion, Alleluia: more than the tabernacles of Jacob, Alleluia.

Glorious things are spoken of you, City of God, Alleluia: God has founded her for ever, Alleluia.

God is in the midst of her and she shall not be shaken, Alleluia: the Most High has hallowed his tabernacle, Alleluia.

Holiness and majesty, Alleluia: in your hallowing, Alleluia

My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready, Alleluia: I will sing and chant in my glory, Alleluia.

What shall I give in return to the Lord, Alleluia: for all that he has given me, Alleluia.

This is mount Sion, Alleluia: in which You have pitched your tent, Alleluia.

I will take the cup of salvation, Alleluia: and call on the name of the Lord, Alleluia.

In peace with him, Alleluia: I will rest and sleep, Alleluia.

Return, my soul to your rest, Alleluia: for the Lord has done good to you, Alleluia.

Into your hands I shall commit my spirit, Alleluia: the Lord has smitten the necks of sinners, Alleluia.

O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever, Alleluia: You fashioned me and placed your hand upon me, Alleluia.

You held my right hand, Alleluia: and received me with glory, Alleluia.

For I will pass into a place of wondrous protection, Alleluia: to the house of God, Alleluia.

With a voice of joy and salvation in the tents of the just, Alleluia: This change is due to the right hand of the Most High, Alleluia.

But I in justice will look on your face, Alleluia: and be satisfied with beholding your glory, Alleluia.

Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, Alleluia: You and the Ark of your holiness, Alleluia.

Holy is your temple, Alleluia: Wonderful in justice, Alleluia.

Holiness becomes your house, Lord, Alleluia: for length of days, Alleluia.

I will remember your name, Alleluia: throughout all generations, Alleluia.

Glory.

Let us worship the Father and let us glorify the Son, and let us all together sing the praise of the All-Holy Spirit, as we cry out and say, ‘All-Holy Trinity save us all’.

Both now.

Your people, O Christ, brings your Mother in supplication. At her entreaties grant us your acts of compassion, that we may glorify you, O Good One,  who dawned for us from the tomb.


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Archimandrite Ephrem ©

This page was last updated on 10 May 2009